Saturday, July 22, 2017

Trust Your Gut - If You Are Not 100%, Do Not Ride! ‘and wear your protective gear’

“Ah, Gravity Thou is a Heartless Bitch”
~ Dr. Sheldon Cooper ~

Trust Your Gut - If You Are Not 100%, Do Not Ride!
‘and wear your protective gear’


Thursday, I went straight to an eye appointment after work while riding the bike. During that appointment, the Doctor asked me about having my eyes dilated. I could not remember when the last time was when I had one. She suggested that I get one while I was there and that I had my sunglasses, it should be alright.

Well, let me tell you that it was not okay or even a slightly good idea. As soon as I pulled away from the office, a voice sounded in my head. It was the instructor, Jim from the MSF class I took, it said, “if you are not 100%, don’t ride”. I thought that maybe I should get a cold drink and wait this out a while…but, it was close to 100 degrees and I was only a couple of miles away from home. My plan was to take a mostly shady, side road home.

That plan quickly fell apart when the light turned green and I went into a left turn on a very busy street to get to the side road. Having my eyes absorbing every shred of light that the day could produce, I could not judge and navigate the turn. My eyes fixated on the approaching curb and grass in front of me, that should be on my right-hand side during this turn. The next thing I know, my left side is slamming on the road with the full weight of the bike (650 lbs) is laying on my lower left leg and I cannot get out from under it.
The road is not always kind
Bent turn signal

Luckily a young man jumped out of his car and took some of the weight off so that I could climb out and lift the bike upright. I took a quick assessment to determine that if the bike started I would ride it home and see what damage I did to myself and it there. I popped the left side of my visor back in because it had come loose on impact with the ground. The young man and a lady who stopped, waited for me to collect myself and used their cars to alert other drivers that they had to go around.
I thanked both of them profusely and cautiously went on my way. I was sweating ridiculously now and my ankle was beginning to burn on the front and inside. I did not want to look at it until I got the bike home. I hobbled in the house and asked Kristen to take my left sock off. Of course, she looked at me funny because this was not a request I made normally. As soon as Riley noticed my pain and discomfort she climbed on my lap and patted my shoulder.

I am going to be sore for a while but it could have been much worse if I had not been wearing protective gear. I knew that my hand was scraped up a bit but was not until after I had been home for a while that I noticed my left shoulder was bruised and my helmet was pretty scraped up. The gloves, riding jacket and helmet all did their jobs. I was just telling someone how hard it was to put them on when it is this hot, I will never question their significance again.
Those scrapes on the visor and helmet would have been my face hitting the road. 


A friend came by and we looked it over last night but I took it for a ride this morning and something does not feel and sound right. Hopefully, I can get it figured out very soon and get back to riding. I have 520 miles under my belt (and a few feet under the bike) and I am ready for many more upright miles to go. 

Protection is no joke. You think it is cool to live dangerous then you be my guess. I will try not to judge you but I will continue to protect myself as much as possible when I ride. Be safe and Roll on.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Envision if you will; the World Deprived of Hatred

“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one.”
~ John Lennon ~

Envision if you will; the World Deprived of Hatred

Most of us have had the moments when we say “I have tried but the world is full of screwed-up people” or “I have tried to be positive but they are always negative”? You watch the news and in your heart, you give up on society. You get drug into the world of social media and without realizing it, get beat over the head with a multitude of opinions. They say that opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one but you don’t need to show yours to everyone.  

The first step; stop watching the news and make your own informed decisions. Second; ditch social media, and again make your own informed decisions. Think about social media like the writers of The National Enquirer, writing daily columns on their own lives and using it as a forum to spew their own agenda. Third; stop trying and start surrounding yourself with people who want to be good people and are willing to embrace the concept of others living their lives in peace.  

I had a very nice conversation with a guy last week. He is always very pleasant but in the past, it was always just small talk. I don’t remember how the conversation got started but it came around to people and helping people. He told me about a friend of his who called him needing to borrow a significant amount of money and the fact that he just happened to have it to loan at the time. We talked about raising children who are good people. We both had that in common.

Then he asked me if I believe in God. My defenses came up like they do when anyone broaches the subject of religion. But I realized quickly that he had no judgment or agenda in asking this question, it was merely part of our conversation. His main question was to see if I would be offended if he said God bless you. I told him that whatever my beliefs were or weren’t if he believed and thought enough to bless me with a God that he loved and trusted, that I would take that as a compliment.

We discussed people believing and living whatever their beliefs are without imposing those beliefs on everyone else. Also, about the hypocrisy of most people who consider themselves “religious”. He told me a little about what it is like to be Muslim and we compared different organized religions.
Just before he left he said something that stuck with me.  He said, “When I meet someone, I try to be a good human being first, and if I do that, then I become a Muslim later.” What a concept. Be a good human before anything else.


