"The Best Way to Bury the Hatchet"

So last Saturday Me and three Local friends had agreed to meet up at a local trail head and take a good day hike... just us guys. A few others from the group we know each other from on social media had decided to come but failed to make it due to short notice and the way it was thrown together... but it was mainly for us four who showed up (My best friend also showed up early and we met him along the trail.... but he had no disagreements with anyone... and just came out that day for a hike.)... And the purpose was so we could put down the mouse... get outside in nature... and settle our disagreements like men. Talk it out, fight it out (no-one really expected that one all though I guess it WAS possible.), Get it out, and leave it on the trail. It was a "Bury the Hatchet" trip.
We had been way to focused on too few and too controversial topics revolving around some agreeably very negative real world events and implications and the arguments had simply gotten out of hand... it was time to put down the mouse and back away and get some face to face time... in nature and away from all distractions and miscommunications.
I have to say though as far as Burying hatchets went... we had pretty much argued things out I think before arrival. Seemed we all had at least ONE thing we wanted to say to another in person and clear up without misunderstanding... but mostly... it was ALL about the Hike and nature and getting to know each other in the wild and Loving it... and all that waited until the three guys from the group were back at the parking lot getting ready to leave after... and we all said our piece and got it out inside of twenty minutes without trouble or hurt feelings.
When I arrived the other three had arrived ahead of me (my ride was delayed slightly) and waiting by the picnic table at the head of the trail... talking and showing off what new gear they had to show... so of course first thing when I walked up was show and tell. I let them see and handle My new Celtokee Haxe and they finally got to see my re-worked machete / seax finished and in person... and a couple knives (My FFK (file fish knife) by Mike Lang, and my new American Trade Knife from Deer Creek Forge made by Clinton Armstrong for this trip.)... and while one had a VERY awesome new knife from 2 birds metal works made by Mike Jeffries to show off I loved and another had some great ferro rods and generally some cool gear all around.
After about twenty minutes or so and we took off up the trail. Being as this trail was central to my home woods I took the point position at first... and we headed up the first major hill climb I Know as "Hawks Bluff"... which is a nice steep densely wooded hillside on the blunt southward facing slope of a large horse-shoe shaped Ridge I Know obviously as "Hawks Ridge". The trail forks once about a quarter of the way up.
To the left you gradually work your way around the southernmost slope rising to about halfway up. From that point one can follow the trail back down into the valley on the other side of the ridge and start up the backside of it... or they can take the very challenging off trail uphill ascent up the impressive and challenging exposed rock face slope which rises to a slope close to 50 degrees or more and who's face is composed of badly weathered and decayed exposed slate rock and limestone... all the way to the top to meet up again with the trail... were it would have led you to had you gone right at the fork instead of left... a trail which slowly winds up a steep but somewhat more gradual ascent to the very top of the bluff... and then runs along the top of the bluff to the peak of the ridge and beyond. The Left direction at the Y... that's the "Hard" or "Advanced" way to get up hawks bluff in my opinion... and the way to the right is the "easier" or "Intermediate" path. (There are NO "Easy" or "Bunny" trails out HERE!).
Anyway about half way to that first fork in the trail ... I was thankful to realize that while I did in fact have the most pack weight with the axe and all (not all of which was admittedly necessary)... at least I wasn't the only one indoors too much and badly out of shape. I Used to run up this bluff... 1/4 of the way and all ready I was feeling winded... and also seeing and hearing of slight signs of fatigue in the others as well.
It was of no major consequence however... as not only was I not alone in struggling a bit at first... but I was also not alone in something WAY more important and relieving to see. NO-ONE on this trip was IN a hurry! Often I would look back... and instead of being rushed along by eyes forward goal oriented only hikers... I would see my favorite thing... stragglers...lol grin emoticon not to say they were lagging behind at all in any bad way... but their progress was slowed by their deep appreciation for nature... their awe at their environment... and when I would look back one or another would be drawing attention to a rock, a plant, a view... some useful element they were finding along the way that being so accustomed to the environment I had walked right past. We found flintrocks great for knapping and for arrowheads, we fount bits of chert which I have always been familiar with and enjoyed for its reddish color variations and for breaking to sharp shards... but which I also learned on that trip will spark on steel or flint LIKE flint. One friend tested it on some char cloth he had brought and got an ember off it in nothing flat!
When we did reach the fork in the trail... we agreed to take the gradual easier trail to the right... and still just before the bluff summit I was winded and we were tired a bit and stopping for another sit... during which My best friend who had arrived at the woods much earlier that day descended from the summit where he was expecting we would be coming through and he met up with us and took over point for a while. We rested there a while at the bluff and took in what I consider to be one of my favorite long distance views of the hills and valleys of my homeland... and then we continued up the trail to the very peak of the ridge. Along the way we tried out some of our bladed weapons... some of them for the first time... and everyone who needed one cut a nice staff to use as we went in the process... all from densely overgrown regions as we passed through and of plentiful wood species so as to have minimal negative impact on the ecosystem mind you. I was Impressed with the respect and appreciation for nature I saw that day.
It was Just shy of the ridge summit that I had my worst case of getting winded... from being out of shape of course... and I had slightly overheated to the point I momentarily felt nauseous and had to sit down (I should mention I was out of shape... but also sleep deprived from the night before and I hadn't eaten yet that day... which kinda explains why there was such a big wall I hit around the end of my first good wind...) But fortunately I sat a while and it passed quickly... and I went on to join the others at the summit.
Then In the course of conversation we saw it had been a couple hours in all ready... so they asked when the trail would bring us back to the trail head. I Immediately let them know that while it IS a loop of a trail (actually several loops)... we hadn't even half rounded the smallest loop yet... so we opted for the way we came as our return path. The path Back went smooth, much quicker and there was no more major need for breaks.
Right at the end me and my best friend started to lag behind just a bit... but as they took a bridge and walked the road a ways to the cars we paralleled them along the trail instead and this met us all back at the same trail head and their cars at the same time. That's when My friend backed off a bit and me and the others settled anything that needed it... and then the three From the group I had came to meet had left me and my best friend in the woods... a little wore out... but also Just starting to feel our second wind... and Knowing that all concerns of being out of shape or out of breathe were pretty well over for the day.
Well... I said right at the end... but that was FAR from the end... just end of chapter one... the day hike. This day would be a two hike adventure! Now me and my best friend of 20+ years were alone in our home woods like old times again... and there was plenty of light left! Immediately we went the opposite way... away from the Trail with the Loops and Away from hawks bluff... across the road and into the deeper trail section of forest. Quickly we crossed the first ridge and the clearing to the other side and back into the woods... and paused a bit at an old resting spot in a creek bed. a little ways more to a certain place we know... and off trail we went! STRAIGHT up "copperhead bluff"!!!
Now I will admit we have known of this bluff not near as long as hawks bluff. It got its name from the copperheads we found guarding the approach to the place who habitually bask on its southern face on certain very large exposed boulders of dense limestone. No trails lead to this bluff... and only a short branch off of another ridge leads you to it. It is Isolated and it is HUGE! Its GOT to be pushing 65 to 70 degrees in some places... and nearly one and a half times the height of hawks bluff. Aside from the occasional patch of dense carpet moss or stones the only footing up it is loose... dry... deep leafs of the bare autumn forest floor.
None the less I took this portion of the trip in stride... as did my best friend who almost always does. I did stop once myself about halfway up to catch my breath... once... but for the briefest of moments and mostly because there was a pair of shady pines arching over and beckoning me to rest there for a moment which I simply could not resist... and with a GREAT view! Then we quickly crested our second big hill challenge of the day... and got our SECOND impressive long distance view over the hills for the day!
Here we found the woven stick shelter we had started when we had stealth camped here once before... as well as the stone wood stove shaped fire oven I built there from ridge-top field stones. These were in slight dis-array... but we quickly got it back to how we left it and added another hour or two of work to sureing up the structure to the point it is nearly complete and ready for thatching. I also enlarged and modified the stone stove to more of a nice fire-place like design using yet more stone I hauled over from nearby. In past experience stone wood ovens like this have proven a HIGHLY efficient and effective means of maintaining heat from a small, contained, well concealed fire of small sticks and kindling sized wood for cool over-nighters.
One Highlight of the trip was at the first signs of twilight when we decided to head back... still on top of Copperhead Bluff. We took our same approach to getting back we took to get there... only this time I turned my camera on and tried to get a first person point of view of myself half running, half falling, and two thirds sliding down the leafy lightly wooded hillside of its south western face... and it was ALL of that, along with some log balancing across a couple small run-offs along the hillside before we met back up with the trail I found our way out. Sadly that video how ever came out too blurry and jumpy for use... I am still learning to use the camera effectively.
I then caught a ride home with him and returned back to suburbia... Happy, centered, well vented, and thoroughly exhausted. It was a GOOD day. I got to see my strengths... and I definitely saw the effects of my sedentary lifestyle as of late and my resulting weakness's and problem areas as well. Above all else... I need to get out more... But THAT was a GOOD DAY!
(*Note: I refrained from using names and overly obvious location references in this because this writing is intended for a general public audience. I have done this both out of respect and appreciation of the privacy of others involved and also to conceal the location of certain off the map locations enjoyed by myself and a very... very select few people... so that those places may be reserved and protected.)
(*Side Note: I forgot my still camera that day, and my attempts at video filming were all failures... so for the sake of this post... I will highlight it with this slightly older picture from a day trip I took recently on my own... of me relaxing at the top of "Hawks Bluff"... as an indicator of the terrain we were in at the time... all though this was from spring... and it is now Autumn and the views are better now and more open and colorful

