Monday, October 23, 2006

The Simple Pleasures of Life

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Last night I slept in my new bed and it was wonderful...just wonderful...Oh, the simple pleasures of life. For the past three and a half months I have either slept on the ground or in the same twin bed I slept in as a child. Last night I went to bed early, lit a few candles, and put on some Michael Jones piano music and drifted off to sleep. Living in an affluent country like the U.S. we often take for granted the numerous luxuries at our disposal and don't even notice we have such luxuries until they are gone or absent from our lives for an extended period of time. For the past couple of years I have been living a rather Spartan existence, by choice, but have recently decided it is time to upgrade my living, I went out and bought a new bed and some other bedroom furniture in anticipation for the day I move out of my mom's house. It's been fun but exhausting as I have mentioned elsewhere but I am currently satisfied with my recent purchases and look forward to many comfortable nights sleeping in my new bed. I splurged on a few items including a 500 thread count Pima cotton sheet set I purchased from Costco. I never realized a set of sheets could feel so heavenly. If you don't know what Pima cotton feels like, and I didn't before my recent purchase, it feels kind of like soft satin, but not quite as slippery, with the feel of the softest cotton this side of heaven. I won't bore you with all the other stuff I purchased over the past couple of weeks but will only add that I am very satisfied with my bedroom situation for the first time in many, many years. Not only is my new bedroom furniture comfortable but it is very pleasing to the eye which is important to me. I figure since I intend to spend a significant amount of my time in my bedroom in the years to come I might as well surround myself with furniture that reminds me that there is beauty in this world even though I am constantly reminded of the dark side of life. I love nature because it touches my soul so I figure it was time to bring a little of the beauty into my living environment to remind me of the beautiful side of life....

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Doctor Bill Show

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It was bound to happen. My back went big surprise...I have been overdoing it, movng this and that, and I know better, but for some reason, dumb one, I think it won't happen this time. When will I ever learn to listen to the little small voice that warns me to stop or slow down...Probably never...I don't think this recent, back going out episode, is serious, but I need to take a couple of days off and act with precaution before I do further damage which might create sigificant pain and loss of work and the abandonment of my workout rountine which I have worked hard to maintain for three months running now. I stand on concrete at work which makes it difficult to recover from back spasms and pain. I haven't had a do nothing day for quite some time now so I think I'll take tomorrow and Monday off. Earlier today I tried to work the pain out by going bike riding but that only made the problem worse. Back pain, is tricky, because if you try to recover simply by sitting in a chair, which seems logical, generally the problem gets worse. I have found that stretching exercises, and walking as much as you can is the best recovery recipe. But whatever you do, don't lift anything and don't sit in one position in a chair for too long. Get up, move around, and do whatever you can and then sit back down again. I learned all of this when I broke my back while mountain bike riding in 1998. Back pain is very difficult to handle because it effects everything you do and the pain can get so severe that you think you are not going to recover anytime soon...but...generally the pain, significantly gets better in a couple of days but if it doesn't get better in four or five days or it gets alot worse you may want to see a doctor and make sure you haven't injured or ruptured a disc......For longterm relief....walking and riding a bike is the best remedy...the body loves motion...and although I have broke my back, torn the cartiledge in my right knee and torn the ligaments in my left knee, I get around pretty for a guy quickly approaching 50 years old...and....I owe it all to keeping active about four to five days a week, year round....Well, that's it for this episode of the doctor Bill show...until next week....keep those legs a moving...and don't spend too much time on the couch watching the tube.....

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Abandon Ship?

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After checking my blog today I noticed I haven't posted anything for a week and a half now...I've not abandoned the blog ship yet, but I've been "very" busy perparing myself to move. I don't have any bedroom furniture so I have been running here and there for the past ten days looking at beds, dressers, quilts, sheets, blankets, and all the other things one needs to live. It's been fun but very time consuming and exhausting to tell you the truth. Not sure exactly when I am going to move since my two sons need to work through and decide if they want to come and live with me. Whether they come and live with me will decide where I move. If they want to live with me I will probably move near the school where they go so they can walk to school. If not, I'll probably look for a house in the older part of the city where the trees are large and the neighborhoods are quiet. That's my personal preference. In the meantime, I am going to continue to shop until I either drop or complete the task of making a home for myself and my sons to make a go of it in the suburbs of Bakersfield. No matter how the chips fall it will be nice to move out of my mom's house where I have been holding up for the past four and a half years. I grew up in this house and I have many fond memories but it is time I strike out on my own. I know I'll feel a lot better when I do...hopefully sooner than later, but my current situation demands alot of patience and patient I will be......

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Friends of Peace

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And to finish off the peace trilogy....Here are 20 friends of peace.

1. Martin Luther King

2. Gandhi

3. Any world leader who is always cautious to use force and never when one is not provoked.

4. Meditation

5. Prayer

6. The music of Michael Jones

7. The music of the Cambridge Singers

8. Forgiveness

9. A good therapist

10. Friends who unconditionally love you.

11. The ocean

12. A gentle breeze on an autumn or spring day.

13. Photo Albums

14. A hug

15. A phone call from a friend

16. The peace movement

17. Dali Lama

18. Jesus

19. An infant who is sleeping in their crib

20. Patience and perservance when one is provoked

Enemies of my Peace

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This is a follow up this to my last blog entry. Here is a list of 20 things that stunt my peace experience.

