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.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

“You Get What You Play For!” - 2016

Although I have tried hard not to get sucked into the ongoing dramas of Election 2016, I have enough friends who are posting about it on Facebook and Twitter, and the topic has come up in the break room at work as well, so that my efforts to resist have been futile. This morning I awoke with my brain generating ideas that I felt needed to be shared, so here I am, sharing them, in spite of my resistance. 

Back in 2014 I wrote a post here entitled, “You Get What You Play For!” In it I made a distinction between what I called a “Social Moral Code” and an “Individual Biological Moral Code”.  As an example, one could say that “The Ten Commandments” are a type of social moral code in that they establish certain rules regarding how people should interact with one another (and with “God”).

By contrast, an “Individual Biological Moral Code” only applies to individuals. I proposed that the "rules" of such a “code” might be, “If it feels good do it!” and “Survival of the fittest!”

If you take, for instance, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” from “The Ten Commandments,” it’s pretty easy to understand how this applies in a “society” or “community” of people:  For very primal reasons, as well as for legal ones (regarding the transfer of property to one’s legitimate/blood-related offspring), both husbands and wives might take issue at having a third person’s DNA brought into that mix!  Resulting interpersonal conflicts could in turn be disruptive to the stability of the affected families and to the larger community. In fact, seven of the ten commandments address issues of interpersonal and community relationships. That’s what makes “The Ten Commandments” a type of “Social Moral Code”. Contrast that with, “If it feels good do it!” and the distinctions are clear. Whether married or not, if it “feels good” for me to have sex with another person, so be it! 

Furthermore, if it “feels good” for me to drink until I’m so intoxicated that I can’t see straight, but I want to drive anyway, so be it! If it “feels good” for me to speculate recklessly on the stock market with other people’s money, so be it! If it “feels good” for me to eat my way into disease and disability and expect “the government” to pick up the tab, so be it! If it “feels good” for me to have unprotected sex all the time, with one partner or many, and bear children that I cannot otherwise afford to raise, and expect "the government" to pick up the tab, then so be it! If it “feels good” for me as a man to act in a sexually aggressive way towards women, because it satisfies a deeper biological drive to increase this species’ chances of reproduction, then so be it! The list goes on and on and on, and ALL of these things can be justified as “moral” under an Individual Biological Moral Code, founded on the principle, “If it feels good, do it!”

As I have suggested above, the second principle of this Individual Biological Moral Code is “Survival of the Fittest”. In this culture, “fitness” is usually recognized as celebrity and/or material wealth. Once again, those who achieve greatly in either or both of these categories, no matter how they actually got there, can justify their positions because they are simply “playing by the rules”. There are no greater measures of “fitness” required – like personal integrity, honesty and fairness in one’s business dealings, voluntary care for the health and welfare of one’s employees, let alone members of the larger whole of society. Consequently, just like in the natural world, this adherence to an Individual Biological Moral Code leads to a highly skewed distribution curve with a few “apex predators” at the top and the vast majority of “feeder species” comprising the bottom of the curve. It should come as no surprise then, that that is exactly what the "wealth distribution curve" looks like for our society!

Nevertheless, if you are thinking it is time for a “revolution” – think twice! If all the “revolutionaries” want to do is Trade Places with the current “apex predators”, without a fundamental change in The Moral Code Itself, then that Distribution Curve Will Not Change! Sure, it might change for a generation, but if we persist with the same Individual Biological Moral Code guiding us, we will eventually be right back where we started!

So it is not the players that have to change, it’s the real, underlying moral code that we've agreed to that has to change. Furthermore, it is my contention that in order to create such a new and better code, we first have to come to an agreement that a) Human Beings are SOCIAL not Solitary creatures, and b) Our ability to function cooperatively with larger and larger groups of individuals has been a hallmark of our evolutionary development. Therefore, an Individual Biological Moral Code WILL NEVER WORK for the Social species that we are! Consequently, we have to develop and agree to a different code, a Social Moral Code.


