Okay, Here’s the Story with my Heart Pt. 1…11/7/2017

If you go back into my history, of eating, there were times I probably could have eaten better, but for the most part, I have always kept tabs on what I eat. Especially, when it comes to my family history of blood pressure and heart disease. I’ve always had some kind of predisposition.

This popped up in my Facebook feed, and realized that I’ve seen all of these studies during my years. It isn’t like I wasn’t devoid of information and didn’t try to follow what the experts were saying.

However, after 43 years of okay eating, okay exercise, and some form of shift work in the prior 20 years, I had a heart attack. It was mild-ish. I qualify the severity a bit. I knew the information about aspirin and the heart.  I used to teach CPR/AED for my NWS Office, so I knew some of the symptoms to look out for. In my estimation, it may have been a bit more severe, since my cardiologist told me, when I relayed the story of the prior week of my heart attack, he told me, “You probably saved your life,” with the Aspirin I was ingesting through the week.

This lead to my first heart catheterization and stent insertion of my right coronary artery. I have been on a diet, exercise, and drug plan since to keep me from having any more blockages. As far as it looks, things were going along well, until about two months ago. I began to notice some of the same precursors as before, so I called my cardiologist and described my symptoms, and said, “Something has changed recently.” So she said we needed not another stress test, but a heart cath. I think she thought, as did I, that another stent was probably going to be needed. As it turned out, something a little more aggressive was going to be needed.

Developing my Writing Skills Part Deux…11/6/2017

Not sure that this will be a daily thing, but at least a weekly thing as I try to figure out my voice within a writing space.
 
I’m sure that most of the writings will fill a vast set of subjects. I’m planning, over the next month, of putting more on my Northern Michigan Rec Weather site, as the weather warrants. So the weather will mainly be there, and written in plain language form.
 
Here may be a mish-mash of religious and political opinion pieces. We’ll see, with all the opinion stuff out there, I’m not I want to venture back out there.
 
Most of all, I do want to write some short stories and keep my mind active as I convalesce. The short stories will be for my working on short film projects that are not documentary type films. I may do some weather docs, over the next few weeks as I gain the strength, and I grow bored with sitting at home.
 
I may try to document my recovery process. We’ll see about that too.

Trying to Redevelop my Writing Skills…11/5/2017

Open Heart Surgery (OHS) + 6 days…

Here I am at home, 6 days out from my surgery. I’m trying to rediscover the things I knew when I was in high school and college. In high school, while I didn’t like them, I could write a short story, with some imagination. My prose isn’t very descriptive.
 
In college, my writing turned toward a science, since I was a science/earth and mineral science major. I took a class in science writing, for magazines. I think I got a B in my class. 
 
About 12 years ago, I began blogging a bit. Again, nothing special, but it seems I’m okay with it. In the meantime, I write technical discussions for my on a daily basis. I struggle with that the most. Again, I’m okay, I could do better, but I think I do better writing non-technical things for the layperson. 
 
That seems to be where the NWS is heading. That’s okay, as it seems from my yearly reviews, that my strengths lie along these paths. There is one more path that is related to all of this, film.
 
As some of you know, I have been having a fascination with film making. I’m working on figuring it out over the next 10 years or so, as I work toward retirement. I have been pushing this; especially, the last three years. Even more, this last year, since I got my Nikon D5500 DSLR.
 
I have been using iMovie as my editor, which works okay, but I’m starting to feel constrained by it. I’m thinking it is time to move up, editing wise. Not that a new editor will mean I’m more awesome. I’m running into technical things that limit my work. Although, there is a sense, that I may be overcomplicating things to tell the story. So that is where the redeveloping my writing comes in.
 
I realized a few weeks ago, that I need to stop fretting over trying to write a script yet, and write the story. So I may try over the next few weeks of convalescing writing and rewriting the story, and then see if I can write script. This is all a learning process. It will take some time. I’m hoping to have a rough screenplay done by my 4 weeks of convalescing here at home. I’ll hope that I’m past the dull, achy pain, left by the surgery, to be able to shoot with my heavier gear, especially my prize possession, my D5500. I’m hoping that by spring my short film will be out. I’m trying to put deadlines up so that I can get this done.

