mermaidcamp

mermaidcamp

Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water

You can scroll the shelf using and keys

Garbage In, Garbage Out

November 14, 2016 5 Comments

Selfish ignorant politicians are the product of a selfish ignorant population. Have we considered how co-dependent it is to re-elect the congress we love to hate?  The United States is a highly dysfunctional family with generational beliefs about a common enemy that may not exist.  We make the sovereign powers of the world pay attention to us while we display our lack of mature thinking.  I did vote this year, and always have, but I appreciate this joke by the late, great George Carlin.  Our attachment to politics is a very negative and fruitless folly.  The video includes graphic language and gestures that may not be appropriate for everyone.  When I think about how long this video has been in existence it makes it all the more poignant to me.  Pardon me, gentle reader, if this is not your kind of joke.  This joke is on all of us.

Weekend Coffee Share, Defining Intelligence

November 5, 2016 10 Comments

Cyclovia

Cyclovia

bike cops

bike cops

If we were having coffee I would tell you all how happy I am to be able to visit with all my invisible friends around this coffee table and around the world each weekend.  Sharing a few details of our personal lives shifts the attention away from politics and impending doom.  Please select a tea of your choice from the wide selection of white, green, herbal and roiboos.  I am drinking white strawberry tea on ice because I had plenty of coffee earlier.  Help yourself to a cup of medium roast coffee, or some hot spiced apple cider. Apples and nuts are here for our snacking pleasure.  Make yourself at home and tell me how your week has gone. Did you have an eventful Halloween?

Here, the Halloween decorations are down and the cover has been removed from the wood stove.  I have removed curtains for the winter to let in extra light during the day.  I found some solar lights on super discount at Amazon and responded by ordering three new strings to go with the purple ones I had in the front yard for Halloween.  Now my front and back yards are all a twinkle when the sun goes down so early.  This somehow makes me very happy even though we may be hurdling toward the end of days of our political system.  I can count on the solar energy to delight me with twinkling even if our electrical grid is attacked by hackers.  I am easily amused, and that is a damn good thing.  I am making the most of the comedy available in the political situation. The agony and the ecstasy of this time is unprecedented because there is plenty of information, but intelligence is hard to discern.

Intelligence has two distinct meanings as a noun.  It means the ability to acquire skills and knowledge, as in one’s native intelligence.  Intelligence is also used to refer to the collection of information of a political or military nature.  We have a federal bureau to handle the collection of domestic intelligence.  It is called the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  We have WikiLeaks for leaking evidence to the public.  We have political parties to dig up dish on the opponents and scorch the earth.  There is no time remaining before the election to sort out fact from fiction.  The assault of too much information does not result in intelligence.  It simply overflows the available space with claims and contentions.  It may be the antithesis of intelligence.

I voted as soon as my ballot arrived, so my focus has been on enjoying my community and friends to the max right now.  I ran into an old friend last Sunday at our community bicycle event, Cyclovia. We had a great time biking around to the different venues.  Her mom lives along the route, so we stopped to visit there as well.  We went to the display and blind water tasting at Watershed Management Group, right near her mom’s home. We scored free tickets to a cocktails and cuisine event inspired by rainwater.  We each get a free rainwater cocktail on Nov. 29.  I look forward to that unique party.  I think my friend’s mom may become a volunteer there too.  It was a fun and educational exhibit.  We biked on and ran into some bike cops who restored some of my faith in authority.  They were joking around and having fun with the crowd.  This is the kind of community event that unites all ages and walks of life to have a good time meeting each other.  If you ask me, that is intelligent.  We could use some bigger doses of this kind of intelligence.

Good luck to all coffee sharers surviving this next week.  I look forward to hearing what is happening where you live.  Check in with Diana to keep up with the coffeeesharing.  Join us by writing a post, or just leaving your 2 cents. What is up with you, gentle reader?

model of watershed

model of watershed

my decorated bike

my decorated bike

free rainwater on tap tickets

free rainwater on tap tickets

History, Politics, Fate

October 17, 2016 2 Comments

My parents

My parents

History teaches us that political and religious movements go through transformation on a continuous basis. While in the eye of any storm it is impossible to assess the impact it will have. We find ourselves embroiled in a serious vortex of change that promises to be destructive. It remains to be seen in what ways we will endure this shift.  My ancestors all come to mind as well as into focus on Day of the Dead.  My parents are buried in a section of the cemetery where holiday decor is the norm for the dead, especially at the end of October.  I upgraded my parents to solar decorations this year.  They have been popular with their neighbors, and my parents were always competitive about their yard.  Leaving them without attention this time of year would signal some major abandonment, so I make sure they have a little seasonal something on their grave.

their 'hood

their ‘hood

their neighbor

their neighbor

their neighbor

their neighbor

They voted Republican their whole lives.  I have no idea how their parents voted.  I have followed my ancestry back for centuries and can only detect very large trends in my family.  They were pioneers, many early European residents of Massachusetts or Virginia.  They followed different religious persuasions, predominantly Protestant in nature.  My parents were not religious, but they carried the inherited beliefs of their respective families in their subconscious minds.  I very recently learned that my mother’s grandfather William Ellison Taylor, who was a preacher in the Church of Christ, was not raised in that church.  He was converted to his faith and began an itinerant preaching practice in East Texas after the Civil War.  I had always assumed his parents and their parents had given him this idea. This recent discovery has shown me this was not the case:

William Ellyson Taylor was born in Alabama, November 22, 1839, and was reared in that state. His education was received in the common schools. When the war broke out between the states he enlisted in the 4th Alabama Regiment and went to Virginia. In the battle of Manassas. July 21, 1861, he was wounded, which made him a cripple for life.

