Seeking A HIGHER Standard

I mentioned in the last post that I have become aware of a new reality in my that I probably didn't represent fairly in the post but at the same time will present challenges to Kim and I as time passes. 

Because I am a person now with some visibility not just in recovery circles but now church because of my involvement in the Bible Reading Ministry...that has brought a heightened sense of scrutiny from members of the church and others.

Naturally this is something wholly new to me and at first totally negative and unwanted.I didn't like the idea of people passing judgement on me or looking for reasons to criticize. I thought it uncalled for, hypocritical and in certain incidents it is uncalled for.

But the true reality of my life today set in and my reaction to this discovery that people were watching me surprised me...I welcomed it. I never EVER tried to use any restraint in my life before.

Never did I strive to achieve a higher moral standard and honestly I found that so refreshing after year of living a decadent life of dishonesty and sin. Funny but living a selfish, decadent, sinful life was was PAINFUL and I hated did Kim.

I truly like this way better and frankly I shocked myself for thinking that way. There is a reward in self-sacrifice, in self-denial.

I can't explain it either folks but it's true. Still, I don't like to feel judged or have my character feel like it's being picked a apart. I truly burn with a passion to serve and I don't really care what others think about it....I'll let you all know how this continues.

Self Help

I haven’t ran in almost 3 weeks due to injury. My doctor, who doesn’t advocate running, advised me to take Advil and stop running. I advised him that running is my “thing” and if he can’t fix my foot then he needs to refill my antidepressant prescription.

In the meantime I have found a relatively pain-free, (yet unfulfilling) exercise substitute in the elliptical trainer at the gym. It’s not the same, but it will stand in for now. I keep reminding myself that my foot is (slowly) healing and I will get back into my running routine. I need to be patient. This is just a setback. Life has lots of those.

Last week Ruby was very, very sick. After a week of her not get any better (and not eating), she had a nasty spell in which she was screaming with stomach pain and inconsolable. She seemed to be in pain every time we moved her. It was a bit scary for everyone who witnessed it (including my anti-rushing-to-the-doctor parents who told me to rush her to the doctor). So off we went to Children’s Hospital. She vomited all over herself on the way there and was nodding out like a heroin junkie. I carried her puke soaked, limp body from the pay parking lot, through the sleet, into the emergency room where we had a 2 ½ hour wait. The longer the wait, the bigger asshole/overreacter I feel like when we hit up the emergency room so to make myself feel better, I took a picture of her while we were waiting to see a doctor.
Doctor said that her skinny little body can’t sustain itself during such a stomach virus. Her blood glucose was very low which was causing her to be near comatose and unable to stay awake, (also causing painful gas in the tummy). She needs to eat more on a regular basis and I need to become a food pusher to keep her healthier.

Meanwhile, I spent $930 on groceries in the month of February. Who is eating all that food?! (We know it’s not Ruby.) I have never tallied up how much I spend at the grocery store before and I had no idea I was spending that much. It seems exorbitantly high to me – although I have no idea what is normal for a family of two adults and two toddlers in British Columbia (or anywhere for that matter). How do I feed my kids more and spend less on groceries? Please tell me if you know.

I ran to the grocery store yesterday evening (because despite the above paragraph, our pantry and fridge are remarkably bare), leaving Steve with the kids for a half hour. I felt guilty about that. EVEN THOUGH I WAS GOING TO BUY FOOD FOR MY KIDS TO KEEP THEM ALIVE. What the FUCK is wrong with me?? If there is any money left over after I buy groceries this weekend I’m going straight to the self help section of the bookstore. Any suggestions for a good “letting go of bullshit emotions” book? Are any of you as fucked up as me?

In other guilt related news, I booked a babysitter for this Saturday evening so he and I can go out for a burger and a beer to celebrate his birthday. Other than my parents (and daycare) we have never had a babysitter before.  Very daring of me but I do think it’s time. During a brave moment earlier this week, I asked my daycare lady if her teenage daughters ever babysat on weekends and they do but only at her house (which is only a half block away and the kids are already comfortable there). I feel weird (Weird? Or guilty?) about taking the kids out of the house to be babysat and then picking them up when they’ll be sleeping. I mean, that was totally the norm when I was a kid but does anyone DO that anymore?? Please tell me because I’m not sure I’ll have time to get to the “how not to feel guilty” part of my new self help book by 6pm on Saturday.

