Life Wish…

It happens every so often. Usually I sense it a few seconds and a few yards prior.

I’m currently on track to ride just over 7,500 miles this year. I spend roughly 90-minutes each day on my bike, seven days per week.  I’ve missed only 3 days since March.

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An average week…

I’m one of the safest riders I know. I ride to the inside of my lane as much as I can. I wear bright colors and my bike is well lit, even in the daytime. I never take unnecessary chances, never wear earbuds, and continually maintain awareness of what’s behind me, beside me, and ahead of me.

It happens every so often. There are certain places along the way where I have almost come to expect it to happen.

Yesterday, as I was concluding a 26-mile ride, most of which took place in the dark.  I was enjoying a sunrise for the ages as I was in the final mile headed home, gliding at approximately 20 mph. I was on Main Avenue headed north, approaching the intersection of Main and Aviation.

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Blues At Sunrise…

It happens every so often. When it does, it is almost always at the intersection of Main and Aviation.

For those making a right turn from Aviation onto Main, there must be a sign that reads…

Don’t Stop!

Accelerate Through The Turn!

And For God’s Sake,

Don’t Look To The Left!

There must be a sign like that, there’s gotta be.

In the 15-years but I’ve been riding in Fallbrook, I’ve had more close calls at that intersection than any place else. Most often, I anticipate and see them ahead of time, and slow down with plenty of room to spare. That doesn’t stop me though, from screaming at the top of my lungs and shouting curse words so loud that people in Oxnard can hear me.

It happens every so often. When it does, it reinforces the confidence I have in my defensive riding skills.

So yesterday, as I was on Main, gliding toward Aviation and saw the gray, older model Nissan Sentra approaching the STOP sign, I pulled in my breaks just a little bit to slow down. As I saw the car slowing down, I released my brakes and continued to glide.

I usually don’t let my guard down like that.

As I regained my speed, the woman driving the Sentra accelerated through the turn without looking left. She actually gunned it.

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1800 Lumen. 16-hour lifespan

As I processed this in fractal seconds, I realized I was finally going to get hit by a car full-on for the very first time.

I squeezed up both brake levers as evenly as possible.

It happens every so often. When it does, my voice gets loud quickly and my language gets offensive.

Though I don’t remember doing it, I must have screamed loud enough to get her attention. I remember seeing her finally look to the left and hit her brakes. As her car came to a stop my bike came to a stop also, with my front tire barely pressing into her driver’s side door.

I immediately laid my bike down and prepared to punch my hand through her driver’s side window — as an attention getter, and I’m certain I would’ve done it had she not taken off, but she took off.

I continued screaming and cursing at the top of my lungs as I chased her down the Main. After 30 strides or so, I turned, walked back, righted and mounted my bike, and finished the final mile of an otherwise glorious ride.

This was the closest call I’ve ever had. If I had been 5-feet further along, she would have hit me with the front of her car and I would have flown. There’s no telling what condition my body would have been in.

When I tell people things like this happen, and that it’s part of the risk of daily riding, they often ask or assume that I have a death wish.

I do not have a death wish I have a life wish.

Up until that moment, I had ridden over 20-miles in the dark.  I hadn’t seen coyotes, low-flying owls, and seen the campfires of the homeless people living in the San Luis Rey riverbed. I was enjoying an amazing sunrise, and I was gliding all the while.  My heart was floating.

Few things breathe life into me more than the sites, the sounds, and the smells of the communities that I ride through each day.

This is what I live for.

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That there is an inherent risk of injury or even death that goes along with this feeling of life, I can’t deny. On the half-dozen or so courses I ride each week, there are at least five permanent markers — memorials to bikers who have been hit and killed by cars. I always look at them to honor them as I ride by. So it’s always on my mind — the risks within the joy.

