Friday – patience rewarded

I have decided to share some of my favorite photos. I am fortunate to have a camera that takes better pictures than I am a photographer. It makes me look good. This particular photo was taken in the parking lot of a restaurant in Phoenix, AZ several years ago. The restaurant is no longer there, a victim of the recession.

Subject change – I went to the gym today. It was Friday, the coach knows I have two days to recover so it was pretty intense. That’s good though, if you don’t push yourself beyond what’s comfortable you never get any better. That is true for far more than working out. Anyway, lots of aerobics, lots of practicing combinations,bands, squats, stretching, etc., and it had recently rained and the unusual humidity was kicking my butt. Anyway, I survived, got home took a shower and took my blood pressure – 99/68, which explains how I was able to do a masterful imitation of an overgrown sloth. Felt much better after some food. I was merely exhausted. Hope I sleep well.

Subject change #2 – I have been thinking a lot about the difference between religion and philosophy lately. I am expert at neither religion or philosophy . Having said that I do observe and what I’ve seen in my sixty years leaves me to believe the following. Religion is based on following the tenets of the particular religion in question, questions are allowed but the answers have been decided by someone or some body that determines the ideology inherent to that particular religion. If one is unable to accept the answer given the options are to keep your doubts to yourself or find a new religion. Philosophy is all about questions, the questions and the answers change as one’s age and circumstances change. The question may be universal but the answer is probably unique to the individual posing the question. If the answer received either from self study or from a mentor is not what one wishes perhaps the question should be rephrased or perhaps the answer is correct and the person asking the question is not yet ready to ask that question.

This is very basic I realize and religion and philosophy are both subjects worthy of words far more eloquent than mine. The point I am trying to make however is still, I believe, valid. Religion generally attracts people who expect others to give them the answers to life’s mysteries. Philosophy generally attracts people who seek their own answers. The philosopher is not attracted to a one size fits all answer to their very personal questions. And yes, there are exceptions, there always are, hence the word generally.

Weekend only eight work hours away. Is that cheering I hear? Yes it is. It is me cheering. Saturday is unscheduled, that probably means at least some household chores. Sunday is breakfast with friends, then trying to become a hermit and write. It has been too long since I have written anything. If I don’t find the time to write soon, my brain to going to either wither or explode, neither is acceptable. All these characters rattling around my head clamoring for me to tell their stories and life keep getting in the way.

Scale said 251.0, keep plugging away, that’s eight pounds gone.

Nothing more to say. Have a great Friday and a better weekend.

Till next time, be safe, be happy, be creative.

Categories: Boxing, Exercise, Philosophy, WeightLoss, Writing | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Poetry Thursday


Happy Thursday, one and all. We’ve nearly survived another work week. To celebrate, let’s all take the weekend off. What? Oh, you’re doing that already, well never mind then.

I received good responses to my post, “Strive to live the ordinary life in a non-ordinary way.” A lot of philosophers out there.

The above quote made me think of other quotes that I have found inspiring, profound or thought-provoking. One of my favorites is by Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

I see too many people who blunder through life seemingly unaware of how the chaos inherent in their lives is similar to or a virtual repeat of past  experiences. If they would take a moment to think about cause and effect, to reflect on past actions and the outcomes that developed therefrom, these individuals might have a less stressful, more emotional fulfilling life.

We all need to reflect inwardly upon occasion, to take stock of where we are, emotionally, spiritually and physically. If we don’t know where we are, how are we going to know how to get where we want to be?

Enough philosophizing, I am not particularly good at it but I keep trying.

Today’s poem is called “The Dark,” and is about the things that go bump in the night.

Scale said 252.0 yesterday. Looking for the 240s next week sometime.

Still writing “The Curious Item That Fell From The Sky.” The trouble is not that it is a particularly difficult story to write. The problem lately has been finding a block of time big enough to “get” into the story. Deadline is still aways off. Hopefully, i will have it finished before my writing group meets again.

Enough rambling for one day. Thanks in advance if you take time from your busy schedule to read these scribblings.

Till next time, be safe, be happy, be creative.

