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April 4, 2010

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

A few ramblings about people

'X' VERSUS 'Y'

     The white rabbit said, "I'm late! I'm late!" It's taken me a few

days, but here is the 'late, late edition' of my monthly blog.

     I usually try to have something upbeat to say. This month I have

to depart from that mind set because I've been increasingly

disturbed by the angst in society.

     Everyone as their own has their own beliefs and feelings

(sometimes strong emotions) about life and how to approach it.

What amazes me is that too many people want to cram their ideas

into everyone of their fellow man. It doesn't mater if it's religion, or

the lack of it. It doesn't matter if it's political beliefs, or dietary

habits, or the environment. The scenario is the same. "Why can't

you be right like I am?"

     I attend a weekly writing class. We call ourselves The

Interrobangs. This group of twenty-some people are as diverse as

any group I've ever known, yet we are more than civil with each

other. Indeed, most of the time, we are gracious. All it takes is a

little kindness and understanding, and I think most of all a

whopping dose of selflessness. The belief that the other individual is

a beautiful person no matter what they think or believe.

     Until next month, that's it from Bob 'The Big Guy' White....


 

January 31, 2010

 

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

A few ramblings about people

 

HARD ENCOUNTERS

A few days ago I heard a quote attributed to one of my favorite writers, C.S. Lewis. Made me wish I'd written that. Of course I'm a few decades too late, and my prose doesn't come close to matching his. The man definitely had a way with words.

Have you ever been through a difficult time? I've certainly experienced my share, and it's usually because I made some dumb decision. In an effort to assuage my burnt fingers I've developed a firm belief that anyone who hasn't experienced the rigors of difficulty hasn't lived yet.

On the other side of this reasoning is a saying that goes something like this. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. When we were little children we all, sooner or later, put our hand or fingers on something hot and burned ourselves. Taught us a lesson. Very quickly. Don't touch the hot stuff. Life is often made up of events like that. That's the way we often learn. It would be smarter sometimes to listen to other people who tell us something smart and avoid a little hardship. But at least we can avoid the same mistake twice, or three times, and remain somewhat sane.

Which brings me back to that quotation from C. S. Lewis. He said, "Experience is the most brutal of teachers, but you learn. By God, do you learn."

Until next month, that's it from

Bob 'The Big Guy' White....

 

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December 31, 2009

 

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

A few ramblings about people

 

 Tie a string on your finger

 

I'm not sure when it began, but almost everyone knows the old adage about tying a string on your finger to help you remember. I recall my grandmother telling me when I was about six. Grandma's words have dogged me ever since.

I've often wondered why Dr. Thio and Dr. Nelson have their staff call to remind me of an appointment, but Randi, the lady who does my hair, never needs to. Is it because going to the doctor or dentist is a 'dreaded experience' and if we're not reminded we'll 'forget' about it? On the other hand, having my hair shampooed and cut is a pleasant event that I'd never miss, even though she charges more than my co-pay at the doctor. There might be something there. Why do we need to be reminded? Could it be as simple as dread versus desire?

Beginning a new year, and a new decade, gives us an opportunity to plan for the things and events we desire rather than dread. If we're looking forward to joy maybe we won't have to tie a string on our finger so often. This coming year I'm looking forward to selling my first (published) novel. I don't think I'll need to tie a string around my finger to remind me to query agents and publishers. What else is around the corner? I'll have to see.

What are your plans for 2010? My wishes are that it's something you desire, something that will bring you joy and happiness. Let's throw the strings away as often as we can. Life is too precious to tie it up with dread.

Until next month, that's it from

Bob 'The Big Guy' White.... 

 

 

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December, 2009

 

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

A few ramblings about people

 

HAL KILLED THE BABY

It happened so fast I couldn't stop it. Hal killed the baby. Snapped his head off. This wasn't any baby either. Hal did what King Herod couldn't do... He killed the baby Jesus.

In my blog of last September, I introduced you to our new cats, Tigger and Halloween. They're seven months old now and, like all kittens, they are into everything. Hal has become much more adventurous than his brother, although Tigger is definitely not afraid of heights. Last Monday I found him on the top shelf in the closet, seven feet up. I still haven't figured out how he got there.

