Monday, October 26, 2020

Another NFL-less Sunday

This week I spent my Sunday out in the woods -- and then packing up from a weekend in the woods.
 
It started Friday by setting up camp for our black powder muzzle loading club's "Fall Rendezvous."
A Rendezvous is a weekend of camping, cooking over open fires and in dutch ovens, shooting competitions at various targets, throwing a knife and hawk, etc. 
 
I got set up just in time for . . . 

 
We spent the rest of Friday night hunkered down under our primitive canvas. And, as the temperatures dropped, under wool blankets.

I would like to share one other photo.  This is J.B. starting a fire with flint and steel.  What makes this photo special is that in the far background is his grandson and the wide-eyed youngster looking on is J.B.'s great-grandson.  Just a beautiful example of a family sharing a hobby. 

This shot got me thinking a lot about passion (in this case for a hobby) and action.  Starting a fire with flint and steel requires planning (you need a flint, hard steel, usually some charred cloth to hold a spark, and some sort of nest that will catch fire). Then you need to strike the steel just right to create sparks.  Add a little oxygen and, hopefully, you've got fire.  

What action and sparks will I take the rest of this week?  Well, it will start with cleaning a truck-load of dirty, smelly camping equipment out of my truck.  But, it was all worth it.
 
Planning -- Action -- Sparks -- Fire! 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn



Monday, October 19, 2020

This Goes Along With Yesterday's Post

I Thought this was pretty good.  Stolen off Facebook (I know, I know.  What the hell was I doing on Facebook!?). 


Carpe diem Life,

David Kuhn

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Week 6: xobparc

 And, I might add:  aidem laicos !

According to Robert Ringer (see last week's post), there is an organized conspiracy that revolves around a device whose purpose is to dull our senses and steer us away from thoughts that might inspire us to take action to BETTER our existence.  The code word for this device is xobparc.  I'm adding aidem laicos  (which, by coincidence, is crapbox and social media spelled backward).

I can't even begin to tell you how much of my precious life I've given away to these desensitizing "eraf parc."  And the LFN has been big part of it.  No more!

I do have a CHOICE!


So, on today's agenda:
  • Create targets for my black powder muzzle loading club shoot next weekend.  Some of those targets involve created in the woodworking shop.  It's also our Primitive Camp, so I need to start preparing for that.
  • Pack to go up north to see older daughter and the grandkids (okay, and son-in-law, too).
  • Finally, after running some errands, a pizza dinner with younger daughter.  
 
Thank you Robert Ringer for reminding me that I do have a choice.  It's up to me to start taking constructive action -- instead of watching over-paid athletes.  
 
Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 



Sunday, October 11, 2020

Week 5:  No NFL, NBA, MLB, College Football . . . 

Projects.  A conscious decision to work on accomplishing a project instead of donating three hours of my time watching a game.
 
This week's project involved moving out a good portion of a utility closet, adding a shelving unit,  and cleaning out a pantry.  It's our first step to having space to hoard food and paper goods for when the upcoming apocalypse begins to devour us (in reality, we've just always thought it would be a good idea to have shelves in there and 35-years later is as good a time as ever).  

Action.


All this process has reminded me of the American business philosopher Robert Ringer.  His philosophy, in part, states that the most important success habit when it comes to determining how an individual's life plays out is ACTION!  Ideas can be precious commodities that can change the world.  Sound preparation is invaluable.  Knowledge and wisdom are essential when it comes to giving one an edge in the pursuit of great achievements.  But . . . 
 
IT'S ALL USELESS WITHOUT ACTION.  Because ACTION is the starting point of all progress.  It is action that cuts the umbilical cord and brings an idea out of the womb. 

So, what's the critical ingredient?  Getting off my butt and doing something. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn


 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Today is week four of my "not-going-to-call-it-a-boycott" boycott of the NFL.  As of now, I've yet to watch a second of college football, NFL, MLB, NBA.  In place of donating my time to these gazillion dollar organizations, I've been working on projects.
 
Today (besides a shift at work), I'm working on finishing up a couple of boxes I built for my primitive camping.  The one on the right holds my cast iron cookware.  The "crate" on the left will hold a few other cooking items.  
 

Nothing special to look at, but functional.
 
I'm also working on a song with the working title, "Buzzards on a Roadkill" (just a whimsical tale). 
Next, I'm going to go out and enjoy the evening out under the stars.
 
