November sunrise.

This was the view on the way in to work this morning.

novembersunrise

OK Boomer.

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Surely you’ve seen it online or heard people using it.  It’s inescapable.

“OK Boomer” is a recent viral meme that serves as a sarcastic taunt a younger person uses against a person of a certain age (who may not actually be a Boomer, just simply  older than a Millennial) when the younger person feels that the older person is being condescending, judgmental, unempathetic (to the Millennial’s financial woes), or just plain wrong.

A comment I saw on Twitter today perfectly illustrates the reason why “OK Boomer” resonates with Millennials (and many Gen Xers too).

Presumed Boomer (explaining why he/she hates the term “OK Boomer”):  I freakin’ HATE it. With age comes wisdom, Millennials. Your insolence is regarded as immaturity and ignorance. But I would expect no less from a generation with MUCH to learn about EVERYTHING.

The inevitable retort?

Presumed Millennial:  OK Boomer!

I have to admit, even as a butt end Boomer myself (who all too often sees the first two thirds of my own generation as having ruined everything for the last third I’m a part of), I can relate to the retort more than the complaint.

And yet, as a mostly unwilling member of this disliked generation, I can still understand why the term would rankle those of a certain age, who have called it ageist, petty, and insulting.   It puts us in a box.   Like all stereotypes, it assumes we are all the same.   We are not all against Millennials.  We do not think they are all spoiled, entitled, and only care about the next Selfie they take.   Some of us actually can relate to them and are empathetic to their plight in today’s world which has kicked out all the supports from underneath them.  And believe it or not, some of us are struggling too, especially those who, like me, are edging close to the cusp of Gen X.    As for Gen X?  They just get kind of  lost in the maelstrom.  But they were always kind of ignored anyway.    I have heard “OK Boomer” being used against people in this generation too.   Apparently, to some Millennials, anyone over age fifty (or maybe even forty) is a Boomer.

 

okboomer

One of the gazillion and one “OK Boomer” memes.

 

“OK Boomer” is not undeserved.   While OF COURSE there are good Boomers who don’t treat younger generations like a candiru infestation (make sure you have a strong stomach before clicking on this link), stereotypes always contain a grain of truth, which is why they get started in the first place.    Sure, individual Boomers have done great things (and have contributed great things to the arts, especially music),  but let’s be honest.  I don’t think the Boomer generation on the whole has done much good in the world.   That’s because of their collective narcissism, lust for power, and tendency to be judgmental of others who don’t think just like them.    They also tend to be extremely religious, to the point of zealotry.  Being religious is not itself a bad thing (in fact it can be a good thing),  but when a zealot tries to push their religion on others as the only correct way to believe, or worse, tries to legislate it,  it becomes cultlike and that it is definitely a very bad thing.  And religious zealotry and cultish behavior is definitely one of the biggest problems America is dealing with right now.

Boomers (as a generation) were treated like little gods by the adults around them when they were growing up, and they thrived under a good economy, an optimistic national mood,  and the US at the height of its power and influence in the world.    Now, on their way out the door, they’re making sure they take all their toys with them and leave behind a scorched earth that the young will have to fix, if it even can be fixed.

That’s why Millennials (and Xers) are so angry.    So, while the phrase “OK Boomer” is slightly annoying, I can’t really take issue with it.

 

Mental health day?

mentalhealthday

I haven’t called out of work sick since July.   But today I did.  Here were my three reasons.

  1.  It’s sleeting and snowing out, and I can’t drive in that stuff.   Did I ever tell you I hate this time of year?  No?  Well, I hate this time of year.   Once the peak fall color and pleasant weather of October is gone, all that’s left is cold, short, dreary days with rain, ice, and snow; and everything turns brown and somber.   How can anyone LIKE November?  And don’t tell me Thanksgiving makes up for it.  It doesn’t.   The start of the holiday shopping season makes it even worse.
  2.  I am morbidly depressed (SAD at full intensity, plus serious family problems going on that I’m not ready to talk about).  If you pray, say a prayer for my family, my daughter, and myself.  I’ll explain all in a later post.   She is not well.
  3.  I wanted to watch the live impeachment hearings starting today.  Just found out today is Tuesday, not Wednesday, so they start tomorrow.     The first two reasons are good enough to warrant this day I can just curl up on the couch under some cozy blankets and read or sleep.

How cats became domesticated.

Eons is a really good online PBS series about paleontology.  In this episode, it explores the domestication of the modern house cat.

It turns out, our pet cats were domesticated twice!

Pumpkin flower.

SIL is a talented pumpkin carver!

Here’s what his creation looked like outside after dark with a candle inside it.

pumpkinflower

Happy Halloween!

 

happy-halloween-illustration

I have a random post generator now!

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Yes, that is a random post.

Good news!

I’ve been blogging for over five years (as of September).   During the first few years, I wrote several posts almost every day (now I’m down to about one or two a week, and sometimes not even that).   So, by now there are literally thousands of posts on this blog.  The Search bar (at the very top of the page) and monthly Archive dropdown probably aren’t enough for a blog this large.

There are posts on this blog no one (including myself) will likely ever see again, so I thought it would be fun to install a Random Post Generator and surprise myself (and my readers).  I’ve seen these on other blogs and wanted one here too.  So this morning I figured out how to install one (it’s not a standard WordPress.com widget).  It wasn’t hard.

