Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Leaps

 Today's post (probably last one before summer break) is a lesson from my 7-year old granddaughter. 

"If you don't leap, you'll never know what it is to fly"  -- Guy Finley

One of little Annabeth's goals this year with her dance was to "leap just like the big kids have in their pictures."

She has worked so hard.

This is a photo from  her last regional

 she said, "It's the best yet and I'll make it better next time!"

Have the courage to dream big.  Challenge existing perceptions. Paul Brandt said, "Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon!"

Little Annabeth has shown me once again to always seek to set your goals a little higher with every leap you take.  Doing so will allow me to go beyond every limitation there is.

Have a great summer.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, May 23, 2019

E = Enjoy


Sometimes you've just got to laugh.

So, what does Evansville Civic Theater do when they are in need of funds to fix an AC?  They laugh about it.  How? A night of improv -- just for laughs. 

Suzanne, my brother John, and I went to this impromptu improv fundraiser last night which included, among other things, two very funny guys doing a scene blindfolded, barefoot, walking among a stage full of set mouse traps.  OUCH!  and FUNNY!

No real Carpe diem Life lesson here other than to get out and support the local arts -- and it's sometimes okay to laugh at other peoples' pain.


David Kuhn

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Eric is at it again . . .

I first introduced you to Eric on April 3, 2017.  He's an artist who lives down the street from my younger daughter.  Occasionally, while I'm over at Lucy's working, I see him outside his house working on something.

Here is his latest creation:

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

P = Paradox

 Today,  p = paradox

While researching my latest hobby (archery) I came across a very important scientific principle: The Archer's Paradox?

A “paradox” means that two or more things that can never be true at the same time, suddenly are true at the same time. So a paradox contradicts itself and defies any logic. 


Now, what is that archer's paradox all about?


When I first picked up a bow and arrow earlier this month, I look at the bow and arrow and noticed that it should be impossible to hit any target with an arrow.  The arrow should not be able to pass the riser (grip) of the bow and hit the target behind it.

Even though people have been doing it for thousands of years, how is it possible to hit the target?  The arrow can not go through the riser of the bow.
 It has to pass by it, but somehow it works its way around the riser and continues flying toward the target.

Like another paradox -- the “wise fool” that I am -- I can’t really explain the science behind it, so here’s a picture.



There are a lot of factors at play here.  But, the lesson I want to take away from all this today is that:  Once I’ve set my eye on a target, I must be rigid enough to keep toward my goal, but flexible enough to ‘go with the flow” and to make corrections as needed.

So, with the right balance, It IS possible to be on-target and hit seemingly impossible goals.  Life can be a paradox.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, May 20, 2019

Here Comes the Sag Off

As I look out my window
After a day of gray skies
I wonder
From where does inspiration arise?
Tension and release?

According to George Harrison:

"Here Comes the Sun" was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: 'Sign this' and 'sign that.' Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever, by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So one day I decided I was going to sag* off Apple and I went over to Eric Clapton's house. The relief of not having to go see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric's acoustic guitars and wrote "Here Comes the Sun". 

* Play truant

Here's hoping you find some time today to "sag off" and get inspired. It's all right!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

On the back of a napkin



As I’ve written, I love to doodle.  So, I was especially curious when I ran across a book at the library titled The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam (2008).
What can be solved on the back of a napkin?  Well, when Herb Kelleher was brainstorming about how to beat the traditional hub-and-spoke airlines, he grabbed a bar napkin and a pen. Three dots to represent Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Three arrows to show direct flights. Problem solved, and the picture made it easy to sell Southwest Airlines to investors and customers.

Used properly, a simple drawing on a humble napkin is more powerful than Excel or PowerPoint-less.  Doodling can help crystallize ideas and communicate in a way that people simply “get”.  This book shows anyone how to clarify a problem or sell an idea by visually breaking it down using a simple set of visual thinking tools – tools that take advantage of everyone’s innate ability to look, see, imagine, and show.

THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN proves that thinking with pictures can help anyone discover and develop new ideas, solve problems in unexpected ways, and dramatically improve their ability to share their insights.

Got a problem?  Pull out a napkin (or other paper) and give it a try. You might just see your world in a new way.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

National Police Week

 My son-in-law Mark works for a police department in central Indiana.  This one is for him:

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation's Capital each year.

National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others who work in law enforcement. Events are open to all law enforcement personnel and are an experience unlike any other.

- - -

We are so blessed to have men and women who work diligently for our safety and well-being, even when their jobs are difficult and often thankless. Help us remember to thank them for their sacrifices and service to our community.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Shafts, Spine, Nocks, Fletching, etc.

 Chose to do something new-for-me yesterday:  Archery.

Other than maybe a try at it at Patrol Boy Camp (yes, that's a real thing) one summer, I don't remember ever shooting a bow and arrow.  Yesterday, a friend from my muzzleloading club took me out to a range to introduce me to the sport.  How hard can it be, right?  Just load the sucker up, pull back, let her fly . . . and astonish everyone as the arrow pierces the center of the bulls-eye. 

Wrong!

Turns out that, like life, there is a long list of things you have to learn.  And, like everything in life, it will take knowledge, practice, learning from failures, more practice, more knowledge, more learning from failure and other's successes (an endless cycle). 

I've now invested in at least the basic equipment (resources) to get started.  Now, it's just a matter of persistent action, evaluation, adjust direction if needed, continue to make improvements, and ENJOY the process.

Here are a few valuable benefits of archery:

Archery is for everyone -- even people with the most severe disabilities can enjoy the sport.  Individuals from all different walks of life can enjoy archery. Every age group is able to practice the sport. It is not uncommon to see 50-year-olds alongside 14-year-olds giving tips and advice on the range.
Archery helps physical development.
Archery teaches growth mindset.
Archery improves mental toughness.
Archery boosts self-confidence.
Archery gives a sense of accomplishment.
Archery teaches goal setting.
Archery teaches teamwork and sportsmanship.
Archery is not only an individual discipline but can be enjoyed as a team event. Being on a team teaches kids to lead others, support them and rely on them.
Archery is relatively inexpensive.
Archery can be practiced year-round.
Archery can be practiced both indoors and outdoors.
Archery teaches the importance of safety.
Archery is fun.
Archery is cool.
Every child (and adult) wants to be a hero. Being able to shoot arrows will let kids (and the kid in me) feel like the famous heroes– Green Arrow, Hawkeye, Katniss Everdeen, Robin Hood, Rambo, and others!

