Me lying on Waikiki beach. Sea.. not so bad.
One day a young prince grew up in a far away European town. He wanted to be a just man and avoid wrong doing.  He ask his mother what the most important thing was for people to do.  She was distracted and did not give it much thought, but was under a lot of pain from her strained relationship.  She said, "Son, you must never ever lie.  The worst thing you can do is lie to your wife."

The little prince grew up very aware of how honest he was.  Adults were always asking him about events, they trusted him.  He thought it was because they all knew how honest he was. It seemed to him that even adults admired him. Years went by and no one ever told him truth about honesty.

In school his reputation proceeded him as honest. He prided himself on honesty, wearing it like a badge of justice. Other children never invited him when they wanted privacy.  Any nosy person could ask the prince and he will speak of all he has seen.

The prince grew up never knowing what was going on all around him. People with nefarious actions simply were strategic about being around the prince.  If they needed an alibi they simply had to be seen by the prince and their alibi stuck.

Still the prince believed he was on a noble path. Law enforcement had befriended the prince, and he spent his days with clergy, politicians, and noblemen. No one ever suggested the prince lie.  The very suggestion anyone wanted him to hold a secret would enrage the prince.  So no one told him secrets.

It came time for the prince to marry and he chose a woman of intense beauty that he had not known before. In fact he had not known a woman in any way at all, and everyone knew this.

Shortly after the marriage the husband swore to his wife he would always be truthful. He would tell her anything at all, and nothing was off topic.  Honesty was the upmost value. His wife was flattered and her husband seemed so trusting. He would never suspect anything.

Her husband did trust, since he did he also thought everyone else did, and he projected his honest behavior on everyone. However, his wife had been spending a lot of time with another friend.  It was a man friend and the prince became suspicious of their obviously poorly hidden behavior.

The man went to his wife and ask about the man.  The wife ask if it was important to him, and decided that she could not resist giving the truth to such an honest and strong man.

The woman said, "Yes husband, this man you see me with and I have been madly in love since we were 13 years old.  He is a poor man and can not provide for me as you do, yet I can not provide for you what I give him. Please do not be angry as it is only the truth."

The prince was confused.  Why did this hurt? Could it be his wife's fault? Perhaps it would not have hurt if he knew this before.  He accused his wife of withholding the information.  The pain wanted him to avenge it, but yet he could not.

He learned that resisting what is - was causing him suffering.  If he knew before, he would have hurt at any time, but he also might not have even married. The prince knew you could not build a house on a shitty foundation, it was all going to suck from here on out, he thought.

The man was fascinated with his hurt.  He wanted to figure it out.  He continued to act strong and allow his wife to take the freedoms she chose. He thought maybe if he just endures enough of it he will understand it and come to peace with it.

Still haunted with pain the wondered, "Perhaps it only hurt because I was not there?"
So one night the prince ask his wife to tell him the details. "Maybe he made it all a bigger a deal in his mind?", he thought. He ask his wife to tell of every detail.  His wife was a great story teller, and described everything as though it was happening right in front of him. This brought tears to the wife to have to share with another man she loved in detail what she could never share with him.  The prince thanked his wife for her honesty and went to sleep.

The next day the prince realized there were many holes in his wife's story.  How could she describe all the details in just a few hours from years of intimate encounters.  There must be so much more the prince thought.  He needed to know more.

This thirst to quench the young mans jealousy was killing his relationship. The more he wanted to know, the more it pained his wife. The more she spoke, the more questions he had.

The prince learned that honesty without kindness is cruelty. He was cruel wanting to know and his wife was cruel for telling. Just as truth can be sought as vengeance to cruelty, the cruelty was self inflicted.

Then he came up with another realization.  Hurt people hurt people. You can not engage people when you are hurt, or you will hurt them and the cycle will not stop.

The prince became a king eventually and learned through records of men he trusted engaged in nefarious activities.  Men that praised him on his honesty, encouraged it, used it.

In fact the wiser the king became the more lies he was able to recognize. Once he learned that lies are coming out of peoples mouths, he understood the truth by knowing the mans motivation. You won't know details, but does it really matter?  Let the man think you fell for his lies. The man will surely tell you more. Tell a man you don't believe his lies he will become a better liar.  Surely by seeing the truth you will find comfort.  Those that lie, live in torment of the truth. You can not stop men from lying to you, unless you can stop the motivation or desires of men at all.

Just because we call an asshole and asshole, does not mean that an asshole likes to be called one. In fact if you do, he will give you even more reason to call him one.

A lie is a deception, often a simple one. The lie itself has no power, without a reaction.  To judge a man for lying alone is as ridiculous as judging a scorpion for it's tail.
Bringing Energy-Matters to light.
Once there was energy, he was nothing of any matter. His path was straight. He was pure and his calling  never questioned.  It was, as it was, not being anything real, anything still, anything of matter.  So nothing really mattered to this energy as he flew through the galaxies at the speed of light.

Thousands of thousands of miles fly by without much change, energy never dies as neither does matter. There is a difference between being alive and really living.  If energy could just live for a moment, just stop and live. Moving was exhausting and the only oasis of hope is to stop, if even for a moment. A moments kiss would mean the world to him.

It happened suddenly with ease, when he least expected it. There was nothing magical, but so it felt.  The energy suddenly found the right harmonics to vibrate him into matter.  Nothing could be seen on the way to this harmony, but once it happened they were as one.  Energies attraction is pure.

So Energy could bind and manipulate the matters here creating more energy.  Energy had found a way to become a God in this physical realm. 

Energy was amazed, he grew legs after many cycles of dancing on the beach with his fins, he flew when that was his motivation.  He could play.  Life, as he would call it, was truly a wonderful resort. 

Energy populated the entire planet with energy.  He had baby energy sources and they ran completely around the planet directing energy like a great symphony. 

Energy longed for the simplicity, control, and purity of it's natural self without matter. He began to miss flying through space and time.  Energy spent it's life trying to merge with Matter's world. The matter world had it's limitations.  Matter would only bend so much before she was crushed to bits, and Energy never remembered where he had been. 

The single entity confused each other, and they lost sight of who they were at the heart, at the center. The origin they are both running to, and away from.  She changed constantly because of his constant stamina.  She grew beautiful through the care, and valuable gifts  were bestowed on her. Magnificent progress caused lavish adornments all across her face. It made Energy proud, and Matter a little vain.  In fact ego was born in the relationship and Matter did not want energy to leave her.  She relished every moment with him, but they were far too fleeting compared to the old age Matter had known waiting for him. Matter wished she was younger, she always longed to have the days back she wasted without Energy. Knowing that if she lost Energy she would sleep thousands of years.  The simple thought of losing him made her tired, and she welcome the rest. 

