Hell of a Guy
Chance favors the prepared mind - Louis Pasteur

Monday, June 28, 2010

“Quietude” and Southwest 770


It’s just a few minutes since the flight attendant announced the aircraft had reached ten-thousand feet and we “can use portable electronic devices.”  I immediately grabbed my laptop and my iPod.  With the Bose earphones in place and the laptop warming up, I began to listen to the 9th cut on the CD “Migration” featuring Peter Kater and Carlos Nakai.

I believe it was February 1992 when I first heard “Quietude,” my former wife and I were visiting beautiful Sedona, Arizona.  Sedona is full of gift shops and galleries and the town is surrounded by some of the most truly unbelievable scenic venues.  While tooling through one of the shops I heard the most wonderful sounds coming from the speakers throughout it.  It was this CD and it was this song.  I thought it to be the most beautiful music I had ever heard.  It lifted me up and transported me into another dimension, into another world.  Some years later I found the CD in a store and scuffed it up.  I have had it well over ten years and have enjoyed it countless times, and each time I can feel the emotion creep over me – it is that beautiful.  Even now as the notes enter my ears for the third time since I put the earphones on, this utterly magnificent piece has me on the verge of tears of inconceivable joy.

It is a gorgeous day to fly.  It is The Best Day Ever.  The vast blue skies are filled with huge cotton-ball shaped clouds, the earth lay below them, and it is “Quietude” for the fourth time.  This music has to have been inspired by God (much to the chagrin of some non-acknowledgers of the Universal Presence some of us refer to as “God”), the spiritual aspect of it is beyond what I can imagine any human capable of creating alone.  I so wish I could share it with you as you read this, for this music will bring piece to your heart.

It is time to finish this and hit the replay button one more time.  I want to enjoy every note, every key stroke.  I want to suck it in as I commune with the Universal Presence some people refer to as God.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reading Manuals and Directions…


I am more than a regular guy, I think, at least I believe I am given my limited mental capacity; therefore, I have little if any need to read manuals or directions, and more than “therefore,” I do not.

There is a tenet in Murphy’s Law that reads, “There is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over.”  That pretty much describes how I have always conducted my life and more likely will continue for the rest of it.  God only knows why I am this way, but it is what it is, I don’t screw around with nature.

If I had to guess, I highly suspect I am a visual learner.  I have never had a high level of reading comprehension, perhaps because in my youth I did not read anything other than comic books.  In the seventh grade I was placed in a remedial reading class taught by Mrs. Mills, a teacher who looked more like Olive Oyl than Olive Oyl.  Her looks were a distraction for me, and, very frankly, as an under-achiever I didn’t care about my reading comprehension level, and I have no idea whether or not it improved.  I can, however, vouch that through periodicals such as Playboy my visual learning skills are much improved; I am a keen observer of the feminine form.

All of this leads me to where I wanted to go when I began to type this.  You now have an idea of who I am.  You also know this is leading to something totally meaningless, inane and silly.  So here it is.

I took delivery of a 2009 Jeep Cherokee in December 2008.  It came with a GPS system with Sirius radio capability (which I use) and a crap load of other gadgets built in it (which I do not use).  If you have seen the ignition keys to one of these Chrysler vehicles you know they are really funny looking, and loaded with a number of buttons.  You also have probably guessed the vehicle’s manual is still wrapped in the plastic bag it was shipped in.

Sunday morning The Nancy and I were leaving Suffolk, Virginia.  As she was finishing her two-hour daily routine to prepare herself for presentation to the masses, I toted some items to the car.  As I approached it I took my key ring from my pocket, and as I looked at it to locate the button to unlock the doors I noticed one I had no idea what it was for, so I pressed it.  Please, try to imagine my utter shock and surprise when some seventy-five feet from where I stood the horn tooted twice followed by the engine starting?