Loa and I have always put up our Christmas decorations as soon as Thanksgiving is past. Black Friday isn't for shopping. It's for decorating! We knew we couldn't put the nativity figures on the sofa table like last year. We thought the mantle would be high enough to shield our feline kids from temptation. Ha. Fat chance.

Hal, in his devious kitty brain saw a new opportunity to investigate. From the hearth to the mantle is a almost five feet. On his first jump to adventure and discovery he pulled down the figures of baby Jesus and Joseph. Joseph lost his legs, but the infant Jesus lost his head on the travertine hearth. How can you reason with, or discipline a teen-age cat? For now we're watching the mantle carefully when Hal gets near. Somewhere in there we should find a lesson. Ha. Fat chance!

 

 

 

 

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November 1, 2009

 

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

A few ramblings about people

 

Confrontation

Last month I related a story about 'Jewelia' and the sharing attitude that the necklace spawned. There are other emotions and attitudes that I see growing too. Mind-sets that are the opposite of solidarity and friendship... those concern me.

The trend seems to be everywhere. You can see it in politics with lies and innuendo. It doesn't seem to matter which side someone is on. They both think they're right. Maybe one is correct, and maybe not. Maybe they're both in error. Maybe they're both right.

What is wrong, it seems to me, is the trend to disparage someone with whom you disagree. We each have our beliefs, but we could be only looking at things differently than someone else. What disturbs me is that both sides have fallen into a trap of casting dispersions on the other and it's growing into a cascade of vituperation.

While the political arena is one glaring example the same thing happens on the highway or the grocery store— to all of us. This trend to think the other person is the enemy invades every aspect of our lives. It's so easy to think that the stranger, who you'll never meet again, has cut you off or robbed you of your place in line.

I wish I had a cure. I don't, but life on this planet would be a lot more pleasant if we all toned it down a notch. I think I'll start with me.


 

 

 

 

August 27, 2009

 

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

A few ramblings about people

 

What is it about a cat?

 

This summer instead of taking a trip to Europe we added to our family with a feline adoption. It has been about a year since we had to take our beloved twenty-two pound black cat to the vet and have him put to sleep. Over the course of more than fifteen years he wedged his way into our hearts. He had always been fiercely independent and the direct opposite of a 'lap cat', but loyal without question. Our grieving over his loss took some time, but Loa and I looked at each other one day and knew it was time. We'd never be able to replace him but we needed another pet. So... we took a test on the Internet to see what kind of a dog would fit with our personalities. The answer was to get a cat. So the hunt began.

We scoured the ads in the paper, looked for kittens in front of the supermarket, visited animal shelters and the pet stores. Somehow we always returned from our search empty handed and with a growing hole in our hearts. One day Loa found an ad in the local advertising paper that clutters our mailbox on a weekly basis. A nearby family had five kittens. The mother cat was only a year old and it seemed the eight-week-old kittens where sucking the life from her. She needed a rest. Then we had to choose. Impossible. We brought two home. It took a couple of weeks until we found names that stuck. Tigger (thanks A. A. Milne) and Hal (short for Halloween).

Animals are so wonderful in their interaction with human beings. They give unquestioned affection and ask little in return. Well, Hal is pretty demanding about getting lots of affection. In a short time we've become more attached than I though possible. They have such different personalities, just like children in the same family. Tigger is already much larger, but at the vet we found Hal weighed one more ounce. Hal is also the aggressor with it comes to the kind of play that all kittens have with each other.

I realize this month's blog is not into much about our nature as human beings, but this experience has taught me again how wonderful God's creatures are and that even the smallest can create within us the powerful emotions of love and afection.

Until next month, that's it from Bob 'The Big Guy' White....

