Zen and Brick Cleaning.

If I had titled this post Zen and The Art of Brick Cleaning, I’m sure the heirs of the man who wrote Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Repair might get upset and we don’t want upset. It’s been a while since I’ve read that book but basically it told of how to enbrace the act of doing something mundane and making it a form of yoga. 

Yesterday Rob came by The Firewood Temple to make sure I had everything I needed for my stay. We walked around and looked at the progress that has happened these past three years. We came to the pile of used bricks he had found for free on Craigslist. I remarked, “With a bit of work those bricks could be palletized and bundled up. I know the man who can do it.” He replied, “You don’t have to.” I know I don’t need to do it but it’s a good mind calming action.

I put on by big sombrero and began the task at hand. Some bricks were easier than others and some were just plain stubborn. Using a sharp edged hammer, one by one the decaying mortar let loose of their bricks. I felt as if I had meditated after doing my ritual of brick scraping this morning.. This too will pass.

Toonce’s Adventures!

Toonce and I made it thru the first night here at The Firewood Temple. He was a bit less insistent on going out at night at all hours. The sounds of the night intrigued Toonce’s cat mind but he remained weary of the strange sounds a forest makes. 

Rob’s next door neighbors and when I say neighbors I mean a thousand yards away run an animal sanctuary. Camels, emu and other foreign animals call out at odd hours. Toonce is okay with those sounds but for some reason the parrots shout outs gets on his nerves. The neighbors just inherited three ocelots. Hopefully Toonce doesn’t decide to check out his distant cousins. This too will pass.

Toonce Wasn’t Happy…

We checked out of The KOA this morning as scheduled and actually the staff was sorry to see us leave. Let me rephrase that, they were sorry to see Toonce go. I walked into the front office and announced my departure and I was asked how Toonce was taking the move. Let me say this, he didn’t take it well at all. He meowed all the way to the Firewood Temple. 

I wound up the various cords and filled the propane tank and off we went to our next adventure. Prior to showing up at Rob’s, we made our way to a car wash. The RV was looking a bit ratty after not having moved much for now going on eight months. Toonce’s meowing ceased while I was power washing the rig but his meowing started up the moment I started the engine. 

All the while I kept telling him we would be returning on the ninth of the coming month… He had made too many friends at The KOA and he meowed whether he’d be seeing them again. It was that or he was getting car sick… Well we made it and our temporary home will be just fine… This too will pass.

In The News…

A man walks up to a police officer pumping gas and kills him in cold blood. The suspect then gave the dying officer a coup d’gras shot to the head. The perpetrator was tracked down and apprehended shortly there after. It was reported out that the district attorney would seek capital murder charges against the man; what else would he had been charged with? Firing a gun in public? 

In the waters off of North Africa, thousands of refugees are fleeing the violence of Syria. Our media is showing heart wrenching footage of people starving to death on their journey. I think a reporter for the BBC said it best, “There are no dogs and cats left in these refugee camps. They have been eaten.” Bodies of the weak have been found in the hulls of abandoned boats. Meanwhile here in The Land of The Free, we have Presidential candidates talking about keeping refugees out of our country. 

Finally, a Kentucky county clerk has decided to stop issuing marriage licenses because she doesn’t want to hand them out to gay couples. She says it goes against her religious beliefs. The usual bunch of her supporters are claiming she has the right to not do her duty. If I decided to not do my job out of religious belief, I wonder how long I would have my job…? This too will pass.

They Never Took Him Seriously.

First before I start this post, let me say I don’t think Donald Trump is in any way like the little corporal with that freaky moustashe of yesteryear.  Though I wouldn’t be surprised if he had read “My Struggle” and taken notes. Last night he started to whip his crowd of enthusiastic followers into a frenzy with his words and arm gestures. 

The simple minded need a hero who will take this country back; they also need a man who regularly attends church. As for scapegoats, he can tie our country’s failures to a certain group of “Them”. When asked how he would roundup that group, he mockingly said “Families would be kept together. You wouldn’t want to break up a family would you?”

