Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Adam & Eve in Love!

March 31, 2017

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Tine Turner: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

The idea for this blog dawned on me in SoCal (southern California) on one of our many trips down to visit relatives and of course get away from the @#$%^&* rain for a few days – I do love that natural  vitamin D! One morning I was enjoying an early breakfast and reading the Wall Street Journal (provided by the hotel). In the “Review”, section was an essay written by Bruce Feiler. It was adapted from his forthcoming book (March 21), The First Love Story: Adam and Eve and Us.

By the way, my recommendation is that you read the article if you’re a WSJ subscriber, or just use this link and check out the video interview with Bruce Feiler. I think the essay is a very thought provoking piece, especially if you’re married and (hopefully) in love or perhaps recently fallen in love. Rather than get off on a side trail about my opinion of how important love is or what it means, I’ll just let Bruce Feiler’s ideas speak for themselves. I may summarize his ideas along the way. Also, if you have a Bible handy, it might help you to better understand if you read Genesis chapters 1 and 2 and for good measure 1 Corinthians 13 (the “love” chapter) in the New Testament. It’s a lot to digest, but I’ll provide some bullet points that might help.

Here’s a totally irrelevant (but wonderful) quote to get you started. I saw this on a napkin dispenser at MOD Pizza in Beaverton, Oregon on March 28th while I was eating my pizza, enjoying a beer, and making some notes in my blog notebook.

Bob Dylan, Poet Laureate and Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016:
“May you’re your heart be always joyful.
May your song always be sung.
And may you stay young forever.”
Karen O and the Kids: All is Love (from Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack)

Quoting from Bruce Feiler’s Essay

“In December 1867, Mark Twain was touring Jerusalem when he visited a room in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre identified as Adam’s tomb. He was overcome with emotion. ‘The fountain of my filial affection was stirred to its profoundest depths,’ he wrote. Twain became obsessed with his oldest ancestor, at one point urging planners in New York to replace the Statue of Liberty with a monument to Adam. He went on to write a half-dozen pieces about the first couple, including Extracts from Adam’s Diary and an Autobiography of Eve.”

“Adam, in Twain’s retelling, is initially uncomfortable with Eve. It used to be so pleasant and quiet here, he says, ‘I foresee trouble. Will emigrate.’ Eve is equally unimpressed with Adam. ‘He talks very little. Perhaps it is because he is not bright, and is sensitive about it.’ (who says Twain didn’t have a sense of humor!) But slowly the two come around. ‘I see I should be lonesome and depressed without her’, Adam says. Eve echoes his feelings: ‘I love him with all the strength of my passionate nature…It is my prayer, it is my longing, that we may pass from this life together.’”

Patti; Tuck & Patti: Love is the Key

Adam and Eve in love? Really? Who would think such a thing?”

Feiler goes on to say that several very famous people would agree that, yes, they were in love, and that, given the transitional state of the family for the last 30 centuries – major changes with high divorce rates, lifestyles in our hyperconnected world – maybe Adam and Eve could offer some guidance.

Some Bullet Points in Summary of Feiler’s Ideas

Obviously taken out of context (you really need to buy the book or get a copy of the WSJ essay), here are some more thoughts, quoted and/or paraphrased from the essay.

  • The first couple have been victims of a long campaign of character assassination. One reason is that we rarely read the opening chapters of Genesis with the idea that Adam and Eve might be in love. He goes on to explain this important point in detail.
  • Who is God’s chosen sex, man or woman? If you read and compare Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, the answer appears different. Feiler elaborates, then concludes by saying they are entirely equal.
  • In support of the equality idea, if you look at Michelangelo’s famous painting in the Sistine Chapel, it is Eve, not Adam and not God who occupies the exact center of the room. In the third panel, the two figures (Adam and Eve) reach together for the forbidden fruit. They are not estranged, they are partners.
  • Milton’s Paradise Lost was a step-by-step argument that Adam and Eve were equal.
  • In Shakespeare’s words, “Love is not avoiding conflict; it is about overcoming it”.
  • The most underappreciated aspect of Adam and Eve is how they continually return to each other after periods of separation. They start life united, then Eve goes off alone. She could remain apart but instead returns to Adam. Once out of Eden, they could split, but instead they stay together.
Beatles: And I Love Her

Some Final Thoughts

The Bible is the first to put a man and a woman at the start of the human line. God can’t procreate. He needs human partners – starting with Adam and Eve – for humanity to succeed.

