Thursday, December 29, 2016

That Lost Week Between the Beginning and the End.

 Well… It really is not as dramatic as the title might suggest. I am talking about that kind-of-lost string of days between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Everything and everyone moves along at a snail pace. In some cases, due to an overabundance of cheers on Christmas Eve and Christmas day and, at other times, because it just seems that every-body we see is simply plodding on at a slower pace than usual.

We had a quiet Christmas this year. This was in part to make up for a Thanksgiving when there were some19 revelers adding to the noise and subtracting from the food and drink to be had. And the other part? Well, many of those said revelers came from out of town and it costs money to do this. Too close to part with the money it implies to come out again. Even if to revel with “free” food and drinks. And, frankly, we were a little tired of all the reveling as well. So, we ordered take out from a local restaurant, to be followed by treats and a movie. At home. For those who may know us, if I said that my wife was in charge of choosing the movie, you’d say “Mary Poppins”!! Guess what… You’d be right on. It was fun.

So, what is to be done in these few days? The budget is not very stretchable and neither are those pesky things we must pay in order to continue our day to day lives. It becomes a quiet corner of the year, allowing a brief catch up before exploding again in New Year fireworks. A time to review and to auto comment or question what was and what was not. Also, a time to renew the vows to go to the gym at least 4 days per week. I did and my body hurts in most of its parts. Years ago, to exercise was just a fun event… to show how far we could go before crying uncle! Today, exercising is a necessary evil that shows us just how far we have come along in years. And how our mind is willing but the body complains. Loudly.

New Year’s Eve is just a couple of nights away; we are heading into a year which, if nothing else, is going to mark some history book pages. Hopefully, for the better. Our country is not in the best of shape, either financially or socially. We need to soul search, tighten some belts and loosen some attitudes. If our man/woman did not win, won’t be the first time. We go on as citizens, keep working and do our best to move our country forward. Or, at least, that used to be the way. On this go ‘round, it seems that those who supported the candidate who lost are doing their utmost to unhinge the process, and to stop the incoming, elected president. In the end, it won’t happen but along the way we all suffer. 

We will go on and do some exercising along the way, try to re-do things we did wrong, trod those new byways we ignored in the past and look up and forward. When your mind can imagine and visualize what you truly choose to desire, your life will follow and make a reality of it.

Have a Happy New Year’s Day and, why not? A Happy all year long… Remember:

         "I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright…
         I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more…
         I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive...
        I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much                         bigger…
         I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting…
         I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess...
         I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye."

Be Well … Be Back!!!
Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to rjalcazar@gmail.com

Saturday, December 10, 2016

From Wally’s Pond


          Today I sit here just to pass the time and try my luck at actually writing what I hope can morph into a blog entry. Since it is my commitment (to self, anyway) to begin again to write at least one entry per week, I guess this exercise is in anticipation of next week’s delivery. Perhaps a meandering exercise while later getting into more defined topics.

          Wally’s Pond is a mental… oops, that’s a dated term… a virtual place where I can retreat to think and to just let my imagination fly. I am noticing, however, and with a degree of concern that my imagination’s take off and flight is more cumbersome than it may have been some time ago. Like everything else in life, it may be due to a lack of practice since, for reasons primarily beyond my immediate control, my time has not allowed me to do this writing exercise, which I truly enjoy doing.

          Occasionally, I check the stats on the blog and find, to my surprise, that there are folk who do come in to read some of the entries. And do so on a regular basis. From different countries, some where I can guess at possibly who he/she can be and others where I have never been, nor do I know anyone. In France, there is a dear friend with whom I have had no contact for a while. Maybe he is coming in to read. And thus, keep a virtual contact going.

          While I have not been writing zealously, there is one project where some of my limited time has been utilized. A Compendium. A friend who has read many of the entries since the beginning, suggested that a compendium with entries chosen by me be put together. Some in sequence, others individually. And perhaps it could be published; either in real hard format or on a virtual basis. It sounded interesting and some of my time has been put into this effort.

          While at Wally’s Pond (Ok… to me, it’s a real place…) there are some topics not allowed to sneak in. Like current events, for example. I am supposed to come here to relax, not to get mad or frustrated. So, I wax poetic about places, people and relationships and not about politics, which is a losing proposition. People and places are much more inviting, since these thoughts usually revolve around memories (good ones mostly) or about what can or could be.

