Posts Tagged With: magic

THE MAGIC BANK ACCOUNT

I’ve been absent this page for weeks and I’m still engaged in time consuming commitments. Much of it has to do with the building project in Oregon and some time out for friends and appointments, and downsizing here at home, before heading back on the road with Jim. Downsizing my email was also on the list. I’ve got at least three months of emails unanswered or waiting to be deleted. Aha! Light at the end of the tunnel. I ran across this email that I received from a friend and thought it worth blogging. It is called The Magic Bank Account:

The author is unknown. It was found in the billfold of Coach Paul Bear Bryant, Alabama after he died in 1982.

Imagine, a magic bank account that you had won; the prize in a contest:  Each morning, your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has a set of rules:

#1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.

#2. You may not simply transfer money into another account.

#3. You may only spend it.

#4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.

#5. The bank can end the game at any time and say “game over”. It can close the account without warning and you will not receive a new one.

What would YOU personally do?  You would buy anything and everything you wanted, right?

Not only for yourself, but for all the people you
love and care for. Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t
possibly spend it all on yourself, right?

You would try to spend every
penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the
morning, right?

ACTUALLY, This GAME is REAL
Shocked ???
YES!

Each of us is already a winner
of this *PRIZE*. We just can’t seem to see it.

The PRIZE is
*TIME*

1. Each morning we awaken to
receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life.

2. And when we go to sleep at
night, any remaining time is Not credited to us.

3. What we haven’t used up that
day is forever lost.

4. Yesterday is forever
gone.

5. Each morning the account is
refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT
WARNING…

SO, what will YOU do with your
86,400 seconds?

 Those seconds are worth so much
more than the same amount in dollars.  Think about it and remember to
enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than
you think.

“DON’T COMPLAIN
ABOUT GROWING OLD.

SOME PEOPLE DON’T GET THE
PRIVILEGE!”

GOTTA GO. HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS ADVICE AS MUCH AS I DID.
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MOON PARTY GIBBERISH.

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Sunday night, I was invited to a moon watching party. My neighbor Jan loves things zany and fun. I showed up in my midnight sweater and yellow moon shirt, I intended to gossip and dish the dirt.

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I told them they wouldn’t be seeing the moon because I lassoed it and cooked it like a young spring loon.

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Through the overcast, we didn’t see a star, the moon was cooked or someplace far. But, Jan had a star tied to her fence;  I think we’re both evil and must commence- a magic spell.

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But, the night was early, we munched and ate dinner and played games for hours, when the hint was for a swim suit the answer was flowers. Becky was jubilant when she guessed one right.  She wanted my hat, but I said, “not without a fight.”

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I did take pictures of it; not meant for a queen, it is more on the style of a time machine.

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A moon at midnight, takes timing and watches, (that’s literally watches the hat holds seven.)

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It’s power was weak, it didn’t influence heaven.

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As the evening wore on, Cheryl opened her pouch.DSC07429 (Copy)

An all-seeing crystal and rose, clear and smoky quartz. A geode of sky blue, magic was about.

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Cheryl placed them strategically, a gateway to the moon.

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Jan and I atoned for our evil sin. May the whole world let the light in..

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…and find peace and love, everywhere. And, it works one person at a time, I know, I was there.

Happy Moonday!

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LAST DAY IN JILIANG

The Hun Dynasty is from 200 B.C. Most Chinese are Han Qiang (han-chung)) The greatest challenge to China is the Tibetan people.  China seems to step all over itself when they try and crack down on Tibet with the  whole world watching. There was a border incident just after we left where two Tibetan’s were killed. Yunnan Province borders India, Burma, Laos and Vietnam and was once the powerful kingdom of Nanzhao that defeated Chinese armies and controlled the trade routes to India and Burma before Khublai Khan. America’s Flying Tigers were based here and thwarted  the Invasion of China by Japan in the 1940’s.  The province of Yunnan has 25 different minority groups. China is  still  leery of minority people who might try to be independent and form their own government. It is so peaceful and beautiful here, we find it hard to understand. Viki tells us that at one time China was set into strict class lines. Her grandfather was a scholar and was sent to Shenyang Province and lived with the Uygurs or Greware people, under very tough living conditions. He married there and  Vicki’s mother was born there and married  an Ethnic born in Urumki. He was persecuted and sent to a “struggle” meeting and made to live in a cow shed. He tried to kill himself but Grandmother was strong and he survived and eventually the family was allowed to move to the city.  When Viki  was a child, learning how wonderful Mau was, she once heard her Grandfather say, “Mau is a bad guy” knowing he could be killed for saying so.  One of her Uncles was a Red Guard and considered her father a traitor and accused him of crimes and persecuted his own brother. When Mau died, everyone went crazy. Some wanted revenge, others shed tears. Afterwards, they wondered how stupid they could be. Life under Mau was unpleasant for most people. We really appreciate Vicki’s  openness  about China’s infamous past and faux pas of the present.

