Wow! A new post! i have REALLY been underwater for the last few years, and my site needs serious work. I apologize. Unfortunately, I do not see any real end to the turmoil… but… I will take comfort in what little victories I attain. Read on…
This is two examples of Honda part number: 91354-463-003. Last night I was moaning on Facebook that I could not find this part. The one on the left is 34 years old, I removed it from Scruffy last night. It is crimped, compressed and worn out. Not usable! The one of the right appears to be new.
This is also a Venn diagram that quite accurately represents my luck. Not that I truly believe in the concept of luck, or being ‘happy,’ or any other common misconceptions people have about reality… but this does very accurately describe certain reoccurring themes within my life.
Notice there is no overlap. I seem to have a life that exists between two very opposite extremes. I am either extremely unfortunate… or I am very, very fortunate. There is no overlap what so ever. It is all one way or the other.
Yesterday, I could not find this part. This morning while I was scrambling around to get out of the house, I randomly picked the right o-ring off the dusty floor of the Culley Cave as I took out the recycle. No bag… no label… just a loose o-ring lying on the floor. I wiped it off, looked at it. It appeared new… unused. I paused and wondered, “Could this be part number 91354-463-003?”
All day this part has plagued me. I just found out this morning this coming weekend is three days off. This sent me spinning off into the hope I could get the rear wheel mounted. But alas… I do not have a critical part to re-mount the rear differential. I searched. I found it. I ordered part 91354-463-003 for $5.00… delivered next Thursday. But the most frustrating thing was I was going to be frozen, with a three day weekend, entirely prevented from working on this bike because I did not have part number: 91354-463-003.
Then I arrived home and heated the oven to bake cookies for my random act of kindness tomorrow. (I am late, I have been sick!) As the first batch cooked I compared the two o-rings. “They looked… very similar.”
I reached for my micrometers. I measured. Cross section: 2.4 mm. Interior diameter” 46.5. I measured again… and again. THIS is part number 91354-463-003.
Many might attribute this seemingly random phenomenal occurrence as ‘luck.’ It would seem so. But for me… it is something entirely different. This… is the perfect representation of the weird dichotomy that rules my entire life, this Venn diagram represented by these two identical o-rings, separated by 34 years of time and space, one plucked randomly from the dirt, has happened too often for me to ignore.
There is something more at work here. I have often stood before two doors before.
I have the go ahead… the head nod… to move cautiously forward with Scruffy’s rear end this weekend.
Like a fleece in the morning dew, Part 91354-463-003… thou art divine.
“it is well, it is well with my soul!”
It is my experience that the very best reason to work at Seguin High School is the people, friends all. In many cases that extends into the ranks of the students both past and present. Let us insure that there is always enough compassionate faculty at SHS that our common bond of friendship covers all.
This weekend marks a hinge point in my restoration of my 1982 Honda GL1100 Interstate. Tonight it was rendered into a naked frame. I coaxed Carrie out to help me lift it off of the lift and onto a roll about outdoor table. Weather permitting I intend to go at it with a nylon brush and hand triggered doses of Simple Green.
Meanwhile I cleared the lift, swept up the debris, wiped it clean and laid out the front forks, the rear end and the swing arm sub assembly. Hopefully, I can get Tyler to come by and help me get the engine up onto the lift. From there I should be free to roll the motor around while cleaning it. Having a go at all the nooks and crannies, with things eventually ending up with the engine upright on blocks with me bolting the frame back onto it.
At this point, that’s the plan…
By today’s standards, I am not very bright!
I was not raised in a media saturated world which deifies sarcasm. I did not grow up where the gold standard of intelligence is measured by how quick one can deliver a smart-assed response or how quickly I can kill zombies online. In the world I live in, I have learned at least one great Truth. Life events which happen to me quickly or I feel strongly about are almost ALWAYS bad. As a result, I have learned not to form opinions quickly… or based entirely on how I feel.
I have to take things away and dwell on them for awhile… ruminate on their meanings… before I can determine their value. Much to my own self protection, in my youth this same characteristic of “slow thoughtfulness” made me VERY unsuccessful with women in most social settings. As a result I have been spared from literally boat loads of drama and heartbreak on that front.
Here awhile back a good friend of mine, Terri Hamiter, posted this meme on FaceBook:
For me, this is hitting pretty close to the mark. It was one of those rare things on FaceBook that tickled my mind… made me take pause for a moment. (Yes, I said that, I took… pause!) This means like a squirrel, I carried this item away and hid it. Then in due course, I returned to it… thought about it… and pondered it’s meanings and how to streamline these notions into what I have already found to be true.
