Pedaling for Peace

On April 15, 2012 I started riding my bicycle cross-country from Jacksonville, Florida in voluntary support of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) and the work of author and Peace Leadership Director for the NAPF, Paul K. Chappell. By July 4th, I had covered over 1300 miles to just west of Luling, Texas where a major mechanical failure brought this first stage of my cross-country journey to an end. After storing my bicycle and trailer with my aunt and uncle in Weatherford, Texas, I flew from Dallas to Santa Barbara, California to attend the NAPF First Annual Peace Leadership Summer Workshop. I then lived and worked in Santa Barbara for several more months before I returned to Jacksonville and sold off the rest of my possessions that I could to help fund a continuation of my journey. Starting June 8, 2013 and ending August 9, 2013, I rode from Weatherford, through 400 miles of the central Texas hill country, including Austin, Texas, back to Luling. It was at this point that a friend of mine invited me to work for a brief period in Pennsylvania before flying me back to Santa Barbara where I continued volunteering for the NAPF as well as for the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition. As of August 9th, 2014 I began"Stage III" of my cross-country adventure, this time heading south from Santa Barbara to San Diego and then east to El Paso, TX. It was there that illness, winter weather, and diminishing resources brought that leg of my journey to an end. After staying with another friend in Columbus, GA for several months, I moved "back home" to Kentucky to stay with my dad for a while and build a better "resource base" for future endeavors including review and further tracking and primitive survival skills training at Tom Brown, Jr's Tracker School , and a possible longer tour of the east coast, northern tier, and north west coast back down to Santa Barbara, CA.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

NAPF Workshop 2013? "Straw into Gold" for the Next Year?

To follow-up on my last post...I received a reply from Paul Chappell concerning my being a "walk-in" (or rather "ride-in") for the workshop scheduled in July 2012 and he said that because the NAPF is a non-profit organization with limited funds, they were relying on workshop attendees to pay for the initial retreat center reservations. Since I do not have the resources at present to pay the down-payment, and because there are too many "unknowns" right now with regards to future resources or what my circumstances will be over the next several months, I am not prepared to seek sponsorship - i.e. to get financial commitments from others when I am not sure if I can keep-up my end of the "exchange". Nevertheless, I am trying to find out if it will be reasonable to plan for a similar work-shop in July 2013. I am waiting for Paul to respond on that question.

In addition, having relocated all of my remaining belongings from Maryland to Florida, I once again have access to all of my "stuff". A lot of that "stuff" includes craft materials, fabric, etc. that I have had intentions for a long time now to convert into marketable items and/or sell out-right. Given the relatively unique or peculiar nature of some of the materials, I feel I'll have better luck Adding Value with my own creative efforts rather than trying to just sell the raw materials. But, of course, Adding Value takes energy and time, and selling, at least for some items in particular, takes Timing. Unfortunately, I just missed the Holiday Season for this year, but...hopefully...if my living situation remains stable...I can have a bunch of stuff ready to sell by this time next year.

In the mean time, I am putting together a new plan, looking for local opportunities, flea markets, etc. to sell off and/or find homes for everything else I have that does not fall into the "Holiday" category. Having lived more or less with only those clothes, toilettries, etc. that I could carry on my bicycle - on the one hand it is nice to have access to all of my "stuff" again - and, on the other, I am feeling a little overwhelmed and confronted by just how much work lies ahead to convert all of my "straw" into "gold". Nevertheless, that is what I am intent on doing.

I will continue to post notices here of my progress.

Thanks to all of you who are continuing to follow my story. A part of me wishes, for your sakes, that it could all have been a little more straight forward, but, at least in my case, you really are getting to see that things in life seldom are (straight forward), and that intentions do not always manifest immediately in the way we might first imagine. At this point, I am just as curious as some of the rest of you might be to see how the rest of my life turns out!

Peace and Love to All in what remains of the Holiday Season and Throughout the Coming Year!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Evolving Plans - NAPF Conference in July 2012?

From the beginning of my quest to ride my bicycle across the country, I have had people ask me "Why do you want to do this?". As I discussed somewhat in my previous blog, there were a lot of reasons, but probably the deepest motivation is that as much as humanly possible, I would rather live freely and peacefully from my bicycle then be a slave to an economic system, society, and government that is founded in violence.

So that's the "Big Picture" goal of my quest to ride my bicycle across and/or around the country. Unfortunately, it is not something that is easy for other people to really understand and I respect that without that understanding it makes it harder for them to feel comfortable "supporting" my efforts.

As a consequence, I have been kind of "spinning my wheels" figuratively rather than actually over the last several months. However, I think I may have found something that will help bring more focus to my efforts...

In July 2012, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) is holding a Peace Leadership conference in Santa Barbara, CA. (Follow this link for details: At first I was thinking..."There's no way I could do this." However, if I am able to accomplish some of my other goals while I am living here in Florida - mainly, moving my stuff that I left in storage in Maryland, and finishing the process of sorting through and selling off all of that, then I just might have enough time left to ride my bike across the country and make it to the conference. Furthermore, once I have received the training, I will be in a better position to teach others about "Waging Peace", which is really want I am intent on doing anyway, I just didn't have a name for it when I first started this journey! : ))

In addition, this will help to answer one of the other questions that has come up frequently: "What are you going to do 'for a living' once you are finished with your bike trip?" Well, maybe the NAPF will consider hiring me as a full-time employee? : ) Or maybe I can just become a freelance public speaker and trainer? Who knows? Either way, I appreciate what the organization is offering, and I especially appreciate the Wisdom and Self-Discipline embodied in the Leadership Director, Paul Chappell.

From the onset of this adventure I have known that it would be a mixture of very focused planning as well as an openness to respond to whatever the "Universe" had to offer in terms of "direction". I feel I am staying true to the core of my Heart Intention which is most important, otherwise, leaving room for the "details" to, in effect, work themselves out. Coming across the NAPF via Facebook and having the conference date set and posted recently seems to be the right kind of "Universal Direction" I'm referring to.

So...we'll see how this goes... : ))

In the mean time - May All of You Have a Very Peace-Full Holiday Season! : ))

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Power of Love and the Principle of Non-Aggression

I'm not sure when it was that I first saw a video by Stefan Molyneux, or if it was the first one, or one after that where he "instructed" me regarding the "Non-Aggression Principle." Nevertheless, when I got it, I GOT IT and afterwards I knew I didn't want to work for the Federal Government anymore; i.e. directly as an actual federal employee or indirectly as a worker in a civilian job that ignorantly claimed that I was a federal employee (i.e. all of them). (More about Stefan Molyneux at:

Granted, I "did my time" working from a different point of view. In 1999 I joined the Navy. My reasons for doing so were these: 1) I saw it as an opportunity to get some much needed "parenting" that I had not had in my life; i.e. the "mothering" of food, clothing, and shelter, as well as the "fathering" of structure and discipline. 2) I had taken on a spiritual practice that encouraged me to a) orient my life towards service, b) get my "functional human life" in order, and c) learn to Be Happy in all circumstances and all relations. I saw the U.S. Military giving me an opportunity to "practice" all of these disciplines. Furthermore, I learned from my Guru that "It's All God", so there was no reason for me to dissociate myself from one part of reality, in this case the U.S. Military, or see it as "evil" or "not part of" the whole Play of God in the world. I accepted the fact that death was a part of life, and in the end, everything gets sacrificed. In addition, 3) I felt it was better for me to take what I looked at as my "higher consciousness" into the "belly of the beast", rather than stand completely apart from it "pointing fingers"... so to speak. And finally, 4) I really did believe whole-heartedly in supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States and all the Personal Liberties it was written to protect.

I went to work for the Navy as an electronics technician. That's right - an Electronics Technician - something I would never have chosen to do voluntarily under any other circumstances. My background and I dare say my "talents" are in Social Science, know, people-oriented stuff - not technology. But, my test scores were (for the most part) high enough. And my recruiter was a really nice guy (we are still friends to this day), and he was an Electronics Technician, so I knew I would have his shoulder to cry on if I needed it (and, I think I did a few times). Furthermore, I accepted that when it came to orienting my life towards service, it really was about doing what the Navy needed me to do. It wasn't about "me" or "what 'I' wanted to do".

