Sunday, September 25, 2016

I married into a family of Giants!

My brother in law Jordan Meredith is starting his freshman year at WKU and he is red shirting his first year; but that hasn't slowed Ashley and I from making some time to go to the two home games so far this 2016-2017 season.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Reminiscing while back in Bowling Green

We have made it back safe and sound to old Kentucky home. For the last two days we have visited with friends and family and it has been absolutely delightful! We are staying with my mother-in-law, and she has been such a wonderful host! It's almost enough to make you want to stay..... But not quite.

We will be moving onwards to North Carolina soon. Within a week or so is our guess. Ashley and I both are still so excited to get started on our next adventure, but it is also so very nice to have a moment to reflect on our last journey and prepare for what is about to come next. So that's exactly what we are planning on doing, and so far it has been a marvelous success.

How brilliant!!

Oh and check out this cool picture of the boat in the Colorado mountains at the great sand dunes!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Crossed the Continental Divide

Ashley is going inside Walmart or Wendy's to use the bathroom and get some more hot water for tea. We just got done having a couple of cups of tea and some bananas and granola for breakfast. We drank and ate and chatted in the boat while it is cold and dreary outside. We are in the parking lot of Walmart in Alamosa, Colorado. Our morning time this morning was great. (Way better than yesterday's crappy experience... Ask me about that later... Heck it was better than most). We chatted about our normal stuff, but it was energized with the fact that with each mile we get closer to getting started on this next adventure! And man are we excited!! Oh goodness just typing it gets me pumped. I can't hardly wait to start a business with my wife and work on projects with and share life again with my brother Jordan and my niece.

We had a really long and rather tough day yesterday. You could say it was pretty crappy... Some even got a little pissed.It started out with me having explosive diarrhea first thing in the morning and not having the port o potty on board... It was down the ladder and I just couldn't get there in time... So I had to wake Ashley up... She was amazing and saw me quivering holding my crotch and my butt cheeks clenched trying to prevent release. She jumped into action and went to go get the port o potty, which she had rinsed out the night prior (because it had fell over and leaked out). So it was wet on the outside, and when she was lifting it up above her head to climb the ladder with it, she said the liquid went on her face, and clothes. Yuck. She then yelled for me to help her and get the port o potty from the cockpit area. I yell in a quivering voice, "I can't move, please hurry. Oh god, oh god." We were fortunate in that she was able to hand me the portable toilet before there was a big nasty mess. Oh lord it was really not a great way to start a day. But it was certainly a bonding experience. After we got it all figured out, we showered and cleaned up and drove up to Durango, and pulled into Walmart parking lot... And Ashley pulled right next to the trailer and when we went to leave I didn't see her car.... And I hit it. Darn near ripped her bumper off. Luckily the only real damage was to a trailer tire and dust seal. Fortunately we were in walmarts parking lot, so we could go get another tire. However they were sold out. Luckily tractor supply company was next door. However they didn't have the size we needed. Oh goodness we were thinking we might be stuck for a day or so... And the bad thing was that Walmart parking lot did not allow overnight RV's. Oh man.

Leaving Camarillo, CA

>> Oh lord. I think something cosmic may have been trying to keep us in California. We ended up being delayed by 48 hours, due to last minute parts, and all sorts of mishaps. However, I am writing this blog from just south of the Grand Canyon. We are pulled into a Love's travel stop, and slept last night (we slept at another Love's, the night before as well.). Now of course we are pulling the boat, so we are sleeping in her, just like an RV! It's really comfortable! The only hassle is climbing in and out, and we don't have water or sewer currently onboard.... So yeah. Basically glorified camping. But we are loving it!!
>> The trailer is heavy, and I've never pulled something so large, but fortunately I have great visibility due to the keel being so tall. I can look out my side view mirrors and see the trailer lights. This is very nice. I certainly see why truck drivers get paid handsomely. It's a job! That's for sure!
>> Ashley is taking a shower (11$ we could share, but I have a morning ritual that if can partake in first I will.. And I am right now). I am sitting in the boat enjoying the weather, all while drinking my morning green tea, and catching up on news and listening to music.... Ahh the life!!!
>> I seriously feel very free! It's rather amazing. Of course we need gas to move down the road, and yes we need food too... But we always need food. And if we didn't have gas money we could always chill for a little while and make some cash... Anyways I don't think that will occur.. I'm just saying it is nice to own your own "home" of sorts. We don't have to pay anyone to have somewhere to sleep. This is markedly different from when we were touring the Western U.S. earlier this year on motorcycle and car.
>> Even though this is just basic, it feels much nicer than that. I mean heck our entire setup costs less than 5k. Even with the upgrades like brakes, and trailer hitch, it's all been done for less than 7 grand. And that's for a sail boat, trailer for sailboat, and a large 1 ton van to pull the boat... Also this van could easily be turned into a sleeper... Heck at the basic level just some foam and some blankets could accomplish this task. Ashley and I have talked about doing more of a RV conversion to the van actually.

