Aug 08

Wonders.

Oh, since I started breathing the air on this planet… I started to wonder.  Not wander.  I am a homebody.   I stay put.  But my mind sure does go all over the place.

Yep.  I was an early wonderer.

“Mr. Carlson… how come you are missing the hair on top of your head?

“Sister Adriana… how come you have so much hair in your nose?”  

Well… it wasn’t long before I was warned about THAT type of wondering.

But still it continues.  Now… mostly in an unspoken fashion.  Yet.  Every now and again, I simply have to ask.  So tonight, a few questions from my cranium.  And then… some life observations from those people (past & present) more insightful than I.

Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?

“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” – Marianne Williamson

If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

“There are times when silence has the loudest voice” – Leroy Brownlow

It makes me a little angry that phonetic isn’t spelled the way it sounds.  To the point of using profanity.  

“When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.”  – Mark Twain

Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?

“A man only becomes wise when he begins to calculate the approximate depth of his ignorance.” – Gian Carlo Menotti

How come when you call a wrong number.. it is never busy?

“Those who never make mistakes lose a great many chances to learn something” – G.A. Alexender

If you try to fail, and succeed at it, which have you done?

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Herman Cain

Before the light bulb was invented, what appeared over peoples heads when they had an idea?

“Everyone is in love with his own ideas” – Carl Gustav

I wonder why people think there is a secret to happiness.

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” – Frederick Keonig

“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.”  – Confucius

Aug 07

Cereal Thriller

With only nine days left, I thought about picking out some of my favorite “entries” from the past three years, and re-posting them each day.

But then I thought better of it.  I mean… that would be like airing re-runs during sweeps week on NBC.  So.  No re-runs.

I can’t promise that this broadcast will appear without commercials though.  Perhaps a little pitch for….  Pampers… or Listerine… or … OR… what about Cap’n Crunch?   I passed the cereal aisle just today and saw a box of that crunchy yummy-ness sitting on the shelf.

I used to love Cap’n Crunch.  As kids, we never got cereal.  Hardly ever.  Certainly not the fun stuff… like Fruit Loops, and Frosted Flakes.  No way, no how.  If I had a hankering for cereal, I had to figure out a way to spend the night at a friend’s house.  And that hardly ever got approved.

Eggs, and Fried Bologna on White Toast.  Now don’t get me wrong… I loved THAT.  I still do.  In fact, that is second in line on my list…..  as an adult-breakfast-eater.  (Right behind Eggs, Grits, Bicuits and Ham.)

Ahhh. But ONCE again.  It appears my little attention-deprived brain… has lost its focus.  I have fallen off track AGAIN.

And wouldn’t you know…  I’ve forgotten what it was I started out writing about.  So I may as well stick with cereal.

Yes, as kids if we were allowed to eat such a thing… it would come in the form of oatmeal… or maybe corn flakes.  But none other.

One of my good friends, Katie Skilton, ALWAYS had great cereals.  Boxes and boxes of it.  Cap’n Crunch of course.  Coco Puffs.  Lucky Charms.  Rice Krispies.  You name it.  They had candy dishes everywhere too.  It was like going to Willy Wonka’s.

I ran in to her a few years ago.  There wasn’t a tooth in her head.  Now, I am not sure the sugary stuff was the cause… but sure enough….  she was missing her fangs and her choppers.  I stood there and acted like I didn’t notice.   But I bet you Katie knows everyone is standing there acting like they don’t  notice…  ANYWAY….

I guess I’m glad I wasn’t allowed to spend the night there all too often.  Who knows what the outcome would have been.

Yep.  Looks like I am all over the place again tonight…. I have trouble focusing attention on one thing sometimes.

But.. I guess tonight’s deal is simply this.   I missed the whole cereal thing.  However…..  if I ever start eating sugar and sweets again… Cap’n Crunch will be on the top of my list.  Way on top.

Instead, about the sweetest thing I had for breakfast was orange juice.  I still love it to this day… right along with the eggs, ham, and grits.

In fact.  I loved it so much I got a job in an Orange Juice Factory once.   And…. as it turns out… they fired me.   Lack of Concentration.

