The pondering question:

new-jersey-december-2016-061tripnew-jersey-december-2016-285tripWhat keeps me going? What does someone say to another individual or a large audience if you are ever in a position to be sitting or standing on a stage in front of hundreds of people? What about a classroom? Maybe it’s a complete stranger.  What keeps anybody going in life?  Bottom line.  I only have one question for you to ponder down the road, when you are going through something or maybe when you have reached a point in life where you have no idea or clue what to do, when you have nowhere to run or hide, and you are forced to face this one question. Do you want to live or die?

This is a direct and clear cut question we should all ask ourselves. The normal reflex would be to say “Yes, I want to live,” partly due to the stigma of saying “no”.  In other words, would an individual automatically be labelled as someone in need of help?  What do we do? Is that person depressed? Suicidal?  Dangerous? Perhaps that person is having a bad day.  We automatically reach a hypothesis before learning the truth.

At one point or another in your life you are going to be where no one can relate to you or vice versa and that feeling of alienation will overwhelm anyone. It doesn’t matter where you are or who surrounds you, this will happen regardless of demographics.  That’s the true refection in the mirror…There comes a pivotal point in which you must decide whether you will fight, push on, face it all, or step back into the cave where the reflecting shadows can continue portraying what you want to see or feel, so you don’t confront your demons?  I think of Plato’s Allegory here – i.e., the point where you must have the courage to face yourself.  I’m not here to preach to you, but I do know one day your life will come to a complete halt.  You will look at everything and everyone in your life and wonder what the hell am I seeing, as if for the first time? Why have I not seen this before? Why have I not realized this before? And SWOOSH, that moment is gone just like that. Though that moment has come and gone the question is what will you do next with that humbling insight? The wrist watch arms are spinning and the question still remains for you to answer.

Do you want to live or die? Personally, I want to live. That is what keeps me going. LIFE!  I want to be happy. See my wife and son smile and learn from one another. I want to see friends and loved ones enjoying life.new-jersey-december-2016-434tripI want to be free. I want see our youth stay the hell out of JAIL! I want to see our youth engaged in positive activities without the fear of harassment. (Note to readers:  This will be the intro into a separate post on this topic “Youth and jail”.) Would you not rather see young adults fishing, kayaking, surfing, jet skiing, and other recreational activities rather than killing or fighting you, your neighbors, friends, teachers, authority figures, and most importantly each other over ridiculous nonsense, because they tried abiding by certain expectations only to have them thrown in their faces. Let’s consider the following hypothetical scenario.  A young adult is legally fishing somewhere, and another individual had a problem with this person fishing in that location, and as a result, decided to be a bully, perhaps because he or she would like to be doing what the young adult was doing.  However, this individual opted to be the instigator instead of the influencer.  (Notice the emphasis on choice!  Bullying is a conscious action on the part of the bully.)  We want the youth to abide the rules, but when it is do as we say, but not as we do, then we have a conflict of interest do we not?

I wonder if this same individual ever stopped to realize by that simple action of confrontation instead of positive reinforcement caused a ripple effect to the point that the young adult said to himself or herself, I am not hurting anyone. I am alone fishing and minding my own business and I get harassed for fishing. I get bullied for following the rules. I get in trouble for doing the right thing instead of doing harmful activities. Why bother? I give up.  I guess killing and fighting each other is better for society and my future, so I guess I will just do that instead of fishing.  See where I am going here, folks?  If an individual acts constructively, instead of putting themselves in a less-than-positive role, one which might lead to the corrections system, that is a no brainer. (This will be in another post.)

So, what keeps me going? I want to live. I want to make a difference even if it is just as simple as writing, taking pictures, or blabbing away on my blog.

Here is another question for you. What do you have to lose by trying to better yourself?

Well, to me that moment comes with a price.

That price is your ego. That price is your humility. That price is your pain. That price is your time.

That price is getting your heart handed to you wrapped in a pretty bow over and over and over and over.

That price is facing those demons that keep you from facing that mirror.

That price is your family. That price is your life.

How badly do you want to go forward in life?

I can sit here and break down every single price tag I just put on every one of those stated.

Crying because you are angry or upset, yelling at the wall or the sky, screaming at the top of your lungs to release something, beating the hell out of a kick bag, running, jogging, swimming, and the countless other positive activities that empower one to strive for a better tomorrow are all normal. Every one of these causes a reaction to that could benefit one’s life in a positive manner.

That’s a part of life. Get over it. Deal with it. Reflect upon that image in the mirror. Try looking at yourself beyond the reflection in the mirror.

So, when someone asks me what keeps me going, what would you like to hear? The truth or some bullshit story to appease you at that moment? Fight. Push. Strive. Inspire. Encourage. Talk. Put words into action.