Overall, my eight year tour in the Navy was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. It was also one of the most effective experiences of my life when it came to developing my own Will Power. When you learn to make yourself do something you really don't want to do, and you do that intentionally, day in and day out, without becoming resentful about it, because you are making those decisions voluntarily, it is like exercising a muscle, and it just gets stronger, and stronger, and stronger the more you use it. I would say I was "weak willed" when I first went into the Navy, but after I came out - there was very little that I couldn't handle. Heck, when I finished my sea duty and moved to Maryland for my last duty station, I was working full-time (or more, if you include field exercises), I was going to school, maintaining a 15' x 15' vegetable garden, acting as Vice President of Education (considered the hardest role) for my Toastmasters Club, as well as working as a bike race official on many of my weekends. And on top of all of that, I was preparing almost all of my food from scratch, and averaged about one move per year! Trust me, it took a lot of Will Power to do all of that, and to Be Happy while I was doing it!

Unfortunately, my transition out of the Navy did not go so well. Looking back, I think I actually got a little manic/depressive at that time. My house mate moved out, and I ran into problems getting new house mates. It took forever for my Montgomery GI Bill money to start coming in, even though I was in school full-time. On top of that, I tried starting my own business doing sales copywriting and I just got in way over my head before I knew it with expenses related to that. Nevertheless, I plodded on, got married to help with the housing situation, but that didn't work out as expected. I moved three more times before I was actually able to stay in one place for two years. It was during that time that I finally finished my degree in Social Science, while still working full-time and commuting at least a couple of hours every day. I was almost always late for work on Mondays, because I was too busy catching up on all the work I had to do over the weekends, just getting laundry done, and shopping for groceries, and getting my food ready to pack in my lunch bag for the next week. And on top of all of that, I knew I wanted to be writing, I knew I had more to offer to the world, but I just didn't have the time.

And then, sometime, early this year, I came across the video of Stefan Molyneux. In addition, I finished reading a book by Peter Hendrickson, Cracking the Code: The Fascinating Truth About Taxation in America (more about that here: http://lost I already knew about some of it, but between the two of them, the hypocrisy and fraud and violence of the system I was a part of finally hit home. In addition, what had been a "contractor" job at NIH for me was converted into a "GS" position (i.e. an actual Federal Government job) and in that transition window, I was able to collect the "retirement money" that my contractor had been putting into a mutual fund for me over the previous two-and-a-half years. Minus taxes, it totalled about $15,000.

It was the first time I had ever had that much "cash in hand" at one time. It was the first time in a long time I felt I could "do whatever I wanted to do". The one thing that was definitely at the top of my list was to attend Tom Brown Jr.'s "Tracker/Survival School". But as I thought more about that, I realized that the other thing I really wanted to do was to ride my bicycle across the country. But, of course, that would mean quitting my job. In fact, that would mean making some Really Major Changes in my life. That would mean my kind of "putting myself out there" and seeing what would happen.

But...apparently, given where I am today, I was "ready" to do that. And given the will-power I had developed in all the years before, I proceeded to do what I set my mind and heart to doing. Granted, it has taken a little longer than I thought it would to actually get on the road, but what I have found in the mean time is that, for one thing, I have more time to write now, which is something I have been wanting to do for years, and years, and years.

(See also:

Furthermore, I totally appreciate that I have shelter (besides my tent) because of the hospitality of a friend, and I will have to continue to rely on the hospitality of other friends and maybe even some strangers in the future. I've used up more of my financial resources than I thought I would, but, honestly, I'm not completely "broke" yet. I'm not desperate. I'm not starving, and as of this writing, I've been un-employed for three months. It's probably the longest period of "un-employment" that I've experienced in years.

But that doesn't mean I've stopped "working". No, I'm still "working." I've been "working" to get all the rest of my gear ready for my trip. I've still been "working" to prepare my own food and wash my clothes. I've been doing some "work" helping my friend with her cats, as well as sharing how to make green smoothies and my special "Egg Fried Rice". I even spent some time "working" to build a debris shelter after Irene came through, much to the pleasure of some of the neighborhood children and their mothers (not to mention the tree removal crews who got to see the whole demonstration first hand, from beginning to end : )).

What I know I haven't been doing is contributing (significantly) to a violent government (since I still have to buy some fuel, etc. I am still paying sales taxes). And, I hope with all of my heart that I can continue to avoid doing that as much as humanly possible from now on. As I have said to others, at this point in my life, I would rather die then try to force someone directly or indirectly to let me live at their expense, and that certainly includes working as a "Federal Employee." That doesn't mean I'm not open to VOLUNTARY support from others, but I will not be taking any money from a government that is forcefully taking it from others. In fact, I will not even be looking to receive any more of the benefits I am "entitled to" as a veteran. (And, for the record, I have not received any "refunds" of my taxes during the entire time that I was a member of the U.S Military or while I worked as a contractor or federal employee.)

So as far as my "debt to society" is concerned, (and in general, whatever "debt" I might seem to owe to the credit industry), I feel I've already slaved for all of them the last 20+ years of my life, and I've decided the next 20+ years are mine (if I live that long), to live Freely and Peacefully. Just because I will not be participating in a conventional "job" doesn't mean I won't be working. But it is my Life's Work I want to do now, while I still have some Life (and energy) left to do it.

And I hope that Stefan Molyneux is right: I hope there is something fundamentally RIGHT and UNIVERSAL about living according to the principle of Non-Aggression. I see it as going hand-in-hand with the Law of Love and I know That Law is Really THE LAW of this "Land" - this "Reality" that we are all sharing. I'm more than willing to be held accountable for my living according to the Principle of Non-Aggression and the Law of Love - but as for laws that are inherently aggressive and have been created by an inherently violent government...Not so much!

I guess you could say, I no longer believe in the "power of government" - I do however believe in the Power of Love and the Principle of Non-Aggression.

Yours in Peace and Freedom...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Opening up a New Outlet

I have been invited to give a TEDx talk at George Washington University on October 1st. I knew that my name was in the running back in June, but the formal invitation did not come until September 1st.

Although I had to prepare an outline of sorts for what I would talk about in order to be considered, in the intervening months, I have shifted somewhat on some of those subjects. Furthermore, I got to thinking about how this might be a "once in a lifetime" opportunity for me to "spread ideas". The whole theme of and the smaller, local TEDx talks is centered around "Ideas Worth Spreading", afterall. So I had to really ask myself, given this very unique opportunity, what are the ideas I Most Want to Share with what could ultimately be a very large audience (with videos, etc. available through the internet).

Honestly, the ideas that came to mind didn't have a lot to do with my bike trip, or even learning survival skills. Instead, I wanted to go back to some ideas and issues that have always been most "meaningful" to me, things dealing with self-awareness, interpersonal relating, and being a truly mature and functional human being in the world more generally. And, truth is, I am going to be struggling to fit all of those ideas into an 18 minute talk!

At the same time, I don't really feel further discussion of those ideas belong in This Blog (although I may have been thinking about using it that way initially). No, This Blog has morphed into something else: It has become more of a travel log of an "outward" journey I am endeavoring to undertake. The other ideas I want to share relate more to my lifetime of "inner" journeying.

Consequently, I have decided to start a New Blog! This time The Blue MOON Turtle Blog. : ) "The Blue Moon Turtle" is based on another of my blue turtle creations - a stuffed toy I made for my best friend Eva's son Michael.

As it turns out, I have come to identify my yin-yang, world, Blue Turtle graphic with a more outgoing (and if you will) a more "masculine" expression of energy, whereas, my "Blue Moon Turtle" is more introspective and "feminine". (Truly having the lunar cycle incorporated into the design and with the turtle's 13 plates is an intentional, feminine association). all kind of makes sense. Furthermore, for those people who really just want to follow my story of my travels by bike they can do that, and don't have to get caught up in all of the metaphysical/philosophical/relational "stuff". At the same time, if you are more interested in the other, you can follow along there instead. Or, you can read both. Everyone is free to choose.

As for me, I'm feeling quite happy with my decision, and liberated, or, at least, there is another part of me that feels more liberated now. I am, a Pisces afterall, with Virgo as my ascendant, so there is quite a "split" there, even within myself. I'd say it is more my Virgo side that wants to take my Pisces side for the ride across the country, while my Pisces side has been feeling a little repressed. But, no more! Both sides of me will now have a venue in which to more fully express themselves, and I can feel a kind of internal dissonance being resolved in that, with harmony taking its place. : )

Yours in Peace...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Course Corrections

When I was at Tracker School in New Jersey back in May, Tom Brown, Jr. sent all of us on a few "missions". He would tell us to get a clear idea of what we "wanted" that the natural environment could provide - a track, a straight shaft for an arrow, etc. and then to tune into "Spirit" to let it guide us, asking "Is it this way?"..."Is it that way?"..."Is it 20 feet away?"..."Is it 10 ft away?", etc., etc. and to "listen" carefully and respond to the direction of "Spirit".

