The morning air was a nearly perfect sixty-five degrees with only a slight breeze.  Ideal conditions to be out on the road. A day worth remembering. I hate i have lost so much if my sense of smell as I would love to capture the aroma of this early fall day in my memory bank as well.

I’m asking things of my body that it doesn’t like especially since it still has too much weight to be carrying around.   The body is fighting against itself and the mind, while the soul is just weary of it all.

Yet even amidst the turmoil within me I am struck by a moment of grand beauty.  In the middle of a pain concert raging in my feet, legs, back and lungs I stop for a moment to watch a squadron of maple leaves launch from their branch and be carried along on a gentle current.  Watching as they spiral down in the morning sunlight. Twirling and twisting in a death dance celebration of their short life.  The sun spotlighting them, highlighting their performance.  

For that brief moment time seemed to stop and allow me to take it in.  The sound of the leaves rustling on the trees, the feel of sun on my skin,  the breeze gently caressing my face.  A moment of pure beauty in the midst of an internal storm.  A reminder that no matter how out of control things seem to get, there is hope because there is beauty.  Because there is beauty I know there is love. 
Because there is love… there is hope.

I Stand at the Gate

My story would begin in darkness though not total darkness but not romantic moonlit darkness either.   It would be more the darkness that accompanies a storm.   The kind that diffuses the the light and casts strange shadows across the land.  The kind that causes the street lamps to come on at mid-day.
I stand at the gate looking out at the road that lies before me, uncertain which direction to go from here.  Do I open the gate and step through?   Or do I run back  to the porch and ride out the storm in the relative comfort of  the crumbling structure I am  seeking to escape?   Do I stay until the bitter end?
I stand at the gate and look back.  Indecision has me paralyzed and the storm is increasing in intensity.   I feel the  wind at my back and it causes me to shiver.  I adjust my collar and huddle down to make myself a smaller target for the chill breeze and once again turn to look at the road before me just a step beyond the gate.
I stand at the gate and my eyes search for any sign of direction.   Off in the distance I see rays of sunlight that quickly retreat into shadow as I watch, teasing me with hope that is transient and elusive.    I’m too old to go chasing after “maybes” and “what-ifs.”  I need a sure thing.  Yet I realize how unreasonable and unrealistic that standard is.  There are no “sure things” and to make that a requirement will only keep me paralyzed with indecision.
I stand at the gate…

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Life is Simple

Gym’s Wisdom

Every so often I have an epiphany that is so simple, so obvious, so elementary that I get angry at myself for not seeing it sooner. Or at least not acknowledging that it is something that I know already… but I’m not practicing as I should.

Here’s an example:

“IF you want to get better at something (doesn’t matter what it is), the way to improve your performance is…

*ready for this?

… do whatever it is that you want to improve in.”

Well, duh!

Yet how much time do we spend looking for a magic pill, a shortcut, some hocus-pocus that will make us better without putting in the hard work it takes to actually get better?

You say you want to be a better runner. Guess what, if you continue to run you will get better.

Want to get better at pull-ups? Do them
Want to get better at singing? then sing
Want to get better at playing an instrument? Then play

Intuitively we know this. Why are some people great at playing video games? Because they play them all the time. Why are athletes so good at the sport they do… because they do it all the time.

In order to get good at anything you have to invest time and hard work in doing it.

Let’s bring this home to everyone and make it real.
You say you want to lose weight? Guess what… it’s going to require time and effort. Period. The “gurus” out there are making a fortune selling illusions of quick fixes and shortcuts… but if you want to make it real, make it last and see real results then you have to invest time and effort in the process.

Yet in this culture of instant gratification we want results NOW, right now. We also quickly become bored with the effort and move on to something more shiny, more new and easier. We want the sculpted, supermodel body but we want it with only the couch potato effort. We will spend thousands of $$$ dollars buying meal plans, pills, shakes, gadgets and fads in order to lose weight and slim down… but we won’t spend that amount of time and hard work doing the same.

It is a journey, a lifelong journey. It requires your time and your hard work. It will not happen over night (so you can get that fantasy out of your head right now.). It is a game of inches. Results are in direct proportion to the time and effort you invest in doing whatever it is you want to improve in. (R = time+effort)

See, its so simple, so easy to say, so easy to gloss over… but sometimes it is the simple things that we trip over along the way.

Now, begin… do what you can do today… and increase that by a little bit more tomorrow… and don’t quit. The results will come I promise you. Just keep on and don’t stop.

*we now return you to your regularly scheduled life already in progress*

Al-righty then,
Tonight’s workout was a milestone for me.
Now to preface what I am about to say let me define some terms and set the stage.
1) When I say Swimming I use the term in the loosest possible way imaginable. In fact, think wounded whale on drugs. Yeah… it’s not pretty.
2) Any other reference I make to swimming just refer to #1.


So I had found a sleeveless StayDry style shirt at Goodwill that covers most of my awesome Chris Farley wanna-be upper- body. It does help keep other patrons from being unbearably nauseated and keeps them from going blind due to my neon-whiteness.

I began slowly and stayed at that that speed all night.
The strokes that I know are…
so I used both of them.

Down and back, down and back, down and… you get the picture. I made 35 round trips.

So why is that significant? Well it is kinda a big deal for a non-swimming middle-aged wounded neon bright white whale like me.
See, that’s a mile.
Yep a M-I-L-E.
It took me two hours in the water but I swam a mile this evening.

