Monday, March 06, 2017

Walking With Destiny

Oakland, California - Fifty-five days since leaving Philadelphia.

Taking a break today to relax, stabilize my soul, catch up on stuff and look over my shoulder to recap what I've done and where I've been and report to back to You... (or me... via a future look at this blog.)

I believe that history should be taught from the present backwards... so let's start this journey with yesterday.

I took the BART from Coliseum station in Oakland to Union Square in San Francisco, (a $4.20 ride, hmmmm) where I met up with Barbara, a friend from back east who I met through Alexandra (who I've known for eleven years now.) Barbara moved to SF just eight months ago, so we were both exploring the city by the bay more or less for the first time.
After our authentic Mexican Lunch: SF 3-5/2017

There are several ways to explore a city. Depending on one's tastes and interests it might be a bar crawl, or a series of restaurants, photographing sites and/or landmarks or a shopping excursion. Our tour could be described as urban hiking with food and drink breaks. Of course, I captured as much as I could on video without taking anything away from my most excellent hostess/companion and you'll be able to see this is an upcoming episode of Vagabond Philosopher.

The day was characterized but not overshadowed by some weird weather, specifically and hail storm that I thankfully missed while I was on the train. Otherwise it was warm, cold, cool, windy and there was something that resembled rain-flakes cris-crossing in the air while the sun was shining. Geo-engineering perhaps??

I have vowed that I wouldn't live anyway colder than Philadelphia and that includes the Bay area. Wandering around Oakland reminded me of being in certain parts of Brooklyn; it has that kind of feel. David Chappell noted that San Francisco is like a east coast city, and I think that comparison extends to Oakland, particularly the downtown area... which was so dead around 12th Street BART station on Saturday, that I had to literally check my phone to make sure it wasn't Sunday. Walking towards the bay (west, I think) I came upon Swan's Market where a number of events, including free wine tasting was going on. I found my way to Miss Ollie's for a pretty good salad, people-watching (another nod to Brooklyn) and a great soundtrack.

So this journey has been going quite smoothly - all signs that I should be doing exactly what I'm doing, the way I'm doing it. During the last five years my awakening has accelerated, exponentially it seems, from the leap it took in 1996 and, dare I speculate from the initial pangs of higher consciousness that I felt in 1982 (which I then described as an attempted nervous breakdown. I tell myself I held it off, but it was, in hindsight, one of the most powerful feelings I've ever experienced.)

Hobo Highlights

I've been riding the rails since New Orleans. My original idea was to ride Amtrak from Miami to California, however, as I later learned, that line was discontinued due to Hurricane Katrina in 2006, so I rode Greyhound from Miami to New Orleans... if only cost $50.00, but that included some Road Rewards discounts and an 0500 departure time.

Gainesville, Florida Greyhound stop, 2/15 2017
The scheduled trip from Miami, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana is scheduled to last 25 hours. There are lots of pick up stops across Florida, which is the majority of the trip. Most people were going to Orlando, but a lot of people got on in Gainesville, headed for New Orleans.  The bus route took us along the southern gulf coast of Florida; a lot of resort areas. There were no stops in Mississippi and I think I slept through that whole state. We changed buses in Mobile, Alabama where we had a three hour layover from midnight to 0300, so nightlife was out of the question. We sat in virtual silence in the station; my one entertaining moment - an episode of Seinfeld.

What I didn't know at the time was New Orleans was hosting the NBA All Star game so I had to split my stays up between New Orleans and Harvey, La., on the west bank of the Mississippi River. This also turned out to be destined as I lived in Harvey in 1980 when I was posted in Louisiana.     

Before leaving the country I set two obligations - I had to see my children. My original plan was to spend a month with each. I was in Miami for five weeks with Stazja, who has her own place. Xave is more of a vagabond at this point in time so I spent less time in the SoCal area. Also, because of the nature of the USA Rail Pass, from Amtrak I didn't have weeks to settle in one place for very long.

The trail pass costs $459.00 and is good for 8 rides in 15 days, there are other passes that cost more, last longer and allow more rides (or segments. Some routes are serviced by buses, particularly the Central Valley, so going from train to bus to train, would be three segments.)

I didn't need all the rides on the pass. I broke the trip into maybe five or six segments/rides; from New Orleans to Tucson, where I stayed for two days (thanks to my brother for hooking up the hotel rooms in those cities); Then to Los Angeles, where I stayed with friends (Nancy and Matt) and their pups. I got a ride down to San Diego with my son and stayed there for a couple of nights. (Left there is the rain.) Then up the California coast on Amtrak's Cost Starlight line, which FYI, you can ride from Los Angeles to Seattle, Washington... exquisite scenery, if that's what you're into.

Typical scenery around San Luis Obispo 2/27 2017
I explored San Luis Obispo for a couple of days where I celebrated my birthday-eve by walking ten miles from the hotel into the downtown and back with about 10-15 lbs. in my backpack. I hardly noticed mileage probably because it was such a beautiful day and I wasn't in a rush and I didn't quite know where I was going. I had no deadline and no agenda so time and distance didn't mean much. However, on the way back... during the last leg, I did start to feel fatigued. Slow-twitch muscles in full effect that day.

