Friday, December 3, 2010

The Evil Of Computers

Hello Readers,

I have been having troubles with the evil machine that links me to the cyber world, my laptop.  It has gone and decided that having it's own mind and taking control of it's internal process without guidence is the thing.  That is, I'm having troubles keeping the wireless card from shuting down and keeping me connected.

That being said I appologize once again for being delinquent in my writing.  The problem is being worked on and will be solved shortly, thank you for being so patient. 

Peace and Balance,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Are We Romans?

I’m an old fashioned martial artist. I teach old-fashioned ethics and fighting principles. My students leave me with a sense of right, wrong, and that gray area in-between.

I’m old enough to have started teaching before this American upsurge of the UFC and MMA, which is the United Fighting Challenge, and Mixed Martial Arts, now shown across our country on television. What I’m seeing worries me. It’s not Boxing and it’s not Wrestling, and it’s not Karate or Te Kwan Do, and it’s definitely not Wu Shu, (Kung Fu). It is a mix of everything out there and it is brutal.

Now I must say that fighting is brutal regardless of the process, but two individuals engaged in mortal combat aren’t usually shown on prime time TV. I say I’m old fashioned, I am a boxing fan and a wrestling fan etc. I am not a MMA fan.

It has been recently brought to public attention that young teens in the state of Maine have been caught performing their own UFC type competitions. The authorities are looking into banning such practices in Maine. These young fellows are on You Tube.

There is a certain philosophy that needs to be experience before I will consider a person a warrior. This philosophy creates gentle men and women with a degree of respect for each other and humanity. What’s next, a hungry lion?

Peace and Balance,

Sunday, November 21, 2010

More Wood

I officially started my own wood-burning season yesterday. As my friend, Six Bears mentioned this is the season of burning crap wood. I however burn crap wood all year because that’s what I’ve got. Although to my delight I found out that at least part of my pile of wood is good seasoned fire wood that’s been sitting in my yard for a couple of years. It had time to season just a tad wet because of recent rains.

Some of my friends use gas power wood splitters and real big chain saws to deal with their wood. I use a 3 horse electric saw and a manual wood splitter. A manual wood splitter is cool; it consists of a stump and an axe. The engine that drives this one runs on coffee and hot dogs. Fortunately the engine eats enough hot dogs to keep the bun and dog balance going.

I have to admit that it’s been a couple of years that I actually burned wood on the regular. Due to a situation I’ve gotten my self in with one of the local oil companies I’m forced to buy diesel fuel ten gallons at a shot and dump it in my oil tank. That works for now, but will get expensive if I don’t solve the other problem. It sucks being poor.

So Six Bears, when we go find wood, and I’m going to need more, lets find the real good kind. :o)

Peace and Balance,

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hot Dog Buns

A conversation with a friend at work made be start thinking about hot dog buns. He asked me why hot dogs are packaged in dogs of ten and hot dog buns are packaged in buns of eight. I didn’t have a good answer. He even googled for an answer and come up with nothing concrete. Here are a couple of the Internet reasons. Standard hot dogs are packaged by the pound, and a pound of hot dogs makes ten regular sized dogs. Ok, that sounds reasonable. Bakers like even numbers, so the buns are packaged in pieces of six, eight, or twelve to make a dozen. I don’t buy that one as well because the standard bakers dozen is thirteen.

I began thinking about this dilemma and here’s what I came up with. There is a kabala afoot regarding hot dogs and buns that reflects the business practices of many or most of the large corporate monsters of America. Even numbers backed up by odd numbers that force us, the regular folk to spend more of our hard earned cash. Oscar Mayer has determined that the average fellow needs ten dogs to fill eight buns. So, we go out and buy more buns for the dogs and extra dogs for the buns and so on and so forth… In order for us to even out this mathematical dilemma we need to buy four packages of dogs to make forty dogs and five packages of buns to make forty buns. That means we need spend extra cash for a nice even number of the Great American Hot Dog. Hey, I think I’ve uncovered something here… Now where’s my apple pie, and who’s playing in the World Series?

Peace and Balance,

Language So Foul

I am a listener. I listen to words. I listen to how they’re spoken, the syntax, the verbiage, and the power behind them. Because I am a listener I often hear words used in ways that may not be the most useful or profound. I often hear words that I do not use myself, the kinds of words that embarrass me and or anger me.