 

…. and clearly, Mr. Leboeuf has never met the likes of me….

“When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your full attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.” – Michael Leboeuf

Aug 06

Re-count

As you read this… most likely it will be August 7th.  I like that date.

My two favorite dates of the year are July 8.  And August 7.  Seven and Eight are my favorite numbers.  They both happen to land smack dab in summer time too.  And summer makes me happy.

So Happy Eight Seven Today.  Have a cake.

And…… I know I’ve said it before here… BUT…

Why was 6 afraid of 7?
Because 7 ate 9.

Doh.

Which brings me to the next piece of news.
I guess it could be bad or good news…. depending on how you feel about  all of this yammering from a humming bird brain….

Project 188 ends on August 17th.

Ten day countdown.

I like a good countdown.  NASA is about the only ones who do countdowns, I think.

Well… New Year’s Eve at Times Square.  The big ball thing.

Other than that… who the heck else counts down?

An angry mother.  Maybe.
The Twelve Days of Christmas?  Sort of.

Bombs with timers countdown.  (Great.  I just said that online.  Now my phones will be tapped.  I can hear the clicking now.)

Let’s see.   Who else counts in the backwardly fashion?

Oh… the referee at a boxing match.

And Casey Kasem on American Top 40.

Uhhhmmmmm.

Okay.  That’s it.

So.   For Project 188.  Ten days left and counting….

Time flies… when you are having fun.

 

Aug 05

It runs deep.

Home.  Home is where the heart is.

And most of the time… wherever your heart is… you will find family.

Family can be “defined” in a bazillion different ways.  It could be your spouse and your children;  or your parents and your siblings.

Family could be “blood” relatives… or adopted.

It could be a group of your people…. your A.A. Group, your Church Group, or your Birdwatching Group.

But once your family is there… you know it.  Not matter its shape, its form, or the kind of people in it.

Whether we are born into our families… or whether we choose our families makes no matter.

It is where we find comfort, and joy.  It is where we can share our sadness and our pain.  The family is the place we know ourselves best.  Because we have found our place.  We feel included in our families.  We feel loved.

True family is one of the greatest gifts of life.  A fortune.  The treasure in our hearts.

“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.
David Ogden Stiers

Aug 04

The Sequence

The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order.–Eudora Welty

I truly believe that we will experience no coincidence today. All the situations that transpire… and all the things that happen… in any given moment….  have their place in time.

Each thing has a function in the instance it unfolds.

We react to one another the way we do… because of our place on the timeline of… and in… the universe.    It is where “others are” at that moment… and where “we are” in that moment.  And then… we simply….  intersect.

Every experience in our past has influenced us… to bring us to this single moment.  Same for you, me, and the Tooth Fairy.

All of it… every little  bit  … all the whirls-and-swirls-about-us….  have an impact on our current perception of life.

Finding clarity in each of these circumstances is sometimes difficult.  Finding a healthy perspective is often a challenge…

Yet we try.  And we must.

This is no joke…  (and no pun intended)…. Today, a clown on a golf cart pulled up next to me and asked me if I needed a lift.  I said “Yes, I need a lift.”  And he replied, “Hop on and I can give you a ride.”

I shook my head and said… “I don’t need a ride anywhere.  I just need a lift.”  He scrunched up his little red nose, shrugged his shoulders… and drove away.

A clown on a cart.  It was the funniest thing.  I guess I got my lift after all.

“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself” – Andy Warhol

Aug 03

Heady.

There are things on this big, enormous, ball of dirt, that simply amaze me.  The big ball itself is incredible.  How it spins around the sun…. exactly on time every day.  Yessssirrreeee.  You can most certainly count on sun up and sun down… once a day.  Neato.  It rotates too, this planet of ours.

Sometimes I lose my balance.  And… I run in to things.   I think it is because I get out of sync with how this contraption is spinning.

But put all that aside.  What I want to talk about are some of the crazy and mysterious things that happen on the earth.  The list is a mile long.  And I yearn… to be wise of these mysteries.  Oh to be wise.