          Today, one of the thoughts that came in unbounded, brought me back to one of my all-time favorite summer haunts, Cape Cod MA, and Province-town. Many years have passed since my last visit and probably the panorama has changed accordingly, but one among many favorite places back then, was  a little shanty off the main P-town pier where one could go and buy freshly caught clams, deep fried to a golden hue, along with a cone filled with french fries and a cold beer… then go sit at the pier and dangle collective feet in the water while eating these delicacies. Pure Heaven on Earth!!! Bicycles, walking the dunes, good food, great weather, relaxing times. Hmm… just thinking about it brought my BP and cholesterol down, I’m sure…

Another time, another life, another place…

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to rjalcazar@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

And Now… Where?

No, I am not talking about the political panorama, though this would certainly give much to comment on.

It has been now some 3 months since the magical (really??) threshold of Gulp!!! 70 was reached, breached, and pushed aside. Well I do believe it is magical for, in today’s environment, they (whoever “they” are) say that 70 is the new fifty. Nifty. (well, that last one gave me away!!)

When I was young eons ago, those who were over 65 were considered venerable folk, worthy of befriending and listening. Well, for politeness sake if nothing else… What I do remember is they tended to be paunchy, with less hair (well, got me on that one!), unable to do much more than walk around, talk about “good ol’ times” and go to a friendly get together, or two, of similar folks. And yes, I do enjoy looking back to earlier years of my life (how else could I have completed these 400 entries?) to reminisce but certainly not to live there.

Today, at age 70 one is wont to have as many plans and dreams as one had in his (OK, her too)20s, 30s, etc. Yes, the eyes are a little more jaundiced and the ears tend to discern more of the useless dribble than they did then but, it’s OK to dream and to look ahead. I know I do. And refuse to stop doing so. I work and probably will until the day I die. Maybe not at the same thing, but will be doing something (hopefully constructive…). Yes, my work schedule intentionally gives me more time to look around and to smell the flowers, as it were. Even to sometimes sit at this here computer and still put out some of this… whatever… I won’t work 24/7 because some of that time is my time and will use it accordingly. As willing and eager as I am to consider the future, it must be also coldly recognized I am a lot closer to the end of the road than I am to the beginning. 

Truth in advertising!!

There are many things I still want to do; many doors to open and explore, and some others to close. Roads which haven’t been traveled, and ports where I would like to bring this ship into. Is it a bucket list? No, not really. It is more like a bucket where I drop a little pebble for each thing I actually get to do. Admittedly it is well over half full and that, by itself, is not a bad report to give.

Oh, I will continue to write. These little “gems” have not been very forthcoming lately, but will begin to show up again with a little more regularity. There are some out there who actually read these entries. Some faithful friends and others who, by happenstance, fall into this blog in their search for something to read. To them I also say thanks.

Till next one!!!

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to rjalcazar@gmail.com

Monday, October 3, 2016

On Being 70… and All That Jazz!!

Along the byways of this life the years pass, sometimes without much ado; other times there is a splash of some sort…

Just yesterday I was worried about what was I going to do about my hair and ho to comb it for the prom… today, well, let’s just say that hair is not my most pressing issue. In fact, its relative absence from the top makes it easier when it comes to just pushing it back…

Life is worth celebrating. Life is worth living. Yes, there are moments when these concepts or if you will, feelings, are put to a harsh test but in the end, they do, like the mythical Phoenix, manage to be reborn and help you face whatever comes your way. Well, almost any “whatever”…

Sometime ago, a friend of mine who has been following the blog for a number of years (actually, since it began some 6 years ago…) said to me… “why don’t you do a compendium of a chosen number of entries and put it together into a manuscript or, perhaps even a book?”

I have to say that the idea sounded a bit farfetched to me. Yes, we have gone well over the 12,000 hit mark, much more than I ever anticipated and, interestingly, these reads have come from 12-14 different countries along the way. I realize these numbers are relatively small in the overall scheme, but I really began this as an exercise for a few friends and eventually, a compendium of memories to leave for my children. Never anticipating having readers in almost the 4 corners of the world.

