Sunday, February 7, 2016

Photo-of-the-Week #249 Reminiscing, My Mountain Home. Winchester, Virginia 1993-2003

Two weeks ago, as of the time of this writing, the east coast experienced the “Blizzard of 2016.” The thought of that snow event had me reminiscing about all the snow and snow events I've experienced during my nearly 71 year lifetime. Growing up in northern New Jersey during the last half of the 1940's through the middle of the 1960's, then experiencing two years of frozen white snow and freezing cold hell in Syracuse, New York should have been enough, one might think. Thanks to my Uncle Sam and Vietnam, I was plucked from Syracuse and sent to San Antonio, Texas for about 8 months during the next winter.

Then I was relocated to the”South” in the Mid-Atlantic region. It's important to understand, those of us from northern New Jersey during that time believed anything south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge crossing from South Jersey into Delaware was “The South.” But, I learned different when it came to the weather.

Sure, the folks started talking different as I came south and said things like “all y'all” and “come back now, heah.” But, what I didn't know was that the freezing cold and white fluffy stuff didn't stop at the South Jersey border. . . READ MORE & SEE ANOTHER PHOTO

Friday, February 5, 2016

52 Weeks to a Simpler Life – Tip #21 – Eliminate the Extras & Spares

Okay, it's always good to have an extra corkscrew or pair of scissors, right? How about batteries? Isn't it maddening that just when you need to use some battery operated device (and there are more and more of those devices these days) the battery in the device is dead and you don't have a spare. If it's great to have one pair of glasses, but shouldn't you really have a spare set in case you misplace the first pair?

How many items can you list that you have duplicates, back-ups, spares and convenience copies of? If you're like most average consumers, you likely will end up with a good size list. It's smart, right? Remember the old Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared.” There is probably some corollary of Murphy's law that says, “if you one have one of something you use regularly, you're bound to lose it.” Not necessarily so. Read on . . .

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Photo-of-the-Week #248 If I Had My Druthers, Ft. Pierce, Florida, January 2014

Yep! This photo says it all. If I had my druthers right about now, I'd be sitting on this beach at Pepper State Park in Ft. Pierce, Florida or on Manhattan Beach outside Los Angeles or on the beach on Padre Island. I'd be anywhere I've been or not yet been, as long as it was warm with balmy breezes and preferably with the sound of seagulls and the ocean surf to lull me to sleep. . . READ MORE

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I Hate Life!

Yes! I, the guy who is always trying to be positive and inspiring and avoids the use of the word (and emotion of) “hate,” hates life. You may be saying to yourself, “Say, it isn't so!” How can Ed Helvey, the guy who has shed so much of the traditional, mainstream lifestyle of the average, middle-class American, make such an all encompassing, negative pronouncement about life? All he ever does is write about living free and being happy.

I'm afraid I'm just human. I just can't hold back my true feelings any longer. I've finally come to grips with certain realities that cause me to make this proclamation. But, what's even worse is that I've met more and more people who share this hatred and I associate with them all the time. There is so much to hate about this life.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

52 Weeks to a Simpler Life – Tip #20 – Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow

It's been established that 70% (an average based on multiple surveys and polls) of the population don't like their jobs or what they are doing for a living. So, this begs the question, Why? Why do people keep doing something they don't like? I'm talking about their J.O.B.s.

I've mentioned this before in other articles like the ones I did about Living Life and Defining Yourself. Why do we settle for whatever ultimately seems to happen? This question can be applied to many things such as relationships, the homes we live in, where we live and the specific thing this article focuses on, our job, career, occupation, profession or however you want to describe what you do to earn your financial income to afford the lifestyle you live and the overhead to sustain it.

Have you truly taken the time to analyze why you do what you do and why you keep doing it? To many, this may seem like a rhetorical question. You're scratching your head and saying to yourself, is this guy, Ed, dense or from another planet? You're thinking to yourself, I do it because I have to. I have responsibilities and obligations. I have a family that needs to be housed, fed and clothed. I can't just stop doing whatever it is I do because I don't like it or I'm not happy doing it. That's a good rationalization for not allowing yourself to think outside the box.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Photos-of-the-Week #247 Blizzard 2016 – North Central West Virginia, January 2016

This week I'm going to let the photos do the speaking. Here's what I'll tell you. I'm still located in north central West Virginia on the West Virginia-Maryland border (the Potomac River) about 23 miles south of Cumberland, Maryland. This is all a very rural region. It's known as the Potomac Highlands although the small town I'm located in is actually in a small valley at about 800 feet above sea level, surrounded by mountains that probably range from 400 to 800 feet higher.

I had planned to be in warmer climates by this time, but “Stuff Happens” and, while the stuff was not of my own making, I agreed to stay around the area to provide assistance for my friend and my sister. I had no intention of experiencing another blizzard in my lifetime. I've weathered many of them in New Jersey, central New York, Annapolis, Maryland and Winchester, Virginia. My snow preference is to watch it on TV, in movies, see it in photos or, on occasion, visit the snow with the intent of immediately leaving it behind. . . READ MORE & SEE MORE PHOTOS

Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday Musing - The Paradox of Climate Change and Other Stuff

Okay, friends – so, I'm freezing my backside off here in rural West Virginia. I'm sure most of you are experiencing unusually cold weather where you are, too.

Wait! It's winter – it's supposed to be colder. The days are shorter. The nights are longer and the sun is baking the other hemisphere if you're north of the equator. I learned all this in basic science classes in my early school years. You should have, too, if you were paying attention.

I keep reading posts on Facebook and in blogs about how cold it is and everyone is ready for spring and summer. But, winter just got here. I grew up in northern New Jersey during the late 40's through the mid 60's and then spent two years in flipping crazy cold, snow hell, Syracuse, New York when I attended graduate school. Believe me, I have a basic understanding of winter, extreme cold and some really crappy weather.

An aside, I was also accepted to the University of Florida in Gainesville. I'm still wondering why I really chose Syracuse and babes bundled in parkas when I could have hung out with all the bikini babes. Oh well, life is all about choices, good ones and bad ones. Back to the main stream of thought.

So, here's the paradox. What the hell is all the political claptrap controversy about global warming aka climate change? We are spending billions and billions of dollars to study something that science taught me back in junior and senior high school. Scientists agree the Earth's climate is changing. No shit, Sherlock! It's been doing that since the flipping “Big Bang.” The only difference between all the times it's happened over a few billion years is that humans have become “smart enough' (?) during their short existence on the planet (a really important question to ponder at another time) that we think we are the reason the planet is warming. (Another aside, if it's warming, why am I freezing my butt off?)