I had potato chips and two beer last night while I made dinner. Then when I sat down to eat my dinner I realized I was already full of beer and chips so I didn't actually eat my dinner.  While I was snacking on chips and sipping cold beer from a frosty glass I felt all proud of myself for breaking out of my soldier mode and allowing myself some enjoyment. 

Then I felt guilty for the rest of the night.

The Arctic Arnold THORMOO

It is 51 degrees outside here in S Michigan and I have just spent 20 minutes seriously contemplating dodging the few snow drifts out there so I can go out on the golf course and play a few holes. Most long time readers know that I play a weird form of what I call "Crippled Golf" because of my back injury, Neuropathy in my legs all leading to my disability. Basically what "crippled Golf" actually means is I don't hit it very far and i'm not very good. And you also know I live on an island in the middle of Coldwater Lake (it does now have a single road leading out to it) that has a very short 9 hole course in the middle of it.

We have our own golf cart so basically I just dress properly for the weather and jump in the cart and play. I'm a member but that hardly matters now, there is no one there. I just don't know if I am that motivated plus I need to conjure up some thing for dinner...Oh life's dilemma's!!

I am doing quite a bit of thinking about doing a post that I suspect may end up being one of the more difficult posts I do. Most readers know that I am a recovering addict/alcoholic, that I've been divorced. Folks also know that I have become a Christian and with that I have gotten quite excited and involved in various Bible Reading adventures that have turned into a Full-Fledged Ministry.

Well what I didn't initially realize was with this ministry and the fact that I am out in the open about my beliefs....I have become somewhat of a target. People looking for signs that I am not a good Christian, etc. So there is some scrutiny there. That will be the topic more then likely of my next post. But for now I need to do some stretching and get a hot shower....

Do Not Forsake Me, Oh Lord

Sometime last week I mentioned the beauty of reading the Psalms and how privileged I felt to be reading them out loud. As a human being I could relate to the pain, anguish and the feeling of being forsaken that King David is writing about here. He is crying out for MERCY...he is SOUL SICK and he is throwing himself at the Mercy of his God. 

I can relate. I've felt forsaken...I've felt persecuted, alone, hated and hunted by evil...mistrusting everything I have ever known or loved. I brought those feelings on myself. I cannot begin to describe how powerfully I am being impacted by reading the WORD of GOD out loud.

Tonight I was once again reading from the Book of Psalms and Psalm 38 was really the one that jumped right out at me...I couldn't help how connected I felt to the underlying feelings behind the words. 

I have explained before in various earlier posts that I often try to steer away from directly quoting too much Scripture or Christian ideology for fear of coming across as desiring to shove it down some one''s throat. I do not but I am curious how others perceive this emotion plea, if anyone else has ever felt this way...

Psalm 38

Do Not Forsake Me, O Lord

A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.

1  O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath!
2  For your arrows have sunk into me,
and your hand has come down on me.
3  There is no soundness in my flesh
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
4  For my iniquities have gone over my head;
like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
5  My wounds stink and fester
because of my foolishness,
6  I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all the day I go about mourning.
7  For my sides are filled with burning,
and there is no soundness in my flesh.
8  I am feeble and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
9  O Lord, all my longing is before you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
10  My heart throbs; my strength fails me,
and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
11  My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague,
and my nearest kin stand far off.
12  Those who seek my life lay their snares;
those who seek my hurt speak of ruin
and meditate treachery all day long.
13  But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear,
like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
14  I have become like a man who does not hear,
and in whose mouth are no rebukes.
15  But for you, O Lord, do I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
16  For I said, "Only let them not rejoice over me,
who boast against me when my foot slips!"
17  For I am ready to fall,
and my pain is ever before me.
18  I confess my iniquity;
I am sorry for my sin.
19  But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty,
and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
20  Those who render me evil for good
accuse me because I follow after good.
21  Do not forsake me, O Lord!
O my God, be not far from me!
22  Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!

What happens to the Penn State Football Story?