In his book, Peaceful Revolution: How We Can Create the Future Needed for Humanity’s Survival former Iraq war veteran turned peace activist, Paul K. Chappell, discusses seven “muscles” he feels we need to learn to “exercise” and strengthen in order to create a better future for all of humankind. These “muscles” are as follows: (realistic) hope, empathy/respect, appreciation, conscience, reason, discipline, and curiosity. The development of these muscles helps us develop our full potential as mature human beings, human beings who are capable of interacting more functionally and peacefully with one another.

Along with our own "Bill of Rights" and  the Universal Declaration of Human Rights established by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948, these could form the basis of a new Social Moral Code.

Another principle to consider is that expressed in the title and elaborated in the book, Extreme Ownership… by Navy SEAL Officers Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. “Extreme Ownership” is not one of those things that “feels good.” It demands both vulnerability and courage to acknowledge and accept full responsibility for one’s decisions and actions and their consequences. It is especially important for those in positions of leadership, but it has implications for every person’s life on a day to day basis as well.

It has been my observation that there are many in the world today who, for various reasons, are waiting on “God”, “Jesus”, “The Government”, “Extra Terrestrials”, etc., etc. to either swoop in and solve all of our problems or bring an apocalypse. In other words, they are not accepting “Extreme Ownership” for any of these problems themselves. I’m afraid that is the “double-edged sword” of “faith” – for some it makes them feel more responsibility and accountability, for others, it relieves them of responsibility and accountability. Like the underlying “Individual Biological Moral Code” that I believe is currently guiding us, this dual aspect of “faith,” when it comes to responsibility and accountability, is another foundation of our culture that needs to be reconsidered with respect to how it might aid or compromise establishing a more beneficial “Social Moral Code”.

To summarize: We might change the players, but the outcome, the “skewed curve” of wealth distribution in this society and others, and all of the “inequalities” that it perpetuates, will not change until we actually change The RULES of the Game we are playing! In my mind that means we have to change from an Individual Biological Moral Code to a new and better Social Moral Code.

In either case, it bears repeating, “You Get What You Play For!”

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

To Be or Not to Be a Tracker...? Is that the question?

In my bedroom I have a small book shelf. On three shelves it holds the books that have had the greatest impact on my life so far in chronological order of when I read them. The first book on the first shelf is my Bible, the second is a hard-back copy of Kahlil Gibran’s, The Prophet, and the third book is The Tracker: The True Story of Tom Brown, told to William Jon Watkins.

I decided to start re-reading these books, or at least, The Prophet, and The Tracker... as a way of helping me fall asleep at night. However, when I started reading The Tracker... I recalled not only how it impacted me originally, but how I have been further inspired by actually taking tracking and survival skills classes from Tom Brown, Jr. as part of my cross-country cycling preparations back in May of 2011. When I had the resources to do so, it was the first thing on my list that I Really Wanted to Do followed by riding my bicycle cross-country.

Given my history with my mother, given that most of my early life was consumed by Her story of “Us”, it has taken the rest of my life to try to figure out what My Story really is, what my deepest motivations truly are and how I can focus my attention on pursuing those motivations successfully.
I will admit to feeling some envy for talented children whose parents have no problem supporting their child’s natural motivations. Whenever I watch shows like “America’s Got Talent” or “So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation” I am awed by the level of ability some children are able to demonstrate in part because they were simply given the support they needed to embrace and express those talents early in their lives.
That just wasn’t the case for me. The first 20 years of my life were all about what my mother expected of me and what she needed me to be for her own ego-gratification/sense of self-worth. It was only after she was formally diagnosed and committed to a mental hospital that I was set free to figure out what My Life Purpose was supposed to be For Me, how best to learn and to give My gifts to the world.
I’ve literally been “all over the place” with that quest. Starting from Tennessee, I was on the road with the carnival for several months, lived in Montana, England, on the island of Kauai, and in Colorado where I joined the Navy. From there I went to Great Lakes, Illinois for boot camp, was stationed on an aircraft carrier for three years, home ported in Norfolk, Virginia and made two "med cruises" to places like Greece, Italy, and the Arab Emirates. Shore duty brought me to Maryland where I lived for a few more years before attending Tracker School in New Jersey and riding my bicycle cross-country.

