“Be of good cheer…for Monday is near!” Get a rope!
I’m just saying,
“Be of good cheer…for Monday is near!” Get a rope!
I’m just saying,
Am I lucky or what? We live in the best town on the planet. Some would say that Camp Verde, Arizona, is a small hick town with nothing but cowboys, goat herders and seniors living there, but they have it all wrong! It’s the things we don’t have that make this town so great.
We don’t have traffic with cars and trucks spewing dark clouds of nasty smoke choking up everyone like in Phoenix and Tucson. It doesn’t take us an hour to drive from one side of town to the other; in fact, we can walk it in less than an hour without worrying about getting run over by a dump truck being driven by an idiot texting.
We don’t hear gunshots all night long by gangs and druggies using our town as a shooting gallery. The morning news isn’t filled with the newest drive-by killings where a poor innocent bystander was mowed down in a hail of bullets. You won’t hear about a young child being abducted, raped, murdered and then thrown into a dumpster like a piece of garbage. In fact, the only thing you will hear at night is the wonderful sound of silence (except maybe on New Year’s Eve).
If a town Marshal stops at your house while you are outside doing yard work, it isn’t to break into the house looking for illegal aliens. They will stop and ask silly questions like, “I really like the weed whacker you are using. Do you mind telling me where I could buy one?” Or, “Do you know where I might buy one of the murder mysteries you have written?” They will actually wave at you when driving by your house. What a concept – friendly policemen and women!
The fire department is always there when you need assistance. Not just for fires, but health emergencies too. They were jolly on the spot when my wife had a heart attack. These men and women were professional, kind and thoughtful. They got my wife to the hospital in Cottonwood in record time, stabilized and in great shape, all things considered. Kudos to our emergency services in Camp Verde; I salute each and every one.
Sure, our town isn’t perfect, but it’s as close as you can get. We actually know our neighbors and watch out for them because we care. Waving and smiling is the norm because we don’t live in fear of our lives all the time. While leaving cars and houses unlocked is a thing of the past, I bet we could do just that and never have a problem at home or in the grocery parking lot. Having lived in the big cities has conditioned us to error on the side of caution.
Living in Camp Verde reminds me of my childhood in San Marcos, California. We moved there from Tucson when my twin brother and I were six. It was a wonderful place to be a child, but unfortunately it was invaded by developers and is now a big town with traffic up the kazoo. If I had a family to raise again, you can bet it would be in Camp Verde, Arizona, “The oldest settlement in the Verde Valley.” The only trouble your kids will get into is stepping in horse poop and tracking it through the house.
I’m just saying,
I find myself grieving because of the death of someone I did not know. What I do know is that this man symbolized what is so spectacular about human beings. His life gave validity to the human spirit and dignity to the human condition. When I hear names like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, I instantly think of Nelson Mandela. These men inspired not just the nation of their births, but the whole world in ways that helped all mankind.
While the above names are not the only men throughout history to leave a legacy of hope and love, they are my heroes because their works inspired my generation. It was and is an honor to know of these great souls in my lifetime.
Rest in peace, Mr. Mandela, and thank you for all your good works…you will be missed greatly by all humankind.
For some reason I am thinking of the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales, no doubt the best movie that Clint Eastwood ever directed and starred in. I know, there will be some who disagree, but that’s OK with me…it’s just my opinion.
I can’t help but think about the Civil War in our country that pitted father against son and brother against brother in the bloodiest war in history up to that time. I am also reminded of the futility of war in general and the toll they take from the human heart and soul specifically. If you believe that our souls are connected in a collective consciousness – so too must you believe that murder and mayhem hurts us all not only externally, but more importantly, internally.
Two daunting questions have remained the same throughout the history of the planet Earth. Why must most things survive by the killing and eating of each other? Even man has succumbed to this rule in our past. Why must the strongest survive when the weak (just as alive and wanting to live) die so the best and strongest species survive?
Before the advent of instant communication and the Internet, these questions went mostly ignored except by scientists and historians. Today it is different; our children are now reading and leaning about the true nature of the planet which they live on. They are not confined to outdated textbooks designed to control the populous. I cannot imagine their horror when the realization hits them that everything in the universe is temporal and not everlasting as our forefathers would teach us. It is hard enough for me to believe and I am still trying to get a handle on the whole subject. What must our children be thinking in today’s information world?
