Saturday, December 30, 2017


Katherine Hot Russian And Me

By: Donovan Baldwin

You know, I really should reply to "Katherine Hot Russian".

NOTE: The picture is NOT Katherine. It's a stock photo of an unknown, but attractive, young lady.

After all, Katherine MUST like me a lot since she emails me every day.

I'm sure she's a sweet lady just seeking companionship, but, for some reason, my email program puts all her messages in my "spam" folder.

Hmmm. I'll have to look into that.

Katherine, apparently a hot Russian, must be a nice girl to be so interested in an old guy like me. Of course, being on the internet, I've got no way of knowing if she's really Russian, hot, or even "she".

That's a problem with a lot of the internet, you can often only make decisions based on what someone tells you...especially about themselves. On social media, what someone tells you about themselves is all you usually have to go on.

Oh, you CAN track some to verifiable websites and legitimate businesses. Still, social media as a whole is a crap shoot.

Yet, even knowing this, so many people read social media posts, and pass them on as if they were gospel truth.

Once a false thought gets "legs" on the internet, there can be no stopping it. Even retractions don't work, because it will assume a life of its own, and, for many, the retractions will just be proof that someone is trying to cover up the truth.

I don't think "Katherine Hot Russian" is trying to cover up much, but, I suspect she, like many others, is not telling the truth, either.

This mMay require further investigation. Hmmm.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017


Jack Of All Trades?

By: Donovan Baldwin

The old phrase, "Jack of all trades, and master of none", fits me pretty well.

I've done a lot of things in my life.

As a man, I have been a soldier, truck driver, instructor, restaurant manager, and certified optician, just to name a few things.

As a boy, I helped my father do carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, auto repair, and, of course, had a paper route and did the standard yard work.

My dad was interesting to me. He seemed to know something about everything, and, never seemed to stop learning.

Through his interests, I learned to enjoy opera and classical music, became an amateur radio operator, and learned how to fish, including the part that came afterwards...gutting and cleaning the fish. He made his own cast nets, and taught me how to use them.

A lot of what I learned to do in my life had dirty, grungy sides. Just ask mom when she would look at us in the back yard cleaning fish, or I would come home filthy from a day spent on a construction crew in the hot Florida summer.

Still, it was fun catching the fish, with rod and reel, or with cast net (which my dad made), cleaning them with my dad, and, once mom got her hands on them, eating the cooked fish as a family meal.

My dad was a quiet man.

Few words. Lot of messages, however.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017


A Definitive Statement On Discovery

By: Donovan Baldwin

Discovery is defined by individuals.

Before any wonderful lands, cultures, or people were "discovered" by explorers, or exploiters, they existed.

Not strange, unusual, amusing, or (usually) frightening to the "discovered" people who already lived in their way, in that land, considered it "home", and practiced their "culture" there.

Still, discovery of what is new to us, CAN frighten us, amuse us, shake us up. ..cause us to think in new ways.

Most of us, sooner or later, realize that our "growing up" was a path of discovery. Many of us often think about what we "discovered" along that path.

What we often DON'T think about is what we didn't discover.

In fact, often, when we meet someone who discovered what we didn't, or vice versa, we may be confused about what they think or feel...perhaps even laugh at them, or be angry with them.

Animosity, or fear, because someone has done something "wrong" is a pretty normal human response. However, it might be worthwhile in nonlethal situations to take a moment to wonder if perhaps the other person just didn't discover the same things we did...or, perhaps also, they discovered things we didn't...yet.

Discovery doesn't end until there's nothing more to discover, or we end our path of discovery and wonder.

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Monday, December 25, 2017


Secret Of The Experts

Years ago, I was an optician. I sometimes helped patients with problems they were having with their glasses.

Sometimes a patient would say their glasses were not adjusted quite right.

Most issues could be resolved easily, but, occasionally, a patient could be difficult. Of course, when it was a matter of personal comfort, that was one thing, but, when it was a matter of how a bifocal, or a strong lens, should sit in relation to the eye, that's another.

Sometimes, after several adjustments, an experienced optician would know the glasses were perfect, but, the patient would still complain that they were "not quite" right.

