Saturday, October 31, 2009


As I watch my grand kids get ready for Halloween today, I reflect on my own memories of Halloween past, when I was planning all day what I would wear & all the candy I would get that night. I am not quite sure why this traditional holiday continues even though I know from whence it came. the Celtics remembered their dead on this day & believed that the spirits wandered the streets seeking recognition for the lives they lived. The citizens would place pastries & food on door steps to satisfy the spirits & to insure good crops & good fortune. This belief & practice took on a new life of its own as people started dressing in costume to be mistaken as the dead spirits & thus be left alone by the spirits. The poor, in costume, wandered the streets & took the treats left for the spirits.
I don't know for sure but knowing how business is done, I am pretty sure that some entrepreneurial type, realized he could sell costumes & treats, setting in motion the grand celebration we have today.
Instead of having dead spirits wandering the streets, we have millions of little beggars wandering around in costume asking for candy & treats. I wonder sometimes about what we subject our children to & if we are helping them or hurting them? I don't know but I remember that when I was a kid, this was a fun time & I didn't see any harm it except for the ensuing toothaches & cavities(lol). Not really but this is about the only harm I see in it & if people have a problem with it, don't do it. Nobody is forcing you to participate & nobody really cares but when you try to stop others from enjoying this fun event, then shame on you & you need to lighten up. Life is stressful enough & just because you didn't get any candy when you were a kid, don't ruin it for others.
The world is to full of "tight asses" that don't have any fun so as far as I can see, anytime you can get people together to have fun & socialize, this is a good thing, even if it started with remembering the dead & maybe that also is not a bad thing. We can imagine as the early Celtics believed, lets have a celebration of those who have passed on & maybe we can have good fortune. That doesn't sound bad to me. I need to go carve pumpkins & get the costumes on because tonight we will be having fun together & I will remember my Brother & dad who have passed away, with the hope that they are with me tonight. Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I must be Stupid

I thought I was relatively intelligent but apparently I am stupid because I see a President of The United States surrounding himself with radical/gangsters that are corrupt in every sense of the word. Look at Rahm Emanuel, do you really think he cares about anybody except his own power trip? This is a guy that embodies the very image of a Chicago gangster. Obama must be spineless to let everyone around him make the decisions while he sits in the Ivory Tower & strokes his ego while telling everyone what a terrible Country we lived in before he was President. Either that or he is brilliant & is the chess master, manipulating everyone & sacrificing them when they can be used to reach the ultimate goal of check mate & becoming the only King left in the game.
He appears to care nothing about the people except for controlling them & making them look stupid & become dependent on his mercy, he will discard us at any moment if we get in the way or question his esteemed wisdom.
Am I the only one that sees this? It seem very obvious to me & to have people think that Government can really fix anything, is in sane. Do you really think that spending trillions of dollars we don't have, to help companies & unions that cripple this country with abusive business practices, really helps? No way. Obama is rewarding corruption & those that elect him while destroying free enterprise, patriotism & hard work. Why should anyone try to start a business when you can't afford to run it & are taxed out of business?
Either I am stupid or the people that believe in Obama with his arrogant, self serving objectives are, because we cant both be right on somebody so polarizing.
Whether you are slobbering all over yourself over Obama or whether you hate him, I don't really care but it's time to look at facts & not fiction & that goes for everyone. We are making decisions now that will determine the future of this Country & the World so choose carefully which side you are on.
If you choose Obamanation over freedom & you really believe it, I can respect you but if you believe any media or think you will get something for free, you are a moron, nothing is free &
the old saying applies to you, "be careful what you ask for" & "you vote for him, you deserve what you get".
I just heard a sign maker tell me that he was making a new sign to sell & it made sense.
Obama is an example of somebody that can win the Nobel Peace Prize just for thinking about peace but not actually doing anything for peace.
Alfred Nobel is crying right now because he dedicated his life to peace after being ridiculed when his brother died & the media thought it was Alfred. They hated him because he created nitroglycerin which is in dynamite. People didn't say it to his face like the people today but when his brother died working in Alfred's plant, the paper said how happy they were that this monster was now dead & his weapons of destruction would stop. He felt so bad that he dedicated his life & money to making dynamite safer & promoting peace, through action & not by talk.
Once again, I must be stupid because I have done more for peace than Obama & I know many people that have but he walks on water to some & promises riches, so many that we will all be rich. At least that is what some people think, I know somebody who thinks Obama will flood their home with money so they won't have to work. Wow, if that is the case, I am signing up because if I can get paid to stay home & play rather than go to work, that is a no brainer, we are all in & Obama can just keep printing worthless money to fall from the sky. yeah right---------somebody is stupid here?????????????