It happens every so often. But the alternative is to crawl into coffin and wait, and I’m just not wired that way, so I continue to ride… Jhciacb

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Mustang Galley…

My daily bicycle ride takes me long Old River Road, which is a gravelly, half-kept road here in rural San Diego County. Though there are some nice homes above the road that I enjoy riding by each morning, the highlight for me are the acres — the miles of tomato fields which rise up alongside the road. These waves of fully grown tomato plants, staked up and reaching for the sunshine are an aesthetic treasure.

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On one section of Old River Road, just after I turn from Highway 76 not far from the old Bonsall bridge, I’ve noticed a late model Ford Mustang parked there for the last few weeks. This Mustang is in the middle of nowhere — the nearest house is probably a mile away, so it is just parked — on a rural road. About half the time I ride past it, which is early in the morning, the hood over the engine is up and there are two men standing beside the car looking over the engine.

This has gone on for weeks.

As I ride past them each morning, I can’t help but wonder why these two men can’t get this car running and relocated to a better place. I admire their tenacity working on it day after day, but after a few weeks I have assumed that the car would be running by now.

Yesterday morning, curious about what was going on with that engine, I slowed down considerably and looked into the engine compartment as I road by. I couldn’t see much, but it didn’t look like it was in any state of disrepair. Not wanting to be obvious, I just kept going, still curious about what they’re doing to that engine.

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This morning I slowed down even more and attempted to get a closer look. What struck me first, and something I should have considered long ago, is that it appears that the two men actually live in the car. As I slowed down and looked toward it, I saw pillows and blankets inside the car piled on the rear dashboard as well as some clothing. As I processed that idea in mere seconds while riding by, I realized that the two men are standing there each morning with the hood up, not because they’re trying to fix the engine, but they’re using the heat of the engine to cook with. It’s their stove.

When I first started driving in 1977, I remember my friend Jeff and I talking about the heat of an engine block being hot enough to cook a can of Dinty Moore beef stew on. I have no idea why that ever came up, but it did and I’ve never forgotten it. So in the trunk of my car during Colorado winters, I always kept a couple cans of stew alongside a 1-gallon bucket of gravel, a snow shovel, toilet paper, and matches — in case of an emergency.

For these two gentlemen, the emergency seems to be present and ongoing. I’m going to ride by again in the morning and stop in hopes that they’ll talk to me a little bit — see if they will be willing to share their predicament and the circumstances that led them to living in and cooking on a Mustang parked on Old River Road. We’ll see if they’re willing to talk.

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In the meantime, this is just another good reminder for me of how fortunate I am, and even better reminder that my cardinal-rule of life has never been more relevant…

… I will never buy a car I can’t pay cash for and also sleep in comfortably, because those two men could just easily be me… Jhciacb

If you have not already, please scroll up and subscribe. And please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there is this from Love As Laughter. Enjoy…!

Rental Car Body…

There is a mindset, I believe, that many people have when it comes to the care of their bodies. I liken It being in possession of a rental car.

Good intentions be damned…

When we pick up a rental car in preparation for a road trip, we usually take a moment to appreciate what we have just been trusted with. Generally, we receive rental cars in great condition. We know the fluids, the gas tank, and the tires are all full. We know it’s been thoroughly checked over so that we don’t worry about its performance. We get in and are proud to be seen in it. It’s just like driving a brand new car, without scratching the $25,000 check. We drive away with our head held high.

We feel so appreciative of what we have that we make a subconscious pact to take good care of it while it’s in our possession. Then, the road trip begins…

At some point we need to stop and get gas. While paying for gas, our eyes are tempted by the pink Hostess Snowballs at the checkout line. The small can of Redbull in the bucket of ice also looks tempting as we enter our pin code into the debit card reader. Hey, it’ll help to help keep us alert during the trip.

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Back on the road and after the second Snowball is consumed, and not really having a formal trash bag in the car, we crumple the wrapper from the Snowball and throw it on the floor in front of the passenger seat. A whisk of the fingertips gets the remainder of the pink coconut crumbs from our lap onto the floor in front of the driver’s seat. Three swallows and the Redbull is gone. Crush. Toss the can over our shoulder into the backseat where it lands and rolls onto the floor.

