On my way to Idaho

On my way to Idaho
The Road Less Traveled . . .

Thursday, November 25, 2010


It is that week here in the U.S. of A. Started  388 years ago by William Bradford, Governor of the Plymouth Colony.  Fall of 1662, Bradford declared the third Thursday of the month of November as a day dedicated to gratitude. Gratitude to God, to life, to fellowman, to the blessings of the earth . . .  -  William Bradford Plymouth Governor (this is a link to wikipedia; of which I am not a big fan. But, this is a good basic review of William Bradford's life)

The every core of what was to become the United Sates of America can be found in sum of Bradford's life as a family man, a leader of his people, a disciple of Jesus Christ.  It is not politically correct to draw attention to such things these days.


Another gentlemen whose life like Bradford's reveals all things which are core to the liberties of man and the founding of the U.S. of A. is John Quincy Adams. 

Men have faults. Bradford and Adams had thier share. However, Adams once said -

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

Despite all our faults and shortcomings we can, and indeed I think it is a divine mandate to live so as to inspire others.

So, I would like to stretch the last word of Adams' quote - 'leader' - to include teacher, mentor, hero, friend.

All week I have been thinking the many people who have and do made me want to become more. Family, instructors, business colleagues, friends, Doctors. Some of you I know well, some formally, some as brief chance encounters. Thank you, thank you for inspiring me, supporting me, challenging me to try harder, for encouraging me, validating me; making me laugh, making me think, making me do above and beyond my preconceived limits  - - - Thank you from the bottom of my heart to -

- William Bradford
- John Quincy Adams
- the US militia (the everyman) and the US Military (the trained solder) who gave, and protect my liberties
- My Dad
- My Mom
- Earl Madsen
- Nina Madsen
- Maggie Wands
- Susan P. Zobell
- Dr. Sant P. Chawla
- My 6th grade teacher
- Sis. Menlove
- My scuba diving partner, HI, '80
- Aunt Nellie
- 11th grade World History teacher
- Uncle Ronald
- George Smith
- T.S.
- Andrea Hofeling
- Debra Jones
- Jo Gartenberg
- Karen Kulzer
- Tom
- James C. Christensen
- My Grandparents
- O.C. Card
- Karen Sanchez
- Patrick Stinson
- Becka Mansfield
- Lance Clawson
- Phyllis Case Bennett
- Jan
- Kat Sgiers
- LaVeta Kirby
- Susan and Dale Moyers
- All my P.T.'s
- Csongor Vasvary
- Marjohna Madsen
- Asioli
- Sheri Pliz
- Marilyn B. Oveson
- Beth Tracy
- Corina Christiansen
- Pat Horn
- Professor Anderson
- Fellow travelers on GWC Europe Tour 2005
- Pam Taylor
- Rick Terry
- Karen Kindrick
- Fiona McCloud
- Lady sitting be me in the waiting room at Princess Margaret Hospital
- Julie Earley
- Katie Munday
- Dominene
- Steven
- Justin
- Vicki
- Tammi Schnieder
- Dr. Terry Peterson
- Fox River Academy of Music and Art
- John Madsen
- Eulalio Hernandez
- Tiafu Purcell
- Christopher Hiatt
- Ben Siegel
- Roni Weinstein-Jaco
- Pres. Jesperson
- Ryan Fisher
- Kendall Arts Guild
- Andrea Peacock Brown
- Professor Fassbeck
- Gawdat Gabra
- Denis Mori
- Wilma Koldwyn
- Janice
- Gary, my love

(I been adding names all day long, in no particular order as names come to mind; and, this list is by no means limited to those named above.  This Thanksgiving day is turning into late evening and it is time to make this post)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Live your life as an Inverse Paranoid.

"Meditation on Sense and Nonsense: Dialogues with Ludwig #2" This guy is Not an Inverse Paranoid. He acted like all of Chicago was out to get him.  He made for a great photo op, which enriched my day--and my portfolio!

"Instead of believing the world is plotting to do you harm, choose to believe the world is plotting to do you good. Instead of seeing every difficult or challenging event as a negative, see it for what it could be -- something that was meant to enrich, empower, or advance your ultimate happiness.

"Treasure Hunters" Oil Study 12" X 14"  Now these guys can find adventure everywhere! Even in the waves of the cold north Atlantic ocean on the shores of the Isle of Barra.

"What an incredibly positive belief! Imagine how much easier it would be to succeed in life if you were constantly expecting the world to support you and bring you opportunity. So whatever tragic or painful event that you encounter, believe that it is there for some good and ultimately making you better in some way."

W. Clement Stone

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chasing the Sunset

We had a wonderful sunset here in So. Cal. this evening.

