Monday, May 27, 2013

On Memorial Day


(photo credit to jeff picoult photography)

I am blessed that my work is in manufacturing, and typically the “major” national holidays are given as time off with pay in my industry. I haven’t always been so fortunate, so I am grateful for the fact that a few times a year I receive a day off with pay for nothing more than the fact that it is a holiday.

I had a wonderful, peaceful weekend, and I hope you all had the same. For me a peaceful weekend is a pretty simple thing to achieve. I’m a “cheap date,” I guess you could say, and even more so since I became a little gun shy with the Jeep after the last adventure I took cost me some serious cash. I’m getting closer to taking a weekend drive to the mountains… there’s a New Moon coming up in a couple weeks, and I think that would be a great time to camp out for a night. Away from the city lights, no moon in the sky, where I can really see the stars more clearly... it just seems like the thing to do. I’m already amazed by the amount of stars I can see from here from my home, which is in the city but somewhat in the outlying area, and I am sure it’s going to be amazing to see what I’ve been missing. I’ve got a pup tent, a sleeping bag, and one of those collapsible chairs with the built in cup holder… I just need to pick up a small cooler so I can keep my beverages and some food cold, and I’m ready to go.

Anyway, that aside… I slept in on Saturday, got in a good bike ride in the late afternoon, and then watched my Diamondbacks lose a tough game against the San Diego Padres. After the game I enjoyed a nice late evening walk through the neighborhood just north of my apartments while I let the cats have some time out on the patio, then came home and watched a few episodes of “Big Bang Theory” on the DVR. It’s a cute show, and I’ve come to enjoy catching up with it in syndication. There is some typical leftist Hollywood stuff in the stories, like the lead female Penny wearing a “Hillary 2008” t-shirt and getting a “cute shirt!” compliment from a new neighbor, and some stereotyping of Sheldon’s mother as a bit of a right-wing zealot and Bible-thumper… but if you can (as I’m learning to) look past that crap and enjoy the humor and character interaction, it’s rather well written and the actors have grown into their characters well.

Sunday I woke to a nice surprise - a phone call from my Mom, who called if for no other reason to say hello, and to check and see if a package she sent had arrived safely. I enjoyed watching the Indianapolis 500; much like the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400, Indy is one of those “can’t miss” races on my calendar which I prefer to watch live rather than recorded if at all possible. Shortly after the race ended the Diamondbacks game started. I worked out through the first half of the game; working out involves resistance bands, a pull-up bar used for pushups, and a thing called the “Ab Carver” that is really, really tough to use… it is getting easier to use as my core muscles get stronger, but I’ve come to realize I had really let myself go. Around the 7th inning I was done working out and was ready to get the bike out, and since the game was good and I wanted to see the finish, I set the DVR and I was off and riding. Once I got home and cleaned up I put on the end of the game (Dbacks won), then started watching the NASCAR race… after 600 miles, two red flags and a bunch of cautions for wrecks I had almost lost interest, even with the DVR to help me cut out the seemingly endless stream of commercials. Perhaps it is understandable that NASCAR maintains the tradition of the 600 mile race on Memorial Day weekend, but I for one am glad that they have cut down the length of some of their other races.

This morning I woke up and enjoyed a couple hours of peace and quiet. The cats were outside enjoying a beautiful overcast morning on the patio; I had some oatmeal with strawberry slices… why didn’t I learn to like that at a younger age??... some (turkey) sausage patties and a glass of orange juice… and quiet. Some of my favorite moments happen when I wake up early on the weekends, listen to the chirping of the birds, and enjoy as my cats watch the ‘show’ that is nature, in the tree right outside my apartment. I’m kind of lucky, I believe, in the fact that I’ve come to appreciate what others may not understand. I look forward to the day I can get out of this apartment and own a home, don’t get me wrong… it amuses me, though, when people ask me how I can have four cats in a one bedroom apartment, and why I don’t get out and do more on the weekends. The need to get out and do stuff is not such an overwhelming feeling in me… I have, and I will again. Of that I am certain. And the cats… there’s so much love there… I know for certain that if not for me, they would not have had a chance… and I know for certain that without them, I’d not be the man I am today. After all, it takes a lot of patience and understanding to get four cats to share such a small space without tearing each other to shreds…

Not just on this day, but every day, I am so grateful to those who came before us, who gave their lives so I can wake up on the occasional Sunday morning, or on a Memorial Day Monday, and enjoy the chirping of the birds and the tranquility of a peaceful nation that is not burdened with the devastation of war within its own borders. I am able to earn my fair wage for my honest work and (for the most part) do with that income as I see fit. I have the right to praise my God, and others have the right to refuse God, and we are treated equally under the laws of this great nation. And thankfully, still, without fear of retribution, we can all speak our mind about the state of leadership of this nation, be it good or bad… and every so often we have the opportunity to affect change, with a vote for those we believe will better protect our values and our rights.

