When You’re Treating the Symptom

Should you have to be wealthy to be healthy?

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Here in the United States, we are once again conducting a life and death screaming match about a symptom of a “disease.” We have performed this opus periodically for the last 100 years. And we will likely perform it well into the next century.

BloodPressure2Each time, the underlying disease is the same. And each time, we scream about a different symptom of the disease. Because we are too timid, too courteous, too lazy, too selfish, or too invested in treating the symptom to even recognize the disease. The disease is health.

Sounds funny, doesn’t it. I’ll bet you thought health was the absence of disease. Well, you are correct. And for 100 years we have been treating symptoms without acknowledging the fundamental question about the disease. Read more ruminating

To All My Buddies

When are you no longer BFFs?

Just what constitutes being a buddy? A bud. A BFF. Can you be a buddy with someone you just met? Or is there some unwritten rule that says you can’t be best buds until some certain period of time has passed? Is it like a probationary period, are you like “buddies in waiting”, or maybe “provisional buddies?” And if you’re buddies, can you fall out of “buddy-ness”, like we humans fall in and then out of love?

I’ve had lots of buddies over the years. There was my buddy Peter, who lived across the alley when I was a kid. I look back on that time, and I think we were inseparable, but then, we weren’t, because I haven’t seen him for decades. Were we really buddies?

Read more ruminating

Post Post-a-Day

Or, After My Failed Attempt at 365 Posts in 2016

Hello again, dear reader(s). Or, rather, “Hi Mom.”

As you may (not) have noticed, I have been absent from these digs for well over a week. Quiet. Silent. Mute. Voiceless. And although I did not issue an Official Proclamation as to my intentions of trying to publish a post every day for a year, I did at least announce said intentions to the voices in my head.

“Hah! A post a day for a year! That’s rich.”

“Shut up!”

“No! You can’t make me!”

“Shut up, I’m trying to talk to my dear reader(s)!”

“You know, rudyblues, if you didn’t proofread this dreck you wouldn’t even have ‘reader’, much less readers! Loser.”

Sorry, I digress. As I was saying, I have failed in my attempt to publish at least once a day for a year. I fought the good fight. Well, I fought. All right, I gave it a shot, how’s that? Probably not my best shot, but a shot none the less. It was a good run. Yes, I suppose you’re right, it was more like a short, fast walk.

I find it amazing how badly the human psyche wants to be right and to what extremes it will go to rationalize a perceived failure. Back in the waning days of 2015 I optimistically said to myself, “Self, we’re gonna publish 365 blog posts next year.” And at that point most of the voices in my head gave a kind of muffled harrumph, with a few “attaboy’s” and “you go’s” from the back of the room. Fast forward to the present and it’s not quite as supportive in there. Rationalizations run rampant.

I’ve spent nearly every waking hour for the past week or more on keeping my day job. As some (one?) of you may have read in this previous post, the heartless, multinational mega-corporation I work for is going through a self-induced, self-inflicted restructuring to please the financier class. This restructuring, which at times seems more like throwing everything out and starting over, is being implemented with a spreadsheet and a battle axe, with the precision of a carpet bombing run.

And what self-respecting restructuring expert would keep someone 50+ years old, who knows how the business works and how the organization operates, when he could keep two 20-somethings and brag about the reduction in overhead (read payroll)? That’s Business School 101, dear reader(s). Elementary school math. If you subtract the biggest numbers first you don’t have to work as hard.

So the layoffs have been coming hard and fast in the first quarter, in order to meet the arbitrary deadline that was foolishly announced so that the stock price would rebound. And it has, and the munchkin twit with the Napoleon complex has had his contract renewed. Most of the layoffs have been from middle management, people nearing the end of their working careers, nearer the upper end of the pay scale. Just a smidge older than me. I’m losing my cover.

And although your humble author is neither middle management nor at the top of the pay scale, he is at that vulnerable age, 50+, that seems to be the target of most of the cuts. Ergo, the recent spate of late nights and long days workin’ for the man. Trying to make myself indispensable at a job that’s ill-defined and unnoticed by those in the seats of the corporate threshing machines. I’m sure my number will come up soon.

