09-29-17 Update

What I’m reading
I’m reading Lucid Dreaming Plan and Simple by Robert Waggoner. I’m taking notes as I read so it’s going to take me a while. It’s his second book on lucid dreaming but the book I probably should have read first. Oh, well.

This week I trimmed trees and other plant life in my backyard as well as in my son’s backyard. On Thursday morning I hauled three truck loads of branches to the city’s’ yard waste site before they closed. I still have at least one more load left. I haven’t decided whether to wait until Thursday when the city’s site is open again or to load it up and haul to the county facility on the other side of the county. At least most people don’t tailgate me when I’m hauling a load of brush down the interstate through downtown Dayton. Of coarse, there’s always one idiot out there.

Events attended
It’s homecoming week here and I happen to live on the route for the homecoming parade. I’ve also got two grandchildren in the marching band. The homecoming game was this evening and I worked behind the scenes in the concession booth during the first half of the game. The game was sold out so I was busy. I spent two hours popping and boxing popcorn, dispensing fried chicken in cups, and handing out slices of pizza. My son and I finished our shift just before half-time. We watched the half-time festivities but  since it was homecoming and alumni night, the band didn’t do their usual show because they had a lot of alumni marching with them. Afterward, we decided to leave early and avoid the inevitable traffic jams.

This week’s quote:
“If there’s nothing wrong with me maybe there’s something wrong with the Universe.”
~ Dr. Beverly Crusher, Star Trek TNG: Remember Me


09-22-17 Update

What I’m reading
I furnished reading Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self by Robert Waggoner. I read it on my Kindle and I took a lot of notes, especially when it came to tips and techniques. Now I’m starting his second book, Lucid Dreaming Plain and Simple. I’m hoping to learn more and have lucid dreams.

Projects I’m working on
The weather was nice this week so I concentrated on outdoor projects. I spent a couple of days edging the driveway and the sidewalks, a task that I’ve neglected for a couple of years.

Events attended
High school football game on Friday night. I’ve come to enjoy watching athletic events at this level although I’m primarily there for the marching band. It’s great to see these kids playing music and thoroughly enjoying what they’re doing. They put on a good half-time show but I look forward to when they take the field after the game and really boogie down. It used to be an impromptu thing where the percussionists would take to the field and start jamming while the rest of the band would dance to the beat they laid down. This year it’s a bit more organized. The band forms up and plays a couple of numbers with perhaps a bit more improvisation than allowed for the half-time show. It’s worth hanging around after the football team has left the field.

On Saturday, my wife attended a mass for Our Lady of Peñafrancia at a Catholic church in Dayton while I sat in the church basement reading a book. I probably could have dropped her off and gone back home but I knew there would plenty of food afterward. Food is central to any Filipino gathering.

On Sunday we attended a picnic for the local Philippine-American Society (Phil-Am) annual elections. Of course, there was plenty of food. I overheard one of the organizer commenting about so many people bringing food after being told the the Phil-Am would be providing it. In the Filipino community most feel that they need to contribute something and to share it with others.

Quote I’m pondering
“Questioning our own motives, and our own process, is critical to a skeptical and scientific outlook. We must realize that the default mode for human psychology is to grab onto comforting beliefs for purely emotional reasons, and then justify those beliefs to ourselves with post-hoc rationalizations.” ~ Dr. Steven Novella

09-15-17 Update

What I’m reading
I’ve barely touched my Kindle in the past week. I’m still in Chapter 18 (last chapter) of Lucid Dreams: Gateway to the Inner Self.  I’ve been reading articles from the online magazine Lucid Dreaming Experience and YouTube videos about lucid dreaming.

Events I attended
I attended the high school’s home game on Friday. My son and I worked at the concession stand for most of the first half of the game. It’s something that band parents have to do to support their kids in the making band and since he has two kids in the band this year, he’s expected to “volunteer” twice as much so I help him out and work the concessions with him. We were done with our shift before half-time so we were able to see the band perform. I missed the school’s annual band festival on Saturday due to another family event but they have another home game this Friday.

On Saturday my wife and I attended my niece’s wedding. It was a nice outdoor ceremony held at a wedding pavilion located in a scenic rural area just north of where I live. Since all my sisters and I were in attendance along with my father and a nephew and his wife, my sister (mother of the bride) decided that a family picture would be included in that standard wedding party pictures. It’s not that often we all get together. My brother didn’t make the trip but my nephew stood in for him.

