Friday, October 29, 2010


Spooky, check.
Halloween, check
Woman, check.

musical time out.....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gates, Buffett, and Me

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are known for many things, but for the last few years, their major push into charities and the philanthropic work has been getting all the attention.

Hey wait a minute, me too! About 5 years ago I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about an organization called Kiva who works with people who are trying to get ahead in life. People from around the world get loans to start or expand a business and make a better life for themselves and their families.

The minimum loan dollar amount is $25.00. You lend it interest free. That is right, you don't make a nickel. There is always a chance of loss, but it is rare. I have made 12 micro loans to this organization. All money has been repaid and I re-loan it as soon as the money paid back hits $25.00.

My latest loan went to
Leslie Moreno 
Agriculture, Philippines
just loaned

Ana Avalos
General Store, Paraguay

36% paid back

Vitaliy Ivanchuck
Printing, Ukraine

70% paid back

Stella Ovenseri
Clothing Sales, Nigeria

100% paid back

Pharmacy, Peru

100% paid back

Eva Vavrisevich
Shoe Sales, Ukraine

100% paid back

Thach Long
Construction Supplies, Cambodia

100% paid back

Marcelina García's Group
Retail, Paraguay

100% paid back

Farming, Peru

100% paid back

Zonia López Moya
Food Production/Sales, Mexico

100% paid back

Rosa Sánchez 
Food Production/Sales, Ecuador
100% paid back

Cynthia Konnan
Beauty Salon, Ghana

100% paid back

When you go to the Kiva page, you see the people asking for money, the story behind them, their hopes and dreams and you pick the one you want to help. Being the loans are $25.00, it sometimes takes many  people  to get them to their goal. Yes, it feels good to help someone out, someone that you will never see but you know you had a helping hand in their success. 

That's it. No fuss, no mess. No heavy lifting.

Watch out Gates and Buffett, here comes Ray!

Click on the title to get to the site or go here

Monday, October 25, 2010

Breast Cancer Facts

My college daughter offered to give me some facts on breast cancer for this post. How could I say no? 

She is graduating in a few months with a degree in exercise science, a four year degree from Florida State University.

She then is off to get her masters! Smart kid

The following information was offered from

Core Concepts in Health. 
Eleventh Edition. Paul M. Insel and Walton T. Roth

What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women.

  • 1:7 women will develop breast cancer = 182,000 women a year.

  • 1:30 women will die from breast cancer = 41,000 women a year.

  • Less than 1% of breast cancer occurs in women under the age of 30. More than 75% of the cancer occurs in women over 50 years old.

  • The risk doubles every 5 years between 30-45 years old and increases 10-15% every 5 years after the woman reaches the age of 45.

  • A woman with two close relatives with breast cancer is 4-6 times more likely to develop the cancer.

  • However, only about 15% of women with a history of breast cancer develop the cancer.

  • Risk factors: early menstruation, late menopause, not having children, having a first child after the age of 30, using hormone replacement therapy, obesity, and alcohol use.

  • Many of these risk factors involve high amounts of estrogen – early menstruation, late menopause, obesity, and alcohol. The longer a woman has a high flow of estrogen, the more at risk they are. Fat cells produce estrogen, so obese women produce more estrogen. Alcohol interferes with the way alcohol is metabolized by the liver and produces more estrogen in the blood.

  • Estrogen is a growth hormone. It promotes cell growth in the breast and uterus.

  • A Low-fat, vegetable-rich diet, regular exercise, limited alcohol consumption, and weight maintenance can help lower the chance of a woman developing breast cancer.

  • Mammograms every year after the age of 40 are used for early detection. Women between 20-39 should have a clinical breast exam every 3 years. Breast self-exams should start at 20 years old.

  • Watch out for lumps, swelling, thickening, skin irritation, dimpling, nipple pain, scaliness, and retraction.

  • Survival rates: 98% if not metastasized, 89% for all stages after 5 years, and 80% at 10 years.

    Thanks Daughter!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Post Golf Recovery

My day started out ok. Up early, got ready, dropped off some art books at the library and off to the golf course. I was to meet friends later for coffee before signing in. There was a slight breeze as I practiced some putts by myself, no one around, perfect conditions I thought to myself.

The driving range awaiting anxious golfers

Golf carts at the ready

Simple enough game, put the ball in the hole!

A friend called, would pick me up and off we went to get something to eat, which I hadn't planned on, but I got swept up by the smell of French toast and succumbed. After eating, we went back to the course to sign up and wait for the start of the tournament. And wait, and wait, and wait. Two hours to the start seems like an eternity.

