July 31, 2011

End of VS. week!

I have had all these random thoughts going on in my head from the last week for a while. I don't know how the idea came to me, but it gave me topics to write about. Hope it all wasn't too annoying. I guess it was a week long meme of sorts.

It's been an interesting week. I think because of my late night last Saturday and my tendencies to have an occasional cigarette while out drinking with smoker friends, the congestion in my chest worsened. I went to the doctor on Monday and took the rest of the day off as I was feeling very puny. Upper respiratory infection I was told. Tuesday morning I was feeling even more puny and by Wednesday morning I was having trouble breathing. Back to the doctor I went and after some chest x-rays the new diagnosis was bronchitis. With the right meds now I am finally feeling better.

I have finally accepted the fact that I just have weak lungs and that under no circumstances will I smoke anything. That's OK, I won't miss it at all; I'd rather breathe. Even the occasional cigar with other friends will have to be a no-no for me. Eh... I'm really OK with that too.

I also will have to watch and get myself to the doctor if I am again feeling congestion in my lungs. I annoy myself with the coughing and well as others. I surely must have coughed up a lung by now.

I am tired of being sick, but I know that getting plenty of rest will get me back into life soon enough.

Hope y'all are having a great weekend.

July 30, 2011

Early bird vs. Night owl

I am a morning person.

It's not that I jump out of bed at 5AM, but once I'm awake I'm awake. I am more productive in the morning than in the evening when I am tired from the day.

I love the peace and quiet of the morning, especially when I'm out camping. I'm usually up with the sun and I love to lay in bed listening to the birds. Then I crawl out of the sleeping bag and into the world.

At home on the weekends I love sitting on my patio in the mornings sipping coffee. During the week I like it quiet for a while, then I'll turn on a morning news show. The morning news shows seem more upbeat and less depressing than an evening news program where they seem to just recap all the awful things that happened that day. I get to work ready to jump into the day.

By evening I'm ready to slow way down and relax before I crawl back into bed. This is the time that the night owls are just revving up and ready to go out into the night.

My oldest sister and my last ex were night owls. They were their most productive in the evening and at night. It seems a lot of the people in the bars are the night owls. Last Saturday at the Round Up I was tired and ready to leave at 11:30PM and some friends were begging me to stay out. I can't do it. I'm too old to close the bars down anymore, especially since I know I won't sleep as well when the sun comes up in just a few short hours.

What are you, an early bird like me or a night owl?

July 29, 2011

Planning vs. Spontaneity

I am not a planner.

Sometimes a friend will suggest we do something together and if it's further out than the weekend my usual response is: "I don't know, that's too far out to plan!"

The only time I deviate from being a planner is for big important events. Especially when I have to buy an airline ticket.

I blogged before about some trips I've gone on where I have had no itinerary. I love those type of trips. They left me free to roam around on my own and to find my own adventures. But I can see why people make plans to see certain things in a new city they visit. Don't most places have a "must see" thing that one should visit while in the city or area? I sometimes had a vague feeling while wandering around in my travels that maybe I was missing out on something. But that feeling soon left as I found something to do.

I know a lot of people that are planners. I've even seen friends make plans months in advance with spreadsheets and all; planning out the trip to the minute. At best I think about packing things a day or two before my trip. I may grab a guide book if I'm going to a new city to see it it mentions good things to see. But I don't trust guide books all the time. My last trip to Key West the guide book said that an area on the pier was fun and a little more adult in the entertainment and it promised a great view of the sunset. When we got there it was very crowded and families with little children were everywhere. EW! We ventured out on our own and had a better time doing our own thing.

One of my favorite things to do is check the brochure rack at a hotel. They usually will let me know what is happening in the area and I'll go from there.

If you're a planner let me know what drives you. If you're like me and love to be spontaneous share a story or two, if you'd like.