The reception was held in the pavilion itself which open-air but screened. The catered meal was pretty good. It was nice to talk with my nephew and I’m sure he felt likewise since I’m about the only one in the family with whom he feels he can have an intelligent conversation.

Miscellaneous happenings
This week two aggravations disappeared from my life. The neighbor’s crabapple tree was cut down so there will be no more crab apples or the other associated filth from that tree raining down on my driveway. Now I’m waiting for someone to cut down the neighbor’s tree that’s leaning against my fence.

The other thing to disappear from my life was the 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix that had been sitting next to the house for the last 10 months. It had been my grandson’s car until he bought one on his own (sort of since I co-signed the loan). I had to use jumper cables to charge the battery and get it started. Yesterday afternoon my daughter-in-law sold it. I was relieved to have it out of my driveway.

Quote I’m pondering
“Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.” ~ William James

09-08-17 Update

What I’m reading
I took a short break from Lucid Dreams: Gateway to the Inner Self and read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne. It was a nice change of pace and a pleasant diversion. I found the play script to be quite engaging yet, in some ways, a bit disappointing.

In many places I got the feeling that in some of the “alternate realities” some of the characters didn’t quite ring true. Being a play script, the back stories are left to the the reader, actor, and director to interpret and fill in whereas in a novel, the author, more often than not, fills in the details.

There also seemed to be “facts” that didn’t line up with the history from the books and movies. I realize that the films often deviated from the novels and I can’t always place in which medium the events took place. One instance is that Cursed Child has Bellatrix LeStrange in Azkaban but in The Deathly Hallows, (book and movie) Molly Weasley kills her in the Battle of Hogwarts. There is also the matter of the Polyjuice potion. In Chamber of Secrets, it takes Hermione at least a month the create the potion and it tastes incredibly foul while in Curse Child, it’s readily made and the taste, while unpleasant, is palatable. I’m not by any means a Potter-geek but even I noticed these aberrations.

Probably the one thing that stuck with me with this story was the dangers of using time travel to correct mistakes in the past. If we could change things in the past, we can’t know the ramifications that will result. In my reading, I saw a line about “infecting time” that I have not been able to locate again. That line, resonates well with my own thoughts about the potential consequences of traveling in time. I’m opposed to the idea. I think the past has played out just as it was supposed to but in the present moment we make choices that shape our future.

In Lucid Dreams: Gateway to the Inner Self I’m in the last chapter. I read the chapter on interacting with the deceased earlier in the week. I found that chapter quite intriguing and the possibility of making contact with long passed ancestors is exciting. The chapter talked about how religious beliefs or beliefs about an afterlife may be obstacles but I have had a few experiences in the years since my mother’s passing that have hopefully left me open to the possibilities.

Project I’ve been working on
I finally got around to making the step-stool that my wife had been asking me to build for months. I made it the correct height for her and now I just need to put a protective coating on it and finish it up. It’s no masterpiece but it does the job but she’s happy with it. If she’s happy, I”m happy.

Quote I’ve been pondering
“Your religious beliefs should never be imposed upon anyone, including yourself. ” ~ R.B. Romig

Weekend plans
Tonight I’m scheduled to work the concession stand that the high school football game with my son. He has two kids in the marching band this year and band parents are obligated to pitch in and I’m helping him out. With any luck I’ll be able to see them perform at half-time.

I’ll miss seeing them perform on Saturday at the 50th Anniversary Half-Time USA Marching Band Festival because I’ll be attending my niece’s wedding. I always try to attend the band festival. It’s a chance to see my grandchildren perform (and this year will be the only year they’re both in the band) and it’s a chance to see other high school marching bands strut their stuff. It’s not a competition but a showcase for the bands. It’s an enjoyable evening watching a lot of talented high school kids perform. Not everything has to be a competition.

08-25-17 Update

Event attended
This past Saturday my 45th high school reunion. It was a small, low-key affair held at a local Italian bistro. I’d estimate that maybe 40 out of about 325 graduates (yearbook count). We had a larger turnout at the Class 60th birthday party three years ago (about 85). We’ve been having annual gatherings since then.

Until the 60th birthday bash, I hadn’t attended any reunions. I was overseas when they had the 10th and 20th reunions. I tried to make it to the 25th but something came up. I’m not sure there were plans for the 30th and 40th reunions.

Truth is, I lost track of my classmates almost immediately after graduation. Other than having gone to school with them for 6 to 12 years, I didn’t feel that I had that much in common with them. After 45 years, that really hasn’t changed much. I’m not particularly nostalgic and I view different periods of my life as chapters in my life story. Sometimes characters make cameo appearances in later chapters.

