Time for Sunsets…….

Sunsets have been here since the Earth and the Sun were formed. Before life, before anything really. I wonder what those first sunsets looked like. I bet they were awesome. As life started, sunsets separated the species, those whose lives were lived in the light, and those of the dark. It marked a completion of a day before there were clocks and calendars to enslave our time. There has always been one sure thing. A sunrise will end with a sunset and a sunset will be followed by a sunrise. That’s pretty reassuring.

“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn”.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m a huge sunset person. To me, they represent another day of your life has ended. Watching a sunset somehow closes that day out, and gets you ready for the next. It truly is one of natures most beautiful sights. Whenever I can, I try to stop what I am doing and watch the sun go down. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way, you are busy, there are clouds, in the wrong place, inside, and a host of other distractions. A good example of this is my last place I worked. The dealership faced west and had a huge field that provides gorgeous sunsets. I got to enjoy very little of them because I was always busy with something that required my attention. I always felt a bit cheated by that.

I get it that everyone is not into sunsets. Take my kids, for instance, they couldn’t care less. Seems like I feel alone in my feelings for sunsets. Early risers like sunrise, beach lovers like that overhead sun. Night owls don’t like the sun at all. So a big plus for me to move to Maui was that I could watch unlimited amounts of sunsets. I grew up in the woods of Northern Minnesota, where it was hard to find a sunset.  I guess I started to appreciate them more when I moved to Key West, Florida, and went down to the pier at sunset along with hundreds of others to watch as the ocean swallowed up the sun. They were glorious.

To get the best sunset, you know you need to look at it across water or flat land. Because of the geography of Maui, and the neighboring islands, there is only a small spot on the island where you can get that over water show. In Maui, I don’t live in that primo spot.

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As you can see on the map, There really is only a small piece of the island where you can watch it without an island blocking it. (The sun sets in the west for you night owls).

For some reason, I wanted to write about sunsets today. This afternoon as I was writing this blog I came to a disappointing realization. For all the talk, and how I feel about them, I have only watched the sun set twice. (Technically once. We were on the beach as it got dark on the east side of the island). That really hit me. All that time had slipped by without my enjoying one of my greatest pleasures. And the only reason I saw those two (one) was that I had company from Minnesota and they wanted to go to the beach. What a hypocrite I am.

I looked at the time, 5:40, and looked up the sunset time, 6:40. Without hesitation, I jumped in my car to make the 30-minute drive to the beach where I could see the sun set best. Now keep in mind that I still had to reckon with clouds. Didn’t matter. And it didn’t matter for these sunset lovers when I arrived.

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I set up my beach chair, and quietly contemplated the day as the sun set behind the tip of the neighboring island of Lanai. When it was gone, I jumped in the car and thought I might as well get something to eat. I stopped at Maui Tacos and they had a special going, $5 house burritos. Nice. When I was done, I was walking to my car and stopped in a surf shop next to the Taco place. They were having a sale on Billabong clothes, and I got a killer pair of board shorts and T-shirt at 75% off. (I know what you were thinking. He probably wears a Speedo). I didn’t think the night could get better, but I looked up and saw a gorgeous half moon above. (OK, I’m a moon person too). On the way back home I opened up the panoramic sunroof, cranked the tunes, and felt like I was 20 again. Life is pretty good it seems when you take time for yourself. How could I have let these precious months slip away like that? The answer, of course, is responsibility, time, obligations, money, kids, life. Why do I feel so guilty taking moments of the day to enjoy, when I have others to consider. That is what I need to work on as it became glaringly obvious today.

I am starting to add video content to my posts. Here is a video I took from the beach at sunset. I find it very relaxing, I hope you do too. (as a side note, it’s 87 degrees with a slight breeze off the water).

From now on, I will be taking more time for sunsets………..

Not about cars…………

Oh yeah, it’s coming. Don’t even think it’s not. This picture pretty much tells you why I got out of the car business and moved out of Minnesota. A dealership is a lot of physical and mental work in the winter. (In the summer too, but not so much).  Everyone has their reasons to leave, but how about reasons to start in the first place. That’s my story today.

