Monday, December 28, 2020

Merry Post and Pre

It's after Christmas and before New Year's.  Just a few observations / status updates:

If I'm not mistaken, this is about the time of year that the NFL Playoffs start. If you follow this blog, you know that I now don't care about donating my time to watching sports -- especially professional sports.  Having said that, my mother-in-law did have a college basketball game on the TV followed by a college football bowl game. I must say that I rather enjoyed watching -- a little.
Now to this bombing event in Nashville. Had the TV news on all day at work and I was not surprised by the amount of speculation that was being disseminated as fact -- or potential fact -- by the networks. As it turned out, most of it wrong. What amuses me the most is, no matter what the subject or who the interviewee is, there is always this awkward exchange:
Interviewer to the "special, exclusive to us" guest expert: "I'm sorry to interrupt you. Of course, this is one of the most monumental events in the history of the world; however, we're up on a hard break. We'll be back after this." 


ANNCR: "Has this ever happened to you? Are you tired of food sticking to your pans? Well, now there's . . . " 

- - -

Suzanne and I received our first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. I don't feel confident enough to go around and licking doorknobs, but it's something.

Today, I got an early jump on making a 2021 list and organizing my to-do lists (and when I say "making," I mean re-writing last year's, which was a list from the previous list, which was . . .). Yes, so many trivial things to do, so little time. But, at least I make a list. Right? (Note to self, create a list that contains a list of all the drawers, boxes, shelves, etc., that contains all the decades of lists I've made).  

Anyway, I procured an old three-ring notebook to contain one section of my 2021 list and opened it up. This is the fortune from a fortune cookie that I must have taped to the inside years ago:
There is hope?
Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


This is an easy week to say that I didn't watch the NFL or College Football. For starters, I worked Saturday and Sunday. Then, there are Christmas gifts. 

I've always tried to make a few gifts when I can. This year, I made three wooden trees for my girls and a friend. I also made ornaments for the grandkids. One has Garfield (the cat, not the old president) in it. Garfield is Annabeth's favorite. For little Mr. O, who is in his first year of Scouts, I gathered up some of my old scouting pins and such and filled a globe.

On the cigar box guitar front, I ended up making three. A one-string for a dear friend:
And a three-string (with logo that happens to be his last name):
This leads me to this quote by CBG builder and author David Sutton. Describing his experience building these things, "I will tell you that I can't say as I've ever made a mistake building a cigar box guitar. I will say I've had plenty of unexpected outcomes that inspired improvisations, but mistakes? Naw."

I love that. True of so many things in life: unexpected outcomes that inspired improvisations!
Carpe diem Life and Merry Christmas,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Week 14 Projects

 They almost got me.  "They" being the NFL.  Was flipping through stations and almost stopped on some Week 14 NFL highlights.  But, I switched off before connecting.  So, I'm not going to count it.  As of this date, I've yet to watch a second, see a score, or know what the standings are.  And, truth be told, I don't miss it.
This week I got the 20-year-old pontoon boat running and out for her last ride of the season up at Lynnville Lake.  She's been a good companion for us through the years; just needs some TLC over the winter. 

I docked her at the park dock and hiked back to our little cabin.  Some of the hike was on the new path being built along State Rd. 68. 
On the way home, I came with this little song.  I recognize that some the images have probably been used a hundred times before, but . . 
Chasing Rainbows

I was chasing rainbows
Searching for a unicorn
I was chasing rainbows
Searching for a unicorn
Ended up -  tangled up — in barbwire
Staring down a mad bull’s horns

Everyone around me  Has the Devil’s own luck
Everyone around me  Has the Devil’s own luck
But my world is a broken mirror with the pieces run amuck

Went searching for a pot of gold  Ended up having to fold
Hung a horse shoe upside down  All my luck poured to the ground
Went chasing a rabbit for his foot  Ended up in a snare and staying put
Rode on a carousel  Reached for that golden ring
Got bucked off a pink panda  My head went ding-a-ling-a-ling
Pulled a wishbone with my best friend  But ended up with the short end, again (then he stole my girlfriend)

Everyone around me Has the Devil’s own luck
Everyone around me Has the Devil’s own luck
But my worlds a broken mirror with the pieces run amuck

I went in search of a four leaf clover That’s when I knew it was all over
Stepped in a pile of fresh poo  Didn’t know what to do
But that’s when I saw it was aglow  With all the colors of the rainbow
And there was glitter in it —
(spoken): Folks, that’s when I realized
Unicorn poo still smells like shit!   And then there’s that bull . . .