Birthday Blessings

I spent the eve of my last birthday walking around the Singapore River. I think I covered 10 miles that day as well. I know I was out for five hours.

This year I woke up in San Luis Obispo with the idea of exploring the County. SLO's regional transit system offers a $5.00 day pass (rides are $2.00 each). I thought it would be fun to ride down to Pismo Beach because I'd heard the name and didn't know anything about it.

3/1 2017 Pismo Beach
Bus 10 only makes a few stops and one of them was near (20 minute hike) from the Rose Garden Inn where I was staying. The next stop, via the Pacific Coast Highway and a nice coastal view, is an outlets mall. I know several people who'd like this place, and there will be an episode of Vagabond Philosopher that includes some of this footage.

Disappointingly, the actual beach is a mile back so I didn't make that trip, instead I stopped into Huckleberry's Louisiana style restaurant for my birthday meal... which was great!! Then I caught the  next bus south to Arroyo Grande, but there was very little there. There was enough however to get what I needed... a little more cash and a little more trail mix.

The train ride from San Luis Obispo to Oakland is the most scene and beautiful I've even encountered, I understand why people fall in love with California. While I was waiting for Amtrak's train #14, which was almost an hour late, I did some exploring around the station. Had another Cajun meal at a cafe called Bon Temps where I briefly encountered an awakening spirit and relayed a message and learned a little bit about the history, both tragic and grand about the history of San Luis Obispo, its economy and general layout. I was most impressed that there are "no bad areas" in SLO, as told to me by Mr. Edward Sweeney, but it's also a little to "white bread" for he and his wife and they have to go elsewhere to get their diversity fix... so to speak.

Being sensitive to ethnic diversity, I also noticed only the occasional POC in the SLO mix, although I didn't sense any overt "isms" while I was there, but then again, I'm not overtly ethnic enough to always raise the hairs on the backs to certain necks. I found it very easy to start cold conversations with people, especially when I had a question about something or the other.
Amtrak SLO Station Tribute to Chinese Workers

I arrived at Jack London station in Oakland around 2300, requested a Lyft and got a freelance writer who also contributed a weekly newspaper column. He shared that he's a procrastinator. I suggested that we creative types don't do our best work unless we have a clear and present deadline... it's a matter of adrenaline. I offered, Fight or Flight or Write. He liked it. Totally told me he was gonna use it, properly credited of course. I told him I'd probably forget I said it.

I didn't forget. 

Fifty-Five days out of Philly and eight days left in the US. The waves have been flowing smoothly and I've been riding them effortlessly. I am following destiny... not chasing it. In fact, I might rephrase and say, I am walking with destiny.

For many years I've been traveling, searching... for a place that feels like home. I'm heading there now with no unrealistic expectations and a followup plan just in case. I realized as this scheme was coming together so beautifully, that I hadn't planned that it could actually work out. But as I always say - working out is the easy part. All I have to do is do... effortlessly, and the Universe will work... as it should.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Super Bowl Sunday

After a very active week, both in fitness and exercise and a Saturday exploring Miami and making new creative, artistic friends, I took today off, and as the sun sets I am feeling guilty about it, but also making excuses to myself as to why I didn't go out AT ALL today. I can still go out tonight, but I'll probably run into Super Bowl events. There's still the opportunity to hit the gym also.

But I deserve the break.
Great Saturday at Allapattah Market

So what I did was catch up on some cyber education and activity I needed to take care of. When I do this I get kind of confused. This New Digital World Order is very new to me. It requires a lot of memory - in my head, not necessarily the computer - and a good deal of organization and security. I'm going to have to work myself slowly into it.

I thought I had more to say, but I don't. I feel a wave of organization coming... and that means anxiety... I don't know where to start. If it gets too intense, I'll go workout. I have a few ideas about that also.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

I'm Alive: Bizarro Dream #20517

I find myself on an airplane heading towards Washington D.C. (I know not from where). We're flying low, between buildings and close to rooftops. This doesn't seem right to me so I ask the guy next to me and he tells me that I don't understand the intricacies of flying in DC.

Okay, so maybe it's me.
Doc's Diner Key Largo, FL. Jan 25, 2017

An interesting characteristic of my dreams, and maybe yours also, is that, while I'm completely unaware that it's a dream, I have multiple perspectives of the scene. I can be inside the plane talking to my seatmate (I was in an aisle seat), but I can also see outside of the plane as well as the whole plane itself. So I can seethe plane maneuvering; I can see it heading for a building and flying over it.

At one point I felt the plane land. I'd assumed crash position, although I wasn't instructed to do so. At that point most of the passengers stood up and applauded - which I found unusual - but not unusual enough to snap me out of the dream.

Problem was... we had not landed, and the next thing I know we'd crash-landed somewhere that was not an airport.