Does Any of this Really Matter?…05/17/2017

I remember a time when people were so mad about who had been elected president that dumb news stories, whether they were true or not would get posted. I got so tired of it, that I unfollowed people on my Facebook or just stayed off of it for a time. Fast forward 8 years and now I see it again.

I’ve gotten cynical about the whole political scene. Most of which is done for show on TV. The 24 hour news channels eat it up or make it up so that they can sell advertising.  Most people don’t realize that they are basically being sold to those to the advertisers.

I’ve long subscribed to the saying, “If it bleeds, it leads,” to the whole of the news media. I try very hard to pick and chose my sources carefully, and then double and triple check them for facts left unsaid, or left out, because all the journalists are political operatives with a byline.

I see friends and family being lead down the path. I was there a long time ago. I turned a corner about halfway through Bush 2’s second term, realizing all that was happening. I tried to tell people that they are being used, but to no avail. As humorist Scott Adams says (I’m paraphrasing here), they are living in their own movie, and so are we. I’m not adept to being a persuader. I have to be careful with who or what I listen to. It is possible that if I look at Facebook too long, I’ll get depressed. I’ve pretty much stopped looking at twitter. I listen to a new deconstruction podcast, which helps to lighten my moods, because they are pretty funny, but my moods still swing.

As I watch the news, there are those that tell me that I’m irrelevant. That my opinions don’t matter, because I am privileged, judging me before I even open my mouth, or do anything. The pendulum swings, “fight the (blank)!” The pendulum swings back, “fight the (blank we said was good before)!” I’m beginning to realize the meaning behind the book of Ecclesiastes. “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.” – Ecclesiastes 1:2 (NIV)

Fight, fight, everything is fight. What about Love? I realized recently that nobody wants to love unconditionally, because they don’t want to love those that wronged them, the original sin. They say they follow Jesus, but really they follow Moses (the law). And now we have fallen into the time of the book of Judges (Everyone did as they saw fit).

Winter Pool Time…01/29/2017

As part of my film making adventure, and self teaching, you will see more videos show up either here, or on the weather blog. Currently, the weather blog is featuring my latest entry on the Vimeo Weekend Challenge.

My Dog Showed me This…01/28/2017

About a year ago, our household acquired a young male dog. He was a year and a half pit/boxer mix. He was hard for me to train. Over time he has gotten into the groove of his pack (our family), and is much better behaved than when he showed up. 
 
There are a few things that I haven’t been able to break him of. Getting into the bay window, and barking at other dogs, and trying to dominate my female black lab. Mia is 13, and is still pretty active for a geriatric dog. In fact, when Niner is bugging her and biting at her, her teeth come out. Niner knows to respect his elder, well sort of. As I’ve studied dog behavior, he’s still trying to assert himself ahead of other dogs in the pecking order.
 
I see lots of protests online, and ignorant blow back between lots of people. The problem that I see, if you look at it from non-spiritual lens, we are doing the same things as my dogs.
 
If, for a moment, you recognize that we humans are biologically, animals. The fights online are nothing more than us fighting for dominance within our pack. A lot of the women’s rights issues, are overlooking the evolutionary thoughts that are ingrained in our species. It’s not to say we shouldn’t allow women the same rights as men. Rather, the progressives that think there is no God, overlook their same belief of evolution. That we are no different from the social orders of other mammals.
 
I guess that’s why I’m believe in a God that says He sees neither male nor female. Jew or Greek. Just people. That we all have a spirit, that he has imparted to us. We are more than animals, fighting for pack dominance. We should be striving for a kingdom here on earth, where we, like God, see neither male nor female. Jew or Greek, or for that matter, black or white or hispanic or…
 
I think that other christians fighting for the rights of others, need to remember this fact. It would help with their patience and the somewhat incendiary attitude that I see online.
 
As I have seen it, love is what is needed. As Jesus said, love your enemy. Anyone can love your neighbor. Love the unlovely. This goes both ways. It’s one thing to be prophetic and critique society. It’s another thing to go around and label people without knowing them.
 
