Friday, November 30, 2012

Doom and gloom

Doom and gloom.  Woe is me. The sky is falling! Things are sooooooooo bad they cannot be fixed. It's an attitudinal thing. It's all around us and if you choose to buy into it in any given circumstance you'll pay a price. That price obviously has a direct correlation to the specific incident/circumstance involved.

Doom and gloom opens the floodgates for great comebacks and great leaders. History is full of them in every endeavor imaginable. Sports, politics, individuals.  People not giving in to doom and gloom and reaching deep inside to "win" the battle at hand. 

Sports are rife with great comebacks. Baseball has many including Bobby Thomson's  walk-off home run in 1951 - the classic "shot heard round the world"

More recently the current world champs from San Francisco had 2 amazing comebacks in consecutive playoff series to even reach the World Series which they promptly swept.

Life presents us with challenges on a daily basis.  Most of us have been behind the eight ball at some point on our lives.  Get behind on the bills - worry about making ends meet.  Just providing the basics becomes a challenge - shelter and food.  But somehow we muddle through.  Some believe it's God's will.  Others simply work hard to fix things. They don't buy in to the notion that the situation cannot be fixed - they simply press on until it is.  Again - it's an attitudinal thing. Some folks simply don't  have a glass - others work at keeping that proverbial glass full. The latter provide the rest of us with examples - they are leaders of a sort even though they may not see themselves that way.

Individuals have overcome great difficulties - think Helen Keller, Thomas Edison, that distant cousin that overcame drug addiction.  Heroes all because they did not give in to d&g.

These days there is doom and gloom here and in India to name 2 countries when it comes to politics.  Corruption is rampant in many levels of government. Here there is a great divide between the right and left - make that the extreme right and left. Both sides claim the end is near and our great country is doomed thanks to the other guy.  India has so many parties just keeping track of it all is confusing - and I have a degree in political science for crying out loud.  But I suspect a leader or leaders will emerge in both countries to find a resolution.  

Religion is a great contributor to d&g. Here in Texas a pastor at a megachurch has declared Obama's re-election signals end times. I suspect if he wasn't half black he might think differently but that's the subject for another blog.  Seems every Tom, Dick and Harry reads some tragic current event into something from Revelations.  Again. They keep trying. And then there were those pesky Mayans.  They gave real specifics to their d&g.  We'll know soon enough if they were correct.  

The reigning champions of d&g have to be the global warming crowd. There's "real" science to back both sides of the argument.  Can it be that this time the sky really is falling?  Sigh.  It's all so confusing - but it behooves us to solve this one  That is  certainty.

So thanks Padmum - for this enlightening start to our Friday. Wonder what the others have to say? Check out Anu, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, PaulRamana The Old Fossil and Will.  

Friday, November 23, 2012


Rains - water from the skies.  Drought busters.  Flood makers.  Like most things, good and bad.  Not enough or too much can be very very bad. Anything in between is usually a good thijng.

Here in Texas - right smack in the middle of tornado alley - we are prone to thunderstorms on a regular basis. I must be odd - I love them.  When I was a kid in Colorado I'd lay on the front lawn and look up to the sky during thunderstorms - when I wasn't sailing boats in the gutter. Clearly I didn't know how destructive thunderstorms can be, although frankly even if I did it wouldn't have mattered. There's just something about watching the power of mother nature that is awe inspiring.

Then there's the rain I exeriencd n Hawaii when I ived there.  It'd rain for a block  and then the sun would shine and dry me out.  My Suzuki 550 was always looked clean. It was also my only mode of transport. Oh damn - poor me.  Stuck in Hawaii with just a motorcycle. Nothing like hopping on your bike in shorts, aloha shirt and flip-flops and cruising the neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights in the rain. I miss Hawaii.

Most interesting thuinderstorm I can recall was seen out the window if an airliner winging its way back to the Bay Area from a Caribbean cruise vacation.  Off to the north was a massive thunder boomer somewhere over Kansas and in the blackness you could see lightning bolts shoot all the way to the ground.  It was a spectacular light show, dfar better than any ever seen at a club in SF way back when.  Of course in the middle of such a storm all you wonder is who'll stop the rain.

The thing about rain I love is its cleansing effect.  The smell after a rainstorm is amazing. Its no wonder companies make a fortune trying to emulate that smell in shampoos and other personal care products. None really capture the purity though.

Nothing relaxes me quite the same way as the sound of rain. All of the days troubles seem to disappear when I sit back, close my eyes and just listen.