One thing is for sure, without some kind of faith in mankind, suicide would be the norm. Without internal goodness, chaos would rule, and without love, we too would be like the insects that ravage and consume everything in their path.
Mankind is truly an enigma. On the one hand we are capable of incredible love and tolerance; while on the other, we are also capable of gross and horrifying evil. Could it be that we ourselves are not so far removed from a time when we lived in trees, eating anything and everything we could get our hands on?
I’m sorry, folks, but the old Garden of Eden theory does not work for me anymore. The only Garden of Eden is within our hearts, which is the place where our souls and Devine Love live. “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you” rings true and the Kingdom of Earth outside is waiting to perish as must all material things in our universe.
I most liked the part in the movie where Josey meets Ten Bears and they both know they have steel in their words of death, but instead agree that life is a much better solution, regardless of the pain and suffering both received from society at that time. They agreed to love one another and became blood brothers to seal the agreement.
I too believe in Devine Love, and no matter what this world throws at me, I will always believe that love conquers all. While we don’t have to cut our hands with knives and shake with blood dripping down into the soil, we can be blood brothers and sisters in spirit and let Devine Love fall down from the heavens to cleanse the Earth like the summer rains.
Life is not just black or white – it is filled with every color in a rainbow. I can’t remember how many times I have heard that there is only right or wrong, black or white, with no shades of gray. I believe we have all heard it so many times that we forget that in those shades of gray are hidden bright colors that can make life a kaleidoscope of hopes and dreams come true.
No matter how gray our lives might seem at any given time, we can peer into the kaleidoscope of dreams and see a bright future. Yes, it takes imagination, but we all have the power to do so no matter what condition we find ourselves in.
Look at young cancer patients in hospitals with a dire prognosis who refuse to give up; even with heads void of hair and stints protruding from their arms they have smiles that reflect the qualities of God. Such smiles give hope to millions of people who realize their problems are minuscule in comparison.
What about the serviceman or woman who comes back from war with amputated arms and legs after having laid in the battlefield smothered by the color gray only to be transformed into the arms of a rainbow with new hopes and dreams of rehabilitation. They face a rocky road most cannot dream of with a radiant smile and the determination to succeed in their new life.
Even with the anguish of losing a loved one (especially a child), we rise above the gray cloud of pain and sorrow when we start to see the color of hope knowing that our loved one is in the arms of Devine Love. Every story of near death experience deals with the radiant and pure colors of heaven, colors so bright and clear as to cause the onlooker to shade their eyes from its brilliance.
There is warmth in color and it surrounds the heart and soul. Even the blind can see the colors I speak of. I speak of the colors of Love – when you love, a rainbow develops in your soul and its colors radiate outward into the eyes of all who would see. This communication is timeless and has no boundaries. Can you see the colors of my Love? I am sending them to you with hope for your future and happiness in your life.
This is the first time I have ever continued a blog subject. While I am flattered that so many people want to read more on this subject, I am a little apprehensive about being repetitious, and at the same time forcing myself to relive a past that is history and possibly best forgotten. I am always wary of history repeating itself….
I don’t need specific programs of rehabilitation to remind me that addiction to drugs and alcohol will always be lurking somewhere deep inside my being waiting to retake what it had claimed so many years ago. The beast always waits to drag its victim into darkness where it feeds on human dignity and spiritual wholeness. Yes, I am fearful of this possibility, but at the same time, I stand tall in the light yearning to stay free.
In the last blog, I mentioned the book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Dr. Stephen Covey. At that time, I failed to mention one other book which was instrumental in showing me the path to sobriety. This book “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino also helped immensely in the process. It is fair again to mention that some would not find these books helpful and use the pages in the outhouse. In fact, these same people would print this blog for the same use. We can’t please everyone and if tried, we would end up banging our heads against the nearest solid object. This procedure would be a total waste of time and you don’t want to pay the doctor bill to patch up your head. I will save “Outrageous Doctor Bill” for another blog.
The next sentence is possibly the most repeated statement ever used. “Today is the first day of the rest of your life!” The reason it is so repeated is because it deals with one of the most basic truths of humanity. When we wake up in the morning (or any other time for that matter), we start life anew. This realization is what enabled me to get up, dust myself off, and move forward into a better life of Love and the understanding that it was not all about me.