 

July 31, 2009

 

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

A few ramblings about people

 

Outside the lines

A couple weeks ago we were visiting friends. When our host made a comment than I thought particularly incisive. I said to him, "Dick, I'm going to use that in my blog next month." A few days later I was at a home improvement store and signing for my purchase on the little pad when this electronic gizmo flashed me a message. "Sign inside the box," it said. Despite not following the instructions the computer accepted my outside the lines signature. The clerk and I had a brief and humorous exchange about the disadvantages of staying inside the lines. So, I'm sorry Dick, you've been upstaged by a machine and I'm going to go outside the lines.

My first memory of being encouraged to stay inside the lines dates back to my kindergarten days. Maybe it's genetics but for some reason I didn't like to color inside the lines then either. I'm sure that contributed to more than one teacher's gray hair. I found there is something liberating about sliding over the boundaries artificially set for us by society. That's why kids in the sixties and seventies wore weird clothes and long hair. Some smoked pot and took acid. Today's youth have found other ways to make anti-establishment statements to go outside the lines.

There is something liberating and empowering by testing the boundaries. There is accomplishment, adventure, thrill and discovery.

Without people going where some said they should not, or could not, go much of life today would be lost. Magellan wouldn't have tried to sail around the world. Orville and Wilbur wouldn't have cobbled together an aircraft and defied the notion that man was meant to stay on the ground. Astronauts have gone to the moon and begun to explore space. So sometimes going outside the lines is good.

However, there is an important aspect of this whole thesis about forging into the unknown. We must remember the lines are there to protect us from bad consequences or someone's idea of disaster. We wouldn't think of jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. The line is called gravity and most everyone respects it. I'm sure if I'd made my signature on that electronic pad completely outside the box the computer would have rejected it. Not too good. I've developed a philosophy about coloring outside the lines. Think through to the results. Some could be good and others not.

        Until next month, that's it from Bob 'The Big Guy' White....

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June 29, 2009

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

A few ramblings about people

GROWING WHERE YOU'RE PLANTED

       When my wife discovers someone in a difficult or unpleasant situation, and we've all been there, her mantra is to grow where you're planted. Sometimes she says this under her breath, sometimes not.

      My mother was one of those people who often thought greener grass grew on the other side of the fence. She didn't experience an easy growing up and entering adulthood during the great depression left its scars. But she would change jobs at the drop of a hat or a slight. When I examine my own history it seems to be influenced more by heredity than common sense. But there is another side to the story.

      Looking back with 20/20 hindsight I'm aware of many times during my life if I had stayed instead of moving the outcomes for my life, and my family, would have been far more dire. So what do we do when faced with a decision to persevere or move on? Without a doubt there is something reassuring and secure about constancy. To grow where you're planted is usually often better than moving on. Sticking it out can give us a sense of success and accomplishment. Those are good emotions for our psyche. So, next time when it's tough, and there's a lot of that going around now, think about it. It might be best to grow where you're planted, or then again....

      On a different note — the continuing saga of obtaining an agent... When I sent Scott the entire manuscript for my novel,  Abducted, in mid June he e-mailed me saying it would take him a few weeks. So I'll have to wait a little longer. Here's the link to my web page : http://www.bobwhite4stories.com where you can read the first few chapters of the story.

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May 29, 2009

 

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

A few ramblings about people

 

BOTH SIDES

A few days ago I heard an old song, too old for some to remember... a recording of Judy Collins singing Both Sides Now. A few lines set me to thinking.

"Bows and flows of angel hair

 and ice cream castles in the air

 feather canyons everywhere,

I've looked at clouds that way.

But now they only block the sun

they rain and snow on everyone.

So many things I would have done,

but clouds got in my way. 

I've looked at clouds from both sides now..."

 

When I meet someone who holds a view that isn't like mine I tend to dismiss them in my mind with, "Hey, buddy, You're not my friend." Or perhaps I'll think, "What do you know?" Why do I do that? Why do we all do that?

 Something strange happens when I take the time, or put forth the will and energy, to look at another point of view. To see both sides creates cordiality. It's a curious part of our human nature to want what we want, to think we have the only original thought, to believe we are always right. And on the other hand it's a curious part of life experience to realize how mistaken those beliefs can be when we contemplate the other point of view. That usually happens when life sends us a message that can't be denied. Sort of like we've been hit in the head with a 2x4. "Ah..." I tell myself when I pick my battered and bloodied psyche off the ground. "So that's how it is." At that point I've seen both sides.