I came to consciousness in a hotel or hospital that resembled a hotel. I was in a wheel chair and there were several female journalists (they were all female) staring at me, asking me questions. I wondered "why me?" and either thought it, or told them that I wasn't important enough to be interviewed. They started vanishing before my eyes... (this is one of several points that I questioned if this was a dream, but I could not pull myself out of it, so I just rolled with it.)

I found one of two communications devices that I usually have on me - but what I pulled out of my pocket was a silver flip phone. I started pressing out a text message, "I'm Alive" with the intention of sending multiple messages to my family, but for some reason the phone was not properly responding... For some reason I could not type out A-L-I-V-E, I would get two L's or the phone wouldn't complete the word.

Eventually, I woke up - or should I say - "my" Spirit returned to its Body, after its astral adventure.

Some dreams are far more memorable than others, and some seem to demand documentation. This is such a dream. It also begs the question why; what prompted this dream?

The only guess I have is that I've been watching 9/11 documentaries. Maybe the Spirit (Atman) was off on an adventure, or maybe it was reflecting what I was feeding the Mind... or maybe it was a warning, although I doubt it.

During the dream I felt no fear. Mostly concern and curiosity. There was no doubt that I'd survive. Normally in dreams I find myself suddenly and unexpectedly at great heights - and terrified. Recently - over the past several years - I've been making an effort to get my "self" under control when it comes to heights in the dreamtime realm. It seems to be working.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017


A lot of humans believe they are becoming awake. “Awake,” “woke” and other derivatives thereof have ascended to buzz-word status.
You can't stay Woke til you become Woke

It seems, from my observations, that most humans – (based on social media posts, comments, video clips and rants) consider their awakened status to be an awareness of other peoples’ faults and flaws.

In my opinion, “woke” people don’t behave in divisive ways, which not only includes, singling out groups as – name your negative characteristic; but also singling out their particular cohort group as, name your positive characteristics.

By the way, I am guilty of this on many levels. I am still a work in progress, and this very essay is probably more for my own awareness, than for anyone else’s.

I believe, from my interpretation of the literature and lectures, that becoming awakened has more to do with us knowing who we are, first as an individual and then by natural progression, collectively and then spiritually, rather than criticizing others for their flaws and faults.

When this occurs, we become free of dis-ease; bodily, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

“Woke” people don’t trouble themselves with the trivialities of the material realm.

This message was sent to you from Source, from the Universe, through me… offered for what it’s worth.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Blissfully Oblivious

I sat out by the pool catching some rays while America lost its mind. Of course, maybe not everyone lost their minds. Crazy or not Donald J. Trump, for better or worse - we shall eventually see - was inaugurated 45th President of the United States.

It's mean of me to be glib and outright laugh at this because so many people I know care deeply enough about this situation to go out and protest... and let all of us know that they are going to protest; and even cross several states on what must be a crowded bus to stand in a crowd of protestors... I have to give them credit for their passion. For whatever they think they are doing; what they are changing, or going to change... or just being heard.

And that's all I have to say on that note. As for me. I see the situation for what it is (okay, not really what it is but what I see it as), a show, a game, a manipulation - A Matrix. This concept might not work for everyone, but at the moment it's working for me. It allows me not to get bogged down with issues that don't immediately affect me, either positively or negatively.

Today I ventured out to the Indo-Pak store and I have to say I was someone disappointed. The lady at the counter was friendly. We had a nice conversation. I introduced her to BitCoin and there was no TV, but there was also no roti; no small restaurant or cafe inside as I'd hoped. I've been spoiled by Little Bangladesh in Los Angeles and the Pakistani spot in Upper Darby, which I didn't get to visit before I left. Nonetheless the store had the spices I was looking for, some expensive... but fresh and halal lamb and friendly service.

Right across the street was a kosher market. They were closing up... at 3:30PM! I figured it must be something Jewish... duh.. Friday - I didn't remember it was Friday at the time.

Instead of calling for a Lyft right then I decided to wander around North Miami Beach for a while. I found quite a few markets, including Lorenzo's Italian American farmers market. Whoa!! They had a lot of goodies. And right across the street was another Italian spot with shelves full of wine and impressive butcher shop and a cafe nestled inside as well.

I decided I'd walk as far as I could until I came upon this RK Center.... (they are all RK Centers it seems) where I spotted this tapas spot called B-Bar. It was empty (between the lunch and dinner crowds) and I almost thought it wasn't open. Nice place... the bartender was cool, welcoming and had a nice chat. I ordered mussels... some of the best I've had... and a beer... bottled... less than $20.00. I guess that's pretty good.

Anyway. Livin the life. Still not tired of it yet. I still have some work to do. There are still some BitCoin Conference clips to edit and post up. I kind of wanted to wait until the inauguration so the other clips I sew in will be more relevant.

I don't know why I don't offer to take portraits of the people I run into. I need to start doing that - at least offering.

Oh, great ride out to the place. Had a conversation in broken Spanish and broken English with my Lyft drive. He said my Spanish was good. "S" pretty much doesn't exist in a lot of words here. I told the guy I was a writer.... escribir but it sounded like he was pronouncing it ekribir. So I'm like a little kid who's just repeating the words and terms I hear every day until I get comfortable. I thought I might lose it when I left Florida, but I'll be traveling across the south... so Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California... Spanish might come in handy.