Dec. 27. 1864, he was married to Lucinda Armer, who has been his faithful help-meet, and to the present shares his joys and sorrows. To this union six boys and two girls have been born.

November, 1869, he moved to Texas. In August, 1874, Dr. W. L. Harrison preached the first sermon he ever heard. Afterward and and David Pennington became a Christian. In 1877 he began preaching and though he works on the farm, he has preached as he found opportunity. Entering the firgin field he has established congregations in Montgomery, San Jacinto and Walker counties and is now preaching monthly for congregations at Willis, Bethan and Ne Bethel, Montgomery County. When confined for nearly two years through sickness his brethren administer to his every need. All who know Bro. Taylor love him for his intrinsic worth and work in the Lord.
Gospel Preachers Who Blazed the Trail by C. R. Nichol, 1911.
Originally posted by: Tom Childers

my great-grandfather

my great-grandfather

This is very interesting to me since some of his distant ancestors seem to the Presbyterian in a serious way in South Carolina.  I wonder if the religious idea or the gene to get into religion is carried through generations.  My father has a large number of teachers in many of his branches.  My mother has a plethora of preachers.  I am talking about over centuries, as well as in their lifetimes.  They had to feel influenced by these people because their own image of reality came from them.  William Taylor fought for the Confederacy, moved from Alabama to Texas on an ox cart, and became a preacher.  He must have had some strong political views.  We do not know what they were exactly, but we have in his own hand the Rules for the School, which must have to do with Sunday school for his congregation.  This is pretty formal stuff:

handwritten rules

handwritten rules

Do you ever wonder what part of your own political belief system you have inherited from your ancestors?  I do.  Many people say what would the founding fathers think.  I don’t care what famous people in history thought.  I care what my own relatives were thinking and doing that defined their lives and the future.  That subject fascinates me.  Do you know about the politics of your forefathers, gentle reader?  What do you think of them?

Chivalry For Feminists

October 12, 2016 1 Comment

Psyche

Psyche

Our political process in America has never been such a shocking reality show. The whole world is tuning in while we use the presidential election of 2016 to display our worst national attributes in public.  Sexism has reared its ugly head and is parading around as if it were the only important issue we have to consider.  It is paramount to perceive how much of our own thought processes are controlled by outside forces. Both men and women are subject to our inherited stereotypes.  We may also carry deep prejudice about foreign cultures, races, or religions about which we have no direct knowledge.  These oversimplifications of society’s condition harm everyone.  The fact that a woman is running against a man has engendered some kind of cartoon version of public consternation, indignation, and unacceptable conduct by almost everyone.

I propose that we take a step back and see our personal situation as an integral part of a much larger scheme.  People everywhere vote because of their feelings about their own economic future.  This is not strange.  It is survival instinct.  In times of dramatic change and disruption dysfunctional systems must give way to new ideas for the survival of the entire environment.  Civil rights were first won by serfs who existed as chattel to nobility.  The hard fought war against tyranny will not be won in physical battle, but in hearts and minds.  Terrorism begins at home, in the angry hearts and minds of indignant citizens.  By imagining evil enemies everywhere we maintain a militant mindset that does not foster peace.

In ancient Greece Aristophanes wrote a comedy about women and war.  The heroine, Lysistrata proposed that women take over the treasury, since the old men had squandered all the funds:
“What matters that I was born a woman, if I can cure your misfortunes? I pay my share of tolls and taxes, by giving men to the State. But you, you miserable greybeards, you contribute nothing to the public charges; on the contrary, you have wasted the treasure of our forefathers, as it was called, the treasure amassed in the days of the Persian Wars. You pay nothing at all in return; and into the bargain you endanger our lives and liberties by your mistakes. Have you one word to say for yourselves?… Ah! don’t irritate me, you there, or I’ll lay my slipper across your jaws; and it’s pretty heavy.”

The men were duly concerned:

“Chorus of old men: If we give them the least hold over us, ’tis all up! their audacity will know no bounds! We shall see them building ships, and fighting sea-fights like Artemisia; nay if they want to mount and ride as cavalry, we had best cashier the knights, for indeed women excel in riding, and have a fine, firm seat for the gallop. Just think of all those squadrons of Amazons Micon has painted for us engaged in hand-to-hand combat with men.”

― Aristophanes, Lysistrata

I think we are once again at a pivotal point in history.  Equality will serve as the only kind of chivalry we can afford to accept.  What do you think, gentle reader?

