Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I am actually running!!

So in my quest to increase my activity level in the cooler weather, I have begun trying to run at least a portion of my daily circuit! So today I actually ran 1/4 of it!! 1/8 at the beginning and 1/8 in the middle! ( plus a short shot at the end!) which for me is astounding! I am hoping to keep it up, (despite the shin-splints) and perhaps before the year is out I will be able to actually run my whole circuit! That would be absolutely amazing and perhaps it would make me wish to increase my circuit! Who knows? Miracles DO happen! LOL

Monday, October 26, 2009

The weight watch...

So I made great progress for quite a while then in September I plateaued at 65 lbs down. I could live with it for the most part, but still have at least that much more that I want to lose. That said, somewhere along the line I have begun to lose ground!!

SO I have been trying to figure out what triggered my gain. I Think it is a combination of pent up cravings and a recent feeling of rejection, coupled with stress of my current financial situation, and the normal autumnal metabolic slowdown that is normal for my race, and add to that the loss of my free fresh vegetable source and You have a recipe for me gaining weight. It is too darn easy to spend money on cheap food that is bad for a body than to get the produce that is good for you, but costs way more so you can't buy as much!

I realized today that I have spent way more time on my butt the last few weeks too, so I have to redouble my efforts to get some exercise, and Today I actually gave running a little try. Nothing spectacular, just a few 50 yard jogs, with some fast walking, but it got the heart rate up and that's the important part.

I need to keep my attention on what I eat so that I DON'T eat too much. Gotta stop the snacking, which has snuck in, and get more active. Gotta push! No more screwing around!

The feeling of rejection is over a few people that I have talked to about doing some pictures of them. Sadly they have been rather non-responsive, and I guess that they have decided that they aren't interested.

as a Native American I can tell you for a fact that our metabolism tends to hit a natural slow-down in the autumn. Suddenly we all seem to start gaining weight. depending on the body type and lifestyle anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds can pile on in short order.

My veggie garden is done for the season and so now I don't have the unlimited veggies to eat every day, my starch intake has gone up nearly exponentially! Gotta quit that mess!

Keeping the faith!

Death By Taxation...

Have you ever heard the cliche, " The only sure things in life are death and taxes."? the truth of the matter is that it is most likely that the death was caused by taxes! Why do I say such a strange thing, you may be asking. Well, recent events have given me an interesting take on this phrase.

Every person in the world who has ever punched a time-clock has dreamed of being rich, retired or their own boss, doing what they love, and not answering to anyone but themselves. It's a great dream and those who achieve it are generally glad that they did. Mostly...

The retired and the wealthy have different agendas than those who become their own bosses. Those who opt for self-employment learn a lot of things and one of those things is that if you can't keep your own books, you need to find someone trustworthy to do it for you. Many a business venture has bitten the dust because the people keeping the books and handling the finances were either dishonest or incompetent. The product was good, and the service was excellent, but the money didn't get where it was supposed to go, and eventually the discrepancies caught up with the business. Sometimes it is creditors, but sometimes it is the taxman himself. Yep, The I.R.S. Uncle Sam.

Some uncle he turns out to be, let me tell you. Do you know that if you owe taxes that the I.R.S. can seize your assets? They can go directly into your bank account and take the money that they think you owe them. With not so much as a "heads up" that it's coming out. They get into your account and pull out the funds. Doesn't matter that you have checks written on the money in the account. It means nothing to them. So what happens? Well if you don't have money to put back in that account, those checks are gonna bounce sky high, and you know what that means, your gonna be getting calls from all of the people that you wrote those check to and they are going to want their money, NOW!!!

This compounds an already big problem, because now you owe even more money that you don't have because not only will your bank charge you for every check that bounces, but everyone who has one of those checks will be charging you for the fees that THEIR banks charge them! How the hell does this help anyone?

Now I'm not talking about a multi-million dollar business here, I'm talking about a small fry business man who answers his own phones, and does his own inventory and still talks to his suppliers on the phone every week. If he is lucky he has one or maybe 2 employees who know every cent he spends on the business and are happy to do without when the times call for it. This is a guy who takes a cut in his own pay so that his employees can continue to get their full pay when things are slow. This is a small business in every sense of the word, and these are the people that truly make America work. They are the ones truly living the American Dream.

The taxman cometh, and with him the death of a dream. So this is why I would like to try and collect $1 from 5000 people in the next month. I know a small businessman who is looking down the barrel of the I.R.S. gun and if he can't pull some money from thin air he will probably lose the business that he has built up over 20 some years of blood, sweat and sacrifice. The problem is not of his making, but it is his responsibility. And so I would like to try and help him.

He did everything right as far as he knew. And he made the calls and asked the questions and everything he did was right as far as he knew, and as far as he was told. But then earlier this year he finds out that there was something not done correctly three years ago and since the I.R.S begins fining from the start of the problem rather than when they notify you about it, the bill has grown to be quite hefty.

