Is Trying To Describe An Image Like Stopping The Wind?

With over 60,000 photos on my hard drive it is difficult to choose just one image to tell a story. The reason there are so many is that they all tell stories, of that exact moment when I saw something nearly indescribable, beyond those 1,000 words photos are known to evoke.

Words have not yet been created that can adequately describe the smell of Lavender, texture of a cloud, the merging of colors newly created by the setting sun on the pallet of clouds sitting on the horizon, bathing the mountain ridges in yet different hues.

Wp Project Everydayinspiration

The droplets from morning fog in off the Cuicocha lagoon bathing deep purple petals, new fallen snow on volcano Cotopaxi creating a new coat of white, covering up her wounds from burning ashes, the ruggedness of Mt. Cuicocha jutting up into the atmosphere like a gigantic shark’s tooth, the cascading waterfall of Cascada Condor Machay, defy mere words to describe.

Place yourself in those images in an attempt to be fully descriptive. Feel the pounding of the waterfall on your body as you swim under it, attempting to describe the pounding descending from 60 meters up, with the chill, needle-like droplets attempting to invade your body. Go ahead, attempt to do it justice with words, while a photo still leaves much to be said of the actual event.

It’s in the moment when those droplets of dew, as they were transported from the lagoon, bathe not just the deep purple petals with fairy like kisses, rather embrace all within reach with gentle caresses.

Water, lagoons, clouds, mountain peaks, trees, flowers, speak a language foreign to all but them. Interpretations are limited in futile attempts to describe something limitless. How to relate the feel of the purple petal being bathed, or the clouds as they joyfully arrange themselves to be part of a one of a kind tapestry.

Life is more than one image and travels at light speed, changing too quickly to present an isolated view. To think that an entire moment has been captured with naked eye or camera lens is like picking a poppy seed from a salad, claiming to have seen the entire concoction.

We see only a portion of what surrounds us, failing to fully appreciate the dimension and depth. It passes us by without fanfare, yet aware of our presence. We are known and understood. The clouds observe all and share with the stars, moon and sun. Mountains tell tales of those who would be fooled thinking they have conquered these colossal’s, present for more than a mere breeze passing.

Sit in an image and tell a story if you will, never realizing the finiteness of your presence by comparison. Inhale the joy of life given off by all these visions, knowing not one part will remain in the next second as it was, constantly changing to present a new thing.

As I look out my window doves are vying for my attention, determined to let me know they see me in their world. Clouds are wandering off in continuous display, some engulfing mountain peaks, others defying form or function. Capture that if you will.

I’m gonna have some coffee!

Is A “Blog” A Weblog, Log, Or Website?

Following are several definitions of what some dictionary sites define as a “blog.”

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  • a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
  • add new material to or regularly update a blog
  • a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.
  • 1995-2000; shortening of weblog
  • a Web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences
  • a Web site that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also :  the contents of such a site
  • A blog (short for weblog) is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs are defined by their format: a series of entries posted to a single page in reverse-chronological order. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or reflect the purpose of the Web site that hosts the blog. Topics sometimes include brief philosophical musings, commentary on Internet and other social issues, and links to other sites the author favors, especially those that support a point being made on a post.

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It is obvious that there is a general consensus that any of the three categories are sufficient to describe one. However the short, four letter word with just one syllable seems to be the favorite or “fav.”

“The English language is a language of economy.” So it has been described by a relative of mine whose first language is Spanish. Considering all the “slang” expressions that have evolved over the years, it’s not hard to understand how another culture might see it that way.

Well, maybe in fact it is! In a real sense blogging and bloggers who blog are taking a significant shortcut or economic detour to the centuries old domain of publishing. Writers, such as yours truly, may never gain the personal importance or talent to ever get a major publishing contract.

Because of the internet, that has changed forever. Anyone who can put their fingers on a keyboard, can blog and make their thoughts, rants, complaints, joys, accomplishments known to all who care to read about them. Grammar, organization, spelling, Chicago style or AP don’t matter in the least, as is most often, and sometimes painfully, obvious.

There seems to be a trend however, that those bloggers may be responsible for. Readers are no longer content to let editors or publishers, determine what they read. Now stop and think about that for a minute. What does that mean?