Wouldn't it be great to see both sides without the harsh lessons? I think it might be wise to work on doing that.

On a different, but personal, note I've been communicating with a literary agent who has agreed to take a second look at a reworked (for the fifth time and with help from my friends) novel I've written. I'll see if this bears fruit.

Until next month, that's it from

Bob 'The Big Guy' White....

 

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May 1, 2009

 

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

A few ramblings about people

 

Seeing What Isn't There

A week or so ago Susan Boyle claimed her fifteen minutes of fame on a large part of the world stage. To be gentle in describing her would be to use the old phrase, "she's nothing much to look at." Susan, to be blunt, is plain perhaps even dowdy. That's what we see... and expect. But when she opens her mouth to sing... Ahhh! Something unexpected and almost magnificent happens.

Now, the news says she's been 'made over' — whatever that means. Colored her hair, smoothed out the bushy eyebrows and had some help in getting a new wardrobe. Susan didn't need to. Her voice is beautiful enough. I don't care what Simon Cowell says about her ability or need to improve. She made the outward changes because someone, probably a lot of someones, insisted she needed to improve her appearance. The towns-folk who listened to her sing regularly in the local pub certainly didn't need to see her looking any differently.

Why is it we want to package things and people differently than they are? How come we see a stranger and make a judgment about their abilities and character? Why do we classify the people we meet by how they appear?

I wonder what kind of a world it would be if we didn't judge at all. If we waited to find what was inside. It might be an interesting, almost certainly surprising, experience. Give it a try for a day.

 

Until next month, that's it from

      Bob 'The Big Guy' White...

 

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April 3, 2009

 

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

A few ramblings about people

 

The White Rabbit Syndrome

 

I now feel somewhat like Lewis Carroll's character, the infamous white rabbit. My monthly blog is a few days tardy and there is only one reason. Either I've procrastinated or I've fallen prey to the malady that sometimes affects those who labor with words.

Most mornings I usually wake early and write. After an hour or two I fetch the paper (since we don't have a dog), make a pot of coffee and crawl back under the covers to spend a few moments with Loa reading the paper, especially the comics, and talking about... well whatever. This morning when I brought the coffee and paper she took one look at me and said, "Are you okay?"

I hemmed and hawed for a few minutes. No writer wants to admit he's suffering from the dread disease: WRITER'S BLOCK. But I was. And yes, I finally admitted it. Then it hit me like a brick in the forehead. Hey, dummie, write about what you know. The stuff that usually churns through my head and falls easily though my fingers to the keyboard has been hijacked, at least temporarily. I now had a subject.

Then, I began to wonder. Since I'm usually a punctual person, how could such a seemingly small thing like failure to think creatively cause me to be three days behind? I'm still not sure, and I'll probably stew about it for the next two weeks (or more) till I've found a satisfactory answer. And there's the rub. It's the tiny little things that derail our plans and ideas. The miniscule that halts movement toward something larger and more important. The insignificant that infects us with the 'white rabbit syndrome'. "I'm late. I'm late!"

Until next month, that's it from

 Bob 'The Big Guy' White....

                                          

 

 

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 March 1, 2009

 

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

A few ramblings about people

     What can you learn from a horse?

     Usually I have a little something to say about our human race and how we react to one another. This month I have a story to share about a horse. Actually she's not even a horse, just a pony; a pony whose story came to life in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

     Abandoned after the hurricane, Molly wandered about for weeks until she was finally rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stored until... well, you know how that usually goes. At the farm she encountered a pit bull and almost died from her injuries. When her right front leg became infected the overwhelmed vet at the shelter went to Louisiana State University for help, but Molly was a welfare case. Again, you know how that usually goes.