It was some kinda ugly but I did it!
Of course now I can’t comb my hair… or brush my teeth. In fact, the keyboard is as high as I can get my hands at the moment. I may have to put the tooth brush on the counter and bend over to it to brush my teeth tonight.

It may not be what anyone who was watching would call “swimming” but I did it!

Now let’s go get that last batch of Spartan Challenge sit-ups knocked out.

We are the entity known as Persifler and we have been “Quitter” quit free for 689 days now

Cheating on Mistress Sadie

Update (read: bragging)
Here we are 14 days into the New Year and yes, I am still at it.
For the new year I have decided to learn how to swim. (yes, I’m AARP eligible and just now learning to swim.)
I have had a couple of swim lessons and I haven’t drown yet. I’ve inhaled my share of highly chlorinated water… but not drowned yet. (I will probably die of chlorine poisoning… but not by drowning.)

This past week we found out at work that our per-ordered uniform allowances from 2013 were processed wrong so we had 15 days to re order. I did (and for the first time in 8 years I used every single penny of the allowance)… but there is a catch.

As of this moment I’m in 42 pants. Now the smart thing to do would be order 42’s right? Well… no one has accused me of being smart so what did I do? I ordered 40s and 38s. So… now I have to keep at it in order to fit in my new clothing allowance.

So here is the real reason for the update.
**Now let me preface this with some disclaimers:
I know that to the purists, machine mileage is not the same as “real” or “on the road” mileage. I further concede that my times are s-l-o-w compared to real runners and people who are in a shape other than round.

Having said that:
Tonight I was on Mistress Sadie’s cousin the Elliptical (name yet to be determined) and I did 95 minutes of the “Rolling Hills” program for a total of 7.31 miles. Again, that’s 7.31 miles. That’s averaging sub 13 minute miles. (12.99589603283174… but who’s counting, right?) which was 11770 strides on the elliptical.
Now the interesting part is, that is more than a 10k. (and again I realize that’s not “real” running… but still, it’s pretty darn impressive if you ask me! )

I’m going to have to get a shirt or a hat that says, “I’m Getting There”

Anyway… that’s the update, we now return you to your regularly scheduled surfing and lurking.

The Heresy of the “Altar Call.”

altar call

The altar Call is an outward show of how the pastor can emotionally manipulate his followers to do what he says through guilt and other pressure tactics.  It is a power play so that there is visible evidence of a successful sermon.  The (so-called) “Altar Call” is the pastor’s way of  “proving that he is worth his paycheck.”  It is part and parcel of the Man-centered Gospel of the Church Growth Movement in Modern Churchianity.

The church lecture series is all about the man in the pulpit no matter how much he claims to the contrary.  The Cult of Personality is the glue that really holds the congregation together.  Take away the charisma in the pulpit and the so called church that meets in the temple they have built for themselves will dwindle down and die.  The sheeple will find themselves another proxy god to put in the pulpit.  They must have their very own idol to listen to and to worship.

“Not a god,” you say?  Really?  Pastors are the gods over their congregations.  His is the only voice allowed to speak during the lecture and he cannot be questioned about anything he says from behind the so called sacred desk.  He is infallible and not to be questioned.  He demands loyalty and obedience.  His word is law.  The sheeple are conditioned to passively, and unconditionally accept what the man in the pulpit is saying no matter what he says.  The pastor is in fact speaking “ex cathedra” as he is the head of his church no matter who he gives lip-service to.

“I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”   -Lord Acton  expressed this opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887

My premise is that any man who is given authority over others will, if left unchecked, make full use of that authority for both personal gain and personal power. The amount of corruption by this person will ultimately be decided by the amount of power that is available. As Lord Acton says, “Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority.”

In modern Christianity most church congregations are based on a simple design. The authority is vested in the persons of the (so called) clergy, usually at the consent of, or at least the tacit agreement of the (so called) laity. This Catholic Idea of Clergy/Laity came from the teachings of Ignatius, Irenaeus, Cyprias, and Augustine who created and promoted the whole “Christian” class/ caste system. While not addressing the theological issues of this problem Lord Acton actually does a marvelous job of attacking just such a system, “There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it.” As true today as when Acton said it.

-excerpted from my blog:  https://persifler.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/corruption-is-directly-proportional-to-the-level-of-control-that-is-available/

The “Altar Call” is nothing more than a way for the Pastor to practice his manipulation tactics while stroking his own ego.  I dare say that what most people claim to be a movement of the Holy Spirit is at best ginned up emotionalism brought on through guilt and spiritual/emotional manipulation.  Why would I say such a thing? Because the “feeling” is generally gone by the time you reach the parking lot, that’s why.

Finally, and most importantly, the Altar Call promotes a man-centered humanistic approach to religion and “salvation.”  It portrays a weak frail god who can only work in “his building” following the pastor’s sermon.  I have heard testimonies from folks who sweated bullets all week long until they could get to the Altar Call part of the service so they could get saved.  That screams of a god in a box who is so weak and so inept that that he has to have the work of the Man of god (little “g” on purpose) in order to save someone.  I have also heard of so called soul winners who got people to say the sinners prayer on visitation coaching them to come to church on Sunday and come down during the altar call in order to make their decision official with the preacher.  *groan*   No, no I don’t have all the answers.  I’m just now asking the right questions.  I just know that this Kabuki theatre that is being called “Church” these days is a sham and a shame.