"Heaven. Definitions from Self Observation."

Religious Heaven: an intangible concept of bliss at a later time in an exclusive place that MIGHT exist. Always needed and wanted most... by those who can never find it even if thrown into the middle of a garden of Eden.

REAL Heaven: A tangible all inclusive choice we make in our current location, in the present, containing bliss that was actively sought out and openly accepted and never condemned in others. A state of full acceptance and a full embrace of ones own destiny.

These are my definitions for Heaven. They may vary from others... but this is my understanding.... and the choice I see layed out before me... waiting to be made.

"Christmas In the Holler"

Yet ANOTHER AWESOME Christmas Feast in the Holler! I'm so Happy! I Got EVERY THING I WANTED!!! Great FOOD... Great FRIENDS... and AWESOME FAMILY of ALL ages! It was Great Just to sit Back and Listen to all the Laughter and Bask in the warm glow of the generations as they caught up on old times all over the House. And to share in that in a place full of so many childhood memories.

 I walked up on the hill by the old red house that had been there forever, and Looked on grandpa's old sawmill broken down from the ages... but I could still see it just the way it was, Back when he was running it... he was always smiling when ever he was up there working on that thing. I payed respects to Uncle Paul by his tree on the way back down, Passed the dirt hills by the garden, so much smaller now from the erosion of time. I walked across the creek I Played in and caught crawdads in as a child. I walked past the spot where the Old barn used to be... now collapse I see, and I could still see it standing there, and reflected back to all the times we hid behind it and played as a child. I could still see that old school bus behind it, that once had been a camper... and then a chicken coop, and the spot where the old pig stye's used to be.

The bus and the styes are long gone, just a grassy area full of old large diameter tree logs now. I walked the trail that used to lead around Aunt Siss's Hill that leads to Granny's old house. The Trail too is gone, all grown up now... But my feet still remember where to step. I stood in front of her house for a long time... picturing how it looked all the times we played there on Christmas as a kids, before it had been abandoned after Granny died.

I was standing in the same spot in front of her house I stood when I was 8 years old, The first Time I ever saw a spirit that didn't have a Body wrapped around it. That one was my great Aunt Annie I'm Told. I stood there so Long remembering until I could SEE Granny Looking Back at me through the Living room window, beckoning me as if to come on in and warm myself by her fire... warm and inviting as she always was in life. For a moment I even thought I saw Annie's disembodied spirit standing there with her... and to be honest by this point I was having trouble telling if I was Imagining REALLY good... or if i was maybe REALLY seeing things again, so I figured it was about time to make my way back to the house... back to the warm embrace of the still living Family.

 Another great Plate when I got back. Another round of Family... with new Long awaited arrivals finally showing up... the pleasure of a few new faces... and before i knew it it was time to go. Its a Shame Christmas can't be everyday. To all My family that was there.... To those who couldn't make it but wanted too... to those who were too far off to even consider it... and to all those who could only Bless us with their spiritual presence this Christmas... I Love you ALL so very MUCH! May All of your Holidays be bright and cheerful and full of Love... and may the year 2013 be the Greatest year of your Lives... In short... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Every Body!

"Candy for the Homeless"

I think something is strange about people who sell candy bars to help feed the homeless... why don't they just give them the candy bars??? Never did quiet get how that works...

 They are loaded with sugar which is the hottest burning fuel source you can digest and the fuel your brain feeds on. They also come with wrappers you can wipe your bum on. Some even have peanuts for added protein... Not to mention the moral boost it would give someone who is down and out on a bleak day... a little comfort can go a long way towards survival in the elements. Beats the heck out of 10 cents they get from a dollar candy bar anyway.

" 'Hazard'ous Cousins "

My Granny used to be a wonderful storyteller. she knew Family history and lineage almost biblical at times, though in her older age she often struggled with memory, she still could spout some real beauties. One of my favorites I'll try to repeat... though I confess its me these days who is feeling the strains of poor memory, I'll do the best I can...

It had to do with some distant relatives she told me were from the Peacocks, who she explained were very closely kin with us as many had intermarried into the Johnson Logsdon Family over the years. As for the time Frame she couldn't be specific. What she could say for sure was that while it wasn't far back enough to be called wild west days by any means... (the 1800's)... it was still common practice in rural counties to walk around with six shooters on your hips! By this time though this was almost nostalgic and unheard of in the bigger cities. The characters mainly involved where a couple of distant cousin's of mine from way back she said. maybe like 8th or 9th cousins... but still... cousins! They Lived in the Hills of Hazard ky, and being from hazard, well... needless to say they had some rather strong feelings about family... and no hesitance to turn to violence to defend it......

She would also point out early on that it was also still very common in those days for low income travelers to "ride" the rails Long distances some times to get from point a to point b.

Now as I understand it these two brothers had a sister who had come to Louisville and met up with a man. She fell madly in Love with this man, and before he could give her a wedding... she became pregnant with his baby. The story got interesting after that when he ran out on her and left her, pregnant, with a house and a stack of bills, and no income... as women didn't often work outside the home back then... Well sure enough she tried to make it... but in due time had to wire a message on the old teletype system home o her Family in hazard asking for support...

Well now needless to say... this made the two brothers real mad... and wouldn't you know it... in no time flat they were riding rails from hazard to the big city of Louisville... with their mountain men boots and six shooters strapped in plain view on their sides!

On arriving in Louisville... they Jumped Train right in the middle of downtown... and these two back woods six shooter packing boys started to walk the streets of Louisville. She said they covered miles and miles... looked near and Far... and finally they found the man in question who by now had heard they were looking for him and was hiding out in a bar drowning his worries just outside the main city.

Now here memory gets fuzzy... but the version i remember goes like this: The cousins try to reason with the man to return to their sister, but he only offends them worse in his drunkenness and refusal to own up to his honor by their sister. Things escalate from there... and the cousins end up gunning the man down.

The police search high and low for the boys, but no arrest is ever made. The man hunt was city wide and went on for weeks... and was the biggest local news story of its day. By the time the apb goes out... the boys have hopped the rails... safely hidden away once again in the hills of Hazard Ky. As for the sister? story goes she never got married... but raised her child alone in the house the man left her in. Seems from the moment the boys arrived back home to hazard... once a month an envelope would come in her mail... enough cash for her to live and raise her child through the hard times... post marked... Hazard Kentucky...

As if that isnt something all ready... granny pointed out also that how the family sent that money was as big a mystery as many other parts of this story. The family in Hazard was poor... Living hand to mouth... and this was in the days when depression was still going strong there... but she venture to guess that there were regular family collections... and so that SHE could eat... often very Likely... others went without... having given what they had to her...

And the Moral... be careful who you run out on guys... they just MIGHT have a couple cousins themselves in Hazard... and those boys can show up when you least expect it... and disappear just as quick!

"Drawback of Self Enlightenment"

The more a person ventures from what is common knowledge into deeper "self" knowledge only they can see... or more complete understanding than common... the more a person fits the literal definition of madness (insanity)

"Truth and Knowledge"

Truth and knowledge are there for all to hear... It is like a lone voice crying out in the wilderness... It echoes off of the buildings of stone and wood... it carries to all the places of the deep, and sounds off from every mountain. Those who Love Truth recognize it. Those who Cherish Knowledge can hear it in the air even in the quiet hours. But those who Hate Truth.. those who stand AGAINST knowledge for their OWN glorification... they can NOT hear... for it is drowned OUT by them... by their OWN False truth's which they cling to constantly in their own minds. They will Bury the Truth. They will destroy all knowledge, preferring instead to author their OWN fantasies in this world. And they will PERSECUTE all who hear the Call of Truth, All who Cherish Knowledge and seek it with their every breath. For they Can not fool them... and they can not control those who know what they refuse to know... for it is such an inconvenience to them. Persecution is the FIRST sign of ignorance... tolerance and Immutable Joy the TRUE signs of knowledge.

"Every Time We Grow We Reach a Whole New Level of Enlightenment"

congratulations on your coming into enlightenment... regardless of the path you chose to arrive at this point... you are an inspiration, and with THIS realization, be it based on your faith in god or fate or your own self, faith is faith, and when placed alongside yourself and internalized, becoming complete and non dependent on others for your spiritual development and Happiness, you have come across the true inner meaning of personal freedom and acceptance of fate and the good in all things.

In THAT respect, you have now become a self dependent free man... responsible for your own life and leaving others to be responsible for theirs. That's not the same thing as complete knowledge of course... and I expect like me your next realization will bring you to terms with that inner knowledge to the point that you understand the pointlessness of ALL absolutism as it relates to "Truth" based on the realization that, the more you know, the more questions you have, and consequentially the more you become aware of your own ignorance (or in my case MY own ignorance).. at which point you will come to the logical conclusion to give up on absolute or complete knowledge all together in favor of humility and relative truth to your OWN perception... the only one that matters on a personal level, basically reducing your self to the same level of idiocy as I have while leaving room for respect and tolerance of the "Knowledge" and "Truths" of others... regardless of source, at which point the only Christ you will need... is the Christ within yourself.

Then you will realize the responsibility you have to be your OWN savior just as Christ the original had... and even the teachings of the church, while useful to a point, are no more "absolute" than those of any other man. to my knowledge so far, though my journey is long and I have yet to do more than scratch the surface in my own life, that is the closest to being "free" and the closest your creator you will ever come... whom... by the way, contrary to popular church belief, I suspect is just as curious about his own nature as we are, and full of just as many questions that, through HIS experiences through all things, he is likely finding for himself on an "as needed basis" just as much as we are. After all... it DOES say we are created in HIS image... does it not??? anyway... it may be found disagreeable... but that is my humble respect to you, and my humble, idiotic, and fallible opinion on matters that are just beyond my grasp... and infinitely beyond my own level of comprehension...

"Woe to our Enemies"

Anyone trying to invade America right now... I just got to say for anyone seeking war and mal intent against America right now... to act you must be foolish. I mean... I'm not saying you may not have cause to... or that you do... I'm just saying...

America is a pretty scary thing to want to mess with if you really want to stop and think about it. ever hear of a psycho going off their meds? Killing 50 people? well think about that for a moment. Right now... America is one BIG strung out rampage waiting to happen if you set it off. We are so drug dependent as a nation that all we would have to do is all go off of our zoloft for 24 hrs... and I fear for the entire world. Some people you just leave to play with thier imaginary oranges... and you walk the heck around and don't look back at...

Heck... we are so bad off the government puts Prozac in our drinking water just to keep us calmed down...  and STILL we cause trouble... some scary STUFF!!!  Woe be to our enemies and so what if you can chop off heads terrorists... we have citizens who eat each others FACES from time to time... we still win in the scary contest...

"Adult A.D.D."

I have adult add... or at least all the symptoms they say are sufficient to diagnose such a thing any way. "What does this mean?" you may ask? Well I think I can explain it.

You see... when you add up a problem in your head... like 2+2 for example... your thought process is simple... straight forward. 2+2=4. this is normal.

 MY Thought process is a little bit different. MINE goes 2+ apples + hands+ two apples in my hands+ another person+ 2 more hands+ 2 more apples + sharing + not sharing... GIFTING+ her + the other person is a she+ she gives me her apples+ Gratitude and a sense of wonder+ why would she give me her apples?+ will SHE starve?+ Is she O.K.?+ I see she has a pile of apples and I had only 2+ 2 kids standing behind me begging for food.... .... ...=4 apples = 4!

And people who do it the normal way... they think I am totally off topic in 99% of my thought process... that I should interject ALL that into such a simple problem as 2+2 to come to a simple conclusion. This means I have a flaw. My brain must be deficient... and they are so much better off with their thought process... than I am with mine.

And I THINK: People who have the normal simple version thought process... those who go 2+2=4... those people don't ever even SEE the problem they are actually trying to solve. that 2 is NEVER times 2 JUST because. Numbers have to represent something to have meaning. Beyond that... all things in the universe are intensely interconnected. We are all symbiotic with everything known to exist at all times. A butterfly flaps its wings in Paris on Tuesday... it rains in New York City on Friday... I don't think they are capable of seeing any problem for what it truly is if they are blind to this. Their brains must be deficient... and they are flawed. I am SO much better off with my thought process... than they are with theirs...

And which one of is is right? My guess would be neither. Its just something to think about. Funny how ironic stuff in life

can be like that isn't it???

"Cause 'Murica!"


 Since we are abandoning more everyday what it used to mean to be American... its about time we got around to renaming this place. welcome to corporate "Murica" everybody. Its perfect. It shows just how dumbed down we have become as a society that we now lack even the patience to say "America"...lol I wish they would change the name for real.. so I can go back to being an American and people might know there is a difference.

"Why is my Address on my Drivers License?"

I wonder... why is there an address on my drivers license? Its required I know that it be there and be up to date... but why

is it there and why is it required? Why do I have to show a cop where I live to show him I am legally licensed to operate my

automobile? Why do I have to own rent or lease property and have that address to be able to drive a car legally... if I know

how to drive and I have a car? Does this mean it is illegal to drive a car and be homeless? If a Homeless person living out

of their car tried to renew their license...and could not provide an address... would they be denied? would that not cost

them their transportation AND potentially their only shelter? I can positively be identified by my license number, my name,

my photo... for some reason there is a whole list of a description of things I can change any time like hair and eye color.

Why on earth do they need my mailing address for a drivers license? To know where to send renewal reminders? The renewal date

is ON the CARD!. I get a reminder every time I look at it... which is every time I buy alcohol, cigarettes, speak with a cop

for any reason at all... or purchase anything that requires age verification. And why have I never heard any one else wonder

about this before? WHY is there an address on my DRIVERS license... only time i NEED a drivers license... I'M NOT AT HOME!!!

"Illegal Homelessness"

Could you imagine if Homelessness were Illegal... I just pictured a homeless man being brought up on charges and being asked how he pleads : " Well Your Honor... I may in fact be homeless... of THAT... I am guilty. But IN THAT... I count You... and Every person in your society as co-conspirators... and you are ALL Guilty as well.... Of Aiding... and Abetting. You all saw me come on hard times. One or more of you even took my home when I had nothing left to give... knowing I would have no-where else to go... and through it all... not one of you reached down... to give me a hand up. Not ONE of you... offered me a house." I Just thought that was funny...lol

And no... I am not implying anyone owes their house to the homeless. Its just a sketch in my head... something to chuckle at... nothing meant to offend anyone or be taken too seriously.

"Legalized Suicide"

I think we should legalize suicide. Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying we should encourage suicide. But its kinda moronic to have it be against the law isn't it... not to mention impossible to enforce on anyone who actually succeeds in fully committing the crime in the first place... but think about it... it ONLY applies to people who attempt and fail at it. they are the only ones who can be held accountable... and if you JUST tried offing yourself because of what a miserable failure you are.... AND you just failed at EVEN that... Odds are you are pretty dang low at that moment. I simply fail to see how a jail sentence on top of it along with hefty fines are going to make a person feel better and want to Live more. If anything... wouldn't that just sound like added motivation to do a better job at getting it done? I mean if you thought you were suicidal BEFORE your attempt... your probably going to REALLY be suicidal AFTER your first failure.

"Follow Your Heart"

If you would follow me... and do exactly as I instruct... I would hope to teach you one thing and only one that truly matters... That is to be patient and follow your heart... and nothing else.

"Calm Down"

Calm DOWN. TAKE a BREATH. FOCUS. Tell yourself... "what-ever will be will be... Life isn't about how long we can live... but what good we can do with our time while we are here. I'm going to do my BEST. BE my BEST. I am going to lead by example for the kinda life I want the future generations to Live by. If I wouldn't want my KIDS to do something... then I PROBABLY shouldn't be doing it either."

Now... put your emotions in check. Remember that anger clouds judgement. That emotional response is not the same as a RATIONAL response. Hold all things up to the light of reason... and when something infuriates you... and you get fighting mad... that this is the WORST time to act or respond. anything you say or do at that moment... is probably going to be the wrong thing. The best thing you can do therefore.. is to CALM DOWN and first be sure the reasons WHY something infuriates you ARE what you THINK they are. Assume personal fallibility. Allow for a margin of error and a benefit of a doubt. Remember all the times you have been wrong in the past... and that you are a better person for what you learned from those. Remember how you learn from being wrong... not from being right... and there is much to learn.

Now take another breath. stop thinking for 5 seconds. accept everything around you for 5 seconds and just forget any of it exists. let your mind clear. Close your eyes and cover your ears if it helps. JUST breathe, good.. long ... slow breaths. calm your heart. Now open your eyes.

Now... Carry on.... and have a nice day... and make better decisions. Cause less strife. and try to get along with your fellow man in peace... calmly... and exercise patience in all things. Only the big picture matters. time to let go of the little things. Have a nice Day.

"I Love Fall"

I LOVE fall... in the woods. Its a beautiful time of year. the leaves are changing, the bugs dieing down, snakes gradually fading off into deep hibernation... the undergrowth is dieing back and access is opening up to the forest floor to go almost anywhere you wish safely and easily. The sun shines often and the temperatures are as close to ideal for survival as they will likely be all year.

THAT being said... I HATE Fall in suburbia, I hate it when in an indoor lifestyle. The temps ARE dropping... the weather shifting... energy levels declining... sleep schedules get out of whack and the beauty of the days becomes mostly missed and night begins to fill my life. Depression rears its ugly head and without the constant activity one finds in the wild the body begins to decline. It begins to feel illness is almost always present or right on the verge as the body struggles to adjust. Above all the sun becomes isolated from me... the source of all energy, even as it grows further from earth for the coming winter... sheltering from it so soon only expedites the physical decline of health and energy and right at the best and safest time of year to absorb it.

My Advice to any and all this time of year is to rub that sun on your face EVERY day... to absorb as much as you can. ENERGY... straight from the source. all food... all energy we consume ALL comes from the sun as its point of origin. you can get it from plants who convert it from photosynthesis. you can get it from animals because they eat those same plants and get energy that way to supplement their demand when sun exposure alone is not enough. Food and drink and exercise can sustain us for energy... but the sun... exposure to the source... gives us that extra every summer to supplement it enough to get through a long winter. Truth is the more you can absorb of the suns rays... within healthy limits of course... through the summer the greater your chances are of surviving a winter and maintaining good energy levels through-out. food alone can NOT do that. the older you get the more important this is... though few seem to realize it these days.

Death rates, Illness, negative life events all conspire in the depth of winter to be at their peak. Odds. are for each of us that when death finds us... it will be cold outside at the time. Its not all ways true for everyone obviously... just a proportionately higher risk because the suppressive nature of the world that counters life is at its highest when survival climates are least ideal... which IS winter. The more energy you have when it arrives... the longer it will carry you and the better your chances. WINTER is coming. everything gets WORSE... not better... when the temps fall.

I LOVE fall.... ....... ... ... .. in the woods........ ....

"The Wild Mammoth Flying Bear Squirrel"

The wild mammoth flying Bear squirrel. A rare but fearsome critter indigenous to the woodlands of the ajaiwah jawah peninsula. They are about 7 to 9 feet tall with large bushy tails. They have the traits of the typical flying squirrel... able to glide from treetop to treetop... but have heads, claws, and jaws and teeth very much like the Grizzly bear.

One of the largest of the flying mammal species... they Live on a diet of blood and brain matter of the creatures it hunts... which includes humans and other large animals... especially having a taste for humans. It is said once a flying bear squirrel tastes human one time... that from then on it will refuse a diet from any other source... such is the preference for human blood and brain matter. Cases exist of them starving to death from the kitchen in human isolated Locations In thier Homeland. Also a nocturnal creature... they have been known to pray on Ajaiwah Jawah villages and settlements for the last 800 years or more... as well as ships passing to near to the shore line.

"Ode to Sickness"

sickness = deaths way of launching cowardly sneak attacks to weaken the body without showing himself. Cause death is to cowardly to fight while I am at strength. grow a pair and fight death... otherwise keep your illness... and shove it up your butt... you coward...

"Exceptional Precedents"

It Really Drives me nuts to see some people still think they can pull out exceptional cases of extreme circumstances... and try to pass them off like every day events in order to push an idea or agenda down some ones throat. You do NOT make everyday rules to accommodate exceptional circumstances. Just because there are times to abandon the rules doesn't mean the rules don't apply the REST of the time.

"Born and Bred"

odd random thought. anyone remember the old days... the ones I only heard about... back BEFORE the modern tourism based society? you know... back when "born and raised" actually MEANT something... back before the most important people in any state or city were the people who hadn't BEEN there yet?

"Can Do Mans Man"

What a wonderful can-do hardcore mans man I AM! LMAO... I Just got defeated by a bathroom sink faucet. Trying to take the old one off to replace it... and goodness... this thing is attached like it was brought to you by the same people responsible for Chinese puzzle boxes and the rubix cube! LoL. Ended up just hooking the thing back up best I could and waiting for help... before I messed things up so bad that the water lines wouldn't seal back up or the handles would fly off into the air when I turned the water pressure back on...lol

I will never understand how such a simple piece of engineering ever developed into such a complicated contraption. Frustrating. If it were just me and I could afford to have things down for a bit if needed or to take chances... This would normally be about the time I would pull out the saws all... and saw it all!

"The Anchor Chains That Bind"

There comes a time to release the anchor chains that you have been holding to hold yourself back.
There comes a time to lay down your juvenile habits and to Move forward with where life takes you.
It will NOT be easy. But there comes a time when you release that anchor chain... or you get dragged to the bottom. There comes a time when it Will be necessary.

"Point of View of a Bullied Child"

 There is never a moment... thanks to what I have been through in life... where I am NOT half way expecting and braced for something to go down... AND prepared. I am not your "Fight to escape" Kinda guy... anymore. I am PRO ACTIVE towards my own survival in any situation as much as a person can be... or at least as much as THIS person CAN be.

I HAVE been in confrontations like that... back when I was younger. I HAVE been threatened and attacked... at dark AND in broad daylight... more the latter to be honest. I Have been come at with bare hands. I have been come at with cue sticks, baseball bats, big sticks, rocks, a whiskey bottle (THAT one chipped a bone in my elbow on the block!)... with small knives... a meat cleaver... a HAIR BRUSH... bricks... lawn darts... REGULAR darts... AND had a gun leveled in my face.

I Have been attacked and/or tried to e chased down by as few people as one... and as many at a time as twelve. So Far... I am still here... So Far... I haven't had to hospitalize or kill anyone just to get away. SO far... It Can be tough at times going through life looking like one of the worlds easiest victims. It can MAKE you tough.

Fortunately though I MUST have learned through the years to carry myself just a LITTLE BIT differently than I used to. to REACT to people differently. Something change some years back... and I can't even say what it was. For the most part anymore.... when ever I come across a group of people rank strangers to me... they let me walk on buy.

They don't stop me to harass me. They don't often yell after me awful insults and threats in attempts to look manly in front of their peers. And whenever it DOES on seldom occasion happen... the WAY I turn to deal with the situation... like I said... MUST be different. They don't press it anymore. They don't escalate. They try to maintain their "cool" composure in front of their friends of course... but while backing down instead of jumping up.

At one point in my life... I was afraid for my life ALL THE TIME. AT one point... I Really WAS a punk... a walking talking victim of a person. I WAS Prey. I HAD no confidence or self worth. I guess it showed... and MANY people would sense that instinctively about me and they would take advantage of it at the drop of a hat with little to NO provocation what so ever.

Over time I learned to NOT Take my own life SO seriously. I Learned to care less about what other people think of me. I learned to be confident and to carry myself with pride no matter what I look like or what it put me through. I figured out that life was to short... fear was a thing to confront and to laugh at... danger was the mark of a task worth remembering... and to have a life I had to be myself and accept the consequences walking in. I gained confidence.

So let that be a lesson to any kids out there who get bullied or who feel they will always be the victim. Your own fear marks you. Its your own fear that holds you back. People will always think what they think... YOU do what YOU do... and people will be with you or they wont. Carry yourself with pride. Learn preparedness and self defense and martial arts. Don't learn it... LIVE IT.... and at SOME point in your life... your self worth will become apparent... not only to yourself but to others as well. Until YOU see it... for what it REALLY is... no-one else can either.

So don't WORRY if you can't see or feel it now. Survive! Thats ALL you have to do.Do That LONG enough... and one day the better times will come your way. If you can't live for today... live for tomorrow. If nothing else... live to SPITE the A HOLES who want to harm you. They only weaken themselves... someday you will be stronger because of them... and the joke is on them.

"Blue River Outing"

 Once at blue river I came extremely close to drowning. I had to be pulled out of the water. In a last ditch effort to save myself I swam towards friends as best I could who were rushing out to rescue me.

When one got there... He couldn't make out me trying to say "take a breath" and in my desperation for air I used his buoyancy to raise my chest out of the water which allowed me to dislodge SOME of the water I had inhaled... but I still was having trouble getting a full breath.

That's when I realized I had my friend pushed under the water in doing so. AT THAT moment I knew I HAD to make a choice. I was about to drown the man who was there to save me... or drown myself. In my moment of panic... I had done the ONE thing you do NOT do in that situation.

With what I fully expected to be my last act... I threw my hands in the air... releasing him and he immediately surfaced... coughing and hacking and shocked. I had pushed myself well up out of the water but when I put my hands up I went completely limp and just fell back on my back into the water and started to sink.

I was very near blacking out at that moment. Everything in my vision went completely white actually. There were tiny bright dots floating everywhere that were somehow bright enough still to even be obvious against a totally white brightness.

They were Luminescent... transparent... like little bubbles of carbonated light in a tall GLASS of white and that's all I could see. a strange buoyancy then took over and I felt completely free... Like I was floating... floating in a sea of cool white.

All voices went muffled. All Pain stopped. I could make out murmurs in the background... but I lacked the ability to focus in and make out a thing they were saying. I felt free. At Peace. Home. Loved. Content. I had made my choice. I could sense I was being transported some where. I did not know where. But I was floating... so I must be floating some WHERE. With THAT realization... I felt a slight pang of unease. nervousness. anticipation. Fear. I had NO idea what I was in store for next.

It was only a moment. Not even that because as SOON as I felt it coming up... starting to take shape... I felt inexplicably comforted. I had made a choice. a choice I was still aware of. The choice was all that mattered. It was all about to be over, and I could rest, and things would work out as they should........

That's when the two other friends had arrived. I was "Floating" because they were supporting me from underneath with their hands while dragging me back to shore. The whole time... I could still hear their voices. I never even fully blacked out... I had simply gone incoherent. They were telling me to hang in there. That I would be o.k. and we were going to shore.

And then I felt a thud. A strange sensation. something cold and rough and hard that had slapped me in the back... and something cool and wet lapping like little waves against my ankles.... And pain... A pain in my chest... and voices... they were saying things again... and people... half panicked looking people... time to wake up. No more whiteness. No more tiny floating carbonated light. I regained coherancy right as they drug me onto the shoreline and put me on solid ground.But that was close and I thought at the time... I had brushed very close with death. I Know refer to this as a "lesser near death experience".

I will always be grateful for being pulled out of the river that day And even more grateful that I didn't take longer to make the right choice.. I went from drowning... to lashing out... to self sacrifice... and would have been perfectly willing at the time to slip back under those waves and have simply been washed down stream. Thankfully it didn't have to work out that way... and in the end.... I was o.k. . I could rest. everything worked out the way it should. and the choice was all that mattered.

"Drug Counceling"

I just seen where drug abuse counselors are needed at a starting salary of 41,090 dollars a year. I think I would be good at counseling people on drug abuse... "Don't take the brown acid"... "Joints are wasteful use a pipe to save weed// a bong will get you higher though.".... "Don't mix your uppers and downers and if you do... don't go anywhere.".... " ALWAYS have a safety safe where nothing can harm you layed out BEFORE taking any hallucinogens"..."STAY HYDRATED... especially on X...

