Sunday, March 31, 2013

Random Musings of a Ramblin' Fool XLIX

Yes, that is the correct roman numeral for 49, not IL which is what I was going to put initially... until I checked. For a great explanation of why that is check HERE. Anywho, this hasn't happened in awhile: three Random Musings columns in 3 weeks or less, but that is fitting given all that is going on in my life at present. The only previous occasions it happened were in both April and June of 2008 in my first several editions of this blog. 
Easter 2013 Observances

This year I got more heavily involved with Easter than in any previous year. I attended a Good Friday evening service at my home church North County Christian Fellowship. Then in the morning of Holy Saturday I did my first ever Stations of the Cross (albeit an abbreviated version) at First Baptist Church in Paso Robles, CA. Later that day I attended the final service ever for Harvest Christian Church here in town as it shutters its doors for good. Then this morning I attended Easter Sunday services at North County Christian Fellowship and helped out working in the cafe there. Now that I no longer work every second or third weekend I am availing myself of what I have been missing which is more involvement in my church and more generally with fellow believers in my community. This is merely a behavioral expression of what is going on inside of me as I reemphasize in my own life my relationship with my Creator and invest more time and effort in it. I can't grow properly if I'm not placing maximum priority on my walk. Not that it hasn't already been thus but it's easy to get caught up in the daily routine of life and get a bit sloppy and lose having a laser focus.
 A Brother Offended?

As some of you might recall I posted a rather fiery rant last year in regards to a sermon by a new associate pastor at my church. He's certainly a a nice enough guy and a decent giver of sermons, However, he got under my skin in one of his sermons I to which I had the ignominious distinction of bearing witness. This was quite unfortunately one of the more superstitious and unenlightened examples of the down side of Pentecostalism I have ever witnessed coming from a pulpit. Needless to say, in my rant I did not hold back much. The guy keeps away from me and is noticeably reserved around me. From this I sense he has read or heard about my blog rant about his sermon and is hurt/indignant about it. Perhaps I'm imaging things but I believe I have equal odds of being accurate on this one. I can see pros and cons to reaching out to him or not doing so. To be quite honest my critique was sound and I don't regret my feelings about the content of said sermon. However, perhaps I was a bit harsh in my wording or, contrariwise, perhaps a bit of a bitch slap was in order there as tough love to a brother in Christ. I need to ponder this one some more methinks.

My Cuesta & Cal Poly Doin's

I have misplaced my password into my Cal Poly SLO account but from the emails I am getting from them it sure sounds like they accepted my application. If so that is cool but I will delay going one more year to get more transferable units out of the way at Cuesta College and apply for the Fall 2014 term. As previously stated on this blog I'm on track to graduate from Cuesta at the end of this Spring term pending passage of all my classes.
Cuesta Job Fair Rocked

A couple of Tuesdays ago I attended the job fair at Cuesta College's main SLO campus where 35 employers were represented.I was surprised so many local employers are looking for fresh employees. I picked up information from many of them and Vina Robles even asked for my resume and seemed the most interested which has me rather excited. I will be interviewed by them in April. There are some other jobs I might be able to pick up as well and I will update this space once there is anything specific and concrete to report. 
 Mental Health First Aid Certified

The same week as the job fair I completed the second part of Mental Health First Aid USA's free workshop held at Cuesta College in the same building as the job fair. I took the first installment of the workshop two weeks previous to that in the same location. I am now officially certified for mental health first aid as I also am for physical first aid and CPR through the American Red Cross. I need to get that re-upped this coming month before it expires and I have to start over entirely.

Spring Break 2013

Cuesta College's 2013 Spring Break is currently underway and not a day too soon. I need this week to be busy doing other things beside school, except that I have plenty of schoolwork to do this week as well as work for a few clients and also social stuff such as go visit my grandmother in Fremont, CA. I also need to get accomplished some cleaning up of my living space and storage unit. In the process of that I hope to get rid of some things thus making my footprint in this life smaller and hopefully pick up some cash along the way.

Getting Back In Shape

This "vacation" is also an excellent time for me to refocus my efforts getting back into physical shape. My current health education class has me more focused on my weight and diet and fitness level. This is good because I am an overweight-American! That's correct folks: DO NOT say anything insensitive and disrespectful around me such as refer to "you people". Anywho, for most of this year to date I've walked the dog of an older woman in my church who is shut in due to health problems. I walk my dog and her dog together and I get a walk out of it as well. This is usually about half an hour long which I need but is inadequate for me. Yesterday I took the dogs on an hour walk while today I took a break from walking the lady's dog but took Tequila and I on a 5.8-mile walk which took us less than two hours to complete. I have also of late been shunning processed food and cooking nearly all my own food or eating home-cooked food provided me by others. This is both healthier and cheaper.

CERT Training

I have signed up for CERT training through North SLO Co. CERT. I begin classes in May on Thursday nights and it wraps up in early June on a Saturday. I am looking forward to this more than I can perhaps adequately put into words here. I have been interested in doing this since meeting and being in a relationship with my ex-girlfriend from Northern California (as opposed to my more recent local one). Going back to college as well as becoming Red Cross certified for first aid and CPR were other seemingly unattainable things that I have since accomplished and now I get to add CERT training to that list of long-delayed accomplishments.

