There is the highway

And the homemade lovin’ kind

The highway’s mine

And us ramblers are getting the traveling down

You fathers build with stones

That stand and shine

Heaven’s where you find it

And you can’t

Take too much with you

But daddy, don’t you listen

It’s just this highway talkin’

Townes Van Zandt

Perhaps the best analogy for our situation on this planet is the frog in an increasingly hot kettle of water. We feel the water warming but we don’t fully grasp the danger of our situation. The fragility of our mother earth. The destructiveness of humans when we are divided rather than united. And how our poor choices continue to bring great harm to the plants and animals we must coexist with. So on we go. We are simmering. Anger and resentment and contention keep us distracted and wasting our efforts fighting one another over little things while the big things will soon overcome us. Soon the water will begin to boil and the frogs will start dying.

But so it goes. My mom (and many others I know), are eternally optimistic. Things will work out they say. Technically that is not untrue. What that reckoning is exactly is the question. But what can we do but simmer in this planetary hot tub and try to enjoy our time while it lasts. Anyway; pessimist, realist or optimist. What does it matter? Without someone to lead us out of this kettle the outcome will remain the same. I told you so will ring hollow in the end.

2022 was sort of a nondescript year I suppose. We had some good times and advanced a few agendas. Black Dog Ridge was just a hole in the ground and a few crates of concrete blocks a year ago. Got back to Europe for a couple of weeks. Amsterdam and Cologne. Then other trips to Cancun and Chicago and Florida. Rescued a dog from a life of servitude in an Amish puppy prison—The Jungle Fox. News seems to mostly be repetitive. Trump is weakened but still talking trash and generally being a world-class pain-in-the-ass. 

A new coffee and gelato shop—another notch in the belt of new business openings.

Final year of my 6th decade as it turns out. I’m writing this 3 months out and perhaps presumptuously assuming I will click over the gears to a 7th. 

Brittany and I are closing out the year with a long eastern seaboard roadtrip. Columbus to West Virginia to Virginia and then to Tampa and then the return trip. A lot of firsts for the Jungle Fox and she has done well. Long lazy days in the car. She got her paws in the ocean for the first time and got to rumble with dogs of all sizes and flavors at Clearwater dog park.

We had a good visit with Marv and Kathleen.

Brittany supported my dream of being a rockstar, right up until we drove to Florida from Ohio. 12 hours in the car with me singing gave her some unique perspective about my prospects. But I remain committed to my dream.

Brittany says I have ablets—not quite abs but something. I’ll take it.

The day may yet come when Blockchain and NFT’s and cryptocurrency seem like rationale solutions to real problems facing society. But right now it still feels like a Ponzi scheme propped up by bored wealthy techno-geeks and celebrities desperate to be perceived as intellectuals rather than overpaid egomaniacs playing a children’s game. Prove me wrong. 

Some jail time for one of the Ponzi architects might sober a few of the zealots. So that’s current news.

We often do a little stock taking at this time of year. It dawns on me that it’s easy to perform this exercise selfishly—as in what fun things have I done, or have I advanced my career. But perhaps the better question is what have I done to help others. Relatively speaking, I tend to think I am on pretty firm ground here. I try to do my bit. Between Silver Linings and MYO and school fees and a few other endeavors. But then I think, really? Am I really doing so much.

Because I’ve been involved with charity work so long now I have a decent idea what a lot of people do for contribution. At least I think I do—of course I never really know for sure. So it’s easy to compare my situation to others in this respect. But why is that the measure? Is my duty to just do a bit more than others? Definitely I could do more. Should do more.

This requires more thought and I will be having a hard look at my monthlies. I always seem to be able to come up with dollars for martinis and fine meals and motorcycles and trips abroad. I’m no fucking saint that’s for sure—and that is not my point nor my goal. But I have long embraced that our time here is not meant to be singular. And I get a good solid sense of gratitude when I feel valued and that I am contributing in some small way to positivity and hope. I’m all for having fun of course, but gratification and life contentment are the bigger goals and that requires a more responsible view of what it means to be part of a society. 

Anyway. Senseless rambling. Thinking out loud.

I’ve already put down a few words about how I would like to shape my 2023 experiences so no need to repeat them here. It’s now down to the discipline of doing what needs to be done. I am actually looking forward to it. It will mean some different choices for sure. Writing is a solitary pursuit and so time must be made each day and each week and each month. Much of the work I need to do at Black Dog Ridge will be solo—finishing the outbuilding, building the trails, doing the landscaping. But it’s good for me. I am at my best when I have that balance of solo and interaction. Too much of either and things get dicey. 

Writing from SAN, gate A5; waiting for my flight to ATL.  Brit will pick me up there and her, The Jungle Fox and I will point the SUV north and make our way home to see what 2023 brings. We will ring in the new year, most likely, someplace in Kentucky. Maybe we can even find a little country bar that is open late and meet a few new friends. 

One highlight of this trip. I met two terrific cousins that I’ve never met before—or if I ever did meet them, it was when we were all too young to remember. Kendrick is an artist and designer who lives in San Francisco and his brother Aidan is a Pharmacy doctor living in LA. Along with Stephen, the 4 of us really had terrific conversation and a great (too short) visit. It’s refreshing to bump into amazing people—it feels uplifting. Like perhaps hope remains for us after all. 

I’m throwing up some new photos along with perhaps a few repeats. Mostly to remind myself of this point in time when I am old and sitting around smoking cigars and drinking whisky full time instead of as a hobby and my memory is failing me. 

No other news of note on this last day of 2022.

Humbly Submitted

2 thoughts on “Momentum

  1. I’d been off a while for health reasons and just wanted to say how great it was to catch up on your writing and adventures. Not to mention the many things you touched on that are food for thought. Your place looks like it’s coming up fantastic! Hope you and yours had a wonderful new year and all the best on your trip. 🙂


    1. Thanks for the kind words!. Yes, things are coming along. Hope you have a great year ahead as well. Very best

      Liked by 1 person

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