Monday, October 26, 2009

Worth The Pain

I was asked recently to describe what it is like to backpack on a difficult journey? I know that there are many types of backpacking trips & unless you enjoy carrying what is comparable to a 6 year old kid on your shoulders all day, sleeping in the dirt & washing in cold water, all backpacking trips are hard.
What separates the hard from the extremely hard, are the miles, the elevation, the weight of pack, the length of days, the shape you are in & the will power you have. Most people can hike a few miles in a day but depending on the terrain & elevation, a few miles will still kick some butt.
When you are talking about extreme backpacking or through hikers, you are packing light & are traveling between 15 to 3o miles per day depending on conditions & elevation changes.
Most healthy hikers can hike at a pace of 1/2 hour per mile, difficult terrain with technical elevation changes will take up to 45 minutes per mile but usually you won't be this slow unless at the end of a long day & trying to conquer one more 1,000 ft elevation ascent.
You can walk 20 minute miles on good terrain with good conditions but as a rule, I plan on 1/2 hour miles just to allow for breaks. Most hikers will hike no more than 4-6 hours but if you do the math, 6 hours gets you about 12 miles. Everbody is different so walk at a pace you can maintain & if that pace is an hour per mile, so what, you are still accomplishing something & challenging yourself. This isn't a race, it is an opportunity to find yourself so enjoy the journey & pay attention to where it takes you.
My wife & I average 15-20 miles per day & as many as 28. Whether gone for 2 days or 10 days, the first day is the hardest because of acclimating to the pack & hiking a lot of miles. The body isn't made to carry a pack for 20 miles per day for more than a few days, you just break down physically if you don't take care of your body, including your feet. I recommend starting your trip with about 10 to 12 miles on the first day & increasing to what is comfortable as you progress. After a few days you should be able to do over 20 miles per day but try to take a short day or a "no mile day" after several days just to rest the body & mind.
If you aren't into "many miles per day", you should maintain a 10-12 mile per day average & for most people, that is hard but you have enough relax time to prepare for the next day.
Pack light, no more than 35 lbs to start & get less as the days pass on if going more than 100 miles. If possible try to be around 25 lbs. Make sure you have a few items that will make your life much easier: head lamp, matches, mole skin for feet, knife, water purifier, rope ( I prefer nylon strap), Bear canisters are a must in some forests, extra socks, extra underwear, aspirin, water proof jacket, warm jacket, extra camp shoes or sandals, TOILET PAPER (you want a must have--this is),light cook stove, water purifier, 2-liter bottles or water bladder, map, duct tape, hat, lube for lips, chafing or rashes, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, bowl plate combo, spork, comfortable sleeping pad & warm sleeping bag, my wife takes a small cup but I drink out of my liter bottle.
My wife uses technical walking poles while I use an oak limb that I carved into a walking stick years ago, it doesn't matter whether you use them or not but they will make your hike a lot easier in the technical terrain. There are a few extra things you can take but this will get you by. Now for food, I make my own salt mix of favorite nuts, crackers, pretzels, etc. I also make a sweet mix of peanut m&ms, dried pineapple, & various sweet items that wont melt. For dinners we put cup of soup in a zip lock bag so we don't have extra trash. We also used dehydrated mashed potato's with dried bacon bits, chives & seasoning in a zip lock bag. For breakfast we have instant oatmeal in zip lock bag or granola & power bars. We also use the bars & home made trail mix for lunch. We bring powdered electrolyte mix to add to water during day, don't use a sugar based drink like Gatorade because sugar is hard to metabolize & although it tastes good, it doesn't help for long distance only short term. An important note, if you get dehydrated or completely cramped or wiped out from no food or water, it is to late to replenish quickly, you have to rest. The way to hydrate & stay healthy is by eating small amounts of food all day (it is like building a fire, you add a little dried wood & the fire burns incredible but if you dump a lot of wood on all at once, the fire takes awhile to get the flames going again). Water & electrolytes are the same, drink as you go, I have a philosophy of a drink per half mile & with that average plan, I use about 2 liters in 10 miles & 4 liters in 20 miles. there are factors that cause you to use less or more & adjust accordingly. Know your body & what your body needs. The body is amazing & will tell you what you need but you have to listen.
One item that you can't cut corners on is your backpack, if you have a pack that is not fitted right or doesn't protect your body from the pains of carrying weight for many miles, you will have a miserable time. Remember when picking out a pack, just because it feels good in a store, you have no weight in it & even if the store adds some, you haven't carried it for 10 or more miles. I recommend checking references from people who have the pack, this is not unlike buying a car, a bed or anything else in your life that needs to be comfortable. Do not get caught up in the hype of what is new must be good, I have backpacks that are over 20 years old that are still great but I have packs that are 2 years old that kill me at the end of the day. The pack I have now is incredible & I searched it out for years, if I can carry the weight & walk all day, the pack will make it as comfortable as possible.
Everybody finds what works for them & this is what we use but regardless of what you pack or eat, you have to carry it & when people tell me how much fun this sounds, I always say that it isn't fun but it is rewarding & challenging. Overcoming challenges is much more rewarding than just having fun, even though we do occasionally have fun on the way & the beauty is incredible.
Backpacking puts your life in perspective & makes you realize how insignificant much of what we thought was important, isn't. I have hiked all day & am so depleted of energy that I couldn't take a step once I took my pack off & sat down. I have been in so much pain that I wanted to cry & became almost delusional, thinking about how far I had to go. I have also hiked over some of the most incredible trails & seen the most incredible sights that I can't do them justice by explaining them. You have an awakening of sorts, into who you are & what you are capable of accomplishing, of how you can endure pain after pain, day after day. You learn to survive with huge blisters that while every step you take, vividly reminds you that you are in a lot of trouble because you have many miles to go & the pain will only get worse. You will realize that although you think the place you are camping for the night is just over the next mountain pass, only to find that it is over two more passes & you have no energy to continue but you find an inner strength that makes you almost super human because you continue you through all the physical & mental obstacles placed before you. It is a spiritual experience when you persevere while so many won't or can't & we have seen 100s if not 1000s of people cry, complain or quit as we pass by them to a greater reward & that reward is accomplishment of a job set out to do & using your own ingenuity to figure it out regardless of the pain or obstacles.
I don't recommend hiking 20 + miles per day for everyone because you don't have much time to enjoy the beauty you are passing but regardless of how you do it, how far you go or what you bring, it is worth the pain. You will find out more about yourself than you ever dreamed possible & knowing yourself probably is a good thing.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kid Reality

