Happiness is being prepared

Happiness is being prepared

Tonight a bit of a different kind of post for the Ministry of Happiness. It’s been a weekend where we have had several small earthquakes in the Bay Area of California. While I didn’t feel any of the ones this weekend, when you live less than a mile from San Andreas Lake, on the San Andreas Fault you take earthquakes pretty seriously. There are a lot of scary things in life. Over the last year, I think we’ve all had a healthy dose of living with our fears. One of the best ways to address any fear or concern is to get educated and prepared. First, learning what you can about the threat, what could realistically happen and how it happens is the first step. The second step is to understand what you can and can’t control, and preparing yourself for the things you can do to make yourself safer and how best to respond if your fears come to life.

In the Bay Area people are encouraged and many have what they call “earthquake kits,” essentially a set of supplies to get you by in case of a major earthquake. In case of an earthquake it’s possible to be without power or water for several days. Additionally, you or a family member may have become injured during the quake. So the kit typically consists of several days of food and water, a first aid kit, a radio for news and any medications you need in the short-term. Essentially the basic necessities you need to survive the initial emergency with the expectation that after several days you’d be able to access assistance from the authorities.

A Survivalist is prepared

Most earthquake kits are in a box or stacked under the sink. But another way to go is something called a go bag. Now that terminology comes from the survivalist movement and I’ll admit to being a low level survivalist. Don’t start imagining secret bunkers, armories and shelves of supplies. I’m very much a low-level survivalist. What does that mean? It means as you’ll read below that I have a well supplied go-bag at the ready. It also means that I’ve done some reading around the topic as well as having educated myself on some basic wilderness survival techniques. That all sounds far more impressive than it is, the best way to think of it is I’m a really advanced camper. Spending three months hiking the Appalachian Trail was a great bit of training toward this interest. So this also means that as a hiker and camper I have the supplies on hand to head and live in the wild if I need to, hopefully that won’t happen.

So when COVID started, I was a bit less stressed than most people. I already had N95 masks, only a couple but I had some. I always have on hand basic cold/flu medicines as well as a couple of weeks of food and water available. So I was able to be cautious and patient as we all figured out what we needed to be doing.

In having a conversation with a friend recently, her family has a similar mindset but is not quite as prepared as I am, I told her I’d let her know what was in my go bag. So tonight’s post is to let her and all of you know what’s in my bag. Hopefully, this will help you in developing your own emergency preparedness kit at home. I think everyone should have the necessities at home that you could live off of for several days in case of an emergency. Not only may it come in incredibly handy someday, but it will also give you an additional sense of safety knowing you have those supplies to fall back on. The last thing to mention is that every few months it’s a good idea to go through your kit and make sure things are up to date. That nothing is broken, change out batteries if necessary and rotate any food to keep it fresh. Also, in addition to your supplies, you should always have a plan with your family about how you’ll stay in contact, and someplace you would gather if you ever get separated.

My go bag

So below are images of the items in my go bag, the entire packed bag is pictured above and as you can see it is basically a fairly standard backpack. I’ll talk through the items in each picture and provide as much detail as possible. Of course, if you have any questions please feel free to throw them in the comments, if you’re asking, someone else probably wants to know as well.

Here we go:

There is no particular order to the photos and the first one is camouflage gear. While most of the times a go bag will just be needed to get by in your car in the street, if something worse happens and there is social disorder, it pays to be able to get at least a little remote and stay concealed. The other thing to keep in mind in order to minimize what you need to carry is to make sure items have multiple uses. So while the jacket pictured is camouflage, it also serves as both a wind-breaker, waterproof shell. Additionally, a cap, gloves, a buff, a bandana, and two small roles of camouflage tape.

Not much description needed, shirts, underwear, socks and gloves. Having a couple of pairs of socks is incredibly important to keep your feet clean and healthy. You’ve likely left home in a hurry and might be doing a lot more walking than you’re used to doing.