Oh, by the way, if you’re a Millennial or a Gen-Xer or even a younger Boomer, please don’t jack with Social Security in the U.S. It works, in spite of what you hear. I’m one of those that the Great Recession of 2007 wiped out. I’m working until I drop. Unless my number comes up. Then I’m taking Social Security and living under a bridge.

Though I’m not religious, what better day than today, the Christian holiday of Easter Sunday, with its promise of redemption, to ask you, my dear reader(s), to forgive my sins and continue reading. Maybe just not as often. I can’t afford to lose my day job.

The Month in Review: February 2016

Wherein, once again, we assess the damage done

A month’s end look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from Rudy’s Ruminations.

Well gentle reader(s), it’s the end of the month again. And you know what that means, right? Time once again for old rudyblues to get out his horn, wipe the spittle off the mouthpiece, and blow for all he’s worth! I’m out of breath just writing that last sentence. I think it was the exclamation mark.

2016-02-Monthly-StatsWe all know February is the shortest month of the year, with only, let’s see, 28 days (yes, I was reciting the little poem, just like you were). They even gave it an extra day this year, so I think it should have felt a little longer, but still, where did it all go? I was just shaking the last of the glitter out of my hair from that outrageous New Year’s hat they made me wear, and I look up, and here it’s March already. Well, I’m really just shaking it out of my Andy Rooney eyebrows, since I’m bald as a billiard ball (nature’s choice, I just finished the job), but you get the drift.

So let’s use some of those nifty stats thingies that the WordPress folks so kindly provide and see what happened in February. Remember, statistics don’t lie. No, really, they don’t. Believe me, I’ve suffered through these stats.

I’ll also bring you the most popular posts from the past month’s ruminating so you can have one more opportunity to ignore them. Golden Oldies we like to call them, because Leaden Oldies just doesn’t have the same ring.

And once again, I’ll spotlight some of my beloved follower(s) in a perhaps futile attempt to get you to show them some love. Come on! They deserve it! They put up with me in their Reader.

Read more ruminating

Statistics Don’t Lie

I’m not a statistician, and I don’t play one on TV

Back at the end of January 2106 I put up a little “Month in Review” post in which I reviewed the stats for the month’s posts. Yes, the numbers were paltry, but I did it anyway. So get over it. I’m doing it again at the end of February. And March. And April. Do you see the pattern yet? I’m giving you ample warning to change the channel.

WordPressPublishControlMy friends at the Daily Post are asking me to compare and contrast my top three posts to see if they can shame me into shutting this thing down if I can find out why they were successful and if there’s a connection between them. I’ll admit that when I did my month’s-end review I wasn’t looking for connections. I was just glad there were some numbers to report.

Read more ruminating

The Month in Review: January 2016

Wherein we assess the damage done

A month’s end look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from Rudy’s Ruminations.

Well gentle reader(s), it’s the end of the month. Yeah, I know, where did it go? I thought I would take this opportunity to use some of those nifty stats thingies that the folks at WordPress so kindly provide. Remember, statistics don’t lie. Or is it statisticians that don’t lie? I always forget.

2016-01-Monthly-StatsI’d also like to bring you some of the more popular posts from the past month’s ruminating that you (possibly on purpose) may have missed. Kind of like a Golden Oldies, only not quite so golden, and not really all that old. You work with what you got.

And I’d also like to spotlight some of my beloved follower(s) and maybe convince you to visit them a little more often. Shameless self-promotion only goes so far.

Read more ruminating

My advice to bloggers everywhere

Words to blog by

My favorite bit about that is attributed (on Google) to guru Sai Baba:

“Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?”

If we could all just remember this …

Before you publish a post, reread your post, and ask yourself these questions. Before you send that comment, reread your comment, and ask yourself these questions.

If the answer is ever anything but an unequivocal “Yes”, then choose silence.

Key Takeaway