Mental Wanderings

It all started yesterday with a pink kleenex.  I had reached into my pants pocket since it was cold outside and my nose wanted some attention. I have a habit of keeping a kleenex (some say tissue) in one pocket of any pants I wear, just in case.  I do NOT want to be the guy that has the runny nose, no tissue to wipe, so brings out the grade school finger, hand, or arm wipe.  No matter how you try to hide or disguise it, no matter how casually or quickly you do it, EVERYONE sees you!  The next thing you know, people will be losing their breakfast/lunch/dinner, others will slip on it and fall, and the whole world comes to a screeching halt…..

Now, the sight of the pink tissue startled me a bit.  I only buy white, and for the life of me I couldn’t remember where I  had grabbed the pink from.  It made me think of my grandparents’ house, where my grandmother used to always have pink toilet paper.  Ever since then, I am not a big fan of pink tissue or toilet paper.  Probably those memories of a less than nice grandmother.

This morning, I was thinking of various things to blog about.  I read a little about society and behavior in one article, and it got me thinking about manners.  My grandparents popped into my mind again.  I remember growing up, and hearing adults talk about how kids and people “nowadays” had no manners, compared to when they were young.  Back in the 50’s, 40’s and before, people used “Sir” and “Madam” more frequently, and dressed up more as well.  I have to admit, that as a kid, I thought “Oh, that’s dumb, just another old person talking about how things were back when.  That’s old fashioned, they just don’t get it.”

It is only as I get older that I realize there was some value in good manners.  The high levels of anger, frustration, and shouting in society today are in part a direct result of bad manners.  So I thought, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”, and immediately thought of the song by the same name, done in the 80’s by the hard rock band Cinderella.  They were one of the big Hair bands back then, doing their part to keep America’s hair salons strong.

So I popped onto Youtube to see if there was a video.  There was.  As I watched, I started thinking, “Hey, that place looks familiar!”.  Some of the video was shot at Mono Lake in California, just east of Yosemite.  Other parts were shot in Bodie, an abandoned mining town that is now a state park.  My wife and I visited Bodie about 3 years ago.  Upon entering the park, I was struck by how many structures were there.  Some have been mostly preserved, some are in some decay, and many others are gone.

What I remember most is the view inside on of the “normal” houses.  Not the fancy ones the few rich people lived in, but one of the everyday folk.  In an area that sees temperatures below zero and high wind in the winter, there was absolutely no insulation in the walls or ceiling.  Outer wood frame had newspaper under wood slats but just a thin layer of a sheet or two.  It would have been cold as hell in the winter.  I just kept thinking what a hard life that was, lived up into the 1940’s for a few remaining souls.  Compared to modern construction, it’s night and day.  Makes you appreciate what you have.

So my mind’s journey went from kleenex to old folks to manners to rock stars to travel to history to houses.  Funny how one thing leads to another and you end up at a destination you never foresee.

I’m posting links to Cinderella video below.  If you don’t like the music, put volume on low and watch for the scenery. (and the hair…..)

Cinderella video

Bodie state park:

Bodie

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2 thoughts on “Mental Wanderings”

  1. Your comments on manners reminded me of a quote from Robert Heinlein:

    Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naïve, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as “empty” “meaningless,” or “dishonest,” and scorn to use them. No matter how “pure” their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best. – Robert A Heinlein in Time Enough For Love

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