For every dark cloud, there is a silver lining. Does anyone has change for mine?
We are the BORG. Resistance is Futile! |
We are the BLOG, read, comment or be assimilated.
(If that joke is old, please drop me a line. Thank you very much!)
I never took myself seriously. Why should you? But at least I have some good qualities.
I am a good listener even though I am not that good of a writer.
I don't like to talk about myself that much, so please comment on your thoughts.
I am satisfied with my life, which makes me a very unbalanced person.
I do not get bored easily, but please feel free to try.
I do not have much free time, so that makes me a Dad.
Oh, and because of the previous three items, I can only write in Fantasy Genre. I fantasize about the time the kids will move out.
(I will delete and deny ever wrote the above sentences when the time comes that either my wife or my kids found out about my blog.)
OK. Let's pull up a chair!
No, wait! Where are you going?
Please come back! Please!
(A bit too much? Tune down a little bit? )
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
That's my new picture.
No, not the toilet.
Didn't you see me wave in the tank?
|My dear friends!
I thought about just fading away.
Let my name shrink and just ... slip into Cyberspace oblivion.
But some how, I will try another blog, a good-bye blog entry.
The year at WDC had been interesting.
Made a few friends, just a few, but that is enough.
You know who you are!
It is too bad that I kind of lost the time and energy to participate.
The trip to China had been ... miserable, to say the least.
A sickness in the family. Lung Cancer, Stage IV. It is like a 100 ton hammer hanging by one thread over our heads.
The biggest crisis and the biggest challenge I had ever faced to date.
I think I will need all of my time and energy to combat the dark cloud. Regardless of the outcome, my wife, my kids and I will come out of this as different people.
But for now, I think I will need to lock down the castle, draw up the bridge, check the inventory, and sound the horn for battle.
I will check in with you guys once in a while, and hopefully, when I emerge from the ashes of my life, and return to WDC, I can still see your ugly, lovely faces around here.
Don't work too hard! That means you and you!
Understand your heart is the strongest muscle in your body, it will not break even if you bare it to the world to see!
And ... please ! Please! Always face downwind and away from the crowd when you have the urge to ... in front of a roomful of people.
Aww! The mystery of life!
This is now that time of the year again!
Well, at least for me.
I will be migrating (like a wild goose) to China for the next three weeks.
I will be gone until ... pretty much the smell of the 4th July BBQ lulled me home.
So... until then, stay safe, stay happy, and please save some ribs until I come back!
|We got rain and snowflakes yesterday. Unfortunately, the snowflakes are black. Ashes from a nearby bush fire in the hills.
Every year here in Reno, there are always a few fires to keep us half roasted in the summer.
I have not been updating my blogs lately, not because I am lazy ...
OK, I am lazy. But now the lazy man found an excuse. The wife is gone again. She took my son and went back to China, leaving me to deal with our 2rd grade daughter.
If she is not scheduled to be back in August, I think I can write a country song over this.
Oh, wait, she will be back in August, so I can still write that song. Except, I don't have a dog.
Can anyone of you loan me an old dog on the back of an old beat up truck? With a good-looking woman inside driving it?
I am not asking much, as long as she looked exactly like Faith Hill will be all I am asking...
Or anyone who can yell loud enough for my daughter to hear.
"Finish your homework first!"
"Finish your homework first!"
She had already developed an internal voice filter that specifically filter out my voice.
OH well! where is my old guitar?
|Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
He was a Bowdoin College professor. Then he joined the union army in the Civil War.
At the battle of Gettysburg, he commanded the regiment that held the extreme left flank on Little Round Top. In the thick of battle, his regiment was against a full division of the Southern Army. After his men had used up all the bullets, instead of retreating, he ordered a charge. By doing that, he and his men saved the battle. That battle was believed to be turning point of the Civil War. Because of the outcome of this battle, the Southern Army lost the strength to overun the North, and therefore lost its chance to win the war.
For this service, Chamberlain was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
But that is not the reason that I honor him here. In April of 1865, Chamberlain was selected by General Grant to receive the formal surrender of arms and colors of General Lee's Southern Army. On that day, he made history.
On April 12, Confederate General John B. Gordon and his soldiers were met by Chamberlain and the Fifth Corps at Appomattox. Upon their arrival, the Confederates were astonished to be honorably welcomed by the marching salute. This gracious reception prompted Gordon and his soldiers to salute Chamberlain and his men in return.
Chamberlain ordered the salute on his own. The victor honored the defeated. He honored the people that a week before had almost killed him in an ambush.
It is way beyond a grand gesture. This is an understanding. When the war was fought among brothers, there was no glory in victory, there were no victors, only beaten brothers.
By honoring them, he was honoring the sad truth.
He was the true and only hero in my book.
And I honor him by using part of his name as my screen name.
|This entry is dedicated to our friend ~✿~ Krysha ~✿~ .
Happy Birthday to Miss SensualRoses!
It is for your happiness, my dear friend, that I took a moment from my daily enjoyment of my daily life to shine a light to your gloomy stormy state of mind. (OK, granted, the light is the size of a firefly's butt, but ... hey, what the hell? I am not allowed matches ever since I tried to put out a kitchen fire with a fire extinguisher. I thought it was like a little grenade. You threw it, it would explode and put out the fire. Perfectly sensible, right? I mean, it is not like I would need to read an instruction to operate it, right? )
Have you ever had a day of pure happiness?
A pure happiness is by definition, happy. But not just any happy day, but a perfect, meaningful, and no regret happy day! That from morning to night, just happy, happy, happy!
A vacation, maybe?
No, a vacation cannot be that perfect. From long hours of flight to long hours of car driving, to long hours of waiting in line. Especially if you are living in Vegas or Reno, that was itself a tourist destination. When you looked at them, standing in 100+ degrees of heat, just for a few minutes of a fake ship battle that happens every hour or so. Or you can watch a dirty looking white tiger that was showing you its butt, did that make your day a happy day?
Don't get me started with Disney Land!
For my wife, (not even my kid, mind you?) I have to kiss up to Piglet. "My wife is your biggest fan," I told the fluffy pink pig, "Can we have a picture with you?" Of course, it nodded its head, and we got the picture.
Now, here is a moment. I, Josh Cham, a grown man, 6+ feet tall, with glasses, tried my best to put up a smile to talk to a little guy/gal in a pink puppet suit, trying to get a picture. What is the meaning of this? Is that a true happiness?
What about movies? What do I care if Jason is slashing Freddy or the other way around? Neither of them will die!
What do I care if Yao Ming only had 9 points last night for the Houston Rockets? He did not even know me.
All of these are just distractions, basically. Distractions from daily life.
Where is that pure happiness then?
How about other stuff? Supposedly good stuff?
You have a job so that you will get money. You will have an education so that you can find a job so that you will get money.
What if you already got money? What if you won a lottery or something?
There was a documentary that was talking about how the lives of lottery winners had changed. Not too pretty, I might add.
So, it solves, once for all, money can buy stuff, can buy crap, but it really really cannot buy you a happy day.
What about family? What about children?
Why do we have kids?
Why do they resemble porcelain dolls at one moment, and scream machines the next?
If life has a lesson, a purpose, what is the purpose of raising a young?
You try your best to shield them from harm. But that is a losing battle, and sometimes, a wrong battle even.
Instead of flourishing, they will turn into spoiled brats that will be good for nothing leeches on society.
To have children is to suffer for all your life. From babies to toddlers, you worry about whether they were hungry, cold, sick, sleep alright, lonely or not, and even if their BM are right on schedule. Then when they go to school, then in addition of all that, you start to worry how are they interacting with other kids, whether the teachers will like them, how are their grades, and on top of that, if there are drugs or violence in their school. Then they start to be in heat. Oops, excuse me, then they start to be teenagers. You, as parents, generally, cannot even help on that. All of your experiences, all of your heartaches and pains cannot even transfer to them. You will have to watch in pain, all the mistakes they will make that you had already done. If they are lucky, they can find good mates, and if they are smart and lucky, they get to keep them. Then ... with the heaviest sign I can make, the cycle starts again. Kids for them and grand kids for us.