Based upon my experience, I would postulate some subtle changes and a overt addition here:
- If you disagree with someone’s belief structure, you must fear or hate them.
- Loving someone means you automatically condone everything they say or do.
- If you hold to your own core values, you are somehow repressing those around you.
In my case, (as slow witted as I usually am,) all three of these statements are overtly false.
Thank you Terri…
Based on personal observation, it is my firm conviction some souls born among the human species presently living on this planet, being held entirely within a limited corporeal plane, are simply too beautiful to exist here for long. I do not pretend to know what these pivotal attributes are. I just know that some people possess them… and that I do not.
It could well be a gift. Which in and of itself comes from the very hand of the Almighty. Or perhaps some elemental attribute which is created in the heavy center of the stars of God’s cosmos, then forged, formed and polished into a thing of such strength, such power and such beauty that God simply cannot bear to be separated from His own lovely creation for one… nanosecond… longer.
He takes them. They are literally yoinked through the thin membrane of life into His presence.
I also postulate, there might be an entirely different subset of attributes which are specific to each individual. I find this notion highly likely. In other words; God’s love is not one-size-fits-all, it is specifically tuned to each and every one of us. It appears to me some folks who walk among us on this earth, achieve such heighten states of beauty and grace that God picks them for Himself.
For us lesser beings, who have only God’s grace to rely upon… those of us who might have taken momentary comfort and courage by simply basking the radiant light of such a favored person, the loss is devastatingly profound. For me, Rich Mullins was such a person.
Wayne Mullins was born into a devoutly Quaker family on October the 21st, 1955 in Richmond Indiana. I am not talking about the new variety of quakers whom in recent years seemed to have been invaded by crystal gazing, power point seeking, soothsayers. I am talking about REAL Quakers… bonafide members of the Society of Friends. One would guess that Richard’s concepts of Godly peace and social justice were formed during this early time. It was apparent from very early life that “Wayne” as his family called him had a talent for music. By the time he was a teenager he was playing piano for a choir group that toured quite successfully.
In 1988, Richard moved to Wichita, KS where he eventually enrolled in Friends University and was embraced as a member by the West Evangelical Free Church. During this period, Mullins, along with his room mate and best friend, produced a series of slow blooming but very successful contemporary Christian music albums. Over the course of the next several years he wrote and produced some of the finest Christian music of modern times. Many of these songs have become contemporary classics and were almost immediately embraced and incorporated into worship proceedings by churches world wide. Awesome God and Step By Step are just two outstanding examples among these. At his own request, all profits from his music were then, and still continue to be, administered by his church and most of it is divided up and donated to various charities. Richard was only paid an average annual salary.
After graduation from the premiere Quaker institution in North America, Richard moved to the Navajo Indian Reservation in the four corners region where he lived among the tribe and taught music to school children. Richard was at heart, an educator. There he continued to compose and tour. In his trademark quiet and unassuming way, he continued to influence the lives of Christians worldwide. One of those fortunate was me.
For me, listening to Richard’s music was like listening to my own spirit. It was as if he had somehow stolen all of my fears, failures and triumphs and written songs about them… just for me. It was as if he had read my mind and accurately articulated the most accurate definition of the Almighty I could have possibly hoped for. Along with A.W. Tozer’s book Knowledge of the Holy, Richard’s music confirmed my suspicions of the nature of the Almighty and helped to coalesce my flawed understanding of the unseen cosmos. I can honestly say, I love Richard Mullins. I consider it one of the greatest highlights of my entire life to have seen him in concert, even if only once. He played in a small church in the near urban slums of Atlanta with Carolyn Arends and Ashley Cleveland. (Another of my favorites!) It was without question the best concert I ever attended. Those of you who know me… and understand the depth and breath of my love for all music will understand the intense profundity of this statement.
Unfortunately for those of us lesser beings who loved Richard, on September 19, 1997, (sixteen years ago today) Mullins and a friend were traveling I-39 north of Bloomington, Illinois, to a benefit concert at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas. His Jeep rolled over. They were not wearing seat belts and were both ejected from the vehicle. When a passing semi-trailer truck swerved to miss the overturned Jeep, Mullins, who was too injured to move, was hit and died instantly at the scene. (wikipedia.org)
At the time Richard had been working on a new as yet unnamed project. Nine days before his death, he walked into an abandoned church, turned on a cassette recorder and on the old out of tune piano there, pounded out nine new love songs to his God and left his final gift to this world. A world that is a more beautiful place… at least for me… for Richard Wayne Mullins having lived.
Rest in peace my brother… until I sing with you again.
“Travis is the quintessential representation of balance between positive and negative.”