I believe there are some people who are lucky enough to live in this land, where we are free from real tyranny, who sometimes forget how lucky we are. There are some who have not been so lucky, and there are some who paid the ultimate price so we might be so blessed. So many people today ‘need’ so much… we’re such an instant gratification, “gotta have it” society… I feel like sometimes even I can succumb to this, with my DVR and my high-speed internet that I wouldn’t want to be without… but the best times in life, the ones I really wouldn’t want to be without, are those with nothing more in front of me than the little friends with whom I share this humble little home, the sounds of the chirping birds, and the beauty of the sun rising on another magnificent day.

A doubleheader today… The Diamondbacks won the first of two against The Texas Rangers, who are currently owners of the best record in baseball. It’s tied at 2 in the bottom of the 4th inning of Game 2 as I close this… I love National League baseball. Growing up in Cleveland and having watched the American League with the DH, and now seeing the strategy and coaching involved in the game where pitchers actually are a complete part of the game… I’ll take a double-switch and the challenge of deciding whether or not to have the pitcher hit in certain times of the game every day of the week, thank you…

Take care, y’all…

8 comments:

tammy said...

You are right, we are blessed. Glad you had a good weekend. I've always liked those peaceful moments when I can just be, and not have to be somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Woke up Sunday morning and watched the F1 race at Monaco. Wow! That was a good one!! A little later in the day I watched the first half of the Indy 500. Stopped at the half way point to go to wish Elissa a happy 21st birthday. I'm sure you saw a few of the I posted on fb. As soon as I walked through the door to the b-day party I saw the highlights of the Indy 500 on the HUGE tv and saw who won the race. That's one of my bigest pet peaves... Being spoiled with a race result before watching the race and seeing the result for myself :( After the party I watched the rest of the race just to see how TK won. He's been my favorite driver in IndyCar for about a decade now. Glad to see him finally win the big one. Now he can retire happy and hopefully before another stupid IndyCar incident takes him out. You might have noticed that I didn't mention anything about the 600 mile NASCAR race. Didn't watch it. Didn't want to. I have come to despise the Gen6 car and the rest of what has become of NASCAR over the past few years. My dislike of caution after caution for no real reason but to bunch up the cars for the sake of entertainment is overwhelming. The racing is follow the leader anymore and it's gotten old, fast. Oh well... I've still got F1, IndyCar (which can also be boring from time to time), and Grand-Am. Oh, and MotoGP too.
On Monday morning the whole family went Twinsburg for their Memorial Day thingie. It was nice compared to the candy throwing celebration of dead people that has consumed the Northfield/Macedonia event. The parade is full of shouting and hollering which is completely unwarranted on Memorial Day. That's supposed to be for Independence Day, isn't it? Regardless... it was nice, and somber. The girls behaved and suffered through the cold temp for close to 90 minutes.
Glad to hear that you're getting yourself back into shape. I know you used to have a rigorous workout routine. Hopefully you're headed back that way again. I'm out and about 2-3 days each week on a hike/walk doing some photography and cleansing my brain. It's my way of getting rid of the stress that is life. Looks like you've found that again, too.
See you in a few weeks in Baltimore for the reunion?
- Jeff

Soloman said...

Tammy.. thanks for saying hi :)


BTW, I was reading through some of the comments on the past few of my posts and I saw what you said about taking my cats camping.. cracked me up!! There's no way I could take a cat camping.. my crew is totally indoors and would be freaked out by the drive, let alone the outdoors.. and once I got them there I might never see them again... but the image is hilarious!

Soloman said...

Hey Anonymous Jeff... I did see your comments about seeing the Indy results. I felt for you on the 'spoiler alert' thing, yet you were doing something much more important than watching a race and I know you put that in perspective.. such is the nature of the 24-hour news, sports and information world we now live in, I suppose. As far as NASCAR goes.. I'll respectfully disagree with you about the Gen6 car, I think in many instances it has made the racing better. California finally had a good race, and the short track racing, I think, has been as good as ever. Daytona and 'Dega were both good races and I'm glad they can't do the 2-car 'tandem' draft anymore.. I think the problem w/ NASCAR is all the 1.5 mile tracks and the dominance of a few teams, including mostly Hendrick and Gibbs.. and all the commercials. Thank goodness for the DVR.. We've had this discussion before, but I think if they got rid of a few races (like 2x at MI, ATL, NH, TX and CA for instance) they'd be better served. A 25-race schedule with more breaks perhaps? And more road races!! Plus Danica-mania.. I guess it's like what you think of Jimmie all the time, but at least he's winning. I'm honestly sick of her... I know she's a woman in a man's sport and that's a big deal, and I am happy for her that she's had a couple of decent runs.. but she really should have run Nationwide a year or two more before being elevated to the 'big show.' And this thing with her and her boyfriend.. doesn't she know workplace relationships never work out? Alright, I'm off my soapbox...

I fully appreciate and agree with your perspective about Memorial Day vs. Independence Day, and the candy-throwing jubilation vs. somber and reflective. I thought your picture captured the feeling of the weekend perfectly, which is why I borrowed it. hope you don't mind...