I raised my children to respect their usage of language, and to respect the individuals within earshot of their speaking. They would never use foul language in front of the adults in the family, nor did they speak with each other that way. What they said to friends and other like aged folk I don’t know, but I am sure it was good old fashioned speak.

As I said, I am a listener. While listening to other’s children I often hear language that insults my ears and leaves me wondering if they really understand the meaning of what is being said. I have my doubts.

Words have power, what we say we attract to us. If we affront other’s with our language that sort of energy will affront us. What we say also influences what and how we think. Words have power. My question is, “Do we let words have power over us, or do we exercise power over words?” Interesting… Practice, listen, and then speak…

Peace and Balance,

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Mentor

Many years ago I had an older friend that inspired me to do better things. I would say he was like a father figure to me, but he was more a teacher than a father. My teacher became more than that the longer I knew him and the better he knew me. This was when he became my Mentor.

A Mentor is a person that points you in a direction given some choices and allows you to make your choice on how to move in the direction you’ve chosen. Often you fall back after realizing your choice sucked. The Mentor, in my experience, would laugh at you, kick you in the butt, and say, “Ok, now what?”

This friend of mine was a most wonderful teacher who was a superior student that taught by example, my personal teaching philosophy coming out here. He was the philosophical leader and consummate warrior that kept me moving forward and learning.

We all have elders in our space that push us, but we don’t all have a Mentor. I feel privileged to have had such an experience. May you all find your Mentor.

Now, here’s how you go about it. Get up real early in the morning, go to a mirror, and look deep into your own eyes. When you find them again you’ve found your Mentor. Think about it…

Peace and Balance,

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sometimes It Just Has To Happen

Sometimes it happens, your wandering the cosmos of your thought processes when you swear you can hear the familiar sound of an old metal fan pinging with the sound of something hitting it hard. This is usually the first warning sign that something has gone afoul. If your instincts are tuned fine enough you might even feel dizzy or become slightly nauseated. Your ears might buzz and your head may burn, some how you know something is wrong in the world.

Now think, have you ever suddenly known that it was about to swing wrong in your direction? Has your dejavu instinct gone off, your spidey sense tingle? I think maybe so. The problem is that most of us tend to ignore the tinglings and the sounds of that rusty old fan, usually to our dismay.

We are human beings and within us is hidden the secret “humane” being that sends us these signals hoping we will learn to listen, and most often we do not. We all are born with this survival instinct in tacked and we, or most of us, have it squished by other nerdowells as we grow.

Learn to listen to that instinct, become the spider man for a moment and recognize the sounds of your personal fan before it is struck with a foul odor. If you’re wrong you’ll get over it. If you’re right, then you’ve averted a potential stinky situation.

Think about what I’ve just written, and remember, “I told you so.”

Peace and Balance,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Recently I was reminded of a few tests given to teenagers to determine their learning process, abilities, and styles. These tests to inform the taker of his or her ability to go further down the road of academia are taken to fulfill a requirement each high school student in the US has to graduate, a portfolio of learning.

Intelligence to me has always been the product of learning and experience, not the product of a test taken to discover said intelligence. I’m wondering if we live in an environment that teaches us the skill of survival are those skills considered intelligence? In my opinion, of course yes, any skill learnt through doing teaches us an amount of intelligence.

Some would tell us that intelligence is the measure of potential to learn and not the subject learnt. I say it is both, the subject or experience and the learners potential.

When I was young my father, an educator of some substantial regard, never would allow me to be given an IQ test. I have since taken one myself for curiosity sake, but will never divulge said numbers. My learning styles are also lost to the round receptacle in the corner. Is it possible that our society places to much importance on fabricated norms of the majority? Hmmmm, I wonder…

Peace and Balance,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Blogging is an art, an art that is often forgotten. We intend to write, and time passes by. We intend some more, and time passes by. Before you know it time has swept us away into the distant void and blogging is forgotten to the past.

