Sep 26, 2010
Today I had parent conferences in the morning and met a number of good parents. Most were here for their students who had 99 percent averages, parents of the kids that work hard and do all their assignments. The lazy parents (like myself), were too lazy to show, and many of their children are too lazy to do their classwork. The apple doesnt fall far from the tree. I do find the LDS parents to be very supportive and considerate for the most part.
Got off at noon and found a nice three bedroom duplex for rent, my son is tired of spending 1/2 his income for an apartment, and his best friend can't afford to rent a place at all. So I'm renting this new place and we should all save a pile of money.
Went on my first flyfishing trip in 30 years, even then I didn't know what I was doing. My ex-rockstar friend "Ricky", took me on an unwanted 1/2 mile hike to a good fishing spot on the Logan River. "You want me to wade in that?", I asked as Ricky put on his waders and jumped waist deep in the flowing mountain stream. Having no waders, I grudgingly stepped into some of the coldest water I've ever experienced. Once the water was up to my ass I was in total pain, but proceeded to fish while keeping the bitching down to a minumum. Ricky was an excellent coach and within 5 minutes the water exploded around my fly, and I fought my first cutthroat trout while Ricky shouted advise (some good, some not needed). Ricky seemed more excited about me catching the fish than I did. I carried the fish up the river bank, knocked it on the head to prevent further suffering, then changed into some dry clothes, allowing Ricky a chance to catch himself a fish. The Cutthroat trout is a most beautiful fish, with a splash of intense crimson across the neck area, they are the native species here and are finally making a healthy comeback after the introduced brown and rainbow trout were introduced. I hated killing this one, but I wanted something to eat that night, and maybe fresh trout was better than the store bought crap I've previously cooked. To me trout always tasted like mud.
Ricky was still amazed at my "beginners luck", but I being a long time fisherman, told him that "luck" had little to do with the fact that I aimed the fly under an overhanging branch, where I knew there was liable to be a fish, hiding in the shade during the hot afternoon. Ricky continued to fish for another 20 minutes, while I dryed out and watched his fly fishing technique. He finally caught a small brown trout, and we headed back on the rocky trail, and finally made it to the car. Had I known we were going to be hiking a mile I would have brought water and a decent pair of hiking shoes. Instead I'm feeling every sharp pebble under the soles of my moccasin-like topsiders, which are shoes designed for climbing on sailboats. The shoes did come in handy when ascending a steepish narrow trail, and gripped far better than my hiking boots could. Once back in Logan, I cleaned the fish, made some rice, and baked the fish after an application of butter, dill, lemon ect.... After the fish was baking, I pulled off a chunck, choked it down, and the familier taste of mud permeated my senses. Next time I plan to fry the damn thing and cover it which every spice in my cabinet in order to give it some kind of flavor. Trout really are not good eating fish when compared to salmon, crappie, perch, and nearly every fish I could name. Yet trout look so beautiful and colorful, makes one hungry just to look at them. I plan to look at most of my future trout before letting them go. I'm sure the fish will like that much better than the alternative.
While enjoying my trout dinner (the rice was great), I listened to my high school students beat the tar out of a rival team. I knew and have taught jewelry to, most of the varsity football team, many have been my best artists. I guess the tough disipline involved in playing football is why the players can excel in the tedious refining processes which making jewelry also requires. Jewelry and Football? Who would have imagined...
Saturday morning I went to Angies (where the locals eat) for breakfast. The local waitresses, crowded around me asking questions about my unique way of eating pancakes, where I carve a caldera in the center and pour the syrup into it, then slowly eat away at the edges until the hole is nearly as wide as the pancake. Usually I leave the last 1/4 inch of pancake so it looks like a bicycle wheel, which I do more from being full, than to leave a signature. I bet the dishwashers wonder about the phenomenon of my pancake remains.
Had a fun afternoon driving around on my bike looking for another place, since the landlord that promised me a place yesterday reneged on the deal. I guess her husband (a Bishop), forbid her to rent it to us. Who knows? I found another place with cool 60's archetecture, right out of the Brady Bunch house, with a few Frank Lloyd Wright elements. This landlord is a sweet elderly lady who will probably become a good friend and neighbor. Having her next door should keep my room mates whipped into shape!
I will miss the washer/dryer and other appliances that the other house had, but this house has a cool factor, and that matters most to me.
At 9:00 PM I took a taxi to the Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge, to watch my friend Kelly's band play for their pirate party (yar!).the F.O.E. lodge was an anacronism, right from the drinking places from the 1950's. They even had a regulation horseshoe pit in the spacious back yard of the lodge. The crowd was about halfway between the Masons and the Hells Angels, all were drinking together in the cause of public good. The F.O.E. included several famous people including 7 presidents, many baseball players, boxers, governors, etc... Mothers Day was initiated by the Eagles as well. The drink prices are cheap, and there was a much higher quality of ladies, than the other three drinking spots in town. I get two more complimentary visits before I have to commit to joining. I might just join. The Eagles are a good group of folks, and they like to party!
I stayed till closeing, then hung out with the band and friends before coming home around 3 AM. I was still pretty sober, so I cooked up some Indonesian marinated quail and served it over rice. Unlike the previous nights trout, the quail was excellent. I then went to bed and awoke at 2 PM Sunday, feeling like a million dollars. Met which my new land lord, and hopefully I will sign the least and pay for my new place on Monday. She wants to met my son and his friend first. Hopefully we will get this place.
Sep 7, 2010
Sep 2, 2010
Sept 3rd and 4th: Friday was a half day, which was nice after a grueling third week of school. By the third week; I get the hang of the long hours and the early mornings, which made this week the best one so far. Most of my students know me and love me, and I feel the same. No major issues this year, looks to be smoother than last year due to my increased organization and stricter class expectations. Next semester I will be teaching two "Foundations of Art" classes as well as Jewelry one and two, and Sculpture One and two. It will be more hectic than this semester. Its all good in the job department.
I came home in the afternoon and caught up on some well needed sleep, then went to my classroom in the evening in order to practice the sax! Damn I am glad to have the opportunity to play the sax again. Later that night I hung out with my son and drank a bottle of "Mount Gay" rum together. Mount Gay is made in the Barbados Islands and is my favorite rum. They have been making it since 1703. Must have been nice when a happy word like "Gay" didn't have such other connotations. I resent the hijacking of happy words to describe, peoples personal sexual habits. But I do love "Mount Gay" Barbados rum. Its best with sprite and lemon juice in my opinion.
The morning was painful, since rum is not as clean as gin and has more impurities like acetone and the like. Or maybe mixing rum with the occasional glass of cheap paisono Grappa wine, messed things up.
