On Western Wages and lifestyle

I live in the United States. The United States has seen a lot of change.  The standard of living has been gradually rising up through 1965.

Up until 1941, the United States was largely agricultural with strong industrial centers in the Northeast. Then things started to change more rapidly with the onset of World War 2. Women went into the workforce.

At present since about 2012 and slowly improving, the civilian population employed has been much lower. Most jobs seem to  be in the service sector. I’m a knowledge worker. I’m trying to put as much into my blogs as I can while I have the time.

My father bought his house in 1961 for about $34K. I purchased by first house for about $219K. Our present house we purchased for $500K. Of course, the location and  the relative closeness of good schools makes a big difference.

Depending upon what your standard of living are, your financial needs may differ. We now have electricity service so we pay for that. We have city water and sewage so we pay for that. We pay for cell phone and cable internet service. We also have gas heat which we use rarely. We do have Air conditioning which adds to the electric bill. Most of these services our ancestors didn’t have so our cost of living has risen.  Our first home did have electricity and a toilet but there was evidence of the electric service being upgraded in 1970 and there was an area where an outhouse formerly stood. We added some more electric service in our first home to put in an Air Conditioner after enduring sleeping in 120F 100% humidity.

On our appliances, we do have a refrigerator – back when my Mother was  little they used ice from ice-houses.

We also have a microwave oven, a stove and range, and a dishwasher and  clothes dryer.

All but the stove and range are recent innovations.

I’m unemployed presently but still have existing expenses. We cut television feeds and now use streaming video. We use vonage. We have more technology then we did in the 1960’s at home which has increased our cost of living.

Sigh. Hoping to be working shortly.

Peter Grace

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Night Nursing

All of my children nursed for varying lengths of time. My eldest nursed for 19 months. My middle and youngest nursed for about 14 months from my recollection. We have a king sized bed so even though we are largish people, we never suffocated any of our children.

My wife was able to get more sleep when sleeping and nursing and was less cranky as a result.

Having and raising children is stressful. Nursing them gives them the best start on life. While not everyone can nurse, if you can, then it’s a good thing.

Occassionaly the baby would spit up. We had a waterproof pad on the bed to prevent the mattress from getting soaked. Some nights we had to get up in the middle of the night to strip and replace the sheets that had become soaked.

Life is good.

Peter Grace

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Growing up in my birth family (part 1)

The first memory I can recall from my birth family is when my brother Matthew and I were in the playroom and my parents came home with my newborn sister. I asked if she could come in and play with us.

I have a later memory of dancing on top of chairs in the playroom with my siblings to the Beatles “I want to Hold your Hand”

I also recall when my youngest sibling came home. I got home from school, I was in the first grade, and looked in on my newest brother Jerome, my fifth sibling. He became a Navy Seal and served in the First Gulf War.

Jerome K.S. Grace

Jerome in legacy diving suit
Jerome K.S. Grace

My nearest brother and I were 11 months apart. We shared a bedroom and used to play together. He later went on to become a tennis pro and lived in France for many years.

My sister was a kind of princess and occupied a bedroom with pink decorations. I recall she had a large doll house. We terrorized her.

Later my two youngest brothers came along. The experiences we had were rather different. I suspect that some of them are angry that my and my nearest brother’s experiences were perhaps a bit more opulent. Being born in the Kennedy administration and growing up in the Johnson administration and the Great Society, and living through automation of industry gave me a different experience then those of my siblings born later.

As it stands, I have two kids born in the 20th Century and one in the 21st Century. My grandparents were born at the end of the 19th Century.

The picture below was taken on the July 16, 1969 CE, the day that Apollo 11 launched.

Family on July 19,  1969
Family on July 19, 1969

Life is good.

God Bless America, please.

Peter Grace

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Nanny State

We are all humans. We grow within our Mothers and are born and begin our development over time outside our mothers. Independence grows over time.

As a young person near Boston, I used to take myself into the Boston Science Museum on Saturdays each weekend. I was not accompanied by another family member. I used the Mattapan High Speed Trolley and Red Line and then the Green Line to get to Science Park. I did this almost every weekend between the ages of 7 and 13.
My Route.

At age 7, I once took my younger siblings with me to see Woody Allen’sTake the Money and Run‘. It was rated ‘M’.

I used to ride my bicycle around Milton, MA until the street lights came on during the summer. At Age 13 I rode my bicycle from Milton MA to North Falmouth MA. Later I participated in Centuries.

The likelihood of violence being inflicted upon any child is very low, but increases when the violence is being inflicted by another child. Bad stuff does happen, and the media does a terrific job of giving us the sordid details, but I’ve never seen them provide an analysis of the likelihood of the event happening to any individual. It’s sad certainly, but do we want to be total helicopter parents and restrict the development of the independence of our youth?

My kids are young people and growing older. They have their issues, sometimes not paying attention to their personal grooming. We had to visit DHS once when my youngest was reported for not changing his clothes and cleaning his nails. We have to pick our battles. Just getting him to bed can be a challenge.

