Friday, October 21, 2016

One Who Wanders to Final Debate and the Shocker 
A wanderer is set to rest by his friends 
A father's debate with his daughter is set to rest by a surprise 

One Who Wanders (Italian sonnet) 

One wanders through his paradise alone
Where trees warm fragrant breezes with delight
And every single dream was there in sight
Except the only laughter was his own
And so he set his dreams upon his friends
There one by one another dream came true
And with each friend their heaven would renew
Till all and all they saw there were no ends
Each day surpassed the last in perfect bliss
Till one day from a stream there came a sound
A sound that made their memories rebound
Their silent dreams would put an end to this
They found the one who wanders by their fears
And in his eyes the secret of the stream
They saw the faces of this endless dream
This paradise was built upon their tears  

The secret of a person comes out in this Italian sonnet.  I like the Italian form of sonnet. It provides two extra lines from the other forms of sonnets (16 lines instead of 14 lines). Two extra lines can be a world in poetry.For those who write modern sonnets, where rhyme and meter are freer, the two extra lines of the Italian sonnet could be heaven sent. 

For a small average person? I have accomplished a lot. Among my top accomplishments were bringing Toys For Tots back to the Bay Area Masons and my volunteer work for the public schools, for which I was honored by San Francisco. My house is full of awards. plaques,metals and letters of accommodation. What would one expect from an egotist? An egotist who was taught that it is right to serve his fellow man. Of all of my accomplishments, I feel my greatest was opening "the door" for others. I have found that there were people who wanted to get involved, but for one reason or another couldn't, wouldn't, didn't take that one last step. Me... I needed help. Many nonprofit organizations need help. I became that one last step. What did I need with another award? If I sensed a person wanted to serve, I held open a door. And every now and then a new me would pop up named Jim or Jill. 

The Masons have many lessons about life. One of these lessons is to be the Master of the Lodge. All that we have done has brought us to this honored position. Normally a person is only Master once and the position only lasts one year. Lesson: All that we have done, all that we have been through has brought us here. Our time to be here is limited. It will never come again. This is our time. Make the most of it. Make the most of it our way. Better and "not as good as" are taken as differently. We are all different. We could use our time wishing "we had done" or we can use our time doing. We are the final judge and jury of how we did. We are all Masters of our time here and now. And while we build our legacy, Enjoy. 

Here is someone wandering through their life: Slackbaba "The Wanderer" 

We could debate or we could argue 

Oberlin College holds the honor of creating the nations first all-woman debate team. They raised issues such as women’s suffrage in the 1860s. Now, La Guardia Cross and his 2 year old daughter Amalah are running for president of their house. To see who will rise to this position they were engaged in a series of debates. Here is the final debate. 
This debate has an ending like no other debate in history. "Final Debate and SHOCKING ANNOUNCEMENT!" 

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Mere longevity is a good thing for those 
who watch Life from the side lines. For those 
who play the game, an hour may be a year, 
a single day's work an achievement for eternity. 
Helen Hayes

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Endless Dream to Mr. D Cheat Sheet 
Lovers learn to deal with their reality 
A teacher has to deal with his reality 

The Endless Dream (round) 

We lived a life we hadn’t planned
Till subtleties got out of hand
And visions of our pleasantry
Became a part of life’s demand
It started out just you and me
Who chose together world we’d flee
Into our haven in the sky
Where problems were just lights to see
There tears of Joy were all we’d cry
Together with the sweetest sigh
And kissed each evening away
We didn’t need a reason why
And from our mountain words would stray
To jealous hearts what would they say
Why not come down and feel the ground
We’ll teach you games and how to play
And so they showed us all around
Behold these wonders still astound
There while I dreamed your heart rang true
Where was the Joy which we had found
I looked around and they all knew
They all drank Joy while I drank dew
And now you’re gone I understand
This dream is done what can I do 

Is it a dream or a nightmare that holds the lovers in this round? This is a round. It has no beginning or end. The rhymes of the third lines lead to next stanza. The third line of the last stanza leads back to the first stanza. The poem starts out with lovers on their mountain. For some reason they leave their love mountain to suffer the bitter realities of life. She eventually leaves him. But wait... This a round. It as no beginning or end.  

If you have been following me, you are aware that Arlene and I moved in together shortly after she turned 21. It was a small apartment with a very large balcony on Twin Peaks, overlooking eastern San Francisco. Our "Palace in the sky". When Arlene's father died, we moved to an apartment close to her mother, so we could take care of her. Our relationship turned very sour. Arlene and I fought all of the time. Things got very intense. How and why we stayed together, heaven knows. I now like to think it was that perfect day; Our wedding day. We eventually moved. Things got better. But those mad teenage lovers were gone. Oddly, those bitter days had one big positive effect. They prepared us for the harsh times ahead. 

