DDOORN   238,091
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Pleasant Evening

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Since the cloudy, potentially stormy day broke up and the sun came out and we have some MUCH hotter weather on the horizon, I thought my DW and I could take advantage of this beautiful evening and head out to our local state park for a cook out.

Fired up the charcoal, did a full throttle round about the park on my bike only to return with the charcoal ready for cooking. I was dripping with sweat, but it felt good to get some extra un-planned cardio worked into my day.

We enjoyed a leisurely paced meal, watched the sun set into gorgeous purple-red hues as our Vidalia onions wrapped in foil simmered into a yummy caramelized treat!

Hope everyone had a great day!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASHMIR 8/13/2009 3:24PM

    That sounds like the PERFECT way to end a day!!!

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KELLI9001 8/13/2009 10:23AM

    Sounds like a nice relaxing meal and u still got in the cardios too! The perfect evening. emoticon

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/13/2009 6:37AM

    Isn't that nice! Times like that are priceless

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ROYALETBONE 8/13/2009 1:21AM

    Sounds perfectly lovely.
Heat, we've got it too, today.
It's the Bay, it won't last long.

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SUZIAND 8/13/2009 12:17AM

    ok...I wanna come spend a day with you guys! Sounds like heaven!

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KAYAKID 8/12/2009 11:37PM

    Don, NICE - taking time to spell the roses or at least the bbq chicken...

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SOULCOLLAGESUE 8/12/2009 11:27PM

    Aaah, Don, that sounds so lovely. I'm always heartened when couples take in the moments like that. Perfect.

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It Ain't Always Easy...!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Whew...! Don't know what it was this morning, but my treadmill session was the same as most mornings, only 35 mins. 4 mph, "9" incline...but today it seemed SO much more difficult than usual...! Felt like I was sweating twice as much and no matter how many songs I forwarded through, I just couldn't get in sync with the music on my mp3 player, which is usually what pulls me out of any doldrums I might have. I think the humidity and the upcoming 90 degree day might have gotten to me, even though the heat wasn't even noticeable this morning.

I did come across an old favorite of mine though. Just thought I'd share the lyrics. This song (best performed, in my opinion by either Nanci Griffith or Kathy Mattea, who puts a wonderful celtic spin to her version) along with John Lennon's Imagine are two of my favorite utopian visions:

From A Distance

From a distance the world looks blue and green,
and the snow-capped mountains white.
From a distance the ocean meets the stream,
and the eagle takes to flight.

From a distance, there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace,
it's the voice of every man.

From a distance we all have enough,
and no one is in need.
And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease,
no hungry mouths to feed.

From a distance we are instruments
marching in a common band.
Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace.
They're the songs of every man.
God is watching us. God is watching us.
God is watching us from a distance.

From a distance you look like my friend,
even though we are at war.
From a distance I just cannot comprehend
what all this fighting is for.

From a distance there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
And it's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves,
it's the heart of every man.

It's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves.
This is the song of every man.
And God is watching us, God is watching us,
God is watching us from a distance.
Oh, God is watching us, God is watching.
God is watching us from a distance.

I can't help but imagine what a different world we might have if all the debt America has incurred with our military pursuits had instead been placed toward

---developing a sustainable society with homes and healthcare for all

---finding, developing sustainable, renewable alternative energy sources

---shoring up our crumbling infrastructure

---providing lifelong quality education without requiring the incredible debt incurred by most college graduates

---generating employment through implementing above investments in infrastructure and alternative energy

---partnering and sharing with other countries knowledge gained in the above pursuits and becoming recognized worldwide as purveyors of peace and prosperity and sincerely welcomed throughout the globe

Just a pipe dream, I know...but as Lennon said:

"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one"

I think we have begun to create a healthier, more positive community here at SparkPeople. To quote William Arthur Ward: "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." We have SO many TERRIFIC "teachers" here at SparkPeople, offering one another such a TREMENDOUS amount of INSPIRATION!

Have a wonderful and SPARKING day everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOULCOLLAGESUE 8/11/2009 11:31PM

    You have my vote! It sounds like some of your waning physical stamina was in your brain. A terrific commentary, inspirational, solid, passionate. I love that song, too. Haven't heard Kathy Mattea, and will look her up. A 9 incline! Wow, Don, .5 is a challenge for me. Plus your humidity and heat? I bow my head in respect and awe. By the way, I loved your description of sometimes using the treadmill in the dark. Very poetic and imaginative. (Your page background is beautiful. Both the sun's entrance and exit stops me in my busy-life tracks and center me with creation.

