Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the month “August, 2011”

Random Thoughts

 I lay in bed last night with thoughts running through my head about my next post. I had the perfect scenario with several different ideas merging. Then I turned over and went to sleep. Now this morning I cannot remember any of those concepts.

Thus, I am sitting before this computer drawing a dull blank and trying to remember even just a small trigger of recollection. I am typing words as they flow from my brain to my computer. Some words are coming from my brain, i.e. hummingbird, holidays, sightseeing, condolences, and activities, just to name a few. What they have in common is anyone’s guess and I haven’t a clue.

I am sure it would have been a story worth reading, if only I could remember. I suppose you, the readers, are never caught in situations like this.

In order to adjust to my circumstances, I obviously turned to the internet. I typed in “how to remember”, and 361,000,000 results popped up. That is 1,805,000 pages. I would be here for three + years if I looked at each page. I stopped after five pages. However, I did read several articles about how to improve memory and recall. I have listed eight that may be of some use to you, that is, if you have difficulty in remembering stuff.

“It’s an age old tried and tested method but write things down”     Duh, I know that, and of course, I know that as a writer, when the muse attacks, I am supposed to get up out of bed and reach for my computer or put my thoughts on paper so I won’t forget them the next morning. If I had done that, this article would be a completely different one.

“Go over it again and again until you remember it”  Imagine that! Go over it ‘again and again’. Just what did you think I was doing?

How to get pregnant fast – things to remember. I decided on skipping that one. Because at my age (and gender), it does not apply. However, if you are so inclined the website is: http://www.zimbio.com/articles/ Just copy and paste in your browser. There are several pages on this subject.

“The human brain thinks in pictures”   I don’t think I got the picture. My brain’s battery was weak and didn’t receive it.

The human brain remembers wild and outrageous things easier than the mundane. I suppose this could account for my lack of recollection about last night’s thoughts. They apparently were not wild and outrageous. I guess if my thoughts would have included a freight train lumbering down the tracks on its way to Chattanooga, Tennessee from Portland Oregon, with a load of cow manure, I would have remembered that. Otherwise, it’s just a load of …

“The brain needs a trigger. Something needs to initiate the recall”  I seem to recall that was the name of Roy Roger’s horse and he had him stuffed when he died. I think I would have remembered that if it had been one of my thoughts from last night. I do recall “Happy Trails to You”.

“How to Never Forget Anything Again ”   I especially liked this article. This writer says there is an APP for that. Trouble is, I use an ancient wireless phone that does only one thing. Does not have games, no camera for photographing, no texting capabilities and certainly does not have apps. It is only an ancient wireless phone. I forgot to mention, when it rings, it sounds like a telephone. How unique is that?

Nourish Your Brain: This is one of the simplest ways to improve your memory. Your brain functions well better if you properly feed it regularly with protein-rich foods such as fish, beans, and nuts.”    I think I just hit upon my problem. I am not properly feeding my brain. Well, maybe, I did have a great tuna salad with grapes, cheese and Club crackers for dinner last night. That takes care of the fish and I had a Hershey bar before going to bed last night. It had almonds so at least I got the nuts. I missed out on the beans, however. You are probably reading this and believing I am nuts for even writing this article.

There was one other very interesting suggestion, called Mnemonics. (nĭ-mŏn’ĭks) n. (used with a sing. verb). A system to develop or improve the memory. Now that bears further investigation. Stay tuned.

I wish I could have remembered my thoughts from last night. I just know it would have been very informative. Tomorrow morning, see if you can remember what your thoughts are from the night before. I dare you. Post them if you do.                                        © 2011

Have a great day.

Events Unfolding As We Speak

I am fascinated by the hub blah of receiving a surprise birthday party. How can you possibly anticipate a birthday party if you know nothing about it? The surprise last only for the moment, the anticipation lasts much longer, thus more enjoyable. Now for those who plan the party? They receive the most enjoyment. They anticipate the moment of surprise. The joy is in the anticipation.

Funny thing about birthdays, they come around every year. I recall when I was a child they came about so infrequently. A year was a very long time to wait in between birthdays. And eventually, when it did arrive, the day went by so fast. Soon it was forgotten until it came closer to time for the next one. However, at my age today, impending birthdays are simply on a track that equals the speed of light. I’m not complaining. Just saying…

There was a time when I could remember the birthdays of all my children and grandchildren. Now I have to stop and think of the birthdays of my grandchildren’s spouses. In our family, there are nieces and nephews to remember. And their kids and their kid’s spouses. Even a great-grandson has been added to the mix. Then comes along a step-daughter and her spouse and lest I forget, the step-grandkids. They aren’t old enough to have spouses. yet! Thank goodness. And I’m supposed to remember all of these?