At the sign up table, they get your name and what cart position (meaning your starting hole) and your goody bag (golf shirt, socks, golf balls etc). When you send in your money, they don't send back an e mail confirmation, so there is an anxious moment that you might not play today. Whew, we are in.

Next in line waits three attractive women whose sole purpose is to separate you and your money (for a good cause) for raffle tickets for later on in the evening. But it doesn't end there. Various women are scattered around the course for games of chance and of course the beverage carts that travel around, free beer for everyone, tips accepted.

By tee off time. the wind had picked up considerably. There was no chance of rain, but a strong wind puts a damper on the game of an average golfer. We struggled somewhat throughout the day, but still had fun, because that is what friends are for.
From left to right, Tom, Dick, Ray(me) and Gary

As a group, our score at the end of the day was a 70. The winning score was a 61. The worst score was an 88, so all in all, we did ok. I came away with nothing at the end of the day prize wise with the raffle give away.

I had some soreness early on, with my right knee and twisted my back with three holes to go for the day. As I write this, I am hoping I can make it into work. Sigh....

But all in all a fun time was had by everyone and I can't wait to do it again,

A remarkable resemblance don't you think?

The end

Friday, October 22, 2010

Chock Full Of Inner Demons

While out walking this morning, I realized I was feeling stiffer then most days. My knee was still aching, my shins seemed to get sore real quick and OMG, I forgot to pee before I left!

My music was going, but I hadn't found the right song to get me going. My brain was yapping in overdrive. negative thoughts, one after another first crept in and then like a floodgate being open here they came. It took about ten minutes or so before I could start to cage them up for another day and continue onward. Good thing I was able to continue and finish up laps(4) (1 1/2 miles each)and sweaty and kind of exhausted, head back to the house. But it got me to thinking.

Everyday we are bombarded by complaints, negative thoughts and otherwise useless information we can't control, whether at the workplace, at home, wherever. You have to be aware and be strong mentally and focus on the tasks at hand, no matter how repetitious or seemingly unimportant it may appear to be.

Someone does want you to fail. And sometimes that someone is you. Or me. Failure is common. It is comfortable. Victory is fleeting, failure is forever. Anyone can fail, not everyone succeeds. Pick a sport, who won the championship last year? Who won two years ago? Fame is fleeting. The road to success is a twisting winding road, were it ends up is unknown. How fast, how slow, to get there, I don't know. There isn't a time clock, but there is a scorekeeper. That would be you.

Dead ends, failure, they are everywhere. It is so easy to quit, blame others on why it didn't work out. People will nod their head and say, "yep, could see that coming." Champions work on a game plan. They attack the enemy. They use strategy. A strong work ethic. But even champions have doubts. Mental mistakes, blunders. Why oh why? Even the best have their down moments.

But think about it. An error in the first inning of a game counts just as much as an error in the last play of the game. Except during the course of a game, things early on are forgotten.

So when things don't go right, go to your happy place, when you were king for a day, when you couldn't miss and realize you can do it again.

And find the right music and march on.
Watch out world!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Can Poetry That Doesn't Rhyme Still Be Poetry?

An article in Slate magazine caught my attention. Being that I write poetry that doesn't rhyme, it caught my eye.
Click on the title to get to the article or copy and paste this link.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This Is So Me!

This sums up my elementary school days. Click on the picture to make it bigger.
click on the title for more. I get this strip in my in box each day!

25 Miles To Go!

After writing the previous post, I felt the need to add this music spot. Time to get up and go!

Walk Don't Run

I used to be quite the athlete when I was younger. I am not saying a pro quality athlete, but I hung out with a bunch of guys that would play any sport at any time. The trunk of my car, when I got older looked like a sports store, I was ready for anything.

Flash forward. married, kids, move to Florida, another kid, work, and then a revival of sorts, 5 k's , softball and stuff. Injuries pile up. Then it fades away,

until now.

Linda and her Twaddle is what I consider an athlete. She constantly works out, 4 days a week. Rain or shine.
Literally in the rain. Next year, on April 1st she will be walking 62 miles in approximately 28 hours straight, no sleep.

Something clicked inside me. Competitive juices have gotten stirred inside me. Now we will never compete on the same field together, we may never meet, but game on. Like a Phoenix rising I am back in the game.

Some concessions to some injuries on my part, a torn meniscus in my right knee, has limited me to walking but not running. But after a few test days to see how I would feel, I am thinking time is the only constraint I have each day. I walk daily at a very steady rate listening to music as I go along.

After almost 3 weeks, not missing a day, I am up to 4 1/2 miles.  Today, I might stretch it to 6 miles.  Am I stiff, sore shins, tired when I start? Yes, all of the above depending on the day.  Do I fell good when I am done? Yep!

