“Filthy, Dirty Habits”

Habits, we all have them. Good or bad, habits are a central part of our personalities and reveal much about us. Someone once said that “habits are the shorthand of behavior” and they were absolutely right. Of course, when it comes to habits seldom do we hear about our good habits, You never hear about the man who always puts the seat down after peeing or rinses off his plate after eating, no the attention is always focused on our bad habits. Now I’m not talking about things like smoking, nail-biting or even picking your nose which are compulsive in nature, I’m referring to the learned behavioral responses that are associated with a particular situation and repeated frequently, more commonly called habits. For instance I have a habit of leaving cabinet doors open behind me. Hardly a day goes by that my wife doesn’t find a cabinet door open somewhere in the house. She is constantly pointing it out to me. I don’t know why I do it, I just do. It’s not my worst habit, but a habit non the less. So what are men’s worse habits? I’m sure wives and girlfriends could come up with quite a list of things that we do that annoy them. I recently came across an article on Yahoo news about this very subject. I’d like to share what a women’s survey found to be our ten most annoying habits. They are not in any particular order or ranking, so apparently women find them all equally annoying.   SURVEY SAYS:

EMPTY CONTAINERS …

I guess we have a nasty habit of leaving empty containers everywhere and never putting  them in the trash where they belong. No big deal.

LEAVING HAIR IN THE SINK …

Okay shaving or grooming residue in the sink or on the floor. I can see how this one can be annoying. In my own defense I do make an attempt to clean up my man mess. I can’t help it if I miss a hair or two or ten, my eyes aren’t what they used to be!

USING TEN CUPS OR GLASSES, INSTEAD OF ONE …

Come on girls, It just defies male logic to use the same glass when they can get a clean, sanitized one for each drink. Besides, using the same one would involve washing and rinsing. Hello!

SELECTIVE HEARING …

What?

NEVER PICKING UP HIS LAUNDRY …

I used to be guilty of this one. I never left my dirty laundry scattered around, but I did have this particular corner of the bathroom where my clothes would pile up. eventually my wife would get tired of seeing them there and haul them off to the laundry. Oh she moaned and groaned and complained about it, but it did no good. Then one day she just stopped doing it. The pile grew and grew until I finally began taking it to the laundry myself. I still do. On occasion I may leave a pair of socks or a tee shirt in the corner, and occasionally she will pick them up for me, but 99% of the time I take them myself. pick them up for me, but 99% of the time I take them myself.

NOT DOING HOUSEWORK …

What?

BURPING AND FARTING …

Done discreetly guys this shouldn’t be a problem. Broadcasting it is annoying. Even to other men.

ABSOLUTE HELPLESSNESS WHEN SICK …

Face it ladies, men are hopelessly helpless when it comes to being sick.  When we get sick we need and expect the same treatment and attention as a child. Yes, we’re big babies.

CHANNEL SURFING!

Sorry girls, this is not a habit. It’s a need. For some of us it’s the only control we have!

WEARING THE SAME OLD THING OVER AND OVER …

Yes, it’s true we formed attachments to some of our clothes. I have several tees that should have been thrown out long ago, but I can’t bear to let them go. I may have a couple of pair of raggedy jeans that should be tossed as well, but hey, they’re my work clothes. Come on girls is that really such a big deal? At least we don’t have a kazillion shoes! ________________________________________________________________ So there you have it. the ten habits women find most annoying. I actually would have expected worse. Some others that were on other  list are far worse and deserve an honorable mention. Things like, Being rude, TV sports zombie, stuffing dirty clothes into dresser drawers, looking at other women – particularly their boobs and butt, biting toenails, picking your nose and pulling out a booger and flicking it wherever, drinking too much, loud snoring, butt and crotch scratching, public male package adjustments, peeing on the toilet seat or floor, leaving the seat up, forgetting to flush, forgetting to wash your hands, not bathing often enough, oh I could go on and on. I’m sure your wife, girlfriend and mother can easily add to this list. Face it guys, we’re rude, crude and yes, some of us are even tattooed! It’s true, we do have some pretty disgusting habits, some guys more than others, but we are men and we can’t help ourselves, after all we’re descendants of the Neanderthal. We’ve still got a little cavemen left in us. Hey were trying girls! Maybe just not hard enough. Besides, you girls aren’t saints. Sure you tolerate our “little psychological flaws” thank you very much! But you have some flaws of your own and we tolerate yours! Some of you  do a little scratching of your own, and suffer from the wandering eye as well. And just because you sit down to pee doesn’t mean you don’t wet the seat once in awhile, especially if your in a hurry. You are also capable of  drinking too much, talking too much and once in a great while you can be a bit of a nag! Okay, I could go on and on, but I better stop there before I get myself in trouble. Suffice it to say that you girls have your fair share of bad habits as well, some equally as offensive as men’s. Excuse me, but when it comes to bad habits it looks like we all have some work to do…