If my spouse’s birthday wasn’t on the same day as mine, (Now that was a stroke of luck)  I would probably forget that one too. My wedding anniversary is on the same day as my wife. I do still remember that. so far. That’s another story. However, it is getting harder to remember my own birthday, let alone, those of everyone listed above.

According to Oscar Wilde, “The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything: the young know everything.”  I’ve been to all those places, just not in that order. I might paraphrase that this way, “the old forget everything, the middle-aged remembers everything, the young suspects everything.”  I think Sgt. Schultz, from Hogan’s Heroes, said it best, “I see nothing, I know nothing”. That’s me.

I like the way the Vietnamese remember their birthdays. Tet is the beginning of the Vietnamese New Year and is everyone’s birthday, no matter when  he or she was born. In fact, most do not even know the exact day that they were born. I’m getting to be that way.

Anyway, I wrote this because my stepdaughter’s spouse has his birthday on August 22. He will be the ripe old age of forty-three. I think that falls in Oscar Wilde’s category of “suspecting everything”, but in the words of Sgt Schultz, “suspects nothing.”                            I’m going to buy his dinner tonight and he doesn’t know it. It’s a surprise birthday party. I am enjoying it with much anticipation, he doesn’t get to enjoy it until tonight.

Happy Birthday, Wade.

Have a great day.

No Guarantees in Life Except…

Yesterday was not an upbeat day. B.J., our old Welsh Corgi, reached the end of his life. Approaching thirteen human years, that translates to ninety-one dog years; his old body was just worn out and could not take it anymore.

We had struggled with having him euthanized for several weeks. It was a painful decision. When you enjoy pets, especially dogs, as we do, it is hard to let go. They are, in fact, a member of the family. B.J. was a member of this family all his life. 

But it was also painful watching him attempt to get around. The lower part of his body was fast deteriorating. To get him outside was a major feat.  His little legs were at a point of not cooperating with his brain. When his brain said move, the signal did not reach them.

His front legs would move and drag his rear end across the floor. But on a laminate floor, he mostly just slipped. We sometimes placed a dining room chair behind him and gently pushed. This avoided his grouchy side and a response we might not enjoy.

We bought several rubber-backed rugs and placed them around the room in order to give him a bit of traction as he tried to move. He tried desperately, and though grouchy at times, he never seemed to complain, at least not so we could understand. Although certain words we say would trigger a response, barking or whining.

Apollo was B.J.’s roommate. Apollo is a Standard Poodle, and sometime mischievous. We have a habit of playfully calling him “despicable”. B.J. took offense at that and barked every time we repeated it. He seemed to be saying, don’t be calling my friend, despicable.

Both enjoyed a bowl of ice every afternoon. During the day, they resided in what we call the “spa room”. In the afternoon, when we allowed them into the main house, Apollo would rush to the refrigerator and wait impatiently for the sound of the icemaker dispensing ice. B.J. would come struggling along. When B.J. arrived, Apollo sort of moved out of the way. Kind of like he recognized the pecking order for ice.

Yet, they both delighted in emptying the bowl and not allowing the other to get any ice. B.J. would protect the bowl. When Apollo saw an opportunity, he would get several pieces in his mouth and run to the rug where he would dispense the ice in a pile and run back for more to keep B.J. away from the bowl.  But there B.J. would be, guarding the bowl.

B.J. was overweight to say the least. We discovered earlier on, that he was not only eating his own food but was also devouring Apollo’s. When we found out, we bought a raised stand for Apollo. But B.J. figured out that he could reach the food and continued until we placed obstacles in front of the food. Apollo could then reach over the obstacles, yet B.J. could not.

We often wondered if B.J. was part snake. Lounging around in the living room watching television, we would look over and B.J. would be licking the air as a snake does with his tongue. It was eerie.  

He was quite a nester. Somehow, he would maneuver his backside under the table legs or in a corner in such a fashion that removing him became a major effort. He usually reclined in front of a doorway, never moving out of the way and with his rear end facing the room. I suppose he was giving us his best side.

There are many such stories I could relate about dear old B.J. The best I can say is that he was a devoted companion in the family. If you have pets, use their time on this earth with a mutual enjoyment. They deserve it. 

Will B.J. go to heaven? I do not know. I hope so. He certainly brought about a lot of joy on this earth. It seems only fair to me that he bring that joy to the hereafter. But as I said, there are no guarantees.

In the human realm, most believe in a heaven where with the right frame of mind, one can reach those golden shores. I believe that with my personal knowledge and understanding of  Jesus Christ, I can achieve that destination. I hope you believe that as well.

