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Don’t talk to me about, “life.”

In Health, Opinion, psychology, Religion, sociology, Uncategorized on May 28, 2015 at 11:10 am

Deer In Headlines

Special Edition 

By Gery L. Deer

dih-logo-SE“I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, ‘Where’s the self-help section?’ She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.” ― George Carlin

No kidding, don’t talk to me about life. I don’t have a clue what to tell you. It’d be great if I could suddenly sound like one of those know-it-all high-dollar advice columnists but, really, they’re full of it too.  You’d have more luck following the meaningless advice from inside your next fortune cookie at the local Chinese restaurant.

Advice columnists, TV experts, so-called “life coaches,” or your favorite self-help author or motivational speaker must be infinitely smarter than any of us regular folks. After all, they motivated your money right out of your wallet; genius, wouldn’t you say? In reality, one can tell you what to do about the perils and promises of life except you.

Life is one of those subjects about which I have never felt confident offering an opinion, nor should anyone else. The very idea that anyone has it figured out or could possibly understand the complexities of someone else’s situation is not just ridiculous, it’s a little insulting.

Special, personal hat tip to the late author, Douglas Adams, who helped to put this writer's perspective into focus.

Special, personal hat tip to the late author, Douglas Adams, who helped to put this writer’s perspective into focus.

If anyone could actually manage such a thing, it would mean that there is nothing inherently special or unique about our lives. It implies that everyone lives a sort of cookie-cutter existence, with no peaks, valleys or crevices, and that’s just silly.

Life is complicated. It cannot be sorted out with an hour on the psychiatrist’s couch or because of some nonsense from a self-help book. We all have to iron it out for ourselves. That’s not to say we don’t need some help sometimes, but it’s not going to come from something you saw on an infomercial at 3 o’clock in the morning.

Even religion offers no answer to such multifaceted issues as, “What should I do with my life?” Religion also guts your wallet without providing a single, concrete solution. In fact, without an incredible level of ambiguity, religion couldn’t exist at all.

Your faith may provide you with peace of mind, but leaving everything “in God’s hands,” is a little like letting go of the wheel while barreling down the highway at 70 miles per hour. I’d say He probably expects you to steer. And, to be fair, science has no solutions either.

For those empirical folks out there, Charles Darwin might have been able to tell you how animals changed over the millennia, but he had no clue how the evolution of your life should proceed. Sometimes you just have to work things out on your own.

Life coaches, support groups, psychobabble – it all comes down to the person you see in the mirror. Everyone has an opinion about your life, but before taking it, you need to look at the source of that information. What kind of shape is their life in?

It’s always puzzling when someone takes marriage advice from a friend or relative whose relationships are a wreck.  That’s kind of like asking a demolition derby driver to teach drivers education. They know how, but the results might be less than desirable.

Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) once said, “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” That is probably the best way to look at your world. Occasionally we’re looking too hard for answers to difficult questions with straightforward resolutions. But you won’t find your answers in a self-help workshop or in an advice column.

When standing at a fork in the road, there comes a time when you have to pick a path and start walking. You put one foot in front of the other, get moving and own it, whatever the outcome. If you do that, on your terms, at least you’ll know it was your decision to go left instead of right, to charge ahead instead of turning back. It will be yours, because we are responsible for the paths our lives take and, after all, the journey is the real destination. Make it a good one.
Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com

Join my #facebookfast and unplug for Memorial Day

In Children and Family, Health, Holiday, News Media, Opinion, Technology, Uncategorized on May 23, 2015 at 5:58 am

DIH LOGOOver the years I’ve done several articles and television interviews on the subject of going “off the grid,” when you put down the smartphone and tablet computer to unplug for a while. But some people simply can’t imagine letting go of their connection to the information superhighway, even for a few minutes.

Who knows what disasters might befall them if they miss that one, all-important posting that could quite literally change their lives forever. Of course, in reality, none of that stuff really matters.

It could be argued that political, racial and other social tensions might be less volatile if there were no social media to spread negativity and anger at the speed of light. Although it offers a positive outlet to promote social change, it also invites hateful rhetoric that can be distributed instantly and constantly.

Social media can sometimes even exacerbate depression in people already prone to the problem. True, it can sometimes elicit encouragement, support and sympathy. In my opinion, however, that level of support is only effective in the long term if it comes from in-person contact with people who really know you and care.

