Friday, July 24, 2015

Letter to my friend, my Mother, MaryAnn Bonnett.

Mom,

I’m writing to ask how you’re doing and to let you know that I'm alright now. It’s been a while and I miss you very much. I know everything is awesome where you are. I know it’s everything you believed it would be and more. Sometimes I wish I could be there with you, but there are people who need me here and I need them too. Perhaps I’ll catch up to you when I’m no longer needed in this dimension.

I’ve been doing some traveling to see that there is more to the world than all I know. I left Louisiana and am now in Charlotte, NC. You would have liked Charlotte. It’s a very progressive city, in terms of arts and culture.

I’m doing pretty good overall, considering my current situation and circumstances. I’m meeting a lot of new and interesting people. Many are helping where they are able.

I joined the YMCA and have been exercising on a fairly regular basis. Walking mostly, but it’s a start. I think I’m going to try my hand at racquetball to see if I like it. I'm sure I will. I spend my days mostly at the libraries, there’s about 7 or so here in Charlotte, and the coffee shop reading and studying or thinking and meditating.

I’m keeping a blog to journal some of my experiences and travels in life and to show some of my photography. I hope you don’t mind that I post this letter to you there. It’s helping me to cope with the changes I’m going through right now.

So many things are changing in our country right now. I bet you’ll never guess who’s running for President. Donald J. Trump! He’s doing very well in the polls, not surprisingly. He’s ringing the Republicans’ bell and it’s resonating throughout my generation. I thought you’d like to know how your secret crush, Don John, is doing.

Molly’s doing well although she’s is not currently in my care, though I hope to have her back soon. A very nice family offered to keep her for a while as I attempt to get my feet under me here in Charlotte. She’s been a huge comfort in your absence and I don’t think I would be doing as well without her companionship. I miss her a lot.

I don’t talk to my Dad much anymore. I just don’t know what to say or how to talk to him anymore. I don’t have to tell you that I still Love him very much. I just feel like it’s best for everyone right now.

I know that you have forgiven me for all the things I’ve done that were unbecoming of me. I’ve grown a lot and want you to know that your faith in me and Jason was never misplaced. Jason is a very good man and father, brother and friend. Without him I don’t know how I would cope.

Mom, I never got a chance to tell you in the end what a wonderful Mother you were to me. You were my best friend. Thank you. I miss you and I Love you.


Your friend and son,
Michael

P.S. Please say hi to Aunt Peggy for us, and let her know that we miss and Love her too.

Image from Google images.
No copyright infringement intended.
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bipolar America: Choice or Choiceless? You decide (or not).

I just recently learned what noodling is from a couple of cute girls the other day. Sometimes I think maybe I'd be better off just noodling through life, letting everyone but myself make all of my decisions for me. Letting group thought and action and reaction pervade all aspects of my life. Like crowd surfing at a concert. Anticipating and projecting what they think I need or want, which essentially throttles free will and the ability to choose. It would certainly make me feel cleaner in a filthy world. Don't get me wrong, some filth is not a bad thing.

I mean, even in our drug use, some of us  speedball because we can't decide if we'd rather be up or down. Now we have designer drugs like ecstasy so we can go in every possible emotional direction at the same time. And this phenomena also bleeds into our sex culture. I think that's why some people are into group sex or having more than one sexual relationship at the same time, because it's choiceless. They get it all in one sitting! Not having to make choices also frees us (at a very high price) from the responsibility of setting priorities. But who needs priorities when we've built a system (of government and commerce) that sets our priorities for us. Where statistics dictate our every action and reaction. Whatever, I guess. Making individual choices is overrated anyway. Who wants to think for themselves when we've got an automated society to think for us, absolving us from any responsibility or culpability?

I've often been told that lettings go is the key to solving many of life's challenges. Is it really though? I want to let go, I really do, but I'm scared that it will mean becoming another faceless, senseless drone within the hive mind of an already oblivious world, devoid of understanding how it affects the individual.

Let's make up our individual minds or our collective conscience America! The choice is ours, if we choose to make it.

Graphic from Google images.
Artist unknown.
No copyright infringement intended.
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Hyper-Excited!!!



As I have traveled through Charlotte, North Carolina pondering what my purpose in life is, or should be, I have learned many things about this city. I decided that while pondering the meaning to some of life’s fundamental questions, I would journal via Blogger about some of the things that captivate my attention as I “move around”. (Lol, there’s a joke in there.) Since I have been here in Charlotte, I have learned of their (CATS), Charlotte Area Transportation System, and how robust, progressive and potentially expandable the system is. There are two main features that I will focus on in the next few paragraphs.


At 9.6 miles long the CATS' LYNX Blue Line (above) is the Charlotte region's first rapid transit light rail service in North Carolina, with 15 stations including seven park and ride locations. With free parking (below) at about half of the stations and hundreds of spaces, this should be an incentive for drivers and carpoolers alike.


The Gold Line (above) connects riders to bus and light rail services, health care facilities, entertainment, education and small businesses. The CityLYNX Gold Line runs from the Time Warner Cable Arena to Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center with six stations along the way.

Parking not shown, to right of the parking sign.

My previous mention the transit system of Charlotte is in regards to an article I read the other day in Popular Science. As transportation systems develop and evolve, as well as a city itself, it becomes increasingly more difficult to integrate these systems within cities and communities and also to integrate these systems together.

Now, imagine a nationwide maglev bullet train network that connects to smaller regional networks that connect to even smaller citywide networks of tubes whooshing people and freight around the nation(s) at speeds approaching Mach 1! Imagine being in downtown Los Angeles at 8:00 AM and arriving in New York city in under 6 hours, which is about a 40 hour drive!