Finally, a couple parting quotes I read today:
  • Experience is a hard teacher:  It gives the test first, the lesson afterward. -- Zig Ziglar
  • Problems produce patience; patience produces persistence; persistence produces character; character produces hope; hope produces power. -- Zig Ziglar
  • If you don't find peace in yourself, you will never find it anywhere else. -- Paula A. Bendry
 
Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 
  


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Solar Lights, Hot Dog Roasting Sticks, and TP

I belong to a black powder shooting club that owns forty acres in Pike County, Indiana.
Recently, we discovered that a homeless man from around the area has discovered our camp and has made it his home from time to time while no one is around.

A while back, one of our members discovered him and politely asked him to leave and never come back. We then put up a trail camera to monitor the club house and road.  This weekend, we discovered that a solar light from the outhouse, all the toilet paper, a handful of hot dog roasting sticks, AND the trail cam have gone missing.  

There really is no moral to this story.  No Carpe diem lesson.  Just a story.

Which brings me around to camping this weekend.  

I usually camp in a primitive canvas tent to reenact pre-1840 history.  This weekend I broke out a new “modern” tent that purchased to someday use on an overnight with grandson.


Camping.  There are a lot of invaluable life lesson to learn from camping.  
  • First, it’s great to unplug.  If social media is a cancer, nature is the remedy. 

  • Camping builds and strengthens bonds — especially around a campfire.

  • Nature wakens your senses (it’s a little scary, which is good for you).

  • You tend to bring too much stuff, but never exactly what you need.
  • So, Camping challenges you to adapt, improvise and overcome.
  • Cooking with fire is primal and just damn awesome.   
  • Sleeping out under the stars awakens a spiritual bond.

Today I’m back to civilization (or un-civil civilization) and I’m continuing my not-calling-it-a-boycott boycott of the NFL.  Instead of watching a game, I’m going to spend three hours cleaning up my camp gear and getting ready for the next adventure. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn




Monday, September 21, 2020

What a Difference a Game Makes

 Or, to be more precise, NOT watching a NFL game.

And, to be even more precise, NOT watching three or four games.  

109 blocks later.  Some leveling here and there.  Some fixing one problem and creating two others . . . 

Carpe diem Life,

David Kuhn


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Week Two

 “If the people don’t want to come out to the ball park, nobody’s gonna stop ‘em” — Yogi Berra

Well, it’s “Operation Zero NFL” Week Two — 17 weeks (at least) of CHOOSING to not watch the NFL.  In its place, I’ve come up with a list of activities to consciously do in place of a three hour game.

Last week we knocked out housecleaning after a weekend with grandchildren.

This week, I’m taking advantage of a glorious day to deconstruct a 30-year-old landscaping timber wall and replace it with a landscaping block wall.  Won’t get it all done in three hours, but it’s a start. 

“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. — Chinese proverb

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, September 14, 2020

Thanks Charles


I’m hearing more and more people saying that they are fed up with the NFL (and profession and even college sports as a whole).  And, I’m hearing the word “boycott” bantered about more frequently. 

According to my sources (yes, Wikipedia), a boycott is an act of nonviolent, voluntary and intentional abstention from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for moral, social, political, or environmental reasons. The purpose of a boycott is to inflict some economic loss on the target, or to indicate a moral outrage, to try to compel the target to alter an objectionable behavior.

The origin of the word “boycott” dates back to the 19th century from the name of Captain Charles C. Boycott (1832–97).  During the Irish “Land War” of the late 1800s, a British Captain by the name of Charles Boycott was the land agent of an absentee landlord called Lord Erne in County Mayo, Ireland.



 

I, too, I have CHOSEN stop watching sports anymore.  No necessarily "to inflict some economic loss on the target, or to indicate a moral outrage, to try to compel the target to alter an objectionable behavior" but for a number of reason all piled up on top of each other like fighting over a fumble.  I stopped watching the NBA after Jordan and Bird.  Stopped watching MLB after the strike in the mid-90s cancelled the World Series.  And stopped watching the NFL when, well, there are just too many reasons to list.  BUT, I don’t think of it as actually boycotting anything.  I prefer to think of it as choosing to DO more meaningful things.

A typical football game is three hours long.  The NFL season is 17 weeks plus playoffs.  What can I do in three hour blocks for 17 weeks to improve my life?  Just something for me to think about this week.  You? 

