hoping for karma

without going into details i’ve realized that i accept that there are people who are or have been in my life that are just plain scum (sorry to any good scum out there) and might just deserve everything bad that happens to them not because of the way they told me (and my bleeding heart bought) how others cause them problems but because i finally realized that they do this to themselves and keep making the same mistakes over and over again including using drugs as a crutch to avoid dealing with reality and life. it’s an interesting feeling when pride and anger over their actions turns into pity and how pathetic they truly are. i truly hope the things that went missing when they were around were just missing and not taken but seeing this other side of them it’s hard to know and it makes me feel more pity toward them.

may i forget they exist

may others not encounter their deceit

may i be better in picking people to call friend

and while i would like to say that there is no more anger… may karma come and give them a good lesson

post update: from merriam webster:

pa·thet·ic adjective pə-ˈthe-tik

Definition of PATHETIC
1: having a capacity to move one to either compassionate or contemptuous pity
2: marked by sorrow or melancholy : sad
3: pitifully inferior or inadequate <the restaurant’s patheticservice>
4: absurdlaughable <a pathetic costume>

-Santa’s Fallen Angel

looking within: is the cat alive or dead?

when meditating there is a certain level of introspection.

the idea of “you” trying to be objective with yourself.

can it be done?

you are the subject as well as the observer. can you be introspective without being changed? does it matter? is not part of the reason we look within to observe and possibly change or be changed? is this the case to observe AND to change if needed?

to look within there must be a willingness to be honest with oneself. if you can’t be honest or not willing to accept what you see, there still may be gain but not as much. one could argue that there is no gain but if you can at least recognize you don’t want to accept some things, there at least in my mind is hope that with time you might be willing to see yourself honestly and decide from there if you want to change anything.

-Santa’s Fallen Angel

a hiking adventure

this story begins earlier this summer as a friend and i started to think about a hiking/camping trip. it started with 2 nights, 3 days then the date changed then it was dropped down to one night, 2 days. i think it worked out for the best.

we chose to head to carson national forest in new mexico. this is also my first 12k hike. ok. it was more like 11,800 but i’ll take it. as well my first camping/hiking trip that wasn’t car camping.

being a somewhat noob, i packed as a cross between car camping and hiking camping. that just means i had about 30-50% way too much in my pack. pulling stuff out of a car and setting up is one thing. carrying that stuff uphill several miles is stupid. at least now i have a better idea what not to take.

but i’m getting ahead of myself.

the adventure starts the morning of. i had tried to be real good and get everything packed the night before. i did do it. however. in the morning as i pick up the pack, one of the straps holding my sleeping bag groans and flies off. i admit i still don’t know where the buckle is in the living room. so i have to grab another pack and move everything over. the mistake was in seeing the extra room and putting more things in it. yada yada i get to my friends and we drive. then we have to figure out how to find the parking area once we get there. the map kinda describes it but the road signage wasn’t the best. we eventually got there after turning around. elevation around 9400 ft.

A Hiking Adventure Aug 2013-1379from here we just grabbed our packs with the idea to hike until we stop and find a nice stop to camp. the forest is open so you can camp anywhere you want. there are places that are more camped (and flatter) than others. there are also two lakes in the area as well. we planned on going to the higher horseshoe lake.

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that five miles on the sign is very deceptive.

off we go.

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it sure looks nice and sunny doesn’t it…

i took a few pics on the way up. beautiful flowers. very moist and humid environment.

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we stop at points for me to breathe and to talk to other people around (and which also allows me to breathe). about two miles in we find a bridge that people mentioned that had some decent area to camp at next to a stream. elevation around 10,600 i think. i’m beat so time to make camp. lucky for us that we did. as things are unpacking and water is being boiled for dinner, what do we spy above but nice dark dark clouds. oh shit. a mad hurried rush to finish the tents ensues. when the hail started, yes, hail, to pelt me like a bb gun we each dashed into our tents to eat and take shelter from the storm. and what a storm it was. this was some of the loudest thunder and brightest lightning i have seen in my life. the lightning was like a flash bulb going off in my tent. i could see everything inside.

no problem. we have tents and rainflies and warm sleeping bags. uh oh. is that water dripping into my one person tent. no tears. it’s just coming through the fly and then dripping through the mesh. good thing i have my nice +30 down sleeping bag… that doesn’t work as great when it’s wet. somewhere during a lull in the storm i hear yelling about possible hypothermia. we discuss this as well as possible flash flooding and bears. lots of great thoughts getting into the evening. shiver me timbers.. it was getting cold. i tried to read but was just exhausted and fell asleep at (for me) a crazy early hour around 9pm. I woke up around 2am but damned if i was going into that storm to pee. back to bed i go.

i eventually woke up around 5:30am. storms passed. there were at least three big rounds of thunder and lightning that i was awake or awoken for. at some point i just needed to get out. i tried to rummage for some dry wood but at that hour i wasn’t to clear headed and missed some big dry pieces under another tree. i had the full intention of getting roaring fire ready for my friend. come on. it’s awesome when it’s cold to have a fire out there to warm up to. plus. it’s fire. i make some headway. here’s the view with some smoke hanging out… beautiful.

