Moving In

I’m not sure that I’m ready for this. My daughter is 25 and living at home. I don’t mind this at all because I want to protect her from all the bad guys out there who may try to take advantage of her. She can stay as long as she wants. 

I’m concerned about what will happen in two weeks when my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter move in with us. I love them to bits and I’m looking forward to them being here, but I also have some concerns. We have our routines and they don’t know them. They have their own family routines and we don’t know them. It may be a little awkward for awhile. 

I’m not sure how long they will stay but I hope it works out so they can stay until they get on their feet in the States. Moving from Canada will be a big culture shock for my daughter-in-law. I’m not sure how well she will adapt.

Still, I’m glad they are coming and super glad I will get to watch my granddaughter grow up…at least for awhile. 

Can’t Believe I love Pokémon Go

The game that has enthralled tens of millions of people around round the world is just plain amazing. According to the Android Market, which won’t release exact numbers, as of last week there were between 50-100 million downloads for the Pokémon Go app. Apple won’t release exact numbers with, but they have said that Pokémon go has crushed every other app in downloads, including the previously most popular app, Candy Crush Saga.

I was camping with my family and 500 of our closes friends when Pokémon Go was released. My nephew started playing right away even though there were few of the little creatures to be had in our camp. By Sunday the 10th when we started down the mountain and stopped for lunch, he went crazy in the small mountain town where there were dozens of Pokéstops (where you gain items to help you play). He also found a lot of new Pokémon that he hadn’t seen while camping. I was intrigued by his excitement but didn’t really give it a lot of thought. The following weekend my daughter was playing and I asked her about it. I used to play Pokémon Snap with the kids when they were young and loved playing it with them. So I decided to give the game a try.

I downloaded it to my iPhone 6 and got my first Pokémon, a Squirtle. I really didn’t know what to do so I messed around a little then set it aside and deleted the app. I didn’t have time for a game like that. Or so I thought. I watched as more and more people started playing and then I heard it became more popular than Twitter, then Facebook and I decided to try it again. I have to admit the game is fun and something my daughter and I could do together. Then my wife got in on it and we started playing together. And play we have.

We went to a wedding last weekend in San Juan Capistrano. During the hours of spare time we had on Saturday after the Friday night wedding, we walked the town and had a lot of fun chasing these little buggers. We stopped at Dana Point on the way home to see if we could catch different Pokémon that were water based and different than we could get at home. We did. It was a long day of playing around catching Pokémon and just spending a fun time together. My wife is my best friend and I love spending time with her, even if it is just doing something silly like playing a kids game.  On Sunday evening…after the 106 degree day began cooling off, we went down to Fresno State University and had our first battle to try to take over a gym, which is a kind of fortress and training facility to gain experience points. From there we went to Woodward Park in north Fresno. There were hundreds of people gathered around three areas with a lot of Pokéstops collecting both Pokémon and items to make the game more playable.

We have played it a bit since but I have set it aside during the week as it can be a tremendous time bandit and I have work to do. But this weekend we will probably go hunting again if the heatwave dissipates a bit. I still can’t believe I am playing this game but it really is fun and addicting. My son from Canada is moving down here in September and he is excited to play the game when I get him a new iPhone. It will kind of be like the old days of playing Snap with the kids. I love me some nostalgia with my family.


No More Politics 

I have hundreds of friends on Facebook. I don’t know all of them in real life but with a subset of over 300 I have a special friendship based on a common experience from years ranging from 1955-present. These are my brothers from the Madison Scouts. I cherish their friendship and our brotherhood and I don’t want to risk any of these friendships over petty political squabbles. I’m not going to do it. 

If you have read any of my previous posts from many months ago I blasted both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I can’t stand either of them and no matter who wins America is screwed. There is nothing I can do to change the outcome or sway friends away from their deep seated beliefs. 

So today I spent 20 minutes going through my Facebook wall and deleted every political post I put up going back to the first of the year. I just don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. 

Sure, some of you may say that I am putting my head in the sand, but I’m not. I will work to get my preferred local candidates elected as mayor, city council members, county supervisors, and school board members. Those are races where I can possibly have an impact on the results. 

Even then I won’t get political on social media. Oh, and to help with that, and the fact I don’t need it, I have deleted my Twitter account, where I had over a thousand followers, and I deleted my Instagram account too. Time bandits and not anything that improves my quality of life so why have them?

It’s a new day. Maybe it’s time to change the name of my WordPress site too. Barely Right of Center reflects my political views. Hmmm, now to rebrand myself on here. Well that should be a fun challenge. 

Peace out!

The Proper Response for Cops

Police Chief Jerry Dyer of Fresno, California is a class act. Recently there was a large Black Lives Matter protest that blocked one of our major cross town streets for hours. His department did not harass the protesters in any way. Instead they took pictures of the protesters, recorded license plates of cars involved in the march, and kept anti-protesters from causing any trouble. 

I’m his television appearance about the protest Dyer said their plan was to just issue citations the next day to the organizers who were listed on the application for the demonstration as well as others who were identified from photos and from license plates. 

Why did he do this? Because their permit was granted to assemble peaceably on the sidewalks of the biggest intersection in town. Instead they took to the streets and blocked traffic and shut down businesses for hours. 

They could have easily been arrested but that would have just added fuel to their ridiculous fire of protest. Instead he handled it with zero violence against the protesters.
I’m glad we have a police chief with such wisdom and dignity to allow people to say their words that are protected by the First Amendment yet won’t tolerate it when they break the law. Jerry Dyer is a role model for his department, the community, and for other police departments across the country. 

It was my pleasure to buy him a cup of coffee this morning at Starbucks and to thank him for all he does for this city. 