Feiler concludes his essay by saying that the first couple struggled too, yet they found a way to heal their wounds and forgive their wrongs.

Some More Music

Eagles: Love Will Keep Us Alive (Hell Freezes Over album)
Del Shannon: Sea of Love (really old song)
Karen O and the Kids: Building All is Love (from Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack)

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Welcome to 2017

January 7, 2017

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True to form, I’m six days late getting this new blog done – oh, by the way, Happy New Year!

“I’m your Uncle Ernie, and I welcome you to Tommy’s Holiday Camp . . . never mind the weather, when you come to Tommy’s, the holiday’s forever! WELCOME!!!” (excerpt from Tommy)

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The Who: Tommy’s Holiday Camp

A Musical Interlude

If you have headphones, you might want to use them.

I guess the inspiration for this bit of creativity would be receiving a Christmas gift from my wife, who is a very creative gift giver – a turntable. The size of a small suitcase and portable enough to take over to family or friends’ gatherings so that we can bore them with music almost half a century old. In this box of records – vinyl LPs, what a concept – was music that I had not listened to in a long, long time, and quite a variety.

The Who: Overture, Tommy

Just to name a few oldies but goodies

Tommy was released in two versions, the original version that I’m including and a second version that was produced with the London Symphony. I didn’t find that one, although it’s probably out there. I had a lot of classical LPs in the box, including some Bach and Vivaldi played by Julian Bream and George Malcom. I put that one on when I got up this morning. Some real oddities like Firesign Theatre (Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him) and The Monkees. Actually, the Monkees aren’t an oddity, I remember taking my daughter to see them perform in Dallas, Texas in the 80’s. Also in the box are some lesser known jazz groups like Weather Report and Chick Corea and some of my favorites, a 4-record album Wings Over America (Paul McCartney) and Chicago (of course).

The Who: Pinball Wizard, Tommy

Millennials vs. Boomers Defined

The blog idea that struck me was exploring musical taste according to generations or age groups. I thought I should include music from my generation (Boomer) and also Millennials. Obviously the first problem was what music I should include. Not exactly sure why I chose to focus on Tommy for Boomer music, but it was always a favorite.

In doing some research I found a site, cheezburger.com, just scroll down under Beyoncé to the long list of music (pardon all the ads and other distractions). Interesting to note how much “Boomer” music is listed in first 20 of the “top 500” songs.

OK, just for the record “Millennials” were born in 1982 up to 20 years or so after, “Boomers” were born 1946 to 1964.  I consider myself a Boomer (sounds cool) although technically I’m in the Greatest Generation because I was born in 1945. Those born before 1946 are referred to as the “Greatest Generation” (according to Tom Brokaw). Someone dubbed Millennials as “the next great generation”, no argument there, just ask a Millennial. Sorry for getting down in the weeds, time to get back to music and pictures.

A Few Pictures

No surprise I’m including some new Rufous-sided Towhee pictures, but also a few other bird species. The doves I don’t see that often, but they’re beautiful, as are the Flickers.

The Who: Sparks, Tommy

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You Thought I’d Forget, Eh!

OK, I was totally non-plussed to decide on my “Millennial” music, but here it is. I found a couple of versions of Rachel Platten’s song, “Fight Song” and decided I liked the acoustic version better.  I think you’ll like the music no matter  how old you are.

Rachel Slatten: Fight Song

A Pictorial and a Musical Finish

One long song by The Who and one photo of my son and I looking west, think of it (symbolically) as a sunset. By the way, there are absolutely no political reasons for my choosing the last Tommy song.

The Who: We’re Not Gonna Take It, Tommy
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Dad and Son

A quote to start the new year:

Bill Vaughn
“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”

Click here for more BrainyQuotes to pick and choose from.

Merry Christmas 2016

December 26, 2016

What Happened to 2016?

Update: I forgot to add quotes yesterday, which I’m doing now including the Christmas quotes link at the bottom.

I like this next quote because it reminded me of an incident in my life at my home in Texas. I got a chemistry set as a Christmas present and immediately set about using it in my bedroom. While experimenting with mixing various chemicals, I decided to heat a test tube and forgot to take the stopper out. I wasn’t hurt, but I had a nice painting project repairing the ceiling and walls in the corner of my bedroom.

John Vane
At the age of 12, my parents gave me a chemistry set for Christmas, and experimentation soon became a consuming passion in my life.

Read more John Vane quotes if you’re  interested.