     Despite official neglect some people did come to Molly's aid. A veterinary surgeon who amputated her right front leg and obtained a temporary artificial limb. Then a prosthesis designer built her a custom leg. Molly's a great pony with a lot of spunk and she responded to the care. But she still needed a home and an owner, not just caretakers. Kay, the owner of the rescue farm, couldn't stand to see the tiny pony with a big heart go the way of most rescued animals;so she adopted the speckled three legged pony and found her a job. Molly now visits shelters, hospitals and rehab centers.

     I first witnessed Molly when I watched a video of her interacting with a young boy who'd had his leg amputated and didn't want to use his prosthesis. Molly put her nose down to him, as he sat in his wheelchair, as though she was trying to tell him, "You can do it kid."

     "If Molly can do it," he said. "So can I."

     You can find more of Molly's story posted by Louisiana State University at:

http://www.lsu.edu/highlights/2006/10/molly.html

Until next month, that's it from Bob 'The Big Guy' White....

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  February 1, 2009

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

a few ramblings about people

What is a Hero?

Still fresh in my memory is the scene played repeatedly on my TV screen. A few people of New York watched in real time awe as Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger glided his Airbus 320, without power, to a safe landing on the surface of a frigid Hudsen River. The world proclaimed him a hero.

"Sully", as he is known to co-workers, family, and friends said, "We were simply doing the job we were trained to do." Although, what he did, in saving all aboard his plane, seems almost miraculouos to many he maintains that doesn't make him a hero, even though others call him that.

To me what he did after the plane went down is far more heroic. He walked down and back the 90 foot length of the cabin, not once but twice. (And in the dark — no less. Once on the water the electricity is gone.) While the plane slowly sank a bit deeped into the frigid water of the Hudson he had to make sure everyone had made it outside to safety and rescue. That care, that concern for his passangers, his fellow travelers is what separates him from many of us. Our first instinct when faced with a traumatic event like that is to save our own skin. Not Sully. He truly is a hero. It makes me stop and think how much I care about my fellow travelers. Thanks, Sully, for the lesson in how to live. There's more of my rambling on my web-site. Here's the link:

http://www.bobwhite4stories.com

. If you know someone who would enjoy reading this monthly writer's blog please send me their e-mail address: I can be reached at:

robert.white9912@verizon.net 

Until next month, that's it from Bob 'The Big Guy' White....

 

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January 1, 2009

 

BOB'S BLOG

Something New

 

        Many of the people in the world (at least those not at war) are engaged in preparations for a New Year's celebration. That set me to wondering. Why do we focus on those things new? What is the attraction? Is there something buried deep within our psyche that is attracted to the original?

         While I don't have answers to all the questions I do have a thought— Really many thoughts on the subject, but I'll limit this month's rambling to just one. It doesn't matter if it's the new year, or a new day, or just a new moment in our lives.

        The other day in a fit of pique I said something harsh and childish to my wife. I knew as the words left my mouth I'd have been better off if I kept it shut. (Have you ever been there?) I hurt her. And wounded, she snapped back. It took me a few moments before I let her know that I was wounded too, but my pain came from the fact that I offended the one I loved and I really hadn't wanted to. And, yes, I apologized— with deep contrition. Later that evening she told me how much it meant to her when I told her I never wanted to hurt her. We touched and shed a tear together. We had a new moment. Ah-hah! There it was. A new moment to at least savor.

        You can find new moments in every day. You could take a look at the new story posted on my website — a short romance published by LBF Books. Here's the link to my web page: http://www.bobwhite4stories.com .

If you know someone who would enjoy reading this monthly writer's blog please send me their e-mail address: I can be reached at: robert.white9912@verizon.net

Until next month, that's it from Bob 'The Big Guy' White....

                     

  

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December 4, 2008

 

BOB'S BLOGSPOT

Coming Home

       The holiday season is upon us. This is a time when we often think of the comforts and warmth of home. The greeting cards we receive have pictures of a warm hearth, peaceful scenes... images evoking tender memories. It's "over the river and thru the wood..." This is the time we think of hearth and home.

       That reminds me of the first lines of a John Denver song which begins with the words, "He was born in the summer of his twenty-seventh year, coming home to a place he'd never been before."

       There is something power