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Reader’s Block

What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without reading a book (since learning how to read, of course)? Which book was it that helped break the dry spell?

EBook’s and the nostalgia for a book

Todays prompt is one of two of my daily passions. It has been just over a year that I began reading to the point that I now consider myself a “Book Nerd”. I keep at least five to eight books, in my book bag to read during the day. Once I discovered audible books, I greatly increased my book consumption to 3-4 a month as I walk 3-4 miles a day. I read books like I use to watch television with the remote in my hand, changing channels constantly.

Nessa Grace-Passion

My most recent dry spell was for one week in August and again in September when I focused more on establishing my blogs on several different sites. When I’m writing a short story or writing something for one my blogs, I stress myself about how much reading I could be accomplishing. I’m very passionate about my reading and writing, I just need more time in a twenty-four hour day to give equal time to both.

Read on!

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In Retirement, activate your dreams & Passions?

Our most enduring and everlasting memories, develop as a child, when we associate a tasty treat with its aroma. The smell of bread, cookies, are just an example. The sound of music, in particular a radio jingle or song associated with a cartoon, viewing a television show or commercial about a toy you want. These visuals are embedded in our thoughts, dreams and desires for the rest of our lives.

If and when we can recall these moments of our past, they become chapters of our lives, allowing the feelings of emotions overwhelming our minds, whether the memories or good or bad, they are forever a part of our lives, and our soul, shaping the person we have become.

Traveling along life’s often turbulent passages, we sometimes call upon past memories to ease the pain of the current situations. Some people approach retirement with dreaded fear and apprehension, never understanding and appreciating how this is their time to rekindle dreams, thought of as a child, teenager, young adult, and especially those parenting years.

This is the perfect time to recall every dream or vision you can imagine, so long as your spouse has updated the life insurance policy, however, if you do not have a spouse, then you can seek to fulfill these dreams, passions and desires with the gusto of a young adult!

Now, your health and personal safety is above all else, the most important in all the adventures you seek to take part in. It is essential to prepare your mind with a healthy body, when seeking your dreams.

Your family, friends, and neighbors will be concerned and worried, although, they have your best interest at heart, some maybe a little envious of your daring dreams, and imaginations. If your children show concern by complaining or criticizing, you’re desires, just remind them of the horrible terrors they put you through when they were children, and this is only pay-back. Heck, you survived their wild adventurous exploits of climbing a ladder to look closer at a hornets nest. I’m only jumping out of an airplane with a parachute, and I have health insurance, along with a  Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order!

If they use the grand-children as pawns to persuade you not to try something, just close your eyes and think back to when you where a child, and how cool it would have been to tell you friends how your grand-parents climb a mountain, road a motorcycle across country, hiked the Appalachian Trail for six months or parachuted out of an airplane. With today’s technology you could send grand-children photos of your exploits and they would be the cool kids in their class!

Seeking to fulfill your dreams and passions in retirement sets an example to our children and, especially to grand-children, that you are never too old to learn and achieve anything you wish in life.

If you cannot recall any dreams, visions or imaginations from your past, be patient, and try harder, everyone dreams.

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In Transit

Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?

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I people watch daily at all the major transportation hubs in this city of 10-million plus. The stress shown on the faces of people walking to their destination with determination is sometimes eased while they walk with some form of audio ear-plug in or on their ears.

It is an amazing site to view mothers pushing children in baby carriages with the determination of a mother bear trying to get her cubs across a small creek.  It is the viewing of people walking and talking, attempting to stay within ear-shot of each other while maintaining a conversation as they weave in between people along the sidewalk.

I have seen a great change over the past thirty-five years of people watching. Most people tune into their audio ear-plugs, listening to their favorite music, audio tape, or a television show from the previous night, while tuning out of everything else around them, except for the destination.

What is amazing are the number of people who multi task while walking, carrying on a conversation, with audio ear-plug in their ears, and texting on their cellular phones. As I view these activities, I have considered purchasing a video camera, to record the number of people who continually attempt to avoid each other while multi-tasking their electronic devices and walking at the same time.

Generally, most of the people walking with their devices attached to their bodies, navigating the sidewalks, do so in an amazing fairly safe way. However, there are those who occasionally walk into a pole, into the rear of another person, or brush shoulders with another as they pass, providing the most incredible exchanged of looks between two people. Although, most times, I see an exchanged apology, followed by a smile or a frown as they continue on.