I wish that I could tell you that it was truly our wedding vows that kept Arlene and I together, or that we grew stronger because we had survived those bitter times. What I would like to suggest is: turn those negatives into positives (if we can). I obviously did a poor job of this during those bleak days. I was able to find the positives in a bad situation. With practice I got better. And so can we. Find the positive in all we do. If there is no positive then it must be changed. Believe we are special. Believe we deserve the best. Know that there is a positive world. Know that we are citizens of that world. And as our light shines, Enjoy. 

How about a song: Conjure One "Endless Dream" 

Back to those school days 

A University of Pennsylvania study found that 33% of teachers leave within the first three years of beginning their careers and 46% leave within the first five. Which brings us to Mr. D, Gerry Ducan (play by Canadian comedian Gerry Dee), who is an elementary school teacher. In this scene Mr. D must handle a number of challenges. 
Did we ever know a teacher like this? "Mr. D: Cheat Sheet | Season 6 Preview | CBC" 

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Deep into that darkness peering, 
long I stood there, wondering, fearing, 
doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal 
ever dared to dream before. 
Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Our Song to Data and Picard's Song 
A song of two lovers 
A song sung by Data and Captain Picard 

Our Song (Shakespearean sonnet) 

When did this song belong to you and me
What’s there to air some meaning in our life
Or beat to meet what others yearn to see
Which drew us to a husband and his wife
A fairytale to sail before their eyes
As kisses mist this memory of mood
Retraces places which once brought us sighs
Song set to let the mood of love exude
Till now its prow has kept us to a course
Through seas were waves behave as we weren’t told
And tears appear from shores we must divorce
As we grow old we’ll hold as song foretold
Our song so strong a symbol of a love
A gift to lift young hearts to stars above 

A bit of Word Wizardry in this Shakespearean sonnet. The Word Wizardry are the rhymes within rhymes. There is the rhyme structure of the sonnet. Within each line is an extra rhyme, (Example from first line - song, belong.) 

Arlene and I adopted our song in 1981. In 1974, when Arlene and I got married, Arlene's favorite song was Gladys Knight and the Pips "You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me". Arlene's father hired a live Latin band for our wedding. So we had a Latin version of this song as our first dance. That night in the Safari section of Disneyland there was a steel band. They played a song called "Back To Jamaica". This song got us dancing, which in turn got others dancing. For the next four nights, the band played this song for us when they saw us. Arlene and I decided to make this our song. Around 1981 Latin classics where making their way into our disco clubs. It was then we were introduced to "Quando Quando Quando" There was something about this song that got Arlene and I dancing. It became a staple of the dance clubs we'd frequent. In 1996, the many organizations, that liked our appearance at their parties, found out how special "Quando Quando Quando" was to Arlene and me. For fun, they would play the song and wherever Arlene and I were, we would rush to the dance floor. 

What is your song? My favorite song changes depending on how I feel. Perhaps your favorite song(s) change too. Maybe we have a number of favorites. Maybe it's a whole style that captures our heart. Captures our heart. Frees our imagination. Fashions our dreams. Opens the gates to our memories. And feelings... Music runs the whole gambit of feelings. Have we ever been sad and don't know why? Then we realize that there is a sad song playing in the background. Music is that powerful. Keep this in mind when we are sad. When we need some inspiration. When we need that little extra push. And the many other changes we are looking for at the moment. Or we can just Enjoy. 

Arlene and my favorite dance song: Julio Iglesias "Quando Quando Quando" 

Music can take us to the stars 

In Star Trek: The Next Generation did you know that Picard and Data are the only characters to hold the same rank they started with, throughout the entire series. Other than in alternate realities, Picard started and finished with the rank of captain, and Data lieutenant commander. Not only that, according to Nick Bertke (Pogo), Picard and Data were working on a song. Unfortunately, the series was over before the song could be aired. Here is Nick performing lip syncing with the actual voices Captain Picard and Lieutenant Commander Data.
Note: Nick has been known to make things up for entertainment. "Data & Picard | Pogo"

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Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space 
between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. 
Maya Angelou

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ways Of Wonder to Hero Of The Storm 
A lover's ways of wonder starts with a kiss 
A gamer's ways of wonder starts with a spilled drink 

Ways of Wonder (lyrical poem) 