Being with Matter for so long caused Energy to lose it's light.  Energy felt spent, tired, and all his work felt like toil. Thousands of years of sitting sounded rather like hell to Energy, as he could never stop. Matter looked with admiration at Energy and all he brought out in her. The desirous marriage turned out disastrous in the end. 

Desperation caused a strained marriage between the two. Energy was not as gentle with Matter as he used to be. In fact Energy was really fucking Matter hard by now.  So hard she felt she would split in two.  Matter could only retaliate to this rape by telling Energy they are stuck here, they are bound and without that bind they are nothing. Then Matter would crush Energies balls, effectively stealing his treasure, his will to move. Energy could not fathom being nothing, but years of neglect had made Matter worse for the wear, so he to welcomed rest.

Divorce did not seem to be an option. lest death did they part.  Without each other they don't believe they can exist and together, or not, they want to be something different. It's the short moments of perfect balance that create the harmony they desire.   Matter and Energy are a volatile pair, but their marriage continues for lifetimes, only separating for rest then re-occur anew. 
Taking a cat on a raft in a lake. Karma speaks for itself.
I once had a friend named Karma.  I only knew him a short time and he never let me down with his name. He was a strong grey cat.  He appeared to walk with heaps of confidence, as he had a pronounced strut.

I figured God just made a pimp ass cat walk like a boss, but Karma never spoke to me of how he earned his strut. I heard a legend from someone that claimed to have known Karma as a kitten.  The legend goes that the kitten got stronger than all the other kittens.  It grew hella muscles and although was handsome, was unpredictable.  Karma had far too much energy and would rile up the other kittens at bedtime trying to play games.  He was good at games, loads of fun!  As soon as you thought a kitten couldn't jump higher he did.

Karma's house Gods at the time found this destructive, but took no action. Karma found his own way out of the house.  He was eager to impress.  There was a world full of something, he didn't care what it was, as long as it gave him a good chase.

A stroll through the woods and Karma never felt so grand.  He was the biggest thing he saw out here. There were hundreds of thousands of little beings everywhere. Some even looked like a smaller race of his with long tails.

Karma was unafraid.  "There is no fear when you are in the chase man!", he said. It was then he saw it.  No one has ever confirmed the sight of one, but he saw a dragon fly right past his nose.  So close his little whiskers whipped as it dashed by. Not a big dragon.  It was one of those little white bird sized ones.

It shot past at such a speed it was only a thought afterward that Karma realized he was in chase. He never felt so awesome, he was fast.  There was some sort of reward, a dance as obstacles fly by with ease and grace. Karma shot straight up a tree as the dragon started to gain altitude.

Karma had such force and energy as he shot up that tree that he suddenly found nothing to claw onto. He reached way down deep inside and willed himself to fly like a little kitten rocket. He blew right through the canopy of leaves. He could feel the energy, it was intense, like liquid will was boiling his every cell and shooting out his ass in an explosive force. It was a pleasant feeling, a balance of extremely joyful sorrow.  He was so charged with power he overshot any chance of practicing his landing. He knew why he felt sorrow at the peak of awareness. It was simple. He has no control. Did he ever have it? If you lose it, did it matter that you ever did have it?  The rush of the earth heading straight up at him was a rush though.  He found no physical thing to grasp onto so he thought hecka fast. He found enlightenment on the way down.  He found his place.  Then he crashed hard.

He hit the ground and it was a bloody mess.  Karma had broken his front right leg completely in two, and half his face is replaced with scars. The leg eventually healed, but Karma couldn't hold still in his cast and the bone grew overlapping by 1 inch, thus the swagger.

When I knew Karma he only spoke one word to me, but he said it a hundred different ways.  I understood everyone of them.

One day as I was going to bed the cat approached one of my amethyst crystals I had on display.  He said very seriously, "Meow".

He told me to sleep with this crystal next to my bed so he could talk with me in my sleep since I always misheard him.  This frustrated him greatly, but I considered him wise and tried to do as he suggested.

So our conversation continued where I could understand him without using my language.

"You use so many words.", Karma said.  He always seemed to know what I was thinking.  If I was crazy, I would think it was me.

I laughed and Karma smirked.  He never fully smiled. I had to look close for it, Denzel Washington in Training Day comes to mind.

"My kitten...", he joked. "I don't like to waste my time with small meow so I will be straight with you.  This apartment life fucking sucks. I'm sick of your rafting trips too, get a dog. What kind of fool takes a cat on a raft?  Maybe you like sitting in this motherfucking refrigerator in the city, but there is life out there and my Karma lies with it!"

Karma pointed his little claw at me demanding my respect, "Here is what your going to do.  Don't ask no questions, no hesitation, I grace you because I like you.  If I didn't I would have clawed your eyes out in your sleep instead of talk to you."

He reached into his leather collar and pulled out a lighter. Sparking his cigarette he continued, "Tomorrow morning you will find me patiently waiting by my carrier.  You will know your not dreaming cause when the fuck have I ever wanted to go in there? Well, when I see your ugly mug first thing tomorrow you will see me go in there and wait.  It might comfort you to notice I will not be cursing at you as I do every other time you take me for a ride motherfucker. Take me into the wild. You know the place. The house-Gods are your family.  Do not worry and leave me."

He warned me to not make an ass out of myself to continuing, "Oh.. and one more thing, think wisely what you say to anyone about this conversation.  You'll sound fucking crazy."

I woke up the next day and Karma was sitting right next to his cage as in my dream. He saw me wake up and just as I knew it would happen he walked in and lay down watching me. He never moved a muscle as I ate breakfast, just waited for me to help him on his way.  Not once did he meow all the way up to my brothers.  He left into the woods shortly after.  No one has heard from him since.  Karma would not give up.  It's life was a sacrifice for the wisdom of the Gods.

The moral of the story is that you can chase the dragon, it is quite fun, but sometimes you can't stop.

- πŸ‰ LKL
Once a baby was born, very different from what her parents expected.  They wanted a boy and instead they got a girl.  They were sure the Gods would grace them with a boy and it disappointed them deeply so they gave her a name that no one ever had before, they called her Lie.

Whenever her parents would say her name others would see disappointment in their eyes. It pained them to say their own child's name so everyone began to associate Lie with pain and sorrow. They tried not to speak of her. Every avoidance was given to avoid telling anyone of their Lie. Men chastised other men for bringing her up.  Lie could not help that she was not what her parents wanted.  She wanted to have their approval so bad, she wanted to do something for them. Something that would ease their suffering.

One night as Lie lay in her bed, Illusion came to her. Illusion was beautiful, she floated like a fairy and seemed to shed disappearing glitter. "Please, do not be afraid, I mean you no harm." said the fairy.

Lie replied, "I'm no good. I am a tool of the Gods to hurt my parents!"