Well, I sort of took this advice and began to create a compendium. It has not been easy and the available time has not cooperated. How do I choose which ones of so many “gems” to keep and which to leave out? I am still working at it, although getting very close to completion. What will happen after this completion, I have no idea.

I guess you can say I am celebrating my 70th birthday by looking back at some of these years through what I have written and, in this manner, minimize the mistakes I may be making over the next cycle in my life; worry not, these times to come will not be mistake-free… that would make them into a very boring cycle.

I will continue to write, for you, for me, for those who will come later and may want to glimpse into someone else’s life… every day is a new memory to be added and it is truly hoped there will be many more yet. Sort of like a “second compendium”.

To those who have read and followed, thanks for hanging in there, even in the times of total draught.

And by the way… Happy 70 (or thereabouts) to all my friends who are in this rarefied neighborhood.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to rjalcazar@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Goodbyes and Balances…

This is a longer entry than usual. I debated (a short debate) whether to break it into two entries or not and the "not" won out. Maybe I just wanted to "get it over with" since it was not easy to put on paper... 

One morning, not long ago, started with some news I had been afraid would come at almost any time.

As I was getting ready to leave for my first morning class, the phone rang. I saw the name of my sister in law on the screen and, at this early time of the morning, the thought of some negative news immediately came to mind. Her voice was a little shaken when she said

 –“Rafo”, “your mom passed away last night”.

I saw her last some 34 years ago, when she was given the opportunity to come and visit us (my sister and I), after 20 years of not seeing each other. This is the very high price paid by all who leave their homeland searching for a better tomorrow or because, simply, there is no choice. It often means the past is left behind, to be retained only as a memory expected to create the background and basis for that “better future”.

Random memories came to my mind for several days. They have, as I sit here and revisit them, helped me weather the moment. It was not unexpected; in fact, the last pictures I saw of my mother -already at age 93 and suffering from advanced stage Alzheimer’s, showed me a physically diminished woman I had known to be strong and full of fight, but now at the end of a long and not too easy life.

My mother, as well as her sisters and mother, came from fighting stock. None of them would give up easily when a goal was set and visualized. I wish I had inherited more of this but it seems that it is not only a gene pool issue, but it comes also as part the makeup of upbringing. Here is where I lost out when my family was left behind at a relatively early age of 15. I understand circumstances made it so that there could be no delays but I also understand that I, like many others in similar positions and of similar age, were deprived of a very important learning period in our lives. The final family-led formative years of our growing process into young men and women.

(continued)…  It’s now been a few days since the start of this entry. It’s tackling an emotional issue which has many undertones, without being sure which of those are honest and which are veneer.

To say we had a very close mother-son relationship would be brushing on a coat of whitewashing. I was brought up by my grandparents while my mom was working and trying to bring her life back into the “right rails”. We lived in a traditional society where single working moms were not appreciated and she wanted to have a second chance at having a traditional home. A lot of her time and emotional efforts went into that. I remember moments when we (my sister and I) wished some of that emotional involvement came our way.

Unfortunately, as life developed, we didn’t have the time that perhaps she thought we would have downline. We were separated by external issues stronger than us as individuals and as a family, and were sent off to live in parallel universes, as it were. Not to touch, see or hug each other again, save for a very brief period in the summer of 1983 when she was allowed to come to the US and visit. My own personal issues precluded my being able to visit there once the ironclad restrictions (especially the ones that applied to those of us who had left Cuba in the early stages of the Castro Govt) began to relax a bit in the mid 90’s.

Now she is gone. I don’t think she suffered physically, for she was in good caring hands. But I do think that emotional distress was doled out and handled -as well as she could- over a lifetime. Through her actions more than her words, I had a glimpse of what life was like in Cuba in the mid 80’s, during our interactions when she had a chance to come and spend a few weeks here.

At the beginning of her stay, If we went to a restaurant she would never finish her dish, saying “but… we have to save some for the next meal, no?” “What are we going to eat next?”. At another occasion, when entering a supermarket in the US for the first time, she quietly began to cry. When I asked her if she was alright, she just looked around and said: “don’t worry, I’m OK” “I cry not for me, for I had all this growing up; I cry for your brothers who have never seen such wealth of food in one place” “They don’t know what an apple is, or what it is to have so many choices of food”.