That's a quick take on rains from shacklandCheck out what the other LBC members have to say on this weeks topic - ....Anu, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, PaulRamana The Old Fossil and Will.  

Friday, November 16, 2012


Pleasure.  A rare commodity for me these days.  Hang on a sec while I pour a glass of whiskey.....

We'll start here   with an Irish Show Band from the mid sixties....

That's a soothing start - nice to relax to while sipping that whiskey, just what's needed after a long day.

Now things are moving along nicely

Brit take on blues - sort of -

Time for a little reflection - I've heard this is Dylan's fave version

One more Dylan tune

A little rockin - a great road song while driving

Winding down now...

Last one - for I really am just an old folkie at heart

So now you see how music brings me pleasure - by listening to it and sharing it.  Ands that's a take on Pleasure 

Check out what the other LBC members have to say on this weeks topic - ....Anu, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, PaulRamana The Old Fossil and Will.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

This Will Be My Epitaph

This weeks LBC topic comes from Maria in SF -

I suppose in my case it will come down to one of two -

1) So I'm down and so I'm out but so are many others
2) Never confuse fat with stupid

Anyone that really knows me will probably think both choices somewhat logical and I'll leave it to the person I've selected to distribute my ashes to make the final call.  If these are in any way confusing you don't know me but not to worry.  It doesn't matter. The curious question is if it ever did.

Guess we'll never know.

Check out what the other LBC members have to say on this weeks topic - ....Anu, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, PaulRamana The Old Fossil and Will.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

LBC Topic - Discipline

Todays topic is discipline. Discipline - the engine that drives western civilization. Did I just hear jaws dropping and thudding on the desk/floor?? Bear with me as I justify my comment.

Merriam Webster offers 6 definitions ranging from punishment  to a rule or system of rules governing conduct or an activity. Interesting.

Discipline is the driver of nearly every successful endeavor in Western society. Lack of discipline leads to chaos or simply nothing being accomplished - depending on the endeavor in question.

Consider the following: Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy and the Zodiac Killer.  All highly successful practitioners of their chosen craft - murder. Each was disciplined enough to carry out their respective endeavors many times.  Why - two of them in fact were so successful they were never caught.  Each of them exercised an orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior - that'd be definition 5b in Webster.  It brings up an interesting point about discipline - discipline is in and of itself amoral.  It relies strictly ion the morality - or lack thereof - of its practitioner.  They each exhibited high levels of self discipline.

Now of course self discipline comes in many flavors.  Take me for example - clearly my circumferentially challenged self lacks dicipline (self discipline) when it comes to food and drink.  But I am extremely well disciplined in my work habits.  So discipline may indeed vary within an individual.

Western religion is based on discipline. If you do not do right you will surly burn in, go to or some variation thereof encounter hell  when you pass on to the next plane of existence. Unless of course you end up in purgatory like Dean Winchester recently. A simplification for sure - but accurate none the less. The so-called loving God of western religion is quite a disagreeable fellow oif you cross him.  Or her.  Can't say for sure which. And with the place in Western society held by religion once again discipline - in the form of religion - drives our society for many of us. Please note I am not - here at least - suggesting religion is good/bad or otherwise. One need merely examine - to the degree she has shared - the life and times of our buddy Delirious Delores - aka "D" - maybe that should be D-squared - and see what a positive religious experience can bring to a life.

Now back to the premise - successful endeavors driven by discipline.  While clearly there needs to be a vision for an idea to begin - without discipline that vision/idea either evaporates into the ether or collapses into chaos.  Apple grew from the vision of Steve Jobs and a friend named Wozniak,.  But without Jobs' discipline where would Apple be? Would there be an iPad or iPhone?  If Edison had not stolen the vision for the light bulb and had the discipline to develop it where would we be?

Note - discipline does not guarantee success. Many failures were disciplined all the way to the end. Again - discipline is the engine driving society.

So ultimately discipline is a tool.  A tool for society to grow - or not.  We discipline our children.  Government disciplines us.  That amoral tool that cares not of right/wrong, only of the path taken to the end. In this case the end does justify the means.

That - my friends - brings to a close today's ramblings from Shackland. As usual this was composed on-the-fly. A mental exercise that I have disciplined myself to continue every Friday.

Today's musical selection is off topic - just a song I felt like listening to and sharing

See what the others have to say - ....Anu, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, PaulRamana The Old Fossil and Will