Fire Season 2013

The grasses across the North County of San Luis Obispo County prematurely began drying out in March this year. They will probably be burning by April which is much earlier than is typical around here. As if to underscore this concern I heard on the scanner today Air Attack 500 ( a training air attack) leaving Paso Robles Air Attack Base for McClellan Air Force Base which is where CalFire stores most/all of their firefighting aircraft during the ebb/lull months of California's now nearly year-around fire season.

Lightning Last Night

As some of you may or may not know I LOVE lightning and thunder. Last night while playing card games at a friend's house in the hills west of Paso Robles I had front row seats and a beautiful electric storm in the skies of the North County. What a thrill it was! I even caught one or two distant peals of thunder. I needed my lightning and thunder fix following such a lackluster winter rainy season.

Driving While In A Beater (DWIB)

Lately I keep getting pulled over by the SLO Sheriff's Office or the Paso Robles Police Department. It's never for anything significant but rather for things like burned out brake light bulbs or failure to turn down my headlights or failure to have a license plate on the front (my 1994 Volvo didn't come with one). Those are the recent reasons. A couple of years ago I was getting pulled over my pickup's problems which were mechanical but that's a moot point now. Anywho, cops are people and people have their biases both conscious and sub-conscious. I drive a beater I payed a grand for and it looks like it. The car is great in its functioning but is not much to look at and as such perhaps looks like a "scary-mobile" such as one might imagine a creepy dude driving. Also, the sorts of people cops deal with in regards to crime tend to drive cars more like my own and less so nicer cars. I understand this even while I'm getting a bit tired of the attention. Each encounter has been courteous and professional and I was bid a good day or good night and that was that. However, I know damned well were I driving a 2013 Volvo I would not be getting the same sort of notice.

Mad Men & The Walking Dead

As I have stated here before I LOVE The Walking Dead on AMC. It is my current favorite television program following my previous favorite Battlestar Galactica. Tonight, Season Three of TWD concluded with more tragedy as another main character got killed off as well as multiple peripheral characters. The final tally of lost main characters this season ended at four. So as to not spoil things for those of you who have not yet watched the series and plan to I won't say who here. I can't wait for this season to come out on DVD. Recently, my friend Mark who got my turned on to TWD also introduced me to the series Mad Men also on AMC. Tonight I saw the second and third episodes of Season One. The more I watch it the more intrigued by it I become despite the ugliness and vapidity of most of the character's dismal and phony lives.

22nd Annual Paso Rock Show Planning

As chairman of the 22nd Annual Rockhound Roundup Gem, Mineral, and Jewelry Show I have been a very busy man coordinating the many elements which comprise planning such an event. Fortunately, I'm good at managing teams of people and this has been a generally positive experience again this year following my maiden voyage in that capacity last year. The time is short and we are now having show committee meetings every other weeks with the next one this coming Wednesday night at 7 p.m. I have also been having regular "safety meetings" with dealer chair Dale Conrad where we go over the dealer list and map out who goes where in the show based upon the latest sign-ups by dealers. We have a few more empty slots to fill. 

R.I.P. Former Friendship

This is the last I will make mention of this matter on this blog unless some new significant development comes up. The saga of my falling out with my former friend and employer reached a crescendo early this month. I don't want it to leave this month and leak into April so I wrap it up here to the extent that is possible. 

I feel I need to make a correction or two about things I said about the man in previous comments. I said he was a phony friend who was just using me. Upon further reflection that is inaccurate. He was a genuine friend who was not using me. However, he sucked at friendship because he sucks at interpersonal relationships with other people in general. That is a major component of why he is so damned lonely and is perpetually baffled by and disappointed in people. 

That also explains how he manages to put off so many people whom become close to him. Some of them never tell him he offended them and some do. I'm the sort of communicative man who does not keep things to myself indefinitely. I gave him three years to improve but instead things got worse and I finally reached a breaking point. I sent him a respectful and articulate letter outlining my grievances with him. 

At that point the situation was still manageable by both of us and could have been resolved reasonably simply. However, his personal pride, stubbornness, and contrarian nature, hyper-frenetic controlling nature caused him to do something very foolish, selfish, and disrespectful by way of refusing to even accept my letter and read it. My reasons for communicating initially by letter regarding these matters were manifold and well-reasoned. He slapped me in the face and defecated on our friendship in so doing. As a result he ended our friendship himself. What happened is 100% on him! 

As stated previously I forgive him but unless he demonstrates some class and character and contacts me and says and does the right thing he and I are done for good. I am rather surprised how good I feel no longer having to regularly deal with the myriad personality issues I had to deal with nearly constantly while associating with that man. My stress-level has plummeted while my joy and peace and happiness levels have skyrocketed. I thank my former friend for the experiences and opportunities I benefited from during our association and thank him for the things he gave me on occasion. He is also quite welcome for what I contributed to his business enterprise! So long and have a nice life!

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