A Moment of Zen

There a few things in life where I truly feel like I am one with the universe (I am one with the force, the force is with me.) Wood working is one of the few instances. In specific when I am sanding.

There is a little bit of prep work when it comes to sanding. One can not just grab a piece of sand paper or sanding tool and go to work. I won’t get into all the specifics as I  don’t want people falling asleep, but once that prep work is done the task is fairly simple. Bring the wood to a plain smooth surface.

There is something about the repeated motion and noise that provides a calming effect for me. Sanding even with the aid of a sanding tool can be one of the most laborious parts of and kind of working, but I enjoy it immensely.

When I was remodeling my house and I saw how much work the stair banister was going to need I was secretly excited on the inside, There was at least 3 evenings worth of surface prep sanding.

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The Man I Am

Over the last year I had the misfortune of loosing two men in my life whom helped mold me into the man I am today. After the most recent loss it has became very apparent to me that the number of elders that I look to for positive examples or turn to for advice is dwindling. Luckily one of those people still here is my father.

After taking stock of all those that have shuffled off this mortal coil it hit me like a ton of bricks. It is my turn to be the positive role model for the next generations and be the one to dispense the sage advice. I have been doing so for a while now through my role(s) as an educator and a scout master, but it is becoming more important that I do my best to light the way.

I don’t really have much thoughts beyond those I just expressed, but I feel that now is the time that I should make an earnest attempt to get back to blogging.

Call Boxes

So this one hit me like lightning while I was waiting for my daughter to fall asleep. In the past 3 months there have been at least a dozen or so cellular communication outages in my part of the US. During such outages local news sources would warn people that in the case of emergencies to use a land line or head to the nearest fire/police department for help.

Here’s the rub. If your like my family we have decided to dispense with having a landline in the house. I know,this does pose certain risks, but I have taken steps to ensure that we have access to other means of communication in the event that shit does hit the fan. From my observations more and more people are opting not to have landlines either. I have to wonder how long before someone in federal emergency management decides this is actually a problem.

Let’s speculate for a moment that one of the cell phone outages happens for a prolonged amount of time. People aren’t going to be running to the local police/fire stations for help constantly. Wildly ineffective in just the time consuming part alone, can’t mandate everyone have a landline, and then it hit me. There was a point in time where there were call boxes spread throughout neighborhoods.

I can actually remember some of them still being operational as a child and then they went the way of the dodo bird along with payphones. For those whom have no idea what I’m talking about take a look at the main mile markers along toll roads. Those big yellow boxes mounted to the poles are what I am talking about. I know that there would be the initial expense of placing all these boxes again, but as we progress further into the wireless age I think we still need this analog (wired) option.

Appropriate Cold Weather Dress

As we head further into winter and slowly inch into colder weather let me break down a few things. To be honest here, it saddens me that I have to spell any of this out, but since I haven’t figured out how to bottle common sense and sell it I’ll break it down.

Dress in layers for starters. Indoors or outdoors you should dress in layers. That way as the temperature fluctuates throughout the day you can remove or add to help regulate body temperature and keep yourself at a comfortably warm temperature and also keep yourself from any unnecessary sweating. One of the quickest ways to become cold is to have moisture of any kind on your skin or soaked into your clothing and sweating will do just that. Here’s a clutch tip from scouting. Always have an extra pair socks at hand.

Speaking of socks, can someone explain to me socks with crocs or sandals? If you are one of those people that thinks this is an ok fashion choice I hope you roll an ankle. (Side note: if you allow your signification other to walk out in public dressed as such it’s time to re-evaluate the relationship.) As for that being your excuse that allows you to wear them in colder weather that makes you an even bigger idiot. Please don’t send me links showing these new “outdoor socks” either. They are garbage and as I stated before. Moisture will be your undoing.

Let me pontificate on one more point. Ladies, if you are going to wear a skirt in cold weather so be it. Your dress choice is your own, but I beg of you some common sense please. Get the thick thermal tights. Helps retain body heat better. Props to my wife on that one. (Honestly hate hearing about how cold someone is and then realizing underdressed they are. I have no sympathy for self inflected problems.) secondly if you opt for the mini/micro skirt there’s no a pair of thermal tights that are going to help you but me thinks that if that was go to choice I doubt tights of any kind were a thought.

I could go on about other proper cold weather attire for hours but since I have better thoughts to get down I’ll stop here. These are just some general thoughts I have and the two most egresses problems I have noticed since the temperatures have started dropping.

What is Love?

Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more. If you can name the song and artist without the aid of Google we can be friends.

A Night At The Roxberry

In all seriousness though let me share my thoughts.

I am certain I did not truly understand what exactly Love is until recently. Yes, without question I love my parents, sister, and other family members (blood and otherwise) as one does. I also love my wife more than words can describe….after all I did marry her and we did have a child together. Which brings me to my point.

It is not until I had a tiny human in my arms that I helped create and will help mold into a person that I understood what love is. My daughter has brought to forefront feelings that generally do not rise to the surface. We’re it not for a need to keep a roof over our heads and you know, eat I’ m pretty sure I would have quit work long ago just I could sit home and cuddle with her (and my wife). For those who still think of me as being a chronic hardass, your right, just not as often.

I have told several people in the past that I would willingly take bullet for them, but in all reality I would have most likely used said people as meat shields until my wife and daughter came along. Sorry guys, just laying out the truth.

 

 

Grandparents

I consider grandparents a pivotal and essential part of the family. Growing up I had the great fortune of having both my maternal and fraternal grandparents alive. I wouldn’t lose one until late in my teenage years. The way I see it my children will also have their grandparents be in their life for a large portion of their formative years.

My grandparents are one of the primary factors of why I am the person that I am. Not really sure where I would have ended up in life without their care, knowledge, and affection.

I know this is cliché, but I do subscribe to one of a grandparents primary jobs is to spoil their grandchildren, even to the chagrin of the parent. I know my parents will and already do to some degree even though my daughter is barely only 3 months old. It’s one of the many ways in which they show their love.

Another primary responsibility of  any grandparent is to pass on knowledge. There are two major knowledge areas in which grandparents are best to contribute at. The first of which is family history, I fully expect both mine and my wife’s parents to share stories of when we were younger with our children.

The second of which is life skills. Granted my wife and I will be imparting lots of them to our children as they grow, but there are some things we won’t know or think of. That’s where the grandparents come in. To give a specific example, I gained from my maternal grandfather, I learned about vegetable gardening, in specific tomatoes. This extended into other parts of gardening, accented by grandmothers, mothers, and scout learned skills. Needless to say I have acquired a green thumb.

While I expect that my children will gain some of those same gardening skills I’m more interested to see what they will gain from my father. By trade, he is a carpenter. He has passed more knowledge onto to me than I could hope to ever absorb. Needless to say I won’t be shelling out money to a repair person for basic and moderate level home repair things.

Bedtime

Bedtime is my favorite part of the day. Not just because I get to close my eyes and go to sleep, but before I get to snuggle under the covers with my wife I put my daughter to sleep first.

After the last feeding of the day I normally end up with my daughter cuddled against me as she falls asleep for the night. Granted she will snuggle against anyone willing to hold her for an extended period of time and drift into dreamland, but I am her preferred end of day cuddle buddy. Even with my most recent weight loss I am still a large and cuddly person. Fact of life.

Waiting for my daughter to fall asleep normally provides me with some time to just sit and enjoy some solitude. Sometime I will read a book to her in final moments before she nods off for the night, but once her eyes are shut I will a few minutes just to make sure she isn’t faking me out. It is during those few minutes where I get to enjoy a Zen moment. Low light, no noise, all is right in the world.