July 28, 2011

Cable TV vs. Reading

When I was an active Mormon many years ago I taught a Sunday School class. Yes, it's hard to believe; that seems like a whole lifetime ago.
Anyway... I was teaching something about learning and I made the comment and encouragement for people to turn off the TV and to read more. One guy seemed offended and stated that he has learned more from TV than he could by reading a book. That comment has stuck with me since then. I still hold to my stance on this.

I may have mentioned this before but I don't have cable TV. I have an antenna; I only get the 4 or 5 basic channels and that's it! I do miss some cable shows like Animal Planet, AMC (so that I can watch Mad Men) and being able to watch Project Runway. But I can watch all of them on the Internet or buy/rent the DVDs. I did have cable TV many years ago and I found that I spent a great amount of time channel surfing. It seemed overwhelming with hundreds of channels to chose from. And I can see how much time could be wasted just watching stupid shit! There are shows I like to watch, but I turn the TV off and pick up a book.

I love to read! But about twenty years ago I hadn't picked up a book since I was in college. I made the decision to start reading again have not regretted it. I love mostly historical fiction but have read a good range of books. Currently I am reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I love the story and also love the concepts that he discusses. I don't like instructional books, but still have read a few.

What venue do y'all learn more from; TV or reading?

July 27, 2011

Expectations vs. Reality

We can't predict the future. We don't know what is going to happen to us tomorrow. We have a pretty good idea of where we are going and if we stay on the same track and something random doesn't happen... we can guess and assume where we will be, but can we be really sure?

We especially can't predict where someone else will be tomorrow or next month or next year. Again, we have a pretty good idea where things are going... but again, something unexpected could come up that could alter that path. People can change their mind and do it all the time.

I used to have huge expectations for myself and for others but I have learned that it really is better to live in the moment and keep going steadily forward towards a goal. I have often told myself to have no expectations in life; then I will always get what I expect. If I get more than I expected (nothing) then I'll be happy.

But as I was thinking about this blog post and am sitting down to write... it seems different. We have to strive for something higher for ourselves in order to achieve success and we can believe in others to do their best. I guess the key is finding that balance in life; keeping your mind on a goal while enjoying the journey. Our work/jobs/employers involve expectations. I guess the conflict of expectations is between us and others.


So how do we keep from being disappointed when things don't live up to an expectation? How do we keep a good sense of reality in line with our expectations? I guess that's one of the great questions of life.

Have y'all thought about this? Does anyone have any thoughts to share?

July 26, 2011

Movie theaters vs. DVDs

It's kind of hard to believe that some friends of mine don't go to the movies anymore. They only like to rent them several months later.

Obviously people still like the experience of going to the movies as the newest movies keep setting box office records. Going to the theater is still a fun experience for many. Seeing a movie on a huge screen with surround sound is quite fun.

But I know people who don't like going to a theater, they would rather wait until the movie comes out on DVD before they see it. It's because you can pause the movie for a bathroom or food break or you can rewind it and watch any scene again. Plus the prices of popcorn and drinks at a theater are extremely outrageous.

Dallas has a chain of theaters called Studio Movie Grill. They have large leather recliners instead of a row of seats and they have a menu! The menu includes alcohol! You have a little coaster light, like what restaurants give you to notify you when your table is ready. You press a button on it and it lights up, the wait staff comes and takes your order any time during the movie! The food is average, but I like the concept.

What do y'all like; the theater experience or DVD? Personally, I like going to a theater. If I like the movie again I'll buy it so that I can watch it again and again.

July 25, 2011

Men vs. Women

On Saturday night I put on the boot and jeans (horrible in this heat) and headed out to the Round Up for some two-stepping.
I was in the mood to do some boot-scooting and I got my wish. YAY!

While not dancing I saw friends I haven't seen in ages and got caught up on their lives. One friend stopped me and asked me if I would dance with his friend, he commented that I was a great dancer. He said it was her birthday she wanted to have a good time out with the gay boys. I danced a couple of dances with her and I noticed a few differences of dancing with men vs. dancing with women.

