TOO BUSY TO BLOG

When I started this blog, I never dreamed that I would be too busy to write it. I thought I could check in every week and drop a pearl of wisdom or at least a pebble of insight that would encourage you to “Get going!” and “Hang in there!” or at least “Switch off the tube!”

After roughly 60 days, I find the homework quotient to educate this old dog is somewhat overwhelming. Having never been a full time student, I had no idea how much studying and paperwork was involved. I thought I was organized and committed – this would be a piece of cake. Reality check!

I feel guilty about struggling to keep up the pace. I rise at 4 a.m. and go to bed at 11:30 p.m., I only nap Monday afternoons for an hour, and I have missed so many episodes of Big Bang Theory, I feel estranged from the gang. My TV experience now involves catching up on Fallon’s Hashtag Wednesdays and reviewing global news. A Tweet or retweet may be included, but don’t count on it.

I wondered if this is worth the effort. I wondered if I could go a full four years.

One of my original questions was whether I am relevant in this generation, do I have anything to say worth hearing. I was on the verge of issuing a resounding, “No!” However, a friend suggested that perhaps I was here to help change the way others look at the world, no matter how skewed my perspective may be.

During my second debate in Radio & TV class, I was gifted with an unanticipated occurrence. I was opposed to “free Wi-Fi for all” based on security issues and the possibility of government censorship/takeover. When I finished my dissertation, a classmate said that my reasons for opposition were something he had never thought about, that I had given him a new perspective on several issues. Others agreed with him.

I was humbled to think that, whether or not they agreed with my position, at least my classmates had begun to think outside the cage. That is a very good thing, indeed

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SAMII’S MIAMI – Blast from the Past

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=ztLhps9iYr-E.k8QYC632ib9g

I grew up in Ft. Wayne, Indiana – a beautiful farming community at the junction of three rivers. I loved the green of spring, the bounty of summer harvest, the crisp Autumn breezes… and I loathed the freezing cold winters. Folks, I lived my entire childhood dreaming of sitting on a dock in Miami Beach, Florida. It was warm there. It was sunny there. The breezes were tropical there. I knew that if I could just make it to Miami, I would be happy forever.

In January 1977, I got the chance to go to University of Miami to take audio classes. I sold everything I owned and drove my little Gremlin as fast as I could to Miami. Did I mention it was 15 degrees below zero with a -45 degree windchill the day I left the Fort? Well, let me tell you, my first day in Coral Gables was beautiful. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and it was the coldest it had been in South Florida in decades. Yep, I was freezing. It mattered not because I was in Miami. Who am I kidding, I WAS FREEZING IN MIAMI! Fortunately, things got better, ie. warmer. I spent four wonderful years living my dreams of being an audio engineer and sitting on a dock in the warmth that is Miami Beach. I hope you enjoy this map of some of my favorite places in the sun.

Just One Hour At Cerritos College

Dashing madly across campus, Grester and I met some really interesting people. From Super Cerritos Fan Alexis, to Professor William Brown (Business Law), to a couple in the Student Center, we asked hard questions and got some unexpected answers. A couple relaxing in the Student Center talked about the importance of school spirit. Montana (track and field) thought school spirit is important and feels very proud running for Cerritos. On the other hand, Keiyon said school spirit is very difficult to maintain because, “I plan on moving on from here.” Working hard to make the transition to university, he is not forming attachments that make up the bonds of strong school spirit. Keiyon’s response was straight up reality on the rocks.

Morgan Brittany: The Politics of Life

Morgan Brittany first walked onto a sound stage at CBS when she was five years old.  The moment she saw the red light on the camera, the lights on the grid overhead, and heard, “Action!,” she knew that was it – before she even knew what “it” was.  In the 50 years she has been in the biz,  Brittany has seen Hollywood go through a lot of changes.  The actress and Conservative columnist/commentator has also seen backlash against those posing a less than liberal POV .  Here, Brittany shares her view from the trenches on a political life.

