5/25/2017

Special gift-- Hardest RSVP

I have been listening to police scanners for over twenty five years,When the fire whistle blew I would grab my scanner and race down to the firehouse often when the trucks were just leaving and kwait until the trucks returned. Over the years I got to know all of them pretty well. I saw folks my age join as juniors at 16 and go through the training firefighters need. At times I tried tor give them some encouragement or just be around them. I went to all of the wetdowns and even showed up at a few calls when I knew I could observe at a safe distance. They all  smile when I show up  at the firehouse I watched kids my  age first become juniour firefighters and then regular firefighters. I wanted to be with them as m uch as I could!! One of my dreams was to make it to the Chief's Dinner at least once, but it was for memberrs, family and special guests like the Mayor.

As soon as my parents bought  the house in  Cape May I knew the clock was ticking. It was always thier plan to move down to Cape May, even when my mother say she'd never do it  during their many arguments over building the house. b Although they want to add a secoond floor which eventually meant rebuilding the entire house. Well long story shorft, an architect, a lawyer and a varience hearing later it turned out the house was to be rebuilt from  the ground up. That took a year and more, so that meant a delay in moving. Folks around town knew we were moving and it was brought up every where we went. I was sick and tired of people asking me "When is the big move?" After all I spend all of my 37 years in that house.

While I love Cape May one of the hardest parts of leaving Woodcliff Lake was not being able to ride the scooter down to the firehouse any more.  I told my friends on the department, who I have now known for 20+ years. We've grown together, I watched people I went to school with rise through the rannks, I went to high school with the chief. W ell  folks in the department decided to/ have a little going away party for me. I got a, dinner at the firehouse. At the end of the dinner the chief called me to the front of the room

Months went by and  I got an email from someone from the fire department asking for my  address, I excitedly gave it to him knowing what was coming in the mail. As soon as  it arrived I opened it the best I could, thenw my heart sank, it was on Chris's birthday and at the end of the week Zander and Quinn were visting. I knew I kcouldn't go but it was so special I got the invitation. This entry was a month in  the making!~!!!

3/29/2017

Mattes Musings 2.0

Welcome to the slightly new and very improved Mattes Musings!! I was reading previous entries of the blog and figured I needed a different look, a different feel. This blog started out as Mattes's  Madness, a title with a double meaning, although I am seldom post when I'm angry I have used this blog to vent anger, maybe I should use it more in this capacity. However this blog became a test tube of ideas for poems or even articles.  After first I wrote frequent, short entries about observations I had about my life mixed  in with comments on current news events. Some of the entries I wrote just when I felt like I had not other outlet. While I realize nothing on the Internet is private,  I also didn't actively advertise this blog at the time.

The original address of this blog was jaymatt1978.blogspot.com because "jaymatt1978" was attached to all my e-mails and IM screen names. Actually I created "jaymatt1978" at Cittone Institute the instructor wanted us to use Yahoo instant messenger and I needed a new screen name, it stuck with  me. My family always calls my "Jay" and my dad and his best friend share the same first name "Peter"they refer to each other by their last names "Mattes" and "Brennan". I was born in March of 1978, so I put all three of them together.  When I fought to get Bergenscanner.com back I quickly registered Justinmattes.com just " so because I was so paranoid about  losing another  domain. Hindsight being 20/20 I don't think my name is a high commodity. Anyway I redirected it to this blog as a temporary place holder.  My license plate website was still on a free hosting website called Tripod and I hastily threw some poetry on the now  defunct Geo cities. When I moved both sites  together to the same sever, I decided it was time to move Justinmattes.com to the main website, have my license plate website be justinmattess.com/plates and obviously my  poetry website be justinmattes.com/poetry.

After doing some exploring on Blogger, I found out you can change the URLs of these blogs without redoing the entire blog. Some I changed the URL of this blog to its current address http://justinmattes.blogspt.com. This is the final change of the actual domain itself. I actually started another blog "The Prequel to Mattes's Madness" but deleted it after one entry. I might actually add another page to this   site. Stay tuned for details!!!!

