Cape May Christmas Season 2017

Every year Cape May turns into a winter wonderland, the town really its back it it's roots. All the Victorian-era houses become cooler than usual because they light up for Christmas. From before Thanksgiving until after New Years the Nations Oldest Seaside Resort becomes one of the Oldest Christmas Resorts. The first Friday in December is dedicated to not one but two tree lightings, one at Rotary Park, the other at Congress Hall. I was lucky to catch both, but had better luck with the first lighting because I got close to- the tree.

The tree lighting at Congress Hall was even more crowded than the one in Rotary Park so I didn't even try too hard to shoot it. I knew getting shots on the night of the tree lighting would be difficult but  I just wanted to see what I could shoot. Below is a blurry attempt but I promised myself that I wouldn't be disappointed if I didn't get the perfect shot. After all night shooting is a very difficult under perfect conditions. These were less than perfect conditions!!

Saturday was the annual.to the West  Cape May Christmas parade. Night skies light up with lights from floats designed by local businesses and other organizations . Unfortunately since it is a night parade photographing it  can be a bit tricky but I did manage to get better shots than I did last year, I got a new camera last Christmas so I was ready this year. I also went to the parade early to stake out a good spot. I was pleased with the results and have even a better plan for next year.

A few days after the festivities calmed down Cape May had its first snow of the 2017-2018 season!! It was enough to cover the grassy areas a n d the building but not cause a problem with getting around via scooter. I shot the first snowfall last year but this was a surprise! I bundled and headed out, but before I got too far I felt I had to take a shot of the house. As you can see it's not the best angle but I was in a rush to cruise around for better shots. Though I am sure I'll have lots of other chances this year


Travels with Clark

Before I get to the license plate meet itself I must, include a little background. Clark Wothe, who is in charge of ALPCA's eleven different regions has been trying to get to a meet in every region. He lives in Arizona and is always travelling for business and has like a million air miles. Since moving topCape May I have been attempting to invite anybody and everybody down to visit us.  I've have other ALPCA members stop by, even Gary Walker all the way from Australia!! However Clark was different. Every where he travels on business, he sends me a post card, I literally have cards from all over the country, the money he spends. Clark says he's "extreme" a few weekends ago.  I had a chance to  play "tour guide. We started out at where else but the Cape May Lighthouse. While it wasn't open to climb I took Clark on a tour of Cape May State Park

Our tour then took us to   Atlantic City to meet Lucy the Elephant.  Oddly enough for all the times I have been to Atlantic City, I have never visited Lucy. It's funny people who live in New Jersey rarely visit the the sites, only we we have company. Clark wanted to see it all so we saw it all!

We strolled along the Atlantic City Boardwalk and made our way to the  war memorial, another place I haven't had the chance to go. I was doing these things for the first time myself and was excited to do it in the off-season!! The weather is still warm down here and it wasn't windy so we enjoyed the stroll to the War Memorial where I snapped a couple of decent shots.

On Saturday morning was the plate meet itself in Pennington, NJ which is actually right near my brother's house.  Clark and I got up around 4:30 am to make the almost 2 1/2 hour trek north to right outside Trenton. This was only our second\ plate meet outside of Bergen County, the other obviously being in Atlantic City. The  meet was at the Pennington Fire Company No. 1. It was an overwelming success,. besides Clark, we had another collector from Arizona, folks from California, North Carolina ands V This time I was too busy  helping with the meet itself to get any decent pictures, but someone from the meet sent me a few shots. 


Mixed bag of events

Well here it is October in Cape May  and this month I'm all over the map, literally I e. Let's step back a few days into September, a lot was going on so there wasn't time to write it all on the blog piece by piece but here it is all together, a end of summer, beginning of fall wrap up. It's also a warm up to a winter of writing, including something coming up the beginning of next year which I'll introduce shortly.

First right after Labor Day is the annual firemen's convention in Wi=ldwood ( I was going to say down but Wildwood is north of Cape May). It was a little extra special because Jason, a fellow license pllate collector and fir buff took me to the parade on Saturday. Unfortunately for me the backup camera batteries didn't last but I got some good shots in the mean time and have my spot picked out for next
  My mom had another doctor's appointment  in North Jersey, one of her last for awhile. So my dad offered to bring my scooter so I would have a way to get around. Well dad was rushing to pack the car and the trunk wasn't closed all the way, it opened and the scooter, my laptop and so-me other stuff scattered all over the road, thankfully nothing got ran out. Of course a scene ensued and for a short time I considered walking back to our house\. Of course my mother settled both my father and I down, we conti=nued onto my Aunt Dee's in Park Ridge. It was a great visit, despite the cosmetic damage to the scooter, it is in fine working condition. I did my usual loop from Aunt Dee's over to Fusco's then to my old hood to check on my neighbor and cruise up Carnot AVE.. I even made it down to the firehouse, but nobody was around People have I even made it to a dance recital with my cousin to see her friend perform. It was an expected surprise to see other friends too.

