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." 


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
        -- 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 

(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

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