I guess as time moves along, walking along sidewalks will possibly be regulated with prescribed painted sides to walk along, with lines indicating passing areas, and of course “No electronic device use while walking”, signs will eventually be posted with the amount of the fine posted below the wording.

In a way the sight is kind of magical, as the mass of people walk along in a zombie like state, stressed with their day-to-day life, their movement is constant and it never stops. Only mother nature can slow down or even stop the constant movement and after the weather clears, the scene of movement, will take place again just as the sun rises and sets.

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Welcome Stranger

Think about the town where you now live: its local customs, traditions, and hangouts, its slang. What would be the strangest thing about this place for a first-time visitor?

My work space, under the pavilion at Fort Myers Beach,

My work space, under the pavilion.

I was at my local airport arriving back from visiting family abroad, when I met a couple who appeared lost. I stopped to offer some assistance to a distinguishing looking gentleman with a very lovely woman on his arm, whom I presumed to be his wife. He asked was I a local and what could I tell him about the area? So begins my story.

I began to explain that I live in the area, and that is seasonal, which for six months, starting October through April, there is a concentration of people, swelling the roadways, restaurants, parks, and beaches that will boggle the mind. They can become rowdy with their loud parties along the beach and the local bars. They are fairly orderly, and most leave are home by 10-11 pm to get an early start for the next days activities.

During the same time there migrating various species of birds, with their brightly colorful plumes migrate to the area with sights that is awe inspiring.

Fort Myers Beach Bodwhich Park Sunset

Beach Bowditch Park Sunset

If you are use to being in a winter climate during this time period, you will quickly become accustom to wearing only a light jacket after dark and appreciating the warm afternoon breezes along the coast. One of the customs in my community is to simply relax and take in the wildlife, at the many state and federal parks offering wildlife viewing that will simply overwhelm your senses.

I would recommend you get a bicycle to enjoy the many activities during the early morning hours, along the beach between 7:00 am – 10:00 am, pedaling along for exercise, sightseeing or just for a ride to a local coffee shop.

I would also recommend a kayak to enjoy the mangroves, view wildlife up close, a fishing pole to contemplate the meaning of life and all that you have accomplished and golf to challenge yourself. There is a amazing community of artists encompassing theater, writers, and painters that thrive with weekly, monthly and yearly shows promoting their crafts.

There are many annual traditions celebrating the local seafood, music, art, theater, sand sculpture and a pirate festival. There are guided beach, and nature walks with lots of hang-out places where we gather to share a coffee, lunch near the beach, and dinners cruises to view the sun sets.

So as a first time visitor, this place can be overwhelming with so much to do and see, however I would recommend, taking your time, with so much beauty to view, it will always be available.

Now, I notice that you have a New York City brochure in your hand, are staying in our fair city of just traveling though, you do know what city this is?

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Big Day Ahead

It’s the night before an important event: a big exam, a major presentation, your wedding. How do you calm your nerves in preparation for the big day?

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I recall being nervous when I was tasked with being the duties of masters of ceremonies during a family reunion. As I waited in the wings to take the podium, I was rehearsing my thoughts of what I was going to say, focusing on how I was going to introduce family members, when suddenly I realized, I was sweating profusely from my forehead to my neck, and my palms were cold and clammy.

I found some paper towels to wiped my forehead and dried my palms, as I began some deep breathing exercises to calm my nerves, which helped immensely. I could not believe what was happening to me. I the job I held, I was a public speaker and I have never had a problem with speaking before a crowd of people of any size.

Just as I took the podium and look out into the crowd of family members, I realized that I was going to be judged by my toughest critics, my family. In the past I have never had a problem with focusing on the task at hand and forging through to completion.

As I spoke, my nerves calmed down, and I was able to speak without any problems, however, during the time I was on stage, I also kept using Franklin D. Roosevelt’s quote from his first inaugural speech, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”.

I learned the quote as a child when I complete a book report on Franklin D. Roosevelt, and I have used it many times before, such as a science project, a swim test, at Boy Scout Camp and just before the start of a my first date as a teenager in high school.

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Verbal confirmation

To be, to have, to think, to move — which of these verbs is the one you feel most connected to? Or is there another verb that characterizes you better?

A verb that characterizes me?

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Well, I believe the word “Move”, is the word I feel most connected to. However, I like the word “Adventurous”, as a better definition. I love the outdoors, especially the beach, with a hike in a wooded forest not far behind. Between, camping, RVing, bicycling, kayaking, playing pickle ball, and generally hanging at the beach, practicing my best beach-bum lifestyle, I’m constantly on the move.

