Friday, October 03, 2014


I walk Baltimore City often, sometimes an estimated 80 miles per week.  It's no big deal for me to walk from my home (near Johns Hopkins University Homewood) to Canton or even Dundalk and back.  I walk through neighborhoods many dare not visit.  I sometimes walk late night to my home from the Inner Harbor, Hampden or Remington.  (That might not be the smartest thing to do, but I do it never-the-less, understanding there might be unfavorable consequences.)

I mention the latter because I want people to know I understand the plight of the city.  I am all too familiar with the obstacles and hurdles.  I have seen things no one should see. However, with all the ugly, I continue to be hopeful because the 'good stuff' outweighs the bad, and for those who know me, my blog is a testament to my enjoyment of city life of my resolve, endurance and perseverance.

There is much chat from various neighborhoods about crime.  Most recently, I have been reviewing the '21211' (Neighborhood Crime Watch) site.  Most of the people commenting are scarier than the purported criminals and their crimes.  To these people: You're enablers, paralyzing each other and that's not good.  That sounds like a harsh criticism, but it's a fact.  To me it seems you're spinning your wheels, but what are you actually accomplishing?

I know crime all too well!  I have been a victim a few times and the outcomes have left me hateful, frightened and bewildered, but not anymore.  I just don't have that kind of time.  Fear is never the answer, and militant behavior will get you no where.  (Well, that's not true.  It will get you arrested and give you a criminal record.)

There is a way to take back your neighborhood, reclaiming your own sanity in the process, and it doesn't include bashing the police department, taking gibes at the Mayor, Governor and President (although I am not always a fan of their choices myself), judging others, using offensive language and arming yourself as if Armageddon is upon us because it's not, but it will be if certain individuals aren’t more mindful, looking at the big picture, instead of mouthing off with a 'me' mentality.  I might not live in Hampden, but I visit often, spending my dollars to support the many business owners.  I do care about the outcomes and I want to feel safe, too.

For those of you who want to cancel Halloween and/or Christmas (34th Street light display included), you're insane, and that's putting it mildly.  Stop living your life as if the criminal.  Stop hurting yourselves.  Be proactive.  More than anything, be hopeful and work with the system that's in place, which you can help to improve, but not with unrealistic goals.  If you don't, you'll continue to lose and where will you be?  And you will mostly certainly make it bad for the next guy who is trying in earnest to make a bad situation better.  (BTW: There are a few people on the '21211' site who are a voice of reason, but your words are being drowned out by the naysayers or, as I like to call them, the prophets of doom and gloom.)

If you're so unhappy with your community, with the city Move!  Please, just move.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  Just get the hell out!  Many of you want to call yourselves victims, but I see some of you as the perpetrators, another bitter pill for you to swallow.

I am good at reading between the lines and there are several of you on the '21211' site who are filled with prejudice.  You are small-minded and bigoted, with quarrelsome tendencies.  Talk about frightening.  It's unnerving.  Black people are not your enemy.  Stop with the hate.

A limited mind can't think freely and will always live in the shadows of fear and ignorance.  Stop being a prisoner of your negativity and hopelessness.  Get help!

Unfortunately, crime is a fact of life but there are a number of precautions you can take to help reduce the chances of being violated.  A few simple contributions to keep you safe: Stay alert when you are on the street, in your own neighborhood, and even at your own door.  Avoid walking at night, especially alone. If you must walk at night, stay in well lit, open areas and walk close to street lights.  Day or night, stay away from dark alleys, dark parking lots, and dark corners.  Avoid areas where an assailant might hide, such as dark passageways, shrubbery, and spaces between parked cars.  Day or night, walk with a friend if possible. Both men and women are safer in the company of someone else.

To a few choice people I have never met, but read your words on the '21211' site, this is for you... Choosing not to educate yourself, using your ignorance as a weapon only proves one thing – you’re a fool and that often makes solving the core problem more difficult.  It speaks to vulnerability and your inability to rationalize, thus thrive.  It also seems to me you have lost your humanity, and that saddens me most of all.

I always like to add the following statements to my rants:

We all have a point of view to express, and let’s share it with the understanding of agreeing to disagree. I might not consent to your politics or religious views, but that will never stop us from being friends, coworkers or neighbors. Never allow one single topic to define your human spirit, but be open to all possibilities.

For or against, it’s inappropriate to be rude in order to make your point.  Using words like "idiot", "stupid", "dumb bitch", etc. make you a bigger part of the problem.  It’s essential we educate the clueless, and as politely as possible.  Sharing enlightenment comes with its own set of challenges.  Toes are going to be stepped on, so do it gingerly.

When you have to resort to name calling, your self-worth diminishes. You become part of the problem.  You're entitled to your opinion. I value our First Amendment, now more than ever.

Have an awesome weekend, everyone!  Cheers!
– paerki

What would life be like without memories? It’s fair to say, there would be no life at all. Memory is our communication, reason, coherence, our action and more importantly, our feeling. Memories create our path in life, developing our psychology and leading us emotionally.

One of the best ways to create and store memories is with video. These simple effortless little snippets of time create diaries and become perpetual time capsules, which justify our walk on earth, telling all with great enthusiasm… I was here! I mattered! I lived! Please, don’t forget me.

Share your views, thoughts and opinions in the written word. Snap photographs so that your eyes can travel back in time, remembering the happy and sad moments that made you the person you were, are and became in life. But, whenever possible, capture video to enhance the memories you leave behind, so that others may pass the essence of your life on to future generations.


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My large collection of images are a testament to a life lived. Life happens all around us so it’s important to collect special memories, and what better way than with a photograph.

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There are many people in the world affected by disease. I never thought I would be one of the many. However, at any given time life can change. Mine did! There were many twists and turns, but I made it through and you can too. I am a Celiac on the move living life one meal at a time. Learn more about my life as a Celiac. Celiac Disease is a lifelong, digestive disorder affecting children and adults. In short, I have an allergy to gluten, and the treatment is a lifelong scrupulous avoidance of it.

No matter what, know this: You are never alone. There are people out there who’ve struggled, endured, made it through and are sharing their message of survival. No, they might not be at your side, but their spirit is out there in words, attempting to help others on their journey. Let’s all unite by sharing our individual stories, remedies for healthy living, food and recipes to keep us strong, and let’s find the laughter too because it can be some of the best medicine. Always remember, there is power in numbers. Check me out: A Celiac On The Move

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"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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