One that has long interested me is Easter Island.   Why do they call it Easter Island?  I will explain that in just a little minute.

So here is the main thing.  Maybe I am the last person on earth to know this… but the Moai “Heads”… the big heads that sit all over the place on that island…. well….. THEY HAVE BODIES.  Holy crap.  I didn’t know this until a few weeks ago.

Okay.  Some of the statues are set deep into the ground… and the bodies are buried underneath the surface.  The heads on the statues are disproportionately large.  So I always thought they were merely…. BIG HEADS.  But Hey.  They have bodies.

A bunch of the dudes don’t have legs.  Some are kneeling.  And, the other deal is… they have extensive petrogylyphs (carvings.) on them.  Rock Art.  Beneath the ground, these markings have been preserved quite well.  I don’t know exactly what they mean… but I bet you….  they mean SOMETHING.

There is much speculation about this.    Some of the rock art appears to refer to status; some to clan identification;  some marked the location of special rites and ceremonies; and on.  Or so the theories go.

But one thing runs consistent.  It is The Birdman.  You got it.  The Birdman.  This image best represents Easter Island.   It is sort of this motif with a huge eye and bird beak combined with a crouching human figure in profile.  They are everywhere. Like…. 1,274 documented petroglyphs…. and nearly all of them are The Birdman Motif.

So now I need to know who The Birdman is.  How the big heads… with their big bodies… got on Easter Island… and all of that jazz.  I mean… what the heck?

Here is what I DO know…. now.  Easter Island is called just that because of The Birdman.  Birds have Eggs.  Eggs have Easter.  And now Easter…. has an island.

Next Mystery:  Which came first?  The egg… or the Birdman?

Alas…  I…. am none the wiser.

“How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will” – Albert Einstein

Aug 02

Flying Cows and Fortune Cookies

This was a great learning day today.  I love to discover new things…  or in some cases, “knew things”… it depends.  Oh…. I am still filled with a great deal of angst.   But a little bit of optimism squeezed its way in. So today, I learned.

The first one, I already knew, but I reminded of it again and again…. ALL day long.

I have some pretty amazing, and extremely wise friends.  Yes, I received a lot of little messages and emails from people today.  Thank you for each, and every one.  My heart was touched time and again.

I also learned that the Universe …. or God.. or the Higher Power sends us messages (it makes no difference what you call your Spiritual Guidance (if you have one) … but I think we are capable of finding awareness through our Spiritual connections).

So. Tonight, I had dinner with a good friend.  We ate at a Chinese Restaurant.  It was a great sharing experience, a terrific meal and conversation.  And at the close of things, we received our Fortune Cookies.  I let him pick first.  Then I opened mine.  The message: “The person who will not stand for something, will fall for anything.”

Yup. Yep. And Uh-Huh.  Okay.  Got it.  Loud and Clear.  I’ve been Noggin-Knocked.  I can hear you now.

So tonight, I shall share some of the other things I learned today.  Not nearly as profound as my head-butt. Yet, pretty snappy, none-the-less.

The first cow to ride in an airplane was a gal from Elm Farm.  Her name was the same as my dogs. Ollie.  All of this happened in 1930. Milk she gave in-flight was sealed in containers and parachuted down over St. Louis.  I don’t know why they drop shipped the dairy products.  But.. I think this may have been the first milkshake.

Speaking of things dairy.  Who doesn’t love Ben & Jerry’s?  But here is the deal.  (I bet after reading this… I have a lot of friends who wouldn’t mind being pigs tonight.)  The waste from the Ben & Jerry’s factory is given to farmers to feed their hogs. The hogs apparently love Cherry Garcia but dislike Mint Oreo.  There is no word on Chubby Hubby, or Mud Pie.

Did you know Ben & Jerry’s is Headquartered in Vermont?  Did you also know that women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth… in the state of Vermont.  “Honey… can I put my Chompers in now?”  (Don’t even go there.)

Here is a thing to behold. Slow and steady wins the race… the sleepy-time race.    Snails can sleeps for three years.  Dream on.

And finally… yet, not least by any means…..

The Barcolo Manufacturing Company of Buffalo, New York, started the American tradition of the office “coffee break.” In 1902 they offered free coffee to their employees in order to boost morale.  (They made a diverse range of things… mattresses and box springs to summer lawn furniture, to a complete line of drop forged hand tools and special parts.)   I don’t think they make anything now.

But I am glad they made the coffee break.

So… now that this little coffee break is coming to a close…..   here is the long and short of it.

When you think all is lost… remember… stranger things have happened.

Cows fly.  Pigs eat ice cream.  And.  Nobody dreams like a snail.

 

Aug 01

Oh happy day. Or not.

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

Or.. has it has grown in recent popularity…

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

And I say to that… what a bunch of bunk. (Okay… it could be true for you.  But not so much… for a bunch of different people I’ve seen… in a lot of different circumstances.)

The guy who first made this observation from Friedrich Nietzsche. He had all sorts of catchy quotes during his lifetime.  Most of which, were a little on the dark side.

But this one… well… not a very good or true statement, in my opinion.

Take Nietzsche himself.  The guy contracted syphilis, and it made him completely and utterly mad.  Yep.  He spent the last 11 years of is life… totally out of mental commission.  The syphilis never killed him.  But it left him pretty much incapacitated.   He suffered a collapse as a result of it, and a complete loss of his mental faculties.  His Mom and Sister had to care for him.

Finally, he died from unrelated causes.  Strokes.  So, as you can see, the syphilis neither killed him… nor did it make him stronger.

Yep.  Have you noticed?  I’m in a bit of a dour mood tonight.

I have been thinking about the facts of life today.  And one of those facts is… sometimes in our lives… there are losing battles.  Plain and simple.

No way around it.

I’m tired of a big losing battle in society right now.  That’s all I will say about that.  I promised not to speak of politics or religion here.

Nice weather we are having, eh?

 

…. insert awkward silence here ….. ……..

But back to Nietzsche and losing battles.

I am not so sure how to react, or what to do, when I feel the battle is lost.

Wave the white flag? Pack my bags?  Give up the fight?  Throw in the towel?  Fold up the tent?

I don’t know.  It doesn’t feel right to me to turn away from what which I know is true… or the things I truly believe in.  On the other hand, I  can see so much resistance, from people who obviously believe in completely different things.

Somebody once told me to “Stomp, Scram, Spit, Cry. Just don’t go numb again.”  Yeah, well…. I’m just not sure The Stomp & Scram is the way to go either.

I also grew up with the axiom… “Quitters never win.  And winners never quit.”

Again, I am not so sure winning is all that it is cracked up to be.

“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” – Vince Lombardi

“Let’s face it.  We’re screwed.” – Spunky McIllwain

“Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

 

Jul 31

Oh Brother…

Today my brother sent me a birthday card.  Now… before you all start wishing me a Happy Birthday… plain and simple… it is not my birthday.

Which brings me to this.  I love my brother.  Actually, I love both my brothers.  Each of them are such incredibly great men.  One may be reading this today … he pops in from time to time.  The other brother will never see it.  He never drops in for a read.

But here is the deal.  My two brothers are wonderful guys.  I could make a list a mile long about their qualities.  They are infinitely kind, caring, loving.  Both are smart, creative, innovative, imaginative, sharp-witted, and determined.  They are altruistic and compassionate.  Strong.

Yet, each of them possesses these characteristics in very unique and different ways.  Those two display the same qualities in life…in completely contrasting manners.    So much alike, and at the same time… they are like night and day.

But… tonight I started to mention what Ed did…. that crazy guy.

He is the oldest boy in our family. Dashing. A winning smile. Elegant. Funny.

And today he sent me a birthday card.

Simply put… it is just how he is.  He was probably out at a store… saw this… and it reminded him of me.  So he bought it, and sent it to me… just to say he was sending thoughts my way.  And to say….. Happy Birthday.. even though it isn’t.

I love this.  It brightened my day to no end.

(Tonight… for Project 188… I literally was going to post a photo and just write underneath… “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,”  Seriously.  That was it.  That was all I really felt like doing.)

