Mom

Mom turns 85 this week. Mom is recovering well from the mild stroke she had back in early December. I’m flying out Tuesday to visit mom to celebrate her birthday this week. I got her a gift from my local Apple Store.

Apple Watch Sport and a Milanese loop magnetic band.

Apple Watch Sport and a Milanese loop magnetic band.

Mom lives alone. Mom occasionally falls. Mom wants to remain in the house she and dad purchased in 1957. Mom cherishes her independence. Mom needs some type of device to call for help just in case.

I’ve researched the Life Alert buttons, the call center monitors and the like. All of them scream you are old and you have to now wear this horrible looking button around your neck. Plus you must now have an ugly two way monitoring station connected to some call center in your home with a monthly fee. And, oh by the way, don’t venture out of range of this station unless someone is with you. Stay Put! Wear This House Arrest Button …FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY DAMMIT!

Enter Apple products. Mom already has an iPhone, an iPad and has WiFi in her house. If her phone is with her she is covered …such as when she leaves the house. However she doesn’t carry the iPhone with her in the house. Last summer Apple added an SOS feature to the Apple Watch OS. By giving her this new watch I will put a life alert system right on her wrist. One that she can even wear in the shower.

The Apple Watch features a new SOS alert that you can activate from the screen that will call 911 first and then start calling the contacts you have in your iPhone’s emergency contact list automatically. What if she falls and can’t activate the screen you ask? Apple’s SIRI has that covered as well. The Apple Watch responds to the “Hey Siri” command and will call 911, my brother, myself or whoever she chooses simply with her verbal command right from her wrist. Her phone doesn’t have to be with her as it will use the WiFi in her house. If she is out her phone is in her purse and she can still use the  Apple Watch as it will then call through the phone.

Was it inexpensive? No.

Was it reasonable for what it will do? Hell yes.

Was it a bargain in order to have mom wearing a stylish hip happening piece of technology on her wrist that doesn’t scream “I am old and my son makes me wear this help I’ve fallen and can’t get up button”? Big hell fucking yes!

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Knowing this information, what do I want for Christmas next year? An Apple Watch. You don’t have to be 85 to fall and not be able to get up.

Where there is smoke, there is usually fire

Warning:

This post is about men who hold positions of authority who abuse that position and molest young boys.

I have a bias against this man:

Current convicted felon and former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Current convicted felon and former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

I have a bias because I was molested by men who held, what I perceived, to be important positions of authority when I was at the impressionable ages of 12-14 years. I have a bias because Mr. Sandusky has been convicted in a court of law. The situations around his case brought back many painful memories. The possible cover up issues that swirl around his case remind me of the cover up that went on around the men who molested me.

To say I have a tender spot around this subject would be an understatement. Just when this had all died down and I thought that the reopening of my wound by the news of this story had subsided, I find this news of Mr. Sandusky’s appeal.

Wounds are reopened again. Does Mr. Sandusky have the right to appeal? Why yes he does, the appeal process is one of the great parts of a fair and just legal system. Do I have the right to my opinion through my own experiences? Why yes I do. Was Mr. Sandusky one of my perpetrators? No. Were his practices and actions similar to my perpetrators? Yes. Can I say for sure he is guilty as convicted by a court? No, I wasn’t witness to his actions nor was I present at his trial. Can I have an opinion that he is guilty as was found in that court of law? Yes I can.

First…Why do I write this? Second…Why do I post about such a tragedy of abuse? Third…Why do I choose to use Mr. Sandusky’s plight to express my hurt, anger and frustration on this subject?

First I will start with the last question: I choose Mr. Sandusky only because he has been convicted in a court of law and is currently serving time as a felon for this crime. I choose him because he opened the can of worms through his choosing to use his right to appeal. I choose him because the descriptions of the situations he put himself in, which are widely known, were all to common with what I myself experienced as a victim of other child molesting men. Should Mr. Sandusky win his appeal and be resolved of all crimes to which he has been accused and convicted regarding his abuse of young impressionable boys, I will amend this post with an update and an apology for using him and his case as post fodder for a subject that obviously affects me deeper than I have given realization.

Back to the first question: I write this because when I saw the news that Mr. Sandusky had filed for appeal I had a visceral reaction. My reaction helped me to realize the depth of the pain I feel to this day from actions inflicted upon me by those obviously self loathing men that molested me. For years I internalized it, justified it and took responsibility for it. Yes took responsibility for it in that I took the blame. I blamed myself for it because I was gay therefore I wanted them to molest me. I took the blame for it in that I was alone and lonely and wanted their approval. I took the blame for it in that I needed them and what they could do to advance me and help me in school.

For that second question: I post about the tragedy that is child sexual abuse because it needs to be talked about. It needs to be said that IT’S NOT OK. It also needs to be said its not ok to cover it up, look the other way and it’s not ok to say nothing. I raise my voice in hopes that one child isn’t molested because my voice helped someone to say something, do something to stop it.

I realize now that as a child, in fact until I was at this very moment, I didn’t have the capacity to step up and take the responsibility to say yes I am one of those boys. I choose to not take responsibility for what those twisted adults did to me, but to take responsibility for speaking out and raising awareness for those who can’t. Those men took my innocence. They took my virginity and exploited it for their selfish adult pleasure.

By writing this I take the first step toward taking it back. The men who molested me, and many others I am sure, are long dead. The ones who aided them by covering it up or simply saying nothing are gone as well. I have no need in opening that pandora’s box.