The news that Penn State marketing king Guido D'Elia - the creator of the Penn State 'White Out'  had been let go by the powers-that-be saddened us at the VFA.

The 'White Outs' isn't the reason why we're sad. After all, we'll alway have memories of what they were like, and we're sure that anyone hired in won't get rid of Beaver Stadium's greatest tradition. Not only that, but Penn State's students are so good at mobilizing, if the students wanted to do a White Out, then they'd do it.

And although the 'White Out' is something significant at Penn State, it's not as though other teams don't do the same. If you don't believe us, watch ice hockey arenas during play-off time or videos college football stadiums all over the country (Arizona State and Michigan were our particular favorites in 2011). And it wasn't original - the first-ever 'White Out' of any significance was by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1990s (please correct us if we're wrong!).

But there's something we're going to miss, and that's the Penn State Football Story, which actually won Emmys. That's because D'Elia was part-owner of the company, and Penn State probably wanted to seem, er, whiter than white.

As a show, the Penn State Football Story is college football's answer to NFL Films. Yes, it's that good. And Penn State's administrators will get rid of it and D'Elia will resurface somewhere else. If I'm the SEC, I give D'Elia a ton of money, tell him to go to all campuses on every gameday, to do a 'SEC Football Story', which I then sell to the networks and distribute to the schools, and then sell a season-end collection of DVDs. Such is the fanaticism that something like this - if marketing properly - will sell like hotcakes.

Now there is none. Penn State probably won't bother going with another Penn State Football Story, and more fool's them.

Here's some of favourite videos made during D'Elia's time.....Thanks for your work!!

We told you so

And, of course, the Gameday at Ohio State....

Oh, and this....

SPAM SHAM? Paranoia Reigns!

OK folks...I am going to show a little bit of my "techie ignorance" here...I'm not sure what you call it but I am posting today on that little box that pops up when you write a comment on a blog or web site and it requires you to decifer some completely UNREADABLE gibberish to protect the site from SPAM.

Now I totally understand that spam is a huge hassle for some sites but I'll be honest...I have ended up not leaving comments because the different choices offered after several attempts to read them are unreadable to me. There are blogs that I love, some of my very favorites that I won't even try to comment because of the difficulty of those pesky devices on their sites. It seems some are much more difficult to do then others so perhaps there are difficulty settings that can be adjusted...Now maybe this is a "ME" problem and I'm just incompetent...and perhaps that it is it but I'm sorry, I hate the things. I wish folks would get rid of them because they are ridiculously difficult and I'm not sure they are even really necessary.

What baffles me the most about the need for these things is this...I've had Shell Shock up for well over 2 years, 1235 posts and I have not received ONE bit of spam on my comments...not a one. So are people really getting bombarded with SPAM causing them to do something about it or is this just a preventive (perhaps totally unnecessary?!) measure and the author thinks they HAVE to have it? I wonder if folks aren't getting too cute and psyching themselves out about this, letting their imaginations carry them away?

Anyhow...I can't stand the bloody devices and now you all know my position on the matter though i suspect you'll hardly care, haha!

(Thanks to Mad Magazine for the Spy vs Spy Characters Pic)

the real deal.

meet jeff, my stepsister's son. here is what it comes down to. just when i think i should retire out of frustration, when this art form is compromised by well intended new photographers flooding the market for pennies, giving away the moon and knowing so little of this craft, something miraculous happens. one is appreciated for years of work, for the skill and style that is one's own. this is why i do what i do. portraiture is personal. a certain level of trust and understanding must be reached for portraits to contain any level of sincerity, authenticity. it is not about a modeling session, or looking like who they are not. it's personal. it has so little to do with glamorizing a senior to meet current trends for the sake of making imagery their friends will covet. what's the point in that? it needs to be real. jen and jeff are the real deal. and they trust and appreciate me.
so the circle of life is epitomized by this session. really, weren't we just graduating from high school and planning the next step in our lives? it is jeff's turn. his maturity and focus will certainly drive him to heights we can only imagine. i am so proud of him, and of my stepsister, who has put so much of herself into her son. i hope they will be well pleased with these. pinch me. we have a second session at the coast coming in a few months!