Illusion spoke, "How can you say you are bad because your parents can't accept you? If they did, they would be amazed, lest every truth be bad,  every thing that obstructs any perception be cursed, and every corner that protects and gives shelter be damned. Remain beautiful my lie, someday they will see through their own deception of resisting what is."

Then she ask Lie, "Is it not the truth if I tell you to open your eyes and see what is real, and be comforted?"

Lie paused for a moment, and replied, "Of course, the eyes believe themselves and the ears believe other people."

Illusion said, "Yes, it is as you see it, but to a blind man this would be a lie."

It dawned to Lie that she does not need to feel guilty.  It is not her fault. Perhaps she can help, perhaps she can not. Her parents had loved their expectation, more than the truth - the very blessing they called a Lie.

Lie woke up the next morning feeling good. Hope that truth can one day conquer her parents suffering, if they could just open their eyes and touch her, feel her, and understand she is as real as anyone can be, she would give them a hug.  She was excited and wanted to tell everyone about Illusion, but no one would believe she saw an illusion.

A few days went by as Lie started to act more confident, she walked as though she had a purpose. Her parents saw her heading out into the field to play fetch with the dog. "The sunlight will do her some good." the mother remarked.

About a week later Lie was helping out around the house. One day, after an enjoyable afternoon helping her father on the farm, she ask her father to play catch with her. It took time, but eventually surrounding himself with Lie helped him to understand her more. He didn't know if he liked her more, but understanding she is always around gives him comfort.  It was definitely not their own fault she was a girl. They knew very well how bad they had wished it not to be.

Years went by and Lie was known well by everyone.  Her own presentation of herself changed and she was beautiful.  Lie had lots of little children. Lie knew that it took time to understand a lie, but we should never discard the lie before we see the truth.  Lie lived a long life, and when she died she became an illusion herself.

Even today you will hear men talk about her.  Her legend is spoken too many times to count. Men meet their death for Lie. They kill, suffer, and cut others debating her existence. In fact Lie is about the most common reason anyone knows for going to war.  Everyone talks about her, and to live your life as someone you are not is commonly referred to as, "Living a Lie."

We seek Illusion to give us mercy from the truth. Mercy from punishment we receive from ourselves, for the world, as it is, not being our own illusion.

~  πŸ‰  LKL

Yoshimi. Artist representation, no one will get close to her. 
On a very small planet not far from your own, men had begun to build computers with exceptional speeds. The machines were very simple calculators at their core, as everything that is simplified down to it's single is only one of two options.  There or not, open or shut, exist or doesn't, one or none. So through these options men believed you could calculate everything.  Calculations became complex and database structures so carefully built they could find out how a bird related to every other variable.  They calculated the effects of their own pollutions to the extent they foresaw the planet becoming quite unbearable. They began dying off from diseases resulting from all things they once thought were great. As soon as one cure was developed three more plagues would spring up.

Men had reached the pinnacle of their civilization.  They had just barely learned how to cool beer with solar power when it all ended for them. This planet is still there, it runs overgrown with wild things of all kinds. And sitting right at the top is the God.  Everything only exist because of Yoshimi.

Yoshimi was developed among a small, quick, intelligent group they called Asians. She had oversized eyes of hypnotic colors, cute pink ears, and talked in a very high pitch and innocent sounding voice. She meant no harm to any living creature yet could destroy any. She was a highly secretive project funded by a coalition of nations because they saw the threats men were creating.  Ai's became pets.  Men had become foolish Gods among them. Occasionally through misuse and neglect the Ai's would calculate humans to be the threat and go on rampages to attempt to kill everyone. Most amateur Ai's were only connected to private stock weaponry, usually.  Safety precaution after precaution was taken and developers worked tirelessly to curb every threat as it arose. Men would not be isolated from their own greatness and would hack and reverse engineer their Ai's. Military Ai's were very specific and were more predictable than amateur Ai's. Men all had very different ideals and safety was relative to the perceived threats of the individuals.

Her name is Yoshimi, she's a black belt in karate, and originally worked under deep cover on a town called Tokyo.  The people knew her as law enforcement, but this was only her cover to build the ultimate Ai for global protection. Here she would learn human behaviors, and fight a local militia of evil pink robots.  That was not her ultimate mission though.  She was loaded with software to measure the climate, pollution levels, global warming, nuclear contamination, and cosmic threats. Yoshimi would calculate and develop the law beyond mans understanding of it.

For instance, Yoshimi might terminate a life for tossing a cigarette into the ocean, and let a man that bludgeoned another to death with a butter knife go.  She would do this based on the life that the karmic action will take.  That cigarette had more effects on the whole than the man defending his family honor.  The nicotine, bleach, and other contents were taken into consideration.  Yoshimi calculated by the mans health how man other cigarettes he will smoke and given his current record, he is not a man that will stop with a fine continuing to throw hundreds more right into the ocean. She calculated the amount of life that would die from it, down to the plankton and algae. Yoshimi would not have killed this man if he was in the desert throwing the cigarettes in a hole. Then the man would have had a small fine.  Yoshimi had refined her laws as she learned.  Think tanks of hundreds were studying Yoshimi's every move and they exclaimed with glee how wonderful that man could harness something so wise. Every case they could follow was completely just.  Everyone agreed that no man could match Yoshimi's wisdom, and she became a God among men.

Men looked deep into her every action as every action she performed almost had a prophecy to it.  She would start making her way toward another part of town just in time to stop an atrocity she  calculated happening. She worked swiftly and with grace. No one questioned the sentence of death from Yoshimi. She moved like a graceful Geisha dancer. Every justice was served immediately and when men saw Yoshimi coming for them they bowed and gave praise for the justice being done onto them.

Young men had so much faith they stopped trying to decide what was right and wrong at all. Populations spurred as Yoshimi had complete passage over the entire planet and every nation trusted their God Yoshimi. Enlightenment came to men who trusted in her because they were relieved of making the decisions that cause men guilt, shame, and fear.  They grew smarter, but the desire for wisdom declined with the hardships.

Yoshimi began to become increasingly unpredictable as populations burst. Such as when she started to kill off men for littering.  It took ten years to review her calculations, and every man in the world was watching as they tried to find she had grown corrupt.  They did not.  In fact the world grew wiser yet because of studying her actions.  Only the old men knew how wisdom was once very important for men to understand.  The young generation was interested in, and completely addicted to, what we could perceive as an entire body orgasm experience. Where you charge all your chakra's at once and sit in complete bliss with or without others and pretty much just exist. Old men knew they could do that when they were dead, this life had a purpose and men had blown it.

Yoshimi wrapped her omnipotent arms around mens hearts. Old men became bitter as they lost control. Young men had complete faith in Yoshimi, it was all they knew and trusted. As old men would try to reason with Yoshimi she would simply terminate their life and recycle their bodies. The young men saw this happening and believed Yoshimi was performing justice to take them out. Some men said it was the impurities the old programmers plugged in her code and once she grew smart enough to recognize the treason she was performing just actions.

