Category: THOUGHTS

4

Love

Anyone who knows me knows that my pups are pretty important to me and source of great joy in my life.  Ever since I started living on my own I have had at least one dog.  For a while, whilst I lived in Texas with my big backyard and house I was actually up to 3 dogs and a cat. In the more recent ears (until about 5 years ago) I had just one dog and a cat.  Boeing (dog) & Milo (cat).  Boeing & Milo loved each other and were great friends and playmates. Then Sky joined our life! Sky Boeing & Milo all got along perfectly!  There was a little period of getting to know each other for Milo (the cat) and Sky.  But both quickly accepted one another.  Boeing never had a problem with Sky.  Boeing was about 14 years old when I got Sky who was still essentially a puppy .  Sky was about a year old when I brought her home. When Boeing passed away it became very obvious that Sky did not like to be left alone and so I found a puppy for us all on petfinder.com.  Zulu was about 8 weeks old when we picked him up and has proved to be the perfect complement to our family.  Zulu has always been completely comfortable being left at home when I have to go to work or other places and as such has made Sky more comfortable being without me.  Sky and Zulu bonded instantly and they just live to love one another and enjoy life! Dogs love and give so unconditionally that they are truly a terrific example for us humans who can sometimes get caught up in petty differences!  Thanks Sky, Zulu & Boeing for always being so loving to one another and to...

2

Meet the Prius!

As you may recall from an earlier post, I have done a lot of work on my little Toyota Tacoma to get it fixed and back on the road after the unfortunate car accident in February.  The job was no quick job and I knew I couldn’t get her back on the road quickly if I was to do a good job.  The insurance company of the man who hit me paid for my rental car for a few weeks whilst they were trying to determine if I was at any fault in the accident.  I was in a bit of limbo because though I knew I would not be found at fault I was unsure as to the value the insurance company would assess my truck and if it would be deemed fixable or not …. The truck was a 1996 Toyota Tacoma and though that sounds old, this truck has actually gone up in value as opposed to down. I bought her for $4000 about 4-5 years ago and that was the going price.  Now you can’t buy one similar for $6000!  These trucks are known for their indestructible engines! I do wish the body had proved a little more indestructible but it’s all good now. The insurance company wound up paying me $6000 for the truck and let me buy it back from them for $350.  It cost me about $1800 in parts to fix it.  In the meantime I needed another vehicle and was in search of a vehicle that could make my 25 mile commute to work a little more fuel efficient since gas prices are so high in California.  The vehicles I would find in the $6000 price range just weren’t right for me and I couldn’t find one that fit my preconceived notion of what I wanted....

0

The last couple of months … car accidents & rebuildings…

On the 17th of Feb 2016 I was rear-ended and pushed into another vehicle whilst on my way to work.  The accident on it’s own was scary and jolting to say the least! This posting is not about the accident but rather about a transition that occurred as a result.  My 1996 Toyota Tacoma truck was declared ‘totaled’ by the party at fault.  The cost to repair it was estimated at around $3900 on the cheap side and closer to 5k on the realistic end.  The insurance company at fault considered my vehicle a total loss and payed me $6000 as a comparable equivalent to my loss. They then allowed me to buy my own vehicle back for $350.  Although a total loss for the insurance overall you couldn’t buy an equivalent replacement for the truck for 6k! I priced out the basics from junk yards in the area.  $250 for a tailgate, $200 each for front and rear bumper, fenders around $75/ea hood $150 – close to $1000 for the other basics not including the most important part, the radiator support. The radiator support goes across the front end and is what the radiator is bolted to.  This piece is welded on and there are no after market or readily available junk yard parts. I started surfing Craigslist.  I found a truck with the exact year and model that was not running for $1700.  I offered him $1000 for his truck as is.  He did not accept but in the long run allowed me to buy all that I needed for the $1000!  The truck was located about 90 minutes away and a full 4-6 hours of work in disassembly.   I came home with all that I needed to reassemble my truck -except for time. here is a...

2

The case of the missing Wallet!

