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Thread: Daily Bread

  1. #171
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    Losing a best friend is hard. I lost 2 of my dogs within the last 5 months. 2 of my remaining 3 dogs are elderly too.

  2. #172
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I’ve been studying Keith Richards guitar playing style. The Rolling Stones. First off, it’s difficult to find formats these days that don’t crunch all the musical parts into a digital delivery system .....which makes it hard to hear the universe of sounds in the originals. Vinyl records are far superior.

    But, I have found one or two mentors on YouTube who seem to know the real essence of Richards. And it is oddly enough simplicity. There are typically six strings on most guitars. Some have twelve but Richards plays mostly with just five. In addition, he tunes his guitars to an open tuning. Most times open G. This is a tuning that is often used for slide guitar style. He decided the droning effect was desirable played with fingers and a pick.

    But what it did was force him to explore making sounds with a limited palet. He uses a variety of techniques to create a lilting swinging style which creates depth to his playing. And he uses space....empty space instead of filling the music up with a wall of notes. He also plays ahead of and behind the mechanized beat.

    So you say, what’s the deal? The deal is that those of us who are striving for simplicity are similar to Richards and his quest to discover the freedom created by simplicity in his music.

    Simple living is not easy. Sounding like Keith Richards is definitely not easy. What’s common on YouTube are people posting covers of Rolling Stones songs. They sound nothing like Keith Richards, yet they seem guenuinely convinced they have mined the magic of Richards. Typically, the music doesn’t swing. To live simply takes hard work. Sometimes we think we’ve mastered ....only to discover how we are living an accumulative lifestyle after all.

    Simple living allows you you to experience the real joy of freedom. It means to me that I choose to have space, rather than clutter. I choose an open and generous lifestyle. I try to minimize possessions that cause me to stress over my Security. Instead of things, I try to focus on people, thoughts and expanding my understanding. Possessing an inordinate amount of things, causes me to spend an inordinate amount of time dusting, cleaning, maintaining, storing, rearranging and worrying about them.

    Not being bogged down by boatloads of stuff allows me allows me to travel through life lightly. I have more time for fun, laughter, communication and sharing. I can open my arms wide without worrying that something is going to be taken from me.

    It never ceases to amaze me how I can tell myself that just picking up one more thing won’t adversely affect my life, instead I can talk myself into rationalizing that a new thing will make my life easier or make me more fulfilled. It’s usually not true. Not only does it burden me.....it burdens other people I interact with also. Other people have to concern themselves with honoring your things. I don’t find this is consistent with freedom.

    Like Keith Richards, I want to explore simplicity. I don’t think I’ve scratched the surface. But I’m going to continue trying.

  3. #173
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Hypersensitivity. Sensory overload. Sensory defensiveness. Not ideas I’ve considered much, until people in my life began pointing out certain THINGS. I’ve always sought out sterile environments. Places where not a lot of people congregate. I just thought I was an introvert. Turns out, certain people in the medical community think I have a “treatable condition”.

    Well, if I did have a condition, it would cause me to mistrust the medical community and I wouldn’t seek any assistance. But I don’t. Have a condition, that is. Oh, I definitely mistrust the medical community. There’s nothing wrong with me, of that I’m sure. I just can’t stand a few things, that’s all.

    First and foremost, I can’t stand anything in the car to rattle. That is cause for pulling immediately off to the side of the road and fixing whatever is making the noise. I once traded in a perfectly fine Ford Explorer because the back window rattled. Come to think of it, I just traded in a Ford Escape with 23,000 miles because the rear shock absorbers we’re making a noise when I traversed the speed bumps in front of my condo. Like I said, I don’t have a problem...my cars do.

    I don’t like noise. Dead silence is perfectly acceptable. If there must be noise, one sound at a time please. I recently took my wife to see Trans Siberia Orchestra. What was I thinking? Talk about sensory overload. Screaming heavy metal guitar, percussion to the max, fire, high resolution video, moving stages, lasers....oh god, the lasers. And the cherry on the top....everybody around me taking videos from their smartphones.

    Action movies. The kind where the frame is changing every one to two seconds. My brain can never catch up.

    So I was beginning to think I had control over this whatever it is and then my golf partner pointed out that I have to clear everything away from my ball before I can swing at it. He’s right. A leaf, dry grass, a bug....it all has to be cleaned up. Plus, I have to have the ball arranged a certain way before I tee off or putt. And I have a routine. Tell me all of this is normal.

    I am beginning to think this move toward minimalism is an effort to reduce the variability in my life that causes stress. The more I’ve thought about it....the stranger a ranger I think I must be. Turtlenecks bug me, I prefer the smoothness of polyester to cotton, cigarette smoke gives me headaches just thinking about it, I had a very low wattage bulb in my nightstand until the wife insisted it get upgraded....now the brightness bugs me.

    I read that some of these things could be related to head injury and ptsd and a host of other unflattering situations. Well, none of that applies. Although, the wife is currently chewing her gum a little loudly and the kitchen faucet is about ready to drip. Oh yeah, and the ice maker just dropped another cube.

  4. #174
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    Many people have sensory issues in quite different ways. I can't stand certain textures in food I eat. For instance I like the flavor of strawberries but can't eat them because of the texture. I can't wear clothing that is uncomfortable in any way. I wear it once and never again. I love Trans siberian orchestra and they quit coming to my town even though the hall was packed both times.

  5. #175
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    Many people have sensory issues in quite different ways. I can't stand certain textures in food I eat. For instance I like the flavor of strawberries but can't eat them because of the texture. I can't wear clothing that is uncomfortable in any way. I wear it once and never again. I love Trans siberian orchestra and they quit coming to my town even though the hall was packed both times.
    I enjoyed TSO the first time I saw them. Less so the second time. This last time, eh. I suspect I’m not unusual in that regard. Is it possible the sensory overload gets less impactful over time? Their opening performance reminded me of Jake and Elwood Blues Brothers introduction at the ballroom theatre. Crickets.......

    https://youtu.be/IBROrytf7RU

  6. #176
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I’ve constructed a few posts lately that have hit the cutting room floor so to speak. Either because it had no real purpose or it revealed too much about myself or other real people. At times, I think about editing some previous thoughts but I resist this. I still think there is a sweet spot in every thought where it is not too much....and not too little. I try to hit it.

    As a maturing teen I was emphatically against joining organizations. My parents must have thought I was too introverted because they would approach me with ideas like youth groups, Boy Scouts, junior achievement, And FFA. Many I outright rejected. I did attend a junior achievement project where we made coat hangers. I wasn’t interested at all in making coat hangers but the cute girl that kept coming also and the glances we made back and forth at each other made joining organizations seem like a good idea. Who knew, but she would turn out to be my first high school girl friend. She taught me a lot about French kissing, mutual groping, petting and teasing.....but nothing about relationships. I would have probably been better served joining an Audubon Society and studying the mating habits of cranes. The confusion it left me with stunted my academic growth and drove me to listening to syrupy love songs.

    I have to admit that when I attended college at the largest university in the state, I was ill prepared for it. My sense of self and my developmental level left a lot to be desired. Reflecting back, even though those were tumultuous times....society had much more clearly defined rules. Sexual identity was easy for one to negotiate. There wasn’t much choice. Certainly not much freedom but there was clarity. Things were changing but they were doing so at a snails pace.

    My long hair down to my shoulders strained the boundaries. The rules on Illicit drug use were being tested on campus but never was there a confusion of direction like there is today. Things were pretty clear. You were either doing right or doing wrong. Somehow the comfort of not wondering was preferred to the amorphous meanderings of the law these days. We were certainly also no different than today’s youth. We just knew we had to be more careful about our indiscretions. I think Facebook is a perfect example of how confused people are today. They post things that might get them in trouble. Back in my generation, we were stealthy with our sins. Today, they are foolish with them.

    In 1976, Peter Frampton released a live album which exploded onto the charts. I had a close circle of friends those days who were academically ahead of most mill workers children. I latched onto them because I was challenged that way and wanted to escape the shiftwork of the steel production machine. We would congregate at one guys house and do our physics and calculus homework then retire to the basement. He had a single mother who liked to sit in the kitchen, drink wine and read sexy romance novels. We played ping pong (table tennis for the Ivy League folks) and blast vinyl records and sneak a bottle of wine out of his mother’s closet. Some of our favorites were the Allman Brothers Band, “Eat A Peach” and of course Beatles, and Chuck Berry. But Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do” hit the spot.

    I didn’t get any better at calculus, physics or Latin (three years of it).....but I learned how to hide the fact that I was drinking, became a first rate champion at ping pong and developed a love of electric guitar music. This was my foundation heading into my freshman year of college. So could I really be blamed if after my first semester I was on academic probation and thought that a career in crop dusting would be feasible? Looking back......it’s nothing less than a miracle I survived. I guess the point is...no matter how directionless somebody is....they can still find their way.

    https://youtu.be/0gjWcnJLIZ0

  7. #177
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I just read a report on a recently completed scientific study on the merits of drinking coffee. I must say I accepted the news rather happily when the report concluded that drinking as much as four cups of coffee Daily was found to be beneficial to ones health. I usually have two to three cups in the morning as a general rule while I’m contemplating the meaning of the universe and my role in it. But today, in honor of the news about coffee.....I drank four.