Those 'fun bags' (aka b@@bs) were in the way with the woman! I had to position myself between them to dance and do some of the dance steps and twirls. I also had to take smaller steps and tone it down. With men I can take larger steps and put them where I want when leading (I am a strong lead). A woman does follow better... sometimes.

One also gets a choice of leading or following when dancing with a man whereas most women always follow.

Which do I prefer?

Absolutely dancing with a man!

July 24, 2011

Sweet vs. Savory

I have always had a sweet tooth.
There is evidence that sugar is addictive and I absolutely believe it. I have had many favorites over the years; I still love a sherbet after dinner. Licorice (red and black) have always been a favorite too.

But my tastes are changing as I grow older. I can only stand so much sugar and then I am done. It becomes too sweet and almost sickening to me now if I have too much sugar.

Instead I am growing more fond of savory/spicy foods. I think this has changed now that I have been more exposed to foods from different countries. Indian food with it's curry and all of it's other spices has become a favorite cuisine for me.

I think that this could be from trying to eat better and healthier. Once you slow down and savor your food and not eat too fast your body gets used to it. Fast food really is not good for you in more ways then one.

Has any one's tastes changed like mine?

Which do y'all prefer, sweet or savory?

July 23, 2011

800th post

WOW! It's kind of hard to believe that I've had 800 posts. I never thought this journey would bring me this far.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and also for leaving comments.

Hope y'all have a great weekend.

July 22, 2011

Positive Reinforcement

I heard an interesting news feature on a morning news program. They were talking about diets and the best way to stay on one. I believe they were absolutely right. People are more motivated to do something (diet, exercise, etc) when positive reinforcement is used rather than punishing yourself or beating yourself up.

I've heard this before about house training a pet. It makes sense that it works with us too. I know I react better with positive reactions. Feeling proud about an accomplishment should be what drives us in everything we do.

I know in my own journey I find I have hidden strength that I can draw on when needed. In my weight loss journey 10 years ago (when I lost over 50 lbs) I was so proud of myself for making it to the gym 6 days a week and I was proud of myself for doing at the very least, twenty minutes of cardio every day. Now I am proud of myself for keeping the weight off for ten years!

Try it this weekend. Set a goal and really strive to keep it. Then let the feeling of accomplishing something amazing drive you to succeed. Then savor in the satisfaction when you do it.

July 21, 2011

60's style

I was born in the 1960s. I remember a lot of the clothing and styles from that decade.
I like how culture seemed to change dramatically in the 60s too, from the conservativeness of the 50s to the summer of free love at Woodstock in the late 60s.

I love the music and movie styles.

I love the art; from the innocent, the fun and funky and then the wild psychedelics of the late 60s.

I know this is why I love the TV show Mad Men. Does anyone else love all things 60s?

July 20, 2011

Not in my vocabulary

As part of my work we often talk about "best practices". One of the things mentioned recently is banned and acceptable words to use with clients. Some words are considered negative impact words and others positive impact. One of the positive words was not new to me but I realized that I rarely use this word at all in conversation or in my writings on the blog. This struck me as odd as I hear friends and other people say it all the time.

They say you learn new habits by repitition so now I have to think of ways to use this word more often.

Will y'all see this word in comments I leave on your blogs?
Absolutely!

July 19, 2011

Tuesday's Tale - Tales of the Gym

Tales from the Gym - Beginner Workout Tips Edition

Let me begin with a preface: I am not a trainer or have any personal trainer experience; this is only my opinion from life experiences.

Here is a recap: As a teenager in high school I hated gym class, mostly because I was teased about being gay.
Finally in my 20s I got into working out. Then I stopped working out and gained 50 plus pounds. In June of 2000 I started working out again and have kept it up for 11 years now. I thought that maybe my approach to working out may be helpful to others. This picture was from 7/16/11.

I think one of the most important thing to first do it to get in a new frame of mind; you need to get up and move. Walk more! If you're going to a store, park in a space furthest from the door and walk. If you see an escalator don't just stand there, walk up the stairs. Take a walk in the evenings or run or hike or bike; just get moving. It's little things like this that will get you going in the right direction.