October of course is the annual Hershey trip with Rick. It's a bit more of a struggle because there aren't any close trains near Cape May or even Atlantic City. So my folks drove me up there, they went antiquing while Rick and I went to the flea market.  I  found one gem up there, a three digit 1914 NJ plate. The scooter I took out there started to act funny  which turned out to be a blessing because Rick and I went to the AACA Museum which was something I have wanted to do ever since we started going out there. so I rented one from the park

When we got home from Hershey my Aunt Dee, cousin Jenn and her puppy Zoey came for a visit we went to a craft fair over at the Wheaton Arts Center. We also took Zoey to Higbee Beach to play in the water. It was great having a dog around the house, Dad sttill doesn't want one'!!!! My bedroom is on .the first floor so are canines are gravitated to my bed. Must be the good sniffs. Anyway this weekend is a trip oiut to see my brother and his family, and yes more dogs and a cat too!!


Irony of current protests

In all honesty I don't usually watch the National Anthem at the beginning of football games so the kneeling controversy didn't bother me, until now.  First of all people need to stop defending the players' actions need to stop saying "It's their right".  I don't know anybody, including President Trump, denying the players have a right to take a knee. This has been established since day one we get it.  After all if part of the protest is about "freedom of speech" then you have to accept the consequences, including a drop in viewership and risking sponsors , after all that's their right to respond to your protest. You wanted to get their attention well you have it now, what are you going to do? What's your next step?

Also nobody is running up to them forcing them to stand. If you saw some of sizes of these guys you wouldn't dare. However it shouldn't automatically be assumed critics of the movement want to take away their rights, this is further from the truth. To accuse this of your critics is highly hypocritical because you should be defending their speech as well. If you stop protesting, they would stop responding. If you actually have something productive to solves a problem we would like to hear it. Actions do speak louder than words, however some action should come under scrutiny. It would be different if these protesters actually had a plan to make things better and used these protests as a way to get people's attention for a solution, not just complain about a problem. I am waiting for the day someone says ok you have  a problem, here might be a way to fix it. Not just say you have a problem, fix it our we protest.

The NFL is losing viewership left and right. I think this is another  reason why the players are behaving this way, they're pissed off at the NFL over something and they want to stick it to them. I think it's pathetic certain players are using legitimate grievances as a political football (I've waited this entire post to slip that in somewhere.). The players also put too much stock in believing their fans will support them so long as they preform on the field. The players are in for a rude awakening. I also have a challenge to the networks. Don't show any player who kneels. They crave public attention, why give it to them? Just ignore that part of the game completely?  Call for an all-out "ban" on the NFL is wrong because not everyone in the NFL is boycotting the National Anthem. I would say boo the players who refuse to stand. Burn their jerseys the way some people burn the American flag. They will definitely have a few supporters, and that's fine. However I feel it's time they know how we're feeling, it shouldn't be a one way street!


9/11 reflections

Today marks sixteen years since our nation was attacked and changed forever.  We say we never forget but what does that really mean? Does it mean we only think about those who were killed today and forget about them tomorrow?  How can we balance remembering them without letting our sorrows stand in the way of living our lives? Wives who no longer have husbands, husbands who no longer have wives, children left without parents. Parents left to grieve for their children; However there is one thing we can do, keep the memories alive. When you say "never forget" that does not mean dwell on  this day to the point that you don't allow happiness back into your lives. We all need times to grieve and times to celebrate, it's part of a process, not of healing but of living, which is what the people who died on that day want for all of us. One of the best ways to honor the memories of those who died on 9/11/01 is pause, remember and then move on. The best way to celebrate a person's life is to live you own life the best you can

There are a few memories I have of 9/11 that I will never forget, they happened they days after. One of them was my small contribution to the efforts. The days after 9/11 the radio traffic was incredible.  I knew there wasn't really a role for me. I wasn't going to hop in a car and fly down to the action, even though I really wanted to help. Also a lot of the ham radio traffic was quick and while I could copy it, relaying it to another station would have been a nightmare. That didn't mean I couldn't listen. I listened what seem non-stop for days. So a few days after   the disaster a ham who was driving all the way up from North Carolina was calling on a repeater and nobody was answering. After hearing him call for the forth time, I decided to bite the bullet and answer. He explained he was driving up to help with the recovery efforts and needed directions. After hearing his request I knew I needed to get another ham on the frequency. So I asked the ham to s-tand by and went to another repeater to summon help. I was rebuffed numerous times by the net control, I finally gave the ham the frequency to net was on When the ham switched over to the net, he asked for the net control and explained he drove all night t get to New York to help. He then had a stern warning for to the net control the he was talk to me and I was trying to get him some help. I sat back and had a chuckle to myself. It was my small contribution, but it felt very good.  The ham radio community lost Robert D. Cirri, KA2OTD, a Port Authority Lieutenant and a member of many radio clubs in the area 

