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10/03/2017 9:20 am  #501

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Thanks Goose.  Already ran into the first wrinkle.

The difference between now and this time last year is that I was only annoyed for about half an hour instead of being angry for six months. 

If you make yourself miserable trying to make others happy that means everyone is miserable.

-Me again


10/07/2017 8:20 pm  #502

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread


 The mood is great.

 I'm in a very good head-space but I am freaking BEAT. It's that satisfied kind of tired. The kind of tired that has me coming up with half a dozen different explanations of tired so I'll shut up now.

 I'm on the road.


 While turning all of this over in my mind for the past week I've discovered something. I was going out of my way to avoid doing this. It was always something that seemed like a good reason, my door locks needed to be changed, the shower is being replaced, I haven't gotten the printer yet....

 It just kept going on and on.

 This is one of those things I become aware of doing long after the fact. After I've had a great deal of time to think about it. I didn't want the leave the safety and comfort of my environment. This is the big issue and this is what I am trying to learn.

 I'm trying to learn journey, not destination.

 I've always had to be somewhere by some time. I was running flat out since age 17, never took any kind of break. Went from career to college to a second career with no breaks in between. It was a full time life.

 And it was a draining life.

 It's sometimes difficult to remind myself that I don't have to do it anymore. There's no need to go faster because my destination will still be there no matter when I show up.

 So I was experiencing a very high level of agitation and I was having a hell of a time trying to pin down the source. What I can't quite figure out is the why of it. I mean, I was well aware that I didn't need to be anywhere by any time so why was I so wound up?

 And it dawned on me in the middle of the night last night. I was stressed out over my relaxing road-trip because running flat-out is all I've ever known. I sincerely doubt I'll be changing a deeply rooted pattern over night but now that I know I'll be more likely to notice the increasing stress level early and address it.

 Truly, the only thing stopping me was me.

 The first part my my trip was to Cumberland Maryland. It's a small town with a great deal of gentrification going on. There was a construction project next to the hotel I stayed in. It was an old dye works. The sign advertised luxury lofts.

 I just want to ask: Would anyone rent or buy a luxury loft with an interstate highway fifty yards away with no kind of sound barrier? I would go with hell-no on that one.

 Cumberland Maryland has the Cumberland Trail.

 The trail used to be a canal. It was used to move cargo from in-land to the Chesapeake Bay to be loaded onto ships. The waterway itself, at least in that part of the state, was filled in. It's now a hiking-biking path.

 The cool part is the mule trails.

 The mules were kept aboard the barge when it was going down stream. On the way up, they'd haul the barge using ropes and mules along a specially-built trail. The mule-trail behind the hotel was an actual board walkway that ran from the hotel about half a mile to an iron-arch bridge.

 The other direction headed toward town but was too far for me to walk

 I had several interesting chats with people at the breakfast bar and in the lobby. There were two elderly couples who were from New York. They'd been stopping at hotels all along the Cumberland Trail. They'd stay a few days, mostly riding, then move on to the next hotel.

 It sounded a great deal like a version of what I'm trying to do only they were actually relaxed.

 I only got to spend a short time with my friend Annette but it was so good to see a familiar face from so long ago. This is sort of a nostalgia tour too, I guess.

 I stayed an extra day in Cumberland because I still wasn't properly rested. I'd slept poorly before the trip began and again the first night. I slept like a brick last night so I had a good day.

 I wanted to make my friend Terry's house by Friday so he wouldn't have to take off work to spend time with me. I stumbled into what is possibly the coolest weekend EVER!

 Today, we started off with a 100 mile tour of the covered bridges in rural Ohio. I'm only fifteen miles from downtown Cincinnati. I wasn't expecting to find something like this so close to the city but a lot of the bridges were in county or state parks so they weren't in danger of falling to a developer's axe.

 This trip was a fund-raiser for breast cancer. One-hundred percent of what was paid in was donated. There were a total of one-hundred eighteen Jeeps of all shapes and sizes. I got a lot of really great pictures from this trip.

 I thought I'd post them separately with their own captions so things don't get confusing.

 Terry has a Jeep that has removable hard tops in the front and one large removable hard top on the back part. It's a four-door. Fully loaded. Brand new.

 Now, I thought Jeep culture people were all people who go looking for mud to drive around in. Or ice. Or snow. Or anything lumpy, squishy, and slippery. Was I wrong about that?

 Terry was steering all over the road trying to AVOID running through small puddles of dirty water. I'm not being disrecpectful to my host or anything but that behavior was surprising. Are there others like this or is he just the prissy-est Jeep owner ever?

 I got to stand up through the roof to get some of the bridge pictures and I did video for a really narrow one. Those will be posted on Facebook. Please feel free to send a friend request to Benjamin Weikert.

