Aug 15, 2019

China: Does God live in the Surveillance Cameras and are all those protesters in Hong Kong in their Facial Recognition System?

Have you ever had that feeling that you are being watched? If you live in some regions of China you are AND you are being graded on your behavior I have been told.

As you know, China is ruled by a Communist government and because it is, religion is not encouraged. We have been there several times because our son and his family live there. We have seen what a country without any major religion looks like.

Inside the Forbidden City in Beijing the Chinese people stand and meditate near rocks or at a place that the ancient Chinese culture considered to be the center of the Universe. There was a Starbucks so if you worshipped coffee that was the place for you. But no sign of a guiding light anywhere.

from Business Insider, April 29, 2018
I was told several years ago that the head of the Communist party was concerned about the lack of moral guidance for the Chinese people. It seems the Chinese people were not behaving in an appropriate way and that worried the leadership. Crime may have been on the rise.

Forbidden knock-off markets were closed down to simply re-emerge somewhere else.

We saw that lack played out in fist fights on the street and freeways in Shanghai. Loud arguments were not that unusual. Pushing was very common and almost frightening in the subway stations.

The fact that the people of China live in crowded conditions as a result of their population causes aggressive behavior I think. Or it may just be the culture. Who knows.

Now our son lives in Shenzhen on the mainland very near Hong Kong. In that city and others, many video surveillance cameras have been installed. And along with that, "facial recognition" for each citizen has been established. My daughter-in-law counted more than ten cameras (maybe 15) at one intersection near their apartment.

So what is the government doing with all those images you ask. Well...here is the story I have been told.

The Chinese citizens (and maybe the expats too) are being graded on their behavior. They are being punished in a variety of ways for bad behavior. At the end of each month their names are put on a public list ordered according to how well they are behaving themselves. In society, people are being shunned or unfriended as it were because of that list. The government has decided that not only are you judged on your behavior but others are judged based on their association with you based on your actions.

The Chinese government claim is that they are using the technology to catch criminal...that is probably true. I actually don't think that fooling around in China is a good idea.

I don't know about you but the whole idea is the scariest thing I have ever heard. But I think that, because the Chinese don't believe in any higher being, they have put God in the surveillance cameras! Wow!

What do you think.

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CCTV IN China
In China, Facial Recognition is Watching You
China Feeding it's Creepy....

Aug 3, 2019

Word of the Day: First

Retired for 22 years. An experienced retiree
in the best sense of the word. 
I saw a story somewhere the other day about a woman's experience with her husbands first day of retirement. I know...the first day of your husbands new life, retired with no one to be in charge of all day. Think about it.

What do you think that will be like? If you have written a blog post about your first day send me the link in you comment. If you haven't and you are retired, you need to do that soon.

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Blog Post by Me about my husband's retirement: Retirement and Duct Tape

Jul 26, 2019

It's All in a Good Meme

meme
[mēm]
NOUN
  1. an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
    • a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

Back in the day those of us that were new to blogging wrote using memes as our inspiration. What happened to all that? I liked that a lot.

It was an exchange of ideas on the same subject.

Anyone have a good idea?

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Jul 24, 2019

Garden Lime and the Comics

My Impatiens have quit blooming. It is driving me nuts. I can't explain why this sort of thing is important to me but it is. It is not that I cannot live with flowers that do not bloom...it is that I cannot stand not knowing why.

I have a testing device that tells me if there is too much rainfall which is tainted with carbon dioxide resulting in carbonic acid in that rain, sun and wet soil. When I tested, things were too wet and the pH is so low I am surprised that plants grow! Knowing is a good thing. Less water, more sun and a good dose of something, maybe garden lime. Using the Irish proverb as my guideline, I know what I can and cannot do...moving the sun, for example is impossible and we have less and less control over acid rain. But, I do have a sack of garden lime (if that is what I need).

So how does this all relate to the comics...let me see if I can explain the connection that I see.

Do you read Doosesbury? If not you really should find last Sundays strip. Here is a small portion of the total strip.

From Doonsbury, July 21, 2019, G.B. Trudeau
Gary Trudeau is one of my favorite...irreverent and always spot on. Frighteningly so. We know the mess we are in. We know what can and cannot be changed. It is not about the sun or the water...but the acid is another thing. When not in balance, your pool water for example will burns your eyes and suck the moisture of out of your skin. In your garden things will turn brown or never grow and will in fact die. It is very important to have just the right amount of acidity. Not enough the the alkali in the water will be too high. Too much acid will neutralize all the alkali. In our world acid rain (the man holding the office of President in our country) is winning and it is not good.

