Don’t rain on my parade. It’s already wet and I’m afraid that anything I might have found in the universal box of stuff might be perpetually soggy. If raining means there’ll be new growth and little critters bouncing about then please rain sparsely in short spurts.
I remember chanting that rain should go away, that little Johnny wants to go out and play, the old man had bumped his head and couldn’t get up in the morning, all because of rain, I remember. Do you see that spider over there, the one that went up the clock, that is until it struck one and the rain washed the spider out. Don’t rain on his parade either.
A long time ago there was this story about an old fellow with many son’s and daughters who all had husbands and wives of their very own, anyways this clan built this real big boat and dragged two of every critter they could find into it just to avoid a long wet spell. Well as it goes they forgot one critter and his spouse and that poor unicorn had his day rained on, real bad.
Out on the plains there is a happy little dog that lives on the prairie. He digs little holes and has many happy pups in his den each spring, but there is that occasional flood naturally made or by man, it rains on his parade the poor little fellow.
Here in the valley it’s been raining for quite a bunch and the neighboring lands are all wet, a few drowning cats holding on to floating branches. It’s been raining on all our parades. It’s almost Easter and we’re supposed to have a happy sunny day. Maybe, just maybe we’re all suffering rain as penance for some forgotten sin. Please don’t rain on my parade.
Romona and I recently had the opportunity to have dinner on the purse strings of the Vatican. We were taken out by the priest who is preparing us for our nuptials, he’s a young man with allot of enthusiasm for his profession. I like his manner and spunk.
Romona is a very strongly spiritual person and holds true to her Catholic faith. She has introduced me to some fine people and interesting conversation from areas that I hadn’t had conversations before. The young priest we had dinner with broke bread with a bottle of Sam Adams Summer Ale. This was an interesting way to start a conversation and I found it liberating that a priest would drink a beer with a heretic like myself. He reminded me of Friar Tuck, Robin Hood’s beer drinking companion.
I truly enjoyed our afternoon with the young Father of the faith. We helped prepare his small 110-year-old church for Palm Sunday by spreading palms around in large vases. His church is an interesting building and I took the opportunity of doing some clandestine dowsing while I was there. The building sits on a large granite and limestone deposit that is used in the lower basement walls. It has allot of vibratory energy with the main entrance and light collector facing the south. The benches are the original wooden design with wall of white plaster, and in one corner of the alcove there is a face appearing through the old white wash paint. The face is coincidently reminiscent of a bearded man. You can form your own judgments, but it is the congregation that is keeping him from painting over it.
Romona and I had a fine afternoon with this young man. Now I start on the path of redemption and preparation to marry the love of my life, the woman who I’m finding out is much more than just a lovely face, but a high spirit of the Creator, Romona…
A couple days ago Romona and I stopped at an Applebee’s restaurant for a lunch that turned into dinner. We were particularly hungry and the menu looked rather tasty. Hunger can make a person indecisive and we each had a hard time deciding what to order.
After awhile I ordered a beer, a Sam Adams Pil, it was rather tasty, Mona ordered the same and we stared some more at the menu. The funny thing about a beer is that it can help chase away the indecision and we ordered dinner.
She had a chef’s salad with a couple of steak type sandwiches with some ajous sauce; I had a plate of beef fajitas. We had some potato skin thingys for an appetizer and sat to drinking our beers waiting for the food. We waited quite awhile. I remember saying to Romona, “I wonder what Gordon Ramsey would say?” The food suddenly appeared at our table with apologies from the waitress and extra chips to dip.
Her plate was elegantly organized and smelled real good. Mine was steaming hot. The plate looked almost afire, and the steak smelled warm and happy. We drank more beer and dug into the food. I found rolled up tortillas in a foil and began filling them up with the fixins, yum.
The first bite I took was very tasty, very tasty indeed. It was spicy, but not so spicy as to burn your tongue, it was a perfect amount of spice. There was some tomato and lettuce mixed into a salsa of sorts with some sour crème for a chaser. I took another drink and remember saying, “Oh, I think I’m getting tipsy.” Romona laughed at me.
