- What kind of life is it if you have to run, briefcase and umbrella clunking about, just to get to work on time? Why bother - I'd dawdle and wonder what's wrong with this gig if I'm running to get to it. No dignity in that.
- Blonde hair. I hear tell it makes women look younger. Trust me on this one today - it does not work for everyone.
- Plasticware. Fascinating. Why did that gentleman stop by the ABP and tuck a spoon into his jacket? Does he peruse the plasticware every day? Is this too not dignified? And does he care - I think not. I just laughed to myself.
11 December 2008
20 November 2008
18 November 2008
Also on the short list of disturbing thoughts:
- Led Zeppelin on tour without Robert Plant (likely).
- The conjunction "that" can easily be eliminated even thought it's for necessary info, unlike "which". What makes it so expendable?
- Chinese food that tastes better the next day. Without MSG. What is growing in my Moo Shu that improves its flavor?
- Steven Tyler, Aerosmith: does he really shave his legs?
- Carnies with webbed feet.
- Women named "Sabrina" whose fashion flair brings to mind "Consuela." Disturbing or not -- you vote.
09 October 2008
- Cinderella - Steven Curtis Chapman
- Blinded by the Light - Manfred Mann's Earth Band
- Crazy Ones - JC Mellencamp, the Man, the Legend
- Closer to Fine - Indigo Girls
- Deuces are Wild - Aerosmith
- Light Up - Styx
- The Girl I love, she got long black wavy hair - Zepp
- To the Last Whale - CSN or the Styx Remake
- Horizon & Silvia - Steve Winwood
- The Awakening album - Melissa Etheridge (play it all the way thru)
- [Anything by Blind Melon]
08 October 2008
Everyday should be a better day than before. Impossible but worth trying. So, I agree that just OK isn't OK. Onward, onward. Time to slam some Yes, Keys to Ascension, into the speakers and kick it up a notch.
15 September 2008
28 August 2008
I'm just two chapters out from finishing Watership Down and can't believe I made it through the workday without knowing the ending. I think those little blokes will be just fine though the warren is in disrepair at the moment. Never knew cute lil' bunnies could be so ... [you'll see].
Check him out! My son Chris is a sailor man. A manly man. Modern day Popeye, eh? I can't show the serious pix because you would be scared by his military demeanor. We are proud parents and I hope to loudly and proudly support the U.S. Navy!
P.S. - They train in Great Lakes Illinois, so don't worry about them sufferning in southwestern heat or anything like that. Well-fed, well-motivated and pumped to succeed. More to follow on this topic.
27 August 2008
Today's brief missive is on the glaring shortfalls of addressing women as 'Ms.' Laaaa-ame. This sound has no flair, no ring, no glamour, and none of that pizzazz that the 'Ms.' of the world will tell you they have (right, Sabrina, Manya & Heather?). Sounds like some lumber-head bureaucrat needed a new title and came up with one before his coffee break. So, gentlemen, take a break to listen, front-to-back door of Melissa Etheridge's latest album, The Awakening. Doesn't exactly make me want to come over to the female side (I ain't man enuf) but it does leave in me a searing image of what women think and how they might feel going through life. Leave it to Melissa E. to get me thinking about this...
31 July 2008
This Maasai proverb aptly describes my life this month. Bet any reader would agree it's a universal lenses for all our lives. Any challenge that is overcome is followed by other ones. Even on vacation I'm faced with challenges -- like making myself relax! Maybe it's because I'm immersed in the lives of our two sons that I feel this one hits home. But life and love are good things (like breathing), so my quick thought here is that sometimes you don't WANT that hill to end. I'll be happy to see my young men get onward and upward but am in no hurry to cut the ties that bind, the ones that work both ways. Up the hill I trudge, like a good hobbit, and marvel and what awaits -- and wonder if I'm up to it. So far, so good!