OK, Miss Sensual Roses, please reflect on this. From my gloomy assessment here, the peace and quiet of a cemetery is not that bad at this moment. All you have to do was to just lie there. If you are bored, you can push up some daisies. (OK, that is from a unreliable source. We had no confirmation on that.)
But, what about my first question? Have you ever had a day of pure happiness?
What about an afternoon? An evening? An hour? A minute? A second? A moment?
A moment of happiness? Pure and simple, and meaningful. It is not one of those comedy moments that you laugh, but afterwards, you thought, "Hey, that is not really that funny. What the hell did I laugh for? Boy, I really regret that laugh!"
No, not that! Not a distraction! Not any kind of false happiness! Not something that you will regret later. Not something that you will feel sorrow later. Not one of them, "As long as I have this memory to sustain me, I will be happy." That is one of the biggest load of ... that ever invented by a writer.
NO! None of that! A happy moment! A truly peaceful happy moment, that you can experience on reflection with a smile, and it was just sunny, sweat, and everlasting!
Have you ever had that?
Hey! I can tell you, I am having one of these moments right now. It is now 9:16PM 25 seconds and tick!
Tock has not come yet. I am enjoying that moment between tick and tock.
All is quiet in the house. My daughter is asleep in her room, finally, after whining about cannot sleep for 45 minutes. My wife and my son are asleep in the their room, finally, after the little guy invented every trick he could think of, not to sleep.
Alone at last, in this moment, between tick and tock. I have slowed down the time just so that I can write this one out. 9:16PM 26 second will not come for a while yet. And I am inviting you, my friend to enjoy this moment with me.
You don't need to do a thing! Just relax your mind, and let the sound of my dull typing, tapping fingers take you to this moment.
The pure happiness is there all along! Without a penny to purchase, without any pretension and without any distraction.
It is there, between every tick and tock, even with every tick, and every tock, but the sounds are too thundering, so I am only showing you the gap in between!
Go, find it, my friend! Just like the good master Yodda once said, "The force is with us, surround us, bind us ..." or some crap like that. Anyway, substitute the word "force" with the word "happiness" and you are a Jedi master as well.
Or, like the black robed Neil said in "Matrix", --- "Wooh!" ...
Ok, he is not that big on speech.
But he found his happiness when he was about to die, and his world changed from physical to a digital matrix, right before his eyes. And that also happened between tick and tock, mind you!
With me, it is at this moment, right now. 9:16:26 is still waiting. A sinkful of dirty dishes and bottle still waiting. A hot shower still waiting. Some TV, some chip and salsa still waiting. It is at this moment, the moment between contraction and expansion, pure happiness can be found.
It is there, every moment of every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every month of every year of every life!
Go find it.
It is even in your sickness. In your 102 fever, the little dizziness, the last cough.
Slow it down! Slow it down to the point that only your heartbeat is heard, and even that is slowing down, down, down until you can not even hear that. It is slowed down to the single never cell that is discharging...
Enjoy that moment!
Hey, if I can enjoy my moment while I am sitting on my ... throne in the bathroom here, thinking, "Man, I need to eat more bran!" ....
You can enjoy every moment for what it is!
Nothing is normal! Nobody is healthy! Everyone is unique, and everyone is given the best life he/she can handle. YOU just have to know how to enjoy it! Sometimes you will have to look small to understand big.
OK! Now! Off you go! it is officially 9:16:26. Excuse me while I go and check to see if it is a sinker or a floater.
