And that’s what you get with this post, one whole hour of nothing but Janis Joplin.
I was asked, what advice would you give your younger self. So, in your mind, transport yourself to a younger age, and then give that younger aged self, your best advice. Of course, the advice I am going to give my younger self is going to be with the expectation that he is going to face the same childhood I did. I now have the advantage of the wisdom I have gained from having come through certain adversities that to be able to do so with the best possible outcome would require what?
As you enter the ‘chow hall’ in the Terre Haute Federal Penitentiary at the top of the wall directly above the food steam tables, are engraved the words “THOU HAST BEEN REDUCED TO A LOW ESTATE” The words are chilling as you contemplate their meaning on your miserable life. You have just been sentenced to years in this prison and you are going to see that saying every day, 3 times a day, for the next 10, 15, 20 years whatever amount of time you have. You learn to bow your head just enough or cast a gaze across the chow hall as if looking for someone so as not to see those words again.
I learned to adroitly divert my eyes in quick time. I did not need a reminder to what my present condition was. Approximately a year after entering Terre Haute (January, 1973) I acquired a condition that left my kidneys 90% infected and as treatment would indicate I would be transferred to Springfield, Mo to the U. S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners. No doubt this was an exciting momentous occasion as I would be returning to the same prison where not only did I meet Mary, but also Jesus. It was very much a religious blessing in my mind. Before I transferred however, I again found myself in the ‘chow hall’ observing those same words “Thou hast been….” and relieved that I would never see them again, I hoped. But I noticed something that in all the year I had been eating in that same chow hall THAT, the saying did not end at the corner of the front wall but continued along the side wall, the part I never looked at. the saying continued “BUT AS GOLD IS REFINED IN FIRE, SO ARE BRAVE MEN BORN OF ADVERSITY.” Instead of cowering in my “my woe is me” state, I could have been encouraged to be BRAVE and COURAGEOUS. But I allowed my tunnel vision to keep me from seeing the larger hope.
So what would I tell my younger self, I would tell him to be courageous and never shrink from adversity. The End
Having passed these last 3 hours at the computer I find I have more to say. I applied for a writer’s job at an online publication that reaches 1.7 million readers of which I am one. I didn’t actually apply for the job as much as I responded to the call for a daily writer. Being a pragmatist in such matters I suggested that my experience as an Editor of a prison newspaper probably wasn’t what they were looking for but hey, you never know. So I told them my story, and ya know, there’s a lot of people who know my story. I called WMBI Moody Radio the other day to inquire about a Bible that was being mentioned on the program I was listening too and told the girl I didn’t actually want to leave a comment but just learn some information. I identified myself as having been told by a prison school teacher that God could change my life and she immediately interrupted me and said, “I know you, you’re that couple everybody here at Moody talks about all the time.” Really, I didn’t know that. But yes we have called the station more than a time or two and just last week we were on Chris Fabry and had quite a conversation with Sara Groves so yes, I guess they do know who we are.
How much does Uber X cost in Chicago? $1.70 initial fare $0.95 per mile $0.20 per minute; At times of high demand rates may change; Minimum fare is $4.60.Cancellation fee is $5.00. Tolls are additional. Prices are shown in USD; Tolls & surcharges may apply Clearly this is an assault on those who live in the Suburbs and work in the city. My 3 workers had to take a cab and hitchhike this morning to get to work. Another reason for companies to move out of the city and to the suburbs where it is more affordable. With robberies at an alarming rate these days on the El it is really scary out there
. 8:36 am and I have lost my way. Surely what I should do when I wake at 4 is to try and go back to sleep at 5 without the coffee in between. I’m falling asleep at the wheel so to speak and will e retiring for a 2 hour nap, when I shall reappear as a comet from another galaxy. The End
The saying, if it was C. S. Lewis, shows a deeper intent then what I mean’t to emphasize this morning. (5 AM) But it serves the same purpose. I was following two tracks actually. I scrolled down Memory Lane on Facebook, “You know You’re from Hazel Crest” and saw a few obits of people I had known growing up there as a teenager that I had not known died in the last 3 months of 2019. That kind of scrolling brings back more memories sometimes than you want to deal with in the wee hours of the morning.
