Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Continuing on a current theme -- "Stop Waiting for Permission: Do What You've Been Resisting"


Continuing on a theme of late...

 "Stop Waiting for Permission: 
Do What You've Been Resisting" 
by Robert Pagliarini

“Whose permission do you need? Really, it's not a trick question. Who needs to give you the nod of approval before you can start a business, start dating after a bitter divorce, or write the book you've been talking about for the past nine years? Whose approval are you desperately seeking? Your spouse, a boss, friend, or expert in your field? Unless you're six years old, you don't need anyone's permission to create a better, fuller, richer life for yourself. Of course, it doesn't always feel that way. Someone has to tell you you're good enough and smart enough, right?

Well, no actually. We cling to the (irrational) belief that we require approval before we can achieve because it's safe. It gives you a fabulous excuse. You can tell others, and more importantly, yourself, that it's out of your hands. It can help you sleep because it gives you the illusion that you're not in control. And if you're not in control, it's not your fault. But if you want to do more than sleep well and want to start living well, you need to make a decision. Are you going to put your success and happiness in your hands or someone else's?

This message hit home for me last week. I presented to a roomful of actors and artists at a Screen Actors Guild event. Talk about an industry built on the need for approval. If you're an actor, you need a casting director to tell you you're good enough. If you're a musician, you need a record label to give you their seal of approval. And if you're a writer, you need an agent or publisher to recognize your genius. This is true for all actors, musicians, and writers . . . except those that have decided they don't need to wait for anyone to tell them their art is worthy. These are the artists that don't wait, they create. The ones such as Zak Ambrose, Craig Benzine, Christina Perri, Oren Peli, or "Born this Way"Maria.

Not an artist? Not a problem. It doesn't matter what you do for a living. The freedom that comes from discovering you don't need anyone's permission is yours for the taking. But how can you break free from this destructive and limiting belief? Get conscious. It's time to name names. List a goal or aspiration and write down next to it all of the people for whom you are secretly waiting approval. If you're having trouble, ask yourself this: who needs to tell me that I am old enough, young enough, experienced enough, smart enough, attractive enough, thin enough, funny enough, or creative enough? Maybe you've been waiting to get a boyfriend before you travel across Europe. Why can't you go alone? Whose permission are you seeking? What about dropping your current job and switching to a career that inspires you?

There are two truths. The first is that nobody will ever give you permission. The second is that you don't need anyone's permission. Success doesn't come to those who wait for it. Success doesn't even come to those who ask for it. Success comes to those who fight off the naysayers and push forward without a permission slip.

It can be incredibly scary (and life changing) once you realize it's up to you. Regardless of the story you sell yourself, it always has been up to you, and it always will be. What would happen if you woke up tomorrow and decided you didn't need anyone to give you permission? What's the first thing you would start? Really, it's not a trick question."
Are you ready to create more money, time, energy, and passion in your life? Learn how to live your best life now with these free resources:

Jennifer


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Whatever You Do For A Living

Whatever you do for a living, I am willing to bet you would leave it tomorrow if you could. You would try your dream job whatever it is. You hate whom you work with, work for, and are only there for the paycheck. I know it could be reversed. You like who you work for but not the ones you work with. Pick a combination, whatever.

My point being, if you won the mythical lottery, it would be over. Why? Interesting question. In most cases, a guess on my part by the way, your profession was not something you planned on and planned for. You stumbled into it as the best choice at the time.

I know, some of you went to school, studied real hard, became a doctor or lawyer or indian chief and can proudly point to the fact that you are a success. You think I don't know what I am talking about.  Ok, then answer me this, are you happy with where you are now? Or did you stay on because all the time and money you invested?

I did a post on this,  Financial Handcuffs! that looked into this. What is your dream job?
What would you do if whatever you chose paid the bills?

Would you be a coal miner working 3 miles underground, never  see daylight, breathing in deadly gases?
Would you work in the oil fields, or out on the ocean rigs, thinking today could be your last day?

See what I mean? The answers are obvious and then again they are not. Someone wants to leave a job and someone wants that job. It is like the stock market, someone buying, someone selling, each thinking the other is a sucker.

All I know, what I do is not what I should be doing. I think that goes for you too. Passion stirs in everyone to some degree. Different levels to be sure. But dare to dream and try something different. Success has different looks to everyone.

You owe it to you.

Stepping down from my soapbox, I think it is time for a cold one.

ray

The Day The Poems Died

Once upon a time, with words of encouragement from someone, I started writing poetry. Not in the classic style, but in a comfortable way for me. A simple way, usually three words per line, it seemed to work for me. I found out that the poems would write themselves. Thoughts would tumble on to the screen, never a correction or change of words, with a speed I found fascinating. When I thought I had said enough, I would stop. Thoughts would tumble through my mind during the day and I couldn't wait to sit down to write.

Then it stopped.

Except for one or two outbursts of emotion, the thoughts went away and hid. And I can point to the one poem that did it.

