Posted in Health, Inspirational, Walking, writing

Take A Hike

I haven’t been writing much lately, but I do keep on walking.  Walking and thinking go hand in hand, and I find that if I do not walk or if I drastically cut down the amount, I do not have the abundance of subjects that interest me and stimulate me to write and to share the insights that have occurred to me during my daily excursions. 

One of the differences that may have affected the volume of my writing is location.  During the nicer weather of summer I would usually walk for a couple of miles and then sit in the woods with my laptop or my pen and paper and write, sometimes for three or four hours, and I never seemed to run out of passion or subject matter to fuel my efforts.  Now, with the advent of the rain, which does not mix well with computers or, for that matter, writing tablets as well, and the unfortunate encounter that my dog, Chubbs, had with a young porcupine, we have taken to walking our three miles on a trail near our home and then coming home to write at my home office. 

Fortunately for Chubbs the porcupine was young with small quills.

As much as I try to make that office conducive to writing I just can’t make it as relaxing and inspiring as sitting out in the woods with the sound of the creek at my feet and the birds conversing in the trees. 

My dream is to move back into the country and live along a creek or river, or perhaps near a lake or a pond so that the dogs and I can go into the back yard and sit with the timeless sound of the water and the sweet hum of the forest to inspire me and I can write and the dogs can run free in the woods and then, in the afternoon, we can catch our dinner and then sit by the fire and enjoy a hearty meal and watch the Trailblazers game on the big screen. 

I have to keep writing to fulfill that dream.

I have to keep walking, too.  For inspiration, for health, and just to keep myself grounded and appreciating the beauty that God desired for us to live in as we work our way toward Him.  I have been promising to write more on the benefits and pleasures of walking every day, and I will fulfill that promise in the coming days.  I will give you some facts, health tips, recipes, and other related news that I believe will help you to realize how simple it is to improve your health and increase your awareness and enjoyment of the world around you.  I leave you with my new mantra, don’t take this wrong, but:

Take a hike.

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Posted in Health, Walking

Walk It Off, Part 2

One of the greatest threats to our health today is not cancer and it’s not heart attack or stroke.  These are, however, symptoms of this pervasive problem.  It is not a disease in itself, but is the breeding ground for countless diseases and afflictions suffered by modern man, and modern Americans in particular.  The problem has roots in the combination of a permissive society and the easy access to fulfillment of most of our physical needs.

Obesity is running roughshod throughout our modern society, fueled in part by our affluence and ability to easily find gratification without justification.  This ease of access leads to overconsumption, which then fuels a loss of a sense of self-reliance, which can lead to a lack of self-esteem, and in many cases to more overconsumption.  A loathsome circle is formed and our health is at risk.  Food is plentiful, but so much of what we eat is empty calories, pumped full of chemicals that we will finally learn about their harmful effects ten years from now when people begin growing a third eye or their nose falls off.  Then the lawyers will get involved and someone in the government bureaucracy will make a lot of money from the additive companies as Congress draws up new toothless regulations and that additive is pulled from the market and replaced with a new product that is ready to be tested on a massive scale, on us.  And as the economy tanks and the wars drag out and every aspect of our way of life comes under attack we just eat and eat and eat, because that is the only thing that we really can control anymore. 

At least they can’t tell you what and how much to eat.  Right?

Then why are you eating all that crap?  And why are you just sitting around, taking in everything that anyone wants to feed you, physically, mentally, and spiritually?  There is something very simple that you can do now, today, to make things a little better.  And if you will commit to doing this every day, or at least most days, Things will get a little better each day.

Take a hike!

No, seriously.  Go walking.  Walk every day.

Posted in Uncategorized

Here We Go Again

Here we go again.  The political races are heating up as we approach the middle of October and with it come the disingenuous attacks and insinuations.  In the Governor’s race I am seeing some ridiculous attacks coming from the Kitzhaber camp in particular.  Kitzhaber says that Chris Dudley is inexperienced and unprepared to govern the state of Oregon.  This from the man who already had eight years trying to govern a state that he himself called “ungovernable”.  With Chris Dudley we get someone with fresh ideas, clearly stated, and with no connection to the failed policies and failing politicians that brought our pioneering state to the condition that we now find it and ourselves in.  We have failing schools and businesses leaving town.  We recently enacted new tax increases that we were told would avoid cuts to the vital services of schools, safety, and care for the elderly, only to find that the cuts were bigger and broader than ever projected.  Our officials follow only the rules that they agree with, and judges strike down every meaningful piece of legislation brought about through our initiative process.  The only organizations with the money and clout to push things through are the public employee unions who have held a stranglehold on Salem for decades.  If the choice is between an honest newcomer who has no axe to grind and the welfare of the state in mind or a retread  touting the very same things that put us where we are today and connected to the very organizations and values that put us in this mess then I am all for the “inexperience” that could very well be what saves this state.