As documented in this blog, that adventure took me first (by car) to Williamsburg, Virginia where Hurricane Irene gave me an opportunity to practice shelter building.  From there I continued by car to Jacksonville, Florida. I actually started by cross-country cycling from Jacksonville Beach and continued through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, and into Texas. Texas was also the venue for all of “Stage II”. In between I lived briefly in Santa Barbara, California and Millville, Pennsylvania, and after “Stage III”, Columbus, Georgia and now back “home” with my dad in Campbellsville, Kentucky.
Although I was trained as an Electronics Technician while in the Navy, I finished my Bachelor of Science in Social Science in 2010, a program I'd started 18 years earlier as a student at Tennessee Tech. However, I was so "beat up" being on my own, working full-time, going to school, and having to deal with a long string of dysfunctional living arrangements, including a brief marriage and divorce, that I did not have the motivation to pursue my formal education beyond that. Looking back, once again, Mom was the one who thought I’d be the next Margaret Mead or something, not me!
Mom also thought we’d be writing books together. Over the course of the last several years, besides writing this blog, I have made numerous attempts to write a book – philosophical, practical, autobiographical, etc. Most recently, I thought I would write a book focused on parenting as leadership incorporating the principles I learned from reading a book entitled, Extreme Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. I don’t know so much about Leif, but I know Jocko is one of those people who knew what he wanted to do with his life as a child and got to do just that. This is something he refers to pretty often in his podcasts.
Rather than being encouraged by Jocko’s story, I found myself once again feeling frustrated by my own circumstances and wondering if I would ever be as motivated about anything as someone like Jocko. Although I may still give it some attention as a “back-up plan”, I have once again run into a lack of motivation and focus where my research for the parenting book is concerned. (I have learned a lot more about our brains though as illustrated here...)

However...I have been pretty focused of fishing lately! And feeding the birds and the squirrels and keeping the water baths clean and full. As I sit here typing, I’m looking out the basement windows as the yellow and black Swallow Tail Butterflies hover feeding on our deep purple and lavender butterfly bushes. The ground looks a little weedy, but that’s because I’ve left the Lamb's Quarters to grow so I could add it to my green smoothies. There’s also one sunflower that came up under the feeder on its own. Who knows what ate the top out as soon as it was blooming, but I’m hoping the secondary buds might make it to maturity.

There’s also the worm composter on the back porch. That’s been doing really well since I moved it from Georgia. It is an expression of my deeper motivation as a "constant composter" - never wanting to let anything go to waste, to allow things to progress through the "Life-Death-Life" cycle wherever possible. I was fishing with some of my home-grown red wigglers at a co-worker’s pond and managed to catch enough Bluegill for supper. Although I empathize with their suffering as I am cleaning the fish, I try to make quick work of it, and there’s a strong part of me that wants to know how to do this – to eat what I catch. I joked with my dad a little about it being pretty satisfying even though it is quite a bit of work first to catch the fish, then to clean it, then to cook it, and even to eat it while avoiding all the bones! 

Of all the times that I was “trapped” inside the house with mom, some of my strongest memories are of the rare times when I was able to get out. One of the apartments where we lived in Radcliff, Kentucky sat on the edge of the woods. I spent many hours playing there, mostly alone. I remember the year there was a “plague” of little brown frogs that scattered ahead as I walked through the grass.  I remember when I sat amongst the trees in the middle of winter, and watched the birds come to the feeder not five feet from me, including a covey of quails, all marching in line, one behind the other.  I also remember a big blackberry patch in the middle of a field of red Kentucky clay. I picked a lot of blackberries that summer, and I think of it every time I pick blackberries now like I did on the property of the co-worker with the pond.  I also remember a sink hole where I played in Brandenburg, Kentucky. That’s where I started catching snakes and lizards, much to the awe and chagrin of all of the boys in the neighborhood. (I "played" with another snake here at the house in Campbellsville, early this spring.)

I guess what I’m realizing is that I’ve always had this affinity for nature. Maybe it had something to do with growing up watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, or maybe it was the rare times I remember going camping with the whole family and fishing with my dad. Maybe it was because my dad brought turtles home to me from his truck trips rather than store-bought souvenirs.

