Monday, April 30, 2018

Primitive Camping and . . .

Spent the weekend at our black powder muzzleloading club's Spring Rendezvous.  A weekend of primitive camping, cooking with cast iron over open fire, muzzleloading and knife and hawk throwing competitions. 

 This was my home-away-from-home for a few days.
I'm in the background timing the fire starting with flint and steel competition.

On Sunday morning we hold a fun shoot.  After picking partners, we send them out on the course to tackle some more unique challenges that involve teamwork.

It also takes teamwork to put one of these events on.  

John Maxwell writes, "Nothing of SIGNIFICANCE was ever achieved by an individual acting alone.  One of the most important factors to success is TEAMWORK.  Without a team, leaders rely solely on themselves and their own skills.  There's less room for growth, innovation, and collaboration."

We participate in a Rendezvous, in part, to learn about our past.  They are also great teachers of how to succeed in the present and the future.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Friday, April 27, 2018


At dinner the other night, the subject of visiting Sir Winson Churchill's grave site came up.
We stumbled upon it outside of London, where the countryside opens up, at the Parish Church of St. Martins (Bladon).  What surprised me was the humble setting. 

After the largest ever state funeral help in the world up to that point, Sir Winston Churchill was laid to rest there in a private burial,  conducted by the rector. By contrast with the earlier service, only relatives and close friends were present. A very humble grave for one of the world's greatest men.

Churchill was once asked, "Doesn't it thrill you to know that every time you make a speech, the hall is packed to overflowing?"

Churchill responded, "It's quite flattering.  But whenever I feel that way, I always remember that if instead of making a political speech I was being hanged, the crowd would be twice as big."

Sir Winston certainly profited from adversity with a great spirit of humility.  He learned from his mistakes, failures, and losses.

Have a great weekend,

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, April 26, 2018


This post was written by my sister Karen via a text she sent me yesterday.  I'm sharing this becuase it so relates to my post yesterday.  First, some pictures: 

Her text in part:

Happy Birthday,Jeff and David! This magnificent 🌈 was April 23 at our house. No rain, so it had to have special significance. I realized the next day that it was the 5th anniversary of Mother’s passing.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousands words  -- and countless memories.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

For Every Season . . .

Happy Birthday to my twin brother Jeff.
Photo: Taken this date, 1983.  Granny Kuhn, Grandma Louie, Grandpa Louie, me, Jeff

Yesterday, I went to the cemetery to visit my parents' and grandparents' grave sites.  It's a monthly maintenance thing I do.  And, it's always nice to visit.  Everything is there for review:  birth, childhood, adolescence, teenage, marriage, family, death -- raising the questions of what shall I do with the little time I have left on this earth.

Wait, the phone is ringing.

Five minutes later:
That was my older daughter Amy and 2-year-old grandson Owen calling to wish me a happy birthday.  Admittedly, I didn't understand everything that Owen was excitedly trying to tell his Grandpa Kuhn.  But, it was precious.  They promised to call back when little Annabeth awakes.   At six-years-old, she sometimes has too much energy to go to sleep and ends up wandering the house or sneaking a flashlight and book under the covers of her bed and reading until she finally crashes.  Last night was one of those nights.  Too funny.

So, back to my original story.  I guess I just answered my own question.  St. Joseph cemetery marks Kuhn family stories going back to 1892 (the birth of my Grandpa Kuhn).  Happy Birthday wishes from my wife, Jeff, siblings, friends and that phone call a second ago reminds me of the present and the future. 

Wait, the phone is ringing again.  It's Annabeth calling . . .

Five minutes later:

For everything, there is a season . . .

John Kuhn
1892 - 1963

Clara Kuhn
1901 - 1990

Loretta Riley
1906 - 1985

John Riley
1902 - 1993

Charles Kuhn
1932 - 2007

Carolyn Kuhn
1932 - 2013

David Alan Kuhn
Born April 25, 1960 -- d ?

A reminder to enjoy the dash

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Thorn Bushes

I had some extra time yesterday, so I decided to take a walk aroundd the
Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association (Evansville, Indiana) Display Gardens located just off the Lloyd Expressway near Stockwell Road.  It’s an absolutely beautiful site with about 20 or so gardens.

The roses reminded me of a quote that I’ve seen attributed to J. Kenfield Morley:

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. It's all how you look at it.

I’m not really sure who this guy was, but I love the way he thought.  Thorn bushes with roses.  Brilliant.

Here’s one more quote I found that fits perfects (especially since I've moved away from one of my nearly-full-time jobs to pursue more part-time ventures:

I believe the recipe for happiness to be just enough money to pay the monthly bills you acquire, a little surplus to give you confidence, a little too much work each day, enthusiasm for your work, a substantial share of good health, a couple of real friends and a wife and children to share life's beauty with you.