I didn’t have the inclination or money to go to college and steer my working years towards a career. Instead, I drifted around traveling, and when not doing that, worked on the farm with my Dad. I was thirty-five when we sold the farm, my Dad retired, and I was on my own, with a live in girlfriend and her 10-year-old daughter. Got a little money from the sale, but that was soon gone, putting the bulk of it into an old house and living expenses. I tried selling real estate, but the market was not so good, and my selling skills double not so good.  With the remaining money I had, which was dwindling quickly, I bought a little sign installation business putting up real estate for sale signs. I worked hard for a year, didn’t make any money, then found a buyer for what I had paid for it. Unfortunately, he had to pay me on payments, and when he figured out he couldn’t make any money either, quit paying me. I didn’t even bother to go get the signs and equipment. Licked my wounds and went on.

I started a carpet cleaning business with an old van and a rented carpet cleaner. The worst was cleaning bathrooms that had carpet around the toilets. Yuck. After about six months of hard work, the van pooped out, but I didn’t want to give up my dream of becoming the Carpet Cleaning King of the World. The King needed a van quickly, so I turned to my best friend who had been selling cars for about six months in the town where we grew up, about 20 miles from where I had my money pit, I mean my house. I went up to see him, and it didn’t take long to find out someone with no money, no credit, and no real job couldn’t get a loan for a van. Even Fingerhut would have turned me down. He came up with a great idea, knowing my dire situation, why don’t I sell cars. He had come with me on a couple of my sign installs, and after driving 45 minutes and trying to dig through rock to put the sign in the ground, he had asked my how much I got for each install. I proudly told him $15, which included installation and removal. He told me something I will never forget, as he leaned on the tailgate puffing on a cigarette. “I wouldn’t do that job for $100 a sign” he proclaimed. And he meant it. It was at that moment I knew I was doomed doing that. That’s when I dumped it.

I didn’t particularly like car salesmen, people, or big business, so it was a hard sell. He worked on me and the manager for a few weeks, then I finally was able to get a position at the dealership selling cars, and the rest, as they say, is history. (28 years to be exact). He did me the biggest favor of my life.

I’m not going to toot my own horn (well maybe a little) but selling cars was what I guess I was destined to do. I loved it and was rewarded financially like I had not imagined. I didn’t know much about selling but learned quickly with cassette tapes in my car on the drive to and from work. I didn’t know much about cars but found out you didn’t have to. Keep in mind, this was before the internet, before cell phones. I got by with enthusiasm and a big smile.( I learned that by watching a young guy in our real estate office. He didn’t know one thing about houses but sold a ton of them. I knew a lot, and couldn’t close a sale. All he had was a huge grin and a big coffee mug.) People buy from someone they like. And I learned one thing about each car, just one. I remember we had acquired about 120 Eagle Premiers and Dodge Monocos, and everyone ignored them because they were a bit different. The dash moved and the engine was in sideways. I thought that was pretty cool, so everyone I talked to I showed them that car. I ended up selling about 60 of them myself, keep in mind we had 7 other salespeople besides me. My biggest selling tool was with the engine sideways, there was what was called a dog bone support that held the engine up. If you got in a head on crash, the dog bone would break, and the engine would drop to the ground and go under the car instead of in your lap. Pretty sure all the cars did that but didn’t matter. That seemed to strike a concern with people and they bought them like crazy. That has served me well ever since. That you don’t have to know everything, just the right thing.

Albert Einstein once said, ” The only source of knowledge is experience.” I have plenty of that now. Sometimes I don’t feel that way, but if the right question comes up, the right answer seems to follow, at least in what I have experienced.

So I am going to start posting lessons learned, inside tips, funny and sad stories, and other stuff about buying a car. I set up a category just for that, and know that a lot of it will not apply to your current needs, but at some point, it might. I enjoyed the car business and it was good to me financially. Of course, it also affected my personal life, which long hours and lots of stress will do. No one knows which path to choose. Even hindsight is not so clear. To be sure is to be certain beyond question. I am not sure about a lot of things. I’m certain about less.

But I do know one thing for sure. The car business is not about cars…………..it’s about people.

 

Rain for dummies…………

 

We all know that rain comes from clouds. Too much you get the flooding that is happening in Houston right now. Too little, and you get devastating fires that cover thousands of acres across the West.

We were driving to school the other day, it was raining a little, and my kids asked me where rain comes from. I could have said it was tears from heaven, thunder is angels bowling, and there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  There are a ton of rainbows (if they can be weighed) here in Maui. Been looking for the gold but no luck so far.

But I didn’t. I gave them what I knew. Basically nothing, other than they came from clouds. So when I got home, I wanted to know so I wouldn’t look dumb if they asked me again.