3/14/2017

Twenty Years Ago Tonight

It took me all day and a lot of distractions before I sat down at the k,eyboard. Kind of like what happened 20 years ago tonight,  the night journal was born.   First a few ground rules, I will only use her initials, even though people know her. I was going to include the original entry, I'm still debating this while I type. This is kind of a double anniversary, it's the night I went out on a dinner date, that wasn't the Junior Prom and it's the night I started writing again after about a two year break. To put March 14,1997 into context easily understood, it was what I called "Senior Year Number 1" because I went to Pascack Valley High School for five years.  SG  entered  into my life two years earlier at the start of my sophmore year (her junior year) in high school, we had an art class together it  took a few weeks but a few things became clear. First was a year ahead of me, art classes had people from different grade levels together.

 We struck up a friendship and eventually went on a date, well sort of, at the Paramus Park Mall,. SG and I hung out a few times and even though she was a grade ahead of me, I asked her to my junior prom. We had a lot of fun and I didn't think I could ever feel they way I did thaqt night ever again. It occured to me she'd be graduating in a few weeks, so I needed to do something special, So I started writing a letter. I had written letters before it was the right thing to do, I was sad I wouldn't see her as much. So I took her out  and presented her what later became referred to as an "J.M. Original. She cried when she finished reading it.  That was the first time I ever saw her cry.

I only saw her one time after that, but I wrote her while she was away at college. That was our connection. She didn't have time to write me back, it didn't matter, s he saved ever letter I wrote her. I saw her once right before Christmas she surpised me, I asked her to my senior prom, she accepted. SG  promised we would go out to dinner the night before my birthday because she was busy  on my actual birthday. I didn't really care because the times spent with her were rare so they were always special. Up to this point we went to the Paramus Park Mall, danced at my junior prom and had all kinds of fun in between. We had a lovely dinner afterwards she needed cigarettes so I directed her to Fusco's Market. I got home to find my dad asleep on the couch. I climbed upstairs and turned on the computer, just started typing..............and never stopped....The night before my 19th birthday......twenty years ago tonight!

3/02/2017

Heartland Binge


I realize writing about a TV show is one step away from going days with out changing out of my pajamas and owning five cats, I hate cats but I'd have puppies that never leave my side.C'all it a part of the winter blues down in Cape May, which is a small price to pay for the wonderful summers down here. Writer's block seems to have kicked into full swing, that and the demise of my one laptop, yes  I'm still on mom's Toshiba.  One night mom and I were surfing Netflix  and came across a Canadian TV show called Heartland about  the Fleming family who owns a horse ranch in Alberta, Canada.

The show stars  Amber Marshall who plays Amy Fleming who does am,azing things with injured and mistreated horses. This is a trait inherited from her deceased mother Marion, She lives on the ranch with her grandfather Jack, the patriarch of Heartland, her sister Lou, the business woman who later transforms cabins on the ranch into a semi- dude ranch getaway retreat.  The show begins by portraying life on an Canadian ranch Two episodes into the first seasons we're introduced to Ty, on a prison-work program who in the beginning can't even ride a horse but in time shares Amy's love of horses and eventually is hired as a vet assistant and later becomes a vet himself . Of course Amy and Ty develop a relationship and well I won't go into details there.  There are plenty of story lines to grab your attention where  Amy and Ty  rescue a troubled horse. Or Amy helps an injured veteran get back up on h is horse after an injury. In another episode Amy and Ty work with a horse training to join the RCMP mounted unit.   Of course there are kinds of sub-plots that explore members of the Fleming family. I don't need to detail for this post!

