Friday, January 30, 2009

Playing with Ben...Franklin that is.

I was sitting at the kitchen table a few minutes ago thinking, "The day that I stop asking questions will be the day I'll turn into Mr. Know It All.' " ... and with all the things in this universe to explore, it won't happen for at least another forty years.

One of the things I've wondered about thus giving me more questions to ask was written by Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard's Almanack in the 1700's. It was, from what I gather the Colonial America's forerunner to the more recent Farmer's Almanac. It goes, "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." What was he thinking when he came up with that one...?

My first thought was that he had a great sense of humor. That would pretty well describe the average lifestyle of people living back then. and if I remember my history correctly, there were probably fewer 'healthier, wealthier, and wiser' people per capita, running around then than there are today. Maybe it was meant to be funny...or, since he was also somewhat of a philosopher it was a metaphor for awakening. Another thing for me to think about...hmmm.

I see him as a pretty cool guy that wore many hats. Publisher, statesman, scientist, philosopher, etc and after reading some more of his quotes, a great wit. And sometimes methinks, a nitwit. That's the perfect playmate for me. What can I say? I like to have fun, too.

Who could not love a guy that would think to go out and fly a kite in the middle of a lightening storm just to prove that lightning produced electricity. It scared the whatever out of those around him and they took off running. and if I were there I would be leading the pack. And then he invented bifocals, which I wear...or used to. Among several other things...that slip my mind right now. Duhhh

That's why I find Ben so much fun...he gives me ideas to play with. Except I leave the kite flying up to him. I used to have a picture of him in my computer that for some reason I can't find...hmmm. But anyhow, I thought I'd like to get one and carry it in my wallet. Or even better, several of them. Do you know, he's such a great inspiration they even put his picture on a hundred dollar bill? I wonder if George Washington is jealous?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nervous Ervis meets Painless Surgery

Now that it's over, it's time for me to do a little sharing. When I found out about the cataracts that I had, I was excited to have the surgery. People told me that it didn't hurt...that I didn't have anything to be nervous about...I'd be glad when I had it done, etc. etc.

My thought when I heard all this stuff was, "Yea, right. I'll wait until after it's over ...and then I'll believe you." Mr. Doubting Thomas was the best way to describe me.. As the day of surgery rapidly approached (and as I'm reading what I'm writing, I'm laughing because I sound like a writer who has a corncob stuck up his...uh, pen) I was just as nervous as I was excited. Hey, what can I say. I'm a chicken and pain is NOT my best friend and 'painless surgery' is not something I've experienced. Surgery, yes. Painless no.

I'm sitting here writing this the day AFTER surgery and all I can say is that they were right!! I'm a Mr. Believer. No pain, no discomfort and I'm sitting in front of the computer writing this blog and actually seeing what I'm writing...and I don't have the magnifier or glasses on. Is my vision perfect? No...I still have one cataract to go. That's like trying to dance with a cast on...but I'm dancing. The images are clearer, the colors brighter and I'm having the next one done next month. Wahoooo. And I'm off...'cause it's time for the eye drops.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The IMPORTANCE of eye care...

In the past I considered myself to be a reasonably intelligent guy. Maybe not the sharpest tack in the box but not the dullest either. But now, I think is a good time for me to 'fess up to dumbest thing I did...or rather didn't do. I didn't get my eyes checked for maybe 15+ years. Smart? Not exactly. It was just one of those things I kept putting off...until I had the time...or the extra money... or when I didn't have more 'important' things to do, etc. And my vision, which is one of my most valuable assets took a backseat to the other things that were going on in my life.

Over a period of time my vision changed. I even came up with an anagram for the change. ICSFS (I Can't See For Sh....oot). I reasoned that it was because my glasses might be just a smidgen 'out of date'...and that's what I told everyone around me. And still I didn't go for an eye check. It progressed to the point that I thought it was probably my glasses...but what if it wasn't. It was a secret fear that I kept to myself.

