Not “Someday”, Today

And maybe someday we’ll figure all this out

Try to put an end to all our doubt

Try to find a way to make things better now that

Maybe someday we’ll live our lives out loud

We’ll be better off somehow, someday

Rob Thomas, “Someday

(listen to the music, but skip the video – it’s pretty sappy…..)

In the last couple of days I “figured all this out”. Not really. But I did decide to “live my life out loud”.

I’m going to say a few things here, about myself and my beliefs, to clarify my position on some current social issues, and on the direction I see that our nation is headed. I do not want anyone to misunderstand my position, even if I hadn’t articulated it very well yet. I’m not doing this for shock value. I just think it’s becoming time where everyone now has to figure out where they stand, and to be able to describe it to yourself – and to the world – well enough to figure out which side of the lines now being drawn you stand on.
Here I Stand.

Please read this very carefully. All generalizations were precisely chosen; you may want to consider if or how you fit into any of them. I also make precise use of quantifiers, like “none”, “any”, “some”, “most”, etc.

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On achieving rokkyu aikidoka

Friends try killing me.
We bow and smile. New gold gleams –
Mount Fuji beckons.

posed image of "Dynamic Sphere" aikido text and yellow obi (belt)

Edited to Add – My very good friend and fellow martial artist Eric Raymond pointed out a syllabic mistake I had made in my first line, and had also proposed a wonderful correct alternative, which I trust he will not be offended if I decline. Domo arigato!

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Thanksgiving

I’ve had a pretty crappy year.

Separated from my wife (two days before our anniversary!) and getting divorced. Had my heart fractured if not broken at least one other time.

Had to move twice, and I know that my current residence is not good for more than a year.

In financial trouble with the IRS and state.

And of course, looking at the dismal state of our Nation and the world.

 

And it’s a pretty crappy day. Typical for northern Ohio late in November – rainy, cold, grey, dismal. I’m in my apartment by myself. I won’t be going out to a feast today, nor will anybody be coming by.

 

 

And yet….
And Yet….

I have the love and support of friends and family. (I actually do get to see my mother and siblings tomorrow, and we’ll feast then, so my previous lament rings a bit hollow.) I can and will have as great a feast, either here or with them tomorrow, as we would all like.

I have my health, enough wealth to get by now, and essentially unlimited ability to earn more (several ways!) as I want and need. I’m getting stronger, more agile, and more coordinated through my aikido, and I’m intensively trying to improve my mind and heart as well.

I am living free in the greatest nation in the world.

For all this – and for even more things unmentioned – I am profoundly thankful. For exactly where I am right now, and where I intend to get to in the very near future.

Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving Day 2021, Everyone!

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Cleaning up some stuff

Today I published an essay that I’ve had hanging around for a while. Would appreciate any feedback, especially from subject matter experts in the field (either pros or people who’ve “been there, done that”).

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Wolfenoot

I saw this memory today on Facebook, reposted by a good friend:

https://www.facebook.com/belgatherial/posts/10165286473975570

And the Spirit of the Wolf howled in my psychic ears, crying “Tell Shadow’s story!

Here it is. I am cooking some cured pork shoulder for my dinner this evening, and I will be sure to set out a generous portion for her shade. (You’ll get the reference.)

Hail, Shadow Middenheap, queen amongst dogs!

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Oops!

I believe I inadvertently managed to give myself an endogenous drug overdose. 😛

Don’t worry, I’m gonna be OK.

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September 11th

My youngest brother, a retired firefighter and paramedic, is currently the president of the Western Reserve Fire Museum. Today, on the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, they held a short ceremony to commemorate and remember the ultimate sacrifice made by so many firefighters and other emergency personnel that day.

The program:

WelcomeJames Bell, President, Western Reserve Fire Museum
National AnthemCleveland Institute of Music Brass Ensemble
Opening PrayerCaptain Joe Mason Cleveland Fire Dept., (Ret.)
Movement of FlagCleveland Fire Depart. Honor Guard
Opening RemarksJames Bell
Guest SpeakersGreg Glauner, Chief of Brunswick Fire Dept.
Michael Millet, Chaplain Bedford Fire Dept., (Ret.)
Musical Selection“America the Beautiful”   –   CIM Brass Ensemble
Tolling of the BellLt. Robert Szabo Cleveland Heights Fire Dept., (Ret.)
Playing of “Taps”CIM Brass Ensemble
Closing Prayer:Captain Joe Mason & Chaplain Michael Millet
Musical Selection“Amazing Grace”   –   CIM Brass Ensemble
Closing RemarksJames Bell

It was patriotic but not partisan, holy but not particularly sectarian, at one level completely formulaic but still deeply moving to me. Both Chief Glauner and Chaplain Millet were among the thousands of firefighters who spontaneously left their communities, their families, and their normal lives to come to NYC to assist, in whatever ways small or large that they could, their brothers and sisters in the fire service who had been so grievously hurt. Each spoke of how they didn’t see themselves as heroes, but as just serving their calling.

Each also spoke to the unity our nation had in those dark days of later September 2001, and how we needed it back. Neither could say exactly how we would get there – both were good enough to not mention any politician or political position as either the cause or remedy. But I felt a CALLthat should be repeated nationwide – for each of us to try to bring ourselves, our minds and our hearts, back to that time of cooperation and common purpose.

And I – one who has never served like that, never laid it all on the line for my fellows, yet one who is deeply moved by the service of those who do – I will do my utter best to answer that call.

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“Foolish Hearts” and Good Falls

(Note: I’m cheating here a little bit. I had ~~80% of this post written in my head and a few notes on a scrap of paper by about mid-day on the 2nd of September. But I didn’t post it then, and a few other things went through my mind between then and now. And ofc I’ve had more time to mull it all over. So, I finally wrote it up on the 7th of December, and backdated the publication so it appears in the chronology of my thinking on “Life Weirdness”, more-or-less. Work with me here! ;-})

But will my lonely heart
Play the part
Of the fool again, before I begin

Foolish heart, Hear me callin’
Stop before you start fallin’
Foolish heart, Heed my warning
You’ve been wrong before
Don’t be wrong anymore!

Steve Perry, “Foolish Heart”

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“Let’s Do The Time Warp Again!”

This is a testing attempt to back-date a post, or, failing an alteration of the actual posting date, at least posting it out-of-sequence so that it appears chrono-typographically in the place where you want it (in the ordering of all other posts).

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Quis prodest?

You may wonder – why would I want to so firmly place the duncecap on my own head, wear my bleeding heart so far out on my sleeve, say all these things publically that might embarrass an innocent young woman, ???

WAT??!!

Well….. I have pretensions of being a writer someday. So any writing practice is good.

And I’m the kind of guy that does his best thinking ‘out loud’ – usually by writing it down. And exploring why my marriage imitated the Space Shuttle Columbia, and why I made such a botch of things with Eve, just might, possibly, maybe, if I am damned lucky and smart and insightful (and I get a lot of “help from my friends”) – just might keep me from making these same foolish mistakes again.

I spent about a third of my life getting to the point where I got married.

I spent about a third of my life being married.

I figure, if the Goddess is good to me and I don’t abuse my carcass too much, I’ve got about a third of my life left. And I don’t want my “Third Act” to be anything less than the best it could possibly be – whatever that means. And that’s a big piece of what I want to explore here in writing, as I draw down the curtain on Act 2 and take my mark in the wings for the curtain’s rise on Act 3.

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