Wedding Vows

After showing some of my poems to a few women at work to get their reaction, one came up to me with a request. She was getting married and wanted me to write her wedding vows. I was surprised and stunned, but I said yes. Did I mention she was gay? How was I to write about the love of one woman for another?

I thought about it for quite awhile. I had no idea. So I cobbled together the opening lines from a Barry White song, along with some words from two or three poems I had already written, smoothed it out, made it look original and handed it to her for her approval. She read it and started crying. She liked it. I was happy for her, but I walked away feeling unfulfilled. I did go to the wedding ceremony just to hear her say the words, but I was not moved by them, even though her and her bride cried during the reading.

And like a curse of a song writer, the words dried up. The poem thoughts became less and less frequent and now they are gone. I am hoping that by writing about it, the block that I have in place will relinquish its hold on me.

If it does not start up again, at least I have many to show and read which you can see here at
R Jacob Post Poetic Muses

I am proud of what I have written. It all happened because someone did not laugh or belittle my first attempt.
For that I am forever grateful.

and now for the morning ritual
coffee time

ray

Monday, August 29, 2011

"A Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness"


 A perfect follow up to my last post, don't you think?



"If I have harmed anyone in any way, either knowingly or unknowingly
through my own confusions, I ask their forgiveness.

If anyone has harmed me in any way, either knowingly or unknowingly
through their own confusions, I forgive them.

And if there is a situation I am not yet ready to forgive
I forgive myself for that.

For all the ways that I harm myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself,
judge or be unkind to myself through my own confusions,
I forgive myself."

"A Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

We Hold You In Esteem! Huh?

Hey who are you talking to? Me? You hold me in esteem? Why thank you! 
Hey wait a darn minute, what the hell is esteem?

Defined as:
1   archaic : worthvalue

2
archaic : opinionjudgment
3
: the regard in which one is held; especially : high regardesteem we all feel for her>

What about self esteem I hear about all the time? What is that? Lumping stuff all together, it means you are important and worthy and priceless. Little ole me? Yes and you and you.
We all have down days where nothing seems to go right. We think it is all our fault, one thing after another going wrong. Not true. If that was the case, who dressed you, fed you, drove you to work, and so on. Like anything else, some things seem to stick out.
Most of the time we can shake the bad stuff off, sometimes by laughing at the silliness of it all.
But sometimes, our brain can't get out of the way. It might be a bad affirmation, something said to us when we were young, "you are ugly" or "you are fat" or "we don't love you" or "you are stupid" that will stay with us for life.  Life becomes a series of awkward social situations, or we refuse to accept compliments at face value because we doubt them.
I feel like that when I draw or write poetry. Really, do you think it's good, really? It takes many compliments to make me believe it. But when I walk away from a drawing or a writing, I am satisfied with the end results. Confused? Me too. But onward.
Someone can be described as beautiful, intelligent, creative, resourceful, worldly, witty and not believe it. ( No, it is not me ha ha). You run into all types of people in life who seem to have it all and are totally insecure because they think they don't deserve it or fame is fleeting, or looks will go with age.
Many things we do are based on results. Sometimes perfection is expected, a doctor, a pilot, often don't get a second chance or a do over. Most of us can try again, at what ever we attempted.
Low self esteem, holding yourself with little or no regard of importance is usually wrong. If you are not good at something, try something else. Sometimes society puts up roadblocks to prevent success from happening. Sometimes you have to change the rules and society will grudgingly go along.
The end result is the more confidence you have in yourself the more people will recognize that fact indeed you are special. 
So to all of us out there with a moment of self doubt, we believe in you. You are what you are and that is good enough. 
And that goes for me too.
We hold you in high esteem! Sounds good, doesn't it! My self esteem just went up a notch.
Time for a cold something or other to drink
ray


Saturday, August 27, 2011

RJ-Self Portrait

Sigh, a difficult drawing for me. I still have a way to go in drawing hair. I have to learn to get the nuances of that down.

A woman's hair seems to be easier for me, more flow to it. 

It is easy to be critical of how one looks to others. I can see all the flaws. Maybe others will not. 

I will redo it down the road as my skills improve, a before and after! Maybe no double chin? lol

This is not Man Thinking, more like Man With No Thoughts! Ha Ha







As always, doing my best
time for a cup of tea

ray

Friday, August 26, 2011

Death Is So Very Final


Life is very fleeting. What seems like a long time in years can be gone in an instant. How long is long?
When you care for someone, casual or not, it can end rather quickly, suddenly and seem so unfair. Simple acts of kindness can stay with you and them forever. It makes one pause and think that the good things must be shared with them, something as simple as a hug or a thank you all count. With that thought in mind, allow me to repost the following.


Don't Wait, Say It Now

someone dies
people gather
some cry
some talk
some wonder
too soon
too late

much done
much to do
full of promise
promise unfullfilled
what happened
what went wrong

he she
never looked better
never liked
never loved
don't care
no longer

people talk
say nice things
very nice
wonderful
touching

to the point
say good things
now
don't wait
getting older
send a card
make a visit
let them know
you care

love
will miss
touched your life
don't let them miss
out on thoughts
you could
go first

repost from September 9, 2009

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It Is Not Real Juice Anymore!


