Is the Internet, high-tech World all that Great, and Learning to hate Toyota

Remember as you read this post that most of communication is nonverbal.  explains why nonverbal communication is important. Briefly, “If you rely solely on spoken words (or texting and/or e-mails) to unearth the intent and meaning of communication with your significant other, you are likely to come up short nearly every time.”

In addition, Good reported on a study conducted at UCLA.  “Nonverbal communication plays a significant role in our lives, as it can improve a person’s ability to relate, engage, and establish meaningful interactions in everyday life.”

That brings me to someone I met recently who I talked to for less than 2 hours. Over the next week that talk triggered fond memories long lost in the archival memory of my mind.

I remembered that as a child I played a lot of Scrabble, Monopoly, card games and other board games with real-live humans. We sat around kitchen tables, on living room floors, and even on the green grass in the front yard.

When I reached high school, I graduated to board games that focused on war, and I spent hours with my friends playing Avalon Hill games reenacting D-Day, the American Civil War, Gettysburg, and Midway.

Right out of high school, I joined the Marines, fought in Vietnam, got married, went to college, and ended up working 60-to-100 hour weeks for decades. That didn’t leave time for the games of my youth until the early 21st century when my stepdaughter was in grade school. I taught her how to play a few card games, Monopoly, chess and Scrabble, but that only lasted a few years for only a few games. There just wasn’t enough time, because the internet and high tech had arrived.

I remembered one Monopoly game with my stepdaughter where I went to jail seven times in a row. Every time I got out of jail, I landed on that square that sent me right back to jail. While I was in Monopoly jail, she bought up almost all the property and after I finally got out of jail I paid her a lot of rent before I went bankrupt and lost the game. There was a lot of groaning and laughter during that game.

Then stepdaughter reached middle school, discovered boys, and lost interested in the board/card games. In high school she added scholastic clubs and sports, and was often gone from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. When home, she was in her room most of the time doing school work. When she went to Stanford that was the end of any chance of playing board/card games with anyone. Now she’s married and working her own 60+ hours a week more than 75 miles from where I live, and her lifestyle doesn’t include board games. She calls maybe twice a month for a few minutes each time. She texts. I don’t. I even got rid of my so-called smart phone and took a step back to an old dumb flip phone.

After I left teaching after 30 years, I attempted to play video games and internet chess but that didn’t stick. It wasn’t the same. Something was missing. Even if there was another person playing on the other end of the cable or satellite connection somewhere in the world, I was still alone staring at a computer monitor.  It wasn’t the same as sitting on the floor or around a table playing with real people where we talked and laughed and had a good time.

Back in the early 1980s, I picked up a great habit. I started listening to audio books while I was driving. That started with tape cassettes I checked out of the library and played on the long drive to work and back home.  The cassette player was eventually replaced with a CD player that was a step up, because cassette tapes sometimes jammed and/or unspooled.

This year, I turned in a car I’d owned for almost a decade and leased a 2016 Toyota RAV4 with no CD player. I was told that CD players were old technology, and I could convert my CD’s and load them on a USB thumb drive and play my audio books while I drove.  That turned out to be a dangerous distraction that didn’t always work well. I spent weeks and hundreds of dollars trying different tech options from a portable battery powered CD player, a Sony Walkman, and a wireless tablet computer. They all turned out to be more complicated than the simple CD player in a car’s dash in addition to being a dangerous distraction when I had to take my eyes off the road to use the fancy touch screen to keep the audio book playing. To avoid an accident, that meant I had to drive for miles with no story or pull over to the side of the road or into a lot where I parked to safely navigate that cursed high-tech screen to get the audio book playing again.

Eventually I just gave up and stopped listening to anything. I refuse to pay XM satellite radio for programs I’m not interested in. I want my audio books back and CD players were easier to use than all the other high tech crap replacing that old tech. And forget old fashioned radio. I’m spoiled. Audio books don’t come with static, advertisements, listening to NPR begging for donations, or far-right, conservative hate-radio talk shows spewing racism and lies.

Before the Internet and all this so-called wonderful high tech came along, I always found time to read a book during the day because there weren’t so many time sucking distractions. I even found time to play a card or board game.  When I was still teaching, I hosted a chess club at lunch in my classroom, and it was amazing how the room filled up with children who wanted to sit across a board from another real, live human being who came with non-verbal communication.

What are we giving up for this high tech, internet, virtual world where too many people often find themselves sitting alone in a room interacting with a computer screen and/or someone we probably will never meet? In fact, many of the alleged people we meet on-line often use fake and/or anonymous names and hide who they really are, and without nonverbal language we’ve lost more than half of what it means to communicate with each other face to face.

I will admit that using a word processor to write is a lot easier than using a typewriter or pen or pencil. And during this journey into the world of new tech replacing old, I learned to hate Toyota.


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

Where to Buy

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy followed by his award winning memoir Crazy is Normal.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”


Massachusetts: Billionaires Ready to Pour Up to $18 Million into Charter Referendum

It isn’t if, it’s when will they come for the traditional public school in your state?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jonathan Pelto reports on the big money that will flow into the Massachusetts referendum on expanding charters. Most of it will flow from the coffers of hedge fund managers, who never showed any prior interest in improving public schools but get excited by the opportunity to privatize them.

