The Mortality of a Nation

As I sit and write this article, the world falls apart at the seams all around me. I live in a nation heavily divided, to a point I believe we have not seen since our civil war. There is always the gap between generations, and we have all blamed the one prior for the state we have found our world in. This is much larger than that. This has no barrier of age, gender or race. It carries no political boundaries as those become much more blurred by the corrupted media and ridiculous propaganda we are fed.

This article is neither political nor religious in anyway, interpret it as you may. No matter what you follow to fulfill your spiritual self, the basic rules of humanity seem to be very familiar. Do not hate, do not kill, do not steal, do good and good will come to you do evil and be forever damned.  As humans we know right from wrong for the most part. We separate ourselves with boundaries, that we ourselves have created. Then we use them to protect ourselves from threats that other people have convinced us actually exist.

We are separated because that’s how they want us. It is much easier to hunt your prey when the group is smaller. Small heard with large ears, carry doubt spreading fear. No doubt, everyone cannot not always agree on all things, but most people can agree on some basic things. We all have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as humans. When your pursuit causes, or becomes the downfall of anothers success that’s where the issue lies. what ever happened to Don’t tread on me?

Just a little something to think about. If we do not find a way to come together as a nation, and take care of our own, soon there will be no nation to come together with. We are so busy fighting each other, we don’t see what is right in front of us. If you see someone stumble, don’t push them down, lift them up. United we stand, divided we will surely fall my friends. The only way back from this precipice upon which we stand, is to work together to make this nation the one it should be.

As one of the richest nations in the world, there is no way a single person should be going hungry. No reason for anyone who needs shelter to have it! All the while our tax money spent to assist every orphan country in the world that needs a daddy! We need to look our for ours, and take care of each other. I am all for helping others, but let’s look back here at the people who really keep this country rolling along.  I said all of that with no politics, not from any one side except the human side.

 

Brought to you by the Non-Conforming Semi-Circlists of world

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A new perspective

This article was originally Published on December 25, 2013.

It is now almost 7 years later and man what an Adventure it has been. I am now 56.

Without a doubt I would have to say that in my 49 years, 2013 has been the most trying and challenging year I have faced. I have encountered obstacles which I never could have imagined, and found strength where I did not know it existed. I have seen things through a different set of eyes, and comprehended situations in a different mindset. I have found a new peace, and understanding through the quagmire of untruths and have embraced my weakness’ to compliment my strengths.

 As I sit and contemplate my new awareness, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the possibilities which lay before me. Accepting that there are forces at work that are beyond my control, and understanding how to manage the way in which I interact with these situations has been my biggest challenge. Understanding that not everything that is broken can or should be fixed, and not all problems have a favorable outcome. That sometimes we just have to accept things for what they are and move on.

The last 4 weeks have been spent doing some very deep spiritual exploration and examination of who I am, how I have gotten here and where it is I want to go from here. The events and circumstances that have brought me here have been convoluted to say the least, but as I do believe everything happens for a reason I am sure in the grand scheme of things it will all make sense. My journey has been a long, and the road ahead does not appear to be a smooth one, but what would life be without those occasional bumps in the road or miscalculated wrong turns.

I move forward with anticipation of what is around the next turn, and relish in the mystery of what will be. I welcome the challenges, the victories and the failures for these together are what make a person who it is they become. Not so much as to whether one succeeds or fails, but how they handle the situation and accept the outcome. I will not let the events of this last year become who I am, or who I become. I will not respond to hatred with hatred and become my own enemy. I will be stronger than those who seek to fulfill their emptiness with anger and contempt, and I will overcome the obstacles that have been laid before me.

As I move forward, I will take with me the lessons I have learned over the past 11 and a half months and I will use them to guide me to a better place within myself. I will take the pain and I will use it to strengthen my resolve, and I will not let hatred and evil inundate my life. Destination unclear, and path yet uncertain I follow the unseen signs, seeing everything through a new set of eyes.

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In My Backyard

I originally published this in December 2013, But with the great crash of 2020 it went south with the rest of site! Thank God I keep text versions of my ramblings!

I am a south Jersey Hippie all the way, born in wonderful downtown Camden in the year of the dragon 1964. When I was around 5 years old, (I remember that because I started kindergarten) we moved to West Berlin New Jersey. A big house with a huge yard, and enormous woods, this was the edge of the New Jersey Pine barrens. Back in those days when the 2 best toys any boy could have were outside and imagination, this was a dream come true.

I could leave the house in the morning, and not return until dinner, and nobody needed to worry much. Things were much different back then. For me, it was like being Ponce de Leon on the hunt for the fountain of youth, or Columbus discovering the Americas. I fought dragons, foiled criminals and discovered new lands in those woods. I caught frogs and turtles and chased fox and raccoons, I got wet, I got dirty and I had fun.

