Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Interlude/Intermission/The Bridge/Whatever...

Today (a.k.a. August 30, 2016) is the last day to be online here at the library in downtown Muncie before going over to Anderson for a visit that will last a bit over a week.

God willing and the creek don't rise, I'll be leaving on the afternoon Miller Bus on the first day of September and will be returning to Muncie on Saturday evening, September 10.  During my stay, I'm hoping to get online for several hours each day with the exception of September 4 & 5, as, even if the library is open on Sunday, the city buses won't be running to take me from one destination to another -- and, of course, Monday will be Labor Day.

Anyway, the last time I was here, I wrote a blog-entry called I've Got Your Number!  -- Or Do I!?!.......  and said I'd be writing the sequel to it the next time I was online.

Actually, I was expecting to be back online two days from then (weather permitting -- which it wasn't!).  I was definitely expecting to be back online yesterday, as I also had been invited to go to a presentation by Anthem that would include both a question-and-answer session and a free meal.  The timing was just perfect for getting both things done.  However, not only was it too puddly from heavy Sunday night rains, but I also had the squirts!  Best to stay home.

Actually, I only had one session of the squirts on Monday morning, but I wasn't taking any chances.  Besides -- squirts or no squirts -- there were still the puddles.

I have to be careful of what kind of punishment I put my current shoes through, as they're literally on their last legs:  MINE--because I doubt if anybody else would want me to hand them down to her or him.  What I'll probably do is to keep them for the memories (but more on the story of my shoes another time).

Anyway -- to make a long story short/shorter -- I'm going to write the sequel sometime after I'm over in Anderson.  You can just think of this as a kind of Interlude or Bridge -- or, you can think of it as Intermission time between Part One and Part Two.

First off, here's some new business on Lovable Larry:

For starters, the last time I reported his stats here, he was 756,530 away from collecting 13,000,000 tabs for the local Ronald McDonald House (something, as quite a few of you already know, he began doing in 2003 -- and he's very grateful to his ever-growing family who has helped to make this possible).

Today, I'm going to give you his latest stats:  729,935 away  -- at least I believe I remembered this correctly.  If not, no major problem, as, by now, the number has gotten even smaller!!!

Anyway, I have a little over an hour to be online now, and here are some of the things I hope to get finished today:

1.  Friend a very precious neighbor named Janice who told me that she's also on Facebook.

2.  Touch bases with at least a handful of my Facebook friends.

3.  Hopefully, actually make an entry in the blog I've created for him at my website -- but I think that this will probably be something I'll do when I get over in Anderson -- though it might be good to go ahead and do this, as I recently mailed a letter to Larry and wrote all over the back of it encouraging people (anybody in the post office who might happen to see all of the scribbling I did) to go to my website to find out more about him.  Hmmmmmm....Maybe, I'd better do this after Friending Janice...Decisions...Decisions...Decisions.............

4.  Anyway, I want to try to find the cute picture that this one lady posted of Larry where she told him to look pitiful so that people will send more tabs his way.  He told me that the problem was that -- while he was trying to look pitiful -- he kept busting out laughing!  LOLOLOLOL

On this note, I'll close...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I've Got Your Number! -- Or Do I!?!.......

I've always been good with stats.

The stats you've probably seen a lot of lately are the ones following the progress of Larry "The CanMan" Van Ness  (This video of him is priceless!!!).  As I posted yesterday on Twitter (which I've set to get passed on to Facebook), his last report to me is that he was 756,530 away from his 13,000,000th tab saved for the Ronald McDonald House in Indianapolis, Indiana since he began doing this in 2003.

Of course, he was planning to count even more tabs that very night (Sunday, August 21, 2016), and I'm sure that he's counted considerably more by now.

He hit the 12,000,000 milestone on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.  It would be neat if he could get to his 13,000,000th one by or before he goes down to Indy (likely, in early December) to the annual holiday open house.  Do you think that he can reach that milestone by or before Thanksgiving?

However -- as good as I usually am with stats -- I made a couple of mistakes here lately that need to be corrected.

The first time had to do with a special friend for over 30 years (George Joseph "Joe" Armstrong) who passed away unexpectedly (to me, anyway) this past May 10.  August 18 would have been his birthday, so I did a Twitter tribute to him.  However, I listed him as being born in 1958 instead of 1957.

I'm going to repost my Tweet again here with the mistake corrected...

George Joseph "Joe" Armstrong August 18, 1957 - May 10, 2016 Very much missed and thought of a lot!

I added this video to it then and will do the same now...

On August 22, my goddaughter's older daughter and firstborn child, Macie, turned 20.  In her case, I aged her a year.  I'm going to correct that mistake now by putting up a copy of the Tweet with a correction...