See you at the range!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Inquiry

Spent the Kentucky Derby the best possible way:  With family at my mother-in-law's house in Owensboro.  I was in charge of all gaming activity (for entertainment purposes only).  There were plenty of opportunities to pick your own winner, pick a W-P-S ticket, and random drawings for W-P-S and even the losing horse.  Great fun -- especially if you win!

Me?

"The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip."  Henny Youngman

So, you picked Country House to WIN. 
You know it's a longshot, but that's what makes it exciting.
You watch the race and, and . . . So close.
You wad up your "losing" ticket and toss it in the mud.

Only, wait!  What's this?
Got me thinking about a lot of things:

Country House was a longshot.  At least, a longshot in the Kentucky Derby.
Put him at Ellis Park and he might just be a champion?  Sometimes it depends on which league we play in.  

Doing the best we can in the league that we're in should be victory enough.  We can also work to improve and join the next better league if that's what we want.  It might make us a longshot, but . . .

I guess that we're all longshots from time to time in this life.  But, if it's something that we're passionate about and something that we enjoy doing, then it's worth entering the race.  And, once we choose to enter the race, we owe it to ourselves to run the best we can.

And when we bet on ourselves -- even if we're a longshot -- don't throw away our "losing" ticket too soon.  You just never know . . . 

Oh, and if you're a favorite and clearly out in front?  Play nice.  Or, to put it another way:  Stay in your lane, bro!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Tnacity Take 2

While looking up something else, I came across this:

http://www.character-education.info/resources/The_Beatles.htm

It's a site for educators.   Here are a few highlights.  Just something to think about:

Were they perfect moral examples? No. But to be fair, neither were most of the other great athletes and political figures and writers we revere. By telling the stories of what they did right along their path to success, we embed memorable character motivators in the minds of young people. We're writing our illustrations primarily based upon our reading of one of the most respected biographies of The Beatles: Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation, by Philip Norman .

 
Press On Despite Criticism
(Beatles Succeed Despite Discouraging Comments)
Don't let discouraging comments get you down. Sometimes we simply need to ignore them and press forward with our passion.

Fifteen-year-old John fell in love with his guitar, playing it night and day. John's Aunt Mimi put it this way,

"To me, it was just so much waste of time. I used to tell him so. 'The guitar's all very well, John, but you'll never make a living out of it.'"

Here were some other negative comments they endured:
  • While John attended Art College, he, Paul and George played together but apparently weren't very good. A member of another band suggested that they "weren't worth a carrot." (p. 68)
  • They managed to get a gig playing between sets at a club, but were so bad that they were ordered off stage after two songs. (p. 69)
  • When they decided to change their name to The Beatles, their promoter assured them that nobody would ever take a band with that name seriously. (p. 74)
  • They auditioned for a recording contract with Decca, but were turned down. Bands with guitars "were on the way out," the experts at Decca explained. (p. 144)
  • Their relentless manager, Brian Epstein, approached every record label he could find in the catalogue, only to be rejected at every turn. (pp. 146, 152)
  • When they finally landed a contract, it was with a small label with a mediocre track record, obligating the label to pay the band and Epstein a mere penny per album sold. (pp. 154-158)
Don't Let Poverty and Bad Breaks Define You 

John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the chief songwriters and vocalists for one of the top-selling bands of all time, The Beatles, refused to allow humble beginnings to get in their way.

Money Troubles for Their Band

In their mid-teens, John and Paul began playing in a band together, called The Quarrymen, playing anywhere people would listen. But their lack of money continued to pose problems, such as:

When they went to electric guitars, they had no money to buy amps. If the organizers couldn't provide one, they'd have to settle for a crappy sound by hooking up through the microphone system.(p. 59) If they played a church event, the church would have to pay for broken strings. They lost an opportunity to be "discovered" when they entered a talent competition. After passing the local heats in Liverpool, they were invited to the semifinals at the Hippodrome in Manchester. It was their big chance to get on TV and let the world view their talents! But their poverty robbed them of the opportunity. They had enough money for the bus trip to Manchester, but had to leave before the evening finals, because the only bus home left before the finals. They had no money to book an overnight stay. (p. 59)

The Power of Perseverance

John and Paul kept right on playing and singing. It would take them five more years before they were able to cut an album and start to get some serious recognition. (p. 167) But perhaps, in the end, it was best to take the long, harder road to success. During those years of obscurity, they lost some band members but added George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Time on the road allowed them to sharpen their skills at writing, playing their instruments and performing, so that when they became famous, they were ready to take the world by storm.


- - -

Have a great rest of the week.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, April 29, 2019

Tenacious

 Back from my weekend Rendezvous.  It's a "primitive" weekend spent camping in canvas (or under the stars), throwing knife and hawk competitions, shooting black powder muzzleloaders, cooking over open- fire, etc.

Attached a photo sequence of my friend Jim C. who came up with his flintlock (note the spark that starts it all in photo two).





This year's "Mountain Man" competition consisted of:
  • Knife and Hawk throwing attempting to cut a playing card in half.
  • Starting a fire with flint and steel.
  • Shooting a moving target.
  • Shooting at and snuffing out a flame without hitting the candle.
  • 18 steel targets of various sizes and shapes scattered in the woods (the trail is rather hilly and treacherous).
The winner was Bert S.  What makes this special is that he's approaching 80-years old.  He also stumbled and fell twice on the trail.  And, what makes this even more spectacular,  ol' Bert recently had a knee replacement and is due back surgery very soon.

Tenacious!

Bert has been at this game a long time.  And, like so many in this hobby, he's a great guy.  Humble and good-natured, but a quietly fierce competitor.

I learned a lot this weekend just being around ol' Bert.  LIKE, sometimes you fall down.  But if you keep picking yourself up, move on to the next target, take aim and fire . . . sometimes you win!

Stay tenacious!

Carpe diem Life,
David

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

My Weekend Abode


It's our muzzleloading club's Rendezvous this weekend.  A couple of days of shooting muzzleloaders, throwing hawks and knives, and evenings around the campfire.

Went up today to set up early:

 My abode for the weekend is this Pyramid Tent. 



Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Work Gloves

There is just something special about a great pair of leather work gloves.

 To a working man, gloves are a tool. And a quality pair of work gloves are a must.

For me, it starts with my Father.  He was of that generation that didn't have a lot but bought quality when he could.  Work gloves were no exception.  He also knew exactly where they were when he needed them (unless one of us kids happen to "borrow" them and leave them somewhere).  Tools not being where they were supposed to be was one of the BIG sins that we committed; unfortunately, too often.

My leather work gloves are not the best quality, but they've lasted a long time -- mostly because, unlike my Dad, I can never seem to find them.  But, when I do find them I feel stronger, able to work harder for longer periods of time.

I also feel a special connection with my Dad.

Been using my gloves a lot today, Chico (our nickname for our Dad).  I hope you're proud that I knew where to find them.  Now, what did I do what that . . . ?

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

P.S. 

"If my only tool is a hammer, then every problem is a nail." -- Sholem Asch
and
"If the only tool you have is a hammer, it's hard to eat spaghetti." -- David Allen

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

"Where Quality is a Slogan"

It was Nineteen-Seventy-something . . .

My older brother always had interesting hot rod and motorcycle magazines around.  He also had a nice collection of National Lampoon. 

A little history:  The Harvard Lampoon publication was founded in 1876 by seven undergraduates at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts The Harvard Lampoon is the world's second longest-running continually published humor magazine.  It is the oldest continually published college humor magazine.

By the way, the oldest is Nebelspalter, is a Swiss publication modeled after Punch, which was a British weekly magazine of humor and satire established in 1841.  Punch helped to coin the term "cartoon" in its modern sense as a humorous illustration.

Anyway, The Harvard Lampoon also produces occasional humor books (the best known being the 1969 J.R.R. Tolkien parody Bored of the Rings) and parodies of national magazines such as Entertainment Weekly and Sports Illustrated. Much of the organization's capital is provided by the licensing of the "Lampoon" name to National Lampoon, begun by Harvard Lampoon graduates in 1970.

In 1978, NL created a, well, National Treasure -- at least humor-wise:  National Lampoon Sunday Newspaper Parody.  In the first printing, this publication had exactly the same form and apparent content as that of an American regional Sunday newspaper, of which it was a parody. The main authors of the piece were P. J. O'Rourke and John Hughes.

 The newspaper included: National News, Local News, More Local News, Sports Section, Entertainment, Television Listings, Travel, Real Estate, Gardening, Your Pet, Women's Pages, Classified Ads, a "Swillmart Discount Store" Advertising Supplement, a Parade magazine parody, and eight pages of comics.

The newspaper's name is the "Dacron, Ohio Republican-Democrat", a reference to the cities Akron, Ohio and Dayton, Ohio, and to the cheap polyester fabric Dacron. The newspaper's motto:  "One of America's Newspapers" (reminds me of the current ATT&T "just okay" campaign).

The Swillmart's Store's motto is "Where Quality Is a Slogan"
They offer such items as European Gourmet Mule Cheese.  "Taste sensation. Ideal for caulking." Or, how about some Perpetual Lunch Meat made with a space-age rubber. 

This thing is chock-full of brilliant humor. 

I bring all this up because I want to give a shoutout to my friend John H. who knew that I was a fan and did not have a copy.  So, he scoured the interweb thing and found one for sale.  Now, I'm the proud owner.  John, thank you from the bottom of my funny bone. 

Next, to see if I can find a copy of . . .


Carpe diem Life,
Enjoy the Process,
David Kuhn






Friday, April 12, 2019

Epigrams and Experience

 A popular epigram is: "Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes."

Yesterday, I was a living embodiment of those words -- a gazillion times over.

While working at my younger daughters house, I needed to move my truck to better position myself to load a chipper shredder on the back cargo rack.   Somehow, I managed to shatter the tailgate glass of my Ford Expedition. 

This "Oh, F*!K" moment brought to you by SERENITY.  I actually found myself looking down at the gazillions of tiny shreds of glass and thought, "Well, there is nothing I can do to change this.  Grant me the serenity to accept it and move on."  (Then I looked around to see if anyone had noticed my bonehead mistake).

I then moved into "Carpe diem" mode:

Choose:  To sweep up the mess and get the glass replaced.
Action List:  Sweep, text my daughter to make sure she never goes barefoot in her driveway and garage, call to get an appointment to have the glass replaced.
Resources:  Broom, humility, D-Patrick Body and Glass.
Persistent Action:  Swept.  And swept. And swept. And made the call.
Evaluate the progress:  Ongoing

Direction?:  Fortunately, all things were coming together, so I maintained direction
Improvement:  I left the drive and garage better than I found it. 
Enjoy the Process:  Okay, maybe that's going too far.  But, I didn't get upset.
My Life:  I accepted that this was my responsibility.  Didn't blame anyone or anything. 

D-Patrick was great.  They found a used piece of glass, ordered it, and put it in faster than I've had some oil changes done. 

Sure, it was an expensive "mistake" -- but invaluable "experience."

I concluded by quoting another epigram: 

"If you can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine the Great.

Have a great weekend. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Doing More Harm Than Good?

So, I get a small cut on my finger the other day.
Yesterday morning, knowing that I'm going to be working outdoors all day, I bandage it up well.  Really well.  With waterproof tape well.

Then I sweat in it all day.  Take a shower.  And forget that I wrapped it up -- until this morning.

 Here's hoping the color comes back!

I think that this falls into the category of "unintended consequences." 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

"Consumption Diet" and "Attention Residue"

Consumption Observation

Bowled last night. 

At one point, one of my teammates came up to me and said something like, "I can't believe this shit!"

My first thought was, "That I'm bowling so poorly, again?"

But, he had me scan the lanes of sixteen five-person teams and some friends and family. 

"So?"

"Look around.  Well over half of these people are staring at their f'n phones!" 

True.  It was a predictable cycle:  Get up, bowl, go back to their seats and stick their noses in their phones to continue to consume a diet of text, emails, games, online shopping . . . (Of course, I might have benefited from looking up tips on how to bowl better.  But, that's another story). 

Introducing to the new-to-me term:   "Attention Residue"

Which means … what, exactly?   Basically, research finds that people are less productive when they are constantly moving from one task to another instead of focusing on one thing at a time.  This carryover from one task to another has been dubbed “attention residue,” where you’re still thinking of a previous task as you start another one. 