Back to the Future (main them from Back to the Future soundtrack)

I watched Back to the Future again (for the umpteenth time) the other day. It’s definitely in my top 10 list of favorite movies, heck maybe even top 3, along with Raising Arizona and Predator. Further back in the list of favorites would be James Bond movies, especially the ones with Sean Connery (You Only Live Twice, Goldfinger, etc.). I noticed how young Michael J. Fox looked in Back to the Future. Of course the movie was made in 1985. I suppose it’s that aging thing, something about being relative to your own age makes a person react in a certain way. The music too is a big part of my favorite movies, Huey Lewis and the News in Back to the Future and John Barry in the Bond movies.

Coldplay: You Only Live Twice

What’s Your Point?

Someone close to me reminds me when I get off track or “excessively verbalize” – yikes, that’s not common wording, but I suppose it’s appropriate.

I was kinda getting off track, my main purpose, as I recall, was to say Merry Christmas, but I always like to throw in some pictures and music. Another thing on my mind was to mention that I’m running again (the slide show follows). For those who missed the late 2016 summer of my not running, I’m finally back. Adios to “the boot”, sayonara chump, good riddance, etc., etc.

Willie Nelson: On the Road Again

Pictures from My Recent Run

This area below isn’t terribly far from where I live in Oregon. By the way, the brown and white animals are alpacas, not horses. I also saw plenty of raptors and one dog, an untethered German Shepherd in someone’s yard, but he wasn’t interested in me.

I’m not running very fast these days, but it’s great to be out on the roads again.

Joe Cocker: Feelin’ Alright
Canned Heat: On the Road Again

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More Music and More Pictures and More Quotes

Just a few more pictures, selected at random, I do like taking pictures. and some music, then I’m done for this go-round, except for a whole bunch of Christmas quotes that I added.

Chicago: Wake Up Sunshine
Doobie Brothers: Listen to the Music

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Thanksgiving Day – Just Pictures and Some Words

November 25, 2016
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Dad and Son at the Beach

It’s good to step back from all the things going on in our lives and remember the important events, like Thanksgiving Day. Just some brief thoughts before I jump into a few pictures, some quotes, and maybe some music.

Huey Lewis and the News: The Power of Love

Giving Thanks

I am thankful for my family, because they have enriched my life beyond measure. Families should never be taken for granted.

Henry David Thoreau
“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”
Read more Thanksgiving quotes.

I am thankful for my country and feel very fortunate to live in the United States of America. I was reading in the American Legion magazine about the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. A man who had survived the attack, a sailor on the USS Tennessee, described what it was like to be there when it happened. We should all thank the many men and women who have made sacrifices to protect our way of life.

Coldplay: God Put a Smile on Your Face
Ronald Reagan
“If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.” Read more Reagan quotes.
John F. Kennedy
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Read more Kennedy quotes.

I am thankful that I have the freedom to worship my God freely and express my beliefs freely.

Take a minute and express your own thanks, not just on Thanksgiving Day but every day.

Just Some Pictures

I like taking pictures. More of my pictures are here.

Music from the Lion King: The Circle of Life
Family

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Eagles: Spirit in the Sky

Birds

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J. S. Bach: Toccata in D

Scenic

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What Happened at Crystal City (Part III)

May 30, 2016

First Things First

In Part I, there is a picture with the caption, “What is It?”. Maybe you weren’t fooled ..

It was merely a garden ornament masquerading as a miniature planet (somewhat earth-like).

The Power of Love (from the Back to the Future soundtrack)

What’s the Big Deal?

OK, so what, the federal government decided to imprison a lot of people against their will because they might be a threat to America. That seems reasonable and justifiable, right? Obviously, not the power of love.

I had to think about what all of it meant to me after I started reading Jan Russell’s book, which as I said before, is really quite interesting and revealing. Note the following passage from her book. Go to Amazon if you want to snag a copy.

“By August 1945, the machinery of internment implemented during the run-up to the war in December 1941, was already being taken apart. Already many of the fifty-four internment camps  operated by the US military and the thirty camps operated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service had shut down. The camp at Crystal City, the only family camp, was still open, but with a reduced population That summer 2,548 Japanese, 756 Germans, and 12 Italian internees were left.”

The author estimated that there were approximately 6,000 internees incarcerated at Crystal City during its six years of operation. It was officially closed on February 27, 1948. I had just turned three at the time and was living in Texas.