It only because of blogging that I actually sit still, long enough to type out words of wisdom, give my opinion, and generally write about many different issues, along with what ever captures my fancy.

Heck, I, have to move on from the outdoor park where this blog is being written, because it is time for me to move to another site. I won’t sit too long, I don’t want grass growing under my feet.

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Truth Serum or are you listening?

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Most mornings I people watch the many walkers, joggers passing by along the beach as I sit at a picnic table, underneath a pavilion facing the beach early in the morning mostly before 9:00 am. From time to time someone will sit and a conversation usually begins with comments about the weather of southwest Florida.

I always great people with a hearty hello or good morning and I listen as some have continued to speak about the weather, some tell their tale of woe, give me their life history, and then there are those who will talk for ever.

On one such occasion, I listen for over an hour as a gentleman in his late 60’s or early 70’s, spoke about his entire family, to include aunts, uncles, 2nd and 3rd cousins, his former jobs, and how his wife forced him to leave their home rural Vermont during the winter of 2014.

He continued on until a women that was obviously his wife, walk passed him, and without acknowledging me with a greeting, she past him, and with a stern voice, “come on, let’s go!.”

The gentleman immediately stopped talking, waved good-bye, an followed his wife to the car parked just to my left. As he retrieved the car keys, which apparently wasn’t fast enough, because the woman yelled, “come on, open the door!, I’m ready to go! ” I have walk enough and you have talked enough, and I hope you got it out of your system, because I don’t want to hear your mouth no more today”.

I cringed a little, never looking in her direction, as I heard the harsh tone in her voice. Before he entered the car and closed the door, I heard him say. “You know, honey I like to talk”. As he back out of the parking space and drove away, I saw a dejected man, who apparently was going to spend the next twelve or more hours in silence, until he could find someone who would listen.

Just as they pulled away, Phyllis who is a regular walker, said good morning and I returned the greeting. She began to explain that a female walker she was walking with had and accident. I immediately asked what happen? Phyllis explained that the woman who got in the car was walking along side her and talking the entire time, criticizing her husband of 50 years, about how he talked too much.

Phyllis said as they were walking when suddenly she stop talking and burped aloud. She stood still for a moment, and her face showed some distress. She suddenly raised her head, said good-bye, turned around walking towards the pavilion. Phyllis followed behind her at a distance and it wasn’t until she approached the pavilion that she recognized a dark brown stain on her pale green shorts as she walked hurriedly along the beach.

Phyllis, said, she must have talked so much, that her flatulence was just as fluid as her mouth. We both laughed and as Phyllis walked away waving good-bye. I thought of how a morning greeting, and simply listening can lead to laughter.

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.

– Ernest Hemingway

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Mouths Wide Shut

Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat?

There was a time for which, I would have eaten anything as long as it was cooked. As time and life moved along, I expanded that belief to include eating some raw items such as “Sushi”, which I love to this day. Now, I have not, nor will I ever, eat any raw insects. I believe I could stomach them roasted or fried as one of the last exotic delicacies, I have not tried and one day will attempt.

No fast forward to todays date, where I have become a pescatarian, which is a version of a vegetarian. Basically I eat no read meat to include chicken, turkey beef, pork, and I only consume fish and seafood with my vegetables.

Recently I have come to enjoy egg whites omelet’s with assorted green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, garlic, onions, with several different types of seasoning including curry and Old Bay Seasoning to go with the seafood or fish.

Prior to my dietary change I was the ultimate omnivore, eating every type of meat this planet has to offer. The most exotic beast I’ve tasted are, Alligator, Ostrich, and Snakes. However as a young child I ate squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, possum, and everything on a hog from the “rooter to the Tooter” to include “mountain oysters”. YouTube or Google the Mountain Oysters for a definition.

I raise a son and daughter and taught them to try every type of food item and never rely on some else’s interpretations on the taste of food. Adventurous eating can be fun, except for raw insects.

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Excess ?

“Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.” – Edna Ferber
Do you agree with this statement on excess?

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The belief that too much of everything is bad as too little, will depend on who is making that assessment and what the specific excess is?

Maintaining any excess that can sustain life, such as food, water, shelter with the ability to help those in need is horribly bad if a person or entity has the necessary resources and ability to help.