Sylvia, my wife didn't have a clue about my secret because I didn't tell her...or anyone else. It wasn't until I told her about what I wasn't able to see and the thoughts that were forming in the back of my mind , that things changed. As soon as she found out what was wrong... because she knew something was...she took action. Oh, boy. Syl laid down the law and said that I was going for an eye test, NOW. No more putting it off. Did you ever try to argue with a brick wall once it's made up it's mind to something? That's my wife. The appointment was made and I went off for my eye exam, excited and a little bit hesitant. Was it only problem with out-of -date lenses..or something else?

The results? I have thick cataracts. Wahooo. It's something that can be fixed. Thank God for wife who had common sense that I didn't. And for the new technology that can pinpoint vision problems, fix what can be fixed and my case give new hope for a brighter future. I now understand the importance of putting regular eye exams both for better vision but for peace of mind as well. I can deal with things when I know what I'm dealing with.

Last Friday I was scheduled for lens measurements that are needed prior to surgery. It's scheduled for next Wednesday, so that was one appointment I was NOT going to miss. For me,the only way I could get to the Eye Care Center on that day was by bus. If I missed my connection downtown I would have to go the distance and walk the rest of the way. Half the way on flatland...the rest of it going up a hill that to a dude my age would be like climbing Mt. Everest. Well, almost. But I came this far. I then wished I could figure out some other way...and a miracle happened. It turned out the Eye Care Center had a van and I had a ride. Wow!!

Friday morning I was excited. The van arrived and as I climbed into the passenger seat, I met the driver, John. My first impression of him was that he was a real 'people person', He smiled as he shook my hand and introduced himself. On the short ride he made me feel comfortable, like I had known him for a long time. What a perfect start to my day. We chatted and he answered the questions I had...because I'm the inquisitive sort and after the tests were done, we talked on the way back. It was a great day, at a great place...and I met great people. How good can it get.?

Wednesday is the first surgery on my right eye. John again will be picking me up for another 'big day'. The one lesson I've learned out of this is to get my priorities straight. MAKE the time for the important things. The other things will take care of themselves. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel...ALMOST.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I woke with a KISS on my mind

When the alarm went off at 6 AM this morning I made my first decision of the day. Should I turn it off...or hit the snooze alarm? OFF. Laying there, I thought about all I was planning on doing today and thought, Good Luck. That's when the word KISS popped into my head.

Looking over at Sylvia, my wife and Cherokee Elvis, curled up with his head between his paws, sleeping peacefully I figured that there would be no 'kiss' from either one of them. At least not 'till they woke what is with the KISS? Aha, I had my first inspiring thought of the day. KISS, is an acronym for Keep It Simple least for me. Hmmmm. Food for thought. I got up...and promptly forgot about the KISS while I was trying collect my senses...which I'm not very good at in the morning.

Sitting there sipping my first cup of coffee I thought about all there is to do and learn and so little time in 24 hours to do it in. Then I got hit with another KISS. Maybe I'm not as organized as I think I am. What about a 'priority list' ? With my list in hand I went off and starting doing what came next instead of wasting time sitting thinking about what I have to do.

By then, Sylvia and Cherokee woke up and I got my first kisses of the day. good can life get?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...NOT :(

The words of that song just popped into my head... but it definitely is not one of my favorite tunes. I woke up this morning and discovered, much to my chagrin, that it had snowed over night and I was surprised. I wasn't expecting it and I learned a lesson. If I'd have watched the weather report on the 11 o'clock news or payed attention to the weather forecast, I wouldn't have been caught off guard and would have planned my day better. The lesson? Pay attention. Oh,well...

Now some people love snow...but I'm not one of them. Some love to ski on it, or love to shovel it for exercise, or like to sit in front of the fireplace reading a good book while winter is doing its thing outside. Others even like to go out a build a cool snowman. Not me. I don't ski, I'm too old to shovel (at least I let people think I am ), don't have a fireplace...and at the moment don't even have a good book to read. And even though I like looking at snowmen, I don't like doing anything out in the freezing weather.....building a snowman would be last on my 'fun things to do in the winter' list . "Wherever you go, you always take the weather with you. ..." are the words to the song I should've remembered before I moved to New England. Such is life.