You Can't go wrong with Natural".... " Avoid bath salts and other unproven methods of getting high... you wouldn't wanna wake up tomorrow eating some homeless mans face off would you?"... ect... ect.... see... I Have all kinds of advice on drug abuse... I think I would make an EXCELLENT Drug Abuse Councilor...lol

I also see a real need... so many people these days are doing it WRONG!!! . I may not DO any of that hard stuff anymore... but I have lots of experience gained info I could pass on... and when it comes to coming OFF hard drugs...

I quit six at once. My advice... get in bed. stay there till the convulsions stop or until you die... and make your peace while you are at it. I went through convulsions, night sweats, several near death experiences involving respiratory difficulty and major heart palpitations, and even after I finally got out of bed... the panic attacks lasted several years.

As for Life after Drugs... it was SO hard to figure out what "normal" felt like after all that and when I did... I didn't know how to act. I still to this day feel it shattered all illusions of normality I ever had... and while on the one hand I am glad for that... on the other I am not so sure. Of course everyone's experience is different... and even in that environment... I stuck out rather badly I think.

I walked in thinking of myself as a good person. I saw a LOT of shady stuff happen and was faced with constant temptation to sacrifice my morals... but I honestly feel I never did. I never stole from anyone. I never cheated anyone. I became a less judgmental person and did things to my body that may be regrettable... but I did it out of curiosity and out of wanting a sense of belonging. I also feel I helped a few people along the way maybe... though I don't know and its not for me to say who or by how much. Yes... I did the drugs... but I did NOT allow the drugs to do me. Of course given more time no telling how long that would have remained the case... but I had the sense... thank goodness... to exit when I did before My actions crossed over to harming others.

Most Harm I caused was leaving... being the last breadwinner present... and not maintaining support for the other people involved longer than I did. everyone's experience is different... and I can fault no-one for things that happened in those lowly circumstances. Bottom line... I went in a good person...In my own opinion at least... and I came out a better person. I am unique I think in that and very lucky... because in those circumstances... Lord knows It could have went either way.

I honestly do not think drugs CAN make a person into a bad person... but I do believe we all have traits... good and bad... and that drugs will flush them out of a person without discrimination. If you have it in you to steal... but usually refrain... drugs may make you act on those impulses. If you don't have it in you to start with though... then they won't.

That's what I think. Same goes for other traits... both good and bad. Drugs merely amplified the rue nature of people... and when they are on them... then you see thier true colors. a lot of people betrayed a Lot of other people. It was hard to watch. However unless it was you doing the betraying... then it shouldn't alter who you are at all. Don't hold yourself accountable for the actions of others... but only your own. Its a personal journey... it just happened in some cases to take place in very public environments... and all those journeys interacted on and influenced each other. Hence it is vital to assign responsibility for each action individually to where it belongs.

"An App for the N.S.A."

I wonder if there is an app that will let my computer browse through all the gay and extreme porn sites while I am not in the room... and then clear the screen as soon as I walk in and hit a button or click or move the mouse? I don't necessarily want to see it myself... but I can't help but think how incredibly hilarious it would be for the N.S.A. who supposedly watches everything we say or do on the internet. You know... give them something to look at they may regret (or enjoy... perv voyeur a holes...)

"A Radical Philosophy for the War on Terror"

I think... if we REALLY want to stop a war on terrorism by actually winning said war... we should win less by force... and more through the hearts and minds of those who wish to conquer us... and our own. I can't help but think, backwards and ignorant though it may seem to the tactical minded, that if we broadcast more about how AWESOME we were progressing as a nation and less and less about every action taken against us by our enemies... giving them the media exposure and all of the attention and glory they require in the process... then they would feel less encouraged to continue Attacking us.

Perhaps if instead of falling apart on global television every time catastrophe strikes us we showed we had the MIGHT to absorb it and still prosper... they would feel less and less like their violent actions are actually WORKING.

Maybe if instead of meeting their call to violence with arms and war... we met their threats with concern for their well-being and a willingness to share our prosperity and aid in finding solutions to the problems facing them and resolution to the misunderstandings that plague them... we could turn a great threat into a valuable ally and bring about a better world for BOTH nations/religions in which BOTH could prosper in peace.

Maybe... just Maybe if we invest as much into fixing our roads, our schools, our employment levels, our economy, and our infrastructure as we do on wars against people both foreign AND domestic such as the war on terror and the war on drugs and continued to fight to improve Human rights both at home and abroad through peaceful and genuinely helpful endeavors... we would not have so many enemies. Maybe if we lessened our greed and consumption and looked more towards the good in the world and how we can increase it... instead of the other way around... people would find less cause to hate us and thus... to want to kill us. And maybe... just maybe we could find a little less cause to keep killing them as well. Maybe that's what we need. I think it is... PEACE.

"Living History"

Every body these days actually thinks they are SO civilized simply because they live within civilization. We Like to think we are SO far above and more advanced than our bronze age or stone age ancestors... but when it comes to personal knowledge...

More and more I am coming to realize it simply isn't true. WE live in a day of convenience and everyday we take SO much of our technology for granted... We are no longer the creators of our own environment. We are simply dwellers.

Oh sure we do creative things... often... but we always have a way out. we always know someone we can ask. even the materials we work with... we have no idea how they come to be anymore... we simply go buy them? For a member of a civilization that has surpassed ancient technology SO far... ask your self some basic questions. If I have surpassed the stone age... then does that mean I have the knowledge and ability to make tools out of stones if that's ALL that was available to me?

We have an entire ERA of our history devoted to nothing but the material known as BRONZE... and yet... if asked on the street today... how many people do YOU think would be able to say how Bronze is made? How many do you think would even know what bronze is made OF? let alone how to find the raw material, process it, mix it, melt it, form it, cool it, or use it?

Ah but why would we right? I mean... we have STEEL now... right? so who cares about bronze and stone??? Well then answer me this... Do you know how STEEL is even made? would it even be POSSIBLE for you to find ITS raw materials, and do all of the aforementioned things to create it and use it to full fill your needs with OUT the massive infrastructure of your so called "ADVANCED" society to support you?

I know I couldn't. I think its time to get back to some basic stuff. This is the kinda crap my mind wonders about recently.

More and more I am becoming convinced that it is time to SToP studying human history to learn from it... and start LIVING human history... and learn it the way I learn everything else... through direct experience. It does not mean I have to abandon modern society all together mind you... but that I could learn a lot from my ancient ancestors and maybe not be as quick to dismiss them as ignorant or primitive..

"I Love String!"

I Love String. Its such a wonderful Thing. I Love String.
Little bits of string I Like. Big LOOooooong Bits Is Better.
Little fine string. great big ole FAT string. Twisted string and braided string and even strings that's just one BIT of string from one end of string to the other end of string! Soft string and sharp string... string of every kind! I love string so much... with out my string I would Loose my mind!... .... .... ... .. .. . I Love string......

"A True Black Cat Story"

 I have been digging online for a couple weeks now... and finally found a picture that looks almost EXACTLY like the large Black cat I had an encounter with at Taylorsville Lake Campgrounds a couple weeks ago while sleeping in an open-air Hammock while camping with my friends Benjamin Snyder and Adina Snyder... which confirms I believe what I all ready thought.

It WAS in Fact a melanistic (meaning all black pigmented) Bobcat. This was the FIRST time I EVER saw a bobcat in person... and it wasn't ten feet from me! AND it was melanistic!!!! Only a relatively SMALL percentage of ANY species (some species more common than others but all ways it is consistently rarer than other color patterns and stems from either recessive genes or hormonal imbalance in most cases) are found to have this melanistic quality.