    Yesterday my granddaughter came to visit. It was a two hug day. And the best part is Saturday, she’ll be back for a birthday celebration and I get to serve her ice cream cake. Another Guaranteed two hug day. That’s a four hug week. And since she left to live in another state, those are few and far between. I’ve been reconsidering my stance on hugs.

    We didnt hug as a habit when we were kids. That was just getting up into each other’s space too much. We didn’t say we loved each other either, but that’s a matter for another day and it’s cups of coffee. I have to say my wife isn’t one of those huggy type people either. She will but she doesn’t initiate it. I would also say my initiation into the hugging on major proportions was a coworker who took a certain pride in hugging his male counterparts.

    It was kinda uncomfortable at first but when you took into account that he was a large athletic person, friendly to everyone and a jokester......it all seemed right. I started getting used to it and well....tolerated it pretty well. Then, magically, I started hugging all my friends when I saw them. It starts out as a firm handshake but then when the feelings right, both of you pull each other closer. Often, the hands will revert to the warrior handshake and a hug will follow. Now back in the day, guys didn’t hug other guys. Period. No matter how close you were.

    Today, a hug is almost expected. Now I do on occasion run into a fellow who is not with it. You pull toward them a little and they back away. Yeah, I get it. I used to be unenlightened too so it’s fine. But you do get a bit insulted. I mean, do I stink?

    Some people say we use the hug too much. I have to disagree. At a recent funeral, one of my better friends was the grieving father. When I approached him as he stood in the receiving line, a tear came to his eyes and he reached right out to hug me. He told me I didn’t have to say a thing, that my mere presence meant the world to him. I said I’d just put my heart on top of his and try to share his pain. Which I did.

    A four hug week.....that’s a nice start. I’m thinking a hug a day might be just as good as four cups of coffee.

  8. #178
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I think the hugs are even better than coffee.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  9. #179
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Yes, a big fan of hugs here too! This will warm your heart, my favorite video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gowi31zGyQA

  10. #180
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Yesterday was the first day of rifled deer season in my state. It is an official day off for many public schools and many businesses are working with short staffing. The economic ripple effect including spending, jobs, salaries, and taxes is 1.6 billion dollars. But this isn’t about hunting per se....this is about my stuff.

    It was about 1:30 in the afternoon when I decided I had too much stuff. I had worked my way about a mile into a wood lot where a two man stand had been erected. I carried with me, a scoped rifle, a box of shells, a brand new pair of warm gloves (made in China with two seams that missed their stitching-quality control doesn’t matter when you ship your crap to people who can’t bitch), calf high insulated boots, special camo bib overalls, underarmour turtle neck, an old sweatshirt sporting my college Alma mater, a backpack, a bottle of water, two slim Jim’s, a cheese stick, nylon rope, a field dressing kit with a fixed blade knife, a penknife, a face mask, a hunter orange knit hat and a hunter orange ball cap, a two way radio, a camo water proof overcoat, an insulated cushioned seat and a cell phone.

    I climbed into the stand with all this crap and sat down. By the time I got situated I realized I’d worked up quite a sweat and with the wiind blowing in my face, I was quite uncomfortable. I used to hunt from stands as high as thirty feet without a care but I’m not as agile as I used to be and something told me to get down. So I packed all this crap back down to earth. Then I set out looking for a nice tree to rest against. A half hour of toting all this around and six trees later, I still wasn’t satisfied.

    I knew of another tree stand that was more protected and that I had used in the past and so I took off at a good pace, considering all the stuff that weighed me down. When I got there I hadnt cooled off any, but up the tree I went. Lugging my burdensome stuff. All this stomping around the woods must of scared up a few deer because I heard a shot from a short distance away. I thought, well I’m glad someone is benefitting from me being over prepared.

    I sat and watched plenty of illegal deer walk around my stand. Nothing I could shoot. It’s just as well, adding a 150 lb carcass to all the equipment I was hulling would have probably put me on tilt.

    I dont know how its gotten to this point. I guess it’s been near a half century of collecting hunting stuff. I could had brought my range finder, or a game camera or binoculars, a grunt call, antlers to rattle and maybe a little more to snack on. I could have chosen a different firearm....I’ve got plenty.

    The truth is I could accomplish my goal of venison in the freezer with this list of equipment.....a hunting license, a rifle, a half dozen shells, a pair of boots, an orange vest and hat, and a field dressing knife. That’s it. Perhaps a rope.

    As a struggling minimalist, I feel bogged down by all my stuff this time of year. Bombarded by ads for more stuff. Where does it end? With your kids having to decided it’s final disposition.

    FedEx delivers late in the afternoon. I hope my new knife and shoulder holster arrive today.

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