Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Life Well Lived

My meditation this morning took me down a road that I have not traveled in a very long time. Most mornings meditation  clears my mind and prepares me for the day but today I was thrown into reflection. I imagine that a combination of my aging and my youngest child getting ready to start college has brought me to this thinking.

In and of itself reflection upon ones life is a good thing but there are times when remembrances are painful and one weighs their life against others that they admire or they feel lived a good life. My life overall has been a good one and I really have no complaints about its outcome. I have made mistakes, as we all have, and I have had successes but my tally sheet is fairly balanced. I set my life's path and made my adjustments along the way and danced through life with the high and lows taken as part of my path. Karma is Karma after all.

I have always believed that knowledge is gained through experience but as a praticale matter we can not experience evberything. So I have amemded that thought to by saying that knowledge is gained by experience and enhenced by reading because through reading we can reach places that our physical being can not ever reach.

I read just about every thing put in front of me. Especially information about people that have accomplished great things with little resources other than themselves.

Two such men, who I admire greatly, are Gino Bartali, the Italian cyclist, and George Hogg, the British journalist. It is not their profession that has won my admiration but rather what they did beyond those professions that they did not have to do.

Gino Bartali hold the distinction of being the person who won the Tour de France with the longest separation between wins, 10 years. World War Two interrupted his cycling career.

'When the German army took control of Italy in the fall of 1943 and Jews began to experience the full terror of the Holocaust, Bartali was asked by a friend to join a secret initiative to help save them. Few requests could have carried a heavier burden. With the collapse of his career as a top cyclist and the transformation of his beloved country into a nightmarish and dangerous place, he feared for his wife and two-year-old son. It would have been easier – and safer – not to get involved.'(from the book Road To Valor by Aili McConnon)

Gino Bartali sheltered Jews in Italy from the Holocaust at the risk of his own life and I am sure that of his family.

He would tell his son Andrea, “If you’re good at a sport, they attach the medals to your shirts and then they shine in some museum. That which is earned by doing good deeds is attached to the soul and shines elsewhere.” That says a lot about Gino Bartali.

George Hogg was a British journalist trying to get a story about the Second Sino-Japanese War, which was a predecessor to WWII. He sneaked into China from Shanghai for what he thought would be a short fact finding mission for his story.

George Hogg, while recouperating from a wound, found himself among 60 orphaned Chinese boys, and became their reluctant, at least in the beginning, teacher and eventually their savior. He led them on a 1000 kilometer journey, along the ancient Silk Road, to saftey from the advancing Japanese Army. A journey that was characterized by inhospitable terraine, cold, lack of food and a constant fear of being caught.

My Hogg seccumded to tetanus and died after getting the children to safety. Many of the children he saved are alive today in China.

The book 'Ocean Devil: The Life and Legend of George Hogg ' details his life.

These two men did the 'right thing' when they could have done nothing. They could have stayed in the comfort of their lives and let everything pass them by unseen and ignored.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."~~Edmund Burke

Gino Bartali and George Hogg are prime examples of men who held evil at bay at the risk of their own lives. This is what makes them worth knowing about.

These were 'Lives Well Lived'.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Salute To Professor Unger

I am not a fan of President Obama! I have made no secret of that fact. My reasons for believing he must be defeated in November are simple; I believe that the liberal agenda, as laid out by this legislative and executive branches of our government, is wrong for this country. I am not a birther, a believer that the President is a Muslin or am upset he is of color. All that is smoke and mirrors crap that holds no interest or value.

I follow no president blindly, as many do, no matter what party affiliation they hold. Every president, in my lifetime, has had their good and bad points. Party affiliation be damned when it comes to the quality of a president. I am a Constitutionalist and I hold the Constitution of The United Stated in the same regard as Christians hold the Bible and Muslims hold the Qumran.

I was quite surprised, this past week, to hear Professor Robert Unger, of the Harvard Law School and one of President Obama's professors, state that he "Must Be Defeated". I see this as an important break in the 'instutional liberal' way of thinking.