Electronics and safety devices. The Nekteck is actually a solar charger that can used to charge anything with a USB. Also a chemical and solar flashlight, a hand-crank flashlight/radio combination. I also have several small sets of earphones, if you’re trying to stay concealed, the earphone allow for listening to the radio discretely. Sunglasses, batteries, a compass, a GPS unit, a headlamp and local/regional maps. Finally, a small MP3 player which is the only luxury I allow myself in this setup.

Of course, food and water are your primary concerns for your go bag. Pictured above is a life-straw, which is a filter straw that allows you to drink water out of ponds, streams or puddles if necessary. My absolute favorite water filter, the Sawyer mini-filter, same concept as the life straw but but filters up to 10,000 gallons, comes with a liter bag and conveniently the Sawyer cap size is the same as some soda bottles. This means you can utilize larger bottles for convenience. Also, some iodine tables and both a plastic water bottle as well as a light plastic liter bottle. Water is the one area where I believe in redundancy in an emergency kit. Additionally pictured is my Jet Boil which contains a cooking gas container and the ability to boil water. The green cup is a plastic cup with a lid that also could serve as bowl when necessary, the cup has a click-on lid which is nice. But also allows me to store things while packed, the cup holds a set of matches and my hand lamp in the pack.

Pictured above are five Mountain House freeze-dried camping meals and a box of six Cliff Bars. All total this is about 4500 calories. This is enough easily for 3-4 days of decent survival eating. The dinners only need boiled water to be added, which is where the Jet Boil comes in, I also often have several packets of tea, hot chocolate and instant oatmeal in as well which can bump up the calories. Actually, if absolutely necessary the camping meals can be hydrated without boiling water, but just take much, much longer to prepare.

After food and water, shelter is the most important thing. The tarp is a six by four foot tarp, just enough for a one person camp cover. I also include two survival (space) blankets and one of my favorite things, a survival sleeping bag, same material but in the shape of a mummy sleeping bag you can slide into. The cotton roll up is not in the bag, but is something I would grab if I could and tie to my bag.

These are all optional items that are not in the bag. A hammock, a sleep pad and the one I would absolutely grab if I can, my mylar sheet. This sheet, made up of the sunshield material people use in their cars, reflects heat and makes a great under surface to lay on that will keep you dry and warmer than without it and is super lightweight and can easily be carried or tied to my bag.

Materials to stay sanitary. The obvious toilet paper, in the actual bag I’ve removed the cardboard tube so it can be smashed down and stored more easily. I have a couple of bandanas that have so many uses and a microfiber washcloth that I use as a towel. Also an ace bandage, soap, hand sanitizer and sunscreen sticks.

First aid materials including an array of bandages, alcohol wipes, antibiotic wipes, small packs of ibuprofen, a tube of antibiotic cream. A snake bite kit, medical tape, duct tape and a tick puller. I also have a sewing kit, two sets of latex gloves, and very importantly two small tubes of super glue. Super glue was actually invented for the Vietnam War as a way to quickly seal soldiers wounds in the field and as such is a must in any first aid kid. Finally, make sure to include some anti-diarrhea tablets like Immodium D. After an emergency if water is in short supply you could end up getting some bad water that makes you sick. Vomiting and diarrhea can be very dangerous when untreated, so these pills could really save your life.

This is the necessary tool section of the bag. A couple of knives including a Swiss Army Knife, a leatherman tool, a small pair of scissors, a sharpie and pencil, a titanium spoon, a couple of spools of rope, a fire-starter and the black bag is actually hand-held chain saw. And finally a hatchet. The hatchet and hand-held saw are really extras, very useful but far more useful for a longer period of time. I’ve also got some matches and a lighter and caribiners in the bag. One note on why many things are in sealable plastic bags. One thing you learn when living out of the mainstream is that it’s really nice to have plastic bags to store foods and other things in. So they serve as a way to protect materials and for future storage.

Some safety items. A couple of N95 masks, a bug net, which if you’ve ever hiked in an area with severe gnats, black flies, midges or mosquitoes are, you’ll know a head net can keep you sane and takes up minimal space. The binoculars are a small extra but it’s nice to have the ability to see a ways ahead of you if you’re having to search for shelter, water, food, etc.. as well as for safety reasons. Finally, there are two boxes of shotgun shells. In an emergency as I grab my go bag I’ll also be grabbing my shotgun with the slug barrel installed. With the five rounds in the weapon it mans twenty-five rounds to serve as self-defense and useful for hunting if needed.