Gonna be a long trip…

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Later in the day we stop for lunch. Taco Bell, sweet! The drive-through is quick and times a wastin’. Immediately back on the road, a few more crumpled wrappers on the floor, some spilled Dr Pepper on the console, and no thoughts about it really. Hey, it’s a rental car — they’ll clean it up when we turn it in.

Stopping for the night at the Super 8 motel, and in a hurry to get to the room for the free HBO, we yank the suitcase from the back of the car too quickly, putting a slight tare in the door panel. Hey, it’s not our door panel. We can tell the rental agency that it was there when we picked the car up. How are they gonna prove otherwise…?

By the end of the road trip, the floor is covered with fast food wrappers, there are stains all over the armrests and console from spilled drinks, there are a few more scratches and dings on the vinyl interior than were previously there, and there’s been no attempt to clean any of it up. Hey, that’s what those lot boys get paid for — cleaning up after our trespasses.

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This brief description how many people treat rental cars is how I see many people treating their bodies; as vehicles for forgivable sin to be cleaned up later, but by who…?

What undermines this even more, is people’s belief in God, and an afterlife beyond this body.

When we get to heaven, of course, we don’t have a body. That, or we get a brand new one with unlimited miles and layer upon layer of Scotchgard. Live it up while we’re here, yes…?

What also undermines this just as much, is people’s disbelief in God and disbelief in a life beyond this body.

Hey, no afterlife — we’re just going to get eaten by maggots anyway. Live it up while we’re here, yes…?

In the end, I guess both sides are right. The body is just a loaner. No need to turn it in in tact, so long as it gets us through this road trip of life.

I’m not trying to sound too preachy here, Lord knows I’ve thrown some Taco Bell wrappers on the floor of my body. I do think though, that the metaphor is legit.

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The road trip of life is a long haul. And yes, if we have good health insurance it’s the equivalent of roadside assistance. But maybe, just maybe, the whole point of roadside assistance is never having to use it, by virtue of taking care of the rental car that is us.

Myself, I do believe in an afterlife, though I can’t say for sure what that involves. I don’t believe the body I have now, or possibly an body at all will be part of my afterlife, so there is that temptation to run this body into the ground knowing that I’ll carry on without it.

While I’m here though, I’ve come to appreciate the way that taking care of this body has served me. And if that sounds a bit preachy, forgive me, but it’s what I do for a living, and at least part of why you decided to read this… Jhciacb

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Like Guitars…

Like Guitars…

The guitar has always had a certain appeal to me.  Not just to hear them, but to hold and touch them.  The guitar has always had an aura of mystery to me.  

Like many, I have purchased a guitar or two in my life with the best of intentions, only to lay them down within a few weeks to gather dust in favor of greater priorities.  Though many times my imagination has seen me become proficient with a guitar, my reality has seen me dislike the idea of practice, thus getting nowhere.  

I’ll suggest most people who take guitar lessons aim simply to be proficient.  I have no idea how many people who take guitar lessons ever become proficient.  I recently asked a friend who is a guitar teacher about this and when he was done rolling his eyes, he said, “very few”.  He went on to remind me that people can take lessons ongoing, but if they don’t practice, the wont progress.  

This is something I can relate to as a teacher of exercise and fitness.  People have been recruiting my services for years, as a midwife between themselves and improved fitness. Like the guitar, being fit has a certain allure as well as an aura of mystery — something we would all like to have a proficiency with. It’s easy to imagine being more fit, as it is easy to imagine playing Proud Mary by the campfire. 

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Though imagination is a beautiful thing, it alone doesn’t get the ship across the sea.  Fitness takes more than lessons.  Like playing the guitar with proficiency, fitness takes practice — and time.  

Purchasing a gym membership, a diet plan, or even the services of a fitness trainer won’t guarantee results.  Consistency in practice, and patience are the primary means of conveyance. 