My life since high school hasn’t been anything I could have imagined while in high school. Nor can I imagine my life if I had not left my hometown. All I can be sure of is that it would have been quite different. I’m grateful for the life I’ve had and the blessings I now enjoy are a result of path I chose long ago. Would I have done some things differently or made different choices. In hindsight, maybe. But every choice I’ve made, good or bad, has led me to where I am now. Who can say how any deviation from that path might have altered my present? I really don’t see any purpose in pondering that. In some ways I’m much the same as I was then but in many other ways I’ve evolved and grown so the last 45 years haven’t been wasted.

What I’m reading
Still working my way through Lucid Dreams: Gateway to the Inner Self. I think I’m at the beginning of chapter 16. I still haven’t experienced a lucid dream but I’ve had some unusual dreams in the last couple of weeks. I’ve read that taking 100mg of vitamin B6 before bed can lead to more vivid colorful dreams. I had a vivid experience the first night I tried it but haven’t noted any effects since then. I’m not even sure that one experience was a dream as I seemed to be aware that I was awake with my eyes closed. I’ve also begun to transform my sporadic meditation practice into a part of my daily routine.

Quote I’m pondering
“Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.” ~ Unknown

Most people like the idea of freedom but, in reality, freedom scares the shit out of them and they resent or even hate those who choose to be free. When you are free you have to think critically, think for yourself, and take responsibility for your actions. Most are not ready or willing to do those things. Far too many people are content with others granting or withdrawing their freedom as if it was some kind of privilege. Freedom is not a privilege; it is your birthright! You were born to be free.

07-28-17 Update

What I’m reading
I read How to Master Lucid Dreaming: Your Practical Guide to Unleashing the Power of Lucid Dreaming by Sean Kelly. (It was only 99 cents on Amazon.) I got got some insight and a few tips from it like setting some simple goals and writing down some motivations for wanting to do lucid dreaming. He also some advice for developing prospective memory and using that in conjunction with practicing reality checks. Another idea that I found interesting was doing a short “day cleanse” ritual before going to bed to let go of the day’s stress and tensions. I was disappointed that while he mentioned several techniques for lucid dreaming, he only provided instructions for one, the MILD technique, because he felt it was the easiest for most people.

I’m now reading Lucid Dreams: Gateway to the Inner Self by Robert Waggoner which immediately grabbed my interest with the first paragraph. I’m feeling a bit more positive and confident about lucid dreaming now.

I also have Charlie Morley’s first book, Dreams of Awakening: Lucid Dreaming and Mindfulness of Dream and Sleep on my Kindle. I liked his Lucid Dreaming: A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming Conscious in your Dreams. (See 07-21-17 Update )

Quote I’m pondering
“Procrastination is fine but if you take it too far, it turns into extravagant self destruction.” ~ Unknown

07-21-17 Update

What I’m reading
I finished Lucid Dreaming: A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming Conscious in your Dreams by Charlie Morley. I’m interested in learning more about it and reading more books on the subject. I saw references to works by Robert Waggoner and Stephen LaBerge. I’ve also found several interesting YouTube videos. I’ve been trying to use some of the techniques although at this point I’m focusing on remembering dreams. It will come to me. Maybe with more research I might find a technique that works better for me.

Projects I’m working on
I’ve been having trouble with one of my ceiling fans for a while. I was going through a lot of bulbs and after the last replacement, the best it would do was flicker, if it worked at all. I got tired of eating my dinner in the dark so I replaced it. The new fan uses LED bulbs using a standard base. The old one used incandescent bulbs with a candelabra base. My daughter-in-law has gone through a lot of bulbs with the same model fan. That’s what we get for going cheap.

I installed an identical fan for the other side of the room when they’re both lit, the room is much brighter than I can remember it. For some reason the two separate circuits. The one over the dining table is on the same circuit as most of the kitchen outlets which sort of makes sense. The other one is on the same circuit as the kitchen lights. The strange thing about it is that it was probably originally been an overhead garage light before the garage was converted. The electrical wiring in my house is not necessarily logical. Portions of it makes sense while some of it leaves me scratching my head.

Eventually I’m going to be installing ceiling fans were they don’t currently exist. That should be a lot of fun, crawling around in the attic and running wires. It’s always something.

Quote I’ve been pondering
“I’m not getting old, I’m evolving.” ~ Keith Richards