Why would you help? Hasn't everyone at one time or another dreamed of being a hero to someone? They say that you can't fight city hall, and it's true, you have a better chance of pushing you head through a concrete wall, than winning this type of argument against the I.R.S. But with the help of the heroes of America it is possible to help one Little person with a big-ass problem. All it takes is a little spare change. who doesn't have a dollar to spare? The lose change in your couch cushions, under the floor-mat of the car, or in the ashtray. The change from your coffee break for a day or 2 adds up to a dollar. With one measly, little dollar you can help one guy keep his dreams alive. All I am looking for is for 5000 people to give up the cost of one McDonald's cheeseburger. The difference in the cost of a large coffee to a medium. A regular value meal instead of a super-sized one.

I believe that there are enough people out in the world who can do this. I believe that there are enough people out in Facebook-land who can spare a single dollar, this month, and help one guy keep his dream alive. How many times have you given money to a cause, and never known where it goes? Never see what it does? Here is a chance to give to a cause and every penny goes to the cause. There is no agency taking bits and pieces out of it. And here is the kicker, if I get MORE than is needed to cover this I.R.S. fine, I will donate the rest to a very worthy charity in Rochester NY. called "Wease Cares for Kids". Another worthy cause that gives 100% of all donation back to the community. What could be better than helping out one person? Helping one kid!

So what do you say, People of Facebook? Friends, friends of friends and friend- friends friends.... Go viral and make something cool happen!!! Just $1.

Karl White
14485 Puzzey Rd
Albion NY 14411

Saturday, October 24, 2009

End of the season...

So the fall is upon us and it is a week until Halloween, and this week I put my motorcycle away for the season. It's always a bittersweet thing to do, because I wish that I could ride year round.
Not so much because I love riding that much, ( but I really do!) but because it is MUCH cheaper on gas than driving my truck. So I put the fuel stabilizer in the gas tank and got all my stuff out of the back pack, and put my helmet in its storage bag. Then I cleaned the floor where I was going to put it, and worked it into the back corner of the shop. There it will sit for the winter, taunting me, with the promise of spring and what we will be able to do in the coming spring. In the middle of January while the wind is howling outside the doors and the driving snow is piling into sculpted drifts across the driveway, the bike will sit quietly in the back of the shop, and I will look back there and think of the spring that is to come, and of the adventures past. My motorcycle will be the dream that keeps me from giving in to the depressions of February, and get me through the last snows of March. When we get the warm weekend in April I will get it out of the corner and take it for the first ride of the spring and the feeling of freedom that comes from the wind and the road and the shifting of the gears will give me dreams of the hot, hazy weekends of summer and riding along through the NY terrain.

One of the things that drives the average NYer nuts is snow removal. I'm not one to worry so much about it, because I have the tools for the job. I plow the big open parts with my 4 wheeler, and for the walks and drifts, I have a great snow-blower for my garden tractor. It works great for opening up drifted in areas that the wheeler can't blast through. Between the two pieces of equipment, I have to shovel only a very minimum, and usually only the stairs that I can't exactly plow!

But before winter gets here, there is still the autumn to enjoy, and in Western NY one can never tell what the season really holds in store for ya. From golden trees and fresh cut fields, new green showing in the field of winter-wheat and the piles of pumpkins glowing various shades of orange in the farm markets, every turn is filled with colors and scents and dreams.
Halloween parties loom and the thoughts of what costume to wear, do you dress as a pirate? Maybe a Pimp or a gangsta. Whatever you chose, you can pretty much count of at least 10 other people having the same Idea! It never fails, the more original you think you are, the more likely it is for someone else to have the same exact thoughts. The only difference is in the execution. Details are the key. The more detail you put into the costume, the more likely you are to win the prize at the party! The fall wouldn't be complete without a few haunted hay rides, and a trip to the Maize Maze. And, what about a visit to the cider mill? One of my favorite things about fall, is the promise of some fresh apple cider. Coupled with some fresh, warm donuts and it's just about as close to heaven as a guy can get without a broad in the room with him! Fresh apples too, nothing like a fresh, crisp apple crunching with it's sweet/tangy taste reminding you of the difference between the store-bought, storage apples and the orchard-fresh apples.