And that’s where this little sermon ends — with the thought that becoming proficient with your body is no different than becoming proficient an instrument, though I’ll suggest one is slightly more important…  Jhciacb 

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What’s In A Name…

Yesterday, in response to an innocuous post my brother put up on social media, I offered a single word reply — fag. I’ve been calling my brother fag since I’ve been able to speak.

One of his connections took offense to this, and asked me whether I would use the N-word in reference to blacks or if I ever referred to Mexican as Spics. He then asked if I would be offended by the word kike.

In my life, I have been called kike, heeb, names that have compared me to an animal, and much worse — all for having been born Jewish. The good news is, I was born with thick skin so I don’t let it get to me. I never have.

My commenting that my brother is a fag was not in reference to his sexuality. It was in reference to the fact that I’m better than him at everything that we’ve ever done, that I always will be, and that he is giant puss. It’s part of the language we speak as brothers — even in our 50s and 60s.

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To me, this is analogous to two words in two different languages, that are spelled and look the same, but carry very different meanings.

Fag, in the context of a derogatory term used towards homosexuals, is written in the language of hate. I don’t speak hate, ever.

Beyond that, I have been an avid supporter of, and an active voter in matters of gay rights. I have raised a daughter, now an adult, who is an activist championing gay rights in the communities she has lived in since she was in her teens.

That type of hate, prejudice, and hate speech have no place in this world, and I will speak out against it and vote against hate every chance I get.

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Fag, in the context of my brother being the world‘s biggest puss, is used in the language of a sophomoric boy trapped in a man’s body, which is a language I speak with fluency.

That is, my brother was born at fag, lives is a fag, and will die as a fag. When he gets to the pearly gates, Saint Peter will greet him and say “What’s up, Fag…?“

At which point my brother will reply…

“Shut up fetus face, now show me to my room…“

Mark and Saint Pete will punch each other on the shoulders, and all will be good in heaven as it was on earth.

I extended an apology to the man who took offense to that term, and offered him the explanation I have given above. I also sent him a friend request. Both apology and the friend request, thus far, have been ignored.

I know more than a few people who read this will also take offense to me using that term, lash out at me, attempt to initiate an argument, unfriend me, or block me altogether. Some though, may simply attempt to change my mind and ask me to quit using the term. I won’t.

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I stand strong with how I use the term, and feel I’ve given an intelligent, if not well received explanation. I will always have some faults in the eyes of some or in the eyes of many, and for some, one of those faults may be speaking in the language of a sophomoric boy stuck in a man’s body. At the end of the day though, this is about two words, spelled the same and that look the same, but mean two distinct things, in two different languages… Jhciacb

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Soul Food… For Thought…

Ruminating on souls this morning — who gets one and who doesn’t. Most assume that all human beings get a soul, and many of us believe that some or most animals get one also. 

However, it seems for as many people who believe that most mammals may get souls, and maybe a few select birds and fancy fish too, they don’t believe that insects do — or bacteria or even bushes. At the very least in the minds of many, there is limited soul distribution among living things. Some critters get ‘em and some don’t. 

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And for all of it’s lofty expansion in the last hundred years or so, science is still unable to establish clear evidence of a soul in any creature or in any plant.  Science might be able to prove emotion and/or feeling in living things, but it can’t show evidence of a soul. The soulascope  has not yet been invented. And of course, there’s that question as to where souls come from to begin with…

For a great many people, the only answer to the question of where souls come from is God. 

With little investment though, I can create a soul in my own home.  All I need to do is to put two dogs together who kind a favor each other, and let them get more familiar with one another, and within weeks of that, there will be a new soul in the house, perhaps a half dozen or more…

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For my part, I believe that all animals have souls, including fish and insects.  I regularly entertain whether or not plants have souls, but on that one, I remain undecided, but ever curious. 

Also for my part, I believe that all souls should be treated as equally as possible, though in a complex and often chaotic world, that can’t always be the case. 