Categories: Philosophy, Poetry, WeightLoss, Writing | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Strive to live the ordinary life in a non ordinary way.


I came across the above words while researching rune stones. What extraordinary wisdom is encompassed in these few words. Few will live a life that leave their name emblazoned upon history. The vast majority of us will be remembered by few, other than family and friends, once we are gone. Our time is brief, and the wisdom necessary to use this time wisely is, quite often, learned by trial and error. In effect, we learn from our mistakes. Some learn more quickly than others and, if we are fortunate, we never stop learning.

I am fortunate in that I am acquainted with a few extraordinary “ordinary” people. They are each unique and special in their own way. I see in them qualities that I admire and deem worthy of emulation. These individuals treat others with respect and dignity, they exhibit patience, they share their knowledge freely and do not denigrate others to feed their ego. Are they perfect, no, each is striving to improve, to be better, to be more. They are “aware.” This awareness of self allows them to learn, to improve, to grow. This awareness of self allows them to live an ordinary life in a non ordinary way. I will enjoy watching the process unfold.

New subject, I had hoped to re-prioritize my day to day routine these last few days. The weekend was busier than anticipated, as a result, I still have no over-arching plan. Work, sleep, writing, proper diet, exercise, household chores and sleep, each takes time. To spend time on one takes time from another. Lately sleep has been given short shrift but that cannot continue. Without proper sleep nothing is done as well as possible and anything worth doing is worth doing well. My desire to do many things well is forcing me to do that which I really dislike, live a structured life. The inherent rebel in me chafes at restrictions, even when they are logical, serve a worthy purpose and are self induced. I guess this will be a test whether I want to accomplish these goals as much as I think I do. I will keep you posted.

Another new subject, occasionally, life visits upon us an occurrence that is, strange, totally unexpected, too cool and extremely motivating all at the same time. Today I was at my favorite coffee shop, seated at the counter having coffee after breakfast. A fellow, a few years older than me sat down two chairs away. He ordered coffee and struck up a conversation. The conversation turned to fitness, diet and exercise. He made a comment about exercise and out of the blue said, “You box, you know what I mean.” Now I don’t know this guy, never saw him before today, so curious, I ask him, ‘How do you know I box?” His response floored me. He said, “I trained for pro years ago, I can tell.”

As of September 17, I will have been taking boxing lessons for a year. I have dropped twenty plus pounds and kept it off. Yet when I look in the mirror I still see a 60 year old guy that needs to lose considerable weight. I am in good shape for my age and weight and the coach tells me I look thirty pounds less than my actual weight but I still have a gut. I am unsure exactly what this stranger saw but I find the experience extremely motivating, from a weight loss perspective as well as added motivation to increase the intensity levels at the gym. This is the most telling proof to date that all those hours at the gym, the sweat, the sore muscles, the gasping-for-breath aerobics, are paying off. Too cool, dear reader, way too cool.

I still need to regiment my day so as to get the most done with what limited free time I have. This should be interesting, the adult responsible me trying to reign in the inner child, I-want-to-play, me. Historically, the inner child eventually gets his way. I will have to factor in some play time, maybe I can keep appease the spoiled brat side of my nature. Query, if I give the inner child a time out how can the adult get anything done? Anyway, must go, things to do, things to do.

Scale said 257.5, see above about inner child getting his way.

Till tomorrow, be safe, be happy, be creative.

Categories: Boxing, Exercise, Philosophy, Poetry, WeightLoss | 4 Comments



Before anyone gets offended the first “F.” in the title stands for finally. However, feel free to substitute another word if you feel so inclined.

Major workout today, the client after me canceled. The coach asked if I needed to be anywhere. I said no and he said he would rather beat somebody up than sit around for thirty minutes doing nothing. My thirty minute workout turned into a fifty two minute workout. At my age, 60, and my job, sedentary, I need all the exercise I can get. No boxing today, weight training: bench press, rows, hammer curls, flys, and triceps and core training: planks, reverse crunches, side taps and crunches. A few squats and we have ourselves a killer workout.

