On March 23, 1872, the concept of “Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see” was published by The Raleigh Daily News. This statement is also associated with an 18th century statement English publication.

The concept has also been associated with Edgar Allen Poe. This idea is now at the forefront of our political realities. With the onset of “fake news” and the obvious attack on our nation’s political system, the idea that you believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see takes on a more important objective. It also takes on a responsibility.

I’ve been writing most of my life that now encompasses almost 7 decades. Every time I express political views I’ve been called things I don’t understand. In fact, I don’t even know what their definitions are.

I sincerely don’t care what anyone’s political views are. It is not up to me to judge and I believe any judgment is up to how one feels about themselves the future of their families. Continue Reading →

President Trump wants a parade. The country doesn’t have a national victory to celebrate but after viewing the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, celebrating the uprising that led to the French Revolution, he wants a parade. Does he want our military to march in order to show who has the largest missile?

Does he believe creating a military spectacle will unify our nation during the celebration of the birth of our state? We’ve had parades before but nothing like the one President Trump wants to create. Understand I didn’t say our nation wants a parade or wants the expense of a parade. I am stating President Trump wants a parade to celebrate himself.

There have been many large and ‘beautiful’ parades throughout the history of our planet. The Roman military commander Marcus Claudius Marcellus (c.268-c.208 BC) returned to Rome in triumph after having defeated the Insubrian Gauls. He had a giant parade to celebrate his great victory. He wasn’t celebrating himself but rather celebrating Rome’s conquest. Continue Reading →

This has been the winter of ice. The season hasn’t given us much snow. However, it has given us record cold temperatures for early January and has produced an inordinate amount of freezing rain and ice.

Walking out to the end of my driveway with my supposedly invincible snow shovel It was bought from BJ’s and was made in Viet Nam by people who have never even heard of cold, I attempted to clear out ice left from the previous night.

Chipping away I felt a give that had little to do with the ice and everything to do with the shovel. The shaft then shattered to never resemble a shovel again. Straightening out my back before I threw the shovel into a snowdrift, I felt the subtle scent of spring.

It was a clear cold smell that was different from the frigid pure smell of the ongoing winter. It actually had an aroma to it that reminded me of something more subtle than that of the smells of winter. In other words, it actually smelt like something nice. Continue Reading →

Education is once again changing. I am a retired teacher and have suffered through many education systems that were all said to save our public education system.

Some of these include the open classroom (at which time I taught the entire school chemistry), differentiated learning (as if we weren’t doing that before), no child left behind (when would any teacher leave any student behind), and now the beginning and end of common core.

Yes, you guessed it; I am old. When I began teaching the Carnegie System had subject over process. This had been in place since the beginning of public education. I clearly understand this is no longer viable in our technological global society.

I taught for close to 40 years and retired a few years ago. I still keep my mind in this important profession by substituting at the local schools. I still see teachers who are compassionate and dedicated to what they do. In fact, I’ve never met a teacher whose primary task was not the success of their kids. Yes, I did say “their kids” because that is exactly what they are. Continue Reading →

We are working our way through another one. In fact, it is the first real one we have had for many years. The winter of 20018, brought back the snows and cold that all of us who live in Northern New England have come to both love and hate. Along with the weather of winter comes another famous tradition, cabin fever anxieties.

Cabin fever comes in many forms. The name comes from the necessity of all that live here to stay in their house to stay warm and dry. The days are shorter and the nights seem endless with the below zero wind chills and perpetual humming of our heating systems. Strange things happen to us during this time of year. We become aggravated by the most trivial of things.

For example, I enjoy those little pudding in cup snacks they sell at most grocery stores. I guess this is because I was fed the little jars of custard pudding baby foods when I was little until I was a senior in high school. The only problem is you can never tear off the plastic top on each portion. I understand there are arrows showing where one is supposed to pull but the easy open tabs never open. The company must use the same glue they use to keep the space lab together.