Bloggers have something to say, and quite frankly many have messages full of feeling, thought, with amazing content worth the read. There are no add campaigns or flashy

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I’m THINKING about blogging!

photos to promote their message to the masses. In most cases it just floats around in cyberspace waiting for some unsuspecting “websurfer” to enter a keyword that hits on an article a particular writer has listed. Bingo! A new writer is discovered.

You can bet that there are those who have refined blogging to an art form, and have made good money by doing so. As with all things, compared to the number of bloggers, those who have flourished are in the great minority.

I blog or write because I have to. That doesn’t mean someone is standing over me with a club to do so…well at least not in the physical sense. Rhetorically speaking I have lots to say about many things and that is my “club” or my “what.” That “what” is not necessarily and opinion, as I make no claim to having superior knowledge about the things I write. Even those areas where my knowledge may be greater due to experience, thoughts in those arenas are still just thoughts.

The point is that blogging has taken on a life of it’s own, and is the new format for many writers to self-publish. Some blogs have been turned into eBooks and published in a more concise format. You can find blogs on nearly any topic you can imagine, plus many you never even thought of. Take the craziest subject you can possibly imagine, like square doughnuts.

Now for years I made a decent living making regular donuts, and have been more than happy eating those beautiful, golden, round bits of fried dough that depending who makes them, can melt in your mouth.

Doughnuts can be found with few exceptions in every shape and flavor imaginable. There are Long Johns, Bismarks, Twists, Bowknots, cake donuts, and the list is endless. But square doughnuts? Who woulda thunk there was such a thing? Go ahead. Type that into Google, and you’re gonna get 23 million links for “square doughnuts!” I don’t know about you, but to me that’s crazy!

To me that might be as crazy as an upside-down ice-cream cone! Yup! There are 488,000 links on Google for that! Let’s see, what other crazy idea can I come up with? How about the needle in the haystack that was found? That too! Over 500,000 links where people have actually done it.

So the point here is that blogs are like written conversation. I may not know you, but we can get into each others mind, that is if you should happen to leave a comment to which I can reply. And if not my reply, someone else who may be lurking out there, reading and and creating a reply, or silently moving on with no reply at all. Ready to start blogging?

Is Can I Get A Little Help From My Friends Just A Song?

What would you do if I told a story on you,
Would you delete and block me evermore?
So give me your eyes and I’ll write you some words,
And try not to be a big bore.

Wish I could get by with a little help from my friends,
I’m tryin’ to get a little help from my friends,
Surely I can get help from my friends.

Writing words today when you have some to say,
Shouldn’t fall on blind eyes that’s for sure.
Read ‘em out loud to draw in a big crowd,
It will amaze ‘em if they just endure.

Just a “like” would help from my friends,
Follow me if you’re one of my friends,
I’m gonna fly with the help of my friends!

I love to write and it’s plain to see
There is always a topic for me.
My stories are true and it could happen to you
As the subject of one of these.

That’s how it is when you have friends,
They all help to the very end,
I get by with help from my friends!
crazy-me2
There is no rhyme nor reason for doing that, but it was just something going around in my head and I had to get it down. Does that happen to you? You wake up in the morning with the verse of a song rolling around in there, and it stays with you all day.

Of course, there is no song for the verses I wrote, and it was very loosely taken from that famous one by the Beatles back when. I challenge you to go back and read it with that tune in mind. Smiles are free and that should create one.

Do you consider it interesting the number of random thoughts that enter your mind on a daily basis? Would you be at all surprised that of the estimated 70K or so, you may only be aware of a very small portion consciously.

Obviously, you don’t consciously think about breathing, or blinking your eyes, swallowing, along with so many other bodily functions. Even scanning your computer screen takes thoughts. Processing all the colors, words, and content on the screen uses more. Are you starting to get the picture?

So does it seem all that unusual that you might wake up from a dead sleep with a tune running through your mind? By the way, in case you think there are no thoughts while you’re asleep, what about that dream you had? Yup, that counts too.

Now there has to be someone out there who wants to disagree with this, based on plain ole human nature. A number like 70,000 is hard to handle. One site I looked at put it closer to 600,000. Can you even remotely begin to wrap your mind around that?

So come on and jump in here. Can I get a little help from my friends? You know who you are, and maybe there’s a few who want to chime in on this that aren’t on my friend list. Cool! Of those 70K or so thoughts runnin’ around in your noggin, share a few here!

