In Search of Solitude, Serenity, and Creativity

Paris Mill in Buckskin Gulch
Image by Schweerchichi via Flickr
I have been having a blank space in my creative wanderings, of late. Where I lost my muse, I am not sure really.  Perhaps it’s just been the acute overflow information due to the current crises, has cluttered my head. 

Back home in Colorado, this would have been no problem, for all I would have to do is take a short drive and a little hike.  Find one of those not so secret places in the mountains to clear my thoughts and refresh my soul.  A  place like that pictured above. Looking up at the mountains, above the Paris Mill in Buckskin Gulch.  I got lucky with this picture, and managed to capture some of the sun's rays as it looked down upon us.  I was able to absorb the softness of the sky, brisk clean air, the beauty and spirit of the mountains.  Sometimes it was even better at night, taking in the inviting, sparkling, brilliant stars.  Enjoying a luminescent glow of comforting moonlight, and the startlingly clear shadows it cast.

Hanging 500 Mine Buckskin GulchThese, not so secret, places had the ability to calm my person, and clear my mind of all that troubled me.  I could sit on the rocks all day, and dream of all sorts of things, mysteries, fantasies, adventures and so much more.  I had even been known to take a sketch pad and attempt, however woefully, to capture the scenery around me.  Unfortunately for me, Kel was the artist of the family, I had to struggle for the most basic of concepts.  But I did enjoy the contentment that came along with the attempt.

Road down from Kite LakeWhere my visits seemed to help me the most, was in clearing my mind of all the small meaningless worries and troubles.  Then I was able to refresh it with new, sometimes funny,  fanciful, or insightful ideas.  What ever direction my imagination took me, I always came away with fresh and new ideas for my mind to play with.  I could dream up stories of intricate fantasies and plans of adventurous travels.  The hard part was getting them down on paper in some understandable format.

Now that I believe I have gotten better at putting my ideas on paper, virtual or otherwise, I am finding myself, with mimic quality, losing all those free flowing thoughts.  I constantly have difficulties organizing those scattered threads of ideas, trying to meld them together into a woven tapestry of a story worthy of a persons time to read.  I am in search of some form of quality that seems to escape my conscious thought, and leaves me wandering in a cloudy confusion.

I need to find a place close by with some uncharacteristic beauty that I can visit regularly to clear and refresh my thoughts.  Now that I'm living in the city, not to mention a city in the flat lands, I may have to readjust my definition of beauty and serenity.   The deer lease is nice, but too far away for regular visits.  I need something close by, that a couple minute drive or short walk can deliver me to solitude, solace and contentment.   A place that will allow me to leave behind all the worries of the week, and troubles of the times.  I'll keep looking, and eventually I'll find it, but until then I'll just have to push through, organizing my thoughts and ideas.  As the saying goes, the only real failure, is a failure to try.

As a closing note, I have a quote to share.  This was sent to me by Kel, and it fits these times of financial troubles ever so appropriately.
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”
Alexis de Tocqueville
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Grandson Returns

I know it’s supposed to be Mondays Writers of the Web, but Jordan, my grandson, and his parents came back today for a final visit before heading back to NC.   If you don’t mind, I will post some more pictures of him.
Jordan Destiny and Eric
Jordan kneeling with Destiny and Grandpa Eric
Jordan kicking the ball for Des
Jordan kick’s the ball for Destiny.  She loves that dam Wall Mart smiley face ball, and will chase it all around the yard.  She picks it up and brings it back to whoever will throw it or kick it for her.  Destiny was in seventh heaven having Jordan here to play with her.  Jordan has a pretty good kick, and then he loved to chase her around the back yard.
Jordan and Des
Jordan and Destiny
Jordan talking to Destiny
Jordan
Jordan and Destiny
We got to spend a couple of hour with them.  I got Jordan out in the front yard and convinced him he could out run his shadow.  He spent about thirty minutes running around with me trying to out run that dam shadow.  I was having a blast, and a hard time keeping from laughing.

Jordan’s Dad, K gave me a funny video of Jordan dancing, so I thought I would share it with you.

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My Favorite Time of Year

Male and female Mule deer
Image via Wikipedia
Fall and early winter are my favorite times of the year. The weather cools down, you get to see some of the most breathtaking colors, and hunting season starts.  Down here, deer season runs from the first weekend in November to the last weekend in December.  Now I’m sorry if I shocked some of my readers, but yes I do hunt, and enjoy it very much.  It gives me that communion with the outdoors that I do so fervently miss .  It also gets me away from the city, and lets me feel like a country boy again.  I suppose this qualifies for Redneck status, which is fine by me.