Got home and after showering promptly stubbed one of my little toes. It hurt so bad I forgot to cuss. It isn’t broke but it is going to hurt all weekend.

Busy weekend coming up. Taking my eighty year old Mom out for lunch tomorrow. She is the Scrabble queen of the apartment complex where she lives. I hope I am as sharp and spry at eighty as she is. Saturday night my wife, a friend from work and I are going to a dinner theater where “The Expendables” is showing. Sunday evening a friend is coming over to watch Dr. Who. I left Monday open so I can spend some major time trying to finish my current writing project.

Have started corresponding with my sister’s youngest daughter. She lives not too far distant but is young and has a life. She is, however, a fan of my writing and she was surprised I started a blog. Well, as far as the blog goes, so was I. It is a joy to communicate with people a generation or more younger than myself. The young people I associate with have, for the most part, not become jaded by life’s trial’s and tribulations.

One can hear story after story of lazy, spoiled, unskilled, disassociated young people who feel entitled to a paycheck and a good life without putting forth the work necessary to make it happen. That is because the media can’t make a story out of young people doing well. The great majority of the young people I associate with are extremely bright, some bordering on genius. They tend to look at the world with a healthy cynicism yet maintain a sense of humor and the hope that a better future lies ahead. This encompasses young workers in fields as diverse as waiter/waitressing, bank employee, technical writer, supervisor, typesetter/proofreader, the coach at my gym and cashier. That is a few, you get the idea. I wish them all well.

I do not wish to discuss politics on this blog, I will however say that whoever wins, at least we will have a respite from the incessant BS associated with presidential elections.

Been buying music lately. I try to keep up with at least some of today’s current artists. Brought in albums by Bruno Mars, Fun, Jason Mraz and Anna Nalick. My taste is music is quite eclectic. Blues, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Classical, some New Age and some of the older Country. More about the artist than about the genre. Recently been listening to a lot of Lenka, Anna Nalick, Birdy, Eliza Doolittle, Lissie and Katie Herzig. Hence bringing in some new male voices. The last ablum I purchased with a male lead was Vampire Weekend.

I’ve rambled for quite long enough. I am going to chill with some tunes and then go to bed. I might even have a night cap. What the hell, it’s Friday.

The scale said 254.0. See I told you it was water weight.

Till next time, be safe, be happy, be creative. And of course, enjoy your three day weekend.

Categories: Exercise, Music, WeightLoss, Writing | 2 Comments

Mind, Body, Spirit, Your Personal Trinity

It’s Wednesday, for the first time in a while I got to sit and chill, after working my butt off at the gym of course.

I joined  a couple of blogs, placed an order on Amazon and listened to some music on iTunes.

This whole blog thing is interesting, I lead, basically a pretty average, pretty boring life. However, it’s a good life, I laugh a lot and at my age I’m pretty cool with boring. But trying to find something interesting to say daily is a bit of a challenge, but in a good way.

My job, I am proofreader for a major printing company, can be extremely high stress. The documents we work on are very stylized and each customer’s document has a different style. We often have a high volume of work due in a short period of time and very few people to do the work. Basically, I need a way to relieve the stress. Writing and boxing are my two major outlets.

The writing is an interesting hobby, at least in my small circle of friends, who by some strange coincidence write, used to write or wish they had time to write. I hope to make my writing an avocation when I retire, which seems like a long time emotionally but a short time in actuality, six, no more than seven years if you’re curious. Writing allows me to leave, temporarily, all the stresses behind and visit a place where I am in total control. I make the decision what my fictional world is like, who populates it and what trials, tribulations, successes, failures, joys and tragedies befall them, In essence, in my little creation, I am God, too cool. If a reader finds my creation interesting and/or entertaining, beyond cool.