Adios Amigos...  

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Naturalist Maneuvers on the Beach

I will often pre-excuse myself by declaring that I don't, or haven't had time for one undertaking or another, when it would be more precise to state that I haven't taken the time. So now that you know where I'm going with this... on with the show.

Freedom Year is nearly a month gone. Contrary to the way the event might seem, Freedom Year began at noon on December 16th, 2016 - my official last day of work. There were exit procedures to attend to which delayed my departure by several weeks, however I did make it out and on January 10th of 2017 I landed in Fort Lauderdale to officially begin the next leg of this adventure.

My timing, as usual, was fairly lucky - I believe that luck runs in our family. Legend has it that our (my cousins, siblings and I) great grandfather was struck dead by lightening. In my imagination, real or not, his sacrifice has cast a blanket of good fortune upon us for countless generations forward. Most of that luck is a matter of timing. I arrived at Fort Lauderdale International airport several days after the shootout took place. I also missed Southern Florida's two-day winter, during which, I am told by a friend, she had to don her thermals.

I didn't know what to expect when I got down here - I wasn't thinking that specifically. I've had two new experiences - one planned, the other more of an opportunity. On the 12th of January I caught my first (well second) ever moon rise. This was the first one on the beach. I caught it on video, however it's not as good as I could have been. I have to gain a bit more experience with my equipment. I have a remake, remix, myself into a photographer again... as well as a videographer.

Second new experience was chillin' out on a nude beach - well clothing optional - I went full Monty however. People have commented about it being liberating. I didn't find it especially liberating. I didn't even find it out of the ordinary after a while. It was nice to be outside naked... so now maybe my bottom half will catch up with the top half in depth of color.

Nudity is such a taboo - or has been - but it probably still is, in this Judaeo-Christian, Puritan culture that whatever we (or, I) consciously want to think and/or believe is over-ridden by what we've been conditioned to believe, how we behave and how judge others on their behaviour. So in that sense maybe it is liberated and perhaps I haven't been completely liberated yet? Or, conversely, I didn't need to sit out on a nude beach to become any more liberated. Either way, I thin
Mary Kay, Friend, Fan, Follower
k I'll go back.

Don't ask for any pictures... although I was going to take a selfie and record an update, one never knows who will be caught with their pants down... quite literally... in the background.

I have yet to explore the City Miami. I have a few spots I want to go and at least one friend I want to catch up with. But there's time for that... maybe. I plan to exit Florida around the first of February, but I might stay longer. I am on a mission and I have promises and an itinerary to keep. Although it doesn't sound like freedom I still believe it is. I am exercising the freedom to fulfill the promises I made.

So, today... I got two workouts in. I can do this here a couple of times a week, probably. I'm feeling the soreness now, probably from the one this morning - it was all body weight and movement.. like the animal movement, low to the ground, crawing... low game, I call it. I haven't graduated to creeping... very low to the ground, yet, but that will come. I want and need to do more work on my arms... balance, handstands, etc. Maybe once a week... on the first day after a break. I will continue the 500s - that, I believe it doing wonders for the Bod.

Okay.. I think I can wrap this up. In fact I need to, I am sore and need to stretch.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Last Day In Philly

I am out of here in less that 12 hours now.
Last Day... start building and healing tomorrow.

I originally began this entry with a declaration of having no new words, nor any more eloquent thoughts about leaving Philadelphia, than I had five or more years ago. (Five will do...)

If there was ever a time in my life when I (even loosely) planned something, it was getting out of Philly. If everything goes reasonably well I'll be able to catch the sunset from Sunny Isles tomorrow evening.

Today a good bit of anxiety came out during a tea with Dan at the Green Line Cafe. I don't think I'll be able to find something as quaint as this in South Florida, but it's worth looking for... I'll have more time this time around.

Got the middle room sorted somewhat and got the dishes and a few other items to a good home.

I don't have much more to say. I feel the anxiety coming again... until the time I can just say "forget it," and take off.

Maybe this will be edited, or not.

Last Year 1-18-16 at the Y... for context.
Edit One: Ever since leaving the gig I've been losing weight. For this past week I have maintained weight between 174.2 - 175.8 and 14.1 - 14.5% body fat, without exercising... as I usually do. I have however been doing quite a bit of work around the house to prepare to leave. In any case, as I expected, not sitting at the desk for 4 to 6 or 7 hours has shredded some fat... but I've also dropped below 78 lbs of muscle as well.

When I get out of here, for the three or four weeks I have in South Florida, it will be time to add some muscle. Go back to the old school lifting with a combo of old school body weight exercises as well... and a few walks along the beach. We'll see what that does.

Got a few more chores to get at before I "disco" nap for an hour or two. Maybe...