One of the best things about fall in NY is the colors. The pumpkins, the straw bales, the Indian corn, and the trees. The foliage in NY can be so diverse and amazing and each year I find something that just stuns me with it's brilliance. Sometimes it is the neon-orange glow of a Maple tree in the sun, and sometimes it is a particular shrub that glows in crimson. When the day has been rainy and dreary and you look out at the world and it all seems grey, the sun can peak out from behind the clouds and light up a Birch tree, it's white trunk catching the golden cast of the sun, and the leaves of yellow looking like little drops of gold shimmering in the sudden sunshine and it will lift the spirit like any good drug. But it's not a drug, and if you're smart you will grab a camera and take a picture of that perfect scene. You never know when you will see it again, and preserving it is the best we can do. I am always amazed at how you can look at a row of trees and one can be bare while another has barely changes colors and one looks like a super hero decked out in gaudy colors waiting for the chance to take to the sky on a wing and a prayer looking to rescue someone from a dastardly villain. And they do rescue us, at least for a little while, because the color that they show the world give us an appreciation of the work that nature does. We can see the colors and be reminded of the cycles of nature and that we are privileged to be able to witness it again. Each fall, I look at the colors and I am happy to be here to see them again. Just as I am happy to get through the winter and see the return of the spring blossoms. I know that the gray skies of winter are coming, and so I appreciate the colors of fall all that much more.
Each season has it's place in my heart. I may complain about each one, but that is one of the privileges of living in Western NY, we get all the seasons every year, even if we get three of them on one week!! But the truth is that I have a choice and I wouldn't live here if I didn't truly love each season for it's individual pleasures. I have lived n the south and I know what it's like to wear shorts and a t shirt on Christmas day, and to tell the truth, lights in a palm tree just aren't the same as the standard fir tree decked out and smelling up the house with it's oily pine scent. The same as the warm spring breezes of April aren't appreciated as much when you haven't suffered through a blizzard in February. And as the fall does what it must, I can appreciate all that it has to share with me. ( Even if our summer did suck!)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Charity for the rest of us!

Remember when you spent too much money and to make the months rent you would throw a party and charge by the head, so you could get together enough money to pay the rent? How many times have you been to a fundraiser for some charity organization, or for someone who is in dire need of some financial assistance? Ok, now take these two ideas and merge them into one thought. Perhaps the time has come to throw a few " get someones ass out of hock" parties!!

The idea is this: throw a party like any fundraiser for charity, charge at the door, do 50/50 raffles, and some door prizes. But each person will have the chance to be the beneficiary of the party. by putting their name in the fishbowl along with one bill that they must apply the money to. Somewhere near the middle of the party the name is drawn. On Monday morning the deposit is made in their bank account and the check is written to the designated creditor. This person then must attend the next party for the next name drawn from the bowl. In order for it to work, each winner must continue to help the cause. One may not win and then not help the next party. no selfish bastards allowed!

If by some miracle of the divine winds, someone is not in need of assistance, they may put in the name of somebody that they feel is deserving of the assistance. These days there are far too many people who are on the edge, and helping a few of them is a great idea. Why do you have to be sick to get some help? why not help some of the working stiffs who are barely making it?

It sounds odd, but for most people, just getting one big bill out of the way, could free up the finances enough to make the ends come together again and keep the knee breakers from knocking on the door.

So who's in? and rememeber the bigger the party, the bigger the benefit!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

None of the above...

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense to me. None of the above.... What the heck am I talking about, you may be thinking. Well, let me elaborate.

I am talking about the ballot, to be specific the American election ballots. If you vote, ( and you really should!!) you know that in far too many cases there is no opposition to the incumbent candidate, and so they win by default. But what if you don't want the incumbent to continue in this position? What if they have managed to rig the system ( this is not a conspiracy theory, look up "gerrymandering" in the dictionary) so that they can pretty much keep their office until such time as they decide to give it up? Well, then we have no recourse except to continue to fight a losing battle to try and get these slackers and losers out of office with candidates that have no chance of winning against the stacked deck.

So why not a "None Of The above" slot on every ballot in every election? For every office up for vote, there should be the possibility that none of the candidates truly meet the community standard, and therefore we should not let them win simply by default. Give the American people back the power of the voting booth. Rather than a race when there is no actual race, it is up to the politico to be responsible and do a good job, because we can actually vote them OUT of office without the need to vote someone else in. Of course this would mean that there must be occasional times when there is nobody to do a particular job. Depending on the job, this could result in either a new election, with completely new candidates (anyone voted out by the" None of the above" vote would be automatically barred from running again for at least 2 election cycles.) Or perhaps the job is eliminated, thereby saving the local coffers the expense of the salary. Another possibility is that the duties of the eliminated position be spread around the local government offices. Not all government jobs are essential after all! ( Especially elected ones!!)

The important thing here is the chance to make REAL change in a government that has become far too bloated and ineffectual for the people whom it is supposed to be serving. By adding the "None Of the Above" Slot to the ballot, we would no longer have to make the choice of the lesser of 2 evils, and therein lies the true possibilities of change.

Until we have the choice to actually say, " no", we will not settle, we want better choices, we will continue to get screwed over by the system that we want, and expect to help us.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

100 posts...

