Is it just me?

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Sharing my opinion with the people who had ‘friended me’ long before there was Facebook and/or Twitter: Something is happening to us and I feel it.  I  see it on our televised broadcasts even though mainstream media reporting is ever … Continue reading

Gallery | 5 Comments

Change Our Ways…

I made this video in September 2012 using “Change Our Ways” by Maze feat. Frankie Beverly.  A massive 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2012. June through September 2012 they were traditionally inundated with seasonal, rainy weather.  Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2012 and many were still in tents and unprotected.

There has not been much in the news lately about Haiti.  Too many other issues worldwide:  Protests in Ukraine Continue – Sunni Militants Claim Falluja, parts of Ramadi – Affordable Health Care Act –  Another Bombing and Suspicious Deaths Heighten Fears Ahead of Olympics – Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Dies – UN-Led Negotiations Begin in Geneva regarding Syria  Bridgegate Scandal – President Obama vs Congress vs President Obama – Philip Seymour Hoffman Overdose – Super Bowl XLVIII   – Major Storm Hits Northeast US – Moscow School Shooting – Post-civil war violence in Libya – Spratly Island Disputes –  Winter Olympics  – Jay Leno says Goodbye – McDonalds Opens First Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City – Floods In England and Wales – Wars and Armed Conflicts Worldwide Severe Weather – Bring Back Our Girls,  et al

As a new ‘hurricane season’ approaches I pulled the video from my archives and re-posted it.  You can just stop here if you don’t have the time and just reflect on the You Tube uplink.

A 2013 survey disclosed that of the 1.5 million Haitians living in camps following the quake, about 279,000 remained in a total of 352 camps. Fifteen percent of the camps had no basic protection services.  While 20% lacked functioning toilets, this is higher than the population outside tent cities, where 50% lack toilets.

The American Red Cross reported that almost all of the money collected for quake relief has been spent or is scheduled for making progress… But thus far almost all contracts have been awarded to foreign agencies, nonprofit groups and private contractors who, in turn, subcontract to others, with each layer in the process adding 7 to 10 percent in administrative costs, as noted in a paper published by the Center for Global Development.

“All the money that went to pay the salaries of foreigners and to rent expensive apartments and cars for foreigners while the situation of the country was degrading — there was something revolting about it,”…

Moreover, while at least $7.5 billion in official aid and private contributions have indeed been disbursed — as calculated by Mr. Clinton’s United Nations office and by The Times — disbursed does not necessarily meant spent. Sometimes, it simply means the money has been shifted from one bank account to another as projects have gotten bogged down.

It is hard to find any ‘current’ information on Haiti’s restoration.  However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) predicts a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.  For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 8 to 13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 3 to 6 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 2 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).

That should make the Haitians worry less.  Oh, but they probably don’t have internet access so they sit, wait and watch the clouds overhead – through the hole in their tents.

Ty sends…

Haiti

 

Posted in Thoughts on Paper... | Leave a comment

Dollah, dollah bills ya’ll…

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Perspective – A Research Project  – Ty Peters, March 2014  Here are some additional links that you may find of interest: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_08/understanding_the_politics_of031728.php http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/11/us-public-defrauded-hidden-cost-iraq-war 5 Presidents Who Raised the Debt Ceiling – Debt Ceiling Increases in Modern History and IOUs   Congress has … Continue reading

Gallery | 1 Comment

The Right Way…

If you have some time, I would like to share with you my introduction to  country music,  its lyrics and its lasting influence in my life.  I may even dispel some notions about this genre as it applies to me–just me–not all African-Americans–just me!

My appreciation of Country Music was due to the friendship I had with “Rusty” Mulligan and Billy D. Taylor.   I had been exposed to, and enjoy (no, it’s more like an obsession) most genres of music, but it took our cross-sharing of music collections/knowledge and a “few” beverages for me to gain some insight into country music.  I in-turn, exposed them to some popular R&B, Smooth Jazz, and 1980’s dance music.  I dare say, their exposure to my collection has not been as long-lasting as theirs has been on me!

I was introduced to such stars as, The Outlaws, Johnny Cash, David Allan Coe, Bonnie Raitt, Crystal Gayle, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Alabama and many others.  (Wanted! The Outlaws is an album by Waylon JenningsWillie NelsonJessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser, released by RCA Victor in 1976, and consisting of previously released material. Released to capitalize on the new outlaw country movement, Wanted! The Outlaws earned its place in music history by becoming the first country album to sell a million copies).

