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BJ Shea

 BJ Shea


BJ'S BLOG 03/23/14 "It's Rambling Harbor, Not Pigeonhole Cove"

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

One definition of "pigeonhole" is a small compartment in a desk or wall for storing letters or papers. Another definition is a category assigned to someone that focuses on a particular characteristic, not the whole person, so it's often unfair. I fear that second definition.

I have spent two weeks sounding like I might be morphing into a news commentator ranting about some government lunacy or other dog-and-pony show, all played out by that big-top circus called Washington, D.C. That's a place where, when you use the term "seat of government," it's used in polite company and does not refer to the asses running our country.

I don't want anyone to get the idea they would necessarily come to these shores and find Dan's latest diatribe about this world issue or that one—yes, sometimes, but by no means all the time. Now that Rambling Harbor is gaining some foothold in the big, wide, scary world of blogging and podcasting. I want to say this about that. One week, I might focus on Kanye West and Kimmie K.'s ass or on Donald "The Duck" Trump. I might tell you a story from my life—a trip to Greenwich Village in the 1960's or Harvard Square in the 1970's or, having been a DJ, something on music and musicians. As I said last week, I'm not Rachel.

This week the biggest issue in my life was my closet. I'm convinced there are small people living there. I don't see them, but they are there and always leave it a mess. My cat Chloe sees them at night. I have seen her dart from inside the darkest depths of her closet kingdom, where she has a warm safe bed, and run to the kitchen and back, and at times I swear I hear other tufted footfalls besides Chloe's. It always sounds like fun, especially when they have fights with my socks! How else could such a mess happen?

My podcast sometimes has very little to do with my blog. After writing 500 words or so, why in heck would I want to talk about the same subject for 15 more minutes, and why would you listen to it? Remember, variety makes life spicy.

As I'm gaining new followers (thank you! thank you!), I thought it necessary to let you know that this is Rambling Harbor, emphasis on "rambling." Just add variety, stir in a dash of lunacy, and a pinch of WTF, and there you go.

I'm not sure what you'll find on the shores of Rambling Harbor this time, but join me there, won't you?

http://dbsanders.podbean.com/e/it%E2%80%99s-rambling-harbor-not-pigeonhole-cove/
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BJ'S BLOG 03/19/15 "First Date Make Out"


We'd like to take a moment to say hello to any Rock-A-Holics who might be joining us in Group Therapy for the first time. I don't know if you have any personal rules about things like this, but if you want to, uh, "hang out" when we're done here, I'm not opposed…

26-year-old Fran recently had a date that she thought went pretty well: they had a good dinner, and talked for four hours, and then her date drove her home. They made out in the car for about ten minutes, and he said he wanted to see her again.

As you can probably guess, she's writing us because she hasn't heard from the guy since that night. She's wondering if he might be judging her because she was willing to make out on the first date; in fact, she specifically asked if she was "trashy" for doing so.

I guess I can't say for sure, but I find this line of questioning a little odd. Personally, I don't think ten minutes of making out is a big deal at all, especially in this day and age. The very idea that it might be considered "trashy" makes me wonder if Fran might be a little old-fashioned to start with. Again, we don't have that information, so let's just focus on the basic facts…

Do you think it's okay for a woman (or a man, for that matter) to make out on the first date?
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BJ'S BLOG 03/18/15 "Helpful Husband"

It's Group Therapy time! Rock-A-Holics helping Rock-A-Holics, baby! Isn't it nice to help people? Who doesn't like that?

Well, Caitlin is concerned about a "helpful" situation that involves her husband. It seems that a recently-divorced woman has transferred to his office, and she constantly asks for his assistance with things around her residence. Caitlin says that she trusts her husband, but he's nice to the point of being naïve, and she's a little worried that he's being taken advantage of...and that this woman-in-need may have more "needs" than she's letting on. Caitlin's husband is good-looking and makes good money, so it's not a stretch – in Caitlin's mind – for him to be a prime target.

The woman recently called Caitlin's husband at home on a weekend, looking for help with an electrical problem. Finally reaching the end of her patience with the situation, Caitlin told her husband to suggest that the woman find assistance elsewhere, because her married handyman is no longer available. Mr. Nice Guy thinks that Caitlin is being cruel to this poor woman, and defends her need for help while she's trying to rebuild her life after her divorce.

