Oh Lordy, Let There Be No Tapes
June 12, 2017

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I wake up to birds outside screaming because I’m late. Usually I’m outside on the patio by now taking in the morning-glory of life. So I move my unresponsive legs off the bed hoping to find the floor and Eberhard says, “Careful, careful”. I make my way to the bathroom to relieve myself. All goes well except for the thoughts that start running through my head as memories from last night start to float past me. I get to the sink to wash my hands and lo and behold there’s a huge zit on my upper lip between my nose and mouth. What? Who gets this at 68? Last week it was one on my nose. God hates me.

I make coffee (I only have one cup a day, but I love it in the morning) and I make my way out to the patio to take in life for the day. I’m naked. Not a pretty site, but I’m protected (and so is the world) by an 8 foot wall around me. The birds start laughing at me in great furor. I am not my usual self, ready to take a moment to meditate. Instead I have these flashbacks….”oh my God, did I do that?” Jeff (karaoke man) why didn’t you stop me?” And Bobby,  you were suppose to keep me in check….. you even said to others that “I was never the same after my mild stroke.”

The evening was enlightening. We started out by meeting friends and their family relatives visiting from Georgia. It’s our ‘solving the world’s problems’ (Trump, etc.) get together that we have occasionally on a Sunday. Of course we discuss the delicate matters over a few glasses of wine. It was a very interesting perspective, not one we were accustomed to, as we tried to figure out why people are attracted to Trump, and why they can believe his rhetoric. We surmised, part of it was education, another part was environment and what they see around them, but mostly it was what people don’t see as they view their lives from  a finite perspective. In conclusion we decided “not to worry”…..this too will pass.

Dancing in front of the karaoke singers was just part of it. There was the bus ride from our beginning location to the karaoke bar. We got the whole bus to ‘rock’. Everyone got off at our stop and the bus driver was relieved, just hoping for a few more silent moments until his shift finished. Still, I remember Jeff encouraging myself and Bobby to sing. Not a nice picture or sound for that matter. Everyone run……run for your lives.

In conclusion, at some point in time, we all need a little release on whatever level makes us comfortable.  Just look at the TV in this moment. Trump, is surrounded by his cabinet in their absorbent moment of self-aggrandizement.  This is their moment of release.

True or False?

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Beginning of………
February 3, 2017

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Fear without Knowing
January 21, 2017

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So, I’m coming around the corner to go to the boy’s room and there are two people waiting in line. The first person is standing  about four feet from the restroom doors. The second person is standing sixteen feet from the restroom doors. A line is forming, but neither of these two people move forward to take up the distance in the line.

What keeps them from moving forward?

Is this a sign of the times?

Is their fear of moving forward greater than their need to release?

One person comes out of the left side restroom and the first person takes his place. But, the second person in line refuses to move forward, even though the line behind him is forming quickly and reaching out the exit doors of the building. Finally, the second restroom becomes available and the person ahead of me moves to take his position inside the restroom. I immediately take up the lax in space of close to twenty feet and wait for the next restroom to become available.

If fear is this obvious in a nondescript environment, what does it say about the county under Trump?

Are we going to be governed by our small but innate fear of ‘not knowing’, or fear of ‘who we are’ as a replacement for I AM?

Move forward! Take a stand! Be who you were meant to BE!

Homeless……..part 3
January 16, 2017

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Since I couldn’t afford rent and utilities, I gathered up the few possessions I had and moved them into the basement office of Beans and Barley. I was homeless. I didn’t want to admit failure to my family or friends, so I said nothing about my move.

Thankfully, the restaurant had some resources I could use. The staff room was equipped with a washer and dryer (we did our own linens) and a shower. As for storing my clothes and belongings, I came up with an inventive plan to keep them out of sight. Underneath the front stairway which led to the public restrooms, there was an access panel for the underbelly of the stairs.

The front part of the restaurant was heated by hot water radiators which were part of the main building boiler system. During construction it was determined that there wasn’t enough flow to the radiators to provide heat in our area, so a booster pump was installed to push the hot water through our system. The pump and its manual switch were located underneath the front stairway. The pump had to be turned on every winter. This area would be my new closet. I placed clothes hooks on each of the stairs and hung my clothes there. My sleeping bag and pillow fit nicely also. Each night, after the staff had left, ( I would leave with them and walk around the block and then come back), I unscrewed the panel, took my sleeping bag and pillow, set it on the floor of the office and went to sleep. In the morning, I would put everything back and re-screw the panel back in place. The staff always wondered how I beat them to work every day.

