Posted in Political

Just Saying

Is it just me, or are there others who think that it is unsuitable for the President of The United States of America to take time off from the important issues facing our nation to run around the country stumping for his party leading up to this fall’s election?  Do we need our President stepping into the cesspool of lies and character assassination rampant in the politics of an election? 

We need to hold our President to a higher standard.  He is the leader of the most powerful nation in the free world and the whole world is judging our country, judging us, on who our leader is.  They see him as an extension of how we think and who we are.  He represents us and needs to represent us in style of honesty and of strength and of wisdom.  He should hold himself to a higher standard.  He should not run around making excuses for his failures, but should learn from them and begin to allow new voices to be heard.   

He should be the unifying force in our time of need, not pulling us apart with charges of racism and hatred.  He needs to foment harmony so that we can work together on some little problems like a tanking economy, an imminent nuclear Iran, allies who could just be our worst enemies (Pakistan?), and his own failure to connect his ambitions to the needs and desires of those whom he was elected to represent.

How is it beneficial to the country that Congress decides to put off needed but controversial legislation until after the election?  The make good money, our money, to go to Washington and legislate, not run around in the middle of a war and an economic crises, with almost 10% of the country on unemployment and perhaps another 5-8% not working but not receiving aid, and try to convince us that they did a better job than we thought that they did and that they are smarter than everybody else. 

In fact, it would be a good system if incumbents were not allowed to campaign beyond displaying their legislative record and accomplishments, and the challengers could provide biographical ads and outline their views and plans.  Incumbents should stand on their record alone, and not on the money and influence of special interests, unions, and corporations to weave a false and attractive web of what we want to hear and believe.

Let there be full disclosure of campaign funding and strict limits on campaign spending.

Put it out there for us to decide.  Did they do the job that we sent them to do, or did they just fill space or cause even  more damage than they fixed?  Make our choices simple if we are going to solve the problems that grip us.  No more choosing between bad and worse.  Let’s run the bums out-of-town and get someone in office whose main goal is not maintaining his own position.

The President and legislature have a lot on their plate without going off  once again trying to convince us that up is down.

Just saying.

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Posted in Horror, Novels, writing

“Sherry” Excerpt

Here is an excerpt from the novel that I am working on.  It is a first draft so pardon some of the more technical missteps and please let me know what you like and what you don’t like, and yes, feel free to correct grammar and spelling errors as well.  I welcome the help.  Be brutal, it is for my own good.  Thanks a lot for taking the time to read it and to tell me what you think.  I will be posting some more of the story from time to time.  You decide whether that is a promise or a threat:)

                                                                                                                        Chapter 2

            He would have to break camp soon.  He could feel it coming.  Too bad, this had been a good place, a profitable place.  The natives were friendly and willing to trade, and game was plentiful.  And he’d acquired quite a taste for the local salmon jerky that was such a staple here throughout the winters.  The winters, while wet and grey and infinitely depressing, were actually quite mild and, with proper preparation and a little Indian know-how, he managed quite nicely through the colder months, thank you.

            His idyllic little world here was about to be lost to him, lost forever and eternally tainted with hatred and death.  He was powerless to stop it.  Even worse, he didn’t want to stop it.  A part of him actually reveled in it.  The rage was freedom.  Within the rage there were no constraints, no holding back.  No conflict between good and evil.  That always came later.  In the rage, evil held sway.  Pure, mindless, unadulterated.     

            He couldn’t recognize its approach on his own, but he’d learned to read the signs in the eyes and the actions of those around him.  People would begin to shift uneasily and look to the side as they did business or exchanged greetings or other social formalities.  He had never been much of one for social niceties, but he recognized the value of gaining the trust of the party that you must deal with, and he also understood that in these small villages, how you treated one was how you were perceived to have treated the entire community.  Their connection to and empathy for each other was beyond belief.  If more people understood that fact there might be a lot more commerce occurring and a lot fewer natural hairpieces on the market. 

            None of that mattered now.  He would be moving on soon, and he’d better be ready for it because there would be no time to pack.  There never is. 

            He took a long look around and breathed it in, as though he could preserve this moment and this place like the future breathes in the present and expels only the past.  Things were about to get very complicated, and you can bet that his face would find its way onto a few more wanted posters.  Oh well, it couldn’t be helped.  This was as much a part of him as was the voodoo that his grandma taught him in the islands when he was a little boy, before hopping onto the merchant ship at twelve and began learning the cruel but enlightening lessons that life holds for a boy brave or foolish enough to run away to sea.  Ultimately, those lessons in the dark arts as well as the harsh life at sea had served him well. 

            His camp was set up with both comfort and portability in mind and as such would not take long to roll up and load onto his mules.  If he didn’t want to lose everything and have to start over again with nothing he would be best served by packing it all up now and have all but his bed-roll next to the pen and the mules and horse geared up and ready.  The rage was already building and he knew that it would be only a matter of time and opportunity.  If opportunity presented itself soon, he could perhaps deal with it and be on his way, with no one having any reason to look for him until he was well out of the territory.  If it did not present itself soon, the rage would build to an uncontrollable level and he would then make his own opportunity.  At that point, he would not care or even be aware that anyone was witness to the gruesome appeasement to the rage.  At that point the rage and he would be one and woe to any who might be in its path. 

