Sports: Baseball, The Final Four

After a long season, we are down to the final four teams in baseball. Three of the four were there last year, after the biggest playoff, in baseball history. The new team to the party is the Boston Red Sox, who upset the Tampa Bay Rays in 4 games, to play the losers of last year’s championship final, the Houston Astro’s. The National League final will be a rematch, between the L. A. Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves, with only difference being, the Braves will have the home field for 4 of a possible 7 games. We all know what happened in the division series, with the 5th game of the Dodger-Giant series being marred by a horrible check swing call. The first base umpire wasn’t the only one to have a bad night, as the home plate umpire made some very bad balls and strikes calls, that probably affected the outcome of game. Umpiring over the last 5 years, has deteriorated to the point of being barely competent. If the umpires ever go on strike again, the scabs will be an improvement. Last nights home plate umpire, should be the poster child for the electronic strike zone. Enough about the past, let’s get to the future.

There is no doubt that the most hated team in all of sports, at the moment, is the Houston Astro’s. The fact that the fans cheer, when a Houston player gets hit by a pitch, leaves no doubt. Even getting Dusty Baker his first World Series Championship, to put a big exclamation point, on a long and illustrious managerial career, won’t be enough to quell the venom that every fan base feels against the Astro’s. Of course on the other side, you have Alex Cora, the manager of the Red Sox, the supposed brains of the sign stealing method that the Astro’s used. No matter who wins this series, the National League representative will have the overall fan base behind them, even if it is the Dodgers. There is no doubt, that at the moment Houston is swinging the bat better than any of the other 3 teams. If they can continue to do so, then I see no stopping them from getting into the World Series. But hitting can disappear faster than a magicians assistant and if by some pitching magic, the Red Sox can hold the Astro’s to 4 runs or under per game then they may have a fighting chance.

In the National League Championship Series unless the bats of both teams wake up, then runs are going to be hard to come by. All of these games should be close, hard fought games. The Dodgers will be the favorites, but what is interesting about the Braves is, that this is their 4th consecutive year in the playoffs, and they have improved their performance in each of the 3 previous years. The only way they can improve their performance this year, is by going to the World Series. There is no doubt that this is a playoff hardened team. To have gotten this far as been amazing, since they lost Ron Acuna Jr. to injury, and Marcell Orzuna to legal problems, for most of the season. As stated before, they will have the home field for this series, but will that be enough. This time it will depend on the Dodger bats. Will they remain asleep, or will the Dodger offense start to wake up, and score a slew of runs. Only time will tell. I am looking forward to a great week of baseball. Now, if we can only find some competent umpires.

Golf Stories: The 2000’s

The 2000’s saw my golf game go into a basic decline, that made me start the blog, so I would keep on playing golf. It is not to say that good things did not happen, in the first 10 years of the new century. I acquired holes in one number 4 and 5, and did play some good golf periodically, but for the most part, things did not go all that well when it came to my golf game. I did go down to Florida for one winter, and taught at a golf school, and have tried to find the answer to this goofy game, since around 2010. While I think I have learned a lot about the game, and myself during this time, I have not come close to finding the key, to this game called golf. I thought I had it a couple of times, and it is all documented in the blog, but I have really never been able to play, up to what I consider, to be my true potential. But enough of the present, and lets look at some of the things that happened in the early 2000’s.

My fourth hole in one took place at the Club of Nevellewood, on November 2, 2003. It was by far the best of the five. It was on the 17th hole, a 180 yard par 3, with a green that was wider than it was long. The pin was on the right side of the green, which was the toughest pin placement, because you had to carry the trap, in order to shoot at the pin. I was having a good back nine, after a mediocre front of 40. I came to the 17th hole one under on the back nine. I decided in my typical fashion, what the hell, to shoot at the pin. I hit a 6 iron perfectly, and it hit about 3 feet in front, and to the left of the pin. Even though I had played the course a few times, I was not that familiar with that part of the green. There was an upslope on that side of the green. My balled rolled to the very top of the slope, and started the slow trickle back to the pin. We could see from the tee box that the ball was still moving back to the pin. In what seemed like an eternity, it just kept moving slowly down the hill, until it disappeared into the cup. It was a very pleasant surprise, and quickly got me to 3 under on the back. Even with all the excitement of the hole in one, I managed to par the last hole, and shoot a very nice 33 on the back. My fifth, and final hole in one, came in June of 2005 at Castle Shannon golf course near Steubenville, Ohio. It was another hole in one I did not see go into the hole. The hole was playing 200 yards downhill and I again hit a 6 iron. With the sun glare, I could not see the ball hit the green and thought it was short. This was further confirmed in my eyes, when my playing partner Pete hit a beautiful fade, that hit just short of the green, and bounced up about 15 feet short of the pin, which we saw all the way. Driving down to the hole, we could not see a ball short of the green, but when we got closer, there was a ball mark about 8 feet short of the hole. I took one look at Pete and said, “That SOB is in the hole”, and sure enough I was right. The back tees on the hole list the hole being 245 yards and when they put the notice in the paper, they listed hole 245, and it said I had hit a 6 iron. I got some calls on that one, wondering how I had hit a 6 iron 245 yards, and into the hole, no less. I gave out very little info on that one, because it was fun to let people think I had really done that. Other than the some other spectacular shots, one time I went 2, 3, on a par 3 and 5, and almost holed both shots, my golf was for the most part disappointing.

My winter of teaching was fun, and I went through a major swing change myself. I met a lot of interesting people down in Florida, but none more interesting than Babe Belagamba, who was the head of instruction at the school that I taught in Orlando. The Babe was the definition of a character. He was an inventor and had many of his inventions at the school. I still use some of his quotes to this day. He gave me many a lesson and I remember him telling me “Your body is not doing what you think its doing, trust me, you’ll see it on the video”. Of course, he was right. His swing principles, were to make sure your right elbow was digging into your side at address, have your weight pressed into the right side of the left heel, and take the club pretty quickly to the inside to help you turn on the take away. He was not a big believer in visualizing the shot, but more in controlling the body. He wanted you to feeling a stretch up the left side at the top of the swing and release it like a sling shot. I do not do a lot of what he taught me, back then but maybe I should. My favorite quote of his is ” Several years of school, can produce a good brain surgeon, but golf is a lifetime education in frustration. He was right, golf is not brain surgery. Unfortunately Babe passed away in 2006, just a little over a year, after I had met him, and I never got to hear enough of his golf wisdom.

The decade ended with me about ready to quit the game, for the second time, and I thought that this time, it would be for good. Then I happened to see in the local paper, a listing of golf courses, in the area. I started to count them up, and all of these were all public courses, that were at least 6000 yards long. In other words, no par 3 or executive courses. I noticed that there were around 100 golf courses, within 90 minutes of my house, and I thought, why not try to play them all, and start a blog about it. Rate the courses, including the hot dog at the turn, and see if I might be able to figure out this game, in the process. The blog has evolved in to it’s current form where I discuss various subjects involving the necessities of life. Yes, golf is a necessity of life. The non golfers, non meditators, non foodies, and non sports nuts, really don’t know what you are missing. It’s never to late to find out what life is really all about. See you on the links.

Meditation: Obligation, Society

Obligation is defined as an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment. Society is defined as the community of people living in a particular country or region and having shared customs, laws, and organizations. Does society have any obligations to its general members. There is always some kind of debate about this, which leads to the subject of the welfare state. In my view society should be obligated to make sure that everyone has shelter, food and clothing. No one should be hungry or cold or exposed to the elements. It seems like a simple obligation, and really does not seem all that noble. It should be something that is easy to accomplish. However, throughout the world people are hungry, homeless, and die from exposure to harsh conditions. Obviously society has failed miserably in meeting these 3 rather simple obligations. Despite these failings, society has taken upon itself another perceived obligation. The obligation that everyone should receive proper medical care. Of course society has also failed at this, but should it even be an obligation.