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

Surviving 2016 and ready for 2017 with my Brothers
Yesterday I reached my twenty year weight goal. Weighed in at 175 lbs. Whew!! Big exhale. At some point I will recount the story of weigh gain and weight loss and what I learned. It will probably start with an e-book I am currently writing and continue with a series of reports.

So let's get to the balance of the day.

I thought I'd be able to stay in and clean house, but a text for brunch kind of changed my plans. Today,  realize I probably have more food at home than I can eat in two weeks, so I'd best not eat out much this week.

So back to yesterday.

I wanted to have breakfast at Aquarius Diner, along with Blossom, however the waitress seemed grouchy and her body language as well as her behaviour was rude, or at the very least unprofessional. I felt that she had some kind of problem with me; or it could have been her, the day, her situation, etc. Nonetheless the vibes were so bad I couldn't raise them up and my guest was overtly having a bad experience. After a cup of tea and coffee, we headed out.

There are many examples of our server's non-professionalism but no need to go into that. I may not get to go back to Aquarius before I leave, but if I ever do, I will be sure to avoid her section.

Blossom and I went to a coffee house called Five Points; a mom and pop place with a pleasant atmosphere, however the food was a bit lighter.

All things for a reason, so no worries.

We spent so much time at Five Points I was hungry again by the time we got back to my spot. Blossom got the the glasses I'd saved up for her and a pair of shoes.. perfect fit too. She'll be back for the dishes.

The Llama came through and we went out for a protein shake. This has become a thing with him. He will literally drive an hour to get a shake from this place. I go along for the ride and we get to laugh and talk about the past and the future, walk around town and sometimes... shop.

Finally to the New Year's Eve party hosted by Julia and Tim. Great atmosphere and an opportunity to meet new friends and get different perspectives on today's issues. I Actually drank and still survived. Three slow-motion dark-n-stormies with actual Gosling dark spiced rum. Long time since I had Gosling. The ginger beer was a kind of lucky find.... picked up four bottles at a spot that was still open... like a deli or something. Anyway, I used Reed's, which was used in the first D-n-S cocktail I ever had... adequate. I couldn't get Citadel.

The night ended a few hours before sun up. About 0400. I prepared NOT to be hung-over this morning. ACV (apple cider vinegar), Chlorella and Carnitine and Arginine (Amino Acids) were taken before the nod.

Just a quick note, I've been experimenting with taking arginine and carnitine before bed based on the idea that the body repairs itself during sleep. If aminos are building blocks, they should be best utilized during sleep. How do I measure the results?? I have no idea. However, if they do no harm, then I'll keep up the practice.

Well, today is Mr. Honey's 88th birthday, so I have to head up and do the family gathering thing. More important now'adays. It's a nice, relatively warm day (high 30s and sunny) so I might just take that walk up to Mom's.

I'm beginning to feel the lack of group fitness class conditioning as I exert myself in certain situations, which suggests... strongly, that I need to grab an Insanity tape, or better yet, practice my own "Come Back" session.

Okay, this is the report of the day. It could be just me or shared to those who've subscribed. I've still got so much to do. Better organization and discipline is the key.

Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Baja'Exit - Adios 2016

Old School Pool @ South Bowl: Philly 12-30-16
For some reason, yesterday I woke up at 0300. I still don't know why, but I didn't have anything to do so I rolled with it. It was an opportunity to get more work done in the house. I still don't think I'll make it in time. But that's another story. I got a good bit done. Maybe I don't have as much stuff as I thought.

Okay.. so 0300 to sun up I cleaned and cleared and scanned and shredded until the 1000 meet-up with Dan at a small cafe called The Green Line. It lies somewhere between the University of Pennsylvania and the University of the Sciences. Luckily it's holiday time so there are not a lot of students mulling around. So we chilled there and talked about the e-book, business and passive income from the internet and such.

There's so much going on and so many opportunities I get a bit confused at times. It makes me a bit anxious.

After the meet-up I went home and nodded. The afternoon siesta.

Good move too. In the evening we rolled out to play pool at South Bowl. I called it "Old School Pool" because that's one of the first rituals we launched back in the day.

Finally we rolled out to Trestle Inn and listened to some authentic Old Soul selected by DJ Lil Dave - who happens to be the DJ I've experienced most this year. It just worked out that way. Anyway, Trestle was thin, but fun. You know one of those nights where not a lot of people showed up, but the people who did REALLY wanted to be there and party!!!

On any normal night out we'd have hit a diner and maybe arrive home with the rising sun, but we streamlined it; A quick stop at Wawa for an all-protein night cap. I was still fairly energetic by the time I pulled the sheets over my head... somewhere between 0200 - 0300.

Today I figured I'd be in most of the day... once again, cleaning and clearing, but no sooner than I rose I was tapped for a brunch. Not so very far away so it won't take much time away from the work. I think I'll probably get more done the closer I get to leaving. I may have to come back to tidy up.

The next update will likely be in 2017... So Happy New Year. I know a lot of us will be happy that 2016 is over. It seems like a new start, but I predict it will be even trickier.... but I'll cover that when it comes.

Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 is like a Societal Disease

The day moves rapidly when you wake up at 0900. It's the perfect day to stay in and get work done. Cleaning and packing. I have to rescue item I don't want to throw out... just yet. Privately, I can't throw them out. I don't think I'd mind if I were discover they'd been thrown out if I were to return ten years later.

Havertown, Pa early 1990s. Approaching fatness.
Despite the Vagabond Philosopher handle, I don't want to get too philosophical, not now anyway. This is just a break. I have more today. This blog will be a work i n progress. Begun at 13:00-ish, it will be completed when I am completed.

It's dreary and rainy. Perfect day to stay in. It's 12-29-16, that no-mans-land week after Christmas and a lot of people emotionally rush to escape the current year. Especially this year. A lot of emotionally challenging events occurred this year. No need to enumerate them.

2016 has been like a disease. Literally. Many people have felt, or today feel ill at ease, which is literally the definition of disease. The 2016 disease has manifested itself in several unhealthy ways, mostly fear and hate. Those emotions, similar to the way a sneeze can transfer a virus into another person, have manifested into hateful actions, designed to cause even more fear. Some of those actions, (hate speech, hate posts, hate graffiti, micro-aggressions, et al) have further spread fear, suspicion, and distrust, even among people who considered themselves friends.

As friendships dissolve so does unity and the co-energy that makes us strong and healthy. Thus, the 2016 disease metaphor comes alive, as in addition to our depression over the events of the year, we also generate negative emotions towards those who, let's say intellectually betrayed us with their positions on politics, social justice and the like.

This social media disease, I observe, has spread like a contagion and manifested itself in emotional status updates, mean memes and withdrawal.

Not everyone is affected. Some of us seem to be immune. Perhaps we were inoculated in the past or have built up an immunity during events like Vietnam, Water Gate, Reaganomics, The Gulf War (I), 9/11, the Crash of 2008 or the countless false flag events of the last four years. We don't allow these events, authentic or not, get into out hearts and souls and eat them away from the inside. We have our coping methods, however, little if any of them include self pity, cursing the times, or some abstract diety or becoming cruel to our friends and colleagues.

This is all I have. It just came to me in an auto-write fit. I should go on, but I have to get back to cleaning. I hope you get to read this. I keep reaching out, little by little... maybe you'll reach back.

Mas tardes.

I spent a lot of time shredding pictures today I saved a lot as well and this evening I will scan them. I got out of the house after sundown for two reason... first, simply yo get out and second to get some stock for my smoked turkey soup. The front room is a bit cleaner. A lot of stuff has been boxed and a bit more has been trashed. It looked like there was more than there was.

I have several tasks to work on this evening. I also have to exercise. That will take priority. Looks like it will be "Home Work" for the duration of my stay. Might not get back to the Y unless I catch up with this work. I think I'll put clothes on the agenda tonight although my go-to clothes donation contact is MIA.

Remind me to rant/explain how to tell if someone who claims to be a friend is indeed a real friend... or basically how to tell if you should actually rely on them for things they say they will do.

Anyway, let me get this up and get on with teh rest of the night.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Freedom Year... Next Level

Blowing smoke, Limerick, Pa. 12-28-16 selfie
It gets a little more real with every meeting. Today was the Pension Board where I found out I won't get another paycheck until February 13th, 2017!!! Gasp... an early Valentine's gift. I wonder where I'll be that day. Wonder if I'll be able to check it from my mobile device. Until then I'm just gonna chill and roam and NOT shop.

Not only did I get that bit of business out of the way I made a few other moves that will help ease the pain of not having a steady, fortnightly paycheck. Note - I'll only get funds in once a month. Talk about being on a fixed income. I am in for some lean years, but I've been warned.

It's worth noting that I ate both meals at home today. I've been on a 176.8 lb. plateau for 4 or 5 days... all days/nights I've eaten out and not trained (too much). It would be ironic if I gained weight today.

Before I got back home and started pretending to be a FOREX trader, I took one last walk down to Wricley's (the wholesale nut factory, which I have only called The Nut Spot and then mispronounced when I tried to big them up.) As mentioned in one of two of my video clips, it's a place I will miss. I like their products. And come to think of it, since I've been retired and not sitting around eating trail mix for 3-4 hours I've dropped a pound or two. Makes me wonder if the trail mix was keeping my weight at a certain level. I expect a lot of changes as I move away from my at-work behaviour.

After a few hours of cleaning up the house... more or less.. Roll Dawg came by and we took a local road trip. Whenever I get in the vehicle I don't even ask where we're going. This time we ended up in Limerick, Pa. (I thought those smoke stacks looked familiar) for some outlet shopping. I am not a shopper, in fact my series Men on Shopping is a reaction to having a friend who likes to shop. (I have to do something while I'm waiting.)

In a classic act of irony a lovely lady handed me a coupon with a deal attached. But three items and get an extra 10% off. Did I mention this was a Tommy Hilfiger outlet store? Did I mention that I am NOT a TH fan?? So I bought these socks because they came out to like $4.00 a pair and they weren't white sports socks... I figure they will be comfortable on the train, plane, or bus.

