Road Trip……..day 6, final day
October 6, 2017

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Just north of Barstow on I-15 we pulled off the road to see Calico Ghost Town. It was an old silver mine from the 1800s. There is a few tours you can take that lead you underground (reminds me of Echo Bay Mines at Port Radium, Canada where I worked for five years), and through different mining operations from that time.

From here we headed through the Morongo and Yucca Valleys home. Our total mileage 1554 miles or about 300 miles a  day. We wanted to see as much as we could in the time allotted. Some areas I would definitely return to and spend the whole time in that place. It’s always nice to be home when you get there. Just recognizing another sign of appreciation when you open the door to home.

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Road Trip…….day four
October 4, 2017

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We left Denny’s in Merced at 7:00am. Our first stop was Mariposa an old mining town from the gold rush era. It’s present claim to fame is its musical festivals usually held in June of each year on their fairgrounds. We would have stayed here instead of Merced, but we wouldn’t have arrived until much later and the motel prices were substantially higher. Overall, I guess it wouldn’t have mattered on the time basis as we were up most of the night anyways. Something we look back on and just laugh. The town is wonderfully charming with its hanging flower baskets and you should check out the original courthouse.

 

After Mariposa, we entered Yosemite National Park. We decided to head for the furthest point in the park…Glacier Point. It is a long drive with incredible scenery on either side of the road and well worth the trip just for the view. We were lucky, as all the signs in the park said all roads were open, even though they had recent snow and a forest fire. Areas we passed were still smoldering and there was some smoke and haze lingering, but over all the views were perfect. When we came down the mountain, the rangers were already directing traffic away from Glacier Point, as it was at capacity. It was exceptionally busy even though this was off-season. We were glad we went here first and early.

 

You can really see a major portion of the park from this vantage point. Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and Half Dome included. It gives you great perspective and makes you feel small and insignificant when you take in its vastness. Our next stop would be Tunnel View with a few stops for photos in the snow. The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia was closed for restoration. There is numerous hiking trails, cliff climbing, soaring and trail riding available. Even free shuttles around the Valley. We were here on a day trip so we limited our hiking to about two hours for the area around Mirror Lake.

 

The roads in the park were quite busy with lots of traffic. At some of the sight-seeing spots, we had to drive through the parking lot three or four times to get ‘lucky’, just to get a parking space. The longest wait we had been at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel where it took us an hour to park. After Tunnel View we headed for Bridalveil Fall.

Bridalveil Fall

 

After waiting an hour to park at the Yosemite Hotel, we hiked to Mirror Lake, which happened to have a very low water level. The walk was great and invigorating, and again with endless beauty. We passed a lot of bike riders on the walk and some campers and serious hikers. The creek that flows from Mirror Lake had enormous rocks in it. It makes you wonder how and when they got there. Some were the size of a small house.

 

Back in the car, we drove to Yosemite Village and the Visitor Center. We picked-up a lot of information on the park at the Center and took time to talk to a few Rangers. From this point on we would head out of the park. Next stop, Tioga Road and closer views of Tenaya Lake.

 

The scenery was beginning to change as were the mountains. The passes through the mountains led us up sometimes and down other times. We passed Lee Vining and came to Mono Lake. Mono lake had receded quite a bit also. It was down 40 feet from its original height.

 

On the road again to our final destination for the day….Mammoth Lakes. We arrived at 6:00pm and checked into our hotel. We asked for a good place to eat at the desk and the manager recommended a restaurant a few doors down from our hotel, or we could take the bus, or walk downtown (20 minutes) and go to the Village. He also mentioned that Oktoberfest was on and it was quite the happening. We lucked out again with our timing. We went to our room, settled in, cleaned up and decided we’d take the brisk, chilly walk to the Village and Oktoberfest. When we arrived there was a few large tents with traditional German music and full menus of Oktoberfest food (Yummmmmmm!) and a lot of people dressed in German garb. Beer in authentic steins, schnapps and German wines were available with the food.

 

We filled up on food and walked around the village. By the time we’d done this we were starting to feel the cold and I convinced Eberhard to go to one of the restaurants inside and have a final glass of wine at the bar, so we could warm up before the trek back to the hotel. Enough said. Tomorrow….Death Valley.

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?

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.

A Rock
December 3, 2016

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A rock is obtuse. It lacks the ability to discern insight, therefore it is solid in its makeup. It blends in with its surroundings, but in reality it is just ‘there’. It gives nothing. But, it takes something.

It takes space and the ability to absorb energy. Energy it absorbs is never given back in equal amounts of what is taken. On the contrary, it takes and takes and takes. Weather it is sunlight, air, or any energy, it sucks it from it’s source.

The purpose behind a rock is to reassure humanity that there is stability. An anchor for its inequality. A rock is a rock is a rock.

If you meditate on ‘rock’ you will find a deep, deep sense of solidness and anchoring. It will scare you with its depth.

How then does a human turn into a ‘rock’?

Probably, lack of love.

Give and take.

On both sides.

Sad.

 

Suffering
November 5, 2016

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What is suffering? Aleppo? Intensions? Imaginary belief? Your life?

He tells me he is suffering, and no one knows how he feels.

I think, is this true? We all suffer in our own ways and means.

In a drawn out conversation, I tell him to give what he feels to his partner. Will this work? Probably not in this case. It’s an elliptical cure that can’t be resolved on a intellectual level. This is all emotion. Some one of the two, has to, break the ice and reveal the trouble.

The answer is not what either wants to hear, but it will lead them to a conclusion. Conclusions can be painful. You have to do what is in your heart.