Here's where, if I were an expert, I'd offer some sage advice on how to cure "attention residue".  Unfortunately, I've got a thousand things swirling around in my head as I attempt to finish this article.  Good luck with your projects.

Let's just try to aware.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, April 8, 2019

Monday Cinquain

A Cinquain ("SING-cane") poem (from French meaning "a grouping of five") is a five-line poem with two, four, six, eight, and two syllables, respectfully.   Depending on what source you believe, there are specific rules -- with many variations that don't have to follow any rules (?).  You mean that . . .



There are
Many, many
Did I mention "many"?
Different forms of the Cinquain
Poems


I learned about the form this morning as I was having my morning coffee and surveying our back yard.

So, here goes my attempt:

Coffee
A gentle rain
Fairy Diddles dancing
Wild Violets advancing
Refill




Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Intellectual Turbulence

Made the mistake of staying up late last night and "channel surfing."
Unfortunately, cable "news" was included.   I eventually came to my senses and went to dreamland.

This morning, I was perusing a few pages of the notebooks of Robert Frost and I mined this bit of wisdom:

The cure for Intellectual Turbulence -- all this craziness over newly come by ideas is to develop an ambition to get up a few ideas of our own.

I love that:  Intellectual Turbulence -- all this craziness.  

It's a shame that I've wasted so much time channel surfing and listening to others' opinions, but it will be unforgivable to waste any more  We have the ability to contribute so much.  Yes, the future is now. 

Time to develop an ambition to get up and create my own ideas.  Time to defeat Intellectual Turbulence!

Have a great rest of the week.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, April 1, 2019

I'll Sell Mine For Half!

According to TMZ:

A piece of Beatles history is up for grabs, but it's so old -- or vintage -- it goes by a different name.

If ya don't know ... John Lennon's first band wasn't The Beatles, it was The Quarry Men. He formed the group in 1956, later added Paul McCartney and George Harrison ... then made their famous name change in 1960.

Before that, though, the lads from Liverpool printed out business cards for The Quarry Men and an original -- one of just a few known to exist -- is up for sale. That's the good news. The bad news is ... baby, you'll need to be a rich man (or woman) to afford it.

The roughly 3.5 x 2-inch piece of paper and rock 'n' roll history is going for $32,500.
 As for the card's origin story ... a collector bought it from a woman living in a Liverpool suburb 30 years ago. She sold off a bunch of membership cards and tickets she'd collected from her days hitting the clubs there in the late '50s and '60s.

The card's been down a long and winding road -- it's a little worn with some creases and stains, but that's part of its charm.

The Quarry Men card is available at Moments In Time ... along with other Beatles items and more.

I'll sell you my first business card (circa 1984) -- one of just a few known to exist -- for half what The Quarry Men card is going for.

Carpe diem Life
David Kuhn

Monday, March 25, 2019

Feeling Special


Guess there's been some kind of special investigation . . .
For a special two years . . .
With continued special news coverage . . .
Leading to a special report . . .
Leading to news breaking in with their "Late Breaking Action Urgent Special Reports" . . .

Damn, I feel special to be an American!

Depending on which publication, website, cable news outlet, etc you read/listen to:

Headlines this morning are either "We told you so!" or "We've still got Trump exactly where we want him.  Just wait what we're going to rant about over the next two years." 

Special!

Meanwhile, Donald Trump. Jr. accused “CNN, MSNBC, BuzzFeed and the rest of the mainstream media of “non-stop conspiracy theories” in a statement, while urging “honest journalists within the media” to “have the courage to hold these now fully debunked truthers accountable.”

"Honest journalists"?   "courage"? "debunked truthers"?

"Discontent comes in proportion to knowledge. The more you know the more you realize you don't know."  -- Will Rogers.

Will Rogers also said, "Everybody has got a scheme to get the world right again.  I can't remember when it was ever right.  There have been times when it was right for you, you and you, but never all at the same time.  The whole thing is a teeter-board even when it's supposed to be going good.  You are going up when somebody else is coming down.  You can't make a dollar without taking it from somebody.  So every time you wish for something for your own personal gain, you are wishing somebody else bad luck, so maybe that's why so few of our wishes come to anything."

Wonder what good ol' Will would be writing this morning?  I don't know, but I bet it would be along the lines of, "Common sense is not an issue in politics, it's an affliction!" 

Have a better than special week.  Here's hoping you're on the coming up in your teeter of a world.   

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Part the Curtain

There is a lot of "ugly" in this world right now -- always has been, I guess.
And there is a lot of blame being thrown around -- always has been, I guess.

Is it possible that, by believing that we're all separate from our creator and each other, that we all have created what we say we detest?  Just a guess.

As God says in Neal Donald Walsch's classic book Conversations with God, "For it only when they can accept responsibility for all of it they can achieve the power to change part of it . . . Only when you can say 'I did this' can you find the power to change it."

We are they -- always have been, I guess.

Life is
Beauty,
Terror,
Knowledge. 
        -- Deng Ming-Dao

To buffer ourselves from the underbelly of terror in this life, we seek beauty.
While true, that beauty cannot completely veil all the terror and suffering in our lives, including the horror that takes place on the other side of the world and brought into our lives through mainstream media (whatever the hell that means) and social media, but it's the best that I can do at this moment.  So, this week, I'm going to try to focus on beauty, nature, love.  
I don't know if that will help heal the world, but it's the best that I can do -- always has been, I guess.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, March 15, 2019

A funnier thing happened . . .

A funny thing happened on the way to getting my truck serviced.
Actually, coming back from not getting it serviced yet:

So, I made an appointment early last week to get my truck serviced today for a CHECK ENGINE LIGHT.  8 A.M. appointment.  I figured that it might take them a couple of hours to diagnose the problem, order a part, and put it all back together.  So, I installed my bike rack and bike (bike rack without the bike wouldn't get me very far) and planned to ride around the east side.

The only problem, the garage is way behind because of yesterday's storms, a power outage, and other unforeseen circumstances.

What to do?

Since I still have a lot of cleaning up and things to do around the house, I figured that I would just ride home.  How far could that be?  Answer:  Too!  As in too far for this old body and his first time on a bicycle this year.

The bike ride home reminded me of a couple of things from my childhood.