For me, the exercise was not very useful at the time, because there really wasn't anything (like what he was suggesting) that I Really Wanted. I was not in "collecting" mode at Tracker School because I was already in the process of Getting Rid of my "stuff" as preparation for going on this trip. I still wandered into the woods to see what was out there, but there was no real "intent" behind my wanderings. Furthermore, there was nothing I felt I needed to "prove" to Tom Brown, Jr. or anyone else about my own abilities to follow "Spirit" or what I would call my "internal compass."

However, there WAS something that I wanted. Something pretty simple really. I just wanted an opportunity to shake Tom Brown's hand, let him know how much reading "The Tracker" impacted me when I was but a young pre-teen girl.

After the last session where Tom spoke, I watched him walk away. Took note of whether or not he was stopping to talk to other students, etc., which he didn't. Instead, he went straight to his vehicle, got in, and left. I was a little disappointed, but I accepted that that was just the way it was going to be.

* * * * *

I was actually pretty sick for a good part of my two weeks at Tracker school, and so that last day, I did not have enough energy to get my debris hut "re-distributed" back into the landscape, nor was I able to get all of my gear dried out and packed up in time to catch one of the staff vehicles, or anyone else's vehicles driving into town to take us back to where we had left our cars. I asked one of the staff members if it was okay for me to stay one more night. I told her that I had food enough to eat and that I could take care of myself. She agreed, and so I went back to my tent and slept - from about 6:00 that evening until the next day. I was really wiped out.

However, by morning of the next day I was ready to pack everything up for the last time, and after stowing my gear under the overhang of one of the storage buildings, I sat down with some of the other campers, those staying for the upcoming classes, and chatted for a while around the fire. I remember becoming hoarse eventually, as my voice had been going that way from a few days before.

Finally, I was able to arrange a ride to the parking lot. My car started up fine and I started to head out of town, and then I realized I missed a critical turn. I spotted a Sunaco gas station and decided to turn around there and stop for gas as well.

While I was parked there a big travel home pulled up along side me. I wasn't really paying that close of attention, but when I looked up and I saw Tom Brown's wife Celeste coming out of the convenience store it hit me: It was actually Tom Brown's travel home that had pulled up beside me.

I called out to Celeste and she came over and talked with me. She said she figured I must be a student given all the camping gear packed into my car. I told her that I had just come from two weeks of classes and was headed home. I also told her that my bigger plan was to be on my bike soon, traveling across the country. I told her about this blog, and gave her one of my business cards.

The next thing I know, I saw Tom there, finishing filling the travel home with gas, and as he looked my way and Celeste explained that I was a student - I got my opportunity to shake his hand, and to thank him for "The Tracker" story and for everything else he had done since.

I watched as they both got back in the travel home as we said our good-bye's and then they drove away...or at least I thought they had driven away, until they'd pulled back up along side my bug and Celeste called to me from the window. She said she had told Tom what I was doing and that she wanted me to have their personal e-mail address, so if I ever got stranded on my trip, I could contact them directly and they could probably put me in touch with other tracker students for help.

I thanked both of them again, and then they drove away again, this time for real.

* * * * *

I pulled my car away from the gas pump and parked it next to the store. I just wanted to re-group a little, make sure everything was in order, and make a phone-call to a friend in Maryland to let them know I was on my way back.

And then it hit me: My one "wish" almost from the whole Tracker School experience had been fulfilled. I got my opportunity to shake Tom Brown, Jr.'s hand and to personally thank him for all he had done. There had been many "course corrections" along the way; i.e. my deciding to stay one more night, my "missing" that turn and having to turn-a-round at the gas station where I also decided to stop and get gas before leaving. Even though I did not even know that I was still "on course" to realize my intention, apparently "The Universe" (or "Spirit" as Tom Called it) was still responding to my intention.

* * * * *

I have continued to make the same kinds of "course corrections" throughout my preparations for my journey across the U.S. by bicycle. Most recently I came across a site that let me get a better idea of how to calculate the effort I will have to expend to carry all the equipment I'm trying to carry on my bicycle ( It has made me realize that trying to get through mountain ranges, like the Appalachians or the Rockies is probably out of the question at least for the early stages of my journey. Furthermore, as I have tried to plot my way across the country, I have run into some "gaps" where people and/or other facilities are not as plentiful as I might want or hope for, again, especially during these initial stages.

Consequently, I am starting to consider a different option from a more straight across approach, East to West. I'm thinking given the changing seasons (and in spite of Irene currently bearing down on the East Coast), I may decide to hug the coast lines, traveling South to Florida and then across the Gulf Coast into Texas, etc., etc. There will be higher concentrations of people in these areas, but that also means more options for couch surfing. And, it will all be much more "level" ground, which will make it easier for me to haul all of the stuff I will be hauling.

Also, if I make it to the West Coast this way, I will be in much better shape to start traveling through more "high country" and/or I will have decided more clearly what I should be taking with me, and what I can leave behind. Who knows? I may decide to just keep riding around the "edges" of this country, if that is even possible?

Either way, I know as long as I keep listening to my "internal compass" I will find the right path to my "destination". : ) (And, by the way, there is one underlying "goal" I have in mind right now, but I won't be sharing that until I get to "realize it" just as I did in shaking Tom Brown, Jr's hand. : ))

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Food Basics - Part II - Breakfast

I'm thinking it is "Citibank" that has the commercials that ask "What's in Your Wallet?"

I have decided the more important question these days might be "What's in Your Lunch Bag?" Or are you even carrying one?

If you think you just can't eat healthy food every day because you don't have the time, etc. to prepare food at home, I will be the first to empathize. I have learned from experience that it does take significant time and effort to prepare your own food especially from whole foods and/or minimally processed ingredients. There's time and effort involved in shopping for and buying the food, time to get it all stored away properly once you get home, time to prepare, and to clean up after said preparations, and then it takes some time to pack your lunch bag each day to take to work and then empty it of empty containers and any left-overs when you get home. And, the next morning, it starts all over again. If you're also thinking about growing some of your own food, although it might mean cutting back on some of your shopping time, gardening adds a whole new level of time and effort to the endeavor...but, where your health and the health of those you love are involved - It Is Worth the Effort!

I have had a commitment to preparing my food for myself for a long time now. Since 2004 (when I began my last tour on shore duty with the U.S. Navy), I have had to manage a work commute of two to four hours round trip every day - sometimes while also taking college classes. Between 2008 and 2011, I started really going "above and beyond" by baking regularly for my co-workers - sometimes as regularly as every week, but usually more like once or twice a month (such are the demands of "Amish Friendship Bread" which by nature "expands" itself and must be used regularly to keep it to a manageable size : )). During most of this time, I have done this (more often than not) as a "single" person; i.e. I haven't been preparing food for a husband or children...but that means I have also not had any assistance in all the tasks involved from said husband or children! My point is...If anyone can learn to do this for themselves without the help of others, they can certainly learn to do it as well, and maybe even more efficiently, when there are others to help - with the work and with the eating!

For the record, I have fluctuated between making more cooked meals and eating more raw foods. Cooked "main course" meals included: lasagna, beef and broccoli stir-fry, egg-rolls, chicken pot pie, chili, lentil soup, etc.; i.e. things that could be made in fairly large quantities and then divided up and frozen in plastic containers. I usually used the Rubbermaid Take-A-Long containers with the one large and one small compartment and I made sure my lunch bag was large enough to allow them to fit flat. (Ever seen those Nascar, 10 can bags from Wal-Mart? That's what I've used and they were Quite the Fashion Statement! : )).

Unfortunately, taking those frozen meals to work also meant having to re-heat them in a microwave and although I accepted the necessity of that for a long time, after one friend of mine made a pretty adamant comment about how microwaving really, Really "kills" the food, I decided my cooking food that way really, Really had to come to an end. And so, from that point on, I stopped all that - dare I say - "cold turkey"! I knew I needed to limit the amount of cooked food and meat I was eating anyway, it was just that, up to that point, it was the best way I knew to be efficient with my daily food preparation.