Watching the show every night reminded me of the time I tried horseback riding up  at Country Lee Farm up in Pomona, NY. I think my mom found it thro ugh one of my therapists back when I head therapy multiple times a week. I enjoyed riding, even tried a few different techniques if I could recall.  I was excited driving what back then seemed like a long ride. I even remember some of the other kids I met. The problem always was my neck control wasn't good back then so it was suggested I stop' Every time I see a horse, I think about  those times. That's why I can't get enough of Heartland it takes me back to one of the few times in my life  I wish I could repeat

2/14/2017

Finally bit the dust




Well after about six years, losing about several, keys and numerous screen freezes I decided it was time  to retire my Toshiba. It had been through a lot especially going back and forth down to Cape May before we moved down permanently I admit I haven't been gently with it at times but it has served me well. I used to help me get one the air with PSK,, was  used to view numerous videos, YouTube and other videos. Also I have explored my writing even more with this machine than all others combined. Sadly some of the keys started popping off and when I tried to replace them the keys b roke off. I got to the point were if I wanted to  type an "X" I needed to  find a webpage with an "X" on it, copy it and then past it  where I needed that letter.  Which made writing anything substantial a real pain. Still I held on to it because it  felt like an old  friend.

As it was breaking down I knew I needed to back it up. When my folks went up to Sam's Club I went right for the external hard drives and bought  a 2 TERABYTE external harddrive. I copied all of my files, which I think took a whopped .0001% of the total space. Needless to say I have all the room in the world! I can't believe it was under $50 up there, I didn't even think twice. I am relieved I now had everything off my computer and won't be panicking later!

I started changing some habits even before it was on it's last legs. Firefox started becoming a real pain even before the laptop starting acting up, so with Sean's podding I switched over to Google Chrome which was one of the best decisions I ever made. I had a Google account, which is linked to this blog, my hang up was I didn't know how to transfer all my bookmarks over from FireFox too easily. When I figured out the bookmarks are also saved to your Google account, which goes anywhere, I was hooked. Since I spend most of my work on the computer is on the Internet, Google Chrome was easier to switch to than I first imagined!! I now feel comfortable just signing out of my account then signing ba ck it when I get my own laptop back. I always wanted to be truly portable, now Google Chrome is indeed the right ticket!

Since mom has taken a liking to the  IPAD, I decided to take over her laptop. This happened the last time my laptop died, although she didn't have her IPAD,so there was some friction! Although now she has the IPAD, the laptop is MINE, well until I get a replacement, if ever!!! 

As for a replacement I don't think I'll go for another Toshiba but right now I am keeping all options on the table! I'm even looking at Chromebooks, yes I do  think Google should be paying me for the endorsement