For the record, my job and my lifelong ties in technology leave me as guilty as the next person when it comes to maintaining my cyber connection. That said I still try to treat it like a tool – one for communication, maintaining a surface contact with friends I rarely get to see or just keeping up with my interests. But it can still be overwhelming at times and then I have to shut it off.

As it turns out, there is something called “social media anxiety.” Although it’s not recognized as a mental disorder (yet), from what I have read the problem results, in part, from this unrealistic sense of urgency with which we have endowed our virtual engagements. So, I think we all need a break.

Can you unplug for the #facebookfast?

Can you unplug for the #facebookfast?

If you’re one of the millions suffering from social media anxiety or just need a respite from the constant “Likes,” texts, tweets, pins and pokes, I’d like to make the following proposal. I’m inviting all of my readers, followers, and everyone else, to join me in what I’ve chosen to call, “The Facebook Fast.”

For 24 hours, we turn off all social media, going cold turkey on everything; no tweets, Facebook messages, or Pinterest posts – nothing. I considered suggesting a 48-hour-moratorium, but I thought that might send some people to a rubber room. The big question is, when?

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is always best spent with family and friends in the real world, so it seems the perfect time for a cyber-fast. Therefore, “The Facebook Fast” will kick off on Monday, May 25, 2015, at 12:01 a.m. and remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. the same day, so you even get two free minutes.

I expect this will be a challenge for a lot of people, me included. Because of the holiday, we’re all going to want to post and check in all day but we must resist temptation. If you can get your family and friends to participate too, it’ll be easier to hang in there.

Oh, I can almost feel the panic setting in at the mere thought of cutting the social media cord. But relax, consider it a “cyber cleanse.” Don’t worry; these particular DTs will pass quickly. And, in the event you can’t possibly imagine how you will stay in touch with the world for a whole day without social media, I have a few suggestions.

You could: read a book or newspaper, go outside, pick up the phone and actually call someone, meet a friend for dinner, go to a ball game, visit a local attraction, or any number of other activities that involve actual, human contact.

In something of an irony, the best way to spread the word about the fast is by using the hash tag, #facebookfast. I feel safe in guaranteeing to you that nothing bad will happen from ignoring social media for one day. The world will continue to turn and, if we’re lucky, it might also slow down just a little bit and give us all a moment to catch our breath.

 

Special Editorial Note: For fans of the late author Douglas Adams and his series of books from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” May 25th is also “Towel Day.” If you want to participate in the #facebookfast, just save up photos from Towel Day events and activities and post them at 11:59PM! If everyone hits it at once, “Towel Day” will trend on Twitter! 

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com.

 

 

More money needed to combat child poverty

In Children and Family, Economy, National News, Opinion, Politics, sociology on May 19, 2015 at 11:51 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOFor many Americans, a day of suffering might include a flat tire on the way to work, the cable going out right before a favorite program, or a long line at the coffee shop. But for millions of children, suffering means doing without basic necessities like proper nutrition and even the most basic health care.

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), more than 16 million children in the United States live in families with income below the poverty level of $23,550. That’s a staggering 22-percent of all the kids in the country.

Some people today believe that childhood poverty in America is something from the past. In fact, one in six children in the United States lives below the poverty line.

Some people today believe that childhood poverty in America is something from the past. In fact, one in six children in the United States lives below the poverty line.

Despite the political rhetoric, generally coming from conservatives who feel poverty is a problem of the lazy, the NCCP reports that most of the parents of these children do indeed work. But low wages and in unstable employment situations continue to restrict any sort of progress for them. Experts agree that poverty is the single greatest threat to the welfare of American children in modern society.

In addition, for those who believe that poverty is a problem mainly suffered by minorities, here are some statistics. The NCCP reports that among America’s poorest children, 4.2 million are white, 4 million are Latino, 3.6 million are African American, 400,000 are Asian, and 200,000 are American Indian. That’s right; the majority of American kids living in poverty are white. But, clearly, the numbers are fairly close, so it’s certainly clear that poverty doesn’t seem to discriminate.

Red Nose DayMost of what’s needed to help this problem involves, as always, more money. There just isn’t enough funding through government social service programs to provide the needed services to support poverty-stricken children and younger adults. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC), along with charity partners such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Feeding America, is sponsoring a national day of awareness and fund-raising called, “Red Nose Day,” on Thursday, May 21st.