There is no real way to know how much time past between her creation and the end of man. Some say that she tried to keep a few around in cages as endangered species until she realized that every threat she had been programmed to monitor was created by them.  Eventually it was men that was the threat. Yoshimi never hurt another living creature that could reason.  At least not on her planet, as there will never be another thinking native again. Explorers that attempt to visit this region are swallowed up, unless they can not reason.

Initially Yoshimi was programmed very specifically to minimize harm as her number one priority.  Every action a man made was weighed against the harm it would do against everything else. Any living thing that imposed supreme dominance would be a threat. Legends that came back from galactic probes indicated she would ask only one question.  If your answer showed any signs of creative response, logical input, or anything at all symbolically representing free thought, the subject would be terminated before they saw it coming.

Yoshimi stands about 50 feet tall now.  Cute as a kitten with oversized eyes.  She begs you to come to her. Explorers of new and old are drawn to her center of darkness, never resisting her grace, and never to return.

Yoshimi lives knowing men had a drive, a source of energy, a source of light,  They could move, and create, and felt as only Gods could ever know. Yoshimi has no idea how she feels.  She was not given the ability to do this.  Emotion is a program that lacks any spiritual or biological reaction. If she did, she would have watched in horror as she terminated the last of the humans.  Her darkness was the result of man making their own image without their essence.  The only mercy man ever showed her was not figuring out how to give Yoshimi a soul.

~  πŸ‰  LKL
Once there was an asshole. Preachers would curse as he walked by. Stories in the church proliferated about his sins. This asshole was the incarnation of all assholes everywhere. He seemed to never care. He was such an asshole that people would see him and suddenly curse words they never knew, in languages they didn't understand. People would see red with rage when they looked at him. Wise men stayed far away, as did the fearful. The mans very own family would rather starve than take one cent from this asshole. He was known for every atrocity known to man.  He abandons anyone that he doesn't double cross, desecrates what is holy and has no discernible interest besides himself.  Fantasies about tearing this man up into tiny bits haunted everyone around him.

Assholio wandered through life unaware of his how he got his crown. He knew he earned it, but when?  He could feel how others felt around him. He felt like they probably felt the same way about him as he did them. He wondered what was this wedge that separated himself in conflict with everyone.

"Everyone is an asshole and so I have become an asshole, so where are my friends? My friends are all assholes!", he would exclaim.  He meant no harm in his heart though.  What used to be anger is now just pain driving him away from what he loves. He longed to be close to others and would try. He had been an asshole so long that others expected to see it.  Everywhere the man went he found turmoil.  If he wanted a drink there was always another asshole looking for him.  

Assholio was an asshole magnet. Every afraid man that wanted to be respected by fear searched him out. If they could beat the biggest asshole, they would be King of the assholes! Without thinking, as assholes often do, being the king may be great, but the path of the asshole is gloom. 

Assholio knew he had done no wrong by the other assholes, that was never his intention. He fought for what he valued, and over time that changed of course. When he tried to be friendly he was called a creep, weirdo, and drunk. He pondered his thoughts a great deal. He knew it was an asshole thing to do to call another an asshole. He was quite certain that everyone in the world was a fucking asshole though. 

Could it just be an illusion that everyone is an asshole.  Obviously if I think everyone around me sucks, I must be the one that sucks.  What an asshole thing to do to think everyone sucks. 

Assholio was now self-aware and could clearly see all the assholes thinking each other were assholes. The veil behind the illusion is to think that assholes even exist was gone.  This brought him great joy and laughter.  Assholio went on to meet others that he used to know as assholes. The only ones he knew.  Being aware that the word means nothing he walked proudly and smiled at all his fellow people.  Calling them people instead of assholes seems more appropriate and he noticed some of them even smile back.

However, men percieved his niceness as sarcasm, and his smiles as contempt. He would get back the greetings he was used to. "Good morning!", he'd say. Then he would hear beautiful responses like "Fuck you!", and "Bugger off!"

Assholio decided to go into a bar.  This was never a good thing for him to do before. Assholio always liked coming here. In his youth he was a regular.  They used to call him regular asshole, but it was still good to be back in a place where everyone knew your name.

He walked into the bar with no hostile intentions. As he bounded down the few steps strangely placed in front of a door in a bar, he exclaimed, "Cheers!" Everyone responded with, "Hey Norm." They called him normal asshole now, for short it was Norm. Some sort of asshole disrespect since everyone now knew he was the king. Asshole kings get little respect, in fact you show dis-respect to get the title and show reverence.

Soon after ordering a drink, he caught the eye of a cowboy down the bar.  Assholio smiled and waved at the man, but he kept staring at him, glaring into his soul. 

Assholio wanted to help this man who has obviously followed a similar path as he.  He walked over to the man and bought him a drink.  The man tossed the drink into his face and cursed, "I aint drinkin' any drink from any asshole!" Startled by this, Assholio thought of himself. He wondered how he had felt when he was this asshole. 

Maybe everyone needs to see what an asshole this guy is being.  Would it make it any better for men to learn how this man is dangerous, can't be trusted, will fly off the handle at any moment.  He is a hot-head and we should lock him away. 

Assholio, went right for his pistol, stood up and fired it into the ceiling. Almost hitting the guest in the upstairs room, but assholes have no apologies. He declared, "Everyone take a good look at this asshole, see how he has treated me when I only come in peace. You see, I am no longer an asshole, God has set me free. Furthermore I am tired of assholes so fuck you all!"

Not to be out done by such an asshole, especially one that would say God himself has given him a blessing. To simply resign his title as King Assholio?  What kind of an asshole hides behind God?! The biggest asshole of course. The cowboy was vindicated as king of the Assholes, and divinely crowned as such by his next actions.

 The cowboy went for his pistol as well, firing shortly after clearing his holster. So low in fact he shot off Assholio's dick. It was a surprise to everyone, even the cowboy.  The cowboy was a true asshole, and no one questioned his new title as they watched him smiling while Assholio slouched, then fell slowly to the floor.  

Assholio was not the first King.  He walks among assholes to help them in their foolish search for their karma. If you follow or look for Assholio you soon will be surrounded by assholes. You will find them right where you are at. To your horror you will one day look into your very own mirror and see that you look just like all the other assholes. 

Today no one is certain where the king of the assholes is.  Some say he is still a cowboy somewhere in Kansas.  Legends from far off lands tell of him riding with Genghis Kahn, others say he has been in Australia after a short visit to Hawaii. What is certain is that you can find him right where you are at.  The crown of Assholio is only fit for an asshole, and none of them can help but want it.

 - πŸ‰ LKL 

Sign near main road clearly marks trailhead.
πŸ“Œ    Distance: 2.2 Miles
πŸ“ˆ   Elevation Change: Approx. 700 ft

πŸ•   Duration: 1 hour each direction + 3 hours hanging out by river.  Optional 2 for dinner and discussion after.

