Smart Phones & Dumb Phones, Who Controls Whom, Dumbing Down Society & Making Change, Fire & Ice, Panstarrs & The Weather Channel, NASA & The CIA, Poems On The Back Roads.

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.


Most everybody I know now has a “smart phone”. I still have a “dumb phone”. All I can do with my dumb phone is talk to people when I want to. Such a great invention. Thank you Mr. Bell for allowing me to talk to people when I want to.


I can’t help but think Mr. Bell would do the big turn over if he knew what a monster h is invention released into society. Now I ask those with a smart phone, a simple question. Are you a slave to your “smart phone”?  If ya got one, I’ll bet you are. After observing those who possess such, it appears the “smart phone” may very well control the lives of the owners. Maybe another way to put it is, just who is in charge. At the very least, it’s most difficult to determine who controls whom. Are you familiar with the term “at my beckon  call”? And remember here,you’re not doing the beckoning. It didn’t take too much practice to learn to jump thru the hoop of the “smart phone”, did it?


It’s truly amazing to observe society move in such a short time from a telephone attached to a piece of copper wire to a telephone powered by a small rechargeable battery. And while this transformation took place, we all became so important in this world that we must have instance communication with everything and everybody. Cell Phones, ya gotta love ‘em.


They made us feel important Even when we’re not. I’m not, and I know it. But I’m sure glad to be able to watch those folks at Wal-Mart so proud to be able to talk on the “smart phone”.  Did ya ever notice, they all talk too loud on those Wal-Mart Smart Phones? Guess it’s to make sure everybody knows they have one. It ya got it and they know it, clap your hands.


As technology advanced such gadgets into society, public education in our nation appears to have  dumbed down society in lock step with technology. We now have a generation of people who can text and drive.  Who can play video games for a record numbers of hours on end. People who can shoot videos with their “smart phone”. They have instant communication with the whole world.  Many of these same members of our society are unable to make correct change of a simple monetary transaction such as “how much change will I get back if my bill is $13.23 and I pay with a$50.00 bill?


One of my clients at RHCO INC, operates a summer Drive Inn business at a resort community here in northern Indiana. This business is staffed almost entirely by  workers still in high school. Every year there’s a large turnover of employees. The difficulty this company has in finding people who can make simple change is beyond belief.


The total job interview for a summer job now consist of the  “how much change” question from the above paragraph. Most fail. Last summer one job applicant concluded the correct change for the transaction was $63.23. WOW !  The job applicants are almost exclusively third year high school students, one summer away from entering their senior year. And for many, one year away from entering into society as young adult. Don’t know what we teach ‘em now in high school, but for many, it’s for sure not how to count change back when selling burgers and fries and cherry pies. Life was simple and easy back then.


Remember back in January I told ya there would be really neat things to see in the sky this year, remember that? Well I do. And part of what I was talking about is in the sky right now. This part is a comet by the name of Panstarrs.


It’s a chunk of ice melting its way toward our sun. And that comet tail in the sky, now that’s kinda like when you see a jet plane go overhead and see the streaming cloud left behind the jet. It’s not identical, but you get the idea. It has to do with heat and cold. Fire and Ice, and that sort of thing. That reminds me of a poem I know:


Some say the world may end in fire, some say ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire, I stick with those who favor fire.

But if I had to parish twice, I think I know enough of fate to say

That for destruction Ice is also great, and will suffice.

If ya want to see the Comet Panstarrs, look toward the west, just after the sun goes below the horizon.  Panstarrs will be just a little to the left of the setting sun tomorrow. In fact, Panstarrs came as close to the sun as its going to get last Sunday, March 10,2013. If you would follow this comet for several days, ya could see it tail shift a little bit each day.


The change in the angle of the comet tail is the result of its relative position to the sun. now I’m not gona start talking ‘bout how to calculate where that little ice ball is out there in “no man’s land” of space. My brother-in-law, Ed, used to try to teach me how to make those calculations. Ed could do that kinda math in his head. It took me a half ream of paper, and still I would usually be off by a few light years. I finally told Ed, ”forgetaboutit”. If I need to know where it’s at, I’m gona ask you anyways. Ed always laughed when I said that.


I was kinda planning on putting my telescope on Panstarrs the night of March 10th, but ya just can’t see comets thru rain clouds as thick as banana pudding. So that night, I observed the Comet Panstarrs at its closest approach to the sun, by way of the Weather Channel . Maybe a better view, but there’s a very special feeling when it’s just you, your telescope, and the thing you’re looking at many millions of miles away.


I’m sure the Weather Channel gets their comet stuff from NASA. Why of course they’ve got the best view possible. Money talks, and buys the best view of comets. But that special feeling of “me and thee” is not available from the Weather Channel.


Interesting thing about NASA. Do you know that NASA is a part of the United States Military?  Yes, it is. We seem to think that NASA is funded by our government for scientific research, and as such, new discoveries and scientific advances by NASA are presented to the world to benefit mankind. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth.


In many respects, NASA is more of a secret organization than the CIA. Everybody knows that the CIA is supposed to not tell, but they tell. Everybody thinks that NASA is supposed to tell, yet they don’t tell. Little bits and pieces of very well scripted information comes from NASA. NASA is the best part of our federal government when it comes to keeping secrets.


Do you ever remember poems? All my life, I’ve had the ability to remember any poem that strikes my fancy. Don’t know why, just can. From the Raven to Hiawatha Wedding Song,  to The Cremation of Sam McGee, and even Casey At The Bat, I carry ‘em all on the back roads of my memory. But never so far into the dirt they get lost in the dust. Some day maybe they will fade into the dust, but I sure hope not in my lifetime. ‘Cause I love  all those guys and girls, including Nokomis, Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis .

Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary over many quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore……. By the shores of Gitche Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water, Stood the wigwam of Nokomis, Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis……There are strange things done in the midnight sun, by the men who mold for gold. The arctic trails have their secret tails that will make your blood run cold…… The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day; The score stood four to two with but one inning left to play.

Like I said, don’t know why, but they’re just always there, on the back roads.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From the EastWing, Smart Phones & Dumb Phones, Who Controls Whom, Dumbing Down Society & Making Change, Fire & Ice,  Panstarrs & The Weather Channel, NASA & The CIA, Poems On The Back Roads.

I Wish you well