Topic: Holidays

So, Let’s consider: Are we really thankful? 0

So, Let’s consider: Are we really thankful?

It’s the weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m sure that the stores are packed with all those materialists looking for the best sales of things that they think they need but haven’t got. I guess they call it Black Friday for a reason. Then there’s Cyber Monday when I’m sure the internet will be crammed with the same people buying yet more stuff they think they need. I’m reminded of the George Carlin skit on people and their “stuff” – I’m sure you can find it on youtube.

You really have to hand it to marketing types that excel at convincing people to part with their hard earned cash for things they really don’t need, or in many cases break out that well worn credit card for the same.

During seasons that have are being redefined by monetarization and gifting, do we ever get back to the real reasons for Thanksgiving? That of giving thanks.

Of all the holiday seasons, I find that I appreciate Thanksgiving the most. Unlike many other religious centric holiday seasons (Easter, Christmas, etc.), it’s one that actually has a solid base in actual history and fact. No, I’m not doubting the birth, death and resurection of the Christ child, but celebrating it on a formerly pagan feast for Nimrod or the winter solstice, etc, or His resurrection during the Feast of Ishtar are events that I personally find problematic.

I don’t think I have to recount the origins of Thanksgiving. It’s well known that it was a time when peoples of different faiths, nationalities, personal and social priorities, and many other diffentiating aspects of life, gathered together to give thanks. They gave thanks to each other, they were thankful for what they had, they were thankful to their God and his beneficence. It was a time of positive celebration, of coming together in commonness. It would appear they set aside what divided them and concentrated on that which unified them.

So, in this ever increasing materialistic centric world, let’s be reminded to be thankful for the simple things. For friendship. For freedom. For our country, and if you’re not a US citizen I would presume that you’re also thankful for things where you live and are from. For our God and his benevolence. For family. For the so many things that we’ve grown to take for granted as givens.

During this season, I would also invite you to extend your thanks to others that you may not even know. The homeless person on the street or local organizations that help others in need, and other peoples and groups. By helping them, you share the spirit of thanksgiving in ways that you may never realize or understand.

In these times of strife and mayhem, there’s so many reasons to give thanks.

Be thankful.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

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So, Let’s consider: Some reasons to avoid Timeshares – 2021 Update – The Revenge of all the FEE$… 0

So, Let’s consider: Some reasons to avoid Timeshares – 2021 Update – The Revenge of all the FEE$…

I first wrote this a long time ago, and it’s been a while since I’ve done more with my time share than pay the annual Maintenance FEE… So, when I decided to use it for a week’s vacation this year, I totaled up all the FEE$ I had to pay and I got some major FEE Sticker shock.

First there’s the “annual maintenance FEE” which for me is now just shy of $1000. They never said it would get anywhere near this high when I was buying. Then there’s the Membership FEE that you have to pay to be part of an organization like “Interval” that allows you to “exchange” and actually use your time share. Uh, that FEE is just shy of $200 per year. Then when I went to “exchange” my timeshare, I got socked with yet another “exchange FEE” of just shy of $200. So far, my housing costs for this week away is just shy of $1400. And, I’m expecting a “resort FEE” to be assessed when I finally get to the place…it’s happened too many times in the past.

Now, I don’t know about you, but $1400 buys a helluva lot of really nice hotel time, where ever I want it, generally with breakfast (and at no additional FEE)…. SO, when you’re listening to some grease ball telling you how great his timeshare office is, you may want to think again…

And, I’m again reminded of what I originally wrote, long ago…

OK so we’ve all heard of them. Frankly you can’t go on a decent vacation to any resort and not have some high pressure attempt to sell you one. Usually for free tickets to some tourist trap or another, and OH, if your spouse is with you they MUST attend with you…it’s all part of the high reassure sales scheme to snooker you into buying one….yupo, I’m talking about…a timeshare.