 Anyway, I did more walking today than I've done in the entire past year. That's including work.

 I feel a lot better than I was expecting to. I nearly chickened out of the trip and a raft of excuses came to mind but I was ready for it this time so I grabbed my bag and some Diet Dew's and effing went.

 And this is what I need to learn now.

 How to let things go.

 Thanks for listening

If you make yourself miserable trying to make others happy that means everyone is miserable.

-Me again

     Thread Starter

10/07/2017 8:45 pm  #503

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread


Sounds wonderful.   It has been nearly a decade since I've been through Cumberland or in the Cincinnati suburbs (Monroe--I think).  Some beautiful country

I always find the people more courteous and the drivers less aggressive the farther west one gets from the  I-95 corridor.   Seems like the "laid back" switch is pulled around the Eastern Continental Divide.

Last edited by Tarnation (10/07/2017 9:03 pm)

Life is an Orthros.

10/08/2017 7:54 am  #504

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Tarnation wrote:

I always find the people more courteous and the drivers less aggressive the farther west one gets from the  I-95 corridor.   Seems like the "laid back" switch is pulled around the Eastern Continental Divide.

Hey, you can get drivers from New Jersey or the midwest to wave at you.
But, in the Midwest they use more than one finger.  

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

10/08/2017 7:00 pm  #505

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

This post is from earlier today:


 The mood is great.

 I'm currently sitting in a parking lot next to a gigantic flea-market. My friend Terry Prand is racing today. It's the sort of event people organize for people who drive those modified street vehicles like GTI's or Nissan 370's...those kind of vehicles.

 Terry is driving an Audi Quattro.

 The ride here was both exhilarating and terrifying. Terry drives in much the same way I would have but since I don't know the roads and this is hill country, it was....very exciting!

 I'm sitting at the last corner when the cars will accelerate for the finish line. The course is a timed course with only one car on the track at a time. Terry's going first. I just wanted to put this up while I have a chance.

 I just transferred 306 pictures from my phone to my laptop. It's amazing how many snapshots you can rack-up when there's no longer a limit of 35 frames. Snap, snap, click, click.

 So, I'll be sorting pictures over the next few days. I'm going to post them organized by subject matter with a caption so there's context.

 Terry's about to take off, need to get some pics.

 Thanks for listening 

If you make yourself miserable trying to make others happy that means everyone is miserable.

-Me again

     Thread Starter

10/08/2017 7:03 pm  #506

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

And the follow-up post:


 The mood is good.

 I'm very tired and footsore and backsore but I haven't lived this much in years. I've done more walking than I've done in an entire year, work included.

 So I'm still trying to learn my new phone and laptop...and failing.

 I managed to transfer the pictures from the Jeep outing to the laptop from my phone but I think I deleted the racing photos when I was clearing the Jeep photos off my phone. It's giving me a headache so I'm going to LET IT GO.

 See? At least I learned something.

 The racing day was cool but tiring.

 It began to rain in the latter part of the day. It was after Terry raced but before he finished working the event. There is a ridiculously huge flea market next to the place were they were racing. I'd only gotten past the first three stands before I had to take stuff back to the car.

 And I had to buy another bag to carry still more stuff

 A lot of it was crap but there were quite a few treasures. Also I got to talk to the most fascinating, elderly Asian woman named, oddly enough, Daisy. Her speech was only lightly accented, like she had one parent out of two who spoke a foreign language.

 She had a vast collection of things but I just bought a few bags. I have a weakness for containers for some reason. Boxes, bags, chests...the more pockets or drawers or hiding spaces the better. Daisy pointed me toward the part of the market that had the ersatz food court.

 The market consisted of a number of those very long buildings of the type that livestock are kept in. There were hundreds of vendors and there were still dozens and dozens of stalls available.

 I bought a nice wooden box with some very fine detail work on the lid. It's about the size of two boxes of tissues side-by-side. Someone painted...yes painted...with paint, this fine woodwork. I thought it would be a nice project to try to get the paint off and maybe stain it.

 I'm seeing double now, time to put my head down.

 It's been a big day, I have a lot more to talk about.

 I'm leaving for Houston tomorrow. I'm going by way of Nashville so I hope I'll miss the storm. I almost use the storm as an excuse to chicken out....yes, I'm still doing this...but going back home would have me driving in to the storm so nature is providing the perfect motivation.

 I texted my younger brother about the conditions in Houston but I'm otherwise ready to go.

 But first a nice, solid, sleep.

 Thanks for listening. 


If you make yourself miserable trying to make others happy that means everyone is miserable.