"President Obama must be defeated in the coming election," Roberto Unger, a longtime professor at Harvard Law School who taught Obama, said in a video posted on May 22. "He has failed to advance the progressive cause in the United States."

While I may be considered a Progressive, code name for Moderate, because I do break ranks with conservatives on some issues; having a Liberal make a statement like this is significant.

Professor Unger goes on to say, that Obama must lose the election in order for "the voice of democratic prophecy to speak once again in American life."

He acknowledged that if a Republican wins the presidency, "there will be a cost ... in judicial and administrative appointments." But he said that "the risk of military adventurism" would be no worse under a Republican than under Obama, and that "the Democratic Party proposes no new direction."

The professor went on to list his complaints:

  • "His policy is financial confidence and food stamps."
  • "He has spent trillions of dollars to rescue the moneyed interests and left workers and  homeowners to their own devices."
  • "He has delivered the politics of democracy to the rule of money."
  • "He has disguised his surrender with an empty appeal to tax justice."
  • "He has reduced justice to charity."
  • "He has subordinated the broadening of economic and educational opportunity to the important but secondary issue of access to health care in the mistaken belief that he would be spared a fight."
  • "He has evoked a politics of handholding, but no one changes the world without a struggle."

  • Professor Unger's argument is solid and based on the deeds of this administration. I salute Professor Unger for his bravery in stepping away from political rhetoric and giving us an honest view of our countries situation.


    PS...The bulk of today's blog was gleamed from information obtained from The Huffington Post.

    Monday, June 18, 2012

    When Do You Know That You Are Getting Old?

    When Do You Know That You Are Getting Old? That is a question that jumped out at me this morning when I read that the Rolling Stones will retire in 2013 after fifty years of being together. That story was followed by one about Paul McCartney's 70th birthday party. I can remember when the Beatles and Rolling Stones first toured in the USA.

    In Second Life, on Saturday, a friend passed me a wheelchair. I should have know that was a sign of old age as the rumor going around in Second Life is that I am about to celebrate my 101st birthday. In reality that is off be a few years, lol, but at times my knees feel every bit of 101.

    The writing has been on the wall for awhile but I am to stubborn to admit it. All those emails I have been receiving about helping with balding and my erection are starting to hit home. When Friendly and I went on out Second Life honeymoon I packed 80 little blue pills and I needed every one of them to get me through the week. Damn that wheelchair would have come in handy when we got home, hehe.

    There are some tell tale signs that I will share with you in the hopes that you will be equipped to deal with your oncoming 'matureness'.

    You know you are getting old when,

    Your spouse has more teeth than you but not as many as your last jack-o-lantern.

    Those around you don't know the following TV shows; Petticoat Junction, Green Acres and Gomer Pile.

    When you go to the doctors and they are all younger than you.

    Everything hurts and what doesn't hurt doesn't work.

    The gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your bifocals.

    You feel like the morning after and you haven't been anywhere.

    Your little black book contains only names that end in M.D.

    Your children begin to look middle aged.

    You finally reach the top of the ladder and find it leaning against the wrong wall.

    Your mind makes contracts your body can't meet.

    You look forward to a dull evening.

    Your favorite part of the newspaper is "20 Years Ago Today."

    You turn out the lights for economic rather than romantic reasons.

    I made that print larger so all you old bastards could read it, lol.

    That Old Guy

    Saturday, June 16, 2012



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    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Playing With My Redbone~~Get Your Mind Out Of The Gutter

    Growing up in an apartment in Brooklyn, New York was not conducive to owning pets so my brother and I grew up without them. I knew that I wanted my children to experience having a pet so we have always had dogs and cats around the house. I get great pleasure from my dog living alone as I do now.

    I have a one year old Redbone Coonhound that is a great companion and about as entertaining as any animal can get. But I question her brain power. She is not stupid but she is either not the brightest pup around or she is a canine stand up comedian and a good one too.