The schemes have changed over the years. You used to have deeded property, now you buy “points” or whatever, depending on what the scheme, uh, plan, actually is that’s being pitched.
You’ll be told perhaps as many have been in the past that they’re “GREAT investments…”, “you can pass them along to your family…”, “they’re going to increase in value…” and any of many other lines designed to make you fork over a lot of dough for some expensive stuff.

For starters, it’s not an investment. You should never even think of it as an investment – regardless of what the sales people tell you. The resale market for timeshares is incredibly illiquid and it’s doubtful you’d find a buyer, much less one that’s willing to pay you what you paid for it, and forget making any profit. There are however any number of organizations willing to take your timeshare off your hands…for a hefty fee… Also forget the idea of being able to “trade up” at some later date…the only way you’re going to be able to trade “up” is if you pay a hefty fee for the honor.

Are you SURE you want to go to the same venu each and every year? Really? What about logistic issues getting to and from your venu? Keep in mind, you’re totally locked in to a set time when you have access to your property. Depending on your contract you may be able to rent or trade your unit, but that’s something to read in the fine print. For some you have to play the points game, and that presumes that you even have it all figured out!

What if your schedule changes or some event happens that you can’t take your vacation that week? You’re screwed. Some let you “bank” your weeks and trade them, some don’t and some totally depend on the points system…again, caveat emptor and read the fine print.

Finally there’s those ever rising “maintenance fees” that they really either don’t talk much about when you’re buying or they downplay the hell out of. Trust me, they WILL INCREASE. They WILL get expensive. You will NOT be able to do anything about it. You’re contractually locked in to having to pay whatever they tell you that your assessment is. And, frankly when you do the math on how many units your place has, at 52 weeks a year times what you’re paying for your week’s maintenance fees…you’re going to quickly realize that someone’s really making a lot of dough, and it’s NOT you.

If you want to get a free set of tickets to some expensive vacation park, ok, go for the sales pitch, but, don’t fall for the pitch, regardless of how much they browbeat you, bitch, moan, pressure you, etc. Make sure you think LOGICALLY and do the financial math before you even think of this stuff. And don’t fall for that “this is a special price for right now only” line of crap. If they REALLY WANT your sale, they’ll sell to you at that price today or next week. They’re all commission sales based…and there’s always more than one person selling these things…

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

So, Let's consider: Family connections during the holidays. 0

So, Let’s consider: Family connections during the holidays.

Folks, I urge you to view this powerful video. It says more than I ever could about family and the holidays.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

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So, Let's consider: 'Tis the Season – for Shysters 0

So, Let’s consider: ‘Tis the Season – for Shysters

Well, it’s that time of year again… Somewhere shortly after the last of the fireworks have gone out on the 4th of July and and frequently by July 5th, you’ll start seeing every store from Walmart to your local drug store starting to bring out their xmas schlock and reminding you how few days it is until “Christmas”. And they’ll be pounding that drum until the champagne starts flowing on New Year’s Eve. Forget that there’s 6 months of holidays yet to come and that the historical and Biblical records are overly clear that the overly marketed fat jolly elf of December 25th has nothing to do with the birth of the Christ Child, you’re going to be inundated with all kinds of crap that you just can’t live without buying for “The Season”…history and logic be damned.
Along with these shysters will come a more sinister group of shysters that just as predictably show up every year wanting your money. These are the shysters that have prey on the good hearted people wanting to help others. These are they shysters that tell you how much good your donation to their cause is going to do for the world. How blessed you will be once your fork over your cash to them and their cause celeb or foundation or whatever buzz word will get you to part with your money. And, of course, little to none of your cash will get to where it’s supposed to go.
Now, I’m not stupid enough to not fully understand that there’s an abundance of well meaning and credible organizations of good will towards mankind out there, but there’s just as many organizations that are more interested in their own good will than helping the homeless people down the street.
This season I would encourage you to be generous with your giving, but I would also encourage you to be vigilant with whom you give to. Giving to help others not only shouldn’t be just one day a year, it should also be to those methods and organizations that actually are interested in doing good for their fellow man versus lining their own pockets, and that do so throughout the year as well. Preferably ones with a good existing record of having done so in the past.
Remember, the homeless guy down the street needs as much to eat on September 30 as he does on December 25th.
This year, please be generous, but also, be smart about your giving…and remember that generosity is needed 365 days a year.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

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Happy Feast of Ishtar! Uh, I mean Easter… BRING OUT THE BUNNIES!!! 0

Happy Feast of Ishtar! Uh, I mean Easter… BRING OUT THE BUNNIES!!!