I would "think" for a minute. Give an "Aha!" look, seek an imaginary tool, and head briskly for the back, saying with certainty, "Somebody must have taken the tool I need into the lab. It's what I've needed to fix these."

Once in the lab, I would lay the glasses on a shelf, and go have a cigarette (I smoked back then.). After a few minutes, I would grab the glasses, go back to the patient, beaming at the glasses and holding them as if I was proud of them.

I would hand them to the patient, saying, "Yep! That did it!"

They would put them on and were satisfied.

Worked every time.

Sometimes things ARE okay. We just want confirmation.

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Monday, December 18, 2017


Errant Thoughts On Errant Thoughts

By: Donovan Baldwin

I sometimes post on LinkedIn odd things that pop into my mind. I call these little ramblings, "Errant Thoughts". Some even wind up being re-posted here, after they roll off my LinkedIn feed.

A definition of "errant" reads, "erring or straying from the proper course or standards".

Another definition is, "traveling in search of adventure", as in "knight errant".

My errant thoughts, usually of the first definition, are that, in more ways than one. Not only do they wander off the beaten path, but, they dodge in and out of the underbrush within my brain.

I can be thinking about eggs, and write a commentary on paper airplanes without the foggiest clue how I got there.

This is NOT a problem in these little comments of mine. In fact, this can be fun.

However, uncontrolled swerves and bumps in dealing with life, and solving problems, especially if the boss is waiting for a solution, can be problematic in itself.

On the other hand, the ability to stray "from the proper course or standards" has resulted in some awesome discoveries and advances.

Sometimes these are referred to as "accidents".

I prefer to think of them as errant thoughts, in the mind of some "knight errant" of progress.

Most people will just call it daydreaming, and the boss will be here any second, so, quick, make it look like we're really doing something, and not just saving the world.

Still, I wonder if you could make an airplane out of egg shells, or a make a plastic like egg shells. What if you used the egg's structural properties for passenger protection?

Hmmm. Another errant path to follow.

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Friday, December 08, 2017


What Whiskey City, Texas, Taught Me

By Donovan Baldwin

Mankind will bend over until its collective spine breaks to do something it's not "supposed" to be doing.

In 1968, the U.S. Army transferred me to Texas. It was hard to believe such a historically hard-drinking, cowboy state could have laws against selling hard liquor. More surprising, was the fact that, near many Texas towns, could be found "Whiskey City".

This was a collective term for a shopping center, outside the town's legal jurisdiction, where booze could be bought.

I learned of this, when I got stationed at Goodfellow Air Force Base, in San Angelo, Texas, in 1967.

Of course, soldiers, and airmen stationed at the base could buy anything on base. However, non-military citizens could not buy hard liquor in town.

One day, a friend of mine took me into the desert surrounding the town. We turned down a nondescript road, and, after a mile or two, we came around a bend, literally in the middle of nowhere, and there was a modern, multi-unit, strip mall selling only booze.

People didn't want hard liquor in their town,.

So, they banned it. Some of them, and others, still wanted booze, just not in town, so they built a special place to sell it, and buy it.

What's the saying?

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

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Saturday, December 02, 2017


Are We Going Mad?

By: Donovan Baldwin

I think many of us, perhaps more than you and I might imagine, wonder at times if we are going mad.

I've had times in my life when I thought that.

I've heard people describe clinical mental conditions, and thought to myself, "They're describing what happened to me!"

A couple of problems with understanding our own madness, of course, is, if you've never been crazy, clinically crazy, how can you know if you are or not?

If you go off someone else's description, how can you know that you are feeling the real thing, or even the same thing?

I "go crazy" in the emergency room of the hospital when they ask me to rate my pain on a scale of 1 - 10.

My 5 may be somebody else's 7 or 3.

A problem with self-diagnosing "crazy" or "madness", or, pain level, for that matter, is that, one person's "crazy" may be another person's "normal". 

Still, even when we cannot quite be sure if we are "going crazy" or experiencing genuine "madness", if we are at that point where we are beginning to wonder, seriously wonder, then we are in a situation that needs to be treated as if it is real.

Someone in their own experience of madness can do, say, believe things that they would not under "normal" conditions and reactions. We can portray madness, especially merely perceived madness, as funny.

But, to the person experiencing it, it's very real.

I know.

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