Tricky, Little Matter...THIS!

This next subject can get a little tricky to explain to people who are familiar with recovery from addiction and though I'm a wee bit reluctant to bring it up I need to EMO-V it out so that is what I am going to do.

An active, practical and REAL spirit life has always been a critical factor to my recovery. There are some treatment Center's/Programs that promote spiritual principles...some don't. The path that I  follow and have followed right from the beginning of my sobriety in mid-2006 was a spiritual path.

Other then I was terribly skeptical and mistrustful of organized religion, the fact that I was going to kill myself some day was motivation enough to give GOD a try.

The issue I am experiencing and yes, struggling with today is that my Christian beliefs at times vary a bit from the spiritual beliefs i began my recovery with. I told you this would be a bit difficult to explain. They conflict...

Also there are some people in the church envirement that I believe would rather have me renounce all my affiliation with the recovery programs I so strongly believe in and that SAVED MY LIFE.  The reverse is true as well...some influential friends in recovery do not like the fact that I have become a Christian and would rather i go back to my old way of living where I am hanging out exclusively in an embitterment filled only with those in recovery.

Neither of those prospects is in the LEAST acceptable to me or even something I would consider...I CANNOT go back to my old way even if I wanted to...and I DO NOT! But I also will not forget where I came from and how I found recovery. I am as needed there today as ever before.

I strongly believe both beliefs, behaviors and philosophies can co-exist and not only that but thrive. It really disturbs me when political thinking intrudes into areas that it doesn't belonging....and this LIFE or DEATH question of recovery is an area where politics has NO freaking business what so ever!

So there ya go...I believe I just gave the WORLD at least the "blog world" my formal "Position" on the let's move on to living LIFE, shall we!?!!

We head off continuing our adventure. Cindy is being picked up this afternoon, and depending on what time the tow truck comes will determine when we leave. There is bridge work going on in Jacksonville, so leaving at the right time is a delicate procedure. timing tides and bridge openings and available anchorages, I guess this is life from now on.

It has been raining here, and it just let up. There is little wind, which is ok when you need to motor a boat that you've never run before. A few things aren't working, the dinghy motor and our long range wi-fi. We  got a faulty part on the wi-fi which we need to swap with the company, which would have been easy two weeks ago, but we'll have to arrange to pick it up down the road. Last year I forgot to drain the carb of out little yamaha outboard.... bummer. We rushed over to pick up some carb cleaner and I gave it some dousing. I will try it further down the road and see if I need to remove the carb for a better cleaning or if it works. Luckily I can mount it in the cockpit to remove the carb, as not to lose any parts in the drink.

We also cracked a bottle of bubbly and toasted our trip in perhaps not the most ceremonious fashion, but the right gods got asked their blessing, and got their fair share of drink. We didn't change the name of the boat, this was just for extra ju ju. It can't hurt having higher powers on your side. If you don't believe, what's $3 of alcoholic reassurance? People spend hundreds on boat insurance of which they never use. Food for thought.

As promised, some more pics. We've been pretty bad about this, and Jennie is going to try to always have a camera with her.

I'm not sure what kind of wi-fi we'll be getting without our long range, so posts may become a little less frequent. They will be a little more interesting though. Wish us luck.
Easy now fellas!
Marine electrical is best done by skinny people.
Missed a few spots!
Ready to Go!
Manning his poop deck.

MMMMM smells like freedom!

I Don't Have a Camel Bladder...SORRY!

Well, is morning and for the first time in what seems like an eternity, I slept (sort of) like a normal person. I was up at 2:30a to get Kim up at 3a for work but then I did something drastically different from what I normally do: I fell back asleep until the pretty normal morning wake-up time of 6am. I have no explanation really other then I may have gotten a bit more exercise yesterday due to the fact that my Grand Plan for yesterday (read this) didn't pan out. Basically because it rained Cats & Dogs all day in Daytona Beach, FL. postponing the race until the next day for the first time in it's 50 plus year history.