Unless this guy is a home repair maniac, I guess I can understand where Caitlin is coming from; who wants to spend their off-hours doing MORE work? I'm not saying that she should assume anything about his faithfulness, but I do have to wonder why he's so patient with this other woman. I'm a man (last time I checked, anyway) and I can honestly say that I can't see most men being THAT nice without some kind of reward.

What do you say, gang? Am I assuming too much, or is there a different kind of work going on here?
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Topics : Human Interest




 

BJ'S BLOG 03/17/15 "The Cheating Boss"

Hello again, Rock-A-Holics! We always appreciate you showing up to lend some advice to the fine people who sign up for Group Therapy, and your help is definitely needed today…

We have an interesting little drama today: Mike knows that his best friend's wife is cheating on him, but he's not sure what to do about that…because the cheating woman in question is Mike's boss!

Yes, you read that correctly:
MIKE'S BEST FRIEND'S CHEATING WIFE IS ALSO MIKE'S BOSS.

Seriously, can we just forward this one to Jerry Springer? The drama quotient is through the roof here. We don't have much information on the specific mechanics of this situation, but Mike says that he can't tell his friend, because Wife-Boss would know that he spilled the beans, and his job would be history. So, what does that mean? Did he catch her in the act? If she would know that he told, then she must know that he knows…right? I can't even keep track of this.

Regardless of the hard details, Mike certainly needs some outside advice. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this complicated situation, folks…
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Topics : Human Interest
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People : Jerry Springer




 

BJ'S BLOG 03/16/15 "I'm Not Rachel"

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

I called this blog "I'm not Rachel," as in Rachel Maddow, but also thought about "I'm not Jon," as in Jon Stewart, and the one I liked best, "Thank God I'm Not Rush Limbaugh," the ever-obtuse blunderbuss. By now, of course, you're asking, Dan, what is the meaning of this? Are you knee-deep in an identity crisis?

The answer is no. My identity is, as it has always been, curious but intact, which is also one of the things my cat Chloe loves about me, curiosity. But in the last few weeks, I've been getting too serious about the news. Now don't misunderstand "too serious." We earthlings have many very serious issues to deal with and many very serious news types, a kaleidoscope of news types.

Lately I have ranted about Rand Paul and his anti-vaccine idiocy. That was two weeks ago. Last week I vented on the expense of a needless hunk of steel called the F-35 fighter jet, which has not left the ground since the project began in 2006, at least not successfully, and now has suffered another setback—until the year 2018, sometime? I went into great detail about the cost and what $1.5 trillion could be better spent on. However, you have options to get that news from a world far greater than my little cabin in a mystical place called Rambling Harbor. You can listen to Rachel Maddow, who is a newsy type I very much like, and the lord of repetitive verbiage knows that from 4 pm to 8 pm in any city in America you have ample opportunity to get depressed over the world's dilemmas on your own.

Broadcasters come in many types—blondes, brunettes, and redheads—or is that just on "Foxy" News? IQ doesn't count, honey, you must have hair, and they proceed to tell us all about the news and then tell us some more. (Have you noticed you never see any balding female news people? I tend to trust the balding ones.) As I said on Facebook the other day, I like Fox News (gasp from my friends) because of the bodacious babes, which I can watch with the sound off while listening to Robert Plant's "Ship of Fools." Try it. It's a trip. It's like dessert after "NBC Nightly News." Speaking of nightly news, have you heard? Brian Williams said he was in the plane that Harrison Ford crash-landed in the golf course. Well, that is the last Brian Williams joke I intend to tell (and yes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions). I actually wish him well. For whatever reason, in a cutthroat world of dirty laundry, he felt compelled to stretch the truth and is in enough personal hell without help from me.

So I'm not Rachel or Jon or Rush. I'm just a guy with opinions in a place called Rambling Harbor, and I will ease up on the ram-it-down-your-throat approach. Besides, my doctor says I need to lower my blood pressure. Now, where is that recording of "Green Eggs and Ham" by Ted Cruz? Oops! Wrong choice!

Join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor.

http://dbsanders.podbean.com/e/im-not-rachele/
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BJ'S BLOG 03/13/15 "Recovering Brother"

Group Therapy is all about people looking out for each other, and today's case is a perfect example of that…

We heard from a Rock-A-Holic named Adam, who is considering leaving his best man – who happens to be his brother - out of his bachelor party festivities. You see, the brother is a recovering alcoholic, and even though his family is very proud of his six months of sobriety, his groom brother is fearful that the partygoers will be too worried about the situation to properly enjoy the celebration.