I lived like this for a couple of years. The good part was that I learned lots. Eighteen hour days became the norm and I put my heart and soul into the place. There were still bad periods before things began to turn around. Creditors called at all hours and it was difficult to do cooking when the phone never stopped ringing. One day it was so bad, I called the phone company and had the phone removed, (phones weren’t un-pluggable at this time) and a pay phone put in, which had an unlisted number. Finally, some peace! I could still call out when necessary, but I stopped being harassed.

Strangely enough, this action helped the business. It alluded to customers that we didn’t need a phone for business. It made us more popular. This, plus the fact that the food and service was immensely improved put the restaurant on the road to recovery.

By the way, I paid off the loan before it’s due date and never missed a payment.

 

Homeless….part 2
January 14, 2017

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So, I got the loan and I was happy for the moment. Moments pass. Reality set in. By the time I had paid for the contractors to make the place into a restaurant, there was the other incidentals: equipment, food to start up, money for wages, taxes and overhead.

By the end of construction, I had managed to pay for everything except the food which I needed to open. I ordered the food and wrote the checks with absolutely no money in the bank. The bank manager calls me and asks me to come down to discuss the situation. I appear and he tells me he is going to bounce the checks which I had written for the food and supplies. So I said (with my back against the wall) “Go ahead, but all the money that’s invested will be lost”. I had no choice. Pay them or I won’t open, and there will be nothing to recover.” He paid the checks. I was left with an overdraft.

First business was brisk and it covered the checks that I had written. It was new and everyone had heard about the place through word of mouth. Everyone came to try it out.

Well, aren’t they sorry now. Inconsistency, badly cooked food from people who should have known better and canned beans. Business dropped off faster than the recession killed jobs.

After I fired all the cooks and took over, there was not much choice. The few people that visited the premises were new and hadn’t heard of the happenings. I was down to one server and myself. And she turned out to be an alcoholic that stole booze from the storage cabinets in the basement. Not pleasant as she tried to keep on her feet, serving customers. Duh!

Frustrated, I terminated her, hired a new person who cared and we had two to go forward with enthusiasm. At this time I was living above the restaurant in a single apartment for $110./month. No furniture, just a sleeping bag, a lamp, a few pans to cook food with, and a pillow. My meals were consistent. Pan fried potatoes and two fried eggs. It’s still one of my favorite meals when I’m feeling out of sorts. The income from the restaurant was not enough to sustain this. So I gave it up and came to the conclusion, I only had one resort.

Homeless…part 1
January 13, 2017

 

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When I opened Beans and Barley in 1972, I guess I expected instant success. I thought there would be some pitfalls, but I had no idea of how many or for what length of time they would exist.

I started with $3000. cash of my own money and eventually, through a loan I acquired, leveraged it into $50,000. I had some other assets, like my car, that I sold later to bring my total down payment to $5000.

The loan was not easy to get. I had created a formal proposal in a binder during the previous year, and took it to every bank in Edmonton. And, every bank rejected it. I ended up going to a lender of last resorts. A government agency. You had to be rejected by at least three banks before you could apply for a loan with them. The silver lining here was, I was over qualified. I was assigned two loan officers. At first they reviewed the four inch thick proposal and then they called me in for my first interview. When I think back now, I can realize why they were worried. I had no accounting skills…couldn’t do a profit and loss if my life depended on it, never cooked professionally, and I’d never supervised staff before….but I did have an insatiable desire to accomplish this. At twenty-one, I had more guts than brains.

I had already leased the premises I wanted, hired the Dutch carpenters to start the rebuilding of the barn inside and drew up my own blueprints. I had told the loan officers that I had already started the project. I could see them look aghast at the thought of what I’d done. They wanted to see the place, so we arranged to view what I had done to date. They showed up two days later on a Friday and I showed them around. The attached photo is all I have that resembles that first viewing, and it was somewhat more bleak than that. There was a basement, but only a ladder down. No stairway. They volunteered to climb down the ladder where the framing had already been constructed. they could at least get an idea of the floor plan. They didn’t say much. They scheduled a follow-up interview two weeks from that date, when they left.

I went in for the scheduled interview with intrepidation.  They drilled me on all sorts of questions for over an hour. Near the end of the interview they asked me two questions: First one was, “What are you going to do if we don’t approve your loan?’, to which I answered, “Well, I have a friend that will loan me the money (I didn’t), but I prefer not to use him because he will get 90% and I will only get 10%”. The second question was: “What if people don’t come to your restaurant and don’t like your idea. It isn’t the normal type of thing for a restaurant?” I honestly didn’t know what to say and there was this infinite pause, as I tried to think of an answer. Then, I looked at them and said “Well you can’t look at if no one is going to come to the restaurant. I know two friends who said they would come.” They laughed, and laughed and I got the loan.

