Friday, March 30, 2007

It's a Fearless Friday! — Friday Fixins too!

Greetings! Its a beautiful Friday again and I bet you are all set for the weekend. Me too! First things first! Hello, my name is Micheal and I am a geek. Today is my love a geek day so I included this link to my wishlist if you feel like sharing or just being nice! Cool. On to Friday Fixins!!! This one is smooth, easy, creamy and quick. You will love it and I didn't add all the variations; but you can do that yourself.

cheese danish cupcakes

Cheesecake Cookie Cups
12 pieces NESTLE Toll House Chocolate chip cookie bar dough
1 8oz pkg cream cheese softened (I use philadelphia)
1/2 cup NESTLE Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla and a dash of lemon
1 21oz can of cherry pie filling

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Place 1 piece of cookie dough in 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake for 10-12 mins. Beat cream cheese, milk, egg and vanilla/lemon in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour 3 tablespoons of mixture over each cookie.

Bake for another 15-18 minutes or until set. Cool completely. Top with pie filling. Refrigerate 1 hour. Makes 12 cookie cups.

MMMMMM.....Momma stop! This quick-fix is a hit with anything breathing! Not to mention, by the time you try your own favorite cookie dough, add nuts or even throw in some Cool Whip and strawberries. Oh well...have a great one. Don't forget to tell us how they turned out!!!! more great recipes

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Distraction of Absence

absence in a chair

Everyday it seems something new is invented to distract us. Our cellphones not only make and take calls; they play videos, make videos, tell time and play music. I almost never wear a watch anymore. (besides I tan really fast) Anyway....I had so much to blog about today but my time is too short; so I may get several little bits in. The sun was so warm at lunch and the crystal blue sky reminded me of being on several cruises out in the Bahamas and St. Croix.....what a time! My day is only half over and I have to return to finish it. I was greatly tempted to walk around; but given the circumstances, way too many distractions would have been available. Hence; this blog.

At this point, I decided to be distracted by "absence." If you can watch videos and play music on a cellphone; can you not also study "absence," notice the way it moves, hear what it whispers, learn its secrets? I remember my old college roommate and I would sit in a dark room with only a candle and listen to hear how far we could hear...beyond our walls, beyond our floor, beyond our immediate now. I realize that sounds toasted; but you will be surprised to experience a point when this other world comes to your attention. I am just not sure if its coming from outside or inside you. I know; but don't knock it till you've tried it. Remove every possible distraction and study "absence." There are so many layers to our existence that we probably rarely notice most of what is right around us. What lurks within, below and around...maybe even just beyond?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Understand TIME!

TIME, person of the year 2006

Obviously I am a bit behind; but my mind still remembers this one. I am still profoundly wowed by the TIME cover concept for the person of the year 2006. In my short life of 40+ years; there are things that mark time. I remember thinking, "who is ever going to pay for water? It's FREE!" I remember thinking, "who's ever going to talk on a phone while they're driving a car?" I remember thinking, "music videos, that won't last long." I am not sure I look forward to the question, "What's a phone booth? I thought that was only in Superman comics." ...and I won't even start on cloning or virtual reality or space/time travel.

Never in history has the ability to communicate so far, well or universally or quickly with the rest of the world been so possible. Evenmoreso; that communication has power. Aside from possibly blurring the lines between lie, truth and opinion; it's a BLOG WORLD. I remember saying to my old friend who got me started, "I can build web sites, why would I waste time blogging or even want to. Obviously, I was wrong again. Whether its theraputic or propelled by some other motivations, the world is FULL of blogs, bloggers and bloggings. The world is shrinking at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, people are rarely able to get along spread apart, what happens when everybody is next door or in the same room? It's safe to say that not everything should be shared but one must step back for a moment. Are our luxuries actually our downfalls. Cellphones are way out of hand...from during movies, funerals or even in church; they are everywhere and they can take pictures/videos. They also tell us where you are at all times. New cars and their global positioning devices — what happens when the one looking for you isn't friendly? Our clothes and monies have electronic devices embedded .... the right or wrong person knows more about you than your mother with or without your social security number. Nothing is "unhackable." That is my ONE regret about being an Apple-ite; I didn't spend more time learning how to hack.

Technology is making nothing sacred. Even churches are broadcasting sermons to other screens in the same building; but why should they be behind in technology. Science and religion are not so far apart; nor at opposite ends of the spectrum. Will we forget the beauty of a sunrise or set? Will our human natures use technology to a point that we forget what our fathers and mothers of long ago taught us? Will there come a day that there are no phone cords to unravel? Who will unravel us? I suppose all this technology is what we "ask" for; but is it what we need? Should we be more careful what we "ask" for? I am forever repeating the great line from Spiderman II; "with great power, comes great responsibility." Yeh, I know, that wasn't original to Spidey. Where will the icons of truth stand when the digital age finishes making everyone god? Who will be able to tell what is real or where the foundations of the world are lain? Opinions are like butts; everybody's got one — but should its contents be aired in the streets? Opinions are like farts — they don't all stink; but they all come from the same place. What will we serve when "we" are everything and everywhere?

Hmm.....well, its still raining.....but it isn't blurring the picture of the future. I know you're still thinking about that last paragraph. Don't go gently into the night.....

That wraps this one up for me; knee deep and choking.

Rainy Wednesday

Its a nice rainy day here in the Music City of Nashville, TN. I love the rain; but I prefer thunderstorms with lots of lightning. Ok so I am behind blogging because of my own ignorance. I missed a quote mark and haven't been able to get my blogs to post....but it was "my" error. Why didn't I do a test or even try a new blog, I don't know.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Fearless...Knowing Ourselves

Jet Li, FearlessI had a fantastic weekend jam-packed with quality time, leisure time and just good times. I watched an interesting movie last night before surrendering to the enlightenment of sleep. The short and sweet of the tale:
Basicly, Starring: Jet Li, Betty Sun, Dong Yong, Nakamura Shidou; Directed by: Ronny Yu
Jet Li's Fearless Plot: Based on a true story, Jet Li's 'Fearless' tells the life of legendary martial arts master Huo Yuanjia.
Deeply humiliated by his father's death in a public duel, a young Huo resolves to become the best fighter he can be. But soon his incredible fighting skills cost him the lives of the people he loves most when his family are killed in a brutal revenge attack. Yuanjia flees, no longer caring whether he lives or dies. Just as he is ready to give up hope, he is saved by Granny Sun and her blind granddaughter who accept him into the idyllic village where they live. Guided by their simple kindness and generosity, Yuanjia finds a new way of life and discovers something truly worth fighting for.

No, this would not probably be an Oscar-nominated movie; but it probably should be seen by anyone who wants to better themselves or remind themselves what's important in life. As usual, we tend to have to be humbled by something; some of us require more harshness than others. As usual, it takes an encounter of some kind with another living being to better see ourselves. As usual, through learning from our mistakes, we can transcend our original vision for our lives to something far more spectacular and wholesome. However; as usual, everyone can be forgiven; but that does not wipe away the consequences. This movie does a very effective but subtle communication of these life processes. I know, you already tuned me out when you realized it was a "kungfu" type movie. Hey, "there's a lot you can do, in KungFu!" Don't judge the message because of the messenger. It's a stunning sequence of action and emotional introspect. You will also catch a glimpse at how Time changes places, people, what they focus on and what some will do to ensure a place in the future.

sunbathing lizard

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Relentless: The Power of a Made Up Mind

Indiana Jones

Today's blog comes on a beautiful, warm, Nashville day with a gentle breeze to hurry a fallen leaf across the street. The sunrise was absolutely glorious. [no...I didn't just finish a Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha and it wasn't that kind of morning or night before] I am sitting at my desk banging out some designs as the Batman building looms over me and an occassional passerby notices my perch above them behind a tinted glass. Life is good! Here's a quote, though not worded cutely is the essence of truth and inspiration. It is the necessary egg to the cake.

"I realized early on that success was tied to not giving up. Most people in this business gave up and went on to other things. If you simply didn't give up, you would outlast the people who came in on the bus with you." ---------Harrison Ford

Sometimes, hey most times, life can be an uphill fight in slicky shoes; but dilligence pays off. Remember the words of Ford, not Henry, when you feel the slide begin. If you fall, get up, just keep swinging and when you get tired, start kicking until your arms rest. Enjoy your beautiful day and count the good things; then count them again. Hug yourself.