When you look up the basic human rights, food, clothing, shelter, and medical care are not even mentioned. At least not until 1948, when the United Nations got involved, and drafted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There were 30 articles affirming an individuals rights. It was in those articles, that food, clothing, shelter and medical care, became basic human rights. Should medical care be a human right. The fact that this human right, was first advocated by the United States, is rather ironic, since we are one of the few countries, that do not have a national health care system. Despite this, or maybe because of this, Americans pay the most for health care, with our current health insurance system. Even though the government is more involved with our health care, we are far from having a universal health plan. Health Insurance is nothing more than a form of socialized medicine, where the many, pay for the few. Since the United States is a free enterprise system, which is based on supply and demand, why isn’t the medical profession part of the economic system. If the medical profession was held to the rule of supply and demand, health care costs would probably plummet. Surgeries and hospitals stays would cost around ten thousand dollars, instead of 30 thousand dollars. People may start to take better care of themselves, if they knew that they would have to foot the bill for their own medical care, and not be subsidized by an archaic health insurance system. Medical care for children should be an obligation of society. When the child becomes an adult, then that is when the obligation stops. Once the medical profession has to charge what the market will bear, then medical care would become much more affordable. Those that do not plan for their medical care, simply would get palliative treatment, to alleviate pain. As long as medical care is going to be considered a God given right, then there is no incentive to make it more affordable, whether it is managed by the government or insurance companies. Once people are required to pay for their own medical care, then possibly society will be able to finally meet its responsibility of providing everyone with food, shelter, and clothing. Once that obligation is met, then maybe society will be able to provide medical care for everyone. I would not hold my breath.

Meditation: Different

The word different is defined as, not alike in character or quality; distinct in nature; dissimilar. When applied to people, it is defined as, unlike most others, unusual. People can be different in race, personality, size, and gender. When you look at the meaning of the word different, being unlike most others, you would think that would be a good thing. Standing out from the crowd, and being different should get you noticed, and help you get on to a better life. Companies are always talking about increasing diversity in their hiring practices. However, this is usually not the case, in the real world, where people that are considered different and a little unusual, are often times shunned and isolated from society and the workplace. What society is most comfortable with is “being with their own kind”. In larger cities groups of people seem to congregate in certain areas hence, you have neighborhoods, such as Chinatown, Little Italy, and basically black communities. Why is there such comfort in being with a like kind? Why is diversity never been fully embraced in the world today? In almost every aspect of life, groups seem to congregate to individuals that are like themselves.

Is there really such comfort in being with your own kind, or is there an underlying fear of anything or anyone that is different from you. Even in such things as meditation there seems to be a stigma attached. I know of no one who uses meditation on a regular basis, and if I bring it up in a group it is usually ridiculed, or looked at as something that is a waste of time. Difference could be looked at, as the same as change. People are always wanting things to stay the same, even though that is impossible. Trying to stay away, or avoid people that are considered different, is also impossible. It is like the fear of the unknown. Fear is the overriding factor when it comes to the way people avoid anyone who is different. The reverse is also true. Anyone who considers themselves different, whether it be by race, beliefs, or appearance, will avoid making contact with the “normal” group. There is a fear of being ridiculed, and maybe even being harmed by the so called regular group. There is a lack of respect and acceptance of individuals who do not seem to be in line with the “normal” values of the community. People of certain races and religion have been persecuted and killed for no other reason than they are of a certain race or religion. Many sectors believe in a separatist society. The Nation of Islam has always sought for segregation and has had a belief that the black man is superior to the white man. Hitler had the master race. Looked upon as being different has always been a curse, rather than a positive attribute.

Being different is a fact of life, that is more prominent than any of us realize. Men and woman are different. The cultures and attitudes of various races and religions are different. These differences have nothing to do with an individual’s ability to do a job, and their right to make a living and pursue goals that can make them happy and comfortable. We as a society need to be able to function in our own group if we so desire, but we should allow a sector of society, no matter what the perceived differences are, live the life that they desire and deserve, as any person should, with free will. The fears of what a group or person may or not do, because they are different, must be laid permanently to rest. We need to embrace and accept all kinds of people, to be able to make the world a more livable place. It would be nice for that word different, to have only a positive meaning, and it would allow people to be more themselves, and have no fear of being different.

Meditation: God

Usually when I start a meditation blog with a word, the first thing I do is get a definition of the word, but we need to look at the way the word God is used first. A question many people ask is, do you believe in God. I am not too sure how many believe in God, but there are lots of people, who like to use the word God. You can not get through a day, with at least hearing one of these phrases and some many times. Good God, God almighty, Oh my God, God damn it, and God awful, just to name a few. In the free dictionary God is define as   a being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship. Webster dictionary states that God is  the perfect and all-powerful spirit or being that is worshipped especially by Christians, Jews, and Muslims as the one who created and rules the universe. In religion God is given a lot of attributes and none of them bad. God has limitless knowledge and power. God is not bound by time and can not be divided. God is not material, affected or subject to change. God is totally benevolent and simple. There are times when you hear some people referred to as Gods. Quite a compliment for that particular person. For God to have all these great attributes, he then must exist. That is where the rub is. Many people do not think there is a God. If he does not exist, then who is everybody praying to. The biggest problem for God, is that he or she, is always tied to religions, and that is never a good thing. For me personally, I have always felt there is a higher power out there somewhere, but I am not going to give it a name or call it God.

