It Can’t Be!! 


I heard the news just an hour ago, The Great Paul O’Neill has passed away. I guess he was battling some illness. He was 61, far too young to pass away, right? But, his legend lives on.

I remember my first TSO show. At The Historic State Theater. Of course, Trans Siberian Orchestra always does meet and greets with any fan that wishes to meet them afterward. They will stay until every single fan has been greeted. And yes, even Paul O’Neill.

I will never forget the first time I met him. The entire group was lined along a great table. My best friend and I had just seen Beethoven’s Last Night. Paul O’Neill and I struck up a conversation with the narrator of the show. I mentioned how I wanted his job, and Mr. O’Neill jokingly said, ‘Well, Maybe someday, but he is doing really well for us right now.’ 

I still cannot believe the founder of TSO is gone at 61. Thank God we still have Dick Dale, even though I don’t believe he is touring anymore.

Rest In Peace, Mr. O’Neill.

Be Like Water, My Friends. 

Be Like Water, My Friends. 

Bruce Lee once was quoted during an interview talking about how water becomes the shape of its surroundings. It is smooth, and refreshing. 

But, I want to caution you against too much of a good thing. Even water, though it be smooth and cool, flowing like a river over time, it can erode even the harshest of rocks. It can turn the sands of time into dust. 

Be like water, my friends, but be careful to not erode the beauty and strong structures placed in your life for protection. 


Image courtesy of a Google search leading to http://www.quoteaddicts.com and http://www.greatfallstribune.com

From My Corner To Yours.

From My Corner To Yours.

Your life without a computer: what does it look like?

We live in a media-saturated world. These days you’d be hard pressed to find anyone under the age of 20 who isn’t strapped into a cell phone, or iPod, iPad or MP3 player. Verbal communication has given way to text-only. Hardly anyone ever speaks on the phone any longer because now it is a computer. I am guilty as charged, your honor. It wasn’t always this way. The definition of progress has meant a chasm of growth in separation. 

I am part of the odd generation. We remember a time when all we had was Oregon Trail on our Apple IIe during computer class in the early-80’s. We were in school, and most of us even graduated high school, or God-forbid college, without the internet!! Say it ain’t so!!! It’s true young ones. The Internet didn’t really rage on to the scene until the mid-90’s!! 

My life without a computer, in its simplest terms, looks a lot like my childhood and how I wish I could live my life now. If you ask my wife she will say I am flat out lying, but even husbands have these secret places of desires of living out in the wilderness they never tell their wives about. It is engrained in our nature. Well, it was. Now we have a generation of entitled people who want everything handed to them. 

Life without computers for them? Ha!! They wouldn’t have a clue how to research a library, possibly keep a checkbook and again, God-forbid, one day will not know how to go to a store and pick out an item they see on the shelf. They won’t know how to write. They won’t know how to communicate without a keyboard or a screen. Progress???!!! Ha! Not to me!! 

Lately I have been on a serious kick, I mean almost an obsession, with survivalist shows. Man vs. Wild, Dual Survival, Survival School, life in Alaska I have watched all these shows over the past few months! It’s almost like God is preparing me to live that way, even as a disabled male. A fellow blogger friend said don’t count us disabled people out just because we are disabled. We can even do the hard stuff. 

I feel a pull within my soul to go hardcore!! And that may even mean writing journals by hand. That’s how they used to do it. Lewis And Clark, (you young kids reading this can Google them in a minute), they WALKED shore to shore of the oceans here in America over 200 years ago!! And other countries? They have histories even richer and broader than that! I am talking thousands of years!!! And in today’s world, we sit on our phones (if we can still call them that) and we have the entire internet in the palm of our hand. 

You want to know the greatest thing in the universe? He holds this entire universe in the palm of His hand!! He is God. He sent His Only Son, Jesus Christ, to Earth for all of us! He sent the ideas for technology to human beings to create. Imagine a world where one of them said, ‘Nope! I will not create this technology! We will not advance!’ We would all still be writing by hand waiting weeks to receive a letter from family. We would all be so distant from one another. Technology has brought us closer than ever before and we have allowed it to tear us apart. 

I have so many things that I wish to share with the world. I want to document when I first make a fire without the use of a match or lighter. I want to live off the land and share it with the world. I want to experience a life where my computer/phone is not accessed. But I also want the technology available to come back and write to all of you from the viewpoint of a disabled male born with Spina Bifida and say, ‘I did it, so there is no reason you can’t!’ Get out and live life, but share it! Life without computers? Sure. I could do it. But I also like being able to reach the world from my own little corner of it. 