I just got home from the deer lease.  Where my boss J.J. who also happens to be my closest friend, his son, and I spent the day cleaning things up and getting everything ready for the season.  Down here it is common for hunters to lease property from ranchers specifically for hunting.  This prevents situations where there are too many hunters in one area, and all the mishaps that can be the result.  We had plenty to do, cleaning up the campers and making sure everything around camp worked.  Then going to each blind to clean them up and make sure they were secure, and no damage had been done over the off season. 

Three of our blinds had some very interesting surprises for us.  Owl’s had decided they made perfect dwellings for delivering and hatching their young.  There was not much we could do about them, because all three had young chick’s.  We did not want to evict the Owls at this critical stage, because the baby Owls had not gotten their wings, and could not fly.  There was no way we were going to tamper with them, or disturb them in fear of the mother abandoning them.  So we just left the blinds open, and made sure they would stay open to allow the mother Owl to come and go as she pleased.

One of the disadvantages of having Owls move in and claim homestead rights on your blind is, they are incredibly nasty messy birds.   For something so beautiful, they sure leave a horrendous mess.  All three blinds had about two inches of Owl excrement, and discarded remains of small victims.   We will not be able to clean these blinds out until after deer season starts.  Hopefully by then the chick’s will be flying, and able to leave the nest.  Next time we go, I’ll have to take the cameras so I can get pictures of them to show everybody.  I can tell you the adult Owl is a beautiful bird, but those babies, ugly ugly ugly.

For the most part the day went pretty good.  We got everything done that needed to be done except for cleaning out those three blinds.  We got to spend some wonderful time in the country, far from the troubles of city life.  Now we just have to wait for season to open, and then enjoy the great outdoors.
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Too Much Too Late

Single Glove
Image by Chris Harley via Flickr
Normally, I don't like to post about politics, or religion.  There is simply too much potential for things to get carried away.  We all have our beliefs and opinions, and there is no right or wrong, simply different perspectives and perceptions.  Having said that, I have to vent just a little bit about all of our current financial predicament, and the reaction of those in  our government. 

Over a year ago, I had been saying we were in a recession.  I posted one time on my Yahoo blog, about how aggravated I was about the administrations reaction to the financial situation then.  The President kept insisting there was no recession, just a little bit of a slow economy.  It really made me mad that he could stand there with a straight face and tell everybody that nothing was wrong. 

Being that I work in the construction industry, I knew  since before the middle of last year, that things were going poorly.  New home construction faded off, then seemed to darn near disappear.   Then by the start of this year things were really struggling around here.  We started seeing more and more foreclosures, and job layoffs.

The administration pushed though the tax credit or stimulus check.  I thought then that it was no cure, just a short lived antiseptic cream being spread over an open bleeding wound.  Now I know that many people liked an needed that stimulus check, but did it really help the economy.  I am just a simple high school educated working stiff, but even I could see all it did was place a little ballast in a small boat foolishly heading  into a hurricane, instead of steering it away.  I felt then and still do that the money would have been more effectively used to create government funded construction and technology building programs, that would have ( in my view ) created jobs and confidence.

Now when things have gone to the point of serious disaster, the government is jumping in and rushing to the aid of large corporations who have made serious mistakes.  I can guarantee that many more will be stepping up and asking for bail out now that the precedence has been set.  What about the little guy, who has made mistakes also? Are they ( we ) going to bail them out too, I bet not.  I doubt anything will be done for those will lose their jobs, and their homes because of the economy.  How exactly are we going to pay for this, and the unemployed who will inevitably become a larger portion of our population.

Are the bail outs the right thing to do? I don't know, I wish I did.  If the administration had not been so focused on trying to calm fears of a recession and really looking at the whole picture. I am sure something could have been done on a much smaller scale long before this.  Certainly something more proactive, instead of reactive.

Perhaps the problem is that we have too many people running our government, that don't have to worry about paying their mortgage, or where their next meal is going  to come from.  Maybe we need more people who are normal everyday working people, to be elected to our government office's.  I know it will probably never happen, because you have to have or raise a lot of money to get elected.

Now I'll get off my soap box, play the cards I'm dealt, and  move on to face what will come.  Thanks for letting me vent, right or wrong, this is simply my opinion.