Other than that the day wasn't very eventful.

If you're still asking how it feels... it's comfortable, it feels free and I notice I am a bit friendlier and open to people. I talk more freely and openly - if you can imagine that. I have nowhere to be. No curfew - I'm not abusing it... I don't think. Heck, I was up at 0400 this morning working out. If this becomes my thing, so be it. I'll keep getting up at 0400 until I stop. I'm not going to force anything.

And that's today.... I'd better start looking for flights. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Feeling Like A Player

Foodie Tour Continues: Winter Harvest Grill
Today was highlighted by two good meet-ups, first part two of our Harvest tour with Venise; it seems like we are catching up from twenty years back... and I guess we are. 1996 was a pivotal year for both of us. She left the job and went to for the federal government and I started working graveyard shift (from previously working 3-11PM.)

Later to Aksum, where I met up with Number One Son Wolvie for a great meal at the down tempo spot on Baltimore Ave. He's digs the place... ambiance, the vibe and we had a very nice server as well. Afterward he came by and relieved me of some items in the house... as much as he could carry. Ha ha.

On the technical side, I learned how to do a few moves with Google Drive, including upload the pix from my phone, download a video clip to my phone, so I could share it on Instagram and access and complete my body weight chart in Google sheets.

Part of my plan is.. let's call it Operation: Best of Both Worlds; the goal is to live like a twenty-something (energetic and curious, in my case about the new technology) with the wisdom, experience and savvy I've accumulated along the way. Someone joked about employers wanted to hire Millennials with thirty years experience? Well, I'm that employee - problem is, you probably can't afford me... ha ha. (Watch, someone offers me a gig.)

On the financial side - and I've never been a big fan of money, but I love numbers... but not math(s)... I realize I have to position myself to be able to afford food and shelter on the road. I've been listening to the Financial Media for the past 2 years and they've been painting a gloom and doom scenario particularly for the USD. To answer those concerns, alternative as well as classic, even ancient, strategies for purchasing what's required have been emerging via the - dare I call it - Millennials - dominated interwebs. This is where I have to surmount the technology curve as well as the faith curve. That is faith in the predictions/warnings of the wackos and crackpots I readily admit to listening to.

I refer to them as such with admiring respect because several predictions they've made during 2016 have come to pass and I've scored some wins that have eclipsed the earnings from traditional financial institutions and even the long-term traditional investments. Of course I realize that one day I can be cheering about wins and the next day licking the wounds of my losses, so this isn't bragging. I'm not in for buckets of ducats, just enough to get around, from points A thru Z without too much strain and stress.
Body weight chart 6-19-16 to present (Google Sheets)

It's not only the wins that have me feeling like a player, it's being able to navigate that technology curve.

Oh, and one sobering development - a Jury Duty summons came today. Of course I won't be here, but I think it's not a random event that it arrived just over a week after leaving the gig. I'm sure it hasn't been three years since the last time. Fairly sure anyway.

Tomorrow I'll find out when I'll be able to officially leave this City.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Those Old Emotions

The property purge continues... 

Pic of the Day 122616 Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
I don't have a lot of stuff, but I have too much stuff. A lot of it is physical photos which I've managed to save during my Philly life. Some of what I dug up stirred some emotions, from the turn of the century. I was pretty screwed up during that era, perhaps even a bit of an asshole; which is probably partly responsible for making me so popular. I worked over night, so often I'd show up at an event and have to scoot out with no explanation. That made me seem mysterious, or so I've been told.

 Rolled out with the roll dawg today and he warned me that he'd picked up a bug... apologizing in advance. I told him that it up to my immune system to fight off any invaders that enter its domain, although I had to do my part to help. My number one go to weapon is Vitamin C. I forgot to take them as soon as I got in, hiked to the market for food and still didn't take any - that is, until I sneezed - then I took 4 grams. I learned, by way of attending medical lectures, that you can take as much Vitamin C as necessary without any ill effects... that is unless you consider a softened stool an ill effect. Anyway, I feel like something may be coming on, but I'm not sure whether it's psychosomatic or whether I'm just tired and up too late. Either way, there are symptoms and I must at least address them. 

Viruses cannot survive in environments upwards of 100 degrees F, so a fever may come on tonight and I can kill this viper before I wake in the morning. I've also noticed that these invaders seem to cause fat loss; the body needs to burn something to raise the body temperature and I've still got plenty (about 25 lbs. worth) of fat to spare. So hot tea, apple cider vinegar and some aminos before bed. 

More tales about the technology curve. 

I don't know what the heck's going on with these Google apps on my phone/device; there are too many things that do too many things that I am just not understanding and/or needing these days. Anyway, they seem very intrusive. I could use Google Drive on my computer, but I am a bit leery about Chromium, I had to shut that down. It was like an annoying approval-seeking child-man.