Oh Oh another secret out! This makes one wonder what the world has come to doesn't it?


“The Secret Ingredient In Your Orange Juice”
by Iris

"Do you buy orange juice at the store? If you do, I’m sure you’re careful to buy the kind that’s 100% juice and not made from concentrate. After all, that’s the healthier kind, right? The more natural kind? The kind without any additives? The kind that’s sold in the refrigerator section so it must be almost as good as fresh-squeezed orange juice? If I’m describing you, then you’re either going to hate me or love me by the time you’re done reading this post. The truth is, that orange juice you feel so good about buying is probably none of those things. You’ve been making assumptions based on logic. The food industry follows its own logic because of the economies of scale. What works for you in your kitchen when making a glass or two of juice simply won’t work when trying to process thousands upon thousands of gallons of the stuff.

Haven’t you ever wondered why every glass of Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice tastes the same, no matter where in the world you buy it or what time of year you’re drinking it in? Or maybe your brand of choice is Minute Maid or Simply Orange or Florida’s Natural. Either way, I can ask the same question. Why is the taste and flavor so consistent? Why is it that the Minute Maid never tastes like the Tropicana, but always tastes like its own unique beverage?

Generally speaking, beverages that taste consistently the same follow recipes. They’re things like Coca Cola or Pepsi or a Starbucks Frappuccino. When you make orange juice at home, each batch tastes a little different depending on the oranges you made it from. I hope you’re hearing warning bells in your head right about now. The reason your store bought orange juice is so consistently flavorful has more to do with chemistry than nature.
Making OJ should be pretty simple. Pick oranges. Squeeze them. Put the juice in a carton and voilĂ ! But actually, there is an important stage in between that is an open secret in the OJ industry. After the oranges are squeezed, the juice is stored in giant holding tanks and, critically, the oxygen is removed from them. That essentially allows the liquid to keep (for up to a year) without spoiling– but that liquid that we think of as orange juice tastes nothing like the Tropicana OJ that comes out of the carton. In fact, it’s quite flavorless. So, the industry uses “flavor packs” to re-flavor the de-oxygenated orange juice: “When the juice is stripped of oxygen it is also stripped of flavor providing chemicals. Juice companies therefore hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that formulate perfumes for Dior and Calvin Klein, to engineer flavor packs to add back to the juice to make it taste fresh. Flavor packs aren’t listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. Yet those in the industry will tell you that the flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice, resemble nothing found in nature. The packs added to juice earmarked for the North American market tend to contain high amounts of ethyl butyrate, a chemical in the fragrance of fresh squeezed orange juice that, juice companies have discovered, Americans favor. Mexicans and Brazilians have a different palate. Flavor packs fabricated for juice geared to these markets therefore highlight different chemicals, the decanals say, or terpene compounds such as valencine.”
The formulas vary to give a brand’s trademark taste. If you’re discerning you may have noticed Minute Maid has a candy like orange flavor. That’s largely due to the flavor pack Coca-Cola has chosen for it. Some companies have even been known to request a flavor pack that mimics the taste of a popular competitor, creating a “hall of mirrors” of flavor packs. Despite the multiple interpretations of a freshly squeezed orange on the market, most flavor packs have a shared source of inspiration: a Florida Valencia orange in spring.

Why aren’t these flavor packs listed as ingredients? Good question! As with all industrial foods, it’s because of our convoluted labeling laws. You see, these “flavor packs are made from orange by-products — even though these ‘by-products’ are so chemically manipulated that they hardly qualify as ‘by-products’ any more.” (source) Since they’re made from by-products that originated in oranges, they can be added to the orange juice without being considered an “ingredient,” despite the fact that they are chemically altered.

So, what should you do about it? First off, I must ask: Why are you drinking juice? Juice removed from the fruit is just concentrated fructose without any of the naturally-occurring fiber, pectin, and other goodies that make eating a whole fruit good for you. Did you know, for example, that it takes 6-8 medium sized apples to make just 1 cup of apple juice? You probably wouldn’t be able to eat 6-8 medium apples in a single sitting. (I know I can barely eat one!) But you can casually throw back a cup of apple juice, and you would probably be willing to return for seconds. That’s why fruit juice is dangerous. It’s far too easy to consume far too much sugar.

So, my first piece of advice is to get out of the juice habit altogether. It’s expensive, and it’s not worth it. My second piece of advice is to only drink juices that you make yourself, and preferably ones that you’ve turned into a healthy, probiotic beverage (like this naturally-fermented lemonade my own family enjoys). Sally Fallon Morrell’s "Nourishing Traditions" cookbook has several lacto-fermented juice coolers that are pleasant, albeit expensive. (I especially like the Grape Cooler, Raspberry Drink, and Ginger Beer.) Want to make juicing easier? See here for where to buy juicers and Vitamix blenders.

