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Showing posts from March, 2011

A Milepost Up Ahead

I was out running today training for the American Cancer Society Run in Madison in a little over a week. It was such a nice day out 45+ degrees and sunny, that I was determined to make it count. So, after walking 3.5 miles to and from work, I come home and run. Earlier in the day I committed to finishing the full 3 miles, just to get it off my mind that I'll never be in 3 mile shape by the time of the run. I set off and felt pretty good most of the way. When I got in the house I was surprised to find that I had finished 3 miles in 24 minutes. An 8 minute mile is pretty good for an old guy.

As I labored through some of the tougher stretches of the run, I thought of Rob and it kept me going. I thought of how he would give anything to be able to run anywhere. It was very motivational in a weird, sad kind of way. I honestly can't imagine life without him around. My hope now is that his Celebration of Life party on April 17th is a GREAT experience for him. I hope he's in good h…

Rock and Roll Philosophy According to "Jet"

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Music as many of you know has always been therapeutic for me. I'd rather listen to music than watch TV any day. Talk radio? No thanks, give me music. If I'm in the car by myself, on goes the radio. This is unlike my wife who enjoys the serenity and quiet of the car.

As a teen I had a kicker stereo with not two, but four, large speakers. I had (still have, actually) a decent record collection, a ton of tapes and eventually CD's. My wife will attest that my thirst for music hasn't subsided much over the years. Oh sure, there were some "lull years" when the kids were young and before I had my iPod, but those were short lived, and I still found ways to get my music fix.

About 3 years ago Donna got me my iPod Nano for Christmas and it renewed my love for all things music. I transferred all my CD's to .mp3's and loaded up my 'pod to the max.

Well, in the mundanity (is that a word?) of walking the dog today I had my iPod on and Paul McCartney's son…

Walking Philosophy

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On my walk to work today another inspiring song from Michael Franti came on my iPod. The song is named Life in the City and like many of his songs lately, it spoke to me when I was in the depths that I've tended to step into lately. I'm not sure if he's a Christian artist, but he seems to focus on the need to appreciate life everyday and always has an upbeat tone to his music. Another good one of his is Hey Hey Hey. That song is my lifeline right now. I need something upbeat like it everyday to get through.
In the past two days I've had two people reach out to me and talk about how I'm doing with my feelings about Rob. I call these kinds of peoples angels-on-earth. They just show up sometimes and ask how I'm doing and they genuinely care. Both had cancer take one of their loved ones, so could relate in that way. One even prayed with me which meant a lot. 
This is the kind of thing I talk about when I say that the journey I'm on is taking me to places and peop…

Ecclesiastical Thoughts

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Back to the grind after a great weekend with my brother Rob and his family in MN. I found work to be particularly difficult today. Extremely tough to get motivated when you've been exposed to such a sad situation. It weighs heavy on my mind, like a cold damp blanket. He and his family are constantly in my thoughts, to the point of distraction. If I was one prone to it, I'd likely crash into a depression. Believe me, this is as close as I want to come to one.
Trying to find a positive in the whole situation though, we did have a very good time when we were with him and his family. The adults had some great laughs with Rob on a number of different occasions. There's one thing for sure he still has in abundance, his sense of humor. He and Jane can laugh in the face of adversity which is testament to their love for each other.

The prognosis is not out yet on whether or not he got his hemoglobin up to the level necessary to qualify for the clinical trials, but he wasn't 100%…

Re-Evaluation

I had this moment after last night's writing class. It was not a good moment.

What happened was during class we got to discussing what the average count is for re-writes or revisions. It seems that the average number of revisions for a short story is 11.

Yes, 11.

My instructor said sometimes she looks and revises a story up to 25 times.

Yes, 25.

I am on revision number two.

Yes, 2.

I figure at this rate, I should be done with my book when I'm 83. I'll be absent minded, and will have to be told every day that the story is about me. I'll have expanded it to 849 pages, and it will actually be the first of a trilogy. A trilogy that will be complete when I'm 164 years old.

It will be pointless at that point because books won't exist. Most people won't be able to read more than 3 sentences without being distracted or needing to take a nap. Furthermore, words won't exist. Tweeting, texting and acronyms will have turned everything into nothing more than thr…

Grounded Perspectives

It's been another weekend of reflection for me. Not too much going on around the house, so lots of time to think, write and ponder. My brother's situation continues to help me shift priorities, realize what's important and take time for meaningful conversations with friends and family. I talked to my Mom on the phone tonight and she said that everything in her life right now has become meaningless, except her family and her friends. That's about where I am right now.

I was telling her that things like the Madison mess certainly command my concern and attention, but only for a brief moment each day. I will keep that kind of crap, and that's really what it has become, in perspective. Small things in the big view. To some the issues have become all consuming. It is what they live and breathe from day to day, week to week.

Don't get me wrong here. I am glad there are people out there championing their cause, because there have been some travesties pushed through t…

Book Signing: The Home for Wayward Clocks

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Tonight I was at the Author book signing at Martha Merrells for the book TheHome for Wayward Clocks, by Kathie Giorgio. It is Kathie's (pictured above)  first novel and the place was packed with what I would say was 50+ people. The signing was preceeded by a catered dinner (which I had to miss) and a short presentation by the owner of Little Swiss Clock Shop. She gave a brief history of a number of clocks that they had on display on a table in the bookstore.

It was fascinating to hear some of the history and specifics of the wide variety of clocks that were there. There was a large Mantle Clock that I recognized as one that my grandmother had in her apartment. It was a beautiful timepiece and served as the "graveyard clock" in Kathie's book. She also had on display a knock-off Felix Clock that was an electric clock of a cat whose eyes and tail moved in synchronicity. A classic piece of 60's Americana, amongst the "old dependables" that were chiming and…

Dreaming of Warmer Days

Woke up today to a 2 inch snowfall and wanted to scream. As I was laying in bed, I thought I'd heard a snowplow go by and thought, what the heck? It was raining pretty hard last night and must have switched over to snow at some point. Needless to say, I was shocked and dismayed at this new "beautiful" snowfall on the ground. I am so ready for it to stop.

Top this off with the fact that I have to get in shape for the American Cancer Society's 5K run in Madison in a few weeks, and well, I'm sick of winter. I don't want to run on ice with mittens on. Not fun. Perilous, yes. Fun, not so much.

Feeling all of this cabin fever rage, I felt compelled to go to Gander Mountain today and look at Musky rods. I 've been fairly obsessed with getting a new rod, despite only fishing for them once a year, but hey, I have to obsess about something, right? Doesn't everyone? Besides, I have some money burning a hole in my pocket, so that drives me too.

I'm looking a…

Mean People

I just want to speak a little about the mean people in the world. From where I sit it seems that the world is becoming an increasingly mean place. I'm not sure why this is, if it because of the media, technology, the "advancement" of our race, the increasing population pressure or what. All I know is that now, if you're not mean, you're a bit of an outsider. You're looked upon as either self righteous, a prude or a throwback. Meanness is now laughed at by other mean people and it is now not only tolerated, but almost expected (or respected.)

If you don't get what you want, be mean.
If you don't agree with someone, be mean.
If someone isn't like you to your liking, be mean.

This goes for politics especially. You know who you are. Democrats and Republicans alike. You're both mean and neither of you has all the right answers, contrary to your belief. Stop shouting at each other. Stop name calling, pigeonholing, generalizing, stereotyping, bashin…