Nov 28, 2012

Time For a Rant (and then a little bit of good cheer to start off the holiday season)

As I was walking in  to work from my vehicle this morning a lady wrapped in a sweatshirt, with her hood up and cinched around her face (it wasn’t that cold this morning), smoking a cigarette, asked me (and I’m sure this is going to come as a shock to you all), “Do you have any change this morning?”

My immediate response was a flat, un-emphasized, “No.”  It might have been a little harsh.  It might have even been a little rude.  But I wasn’t in the mood for that question, that early.  As I am walking across the street to my place of employment, to earn my money, someone is standing on the street corner asking me to give it away.

I’m sure there is a little part of me that is thinking, “Darn it, man.  She’s an unfortunate soul who is in need.”  But then there is a larger part of me that thinks there are so many programs and opportunities for people in her situation, that she could take advantage of freely, that I don’t need to provide her with anything of mine. 

This other part of me, the jaded and somewhat cynical part, won out.  Then, to my chagrin, she said to me as I was walking away, “Well you have a nice day.”  It wasn’t laced with sarcasm, it didn’t sound like she was angry.  She simply said, “Have a nice day”, like I would say to a friend at the end of a conversation. 

So now the question….  Where do I stand on helping the less fortunate?  Well, I support helping the less fortunate who actually want to help themselves.  I don’t support the free-loading alcoholics and drug users.  If they wanted help, and I mean really wanted help, they could get it.  But they choose the easy path of using and drinking, and then begging for money. 

So how do people help themselves when they are in need?  Lets talk about two different ways. 

First, here in Eureka:

The Eureka Rescue Mission.  Good people doing good things to help those in need.  With a religious foundation and very strict sobriety rules, people in need can take advantage of the Mission’s many offerings.  All they have to do is ask.  Check out the Rescue Mission online:

Second, back home in Vacaville:

The Opportunity House.  Again, good people doing good things.  This one I have a little more information on, because my father has been intricately involved in the goings on of Opportunity House for many years now.  They are currently holding their annual fund raiser, known as the Festival of the Trees.  Well worth checking out at:

You can further explore the workings of the Opportunity House at:

So what does all this mean?  I guess I am not so anti-unfortunate person as I thought.  But I am for people helping themselves.  All they have to is simply accept a few ground rules and actually want to make a change in their lives.  Simple?  Probably not as simple as it sounds.  But its doable.  And most things worth doing aren’t exactly easy.

They are simply worth it.

Nov 26, 2012

Off the Wagon and On Again

Lets face it:  I have fallen off the wagon. 

Now, the term “falling off the wagon” has many connotations, the most popular or well know version of this slogan refers to an alcoholic’s failure to abstain from the booze.  Mine is not so dramatic (which I am actually pretty grateful for). 

The real issue here is the inability follow through on things.  There are two which come to the forefront of mind more than any others:


Running.  I actually enjoy the sport.  Which in and of itself is a surprise.  After all, I watched Dad run my whole life; and I avoided it, and most other forms of exercise, like I avoid third degree burns and bleach in the eyes.  But then I started doing it, and found it to be quite enjoyable.  But once your off the wagon, getting started again is a #*%@*.


I don’t know how interested people are in my personal life, and my views about said life, but I don’t think I care.  I put it out there, and if people care they can follow along.  If they don’t, no loss to me. 

I have been doing a little inner-soul-searching over the last few weeks about what to do with these two issues.  Lets start with running.  Obviously, weekly exercise is a good thing, and recommended by health professionals around the world.  That part is a no-brainer.  It’s the issue of feeling like I have to start over again.  That sucks. But so be it.  The only one stopping me is me.  So I guess I should quit whining and just go.

Blogging.  This one has perplexed me more times than not.  its an issue of not knowing what went wrong, and another issue of fixing this mysterious What-went-wrong.  In the past I have postulated my different theories on why the blogging fell off like it did.  I have made numerous attempts to overcome my issue and get back to the idea.  But its been a rough go. 

So here is what I am doing:


I’m going to quit whining.  I’m going to the gym after work.  I’m going to make an attempt to eat a little more consciously.


Well, by sheer virtue of the fact I am getting this typed, it should be obvious what I am doing.  Its not a matter of follow-through.

Stay tuned for more. 

Mar 13, 2012

Day 9: Jin Mao Tower, Bundt Watefront, Hot Pot Lunch, Shanghai Museum

Just for reference, I don't know the two girls I am pictured with up
above. The fact I was in that picture was a little weird. It was one
of my travel companions who inadvertently got me in that picture.
Funny thing is, we were only trying to offer to take a picture for
them, so they could both be in the picture. Oh well. They must have
assumed I was asking for a picture with them, and they more than
willingly allowed me to be photo'd with them. Of course, with such an
American Specimen running around China like I am, I'm surprised this
hasn't happened more ofter, right??? Ok, maybe not.
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