Awaking can be an interesting event. We visit the blog and notice the last entry to be very early July of this year. That is almost six months ago. Time indeed has done it’s playing upon our interest and the blog has suffered. To my readers I apologize for forgetting and having been caught up in the wave of time. The blackness had dragged me with it singing it’s song lulling my writing to sleep. I am now awake, Vanwinkle remembering the past. I will use the past as a tool to write to you, the reader.

As a writer it is my responsibility to entertain and inform, to keep your interest and to maintain the writing process. That, which has suffered these many months, Now and Zen, I will endeavor to write and keep the promises of the past to your eyes and interests.

So to you the reader I apologize again and hope that you will continue to read and enjoy what you see, possibly even learn something on the way.

Peace and Balance,

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Love of Liberty

Independence Day is upon us. Our fair country is no longer a teenager and is reaching into the memories of the gods. We have been in existence as a country for roughly 234 years counting from 1776. Our fame to claim is our love of Freedom. We will do anything to preserve it and maintain it. We will even go abroad to ensure our freedom here at home, sometimes prematurely, but that is another story.

A few years back there was an obscure Sci-Fi movie about the preserving of our independence and the freedom of the world. It was called Independence Day, staring Will Smith, Harry Conic Jr., Jeff Goldblum, and Brent Spiner from Star Trek. This was an excellent example of our willingness to go all the way in order to protect our Liberty by killing all the aliens. Now isn’t that American?

I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker after he expressed his opinion about preserving our American Liberties. His opinion is that we should run all illegal aliens out of the country and imprison those that will not conform to the American way. I sat and listened intently for a short, very short, period of time. I then smiled at him, pulled the brim of my hat down, the one that reads “Crow Agency” on it, and asked him when he and his kind where going to leave the country. He looked startled and asked me what I meant. I said that depending how far back we take the conversation all the white folks that wander the countryside should go back to their European shores. He was taken aback and I laughed.

You see we folks of Native blood tend to take things very literally and have a great Love of Liberty. Freedom comes with a price, Liberty has it’s scares, and our shores have been bathed in blood. The love of Liberty isn’t just an ideal, it is a way of life, it is a path toward independence and peace, a way to forgive and accept all children born on this land for the past 1000 years. We are all Americans, every mother one of us. The sacred wheel has all the colors of man on it, now deal…

Happy Independence Day.

Peace and Balance,

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Your Average Cannibal

Yesterday’s blog got me thinking about cannibalism. In general it’s a practice to avoid, but there have been times in history when the practice has arisen out of necessity. I’m thinking of the Donner party way back when and various other examples of extreme need. However, the practice in general has intrigued me almost as much as the zombie phenomena.

Many tribal cultures from various continents have practiced cannibalism as a way to steal their enemy’s power. They would eat the flesh of the vanquished foe to gain their strength and power. If you watch old movies, as Romona and I do, you find many examples of the culinary practice. Abbot and Costello for example had a few run ins with the occasional cannibalistic tribe. There is an old movie staring David Carradine and Eli Wallach, along with a few others, where Eli was standing chest deep in a big pot waiting to be boiled in oil. Now, in the movie there are no other people in the scene the cannibalism is implied.

I wonder what a cannibal will be named, possibly George or Fred, whatever the last victim’s nametag stated. Possibly a tribal name of intrigue such as Leg Bone, or Fingers, hmmm the possibilities are endless.

I have an idea to use Cannibals and Zombies in the same movie or book. The cannibals could be hunting the zombies and the zombies are hunting the cannibals. Just think of it.

Peace and Balance,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


My daughter Kathe and I were discussing zombies when she described a game to me that is played in the mountains of Montana; it’s called Zombie Tag. I’m greatly intrigued by this game, some folks are designated Zombies and the other’s are the people. The people go around and shoot the zombies with nerf guns before they have their brains eaten, great fun.

I always root for the zombie. After all these poor souls have been transformed into a lifeless brain eating, well zombie. They have lost all serious motor control and any thought processes have been taken up by this sudden addiction for human brains, poor bastards. You’d think there would be a twelve step program or something, but alas no.

As for the people, the stupid ones get caught and have their brains eaten. They are stupid because zombies aren’t the quickest monster on the block and usually to get away from one all you need do is walk away at a relatively faster pace that a zombie can walk, which is about a step quicker than a snails pace.

Zombies are some of my favorite monsters and I always cheer for them. So, go zombie go.