    Let me set the scene. I have a very large backyard and have her on a 50 yard runner so she has lots of room to wander and still stay out of trouble. She has a large house filled with cedar chips in which to get out of the elements and the shade of a fifty foot tall walnut tree to keep her cool. She is fed good food that is supplemented by what ever I eat. She is outside most of the day and sleeps in the house at night.

    So all in all she is doing alright. For a dog her life seems to be a good one. I do not hunt her as many do their hounds. So she is like a one year old retired canine with all her good years ahead. Unlike me being a 100 year old human with all my good years in my rear view mirror.

    Brandae, that is her name, is out in the yard this morning digging a hole. She is a digger and a new hole arrives everyday. I fill them, my exercise, and she digs them back up. We have a nice symbiotic relationship going with these holes.

    This morning it was raining quite hard and there she was, standing in the rain, digging today's attempt to reach China. Yeppers, in the hard rain.

    When I called her to come in out of the rain she looked at me like I was nuts and went right back to digging. Actually she is still out there, some 2 hours later, moving mud from place to place.

    That's my loving dog.

    “It is a good thing to follow the First Law of Holes: if you are in one, stop digging”~~Denis Healey

    I wonder if my dog understands that quote? Nah! She is still digging.


    Saturday, June 9, 2012

    New Movie~~Interesting Premise

    There is a new movie coming out this Friday titled 'Saftey Not Garunteed' that is based on a true story. It seems a man once posted a classified advertisement looking for a companion which of course does not sound that unusual. The twist here is that this fellow stated in the advertisement that he needs a companion for time travel. Time travel opens up the possibilities of finding a companion or someone to love infinitely. Intriguing I think!

    The movie follows three magazine employees who head out on an assignment to interview the guy who placed the classified advertisement.

    I find the possibility of one traveling through time and finding love or companionship in a past or future era a concept I could grasp on to enthusiastically. Would she be someone famous or just one of us plain folks? What might she do for a living? What part of the world would I find her? The possibilities are endless.

    It is impossible to speculate who this person might be especially if they were lesser known but I thought it would be fun to look at a few possibilities.

    Mary Magdalene~~Any woman that can attract Jesus, the reputed son of God, has to be included on my list. Scholars have recently begun to rewrite her biography. Changing her from a prostitute to a widow. I certainly would like to meet her and find out the truth.

    Marie Antoinette~~I want to know what all the fuss was about. I am attracted to strong women and Marie had the strongest man, of his era, by the balls. I would throw my balls into her arena.

    Cleopatra~~This choice does not even need explanation.

    Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder~~As much fun as the wild women of history might be there comes a time when settling down to a wholesome life is more than desirable. How much more wholesome can it get than with the writer of the Little House books.

    Shirley Temple Black~~Was there any red blooded American boy who did not fall in love with the curly haired Shirley Temple? That little girl grew into a beautiful and accomplished woman.

    Lucille Ball~~There is nothing better than a beautiful woman that can make me laugh.

    Mary Shelly~~A talented writer that would stimulate my mind and teach me all that I am sorely lacking in my own writing.

    As you can see I did not make my choices based on beauty and sex appeal alone. A beautiful woman may keep your bed warm at night but an intelligent woman keeps your life fresh and interesting.


    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Spring Cleaning~~A Yearly Fresh Start

    I like my house clean and try hard to accomplish that task everyday. A dirty home tells me a lot about those who live within it. I never want to live in a dirty house nor be judged on my housekeeping so every June I do do a complete cleaning, floor to ceiling.

    When spring comes to North Carolina it is heralded in by pine pollen so thick that sometimes it resembles a sand storm. But after a winter of being couped up behind closed windows we all throw them open and let the fresh air blow through. Unfortunately the pollen comes in with the fresh air and covers everything requiring daily surface cleaning. Spring cleaning requires a hunt to be mounted to uncover those hidden deposits of pine pollen and eliminate them before the summer heat hits us and we again close up the windows in favor of the use of air conditioning.