I thought of you the other night
When gentle stars where burning bright
And hearts again were taught to sing
Of ways of wonder hid from sight
I heard their voices welcoming
Me once again to drink from spring
There in a meadow near a dream
Where ways of wonder are waiting
The ways of wonder starts with kiss
Which leads to worlds of never known
Forever lost yet not alone
The ways of wonder starts with this
And there in mists of sultry steam
Which seems to rise from passion’s stream
I heard soft whisper beckon me
In ways of wonder’s pleasure scheme
I do not need mere eyes to see
The one who rules my fantasy
And with her smile commands the stars
Oh ways of wonder set me free
The ways of wonder starts with this
A paradise we’re never shown
With yearnings we cannot postpone
Not even time dare rush this bliss
Nameless sublime will hush this bliss
With music of sweet lovers’ tones
And memories which stars will own
Which ways of wonder starts with kiss
I drift back from this dream of ours
Enchant realm which nothing mars
The gentle stars still spark delight
Which ways of wonder never bars
The ways of wonder starts with kiss
Which leads to worlds of never known
Forever lost yet not alone
The ways of wonder starts with this

A lover steps into wonder in this lyrical poem. The structure of this song is as follows: VVC VVC VVC (were V = verse and C = chorus). The beat pattern of the poem is kept very tight so that it fits easily into a song, One may notice that the rhyme scheme of the verses was a little loose. This was done to remind us of the mental state of the lover. 

I have stated before, I am a real fool for a kiss. I'll never forget that night, though I have forgotten the occasion (and we'll find out why). Whatever the occasion, I got a package for two. It included dinner at Lehr's Steakhouse, a play, "Arsenic and Old Lace" and wine tasting and dancing. It was a full evening. Arlene had other plans, though. I dressed in a suit. Arlene... it was a light blue dress, knee length, with an unusually high slit, to show off her legs. I am a leg man. I think she had her hair done. Those legs. With kisses she thanked me for the evening and woke me up to tell me it was time to go. I guess dinner was good. I was a bit distracted. Arlene kept flirting with her face and blowing me kisses. For dessert I had a pie and a foot stroking my leg. At the theater, I'm sure there were other women. Arlene made sure she and those legs had all of my attention. I think the play was great. I was a bit distracted by Arlene's leg. Plus, she held my hand and every once in while kissed it. How could I say anything? I was in paradise. A speechless paradise. After the play we went to Lookout Point, to enjoy the moon. The moon and kisses. I had completely forgotten the wine tasting. (Now we may understand how I misplaced the occasion.) 

We're never too old, at least I think so. We can ride a swing, just like when we were kids. We can make-out in public, just like when we were teenagers. We can go back to school, just like our college days. People will look at us. Some with disdain. Some with disapproval. Some wishing that they were us. Of coarse there are times and places where a certain etiquette should be observed, but we knew these at all our ages. At all other times be you. Be you at all times of your life. It is your life. Where is the rule written that 38 year old person must act 38? If we like acting our age, that's okay. But if we want to turn back the hands of time a bit, Enjoy. 

As for me, give me kisses: Julio Iglesias "Viens M' Embrasser" 

Play video games - Are they getting a bit too real 

In 1958 William Higinbothan, an American physicist in the employ of the Brookhaven National Laboratory, created Tennis for Two in order to entertain and amuse visitors. This was the first video game. We have come a long way since then. Here is Freddie Wong, of RocketJump, to enjoy the latest release of Blizzard's "Heroes Brawl" extension to "Hero of the Storm". Then something happens. 
Fun or signs of things to come? "Hero of the Storm" 

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With a kiss let us set out 
for an unknown world. 
Alfred de Musset

Monday, October 17, 2016

Distant Shore to The Present 
The sea washes up a precious gift 
A mother gives her son a precious gift 

Distant Shore (Shakespearean sonnet) 

Upon a distant shore it came to rest
This precious gift which washed up from the sea
Its special glow had withstood peril’s test
So here it rests awaiting destiny
There in the sun its light did sparkle so
Now surely it would catch a passing eye
And when it did such beauty it would show
With wonders one could fashion their dreams by
So lonely were the moons that passed its way
And downcast eyes which had no need of light
Its tides of hope glowed onward day by day
Till memories attracted young man's sight
Upon a distant shore the sea had crossed
She searches for that something she had lost

Could it be magic working in this Shakespearean sonnet. Here we have something that washed ashore. Though the sonnet describes what makes it special,  it doesn't tell us what it is. It isn't till the end of the quatrains that it finally attracts a young man. As the rhyming couplet begins,it uses the same words that started the sonnet. A lady lost something. Could it be the thing a young man found? Could there be more? 

