Friday Free For All

It’s been one of those weeks. The unexpected, the absurd and again I have a word stuck in my head, that is aggravating because it’s not even really a word. 

So this is not only offered ‘free for all’, it’s also a random wide ranging banter of unrelated topics that I’ll try to explain on this Freeform Friday edition of “Becoming Today”. 

This entire week has been somewhat of an improvisation. Unexpected events not only in the headlines, but in my life as well.

It began with a beautiful sunny peaceful Sunday and encouraging words, by Monday night not only had the weather changed severely so had what I was encountering.

In the headlines the debate began to rage about the breach of trust and the possible outcomes of the leaked Supreme Court draft. There is so much about this elsewhere so I won’t say much other than it is indeed a warning of the next storm approaching. 

A call to remain informed so that you can come to your own understanding and not be manipulated as a pawn by any individual, or group seeking to manipulate. 

It’s also a reminder as we hear reactions and often distasteful ones on all sides that you need to go beyond the headlines, take the time and do research into the candidate of anyone on any level you are considering voting for. It’s your responsibility to safeguard your rights and without accepting the responsibility to facilitate the expediency in which you lose them.

Perhaps the best comment I heard on the debate surrounding the leak, had nothing to do with the actual case being heard or the questions involved in it. It was not focused on supporting one belief over another. It came from Alan Dershowitz, who has spent his life arguing  constitutional issues and teaching generations of litigators. 

He commented, ‘There has to be one standard of justice. It cannot be based on your own personal or political views’.

In this country we have three branches of government for a reason. A system of checks and balances and it is not the role of any one of the branches to control the others. 

The three are designed to protect us all by operating with a framework in which they are separate but equal, to ensure that no one can become too powerful and that the government can overall be effective. 

Closer to home, I mentioned the weather changed severely. An intense storm literally battered my home. 

While there was a distant rumble of thunder, and occasional flashes of far off lightning, in a mere moment it was much more. 

Some of you know I am quite susceptible to sudden changes in barometric pressure. That’s a lingering result of an accident nearly four years ago, that left me having to not only relearn how to walk but also to balance again. 

It also gifted me the condition explained away as tinnitus, that since there is no pharmaceutical treatment, research is not being undertaken, though it is internationally recognized as the number one complaint and concern of the afflicted that there are direct connections between the intensity of the “ringing”, chronic headaches and the atmospheric pressure changes.

In that mere moment I mention I, well I should say we, experienced the most dramatic shift in the pressure I can ever recall. It was “we”, because not only could I feel the abrupt change but at that same second, the dog jumped up from sleeping and ran out of the room to seek a place to hide. 

From distant thunder to a painful whir and whoosh, in which I could feel the air lifting around me, as I grabbed a wall to maintain my balance the whoosh was followed by a loud BAM!, as all the roof vents suddenly flew open slamming upwards. Then there was an absolute roar.

I’ve heard roars like this before  in tornadoes and hurricanes. The house was shaking, items were vibrating off tables and shelves and art fell from the walls. I made my way from the living room as the glass was “singing”, so high pitched I feared all the windows would shatter. 

The dog is barking for me to come join her in the closet and I hear all kinds of crashing and banging in the garage. Because of my overly curious nature I feel the need to know what is happening and I attempt to open the door from the house to the garage. The updraft of pressure was so strong I could not pull the door open at all.

This is bad…. I think…. And I called out in prayer for protection. 

I could feel the pressure lesson, there was a crash in the garage and a loud explosion sound as the heavens opened up releasing a wall of water and the wind roared.

I could now open the garage and see the results. The crash had been the attic access panel falling down and damaging the hood of my car. To do that it has to be pushed up and turned at at least a 45 degree angle. I believe it must have been levitating within the attic with the intensity of the upward push, before making its journey downward spiraling.

I cleared the debris so I could get around the car but could already see the overhead garage door was concave. The winds had been so strong the door was forced inward and bent so severely you could see it was no longer operational. I watched the rain begin to flood the garage. I turned around, switched off the light and said there is nothing I can do about this right now.

This was another example of how quickly things can change. 

My evening ended unexpectedly. My Toosday plans had to be changed because I could not get the car out of the garage. 

Prayer works, it kept me safe in the moment and it’s now assisting me in being patient and at peace with the unfortunate realization. That is when it comes to many of what are described as service based industries, the terms customer service and prompt, professional communications are just things that are said but not truly meant.

However I know these damages will eventually be repaired and as it is promised, in the end all will be all is well. 

Now I want to ask you about this word that has been stuck in my head. First I’ll say it’s not really a word but as it is being used in a prominent position of advertising for a major corporation, they apparently want us to believe it is.

So if you can please define for me, “Restr”?

More on that in a moment.

I was not the only one who heard loud explosions and felt the earth move this week. It also happened when Garth Brooks was “Callin’ Baton Rouge”, while in Baton Rouge.