The other thing I do to relieve stress is take boxing lessons. I do it for the exercise and the off chance I may need to defend myself someday. I try to avoid places and situations where that might prove necessary but you never know. Beating the hell out of a defenseless punching bag is a great way to relieve stress. The half hour on any given day may consist of weight training, aerobics, practicing combinations for speed or power or a mixture of the two, left jab, speed, right cross, power, or left uppercut speed, right uppercut power. Different days focus on different things, footwork, defense, attack, stamina or combinations. For strength training there are kettle bells, barbells, bands, huge ropes, sledge hammers and tractor tires, etc., etc., etc, you get the idea. I nearly forgot stretching and balance exercises. I can’t do this all in thirty minutes of course but with all these options the coach is able to make each session different.  I have no clue what to expect when I walk in the gym and I find that interesting.

Of the two main ways I relieve stress, one I have total control, the other I just do as I’m told. Surprisingly, for me, these two extremes keep me pretty mellow. I find that interesting as well. I still have days when i’m a grouch but they are few and far between.

I stayed up too late again but I have enjoyed writing today’s post. Articulating these hobbies of mine have given me a new awareness of just how important they are to me. Writing is exercise for the brain and boxing is exercise for the body. Together they help make me a happy, contented person. Mind, body, spirit, the personal trinity, I hope your trinity is as healthy as mine.

Tomorrow is poetry Thursday. I may post a short story instead of a poem, depends on my mood.

The scale was kind today: 254.0, down 5.5 pounds so far. However, it is getting late and I am hungry so if the scale tomorrow stays the same I will be happy.

Till tomorrow, be safe, be happy, be creative.

Categories: Boxing, Exercise, WeightLoss, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Didn’t I Tell You


Well, the cable guy came today and I was right, it is more complicated than I thought it would be. First, the cable line got cut years ago but that’s a good thing. The reason it is a good thing is that I’ve lived here over twenty five years and I’ve never had cable. When the cable guy checked the address, Cox didn’t show any record of anyone ever having had cable at this address. So the cable line was installed by whichever cable company worked this area before Cox. I am perfectly content to get the current technology with a new line.

Of course that means Cox has to dig. First, before they can dig they have to get a permit. To Cox’s credit, they had a guy out here today getting the measurements etc., necessary to get a permit. Once they get the permit they will call and let us know when they’re going to dig and install the cable – to the house. Then another crew will have to come out and install the cable inside the house. Once that is completed my computer guy will make sure that the computer is tweaked to maximum and I will be able to download data approximately 16 to 18 times faster than with DSL. Like I said yesterday, more complicated than I thought it would be.

Computer guy tweaked the system today so that basically I can download and/or rip CDs with a minimum of input on my part. The less interaction I have with a process the more likely it will be successful. That, unfortunately, is the truth. Computers are not something I grew up with, the learning curve has been steep and long and only now do I feel like I understand what is going on. And then only on the most superficial level and often I am wrong. I see people in their twenties and thirties that grew up with these beasts and they know them like an old friend. My computer friend tries to keep things as simple as he can for me and my wife. I applaud his efforts.

Finally learned what I was doing wrong with the links. Check back Thursday to see if I remember what I’ve learned. Every Thursday I will try to post a link to either a poem or short story. Feed back is welcome, constructive criticism will be given proper consideration, kudos will be given even more consideration and any troll like comments will be deleted post haste. Hope you enjoy Thursday’s offerings.

i haven’t had a chance to write today so I am going to take an hour when I should be sleeping and write on my current project.

Oh, nearly forgot, the scale today said 255.0.

Till tomorrow, be safe, be happy, be creative.

The Overgrown Elf

Categories: WeightLoss, Writing | 4 Comments

Is It Only Monday?


Getting cable tomorrow, what do you want to bet it is more involved than I think it is.

Worked on one of my stories today. It is titled “The Curious Item That Fell From The Sky.” More about that later.

The scale said 255.5 last time I looked. Note to Self: patience, Self, patience, it will come off, just keep plugging away.

Went to the gym today. Nearly all aerobics, worked out for thirty minutes, thought I was gonna cough up a lung, not really but I was sucking air, had a major sweat going, average heart rate for the workout was 124.

Enjoyed the weekend. Can’t wait for the next one. Barring mandatory overtime the next one is a three-day. Gotta love paid holidays.

I got involved in my writing and stayed up too late again. If I go to bed now I can maybe get five hours sleep.

