Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor On My Neighbor

Labor is something that reaps rewards.  It brings purpose, solidarity, and a feeling of accomplishment or at least gives a sense of contributing to something much bigger.  This is how it is for some.

Then there are those who feel that they are indeed contributing to something much bigger.  They see it that their work not only makes them happy, but others as well.

Go make a neighbor smile this Labor Day weekend :)

Thumbs up smiley by skotan - A yellow smiley face giving a “thumbs up”

Photo by Skotan
December 18, 2009

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Lovey Dovey Moment

A Cherished Note

The brisk wind pulling my hair strands behind my ears.  It is refreshing to get outside and enjoy the glorious day.  I haven't felt so at one with nature as I have this past weekend.

I feel connected to the Creator of nature and  my
soul hums a tune.  I had my lovey dovey moment.  I felt really boundless love towards my own young child.  Sometimes I hold him and close my eyes.  I picture him as a wee baby or a little older and feel endless love.

And to think this sentiment that fills me up is nothing compared to God's love for us.  A parental love that goes beyond comprehension and imagination.

I only get a glimpse of that love.  And it brings me such peace just like the dove symbolizes.  Today my lovey dovey moment was overflowing of both love and peace at the same exact moment.

Image at top by Kai Stachowiak                                                                              Image by Gerd Altmann

Friday, August 22, 2014

Just Letting The Gas Out


Photo by User:Devinasch

So I found out there is an international treaty that nations have ratified.  It concerns chemical use in warfare. After reading the prior two sentences, you might be like that's already known- gee this blog is mundane or worse lame.

But what I am disclosing here is about tear gas.

The Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993 banned tear gas agents for use during war.  All the nations in the world signed this agreement- this does include the United States of America.

But why then is tear gas used during riots?  I mean it is thought to be less bothersome.  But when I researched, I discovered that tear gas is more toxic than you think. The gas causes damage to the lungs (pulmonary), heart and liver.  It can cause miscarriages too.

Tear gas is referred to as CS gas and is an aerosol that dissolves other active substances and easily evaporates.  It consists of 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile that is solid at room temperature.  For less severe cases, tear gas just burns the eyes, throat and skin.  Any contact the CS has with moisture on the skin will create a burning sensation.  The tear gas has a vomiting effect and causes prostration also.  The aftermath effects may last for hours.

Worldwide there are around 15 different types of tear gas that have been created.  Currently in the U.S., CS is used due to its supposedly less toxic effects.

My question is why do we use it in the first place?  I mean if it's not allowed in international wars- then why is it used in riots within our borders?

Do you think it's fair?  There are risks that were mentioned in this blog to take into consideration. The damage to the lungs, heart and liver.  Even more seriously, there's the issue of unborn life that the government has to answer and be held accountable for in regards to their mortality.

 I just hope I am not pregnant and meet tear gas by some twist of fate.  These facts frighten me and I felt compelled to post this blog to make aware of what tear gas does do to people.  I see the Ferguson situation and I now know what risks these protesters are taking- but do they themselves realize them all?

That is the question that bothers me.  And I hope that the info. here will make someone if not lots of people inform others of the dangers of tear gas.

"Pass this gas" info. fast.


File:Sanya Sun Photo by Dale Preston enhanced.jpg

Photo by Dale Preston

One thing I love about Fridays?  I get to fry at the beach.  Hence Fryday.

But Friday is not just a day for me to fry in the sun.  Friday is also Pry-day.  It's the time I really can find out what the scoop is on well- peeps.  I get to pry into their lives.  Get a glimpse as to what has been going on in their lives and making them tick.  Not necessarily the maddening tick when someone is pissed off.  Though those reads are amusing or funny some of the time.  Nor that specific tick known to pest you when you are outside enjoying the outdoors.  What I'm talking about is something obscure.  I'm referring to what makes us continue onwards- ya know "tick."

I mean hanging out with people makes me tick.  It energizes and gives me joy.  Most definitely love makes my heart tick.  Memories are formed as the inner timer ticks away.  As I hear the tick of the clock, I reminisce about things.

Yes, I have gotten to that point wherein I like to recollect the jolly good times.  Sometimes I yearn to be innocent again.  Not exposed to such filth in the world.  Life hardens you or desensitizes you as you age.  I have even forgotten to feel apathy towards some traumatic events. Mind you, I am not heartless, but am like- I've seen that before and it does not inspire any emotion. I'm like that when I watch movies.  I'm not moved like I use to be when I first dealt or saw it.

Maybe the reason is that I have seen the same story line or scene too many times.  it doesn't phase me or anything.  I do get wired up about real life events.  I feel something inside.  My heart ticks and slowly bleeds at the horrors I have seen.