As he began his stadium concert there with the song, a combination of the resounding deep melodies emulating the likes of “When The Thunder Rolls’ ‘ and “The Dance” of the crowd, it actually registered as an earthquake.  

Seismologists were alerted to the tremor and those in attendance wearing Apple Watches were alerted that with “the sound levels reaching 95 decibels – that spending “[just] 10 minutes at this level can cause temporary hearing loss.”

Have you determined what “Restr” means? And I need to add that it’s also being used in the possessive tense, as in declaring ownership of the following word. So as you work on this puzzle, it’s spelled capital R- e- s- t- r-apostrophe-s. “Restr’s”…. More on that coming up.

While much of the discussion we hear about the current situation of inflation in the economy is based around finger pointing and trying to assign blame, I came across one individual who is trying to offer some advice. 

“Be exceptionally good at something”. 

No not complaining or blaming, Warren Buffet is encouraging people to step above the fray and rather than murmur to seek to excel,

In reinforcing his long-held advice that one of the strongest protections against inflation is sharpening your skills and working to be at the top of your field, the “Oracle of Omaha”, reminds that ‘skills, unlike currency, are inflation-proof’. 

‘If you have a skill that is in demand, it will remain in demand no matter what the dollar is worth.’

“Whatever abilities you have can’t be taken away from you. They can’t actually be inflated away from you,” adding. “The best investment by far is anything that develops yourself, and it’s not taxed at all.”

That brings a smile to my face. Personal growth and development are rewarding, and as you work at “Increasing Value”, you can also be at rest that it releases you from burdens, including more taxes.

Any insights yet on “Restr’s”? I had to keep staring at it, over and over again, and then when I looked at the next word in the two-word sentence, It hit me and disturbed me. It was centered in their ad, highlighting its importance, “Restr’s apply”.  

Do you see it now? I promise I’ll explain in a moment, but first before I forget I also want to share with you this dazzling report.

In Arkansas there is a hidden gem. The Crater of Diamonds State Park. You can go there with your buckets and hand implements and actually mine your own diamonds. From time to time someone encounters an amazing jewel.

That was the case for Adam Hardin who recently unearthed a 2.38 carat brown diamond. He did so after visiting the park regularly for ten years. While it’s not the biggest ever found there, that was a more than 9 carat stone in 2020, Hardin has named his discovery “Frankenstone.”

Because in his own words, “I thought of the name because it has a pretty and kind of not-so-pretty look to it. Us diamond miners call that ‘character!’”.

As I was smiling at this character, then the TV news anchor who feels she has to interject her opinion over that of those actually involved in a story boldly declares: “Wow! Ten years. I’ll bet there are a lot more people who have been at it ten times longer than that and have found nothing”. 

Really?

I don’t think so. 

In fact I think even with a little fuzzy math we can disprove her belief.

Ten years times 10. That would be a hundred years. 

I doubt there is anyone, not a single individual, much less “a lot more people” who have been digging diamonds there for the past 100-years. 

Okay “Restr’s”.

Like I mentioned not actually a word, but being used as a word. I guess it is an odd and incorrect abbreviation. Shown in the context this is the corporation’s representation of the word we know as restrictions

First of all, why do we need to abbreviate such a common word?

Second there was more than enough space for the phrase to meet aesthetic guidelines in the online ad. 

Third, by incorrectly using the apostrophe, you change the entire focus and intent of the message.

To me, after I figured out what they were trying to say, it was:

‘We are making the preceding offer, however because of our pre-designed loopholes,which lessen our obligations and create a way for us not to deliver the services in the manner of or for the prices we claimed, we are truly all about misleading you’. 

With the restrictions taking possession of their application of the offer, that’s what you should expect and therefore ignore any claims or promises they just made in their offer – because they do not intend to honor that because well, they claim they have restrictions, giving them a right to apply them and do just that.

The restrictions or “Restr’s” that are so important to them were not immediately revealed. 

It’s even more blatant than the prescription drug ads and vehicle sales that have all the micro fonts that are unreadable listing their disclosures, legally obligated warnings, additional rules, regulations and exceptions. 

I guess ultimately “Restr’s” means a big red flag. 

Warning! Danger Will Robinson! This is not someone you want to do business with. 

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. 

In the interest of full disclosure I do not and have not ever done business with this company under any of its many different ownerships, nor will I ever. I also have no interest financially or otherwise in any competing entity.

I offer this topic as another reminder to do your research. Recognize the scope and intents and then make the informed decision of whether or not to sign on the dotted line. 

Thanks for joining us today in our meandering discussion of things you may not hear anywhere else. Tomorrow we turn our attention towards reviewing the week that was so that we may energize and accelerate our combined momentum bit forward and upward. That’s on our next edition of “Becoming Today”.

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