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Surprise! an Absolutely Wonderful Evening

Grandson
That beaming smiling face is my grandson Jordan who will be four next month.  You can just barely see the proud Grandpa in the background.  My step son and his wife, and of course Jordan, mysteriously appeared this evening.  We have not seen them for a little more than a year. 

Young Jordan’s Daddy was in Iraq, and then back in North Carolina for a little while afterward.  It seems like ages ago that we last saw them.  You can imagine our reaction when we were trying to figure out who was pulling into the drive way.  Then as soon as they got out, the whole family, dogs and all went out to greet them.  I was amazed at how much the little tyke grew.

We visited for quite some time, and I took Jordan out in the back yard to play ball with Destiny, our Red Healer.  Both of them were in seventh heaven, Jordan laughing and chasing Destiny around to get the ball, and Destiny dropping it just in time for Jordan to kick it for her again.  Destiny prefers soccer balls, why I don’t know, so it was easier for Jordan to kick it and throw it.   They really had fun, and as you can tell so did I.

Jordan’s Momma found a frog with the help of Annie, one of  our Chihuahuas.  Naturally she had to chase Blinda around with it, then Jordan, then Jordan’s Daddy.  I was laughing so hard, here’s this young lady chasing the boys around with a frog, and they were acting as bad as Blinda about it.  We finally got Jordan to play with the frog a little bit, he at least touched it and chased it around the yard.  All little boys should play with frogs at some time.

Their going to be around for about a week, so we get to see them a few more times before they have to go back to North Carolina.  Hopefully we will get to spend some of the weekend with them, and get some pictures of the crew.  So important, for Jordan’s Daddy is due to redeploy shortly.

Thanks for listening, I just had to share.

Monday’s Writers of the Web

Sunset at Newgale
Image by PembrokeDave via Flickr
Oh is it Monday again,  I ask as I’m sitting here looking at the clock on my computer telling me it’s 10:44 PM.  Well it seems that I must procrastinate on all things, and wait for the last possible moment to write  my posting. One of these days I am going to write a whole weeks worth of articles in advance, and save them as drafts to post as the week progresses.

I usually find the sites I write about by checking commenter’s on other blogs I read regularly.  Then when you find a good one, simply go through their blog roll and see what comes up.   This week many of the sites I’m going to suggest  I have followed for a while, and found though just one or two blogs.  The first of which is The Truth About Lies, by Jim Murdoch an author from Scotland.  I know some of you already visit his blog, because I have seen you in the comments as I lurked around.  Jim has published some books, including Living with the Truth.  Jim posts articles about writing, like Jewelweed, an article about where his stories come from.  It is an interesting look into how his story ideas materialize.

From Jim’s site, I followed some of his blog roll, and found Dragoncave, by Art Durkee.  He describes himself as “A wandering musician, artist, and writer traveling across the face of the earth and sharing what is encountered”.  He writes well thought out articles, with plenty of information.  Many of his articles, and I’ll keep calling his work article because they are very in-depth,   exposes his opinions, and the reasoning behind them.  He also posts poems about places he has been like San Francisco, including pictures to add to the effect of the  poem.

Jim also led me to Mythology-Fairy Tails, by Daryl Lorette, an actor in film, television and theater.  The site is filled with, for a lack of a better term, studies of the ancient gods, goddesses and their homes or realms.  It is kind of fun to browse through and read up on some of the ancients, and their activities.  I have always had a curiosity of the ancient mythology, that I can only attribute to my eldest sister.  I suppose it could also be due to some of my reading material, but some of that I can blame on her also. She was the first to steer me that way by sending me books about Epona the Celtic Goddess of  Horses, and The Bard, both very good books.

The next site I have found in the side bar of many a blog.  Black Tie and Sneakers, by Canadianredneck, is a poetry site.  He has very interesting and thought provoking poems, such as The Winds of Change.  I love to read poetry, but will never attempt to produce that wonderful prose.  I enjoy finding new poets, and have always been amazed at their talent for capturing those feelings of life with intricate words and phrases.  How they do it is beyond me, so I will stick with reading and enjoying their work.  He also contributes to The Society of Midnight Wanders, a collaborative blog that showcases poems from many different poetic bloggers.