Apart from that, and since reading Fit for Life in 1990, I have always tried to adhere to the one "rule" the authors encouraged their readers to adhere to; basically they said "If you don't do anything else we recommend in this book, just eat fresh fruit, or drink fresh fruit juices until noon." In other words, fresh fruit or fruit juices should be your "break fast"; i.e. the first thing you eat when you start eating in the course of your morning to noon routine - not coffee, not tea - just fresh fruit and/or fruit juices.

As I learned from my study of "Natural Hygiene" fruits do not need "stomach digestion." Masticated properly (including "swishing" juices around in your mouth a bit before swallowing them), fruits will go right through your stomach and into your small intestines where their nutrients will start being assimilated into your system almost immediately. What my 20+ years of experience have taught me is that this practice is like starting your car in first gear: It allows the body to shift into its "appropriation cycle" (i.e. taking food into the system)...g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y. And then, once it has picked up some speed, it can handle heavier or denser foods; i.e. foods that require stomach digestion, and it can do so more efficiently.

So that has been, and remains, one of my top priorities as far as my daily intake of food. In addition, there has been an "evolution" of this practice over time. Initially, I would simply eat fresh fruits, usually starting with the easiest to digest like melons, and then including other acid or sub-acid fruits, like oranges, strawberries, or apples, and then, I might move on to sweet fruits like bananas or even some dried fruits through the course of the morning. When I found out the value of a sea vegetable called "Dulse" as a top source of plant-based, organic iron, and that iron was more readily absorbed in the presence of Vitamin C, I started eating oranges, and then slicing my apples and dipping them in dulse flakes before eating them, so I could get everything into my system all mixed together. Oranges and Granny Smith apples became my main breakfast when I lived on the ship (i.e. while in the Navy aboard the USS George Washington) - and, yes, after two six-month tours of the Mediterranean, I was getting kind of tired of oranges and Granny Smith apples!

Nevertheless, at my next training command in Biloxi, Mississippi I bought a small citrus juicer and started juicing four to six oranges every morning into which I simply added the dulse flakes directly (skipping the apple dipping part). That habit continued up until the time I bought my Vitamix. (Oddly, anyone who saw me drinking that dulse infused orange juice imagined it was salad dressing or something, so I was always having to explain myself! : ))

Somewhere along the way, I started including soaked almonds with my fruit meals. I had come to understand that even though almonds would take a little more stomach digestion, once soaked and essentially "sprouting" they would still digest with relative ease, even more so when thoroughly chewed. In addition, the usually more "acid" fruit smoothies would not throw off the "acid" pH needed to support the enzymes digesting the protein-filled nuts. After reading Sugar Busters I began to appreciate that even my healthy fruits, with their relatively high sugar content, could throw off my insulin balance, so I figured eating the almonds would be a good way to slow the sugar up-take just a little, in addition to the fact that almonds are an excellent source of Calcium and all 8 essential amino acids.

Purchase of my Vitamix allowed me to take another step forward in this evolutionary process, in part by increasing my efficiency, at least where my "fruit breakfasts" were concerned. I could use it to blend several fruits together - and - after acquiring a sufficient number of bottles from other juice producing companies like Odawala and Welches, I could distribute a full container of smoothie mix into those individual plastic bottles and then store all the bottles in the freezer. All I had to do then was pull out a bottle at night, store it in the refrigerator, and it would thaw to just the right smoothie consistency by morning. Again, I always added in the dulse, usually just before drinking so it didn't start to overwhelm the flavor too much.

Aside from that, and "for the record," the bit of saltiness in dulse simply "mellows" the natural sweetness of my smoothies. Too much dulse can be a bit overwhelming for some people, especially if they are not used to it, but otherwise gradually increasing to say a teaspoon or so per 8 oz serving, for me, has added more to the flavor than it has taken away as salt generally does that for foods - i.e. it enhances the flavor. Also, the saltiness in dulse is due to the sodium (Na), i.e. natural, plant-based, sodium - NOT "sodium chloride" or "sodium iodide" which is what you get from table salt. Not sure if it is a direct effect of this "natural/plant-based sodium," but I have for years (as my Navy medical records will show) had (naturally) "below average" blood pressure. So clearly my very regular intake of dulse, with its high concentration of sodium, as well as iron, has not had a negative, i.e. blood-pressure elevating effect on my body. Just saying... : )

In the current phase of evolution relative to my Fruit and Nut Breakfasts, I have started adding green, leafy vegetables. Maybe it was because I was already used to the dulse in my smoothies, adding some other vegetables in there didn't really change them that much for me. Yes, with an older bunch of kale or chard you might taste the vegetable flavor a little more, but again, you can start with smaller amounts at first and then increase to your level of taste tolerance from there. In addition, should I forget to soak my almonds at night, my fall-back is to a combination of raw Brazil nuts and cashews, which I do not try to sprout because they just get soggy, and which I have learned in combination effectively balance out their individual compliments of amino acids.

When it comes to smoothie ingredients, wherever available, I have relied heavily on what I could get at Trader Joe's; i.e. Frozen Fruit - Pineapple and Mango, Peach Juice, Pineapple Juice, and Organic Spinach. If you have the option to use fresh organic fruit (especially locally grown), that's fine. (You can freeze berries, etc. spread out on cookie sheets in the freezer and then store them in bags like ice cubes. That makes it easier to use just a small portion at a time.)I get the frozen fruit from the store for convenience and because I believe at least some fruits retain more of their nutritional value by being frozen at the peak of ripeness rather than being trucked for hundreds of miles across the country in their fresh form.

With regards to fruit juice - I buy organic whenever I can, but barring that, I generally won't buy fruit juice from a fruit whose skin I would not eat; i.e. oranges, mangoes, etc. because...generally speaking, when the fruits are juiced, the machines pulp the Whole Fruit including the skin and it tends to leave a bitter taste in the juice I just don't like. Some people think it adds more nutrition, but I have my doubts about that. If it is that bitter, there is probably a reason we should not be eating it. Also, I realize I am kind of going against that "number one rule" to just use fresh fruit and fresh fruit juices; but, again, I had to go with the convenience. I figured by using fresh frozen fruits that would still have some of their enzymes left, I would make up a little for the loss of nutritional value and enzymes from the pasteurized juices. There is a broad continuum of options here, and this is where I found my balance point.

So here's what I start with to make my green smoothies using the Vitamix.*

This is the process for making green smoothies:

Step One: Add the fruit juice to the blender

In this case I'm using pineapple juice...

and peach juice, filling the container to roughly the 3 cup mark.

Step Two: Add the frozen fruit

In this case I'm using Mango and Pineapple, but you can use whatever you want.

This is going to bring the container up to about 3/4 full.

Step Three: Add the greens, in this case organic spinach straight from the bag. It's been washed three times and it's all going to get pulverized in the blender so a few blemishes here and there are not going to make that much difference.

This is what the container looks like before blending:

Step Four:  Blend...

Given this is a Really Full container, some stopping to shake down air bubbles, or push down ingredients may be necessary. I have found that there is a "just right speed" where you are blending quickly enough to keep things moving, but not so fast as to have too much air being drawn into the bottom. If the mixture is too thick, you should keep some juice set aside to thin it out a little. Or, you may want to do about half as much as I am here to start out, until you get the hang of it.

Step Five: Pour into juice bottles

As you can see, I'm using a cut-out top from another bottle as a funnel. It works with these Welches Grape Juice bottles, but I know they've changed there bottles since I got these and so now they have a narrower mouth. In that case, you'll just have to look for a funnel that will work.

I fill these 10 oz bottles to the bottom of where the bottle starts to curve up, about 8 oz worth. This leaves room for expansion due to freezing, and it also allows for a little more shaking room once I've added my dulse.

Step Six: Dribble water around the sides of the blender pitcher to rinse down the last bits of greens and fruit mixture.

Slosh the water around a little...

And then distributed this slightly diluted mixture, topping off each bottle, just a little.

This way None of that Yummy Green Smoothie Goes to Waste! : ))

Step Seven: Put the lids on all of the bottles and shake well (to incorporate the diluted mixture).

(Note mesh lemon bag used for storing lids. I have found this to be the best way to keep them so they always dry out thoroughly. Otherwise, they tend to get moldy.)

Step Eight: Store smoothies in the freezer.

(This is what they looked like in the sub-compact refrigerator I used to have in my basement apartment.)

