Thoughts and things ... It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know. Henry David Thoreau

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Sleep versus rest

I think rest is more important than sleep and to be honest I think I am getting more rest in spite of what might seem to be less sleep. Of course then again, if I’m asleep do I know I am asleep? This quest to get Ambien and caffeine out of my life sent me to bed around 2 in the afternoon yesterday just for a nap. I wound up with some great rest and I suppose this also effected my ability to sleep last night. This is of no consequence to me since today when I got up I feel pretty well rested and I actually remember having dreams and can even remember some of the dreams. I havn’t had or at least remembered a dream in years so this is something new to me. When I was younger my dreams were crazy borderline terrifying. One thing I did value in my dreams of my youth was my ability to solve Maths problems in my dreams and almost (not quite) put those solutions on paper when I awoke. I remember trying to get back to sleep to finish remembering a Calculus solution that I couldn’t square away in my mind once awake. The good thing about today is the headache is finally gone that seems to be a symptom of caffeine withdrawal. I hadn’t intended to give up caffeine in this process to start with but now, judging by the fact that it took two days for the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal to set in after I quit using any caffeine, it makes me realise how much it must have been in my system. To be fair to the process of having more restful sleep / any sleep or rest it seems important to eliminate those things that could...

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The quest for sleep (getting rid of Ambien and caffeine)

There’s a number of reasons why I seem to have, over the years, developed the inability to fall asleep naturally on my own. In the more recent years I have been able to attribute those reasons to shift work. All the other stresses and issues that could have been a source for sleep depravation from my youth to my adult years I feel I have handled and moved forward from with the last piece in the puzzle being the reliance on Ambien to fall asleep and then again to go back to sleep. About a year ago I tried to give up Ambien an was mildly successful as I recall by using an alternative sleep aid like ibuprofen pm but was having to take too much and feeling too groggy as a result so I gave it up. About three weeks ago I started the journey again. During my time off from work (which is 8-9 days) I decided to go without Ambien. This didn’t mean I was getting sleep I was just napping overnight but I was doing ok during the day so I went with it. I also started taking melatonin, 5mg gummies. (They are quite good so I would eat 5-6 of these so about 25-30mg of melatonin). It kind of helped. This week I am trying a new tactic. A friend gave me some hibiscus tea to try. In Grenada we referred to it as sorrel and made a Christmas drink from the hibiscus flowers. I never knew that there is some sleep benefits to this basically from what I’ve read, lower the blood pressure type stuff. It does seem to to be quite relaxing as a hot tea so whether or not it helps with sleep is still to be determined but the relaxing effect...

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Another year around the sun – ‘what you think, you are’

“You’re not what you think you are, but what you think, you are” -William James So today marks that all important date – not that important to me but a worthy tool, my birthday. I’ve never been big on birthdays – (I mean never since I’ve been an adult). We didn’t make a big fuss when I was a kid over birthdays either, but certainly, as a kid birthdays seemed pretty important. As I’ve gotten older and wiser, birthdays have become a good time to reflect and consider activities of renewal. I’m only a few years away from the big 60 and so the inclination might be to start thinking in terms of concerns over “aging” but this isn’t the outlook I want to embrace for myself or for others for that matter. Age is nothing more than a number. How can a number define me or anyone else? To accept or act like there is a disadvantage to getting older is to embrace the idea of limits and limitations for yourself and others. Instead of thinking of how old myself or another person is, it is really about the significance of becoming more aware, more wise and knowing. Advancing in a manner measured by years and numbers doesn’t have to define a cycle of anything short of improvement. Instead of thinking, advancing years, just think ‘advancing’ and, defining ‘advancing’ in terms of forward movement and motion, is a good thing worthy of gratitude for each moment in life. I think back at my younger years when I didn’t seem to know how to be grateful for the moments. The moments, hours, days and years just seemed a culmination of bad things. I would dwell on the things that went wrong instead of finding the little things to be grateful...

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Mrs. Ball – One of a kind Teacher

‘A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops.’ –Henry Adams Education: The latin root of the word education means “to lead out” As you may know from other posts on my website I grew up on the little island of Grenada one of the Windward Islands in the West Indies. Mom home schooled myself and my brother for my early childhood but eventually when I was about 9 or 10 I think, I was enrolled in the primary school, Westmoreland. I was initially placed in 3rd form which I think was a year behind for my age. I guess overall I did well but my maths was a little behind. The school decided to move me into 4th form but I had to get tutoured after school by Mrs. Ball in Maths. I don’t remember much about the what I learned in the tutouring other than it being Algebra and that it involved me standing beside her desk as she instructed me. Imagine being new to a school, then new to a more advanced class and then learning that somehow letters have some mathematical meaning. Learning this from someone you are terrified of -well it was a do or die Maths experience for me. I wound up doing quite well in Maths overall after I got the hang of Algebra and Mrs. Ball really was instrumental in my understanding and appreciation of the subject. Every student of Mrs. Ball’s was affected for eternity. She may have terrified us in our youth but I think we all appreciated and respected her immensely as we have aged to adults. Mrs Ball was a teacher with an overload of personality and I doubt that there was a single student who wasn’t terrified of her and simply wanted to do...