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-SHAWN- 8/11/2009 9:09PM

  Oh Bette Midler is my favorite


Beautiful lyrics!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/11/2009 1:16PM

    I second ROYALETBONE's comment. Heat AND humidity can really change my ability to perform physically. When the air is so full of moisture, there's less oxygen available...

(or at least, that's what I tell myself!)
Don't forget to replace all that liquid you're sweating out!

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ROYALETBONE 8/10/2009 2:02PM

    Heat sucks the energy out of us, with out a doubt...
Good reminders of the energy we can bring to this Spark world, Don.

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SUZIAND 8/10/2009 1:14PM

    Awesome blog, Don!

I love that song...but am going to go find the Kathy Mattea version of it.

Have a great Monday!

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JAZZYJUDE 8/10/2009 11:10AM

    GREAT blog! I LOVE this song! It's sooooo beautiful!

I had some difficulty with my walking this morning too and I put it down to the weather as well. I was actually huffing after my 3-mile walk...so it's in the 'air' darlin'! Tomorrow will be a better day!
emoticon Jazzy!!

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Latin Fest '09

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The storm clouds parted just in time for the music...YES!

...and they resumed right after the last song...felt like Moses and the parting of the waters...lol!

There is something so heartfelt and full of LIFE about latin music! A body just HAS to MOVE to this music...everyone's smiling and having such a great time. What a wonderful way to celebrate summer!

Here are some pics of everyone (even the MAYOR of Binghamton! :-) ) just moving to the music!

Here was a cute distraction I noticed overhead:

"They'll be laughin' & singin' & music swingin' and dancin' in the streets!"

Kudos to the band! Even tho I hadn't a CLUE what they were saying, it was fun to hear the singer and Hispanic members of the crowd kidding back and forth and laughing.

Good time had by all!

Now: SOMEDAY I'll overcome feeling too self-conscious and be one of those dancers out there dancing my heart out!

Terrific ending to the weekend...! This event was sponsored by the City of Binghamton and M & T Bank...kudos to any and all organizations who support the arts! It's events like these which helps to transcend us from the ordinary ho-hum and add QUALITY to our lives! Be sure to let your politicians & businesses which support these events know how much you appreciate them!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOULCOLLAGESUE 8/11/2009 11:34PM

    You surprised me, and gave me hope at the same time when you said, "SOMEDAY I'll overcome feeling too self-conscious and be one of those dancers out there dancing my heart out!" I thought you already were! I also remain on the sidelines, to this day. We attended a friends' outdoor, informal wedding, salsa band and all a few weeks ago. I wanted to dance, my husband couldn't bring himself to do it. Though I could have gone out there alone, or joined another couple, I was actually relieved and used him as an excuse. Isn't that sad that we hold ourselves back? I enjoyed the photos and commentary. Thanks for sharing your day.

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ZIRCADIA 8/10/2009 8:07PM

    OH that looks SOOOOOO FUN!!!!!!!! :)

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KASHMIR 8/10/2009 5:09PM

    Thanks for sharing with us, it looks like a FANTASTIC time was had by all!

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LADYWEZ 8/10/2009 5:00AM

    Glad you had a great time. We were on our way there and were driven away by the weather reports. I guess we should have braved it.

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APRILMAY1956 8/10/2009 12:27AM

    Looks like you had a great time. Next year get out and dance, you won't regret it.

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ROYALETBONE 8/9/2009 11:03PM

    Builds community, a sense of place & caring... absolutely! Love the pics.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/9/2009 10:59PM

    Wow! Great pictures! Just seeing that and reading about it makes me want to get up and dance LOL!

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Re-Imagining Oneself!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Recently someone posted the following comment on my SparkPage: "I remember seeing you at convention but I was a bit intimidated to introduce myself... you had been so active on the board pre-convention, and I was more of a 'lurker'... "

It was such a surprise to myself that I could ever seem to be intimidating!

In public, social situations such as the convention *I* tend to be much more of a wall flower...easily intimidated and having to struggle to "put myself out there" and find my "voice" around others. I can be much more animated and spontaneous on a one-to-one basis, but throw me into a room full of people I don't know...? It's a challenge for me to NOT fade into the woodwork...probably a leftover habit from ye olde schooldays playing Dodge ball (such an evil, EVIL game!) in phys. ed. when I was the last one SPLATTED by the ball because I was so good at HIDING up until the end! I remember one occasion when I actually succeeded in CATCHING the ball instead...everyone's jaw, including my own, hit the floor...you mean I actually WON?!?

Anyhow you know the old expression "on the internet nobody knows you're a dog"...?