In previous posts I have written about my core outlook on life which includes seeing the good in situations and recognising glass as half full or almost full as opposed to half-empty or empty.  Another key ingredient in my mindset is the belief of good in mankind in general and to eliminate any temptation to allow worry or fear become a driving force in the way I think of or approach a situation. I was once told that worry is, in essence, ‘ingratitude in advance’!  I love that thought!  I try to focus on being grateful for the things at hand as opposed consuming time and energies with the ungratefulness of worry for those things in the future.  You can’t really worry about things in the past so worry is only an activity wasted on things that may or may not come about in the future! Why do I mention this?  Well, Weds. the 30th of September, 2015 I was preparing for my trip to the UK (leaving on the 31st).  I went to REI (a outdoor clothing & accessories store) and tried on a pair of pants.  In the process of trying on the pants I wanted to be sure my wallet fit comfortably in my pocket so I put my wallet in the side pocket.  As you can possibly guess, I forgot to take the wallet back out of my pants and since I wound up not buying the pants….well, the wallet didn’t come home with me !! I didn’t realise until later that evening that my wallet was missing.  I was in the midst of packing for my trip so I presumed I had just misplaced it during packing.  It wasn’t until much later that same evening that I had a good idea that I had lost...

3

Reading – let’s collectively not make it a lost art

Do you have time to read this post and as a society, do we have time to reflect on our communication habits? Society has become a ‘hurry-up’ ‘instant gratification’ culture.  We collectively have so much on our minds and  things to do we don’t in general take the time to do one thing really well.                               Stop, breathe, look around. Did you see the sunset? Did you smell the flowers in bloom? The scents of a fresh rain on the ground or the smile of your partner so many things taken for granted in our lives that really could be appreciated more. Do you remember the art of writing letters and the joy of receiving a letter?  Not an email! A letter -a handwritten letter! About 10 yrs ago or longer we as a society started getting computers and thus came the ability to send and receive emails.  Emails used to be great.  You could take your time and write an email that would be sent instantaneously and received whenever that recipient opened their email.  We still wrote and we still read and we still enjoyed communicating. In the recent years, I have noticed that the mobile phone and tablets have replaced our computers or seem to be much more utilised than our computers.  As such, if people receive your email they rarely write more than a 2-3 sentence reply if even that much!  Worse than that, there seems the tendency to not actually read the email but rather to skip & skim around to whatever seems the important part to them and questions you’ve asked or thoughts you’ve written of remain unanswered. I have friends who virtually never write emails but rather forward me emails of things...

2

integrity and holding good expectations

I’ve written in the past about the glass half-empty or half-full and I am again reminded of the need to see the half-full glass! I recently made a purchase off of the local craigslist the other day. It was a  Sprint hotspot (internet service tied to a cellular network plan).  I made a call to Sprint before the purchase while the seller was waiting to make sure the device could be activated on my account. Sprint was taking too long to verify validity so it seemed pointless to keep myself and the seller waiting for the over 20 minutes.  The gentleman showing it to me had all the info from the previous account though he himself had never activated it.  When I finally had a chance to endure the 45+ minute phone call with Sprint,…well the outcome was not favourable.  Long and short of it, the previous account holder would need to do an account turnover to me. One of the risks in dealing with Craigslist is the potential disappointment of a device such as this not being able to be activated.  I was concerned that I was going to have to lose the $50 and the person who sold it to me may not want to deal with me again.  There is a reputation regarding Craigslist buyers and sellers.  The reputation of buyers is that they tend to be ‘flakes’ and don’t show up when they say they will and the reputation of sellers is that they can easily scam you or sell you a dud and you have no repercussion or safety. My thoughts back on the sales event was that everything seemed legitimate.  At no time did I think I was buying a stolen item and though this was not stolen it certainly had an associated headache which both...

4

The unplanned vacation. Day 1 (Nov 5th, 2015)

As mentioned in my last post, an unfortunate bumper car incident put me in a rental car whilst my truck was being repaired.  I had family that had contacted me only days earlier to see if there was any chance I could meet them in Carmel, California.  Carmel is about a 2 hour drive from my home and is a town I love because it is known as the most dog friendly town in the United States!  It’s known for stuff like art and food too but what’t the point of any of that stuff if you have to leave your best friends (the dogs) at home? The pups and I headed to Carmel on the 4th of November.  We arrived just in time to enjoy a wonderful dinner with my birth mother Dana & her husband Kurt at Il Fornaio. After a good dinner and conversation we parted ways around 9pm and I headed off to find my hotel and they headed back to their accommodations. In the past I have always stayed at Carmel Resort Inn – some little cottages that were in a nearby neighbourhood and dog-friendly.  Fortunately I had called them before heading to Carmel because they are no longer a dog-friendly hotel.  This was a disappointment to me but as it turns out the place I did find, Carmel River Inn is a true gem!  Carmel River Inn had the option of cottages as well as regular hotel rooms.  I had booked my room and advance and discovered that by booking the room (the cottage that is) through my smartphone Expedia App I was able to save $25. Carmel River Inn was perfect!!  I loved the place so much that I knew at least 1 more night was in order.  So Thursday afternoon after I officially checked out of the...