I know this goes against the pack mentality, but then again, we are more than animals.

A Video and the Beginning of Something New…01/17/2017

I looked back over my blogging and realized that I posted once here last year. I’m hoping to start back, although in a bit of new way. In this case, as some know, I’ve become interested in film making. So to learn how to perfect this art form, I have been working on the various aspects. In this case, I have been posting videos on YouTube and Vimeo.

So to help with the blogging, I’m going to post them here. If I do the color commutes or weather videos, that will go on my weather blog. Here are two recent vacation videos from Mary and me.

The first is our September vacation during our anniversary week in Myrtle Beach, SC.

The second is when we visited Kaleb and his girl friend Kaitlin in New England.

Should I stay or should I go from Facebook…05/09/2016

I’m on the verge of leaving Facebook, again. Every time, it seems to be something similar. The drama, the imagined slights, the mob mentality. There are times when Facebook is good. It is there to share pictures, keep me in touch with my family; when they are 3 time zones  away.

And then there’s now. Posts that accuse others, shame others. The spirit of the accuser, or Ha-Satan in Hebrew. I usually stay out of most of these conversations. They begin to depress me.

It’s hard to write about these things. I try to be general in talking about what is going on, and to speak into the matter. Yet, I feel useless to do so. I’m not one to take a side, or rather I’m not one to go off on one side or another. There may be someone who is wrong, and who is right, but on Facebook, you are either with me or against me. So I stay out, further sliding into the despair. I want people restored!

Unfortunately, most want retribution. I see spirit of the accuser, running amok. Whipping up the mob, so that there is a cyber lynching. There must not be bullying, but what if the mob that was being bullied, turns into the bully? Most would say that turn about is fair play.  But in the Christian realm, we are to forgive, restore, and love, even those we do not want to love, restore or forgive.

What would I do if I left? probably remain on Instagram and YouTube, and continue taking pictures and video. Keep my blogs open.

But I know I won’t.

Star Wars 7…12/17/2015

No spoilers, No spoilers…

When I read a headline from a reviewer that said something like “the magic is back!” I was hoping for something like that…and it was!

There was a formula that called back to the originals (4,5,6), especially 4, “A New Hope.” However, that was the only thing I saw that some may quibble about. However, no matter what you see that is a call back to the old movies, there is more, and it leads you down a trail, guessing what happens next. With all the speculation from the teasers and trailers, I was wondering when something would happen and when it would appear.

There is a shocker. I don’t want to spoil that.

If you are a big Star Wars nerd like my wife and I, then you will love this story.

J.J. Abrams did well.

Transformational Love vs Behavior(cultural) Modification…11/11/2015

I’ve been trying to attend our men’s bible study at noon, when my schedule allows it. Today, we were in Daniel 5 about the hand writing on the wall. The principles to live by were good diving into  some of Paul’s teaching, which is when I got this revelation…that part of the Christian community that gets offend at Christmas about things not Christian, are trying their on version of behavior modification. This is something that I’ve had to fight in youth ministry for a long time.

Parents want their teens to be good, and if their good kid meets up with a kid that they think is disruptive, or disrespectful, then I’ve had parents wanting to kick that kid out of youth group. What they are looking for is behavior modification, and not the transformational love that God has us give.  Part of this comes from Pastor Bernie Bloukamp’s message at our church this past Sunday.

So when I see something in the news calling for some boycott, I realize that they want the change to come through cultural modification, and not through the transformative love, that God commands us Christians to do.   Do it through coercion and not loving your enemy.

Here’s a company that is using red cups with nothing on them for the holidays (or holy days if you like), and people think they aren’t christian enough. Newsflash. It is a corporation with a board of directors whose goal is only to make money. If they decide that they can make more money by being generic, then that’s their prerogative.  You only feed them more money, but complaining and giving them free advertising.

The better thing to do is show the people in the corporation love, and maybe they will come to know Christ, and in turn influence the corporation that it should show more selfless love. Maybe they will always keep their red cups, and then again, maybe not.