In her preface to the book, the author talks about the 120,000 Japanese (62% of them American-born) who were forcibly evacuated from the Pacific coast after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She also talks about the executive order signed by President Roosevelt, which permitted the secretary of war to arrest and incarcerate Japanese, Germans, and Italians who had been declared “enemy aliens”.

Just an aside, as you mull over the previous two paragraphs, I want to comment on the effort and methods used to write the book, which author Russell describes in detail in the sources and notes. As a writer, I thoroughly appreciate the effort it took to compile the information. Interestingly, another book, Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, also involved internment during World War II and was very well-researched and written and also relied heavily on personal interviews.

It Is a Big Deal!

The answer of course is yes, it is a big deal. I may do more Crystal City installments, after going through the book in more detail and gaining more insights into how I feel about what happened and how I should respond. OK, it was just plain wrong, all of it – there, I’ve said it. Am I going to recommend to others how they should respond? No, it’s up to each individual to make up their mind how to respond.

Back to the Future Main Theme (City of Prague Philharmonic)
A Quick Tour of Washington and Yamhill Counties in Oregon

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Birthday Blog – 2016

February 23, 2016
19447_divers at Poipu

Diving with my son and others off Kauai

A song, a quote, and some favorite photos

Joe Cocker: Feelin’ Alright (Live)

Just thought I’d jump in here and post something on my birthday. Lots of folks have sent me birthday greetings, which is very cool – thanks, ya’ll! Anyone else who happens to have a birthday today, Happy Birthday to you too!

I’m off to buy myself a new pair of running shoes and go to the gym this morning. After that, I may just goof off for the rest of the day.

The following quote, one of my favorites, is from a book, Up Country, by Nelson Demille.

“The journey home is never a direct route – it is in fact always circuitous, and somewhere along the way we discover that the journey is more significant than the destination and that the people we meet along the way will be the traveling companions of our lives forever.”

Bonus Quotes: Love What You Do

By the way, the “Donald” quote wasn’t intentional, so take it or leave it, but I like the messages presented in this collection of quotes.

Bonus Photos:
  1. Ducks on Creekside Marsh
  2. Man Feeding the Gulls at Cannon Beach
  3. Bernie taking a picture while driving (keep that a secret please)
  4. Gospodor’s Monument on I-5 south of Centralia, WA
  5. Tree of Life, mural on a building in Estacada, OR

 

California Dreaming

February 5, 2016

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It’s Good to Take a Break

We Oregonians brag about our wonderful state, its beauty and all the things there are to do there, and it’s all true – come up and see us and we’ll give you the grand tour. My dad (God bless him) used to call it “God’s country”. Perhaps God lingered a bit when he created Oregon. Speaking of lingering . . .

Mamas and the Papas: California Dreaming

 

Has Anyone Seen my Sunscreen?

Sunshine is probably overrated, but I have to admit I do like it. Sitting in the courtyard by the pool, with a cup of coffee, writing in  my journal, it felt great! I actually had to go to Walmart and buy sunscreen yesterday – hey, it’s February, and I live in Oregon, what can I say, I wasn’t prepared for the sun.

What about People?

I wrote a blog post last year about people – you can go take a look.

Personas

I’ve always considered myself a “people” person, perhaps growing up in Texas gave me that personality trait, that willingness to talk to a total  stranger. Everyone you meet can be your friend, just say hello. Anyway, we were in SoCal last year, same place, same hotel. We came down for my brother-in-law’s celebration of life. I’m glad we did, it was a well-said goodbye to Chris, who was a good man. One of my favorite quotes says it better than I can. Here’s a piece of it – “the people we meet along the way will be the traveling companions of our lives forever.” Use the link to see the whole quote and some other quotes that talk about life and people.

Case in Point, about People.

As I was saying, I like meeting people. On that trip about a year ago, I was sitting out in the courtyard enjoying that wonderful morning sunshine and drinking coffee. I got into a conversation with Jack. He was a Spurs fan, but he wasn’t from Texas, said he had driven down from Seattle the night before. Anyway, he told me about himself, ex-Navy, an Aviation Mechanic who served at Oak Harbor and El Salvador but no carrier duty. We talked about how boring that long drive on I-5 was, which is why we decided to fly on this trip. Maybe our paths will cross again in the future.

I met Theresa on the way out on the plane, she was in the seat next to mine. She was on her way down to California to see two of her eight grandchildren. The people you meet . . .