In 1972 (I was twelve), the Sun Oil Company rolled out a football stamp promotion that season.  I became consumed with completing the set — 26 NFL teams had 24 stamps each.  The way it worked is that you received a couple of “9-packs” (depending on how generous the guy was) when you bought gas.  Unfortunately, my dad was the type of guy who would drive across down to save a penny a gallon.  Sunoco and DX gas stations were evidently not the cheapest in town.
What to do?

So, every day after school, I’d ride a route to the three Sunoco stations within riding distance of our house.  From Taft Avenue to Weinbach & Oak Hill > to Green River Road and Division (now Lloyd Expressway) > to Washington and Boeke > and back home.  9 miles!  In the dark, cold winter!  For three books of 9 players.   Again, there were over 600 in the set.  And the doubles of unheard of players were unrelenting.  There were nights when I’d get home and not need any — especially as I needed fewer and fewer. 

What reminded me of all this?  The first stop on that journey is now the garage where I started my journey today.  And, when I was sixteen, I worked at each of the other two stops when they became Mascot Gas Stations (even though I didn’t have a clue what the hell I was doing). 

Today’s ride home was a little shorter than that 9-mile route; however, to 58-year-old legs, it seemed twice as long.  But, I eventually made it — only with no football stamps as a reward. 

As a follow-up:  I DID complete the album and still have it.  And Mascot Gas Stations?   They closed not too long after I left. Probably because they were being run by neophytes like me!)  Anyway, here is a photo of my going away gift when I left (or perhaps it just stayed in the closet by mistake).


"Learn to ride a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live." - Mark Twain

Have a great weekend.
Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, March 14, 2019

A funny thing happened on the way to new windows . . .

PLEASE REVIEW MY BLOG POST, October 22, 2018:  A Series of Unfortunate Events

Or, if you don't want to do that, I'll just say that it was a day that consisted of a series of unfortunate events.  What, too obvious?  Including, but not limited to, a broken window.

We called the company and it turned out that there is a lifetime warranty.  So, we ordered a new one along with several others that seemed to have broken seals.  Guess what.  They finally arrived yesterday and they called to say that they would be out today to install them. 

Oh, by the way, I'm titling this blog: A Series of Unfortunate Events II

First, they arrive at the same time the SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING followed by TORNADO WARNING sirens are going off. 

They're unloading the windows and notice that one is broken -- the one to replace the broken one.  Next, they're just about done putting in several upstairs when one of the guys notices that the grid pattern inside the panes doesn't match.  Oops.  So, they took out the ones they just put in, loaded the truck, and told me that they'll have to re-order them.  They'll be in touch.

That's about when the rain, wind, rain, rain (did I mention rain?) hit. 

Flooded garage/workshop.  It happens. 

After the storms finally rolled through I decided to start taking things up off the floor and drying everything and the floor out.  The wind is blowing so hard that more debris is blowing in than I'm pushing out.  So, I close the garage doors.  That's about when the power went out.  Now, too dark to work, I decided to go in and take a nap. 

Woke up to beautiful blue skies -- and gale-force winds adding to my collection of downed limbs in the yard. 

But, electricity back on.  Which allows me to write this and vent. 
Thanks for reading.  You all be safe out there.

Back to the garage!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Random Thoughts from Random Sources



Just thought I'd pull a few "Random Thoughts from Random Sources" out of my morgue of notes:

 “There is no great and no small
To the Soul that maketh all:
And where it cometh, all things are
And it cometh everywhere.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays: First and Second Series 

sluggardize
Verb
(third-person singular simple present sluggardizes, present participle sluggardizing, simple past and past participle sluggardized)
(rare) To make lazy.

"Originality depends on the faculty of noticing.  Strange things happen in us and things not so strange.  Cultivate the faculty of noticing or you will notice only what has been noticed and called to your attention before."
-- Robert Frost

"Give way to the stream of life and tumble into the chasm, not knowing . . . it is only when we're lost in our wondering that we can come into the sacred world."  -- Priscilla Cogan

"Choose pathlessness, as if you know your way." -- Ursula K. Le Guin

"Any poetic form is trivialized by poor use, and the emptiness is the writer's fault, not the form.  Besides, there is playfulness in all poetic forms." --Unknown

"Art has no right answer.  The best we can hope for is an interesting answer" --Seth Godin

 “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ― Aristotle, Metaphysics (A favorite quote of a co-worker)

"Except for the pain, that felt good."   -Curt (Summing up a day of working in the yard)

"Turn and face the strange."  -- David Bowie, Changes

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Tuesday's Poetry Lesson

Today,
Unless
Everything
Stands in my way, is
Devoted to writing an
Acrostic poem.
You try!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Uli Dog

Our dog of 17 1/2 years is now buried in our backyard.

Saturday, I was having coffee in "our" favorite chair (we used to have coffee in the mornings, read, and watch squirrels run around the yard).  It was after morning rain and I noticed beads of raindrops gathering on the thin branches of a birch tree.  This is the first draft of what Frost might describe as "scrapings of the brain pan."  A work in progress:

In the peaceful calm
After the Spring storm
A tiny bead of rain
On a twig -- hanging on

Reflecting . . .
Refracting . . .
Her tiny universe
She grows Heavy
Drops to the earth
Where you now sleep

How long will my waiting spirit
Have to wait?
When will I see you again?

The creek floods and flows
Into a river of tears
And evaporates
Into clouds appear

We’re just tiny beads
Hanging on a twig
Reflecting . . .
Refracting . . .
Our tiny universe
Until we grow heavy
Drop to the earth 
And evaporate

When will I see you again? 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Still Lit!

RE: Yesterday's Post

Well, I gave it a valiant effort; However, the SERVICE ENGINE SOON light is still lit.  Mocking me.

"If you can't make a mistake, you can't make anything."  -- Marva Collins

I didn't exactly make a mistake, but I did make an appointment with a real mechanic.

I'll be off for several days as I'm working L O N G days through Saturday.

Have a great rest of the week and weekend.

To quote Hemingway (which I really haven't read, just stole from a quote book):

"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."  A Farewell to Arms

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 




Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Idiot Light

I have an "Idiot Light" Issue.