And finally, opt out of the industrial food system as much as you can. If you learn anything at all from this post, it should be that you never know what’s in your food unless you grow it, harvest it, or make it yourself. Second best (and more practical for many, including myself) is to pay somebody I trust to do it — like the farmers at my Farmer’s Market, the cattle rancher I buy my annual grass-fed beef order from, or the chef at my local restaurant who’s willing to transparently answer questions about how he sources ingredients and what goes into the dish I’m ordering."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shields Up Scotty!

Ok, not shields but see through shutters. Watching the Weather Channel and looking on line at the tracking models at Weather Underground, I decided to take action. The path looked like it would pass over us. I was off Monday and Tuesday.

Monday was fill up the gas can day. We have several that I filled to keep the gas generator going if needed. If there is panic in the streets, getting gas could take hours. This time it took 20 minutes.

Tuesday morning I decided to put up the shutters. The windows around the house took about an hour. Then I started on the patio. They are half finished. I can put the rest up in about an hour.

When I had gone the plywood route, it would have taken all day and maybe into the night. The work on custom installing the tracks for the shutters was done by me two years ago. It was a long drawn out process, working on them a few days a week for about 7 weeks. The fact that they are see through and light makes all the difference. There is none of the dark, entombing, feeling of metal or wood on the windows and doors.
If I am not around, the family members at home could handle it.

It has been pointed out to me that I did it all for nothing. For those who have been through a hurricane, there is no such thing as being over prepared. I will always be ready when there is a chance of harm.


nice new shiny gutters too!






The end of August and early September is a busy time for hurricane activity. So I may leave them up for awhile. Maybe, just maybe, the shutters scared the hurricane away. But I know that if I was unprepared, the hurricane would be bearing down on me as we speak.

And now it is time for a well deserved cup of coffee!

ray

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All Is Not Fair In Love And War..

I looked the line up, "all is fair in love and war" said by no one knows. But putting aside the war part, love is not fair to all people all the time. Those feelings have echoed through out the ages and the times and words have changed but not the meaning.

I came upon some words from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle from The Return of Sherlock Holmes from The Adventure Of The Abbey Grange, a character in one of the stories said this to Mr. Holmes describing his love for a woman.

"I must go back a bit. You seem to know everything, so I expect that you know that I met her when she was a passenger and I was the first officer of the Rock of Gibraltar. From the first day I met her, she was the only woman to me. Every day of that voyage I loved her more, and many a time since have I kneeled down in the darkness of the night watch and kissed the deck of that ship because I knew her dear feet had trod it. She was never engaged to me. She treated me as fairly as ever a woman treated a man. I have no complaint to make. It was all love on my side, and all good comradeship and friendship on hers. When  we parted she was a free woman, but I could never again be a free man."

I wondered as I read this, was this just a part of the story or was it a part of Sir Arthur's life.  More heartfelt words have never been written. Now back to my reading...

and a beer or two

ray


A Gutter Failure

I am a pretty handy guy around the house. I manage to figure out how to fix things or repair or create something that was needed.. My Waterloo of sorts has been putting up gutters where there was none before.  Should be easy enough right?

Not this time.

First thing missing was the shingle line that extended out far enough for the rain runoff to hit the gutter nicely. Then I had a problem with the pitch of the gutter so it would drain properly to the downspouts. Everything would seem to be okay and then a heavy rain would find the flaws of my design or installation.

I would make note of the flaws and dutifully go back up to repair it once more. I would tweak it again and again.

Enough. New gutters go up today!

Not an exciting post today but letting you in on what is going on.

big coffee time

ray

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Woman's Intuition or Man's Gut Feelings?

Which is better?

Both involve reading between the lines of hidden or non expressed meanings or feelings. A lot of it seems to be based on previous life experiences. Instinctive reactions can take over.

Both involve emotion. But the emotions involved sometimes cloud the judgement being given. Women look at a given situation differently then men, at times anyway. The nurturer-gather versus the hunter mentality.

It is a physical plus mental awareness that happens to a person. A sensory overload of sorts.

Soon to follow is the AHA moment or an epiphany of sorts, a dawning of a realization.

Sometimes though it is called jumping to conclusions. Not all the facts are in yet.  Perception vs. Reality.

After thinking about it, I don't know who has the edge.

What do you think?

ray

Saturday, August 20, 2011

R J Why No Self Portrait?



Self consciousness I guess. Many people are told that they are photogenic all their lives. I have never been told that. Or that I am handsome. Actually, online, I have been told that twice! I was rather surprised and happy with that.

But when it comes to a picture, I only see flaws. But I feel I must try at least once to see how it works out.
Other artists I have talked with say it is part of the process of learning.

So I will draw it this week. From this picture, and I will try not to tear up the paper in disgust.

Now if I can erase that second chin!

haha

ray

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bye Bye Facebook, I Unfriended Myself!