Have you noticed that when you are around kids, there is no such thing as alone time or private thoughts? Last night was case in point, now I'm not obsessed with watching sports as many are but I do like to watch a playoff game that includes a team I am interested in or supporting a player that I may think is good. With that being said, last night I was watching the Yankees & the Angels play in the playoffs The game was a back & forth nail biter but 2 of my grand kids were in the house & for some reason were bouncing off the walls, they were loud, they wanted to play, eat, jump, run & all those fun kids things. I feel I am talented enough to multi task because I do it most every day but for some reason I got caught up in trying to debate & rationalize with a 2 year old & a 4 year old. What an idiot I am!!!!! You cant do it, you can't debate a youngster & come out of it a winner. Little kids can ask you questions & give the wrong answers for hours & a true hard fact is, they will out live you so why debate them?
The truth from a child is real & nothing you can tell them will change their minds. I knew better than to jump into this arena of kid vs adult but I guess I was pre occupied with the game & it just happened.
Have you ever got into the "WHY GAME"? Oh this one is kid reality. Why does it rain? What is condensation & evaporation? How can water go to the sky? why don't clouds look like water? Why don't the clouds fall? You are getting the idea right?
Well this is kid reality & if you are foolish enough to debate a child be prepared to lose because they are the best interrogators & probably should be hired to torture terrorists for truth & question politicians on agendas & motives?
This would be a much better world if we all were a little more like a child & asked a lot of questions about everything while enjoying life on the way.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just Dont Get It

I have to applaud those people who stand behind their candidate or for their cause regardless of the outcome but does it ever occur to anyone that when you vote for somebody that (CAN'T EVER WIN OR FOR A CAUSE THAT CAN'T EVER BE REALIZED), you are throwing your vote away as if it doesn't count at all.
I look at elections for example as an exercise in futility. You know you are being lied to but something in the back of your brain, says "what if"? You now that whoever you vote for is going to cave in to minority out cries, political correctness, social pressure, the re-election strategy, step on only a few toes & blame everyone else.
The problem I have is that when somebody you really like is un-electable & you vote for them, you can be assured that you allowed somebody get elected that you don't want. what I have learned to do is decide who I want the least & vote for the person I can tolerate but has a chance of winning. It is the lesser of two evils scenario.
When you fight for a cause that has no support & can't possible succeed, you will fight all you want, be frustrated, get stressed out & lose many nights sleep so why not pick battles or causes you can win or find ways to compromise. I have learned & stand behind 100%, unless it is moral or ethical, you have to compromise, when there are two or more points of view.
We live in a society that teaches we should fight for our beliefs but we also live in a society that says we should be compassionate & help others regardless of opinion.
If you can't do these things you will have a miserable life because nobody gets their way & if you can't understand this, "YOU JUST DON'T GET IT".
Maybe this is a good way to be & if we are oblivious to reality then maybe we are to ignorant to worry about anything because we are in denial & all we can see is the cute little fantasy land we painted & nobody else matters. I think not & that is reality. If you don't get it, you are stopping progress, so don't vote, don't speak & get out of the way.
I am not saying you have to know it all because nobody does but please, think before you speak & don't be like the fool who says what he thinks. I am speaking from experience here, I am a fool on many occassions & it isn't very relaxing especially when I am always right & everyone else is usually wrong----LOL

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Out Of Touch

Do you ever feel that you have no clue what is going on & it is as if the world & society have a master plan that you missed the memo on & are on your own? I am baffled sometimes at the amount of confusion that passes through my head on any given day. I am befuddled by, how out of touch I am with most everything & when I speak my mind, people look at me with bewilderment, that I could differ so much from their point of view.
Example: somebody sent me a note on facebook & told me to write to my politicians & demand that they pass the health care bill. I responded back & said "don't you care what is in it or if we can afford it"? The response was, "who cares if it works or if we can afford it, it is change & we need change"?????????? I couldn't respond & thought that if people don't care if it works or if they can afford it, then how could I possibly convince them otherwise or have a normal conversation about it. I am perplexed to say the least.
On another note of social inadequacy is with youth, they are a size 28 waist but wear a a size 38 waist pants & then keep pulling them up because they are to big. I am thinking? well duh, but they say they like it that way. Teens, tattoo, put not only piercings in their body, they put giant holes the size of a quarter in their ears, nose & other body parts????? I ask why? Because we like how it looks, they say.
People blindly follow politicians & don't ask any questions & don't care if the politician is wrong as long as the other politician doesn't get elected??????????? I ask why? Because we trust them & they are better than the others. Are you nuts, I think? How can you trust anybody blindly but especially a politician, without asking questions to see how you are affected by it?
Buying houses, new cars, toys, shoes, clothes, going on vacations, we all need it right now, whether we can afford it or not & I ask why go into debt????? I hear, because we can pay it off over time & we plan on making more money as time goes on so it will all work out. I shake my head because if all these thoughts & philosophies are in the brains of people electing politicians or making decisions for other people, we have no hope of success because we live in a world of idiots. Or wait, the point of this entry is that maybe I am the idiot & maybe I don't understand the reality of happiness & success in life. Maybe I should just say "what the heck" do what you want & no consequences for anyone". HMMMMMMMMMMMM I don't know that I can stand by & watch this happen even if I am the idiot & out of touch. I can't help myself, I am going to keep fighting for what I believe, whether right or whether wrong. At least I think I can still do that, I am not sure if that right has been taken away yet or not!!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lighter Side