.Maybe I should write another song that goes, "let it STOP, let it STOP, let it STOP (snowing) before I have to walk to work this afternoon." and sing it to myself 'cause I'm sure no one wants to hear me grumbling about the weather. That sums up my thoughts on snow...for today. Maybe tomorrow I'll see it differently. Stranger things have happened. Like the New England weather, I keep changing every day.

I guess that's not too bad. At least I'm not stuck in a rut. LOL

There's light at the end of the tunnel

It's not hard for me to imagine a 'long, dark tunnel' with a light at the end of it. When I think of all the times I've been in one of those long dark tunnels in the past, it makes me cringe. So I don't think about the tunnels very often... and appreciate the light that's gotten me through them and made me who I am today.

If I spend more time focusing on the light I'll be thinking less about the tunnel. The light gets brighter, the tunnel gets shorter, time speeds up and... poof, somehow I get through it. That's the way it works the most often for me.

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift...that's why it's called the present." I don't know who wrote it, but I wish could have been that wise. And thankfully life only happens to me only 'one day at a time.' At least that's the way it's always worked up until now. LOL

Friday, January 16, 2009

Growing 'older' is the only way to Grow..

A few days ago I celebrated...yes, celebrated... my 71st birthday. Yep, and what, Rosannie, the manager of one of my jobs pointed out, it only means that I've successfully been on this planet called "Earth" for that number of years. Birthdays are just another reason to celebrate and add another candle to the cake...unless, like in my case there are so many I'm afraid of starting a bonfire and don't have the oooomph to blow them all out. But there aren't too many 16 year olds that could do that either. :)

So how old am I actually? 31 What does that mean? A 90 year old woman, who was one of the youngest thinking 'older' person I knew at the time taught me her 'trick'. She said pick a number...any number you like, and stay that number for the rest of your life. You're body will naturally grow older, but you won't because YOU are not your body.

So I picked "31" as my number because it felt right. So if a situation comes up where my age is comes in to the conversation...sometimes I'll say my age in 'Earth" years...or I'll say I'm "31".
Which exactly means I'm not hung up on a number and all that growing older means is that every day is 'a new birth day'...the first day of the rest of my life. And that's a GOOD thing. It beats the heck out of waking up one morning and finding my name listed in the Obituary Column. What a drag that would be.

Am I over the hill? Of course I am. It was an uphill climb for the first part and now it's time to coast...except for a few bumps in the road. But come to think of it...maybe I'm up to climbing a few more mountains because I still have about 40 years worth of stuff to do. I guess it's all how you look at it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Einstein said...what???

From my point of view, Albert Einstein was one of the coolest guys that I would ever have liked to have met. Not only was he a great physicist but as I researched him (looked stuff up...heh,heh) I found out the he was also into metaphysics somewhat...and had a great sense of humor too. It's been said...and I don't know who said it, I'll have to look that one up too...that a picture's worth a thousand words These are a couple of my fav's of Einstein. Why? Because I can identify more closely with him. Not because I'm a genius, but that's what I look like when I get up in the morning and we both have a sense of humor.

OK...on to the more serious matters, what exactly did he say that I like so much? Some of the quotes that I found that 'float my cork' are these.

"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new."

That is soooo cool. It doesn't make me feel so dumb. I've gone through life with erasers on my pencils. But looking back, I think of them more as been more 'learning experiences' than mistakes. Why? It sounds better. Off to the next quote

"The true sign of itelligence is not knowledge but imagination."