We ate and talked and ate some more. When the waitress re-appeared and asked if we wanted desert our answers were both, “arrgg.” She brought the check.
So, this blog is a review of Applebee’s restaurant in Littleton NH. The food is good, the portions are big for the money, which is in the medium range, and the beer is tasty. A couple of the big drafts will remind you who you are. It was a good meal.
War is not for the warrior. The warrior, the man of knowledge, celebrates life not death. Chivalry is an act of gentalmanship, the act of forgiveness, the acts of politeness, a knight laying down a favorite coat for a maiden to cross a muddy walk, opening the door for you wife, and giving the time of day to your children.
Budo, the Samurai code, is Japans form of Chivalry. A Samurai does not revel in death, although he may be a master of it. A Samurai walks in bliss taking in all the aspects of life he catches in his eyes, and smell all the flavors that penetrate his being. A Samurai lives fully his life, and does not fear his own death because he has lived his life.
A man of knowledge takes in all that he can possibly take in at each moment. He listens and speaks with purpose, although he might sound aloof he is conscious of all he says and does. If he makes a mistake he isn’t afraid to apologize, he speaks his mind freely. A man of knowledge is a Samurai, a Knight, a Warrior. He is a man.
Following a personal Warriors Code is taking a vow to the largest deity you’ll ever encounter, yourself. Weather or not you keep your code from moment to moment is a practice of sincerity and discipline. Not kicking your self for slipping is a self-act of kindness. A kind disciplined man is a Warrior; he is a Man of Knowledge.
Faking it is sometimes your best bet. Picture this; you’re sitting in on another professor’s class. A guy that you find extremely boring, who has the personality of Howard Cosell that is giving a lecture on the mating habits of the earthworms. You might not have slept quite enough the night before, you might have not had your quota of coffee in the morning, and you might hear nothing but a drone sound for his voice, but you have to sit there and look interested. Here’s a tool that might help if you’re ever confronted with a similar situation, and I swear this is a fabricated story, really.
This is a meditation technique that works well for the athletes in us all as well. Being a martial artist sort of guy I would sit and visualize myself performing certain maneuvers and kata perfectly. I would go over these moves one step at a time in my mind and go back over the parts that I needed extra work on. I did this and still do this on a daily basis as a personal mind dump sort of meditation.
I have used this technique when prolonged spans of time would cause certain amounts of possible boredom. This technique works real well, and does improve your physical performance. It is a form of positive visualization.
The memories of a child are passed along to the adult. Later in the history of a person he/she catches up with a certain memory and either smiles at the event or grimaces. Memories are often housed within the muscle mass of the physical body. Years will pass by and the body reacts to a stimulus sending either pain or euphoria to the mind of the one remembering.
Addictive substances often have the same effect on the physical body. One’s past abuse stored in the fatty tissues of the body will come to the surface after the body melts those tissues away releasing the substance stored. And, the experience will give euphoria or pain depending upon the trip. Memories are much like the addictions of the past, they surface without provocation and wallah, there we are all over again. They are our natural opiate.
The memories of a child are littered with Barbie dolls, puppy dog tails, and adventures of realms long forgotten. Of mystical wizards and giants, trolls, and fast aircraft all the goods and the bads are there for all of us to remember and enjoy. Become a child and chase away your demons.
There are good dreams, there are bad dreams, there are those dreams that make you smile in your sleep, and there are those dreams that make you weep.
Traumatic events can cause a whole different kind of dream. These are the kinds of events that a person might not remember consciously, but sneak up on you when you’re sleeping by invading your subconscious thoughts. These memories hide deep in the psyche and surface late at night worse than any bed bugs could bite. We call these dreams of malevolent nature, Night Terrors.
I am a sufferer of night terrors. They don’t come every night, no not at all, they wait for you to get comfortable in your sleep patterns and generally thinking things are all fine, then they decide out of some twisted sense of fate to jump into your dream and eat your soul away.
My past trauma is a colorful mess and frankly there is some of it I would rather forget, but the night terror grips me. My heart begins to beat faster, my breathing quickens, and often I start screaming in my sleep. This is when Romona, in her soothing voice, rubs my back and quietly talks me out of sleep. I wake frightened, sweaty, and dry mouthed wondering what the hell has just happened and where am I.
