07-14-17 Update

What I’m reading
I finished reading The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England by Carol F. Karlsen. I found it interesting and quite informative. Although these witch trails occurred over 300 years ago, I see similarities in the way the conservative movement’s attempts to regulate women’s heath care and reproductive rights. In America we have nearly a 400 year history of fearing independent women and and in the current regime that fear is as prevalent as it was in the 17th century.

Our society still holds centuries old assumptions about women’s place in society and how they ought to behave. We also have a deeply embedded tendency in our society to hold women to hold women ultimately responsible for violence committed against them. That tendency and those assumptions still grip us as much today as they did in 17th century New England. However, that paradigm seems to be in its death throes and the longstanding patriarchy is desperately trying to hold on to them as women continue to voice their discontent and dissatisfaction. I say good riddance to it.

I’m now reading Lucid Dreaming by Charlie Morley. I’ve had an interest in the subject and I want to learn more about it. I’m finding that it’s not as easy as I’d thought it would be. Maybe I’ve perceiving it as more difficult than it is or I just need more practice and open my mind to it.

What I’ve been listening to
This week I listened an episode of Star Talk Radio, called Let’s Make America Smart Again. The discussion talked about what draws scientific talent to a university or a country for that matter. It’s not necessarily about the money but rather the quality and intelligence of the colleagues and post graduate students they work with. By cutting funding to public universities and dumbing them down, we do our nation a great disservice. We can make America great by shoring up its educational institutions, particularly in public education and by making Americans smart.

We become great by attracting greatness and being in the company of greatness. We cannot create greatness on our own. We are not great because we declared ourselves to be great but because the world perceives us a great.

What I’ve been watching
Though it’s in the ‘chick-flick’ genre, I recently watched the first season of Anne with an E on NetFlix. It started with my granddaughter wanting to watch it and I kind of got hooked.

Quotes I’ve been pondering
“The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.” ~ Aung San Suu Kyi

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.” ~ Aung San Suu Kyi

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today is National Nude Day and this week is Nude Recreation Week. I don’t have any particular plans for these occasions. I really don’t need a special day or week, just a place and an opportunity. Here are  a few related quotes:

“Nudism is about comfort, freedom, friendship, and acceptance. Nudism is a way of life and a belief that the nude human body is not inherently sexual or obscene. We only have one body and one life to live. We should learn to accept ourselves and others as they are and for who they are.” ~ Anna Smith

“Don’t be so serious. Don’t make nudism a religion. It is a thing of joy. Try to get some joy into your own system! Let it overflow, so that it may spread among your friends!” ~ Julian Strange (1934)

“Why should we think nudity is such a revolting thing in a land where there is so much violence and corruption and racism and hatred? Nudity seems like a welcome relief from all the bullshit in life.” ~ Anthony Kiedis

07-07-17 update

Event I attended
We had a family cookout on the 4th with enough food to feed several families. We’re still eating leftovers. It was good to have the family together, well most of them. My eldest grandson was visiting Chicago with his girlfriend’s family.

A relaxing evening
After my younger son and his family had gone home, my eldest son went out for the evening, and my wife went out to visit some of her friends, I had the house to myself which is a situation that I often enjoy. With mowing the lawn, preparing for the cookout, and everything else, I was a bit hot and sweaty by the evening and ready for a shower.

Since no one else was home, I could find no compelling reason to get dressed after my shower and enjoyed several hours of I call “nude solitude.” I turned on the television and placed a large bath towel on the recliner (proper nudist etiquette) and just relaxed in my natural state. I’d occasionally get up to find something to snack on but most of the time I was just chilling out in my birthday suit. My naked time is sacred and precious to me and I don’t get enough of it. It’s hard to describe the sensations of comfort, relaxation, and liberation I feel when I can be nude for an extended period of time. It’s something that has to be experienced to be appreciated.

Facebook memory of the week
July 6, 2009: “Had that dream where I was the only one naked. In this dream everyone was totally oblivious to my nudity. It was no big deal. Cool, eh?” Facebook offered up the same memory on this date last year and I commented on it in MojoNude: Naked Dream Memory. It’s my Utopian hippie dream to live in a society where simple nudity is accepted as just another clothing option and the sight of bare buttocks, a penis, a scrotum, a vulva, or an exposed nipple is no more noteworthy or shocking than an ear, a foot, or a hand. I want to live in a world where the human body is accepted as natural and body shame is just a relic of the past that causes people to wonder how anyone could have lived like that.

Purchase I’m loving
We purchased our first new living room set in about 30 years last week and it was delivered this past Saturday. Each piece has sections that recline and they are quite comfortable. The old furniture was either 30 years old or given to us by friends so it was nice to have something new to sit on for a change. We’ll be in debt for a while but I’m hoping to pay it off in about a year to avoid interest charges.

