Nelson Mandela died this week. He was 95. He liberated a country. The world is in mourning except for a few people who seem to disagree with the fact that all men are created equal. Yeah, I know, it’s the 2000’s and some folks still look down upon blacks, Latins, Asians and anyone who isn’t from Mayflower stock. It’s happening mostly here in the U.S. We thought that it was all over. Voting rights, civil rights the veneer of equality that settled in during the sixties and seventies. I was on the bandwagon but like everybody else once the laws were in place I figured we could ease off, after all, this was America. No, civil rights are still eroding. The Right is trying to impose voting restrictions so minorities (wait a few years, the song will change) and out of state college students are not allowed to vote because they upset delicate balance the entrenched racists and red necks have spent so much time setting up. I’m not saying all red state inhabitants are racists and bigots but there aren’t enough people speaking out. Yes, the old ways were nice, but some parts sucked. Like separate facilities and general separatism. Mandela fought this and won. Now people in his camp are complaining and his opponents are digging dirt. He’s getting buried on Friday. Let’s make it dignified.

I went to the gym for the first time on Tuesday for evaluation. It was quick and painful. I am horribly out of shape but Eric, my trainer, see’s hope for me. I failed miserably. Muscle weakness was complemented by gravity. Simple exercises that I once, long ago, was able to do were impossible. Eric said he’d get me in shape if I stayed with the program. Mentally I was already committed, so it’s a go. On Thursday I was introduced to the machines. At low weights, I was able to do 10 reps. I was going back. I switched from Tuesday and Thursday because the third day would be Friday or Saturday. I scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday, mid-morning. The weathers going to suck but I’m going.

In 1941 some admirals and generals convinced the Emperor of Japan that attacking the naval installation at Pearl Harbor would be a great idea, after all they’d already had some success in the Pacific. They picked December 7th. Why? Dunno. Well they went and did it. Bombed the bejeezus out of the place and were pretty satisfied. It took about two days to take a country that was unwilling to get involved to a juggernaut that went from just selling arms to kicking the crap out of the Axis. We saved something special for Japan. We picked two cities and killed tens of thousands of people in seconds and there are still repercussions. Along with that, we by proxy initiated the Cold War. We didn’t want it but the Rosenbergs and their ilk supplied information to the Soviets and that instigate Joe McCarthy. We did good, huh?

Despite joining a gym, I’m closing in on myself. The outside is losing its allure. I want to photograph it and show you what I see. Here’s the first me, a month ago.IMG_0015

I’ve also got a camera. It’s like collecting coins. You never can get everything you want and need for a price you can afford. I stopped short of what I lusted after, a big honking telephoto lens that I can see the craters on the moon with.

See you in the funnies.