Peace and Balance,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wrong Number

A year or so ago we started receiving a wrong number calling in on our phone. Romona was at first irritated, but later decided to strike up a conversation with the caller. This caller repeatedly dialed our number and finely started talking, it was amusing.

Romona began to know this caller by a first name. They would talk and from my perspective, enjoyed the conversation. We even met a relative of this caller at a venue out of town. That was a tad strange, and I even met Ivan the Mad Russian, a wrestler from old. It was cool.

The calls came in so often that Romona finely called back and asked the caller if she needed any assistance. This is when we found out that the caller was indeed an elderly person who enjoyed the conversations just for the sake of it. I even spoke to the caller on one occasion and found our conversation entertaining. Allot can be learned by listening to our elders.

Romona and the caller struck up a phone call friendship that lasted for a little more than a year. Karmic interventions happen when we least expect them or even understand them, they just happen, lessons are learned.

I bring a newspaper home with me from work as often as I am able. Today Romona was reading the paper and gasped and struck me on the shoulder with a muted, “oh my god.” The friend she had made over the phone had passed into the great beyond and was in the obituaries. There are many ways to end things, many ways to finish. The entertaining wrong number will no longer appear on our line. This was the caller’s way of saying, “Good Bye.”

Peace and Balance,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Time

The 21st is past and we are officially into the summer season. The days of hot dogs and hamburgers, lemon aid and ice cream, of swimming the backstroke on a float while contemplating the clouds as they float by; the days of summer.

The summer time represents a certain kind of freedom for many a school aged person that longs for the warmth of a lost sun. Here in the North Country the sun stays away for a great portion of the year and we suffer. We suffer the long ravages of winter and the pains only a few short hours of sunlight a day and nine months of snow throw upon us.

So, freedom comes for a short time every year for those who wait. And we celebrate. We celebrate the sun by absorbing it’s rays and wholesome goodness, we become tan and speak of things metaphysical and etheric while we drink our beer. We are sun worshipers for a short time every year. We are all the new children of the sun, the surfers of that great wave, freedom from winter.

Peace and Balance,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mowing the Lawn

I’ve been reading the blog of my friend Ray. He writes about the great art of bartering and sharing. I’m usually a silent participant of the bartering economy, but I’ve come to the realization that my lawn has grown into rain forest proportions. I walk carefully into the yard swearing I can hear the occasional monkey and cockatoo. I even find myself stepping lightly hoping large man eating snakes have taken leave from my forest. The truth is my grass is long enough that I have seen a family of bears, a sow and two cubs, playing and sleeping in the grass comfortable enough that they lounge around. I’ve got to mow the lawn.

The art of bartering for me has taken a rather neat swing. I may have gained a way to mow my forest while riding. Just for the trade of an old pickup in my drive. I find that a good trade. Many years ago a white man traded Manhattan Island for a hand full of beads. The natives in New York thought the poor white fellow might have lost his sense of reality, the island was worthless; it was a good trade.

I am now looking at the prospect of a lawn tractor as a good trade for my little truck. I’m wondering which one of us is holding the beads?

Peace and Balance,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Living on the Edge

Occasionally I’ll take a step out to the edge and look beyond the precipice. Out beyond the horizon lies a void that fills the darkness with the unknown things that dwell there. If you listen real hard you’ll be able to hear the growlings and gurgles of the spooky things hidden there in the dark.

As do most I tend to ignore unknown things and place them in a special place where all forgotten thoughts are placed. As it might, other things get caught in that special place and are forgotten. It was brought to my attention, by an unexpected message appearing on my TV screen sent by my satellite server. Apparently I had forgotten to pay last months bill. Upon digging further into the inquiry I discovered that I had forgotten to pay all of my bills for last month, Holy **##!!

Unintentionally I had taken a step out on the precipice and was given a look. I am behind in many bills, the water bill, the phone bill, the electric bill, everything… Not enough money comes in to pay, but we are paying one piece at a time.

This is what happens when you forego one thing to focus on another, the void snatches you up and drags you to the edge. Got a parachute anyone?