Yes, I do believe in something:  My time.  Even if it means sacrificing watching sports. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Un-Social Media and A Vulgar Man

 I find it interesting that many people on un-social media call tRump the most vulgar American president ever.  He is also called a bully. 

That got me thinking about another president.  

Like many Americans, the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, 36th President, is a distant memory. I was only three when he took office after the assassination  John F. Kennedy.  And for those young folks out there who think THESE times unprecedented.  I remember the assassination Bobby Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and social turmoil reported on the evening news each night.

Somehow during all that,  Johnson was essential to the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, the Voting Rights Act and even the Public Broadcasting Act. How did he get so much done?  In part, it was “The Johnson Treatment.”

The ‘Treatment’ in a nutshell:

According to historian Alex Brown, “The Johnson Treatment” typically involved invading the personal space of the target – Johnson taking advantage of his substantial bulk – and attacking with a disorientating stream of flattery, threats, and persuasion that would leave the target unable to counter.

“If he did counter,” Brown writes, “Johnson would press on relentlessly. It was evocatively described as like having, a large St. Bernard licking your face and pawing you all over.”

And vulgar?

From the article "The most vulgar American president ever? It sure as #$@!%* isn't Donald Trump" National Post & Scott Van Wynsberghe

“As the world awaits the next nasty utterance from Donald Trump, one can only marvel at how history itself has ended up in (language alert!) — a “shithole.” Amid the chronic shock and horrified reactions, people have become blind to the fact that he is not (yet) the most disgusting U.S. president in living memory. That title actually belongs to a Texan Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson, a howling, flatulent tormentor of women whose cussing and racism remain breathtaking today. And if you’re offended by Trump’s level of vulgarity, you really — really — don’t want to read any further.”

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/the-most-vulgar-american-president-ever-it-sure-as-isnt-donald-trump

Ol’ LBJ must have been one colorful character.  Sure would be interesting to see how he’d handle THESE so-called unprecedented times.  One thing is for sure, the more things change the more they stay the same.  

"If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: 'President Can't Swim.'"— LBJ

Here are a few other odds and ends Johnson is credited with saying:

I may not know much, but I know chicken shit from chicken salad.Don't Spit in the Soup, We All Gotta Eat

Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize Oh man....I could be eating a slow learner.

John F. Kennedy was the victim of the hate that was a part of our country. It is a disease that occupies the minds of the few but brings danger to the many.


- - -

Just a little history lesson that solves nothing. But, as Lyndon B. Johnson observed:

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, August 31, 2020

A President, A King, A Poet, and a Rattlesnake

Damn, there sure is a lot of hate out there.   Guess there always has been.  

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, often spoke of hate. 

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ―  Nelson Mandela

So, where is all this hate coming from? And, what is the answer?   

I

Is there any hope?  Ol’ Rattlesnake, an 1870s mountain man, thought so:

“There ain’t no cloud so thick that the sun ain’t shinning on t’other side”

We'll just have to somehow find a way to rise above today's dark cloud -- and find the light and inner peace.

Carpe diem Life

David Kuhn 

Friday, August 28, 2020

I Don't Care

I read a comment on social media the other day that basically said, "If you don't care [about what's going in the political world] you're part of the problem!"
 
I don't care.
 
When it comes to saying I don’t “care” anymore, note that care has two different meanings, according to Dr. Joseph Parent, a performance psychologist and author of Zen Golf. The difference comes down to care as in “to take an interest in” and care as in “to worry about.” 

Yes, I care about what I'm doing.  I care about my family, community, country, world, Universe.  But, let's face it, most of it is out of my control.  Out of my care.   Says Dr. Parent,  “Worry about results makes you think ‘Be careFULL.’ Now you don’t want to go to the other side and become careLESS, you want instead to be careFREE.”

Striving to live CareFREE.  That's something I can care about.  

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

 

 

 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Trying Not to be Political

Okay, I'm trying to stay out of this whole political sausage that's being made out there.  It's not that I don't care, it's just that if we disagree I know that there is absolutely nothing I can say to change your mind.
 
But, this is an open letter to the Biden campaign:
 
Having spent a few years in advertising and marketing, I have to ask, What the heck is going on here?
 
Just because it rhymes doesn't make it good.  "Ridin With Biden"?  Ridin where?  And, to be perfectly honest, ridin with any 77-year old makes me a little nervous. And that image?  Just plain creepy.
 Wow.  There's a lot going on here.  Rainbow. Star. Raised Fist.  "Our best days still lie ahead".