This is the walled entrance to Jiliang where modern vehicles can drive. Buses are not able to drive into the city.

Tourists unload and walk into the city or load into a smaller vehicle. I took this picture mainly because the  baby boy is wearing split pants. You can’t really tell. But Chinese children traditionally were  not diapered. Some still wear split pants and are set down to urinate or poop and the parents pick up the waste and deposit it somewhere just as in the old days when human fertilizer was saved for the fields. The government, according to Viki,  discourages the practice and most city babies are diapered.

And, as expected, modern vehicles share the road with the more common bike-trucks.

The river and the ancient water ways dominate the city which sits at the confluence of three different rivers.  Before the fire burned half the city down, every street in Jiliang  was narrow for people walking or on horse back with a waterway beside  the walkway.

Entrance to each shop next to the waterway is a rudimentary bridge, often old planks.

The streets are teeming with customers and no one would even think it was dangerous. The U.S. would bring it up to code and ruin this ancient city, we think. It is at least 3,000 years old.

In front of this shop is a character asking people to pay to have their picture taken with him in his native costume.  His pipe reaches to the ground.

I’m entranced and sneak a picture of him. Isn’t he gorgeous? Oh, to have the language!

Water loving willows grow profusely and grace many of the old buildings.

But, most of the activity is on the square.

These sturdy little horses are called Jiliang Horses and are a desired commodity among the mountain people of this area. At one time they were a trade commodity along the famous Silk Road. The horses outlived the market for silk and eventually tea trade dominated the Silk Road.

These horsemen had parked their steeds and didn’t mind having their picture taken. They appeared to be working wranglers or traders of some sort.

The square is always filled with entertainment, like this  Naxi group dancing  and singing. I curse myself for not taking more pictures. There were tumblers, jugglers and magicians with a vessel out for donations much like break dancers and musicians do in San Francisco. This day is Oct. 30th, a double nine (lucky) lunar holiday. (I have no clue what that means.) It is wonderful to have a day in this ancient city that began as a stop along the Tea-Horse Road, a network of high paths and dangerous passes over the mountains into Tibet and other parts of China. The tea was packed in bricks and bales and we still see it sold that way in bricks, bales and huge hat shaped rings.  We couldn’t figure out what the bales were until we left Jiliang and asked Vicki who explained that those tea shops we saw, with myriad tea pots and cups, were really selling tea.

Michal and I do some last minute souvenir shopping and arrange to meet Wanning and Judge Dean Determan for dinner on the moat adjacent to our hotel which is the only food court in town where all the exotic foods, the music and night life happens. The paving stones were once washed by a trick of the ancient water system where the town streets and square was flooded and rinsed  debris back into the river. Wanning shows us her haul, beautiful scarves about six feet long and three feet wide for $4 each.  She leads us back to the shop at dusk and we get them for $3. She says, “And I’m Chinese, I’ve been taken.”  We all laugh. On our way back for dinner, a vendor tried to sell us fried grubs, inch worms and cockroaches for a snack, but we declined.  We instead opt for a dish Wanning and Dean recommend with a tomato broth and noodles with bits of water buffalo and beef. But before we decide, one animal on the butcher block looks familiar but we can’t identify what meat it is. “Dachshund,”  says Vicki who is always around on the fringes of our activity to answer questions. We  groaned but Vicki is very forthright and doesn’t try to protect our western squeamishness or apologize for their customs. We decide the people in this area like their pets too much.