When a lonely and outcast young boy finds the acceptance of an adult male he is powerless for he yearns for some sort of acceptance, whatever it may be. When that adult takes advantage, the boy (or girl) becomes more powerless. Once violated, the youth is lost in isolated oblivion that can remain a prison for years and sometimes a secret for life. A secret that destroys from within.

Where there is smoke, there isn’t usually a fire, there IS fire. When you see smoke, say something before the fire gets out of control.

 

UPDATE: I realize after posting that in case an individual, male or female, who may find this post who themselves are underage and a victim…You Are Not Alone. Speak up, you deserve help. Realize that by speaking up you are not only helping yourself but those who haven’t the courage to or are the next victims behind you. You have a voice.

Fearsome writes our President

Yesterday we felt helpless. Yesterday we did something to change that. Yesterday we contacted our representative and senators. We provided this LINK so you could as well. With the aide of that link it took us 10 minutes total to write all three.

This morning we wrote President Obama and Vice President Biden. I am sure that our letters are lost in a sea of letters and communications they are receiving but they are there. Without hundreds of thousands of letters just like ours, the importance of responsibility regarding this issue would not be forefront in our leaders agendas. Please write how you feel to each and every one of our leaders that represents you.

You can reach the White House for both Obama & Biden … by simply clicking right HERE.

Below is our letter. Feel free to use it as an example, write your own or even copy and paste it if your view is similar to Fearsome’s:

Dear President Obama,
Please do not delay in pushing forward responsible, sensible gun control. Assault weapons have no place outside of law enforcement and military use. Handguns need only be in the hands of thoroughly vetted responsible citizens and in limited numbers….if at all. The tragedies we endure can and must stop.
Freedoms are actually limited in a free society. They are limited by the freedoms infringement on the safety and security of fellow citizens. Of this I am sure you are quite aware. I believe in you and I rest assured that you will do the right thing by pushing forward and holding those controlled by the gun lobby responsible for our recent tragedies.
Thank you for your years of service. You are an inspiration. You have accomplished many great things and your legacy improves not only the United States, but the world as a whole. May sensible gun control become part of your legacy to the absolute best of your ability.
Sincerely,
(Your name here)

 

Go Ahead….do something, say something….don’t let those lost in Orlando be lost without your voice expressing the necessity of responsibility.

Thank you.

Widows

I just killed another one out in the garage. I guess it’s time to bring out the big guns again.

Widows? Yes I kill them. I have absolutely no use for the pesky things. Face it…those damn widows are just a pain in the ass. They jump out of nowhere and scare the bejesus out of you. Always lurking around in dark corners all by themselves. Creepy. Yes widows are just plain creepy beings. I say we rid ourselves of all of them. Southern California seems to attract widows like moths to a flame. I just don’t know where they all come from. Maybe they come over from our neighbor Arizona.

Exterminate the Widows! All of ’em!

Wait, you think I’m talking about someone’s grandma don’t you? Hell no …I love old lady human widows. I’m talking about widow spiders. Why widow spiders are as common around here as fleas on a stray dogs back.

from Wikipedia:

Latrodectus is a genus of spider in the big spider family Theridiidae, most of which are commonly known as widow spiders. The genus contains 31 recognized species[2] distributed worldwide, including the North American black widows (L. mactans, L. hesperus, and L. variolus), the button spiders of Africa, and the Australian redback. Species vary widely in size. In most cases the females are dark-colored and readily identifiable by reddish hourglass-shaped markings on the abdomen.

The venomous bite of these spiders is considered particularly dangerous because of the neurotoxin latrotoxin, which causes the condition latrodectism, both named for the genus. The female black widow has unusually large venom glands and its bite can be particularly harmful to humans. However, despite the genus’ notoriety, Latrodectus bites are rarely fatal. Only female bites are dangerous to humans.

The well known Black Widow

The well known Black Widow

Ok now that I’ve freaked Dr. Spo out I’ll fill you in on a few widow spider tidbits. Above is the most well known Black Widow. In these here parts the Black Widow is actualy rare in comparison to It’s cousin the Brown Widow. I’ve literally gone out to spray the front steps and had up to fifty brown widows gasping for air and convulsing on the stretch of steps from the door to the street in one spraying.

Brown Widow Spider

Brown Widow Spider

The brown widows vary in color from almost black to translucent tan to every shade of brown in between. They all have the classic bright orange to red hour glass marking on their bellies as well as the long jointed leg structure. Both the black and brown are very recognizable spiders as their look is quite unique. Both have virtually identical body structures just different colored slick leather like skin.

Widow spiders are actually very timid beings. They do not come after you. If you disturb their web they run and hide. You rarely actually see one. I know I need to spray when their webs start appearing. Humans and animals are rarely bitten. So while yes they are poisonous, bites are extremely rare. Their bites, while dangerous, are more painful than anything else as they are rarely fatal to humans and most animals. When I do encounter one, they are running away. Widows also do not care for the interior of homes. So while I may have a population explosion outside, in my 24 years in this 96 year old house with all its cracks we have yet to ever encounter even a tale tale sign of one inside.

The widow web is instantly recognizable. They are usually close to the ground. They typically angle down to ground from the foundation, patio furniture, steps or plants. They are an erratic mess of strings that are incredibly sticky.

Sticky erratic Widow web.

Sticky erratic Widow web, usually these are low and between a building or structural plant and the ground.

Often Widow webs will have several of these spiked white egg sacs.

Often Widow webs will have several of these spiked white egg sacs.

Widow Spiders are common throughout many regions. So be aware as they are poisonous but will only bite if cornered and provoked. They are very timid and very scared of you. Learn the web as that’s how you will know if they are in your garden or outdoor buildings.

….Oh and if you are reading this just prior to bedtime, sweet dreams!