The air reeks of acid. So this is what it boils down to...are you betting on the Democrats or the cornered rat. Of course I am backing the doofus because I am pretty sure that the rat not up to any good.

When I read this, all I could think was, "Do you suppose some garden lime would get rid of the rat in the corner...nothing else seems to be working?" The way things are going our Impatiens may never bloom again. I want to know why.

Thoughts anyone?

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Note: Symptoms of low PH....other symptoms...include wilting leaves, stunted growth, blighted leaf tips, yellowing of foliage or other leaf discoloration and poor stem development.

Jul 15, 2019

What does your word bubble say?

Or do you even have one of those.

Around the campfire the other night my daughter asked my granddaughter what her word bubble would say if we could see it.

I had never actually thought about my word bubble. But I am sure I have one because I know I am generally not thinking about what I am saying or doing or looking at. There would be a lot of words up there.

My granddaughter looked puzzled. She did not know what she was thinking. She was, in fact, simply living.

Living in the Moment
Meelie thinks about what she is looking at or saying...period. Adults have a hard time doing that. What she does is called living in the moment. Hard as we adults try, thoughts about past things or future problems fill our minds. Actually totally enjoying the moment is hard to do.

So, my thought is, in our effort to live life in the now, we need to take a lesson from an 11 year old. The tree, the cabinet or even the tv show is about the now...enjoy the now. The past does not exist and the future is unknown.

Just a little thought for the day!

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Jun 26, 2019

Do You Read the Warnings on Medication?

Well, do you? I never have done that because I think I might develop all of the symptoms listed. When I listen to those warnings for drugs they are advertising on TV, I wonder why anyone would try them. It mystifies me.

I have a friend that is a nurse and she always reads them in great detail. She has had to quit a medication because of a bad reaction.

Because of the fact that I have never had much of a reaction to a prescribed medication, I don't worry. There was that one time when I had a delayed reaction and I did check to see where that problem came from. I made the discovery that it was my medication after reading the warnings. Would I have taken the drug if I had known...probably so. No one mentioned it to me either at the pharmacy of the doctor's office so I didn't know to worry. My assumption would be that if they didn't warn me the reaction would not be life threatening. Is that true? Who knows.

So when I began having a severe reaction to my cholesterol reducing statin drug, I quit the medication and visited my doctor as soon as possible. In my case, no one really believed me. The solution was to change the statin name drug and keep me on it. I fell three times in succession and could barely walk.

When I quit the drug I felt better within a few days.

It is a very long story that began almost 20 years ago. The upshot is I had to do a lot of research to find just the right doctor to help me. No one was referring me so I used a self referral allowed by my insurance. Our local Oregon Health Sciences University turned out to be the only place around that really could deal with my problem.

I have been diagnosed with "Familial" cholesterol which mean that food is not the root cause for high cholesteral.

Now I am beginning to take a drug (Repatha) using an injection every two week. Wish me luck! I am at very high risk for heart problems because of high LDL cholesterol I am told.

The warning on this medication says that the consequences for taking it are far less than the consequences for NOT taking it. The last ditch effort I guess!

The odd thing is people tell me that they have the statin reaction too...a lot of people. Several have said to simply quit that medication. I don't know how big their risk is but it truly is frightening for them.

So, do you read the warnings? Did doing so affect your response to how the drug made you feel?

I am interested.

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Jun 21, 2019

Are You In My Way?

My husband and I were downtown here in Portland. We were having breakfast in a restaurant called Tasty and Taylor...located, you guessed it, on Taylor. I was facing the restaurant full of people. My husband was facing the window. He loves watching the world go by.

That particular corner is busy with pedestrians. The homeless, people with babies or dogs in strollers, upscale tourist walking, bicyclists and runners.

To set the scene you need to know that free orange bikes are parked everywhere and there is the occasional motor scooter. I think those might be free to those who want a quick ride too.

The streets even have a big green stripe down the middle in some places to accommodate all of those vehicles.

On this particular day someone had parked an electric scooter near a lamp post over just across the street from our restaurant.

Got the picture?

So I will give you one guess as to who intentionally knocked the scooter over...the homeless, people with babies or dogs in strollers, upscale tourist walking, bicyclists or the runners.

It was the woman with the stroller and a baby on board.

I guess it was in her way. It seems being in the way is a big problem these days. We need t-shirts...don't get in my way...they should say.

We have traveled around the world and in those cultures where women are less valued, I might get pushed into the street if I don't get out of the way. Women are in the way a lot in those places.

In San Miguel Allende, MX any one facing the traffic is expected to step out into the street because the walkways are only one person wide. If you don't, I discovered, you will be bumped into or pushed aside.

I am seeing all of that here in the USA. In fact, being in the way is a sign of the times.

What do you think?

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