Lie ahead?  
Lie? Like in falsehood? A white lie? Black lie? Rainbow lie? 
Lie? Like rest and take no action regarding a controversial or problematic matter?
Lie? Like to lie up?  To refrain from work, especially through ill health?
 
I'm just asking.  Next question, who is going to write their campaign jingle, Five Man Electrical Band?
 
Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Just a Rare Photo

I'm the unofficial official photographer for our Black powder muzzle loading rifle club.  I rarely take photos of myself, but today . . . 

I sort of had to because every once in a while a blind pig finds an acorn. Yep, I won today's shoot.

According to some site out there:  If you're having a tough time finding something, remember that even a blind pig can find an acorn once in a while. This encouraging idiom actually comes from ancient Rome, where the concept of a blind animal turning something up lent itself to the Latin saying that a blind dove sometimes finds a pea.
 
Pig, dove, acorn, pea . . .   today I found one. 

You all have a great weekend and be safe out there.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, August 17, 2020

Monday Rants

So, those of you who know me know that I’m not a big fan of watching news.  I just saw too much “sausage making” when I started my career in a news room.  Then too many production nightmares when I directed. 

But, this morning I got on Facebook (why? why? why?) for the heck of it.  One acquaintance wrote a manifesto about how he’s disappointed that more people don’t post criticism of the state of U.S. affairs: The lies, the corruptions, the shredding the Constitution, "trying to undermine and destroy the foundation of our democracy, the right to vote. .  " the whatever.  He says that he’s suffering anxiety and loosing sleep over it.

One word:  Melatonin

Or, five words:  Get the F&$K off of Facebook!

And what’s all this I hear about the tragedy that is the “destroying” the U.S. Postal Service?

What?  For years — perhaps as long as I can remember — the U.S. Postal Service has been the butt of jokes.  An easy target, in fact.  Postal service jokes don’t even need much setup: It’s all in the delivery!

Now all the sudden people are acting as if it’s the most efficient, well-oiled machine on the planet?  Fascinating.


Anyway, just a couple of rants to start the day. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, August 14, 2020

More Than Enough



One more thought from John Seymour written a few decades ago:

The real craftsman does not need more than enough. In our times of social mobility, everyone is after more than enough. We no longer ask, "What is our product worth?" or "How much do I need?" But, "how much can I get?" . . . And more than enough is what they feel they require. A planet on which every inhabitant tries to get more than enough is a planet that is in for a hard time. And in the final reckoning I am sure that having more than enough does not make us more happy. What makes a person happy is doing work that he or she loves doing and is superbly good at, being fairly paid for it, and having it properly appreciated.

Worth. Enough. Appreciated.

My daughter took her five-year old son into Louisville yesterday to see the beautiful city from where she was graduated college -- University of Louisville.  She was sickened to see that the once proud and thriving 4th Street area is still boarded up and graffiti-plagued from the past months "protests."

Enough is enough!

A planet on which every inhabitant tries to get more than enough is a planet that is in for a hard time. 

We've got to find a way!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Forgotten Crafts; Forgotten Joy

John Seymour — from across the pond — wrote a book in the mid-80s titled Forgotten Crafts, A Guide to Forgotten Skills.

He introduces the book thusly (wow, that sounds pretentious, doesn’t it?):  “Practically every artifact that a person uses nowadays can be made from oil-derived plastic, in a large factory by machine-minders [or even robots] whose chief quality is their ability to survive lives of intense boredom.”

True, these “artifacts” do their jobs well.  But, they are ugly and short-lived.  Where is the joy in that?

What can I do?

Slowly and steadily I can rid my house of mass-produced, built oversees by slave labor factories CRAP!  Either live without it or, even better, replace it with quality, hand-crafted items by my neighbors.  Yes, “Buy Local!”  

When you buy from your neighbor craftsman, you’re adding joy to the world. “What makes a person happy,” writes Seymour, “is doing work that he or she loves doing and is superbly good at, being fairly paid for it, and having it properly appreciated.”  

And we enjoy using it.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Random Thoughts To End The Week

Just a few random thoughts to end the week:

So, I made a vow not to argue with people on social media.  One “Friend” is probably the most hateful person regarding one particular “turd” — as he calls him — and all other manner of life.  He shares a lot of “occupy” and “ridin’ with” sites (it's not so much the message that I disagree with, it's more the tone).  Anyway, this morning he was bitching because his doctor has prescribed blood pressure medicine to fight his hypertension and type 2 diabetes.  So, I commented:

“My doctor prescribed refraining from posting, sharing, arguing, being negative on Facebook.”

