Wow! On The Flying Of Time

Hadn’t realized just how long it has been since I managed to post something here….thought I’d missed a few days, and it has been a lot longer than that!   Have been re-engaging with the physical world – I’ve noticed that a lot of the folks I follow have been a little slower to the keyboard lately, which I hope means they’ve been having some interesting adventures of their own.

But we are back at it now.  I think it’s time for a re-design of the place, I’d like to add more photos now that I’ve finally managed to get somewhat of a handle on dealing with the camera I bought a few months back.  Winter in Minnesota is not exactly an environment that makes you feel like going out and snapping pics of your local surroundings.  But now that it’s summer it is a lot more fun to get out and about, and well, sometimes it’s tough to get back inside.

Like most of my housekeeping-type projects, the thinking about and dreading phase usually outweighs the actual effort expended by about 5 to 1.  Once I do something I wonder what the hell the fuss was about.

Since I only have a handful of subscribers you know you’re all precious to me!  So thanks for hanging in there and I will be back at ya, starting now!



Livin’ Life The Warehouse Way!

I don’t know about you, but I love shopping at the local Costco store….you might have your own favorite warehouse emporium too.  I think I’ve developed a new philosophy of life based on shopping warehouse-store style…..

Say you are having a few friends over for a friendly grill-out/BBQ type party.  Where else are you gonna go to get some hot dogs and hamburgers for the feast?  So you hop on over to the local warehouse store, grab your over-sized cart, and away you go!

On your way over to the meat department, you see they have cool Tommy Bahama shirts 10 bucks cheaper than you can get them anywhere else.  You’re gonna look pretty good in one of those at the grill!  In the cart it goes.

You pick up the hotdogs and hamburgers (with a few extra for good measure).  After all, don’t wanna run out.  By the hot dogs a food sampler gave you a taste of some new relish, so now you’ve got a 2 pound jar of that too.  Mere steps away they are practically giving away watermelons so you grab one.

Starting to head toward the checkout, you come across Seafood Extravaganza!  Look at the price on those scallops!  You don’t know how to cook a scallop, but you can’t let a deal like this go…maybe you can put some relish on ’em.  Continuing on past the liquor department, you remember your friends are some thirsty folks, so you’d better pick up some 1.75 liter screw top booze and a case of beer.  After all, don’t wanna run out.

Man, the deals!  You start thinking about one special guest at the party…hmmm…wonder is this is the night?  Better grab that 24-pack of men’s briefs – don’t want to get caught with your old dingy skivvies if the magic happens.  Can always use some new shorts…after all, don’t wanna run out.

You hit the checkout on what was to be a quick $30 trip to the store, and the total comes to $248.78.  But that’s OK – you needed all this.  Don’t wanna run out.

After you check out, it’s too bad you have to get those fresh scallops home before they go bad, because the Optical Department has a 2fer deal on some sunglasses that look like they were designed to go with that Tommy Bahama shirt!  No time for an eye exam, though.

So you head home with your loot.  You feel great.  Your need for both security and indulgence has been met, in a utilitarian/peasant sort of way.  After all, you aren’t buying yachts and vacation homes here – just everyday stuff you need.  You don’t wanna run out.

You have enough relish to pass on to your heirs, and after they bury you they’ll still find 6 pairs of underwear you never even got around to wearing.

Maybe this is the approach we should take to life.  It’s great to have your initial reason for the trip, but be open to all the great deals out there that are waiting to be discovered.  Fill your Cart Of Life Experience with all the things you can.

Especially since, unlike a regular shopping trip, in our life we only get to enter Life’s Great Warehouse once.  No repeat trips if you’ve forgotten something.  When they hand you your receipt at the end, that’s it.  Unlike the earthly store, there aren’t any returns or exchanges at the Final Retailer.

So when you push your cart into the Great Parking Lot In The Sky, make sure it is heaping with all you ever wanted.  After all, don’t wanna run out……

What Is “It”

Not long ago a lady from a neighboring town died while attending a “sweat lodge” event put on by a self help guru.  You can read more about it here, if you want.   Aside from the obvious tragedy for those who perished and their families, it makes you think about just what people are seeking in this and other pursuits.

What are we looking for?  How will we know when we find it?  Why is it so difficult to come by, especially if it supposedly exists “inside” our very being?  If we find it, how do we hang onto it every day of our lives?

People have tried churches, cults, money, drugs, diets and countless other things and all have been found wanting.  Yet so many continue to seek that it makes you wonder if the goal – the “it” we are looking for – even exists.

According to what the various paths promise us, there seem to be two components to the “it” that so many seek to find.

1.  There should be an instantaneous flash of “enlightenment”, or “salvation”, or whatever the particular “a-ha!” moment is called.  We want to be boosted immediately to some higher dimension in which to operate, forever changed.

2.  Once we reach this enhanced state, all the minor irritants of our day-to-day life drop away.  The rough edges of our personalities are worn smooth and charming.  We glide through life in an altered state because now we are in the “know” of The Thing That Makes It All Work.  As such, we are envied by lesser beings that haven’t gotten their quantum charge yet.

If you examine those two premises, I think you’ll see the answer as to why so many never find it.  Life can turn on a dime, but it usually doesn’t for most people.  And when it does, it means that there’s usually been some internal rearranging happening over time operating behind the scenes, so the “turn” isn’t as dramatic for the person involved.

And life is lived day to day.  All those minor irritants that we don’t want to deal with still happen.  I’d guess the Dalai Lama’s limo still gets a flat tire from time to time.  Nobody is immune to the ups and downs of life, because that IS life.

We can’t hide the parts we don’t want to deal with.  And we aren’t suddenly going to be boosted to some higher mental plane.  So in that case I think that “It” is what man has universally sought for thousands of years – the Easy Way Out.

And that has always been elusive.  But if you find it, let me know – I’ve been looking for it for a long time……

Celebrating Our Freedom From Common Sense and Decency

It’s the 4th of July weekend, and here in Minnesota we’ve decided to celebrate by declaring our independence from any sort of state government.  The State of MN is in a government shutdown, so state parks, waysides, and any other state entities are closed for the duration.  State employees get a long vacation – so long nobody knows when it will end.

All political posturing aside, this is what happens when the “compromise is weakness” and “what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is negotiable” attitude creep into the statehouse.  The legislature tells us what a crisis this is, but not so much of a big deal that they would stay over the weekend and work things out.  Most have retired to their country estates.  Just like the CEO’s who lay people off while they exercise their stock options and pad their pockets with the resulting bump.

Judging by American’s waistlines, it’s not a leaner world, but it sure as hell is a meaner one.

Things Used To Be Beautiful….

Just thought I’d bring back some of the past with this post about the “lost art of cartography”.   Most people will remember the fun little novelty maps that various tourist traps destinations use to have.   Here’s a link to an artist that is bringing  back hand-drawn maps.

Thought it was appropriate for the holiday weekend with so many people hitting the road.  Well, those that can afford to still hit the road with gas prices, anyway.  The interesting thing about some of these old maps is that they convey information much more quickly than representing things in the ultra-detailed way we are used to.  It allows you to lock the important parts in memory and add the details as you encounter them.

And besides, even with something this utilitarian, doesn’t hand-drawn stuff look neat?  There’s an energy to it you just don’t feel with the computer-generated graphics we see every day.