1/30/2017

No he's not Hitler

The most offensive this I have read on the Internet about Trump and seen on the Internet is the constant comparison to Adolf Hitler. The dictator of Germany in World War II was set on creating a "master race" and spreading it throughout the world. He wanted to dominate the world, and would have continued to invade Europe if the allies didn't stop him. It really was a world war because he really had this goal of world domination. See Hitler wanted to wipe Jews off the face of the Earth completely, he killed every Jew he could until he was stopped. Hitler would have invaded Europe and killed off anyone who stood in his way of creating the "Master Race" Trumps view of Muslims, agree or disagree, is to have Muslims who don't respect Western values to stay in the Middle East. He's not killing anybody It's not prejudice to put certain conditions on people coming into the country. We're also always preaching about going into things too quickly and not thinking things through before acting. My question has always been is why in the world would they want to come here? That again isn't "racism" that's a valid question that need to be debated, not shot down at first sight. There's proof they don't want to blend in, they want to change the United States, just look at Dearborn Michigan where the entire city would fit into Egypt better than the United States.
Bernie Sanders was against both the wars in Afghanistan and especially the war in Iraq, Trump was neutral. He said, and maintained that if we went to war we needed to do it better than leaving an unfinished war in Afganistan. Trump also said Saddam Hussein wasn't a threat to the United States. Trump didn't buy into George Bush's foreign policy, which is why most Republicans dislike him. Trump doesn't buy into the "spread democracy" theories of previous Republican presidential candidates, like Lindsay Graham and John McCain. The problem with people like, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren is they wanted to have one without the other. It was OK with him to leave dictators in place but you know we should bend over backwards to get people in those countries out and eventually into the United States, that was his biggest foreign policy fault. Which is basically what was wrong with the entire anti-war movement during the Bush years. \It was all good and fine people didn't want the US bombing "innocent victims" and all that, let alone "national building", but let's continue to send them aid that will never get to people who\ really need it. Let's just continue giving money to countries who hate America and our values, and let them into our country Trump's actually doing something that Democrats should love, getting the American nose out of the world's business.
If you drew an arch solely based on foreign policy terms and on the right people want the entire world to live in our version of democracy and the left who would let anybody into this country without being vetted. Trump's latest actions should really put America first, this is true. However they also leave other countries to deal with their own affairs without American interference. Trump's entire platform is to look out for America first. It's spreading American values without forcing them onto other countries Based on his actions now, Trump's LESS likely to start yet another military conflict unless the United States is directly attacked OR allies ask for our help. Since the 1960's there has been a forceful drive for acceptance, anything and everything goes and if you resist, you're a bigot. Well Trump[ is simply asking the people being brought here to accept, not fight American values.
Those who arguing this will inspire other attacks of terrorism need to reread the previous paragraph more than once. I do fault Donald Trump for not conveying his thought clearly. That was really Trump's biggest mistake because he left enough room for the Democrats to needle him on it. The "old premise" against the war on terrorism is that it turned peaceful Muslims into radical murderers was preached repeatedly at every turn would be the ultimate argument against. These were the same people who said the Afgan and Iraq "invasions" were a horrible idea. Their basic premise was just leave them alone. Well Trump is basically leaving these people alone. It's actually pretty live and let live philosophy. George W. Bush was too forceful, Barack Obama was too forgiving, Trump is beginning to restore balance here. The "America First" is all-inclusive, it's not "America ONLY", people need to step back and think about what that statement really means.

1/26/2017

He's president

A lot of anticipation, and some resentment, is swirling around last week about Donald Trump being sworn in as 45 th President of the United states. Although obviously not everyone is so happy. From woman''s groups, to college students to people with disabilities. There are literally "million marches" for all the groups who fear what Trump will do now he occupies the Oval Office. It seems he's already rolled back some of the environmental regulations and is in this process of replacing Obamacare. He nominated some controversial people to his Cabinet and made Democrats very nervous. People against him see all these moves as an attack on democracy but those people praised Obama for doing the same thing eight years ago. The protesters aren't happy, ironically they think the system is indeed "rigged" which is ironically what Donald Trump was saying all throughout the election! Which in my eyes just reinforces the checks and balances are working well. People who moaned over those who questioned Obama' entire presidency are now automatically call for Trump's removal....he's been in office less than two weeks Never mind the Republicans control both houses of Congress and even if Trump were kicked out of office tomorrow. It's like the forgot what happened eight years ago when the birther movement kept dogging Barack Obama, which was started by Hillary Clinton. President Obama's supporters pretended it was Trump who started the movement, he just kept it going The conspiracy theories are flying, first they'll come for the Internet. The Monday after Trump was sworn in a bunch of government websites went down. The Internet went woild with rage saying President Trump will shutdown all kinds of agencies because their Twitter feeds went dark. This was only highlighted when Trump's victory in November was partial due to the fact he used, sometimes abused, Twitter to go directly to the people. I resisted the urge to follow Trump on Twitter, even though I support him. I thought that's one thing that kept my sanity. This also backs into the Clinton e-mail scandal. Looking at both these things as someone with knowledge about social media, and someone who sometimes gets in trouble with social media, I understand the urge to jump on Trump, many people did, they also went after his family. Over the course of the campaign we saw Trump get into Twitter wars. While most cringe, I understood Trump's urge to respond quickly. I have more often than not responded when I was attacked instead of letting it go. It always back fired and sometimes does more damage to yourself than the person who attacked you. This is new because it started with George W. Bush, he didn't respond, he took the high road and ignore it. Barack Obama had the most Internet-savvy presidency, it also helped that most of the tech-world is die\hard 'Democratic. So his gaffes were mostly covered up if not erased, because tech people lean Democratic! My advice to President Trump is take President Obama's lead and use the Internet, especially social media very carefully. The President has heeded warnings, so far, let's see ho w long that lasts. Most of Trump's detractors want him to slip up on social media and pounce immediately. I voted for Donald Trump because I lost faith in Obama and therefor never had faith in Hillary Clinton. People who say her e-mail scandal wasn't a big deal don't understand cyber security. Donald Trump has his own successes and failures, but he's a negotiator. It's yet to be seen whether those skills will break the jam up in Washington! I saw past the Tweets and the off the cuff comments, I feel there were needed to make Trump feel real. I hope he's successful