One my all-time favorite artists was, and still remains, Don Williams.  Especially the  hit song, “I Believe in You.”   I have to admit, Billy D could do a pretty good karaoke of this song (same deep voice).

I was drawn to country primarily because of the lyrics.  Not the oft-mimicked or stereotyped phrases like, “The horse died, my dog ran off same day as mah wife, and dah pick ’em truck is broke!”  Au contraireTrue poetry was hidden in this music!  For instance, if you heard,

“They were farm kids way down in Dixie
They met in high school in the sixties
Everyone knew it was love from the start
One July in the midnight hour
He climbed up on the water tower
Stood on the rail and painted a 10ft heart
In John Deere green”

(Joe Diffie, John Deere Green)

Would there be any doubt what color that was?  Can you see it!  Got another one for ya,

“If I could make a livin’ out of lovin’ you
I’d be a millionaire in a week or two
I’d be doin’ what I love and lovin’ what I do
If I could make a livin’ out of lovin’ you”

(Written by Alan Jackson, Artist: Clay Walker; If I Could Make a Living)

Son!  Say that to the one you love and it’s on!  Powerful!

Over the ensuing years, I continued to be drawn to Country Music to add to my collection and found the channels I liked always programmed into my Sirius/XM radio or on my Itunes playlists.  In addition to various CDs of course, I still have 1,169 vinyl albums of many types and sub-types,  listed alphabetically by last name of the artist/group from left-to-right.

        However, this post isn’t about the music as much as it is about words.

Somewhere around 1992, I was introduced to Red Steagall’s poem, “The Fence That Me and Shorty Built.”  (Red Steagall has been inducted into the Texas Trail of Fame, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and the Hall of Great Westerners at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, and was the 2006 Poet Laureate of Texas).  I have since read it numerous times for audiences from 30 to 300 as a motivation piece in either “big-box” store meetings, regional recaps or REALTOR® conferences under-scoring “Integrity” or “There Are Only Two Ways to Do Things: The Right Way and the Right Way.”

I would always try to read it (as I imagined Billy D would sound*), with his low, smooth Texas drawl, a stool, a dirty, straw cowboy hat molded like his was, with the sides rolled inwards.  Kinda like the way Don Williams was sitting in the YouTube piece.  I seem to remember him telling me how he got it to form that way–some beer and another liquid–but my memory ain’t what it used to be–you’d have to ask him.

When appropriate (thanks  to my friend Rick Boulter),  a picture of a “bob” wire fence like the one below with the words of the poem would be scrolling behind me as I read.  Go ahead, take a moment to let that visual of me in that get-up sink into your head…I’ll wait.

*Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (Charles Caleb Colton)

Similar to the O’Jays line, “There’s a Message in the Music,”  I offer, “There’s a Lesson in the Word–the Almighty Word.”  Let me introduce to some, and re-acquaint to others, the inspiring, motivational words of Red Steagull.

The Fence That Me and Shorty Built

We’d picked up all the fencing tools

And staples off the road.

An extra roll of ‘bob’ wire

Was the last thing left to load.

I drew a sleeve across my face

To wipe away the dirt.

The young man who was helping me

Was tuckin’ in his shirt.

I turned around to him and said,

“This fence is finally done,

With five new strands of ‘bob’ wire

Shinin’ proudly in the sun.

The wire is runnin’ straight and tight

With every post in line.

The kinda job you’re proud of,

One that stands the test of time.”

The kid was not impressed at all,

He stared off into space.

Reminded me of years ago,

Another time and place.

I called myself a cowboy,

I was full of buck and bawl

I didn’t think my hands would fit

Post augers and a maul.

They sent me out with Shorty

And the ranch fence building crew.

Well, I was quite insulted

And before the day was through,

I let him know that I’m a cowboy,

This ain’t what I do.

I ain’t no dadgummed nester,

I hired out to buckaroo.

He said, “We’ll talk about that son,

When we get in tonight.

Right now you pick them augers up.

It’s either that or fight.”

Boy, I was diggin’ post holes

Faster than a Georgia mole.

