Thursday, September 01, 2005

I am certain that somewhere in the elegant halls of musics finest and Hollywoods elite, that a concert is being prepared. Something like, Concert for New Orleans, or Save the Gulf Coast from Becoming a Wet Land. while I aplaud their lofty intentions, I have an alternative suggestion. The gods of music and the matinee idols should hols a press conference and announce that instead of a concert they are all going to pool their vast resources and any donations that they recieve. With these funds they are going to rent a fleet of buses and helicopters and deliver as many people from New Orleans that they can. They will take this caravan to some cities further inland, safe from the devestation. Once they arrive there, they are going to rent some hotels, not hotel rooms, but entire hotels and put the refugees up in them for as long as it is necessary. Then they will take them to the local Wal-Marts and Targets and K-Marts and sponsor a clothing shopping spree for these poor survivors. They will also encourage the local restuarants and grocery stores to donate gift certificates and groceries so the refugees can continue to eat. If we roped the tians of professional sports, this could be an amazing thing. If the fans of these folks are not moved by the milk of human kindness or the desire to be just like their IDOLS, perhaps the stars could send them an authgraohed photo in appreciation.
Just an idea, what do y'all think?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Did y'all know that a hurricane is coming? Well if you watched any of the 24 hr news channels, you would know it, of course, you wouldn't know how the war in Iraq or Afghanistan is going or that anything else is actually going on. I mean how long does it take to say that a bunch or water and wind is fixing to redesign the gulf coast?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Ok, can someone explain something to me? At 5:30 this morning, there were a half dozen or so, senior citizens at Hardees. Why? Do older folks have to get up at unnatural hours of the day and congregate at fast food restaurants? Is that what I will have to look forward to , MANY YEARS from Before you say anything. I was at Harde's because I had just finished working. Trust me, if my middle-aged body had been in bed anytime before the rooster started crowing, you would be looking in vain if you searched fast food restaurants at 5:30am.

Ok, on a more serious note, I want to thank God and my mother for the way I was raised. I was blessed to have been shielded from the lure of drugs and alcohol. Having very little contact with those things as a kid and especially as a teen made it all that much easier to avoid falling into substance abuse as an adult. For the last two days, I have been doing some floor work at a women's reap center. I had a chance to talk, or actually listen to some of the women there. Most are so grateful for the reap. One lady said that if Serenity Place was not there, she knew she would have been somewhere high and strung out. Another woman told us that she had been addicted to meth for 12 years. Most of the women were under the age of 30, one was turning 21 Saturday. Many of them expressed how they couldn't believe what they had done to their bodies. Now clean, and working on staying that way, they could see that what sober people worked hard to avoid, like caustic chemicals, they had lapped up like sweet ice cream.

Well, I am heading to the bed. Talk to y'all later.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Discipline, now there is an interesting word. It has a variety of meanings, but the one that interests me is the one dealing with ability of an individual to consistently accomplish things. I have always been a person with ideas, plans, goals, hopes, dreams,..Ok, I think you get the idea. My problem has been implementing the ideas and sticking with them. My plans may be as simple as walking for exercise daily, but I tend to fall through on them consistently. Wait a minute, that means that I am disciplined in being undisciplined. That's not This is one of the areas that I am working on. I want the plans and ideas that I have that I know to be good things to succeed, which will require me staying the course. I struggle with the concept of letting go and letting God, because while I am certain that God can and will do anything He wants, I also know that He expects me to do what He wants, that I have to actually do it. I am the one who has to lace up the sneakers and walk out of the driveway and take that fitness walk, each day. So I am asking Him to make me understand and make me do it.

Cockroaches are really annoying. We are having issues with them at the complex where I live and work. Fortunately, the problem is not in my building. We had a couple of tenants that felt that their apartments were better suited as landfill and sewage plants and so lived in accordance with those ideas. One of the results, and believe me there were a number of nasty and unpleasant results, was an infestation of roaches. I am now firmly convinced that the old adage that roaches will be one of the few survivors of a nuclear explosion. A friend in the building being claimed by the roach kingdom told me that he warmed something up in the microwave and as he was taking it out a roach crawled out of the microwave. Gross!! We have had the building sprayed professionally twice, bug bombed it twice and have lain all manner of roach pesticides. We are losing this war. I am contemplating requesting that we resort to the ultimate solution... just start charging them rent. Maybe they will get fed up with the noisy neighbors and move on their own.