-Me again

     Thread Starter

10/08/2017 8:28 pm  #507

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Nashville is nice but if the state of Tennessee needed an enema they would put the tube in Memphis.  Gas up and eat when you are about 50 miles east so that you don't need to stop until Arkansas.  

Was introduced to deep fried catfish three decades ago in Arkadelphia, AK. along with spicy pickled green tomatoes.   Should have brought a case home.

Texarkana is worth the stop and photo op, especially of the bi-state Post Office building which straddles the state line...different zip codes depending on which door you enter.

Stay safe!

Life is an Orthros.

11/17/2017 8:19 am  #508

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread


 The mood is erratic.

 This is an understatement along the lines of “The Hindenburg was kind of a hard landing”.

 I've been having trouble parsing my thoughts. Things keep changing tracks too quickly. There was too much all at one time.

 The biggest difficulty is in attempting to explicate it. I begin with basic concepts which promptly explode into a staggering array of facts, abstract potentials, suppositions, theories... it's annoying.

 And it just happens.

 Don't get me wrong, I enjoy thinking a great deal. I like picking things apart, examining them, and fitting them into a pattern I can understand. It's enjoyable. I may never discover the nature of existence but I'm damn well going to give it the old Socratic try.

 But sometimes it takes on a life of its own and suddenly I'm picking –everything-- apart. Whether I want to or not. This is distracting. Not in the physical sense but in any sense that requires my mental focus.

 See what just happened? I just banged all of that out without even addressing the reason for writing it in the first place.

 That's the best I can do with “erratic”, draw what conclusions you will.

 I don't want to talk about the trip. Not yet. I'm still trying to understand my motivation for doing it in the first place and without that context the actual thing is still formless, without shape or scent or flavor.

 And this is what I'm dealing with. Basically a highly confused state with wild mood swings and difficulty focusing on one thing at a time. One moment I don't want to get out of bed, the next I can't sit still.

 Since I got back I've only been in regular contact with one person. It's someone I've only had irregular contact with prior to my retirement. I'm respecting this persons privacy by not giving any details but the contact is helpful since I need to talk to someone.

 There has been too much space between therapy sessions.

 I did go to my last appointment and I go to the scheduled appointments but during November and December most of the sessions end up being canceled. This month I'm going from my last appointment on the third to my next on the twenty-seventh with nothing in between.

 I know I could call the clinic at any time or walk in and be seen but that only happens by fitting me in between other people's appointments and that pretty much makes my problem their problem which I am not okay with.

 I'm not self-centered enough to believe my needs are more important than any other veteran's. I'll go, only if I'm desperate. And I'm not. Just really, really moody.

 And confused.

 Anyway, things are starting to form into shapes I can work with. Once it all starts to fit together I can do a little better job with this.

 Thanks for listening.

If you make yourself miserable trying to make others happy that means everyone is miserable.

-Me again

     Thread Starter

11/17/2017 9:02 am  #509

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

11/17/2017 addendum

 The mood is erratic.

 And not likely to change anytime soon.

 One of the most significant pieces of wisdom I've gained over the past three decades was something I found quite by accident in a book called The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglass Adams.

 If you've never heard of this series, I highly recommend it. And anything else he wrote. The man was a genius.

 In one of the books, a race of hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional beings, bored with the humdrum rate of day to day life, built a supercomputer, turned it on, and asked what the answer was.

 When the computer asked, “The answer to what?”, they replied “Life, the universe, and everything”.

 The computer informed them there was indeed an answer to the question...but it will take seven million years. So they waited. And when the day finally arrived, the computer informed them the answer to their question was 42.

 This is a highly condensed version of the event—again I highly recommend reading the books—but it contains the core of a very valuable piece of wisdom.

 The beings got the answer they got because they didn't really know what the question was. What they asked was explicable because the computer analyzed everything, then quantified, simplified, and solved.

 This changed the way I think about things because now, instead of just trying to find an answer, I'm also asking myself if I even have the question right.

 I know, this sounds like a formula for circular logic or endless tautologies but I've found that simply changing the wording of a question or even the emphasis on syllables can completely change the meaning but it doesn't negate whatever meaning it had to begin with.

 It just generates more possibilities. Creates potential.

 And this, in my opinion, is one of the wisest things any author has ever written.

 Again, read the books, listen to the radio plays...however you do it. Hell, read all of his books, the complexity alone will keep you coming back.

 Kept me coming back, anyway.

 Thanks for listening.

If you make yourself miserable trying to make others happy that means everyone is miserable.

-Me again

     Thread Starter

11/17/2017 2:43 pm  #510

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Great hearing from you!

You have been missed, and some of us have been deeply concerned. 

Keep sharing.

Life is an Orthros.

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