Thank you,  J. Kenfield Morley, whoever you are!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, April 23, 2018

Zen and the Art of . . .

Somewhere along my life's path, I ran across the book Zen and the Art of Motorcyclntenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig.

Like most books of real intellectual substance, it was too, well, intellectual for my small, two-stroke engine of a brain to comprehend.

What made me think of this book is that I got an email from a friend who is vacationing in the mountains of North Carolina -- doing a lot of hiking and such.  And, the only quote I remember from "Zen and . . ." (which I had to look up because I really can't remember every cool quote I run across):

“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you're no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn't just a means to an end but a unique event in itself....To live only for some future goal is shallow. It's the sides of the mountains which sustain life, not the top.”
Friday, I left one of my jobs --after six years.  Today I start climbing new mountains.  Right now I'm thinking too much, but I hope to find my equilibrium and enjoy each step.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

P.S.  The above photo of Steve McQueen really has nothing to do with the post -- I just think he was a badass!

Saturday, April 21, 2018


"Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change." -- Bertrand Russell

That's where I was a couple of days ago -- needing hope, new enterprise, and change. 

Though I was working for a solid company with great co-workers and customers, there was no hope for future growth.  I want to say that I understand the economics of it, but I honestly don't.  I believe that everybody lives for and works for something better to come.  Having been told that there is no hope for better a position or financial growth, I decided to take a chance and venture down a new, unexplored path. 

Somewhere in the Bible, it says something about it being better to be a living dog than a dead lion (but don't quote me on that). 

So, this day forward, this old dog will go forth with courage as I grow and move ahead.

Have a great weekend.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, April 20, 2018

Hello darkness, my old friend . . .

The Sound of Silence.

It's my last day at one of my jobs.  Been with this company for nearly six years and finally decided that it was time.  Though I broke the news suddenly, it's been brewing for quite some time now.
In fact, I broke "standard protocol" and simply gave a one day notice.  I don't mean to burn any bridges, but I figured that it would be best -- like ripping a band-aid off instead slowly tugging (especially on a hairy part).

I broke the news suddenly at the end of the day.  Not exactly how I wanted to do it, but circumstances were what they were.  Today, word will filter through the company -- I calculate that it should take just under 30.23 seconds to move from the back to the front.  What will I say?

My Tao Te Ching lesson this morning just happened to be on "silence."  Here are some excerpts:

Practice the Power of Silence.  

The oneness that I seek from others will surface if I remember not to speak or even act.

If I catch myself pontificating. STOP!  Don't judge.  Just to return to silence.  Observe.

Those who know do not talk. Those who talk do not know.

Those who are compelled to pontificate and persuade are almost always tied to an attachment of some kind:  Point of view, being right, profiting . . . attachment.

Open mouth = spirit escapes.
Closed mouth = spirit connected.

Silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted.

And finally,

"Silence is sometimes the best answer." -- Dalai Lama

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Thursday, April 19, 2018


I played a lot of sports when I was younger.  Baseball was one of my favorite.  In fact, my high school team went 30-0 and won the State Championship -- no thanks to me.

Having suffered season-ending injuries from an auto accident my junior year, and then breaking the knuckle on my throwing hand at the start of my senior season, I pretty much sucked when I finally was healthy enough to play.   I was still okay as a catcher, but was more like Ray Charles at the plate.  I shouldn't say that, Ray would have probably at least hit something and looked better doing it.

The great major leaguer Bobby Murcer had a great insight into people who struggle at the plate:

You decide you'll wait for your pitch.  Then as the ball starts toward the plate, you think about your stance.  And then you think about your swing.  And then you realize that the ball that went past you for a strike was your pitch.

Today I'm going to swing for the fences.  I may not hit a home run, but I'm not going to go through life with the bat on my shoulder!

Here's to a new at-bat.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kun

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Artificer

While at the cabin the other day I read some from a Henry David Thoreau collection we keep there.  One line -- actually one word from one line -- jumped out at me:  Artificer.

"Man is the artificer of his own happiness."

ar·tif·i·cer  (är-tĭf′ĭ-sər)
1. A skilled worker; a craftsperson.
2. One that contrives, devises or constructs something

Synonyms included


    skilled worker


Today, I will practice being an artificer of my own happiness.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn


The artificer is also a playable character class in the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fantasy role-playing game.  Do you think Thoreau had buddies over at his cabin in the woods on Walden Pond?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Year Without Summer?