I consider myself to be truly blessed. It made for an awesome factual real-life story and a precious memory... both of which I will likely cherish the rest of my days. Here... finally... is the picture I found that so perfectly matches what I saw THREE TIMES in that one early morning twilight! I am not sure size of the one in the picture... but from what few points of reference the picture offers suggests this one to also be about the same size and maturity... possibly slightly smaller and younger.

The one I saw, I know it stretched about 3 and a half to 4 feet from nose to the end of its tail... and was about two and a half feet... maybe tall. for reference it was only about 2 or 3 inches from being as tall as the picnic table (standard metal/wood campground type picnic table... just like the ones at Jefferson memorial forest here in Lou.) that one end of my Hammock was tied to at the time of the sightings.... but taller than the bench seats by about a head.

Its also a treat for me that not only was the one I saw melanistic... it also was a long-tail... which I believe is yet ANOTHER recessive gene... making me twice Lucky! (as far as I am concerned. I AM aware melanism and the long tail gene are neither THAT uncommon in bobcats as compared to some other cat species... [not at all in yet other species in which it exists as a dominate common trait... like domestic breeds and panthers ect]... but I am also acutely aware that the odds... for a first one time sighting... are HIGHLY in favor of the animal being neither. The "Average" has a bobbed tail which is how they got their name I think.. and a mottled coloration similar to calico... and have very pronounced ear whiskers. The one I saw had a medium length tail... was all black (no partially... it was SO dark black if any mottled type markings WERE present they too were so dark as to be pretty much UN-noticeable... even during the third sighting which was so late in the twilight as to be quite bright outside... so no real darkness to hide such markings unless they were very faint)... and the ear whiskers simply didn't stand out... leading me to believe they were much less pronounced than normal... though from the looks of all the pics I have come across it would appear that this would be common among the melanistic individuals within the species.

There may also be a link with the long tail... as most the black ones I can find pictures of seem to share this trait.... all though they definitely aren't the only members of the species with longer tails... many pics exist of non-melanistic long-tailed bobs also.

Anyway... Normally a cat this size would choose not to tangle with a human my size... and wrongly or not it never made me feel threatened or frightened... even though I was laying prone in an open hammock and vulnerable to attack at the time. I'm not so sure after the fact that I Should NOT have been more concerned at the time... but Fear simply wasn't my response. Intense respect and fascination... and a deep seated curiosity... and from the times in the first two encounters that I spoke to the thing I only sensed the same attitude... and maybe a slight frustration at having its way blocked on the way to the lake for its morning hunt... coming back from the animal. It was deeply curious about our tents and all the smells about our camp... (and the weird bean-looking thing hanging between a pole and a table that twice told it to go away when it was trying to go by) but it seemed neither threatened by our presence nor threatening. That was my response when I finally realized what I had to be seeing (and realized it was NOT something else more mundane... like a large skunk or domestic cat for example)... curiosity, Fascination... and.... AWE.


"Black Tie America"

America was founded on cultural diversity and religious freedom. Now adays it seems that more and more you see american-based anti muslim and anti other non-christian religions and anti-nationality based groups... the statue of Liberty USED to read "bring us your poor... your sick.. your downtrodden." Guess America back then was like a mom and pop start-up business desperate for customers... where as now we are the most famous restaurant in town. Now the statue should read "Filled to capacity... Black Tie only". I am neither condemning or condoning... simply observing... sometimes with disgust... sometimes with hope.

"Left Wing, Right Wing: Metaphore OverLoad"

Right wing. Left wing. ... .... .... ... ... Same ugly bird... and that bird doesn't fly anymore cause it's wings don't work together. Only one flaps at a time. Now it can't hunt and is starving. Now it has begun consuming itself because its been starved of Liberty. The olive branch got ate years ago... and all thats left is for it to fall onto the arrows and impale itself.

"My Burial Preference"

I SO hope when I fall from this earth... I do so from a secluded wilderness location... Penniless... Alone... and owing no-one... with no Human to witness my demise... so that the critters and animals and insects and worms and scavengers of all types can spread my body to the four corners of the earth... so no one will have to argue over what to do with me once I am gone. That's my Burial preference.

"Survival Skills Self Bio"

I spent most my time as a child At the family home in the Hollers of Kentucky running barefoot over the dirt piles, catching crawdads in the creek, playing cowboys and Indians running through the woods and with sticks and rocks, dodging snakes and chasing frogs and fireflies. We would fish the pay lake right beside the property. My Grandfather and Uncles and eventually myself would sit on the porch and play bluegrass music on guitar and he would pass on information about farming, gardening, construction, cabinet making, trapping, fishing, hunting, shelter building, you name it.

Besides that My dad was always driving us out to the country, taking us fishing and camping, growing gardens of vegetables and trying as hard as he could to raise us in a country outdoor lifestyle, in spite of having to live in the city. I was a cub scout for a year or so as a child also where I learned basic woodsman skills like knot work and fishing and camping skills. Over all my parents and the older generation of can-do blue collar backwoods people I grew up around instilled a sense of hard work... of never needing anything that can't be provided with ones own two hands and the bounty of nature.

At the age of 13 I moved next door to the Jefferson Memorial Forrest Wildlife Reserve on the outskirts of Louisville Ky... and when I wasn't training elsewhere or in school I was running in the woods... practicing foraging, plant identification, honing fire-craft and shelter making skills and practicing stalking skills with my camera to capture wildlife photos as a passing hobby.

At the age of 15 I became a cadet for the Civil Air Patrol... where i was exposed to military-grade instruction on wilderness survival skills for nearly every conceivable climate, Emergency first aid and cpr skills, search and rescue training, Disaster relief, aerospace education and entry level flight training in personal aircraft, and first hand military orientation and preparation for entry to the service at an advanced pay-grade. This was also the time period when I began ROTC courses in high school to help round out my military orientation and prep work.Most recently I have volunteered as a live in caretaker for a friend who has Muscular Dystrophy in return for room and board and a lil occasional spending money. In my free time I have experimented with authoring several Blogs on the subjects of outdoor survival and especially wild edible identification and consumption.

I am also a former Administrator and proud member of the FaceBook Group "Cataclysm Provisions LLC", created by Nick (Brutal) Keen and a couple of his other groups and we host gatherings for camping, trips to historical sites, cook outs, Hiking trips ect. The woods is my place of solace. They are My Refuge. What others call wilderness survival... I call the good life. I am never at home in "Civilized" city life... I thrive in the wild, I suffocate in suburbia. I am a feral child at heart. I Have been studying and honing my skills as far back as I can remember.

some thoughts on a healthy diet concerning meat

Meat is an essential part of a healthy diversified diet. I've heard it said that you wouldn't drag a beheaded cow or chicken into church, so why would you put it into your body... because your body is a temple. To that I say name me a southern church that has never had fried chicken. Granted you don't drag it into the service itself, there they just cannibalize the "Body" of Christ (in most christian churches anyway)... but they have Luncheons all the time... and there's nothing wrong with a hamburger or a good ole piece of fried chicken at church. 
    My point is it isn't the meat that's bad... but the overly processed and preserved Fast food Junk and the quantities people often eat is whats unhealthy. Eat your taco's or white castle from time to time my friend... that's not the Harm... but there's no need for 17 taco's or 20 burgers.
    The food isn't the problem near as much as the quantities. Remember for every ounce of meat... you should also have an ounce of fruit. and ounce of vegetables or grains. meat should be 1/3 of a healthy meal... not all of it. 
    That said... we all backslide and eat more than we should from time to time... but cut back on it. problem now is the extreme quantities of meat, and its not necessarily good to replace one extreme with another... like say going on an all vegetarian diet. And by the way... the body may or may not be a temple... but it is most DEFINITELY a work engine. Fuel it... but run the tank dry from time to time before you fill it back up... so the "Old gas" don't deteriorate in the fuel system and damage it. 
    Then again... more active you are at burning through that fuel... the less significant the TYPE of fuel becomes also. Anyway... that's my thoughts on the matter.