The Mil Blog for the week is Richard’s Mil Blog, by LTC Richard Phillips, and he discuses the facts of life pre and post deployment.  There are some truly moving  articles in this blog, and it is well worth the visit.  His most recent posting is about how the troops deal with a death within their ranks.  I can assure you of a few tears, and that proud feeling we get when thinking of our soldiers. Kel you may not want to visit this one.
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Remember When

Drawing of a self-service store.
Image via Wikipedia
Remember when you were a kid, all those old candies in the local store.  You know the ones you used to go to the candy counter and stare longingly at.  I found a new site, well to give credit where credit is due, Blinda found a new site.  She then made the mistake of showing it to me. The Retro Candy Store, is a site where you can find some of those old candies, and order them.

It is fond memories I have of visiting the local Mercantile on Front Street, long since closed and gone.  We would go in with Mom or Dad, and run over to the candy isle while they went shopping to get what ever they needed.   The candy isle was fairly long, and full of all kinds of goodies.  The store keeper, I can’t remember her name to save my life, would always have some old gum or other candy she would give us for free.  My favorite was a black licorice tasting gum, that had a pirate of the package, I think it was called Black Jack.  The free gum was always hard, and broke as soon as you started chewing.  That did not mater to us, it was free candy.

The Mercantile was one of those stores where you could buy anything.  They had it all, a little groceries, a little hardware, some clothing, some toys, and of course the candy.  We had two stores in town like this, but it was the Mercantile I loved to go to.  There was something about the feel of that small town store that just welcomed you.  The smells of all the different products, leather, spice, candies and so on.  Of course as soon as you walked in  the store keeper would welcome you by name, and ask how you were doing.  I often wondered how she kept track of all the kids names.

I also remember running around town picking up soda bottles.  We would collect up as many as we could find, and take them to store where we got  5 cents for each.  Then we had money to buy what ever candy or soda we wanted.  Of course it was best to go to the gas station across the street and buy soda out of the machine for 15 cents, and candy bars were a dime. 

Such fond memories, of times long past.  I wish there were stores like that still around.   The old penny candy stores and things like that are sadly gone forever.
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Time, There’s Just Never Enough!

I always seem to lose time to all kinds of little things through out the day.  I end up spending more time at work than ever intended, and then get home feeling a little worn and used.  Then of course there are the little house hold chores to do.  Have to eat somewhere in there also.  Then I can sit down to the computer and catch up on my overflowing in box.  By the time I get done with everything and figure out a post, it’s already late.  Makes it kind of hard to get out to some of my favorite social sites like Plurk to play around.

I used to hang out in Plurk and follow conversations all the time.  Lately I have been very bad about going there.  Now I’m trying to get back into Plurking because it is fun.  Unfortunately I can generally only make it over there on the weekends.  They have this thing called Karma, the more you Plurk and the more friends you have the higher your Karma goes.  The only problem is that when you slow down or take a sabbatical from it, your Karma goes down.  Normally I could care less about Karma except for the extra cool emoticons you get after a certain level.

What I’m finding now is that many of them don’t want to have anything to do with me either because I left for so long, or because I have NO Karma now.  I have even tried to be nice, and drop a few responses on different Plurks.  The only thing that happens is the conversation stops, as if I have the plague or something.  Maybe I’m just being to pushy, who me I don’t think so.  I think maybe my problem is I share too many pictures of my dogs.  Oh well I’ll keep trying, but only when I can, for a person can lose hours to Plurk if their not careful.

Even when I stopped Plurking, I still followed a little of what was going on through a blog called Plurkiverse.    It is a blog devoted to Plurk, and the author is probably one of the more active members, KDFrawg.  But there is no substitution for actually being there and taking part in a conversation.

I also use Twitter, but that is more of what I consider to be an “announcement” thing.  Most of my Tweets are automatic, like when I post to my blogs, Live Writer notifies Twitter.  Also when I comment on something at Mixx or submit something to Mixx, they notify Twitter.  Twitter for me is more a promotion tool, and Plurk is for fun.

There is one thing that I have wondered from the first time I started Plurking.  How do all those people get the time.  I mean some of them are on there every time  I log in, and other just a few hours a day.  I just don’t seem to have a few hours a day, or maybe I’m just not Plurkicated (dedicated to plurk) enough.

Anyway, if you are ever interested in total random conversations, swing by Plurk and see what it’s all about.  You can even hang around and Plurk-lurk, just to see what is being talked about.

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Another Change of Clothes

I have been having problems again, between the comment icon being hard to find and my numerous tweaks causing my page not to load in Internet Explorer.  So what the heck right I had found this template and had been working on it in a test blog for quite a while.   I tested it in all the browsers I have loaded, and it seems to work fine.  So I thought since the problems seem to be getting worse, why not go ahead and make the change.