Huh. I was actually expecting Adam's message to be about the fear of putting his brother into a temptation scenario, but I suppose I can understand this concern, too. Of course, the brother has been involved in the planning of the event – he's the best man, after all – so Adam is also worried about hurting his feelings by asking him to stay on the bench for this.

This is a tough one, gang. I'd love to hear your opinions, especially if you have firsthand experience in a situation like this…
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BJ'S BLOG 03/12/15 "Are We Creating Entitled Children?"

Hey, gang! Before we get started, I just wanted to say that you are the prettiest, smartest, most amazing Rock-A-Holics in the whole wide WORLD!

That's where society went wrong, you know: parents of MY generation were somehow transformed into ego-boosting, harsh-reality-rejecting, mollycoddling weenies who hand out a participant ribbon to every special snowflake that shows up for the track meet. If they skin their knee, they get an extra cookie! We created the Entitlement Generation, and we weren't even trying.

A new study says that narcissism can be passed down to your kids, and that's not healthy. You have to learn how to exist in a world that includes other people, and come to terms with the fact that you can't just have everything you want. Sometimes, things don't work out, and there's no pat on the back coming your way when it happens to you.

These tendencies start around the age of eight, and things can go downhill pretty quickly from there. So, let's start bringing our kids into the real world NOW, before they climb right up their own…well, you know.

Am I being too harsh? Let's hear it, gang…
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BJ'S BLOG 03/11/15 "High School Sweetheart"

Hey-hey, good people! Let's all take a moment to make special memories with some Group Therapy, shall we?

We heard from Jennifer, who has high school on her mind. She graduated about twenty years ago, and had a very serious boyfriend for the last two years of her high school career. The young couple went their separate ways after graduation; Jennifer went on to college, and the boyfriend ended up moving out of Washington state altogether.

After all this time, the long-lost boyfriend has found Jennifer again. Can anybody guess how?

If you said FACEBOOK, you win a special prize. Yes, the social media reunion program is in full effect here, as Jennifer and her former beau have been chatting up via Facebook. She says it's completely innocent, and her husband even knows about their communication, and seems to be okay with it. Naturally, the lost love is hoping to meet for lunch, but there's just one problem…

his wife isn't comfortable with it.

There's no real obstacle here, though, because he's willing to keep his wife in the dark – to avoid drama, he insists – if Jennifer is going to show up for lunch. She's told her husband about the entire situation; he says he can understand the wife's reticence, and thinks that Jennifer should respect the other woman's wishes. Jennifer really wants to have her little reunion, so she's not sure what to do.

Oh, Jennifer. I'm shaking my head pretty vigorously in your direction, because I can't believe that you haven't put this whole thing together yet. You see, Facebook is great for all the catching up that people need to do…except there's no physical aspect when you're safely guarded behind a computer screen. Speaking as a man, I am fairly certain that your high school sweetheart is looking to do the kind of catching up that his wife wouldn't approve of.

What are your thoughts, Rock-A-Holics?
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Topics : Human Interest




 

BJ'S BLOG 03/10/15 "Wash Out"

There are times when I feel like people can't take a joke anymore. I'm going to put my neck out a little further now, and tell you that women have an even harder sense of humor to crack than men.

An Indonesian company called Salvo Sports recently issued an apology for a garment tag on one of their soccer jerseys, which offered this instruction: "Give it to your woman, it's her job." After someone noticed the tag and Tweeted about it, Salvo Sports issued a public apology. It just so happens that this apology ended up being issued on the so-called "International Women's Day".

First off, do we really need ONE DAY that's devoted to women? Are we so bass-ackwards as a culture that we believe that women are completely denied attention and praise on the other 364 days of the year? When is International MEN'S Day? Oh, it's not coming? What a surprise.

Back to the point: The Salvo Sports story doesn't end with happy customers, because the company chose to use this opportunity to put its feet a little further into its mouth. Translated from Indonesian, their 'apology' reads: "The message is simply, instead of washing it in the wrong way, you might as well give it to a lady because they are more capable. There is no intention to humiliate women. In contrast [we want to tell the men] learn from women how to take care of clothes."

Just this once, I'll concede the point and say that I completely understand why people – especially women – aren't laughing about this.
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BJ'S BLOG 03/09/15 "The Halls of Darkness"

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

Somewhere deep in an uncharted forest I believe there is a place known to only a few. It's a dark place, a quiet place, and those who dwell there speak only in whispered codes. Their homes are a labyrinth of secret tunnels, buried underground and cloaked by deceit.