Just Saying…

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CA Homeless Crisis: The Hidden Homeless

There was a time in the not so distant past that the term ‘mobile home’ referred to a form of inexpensive, prefab housing built on a steel chassis similar to that of automobiles and trucks and equipped with wheels. Once assembled these ‘mobile homes’ were towed to a location and set on a concrete foundation where they were primarily used for long term occupation. Of course because they had wheels they could be moved again to a new location by the owner if desired. The most common location of these homes were mobile home parks built specifically to accommodate mobile homes and travel trailers.

Although the term ‘mobile home’ still refers to a home on wheels, many of these ‘mobile homes’ have grown in size and are sometimes bigger than a regular house. They often take up two or three standard spaces in a mobile home park. These home are delivered in sections to the site, set up and put in place. Although they continue to be called ‘mobile homes’ these larger homes are no longer mobile.

homeless-familyToday the term ‘mobile home’ has taken on a new meaning. For the last decade, as the divide between the rich and poor continues to grow and what used to be called the middle class shrinks in size, more and more casualties of class warfare have lost their jobs, been forced to sell their homes or lost them to foreclosure and have taken to living on the road. I don’t mean that they’re living in motor homes, 5th wheels or travel trailers, I’m sure they’d love to be doing that, no this particular group of homeless people have been forced to live out of the back of their trucks, vans, SUV’s, station wagons or sedans. Why? Well there is a shortage of affordable housing and job opportunities, jobs that are available are low paying, rents are through the roof, and homeless shelters are overcrowded and usually very dirty. They have no other option. These people, who are being called the ‘hidden homeless’, have lost everything, everything but their dignity and their vehicles.

And the homeless today are not the homeless we may remember from our younger days, adult males who often by choice wandered the rails, highways and byways and were often referred to as hobos or bums. No this is a whole new breed of homeless that we began seeing back in the 80’s when their numbers exploded due to government cuts in low-income housing and assistance programs for low-income families. And their numbers have been growing ever since.

getImageWho are the homeless? Today they are families with children, single mothers and their children, military veterans, unemployed blue collar and professional people the mentally ill, hell they could be your next door neighbors! And they’re all in real economic trouble. To make matters worse government spending on housing assistance programs for low-income individuals and families is less than 50% of what it was in the late 70’s before the cuts began and it doesn’t appear that it’s going to get better any time soon.

So now we have this group of “hidden homeless” living in their vehicles wherever they can. The new American vagabonds moving from place to place, just trying to make it. Tough times. Especially here in Los Angeles. L.A. had a law on the books since 1983 making it illegal to live in your car but the law wasn’t enforced until 2010 when the situation began to escalate.The law forbids anyone from using their vehicle “as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise.” A 21 officer task force was put on the streets to enforce the law.

However the law was so broad that officers all interpreted it differently so enforcement was selective; officers were singling out the homeless and citing or arresting people for simply having personal belongings in their vehicles even when they were parked in private parking structures or lots, making an already difficult situation even worse. Fortunately in June of this year the Ninth Circuit Court saw fit to overturn the law saying it was “potentially discriminatory and unconstitutional” and that the law criminalized innocent behavior. Chalk one up for the poor guys!

Can you imagine losing your home and being forced to live out of your car? I remember as a teen I lived out of my VW for a week at the river while everyone else tented. Believe me it got old quick! at least my seats reclined which made sleeping a bit easier. And I didn’t have to worry about being forced to move my vehicle nightly or where my next meal was coming from. Still, it sucked. I can’t imagine having to live out of my vehicle on a full time basis.

Currently there is no accurate figure as to how many ‘hidden homeless’ there are in California. What makes it difficult is that many of the hidden homeless are embarrassed and try to keep their situation secret. Best guess estimates put the number at about 10% of the homeless family population and growing. So what can be done to remedy the situation of these ‘hidden homeless’? Some larger cities are already addressing the problem and have created or are in the process of creating large, secure parking areas for the hidden homeless which will certainly help, but what about those who live in the many smaller cities that still have ordinances that prohibit over night parking. What do the hidden homeless do there?