One of the purposes of meditation is to discover your inner master. By discovering your inner master, you will open many avenues to achieve goals and find success. Some people will talk about God, as being their Lord and Master. Allowing another image to be your lord and master could be a way of denying responsibility for one’s actions. We have all heard of the saying the Devil made me do it, when someone does something that is considered wrong or vulgar. Rarely do you hear someone say that God made me do it, to a similar action. However, there have been many wars and attacks on mankind, in the name of God. As written before, God has always been held in a very high esteem. If you are doing something in the name of God, then it has to be something that is for the common good and to overcome evil, at least from your point of view. This one thing is certain, the word God has had a profound effect on mankind, causing man to do many historic things, some good, and some not so good. God is used as a coping device, when bad things happen to good people. It is called God’s will. When tragedy strikes, friends will say, this is the time that you need to really find strength from your faith in the almighty God. Is this something that really helps. Is there this mighty being, that is all knowing, and can explain all the bad things that happen in the world, and on a personal level. I highly doubt it. Can your own inner master explain all of these things. I do not think that is possible, either. What is then, this higher power, that I think is running the show.

I think, this is what simply, is called the unknown. There is so much of life and existence, that we do not understand, or know. There is the belief, that we are all some way connected, not only in the world, but in the entire universe. This is what the higher power knows, and it knows when all of this will be revealed. We, as a people, are not ready to be connected with whatever is out there. The day to day tragedies and events are things that are simply beyond our comprehension. We are just specs in a vast system of worlds and universes, that hopefully, will know how to exist with each other, in a very distance future. There are a number of people that think the world is going to end some day. Some think that day is coming sooner, rather than later. The human race has been thinking this way for thousands of years. The book of Revelations is dedicated to this idea, and goes about how it is going to happen. There are many movies about the world ending, and what it might be like. I feel that the world will never end, and that is what the higher power is all about. In 4 or 5 thousand years, maybe everything will be explain, and our existence will be revered, as one of the steps, that helped it all come about. Life can be hard, but you can always blame your parents for putting you into it. Stay on the inward journey, and life will be easier, even though it may not be more understandable. You will always be responsible for the way your life was, is and will be. God has nothing to do with it.

Meditation: Never

Never is a word, that you hear often, in everyday life. I am never coming back. I will never do that again. I will never eat there again. I will never make that mistake again. He will never succeed. Never means not at any time or not on any occasion. When you look up the definition of never, it is used in sentences like, I have never been to China. Never is used to describe something in the past. The sentences that I wrote using never, were all related to future events. When you use never about past events, then never is a constant, and is always true. If you have never been somewhere, whether it be a country, state, or place, that is not going to change, until you do go there. When you use never, regarding future events, it may not always be true. Sometimes, that can have negative effects on your well being, if it is something that you felt you would never do, and you wind up doing it again. The last sentence I used it in, was about what another persons chances of success were. That sentence stated, that this person had no chance at success. The best thing to say about never, when it is used to discuss future events, is to never use the word never. It does not help any particular situation, and will just magnify a bad situation. However, are there some things in life, that you should never do?

You should never judge your fellow man. This is the hardest never, to do in the real world. We inadvertently judge people everyday, even when we think we are not. Giving compliments to people is a way of being judgmental. But when judgments are negative or stereotypic, it can lead to impulses that can do bodily harm, and even lead to more general violence. Does this mean that we should never compliment people? No, but it should be done in a private way and not with a lot of flare. Negative comments should always be kept to one’s self. It is difficult to see what is going on in another person’s life. Until you walk in another person’s shoes, you have know way of knowing, how you would respond or act, in a similar situation. If we could all abide by this never, you would not see the anger on social media. We are different and have different viewpoints. No matter how much we disagree with those viewpoints, we need to have a certain amount of respect and appreciation for that individual. Making derogatory comments about people for their point of view, accomplishes nothing. Never judge your fellow man.