Nevertheless, it was never something my mother ever encouraged me to pursue for a Living. Again, she had much grander plans for “us”. And so, instead of taking Environmental Studies or something that might have led to my becoming say a park ranger, I was taking courses “working towards a degree in anthropology”. Granted, a lot of those were “natural science” classes, but they were never meant to be the FOCUS of my education or my far as my mother was concerned.
Now I find myself “over the hill” – but feeling I still have another Big Hill yet to climb, The Hill that is truly aligned with my deepest core, my values, my skills, my INTRINSIC motivations.
The other day I watched a brief TEDx video, How to Know Your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes.  The speaker, Adam Leipzig, posed a series of questions: Who are you? What do you do? What are you qualified to teach others? Who do you do it for? What do they want or need? How do they change or transform as a result of what you give them?
I had a hard time answering those questions at first. However, if I were to become skilled enough myself to teach tracking and survival skills to others, I could answer those questions easily: What I learned from the experience of, for instance, learning to make fire from “scratch”, is that it is Very Empowering and Liberating. Although I may not be super-skilled yet, I learned enough during two weeks of classes at Tracker School to feel I could survive in the woods for an indefinite period of time if I had to. Consequently, no matter how bad things might get in the world, I know that I have the option to “run away” from it all. And because I have that confidence in my ability to run away, I am also free to choose to continue to be involved with this world as much as I want to.
As I was explaining to my dad over supper, I think part of the “madness” and violence in the world today is due to the fact that people feel trapped. They feel trapped in their jobs, their relationships, in their neighborhoods, in “society”. Some try to resolve these feelings of being trapped by “fighting their way out”. Unfortunately, this can lead to even worse incarceration. Others will “die trying” or intentionally take their own lives and who knows how many others' with them.
In the wild, if two bears confront each other over territory, they will posture and roar, but it seldom comes to violent conflict. That’s because either bear has the option to Run Away. I think part of the problem with modern humans is we have, for the most part, lost the option to literally Run Away. Instead we virtually run away by using drugs and alcohol,  playing video games, or watching endless hours of "entertainment media". Few of us could survive for long outside the bounds of our homes, towns, and cities, let alone in any truly Wild part of this country. And so, for most people, the only option is to fight, or die - quickly or slowly.

How different might things be if more people could literally run away for a while, or at least know that they could? If they could go off into the woods and become more connected with the abundance of life and the natural world? Or connect with one of the most primal abilities of humans across millennia: to build a fire from nothing but the natural materials around them?
I know this may seem a bit morbid, but I have felt truly empowered by two distinct experiences in my life: the first was having the knowledge that I could kill myself if I wanted to, and the second was being able to build a fire from scratch, something I got to do during the first week of classes at Tom Brown, Jr’s Tracker School! (And although a photo of that first fire was taken by a fellow student, I was never able to get it from them. :/ )
Now, I don’t mind dealing with the challenges of day to day living that we all face. But I’m not carrying fears of the credit card companies, or the IRS, or some other government entity messing with my life, or forcing me to do something I really don’t want to do…because I know I can Run Away whenever I want or need to. (After more classes at Tom’s Tracker School I’ll just be that much More prepared to Run Away if I want or need to.) And I’ve known this for over five years now, and I’ve found it’s Good to Know! It allows me to be calmer deep down inside, where others might feel fearful and anxious.
So, should I choose to pursue tracking and survival training more intensively, to the point where I could become a teacher for others, then this is how they might be “transformed” by what I will have to give them: they will be liberated from their fears of entrapment. They will become free to run away whenever they choose, which means, they will also be free to stay, and to do whatever they can to figure out their own life purpose, the gifts they have to give to others, and the ways in which they can help transform the world into a better place for humans and non-humans to live.
I’ve had many motivations that have led me away from this. Motivations that I really had to see were not intrinsic but rather extrinsic and mostly stemming from my relationship with my mother. As I have learned from one of Gregory Careman’s neuroscience courses, "extrinsic motivations drain you of energy, intrinsic motivations give you energy". If wanting to become an expert in tracking and primitive survival skills is my deepest intrinsic motivation finally coming to the surface, then the energy will be there to carry me through in a way no other motivations have thus far.
From the beginning, this blog has been about my I've felt more and less sure of where that journey-ing would take me all along the way. Nevertheless, I continue to persevere and to try different paths as others have grown cold. I Have Learned A Lot along the way and I hope there has been some value here for those who have continued to follow me. No matter where my motivations have led at any given time in the outer world, what I have been most motivated to do is to live more and more deeply from my heart. That is where the inward journey has been taking me, deeper and deeper into my own heart. That is the "home work" that I feel is every individual's responsibility, something for which they must ultimately take "Extreme Ownership"!
So here's to that continuing journey...the skills we learn and the wisdom we gain along the way...and the tracks we leave behind for ourselves and others to follow!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Long Overdue Update from Campbellsville, KY

