September 30, 2011

Where's Waldo?

I went outside for lunch today and I found him...

Happy Friday y'all! Woohoo!

September 28, 2011

L'Shanah Tovah

Happy Rosh Hashanah!

When I moved to Baltimore in 1986 I worked in an area of the city called Owings Mills where there was a large Hasidic Jewish community. I loved the community; seeing the different customs, dress, traditions and the holy days. I found it very fascinating!

I really wish now that I would have learned some Yiddish.

Oy vey! I've had such a day!

But I'm just a goy... they'd think I'm meshugina! Oy vey!

September 27, 2011

Randon thoughts & questions

Question: Why do some people have to say "question" before they ask it?

When I tell people I write a blog the number one question they ask is: "What's your blog about?" Why do people think a blog has to have a theme? Does yours?

"If a woodchuck could chuck wood"; what would made him so mad that he would chuck a piece of wood?

When someone says; "don't do that" why do we instinctively want to do it?

Why is it that we each seem to have a quest to be "different"; which makes us all alike?

Why do we think we have to have answers to things that make us say: "hmmm..."?

What would you do for a klondike bar?

September 25, 2011

Scottish Weekend

Aye, me lads and lasses.

I spent the weekend at the Sherwood Forest Celtic Festival and Highland Games. I met up with friends who were coming in from Houston and Corpus Christi, TX (part of the pirate crew of The Impaler who attend the renaissance faires). We got camp set up and started drinking "sandcrabs". The official drink of The Impaler crew is coconut rum, orange juice and a little cranberry juice. Rum of course being the biggest part of the mixture.

We then had other campers walk by and we invited them in to say hello. At 3AM most of the visitors had gone and I crawled into bed! Everyone else followed an hour later. We started drinking around noon on Saturday. We weren't driving and we are pirates afterall!! Aarrggghhh! (don't judge) LOL

Some of the visitors to our camp were unusual... but we had a fun time. The festival and highland games were awesome. If someone has never seen highland games I would recommend that you go sometime! Here is a video of some highland games held in other areas of the country and the UK (of course):

I think my favorite event is the 'caber toss' (the guys throwing the telephone poles). There were lots of men in kilts and lots to see and do. I met a lot of new people and renewed a lot of acquaintances.

I also enjoyed listening to the bagpipe competitions and an Irish Rock group called The Blaggards. They were fuckin' awesome! There were huge crowds there! They said over four thousand more people showed up than what they expected.

I was in bed and asleep at midnight on Saturday though. Sunday is always a little more quiet and subdued. But that's OK... I wanted to be very sober for the 3 hour drive home.

Jim on Saturday
(I sweated my ass off wearing the hat)

Jim on Sunday
(awww... much cooler)

'Twas a great time.

Hope y'all had a great weekend. I need a few evenings now to get caught up on everyone's blogs.

September 24, 2011


I have a thing for sunglasses.

I am constantly losing or breaking them, so I have learned to only get the cheap ones. (don't judge) LOL

I tend to have several pairs in my vehicle. They are different shades; light and very dark. I'll wear a pair to match my outfit sometimes.

I saw a pair in a store the other day... and they were under $10! YAY!

Which ones looks best on me?

Have a great weekend y'all!

September 23, 2011

Thoughts on Mabon

Happy Mabon and first day of Autumn everyone.

Mabon, the second harvest holiday is being celebrated a little later than usual this year. Most of the time the autumnal equinox falls on or around September 21.

I see that many people love autumn. I noticed the other day as I was leaving the office; the light seems to have changed. It seems softer and colors of plants and flowers seem more vivid. The sun doesn't seem as harsh as it does in summer. It really is a time of reflecting over the year, wondering where the time has gone... and knowing that the cold winds of winter are right around the corner.

I'll be enjoying a nice glass of cider and a meal of fresh vegetables with friends this evening. I'll light a candle to welcome in the coming darkness.

Enjoy the first day of Fall, y'all!

September 22, 2011


Several months ago I chipped my tooth.


I was hideous!
I scared small children.
People automatically turned their head, lowered their eyes or gave a small gasp when I cracked (literally) a smile.


Well, today I got the permanent crown put on!

I can smile again without the dread of frightening someone.

Oh happy day!