Okay, it's not actually me that has as an "Idiot Light" on -- at least not yet.  It's my truck.  And, to be a little more accurate, it's actually a "Malfunction Indicator Lamp" or MIL.  You know, that  "Check Engine" or "Service Engine Soon" light that pops on and, even though you suspect it's nothing serious, sends chills down your crankshaft.

I have a MIL.  A tell-tale that my computerized engine-management system indicates a malfunction. At least it's not blinking at me.  That's got to be good news, right?

Coincidentally, I've recently heard radio ads from Auto Zone stating that they will run a free diagnostic check for such problems (By the way, I was listening to the radio because my CD player is broken.  Oh, the joy of a 16-year-old vehicle).

Anyway, to Auto Zone.  There, I was greeted by several guys -- all of whom were wearing coats.  Yes, much to their annoyance, it seems that the radio ads are working brilliantly.  Lots of people in the parking lot with sick cars.

A quick check with a hand-held computer gizmo, a beep, and then back inside for the results:  A $1.99 part.   Now, here comes the fun part.  The guy says that I can take it to a mechanic who will charge me a minimum of one hour.  Or, I could try to do it myself.  "It's easy and takes only a few minutes.  Well, once you get A-B-C off the engine!"  He didn't elaborate as to how easy it was to take A-B-C off the engine to get to the $1.99 part; I, being a man, didn't ask. 

So, once I get up the nerve to step out into 14-degree temps to start working on something that I have no idea what I'm doing, we'll discover whether I did, in fact, fix it. 

Let's hope that my "Idiot Light" won't start flashing!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, March 4, 2019

Can Spring Be Far Behind

There is a Crayola crayon color of gray called Timber Wolf.  
Yesterday's sky reminded me of it.

So, I scribbled this down from my morgue of bits and pieces:

The trees are naked
Living to survive
But stand unashamed
Under timber wolf sky

Seems that nature’s soul
Has given up the fight
Winter’s settled in
With no end in sight

A dusty tint falls
To an onyx shade
On the horizon
As another day fades

I’m like a small child
Bursting with false hope
In a fairy tale
No armor to cope


Locked in winter’s cell
Bitter and confined
But, to quote Percy Bysshe Shelley, 
                                              "If Winter comes,
                                                                  Can Spring be far behind?"

- - -
Today is a bright new day:  But, minus one wind chill.  Is Spring far behind?
Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn





Wednesday, February 27, 2019

"Look out Sox. Here she comes!"

 For many years we had an outdoor cat named Sox.  She would often paw at the backdoor wanting food, or in, or both.  But, she was an outdoor cat and our backyard was her domain.  Until . . .

Over seventeen and a half years ago the girls got a puppy.  In fact, they helped bring her into the world. Suzanne even had to swing the runt of the litter around to get her to breathe.  Suzanne held her for Uli as she took her first breath.  Our older daughter named her Uli: "All-Powerful" in German -- or something like that.  At the time, I believed that it was an oxymoron for this tiny little fluffball; however, it turned out to be prolific.

So, for years, we'd warned Sox by yelling, "Look out Sox.  Here she comes!"  Then open the door.  Uli would leap out and off the deck and bark incessantly at Sox -- who, at this time, had climbed to higher ground.  After barking herself out, Uli would wander her domain until it was time to settle under a tree and meditate like a Buddhist Monk.

When Sox died several years ago at the age of nineteen, we buried her in the backyard.  For weeks, poor Uli seemed lost.  Eventually, I guess, she came to the realization that Sox was gone.

Uli is an Ocherese. According to one website:  Circa 1970, Janet Dilger, a Pekingese breeder located in Southern Indiana, had become increasingly concerned by birth defects she was discovering in her newborn puppies and decided to take action. Her goal was to produce a small, calm, healthy animal, with long hair that did not shed. To achieve this end she crossed her show Pekingese with a small Toy Poodle, then the resulting female Pekapoos with a male Maltese. The puppies from this mating were described by Dilger as ‘nothing short of marvelous, so she decided to continue with these as the foundation stock of a new breed, which she christened the Ocherese.   It's common for Ocherese to see their 11th, 12th, and even 13th birthdays.

Uli blew past those years ago.

Sadly . . .

It became painfully apparent over the past several hours that Uli the All-Powerful was finally succumbing to time. As I looked into her eyes, I believed that she was wanting to stay with us, but she realized that it was ready to leave us. Her tiny body was giving out and we all knew that the humane thing to do was put Uli to sleep. 

Highland Veterinary -- we've been going there for 35 years starting with our first cat right after Suzanne and I were married -- were wonderful.  Within minutes our poor girl was asleep, then passed peacefully. Suzanne held Uli as she took her last breath.

We took Uli home to the backyard to be buried.

For the last time, I opened the backdoor and yelled, "Look out Sox. Here Uli comes!"

Uli's last "Photo With Santa" Photo

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, February 25, 2019

Scroll Saws and Art


Scroll Saw:  A tool used to cut out intricate designs in, among other things, wood.
Art:  "Art is what it is to be Human." -- Seth Godin

Combine the two and you have:
The other night a co-worker and friend surprised me with this Jethro Tull / Ian Anderson logo cut out of wood (the photograph doesn't do it justice).  The darker areas are actually cut out of the lighter wood (the darker being a stained back piece).  The closer you look at it, the more you realize the finest details.  The flute, little finger, hair, letters, etc. 

Scroll saw work requires vision, design, attention to detail, patience, and so much more.  Believe me, I know.  I've successfully learned that I don't always have enough of the positive attributes to enjoy it.  Thankfully, Dave T. does  He's created a beautiful collection of pieces since he started his hobby. 

But art isn't just a result; it's a journey.  The challenge is to find a journey worthy of our hearts and souls.  Dave is proof that the world is full of ordinary people doing extraordinary art.  Making them extraordinary in my book.

Thanks again, Dave.  I'll cherish it always.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Earliest Memory

 I started an interesting book at 4:30 a.m. this morning -- actually, an interesting journey --  titled Writing from Within, by Bernard Selling.  It's a personal approach to writing that helps find your authentic writing voice, deal with your inner "critic," and recall childhood events and other important life experiences.

Phase One, in which Doris gets her oats! (Oops, different book.)

Actually, Exercise One is:  Finding Your Earliest Memories.

The first of three writing phases is Composing.  Start writing.  Don't critique.  Just plunge on.  Don't stop.  Here is my first draft:

"Shhhh!  Grandpa is sleeping!"