1/09/2017

Missed Chances

In stead of falling asleep watching the Golden Globes, I binge-watched The Killing with my folks. I wake up to find the usual Trump-bashing by Jimmy Fallon and others, especially Merryl Streep, who again called out Trump for "mocking" Serge Kovalski, a Washington Time reporter with a disability that prevents him to move his hands easily. In a September speech Trump made reference to an unflattering article Kovalski wrote about him and waved his hand in a spastic motions, to many who didn't want to see Donald Trump be president, this was yet another heavy club to beat Trump over the head. There was just on small problem, Donald Trump never meant to mocked anyone\. He made the hand gestures no t even knowing the reporter had a disability. There's video of Hillary Clinton doing the same thing, but it has been since buried. There's also video of President Obama saying his poor bowling skills made him eligible for the Special Olympics. To be fair Obama did rightfully catch a bit of heat for the comment, only AFTER some athletes in the Special Olympics spoke out , but nothing nearing the constant barrage of negative press Donald Trump saw for "mocking a reporter with a disability". Like I always do I'm not defending Trump's actions, then or now. I once .again am pointing out the "Hollywood Hypocrisy".

What Donald trump did bothered me, but I don't need any Hollywood flake to tell me how I feel. That's why people get annoyed when people like Streep get up on their high horses. It isn't that we don't feel they shouldn't use their celebrity for good causes, the y have and should continue. However what bothers just about everyone is we're constantly beaten over our heads with their opinions.n Some might say writing about this only reinforces what Streep said. On the other hand she doesn't have a disability I highly doubt she interacts with people who HAVE disabilities on a regular basis, so how come she feels the urge to use us to attack Trump? trump has made plenty of enemies, many of them he deserves, but on the other hand he has also been unfairly treated in ways nobody has ever imagined! People with disabilities spoke out against Trump, we don't need celebrities doing it for us. The problem wasn't Merryl Streeps message, it was she didn't change any one's mind. Those who agree with her, cheered her for her "bravery" (did she save a baby on her to the stage to receive her award?), she called out Donald Trump, big deal I'm not impressed!!

In the past movies depict people with disabilities in a negative light, but the tide is changing with shows like Speechless and others. There have been more depicting people with disabilities, there need to be more people with actually disabilities playing roles, both in front of and behind the camera. While most people would agree the best way to take on hate is head-on, there are also subtle actions that need to be investigated as well. My hope is for one day a statement is carried of an award stage and onto the silver screen. Not with a big splash, but just like we have gay, black, women or any other minority portrayed on screen. There's a way for inclusion without the "in-your-face" mentality. My hope is Hollywood finds a way to balance the message of inclusion while not overplaying their hand as they have done previously. Part of being "in the norm" is making it part OF the norm! Congrats to all the winners last night