Then before you walk into a gym decide what you want to do; trim down, tone up or bulk up. Evaluate your body type; meet with a personal trainer at a gym if you need help. If you have not worked out ever before and are lost in a gym then hire a personal trainer. If you can't, ask someone for help.

Here are some basics; if you want to lose weight; lift medium weights and do lots of cardio. If you want to bulk up; lift heavy weights with a spotter. If you want to trim and tone; lighter weights and more repetitions.

Also, when you're lifting weights do NOT try to show off and lift heavier than you should. When beginning, lift less weight and do the lift correctly. The biggest error I see guys doing is when they do bicep curls. When the weight is too heavy they sway their whole bodies and use more shoulders and back than their bicep. Use the mirrors in the gym, not to cruise, but to make sure you're lifting correctly.

OK, there are some basics. Do y'all want more tips?

Or should I just stick to the gossip from the gym? (Can you believe what Nike Boy was wearing... OMG!) LOL

July 17, 2011

Post Secret and Deep Thoughts

There were two postcards on the PostSecret website today that caught my attention. They express something that I'm thinking a lot about these days:


I'm reading a book called Intimate Connections by David Burns. I think I mentioned this before, but the whole first chapter is learning to love yourself first. It is a fact of life that you need to love and respect yourself. Then friends, a soulmate, spouse or partner only enhance your life. We should never depend on someone else for love or we will constantly be looking for someone to make us happy. We will only feel disappointment.

Why am I just learning this as I near fifty? I wish I would have learned this lesson when I was much younger. But I think I have improved quite a bit from last year and even within the last couple of months!

There have been times in my life when I felt as if I was very determined and desperate to find someone to be with. I often ignore redflags and gut instincts just to be with someone. I also was so focused on labeling the relationship that I forgot to just enjoy the moment. These are difficult lessons for me to learn.

As long as I am happy with myself that will radiate out to others and when I just breathe, relax and enjoy each moment I can find peace, happiness and love.

July 16, 2011

Saturday Stuff

I had weird dreams all night. I think it was because I had to tell an acquaintance that their snarkiness* was rude and not appreciated. I don't like it when some gay guys think that they can make snide & rude comments that are just that... rude. (This was a text message, not a comment on my blog.)

I got to sleep in a bit. But my original plan was to be out on the bike trails at 8AM when the weather was still bearable, but that didn't happen. Instead I got on iTunes and did everything I knew to upload pix from the old phone to the new. I just wasn't getting it. Gggrrrr...

I laid out by the pool for a bit. The tan is coming along nicely. And no, I'm not gonna post pics of my tanlines! Y'all will have to come sweet talk me first; buy me dinner and a few drinks, then we'll see. hehehe

I got to the office party a bit late, but went to a late lunch with the coworkers that I actually like!

I got my hair did.

Went to the Apple Store and they finally explained what I was doing wrong. I now have the old pix all transferred. YAY!

I made a quick trip to the gym where I worked out my legs and did another 45 minutes of cardio. I needed it, I have been eating badly all month.

Now I'm getting ready to click on the "Publish" button and then head out to the RoundUp Saloon for a few drinks and maybe some two stepping.

Hope y'all had a good Saturday.




*Snarkiness = being snarky. The act of making slightly rude, snide and down right bitchy comments and they think they're being funny.

July 15, 2011

iPrecious Stuff

I upgraded. YAY!

Yesterday I got my new iPrecious4.

I ordered it online and had it shipped to my office. I activated it, then realized that I needed to connect it to iTunes to set it up. I can't have iTunes at work so I had to wait for a few hours before I went home. It was kinda weird to have 2 phones sitting in front of me and neither worked exactaly as I wanted them to.

After work I quickly got it connected, then set off for an evening with friends. We went to the Bishops Arts District to celebrate Bastille Day. It wasn't very french, it was too hot, too crowded and I didn't like the slection of wines they served so I was a little cranky. Just anxious to get home and get the iPrecious working I think.

