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Views

When I travel I take a lot of pictures. Mostly to capture memories. However, sometimes I stumble upon great shots when the photo reel is reviewed later. For this post I decided to post a few of my favorite or special views from near and far over the past several months along with a few quirky shots I’m tossing in for either humor or flair.

This gem came from a recent RV trip in the Tennessee mountains. The glows at different times of day were nothing short of amazing. The rays between the clouds reflected so nicely off the water. The mountains in layers was a great accent to create the overall beautiful view. From high spots to low spots each area we visited highlighted the water, the mountains and the trees just a little differently but so beautiful.

Coffee art. Oh how I am a fan. I have no clue how to make such art but I really can’t refuse some warm cups full of fancy coffee drinks with artistic flair. This gem was compliments of a local coffee shop owned by a friend.

Two pals just horsing around. No pun intended, right? This photo comes straight from 3Splitz Farm in Blairsville, Georgia. I may be a fan of the owners but there is nothing more beautiful than seeing horses enjoy a play day in the pasture. Whether up close like this or viewing from the deck above, the unique views are always a pleasure.

It’s not your basic to do list. As it it’s not on paper or a whiteboard. It’s permanently tattooed on a person’s inner thigh documenting cool milestones they are celebrating. A reminder of strength, courage and resilience. Red indicating complete. Blank showing what’s on the horizon. In this instance the person took out a thin sharpie to note completion of the 50k race since it’s not time to re-ink the tattoo yet. This is a fun one to think about.

My dinner plate. Grilled salmon, broccoli, zucchini and the little lemon for flavor. Folded up in aluminum foil, this is a quick and easy healthy dish to add into your week. So tasty. So filling. Just so happens to be healthy.

This photo is one for the record book. A tourist visit to Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon to see what all the hype was about. Wasn’t I surprised when I was video chatting with my mom on donut selections only to see a donut called Cock N’ Balls! Design no less than a dick or a penis. And yes I did buy one and traveled home by plane with it to show my friends. Yes, that I did.

I’m a sucker for a sunset. I’m a sucker for reflection photos in water. Every second seems so different. The colors change so quick. This was a favorite from a summer trip out west. A beautiful day with friends and family exploring new destinations.

A view from the summer. The reflection of the clouds. The stillness of the morning while the water was idle. The old boardwalk posts sitting there serving no purpose added to the ambience. The still and calm of this photo keeps it as one of my favorites.

On the streets of New Orleans this spring . My Golden friend was earning money flipping people off. This is real life. This photo brings up so many questions for who thinks of this idea? Who puts money on the bucket? Does this person make a living this way? For now I will just think since the person doesn’t flinch. Rather he just flips off the passers by.  Would you drop a dollar or two in the bucket?

I’m ending this photo reel on a unicorn note. A colorful collection of sticky notes. An accent pen. All together with a miniature unicorn piñata. A cool gift set I received that brings nothing but giggles when I look at it. I don’t so much use the items for their functionality, rather I use it to decorate a fun office space I have. Just because.

I hope these 10 shots brought you some enjoyment. Maybe they made you curious. Possibly they could cause you to take a trip. Whatever you fancy, I’m happy to have shared these few moments I captured and noted as views. My views. 

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Writers Block

Lately I’ve felt like I’ve had writer’s block. I have a lot to write but I don’t necessarily want to write as most of it appears negative. However, when I sit back and reflect I think it’s the perfect time to write. Go offload the blah.

When thinking about a picture for this post I immediately thought of my current book passed on to me. The No Asshole Rule is my current read. Although just into it a few pages I thought about the title. It’s meaning. It’s importance. Then I thought about my writings. My audience. My titles. The importance, hence you get today’s joyful rant. Consider this the no asshole zone. Or maybe I am an asshole. Asshat. Arsehole. Assclown.

The system(s) of life can be draining. The political system. The government system. The judicial system. The whole nine yards. Systems are in place to maintain consistency and reduce problems. However, many of our systems are outdated at best. Many systems are broken. What used to work doesn’t. When systems show signs of weakness they should be able to bend and flex, but it doesn’t because it’s a fixed system.

Life is messy. People are messy. Drama is always lurking. Money is the root of all evil in my eyes and ties to most systems, people and problems. The more you have the more you waste. The more money you have, the bigger the target on your back. Politics thrive on money. The government likes to waste money.  Money rules life. Money is a system in itself. A corrupt system because it’s not always fair and consistent among all people.

The judicial system shows different signs of weakness yet its system hasn’t been updated.

I coach one tangled in this system. Most days it’s unkind. Most days money is factor. Money ties to this service. Money means you can’t have this service. Money or cost means you can’t get something you need. Nobody can fix the system because it’s broken and robotic souls manage the chaos. 

The things I’ve seen in 2022 cause me great pause. Influential leaders covering their own ass at the expense of another. Those making examples of this or that instead of doing what’s right. So many people in general taken advantage of. So many trying to beat the system. The proverbial system. The system that sticks out likd a sore thumb.

I like to think I give enough in life to others to know karma is on my side. What about others? Where do they fall on the spectrum? Has the world changed so much in my 50 years that one’s self preservation rules over what’s right? Does money solve problems or create problems?

Each day I seem to walk through the mud of life. Some days the mud seems to be thick and heavy weighing me down. Some days it’s just annoying like a rainy day puddles in a field causing aggravation but not devastation. And then the days that the mud feels like it’s quicksand in disguise. If you don’t move fast enough you will be sucked in. I’m not alone. Many are on the struggle bus at various stages or phases of life.