Step Nine (VERY IMPORTANT! : )): Remember to take a bottle out at night and put it in the refrigerator so it is ready for you the next morning. (And, if you happen to forget, these bottles can be "quick thawed" by placing them in a sink full of hot tap water. You may have to change the water a couple of times to get them to thaw out enough, but you can do all of that while you are getting everything else ready for you to go to work...or whatever. : ))

There are actually lots of videos on-line now for making green smoothies, so feel free to browse for more ideas. As I have suggested here, I'm keeping things as simple and efficient as I can - given my history of working full-time, etc., etc.

In "Food Basics - Part III" I will be showing you how to make my simple "Finger Salads", that can also be easily prepared in advance, and taken as part of your daily "Lunch Bag."

*During the first leg of my cross-country bike trek I did take my "Fender Blender" along for the ride. However, when it did not work very well for me in Tallahassee, FL, I decided to ship it home as it just was not worth the weight. In addition, most of the people I stayed with along the way ("Couch Surfing") had blenders that I could use instead. The frozen smoothies worked as ice packs in my food bags and I would take them from one house to another and thaw (to drink) or refreeze them as necessary. I still think the Fender Blenders from Rock-the-Bike are cool, and great for demonstrations at Farmer's Markets, etc. (I used mine that way while I was still in Maryland.) I'd like to see them have a better/sturdier container/blade though, as I think that would help with their use for "Green Smoothies" with lots of fibrous greens in them.

Legs Sore - Taking a Couple Days Off to Attend to "Administrative Details" : )

When I got on my bicycle yesterday, I realized my 35 mile trek the day before had been a little more stressful than I had thought at first. I was definitely feeling some soreness and tiredness in my legs. Nevertheless, I was determined to do some "errands" on my bicycle including finding the local library and then making a few stops on my way back, one for more fabric to make a "rain fly" for my tent, and then grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and Martin's so I'd have everything I needed to make some more green smoothies (this time frozen mango, peach juice, and kale). I've decided to take the next couple days off, to give my body some more time to recover, before heading out for another long ride.

In the mean time...

Since my host does not have a computer set-up with a printer here, I need to spend some time at the library as I have a few letters to prepare (especially for my creditors, to let them know "what's up"). I am also thinking about contacting certain companies for sponsorship, like Clif for Luna Bars and Shot electrolyte powder, and Maine Coast Sea Vegetables for Dulse. In addition, there are the companies whose products I already have that I will be "advertising" as I use them, like Apple for the iPad, GoalZero for my solar energy system, Gore for my cycling clothes, and Home Depot, Jo-Ann's Fabrics, and Hancock's Fabrics as I have used quite a few materials from all of these places to outfit my rig. Furthermore, I have received gear and services from places like City Bikes, Revolution Cycles, and REI in Maryland, and I will probably be adding one or two other bike shops to that list from here in Williamsburg, Va. (For the record, I already have a "deal" arranged with Rock-the-Bike should I manage to sell any of their Fender Blenders or other products during my trip.)

(Another reason for spending time at the library is because I want to see if I can use a public PC to down-load pictures directly to this blog. I'll admit, I still need to contact the Apple Store to see if there are applications that will allow me to do that, but for now, I'm kind of looking forward to using the library's facilities. : ))

More with regards to "sponsorship": There are at least two levels: the more public companies and private individuals. However, I really want that support to come because others recognize some VALUE in what I am doing: entertainment value, inspirational value, instructional value, advertising value, human value, etc. and they want to show their recognition of that "value" by offering their financial support. Furthermore, I realize I haven't actually started my trip yet. I haven't actually gotten on my bike and ridden it with all of my gear on it, so the journey hasn't "officially" begun, and I'm sure there are some people out there doubting as to whether or not I will actually get to that point. So, if they withhold support for that reason, I completely understand.

However, I am doing everything right now that I know how to do to actually get me, my bike, and all my gear, on the road. And although I still have a lot to do before that day arrives, and even though I'm not exactly certain when that day is going to arrive, I do feel it is coming, if for no other reason it will be the natural outcome of all of the effort, all of the other smaller goals that I have accomplished thus far.

If I were a betting person, I'd be betting in my favor, respecting the fact that I am, after all, a "turtle" and though I may not be doing this as quickly as others would, or as others might expect (even myself), I will "win" this "race" (i.e. accomplish my objectives), slowly but surely (with more emphasis on the "surely" part rather than the "slowly" part! : ))

So, for now, it's off to the library I go... : ))

Monday, August 22, 2011

Out and Back On John Tyler Memorial Parkway

For today's training ride I rode west on the John Tyler Memorial Parkway. I had planned to do a loop back north, but I missed a turn somewhere so just kept heading west. It was actually a very beautiful stretch of road, pine and diciduous forests on both sides. Not a lot of traffic (and basically no shoulder either, but that wasn't really an issue), and it was Very Flat!

My intentions right now are to slowly increase the amount of time I spend on my bike, as well as the amount of weight I am carryig with me. In considering time - since I have trained for and completed both a marathon, and several half marathons, I know that my body can keep going pretty well for at least three hours (my time for a half marathon) and it might be able to work back up to six hours (my time for a marathon). However, at six (more or less) continuous hours of exertion, it's easy to start losing too much weight, as you simply burn more calories than you can consume later. (Of course, that's a good thing if you WANT to lose weight. :)) I don't mind losing a little, but I'm not planning on losing a lot. Therefore, I'm looking at riding on average about four hours per day - or less.

In my mind, I'm thinking about this like a "job"; i.e. it is going to be my "job" to get on my bike and ride for three or four hours/day. I know the real "professional" riders do A LOT more than that, and I may do more as my body gets used to it as well. In the other hours of my "work day" I will be managing my gear, food, clothing, etc., setting up and tearing down, preparing, and cleaning. I also have plans to be taking pictures and videotaping and then, of course, there is writing on this blog and on Facebook.

Furthermore, I'm considering how many days I want to ride in a row, and if I want to alternate between longer days and shorter days as well as full rest days. Right now I have enough gear that I can ride three days without doing any wash. To do four days, I will need another set of shorts - and as much as I am liking these Gore "bib" shorts, I may just have to get another pair of these (although they are Really expensive). But, you know, the folks at Revolution Cycles in Rockville warned me - once I tried these, I wouldn't want to use anything else! : )

And for my 34 miles today, in 3 hours and 45 minutes, I'd have to say, I was really comfortable. Furthermore, I fell into more of a "meditation mode" as I was just pedaling along that very long, flat road. Some people might be frustrated by the monotony of a circumstance like that, but I realized it was a wonderful opportunity to just practice Being Happy and Feeling Without Limitation. And besides, it was really beautiful out there in the fresh air and bright sunshine filtering through the cooling shade of the trees.

To think - I have much more of this to look forward to. : ))

If you would like to add your support to my journey (let's say, in this particular case, helping me buy another pair of Gore Bib Shorts) please feel free to use the PayPal "Donate" button below, and "Thanks" in advance for your contribution. : ))

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Being on the Bike is Good!

In the past week I have had three major outings on my bicycle. The first took me through relatively familiar territory; i.e. places I had driven before - Monticello Avenue to The College of William and Mary, and then through parts of Colonial Williamsburg. It was the first time I've been on my bicycle since this past winter. It was about 13 miles for that trip, in about an hour and fifteen minutes. The second trip was down south to the Colonial National Historic Parkway. I didn't know until I got there that it would be a concrete and river rock road surface, which was a little rough, but not as bad as it might have been since my bicycle is set-up with "cross" tires; i.e. usable for rougher terrain, but smooth enough for the road as well. I think if I had been on a skinny-tired road bike it would have been much more difficult riding. That second trip ended up being a little over 20 miles. I took lots of breaks along the way, as I was traveling through several historical sites in and around Jamestown. Altogether that was a little over two hours of riding. For these two rides I carried very little with me, just trying to get used to being on the bicycle again.

For today's ride, I took a west and then northern route along News Road and then Centerville Road to Richmond Road. This is a nice area to ride as they have quite a few bike lanes and there was one along Centerville Road. I still need to do some research on which roads I am officially allowed to be on. I'm thinking the shape of the numbered sign is an indicator, but I haven't pinned anything down yet.