Can You See What I see?

Can You See What I see?

Young At HeartWhat are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?

When I think on this Daily Prompt the following video is the first thing to pop into my mind. We are two days out now from Christmas Day 2015 and this film, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, along with A Christmas Story and It’s A Wonderful Life. These films conjur up images for me of my youngster days during Christmas.

http://youtu.be/-HkO5gtliYc 

I find it awesome timing that The Daily Post would ask this question around Christmas time. I never find it hard to be ‘young at heart’ around this time of year. I still believe in the magic and grace of Santa Claus. I believe he still lives in the hearts and minds of all of us and that spirit of giving and living for one another can and should be found every single day of the year. 

How do I stay ‘Young At Heart’? 

             
Thoughts and memories of being young. Why are we forced to completely grow up and forget all the wonder of our younger days? Does innocence truly need to be lost? I don’t believe so. I am almost forty years old and I believe in miracles. I believe in peace and love. I believe in the wonder of learning new things every day like a child seeing the world anew! That is how I will stay young. 

Yes, as it already is, my body will grow old and one day die. But I hope that I will keep some of the things of this body healthy so I can help as many others as possible after I am gone from this body. That is how I wish to live on. That is how I hope to stay young for as long as possible. 

Maybe one day my brain will be placed into the body of an able-bodied Athlete and I will have a new perspective with an old brain?! You never know the miracles that can be found on any street. This is my Grown Up Christmas Story Wish. Happy New Year to one and all from Rolling Blogger!!! 

I Love To Tell The Story!!!

I Love To Tell The Story!!!

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2015 may one day disappear from my memory. I sincerely hope not, because it was a 30-hour period of my life worth remembering!! 

Christmas Eve morning started off as any other holiday celebration. My wife baking ferociously in the kitchen!! Pies, cookies, a failed attempt at Christmas Crack, which is a cracker based dish with chocolate and caramel, Yum! (Usually). This time was a failed attempt, but as life often shows us, we can’t always be winners. 

We got a late start Christmas Eve and needed to make a run through Walmart to pick up some last minute necessities. My wife returned from that excursion with the emboldened phrase, “Never, Again, Ever, on Christmas Eve!”!! The day we are to be celebrating with loved ones, our local Walmart was a madhouse of corporate greed and people’s lusty lists for more “stuff!”! What should have taken my bride ten minutes took more than 30!!! So, I circled the lot. I figured it would be quicker to not have to deal with my wheelchair. 

On we go!! My sister has been blessed with a heart of Gold for God and wonderful business opportunities. My wife and I, along with my sister were able to reap the benefits of these opportunities when she cashed in some points for an Executive Suite at The Hilton in Bloomington! You have not seen The Twin Cities Southern Suburbs until you have seen them from the Executive Lounge on the 12th floor!! Wow! Overlooking a wildlife refuge on one side and Fort Snelling Outpost on the other! My wife and I actually took some time Christmas Morning yesterday to drive through parts of it and pay our respects as civilians. Awe inspiring and humbling! 

The rest of our time was spent together with pot roast and board games. We each took our turn at winning at Farkle and met one of my sisters amazing friends! It was a day of laughs and so much joy! 

Sadly, as all good times do, we ended our weekend last night with a leisurely soak in the hot tub before packing up and heading home. We believed we were headed into a storm and took our precautions, but nary a flake did fall until we were home!! Many times if you seek it, God will bless the journey. 

My wife and I have been married two and a half wonderful years and I must say, the past two days of memories will remain some of my favorites for years to come. I hope one day all of the world will join in the hope and peace of Christmas every single day of our lives. Is peace and harmony and giving freely of ones self and ones gifts every day possible? I would love to give the world a chance to find out. 

Also, I would love for us all to share our stories. I utilize this blog to attempt to bless the world. I am a writer. I write. I inspire. I give hope. I share memories so they may be remembered and built upon. I love to tell the story, of my life and God’s Love for us all. Shown in a humble, stable birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Please do not miss a chance to share your own stories. 

Who’s On First?

Who’s On First?

This afternoon during some devotional time I was reminded of the famous skit by Abbot And Costello, Who’s On First? 