At just a little over 2 and a half years old, I was too young to know the difference between sleeping and dying.

I remember wanting to run around the bed and wake Grandpa Kuhn up.  Granny Kuhn, my Mom, and my Dad (I don't remember other adults in the shotgun house, but it's likely that there would have been adults coming and going) kept telling me to be please be quiet.

My next memory is being in a very strange room with odd lighting and overpowering floral smell.  I remember my Dad seemed different.  Sad.  He wanted me to sit still; I wanted to jump from the black block tiles to the white block tiles on the floor in front of where Grandpa was now sleeping.

I was too young to know the difference between sleeping and death.

- - -
My Grandpa Kuhn died on March 9th, 1963.  I turned three in late April.
Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Iridium Flares

 Over the years I've gone out in search of man-made shooting stars.  Thanks to the internet, it's possible to procure a chart that actually shows exactly when and where these are going to happen.  How is that possible?  Because many of those man-made shooting stars are actually flares from communications satellites put into orbit by the Iridium SSC company. Beginning in 1997, the company launched into orbit around Earth some 66 telecommunications satellites, which were known to flare briefly in the night sky as their solar panels caught the sun’s rays.
Sad news for amateur astronomers:  Although there are still a few of the original 66 satellites up there – Iridium flares are destined to become a thing of the past. The original 66 satellites have been phased out, and the second generation of satellites – called Iridium NEXT which doesn't produce the flares – is nearly entirely in place.

So, that got me thinking about our "flash of time" here on earth.  Came up with this poem (or perhaps a song one day thanks to my friend Curt who has worked his brilliance on creating some chords for it). 

Go outside and observe the sky
Count the stars flowing by
Then focus on the one that’s true
The star inside of you

Looking outward is a dream
Riding on a moonbeam
Look inward to the signs
Then let your gifts shine

'Cause our dreams can soar so far
Like a man-made shooting star
Our time here is so rare
Flashes of brilliance like Iridium Flares
Flashes of brilliance like Iridium Flares

Take all the love that is in your heart
Light your world like a shooting star
So, live your life, if you dare
With flashes of brilliance like Iridium Flares
Flashes of brilliance like Iridium Flares

It's a work in progress.  But, to paraphrase John Prine (see yesterday's blog):  Dare to have a lot of crazy ideas.  One of them is sure to be a flash of brilliance, like an Iridium Flare.

Have a great week.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, February 18, 2019

Bowl of oatmeal tried to stare me down... and won.

This past weekend, I stumbled on a John Prine Interview (I guess you'd have to classify his as "country folk" artist).  

In 1971 Prine's self-titled debut album was released.  I'd forgotten how great this album is.  He and friend Steve Goodman had each been active in the Chicago folk scene before being "discovered" by Kris Kristofferson (Kristofferson remarked that Prine wrote songs so good that "we'll have to break his thumbs").  The album included his signature songs "Illegal Smile," "Sam Stone," "Angel from Montgomery," "Paradise (where is mother was from)," "Hello In There," and "Far From Me", about lost love for a waitress that Prine later said was his favorite of all his songs. 

Here are a few gems I mined from the interview (and from a few other sources and lyrics):

I guess if you keep making the same mistake long enough, it becomes your style.

Bewildered, bewildered, you have no complaint. You are what you are, and you ain't what you ain't.

The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go out and do the best you can.

Writing is about a blank piece of paper and leaving out what’s not supposed to be there.

If heartaches was commercials, we'd all be on TV.

Now Jesus, he don't like killing, no matter what the reason is for, and your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore.

I just tried to come up with some honest songs. What I was writing about was real plain stuff that I wasn't sure was going to be interesting to other people. But I guess it was...I've never had any discipline whatsoever. I just wait on a song like I was waiting for lightning to strike. And eventually-usually sometime around 3 in the morning-I'll have a good idea. By the time the sun comes up, hopefully, I'll have a decent song.

I guess what I always found funny was the human condition. There is a certain comedy and pathos to trouble and accidents. Like, when a driver has parked his car crookedly and then wonders why he has the bad luck of being hit.

I'm fascinated by America...it's so odd.

I edit as I go. Especially when I go to commit it to paper. I prefer a typewriter even to a computer. I don't like it. There's no noise on the computer. I like a typewriter because I am such a slow typist. I edit as I am committing it to paper. I like to see the words before me and I go, "Yeah, that's it." They appear before me and they fit. I don't usually take large parts out. If I get stuck early in a song, I take it as a sign that I might be writing the chorus and don't know it. Sometimes, you gotta step back a little bit and take a look at what you're doing.

The best way to write a song is to think of something else and then the song kind of creeps in. The beginning makes no sense whatsoever. It just, like, rhymes. And then all of a sudden I'll go into, I am an old woman named after my mother.

Write what YOU like. That way, you'll still enjoy playing it 50 years later. 

Have plenty of crazy ideas.  There's bound to be one or two gems in there.


- - -
Have plenty of crazy ideas this week.  Amen!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, February 15, 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

One Step Further . . .

Or, Coming Full Circle.

Over the past couple of days, I've written about hiking, steps, and wood carving.   Yesterday, I decided to take it a step further and combine the three.

                                                         Wood Spirit guarding
                                                  Protecting Wilderness Lake
                                         Steps come full circle

As you can see by the panoramic photo, one of my little Wood Spirits is now overlooking the lake and the steep 71 steps.  It's free for anyone who discovers it and wants it.

I also took the time to carve another one while sitting on a bench.  That one will be gifted somewhere at a later date to guard over those woods.

According to woodlandrustics.com

The legend of the wood spirit dates back to the 15th century in the Black Forest of Germany. People believed the forests and trees were inhabited by mystical spirits, thought to protect the forest and animals from those with evil intent. This was evidenced by the sounds of moaning and sighing among the trees on days when storms were brewing, and the peace and tranquility in the forest on calm days. It was believed that everything majestic and vibrant about a healthy forest was the work of the wood spirit. They were the guardians and protectors of all forest life

Again, my little guy is certainly not fine art, but . . .

Steps.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, February 11, 2019

Steps Continued . . .

The other day I wrote about steps.  71 steep ones, to be exact.

Yesterday, we were blessed with a nice little ice storm (weather channels now call these "events" -- even naming them).   I figured that this "event" would be the perfect time to stay indoors and take some steps.