P.S. Terribly sorry about all the crudeness in my nature. But one of my favorite author said his best ideas comes when he was in bed, on horse back (he lived somewhat hundreds years ago, so... still I think he was bragging. With his financial status at the time, the best he could afford was a 3 feet tall jackass.) and on toilet. And you have to understand, at that time, toilet was just a hole in the ground. So I think he probably need some fiber in his diet as well.
But still, the tone of this entry is exceedingly bad taste even for my standard. So ... I sincerely beg your pardon on this. I think the smell is getting to me!
The above entry is brought to you by:
Rasin Bran! The every day, right on schedule kind of breakfast.
The colorful toilet you saw at the start of the blog.
May your every flush is a AquaFlush.
And by the letter "P".
And by Viewers like You!
And Keep Regular!
|** Sniff, Sniff**
Ahh! Spring is in the air! I know, I have the allergy to prove it.
Do you guys all feel it? Like the meowing cats in the backyard, just feel it in your being? When I was young, really young, there used to be a bunch of cats in the alley that went on a concert every Spring night. Unfortunately for me, none of them can carry a tone! They were like scratching metal while strangling ... cats ... so... basically they were like strangling themselves.
Night in and night out.
It got to the point that I started to store up pebbles, bottles, anything I can found around the house, and threw at them when they got to be too much. That will disperse them for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then the concert renews.
At least the rabbits around my yard now are quiet!
Anyway, I guess my question is that --- Do human beings have the same urges like the cats, feel that pulse of the nature and just wants to go out there at midnight and howl at the moon "Spring is here! Spring is here." until the neighbors all lit up, and cursed out of the window, and called police, and your wife and kids screamed and yelled and said, "Daddy, Daddy, what are you doing? Come on inside, it is cold and you are na...."
Do you? Well at least I ... don't.
Most of the instincts have been dead inside of me now, the rest are killed by that allergy medicine.
Oh well. Who needs the urge to ... imitate a cat?
|Or better yet, is it Summer yet?
I can't believe I slacked off for about a month now.
As I pull myself out of my cave, yawn as hard as I can.
Please excuse the bad breath.
And stretch myself to the full form.
Oww! Oww! Oww!
And scratch myself to my heart's content.
You ... don't need to see this.
OK! Wake me up when it is 4th of July!
|This is like something out of a cartoon.
I am so tired, I am like paper thin and cannot even push myself off the floor.
Like any good movie, it started innocently enough. My son had a little running nose, just a little bit, so my wife got an appointment to take him to the doctor. The Doc gave him a little medicine for that.
Then, 3 days later, he had the worst earache. It got so bad that we were on standby to take him to the ER at 2AM. But whenever we were ready, he would go into sleep, and whenever we started to relax, he'd wake up and wail.
4 long long hours later, we were in my car, parked outside of the doctor's office, without an appointment. I felt like a bank robber, watching the closed door like a hawk.
We got in without saying, "Give me the doc and nobody will be hurt!" And I did not need to hold a gun either.
But of course, I am holding my son, and by that time, he started to vomit, so he was like an effective Bio weapon.
Anyway, we got more medicine for the little guy, and put him on Mortrin to deal with the pain.
Then he started to have fever. Pretty high fever too on Saturday. Once again, we trodded off to the Urgent Care office. After a long long hour of waiting with half of a dozen unhappy coughing crying children, we saw the doctor.
She told us it is now a virual infection on top of the ear infection. The solution? Give him Mortrin for both the pain and fever!
Thank you doctor! I would not have guessed!
Now, it is a routine now. Every 6 hours, the little guy will spike a fever, whine, fuss, cry, but do not want to take the medicine. After much efforts, and silly movements, he finally took his medicine, and half hour later, he is like a recharged energizer bunny, until the 6 hours are over, and he would stop on the clock and start all ... over ... again.
This morning, his fever seemed to be better, and ... Oh, by the way ... his running nose returned!
This is my life, and my card is the Health Insurance Card!
Sorry, I had not had a chance to read any of your blogs yet, with the turn of events, I will get to them when my wife got better.
Did I mention my wife started to not look so well?
|Have you ever had vivid dreams? Dreams that are so real that when you wake up, you are not sure it was a dream?
One of the ancient Chinese sage had a dream that he was a giant butterfly. The dream was so real that he told his teacher about it. His teacher said simply that was memory left over from his previous life. He was that butterfly in his previous life.
I had a dream that I was a dungbeetle, so I totally disagree with that theory. ... Totally!
My wife had a dream about her grandmother, who passed away a few years back. She said her grandmother looked fine, and she touched my wife on her shoulder. When my wife woke up, she could still feel her shoulder cold.
Sometimes, I could control my dreams. It was a weird feeling. In the moments that I could see the logic flaw of the scenes passing in front of me, I knew I was in a dream. Then I could control what happens next. For all of you love your dreams, I will recommend you to try it sometimes, it was like directing a movie, or more of a "Star Trek" Holodeck kind of a feel. You are the writer, director, and actor in the movie, and it is a masterpiece!
Well, it is to me anyway.
I had such an experience a few nights back. It was a fantasy movie, with magicians and magical items.
It has that "EarthSea" saga kind of feeling. The story goes like this:
A magician apprentice arrived in a town that was the home of five great magicians.
It was a festival to celebrate the achivements of the five magicians. In the middle of the market place were five long tables draped with white cloth. Each one was displaying some magical items. These are the greatest inventions of the five magicians. Each had magical powers that was beyond common man's comprehension.
The apprentice looked at the items. They looked anything but magical. Five metal dishes of various sizes arranged in a particular order. One copper frog. All too ordinary.
And the crowds weren't particularly paying attention to them. After all, how seriously can you ever look at a copper frog. The attention was paid to the market surrounding the area. There are so many people that the apprentice had the weird feeling that if one of them ever tipped over the table, all of these precious items will be lost among people's feet.
And there are no guards, no safeguards around the tables. Anyone could have picked one up, or even steal them. But, it seemed that nobody cared.
During his stay in the town, the apprentice made a huge discovery. He had always thought he was an orphan. But then he found that both his father and his mother were alive. They were the students of one of the great magicians in town. They were wanted by a powerful force, so their teacher concealed them with his power. He transformed them to look like other people. It was one of his crowning achievement. The magic was so powerful and binding that unless his parents reveal their own identity, nobody will know. Hence lie the drama. If they reveal themselves, the magic is broken and their lives will be in danger immdiately. But for the apprentice, it is such a burden, such a longing to know who are his parents, to touch them, to see them, to feel them.
He wandered to the lecture hall. One of that teacher's student was showing the copper frog. The ordinary looking, the ugly looking copper frog was the key, the focal point, the knot of the transformation magic.
And yet, even though everyone knows about it, even though it was displayed for all to see, even for all to touch, or for anyone to steal, it contained all the magic within.
Nobody can break it, nobody can see through it, nobody can reverse the logic. It was just an ugly looking copper frog.
The apprentice stood by the table, looked at it, watched the instructor picked it up, waved it around , passed it out, and returned it, and even invited all the students to use their power trying to channel with it.
All were amazed at the little ordinary looking object. The instructor even assured them that it was the real thing, but only the great magician can make it work and it will only obey his command.
Then the apprentice thought that if it can distinguish its master from all the others, and since it was such a great achievement, maybe, it has some intelligence within.
So, he started to try to communicate with it. Instead of using his power, he used his heart.
A small riot happened outside the lecture hall, it interrupt the lecture. The instructor ran outside to investigate. As he went out, his feet tripped on the table, and the little frog tipped over.
At its bottom, a crystal was showing. The apprentice looked at the crystal, and suddenly, a projection appreared from the crystal. It was the image of a man, a short sturdy bald man. The apprentice knew the man to be his family tutor. His teacher into the world of magic, his Dad's best friend.
Suddenly, it all made sense to him. That is his Dad, his real Dad. All along, his Dad and his Mom, the tutor's wife is with him.
They never abandoned him. They were with him, watching over him, all this time.