Back Pedaling on Trump

Several times over the last nine months I have railed against Donald Trump, calling him a demagogue and a terrible threat to our country. I still believe those things but I believe Hillary Clinton would be am even bigger disaster for America. She is a lying, unethical, corrupt, and evil witch who would continue us down the destructive path that Obama has us careening down. We cannot afford another four or eight years of these horrible people leading America to hell. 

So I will say it now for the first time: I am voting for Donald Trump. God that was hard to say without throwing up a little bit in my mouth. 

OK, I said it, but there is a method to my madness. I hope he wins and that he will have selected a great vice presidential running mate. I hope it is someone like Newt Gingrich. Why? Because I am counting on a Republican House to have a short leash for Trump and that the first time he does something truly stupid they will impeach him and that a Republican held Senate will convict him. That will ensure that a legitimately qualified president will be sitting in the White House, hopefully within a year. I think America can withstand a year of Trump but I cannot say the same for the lying sack of crap Hillary Clinton. We have to elect Trump and then get his ass out of there as quickly as possible. 

So yes, I am going to back pedal from my previous position and vote for Trump. I know, it is a brilliant idea. Thanks for recognizing that. But seriously, get out there and vote for the Trumpmeister and then pray for hisimpeachment. I truly believe that is the best hope for America to survive the next four years. 

May God help America out of this train wreck we are heading for. 

Fitness in Process 

A month ago I decided it was time to get serious about my fitness, or lack thereof. Thirty-six years after I started I finally graduated from university. With that milestone attained I realized that it was time to finally grow up and start adulting. With that came a new commitment to fitness. So far, so good. 

I am one month into my physical fitness regimen; going to a gym with a private trainer three days a week and walking 5-6 miles on alternating days. I also started a new food intake pattern I learned about from my trainer: intermittent fasting. With this style of fasting I only eat between the hours of 12:00 noon and 8:00pm. That means I am fasting for 16 hours each day. I was skeptical at first because I had been eating small meals five times a day, which had been recommended by a dietician several years ago. I have to say that despite eating in constrained hours, I am rarely hungry, I eat an average of 400 calories less each day, and I have much more energy and my mind is clearer.

My trainer told me that intermittent fasting has some great benefits and I researched it to see if he was on point or just spouting a trendy new mantra for weight loss. What I found was really interesting. Recently, a study in the journal Cell Metabolism showed intermittent fasting may decrease risk factors for diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, for example. I call that good news. But there was more. 

Intermittent fasting allows the body to use fat as it’s primary source of energy instead of sugar. Many athletes now use fasting as means to hitting low body fat percentages for competitions.
Intermittent fasting gives your digestive system a rest, and this can energise your metabolism to burn through calories more efficiently. If your digestion is poor, this can effect your ability to metabolize food and burn fat. Intermittent fasts can regulate your digestion and promote healthy bowel function, thus improving your metabolic function.

Fasting has shown to improve brain function, because it boosts the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF.) BDNF activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Intermittent fasting improves the immune system because it reduces free radical damage, regulates inflammatory conditions in the body and starves off cancer cell formation. In nature, when animals get sick they stop eating and instead focus on resting. This is a primal instinct to reduce stress on their internal system so their body can fight off infection. We humans are the only species who look for food when we are ill, even when we do not need it.

More research is ongoing to back up these benefits seen in early research. All I know is that I feel better, feel sharper, and I have lost 8 pounds in the past month. Forty more pounds and I will hit my goal weight of 235, which is down from an all time high of 417 about thirteen years ago. The plateau I hit and couldn’t break through has finally been broken and the weight loss is happening again. 

OK, coffee time is over and it’s time to take the three mile walk home!


Daily Prompt : Childhood 

All in all I had a good childhood. It was not without frustrations and at times teenage angst. Two traumatic moves at ages 9 and 13 hurt deeply and to some extent, at age 54, I still feel the hurt. 

At 9 years old, I attended an experimental elementary school called Cherry Valley in Petaluma, California. I had great friends and played Little League baseball on a fantastic team coached by my dad. But my grandmother, who lived with us, was making life miserable for my parents and they needed to move away because she was undermining their friendships with people at church. I didn’t understand at the time but I later came to resent my grandmother a lot. 

We moved to Eureka, California where my dad transferred in his job with Pacific Gas and Electric. We moved into an exclusive neighborhood and I quickly made friends in this competitive neighborhood and school. My skills at sports and the fact that I owned a motorcycle helped me fit in well. Quickly getting over my anger at the move I became happy with the opportunities there. 

At age 13 I had my firstgirlfriend, Michele Galloway. She was amazing and I was in an early schoolboy form of love although I had no idea what that was. A few months later we moved again, this time 500 miles away, to Fresno. I was devastated this time. 

It took me a year and a half to make any friends because I didn’t fit in with a culture that was radically different from where I came from. After my 8th grade year was over my parents let me go back to Eureka for a summer camp with some of my friends. It was the last time I ever saw Michele. I still hated Fresno and I think that is why I still hate living here to this day. 

I felt for years that my childhood was stolen from me by insensitive parents who didn’t give a shit about my feelings. I resented them for a long time. Many years later, for different reasons altogether, I resented them again. I was not really on good terms with them when they died and wasn’t there when either of them passed. I regret that today but it was impossible to make it there in time in either case. I have come to terms with the choices they made in life and I know that the blessings I enjoy with an amazing wife and kids would never happened. 

Although we moved a few times when my children were very young, they were local moves that allowed my kids to maintain their friendships. I never wanted to deprive them of their friends and childhood like my parents did to me.