A few months later I was invited to contribute an article to a magazine about what I heard that day and the days after the attacks. One of the main things I remember was in my 20+ years of listening, I n ever heard CAP or Civil Air Patrols. However as soon as the first plane hit, the military frequencies started to light up like a Christmas Tree!! It became a common occurrence. It was exciting and sad at the same. I knew the world would never be the same again!!

Then there's the reflection of living in Woodcliff Lake during that time. New York City is less than 20 miles away. Some people don't realize the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge is Bergen  County. We lost one of our residents, Jack D'ambrosia, in the attacks. I never met him, but they had a dedication for him at the Old Mill baseball field. I would ride past the field and think about him,

9/11 is a national day of mourning, but time does heal some of the wounds. We must never forget what happened while not dwell on it. My heart goes out to anyone who lost a love one in the attacks


Confederates v. Nazis

Before I begin to even dive into the meat of this post, let me stress I AM NOT defending the Confederates OR the Nazis, they were both evil and needed to be defeated. However I am disturbed by the comparison because ironically they are politically opposites. I cringe when people say they are a like because that tells me people don't understand history at all and not understanding bad history makes it more likely for it to repeat itself. I wanted to break it down for myself so I could understand it better. I am disturbed  by people taking statutes of Confederate soldier down by force

When people mention the United States Civil War most say slavery was the only  cause and if the South won they would  still have slaves in 2017. While nobody can tell what it would have been like if the South won, given the technology revolution and the advent of say farm equipment, it's a bet there would be less slaves. Kind of like how there are now more kiosks in fast food joints and even supermarkets, not to mention the advent of conveyor belts. Humans get tired, need food and even the live expectancy was horrible. Slavery would have ended eventually, it didn't end soon enough, but it would have ended. It wasn't economical for people doing work machines could accomplish in half the times There'a no telling if the Civil Rights movement would have been so dramatic, true blacks would still have an uphill battle with equality and there still would have been racial tensions an d mass killings. However the tensions were amplified because the Southern states lost the   Civil War. Their resistance to change grew deeper with resentment. To most, even select Northerners, the Confederate General Robert E Lee, he was a general who fought for his side, and lost. Lee surrendered gracefully at the end of the war and help mend the wounds of one of the darkest times in our nation's history. Not exactly a man one would call "evil", is it? THIS man is represented with statues and paintings t hroughout the South

In 1939 when Adolf Hitler came to power he did so when Germany was in economic an social shambles. He need a scapegoat to blame, the Jews. He said  these people needed to be exterminated in order to create a "master race" of white, blonde-haired people. Ironically, unlike the Confederates, who only targeted  blacks, Hitler set his sights not only Jews, but gays, gypsies and anyone else who didn't fit into the "master race. Unlike Lee Hitler was a coward who used hate to  spread his vile views and wouldn't stop until his "enemies" were wiped off the face of the Earth! Hitler NEEDED to be not only defeated, but committed suicide because /he WOULDN'T surrender. He wouldn't stop until every Jew was wiped off the face of the earth! He would have invaded the entire world if  he wasn't stopped!!

At the end of the day Lee was graceful, Hitler was just evil. Lee knew he was defeated and slavery was coming to an end. Hilter never would ave accepted defeat. Both men were on the wrong side of an awful history. However one man chose to try to unite people, while the other did everything he could to divide them


Daily Voice is bad news

How do I respond to being banned from a Facebook group?  Mock the website that got me kicked out of the group in t he first place. I was going to say boycott at first but then I disobeyed my own boycott. Also I need to look at it in order to mock it. Anyway I read it to get a good chuck every now and then. With the terms "fake news" being thrown all over the internet I decided, BAD NEWS was m ore appropriate for the Daily Voice. Bad news because the stories are basically short misinformed rants with poorly researched material and erros glalore. They get the when and the where correct but that's usually where the facts end

Daily Voice is  heavily self-promoting, which is the tell-tale sign of desperation in the business. It would be one thing if they had their own Facebook page and just distrubuted their news on there. However the two main "writers" constantly post their own works on multiple Facebook pages.  On more then a few occasions they have been challenged on some of their "facts" and have become very defensives about their writing, what little they have to defend. They rush to get the story out ad if sokme comments they have a set of Internet trolls leaping to their defense. Most of the stories were boring, like who really wants to read about an activate alarm at a shopping mall?  What else   is when you post a link to a Facebook usually you give a little preview/. The one thing the Davily Voice has going for it is it knows how to get good "click bait".