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i did manage to show my friend how to use a light my fire spark set to light up a petroleum jelly soaked cotton ball. nice and easy tinder to start a slow burn. i didn’t find that dry wood until more light was out and my friend was already awake. drat!

well. we survived the night. worked on a little breakfast and i packed a few items into my camelback for the trek up to the lake. i did get to practice breathing to try and keep from passing out. we’re still headed up in elevation. remember, this is going up near 12,000. since it’s nice and humid there are fungi everywhere.

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we aren’t smart enough to know which are good and which are bad. at the end we did run across two guys that did know. one had a big shroom in his hand and he rattled off some fancy name for it. he said it was very tasty. i passed.

i also did get the chance to be with my friends dogs and by the end they would heel for me when i was leading. very empowering i must say to be a pack leader and not as much work once they get it in their heads.

we passed by some beautiful views on the way up.

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i have a casio watch that does barometer, altimeter, compass, temp. that kind. the altimeter was great to help me keep going. my manta was “one step,” as in one step at a time. i needed something when i was having trouble catching my breath. we saw some big horned goats.

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and marmots.




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and more stunning vistas when we go to the lake.

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we hung around for a while but knowing work was calling the next day and there were many hours left of hiking and breaking camp at some point we just had to learn the peace and serenity and start the journey back. we stopped for a nice dinner in taos before the long drive back. thankfully my friend was driving as my body was a wreck. after a weekend of wondering about hypothermia, bears, flooding and exhaustion, of course this leads to the question of “where next and when can we go.”

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-Santa’s Fallen Angel



i took a recent opportunity to make a second visit to chicago. the first time it was in january some years ago i believe for a conference and it was cold, windy, slushy, wet, stuff like that. not fun as a summary. having lived in new york i was aware of cold and slush and whatnot. the extreme wind was new and not really appreciated. i normally like wind but on nice fun happy days to fly one of my kites. this was just mean wind. completely uncalled for.

so my view of chicago has been of a cold, dark, windy and slushy city that could make duck boots go south for the winter.

after this visit i must say that my eyes were opened to a much much better city than the vision i had in my mind and i admit that i was wrong with my initial impression.

the weather was good in august. unfortunately i was told that it lasts only a few months of the year and so summer is attacked with gusto. chicago has the big city feel like new york but it appeared more relaxed. there were tons of people exercising everywhere.


people exercising

people exercising

normal and crazy cyclists as well like every place i’ve been to. there is a beach. yeah. sand and water. that kind of beach. people were playing beach volleyball. along this area is a great path for walking, running, and biking.


view from the path

view from the path

like the bosque path with beautiful views all around, just different. it just didn’t occur to me that this was touching the great lakes and there would be sand.

chicago like a good major city has a nice public transportation system. easy, on time buses, trains and subway. always a plus for getting around town if you don’t want to have a car. the traffic didn’t seem crazy but it may have been the area and hours that i was seeing it.

during a walk the opportunity of catching the aquarium came up. you can see the long line to get in.


chicago aquarium

chicago aquarium

there were lots of fish big and small.


big fish

big fish

dangerous frogs as well.

dangerous frog 1

dangerous frog 1



dangerous frog 2

dangerous frog 2

i stopped taking pictures quickly realizing it was a pointless endeavor as i needed hours to do a proper job.

there is also a water taxi service among a few locations. during the short trip i saw several things.


water taxi

water taxi

this is a three masted ship.


three masted ship

three masted ship

an old (or reproduced) ship that still sails.

classic ship

classic ship

a ferris wheel near the dock.


ferris wheel on the dock

ferris wheel on the dock

there is also sailing here, something i have an interesting in learning as one of the items on my life skills list. my version of a bucket list i guess since one could argue that you’re dying from the moment you are born. chicago is now on my list of places i will look at when i decide to learn to sail. i was able to do an evening sail and it was beautiful. it’s also not easy to take a steady photo on a moving boat while you’re also steering it. steering was fun by the way even though when i got bored with it i was needed to stay there so the captain could mess with the sails. the city completely lights up so well. of course this is really great to see from the water.

pre sunset view

pre sunset view


post sunset view

post sunset view

chicago has professional level sports as well. i was also able to catch my first professional sporting event at us cellular field.

us cellular field

us cellular field

it was a sox vs yankees game. right at the edge of the batters area where it connects to the run to first base you can see a little white dot. that’s the ball.

baseball game sox vs yankees

baseball game sox vs yankees

the stadium was much bigger than the isotopes field but i like my isotopes better. much more intimate. i was told a cubs game at wriggly field might be better. there is also soldier field stadium for a bears game if i can catch one during good weather. after the game, and my last evening, i was able to catch a beautiful shot of the city at night.

night view of the city

night view of the city

on another visit i’ll see about the arts and entertainment that they had to offer as well.

-Santa’s Fallen Angel

if you ever wondered…

on a day to day basis we all have random thoughts and ideas, notions that just cross ones mind. i hope to help you answer one of those and ease your troubled mind.

so for anyone that has ever wondered what a piece of cinder block being kicked up by the back wheel of a truck and striking your leg while you are going about 70 miles an hour on a motorcycle feels like, i now have first hand experience.

it f****** hurts.

really. it’s quite unpleasant i assure you. i can say i never want to repeat this scenario again. i can’t remember every aspect of what transpired. i remember seeing the truck swerve a little to the side, in retrospect purposefully i presume, and then a piece of cinder block was rocketing toward me at a low height. what i can’t answer or begin to understand is why i didn’t lose control (an unknown well of fortitude?) or the luck in the block not hitting my motorcycle or what really crossed my mind right after, how did i not break or injure my leg.

the initial shock made me concerned that once i tried to put my leg down at the next stop whatever adrenaline was in my system wouldn’t be able to handle reality and i wouldn’t be able bear any weight. i was actually ok. thankfully i was wearing jeans, my leather jacket and a full face helmet.

+1 to good luck; unfriend to the truck that kicked it up to begin with

-Santa’s Fallen Angel


half way through a weekend of work and a night of seemingly endless calls, i lay in bed feeling worked over by a two-bit thug plying his trade.

finally at rest. eyes closing. ready to sleep.

like a bolt of lightning that stayed i am shocked. as if the sun is in my room. the light, bright, so bright. no protection even covering my eyes with the light penetrating my traitorous hand.

a deep and dangerous snarl escapes my throat. i want to tear out the throat of the one who put this in motion. unfortunately i did this to myself. i lay there cursing the world.

i toss and turn trying to find solace from this onslaught. my eyes and brain adjusting to this notification that work must continue, i resign myself to this notion and prepare my body to move forward.

click! and my world is plunged back into the deep dark abyss as the light turns off.

tension leaves my mind and body as the stimulus is withdrawn, but residing still the knowledge that i must move forward to face whatever challenges this day has to offer until i can embrace again the dark cool of the night, the comfort of the bed underneath me and the gentle caress of a light sheet.

-Santa’s Fallen Angel

waste not, want not

Who can even remember when they first heard this. Who can remember what it really even means. Basically if you don’t waste, you’ll have enough for later.

But looking over this, I’ve come up with a new cliche. Take note folks you’re seeing it here first. At least I didn’t find this on a quick search.


Want not, waste not.

Seriously. That’s it.

Missy Elliott said it, “..flip it and reverse it.”

So I did.

I like my version better. If you want not then you won’t waste. Not exactly the same but you get the idea.

Americans and probably most “developed” countries throw away quite a lot of food each day. Not “so bad gonna make you sick” food but “one day past expiration” or “slightly discolored” bad or “ewwwww i just don’t want it”. The food that many other people would be happy to eat, even in the USA, if they would just have it.

I was astonished at the numbers (which I can’t reproduce off the top of my head) on the amount of food wasted. But I’m curious if the data also tells what types of food and maybe even why it was thrown away. I wonder about the numbers from other countries and how we stack up. Could this data be used as a marker for “growth”? The emerging country showing an increase in the amount that is wasted?

As these thoughts were rolling around I had more thoughts. Crazy I know. Can you link these numbers to portion size? If you have a larger plate and portion there is simply more to throw away. Right? It seems simple as an idea. Smaller plates, less to throw. Smaller appetites, less to put on the plate. The idea that it’s ok not to feel full. It’s ok to feel a little hungry. Perhaps I will take the time at some point and see what the web has to offer if I search for answers.

I just talked about food here but really, this can apply to anything you choose to buy.

-Santa’s Fallen Angel