This was the time in my life when I developed my love of the outdoors, and nature. I could spend the whole day just wandering through those woods, watching the animals, listening to the sounds, smelling the smells it was like I was the only person in the world and this whole place was just for me. I can still spend a whole day just hiking in those woods, listen, watching and photographing.

There at the edge of the Jersey Pinelands, this was my playground. As a boy I learned many things in and from those woods, and the experiences I had there. I learned to respect that which is wild, and it in return will respect you. I learned to always trust my instincts, as I watched, listened and absorbed the forest. This time in my life is most certainly that which inspired in me the Explorer soul and photographer spirit.

The spirit that pushes me to discover and explore, to go to places most people don’t, and do things that most people won’t.  Like hiking the Appalachian Trail from end to end, not something I have been able to accomplish but something on my bucket list. I can however say that I have hiked on the Appalachian Trail, in every state through which it runs. Now I know that’s not exactly the same, but it is mine, and I gotta own it! How about hiking UP the Kaibab trail, from the bottom of the Grand Canyon? Yes we did it, why? Because we could, it was  there and that’s what those woods gave me.

That was many years ago, I am now a grown man living in the suburbs. I visit the Pinelands every chance I get, because for me it is home. I carry with me everyday many things I learned in and from those woods and will take to my grave some of her secrets. The New Jersey Pinelands may be home to the Famed Jersey devil, and the legendary Pineys, but for me it will always just be my back yard.

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Losing the links

As we age into adulthood the realities of life begin to become more clear.

I wonder how many people knew their great grandparents. By knew I mean you actually have memories of them. For my generation I think most of us do not really remember our great grandparents, they likely passed when you were young. If you did know them, what can you remember about them? What things did they pass on to you, to carry on to coming generations? They have become a lost link, a part of the pathway to the past that cannot be recovered. They have taken with them both their memories and their lessons.

Most people my age have also by now lost their grandparents, and possibly their parents. What part of your parents have you become and do you carry on? What part of your grandparents have you been able to carry with you and pass on to the next generation?Every generation is an encyclopedia of knowledge, that if not passed along perishes with the author. For my generation, the passing on of what we have become, has itself become both easier and more difficult at the same time.

Technology has made it much easier to stay in touch, but at the same time brings with it less in person time with people. Some things cannot be passed through a cable wire. During this time of uncertainty, technology surely has helped many people who otherwise would have felt quite alone and Losing their links. Nothing is better than spending time with and sharing your experiences with the people most important to you.

Every time you do something, that you have done in the past with a person who is a link to your past it helps to keep the past alive. Every time you make the sauce that your grandmother taught you to make, and that you will teach your children to make. Every time you go camping with your kids, because that’s what you did as a child. Every time you take your grandkids fishing because that’s what your grandfather did with you. You are keeping the links alive. Call me a sentimentalist, but these are the things that make us who we are, that make us human.

Without a past, there is no future

 

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Revolution!

Way back in 2013, there was a  TV show that aired on NBC. It was called Revolution. It was one of those end of days scenario shows much like Jericho, or the Walking dead. No zombies in this one though. The Premise of the show is: Struggle to survive 15 years after a global blackout. An EMP  has rendered all electricity, and devices using it useless. No cell phones, no internet, no TV. The question I pose; How would you fare?

Could you?, would you?, survive in a post apocalyptic world? Assuming you survived the original apocalyptic event. If everything changed tomorrow, how would you survive? Get me wrong, Not, I am not a prepper, or one of those conspiracy nuts who thinks the end is coming. But things sure are changing quickly and not for the better. It is already apparent in all the most densely populated areas of our world, not just our country. If the shit were to hit the fan, being in a densely populated area would be the worse place to be.

The recent events of this world have shown us  how humans react in just such a scenario. It has been an incredible social experiment in humanity, and humility. If we were to be graded as a species, I think we get a D. If we take into account all that we have done to destroy this planet, I think a F is in order! But then that’s a whole different rant right there. How did you handle the current ongoing crisis? how are you still handling it?

Did you adapt, adjust and carry on? Are  you hiding away and living in fear? Are you making it work, or are you waiting for someone to do it for you? I ask these questions, not to make judgment, but to spark conversations. If everything fails tomorrow, it is completely and utterly evident that our government would not be equipped to handle the situation. They would not be there to save our collective asses. The Rich would hunker down in thier palaces and forget all about the rest of the world.

The poor would be left to fend for themselves, to hunt and forage for food, To find shelter, and safety. Again, just curious of everyone’s thoughts on how YOU would handle such an event. There are no wrong answers, as people are different and react differently to situations. Also take into account, what you think you may do, and what may actually happen could vary greatly depending on circumstances, and geography. This whole thing is very subjective and opinions can vary.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

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The Best year! During the worst year?

So 2020 has been a real bastard, kicking us all in our proverbial balls. Then Kicking us again when we are down!