July 26, 2013
I have a Black and Decker automotive battery charger I use occasionally to top off batteries which are weak, failing or have been drained by my own negligence. It has a built in program module that senses when the battery is fully charged and shifts to a trickle charge mode to ease in the last few milli-amps of juice for a full, deep, lasting charge. If you happen to be out in the Culley Cave at the moment this happens, one can always tell. There is a curt electronic chirp, followed immediately by a down shifting of the tone emitted by the cooling fan of the charger. A little LED indicator light shifts from yellow to green. At that point, the battery is fully charged, everything beyond that is just maintenance.
Yesterday, after ten days of aimless motorcycle riding in west Texas, eastern New Mexico and southern Colorado, my charger chirped and my LED indicator shifted to green. I’m done! Fully charged! (Yay!) I always know when this happens because I’ll be tooling along and suddenly… I realize what I am thinking about has changed.
I am no longer thinking about the dense center of stars, or at what particular point the mass of a gas giant becomes sufficient to detonate a thermonuclear reaction. I stop thinking about the fact that the road cut I just ran through had a deep layer of conglomerate debris overlaid by a think heavy igneous lava flow, suggesting a sudden volcanic eruption somewhere in the distant past. I stop thinking about how aspen trees, which are of the poplar family, cannot exist at lower altitudes. I stop thinking that aspens are not generally sought after for their wood, except to make match sticks… because it splits easily and straight along the grain. I abandon my ruminations about their somewhat round leaves have a stem that grows at an odd angle for a tree, which captures even the slightest breeze, keeping their leaves in constantly appealing motion. Oddly… this continual motion releases a hormone that encourages rapid growth.
All this, is just so profoundly cool that my concept of the Almighty tends to get mushed together into these thoughts and I find myself dwelling upon the expansiveness of God… and I am humbled by the revealed Truth that He should even bother to think of me…. for even one brief nanosecond of the endless, timeless eternity He fills. Some thing… from somewhere beyond me comes and takes hold of me… inside my soul. For lack of a better term… I become possessed. Owned! Completely and comfortably out of control. There is a great sense of personal freedom in this state of being.
I… do not have to worry because, I… am NOT in control. Zippity doo dah! Turn up the dang MP3 player and twist that throttle… muh, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, haaaaaaaaa… haaaaaa… hah!
Achieving this state takes days and days of riding. Then… just when I have reached that glorious point, where God is becoming revealed to me… like the sudden flash of lightening in a thunderstorm… happening so fast you can barely perceive it… or the very nature of the living light glittering through a shimmering aspen tree… or the seemingly random arrangement, impact and ring shaped ripples produced by rain on the surface of a puddle… and…
BEEP! The tone of the cooling fan downshifts and the LED shifts from yellow to green. I’m done! I am fully charged!
That’s the point where I usually receive what I have come to recognizes as marching orders, objectives in pursuit of a standing goal. Ya see Timmy… in most cases for a battery to accept and hold a full usable change it has to be exercised regularly. Nothing will kill a battery faster than allowing it to sit idle, unused… un-drained. Draining and re-charging a battery regularly encourages a deeper, more complete charge and increases usability over it’s lifetime.
This is about the point where I start thinking; I really need to get the rest of those AutoCAD assignments scanned in and uploaded for my ninth graders. Or maybe… I think I want to shift recognition of architectural styles and design components to the second year students. Or… I need to develop more and better means to teach file management strategies which integrates more seamlessly into my own curriculum. Or… I need to upgrade the web technologies course to be current with HTML 5. What would that look like?
Hey! I did not make the rules! I did not create the cosmos. This is not my goal! I am not this creative. Left to my own nature, I am a total goof-off! I am not doing this! Something else is doing this and appears to be using me as a tool, a vessel… a delivery device. The relationship is hard to describe; it’s really quite humbling but overwhelmingly positive… rejuvenating… satisfying… wholesome… energizing.
I have said this before and I will attest yet again; if you believe I am addicted to motorcycles you are not seeing the whole picture… the entire scope of my addiction. You are confusing the delivery device with the effect to which I have become dependent. Much in the same way that in my younger days I used backpacking as a tool to achieve this state… motorcycling has now become my preferred delivery mechanism. Adventure motorcycle touring delivers a more intense, more pure and pleasurable effect… far quicker. My motorcycle is just a means to an end. It seems that I have stopped huffing life… and moved on to direct intravenous delivery. The rush is intensely gratifying when it smashes into my soul.
Hi, my name is Travis and I am a hopeless addict and I do not care! I am completely unrepentant of my overt dependency!
I am fully charged… and I want MORE!