I finally got home; transferred all my Contacts and Apps, but can't figure out how to transfer the pictures from the old phone to the new one. I've been searching the apple website and see something called MobileMe... but the instructions are as clear as mud. Does anyone have any hints or suggestions on how to transfer all my pictures?

So far I think the best feature will be the FaceTime. Which one of my friends will be the first to FaceTime with me?

I have it set up on my iTunes as iJim4. Yea, I'm weird like that, LOL.

UPDATE: 8:50PM

Thanks for your comments but it doesn't seem to be working. I think a trip into the Apple store tomorrow is in order.

Happy Friday y'all.

July 14, 2011

Linger

Meet,
Talk.
Brief kiss...
Goodbye.
Thoughts,
Lingering.

Meet again,
Catch up.
Daring...
Lips meet,
Again.
Linger.

Heart races,
Pulse quickens,
Clothes discarded,
Bodies entwined...
Spent.
Lingering.

Lips meet,
Again.
Goodbye...
Again.
He leaves.
Thoughts,
Linger.

He home,
To another.
Me alone...
Thoughts,
Lingering.

Damn!

July 13, 2011

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Definition:
1. to show regard or consideration for: to respect someone's rights.
2. to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with: to respect a person's privacy.
3. esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.

I think that respect is not an honored quality by some people today. You expect or demand respect from your boss and coworkers, but those same people have to earn your respect. I increasingly see couples or close friends being too comfortable with each other and respect is not shown, at all.

I see a lack of respect from some religious groups. They believe their beliefs are so right that they feel that someone who doesn't believe the same as them does not even deserve any amount of respect.

So, how does one earn respect? Is that even an issue? Shouldn't we naturally have respect for someone as a unique individual? I think that respect is one of those things that separate us from animals and from our basest instincts?

What are your thoughts on respect?

July 12, 2011

Tuesday's Tale - Tales from the Crib

Tales from the Crib - Old Cars Edition

While driving home from Austin on Sunday my friend Robert and I decided to take some back roads instead of the interstate. We passed by a store that had a lot of old cars sitting around outside. Robert looked at me and said: "That looks interesting, do you want to stop?" "Of course!" I responded, we're not on a schedule. We made a U-turn and pulled into the lot. Here are a few pictures of the cars:




The hood ornaments from back then were really cool!



This brought back a flood of memories, I can remember my parents had an old car like these, I remember it was navy blue and had big tail fins. I remember that I liked to walk next to it and run my hands up on the tail fins; I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I remember it had a hood ornament too, my dad kept yelling at us kids to stop playing with it, it might break off.

The memory would have been from the very early 1960s because in about 1966 my parents got a '65 Chevy Impala station wagon.

Robert and I reminisced about the old cars of our parents and family and what we remembered. Funny how something like this can trigger a fond old memory.

July 11, 2011

Shore leave

I had a great weekend! I hope y'all did too.

On Friday night my buddy and I drove to our friends place near Austin. These friends are part of the pirate crew that gets together for the renaissance faires; y'all have seen my posts about the crew of the Impaler.

Anyway, we got in after 11PM and of course we all stayed up late talking and catching up. We come together from all over Texas; Corpus Christi, Houston, Waco & Dallas, so we had a lot of catching up to do!

Saturday we continued with the laughing, story telling, planning for the next faire all in and around the pool. No one was driving so the rum and all sorts of ale were flowing quite freely.

We even invented a new game to play in the pool. It would be too difficult to explain the drunk rules, it was one of those things where you just had to be there.

Here are some of the pictures that I'll allow to be published, (yes there are some that will not be published) LOL.



Str8 Curious Drunk


Y'all didn't know I was so redneck, did ya?
LOL

July 8, 2011

Barefoot at the Belmont

Dallas has another outdoor concert series throughout the summer. This one is called Barefoot at the Belmont. It is on the lawn by the pool at the historic Belmont Hotel. The hotel is known for its amazing view of the Dallas skyline. This was my view from my lawnchair:

I atended my first concert there last night and I loved it! I plan to go back as often as I can now!