For the record, I've always been a street rider, so even if there is a "path" off the road, or a side-walk, I stay on the road. I actually feel safer there as it is more consistent and people can see you better there then they will when you are crossing their path 10 feet from the road (as with a sidewalk crossing an intersection). On sidewalks, you also have to worry about traffic approaching the main road from the right and intersecting the crosswalk area without even realizing it, thus blocking any traffic headed down the path. Apart from that, I also whistle in high, short bursts whenever I see a vehicle approaching from the right, and I keep whistling until I make eye contact with the driver so I know for sure that they have seen (and heard) me coming. This usually keeps them from "sticking their nose" (i.e. the "nose" of their car) into my "riding zone" - i.e. the "white line" right on the edge of the road.

The benefit of being on my bicycle right now, and still having a "home to go home to", is that I have lots of time to continue to think through everything that I need to be considering as I work my way closer to "take off." As I said in my previous blog, my intention is to add weight to my bicycle gradually. As I have tested myself just with the bicycle on some of the relatively modest hills around here, I am thinking it may not be a bad idea to go ahead and get new gearing; i.e. gearing the bike as low as possible, because if it is hard at all right now, it is going to be much, much, harder when I get all my gear loaded. My whole approach right now is to keep my cadence, i.e. my "revolutions per minute" as high as possible because this is the most efficient use of my energy and it will protect my knees and other joints which could be harmed if I were straining too much. That kind of peddaling means lower gears. I may be peddaling really fast and barely moving forward, but the point is I will still be Moving Forward (or upward in the case of hills).

Back to today's ride. I have decided to stop at a local "Food For Thought" restaurant in the middle of my ride. And, as I have been thinking (but failed to act on today), I suspect the guests might have appreciated not having to look at my lycra clad hips and somewhat scraggly legs, and therefore I probably "should" have brought along a pair of "Bell's Baggy Bottoms" to cover-up a little before going in. I will be sure and do that next time! : )

Otherwise, I'm trying out my Really Fancy riding kit today from Revolution Cycles: Gore Bib shorts (i.e. with shoulder straps and no waistband), my Gore undershirt that is especially designed for high performance "wicking" of perspiration, under a regular Revolution Cycles logo adorned riding jersey. I'm also trying out my "DZ Nuts Bliss" chamois cream...and, I have to say, I think I Like It! : )) (Also of note: The tank shorts have zippers along the sides that allow me to drop the shorts without having to pull of the should straps. : ))

Finally, I am writing to you having linked up with the free WiFi and Food for Thought (the service at the house has not been working so well this morning). All-in-all, I'm kind of doing what I had in mind to do, in terms of riding my bicycle and using WiFi where available. I may even try to find the Williamsburg Library this coming week and see what they have to offer. For now's time to eat! : ))

(Oh, and one other observation of note: There are Pancake Houses ALL OVER Williamsburg. I guess, between the college students and the retirees, the economy can support a whole bunch of them. It really is pretty funny though, to see one every few blocks! Makes me think they should call this the "Pancake Belt"! : ))

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lots of Pictures Up On Facebook

The URL above should take you to my photo album on Facebook where I have posted lots of pictures of my gear that I have been working on the last several weeks. I am getting Really, Really, close now to being done with everything.

I think I will definitely need to take some time to train (a week or so), to get used to being on the bike again, while also adding weight gradually. Otherwise, I'm feeling pretty good about what I've managed to actually get loaded on the bicycle at this point.

Also,I want to give special thanks to Andre' from the Home Depot. He helped me out A LOT with technical skill and taking many of the photos. : )) I've been wanting to do all of this (get loaded/unloaded/set-up the tent, take pictures, etc.) for a long time now and his willingness and interest gave me just the extra motivation I needed to follow-through.

I know I don't have all the computer savvy yet to make this page fully functional (for instance, I could not just get the "link" function to work with this post), but I'm going to keep at it and I hope I do get more of it figured out as I go along.

I guess you could say: "I'll get by with a little help from my friends, Gonna try with a little help from my friends..." and FOR my friends!... Peace!

Monday, August 8, 2011

"Is It Time to Go Yet?" : )

Well, actually, no, and I suspect it is getting as frustrating for anyone else reading this blog as it is for me. However, I have thought to tack a sign to my trailer with a picture of a turtle on a bicycle (like me) with the caption "Can't Rush This!" (And if the music from M.C. Hammer's "Cant' Touch This!" has come to your mind, the association would be correct. :))

I am much closer now, of course, to starting my journey, but that means my brain is also kicking into overdrive (as it did last night until 4:00 this morning) to make sure I have thought of everything I can think of that I can do to better insure the success of my journey. In addition, it is reminding me of ideas for things to do that I've actually had all along, and now I am at the point of following through on those ideas as well.

In addition, I am having to be sensitive to the patterns of the changing seasons. With my original plan, I was going to head West and then North West, assuming I would be better off traveling away from the summer heat. Now, as I am seeing myself moving more into the middle of August, with September, and "fall" not far behind, I may decide to take my route more directly West instead.

Either way, the first few weeks of my journey are going to be HOT, which ultimately means I will not be able to spend as much time each day riding, so as not to get heat exhaustion, although I'm thinking I can accommodate that some by traveling more during the early morning or late evening hours. However, cycling in the evening is more hazardous and may require using more lighting/battery/solar power as well. In general, traveling in the heat means I have to be more sure of water sources and making sure my electrolyte intake is sufficient.

All these things I have to take into consideration, and better to imagine in as much detail as possible now, and plan accordingly, than to approach this in a haphazard way without really "thinking it through" first. I have a good brain, and it is quite good at "visualization" so I am using that capacity fully. And now that I am out of my house, but have a comfortable place to do this important part of my preparation, I want to be sure I do the mental as well as practical work that needs to be done.

As I mentioned above "Can't Rush This!"...(duh, duh, duh, dunt, duh, dunt, duh, dunt...Can't Rush This!...) (Imagine a Blue Turtle Dancing in Baggy Pants!)

: ))

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Progress Update

It is pretty amazing to me that almost three weeks now have gone by..."just like that"! But, I have managed to get a lot done, most recently I made several pairs of "Bell's Baggy Bottoms" out of light weight cotton fabric which I think will be the most practical for me to wear when I am not on my bicycle. I've even been able to share the pattern and sewing method with my host...I just have to clear myself out of her living room so she can have the space to sew some for herself! :)

And that clearing should take place this next week. I only have some minor adjustments left on all of my gear and storage bags. I hope I can take pictures to share, but I've had trouble uploading pictures to this blog so far (at least with my iPad).

Otherwise, I am almost fully recuperated from being sick myself while I have also been able to help my host in caring for a five-week-old kitten - the only survivor of a litter of six that were rejected by their mother. He's had an eye infection that may have cost him the eye, but with the TLC and medication we've been able to provide, it is almost completely healed now. It's been nice to be around furry animals again as I have had only my turtles the last couple of years.

I have also had the opportunity to share some of the diet info I started to share here (and hope to continue as soon as I get the picture upload problems solved) by actually making green smoothies, sprouting mung beans and lentils, etc. and cooking up my special "Egg Friend Rice" recipe to share with my host. This is kind of something I've always imagined doing, i.e. living with someone or a family for a while and actually doing these things for/with them until they were comfortable enough to continue on their own.

As a side note: While sewing I have been watching Boston Legal since my host had the complete series on DVDs. I've always been a William Shatner fan since the early Star Trek days, so it was good to see him again. What I have come to appreciate however is how David E. Kelley use the medium of the show to debate politics, etc. in a public forum. Since I have never watched television that much, I forget that sometimes...there are good programs out there that allow for some really serious consideration of important issues.

In addition, I have been listening to Free Audio Books available from Stefan Molyneux at So far I have listened to Universally Acceptable Behaviors, Every Day Anarchy, and I am currently listening to The Origins of War in Child Abuse which is a Reading by Molyneux of the book by Lloyd Demause.

A major thrust of Molyneux's work is Understanding Violence (or the "initiation of force") as a major underlying "evil" of human behavior. I will still add the caveat that some "primitive" cultures may have evolved a better understanding of this than "modern cultures" - per Daniel Quinn's writing especially in The Story of B; i.e. that what we know of "human cultures" in the modern world does not necessarily represent our knowledge of ALL OF MANKIND. Nevertheless, I feel the ongoing acceptance of violence, especially that exercised by modern governments as a part of our everyday lives is one of the most important issues we are going to have to deal with more effectively if our modern cultures are to EVOLVE beyond where we are right now. I would offer that our clinging to violence as a "solution" to so many "problems" is what is holding us back and that we will continue to spin our wheels in this rut, until we are willing to give up violence as a solution - altogether.