Another thing that I hear is that Dudley avoided paying taxes by buying a house in Washington.  He was a young man in a career that could last for twelve years or could be done tomorrow.  He was intelligent enough to follow the direction of people who knew better than he how, at that stage of his life, to protect what he was earning so that he would not become one of the sad tales of athletes making a lot of money, blowing it, and living in poverty after their career ends suddenly.  I like the idea that our next governor is willing to listen to his advisers and make informed decisions.  Chris Dudley paid Oregon income taxes on every dollar that he made here.  He cheated no one.  I would choose that over someone who deals in political favors for personal favors, and operates in a murky world of backdoor deals and questionable associations. 

The entrenched powers are so worried about Dudley’s popularity and their own culpability in the condition they have left our state in that they even find fault with Dudley’s decision to donate his home for the fire department to practice on and then taking advantage of the legal deduction.  Legal tax deductions were put into the tax code by design, likely by the very same people now trying to fault someone for being wise with his money.  It tells me that Chris is going to be smart with my money also.  Oregon has come up on the short end of the federal funding stick for years under the democrat’s watch.  Time to start finding those silver linings with our state’s financing also.  Don’t fault a guy for financial frugality.  Encourage him. 

Kitzhaber is promoting only more government spending.  Renovating schools is a fine idea, one that should begin just as soon as our next governor leads us out of this morass and we can afford to begin these worthy public works projects and more like them.  Until we can support basic school functions and basic services to seniors and fund our police and fire departments sufficiently we should be concentrating on bringing business back and supporting the businesses that are here, because until the businesses in Oregon begin to recover, we will not recover.  If we don’t create more private sector jobs to support the public sector, there will be no recovery, only more taxes, more unemployment, and shorter and shorter school years.  Dudley’s public sector spending is supported by private sector support as well.  If businesses thrive, communities thrive.

Much is made of Dudley being a former athlete, as though that is a detriment to his ability to be a good governor.  His athletic career gave us all a chance to observe the makeup of the man through the manner in which he comported himself on the court, as well as off.  During his career he distinguished himself as someone who made the most of the tools that he was given.  Without the physical skills of a Shaquille O’Neal or the talent of a LaBron James, he made himself into a valuable role player and a trusted teammate and forged a long and successful career doing the hard work necessary for his teammates to shine.  He showed himself to be a caring and compassionate man off of the court as well, running a basketball camp each year for diabetic children to encourage them with his example. 

I contrast the honest and humble Dudley to the arrogance and swagger of Kitzhaber and his elitist attitude of “smarter than you”, touting his emergency room experience as though it had any more relevance to governance than an athletic career.  Thousands of people work as emergency room physicians every day, but that does not qualify them to govern.  It is the makeup of the man that matters, what he cares about and how he treats other people, especially people that he disagrees with.  The only thing that I would not trust Chris Dudley with are free throws.  Beyond that I know that he is a fierce competitor and a loyal teammate.  Kitzhaber is an admitted loner who resents being questioned or challenged.

I believe that Chris Dudley will be there to serve the people of Oregon.  I think that Kitzhaber has his own ideas of what should be and to heck with anyone who disagrees.  Albert Einstein once said that the true definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  I think that Oregon is ready for a breath of fresh air.  Fresh blood sounds good right now.  I think that I’ll vote for real, positive change, and that sounds like Chris Dudley.

Posted in Inspirational

Life

I awoke in the night with thoughts about the things that we lose as we go through life, not just material things, but stages of life, confidence, interest, and determination.  When we are conceived, we lose our place in eternity, when we’re born we lose the comfort of the womb.  We lose our childhood and, in the process, our innocence.  As we become adults we lose the security of our parent’s home, and the freedom that comes from a lack of real consequences.  As we grow older we lose friends and family and pets and we lose that immortality that seemed so natural in our youth.  We lose our health and sometimes our minds and finally we lose our lives.  If that were all there were to the story life would be a depressing journey

There is a plus side to this lifetime of loss.  It is a rule in physics that matter will move to fill a vacuum.  This is also true in the less physical side of life as well.  For every loss that creates a void in our lives, there is something waiting to fill that void and carry us on to the next stage of our lives.  When we lose our place with our creator we are united with a woman who has dedicated her life to our welfare with you as her only reward.  When we are cast from the warmth and comfort of the womb we are thrust into an adventure in a wondrous world created for our edification and enjoyment.  Through the loss of innocence we gain the ability to reason and to create and to make our lives and the lives of those around us better. 

We gain a new understanding of our own capabilities and the things that we might accomplish.  We gain a new life partner to complement and complete us.  We gain the amazing experience of parenthood and with it our part in the continuation of the life cycle of God’s people.  We gain experience and, through that experience, wisdom.  We gain the chance to repair the folly of our youth.  We gain the opportunity to seek and gain a relationship with our Creator. 

As our bodies begin to fail us our minds and our spirits mature and we are able to leave a younger generation with a solid foundation upon which to build their own lives, their dreams, and their aspirations.  And finally, when we leave this worldly life behind, we regain our position in eternity, tested and mature and ready to complete the purpose for which we were created; to spend eternity in the glorious presence of everything good and pure and holy.  We lose everything of this world and we gain everything of importance.  Communion with our Creator.  

Life is constant renewal and replacement.  Life is a prelude.