Well you sure do have a lot of ideas

What are ideas? Where do they come from? How come some people have more than others? Or is it possible all people have the same number of ideas? Maybe some have slowly lost the ability to hear their ideas.

I heard once, that to have a good ideas, you must have a lot of ideas. The reason is that most of your ideas aren't going to be good. In fact most will be pretty poor as far as from a profitability or productivity stand point. However if you have a lot of ideas, some of them, just a few will be good. Heck maybe even one or two will be really good.

I think ideas are way way too overrated. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Execution is everything. For instance the idea of a hamburger and fries restaurant is nothing novel. However when the McDonald's brothers took hold of the idea and executed this idea with their vision, something magic happened.

Admittedly I am very found of day dreaming. Coming up or maybe just "listening" for ideas. I love to have a mental experiment with a handful of thoughts and see what pops out. I typically get very excited and my loquaciousness begins to leak... And of course many of these ideas are silly, but plenty of them have real potential and promise. I often find myself honing a concept over a period of time. Once the idea has been in my head for enough time for me to have some confidence that it will work, or at least not kill me or any one else, I'll begin to execute on it.

At this point in life, I feel like a bird who has been raised in a nest and is now prepared to leave his known surroundings and leap into something amazing and new. Many of my best ideas are about to be executed (and a few like international travel and language learning have being executed since January). I can't hardly wait to get started in Asheville. I feel like we are about to go on a new and fantastic adventure and much of that is due to many of these ideas I can't wait to execute.

There is no reason to dream small or to dream big. But for me, I find it much more pleasurable to dream big. I am learning how to do this while being grounded in reality.

America used to dream big. We used to be a country of fantastic visions and executions. The Golden Gate Bridge was the largest suspension bridge in the world. It was thought to not be possible to build. The Hoover Dam is so far beyond massive it defies understanding of construction of something so large. We sent a man to the freaking moon!!! Holy cow! We have greatness in our heritage. That heritage is still available to us. But according to a famous script, without visions the people perish. We need more men and women with fantastic ideas. And even more important we need people to take action on these wonderful plans. We have become stagnant and entitled. We must be willing to try a lot of ideas and fail with a lot of them, in order to get to the really awesome stuff. Orville and Wilbur Wright were unknown bicycle mechanics.... Who had some absolutely loopy ideas. And then they went to work building their ideas. Failing along the way to greatness.

I pray this spirit is renewed in our wonderful people in this beautiful country of ours. While traveling through the continental divide in the Rockies we passed through South Fork and went to this little grocery store and gas station known as "Rainbow Grocery" beside it was another place called "rainbow mechanics" or something of the like. I didn't give it too much thought. While getting some snacks in the store and using the restrooms Ashely stumbled across this gentlemen. Lawrence Fleming is exactly the kind of guy who embodies this wonderful spirit of lots of ideas combined with execution. He basically built a small town. Certainly he received plenty of help, but if you read the article you can see he certainly played quite the role in so much of this town. I don't know this man, and Ashley asked if he was still living and unfortunately I never will get to meet him as he passed two years ago, but I am certain that I would have throughly enjoyed this man of ideas and action.

May you be blessed with many ideas, but more so may you be blessed with the burning desire to take action in the good ideas you already have.