It is like we are all on a timer and everyone has one that is set in motion.  My fear is that there will be a day when the timers coincide and when set off- chaos will erupt.

I don't really know where I am going with this entry.  Honestly, these are just my vague thoughts as I live in sunbathing paradise.  These thoughts- they tick on in my head.  All I know is that it's Friday- so tick on, and pick something to pry about this Pry-day :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Where's the Pail-When I Fail?

Photo by Okano on March 27, 2008

I'll be the first to admit.  I have failed in lots of respects.  I mean there are setbacks, and then there are real setbacks.  The kind of setbacks that make you question your worth.  This is a hard topic to bring out in the open, but I'll try.

I have actually cried because when it comes down to it, I have lamented about the way my life turned out.  I have pouted, and stamped my foot at the will of the fates for the way things are in my world.  It just boils down to the feeling that I am a failure.  I haven't amounted to much.  I look back at my aspirations when I was a youngster, and feel like I fall short.

I don't know if I am approaching an early mid life crisis- mind you, but I feel it's something close to that. There were a lot of things I wanted to do and be in my life.  I wanted to travel more, contribute more, and learn how to do things too.

I mean hey, I wanted to be a professional dancer (ballet, modern, etc.)  But that didn't happen.  I wanted to be a doctor.  Yep, I remember watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation wherein the doctor, Beverly, was dancing in it.  She was referred to as the "dancing doctor."  And that is what got stuck in my head to become eventually.

But that didn't happen.  A lot has occurred that I can't explain.  Plans change, God rearranges your life, and you endure your strife through His grace.  It's a hard lesson to learn.  And it was for me, as I needed a pail, when I did fail.

One Bible passage has sprung to my mind during my down and out times when I asked, "Where's the pail- when I fail?"

Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,"plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Getting Off My Soap Box

Breathe- no seriously I had to get things off my back in my prior post.  I guess it's the pent up feelings in regards to what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri.  It so stirs up memories of the Rodney King story.  How many of you remember that occurrence?

I do, I was still in elementary school and it was all over the place.  I recall remembering it was about a beating of some sort.  Namely, the police struck out at Rodney for minor reasons.  Ouch, that put a damper on those who believe in equal protection as I mentioned is in the Constitution as an amendment.

But again, the purpose of this blog entry is not to condemn or get on my "soap box."  I just wanted to voice my reaction.  I wanted to let you know what it reminded me of- that's all.  No preaching or anything of the sort.  Since we all know what is right in our lives- at least I hope so :)

Back when I was kid, I already knew it was wrong to beat the crap out of someone.  My peers and I come from a different upbringing.  I think a lot of individuals from the younger generations do.  We don't hate because of just race.  We are taught at an early age to not foster hate for that reason alone.

Maybe it's all the television shows we saw and the music we listened to on our cassettes, and then CDs.  The pop culture definitely had a role in shaping our views on race.  I remember the songs "Rhythm Nation" and "Black or White" that were the force behind molding the younger generations to accept each other.

I also remember reading Matthew 22:36-40 that states to love your neighbor as yourself as the second commandment.  Jesus definitely got a lot of things right in this regard, even in his own time when things were in some ways worse.  And this principle most certainly applies to us in this modern day.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Face the Race

                “We must face the race with good pace,” a personal sincere quote of mine that I truly believe in whole heartedly.  This means we should approach and face each other, despite our colored background symbolized by our brown, white, yellow, and black skin.   It also means to give an outward good face to those around us who have a cultured upbringing different from ours.  How is this achieved?  This is not achieved by segregating ourselves as those in the past have done to each other out of malice.   Due to historical behaviors conducted by hate motivated individuals, the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause was eventually ratified in the United States.  The amendment applies to persons of color.  This equal protection allowed for affirmative action to be approved down the road.  The idea behind it does make some sense to a point. There must have been a reason for it and a need for it to stay established in society.

           There was already something established within society.  The stereotypes that developed and brewed hatred based on race.  All of this does promote segregation which causes isolation and fear.   Cultural integration is significantly important.  

The opportunity for social integration in the workforce is important but standards should not be lowered for this to occur.  It's about equal opportunity to work while supporting cultural diversity too.  The person hired should meet the criteria for the job- no matter what race he or she is on the application. If the most qualifying candidate is of color- well that's great.  But if he or she is not qualified, then the choice should be obvious.   

What I view more imperative is how the young interact.  It's more crucial for social integration to occur within the school systems.  This gives them the cultural exposure at an early stage in life.  This interaction is necessary to foster goodwill between individuals of different backgrounds and race.  It does break down barriers that exist due to the socialization that we received, and do receive from prior generations.