Go out and be a good human being today!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Some New Skills, Purge Some Habits and Lose my Phone in the Process

“Habit allows us to go from 'before' to 'after,' to make life easier and better. Habit is notorious - and rightly so - for its ability to direct our actions, even against our will; but by mindfully shaping our habits, we can harness the power of mindlessness as a sweeping force for serenity, energy, and growth.”
~ Gretchen Rubin ~

Some New Skills, Purge Some Habits and Lose my Phone in the Process


June 2017 brought a few changes, with July 1st bringing more fine-tuned changes. In June, I learned to ride and purchased my very first motorcycle. And of course, the gradual process of starting small went out the window when I decided that this “someday” had taken many years to get here. With my hand shaking, I signed paperwork for a 2014 Harley Davidson FXDC103 which is a Dyna Custom Superglide. It was much more bike and money than I planned on, but when you consider how long I wanted this, tomorrow is not promised and you only live once, I did it. Yes, you just heard me justify it but to be fair, every reason I did not do it before, were other people’s reasons.

Me and my Superglide
Another area that I began to work on was to reconnect my mind, body, and spirit. I got back in the gym a few days a week, I cut out a lot of crap food, and have not had any alcohol in five days. 
I will continue to work on nutrition habits as well as increasing the intensity and frequency of my workouts in the gym. My plan is to continue to focus and avoid as many toxins for the next few weeks until I relax them for my birthday weekend. By then I will have the proper tools in place to be in much better control of my life.

I have been gradually increasing my range of skills and experience on the bike as well. Yesterday, I went on the highway for the first time; I rode to where I work because I plan on riding it to work this week. I received one more expensive lesson, that I can’t forget my uninsured phone in my side pants pocket while riding on the highway. So, yes I got to cut my ride short and buy a brand new phone that now has insurance. It was not a complete waste of time though since the Verizon store did not open until 11:00, I went to the gym which is on the way.


 The other thing I have been avoiding is Facebook. It is a shame in some ways because it is the main link to keeping in contact with some people. The downside of the Facebook faithful is that it can be a watered down cesspool of ego, negativity and trash talk. Unfortunately, if you share something on social media, it does not have to be accurate or even true as long as enough people read it. If you are famous or infamous, the news media will report on what crap you put out on a daily basis. If you disagree with a person’s viewpoint, you don’t have to prove yours, you only need to waste energy discrediting theirs. Enough of that for now.

If you know me personally and we have not talked in a while, let’s remedy that. If you are reading this for the first time (follow it if you like it) or if you are a long time reader, please drop me a comment and say hello and where you are from. It always gets me curious when I see that people from all over the world have read my blog at least once. Thank you for being part of whatever this is and feel free to help share this since I am not going to be on FB for a bit. 

Until next time,
Peace out

me 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Being a Father can be a Double-Edged Sword

Being a Father can be a Double-Edged Sword

There are many struggles and difficulties of being a Mother, everyone can agree. Most have to work while raising their children, many have to wear many hats and have multiple responsibilities, and they walk a fine line between nurturing and firm to teach right from wrong. I take nothing away from the job of being a mother and I know it is crazy hard. But…bear with me.

Let’s take a moment to look at the easy job of being a Father. I do not for a second mean taking part in creating a child, I am talking about those of us who put our heart and soul into caring for our families. Those of us who would give our last breath protecting our children feel every ounce of pain they feel and ponder every possible situation they might encounter. By the way, we are working parents too, and in most cases, do not get time off work to be with the baby.

If there have been problems with past pregnancies and she finally carries a baby to term; you endure nine months that feel like the equivalent of walking along a cliff. There is nothing you can do to protect them because there is nothing physical to protect them from. You just hope and worry about everything.  

Then, when you have daughters, the boys start to come around. Trust me, you have to walk a fine line when this begins to happen. If you are too protective, you will lose the relationship you have built with her, if you are too trusting, some dirt bag will make you want to use your Samurai swords. You want your girls to be strong and independent, but it hard once they are.

Then comes the day that you have to share them with someone else. Even if this is the right person and someone they love, you still worry about them. Keep your mouth shut though unless there is a real reason for something to be said. You will never win that battle.   


Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there. And Moms, you are pretty awesome too!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Get Your Motor Runnin', Head Out on the Highway

"It's never too late in life to have a genuine adventure."
~ Robert Kurson ~


Get your motor runnin' Head on down the highway

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to ride a motorcycle. My mother was against it to the point that it did not happen when I was younger, and then, life happened. 

This weekend I took a course by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. It started Friday night with a class from 6 pm to 10 pm, after getting up at 3:30 am. Both Saturday and Sunday morning we meet at 6:45 am at the rider course, and then back to the classroom after lunch. I would be using a black Honda Nighthawk for the duration of my training, which I had no idea if I would make it to the final evaluation portion on Sunday.

At first, I was overthinking everything (imagine that) and struggling a bit. As soon as I began to relax, it was coming much smoother and I finished Saturday feeling pretty confident. Sunday, however, was a different story. They started us out on a very complicated set of maneuvers, one after the other. We all struggled. Evidently, this was their intention, to bring us back to earth and build on what we learned yesterday. I began to settle in a bit, until, I saw the clipboard come out. My test anxiety came on full speed and I commenced to making mistakes and getting frustrated.

During our last break on the range, the Rider Coach said that we would start the evaluations after the break. I asked him if he took test anxiety into consideration, and he said that it would be fine, and nothing that we had not already done. He was going to put us in a specific order and we needed to stay in that order for the entire evaluation process. Three guesses who he called first…Holy shit! I might as well go home now. I joked that my last name starts with a W and I have always had to go last, but I was not really joking. I felt completely screwed.