"The world was built by people no smarter than you." - Steve Jobs

Friday, June 19, 2015

Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.

I recall being a young kid and seeing a popular motivational poster in school offices, and lunch rooms, and the like. It said, "Attitude is Everything". The older I get the more I believe in that corny piece of propaganda little quote. Seriously. Just like the Bob Marley quote in the title. We all gotta get wet every now and then... why not at least try to enjoy the feeling, or enjoy the journey through the rain... or something.

I heard a story of Thomas Edison the other day. Thomas Edison apparently espoused an idea known as "Amor fati". The Love of Fate, or the Love of ones own fate. Basically in all things to experience a piece and love of what is happening, because it was meant to happen.... or something like that.... I don't know the deep details... but the main concept I particularly enjoy. The story teller told about Edison's factory catching fire, which was hardly insured due to over confidence in their concrete buildings. However Edison seemed to almost enjoy and was said to tell his son to get his mother so they can "enjoy the splendid colors of green and blue fire" that was consuming what was once his factory.

Like going on a zen-like walk.... whatever that means exactly. To me it means flowing through life like water gently makes it way to the sea. Not in hurry, not too slow.... just in time, and just right. And of course with a slow and steady current plenty can be accomplished in reasonable time. And we can all agree on the benefits of consistency and reliability. I can really get into these types of zones when doing mechanical type work while listening to some mood enhancing music or a good audio book. Getting into the "zone" is something I find myself continually trying to do.... and it pops up in all sorts of my activities. Programming, working on cars.... heck even in the mornings when I have a cup of coffee or tea and listen to some music, and write my ideas down.... wooo I love that zone... :-)

Every little thing is going to be alright. I remember, several years ago, being depressed and hearing thoughts like this.... and thinking... man I wish... but geez luiz.... I really do think it's true. If you don't think it is... you are certainly blowing problems out of proportion. This is probably what depression is. It's when there is some sort of chemical or other reason that you start blowing all sorts of problems out of proportion. Hmm.... interesting idea.

Lately, I've really been enjoying idea's from Simon Sinek.  Particularly this talk where he discusses neuro-transmitters and their role in happiness. Keep your brains healthy people... we don't talk about brain health enough, but it's just as important perhaps more important than the physical part of health, and of course very connected.  I love to discover new information about how the brain works, as it helps me to keep mine in optimal condition.  But not only that.  When we have a better understanding of how we work as an animal or creation or whatever... we are better able to manage/lead/govern our selves, and others.

Okay, back to the "Attitude is everything" concept I opened with.  I could say all sorts of cliche, corny things... like you can't control things that happen to you, but you can control you attitude... but I don't want to hit that horse right now.  I want to focus on one particular attitude.  The attitude of gratitude.  Author and self proclaimed "Why-Guy?" Tony Robbins loves to pound on the idea of developing our gratitude.  When we are grateful we can't be scared... when we are grateful we get hopeful.  Fearlessness and hope are pretty powerful concepts.  But not only that....

My postulate is that when we develop an attitude of gratitude we are actually increasing our "self-less neuro-transmitters", serotonin and oxytocin.  And according to Sinek, the build up of these chemicals cause us to desire (for happiness mind you) to work together and sacrifice for our own personal gain for the gain of the group.   Along with feelings of belonging, and trust, and fulfillment.   It's pretty remarkable really.  The concept that Robbins has been espousing for years, may just now be getting some scientific backing... of course it would not be the first time.  He also espouses posture and movement and it's relationship to health... which was recently backed by reproducible clinical studies.

Anyways, that all be said.  Be grateful... it's for your health!  :-)  But seriously... it may just be a great way to "hack" your neurology.   As far as I am concerned I know that after hearing and doing a bit of my own research, I do believe that these "self-less chemicals" are something that I want more of.

Interesting idea that a bit of "good living" (being good to your neighbor, loving, trust... and all that feel good stuff) is actually connected to generating these chemicals.  I think that people who have done incredible good via personal sacrifice, or great lengths of love, are actually those who have formed a strong enough neural network.  A neural network with habit loops which are rewarded and continue to get rewarded at not only at a philosophical or even a physiological level, but rather at the core biological level.