There are many rooms to this mysterious place, and despite the smell of death and corruption that permeates the air, the floors and walls are shiny bright, kept that way by hunched back servants of a demanding lord.

Policies governing the many are made by the few. The money earned by the servants is divided among the rich masters and spent as they see fit. Taxes are collected with the promise that the money will be used to better the servants' lives.

A recent announcement from this festering place of evil is the decision to spend $1.5 trillion on an aircraft called an F-35 fighter jet, a plane sent into the air to shoot at other planes in the air and other things. Those $1.5 trillion is enough to pay for 273 million Pell grants for students, 721 billion healthy school lunches, 101 thousand new elementary schools, 5.7 billion Obamacare premium subsidies, or 150 million hospitals stays.

It has become obvious that this secret society is planning to leave this world and the rest of us behind. Why else would they not pay for health care or to clean up the earth, and instead spend $6 billion more to send 100 people to a moon called Titan, a one-way trip. I believe that these people, who dwell in darkness and speak in secret words while spying on the rest of us, are seeking their escape.

But these dark souls meet resisters, called free thinkers, troublemakers, and malcontents, who find profit over people repulsive. The resisters talk and write about what is wrong, what should be done, and how we can blast light into the halls of darkness and set the hunched back servants free. But words will never be enough, and the tentacles from the vines that surround this hidden place like Hydra's head will strangle us unless we cut them off.

The dark dwellers have sent their message massagers, politicians and corporate executives, emerging from the bowels of death, regurgitated into the Pentagon and the halls of Congress. They keep us scrubbing the floors of their towers with just enough of a loose yoke to keep us quiet, afraid as we are of losing what little we have.

Now having said all that, I do believe in defending ourselves. Unfortunately if we didn't have weapons, ISIS would be marching down Broadway like the Thanksgiving Day parade. Confused?

There's more on this and other stuff, including Women's History Month and an organization called Lean In, on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Join me there.

http://dbsanders.podbean.com/e/the-halls-of-darkness/
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BJ'S BLOG 03/06/15 "Flirty Babysitter"

Hello again, Rock-A-Holics! Please report to Group Therapy immediately!

Today's topic comes from Jane, who is a little worried about the babysitter. Jane is married to a good-looking man – they're both 36 – and they have a happy life with their two kids. As for the babysitter, she's 16, and Jane has enjoyed having her help with the kids…but now, she believes the babysitter has started flirting with her husband. It's not subtle, and Jane's husband probably doesn't mind the attention, but Jane is still bothered by it, even though she says it isn't worried about it going anywhere.

Here's a rare case of the stereotypes being broken a little: we hear so many stories about the man being aggressive toward a younger woman, but even Jane herself says that he's not doing anything wrong. I guess you shouldn't assume that things can only work one way.

Jane doesn't want to get rid of her babysitter, but she's not quite sure how to handle her irritation with the flirtation situation. What advice do you have for this worried wife and mother?

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BJ'S BLOG 03/05/15 "The Other Woman"

It's time for Group Therapy, and that's the absolute truth!

Julie met a guy at a bar, and they have hooked up a few times. It's not a past relationship; they've been together in the last few weeks. While out with a girlfriend recently, Julie ran into the guy; he was at the bar with another woman. That's no big deal, but when she went over to say hello, Julie found out that the woman is her hookup's girlfriend of almost two years! The guy's face did all the talking for him – he looked absolutely mortified.

Julie made it out of the exchange without incident, but she hasn't heard from the guy since this happened. Now she's wondering if she should take a hint, or confront him about the fact that he's a cheater…which, for the record, Julie is NOT okay with.

I'll just toss in my two cents here, at least in regards to Julie's restraint when she met her fun-buddy's girlfriend: only in the laid-back Pacific Northwest would you find out that you've been turned into "the other woman", and solve it by asking the radio jerks for help. If this had happened anywhere else, there would have been drinks dumped, glasses thrown, and a level of mayhem more suitable for Jerry Springer than your old pal B.J. Shea…

What say you, Rock-A-Holics?
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BJ'S BLOG 03/04/15 "Deal Breaker"

Hey, kids! I hope you'll stick around for another session of Group Therapy, because I like to think of us as a big family. I guess I would be the dad in this case. I hope that's okay.