The other day I got so frustrated trying to open my Swiss Miss tapioca pudding cup that I resorted to using my teeth. Needless to say it took a bunch of paper towels and ice to stop the bleeding. I still didn’t get the thing opened. Continue Reading →

There I stood looking up at a white mountain of snow that seemed to reach the sky. The snow was packed tight with pale blue facets in the crevices and the wind whipped a fine spray from the summit like Everest.

I was absolutely awestruck by its size and beauty and I wished like hell it wasn’t in the middle of my driveway. The day after our first major snowstorm began with me trying to open my garage door. It took about half an hour, in sub zero temperatures, of me chipping away at the ice between the bottom of the door and the pavement that had sealed it shut like cement.

When the door finally opened to reveal the spectacular winter vista before me my first thought was how beautiful it all was. It was like that scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy’s world turns from black and white to color – except in reverse. The world had been transformed into a glittering white wonderland.

After a few minutes standing there admiring the view of nature in all its splendor I decided I better start my snow blower. Like my garage doors it wouldn’t budge. It was frozen solid to the garage floor. It took me a good 10 minutes heaving it this way and that, like a team of sled dogs trying to break the runners loose, before I was able to budge it and drag it over to the open doorway. Continue Reading →

Iin hindsight, it was a day like no other. It started off innocent enough: I was late for work. Waking up has always been a problem for me. Falling asleep was always a breeze. I once fell asleep standing up and at attention in an Army formation.

I was out all night drinking… errr taking orphaned children to the rescue mission in Germany. After performing my Super Hero duties all night long, I returned to my Army base just in time to catch the morning inspection.

“Watson!! What are you doing? You don’t fall asleep in my formation! ” The Sergeant screamed!

“Yes! Sarg. I can explain that.” I offered.

“I don’t want your pathetic excuses. You sleep on your time, not Army Time!” He replied.  I knew from that point on, this day would not be an easy one to get through.

“Take these papers downtown and drop them off at our offices there. Report back to me when you return.” He spouted. Continue Reading →

Oh countryside! So changed are thee,
where once we walked forever free.
Long motorways stretch out their greedy hands
to gather more of our fair lands.
From noisy airports thunder planes at pace
to choke the air from human race.

Give back to me the trickling brook and bank,
where many a carefree foot we sank.
A picnic tea, such utter bliss!,
with sun and peacefulness exist.

Take back no more of our fair land!
Please keep a place apart,
for some to find the peace of mind
that comes just from the heart.

England by Wendy R. Chapman.

Contact her at: thetalewagger@hotmail.com

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I am far from being an expert on religious beliefs and ideas. In fact, I have no clue as to what ‘faith’ means. I have never been able to accept things because that is the way it is and has always been.

I am jealous of people who have faith that God is real but am unable to simply accept a concept because I am told I have to if I want to attain heaven. Hell, I don’t even understand what heaven is.

With this concept I also consider myself a religious man who sincerely believes God exists. As Gandhi stated, “ I love your Jesus Christ but do not like your Christians.” Being associated with science for most of my life I understand that something exists that defines what we all are.

I guess you could call it God or even a potted plant but it does exist. You could call it a form of energy that created all energy. Scientists are now studying gravitational waves that could produce a unifying principle that explains where everything comes from. Continue Reading →

Donald Trump’s first year as President of the United States is coming to an end. Other than suffering through hundreds of ‘tweets,’ most of our lives haven’t changed because we are working through the actions of the Obama Government. According to the new administration our lives are supposed to get better. We shall see.

Trump has now successfully passed his new tax plan. He states that everyone will benefit from it because filing one’s tax returns will be easy and will leave us with more money in our pockets.

We all know the wealthy and corporations will do well but he promises the tax breaks, that he gave these groups, will invest more in our economy thus creating more and better paying jobs. I hope he is right but only the future will tell.

For most of his first year Trump has been attempting to change our medical insurance programs. He states our present policies are over priced and do not do what they are supposed to do. He attempted to abolish the Affordable Care Act and promised to replace it with a better and more beautiful program that will help everyone. Continue Reading →