I've been wanting to try my hand at woodcarving, but have, more times than not, been paralyzed with uncertainty.  Yesterday, I remembered to take the steps.

Choose my goal = In this case, a Spirit Face or Wizard-looking little guy.
Action Plan = Study the steps necessary to go from a block of wood to the finished piece.
Resources = Block of wood, carving knife, and YouTube is always a big help.
Persistence / Perseverance = Take the first cut, then the next, then . . .
Evaluate My Progress = As I whittle along.

Direction = Whittle a little more here, a little deeper there . . .
Improvement = Take notes on how to do it better next time.
Enjoy = Put on some favorite music while I work.
My Responsibility = The Wood Spirit was not going to carve itself!

So, I nursed my plans through one cut/step at a time and came up with this.
Not too bad for a first draft.  It's nothing that I'd share with anyone (damn, I just did), but it's a building block that buoys my faith for next time.

Here's a design using a chip carving technique.  In this case, a series of just two cuts.  Certainly not fine art, but . . .

Steps.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Steps

I took the opportunity the other day -- during a window of no rain -- to slog my way through the Back Country Tail at Audubon Park.

The way I went goes for a couple of miles up and down the trail until you reach Wilderness Lake.  Then . . .

71 steep steps to climb!


The vision must be followed by the venture.
It is not enough to stare up the steps -
we must step up the stairs.
- Vance Havner

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Notes from State of the Union

  • Congratulating Congress on the present favorable prospects of our public affairs. 
  • The people of the United States should stand behind government and enjoy the concord, peace, and plenty of the nation’s good fortune.
  • Argued in favor of securing the common defense; preparedness for war to be one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
  • The president charged Congress with creating a competent fund designated for defraying the expenses incident to the conduct, among other things, our foreign affairs and uniform rules of naturalization.
  • He desired money for and some measure of control over Agriculture, Commerce, and Manufactures as well as Science, Literature, Public Education, which is justified as a means to secure the Constitution.  Also, educating future public servants in the republican principles of representative government.
To summarize:
Peace
Good fortune
Securing our common defense.
Foreign affairs.
Rules of naturalization
Agriculture.
Commerce.
Manufacture.
Science.
Literature.
Public education.
Educating future public servants in the republican (small "r") principles of representative government.

State of the Union
Delivered January 8, 1790, by President George Washington to the assembled Congress in New York City.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A tasty blog to start your day . . .

This year's Super Bowl and its halftime "extravaganza" has been described in a lot of ways.  My favorite from one review:  "Empty.  Boring.  Basic. Sleepy. Skippable.  Unfulfilling.  Unnecessary."

Chew on that!

Or, chew on this.  My Super Bowl breakfast this morning:  Hearty.  Zestful. Healthy. Quick. Tasty. Fulfilling.  Sure, unnecessary.  But, more satisfying than a Maroon 5 mind-numbing show.

I present my Cheesy Avocado Baked Egg (475 degrees for 20 minutes).


Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 






Friday, February 1, 2019

The Road Less Traveled

10 degrees is cold enough stay indoors and not get out to take any roads -- much less the roads less traveled.

Great advice that I didn't take.

Yesterday, my favorite home-made "twisty" walking staff and I headed out to a road less traveled; to "open myself up to the scripture of the landscape"  (see yesterday's post).

It was the perfect day to be fearless -- though sufficiently bundled.

"Have the courage to take risks. Go where there are no guarantees. Get out of your comfort zone even if it means being uncomfortable (i.e. cold hands). The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with barricades bumps and uncharted terrain. But it is on that road where your character is truly tested And have the courage to accept that you’re not perfect nothing is and no one is — and that’s OK.”  -- Katie Couric

Have a great weekend.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Snow provokes responses that reach back to childhood. -- Andy Goldsworthdy

 Snow is not too deep
The perfect time for a hike
Open my spirit

Walking may be a good metaphor for spiritual life.  There are times, for example, today when the snow is not too deep and the cold in invigorating, that hiking is literally the best activity.  I find that walking in the woods is a wonderful way to unify the body, mind, and spirit.  Plus, if it doesn't kill me, it's a great way to strengthen legs and increase stamina.

"There are a thousand meanings in every view, if we only open ourselves to the scripture of the landscape."
-- Deng Ming-Dao

So, at some point today, I'm going to bundle up and "open myself up to the scripture of the landscape." 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 







Oh, one more quote on snow:  "A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water."     -- Carl Reiner


Monday, January 28, 2019

Random Thoughts


I've got a lot of other writing to do today.  Mainly, the monthly newsletter for the black power muzzleloading club I'm a member of.  We had our first shoot of the year on Saturday and, yes, it was cold.

Someone named Pietro Aretino once said,  "Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius."
Does that mean over a dozen of us must be geniuses for coming out to the range to shoot in sub-freezing (sub-freezing sounds colder than upper-20s) temps?

The "Frozen Tundra" of Patoka Valley Long Rifles:


Anyway, we usually dress pre-1840 for shoots, but on the paper range, we go more modern -- especially in extreme cold and heat.

So, back to being too busy to give original writing much thought . . .

I thought I would pinch something from a book I'm scanning titled The Gospel According to The Beatles by Steve Turner.  It's a paragraph about early rock 'n' roll:

"The enemies of rock 'n' roll were coldness, inhibition, and lifeless conformity.  Its friends were passion, spontaneity, individuality, and imagination."

Passion and imagination were found among outsiders, those who had no significant stake in society -- blacks, petty criminals, delinquents, deviants, boboes, gypsies, junkies.  Rock 'n' roll was largely forged by such outsiders.

"The music rarely articulates what it was against," Turner writes.   "Its values were primarily communicated through its spirit."

There you have this week's keywords to add to the tune of your life:
Passion, Spontaneity, Individuality, and Imagination.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, January 24, 2019

As an old news photographer . . .

Funny, I Googled the guy (Tess Flanders) who came up with the notion that "A picture is worth a thousand words," and couldn't come up with a picture of him. 

Anyway, the English language idiom refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single picture, this picture conveys its meaning or essence more effectively than a description does.

Take this now-famous image, for example:


Yes, a picture may, in fact, be worth a thousand, ten-thousand, ten-million words.  But, are they accurate?

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn