Five For Friday

Another week is slipping into the future and on Fridays we take a step aside from our normal format and bring you some random thoughts, observations and maybe even a  recollection or two.

So guess what? We’ve got five of those for you on this Friday edition of “Becoming Today”. 

Much of the rhetoric preceding the beginning of the congressional hearings as to the assault of the U.S. Capitol, tried to tell us that Americans were tired of hearing about it. Those, including several who have ignored subpoenaed testimony before the January 6th Committee, claimed we needed to just forget about it and move on.

Apparently they were wrong. In the first hearing televised live in prime time 20-million Americans tuned in. That’s more than the number ( 14-million) who watched the most recent World Series. 

So I’ll say I was relieved to see that interest in democracy and the leadership of our nation remains above a sporting event. Too often the analogies of metaphors treat the system like a game, it’s all about wins and losses and not focused upon the real outcomes.

When you allow the direction of your life to be reduced to six second sound bytes we see the results, a day people died doing their jobs.

Underpaid, underappreciated but willing to sacrifice themselves as “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

In this case they were possibly friends they never met. Blood was shed by everyday average citizens to protect the beliefs that we “are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness:.

I pray that we never tire of hearing about that. 

All day long my phone rings, yet 95% of the time it’s no one I want to talk to. Despite the fact I am registered on the federal “Do Not Call”  list, my caller id is filled with unknown callers and the majority labeled by mu service provider as “Scam Likely”.

You know these, they claim to tell your voicemail nonsensical things including, “ like I said press one to be removed”. Really? What happens when you press a button while a recording is playing? Absolutely nothing.

So me being me I challenged one of them. I actually answered the call, told them I was not the name they pulled out of hat to address me as, and I did not want to hear from them.

Continuing on with their script I yell, HEYYYYYYYYYY! 

They finally pause. I continue with this conversation:

I’m on the do not call list . Remove me from your system

“Like I said you can press one to be removed …”

YOU NEVER SAID THAT, guess you forgot your script

… continues on babbling about scam product making false claims,

  So then he starts to hear,

BEEP, BEEEP, BEEEP.

Yes I did.

He’ still reading the conspiratorial garbage that claims they are assisting me on behalf of the government with a program I’m not eligible for when I say, 

HEY!!!!!!!!! Those 15 beeps were me pressing one. 15 times and you’re still there, lying to me. So speaking to the recorded line, I’m fed up with your nonsense, maybe I’ll answer every call and over and over again keep pressing one till all your con men quit, unless of course you’re only employing prisoners ,where state governments are getting paid to aid in the conspiracy to defraud people across the nation.

There was no response and they hung up.

Yes in some states, prisoners are given jobs to act as call centers with the state governments being paid. To me that sounds like a conspiratorial action to benefit from  defrauding people, but I doubt anyone wants to take that case, so I had to review the moment. 

I felt good, knew it would not have any impact as has proven true weeks later I am still getting 10-15 messages each day from the more than 100-hundred blocked numbers most on behalf of this fraud.

Still I thought I had found a creative way to deal with them. Until I learned about this next guy who took even more action to stop his being harassed…..

Eight years after his divorce, this man, who happens to be an attorney, is being assaulted by debt collectors threatening him over his ex-wife’s new debts. 

In his Reddit thread, he shared, “ I’m an attorney and I do sometimes get time sensitive messages on my personal phone”. So while not recognizing the number he called back to become the subject of an attempt  to “bully me”  and demand I “get a message to her”.

Upset they would leave a rude message like that, he called them back. Yes they were rude again and hung up on him. So he tried to call again, and they refused to answer multiple times.

That’s when he got creative.

Using the technology many of these organizations do, he employed an auto phone dialer and left them over 600 voicemails in one night. He shared, “should be a fun Monday morning for them”.

No immediate relief in sight, so the headlines are each day filled with references to our record gasoline prices, filled with phrases like “Americans are feeling the pain at the pump”. The stories generally follow a model of here’s what gas cost today, he’s what it cost a year ago and people aren’t happy.

They then offer no solutions, insights or plans.

However one man in Phoenix Arizona, decided he needed to do something to help his neighbors. Even though it would cost him.

“…losing hundreds of dollars each day after shaving nearly 50 cents off per gallon at his gas station to help customers weather skyrocketing fuel prices.”

Not only did he make the claim, he opened his books to allow local media to follow the money. 

There it is learned, Jaswiendre Singh, at the time was buying, “gas from a supplier for $5.66 per gallon but sells it for just $5.19 per gallon”.

And he’s been offering discounts since March of this year. 

Why? Because he feels it’s the right thing to do.

Saying his parents taught him, “to help if you have something. If you have something you have to share with other people.”

With his single family owned station selling around 1,000 gallons a day, they were losing about $500 per day. “As a result, he and his wife are working longer hours”.

Which he does not mind, saying the sacrifice is well worth the effort as, “God gave me help. It doesn’t matter. We are not here to make money right now. I’m very happy to help the other people.”

No record profits for him, just good will and may he receive many blessings. 

Now  in the interest of under promising and over delivering this five for Friday brings you some bonuses because this fifth segment of random quotes  is just that quoteS. As in plural or more than one!

In no particular order for no special rhyme or reason, just some words that resonated with me this week:

“I’m a real bouncer backer”Rita Moreno

Here’s one from the truth that reveals itself even during the dissemination of misinformation and hate files. While part of a missive attacking her colleagues and further detaching herself from reality, she wrote these words which ring true, though not for the reasons she intended:

“The Republican Party needs a drastic identity change for America to survive.

 Or the GOP won’t.”  -Marjorie Taylor Greene

Concerned politics is entrenched in the language of war and not concerned with addressing  the real issues, this eloquent statesman of journalism, Dan Rather  shared, 

“And this is where the “culture wars” come in. I use this phrase because it is part of our current political parlance, but I don’t like it. It suggests that these are issues of culture rather than health and safety, or autonomy, or basic decency. It assumes opposing forces with absolutist beliefs and no room for compromise. And it suggests those forces are of equal or at least near-equal strength”

Now a timeless classic, suitable for anyday:

“Chin up.Boobs out….It’s showtime.” – Bette Davis

And this last but not least one comes from someone you are more than likely not yet aware of. Ezekiel Duran is barely two-weeks into his Major League Baseball career. As the Texas Rangers have been challenged by the experiences involving injuries and illnesses including a resurgence of COVID, or what the rest of us call life, Duran has skipped steps in the process to become a catalyst for his new found team.

As his manager Chris Woodward said, ‘he has the slowest heartbeat of any person I’ve ever seen’, Duran has stepped forward under the lights and displayed a cool confidence that has been aiding in effecting change in his environment.

When asked how he does it? Through an interpreter he simply and without hesitation replied,

“I put it in God’s hands and come out everyday to do the best everyday”.

Good advice for all of us, no matter what “game” we may be playing.

Thanks for stopping by today. Tomorrow we’ll take a look back at very busy week along our shared path, we call “Becoming Today”

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