I was chasing rainbows
Searching for a unicorn
I was chasing rainbows
Searching for a unicorn
Ended up tangled up in barbwire
Staring down an angry bull’s horns
Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Sunday, December 6, 2020

13 And Counting

Today's project has been an on-going one: A Christmas gift (I'm 99.9% sure he doesn't read this blog, so I'm safe to unwrapping it for you here).
A few years ago an old friend of mine surprised me with a guitar for a Christmas present.  Said, "Here, you should learn to play this."  And I have -- been trying.  Since then, he's also bought for me a few other very nice toys to help create music.  
So, this year my gift to him is . . . 
a cigar box guitar that I'm building.  I was planning on giving him that bottom one, but I'm now thinking of the top one -- it's electric!  Having never built a cigar box guitar, it's been a challenge.  Let's just say that I've hit more than a few sour notes along the way.  However, I'm hoping that by the end of the day tomorrow I'll be able to string one up and test it.  Then it's off to its new home.
Again, not exactly a three-hour "not watching the NFL" project, but something very new for me.  Who knows, if it actually plays,  I might have just found a new hobby to take the place of TV sports.
Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, November 30, 2020

Week 12 and

Still zero for the NFL!

Again, I'm not so much boycotting as trying to make a conscious effort to live my own life instead of donating my time to gazillionaire athletes. I would also include spending time on Facebook and news outlets in that list (I particularly find it interesting when people complain about "biased" and "fake news" news outlets ON Facebook). Fascinating.

Anyway, this weekend we've plinked around with a couple of new toys, worked on a few pre "winter storm" activities outside -- putting away deck chairs, covering crawlspace vents, cleaning up leaves, etc.
We also started Christmas Decorating!

As I've written before, my favorite decorations are some Christmas albums we frame and the homemade stars my two daughters made for several years (started three decades ago).  It was fun for them at first; however, as the years passed too quickly, it became -- like so many things kids have to do for parents -- a chore. Eventually, the tradition just faded away.  Now, all I have are memories and a box of fading, brittle old paper stars. 

I've recently seen a lot of these type of images pop up on social media:

Sort of like those stars, I guess. They're wrinkled, gray (faded), scarred.  And, to me, a yearly reminder of laughter, caring, living.   

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Week 11 and . . .

 Still NOT going strong.  I'm now zero for 11 weeks of the NFL (and college football).  
Sunday:  I couldn't work on the project I wanted to as we had a “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men" moment when I got home from work:  our dryer out of commission.  I worked on it until I conceded -- I needed parts and Lowe's was already closed.  Defeated for the night, I drank a couple of beers and hit it early on Monday.
Monday:  Dryer fixed (at least for now).
Then, I went to work on a few Christmas gifts.  I designed and built one of these for Suzanne last year.  I then received a few orders from two daughters and friend of the family.  

Each takes abound 50 or so boards of various length cut 45-degrees on each end.  Plus, three stars each.  Then glue, nails, stain.  
I still have some work to do on them, but I'm close.
The project utilized my Carpe diem Map:
Choose what I want to do
Action Plan
Resources (materials, etc)
Persistent Action
Evaluate Progress
Direction (change as needed)
Enjoy the process (I put on some music)
My Responsibility (no one was going to make them for me)
Now, regarding all the election, news channels, Facebook:
"Unfortunately, you have to listen to some people for a long time to discover that they don't have anything to say."   -- Annon.
Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn  

Sunday, November 15, 2020

NFL? Take a Hike!