I did get up at 8 and ride the bike around this morning, but I came back home and slept for a few more hours before leaving again at 6 PM. I went on another bike ride, and this time I felt alive again. Went home later to call some friends, and make some "Sag Aloo" or "Panak Aloo", which means Spinach and potatoes depending on which Indian dialect you are listening to. Same cooking procedure and spice combo as the previously describe "Bhindi Marsala". Be sure to boil the chopped potatoes first before adding them to the stew. Just make the Bhindi Marsala recipe again and use finely chopped spinach instead of okra, and potatoes rather than tomatoes. This dish is a bit more bitter but less acidic. I might try adding a small dose of sweetener next time.. I did put a table spoon of butter with the mixture, since "Ghee" adds more flavor than vegatable oil does. I stiill put in quite a bit of canola oil in this concoction.
Way better than the Bhindi in my book. I did make the changes I described earlier and they worked out well. I did hit it too hard with the cumin, but no big deal. This meal was nearly the same quality as the restaurant. Just a couple small changes and I will have this down. Might even start an Indian restaurant someday, in a place like Wyoming or Montana. Charge way less for the vegetarian versions and might even convince a few rednecks that not all meals require a pound of meat. I am down to a mere two or three ounces of meat per day, after having no meat at all. This is not planned, but is a natural result of eating too much indian fare. Meat should be a condiment and not a main course. Unless you happen to be a Tiger, Wolf, or Alligator. Humans, Chimps, and Pigs, are Omnivorous, not Carnivorous. We all share many other similarities as well!
Put my new 8 gallon (Bio-orb) fish tank together. right now its running fishless until tomorrow, when I plan to add a couple fish just to cycle the tank. New tanks need a month with just a few fish in order to grown the benificial bacteria which is known to breakdown the wastes and toxins, that reside in the fishes urine and feces. The benificial bacteria, will turn the shit into clean water. After a month enough of the good bacteria will be present in the under gravel filter, and I will be able to fully stock the globe with fish.
Looks like only about 10 small fish can live in a tank this size, but some of the choices are beautiful small fish, such as guppies, swordtails, platy's ect... I plan to keep mainly guppies, but will throw in a few inverts, such as crabs, mussels, shrimp, as well as anything else that is interesting. The big 8 gallon globe, alone is pretty to look at without fish. With the high tech halogen lighting, it makes my old hotel living room complete.
Woke up on Sunday at 7 AM in order to call Larry and see if he was up for breakfast. Larry said "sure, but lets make it at 9", which allowed me another 2 hours sleep. Larry and I like to sit at the diner bar, since he has a penchant as flirting with all the pretty waitresses. They all love Larry, maybe since he equally flirts with the not so pretty girls in the same manner. Had the double barrel and many cups of coffee.
Went to Walmart to buy three zebra danios (minnows from India), and a fiddler crab. These fish will cycle the tank and once the beneficial bacteria are established, I can add the guppies. On my way out of Wal-mart the bell goes off and I get some semi-retarded old lady asking for my reciept. I bluntly told her that I'm not a thief , she seemed amazed that I would be offended by being stopped at the door like a common criminal. I told her I lost the receipt but I would find it if she gave me 5 dollars for bothering and embarrassing me. She didn't know what to do so I took pity on her and pulled the reciept out of my pocket. She quickly let me leave. Funny, i could have actually had stolen merchandize in my pockets, but she was only required to check my bag and receipt. Walmart treats their customers almost as bad as their employees. I dislike the place, but they do have the lowest prices so I go there when I have no choice.
After adding my fish to the tank, I grabbed my computer and headed to the coffee shop for a few hours of uploading blogs, drinking fine coffee, and listening to some old hippy playing the Spanish guitar. This small town has far more local culture than the huge city where I come from. All within bicycle distance. I will leave here someday, out of boredom, but I doubt many towns are as nice as Logan, Utah.
Pretty tired today, but a stout cup of "Highland Grogg" coffee before leaving the house, brought me to life at 6 AM. I started waking earlier, so as not to be in such an insane rush in the mornings. It was a good day overall, but I was a bit cranky and my veteran students expressed their discontent.
The 1936 "King Zephyr" Tenor sax arrived today! It is an early model "Zephyr", which is basically a rebadged "King Voll True", which is a great jazz horn, but with serious high end intonation issues and a few hard to reach keys, However, The horn is absolutely beautiful! The Art Deco engravings surrounding the "KING ZEPHYR" logo is a site to behold. Most sax engraving is a bit flowery, but the early Zephyrs were pure, in your face, Art Deco. The Saxophone equivilent of the Chrysler building! I love the looks of these horns. I went to the local horn shoppe and bought a used mouthpiece, ligature, and reeds. The owner gave me the lig and mouthpiece for free, since I promised to bring the sax in for a tune-up. I also told him about my series 3 "Zephyr" alto, which needs a complete repad, and he will get that business as well.
I got home, looked and my tenor, which is as beautiful as a Mercedes S-500 and more beautiful than any women I know, and put her components together, being careful to get the reed good and wet before attempting to play. A few of the pads leak a bit, and some of the action is a bit slow, but once I started up and down two octaves of the "C Major" scale, I could tell I have a winner. The Zephyrs were the best sounding Jazz saxes that were ever made. They can scream loudly, then whisper softly to where they can barely be heard. This is the best sounding Tenor I have ever played. Couldn't make much noise in my apartment, so I headed to the school at 7 PM, in order to play in my classroom. Once there, I downloaded, some jazz warmup scales, and a Coletrane song "Giant Steps", which I plan to work on this weekend, up in the mountains where no one will laugh at me. I still play pretty good after 30 years out of high school, and my understanding of how to play is much more evolved than when I only played marching tunes. Despite the intonation issues, I bought a world class professional, beautiful jazz horn for only $500. A series 3 Zephyr tenor (1942) would be worth over 3 grand in the same condition. And the series one's (1936) models have much more interesting engraving in my opinion. Once tuned up, it will be worth well over $1200 but I will not sell her, unless I get good enough to require a more perfect sounding instrument. Even if that should happen, I will mount her on the wall for she is genuinely a fine example of American Art at its best.
I also downloaded Bachs' "Tocatta and Fugue", and Beethovens "Moonlight Sonata", for the organ. I know I can play the latter, but I will have fun attempting the former, which is 20 pages long. I will try to play the intro first, and if thats as far as I get, that will be fine with me. Just need some scary sounding Halloween organ music to impress my neighbors with. Under no circumstances will I attempt to impress anyone with my sax playing for at least 5 or 6 months!
Came back to the house around 8:30, drank my only beer of the day and watched the glorious sunset over the tall, steep, Wellsville range (the "Wellies" as Logan calls them), from the fire escape (AKA: My back yard). Afterwards, I returned to the apartmentand in order to study the Art of making "Bhindi Marsala", also known as Okra and Tomatoes Hindu style.
"Bhindi Masala for one"
1/2 lb chopped frozen okra
one small/medium tomato
four green onions or one small/medium round onion
a couple cloves of Garlic (I didn't do this but missed out)
1/8 cup olive oil or canola (if you use olive oil, be mindful of the low burning temps)
1/4 tsp or less of salt (sorry mom, this dish needs some)
2 tablespoons of hot curry powder
1 tablespoon of marsala powder
(some recipes add a tsp of baking soda to counter-act the acidity of the tomatoes, I wish I had done that too)
put oil in good heavy bottomed sauce pan.