September 21, 2011

Random Question Wednesday

It's been a long time since I did the Random Question. This is good because I have been lacking for inspiration for new blog entries.

Here is today's question:

Have you even been accused of something you did not do? If so, talk about it.

I don't remember. There have been no false accusations lately. I'd honestly say it has been decades since any incidents like this may have occurred. And I don't remember any single incident except maybe from a sibling when I was a toddler.

But one thing stands out to me that I'll talk about. Y'all know I grew up in Utah in a very small town. There was one African American family in this small mining town of 2000 people in central Utah. The Lewis family.

John L. was a few years older than me and a football quarterback and a great guy. His sister Pam was a year older than me and she was the homecomings queen. Their younger sister was not so popular. But that's the way most families are in small town America. They were a normal part of our community. I didn't think they were any different than my family.

When I moved to Baltimore, MD (with it's large African American populations) and people found out I was from Utah they made assumptions that I was racist. This was not true! I hated to think that someone would make this judgement of me without really knowing me. I am not a racist and I am against racism of any kind. It angered me, but only to the point of wanting to educate people about making snap judgements of people just by an assumption.

Has anyone experienced a false accusation? How did you handle it?

September 19, 2011

Random Stuff

Today's post is sponsored by the letter "R"

What's a pirate's favorite letter of the alphabet?

(Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day!)

What does a pirate call a prostitute?

What does a pirate wear in the winter time?

What’s a pirate’s favorite country?

What kind of socks does a pirate wear?

Where does a pirate put his cookies?

How do pirates solve their differences?

What's a Pirate's favorite cocktail?

What does a surfer pirate say?
gnARRRRRRrrrly dude!

Where do pirates put their trash?
gARRRRRrrrbage can!

What is a pirates favorite doll?

What did the pirate name his cat?

Why are pirates so cool?
They just ARRRRRRrrr!

And finally....

A pirate walks into a bar with the ship's steering wheel on his 'jolly rodger'. The bartender says: "Oye, mate... why do you have the steering wheel on yer tally wacker?"
"ARRRRRrrrr... it be drivin' me nuts!" he says.

September 18, 2011

Gay Pride Parade in Dallas

It's too hot in Dallas in June when the rest of the country celebrates Gay Pride. Dallas holds it's pride parade the third Sunday in September.

The theme of this year's pride celebrations was: "It Gets Better"

Several friends of mine were prominent in the festivities.

I met Gary and Alan in Puerto Vallarta years ago. They are the owners of the Round Up Saloon. These are great men and do a lot for the gay community. The Round Up has many community events and fund raisers.

They were the Grand Marshalls in the parade.

The Honorary Grand Marshall was Joel Burns.
You may all remember his speech to the Ft. Worth City council last year. I believe it's worth watching again:

I met Joel many years ago and we have a lot of common friends. He is very personable and a great guy.

I ran into him on Friday night at a happy hour just before he went to a fund raiser with Ben Cohen. We chatted for a few minutes and he told me a little bit of how his life has changed in the last year. He is an amazing person.

All of these men have made a difference to the gay community in Dallas and the world. I am proud to call them my friends.

It was a little hot, but I enjoyed being out and a part of the community. I was thinking that I should get a lot of pictures for the blog but I got so caught up in just people watching that I forgot to get the camera out. What a great diverse community we are!

September 17, 2011


I think I know why I've been in a mood lately. I have not been sleeping well.

I recently went to the dentist to get a broken tooth fixed. Ms. Dentist said I grind my teeth while I sleep. A custom fitted mouth guard was ordered for me and should arrive next week. Yes... I am a grinder!

So the last couple of weeks I have been trying to get used to a cheap one that you get in the drug stores. It doesn't fit right and just feels weird. I'm not used to having something in my mouth all night. I have also woken up during the night and had to turn on the light to find the guard that's fallen out. I don't like that something that is supposed to help me is interrupting my sleep patterns, which is weird anyway. I already have chronic insomnia and take sleep meds. UGH!

I figure I'll eventually get used to it. But no wonder I am in a MEH mood.

Does anyone use a mouth guard? Is there some trick to getting used to it? Will the custom made one work better?

September 15, 2011


I'm not sure why, but I've been in a MEH mood lately.
I'm being anti-social and have no energy.