Ok enough for lame jokes. I will talk to y'all later.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I am now officially opposed to placards, sound bites and catch phrases. We are turning our country into a nation of non-thinkers who need the truth boiled down, finely sifted and pressed neatly into a thimble of information that doesn't make us think about anything beyond what celebrity is dating which other celebrity. We are faced today with such monumental issues as war(in Iraq, Afghanistan, and worldwide against terrorism); embryonic stem cell research and its underlying issue: when does life start; what direction will the law take as the highest court in the land is remade;and a host of other complex and thought requiring issues. Yet, we are bombarded with simple answers, hyped-up opinions, and partisan rantings. The American people need to demand that all this stop and that the FACTS be presented and we be allowed to thoughtfully consider each issue. Of course that will require the American public to actually care and be willing to do the difficult things, something that I fear we are ready to do.

Ok, so much for my soap box. Life is good. the monster ravaging my back seems to be losing his grip or interest in my back and not a moment too soon.

talk to y'all later.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Visit to the Park

I went to the Falls at Reedy River Park today for a brief visit, a sort of scouting mission to find a really enjoyable place to relax, read and most importantly, write. The city has done a terrific job on transforming a once neglected and dangerous park into a welcoming haven of outdoor fun. Grabbing my attention as soon as I left Main Street were the flowers. The variety and intensity of the colors and the amazing fragrance of all the flowers provide the perfect invitation to spend time near the Reedy.
The park was abuzz with people today, all ages and races, each with their own distinct design for their afternoon in nature. I had no sooner left the bustle of Main Street than I was treated to a beautiful sight, the melding of nature and humanity. A young woman was having her bridal photographs taken and it was an amazing sight. Her elegant white bridal gown highlighted her scarlet hair and light dusting of freckles. The photographer was scurrying around her, using the Park’s natural beauty to enliven his shots of the joyous bride.
As I continued on my search of the Park, I passed an older couple sitting close to each other, but engrossed in their individual pursuits of recording the glories of nature they were observing: him, with a pencil on paper and her, using a brush and paints. I was struck by the fact that these two people were able to enjoy each other while also enjoying their personal hobbies.
A handful of children were relishing the cool relief and wet fun of the Reedy as their parents waded nearby, careful not to allow themselves to get too wet as they kept watch on their young.
What would a sunny summer day in the park be without the presence of young lovers and today was no exception. There were a number of lovers enjoying the fresh air oblivious to their companion park visitors.
One couple had their enjoyment interrupted, when an older gentleman, overheated from mid-day cycling, decided to partake of the Reedy’s refreshing coolness. The source of their discomfort was observing a skinny; wrinkly man wearing a rather small Speedo, his creased, sunburned skin was far from an appealing addition to the splendor of nature they had been enjoying.
The mournful cries emanating from a young woman sitting on a rock wall grabbed my attention. She was pleading with someone, a lover, I assumed, but she alone occupied the wall. My puzzlement faded when I spied the cell phone. This clearly was not the way to experience the Park on such a glorious day.
Two men and their dogs played a game of fetch, including the river in their playing field; at least the dogs included the Reedy. The men had them on extending leashes, so the spotted black and grey Labrador and the young Golden Retriever could go places the men had no wish to follow, like the cold water of the Reedy.
My tour of the Park took me beyond the limits of the city’s revitalized areas, leaving behind the cultivation and manicuring. No more flowers and well trimmed hedges graced the path as I neared the Church Street overpass. Even the smell changed, what had been floral and sweet was now urban and unpleasant, but I trudged on determined to find just the right spot. A mother and her teenage son greeted me as I crossed under the overpass. The ball cap the son wore barely contained the wild black mane that topped his head. He spoke to someone on a walkie-talkie as I passed; someone that was clearly trying to catch up with them. A mere minute or two after leaving them, I ran into the other half of the walkie-talkie conversation, another teenage boy, this one with a more manageable mane.
Finally I found what I had been hunting, my oasis; a small backwash along the Reedy. It butts against Church Street and the park path continues on its way finding Cleveland Park. As the Reedy turns right and then left again , it creates a small backwash on the right of the path, complete with a large smooth slab of stone, ideal for sitting and reflecting, especially under the tree that shadows a good portion of the rock. From where I am sitting I can almost block out all signs of civilization, especially if I let the rushing current drown out the traffic noise of Church street and I avoid looking to my left, where a large iron pipe crosses the Reedy and a steel walking bridge joins it. It helps also to ignore the occasional hiker or cyclist that can be seen on the path that tops the steep bank across the Reedy from where I am sitting.
As I sit here and relax, I let my mind wander, let it drift to the lands in my story and I am ready to write. I shut out the troubles and cares of my daily life and focus on Angus, Delmarf, Wemael and company. This is a good place to tell their story.
Occasionally I notice people, like the trio of coed nature photographers, and I am brought back to reality, but that is ok too. People often provide the building blocks of characters. Of course that is a discussion for another time. I will leave you today with a funny bit of graffiti I saw under the Church Street Bridge. On one of the support pillars someone drew a rat wearing a gas mask.