Young people make mistakes. That’s one way that they grow and learn. Kids even do criminal acts. Rather than imprison them or take them away from their parents, how about educating all parties involved. It’s now known that a young person’s brain isn’t fully developed till about 24 years old or even later for some. Some consideration should be given to young persons and educating them about good behavior rather then reinforcing bad behavior by placing the in Prison .

Recent news show people calling police about a solitary child at the park or taking the subway by themselves. Don’t they remember being children themselves? I do.

Please be Good, not Evil.
God Bless America, Please.

Bernardo de la Paz

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Philanthopy towards future generations

While we are here for a short time, and can certainly have a lot of fun with our assets, doesn’t it make better sense to be philanthropic to future generations then to put it up our nose and spend it at Las Vegas or on war?

We are human beings and life is very short. Our legislators seem to be only interested in getting reelected. This is wrong. They should be thinking of their legacy and of future generations.

Note – if it’s bad for the grandchildren, it’s bad for us. Corollary – if it’s good for the grandchildren, it’s good for us.

Flooding the USA with naturalized undocumented immigrants may help certain political parties with their aspirations, but it’s not good for our or their grandchildren.

Having  the existing or slightly modified immigration process work to provide new Americans to American business and industry as we have done in the past makes most sense and is fair.

Legislation might be better thought out and implemented if our legislators thought about it with the grandchildren in mind.

For instance, no one wants their grandchildren killed in unrest because they are unable to defend themselves. The 2nd amendment protects our God given right to keep and carry arms. Don’t our legislators believe in God and his gifts ? I do.

If you think about this and the future, you may realize that it’s in your and our interest to have the legislators legislate with the grandchildren in mind. We are all Grandchildren.  If you agree  in whole or part, please tell your legislators.

One way to implement this would be to require to have all bills to have an attached analysis e.g. Likely impact, worst case impact, best case impact and also a list of possible alternatives  to investigate or that have been investigated. Then perhaps a statement as to why the bill was chosen as the solution.

War isn’t in our grandchildren’s interest. Spending more on diplomacy might be a better investment for the future. Of course, if you have a vested conflict of interest, you might feel differently.

What is the most dangerous animal on the planet? If you do some thinking, you realize we both have an interest and an conflict. I’m thinking of the common good.

Sincerely yours,

Bernardo de la Paz

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Taking care of our unfortunate fellows

Mary and  Joseph looked for a place to stay for the night. They aren’t alone.

We are surrounded by unfortunate people. If we close our  eyes to it, we are  guilty of neglect.  We used to have special hospitals for the mentally ill. We closed  those over time due to abuses and a plan to move them to regular hospitals and community based treatment centers.

The treatment centers rarely materialized except in some enlightened urban centers.

President Kennedy started work on the problem.

CNN did a story on homelessness. This is a serious problem.

I was just enjoying a swim at my local  YMCA and conversation with my fellow citizens. One of them  told me a story of encountering a mentally ill man picking his skin bloody in front of her business. She spoke with him, but there was no one home.  She herself has a brother with mental illness. She  showed compassion.

She called the police to get aid for this person. They investigated the man and then asked her where they should take him.

She asked had they never dealt with a mentally ill person before ?  Why would they ask her where to take him?

While meeting with a Detective at the Ventura County Sheriff’s office, I overheard a former customer asking about going back to jail. Jail provided him with a place to sleep and meals. Seems to me we need better places for people to go.

Our major mental hospitals are closed. We do need community based health care to take  over. This needs to be added to municipal code that the mentally ill be provided for. I’m not talking about the Ritz but a safe, clean, dry place to get treatment, get a place to sleep, use the restroom, take a shower, do some laundry, etc.  They could also receive services.

I have asked my Assemblyman’s office to add this to the municipal code. We are all human being and we need to take care of even those with severe mental illness. With treatment, many will get well and become contributing societal members.

It’s the right thing to do. I hope you agree. We are one of the most advanced societies on Earth. Shouldn’t that be reflected in our actions ?

Bernardo de La Paz
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Works of Mercy

We are all human being and grandchildren.
I believe we should practice the works of mercy towards each other. That’s some of what my blog is about. Life is so short, we should do what we can for each other. We are all brothers and sisters. Talking with my fellow swimmers at the YMCA, we feel like we are still 10 years old sometimes.

We should try also practice the Golden Rule towards our grandchildren. We may not be around, but they will be. Please God, help them. May you work for enlightenment. It may make you less secure, but doing justice to each other will make us all happier.

The Greatest Virtue – Compassion

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

Corporal Works of Mercy

  • To feed the hungry;
  • To give drink to the thirsty;
  • To clothe the naked;
  • To harbour the harbourless;
  • To visit the sick;
  • To ransom the captive;
  • To bury the dead.

Spiritual Works of Mercy

  • To instruct the ignorant;
  • To counsel the doubtful;
  • To admonish sinners;
  • To bear wrongs patiently;
  • To forgive offences willingly;
  • To comfort the afflicted;
  • To pray for the living and the dead.

God Bless America, please.

Adam Selene

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