Don't mind me.... I'm just sitting with my nose in the corner for a while.
I'll be back to feeling like myself soon.

September 12, 2011


I first heard about a story years ago on NPR. A woman wanted to know how much garbage she created that would go into a landfill. She decided that to make it become very real for her, any garbage she created, she would carry it with her for a week. Read more about the story here.

I have become way more conscious of this lately after taking the photos I posted on the 5th. Also, when I was jogging the other night a couple that was walking in front of me just tossed a soda can into the weeds at the side of the road. I said loudly as I ran past that they should go pick it up. If I hadn't been in a good running rhythm I would have stopped and tried to make my point more clear... there isn't anyone who will go behind you to pick up your trash!

Being a Pagan I am more aware of the environment and how our natural resources are not unlimited. We each have to do our part to help, no matter how small. Besides the obvious to not litter, I have made the choice to not use any styrofoam container in way, shape or form. I will not contribute to the amount of garbage that is toxic to the environment. I try to use a cloth dish towel instead of paper towels. I will reuse the plastic grocery bags I have accumlated as trash bags and lunch bags. And I will start to use a cloth grocery bag all the time instead of plastic bags.

I'm not sure how long I could last on the "carry your own trash" challenge, but it does have me thinking about what further contributions I can make.

How long do y'all think you could last, carrying around your trash? Is there something that anyone does like this? I'd love to hear about it and try it too.

September 11, 2011

Where were you?

When I lived in Baltimore, MD in the 1980s I used to love to go to New York. I'd drive up or take the train. One of my favorite things to do was to take the subway down to the World Trade Center to go to the observation deck on the top floor of the south tower so I could enjoy the view of the city at night.

In 2001, just two weeks after my 40th birthday I went into work like any other day. Shortly after I arrived someone said they heard that some big news story was happening in NYC. We all checked online news websites and couldn't believe what we were reading. Soon our manager brought the TV out so we could still work a little while watching the unfolding events.

It was surreal. I kept thinking: "Can this really be happening?" It was horrible to hear the news reports of planes flying around the country and no one knew for a while who or what was coming next. Did they really give an order to shoot down any airplane with people on them who did not respond to control towers? Yes they did. It was unbelievable. We all speculated if Dallas or anywhere in Texas might also be a target since this is where the President was from. We were not in a landmark building, nor many floors up so we did not evacuate the building like some did in downtown Dallas.

I remember feeling like I was in shock! I think everyone in the country felt the same way. Even day, weeks and months later I still couldn't get over the images of what happened to one of my favorite places in the country and the loss of so many lives.

Ten years later the emotions are still there for me. I looked at videos of the memorial and heard personal stories of people who lost loved ones and it makes me tear up.

I think it's good to look back and remember. It's good to be thankful for those that lost their lives trying to help and save others. It is a somber day of reflection. I do miss the carefree days we had before this tragedy though, but life marches slowly onward.

September 10, 2011

Random 9/10/11 Thoughts

I've mentioned this before but I love numerical pleasing looking days like today:

This week I got a new tarot card deck; The Legacy of the Divine. I know... another deck? This one really appealed to me as I love the artwork on the cards. I did another reading for myself and for the second time this month the Devil card appeared in the reading. This devil in this deck takes on a whole new meaning! Hhhmmmm....

Either some hot times are in store for me or I better watch out as I could become seriously addicted to something.

Remember several months ago I was talking about an off-road biking group? My friend finally asked if he could run with the idea but have it just a 'biking' group; street, paved bike paths and off-road. I agreed since I hadn't really got the group started. There have been several groups meet and it's been fun. Except no one wanted to join me on a ride this morning; I guess I'm not good at planning. Oh well... I'll still be out on the bike later today.

I have put myself on a strict budget for a couple of months. I had some unexpected vehicle expenses in August and I need to recoup some savings for other emergencies that may come up. I also was looking in my pantry and I have a lot of food stuff that I've bought that I need to use. No more running to the store for frivolous stuff and junk food. I know I can do better at eating right.

Anyway... this is just some of the random stuff rumbling around my head these days.

September 9, 2011


The weather has finally been nice in Dallas. The temperature cooled by 20 degrees last Sunday and it's been nice all week.

It's too nice to stay in the gym doing cardio so I've been out biking and jogging after the workout.