OK....one more quote for the day:

The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it; but it is also so clear that it is impossible to mistake it. ------Mme De StaƮl

Monday, March 19, 2007

"...Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence"

horse eating grass

I stood by the sprawling pasture, watching the beautiful horses with their muscles flirting from beneath the smooth coats of shiny colors. As I looked down the fence row, I got to witness something pretty funny and interesting. The horse was feeding on the plush green grass at its feet. Then his lips stretched through the fence, straining to capture the blades of grass beyond his grasp. HIs lips were like tiny, straining, stretching fingers, reaching for any hope of what was beyond his domain. Even the horses think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

We, as people seem to always be focused on what somebody else has; allowing the luster of our own possessions to become muted. Is it possible that they are thinking the same thing your are? Sure! It's ok to be ambitious; but not ambitious without thankfulness. As I have always said, I have seen some really nice "cars;" but I don't want yours, I want my own; just tell me how to go about it.

Spring is coming again. The grass will soon be even greener...filling us to the brim with envy and a few other choice morsals of human short-comings. But those things can be defeated. Enjoy your pasture. Take note of the splendid grass therein, its glass-like ponds reflecting the beautiful blue sky above and the critters that roam to and fro within your life that are your responsibility to nurture and encourage daily.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dream Power; Reality Juice

Hmmm....ever notice how some nights your sleep is really heavy. In fact; you wake up the next day and your bed feels like crawling out of a grave. The grave prefers to keep all its secrets. Ok....so where is the blog going? [..not to imply that I have crawled from one before and be able to compare the experience....]

Where do we go when we sleep? Are we really nowhere? Sometimes I wake up exhausted from a night of vigorous dreaming. Other times I wake up exhausted from no dreams at all. I was talking with my best friend, Tiny, the other day and we decided [again] that this is going to be the year! That is a phrase we share that reunites our plan to be or get victorious in the coming year...a battle cry if you will. We search for good ideas and come up with some of our own for financial success and the hope of someday only going to the mailbox to collect checks. [yeah...get rich quick schemes; but we each work extremely hard — we were raised by a sun-up, sun-down working generation].

Anyway...ok...focus...this blog needs to make some kind of sense....let me get back on track. Sleep. I have been a student of mind programming and trying to understand some of the secrets of the mind and how to harness to become the most effective person possible. Lately these ideas have been coming out of nowhere in my sleep or sitting in the middle of the room or just while I am driving. It's kinda strange, even for me, because some of them are so good that I know I am supposed to do something with them. Some are songs, but I don't play any instruments or anything else musical. Some are t-shirt ideas....but hasn't the world got enuf of those? Others are odd concepts about space and time and how to use them to travel and make things. Hmmm....[yeah, I know how flakey that sounded.]. It seems odd that answers come in dreams, as well as just instant moments of nirvana. I am starting to write it all down and try to do it; but there is just so much. Hopefully some of it leads to profit and gain, at least enuf that I can give some of it away. :D

Some would argue that in sleep, we are out of the way. Our conscienceness is suspended so that the remaining functions of our minds may rise to the surface. We only use such a small portion of our minds during our lives; the rest must be good for something. Ok...this is probably a mindless blog....["Dear Lord, I apologize for that right there...."(thanks Larry the Cableguy)]. Or are we more suspect to spiritual influence in sleep? Einstein said matter could never be destroyed; hence, only converted. Do all the consciences of those before us go into a "jetstream of minds" that some get to tap into? Well, at least I am not hearing voices....[chuckle chuckle]

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

LemonLESS Lemonade; Great Cool-Aid!