What I’m reading
I’m still reading The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England by Carol F. Karlsen. I need to pick up my Kindle or open a book more often than I do. I guess there are too many other distractions.

Quotes I’ve been pondering
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” ~ Audre Lorde

“Why do we, as a culture and as a society, insist that we must to be protected from that which is not likely to harm us? ” ~ R.B. Romig

“No one can imagine how wonderful it is to experience social nudity without actually experiencing it. To hear it is not enough, transformation only comes from the experience of clothes free.” ~ sassycoupleok

“There’s no shame in nudity. It’s simply human. The photo of me nude is no more sexual than of me clothed. It’s all in our minds. I’m an “out” nudist. I hope more will join me. It’s time for society to realize it’s really not a fringe thing – we are your neighbors, dentists, auto mechanics, and friends. It is time to legalize simple nudity.” ~ Anonymous

“Anytime you get a wild urge to really connect with your inner self, try nude meditation. There is something amazing about releasing the standard boundaries that modern society places on you and really connecting with your inner self. Nude meditation allows all the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical benefits of meditation.” ~ Patrick Ray, Energy Healing Info

“By meditating without your clothes on, you can go back to being as you were once you came into this world. Your naked self is what truly is important, and what you could call your natural state. Many cultures teach us that being naked is something we should be ashamed about, and that we should hide our imperfections. By practicing nude meditation, I am able to disconnect my physical body from its sexual nature, and accept what I truly am.” ~ Meditation Relax Club

06-30-17 Update

Event I attended
On Saturday Tina, Abigail, and I attended the grand opening of Kuya Ian’s Bistro in Columbus where the Sayaw FilipinOH gave a benefit performance. The staff made us feel very welcome and the Filipino cuisine was great. Everyone in attendance enjoyed the performance.

KuyaIanBistro-170624

What I’ve been reading
The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England by Carol F. Karlsen. As expected, it is interesting with a lot of demographic data about the women (and a few men) who were accused of witchcraft (and many executed for it) in early colonial New England. It turns out that the social and economic factors in the New England witchcraft trials were much different than the eariler trials in England and Europe.

TDitSoaW

What I’m watching
I just started watching GLOW on NetFlix. It’s a series about a Hollywood director trying to create a television wrestling show featuring women wrestlers. I haven’t had much if any interest in “professional” wrestling since I was a kid but I guess I’m drawn to this program on a different level. Maybe it’s the characters I’m drawn to.

Project I’m working on
The kids have been reorganizing their garage, tearing out the shelving and cabinets that came with the house and installing new shelves and storage that fits their needs better. It was inevitable that I’d get involved but that’s okay because it will benefit me as well since I store a lot of my tools there because I don’t have a garage. To be honest, none of us is sure who owns some of the tools, not that it really matters. We’re family and we share what we have. I’m hoping that with the reorganization, I’ll be able to store a few more tools. And now I’m feeling motivated to clean out my shed.

Quotes I’ve been pondering
“There is an objective reality out there, but we view it through the spectacles of our beliefs, attitudes, and values.” ~ David G. Myers

“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.” ~ Edward P. Morgan

“Shit flows downhill. Rarely does anything positive ever trickle down. Positive change generally rises from the bottom in spite of the scum floating at the top trying to hold it down.” ~ R.B. Romig, 27 June 2017

“Let’s stop pretending that pants are even necessary. It’s time we progress as a society.” ~ Goddess of Mischief ‏@ShanaRose21

06-23-17 update

Sorry for not posting last Friday but I just didn’t have anything of interest to post and I’m not sure I have anything of interest this week either.

Events I’ve attended
My wife and I attended two lovely weddings. Both took place at the same venue and were officiated by the same pastor. I actually knew the second couple and I’m sure my wife knew, at least casually, everyone at both weddings. In the past year or so I’ve been becoming more and more integrated with the local Filipino community here through my granddaughter’s involvement with the Sayaw FilipinOH dance group , through social interactions with my wife’s Filipino friends, and the local Filipino-American Association. It’s definitely a good thing that I’m becoming more involved as I’ve pretty much been on the fringes for many years.

Things I’ve been listening to
I’ve always enjoyed writing I enjoyed it school (elementary, secondary, and university) but it’s a skill that has gotten a bit rusty over the years. I do occasionally have moments of inspiration in which I produce the occasional rant on a blog but I’ve been yearning to write something more substantial. Now and then I run across a webinar purporting to reveal some secrets to great writing. Usually, they’re inducements to enroll in some sort of online course costing hundreds of dollars, which, of course, is beyond my meager financial resources. Still, I usually get a few ideas and tips from them.