It went pretty smooth, except for a few minor issues, that were easily fixed in the settings section.  On the Test site, I had a popular posts widget, but it was so slow to load, I decided not to use it.  I know not everybody has a super fast  machine, and it can get aggravating waiting on a blog to open.  I did keep many of my widgets, but intentionally lost a few of them also.  I finally got the widget showing all the blogs I’m following to work, I hope it does not slow things down too much.

If you check some comments, you’ll find that they show MyBlogLog avatars.  If you don’t have an account yet, you should sign up, it’s a great community similar to BlogCatalog.  It’s a good way to find new blogs, and meet new people.  You can also follow blogs through them, and they have some great statistical information.

I guess I’m getting a little better at this, because it only took me two hours to get it all set back up.  One of these days, I keep saying that, I’m going to get serious about learning some HTML and CSS.  I think it would be fun to develop my own template, and use it.  Guess what kind of theme I would use.  You got it, I’ ld come up with a more worn looking Blue Jean theme, with three sidebars.  I like having the larger sidebar on top, and the other two below it.

I’m going to keep looking for a way to add a popular posts widget to the tabbed navigation one.  I know it can be done, I think I have even seen one, I just need to learn how.   Give me enough time, and I’ll get things really figured out then I can start having fun with the template design.

If anyone has any trouble loading my site, please let me know.
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Lone Survivor, a Book Review

I just finished another new book, as a mater of fact its the one that caused me to be late for Mondays Writers of the Web post. It’s always enjoyable to find another new author, and especially when your not expecting it. I have a love for military stories, and a ferocious appetite for anything about the current conflicts.

Lone Survivor, the eyewitness account of operation Redwing and the lost heroes of SEAL team 10. The author is the lone survivor of this ill fated mission in Afghanistan, Marcus Luttrell, . This particular mission happens to be the worst combat loss in the history of the SEAL’s. They lost 3 men on the ground and a full team, helicopter and crew during a rescue attempt. It is every bit as good as Black Hawk Down, just as intense, and surprisingly emotional.

Luttrell starts his story at the end, while he is flying around and visiting the family members of the team he fought with and lost. It is a heart breaking, eye opening story of what they thought, felt and went through on those remote high mountain reaches in Afghanistan. Get to know the men he fought beside, and learn about their heroic acts that saved him.

You will find yourself caught up in the drama and tragedy of the story. Luttrell recounts everything, right from his first desire to become a U.S. Navy SEAL, all the way up through the the desperate, violent firefight between 4 SEALS and a force of between 140 and 200 Taliban fighters. Experience the boredom leading up to the action, and the fierce fast paced action that cost them three very brave men. Luttrell then takes you with him as he escapes and evades the Taliban fighters, with the help of local Pashtun Tribal leaders.

If you read with an open mind, you may even find yourself questioning the rules of engagement our fight men and women are required to follow. Rules written and forged by politicians sitting behind desks of air conditions comfortable offices thousands of miles from the action. This book has been one of the best recent combat recounting's I have read in some time. You’ll find yourself understanding what these men go through, and the intense training required to prepare them for situations such as these. You will also find yourself amazed at the heroic nature and the selflessness required to do what they do.

Mondays Writers Of The Web

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
Image by _Robert C_ via Flickr
Uh Oh, its not Monday anymore! It is now 01:05 AM Tejas time on Tuesday. I meant well, fully intending to have my Writers of the Web post done and published by 10:00 PM; but got home late and sat down to read a new book. That being my first mistake, note to self; write blog post BEFORE reading new books. I have a bad habit of getting lost in a good book, and lose all concept of time, and reality. I used to get into trouble for this all the time. Why; well you know how kids figure parents out pretty dam quickly. The D-Angel (Devil in Angels disguise) would wait until I was into a good book before asking to do something. My usual semi-conscious response was “Huh? yeah go ahead” with out even comprehending the request. Naturally she would get into trouble and then say “Uncle Eric said I could”, hence transferring all guilt unto me where it properly belonged.
Any way, to get on with the business at hand, sharing those blogs that I find interesting and fun. This week seems to have been a focus on some of my favorite inspirational or happy blogs. First up is Your Caring Angels, authored by AngelBaby. She posts affirmations to help you feel good, feel sexy, or find love, and some inspirational stories. She also posts regular articles titled When God Paints. These posts are always a breathtaking photograph of some very gorgeous scenery. Her latest of these When God Paints #7 reminds me of an area at home, with a slightly different mountain range. She is also great with sharing the Link Love.
Now we move on to My Life as it Was, Is, and Will Be, authored by SSGreylord. She has been one of my favorites since I started blogging. Her posts are always insightful, helpful, and hopeful. She brings up topics about communication and respect, and relationships. There are always good tips to be had.
Any time you need a dose of cheerful or good news, take a trip over to The Cheerful Scoop, the motto of this blog is “There is too much bad news in the world, Cheerful Scoop gives you the good news with a twist.” I like to swing by to see what is not on the television news and in the printed paper. It’s always refreshing to read a positive upbeat story instead of the normal daily dose of doom and gloom.
The Mil Blog for the week is Sergeant Grumpy. He is a veteran of Iraq, but maintains his blogging. He writes about his time in Iraq, a few political rants, and shares a few war stories here and there.
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The Power of The Blogs, WOW