You know what they say, "Don't scoff at the weather. Without it, most people wouldn't know how to start a conversation -- or a blog."

Okay, so I mentioned yesterday that I was finally going to get to some "a round tuit" projects.  What I didn't count on was:  SNOW!

Yes, yesterday broke all kinds of records for coldest high temperatures, lowest low temps, snow so late in the year, etc.  At least in my lifetime which spans five decades and more than a few years.


But, have you ever heard about the year without summer?  The year was "18-hundred-and-froze-to-death."  1816.  For months,  even in the summer, much of the northeastern United States, Canada, and Europe experienced excessive rain, frost, and even snowfall. As a result, record people in unprecedented numbers started migrating south to warmer climates, crops would not grow so there were massive food shortages resulting in riots.  In the days before the "fair and balanced" news reporting that we have today, people must have believed that the sun was dying and that this event foretold of the end of the world. 

How is all that possible?  Just before sunset on April 5, 1815, a massive explosion shook the volcanic island of Sumbawa in the Indonesian archipelago.  For two hours, a stream of lava erupted from Mount Tambora, sending a plume of ash eighteen miles in the sky.  As a result, weather patterns were disrupted for months. 

Now you know some of the rest of the story. 

So, next time we have a day like yesterday, and people complain, you can reply, "Well, maybe it's another Mount Tambora and 2000-and froze-to-death!"  It would be a good way to start a conversation.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Round . . .

Today I'm going to work on a few "I'll get around to it someday" projects.

If you have a few of those, please print this out and add to your To-Do list.  You now have a Round Tuit.

(Corny, I know.  But, I do these things for myself)

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Ready, Fire, Aim

I spent some time last night with a couple of friends from my black powder muzzleloading club.  We met to dream up ideas for a fun novelty shoot at our Spring Rendezvous.  The idea of this part of the shoot is to make it, well, novel. 

A lot of ideas were thrown out there including hitting moving targets, driving a nail in a board with one shot (we're talking lead round balls at 13 or more yards), splitting a string or feather, etc. 

One year we blindfolded the shooter and his partner had to talk him through where to aim and to fire when he was "on target."  Even though the shooters had plenty of direction, ZERO accomplish this feat. 

Guess it's like that in life.  Damn near impossible to hit a target or a goal you can't see.

Today, I'm going to get some of my goals in focus and take my best shot.

Have a great weekend.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Golden Mean

I spent the morning laying out and editing a promotional flier for a friend. 

While waiting for an answer for a couple of questions I had, I pulled another un-red old book off my shelf describing "The Golden Mean."

The Golden Mean basically proportions a method of dividing a line or shape in an aesthetically pleasing way.  In the book, I stumbled on an interesting phrase:  Variety with unity.

Here's hoping you have a day with variety with unity.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Higher Point

I awoke this morning thinking that this was going to be another uneventful day.  But, then I opened my email and saw that my daughter had sent me a link to my 6-year old granddaughter's dance performances from this past weekend (we've been unable to attend this season).

I was in awe to see how much she has improved.  How many new dance tricks she has learned.  And most important, the huge smile on her face.  She is genuinely having a wonderful time.

She is reaching a higher point with every practice and every performance.  She is exercising her strength every day in order to climb higher tomorrow.

All that brings such happiness to me. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Went searching for a rubber band . . .

Went searching for a rubber back this morning.
Couldn’t find one.  Are rubber bands becoming less and less popular?  God, we used to have drawers full of them.  Now, I can’t find one to save my life (not that I was needing one to save my life this morning, just to wrap some non-clinging plastic wrap around a half open can of dog food.  And, what ever happened to really good clingy plastic wrap?).

Anyway, I eventually found one.  It worked.

All this reminded me of the principle:  A rubber band doesn’t “work” unless it’s stretched.

Sort of like our mind, our bodies, or talents. 

I think ol’ Zig Ziglar was right:   “People and rubber bands have one thing in common: ... “Nothing will work unless you do.”

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Escape Over The Walls

As Robert Fulghum wrote, there are times when we need to "Go on.  Escape over the wall of your asylum."

I did that yesterday.  Well, just a little bit.  Got out of my comfort zone to explore the possibilities of new horizons.  It was uncomfortable.  But, isn't that the way to "Go on"?

Every day I stand by the side of the road next to a broken cart and wonder who will pull it for me to the next adventure.  With support from my wife, yesterday I pulled the cart myself -- a few steps, at least. Who knows what will be at the next stop.  One thing is certain: it will be a completely different landscape with a different view of the sunrise and sunset.