Fry onions and garlic until translucent
Lower temp to medium
Add curry powder and other spices
stir till the gravy thicksns (two minutes at the most)
add okra, stir gently so as not to smash it and make it more slimy
once its bubble for a couple minutes, turn heat to low, and cover for 20 minutes, or until you think your okra is tender but not too squishy.
Serve with rice or naan bread. I somtimes substitute a tortilla but its not the same. Much cheaper though. I didn't make rice tonight, but used some frozen Naan that was kickin around the fridge. Rice would have been better, since this dish is quite acidic and pungeant!
Overall, it was pretty good for a first timer. Not as good as in the restaurant across the street, but close. Next time it shall be better with the inclusion of garlic and soda. I suggest you research different recipes, especially regarding the spice mix.
Next time I plan to make my own Marsala and Curry powders using my mortar and pestle. Packaged curry is just not the same.
View from my backyard!
September 1st, 2010:
Had another Swell day at school, happy with the present crop of kids I have. Maybe I'm just getting better at whipping them into shape, but this seems to be a good crew. Came home and dozed for about an hour then went for a drive on the Kawasaki 1000. Stopped in to see my Hindu friends at the only Indian ran conveinience store in town, and bought the ingredients for "Bhindi Marsala", which is okra and tomatoes, cooked with the usual Marsala group of spices. "Marsala", is pretty much a Northern Indian curry powder, that contains some weird shit like "powdered mango". I plan to cook all this on Thursday or Friday, depending on the mood. I also stopped by "Pets Mart", to get a new powerhead, so the right side of my classroom, marine aquarium would get some badly needed circulation. I only have one small fish and a handful of crabs and snails in a 55 gallon marine aquarium, so its time to get the bastard back in shape. Turns out that our local "Petsmart", is about to be renovated so they had high priced objects marked down to nearly 90 percent off for some things!
I have always wanted one of the new high tech smalled acryilic aquariums, and they had the 4 gallon "Biorbs" FIFTEEN DOLLARS, marked dowyn from 85 dollars. The tank is a beautiful globe, with built-in power filter, high tech ceramic bio-gravel, and a halogen light. One could make a small coral reef from these fine components. I bought one. An hour later, I cam back to buy another one for my son, but they were gone. So I bought a larger 8 gallon "BiOrb", which costs $140 dollars, and I paid $24 dollars for it! I plan to make it into a coral reef, which I have never attempted before. I have kept many saltwater ("fish only" tanks, but never a reef. Coral needs strict water quality, and even periods of sun light, to moon light. This tank has most of the stuff to achieve, building a small coral reef system. Of course with salt water, I can only keep one tiny fish in it, but the corals will be beautiful. I need a hobby, and this will be a cheap one. (sept 4th: Had a change of plans an d decided on a guppy tank. Way cheaper and I want to breed some beautiful guppies. I can also put some frogs, crabs, and snails in the tank. Plus, Guppies are quite cold hardy and salt loving. My crabs and guppies will enjoy the same environment. I'll be growing a few plants in there as well.. The reef tank will be a later project once I'm not so busy.
I do have another 55 gallon, bowfront salt water tank in my storage, but it was too big of a hassle to keep running, so I can now sell it to someone who wants it.
Went to dinner at "Le Nonne", considered to be the finest restaurant in town. I've never been, its way to pretentious for this old guy, but since the bass player of the jazz group is an aquaintance of mine (I gave his family my llama), and a fellow teacher, I decided to stop in. I told the snotty acting "greeter", that I was here to watch the band. She looks at me and told me that "You will have to buy dinner to watch the band" WTF? I was pissed. I didn't react well to being talked down to by some snotty college girl on her first job. I asked "Do I look like I'm too poor to buy dinner?" I was dressed well enough, wearing a silk jacket and everything, but since I came alone, and mentioned the "band", she in all her ancient wisdom decided me to be a pauper of sorts. I realize I over-reacted, but dumb people have to learn who their talking down to. Directed to the "table that most couples do not want", right in front, was actually the optimum table for me. Although my friend wasn't playing tonight, I got to chill to some classy, cool. The world class Italian meal, failed in comparison to cheaper Italian places, like "Napolies" in Allen, Texas, or even in my own kitchen. I think the chef there was mainly up on making Gnocci (Northern Italian Potato Dumplings) and (Fagioli....which is Bean soup), his "Penne Bolognese" was ok, but wasn't anything, me or my father couldn't have improved upon. The wine was 1/4th of a glass for the card board stuff (5.99 per), so after the two partial glasses of wine, and the pasta, I left. I did spend an hour listening to the incredible music of a female jazz keyboardist, and a drummer and bass player. My aquaintance wasn't there, but I enjoyed their music just the same. Their rendition of "The girl from Ipanema", was touching as were many other songs that I was fortunate enough to listen to. I would have stayed there for another hour but the pretentiousness of the restaurant, and the speed of which the waitress gave me the check, made me feel a bit unwelcome. I plan to go back next week and be cheap and only order appetizers, while ordering a cola, which will make a fine vehicle for a few shots of flask rum.
The waitress, who was warned about my surliness from the greeter, was quite professional, did her job well without snottieness, and won a 35% tip for her courtesy. I will be back,
hopefully I can talk Logan or Larry to join me.
Came home around 9:30 and studied more of the works of "Dashiel Hammet", writer of the "Maltese Falcon". Now I'm reading his first novel entitled "Red Harvest", which is a good read. I am totally in love with the slang of the 1920's, and find it quite interesting. Hammet, apparantly (correct me if I'm wrong), only wrote 5 little novels all between the years of 1929 and 1934. He was born in 94 and died in 1961. What makes writers how they are? Some like Louis Lamour or Stephen King seem to write all the time, while others, only write a few and only then for a little while. Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Steinbeck, didn't really write that much come to think of it by comparison. Hammets' life works only consist of some 700 pages total, by far, the least amount of total pages for the group. But DAMN, he was a good writer. Maybe the star that shines the brightest, burns out the fastest? Seems to be the case here... Too bad he couldn't have gotten away from the detective theme. His writing style was the best in his genre, if not all genre's. Hammett, didn't mess around with character discriptions, yet his characters where fully described in such a little space of text. He didn't waste words. His 120 page novels, had as much info or more as the Epic novelists. I also read all Grishams works, but Hammett could easily tell all those stores, using 120 pages as Grisham does in 700. Funny, it tends to take me about the same amount of time to read a short Hammett novel as it takes to read of of Grishams' 700 pagers. Nothing against Grisham, or the other novelists. Maybe in the days of the pen and ancient typewriters caused writers to economize or something. Steirnbecks novels were short as well for the most part. East of Eden is pretty long, but sucks compared to many of his shorter works. Works like "Tortilla Flat" and "Cannery Row" seem to radiate from Steinbecks heart, where "The Red Pony" and "East of Eden", seemed like Steinbeck was trying to be a popular writer when he wrote those. "The Grapes of Wrath" was more of a news report than a novel. But a damned good read nonetheless. All of the above are probably turning in their graves at having a very novice writer analyze their works. And to the souls of the previously discussed, I do humbly apologize for misinterpreting your writings, but all criticizm is opinion, and hopefully I presented them as a view from my perspective and not in the absolute. Did I just stay up reading and writing to 2 AM again? Work should be painful in the morning. Maybe this winter when its dark around 5 PM, I will be able adjust my schedule to get to sleep earlier. Nite all.
