This book you really must read as it is a bit different, imagine arriving home after a few days away to find the locks changed on your house and a person living there sayi…
A Quick Update If You Are Interested…
I know it has been a minute since I last posted something other than a reblog or a question. The truth is I haven’t had much interest in writing anything and I’m not sure why. Every time I’ve opened up a new draft I have deleted it after a few seconds and then moved on to something else.
Today Evelina and I are going to Tanger Outlet to do a little shopping. The strange thing is it was my idea and I’m actually looking forward to walking around and looking at stuff. I’d like to find a new belt, a couple of packs of new white t-shirts and maybe a new shirt. Plus they have a little food court there where we might be able to find a good lunch.
Other than that not much new going on in our lives. Oh, we are building a new house which is incredibly exciting and stressful all at the same time.
I am not traveling as much with the job, but it looks like that will end in the next couple months and then I’ll be out on the road. I was a little upset about getting grounded, but I’m realizing that everything seems to work out for a reason and I believe my body and mind needed the break.
That’s all for now. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
The world we live in is not black and white. It can be—but not really. We can make monochromatic images but they’re actually tonal gradations of gray which cover a wide spectrum—from true black to true white and the tones in-between.
I call that pursuing your inner dinosaur because old-timers like me started with black and white film back in the day. There are still good reasons to shoot black and white but many photographers find it hard to break the heroin-like rush of color.
In 1954 when I was seven years old I picked up my first vintage Kodak box camera. It used 120 black and white film and its photos were often blurry and grainy but it hooked me. I continued to shoot black and white film throughout high school and won my first photo prize in Kodak’s prestigious National High School Photography Contest in 1962 at…
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This Is Why I Stopped Eating Meat
When meat-eaters read this title I suspect they immediately roll their eyes and presume a Vegan or vegetarian, leftist, tree hugger is at it again. But I don’t see myself as any of those things. I see myself as a middle-ground thinker who finally came to a realization.
When I began scrutinizing my eating a few years ago I had the thought to eliminate animal protein from my diet, but I didn’t know how to do so. I continued to eat meat for a couple of years, but the entire time I had the idea of quitting locked in the back of my mind. I came to the conclusion that animals have souls or spirits however you want to view it. And if I were going to be truthful I didn’t feel it right to slaughter these animals as a product, which is how they are treated by the companies who are killing them. My thought was that if I were going to eat an animal then I owed it to them to kill them myself.
Many self-sustainers kill their own meat and hold the same opinion. I believe any person who consumes meat should be required to go to the slaughter house and watch the process. They should be required to partake in each aspect versus just going to the store and picking up a package of ground beef. You should have to watch the hog standing in the pin trembling with fear as its time draws to a close.
In my heart I just can’t participate in how these animals are treated and I don’t think it is responsible to allow myself to continue with such a casual attitude.
I look into the eyes of our little dog Bentley and I know he has a soul. He displays an entire array of emotions from happiness to sadness, he feels pain and excitement. But most notably he shows a level of love that permeates my soul and he has a personality that is like no one else I’ve met. He has a right to live just as much as I have a right to live. And then I think there are some societies that would eat him and this thought is beyond my comprehension. From that realization I simply extended it to my experiences looking into the eyes of other animals and seeing them display many of the same characteristics along with demonstrating their own individual personality. The individual personality factor drove me to the conclusion that if I were going to eat meat then I owed it to these animals to take their life myself. And if I were not willing to do so then I would not eat them.
I will admit that it bothers me when I see all of the meat at the grocery store. Not because I think it is wrong to eat animals, but that it is irresponsible for humans to eat animals that they are not willing to kill for themselves. I think the Native Americans had it right when they practiced thanking the animal for their sacrifice and showing some respect to the land and the animals.
In the end treating animals like a product is morally and ethically wrong. And in my mind there is no way around this moral dilemma. I either kill the animal myself or I don’t eat meat.
I love lists. I also love striving to be a better version of myself today than I was yesterday. For that reason I’ve written 10 Rock-Solid Life Tips I try to live by:
- Be careful not to burn bridges as you never know with whom you might interview one day.