At another time, in our living room, we were talking about the situation in Cuba and she was -hesitantly at first- telling us about all the negative issues everyone had to face on a daily basis. Suddenly, in mid-sentence, she stopped cold and looked around. “Disculpa m’hijo” “Sorry son”, “A bad habit we have; we need to make sure nobody is listening, because there are gov’t ears everywhere” These reactions could tell me more than anything she could have said. A grim picture of what had been not a problem free, but well developed and relatively easy going, middle class oriented society.

She spent time with us, then went to stay with my sister in NYC and afterwards, spent some time with childhood friends on the west coast before going back to Cuba. She chose to go back for her husband was still alive and she also felt her children and grandchildren in Cuba needed her presence more than we did here. Perhaps so. My sister had a chance to go visit in Cuba in the mid 90’s but for me, her visit was the only time I saw her again.

All the what-if’s one could ask would not really give a satisfactory answer to the Why? Questions. There are no answers. As we navigate the often-times rough waters of our lives, we begin to understand that. Even in this understanding, we should never cease to entertain hat question Why? For in looking for an ever elusive answer, we begin to accept that we don’t know, And this, is as true an answer as we will ever get.

Be well Mami; be at peace and, hopefully your spirit will be -in whatever realm it may now exist- in the company of those who were your kindred in this life. My love to you and my gratitude for the not then understood sacrifices you made on our behalf and on behalf of a future we had not seen yet.


Be Well … Be Back!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE... revisited

NOTE:  While in the process of doing a compilation of selected blog entries for possible publication, I came across this one which definitely is one of the chosen ones. Came to me from a dear friend almost 2-3 years ago and I thought  it was good enough to republish. Read and think.

A couple of days ago, there was an entry was titled.. “Life isn’t Fair” and a dear old friend who actually takes the time to read and comment, sent me these…

1.Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R’s:
          - Respect for self,
          - Respect for others and
          - Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful        stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to             correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back,  you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

19. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.

20. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

After reading these there is little I can add, except that with the best of intentions and the best of trying, there is always that bit if happenstance, that bit of not looked for luck or encounter. As another dearest friend also reminded me after reading… there can be unexpected encounters at any given flower shop in the springtime…


Be Well … Be Back!!!

Monday, August 1, 2016

On Being Latino.

With this electoral “Highway from Hell” we are going through this year, being a Latino becomes relevant… but not always in the right way.

Never before in the 54 years I have lived in this country has an election so polarized people. For the right or wrong reasons. I am Hispanic by birth, a naturalized US citizen, this earned after serving in the army during the VN conflict.

In other years, I always tried not to get involved in political discussions for, after all, it is very rare that a point of view will be changed. If for no other reason that by changing it you may feel you are giving in to someone who is convincing you that what you espoused was and is wrong to begin with.

But, some of my Hispanic friends whose view differ from mine (I am a conservative by life’s teachings and not a supporter of HRC) are hell-bent on trying to get me to change my mind. In doing so, the basic arguments used are:
1- He’s abusive
2- He’s anti Hispanics
3- Will deport everyone
4- He lies…
I try to take my time and explain that I think it is better to have someone who will bring new ideas (for the same ones will not work tomorrow anymore that they did yesterday) than someone who has shown repeatedly that her only interest is to grab money for herself; that the press (usually their source, and a very one sided Hispanic press at that) is constantly maximizing anything that can be said against DT while minimizing or ignoring the many issues for which HRC should be held accountable.

I also try to argue that someone who is used to make decisions and has accomplished much as a businessman, without being a politician, will say things that a polished (read: someone who can shift what he/she says acc. to need) politico would not say. I can accept this. There are things said I do not agree with but at least I know where the guy stands. Hard to say for someone who has shifted position several times.

And when all else fails, the comes the “clincher” –“but you are Latino, you can’t vote for him!!”

And here I say:
-“You are right, I was born in Latin American and am very proud of my heritage. However, when I came to the US, I came to a country which opened its arms to me, gave me a life and an opportunity to have a future, something my own country denied me. When I became a citizen it was to embrace and further the qualities this country offers, not to promote the failures of our own countries and replicate them here.”