I have been spending a lot of time pounding political & social issues so I figured it was time to lighten up a bit because I don't see Dictator Obama slowing down any time soon & I will have 3 years, 15 days left to talk about what a self centered, egotistical, mis guided dictator that he is.

Disclaimer to my Democrat friends (I love you so you may not want to continue--you know I ramble on but you love me anyway, right?)vbs-- I don't say these things to make my Obama loving friends upset, they just haven't seen the light yet (vbs) & not unlike Those in the days of Columbus. There were people that believed the world was flat & they just haven't thought about this in great detail or they would realize what is going on. I don't fault them for believing in a Messiah to solve all problems because it would be a lot easier to have somebody wave a magic wand & make us love each other & share what we have & all play games together & all sing praises to he who solved the world problems.

Oh yeah, Lighter Side? Well I suppose what I just wrote about Obama solving all world problems is on the lighter side but that is not what I meant. I wanted to speak about happiness, fun activities & of enjoying every moment. I believe we need to laugh in our complicated day & to smile more often. I believe that with every passing moment & with every controversial issue that we deal with, we are becoming more withdrawn, depressed & angry with ourselves & life.
Along with Obama wanting to be the King of the world, my granddaughter just made me a paper crown & called me the King, so Obama you aren't the only King because my grand daughter knows the truth & wouldn't lie, unlike you. Whoops, I did it again. Isn't that a song by Brittany Spears? I talked about Obama in a negative way & I am sorry because this was supposed to be about laughing & enjoying life. The lighter side of our daily struggles & responsibilities which I suppose could be looking at giving almost 2 trillion dollars in 14 months to companies that mis manage & over pay but are rewarded by politicians that have never got it right. I am not slinging blame to one group over the other, they are all corrupt & controlled by power & money. If they really wanted to help solve the economy problems, they could have taken the stimulus money & given equal amounts to each family in America. Do you realize how soon the economy would be booming? It would be almost over night because we would buy things, we would pay off debt, we would send kids to college, we would go crazy spending money which would help car companies, banks & every other business in America while starting new companies to hire more employees & reduce un employment. I guess that was to easy & politicians had to reward their greedy friends that pump millions into campaigns & make them richer than they are. Nice move!!!!!
Take for example, & this could be considered the lighter side if it wasn't so "DEADLY". We are worried about radiation from cell phones, car seats, helmets, ozone layer, swine flu & thousands of other things that can "possibly" hurt us or the environment yet we continue to allow people to make & sell cigarettes. Are you out of you friggin mind? Cigarettes are guaranteed to kill, pollute, cause addictive behaviour, start fires, cause wrecks & destroy families. Hmmmmmm I wonder why they are legal? Unless it is MONEY & POWER that keep politicians in office. We have police giving tickets for not wearing a seat belt that may or may not kill you while Cigarettes are being made, sold & used by the billions. This is kind of funny, don't you think? or not!!
Another funny story. What about politicians working for the people & doing what the majority of people want? That would be great except that politicians pander to minorities, sell fear & smear opponents, while promising lies & then when elected, they do what keeps them in office. Whatever it takes, sell out morals & ethics, take bribes, lie, cheat & make policy based on what makes them, oh of course, "politically correct".
Politicians know that spewing B.S. about fighting for human rights, the economy or the environment will get a majority vote to get them elected & then when in office they can make policy dictated by the minorities or political correctness.
Another funny thought, how can politicians agree exactly down party lines? This would be impossible unless it was for the threat of not being supported by your party. I guess this is funny except it makes me sick to my stomach.
Let me think, something else that is funny. hmmm. What about double standards? don't you love it when politicians can go for years & not pay taxes & then get jobs in the White House while the average person is in prison or paying enormous amounts of fines on top of losing everything they have to pay off the taxes they owe. Doesn't that just make you feel happy inside, knowing that you have tax cheats running our Government?
OK perhaps my original plan of making these comments light are fictitious & even though my intentions were good, I just can't get this government corruption out of my mind. I am not saying this about Democrats, I am saying it about all politicians. You are corrupt & need to be fired. We cant rebuild unless we clean house & start over with a single political party, called the American citizen. I suppose Government isn't funny & is indeed very scary but when decisions are made, you wonder what on earth were you thinking? You just have to wonder what is going on & what will happen next? I certainly don't know but I know we aren't going to fix it by going the direction we are headed. People solve problems, Governments create them.