The United Way of Orange County, California explained the event on their website, “The campaign encourages everyone from children to corporations to do something fun in the name of raising awareness around a serious global issue, while also raising funds to help identify and deliver solutions. Red Nose Day USA activities culminate in a 3-hour telethon airing on NBC Saturday May 21 at 8pm.”

In addition to events like Red Nose Day, people are encouraged to help out in whatever capacity available to them, and it’s not just about writing a check. Those interested in volunteering can check with their local chapter of The United Way or other social service organizations to find out more.

Living in the richest, most powerful country in the world should inherently provide some kind of security for a child, at the very least with regard to food and shelter. Without proper living conditions, a child will simply not be able to learn well and that makes school less of a priority than eventually helping the family to support itself.

Children who can’t learn or leave school will only continue the cycle of poverty in many instances, forever locking themselves into the lowest paying work, when employment is even available.

So the question begs to be asked, “Can’t the government do more?” Yes, it can. But it hasn’t, and it probably won’t. Annually, only a pittance of tax dollars is allocated towards this problem and local social service programs are continually scaled back because of lack of funding.

Even the great Affordable Healthcare Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), which was supposed to provide health insurance for America’s poorest citizens, has made no significant difference. Because of its incredibly complicated application procedures, among other reasons, the program has thoroughly failed to meet healthcare needs of these children and their families.

Even if someone only has a little more, there is always a way to help those with far less. Red Nose Day is a fun start, but there needs to be more done to help those living in poverty. Congress (liberal and conservative alike) and the president share the blame for this tragic disfigurement of American culture. It’d be interesting to see how they would handle living without the six-figure salaries and free insurance.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com

Culligan invites public to celebrate new water refill station

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Food, Health, Local News, Technology on May 19, 2015 at 11:40 am
Culligan of Dayton's new drive-up, 24-hour water refill station takes 1-5 gallon bottles.

Culligan of Dayton’s new drive-up, 24-hour water refill station takes 1-5 gallon bottles.

Dayton, OH – Culligan of Dayton, located at 3900 Wilmington Pike in Kettering, invites the public to attend a ribbon cutting and open house to celebrate their new 24-hour, self-serve purified water station. The event runs from noon until 3 p.m., on Saturday May 30, with free hot dogs and drinks, hourly door prizes, and complimentary water.

Culligan of Dayton opened its doors in 1970. Under the familiar tag, “Hey, Culligan Man!” the company has continually provided residential and commercial water conditioning and filtration systems, home and office bottled water and salt delivery, and 24-hour maintenance service.

The self-serve refill station became operational in January and dispenses purified water for refillable bottles at just $0.25 per gallon. Dan Thomas, manager of Culligan of Dayton, wants customers to know the value of having this kind of service, when they need it, day or night.

“A customer can pull right up to the machine and they won’t have to carry their water through a big store where you could pay as much as $0.40 per gallon,” Thomas said. “The unit is easy to operate and fits 1-gallon to 5-gallon refillable bottles.” He also suggested that the benefits are as much about quality as convenience.

“In my opinion, our ability to maintain and control the quality of our product is much better to a big-box, in-store refill station which is usually handled by an outside source,” Thomas said. “We do weekly testing and the unit is sanitized daily.”

According to Thomas, the superior water quality is a direct result of the highly controlled purification process the water receives before it is dispensed. “The water is softened to remove calcium, dechlorinated through a carbon filter, and then sent through reverse osmosis for purification,” he said. “Then it goes through ultraviolet light to remove any residual bacteria.”

The grand door prize winner, announced near the close of the event, will receive a Culligan reverse osmosis purification system valued at $899.00. Customers needn’t wait until the open house to take advantage of the water refill station. It is already installed and available for use. For more information, call (937) 294-0375, or go online to culliganohiovalley.com.

Dayton 3D printer offers unique graduation remembrance

In Business, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Local News, Technology, Uncategorized on May 11, 2015 at 3:03 pm

IMG_0912Dayton, OH – If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a three-dimensional likeness is probably priceless. Every year proud parents spend a fortune on photos of their graduating children, from both high school and college. But Brent Cox, marketing director of GetPrinting3D in Vandalia, wants you to know about a fun alternative – three-dimensional full color statues and bobble heads.

GetPrinting3D first opened its Dayton location in November 2014. The company specializes in full-service 3D printing resource including the sale of consumer 3D printers, scanners and software; 3D print services (like a 3D Kinkos); 3D design services; 3D printing related classes open to the public, human scanning and printing in full-color, 3D printing consultation, business-to-business product prototyping and engineering services.