Does Medicine Make Us Better Or The Placebo Effect?

You know what a “placebo” is. During any testing of medicines or drugs for what are known as trials, in order to make doubly certain the results are accurate, a “fake” or harmless substance is used along with what is being tested.

To further insure accuracy in what are called double blind studies, even those administering the tests don’t know which is which. I guess that’s a good way to eliminate confusion.

Anyway, the point is there’s a fake in the bunch and no one knows who’s gonna get it.

What’s really interesting is the impact of the placebo on the unsuspecting particip_DSC4776ants. It needs to be added that this doesn’t just apply for trials on drugs, but even on surgery. Really? Keep reading because this gets more interesting.

Here’s a link you may find interesting as it relates to depression. This is one guaranteed that your Dr. is not likely to tell you about, and almost certainly your pharmacist.

Should we call it the mind or the brain? One of the two is beyond any words to describe it’s power. Even scientists don’t know how to account for all that the “placebo effect” seems able to do. This is not just some trick the intelligent mind plays on the body.

An ability to believe on a positive result to such a degree that it manifests the benefit is the issue here. The “mind over matter’ has been bandied about for years, and has always sounded like so much positive mental attitude palaver. Then when you talk to professional athletes and they tell you that their bodies are always in pain and they simply ignore it, something begins to click.

Over the years in my continual quest to find that “ultimate” product that would create the magic cure for everyone’s health, I have tried so many. There were the Amway products, followed by lessor knowns. Then Herbalife, Tree Tea Oil, Noni Juice, Xocai Chocolates (without question my favorite), Kangen Water Purification System, and there were more.

In each and every case, all failed to provide the “magic pill!” The only one that “did,” was a product called Protandim. In short order, after being on the product for 2 weeks, my acid reflux and arthritis (minimal joint pain in hands and some minor gout in one big toe) was gone. Four years later with no pills it’s still gone!

So is it mind over matter or those pills? Because of the chronicled medical and scientific peer reviews that lend credibility to this product, did it really work, or did I just believe it would? Wouldn’t it stand to reason if the pills made the difference, not taking them would cause the reflux and arthritis pains to come back?

Or is the belief so strong that I have cured myself? A better question might be is my mind that capable? No one in my high school class would ever have accused me of superior brain power. Back then I only had one thing on my mind it seems, and thinking wasn’t one of them.

This is today, and change has been ever present throughout all these years. Indulging in expanding my mind has been constant. Has it been successful is the question? Beyond knowledge, intelligence, understanding, meditation, neural linguistic programing, positive affirmations, self hypnosis’s is about getting to the bottom of the placebo effect.

Who dares to try and understand it? So far, it’s like trying to understand the mind of God. Explanations as to why it works and to what extent have not been discovered.

Lastly, when the placebo effect can work even in surgical situations, it really makes you want to scratch your head in amazement.

Patients numbering 180 at the Baylor College of Medicine admitted for knee surgery were divided into 3 groups. Each group knew they were there for surgery. Of 324 potential participants many declined because of knowledge some would receive a placebo. Surgeries were performed on two groups, and simple incisions were made on the third, but no surgical instruments were used and nothing removed.

Here are the amazing results. This is a quote from the actual study. “During two years of follow-up, patients in all three groups reported moderate improvements in pain and ability to function. However, neither of the intervention groups reported less pain or better function than the placebo group. Indeed, the placebo patients reported better outcomes than the debridement patients at certain points during follow-up. Throughout the two years, the patients were unaware of whether they had received real or placebo surgery.”

To read the full report check out this link.

Is there an answer whether it’s medicine or the placebo effect? This I know…I think. When I had the infectious disease several years ago, I’m not sure my best mental efforts would have cured me, compared to the antibiotics I was given. With a 40% fatality rate I can only say something worked, as I’m here to write this.

What do you think? give me some feedback. Is it medicine, or placebos that make the difference?

Do You Write Because You Can Or Because You Have To?

So was I writing because I could, or because there was this drive that I simply had to write?

In 2011 I had lot’s of time on my hands as I was attempting to recover from some mysterious fevers that had all the Dr.s stumped at the V.A. Hospital.

At the same time I had been working on building a website, and doing a good deal of writing. At some point, I ran across EZine Articles site, and an piece about article marketing caught my attention.