"Look through the lens of passion and joy.
Be a-mused -- the muse that laughs.
Always ask the next question.
Always take the long way around.
Always turn back two blocks short of the abyss.
Go on.  You may.
Be as many people as need be.
Never go back the way you came.
Go on.  Do it yourself.
Go on. Never quit.
Go on. Never finish.
Go on. Flourish."
 -- Robert Fulghum

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Once upon a time . . .

I read a line the other day about practicing humility.  It was something like, "The doctor may be the smartest man in the village, but he's not as smart as a doctor and a peasant together."

Hmmm?  So, here's the story that's running through my head:

Once upon a time, there was a village of farm peasants. 
The village had one doctor who knew he was the smartest man in the village and never missed an opportunity to let everyone he met know that he was, in fact, the smartest man in the village. 
One day (because every "Once upon a time . . . " story needs a "One day . . .") the peasants, who had always paid for the doctor's services with the food that they had grown and harvested, got fed up and decided to stop going to the doctor. 

The peasants took great satisfaction in watching the doctor, who did not know how to grow anything of substance, wither away.  The doctor, who was too proud to beg for food, eventually starved to death.

There was a tremendous celebration in the village as they celebrated the death of this most arrogant man.  

Then one day, a villager became very ill.  And . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Sunday, April 8, 2018


I mentioned a couple of weeks ago (and started posting some notes) that I was thinking about writing a personal "manifesto".

Google "Manifesto" and check out the images and you'll see a nice  verity of what people are creating out there.

From what I’ve read, a personal manifesto is a declaration of your core values and beliefs and how you intend to intentionally live your life.  A call to action. 

Here are some other terms I’ve read that are associated with manifesto:
Mechanism for focusing
Source of motivation
Behavior modification system

Just to name a few

This won’t be an easy assignment, but it could be the most powerful thing I ever write.  Let the adventure begin.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Saturday, April 7, 2018

No matter how long the winter,

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. ~Proverb



It's been one month since I dug out my bike rack out of the garage and installed it on my vehicle.  I believe that it has rained or snowed every day since.  

Oh well, it is a beautiful day!

Carpe diem Life, 
David Kuhn 

Friday, April 6, 2018

I took a sip of coffee . . .

So, I sit down to write today's post
Take a sip of coffee out of my
"All You Need Is Love"
Coffee Mug
I start to sneeze
To late to shallow
Or spit the coffee back into my
All You Need is Love"
Coffee Mug
The sneeze comes
Coffee erupts out my nose!
Now everything smells
Of burt coffee.


Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Prayer in Progress Part 17 of __?__

A few more random quotes and notes to consider: 

"Find a way or make a way."
Mike Ditka

Think things through.  Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.

Time is Life.
#1 Goal -- Be active
Be Outside
Say "yes" to more opportunities and experiences (vs. TV).
Nothing happens until something moves!
Happiness walks on busy feet.

Muster the strength, courage, confidence . . .
to learn new things and to take risks necessary to achieve my dreams and unlimited potential.

It's easier to change what I'm doing/thinking than to change what someone else is doing/thinking.

Silence is sometimes the best thing said; nothing is sometimes the best action.

Endeavor to engage.

Practice patience.  Practice tolerance.

Manifest Plainess.
Embrace Simplicity.
Reduce Selfishness
Have few desires.
 -- Lau Tzu

There is no limit to the Universe.  Th greatest resource is the mind filled with ideas and thoughts that show us how to build and to create the things our imaginations can conceive!

Imagination embraces the entire world.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Prayer in Progress 15 of __?__

There is one way to turn the unknown into the known. Start climbing.

The path is taken by walking and not by thinking about it.

“You can't plow a field simply by turning it over in your mind.”
― Gordon B. Hinckley

Caarpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Prayer in Progress Part 14 of __?__

"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men`s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever- growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think Big."
-- Daniel Burnham; US Architect, 19th Century

Monday, April 2, 2018

Prayer in Progress Part 13 of __?__

If you've just stumbled upon this blog, I'm currently working on notes from an on-going journal called Prayer in Progress.  I'm working on this now in hopes of creating a personal manifesto.  So, a lot of this may be used -- or may not.  We shall see.  Again, I apologize to all the authors that I borrowed some of these lines from and have not credited. 

Here goes the next few notes:

Today and every day I will reach out, share, smile, love, and create.  I will work to improve myself and help others.  I will make it better than I found it.  And "it" is a spectacular word (and "better" is subjective. So, I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this one).

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."  "The End" by The Beatles.

Plan Purposely
Prepare Properly
Proceed Positively
Pursue Persistently

The greatest essentials of happiness are:
Something to DO.  Something to LOVE. Something to HOPE for.
-- Allan K. Chalmers

To be continued . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn