The good thing about the bar being set low …


With a new year comes new resolutions, or, as is often the case, old resolutions that have been “repurposed” for a new year.

The proprietor of this blog, in a ham-fisted attempt to comport with societal norms, will endeavor to improve himself and, more importantly, the lives of those around him by attempting to adhere to several resolutions in 2013.

Some are more serious, others less so; it is up to the reader to determine which is which.

  • Reduce the number of times I refer to idjits and amadáns as “idjits” and “amadáns,” especially if my girls are within earshot.
  • Reduce blood pressure by reducing shopping at Wal-Mart. It has become apparent that saving 5 cents a box on Kraft macaroni and cheese isn’t worth having to put up with idjits and amadáns who shop there. I refer to a) the woman walking down the aisles singing at the top of her lungs; b) the woman carrying on a lengthy dialogue, in 80-decibel tones, with her 2-year-old on why said 2-year-old will not obey her; the man who parks his car directly in front of the store entrance and waits 15 minutes with the motor running and exhaust spewing while his spouse shops; the innumerable parents who yammer on cell phones while their children run screaming through the aisles like Sioux warriors chasing down Custer’s bedraggled 7th Cavalry; etc., ad nauseam.
  • Spend at least some time each night writing my book. I’ve spent the past year pulling research and set Jan. 1, 2013, as the date at which to begin writing. (So far, so good.)
  • Spend more time fishing with my girls.
  • Spend more time catching fish with my girls. Obviously nos. 4 and 5 go together. Long-term, I figure I’ve got a better chance of imparting a life-long love of fishing if they can bring something home to eat once in a while – that is, besides moss and a branch or two.
  • Write more letters. I suppose I could have taken out “more” and it would have been equally applicable. This wouldn’t be such an issue, but I’ve never met a phone I’ve liked, so at some point, writing a note becomes important if I’m to let friends and family know I still alive and thrashing. Unfortunately, when you have handwriting that looks like something a semi-literate gibbon would produce, it’s frustrating to take pen in hand and try to scratch out a few lines.
  • Read Robert Graves’ Goodbye to All That, George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia and Albert Camus’ The Plague. All have been on my “to-read” list for far too long.
  • Take my girls – all my girls, from my wife and the college graduate down to my 9-year-old – to a NASCAR race. Maybe it’s the smell of gas and burning rubber, and the deafening roar of 700-horsepower cars traveling at 180 MPH, but I can’t think of a better way to spend the day. However, reviews from my girls are mixed, with younger generally being more favorably inclined.
  • Catch more beasties. The snakes, turtles, lizards, birds, fish and whatever else we can get our hands on (without them getting bit off or injected with venom) represent just one of the many wonderful things about living near the country. And nothing teaches kids about the world around them like experiencing it.
  • Make sure Ms. Cotton Boll gets the love and attention she deserves. I’m not sure what I did to deserve such a wonderful woman, but being an obtuse sort, I still fail at times to dote on her as I should. Everyone should have as caring and loving spouse as that with which God has blessed me.

15 thoughts on “The good thing about the bar being set low …

  1. Ugh, Wal-Mart is awful. I like the imagery of the screaming kids/Sioux warriors. In a way, it is very fitting.

  2. I’m fairly new to your blog. Have forwarded some of your excellent history posts to my grandson (world traveler and student of history) in Charlotte. He’s a re-planted Yankee and loves everything about the South.

    My father (dec.) was a former newspaperman and student of history — particularly the Civil War. He belonged to the Civil War Roundtable in Washington DC and was Chair of the NYS
    centennial in 1965. He always said that he was born in the wrong era; should have been born a “Southern gentleman.”
    He had great respect for Robert E. Lee. Dad was also Irish to his core.

    No one – absolutely no one – should ever shop at WalMart or, at the very least, admit to doing so. I’m sure you know the reasons why.
    Yes, I am a proud retired union activist, having been a research librarian for the NYS teachers union for 35 years, as well as a member of our staff employee union. Still carry my union card.

    What is your book about?

    Your Resolution that I especially like is the one about your wife. How fortunate you are to be married to such a life friend.

    • Thank you for your kind note. I’m flattered that you think enough of my postings to forward them to your grandson. As a former newspaperman and student of history myself, I think I would have gotten along just fine with your father. The fact that he had great respect for R.E. Lee and was Irish would have been an added bonus.

      My book is a regimental history of a South Carolina cavalry unit. While I too sometimes feel as though I was born in the wrong time, I never cease to be astounded at the hardships people 150 years ago endured without complaint. Researching the book has opened my eyes even wider to the fact that, despite what advertisers would have us believe, people nowhere in the world at any time have had a life as luxurious as we Americans do today. That’s not a criticism of America, just a recognition that our forefathers had a tough row to hoe.

      And, yes, I am very fortunate to have a beautiful bride who is willing to stand by me and love me through thick and thin. I definitely got the better end of the deal when we got hitched.

      Best wishes.

  3. Great resolutions, the one about giving Mrs. C.B more love and attention is a very good one. It’s not only lovely for her, in carrying it through it ensures a good amount of brownie points for you too. Something a man can never build up too many of!

  4. One of the best things about living in Belize: No Wal-Marts. And no Targets, Home Depots, Best Buys, malls or Mickey D’s or other fast-food joints for that matter. Of course that all feels like one of the worst things about living in Belize on occasion. But all in all pretty refreshing having none of all that.

    • Yes, I can imagine once in a blue moon it would be nice to have one of those places around, but overall it’s got to be nice to be able to easily avoid cookie-cutter stores and restaurants. I’m always staggered when I hear about people traveling overseas and choosing to regularly eat at a, say, McDonalds in Paris or a Burger King in Frankfurt. That’s grounds for automatic deportation right then and there, as far as I’m concerned.

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