Aug 17, 2010
August, 30th, 2010:
After staying up till 3AM, writing, reading, talking on the phone...etc. I woke around 10 AM, and felt a need for strong coffee and exercise. I phoned my old buddy "Larry", the 62 year old ex-Mormon apartment maintenance man, and Prince of a human being. I have previously described Larry, he is a semi-reformed Alcoholic, and one of the best people that I know. We used to hang out at the same pool hall, but I don't do the bar/pool hall scene anymore. We did manage to get together for breakfast at "Angies" this morning, and had the "double barrel", which consisted of two eggs, two sausage patties, and two bacon, and the gigantic two pancake, complete with three ramekins or syrup. I like to carve a big hole in the center of the pancakes, pull out the core, then: fill the hole with all the syrup and just let it sit for awhile, since I eat the sausage and eggs first. Once that's done, I pick around the borders of the "caldera", until new real-estate gets marinated. By and by the entire circle of the center of the pancake (Aka "the caldera"!), gets eaten away, the remains are deliberately left on the plate, so as not to appear as a hungry pauper! Actually, I eat very little, so I can't handle a giant breakfast such as this.
While going to the grocery store a few hours later after making a shopping list, which I generally do not do. The ingredients of "Falafel" equal, the object of my main destination.
So at the store I bought a hand mixer which doubles as a blender. I also bought "Falafel" spices, and raw ingredient mixtures. Stuff for the accompany Falalfel sauce was purchased as well. I do tend to spend a couple hours when shopping at a grocery store, and slowly check out all that the store has to offer. Most people are in and on=ut in fifteen minutes, but I read every price, every mark down, I compare each and every product I require, then decide whether the quality is worth the quantity. Grocery shopping is one of the few social activities I have and I find it quite enjoyable. Today I bought 4 large sacks of stuff and had a heck of a time fitting them all on my bicycle. Thank god for that bungee cord I brought along, it managed to hold two heavy paper bags of groceries onto a little book rack, while the other two got stuffed in the pannier bags. I did have to tie the blender and a loaf of bread to the handle bars, I could actually feel the spokes groan as I slowly headed home with a 400 pound load on my bike (including me). People were staring and grinning when I passed by, it was very comical.
I tried making "Falafel",. using the ready made mix (not recommended). Falafel, is used all over the middle East between Greece and Persia, and down to 'Egypt. Falafel is truly an Egyptian dish which consists of either fava or garbanzo beans, mixed with onion and spices then rolled up into little balls and fried. Consider the "Scarab" or "dung beetle". The sacred Scarab was revered in ancient Egypt because they turn piles of human and animal shit into spherical objects which resembled other planets, which were also round and spherical. The Egyptians considered the Scarab to be the creators of the earth! Falafel and the other bean recipes, enabled the Ancient Egyptians to get enough protein power to move all the large stones, obelisks, sculptures, and pyramids. Today, Egypt doesn't stand a chance at these endeavors. Think! 5 thousand years of a huge assed civilization, now unable to even remove trash from the streets. Egypt was built on beans. Fava, Garbonzo, Lentils, peas, kidney, navy, you name it, Beans were the king of Egypt, and at least 4000 year of our ancient history. I am a firm believer in the power of beans and attribute thousands of years of Egyptian dominance, a result of bean cultivation. Ancient Egypt began as a few farming communities which depended on the Nile river for everything, initially didn't built grand temples and obelisks, nor did they build the great pyramids, Once the agriculture became successful , the rulers could expect the citizens to live off little or nothing, Beans, way cheaper than meat, became the fuel of the ancients, Meat protein became an elite sort of thing, the rest of the people ate little meat, and continued to tend the reliable fields which coincided with the floods of the Nile River for thousands of years, With food costs down to pennies a day, the Pharaohs could focus on more important things such as tomb construction.
While cooking up the packaged Falafel and the cucumber/yogurt dressing, I was listening to old Garrison Kieler on the radio, who said something I had to stop and think about. He said something to the effect of "I used to think that Faith, was doing what is expected, following the traditional guidelines in order to gain faith, that one has done well. The older I get I realize that that isn't "Faith" at all. Faith is having the courage that you will succeed no matter what others think or say about the path you have chosen. Faith is the confidence when you know that everything will be alright no matter how bad it looks to the outsider". This made me worry less about my children who all seem to have faith in their futures despite what I may think.
August 28th, 2010:
Haven't written in a week, In fact, I am now a busy man whose creativity tends to get sucked out during the week. But don't worry, although I live during the week close to death by giving my all to some system, I am alive with my two or three paltry days off I get on the weekends. This Weekend is a 3 dayer, but most are not. Usually I recover from the energy spent during the week by sleeping about 18 hours on a Saturday, but this weekend I hope not to waste it like that. Even while sitting most of the day, the stress of talking to hundreds of people per day tends to beat me down. I do however love my job, it is not meaningless whatsoever. Boring at times, stressful, frustrating, and many other adjectives, but overall it is quite rewarding. I love my students, and many of my co-workers....
My new place is quite relaxing since I'm finally able to read at home, while enjoying an excellent view for once. My first year here, I lived in a basement with large women running around above me, and very poisonous "Hobo Spiders" (seriously, google it), crawling across my feet late at night, and some toxic assed mold, which grew freely in the cement wet closet, and caused much sickness during the winter. We loved the house and its inhabitants (upbeat college Mormons mostly), but we had to go after 18 months. During the winter of our second year, we upgraded to renting an old house near the school I work at. But the landlord decided to sell after we were there for another 18 months, and since Logan is a grown man on his own, I decided to downgrade, and live in a smallish, simple loft, above a sporting goods store, that used to be the biggest hotel in this town. I got one of the best suites, the owner calls it "The Penthouse Suite", and most of the other rooms are lacking in style and size. I do pay the most, at $450 per month but its not to costly for me, nor would it be for one with a full time job making the minimum. Most around here collect disability or social security. The neighbors are mostly quiet and nice folks, The few criminals and insane people do not bother me, in fact I get respect from them since I am a teacher afterall. Even criminals respect a few of their teachers from the past. So far my motorcycle, truck, and bicycle have dwelt in the back parking lot and no criminal has messed with any of them. Many of the other bikes around here have been stripped to the bone. Not mine!
I do love living here, Tonight, I took the screen off my middle window (since we have no bugs up here, too much pollution downtown), so I could take some good photos of the street view from my happy perch. The college kids were invading downtown, and wearing their "Aggie Shirts", which is the name of the USU football team, the college kids were having a ball, getting free ice cream and food samples from all the restaurants down here, The traffic was heavy and their socializing filled the downtown area with their glee. I was merely a witness, and stayed up here where it was safe, and failed to join them. I would rather drink my Gin and Tonics, then eat their ice cream I guess. I wish that wasn't true but it is. Ice cream is meaningless to me for the most part. Reminds me of a line by the author Mario Puzo, who wrote "The Godfather". He writes in his books about how the Hollywood stars, and movie people tend to become "desensetized" after many year of their debaucheries. I see these kids filled with extascy from gorging on ice cream but remembering that I was boozing it up when I was in those college years. No regrets, but habits are a damned shame, Judgemental and belief in the ridiculous are much worse habits from my standpoint. The few ice cream lovers that avoid that pitfall are truly golden people, and i am honored to know a few of them.
Took my 8 year old Raleigh bike in for a tune up for the first time since I bought it new. This bike has been nothing but reliable and tough for all these years, This bike has been used and abused, and has enjoyed a few minor crashes, but just keeps on providing me with cheap, realiable transportation. If I had to choose between my motorcyles and truck for only one form of transportation, the bike would win hands down. I decided to take it to the bike shop down below my place to have it "tuned up", since she has been feeling abit out of adjustment for the past few years, and boy it made a huge difference. The shifting and brakes are now spotless, I am now going to put on some metal studded tires, so I can drive her to school in the winter time. School is a mere three blocks away. so no need to start the truck, shovel the snow, and melt the windshield every day! I got a good bicycle, she starts every time and is decent transportation on all but the snowiest days.
August 21, 2010: Saturday.
Been quite a week as the first week of school usually is no surprises here. Monday, I had to find room to store the three motorcycles which spent the summer in my classroom. Apparently the fire Marshall didn't approve of them since they do contain enough gas to cause quite a fire. So I decided to dig the old 75 Dodge powerwagon "Hellbitch 1" out of my storage shed. Since all the stuff from my old house was stacked up inside the truck, in the truck, on the truck, and on top of the truck, we first had to haul a bunch of junk of of the shed, in order to get enough room to back the truck out. The truck had a dead battery so I had to use a tow strap to pull her out while my trusty assistant "Luiz", did the steering; the near flat back tire made this harder than it should have.
Once we got the "Hell Bitch" illegally parked next to the shed, we managed to stack up all the boxes to the point where 4 motorcycles were able to fit inside the space. I called the local scrap yards and was quoted "$150 if you can get the truck here, $50 if we have to tow it". But since no one wanted to tow it today, I called a scrap yard about 30 miles away, in the middle of the desert, in "Garland Utah".. Haha, now I can only imagine what type of "Garland", one could make out of sagebrush and rattlesnakes, but that is the name of the remote out post. The owner wasn't the brightest candle on the cake either. Not only did he drop all his "t's" (Mou-An, rather than "Mountain", he couldn't seem to get his math right. Since he had no idea what a basic 70's truck weighed, I told him that the places in Logan offered $100 if they towed the truck $150 if I brought it in. So he shrewdly proclaims "Aiiiggght, I will only give you $140 for the truck. (an amount $40 more than the locals were offering) He promises to pick the truck up around 5:30, so Luiz and I settled down for a game of chess for an hour. Luiz learned how to play chess last spring, now he beats me much of the time. Its fun since we talk trash and talk like pissed off ghetto pimps while we play, you really have to be there to understand the humor I'm speaking of, but if you were outside of the door, you would swear that two ghetto pimps were rhyming on each other with guns drawn. We also insult each others "Mamas", in the grand Southern tradition. Good times.... Luiz finished school last year, and remains a trusted friend of mine. Although he helped me for 4 hours he refused to take my money. He remembered how I used to front him free silver, since he had no way to pay for it. These Mexican folks make good friends to have, we are fortunate to have some way up here in the great white north!
yet I digress..
So the Garlander fails to show or call at the allotted time. I call him up and he says he can't seem to find enough cash for the truck. I asked him "How much cash ya got"? trying to sound as ignorant as possible. He says "I got a hunderd". I told him to bring the "hunderd" and a check for the rest. He replies shrewd as hell: "Ok, I will bring the "hunderd", and a check for the other "hunderd and fiffy"! No joke! So he finally pulls in around 7 o'clock, and damned if he didn't pay me the hundred in cash and a check for $150. Since his bank had an office in town, I was there when the bank opened and cashed it the next day.
The rest of the week was hectic but fine. My students are cool as usual, classes are larger, nice to see old friends and students.
My friend Rob shows up Thursday night, we hung out a few hours but I was home by ten. I still managed to stay up until 2 AM, since that is my natural bedtime. I still lectured successfully to all my classes the next day, but then came home and slept for 18 of the next 24 hours. I was behind in sleep.
Mom calls me at 9:30 this morning and we talked for about thirty minutes, I was planning to cook my own breakfast, but since I was awake so early, I went to the ibis, and met up with my friend "Ricky", who was the one who journeyed to South America on his dirt bike this year. Spent a couple hours discussing many subjects, from computers, to his days as Bassist for the band "The Nixons", he even had videos with the band playing "Friday Night Videos", back in the late 80's. "The Nixons" were known nationwide. Rickey still gets royalties from those days, but he says they get smaller every year. Now his main interest is on Fly fishing. He plans to re-teach me how to fly fish one of these days. Ricky is a cool dude, nice to meet a new friend at my age, with an ability to have an interesting conversation with. Saw Logan and his friends up at the Ibis as well. I used to hang out at nights in bars. Hanging out for a few hours in the morning at a coffee shop is much more pleasant. I saw the owner today, an old hippie who was as old as my dad. This old gentleman, has created the coolest place in town, with diverse people of all ages spending a few hours a week there. They do make some brilliant coffee. I purchased a pound of "Highland Grogg", which is my favorite, since Logan and his friends turned me on to it a couple months ago.
Went to the post office, and my three radios were there. I ordered 3 decent sized modern radios from the Internet, and they were here in two days. These are plain AM/FM radios, but are modern and sound exceedingly well. Although a little larger than my expensive camping radio, they appear to be tougher and definitely sound a lot better. My Sangean, had lots of cool features, like 40 station programming, and short wave however; this simpler analog radio, sounds much better, and tunes to stations that the expensive radio can't seem to reach. I bought three of them, so I can give one to my father and another to my son. My son likes listening to the radio, more than those I-pods and crap. The radio is far more exciting than listing to the same old songs in my MP3 or computer libraries. The only time I listen to MP3's are when swimming or bike riding. Otherwise, I prefer the radio. So does my dad and son.