That's right...The Daytona 500) is now on today, Monday afternoon at 1p. But judging by the way i feel, I just may end up sleeping the entire day...hey, I do have like 3.5 months of sleep to catch up on, i need to get started! Seriously...I don't have any major appointments or anything and I'm hoping that I can still continue to make some improvements in my overall health. I've mad a bit of progress but I am still have some very ill-regular and unpredictable SPIKES in Blood Pressure,  some incredible difficulty and increased frequency relating to going to the bathroom and the usual fevers and general lethargy that have been regular symptoms throughout this 3 month long illness nightmare.

The thing that really bothers me the most is I cannot fulfill my volunteer obligation at the jail on Monday Nights as an assistant Chaplain because of the bathroom issues. I know this sounds strange but when we go back into the lock-down area of the jail to set up and then run the church service, there are NO facilities available for Non-Inmates to go the bathroom. It involves a process of going back through a series of locked doors that have to be buzzed open by central security and more then a 5 minute walk in which I have to be escorted by a jail staff member. Well I go to the bathroom on the average right now of every 10-15 minutes some times when things are not good so there is no way I can risk going into that envirement until I get back to a more normal schedule. Now even when I am healthy no one would mistake me for having a "Camel Bladder" like one female member of my family who shall go un-named, who seemingly can hold "it" all freaking day long but I can usually make it more then the hour or so required for making it through the church service in lock-down.

I went for the Christmas Service and it was not a good thing....I was
running a 101 degree fervor and had to do the Gospel Reading of the birth of Christ. That was a very special night but I cannot take staff away from their important duties every time I have to pee...or worse!

So That really bothers me about this whole thing, not being able to do the things that I enjoy and/or are really important to me. But I must accept that is my life right now. I felt very guilty at first but Chaplain Dave, the Chaplain of Branch County Jail and a member of my church (in addition to being a very good friend) re-assured me that they understood, that they can see my suffering and that feeling bad or guilty not only isn't necessary but it takes my focus off of serving GOD by helping others in ways that I still can.

He is absolutely right and I am so grateful to have friends like that in my life today. What a change from 6 years ago! So we will focus on getting well and perhaps today will take a turn and I'll feel up to going tonight though Im suspect that it's still a bit too soon...we'll see.

So now that you all have taken ANOTHER wonderful tour of my BLADDER Condition and other unpleasant little realities of my health life...I'm going to close this post and get on with my morning...

Here's wishing you all a HAPPY Monday Morning!

Sleep, Racin' & Basketball

Well...after several days where I seemed to sleep OK, I am having "one of those nights" and in a big way: I haven't slept a legitimate wink tonight except for nodding off at the keyboard here on my desk. I've made an attempt when I cannot sleep like this to try and not over-react to it but less face it: a person feels pretty darn lousy when they do not sleep. There is no way around it and it totally affects your day. 

2012 Daytona 500 logo.jpg
Well, there...I got that of my chest! Now I will let it go and try to think about more enjoyable NASCAR. Yep that's right...this 'ole red-neck at heart loves my stock car racing and today is the Grand Daddy of all stock car races: The Daytona 500 from Daytona Beach Florida.

NASCAR is quite unusual in the sports world because they have their biggest and most prestigious race at the very beginning of their season...I mean they actually launch their season with this race and several other "Speed Week" races and events all leading up to the 500, which is this afternoon.

So I am looking forward to the day primarily because of  that.

NCAA logo.svg

My Purdue Boilermakers knocked off the Michigan Wolverines in Men's Basket Ball Saturday evening which was a huge win for the team and probably secured them a position in the NCAA Tournament. That's great news because they have had a bit of a down year (yea 19-10, 9-7 in the Big 10 with 2 games to go and going to the tournament, those are pretty high standards!)    

So sleep or no...I'm gonna have a good day. If you'll excuse me now...I have a Sunday Morning Newspaper to read.

Powerless and PO'd about it!

There are times where it's been hard to come  up with the energy or motivation to post something here on Shell Shock Serenade. It doesn't happen very often but today...right now even I just kind of have a heavy heart and I'm just not feeling it.

I would be less then honest if I didn't admit there was something behind this feeling tonight and there most certainly is. But unfortunately I cannot come clean and talk about it because it involves the confidentiality of someone else and I cannot violate that by sharing the details of what's going on. Let's just say someone I care a great deal about is going through a very difficult and unsettling time. It really is unfair but due to circumstance there really isn't much that can be done and I feel terrible about the situation.

