Overview, observe, associate, friend, and family

Degrees of involvement. Whew! We have plenty of degrees adding up in Phoenix this year. Yesterday and today it’s been a record-setting, scorching 119 degrees. Times like this we recall all the beautiful 70 degrees outdoor Christmas parties. At the same time, friends and relatives in the Midwest were enduring a 15 below zero stretch with frigid wind chill factors. Thoughts like that are typically an overview or an observation at least on Facebook.

More personal involvements are the associates you work with and friends whom you really empathize with. Deeper still are family and close immediate family. They are the ones that you have known all of your life. They have been through the thick and thin of life, they’re your loved ones.

Everyone goes through thinning of the ranks of loved ones. But really, regardless of your disposition, it draws you closer to the remaining members. My sister who lived in the frozen tundra for most of her life moved to Arizona during the holidays in 2015. Because I had moved out of state or because she resided hours away -I’ve only seen her for a small fraction of my life.

This has been the biggest regret for me because aside from my wife she is the kindest most benevolent soul I have to ever know. Should she have a problem, would I meddle in her life? Not exactly, but I would aid and support her to rise above it. The Hollies said it best in “He ain’t heavy he’s my brother.” In this case, she’s my sister. It’s a long, long road, while we’re on the way to there we should share some time.

Portion of life

For most people, if you look at a portion of their life that they enjoyed most it would be their vacations. Many of us live for the next vacation, it can’t come soon enough. Believe it or not, a good percentage of Americans can’t seem to find the time or have the means to take vacations. Because it’s a time we enjoy most it seems it should be a priority and if you can’t find the means at least you could take a day trip to enjoy nature and life.

Nearly two years ago I had a portion of the book I’ve been writing for years published in an international literary magazine called AOIS21 Media. Since then the road is like this. I have the bulk of the manuscript ready but every few days I work on it refining, changing, rearranging to make it ready to present to a publisher. I’ve also spent countless hours reading and listening to e-book publishers and speaking with some to get their advice on publishing. An arduous task at best.

Essentially this work of the heart has taken a portion of my life. I’m amazed by authors like James Patterson, one of my favorites, that releases books every couple months it seems.  I know he has a template or a formula which he starts from so it’s not as difficult as a brand new creation.

My wife and I are very fond of vacations though we get so tied up in life that there are way too many years when we skipped a vacation. At least when we didn’t find time for an actual vacation we’ve at least taken a getaway weekend to regain our sanity and remember how to breathe. That’s the key, remember how to breathe its an essential ingredient for living.

Hope for Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing

As a fan, I’ve laughed a lot over the years at the man who is notorious for comedy. You know who he is kids know him as Santa Claus in the comical Santa Claus movies. Even more of us recall him as “Tim the tool man Taylor” from the TV series “Home Improvements” and/or a host of other movies like “Wild hogs” and “Big trouble”.  ABC shocked America with news that their second most watched show Last Man Standing is canceled!

Tim’s latest //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“>Tweet said, “Stunned and blindsided by the network I called home the past six years.” That being said, the Fox network is working to find a place for the blockbuster comedy show. The show isn’t simply a comedy it features family, moral values, and everything that has been an American heritage. ABC claims the show wasn’t canceled because of political reasons but it seems all too apparently not true. It’s considered the biggest, hit sitcom since “All in the Family.”

Allen’s character Mike Baxter was a staunch conservative along with one daughter stood against the Obama tirade of government overreach etc. Baxter aside from his one daughter had his wife and other two daughters along with a son-in-law that were liberals so the show had it all. The irony was Allen’s prior successful TV series he had three sons whereas here he was surrounded by women.  Several of those stars made appearances on this program.

Perhaps things are working out for the best as FOX would seem to be a better home for his conservative brand of comedy. Regarding living in Hollywood on Jimmy Kimmel Allen said, “You gotta be real careful around here, you know. You’ll get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes, it’s like ’30s Germany.”

As the voice buzz lightyear alway said, “To infinity and beyond.” As the captain in Galaxy Quest said, “Never give up never surrender.” Real words to live by.

 

Can it always get better?

What can be better than just that for the Daily Post word? The term brings to mind for me the film As good as it gets, starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear and an all-star cast. That poses the question how often are things as good as it gets? How often can they be better?

Generally speaking when we’re trying to improve on something we’re working to get better at it. Let’s look back at Hollywood for a moment. When we see a movie the audience is typically moved by the performances but when it comes to the critics that may not be the story.  We sometimes think, did they see the same picture that we did? We loved it yet they gave it a very poor review sometimes with only one star. The critics thought the movie could have been better.

As ratings go there’s poor, good, better and best. As movies go opinions vary upon who you ask. The same is with people. Some think that someone is better than another or anyone else in some cases. For those that believe in God or a Supreme Being the deity sees all are the same in their eyes, it’s up to them to judge. The same God has provided values for us to go by. The evil perpetrators are just that. But those of us who think we’re better than the other should look at themselves first.  I’m impressed with Values.com.

Take this picture for example. It’s of the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, Arizona. The picture could be much better if it were zoomed in on the mountains. The picture was taken about six weeks ago and not only did the Peaks have snow but the Arizona snow bowl was still open for skiing. The Navajo nation’s term for these peaks means “peak that never thaws”. Yesterday we had our hottest day this year of 108 degrees. I know some of that snow is gone but it remains 30 to 50 degrees cooler than Phoenix year round. Flagstaff is over 7,000 feet in elevation, the peaks are the highest point in the state at over 12,600 feet. Surprised?

 

How much can a blanket cover?

I love how the daily posts select words that have more than one meaning in fact blanket covers even more than the mind can comprehend. In the new TV series Genius” Einstein in referencing the cosmos made a blanket inference in relation to time, relativity, and space. But bringing it back down to earth a salesman loves to hear his customer issue a “blanket purchase order” that covers all their needs in relation to his product.

Salesmen, lawyers, and other professionals use the blanket term sometimes daily so it is a hardworking expression that covers more territory than Texas. Typically most of us do have finite limits for blankets in size. There are specific sizes for a king, queen, and full-size beds and of course, there are the ever popular smaller “throw” blankets for snuggling under while sitting in your easy chair or even keeping warm outside around a campfire.

My featured picture is one of a handmade unique size woven version made for me by my Mother. It boggles my mind on how much time and how tedious it must be to create something like this. That’s my take for I’ve never woven anything then again I’ve built hundreds or thousands of cabinets which also takes time and like the blanket, you have a finished product made with your own hands to show for it.

In almost every sector of most of the products we use every day, the handmade versions are being replaced by machines mass production in factories. Still, many of us can appreciate the quality of something that’s handmade, just thinking of the quality and care that went into making the end result. Salute to the craftsmen and craftswomen out there.

Blanket The Daily Post

Paint the opaque wood treatment

When I think of opaque I think of heavy frosted or tinted windows that conceal what’s behind the window. In Arizona with the bright scorching summers heavy tinted windows are allowed in fact it’s rare to find vehicles without tinted windows. For locals, it’s a clue that the people without tinting are not from around here.

Images also come to mind of blinds in windows that completely block out the sun and thereby the heat. Window shutters are quite common with homebuilders in the southwest to keep the heat out of the home. In addition, heavier than normal sunscreens on homes windows and doors are also commonplace.

But for me personally opaque draws to mind the paint that is put on wood cabinets which are very popular today. From an early background in woodworking, I feel it’s a crime to hide the beautiful woodgrain with white, black or even gray paint. Painting over wood is nothing new, it’s been done for centuries. The difference is there’s a “paint grade wood” that’s recommended for this application (which for panels and molding is MDF fiberboard) but the price has driven many manufacturers to use other beautiful grain woods for the cabinets.

Pine is a softwood but it can be beautiful when stained, used a lot in the past but today the most common material is poplar, a hardwood that doesn’t dent as easy which can reveal the woodgrain. Another wood species that’s painted is alder. Poplar doesn’t stain up as well as alder, in fact, I consider alder the chameleon wood because it can stain up to look like cherry or maple.

In Arizona, the alder sales are higher than some other parts of the country because of its western regional availability. My feelings are wood has nothing to hide. Paint is a coverup. Whitewashing or not to whitewash it’s your call, that’s my two cents.