Here is what you can tell kids if they ask. If you don’t care, then just watch the video barefoot, and enjoy.

The process starts as evaporation. This is the same process you use to get distilled water. Water evaporates, leaving any solids or impurities behind, and becomes a gas which rises above the earth’s surface. An example is ocean water. The salt is left behind. When it reaches a certain height, the gas cools and forms water droplets. Those droplets bump together until about a million of them bond, then they become a water droplet.

This is called condensation. When they reach a certain size and weight, gravity pulls them down to earth as rain, snow, or hail. Depending on the cloud size and density, it will determine how many droplets will fall.

This is called precipitation. This is the third cycle of rainfall, and what we experience as rain. As the rain falls, it collects in ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans.

This is called collection. And it is here that the whole cycle starts all over again.

Just remember evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection. If you can’t remember those four words, then keep your mouth shut.

Now you know what to say to a kid, so you won’t sound so dumb. If they start to ask harder questions about it, just pretend you are deaf like I do. Or turn up the radio real loud and tell them it’s your favorite song. But I can only listen to Despacito so many times.

“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of the wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach”.  Henry Beston.

Sharing……………

Learned something new today about a blog website. It can be shared. You will notice below a bunch of buttons that link to the major social media sites. Clicking one of those will allow you to share a blog with your connections. It’s at the bottom of every blog.  If one of my stories strikes a particular chord with you, please share it. Sharing is good.  I would appreciate it, and it would make you look way smart to be able to find such an interesting story. 🙂

Disclaimer: My two sisters are so far off the grid, they think social media is inviting someone over for dinner, and then watch a movie on DVD.  So this is not for you guys.

 

Relationship retirement…..

Do you even remember a time before you got interested in the opposite sex? I do. Just one.

This is the way I remember it, some 54 years ago:

I was in the fifth grade, age 10, and was rumored to have the most beautiful blue eyes and a smile that could melt your heart by two girls in my class of 18  kids. I could have cared less. Well, this went on for the whole year of fifth grade, the mooning and giggling I mean, and then came summer vacation. I kept myself gloriously busy with farm stuff, shooting BB guns, throwing knives, cracking a bullwhip, chopping down trees in the woods. You know, fun stuff. Then came the fair. It was a small local fair with rides, games, cow barns, bunny judging (which I won plenty of blue ribbons), and the works that came to town the 3rd week of August, just before we went back to school. Being the 60’s, it was ok to drop a ten-year-old boy off by himself and pick him up when the fair closed.

Well, these two poor girls hadn’t seen me all summer. It just happened that the three of us ended up at the fair the same night. That’s when the chasing started. Those two chased me from barn to barn, ride to ride, game to game. I wasn’t sure what they wanted from me, but I didn’t want any part of it. I was pretty quick and lost them plenty, but they finally caught up to me at the Chuck-a-Luck game. It was then that I had to break it to them, I hated girls. And leave me alone. I might just as well hit them over the head with a bat. It was the first time I broke a girls heart  (two in fact). Didn’t matter to me, cause I hated girls, but to them, I am sure it was a big deal.

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Sixth grade started, same kids. They wouldn’t give me the time of day (like I cared anyway). I was glad they were off my back. But still, I had this new feeling like I had done something wrong like my Mom was disappointed in me. Little did I know a lifetime of chasing and being chased had just begun.

This memory came back to me yesterday. After school, I took my son to the beach to go boogie boarding. As I sat in my chair a few yards away, I could see him having a great time, fully absorbed in what he was doing. After we had been there a while, a family set up chairs next to me. Mom, Dad, and two kids, one of them a cute little girl about my son’s age. Somehow she noticed my son on his board and tried to get his attention, even getting in his way a few times. You could see she wanted to meet him. My son couldn’t have cared less. If it was a boy with a Boogie Board, they would have become best friends in about 10 minutes. He is in the pre-relationship zone.

The first time I fell in love was when I was about 12. Funny how a couple of years changes things. I went with my parents on a vacation to Las Vegas (a lot different in those days) and we stayed in a hotel not far from downtown, 2 blocks maybe, that had a pool. My parents would head to the casinos in the morning, bring me lunch at noon, then head back to the casinos until dark. I played in the pool or stayed in the room. A girl staying there at the same time and seemed to have the same schedule as me. She was at the pool alone every day. Every day I became more interested in her, but never said a word. I thought she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen.Then after about 5 days, she was gone. I was heartbroken. Not only did I never tell her how I felt, but she was gone, and I didn’t know who she was. When I got home, unknown to my parents, I looked up the hotel on a postcard we got from there and wrote them a letter explaining who I was, and I just wanted to know who she was, so I could contact her and tell her how I felt. They never wrote back. It was the first time a girl broke my heart. I was heartbroken for months, and never told a soul what I was going through.

I got my first girlfriend at age 16, the day I turned 16. It was on a Friday, the same day I took my driver’s license test, passed, and got to drive the family car alone. That was our first date. We dated for a year until some hot pants wearing girl from California moved to our town and came to our school. I was smitten and got a slap in the face at a football game by my first girlfriend.  It was over and I didn’t care. Hot pants became my second, and there has been many over the years. Some I have married, some I have lived with, others dated, and some, well, let’s not talk about it.

I look at some of my friends who have been married for countless years, their whole lives really, and feel a tinge of envy. How did you get it right the first time out of the gate? But was it really right? Commitment is hard work and lot of sacrifice. When is it too much?  I would not be the same person I am today if my relationships had been different. Successes, failures, challenges, acquiesces, joy and hurt all gave me the perspective that I now look at life with.  Some I have stayed in touch with, others not so much. Ok, here’s the question always asked. “If you had the opportunity to do things differently…”. Of course, I would. I did plenty wrong. Sometimes I think I should have grabbed one of those fifth-grade girls and held them tight my whole life.

The last visit I had with my sister, the talented artist who painted the pictures for Imagine Me, I told her I was going into Relationship Retirement. “What on earth is that”? she inquired. “It means that after 50 years of trying to get it right with women, I am giving up. I am retiring from relationships”. Of course, it made perfect sense to me, given my track record and prospects. And her being close to my troubles agreed.  Trouble is, I am not ten years old anymore.

At ten, I didn’t know how valuable it is to have someone at your side. I didn’t know that you would give your life for someone else. I didn’t know that 1 plus 1 equals an unstoppable team. I didn’t know how healthy it is to be loved and love. I didn’t know that someone else might feel about you the same way you feel about them. At ten, I didn’t know that life might be better with a partner than being alone. How could I know at ten?

54 years later, I still don’t know the answer. Have I passed the relationship age?  Have I missed those passionate years? I tried to find those answers after my last relationship but left me with more questions than answers.

So I put myself on Relationship Retirement. Like a ten-year-old boy, without a clue about the opposite sex. “I am never getting into another relationship, ever again.” Seems so simple and easy. Would solve a lot of problems. Post relationship.

It’s not that simple.

If I had never tasted a raspberry, I wouldn’t know how it tasted?  If I had never gone on a roller coaster, how would I know the feeling in my stomach? If I had never had my first kiss, what would I miss? If I never waited until she breathlessly said I do at the altar, how would I know how it would affect my whole life? If I never heard my child say” Daddy”, how would I know my life is secondary? How would I know if these things didn’t happen?

I have had my heart broken countless times. I’m sure I have inflicted that pain on others. Could I have avoided all of this? No.  Well yes. if I had died at age 10. Love and the euphoria and pain that comes with it are part of the human experience. I would advise you not to miss it.

I’m thinking that getting a job might be good for me in retirement, to meet people and keep me involved. Maybe it might not be a bad idea to come out of relationship retirement just once, to meet someone and keep me involved. Or maybe an opportunity missed in the past, revisited. You just never know…

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Intentional grounding…..

You thought I was going to talk about a football penalty (if you know anything about football). I’m not.

Ok, I got sucked in today to one of those outrageous Facebook ads that show up in your timeline, like “Baby eats Great White” or “Man holds breath underwater for 16 days”. Have you ever wondered why people put those on there? It’s called affiliate marketing. You click on the ad, it brings you to their page, and along with the article, gives you links to products and services. If one interests you, you click on it, and if you buy it, the affiliate (or person who generated the sale by directing you from their website) gets paid a commission. I want to talk about this at another time because I am actually looking into it. It’s a legitimate business model and has been around since the nineties. Don’t think I will be making outrageous claims, however. This is what caught my attention today.

Studies Show What Happens To The Human Body When We Walk Barefoot On Earth

It’s called grounding. Another name is Earthing, but that sounds too “Hippie”.  It does rhyme with birthing, however, and babies are born barefoot, and it feels like you are reborn when you connect with nature and the Earth.

I read the article, then to a link to an actual study by the Institutes of Health which goes into more detail and has actual science to back it up. It didn’t take much convincing for me to agree. Google it yourself if you want to know more.

In a nutshell, the Earth has an electron charge which transfers to you when you walk barefoot on soil, sand, grass, or anything natural. It will not transfer through man-made materials. When this transfer happens, there are all sorts of health benefits. Better sleep and less pain, stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, fatigue, and the list goes on.

Let’s think about it for a minute. Who are the least stressed out people you can think of? Yogi’s, Buddha’s, nature lovers, campers, people who live on tropical islands (that one I threw in there).  But really, it’s people without shoes on, connecting with nature. I would run out right now and find some bare ground to stand on.

When was the last time you really walked barefoot on Mother Earth? Other than running out at midnight in my bare feet to throw something in the trash before pickup day, I never did in Minnesota. Sure, I walked barefoot, but in the house, or on my porch or deck. That doesn’t count. You know what I was in Minnesota? Stressed out. And I had a very good life going there. Thinking back, I felt somewhat disconnected to it all. Maybe that’s why I spent thousands of dollars going on vacations to beach locations every year, to feel better.

You don’t have to hook me up to some fancy brain reading machine to know I feel a lot better now. I go barefoot all the time. And even before I was even aware of the existence of this study, I called it grounding in my mind when I went for my walks on the beach. To me, it meant bringing out my creativity,  and now I see it probably reduced my stress which in turn brings out creativity. There is no other way it can be done.

They say there is a lot of depression and mental illness in northern climates. They talk about the lack of light and being closed up inside for months. (Cabin Fever). But maybe this hits the mark more. When was the last time you didn’t have anything between you and Earth? No shoes, no socks, no floor, no car (I wonder if Fred Flintstone ever got road rage),  no deck, no driveway. I know it’s summer now but think about the long time when it’s not.

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For thousands, millions, of years man has walked barefoot on the Earth. And he has survived really against unbelievable odds. Doesn’t the world seem to be getting crazier all the time? I never see TV coverage of barefoot vacationers or primitive tribes throwing rocks and looting. It’s always people with shoes on. Think about it.

I am convinced we have developed a phobia about going barefoot. It leaves us vulnerable, weak and inadequate. You might get hurt stepping on glass or a bug, catch a disease, or stub our toe. Shoes make you taller and give you a feeling of superiority. And since we can’t connect and recharge with the Earth, we develop more phobias. So you put your shoe armor on, protect yourself with concrete and wood, comfort yourself with carpet, and drift farther away from your connection with nature. Listen, I don’t have a foot fetish, but the foot is an amazing anatomical miracle. It’s a shame we feel the need to hide it.

I want to be closer to the Earth. I want my kids to be closer too. The Eclipse was a not so subtle reminder of just how magnificent these orbs in the universe really are.

So I didn’t buy anything from the Facebook link. But it did give me something of value. I can stop feeling guilty now about going to the beach because it’s good for me.

In fact, I am going to head down there right now, and do a little Intentional Grounding.

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Just a side note. This is an interesting picture that was hanging in the bathroom of a resort I stayed in a few years ago. Every time I looked at the picture, either the footprints showed as imprints in the sand, and other times they were inverted like they were raised out of the sand. I still can’t make it do both. It just happens.

 

A Giant problem…..

My son is a Seattle Seahawks fan. He became one on the way to Hawaii from Minnesota one year when the Seahawks were in the Superbowl, and we happened to be in the Seattle airport on a layover at that exact time. I guess he got caught up in with the enthusiasm of all the people there. I like them too, but consider myself an on again/off again long suffering Vikings fan. I was there for all of their Superbowl losses, and many disappointing playoffs, not to mention some Jim Dandy seasons. They acted like they won the Superbowl last Sunday when they won a preseason game over the 49er’s by one point. I guess you take what you can get.

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This morning on the way to school, he announced to me that he has a second favorite team, the New York Giants. The conversation went something like this:

“Dad, I think I have a new team that I like, but I still like the Seahawks more.” He said.

“Who is that, buddy?” I questioned.

“I think I like the Giants. I think they are a pretty good team”. he happily answered.

“You don’t want to like them because they play dirty. They are not a nice team” was my reply.

“But Dad, you don’t even watch them. Why would you say that?”