I went home at two, cleaned up a bit, then slept for the next 5 hours... Damn, I was fatigued by this schedule I now have to keep. At 8 PM, I felt like a new man. Got on the bike and went to the local book store in order to find something interesting. I finally scored a copy of "The Godfather", which is impossible to find it seemed. I did pay 9 bucks for it, but I know this is a wise purchase. I've long been wanted to compare the book to the movie, which I've watched a hundred times.
Went to the grocery store around 9 and it was dark by then. I bought the ingredients for another squash casserole which I made the previous night, and ate it in three meals.
Al's toaster oven Squash Casserole:
Take two smaller zucchinis and slice them about 1/6 inch thick. Put a little salt and pepper on the slices, the salt soaks up the bitter tastes like in eggplant. I used just a tiny amount of salt doing this since I am on a low salt diet.
arrange the slices on the bottom of a buttered meat loaf pan.
Take two eggs, a bit of cream (or sour cream), and a cup of diced cheese. (Mozzerella is good, but so is any other cheese). 1/4 cup of olive oil, some Italian seasoning, one cup of bread crumbs, 1/2 cup chopped onions and anything else you personally like for your tastes. I recommend a bit of garlic too.
Mix it all up and dump it on top of the zucchini, then arrange the rest of the zucchini slices on the tip. Then you should put 1/8th cup of the cheese that I forgot to tell you to reserve, and drizzle a bit of olive oil, and more spices on the top. Put this in the toaster over at 350 for about an hour.
Good stuff! Tastes like quiche, with a similar consistency. Tomorrow I might add a small amount of Italian sausage to the mix, but I prefer vegetarian for the most part since this should be all about the squash. Thinking about using Indian spices instead of Italian, all depends on my mood.
I also made a glass of "Doogh" today, which is a refreshing yogurt drink of Persian origin. I had a glass of the stuff at a Persian restaurant in Plano, Tx. this summer and I found it to be quite palatable, and refreshing. Simply add a cup of plain yogurt with a cup of water, add 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper and some mint of you have it. I didn't have the mint but the salt and pepper were just fine. They also recommend adding cucumber pulp to the mix to make it more refreshing. I love this stuff, and its good for you if you use the low-fat plain yogurt. Very good on a hot summers day! Try it!
I finished the Puzo book "The last Don", and I finished "The Maltese Falcon" in the past week. Read little of the others, but I am progressing on "Comanche Moon" and even read a bit of the "Upanshads". Reading, while listening to the radio is a fun thing to do, sure beats watching sit-coms for hours each night, or playing Internet games. My phone now has the Internet, which keeps me in touch, but is to much of a pain to waste my time playing games. I can still check my facebook and e-mail, or even surf Wiki or bid on EBAY items.
I hope to write more this next week, but during the week I am either too beat, or lack any new stories that are interesting. I'm just grinding away toward my death in order to get money but that is the way of the world. "The daily Grind". But who knows what will happen this year. Overall, this should be an interesting time, since so much change has occurred since last year. I am fully looking forward, and saving for a long trip to India next summer, and maybe that will help keep me going during the upcoming winter months.
August 15Th 2010: Sunday morning. Made myself wake up at 9 AM after 5 hours of sleep. Went to the living room, sat in chair, then slept till 2 PM. I will be screwed tomorrow morning. It is totally un-natural for me to go to bed at 10 PM. I have done it for years, usually fall asleep at 1 PM, and am a total zombie the next day, often napping right after school.
I went to "The Beehive Grill", to pay a dollar for their "Triple nickel" special. Or 5 wings for 15 cents each. I washed then down with an "Arnold Palmer", which is iced tea mixed with lemonade. The bartender, a long time friend of mine just returned from India, after volunteering at a leper colony for the past month. She told me about her travels, and convinced me that India, is where I want to spend a few years. My friend Chuck went there a few years back and had the same opinions of the country. I was thinking about Southern China, for the past year, but since I don't like Chinese food, and would feel totally alone in a total foreign place like China (I have been to Korea, and while interesting, was lonely as hell), India makes a bit more since. I love the food, many Indians speak my language, and my personal beliefs lean for more toward the Indian than the Chinese. Both places are cheap to live and China does have more employment opportunities, but India appeals to me more. I actually took a senior level college course on the History of India from 1400 to 1850, and I've read many books, articles, and documentaries about the subcontinent. India should provide me with plenty of writing opportunities, and chances to explore 6000 years of historic ruins, and fascinating cultures. There are many races of people with their own religions, cooking, histories, etc. For example, "The Jain" people are an off shoot of "Hinduism", and are obsessed with avoiding any karma whatsoever. They wear veils over their faces in order to keep bugs from getting killed by being inhaled accidentally. They also look down when they walk in order to avoid stepping on any creature since killing causes bad karma. Of course all Jains are strict vegetarians. There are millions of "Jains" in india. The "Parsi" are another large ancient minority originally from Persia (Iran), who are practitioners of "Zoroastrianism", which is much like the ancient Greek religion with its pantheon of Gods. You have descendants of the "Marathas", and ancient race of people who used to rule the south while Britain was swallowing up the rest of India. The descendants of the "Moguls", invaded India 900 years ago and eventually built the "Taj Mahal", there are many other kinds of people and culture to be experienced in India. I can't wait to live there some day.
Currently, I must serve my year at Logan High. I love this school, the students are great, but they are just cramming to many of them into each class. My classes involve sharp and expensive tools, and we have three different rooms, where the students do different aspects of sculpture and jewelry making. Its getting too hard to keep every one safe. Utah, needs to up their sales and property taxes a little, so they can adequately fund their schools. Saying all that, I also enjoy living in the northern Rockies, and living in a safe, pretty Mormon town. Logan is the nicest town I've ever lived in. But after three years, I have little more to learn here, once this happens I get lazy and bored, and start dreaming of finding a new place to learn about. But a 50k per year job is a tough thing to walk away from. I know that there is no better place to teach than in Logan, Utah, yet I find myself wanting to move on and explore new places before I get to old to do it. I also need a break from the stress. Stress, is killing me. The act of corralling, counseling, and teaching 170 kids per day is severely affecting my health. I need to just move to India, Live and write on $400 per month for a year, maybe even teach on the tnternet for $15 per hour, so I can make ends meet. Work 40 hours per month on the computer, rather than 200 hours per month in the classroom. But I'm not done with Logan yet. I will make the best out of this year, and will try to improve my health, while selling off as many of my possessions and saving money. I have the responsibility of providing my students with a fun and enriching learning experience as well. No matter what should happen this year, I will spend next summer in India, no matter what happens. (yes I heard the "grass is greener" crap before I made the move to Utah, so spare me)!