Reading this quote, I recall old adages like, “the grass looks greener on the other side”, along with “never wish for what some else has, because “you never know what they did to acquire their excess”.

Looking upon others excesses or resources with a jealous eye or bad intent is never a great way to decide how to get what is needed. Whether it is a person or business, it is never known how the excess was obtained or is the excess for something else.

For what ever the excess is, it is unknown what sacrifices were taken to and if the excess is predetermined for someone or something?

The question of excess is to look within one self and decide would you have walked in the shoes of the person who has what you believe is an excess. Answering this question can help decided what is excess?

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My favorite Children’s meal

Writing 101: Happy (Insert Special Occasion Here)!
Today, be inspired by a favorite childhood meal. For the twist, focus on infusing the post with your unique voice — even if that makes you a little nervous.

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Now as a native of St. Louis Mo. there are certain unique foods that are only cooked, sold and consumed only in the St. Louis metro area.

One of the unique foods, I fell in love with as a child, is called a “Shrimp St. Paul”. As a child, I never understood how unique this food item was until I enlisted in the military and discovered that in Alabama, New Jersey, West Germany, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC are locations that didn’t serve my beloved Shrimp St. Paul’s sandwich.

After twenty years in Virgina, I was able to get my local Aisian takeout Restaurant, to make me a Shrimp St. St. Paul, which consist of an egg foo young patty, made with mung bean sprouts, minced white onions, served with dill pickle slices, white unions slices, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato between two slices of white bread.

Now that I have given the out the recipe, I have a taste for a “Shrimp St. Paul”.

Se yah, gotta go!

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Make It Count

You’ve been given the opportunity to send one message to one person you wouldn’t normally have access to (for example: the President. Kim Kardashian. A coffee grower in Ethiopia). Who’s the person you choose, and what’s the message?

At 83 years of age, I wish my father in-law was alive so I could have talked to him about what I am about to explain. I think it is time to tell the tale of how I met my father in-law who has long since passed.

I was living in a small West Virginia town of less than one-hundred people, where I met my wife Martha Wilson, on an unusual faithful and exciting night after our local high school basketball game. I was a senior and she was a sophomore as we walked along the dirt path. The autumn evening sun lowering into the surrounding mountainside bringing to a close a wonderful evening as we walked towards her home.

Martha’s father was the only doctor within one-hundred and fifty miles of our little town, and he recently opened a new office listing “gynaecology” as part of his practice in a nearby town with less than 50 people. The people in and around the town of his new office have never had a doctor of any type. Heck, the people lived so deep in the woods, sunshine was farmed in by others living in the surrounding area.

Someone in the nearby town was able to define the word gynaecology, and the men of the town were not pleased upon the discovery of the words’ definition. A group of thirty or more men from the nearby town and surrounding country side arrived on the front lawn of the doctor’s home to confront him about the type of medicine he planned to practice on their women folk and young girls.

As we approached her home, we could see the thirty or more men, standing in front of her home holding lighted torches. It took all that I could to prevent Martha from rushing forward towards the crowd in her attempt to protect her father. I suggested that we enter their home from the rear, however once inside I was so nervous I had to use their new indoor bathroom, complete with toilet tissue. It was in the toilet where I came up with a great idea to help her father.

Martha was walking down the stairs from the second level of the home after checking on he mother who was with her two siblings brothers age five and seven. We overheard the sound of a horse-drawn carriage arriving in front of her home with the local constable and a couple of her fathers neighbors who were attempting to quiet and calm the crowd of men.

She wanted me to go out and stand beside her father to help him, now that was a nobel idea, but I am definitely afraid of the torches held in the hands of the crowd of men, so I told her, I have an idea.

I proposed that I wrap her totally in the white toilet paper from the bathroom, and walk her out to the front of the house where the men could see how their women folk would be presented in the doctor’s office.

Now, I must say, the surprised and perplex look on her face was eventually changed when I explained that the men outside, had never seen a bathroom, yet alone toilet paper. Suddenly a sinister smile broke across her face and I began wrapping her 4’10” frame in two rolls of heavy two ply toilet paper.

As I shuffled her through the front door and onto the front porch, the crowd of men quieted and began to bow their heads in reverence. As her father turn to see what the men were looking at, he slightly recognized his daughter, calling to her and began to ask what we were doing? He also noticed, the men were quieted in her presence.

My future father in-law walked towards me asking what was the meaning of this, and who was I?