Never be in a hurry. Every time you rush things, there are mistakes made. This never is hard to do, especially when you are late for an appointment or a plane departure. The key to accomplishing this never is to plan ahead very well, and make sure you have lots of time to arrive or do what you have to do. Being in a hurry is what causes most accidents. Trying to get somewhere faster, leads to taking risks, that sometimes can be deadly. If you are in a situation where you are running behind, just accept the consequences, and hope that you will make the appointment or departure on time. If you don’t, things can be rescheduled, and there are other flights. Nothing is worth causing injury, or making mistakes, that could lead to other problems, just because you are in a hurry.

The final never, as far as I am concerned, is that you should never do anything, strictly for money. Money is a necessity of life. We see, everyday, people who have lots and lots of money. There are more millionaires and billionaires, today, than ever before. With everyone’s access to social media, and cable TV, we see what everyone is doing, and the lifestyles of the rich and famous are right there in front of us everyday. Money can be a wonderful thing, but it is obvious, that these same people, that seem to have more money than anyone would know what to do with, are also, many times, not very happy. You need to be happy in your everyday endeavors, and that includes what you do to make a living. When making a living is so much a part of your life, then you better love, not like, what you are doing. If you are not loving what you do, to obtain money, then bite the bullet, and find something else, that you love to do. Your relationship with money, is one of the most important things, that you will have in your life. It is probably a good subject for a future blog. For now, let’s just say you never want money to be your sole focus in life. If you allow that to happen, you will miss a lot what life has to offer, and you may never find the life’s work, that will make your life complete and fulfilled.

Meditation: Ego

Ego is Latin for I. That is it. It takes on a much broader meaning, much like karma did, when it is applied to everyday life. Egotistical is a very negative description of a person’s behavior. It is used to describe a person that is excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself; self-centered. The ego is what makes us try to justify our existence, and explain why we are here. Of course, we are here, just by a quirk of fate, because are parents decided to become intimate, at that exact moment. I have often wondered, why that is so hard to accept. Is it just the thought of our parents making love, that we try not to think about. However, those are the facts Jack. One definition of ego, states, that it is the mental organ of justification. Does this mental organ of justification, take on a whole new life, when there are many egos involved? I think, when there are many egos involved, that the justification syndrome goes out of control. I think we have just defined an organization.

An organization is an organized body of people with a particular purpose, especially a business, society, association, etc.. I will not get into specifics, but an organization is formed because a group, in some cases, can achieve more than an individual. Once the organization is formed, there are leaders, within the organization, that help achieve the goal. The other members of the organization will vote on proposed ways of achieving the goal, and will contribute their time and sometimes money, in achieving the goal. Sometimes the goal is to help members with the organization, or it can be to help the general populous, that are less fortunate or infirmed. Once the goal is achieved, that is where the problem can arise. Some organizations may develop some type of natural evolution and really need to maintain their group. In many cases, once an organization accomplishes its goal, it has to create a new problem, to keep its existence going. In some cases, the heads of these organizations, make a substantial salary. They have a big incentive to keep the organization viable, and to convince the membership that they are needed. There can be many officers in an organization, and when these egos are threatened with a loss of substantial income, they are going to find many ways to justify their existence. I call this, the multiple ego syndrome, trying to survive. This is very true, when the organization has been set up, to help the members of the organization. Once the goals are met, the organization needs to take a lesser role. Instead, the leaders of the organization will create problems, in order to justify their existence. This is when egos go out of control, and the membership of the organization will suffer, rather than getting any benefit.

The single ego is rarely a problem. A person may try to justify their existence, by trying to make themselves seem important, but in the long run, they really do very little damage to the general public. They may be obnoxious, and not very much fun to be around, but they are pretty much harmless. However, when egos unite, and their existence is threaten, public beware. The greater good is not being served, and we need to move far away from such thinking. Once an organization accomplishes its goals, it needs to step back, be happy for the achievement and either go into a lesser maintenance mode, or completely disband, and create a new organization that is really needed, to solve a totally unrelated problem. In order for an organization to continue to do some good, the organization needs to become selfless and suppress the ego urge. I am not too sure that multiple egos are capable of doing that.

