Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday January 30, 2006 Decisions

For years I've told my girls that throughout life you will make many decisions. Sometimes your decision will take you away from the path you thought you wanted to follow, but here you are. You might think of each decision an a “Y” in the road. You can go this way or you can to that way. Only time will tell if you made the wisest decision. You can never go back and change that decision, you can only go forward from this moment in time deciding where you go from here. Life has a way of leading you inadvertantly to where you are – not at all where you thought you would be.

The important thing to remember is you do have control from this point forward – no use having the “poor me” attitude about spilt milk. If you carefully weigh the major decisions in your life, you will have few “if onlys” to look back upon. Keep a positive attitude and know that whatever trials and travails you have faced so far in life, they have made you the person you are today and perhaps given you the wisdom to avoid future problems.

There are no wrong decisions, there are just decisions with consequences you must live with. Life will take you on interesting paths and you need to enjoy the trip – wherever you go. In the long run, the wisest and the dumbest, the richest and the poorest, the lucky and the unlucky end up in the same place – just a memory. The important thing is that you took the time to enjoy what you had.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Saturday January 28, 2006 Desiderata

It's time to again look at the words and meaning in the Desiderata. It always brings me much peace.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms will all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And, whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Thursday January 26, 2006 BOB

BOB is such a perfect word.
There are no wasted letters – no frills – ya get what ya see. It's the same backwards and forwards. It can only sound like it sounds (oh, I suppose some might try to sound it like BOHB, but they would be stretching out a perfectly formed word). Even if you sound it wrong, there is no denying what you are saying. See how it trips out of your mouth so quickly and cleanly – no fumbling with the tongue or pursing the lips. It's got such a great sound. It is distinct and can't be confused with any other sound – it is “bob” - the perfect word.

Unlike GEORGE with all the unsounded letters and twisting of the lips and grimacing. Why haven't we ever had a president with the name of Bob? Now there's a name you can trust.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wednesday January 25, 2006 Superfluousity

My sister's name is Carole.

I got to thinking about that. The "e" at the end is what they call superfluous. Her middle name is Anne. Guess what?

I got to thinking about the word superfluous. If a letter or word is superfluous does that mean another letter or word is fluous? I looked up fluous – no such name. If you can't have fluous, why can you have superfluous? Maybe there should be underfluous – no such luck.

I sure would like to talk to the man who invented our language. Nobody takes credit for inventing it. Maybe someone should copyright the english language and straighten it out.

You could make a lot of money that way, charging each person for each word. You would need to hire the government to help spy on people to make sure of their word usage. I think they already have the apparatus in place. If you didn't have the money, you couldn't write or speak english. Of course, you might want to rename it – maybe Robert. That's it, you could all talk Robert.

It would be a lot better than speaking Carole, with a superfluous letter.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Thursday January 19, 2006 A matter of perspective

It's all a matter of perspective.

I just happen to be further up the road than most of you and I'm looking back down the road while you are looking up the road. I know many of the potholes, curves, detours and straightaways that you have yet to face and although the road is constantly changing, I would love to warn you of impending difficulties. I know that until you drive over the road yourself you can't truly appreciate some of the beauty and some of the horrors that you will witness, but if you will just take note of some of the warnings I will try to post for some of the more dangerous parts of the journey, you will have a safer trip.

The journey is what it's all about. You must enjoy the scenery you are passing through or you will miss the point of the journey. If you keep your eyes focused only on the road ahead, you will reach your ultimate destination, but you won't have enjoyed the trip at all.

When you approach the end of your trip, you can look back over your journey and see so well where you might have taken a needless side trip or avoided one of the hazards. There is no going back, there is just going forward, but, with a little advice, you can help others on their journey to enjoy and appreciate what they are about to encounter.

I've had a great trip so far and I'm eager to face the next leg of my journey. There is so much to learn and so much to see and so many to share with. Life is good.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wednesday January 18, 2006 Who I am and where I am

Who I am and where I am.

Now that I'm retired, I have a lot of time on my hands. Being a divorced single means that I have noone to argue with but myself and I always win those arguments. Actually, I've found that most of the time I completely agree with myself. It's very difficult always being right. With nobody else to discuss and debate with, you spend a lot of time in introspection. You get to know yourself pretty well, but it's hard to be critical and it's very difficult to find the flaws in your character that someone else could easily point out.