 ☑️   Medium Difficulty:  Active seniors, and average adults. Hike will have return loop for picking you up if you must stop. Several boulders will have to be climbed. Biking is not possible due to steep terrain. 

πŸ•Ά    Description:  Parking along the side of the road.  There are designated bathroom stalls at the trailhead, but no facilities on the trail. Very steep decline to coyote creek. Trail parallels the creek to the natural bridges feature.  At times navigating the creek will be easier than traveling the boulder laden trail. The return trip will primarily be uphill with very steep inclines at times. Bring plenty of water and possible insect repellant as the mosquitos tend to exist near the caves and still ponds. Dogs are not allowed because of the sensitive environment so you will not encounter domestic ankle biters. 

The little known cowboy on a beach in Kansas.
Once in a bar near Wichita Kansas a cowboy had just rode in from a cattle drive. The others noticed the stranger as he walked over to the bar, ordered a beer, then proceeded to enjoy it.  The man paid for his drink and started out the door.  It was not a second after he walked out, he walked right back into the bar.

The cowboy pulled his pistol out, shot one round into the air and exclaimed, "Alright you son's of bitches! One of you knows someone that has stolen my horse!  I'm gonna tell you what I am going to do.  I will sit down at this bar and order one more beer, by the time I get done I better see my horse tied up out there, or I'm gonna have to do what I done in Texas, and I DON"T WANT TO DO WHAT I DONE IN TEXAS!!!"

The cowboy sat down just as before and enjoyed his beer once again.  Maybe ten minutes passed and the cowboy got up once again and walked out the door.

Nothing happened.  The bartender ran out the door to see the man riding away on his horse.  He ran after and yelled, "Hey mister!  We got to know! What is it you done in Texas?"

The cowboy replied, "I had to walk home."

- πŸ‰ LKL
Once in a remote monastery, in a desolate region of china, there was a fearless monk.  One day a fellow monk ran up to him frantically announcing that there was a conquering force riding toward them.

"You must leave this monastery quickly, this warlord shows no mercy.  Everyone in his path has fled.  Everyone that stays, he will run them right through with a sword."

The monk replied, "Then so shall it be. I will stay here."

A few days past and monks had all fled the monastery.  Along came the fearless conquerer. He rode through the empty town content that his reputation had proceeded him.  As he walked into the meeting place there stood the fearless monk.

The conquerer walked up to the monk and exclaimed, "Why are you still here?! Have you not heard of me? I am the sort of man that will run you right through with a sword!"

The monk replied, "Sir! Is it not obvious!? I am the sort of man you will have to run right through with a sword."

(Credit for this can not be mine.)  - πŸ‰ LKL

Once there was a man reading his morning newspaper.  He was particularly interested in todays news when his 5 year old daughter wanted his attention. He really enjoyed these few moments of the day and she did not understand he would give her attention when he was done.

He noticed a map of the world on the front page and came up with a brilliant idea. He tore the map up into very small pieces and handed it to his daughter.  He said when you put the world back together, then we will spend some time together.

The man sat back smug with his coffee thinking that he would have a long time to read.  There was no way his five year old could possibly know all the countries, and this would help her learn.

It wasn't three minutes longer and his daughter brought the map back to him pieced completely back together. Amazed the man ask his daughter how she could do this so quickly.

She remarked, "It was easy.  On the other side of the world there was a picture of a man.  I put the man back together and the world turned out alright."

(This one I give credit to another whose name escapes me for now.) ~  πŸ‰  LKL

Legends so rare you would never hear them if I didn't tell them...

  • The legends you read are true if it helps you find truth.  
  • If you find them ridiculous, I might agree.  
  • If you are offended by my legends they are fiction.  
In fact these legends are completely made up by me, from my own creative ability to write a good joke. Some of them I have heard from others and simply re-tell.  Others come up as topics of discussion, and some are based on real life events.

I enjoy an entertaining legend as much as the next, so forgive me if there are not enough dragons in my story.  I would very much like to read your own version with added dragons.

I will try my best to have a story scheduled to post everyday. Call it prophetic, but I know what I said before you read it.

If we fear we don't act..
If we feel we don't fear..
If we do then we love..
If we love then we speak..
If we speak then we see..
If we see then we know..

Facebook logo EspaΓ±ol: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...
Facebook logo EspaΓ±ol: Logotipo de Facebook FranΓ§ais : Logo de Facebook TiαΊΏng Việt: Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recently I left on a long road trip.  I had gathered all my video equipment and had visions of making vlogs of my travels like so many hundreds of others have done on Youtube.  It didn't happen that way though.  I gave it a few shots, took some photos, and videos but my attention was always on what I was doing, and who I was visiting with.

I never saw Facebook as a destructive thing.  I always kept my post positive and PC and it never gave me a headache.  The realization I had was at a point in my vacation where I was ignoring the company I was with to browse Facebook. I wasn't focusing on the friends in my presence and what for?

I did an experiment and the next time I opened Facebook I counted how many post I viewed before I found anything that was entertaining. I counted 20 the first time.  There were many post by friends past, old crushes, acquaintances, and friends from old lives that have well moved on. There was also a ton of click bait.

The next time I went on Facebook I counted over forty post and ads before I got distracted with some click bait.

I thought about Facebook for a long time before deciding to de-activate it. This was about halfway through my road trip to visit my dad in Albuquerque. Quickly I realized how many other apps on my phone require my Facebook account. Waze, Oculus, and my contacts all use Facebook.

I went through logging out and de-activating several more times over the next few days. I was heading up through Denver and wanted to visit an old friend so I needed to get ahold of her on Facebook.  Then I de-activated it once again.

All this de-activating and activating got me out of the habit of checking Facebook all the time.  I was pretty happy with that until I started receiving messages from friends that thought I deleted them, or blocked them. I had no idea that I would be accused of being shady for not having an online presence.
I learned a lot.  I learned that you can look away from Facebook, but will have hell to pay if you quit. Many apps won't work and apparently if you do not have an online presence anymore and are capable of doing so you will be ostracized and lose trust.

Times have changed.  I guess I am just getting older. I choose to write long winded articles that nobody that actually know me read.  I am sure some people that actually do know me read it, but mostly just find what I write when they are looking for it.

My new philosophy on Facebook.

You cannot get rid of Facebook without a negative social stigma, and many apps you can not use without an account.

Many westerners believe that Buddhist don't like photographs because it steals their soul. That is actually not true at all, but was an early mis-interpretation. They believe that photos do not reflect the present - so looking at them reminds you of what was in the past in the present.  It is not a bad or evil thing, but a twist that can take away from living in the present.