The Tradition of the Staff v.s. Store-Bought Trekking Poles

    There is a traditional ceremonial method to the manner in which I pick out my personal Staff each spring which i will then use for support and protection when hiking... which will then be used for the remainder of each year.
     Every year... I have a tradition of harvesting a single hardwood Staff from my home woods (either maple, black locust, or hickory, hickory preferred) from a single straight adolescent sapling. 
    I cut it flat on the bottom "big end" and put either a point (or if I find the right sapling a fork is turned into 2 points, better to pin snakes to the ground if necessary) at the other. Then I flip it over so the fat end is the top side usually because it balances better that way, and I always cut it the same Length as my own height.
    It is quiet the arduous journey every spring (coming up on that time again now... actually I'm Late this year) and each year I find I have to go deeper into the woods to find the right one... but it is ceremonial and much of the tradition is based on practicality. the rest is just based on my own version of ancient tribal mysticism I guess which has been passed down to and modified by me.
    My staff MUST be the right size in length and thickness, It MUST come from a stand of young trees which has many similarly aged saplings of the same size nearby to be left alone for the health of the species in the woods... and not only must I Like the one I choose... but I MUST have that "meant to be" feeling about it when I see it from a distance, so that I walk RIGHT to it. 
    Then I ask "The woods" for permission... and regardless what time of day I find it... I find more and more that I prefer to cut the sapling at sunset. If I have to wait... I will wait. If I have to trek out in the dark... I will. (this is why I also prefer do this when the moon is either full or nearly full, and the weather is supposed to be clear... all the better for the ceremony AND for finding my way back out.)
    After its cut... I say a prayer for its soul... commending it back to nature after a years service and thanking it for its service in advance. 
    Then I have a tradition of burning the scrap material (cut off twigs leaves and branches) and if there are any left over larger sections of trunk I carry them out also for later carving projects.  
    Granted all that isn't necessarily necessary for every one just to cut a hiking staff... but that's what I use when i go hiking in the woods, and that's how I obtain it each year. 
    My staff will be my main source of support and personal defense as well as a primary tool for the entire year. It is so important to me... that I feel it deserves its reverence... and thats the reason for all the ceromony and respect i give to the entire process. 
    Each year that staff becomes a fixed part of my identity and a link to my past that I can hold on to in the most literal of ways. Sometimes I debark my staff... but lately I don't debark anything but a comfy hand grip... and I leave as much bark as I can. I believe this helps extend the life of the staff further into the winter months before it seasons enough to begin to weaken... as they all will untreated.
    I don't treat or seal mine with any kind of chemicals or paints or anything, though i often will add carved symbols, designs, and or decorations which have a personal or religious meaning to me. the reason i don't seal it though is because I prefer to treat it like a living thing... often as part of my ceremonial ritual i will even give it a name... and like all living things it SHOULD be able to breath in my opinion. 
    Anyway... there's a little insight into my life and beliefs that is historically reserved as private and privileged information. As far as store-bought trekking poles go though... no. I have never used one (or two) of those, though I have considered it. They look nice I guess but they just aren't my style... I just could never have as much reverence for something so easy to come by as something i just ran to the nearest sporting goods department and threw some cash at... besides... I never have cash to spare for such things anyway.
    Besides...if there is an inherent flaw with those shorter style trekking poles versus a staff... it has to be going DOWN hills I think. I find the extra length of my staff far superior for reaching down the slope to brace myself against, and that also leaves enough length that I'm less likely to fall onto and impale myself on my own pole. Just one more thing to consider as a virtue of doing it yourself and using a single longer nature-sourced Staff versus store-bought shorter dual Trekking poles.

"Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer."

The title of this one is actually a quote from the statement, made by a friend of mine, on a social media website, and what follows is a slightly lengthened and revised (for clarity in this different format without the typically surrounding comments within a thread common in such postings on such types of sites) version of my response to that statement.:

    In regards to depression remember... its an illness above all else. I have carried that illness myself  for years so what i am about to say is coming from hard won experiences gained from the times in my life when i was consumed by depression to the point of self destruction, and beyond, and i have so far been fortunate to be alive today because of what those experiences have taught me. 
    Depression is NOT true emotion, but inflicted. Not inflicted necessarily by others or external sources... but by the afflicted's own past and the nature of the disease itself. Remembering THAT helps me fight against it. 
    The best advice i have gained to pass on when dealing with depression is to give a bad mood its due... and to treat it as a cycle i have to go through... but when enough is enough... get ACTIVE... be SOCIAL. Force yourself through the motions at first if need be... but activity and social interactions WILL over time turn that mood back around... and you can get back to being "Yourself" again. 
    Its a hard cruel process... but this has worked better for me than ANY pharmaceutical or psychiatric treatment ever could for me. especially psychiatric treatment. Talking about depression, while maybe a slight relief at first... eventually only serves to give it too much presence in your life... which in my experience worsens the inevitable experience of it. 
    Since it PRESENTS itself to your mind LIKE an emotion does... you must process it in a very similar way as any other emotion... Like Joy for example. Joy is wonderful. when we have cause to be joyous... we are free to stay in that emotion... but if there is no cause... and the circumstances aren't right for that emotion, like at the scene of a crisis for example... then at THOSE times we recognize that joy would be out of place in that environment, so we switch to a more beneficial emotion to the situation at hand. Depression is no different... except that it will actually FIGHT you and try to linger LONG past its due time if allowed to do so, and the resulting effect on your mood and your life in general is always negative... and unlike any true emotion... anti-survivalistic.  
    Sometimes you have to be pro-active to put yourself in the RIGHT circumstances and frame of mind to release that emotion. But if you close up... hide in your room... remove yourself from any cause for any other emotion... depression will take over. and in fact when that happens... the depression all ready HAS taken over. Thats exactly the controlling influence of the disease itself at work fighting as hard as it can to do nothing less than to KILL you. I say its not a true emotion because when this happens... it persists even into circumstances that don't call for it to your detriment. That is where it crosses the line into being an illness. 
     Emotions are there because they benefit our survival. Depression lessens our survival potential. It makes us freeze up when we should act... and act out when we should relax. 
    Obviously I have a lot of experience in this area... about 26 years worth of effects, observation, trial and error since I first undeniably started noticing severe symptoms around the age of nine or ten... but I've been fortunate enough to survive myself so far. and at the end of the day that's the trick isn't it? to survive LONG enough to feel something ELSE that's so much more worth the effort? I think that's the trick anyway... even though there is almost no trick to it. 
    Only secret to my survival so far has been to focus on being AWARE of my illness and to observe its effects knowingly and as calmly as possible. I try my best to NEVER act on my emotions when I am under the influence of depression... and to only act on my TRUE emotions. The only real trick is being able to tell the difference... and that part will always be a struggle... but thats what has to happen to survive it.

Jason A. Dennison (J.D.)

Jason A. Dennison (J.D.)
Blog Author: Jason A. Dennison (J.D.) ... ... Relaxing @ "Hawks Bluff".

"Deep Thought"

"Deep Thought"

"Seeking Inspiration":

"Seeking Inspiration":
"Seeking Inspiration" : Blog Author, Jason A. Dennison (J.D.)