I have had it with Facebook.
 I guess I am not the social animal. 
It seems like a lot of work to get in touch and stay in touch.
 I don't play the games. 
I find the daily details of everyday living of everyone kind of boring. 
Don't take it personal.
My daily details are boring too.

There are some people I will miss of course.
But my blogging takes up a lot of my time.
I did this awhile ago.
It still holds true today.


If you want you can find me here!
Commenting on my status!

ha ha


ray

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Day Of Quotes

All Borrowed from "Running cause I can't fly" blog that you can visit from my reading list.




"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
- Albert Einstein



"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!"




"If you knew that hope and despair were paths to 
the same destination, which would you choose?"

~ Robert Brault




“The point of living and of being an optimist,
is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come.”
    - Peter Ustinov




"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the
assaults of thoughts on the unthinking."

- John Maynard Keynes





"Lakotah Instructions for Living"

"Friend do it this way - that is, whatever you do in life,
do the very best you can with both your heart and mind.

And if you do it that way,
the Power Of The Universe will come to your assistance,
if your heart and mind are in Unity.

When one sits in the Hoop Of The People,
one must be responsible because All of Creation is related.
And the hurt of one is the hurt of all.
And the honor of one is the honor of all.
And whatever we do affects everything in the universe.

If you do it that way - that is,
if you truly join your heart and mind as One -
whatever you ask for, that's the way it's going to be."

Passed down from White Buffalo Calf Woman

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Humphrey Bogart - 1953


Let Me Grab The Remote, This Ain't The Lifetime Channel!!

It is time to go back to my normal self, what ever that is. I am working on health first, fixing what I can, reassess my situation and go on from there.

To all the wonderful women and gentlemen that responded here and in private, I want to let you know I will be posting my personal phone number at the end of this post, just might just take you up on that offer.

Words were used like warm, intelligent, worthy, loved, important, appreciating, eloquent, artistic, even a handsome thrown in for good measure.

And you came from around the world to offer comfort, understanding, a pat on the back and a hug.
The appreciation of my honesty was very humbling. Everyone has something going on and something that needs to be handled one way or another. I am not alone.

One wrote me 
"The whole health is the most difficult thing to get through
   because it has an impact on everything else. "


How true. 


Things have a tendency to build up over time. My various blogs serve as a release of some kind. That you would take time to stop by to read and even comment is wonderful. 


But knowing all this, at a point in time it is time to get back up and assume the warrior pose.  Life goes on and I must tilt at some more windmills. 


I was kidding about the phone number, but you knew that didn't you! ha ha


thanks,


ray





Saturday, August 13, 2011

Repost - The Invisible Man

This is a repost of a poem from a few years ago. I wrote it after attending a golf tournament.

My group did not play that well and I was talking toward the end with a rather good looking woman who was helping with the tournament.

Sometimes a man can pause and reflect. I remember Vegas Linda Lu being surprised that this could happen to men.

Hoping not to bore you, here it goes.


Sunday, October 25, 2009


there are days
a wake up call
things to be enjoyed
not going well

a self awareness
of ones self
outside looking in
as others see

female gender
casual encounter
being polite
no hint of
interest
ego takes hit
confidence ebbs

sometimes it
matters
can't shake it off
reaching the age
of invisibility

the feeling of alone
in a crowded room
this will pass
understood
not unique
in this feeling

but when senses
reel
perception is reality
down day will go away
bluster of salesman
will hide insecurity
once more
and understand
the invisible man

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Do You Think I'm Sexy?

No? You are not alone in that thinking. If you said yes, I would be hard pressed to believe you.

This is an internal rant only. I am pointing only one finger and it is at me.

I feel very much alone right now. I feel over worked and under appreciated, at home and at work.
I feel the need to hire someone for my complaint department.
That person would be overworked and most likely quit.

I hurt everywhere. My knees hurt, my shoulders hurt. I am having trouble sleeping, it is been like this for many weeks. I may be going in for knee surgery soon. But I don't know if it will help, but I have to try. But I show up everyday knowing what I do for a living is hurting me physically and scarring me for the rest of my life.

Not to long ago, I had many a woman hit on me, interested in something more and I turned them all down.
Now they are not interested anymore. I have become a blank face in the crowd. It used to be fun, the flirting,
on both sides, online and in person.

But no more. Silence. No one looks at me romantically. None.

The ones I am attracted to are not receptive. I look for kindness, some beauty, some intelligence mixed in. Is that to much to ask? I think so. I can give back the kindness and intelligence I think, the beauty is for you to judge.

So far any way, my track record is not looking good.

What do I have to offer you might ask? Not much I am afraid. I am 58 going 59. That means. yep. in a year or two I will be sixty years old. Can I wine and dine you? Buy you gifts? Vacation hideaways. No, None of the above. And when you get to a certain age, many women cross you off the list. He is too old. A fact of life.

I don't think I take a picture well or I would show more on line. I have never been described as good looking by anyone. But I have a great sense of humor, I can  make you laugh or I used to anyway.  Apparently that is not enough. Trying to make you laugh on line is very difficult. Much better in person I guess.