Well, here on SparkPeople one of the advantages I find is that I am able to "practice" and even "pretend" that I'm much more outgoing than I really am...and hey, if I practice and pretend often enough it starts to become *real* and feels like a part of who I am and MORE like the person I want to be!

It's one of the things I love about the SPARK! And now, in pressing for REAL, face-to-face meet 'n greets with other members of SparkPeople I'm finding even MORE opportunities to make long-desired changes in the way I am around other people.

These thoughts reminded me of a book on therapeutic technique I read a long time ago by Bandler & Grinder: "Frogs Into Princes," which was actually a transcription of a number of their workshops.

In it, they quote Milton Erikson, a world-renowned hypnotherapist who was wheel-chair bound due to polio and often used a story-telling technique in which he would talk about life growing up on the farm in Iowa. These stories were often reportedly deadly dull, however within the stories he would embed therapeutic messages, hypnotic suggestions which were said to have prompted amazing changes in people. Here is the passage from the book and afterward I have a url which takes you to a website where you can read the entire book (not too long either) if you wish. Some pretty innovative ideas there if anyone is interested!

"The last time that I went to see Milton Erickson, he said something to me. And as I was sitting there in front of him, it didn't make sense. Most of his covert metaphors have made... eons of sense to me. But he said something to me which would have taken me a while to figure out. Milton said to me:

"You don't consider yourself a therapist, but you are a therapist." And I said "Well, not really." He said "Well, let's pretend ... that you're a therapist who works with people. The most important thing ... when you're pretending this ... is to understand... that you are really not.... You are just pretending.... And if you pretend really well, the people that you work with will pretend to make changes. And they will forget that they are pretending... for the rest of their lives. But don't you be fooled by it." And then he looked at me and he said: 'Goodbye.'"


Have a wonderful weekend everyone! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-SHAWN- 8/9/2009 9:57PM

  This post makes me think of all those boxes where you're suppose to describe yourself...

I never have a clue as to what I should write. I don't know me.

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    I love your humor! How you humbly describe painful experiences. Your Dodge Ball experience stays with me: "...succeeded in CATCHING the ball instead...everyone's jaw, including my own, hit the floor...you mean I actually WON?!?"

I had seen that member's comment, and it stayed with me, too. I looked at your before photo, then convention photo, and saw how thin (read: fit) can be interpreted differently. You certainly exuded confidence at the convention. Maybe those of us not yet well-versed in confidence misunderstand it as intimidation.

Thanks for the Milton quote and link, and another enjoyable blog. Your writing remains true to the Don I am getting to know: Welcoming, honest, and without pretense.

P.S. I liked the title of your blog. It brought to mind a SoulCollage card I created a couple of years ago called "Made in My Own Image" - slightly different title, same sentiment. Go, Don!

Comment edited on: 8/9/2009 3:27:40 PM

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/8/2009 1:43PM


Reminds me of all of us in grad school sitting around bemoaning the idea that we were all frauds and didn't know everything we were supposed to, and that our professors would some day realize this and kick us out.

As the years went by (we were working on PhDs in genetics, which takes a while) and we became more sophisticated we started to notice that the professors were "faking it" too... And then we finally realized that if you work hard enough and fake it well enough, it's just the same as really doing it.

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ROYALETBONE 8/8/2009 3:05AM

    Ahh- a wallflower in bloom.
Thanks for the link--- I perused a few pages on my pitifully small screen- it's been a long time since I read that book. I want to go get it and read it again.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Got up, put in 45 mins. on treadmill first thing...later in the morning I had a "walk 'n talk" with a client of mine prone to depression. It always feels good when clients begin to see and feel the boost from walking!

But the BEST part was that although the weather was supposed to be stormy it was PERFECT! High 70's, clear blue skies and lots of sunshine, low humidity...got out with wife after work to go to the park together and went jogging/speed walking for another 50 mins...woo hoo!

I don't push myself to jog very often but every time I'm amazed that I'm actually JOGGING! Jogged further than I ever have before too!

Lot's of other walkers, runners, bikers out also...everybody smiling and just steeped in good will...mighty fine day! :-)


PS...sharing a chuckle posted by one of my SparkTeam members:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You are so inspirational! Way to go!!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/6/2009 7:35AM

    NY is a beautiful state, I can't wait for our visit there! My husband & I are gonna do alot of hiking. I loved that link by the way!

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ROYALETBONE 8/6/2009 1:58AM

    Wow- jogging! What an athletic feat that is.
Loved the link.. Thanks!

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ZIRCADIA 8/5/2009 11:09PM

    WOOHOO on jogging! I want some of THAT weather please! :)

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    Isn't it great to be outdoors and share it with other equally appreciative folks! emoticon

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