A great majority of people in the world have no problem with the extinguishing of souls, all day long, so long as they get eaten or provide us with useful products such as shoes, costmetics, or some light-hearted amusement. This haunts me, ongoing, but I am guilty too. 

Taking souls is acceptable for most, in order that we each preserve the soul within us, or advance the collective causes of all human souls. Again, haunts me. 

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I’m just thinking about souls this morning. In truth, I think about them all day long — always bubbling under the surface… Jhciacb

If you  have not already, please scroll up and subscribe. And please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from the incredible Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks. Enjoy…!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jhciacb

Addressing Obesity In Others…

I’ll state from the start that I’m less trying to initiate a discussion, than I am sharing the experiences of a career fitness trainer.

Discuss if you wish, but I reserve the right to delete, ignore, and to pass judgment based on my experiences.

As a career fitness trainer, I’ve been privy to discussions on obesity at many levels. My expertise has been sought to advise, to consult, and to help in framing such discussions.  I’ve seen the obesity of others addressed by family, friends, and coworkers from every possible angle.

Hint: these discussions almost never go well, and often have a negative, and even a contrary result on the individual’s behavior in matters of eating and drinking.

In cases where it’s a parent talking to an adult child, a spouse talking to his/her partner, friends talking to friends, or co-workers talking to their contemporaries about the need to lose weight, it can go south very quickly — even if the intentions behind those conversations are good.

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The primary example of such good intentions usually cited is “for reasons of health”. That is, an individual wants to guide another individual towards weight-loss for reasons of improved health. And though that may be the foundation for many of these discussions, it’s my opinion that at the root of them it often relates as much to what the person looks like, as it does to their level of health or wellness.

Even in matters of obesity, human beings have the ability to cleverly mask their prejudice with so-called good intentions.

I have a client who has been with me on-and-off for nearly a decade. He’s approximately 80-lbs overweight. His parents speak to him regularly about the health implications of his obesity.

Though I am certain the parents of this man, who is now 30-years old, do have concerns that relate to his health, he is also the face of the family business. And as the face of that enterprise, I am just as certain that the parents of the young man would prefer he be at an aesthetically more pleasing weight.

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Each time his parents address this with him, they speak in terms of improved health, but often segue into matters of appearance. This can send my client into a depression, and his eating and drinking tendencies often increase. He has confessed this to me.

Did I mention he was not far from a healthy weight when he began working with me…?  The whole reason he became a client was because his parents wanted him to trim down a little for photographs and videos that he would appear in on behalf of their business.

As he resisted and went in the other direction, his parents applied even more pressure, to which he resisted more, and the snowball effect was an 80-pound weight gain over an approximate 4-5 year period.

The pressure from outside, as gentle as it might be, was not always gentle.  For my part, I have tried to do my best to provide him with beneficial workouts, and I’ve encouraged him to eat in support of those workouts.

This is not an isolated case. I have known many like this, too many, and have known of many more.

I once had a client who was a contestant in the Miss Los Angeles pageant. She was in my studio one day with her mother there to photograph the session. Suffice it to say that if you’re a contestant in the Miss Los Angeles pageant, you’re drop-dead gorgeous to begin with, and probably quite fit, despite the very slight muffin top hips.  I was demonstrating an exercise for the young woman when her mother said in a voice loud enough for people in China to hear…

“Look at her, she’s fat!” pointing to the muffin top.

I wanted to hang myself. Instead, I just stood silently, broadcasting the most apologetic look I possibly could toward my client. I was grateful that she wasn’t obese, or she probably would’ve been disowned. And that feeds into my message more than a little bit…

If we have the ability to be judgmental and prejudice over people that we love being 5-lbs overweight, it probably gets much easier for us to be inexcusably judgmental over people we don’t know who might be 100-lbs overweight. Many people I know carry that level of prejudice and more. They put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the individual who is carrying the extra weight.

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No adult who is overweight, be it by 5-lbs or 200, is ever unaware of their situation or caught off-guard by it. Never.