I used to think my plusses out did my minuses. Not any more. It has been so long since I got a kiss from a woman, I wouldn't know how to react. A hug, being touched. Sex is definitely not there. Somewhere along the line I lost the ability to romance a woman and have her lust after me, or at least pretend.

All of this is missing from my life.

I am not a man of prestige. I am not a man of title. I am not a man of great respect in the community.  I don't have women hanging on my every word. But I didn't expect that. But it would be nice. ha

But I work hard every day and give my all. That appears to be not enough.

Right now financially it is impossible to move on. I hope that will change.

Does this sound like a bunch of male whining to you? Absolutely. Am I wrong on many things? Who knows?

This post will probably make me lose a few followers after reading it. Some will stick by me. Some won't care either way. I expect comments to be mixed, if any respond at all. Many read but don't respond. That won't change. I am leaving Facebook too. It would appear I am not the social animal either. I give up.

I will answer comments and e mails eventually. Sit tight. If they are angry e mails or comments don't bother.
I need support not more of what I have already.

I have used the word stoic before. I take what life hands me in stride. But eventually there is a health cost.
You can't hide what hurts forever. My happy time moments occur less and less.

I may be gone a few days, maybe a week, I don't know. I had to get this off my chest. If you are supportive, thank you. If you are not, thank you.

Smokey Robinson said it best, "the tears of a clown when no ones around."

I have just done what many a man will not do and that is share my pain. I have no more to offer. If it appears I have issues, who doesn't? If it appears I am an idiot, perception is reality.

I will not write about this again.

ray





Light Up Or Leave Me Alone

I was reading a comment elsewhere on another post on why marijuana is so vilified and illegal and alcohol is something that one can buy just about anywhere.

The main answer is to follow the money. Here in the states, it has been in use since the 1800's. Unfortunately it fell under the same heading as opium and hashish.

However one wants to argue it, it is no more addictive then alcohol or standing in front of an all you can eat buffet eating supposedly good food laden with chemicals designed to get you to eat more while you try to juggle two plates in each hand back to your table. But I digress.

You see, Hemp is the real problem for people with money. Hemp is a wonderful versatile product, better then wood and much better then cotton.

Back in 1936 the Hearst and his newspaper empire vilified hemp and all products associated with it, such as marijuana because it might damage the value of his tree and lumber holdings. He set out to destroy the hemp industry.

About this time, the Dupont family started production of Nylon. Many people had huge investments in the production of this product. The Duponts had huge contracts with defense department. Hemp made better rope then nylon, so hemp had to be eliminated at all costs.

At one point though, the government ramped up production on hemp because of the war and oil shortages, oil being used in nylon production. So what is it, bad or not so bad?

There are many types of weed to smoke. There are different degrees of potency amongst them not unlike different types of drinks and beer and so on.

A question might be raised. Did I ever try smoking marijuana? Yep. Last time about thirty years ago. So much for the addictive tendencies.  Downside of smoking, you get stinky!

Remember, there is no money to be made from a natural product. Drug companies and the FDA can't make money. Always follow the $$$$$.

The title of this post was taken from the album "The Lightspark of High Heeled Boys" by Traffic, an all time classic. If you never listened to it, you owe it to yourself to sit down, grab a bud, light up...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_history_of_cannabis_in_the_United_States

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Life's Influences - Be Yourself - ChooseThe Right Path

I was wondering what shapes our lives. What is the guiding force that is the motivation to do what we do.

Parent
Were you happy growing up? Was your house the one your friends always came by? Was it because of you or your parents? Was the environment happy and friendly? Or was your home the quiet one were no one stopped by? Did you go elsewhere to have fun?

Mentor
A parent can be a good mentor but in many cases it is an outside influence, someone who sees in you a bit of greatness that just might be unearthed with a steady hand.

Role model
One that shows the way whether in sports or schooling or writing or artistic endeavors or yes, in being a parent, you may try to emulate in some way.

A respected professional
Whether a lawyer, doctor, teacher, scientist, catches your eye, do you want to to do what it takes to get to where they are or beyond?

But in ones eagerness to become like someone else, I think that you lose part of what makes up you. All the influences that happen over time, inside and outside of the home to me, are like the makings of a big pot of soup or stew. What you put in may not be what you get out of it at the end.

The path of self discovery of what you are good at or what makes you happy is never ending. But whatever you job is in life, did you ever ask your self why you are there at that moment? Will you be there tomorrow?

Or is the search still on.

The ah ha moment, the epiphany of clarity, is sometimes not always crystal clear at first. Mostly because it involves change. Change is great when you are young, not so much fun when you get older because of risk, of course.

Be your self. Be all you can be. Familiar phrases to be sure. But I think being different is the most important thing of all.

Dare to try, dare to fail. Success is truly measured in small steps.

And you will find the real you.

ray

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ant Stories Redux The Complete Compilation In One Post!