Have a great day.                                                                                                                                      © Pete Robertson

The Horizon

The Horizon

Once upon a time, I lived in West Texas. One late fall afternoon, I was sitting on my dock fishing. That could be a matter of debate. I looked up the definition of fishing and Mr. Webster says, and I quote, “n. The act, occupation, or sport of catching fish. A place for catching fish.”                                                                                                                                Obviously the fish had not read Mr. Webster’s Dictionary. It did not seem they wanted to bite my hook. Nobody was messing with my bait. The water was still. The wind was calm. The temperature was mild. A perfect day to be fishing, but nothing was happening.

It wasn’t because I didn’t have the proper equipment. I spent a lot of time (and money) picking out my fishing gear at Walmart Sporting Goods and Tackle, Inc. I was sitting in my Aggie deck chair, holding a glass of tea in one hand and a six-foot fiberglass Ugly Stick rod in the other. On the Ugly Stick, I had placed an Abu Garcia reel with 200 yards of Berkley XTVS10-15 Monofilament Trilene line. Attached to that line was a Booyah Micro Pond Magic Spinnerbait. Don’t you think that sounds mighty impressive? I do. Unfortunately, the fish were uninspired. The ice in my tea was melting. I had not even had the opportunity to begin smelling like fish. I was bored.

Being bored, I was just looking around, watching the ripples in the water, mostly made by the breeze. I glanced up at the top of the trees swaying back and forth in the wind. As my dock was floating below the natural level of the surrounding trees, I could not see the horizon. Or rather, I could not see the place where the sky met the earth. All I could see were the trees stretching toward the sky. Since the fish were not cooperating, I had a conversation with myself about the horizon. When you fish, you have a tendency to do that sort of thing, converse with yourself. The fish are certainly not listening.

Many years ago, I spent four years serving my country in the U.S. Navy. I mention that to say this. When you are on board an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Pacific and not able to see any portion of land in any direction, you tend to wonder just exactly where you are.

The navigators are well equipped to locate latitudes and longitudes and to ascertain the ship’s exact location, but to those of us, who were accustomed to swabbing the deck, (mop the floor for landlubbers) we were in the middle of nowhere.

On the rare occasion when no flight operations were happening, below-deck sailors was allowed on the carrier flight deck. It gave us an opportunity to view the horizon with a 360° vision. So floating in the middle of nowhere you can see forever. How I envy the pilots who fly well beyond the earth. What a magnificent view that must be to witness in person.

On board the ship when the sky is clear and the sea is calm, one can see the two merge into one. You can see the edge of the earth. Makes you think about why the ancient people viewed the world as being flat. Talk about infinity pools, this is by far the most rewarding view possible.

Because of the vast area in the great state of Texas, observations of the horizon vary a quite a bit. In West Texas, one can see a long way because the terrain is mostly flat and the trees, if there are any, are short in stature. Probably the most predominant is the mesquite. It spreads its limbs softly and low to the ground while its roots also suck up whatever water is available. Ranchers do not like the tree for that very reason. However, the mesquite does have it benefits. Think “Mesquite grilled steak”.

Having moved to East Texas, in 2009, I began to notice; trees grow very tall, especially the pine trees. I’ve yet to determine any benefit from a pine tree. Well, I suppose they make good lumber. But they do not make good grilling wood. The steaks taste funny, sort of like a grilled pinecone.

I know there are many different places around the world where one can view a superb view of the horizon. I have seen many. Certainly, on a beach somewhere, one can watch the sun gradually sink beyond the water, slowly being overtaken by that approaching horizon. Or, perhaps watching the moon arise from over a mountaintop. In truth, the horizon must be viewed from the perspective of wherever you are at that moment in time.

I do not know where you live, but wherever it is, stop for a moment and view whatever horizon is there. It may touch a tree or a lake, or perhaps you may see it from a skyscraper in downtown New York. Wherever it is, it should cause you to stop and think how large our universe is. Scientists say that our solar system is only one of perhaps a billion systems just like it. That challenges my mind. I think the horizon gives us pause to stop and ponder the universe.

In my research, I discovered a website that allows you to enter your latitude and longitude in the box and it will give you the sights of the universe from your vantage point. Check it out. It is an amazing site/sight.                                http://www.fourmilab.ch/yoursky/                                                                                              You can find your coordinates from Google maps.

I don’t know about you, but my thoughts are not consistent with the “big bang” theory. Of course, one must take whatever view they hold with a bit of faith. Personally, my faith allows me to lean more to the creation version. I think I’ll sit out in my backyard tonight and watch the horizon leisurely drift into the dark of night. Sounds like a beautiful way to rediscover the magnitude of God.

Oops! Gotta go, something just took my bait. Have a great day, fishing, of course.             © Pete Robertson

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