Peace and Balance,

Friday, June 18, 2010

Healing the Self

We are self-indulgent creatures. We tend to think in one area at a time, as long as it has to do with us. We also complain about aches and pains and other such things when we don’t get our own ways. We are like children crying in the dark for our mommy’s to come and comfort our booboos. Sounds cynical? Yes, but the truth it is.

A long time ago I climbed to the top of a mountain and sat there expecting to gain some sort of enlightenment or such something, I sat there for quite awhile, nothing happened. However, after about four days of no food or water strange things begin to happen… As I arose to go back down the mountain I tripped over a stump and hit my head. Blinded by the pain and dripping goo in my face I had an epiphany. If I stayed there and moaned and groaned I would probably die due to the weakened state I was in.

I stood up and began to walk. At that point I was talking with anything that I perceived a response. That’s everything in sight. You can learn the coolest stuff from a bug.

That day I found out that complaining only gets me a hell of a headache. However, I did learn how to complain a point and make it stick. Bugs complain all the time, that’s what that buzzing sound is.

My advise to you is, if you ever go to the top of a mountain for enlightenment make sure you watch where you put your feet when you decide to leave because self-healing is not painless.

Peace and Balance,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm Back

It’s been a long hiatus away from the blog world. The world has changed in ways that make the viewer wonder what will survive of it. Things have changed indeed.

I was off in the world of academia finishing a project long ignored to achieve a personal goal, attaining a degree in Science Education. I finished the project and have since walked down the isle of the commencement. The thing about the modern college graduation is they put a few classes into one ceremony and make the degree candidate wait for the conferral of the sheepskin at the appointed time. In other words, I walked the walk, did all that was required of me, and now after donning cap and gown I wait for the paper.

My dear wife, Romona, has been so very patient waiting for me to finish. I do believe that sainthood must be given to those who wait. She is a prime example. Having ignored bills, friends, family, and yes Romona, I now have great penance to pay to save my soul from the inevitable of each ill. Damned I might not be, but darn close enough to smell sulfur rising over the hills.

I didn’t know that Summa Cum Laude meant, “You survived with your britches in tacked.” Now I have to find myself a “real” job to pay the devil his due.

Anyways folks, I’m back, and will try to keep up on my writing as much as possible. I hope I haven’t lost you, but will gain you back through the stroke of pen and that charming whit you all know me by. Gracias…

Peace and Balance,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Don't Rain On My Parade

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.

Peace and Balance,

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Breaking Bread

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…

Peace and Balance,

Friday, March 26, 2010


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.

Peace and Balance,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Warrior Code

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.

Peace and Balance,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


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.

Peace and Balance,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Memories of Children

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.

Peace and Balance,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Terror In the Night

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.

Peace and Balance,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hand Me Downs

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.

Peace and Balance,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hard Times

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.

Peace and Balance,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dyin Cowboy

Sometimes you just gotta write a song:

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.

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.

Peace and Balance,
John :0)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mushine: The Art of No Mind

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.

Peace and Balance,

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ground Control

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?

Peace and Balance,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


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.

Peace and Balance,

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tea Time

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.

Peace and Balance,

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ned Arbuckle

Ned Arbuckle was a dorky kid. When he was twelve years old he had already grown to a full 5’10” tall. His hair was a very dark brown that offset a perpetual tan afforded to him by a malingering genetic structure. His eyes were also brown, the color of dark baby poop, and he had very large feet at size 13.

Ned was a very smart boy. He loved science fiction novels and had a mad scientists predilection for invention. On his 13th birthday, Ned had rigged his father’s chain saw motor to run an extra wide skateboard looking machine that traveled a full sixty-miles per hour down the city streets. The day after his birthday, Ned was awarded a speeding ticket for riding this board on those same streets. The arresting officer wrote, “Ingenious if not misplaced design” across the top of the ticket. Ned’s father confiscated the board and reclaimed his motor, but put the board and ticket on display in his den, like a proud father.

When Ned was 18 he was a strong and lean 6’4” tall. Ned loved to lift heavy things and would challenge many of the football jocks to various tests of strength. Ned never lost.

The day after high school graduation Ned was seen by a college football scout lifting the back of a Cadillac, Ned was hence forth turned into a quarter back killer and drafted into the Crimson Pride of Alabama.