Kids

Work

People

Family

Money

Politics

Religion 

These are just some of the the words that form a tangled web in which we must coexist. We live in a technology world much like the Jetsons cartoon yet our systems are still built on the foundations of the Wild West. Crazy but in my eyes it’s true.

I still have much more to write but this rant will be paused here. In the muck of it all. May this post allow you to reflect on you and what you do for others, for self, for the system or even how the system impacts you. Heck it was just 2020 when the system dictated everything for us thanks to corona. Did we learn anything? Did we make adjustments?

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Crab Season

It was crab season. I was in Baltimore, Maryland. It was time to soak up the experience many rave about. I had so many questions on what to order? How many to order? How to eat them? No matter the questions, I opted for the experience.

There were three of us. We opted for (12) large which would mean we each had to eat four. We failed. One of us was down at two. One was down at 2 1/2. The other pushed through for the 3 1/2. The gorging lasted 2 hours and it was hard work. Before we got started they laid out the sheet of paper on the table to let the mess begin. Then came the tray of crabs and corn that get dumped on the table. Not the dining in experience you go to on a first date!

The tools above were required. The hammer and knife combo. When used by the experienced soul they worked in unison. Despite the lesson given by the nice waitress, I failed using them as a unit. I opted for the brut of the hammer over and over. It might have even been a bit gratifying to smash away. My hands were covered in seasoning. Little slices in my fingers from the sharp shells. My drink cup and ice went down way too quick. 

You first started by flipping the crab over and peeling. Back the silhouette of a hard-shelled penis. Yes, I did just type that because the next step was to remove the private parts and the goop that lay inside that area. Off came the claws which was my favorite part.

Once I had the claws off I ate that meat. It seems easy to get to and rewarding to eat. I failed to mention that these crabs were loaded with an Old Bay-type seasoning with a little kick. Oh were my lips burning. 

After the claws I had to head back to the main body of the crab. The outer shell needed to be removed. Then it was broken in half. You had to be careful to remove the no eat parts which seemed like ribs but I don’t know the proper the term. That’s just how I was arranging the dissection on my mind as I worked my way through the task.

All in all I had a great experience. Very dirty hands. Very full belly. A great release of anger with the hammer. Some dipped the meat in butter. Others paired with other seafood. I enjoyed the ear of corn that offset the spice.  

if you are ever in Maryland during crab season, take the plunge. Give the experience a try. It has a $$$ price tag or so but if you look at it as a dining and cultural experience it’s worth the extra money.

If you never make it to Maryland in crab season at least you got a virtual experience from right on the bog. I am not new to crabs but I usually eat snow crabs which is a far different experience.

Signing off from a waterfront spot on the Bush River that intersects the Gunpowder River in Maryland. This was also a new adventure site for me to soak up some writing inspiration.

dare to be different, inspire

Creative Pop

Today was a creative day. A vision appeared. An interest was sparked. The expo marker was nearby as was the whiteboard.

Columns. Words. Colors. Ideas. A plan. A little commingling. A dream. The wheels are turning. The key players are engaged. The spark is ignited. Now it’s time to make it happen.

First is time. How to balance the new with what’s already on your plate. How to back into the time deadline. How to logistically make a-z happen with style, grace and of course a wow factor. So many details. So little time. Is it worth a shot? Should you take the plunge?

Nobody can ever answer this question because nobody has a crystal ball that works all the time. That means risk is involved. Hard work is needed. Maybe even some elbow grease and good luck. Here we grow again. What will be sprouting? Does it matter if you grow big or stay small?

I know I’m flipping ideas around daily. Looking for that nugget of inspiration. Seeking my next big move or small discovery. My adventurous ways always begin with pen and paper. Somewhere there is a shift into digital form. Paper. Pen. Ink. Color. Keyboard. Time to discover new shades of my abilities.

Hope you are along for the journey.

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Recent Spark

I had a recent spark in creativity. Oddly enough it appeared during the chaos of life. On the day many would feel defeated I felt energized. Somehow I channeled the negative around me into positive production. Almost like stepping in a bucket of shit but coming out smelling like roses. A funny statement a sibling says to me often. I accepted the sign of creativity and began setting the groundwork for my next purpose project.

The ball is in motion. The creative juices are flowing. The map is outlined. Resources are allocated. Sometimes amidst the crazy there is a calm. It might be hidden like a diamond in the rough, but it’s there. You must awaken all senses to see the hope. The dream. The vision. It may take some time to find it but it’s there. Let the excitement build as the journey is beginning to unfold.

Over the years I have come to realize I enjoy the creative outlet. The rare find. The golden nugget of sorts that nobody seems to care about but me. The building of something, somebody, of substance. The validation point. After all the steps of the process there is a natural handoff. When no more visionary work is needed, I am on to the next big thing. It’s how my mind works and it’s what fuels my soul.

I usually have partners or find great like-minded individuals to share in my purpose work. The power of numbers. The magnifying of resources. The value of human capital and mind sharing should never be underestimated.

Much like growing a garden or nurturing flowers from seeds, life is about growth. Sometimes it’s your growth that is visualized. Other times is the growth of those around you. Whichever is natural at the time, I always celebrate growth.

For today I am celebrating the start. A new beginning. A fresh outlook on the undiscovered or rediscovered. An outlook for somebody in need. A chance. A chance for success. A chance for failure. Either option allows for growth. The growth is the goal of the project for the many involved.

Some may leap at the chance to partake while others may say no not today. A choice. An option. Solution to one. Hard work for many. Signing off today from creative land.