I hope you will take the time to listen to more of what Stefan Molyneux has to say yourself. He has definitely opened my eyes and heart to a deeper understanding of violence and all the forms in which it exists in society today. I feel it is time that we Move Beyond this rather un-evolved way of being, as there is so much more to be gained by doing so.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Re: Staying "On Schedule"

Just a brief post here to mention that as I have been resting, recuperating, and finishing the work of organizing what I will be taking with me on the road, it has poured down rain almost every day (except today, which is not over yet). And when I say poured, I mean, torrential, bucket loads.

If I had been "on schedule" as I had initially "thought" or planned myself, I would have been riding in all of that, or camping in it, and I'm sure it would have made for a much more difficult start to my journey.

However, for now at least, I am dry and secure, as is all of my electronic gear, food and clothing. Furthermore, "Mother Nature" has made very clear my need to be more certain about weather protection for myself and my gear, which is where all of my sewing skills are going to once again be called into action.

Now that I am not on a work schedule, or a move-out schedule, or any other particular "deadline" as far as my travel plans are concerned, I am going to trust that I will know when I am ready, and when it is actually time for me to go. I think one of the real spiritual lessons for me now is to be even more guided by "Universal Impulses" rather than just my mentally thought out plans.

For some of you that may seem impractical, and you may even grow impatient with my "wandering"... but, this is my journey and part of the whole point is to be able to engage it Freely, Spontaneously, and Happily.

There is so much in our culture now that does not allow for that, and I think it is a great loss for each of us as human and spiritual beings.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recovering from My Move-Out

My move out of my basement apartment in Maryland ended up taking A Lot longer than I anticipated.  I think it was worse because I was not just moving to another place, but was having to sell things and put the rest in storage.  The time it took on e-mails and phone calls to potential takers of my furniture, etc., really cut into my time packing. And, then, at the end, I had to find a place to re-locate my left-over food stuffs, both perishable and not-so-perishable.  Add to that a live-in landlady who had motives of her own for slowing my progress (so that I ultimately missed my move-out deadline of June 30th), and then it becomes clearer as to why I did not actually get out of the house until July 2nd.

And now, I've come down with my usual, gunky, upper respiratory response to way too many days and nights of over exertion and not enough sleep. I am currently staying with a friend in Williamsburg, VA and I hope to be able to finish figuring out what I can pack onto my rig and how, while I am recovering from being sick.

In general, I have understood all of the challenges I have faced so far as mere "training" for the additional challenges I know I will face in the weeks and months ahead.  So I have been trying to just "Keep On Keepin' On" and assuming that I will get on the road eventually, and I will make this journey as I have planned, if not necessarily within the exact time-frame I planned.

For now, I am still in the transition phase of my journey, from living in a stable situation to living and traveling on my bicycle. I really wish I had time to pack my rig before moving out of my apartment, but that's just not the way it worked out.

As I anticipate will be the case throughout this experience, I am just going to have to adapt and overcome. :)

I appreciate everyone who has helped me thus far, by buying my stuff at Harper's Ferry Flea Market, and from Craig's list, and E-bay, etc. and for Radu who helped me move my larger furniture pieces into storage, and for others who accepted "food gifts" from my pantry, as I hate to see anything go to waste, and to those of you who have made direct contributions via this blog and PayPal.

I also appreciate all of the words of encouragement. I think some of you sense the enormity of what I am trying to undertake even moreso than I do.  But then, if I really understood how difficult this was going to be from the beginning, it might keep me from actually attempting it! Better just to take one day at a time and see how things go. :)

Thanks again, Everyone! I will be in touch.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We Interrupt This Blog Series for an Important Announcement

Hi, Everyone!

I know there are some new people starting to view this blog as well as others who know about it and who may be eagerly anticipating my next post on "Food Basics Part II" mentioned below.  That post is "in progress," however, Right Now I'm going to have to focus on getting my stuff ready to sell at Harper's Ferry Flea Market this weekend, June 25th. (For more info go here:

In addition, just so everyone knows, this is ALL pretty new territory for me; i.e. blogging here, and especially including images.  I'm still learning my way around the site itself and figuring out how I can make the most of it. Consequently, these first few blogs are the tougher, more time consuming ones, and I just don't have a lot of time right now, given the other things I have to get done before I actually go on my trip.

Furthermore, I'm still on my old, Familiar, PC and operating system.  Pretty soon, even That is all going to change when I get my iPad.

In other words, just like my actual riding of my bicycle, this is all kind of starting in "low gear" and it might take a while for me to build up some speed and momentum.  But I trust that with my Awesome Blue Turtle Powers of Slow and Steady Perseverance...I will ultimately be successful! : )

I do appreciate All of the Support I have received from my current friends and associates and the new ones I am starting to meet.  I will do my very best to Do What I Say I'm Going to Do; and in that way, not betray the trust you have in me, and not betray The Life Impulse that brought me to this point in the first place.

No doubt, there are some challenges ahead, New Challenges that will require different kinds of adaptation from me.  And even if it appears daunting at times, as I said, I am going to do the very best that I can to meet those challenges with courage and humor. : )

Thanks again to all of you who have offered your support and encouragement.  Thank you for Believing in Me as that makes all the difference in those moments (though relatively rare), when I begin to wonder "What the heck am I getting myself into?!"

But, here I am...and it appears the only way "out" at this point is "through." In other words, I'm just going to have to Go Through This and see what happens!?  Although I might have some idea of what's to come, the Future is as much of a mystery to me as it is for anyone who might be reading this blog.  All I know is, right now, I have to get my stuff packed up for Harper's Ferry and once that is done, there will only be five more days before I will be On the Road!

WooooHooo!!! : ))

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Food Basics Part I - Enzyme Nutrition

In 1990 I read Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond.  I was so "moved" by my reading and new-found understanding about proper food combining and raw food eating, I invested a significant amount of money ($1587.00 to be exact) in an entire home-study course in Natural Hygiene and even made a trip to Austin, Texas to meet with the publisher, T.C. Fry.  It was one of those early attempts in my life to do something more "entrepreneurial", even though I had no clue about the time investment or the amount of life-stability and self-discipline that would be necessary to complete the training. Consequently, I did not get very far through the course - however, a couple of the more significant books I did read during this time were Dr. H.M. Shelton's Fasting Can Save Your Life  and Edward Howell's, Enzyme Nutrition

In Fasting Can Save Your Life I learned that fasting, i.e. removing the demand for the body to digest food for a while, actually allows the body to "clean house." In so doing it removes toxins that build up and that might otherwise be causing various "-itises"; i.e. irritation and/or "inflammation" of organs and tissues.  In addition, and maybe most importantly, the body starts to "autolyze" (i.e. break down) defective cells, even cancerous or potentially cancerous ones. Through this "house cleaning" process, cells, tissues, and organs are "rejuvenated". A fast of seven to ten days can restore years of life to the body, while fasts of even longer periods can help the body heal from many different and even very serious diseases.

Nevertheless, fasting - i.e. removing something (i.e. food) by stopping some other activity (i.e. eating) runs completely counter to both ancient and modern medical approaches to add something more (i.e. medications) or do something more (i.e. administer other treatments or therapies).  It is just beyond most people in this society to think that the body often has a better chance of healing itself when you stop feeding it (for a while) and/or refrain from doing other things to it or with it; i.e. just let it rest.  (Of course, in modern society there's not much profit to be made by such an approach and that is probably why most people still don't know about it.)  Granted, fasting alone may not work for all illnesses, but for those that are so often caused by poor diet in the first place (and that is a very significant number of diseases, actually), going without food for a while kind of makes sense.

From Enzyme Nutrition I learned that even squirrels sprout their nuts (! : )); i.e. by burying them in the ground they are creating the conditions in which the seeds naturally start to germinate. So... when the squirrels eat them later, especially during the colder months when they need to conserve as much of their own Life-Energy as possible, they are no longer eating the dry, dormant seeds, they are actually eating a "plant embryo" with a much higher water content, activated enzymes, and Life Force.

Although there is certainly much more common knowledge about enzyme nutrition today than there was 20 years ago, there are still many people in our culture who do not know about it. Many people do not appreciate the Life Energy that is expended in the basic function of digestion and more importantly, the body's creation of enzymes for that purpose.  Enzymes are the "heavy laborers" of the human body and just like labor for any job, you should take advantage of "free labor" wherever it is available. Enzymes from the foods themselves are just that: Free Labor to help your body digest food efficiently.  However... just as you wouldn't want to set your construction workers on fire, you can't heat food enzymes much either without destroying them or rendering them incapable of doing their jobs.

Furthermore, movies like  Food, Inc.  really bring home the fact that Food Processors have completely lost touch with the reality that Food Is Life for human beings. This is clear by the way they disrespect and literally destroy that Life through all of their production and processing methods.  Is it no wonder then that so many people in our society are sick; i.e. dying (sooner than they should be) or living as if they were "half dead" already? Or why we feel the need to constantly be "faking" Life Energy by our daily rituals of self-stimulation? Coffee anyone? Fast paced computer game or music video?

But, lest I err as so many others have done, I will now step away from the soap-box!  My Guru Adi Da Samraj was quite astute in observing how people can get very serious (>:{) about diet, and dietary disciplines, and can become convinced of how one way of eating might be so much "better" than another (making the people who eat that way so much "better" than other people who don't - at least from the "point-of-view" of the "ego-'I'" :]). He called this common phenomenon "Lunch Righteousness". And believe me, I Was "Lunch Righteous" after reading Fit for much so that my proselytizing began to alienate all of my friends. It wasn't until I was considering it all in a journal entry one day that I realized I had to make a decision: Did I want to be "right" or did I want to be in relationship. I chose to be in relationship and I have not been overly "serious" about my diet ever since, or attempted to "convert" anyone to my "point of view."

That doesn't mean I've stopped talking about and sharing my experiences with others, it's just that I do not see it as my main mission in life to change the world through forcing my idea of the "perfect diet" down other's to speak!

I have, however, continued to explore options for myself and to adapt what I have learned about raw food eating to whatever circumstances I have experienced. One perfect example of this was my continuing to sprout mung beans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and almonds in the file drawers of my work center while I was deployed on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier for six months at a time. It was a good thing too, because sometimes...the lettuce they served us in the galley came out looking a little more like sauerkraut! It was especially on those days I was really glad I had some fresh mung bean sprouts as the base for my "salad" instead!

As I will be discussing in my next blog, this ongoing consideration and adaptation has reached a critical point in that I have been preparing and eating certain foods on a regular basis now since 2010. These are foods that I have also been eating while I on my Bicycle Trek Across the U.S. (2012-2013). The key is that this "basic food plan" includes all the major essential vitamins and minerals from whole food sources, and on a normal work day, I can fit between 15 and 20 of these different whole foods into a large lunch bag (i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks).

Once you've read my next blog (or two), you will know how to do that as well - If You So Choose. I will be the first to say that, ultimately, Everyone Has to Find Their Own Way through this vast maze of food options in which we live. And It is Not Easy! It's taken over 20+ years and four fasts of 8 days or longer, trying something new here, tweaking that, realizing something else just really had to go, and/or something else needed to be get me where I am today. And furthermore, what I will be sharing next is the most recent development in what I see as a still ongoing consideration, with even more experimentation and adaptation to come.

But for now, if you're still interested, please read-on through my next blog: Food Basics Part II

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Can Already Feel Myself Growing Beyond Limitations

It's kind of funny really... Most of you may not realize this but...I'm a closet introvert! And yet, here I am getting ready to start on a journey that I'm sure will stretch all of my limits - physically, mentally-emotionally, practically, and spiritually.

In the last few weeks, I've learned how to sell things via E-bay and today I figured out how to add a PayPal button to this site (even received my first donation...Thanks, TS! : )). This may not seem like a big deal to some of you (especially younger folks who have grown up with computers) but, honestly, all of this digital stuff is a bit overwhelming for me so what may seem like "baby steps" for some are more like "quantum leaps" for me. But, that's okay, I want to be an "old turtle" that can still learn "new tricks." : )

Although I am most comfortable writing - I'm going to be making videos on this trip as well and posting them to YouTube, something I still need to learn how to do. I expect the first few videos will be kind of rough, but, hopefully, they will get better with time.

Furthermore, in spite of the fact that I am still feeling like crap physically after my trip to New Jersey, I am feeling encouraged as well - in fact, there have been very few people with whom I have discussed my plans who have not offered words of encouragement and support.

I guess, for people who have known me for a while, I have already developed a certain "reputation" over the years - for doing what I say I'm going to matter how crazy it might seem. : ) I may not always do things as quickly as I think I will, but - eventually, with my "Turtle Power" I do follow through.

All-in-all though, I know this trip really isn't just about "me" - I am going to be relying on a lot of support from others along the way - whether it is a couch to sleep on or a place to set-up my tent, or a bag of mung beans here and there. So as much as I may be on my own journey, it is humbling to know that I will not be able to face the challenges alone - just as it would be for anyone in this world today.

We are All In This Together - and we Have to Find better ways of living with one another and with the Natural World. Part of my motivation for making this trip is to help with that basic understanding - to be a "mobile bridge" if you will to help people "cross-over" from one point of view to another and to start re-thinking all of this - all the choices we have made and are making.

It is never too late to Change Your Mind - to try a different approach, to take some chances and just see what the Universe has to show you. : )

(P.S. I just realized it was 12 years ago today that I joined the US Navy - May 25, 1999! Yet another "leap of faith"... so I guess this has become kind of a habit with me. : ))

Update: 6-5-2011 - First YouTube Video posted - Not a big deal really, just a short demo for my Total Gym that I'm selling on e-bay and the "Accessory Caddy" I designed for it. But - there ya' go - another "leap" for me. : ))

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Breaking-in the New Fender Blender Bike Blender from Rock-the-Bike

So this is me on April 1, 2011 (that's right "April Fools" day : )), and I've just finished installing my brand new "Fender Blender Universale" from Rock-the-Bike.  The blender came with the rack (that was well designed to adjust to almost any bike size), removable blender base (so I don't have to ride with it attached to my bike ALL the time), and blender. (I decided to add something to secure the cover by attaching four small bungee cords to a square piece of old bicycle innertube.)

For those keeping track, the "Fender Blender" was a little more expensive than your average blender, coming in at $249.00 plus shipping.  Rock-the-Bike encourages people to use them as educational tools, promoting nutritious smoothie making as well as demonstrating how a common household appliance can be run using human power instead of electric power.  In addition, if you're in a position to sell samples, you can use it as a fundraising tool.

They also offer a chopper/food processor, a dynamo that can generate electrical power, and a spin-art device that can all be run off the same system. (See more here:  Since I drink smoothies every day, this was an obvious choice for me to take on my trip.  I'm also looking forward to the opportunity to show it to others wherever that is possible. (And, by the way, if you decide to get one yourself, please contact me.  When I told the folks at Rock-the-Bike what I was going to be doing, they offered me a sales partnership "on the spot."  I don't mind promoting these because I think they are Really Cool, and getting a little "thank you" in return for good advertising suits me just fine! : ))

The rack that the bike is setting on is the lightest and cheapest I could find.  I got it from Amazon for under $20.00.  Admittedly, it's a little shaky, but it held throughout all the smoothie making demonstrations my friend Ilona and I did at the Pedal Pushers Bike Swap at Eastern Market on April 2nd.  In addition, I'm willing to sacrifice a little safety for the weight (under 2 lbs) since the next lightest option would probably be upwards of three times as heavy, and A Lot more expensive!

All-in-all, I'm very satisfied with this set-up and look forward to making lots of Bike Blender Smoothies in the months ahead!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Journey Begins

I know it's a small step, but I have just sold my first item on Ebay, and that is one of several avenues I will be using to divest myself of all of my non-essential worldly possessions over the next three months.

All of this is in preparation for my starting a US Tour...On My Bicycle!  It is something I have had in the back of my mind to do for quite some time now, and there are a myriad of circumstances that have all coalesced to move me to do it now rather than later.  So, that's what I'm going to do.

It is my intent to also document my travels and experiences here - even these preparatory steps along with all of the more detailed information involved with planning and carrying out this endeavor.

That's all I'm going to say for now, but I will be back here regularly over the next several weeks and will utilize any accessible computers to keep posting while I am on the road.

Peace, Y'All!

: ))

P.S. I'm testing the photo insert options here with a picture of my bike and trailer.  More about that later. : ))

And if you would like to donate to support my Writing and Riding please use the PayPal button below, and Thanks in advance for your support! : )