There is a certain feeling of fulfillment when you find out that something you tried to help with worked.  I just came from Tiff’s blog, Ivy’s Mom, Her blog is , Three Ring Circus.  After reading a few of her posts and learning about all she has to deal with, I can think of no better name for her blog.  The good news is that it seem all the attention from a number of different blogs, and 1100 people who signed the petition, did the trick.  

Ivy got her IVIG treatment, and is now home again.  The people who make the decisions saw the petition and approved Ivy’s treatment, it seems we have a little power of persuasion after all. 

Evidently it may take up to 6 infusions before any changes are experienced.  At least she has that chance now, and a chance to be a little girl, to play with other children, to run around outside, and so many other things that children should be able to do. 

Veronica over at Sleepless Nights,  started the whole process, and then others jumped on the band wagon and blogged about it also.  I originally read about it on LouCeel,  and joined in the effort.  I am just surprised that it all happened so fast, happy, but surprised. 

Thank you to everyone who helped out, and who signed the petition, it really did make a difference, and allow little Ivy to get the treatment she needed.

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Greed, Showing it’s Ugly Head

As Mother Nature unleashes her fury on the Texas coast,  evacuations caused by Hurricane Ike are widespread.  People are fleeing the coastal areas, I don’t blame them, and heading north.  As these people are dealing with this disaster that will most likely have long term effects on their lives, others seem to have decided to profit from their misfortune.

I noticed today as I was going around completing my Friday errands, a widely varying price range for gas.  The prices ranged from $3.49 to $3.99 within a two block area.  How is it possible that the price can vary so drastically.  I have even heard of, but not seen with my own eyes, gas at $5.00 a gallon.  It stinks of price gouging to me!  What upsets me the most, is that right now people are having to “run for their lives”  but the gas stations seem to be taking advantage.  I say the gas stations because of the widely varying price, if it were the oil companies the price would be consistently high.

I have nothing but respect for those who keep their prices low while these hurricane refugees have to make their escape.  I also hope the others, who I have many descriptive words for, have serious trouble sleeping.  This is a time when people should be helping each other out, not trying to profit from their misfortune. 

We are far enough from the coast, that we do not have to worry about the worst part of the storm.  The news says we will have winds up to 60 mph tomorrow, and a little bit of rain, but most of the storm will be towards the east of us.  There are parts of North Texas that will have issues with flooding and hurricane force winds, but not us.  I know what that kind of wind is like, but to have 6 – 12 inches of rain along with it would be a little difficult.

I am also amazed that up to 2,000 people have reportedly decided to stay in the Galveston area.  I don’t think I would stick around for a couple of reasons.  One is obvious, the National Weather Service has said that Galveston residents are assured of serious damage and death.  Secondly, by staying there, they are actually going to put rescue workers in imminent danger.  When everything goes wrong they will call for help, and I’m sure everything possible will be attempted, the rescue workers and first responders will go out because it is their nature.   I hope things play out for the better, but Galveston Island is going to basically be completely under water, and hammered by sever winds. 

I wonder how bad New Orleans is going to be affected.  I’m sure they will get something, and after Katrina, the last thing they need is more flooding.

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Where Were You When The World Changed?

From My Roof In Brooklyn
Image by RWhitesell via Flickr

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on September 11, 2001, I was sleeping. Mom called me frantic, asking “are they going to call you up?”. I had no idea what she was talking about because I had been asleep after a long night working. She told me to turn the television on, and I asked what channel. I heard her say softly “It doesn't mater, its on every channel.” So I turned on the television, and never turned it off for about four days.