So I’m driving home today and standing there on the corner of the intersection is a group of people waving signs and banners inviting me to their church next weekend for Easter celebrations. The thing that was absolutely hilarious was that they also had a dancing bunny with them. YES, a BUNNY!

OK, you usually hear this around mid December – people talking about “the reason for the season”, but does anyone really study history enough to know the REAL reasons for any of these religious centric holidays?

Based on the Biblical historical record (and yes, I think it’s a correct historical record), Christ died and was resurrected during the last weekend of Passover. I think most of Christianity will easily agree with me on that. Uh, you may want to actually check your calendar or Google to see when that actually is this year…

Simply put: ACCORDING TO THE BIBLICAL RECORD: Christ died the Friday evening at the END OF PASSOVER! Uh, that’s the NEXT WEEKEND!!!!

Interestingly enough, the Biblical record makes no references to brightly coloured eggs or bunnies. So, what’s really going on here?

Well, like it or not, Easter is yet another pagan holiday season that Christianity felt it had to adopt for its purposes. You would think that Christianity would follow the Biblical historical record in celebrating the death and resurrection of their Saviour and celebrate it when it ACTUALLY DID HAPPEN – uh, that would be the last weekend of Passover.

But, the calendars tend to create a bit of a problem here. This year(2019) Easter and Passover actually happen on consecutive weeks, it’s incredibly rare for them to happen on the same week! Consult your calendar if you disagree with me. Sometimes the two events are several WEEKS apart! Gee! Go figure!

The Jewish calendar dictates when Passover occurs but, who and how do we determine when Easter occurs? Well, for that we need to look at the historical record.

In 325AD, the council of Nicaea determined that Easter would be the first Sunday after the first full moon, occurring on or after the vernal equinox. If that sounds like it’s more out of astrology than Biblical, well, it is. From then on, the date of Easter depended on the ecclsiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox. Hmmm….doesn’t sound like Passover to me.

Let me make this simpler, Easter is the Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the March equinox. Sounds more like a Druid event than a Christian one.

If we look further, we find that the term “easter” we find that the it directly refers to the mythical goddess “Eostre” – sometimes also referred to as Ostara or Ishtar. So, we’d be just as accurate to be saying “Happy Ishtar!”. Oh, by the way, her symbol was a bunny or rabbit because of the high reproductive proclivities of rabbits…and I’m sure you’ve heard several humorous analogies during your life.

Chances are the Germans brought us the colored eggs from their traditions, but then, there’s also the ancient Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex, yes Ishtar again, in which bunnies and eggs play a big part.

If you really want to dig deeper into this, you’ll find origins going back to Nimrod and his family as well. Interesting reading on a rainy afternoon when you’re really interested in finding out the real roots of how you got where you are now…not just what your preacher is telling you.

Christianity has a bad habit of attempting to sanitize old pagan and druid customs, rites and celebrations and attempting to make them Christ centric events.

But is this right?

Christianity could also declare the color green to be called brown…but would that make it right or better yet – correct?

Instead of celebrating the death and resurrection of the Saviour of mankind, humanity is more interested in eating chocolate bunnies. Just what are Christianity’s priorities?

Don’t you just love it when people let preachers tell them what to do and believe and don’t think for themselves?

SO, if you still want to continue to celebrate the old Babylonian and pre-Babylonian fertility rites and celebrations, GO FOR IT! Don’t forget your chocolate eggs, bunnies and viagra !!!

Have a great weekend and enjoy doing what bunnies do best!