Good to see you're out & about more... are you taking Roxie with you? I've been surprised not to see some shots of her on the trails. If my cats were dogs I'd have them out all the time.. and I've actually considered a harness for Louie, my chubby Siamese. I think he would love it once he got used to the harness. I am getting back in shape, and enjoying the process.. like you mentioned, it is also good 'mental health' time too. For me.. the 4 pair of 38 jeans I just bought a couple months ago are definitely wishing they were 36's... which is a good thing! I'm not as consistent as I once was, when I was up every day at 4am working out and riding every evening.. but I'm definitely getting muscle work 3-4 days a week and riding as much as you've seen on FB.. averaging 3-4 days a week I guess? I have a good set of trails right here close to home and a public sidewalk-path that connects them, which is mostly where I ride. For a shorter, 'sprint' ride I hit the roads in the residential areas to the north and west of my apartments.. I can do about 10 miles within a 4 square mile quadrant here, well inside of one hour, yet come home plenty winded. I've taken the bike up by my workplace just once, where there's some wide-open road leading to lots of hills, and I've yet to venture back down to Papago Park and Dreamy Draw where I used to ride before the accident. Soon...

Reunion.. I have not yet scheduled a flight with Dad. I'll leave it at that, for now...

mCat said...

What a beautiful post. in fact, from beginning to end, I feel peaceful. You exude peace my friend. Contentment and happiness. I'm gonna just borrow some of that light for a bit k?

Soloman said...

Hey mCat.. when I wrote this it was toward the end of a nice 3 1/2 day weekend, so I'm sure that had something to do with it. I did see a trailer for some 'chick flick' this weekend... and the older, wise gentleman said something about how it's (paraphrasing here) "not the love of one person, but the love of life" and I think that's a big part of it too. I'm done worrying about meeting someone (or not), and I'm making it about me. It's taken me a while, and it's still a work in progress, but I'm getting better at it. I am getting in a groove, of sorts.. getting out a handful of evenings is good, and the exercise time is good for the mind too, as I know you're aware... since you just joined "the happiest gym on earth" lol!! I'm starting to mix it up now too.. gonna start doing some hiking so I'm not constantly on the bike.. don't need saddle sores.. lol.. so if you believe you can glean some 'light' from me.. I'm all good with that. :)

Anonymous said...

Gentlemen,
this is John Rambo, Anti-Feminist Soldier. I am posting this on behalf of Peter-Andrew: Nolan© also now known as Joschua-Brandon: Boehm©. I am doing this because, as a young men who knows Peter well, I know he has our best interests at heart.

Gentlemen,
It is well known that five years ago, April 2008, I spent a month suicidal as I went through the process of disowning my former children. When I came out of that rather unpleasant experience I contacted other men who had been similarly affected. I realized that many men were killing themselves because of the criminal abuse of the family law courts all across the western English speaking world.

As a direct result of this experience, and my compassion for my fellow men, I made a vow in June 2008 to re-introduce the rule of law into Australia and Ireland. Naturally, at the time I made the vow I had no idea how that might be done. We call it “throw your hat over the wall”. You make the vow and “figure it out later”.

Along the way I have talked to many tens of thousands of men, perhaps as many as 100,000 men have seen at least one comment by me one way or another. What I heard from men in 2008 was that they were DESPERATE for a remedy for the crimes being committed against them in the family courts. They were DESPERATE to find a way to end the criminal effects of feminism on their lives. Because so many men told me the same thing I mistook this to mean they actually WANTED to solve the problems of the family courts and feminism. As I said. My mistake.

Through very extensive research and labour, and collaborating with the best and brightest, the remedy for both the family courts and feminism was proven on 2009-11-26. A mere 18 months after I was suicidal. The court meeting that I did on 2009-11-26 I regard as one of the finest achievements of my life. Regardless? The very men I risked my life to create a remedy for have ignored that remedy, preferring to whine, bitch, moan and complain because that is far more rewarding to them than actually solving their problems. If they solved their problems they would have nothing to whine, bitch, moan and complain about.

The remedy has now been available 2.5 times as long as it took to develop and has proved uniquely unpopular. I am hated for even talking about it. The blood of every man who kills himself due to criminal abuse in the family courts is on the hands of those perhaps 100,000+ men who have heard from me and done nothing. I did all I could. They did not. It is actually very simple.

The mechanism for men to free themselves now is the Mens Business Association. The MBA provides individual based services to get men out of the control grid. Such services may well save the mans life from suicide. Going forward? It is necessary to create second economy outside the control of any government entity. Why criminals in governments can dominate and control men via the economy they will continue to do so. There is no reason for them to stop. The MBA is the proposal of a second economy outside the control of the government. This is a NECESSARY ingredient for men to live in freedom.

Only a small percentage of men will want to live in freedom. Those men who want to live in freedom? You are invited to watch a short update on how we are going in our efforts to get the second economy going. Naturally? The second economy will grow just as quickly or slowly as men join in and contribute to it. Those who want to “stick with the government run economies”? You are welcome to do so. I wish you luck with that because you are going to need it.

best regards

your brother peter

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGXDBDzsAk0

blackandgoldfan said...

Soloman: So glad to see you're still blogging. I often think about all yinz and hope all is well with everyone. Just stopped by to say "hey yinz" and to let you know that I expect to see a Steelers header come fall. Take care and Godspeed, bud!!! -- blackngoldfan