Thoughts & Observations on Life, Society, and the Times by Al E.

Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

More – How did WE get this OLD?!?

In A Refreshing Moment of Sanity on Monday, November 21st, 2011 at 5:38 PM

The other day I got an email with the following observations, comments and memories from a friend who appreciates my ramblings and shares my thoughts and concerns for the “modern generation.”  It never ceases to amaze and astound us when our children, the kids we; you, me, and our contemporaries raised, not to mention our parents who raised us as well, raised them – the NOW generation to be alive today and having children of their own.  How is it they forgot that this IS how it was – and we are ALL still Alive to tell about it.  Despite all the dangerous, hazardous and potentials for not only physical but emotional traumas we exposed them to every day, often several times a day, they made it, we all survived.

So why is it that when asked to babysit, take the kids on an outing or just spend some time playing with them, we, the very adults who got them, our kids, the “new” parents, to adulthood, we are given a list of instructions; dos and don’t s, can and can’t haves, a mile long?   How is it that our kids will follow a website’s, “expert’s”, or Dr.s (all strangers – really) directions, instructions, opinions to the letter, all the while ignoring, criticizing and minimizing our comments, our experience, our SUCCESS having safely brought them to this point?

Well, I for one still have the sense, confidence and courage to remind the little snot-nosed brats, (our kids) how it was and how it will be – at least when I’m in charge.  So get over it – or you can always pass up on that event or function YOU want to attend; stay home, and take care of your OWN kids!  Maybe you can call the Dr. or that expert to watch them!  Or maybe just read on and remember …


1930s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s!!
First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, and, when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads.
As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.
Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died.
We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon.

We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar.  And we weren’t overweight.

Because we were always outside playing…that’s why!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day.

–And, we were….OKAY.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill only to find out we forgot the brakes.

After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Play Stations, Nintendo’s and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable,  no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers,no Internet and no Chat Rooms.
and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from those accidents.

We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse.
 We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, 22 rifles for our 12th, rode horses, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and – although we were told it would happen  we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn’t, had to learn
to deal with disappointment.
Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.

They actually sided with the law!


These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever.


The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of those born between 1925-1970,


You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.
While you are at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it ?

The quote of the month by
Jay Leno:

“With hurricanes, tornadoes, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?”


For those that prefer to think that God is not watching over us…go ahead and delete this.
For the rest of us….. please pass this on.


Is Super Clean KILLING US??

In How did I get this old? on Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Is it just me or is anyone else wondering why we seem to be experiencing an upswing in infections, allergies and mysterious ailments?  It seems to me that as a society we are getting sicker, more susceptible and frailer and not more hale and healthier.  Don’t you think?

Aside from the obesity crisis facing the nation – society as a whole, and its related health issues, there are more and more cases of “killer” viruses, bacteria, and infections of unknown origin then I can ever remember coming to light.  It seems that everyone, if not a victim themselves, know a loved one, a friend, or a friend of a friend who is or has had a serious infection, a long recovery or worse, died from it.  Why, what happened and where did these microscopic invaders come from?

I have a few thoughts, observations as to this epidemic crisis.  Some may be questionable, some controversial, some just opinion, but hopefully they will get you thinking.  Maybe if enough of us start thinking, then acting – letting our concerns be known, no matter how unpopular or how much of a “hot button” a thought may be – this major health problem can become the minor concern it should be in light of modern medicine.

Might as well get the first “hot button” out there and over with – Foreigners.  Yes, aliens, not from outer space, but the massive influx of Peoples from other countries all around the world, legal or illegal, that have descended on our country.  While I am not implying these people should not be admitted, at least the “legal” ones, or that they harbor any intentional malfeasance to us, their fellow-man, I am concerned about what “germs” they carry along with them.  The facts are that through vigilant and diligent vaccination and immunization programs, many of the dreaded crippling and life threatening diseases that are still virulent in other nations have been, for the most part, eradicated here.   After all wasn’t it the Conquistadors – the “white men” – who came from Europe, that unknowingly wiped out the great Inca and Aztec Nations not through force, but with disease?  While these men did not have the best intentions to begin with, they had no idea that the ailments and illnesses they had developed immunities to would be fatal when carried to these healthy, but susceptible Peoples.  I feel our current “infections everywhere” scenarios are, in part, due to the same circumstances that befell the unfortunate Incas and Aztecs.

While this introduction of new, and the reintroduction of old, eradicated diseases are an issue, and an ongoing vigilance of cleanliness and disinfecting is necessary, as usual, we as a society, have lost all prospective and sight of some realistic and practical resolutions to the problems, opting to extremes.  Rather than approaching the situation with calm, well thought out plans and procedures, we have reacted with an all out WAR on germs; sanitizing, disinfecting, sterilizing everything we come in contact with, including ourselves and each other.  And still the infections spread!  Why?

I firmly believe that the current obsession over GERMS has become a contributing factor to the overall spread of infections.  Bare with me on this, please.  Why/how is it that it is only fairly recently that these health situations have become not only an issue, but epidemic?  Anyone old enough to remember back before there were vaccines for every childhood disease: chicken pox, mumps, measles, etc, etc. you got them, the diseases; were nursed back to health, and never had to “worry” about reinfection.  Why, because your body – miracle that it is – developed anti-bodies that fought off these and other lessor ailments.  I’m not in any way implying that advances in sanitation, cleanliness or personal hygiene should be discounted or ignored.  If anything they should be taught and fostered – just not as obsessively as our current marketing and health experts tout.

Without some exposure to germs, bacteria and viruses, the body has no opportunity to grow or develop any defense mechanisms or antibodies.  Our systems, by being protected and sheltered from any and all potential disease, illness or malady are left open and vulnerable; powerless and unprotected from any and all manner of ailment, infirmity or syndrome.  The more excessive and fanatical the avoidance of germs, the more susceptible to damaging results we see.

As a result to this cleanness obsession, when the body encounters a bacterium, virus or germ, it is unarmed, exposed and easily ravaged by the organism.  All too often the introduction of these silent, invisible enemies is at a time when the immune system is already diminished or compromised due to another illness or during or immediately after surgery.  To further compound matters, the patient often assumes the discomfort or feeling of malaise is part of, or the result of the illness or surgery, allowing the infection to run rampant, undetected.  It is not until it becomes obvious that recovery is not only longer than expected, but that the patient’s condition is not improving, but actually deteriorating that a concern as to the cause is sought.  As a result of this inaction, the infection has gotten a strong foothold and is much more difficult if not impossible to treat with any immediate relief or success.

I realize the overall status of the current health and infection crisis is far more complex and intricate than these comments could begin to address, let alone resolve.  However, I believe we need to consider these points and give them serious consideration; all toward the goal of finding and implementing realistic, effective solutions, techniques and procedures.

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