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

This Week’s Words Of The Day Can Be Found At

Word(s) Of The Day – For The Week Of April 14, 2019

This Week’s Thoughts Of The Day Can Be Found At

Thought(s) Of The Day – For the Week of April 14, 2019

This Week’s Quotes Of The Day Can Be Found At

Quote(s) Of The Day – For the week of April 14, 2019

So, Let's consider: What do you say to a friend that's just gotten the bad news? 0

So, Let’s consider: What do you say to a friend that’s just gotten the bad news?

So, it’s the Christmas season. The time where everyone is supposed to be bright, happy and of good cheer…
I got a ping from an old friend that they’d been admitted to the hospital for some tests. Our families have known each other for several generations and since the tests were taking a while and it’d been some time since I’d seen them, I wandered down for a visit. We talked for a while, the hospital doctor came in and tried his best to act competent. After he left we talked some more until I felt it was best that I left and let them get some much needed rest.
Shortly after I left, the doctor returned with the test results. It wasn’t good news. It was cancer…and in a big way.
Now, I’ve had 2 major death diagnosis in my life, and my father and I were both given cancer diagnosis within 2 weeks of each other back in 2001. He’s no longer with us. But what do you say to someone that’s never been in a hospital and just had a tonne of lead dropped on them? …and at Christmas…?
Simply: there’s hope for your future. Not that there’s some magic bullet cure, but that there’s hope in the reason we have the Christmas season. The same scriptures that lead us to the Christmas season also tell us in John 3:16 that we have a future if we believe in the person who’s life and gift we celebrate at this time of year…regardless of when the Christ child was actually born. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life…” This doesn’t mean that we’re not going to die in this life, but that we have hope in the next.
I’m not going to tell you I have all the answers. I don’t. In fact, I have way more questions than I have answers. But I believe there’s hope.
Many of us have been lead by preachers and self proclaimed theologians that we need to believe and practice the way they prescript. Frankly, I rejected that long ago. The only thing that matters is your own walk and relationship with your friend and savior. And I don’t think it’s really as complex as most organized religions would like us to think. I firmly believe that those that seek will be led in the path that is theirs to walk.
If you get the chance, pick up a copy of Tim Jennings’ book “Could it be this simple”. And get ready to unlearn and relearn a lot of what hope lies in your future. Hope really is that simple.
So, remember, there’s hope…and that’s the REAL reason for the season….
I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

So, Let's consider: Some Safety Tips For Halloween 0

So, Let’s consider: Some Safety Tips For Halloween

OK, so the night of the ghosts and goblins is upon us… Yes folks it’s time again for Halloween! The night when kids young and old dress up as their favorite ghoul and go out for some gold…well, maybe some candy and other treats.
So, let’s look at a few safety tips to help insure your night out with the spirits is a safe one.

Safety starts at home!

Safety starts at home. So, make sure to remove any item that could harm a kid. This includes things like garden hoses across the lawn, toys, bikes, garden tools like rakes, and other lawn decorations or trash that could be a hazard to any little munchkin meandering by.
Make sure the sidewalks are swept of leaves, branches and anything else that could be a hazard and make sure that the outside areas are well lit and all light bulbs are working and in good order.
Finally, make sure your pets are out of the way and out of the picture. Nothing could ruin an evening faster than having Fido jump on a little child and scare them. Also, sometimes pets and little dressed up goblins don’t mix very well and giving Fido a vacation in the basement or on the back porch is a good idea.

Getting all dressed up

Looking the part of your favorite monster is what it’s all about, but let’s make sure that people can see you and your kids. Also make sure that the costumes can be seen at night and reflect light well. If they’re going to have to be dark like a witch’s dress, etc., put some reflective tape on the outfit and make sure the bag she’s carrying is reflective and highly visible in light.
Test out the outfit ahead of time. Make sure it fits well and your munchkin is comfortable walking around in it. Also, make sure you use non-toxic and non-allergenic makeups so that there’s less of a chance of any skin reactions.
As for swords, toy guns, etc., make sure that the swords are not sharp and that your kid knows how to be careful with them in a crowd. Also, remind them that if they’re approached by an officer that this is not the time to show them your toy gun.
Finally, be careful on the use of eye makeup and accessories in and around the eyes. Preferably avoid them as they can accidentally damage an eye. If you have any questions a quick consult with your pediatrician would be in order.

