the dash between

I watched one of the last Robin Williams movies on Netflix the other day.

If you look it up on Rotten Tomatoes, you’ll find that it didn’t get very good reviews.

Critical people found a lot to dislike about this movie.

angriest man in brooklyn

I guess that most of the reviews are right….maybe.

It’s not the best movie that I’ve ever seen.

It’s far from being the worst movie that I’ve ever seen, though.

I have watched a lot of movies that were worse than this one.

Robin Williams’ character, Henry Altman, is an angry man who finds out at the beginning of the movie that he has a brain aneurysm.

He responds in his typical self-centered and angry way to the Doctor who is filling in for another physician….and she responds inappropriately to his demands to know how much time he has by telling him that he has “90 minutes to live”.

What follows are his angry attempts….with a ticking time bomb of an aneurysm in his head…to scramble around the city and make things “right” before his 90 minutes are up and it’s time for him to go.

I guess it’s kind of like a really foul-mouthed and mean-spirited “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

Of course, the doctor, played by Mila Kunis, spends the movie trying to find Henry so that she can tell him that the “90 minutes” she’d told him about earlier was not a true diagnosis….and was just the result of her exasperated response to his consistently nasty disposition.

Henry learns his lesson in the 90 minutes he spends trying to heal all the damage he’s produced during his lifetime.

That was pretty predictable.

Who would let a movie end as mean-spirited as it began?

That wouldn’t be very appealing.

Maybe it got too sentimental? I don’t know….

I kind of like sentimental.

There was this one scene with his son towards the end of the movie (and his life) where he mentions that it’s not the edges of the life….the dates….but the dash in between the dates that matters.

I liked that.

I guess that this movie, like most things, has some good and some bad elements.

And…like most things….maybe the good parts carried the movie for me.

That “dash” thing…..that’s the truth, huh?

It’s “a” truth, at least.

“The dash”…….hmmmmmm.

 

 

 

Willy Redux

Oh.

Oh, my.

I just heard some of a Willy Porter album that he recorded with the Carpe Diem String Quartet a couple of years ago.

Man.

Here’s a picture of the album….

live at boma

Holy Smokes!!! That’s some good stuff there…..

Good stuff is never hard to write about….but you might find yourself repeating yourself if you revisit favorites.

I’ve written about Willy Porter before….probably will again….but this album of performances with a string quartet are just too good not to mention.

Did you ever notice that it’s easier to find a picture in Us magazine of Justin Bieber acting out than it is to find a picture of Willy Porter in the same magazine?

They must not run in the same circles.

Willy and Justin….partying hard on the beach in the South of France.

I just can’t see that.

I’m glad that I can’t.

Here’s some earlier live Willy Porter….

Willy Porter!

so good…..

But….now that I think of it, maybe this post is just an excuse to use the word “redux”?

I hope that “redux” means what I think it means.

I need to be more careful with my words.

I hope it means what I think….it means.

I think that it means, like, “again”.

I hope it means…….

“breathe” Willy Porter and Carpe Diem

the 1%…the one

This movie reminds me of my family.

Nah….I’m kidding.

It would be a short family meeting if we met to discuss our finances.

I don’t have a pile of money that I could hold court over my family and discuss. I couldn’t have a meeting where I discussed our giant piles of money….or how to keep it all.

My family would want to watch Spongebob instead.

I guess that it’s good that we don’t have to treat “keeping what we have” as an occupation.

Who would have the time to do that?

Rich people?

I’ve been kind of gentle towards the “one percenters”…..thinking that it was something to shoot for….that it might be nice to be some weird “rags to riches”…..or maybe “moderate privilege” to “extreme privilege”…. success story.

That’s kind of naive, really.

The deck is kind of stacked….or something.

When you watch something like this, you realize that there are limits to what we can do financially. This is a club that’s hard to get into.

I’d like to believe in limitless opportunity….and in some ways, I still do….but there are things that are set up to limit us from jumping into the “super rich” category.

I don’t want to make some deal with the Devil to do it, anyway.

Awwwww…..what the heck? Who am I trying to fool?

It would be good to have some money.

Maybe be in the upper 57%?

That might be interesting.