Finally a small backpack. You can see it in the first picture hanging from the pack in a small ball. The pack folds in on itself into a tiny pouch. The bag really serves two purposes, one, as an additional bag to store or carry things in. Second, if needed you could hide your main bag and use the small bag to go out foraging or to get materials from relief workers.

No one can ever tell you what the perfect contents of a go bag would be for you. We all have particular needs and preferences in types of materials. The only certainties are water purification, food and something to assist in shelter and staying warm including fire starting. Beyond those things you need to decide for yourself how many of them you need to include. Every item is a choice between usefulness, comfort and how much weight you want to carry. One thing not pictured are my medications but I have a small bag where I keep them so I could quickly grab them, however it’s wise to keep a five day supply inside your bag.

I hope this helps you in thinking about your own safety and preparedness and as always, have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness is Poetry: Dominique Lowell

Happiness is Poetry: Dominique Lowell

poetry, poems, writing

Dominique Lowell

Poetry is thoughts that breathe, words that burn. ~ Thomas Gray

A warning right off of the bat, Dominique Lowell will not be for everyone.  If you like flowery, lovely poetry stop now.  If you like your poetry, in your face, rude, full of explicit language and vulgar language, read on. Which of course is what I like it’s why I really dig poets like Sapphire and Warsan Shire.  It’s hard to find any of Dominique Lowell’s work online, I’ve read a few of her pieces in compilations.  I found her in the American Bible of Outlaw Poetry, my favorite poetry compilation.  So I’ve gathered up two pieces for you tonight.  Enjoy! ~ Rev Kane

I’ve just about had it with all of you a Youtube performance of spoken word poetry

poem, poet, poetry

Women are Hungry

women are hungry
they be hoes
they be sittin on your stoop waitin to drink your beer
eat your food
suck your dick
women are hungry

they need your favorite shirt your leather jacket
a house and a car
they just neeeeeed
they wanna tell you things, pretty little things about
the light in your eyes and the feel of your thighs
they wanna shave your balls
have you tell them about every clit you ever licked every ass
you ever eyed so they can
slice them all to ribbons
they’re insatiable
it’s biological

they just want and want and stretch their yearning arms at you
their craving lusting insatiable envelopes gawking open mouthed
must have must have must have it
you
now

whore mother goddess priestess convict jailer
needy neeedy needy needy
need your sperm need your job need space need more impossible paint
for another impossible face
crimson lips and concrete sharpened nails
blackened purple eyes
the beaten look, that’s it
already been hit

feed me
feed me beer and cigarettes and dead idols who make me feel like
I might have a reason to die too
give me War and Coca-Cola and the promise of another American
chance
give me another good song to dance to
tell me I’m not fat
tell me my tits are jewels, my nipples gumpdrops
tell me we can pay the rent tomorrow
tell me we are just like John and Yoko only I get to die first
O.K.? I get to be the one they light the candles for in Central
Park, O.K.?

Fuck Women.
They are such sluttish catfight evile bitches
every one of them
Beware. Beware.
They know what they are doing.
Does that scare you, are you scared

women are hungry
hungry for balance
I been called a whore so many times I almost became one
and it’s not you personally I want anything out of
It’s the world
the World owes me BigTime
The World leaves me hungry

— Dominique Lowell, “Women Are Hungry” (as appears in New American Underground Poetry: Vol. 1: The Babarians of San Francisco – Poets from Hell

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Happiness is Poetry: Rumi

Happiness is Poetry: Rumi

happiness poetry rumi

Tonight a selection from one of the most popular and most quoted poets, Rumi.

A Moment of Happiness

A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden’s beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

**********************************************

Be Lost in the Call

Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
why did you create these two worlds?

Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.

Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn’t wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.

My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?

We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn’t want a crown or robe from God’s grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
a covering for ten who were naked.

Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ass?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.

Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call.