This is the evolution of an article on the the Daily Voice website. One of their "writers" trolls incident notification pages, finds usually a boring event that tthey can  write about, then sits waits for commentsa. If it's a police incident, like a car accident or fire, they usaully hop on the incident raeporting boards to scull information to throw together a sloppy article. Then they post their "stories. It doesn't bother some people most people ignore it, but I just can't let it slide.

If you think I'm trying to "censor them", you aren't even close. I don' what them shut down, then where kwould I get the material for this post? I actually will still continue to read their dribble. However I will call them out when I see something I don't l/ike


Fly the Flag


I fly the flag on the back of my scooter because I stand with the men and women in ALL kinds of uniforms.

I fly the flag   because I know even though I am no t always proud of my country, I am still proud t o be in this country

I fly the flag in times of sorrow because it is a reassurance that everything will be alright

I fly the flag during parades out of respect out of everyone who marches

I fly the flag every time someone in the service gives his or her life so I can live mine

I fly the flag out of respect for the military  police, fire, medical and other emergency workers who protect me and  people I love

I fly the flag to remind myself no matter what comes my way I am blessed to have so many wonderful people who care about me

I fly the flag because I pray every day those leading our nation find a way to make the country great for everyone.

I fly the flag as a symbol of hope and a promise to never lose hope even in the darkest of times

I fly the flag the red represents the blood that was spilled defending this country, the white represents the innocence, the blue represents we are all under one sky and in this together

I flag the flag because whenever someone smiles or waves at me I know they're also acknowledging the flag

I fly the flag because I support the ideas and fundamentals that founded this country and continues to make it strong

I fly the flag proudly because every time I see the flag I am reminded how lucky I am to have  these freedoms

The shooting in Virginia is on every body's mind and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims. Every time a tragedy like this happens,  people are always preaching how we need to put aside our  differences and focus on things that unite us as a country. Personally I can't think of a better thing to unite us than Old Glory. In times of doubt it's comforting to turn to something that should makes us all proud.


Thanks Gregg Allman

There are too many good Allman  Brother's songs I could write about, my two favorites are Jessica written by Dickey Betts and Midnight Rider by none other then Gregg Allman. The song to me is about a loner weary motorcycle rider and his journey t o a better life. However the longer he rides, eventually he realizes he can't outrun he's problems, hence the phrase "The road goes on forever". It's n ot really a cheery lyric but the hook is a slap of reality everybody needs frome time to time. However the other part of it goes "I'm no t going to let them catch the midnight rider" which to me means  he       won't let all his problems in life ruin his life. They  almost did a few times, but in the end I hope All;man made peace wit h himself. The  "Them" are multiple demons, the murder of his father and losing h is brother, Duane, in a horrific motorcycle accident, drugs, illness you name it, Gregg Allman surviived it Truthfully I don't think he could  have written the song if he didn't have these and other demons haunting him.

Both my brothers are huge  Allman Brother's fans, my one brother saw them more times than  I could even attempt to count. Ever March right  around our birthdays he would scoop up tickets with his friends. They would go to multiple concertss at the Beacon Theate\r. One year, I don't know how, he invited our other brother and myself along with some friends to the Beacon for the anual concert. Of course he just seen them a few days before. What made it special was we were together, enjoying music, laughing and creating meories I will cherish forever. We knew each time we saw the Allman Brothers could be the last and every time the curtain came down it might never come up again. I was disappointed the first few times they didn't play  Jessica but that changed the last time we saw them  at the Beaco. I turned to them with the biggest grin on my face, they know how I felt whenever I  listen to that song.

Then came last Christmas rolled around and  my brothers again surprised by tickets  to see Gregg Allmann solo at the Sands in Bethlehem,PA. I jumped at the chance but during the concert I noticed time was catching up to Gregg Allman. It was just the three of us hanging out and having a good time just like so many times before

When  I heard of Gregg's passing my first thought was  he's finally reunited with his older brother and other bandmates he lost over the years. Their deaths certainly were a heavy tool on his own life. The only good things from Gregg's death is the fact he's finally reunited with people he loves and no longer has those demons haunting him.They are  up there jamming away! !

T hanks Gregg for all the memories you gave me with my brothers! May you finally have the peace that you have been seeking for a very long time


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!~!!!


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!!!!


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!


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


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


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.


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


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