As it turns out, he was doing part of the evaluation when he was carrying the clipboard but we still had some maneuvers left to do. I tensed up during one if the slow moving tight U-turns and put my foot down and entirely tensed up. Now there was only one thing left to do; it was to get going, shift to 2nd, and make a tight turn, get up to speed in the straightaway, then slow to make a last tight turn and stop between the cones. I nailed the last part but, I was not sure if I passed or not. The Rider Coach leaned in and explained the scoring system to me. He said “Congratulations, you passed” and told me to wait in the staging area for everyone else to go.

What an incredible weight was lifted off of me at that moment. I was not really worried about the written portion at this point; I had proven to myself that I could handle a motorcycle after all the doubt and reasons that people had planted in my head over the years. When the coach came back in to talk to us, I said (laughing) “so when someone comes to you and tells you they have test anxiety, your response is to have them go first?” He told me that it was coincidental and he made up the list last night.

We went to lunch and then headed to the classroom for the final part and written test. I got 100% and I am now able to check something off of my “always wanted to do” list. I can legally and safely practice riding a motorcycle.

This was so important to me that I missed my granddaughters third birthday party to do it, for that, I am sorry sweetheart. I will make it up to her, but I really had to do this for me. I know it is selfish but, I have done so few things in my life just because I wanted to do them. At this point, I need to “roll on” the throttle. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Yours Truly, Revealed Through Stories; Hoping to Prompt Discovery in Others

"We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery." 
~ Samuel Smiles ~

Yours Truly, Revealed Through Stories; Hoping to Prompt Discovery in Others

I made a choice a few years ago to share chunks of my life and views for whoever was interested. Since the first blog post, I have shared much more than I thought that I would.  I made a decision somewhere along the way that I was going to honestly put myself out there and hope that someone could relate and not feel alone. We all have had things happen to us and no one that I know of is shielded from tragedy and heartache.

Some would say, why be so honest? After all, I could write stories and say that they are about the characters and not anyone in particular, but it is hard to be passionate if I am not being genuine. So, there you have it; my life story on a serving platter to be digested in whatever means people select. Luckily for me, people have been kind and no one has tried to use it against me, at least that I know of.

So, that brings us to today; I met with my surgeon for my four-month (after 2nd surgery) appointment. He said that everything looks great and he is pleased with the progress of healing. I asked him about a few things and then he said that he wanted me to come back in February, and if things were still going well he could clear me for some running then. He said, “if you still want to do it that is”, to which I replied that I wanted to do it now! We agreed that it is best to wait though.
Driving from the doctor’s office back to work, my brain was racing and I saw a sign for World Gym from the highway. I finally have a target date and something to shoot for. I have eight months to get my shit together, back in shape, back to running weight, and back to me. It is time to come up with a plan.

On the way home from work, I stopped at World Gym to get some price information and look around. I’ve been there before when it was Gold’s but that was a while ago. After talking to the young man that was showing me around, I got my price list and was going to think about it overnight, then he made one more offer. I decided to bite the bullet and take the leap with a two-year membership.

Now to put the rest of the plan in place and rebuild. After all, this is construction season, right? This is going to be a long road but I know the way. That is equally an advantage and a disadvantage, but at least the road is in sight now. Starting with weights and cardio and leading to a trail run in February, if all goes well.

 Thanks for hanging with me this evening!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

You May Not Know it but, One Night You Saved My Life

"Anytime you try to be a loving person, you're doing your part to save the world."
~ Marianne Williamson ~

You May Not Know it but, One Night You Saved My Life



I was living alone and sitting in my apartment looking out the window at the city below. People’s work day was ending and the city’s nightlife was coming to life. I was only an observer to that life. After a dinner of frozen pizza, two shots of Wild Turkey and two beers, while dessert started with beer #3. The city was lit up, but my soul was very dark. I was sinking deep into a very dark and lonely time in my life. I tried calling a couple of people and everyone was busy because they had a life.

I did some writing which helped divert my thoughts most of the time, but not tonight. As the night went on and the Friday night activity picked up outside my window, my slide continued. My mind went over the events of the last few years; it had been an emotional roller coaster. Major life changes included becoming single and not seeing my girls often, living alone for the first time in my life, leaving a long-time job to chase a dream, getting in and out of a relationship, and back to living alone, realizing that my dream was just that and would be nothing more.



Was I not meant to be happy and destined to be alone? Was I wasting my time trying to make a life for myself that might not be meant to be? Why was I expending so much energy for little to no return? After all, how long would it take anyone to even know that I was gone? The nocturnal gloom was dragging on incessantly with nothing encouraging on the horizon, and here I sit. Watching the world go by, watching people living their lives and questioning where mine was going or if it was going anywhere. Was it time to abandon trying? Did I actually even care to continue trying? None of the queries were helping my disposition in the least. That did not stop me from festering in my own quicksand though. 