My question is, “Is this arguing?”

_ _ _

I bought a new summer hat.  It’s sort of a panama-style hat.  

_ _ _

“Who invented the brush they put next to the toilet.  That thing hurts!” — Andy Andrews

_ _ _

I received a complement at work this week for the way I handle one part of my job: “I wish everyone did it this way.”   All I did was take the instructions given to me — by a committee who has never had to do the job and has never even taken the time to monitor it or even ask my input — and then revised it the way that made more sense to me (Shhh, don't tell anyone). 

_ _ _

Which reminds me of . . .  I once worked for a company that had a Big $ V.P. who was in charge of solving problems.  He had a sign on his door, “Problems welcome.  Bring Solutions.”  And that was his philosophy.  He didn’t last all that long.  True story.

_ _ _

From some guy named Guy.  Guy Kawasaki, Reality Check

People who earn the label “creative” are really just people who come up with more combinations of ideas, find interesting ones faster, and are willing to try them out.  The problem is that most schools and organizations train us out of those habits.

Speaking of art.  Here’s an interesting thought:  Know that your life is content.  Look at everything as material for your art.  Everything in your life is content for your art.  

Below:  Artwork at Garvin Park (seen on a walk last week)


And finally, 

“In these times, more than ever, I think it is very important to keep deep human affection — kindness is crucial to our society and to our survival.”  That was written decades ago by some guy.  A guy named His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, July 31, 2020

Too Many Walls

When I was a kid, my buddies and I would ride our bikes many miles down to the Ohio River and explore.  We were looking for beer cans to add to our collections; mostly we just wanted to escape to a foreign land.  Our most favorite site was under the twin bridges that connect Indiana and Kentucky (Evansville to Henderson). 

Turn the page decades: Yesterday I was filling up the truck with cheap Kentucky gas at the Trocadero Plaza (north side of bridges, but technically in Kentucky) and decided to hike down to that forgotten, foreign land. 


Today's thought:  We build too many walls and not enough bridges.     -- Isaac Newton

Carpe diem Life,

David Kuhn

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Banjos, Fiddles, Whiskey, and Social Media

The paragraph comes from an old banjo instruction book:

These banjo and fiddle bands were an important part of rural society.  When the community would pitch in at a "working" such as a log rolling, a barn raising or a corn shucking, whoever was hosting the working would make sure to invite local musicians to play for a dance. . .   More often than not, these musicians were "paid" with homemade moonshine whiskey.  No wonder that fire-and-brimstone preachers often accused banjo and fiddle players of being "the devil's stalking horses." 

The devil's stalking horses?

Never heard that one before (But, I think I'm going to make that my first banjo tune if I ever learn to play the darn thing).

Turns out, a stalking-horse is a horse behind which a hunter hides while stalking game.  Something serving to conceal plans.  And, a fictitious reason that is concocted in order to conceal the real reason. 

Is it possible that I've been seeing a lot of "stalking horses" on social media lately and didn't even realize that it's been a real thing for centuries?

"He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit." -- William Shakespeare

Off to write a banjo tune.  Need a word that rhymes with a horse, of course. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Hear, Speak, See

Just something that I saw in a gift shop window. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, July 20, 2020

I once received a fortune cookie . . .

I once received a fortune cookie that read, "You see pictures in poems and poems in pictures." 

Here is a picture from this weekend's adventure.  I was looking for an interesting shot of storm clouds moving in on us at the Johnson Country, Indiana 4-H Fairgrounds.

A poem might start something like:

Country Music blared from . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, July 17, 2020

A few days off

I'll be taking a few days off away from "normal" life.  Plus, I'll have a heavy work schedule next week. 

One parting thought:

"The greatest need of our time is to clean out the information rubbish that clutters our minds and makes all political and social life a mass illness.  Without the house cleaning, we cannot begin to SEE.  Unless we SEE, we cannot think."  -- Thomas Merton.


I don't know when that was written, but Thomas Merton died in 1968.

Thomas Merton OCSO was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. On May 26, 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name "Father Louis".    
 
Clean out > information rubbish > clutters the mind > makes political and social life a mass illness!

A mass illness (again, written decades ago). 

True, I tend to get so much information -- and misinformation -- all day long that I lose connection of my common sense.  