Opaque Daily Post

Who hasn’t been in denial of something?

With Easter fast approaching many of us are reminded of one of the earliest denials in history. That would be after Jesus was arrested and the soldiers asked Peter if he knew Christ? He proceeded to deny Jesus not once but three times before the rooster crew; which was prophesied by him who was betrayed.  And Christ called Peter the “rock” him whom he would build his church upon. Now that’s the kind of confidence Jesus had that Peter would overcome the shame of his betrayal.

Denial is an everyday thing but being in denial can be a state of mind or refusal to accept something that you may not want to. So many people go through life not realizing that they may be in denial of something unless someone else points it out. The proverbial we’re blind to seeing that something in ourselves.

I think we all are looking to make this a better world. So many of us quick to see the “error in another’s ways” but slow to see it in ourselves. Regardless of where you stand the denial that you may harbor pales in comparison to Peter’s and look how far he went after he came to terms with his error. To a bright future, your walk of life; your brother in arms.

Denial The Daily Post

No magic elixir for life

Contrary to anything you may have ever heard there isn’t a magic elixir for life. Life happens although we can direct our course daily by setting goals and steering our lifeboat on a course we desire. A great many people say they are defined by their livelihood. It’s true a good part of one’s life is committed to their vocation.  For example, if you are a doctor not only did you spend extra time with your education and in most people’s eyes that’s how you’re viewed.

There may not be a formula for life but there is a lot you can do if you plan accordingly. So often young people hesitate sometimes for years in deciding what they want to do with their life and suddenly they find themselves in a career that they actually detest. This is not as uncommon as one would think. Check out the “Escalator of life” video.

In past generations a young man didn’t have to think twice about what he was going to do, it was predetermined by his parents to carry on in the family business. Today you still find that sort of thing if your family livelihood was fishing or farming for example but so many others will be charting their course in uncharted waters.

I have a widely varied background which is why I’ve been writing a book on helping others find out they were meant to do. Stay tuned, I will have further details as the process nears completion. We’ll help you to find your purpose, your reason and perhaps hidden desire for living.

Elixir Daily Post

Patterns in life

It’s amazing how most everything has a pattern to it. You can look at clouds and how they form a pattern to look like this or that which we recognize. Nature has patterns all around us that we marvel at every time we stop and think about it. It’s equally amazing how we find all these patterns around us to be so pleasing to the eye. That’s a compelling argument for creationists that God created these things and they were good.

Digging deeper when scientists look at our genes they see the pattern in our DNA. Again, something amazing in itself. Patterns aren’t limited to mother nature. I’m looking at this beautiful knitted blanket that my mother made it’s always been a pleasing pattern that reminds me of her. Mankind has made its mark.

Patterns aren’t limited to physical objects they’re also prevalent in our speech,  writing, and music of course. Observing patterns in some fields of interest are a full-time job. People seldom stop to take time to see the patterns in this or that, they don’t have time to “stop and smell the roses” and that’s sad. We rush through our hurried life trying to get here and there and miss all the beauty around us.

Do yourself a favor and stop and smell the roses or observe the way your kids are playing. It could be enlightening to you and can only be of help in those relationships with nature and the ones that we love.

 

The Daily Post

 

 

Arid desert alive and well

Years ago I used to listen to my favorite sports team live from Arizona. I heard all the fans cheering on their team and I thought I can’t image that many people down there j the desert. I thought how and why would they live there. It had to be hot, dry and awful in that arid climate without water.

Now after living here for over 20 years, I’ve learned to appreciate the desert. We may be in the middle of a 20-year drought but lately, we’ve been blessed with an unusual amount of rainfall. The desert has plenty of greenery, the only downside being we‘re going to have a bumper crop of tumbleweeds this summer. It’s amazing how those sagebrush grow every year and uproot travel with the wind coming to rest in a fence and sometimes the grille of your vehicle.

Every year people migrate to the southwest, some for vacation, like the snowbirds that are everywhere now. Others are told to move here in the arid climate for health reasons. Subsequently, the growth has presented new problems with not enough water to support the population. The primary source of water is the mighty Colorado river, its blessings of rainfall that renews our hope for tomorrow.

ARID Daily post