Arlene and I used to live 4 blocks from the Pacific Ocean. The sound of the waves could be heard from our house. The sound of the waves can be quite relaxing, from where we lived. Low tide can also be a wonder. The things that the waves would wash up. One weekend, at a low tide, I took my son, Peter, to explore what the ocean had washed up. Peter was 6 at the time. We found many beautiful shells. More than these, Peter found a trilobite fossil. Trilobites were creatures that have been extinct for 250 million years. On the following weekend I took Peter to the California Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate, to have is fossil verified. The person in charge took Peter and I to a secret room where many more fossils were housed. On that day a scientist was born. Dinosaurs became a driving force in his education. His grades were good enough to earn him a spot in Lowell High School, San Francisco's top high school. He graduated from Montana State University and got his Masters at University of California, Los Angeles. Peter, my son, is now at University of California, Berkeley working on his Phd in Paleontology (all expenses paid). All of this because a 6 year old found a fossil one day. 

Life is a wonder. Why things happen as they do takes our minds away. I tell about my son, who at 6 years old happens on a fossil and now a university is paying him to study there. Sounds pretty good. But what happened in between? All of the connections that led to now. All of the connections that led me to now. All of the connections that led you to now. And we are all pretty amazing. Compared to what? Compared to ourselves. Many people try to be like someone else. Someone else's standards. At the end of this wonderful life, all that is important is are we satisfied with ourselves. All those connections brought us here and there are connections up ahead. There is a great story not found in any library. It is called our life. And as you write the next page, Enjoy. 

How about a relaxing sound for us: Arnica Montana "Memories of the Sea" 

Let's sing a praise to mothers 

The majority of pets are obtained from acquaintances and family members. 28% of dogs are purchased from breeders, and 29% of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescues. Handicapped animals have an even harder time finding a home. But miracles do happen, like the one created by Jacob Frey of CGI Animated Short Film. 
Are we ready to be amazed? CGI Animated Short Film HD: "The Present Short Film" by Jacob Frey"

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Everything is connected. The wing of the corn beetle 
affects the direction of the wind, the way the sand drifts, 
the way the light reflects into the eye of man beholding 
his reality. All is part of totality, and in this totality 
man finds his hozro, his way of walking in harmony, 
with beauty all around him. 
Tony Hillerman

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Word to Interpreting Women 101 
A lover tries to interpret a word 
A lesson on how to interpret women 

A Word (English sonnet) 

So much of life is buried in a word
Expressions lost and meaning gone awry
The whispers of our hearts it would deny
And sighs of feelings somehow seem so blurred
So much which makes us one it must imply
So much of what we trust to it deferred
We wander through our silence was it heard
Or was a moment’s soul condemned to die
So here we are with passions so entwined
With this one word to hold some treasure true
And to mere word our all is so consigned
And with it hopes and dreams will see us through
Until eternally we are combined
The word of love will somehow have to do 

A lover questions the depth of a word in this English sonnet. Here is a lover for us. Two quatrains are spent expressing the complexity of a word. As the couplets appear, he spends the first two relating the couple's relationship. In the final couplet comes resolve. Yet, with all these words, fourteen lines, our lover only manages to say the word once. 

It was strange. In those disco days. In that large flat, our playground, Arlene and I had regained so much, and more, since those dark, bleak days in that small apartment. We were the "prince and princess of love" in the discos clubs we'd frequent. We were "those two lovers" at Lake Chabot on those warm summer weekends. There was the dinning out, the movies, the operas and symphonies, the theater. There was the walks, the picnic, lovers in a canoe, out on the road again, the adventures, and the endless kisses. Arlene and I had a grand life back then. We did almost everything one would expect of young lovers. It was a warm night. Disco was over. Arlene and I were cuddling under the stars. Arlene says to me, "You don't say I love you anymore." It was true! For all we had become. I still loved Arlene very much and she knew it. But strangely, I had misplaced those three words. In the beginning, on my path back to saying, "I love you", wasn't connecting quite right with my feelings. Over time. patience and perseverance I was able to tell Arlene I loved her with some satisfaction. I learned that "Love" was a word for so much more. 

As I became more and more a people person I found out that many people don't say, "I love you." At some point in their relationship they stop. In fact, people, in general, don't tell others the positive ways they feel about them: "You're a good friend," "I like working with you," "What a great smile you have," et cetera. Everybody likes compliments. Real, honest compliments. On the other end of the spectrum, many people are tongue tied, when it comes to verbalizing their feelings, especially the positive ones. The ones we like, we need to hear. Maybe we can do better. It all starts here. Help a friend; help a loved one open up. Be an example to others. And as we make the world a better place, Enjoy. 

This calls for a word song: The Piano Guys performing Extreme "More Than Words" 

Do you have problems understanding women 

Professor of linguistics Deborah Tannen's studies found that men tend to jump from topic to topic, but women tend to talk at length about one topic. There are other subtle communication differences between men and women. To aid in understanding some of these differences, Story of This Life has put together this video to help men better understand those beauties in our life. 
So men, get your pencils and paper ready. "Interpreting Women 101" 

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Spread love everywhere you go. 
Let no one ever come to you 
without leaving happier.
Mother Teresa