- No one can make you want to be great.
- Try not to have someone else’s name in your mouth when they aren’t around.
- There is never a wrong time to do the right thing. Conversely, it is never the right time to do the wrong thing.
- If you could develop one skill, develop the skill of self-awareness.
- The world will take from you as much as you are willing to give it so be careful how & where you invest your efforts.
- Be slow to speak, but quick to listen. You’ll learn more.
- In all things seek to add value to the world around you.
- There are “reasons” and “excuses” so be certain to understand when each is in play.
- There’s a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Develop wisdom.
Extremes Can Be Wildly Entertaining, But Not Really Practical
In 2010 I went on a backpack trip to the Caribbean with my buddies Clarke and Galen. It was such an amazing experience and a trip that I will never, ever forget. On this trip we befriended a guy named Vinny who owned a bar on Jost van Dyke. Vinny also owned a boat and we signed up for a day-long excursion to Virgin Gorda, which by small boat is a few hours away.
Our trip there was fun and Virgin Gorda was amazing. Insert camera noise now…
As fun as the trip TO Virgin Gorda was, the return trip was the opposite. To get to this island from Jost you have to traverse a channel between Tortola and St. John and then Tortola and Peter Island. For some reason on our return trip the seas got bad. We were in a 20 foot boat which is small for the open ocean and the waters became extremely rough, probably 6-7 foot seas. This might not sound so bad unless you are on a small boat that is struggling to keep its head above water.
We spent a couple of hours battling the waves to get that little boat safely back to the dock on Jost. The waves beat the bow of the boat and tossed us around like a rag doll. Vinny was on the throttle working to keep the vessel steady. Every second felt like an eternity. When we got tied up Vinny looked at us and said “Boys we escaped death today.” We all laughed and joked about it, but later that night while sitting at the bar in Corsairs (Vinny’s bar) the reality of what we lived through hit us all. We actually lived through an exhilarating and scary situation. It isn’t something I ever want to experience again. My adrenaline was pumping. My fear was elevated. My senses were on high alert.
I am not built for extremes and I don’t believe living in the extremes is a healthy way to live. Yes the extremes might be fun for a bit, but I have found extreme highs come with extreme lows. I work to keep my mind out of the extremes and more in the middle. I try not to get too excited when times are good and I don’t like to get too down when times are tough.
I developed this mindset through learning to play the game of golf. I am currently a 2 handicap and what allows me to keep my scores down is keeping my mind calm when under pressure. It is essential to avoid the emotional roller coaster of highs and lows in order to remain calm.
This mindset of living in the middle does not mean that life is dull and boring, but it does mean that I take things in stride. My view is that you can’t spend every day on the mountain top celebrating and you shouldn’t spend too much time in the valley wallowing in misery.
Just a thought for a rainy Saturday…
It was still dark when I heard the barn door open. Hay! It wasn’t Barn Manager Carl it was Ma Leueen! YES! That means it is my day to start on the trip south to the warm weather. I have been waiting for this for days. Yesterday I saw Ma Leueen packing my trunk so I knew it would be soon.
Ma Leueen turned on the lights in the barn and gave me my breakfast. Then she fed all the other horses. My neighbor Fluffy said: “Hay Beebs, I guess you’re leaving today. ” ” Yup! It looks like it Fluffy.” “Well safe trails to you.”
I finished up my breakfast and then Ma Leueen took me to the grooming stall to get my winter blanket off and put on my favorite black watch plaid cotton sheet and on top of that my plaid fleece lined blanket. As it gets…
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Unlike many teachers of his day, John the Baptist did not seek to build a following for himself, but to prepare the way for Jesus. Although he preached in the desolate wilderness, word about him spread so rapidly that people flocked to the desert to see and hear this strange man. His message gained ground to such an extent that neither the Jewish leaders nor King Herod could ignore his powerful influence.
After Jesus was baptized by John, John’s following began its steady decline. Some of John the Baptist’s disciples expressed dismay that Jesus was gaining greater influence than John:
“They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.”
~ John 3.26, ESV
Can you hear their despondency?
John answered, “A person cannot receive even one…
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