© Ron Buedefeldt  September, 2010

Posted in Health, Walking

Walk It Off

               I think that it would be appropriate, considering the title of this blog, to spend a little time talking about the benefits of walking.  Simply put, walking is the act of putting one foot in front of the other, shifting your weight forward with each foot placement to propel yourself from one point to another.  Well, I guess that was not so simply put.  Let’s try the dictionary.  Merriam-Webster tells us that to walk is to move along by foot or to advance by steps.  Or, more appropriately for this post, to go by foot for exercise or pleasure.

                Walking is much more than its definition would leave you with.  Walking is physical health, walking is peace of mind, walking is connecting to the earth and what it gives us, walking is one of the safest, most complete and efficient forms of exercise, walking is a time to meditate and to be with your Creator.  Walking is also a very good way to get from one place to another. 

                You might be questioning me on one point at this time.  Walking is slow, where is the efficiency?  How can I get ripped by walking?  These, upon the surface, seem like valid questions, but walking is not the destination, only the means to move further on the journey.  Walking is like a gateway drug.  If you are prone to addiction, you will progress to the hard exercise that is the only cure for those type of cravings.  Walking is a perfect exercise because you never do it without doing something else.  If you are lifting weights, running, swimming, aerobics, pilates, whatever, you have to concentrate upon the activity itself, for safety and for effectiveness.  Playing sports requires your full attention.  You have been walking all your life, well, at least most of it.

( I do have a buddy who can probably claim the ability to walk for less than half of his fifty-odd years, but that is another story only slightly related to the whole exercise theme.) 

                The point is, your mind is always working while you’re walking, (unless we’re back to discussing my buddy), and so you are either organizing or meditating or planning or brainstorming a problem or calming your ragged nerves  or any of a multitude of mental tasks that would otherwise require you to pause and devote time directly to that task.  And yet you can do it while also getting exercise, changing your environment and thus stimulating new perspectives, and even getting somewhere if you have somewhere to go.  What a bargain.  How can we not have time for that? 

                The social aspect of walking is another peripheral benefit that may equal the original goal of exercise. We live in a society that seems to have devalued to importance of personal connections between neighbors and neighborhoods.  If you walk around your neighborhood you are more likely to encounter and interact with your neighbors and have the opportunity to meet and perhaps direct visitors in the neighborhood. 

                  Every day we are bombarded with examples of the very worst of the world around us to a point that we are as likely to be fearful of our neighbors, or distrustful, than we are to offer to help if we see a neighbor struggling with something.  We are even suspicious of offers to help.  We have let the “bad guys” control our lives by letting them convince us that almost everyone out there is a “bad guy”.  Or could be.  If we all knew our neighbors, we would all know that isn’t true.  The only thing that holds us hostage is a few bad guys and our own acceptance of us as a nation of them.  Walk around and you will see that we aren’t really like that.   

                   The psychological benefits of walking are immeasurable.  Walking eases the symptoms of depression and stress.  If you walk where there are other people the social aspect of the walk can be invigorating in itself.  If you walk in the woods or along a less traveled road or path, the time for introspection or meditation can carry you for miles.  I walk in the mornings, generally along a logging road or a seldom traveled path to walk our three dogs.  I cannot walk for long in the woods or along a wild river or on a secluded beach without feeling closer to my Creator.  I use the time to pray and to reflect on the things that I put in this blog and on the stories that I write.  I prize the time that I spend walking and my best ideas come when I walk.  If I am stuck on something or cannot write I walk and I think and I can usually come back and attack the problem from a new angle or with a new set of tools and get on with my life.  Walking has become one of my most indispensable writing tools.

                    I find that I cannot stay angry for long when I walk.  The combination of endorphins and adrenaline along with the peaceful setting and the time to think things over and to work through the emotions without allowing them to cause any more damage just drains the anger from me.  I find that as I walk, my thoughts go from what was done to me to what I could do differently in the future to change the outcome.  I am no longer at the mercy of an act but in control of a solution.    Anger feeds only upon the emotional side and, while it has its place and its purpose, can never survive when the intellect is wielded.  Common sense and walking are, like Forrest Gump would say, like peas and carrots.  I think that it would be nice if our politicians did a lot more walking, one way or another.

                     Our country is fighting a war against obesity.  This war costs more in lives and dollars than any other war that we have ever fought.  Worse than any civil war, where brother can be pitted against brother, father against son; this war is one that we are fighting against ourselves. 

                    We can walk our way out of this conflict.

                     I have some statistics and some personal anecdotes on the physical benefits of walking that I will share soon.  Until then, if you decide to do some walking for the benefits already discussed, be safe, consult your doctor if you have any existing health concerns,  start slowly and then gradually increase both your speed and your distance to whatever goals seem right for you.  Walk on a consistent schedule at least three or four times a week and you will see many positive results within the first month.  Let me know.