The fun part – trick or treating

This is the part where parents have the most responsibility. Make sure you have a good strong flashlight with fresh batteries and that you take your cell phone with you and that it’s fully charged. Always know where you are when you’re out with your kid in case you have to make that 9-1-1 call.
Only go to houses that have the lights on. People not participating in the evenings ghoulish activities generally will just simply turn off the front porch light as a signal. NEVER let the children go inside a home or car and make sure you go with them to the houses, but keep a safe distance as no little monsters want their parents interfering in the candy snatching.
Like the kids, make sure that people can see YOU at night as well. The same tips for light and reflective clothing applies to parents as well as kids.
Never let the kids cross across yards or run out into the streets from between cars. Remind them to cross as crossings only. Again, looking both ways before crossing any road is excellent advice. Don’t presume, make sure.

Other items

There’s always an “other” item and Halloween events are no exception.
Give your kids a good meal before they go out. This will help insure they don’t have an evening diet of just sugar.
Remind the kids to say “thank you”. This means a lot to those that are giving them the goodies.
I also heavily recommend that the kids hold off on diving into their loot until they get home and you’ve had a chance to look through it for any problem issues. It doesn’t happen very often, but you still need to be aware of tampered with candies and some home made goodies that may be best thrown out vs consumed.
Also, consider using gifts for your visitors that aren’t edibles. I know people that will use things like fifty cent pieces or small coloring books. A fifty cent piece, and you’ll have to arrange with your bank ahead of time on this, is the largest coin we now have in circulation and for little kids is a real wow’er. But then, this would also depend on how many kids you have coming to your door.
Try to limit how many and how fast your monsters dive into their loot. This helps them to not only enjoy them over a longer period of time, but it’s also a lot more healthy for them as well.
Have a fun and safe outing with your munchkins and I hope all your candies are good ones!
I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

Holiday Toy Shopping – Some Ideas To Make Life Easier … 0

Holiday Toy Shopping – Some Ideas To Make Life Easier …

OK, so we’re being inundated already with everyone out there schlepping their schlock for you to buy as gifts for people that for some reason you think you should be buying stuff for at this time of year. For some reason lemmings come to mind. October is hardly over any already you can’t walk through Walmart because the aisles are just over filled with xmas schlock that someone from Arkansas thinks you should be spending your money on.

So, I’ve picked up a few ideas that may be able to help you endure the rites of the season when it comes to getting what you’re wanting for those that you’re wanting it for…

GET THE HOT STUFF EARLY. Yeah, vendors know what’s hot and they’re sure to make sure the prices are highest earlier in the season but if it’s something you need for your list, your best advised to get it while the getting is good. Beating the rush will also let you get in and out of stores with a minimum of battle fatique.

Consider store services. Many stores, including the ubiquitous Walmarts, Targets, Sears, etc., offer local pickup for online purchases. Some use these services for groceries and perishables, but the same service is also available for most anything they sell. If you don’t want to risk a package being left on your front door or having UPS drop your package off at a house you haven’t lived at for a long time, ask the vendor if they have in store pickup. It can also save you time standing in line especially if you’re dealing with a place like Walmart which never seems to have more than 3 lines open for checkout.

Consider layaway. This can be be a good way to lock in a purchase for later pickup and/or payment, thus assuring you have what you need when you need it, especially if you don’t have the cash or credit line to buy it now…or if you just don’t want the little monsters sniffing around boxes to see what the Easter Bunny is going to put under the tree. Yeah, I said Easter Bunny – he’s as real as Santa is…. No, I’m not against Christmas. I just think it’s an over hyped, over marketed day of the year that tends to last for three months each year. I’m one that thinks the TRUE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT is one that should be practiced 365 days a year, regardless of what day in December it is. Perhaps I’m odd that way.