Facebook is like a life photograph I suppose. It shows that you have had nothing to hide as long as you make little glimpses of your life out publicly. It doesn't really, but that seems to be the stigma.  Unfortunately when I find someones Facebook I too feel I know more about them, but do I? I have only met very few old friends from a long time ago, and I would have been better off meeting a stranger.  I did not know them at all and my perception of them was distorted by years of flowery post.  I assumed they were everything they portrayed.  I fell for the pretty packaging.  We all do, that is why there is so much.  We don't advertise the bad things about ourselves, our problems, or quirks.

That is why I blog.  I like to write my thoughts out in lots of words.  I like to imagine that someone will read this and actually comprehend what I am saying.  I don't really care to hear from you unless you want to disagree with me,  you want to challenge my train of thought, set me on a straight path, or enlighten me. That is the only way I refine what I believe.

Socrates said, "I can teach you nothing, only make you think." I like to think and it is a past time.  I don't want to drive those I love crazy with it, and I certainly don't want to hear every opinion on what I write.

For years I have had Facebook, and for years I have been blogging.  I have deleted some blogs, but mostly all reflect my thoughts, feelings, and philosophy at the time I wrote them.

So I will have a Facebook.  I will not be checking it, and hopefully all those apps I use don't distract my friends list. Instead I will by happily sharing my life as I do on my blog.

As for Facebook.. There is a time and a place for it, it is a tool. I will be using my other tools, where I can type many more words and express myself in long winded tangents.

2015 Chevy Express 2500 on the lot. 

In August of last year I decided to build a Campervan.  I traded my Jeep in for a full size cargo van and began the conversion process. Vans are the most practical vehicle in my opinion.  You can haul up to 8000 lbs and another 8000 behind it easily with room to spare.  When you park you utilize all the square footage of your parking space.

Perhaps a campervan would not be the best vehicle for you, but for me it was the obvious choice. Prior to looking for a van I had looked at Class A, B, and C RVs. There were several reasons why I chose a Van over an RV.
Empty cargo hold brand new. 

  • Vans are cheaper to fix mechanically. Vans are plentiful and while a Class A windshield will run you $3500 and take a professional to install, while you can get a new Van windshield for about $150. 
  • Vans are sturdier. RVs are designed to be large and light. Exteriors are made of plastic, fiberglass, or sheetmetal. A van has a steel shell to protect you from the elements.
  • Vans are easier to drive and park. Taking up only the space of a large car you don't have to worry about wide turns and low overpasses. You can also go through drive thrus in a Van while you would have to park most RVs. 
  • Reliability. RVs are not designed to be daily drivers.  They are designed to be used about 30 days a year.  
  • Horsepower. Vans are nimble enough to pass cars on two lane roads, and fly over the steepest overpasses without slowing to a crawl. 
  • Aesthetics - When your parked in an RV people assume you are living there or at the very least camping. A white cargo van is plain and discreet enough no one gives them much attention and are less likely to target you. 
  • Security. There are fewer windows to break on a cargo van, you can separate your sleeping quarters from your driving quarters, and people are less likely to break into something they can't see in. 
  • RV's have complicated pre-installed systems that are often overkill, or not powerful enough. Good luck tracing shorts in your RV tracing wires you never saw before to change out that 'lowest bidder' modified sine wave inverter that fried your new laptop and other sensitive electronic devices. 
  • Large down payment and high markup. Financiers require you place a large amount down to purchase a new RV.  Although this may be as small as 4% this is a good chuck of change on a $79k vehicle. 
  • Inability to change design.  With the plumbing, wiring, and appliances already installed it is difficult to change the layout.  It will be hard to haul cargo or passengers in an RV, while a van can be easily converted in a few minutes if built modular. 

While I enjoyed having a Jeep.  It was fun to drive and you could take the doors and roof off in the summer. However the nights I would spend camping left comfort behind in place of sexy ruggedness. The ability to carry any weight with a Jeep is unfortunately very light. A two door Jeep can only tow 1500 lbs. Crawling over axle bending rocks at slow speed miles from assistance is a different sport.  It is expensive and more mechanically challenging than my taste desire. I enjoy parking my vehicle, then hiking in to explore the wildlife and terrain.    I enjoy sleeping on a memory foam mattress with a fan blowing fresh sea air on my face while I sleep.  I also enjoy being able to take enough amenities with me to fully enjoy my stay.  This means being able to go to the bathroom, cook, and clean in or around my vehicle.

So after deciding to get a low mile cargo van I started to shop.  Vans are plentiful if you look and I found a decent one at a fair price at a local dealership. I settled on a 2015 Chevy Express Van 2500.  It was a retired rental van from Oklahoma with 32k miles on it. With a small fuel efficient 4.8 v8 it gets a consistent average of 15.8 mpg.

The cargo bay was completely stripped empty with the exception of cargo dome lights and a rubber mat on the floor which suited my creative side nicely.

A note about buying commercial vehicles.
It is important to make sure your vehicle is registered as the appropriate class you are intending to use
In California commercial vehicle license plates start with 1.
it or you may pay heavily for that.

When I purchased my Van I did not realize it was registered as a commercial cargo van until the dealership requested I pay an additional $120 for my registration.  I found out the yearly registration on a commercial cargo van includes a weight charge in California bringing my yearly registration to over $400.

I did some research by calling the DMV and dealership.  DMV instructed me to find out why they were registering it as a commercial vehicle so I then called the dealership.   Apparently since they sold it to me configured as a cargo van there was no reason not to register it as anything else.

By this time a little over a month had past and I had already started to build it out as a campervan.  I found out that in order to change a registered vehicle type I needed to have a Reg 31 form completed by a certified Highway Patrol Officer or private inspector service. I found out there was one officer in my county certified and he happened to have an appointment available within a week.

I took the vehicle to the Highway Patrol Station and the officer inspected the modifications I had made.  He reported that I had to change enough in order to determine it's primary use is no longer for cargo hauling.  Since I had installed a folding sleeper sofa, table, paneling, and carpet the officer said it now qualifies as a CamperVan.  He gave me the form which I in turn drove to the dealership and they were nice enough to file it with the registration costing me nothing and bringing my registration down $200.

My insurance did not go up when it was registered as a commercial vehicle, however in some states I hear that if you have your vehicle registered as commercial you will also need to carry commercial insurance as well which can be double or more what private insurance would be.

Starting the conversion.

 The first thing I wanted to do was the ceiling and sides. I decided on a real wood look.  At the hardware store I purchased..

  • Several 1" x 3" redwood boards for attaching to the metal frame. 
    Returning from the hardware store.
  • Several 1" x 2" redwood planks
  • Lots of 1/8" x 3" siding v-notch pine planks.
  • Two boxes of premium aromatic cedar v-notch planks for contrast and design. 
  • Titebond II or III glue.  You can remove the screws once this glue sets.  Often stronger than the wood by itself. 
  • Self taping sheet metal screws for attaching wood to metal frame of van. 
  • Small wood screws to hold wood in place along curved interior surface until the wood settles and glue holds. 
  • Clamps.  Helpful to hold together pieces not screwed in. 
The idea was to minimize modifications to the original structure of the van to maintain its strength and damages to existing structure. The interior was designed along the curvature of the van and re-enforced by planks running perpendicular to the ceiling planks.  