Ned played for 4 years and extended his education for 2 more. Ned graduated eventually with a degree in engineering from Alabama State University and eventually received a Ph.D. from MIT for his design in a power driven skateboard.

Ned Arbuckle was a dorky kid that grew into an accomplished man. Have you ever heard of him? No, generally four generations after a person’s death they will have faded from historical memory unless there was some greatness that reflected insanity.

Peace and Balance,

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Digging A Ditch

When I was young I learned many of life’s lessons from my Dad. He would tell me metaphorical stories and have me complete a task that was supposed to reflect the story presumably imbedding the lesson upon my subconscious; many of them embedded and many left me in a perpetual, “what the f…” state of mind. Of course this is one of the primary functions of fatherhood to permanently traumatize the boy child.

One such lesson was learned after my Dad began explaining to me some of the moral implications of Hercules’ 12 tasks. When he started talking about the heroic method for cleaning out horse stables by rerouting a river and paused I knew I was in trouble. That’s when I was handed a shovel and he pointed to the ground and simply said, “Dig.”

I began digging, at first only a hole, but then the hole turned into a two foot wide, six feet deep, 12 feet long ditch from the foundation of our trailer to the foundation of our pump house. I learned several new swear words that day as I helped drill a hole through the foundation of the pump house wall. The wall was much thicker than Dad thought and brunt out three mason bits. I wasn’t allowed to handle the drill; my heroic prowess hadn’t matured enough for that yet. The more I listened the more I matured. That day my vocabulary matured at least ten years.

We laid plastic water pipe and attached all fittings on both sides. Pressure testing was interesting, more words to learn. Then I was given the heroic task of filling in the hole I had just dug. Using hay, straw, and three different forms of manure I filled in the hole, which was below the freeze line for northern Montana, and replaced the sod on top. I was satisfied and felt good about myself. Then he handed me the shovel and a pitchfork and pointed at the barn… that is another story highlighted by another Greek hero.

Peace and Balance,

Friday, February 26, 2010


Tonight after working on my laptop for a bit, my AC power adapter died, it just sort of when caput. Electricity is important; it is what guides the machinery to run. Without a steady stream of electrons the battery in the computer, already weak due to over use, does not charge therefore dies a steady and slow death.

So, tomorrow in my travels I go forth to find another power supply presumably at Wal-Mart the store that has everything. I know the darn things are expensive, but it is an important expense.

Power is the name of the game. We use it, we generate it, and we exploit it like so many bees in a hive. So, like so many worker bees tomorrow I go out to find the stuff that makes my hive run, wish me luck…

Peace and Balance,

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Science is an interesting concept. There are soft sciences and hard sciences. I am the product of both schools of thought, which can cause conflict and confusion. What a wonderful mixture.

Hard science is very mathematical and logical, it has evidence to back it up that can be proven or debunked. Soft science is more philosophical, it’s logic wanes and expands depending upon the thought put into it. A philosophy can be rooted in fact, but most often has roots embedded in faith.

When the two sciences collide, when faith and fact meet the seeker is no longer within the confines of a closed system. We call this science metaphysics or metascience, the act of thinking outside the box.

Practicing any art form within the confines of a set of said rules entraps that art and puts it in a prison. Any philosophy that does not allow the thinker to think freely puts that philosophy in a mental prison. And any science that stops looking for answers to unanswered questions puts that science in a prison. So, outside the box we go into the unknown to let the powers of hard science collide with the powers of the soft science and let the metaphysics prevail.

Here’s a small Roman puzzle for you: Take the following formula, write it down on a piece of paper exactly as written, then without a pen or pencil do a simple change to make it true. XI + I = X

It's not outside of the box
It's not inside the box
It's not the box at all.

Peace and Balance,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Left Handed Luke

Luke was no ordinary man he was left-handed. Being a lefty gave those around him great concern. Was he evil, was he wrong, and was he the son of that down under? Words and thoughts like these followed Luke all of his life.

Luke was also a most intelligent man. He was well read and knew a great many things. Luke designed his own house and built it with his own hands, holding that hammer strongly on the left side. Luke loved building things. Creating was one of the great joys of his life. He was a master carpenter.