1. Listening to talk radio.

2. Listening to the President of the U.S.

3. Listening to the Vice President of the U.S.

4. Listening to and accepting the false guilt and shame of others.

4. Travelling to L.A.

5. Allowing the negative self talk tape recorder in my head to stay on too long.

6. Trying to do too much in a given day or moment...

7. Doing too much of a good thing.

8. Giving unsolicited advise.

9. Thinking too much.

10. Thinking too little.

11. Not paying enough attention to my intuition.

12. Seeking approval from those who don't know me, or don't care.

13. Eating too much sweets.

14. Enabling others.

15. Visiting Las Vegas...once is enough...

16. Watching Bill O'Reilly

17. Not taking a stand out of fear.

18. Assuming the worst before I know the facts.

19. Allowing others to define me.

20. Listening to my sons music in the car.

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I woke up this morning, early, as usual, and all was calm. No dogs barking, no sound of traffic, and I wasn't pressed for time to go anywhere or do anything. So, I just stayed in bed and listened to the quiet sound of the birds chirping outside and the computer humm. I need and desire more does the world around me. These are not peaceful times and what individual peace we may experience is often fleeting. We need to make peace a priority as individuals and as nations and communities. When was the last time a politician, pastor, or any other community leader made peace a priority?....Politicians may speak of peace from time to time but then they resort to force, violence, or war to achieve their goal which almost always creates more chaos, instability, anger, and hatred which are antithetical to peace....So where does that leave us?.....I can't control what politicians do but there are many things we can personally do to bring peace to our individual lives and communities.

1. Make peace a priority in your life. Slow down, for starters. Do whatever you need to do to remove yourself from the rat race that we all find ourselves in way too often.

2. Try to live in harmony with those you live, work, or spend time with. Don't manipulate, belittle, condescend, neglect, or snubb, those who you love or spend a great deal of time with. This can be challenging because some people may feel hurt or rejected no matter what you do. Go the extra mile. Listen to others without waiting for a rebuttal. Ask questions of clarification, if needed, and don't return fighting words back. Violence, hurtful words, and violent actions always begets more violence. Get help if you are in a relationship that is falling apart before the hurt and pain turn you against each other.

3. Support those who also are committed to peace. Vote for candidates who are looking for ways to solve the worlds problems without threatening or using confrontational measures to solve the worlds problems. Warmonging, nationally or individually, may bring initial stability, but most often creates such anger and hostility in the other that resistence or open warfare will generally follow. "He who lives by the sword will die by the sword"....

4. And, finally. Do whatever you need to do on a regular basis to bring peace in your life. Meditate, pray, spend time with people who bring peace to your life, go for a walk, listen to peaceful music, relax, take a vacation to a peaceful place each year, work on your relationship with those you live with, and love your enemies.......

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Leaving the Shire

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I am currently at a crossroads in my life on several critical fronts and over the past forty eight hours things have become much clearer and I have decided it’s time for change…big changes…..I can’t go into explicit details about some of the changes because of privacy issues but I have decided that I am going to move, sometime in the next two to four weeks…..and…I have also decided that it is time to begin changing and exploring the social network front. Change is often bittersweet because it is always difficult to leave that which is familiar and comforting to us, but, it can also be a time for growth and opportunities for new experiences. For the past four years I have beem living with either my elderly mother or my aunt and uncle but I have now decided it is time to fly the coup and make a go of it on my own. It's a bit scary leaving the house I grew up in and living alone for the first time in my life but I am also very excited about the freedom and new opportunities to pursue some of my own hopes, dreams, and personal preferences. I look forward to what lies ahead......On the social network front....I also look forward to exploring and hopefully getting involved on a community level in some way. I have a great passion for being involved in some kind of religious community, various environmental causes/projects and working, interacting, and engaging other men in their day to day lives.....and most importantly, I hope to begin spending more time with my two sons as they grow into grown men.......I don't know where the path I have chosen will eventually lead but that is what is interesting about life, it's an adventure. Adventures seldom turn out the way we expect and there are plenty of ups and downs but hopefully we all will also be able to experience the joys of living and interacting with others.....So, it's now time to say farewell to the comforts of the Shire and embrace the opportunities that lay ahead beyond the land where hobbits dwell...P.S.....I just hope I don't stumble into Mordor along the way. I don't much care for those nasty orcs.....

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Week-end Camp-out

Fall has the Sierras...Bakersfield won't experience fall until November. The trees in the Sierra's are beginning to turn bright gold as some of the pictures show and in the next couple of weeks they will turn bright red and orange. The first winter storm hit the high country over the week-end and I got caught in the middle of the storm. I was camped around 8,000 feet and didn't experience the winter wrath of mother nature but I did get wet as the rain fell throughout the night and the high Sierra peaks above 10,000 got a dusting of snow. I didn't mind the rain because I was well protected by my equipment and it was actually quite nice since I haven't seen any kind of rain since last April. The trip was a bit rushed as I tried to cover as much ground as possible taking pictures of the numerous canyons that are scattered throughout the Sierra range. I didn't get as many good pictures as I had hoped and the weather didn't cooperate with my plan to hit some of the hot spots in the Northern half of the Sierra's....All in all it was a good trip even if it was rushed. I got out and did some hiking and mountain bike riding and getting away from civilization is always good for the soul.

Fall in the Sierra

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