Therefore, when I vote, I do so as a US citizen and not as a Latino. I do my best to vote for those who represent -to my point of view- what this country should be. Especially living in a time when outside forces are truly doing their best to undermine everything we stand for. And those forces are very much aligned with one of the candidates. That candidate cannot be my candidate.

God Bless!!  

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to rjalcazar@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Letter From Cuba. Second Take.

About two years ago I came across this letter from a young Cuban. Of course, it was sent out anonymously and in Spanish. It hit me very hard, where it counts. Having nephews and other family still in Cuba, I know these situations are real. Specially when this young man talks about the inability to express his thoughts if against the government. 

I translated it with only one comment inserted, and this to explain a term of common usage in today’s Cuba. It expresses what many Cubans go through on a day to day basis while the communist/socialist elite and their children live a very capitalistic, opulent life, studying and often vacationing in Europe's best places at the expense of the people. Despite the so called opening by Obama's visit, the control of everyday living is oppressive, it has not changed one bit for the street citizen. I thought it was worth a second view.

 It says:

I was born in Cuba, but a foreigner has more rights than I here; I am free, but I cannot talk about what I want, or express my dreams.

I'm told I live in a democracy, but throughout my life I have only known one (political) party, one viewpoint, one government. I can vote in elections, but there is only one candidate.

My education was free, but I had to work as a volunteer in the back country schools so I would not be thrown out of the free schools; my education was free but I had no choice in what I could study. I have a university degree but I work in a “paladar” (Note: private, semi clandestine mini restaurants catering mainly to foreigners, a way to earn some badly needed “hard” currency); officially these do not exist nor can they be advertised because they will be closed by authorities.

Officially we have nothing because of the American blockade, but for the tourists and foreigners the blockade does not exist; for them, there is everything. My mother used to tell me that before this government, when there was little to eat, they would eat flour cookies … by the way … What is flour? 

My health care is free but at the clinic there are no medicines and the doctor who is supposed to take care of us in this area is too busy driving a taxi; the nurse is making do as a prostitute and, as this keeps her awake all night, we cannot call on her during the day
I have a TV, but there are only two channels and we see the same face on both. I have an electric fan, but often we have no electricity. I like to bathe, but often there is no water in my neighborhood.

When I have a toothbrush, there is no toothpaste; when I have toothpaste there is no toothbrush … I have a pencil but no paper and, when I have pencil and paper,  I then remember that I cannot write what I think.


They say that you only live once … obviously, whoever wrote this was not in Cuba. Here, you don’t live life … you observe it. “

Think about communism and socialism and what it really brings to the people next time someone tells you these are the panacea. They are not. As systems, these two have been an abject failure in every country where they have been put in practice. 

Remember that those who push these flawed systems will be the ones who will benefit for they are the people who will be in control.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·   Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
·       Any comments please send to rjalcazar@gmail.comComments to

Monday, July 18, 2016

Falling in Love all Over Again

There are places and there are places. In the end, people make those places…

- “Avere un buon viaggio di ritorno, tornare al piu presto!!”
 - “Have a good trip home, come back soon!!”

It was 4am on Sunday in the small city of Lido, Venice. Actually, an island city where we had ended during the last three days of our vacation by luck, sheer good luck. We and our suitcases were at a local dock waiting for our airport taxi (yes, dock … this was a water taxi); many late night-early morn revelers were on their way back home and as they saw us there waiting, either shouted while passing nearby or came to us to say the above in one of several versions…
View from our balcony

This capped a three day stay in this small city. A city I only knew from mentions over the years and from knowing that in the 50’s-70’s it was considered a prime vacation spot for many wealthy Italians and tourists.

I mentally compare it to the much more renowned port-o-calls visited during the cruise we enjoyed in the preceding days. All well-known and deserving to be called beautiful tourist bastions like Crete, Mikonos, Santorini, Athens and Ephesus, Turkey (we were there just three days prior to the attempted coup-d’etat). We were prepared to end our cruise time in Venice, but were not meat to do so. The owner of the small apt we had arranged for through AIRBNB did not respond and these folk were helpful in giving us options. We saw a nice apt. in Lido, looked at the map and said  -“Oh, it’s only one island away, easy to and fro”.  So the decision was made.
 