It was late and I was nearing the edge when my phone began to play Sweet Home Alabama. I know two things from that night; wallowing in self-pity sucks and one very short phone call can be a lifeline. My friend, you may not remember the brief conversation that night and you may not know it, but one night you saved my life. You were heading home and saw my missed call from earlier in the evening and you called me asking if I was okay. I do not remember everything from that conversation; I do know that because of you taking a few minutes to call and make sure I was okay, that gave me the strength to try again tomorrow. At the end of our brief conversation, I joked by thanking you for talking me down from the ledge. It was a figurative ledge but that night it was more real than you know.




Thank you, my friend, for taking the time that night. 

Never underestimate the value of a few minutes of your time. You may change someone’s life without even knowing it. Never underestimate your value or your reason for being here. 

NEVER STOP LOOKING AND REACHING FOR LIFELINES!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Disproportionate Inequality and Oblivious Inequity

“Whether you're gay or straight, with a physical disability, your skin's a different color, it's absurd in this age to not be aware and be concerned of the inequity in rights.”
~ Carson Kressley ~

The Disproportionate Inequality and Oblivious Inequity
(Say that three times fast!)


I must first state that although inequity and inequality sicken me, I do not have a lot of personal experience being on the receiving end. Yes, I am guilty of being a straight, white, middle-class male, but please do not hold that against me. My soul and spirit are a compassionate human, and I believe that we are all interconnected and must support one another. You cannot possibly walk up to a person you know nothing about and make a judgment. You cannot see their story or know what they have been through. In some cases, their story or their feelings are none of your damn business.

 There are countless people that suffer from inequity and unfairness in general, for a myriad of reasons. How can anyone think it is fair for laws being interpreted one way in a specific area and different in another? Laws that are enforced or interpreted differently due to the color of a person’s skin, or their economic level, can never be justified. People go many years of their lives without feeling safe or comfortable expressing their love for another because they are of the same gender. 
People struggle because they do not identify with the gender that they were born into. Hell, I think if most of us were honest we would say that we don’t really feel like we fit in anywhere.

Housing projects have led to concentrated poverty and severe racial segregation. Many believe that “the American Dream” is possible for everyone that could not be farther from the truth. In what fairy tale rational is this feasible with people living in public housing earning an average yearly income of around $14,000, is beyond comprehension? An estimated 68% of people in earn between $5,000 and $10,000 a year which puts them in the extreme poverty category. 

Why is it that it is easier for many to hate someone than it is to get to know something about them? We fear that which we do not understand, so take time and get to know people. Go out this weekend and strike up a conversation with a stranger. Revel in the difference and the similarities, while you learn something about each other.

Treat each other with peace and compassion, remember that no one is more or less significant than you.  

Thursday, May 11, 2017

What Are the Grains of Sand in Your Shoe?


"It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out; it's the grain of sand in your shoe."
~ Robert W. Service ~

What Are the Grains of Sand in Your Shoe?

Think of a time that you were walking along and you noticed a pebble or some sand in your shoe. Did you stop and dump it out, or continue walking and allowing it to bother you? Most times I think we shake or tap our shoe and move it and keep walking. Only to have it move back and continue to bother you.

If we keep going long enough and it is only mildly irritating, we can go pretty far while tolerating the pain. Why do we all do this? It is similar to the story of boiling a frog. If you drop a frog in boiling water he will immediately jump out to get away from the pain; if you put him in room temperature water and heat it slowly, he will cook. The pain is not strong and unbearable, it is gradual and he tolerates it. Does this mean he is strong? No, it means that he is cooked.

We continue allowing something to slowly eat at us, aka the grains of sand in our shoe; and slowly, we are cooked like the frog. It would be much easier to take the shoe off and dump it out, but it is easier to gradually go on in pain. What are your grains of sand? How long have they been in your shoe? Take the shoe off, shake it out and walk comfortably.

We owe it to ourselves to take that shoe off, shake it out and walk comfortably. It is not easy and the sand will come back from time to time, but we must get it out and, this part is important, leave it there. If we do not leave it, we did not solve anything. We do not have time to keep sand in our shoes because we do not know how long we are here for. Festering about something is a waste of the time that we have.

It is our responsibility to support each other and help to clean out our grains of sand. With the sand gone, you can focus on what you want and where you want to go. Be in control of your destiny and never give up on yourself or each other. How many times should your child try to walk before it is okay to let them quit? Would you tell them “You have been trying and it is not working, you just need to give up”? Hell no, you would never say that, we say “take my hand and walk with me”.  


So I say to you; shake the sand out, take my hand and walk with me!  Thank you for reading this. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Conceivably Healthier World



A Conceivably Healthier World


People say that in a capitalist environment, you have to have winners and losers. I will give you that part; what I have a problem with, is when people can justify billionaires in mansions while another lives under a bridge. There are children going hungry while others waste gourmet food served on expensive china. When we ask why that is, the most common answer is because that is the way it is and has always been. They don’t want it enough, they aren’t smart enough, they don’t have what it takes, they… Who the hell are they and who are you to answer for them?


We as a people need to rebuild our education systems, our corrections systems, and our economic systems. We need to treat mental health as a priority and not something that needs to be hidden away or ashamed of. We need to put children first and make sure that they have what they need to carry them into the future. We must teach children to understand that they are here for a reason and can accomplish anything that they chose and anything is possible. Never tell a child that anything is impossible or can’t be done.