Look out world, I am on the march.

To be continued.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Saturday Golf Tournament Excitement!!!!

It is time once again for the annual golf tournament I play each year. We tee off this Saturday at a local course, Cypress Creek Country Club. It is a charity event, raising money for Juvenile Diabetes. Some friends and I have been playing for the last 5 years or so. It is very popular and a full complement of foursomes will be playing. Last year many foursomes were turned away as they ran out of space.

I expect the same this year.  It is a best ball tournament, which means each player takes their best shot, it is decided which one is best, and everyone plays from that point. In essence you get four tries for each shot. 
It is relatively easy to do well, much better scoring than playing on your own. But the competition is fierce and scores will be very low. Two years ago we came in 7th.

But this is not why I am writing this. It is the feeling of excitement building inside me. It is playing for something tangible, something important, being a member of a team, striving for victory.  I don't play that often, a difficult work schedule, and golf itself is costly.  But all that aside, it makes me feel like a little kid getting ready for his first little league game. I remember my son, a little guy at the time, going to bed in his uniform, he couldn't wait to play the following morning. I wonder how silly I would look sleeping in my golf clothes.

It is the feeling of having something on the line for a change. As an occasional golfer, the skills aren't there. But on any given shot we are all capable of making a TV golf shot that shows up on replays everywhere.

The little kid in me, now an older man, is ready.

Bring it on

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tea Party Funding!

A while ago I did a post on the funding of the Tea Party and wondered where the money was coming from.
Who is funding the Tea Bag Party? . As a result of very early morning blog wanderings(you know how it goes,click here, click there), I ended up at the web site of the Guardian UK site. Please click on the title to get to the story.

It talks of the funding of many organizations by the very much Republican billionaire Koch brothers . Charles and David Koch are the behind the scenes money men. They have empowered faux grassroots organization political movements. They are worried that the current party in power is anti industry(anti Koch brothers) and are doing whatever they can to stir things up. (a house divided).

The men behind it all has been revealed. The Wizard of Oz has been shown.
No, I won't say I told you so.
ha ha !

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Where It All Began

Before I started this blog, a friend and I had an idea to bring about world peace for a day. A naive attempt perhaps, but an attempt.  It was my first writing attempt ever!

I have changed how I do things, away from politics and such, but a trip down memory lane is good once in awhile. This trip may not happen again, so here we go.

One Day of Peace
An idea was born in the year 2008, along with a friend of mine, Gary Kent, that we might make a difference. I contacted every governor in the United States to sponsor a proclamation on "One Day of Peace", a day of do no harm. We were not successful, but we did not fail. Here is the end result.

A Day of

“Do No Harm to Your Fellow Man”

November 5, 2008

Remember, remember the 5th of November, 2008, (yes, borrowed from V for Vendetta, the Movie), the day the humankind did not intentionally do any harm to one another. The day the earth literally stood still and did not cause any suffering to one and other.
Some would say I am terribly naive to expect this to happen, jousting at windmills Don Quixote’ but I have to try. There has to be hope for mankind, a glimmer of hope for a day. Is that to much to ask?

Listening to the Neil Rogers show one day,, he talked about religion, he said he would name his church “The Church of Do No Harm” and the idea was planted in my mind. How to make this real?

The mayhem I watch and read about on a daily basis, on TV, in the newspapers, on the web, reported at breakneck speed is staggering. The most cruel and unimaginable acts are repeated everyday.

People are being slaughtered as we speak, murdered on a whim, raped, tortured, starving, and so on. If it bleeds, it leads on the news tonight. And when you hear about this, one might say (”tsk, tsk, isn’t that terrible, what’s the world coming to?”), and move on. Until it hits home, it might be you next!

Sometimes people are the cause by doing, some people are the cause by ignoring what goes on.

We are not the best that planet has to offer, but we are the most destructive. Some cultures have lived in harmony with nature, but at their own peril. History shows many are gone. Conquered. Wiped out.

Millions of deaths have been caused by religion, politics, greed, desiring of what a neighboring country has, whatever the reason, it has continued. 

The War Machine. Fear. Exploitation. Blame others for your misfortunes. The easy way out. Politicians count on this to stay in office. Blame immigration on job losses….jobs that go unfilled everyday.

Give them to some one willing to work for the opportunity, the chance to be someone.

Eisenhower warned in his final days in office, as president, that the growing presence of war profiteers needed war to continue to increase business. Make up an excuse, start a war, people die, it’s profitable. And so it goes.