I don’t have any aspirations of becoming a professional writer. Much of what I do write is for my own pleasure or amusement. Sometimes I write as a way to work out ideas which are occasionally released into the wild via my blogs. Lately, I’ve been looking at writing as a means of looking into the shadows and getting to know myself on a deeper level. I’ve also been taken by the idea of writing down and sharing some of the stories of my life experiences which seems like it would be more fun and exciting than probing my inner demons.

What I’ve been reading
After putting it down for a while I finished The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin. I found it interesting. I had ancestors and cousins who lived in the Dakotas when this blizzard occurred on one related family that was traveling when it struck. Several of them lost limbs or were blinded from the frostbite. They were unable to maintain their homestead and moved back to Ohio.

Now I’m reading The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England by Carol F. Karlsen. That promises to be interesting reading.

Quotes I’ve been pondering
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been pondering solitude and the benefits of spending time alone. Here is a small sampling of my favorite quotes on the subject.

“The power to bring me out of solitude – or to push me back into it – had never belonged to another person. It was mine and only mine.” ~ Martha Beck

“To dare to live alone is the rarest courage; since there are many who had rather meet their bitterest enemy in the field, than their own hearts in their closet.” ~ Charles Caleb Colton

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. “ ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

“Learn to be alone and to like it. There is nothing more freeing and empowering than learning to like your own company. ” ~ Mandy Hale

“But when I looked closer, I saw the footprints were mine. I had walked it alone. I knew then I no longer needed to believe in myths to be strong. ” ~ Fishbo Jangles

“I like being alone. I have control over my own shit. Therefore, in order to win me over, your presence has to feel better than my solitude. You’re not competing with another person, you are competing with my comfort zones. ” ~ Horatio Jones

“Only when totally alone and in a naked state, do we know the total truth of who we truly are!” ~ Aleta Nelson

“Solitude does not necessarily mean living apart from others; rather, it means never living apart from one’s self. It is not about the absence of other people—it is about being fully present to ourselves, whether or not we are with others.” ~ Parker Palmer

“All of man’s difficulties are caused by his inability to sit quietly in a room by himself.” ~ Blaise Pascal

“What is needed is, in the end, simply this: solitude, great inner solitude. Going into yourself and meeting no one for hours on end—that is what you must be able to attain.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ~ Henry David Thoreau , Walden

“I think it is very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” ~ Oscar Wilde

06-09-17 update

Although I stayed busy all week, I don’t have much for this update, probably because I was busy with the same things all week.

Projects I’m working on
I currently have two outdoor projects in the works. One is extending my patio along the back of the house using the paver stones I dug up from my son’s house (see 05-09-17 update). It turned out that 60 was just the right number of stones for the project. I dug out the area to a depth of about three-and-a-half inches which wasn’t a particularly pleasant task, especially with daytime temperatures in the mid-80s. The clay soil, rocks and debris, and roots didn’t help. Once I got it dug up and reasonably level, I put in a two-inch layer of sand (give or take) and set the stones on top. On most home improvement shows this would be an afternoon project or a day at the most. I spent four days on it.

My daughter-in-law came up with another project for me. The gate to their privacy fence is in pretty bad shape and that portion of the fence runs at a rather odd angle from the property line to the corner of the use. She wants me to extend the fence another eight feet along the property line so the front section, with the gate, so there will be a square corner where the front side meets the house. Of course, the fence posts are securely embedded in concrete so they won’t be easy to dig out. (Yes, I still have the concrete to break up for her.)

What I’ve been watching
On Monday, I noticed that Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein was streaming on NetFlix so I just had to watch it. I love that he filmed it in black-and-white. Shooting it in color just would not have worked. I’d like to see more feature films done in black-and-white, it’s a very powerful medium and it takes skill for a director to manipulate the lighting and shadows properly to achieve the required effects.

Quotes I’m pondering
“Truth lies within ourselves; it takes no rise from outward things, whatever you may believe. There is an inmost center in us all, where truth abides in fullness and to know rather consists in opening out a way whence the imprisoned splendor may escape that in effecting entry for light supposed to be without.” ~ Robert Browning

“Denying the darkness doesn’t get rid of the darkness, it just leaves us more vulnerable to its appearance in our lives. We can approach the darkness, ever so carefully to learn about the monsters within ourselves. With knowledge, then we can avoid being caught with our pants down. We can avoid becoming a victim of our darker self.” ~ Robert G. Longpré, Naturist Lens: The Problem of Shadow Denied

“To be nude under the sun at the water’s edge is the natural way. … To be for the free beaches is to be human, in a dawning age of great consciousness and freedom.” ~ Lee Baxandall

“Everyone tells you what to do and what’s good for you. They don’t want you to find your own answers. They want you to believe theirs.” ~ Socrates

“Blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge.” ~ Paulo Coelho

06-02-17 update

Event I attended
On Sunday Abigail and I traveled to Columbus, Ohio for the Asian Festival at Franklin Park. Sayaw FilipinOH did two performances, one in the Amphitheater and later inside in the Adventure Center. Abigail and the rest of the troupe gave great performances.

