Wednesday, February 29, 2012


As the pieces fall from the northeast Ohio high school shooting, one of the possible reasons mentioned was cyber bullying. Very sad to think that kids using Twitter were responsible for the tragedy that caused three young people to lose their lives.

I'm sure that this will be spun so often that most will be weary of hearing of it. I will let the psychologists, and the legal system do their jobs. I am no expert.

But I know a little about bullying, as both my younger brother and myself were bullied growing up. My brother more than me.

Ricky was learning disabled, though my parents didn't want him to have the "mentally retarded" tag. Back in the 60's and 70's, there wasn't all the help available that there was today. Till the day she died, my mom denied the fact that my brother might have been retarded, er developmentally disabled. He also suffered from neurofibromtosis. One of the manifestations of this was blotches on his skin. Kids called him "spot". They did this to upset him, maybe make him cry. Later, when he started having seizures, kids taunted him until he went into convulsions. To this day I regret not sticking up for him more often. Our dad never did. He didn't want to be bothered.

Since I never quite learned how to defend myself, kids picked on me as well. If I got into a fight at school, I would be in trouble when I got home. If I approached my dad about anything in regards to being treated unfairly, his response would be "Oh for c***** sake!"  One time he punched me in the mouth. How did I cope. I cried a lot. Sometime in public. I was told that it was my own fault. Nobody would show me how for it not to be my fault, how to correct it.

This has followed me all through my adult life. In wanting to be friends with everybody, I had allowed myself to be run over time and again. "It's your own fault, Cliff." Time and again, throughout my professional life, I have allowed others to bully me, not knowing how to remove my permission. My crying is now done in private and I'm glad my steering wheel does not have ears.

But the majority of my damage has been to myself. Perhaps if I could have defended myself more in life, I could be making more than federal poverty level. It's my fault. Nobody else is at fault. Thank God that very little has gone outward.

Unfortunately this is not always so. That is when tragedy happens. Nobody deserves to die. But words do hurt. Whose fault is it? I don't know.

Bottom line is this: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Walking and rhyming

This week I have been working on a poem a day challenge on my Whattville blog. It's been a good alternative from my activity on Facebook. also shows me that when I put my mind to it, I can be quite creative. And I do like it when the creative juices flow. My latest poem pertains to the Daytona 500 being delayed by rain.

I was released by the orthopedic specialist who performed the surgery on my ankle. I let him know that I was starting to walk around the block, and it was feeling good. I also worked out on the elliptical and stationary bike at the fitness center at my place of employment. Weight going down, hopefully not to make a u-turn. Since further work on my artificial left knee is in the foreseeable future, I figure I will help that doctor while I am able. Two insulin shots before surgery this past October is still too fresh in my mind.

I also have been realizing lately that I miss my blogging friends. Been thinking lately about all the good interaction we have had in the past. Need to spend more time here and less on Facebook.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nice Guy Blues

Cliff Note: I am currently working on exercising my muse. Here is a poem I just wrote on my Whattville blog. I have a goal to write at least 8 more by the end of the month.

I am nice
And that's a perk
I don't know how
To be a jerk
I never learned
To fuss and fight
It helps me when
I sleep at night
I wonder some
If getting sore
If being mean
Would get me more
I guess I know
I'll learn the trick
To advance some more
Forget it! I'll just be nice

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Flags at half staff? For a singer?

Now I know this post may get some negative comments. I got one the time I questioned a congressional moment of silence for Michael Jackson.

I hear that flags in New Jersey are flying at half staff in honor of Whitney Houston.


I understand that in her day she was a talented singer and actress. I understand that she worked on overcoming quite a bit of personal tragedy. BUT....

She was a SINGER and ACTRESS. Whitney Houston didn't discover a cure for a deadly disease. She wasn't a leader of social reform. She wasn't a great military leader. She wasn't a political leader.

I really don't get all this hero worship. I don't think British performers of any arts should be knighted and refuse to refer to folks such as Paul McCartney or Elton John as "sir".

Let's get real here. Bach and Mozart's works, for the most part, weren't fully appreciated until long after they died. No flags were flying at half staff to mark their passing.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Now who would tell Oprah she's fat?

I have come to the realization that there actually is some common ground between myself and one of the most powerful women in America. We have both struggled with weight loss for most of our adult lives.

My latest trip to Goodwill, unearthed the following treasure: "Make the Connection: Ten Steps to a Better Body and a Better Life" an audiobook about Oprah Winfrey's weight struggles, written by Oprah Winfrey and Bob Greene. The audiobook, in cassette form, was marked down from 99 cents to 49 cents. This is proving to be a great buy. I just finished my first listening the past couple of days commuting to and from work. I will have to listen at least a couple of more times. The contents maker sense.

Anyway, during one of Oprah's early struggles, her first trainer abruptly resigned. He said he decided to go back to school.

As I listened to Oprah say this, I got to wondering about this: How would I handle telling one of the most powerful and most successful women in America that she was in need to lose weight. I could imagine sitting in the audience of one of her shows. She announces that everybody in the audience gets a new car...except for the man in the 5th row who told her she was fat.

Anyway, I'm sure the book and audio products were big sellers due to the name of one of the authors. It would have been a bigger seller, but there is no instant magical formula to lose weight and achieve fitness. It mainly involves a common sense approach and a lot of personal accountability.

If you get the chance, get the book, or tape, or CD, or mp3 download. You might learn something from it.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

I'm Sorry

To those who check in on my writings, I need to apologize for being away for now over a month. I'm amazed that I still get over 15 hits a day. I would say that I suck as a blogger, but that would be only a cop out.

To those not on Facebook, I appreciate you coming around checking on my writing.

I could over-analyze why I haven't written, but only thing that would accomplish is killing some time, Killing time is murder, not suicide.

Update on my ankle: Next Wednesday, I will be going in for some outpatient work, as 2 of the 9 screws in my ankle will be removed and the tendon will be freed.

Update on my weight: Since last spring, I have lost around 35 pounds, was able to maintain since breaking the ankle.

Please leave me a message, and I hope to be back blogging sooner than later.