I have had this vehicle for a year and a half, and the time period includes two winters.  I don’t think I could count the number of times in both winters and now into the second summer when I trudged outside to start it to warm it up or cool it off.  To think I could have merely pushed this particular button from the comfort of my home to arrange for a heated or cooled car is mind boggling.  The Nancy has had great fun teasing me about this (though she hasn’t read the manual either) and both of us wonder if the other Jeep Cherokee I had for three years prior to this one had the same feature: I pray it did not.

One might think this has taught me valuable lesson?  I can verify unequivocally this has not occurred.  That adage about the old dogs and new tricks seems to fit yours truly nicely, and if need be, I can always fall back on Murphy’s Law.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sun’s Up…


It is 6:26 Sunday morning and here I sit comfortably situated in my car anxiously awaiting the opening of a Starbucks in Suffolk, Virginia.  Last night after attending a Retirement Celebration for a friend, The Nancy and I moseyed back to the Hilton Garden Inn where we were staying and talked with some other friends until after midnight.  Notice the relationship in that: 6:26am and midnight.  Subtract forty-five minutes or so from that, and it won’t take you long to determine it was a short night.

My wife loves to tell people to make sure if I ask what time it is when we are attending an event or a get-together of some sort, just to tell me it is “9:30.”  She obviously thinks it is enormously funny.  The issue at hand is simply this, my built in alarm clock does not allow me to sleep in past sun rise very often, and on the few days each year when this happens I feel as if I should thank God and praise Jesus. 

This morning as I lay in the bed at the Hilton Garden even with the curtains drawn, I could sense daylight, and though a little groggy, opened my eyes.  At that point it was all over.  My day had begun, but not The Nancy’s.  My darling bride, you know, Miss “Don’t-tell-him-it-is-after-midnight,” is still in the bed.  As I left the room about 6:05, she was flat on her back with a pillow over her head snoring like a banshee. 

Now it may sound as if I am upset by this, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.  I am a morning person, and few things excite me more than watching a sunrise.  There is a special joy, an emotional exercise, in watching the sun break the horizon.  There is a glow preceding it, especially when it rises over a mountain top.  It is as if God is lifting the sun into position, the sky is alight with His majesty.  You might say the difference is night and day!

Speaking of majesty, it is time for me to go awake her, or at least begin the process.

And that is all I have to say about that…

PS:  Happy Father’s Day, Dad! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gardening Woes…


I worked in my garden on Saturday for about four hours; you know the one I doubled in size earlier this spring.  It nearly killed me.  I am not too sure now I knew what I was doing when I made the not-so-smart decision to go bigger.  Now I am thinking The Nancy’s encouragement to make it larger (though my idea) may have had an ulterior motive.  I remembered, as I pulled about a ton of weeds out of it, just how hard I had to work to keep the non-veggie, extra growth under control.  There may be a padded room somewhere with my name on it.  Surely I was out of my mind.

Having said all of that, I must admit the bounty of the garden in 2009 far and away out weighed the stress I put on this rapidly aging body.  Last year I did acquire many scraps and bruises, bumps and cuts as a result of working in the cage I call “Hell’s Kitchen” (I stole that from a TV show).  It is nice to walk up there and walk around it when most of what I view is plants growing that will eventually provide us with sustenance and future epicurean delights.  At the same time I cannot help to think how tired we got eating zucchini this and zucchini that, and tomatoes this and tomatoes that, last year.  We ate tomatoes every day, along with zucchini and yellow squash.  We had so many peppers of various varieties we started tossing them in the trash; we gave away as much as we ate and we froze a couple hundred pounds of tomatoes right off the vine – they made some great marinara sauces last winter.  In October I deemed the garden a complete success and that is when I lost my mind and decided to enlarge it. 

The garden is as large as it is going to be, though there is at least another 1500 square feet of space left in the 40’X80’garden plot some former owner of the place had there.  Having said that, if you should ever read here I am considering enlarging it again, please, send out the men in white coats to cart me to that padded cell. This cannot be what God intended for me?

And that is all I have to say about that…

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