Sunday, August 29, 2010


I like words. I sometimes notice others' errors in usage. I usually don't point it out to them. But, Brandon Flowers of the Killers, it is "once in a little while," not "once and a little while."

We all have idioms particular to ourselves - phrases we have attempted to copy from others at some point, and somehow we didn't quite get it right, yet we continue to repeat it in our own manner. Having an understanding of the etymology helps sometimes.

[Common Errors in English Usage]

But please don't stop writing songs, Mr. Flowers, the Killers have created some wonderful songs.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I usually sleep until a predetermined time at which I awaken and do predetermined activities... work, visits, chores, vacation. And I seem to have adapted to staying up until I am very tired - to do as much as possible with my waking moments. I think this has lessened the quality of my sleep. I'm not saying I'm going to change, just that I'm noticing differences between my usual hard, "get 'er done sleep," and a "now I will rest until I awaken" sleep.

I dreamed. I'm told that since I'm human, I dream every night. But I don't often remember dreams, as I've trained myself to awaken and directly move on with waking life. But this morning, I awakened slowly, and I allowed the fading details of my slumberous adventures to seep into my consciousness.

Setting: My parents home on the lake in rural Northern Wisconsin, late summer evening.

Cast (from what I know of my dreams, details don't always have concrete existences as in our waking lives): family - I remember feeling like it was a visit of extended family and friends.

Scene: I was walking across my parents yard, when I looked up and saw a ship flying across the evening sky - a smallish inland waters dinner cruise ship. I yelled to everyone to come and see, and I ran into the house for my video camera. When I returned to the back yard, everyone watched it maneuver through spins and tricks above the field behind my parents house. I filmed as best I could, at one point zooming in on the people in the ship and their maps on the desk. Dick Vitale was on the microphone as the tour guide, and they were a group of tourists that had come to Wisconsin from Kansas.

As evening turned to night, a few of us went down by the lake, to climb a viewing tower - like you might find at a park. The ship was leaving, and we wanted one last look. My brother was about to scale the tower on the side opposite the stairs, a friend pointed out the stairs, and we all began the climb... and then I awakened.

Interpretation and backstory: I had watched an episode of X-Files before bed (season 1, episode 2 [Seth Green co-starred.]) And my brother and I have some different philosophies of life.


This morning, when I awakened, I made an idea real for myself.

My realization: that there is one level, or stage, of sleep in which the sleeper notices the bright light of morning, and another in which he does not.

It is the weekend, with no concrete plans, so I was prepared to awaken without haste. And with my mind set to a slower pace, I seem to be noticing things in a greater depth.

I think it's very important to train oneself to be able to adjust the speed/depth relationship between one's mind and one's reality. There are times when we must be on high alert, maybe not for jungle cats, but for possible hazards and problems at work or while driving a car - situations that may injure us or slow our path through life towards that which we want to attain.

And related to our ability to control the processing rate/quality of life ratio, I believe we must also train ourselves to be continually zooming in and out. Notice the big things for the vast, beautiful complexity of this interconnected life we are a part of, but don't forget - in that same instance - to notice the tiniest exquisite details of the particles of the pieces of the part and parcel of that greater whole.

And this is related to to my philosophy of duality and multiplicity. When we come upon something that we don't understand, we don't just stand there and wonder what to do (the jungle cat would have caught us.) We fill in the blank with our best guess and move on. But - now hold on to your hats - sometimes we're wrong. It's not worth the time and hassle to reevaluate every decision we make, but keep yourself open to feedback - that's how we learn. And since these points where we are filling in the blanks are places in our lives where we don't have the answer, we probably could learn a little there.

And the duality and multiplicity? Oftentimes, the choice we make is only in our minds. Keep your mind open to as many interpretations as possible, until you are forced to make a choice. This requires a lot of processing power, this is a complex equation. But with training, one can balance.

I don't know the answers to who is God? what is existence? But I am always improving my position to get a better perspective upon this life. I'm gonna get as much out of this life as I can.

I guess I had a good night's sleep.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Brakes v2.0

I overestimated myself.

About 5 years ago, I changed the brake pads on the Geo. I learned how online, and since I figure if someone else can do something, so can I. Just maybe not as well at first, and if I practice, I can do better.

I knew brakes would be due on the Tundra soon, so I checked a few DIY sites last winter, and saved the links. Then, when the mechanic told me this spring that I should replace the brake pads this summer, I went and got some pads at the parts store.

And this weekend, I planned to get 'er done. A couple hours should do it.

After 5 1/2 hours today, I got one side done. I almost gave up a few times. But after consulting my storehouse of the knowledge of physics, leverage, tools and what-not, I pushed on.

Now I'm sore, and it's late, and I'm only half done. But I think tomorrow will go smoother - I won't have the hesitancy at each step that I had today. Today I established the learning curve, tomorrow I ride it.

So I will have a shower and a couple of beers, dinner and a movie, and hopefully my muscles will be good to go for round two tomorrow.