Meditation helps, talking to Romona helps, feeling rested helps; I am making progress though, they don’t come as often and the demons aren’t as scary as they once where, but the night they come no more will be a night to celebrate and say good riddance to the Night Terror.
When I was a kid I used to wear hand me down clothes. Being the oldest child in the family my hand me downs came from my uncle Dan. Dan and I were only a couple years apart and I would get his used jeans, shirts, jackets, and whatever my grandmother would decide Uncle Dan didn’t need or want anymore. I remember one day wearing a real neat pair of almost new jeans when Dan began complaining that I was wearing his new Levis. I protested saying that grandma gave them to me; he didn’t like that at all. Such is the process of gaining hand me down clothes, you have the argument that goes with them on an occasional basis when the hand me downer wants the apparel back.
I have a little sister and brother that are young enough to have had to wait quite a bit before getting my hand me down clothes, and I never got to have the argument with them. I was already old enough by the time they grew into my clothes that I was out and gone. They just accepted that there was a phantom big brother in the picture somewhere.
I had this strange friend when I was young. He wore the strangest sets of clothes. This was back when bell-bottoms were the fad and flowered rayon shirts were in. We used to dance in disco techs and sweat all the way through those ugly dang shirts.
Anyways, this friend of mine was even sort of stranger than the normal rest of us. His clothes were a little more flowerier, a little more pinkish, or rather salmon colored cause we’re guys, and I could swear he left a familiar sent in his wake. I asked him one day where he got his clothes and he said, “Hand me downs.” At that point the bell rang in my brain. I used to date his older sister, the reason for the familiar smell. My friend was getting his hand me downs from his sister, he dressed like a girl.
Hard times are related to the perception of the experience. Emotions can cause a laps in thought and make it very hard to concentrate, this can be considered hard times. Money not withstanding may be considered the root of hard times. The death of a loved one is hard times. Hard times are perceived at different points in ones life.
If we speak of hard times often the ones we speak to consider us complaining. So, we complain on deaf ears and still we have hard times. Go to a priest and speak of hard times, you’ll walk away feeling better, hard times still there, but still; It must be his vocation.
Hard times, I don’t mind much as long as they fad away into history. I look into her eyes, we have the same hard times, I see the tears, I feel the heart beat, and I try to hug the hard times away into history. She and I are the same, we don’t mind much, but we fight back non-the less.
I’ve got this pet rattlesnake and he’s a tad deranged.
My boots are way to short and this grass is way to high
And the damn yellow dog I’m with keeps pissin on my thigh.
I’m just a dyin cowboy ridin on the range.
The horse I’m on is too damn fat and my butts got saddle sores.
And my guns are all rusted up they don’t shoot no more.
Not that I got any bullets in my stores.
I’m just a dyin cowboy ridin on the range.
For fifty cents a day I ride you might find that strange.
I never see another soul out on these plains.
Not that anybody would talk to me cause my pants are yellow stained.
Oh I’m just a dyin cowboy ridin on the range.
I’ve got this pet rattlesnake and he’s a tad deranged.
My boots are way to short and this grass is way to high,
And the damn yellow dog I’m with keeps pissin on my thigh.
Mushine, pronounced moo shin ey, is the Japanese art of placing your mind outside of the present to de-compress, focus, re-think, find emptiness, and many other Zen like experiences. I have been practicing Mushine meditation for more than 40 years and have found it a handy tool to incorporate into my personal reality many sorts of experiences that I intend.
Zen meditations in themselves are fairly easy to practice. All one need to do is relax and focus upon the breath letting it flow in the nose and out the mouth at regular intervals at given periods of time, depending upon your experience level and lung capacity. Zen breathing can cause anxiety; long breaths can cause the practitioner to feel like there is no breathing at all. This causes the anxiety.
Mushine takes Zen meditation into the everyday realm of sit and space out. The idea is to sit quietly and empty the mind. Then let thoughts flow freely focusing on those that feel relevant to the specific situation. Mushine can be considered one of the first forms of visualization done by athletes, it was practiced by Samurai, some of the greatest athletes who ever trod the plains of Japan.
