On Beach Walk: No. 19

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I stand looking at the water. As I turn my head 180 degrees from east to west, the distant horizon appears as an arc where outbound ships disappear. No wonder many years ago civilizations thought our world as flat.

Perhaps the horizon is where the known and unknown meet. Each of us know different amounts of different things. Nobody knows all – so for each of us, the unknown lies beyond the horizon.

Perhaps the horizon is a different edge – an edge separating graspable concepts that we can comprehend – but beyond the horizon lie concepts one fails to approach – failing to comprehend. But the bigger question lies in the same one-word question for all – why?

Perhaps the horizon separates our life known up to the moment to the unknown of tomorrow. The horizon separates our yesterday from our tomorrow. Looking across the water to the horizon that separates our past from our future.

Perhaps the horizon is a metaphor beyond the waters that refresh my feet. After all, the hills of home have a horizon. What lies in the uncertainty over the next hill? Yes, looking up the hill is the same as viewing across the water. Thinking about what lies over the next hill is the same as thinking beyond the horizon that I see at the moment.

Perhaps the horizon is about the dreams of today and the unknown of tomorrow for all of humanity. The dreams of curing cancer, reducing poverty, travelling to the great unknowns of the universe, and more.

Perhaps thinking beyond the horizon is wondering about the unknown of the next frontier – whatever it may be.

Perhaps the horizon is where geniuses reside – those few who have the ability to think beyond the border – beyond the horizon – think in an inspired, creative way with an uncontrollable curiosity that is different from the norm – to see more and more deeply than others – thinking beyond the horizon.

Meanwhile, as I ponder the arc-like horizon that I see, I’m reminded that I enjoy walking the beach, for it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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On 2000

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Because I like milestones, celebrating my 2000th post was a given, but I’m going with a low-key approach – a post with a little reflection – a post where I can appreciate the presence of those who stop by to comment – and surprisingly, not a post featuring many factoids about the number.

The journey since 28 August 2008 has been interesting. I have no doubt about the many good people I’ve encountered in my little corner of the world. Good people simply have a way of finding each other.

That first post was a short one, but below is the one paragraph that has served as a guiding light for me … and I’ve done that!

To readers I promise insight, yet will respect comments from others. I will be respectful to all as bashing is not my style, thus hope others are the same. Disagreement and criticism are fine, but it should be done with class. Other times I will simply provide information for readers to use.

Blogs involve an interaction between the writer and readers. I greatly appreciate the readers here – and a special tip of the hat to the hardy that have been around for much of my journey. The visitor with the longest tenure has been Tim – a personal friend here that I’ve known for many years. He actually encouraged me to start the blog after I told him of the possibility. Thanks to all the readers, especially those who have taken time to comment. A toast to all who have stopped by here – especially those who took the time to comment.

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What’s ahead? Well, more of the same. I can say that I have over 10 posts in the ready queue (including a short story) – and more typical-me posts about eclectic topics in draft mode. Onward toward the next milestone – 10 years.

Videos have played a vital role on many of the 2000 posts, so I end this occasion with a song you may not know – but the title fits for my view of my readers – and it was the opening song at the first Moody Blues concert I attended. Thanks for stopping by and for supporting my little corner of the world – Be well, do good work, and stay in touch. (Garrison Keillor)

On a Blog-Break Reflection

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The previous post announced the start of a blog break. That was April 5, and I was thinking 2-3 weeks … not 2-3 months. Although I did some visiting and wrote very little, my little corner of the world occupied my mind. After all, it’s been part of me since late August 2008.

I built my little corner of the world the old fashioned way – hard work. I responded to comments, and visited and commented on the blogs of those who visited me. Who knows how many blogs I visited without establishing a relationship. After all, this place was about honesty, respect, and kindness – not trash-talking brashness and without a even a small dose of shock and awe. I was simply being myself. Here is a snippet from my first post.

To readers I promise insight, yet will respect comments from others. I will be respectful to all as bashing is not my style, thus hope others are the same. Disagreement and criticism are fine, but it should be done with class. Other times I will simply provide information for readers to use.

I not only achieved that, I stayed true to the initial course!

During the break I thought about the many WordPress regulars that no longer post – people like Virginia, Guapo, Mags, Starla, and many others. Some have died, such as Third Stone, Larry, and Cynthia. Many others have cut-back – and I understand that perspective now more than ever. Some of us as Elyse, Debra, and Marina have a long history together. Were we all together during the Golden Era of Blogging? Maybe … but maybe not. After all, maybe our time has passed and a new generation is carrying the torch forward.

Some of us have been together a short time. Nonetheless, the power of the relationships built from blogging is one of the biggest surprises that I didn’t anticipate when I started … and that is what I cherish the most.

Conversations in 2008 with a good friend (Tim, who comments here) planted the seeds for this place. Did you know AFA started as a sports and politics blog? After several months, I knew I needed more. The “Categories” in the sidebar now displays a long list of topics. As I like to think – there is something here for everyone!

My topics grew as a response to my audience and my interests. Eventually I saw myself as a weekly magazine with Monday Morning Entertainment, Tuesday’s a specialized topic, Wednesday Satire Bits, on open topic on Thursday, Friday’s Opinion in the Shorts, and the Saturday Morning Cartoons series was absolutely one of my personal treasure …. and to think 6 blog musicals covering 62 acts found a way into that schedule. Whew … that was a lot of work … but I loved it … and I was also visiting many blogs during at the same time

Over time, the weekly magazine slowly changed as I stopped various sections for a variety of reasons. After all, I couldn’t keep up the pace I had established for myself.