It's good to take time to hunt cicada shells, look at rare comets such as C/2020 F3, NEOWISE, listen to bluebirds sing (wow, that sounds very Disney-esque).  

Anyway, going to take some time this weekend to spend time with people I love(with masks), and SEE, and THINK.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, July 13, 2020

First Find of the Season

Words can't explain why, but I still get excited when I find one of these guys:
My first find of the season.

This year it's a reminder that no matter how crazy this world is (when has it not been) I can still find child-like joy in nature. 

Here are some other random thoughts:

How do you keep going?  Take one day at a time.

The only thing you can control is how you spend your time. 

"None of us know what will happen.  Don't spend time worrying about it.  Make the most beautiful thing you can.  Try to do that every day.  That's it." -- Laurie Anderson 

"Turn on, tune in, drop out" is a counterculture-era phrase popularized by Timothy Leary in 1966. In 1967, Leary spoke at the Human Be-In, a gathering of 30,000 hippies in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and phrased the famous words, "Turn on, tune in, drop out".

Writer Austin Kleon has a new phrase for these crazy times, "Log off. Mute all. Carry on." 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kunn  






Saturday, July 11, 2020

I will not argue with strangers (or friends) on the internet.


"Think for yourself!" goes the old cliche.  But, as Austin Kleon writes, "But the truth is: We can't.  We need people to help us think.  Interacting with people who DON'T share our perspective forces us to rethink our ideas, strengthen our ideas, or trade our ideas for better ones."

I can't tell you how many times I've recently found myself typing a comment to someone's post on the internet.   "Listen, you idiot . . ." is how they usually begin (at least that's the hidden meaning when I literally start with, "With all due respect . . .").

When you think about it, thinking independently of other human beings is impossible.  Thinking is social.  Everything you think is a response to what someone else has thought and said.

Maybe, instead of like-minded people, we need to start hanging out with like-hearted people?  People who are open, have the habit of listening, who are generous, kind, caring, thoughtful . . .

Writer and thinker Alan Jacobs suggests hanging out with people who, when you say something, actually think about it -- rather than just simply reacting.

Reacting.  I've been doing a lot of that lately.  And, fortunately, hitting the delete button.  Time for me to CHOOSE to seek out the people with whom I feel a like-hearted connection.

All the others?



Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn







 

Monday, July 6, 2020

Early Morning Walk

 “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Decided to take a walk this morning before I did anything else.  I had a motive.  

Yesterday, I noticed that the neighbors up the hill have a “crop” of unique mushrooms growing in their yard:  Fairy Rings!  And, I wanted to snap a photo before they were mowed down. 
My Research Department (Wikipedia) says:  A fairy ring, also known as fairy circle, elf circle, elf ring, or pixie ring, is a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms. The rings may grow to over 33 ft. in diameter, and they become stable over time as the fungus grows and seeks food underground.

Just something beautiful to take notice of today. 

Mind the Fairy Rings!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Daylilies Take 3

I thought I was finished writing about daylilies.  After all,  they're not that interesting.  But . . .

I thought today would be just another average June day.  And maybe it is, but it's awesomely foggy out there this morning.  You know, one of those mornings where you walk up, look out the window and think, "Wow, that's different."

So, I just had to go back and take one more shot of the daylilies (they're not yet awake this morning).

Also curious, the yard is full of these delicate-looking spider webs (at least I guess they are delicate and I guess they are spider webs -- what do I know). 

Just a couple of observations.  Treasures.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Daylilies Take Two

Shortly after I posted yesterday's blog, this happened:

Now, this is the creek in its "normal" state:
 And, surviving underneath all that floodwater -- once again:
A tree with strong roots can withstand the most violent storm, but the tree can’t grow roots just as the storm appears on the horizon.     
Dalai Lama

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Lesson from Daylilies

It’s that time of year:  “wild” orange daylily time.   Everywhere you look — including along the ditch in our back yard.

 

According to Ray Allen, Founder of AmericanMeadows.com, Daylilies, the most popular perennials of them all.

In the United States and Canada, it all started with the original "wild" orange daylily.  In fact, many North Americans think the tough old orange one they see in old gardens and along roadsides is a native wildflower, but it really isn't. No daylily is native to North America; most hail from Asia. But that old orange Asian species, called Hemerocallis fulva, is still popular, and it's everywhere. In fact, in its homeland, China, and Korea, it's more than just another pretty flower; the buds have been roasted and eaten as part of the Asian diet for centuries.

