If all these other places are so great…

why are people leaving certain countries in droves to come to the United States?

There is much ado about President Trump’s comments, though most of us were not there to hear the comments in the proper context, which smacks of propaganda and bias for the open borders, anti-American crowd of reporters and politicians.

As a former Chicagoan who worked in the inner city for seven years with mostly low-income, disenfranchised, and struggling minority families, many of them would tell you that their neighborhoods were shitholes. On more than one occasion, families told me that they lived in terrible conditions, that it was unsafe, that gang members made it hard for them to leave their homes and apartments to shop or to play, and that they would move if/as soon they were able.

These same feelings and concerns are why people are moving to the Unites States by overstaying visas or crossing the border(s) illegally. Everyone can figure that out, as it’s common sense. The problem is that when people come from places like this, likely they have limited education, limited skills, and they have trouble reading and writing in their own language much less in English. Other countries have much higher standards and more requirements for immigrants to move to their countries, including Canada, Mexico, Iceland, and Costa Rica, just to name a few that I have looked into the past.   The common thread is that al of these countries want immigrants to have money to support themselves, have skills that will help the immigrant contribute to their new country, and that there is a limit on how long you can stay legally in their countries. In fact, Mexico has a very harsh policy on illegal immigration, which is rarely mentioned.

Maybe the choice of words could have been better, but to acknowledge that people are leaving their home countries for poor living conditions, violence, and limited opportunities to come to a country with little or no skills, no way to support themselves, and with demands of what the new country owes them  needed to be said out loud. The other thing that needs to said is that people are leaving conditions because of these conditions and are then living again with these conditions. Just look at the MS-13 problems in many places around the United States, such as New York and Ohio.

Telling the truth is the only way to solve a problem, and sometimes telling the truth is ugly.

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New Year’s Day, it’s time to set goals…

I am not much of a goal-setting person. I cringe twice a year when I have to discuss work-related/professional development goals with my supervisor. I don’t have a five-year plan, and I’m still not sure if I’m in the right career – it’s just the kind of work I have been doing for a long time, and  I chose it by default.

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Courtesy of pixabay.com/Wokandapix

The funny thing is that I was an athlete for many years. I successfully set goals for my tennis and my training a few times, which included an undefeated regular season during my junior year in college, beating my time 1 1/2 mile run my sophomore and junior years, winning the City Championship my high school senior year, and various strength goals I set at different times. Beyond that, I have reached savings goals at different times but I haven’t made goal-setting a  regular habit… but I’m going to try it this year, at least for a little while.

So…  here I go. First, I plan to post something a minimum of once a week. It may not be lengthy, but I want to get back in the habit of posting more regularly than I did for most of 2017.  Second, I will attend my weekly Yoga class that I joined through my employer’s Wellness program and I will work out at least one more time each week, not counting the two or three walks I take with Husband on the weekend in good weather. Thirdly, I plan to meditate for  5 minutes at least  three times a week.

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Courtesy of pixabay.com/pixel2013

Phew… that seems like a lot, but i have been thinking about each of these activities and done them somewhat inconsistently in recent weeks. I think that they are all doable, especially if I start to see and feel benefit from them.  Wish me luck!

 

Team iPhone

I was a Windows phone owner and fan for the last four years until about a month ago. I loved my first, second, and third Windows phone, although the second was my least favorite due to its slowness.

Courtesy of Pixabay.com/DennisBuntrock

My last Windows  was my favorite of the bunch – a little bigger screen, though a little too big for my pocket; simple, familiar, and convenient. I tend to buck trends and stick out a bit, so this was no different. I didn’t too much mind the limited apps because I used the Microsoft apps pre-installed on the phone and the few I wanted worked pretty well… Then there was the bad call reception in my house, loss of signal in the middle of calls, and the frustration of my husband having the same phone without these problems. I accidentally dropped the phone in water about two or three months and then tried to save it with a bag of rice overnight, which seemed to dry it up. While this incident could have made an already buggy phone worse, the phone problems existed prior and only got worse.

Calls to my family were even trickier due to dropped calls, lots of “can you hear me?” questions, and apologies for dropped calls. My phone dropped a call while I was speaking with my Dad during an already little tense conversation, making it look I hung up on him. I had not done so, at least not this time. Talking to my mother on her crappy flip phone didn’t help matters either. My brother after a few bad reception calls suggested that I might be one of the last 10 people walking around with a Windows phone, and he is probably right. Husband’s phone is still holding strong, and he’ll keep his until he needs to switch.

Courtesy of pexles.com/Pok Rie

After a month of use, I like that my phone easily fits in my pocket and my hand. I like that I can keep a lot of my Microsoft capabilities, such as sending pictures to my OneDrive, I can still use my OneNote, that some of the apps I did download before are definitely available on iPhone, and that apps that Windows stopped supporting are again available options for me. One of my favorite things about Windows/Microsoft, silly as it might be, is Bing and the daily, featured photo, and that is easily accessible via web or app. There are so many things/apps/functions on the iPhone that I am still exploring. However, the MSN weather app is better than the pre-loaded weather app on iPhone and I also liked the MSN sports and news apps better, but I have found fairly comparable apps on iPhone. A favorite of mine on the iPhone is the huge, though costly, memory I have on my new phone. The Windows phone had 8GB memory, with about 4-5 GB available for personal use and I underestimated the amount of GB I would need in an SD card, so I was close to running out. Thank you, Apple, for 128GB memory! I should never run out.

Overall, I feel that I made a good choice and, hopefully, the price I paid will be worth it for not having to replace my phone frequently for slowness or lack of updating.

 

No place like home…

Going out to have “fun” always sounds like a good idea, right? Then I think about the traffic the crowds, the expense, and if I really want to leave my house… Husband and I are usually in a agreement.

We actually tried to go out and do something last weekend that didn’t involve getting food or running errands, but it wasn’t to be. I suggested that we go to the gun show, just to browse, do something that seemed very Texas-like, maybe even end up with a small gift for my dad – a shirt or something else he would like. So, Husband and I drove the 15-20 minutes to venue, only to end up leaving because there was NO PARKING… not even for someone who drives a small mid-sized car. I realize that a gun show in a lot of places, including Texas, and especially on Veteran’s Day would be a pretty hot ticket, but I wasn’t prepared for it to be that packed. lone-star-2028578_960_720

This is a recurring theme when Husband and I decide to do almost anything in our corner of Central Texas. You can’t eat at a restaurant without a wait, so you change your plans. Then  you get stuck in traffic  on your way there, wherever that might be, and then you can’t even park once you arrive. Over and over and over again, and it matters little what time of day or day or the week.  If you do manage to make it to your destination and park your car, likely you will be too warn out to enjoy yourself unless you got a really early start.   WP_20170211_17_37_36_Pro

I really appreciate just being at home. I’m not the biggest fan of cleaning, but I love hanging out and listening to music, playing with our two cats, or helping Husband cook meals. After driving to and from Austin for work four days a week, there is nothing like just being at home .

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“Americanism…

not globalism will be our credo.” – President Donald J. Trump

Are we as a country ready to embrace this idea yet?

I was very sad to hear about yet another terrorist attack in our country yesterday, October 31, 2017,  especially that NYC is dealing with Islamic terrorism once again.  I, like many Americans, am not against the idea of people legally immigrating to the USA but I have concerns about the intentions that people have when they come here, and that terrorist attacks continue to be a possibility.  This reminds me of another Donald J. Trump speech I heard last year, which included the snake analogy. If you haven’t heard this before, I invite you to take a listen.

I don’t think that further restriction on my rights as an American are the answer, but I believe that knowing who is coming into the U.S. and enforcing the current immigration laws will help keep our country safer.

Courtesy of Pixabay

My thoughts and prayers are with NYC and the families affected by this tragic event.