Many of us have been broken at one time or another; look after each other. Be kind and considerate to those around you. Have the potential repercussions to others in mind when you act. Engage in acts of kindness for the simple reason of acting in kindness. Act as if you can make a difference, and you will. Act as though it matters, because it does. What could happen if we treated each other with love and respect?

What is inside of you that if you shared it would make the world just a little bit better? Evil always takes center stage because it makes for good news stories. How about shining your light and outshining the bad. We know the saying that ‘hurt people, hurt people’, but what about ‘good people bring out the good in other people’? Break the cycle of the hurt, and build on the good. 


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Justification - My Excuse for Failing to Engage with the World

“My disability was my justification! It was my excuse for failing to engage with the world.”
~ The Arbinger Institute, The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict ~


Justification - My Excuse for Failing to Engage with the World


The quote above carries a lot of weight with me right now. It is what I have been feeling and doing for the past few years, and for a good part of my life. I have said before that sometimes being in the dark place can almost feel comfortable and somewhat safe. It is far from safe, but, since it is what you are used to it becomes familiar.


I now realize that I was using depression and it’s symptoms to disengage from the world. The more detached that I become, the more isolated I would feel. When I reach the feeling of isolation, it gets easier to “justify” my feelings of sadness, depression, and lonesomeness. The word justify has been used by Carpenters, years ago, talking about fixing a crooked wall. So, in our mind when we try to justify something, our mind is trying to fix something that needs to be straightened. If you notice yourself “justifying” something, step back and figure out what it is that you are trying to straighten.

Basically, whatever condition that you are dealing with, can become your excuse for not engaging with the world. We have to guard against numbing ourselves to the world and those around us. We cannot shut people out and then be upset when they are not there. Many people will not work hard enough, or understand what is happening, to stick with you when you push them away.

Justification can keep us in a vicious cycle, no matter what behavior we are justifying. It causes hatred, and mistreatment of people, and in this case, to us. I believe that this is a big part of treating us and everyone around us better. Stop treating yourself like crap and you can begin treating other’s better.     


Knowing this will not stop me from being depressed or feeling anxious, but it is another tool for me to use. Hopefully this will shorten the length and depth of the trips to the dark place. Let's treat each other like people and not objects.   

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Question Everything You Have Been Taught

Question Everything You Have Been Taught

How long do we as a people ignore the wrongs that continue to be done to others? How have people been able to pretend that they don’t know how bad some groups have been treated for so many years? How can so many live in such a fantasy land way of thinking that, if someone does not have all that they have, it is not their problem? Is there a way to really make a difference?



Injustices have been waged upon people since the beginning of time, in the name of power, religion, money, hate, prejudice, fear, and desire for control. Too many times these are disguised under a misguided veil of righteousness. More people have been killed in the name of one God or another, than have been killed in natural disasters… (I’m going to let that sit there a minute). That only opens up more questions.

There are so many circumstances and examples that I do not even know where to start. One that stands out (the others are no less important) and is continuing to go on right here in the “Land of the Free” is the oppression and systematic destruction of the Native Americans aka Indigenous People. This began in 1492 when Christopher Columbus “discovered” the New Land, never mind the millions of people who were already living there. The events that took place over the subsequent four hundred years must be labeled what it was, genocide. Go ahead, I dare you to try and find that word in a US History school book, used to describe these events.



During the 1800’s, Manifest Destiny, this was the doctrine or belief that expansion of the American continents was both justified and inevitable probably eased the minds of some European-Americans. One means of control was the creation of reservations and agencies that were under the control of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Eventually it would be illegal for the Native American’s to live anywhere but on a reservation, and by the white man’s rules. Many if not most of their practices and languages were outlawed.




In 1890, there was what some called a battle; most called it a massacre at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 150 Native Americans were killed including many woman and children. The Seventh Cavalry (which suffered defeat at Little Big Horn) was chosen for this attack. Some say that Jesuit Priests, who felt threatened by the Ghost Dance Movement, egged on the situation because this was a site of the Ghost Dancers. After the massacre the ghost dancer went underground and all but disappeared.

This short post only scrapes the surface of what happened but it was far from something to be proud of. The people who caused these events or looked the other way are not people to look up to. It is past time that true history be taught to our children and wrongs be righted.

There will come a day when people of all races will put aside their differences

~The Prophecy of the Rainbow Warrior~
"There will come a day when people of all races, colors, and creeds will put aside their differences. They will come together in love, joining hands in unification, to heal the Earth and all Her children. They will move over the Earth like a great Whirling Rainbow, bringing peace, understanding and healing everywhere they go. Many creatures thought to be extinct or mythical will resurface at this time; the great trees that perished will return almost overnight. All living things will flourish, drawing sustenance from the breast of our Mother, the Earth."

We can only hope!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Passing on Knowledge and Chances to Young People

“Young people need models, not critics.”
~ John Wooden ~



Passing on Knowledge and Chances to Young People


I realized that I have been AWOL from my blog for a little bit. Part of that was getting back in the swing of work, healing, and I have been writing in a different forum. I began writing a story geared towards young people who struggle with depression, anxiety, and the general f’d up period of being a teenager.

The idea is to let them know that they are not weird, a problem, or alone. A lot of us have grown up with these things and were taught through society to hide the feelings that don’t fit in. Whatever makes you up as a person is just that, and you will change and learn new things as you grow, but you are you. You should not have to be “accepted” by people around you in the sense that they try to make allowances for you, but you should be loved unconditionally.

I am not sure how long this story will be or where it goes from here. What I do hope is that I can somehow get it into a kid’s hands that need to hear that they are “normal” whatever that is. If that one young person reads it and something in there helps them feel better and more accepted, then, it has been a success.

This past Friday at work I had a chance to practice giving a kid the benefit of the doubt, with the help of a very level headed coworker I must admit. I had already given this kid a chance because he was not completely truthful during his interview about some experience. Here it was, Friday of his first week and he was not at work to start his shift. I initially took this personally and as a slap in the face for giving him a shot. Looking for a voice of reason I asked two coworkers for reasons not to be at work and not to call. They gave me a couple, one of which was “sometimes things just happen”. Damn the reasoning, but it bought him some time. I filled out his termination paper but said I would wait until 9:00 (two hours past his start time) to send it.

He flew in the door at 8:36 am and told me he would be right back to talk to me as soon as he clocked in. I told him to wait right where he was since I was busy on the dock. I finished what I was doing and turned to him, disappointed and very irritated. He began immediately telling me that it would never happen again, that his phone dies and that was his only alarm clock, told me how sorry he was and how much he needed to keep this job. My initial response was for him to go back home and I would let him know what I decided to do. He continued to tell me how much trouble he was going to be in if he lost this job right now.


I told him to go clock, get with his trainer and that we would talk later. I assured him that this didn’t mean he was keeping his job. For the duration of the day, I maintained my disappointed and irritated look whenever I saw him. He came to me after he clocked out at the end of the day to get my final decision. I respect anyone, especially a 21-year-old who knows that he screwed up, to not just sneak out at the end of the day and just show up Monday hoping all is forgotten. I went a little scared straight on him and told him that next time there would not even be a discussion. He was now playing with two strikes. He thanked me for the opportunity and let out a huge sigh of relief as he walked out of my office. I hope it pays off.  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Wound Like a Clock Spring

“Everyone has a breaking point, turning point, stress point, the game is permeated with it. The fans don't see it because we make it look so efficient. But internally, for a guy to be successful, you have to be like a clock spring, wound but not loose at the same time.”
~ Dave Winfield ~

Wound Like a Clock Spring

It’s funny, I sit here knowing my blood pressure is high and waiting for a PT and a nurse who will come here today and tell me it is high. The more I think about that the more it stays high…hmm, see a trend? The funny part is that I was thinking to myself, why would my blood pressure not be high right now?

I have had two major surgeries in the past four months, I have not been able to run or do a real workout in over a year, I can’t walk the dog or put the trash out, and as much as I love them both, I live with a fourteen-month-old and a first-time mother. Before I get in trouble for that last part, hold on. She does an amazing job, but always feels like she should be doing more, better, and everything else a new Mom feels. I a left out the part that says that I am fifty-three years old and have been cooped up for three weeks (for a second time) and I can’t drive for another three weeks. I must be totally reliant on others to go anywhere or do most anything. I don’t think it is helping that we are in the waning days of winter.

 So, my question is not why is my blood pressure high, but more like why isn’t it higher?
I know this sounds like a bunch of grumbling and you are right, it is. But, I had to get it off of my chest. Like it or not, I’m trapped! If I could I would take a tent and a small backpack and go hide in the woods for a week. For now, it looks like I will have to be satisfied with short walks around here until I can do more.

I have been working on a story that I am writing, so it is not all bad. I’m not sure what I will do with it but I think it is coming along nicely. Thanks for letting me bitch for a minute.


Until next time (I promise something more positive), Later!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Adventures in the Dark Place – the trip is not for everyone


Adventures in the Dark Place – the trip is not for everyone


People who have not taken extended trips to the dark place will have trouble understanding just what it is like. They will think that you can control depression and simply stop being sad, grouchy, or negative, whatever the case may be. Trust me there are so many times that the dark place is visited and you never have any idea that I am there.

Sometimes it can be somewhat predicted by a major life changing event, but other times it comes out of nowhere. Maybe a song plays, a smell can be a trigger, thoughts are always a danger, or a sad negative person “shares” their energy with you. Whatever your triggers are, you will get to know yourself well enough to feel these episodes coming on but you rarely can stop them from coming.

We learn how we best deal with them and push on with life. After all there are responsibilities to tend to; family, children, pets, work, and others who need you. If you are ‘lucky’ enough to be functional during depression episodes, then you just push on anyway. I know some who suffer from major depression and they cannot function at all, others who push on until they reach a breaking point and then melt down before moving on.

My deal is neither of those situations; I keep moving forward and keep my head just above the quicksand. At times, I might get a little short tempered, or quiet and numb, but all the time tired and burned out while trying to maintain a front. Many of us will say “I’m fine” when most of the time we are anything but fine.


So next time you are with someone who is suffering; try being there for them even if you don’t really understand. Silent support is welcome as much as verbal. Let them know you support them, that you don’t fully understand their feelings but you are there for them. Sometimes it is better to talk things out and other times it is best to go for a walk in the woods with a good friend and just talk and spend time together. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Why Can’t People be Honest When You Try to Help Them?

Why Can’t People be Honest When You Try to Help Them?


Why can’t people be honest when you try to help them? Yes, some circumstances are touchy subjects and you have to be careful. But, when you spend time building a relationship and show them that you are honest and looking out for their best interest, I don’t get it. 

Since being put in a position to hire and fire as a means to build my team I have chosen to groom people and build on their strong points. In that time, I have taken four temporary employees and hired them to full time and attempted to hire three more. I currently have one to show for it. One left for a better opportunity close to home, another started missing days after becoming full time, one had to make two separate emergency trips to Mexico during critical times of the year, another made a similar emergency trip and I never heard from him again, while the last two failed two different parts of the hiring process that they had to know was a risk. 

I know it is always a risk trying to hire from the temp ranks but, I really felt like these were good moves at the time. So, do I suck at judging and hiring people or do I allow people to set me up for failure? It is really frustrating to feel like you are doing the right thing and what is best for others and continually have it thrown back in your face. 

I will continue to build my team even if it means looking like a dumb ass from time to time. I expect a lot of my people but I give a lot of myself too. One of these days I will get these issues figured out, but until then I will continue to fine tune things. I cannot give up on them or let them think that I will because that is what everyone else has done to them in the past. 

I am done ranting and banging my head on the wall for tonight, thank you for listening.  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Is There Hope for this Irrational, Sick Sphere? We Better Hope so.

We are all in this together


Is There Hope for this Irrational, Sick Sphere? We Better Hope so. 

"Change your thoughts and you change your world."
~ Norman Vincent Peale ~


How can we live in such a sterilized, self-absorbed, protective bubble? People want to say that the world is messed up but they are not willing to roll up their sleeves and do anything about it. When bad things happen; some look the other way, as if you don’t see it, it is not happening or more likely you won’t be expected to act.

There have been countless civil wars, genocides, and human rights violations that have gone on since the beginning of time. Many of these events have been all but ignored by media and the international community. Even though we know these things happen, they are incessantly disregarded in the “Beige Realm”. 
Image result for Aleppo
Devastation in Allepo Syria

It is disgusting that the media and many people are more interested in Donald Trump and Kanye being seen together or what is happening with Brad and Angelina than the atrocities in Syria and all over the world. The US continues relations with China and Saudi Arabia despite daily human rights violations, but as long as we get our cheap products, oil, and a doorway to the Middle East, it’s all good.

I guess it should not surprise me that it is so easy for people to turn a blind eye since it has been happening here since stepping off the Mayflower. At some point regardless of race, culture, religion, or sexual orientation, we will need to come together as one and salvage what is left of human dignity. If that does not happen, I fear for us all. 
What are the answers? I certainly do not know but I am tired of this world and everyone in it being filled with pain. What if we each commit to small acts of kindness every day? Can that help or will we eventually be engulfed by all of the evil? I do not mean to sound pessimistic but what has to happen for people to care? 
Please join me in passing on good intentions and trying to bring kindness to our small piece of the world. One act, one portion, one person at a time. I wish peace to everyone reading this today. 
Thank you for reading this and continuing to follow my journey.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sometimes I Wish I Didn’t Know Now What I Didn’t Know Then

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”
~ Heraclitus ~



Sometimes I Wish I Didn’t Know Now What I Didn’t Know Then

Last December my wife and I had a beautiful, healthy new daughter. For her everything is brand new and a realization of many years of hopes, dreams, and struggles to have a child. For me it has been all the wonderful things you would expect it to be, along with considerable anxiety and inner turmoil mixed in. It had been around thirty years since I dealt with newborn stuff.

There were the normal concerns; if I could even handle the responsibility, would I have the patience, when she is ___ I will be ___ years old, so much for getting out of debt and someday retiring. Subsequent concerns began to take over my head. I am not the same person I was when I did this before. I approach the world more critically and from a deeper perspective now.

Very incendiary subjects like religion, US history, and even Santa Claus are examples of topics that I am going to have issues dealing with this time around. I want her to learn compassion, empathy, and diversity and right now we live in a very “beige” community. And of course, being realistic while remaining positive is always a challenge. I already feel bad for her teachers.

We now live in a much more litigious world than back when I was chasing my sister’s and then my daughter’s boyfriends off years ago. I’m guessing that I should not say “I’ll only need to kill one of you and the word will get around”, or show them my Samurai swords or rusty shovel and tape measure. Trust me I will get my point across and besides, I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying “whatever you do to her, I’m going to do to you”. Either way, I guess I will need to be more diplomatic this time around.

Now a little something for the fathers. You look to your wife for fulfillment and once the baby is born, she gets ALL of her fulfillment from that baby. So, step back, stick your pride and your needs on the shelf because not one part of the first year is about you. If you have anything important to say to your wife, write it down. She is not listening; she is going in multiple directions at once and totally focused on the little one. There will be moments when you come home from a rough day and your child comes to you and gives you a big hug or a big smile. The best is when they snuggle into your shoulder and go to sleep.