Amazing Grace movie posterThis may be a strange blog and even stranger coming from me but here we go. This weekend, I had the privilidge of going to the movies with friends. They wanted to see a movie that I would not typically have paid big screen prices for but since its the first time they asked, I agreed. We went to see Amazing Grace, a story of a white abolitionist and his struggle to get slavery outlawed. The idealist William Wilberforce maneuvers his way through Parliament in 18th century England, endeavoring to end slavery in the empire. In the midst of that, John Newton writes his famous song, Amazing Grace. While the movie seemed very "mild" to me in terms of authenticity, and by that I mean that for the time period, things should have been a lot more raw. I couldn't help but think that the "Polically Correct Police" had been involved. There were only two N' words in the whole movie which couldn't possibly be historically correct. There was nothing compelling in the movie that would reveal these men's deep convictions or their need to fulfill them. Certainly, much like M. L. King and others, I am sure there were some family threats and whatnot. Change is never easy; drastic change is even harder. Granted, it is probably good that the movie can be shown to mixed crowds of different ages but the glaring elephant in the room remains. What is that elephant? This movie is full of great performances and unlike some other "christian-based" movies, a real bonified tale with believeable dialogue and plot development. It's certainly not the Passion by Mel Gibson; but it is worthy of seeing. Others are saying... 1 | 2 | 3

Anyway, this blog was supposed to be about polical correctness destroying history; hence the title of this blog. You cannot have a Civil War re-enactment without a Dixie flag. You cannot have a slavery film without n' words and some harsh realities; not to mention — rape, degredation and worse. Have we begun to sacrifice right and wrong for political correctness? Will we sit in silence as God is removed from our money, our schools, our pledges, our marriages and our children's education?; all under the guise of "political correctness?" Some things should be offensive and somebody has to be wrong. Yes, time has revealed some things to be wrong that were not thought of that way before. Yes, there is a difference between tradition and right vs wrong. Yes, there are degrees of right and wrong; then there are landslides with very little guesswork required. What is the cost of silence? What is the price for fear of offense?

lizard philosopher

Friday, March 09, 2007

Then I WILL Fight in the Shade!

The 300

The stories of legend and heroism are always ones of great sacrifice. That ability to sacrifice even the most dear of things in the face of easy cowardly ways of escape is the stuff of aspirations. I have long loved Greek history and its myths. There is always some shred of truth in legends. By all definitions; the 300 are such heroes. Some of the greatest heroes aren't "winners" nor do they live to see the fruits of their labors. This weekend an epic creative movie interpreting the famous battle of Thermopoly when 300 stood against many, releases Friday, March 9 at IMAX theatres.

shielded warrior of AthensI hope to be a hero someday somehow with the full realization that it probably means something that I won't like or enjoy. Men have faced death and loss since Eden; I don't expect that to change. History gives us tremendous examples of what honor and the human spirit can accomplish. It goes without saying that every great hero has a shield. I say shield in the sense of "an idealistic motivation/faith in his purpose" that guards his heart and mind to the single resolve of his mission/purpose to be accomplished. Sometimes that shield is someone else's belief in you to succeed or the fury of their love or the fragileness of their trust. A hero always has a motivation. That motivation survives in the light or the dark; so long as there is a single heartbeat; he/she fights on with that shield, even as the arrows sting.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Cost of Mediocrity!

samaritan funny

me·di·oc·ri·ty (md-kr-t)
A noun: (1)  averageness, mediocrity, ordinariness as a consequence of being average and not outstanding; (2 ) second-rater, mediocrity a person of second-rate ability or value; "a team of aging second-raters"; "shone among the mediocrities who surrounded him"

Who can measure the ocean or the power of a hurricane? I spent last weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana. I had to see the devastation of the hurricane for myself. The TV didn't do it justice. Even without the images of the wind shredding everything in its path or the water shrugging anything aside; the effects were still very evident of what had occurred. I saw miles of nearly empty lots and acres of carnage still laying almost a year and a half later. I don't know what I expected to see; but I know I wasn't prepared for how I would feel. It's very difficult to describe. Obviously there had been some clean up and reconstruction since it originally happened; but it seems extremely slow. However; to be fair, it would seem hopeless to fix what I saw in any short period of time. I left with two immediate feelings: hopeless despair and thankfulness that it wasn't me. How does a flea help an elephant? Can a toe support the entire body?