I stepped closer so the angry men could not her me explain how I walked his daughter home after the high school basketball game, and I know most of the men standing on his front lawn, have never seen and indoor toilet or toilet paper.

As I explained my plan, I watched his angry and stern face, break with a slight grin, as he asked his daughter was she ok? When she said yes, her father said stay where you are and I will take if from here.

Quickly her turned to the crowd of men who were becoming a little restless. He yelled to the crowd pointing to his daughter and explained to the men, that the white paper covering is what their women would be dressed in during any examination.

He pointed to his daughter again asking her to say hello. When she spoke, the group of men, all of whom at this time, stood with their mouths open in complete astonishment, seem to see the white toilet papered teen as a vestal virgin of purity, and this delighted the men into believing that their women folk would be treated likewise.

As the doctor spoke assuring the men, their women folk will be held in high esteem during their visits and his daughter is proof of how delicate they would be treated, the tension in the crowd eased considerably.

The men felt comfortable with the doctors explanation, assured that their women would not be violated, and asked the doctor’s forgiveness for confronting him at his home. The men walked towards their horse-drawn carriages and returned to their homes.

Mr. Wilson promised us both never to speak of what happened that day, and I never understood the reason why until years after his death. Martha told me that it was unprofessional and unethical to lie to the men about how the gynecological examination would take place.

However, it was forty to fifty years before the last women stopped coming to his office dressed in toilet paper.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/make-it-count/

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Seeking a quiet, peaceful, stress-free moment.

Many years ago when I took a stress management class and discovered how my life was filled with too many noises and continuous sounds that never allowed me to relax and experience a quiet stress free moment.

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I discovered that noises in our daily lives can become stressful and in some cases harmful when we don’t take time to enjoy the simple sounds of mother nature.

The continuous volume of sound can become second nature preventing many from relaxing and listening to silence. Silence for most people is unnerving and seeking this moment is sometimes difficult to achieve.

Some people mediate to find their mental peacefulness, while others live in communities far removed from the sounds of a large metropolitan city, providing them a better opportunity to find silence.

Now close your eyes and try to imagine how far from your home, job, church, or community would you need to travel to not hear voices, the sounds of a car engine, airplanes over head, lawn mowers, or construction workers?

Listening to the morning sounds of birds chirping, along with the wind softly blowing through the leaves on the trees can relax and de-stress the human body better than any prescription drug, alcoholic beverage, or a massage.

However, seeking a quite peaceful mental time should be everyone’s daily goal, to ensure vibrant mental health, that will sustain a peaceful life for many years to come.

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Handle with care?

How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?

Nessa Grace~Change Your Focus (2)

Criticism both positive and negative, is what we all need to measure ourselves, however most people cannot accept negative criticism as it hurts their feeling and destroys their belief within themselves. I accepted criticism positive and negative as a way to learn and discover what I may improve upon and or learning what my weaknesses are.

I’m new to the writing community, so I am a little ambivalent about someone critiquing my writing, however I know the vital importance of having fellow writers critique my work. In my former career I received a yearly evaluation my job of the previous year. I wanted my performance, interpreted, critiqued, and evaluated to decide and how effective my performance was the previous year. I prefer complete honesty and my evaluator to speak the truth and not hold back, because in the end it is me who will learn from my mistakes.

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Litmus, Litmus on the Wall

If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would decide whether you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? What would the right answer be?

Nessa Grace~Change Your Focus (2)

We have been dating off and on for about a year and Patricia has never spoken about where her ex-husband was living. So after all the weekend trips away, holiday celebrations, and family gatherings, I was shocked when the 6’7″, 290 pound gym owner named Brian standing above me, spotting my bench press of only 245 pounds, asked if I was dating Patricia.

Surprised with his question, I completed ten repetitions of the press, and immediately sat up swinging my legs around to ask, how do you know Patricia?

He said that his brother was married to Patricia years ago. I raised my eyebrows in amazement with his statement and my eyes must have widen to the size of kiwi fruit when he went on to say that his brother was being released from jail after serving several years for a vehicular homicide and his brother wanted to know if Patricia was dating?

Now Brian is a quiet gentle man with a career in the finance industry after ten-years in the Nation Football League. Brian said he was inquiring to see if it was ok for his brother to make contact with Patricia upon his release. I immediately stated that we are a couple and are planning to marry. Brian nodded in agreement, and said that he would tell his brother not to contact Patricia.