It's Week 10 of my "Zero NFL Project".  Instead of donating my time to the NFL and mega-millionaires, I spend three hours (about the length of a game) working on a specific project.  

Today's scheduled projects have, unfortunately, been blown away by the wind:  40 to 45 mile-per-hour wind gusts as a result of a cold front moving through our area. 
“The wind is made of haunting souls
that moan and groan
in whistles and whispers.
This ghostly choir chills the breeze
and orchestrates a rise of goose bumps
on my skin.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year 
Today's project(s) TBD.

We're dog-sitting for our daughter's family.  Haven't had a little guy running around the house since our dog passed a couple of years ago.  Hauntingly strange to hear barks again.  In preparation for the week, I put up as much temporary fencing as I could -- just in case he wanted to wander.  Sure enough, first thing this morning he makes a beeline for a chink in the armor.  Fortunately, I was able to reel him in before he broke free.  There is MORE than enough room and new territory in our yard to explore.

Yesterday, I took a hike and picked up garbage at my adopted park:  Igleheart Park

on Evansville's North Side.  Except for a used fire extinguisher, I found the woods to be pretty clean of trash.  A fire extinguisher?  What the heck?

"It's only ideas gained from walking that have any worth." -- Friedrich Nietzsche.

And Dickens wrote, "If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish."

If you do get out today, watch out for the "widow makers."

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, November 9, 2020


NFL / College Football:  Still 0 for the Season!

A few months ago I planted just a couple of tiny seeds at the back of our property.  

This week, we had a pretty hard frost.  When I looked at the back the next morning,  I discovered:


I knew I had a few, but I didn't realize that I had this many in all the growth and weeds (16).

So, I thought I would post of couple of pictures and some quotes.  

Cultivate Resilience in the Hard Seasons
    1.    “The tiny seed knew that in order to grow it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light.” — Sandra Kring
    2.    “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” — Cynthia Occelli
    3.    “Life does not accommodate you; it shatters you. Every seed destroys its container, or else there would be no fruition.” — Florida Scott-Maxwell
    4.    “The seeds of resilience are planted in the way we process the negative events in our lives.” 
            — Sheryl Sandberg
    5.    “When your heart is broken, you plant seeds in the cracks and pray for rain.” — Andrea Gibson
    6.    “Love is the seed of all hope. It is the enticement to trust, to risk, to try, to go on.” 
            — Gloria Gaither
Have Faith in the Process
    1.    “To see things in the seed, that is genius.” — Lao Tzu
    2.    “A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea.” — John Ciardi
    3.    “Keep planting new seeds until your mind becomes the earth that gives birth to new worlds.” 
            — Curtis Tyrone Jones
    4.    “Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” 
            — Hamilton, the Musical
    5.    “Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” 
            — Henry David Thoreau
    6.    “A seed knows how to wait… a seed is alive while it waits.” — Hope Jahren

I have NO idea what I'm going to do with the fruits of my labor, but I did reap what I sowed.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Sun Came Up

Went to bed Tuesday night with the election still in doubt (as of today, it still is).  But, funny thing: Yesterday morning the sun rose.  

Yesterday, after checking to see that YES the election process was still going through its phases, I spent day in the yard -- working under the beautiful blue sky and wonderfully warm sun (today, my back is barking, but . . . ).  After the sun went down, I decided NOT to check the Election results again (it will be what it will be).  Instead, I built a fire and relaxed. 

In the southern sky I could see Jupiter and Saturn.  So, playing with the phone camera and a sky view app, I took this.  

Phases.  Keep rising!
Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Week Eight and Voting

I'm officially eight weeks into not watching a second of the NFL.  I didn't have any specific projects -- just played with the grandkids. 

Voted today. Reminded me of that old joke, "When he asks you to vote for him and for good government, he's asking you to vote twice." Wow, how did we get here?

Mort Sahl once wrote that Ronald Reagan won because he ran against Jimmy Carter.  If he had run unopposed he would have lost. 

One final thought.  It is not lost on me that the little voting stylus they hand out when you vote very much resembles a crack pipe.  Fitting?

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

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).  


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.”

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?   


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