You have no bosses to tell you what to do and when to do it. You have noone else to command your time and energy. There are few distractions that are not of your own making. Life can be very agreeable, but a bit bland at times. The world is your oyster, but predictable.

The dreams that I remember are often of former friends and places and work. I seem to be creating a dreamworld with adventures real or imagined and problems to solve. They are much like mystery novels, half familiar and half fiction.

Over the years, I have had great adventures and I'm very glad I had those experiences while I was physically able to have them. Youth had it's advantages and memory is a great way to relive those days. I enjoy the simpler pleasures now, but I do enjoy looking back over the photographs in my mind. As you age, you become more comfortable with yourself and you learn your limitations. You accept yourself and you gain patience and acceptance of where you are in life.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Monday January 16, 2006 Words

Play on words.
Play with words.
One word leads to another and our amazing mind wanders (wonders) through a maze.

Obtuse, obscure, observe, obverse, adverse, advertise, seek, sneak, snuck, snooze

fascinating, facilitating, facility, faculty, faculties, tease, trees, sneeze, snooze
vacillating, vacuum, cumulating, cumulus, stratus, status

Your mind can wander aimlessly connecting the dots.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tuesday January 10, 2006 Not always for the best

The world is ever changing.

The world now is not what I remember of it as a child. The world my father knew when he was young is long gone. I suppose that this is the way it has always been. We adapt our surroundings to us rather than adapting to our surroundings. If a hill is in the way, we cut it down or move it. We fill the valleys and dam the rivers. We cut down the forests and farm the plains. We destroy farmland and build shopping centers. We sprawl. We fence. We reshape. We drive around in our climate controlled cars from our climate controlled homes to our climate controlled offices, never taking the time to notice the disappearing landscape about us.

My grandfather came at a time before automobiles. They walked, rode horses or took trains to get places. My father came at a time before interstates and jet travel. They had one car per family and pretty much stayed in their neighborhoods. I came at a time when kids could play in the streets because there wasn't much traffic. When snow came, the city would barricade the hills and kids would sled.

Later, when I pursued a career, I helped remold the world around us. I worked in the structural steel business and we helped cover the fields with buildings. Unfortunately, many buildings aren't built to last forever and many of the first buildings I helped build were later replaced with newer and "better" buildings. Our monuments are only temporary and hold little value in the long run.

It's nice to know that the mountains are still there and that the eagles still soar over forests of green. It isn't something you can see here in the city. Maybe that's why we keep ripping up the farmland, trying to get out to the edge of the city where there is still some natural beauty.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Friday January 6, MMVI Sorting it all out

Day and night, thoughts race through my mind.

At night I dream strange concoctions of former friends in unfamiliar places with current problems. I don't remember my dreams, but I know that they are always there. Sometimes when I wake up at night, I remain immersed in my dream of the moment and know that it will continue so long as I don't completely wake up. The next morning, I'm lucky to remember that I was dreaming at all.

Throughout the day, my mind wanders with no direction from this memory to that person to this object to that situation to this image or that song. My mind seems to be sorting out all the data that has collected in my brain over all the years and is trying to make sense of it all. Mostly, life just happens. You have certain long term plans and certain short term activities, but life happens from moment to moment with little guidance other than a general direction you decide to go in. Structure breaks down when you least expect it and life seems to flow by while you watch. I've collected many images and memories and many plans over all the years. My brain has much to sort out.

I don't expect any startling revelations if and when my brain ever completes it's task. I just hope that I'm left with pleasant memories to think about and happy songs to hum.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wednesday January 4, 2006 A different year?

It's another new year.

I've been through a few of these. You always hope for the best, but often you just get another mediocre year much like the last one. The world will focus on the new tragedies and the new wars and the new catastrophes while overlooking the starving and helpless people and situations that occur. We just don't seem to learn from our past mistakes. We spend so much of our present and future building armies and navies and missiles and fighter planes and bombs and bullets and so little on helping ourselves to a healthier, happier future. We have done it over and over and over for centuries and centuries. We talk peace and brotherhood while threatening each other with bigger and bigger clubs. I doubt that there has been a year in our history where some country on this earth was not at war with another.

Maybe this year will be different.