TAG, YOUR PET IS IT!

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0304-banks-lost-dog-20140304,0,5016220.column#vcomment

The Los Angeles Times article above describes the heartbreak of a family whose pet went missing. The article then attacks a rescue group who saved the lost pet from a local shelter where it would have been killed. A couple of days later, CBS2 News aired the story, perpetuatimg the vilification of rescue organizations.

I have been a street rescuer most of my life. I am personally offended that everyone avoids blaming the pet owner for not tagging the animal.

Below are excerpts from my letter to the Times.

_______________________

Thank you for calling attention to lost pets and the anguish experienced by their owners.  However, the dog in question had no identification – no collar, no tag, no tattoo, no chip.  That is the fault of an irresponsible owner.

I have rescued strays for over 50 years. Less than a half dozen animals had collars. Non-profit groups offer extremely low-cost/no cost chipping. Everyone can afford to ID their pets to help ensure recovery if they escape or are stolen. The old-fashioned collar and tag are better than nothing.

As for the dog being in a shelter across the valley from where the people live, no one has considered how far/fast an animal can go.  When pets are scared or disoriented, they move like the wind and are out of their normal area in no time at all.

Consider the emotional trauma rescuers feel. We imagine the pet we are desperately trying to return to its home is our own.  We love animals – that’s why we do U-turns in traffic, get out of our cars in driving rain and risk our lives to save an animal. Consider the tears we shed when we have no other choice but to place an animal in a shelter… knowing it will be killed if the owner is not found or no one adopts it.  We NEVER forget those little faces.

Every rescuer wants the perfect ending for a pet – being reunited with its family.  The likelihood of that happening is very slim.

Bottom line: If people love their pets and don’t want their children crying, do the right thing – get a permanent ID.

MORGAN BRITTANY: The Lincoln Portrait and the future of America

Actress Morgan Brittany performing "The Lincoln Portrait" by Aaron Copland for La Mirada Symphony's "Salute to America."

Actress Morgan Brittany performs Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” for La Mirada Symphony’s “Salute to America.”
Friends catch up backstage at La Mirada Theatre, La Mirada, California

Friends Morgan Brittany and Yakovetic catch up backstage at La Mirada Theatre, La Mirada, California

Symphony Conductor Doctor Frelly and actress Morgan Brittany enjoy the event reception.

Symphony Conductor Doctor Frelly and actress Morgan Brittany enjoy the event reception.

“When my good buddy Joe Yakovetic asked me to be part of the La Mirada Symphony ‘Salute to America’,” revealed actress Morgan Brittany, “I checked YouTube to see who had done the ‘Portrait of Lincoln.’  I saw Henry Fonda and said, ‘I’m in!”

Symphony Board Member Joe Yakovetic immediately thought of Brittany to narrate the piece. “Our events do very well,” he said, “but this time it was a capacity crowd.  The Orchestra and Brittany received a standing ovation when the concert ended.  She was perfect!”

Brittany, a member of the PolitiChicks, is concerned about the direction our country is going. “There seems to be a lot of negativity about our future in the media.  There is a lot of negativity when you speak to people about where the country is headed.  It’s kind of a mess.”

Aaron Copland penned the symphony for full orchestra in the 1940s.  Toward the end of the composition is a narration about Lincoln and his writings.  The thing that struck Yakovetic most about the narration was its relevance to where America is today.  “The words Lincoln wrote inspired people almost 150 years ago.  I think they still inspire people today.”

Brittany wants to motivate people to remember Abraham Lincoln and the leaders that made America great. “The Lincoln Portrait evokes so many different emotions,” mused Brittany.  “When you hear the things that Abraham Lincoln said you realize what difficult times we have been through in the past.”  She paused.  “Yes, we are in difficult times now, but we have been through them before.  This piece tells you that things have been tough before and we can survive it!  We are not lost.”