But if a rock got in my way

I simply moved the hole.

So when the cowboys set the posts,

The line went in and out.

Old Shorty’s face got fiery red

And I can hear him shout.

“Nobody but a fool would build

A fence that isn’t straight.

I got no use for someone who ain’t

Pullin’ his own weight.”

I thought for sure he’d hit me

Glad he didn’t have a gun.

I looked around to find a place

Where I could duck and run.

But Shorty walked up to me

Just as calm as he could be.

Said, “Son, I need to talk to you,

Let’s find ourselves a tree.”

He rolled a Bull Durham cigarette

As we sat on the ground.

He took himself a puff or two

Then slowly looked around.

“Son, I ain’t much on schoolin’,

Didn’t get too far with that.

But there’s alot of learnin’

Hidden underneath this hat.

I got it all the hard way,

Every bump and bruise and fall.

Now some of it was easy,

But then most weren’t fun a’tall

But one thing that I always got

From every job I’ve done,

Is do the best I can each day

And try to make it fun.

I know that bustin’ through them rocks

Ain’t what you like to do.

By gettin’ mad you’ve made it tough

On me and all the crew.

Now you hired on to cowboy

And you think you’ve got the stuff.

You told him you’re a good hand

And the boss has called your bluff.

So how’s that gonna make you look

When he comes ridin’ through,

And he asks me who dug the holes

And I say it was you?

Now we could let it go like this

And take the easy route.

But doin’ things the easy way

Ain’t what it’s all about.

The boss expects a job well done,

From every man he’s hired.

He’ll let you slide by once or twice,

Then one day you’ll get fired.

If you’re not proud of what you do,

You won’t amount to much.

You’ll bounce around from job to job

Just slightly out of touch.

Come mornin’ let’s re-dig those holes

And get that fence in line.

And you and I will save two jobs,

Those bein’ yours and mine.

And someday you’ll come ridin’ through

And look across this land,

And see a fence that’s laid out straight

And know you had a hand,

In something that’s withstood the years.

Then proud and free from guilt,

You’ll smile and say, ‘Boys that’s the fence

That me and Shorty built.”

Posted in Thoughts on Paper... | 2 Comments

I Believe…

A Birth Certificate shows that we were born!
A Death Certificate shows that we died!

Pictures show that we lived!
Have a seat and enjoy.

 

 I Believe…
That just because two people argue,

it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.
 

 

And just because they don’t argue,
it doesn’t mean they do love each other.

 


I Believe…
That we don’t have to change friends if
we understand that friends change.

 

  I Believe….
That no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

 

I Believe…
That true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

 


I Believe…
That you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

 

 

I Believe….
That it’s taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.

 

  I Believe…
That you should always leave loved ones with
loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

 

I Believe….
That you can keep going long after you think you can’t.

 

 I Believe….
That we are responsible for what
we do, no matter how we feel.

 

 

I Believe…
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

 

I Believe…
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs
to be done, regardless of the consequences.

 

I Believe….
That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

 

I Believe….
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up.

 

I Believe…
That sometimes when I’m angry
I have the right to be angry, 
but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

 

I Believe….
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had
and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with  how many
birthdays you’ve celebrated.

 

I Believe…
That it isn’t always enough,to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

 

I Believe…
That no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

 

I Believe….
That our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but, we are responsible for who we become.

 

 I Believe…
That you shouldn’t be so eager to find
out a secret. It could change your life Forever.

 

 

I Believe…
Two people can look at the exact same
Thing and see something totally different.

 

 

I Believe…
That your life can be changed in a matter of
minutes by people who don’t even know you.

 


I Believe…

That even when you think you have no more to give,
When a friend cries out to you – you will find the strength to help.

 

I Believe…
That credentials on the wall
do not necessarily make you a decent human being.

 

I Believe…
That the people you care about most in life
are taken from you too soon. 

 

I Believe…
That someday, if we keep at it, we’ll find a cure.

 

I Believe…
The happiest of people don’t necessarily
have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything they have.

 

I also believe…

Enjoying a Sedona, Arizona sunset, can be taken off the bucket list.

  

(compiled from quotes I’ve saved and pictures I took or downloaded)

Ty Peters, May 2012

Posted in Thoughts on Paper... | 1 Comment