Norwegian rap….maybe that’s the way to build a fortune?

roots all the way down

deeproots-small

People get nervous when you talk about movement….when it’s movement away from something.

How bad must things be if all you seem to do is talk about how enticing it is to think about “getting away”?

I guess it’s all a question of motivation.

If your motivation is escape, the leaving can be a little bit circumspect. It doesn’t always make sense when you move towards something just to get away from something else.

“Running from” and “running to” are two different things.

My roots are deep….but I do wonder what’s “out there” in the world, sometimes.

I wonder what’s out there….not because anything that I have is bad….or even anything worthy of indifference.

What I have is AMAZING.

I have employment that supports my family….we’re healthy and without fail….usually….very happy.

We are the picture of “blessed”.

I don’t have a thing to complain about….even if sometimes I seem capable of digging up some twist on it all that feels like something “common” that needs to be escaped.

There’s nothing here to escape.

This is a world to celebrate….not one to lay down in a fetal position in and just endure. It’s a good world….and a good life….and, hey….even if it wasn’t so good right now….it could always get better.

There’s still time for things to get “even mo’ bettah”.

I wonder what’s out there….not because I’m pessimistic about “what is”….but because I’m optimistic about what might be.

Figuring out how to get to “even more amazing” from “amazing” is a trick.

Sometimes it’s a journey you have to take inside your own head.

Sometimes a good cup of coffee is enough to make “where you’re planted” look pretty darn good.

Sometimes a good cup of coffee just makes you feel kind of jittery.

I kind of like coffee.

I guess that when you get down to it, you can spend a lifetime feeling dissatisfied with “what is”….sure that you must be missing something….or that you were dealt a bad hand and your life didn’t even begin to approach what MIGHT HAVE BEEN…or WHAT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED…or, even, in some twist of logic…..WHAT YOU WERE PROMISED WOULD HAPPEN TO YOU….but “didn’t” happen the way that you think that it should have.

You can spend a lifetime looking for the key to the whole puzzle….something that drops into your lap with no effort…..some gifted birthright that you can finally claim if everyone else just gets out of your way.

You can burrow deep into your own head and thoughts until all you can see is the dirt around your roots….until all you can feel is how you can’t move for all the darkness surrounding you.

A person can spend a lifetime looking for something elusive and illusionary….and get to the end and realize that while you looked away for that long searching moment, you missed all the good stuff that was right with you all along.

All you can see are the roots….to the point where you forget the “tree above the surface”.

Nah…..there’s no quiet desperation here.

I’m planted deep…..but my leaves still blow in the breeze.

My leaves blow gentle and free.

Like all those t-shirts say…..”Life is Good”,

 

“try to forget” Willy Porter

gate

Gates-630x472

What’s that saying about good fences making good neighbors?

“Good fences make good neighbors”?

Something like that.

I got up early this morning….really early.

Crazy early.

Early enough that when Jenny woke up and poked her head out of the bedroom door, one of the first questions was something like, “are you crazy?”

I’d be a world beater if I spent the extra morning time productively….but I’m going to watch a dubbed German movie about tornadoes….called….”Tornado”….when I’m done writing.

I’m going to buy a big gate and put it up over at the new property, too.

I’m going to watch this crummy German disaster movie….and I’m going to buy a big gate.

I never felt the need to buy a gate for anything….except for a gate to keep the babies out of stuff….but I think it’s time to say, “Hey! Private!!”.

Funny how that all goes.

But….if I don’t see a sign requesting that I stay away….sometimes my spirit of adventure takes over and I might walk anywhere in the world.

So…who can blame anyone who wants to explore a vacant piece of property?

Gates.

That’s the way to go.

So….first a big gate…then a big fence.

Then a bunch of signs…..maybe some German Shepherds…..maybe a gun turret or two just to really make an impact.

I don’t really know what direction I’ll go with my new “privacy” addiction.

Time will tell.

We’ll have to wait and see.

the right word

You have to be careful with how you look things up on YouTube.

If you use a keyword that’s too inclusive, you can get a lot of weird options.

If you look up “permaculture”, it’s pretty safe.

That’s a narrow search alley.

If you look up “alternative lifestyle”….it can be a different story.

There are lots of weird ways that we live and breathe…..lots of very alternative lifestyles out there in the world.