I will forever have those tragic days, and shocking images embedded into my mind. I remember thinking "Oh My God" when the news said that over 25,000 people worked in the World Trade Center, thankfully so many were late. I was completely shocked when the towers fell. I was not very relieved many weeks later when the toll was announced as 2,974, in New York, The Pentagon, and that remote field in Pennsylvania. So many people affected in ways that were and still are unimaginable.

I was always interested in the Pearl Harbor attacks, and dutifully watched the History Channel anytime there was a show on about it. That morning, 9 - 11 - 2001, I recalled Admiral Yamamoto's thoughts after the attacks "I fear we have only wakened a sleeping giant". I was hoping the terrorists were thinking and worrying the same thing. There was one major difference between the two that stood out to me, Pearl Harbor was a military base, The World Trade Center was a civilian work place. I kept thinking to myself "How can the fools justify such an attack?".



I know I will forever remember that day, and the emotions that were sent coursing through me. Who would have ever believed that the Twin Towers would be evanescent. So many people lost loved ones, and all of our lives were changed by the acts of extremists. I shall forever honor and respect those that gave all, and those that are continuing the struggle to rid the world of terrorism in many different ways.
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Speedy I’m Not!

Where do we go from here
Image by 96dpi via Flickr
Vixen over at Vixens Den, gave me a little link love. She had received an award from MommyingOnTheFly, for being a little slow to respond to tags. Now I can definitely sympathize with that, for I’m not always a big fan of tags. Some of them can be fun, but some of them seem a little routine or monotonous at times. I got a kick out of her award, so I’m adding it to my post, and continuing her link list.

Just as a quick observation, shortly after receiving this my Google page rank went from 0 to 3, I don’t know if it was because of this, or just an accumulation of links. Anyway, I’m going to pass this on, not necessarily the slow poke award, but the link love.

Isn’t that the coolest award you have ever seen. I just love it, and it fits me pretty well . You know the old saying, if the shoe fits, wear it.

Here’s the details that are passed along with this meme:
(Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list! )It’s real easy!) Add five links, and be sure to let them know.
*The benefits of Viral Linking:
  • One of the fastest ways to see your Technorati authority explode!
  • Increase your Google Page Rank fast
  • Attract a large volume of new traffic to your site
  • Build your community
  • Make new friends!
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Be sure to visit each of the blogs, and see what they have to offer. Have an enjoyable Wednesday evening. Slow Poke signing off Ha Ha.

Mondays Writers of The Web

Wake Up!
Image by Roby72 via Flickr
Yes indeed finally, another Writers of The Web post. I know, I know, I have been a little preoccupied with life the past couple of weeks, but here we go again. I will be continuing this as often as possible. I should note though that some week’s are busier than others and so it is more difficult to make my posts. Blah Blah Blah excuses excuses excuses, why is it that I am now feeling guilty about making excuses.

Before I left for my little trip, I found some good blogs. The first one I want to share is more of a hints and tips site for writers. It’s called The Writing Journey, and is authored by Bob. He writes about his experiences in writing on the Internet, and has some very good and useful tips to help blogger's. In one of his recent posts, Beating Internet Writers Block, he suggests getting off the computer and out of the house or office. Good ideas to help break the monotony of sitting in front of your computer, racking your brain for ideas. I know, I very seldom get any of my inspiration from sitting at the computer. He also suggests just getting up and moving around if for no other reason than good health, a little exercise never hurt anyone.

This week seems to be more of a theme of writers help blogs, and so Incurable Disease of Writing is next up. The author describes it simply as a Writers Journey. One of the things I like about it is they review or share a chapter of a new book each month. they call it The First Blog Tour, and it happens on the first of each month. They sometimes throw in a Wild Card, which is similar, and shares another blog or book. They also have interesting posts such as A Writers Self-Image.

Next up we have Confident Writing. Joanna Young, is a writing coach who shares her knowledge in this blog. You will find posts like How To Write About Hot Issues, or Writing With Respect. She has down to earth tips for the writer.