He writes:

A group of billionaires and corporate executives are using a front group called Great Schools Massachusetts and the New York based charter school advocacy group, Families for Excellent Schools, to pour an unprecedented amount of money into a campaign to expand the number of charter schools in Massachusetts.

According to published reports, the charter school industry is on track to dump up to $18 million into a record-breaking campaign in support of Massachusetts Question 2, a referendum question on this year’s ballot that would effectively lift the legislatively mandated cap on the number of charter schools in the Commonwealth of…

View original post 449 more words

Jesse Turner: Who Decides? Who is a Sell-Out? Who is Pure?

This post might moisten your eyes.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jesse Turner is known as “the walking man.” He walked from Connecticut to D.C. inn 2010 to protest the overuse of mandated testing and its negative effects on children. He did it again in 2015.

His blog is called “children are more than test scores.”

This is his latest. It is called “Who Decides?”

It begins like this. Please open the link and see where he goes with it.

I hear some educational activists want to be the deciders?
Who is authentic?
Who is a sell out?
Who is weak?
Who is pure?
Who is a real activist?

Who decides?
Who decides if you are an education activist?
Who decides if you can join the rallies against NCLB, RTTT, or ESSA?
Who decides if you can make your own sign for the cause?
Who decides if you can march?

Who decides?
I know something about activists.
I have been…

View original post 691 more words

Trump boasts he will make America Safe from Terrorists by doing what Israel does

Mother Jones reports Donald Trump’s response to the recent New York, New Jersey Bombings, and the miracle cure is racial profiling on a mass scale. Trump says, “You know, in Israel they profile. They’ve done an unbelievable job, as good as you can do.”

I took a closer look at Donald Trump’s claim that Israel does a job “as good as you can do.”

The Jewish Virtual Library posts a comprehensive listing of fatalities linked to terrorism against Israel. So far in 2016, there have been ten listings that added up to 14 dead.

In 2015 there were twenty-two listings for 35 dead.

In 2014 there were 15 listings for 39 dead.

The list goes back to 1993. For Israel to be “as good as can you can do”, then the death toll from terrorism in Israel has to be lower than the U.S. death toll from terrorism on U.S. soil.

I found this list from for Muslim terror attacks in the U.S. since 911.

In 2015, there were two listings in the U.S. One was in Garland, Texas where the two terrorists were shot and killed by a security guard, who was wounded. No one else died but the two terrorists.

The other incident in 2015 killed four U.S. Marines who were shot dead by a lone Islamic gunman. There were five totals deaths in 2015 in the United States to acts of alleged Isliam terrorism and one of the five was the gunman.

Therefore in 2015, four Americans died at the hands of alleged Islamic terrorists on U.S. soil compared to 35 Israelis killed in Israel where Trump says racial profiling does “an unbelievable job, as good as you can do.”

What about 2014?  In 2014, listed three incidents in the U.S. with four deaths versus 39 killed in Israel.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think Israel’s methods to prevent terrorist attacks are “as good as you can do”.

A vote for Trump is a vote for a manipulating, psycho, narcissistic, bully, and serial liar. Discover more about the real Donald Trump here: Will the Real Donald Trump Please Stand and Keep His Mouth Shut.


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

Where to Buy

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy followed by his award winning memoir Crazy is Normal.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

A Vote for Gary Johnson (or, Jill Stein) is a Vote for Trump

Why a foolish vote for Johnson or Stine is a vote for Donald Trump.

Ed In The Apple

Face the Nation and the other Sunday Talking Heads news commentary shows talked about the softening of the Obama coalition, the daily NY Times “percentage” in August had Hillary ahead 90-10, now the “poll” gives Hillary a 75-25 lead; whatever that means.

The Nate Silver fivethirtyeight blog,”Chance of Winning,” has Hillary: 61.1% and Trump 38.8% and Gary Johnson at 8% with Hillary winning the electoral votes narrowly.

The next big moment will be the September 26th presidential debate; it will grab the attention of the American public. The Hillary erosion is among the millennials, the younger voters, young Afro-American males and the left leaning Bernie voters are all lukewarm on Hillary.

The third party candidates are Gary Johnson . and Jill Stein.

I was chatting with a nineteen year old – he had taken a leave from his college and worked for Bernie full time, and, told me he was voting for Gary…

View original post 714 more words

Charles Blow: Trump’s Birther Lies Are Unforgivable (and Deplorable)

Trump is a serial liar who obviously loves to lie and get away with it.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Charles Blow writes a regular column for the New York Times. In this one, he excoriates Donald Trump’s serial lies, which never end.

He is not only a liar, he traffics in conspiracy theories.

His “retraction” of the Obama birther claim came after five years of cultivating a following of rabid Obama-haters.

He did not apologize for alleging that Obama was not born in the United States. Instead, he claimed falsely that Hillary Clinton had started the rumor and he was putting it to rest.

This world-class liar had the chutzpah to expect praise for acknowledging that Obama was born in Hawaii, not Kenya.

The President produced his birth certificate years ago, and Trump said it was a fraud. Newspapers in Hawaii reported his birth, but the Trump forces insisted that the conspiracy to hide Obama’s foreign birth began on the day he was born.

This man is a…

View original post 45 more words