30 July 2008
Next trips are with my friends; with MT Mountain Man Lee to western MD and with PA Shutter Buster Jim to PA parts unknown. A day away from work is fraught with the peril of being closer to one's self, but it's a risk I gladly take.
24 July 2008
Walking to work this morning got me to thinking about more than just little 'ol me. I always reflect on the folks around me, almost relishing the predictable encounters with DC's street people. They're harmless, I think/hope, and they each tell a story. Here's the first in a series of observations that lead me deeper in the wonderment of God's vision of us and His bewildering way of teaching us about ourselves.
'Ingrid': That's the name I've given the pleasant but tortured woman who walks diligently past me as she scurries off to some daily important appointment with life. Ingrid has a noticeable Tourrette's issue. Yes, "issue" not "problem." Our dear friends from AF days past have a son, Shawn, with this issue and he's now 21 and well on his way to overcoming the life challenges and familial heartache it caused. Calling it a problem demeans the person, I think, and distracts us from the person living within this strange shell. Ingrid has her good days, when she's just a bit disheveled and harried looking, to the days when 'the bark' has her under its sway and everyone shies away from this outlandish person. I wonder if they ever see her eyes and know someone inside there also suffers at this ill-founded ostracism, of being looked at like some unhinged freak. It's only right that I don't shy away or stare when she's passing by. He has given her a tough path to walk and the observers of life like me probably are supposed to watch, learn and grow. I don't know what we'd do to help her but hope that she has loved ones who look out for her. Walk on, Ingrid, and let's hope we can share something from your walks through our lives.
21 July 2008
Why bring this up? Well, first because the story by page 90 becomes uplifiting, an ode to the durable human spirit that powers our bodies. More importantly, his trip is a metaphor for one I'm on, in which I recently realized that it's much easier to keep life's pieces in motion, moving from pillar to post, than to stop and let the mundane realities catch up with you. Guess I'm not that courageous - it's easier to uproot and conquer something down the road than to deal with the here-and-now. Run, run and don't look back.
Ahh, but the runner's instincts kicked in recently and I started looking back. I basically liked what I saw but see you can be doing just Fine but be in the Wrong Place. Apologies for the ambiguity, but I do challenge my readers (if you exist; maybe I'm just talking to myself?) to try some Merlot Introspection. Just one glass while you mull over the why am I here/what should I be doing questions. Heady? Maybe not, but hopefully reaffirming and placing your life/job/plans in some larger bubble of purpose. Makes the day nicer when you kind of know where you're heading - then you know when to sigh in relief when you're arrived.
17 July 2008
Every time I finish a volunteer park ranger stint, park my bike or running shoes or close down a campsite, I breath abnegation. Time to head back to civilization and the work that allows me to draw closer to what intrinsically is right about me and the world as I see it.
My friend Jim knows all about theless-traveled road - I see him at times through the trees when he shares his life stories and photos with me. Better yet, he sometimes treks through those hoary trees of life to meet mundane-old-me and share his inspirational outlook with me. Resolute and Visionary are his middle names.
Let's not forget absolution for personal miscues and decisions that affect others. I hum the Absolution Blues quite often (thanks, Mssr. Jimmy Page) and have an open tab on begging my family and friends for understanding as I dance to a different woodsy tune. But the tune is good, it is uplifting and I can taste the stars of the cold nights that always are autumnal in my mind's eye.
14 July 2008
Check out this application desktop for Blender, a 3-D animation application. It mesmerizes me so I've decided to upload a virtual version into my psyche. I will de- and reconstruct my reality as I see fit. On the fly. Why not? It's not like anyone will notice - unless they're talking and I give them the 1,000 foot stare that says, "You're talking and all I hear is 'Blah, blah, blah.'"
If you think I'm nuts, check out the Tour de France [yo, where's he going with this one?]. As each stage nears completion, some riders stand out for their impassioned bursts of energy. They defy predictions and alter the reality around them as they flare quicker toward the finish. They're seeing the world in a different way before they hopped onto that two-wheeled sled.
Remember: Being willing makes you able. Change your perspective and maybe your reality for the better!
10 July 2008
How inspirational LL Montgomery can be - even to a guy, by which I mean to say we y-chromosoners are not her target audience. As we sail into summertime, remember to keep those life dreams alive in your head. Sail on, sail away and set your eyes on that distant shore.
09 July 2008
look what's become of me."
Let's stay on the subject of commuting today. I stumbled, yes stumbled - when your iPod has over 3,000 tunes it's stumbling - onto the Bangles this beautious morning. Decided it was good to be going to Liverpool on a manic Monday whilst the eternal flame was wondering if she knew what she wanted whilst walking down the street toward the hazy shades of winter. HAH! Top that silliness of jumbling up song titles into a mish-mash.
Beats what else I could be doing, like critiquing signs such as "Only 3 for a $1." Heck, that's a bummer - Was it 4 for a $1 before and now is only 3 for a $1. Or rather should they have said, "3 for only a $1!" It's all about the phrasing, baby. Just like, "I really love you!" versus "I love you, really!" You get my mental drift, right?
08 July 2008
That off-set the ride on the Mad Max death buggy otherwise called the 'commuter bus.' What is it with those drivers? Unhappy? Undermedicated? Violating parole with wish to be dragged back to Sing Sing? Brake-go. Lane A-Lane-B-Lane D-to hell with it, back to Lane A. Hot, clammy and then icy cold. Did Stalin publish some manifesto on human misery that commuter bus companies have secreted away?
I've been back from campout but one week and the itch is scratching me to get back into the sticks. My reading materials, like the book on 1800's Canada naturalist experiences, must be a bad influence. Think I'll whack Mr. Driver about the head next time he messes with us. Great - I'll be on the roadside crews and be prime meat for him to wax me the next day!
Let me take a deep breath, mentally wander back to Ontario and futher mull over the vagaries of life in the commuter lane (we have NONE in southern MD, have I griped about that?). Too funny...
03 July 2008
Try it sometime - within an hour's one-way drive, we kayaked a large lake and then some wetlands, mountain biked between two state parks, hiked to a closed mine, fished (albeit fruitlessly) several times and had some great outdoor cooking (note to self - you rock)!
Ever wonder where best to teach a young man to drive the family wagon? you're right - a state park! 10 mph speed limit, lots of one-way roads, good signage and most folks not in a rush. 3.5 hours of it and I'm thrilled we tooled through and around the place. Try it sometime - I bet a state forest is even better as long as the roads agree with you.
Since you've hung in there, let me throw in some interesting tidbits:
- Hummingbirds are as attracted to red Coleman battery lanterns as to a feeder
- Balsamic viniagrette substitutes just fine for cider vinegar in a sloppy joe recipe
- The Girl Scouts have perfected omelettes in a baggie - prepped at home and schnarfed at the campout ... yum, yum and no clean-up
- Board games are livelier at a picnic table
- Jumping fish, for me, mean I'll catch nothing that day
- Cycle through mud bogs quickly, not slowly, to stay cleaner (if you even care!)
- Unlimited cell phone time means you can catch up with lots of friends while hanging at the lake's beach
- Rain is not your enemy unless you aren't prepared - just work around it and it actually improves the trip since you then can't waste time hanging around
Stop dreaming and get out there - the joy in your head really can come to life!
20 May 2008
From November 2007 outing to Green Ridge State Forest in Western Maryland...
Our campsite... far, far off the highways of the world, beyond the reach of cell phones and all but the bravest of mankind.
Funny thing is, we went for a several-mile walk... Nearing the end we saw the opening to Stickpile Tunnel - not knowing its name at the time. We thought, hmmm... wonder where that goes. Then we continued down the road - up over the mountain the hard way. Got to the other side, and boom - there was the other end of the tunnel. We could have been dry plus saved about a half hour's walking by going through it - but that's what adventures are made of. :-)
Saturday we took a break and went to Antietam battlefield in time to meet Mannie doing his presentation on one of the bloodiest days of the civil war.