Monday, October 19, 2009


What is racism? The dictionary definition says that racism is a belief that the color of ones skin can determine superiority which in turn promotes discrimination. This belief will allow qualified people to be overlooked & even shunned by employers & society.
I believe, based on history that there always has been racism in the world because man, inherently is trying to compete with others for everything they want & will use any means available to put down one person or group, in order to promote them self.
With that being said, I believe that it is a small percentage of people that actually believe this & that the majority of people suffer because of the actions of a few. What has happened just in my life time is that when a once proud Nation was united in a Civil rights movement that brought all ethnic groups together for one common cause it was replaced with greed, hatred & laziness by all groups.
Society tells us that we have to be politically correct, that we have to give to minorities, the poor, the lazy & the un educated because we must balance out the injustice done to others in the past. The very concept of rewarding somebody for doing nothing except for having a certain skin color or being a certain gender is racist & in itself, promotes racism by all groups. It allows those that are given something for doing nothing to feel empowered to demand more while it infuriates those that work hard & cant get a job because of affirmative action policy or because they happen to be a white male.
Does racism exist today in America? You can bet your ass it does & it is because society & politicians try to balance the scale by rewarding people because of their skin color & because of history.
If you want to get down & dirty with facts, there is no group in America that hasn't been demonized because of race, religion, ethnicity, skin color, under educated or mentally handicapped. The Irish, the Polish, the blacks, the Asians, the Indians, the Mexicans, most every religion including the "Mormons" who had the only human extermination order issued against them from the Governor of a State. The Indians & Mexicans were kicked off their land while every other group that comes here as with the Middle East population of today are demonized.
You have Grammys, Academy Awards, Emmy's & all types of awards that include every race but then you have Black awards, Hispanic awards & Black History month, Hispanic history month & Asian history month.
Are we out of our minds? There is no way this promotes civility among all mankind nor does it help racism to be replaced with tolerance or love for others regardless of their ethnic or religious back ground or the color of their skin or the education or money they have or don't have.
We can continue down this path or we can demand change, the type of change that truly unites all Americans in one cause & that cause is Freedom. The freedom to be whoever we want to be & to be accepted by everyone & when this happens there will no longer be racism in America.

Double Standard

I am not a Rush Limbaugh fan & never listen to him but give me a break. He is rejected from buying a football team because he gave his opinion on what somebody else might be thinking. Are you kidding me, is this America The Land Of The Free, the land of freedom of speech & of equal rights for all or is it a Socialistic Country where you can only say what is politically correct & doesn't offend a soul? Oh of course unless you are a minority & then you can say whatever you want. There are rappers & gangsters that are mainstream & all they do is bad mouth whites, conservatives, religion & the law but they buy into pro teams, are on mainstream television & do whatever they want without consequences.
The reason why is because of "double standard". It is OK for somebody that is a self proclaimed minority to say foul & disgusting things about anyone but when a member of the majority says anything deemed not politically correct, there is an out cry by a whining few that will determine what the rules are & who can say what. What it shows me is that we live in a society that is so afraid of offending the whining minority for fear of retaliation that we disregard everyone else & all common sense is lost.
It is time for people to put down their politically correct banners & get some backbone.
If we continue to let politically correct idiots make all the decisions, we won't be able to say anything except, "what would you like master, I will do whatever you want but please don't hurt me".
There was a "SMALL WAR" that killed over 600,000 people which many seem to forget, called the Civil War. It is where people of all colors, religions & ethnic back grounds fought & died for freedom for all but people seem to forget that President Lincoln was almost murdered before he was assassinated because he was trying to stop slavery. So to all of you that are still whining about what happened to your ancestors, we are in this together & my ancestors with many others fought so you could whine & complain, so quit demanding a double standard.
If you are entitled to something so is everyone else, what is good for you is good for everyone. If you want a better life, quit whining, get off your butts & help somebody, quit trying to take what is not yours because you feel you deserve something you didn't work for.
If you don't like it here, leave because you are taking up space & are wasting time on double standards & are causing more racism than has ever been seen in this Country. Yes your whining causes racism because you lack tolerance & demand tolerance from others while fighting for double standards.
Lincoln & others fought for you to have freedom of speech so why don't you do the same, or are you better than everyone else? The only way out of this social & National disaster is through tolerance of others. The alternative is National war, is that what you want? The Civil War will look like a football game compared to the next war over freedom & freedom of speech.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hollow Satisfaction