He, of course, was right. I haven’t watched them play for I don’t remember how long, but I have been carrying a grudge ever since I thought they carried out what I considered to be dirty football on the hapless Vikings. That was many years ago. Any reasonable person would be thinking they don’t have one single person on the roster or in management now that was there then. That makes me unreasonable. In this case, as in many others, it’s true.

Now I am teaching my son how to hold a grudge.

It’s funny how we hang on to things that no longer are true. Much of the World is in disharmony because of it. Long standing grievances, injustices, misinformation, or just plain stupidity. I need look no further than myself to see that I am a bundle of judgments and opinions based on my perception of an event or events in the past. They may not even have been mine but planted into my head by the misinformed opinion of someone else. (Like I am now doing with my son).

This is very similar to living in the moment. If you are truly living in the moment, then past judgment is gone, because you now acquiring new judgments in the moment, not dragging them from the past. I have a hard time living in the moment. If I am not thinking of some future event which I think I have control over (but I don’t), I am mulling over something that happened in the past (again, which I have no control over). Living in the present doesn’t mean just stopping to smell the flowers. It’s more about being aware of what’s real or not, what’s happening right now, and not a future or past event. Having control of your opinions. Having the wisdom when to talk, and when to listen.

They say with age you gain wisdom, but is it the right kind. My guess is that it takes real wisdom to know the difference.

It was a real eye opener for me this morning. Instead of a Father interested in his son’s discoveries and having a positive discussion about it, I was teaching him to hold grudges,  give opinions without merit, and start to question his ability to make a good decision.

In hindsight, the conversation should have gone something like this:

“Dad, I think I have a new team that I like, but I still like the Seahawks more.” He said.

“Who is that, buddy?” I questioned.

“I think I like the Giants. I think they are a pretty good team”. he happily answered.

I would answer “That’s great buddy, I hear they are a pretty good team too. Why don’t you tell me about them. Maybe next time they play, we could watch them together.”

“I would like that, Dad.”

“Me too buddy.”

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Creating memories is a huge responsibility. Like a first impression, it can’t be changed.

I thought it was a Giant problem, but it was mine all along….

 

 

 

 

 

Dog gone it….Update.

I bet you were expecting me to tell you I got a dog today. I didn’t, and now there’s a twist. I went to the beach today for a walk, no sitting and thinking, no walking and  thinking. Just walking. Being a Monday, it was very quiet with few people and fewer dogs. When I got back to my car and proceeded out of the parking lot, an animal enforcement truck from the Humane Society pulled in. I watched as he parked the truck facing the beach, and I assumed he was there to eat his lunch in the truck, being noon time. I was curious because of my big spiel on my blog the day before so turned around and parked in the lot also. I guess you could say I was watching him watch.

Soon enough came a guy with an unleashed dog.  I recognized him as a sort of a fixture at this beach. He is there, every day, all day, and lives in an old conversion van. (You could say he is homeless, not minivan homeless). Comes early in the morning and leaves before they close the gate for the night. Always has a big smile for everyone, very tan, and very lean and fit. (I figure he doesn’t eat much). After my two month trip back to Minnesota, upon again seeing him at the beach, he had acquired a dog (or a dog acquired him, hard to say). The steely eyed dog detective watched him carefully as he made his way back to his van. Then he sped over to the van, rolled his window down, and called him over.

I watched as the van guy leashed his dog, climbed into his van and came out with what appeared to be his license (surprised he had one), and handed it to the dog catcher. I figured that was enough snooping, so with a last look at him standing at the window of the truck, I left. I imagine something transpired. Either a warning, a ticket, or maybe shared his lunch. I’m guessing he couldn’t scrape up money for a soda, let alone a ticket. Regardless, I came away with a different feeling than the day before.

It didn’t help either that I was followed the entire 15 miles from dropping my son at his school this morning by a police car. The roads are two lanes, and very hilly with lots of curves. The speed limit is 20 to 30 miles per hour. That is tough to maintain, as about 30 cars behind us by the time we reached the four lane will attest to. Another one followed me from the market to my house. I was thinking today must be the day.

I have never gone to prison, spent a night in jail (or even a minute), or have gotten into any real trouble. That’s not to say I don’t pucker up when a cop follows me. I think it goes back more to my youth. Growing up when I did, it was fashionable to be anti-establishment, and I embraced that role fully. These were the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, Kent State days. Big government, the police, and the militia were definitely not in favor. It shaped my thinking then, and it still does.