Hubris from One, a musical
September 29, 2016

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Scroll to June 2016 for the full musical

AMANTIA / VOICE OF REASON
(To HUBRIS)
HMMM, THERE’S AN OLD STORY ABOUT A MAN WHO TOLD THE BUDDHA, I WANT HAPPINESS. THE BUDDHA REPLIED, ”FIRST REMOVE THE ‘I’, THAT’S EGO. THEN REMOVE ‘WANT’, THAT’S DESIRE. AND NOW ALL YOU’RE LEFT WITH IS HAPPINESS.” YOUR PERSONALITY SEEMS TO RUB PEOPLE THE WRONG WAY. IF YOU WANT TO HAVE FRIENDS AND PEOPLE AROUND YOU, YOU HAVE TO COME INTO FLOW WITH LIFE. OPEN UP AND LET LIFE FLOW THROUGH YOU. YOU ARE A PART OF LIFE, NOT SUPERIOR TO LIFE. DOES THAT HELP YOU?

(HUBRIS looks at GENUS DEI and AMANTIA / VOICE OF REASON in a thoughtful way, while absorbing what was said. HE gets up and begins his song Who Am I? done to music which reflects ABBA’s style. Music Video 3 enhances the song)

HUBRIS
I KEEP ASKING
WHO AM I?
I SEEM TO KNOW
I AM ALL SHOW
BUT DEEP INSIDE
I DO NOTHING BUT HIDE
MY FEELINGS AND EMOTION
FROM THIS ENDLESS OCEAN
WHAT’S THE SECRET TO FREEDOM
AND THE KEY TO THE GARDEN OF EDEN?

(HUBRIS, turning and looking at himself in a mirror)

I MUST ADMIT I HAVE AFFECTION FOR ME
I AM HANDSOME, RICH AND SO INTO ME
WHO NEEDS OTHERS WHEN I HAVE ME
GLORIOUS AND RESPLENDENT FOR ALL TO SEE
I KNOW I’M NOT GOD, BUT CLOSE ENOUGH FOR ME
OTHERS ARE SO ENVIOUS, THIS I CAN SEE
I’M PERFECT, BEAUTIFUL AND ALL FOR EFFECT

DANCERS AND SINGERS
(Join in)
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME
OH ME, OH MY, OH WOW
I AM RIFE WITH GOLD, AND NOT VERY OLD
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME AND MY LIFE
(Sound of airplane engines)
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME
OH ME, OH MY, OH WOW
I AM RIFE WITH GOLD, AND NOT VERY OLD
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME AND MY LIFE
(Sound of airplane engines)

HUBRIS
HAVE YOU SEEN ALL MY THINGS?
ALL GRAND AND THE SAME AS KINGS
MY PLANE HAS MASSIVE WINGS
AND MY HOME RESTS ABOVE NATURAL SPRINGS
JUST LOOK AT MY INCREDIBLE HAIR
MY BODY, GOOD LOOKS AND CLOTHES IF YOU DARE
DO YOU BLAME PEOPLE WHO LOVE MY FLARE?
I LOVE IT WHEN THEY CARE TO STARE

BUT WHY CAN’T I FACE MY INSIDE?
MAYBE I WON’T LIKE WHAT ABIDES
WILL I BE SHALLOW OR EVEN HOLLOW?
CAN I CURB MY EGO TIDES?
WILL I HATE MYSELF AND WALLOW?
SOMEONE SAVE ME FROM MY MISGUIDES
HELP ME WITH WHO DECIDES
I JUST WANT TO KNOW, WHO AM I?
(Pauses for a moment while looking at himself in the mirror again)
BUT THEN AGAIN, IN THE END, I JUST WANT ME

DANCERS and SINGERS
(Join in)
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME
(Looking in the mirror again)
OH ME, OH MY, OH WOW
I AM RIFE WITH GOLD, AND NOT VERY OLD
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME AND MY LIFE
(Sound of airplane engines)

HUBRIS
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME
OH ME, OH MY, OH WOW
I AM RIFE WITH GOLD, AND NOT VERY OLD
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME AND MY LIFE
(Sound of airplane engines)
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME
(Looking in the mirror again)
AND I AM SO OUT OF HERE
(Sound of an airplane taking off)

Some Human Nature
June 1, 2010

Just tell someone they can’t do something or give them a time limit and they will go out of their way to prove you wrong or beat the time limit.

When my dad started his own business, his boss at the time said to him on his last day, “I give you six months”.

Sixty years later, his business is still going under his name, even though he sold it back in the seventies.

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