I’m going to start including more Mil Blogs, for reasons of my own selfish nature. Sgt Hook – This We’ll Defend is a Mil Blog from Iraq. Sgt Hook talks about his missions and what is going on. I find it interesting that he says
“Today the streets of Baghdad are not recognizable if compared to just eighteen months ago.”
Hook said he recently went on a supporting mission for Iraqi Security Forces, where the greatest enemy they faced was the 120 degree heat. I simply hope it continues along those lines, and they can all come home soon.
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Pretty Ivy Only Wants To Play Outside

Many of you know I have a huge soft spot for kids. Especially Kids that are sick or in need. Friday, Lou Ceel did a Haiku about a little girl who only wants to play outside. Ivy is a pretty little two year old girl who wants to be just like all the others.

What is the problem you ask, well Ivy has a rare immune deficiency disease. The disease keeps her inside, away from other children, and potential infections. You see Ivy has a hard time fighting off these infections. Yet she is receiving treatment for some of them that is making it even harder for her immune system to fight off other infections.

The truly sad part is there is a treatment available that could make all the difference to little Ivy. The treatment is an IV transfusion of immune cells to bolster Ivy’s own weakened cells. For some reason, the Australian National Blood Authority, has refused to make this treatment available to little Ivy. There have evidently been numerous requests, all to no avail.

Can you imagine what little Ivy’s life is like, being locked up inside, never allowed to play with other children. All for fear of contracting a simple common virus or infection that is routine for other children, but may be lethal to her. Yet a small child who understands not the reason why, can never enjoy the life all children should have.

What can you do, go to this site, read her story, then take two minutes to fill out the petition for Ivy Girl. Perhaps if they get enough people in support of it, the Australian National Blood Authority will allow this sweet young girl a chance at a normal childhood. You can also go visit Ivy’s mums blog post about this petition and see for your self, what simply putting your name on this petition means to them.

Slap My Hand and Call Me Slacker

2008-06-22-1740-44I know, I have been remiss in my blogging duties, hey I’ve been sick cut me some slack LOL. No really I have been very bad, and not been keeping up with things. I found it very hard to concentrate for the last two weeks. Something to do with severe abdominal discomfort, and rushing to the bathroom every ten minutes.

This week though it has been work. I got home anywhere between 8:30 and 10:30 PM for the last four days, and was just too tired to do anything. Sorry everybody but that’s life in the fast lane right; (yeah sure what ever). At least I have kept my sense of humor, I think, or maybe its only funny to me, I don’t know.

You know what the hard part is, getting all these crazy ideas running around in your head, and not being able to do anything with them. I was keeping a paper journal for awhile, but lost it somewhere at work, god knows where. Someone is going to have an interesting read when they find it. I doubt anything in it will make sense to anyone but me, kind of my own personal shorthand.

Now all I have to do is try to recreate some of those ideas, and let my imagination go wild. I think I will pick a few new books this weekend, and try for some fresh inspiration. At least I’m feeling better, and once I catch up with all that back log of household chores and other stuff I should be able to get serious.

I have been having trouble open this blog in with IE at work, has anyone else had problems. That will teach me a lesson for changing things up. I have found another real nice template, that I like so maybe its time for another change of clothes. I know I’m just a glutton for punishment, but its fun to play around with things. I set up a test blog, if you want to check the template and see what you think click here.

Well I’m off now to catch up on my blog reading, so I’ll see everybody as we go along.

I May Never Fly Again

If this bug was the cost of flying, I shall never ever set foot on an airplane again. I’ve pretty much decided that the airplane had to be where I got this nasty little bug. I don’t know what it was, if it was the flu, it was the worst flu I have ever had, or I’m just getting old, (nope not possible). So now I guess I have one more excuse not to fly, HA!

I will say that flying into Las Vegas gave me inspiration for another trip. Nothing to do with airplane’s though. I would love to drive up to Nevada and explore the desert. Flying over it was breathtaking. It looked as if it had been sculpted, carved and painted by an artist. You could almost see the chisel strikes and brush strokes. The varied and vibrant colors along with the the impression of textures is hard to explain.

That is something a little more my style. I could probably spend months exploring and enjoying the beauty of the desert. To be able to hike around and camp and enjoy all there is to discover seems to me to be a real vacation. Being the loaner I am I would probably go by myself, for I don’t think I could convince my wife to go with me, she is not the out doors type. I could easily imagine myself out there having a blast searching around looking for those things that have never been seen before (at least by me).

Well now that I’m feeling better, I have a lot of catching up to do. I will be visiting everybody as soon as I can, and saying thanks to you all for your words of encouragement and support. Besides I have to find out what I have been missing, and get caught up so I can continue my Monday Writers of The Web.

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