No, I am not a big protester, hate the police, try to overthrow the government, chain my self to a tree kind of person. But I do favor the underdog (get it) when I see injustice. I think the dogs should be allowed to run free on the beach. I get it that some people might find it offensive, or scared of them, or just plain annoyed. Can you imagine how that dog would feel, get on the expansive beach, room to run free, frolick in the water, and be tied up and have to be controlled by the speed of the owner? Now that’s a crime.

They have a couple of dog parks here where dogs can be unleashed. But for me, I’m out. It seems to be that the dog owners are required to huddle together and talk about their dogs. I don’t want to talk about everyone’s dog. I want to watch my dog run as fast as they can, jump in the air, swim in the sea. And I don’t have to chit chat with someone.

I think I am going to start a beach dog watch. If I see the over zealous dog napper pull in, I will warn people walking their dogs, just like the drivers flash their lights to oncoming traffic when there is a cop lurking nearby. Who knows, if I put it on Youtube and get a million views, it might change the world, one dog at a time.

dog catcher

 

Dog gone it…..

My son wants me to get a dog. He says I need one because I’m lonely. I’m not lonely (well, maybe sometimes), but I don’t think I’m ready for that level of commitment. I know, because I have had lots of dogs in my life. And I loved them all. Some were only in my life for a short time, only months, and some were for many years. My last dog was a white Westie named Lily. Her ashes are on the desk in front of me as I write this. She lived 14 years. There really is no good argument about not getting one. I’m using the fact I can’t have one at my rental house as my excuse for now.

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Maui has a leash law, meant to protect people, animals, and property. It’s a good idea of course. Very few people follow the law. There are always dogs on the beach. Maybe 1 out of 50 is on a leash. I think that’s ok, especially since it is surprising how all the dogs are so well behaved. Sometimes they will come up to you as you sit or walk, but most of the time they are enjoying running, swimming, and digging so much they pretty much ignore other people. And there are all kinds of dogs, more Pit Bulls than anything else. Seem to be popular in Maui, although it must be popular to get rid of them too, because they are also the most populous dog at the shelter. The morning and late afternoon is when there are more dogs on the beach than during the day. It appears that people will take their dog out for a run before and after work, and I don’t think many tourists bring their dogs with them on vacation.

Word of warning:  Be careful if you want to rest on one of the few logs on the beach. They are the frequent rest stops for many a male. (Dog that is)

 

Yesterday, I met a dog named Ranger. Mixed breed, long hair, about the size of collie. He was with his owner about 75 feet away from me, and ran over to see me (maybe he thought I had a snack for him). He sat down, leaned against my chair, and pretty much stayed that way for about a half an hour. I think his owner was glad he wasn’t getting into any mischief, so was apparently in no hurry to come get him. I didn’t mind either. I was at the beach alone, and I enjoyed having the company. Eventually he got called to go, and with a backward glance and a smile for me, he was gone. It did get me thinking that maybe my son was right, maybe I should get a dog.

If I did, I would get one at the Maui Humane Society. My kids belong (I need to do that too), and we go down and see the cats and dogs every couple of weeks or so. It is a great facility for the pets, and they have a caring philosophy.

Mission Statement:
The Maui Humane Society’s mission is to protect and save the lives of Maui’s animals; accepting all in need, educating the community, and inspiring respect and compassion towards all animals.
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I always wear sunglasses when I go. I shed a few tears every time, and don’t want the
kids to wonder what’s wrong with me.      I know they try to place them all, but can’t help
thinking of why and how that pet came to be here.     And I hope they find a good home
where they will be loved and not mistreated.
For now I am enjoying watching the dogs on the beach.     They are all grinning ear to ear
running on the sand and jumping in the water.      It’s probably as close to doggy paradise
as you could get.
Getting another pet is a big decision.  It has to for all the right reasons. I am going to go to
the beach today as soon as I am done with this post.    The beach is a good place to think
and sort out your life.    Volunteers bring the shelter dogs to the beach with adopt me
collars.      Who knows, I might not be coming home alone. Dog gone it….

 

Just one more light…..

I share duties bringing the kids to their schools, which are a 20 minute drive apart. It takes about an hour in the morning, and the same in the afternoon for the entire round trip home again. Eats up a big chunk of time in the day. Bus service is scarce here, and worse this year as there is a shortage of bus drivers, so more parents have to drive their kids to school, which creates a worse traffic problem at peak times. (I asked my son if I should be a bus driver, and he say “No way Dad. I can’t tell my friends that my Dad is a school bus driver.” That ended that dream. Sorry Jon (a friend of mine who drives a bus.)