Someone asked me to combine all the posts into one, so here you are.

Imagine a bunker underground WWII style as ants have yet to embrace cell phone technology and computers.
teletypes clattering in the background... assistants on hand crank phones calling out new positions to the staff pushing with long sticks ants and armor on a huge battlefield board showing the battle engagement...their target THE HOUSE...

Lets listen in as the general is speaking ,

General Alfred De Bug

" All right men. This has been a long thought out plan to attack this house. We have taken on the whole neighborhood, but this has been our prime objective after all. " He paused for a moment, removing his helmet and wiping some beads of sweat from his feelers. " We first breeched the front lawn from the street, a beached head of sorts, sneaking in undercover of grass and weeds. One of our men discovered a way to cross over to the next lawn using the cracks on the sidewalks which takes us closer to our main objective, THE HOUSE."

An aide-de camp rushed in with further updates which he handed to the general, saluted crisply and went on his way. "We have disguised our selves as innocent little ant hills, seemingly scattered around, not attracting much notice. So far our man target seems not to notice or care." The general lights up another ever present cigarette. "We have suffered few casualties so far. It is to be expected, but when you have a force of hundreds of thousands it won't slow us down for a moment. We ants are relentless, working night and day and we will ultimately be victorious." Remember the grasshopper wars, we worked, they played, and well, we know how that turned out! Victory", he snarled.

We take you now to the battlefield in question, where the homeowner, oblivious to it all is out cutting the grass. Reaching for the ever present cigarette, oops, he doesn't smoke, he is heard to remark " I am seeing ant hills by the street which I have noticed showing up around the neighborhood on my daily walks. I am sure it is nothing, but a few hits of bug spray should do the trick. This stuff is nasty" he muttered.
Little did he know, the nasty stuff was just beginning.

Let us now go on to the battlefield.  Here we have a sergeant talking to a young solider.

"What is the matter son" he said. "Sarge, how about a break? We have been going non stop for weeks, 24-7, and I am tired, I tell you I am so tired." said the weeping soildier.
"Son, snap out of it. Remember the mission and remember the Queen. We are doing it all for her."
"The Queen? Are we English Sarge? I hate monarchies."
"Not that kind of queen son" replied the Sarge "We have to do this to keep her alive. If she dies, we all die. Now get back in there and fight. Now what are you doing? he said. "Why the Queen's wave, of course" said the solider as he ran back to the grassy battlefield.

Back at headquarters... ( to make life simpler, the ants all have the same last name )
"General De Bug sir, we are running out of food, the men are starving and I don't know what to do." said Capt. Bug.
"I have good news said the General. The weeds that have been sprouting faster then the man target can pull have been a tremendous source of food. The roots are going to save us all. We are building nests underground everywhere and the good news they are almost invisible. We will be fine."

Back to the homeowner...
"Wow, is it hot today, bad time to be weeding" he said. "Let me weed along the fence where the pavers are, weeds aplenty. What's this? When I move the brick to get the weeds, ants are pouring out all over!" he cried.
"This is starting to get serious"

He didn't know how serious it was becoming...

General De Bug is speaking to the troops...

"Men, things are going quite well at the moment" he said as he paced back and forth. He stopped and reached for a pointer and stood in front of the huge wall map. "We have made our way into the yard and are approaching  the huge paver walk way that leads inside the house. Our objective is to tunnel between each piece which is supported by sand and get a foothold to get into the house".  Pointing at the map he gave out instructions and sent them on their way

Back to the battlefield...

"Hey Sarge said one of the solider ants, Do we get to wear a miner's hat, you know, the one with the light on while we tunnel? That would be so cool and a lot of fun and would help us see better." "Son, we don't need to see to do what we need to do. Seeing is optional for ants, not really necessary", said Sarge. "That would explain the lack of fashion sense with the uniforms we wear", the solider said grinning.

The soldier continued talking, " So this is like a scene from the movie "The Great Escape" but we are trying to break in instead of out? "Can I play Steve McQueen, he gets to ride a motorcycle and is so cool..."
"Son. said the Sarge. what's a movie?" "Never mind" sighs the soldier.

Onward to the homeowner...

"Oh great, now they are in the pavers. This is starting to get nasty and serious and expensive."
He didn't know how nasty and serious and expensive it would get.


The general is speaking to the troops

"Men, I think we should take a moment to thank the first ants to the scene years ago who set the stage for this invasion, The Fire Ants! Hated by all, they cut a path of destruction causing pain with their bites everywhere they went! Let's give them a big hurrah!" he yelled. "Hurrah!" the men yelled back.