I for one have tried to make this the best year possible and stay positive despite the world going to hell in a hand basket all around me. Aside from all the world bullshit, FB locked out my account for some reason and I had to start a new FB. My personal website took a dump and I have had to forage to recreate it! But that stuff is just piddly annoying shit, start again and be happy. Get Zen and go forward! I have been very fortunate through all of this, I have been blessed to be able to stay employed enough to survive. I have also stepped back and taken stock of the things that are most important to me. I have spent a good portion of the last 6 months, Outside. In the woods and the wilderness. With Nature. Although it seems to be the “TRENDY” thing to do in our current maelstrom of uncertainty, it is something I was doing long before the trendsetters arrived!

I have hiked close to 500 miles this year, sometimes alone and other times with company. What I certainly have learned is; I can do my job from anywhere in the world, as long as I have an internet connection, (Off grid would be great, but there are some comforts we all are accustomed to!) I would rather be away from the Megatroplois that is the east coast, and mostly; that when I am in the forest life is different. Yes the world is still happening, but it seems so much less. Yes just LESS! When disconnected from the daily media circus, and barage of bullshit life is slower. Life is more, lifey! Ya know where the day’s biggest problem is wrestling a bear for a marshmallow!

As I grow older, the things that are important to me seem to become less and less. I am talking material things here people, not relationships or family. I need and want less.
I need, food, shelter, and water to survive. I need family, well; because you need family! What I need most is calm. It is addictive and fantastic. I realized how easy it is to just put away the phone, tablet, laptop or whatever your E-toy of choice is. No service means there is nothing to check in on. No phone means no calls wondering why something is not working. However it also means people get worried much quicker than back in the “olden days”. Instant gratification, has caused such stress and fatigue when that need for it is not met. But that’s another story, and even that has a solution.

2020 has taught us all how to be a bit more resilient, caring and self sufficient. It has brought us together and it has torn us apart all at the same time. For me it has definitely opened my eyes as to how I want to spend my remaining time on this earth. Being one with it, and advocating for it. Sharing it and celebrating it. Life has gotten so much more plicompcated (Thanks Johnny5).We can’t go back, but we can change how me move forward as individuals and as a nation. can We spend our time fighting about whose fault everything is, or we can truly work to change the way things are done, and replace the people who are making these decisions for us. We can no longer follow blindly. End slightly political rant. It’s time we go back and learn to rely on ourselves, and lift ourselves to a higher place!.

I hope you continue to join me on my journey to serenity and peace. Zen on, and keep on Abiding.

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Feeling a Little wild today

Thought I would share some of the Wildlife I have encountered on my Adventures

Living my best life, and living life out loud!

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The Adventure Episode 6: Rolling down the River

Tune in and watch the latest episode as we float down the Delaware river in Upper Bucks County.

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The Adventure: Episode 5 part 2

So this particular trip was planned for 4 days, that did not happen. I had not made plans for where I would spend night 1. I wound up at Cherry Springs state park watching shooting stars and a comet all night. I fell asleep in the field staring at the stars. It was amazing and really relaxing. I spent day 2 exploring my way over to Worlds end state park. With a stop in Austin, at the Austin Bayless dam. While sleeping on the 2nd night at Worlds End state park, I was bitten by a spider. I got very sick for several days and had to scurry on home! I seem to be OK and have gone out camping 2x since then.

The below slideshow are shots taken at both the Austin dam and the Bayless pulp and paper company over the course of several visits.

 

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The back left corner

Somewhere, sometime, some years ago I read a column in a newspaper. Are you old enough to remember newspapers? That was the social media of my day! Anyway I read a story and it was something like this:

It was a story about a mother who had taught her young son; if you are ever lost in a store, go to the back left corner and that is where I will come for you. It was brilliant in its simplicity, and worked on several occasions when the boy was young. Over the years it became an inside joke between them every time they visited a store. As the Boy got older he began to get very sick and spent much time in the hospital. As time went on they realized he would soon die. Every night before he would sleep he would tell his mother, “Don’t worry Mom I will meet you in the back left corner”. On the night that he passed those were the last words that they spoke to each other.

I like to think they were, or will be reunited in the back left corner.  The story stuck with me, and I use the same phrase with Jace often. Of course he always wants to know where the back left corner of outside is! The genius in it’s simplicity just really made sense and the story made an emotional connection. They were the last words I spoke to both my sister and my Mother before they passed. If there is a Heaven, I imagine it might be super crowded when we get there, so knowing where to meet up could help! Of course every time you enter any building you will need to be prepared for the onslaught of questions about where is the back of the store? what side is left? what if there is no corner? What if I am facing the wrong direction?

If you have kids, you know exactly what I mean. Well that’s about all I got for today, so live long and prosper, leave only footprints and take only photos, love often, laugh more, and appreciate everyday. Everyday you wake up is a good day!

 

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