Please remember this, the little corporal didn’t seize power, he was elected into power. At first no one at first took him seriously. What scares me is he too told his followers from the start, “I will make this country strong again. I want to take our country back.” It just sounds too familiar to me. This too will pass

Rain! Well Drops at Least…

California has been in a four year drought and things were starting to look pretty bleak. Wildfires have been burning throughout the state; just 30 miles northeast from here, two fires were so massive they linked up. Hundreds of square miles were turned black and everyone around here was wondering if Sonoma County would burn next.

This morning I woke up to tapping on my roof and now it’s getting more and more frequent. I yelled out with joy, “My God it’s raining! Thank you Lord.” A man with a coffee cup in hand passing by overheard me and called out, “It sure is! Thank you Lord!” Toonce insisted on being out last night and he paid the price for it, wet fur! The ground is actually wet. I opened the window and smelled the air, “Wonderful!” If this this is the start of El NiƱo then fantastic, now the dry thatch of what were lawns will turn green once again. You have no idea how happy I am… This too will pass.

Pick Your Battles…

Yesterday at approximately 8:30am, a man with a psychosis confronted a Oakland police officer. I guess in the game of Rock Paper Scissors, gun does beat bike chain. The mentally ill man did get a few blows in but 5 bullets from the officers 9mm put a quick stop to that fight. 

My coworker happened to be at the terminal box next to where the incident happened. He saw the police officer get struck by the chainwielding man and the officers reaction. My friend said, “The guy just stood there and then blood erupted from his mouth as he fell to the pavement dead.” 

So what does the media do, they interview people who lived near the area yet hadn’t seen what had happened. Before long a woman with a bullhorn was screaming out how the police had killed another innocent man. I’m for police not killing innocent men but if a guy came at me swinging a heavy bike chain, I would have fired too. This too will pass.

(If you want to see my friend, go to YouTube and type in Oakland man killed attacking police officer KTVU.)

Banking…

I walked into the local branch of Bank of America in Petaluma this morning. The line was out the door and around the corner. For a moment I thought, “Don’t tell me there’s a run on the banks. The stock market must have plunged once again.” No, it was Friday and being it was Friday, the bank had one overworked teller on the line. 

The line moved slowly and at one point a couple of people ahead of me just stepped out of line and made their way to their cars. At one point in frustration I said, “Don’t they care. I guess they don’t.” The lady behind me quietly agreed with me but everyone else stood silently. A branch manager came out and asked, “Who’s doing a non-cash transaction? I can help you.”

As we entered the actual doors of the institution, a bright banner welcomed us “How May We Help You? Finding Solutions to Old Problems. We Care!” If they cared, they might have more than one teller on duty on a Payday Friday. Having more than one teller working on a line; now that’s a solution. This too will pass. 

Journalism At Its Finest…

I love it when Oakland California has ties to the national news. It turns out that the man who killed those two reporters in Virginia, grew up in Oakland. So what did our local news channels do? They sent out their news vans to the address where the man once lived as a child. He hadn’t lived there in years but that didn’t stop them.

In my travels yesterday, I happened to pass by the address on 39th Ave. in the Oakland Hills. There they were, the media vultures, hoping to find a neighbor who once knew the young Vester Flanagan. Later it was revealed that young Vester had not only attended Skyline High School but also Montera Middle School.

I drove by both schools and guess what? News vans were parked at both locations. I suppose they were waiting to do a live feed for the 6 O’clock news. I can hear it now, “We’re here at Montera Middle School. Vester Flanagan attended this school 28 years ago. We tried to interview his teachers but they have since retired. We did find a janitor who still remembers him.” This too will pass.

Do You Know What’s Bad?

Lately my morning routine consists of picking up my son to get him to his part time job. One hour prior to picking him up, I call him to make sure he’s awake. Believe it or not I remind him to take a shower, shave and comb his hair and every morning he has failed to do one of requested items. They say when you suffer from schizophrenia, you can’t deal with the everyday normal things. He’ll grab his chin and say, “I shaved yesterday morning or I wear a cap.” 

What future does he have? I see a life of merely existing. Yes, he’s taking his medicine but you can see when he’s just here in body… What chance of any success does he have if at 28 a father needs to remind his son the shower and shave..? This too will pass.