Back in the staffing room, reports are coming in from everywhere. "General we have a report saying that we have breached the house walls and are in" said a shapely female bug attendant. (Gratuitous mention of a woman in this story. The surviving queen usually kills all other females.) The General gruffly replied "I will need you to go over that report with me later". "Of course General" as she saluted and walked away. He thought to him self, "She looks like Laura Croft, with extra legs of course"

Back to the house in question

"Sarge, it sure is spooky in here. Where are we?" said the soldier "We are in the walls son. We will use them to get to the kitchen, and get to the man food." "Sarge I have heard of man food. Is it true what they say, all sweet and sticky and crumbs everywhere and and....." "Snap out of it son." yelled the Sarge " I need you to focus on the job at hand. I wish I could read the map, kind of dark in here." "Hey Sarge, let me turn on my helmet light." the soldier grinned.

Headquarters

Teletype chattering away...
Lots of noise and confusion... yelling...
"man is using air power dropping some type of pellets from the sky, spraying everywhere, liquid destruction dropping on the men, it is an all out attack everywhere... casualty reports escalating...

Man target
"I wonder if this bug killer and spraying is doing any good?" he pondered

We now take you to the Ant House where the president is about to speak...

"Ladies and gentlemen and all ships at sea. We have received word from very good sources that the man has WBD, or better know as weapons of bug destruction. We have received photos from the man house showing him using the weapons in question. Put them up on the screen." he said.

"We have a navy now? " said one soldier to another. "Nah, he just likes to say that, sounds cool to him."
"Oh, Okay". And they turn back to the screen and the president.

"The first picture shows a girl in a bikini? Where did that come from? " he yelled. "Sorry Mr. President, said the aide. It is Florida and they got carried away with the camera."

As the news conference carried on...

We take you back to headquarters...

"General Sir cried the aide de camp, We got word that one of the outside buildings has been torn down cutting off our best access to the kitchen." "Heavy casualties resulted and that battalion was wiped out and hauled away with the garbage. The man had built it for outside storage and now it is gone. Oh the humanity!"
"Son, we are ants" said the General  "Sorry General said the aide, I was was watching the History Channel last night and got carried away."

To the battlefield and the man ...
"I wonder if taking down that storage had any affect on the ants," he pondered
He sure ponders a lot.

We now take you to the Ant House where the president is about to speak...

"Ladies and gentlemen and all ships at sea. We have received word from very good sources that the man has WBD, or better know as weapons of bug destruction. We have received photos from the man house showing him using the weapons in question. Put them up on the screen." he said.

"We have a navy now? " said one soldier to another. "Nah, he just likes to say that, sounds cool to him."
"Oh, Okay". And they turn back to the screen and the president.

"The first picture shows a girl in a bikini? Where did that come from? " he yelled. "Sorry Mr. President, said the aide. It is Florida and they got carried away with the camera."

As the news conference carried on...

We take you back to headquarters...

"General Sir cried the aide de camp, We got word that one of the outside buildings has been torn down cutting off our best access to the kitchen." "Heavy casualties resulted and that battalion was wiped out and hauled away with the garbage. The man had built it for outside storage and now it is gone. Oh the humanity!"
"Son, we are ants" said the General  "Sorry General said the aide, I was was watching the History Channel last night and got carried away."

To the battlefield and the man ...
"I wonder if taking down that storage had any affect on the ants," he pondered
He sure ponders a lot.

We now join a press conference from the Ant House being broadcast on Fix News...

"And so we have picked up two allies in our fight to bring democracy to the world" said the President. " Our wonderful friends the Roaches and the Wasps have joined with us in our battle with the man!"

"Democracy? We are workers who do the same thing day in and day out  and are run by a queen. What is he talking about?" said one soldier to another. Ah, that is what is called a sound byte. Sounds good to the ears, changes public perception on our war and we can do what we want" said the other soldier. "Let's see what the general has to say.

To the battlefield...
"Men, by now you have heard the wasps and roaches have signed up with us. Here is how it will work. The wasps will build nests at strategic points around the house while the BAR ( big ass roaches ) will sneak in and distract the man. Then we can continue to invade the kitchen getting water and food. Victory will be ours!" yelled the General.

"General, we have a report that the wasps are under attack and our outside entry points have been sprayed down. Heavy losses are being reported. We have not heard back from the roaches as of yet. We fear that they have been killed in action" said the aide. "This is not good" thought the general to himself.

From the man...
"It was good that I had some wasp spray and found those little nests around the house. And then I smashed some big roaches in the bathrooms. Funny thing though, they were wearing uniforms just like the ants. Why I do declare..."  ( Note, the man like to use a southern accent on occasion )

It has been fun. The story I told is true, kinda. It has been a crusade of sorts. The idea came to me while standing in front of the house wondering what to do next.
As it happens to me quite often, the story started writing itself.

I had someone ask me at work why I didn't illustrate my story. I declined saying I tried to paint a visual picture of the characters. It has been a very annoying problem with the ants. And it is not over yet. I have gotten some liquid bug and weed products that one hooks up to a water hose. I will use that this weekend.

If things get resolved, there will be an epilogue follow up story.
I had other ideas and characters in mind, but I think it is time to wrap it up. For now...

Thanks for playing along. I hope I made you smile and maybe even laugh a little.

and now reaching for the ever present cup of early morning coffee...

and soon a cup of tea!

ray

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