 

 

The Art Of The Shun

October 9, 2016 3 Comments

10th St school

10th St school

841 Tenth St

841 Tenth St

I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania in the 1950’s. We were a suburb of Pittsburgh, but had a very fancy golf club to distinguish our borough from all others—The Oakmont Country Club.  Membership in this much sought after institution was costly as well as tricky to obtain.  The members generally lived on top of the hill, near the club, in the neighborhoods developed for them.  I lived near the Oakmont Country Club but my parents did not play golf or care about the snob appeal.  This infuriated me because rather than walk to the swimming pool I had to wait for a ride to the Alcoma Country Club where our family belonged.  Alcoma was less expensive, but still had all the country club trimmings.  I was invited frequently to the Oakmont club pool with my member friends and neighbors, and never lost my desire to join.  I believe I was absorbing not so subtle messages about social and financial status.  I would have said it was because I wanted to walk to the pool, but I am sure I also desired the status that accompanied belonging to the fancier of the two country clubs.  Today I have chosen the fancy, clean, multi functional Tucson JCC over the Tucson Racquet Club, even though Silver Sneakers provides free membership in both for me now.  I do always prefer an upgrade if I can afford one.  Perhaps it is all because of my upbringing.

Our town was on a hill, with a steel mill and barges full of coal floating down the Allegheny River at the bottom. The area by the river was dedicated to industry and commerce, with small working class homes scattered into the mix.  Ascending the hill, the houses became larger and more elaborate.  The streets were numbered from 1 to 14 climbing the hill.  I lived on Tenth Street.  One could almost tell by the address in our town how much money the family had.  I lived in the upper middle category of housing, but very close to my home was a row of mansions belonging to robber barons.  These super wealthy neighbors provided all manner of recreation for the kids in the area, including a trampoline, a very large field for sledding, and some woods for exploring.  The mansion kids all went to public school and were part of our regular play group as youngsters.  Still, we were aware that their parents were not in the same financial league with ours.

My parents put their own status emphasis on appearances.  The wardrobe and/or landscaping needs of those two consumed most of their free time.  They spared no expense on the clothes they wore and their precious yard.  My mom was active in a garden club, and my dad just naturally loved to mow his lawn in his coveralls. They were a 50’s cartoon of suburban pride of ownership. I had to play along, helping with the yard work and dressing up to go to the country club, the University Club downtown, their friends’ homes, or to travel.  I was also costumed to the hilt for the many parties they held at our house.  I was fine with it up to a point, or up until I decided to have my own taste in fashion.  When I was over the white gloves and the little white ankle socks I waged a war on fascist control over my wardrobe.  My parents bemoaned my fate and warned against a hellish life ahead unless I started to want to dress more like they did.  Life would never smile on me again without those white ankle socks.  This was the beginning of our political differences.  They were appalled to think I did not want a life like their life.  How silly of them. I could not have a life like theirs because I was born in another generation with another set of circumstances, yet to be discovered. All we knew was that my white ankle socks would not be part of that future reality.

Today I am pleased to say that I understand that attachment or revulsion to any kind of status can only end in heartache.  Possessions, titles, offices, locations, are just data dust in the true meaning of life.  If we come to identify too greatly on the situation, how will we cope when the situation changes? My parents had their own giant cultural revolutions to endure.  They came from the south, but spent many years freezing their bones in Pennsylvania because it furthered my father’s career with Gulf Oil Corporation.  I learned by direct experience to stay aloof from judging circumstances.  Nothing is ever a simple as it seems.  There are generations of beliefs and traditions at play in every moment.  Learning to define one’s own status rules and symbols is perhaps our essential role on earth.

I watch the political scene today go wildly off the rails with wonder.  The United States has become very distracted by our own self image.  The will to shun has outweighed the will to live in this country in peace.  The electorate is behaving badly.  Law and order is threatened.  The fabric of society is frayed and damaged.  Public faith in institutions is understandably at an all time low.  As a nation divided we stand ready to implode if we can’t get a grip on the difference between rhetorical status and reality.  Politics maintains status …quo or otherwise.  Mother Nature maintains reality…harmonious or otherwise.  It is time to strip away the political aims of these two parties and look directly into the soul of the tax paying nation.  What did you learn from your childhood that influences your views today, gentle reader?  Were they positive or negative?  Do you belong to the same party as your parents?

 

Being Authentic

August 16, 2016 8 Comments

I am hearing the same message from all the books and posts I read these days. In a world that conforms all too easily it is essential to be particularly true to one’s self. My teacher Chris Brogan just hit me this morning with some excellent thoughts on what is lost when one fits in with the crowd these days.  Popularity and authenticity are not the same thing, and sometimes are completely opposed to each other.  Our politics reflect a chaos and lack of discipline that runs through society.  Mob mentality seems to be taking over our thinking in America.

I wonder if we can step back and take individual action to change the crazy status quo in our country.  I wonder if we can stand up for law and order and for justice at the same time.  We have reached a tipping point that demands we be awake and aware of the reality we are creating.  What do you think, gentle reader?  Obviously vote. What else can we do?

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: