Welcome to gozarks portal into the past,
present and future of life as we know it.... researched, observed, intuited
and empirically experienced from an isolated nook in a semi-rural cranny of
The Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.
In honor of our nation's birthday, I thought I would
share what I value most about our great American heritage by way of
an entertaining pass-along that came lately to my Inbox from a
fellow wanderer about 'retirement'... a subject which is (as you
know) dear and relevant to my heart:
The above image came with admonishment:
"It's very important to keep a sharp mind in
retirement!! As we slowly move through retirement, we need to keep
ourselves occupied with small projects......... Like this guy in
the picture above.
"I know, I saw it right away too.... No
safety glasses or hearing protection.
"And I caught something else that is really
important: He has no gloves on.
"I might be up in age but I am still sharp as
When I read the note and saw the pic -- which
completely ignores the fact that this guy is holding the chainsaw
blade in his crotch while pulling on the starter cord -- I laughed
so hard I nearly cried... thinking to myself (based in my own
observations of my waxing maturity) how easy it is to overlook the
obvious -- which may pose great danger -- while in the same moment
*believing* that we are doing 'everything right'.
And, in context of our great American ways... how
falling prey to this kind of obtuse stupidity is, de facto, my
That is, our Constitution and the nation it
fosters does not 'guarantee' us safety and security... and believing
that it is our government's job to 'give' these life-qualities to us
is a dangerous fallacy that thwarts everyone's sacrosanct birthright
to 'do as we please' so long as our actions pose no purposeful harm
to anyone other than 'self'...
aka: We have the (Creator ordained) liberty to do
dumb things and no one -- be it our next door neighbor or (alleged)
governmental authority -- has the right to take this right away.
In fact, we have the absolute birthright to choose
our own actions and experience the consequences, ramifications,
benefits and woes therego... sans intervention from mom, dad or any
We have the right to 'screw up' and suffer our
comeuppance... and no one has the right to intervene nor any
obligation to 'save us' from the fate we meet.
Yet our regulatory policies seem increasingly bent
on denying the overarching authority of this personal
decision-making liberty in the namesake of 'public good'... which,
quite frankly, is a sad testimony to how immature, irresponsible and
'needy' we (as a society) have become.
Thus I wonder, what can I do about this? And,
truth be told, I realize that there is nothing that I or any one of
us can do alone to vitalize and regenerate the true principles of
liberty and justice -- except to continue to be a role model of the
way things ought to be and hope that those who rally for more and
more 'restrictive laws' to (allegedly) keep us safe from ourselves
In the interim, I will continue to busy myself
with useful projects that do actually make at least my small nook of
this world a happy, beautiful and comforting place... such as
building a 'refuse locker' (see:
The Good Life, June 2014) with my youngest daughter.
And doing other 'good' stuff, like this
recent travel contest I entered, that bodes warm-fuzzines for all.
And no, if you're wondering, I didn't win <smile>...
Though it would have been nice, I am just as happy doing what I"m doing
right here at home for now. And still, some soon day at just the right
time, I will head out on another Great Gozarkian adventure...
Retorical thinking: The folks we've put in
prison deserve a whole lot more than what we're giving them... And not
'more', really... Just 'better'...
It is up to us --- yes, this means you --- to do something about
this... which is as simple as making a phone call to your elected
representative(s) and telling them you endorse the practice of
For more info on this (critical to the healthy well-being
of our WHOLE community) topic, have a look at this (excellent)
Think Progress article.
In accordance with the covenants, liberties and
duties vested in 'we the people' by the founders of our nation in
their signing of these great documents:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident,"
that we are each "endowed with
certain unalienable Rights" which no man, agency,
legislated policy or judicial due process has the authority to
interdict or revoke and which, in fact, it is the 'duty' of the
'majority' to safeguard, preserve, secure and defend on behalf of
ALL the PEOPLE...
Aka: NOT just the ones we 'like'...
Being a 'true American...' Taking a stand
for Liberty & Justice... Fighting the good fight... Rising to the
All of it, in terms of the standards that 'we the
people' are to hold ourselves accountable to, boils down to this one
As the standard-bearers of the 'justice for
all' banner, it is our duty to 'defend' the rights of each
individual to be whoever they choose to be, so long as their conduct
is peaceful and does no harm.
And we have s profound duty to discriminate
between what constitutes legitimate harm -and- and what we
(personally) may find morally abhorrent because to secure the
blessing of liberty for all, Lady Justice *must* be 'blind' to all
such prejudicial belief, respectful of those 'imbued rights' of each
individual to peacefully assemble with whosoever they wish and
pursue any sort of conduct that leaves others free from harm and
makes them happy.
Yes, it's true... there is now a vigorous petition drive to legalize
and regulate cannabis in Arkansas... and you can get the full scoop
on it here.
~ ~ ~
As announced in March. I entered (and won) an essay
contest sponsored by The Change Companies.
The Willie Nelson Act
did NOT win the approval of the Arkansas Attorney General,
although as the only proposed legislation with completely decriminalize cannabis, ends
the incarceration of those previously convicted of non-violent
marijuana offenses, and regulate pot like aspirin or beer, we still
support it 100%.
Still, the The Arkansas
Cannabis Hemp Amendmentis YOUR grand opportunity to
action. YOUR opportunity to help end the insane drug-war in
Arkansas. YOUR opportunity to ensure that the Arkansas budget funds
policies and programs that actually make things better for everyone
as envisioned by
Arkansas Act 1190 of 2013.
things always: that it is our
duty as thinking beings with the ever-present capacity to choose to
abide the 'highest law of reality' -- doing unto others as we would
have them do unto us --
with the unified purpose of making things good for everyone,
everywhere, all of the time.
matter what else life is or isn't about, the single connecting
thread of all experience and action is 'thinking'.
elephant in the middle of the room that nobody ever talks about,
what we think (and what we think about what we think) is our point
of power in guiding the ongoing dynamics of our own unique and
individually independent experience of life.
this innovative 'thinking technology'. Get more of the results you
want and need, utilize resources most efficiently, compound
beneficial outcomes, enhance OTJ performance and enjoy more quality
time for leisure.
gimmicks... no fees <smile>... just straight-forward scientific
info, widely known and understood throughout the
behavior-sciences, lovingly shared (in plain language sans
psycho-babble) to empower your clarity and amplify your happiness
with your own quality of life.
~ ~ ~
want more of what you've already got, do more of what you're already
A gift for you... and you... and YOU...
~ ~ ~
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds
discuss events; small minds discuss people.~Eleanor Roosevelt
May 2014: Not much is new... work moves along
in preparation for participation in operational exercises coming up
'soon'... the exact dates of which are not released for public (or
family) consumption with respect to maintaining security. Resultant
of this, our plans for a 'family reunion' this summer are 'on
hold'... pending some clue as to our sailor-man's availability...
February 2014: My son reports that the Navy
has been keeping him and all of his crew-mates busy since the
mid-November incident (see below), and that everything is going
well. He did manage to get a few days leave and visited with his
sisters in Florida, where they had a blast skydiving. What a
November 2013: Yes, my sailor-lad is part of
the crew on the ship that
made international news mid-November when it was
broadsided by a 'rogue drone'. Thankfully, he was not one of the
injured crewmen... And my heart goes out to the young men who were
injured and their families. Though I am told that everyone is now
okay, to be brutally honest I'm not.
August 2013: Text messages (which are my Navy
son's preferred means of communication) apprise that he is
recovering from (minor, planned) surgery and is doing just fine. Yea...!!! Also that Navy life goes well and that the new
truck he got is great. Things are ever changing yet always the same
<smile>. He is happy... and that is what really counts.
Mom's Day 2013: What a joy to hear his voice.
Things have been busy, schedules intense, duties demanding... and he
is doing just fine, on his way to the beach with buddies... "Will
you go swimming?" I ask. "M0OOOM..." he wails in disbelief of
my ignorance... "The water is only 50 degrees... it's waaaaay too cold
March 2013: Another sweet-surprise visit from
my sailor-son. Yummy... and bitter-sweet. Makes me miss him all the
January 2013: Yes, my sailor-man made it home
to celebrate the New Year... and his visit (though common knowledge
amongst his siblings) was a total surprise to me... Wow, did we have
a good time. And now that he has returned to base, well... I started
missing him before we left the airport.
December 2012: Long days and way too much to
do, says my Navy son. Eat, sleep and work is the total routine. What
keeps you so busy, I ask. Everything electrical, he says...
August 2012: Phone chats reveal that all is
well with my Navy son, though the days are long, often exhausting,
and life is sometimes 'boring'. In the main, he is enjoying what he
is doing, actually now getting a sense of 'doing' moreso than
'learning how to do'...
He spoke with excitement and dignity about having
resolved an issue with some type of amplified shipboard broadcast
device. I could tell that he was proud of this accomplishment, which
made me even more proud of him.
May 2012: A marksmanship test score of 228 to
240 = "Expert" status in the Navy. My IC3 writes:
"I got a 231 with the 9mm."
"I have an update for you, I was frocked today. The
Commanding Officer and Command Master Chief of my ship pinned on my
E-4 insignia so I am officially a 3rd class petty officer instead of ICFN. I am addressed as IC3 which is a lot easier to say every time
I have to answer the phone (lol). I will send you a pic of what the
insignia looks like. It is will be displayed on all of my uniforms
after I have them all updated when we get back to land. Any way it's
hard to believe how long Iíve been in, the time has really flown
He enlisted over 3 years ago on the delayed
entry program, spent months in training to prepare for bootcamp from
which he graduated late in October 2010 and is now stationed aboard
the USS Chancellorsville with the homeport of San Diego, California.
My son is one heck of a great kid and
I love him with all of my heart, just like I love all my children,
be they near or be they far...
The Ticonderoga Class Guided Missile Cruiser
USS Chancellorsville (CG-62)
~ ~ ~ Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off your bowlines.
Sail away from safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore, Dream, Discover. ~Mark Twain~
~ ~ ~
The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that
surround him... The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions
Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable
man. ~George Bernard Shaw
~ ~ ~
abounds when fighting ends...
change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something,
build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. ~Buckminster
~ celebrating professionalism
That you may be filled
with strength and power, rooted and grounded in love that surpasses all
knowledge: Be kind to one another; live with compassion, producing every
kind of goodness; stand firm and hold your ground in truth, righteousness
and peace; be courageous; embrace faith which is perfect trust in justice.
~Ephesians 3-6 (condensed)