New Orleans pics

I am sure that in someone's infinite wisdom, the levy was "good enough." I am sure that somebody decided that "there's no need to do any more than just enough." I see it everyday; that disgusting countenance of "mediocrity," that attitude that anything more than ordinary is just too much trouble. Don't fool yourself, just because you don't; doesn't mean someone else won't have to pay for your inability to take one more precious second or take one extra minute for the little things you are just too busy/lazy/inconvienient to do. I put all those words together because they often translate into the same thing; an excuse. I tend to call 'em as I see 'em and that ruffles feathes. I really don't care and I expect the same in return. Potiential is just that "sitting still potiential" until "action" occurs. It is only "possible power" not power. “Knowledge is only potential power”...Napoleaon Hill "Mediocrity is the lack of engaging the the could of with the did".....maximusdoom “A stricken tree, a living thing, so beautiful, so dignified, so admirable in its potential longevity, is, next to man, perhaps the most touching of wounded objects”...Edna Furber

The problem with "mediocrity" isn't that it costs you; but that it costs everybody else.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

PowerBall: One of the best kept secrets!

powerball wrist strengthener

Being the geek that I am, I have my share of gadgets. This is one of my favorites, the powerball! Though I could go into detail about how fantastic it is; I will just send you to the site and you can read for yourself. But first; just this little bit of benefit:
Rehabilitation Benefits:
NSD Powerball is capable of hitting your shoulders arms and wrists with an extreme workout which is guaranteed to add significant strength and power to the limbs.
As a contrary to this however, its smooth, silky movement is also capable of generating the type of low level, non impact resistance necessary for gentle rehabilitation of damaged or inflamed wrists allowing it to be supplied with numerous endorsements from both the Medical & Chiropractic professions as a result.

On to the Powerballs! From my own experience, I can tell you that it works and it's alot of fun too!


Friday, March 02, 2007

We Were All Grasshoppers Once

KungFu Grasshopper

The flame of the candle burns as the passion in a man's soul, melting away the days of his life.

I was talking with my friend Bendy yesterday. I told her how proud I was of her for trying something completely new and going for it. She is taking masseuse classes to become a massage therapist. I even remarked that I should go beyond just considering the idea myself. She said just do it. I replied "but I am but a grasshopper." Her response generated this blog. She responded in her furocious blondeness, "Honey, we all began as grasshoppers! Shut up and get to it!"

How often, as adults, do we NOT do something because we are not ALREADY good at it? How often do we ignore our potiential for not wanting to LOOK bad or stupid while we are learning something new? Didn't Einstein begin as a grasshopper? Was Plato not first a student? Has there ever been a teacher that wasn't first a student? I think not. Even Jesus did the will of His Father; who are we to fear or regret the learning process? A willing student is a sponge hungry to be filled. That's how I want to always stay; constantly learning, willing to invest in learning, teaching others to learn by being a lifelong student. Well said, Bendy. Thanks for the reminder. This ones for you. Being a grasshoppa' is easier knowing you're going to be KungFu.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Reflections in Reality

Reflections are great. They can leave you between two worlds staring at just the important things.

The deep wet fog looms around the spires of the Batman building dusting the surrounding buildings with moisture as it crawls through the city. It's gloomy trail crawls down Broadway toward my tinted window. I can hardly see the distance of a block. I knew it would be one of those days. On the drive in, the dark clouds hung low scraping the landscape just below them. The lightning would occasionally make its presence known, scratching the dark sky with angry light. Was the light behind the darkness or just a crack in the sheet of reality? I don't know and I'm too tired to wonder beyond that.

Soon I will be in New Orleans or at least what remains. I anticipated more of the same dreary. Regardless, I will enjoy my time there. I have been to LA several times. It is one of the few places that I thought the air felt different or inhabited by something, heavier than the air everywhere else. I remember feeling it the moment I stepped off the plane. It lingers like stepping in day old doggy doo, solid on the outside but sticky and stinky in the center. [Hmm...I don't know where that came from but I ain't takin' it back.]

You may have noticed; but lately I have had "blogstupation." As with its truth; I had plenty to say, maybe just too much. I couldn't focus on just one direction. Too many stimuli, too many walls, no windows. [I know that that will make sense to some of you...LOL] This humble attempt at a blog will be my laxative I hope.