Meditation: Karma

We have all heard of karma. The literal definition of karma is action, work, or deed. The world thinks of this word in much broader terms. To look at it from a Western point of view, karma would fall under the sayings of ” you reap, what you sow, or positive thoughts will create positive outcomes. The Eastern world wants to have good karma so they will have a happier rebirth. One has to have a belief in rebirth in order to make that work. Karma is associated more with eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism. You rarely hear the word karma by itself. Most of the time people refer to something or someone having good or bad karma. Some people have the idea, that if you do good deeds, then good things will happen to you. They also believe, that the reverse is true. Remember however, that karma is an act, and really does not impact the future. Is the idea of karma just another way of trying to keep individuals in line, much like the idea of heaven and hell in Christianity. Then, there is the belief that karma is tied to causality, not to be confused with casualty. Causality is defined as the relation between a cause and its effect or between regularly correlated events or phenomena. In other words, the type of action you take, will effect the next action that is taken. By the strict definition of karma this really is not true. So does karma exist?

Of course, karma exists by the simple definition of action. We take action everyday, and those actions will have consequences, that will either be good or bad, or possibly neutral, for lack of a better term. It is how we feel about those actions, that may be the true karma. That may be what this is all about. Can we feel good about every action we take, and when we don’t, why is that. Why do we do things that we do not feel good about? I don’t know the answer to that one, just yet. Is that what true enlightenment really means? Always doing things that you feel good about. Karma is in the internal world, and in my view, has nothing to do, about the outside world, or your future actions. Does karma or action stand in the way of true enlightenment. Should we just be about inaction as much as possible, and meditate 8 hours a day. It’s a thought, but I don’t think I will be doing that, in the near future. I find it interesting that such a simple word has such a wide and diverse meaning. The literal meaning, does include, work and deeds. There goes work, getting in the way of things, again. You should feel good about the work you are doing, and the deeds you do, on a daily basis. Karma, I believe is quite simple, and I am not planning on a rebirth any time soon. I think we need to take away the power of karma. No more internal judgements of our daily actions. Isn’t this what it is all about, no judgements. Then we should feel good all day long. I am feeling better already.

Food: Hawaiian Style

I spent July 7th, until July 16th, in Hawaii, and it was quite an experience. We stayed on the island of Oahu, four letters, three syllables. It is the third largest island, behind The Big Island( they were up all night thinking of that name), and Maui. We stayed at the Aulani Hotel, which is a Disney Resort. We had a wonderful time, and there was lots of eating and drinking, especially the drinking. A very popular drink in our group, was the Mango Mojito. The name just rolled off your lips with ease, even when your lips did not exactly work all that well, after the third one. The drink went down just as smoothly. The beer was excellent, with many Hawaiian brews to choose from. My favorites were the Longboard Lager, Bikini Blond Lager, and Pete’s Island Wheat. Needless to say, I did no driving, while on the island. Overall the food ranged from good to excellent. There was one extraordinary dining experience, but will save the best for last. There were some surprises, and disappointments, so lets get them over with. The surprise was, there were not that many seafood choices. I expected this to be a seafood feast, but this was not the case. Beef and pork took center, stage at most restaurants, that we went to. The most disappointing experience was the Lua, we attended, on our first night there. Some of that has to be attributed to Covid. Instead of a buffet, you received two prepared plates. One was a salad plate, with macaroni salad, and some greens, and vegetables . Then the entre plate, had some pulled pork, baked chicken, fried chicken thigh, with some sticky rice, and some broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. They did not have any sauces to go with the food. The only thing they had was tartar sauce. Do they put tartar sauce on chicken and pork in Hawaii? I did not go for that and did not care much for the sticky rice. Stinky rice is what I would call it Although the entertainment was very good, the food experience left a lot to be desired. They did make a great Mai Tai, although not quite as good as those Mango Mojitos. They were potent enough to make it difficult to walk back to the hotel, but we made it. Now, lets get to the good stuff.