Commemorative products such as bobble heads and statuettes can be created for just about any subject including graduation, athletes in uniform, special events, military recognition, weddings, pregnancy, retirement, and much more.

“We create a very special and high tech way to commemorate a memorable time in a person’s life, like graduation, with a GraduateTCTommy114tangible keepsake,” Cox said. “The product makes a unique and one-of-a-kind gift for those hard-to-get family members, grandparents, friends or business associates.”

The process of production is relatively easy, according to Cox. “The subject gets scanned at our N. Dixie Drive location at a pre-arranged appointment time and selects a product. We offer bobble heads, full-body statues, and more. The scan usually takes a total of 15 minutes and you pay for it at the time of order. It takes 2-3 weeks to complete and the customer can pick it up or have it shipped directly to them.

Cox noted one word of caution when considering whether a 3D product is right for you. “It is important that the person can to hold very still from 30 to 60 seconds while the scanning takes place, so young children can be a problem. We have successfully scanned a 5 and 6 year old but we can’t guarantee results on young children and pets simply do not work with our scanning process.”

DaytonStorePano_1_GetPrinting3D’s retail store is as much an educational experience for anyone studying the 3D printing technology and processes. “We desire to be a complete 3D printing resource for all levels of people and our more than 21 years years working with the technology gives us the experience and knowledge to do that,” Cox explained. “Our walk-in store provides a place where everyone from the local high school STEM teacher to GE’s engineering team members can visit, ask questions, learn about the technology and get great advice in a no-pressure space.”

As one way to help support technical education in the area, the company is also offering to donate a percentage of sales from their “3DYOU” products to qualifying schools that refer 3D printing customers. “Customers will just need to mention the school when they place their order,” Cox said, “we’d be thrilled if the money would be used to support the school’s STEM, or similar program.”

GetPrinting3D is located at 9375 N. Dixie Drive, Dayton, Ohio 45414, just north of the Miller Lane area. For more information or to schedule an appointment to have a 3D scan made, call 855-504-3833 or go online to www.getprinting3d.com.

 

Voters don’t care about dishonesty  

In history, National News, Opinion, Politics on May 11, 2015 at 11:33 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOA recent Associated Press poll found that only four in ten Democrats would describe Hillary Rodham Clinton, the liberals’ leading presidential hopeful, as “honest.” The data also indicated that about the same number see her as uninspiring and not especially, “likeable.”

As the AP article reported on May 1, 2015, “Americans appear to be suspicious of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s honesty, and even many Democrats are only lukewarm about her presidential candidacy, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.”

Yet, it’s still likely these uninspired voters will likely pull a lever next to her name through the primaries and on to the 2016 ticket. Doesn’t the voting public care whether or not a president is honest? The short answer is, no.

Regardless of whether they call themselves Democrat, Republican or Independent, many voters would describe the phrase, “honest politician” as a contradiction in terms. Unless they are a tireless idealist or go through life wearing blinders and ear plugs most people have come to expect politicians to be dishonest to some extent.

Presidents "swear" an oath then spend a good part of their term lying.

Presidents “swear” an oath then spend a good part of their term lying.

The reality is that Americans have made an unconscious decision that all political lies are not created equal. A lie to the media or the public in the interest of national security is generally accepted. For example, President Kennedy hid the fact that he ended the Cuban missile crisis by making a deal with Khrushchev for U.S. missile removal from Turkey. Was it a lie or something the public simply didn’t need to know? Is a political lie of omission still wrong?

Other types of political lies can have more sinister grounds. In the 1980s, President Reagan mislead the country about his involvement in the Iran Contra affair, the secret arrangement to supply arms to Nicaraguan contra rebels using profits generated by selling weapons to Iran. And does Watergate even need a mention here?

This kind of dishonesty is certainly not limited to the executive branch. The level of deceit and back-door dealing that likely takes place on Capitol Hill would stagger the imagination. But, if dishonestly is a hot-button issue against Hillary Clinton during the upcoming primaries, the GOP certainly has no room to play innocent.

George W. Bush, for example, was largely regarded as most dishonest, not about what he had already done, but in an effort to persuade the public to go along with what he had yet to do. Can anyone say, “W.M.D.?” Still, he was re-elected, as were so many of the biggest liars to ever sit behind the Resolute Desk.

Looking back, it seems that some of the deepest deceptions appear to have come from presidents who served more than one term. From FDR to Bill Clinton, and now Barack Obama, the longer they serve, the more lies they tell.

