Archive for the ‘Opinions and Observations’ Category

Yes, I know it is Friday the 13th! And with it a full moon not to be seen on Friday the 13th for another 30 years. Not until August 2049! It is also a Harvest Moon for all you visitors from another planet. It will be late tonight but I am sure it will be worth it.

I think it is time for a campfire in my yard and maybe howl at the moon for a while!

My wife and I have a communication problem. Over the years we have managed to keep this from being a marriage problem. I am sure it would have driven other couples crazy.

I have a really bad habit of mixing pro-nouns; names, cities, sports teams. To give you an idea, I would call up my wife and say, “… pick me up at Home Depot when you are done”. She would call and say, “where are you”?

“I am waiting for you outside”, would be my reply. ……… she would then ask if I meant Home Depot or Lowe’s ……. yep. This is where I mess up all the time. I might say it with confidence, but I use the wrong proper name way too often. I am at Lowe’s.

My wife interchanges nouns. She will ask me to hand her the book. After a few seconds she gets impatient and wonders if I am listening to her. Again, but louder, she will ask me to hand her the book. I have scoured the immediate area and see no book. I will ask her if she means the glass and she will say, “that’s what I asked for”.

This does not happen all the time or we would be dead already. But it happens often.

I translate for her; she translates for me.

I post about my past and what I see in the present. I post what I have done and I try to post what I feel. That is what we all want to read: feelings. Experiences. Humor and all the rest.

I have learned a lot. I have forgotten way too much. I regret little but would like to change the past if I could. But I learn.

I mentioned I have been in Management of Sales – Service – Marketing for decades. A post or two will jab at bosses and managers that knew nothing and the ones that were great. One of the worst managers I ever had taught me the most. He mentioned that he had to change the way he thought about many things. His mother was struggling to live and suffering for a long long time. He would visit her regularly and help where he could; no matter how inconvenient.

Eventually, he began to talk in terms of ‘having to see his mother’, of responsibility and burden. He told a number of us that it wasn’t until he realized this might be the last time he could talk and laugh and remember with his mother, that everything changed. He did not HAVE to visit his mother, he was given another chance to. Every one became precious.

As a member of a fitness gyms over the years, I took Yoga, Pilates, and martial arts training. I tried for years to meditate as suggested by all. I simply cannot stop my mind and concentrate on nothing. My brain does not shut off at night when I want to go to sleep. I could not focus long enough. Then a fill-in Yoga instructor that was not very good at all suggested that the idea is not to block all thoughts and make your mind blank……

But as thoughts and ideas come acknowledge them – and then let them go. “I know you are there and I will think about you later” kind of a thing.

Great advice from the places I would expect it the least.

I have written in earlier posts about my experience with the Ohio Medical Marijuana program, so I wanted to make an easy outline to date.

Your application for a medical card in Ohio has to be approved by a certified state doctor. There are a limited number of them as most doctors do not want to touch cannibals until federally legalized or decriminalized to some extent. You have to pay to register for the card and then pay to see the certified doctor – wherever they are in the state. Each year you have to pay to renew your Ohio card. Additional doctor visits may be required.

There are very few dispensaries currently open for business and fewer growers. The numbers are strictly limited, but most of the dispensaries are not open yet because the growers do not have enough ‘medicine’ to go around.

Once harvested it must go through testing and approval which also costs money.

Make no mistake; this is a money making business every step of the way.

Everyone that handles this process must operate with cash. The laws to make marijuana a Schedule 1 narcotic in the US was politically motivated and intentionally used as a weapon against ‘dissidents’ and other groups considered unfriendly. Because it is still a Schedule 1 narcotic it is a federal offense to ‘launder’ drug money. Banks are even prohibited from accepting legal monies because they are federally insured. Same with credit cards.

That means you have to use cash (or other versions like debit cards and pay-pal in some cases). You are buying medicine but still feel treated like a criminal.

Prices are very high – I have been told Ohio is the most expensive state to purchase medical marijuana. Part of this is because not all the growers are on-line and harvesting and that opens up to supply and demand rules. Few have it so they can raise the price up to any point people will still pay. Part of it is because EVERYONE has to get a cut of the profit. Each step in the process costs a little bit here – a little more there. All for something I could grow at home ……………………………………… but no. The Ohio laws stop us from doing that.

We can not smoke ‘plant material’ as the industry likes to call it. You have to use a vape pen with a ceramic chamber to heat up the marijuana to the right temperature so as not to burn the plant material but to ‘toast’ it enough to release the THC or CBD. That means you have to buy a device just for this. Another cost.

Not ideal for patients and care providers but at least I can cross buying marijuana legally off my bucket list!

As a creative person, I will often get struck with ideas or projects and even solutions to existing work-blocks without notice. (this is a good thing lol) If I can’t preserve the thoughts at the time there is a good probability I might lose them forever. So I try to get to the computer, writing pad, recorder quickly.

Invariably, I find myself in a creative mood with a great thought…….. ready to capture what will be my greatest work…….. only to have to wait for the computer to do a software download and update. Then comes the mandatory restart and my idea is totally gone. I go to record in my home studio and face load times, cables not connected for this project, something decides not to work for no reason other than it knows I am in a hurry and other events that would be funny in other situations. I can’t find a pen and the pencil point breaks and the notebook is downstairs.