By practicing Mushine I managed to learn five forms and katas simultaneously. I started them all within a couple days of each other. At the end of the experiment I had learned the five routines and had them dedicated to memory. At this time I learned that the human mind is capable of much more than the normal individual would realize. We are all vessels of the internal God.
A couple days ago, Romona and I were watching a TV show that we enjoy each week. On that show there was a company that had a space craft that resembled an airplane. It would take off from an airstrip, fly to around 70 or 80 thousand feet then fire onboard rockets that would propel it further out into orbit. Presumably this craft would take high paying tourists to orbit for a few million at a shot. This was a TV program and we presumed it was fantasy and speculation as most TV shows are. Little did we know.
I was watching the news over at the inlaws with my father inlaw, when upon the screen straight from CNN was this craft that tourists could pay a few million dollars to ride into orbit on and fly back landing on an airstrip better than any ole silly shuttle.
My fantasy now turned to reality I’m stretched to find out what’s next an invisible airplane? Oh yea, they already have those. George Jetson where are you?
When I was young I went hunting with my Dad and a couple of his friends. We were setting camp in a cabin outside Malta Montana in an area that was supposed to be filled with mule deer.
The plains of the United States are littered with a plant called the prickly pear cactus. This plant has been considered the bane of many an unsuspecting traveler on the plains. Foot wear is important when hunting outside Malta Montana, there is allot of prickly pear cactus and all I had on my feet was converse canvas sneakers.
I never complained much when I was a kid. I marched all day long in those canvas sneakers stepping on cactus every chance I got. Prickly pear cactus secrets a juice that numbs the area that it punctures making it a real good anesthetic. Sometime during the middle of the day I lost the feeling in my feet.
As I said, we were hunted all day long. Hunting doesn’t necessarily mean you bring home a kill, it just means you wandered around aimlessly looking for something to kill. We wandered. At the end of the day we went back to the cabin to make up stories about the size of the deer that got away.
Later that evening I tried to take my sneakers off. That was when I noticed that the shoes where attached to my feet by cactus barbs. The anesthetic effects began wearing off and I was suddenly lofted into a new realm of understanding. I was in real pain.
That night my Dad introduced me to a bottle of whiskey, a real sharp knife, and a pair of pliers, with which he used to cut the shoes off of my feet. I drank the booze, poured some on my wounds and passed out to my visions of spotted horses and Jimmy Hendrix playing in the background. I understand horse dreams, I am a Heyoka after all, but that’s another story.
The next morning I couldn’t walk and had to stick my feet into an ice-cold stream to bring the swelling down. From that weekend on I’ve been able to do all sorts of things with my feet that normal folk would consider odd, but that too is another story.
I’ve been in parts of the world where bowing three times over a cup of tea meant you’ve just married your hosts eldest daughter. Here in the good ole US of A it’s the father that hunts the young man down with a shotgun so that marriage may commence.
Many moons ago I had the opportunity to spend some time on the islands of Okinawa. I was young and strong, but not so smart, so I spent time working out with an old fellow named Kuda. O’sensei Kuda was the grandmaster of an obscure form of Shorinryu Karate which has it’s origins in Shaolin Kung Fu. It seems a monk got drunk and crawled into a fishing boat of the coast of eastern China to sleep it off and passed out. The tide came in and the little boat eventually ended up landing in Okinawa. The rest is history, but that’s another story.
While there I learned a ceremony for the serving of green tea. Every process of the ceremony has it’s meaning and purpose, every movement a fluid grace. It usually takes a lifetime to learn it well. I don’t do it well.
I was stationed there with a friend we were both in the US Air Force, it was an experience. My friend fell in love with the master’s daughter and while practicing was tricked, or pretended to be tricked into bowing three times over tea. While he was there he came to the end of his hitch in the service, he decided to stay there on the islands with his newfound wife. I came back to the states.
I haven’t actually practiced the tea ceremony for quite some time. However, each morning I wake and watch the person sleeping next to for a bit thinking of bowing three times over tea. I have a reason to practice the ceremony again and Mona and I will both bow, A lifetime of dedication.