At those peak time, traffic is literally backed up for miles, and it’s because there are 3 stoplights that separate the 3 upcountry towns from the 4 lane going into the main city. One thing I have to say about Maui drivers, they are polite, and always, I mean always, stop and let cars in the lane from the side roads or merging. May not always make the person behind them happy, but nice if you trying to get in. I have always looked stoplights and miles ahead when driving. I even scour the parking lot I am going to before I even turn in to see the traffic pattern and all available open spots.  I think that’s a good driving habit. My bad one is that I really judge bad drivers, or at least ones that don’t live up to my expectations. I am trying to get over that.

This morning, as I was slowly moving from stoplight to stoplight, there is always an odd driver blocking your way to getting through the next one. These are the people you wonder why they are on the road at that time. It is obvious they don’t need to get anywhere at a specific time like everyone else. They just slow the whole thing down. I pictured it all from above, and thought of ants, heading to food and the nest, food and the nest, food and the nest.

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I have a lot of ants where I live now. They just appear out of nowhere. I left my breakfast plate on the counter this morning, and after my shower, it had ants all over it. I just walked into my daughters bedroom, and the place was covered with ants. Apparently the air conditioner I installed yesterday imported ants from the place I got it. I sprayed the room and closed the door. Going to be a cleaning project later. Maybe the two families of ants will get in a big fight, and destroy each other.

After looking at the ants, I decided they aren’t a good description for the traffic flow. Too disorganized and scurrying everywhere. Would be like if we had no roads, and drivers going to work just headed out on big open fields. So I decided on Sheep.

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Mindless of their fate. One in front of the other, the speed of one determines the speed of the other. Occasionally,  one with self awareness (like the one in the picture) knows what’s happening, tries to break free, runs from the crush, and for a brief instant is unfettered. That incident on the road might end in road rage, an accident, or at the least, a ticket.

As you look and study the nameless faces in the numberless cars around you, all facing the same direction like being at a movie, you think how little has changed since Henry Ford produced cars for the sheep, I mean masses.

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.Is this then our fate for the next 100 years. You can be sure it isn’t.

Hawaii probably has more Tesla’s than any state. People here are very aware of the environmental impact of combustion, and moving towards being totally green. Futurists say that in 15 years, if a better battery storage system is developed, gas burning cars will be a thing of the past. Except for collectibles, which I’m beginning to think no one collects anything anymore. So everyone is in an electric car. Big deal. You just can’t hear the car as you sit in traffic.

But technology being what it is, the self driving car will also be as commonplace then as ants are on my counter now.  Does that mean you just tell Alexa or Google you want to be picked up at 7:00 for your ride to work, then again at 5:00 to get home? The computer will know the traffic flow and ride time estimates, so even if a few other people clamor in for their ride too, it won’t affect your arrival. It won’t be a regular car anyway. It may have pods for privacy, or rear facing seats (you don’t need to look ahead) so you can visit or do your work on a built in workstation. You may have a car in your garage, for going on errands, but your work commute will go smoothly. Every car will drive the same speed, and with shared rides, will lessen the traffic problem. It would be like being Donald Trump. “I need a ride to the airport. Call my chauffeur”. Who wouldn’t want to take the stress of the ride to work away.

Let’s not stop there, because you can’t stop progress. Flying cars are here now, and you may be picked up in a flier. Same theoretical process, only now on predetermined air routes to shorten yet the time. Now we are moving away from the sheep, and going back to a more organized ant infestation.

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So that should take us the next 25 years or so to become reality. But what after that? What will be our form of transportation be in 100 years. I don’t think I will get to see it, but I know my kids will. I am excited for them. We know interstellar travel is on the doorstep, secrets of the universe will be discovered, huge leaps in human maximum lifespan is almost here now, jobs and work as we know it now will not exist.

If the human race can keep themselves from blowing themselves out of existence, just think of the things to come.  My half full thinking is seeing the positive outcome, the better way of life, where everyone benefits. Sickness is no more, death is but a form change, all unknowns are known. Then again, maybe it’s the musings of a madman.

One thing is for sure. The human spirit is always looking for a better way. That’s the way humans are. I wonder if sheep and ants think that too.

A lot to think about as the car in front of me starts to move. If I can just get through one more light…………..