I was looking at my post count and I realized that this is # 100! Wow, if my teachers could only see me now!! To be honest it has taken a little less than a year for me to get here, but That's ok, It's not like I am changing the world here, I'm just venting a little piss and vinegar and sharing my views of the world. Sometimes I have something really important ( to me) to say, and other times I just feel like rambling about a variety of topics. But looking over the last years posts I notice that I have hit on a few topics more than others. Travel, religion, politics, and family to name a few right off the top of my head. Friends seem to come up a few times, as well as the future, the past and technology. I have hit on topics of entertainment , death and food. Education and taxes seem to have a few big mentions as well. So I guess that I hit on the things that most directly affect me, and the people in my life.

Number 100. It seems like I should be looking deep and trying to find some special, deeply meaningful topic to get all philosophical about, but the truth is that I don't have anything really pissing me off more than usual today, and since I haven't taken any great pictures so far this week, I don't even have any of those to share. I'm working alone this week, so it seems that coming up with great topics is a little beyond my mental capacity with all the other things on my mind.

I guess that thing that is most on my mind right at this moment is coincidence. It's like when you have been saving that particular thing for some unknown theoretical future use, and then you finally throw it away, and then 2 days later you find the perfect use for it! Some people call it irony, but it's mostly just annoying. Ask anyone who deals with inventory, the longer something has been on a shelf, the more likely that the day you sell it, there will be 4 more people looking for that very piece. It seems to be the oddest force in the universe, Coincidence. If you are waiting for a delivery, and you have to use the bathroom, the delivery shows up at the exact moment that you get your cheeks planted on the toilet seat! right? You know that it has happened to you! It's a matter of the phrase, "It never fails!" and it seems to hold true more times than not, like when you are in a hurry, and what happens? You get stuck behind the slowest person on the road. Some people call it Murphy's Law, the old adage that whatever can go wrong will go wrong, but in truth that's not really the case. The fact is that even the things that can't possibly go wrong, will go wrong at the most inopportune time. If you have looked at every possibility, then you must look for the impossibilities, because they will be the things that will bite you on the ass. A friend of mine used to have a great saying, "You can't win the lottery, but you'll get struck by lightening!" I have always loved that saying, because it is such a truism, you can be sure that if it is a one in a million chance for disaster, it will happen, but if it's a one in a million shot for a happy ending, you will miss for sure.

Life deals lemons so much that we have come up with the old saw, about making lemonade. It's a coping mechanism, just like most of the best cliches are. Life is imperfect to say the least, and too many of us spend too much time worrying about the things that we can't control, trying to live with the illusion that we can take control. We are nothing more that the results of our choices and our circumstances. Each choice we make, brings us to another choice and so on until hell freezes over. In the end we can do what we can do and nothing more, but we continue to try and harness the wind. It's in our nature to try and gain control, even when we know that we can't. Some of us figure out that the best we can do is hold on and ride, and follow life wherever it leads us, and those are the happy people. I hope that I am one of the happy people when it's all said and done.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ah Fall...

The aptly named Season of Fall is upon us and the leaves are doing their part, and beginning to fall from the trees. The colors are emerging from their summer camouflage of green, and the edges of the forest are beginning to look interesting. The Virginia Creeper is hanging in crimson drapes across the landscape and the purple grapes are showing in the vines. Along the roadsides and in the fields the goldenrod is turning, first brown, and then fluffy white with seed fuzz. The purple asters and tiny daisies are fading away and slipping into their seed faze. The Corn fields are quickly losing the green hues of summer and the stalks are drying out and turning that soft tan color that signals the coming of Halloween. Orange pumpkins lying in the fields are being gathered up and brought to the roadside stands to be oohed and ahhed over by eager children anxious to carve their jack-o-lanterns and put on their masks to go trick or treating. The mornings are crisp and the days are cool, soon the frost will kill of the annual flowers and the perennials will be going to sleep. The Apple trees are loaded with fruit waiting to be picked and the cider mill is ready to squeeze. Soon the flavor of fresh sweet apple cider will mix with the tast and texture of fresh warm doughnuts and it will officially be the Start of the Cold season. Enjoy the smells and the tastes and the feel of the fall. Take some time and walk in the leave and smell the fresh scent that they give off. Revel in the cool evening and build a fire to share with friends. Indoors or out! Get the garden ready for bed with the same care that you get your children ready, and when spring comes it will wake up easier. Gather in the seeds that you wish to save for next season. Cut the grass one last time and don't forget to put some fuel stabilizer in the gas tank before you run it. Get the snow blower ready, before you actually need it. Fill the windshield pisser in your car and get a couple of spare bottles now so you aren't scrambling in the dead of winter to find it to get the salt glaze off of your windshield. Fall is both a time to put things away, and to get things out. Enjoy the season while it lasts. I feel sorry for people who don't have a fall season. They don't know the beauty of the earth getting ready for winter.