When I get a cup of tea and a block of time to get things done I like to power up my computer or studio and start working. I don’t want to wait for the updates. I am on a mission.

I feel the same way about other areas. If I need to vacuum the floor, I don’t want to empty the container first. When I am ready to paint, I don’t want to stop and clean all the brushes first.

It might seem to others that I waste a lot of time on preventive maintenance and cataloging, but I know the frustration of losing something that could be wonderful.

I am a Before person. How do you look at the day?

In February of last year I had bi-lateral carpel tunnel surgery. I wrote about this in an earlier article. The surgeon slices a wide muscle apart to make room for everything else in your hand that slides underneath. The muscle bands grow back together when you heal.

Some people thought I was crazy for doing both at the same time. I was working and had insurance and could have strung out the surgeries over the majority of a year. I had a couple thoughts on the process. If I strung it out I would not be able to play guitar, keyboards or drums for a long time. I know from past experience it takes a while to get your ‘chops’ back when you have not played your instrument for a while. I also knew I would need up build up strength and flexibility after surgery.

I also did not want to have one ‘bad’ hand while my right hand was healing. I would be unable to do a lot of daily stuff anyway, so I might as well do them at the same time.

I have lived with a number of left-handed people all my life. I often tried to mimic them by trying to use my left hand for simple tasks. It also gave me a different perspective on a lot of seemingly unrelated things. After allowing my hands to heal and stitches removed I thought this would be a good opportunity to ‘train’ both hands during physical therapy exercises. So I treated both hands the same. I did the exercises but I also used both hands as evenly as possible to get dressed, eat, and stay alive while my hands were healing and getting stronger.

So as a little challenge, try using your non-dominant hand for everything you can for one week.

Brush your teeth. Write a letter. Comb your hair. Carry a full cup of tea or coffee. Tie your shoes. As much as possible. I really got much better with my left hand during recovery. I did not try to imitate my right hand movements; that just gave me a headache. Rather I looked at my left hand and back at the task and let my hand decide how to move. Give it a try.

Maybe everyone is like this but when a creative idea comes to me I can’t help but get distracted by thinking about related inventions or projects. I go from one tangent to another so fast that I can lose track of the original idea. I start off with a great theme for a song or a life-lived revelation – or maybe an invention or tool I have not seen before – or maybe the topic to a post on my blog, only to see it become a mist and impossible to grab again!

When using extreme examples you can see the danger in any system. I played the game chess much more when I was younger but I still like to think ahead to as many moves in the game as I can. The combinations can get staggering for each move in advance you try to predict. But you also have to predict your opponent’s moves as well. That is the only way to win the game. You cannot win by chance or luck. You cannot “hide” your pieces or position. You cannot out last your opponent to win.

I try to do the same thing at work or in life. If you look at ‘what happens next‘ BEFORE you make your move your chances of making a good move increase dramatically. But what if you get a creative idea and start analyzing tangents and looking into minor side-projects or paths? What if everything you do has to be checked first by looking steps ahead in the game?

Some chess players would almost get paralyzed by the astronomical possibilities in the mid-game and not be able to make a move. I am sure this is why they invented timed chess rules! Anyway, you can see the player freeze as each possibility opens up a dozen others. While looking ahead is a great skill to have, applying this system to everything is a black hole that will freeze you in your tracks.

All roads have detours. Every species has variations. Each process tried and tested. No failure moves forward. One size does not fill all.

I love tangents. I dream of possibilities. Remembering all is impossible for me so I make a point to appreciate each idea as it is revealed, embellished and sometimes lost. It is all good. Take the detour; sometimes the sign posts are misleading.

Today is a Nothing Day. I’m gonna do nothing.

To be honest I do not have a bucket list though there are things that I expected to be able to do before I died. One of those items I really have not achieved, but I did get to take a first step.

Last year I was approved and certified for medical marijuana in the state of Ohio. There are only a small handful of dispensaries open in the state……. they are still way behind schedule. (this reminds me of a saying attributed to Mark Twain that I heard as a young adult. It is reported that he was asked what he would do if he knew the end of the world was coming. He quickly stated that he would move to Ohio. When asked why, he said that everything happens 20 years later there).

True still today, we are usually behind the rest of the country if not the world. So even though I had to drive hundreds of miles out of my way, for the first time in my life I purchased marijuana legally in Ohio. I figured by the time I was 30 years old politicians and citizens alike would wake up and remove the lies surrounding marijuana use and it would be legal for all.

I am not sure when or if this will happen, but I am not willing to take the risk in waiting. So I took the first step until recreational use is a reality. The experience was a bit bizarre, but I will get into that in a later post. Right now it is time for me to take my medicine.

Can building “the beautiful wall” protect us from hurricanes crossing our borders?

Will the wall be high enough to stop tornadoes?

Is it long enough to stop the floods or forest fires?

Should it be smart enough to keep in the rain and prevent droughts?

Fake News = Fake Emergency.