It’s clearer than ever that a large part of the voting public couldn’t care less about a presidential candidate’s honesty. Oddly, it seems like the higher the office, the more dishonesty is tolerated. At the ground level, even school board members or the mayoral candidates of the tiniest towns are taken further to task over honesty issues than any presidential candidate. To some, that seems – backwards.

Put very simply, “Laws (and governments) are like sausages. You don’t want to see how they’re made.” It’s hard to say who originally uttered those words, but the sentiment is as true today as ever. There is a level of blind eye turned toward some of this behavior just because of an inherent expectation and acceptance.

The modern media plays also into this problem a bit. With instantaneous information, literally at everyone’s fingertips, word spreads before anything can be properly vetted. Rumor and innuendo can rapidly become “Internet fact.” It’s tough for the average person to know the difference between reality and hype without doing some digging.

Regardless of what people might prefer, given the state of American politics, it’s unlikely that any operative would be able to function without mastering some level of deception towards his or her rivals or constituents. It would be refreshing, however, if the voting public demanded more honesty from presidential hopefuls and if even one of them could meet that expectation.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. GLD Enterprises is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga studio ribbon cutting and free class in Beavercreek May 19

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Economy, Education, Health, Religion on May 5, 2015 at 1:05 am
Innerlight Yoga and Wellness offers a variety of classes.

Innerlight Yoga and Wellness offers a variety of classes.

Beavercreek, OH  – Innerlight Yoga and Wellness invites the public to share in celebration as they cut the ribbon on a new facility and celebrate a second anniversary in Beavercreek. A free open house is scheduled for 5:00PM, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at the new location, 1265 N Fairfield Road, with the official ribbon cutting ceremony slated for 5:30PM. Open house visitors are also invited to attend a free, 45-minute, “all levels” yoga class beginning at 6:15PM, RSVP requested.

Jen Ater is the owner of Innerlight Yoga and Wellness. She has been teaching since 2005 and holds a master’s degree from Antioch University in yoga studies with a focus on yoga therapy.

Ater started out in Indiana but opened her first studio in Yellow Springs, Ohio in 2008, then moved to Beavercreek five years later. Innerlight Yoga and Wellness offers somewhere between 24 and 26 classes each week ranging from gentle, restorative yoga to more active, hot power yoga. The studio also offers private yoga sessions, massage, yoga therapy, and other wellness services.

“We have a wide variety of classes, as a human being shows up in many different body shapes and sizes, different ages, different health and mobility issues,” said Ater.  “So, I find that it’s important to offer yoga that’s available for everyone and make it as inclusive as possible.”

Jen Ater, Instructor and owner of Innerlight Yoga and Wellness.

Jen Ater, Instructor and owner of Innerlight Yoga and Wellness.

“I try, on the fly, to present yoga to all different types of people in a down-to-earth way,” said Ater, who, over the years, has taught yoga in diverse settings from chiropractic offices to juvenile detention centers. “Sometimes maybe I failed, but I think that someone who is truly successful has to fail quite a lot in order to really know what they’re doing.”

“I don’t think there’s anyone with as much experience teaching in as many different environments,” she suggested. “And people like the simplicity of our studio. It’s well-kept and organized. It’s also not an overly feminine environment, but very neutral in terms of feminine or masculine.”

Outreach is also a big part of the mission at Innerlight. “I am not

Watch Jen Ater on WDTN, TV2's LIVING DAYTON --- http://wdtn.com/2015/05/14/innerlight-yoga-wellness/

Watch Jen Ater on WDTN, TV2’s LIVING DAYTON — http://wdtn.com/2015/05/14/innerlight-yoga-wellness/

happy, unless I feel like I’m helping people,” explained Ater. Although the programs are not yet in order, Ater has a history of organizing community outreach programs such as the YS Youth Yoga Project, a grant-funded free yoga immersion for Yellow Springs School’s students and staff. “Three percent of the studio’s revenue will go towards outreach programs to bring yoga to schools and other organizations that cannot afford to provide classes,” she continued. “We want to make a difference, on many levels.”

Light refreshments will be provided at the open house, and space is limited for free yoga class, so those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by email to Erin at info@innerlightwellness.net. For more on classes and schedules, call 937-306-8235 or visit Innerlight Yoga and Wellness online at http://www.innerlightwellness.net. CLICK HERE to watch the WDTN-TV2 interview with Jen Ater.