Welcoming the Storm

I admit it.  I hate chaos and disorder overall.  I am hesitant over change or reluctant towards it.  I like consistency and structure.  I like keeping the system.  Yet I have found myself in a pickle.

I mean to say the variable of change is not related to societal structure.  It rather deals with an alteration in my own life.  I am becoming full aware that I no longer represent a youthful tone.

Face it, I am out of it.   I have come to realize that I do not have an inkling of what's trendy for the teenagers out there.  I know some fads but not enough to deem me a cool hipster- if that even is a mainstream word anymore for the youth.

I hardly pay attention to the teen geared movies out there. I rarely pick up a blue-ray copy of them at the movie rental store.  I didn't see "Prom" or "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."  The only Wallflowers out there I know play music. The music band Wallflowers are led by Jacob Dylan (son of the rocker Bob Dylan).  They were a hit in the late 1990s.

 But like I mentioned, I just am not interested in teen thrillers anymore.  Sad to say, that is one phase I have grown out of in passing through this life.  In fact, I have sprouted or shot out of some pastimes that I did when I was a young thing.

As I have outgrown my juvenile days,  I find myself usually not interested in the music that young tweens listen to. Sure, I like maybe one or two songs that were recorded by some young teenage artists.  There's a song by One Direction that actually is pretty good . The song "Story of My Life" is a catchy tune.   And some Taylor Swift songs, etc. are not that bad.  But for the most part I find the next generation's music rather lacking in depth.  At least the songs coming from teenage music groups.  The music sounds the same, but has a twist to it.

I have come to terms that I am still the same in some respects too.  But I believe life has changed or twisted my tastes in things.  For instance, my taste in foods has altered.  I now like eating some spicy foods, when as a teenager my taste buds could not handle them.  Strange, eh?  I also feel that there's more strange things that will shape my life.

I guess my point is I don't know what I'm going to evolve into.  What or how will my mind be shaped differently?  I don't acknowledge myself to be a coming of youth girl anymore.  I am past that.  Also, I feel I am not a wise sage either gained from heaps of lifelong experiences.

What has been bothering me is a certain notion.  It's a nudge that has inched into my mind.  The idea that I am facing a coming storm.  A storm of magnitude seems to be on the horizon.  It is escalating and going to wash away the old me, and bring in certain new.

I wait before the calm of it.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A New Way to Wash Hair

What's not to hate about shampoo?  I have talked to my gals and face it- there is nothing like detergents in shampoo to stir up a girl-to-girl talk of lamenting about our hair state.

The ingredient sodium laureth sulfate is what dries the hair out and makes it necessary to use conditioner, hair leave-in treatments, etc.  But it is also what makes our scalp feel clean just like how we think our clothes are clean from detergent.

File:Mild shampoo.jpg

Mind you, I have heard that shampoo might not exist in the future in maybe five years from now.  Is that possible???  There is a brand out there named Purely Perfect that sells Purely Perfect Cleansing Cream for a good $40 bucks.  It does not lather, and is free of all the harsh chemicals that leave us frazzled along with our hair after using sodium laureth sulfate and silicone based shampoos.

Purely Perfect Cleansing cream does not consist of the harsh ingredients that dry our hair.  It has aloe vera, rose flower, peppermint, and evening primrose oil. These key ingredients factor out the need for other hair products.  It's massaged into wet hair and rinsed out after a few minutes of being on the scalp.

Supposedly it works on all hair types. I think we will hear or read more reviews on its effectiveness from first hand people we know once it is on the shelves at let's say Target or Wal-Mart.

That being said, the product is a dry shampoo that claims it eliminates the time to cleanse hair and make it manageable.  Also, Purely Perfect's Cleansing Cream is biodegradable and is environmentally friendly for the earth.

The  creator of Purely Perfect is Michael Gordon.  He also started another business called Bumble in 1977 that eventually marketed its well liked product line in the 1990s.

Changing Shades

My hue has altered.  I am not the bubbly summer time chica.  Rather I am becoming a brooding, and dwelling on things gal.  And I am not sure where this is going but here are my latest thoughts.

Sure, I know it's due partly to the inevitable change in seasons.  I feel it in my bones and am wired this way.  But maybe it's just the fact I miss my father.  You see, my birthday is coming up and it's hard to take sometimes without him being there.

I keep being nagged with that gnawing feeling- is he proud of me?  I wonder if he is ashamed of me for any apparent reason.  God only knows and so does my father.