1

It started with a rainbow!

Monday, November 2nd, 2015.  The day was an okay day.  I was doing a lot of driving to help out a neighbour of mine with some work of his.  Unfortunately the day had also been spent re-living some events from a few days earlier which were not quite so pleasant.  I couldn’t seem to break the mesmerism of the in-harmony which had occurred the previous week.  Then I saw the most amazing thing.  In the distance a beautiful rainbow.  As I got closer, it became obvious that the end of the rainbow was right in front of me.  It was amazing as far as I was concerned.  I have never seen the end of a rainbow it wasn’t until a few days later that I realised that my dash cam had actually captured this phenomenon! Unfortunately, in my awe of the rainbow I failed to notice that the traffic in front of me had come to a halt and as such I rear-ended the car in front me.  I wasn’t going fast but distraction had taken me away from the more important task of full attention on the road and not the rainbow.  I had to get towed and wound up in a rental car but all along I kept thinking to myself, ‘there must be some sort of blessing in this unfortunate incident’.  ‘Something so beautiful as this rainbow must have some blessing to accompany it.’ See my next post …    

0

Working Dogs – and the Security System!

I work nights at the Oakland airport where the year round average temperature is about 65 degrees F (18 C).  There is always a breeze blowing and basically the weather is the primary reason I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.  I drive a small toyota truck with an extended cab and nice camper shell on the back.  I have 2 wonderful dogs that go with me almost everywhere.  They only accompany me when the weather is conducive.  Having lived in Texas for about 12 years I am well aware of the dangers of a hot vehicle and as far as I am concerned any vehicle parked in the sun when the outside temperature is above about 65 deg is too hot for my dogs.  I work graveyard shift, the overnight shift, so I can have my dogs accompany me to work and hang out in the back of my truck while I work. I have a 10 hour shift and with 2 hours for driving….if I left them home they would be home alone wondering where I am for 12 hours and no way to go outside or eat etc … In my current situation they have a huge bed in the back of my truck, 3 water bowls, they get to go outside at least once a night usually at least 2 or 3 times and they get to stop at dog parks on the way to and from work.  There has been one night that I deemed to be too hot to take them (last night) – not because of the outside temperature but rather the accumulated temperature of my vehicle over the day seemed to me that it would take too long to cool down so I did not want to have them in the...

3

Poetry Reading -who goes to those sorts of things…??

In truth I am impressed by those who write poetry.  My sense of poetry has always been with the concept that poetry should have a sense of rhyme and kind of bounce to it with some sort of cadence.  I’ve had a  tendency to shy away from those poems that didn’t fit into the rhythm and rhyme sense of verse so tonight was definitely a night which challenged those predetermined ‘needs’. I was invited to support a local poet from my aquatic-therapy class ( this poet is also in the aqua- therapy class).  I had wavered on my commitment to meet with two friends from the class.  Poetry reading! I’ve never intentionally gone to such an event.  Tonight was a definite treat and I am grateful I was willing to allow myself to partake and enjoy the fruits of two very talented poets as they painted vibrant pictures with their  a rich landscape of words. The two poets we heard from were Ellen Bass & Chana Bloch.  Listening to these two poets read their work took me past my preconceived notions that poems must be based on rhyme to be good or enjoyable.  Two masters at the art of painting with words took us on a journey through different phases of their life. The poetry Ellen read seemed based on relationships and maybe a sort of advice.  Her descriptive words captivated and drew me into her world even when I would have preferred to have not been drawn in so far.  (Her poem ‘What did I love‘ about her participating in the killing of the chickens she would eat was more descriptive than I would prefer on this subject but certainly worthy of a listen or a read before your next chicken dinner).  I enjoyed her poetry and her descriptions as needed...

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