Happy 20th, Macie! Married with little ones! I remember both your and your mother's early years. Time flies!

Here's a link to the video that goes with this wish...

And, now, I have at least two people I want to wish "Happy Birthday With Love!"

There's Sean who turns 23 today.  I can still remember the first Sunday after he was born when his dad, Dennis, -- who was our minister at the time-- left a message on the letterboard located on the landing of the stairs leading to our sanctuary:


More on this wonderful family in a future post!!!

The other one is named Gary, and he's been special to me for nearly 46 years.  He and I dated for most of my senior year in high school and have remained friends.  There have been times when we've even gone for years without seeing each other -- though it usually isn't that many years at a time.  There are several songs that remind me of him, and I'm going to share a few of them and why...

We were fixed up as a blind date by mutual friends, and our first date began at a Wednesday night Youth Fellowship meeting at my church.  There was music playing in the background, and he mentioned really liking this one, and I told him that I did, too.  Then, he gave me a big hug.  After Youth Fellowship, we drove back to spend the rest of the date with his getting to know my mom and dad.

The next morning, he called me and told me that he wanted to dedicate a song to me, and this was it.

One of my pet names for him was "my sweetness."  I came up with it on my own, but, then, we noticed that it was in this song.

When a classic movie appeared on TV shortly after we began dating, we watched it together.  By the time that my senior prom rolled around, I realized that we'd be better off not ending up married to each other but, still, staying friends.  Even so, he wanted to be my prom date (and vice-versa) -- and that wasn't even discouraged by his having to shave his goatee in order to meet up with Pendleton Heights High School's dress code back in the spring of 1971.  I requested the band to play this two-song number from the movie, and we danced to it.

I was going to write a lot more, but I'm running out of time, so I'm going to continue this the next time I'm online.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sharing A Generous Slice Of Aunt Kate & Uncle Don

What I'm about to share here is a copy of a comment I made on this page at YouTube.

I not only love his music, but, also, I love his name. My uncle (the one married to my mom's baby sister who was BIG into the country music scene) was named Donald Wayne Williams. I don't know if that's Don Williams name or not, but Uncle Don went by Don Williams, so their casual names are the same. My uncle worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a mail carrier here in the Anderson, Indiana area for many years, and his co-workers gave him the nickname of Dandy Don -- probably, because he, likely, answered "How are you doing?" with "Just dandy." Aunt Kate -- Mary Fayra Kathleen (nee: Jobe) Williams -- was into country music from the time she was a very small child. In fact, if she and her family were out somewhere when it was time for The Grand Ole Opry to come on (so that they'd be missing part of it), she was known to pitch quite a temper tantrum. The same would be true if Uncle Finley teased her by adjusting the radio dial so that the program came in distorted. When Aunt Kate grew up, she continued to be involved in the country music scene. She was one of the charter members of The Country Music Association as well as being one of the first cash contributors to the building of The Country Music Hall Of Fame. She was the President Of The Hank Snow Fan Club as well as being the regional President Of The Marty Robbins Fan Club. I have so much more that I could share about this remarkable woman (and Uncle Don was also an amazing person with a wide variety of interests from tumbling rocks to art to writing to music and then some), but I'll wind this down for now. But I believe that it's important you know that Aunt Kate did all of the things she did while living with a major physical challenge: blindness due to a degenerative condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa! For her entire life, she was always significantly-blind to some degree but graduated from mainstream school at the eighth grade level and graduated from the Indiana School For The Blind at the high school level, the latter in 1950. Before beginning high school, she took the eighth grade over so that she could learn a new way of communicating: Braille. For at least the last 30 years of her earthly life, she was 100% blind. But that didn't deter her when it came to keeping up with country music, politics, and NASCAR racing with her favorite driver of all time being AJ Foyt. She also kept active in alumni activities of her high school as well as trying to find a cure for RP. Uncle Don passed away a couple of days after Christmas of 2002, and Aunt Kate will be gone for six years come August 13. I'm thankful to have the Internet to share remarkable people like Aunt Kate & Uncle Don with people all over the world.

This won't be the last that you'll be hearing about Aunt Kate & Uncle Don -- two totally-amazing people who are, to this day, very much missed...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

It's Happening In Tanzania...

I don't have my own TV at this time -- well, actually, I have a TV but am not connected to cable where I can watch it.

Here's the story behind said TV:

I hadn't been living at Gillespie Tower (in Muncie) for very long when there was a knock at my door.

At this time, I can't remember who the second person was, but I do remember that one of them was this nice and helpful guy named Tyrone.

They told me that they had a TV if I wanted it.  I told them that I couldn't afford cable at the time and had no idea how long I'd be staying there.  In short, I thought that it might be more useful to somebody else.  It was then that they told me that (not sure if they said this just to get me to accept it or if it were true) it was a perfectly-good TV but they had to get rid of it and were about to give up and put it in the dumpster.

So I said that, if this were the case, I'd be glad to take it in and either find it a new home or else end up taking it with me when I moved back to Anderson.

Anyway, it just so happened that my next-door neighbor, Betty, was thinking about moving South to live with her family as soon as she could afford it, so she was selling some of her things to raise money for the trip.  One of the things she'd be selling was a DVD player.

Anyway, it was cheap enough (I think it was around $10), and I wanted to help Betty out.  So, I now had a DVD player and a TV with nothing to place it on.  But this would be a kind of future "luxury" once I was back in my hometown with a library within walking distance where I could choose from scads of DVDs with the only "rent" being to present the library card I'd be getting once I had a physical address in Anderson.

Thus, the TV is still in my catch-all room in my apartment (how I'm using the room meant to be the bedroom), and I've already put the DVD player in storage over in Anderson.

Anyway, to make a long story a wee bit shorter, I don't have a TV on the ready at anytime that I might want to turn it on, so I wasn't even sure what was still on and what had been cancelled.

But I get to watch with neighbors.  I saw this wonderful video (as live TV) at both Linda's place and Ronnie's place, for instance, and, before she  ended up going to a nursing home, Jane and I loved to watch The Hallmark Channel together -- neat shows like The WaltonsLittle House On The Prairie, and The Middle.

I'll get to watch Wheel Of Fortune and Family Feud with Linda frequently, and Fred &; I listen to the various cable stations with music from way-back-when.

As I indicated before, I was so out-of-the-loop that I had no idea what was still playing.

One day, I was at Ronnie's, and an advertisement for 60 Minutes came on -- along with information about what the upcoming (a few days from then) episode would be.  I told him that I had no idea that 60 Minutes was still on the air.  He told me that it was and that I was invited to watch it with him if I wanted to.

Most Sunday evenings, I'm down at Ronnie's watching this longtime TV tradition with him.

This last Sunday (July 31, 2016), the line-up was amazing.  Here are the three features:




60 Minutes always delivers great quality in news features.  A beautiful longtime friend (now deceased) has written at least one episode for this news magazine in the past.

The entire July 31 program was A+, but I was especially excited about the third portion.

As you can see from watching it, the setting for this story was a place in Africa called Tanzania -- and it just so happens that I'm quite familiar with some of the goings-on there.

There are certain things going on in that corner of the world that need to be changed because they are atrocious (A *TOTAL* UNDERstatement!!!)!!!  This is a case of "tradition" where the more powerful keep the relatively-powerless under their collective thumb.

The heroes of this situation are those who are doing all they can to free the helpless and empower them.

For some time now, I've been trying to help such a person to make a difference.  Her name is Rose Njilo, and she's getting the message out about the abuse and exploitation of girls and women.  She has been assisted a lot by Suzanne "Snoopy" Puckett who also has her own personal goal of shutting down so-called boot-camps for wayward (meaning anything from being actual juvenile delinquents to simply not wanting to do their homework, clean their plates, etc.) youth where those in charge believe that subjecting these troubled/not always minding children and teens to demeaning talk and health-wrecking "exercise" is the way to make them be obedient.

I want to tell you the "biggie" when it comes to the kind of abuse that Rose is fighting against:  female genital mutilation.

In case you don't know what that means in this case, here it is:  getting your clitoris cut off so that you won't get any personal pleasure from sexual relations.  It's the female-aimed version of castration.

This is usually done to females in Rose's neck of the woods when they are still of elementary school age -- MERE CHILDREN!!!


So they won't end up wanting to be with anybody but their husbands -- and not even wanting to be with them.

They're sex slaves (and slaves in general) in the worst sense of the word -- just individuals to cook, clean, and be sex toys to whichever man happens to end up with which one.   Human droids!!!

Rose (and others, such as Snoopy and I) believe that these girls and women deserve better -- MUCH BETTER!!! -- and want to get the word out that help is needed!!!

Rose has a website where you can find out more, and we all hope that you will!!!

At this point, I also want to include the website of the amazing people in the 60 Minutes feature (India Howell, Peter Leon  & Grace Mmassy, along with various others).

Hopefully, they'll be able to network with each other and grow even stronger in their quest to empower those who need empowering, whether they be women and girls who are being robbed of the chance to know the pleasure of lovemaking or children in need of a family atmosphere and a good education.

Please keep sharing this blog-entry with others.  If you're able to donate cash and other things needed (e.g. textbooks, food, clothing, etc.), I hope you will.  But, even if you're unable to do that, you're doing a whole lot just to keep this information circulating...