Friday, May 31, 2013


This is the topic brought to us from sometime in the past by Grannymar.  Oh, that's rich with irony!  Just as I started considering the topic, I ran across the eventual rebirth of GM's first response to the idea of the Loose Blogger Consortium as it resurfaced on Facebook.  It was yours truly who originally had the brainstorm and Ramana has rightly said that only three of us originals still contribute on a regular basis.  Of course, now you know who the three are.

So, GM suggests "Tomorrow" as a topic from sometime yesterday and I get ready to deal with the inspiration from yesterday of "Tomorrow," but a message from yesterday reemerges that has every bearing on tomorrow, causing my earlier ideas to terminate before I even reach the now of writing.  Is that clear?  As she makes the transition to a new blog format using Wordpress, her past resurfaces as posts convert over and this one came due at the perfect time!  GM was a bit intimidated back then which I now find pretty humorous.  The woman, my cuz (cousin), is an all-star writer in a league few can match, but I don't think she could fully realize that without taking a bold stride into her tomorrow.  She's made a life out of doing that!

This is a microcosm of what the LBC has done to those of us who have taken it to heart.  It upsets our preconceptions, it keeps tomorrow a mystery gestating some new excitement.  Sometimes, it is even a bit scary.  After all, you lay out your ideas and people comment, then you go see what the others, all talented and creative, have come up with.  Put on your helmet poor ego.

Tomorrow doesn't get any better than that!

Here was Grannymar's original post:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

What Keeps Me Busy

I promised my friend Ramana to lay out those positive, creative things I'm involved with that are keeping me occupied right now.  So, here goes a shot at it:

The above picture is of a new, proprietary product that a group of us are developing primarily for businesses.  I don't want to be very descriptive since we have all promised to keep the lid on it at this developmental stage, but we have gathered a nice collection of media specialists and educational experts in collaboration.  My part is the development of the processes that will deliver information in a new way that blends needs.  What you see above is one of many flowcharts that I am currently working on.

I am really finding it exciting to be working with some of the quality thinkers around me.  If we succeed, it could really improve educational processes across large corporations and we have some large corporations very interested.  If it succeeds, it could also be an income stream that continues into my retirement and that might allow me to come to exotic places like Ireland or India!

The second project taking a very large amount of my time is the development of software to allow input of orders into a computer system that generates bills of materials, assembly diagrams, accounting needs, etc., for a new type of lighting product that is taking off like wildfire:

Essentially, we are needing to develop a custom autocad system that can allow sales to input an order in three dimensions and they told me yesterday that if I can put in 50 hours a week, they would accept it.  It will occupy me projected pretty much through October and my other customers don't go away.  And they have another product needing development right after this one!

At the same time, I am working with another company to enhance order processing from 8 different internet sources and communication with a newly installed accounting system on a SQL Server.

Usually, I tell you about my family and the exciting and involving developments there.  Now, you know another side of the picture.  It is kind of holding some of my LBC interactions down, but I am still able to faithfully post each Friday at least.  I find time to read.  I find time spend with my wife.  I find time to walk.  I find time to talk each evening with my daughter or my mother or my friend going through trying times or ... on and on.  The good part is that it is all positive, creative, growing and flourishing.

I'm a busy and very lucky man!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Saying Goodbye

This truly difficult topic is brought to us this week by Padmini (Padmum).  It is not that it is a bad topic in any way, just difficult.

I am going to sidestep the worst of the goodbyes, the death of loved ones.  We have had too many of those over the past few years and we have a few to go.  The saddest of all is the saying goodbye our good friends had to do at Arlington this past week for their son, a decorated Green Beret, a fine young man, an artist.  He died in Afghanistan.

No, I'd rather look at simpler, more manageable goodbyes, for I have found them painful nonetheless.  Leaving Kansas to move to California was brutal.  It gives me an appreciation of my ancestors coming across the Great Pond to start a new life in America.  It is a story that continues today for so many here.  And it is HARD!  To leave what you have known, who you have known, your family, your friends, your entire support system.  It is like a tender plant being uprooted from its birth place and transplanted to another soil, a move that may or may not take.  Many have tried to migrate and have failed the transplant and I have experienced why.  Many are the nights you feel bereft, the days you feel lost.

But, that obviously is not the entire story, else I would be back in Kansas.  I am here because first there were new friends that I bonded with and the pain and loneliness lessened with shared experience.  More importantly, I met my mate!  Suddenly, my roots were to the center of the Earth.

There was another side to this situation.  My parents had to say goodbye to me.  Not goodbye, I'd never call again.  Not goodbye, that I had turned by back.  Not goodbye that they could not visit.  No, the goodbye that says, "Our boy is half a continent away and we won't see him often, like we always have."

Migration is a painful and selfish move.  It is like creativity, for it requires denial of what is because what can be must be sought.  It is driven by something inside an individual.  It is a cause unto itself.

I admire the courage of the migrants who have ventured forth over the eons, for if not for the pain they endured, we would be a group of somewhat advanced apes living in Africa, clinging to the known.  It's more difficult than we often credit it to be.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Yesterday was exciting!