The idea of getting paid to write definitely appealed to me, and it just happened that EZine Articles was sponsoring a contest to write 100 articles in 100 days.

It's in the pot!
It’s in the pot!

About this same time I had come across a company promoting Omega 3 Fish Oil, which I had been purchasing and taking on a daily basis. So being a promoter of healthy living and high on Omega 3 at the time, it seemed like a great topic to write about.

Even though I was a few weeks behind, I figured if I could write 3 articles a day I could make the deadline for the contest with a day or two to spare.

The challenge was taken up and I began doing research to see how many different topics I could write about around this topic.

Now keep in mind I saw this as a challenge, whether I could do it or not. It wasn’t so much that I was 100% convinced about the benefits of Fish Oil in the form of a capsule. I was simply 100% convinced I could write 100 articles and maybe, just maybe, begin selling some writing. THAT was the real challenge. Could my writing earn money?

So was I writing because I could, or because there was this drive that I simply had to write? A great question in light of why I was writing those articles.

Writing is something I have been doing since 3rd grade in school. Stories of heaven and I don’t remember what else were some of my first efforts. Along the way it developed into love notes and eventually pen pal correspondence.

Being an avid reader my vocabulary grew far beyond that of my peers. So there was a wide range of words to draw from because of that reading. Little by little many of those words would find their way into my conversations, leading to ridicule from classmates who had no idea what I was talking about.

There has always been the need to put thoughts on paper. At one point stories of experiences in Ecuador were being provided for my hometown weekly newspaper and that was fun. No editor who had to justify his job by tearing up my reports. 

A difference was noticed between that type of writing and creating the articles based on a challenge. For that I had to write and there’s a huge difference for me compared to writing what seems to come naturally.

For me, I have to write! Writing because I can is something forced. This was just something that rolled out from inside. As spontaneous as thoughts just more directed. And you? Do you write because you can, or because you have to?

Is Drowning Preferable To Getting Shot In The Jungle?

You may ask if there’s a choice? If you ask Uncle Sam, that answer is a most emphatic “NO!” One of the more well known sayings in the military is, “Ours is not to reason why. Ours is but to do or die.” Several variations of this are out there, but the original came from the well known “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

While enduring a gigantic boil on my right wrist while in the jungles of Viet Nam, we were faced with a river crossing. Ropes were strung and repelling hooks were a standard issue item for all of us, for just such occasions.

We were also headed for a Med Evac area so that a few of us could go back to base camp for some medical attention. One of those had fallen down a ravine and seriously injured his hip. Apparently in the process his carabiner had been lost. So there was a quandary as to how he was going to get across, as no one was willing to give up their hook.

Along came Alan (me) who fancied himself some sort of he-man, and was willing to arm and leg it over without the aid of the hook. Me who has a huge boil on his wrist, disabling the same which was of no use.

So off I go just as planned, with all my pack, gear, and grenade launcher slung on my back. With my leg hooked over the rope and using forearms to inch across the rope. All was going fine until at the lowest dip of the rope, my helmet got caught in the water, quickly filling and pulling with all the force of the river’s current. Enough so that my grip on the rope was not as great as all the other weight pulling against me, and into the river I went with 60+ pounds of gear, clothing, helmet and all.

Were it not for a determined effort and decent swimming skills that led to the river’s bank, this could have been a shorter story. Emerging from the water soaking wet and somewhat less enthusiastic than when I went in, there was now more reason to understand why SOP emphatically instructed to NEVER give up your hook!

But this isn’t the story in reference from the title.

Getting Malaria was no walk in the park, and generally not a big issue as long as the anti-Malaria pills were taken on a regular basis as instructed. Getting lax was almost guaranteed to end up with the fever, yellow eyes and skin, and a trip to the Malaria ward area which would usually last at least a month for recovery. I had my turn twice, and the first is the one of this story.

This particular ward was located in a nearby city called Ahn Khe, which was a port city in South Vietnam. The security was very lax at this particular ward, as they also were a Med Evac Center for the field hospitals sending in severely wounded or DOA’s. So there was far more attention given to the incoming Hueys with their loads of bodies. On many occasions I was part of the crew helping to bring in the mangled soldiers with hopes of seeing them survive.

(to be continued)