On this 2016 trip I’ve met a bunch of people, some who are friends of relatives, spending time at our favorite pub in Santa Clarita, enjoying the dart tournament (Bob throws underhanded), music and food and drinks (I got to try three new craft beers!). I met Terry, an ex-Alabaman, who is thinking about moving to L.A. and came out to look for a house. In the hotel fitness center, I met Mo from Simi Valley. He asked me about the thing going on Burns, if it was affecting me where I lived. We got into a brief political discussion about the federal government and the “compulsory” laws that we were supposed to obey. I decided not to argue the point since he was lifting a lot more weight than I was. :}

What’s Next

Not sure what my next blog will be – content now to enjoy one more full day of sunshine before we leave to return to the rain.

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That small bird was really proud of himself – I drank the whole thing!

 

Eulogy for Boomer

January 8, 2016

Goodbye old pal, we’ll miss you, big time!

Blogger’s postscript: Just wanted to add some important details that I left out yesterday.

Boomer started out as a southern California dog, roaming the streets of Sun City and eventually becoming the property of my mother-in-law, Eileen. She brought him along when she moved up to live with us in Oregon. Boomer was her pal and companion for years until she died. Then he lived with us after her passing, and he became our pal and companion.

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Boomer wearing his snow jacket.

Circle of Life (from the Lion King soundtrack)

Seeing that big, open-mouthed grin with that wonderful tongue with black spots (were you part chow?) was always a joy.

Your response to my touch when I scratched your back side, moving that leg back and forth. It made me feel good too.

  • Scientists say that dogs (not sure about cats) are beneficial to humans because there is a chemical response that actually lowers the blood pressure and relaxes both the animal and the human when they interact. Pretty cool, eh!

Boomer, I hope you reconnect with your old friend Eileen, and I hope you and Morty (our other dog that died in 2013) meet up and have a great time running around together.

A couple more pictures – the tongue with the spots and his “summer” buzz cut.

Quote: I learned the roots of any relationship (from working with dogs) – honesty, integrity, loyalty. It’s hard to find a human to give you all three. But every dog, that’s all they know. Humans are the only species that follows unstable pack leaders. Animals don’t . . . why would they? (Cesar Millan, dog whisperer, in Men’s Journal)

It’s a New Year – 2016 (Woohoo!)

January 3, 2016

We made it through another one, eh! Just some thoughts to make you think about the year ahead.

Quote: Be kind to even unkind people; they need it the most. (Quoted from a friend I see at the gym)

Steely Dan – Do It Again (live version)
Picture: it’s just for shock value, yes, it is someone’s hand. (unknown source)

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One of my daily rituals is reading Daily Word (a Unity publication). The reading for January 1 in the January/February 2016 booklet is titled: “Fresh Start: I behold and delight in a fresh start.” The daily readings always have a Bible verse at the bottom of the page. For January 1, the verse was from Exodus 12:2, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.” In this passage, the Lord is addressing Moses and Aaron in Egypt.

Quoting from the same January 1 reading, “The new year stretches before me like a blank canvas. What kind of life shall I paint this year?”

Anyway, here’s the link if you want to subscribe to the magazine. It’s a good way to start your day.

Daily Word web site

In parting, a few word pictures to describe a calendar, one of the many that nonprofits send to me because I’ve donated money to them, or they want me to donate money to them. The calendar I’m looking at is from the Nature Conservancy. The photos and layout are impressive.

Picture a zebra with those wonderful black and white stripes – is it a white animal with black stripes or a black animal with white stripes? The zebra is standing in a field surrounded by pink flowers that are in soft focus. There is a white bird perched on the animal’s back, a cattle egret. This is the photo for April. It was taken in South Africa.

March and September are photos taken in Oregon, my favorite state. Colors in the March photo are predominantly green with the tree foliage and the moss growing on the rocks in and around the waterfall which is bright white. It’s a very peaceful picture. The picture was taken in Silver Falls State Park not far from Portland. September’s photo was taken in central Oregon and shows a cliff mesa in the background with yellow wildflowers in the foreground. The pictures and descriptions in the calendar serve to remind us of how wonderful nature is and that we are a part of nature.

I’ll finish with a few Rufous pictures, not taken by me, but they’re good ones.

Next: Not sure yet, but I’m working on some things.

When a Tree Isn’t a Tree

May 6, 2014

What a great old tree!

When your day has gone well and you sit in your backyard looking up at a big oak tree at dusk, and the light is shining on one small part of the tree, about in the center and just barely visible, what thoughts occur to you, me, or anybody? Come on, free associate, meditate, have some fun with it . . .


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