I installed Letgo on my Android; it was the craziest thing. First it took me too long to sign up because I didn't do it through Facebook. I don't know if that's a good or bad move. I may want FB connects to see what I'm selling. But back to the experience. I took a picture of a camera, and the app identified the camera and posted it up. I didn't have any way to write a description or anything. nd then there was this wacky commercial where the item appears as product placement - actually, the camera was the main idea of the commercial... starring Dolph Lundgren. Crazy!!! So then I had the option to share it on Twitter, but not Facebook. Go figure. I don't know a thing about the Letgo app right now, except with I've mentioned, but I guess I'll learn. 

The plan is to be flying out of here on January 10, 2017. My final interview is in two days. I should know whether I an book my ticket - or not - by then. 

So back to hangin' with the roll dawg - now that we are Men of a Certain Age and more importantly of a certain maturity; meaning we're taking better care of ourselves nutritionally and physically, we've been spending more time in cafes and such eateries that serve healthier grub than your average tavern (however the health revolution or at least a greater nutritional awareness has caused taverns and pubs to up their food games)... mostly reminiscing - but not really because we have some future plans as well. So there's a good bit of both going on. Over all it's a good vibe, good company, gets us both out of the house and into some different scenery. 

We are friends like Yin & Yang or in this case bookends... in the DJ sense at least. I started spinning in 1996 and brought him to the wheels in 2001. Now he's got his own night going and he puts me on from time to time. There's one coming up in January, three days before I'm scheduled to fly off into Freedom Year. I'm not going to promote it as my final appearance, unless I have the flight booked. I've still got a lot to do at the house, I may have to give up a few trips to the YMCA, if the weather stays mild, I may get a few park workouts in. I'll miss the leg press though. 

Tempting Fate: St. Jack's Old City c. 2001
Let me just finish with one of those fond memories of someone I was very attracted to and, so I am told, the feeling was mutual. But... the timing wasn't right; or maybe it was my awareness that wasn't right. In any case, what it was, was, what it was and that's all that was meant to be. We've lost touch, but if I'm not careful, the Universe will throw her in my lap. With that last sentence my mind has wandered and I am wondering how such a meeting would go. 

I hear she got married. Not a bit surprised. I don't even know where to go from here. The photos I've managed to dig up have been reminding me of forgotten moments and a plethora of emotions better left buried... maybe. As the centuries changed and I was going through my transition years (1996 - 2002) a lot of people came into my life and I probably treated a few, or several of them unkindly.   But this is no time for regrets. If the Universe brings of paths together, I'm sure we'll have a nice time reminiscing, maybe confessing... maybe apologizing. Who knows??? 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Neo-Xmas X'it Traditions

I'm taking a little shredding break. I feel like I am accomplishing something when I shred. This evening it's photos.

Pop-pop with his first grands - c. 1988
In terms of occupation, I've been a photographer for more than thirty years. I used to run around with a camera and pockets full of film... rolls that is, taking pictures of events, DJs, bands and such. As a result I have stacks of them that have been sitting in my house in various locations for a long-ass time.

It's tough for me to get rid of images because they hold memories. That's exactly what they are supposed to do, and as a photographer and someone with a freakishly good memory I put a sentimental value on both; especially when it comes to my children.

However, today's reality is that I must give up some of these moments and memories, at least in solid form. Some of the subjects in those memories have changed dramatically to a point where they'd rather not have the memories of those times rekindled; others have passed on... almost all who have, left us too soon, if not tragically.

In other Christmas news; as expected I didn't rush to get out of bed. No kids, no Christmas tree and no one else here or anywhere to answer to. What wasn't expected was the 2 miles I combo'd (mostly run, but partial walk, 31 minutes) this afternoon. Once again, some other part of my Me took over and next thing I know I'm huffing and puffing down the parkway and back. I didn't even have time to make one of those clips I imagine I've become so infamous for.

Other than that, the day is going along well. It's just the cleaning and discovering of such items as photos, mix cds, and booklets... lots of diary-type notebooks mostly filled with daily exercise routines, weight and percentages of body fat and muscle mass, but inter-sprinkled within are some bits of wisdom.

Also on the front, of the items to be completed list, is to get my wealth-game in order. I've been listening to the whispers of the Freedom and Liberty media and while I don't buy all of their rhetoric there are a few strategies that I feel can benefit me during Freedom Year. Of course I am hesitant to mention any specifics in a public forum. Wealth is like Health... in fact their etymologies are connected, in that I don't give advice on either, except when I've tried a particular strategy and have had satisfactory, or better results with it. What makes sense to me, financially or physiologically, might not make sense to anyone else. I think I'll be experimenting in the next year on the wealth side and see what happens.

I envision needing wealth for the most basic things, mostly food, shelter and transportation. I won't be out purchasing comfort amenities.

Later... The cleaning continued and I came across more photos that I wanted to save. After a battle trying to find free software to operate my scanner.... which is probably a clunker by today's standers (at least it has a USB connection) I rescued several classics and now I can triple save them for the future. I can also put the originals away to display just in case I decide to settle somewhere and I want solid images from a hundred years ago to hang onto the virtual all in my virtual apartment... or whatever they will call the space that far in the future.