********************************

Because I Cannot Sleep

Because I cannot sleep
I make music at night.
I am troubled by the one
whose face has the color of spring flowers.
I have neither sleep nor patience,
neither a good reputation nor disgrace.
A thousand robes of wisdom are gone.
All my good manners have moved a thousand miles away.
The heart and the mind are left angry with each other.
The stars and the moon are envious of each other.
Because of this alienation the physical universe
is getting tighter and tighter.
The moon says, ‘How long will I remain
suspended without a sun?’
Without Love’s jewel inside of me,
let the bazaar of my existence be destroyed stone by stone.
O Love, You who have been called by a thousand names,
You who know how to pour the wine
into the chalice of the body,
You who give culture to a thousand cultures,
You who are faceless but have a thousand faces,
O Love, You who shape the faces
of Turks, Europeans, and Zanzibaris,
give me a glass from Your bottle,
or a handful of being from Your Branch.
Remove the cork once more.
Then we’ll see a thousand chiefs prostrate themselves,
and a circle of ecstatic troubadours will play.
Then the addict will be freed of craving.
and will be resurrected,
and stand in awe till Judgement Day

 

 

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Happiness is Catching Leaves

Happiness is Catching Leaves

leavesIt’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise men are able to understand them ~ Paulo Coelho

It’s finally Fall, my favorite season of the year, the weather turns sunny but cooler, there is that smell on the air, fallen leaves, wood smoke, Halloween and Thanksgiving on the horizon.  It’s a great time of the year to be outside in nature and I’ve always spent more time in the forest this time of year than any other.  Driving today in the country I passed lots of signs for apple picking and pumpkin patches, the roadside stands in addition to selling fruits are now well stocked with pies as well.

Of all of the Fall memories that I have the most cherished one of them all is being on the playground at lunchtime as a little kid.  Our school had a really large tree right in the middle of the playground, it always saddens me to go by there and see that the tree is now long gone.  But in the Fall, when the weather would start to turn cold and windy, a lot of the other kids would stay inside during lunch.  For me though, it was the best time, you see on those cold Winnie the Pooh type blustery days I would go outside to catch leaves.

winnie the pooh happiness

There was nothing more fun that running round and round in dizzying circles trying to catch those spinning flashes of gold.  The joy of catching one of those simple leaves was immeasurable, a feat not easily done.  I would spend all of my lunchtimes for weeks catching those leaves until that sad morning when walking into school I would look up and see only bare branches.  But that is the essential nature of the Fall, beautiful sunny wonderful days that fade into the cold grey fingers of winter.  So while those sunny days are here, go outside and catch some falling leaves and have a happy day my friends              ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

Writing Away the Darkness

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Happiness Resources: Mindfulness

Happiness Resources: Mindfulness

happiness mindfulnessThe best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

Tonight a look at an idea that is gaining a lot of attention these days, mindfulness.  Mindfulness and specifically mindfulness meditation has some excellent benefits in life.  A great book on the subject is Thich Nhat Hanh’s, Miracle of Mindfulness a book I very much enjoyed.

First from the Greater Good, The Basics of Mindfulness

A piece on everyday mindfulness, exercises to relieve stress

Want a Happier Brain, Try Mindfulness

Finally a nice little four-minute video with Thich Nhat Hanh answering the question, What is Mindfulness

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Living Your Choices

Living Your Choices

ireland, selfie, happiness, travel

Rev Kane in Ireland

Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences. ~ Rev Kane

I’m posting an older picture of me tonight, I personally think it’s one of the two best pictures ever taken of me.  It’s also a reminder of travel, for regular readers, you know I’m a nomad.  The pandemic has led to the cancellation of three large trips and now four smaller trips which included cancelling two sets of time off from work.  So I’ve been working far too much and not wandering at all, which is not good for a nomad.  Work has also been a bear and I’m currently mentally drained.  I actually tried to unlock my front door with my car key FOB the other day.

