Wednesday, August 30, 2006


This is from the last volume of The Lord of the Rings. Bilbo, in his very old age recites it to his younger cousin before the younger hobbit leaves Rivendell to return to the Shire. I think it resonates more as I grow older than it did when I first read the books as a senoir in high school.

I sit beside the fire and think...
by J. R. R. Tolkien

I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


These nebulas are known as the North American and the Pelican. Both are located near the star Deneb in the constellation Cygus.

Yeah, the one really does look like the Gulf coast but I'm about to go cross eyed looking for the bird in the "Pelican." They are spectacular.

I'm sure they don't look nearly as colorful in real life. Isn't long term exposure and color enhancement wonderful?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

This picture is from my favorite Astronomy site. It was taken in Colorado in 2000. The meteor is one of the Perseids that fall every August, actually about this time of year. It was taken near dawn with a moonlit sky and the Aurora Borealis. So a shot with a lot of things working in it. Meteor, Colorado mountains, the break of dawn and an Aurora. Spectacular.

The poem excerpt is from Earth Medicine by Jamie Sams.

Saturday, August 5, 2006


I know posting has been a little eratic this summer. One it's summer. More time outside less time inside. Two I had to switch back to prescription medication for my blood pressure. That meant about a month or so of feeling like a zombie while my body adjusts to this crap. God I hate this stuff. A breain full of cotton really puts a damper on creativity. Doesn't make working with numbers very easy either. Naturally I work in the accounting department where I work.

I've finally figured out that you treat these drugs like a tool. It helps keep you going while you get your act together. You use it as long as you have to and work like heck to get to a point where you take as little as possible. None would be ideal, but we'll have to see. I'm very lucky that I have insurance that covers drugs.and co-payments. A lot of people don't. I really count my blessings on this.

It helps that I had dental work done last year and I can actually chew the stuff that's good for me. Also we've been adapting our diet for the last couple of years so the rest of the changes haven't been as hard to make as they could have been. And we can cook. Makes it easier to adapt things. Just keep repeating, I love fruits and vegetables, I love fruits and vegetables. Although, when I sampled a bite of vanilla ice cream when we had the boys over the other night, it was like "God, when did this stuff get soooo poisonously sweet. I'm outa here."

Which led to more time walking and research into how to use the weights that have been gathering dust in the closet since my last experiments. That little experiment led to a bum shoulder and six months sleeping with my arm on a pillow, lots of Alleve and a heating pad. Anyway, I've been more careful this time, taken it a little slower and so far I've managed to avoid damaging myself. Looking at fitness tapes can be so depressing if you aren't careful. I've been spending a fair amount of time trying to adapt excercises and stretching routines into something I can do. So far so good. And it's actually working. The range of motion in my neck and back has improved. It's take a piece from here, a chunk from over there, a couple of bricks from this routine and see what you can build on.

Next goal. Getting next to some of my Tai Chi materials. I can do some of the upper body routines now, but I have to be really careful with my knees. I am not in the market for any kind of knee surgury.

I guessI need to get in touch with my inner tortoise. Slow and steady will get me where I'm going. Sure it'll take awhile. So what if it takes a year or so. Where would I be at the end of that time if I didn't. I'd stll be a year older. Too bad I can't shoe horn an extra hour or so into the day.

Oh, and I started out at close to 400 pounds four years ago. I'm down to about 303 so naturally I'm stuck. Slow and steady, slow and steady, just keep repeating my new mantra.