From my perspective, whether a person desires lose 5-lbs or 50, they need cheerleaders, not false natured pundits of change hiding behind the facade of good health. There is no doubt that if I were the only voice in the ears of my weight-loss clients, they would be less likely to push back, even subconsciously, to their own detriment as many do when guided by the so-called voices of love.

By today’s sideways and prejudiced thinking, opioid abusers are now most often seen as full-on victims of doctors, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies, while obese people are seen almost exclusively as weak gluttons. This, in my opinion, is not the case.

Though we all do get to make choices about the foods that we put in our bodies, we all exist in ever expanding systems of complexity in which corporations and marketeers work harder than ever, and more intelligently, at leading us into lesser choices.

I can’t go an hour online without somebody putting information in front of me demonstrating how the corporations behind our technology and behind our pharmaceuticals work hard to lead me into being more dependent on their technology and their pharmaceuticals. With that in mind, I can assure you that the corporations behind our food products are working just as hard to get us to eat more, and more frequently.

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Take a good look around in any room, social setting, store, or playground.  Though the temptation may be to blame an individual’s weakness for their excess bodyweight, they are increasingly tempted, if not outright lead into lesser eating choices.  That’s why it’s happening to so many more people with each passing year, myself included. This, all done by companies that make a little more profit with every pound that we gain.

So if you have a concern that a friend, family member, or coworker might be overweight, and you truly are concerned about their health, maybe mention it to them one time, and then let it go. After that, channel your energies toward the ever-changing structures and institutions that have allowed obesity to be on the increase.

Hint: It begins with your vote each November.

Lastly, and I cannot be more clear about this, if you use the word ‘fat’ in any fashion when addressing or describing an individual who might be overweight, that is moral equivalent of using the N-word… Jhciacb

If You have not already, please scroll up and subscribe. And please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there is this incredible outtake from Alex Chilton. Enjoy…!

The Strangest Accent…

In 1989 I was working as a scheduling analyst in the pilot planning department for America West airlines. They had sent me to Hawaii to help open a crew base there in preparation for flights to Japan.

With little for me to do there during my first few days, my workdays usually ended by 10 or 11 AM. My afternoons were spent walking the beaches, exploring shops and restaurants, but mostly surfing the gentle waves of Waikiki beach.

One afternoon, after paddling out, I sat mid-point on my surfboard taking in the peaceful scene. There were few people around and I remember feeling as though I had won the lottery. After a half-hour or so another man paddled out and sat beside me waiting for waves, but like me, was in no hurry to catch any. The man was quite tan, extremely lean, had blonde hair and blue eyes. He looked like he belonged in Southern California more than Hawaii.

While striking up a conversation and making small talk, I noticed he had a unique accent. I pride myself on being able to identify accents, even within regions, and I’m usually quite good at it. His, however, was distinct and I couldn’t figure it out. So I asked him leading questions in order to get him talking more. The more he spoke, the harder I had to work at identifying his accent, and the more lost I became in doing so.

I just couldn’t pinpoint his accident. The blonde hair and blue eyes lead me to believe he might be German, Scandinavian, or from somewhere in northern Europe. His accent though, sounded nothing like a European accent.

Eventually I just asked him…

You know, I’m pretty good at identifying accents, but yours is eluding me. Can I ask where you’re from…?

“I’m from Japan” he said through a small but noticeable chuckle.

Never saw that comin’…

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We talked for a few more minutes and explained that he gets that all the time. He was from a 3rd generation family of German immigrants who settled in Japan as missionaries before the turn of the last century. He told me he spoke no German whatsoever, and English was his second language. He had been raised and educated speaking Japanese, hence the accent.

Once he explained this to me, it was clear as a bell. He sounded Japanese. He was Japanese. He was just a blonde haired, blue eyed Japanese.