Part of what has weighed me down right now is that I’ve recently had a retirement analysis done and I’ll need to work a year longer than I had anticipated.  Now, I deserve no sympathy on that, it still means I’ll be able to retire at 61 and have a nice pension in retirement.  Another thing on my mind is a position has opened up which is the type of position I was targeting when I took this job, but like then, whether or not to apply is likely coming down to a financial decision.  I’m fortunate to be in a job and a district that pays very well, so the choice is money versus a more attractive position.  Over my life that has been an easy decision, I’ve chosen the more attractive position.  However, closing in on retirement and given the way our pensions are calculated, finances may win out this time.  I’ve got about a week or so to decide.

The fact is I’m ok with my little dilemma  You see wherever you are, where I am now, is a result of all of the previous choices we’ve ever made.  If I chose the money over the position this time it’s ok.  You see I’m in this position because I took a lot of student loans in college, because I opted for better work/life balance over my career by taking gap years and by choosing to work in the retirement system that I’m in.  I think we are disingenuous when we say, if we could go back in time we wouldn’t change a thing, there are always things I believe all of us would have done differently.  However for me, there aren’t a lot, and given where I started in life, I’m pretty happy about where I’ve landed.

And this is the point for my post tonight, we’ve all made choices that have led us to where we are in our lives.  If we are satisfied with where we are, fantastic, if not, well then you need to make changes.  Our happiness very much depends on our ability to accept ourselves.  Acceptance is a necessary starting point to building a life around ourselves that we can be truly happy with and proud of.  There is also an aspect to acceptance that is important to think about, which is that you can’t expect things to be perfect.  At times, there are things that haven’t worked out the way we had hoped,  acceptance is the best option at these times particularly if you are dealing with things out of your control.

So friends tonight, join me in taking a second to sit back, reflect, be proud of what you’ve accomplished, accept what you can’t change and start planning to change the things you should.  Do this, and I promise you’ll have happier days. ~ Rev Kane

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Happy Spring Blooms

Happy Spring Blooms

You can cut all of the flowers but you can’t keep spring from coming. ~ Pablo Neruda

The last week has brought some really spectacular spring weather to the Bay Area of California where I live. First, very warm sunny days and cool nights that then have shifted into typical spring sunny days. Following after some rain this has meant an explosion of flowers. So today while on my walk I did a lot of shooting of pretty flowers. This is all particularly apt this year, after a year of feeling like we’ve been living through some sort of forced winter, we’re starting to emerge carefully, hoping that things will continue to improve, that spring has truly arrived. So nothing complex, deep or profound tonight, just grateful for the good things in my life. The ability to Zoom with my littlest nieces and nephews high off of their Easter Egg hunt, for nice weather, good health, a hearty meal and a little bit of optimism in terms of our COVID lives.

Have a happy day my friend and enjoy the pretty pictures (click on them to get a a larger image), you can see many, many more on my Instagram account @reverendmichaelkane ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness Moments: Woodstock 94

Happiness Moments: Woodstock 94

I’m going down to Yasgur’s Farm, Gonna join in a rock ‘n’ roll band,
Got to get back to the land, Set my soul free ~ CSNY/Joni Mitchell

So a new little writing experiment for the blog. I’ve been wanting to find a way to do some free writing as practice. And I’ve been wanting to capture the moments in my life that have brought me true happiness. I need that little pick me up right now with everything going on in the world and no real chance to travel. So, some writing about happy moments in my life, hope they bring you a little happiness too.

I had just finished my run the other night and got back in the car, plugged in my mp3 player and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young was up and the song was Woodstock, one of my absolute favorite CSNY songs.  A song originally written by another artist I love, the magnificent Joni Mitchell.

I grew up near Woodstock and have a clear memory of when it was happening in 1969.  As a five year-old I knew my aunt was there, but what really caught my attention was the news coverage about the New York State Thruway.  You see, as a munchkin, the Thruway, which we took to NYC and to New Jersey to visit relatives, was my whole definition of a big highway.  And here was a newscaster showing aerial footage of cars parked on the highway as he informed the world that the New York State Thruway was closed.  This was an utterly inconceivable idea to my young brain.  It also may be the reason I’ve always been into Arlo Guthrie’s music, you see he has a very famous quote, in his twangy voice from the stage at Woodstock, “Can you dig it, the New York State Thruway is closed man.”