I lost my Dad when I was in high school. The reality of losing my Dad is really noticeable at key moments in my life.  I wish he was around to share my moments and I can see his reaction, etc.

I don't mean to all of a sudden go sentimental on you or anything.  These are just some recollections I have that I ponder on every now and then.

Anyone else conjure up a memory of someone after reading this?

File:"Rest in Peace" (5895024822).jpg

Photo by Phil Sangwell on July 2, 2011

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rational on the International

I really don't know where to begin.  It has been brought to my attention that there is a bunch of messy predicaments going around.

It is hard to take that groups of individuals are being persecuted for their faith in the Middle East.  Mentions of beheadings and crucifixions disturb me deeply.  I find myself wondering why all this genocide is going on?

Hate is a gruesome thing to feel and hold onto that leads to acts of violence depending on who the individual it manifests within over time.  It eats away and rots you to the core until a transformation has occurred.  And it is not a good transformation.  Neither is power lust which has sprouted its ugly head in Russia.

Russia has been giving weaponry to India.  They forked over $13.6 out of $29.7 billion dollars of weapons to India between 2013-2014.  The United States of America only sent under $2 billion during that same time frame.  Ever since 9/11, the U.S. has exported more weaponry to India.

It is also known that China has a more developed defense industry than India.  China imported technology and supplies from Russia in the 1980s and 1990s until they could manufacture their own.

It seems that Russia is looking for allies, and sides are being drawn.

I just keep thinking a lot of planning is going on within nations.  They are building their forts and stock loads, trying to emerge as the most dominant country, or on the side that has become the most powerful in the world.  And at whose expense- I say ours.

Photo by Jorgen Calberg on October 2, 2012

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

On the Suicide of Robin Williams

My first reaction to his passing was well- doubt.  And no doubt, I thought about the countless times I watched Mrs. Doubtfire.

     He made us laugh and feel glad to be alive.  I only wish he had felt glad to be alive also.  I miss him-  I genuinely do because he was a rarity.  He rarely made us not laugh and that is what makes him remarkable. He gave his time, talent, and lighthearted humor to us all through numerous movies and shows.

         One movie in which he inspired Generation X and countless others is Dead Poets Society.  Robin Williams took on the character, John Keating, who was a teacher at a private prep school for boys.  I learned a lot from that movie.  Some favorite quotes of mine come from Williams' character.

        "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."

        "But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you.  Go on, lean in.  Listen, you hear it?--Carpe--hear it?--Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary."

     Further, I love the following punch line that is one of the movie's themes.

     ..."And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life.  But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for..."

      I only wished that Robin Williams had continued to live to enjoy more of what life has to offer.  And that is "poetry, beauty, romance, love..."

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Affection Perception

Affection Display

     The one place you can find public displays of affection are at the park. So it's pretty common that around every now and then you see couples walking hand in hand.  Glancing around you might notice children playing with their families and then suddenly your gaze happens to fall on a couple of teenagers who have seen one too many Nicholas Sparks movies. I mean sure they are there in all their glory while making some of us uncomfortable.  Like, get a room.  Duh, there are kiddos around here. But in regards to kids- what has become of public displays of affection between parent and child?

      It is a rarity by chance to witness open acts of affection between parent and child.  It does sadden me that what I do more often than not see is disciplinary action and vocal scolding over misbehavior.  While I do believe there are situations that call for it, I have come to the conclusion that it is frequently needed because children have been conditioned to think it's normal to throw a fit out in public.

      There are countless movies that have conditioned our children.  One specific movie comes to mind that I saw once.  The movie Problem Child that was commercially successful in presenting a rebellious child who made mayhem.  Granted it's unrealistic as it centers around a child that is a rebel who ends up being the hero.

     And that's the problem- movies and television glorify the children to become misfits or troublemakers.  They give them the false belief that being disobedient empowers them just like it did or does for the young heroes on the screen.  The children harness this norm that it is okay to act this way.  And this leads to outbursts in public settings.

     The reality is there are not enough movies and television shows that encourage good parent and child relationships.  Instead parents and children are socialized to believe that they are pitted against each other.  It's a test of wills, etc., etc.  Unfortunately it's scarce to behold parents lightly patting their young ones between the shoulders or even giving hugs.  Instead of hugs, personally I find myself as a spectator of a tug of war scene.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tid Bits

Be immersed in my realm of existence.  I basically approached sharing my world in ways to amuse and shock you.  I don't know if I will succeed in this, but figured it'd be good to at least make your glance of my blog worthwhile.

I hope to impart some of my trivial memories of things that have occurred, and yet present eye catching material of topics that are relevant to at least some individuals out there.

       -Enjoy and Carry on-
         K. Jo Brown