We  keep gawking fascinated by every thing we see.  The octopus, urchins, shelled creatures we can’t identify. Fish with heads and eyes and fins still intact. The insects and beetles, turtles and strange colored mushrooms. Pickled vegetables we have never seen before. Seeds and pods and edible grasses and baked delights in neon colors. We can’t decide which is most fascinating, people watching or cruising the food court; listening to thousand year old  music, or the hum of exotic languages;  “hiyee!”   sharp musical calls from waiters scurrying back and forth between tightly packed tables. The glow from ambient lantern and torch light;  people stooped or sitting cross legged  in dark corners.  We know we are glimpsing the threads of an ancient past, with no definition but magical.  Unforgettable.

 

 

 

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AS THE DAY GETS CLOSER

The older I get, the simpler my Christmas becomes. I feel closer to old friends as I write my cards.

As a family, we gave up giving each other gifts long ago, except for the children. As I age, I know that Christmas is a matter of the heart and we value the gift of time with each other over anything else. That includes the food,  an important part of our shared time together. Special dishes, lovingly and thoughtfully prepared.

Fond remembrance for Christmases past. The profound enjoyment of the music, the tinkling of bells. Teasing the kids, perpetuating the magic, and looking at Christmas through their eyes.

Appreciating the trappings of the season all around us, glowing lights, cheery voices, the smells of cedar and pine, the colors shining bright, secret smiles, hidden glances, the scurry and hurry and expectation of things to come.

And Peace. We don’t expect World Peace to happen as much as we may wish it. But, in our country or city neighborhoods,  where Christmas dwells, 80% or more  people take a day out of their work to celebrate Christmas, and there is a sense of peace. Little traffic on the road. The quiet of a neighborhood as everyone turns inward to reflect upon the  beauty, the warmth,  holiday hugs, the family together, the deeper meaning of Christmas Spirit. Love, Joy, Hope and at least, a day of peacefulness.

 

 

 

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PENN & TELLER

 

Last night, we went to the Rio to see Penn & Teller, an offbeat magic, comedy act with a whole lot of audience participation. In person, they resemble Mutt & Jeff. Teller is short and Penn is six foot seven. Teller is mute on stage so Penn talked the audience through some pretty amazing stunts, all the while explaining that slight of hand, magic, psychics, mind readers, are all fakes. Penn tells you how dishonest and untrustworthy magic can be because people are vulnerable and can be scammed by them. Then they demonstrate their magic art, mind reading and psychic talents. They also reveal how much of it is done. That is, he takes the old stand-by acts, like sawing a lady in half, and showing you how its done. Then, he gives it a bit of a twist unlike any sawing a lady in half done before. It was a fun show.

No pictures are allowed during the show, but people were invited to come on stage and examine a typical box before the show and sign their names on an envelope.  Probably a hundred people, including myself checked it out. Some guys got inside of the box, tapped and probed, opened and closed and tried to figure out what was different about this box. It stays on stage within view of the audience at all times. When the show opens, Teller pops out of the box.

Pictures are allowed in the lobby and before and after the show. They’ve been playing Vegas at the Rio for ten years. They make political statements and do unusual things that keep it interesting. My favorite skit was the cellphone taken from a sucker in the audience onstage that ends up inside of a fish in the audience.

This is Teller.

This is Penn. They greet the audience as everyone leaves the theater and autograph your tickets or program if you wish. They bought their own airport security metal detector. Penn can get you through security with a machine gun. Go to the show and check it out!

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THAT TIME OF YEAR

 

My partner, the weather wimp, is basking in Palm Desert, and enjoying the warmth and sunshine as many people do. But fall and winter have their appeal.

The smell of burning brush, getting the yard cleaned up; the coolish, sometimes crispy weather feels good for a change.

Summer heat gets wearing and glaring. Enough is enough. Welcome fall with bold, colored leaves.  Cold starry nights to gaze upon those immutable orbs and wonder about the vast above. Tuck inside with hot soup simmering on the stove.

And, when you go to a meeting, as I did last night,, with the local Democrats Club,  you get dressed for a holiday party and get a small stocking full of treats by your plate.

And see folks dressed up like reindeer.
On the way home many houses already lit up declared Christmas is at hand. I listened to non-stop Carols on the radio. It puts you in a happy frame of mind and you recognize its that time of year when a bit of magic is in the air.
They say the world will end in fire. Some say ice. If I had my drothers, I’d take the ice.

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