151 Band

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Still Shaking My Head

When you stop for a moment and critically listen to what is being said or being portrayed in the news, more often than not you will find yourself shaking your head and wondering just what in the hell it was that you just watched.  It's not limited to media, however; voters sometimes surprise us all with their decisions.

This past election cycle provided us with evidence that people have a tendency to be lazy and rarely look closely at the candidates.  The County Clerk race in Oklahoma County is a great example.  The aggregate result was a runoff with a beleaguered incumbent who should have been gone years ago and a trumpet player who is apparently a friend of the Keatings and of the Fallins.  We get to choose on the Republican side between a candidate with lots of really bad experience and another who really has no clue what goes on in the Clerk's office.  

We are so screwed and yes, I'm still shaking my head.

Then there is the terrorist attack madness in Turkey.  I watched video of terrorists shooting people and then blowing themselves up.  More than 20 people were killed and others injured by these animals and CBS showed it in all its horror but then they criticized Donald Trump for his hard line on terrorism and contrasted Hillary Clinton's more soft approach to interrogation techniques.  

I really shook my head after that one.

We live in increasingly bizarre times and I am still wondering how in the hell we ended up with the two candidates we have for POTUS in this day and age.  Look, I get the anger and frustration, but damn.  If this is the best we've got, we're in a whole lot of trouble.  The POTUS race is just one of many examples of how the decline of western civilization continues at an alarming pace.  We're afraid to handle terrorists as they should be handled, we elect career politicians with impunity, the news is filled to overflowing with death and destruction, and yes, we still have men and women in uniform fighting overseas with their hands tied behind their back.

If that doesn't make you shake your head, you're part of the problem.

What are some of the solutions?  Here are my recommendations:

1.  Limit the amount of news we watch and when we watch the news, stick to local news and leave the national news to the mind-numbed dill weeds.

2.  Limit negativity.  There are some people in our lives who live to be negative, to find a problem in every little thing.  Eliminate these people from our lives and at least limit our exposure.  There are people who wake up every single morning with a million excuses and rants about why you can't do something and they are full-tilt energy sucking leeches.  Scrape 'em off.

3.  Be positive.  Challenge ourselves to spend a few moments each day to do the whole positive affirmation thing.  It may seem corny at first, but there is a lack of positivity and when you encourage yourself and encourage those around you, the possibilities become endless.

4.  Be happy.  We are alive, we are breathing, and we still live in the greatest country in the world and that should make us happy.  Share some happiness with your friends and loved ones and watch how the environment begins to shift.  

Yeah, there are times that make us shake our heads as we look around and see the soup sandwich that is our screwed up culture, but there are also opportunities to be an agent of change.  I challenge you to be the change; to be the person that inspires others.  We can do this.  

Of course, these are my opinions and I could be wrong.  Or not.

Ron "Gorilla" Black

Sunday, June 26, 2016

What A Week!

It's been a fun, exciting, and challenging week and I thought I would take a few moments to share some of the excitement with you!

First, Signal 8 Band (my band) is starting to really come together with the new members.  We are pumped up and looking forward to our maiden voyage at the Blowout Club in Guthrie, July 15.  We have an intense set list, great entertainment, and a group of guys who are chomping at the bit to perform for you.  If you can clear your schedule, you're invited to come out and watch us jam the night away with classic rock, contemporary country, and even some pop tunes by folks like the Gin Blossoms.  

Second, you have no doubt seen the Fox 25 report about the County Clerk's race wherein the incumbent Carolynn Caudill had former Governor Frank Keating on a mailer endorsing her.  The truth of the matter is that she did not, in fact, have Governor Keating's endorsement or anything like it.  She also listed endorsements from a couple folks who are actually deceased.  Of course, this isn't the first time that she's run into trouble; she was arrested for DUI and leaving the scene of an accident and had most recently tried to get the record expunged.  In my not-so-humble opinion, she has become the poster child for everything that is wrong with politics.  This is not an ad hominem attack, but rather stating the facts.  One can only hope that the taxpayers and voters of Oklahoma County realize that it's time for a change and will vote for someone with private sector and public sector experience who won't be an embarrassment to Oklahoma County.  Which is why I support Charlie Phillips whole heartedly.  She is the real deal and I don't toss that kind of a statement around.  There is more to the story about some of Caudill's shenanigans and will be reported on Monday on Fox 25.  Phil Cross is the only television reporter with the stones to report this stuff.

Third, floods on the east coast have cost people their lives and then, the news of the Duncan boy with autism came out that his body was recovered and that he is deceased.  It's tragic and horrifying and to hear of a young child losing his life is nothing short of heartbreaking.  Seeing his picture on the news brought forth images of grieving parents, friends, and supporters and it makes one wonder just what in the heck is happening to us as a nation and as human beings.  We can only hope that the boy is now with the Father and that his parents will somehow find a way scratch and claw their way back.

Fourth, I don't know if you know about this cool little place by downtown where there is music on the weekends, food trucks and a light atmosphere.  We saw a friend perform some folk music there and it was absolutely amazing.  It's located just north/behind the OKC Farmer's Market and it is most assuredly a family-friendly environment; some people even brought their dogs.  Highly recommend it to you and the family.   These types of places are popping up all over Central Oklahoma and in my estimation, it is a good thing for the City.  There is an added element of culture that one comes to expect from much larger metropolitan areas.

Lastly, do yourself a favor and shake the hand of a veteran and tell him or her thank you.  We have so much hero worship in this country and have a disgusting propensity to forget the ones who lay down their lives for our freedoms.  There are a lot of idiots in politics, but it's because of our veterans that we can even have idiots in politics.

These are just my opinions and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.

Ron "Gorilla" Black