In late November 2015, I relocated from my friend's house in Columbus, GA to live with my dad for a while at The Lake House on Green River Lake in Campbellsville, KY. My father and step-mother built the house there about 16 years ago. I'd visited a few times, but only for the occasional holiday. Truth is, I haven't actually lived with my dad much since my mother divorced him when I was seven. He's been on his own at the house since my step-mother passed away in October 2014, so living there with him is a mutually helpful arrangement for now. Besides, after I got clearer a while back on "Demands and Expectations" vs. "Means and Resources", I realized it would probably be a good idea to go back to "square one", building a better "resource base" for my life including family and finances.

I've had access to a vehicle here so I've been able to drive the 10 miles into town to work. I started as a part-time seasonal employee at Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts through Christmas and then was asked to stay as a permanent part-time employee after that. However, it's a pretty low paying job with only 15 or so hours/week so I decided to look into a job at the nearby Lowe's as well especially since they were hiring seasonal employees at the time. I was actually able to get a part-time permanent position as a member of the "Weekend Team", which made splitting hours with Jo-Ann's more manageable. Lowe's also provides a decent health-care package to their permanent employees. Working for both of these retail stores has given me enough variety to be interesting - it's kind of a cross between Easter egg hunting (finding the merchandise people ask for) and creative problem solving. Finding a place for everything and putting everything in its place also appeals to my attention to detail and organizational skills. Furthermore, my life experience thus far has made it possible for me to connect with all types of people very easily, which makes it pretty satisfying work overall.

So now I'm on a pretty consistent schedule working Friday through Sunday at Lowe's and Monday through Wednesday at Jo-Ann's. Thursdays are for grocery shopping with Dad (since it's Senior Discount Day at Kroger's), and catching up on any other domestic responsibilities at the house. Today, I'm also taking time at the Public Library to use the computer, to write this post, because we don't have internet at the house and on top of that, my iPad crashed again during the last update. (That happened when I was in Stafford, Arizona as well, but I had access to my host's computer to fix the problem then. I can't register/use iTunes on the Library computers. :( ) So, the iPad is pretty much down for the foreseeable future. In addition, as I have been planning to save-up for a new laptop, I'm probably going to have to attend to some pressing dental issues first. Nevertheless, I felt it was time I got something posted here for anyone who might be dropping by to see what I've been up to in the last several months!

 Besides work, I've been really enjoying watching the seasons change here in Kentucky. It's probably one of the most distinctive experiences I remember from growing up in this region of the country.

One of the features of our house is that it actually has a view all the way down to the lake. It sits next to the gas line which has to remain clear of trees so aerial surveys can be conducted to check for leaks. It makes for a nice view which I have tried to capture as Winter has turned into Spring.

Of course, having the lake so near means fishing is an option. I bought my fishing license as a birthday present since the season started March 1st.

I realized I could actually walk down the hillside in back of the house if I took a long, zig-zag path to accommodate the steepness (and avoid a path that could possibly lead to erosion).

The grass has grown higher since early spring, and I've been working more, so not quite as much time to fish, or beat a trail down to the lake.