A canal in Lido
Suffice it to say we went to Venice only the first morning, did what we needed to do, and went back to Lido as quickly as possible. We didn’t know it yet, but had already been charmed by this town and its people.

If I was asked for one word impressions on this town, my answers would be: Beautiful, Clean, Restful, Friendly, Open. Reasonable (price wise).

A Lido Home
On main street, all the restaurants, shops, etc. you could want. Then, off side street trattorias and coffee shops; beautiful homes, apartments and buildings everywhere we looked, flowers in full bloom and yes, canals and more canals. Although there are cars, since there is a ferry connection to the mainland, most people get around in bikes, small Vespas and on foot. Just take an outside chair at any coffee shop, have a coffee or a glass of wine and watch the world go by. With more that many who would pass by offering a cheery - “Ciao” as they walked past.

Venice, seen from Lido
All in our small group came away with the conviction that we do have to come back to Lido, with more time to really enjoy all it has to offer. And we will.

“Ci torneremo

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·    Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to rjalcazar@gmail.com

Saturday, April 30, 2016

From Wally’s Pond... Again

It has been a while since I had a chance to sit by the water’s edge at
In my mind, This would
be Wally's Pond
this pond which only exists in my mind; a restful place which allows me to think (yes, think!) a bit… I thought a break was overdue.

My on-going promise to self has been that politics would be left out of my writings but… this becomes an impossible task as we march into an election year.

The pickings are bleak this time ‘round. On the one side, we have an older gentleman whose only card is the “gift card”. -“Elect me and most everything you get will be free”. I do not have a master in economics, except the one which might have been earned in the university of “Hard Knocks”: trying, failing and trying again. One well learned lesson is that no service or product is free. Everything has a cost factor and it has to be paid for the service or product to be available. Also, as shown by the present government’s gift giving structure, it is all too easy to get used to receiving goodies and giving nothing in return. I am still not sure as to how all the freebies will continue to be paid for. Let me see… perhaps higher taxes?

There are people who honestly need help and as citizens, they should have it. There are people who know well how to use the system to their advantage; they should be rooted out in order to preserve the very system for those who really need it.

The other candidate on this side? Personally I do not believe she should even be allowed to run freely, much less for POTUS. When someone blatantly believes him/herself above the law you and I have to abide by, that person becomes a menace to society. As President, she would become a menace to the nation.

How ‘bout the other side? Well… we have a self-proclaimed guru of government, constitution and rightful religion; one person who barely won his own home state and someone whose rhetoric has inflamed a large portion of the public into action. Many of whom had never bothered to participate before.

It has been a while since this piece got started… trips to my Wally’s Pond have been curtailed because of work and other issues…

Since last time I had a chance to write, I have learned how one side actually pays professional instigators to try and disrupt the person with whom they do not agree. Violence is not out of the question. Almost like watching Nazi Shock Troops go into action. What these fools don’t realize is that by their actions more and more people are being galvanized into the voting block and more than not, on behalf of the very candidate they want to stop. In his last speech, their choice target candidate had to take a tour of the countryside in order to get to his podium.

Maybe in some Utopian World, the ones who call themselves left liberals, will learn and accept that we ALL have the right to express what we think, whether it agrees with their thoughts or not. Your right is to shut me out, turn me off  – not shout me out or threaten me. I have stated it before and will again and again; “your rights END where mine BEGIN”.

On a different, yet related front, we go on borrowing more and more as a nation, spending more and more on the wrong issues and ignoring many that should receive support. Much of this in the name of PC (Lord, how I dislike that concept!!) and not based on reality. Our children and their grandchildren are being saddled with a debt they will be paying for generations and in the midst of the social disarray these debts are and will continue to create.

Someone -I don’t remember who- said in a moment of ethereal lucidity: “fear less the enemy without and more the enemy within for this one, if unchecked, will eventually destroy you

How true, and how sad we as a nation are now at this juncture.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to rjalcazar@gmail.com

From Wally’s Pond… Again…

This will become entry #400 for this blog. It started late 2009; a means to pass convalescencing time from my cancer treatment and the firs...