It’s in the right hand sidebar (it’s just under the first ad in the sidebar).   Click it on and who knows what post you’ll land on!   I don’t remember every post I ever wrote, and I sure hope there isn’t anything too embarrassing.   Oh, well!  Go ahead and have fun with it anyway.

A visit from a bear family.

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Mama bear seems to call to her cubs down on the ground. 

I was at a neighbor’s house, and suddenly, we witnessed four black bears emerging from the woods in the back of their yard: a mother and her three adolescent cubs.  Black bears are not very large, not terribly aggressive, and will usually avoid humans, although they do have a reputation for living near humans, because of easy access to trashcans and the smell of cooking food.   Many homeowners around here chain down the lids of their trashcans or even lock them.   Raccoons are also a problem.

Black bears are very common in the western North Carolina mountains, and are especially easy to spot in the fall, since they are out foraging for food before winter sets in.  They are not endangered here because many people are so entranced with them, they actually leave out food to attract them.

On this day,  my neighbor and I could see them lumbering closer until they finally stopped under a berry tree almost directly under the second floor window we were looking out of.  Mama was the first to climb up the tree (the bears’ agility is amazing for their size and shape), and she seemed to “call” to her cubs to come get some berries.  The cubs seemed pretty content to graze on the ground looking for berries that had dropped there, although one did attempt to climb up there with Mom, but wasn’t too successful at it.

After the bears ate their fill, they lumbered off across a field into another part of the woods.

I wish the pictures were clearer, but at least we were pretty close!

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The three cubs. 

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Mama (far right) and cubs

The Narcissism of Capital

I don’t agree with everything in this article (I don’t think capitalism is a bad thing if it’s kept under control with regulations and checks and balances), but I still really like the author’s comparison of capitalism with narcissism. He’s not wrong, especially in his observation that people with high levels of narcissism, even fullblown NPD, tend to be attracted to careers that reward with power and wealth.  This is why CEOs and top executives of multinational corporations, and politicians are so much more likely to have psychopathic or narcissistic traits than the “proles” (the rest of us).

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O Society

by Mawr Gorshin Infinite Ocean edited by O Society Mar 13, 2019

silhouette of statue near trump building at daytime
Photo by Carlos Herrero on Pexels.com

Introduction

Analysis of the 1944 film adaptation of Gaslight, leads to a recognition of ‘political gaslighting.’

In abusive interpersonal relationships, the abuser fabricates, denies, and distorts the truth to disorient the victim. The super-rich, as well as the politicians and the media who work for them, also do this lying and disorienting, but to the public as a whole.

We all know how emotional abuse can happen in families, school, the workplace, and online: psychological abuse on the ‘micro’ level. Now, let’s discuss it on the ‘macro’ level, how it exists on the geopolitical level, for this is, no doubt, a far greater problem.

Many parallels are seen in the comparison of narcissistic abuse and class conflict. Donald Trump is as obvious a narcissist as he is a…

View original post 2,803 more words

Banana palms growing in western North Carolina?

bananatree

I definitely believe climate change is real.

Here where I live, in the Blue Ridge mountains of western North Carolina, each summer seems to grow progressively hotter and longer, and each winter has been milder and shorter than the last (not that I mind this personally, since I really can’t stand cold weather).   This fall has felt more like a continuation of summer than fall, and even at night the temperatures are still pretty warm.    It’s also been extremely dry, and the trees, rather than turning colors, are going straight from green to brown to bare (not that the fall colors here, outside of the Blue Ridge Parkway, where the trees are chosen for their fall color, are that impressive anyway).   Sometimes I feel like I live in Florida, not the mountains of North Carolina, where the climate should be temperate, not tropical.

I’ve noticed something very strange this year too, something that I’ve never seen before.  Banana palms growing in people’s yards.  Maybe it’s just a new fad, and people are planting them here, but I don’t think it’s just that.   I think the climate has actually changed in the past few years, to a more subtropical (and less temperate) one, making it possible for banana palms to grow here.

I decided to look this up on Google, and found out that there is a such thing as cold hardy banana palms, that can withstand mild winters, even if the temperatures sometimes dip below freezing, as long as the trees are protected.  So although they couldn’t grow in the wild (yet), they could grow and thrive in someone’s yard.

climatezones

I looked up the climate type for western North Carolina and found out we are a Koppen Cfa climate (humid subtropical!) climate.  Even more shocking was to find out that central to southern New Jersey is also a Cfa climate, making it possible to grow certain types of subtropical plants, including cold hardy banana palms, there too!   I do know that many beaches at the Jersey Shore now have palm trees gracing them, but these trees are removed and taken somewhere else to spend the winters (I have no idea how that would be done) and then returned to New Jersey in late spring.

In general, North Carolina does not have palm trees, although there are many flowering evergreen species (these usually have dark, waxy leaves) here in the mountains, and palmetto trees (not a real palm tree but they are related to palms) growing in the coastal areas (the palmetto is also the state tree of South Carolina).

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Palmetto tree.

 

But this might be changing.   I live 37 miles north of the South Carolina border, and almost as soon as you cross the line into that state, palmettos can be found everywhere.  Banana palms are also common there.  So we’re not far from the cutoff for tropical (or subtropical) types of plants.  But I think the cutoff has moved farther north now, even into the lower mountains.   That would make sense, with climate change being a factor.  I haven’t seen any palmettos here yet, but I wonder if that’s just a matter of time.

If food shortages due to climate change ever become a problem, maybe I’ll plant some banana palms.  Bananas are a fantastic source of nutrients and quick energy.