Don’t try to push shit that you yourself are not representing. So, what keeps me going? I want to live to continue learning.

See you in the next post.

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Google Vortex

I sit here staring at dual computer screens. One screen has Google staring at me and the other is no other than the screen reflecting the words I am typing. My son sleeps soundly behind me in his little Fisher Price Rock & Play. Before we get into the post at hand, let that last phrase roll off your tongue a few times. Rock and play. Rock and play. I look at my son, now nearly 4 months old, and he is sound asleep. I am typing away and he is just out cold in infant land dreaming away of something happy I hope.  The Rock and Play is a phenomenal concept, because to me it is an adult sized hammock with frames. I want to wake up my son and tell him he needs to go to his crib, so I can lie back and relax in this thing.

Ok. Let’s turn our attention to the Google screen. It’s just staring at me and frankly sometimes I get tired of just wanting to research information, because there are so many topics from which to choose.  Information at our finger tips….Where do I start?  Information at the touch of your fingertips is an awe-inspiring concept; gone are the days of library card catalogs. At least for this particular post, because unbelievable materials can be found at the tips of those cards and who doesn’t enjoy the good old (DDC) So, Google:  I can take a chance and double click “I’m feeling lucky,” if I choose.  In fact let’s do that and see where it leads us.  What appears is as follows (and this pasted directly from the Google search):

“January 11, 2012

Nicolas Steno’s 374th Birthday

Known as the father of stratigraphy and geology, Nicholas Steno worked to understand history by what he could find in the ground. Rather than simply write books about his findings, Steno opted to do his own hands-on research. As an innovative thinker, he disagreed with his contemporaries in thinking that shark-tooth-shaped objects found imbedded in rocks “fell from the sky.” Instead, Steno argued that these formations were fossils. His dedication to analysis, critical thinking, and creative thinking make him a great subject for a Google doodle!

Considering Steno’s contributions to stratigraphy and geology, I wanted to honor his birthday with a unique take on his work. I knew that the colorful and geeky aesthetic of stratigraphy was the right direction for the doodle, but the team and I weren’t sure how to apply it. Should we set the doodle in the middle of the country? Should we relate it to Google culture? Should I just make things up? Below are the exploration sketches. “

—–End of Google search direct quote—-

Now, that was a gem of a find.  That nugget left me curious, so I chose to research further on Nicolas Steno. I wanted to see what information I could find in three minutes; yet, 49 minutes pass, and I am still reading about this fascinating man.  I would have continued my research; however, my son woke up screaming.  The term “bloody hell” is an overture for my son cried so loud that the blood ran out of hell; Hell’s CEO was like, “God, what happened?  Why have you forsaken me?” After feeding my son, he started to fall back to sleep, leading me to return to do some additional research.  That’s reality; my son is now falling back to sleep in my wife’s arms.  So, I decide to browse Stanford’s research archives, leading me right back to where I started, another recap of a past blog post. The BRAIN. This reminds me of what I read regarding Steno, and his 1669 point, “The brain, the masterpiece of creation, is almost unknown to us.”  Today, 347 years later in 2016, the brain is still a mystery, in many ways. That is beyond fascinating because that means there are endless possibilities for future breakthroughs.

So, to return to our focus on Google, I am thankful for our tech advancements, as this provided the muse and the means to locate a topic.  While I am on the topic of technological advances, how many of my fellow readers know what Nanites are? Now this is a topic about which I could write multiple posts. Nanorobotics, Nanomachines, and Nanomites, oh my. Nanotechnology is a fascinating topic, one in which that which you imagine can become a reality.

So, until the next post I will keep researching topics or just free write as I normally do, as this helps me to feel good about myself. Let’s face it folks, if we do not enjoy what we are doing or do what makes us happy, then what is the purpose of humanity? We have 80 to 85 years to live and humanity would be resplendently boring if there were no excitement.

See you in the next post.

Mirrors Reflections:

It’s easy to look at someone else and compare your life with theirs, but that’s not your life, so why do we do this? Why do we compare ourselves with others?  I look around and see thousands of faces. I look into their eyes and I see anger, passion, ambition, admiration, fear, concern, confusion, love, curiosity, among others, as if a mirror is reflecting everything I myself have endured and experienced, and continue to pull back the curtain of life’s everlasting questions of what are we on this planet to do.

Do we speak of these things or do we just brush these realities under the carpet, so no one can see our true nature? Should I use fancy or brusque words to cause a ripple in the pond that may or may not rock the boat?  I am human as are we all. I know of pain, love, etc. – just as you. So why do people continue to hide from themselves?

Why do we hide from the reflection in the mirror?

What makes one human being better than another?