On one hand, I should get a pass for not being able to identify his accent. Blonde haired, blue eyed people rarely have Japanese accents. But the lesson learned that day was quite simple…

There is an explanation for everything, even for those things that are strange and unique. Sometimes though, those explanations are very well hidden and require a little digging…. Jhciacb

If  you have not already, please scroll up and subscribe. Please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP  button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this tasty cover of a bubblegum classic from Cornershop. Enjoy…!

A Faith Of One…

I am resolute in my faith. I believe deeply, but don’t subscribe to any denomination or persuasion. I contemplate, but don’t fall into suit with any school of philosophy. I pray, but I won’t suggest I truly know who is receiving those thoughts. My life has a dogmatic structure, but it is self-designed, practiced with consistency, and always with gratitude.

Still, there are those will come to know these aspects of me and suggest that my faith isn’t real or outright false because it lacks a name, a well-defined deity, ancient decrees, or leadership from beyond my own mind.

That amuses me — the very idea that my faith is less legitimate, less sincere, or less worthy because it’s self-assembled, self-administered, and freelance.

My faith is my faith. It is just as real and just as sincere to me as anyone else’s is to them, though there is no way to accurately measure one’s faith in contrast to that of another — thank God. Or should I just say thank goodness…?

I’m proud of my faith. I’m proud in large part, because it’s MY faith, not anyone else’s. Over time, it has been customized to within a millimeter of my soul. It’s a well-tailored suit of spirituality that fits me like a glove. Along with my daughter, my business, and my most immediate personal relationships, my faith is the most important aspect of my being.

I just wanted to throw out there this morning as a reminder that, although actions can be measured, faith cannot. Criticize my actions, praise them, or ignore them altogether. To question my faith though, would be to take on a task that will fall well short of completion… Jhciacb

If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. And please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from The Ass Ponys.  Enjoy…!

Where To Let Them Age…

With coffee at my side and my dog on my lap this morning, I lightly run my hand over his graying head. I tell him that I love him and assure him that he’s safe in my home. This is the most important part of my morning routine. If there’s going to be any peace in my day, then holding my dog and reassuring him is the down payment for that peace.

At 13, I accept that he probably has just a few years left with me, so I do my best to make each day for him count and to ensure his comfort and safety.

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My house is not a veterinary hospital nor a kennel. I don’t have all the medicines at my disposal which he might need for the illnesses that come with age. I don’t have any technicians or assistants on staff checking on him throughout the day. In an emergency, I would have to get him to a hospital as quickly as possible. Despite this absence of medication, trained help, and facilities, nobody tells me that as he ages he should be living in a veterinary hospital or in a kennel.

People accept that this is his home, and that despite me not being set up with as a pet care facility, this is where he belongs. Still, rarely a week goes by that a well-intended client or friend doesn’t suggest that my mother might be better off in assisted-living.

On one hand, that may not be a fair comparison. As people age, their need for care can be more complex and more far-reaching and that of an aging pet.

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On a more visceral level though, I have to question why it is so easy to put older human beings in care facilities, yet this is never done with our pets. Is it strictly a matter of health, hygiene, or safety…? Or is it a matter of convenience…?

The answer to that, of course, is probably somewhere in the middle.

Though it’s true that my mother might be better off with trained professionals in her proximity in case of emergency, a little red knob she can push if she needs help, or a cafeteria, none of those people or facilities will hold her hand each day and thank her for all that she’s done. Nobody will be there to tell her that they love her and actually mean it.

She might be in a safe room, but she wouldn’t be in a home. From that perspective, I see a little difference between taking an aging pet and putting him in a cage 3 miles from here, and doing the same thing with my mother, despite that the cage might have a sofa, a TV, and bingo on Tuesday nights.

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What I am willing to do for my dog, at the very least, I should be willing to do for my mother, including putting a pill in a piece of cheese and throwing it quickly to the back of her throat, and rubbing her neck to ensure it goes down. That’s a joke, kind of…  Jhciacb

If  you’re not already a subscriber, please scroll up and and subscribe. Please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP  button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there is this from Peelander Z. Enjoy…!