He was overwhelmed with joy, and he ran out to find his tutor. He found him in the street, talking to his twin brother.
He ran to him, but stopped himself. Even though, he wanted to call him, even though he wanted to see his true form, he cannot. He cannot call him. He cannot name him, otherwise, the magic will be broken. So he just went to him, and gave him a good tearful hug.
The tutor was surprised but happy, but his twin brother was tearful. Of course the twist is that he hugged the real tutor instead of his Dad. But that did not matter.
Well, what do you think? Nice dream huh?
|This is a really weird feeling.
I sold my son to a house with several big rooms of kids of all ages.
My wife paid the lady at the front office, and that was final.
We, (my wife and I) lulled our 2 year old son into a yard with some other kids, and we planned our escape.
First, my wife told him that she was going away for a bit, but she will be back. Then she was gone.
My son looked up from his interest in a beat-up old tricycle, and found me standing by the gate. He did not object, merely looked down at the tricycle again.
He was not smiling. I can see that. He was a little bit weary of the place, too many strangers, and they all spoke the language that his sister sometimes uses. He had not gotten a hang of it yet.
Then I escaped. "I'm going to work now, " I told him across from the fence, "Your Mum will come to pick you up in a while. Bye-Bye."
He did not say Bye-Bye back, but he did not cry. He just watched me gone.
I did not go, of course. I merely went inside and watched him from a different angle.
The tricycle is starting to lose interest to him. Instead of playing, he was looking up, searching, for at least one familiar face.
But not one was in sight. He did not cry, ... yet, just looked lost.
I went back to my wife. We took care of a few finer details. Paid the lady, got a passcode to come in, and gave all the information on how to contact us.
Then, we could not resist, we went back to steal one last peak. My son was at the gate. He was trying to work it open. The teacher was trying to stop him. He is tall for his age. He could reach the latch. Knowing my son, I know it will only take him a couple weeks, then he would sneak out. He was not crying,... yet. He looked at his teacher, trying to watch her, trying to work on her limits.
Like thieves at night, my wife and I left, leaving our son with some strangers.
This is my son's first day at a day-care center. My wife went back for him two hours later.
The teacher told her that he cried for about 30 to 45 minutes. Then he stopped, and started to play.
The lunch was rice with stewed beef and applesauce. He finished his portion, and asked, "More please!" And he got some more. His first English words to a stranger.
When my wife showed up, he did not run to her, but he did give her a kiss. When they left, my wife asked him if he'd like to go back tomorrow. He shook his head.
Too bad for him, since he is still too little to control his life.
It is surprising that I had already forgotten how my daughter went through her first day. She was a lot younger than my son at the time. My son is 2 years old now, my daughter was 13 months at the time.
We sent them out mostly for their own good. All of us, my wife and I, my parents, spoil the kids too much! And I can see my son is at the age that he started to be interested in other kids, in other people. It is time, I told myself. It is time, I told my wife.
But still, I could not help myself but feeling miserable to give my son away to a few strangers. He cried for 30 minutes, very typical of him. I don't know how long he will cry tomorrow.
Well, it is time for him to go into a center, right? I mean, you'd better say yes, if you still want to remain my friend.
He is ready to be separate from his Mum. I want him to be brave. I want him not to be shy from other people. If we keep him all to ourselves any longer, he'd lose something on how to interact with others, on how to deal with other situation.
Besides, it will only be a couple hours at first. And I know my son can flourish there. He is a charmer, very good at taking advantage of someone's good nature.
Did I ever tell you, that in China, at my mother-in-law's neighborhood, they still tell stories about him.
"That little Kevin in the No. 4 building. I wonder how he is doing. " They talked among themselves, and asked my mother-in-law.
He has a fan base there. Middle aged ladies used to flock to see him whenever he was taking a walk around the little garden.
My mother-in-law is still remembered not as her real name, but as "Kevin's Grandma".
I mean, if he can work on the people over there, he can definitely take on the people at that center, right?