Latin definitions necessary to understand parts of this post:

Lafawnda graduated from college yesterday!  Yeah!  If I start listing the honors she accrued, it would be a bit unseemly, but let me tell you that we are exceedingly proud.

I leave this drop of wisdom, though: she graduated magna cum laude which is a high honor.  Her response was pleasure at that and the followup wisdom that she was delighted the she "only graduated magna!"  What?  She contends with bipolar disorder and is most definitely making bipolar deal with her rather than the other way around.  It has forged her in a different furnace than the other students.  Had she remained at the stage whe found herself when she entered college, she rightfully noted that she would have graduated summa cum laude, for she would have been unable to accept less.  And the price would have been terrible.

My daughter has learned that achievement comes in many colors.  She has learned to still achieve in her chosen path of study and career and simultaneously achieve balance.  That maturation and her happy marriage bring me more delight than any awards possibly could.

THAT is why college is a life lab.  The challenges are presented in packages designed by others, but they are worthy challenges nonetheless.  Now, she is ready to leave the lab and deal with life as she finds it, seldom prepackaged and unknown in its path.  She (and we) think with no hesitation that she is ready! 


Friday, May 17, 2013


I've always been a bit hotheaded mixed with mostly pretty calm.  I was actually raised with the ideal of the "angry young man" and my generation marching against the Viet Nam war was a bit of an angry generation.  Angry today, flower children tomorrow.

My father, a believer in righteous anger when called for ("sometimes the tables of the moneychangers in the temple need to be overturned!") started counting the price differently after he began having heart trouble.  He began to see that a banquet of anger left your own skeleton on the plate.  Indeed, a very close friend of mine who has had an extremely difficult year told me just two days ago that it finally had come home to his gut that anger hurts the deliverer far more than the receiver.

So too yours truly is changing on this front.  Mine is a slightly different force leading to less anger in me although what is written above definitely comes into play.  No, the prime motivator for me is that I find I am highly invested in life's creative possibilties and in the sharing I can find with other people.  I simultaneously find myself far less enamored of the battle, finding it endless on our political front and leading to nothing but impotent frustration.  On the personal front, I have decided some will either find their way out of holes dug by themselve on more of their own initiative or remain unnecessarily mired.  Of so many of these things, I am following up on last week's topic.  I am, in a very natural and spontaneous way, letting go!

Maybe today I am simply in my flower child phase, but I think it runs deeper than that.  I really think a change is taking place in me in the best way possible.  The change seems to be of its own accord and that I find to be a very encouraging sign.  Change you hope for is never as substantial as change you accept.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Letting Go

I attended a lecture by Baba Ram Das once where he said that the fine art of life was holding on tightly and then letting go lightly.  Interesting the he put letting go as a very fundamental essence of the life process, but when you think of it, it is as fundamental as breathing itself.

Shackman and I also share the love of pitching a baseball and we can attest that holding on through strong G forces and then at just the right time letting go - and the manner in which you let go - is what pitching is about.  Pitchers talk about their control relying upon finding the proper release point.  So, is life itself in so many aspects.  Loss of a relationship, loss of a loved one, loss of wealth, it is difficult to find the proper release point and it is difficult to let go correctly.  But, just as the release of a breath is necessary to the inhalation of the next one, we must let all the other parts of our lives go at the proper release point so that we can embrace the new.

This week has also taught me a whole new meaning of release.  I got a bladder infection and there was a misdiagnosis of the bacteria until the culture was done, so I didn't start getting better until yesterday.  Trust me, when you have a strong bladder infection, you learn a whole new meaning of the difficulty of release!  Oh, boy.

This topic was brought to the LBC by Maria, the Silverfox.  I am late, for the reasons mentioned in this post coupled with a few work projects that refused to wait.  Oh well, that is past, so I can let it go.  Now, let this post go and see what the other members had to say!

Friday, May 3, 2013

My Favorite Vacation Spot

Delirious brought this topic to the Loose Blogger Consortium for our Friday topic.  Check her favorite spot along with the other active members, all with clickable links on the right.

There are two vacations that immediately jump to the fore for my wife and me, Italy and New Zealand.

Here is the view from the Rialto Bridge across the Grand Canal in Venice.


And this is with Lafawnda and the Lady Fossil in Waimangu, New Zealand.


We will never beat those vacations.  Then again, we won’t try.  Each trip, each vacation, each week, stands on its own.  If it leaves great memories, it was a great vacation.  These two trips left magnificent memories!

As far as that goes, we live where many people go for vacation.  San Francisco, Yosemite, the Napa Valley, Big Sur, San Diego – these are all part of our regular route.  We love them.

We are looking forward to trying to go to Hawaii this September.  But … well short of that, we will be scouting out Fresno for Flash and Lafawnda’s move in a couple of weeks.

We’ve never been to Fresno.  I’ve never heard anyone say that are going to Fresno for their vacation.  Well, we’ve been incredibly busy for awhile – thus one post a week for the past few - and we’ll be away from our normal busy-ness and I’m sure we won’t forget it.

Sounds like a vacation.  How sweet!