The project of Hyperloop as envisioned by Elon Musk (and others) is to develop a high speed, intercity transporter using a low pressure tube train which would reach a top speed of 800 miles per hour (1,300 km/h).


Illustration from Google images.
Author unknowwn.
No copyright infringement intended.
email me for credit.

Also known as HTT, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is a research company formed using a crowd collaboration approach (a mix of team collaboration and crowd sourcing) to develop a transportation system based on the Hyperloop concept, which was envisioned by Elon Musk (and others). (see Popular Science July 2015 edition; Hyped Up, by James Vlahos. pg. 32.)

Though, I admit, I do not know the technical design issues that would undoubtedly be inherent in such a massive undertaking, I have envisioned putting this type of technology to work in a massive, nationwide, underground network. This network would consist of two or more outer rings around the coastal and Canadian borders and several smaller, more concentric regional rings and even smaller local clusters of rings with integrated passenger platform hubs. Underground construction would certainly save space and would undoubtedly lessen the project cost by avoiding the conventional real-estate issues.

Think about the perplexing magnitude and proportion of such an undertaking. The potential jobs that would be created, both directly and indirectly would certainly reach into the hundreds of thousands and quite possibly reach into the millions over the decades of construction. Focusing the United States’ enormous and growing labor force and potential on such a venture would surely help to reconstitute the unity this country has displayed in the past as evidenced by other great feats such as the Hoover Dam and other monumental projects throughout American history. Not the least of which was our railroad system which is still highly used today and will continue to be utilized into the foreseeable future.

We could also integrate a massive effort to, lay new, or relocate existing digital utilities such as fiber optics and electricity underground where they would be less exposed to the elements of nature as well as out of the way of such things as roadways and flight paths.

Not only would the economic impacts of the construction itself of such a nationwide focus bolster our economy exponentially, but think about the advancements such an achievement would have on future commerce and travel in terms of saving space, time, energy and money. The economic impact and technological advancements could potentially afford our future generations a future never before possible.

As a unified Nation, not only can we do this, we absolutely should do it!
As an American people, let’s go big or burn ourselves out trying!

Friday, July 17, 2015

To Love anyway.

I’m at odds with my Maker about an issue right now. As I believe, as a Christian, I am bound by my beliefs to Love regardless of whether Love is reciprocated. (Let me clarify myself by saying that I'm speaking more so of general Love than of an intimate sort of Love.) Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Saint by any means and I’m not a perfect Christian either, so I can be driven to loath someone as much as I Love them. The issue I’m having is that I have recently met a woman whose face I long to see and I don’t know exactly why. I just met her. And granted she’s as beautiful a woman as God has ever created. I guess what I’m getting at is that I’m feeling guilty that my expectations of reciprocated Love should apply to everyone regardless of their faith or lack thereof. The truth is that not everyone follows the same set of beliefs or principles.

I think I’ll Love her anyway and live in Hope that Love will be reciprocated rather than expecting that Love has to be reciprocated.


These flowers are for her, and they represent the equivalent of her beauty in nature.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

To the Pathfinders.

For a long time I have been in a serious funk that I am just now beginning to emerge from. Thanks in part to some new and interesting people that I have recently met and some various support services, I have come to see that not only is it not as bad as I sometimes think things are, but also that I am not alone in my suffering in pursuit of happiness. I think perhaps we are all trying to get from the land of misery to the land of bliss at some time or times in our lives. Although these times get rough in some instances, they are drastically compounded when we feel as though we are going it alone. And by alone, I mean without human companionship and/or friendship. I find that sometimes we are meant to experience parts of our lives alone in order to find the equilibrium required to be a successful member of the right community, resulting in deeper and more meaningful relationships.

I have a saying that “Time tells all things true.”, so perhaps, in time,
I will be able to confirm my ideas.

In a sense we all become way-finders sooner or later.


Thanks to all who have gone before me in my endeavor to find my way.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Coffee anyone?

I rolled into Charlotte the other day and, I was tired and in the mood for gourmet coffee and just as I came around the corner I spotted a little coffee shop on the corner. I pulled into Central Coffee Co. lot and went in hoping for the best. Well, I have to say, it's pretty damn good coffee. So, as I have been traveling in Charlotte for the last week or so, I started to notice just how "central"
Central Coffee Co. actually is. Almost every day, or sometimes two, I would query my GPS for a destination and more times than not I ended up passing Central Coffee Co. on the way to my destination. Needless to say, every time I pass by, even if I'm unable to stop at the time, I think about their coffee and when I do have the opportunity to stop, hell yeah I do. Central indeed!

Monday, July 13, 2015

The birth of Patriotism?

Captain James Jack, a Charlotte Militia Captain and tavern owner, risked his life to ride to Philadelphia in June of 1775, more than a year before the U.S. Declaration of Independence was drafted, to deliver documents to the Continental Congress that expressed Charlotte's call for liberty from the tyrannical British Empire and its king George iii. This act may have been a prelude to the greatest document in American history in which the second sentence declares,

"We hold these truths to be self-evident,  that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

My intentions for this blog

It is my intention for this blog to be a platform in which to share tidbits of interesting facts that I learn on my journey, or my opinions on particlar matters whether my experience with each posting is positive or negative. I will try to limit my postings to more positive entries of facts about people, places or things that I happen upon on my journey. It is my hope that this project will help me to realize that there's still good in my life and in the world, and to be a conduit to help inspire others to see the same.

Thanks,
Michael Champion

Sunday, July 12, 2015