Then I checked the mail… and there was the card from Eddie.  I smiled from the inside out.

So that brings me to the next idea.

I think the age of the Greeting Card is coming to an end.  It will fall to the wayside.  Just as all written word… which is printed in paper form (books, newspapers, programs, pamphlets) … will drift away.

Call me sentimental.  But.  I don’t want those things to go away.  I just don’t.

So I am starting a Campaign.  Now… I don’t think we can save all the printed word.  But I think we should try to keep the Greeting Card around.  I have been inspire-ED by my brother.

And what better way to do this… then send people random Greeting Cards… on their un-birthdays, their un-anniversaries, their un-graduations…. and un-such.

Not On-line Greeting Cards.  Those are one of my biggest pet peeves.  Blue Mountain.. all the Flash-Generated Online Greeting Cards.   Those sites are just ways to Phish for your email addresses.  Then the junk email begins. So please… leave me off your electronic greeting card list.

No.  I am talking about REAL CARDS.  The kind in an envelope.. with a stamp.  Those which are delivered by a the Postman.

If someone is not expecting a baby… send them a Congratulations on your new edition card.  Send an I’m sorry card for no reason (there is probably a reason you don’t even know about).  Yep… buy a Good Luck with your Promotion card… for the un-promoted.

However… I think Sympathy and Get Well cards should be saved for the real occasions.  No foreshadowing in those areas.  I don’t think it is a good idea.

I think we should call them Edgy Greets.  You know.  Edgy… like….  cutting-edge, on the fringe, avant-garde, innovative, original… and Greets…. the noun-ish form of greeting… haaaalllllooooo… that sort of thing.  Edgy Greets.

So. C’mon people now.  Smile on your brother.  Everybody get together.  Try and love on another.  Right now.

Right now.

 

There is no friend like an old friend who has shared our morning days, no greeting like his welcome, no homage like his praise. – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I squirrel away sealed greeting cards that people give me so I can open them later when I’m having a bad day. – Emily Proctor

 

Jul 30

Keep your eye on the pie.

Pi is….    the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.  It is the relationship to the “way all around the circle”  to the “way straight across.”  Yep.  A lot of times in this universe… in this life… there are two distinct and individual paths.

Which made me think about this.  When you are out in public, you notice A LOT of different paths.

You see.   Being by yourself, in your own little place in your own little time… there is you, and you.  Or in my case… me and me.

But, when you are out in public… you see SO many differnt you and  you’s… and me and me’s.  And this, my friends, is where it can get interesting.

Yep.  When events like the Fair roll around, I get out in the general population a bit more.  I begin to notice things. Intrigue and mystery.  I experience more notions, ideas, and observations than I normally would.

Today I volunteered at the Historical Society’s Booth.  It is located in the same building where people bring their homegrown vegetables, hay, baked goods, and such… for competition and judging.

So what do I see?  Okay.   The big thing I noticed is that no one steals the cookies.

Ever.

Or the brownies.  Not even the pies.

Now if I ate sweets, and I was meandering through a barn at the Fair.. such as the one I was in…. I’d be VERY tempted to sample a cookie or two.  There are SO many.  And they smell SO good.  Who would ever notice?

But the deal is…. I wouldn’t go for just any…. I’d have to sneak a bit of the Grand Champion delectable.   Or at least a few Blue Ribbon Winners.   Heck yeah.  But that’s me.

During the entire time I was there, I did not see ONE person take a cookie.  Not even a crumb.

The Honor System.  It was alive and well… and living in the Brownie Barn.  Truly amazing.  I think….  in the core of most people …. exists a good and honest vein.  A stratum of merit and integrity in each of us.  The you’s and you’s.  And probably….  the me’s and me’s.

And that’s what I like about us.  The side of folks that do the right thing.  The next right thing.  The part of people who make their way along the good path.

Okay.  So I hope I wouldn’t really take the cookie.  I should expect that I’m better than that.  I hope I possess that ethical strand, that moral fiber.  I am pretty sure it is sewn into the cloth of my character.

But….  then again…. there is that Homemade Apple Pie……

“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” – Dr. Carl Sagan