The most wonderful country in the world is crumbling, unable to feed its entire people, treat the sick, and educate the people who then can contribute to society. If you can keep someone down, don’t let them thrive, does that make you feel better? Superior? To some this works just fine.

The strong are supposed to protect the weak, not exploit them, or kill them.

I need you help to spread the word that for one day all politicians, all religious leaders, all business leaders, all leaders of all countries, the United Nations, tyrants, rulers, good and evil, whatever and wherever, to make this happen.

I need presidential candidates to make this happen. I need all governments to make this happen. Executions postponed for a day. Killers don’t kill for a day. No robberies, no rapes, don’t beat children or animals. Feel good about yourself for one day. Shut everything down for one day, except for vital services. Don’t drive, don’t shop… no harm….for one day. No wars…one day a truce!

The web is the Gutenberg press spreading like wildfire all of these things I have talked about. Some will not because they can. I challenge them the most. Do you have the courage, the heart to go against your normal convictions? Many will help; many will try to spread the word. Make it your cause…become a big part of this…write to others…talk to others.

This will spread to the small towns and villages that have no Internet. The back roads of every nook and cranny across the world must be touched. Mankind is crying out in terror and pain. If this can happen, anything can happen; no obstacle is too large or too small.

Please help. Thank you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Poetic Musings

Are poems my passion? I don't know, but I tried to sum it up in an e mail.

I don't know if poems are my passion, but I do like the results when I am done. It gives me an outlet for my thoughts.

 I am not as prolific as some, It can be weeks now, until something comes to mind, but then the writing is done quickly, 30 minutes or less.  

It kind of writes itself, my style is simple, three words to a line( in most cases). I rarely make a change, I stop when I think I have made my point. 

When I think of something to write, I kick it around in my mind to see if yes, i can write about that.  

I post it and then the hard part is waiting for a comment.  I have yet to have a bad comment, but I think people are kind and if they don't like it, they don't say anything.  Just the same , it is nice to hear good things.

This all started because I took a chance and tried to write a poem to a woman and when she did not laugh off my first attempt, I was encouraged and continued onward. 

That's is my story and I am sticking to it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Me? Write Your Wedding Vows? Uh, Ok!

I was recently was asked by a woman at work to write her wedding vows.

I was stunned, hiding my surprise, I said yes.

I thought about it for four days or so. Writing it took about 45 minutes. I handed it to her at work.

When she read it, she started to cry, blurted out "perfect" and kept crying.

This was all because I took a chance and brought some of poetry to work for some of the ladies to read.

Let Them Read was my post I guess that started the ball rolling.

I was there for the wedding, feeling like a playwright waiting to hear the words I had written.

For better or worse (pun intended) here is what I came up with.

My first, my last, my everything
Words torn from a song
What can one say
When someone touches your heart and your very soul

My words are framed in ways
To show our shared emotions
Our lives are different from this moment on
Caring for one another
Our ups and downs
For better or worse
My soul mate

We are kindred spirits
Our movements locked in step
It is meant to be forever

Our hands reaching out for the other
To be there for me
And I for you
I will give you my all
To be loved once again
My gift to you and yours to me
Everything I have to make you happy

Affairs of the heart can not be wished for
Birds must sing in the same key
Bees making honey never sweeter

Sunrises seem to be perfect
Sunsets bring hope for more to come
Walks by the ocean. Two sets of prints
Leaving their mark

Our thoughts to be shared
Words not be spoken

I never gave up hope that sometime
Somewhere, you would enter my life
And share our lives together

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Did You Know That I Am A Guest Poet?

I have been a guest poet blogger for about a year now. It is a lot of fun and I feel honored that some of my work gets selected from time to time. This time around the comments made me feel good. One never knows how good and how the effort will be received. I am grateful. Below are a few of the comments from the site, from Thank you for the personal moment.

from moondustwriter
Excellent poem about a hopeless condition
My heart breaks for these children. Death sadly is a blessing

from V.Mafood
Seeing the horror these children endure makes my blood run cold. It is beyond heartless. I will tell the author about your comment! Thanks!

from songnwoods
Very moving and tragic words...a reality still, in this part of the world too.

I recommend the site if you like poetry. click on the title to get to the site.
October 10, 2010 2:35 PMOctober 8, 2010 11:56 AMOctober 8, 2010 11:22 AM

V. Mahfood
Bookmark and Share
By: R. J. Denzel 

(Note: This photograph showing a starving Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture won Kevin Carter the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.)

why oh why
what have I done
to be in a place
where there
is no hope

no food
no drink
all alone
so young

no future
no past
can't understand

gift to mankind

cruelty of mankind
dying of thirst

cruelty of nature
cruelty of man

food and water
not here
never enough
hunger constant
thirst constant
suffering constant
future is dim

I am forsaken
what have I done
death is near
end the suffering

R. J. Denzel
R. Jacob Post Poetic Muses

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Trust me on this, this post is all serious today. I am not an expert on this subject, but I am but one of many males that might be touched by this in our lifetimes. 