The going back, I was thinking about had more to do with eating and the fact that I went to our apartment’s Pot Luck Meal on Monday. As some of you know, since mid September, I have cut out sugar, and bread and limited my meal intake to 2 a day in a modified sample of intermittent fasting. I lost 25 lbs. I had not been going to the pot luck’s because the choices of foods wouldn’t be in my category of selection but last night for a change I went. And I cheated myself. I’m not going to beat myself up over it and in actuality it may serve as a lesson for the future. People kept referring to the description of one who is on a low carb diet. I know what a carburetor in a car is but I do not know what a carb is nor do I want too. Canceling sugar and bread and 2 meals a day is what I did to lose the weight and I will be exacting that same practice as we continue. The pot lucks however, may be a thing of the past.
To the platitude at the beginning of this article, I have been working on changing the ending for the past 42 years. January 13th will recognize the date I Left Prison Behind in 1978. The ending seems more in sight now that I’ve scrolled down memory lane and seen so many who have gone before me. I feel the best I have felt in many a years what with the weight loss, but what is not visible is the pain I carry chronically owing to arthritis. I can tolerate the pain but its the fact that I know the inflammation it represents is taking its’ toll. I can’t say I experience the symptoms of Diabetes 2 and COPD because of the other maladies involved but I have those too. It’s like having several memberships in a League of Medical Journal patients with debilitating conditions. To become a member you actually have to have the condition before you will be accepted in to the club.
But Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina, When the prison school teacher told me God could change my life I had no idea what she meant nor understood what that change would entail or result in. That He did change my life is unquestionable, you didn’t know me. Not even Mary knew the man she was talking those words too. It was the God-changed man she married, not the one who stood before her on that day in May in 1972. I could have done better, but even there the saying talks about the ending, you don’t get a do-over. Each day is a new day for a better ending. The End.
The year is off and running. I sat down at my desk this morning and 2 1/2 hours flew by while doing the things I do. I up graded my security, straightened out a flaw with my insurance company, studied some on a business course, and studied some more on my weight loss program. Now I am going to take a break and chat with you a while. Not to long now because I haven’t scratched the surface in my busy business activities. Like Nino Brown said, “it’s always about business, never personal.”
While we continue to enjoy Spring like weather, Puerto Rico was rocked by a earthquake of massive proportions. Charlie and Zoe’s grandmother Carmen lives in Puerto Rico and I am waiting to hear confirmation that she is okay.
My health is progressing slowly but surely, like a turtle more than a hare. Weight is plateauing between 235 – 238 range with more input from other sources, i. e. exercise, supplements and a weight loss regimen closely allied with Mannatech products. I do not feel like a man with 4 of the 7 leading causes of death. My psoriasis, which was quite extensive, has receded approximately 95%.
Today’s post is more like a ‘how am I” letter because I am anxious to get back to work. One of the courses I am study is actually “How to Write” by Guideposts with the hoped for ending that they publish my writings. Another course deals with starting a viable online business so that I am living off my earnings and not just Social Security.
So that pretty much covers today. A couple of friends are celebrating their birthdays today and so would my dad had he still been living. He would have been 109. The End
Celebrating whales—and a whale of a tale
A mother sperm whale surfaces in the North Atlantic as her young albino calf swims beside her. It’s an especially photogenic moment for these underwater powerhouses, which spend much of their time in the dim depths over 1,000 feet below the waves. You’re meeting them to commemorate the day in 1841 when a young Herman Melville set out from New Bedford, Massachusetts, on a whaling voyage to the South Pacific that would help inspire his masterwork ‘Moby-Dick.’ Today at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Melville fans will begin a marathon public reading of the novel—an annual event that lasts a leviathan 25 hours.
Though the calf may bear resemblance to Melville’s fearsome white sperm whale Moby Dick, the whale family in the photo is nowhere near the Pacific, where most of the action of the novel takes place. These two are on the other side of the planet, in Portuguese waters. But we had no choice but to take you that far: little Moby Jr. is a rare sight since albinism only appears in about 1 in 10,000 mammal births, and the worldwide sperm whale population stands at only about 300,000.