The Belmont Hotel is a restored "motor court" hotel that was built in 1946. It has the feel of an old Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez movieset. You can read more about it here. Just walking around the hotel is very cool. I would say, it's a "must see" if you're visiting Dallas.

The temeratures in Dallas has been over 100 degrees for about 2 weeks now and I was expecting it to still be very hot. But the pool and lawn were in the shade and it was very nice. The musicians were acoustic guitarists and were exceptional! And the skyline of Dallas was a beautiful backdrop.

I was enjoying being in the moment; people watching, a glass of wine, visiting with my friend, watching the birds fly overhead, watching the sky drain of color, the sunset reflecting off of the buildings of downtown and then watching the stars appear. All accompanied by some great music.

What a perfect Dallas evening!

Happy Friday y'all!

July 7, 2011

Porn vs blogging

I love to listen to NPR. One day I was listening to a story about how a university (I forget which one) was taking the internet to some very rural areas of several third world countries. They discussed how they were teaching indigenous farmers about the internet to research new farming techniques. They were also talking about how the fundamentals of a computer had to be taught to these peoples, which is something we do without a second thought in the "civilized" world. They ended the program with this conclusion; after all they taught these people, the internet is still used to play games and look at porn.

I know this is true on my blog. The posts that continually receive the most "hits" or pageviews are the ones where I include a picture of naked flesh.

A friend and I were talking about my blog and he suggested that many people (not all, but many) only read blogs based on the pictures included in a post; either self pics of the blogger in a state of undress (like Brett) or a half naked man from some porn site. My argument was; people read my blog because of the content, not because I've posted a video of me dancing in the shower. He says my tiny little profile picture attracts readers and that I probably wouldn't get as many readers if I was 'not so cute'. By the way... I thanked him for the compliment.

So readers... do you read my blog because you think I'm cute or sometimes post shirtless pictures? Or do you really want to read about my thoughts, opinions, "tales" or random thoughts? Do you need some eye candy to get your attention first?

Not that I don't like porn... I do! I'd like to think that I don't have to rely on flesh to get someone to read my little blog.

July 6, 2011

Random Question Wednesday

What are two things you want to accomplish in your life?

I have always wanted to go to Burning Man! I really hope to accomplish this sometime in my life.

I love to travel and would love to see every continent. Well, except Antarctica. I hate the cold.


Will this ever become a reality? I don't know, it could. I just have to meet that sugar-daddy.

Yes, even a daddy needs a daddy! LOL

July 5, 2011

Five on the Fifth

A fun blog challenge created by Steven Chapman:
"Take 5 photographs on the days leading up to the 5th and publish those on your own blog and then add the link to my blog, State of the Nation UK so that others can see your images. "

This month's theme: Silver

Here are my photos:

Headed home after work and the gym


I got home and started to look around the house for something silver.

Can't wait to take these off. Oh! My first silver stuff....


Rings I wear to the renaissance festivals

Silver dimes

Silver Certificates


July 2, 2011

Caption this

I'm still a little hungover from last night. I went out with my straight friends in our kilts. I tend to dance when I've been drinking and the band was really great! My ears are still ringing a bit since we were dancing right up front.

I thought I'd do a quick post, let y'all do the work. Here is a photo for y'all to caption:

July 1, 2011

July Tarot

The Devil reversed!

Yikes!

What a card to get after yesterday's post. Here is one meaning of the card: "The change has occurred - only the "feelings" of sadness, anger or depression remain to influence you. Use the knowledge and energy bound up in your experiences - transform them and releasing the energy contained within them.

You no longer need to accept your situation - move toward liberation and you will emerge happier, with a more developed personality.

The power that seems to be limiting you - is the power that will liberate you. Listen to your "inner" voice, go inside - sift out the truth from the illusion and enlighten your mind. Start living and stop denying yourself life experiences. If you want to swim again - you must first get in the water and get wet."

Ok then... off I go to new adventures! July should be a fun month!