I guess that it really depends on your point of view, though.

One man’s/woman’s weird aberration is another’s humdrum and familiar.

It’s funny….like that.

Here’s a video about a pretty safe alternative…..”sustainable lifestyle”.

I don’t know that a commune is the way to go….

I guess that they’re called sustainable communities now, though.

You just have to call it all by the right word when you’re searching.

Now….how do you pick the right word?

What a conundrum…..problem.

Everything is Awesome

When I looked up “adventure” on YouTube, I got a bunch of Lego videos.

When the primary user of YouTube is your 5-year-old son, you get a lot of Lego videos if you look anything up.

Netflix is the same way….I have mostly kids shows come up when I see what’s recommended by Netflix.

So…..I looked up “adventure”….and all these Lego videos came up….but….some of these videos about living on the road ….or container houses….or a bunch of other non-traditional ways of living….or….also came up.

So, apparently, it’s either Lego or going off and making big changes and living on the fringes of what we suppose are “normal” ways to live.

Check out this video I fouind….

It’s not so hard to hit the road.

There’s nothing all that hard about loading up both of the MacBook Airs and finding some WiFi out in the world.

There’s nothing all that hard about doing that….unless you have children.

Children are probably a good excuse for not doing anything.

Check this website out for the story of a couple….with a couple of kids….who are having a big adventure.

I’ve mentioned them before….

http://ouropenroad.com/

It’s possible to do it with kids!! How about that? You can do it with children….and do it with style.

I’m not going to uproot anybody or anything….

I doubt that I’m brave enough to do that.

I’m going to try and bloom hearty and wild where I put down roots.

I want to bloom.

But….it’s possible to roam and still keep it all together….while you have the big adventure.

And, now I know, too…..there’s a whole lot more to “adventure” than the millions of Lego videos that come up when I put the word into the search field of YouTube.

And…..there’s more to searching for something than putting some words into a search engine.

“Adventure” should be bigger than watching somebody on YouTube explain what the word should mean.

 

Walt Stack….again…and again…

stack nike

What the heck?!

I sat here….writing a blog post…drinking coffee….and get to the point where I’m going to save the latest part….and it wouldn’t do it.

So….I restored the backup of the post…..tried to save it….wouldn’t do it….closed the window to start it up again….and when I started it up again….everything was gone.

That’s kind of a pity, too….it was some brilliant writing.

That’s the beauty of something that goes away….it can be as great as you say it was.

If the evidence is gone….it can be great.

I wonder what happened?

I guess that the gist of the post was centered on a comment made by a reader named Mike Walker.

Here’s the comment:

Thought you might like to know this. Stack’s gym, or club as you’d have it, was the Dolphin Swim and Rowing Club, down at the end of Fisherman’s Wharf at Aquatic Park in San Fran. That’s where Stack did his swimming, most of his running and daily biking from mid fifties until his death in 1995.

There is a sign in that club, embossed in wood and varnish that reads “Renew Thyself Completely Each Day. Do It Again, & Again, & Forever Again.” Fitting for the man Stack was, and all of the others from that club who had come before, and after him. Sail on! Mike Walker

The original post….the one that disappeared….was about consistency….and heart….and just getting out into the world and moving….day after day after day.

The story of Walt Stack is amazing to me….this older fellow who was a hod carrier….who worked with masonry all day….who went out and ran and biked and swam every day….as part of his routine….not sponsored or feted or supported financially for what he did….who just went out every day….no matter what the weather was…..and did his workout.

Here’s a description of what he did….from the Wikipedia article:

For 27 years, from 1966 until 1993, Stack persisted in covering a set training route. His highly visible training routine made him a San Francisco institution. “I’m going to do this ’til I get planted,” Stack decreed. Starting on his bike, he would ride six hilly miles from hisPotrero Hill home to Fisherman’s Wharf. Once there, he’d strip off his shirt, displaying tattoos of peacocks, wild horses, and bathing beauties across his broad chest, and then proceed to run a 17-mile (27 km) route over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and back, after which he would take a one-mile (1.6 km) swim in the currents of the San Francisco Bay near Alcatraz Island. It is probably noteworthy that Stack could claim that he was the only actual ‘prisoner’ of Alcatraz Island to have made a successful swim from Alcatraz to the shores of Fisherman’s Wharf – Stack was a prisoner on Alcatraz for a six-month period sentenced to hard labor while a youth, for having left his post AWOL in the Philippines. He had in fact swum the distance many times in his later years, as a participant in sanctioned Alcatraz swims which have become quite popular. He often swam year round in those cold Bay waters.