Heart felt conclusions leave you empty.

Unfortunately, that is how life works and you move on. Good or bad.

In the end there is peace.

Change and The Unknown
October 5, 2016

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Scroll to June 2016 for full musical

ACACIUS

(To ALL)

NICE JOB LADIES, NICE JOB! I SEE YOU BOTH HAVE ANOTHER SONG YOU’RE GOING TO SING. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS ONE IS CALLED: INVISIBLE HIGH HEELS. I GUESS THAT EXPLAINS WHY YOU’RE TAKING YOUR HIGH HEELS OFF.

 

 

(CHANGE and THE UNKNOWN remove their high heels and hold them in their hands. THEY commit to a cheeky sultry song and dance routine using the piano and bar stools. THE TRIUMVIRATE become the backup dancers and do stylized light tap during the chorus. Music Video 7 begins and depicts scenes from the song)

 

 

CHANGE AND THE UNKNOWN

INVISIBLE HIGH HEELS

(Hiding their high heels behind their backs and standing on tip toe as if their shoes were on)

HAVE NO TRAINING WHEELS

(Showing their high heels with no training wheels)

THEY’RE SO WONDERFUL TO WEAR

(Putting their shoes back on)

YOU’LL FEEL LIKE

YOU’RE WALKING ON AIR

(Air shoots up from the floor)

BUT BEWARE

THE UNKNOWN IS A DARE

WHERE LIFE IS LAID BARE

WITH A KEY FOR TOMORROW

WE’RE UNABLE TO BORROW

OOOH, OOOH, OOOH

(With a sexy curtsy)

WE’RE UNABLE TO BORROW

 

CHANGE

WE’RE YOUNG AND FULL OF ENERGY

IN A HOSTILE WORLD OF SYNERGY

CONSTANT CHANGE CREATES

UNAWARENESS AND EXCHANGE

LEARNING BECOMES AN EXPERIENCE

THAT ALLOWS YOUTHS DISAPPEARANCE

AND LIFE AROUND YOU

MORPHS INTO PERSEVERANCE

 

CHANGE AND THE UNKNOWN

INVISIBLE HIGH HEELS

(Hiding their high heels behind their backs and standing on tip toe as if their shoes were on)

HAVE NO TRAINING WHEELS

(Showing their high heels with no training wheels)

THEY’RE SO WONDERFUL TO WEAR

(Putting their shoes back on)

YOU’LL FEEL LIKE

YOU’RE WALKING ON AIR

(Air shoots up from the floor)

BUT BEWARE

THE UNKNOWN IS A DARE

WHERE LIFE IS LAID BARE

WITH A KEY FOR TOMORROW

WE’RE UNABLE TO BORROW

OOOH, OOOH, OOOH

(With a sexy curtsy)

WE’RE UNABLE TO BORROW

 

THE UNKNOWN

OUR INVISIBLE HIGH HEELS

(Hiding their high heels behind their backs and standing on tip toe as if their shoes were on)

ARE LOFTY IDEALS

(Holding their shoes high into the air)

FALLING IN LOVE HIDES AND CONCEALS

THE UNKNOWN AND ALL ITS ORDEALS

IN A WORLD OF UNOPENED OYSTERS

WE DEVOUR NEWNESS IN CLOISTERS

ACCOMPLISHMENTS BECOME PEARLS

AND DISCOVERY IS REPLACED BY BURLS

OOOH, OOOH, OOOH

(With a sexy curtsy)

OOOH, OOOH, OOOH

(With a sexy curtsy)

 

CHANGE AND THE UNKNOWN

INVISIBLE HIGH HEELS

(Hiding their high heels behind their backs and standing on tip toe as if their shoes were on)

HAVE NO TRAINING WHEELS

(Showing their high heels with no training wheels)

THEY’RE SO WONDERFUL TO WEAR

(Putting their shoes back on)

YOU’LL FEEL LIKE

YOU’RE WALKING ON AIR

(Air shoots up from the floor)

BUT BEWARE

THE UNKNOWN IS A DARE

WHERE LIFE IS LAID BARE

WITH A KEY FOR TOMORROW

WE’RE UNABLE TO BORROW

OOOH, OOOH, OOOH

(With a sexy curtsy)

WE’RE UNABLE TO BORROW

 

 

CERTAINTY OF AGE

INVISIBLE FROM OUR CAGE

MAKES LIFE A CHARADE

OTHERS SEE OLD

EVEN THOUGH

WE HAVE INNER GOLD

MOMENTS DISAPPEAR

AND BECOME UNCLEAR

THEIR TIME HAS ARRIVED

AND LEFT US DEPRIVED

JUST LIKE THE FINAL SEQUEL

THAT LEAVES US ALL EQUAL

 

INVISIBLE HIGH HEELS

(Hiding their high heels behind their backs and standing on tip toe as if their shoes were on)

HAVE NO TRAINING WHEELS

(Showing their high heels with no training wheels)

THEY’RE SO WONDERFUL TO WEAR

(Putting their shoes back on)

YOU’LL FEEL LIKE

YOU’RE WALKING ON AIR

(Air shoots up from the floor)

BUT BEWARE

THE UNKNOWN IS A DARE

WHERE LIFE IS LAID BARE

WITH A KEY FOR TOMORROW

WE’RE UNABLE TO BORROW

OOOH, OOOH, OOOH

(With a sexy curtsy)

WE’RE UNABLE TO BORROW

OOOH, OOOH, OOOH

(With a sexy curtsy)

OOOH, OOOH, OOOH

(With a sexy curtsy)

 

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