Watch your sales. Many times stores have “sales” which amount to little more than telling you they’re selling something that you already know they’re selling, but the price really hasn’t changed if at all. Be a smart shopper. Compare shopping to the max! Just because stores blast you with “SALE!” doesn’t mean the price has been lowered, it just means they’re selling stuff and have stuff for “sale”. Caveat emptor!

Use the online services like Amazon, Craigslist, etc. Make sure you’re careful who you buy from and I would suggest you use a credit card as much as possible to give you an additional buffer of security if there’s an issue with the purchase. You may even find something in those ever more frequent and annoying spam “suggested postings” on things like Facebook. Gold is where you find it. These items also generally arrive in a generic brown package so the little monsters have less of a chance of knowing what’s really inside.

So, sit back, relax, pop open a cold one and let your fingers do the walking…or maybe your mouse.

And a Happy Humbug to one and all…may the Good Lord bless us all…every one… 🙂

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

Happy Halloween Tips 0

Happy Halloween Tips

OK, so it’s tricks and treats time… It’s also time to plan for some safety tips for you and your munchkins so that all enjoy a fun and safe evening.

Make sure that people can see you and your little monsters while they’re walking around. If the outfit is dark, consider adding some strategically placed reflector tape on the back or lower hems or legs so that others can see them.

Considering that a mask can hinder your goblin’s sight, make sure they can see out of it well (you may have to strategically take a pair of scsissor to the eye holes) or you may want to consider using stage makeup instead of a mask.

When you’re buying an outfit, check to see if it has flame retardant properties. You don’t want your kid and the evening going down in flames.

If a spear, sword or other weapon is part of their outfit, you may want to make sure that they’re easy to handle and not sharp.

Make sure your kid knows your cell phone number and how to use 911. Face it, it’s dark and sometimes kids can get lost.

Check your castle pathways for obstructions. You don’t want any visiting goblins to get hurt and it also helps to keep those over paid lawyers off your backs.

Keep your pets on a leash or better yet, indoors or caged.

Don’t let your kids go out alone or unescorted by an adult or responsible person. That should be self obvious.

Fresh batteries in the flashlight is a no brainer!

Only go to homes with the porch lights on or that are well lit. This is not only a safety concern but it also helps you and our kids from going to homes that aren’t participating in the evening events.

Where possible, stay in a group. Better yet, form a small group and go together.

Don’t cross over yards…stay on the sidewalk. You never know what people have forgotten in their yards when they were weeding it earlier that day.

Don’t presume that motorists can see you! Cross where you’re supposed to and LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE CROSSING!

If you have a concern or something seems out of place or a concern, call the cops. It may be nothing, but then too many “nothings” have
ended up being problems later on.

Check all the candies and other goodies your monsters are given BEFORE they eat them. “Trust but verify” is always a good policy when getting goodies from people you don’t know.

Be careful, use your smarts and have a great evening.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

Hey Walmart – It’s not even November! REMOVE THE XMAS CRAP! 0

Hey Walmart – It’s not even November! REMOVE THE XMAS CRAP!

Ok, so I’m wandering into my local Walmart this morning to snag a paper and some items. It’s October 29. Not even Halloween! Thanksgiving (A REAL Holiday) is weeks away!

So, what’s the FIRST THING I see? Rows and rows and rows of xmas crap! It’s OCTOBER! GEEZUZ people!


Now we all KNOW that there’s NO Biblical or historical basis for the Christ child to have been born on December 25. That’s a matter of record! BUT WTF WALMART??? Why do you have to put all this xmas crap out in OCTOBER!???

Frankly, you and your ilk are removing ANY spirit of xmas that anyone had at this time of year or later. You’re OVER marketing, OVER selling,and in general just showing to the world once again that you really don’t care about the SPIRIT of xmas, you only care about how early you can start selling your schlock and making money off of people stupid enough to be buy your crap in OCTOBER!

How about waiting until we’ve at least finished our Halloween candy and put the damn turkey in the over!

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.