One Rock-A-Holic is having some daddy issues at the moment. Kelsey has been dating a man that she met on a singles website, and everything has been going great; he's a true gentleman, and she's pretty sure she's starting to have some real feelings for him. There's just one problem…

The dream guy just revealed that he got a woman pregnant, and only recently learned that the child has officially entered the world. He doesn't want any kind of relationship with the mother, but he does intend to take responsibility for the child. He didn't want to keep this a secret from Kelsey, but now she's not sure how she feels about having a serious relationship with a dad.

As much as I admire the man for stepping up to the plate, but I also understand why Kelsey is grappling with her potential life choices. We'd love to hear what you have to say on the subject, gang!
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BJ'S BLOG 03/03/15 "Cheating Granny"

Come on in, gang! We're cooking up a new helping of Group Therapy! We do it just like your grandma does!

(Well, not like everyone's grandma does. You'll understand the need for clarification in just a moment...)

We're trying to help Greg, whose grandfather has been married to his wife (Greg's step-grandmother) for over 30 years. Isn't that adorable, when old folks have been in love for decades? Well, it usually is…but Greg's family recently learned that Granny's been having an affair!

If that wasn't bad enough, here's another problem: if Greg's family were to tell their patriarch about his wife's cheating ways, they would run the risk of ruining his life in many ways; as it happens, the old lady owns pretty much all of their assets. A divorce would leave him with next to nothing. Greg says his grandfather is too independent and stubborn to live with one of his loving family members, but they're willing to take him in.

This debate has been raging within the family for over a month now, and they could really use some help! What advice do you have for a Rock-A-Holic in need?
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Topics : Human Interest
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BJ'S BLOG 03/02/15 "The Crazed Who Walk Among Us"

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:


Up until a day ago, I had my mind set to write something totally fun and foolish, but some things really ticked me off, and the thing that ticks me off most is anyone doing or saying anything that could harm someone else. It's not enough to ignore it.

A few weeks ago, I thought Rand Paul and his statement that vaccines should be an individual's decision, as if he were an authority, was about as stupid as it gets. It reignited a controversy and re-cleared a path many parents followed as a result of a scare a few years ago that speculated there might be a relationship between vaccines and autism. Now everyone but Paul seems to know there is no connection—everyone, that is, except those who chose to follow a nutcase to the cracker farm.

Now a bigger idiot has joined the fool's parade. Nevada state assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R) plans to introduce a bill she said would provide more options for cancer patients, but it actually relies on what medical experts call a myth. As reported at ThinkProgress.org (http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/02/24/3626567/nevada-assemblywoman-cancer-fungus/) Fiore said on her radio show: "If you have cancer, which I believe is a fungus, and we can put a pic line into your body and we're flushing, let's say, salt water, sodium cardonate [sic], through that line, and flushing out the fungus… These are some procedures that are not FDA-approved in America that are very inexpensive, cost-effective." She believes, and she's not a doctor!

I know a little to a lot about cancer treatment as my wife battled it for 14 years and during the last two was a part of Phase 1 trials at Dana Farber, one of the best cancer research hospitals in the world with some of the greatest doctors in the cancer research field, and I can tell you that Fiore's statement is BUNK! The argument that sodium bicarbonate can be used to flush cancer out of the body stems from unsubstantiated treatments by an Italian doctor, Tullio Simoncini. Simoncini's license to practice medicine was revoked in 2003, and three years later, he was convicted of wrongful death and swindling.

What scares me the most are people like Michele Fiore and Rand Paul who have a national stage and an audience, including vulnerable cancer patients, willing to believe almost anything. I have never been diagnosed with cancer, but I can't possibly imagine a more frightening medical diagnosis. I saw the fear my wife lived with day after day and was party to the various thoughts that entered her mind, particularly right after she was diagnosed. Almost ready to try anything, she'd say things like (and I made this up), "Gee, I heard someone say that sitting on a limb and hooting like an owl cures cancer. Well, I'll try that. It's better than dying," and then the limb breaks. Or take Farrah Fawcett, flying back and forth to Europe to get some types of treatment she couldn't get here. No one wants to die, and any imbecile who plays off that fear by endorsing quack cures should be locked away for the safety of us all.

I have a little more to say about this subject and also some fun stuff on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Join me there.


http://dbsanders.podbean.com/e/the-crazed-who-walk-among-us/
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