Monthly Archives: May 2016

Donald Trump, what’s up?

I must say over the years (1988 thru 2012) when The Donald expressed his intent or desire to run for president of the US, I was skeptical. Generally, by the time I gave his running any thought, he had exited the race for whatever reason.

His initial announcement in 2016 did not seem to be any different and when he made the derogatory comments regarding illegal immigrants (you know the ones I mean), I assumed his days on the campaign trail would be numbered. Alas, I was wrong, but in good company.

Like most citizens of the world, I’ve been aware of Donald J. Trump for many decades. We are both baby boomers, but I’m not sure we have the same value systems or political opinions. I was aware of his exploits into business and entertainment and considered him a brash but savvy entrepreneur.

In the early days of his 2016 campaign, I thought his intent was to grab some attention, possibly shake up the GOP, and maybe even help Hillary Clinton in the process. As the months and primaries and rallies rolled by and the insults and bullying continued to roll out of his mouth, I became more perplexed.

Why anyone would want to run for, let alone be, president of the US, is beyond my ability to fathom. Let’s say my speculation runs toward the negative. But most of the individuals who try for the nomination have some idea what it means to be POTUS along with some relevant experience. This is not a suit that fits Donald Trump. And he is rather dang proud of that fact.

So what’s up? Is this New York billionaire serious? Does he think he has a clue about running the greatest country on earth? Do his supporters believe he would do a good job? Will he be the GOP candidate? Could he become president?

My mind reels.

Here’s my current take on this event. Trump entered the race to see what would happen.  He accidentally insulted lots of people, but nobody seemed to mind.  In fact, he became more and more popular. This made him very happy and fed his ego. Then he started doing well in the primaries and caucuses. It helped that his competition—all 16—was less than stellar. Slowly but surely, each of the other GOP candidates dropped by the wayside. By now he is totally engulfed by the power he holds and can’t wait to increase its reach.

But he’s in for a real shock. No matter what happens he’s a loser. If he wins in November, he’ll be president, but no one will care. The GOP Congress (assuming they hold both houses) will go into its standard “him against us” mode. Our allies will ignore or rebuff him.  It will not go well, he will be unhappy, and he will make more and more people pay for that unhappiness.

If he doesn’t win the election, he’ll have to rein in his ego. He won’t be able to get his job back on the Apprentice—that’s taken. An equally sad outcome for him and, thus, for others.

One thing for sure my Trump-pondering days are over. The only thing left to wonder about is how he’d be as our president. For me that is too terrifying to contemplate.

Mother’s Day

In my early years, it never occurred to me that my mother was special. I mean, I loved her and I appreciated her being around to take care of me, but I didn’t know how special she was until later in life.

Okay, I knew she was a divorced, single mom with a low paying job raising a daughter who wanted to take dancing lessons. But she never complained.  How was I supposed to know how hard it was?

Through my high school years all my friends’ moms were nice enough. Some of them were a little stranger than others, but they all seemed okay to me. I don’t remember any friend complaining beyond being punished for some teenage infraction.

picture of Eva Rigdon Spring 1996

My mother, Eva, Spring 1996

In retrospect, I suppose we all took our parents for granted. We assumed everyone’s mom and dad were like ours—good or bad.

It’s only by extreme comparisons much later in life that I became aware how really nice my mother was and how much she loved and accepted me—no matter what. I realized how lucky I was to be blessed by our relationship.

My stepfather never understood the closeness between my mother and me. He was jealous of all her connections—friends, co-workers, or strangers. But nothing bothered him as much as the unconditional love his wife shared with her only child.  I imagine it’s difficult for anyone who hasn’t experienced that type of closeness to “get it.”

Until my mother passed away in 2000, Mother’s Day was the most important holiday in the year for us. When I lived away from home, I would often fly home on the second Sunday in May.  We rarely shared it with others.  It was our day to spend “quality” time together, even if only by phone.

I miss my mother’s company and support every day, but on Mother’s Day more than any other. If only everyone were so lucky.

Posting my first blog

Here’s the irony . . . I was trained as a software programmer and later became a systems analyst/engineer of large communications systems for the federal government.   By the time I burned out and exited quietly from Washington, D.C., I had chalked up over 20 years of computer experience.

I should mention my programming career spanned the 1970s and 80s. Obviously technology has passed me by at the speed of, well, a 21st century computer.

blogging for writers cover

Provided by Writer’s Digest Books

 

Which is why, although eager to start this blog, I procrastinated successfully for many months. I bought a book, “blogging for writers” by Robin Houghton (Writer’s Digest Books, 2014). Houghton’s step-by-step instructions were super, but the reality of following those steps was a challenge.

 

Getting Started

To begin with, there is no way Houghton could cover all the options and choices for each type of blog platform not to mention each theme or template. In addition, it seemed as though some of the platform’s menus had changed—cosmetically at least—after she pulled her examples. Nevertheless, I could not have made it through the process without her help and definitely recommend the book to anyone interested in creating a blog.

I chose the WordPress platform because it seemed to be easier, but since I didn’t try to use another platform, I can’t verify that assumption. WordPress offers many “themes” but these can be modified and rearranged to suit the author, not necessarily good news.

Although overwhelmed initially with all the choices and steps, I selected the—always useful—trial-and-error method for creating the blog pages and establishing various settings. The method should be called trial-and-error-and-try again-and-repeat method.

Do you have any idea how many hours can be spent starting over from step one of website or blog creation, even when using a platform designed to “make it easy”? Lots and lots of hours.

And then there’s the part where you forget what you tried, no matter how many notes you think you have made. Not to mention remembering where to find the various menus and options you want to select.

The Most Difficult Choice

As you can see (I hope), I made it through those hours and trials. The blog layout is not perfect, but it is a beginning.  Still, in preparing my first blog entry, I realized I had not given enough consideration to Houghton’s introductory questions: Why do you want to blog? Who do you want to read your blog? What is the overall purpose of the blog?

My first thoughts—before even buying the book—centered on my writing career itself. Blogging could provide an author’s platform and allow me to share my experiences as a writer. Sounds good, but I wondered how that would look and I couldn’t quite picture the various blog topics or imagine what a writer at my level of experience could offer for advice.  I visited scores of writer’s blogs about writing and could not fit my blog into that category.

So I pondered. I remembered that initially I had in mind to discuss “stuff” and perhaps offer an opinion or at least thoughts about the stuff.  And thus the blog’s title: “Sometimes I wonder.”