That one I really like. I'm not long on knowledge...yet, but I sure have an Imagination. That one makes me feel kinda smart. :)

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once"

Hmmm. That got me to thinking. I like the concept of 'life is a banquet' . Wouldn't it be a drag if the banquet happened in one split second? Or as the words from the song, The Dance go, "I could have missed the pain but I would have had to missed the dance." No time to experience life...the good AND the not so good. Because life is a mixture of both. . It gave me snother thing to think about on. And I do love to ponder on stuff. LOL

"The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge"
Fantasy is one 'gift I'm blessed with and the 'positive knowledge,... I'm working on. it. LOL I guess that's why the genre I've chosen to write it is Fantasy Fiction. It's natural for me. But it took me a long time to figure that one out.
"Imagination is everything. It's a preview of life's coming attractions."
Wow! That is so cool. I like the way the man thinks. Or is it the way I think that he thinks?
It doesn't matter. It works for me. And if it works I'm not going to argue with it. LOL Albert're an inspiration.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"I Gotta Be Me"...who else?

One of the many favorite things I enjoy are songs that ‘grab me’ for one reason or other... and stick in my noodle.

"I Gotta Be Me" is one of those. I realized that I'm at this stage of my life it could be my theme song. So John Crocker aka the Moonshooter needs a theme song? Sure...why not?

I, of course being the ‘aspiring novelist’ that I am, was nosy and had to find out where it came from and when...and talk about timing. Whoa. It’s from a Broadway musical (and I love musicals) called The Golden Rainbow, that closed on January 11, 1969. Exactly forty years ago today.

I like the Rainbow part in the title because it reminds me of ‘Over the Rainbow’ from the Wizard of OZ, one of my favorite movies. That’s cool too. So what did I do next? You didn’t ask...but I’ll tell you anyhow.
I printed out the lyrics and they go like this...

Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I gotta be me, I gotta be me
What else can I be but what I am

I want to live, not merely survive
And I won’t give up this dream
Of life that keeps me alive
I gotta be me, I gotta be me
The dream that I see makes me what I am

That far away prize, a world of success
Is waiting for me if I heed the call
I won’t settle down, I won’t settle for less
As long as there’s a chance that I can have it all

I’ll go it alone, that’s how it must be
I can’t be right for somebody else
If I’m not right for me
I gotta be free, I gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I gotta be me

I'll go it alone, that's how it must be
I can't be right for somebody else
If I'm not right for me
I gotta be free, I just gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I gotta be me.

When I finished reading the lyrics, I thought that this is what 'being ME' is all about. I am who I am...and I’m stuck with it. As it's been said , just go with the flow. That's what John Crocker , 70 year old aspiring novelist is doing....shooting for the moon. And I'm a'whistling my new ‘theme song’, I GOTTA BE ME. It's kinda catchy, huh? :)

And in the profound words of Bugs Bunny, "Thhhhhhhhat’s all folks."

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's gonna be a bright sunshiny day...

This has been one dyn-o-mite week. Monday I went for an eye test because I thought either I needed new glasses... or I was going blind. It’s been 15 plus years since my last exam. Hey, what can I say other than I’ve been busy.

After the exam, the doctor told me that I have cataracts...big time. What a relief that was. I wasn’t going blind. Whew. LOL But she says if I opted for glasses over surgery, my glasses would be as thick as coke bottles. Hey, I figure I’m not going to make much of a fashion statement with those kind. So surgery it is. I’m excited.

Coincidently, for the longest time the lyrics to the song ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ have been in and out of my head. I just looked up the actual lyrics on the...what else...the internet and here they are.

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright sunshiny day
I think I can make it now the rain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright sunshiny day.

Now how physical/metaphysical can that be? What can I tell you other than I have fun being who I am and thinking the way I do. works for me. LOL

Nick Vujicic...a real inspiration

My New Year began amazingly well. I've been searching for this particlar man's videos for weeks because he's one of the most inspiring people I've had the pleasure of knowing about.

The first time I heard about Nick was through my writing class. Benning, who was one of the mentors posted a video about him to inspire us...which worked for me. My problem was I didn't save it or remember Nick's name. So I've been looking off and on for weeks on the internet.

New Year's day, I accidentally found it and thought I'd post it so I wouldn't lose it again. It's at It's awesome.