I asked, what were his brother’s plans upon release? Brian said he would be managing the gym. There was a moment of pause when Brian stood up and said, I guess I will give you back whats left on the gym membership. I said that would not be necessary and I would stay at the gym. We shook hands and Brian walked away.

Now, I thought to myself, could Patricia’s ex-husband and I become friends?

I would only feel comfortable with the friendship if he had an inmate lover which he was happy with. This for me would make me feel better about any threat from him attempting to rekindle a relationship with Patricia.

I also thought about Patricia’s explanation and would she want to rekindle her relationship with her ex-husband? 

However my thoughts focused more on the answer Patricia would give me, which I hope would be she was too embarrassed to explain her ex-husband being in jail.

Either way, I think I will cancel my membership.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/litmus-test/

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Blogging 101 introduce yourself

Hello and good day to all.

I’m a retiree living in Southwest Florida, I have developed a passion for writing born out of reading books. I never thought I would consider the idea of writing as a passion, after 27 years of writing reports in a previous career.

I here to learn more about blogging, to discover what other passions there are to learn in the world of blogging. I have taken several creative writing classes and I love flash fiction along with writing several short stories.

I’m evolving as a reader and writer, from the classic novels of the past to the new writers of our time. As I move throughout the many different genres of literature, I’m intrigued and excited with the possibilities of the adventures to have, either as a writer or reader. I am not seeking to write the great American Novel, just short stories, flash fiction, some poetry and most of all just simply enjoying myself.

I’m inspired by the blogging community and I seeking to interact with bloggers who post witty, whimsical, inspirational messages as well as commenting on themselves and pop culture.

My blog centers around adjusting to the retirement lifestyle and discovering your passions.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/101-introduce/

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Emotional attachments to Soulful Machines

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Machines, appliances, and gadgets sometimes feel like they have their own personalities — from quirky cars to dignified food processors. What’s the most “human” machine you own?

Being the practical person that I am, I do not look upon machines with such regard or esteem. I regard the machines I have owned as inanimate objects serving a purpose to make my life easier.

I have a true appreciation for the following appliances ranked in the order of my needs. The refrigerator, electric or gas stove, washing machine, toilet, bicycle and automobile. I would hate to spend a day without this collection of man-made machines.

I cannot imagine living in a time when I hand washed my clothing, boil water over an open flame for a bath, or use a chamber pot, Ugh! Now most would read this and say, what a whip, but just try going without any of the above mentioned machines and see where your day leads you, especially if you take away the television and computer.

Oh, my goodness, we would be left with walking to a friend’s home, to speak in person and together share duties to cook and clean.

I know people who have an emotional affection with their inanimate objects, however in a world that is becoming more individualistic and self-serving, it would be great to just speak in person, or at least blog about it via a computer.

Who could imagine such an idea?

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Greetings, Stranger (Daily Prompt)

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You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?

I respond with my best impersonation of Robert Deniro’s character in the movie Taxi Driver, “are you talking to me”?

My response forces the stranger into a perplex look and she slowly begins to explain that I looked like a Steven Harden, who she has corresponded with on an online dating service.

I began to move the book I was reading towards me, I search the café to see if anyone else was with her as I contemplated my escape.

I responded with my best perplexed look and stated, I’m not that guy. She apologized for the mistake and began walking towards the exit door of the café. I hurriedly packed away my laptop and the book I was reading into my book bag and walked briskly out the café to my car. As I backed out of the parking space, I noticed she was standing in front of the building as I drove away.

When I turn into the roadway, I thought about the photo she posted online was so strikingly different from the woman standing before me in the café. The online photo was of a woman in her early twenties, but the woman who stood before me in the café was at least thirty-five years of age or more.

I recognized I panicked and began to feel guilty, so I return to the café and found her standing in front of the building as I parked. When I exited my car she recognized me and I wave to her and she walked towards me.

I was so nervous as she approach, that I blurted out, “I apologize your online photo was so different”. Her shoulders slumped, she began to cry and apologizing for posting the younger photo. I felt so bad, I ran to my car to get some tissues as she tried to explain between tears and sobbing.

I asked for her to sit with me at one of the outside tables as she began to explain how she was not comfortable with using the photo that her girl friends talked her into using. I apologized for not telling her who I was and we reentered the café for coffee and great conversation.

That how I met my fiancée.