If you take away everything and stand as equals, what is left?

So, I sit here and I type and knowing all too well many individuals DO NOT GIVE A FUCK! Oops, taboo broken. Ripple in the pond rocking the boat. Have you ever considered the fact that a boat is meant to be rocked?  I curse a lot, so what! Oh My God! I have a mouth and an attitude problem.

I can use whatever words I choose, from the sophisticated to the repulsive.  Here is what I have learned over the years, although sometimes I wonder.  You can curb your language, so you don’t come across as a complete asshole, but the truth is I am (or at least can be) an asshole.  What did I just say? You don’t live 20, 30, 40+ years without learning the true nature of human beings and their capabilities. Don’t lie to yourself if you think someone will always be nice to you. That is not reality.

This is reality:

If you let someone continue to hurt you, they will.

If you let someone continue to manipulate you, they will.

Now, why did I say I was an asshole (or at least can be)?

I try to stand up for myself (AS YOU ALL SHOULD)  and sometimes the ones I stand up to have the power to manipulate those around them, or maybe someone will try intimidation tactics, or speak ill of me, or maybe someone is trying or just tried to pick a fight with me for some convoluted reason, but the fact remains that when I do stand up for myself, people take that as a sign of disrespect, which to me is ass backwards.  If someone is trying to tarnish your name/reputation, what do you do? If someone is trying to break your spirit, what do you do? If someone is trying to force you out of place of employment, business, or anywhere you want to enjoy your time or earn money, what do you do? What do you do when you will not submit to other’s perspectives?  You stand up for yourself.  So, if that makes me an asshole in your eyes, because I speak my mind, then I guess I’m an asshole.  I’m not here to placate others.  That crap was grade school antics, which by the way are alive and well in some of the adult behavior I witness. I want to see people succeed and not be pushed down. Don’t get me wrong, I act like a child myself, because I am the parent of an infant and often make funny faces and speak “baby talk” in my child’s presence.

The bottom line:  If you try to break a person who has already been broken you will lose every time!

Be yourself.

Fight for your passions.

Stand up for your ideologies.

See you in the next post.

Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger Award

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Thank you to for nominating me. Their blog /360exposure EXPLORE – LIFESTYLE – TRAVEL.  It was a tremendous surprise to be nominated for this award, I certainly had fun answering the questions. I look forward to reading the responses to our questions posed to our nominees.

Rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the eleven questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate eleven other blogs and give them eleven questions to answer.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Our answers to  questions:

What made you start blogging?  After years of not excelling in school, I realized I had a passion for writing, and was good at it (with a little bit of assistance from my wife in terms of grammar ) ;).  Writing and sharing my thoughts helps to release years of locked-away pain.

If money was no object, what would you do?  If only this were the case, but my “flight of fancy” would be to purchase a charter boat, and join my father in his charter fishing business.  On a charitable note, one day, I would like to purchase 1,000 kites and share them with one or more youth centers; this would be one way to encourage our youth to appreciate the outdoors and have fun.

What do you prefer Marine or Terrestrial environments?  Marine environments

If you were a kid and you knew then what you know now. Would you have chosen a different profession and what would it be?  That’s a hard question to answer because I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for my past, but I would have loved to have worked in the field of cyber-security, joined a special forces unit, or pursued medical school with an emphasis on the use of nanotechnology in medical research.

Do you prefer sweet or savory? Savory

If you could save one animal on the planet which animal would it be? The Panther

Favourite music genre and/or band? 80s rock

If you could earn a salary from blogging, would you do it?   Without hesitation.

What are your views and thoughts on global population numbers?  The exponential increase in the global population does create concern, particularly in reference to the possibility (and likelihood) of further reduction or waste of natural resources.

Where do you live now? If you had to move to a foreign country where would you go to? I live in the US, but if we had to move, it would be England, Ireland, or The Yukon

When was the last time you spent the entire day without your cellphone and/or iPad? Quite a while.

Our blog nominations:

nature has no boss

The darkest fairytale

keithgarrettpoetry

STORYTELLER

MIRACLES EACH DAY

Enchanted Forests

Eyes + Words

Vonj Productions

Cradle of Joy

The Evolutionary Mind

Be Like Water

Questions to our nominees:

What made you start blogging?

What are your views and thoughts on global population numbers?

What was the last book you read?

Why did you select this book?

Do you think the internet makes the world a smaller place or larger?

Do you think social media provides a positive environment for users/ why or why not?

Do you think human beings at their core are really good?

What’s your favorite color?

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

What is your favorite season of the year?

Once again Thank you to for nominating me. Check out their blog /360exposure  

See you in the next post.