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Be the healing – Be the flower in the gun!

What has become of this country that there can be so much dysfunction, hate, so much mental instability. The latest tragedy in this seeming never ending list of tragedies is now the shooting in Uvalde, Tx. 19 children and 2 adults lost their lives at school! It must be so hard for any parent to send their kids to school in this day and age. School where you should be learning about your studies to further your life and career, they are now taught lock down procedures and have to practice for potential active shooter scenarios. I’m 55 years old. I have never had to practice for an active shooter scenario. How do you explain and then teach this to children? This is a tragic state of affairs in this country. I am not here to say I want to take away your guns – I get guns are a hot topic for every legal gun owner out there. There are so many responsible gun owners who feel now even more so, that they need their guns, to protect their children and loved ones. The following is a video and song – Michael Franti & Spearhead – The Flower (feat. Victoria Canal). It’s from Jan 2019 but remains so appropriate. We can each do something in our lives and communities. It takes a neighbourhood to raise a child. Everyone matters. Let’s care for one another and be those example role models for the children, be the lending ear to those who need our support children and adult alike. The video isn’t about taking away your guns. It is so touching and poignant. Please consider giving it 5 minutes of your life.

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Today (May 24th) is Aviation Maintenance Technician Day

A friend of mine wrote an article a few years ago which really sheds some light on what we as AMTs (Aircraft Maintenance Technicians) deal with in a typical day. If you’ve ever flown you’ve probably at some point witnessed an AMT being called to the flightdeck to consult with the crew. We don’t want to delay or cancel your flight but if we do cancel you for a mechanical reason I hope you understand it is because we are taking our job seriously. My friend Darrell Irby who I worked with when I was at Delta Airlines wrote the following article and gave me permission to share it with you on my website.

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Living in the ‘now’

Living in the ‘now’ is living in the present. Think about it, ‘now’ is a ‘present’. I can’t do anything about yesterday or tomorrow but I can make the most of this moment in life now. For the last couple of years I have really been more conscious of the active decision to do my best to be true to living in the ‘now’ and being grateful for the fact that now is a present worth cherishing. This doesn’t mean that I don’t prepare for the future. I go to work to make a living to pay my rent and I tend to be the sort of person prepared for unexpected situations that may arise. This doesn’t mean I focus on the preparation it’s just that being prepared is a part of of my well-being.. I don’t worry about what could go wrong I just focus on making the most of now. A friend of mine gave some good advice to consider: “Worry is ingratitude in advnce” Advance worry – such a waste! Recently I had a situation. My vehicle was in the body shop and the work was done on a Friday. The shop owner convinced me that I should come Saturday even though he was only open a half day. He swore that he was open to noon every Saturday. I live 3 hours north of the body shop and in the back of my mind I was preferring the idea of going down on Monday not Saturday but I had told him I would come. I drove for 2 hours before I get any phone reception so I left before 9 am and called him as a soon as I got reception which put me about an hour away from his shop. There was no answer so...

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Lunar Eclipse tonight!

It was fun to watch the lunar eclipse tonight. I managed to put together a short video of the reappearnace of the moon. open the post to watch the video.

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My own Boatnical garden requires it’s own level of maintenance

The grass is still green for now. Those days are numbered with the rains fading off to nothing. The drip system I put in last year ensures the flowers will continue blooming and I have to say I feel blessed to have my own private botanical garden left for me by previous owners. A half acre of land is nothing to laugh at when it comes to weed control and foxtail abatement. The satisfaction of seeing the weeds cut back is a good sense of accomplishment. Tomorrow between other chores I need to rake up the dead stuff so any further moisture and sun can try and keep the real grass green for as long as possible. Last year I added four areas of fake grass. One larger flat area where the fogs like to hang out in the morning. An area of grass under the hammock and then under the picnic bench and lastly in front of the garden shed. These patches have wound up fitting in great and give the dogs a place to hang out in the differnt levels of sun of the day. The grass under the picnic bench was the only way I could keep the dogs from digging there!!

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