One of the more photogenic areas of Antietam battlefield is Burnside Bridge...
This was to be supper - but when Jose jumped in to chase it down, it dove in and we never did spot it again!!!
These shots are at the C&O Canal running parallel to the Potomac, At the Pawpaw tunnel, on the eastern end...
We were camped right down there, just around the bend in the Potomac past the abandoned railroad bridge.
The end of the day, Sunday, we went past a couple of churches (it was Sunday so Jose said we needed Churchin' Up!) By this point in the weekend we were stinking enough that we didn't go inside - just took photos from down the street (Cumberland MD).
Believe it or not, he whacked that poor tree about a million times with his hatchet... He told me that he was re-enacting the George Washington cherry tree fable... (My take on it was that he'd been working in Washington a bit too long!!)
25 April 2008
- DC Metro station managers are uniformly nasty. Not overtly, but in that subtle and sneering "Are ya stupid or what?!" mode. They must eat the same bad food.
- DC Metro signs bite. My #2 Gripe: Dear Boss of Metro: If the walls are dingy from age, why would you have the station's name posts be deep brown with white name lettering? Do you want people to get lost? You'd think Metro gets paid by the time you're a guest of the system. Glad the rides and equipment are great, tho, so I keep coming back.
- Springtime brings out clothing on certain body types that (really, dear) ought to have been left in the closet. All it does for me is to remind me to be humble and not try to dress for public success since I don't carry it that well. I think I'll start carrying a sign that says, simply, "1 - Go Home and Try Again."
- Men's bathrooms are so dreary. It's not like I want to hang out in them, but come on, throw me a decorating bone. And what's with all those mirrors? Guys usually don't (tho they maybe should) spend time fluffing their hair. I'd rather they put up a scratching post or something... And what's with that scent, Death by Various Floral and Fauna. I could be rich by creating great scents like Beef Jerky, Another Rack of Ribs and Campfire Nights. Heck, THEN we'd hang out!
- Lastly, why do people look in buidling window reflections at themselves? Sabrina had a point about elevators and I soon noticed (mostly women, but some guys too) people watching themselves walk. Why? Did they forget to check out the accessorizing at home? I will respect etiquette here and not devolve further into my thinking, so let's just leave it at this: if you're gonna watch yourself sashay down Massachusetts Ave., don't stare. Then other folks will stare at you too and you may find it a tad embarassing...
11 April 2008
"Please remember that the car doors will not reopen automatically if your purse or
arm gets caught in the door. To improve today's Metro experience, we recommend..."
Is it just me who wonders just how sub-standard your Metro experience would be if you had to depart the platform with only half your arm in a position that would likekly ensure it's not hacked off in the tunnel? I'm glad the lady's voice expressed no compassion nor remorse to cause undue concern about loss-of-limb... I must worry too much.
Sabrina remarked about how uncomfortable it is to have someone looking at you in the elevator's mirrored surface. Hmm, for starters I never get that (?) lucky, but if I did I imagine one of the reactions below would pin the stalker's intentions down. Assuming they're of the opposite gender:
- Put out your tongue
- Very discreetly and politely begin drooling
- Give them your best Mr. Bean imitation
- Look right at them and tell them it's about time they looked - you've been dying to go out for drinks with them
- Give them a dead-pan stare right back ... then wink at them!
I imagine it would be different if they were same-gender, so I recommend:
- Starting pounding your head on the wall
- Lick the wall (OK, kind of gross but drastic measures may be needed)
- Kicking up your heels a la Riverdance
- Again, drooling is a time-honored classic ...
10 April 2008
Lastly, as I reach out to Arkansawyer, I again feel the truth, the insight, the brotherly love behind the adage, "Old friends are the best friends." Comment number three from him was in April 2006. Two years later, I now see the blogging light and am coming toward it!