So, having been to the site many times during my life, when they announced the anniversary concert in 1994 I had to go.  My intrepid friend Rich opted to join me on the adventure.  I forget the cost, but in the spirit of the original event, I refused to buy a ticket and we decided to make the trip.  We got a ride down near event, the State Police had shut the roads near the event to all but ticket holders and residents.  So we slipped off the road and hiked down the train tracks to get past the blockade.  After getting back up to the highway, we hitched a ride with a couple of throwback hippies in their van, they were also heading to festival.  We ate sandwiches they gave us and had a couple of beers with them.

We rolled up to the venue around sunset and took in the situation.  Security was being really diligent about checking tickets, which were in fact these long white wrist bands.  So we came up with a plan.  In my little first aid kit I had scissors and white medical tape which was pretty close in color to the wrist bands.  So we started volunteering to snip off the inconvenient extended pieces of peoples’ wristbands.  Then we constructed fairly convincing fake wrist bands for ourselves.  We eventually made enough for the four of us that were hanging out together as it was starting to get dark.  We figured going to the gate in a crowd and in the dark was our best shot of getting in.

The security set up for the venue was a double lined chain link fence that separated the public from the ticketed area where the festival was happening.  There was even a little stream that ran between the two fences.  As we were getting ready to put our plan into motion I went over by a secluded part of the fence to take a leak and when I got over there I noticed that someone had actually cut a whole in the fence.  It was fully dark at this point, so I popped back over and let everyone know we had a way in.  We quickly headed over, slipped through the first fence, splashed through the stream, went up a little hill and scaled the interior fence.  Boom, we were in.

We spent the first night walking around, listening to bands at the different stages and generally just reveling and being amazed by the size of the crowd.  Since it was a camping event and we didn’t have a tent, (we had to travel light), we just had bedrolls.  We decided to get something to eat and find a place to crash for the night.  Eventually we found some green space between a few tents and dropped our bedrolls.  It had been an exciting day and we were beat.  Even with the noise and chaos, it was calm enough where we were and we dropped off to sleep.

Wow, look how young I was.

When we had crashed for the night we hadn’t seen anyone in the tents next to us and as you can see from the picture above we were packed in pretty tight.  As the sun and the noise came up people started to emerge from their tents.  Rich and I were wedged between the entrances to two tents.  The first tent was a couple from Japan, they spoke very little English but were friendly and kind and fed us Kit Kat bars for breakfast.  From the other tent a guy emerged and shared in the Kit Kats and started to chat with us.  He was at the show with his girlfriend selling t-shirts.  His claim to fame was that he was in fact, Max Yasgur’s grandson.  Max Yasgur’s farm was the site of the original Woodstock festival in 1969.  He was a great guy and both he and his girlfriend were super friendly and gave us a couple of bottles of water.

The weather forecast was for rain and Rich and I planned to at some point during day 2 of the festival to take off if it looked like weather was coming in.  The lack of a tent made the idea of sleeping in the rain not real appealing.  So we started to wander the grounds and it was a great day, constant music, constant madness, crazy people everywhere.  It was the days of MTV and they were everywhere, we even were present for one of their VJs, Kennedy, doing a live remote for the network.  But without a doubt my highlight at the festival was when I went looking for a porter potty.  On the way back there was a scraggly looking dude sitting on the ground playing guitar.  He was really amazingly talented so I stopped to listen when I noticed that he’d scrawled a note on a paper plate propped up next to him, “Hi I’m Joe Walsh.”  And it was, here was the front man of the James Gang, a guitarist for one of my favorite bands, the Eagles.  It was amazing, he was just hanging out in this little corner of the festival playing guitar, just wanting to be part of it all like I did.