Although the parking lots and open street parking are a temporary answer to aid a particular group of homeless, I think the real answer is to address the homeless problem in its entirety. Sacramento holds the key. Law makers need to get down to business make things happen. Do you realize that there are laws on the books that if enacted could bring quick relief for the homeless. There is a major shortage of long term, year round homeless shelters and facilities for the growing homeless population in our state. At the state level all that has to be done is to declare a statewide shelter crisis.  Law makers should band together and call upon the Governor to declare such an emergency. But the legislators are reluctant to act. Even at the city level the mayor or board of Supervisors can declare a shelter emergency but few communities have.

What the hell is going on?  The number of homeless women and children has increased, shelters across California are at capacity, Something needs to be done! Come on Sacramento get it together! Homelessness isn’t going to go away quietly into the night. The time has come to act. Get Brown to declare a shelter emergency and do it soon so that the problem can be addressed correctly. No more band aids! You go home to a warm, safe home every night, these people are crowded into shelters, sleep in their cold vehicles, or under a bridge somewhere.

Perhaps the time has come for Governor Brown to forgo his super-sized ego and scrap his dreams for his super bullet train! The Brown Express is unnecessary and should be scrapped immediately! The billions would be better spent on the California Homeless Crisis. Come on Brown, leaving behind a legacy like a bullet train is small potatoes when you can leave behind a legacy of care and helpfulness. I’m quite sure going out as a legendary leader would be more fulfilling than leaving us a useless speed train.

Just Saying…

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Remembering Martin Luther King

“…Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about a thing. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…”                                

                                                                                                                                 Martin Luther King  4/3/1968

MLK-198x300Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday established in 1986 to honor the memory and accomplishments of one of the greatest peace advocates and activists our country has ever known. His untimely death 44 years ago was a major blow to the Civil Rights Movement. Following his death rioting broke out in major cities across the country, rekindling fear and racial tension and severely jeopardized the great strides made by King.

The excerpt above is from King’s final speech given on the day before he was assassinated. Those who heard him speak that day noted an air of sorrow in his demeanor as he spoke about the gains of the civil rights movement and his sadness in not being there to see it through to conclusion, of not reaching the promised land of racial equality. King was said to have a premonition of his impending death. On several occasions during his life he’d told his associates that he would not live to see 40 years old. He was 39 when he was killed.

King was a remarkable man who began his college education at the age of 15. Like his father he went on to the seminary and became a Baptist minister. From the pulpit he spoke out about social injustice and the need for racial equality. It was there that he began his career as a civil rights activist organizing boycotts and other peaceful protests and developed his philosophy of “nonviolent resistance.”

In 1963 King organized a massive march on Washington. with more than 250,000 participants, including about 65,000 white supporters, it was the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation’s capital, and one of the first to have extensive television coverage. They marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial in what turned out to be not only  a protest, but a communal celebration as well. The massive protest was both civil and peaceful.  The event included musical performances by Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary, Speeches by the top civil rights leaders of the time,  including King who gave his famous “I have a Dream, American Dream” speech. It was quite the event.

One year later King became the youngest man to win the Nobel Peace Prize and was also the first Black American to be named Time Magazines Man of the Year. Incredible feat for a black man in the turbulent 1960’s. But was all of this enough to earn him a federal holiday? What do you think?

There are many who don’t think so. In fact his holiday was established by the government in 1986 but it wasn’t until 2000 that all fifty states adopted it. Some believe that King should be no more than a footnote in Civil Rights history, that the gains made in civil rights were not his accomplishments alone, but the result of a united effort led by many and he doesn’t truly deserve all the praise and adoration he receives. Perhaps they’re right. King after all was just a man. He wasn’t some saintly figure above reproach. Like all of us he had his flaws and his shortcomings, he chain smoked, drank liquor and yes, even cursed on occasion. But  even with his flaws King did nothing to diminish his legacy. Besides, it is not King the man we honor today, but King the idealist, the visionary, the dreamer and all that his beliefs helped to accomplish.

When I think about King I think of hope. I see King as a man of love, who believed in cooperation, compromise and working together for the common good. He saw things not as they were, but as they should be. He wasn’t afraid to stand up in the face of adversity for what he believed in. He is a shining example of leadership. We rarely see the type of dream,compassion and dedication he possessed, in our leaders today. We certainly don’t see enough of it in our citizens. If more people had the courage of their convictions as he did, our society would continue to evolve and we would go on making great strides in our efforts to be better human beings who respect life and one another.

Do I believe King deserves a day honoring him? Damn right I do! He was an outstanding humanitarian. Like any man he certainly had his shortcomings but his accomplishments in the area of civil rights are unprecedented.  So please take a moment today to remember Dr. King, what he has done and how the world has changed for the good because of his contributions. MLK deserves our respect, he’s earned it He led us to the mountaintop and showed us what could be, He gave us a dream to believe in, an American dream…

Just Saying…

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