These things are tough.  Really tough.  If you want to go to the countryside and rob a few from the ditch bed, you’ll need a strong shovel and a stronger back.  Maybe that’s because they are no stranger to adversity. 

Over the past couple of days, we’ve had some pretty torrential rains causing flash flooding.  I looked back the other day and daylilies were completely submerged in rushing, debris-filled water.  Still, even after another storm last night, there they are in all their orange glory.  A little bent over, but nothing a day of sunshine won’t cure.

An old zen saying goes something like, “What the student calls a tragedy, the master calls a butterfly.”  In this case, it’s called a daylily.  Good to think about as we travel through these rough and winding roads these days.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, June 29, 2020

i.e. Bitter / Better

The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter. 
-- Anon

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Rainbows and Mobbing

Dateline: Our House, 4 A.M. 
Hooting sound right outside our window (at least it sounded as if it were right outside our window).

Hooting:  “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?”

I love this distinctive hooting call of the Barred Owl — even when it rattles me out of bed at 4 A.M.


Turn the page a couple of hours.

This morning’s “coffee on the deck” session was shared with a host of other birds.  A rainbow of colors (though I doubt it had anything to do with Noah’s Ark, Gay Pride, or NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon’s old team).  This morning’s lineup included: Goldfinches, Chickadees, Cardinals, Eastern Bluebirds, Blue Jays, Pileated Woodpecker (heard in the distance), and WAY up in the sky a small bird harassing a larger bird like a WWI aerial dogfight.

What’s up with that?  Have you ever see that before.  Truth be told, I’ve seen it a few times — just never stopped to think about it.  Turns out that there is a name for it:  Mobbing!

Smaller birds chase predators out of their territories so that they will be safer. Mobbing usually does not harm the larger bird, although you may see blackbirds or kingbirds making contact with crows, hawks, or herons as they drive them off. 

Mobbing.  

Been seeing that a lot these days with humans.  Funny thing though, we humans seem to do it not to protect and feel safe but to destroy. 

Guess our little birds back in the nest are on their own to try to make sense of it all.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, June 22, 2020

Summer Solstice and . . .

We just reached the Summer Solstice.  The official start of summer and the halfway point of one unusual year.

Headline the other day:  Rare solar eclipse darkens Asia on the summer solstice.

Eclipse darkens . . .  How appropriate.

In many ways, it has certainly been one dark first half of 2020. 

One of the latest phrases that have been coined and entered our daily lives is "Phase."   You know, as in "Indiana is now entering in Phase Three of returning back to the new normal."  (Haha, other States  are only on Phase One or Two).

Anyway, all this reminded me of the sun and the moon.  They don't give a shit about what's going on down here, they just keep on keeping on. Which reminded me of this saying:

Over the years, I've seen a lot of art that includes the sun and the moon -- and not given it a second thought.  2020 has, to me, given the images new light.


Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, June 15, 2020

I'm Too Chicken

Fortunately, Suzanne and I still believe that this world can be a pretty cool place to get out and explore.  Especially little family-owned businesses that have been created and survived by generations of "roll-up-your-sleeves-and-work-tirelessly-to make-something-out-of-yourself-and-for-your-family" kind of business.  You know, the kind of places that generations of families from the community have supported through thick and thin.

Well, this certainly has been a "thin" sort of year.

Dateline:  Ireland.  Well, Ireland, Indiana. 

We pull up to a small, brick restaurant right on Highway 56 outside of Jasper.   Opens in ten-minutes or so.  There are already of few people waiting to get in.  We get out of the car to the unmistakable aroma of fried chicken. 

The Chicken Place wasn't always the Chicken Place.  As the story goes, it used to be Leinenback Cafe.  However, so many people were calling information and asking for the number to that wonderful "chicken place" that the owners just decided to go with the fried flow and change the name. 


The History by current ower:
I would like to welcome you to the famous Chicken Place located in the heart of Ireland, IN. Originally opened its doors in 1948 by my Great-Uncle Amos Leinenbach as Leinenbach Cafe. Chicken Place is a staple of the Ireland community and its fine people. The chicken recipe was my Great-Grandmother's and is not found anywhere else but right here. We take pride in serving you the best food possible and to provide you with a fine dining experience. We are glad that you have chosen our restaurant to spend your evening with us and thank you for your business. Great food and great times are found right here at the Chicken Place.
 
So true. So true!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn