With temperatures in the mid to upper 90s yesterday in Elklhart, and humidity over 50%, it wasn’t a day to get out and do much. Our MCI bus conversion is so well insulated that we seldom need our rooftop air conditioner to feel comfortable, but yesterday we turned it on early and stayed inside all day.
It was a good day for paperwork, and while I updated our mailing lists, Miss Terry began proofing a new book I hope to get out before our Ohio Gypsy Gathering rally. There wasn’t much on TV that interested us, so we listened to music most of the day. I like days like that once in a while, and we get a lot accomplished, but after spending the entire weekend inside, I’ve got cabin fever and need a break. Hopefully today we do something different, even if it’s just going to the laundromat.
As a writer, I don’t know how I ever got by without the internet. I used to spend hours in libraries doing research, and I loved prowling the stacks looking for books on any and every topic under the sun. But with the internet, I can find just about anything I want in seconds, with just a few keystrokes and a mouse click or two.
Yesterday I came across an interesting website called Mental Floss, which has an amazing amount of trivia and little-known information, from 7 Civil War Stories You Didn’t Learn in School, to the Bizarre History of White House Pets, to 10 Bizarre Athlete Superstitions.
Of course, the Internet is also a great source of misinformation. It has changed the Urban Legend into worldwide phenomena. I am constantly amazed at all of the crapola that shows up in my e-mail inbox. And you know it has to be true, because it’s on the internet. I delete about 90% of the stuff that gets forwarded to me, because I don’t have the time or interest to read it, and because I’ve seen most of it many times before.
Some of these stories have some basis in fact, but are updated and morphed into fiction to take advantage of whatever is currently catching the public’s interest.
One that I have received a dozen or more times in the last few days is that while the media was falling all over itself covering the death of Michael Jackson, there was no mention of the death the same week of Ed “Too Tall” Freeman, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions at Landing Zone X-Ray, in the Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam in 1965. Ed Freeman flew his unarmed helicopter into the overwhelmed landing zone under heavy enemy fire fourteen times on that day to bring out 30 wounded soldiers. When I was in the First Cavalry a few years later, Ed Freeman was a legend.
However, Ed Freeman did not die the same week as Michael Jackson! The war hero actually died August, 20, 2008 in Boise, Idaho. To use his name and accomplishments to foster an internet myth is objectionable to me. Whenever I get some story like this, if I look at it at all, I run it past Snopes to see if there is any validity to it.
Okay, enough with the internet, I need to get outside and experience real life today!
Thought For The Day – The labels we stick on ourselves define how we live. What do your labels say?