There are sometimes instances that occur in life where I am completely powerless to do anything about something and this is one of those times...Why? Because there is too much at stake if what I say gets used against my friend. It involves the custody of their child and I would love nothing more then to post the truth about this screwed up situation but the risk is to great.

I can only pray that justice is served ....


Finally able to participate in Eden's Fresh Horses Brigade weekly meme.  I'm sorry... that I haven't been able to join in earlier. I've started posts for each and every week but by the time I was done composing, it was too late to link up and the moment had passed.

I'm sorry I struggle so hard sometimes and that I let the world know it.  I'm sorry I can't afford to go see my therapist every time I need to talk or sort something out, and that my blog becomes that outlet. I'm sorry that you roll your eyes or shake your head at me instead of leaving a comment on my posts. I'm sorry that you read all my posts and never comment - does it make you feel like you've got one over on me?

I'm sorry that I had my babies 18 months apart.  And I'm sorry that you don't believe in my infertility or that I didn't plan out the timing of my pregnancies so I'd be back at work just long enough to get another maternity leave. I'm sorry the person who covered my maternity leave was really lousy at the job and that you'll never forgive me for that.

I'm sorry for asking you not to be gone all weekend.  Sorry for wanting some personal time too.  Sorry I like a clean house and clean children.  I'm really sorry I get upset when I hear loud noises - that is a very deep rooted issue that comes from some not-so-nice childhood memories.  Sorry I get stressed out when things get chaotic, I know as a mother I'm supposed to be calm and calming and have all the answers.  Never let them see you sweat, right?  Really sorry that you don't think your personal life should change even though everything else has. Sorry I don't want to give you a blowjob after you've drank 6 beers while I was at the gym and that you will secretly (you think) hold that against me for days.  Sorry I want to shower alone after a long day instead of with two small children - it doesn't mean I don't love them.  Sorry I cooked the pork chops too lean so you didn't eat them. And the chicken too.

Sorry I got so drunk and let it all hang out - I guess the damn burst.

Sorry I lost a bunch of weight and that makes you uncomfortable because you didn't.

Sorry about my past.

Sorry I'm constantly changing, rolling with the punches, trying to always improve - and you don't like change.

Sorry I've spanked my kids out of pure frustration and not because it was the right parenting choice.  Sorry I've yelled at them when I knew it wasn't going to do any good - except it felt good to yell and let it out.

Sorry I have to be on antidepressants.  And really sorry when I talk about my own depression and ask for support.  That shit makes people very uncomfortable, did you know?

I'm sorry that I can never deal with one issue exclusively.  I'm sorry that one child is underweight.  I'm sorry that they keep getting sick - is it something I'm doing wrong? It must be, I'm their mom.  I'm sorry I'm never enough.

I'm sorry that sometimes I just want to be alone.  So selfish.

I'm sorry you don't believe the same things I do.  Sorry that saying I felt Granny watching over me the other day made you roll your eyes and leave the room.  Sorry if you think my spirituality is bullshit.  Sorry you don't believe I'm sensitive to certain, non-tangible, non-visible, not obvious things.  I sense things and feel things that others don't and I'm sorry you think that's a bunch of hocus pocus shit in my head.

Sorry I'm so determined.

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

Sorry that I'll have to say sorry to a bunch of people for writing this.

Also sorry I said "blowjob" on my blog...

New World Connections and Modern Friendships

I have been doing some thinking about blogging since I posted on the fact that I tend to read a lot of blogs written by women (see here) and (here). I've gotten a fair amount of feedback all of it really interesting and positive. Several of those woman have discovered each others blogs and I am happy that i could provide that bridge...they are very good writers and deserve all the readership they can get.

But what I've really been thinking about related to blogging and i really am just now starting to hash it out is that it (blogging) is one thing of several that is creating and nurturing a new kind of relationship in our society and our world. Yes it's an "online" relationship and they have been around but I have to admit something that once I really thought about it I was astounded.