When Luke was a young man he carved and put together a fancy, but comfortable rocking chair for his dear mother. She would sit in that rocker and tell him stories about his people and family. Luke learned the lessons of family sitting at the feet of his mother while she rocked away.

When Luke was an older man he was spied nailing tiles on a roof without the aid of a hammer, he had learned to press the nails into the boards through the process of thought and will power. Luke had ascended beyond the need for physical tools.

There was a story about Luke placing a calloused hand upon the forehead of a blind man. Later that day while the blind man was alone his eyesight suddenly returned. There were no witnesses to the miracle, but the once blind man knew who did the deed. Luke denied he had anything to do with the act; humbly saying the once blind man must have spontaneously been healed.

Luke was left-handed all of his life and just sort of disappeared one spring afternoon. In his place was found only a few loose feathers and a note that read, “I’m sorry I can’t stay, but fear not I’ll return someday.”

Peace and Balance,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Destiny Rides Again

Destiny is a gunfighter, an artist of the unforeseen fathoms. Destiny faces you with the inevitable and at high noon makes you look real hard at it. Destiny’s guns are fate and chance; both are loaded with the ammunition of what will be and what may be. Destiny is a deadly accurate shot, the best in the west.

Destiny rides a horse as black as the nighttime sky. The horse’s name is Truth and has carried Destiny farther than any star has shone. Truth is an ever-trustworthy companion and has never let a rider down. Truth will travel farther than any other mount it is always stable.

Destiny travels from place to place from person to person looking for any foe. And with the guns of fate and chance will always prevail. Each moment Destiny rides again.

Peace and Balance,

Monday, February 22, 2010

Frying Bacon

Have you ever just watched a pan of bacon fry? This morning while making breakfast I did just that, watched bacon. When it starts it looks like a slab of fat with a little meat attached. If you’ve taken the time to heat up your pan your slab of fat will crackle and pop upon hitting the cooking surface, then the change begins.

Shrinkage happens the longer it cooks. Your slab of fat will shorten and become thinner and browner as it goes. It reminds me of the aging process, we all become shorter, maybe not so narrow, we lighten or darken and we become a tad crunchy just like frying bacon.

Bacon, eggs, toast, and coffee used to be called the “Heart Attack Breakfast,” today I call it food. My cholesterol is in the good range so I’m not to worried about that stuff, however I don’t eat that kind of food often enough to be concerned. It has been written that moderation in all things enhances long life. I plan to live forever to the chagrin of my children.

There is an aroma when bacon fries that makes the mouth water. After all who doesn’t like bacon? That would be un-American. I am a watcher of many a cooking show. One of my favorites has Chef Gordon Ramsey at the helm, and Chef Ramsey claims that bacon enhances the flavor of all things, kudos for bacon.

Frying bacon is like a stage in our personal development. We age, get crispy, and eventually are devoured by the gods. Humanity, the fried bacon of the gods, we are breakfast.

Peace and Balance,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Guard Duty

Part of my job includes standing and watching over small children making sure they are safe and secure before and after they attend school. This is a duty that I take very seriously although while observing you would notice me occasionally tossing a football or sharing jibes with the kids. I am outside enjoying the fresh air with the kids, however am ever vigilant and always watching the perimeter of the playground looking for things amiss.

I have a background in military guarding styles and training that makes me hyper-vigilant, the perfect choice for this duty. The principle of the school knew what she was doing when asking me if I’d take the job. I have a partner that helps me in the guarding of these kids and together we section off the playground into two major observational parts.

Recently I have had the opportunity to deal with intrusions into our play area. The trespass was in the form of adults on both occasions and I’m feeling a certain amount of empathy for some of the more needy of our children. One of the adults had to be brought to police attention and was recently arrested for threatening a minor, the other is being dealt with by the administrations office.

My job is to protect the security and safety of the children under my charge during the day. I am a 230 pound trained killer and a master at hand to hand combat, weaponry and tactics, thank god I’ve never actually had to physically go beyond the verbal stages of my job.

Peace and Balance,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The King and I

Struck dumb was I

Without a tongue to speak against the king
A hidden message was on his lips
To lead the masses astray
I couldn’t help but be in doubt
Knowing what I do,
That the king a lair had paid fair price
To wear his crown,
Was not a king at all, only a well dressed clown.

Peace and Balance,