Kennedy, MTV VJ at Woodstock 94

It had a been a great day, and as often happens to me at huge events, I ran into someone I knew.  My friend Lori who I had worked with at a supermarket and her husband I had known were at the event.  And sure enough, I suddenly heard my name and Lori threw her arms around me.  During the day, security, like at the original festival, had given up on gate checking tickets.  So of course ingenious folks had started heading into town and buying wagons full of booze and bringing it back in.  Prior to that point there had obviously been drugs, but not much booze in the venue.  Things had also been pretty peaceful, but drunken festival goers would obviously start to change that vibe.  In addition, the skies were growing dark.  So we made the call to head for my mom’s house a little over twenty miles away.

We started hiking out of town and eventually caught a ride north in the back of a pickup truck.  The driver was willing to drop us about 5 miles from my mom’s place.  Just as he dropped us off the skies opened up and it started to pour.  We walked a couple of miles in the rain and then were able to get a ride back to my mom’s place where our cars were parked.

The scenes of the mud pit that the festival turned into are probably the most famous images of the Woodstock 94 festival, Green Day famously got into a mud fight with the crowd during their performance.  To be honest I’m happy to have missed that part, because things got a bit out of control during the mud and rain and buckets of booze that poured into the festival.  But my memories of this little festival are precious, this was one of my earlier adventures and it just fueled my desire to always find ways to bring a little adventure and extra happiness into my life. ~ Rev Kane

 

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Simple Gratitude and Wisdom

Simple Gratitude and Wisdom

be happy quote

It’s Superbowl Sunday and as I post this most people are watching the game.  I’ve heard this day referred to as an unofficial American holiday.  I’m honestly not all that interested in the outcome tonight, there are no parties to attend, so today turned into a lovely mellow Sunday.  For tonight’s post just a little simple gratitude and wisdom.

The last year has been difficult on all of us and in a discussion this week someone asked, in the middle of all of this madness what are you grateful for?  It was an easy answer for me, it’s technology.  Particularly the level of video conferencing technology that we have currently available to us.  Regular readers know that I’m a nomad, as such, travel is a hugely important part of my life.  I’m currently in the longest period of time in my adult life that I’ve gone without an adventure, a long-distance hike or an international trip.  So this also means I haven’t had a chance to be face to face with my nieces and nephews.  Especially the littlest ones, ages one, four, six and seven it’s hard, they changes so much, so fast when they are young.  If it wasn’t for video conferencing I’d be missing it all.  The opportunity to get to Zoom with them even for a half an hour is pure joy.  Watching my littlest niece change even call to call has been wonderful.

Finally tonight, a little simple wisdom from the Smoochy Monster.  My cousin who has a brain injury is someone who is incredibly wonderful about writing and calling her family.  She kindly sends out cards to all of us.  I had picked up a card from the post office yesterday but didn’t open it until today.  In the card, along with her standard script of I love you and I miss you, was this extra little line.  Her timing was excellent as this has been a really difficult week.

She wrote, “Take a break, step outside into the sunshine, close your eyes and hold your arms out to the side.  Imagine you’re standing their with all of the people who love you all around you and smile.”

Take her advice and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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A Real Vacation – Part 3 (up the coast)

A Real Vacation – Part 3 (up the coast)

Recently I had my first vacation in a year, as I discussed in part1 (Anza Borrego) and part 2 (The Madonna Inn), a real vacation is the type where we actually can get out of our heads and our lives and truly relax. My recent real vacation started in the Mojave Desert and then a night at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo and finally a day driving up the Pacific Coast starting in Morro Bay.

My plan for the day was simple, to drive down to the harbor in Morro Bay and take a walk along the ocean. Then drive slowly up the coast and stop when I found anything interesting to photograph. The fact is I ended up spending a couple of hours in Morro Bay. Along the harbor there were a bunch of sea lions on the docs, hummingbird and bees around some pretty flowers and most excitingly a nursery area for sea otters. So I spent a bunch of time shooting at the harbor and then made a nice drive up the coast. A mellow end to a really lovely vacation, something much needed in this stressful times. It was also a little bit of a celebration as I got my second Pfizer shot the day before I left for the trip.

It is my sincere hope that you and your family are vaccinated soon, and that you to can get the opportunity to safely get out of your comfort zone and get a real vacation. ~ Rev Kane

Finally, enjoy some photos from the day.

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