$400 per month living in India? Yes, I've done the research. And you could make it on $200 per month if you didn't drink, or travel much. Rent in a place as nice as mine is about 90 bucks per month. If you pay 20 bucks more, you get free breakfast and dinner. Another 20 per month and you get the internet, cable, and a morning English newspaper. I just want a safe place with a balcony. Not sure which city, but Bangalore has a lot of call center instruction jobs for $1000 per month for someone with teaching qualifications. "Varanasi", is a very ancient smaller city, on the banks of the Ganges river, where the Buddha, lived during the monsoon season. "Chennai", has excellent beaches north and south of the city. So maybe I will move every three months until I find the place for me. I hope to spend at least 5 to 10 years there, coming back to the states every 2 years to visit the family. The internet does keep people closer than the old days. Back in the early 80's, the only way to keep in touch was to write letters, or spend a shitload of money for a short phone call. If I went out there, I would have SKYPE, set up with a phone cam, in order to call and see my friends and homies. I will probably choose to teach online for $15 per hour and work a few hours per day, which will more than pay for the cost of living, My current plan is to stick it out this year, then to scout India (maybe other nearby countries as well), this summer.
Its now Tuesday, August 17Th, after two days in school, I'm feeling better about this year. My classes don't seem too unmanageable, but these were both in service days so we shall see how many more get dumped into my class. Nice to see some of my fellow teachers, and even a few students have stopped by. Getting up at 6:30 SUCKS! Its unnatural, unless your a farmer or a hunter. My main complaint about my school, is that we start class at 7:35 AM. I'd much rather start at 9:00, when the sun is up, and its 20 degrees warmer, but the godly believe in getting up early as hell, so they get home by 3PM, and have 4 more hours daylight, to work a second job, or go to church functions. So I have to be at school by 7:15, which is awful in the winter, usually having to get out there and scrape ice from the windshield, often shoveling a shit load of snow, while its pitch black outside and 5 below zero, while trying not to fall on the ice. I would walk the 1/2 mile to school, but January and February that would mean falling on the icy concrete and breaking my back. So I'll probably bicycle it, until late December, then take the truck until March. But I have three nice months to look forward to, and fully plan to make the most of it.
August 14th, 2010:
Last Saturday before work. I did manage to wake at 10:00 AM rather than the usual 2:00 PM. Tomorrow I will wake at 8:00 AM, no matter how tired.
Went to brekkies at Cafe Ibis, and noticed an old man checking out my bike, which I previously put a "for sale" sign on. Since I had 10 minutes to even get breakfast, I asked him to join me at Ibis, where I handed him my key and let him take a test drive while I rushed in to qualify for the breakfast cut off time of 11 AM. He was in his 70's and showed up on a very fast older bike, so I figured he wouldn't wreck my ride. He came back like 10 minutes later, but I wasn't interested in trading for an 80's model truck. I noticed the old looking beat up Suzuki DR 650, with full long term touring cases, and battle scars. I have seen this bike over and over, and I was fortunate enough to find its owner this morning. I knew from the looks of the bike that he had beaten down a few thousand miles of trails, but I had no idea...
"Ricky", the motorcyclists name, had gone from Canada, and took the 95 percent dirt "Great Divide" trail which travels along the highest peaks of the Rocky Mountains, all the way down to Mexico. But Ricky kept going... He then took the "Pan American" highway, from Mexico down to Panama. The only gap in the "Pan American", is known as the "Darian Gap", which is a marsh, tidal swamp, and impenetrable jungle that separates Panama and Columbia. Ricky had to pay a sailboat, 500$ to bring him across that gap, which is also known for its extreme lawlessness. He then went from Columbia, thru Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and wound up at the southernmost city in the world known as "Ushuia" Argentina, which is about 600 miles from Antarctica. Logan and I were in Ushuia, about 5 years ago, so we had a lot of South American notes to compare. Of course, this dude, took 14 months of hard driving, and survival situations in order to do it. While, I just took a plane and a cruise ship.
Turns out that Ricky was from Oklahoma, and used to play in a punk rock band known as the "Nixon's", during the time I used to play in "Deep Ellum", Dallas, back in the late 80's early 90's, and used to play in the same venues. The Nixon's, were far more famous than the groups I used to jam with. He actually made money playing professionally. So we gammed on an outside table of Ibis for like 3 or 4 hours, which is a record for me to talk to anyone without a drink in my hand. Ricky has accomplished one of the most harrowing motorcycle journeys I've ever heard of, but he is more impressed with the people who traveled down the same roads by bicycle. Those crazy bicycle peeps, amaze the shit out of me as well.
I admire those folks, but ultimately prefer the plane and cruise ship route. Yes, I will travel a few hundred miles on a motorcycle trip, but when going to Chile, I'd just assume fly down there, then look around. But certain situations, and mind sets seem to gravitate toward the extreme. Ricky, speaking of many of the other motorcycle travelers, down in South American, said that more than a few of them were suicidally depressed, and took the risks as a last resort, since "they didn't want to die with money still in their pockets". Rickey, merely did it out of boredom, but I understand the mentality of those he described. Many of the "Suicidal ones", were from Europe.
Ricky and I both agreed that Logan, Utah is the best place in America to live. With the extreme natural beauty of the nearby wilderness, and of the upbeat, non pretentious town of Logan itself. Logan, is the nations safest metro area (population of 100,000 or more), and is recognized for being the safest city in the US, each year. You can leave your doors unlocked in most places in this city. Unless you live in downtown apartments, where the poor, destitute and the insane live. No violent criminals do I see around here, but there are more than a few scavengers who live downtown, due to no other options. I still agree with Ricky: Logan, Utah is the nicest place to live in the US. Period. The factors taken into consideration while formulating this opinion were, natural beauty, cost of living, low crime, vitality of the town itself. Logan rocks in my book. But I am already itching to go elsewhere. I better watch what I wish for.
After tiring of Ibis, I went to "Borders Books", and did some net surfing, since the Ibis, seats start to hurt the ass after a few hours of talking. Ibis seat tend to be more waif friendly, the seats are only a foot wide. . Borders is cool, because it is less crowded, and you can grab a book off the shelf, then read it while swigging coffee or tea, then putting it back. I totally love this concept! How do these places make any money? I am more than content to put my grubby hands on their books, pay two bucks for a glass of tea, use their internet, possibly their bathroom, yet never pay 20 bucks for one of their paperback books, since I can buy the hardbacks for two or three bucks at the thrift stores. Most of the books on my reading list are hardback. But I guess "Borders" does do a good business, since they also rent videos, and games. I would gladly pay a cover charge, since they allow me to camp in there for a couple hours, and ask very little. Some customers, just go in, surf the net, and leave without buying a single thing. I always pay for a coffee for dignity purposes, and have been known to buy a book or rent a video from them.
By then it was nearly 6 PM. Damn! Longest I've ever spent at two coffee places, I did spend awhile loading up my blog, and finding a decent picture for it.