Gotta try, it’s embarrassing when you bang your head into your desk at work.

Till next time, be good or have fun, if you can do both at once, in either case, be creative.

Categories: Boxing, Exercise, WeightLoss, Writing | 2 Comments

Sunday Too Soon


As the titles implies it is Sunday and it arrived far too soon. Saturday was a very busy day. I was awake in excess of 24 hours so it all seems somewhat unreal, almost dreamlike.

Scale was kind today, 255.5, not much but in the right direction.

Gypsy Muse met today. We discussed last weeks offerings and submitted new stories for review. I received positive feedback on last months story. It was titled “A Demon Of Ill Repute.”

The writing group is a blast. Getting constructive feedback on my writing can only make me a better writer. Several people read my offerings but most just for fun. To have intelligent, perceptive people critique my work is priceless. What is clear to me when I write it may be confusing to the reader. Without feedback I wouldn’t know where to improve or even that improvement was necessary.

Had the little whirly things on the roof replaced today. I replaced them last time but that was fifteen or so years ago. I went up on the roof to check them out and quickly decided that this sixty year old should keep his feet on the ground.

I have yet to master adding links. I am sure it is some little thing I am doing wrong. Repeated attempts proved unsuccessful. Eventually, concern for my sanity caused me to cease and desist. Tomorrow is another day and I will ask someone more knowledgable than I.

Gym tomorrow, going to push it as hard as I can. Would like to get the average heart rate for the 30 minutes in the high 120s or low 130s. Slamming your fists into the bag is not only healthy for the body it is a great way to work off any frustrations. For those few minutes my world consist of a spot on the bag no bigger than the width of my boxing glove. Total concentration, throw the punch, twisting the hip and foot, getting the weight behind the punch, the power behind the punch making the bag dance. Sweet.

Lot of projects going on right now. It is a bit daunting but it will be very satisfying if, not if, when I finish them all. Of course, I will have added another three or four to the list by the time these are finished.

Should go now, as my dear departed Daddy used to say, “my sleepy hurts all over.”

Till next time, be safe, be happy, be creative.

Categories: WeightLoss, Writing | 1 Comment

Sleep deprived ramblings and a poem

Greetings visitor,

I am posting another poem. This one is called Universe. It is not new but it is one of my favorites

The magic number today is 256, down 3.5 pounds since Wednesday, a decent start.

Computer guru still tweaking the Mac. We are going cable to increase download speed. The increase will be significant, approximately 16 to 18 times as fast as the DSL.

Pot luck at work last night. Lost a valued 3rd shift mutual fund member to another department. Smart fellow, good worker, hate to seem him go. He will be going to 2nd shift. Might even have something resembling a life.

Still have one of the Gypsy Muse member’s documents to critique. The meeting is at noon tomorrow.

First though, must sleep, been awake about 20 hours now, brain functioning at reduced capacity.

So many things going on and no time to write. Things will slow down eventually but I need some “me” time to create. The stories are rattling around, just waiting to come out.

I am going to retire now. If I could think of something pithy to say I would but that part of my brain seems to be on strike.

In the meantime, be safe, be happy, be creative.

Categories: WeightLoss, Writing | 1 Comment

Slow Day

Not much to write today. I am up well beyond my normal bedtime. Today’s number is 257.5. That’s up a pound. Well, the veggies were good just too late in the in the day.

Gym this morning, shoulders, presses and rows, then punching combinations mixed in with varied ab work. Good work out but we’re kicking it up next week. Lot more cardio, get the blood pressure up and get my wind back.

Still have one of the Gypsy Muse writer’s work to critique before Sunday.

Company Saturday and a meeting Sunday. This whole working thing is cramping my style, or it would if I had any style. There seems fewer and fewer opportunities to write. I’ll have to find a way to make time. Of course I say that about working out at home as well. Not enough time, never enough time.

Pot luck tonight, a coworker is moving on to something new. Wish him the best. He is a smart guy and the department will miss his expertise.

Tired, need sleep. Till tomorrow, be safe, be happy.

Categories: WeightLoss, Writing | 2 Comments

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