My wife & I just hiked a few miles on the Arnold Rim Trail & I was reluctant because I was involved in the community battle which ended up forcing the USFS to ban dirt bikes from this area behind Avery. I was fighting for multi use for everyone but the environmental, social in tolerance movement began small & consumed the debate which resulted in hatred towards some & once friends, lost forever.
As I walked the trail which was built & maintained by my dirt bike friends & I for over 35 years, I experienced many moments of somber reflection & memories of the times spent on these very trails which in some ways helped define me during my early years. I would ride my dirt bike on these trails from Arnold to Bret Harte High School, I would ride after school & whenever I had the chance. It is where my friends & I spent most of our time enjoying this beautiful area. It used to be shared by everyone but now as I hike with my wife, the sounds of a dirt bike in the distance which to some is repulsive but to me is the sound of enjoyment & challenges, will never be heard again even though it is those very same dirt bikes which built these trails that are now being used by a few that don't know the history of so many that passed before them with blood, sweat, tears & incredible bonding experiences with family & friends.
I understand the environmental, self indulgent, lack of patience crowd that exits in society & I understand that co existing with differing social, political or environmental points of view becomes adversarial at times but we have to begin tolerating others who differ with us. We are becoming a society of self interest, greed & hatred toward others & it breaks my heart.
As I was leaving to come home a hollow sense of satisfaction overwhelmed me because the very dirt bikes that were hated by a few & banned from this area are the very dirt bikes that created these trails for those to enjoy that are finally realizing what a beautiful area we live.
So in closing , I would hope that as you walk the Arnold Rim trail that you remember all the dirt bike riders that sacrificed their time, energy & resources to build these trails for you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Work Or Play

If you could have your choice to do any job you wanted or could do anything you wanted for pleasure, what would they be & would you choose pleasure or work five days a week?
I thought about this & if I could choose my profession, I would work five days a week because work is rewarding & the sense of accomplishment makes us feel useful or needed.
Don't get me wrong, I love to play but the rewards for playing are self gratification & would become tiresome after awhile, not unlike & family member coming to visit. You can't wait to have them visit & spend time with them but it is sure nice when they give the house back.(vbs)
I would choose teaching as my profession of choice & it would probably be ages 5th through 8th grade. As far as my choice for pleasure, it would be riding motorcycles vacations around the world or backpacking.
Just something to think about--hmmmmmmmmmm

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rain Days-Power Failure

I had a very busy yet very thought provoking day yesterday so I thought I would share it with you. I got up for work, knowing it was going to rain & went about my day trying to find work for the guys that work with me & keep them inside during the storm which is not always an easy task since most of what w do is outside.
I worked on reports for meetings & updating manuals as most any day but then the fun began. I had to be at Angels Camp at 4:00 to coach a 5th grade girls basketball game with my niece, The power went out about 5 minutes into the game so we waited about 20 minutes & then cancelled the game, the whole while it was a down pour of rain. I had to be in Arnold at 5:00 for a birthday party for a friend of mine, so I hurried up the mountain through sheets of water cascading across the highway. I got to the party & gave my gift, visited for about 40 minutes & then had to be at a work meeting at 6:00 in Murphys so I rushed down the mountain through the same rain & road problems as before encountered. I was going to visit a friend who is having some health problems on the way to meeting but could only manage a phone call.
I made it to the meeting which was held by flashlight & lamp because of the continued power outage which made it more of a camping experience around the camp fire but after 2 hours we were able to leave. I got home a little after 8:00 to a home with no power & the rain still crashing down onto the roof. My wife was reading a book by head lamp & had kept the fire going so the house was toasty. I ate dinner & visited with my wife for awhile & then began reading a backpacking magazine. After about an hour I realized that I was tired & bored so I went to bed at 9:30, which wouldn't seem like a big deal except for the fact that I only sleep about 6 hours & that is why I go to bed between 11:00 & midnight. I wake up at about 6:15 every day whether I have an alarm clock or not but on this night I was awake by 2:30 & there was no chance I would be sleeping again on this night so I woke up & found the power on, so I went in the other room & turned a movie on & stayed awake until I left for work at 6:45.
I guess my point of this little story is, most of us are not farmers or ranchers & do not go to bed at 9:00 or get up at 3:00AM so what are we supposed to do when the power goes out?
We aren't use to conversing for hours or sitting in silence on a cold rainy night with no electricity so does that make us un sociable or lacking in creativity? I don't know what it means but I know that even though I can amuse myself pretty easily, if my routine is broken, it becomes a lot more difficult.
I hope the power is on tonight because I don't want to be watching another movie or reading a book at 4AM while everyone else is snoozing away.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lauries Reading Memes, What are yours

Reading Habits Meme
Saw this on another blog and thought it looked fun. I've memed other people at the end of the post, but feel free to do it on your own.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?

All the time. Popcorn, soda, ice tea, ice cream, coffee. In the winter hot tea or hot chocolate.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
I only marked books when I was in college. Occasionally I do when I doing research, but I find it really didn't help me much.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?

Bookmark, with anything available. Receipts, shopping lists, sometimes even a bookmark.

Laying the book flat open?
Usually I can't. Hold it in both hands.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?

Both. Fiction runs to Westerns or pulp anthologies. Lots of history and memoir too.

Hard copy or audiobooks?

Hard copy. If I go on long trips I'll rent an audio book from the library.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?

I can drop it at any point. I usually have to because I can only sneak in reading here and there between other projects.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

Nah. I should though. I always think I'll remember later to look it up and I always forget.

What are you currently reading?

My Life East and West by William S. Hart. Almost done.
Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early West by Anne Seagraves. Plus a short story pulp here and there.

What is the last book you bought?

Sons of Texas by Elmer Kelton

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?

I usually read two at a time because I get bored so easily. Sometimes I can read three, but usually one of them ends up getting neglected.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

In the mornings or the evening. I don't have much of a choice there because of my job. I love to read in my flower garden and have a wicker couch set up in there just for that.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

I usually prefer stand alone. I like to jump around a lot so series have never appealed to me. The Sons of Texas series may be an exception though - I'm ready to start the next one.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
Not really. There are several I like, but no one I recommend in particular.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)

The house I'm renting right now has very small rooms so there isn't a place for one big library. So I have several bookshelfs all over the house - I've even emptied out a shallow linen closet and made it into bookshelves. Books are organized by subject: history, books on writing, classics, memoir, pulp fiction history (that's the linen closet) and fiction.

Okay, now it's the following blog's turn: Mark Engebretson, Howard Hopkins, Joanne Walpole, Evan Lewis, Chris Jones, Gary Dobbs, and of course Ralph Emerson.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Man In The Mirror

Wouldn't it be nice if all politicians had to take a lie detector test every time they voted on something & were asked if they really believed what they were voting on? I believe in the "man in the mirror" test. You vote what you believe & if you can face yourself in the mirror, it was the right decision. If you can't, then it is wrong.
The problem with this test & politicians is that most of them are two faced & reflect one face in the mirror to help them sleep & another when grabbing all the power they can get.
I believe with all of my heart & soul that politically correctness, polls, greed & lobbyists have destroyed our Country & until we can stop making decisions based on polls or what will get the majority vote, we are destined to destroy ourselves & all because we can't honestly look at ourselves in the mirror when we make a decision.

Bi Partisan Rib Eye Steak

I have a friend that I recently connected with after many years apart & within moments of this reunion have realized how easy it is in the "Maze Of Life" to become disoriented & lose sight of what is important & those who impact us on this incredulous journey called "Life".
I have been following her blog & find great comfort in reading the perceptions she has on life & the trials which accompany life. Although I may disagree with some misguided (vbs) points of view on occasion like Obama & the Dodgers, I am always in awe of her ability to share her thoughts in a poignant yet sometimes humorous way. One in which engages her readers & inspires them to respond or to reflect but always to learn.
I especially liked her comments on a recent awakening she had on a subject which most people have known about forever, the indulgence of the perfectly cooked rib eye steak. I was looking at the photo she used & reading her comments about her new found appreciation for fine dining & realized how much we take for granted & how we as a people need to put aside our differences by sitting down together & having the perfectly cooked, symbolic, "rib eye steak".
Differences could be worked out & problems avoided or solved if we would simply enjoy one another doing those things we love to do. I probably won't ever convert her to dropping her Dodgers fan club membership but the differences aren't important when we share things we enjoy, regardless of political, ethnic, social or religous persuasion.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Champions of Truth

Media is fiction while life is reality so be careful who champions you lest we forget a Nation that was destroyed by the gift of a horse


Opposing views if expressed with respect promote lively debate & inspired joint outcomes while opposing views expressed with anger or rage only promote anger or rage

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Love You

Do you realize how important or how much power these three words have on mankind? You may "blow it off" & act like you don't care if somebody says that they love you but you lie or you are in denial. Our egos can quite often get in the way of reality, causing mental road blocks that don't allow for sensitivity to creep in to our fragile yet complex minds yet when we strip away the years of pain created tough exterior which protects our sensitive thoughts, we all want to be loved.
My son just sent me a text last night which talked about recent events in his life & although his path has taken him away from the place he grew up & given him new opportunities to see the world & live life the way he chooses, I love him with all of my heart & want success for him as he journeys through life on an expedition to find himself. in this text message, which by the way is a pretty remarkable communication device if not over used. In this message he talked about some personal experiences but at the end, he said that he loved me.
I don't care what my children do in life that I may disagree with or agree with but when they tell me they love me, nothing has more impact on me than those three words & nothing does more, to give me hope, stay happy or to be optimistic of the future than hearing it or in this case, seeing it typed in a message.
I do believe you can over use "I Love You" if used frivolously but if used correctly at the right time, nothing has more impact or provides more comfort or creates more happiness. These three words can put the fear of God into a new relationship because of the commitment they represent but once again, if used correctly, they are the most important words you will ever hear or say but as with explosives, handle them with care.

Dark vs Fear

I have thought about this off & on for years but until recently haven't wrapped my brain around the intent of my thoughts on the subject. Is everyone afraid of the dark, Do you say you aren't afraid of the dark but deep down inside when you are in the dark woods with no lights & nobody for miles or the power is out in your home & you have no light, when you hear noises, even though they are what I call "dark noises" that we all hear when it is dark, quiet & still, do you have a little fear? Do you say you aren't afraid to cover up insecurities but really you are as afraid as anyone?
I can't answer this question for anyone else because it is a personal demon, experience or feeling which is between you & the dark. I had a very frightening experience as a young child which made me deathly afraid of the dark. I was playing in my room with my younger sister & brothers. The lights were on, the noise was loud & it was after dark. I heard a tapping noise on the window although the window blinds were down, I was curious what this continued noise was? I had no fear at all & was just quizzical as I pulled the blind back & put my face up to the window with the blind now laying on the back of my head. It took a couple seconds for my eyes to adjust which may never happen with my eyes now as I need reading glasses (vbs). I then realized there were 2 monster faces pressed up against the window & I fell backward screaming with an unimaginable fear for what I had witnessed. My mom burst into the room & looked outside but nothing was there. She most likely felt I was imagining this but because of my belief in what I had seen, she held me & calmed me as only a Mother can do.
We found out days later that it was 2 teenage boys in the neighborhood that had done this & were bragging about how scared they made me. My Mom found the two boys & grabbed them by the ears & banged their heads together something I am sure would land her in jail today. The two boys of which one still lives here, apologized to me but the damage was already done.
I wouldn't go anywhere near a dark room or be outside alone after dark. I had nightmares of dark & monsters in the dark, it was horrible.
I was about 13 when I decided I wanted to overcome this & many other fears, so I began a quest to gain confidence. I went camping by myself with my dog & we spent an intensely frightening night alone in the woods while I kept the fire blazing until I couldn't keep my eyes open a second longer. I woke up at daylight & realized that I could do this & that I needed to overcome all my fears. I began planning to do things every birthday which included overcoming a fear. Sky diving, bungee jumping, survival camping in dry & snow conditions were among many.
I bring up the past to set the mood for the present & to give perspective on my thoughts regarding dark & fear.
Last weekend I was called out to work & although I would say that I am not afraid or intimidated by much, I had to walk through dark woods at 3:00 in the morning with no lights & must admit that although I wasn't having anxiety attacks it was a little frightening. Not enough to stop me but enough to give me pause & have the experience cause me to wonder, what if?
I don't know if you have similar thoughts on dark & fear but am pretty sure that when we strip away all the lights, friends, family, pets, egos or mental safeguards, that we, as we sit alone in deep thought, have some degree of fear of the dark. It would only be natural because we as humans are usually afraid of what we don't understand, have control over or what we can't see, like what is in the dark.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Children are Fragile

Children are fragile as a light bulb, be careful with them & they will brighten your life.
If you are careless with them, they will break & you will live in a world of darkness.


As I search for beauty all over the earth, I find it in smiles & a baby at birth.
Beauty is all around us, tho sometimes hard to find,
not because it's hiding, because it's a state of mind!

When I happen across beauty on my journey through life, it pierces my soul with happiness, as a sculpture being carved with the masters knife.

What is it about beauty that invokes endless descriptions of origin or meaning? Could it be as we have heard, that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"?

Beauty has been around forever & is far from being new, Though beauty in the dictionary looks exactly like you.
All of us are beautiful regardless of race or ethnicity, we are beautiful because we amidst flaws & mistakes have the ability to help others & to make a difference in life & if we can make somebody's life better, it will be a beautiful world.


It doesn't happen every day unless I listen to the news but it happens way more than I am comfortable with & what I am referring to is crisis. There are so many people I am surrounded by that are experiencing crisis in their lives & I have been one of them at times in my life so I understand what I am speaking of. It is overwhelmingly difficult to watch somebody go through a crisis & be unable to do anything except help with day to day responsibilities or give support where possible.
When we go through crisis in our a life, it is a lonely place & one in which sucks you deeper into despair regardless of what the outcome is, we are forever changed.
When I say crisis, I am not referring to not making the team, not being able to buy a house or having your car break down. I am talking about losing a loved one, having a family member terminally ill, losing your spouse, losing your job & house with no where to go & no money to pay for rent.
When you see people in crisis mode it is sometimes so overwheming & painful to watch that we become somewhat numbed by the magnitude of pain. We hurt when we are with those that are suffering but when we go home, regardless of how much we hurt for those in pain, we can be with our family or friends, we can watch a movie or listen to music or read a book to forget the pain being experienced by those in crisis.
The only way to understand crisis is to be in it & when you are, you only want out. Every second of every day is like tons of weight placed on your shoulders so that you can never do anything without feeling the burden of the weight & you want to collapse but can't because it still won't relieve the burden or pain. It consumes you & regardless of a positive exterior attitude, you grow more distant because the burden caused by this crisis consumes you & leaves you only a shadow of what you once were with a reality that this crisis although perhaps passing in time will leave you scarred forever.
I can't give any advice to make your pains go away as you deal with your crisis except to never give up & regardless of the pain & suffering, you can find peace & happiness again even though there may be a huge piece of your heart removed because of what you have gone through. Perhaps that is why the scar will always remain with us, it is a reminder of what we have experienced & how quickly our lives can be changed.
Enjoy each day, spend time with those you love & never be afraid to experience life to the fullest because every day can be the best or worst day of our life so don't be afraid to live.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I spend a lot of time ranting & raving about my opinions on just about everything so I decided to take a moment & let you know that regardless of difference I may have with everybody, I truly love people & watching them succeed, overcoming obstacles or simply being happy. So with this being said, I want to wish all of you, regardless of our differing opinions, Peace & happiness in your lives because I can't be 100% truly happy when those around me are not or those around me struggle so if I can help you, I will.
We are here together & nobody can get through life alone, we all need help from somebody at some time so it's time we extend our hand in friendship & put aside differences to say hello to somebody, to smile at somebody or just simply be kind.