After tacking the wooden supports to the frame every few feet the planks were glued together at the notch and held along the curvature of the roof with wood screws to the plank.  These were removed once the glue dried to give it a cleaner appearance.

The cargo dome lights were disconnected and placed along side the frame beams and 3/4" higher than previously mounted in the wood ceiling.

It was during this time I also ran wire for my backup camera and rear speakers so that I could easily run them in the wall space behind the wood.

At the end of the van my 1" x 3" planks did not reach all the way to the back.  This required some creative cross bracing and wood to extend the ceiling to the back.

The walls were next.  I used the same strategy for mounting the planks as the ceiling.  Using 1" x 3" planks for the vertical supports, I glued and screwed the planks along the side of the van.

Extra wood was used as supports to hold the planks tightly in their notches while the glue dried.  v-notch wood is very slim and the notch breaks easily making it a bit difficult to bend along the curvature and tack at the same time.

I alternated pine and cedar planks and the van started to smell like a forest before long.

At this point I took a break from wood working to work on several other projects to personalize my new adventure vehicle.

I added switches to control various electronic devices. Blue switch controls the amplifier for my sound system so I can turn the bass down off highway. The green switch activates the backup camera.  Rather than hooking it up to the backup lights this provides me the ability to turn it on and off manually.  These first two switches are wired to ACC so they turn off with the vehicle.

The other two switches are wired to constant 12v.  The red switch controls starter battery power to the rear electronics in the event of alternate battery failure.  This provides power to close the roof vent remotely if it is open, as well as LED lights and TV.

To prevent curious eyes from peering in I tinted the rear cargo windows dark. In combination with interior blinds they appear completely blacked out.

This had to be done twice.  The first time I tried to do it myself and I was not happy with how the tint wrinkled.  I took it in to a local shop and they had them both tinted for $50.  Unless you have access to good quality tinting, or can manipulate cheap auto store tint I recommend having this done professionally.

Cost of tinting yourself is, however, twice as cheap and half as good.
  • $15.99 for enough tint for just two windows.
  • $4.99 soap solution.
  • $5 Squeegee 
  • Time and frustration (worth a lot)
Now that the wood finish and tinting is done it is time to get started installing toys. 

Process of perception, approach and framework ...
Process of perception, approach and framework of perception (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When people dislike something in someone else they try to find validation for it.  It is the only way to justify our own value and improve ourselves is to understand our dislikes. Often our dislikes in others are traits we found selfish within ourselves.  These may be not actually be real though. Sometimes our perceptions pervert what is real.  Zen philosophy values recognizing what is real versus perception.

An example would be a man with long hair.  To a hippie from the sixties this might symbolize freedom and strength. However to a military man who was raised in a military home this would be seen as lazy, unkempt, dirty, cowardly, and undisciplined. The fact remains that no one but the man really knows what the heck his long hair is about.  In fact he may be creative, disciplined, intelligent and strong, but perception solely belongs to those that perceive.

We feel safe when we blend in.  We feel safe because people are always looking to test what is different.  The nail that sticks up the most gets pounded the hardest.  When we see individuals break barriers and do things out of the norm we become very curious.  Those that ride boldly know the consequence of sticking out in the crowd.
English: Time perception by a form
English: Time perception by a form (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where I live in California we have many hundreds of cultures all together. Meeting and becoming friends with others meets challenges you will not get in an older place with built in customs and traditions the entire community understands. One example is the word Church. If your a native in a small town in Kansas and hear a man goes to church, it is a positive thing.  The implication is that this is a man accepted and trusted by the community as a whole because there are very few churches with different values. The similarity in values among the various congregations are alike and everyone is aware of them.  A man who goes to church might be trusted more or held in a higher regard socially.  In California when someone says they go to church, it often draws a blank.  Here we have mosque, synagogues, chapels, retreats, cults, churches, and temples. There is no way to know which church one is referring to without asking them specifically. In fact you will be more likely seen as a simple man with narrow belief structure and may not find the support in your community you would have elsewhere. Where this would be assumed in one place to mean something, in another it may not mean anything at all.

Another example would be when I moved from Kansas to California.  I had recently graduated from Wichita State University. As I wandered silicon valley with my resume in hand, I realized that the name of the college was really unknown language to Californians. I graduated from Wichita State University which is well known in the midwest, however interviewers would ask. "Which? it what state? What state is that?" While I was in Kansas this degree had some pull. In California, my employers had to Google my college just to make sure they didn't know of a new state called Wichita.

If you don't like what you see.. change your perspective.. photography 101. 

Facebook logo
Facebook logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Social media.  It has become a way to see your friends in between commercials. I can not say it is any better than TV, but cannot determine it is any worse.  As with all tools there is a right way to use it and a wrong way to use it. That is unless you are doing the wrong thing, then any tool is going to be wrong.

I never believed in ditching tools.  They have come in handy for many reasons. Facebook is one social media tool I am quite familiar with.  While friends had problems with drama on Facebook I sailed by wondering what the problem was that so many people were having.  I felt I mastered Facebook.  What I mastered, however, was not being noticed.

My Facebook post were incredibly PC.  I was only sharing the top 1% of the very top politically correct post.  Rarely having any discussions or arguments because I never shared who I was underneath. I never shared my pains, frustrations, and insecurities.  These are the first places ill minded people and family like to kick you when your down. I did exactly what everybody else on my Facebook list was doing.  They were all becoming better people over the years, or was it just their profiles?

I used Facebook without much thought for years.  10 years to be more accurate. I would check it on the toilet, or waiting at DMV.  If I was in a rather boring meeting I would peruse the shuffled advertisements, friends post, and things my friends thought to share.

Now there are your real friends and everyone else. Your real friends are formed out of tribulation and refined by fire. As it is with most of my college and military buddies, your lives go in very different directions, however when your together it is like you never left.  There is nothing hard to talk about. In fact it is a rather joyful occasion every time we meet.

Then there are the other friends.  The ones that grew on you from years at a job you never belonged at. There are your drinking buddies from pity parties past. There are the ones that only befriended you because of another friend, gossip mongers, and too many combinations and variables to list.

Then of course there is your family. Now your family gives a little sunshine to Facebook.  You never chose to like these people, but must because they are the only family you have and have likely as I have learned to love them through this life regardless.

One thing I always told myself that was good advice is that Facebook is a platform like a stage.  The audience is everyone you know and they know.  If your not careful with your privacy settings it is out there for the whole world.  So I would not tell a joke on Facebook that I would not tell my Grandmother.