Instead, I've spent a few mornings fishing with one of our neighbors who's been teaching me more about the sport. Just this morning I caught a small walleye, sauger (?), and blue gill, while he caught a sucker and a catfish, all at the settling pool area below the dam, and all with the same live night crawler rig. I've also caught large mouth bass and white bass so far, as well as a "mess" of blue gill at this point behind the visitors center. Those I actually cleaned and fried for one meal I shared with Dad. Probably one of the more exciting experiences so far was when I had some fish come up and actually swallow my bobber! Of course, it spit it back out before I could figure out what it was, but, to swallow a 1.5" bobber, it had to be pretty big!

In addition to working, cooking for dad and myself, keeping the house clean, etc., I've also kept up with my regular reading. I've mentioned Introvert Power... by Laurie Helgoe in a previous post, but I feel it's worth mentioning here again. I've also read The Female Brain... and The Male Brain... by Louann Brizendine. I appreciated the explanations she provides of how hormonal changes throughout the life span influence male and female brains, especially with regards to "focused" and "diffuse" awareness. Having tried to share these explanations with others, I realized (not surprisingly) why she was so thorough in her research. (About a third of the pages of each book are just for the hundreds of references in her bibliographies.) It still seems a bit "taboo" in our "everybody is equal" society to talk about any differences between men and women. Nevertheless, I wish more people would take her books into consideration and accept the research for what it is, as it would probably help us understand one another better, appreciate our strengths and weaknesses, and move forward towards Equal Value instead! (Will probably save more on that for another post on "The Blue Moon Turtle Blog"!)

In addition to Louann Brizendine's books, I have read Sam Harris's End of Faith, Free Will, and Letter to a Christian Nation, as well as listening to several of his "Waking Up" podcasts. It was one of his podcasts on "The Logic of Violence" that led to my reading Extreme Ownership... by retired Navy SEAL Officers, Jocko Willink and Lief Babin. It was, shall I say, a tour de force drawing leadership principles from their operations in Ramadi during the height of the Iraq war. They followed their own leadership principle of "Keeping it Simple", by writing a very well organized, and straightforward book applying these leadership principles to business.

Nevertheless, as I read through it, I started having flashes of how the book could, and maybe should be written for parents as well. That's the project I've started working on, and I've been able to be in contact with both Leif and Jocko via Twitter to "discuss" the idea (as much as one can do so in 140 character increments(!)). For now, it is up to me to put together "The Plan" (as any good leader would!) and follow-up with them once I have a first draft. So far, we've considered "Life as a Battlefield" (not just a "university"), and from there, I want to consider how families might orient themselves as "Teams" in the world, with parents as Leaders, and Family "Mission Statements" to help better orient their decision-making. Of course, the notes are already going up on the wall. With a little more stability in my life right now, we'll see if I can complete this larger writing project...this time around!

Finally, I'm involved with two groups on a regular basis. The first is a chapter of the American Sewing Guild that meets in Larue County (about 30 miles away) once a month. With the help of the leader, Rosa Smith, and other members, I'm finally making progress on my own, properly fitted pants pattern (a guide, technically called a "slopper"). My mission over the next month is to complete my first wearable pair of tailored pants. It's still a little daunting, but I'm more encouraged and motivated because of the group support. (And besides, there's really no way to properly measure or fit yourself, by yourself. Trust me, I've tried!)

The other local group is the Friends of Green River Lake (FGRL). In fact, I'm on my way to a meeting tonight as we are preparing for an event we're hosting next weekend, the "I'm a Dam Runner 5K Run/Walk". (And, yes, the course runs across the Green River Dam!) I feel I'm carrying on something of a tradition, in that my late step-mother participated in the run/walk herself. Of course, not unlike my days as a judge at the bicycle races, I'm helping out in the background rather than running the race myself. Maybe next year I'll manage to do both?

So that's about it for me, for now. Besides, my time on this computer is about to run out and I've got grocery shopping to do before the FGRL meeting tonight.

As for getting back on the's all about working hard over the next two or three years and continuing to build that "resource base", leading to a final tour of the east coast, north, and northwest part of the country before settling permanently in Santa Barbara, CA! Who knows, maybe I'll be promoting my Own Book this next time around?! We'll see... :)

Yours In Peace...