How about that? Walt Stack was a DUDE!! What an athlete! His story is pretty darn inspiring to me.

I’m going to publish this before something happens and it all disappears again.

Because….if it keeps disappearing, I’ll have to keep writing it….again and again….and forever….again.

I don’t know if I have the endurance to do that.

Walt Stack….man…..

walt stack 2

 

“it keeps you runnin’ ” The Doobie Brothers

phantom skunk

Raccoons_&_skunk_eating

There’s no skunk on our porch.

It smells like it….but there’s no skunk.

The weather’s getting nice enough that we can have some windows open again….let the fresh air in.

The fresh air is full of temporary skunk juice….skunk excretions….so it smelled like there was a skunk out there.

I’ll smell every freaking corner of that laundry room/porch….and I don’t think that I’ll smell a whiff of skunk squirt.

That’s how optimistic and confident I am.

I am a hopeful kind of guy.

Jenny woke me up this morning and told me that I’d let a skunk onto our porch before I went to sleep last night.

She told me that the cat got sprayed.

I smelled that cat…..and that cat doesn’t stink any more than it usually does.

I think that skunk sprayed out in the yard.

I hope that I’m right.

( I’m not really all that confident. I know for a rock solid fact that the cat doesn’t stink….I smelled her all over and didn’t smell anything. But….if there’s some stinky, skunky corner of that laundry room….if it smells like a skunk….well….that would be bad after I came off all cocksure. That would be hard to recover from….)

So….like I said a couple of sentences ago….I think that skunk sprayed out in the yard.

Pungent.

Pungent…..whewwwwwwwwwww. But…..pungent out in the yard.

Not pungent where we work to make our clothes smell “spring fresh”.

Nothing like that.

I think.

I’ll have to go down there and sniff around in detail just to make sure that nothing stinks before everyone gets up…..just to make sure that I’m right.

(What if that skunk really is down there….and while I’m down there sniffing, I check behind the washer and get a generous squirt right in the face?!!!  Man….that would stink. That would be bad for me.

Maybe I’ll let Nate check for the skunk. )

Kidding…..that would be extremely bad parenting.

I’ll do it myself.

I hope that I’m right about the skunk not being down there.

“skunk walk” The Sugarman 3

 

traction

Woody-Allen-Driving

I think that the tiring thing about delivering mail in the snow is feeling like you had to concentrate all the time on your driving.

That’s kind of a scary thought….to think that I’m reveling in the dry weather and getting back to not having to pay attention to my driving…..

It’s not like that.

I pay attention all the time.

It’s just that when the weather is bad, it seems like I need to exercise automatic mind command to maintain traction.

It seems like if I grip the wheel tighter and squint a little, I’ll somehow manage to keep my rig on the road.

If I concentrate hard enough, I won’t slide off into the abyss.

My tension and nervousness when the roads are icy and really slippery must be the only thing keeping me between the fence posts.

It’s not like that now….the roads are nice and filled with clear and traction encouraging blacktop.

That’s a good thing.

It’s a good thing that my memory is short for the bad weather.

I don’t bear a grudge against the ice and snow.

I’m in a different mode now….

I’m into Spring.

The fact that something was hard in the near past doesn’t have to color how I’m feeling about the good times now.

I’d be a dork if I was scared about the snow that wasn’t here anymore.

I’d be a dork if I ever talked about being afraid of anything.

I should keep my fears to myself…..and always operate from a position of STRENGTH.

I don’t want to have to remember to steer into the skid….

I guess that if it’s not an automatic response, you usually don’t have time to consult the manual when you start sliding.

Anyway….why am I talking about all that slippery ice?

It’s better now….easy and dry.

So now I worry about getting all the work done that I need to do before the poison ivy comes up and I have to pay attention to what plants I’m rubbing up against.

If it’s not one thing…it’s another.

What a whiny guy.

 

“king and cross” Asgeir