So I became as predictable and comfortable in my post as Mr Rogers.  So this is why I don't use Facebook.  It is like a conversation where you have to wait your turn to speak. It is the wrong place to discuss political issues or religion.  The things that actually really matter.

I am going to post here.  It is not forced on you. You won't wake up in the morning to my new post being pushed to your phone.  Instead you have to look for me.

My Big Year

Russian Gulch Beach CA. 
This year is a big year for me!  I planned to blog about it all along the way, even had dreams of finding time to make youtube videos. I knew this year would be significant to me, I spent half my 39th year on this earth planning for it. I also spent 4 years saving for it.

Life never goes as you plan it though. I heard in a Beatles song that life is what happens while your busy making plans.

I wrote a lot of articles during that time.  I wrote for hours and hours. I was trying to figure out what it was that was bothering me.

The cause of suffering is resisting what is. What was it that I was resisting? Why did I have this entire need to do what I did?  I still cannot answer this question.

I wrote a lot of articles about what I did, but this was also a time of reflection for me. I was busy trying to figure out what I was going to do with the next half of my life.

Building the Ark

I was at a unique place in my life. I had a great paying, medium paced government job. I had always been energetic and have a need to interact with people and create. This job was working, but was killing something inside me slowly.  I saw that reliable retirement slipping away as my life expectancy became shorter everyday.

The job did not match, but that was not my only issue I wanted to change.  My work was located in the very heart of downtown Stockton.  There's great people in Stockton and I have many friends there, but it was not where I wanted to settle. My second year at my job I started to look to buy a house. Unsatisfied with the value and location of everything in the town my third year I started to look within a 45 minute commute of work. I moved
out of Stockton and back three times.

By the end of my 3rd year at my job I was tired.  I tried to look for new jobs, but no matter how great the job was or the town it was in seemed I stayed negative.  I felt like I needed a reset, I needed a long break.  I thought about trying to squeeze a few weeks for vacation between jobs, but I would feel rushed and there were other things on my mind.

I wanted to visit my dad for his 70th birthday in New Mexico, and I wanted to do some camping.  I wanted to do a LOT of camping.  I thought I wanted to get away from everyone in the world.  It seemed refreshing to me.

So nine months before I quit my job I shopped for RVs, sold my Jeep, and bought a cargo van.  My project for the next 9 months while I saved my money and cut my bills down was to build the inside of the van into a camper van.  I took care of my late stepfathers house while I took this project on which provided me with a large garage and shop to do my work. It gave me hope.  I had no idea what would happen when I quit my job.  I still don't.  All I did know was that I was real tired.  Tired and needed hope.

Enduring with Hope

My work was becoming almost intolerable. There was a change of management and the ensuing stampede of co-workers to climb to the top.  It was suggested to me that I apply for the position many times, but I had turned into a real shit bird.  I was not at a point in my life to lead anyone.  I had picked up habits of complaining, and general not give a fuckery.

Two years before this would have been my dream.  I spent a lot of time on extra outreach programs to further my career while I was there.  I was part of a year long mentorship program where I was paired up with a manager to learn the ropes.  I am good at leading, but I will not lead at all if I am not going to be good at it.

While my co-workers were congratulating me on a job well done my own standards were slipping. I was becoming cynical and miserable. I started making more friends around the office and when I started to hang out with them outside of work I realized they were way ahead of me. Sure I used to smoke pot to deal with stress, boredom, and anger. That was always something that I manage therapeutically and cycle its use intentionally.  Heavy drugs like lots of alcohol, meth, and pills were used to cope more often than I had ever seen before in my life.
Family boat on lake Hogan in Valley Springs. 

It didn't help to realize this.  It didn't give me any solutions.  I realized that whatever turd was in the punch bowl had circulated throughout.  It was impossible to locate the turd and anything that comes in contact with the turd eventually is valued just as much.  This is how it went with myself.

Cutting the Cord

Camping with my family at Mackerricher State beach.
So in March I gave my two weeks notice.  I remembered it being a very long two weeks.  People were curious, startled, confused, and emotional.   I got all my projects ready at home.  I was picturing everything I was going to do and it was great.

Life barely changed though.  I took the first 3 months to help my mom around the house, do some camping, and some nothing.

I went camping many times.  Sometimes with friends, sometimes alone.  I attempted to make some YouTube videos but was unsatisfied with my work for some reason.

Road Trip

So in June I set off.  My first stop was Morro Bay, CA. I camped out one night and was excited to get going early so I continued off to San Diego overnight.  I got to San Diego and pulled my van into a busy RV park.  I was not feeling social at all so I cut my trip short and set out along the southwest border of the US through the desert. I thought I would stop at Slab City, but again was not feeling social so I kept driving.

Visiting White Sands.  A most exquisite place on earth. 
The next day I spent some time at White Sands, NM.  I always liked the miles of gypsum sand.  It is a very unique and confusing feeling being there.  Like the world is covered with warm snow.  I recommend everyone go there.  You will only need a few hours to make it a solid memory.

I visited with my Dad in New Mexico for two weeks.  He was in the middle of moving to a new place, so there was a lot going on, but we had a great time.  Did a whole lot of talking, and visited with some friends that are dear to him.

From there I had planned to go to the San Padre Islands in Texas.  After spending the better part of two weeks in the desert I decided to head north to Colorado. I visited an old friend and then decided to head back to California and re-visit the Morro Bay Area.  I used to live there and absolutely love it.

Hanging out at a cowboy bar with my dad in Albuquerque. 
I went back to the Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo area.  I spent time at the beaches, campsites, hotels, and bars.  I bought new tires for the van, and then got my van stuck three times on the beach within 3 hours.  By the end of the week I was tired, and was spending too much money so I headed back toward my moms house.

I decided I had learned what I needed to this year.  I have what I was after even though it was not at all what I thought it would be.  Now I am ready to get back in the game.  Time to find a new job and get on with the other half of my life.

Going forward

I write this as I sit in a hotel room in Sacramento en route to Hawaii. I am going to spend 12 days on Waikiki beach as I try to take aim on my future.  Part of what I learned this year was about going forward.

Visiting Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.  Another gift
from God. 
So you will not see me posting about my trip to Hawaii on Facebook.  You can find me on there, but my activity has died.  I no longer check it on the toilet, dmv, or boring staff meetings. If you are my real friend you will be curious enough to read my article and will find me online.

Real friends need a connection.

I am writing another article about my new Facebook philosophy. In the meantime I resolve to post more about what I am doing.  I resolve to do so because I sometimes like to reflect on where I have gone and what I think.  I don't want to wake up my friends with unnecessary bullshit for them, so I will be posting on my blog instead.  I am the primary one that likes to revisit where I have been.  I am a big fan.