Saturday, July 24, 2010

More Orderly, Less Hoarderly

I absolutely love shows like Hoarders, Hoarding: Buried Alive and Clean House.  Not sure why, since I don't have bulging closets, narrow aisles of stuff throughout my house, or even a cluttered car.  I guess what intrigues me is the mindset that gets someone locked into that type of behavior.  My father had a bit of that tendency.  He got it into his head, in his early 60s, to start trying to recycle aluminum cans.  But since he worked full-time during the week and drank full-time on the weekends, he didn't have a lot of time for separating them from the rest of the trash.  And it is quite telling that no one came up with a better installing a "Recycle" bin for cans only, or having my mother or me take on the task of sorting out the cans.  The result was a growing pile of plastic garbage bags in the garage, which were eventually discovered by field mice.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Time is a River, or Some Such Cliche

My latest conversations with my son Wally have reminded me of the changes that time will bring.

Friday night he said that he is giving serious consideration to enlisting in the Navy.  His main motivation for this is the steady paycheck and the possibility of career enhancement.  I don't have strong feelings either way about the military.  Some of my in-laws are absolute fanatics on the subject -- every week they send me multi-page emails about the honor, glory and sacrifice of our uniformed services, to the point where it sounds like a fetish.  But at the same time, I feel no ideological hostility toward those who choose the military as a profession.  I do, however, believe these same well-meaning individuals are often very badly used by those who employ them.  If you're going to send someone into a life-threatening situation, you had BETTER not skimp on armor and other supplies, and you had DAMN WELL better not neglect their special physical and psychological circumstances when they return home.  Letting veterans languish with PTSD, or lie forgotten on a urine-soaked mattress in a mold-infested hospital unit is beyond unacceptable.
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