    The first question is 'Where to start?'

    "The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” ~Mark Twain

    I take Mr Twain's premise to heart and break everything down into tasks that can be completed in short time spans as my tolerance for long hours of cleaning has wained as I have aged. At age 100, as my SL partner is fond of telling people is my age, short work spans keep me interested.

    When my daughter stopped by last week she found be washing ceilings. Yeppers kiddies you heard me correctly, washing ceilings. My daughter thinks me nuts and I am sure my shrink would call me compulsive but pine pollen sticks everywhere.

    The key, for me anyway, is starting at the top and working my way down. Ceilings, then walls and finally floors. Spring cleaning is a week long activity that is usually rewarded with me stuffing as many baby back ribs into my system as I possibly can and washing it down with beer. Although in recent months, and especially since my illness, not much alcohol passes my lips so this year I will wash it all down with root beer, lol.

    When you think about it Mr Twain's premise is a good one to apply to your everyday life. I believe that as much as a house needs spring cleaning our lives require a good spring cleaning to keep us on track. My brain does collect a lot of cobwebs and dust over a long winter.

    I found these two quotes that apply to me and thought I would share the with you.

    "The trouble with living alone is that it's always your turn to do the dishes." ~Author Unknown

    I do a lot of dishes, ,lol.

    "The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes." ~Agatha Christie

    So maybe doing a lot of dishes is not so bad after all.


    Monday, June 4, 2012

    Vitriol Preached Form Some Pulpits

    His name is Charles L. Worley and he calls himself a minister and one who speaks the word of God. I am ashamed to say that he is from my home state of North Carolina. I have heard homophobic hate speech crapped out of peoples mouths before but this supposed 'man of God' leads the way in hate speech rhetoric.

    Worley's plan is to take all the gay men and place them behind an electrified fence and then place all the lesbians behind a different electrified fence segregating them from the rest of society. Feeding them and letting them die out.

    Worley's plan is obviously not original but the ignorance of this man to history, and frankly to the proper use of the English language, in his mind makes him an original thinker. Sorry 'Pastor Death' but Hitler already beat you to the idea of concentration camps.

    Murdering gays and lesbians will not work as any thinking, scientifically attuned mind will tell you that homosexuality is not a lifestyle. You are born and you either are or you are not straight or gay.

    It seems that Pastor Death wants the United States Congress and Senate to vote in his plan and put it into effect. We all know that will never happen but lets carry this low life uneducated louts plan fruition.

    Picture vans equipped with sound systems driving down every street in the USA blaring show tunes. Because we all know gay men can not resist a good show tune, lol. Following these vans are capture trucks filled with the 'Gay Police' to arrest gay men as they frolic out of their homes to chase the music van just as we did when the Good Humor Ice Cream truck came through our neighborhoods.

    But show tunes will not work on lesbians. Lesbians would need special treatment. Gay Police Woman posing as lesbians could visit lesbian establishments gaining their trust. Then when the undercover police get a second date they could arrive to pick up the woman in a pickup truck with a U-Haul trailer in tow. Because we all know that lesbians always bring a U-Haul trailer to a second date. Instead of clothes and furniture in the trailer there will be police waiting to make the arrest.

    Then they are all carted off to the concentration camps and left to die. We could speed up their demise by dropping only fast food, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages to them. All we have to do is sit back and wait. RIGHT!!

    WRONG!! What will you do Pastor Death when more and more gay and lesbians pop up in your own back yard. This will happen you ignorant bastard and it will have to shake your beliefs to there core.

    Will you realize that being gay is not a lifestyle choice?

    Will you realize that gay men and women were not favorably written into the Bible because it was written by ignorant prejudiced bastards like yourself?

    Will you realize that the garbage you are preaching in Gods name put you on an even level with Hitler?

    My guess is that you will not realize or admit any of  the above until you stand before God and He looks down at you and says. "What Were You Thinking?"

    Those will be the last words you hear before you are greeted in HELL as a permanent resident.