I now have several people that I would truly call a friend, who I have NEVER met, never WILL meet, won't ever speak to them on the, my only connection will be through the portal of blogging. Granted it is a "new" kind of friendship but there is trust, intimacy, communication....we're friends. I feel completely connected.

Now I didn't always trust internet relationships and of course I'm wary about MUST be. And I'm not trying to make these relationships into something they are but the fact is there are people whose blogs I read and they read mine that I would really miss hearing from them. In most of these situations we have used regular email to communicate as well but in all honesty, it hasn't really been that necessary. There are certain things that shouldn't be communicated openly on the NET and privacy is required.

I think Western Society and really the entire world is still just realizing the potential of these connections. And as I said, after some initial wariness and time spent working through familiarizing myself with"blog etiquette and getting comfortable with it, I really enjoy these exchanges. 

Perhaps I am a little different because of my disability and the fact it keeps me a bit closer to home...I am no longer out in the working world and I do miss the interaction with people (though I certainly don't miss the political BS of the business world!) and this connection and form of relationship building fits nicely in my lifestyle. I spent large parts of my day writing or connected to the web whether I am home or out. This "connectedness" is not the "exception" anymore in our, it's common and getting more so every single day.

I'm curious what others think about this subject. is something I really just now (and I mean NOW, like 2 hours ago while writing a fellow blogger a comment!) started to think about this being connected and the new relationships that are formed. I imagine I may have more on it at some later time but hey, let's hear what you think about it!

(Photo: Kathy Tomson)

Act Of Valor

I just saw this film is a movie about US NAVY SEALS that uses real Active Duty US NAVY SEALS and actual live fire footage in the film. It is a  dangerous world we live in and this film really hi-lights that fact.

It is an incredible movie, using a fictitious story but everything else about it is real. It is not gung-ho or blatantly over the top. I would say in is probably the most accurate war movie ever filmed.

I read Roger Ebert's review today which was positive overall but he claimed there really wasn't a plot...I couldn't disagree more. I thought it realistically followed a scenario much like the folks in real life would have real time, bits and pieces. In real life you never get a a comprehensive view of how something looks, no stuff gets revealed as it happens and that is the way this film is shot.

I highly recommend seeing this to anyone...even if you consider yourself anti-war, seeing what these men have to deal with...knowing it's really going on in this world will at least put things in a realistic and proper perspective. 

I knew that I would appreciate this film before I ever saw it based on the trailers but it was way better then I ever could have awesome film!

Good news bad news, but mostly good. We started up the perkins today, turned the key and gave her throttle and she purred to life, no bleeding needed. I totally recommend everyone to install a bulb pump inline, infront of their primary filter. Very little bleeding of the lines needed. We also put up the genoa, the winds were a little strong, but they got even stronger in the afternoon. The sails are in wonderfull condition, they look almost brand new. The main power sources are installed and seem in good spirits.

We worked on installing our badboy extreme long range wi-fi, but there was an issue. Our antenna base was busted. I think it was a tiny little broken wire somewhere internally. They were great on the phone, we just need to acquire a mailing location down the road and transfer the pieces. Jennie gets a few weeks reprieve from mast climbing. Everything else went well, even local hub is working. Other than the malfunction issue, it is super easy to rig. And support was helpful, FYI.

Found out how much fuel is in the tanks today, their full. I was pouring into the baha filter, when Jennie say, "Oh you can hear the tanks expanding." then goosh! "get the rags honey, quick and something to spray to cut the surface tension." At least now we know where full is and how much the motor consumes, so we should be able to calculate roughly our tank levels.

Today was a big laundry day. Jennie is applying here super strategic methods to clean our clothes. Learning things like she can dry two loads on one drying cycle.

Cindy is getting picked up on monday. Theoretically we will have transfered our stuff across the continent, got ourselves across the continent, and drove us around while we provisioned and set up our boat and trip for $200 plus fuel and insurance. Boo Ya! The price difference is paid for in stress and luck.

Not a FF for the Oregon Ducks

"Trying to connect the dots
Don't know what to tell the boss"

Katy Perry: T.G.I.F.

Unlike the night that Katy Perry had, it's been a memorable one for the Oregon Ducks.

Well, the NCAA and the University of Oregon connected the dots and things were agreed: And it doesn't look too lovely for the Ducks.