After my run last night I jumped into the pool to cool my body temperature down. The water felt cold! But it had the desired effect. I sat out by the pool for a while enjoying the evening.

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

September 7, 2011


There is a song that y'all know: Need You Now by Lady Antebellum. There is a line from the song that has been going through my mind quite a lot lately.

It goes like this: "I'd rather hurt then feel nothing at all".

I kinda like not feeling anything at the moment. Well, I feel the heat of the sun on my back and a slight breeze blowing by, but for the time being I'm OK with my heart not feeling anything. I'm not miserable but I don't want to go out and try either. I'm not anxious or eager to take a chance; for it's when we take chances that we open up our hearts for hurt too.

I do hope that at some point, someday, somewhere I'll feel something for someone. I hope that there is a someone that will feel something for me too... but I have to get my heart to feeling good about me.

So... for now I'm content.
I know things will change when the time is right.

September 6, 2011

Ebb and Flow

There is a natural ebb and flow in nature. Ebb and flow is most often used to describe the tides of the oceans and rivers. It means; "To decrease and then increase". This natural change happens with weather patterns too, known as El Nino and La Nina. Things in nature change and there are regular patterns and cycles, other times changes are unexpected. But things are always changing. Sometimes we don't like it, but really there is nothing we can do about it.

I believe life is like this too. We go through natural changes in our bodies, our moods and health are always changing. Sometimes it's predictable and other times something random can happen. Sometimes we can't control what is happening and we just have to change our perception of life along with the events.

Even our relationships have an ebb and flow. Friends that were once a big part of your life no longer have that same role. Just think back to school; we spent a huge amount of time with people that we thought we would be friends with forever. Then suddenly you get a reunion letter and you realize that it has been years or decades since you've seen or even talked to these friends. We get caught up in our lives and work. We meet new people and make new friends and it seems that others move on and out of your life. It's natural; it's part of the rhythm of life.

I've recently had this brought to my attention and it's been on my mind. Don't we often wish that we could stop time when life seems perfect? We want what is happening now to stay that way forever. But life moves on. People come and go, friendships change; we grow closer to some friends and others drift away. Our reaction could be to try to control it; but isn't it like trying to control the weather? I think we have to change and adapt as best we know how; for change is a part of life. That's why it's best for me to live in the moment. Enjoy each season, situation and person in my life; because it could all change and be different tomorrow, next week or next year.

September 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: Mess

Here are my photos and why I think it fits the theme:

This was a small citronella candle. Somehow the pot got broken. The record heat we've been having in Dallas made this mess.

In spite of my best efforts to keep the plants on the patio all watered, the heat has taken it's toll on my boston fern. It looks like a mess.

The weather is finally bearable and I got out on the bike trail. I was very sad that people don't care for the environment. I cannot believe the mess that people leave behind!

It's great that people are getting out and getting some exercising by biking or hiking... BUT don't leave your mess for someone else to clean up! If you bring it in you can carry it out too!

I'm such a mess! I love to try new things and when I saw this 6 pack of Woodchuck cider on sale I thought I'd get it. I should have read the label; the ingredients list "brown sugar" and "maple syrup". EW! Not very tasty....

September 4, 2011

How to cuddle

I just found this on a website that I kinda like! ;)

I'd cuddle with John Stamos any day... or night!

September 1, 2011

September Tarot

Page of Pentacles

Pentacles correspond to the element of earth, and in this sense the coin that the Page holds may symbolise the beginnings of sensual awareness not only in terms of money and its value but also in terms of a growing awareness of the importance of health and other material needs.

The Page of Pentacles is about having the ability to approach any activity with the quality of fascination and involvement. Experience your own inner child's playfulness. Do what you loved to do as a child and you will find your genius, your passion and your success. Take the pressure off yourself - enjoy your journey. Do your best and enjoy the process.

Good financial news is likely, and you should be alert for a messenger who will enter your life to bring you this news. Even if the news doesn't seem to be good at first glance, there is always potential in the messages the Page of Pentacles brings. Your task in such situation is to examine the message and figure out what the real opportnity is.

Look for opportunities to develop and express your new ideas and find success. Apply knowledge with enthusiasm, think practically in all situations, and you cannot fail.

Woohoo! This should be a good month!