Saturday, November 10, 2018

The End of the World

Some are predicting that the world will come to an end soon … like in January 2019 … just as the Democratic Party takes over the House of Representatives in the USA. I am not sure about this. Watch this video and you will get a good glimpse as to why I am not sure the end of the world is coming in 2019.


Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Speaking of the States

Watch this hilarious and highly-entertaining video and learn all about the many states that have been and those that have not been and those that almost were … just watch the video!


Monday, November 05, 2018

We need to listen

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6, 2018, Americans will go to the polls for the midterm elections, elections that many believe are the most critical elections in recent history.

Tomorrow is a critical day for the country we know as the United State of America.

Between now and tomorrow, many minds will be made up for one candidate or another.

For those that are still undecided, and for any future elections, I encourage you to listen to those you agree with … and to those you may not agree with.

Elections are opportunities for all of us to learn about the issues that all of us have, and then use that knowledge to work together to find workable solutions. A workable solution is not a perfect solution. A workable solution is arrived at through compromise and negotiation, through seeking a win-win situation for all, by gaining agreement based on solid values and objectives.

A workable solution is not achieved through fear of any kind. A workable solution is not achieved through lies. A workable solution is not achieved by force.

During this election and during future elections, as was so eloquently stated by Dr. Steven Covey, "seek to understand, then to be understood." It starts by listening to the other side.

More importantly, it requires that we drop the "us versus them" mentality, it demands that we become "us" and that we resist the constant efforts of politicians to divide us, to demonize one group, to belittle another group. Unity makes a country great. Diversity makes a country great. Freedom for all makes a country great. Prosperity for all makes a country great. Respect for all makes a country great.

Anything that attempts to divide us is not in our best interest as a nation. Anything that negates the power of diversity is not in the best interest of our nation. Anything that attempts to deny our freedoms, to prevent people from voting, to mass incarcerate people to silence them, to make/keep people sick, that designs an economy that hurts the poor and middle class — anything that does such terrible things is not in the best interest of our country.

So, tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6, 2018, please vote. Vote for the candidate that will help solve problems that affect all, that will help bring people together, that will be truthful and honest. even when the truth is hard to take; pick candidates not just because of the party they are running under, but because they have a plan and they can address the issues without fear-mongering and lying; pick a candidate that you have researched and that you think is capable of representing the whole of the people and not just a few privileged. Vote with your mind and not your gut.

And when all is said and done, let's all set a goal to listen to all sides of an issue, to become better citizens, to be better human beings. It is not an easy path; it is the worthwhile path.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Adventures of a Lifetime

I have been captivated by the adventures of a young lady that has recorded what I considered adventures of a lifetime. Her name is Jessica, but her trail name is Dixie. She is from Alabama, and you can tell when you listen to her. From what I have gathered, she was working in Colorado at some point and decided that she wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail; she recorded every bit of it for the world to see. The Appalachian Trail (also know as the AT) is a 2200 mile trail that runs from Georgia to Maine.

Then she embarked in the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), running from the Mexican border in southern California to the border with Canada in Washington State for a total of 2650 miles.

She finally did the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), which runs for 3100 miles from the border with Mexico in New Mexico to the border with Canada in Montana.

Completing all three earned her the thru-hiker triple crown. For many of us that may never be able to do this type of hiking, it has earned her our gratitude and love for her dedication and hard work, not just to hike that many miles (about 8000 trail miles), but to record it and offer her experiences for free so that we can all enjoy the journey and destinations. Along the way she brings amazing photography and video, humorous and interesting commentary, and a warm reflection on the nature of humans, on having and achieving goals, on being scared and being mesmerized … in short, reflections on the beauty of being alive and doing what you love to do.

Dixie's playlist on her AT thru-hike in 2015

Dixie's playlist on her AT thru-hike Tips & Tricks

The PCT playlist for 2017

And the triple-crown CDT playlist in 2018

Spoiler alert: from time to time you will get some amazing drone views.

Go hike with Dixie; you will not regret it.

I had the fortune of hiking a tiny bit of the AT in 2016:

Appalachian Trail - Starting
Appalachian Trail - Starting group near the trail head, Salem, VA, on the way to McAfee Knob

Appalachian Trail - With My Kids, McAfee Knob
Appalachian Trail - With My Kids, McAfee Knob

Appalachian Trail - McAfee Knob
Appalachian Trail - McAfee Knob

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Another chapter in the book of life

Friday, MacKenzie and I went to the DMV near our home for her road test. It was a no go due to rain. 

This morning we went to the only DMV office that is open on Saturdays, which is way on the other side of town. MacKenzie is now fully licensed and has earned her independence

And with that, we close one more chapter in our family life and start a new one. It will be so weird not having to take either of my kids places like I have for the last 18 years.

I am so proud of both of my kids for all they have achieved so far and for the bright future they have ahead.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

When at the mechanic, jog

I took my daughter's car to the mechanic this morning to fix an oil leak. The shop said it would take about two hours. What to do while they worked on "Baby"?

Go jog!

I missed this morning's run, so this was my opportunity to make that up. I used the same Podrunner track that I listened to yesterday, with which I jogged at a 19 minute mile pace. Today, however, with similar weather conditions, I logged a 3.3 mile circuit at a 17:30 minute mile.

Yesterday's Jog

Today's Jog #1


My plan was to jog all around the shopping center near our mechanic until I reached Starbucks. After claiming my free drink and taking an appropriate break to give the mechanic time to finish the work, I would then jogged back to the shop to get the car. I am writing this first draft as I enjoy my latte and feel great joy for the first 3.37 miles of the day.

After a nice break at Starbucks, I jogged the rest of the way back to the mechanic, about 1.47 miles at a slightly slower pace (17:49 minute mile):

Today's Jog #2

So, when you are waiting for something, consider going for a walk instead of sitting around.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Priming

In a recent episode of the "Provocative Enlightenment" podcast, the hosts talked with Professor John Bargh about the effects of "priming" an dhow it affects our behavior and actions.

In one example, a group of individuals were asked to complete a questionnaire and their answers were evaluated. They were then returned to the test room after bottles of hand sanitizer had been placed on the tables. A similar questionnaire was administered, and the results were considered much more "conservative" the second tiime around. The inference made was that the hand sanitizer shown elevated the respondents' alertness to danger and thus shifted their perspectives.

The podcats highlights the myriad of stimuli that, unbeknown to us, affects our life, what we think, how we think, what we buy, when we buy, how we vote, etc. It encourages us to become more aware of these stimuli and mindful of how they affect us.

For more information on the podcast please visit http://www.provocativeenlightenment.com and look for the episode titled "Before You Know It."