Sayaw-170528a
Sayaw FilipinOH at Columbus Asian Festival, 28 May 2017

Projects I’m working on
We worked on the garden and did some associated maintenance as well. I put the fence around the garden back up, repaired the garden hose and replaced the nozzles for both the front and back hoses. I also fabricated and erected things to support the climbing plants. So far, most of the plants seem to be growing well.

Another dumb-ass thing I did
In last week’s update I forgot to mention the other dumb-ass thing I did that weekend. I forgot that one should not toss water on hot coals. I quickly remembered why one shouldn’t do that. I got burns on the fingers of my right hand, between my hand and the first knuckle. I was also burned on the underside of my right forearm. It hurt like hell. At first I thought they might be only first-degree burns but later that evening, the pain still hadn’t subsided and a few blisters were beginning to appear. I probably should have gone to urgent care but I got some burn spray and gauze pads at the corner drugstore and treated it myself. The lidocaine in the spray helped to relieve the pain. The burn on my arm began to peel around mid-week and the fingers are just starting to peel. Both areas are still rather red.

Quotes I’m pondering
“Most people do not see their beliefs. Instead, their beliefs tell them what to see. This is the simple difference between clarity and confusion.” – Matt Kahn

“I like being alone. I have control over my own shit. Therefore, in order to win me over, your presence has to feel better than my solitude. You’re not competing with another person, you are competing with my comfort zones.” – Horatio Jones

“Choices. Choices have consequences. Do I settle for a choice that leaves me in the shadows, on the fringes of depression, or do I choose to lose even more?” – Robert G. Longpré, Sky Clad Therapist – The Naked Psyche: There’s Darkness in the Sunshine

“The idea of a belt holding my pants up seems so 20th century. Imagine a world where your pants are held high by your self-esteem. But it’s a silly notion, really, because in a world such as that, nobody would even wear pants.” – Jarod Kintz, This Book Has No Title

“That flesh is corruptible is indisputable – the body will rot after death. That it has a corrupting feature is nonsense. The naked body does not corrupt innocent minds.” – T.L. Lim, My Life as a Naturist: A Justification For Naturism

“Feeling the breeze on your bare body is soothing to the soul.” ~ Kathy Barron

“I’d go somewhere where no one spoke. I would take a stack of books up to my hips, and I’d read nonstop. And I’d be reading naked.” ~ Linda Hamilton, on what she’d do with a day to herself

05-26-17 update

Events I attended
On Saturday, we hosted a graduation party for our eldest grandson, Jacob. We were concerned about the weather and a couple of heavy showers hit while we were setting up but we were fortunately blessed with good weather for the party itself.

As with any Pinoy social function there was plenty of food, naturally resulting in plenty of leftovers and we actively encourage people to take home as much as they wanted. A lot of the guest were my wife’s friends, some of my daughter-in-law’s family, and Jacob’s friends from choir. I’d have to say it was quite successful.

On Sunday evening we attended Jacob’s graduation ceremony. Ben was part of the hand playing Pomp and Circumstance and a few other songs. The program had the choir senors perform two numbers so we got to hear him sing again.

Dumb ass thing I did
Just before going the graduation, I got something out of my truck and accidentally locked my keys inside it. The next day I went down to the Chevy dealership to inquire about getting a new key made. I only had one key and I’d been meaning to get a spare since I bought the truck six-and-a-half years ago. I called roadside assistance and had someone come by and unlock the truck fro me. I found the keys behind the seat. On Tuesday, I had a spare key made. I also finally got around to getting hard copies of my vehicle titles, something else I’d been meaning to get done.

Technology issues
The satellite receiver box for the bedroom TV went out. The satellite provide sent out a new box and, surprisingly, I received it the next day. I had to make a couple calls to customer support to get it set up. It was a High Definition receiver and I couldn’t receive the HD channels since my account is for standard definition. Once I got that resolved, I found I wasn’t getting the international channels. A tech came out this morning, made some changes in my setup, and tweaked the dish alignment a bit. He suggested that I trim some of the branches of the tree that hangs over that corner of the house which I did later in the afternoon.

Quotes I’m pondering
“Whatever the circle of hell in which we live, I think we are free to break out of it. And if people do not break out, they stay there of their own free will.” – Jean-Paul Sartr

“You don’t seem to understand you are in prison. If you are to get out of prison the first thing you must realize is: You are in prison. If you think you are free, you can’t escape.” – George Ivanovich Gurdjieff