I am reading through, Jesus Calling, a devotional book by Sarah  Young. The devotional for today asks the question what things come absolutely first in your life? Your career? Your family? Your spouse? Your possessions? What do you always drop everything for? If it isn’t Jesus and His Love for all of humanity, your priorities are wrong. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe your devotion to Jesus Christ and His gift He gave us on The Cross and His resurrection can be shown by putting your family and other human beings first on your list. So, who’s on first in your life? Is it really Jesus Christ or is it something else? Live out your calling today by putting Him first and you will see the best venture of your life come to pass. Who is truly on first for you today?

Perfect Strangers

Perfect Strangers

Unexpected GuestsYou walk into your home to find a couple you don’t know sitting in your living room, eating a slice of cake. Tell us what happens next.

As often happens, I arrive home before my wife. My disability requires that I don’t work extra long hours, so I often have much more time at home than my wife. As I enter the house, from a short shift at my job and running a few errands around town, I roll through our front door to see a man and a woman sitting calmly, feet planted firmly on the carpet, their shoes places nearly by the door in front of my niece’s kitchenette. Both of them have their hands placed gently on their knees hands facing down, all fingers visible as if to say, ‘we come in peace’. They are both dressed nicely, like a ‘Men In Black’ style, but something seems more ‘Matrix’ to me about this scene. I really hope they don’t erase more of my mind than time already has, but I am ready to follow the white rabbit down the rabbit hole. 

‘Holy Canoli!!!!’ I exclaim as their presence surprises me. ‘Who are you and what do you want? And where did you get chocolate cake???!!’ I shout in a concerned and upset tone. ‘We needed time away from our kids and you and your bride are awesome people! We brought the cake from Walmart. Their bakery lady makes awesome cake! You know, the lady with the fiery red hair?’ 

‘Well, I hate to disappoint you both,’ I say, ‘but, my wife doesn’t even get off work for a few more hours and we are between grocery trips right now, so I can offer you soup, eggs, milk, bread, or an Icee Pop, or water. We were not expecting guests at 2pm in the afternoon, and usually, most couples leave their KIDS with us! Where are the kids?’ I ask. 

‘We left them at home.’ The man says. The woman still has yet to say a word. ‘So, you needed to get away from the kids, abandoned them in your own home, and just randomly chose THIS HOUSE to crash in???!!’ I am getting kind of upset at this time and I lose my temper, ‘HOW IN GODS GREEN EARTH DID YOU GET INTO MY HOUSE????!!!’ All I get for a response is, ‘we have our ways.’ Very secretive couple here and I still have no clue who they really are!! 

The woman finally speaks, ‘Rolling Blogger, we haven’t been at all honest with you.’ She continues, ‘we don’t have any children and we are not here to get away from them. We love all children and see them as gifts from God. We cherish them. All future children depend upon you! No, the reason we are here is the writing. Your writing!’

 ‘My writing?’ I ask, concern growing in my voice again as we live in a time of censorship and stealing of ideas. ‘It’s MY writing! Not yours! What do you want with my writing?’ She is obviously the diplomatic one in this couple, she gently touches my hands and looks into my eyes and softly says, ‘your writing on Rolling Blogger has begun to change the world in ways you will not fully understand for quite some time. Shakespeare, Hemingway, Thoreau, Faulkner, George Orwell and so many more we haven’t time to mention– amateurs compared to your gift!’  

I find it interesting that she stopped with Orwell and used his first AND LAST name!! Why had she done that? This was truly like a scene out of 1984, Big Brother has been watching!! ‘Ok. You have stroked my ego and built me up enough! I am no writer compared to these great story-tellers, poets and wooers of women! What do you want?’ 

The man chimes in again, they obviously have their roles down in this conversation as if they know how it will play out, ‘We are from fifteen years in the future and we have seen what you become! And it all begins with your book, My Role Within My Roll.’ I interupt the man, ‘How did you know about that?! I am nowhere near done! I haven’t even thought of that book in over a year since I started Rolling Blogger and my writing has been noticed all over the world!’ ‘We know,’ says the man. ‘that’s why we are here. We want to buy Rolling Blogger from you. You will still have creative mastery over the blog, but we have a team in place that will write for it. You will still receive any and all payments and royalties from its success, but WE NEED THAT BOOK!! Society is dependent upon its completion and soon! You will be handsomely compensated for your time.’ 

I accept a check for $500,000 and turn over the writing of Rolling Blogger to this team from the future. The date was December 15, 2015. Within 8 months of their visit I complete the manuscript and turn it into a publisher that has been on board since the visit of the couple. It is published in late 2016 and rises to unbelievable popularity. I am handed the reigns of Rolling Blogger once again and I can now call myself a well accomplished world renouned writer!!! And this is how it all began, a simple visit from two strangers.