It is cruel twist of fate that a wonderful part of the female anatomy could be susceptible to such a scourge of a disease that can kill or disfigure and wreak havoc in ones life. 

And sometimes it would seem that the attempt at the eradication or the cure of such a disease is as bad as the disease its self. 

It is a great act of courage on the part of any woman who faces up to this beast and tries with the help of others to win the battle.

A lot of organizations have thrown their support behind the cause. Even the NFL footballer players have been wearing the ribbon, pink shoes, chin straps and so on. 

I am sure many bloggers around the world have joined in the effort. If not, at least this one has. 

This blog will support the cause and will be pink for the rest of the month.

A small thing perhaps, but it is something, never the less. You are in my thoughts.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne

Step Into Life Bentleigh

is  the  name  of  the  foursome  of  Australian  walkers,

Captained by our own Linda and her Twaddle
(  )

who will be walking 100 kilometers or 62 miles!!!!  WITHOUT STOPPING!!!
for this worthy charity effort.
 For those of you who enjoy her blog, this is an opportunity to help out. 

Yep, this is an actual pitch to you the reader to help out with any dollar amount that you can give.  It also gives you a chance to be a part of Australia environment. 

On April 1st  2011 their journey begins.

This is the equivalent of running or walking 20 5k's in a row.  WITH OUT STOPPING!!!!!

From the site


is a 100km endurance walk through the Australian bush. We're taking this on to raise money for Oxfam Australia, who work to fight poverty and injustice in 26 countries around the world, including Indigenous Australia.

Click on the title to get to the site or follow the link below will take you to the website,
 click on Linda's name and donate! 
It allows you to put in any dollar amount by with any credit card. 

Easy. and you will feel good about it too!

In case you are wondering, yes I did.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Say" I Love You", While It Still Matters

Some times as life goes on people drift apart. They forget all the pluses and focus on minuses. The warmth and closeness, two pulling together against the ups and downs of life. One starts to remember the down times more so then not. The phrase "I love you" begins to fade away.

After awhile, it seems to take some effort. The words seem hollow and then they stop all together.  Love does matter, but has to be nurtured, like a flower, paid attention to it, not left alone. Then it will wither and die. People move on in life. What was important, what was once shared is no more.

So take care my friend, or the two together will be two alone.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Lost Gardens Of Heligan

History & Restoration

Click on the title to visit the web site. 
I was told of this site by Linda and Her Twaddle.  It is a remarkable story of a long lost English estate garden that has been in a refurbishing effort for the last 20 years.  It is on my list of places to visit one day.  The sites and sounds are remarkable, including cameras set up to observe life as it happens with the birds, your own nature show.
But I recommend clicking on the Birdsong  tab and let the soothing sounds of the songs of nature fill your ears. On occasion I use it as background music while on line.
It is quite remarkable. Below is some words to go along with the picture above. I hope you like it too.
At the end of the nineteenth century its thousand acres were at their zenith, but only a few years later bramble and ivy were already drawing a green veil over this “Sleeping Beauty”. After decades of neglect, the devastating hurricane of 1990 should have consigned the Lost Gardens of Heligan to a footnote in history.
Instead, events conspired to bring us here and the romance of their decay took a hold on our imaginations. Our discovery of a tiny room, buried under fallen masonry in the corner of one of the walled gardens, was to unlock the secret of their demise. A motto etched into the limestone walls in barely legible pencil still reads “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber” with the names of those who worked there signed under the date – August 1914. We were fired by a magnificent obsession to bring these once glorious gardens back to life in every sense and to tell, for the first time, not tales of lords and ladies but of those “ordinary” people who had made these gardens great, before departing for the Great War.
We have now established a large working team with its own vision for our second decade. The award-winning garden restoration is already internationally acclaimed; but our lease now extends into well over 200 acres of the Wider Estate, leaving the project far from complete. We intend Heligan to remain a living and working example of the best of past practice, offering public access into the heart of what we do. 
Our contemporary focus is to work with nature, accepting and respecting it and protecting and enhancing the variety of habitats with which our project is endowed. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

PEGGY LEE-He's aTramp-Walt Disney-Making of Lady & the Tramp

I love the behind the scenes look of the old school animation of Disney and what it looks like putting it all together.

And of course the Siamese cats, the scoundrels!


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