According to tweets by George Schroeder and a report by Rob Moseley, both reporters for Oregon-based paper The Register-Guard who seems to have read the releases, said that the Ducks and the NCAA have "agreed that the school used two or three recruiting services that 'did not conform' to NCAA rules.

We can only presume that this is all about Texas-based recruiter Willie Lyles, who was paid around $30,000 for his influence in the recruitment of now-departed running back Lache Seastrunk, who's going to be the next big running thing at Baylor after he left this season.

Anyway, Oregon said that both parties “agreed that from 2008 through 2011, the scope and nature of the violations ... demonstrate that the athletics department failed to adequately monitor the football program’s use of recruiting or scouting services.”

We don't know what's going to happen about this, but one can presume that this one's not going to be nice.

Expect heads to roll....


I'm delighted to announce Issue #1 of this new music magazine, edited by me and out in April. It includes features on Mad River, Linda Hoyle & Affinity, David Axelrod, Montage, Fanny, Alan Betrock and the 100 most under-rated guitarists of the 60s and 70s, as well as in-depth columns and reviews, with contributions from great writers including Richie Unterberger, Aaron Milenski, David Biasotti and Patrick Lundborg.

My Friday FOLLY!!

Early Friday mornings usually find me on my way into town early to meet several men from my church for breakfast at 6:30a and book study/discussion.

I'm sorry but the domestic side of me today just makes me bust out laughing. Here I am getting ready to head into Coldwater, 20 minutes or so away to meet with a pastor and several church guys when just 6 years ago if someone even suggested I'd be doing such a thing I would think they'd lost their mind.

Sorry folks, I gotta run and yea, I wasted a blog post and a few minutes of your time this morning just to tell you how IRONIC...even CRAZY this new life of mine is.....oh yea, I left out amazing and WONDERFUL TOO!

God Bless You All and have a Happy FRIDAY!


Gotta Make A Change...And Make It Now!!

I guess the most distressing part of the health and sleep stuff I have been going through of late is when I get in a mode where I can't stay awake, falling asleep at my computer keyboard or while eating a snack of cereal in the kitchen. And then on the other hand I cannot get a single wink of worthwhile sleep laying down or being propped up in bed. I'm totally useless and of course it gets worse the less sleep I get over time.

I think over all, the situation has improved some but at the same time it hasn't gone away. I have begun to consider other things I can do that may help. I really need to find a way to get some more exercise. Yet when K and I walked just a little bit this evening (around 10-15 minutes) around the small loop at the north end of the island...I was terribly winded and just didn't feel well.

It really could be a case where I have put on too much weight and it has just upset the physiology of my bodies makeup...that combined with the fact that I have awful eating habits has just set me too far back to fix it with out some major changes to my exercise routine and diet.

I'll admit that I have been in total denial that it could be my weight and diet. I have always been a skinny guy and could get away with eating what I wanted. The disability to my back and subsequent increasing immobility that can come with it has made it harder and harder for me to get any kin of regular exercise and it really shows.

So in addition to the increased weight gain, the lousy diet and such, I am getting into worse and worse habits all the way around with health. This has to change and it is not something I am good at, changing my routines. But I know I have to do it and I really need to find a way to get some of this weight off of me in a fairly quick turn around time.

I am really having issues with my swollen feet and I think losing the weight, eating healthy (possibly a change to vegetarian diet) might make a world of difference.

I know that is a lot easier said then done...especially for me who usually has a bowl of cereal and a bowl of ice cream before I settle in each night. Since I have had the stomach issues and surgery I do have some legitimate problems there and that is how I have gotten into the ice cream and cereal diet...because those two things sooth my stomach.

But I have to do something so we'll see. Kim and I talked about it earlier tonight and when we eat together we are going to try and really focus on healthier meals. I would like to get into juicing or blending and have a friend that does that but I cannot afford that kind of blender. It would be perfect for me and my stomach..perhaps there are some things I can do with a regular blender.

Anyway that is the big topic on my mind right now...eating healthier and getting much more exercise....stay tuned, it's gonna be interesting (if not interesting then certainly comical!!).

(Photo: Kathy Tomson)