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 www.freedomainradio.com. 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.
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.