OK – that was the past, but what about today? What does all this mean? Is A Frank Angle over?

Nope – it’s just a reflective post looking back at eight-plus years and over 1,900 posts with almost 73,000 comments from over 281,000 visits. I still have more to say and more to share – and as they always have, the friendships built here still touch me. On the other hand, I know I can’t rebuild this community as I did in the past because I realize that level of energy is missing.

I have my eye on one statistical goal because I like milestones: 2,000 posts, but my aim is without a timetable – without a regular posting schedule. It will simply happen when it happens.

As the opening image indicates, I’ve engaged the Play button. Yes, I’m slowing down – but I’m not done yet. There are more beach walks to take, more Opinions in the Shorts to share thoughts (but maybe not every Friday – maybe even a different day). Maybe a challenge or two are in the works, and who knows, possibly even another blog musical. Time will tell.

I close this reflective drivel with a musical video that I find to be amazing, amusing, and entertaining. Have a good week. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Roots

Roots can have a variety of meanings:

  • The anchoring structure of plants or body parts as hair and teeth
  • The primary source of origin
  • The essential part or base element
  • Point of family ancestry
  • The note on which to build a music cord
  • The part of a word carrying the main meaning and forming the basis of the word by adding prefixes and suffixes

In our computerized world, root directories form the foundation of the operating system. When the power comes to the operating system, the computer begins to boot by looking for the primary operating directories – the root directories. Much like the trunk of the tree, the root directories lead to the subdirectories like branches of a tree. However, with the initial power source, these operating branches remain silent – actually lifeless.

The words Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelic Lutheran Church of America in this article sparked these thoughts and this post. (For the sake of disclosure, the ELCA is where my membership resides.)

Christians just began Lent – a season of reflection and renewal. With the Lenten season in mind, Bishop Hansen asked the following questions that (at least to me) are good questions for all – for theists, atheists, and agnostics – for Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and others.

  • Would you describe your life as rooted or rootless?
  • What are the signs for you that help discern whether we are rooted or rootless?

Opening image is the property of FractalAngel

On 2011 in a Mirror

Early in 2011, I celebrated the 600th post – and recently #800, plus my first month with 3,000 hits. I started the year with John, and he’s still here. (I couldn’t resist.) Others are still here too, and new regulars have joined us. Many thanks to everyone and hopefully something below will strike your fancy … or at least jog a memory chip. Do you have any favorites from here?

I continued eclectic nature of posts, yet keeping the tradition of Monday Morning Entertainment and Friday’s Opinions in the Shorts, the OITS starting at v81 and now at v122.

I worked in posts on All-Time Baseball Teams of all Harrys, Rons, Larrys, food names, and others – yet brought forth a series of the relationship between religion and science.

I enjoy doing the posts about numbers, and also working in pieces of handbell music.

I pledged respectful behavior in my first post in Aug 2008 – with that I know I have done well. In appreciation to the readers who frequent these electronic pages, here is a trip down memory lane – the posts I enjoyed the most.

Life
On Elsa’s Trieste (May 4)
On a Chopped Dinner (Aug 16)
On Human Culture (Oct 12)
On a Knob (Dec 6)

Wonder
On Faith, Soul, and Science (Apr 12)
On Fibonacci in Nature (Sept 20)
On a Hot Tau (Oct 4)
On Science at Work (Sept 27)

Politics
On Jobs (Mar 28)
On a GOP Glimpse at 2012 (Mar 23) – A reminder, a March post!
On Environmental Costs (Sept 6)
On the Church and State Wall (Oct 17)
On Time to Thank Congress (Nov 28)

On Christians, Jews, Vulcans, and Valentine

Although not published on this day, I happen to be writing this post on Yom Kippur – the Jewish Day of Atonement. I’m not Jewish, but I do believe that not only do different religions have some things in common, but “other than your own” religions provide principles that are important in helping a person live a spiritual life.

On Yom Kippur Jews use prayer to be retrospective on their own life, and then seek forgiveness for their wrong doings against God. By looking within at they have been and how they can be better, Jews use three steps of repentance: recognize, acknowledge, and resolve.

We live in age of town hall cranks, self-serving politicians, reality-show television, smack talk, obnoxious talk-show hosts and their listeners who help proclaim the spews of evil and ridicule of others to dominate our society of greed and self-promotion and interest. Therefore it seems that all of us could use self-reflection to develop civility, ethics, compassion, and an outlook of pulling others through the difficulties of life.

I’m not a Trekkie, but I’ve seen my share of Star Trek episodes and movies. The scene that sticks in my mind is the initial Vulcan assessment of Earth humans because they were appalled at our behaviors, cultural divides, use of fighting, and many other humanisms, which seemed uncivilized and barbaric to them.

Although some think of Vulcans as emotionless, I believe that it is more accurate to say that they work to suppress their emotions through self-control in order to use reason and logic in their problem solving and decision making. I often wonder if Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry thought of Vulcans as what humans could be.

And then there’s Philippians 2:1-4 from Christianity:

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

I can’t forget Tim Valentine whose blog I often read. Tim often writes about race because he truly believes that race should be irrelevant in human encounters. Although Tim realizes that society has made positive strides, to him advances are too slow as he wants people to treat each with civility and respect–regardless of race, religion, political labels, nationality, heritage, or whatever segments society uses to divide people.

So there it is, a religion embracing self-reflection for living a better life through care and compassion, another religion expressing love and compassion over selfishness, a fictional society stressing logic and reason to seeking meaningful solutions, and one person trying to not only practice what he preaches, but also promote for the good of all through respect for all. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if these principles were commonly practiced?