America’s Coalition of The Ignorant
ðŸ˜ŠI recently read an article titled “America’s Coalition of The Ignorant”, which says, in part, that we have a profound ignorance of our nation’s history and institutions. It stated that the overall average was 49% and college educated citizens scored 57% on the correct answers to 33 questions on a test given by The American Civil Literacy Program. Being an inquisitive guy, and wondering how I stacked up against everyone else, I went to the website and took the test here http://www.americancivicliteracy.org/ (click on “Take the Quiz” at the bottom). I read a lot, so I expected that I would do quite well. Unfortunately, not as well as I assumed I would. The questions were a little tougher than anticipated and I misread one. Some were educated guesses, others, a little less so. I missed 8 for a 76% score. Not bad, but it definitely deflated my ego somewhat. I believe most of us (not you, silly), have an inflated estimation of how much we really know. I remember as a young 20-year-old in the US Air Force I wanted to get into OCS (Officer Candidate School). I took a two-part test that took nearly 6 hours to complete. The results came back in a couple of days and I passed one part, but failed the other. I was saddened by the news. That was my first experience in failing in a major undertaking. It made me more determined to succeed throughout the rest of my life and it served me well. Looking back from my current prospective, had I passed that test and became an Air Force officer, I would have made the service a career and my life would have changed dramatically. Probably, most of us can think of crossroads in our life.
â˜¹As most of you know, my brother Jerry died on December 16th. It has been over a month now and I still miss him. It has been a year since my Uncle KD passed away and I still think of him most days, so I expect it to be the same for my brother. The biggest difference in losing the two of them is KD wanted to live and Jerry was ready to die. Neither of them seemed to be afraid of death. Somehow, I have always thought that death was something to fear. I know the Bible tells us that death is just a transition from one life to another, but I think most of us are reluctant to give up the known for the unknown. Something in me tells me that death, on some level, must hurt. There has to be a reason that we do not look forward to dying. You would think that at my age I would have all this figured out, but admittedly, I do not. Maybe, before the big transition occurs, I will.
ðŸ˜ŠWell, the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and Christmas is over and things are returning to normal around here. Our winter has turned very cold, but as of yet, no snow. The weatherman keeps calling for it now and then, but it has not materialized. I put the snow plow on my lawn tractor (aka “Big Redâ€) a few months ago and it sets idly in the garage waiting for snow to happen. Jerilyn and I have not run our favorite trail in several months because of the cold. I have been running on the machine upstairs in the pool room and lifting weights. It isn’t nearly as much fun as running the trail around Lake Maury. I got on the scale in early January and was up to 212 lbs. Fortunately, I still have the will power to change when I need to and I am down to 207 with plans to hit 200 by early march. My 50th high school reunion is in June and my goal is to be at 192. Nothing motivates like vanity!
ðŸ˜ŠWe leave for Las Vegas soon and will be gone for 5 days. We are not much on gambling, but have been told there is plenty of things to do. We intend to watch quite a few shows, tour some of the surrounding areas and enjoy the company of our good friends Don & Louise. We have not informed Jerilyn’s mother (Gladys) yet, but that will happen pretty soon. We always dread that part. She gets so upset whenever we leave town. I guess, when you’re ninety years old and your primary care providers travel, you worry something will happen to them. Anyway, if you happen to hear a thunderous boom within the next week, you will know where it came from.
ðŸ˜ŠFor the past few days I have been suffering from Vertigo (a feeling you are about to fall). It is caused by the inner ear and seems to happen to me during the winter months (Jan-Mar) when the humidity is low (25-40%). There are things I can do to temporarily correct it, but it will always come back if I position my head in a certain manner. Fortunately, I have not been incapacitated by this condition and it normally only last a few weeks and then goes away for a year. I do not expect it to interfere with the above-mentioned trip to Vegas.
ðŸ˜ŠJerilyn and I went with a friend yesterday (Saturday) who was in need of a new car. She knew exactly what she wanted, she only needed us for moral support and, perhaps, some advice. Five hours later she was on her way home with a shiny, new, silver Nissan Versa and a big smile all over her face. Funny, how buying a new car can change your attitude about life in general. A new car, somehow, makes you feel good about yourself. Like, hey, I’ve worked hard all my life, I deserve this luxury. After seeing a lot of your friends driving around in new vehicles, now it is your turn. Ain’t life great!