Lightning Through the Heart

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There are many important measures in place today that benefit communities; to me health and safety and law enforcement entities such as EMS/Fire/Police/Game Wardens and Park Rangers are a major component of community development.  Each carries a vital life-saving piece of equipment (an AED), one which everyone should know how to operate – let alone how to perform CPR effectively.

My experiences over the last decade or so have increased my personal appreciation for understanding how to perform CPR/First Aid and how to operate a device known as the automated external defibrillator, or (AED) for short.  More importantly, through practice I have gained the confidence within myself to focus and how to effectively try to assist someone during a life threatening situation, should such a situation occur.

As a CPR/AED/First Aid First Responder instructor, I was able to contribute to society the significance of life-saving tools.  While some take CPR classes purely to fulfill a job requirement, others do so out of a genuine desire to be able to provide assistance when necessary.  It is a privilege to instruct CPR / First Aid courses; there is nothing better than knowing that you have taught others how to potentially save a life. The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association are two of the top organizations for offering anyone life-saving skills.  Both organizations have their own methodologies, but the rewards are far greater than the costs.

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One of those rewards is the life-saving benefit of an AED.  With our technology today a child could operate an AED.  AEDs will tell you what to do and when to do it. It does not get any more straightforward. That is excellent for those who have never seen, operated, or even heard of an AED. An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device that will send a current of electricity through your body, specifically, the heart, to reset the electrical current to a normal rhythm.  Your heart is a pump that is pushing blood and oxygen throughout your body so you can live. Your heart as well as your entire body is run off of electrical impulses which tell your body what to do.  During a heart attack the muscles in your heart stop working as they should be.  This is called Myocardial Infarction or MI. This is because the electrical impulses synchronizing your hearts tempo has stopped the oxygenated blood from performing its main function which is keeping you alive.

Heart attacks are not a joke and will kill you if you do not take them serious. (You may die!) There are two types of issues transpiring when the electrical impulses of your heart are malfunctioning. One is called Ventricular Tachycardia (V-tach), when electrical impulses are firing so rapidly it is causing your heart valves not to function. The second is called Ventricular Fibrillation (V-fib), when electrical impulses are firing so unpredictably it is causing total electrical chaos and your heart is like an engine revving it’s rpms, but nothing is happening. This again is causing your heart valves not to function properly which are needed for pumping your oxygenated blood effectivity in a steady rhythm.

A heart attack is a loss of O2 circulating through your heart muscles causing your heart to work harder to pump the O2 throughout your body, in order to keep your brain and vital organs functioning properly.  This is similar to an engine; the pistons need to run smoothly in the chambers to work.  A cardiac arrest is when you are in real trouble, because your heart just stopped beating and or is too weak to pump anything and now you may be as close as 10 minutes away from death.  That’s right, I said 10 minutes. The pistons have stopped moving; therefore the engine is inoperable.

Think about this. Put yourself in your dream location anywhere you want to place yourself.   You are in your dream location, perhaps visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Vatican in Rome, KilKenny in Ireland, or simply in your kitchen at home, and you are suddenly unconscious, not breathing, without a pulse, and you are about to never see your loved ones again. You are lifeless, have no control, and helpless.    It is not like you can start CPR on yourself or slap those pads on yourself. So, you are dead and every single time that tic on the clock tocks away you lose a 10% chance of surviving every single minute that passes.

I know I would want to have someone around who would jump in to perform CPR and or use an AED on me. One of the most basic human instincts is survival and a desire to live. If my chances are within surviving a 10-minute window, from the time my heart stops until an AED is zapping me in the hopes that my heart would rectify its rhythm, I would want every minute.

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Having the knowledge and ability to save a life is an invaluable asset, although that knowledge can be a burden, too, when all life-saving efforts fail.  I applaud those who work in this capacity on a daily basis – i.e., EMS, fire, police, military personnel, etc.   I appreciate the reality that I have the knowledge and ability to perform life-saving measures when, and / or if, necessary.  For those who have never taken a CPR course, think about how this is not necessarily a large investment of your time or money initially (to take the course), but can be invaluable in the long run if and / or when you may have the opportunity to save a life. Would you rather know a little bit about how to perform CPR or use an AED, or would you prefer to think, “Well’s that will never happen to me”? Personally – I would prefer to have the necessary tools and knowledge rather than operate purely on hope that someone else will.

Take the time and believe me you will be happier knowing that if a situation arises and if you are called upon the assist, then you will know the basics of human survival. Staying alive…In one of my previous posts I discuss a singular moment when I had to use this priceless knowledge and knowing what to do rather than not helped in keeping my wits in the situation.  It was a tragic day nonetheless, but knowing how to at least help someone settles my nerves just that much more. I call that piece of mind.

See you in the next post.