Sure, I awoke many times heading for the golden throne so I could vomit up all the crap I had ingested the night before while saying, “I will never do this again.” If I had a nickel for every time I said that…you get the point; well, I never got a nickel and I never got rich. Let’s face it; grabbing a toilet rim to throw up is a really bad habit. According to Dr. Covey, “You can only get rid of a bad habit by replacing it with a good one.” Now we are getting somewhere was my thought when I read this. “What a concept.” Duh? Why didn’t I think of that before?
When I yanked myself by the seat of my britches out of the bars long enough to get sober, I started concentrating on becoming a construction superintendent instead of just a dirt bag carpenter. Things started to change; I dressed better, and I learned new ways to do my job more efficiently and professionally. I even taught myself to touch type using a CD which opened the door to becoming a project manager. Holy cow, people started looking up to me, and better yet, wanted my opinion at work and in my personal life!
When the bottom fell out of construction in 2009 and families were losing everything they ever worked for, I refused to let anything drag me back down into the darkness. I went to the computer and started writing a novel. The results have been three murder mysteries, “Evil in the Mirror” and “Day Stalker,” which are published and available on Amazon and “The Phoenix Code” which will be published in January of 2014. I also started writing my first blogs and discovered that writing was my long lost passion. I was amazed that the writing part was easy; proofing, editing and publishing were the real challenges.
If my path in life inspires just one person to do likewise, all of the work writing blogs will have not been in vain. I plan to put together a “Book of Blogs” and have it published so that after I have left the planet, whatever wisdom that may have been imparted can be read for generations to come. I say this with all modesty because I know that I am not a Stephen King or Ernest Hemingway. I am just a Harley rider and retired construction worker who likes to write.
I’m just saying,
So today is Cyber Monday and I wondered how many people will be going online to buy something even though they spent their wad on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday? While I didn’t succumb and attend these sordid affairs, I did ride with a friend to a big sale day at a Harley-Davidson dealer in Phoenix on Saturday. I didn’t buy anything, but I did look at the 50% off racks for some shirts, but alas there were only 2X, 3X and 4X available and the sale prices were above retail. That is why biker people in the know call H.D. “hundred dollars, hundred dollars.” Anytime you go to a Harley store – that is the minimum you are going to spend before escape is possible.
After I got home from the ride (thank you, Lord, for getting us home safely), I started thinking about the upcoming Monday online sales events and all of a sudden my brain went “snap” and it became clear that there must be some big-time Websites to be able to handle the millions of people buying like Mad Hatters all day long. I did a little research and indeed there are Websites that can handle that much and more.
OK, what is his point, one might ask? My point is simple – if the private sector can have Cyber Monday, huge sale days on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday without glitches that include the security of customer’s private information, why can’t the government do the same? Then I had another “snap” moment. What if the whole Affordable Care Act Website is a sham of sorts; it wasn’t supposed to work in the first place! I have heard that statement online, but paid little attention until now.
How could President Obama’s Administration be so inept? Why did they hire a Canadian computer tech company, with dubious credentials and known failures on their resume, when there were U.S. companies available that build this sort of Website routinely with great success? Why was private information of the person trying to buy insurance mandatory before any information about the so-called products could be revealed? Is it possible that private information was saved and stored even though the program failed after that information was obtained?
The Canadian connection worries me the most. It is no secret that many terrorist organizations operate in Canada, including, but not limited to, cyber terrorists. The tech company involved is suspicious to say the least. Why was Michele Obama instrumental in the hiring of this shadow company? Why did we spend hundreds of millions of dollars to an out-of-country company that could be sending these dollars to terrorist organizations in the Middle East and elsewhere? No Website in the states costs that kind of money to build. Right now Japan would gladly have built it to perfection for a lot less money to help their economic needs after the horrible tsunami and reactor meltdowns.
Oh, boy…another snap! Where was Congress while all this was going on? I submit they were out to lunch and/or too busy throwing darts and slinging arrows at each other while the President continued on his merry way with agendas not in the best interests of the American people. While I suspect these same American people are sick and tired of all the hate and discontent in politics just I am, it is prudent that these and other questions be asked by Congress in earnest. The race card is no longer a valid argument from either side of the political spectrum. There is no room for error in these matters and time is not on our side. This is not about race, liberalism or conservatism. It is about the security of our nation and the safety of our people. Too much has happened to ignore the possibilities in this issue and many others since President Obama was elected. It would be nice if the Congress of the United States of America did what we are paying them to do – serve your constituencies!
I’m just saying,