Luscious pink and salmon and lavender and aborigine clouds - colors thick and rich and warm and vibrant against a crystalline sapphire sky.  I could swim in them, taste them.

In times past such a sight would send me off to find the best vantage point as quickly as I could, to allow as much time as possible for savoring the unfolding artistry of the celestial evening drama.  This always entailed walking, or running.  When I lived in Hawaii I lived on the beach about 50 yards from Laie point -- a quick dash down the beach and a scramble part way up the rocky cliff and I had a marvelous vantage point; an unobstructed view along the shore and out over miles of ocean. Yeah, I have some great Hawaiian sunset memories.

In England I lived near the Ascot horse racing track. A great sunset view was a quick walk down to the end of the lane and across a walking path that passed by the eastern end of the race track; thus presenting a wonderful view of the sky across a landscape of the race track and open fields.

My parents had a generous property of about three acres. Our front lawn was over half acre and was lined with poplars, lilac and snowball bushes, and pine trees, and hibiscus.  When a great sunset presented itself I would run out and lie on my back smack in the middle of the lawn to watch--the trees and bushes framing the sky perfectly. Or, I would climb the hill behind the house and run to the point which offered a view of the Salt Lake Valley from the mountains on the east to the copper mine in the mountains to the west. 

All this is to say I faced a challenge tonight. Out the window behind my desk I could see the promise of an amazing sunset peeking through the trees. The trees surrounding my tiny yard  are old and tall and well endowed--they block out all views of the sky except straight up, and even that is mostly fringed with foliage.

There is a park about three blocks away. I could walk there if I am very careful; but I can't watch the sky as I walk. I have to watch the ground in front of me every step. The entire neighborhood is lined with hundreds of mature trees with extensive mature roots.  I have yet to find a stretch of sidewalk more then 15 feet or so that has not been heaved and shifted out of place by the tree roots (serious scary trip hazard!!).  If I did make t to the park to enjoy the sunset I would then have to walk home in the dark. - - - Ummmm, not a wise plan.

So I watched the sunset unfold from the driver's seat of my 'red-neck' truck--high above all the spiffy little cars most people here drive-- while driving west on highway 66.  Power lines, street lights, and lots of other cars tempered the view. But, I drove west watching the sky (and the road and stoplights and pedestrians, and other cars) relishing and wondering in the beauty of the world turning; and the perfect dependability of such things as sunsets. When the color had mostly eased out of the clouds and the sky held a distinctly indigo hue I turned around and drove home and watched the stars easing into the western night sky (as best as they can with the city lights of all of L.A. and the Inland Empire trying to drown them out).


I miss my leg and all that that means.

Yet -- It was a beautiful evening; I got my sunset.

Good times!


I didn't think it was such a good idea to try and take pictures while driving - - - so, this is one of my favorite Hawaiian sunset photos.  The back side of Diamond Head. I took it from the ridge line above the western beach of Molokai Island towards Oahu.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Goodhearted People

Here I sit eating lunch between classes. I 'ran' over the Halgerbargars, the campus dining center for a BLT wrap with avacado. By 'ran' I mean I carefully and slowly walk across the parking lot to the McMannus building then climb a two stage flight of stairs. I 'one-step' the stairs -- step up with the right foot then bring the prothestic foot up -- cane in one hand other hand firmly ahold of the railing.

Halgerbargers is a busy place at noon. On a typical trek to get my lunch I will cross paths with a dozen or more people dashing up and down those same stairs in a hurry to get their lunch and make it to their next class by one PM.

As I proceed on my quest for lunch I have to be very aware of people coming and going around me; especially on the stairs. Understandably I present an obstacle; people are in a hurry and tend to dash and dart around me. I am adept at walking and keeping my balance with my prosthesis. However this darting and dashing around the cripple lady can easily throw me off balance and create a fall hazard.

So, I plan on taking my time, watching and predicting how people are moving, stepping aside to let them run ahead of me, and, I hold on tightly to the stair railing.

Today as I started up the stairs there were four people coming up behind me.  I moved far to the left, there was aplenty of room for them to scamper past me, but they didn't. All four of them slowed down and waited for me to climb the stairs. As I got to the top, a lady carefully stepped around me to open and hold the door for me.

I ordered my lunch. The cashier always graciously has a sack ready for me; making it easier to carry my lunch back to the class room.

Then, as I approached the door on my way out, a young man stepped forward opening and holding the door for me. This young man and his two friends stayed behind me as I made my way down the stairs one by one.

Well, what can I say but - thank you thank you thank you.  How wonderful to cross paths with such goodhearted people. Along with the beautiful blue sky, bright sunshine, and the refreshing cool breeze; your kindness has made my day!