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Dread du jour

007pandas / Nomadic Adventurer:

A poignant insightful assessment of todays media barrage

Originally posted on Eric Tonningsen's "Awakening to Awareness":

3291312140_078c833b7d_m“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important.” ~ Ambrose Redmoon

I went online today to do some research. I figured mainstream news feeds might have the data I sought. What an ugly mistake. For readers unaware, I don’t watch television/cable, nor do I read newspapers or magazines. And my online experience today reaffirmed why I do not.

I quickly scanned several well-known sources and 37 out of 39 articles (yes, I counted) featured stories about doom and gloom. The ‘hit parade’ included headlines screaming about:

  • Ebola
  • terrorism
  • climate change
  • social injustices
  • illegal immigration
  • police brutality
  • political propaganda
  • economic demise
  • inadequate militaries
  • religious superiority
  • murders, deaths, out of control crime
  • extremists everything

Not a single positive, feel good or constructive story. Just fear and demise.

2137382661_7f43df918a_mBewildered, I asked myself, “Is this really what we have let ourselves become?” “Have we given in…

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RIP: Mr. Comer Cottrell

Mr. Comer Cottrell

This is a sad day to announce, that Comer Cottrell, the creator of the Jheri Curl, worn mostly by African-Americans during the 70’s, died at the age of 82. He was a successful business owner, philanthropist, and at one time, part owner of the Texas Rangers. If you are too young to know or have not seen any Jheri Curls, Google the name, “Jheri Curl” and check out the many different styles worn by African-Americans and people from around world.

The popularity of the Jheri Curl, is similar to the braids or dreadlocks extensions worn by African-Americans today. I sported a Jheri Curl, during the mid 80’s, but there are photos, that I know of.

RIP: Mr. Cottrell

http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2014/10/11/354931324/comer-cottrell-creator-of-the-peoples-jheri-curl-dies-at-82

Twenty-five Seven

Good news — another hour has just been added to every 24-hour day (don’t ask us how. We have powers). How do you use those extra sixty minutes?

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I wish, it was possible to gain another sixty minutes in a day, I would surely use towards getting more reading and writing done. Yesterdays prompt asked about the longest dry spell of not reading which for me was about a week, and I asked for more time to read.

If I had the time machine above to extend an hour to my day, I would used it to gain more time reading, at least another chapter or two.

On days, when I’m at the beach, using the time machine I would summons another hours during the winter months to extend my day at the beach. I would use it to extend another hour of sitting around a campfire just relaxing with family, friends, or a good book.

As much as I love to imagine the possibilities of time, I’m keenly aware of living in the present and while on this planet, my time is limited, and I have too much to carry out, worrying about time.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/twenty-five-seven/

Destinations

007pandas / Nomadic Adventurer:

These locations around the world provides moments of self reflection and a deeper understanding of ourselves. Seeking and attaining these moments are essential. Great posting Eric!

Originally posted on Eric Tonningsen's "Awakening to Awareness":

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“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” ~ Paul Theroux

As a verb, Google the word “destination” and you will find endless web sites for spas, resorts, retreat centers, honeymoon locations and exotic, far-away places. When you think “destination,” what typically comes to mind? Probably Paris, skiing the Alps, Disney World, safari, a tropical beach or perhaps a historic cultural site, among many possibilities.

What if, instead, a destination was somewhere within you? A place where you could intentionally focus on your inner self, where you could practice extreme self-care and where you could reground and renew.

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When was the last time you created space in which to realign with your mind, your body and your spirit… without, as Toltec Wisdom says, the “mitote” clouding your thoughts or your visions? Nurturing our personal wellness, our wholeness, is one of those matters we too often neglect…

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Space-Time Continuum, A One-Way Street

Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?

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As a child and adult I often dreamed of time travel, and after watching the movie “Back to the Future”, I was really into believing, I wanted to travel back in time or into the future. However, understanding the space-time continuum, my thoughts changed after I understood how critical tampering with my past could affect my present time period either negative or positive. I don’t want to change a thing of my present for fear I would have to do something over.

As far as my future, I want to make it up as I go. I feel we have better control of our future than anything else in our lives. Now, as the prompt asks, which would I chose, I would sell the device to the government or some mad scientist, take the money and be happy with whatever I received and live the rest of my life happy and content.

Because I know how ignorant our government can be or how a mad scientist would use it to their monitory benefit, I would destroy a key part of the device to prevent someone from changing my past, present or future.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/one-way-street/