❛To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it.❜—Herman Melville
3 days in and the world is already a buzz. I read yesterday that the Washington Post prints 500 stories a day. That is a lot of information to disseminate but it’s always just a few stories that capture our attention. Throw in Facebook and that too becomes a ‘source’ of information even though if you look closely you’ll find it came from somewhere else first.
Were I the CEO of Boeing last night I would not have been able to do my job. I had a very discombobulated night trying to sleep. So much so that I wondered is this how it feels moments before you die in your sleep. But I’m to young to die, even though many people my age are in fact dying. Well there’s nothing I can do about there now, is there. It’s not like I can all of a sudden jump in my clothes and run around the block to make up for those exercises I was going to start doing. And it wasn’t just the New Year’s that I was going to start doing them either. I’ve been starting them for awhile now. I could coach preparing to start an exercise program if ‘preparing to start’ is all you wanted to know. So I went back to sleep and here I am. I didn’t want to tell you yesterday after already telling you that January 1st is the most people dying date on the calendar but that that data probably drives the data that January is the most people dying month of the year.
And then it hit me, we do that to ourselves. We drive the hysteria of being depressed at Christmas and New Years, throw in a couple actual deaths that occured at that time in the past (because there are so many already) why not use them as the catalyst to bring on more morose and justify our ever present demise. And if we don’t die we’ll be back next year to do it all over again. And with Facebook always flashing back memories on us we don’t even have to write a new version of our bemoaning state we can just recycle the same version from 4 years ago. I’m telling you, where am I going to get the time to read my 50 emails a day, not to mention I have 3 email accounts, 2 of which I only look at once a month. Don’t even comment on those 500 stories on the Washington Post.
Now I must get on to my actual day, and I am still in that fog that having Christmas and New Years in the middle of the week throws you into. It’s like a 2 week weekend and we don’e know when we’re going back to work to only be followed by another weekend. – 236.6 –
Well that’s not a positive way to start the New Year. Yes, It is. Because today is January 2nd, and if you’re reading this, then you have made the cut. But don’t get to overjoyed just yet. Probably driven by that fact is this fact, January is the most deadliest month for dying in the New Year. So you’ve got some days to go before making the final cut.
It’s winter for sure and already we have lost two sports personalities in David Stern (NBA) and Don Larson (MLB). May their families be comforted in His Peace.
I don’t have places to go but I do have things to do and that’s going to make this day’s entry short. Keep The Peace.
https://binged.it/2tm8fi6 Napping away New Years.
This mountain hare is starting the year off right. It’s used to cold weather and high altitudes—and, since it’s nocturnal, it’s perfectly comfortable sleeping through an afternoon snowstorm in northeast Scotland. On New Year’s Day, humans in the US are more likely to be found in their natural habitat, the couch, dozing off or perhaps watching one of the college football bowl games on TV. Some more ambitious folks might be getting a jump on their New Year’s resolutions and exercising. First Day Hikes are part of an initiative led by state parks, with hundreds of free guided hikes offered in all 50 states. That sounds great, but maybe a little later. Right now, we think the hare has the right idea.
Pictured above is an Irish mountain hare.
I can already tell today is going to be a slow day. The Rose Parade steps off at 10 am for two hours of viewing but also constant babbling by the color commentators. Which what was on last night for all the New Years Rah Rah Sis Boom Ba!!! Some of that stuff was awful and I for the life of me felt like an alien from a far off planet because the people I saw were definitely not my people.
“So do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
That is a real interesting display of scripture that is going to be hard to miss.
I have to tell you the truth, a while back I Thought 235 was a bit out of reach. At 262 in mid September I wasn’t even thinking how was I going to lose weight, I sort of stumbled upon it by getting sick and then after 10 days or so of barely feeling like eating I awoke to tip the scales at 248. I honestly thought the scale was broke, so I used Mary’s more calculating scale. It actually may have said 247. I had never had success at diminishing my weight so I never thought to much about trying to hard. Sure there were times in my past when I carried a more manageable weight but that was when I was in prison and played sports every day, sometimes, all day. I started putting on the weight when I got out and those exercises in sports dwindled down…
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