Other than the Lua, the food overall was excellent. The food at the resort was very tasty, ranging from an almond croissant to a smoked salmon bagel, for breakfast. The coffee was excellent to start the morning. The favorite eating place at the resort was called Off The Hook. Their wings and chicken fingers were great bar food. One night the feature was barbecued spare ribs with mash potatoes and the ribs were tender fall off the bone delicious. Across from the resort was a restaurant called the Monkey Pod, which, by far had the freshest and the best seafood. Their pork tacos were to die for, with raw jalapenos on top. They also had jalapeno mashed potatoes, which is something I will be making myself. For desert they had these cream pies, strawberry, chocolate, and mango, which were some of the best pies I have ever tasted. The most outstanding dining experience though, came at the restaurant, Senia, in the heart of Chinatown, in downtown Honolulu. I started the meal with a martini know as the Buttoned Up, that was very smooth going down. After drinking it, I was probably incapable of buttoning up. We had a private room for 8 and we all experienced the tasting menu of July 14th. It was a dream come true for my taste buds. There were nine items and each one or two were paired with a particular wine. The whole meal included various vegetables, caviar in a sauce with one raw quail egg, Kanpachi, which is a sushi fish, venison tartare, Scallops and a beef selection. Everything tasted superbly with each dish getting better and better. The wines were perfect for each dish. The desert, looked like various bird eggs, that you just popped in your mouth, and this wonderful sweet creamy nectar, would just explode all over your taste buds. Then the meal was finished off, with various chocolate cordials. Overall, it was one of the best dining experiences I have ever had. The wait staff was so informative, as they explained every dish, and every wine that was served. It was a great vacation for many reasons, but the food and drink made it one of the most festive experiences, that was much needed, after this year and a half of pandemic life. Still, it was good to return home, and get back to a normal routine. The blogs should return at their normal rate and yes, I will still write about the Pirates. Too bad, I don’t have the Mango Mojito any more, to make the job easier.

Meditation: Just a Speck

The world population is approaching 8 billion people, and it is predicted that number will be reached in the year 2023. It is estimated that human civilization has been around for about 8 to 10 thousand years. The total surface area of the earth is 197 million square miles. It has been estimated that the earth has been here for about 4.6 billion years. In about 2 years if you are still living, you will be one of 8 billion people, in the world. The reality is, we are just a speck in the big picture of population and time. There is no room for debate on this point. This doesn’t even take into consideration, the universe and other worlds. These are the facts, Jack. When someone lives into their nineties, people will say that the person had a good long life. Long in comparison to what. I guess it is, when compared to other people, but certainly, to nothing else that has existed on earth. Even though people do not want to think about this, but it is hard to totally ignore it. It certainly can make someone feel insignificant. What are some of the consequences of these cold hard facts?

Does such a reality cause people to do things, to try and create a more “significant” life? Sometimes, this can lead to doing something for the good of the people. It can also lead to behavior that creates attention to someone, with not any good coming from it. It can lead to trying to get as much power and money as possible, at any cost to yourself and other people. It goes back to another topic of fame and fortune. This feeling of emptiness can lead to pursuing illegal or violent endeavors. The bottom line is this, no matter what happens in your life, we are all eventually going to end up in the same place, the end of life. This is really what people have a hard time facing. One way of trying to deal with this extreme vastness in time, space and population, is to create two perspectives. It is simply looking at the big world, and then the small world. The big world is what we have just been discussing. The small world is your world. The world of your friends, family, and loved ones. How should we handle the big world? If can be ignored. There is not a lot of support for this view, but I see nothing wrong with it. If you ignore something, then it really does not have an affect on you. It is fairly easy to do. Don’t watch the news, and don’t think about the problems of the big world, such as climate change, violence, economic issues, war, and all the other issues on the big stage. This doesn’t mean that you would even spend your entire life ignoring the big world, but a 2 to 5 year hiatus, can do wonders for the psyche. Another way to handle the big world is to embrace it, but don’t let big world problems, get you down. Realize that you can not change a lot of what is going on, accept that fact, and move on. Now, lets get to the small world.

This is your world, and you can do anything you want with it. The best thing to do with your world, is to stay involved, and stay in touch. These are the people, and the things that you care about. This is the world that time forgot. This is the world that you can feel, see, and respond to everyday. It is the world where you want to be. It is the place to savor everything that is good. It is the definition of knowing what you want to do each day in your world. Your world allows you to be yourself, and enjoy all the things in life. There can be setbacks in your world, but this is the place where you can get support to deal with these setbacks. Not everybody can change the big world. Can one man really make a difference in the big world? Many people think so, but I would argue the point. You have to be an exceptional person, and there will be many sacrifices made, especially in your world. Is it all really worth it? I am not too sure. What I am sure of, is that I can make changes in my world, that have and will make my world a better place. For me, that is enough and is definitely is worth it.