I am in no way painting fatherhood as a negative thing, I am simply being realistic. Like any major life changing experience, you have to learn as you go and work at it. I could not be more thankful to my two older daughters. They dealt with me during my on the job training years. Although I am not an expert, I know a lot of things that can and will go wrong. I have screwed up enough to learn a few things.


Thank you again for reading to the end! Stick around and follow me on the journey into the dark recesses of my mind. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Movement is Life ‘revisited’

“Pursue one great decisive aim with force and determination.”
~ Carl von Clausewitz ~




Movement is life ‘revisited’ 

Today has been a week since having the surgery. Although I have a long way to go; I can see the progress I have made in just a week. Last night I was able to go through all of my therapy exercises on my own. And when I am in the kitchen I sometimes leave the walker in the middle of the room where I can reach it while working around it.

Normal every day activities take longer to complete and you have to think things through before starting them. It is always funny and humbling to find the things we take for granted. This morning while the Physical Therapist is here we are supposed to take a walk outside. I feel like a kid waiting for the recess bell to ring. Not that I am excited about going out but my shoes have been under my chair for an hour already.

My dog is out with the dog walker right now getting some much-needed exercise and fresh air. He has been very patient with the situation even though he does not really know what to think about it all. First, I was gone for a couple of days and now there are new people coming and going every day. He is a good dog and keeps close tabs on me and what each person is doing to me. (He just got back and took up his spot right at my feet.)

Don't be jealous of my T.E.D. Hose


I have been picturing getting out in the woods on the trails again, which for some time I thought might be gone forever. I can’t wait to introduce Riley to exploring in nature. She already loves being outside so my wife and I hope to build on that enthusiasm. (I’ll be back, my therapist is here)
I’m back; she added four more exercises to me and I got to walk outside! I asked her how long I would have to use the walker and she said not much longer by how well you are doing. When we got back in she had me practice with the cane. She then told me to fold up the walker and use the cane unless I was going a long distance. In case you could not tell, there was a lot of excitement in that last sentence!



A very dear friend said one time that “Movement is Life” and she could not have been more right. It has been such a very long time since I have felt this much hope and enthusiasm. I am officially on the comeback trail starting NOW! Talk to you soon.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Without Hope, Little is Possible and Everything is Difficult

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Without Hope, Little is Possible and Everything is Difficult




For the last two plus years’ hope has been slipping away from me while pain and depression ruled every waking hour. As I sit here now, almost 48 hours after surgery I am in pain, but it is a different kind of pain. One that eventually will go away and lead to healing. The weeks to come will not be easy; as a matter of fact, I will need to work my ass off and once I am healed I will begin preparing for the second operation three months from now.

The biggest difference is I finally feel some hope returning to my world. It was increasingly discouraging and frustrating to lose almost all range of motion in my hips and legs, to struggle taking my dog for a walk or play with my daughter. I know recovery is not going to be easy but really, what is easy that is worth a damn?

This operation was a huge unknown for me and it was frightening thinking that someone was going to cut into me. I did some research with the help of my wife and found the best hip surgeon in this region. He did his job and now I have to do mine, which is recover and prepare for the next one. At least I don’t think I will be so anxious about the next since I have something to compare it to now.


Well, this was a short post but I will be home for a few weeks and I plan to right more while I am recovering. As always, thanks for your time. Talk at you soon. I guess I’ll post this after I get home, I can’t get the internet to work. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A full plate in a dark place; a recipe for chaos

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness."
~ Desmond Tutu ~

A full plate in a dark place; a recipe for chaos

My Mom had this figured out because she never moved on to the next Item on her plate until the first was gone…but I am not talking about food. I am talking about when things are coming at you from every angle and you are feeling like gravity has doubled.

Not at all looking for pity, only being honest. Which if you have been reading this blog for any length of time you should be used to. Like they say; honesty won’t get you a lot of friends, but it will get you the right friends. If I find myself not being honest I will have to switch to fiction writing because there will be no point anymore.

So back to the full plate. Lots of people will give you well-meaning advice like; one day at a time, look at all the good things in your life, and many more clich├ęs. Thank you but trust me, when your “good days” are the days that don’t suck, those although true, don’t carry a lot of weight. Karma might be a bitch but depression is a mother f’r that does not take a day off or sympathize with what else you are dealing with in your life.

All I can say is that you need to find someone that you can talk to who will listen and not judge. It can be a trusted friend but don’t rule out a professional. Like anything else just because they get paid for what they do it might not mean they are the right professional for you. Shop around a little if you need to. Don’t assume that the degree on their wall means that you can relate to them.

It helps to have at least one person who knows what it means when you say “talk to me Goose” and if you don’t know what movie that is from we cannot be friends anymore. Just kidding, we can be friends after you watch Top Gun and say it’s time to buzz the tower. Seriously though, find that person that knows you well enough to listen and understand.

Until next time. Thanks for getting to the bottom of the page!

http://www.all-on-depression-help.com/depression-hotlines.html