I stopped to check on the Mercedes that I love with all my heart and soul, but she is still in the shop. They told me that she will see me again once she is perfect. I hate to say it, but once I see that car again, and test it out some more, that I fully plan to buy it. A man needs a woman! And I consider this car to be my object of affection that deserves my attention and total reverence. No real woman can give me as much pleasure in return for my love, as this gorgeous, large, sleek, black, Sedan will. She will always be true, never yell at me, never betray me, never love than HATE me. Hell hath no fury baby!!! Give me the machine. The machine is my one desire!.
I cooked some "Dahl/Aloo Marsala" this evening, which is Indian food consisting of Lentils and chopped potato, in Marsala sauce. I made this from scratch, so no MRE pouches. Cooking this took a few hours. And no, the MRE's taste better, but they cost three bucks each. My dinner costs about 50 cents and is almost as good, but I plan to work on it. The mess of cooking for one, is nearly the mess of cooking for 4. And since I have to do both the cooking and cleaning, I believe I will buy the "Meals Ready to Eat" type of Indian food, since you only have to boil the pouch in water. But cooking from scratch is still fun. My Italian Scratch food is excellent, but my Indian does need a bit of work in order to gain authenticity.
Did another 4 hours of reading, damn I miss the TV up here, but I am firm about keeping the cable and internet out of my apartment. I do need to hook up a TV and DVD player, in order to have some visual entertainment of occasion.
Aug 14, 2010
August 13, 2010:
Went to Benson, Utah; about 10 miles away to see my llama and good friends that have given her a very nice home. They have a few marshy acres, with an irrigation canal running along their property. Their house is a geodesic dome home, with nice porches, a basement ect. What really was striking was that the place was covered in trees, which is rare up here in the high plains between the mountains. Sue is obviously in heaven, having two goat companions, as well as my friend Johanna and her little sister, who give her much attention also. I had a great time in the cool 80 degree afternoon, watching Sue, talking to these kind, educated artists, and enjoying their little farm, which was a bit of a paradise. I used to have a small paradise back in Texas, and I hope to someday get another small place with a cabin and animals someday. But regrets are stupid, I moved on to where I currently am, which is in an exciting downtown loft in the city of Logan, where there is never a dull moment.
I still can be happy for this kind family to give my llama a beautiful place to live.
Got home and shared some baloney and cheese sandwiches with my son, who paid me in full his rent money that I only loaned him a few days ago. Logan is a good boy despite some of the things I have said about him. The Bank clerk accepted my "Universal Life" Church credentials as a valid ID, which allowed me to make my deposit!
I like this minister stuff too much for my own good, but I swear to have been a student of religion and claim full legitimacy as a "Guru" (Sanscrite for "Teacher"), as a minister for Universal Life. Their website is sincere, with forums of ministers discussing sermons, wedding procedures, and what not. The credentials can be taken as lightly or as seriously as you want to take them. I take them as seriously as my teaching credentials, and I have learned to be a heck of a counselor, to all people young and old. I understand the plight of the human race, and vow to help any person who asks for my guidance and assistance. I love people.
Went to a local store and bought a long folding table, two feet wide which serves perfectly as a desk, and eating table. Except for the Organ, the rest of my furnishings are lightweight, and can be easily moved by one man in less than two hours. I desire a big old desk, but this one is cheap, sturdy, and portable. I can even take it camping, when I set up my huge "British Expedition" tent, as some sort of a wilderness base. I also bought a much needed plant, a Ficus tree, which I am well familier with as a nice looking, easy to care for plant. I also plan to get a small rubber tree and the indestructable "Mother in Law Tongue" plan which is as tough as: Well... a typical German mother in law! These plants require little in the attention department, but do need a bit of water from time to time. I love ferns and palms very much, but keeping them going is another story. I am also in search of a nice looking, "Pothos Ivy", for the big hanging hook 12 feet above, but didn't see a specimen that impressed me. Now my place is completely furnished, there is still a matter of how much Art do I put on the walls, but I like to take that one slow. A pad needs to age a bit, and decor should be well thought out over a long period of time. I hope to put some of my art on the gallery walls in this hallway once I get the permission from the landlord, who uses these walls as a gallery space. Most of the paintings are amateur as heck, but more power to them. I like the Art ok.
Out of all the previously described books I'm reading, the "Lsst Don", by Mario Puzo is getting the most attention. Here are the page reading results of the previously described books I bought recently:
The Last Don by Puzo: 173 pages down.
The Upanshads: 25 pages
The F Word: 20 pages into the Intro.
Innocents Abroad by Twain: 43 pages
The Annals of Ancient Rome by Tacticus:35 pages
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: 17 pages
The Maitese Falcon by Hammett: 3 pages, but i had to stop since the character descriptions caused me too much laughter! I will probably hit this one soon.
One hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez: 0 pages
This is my progress after two weeks of reading, I should finish the Puzo book this weekend, since I cannot seem to put it down. The rest will be labors of love and should take a few more weeks to finish (except the Upanshads). I also added McMurtry's "Comanche Moon", which I read partically this summer and just rescued from my Truck Camper. I am 116 pages in but they don't count in this current contest. So far I am happy not to have Cable at my place. I do miss the internet, but I will still
avoid getting it, since it would kill my reading and writing.
Planning to book a trip to South Eastern Colorado soon, since I am the back up minister for Melissa and Chucks wedding. I get to say a few words prior to the veteran ministers ceremony. The ticket is $370 since it lands at a small airport in Montrose Colorado, rather than a big hub like Denver. This will be my third plane trip in 10 months, but I like trips more than saving money so oh well. A fool and his money..... I know this one all too well.
Just went outside for a few minutes at 1 PM. Forty Five degrees on August 13th! It got down to 43 last night. What the hell is wrong with this place? Last night, I fell asleep in my livng room chair, with all the windows open, and by 6 AM my core temperature was gone. I climbed into bed with a sheet, light blanket, and finally grabbed a parka from the closet to wrap up in in order to restore my core temp. Once your insides are cold, it takes forever to warm up again. My question is: This is early August??? So the WTF starts to enter the equation. Yes, we have a summer that lasts 6 weeks at the most. Yes the temps will warm up next week, but we also know that winter isn't far behind. I love the cool, but last night caught me completely off guard. People try to compare the weather of Chicago and up state New York with this place, but I doubt those places see 43 degrees on August 12th! We will be having our first freeze of the year within a month. Please, dont take my constant bitching about the cold as real "bitching", in fact, I do love the cold to a great extent. My bitching is more out of curious amazement than anything else. Being able to live here, one could easily adapt to Alaska, Moscow, Greenland, wherever. This is one of the coldest places in the lower 48 states, and I am proud to adapt to this. I deplore the deadly heat of North and Central Texas far more than this. I don't even have an air conditioner and its no big deal.
About to go to sleep at 2 AM once again. I have to re-learn how to get to bed at 10 PM again somehow. Not getting enough sleep is very bad for me (and most people). I left a picture above on what I will be dreaming about.