Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Don't Sit Still

Hi Everyone!

Sorry I'm late this week -- Monday and Tuesday were incredibly hectic!

Some good news regarding my recent theft -- we found out who did it (it was our houseguest).  He sold all the guitars to local pawn shops and a Guitar Center -- they have his picture, video surveillance, and his ID confirming all of this.  My daughter has gone pit bull with ther police -- she called every ten minutes demanding they schedule an investigating officer.  They finally did (probalby to quiet her) -- this would normally take months to do.  She gave him all the information; they've issued a felony warrant for his arrest.  We also have two people who drove him to the local stores who will testify against him (he told them his dad had given him the guitars).  Turns out he stole some jewelry from one of them as well.

Total cost of the stolen items is now over $20,000 ... this pushes it into a more serious felony (doubling the jail time). 

Don't know if I'll get my stuff back -- not sure how it works.  Cops said "Sure, you'll get it back", stores have said "Sure, we'll sell it back to you".

Still, it's a good start to the week for me.  Heading up to Middlefaire in Hillsboro this weekend.  If you're in the area, come pass by and say hello!

How about we jump into this week's reading?

Our first card is -- the Eight of Pentacles.

This card suggests that pleasant feeling we enjoy when we're learning and applying newly learned skills.  It suggests the sort of focus we have during this time.  This type of exercise does take some effort -- but it's the type of effort we don't mind ... because what we get back from the effort makes it worthwhile.

Let's see what our second card suggests about how we might apply this effort -- the Nine of Cups.

I call this one the "Fat and Happy" card -- doesn't mean you'll be fat and happy, but does suggest taking time and being able to enjoy and appreciate the things we've earned.  Sounds kind of obvious, but many of us don't take the time to slow down and appreciate the fruits of our labor.

When we put them together, we might ask "Why should we commit ourselves to a project?"  The answer ... "Because you'll enjoy the process -- plus, you'll be able to enjoy what you've earned because of that effort."

It's hard to sit pat with the skills you may have.  There's always something new to learn ... you never really stop learning.  How can we see this learning process as something to enjoy rather than something to fear?  Just remember how good it feels when you learn a new skill -- you feel so much more capable and pleased with yourself.  Then think about the extra benefits you may gain because of the learning -- new job assignments, praise, maybe even some monetary or physical benefits.

Basically, you become a more capable and better person.  And ... that's how it's supposed to work!  Don't sit still -- keep moving, learning, and growing.  The payoff makes it worth the effort.

And that's it for now -- I'll be travelling Friday, so may not make it in time for the weekend reading ... but I'll try to do so!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Keep Earning It!


Hope your week's been going well -- mine has been pretty busy, but pretty productive, too.

I'm heading up to Middlefaire in Hillsboro, Texas next weekend; had to go to Fort Worth this week and found a new route in the process!  Much easier than what I've normally done.  I can take the same route to Hillsboro, so I'm pretty pleased.

My daughter's off to have some (elective) surgery this afternoon.  I'm not supposed to know what it's for (tatoo removal?  I wish!), but have to take the afternoon off to do driving duty.  I don't mind sitting in waiting rooms -- get to catch up on reading!

Let's jump into this weekend's reading ...

Our first card is -- the Six of Wands.

This card is a celebration card -- it suggests those times when we've been successful and that success is being acknowledged.  The message here is "You earned it, so enjoy it!"  Seems a ridiculously obvious thing to say, but society tells us we should be humble.  Humility is fine -- but you want to be realistic as well.  It's okay to feel good when you come out on top!

There's a slightly darker side to this message, though.  It's saying "You did well today -- but don't get cocky ...  tomorrow's a new day!."  It's reminding us that we face challenges every day.  Just because we're successful one day doesn't mean we don't need to put forth an effort the next day.

And our second card refers to this -- the Three of Swords.

If I were ever tempted to remove one card from the deck, it would be the Three of Swords.  It suggests heartbreak -- great sadness.

In this shared context with the Six of Wands, I see it leaning towards that darker side of the Six. 

It's okay to be confident -- to assume you'll be successful in the future just as you may have been successful in the past or present.  However, that doesn't mean it's automatic -- you have to face your challenges and put forth a good effort to overcome those challenges. 

None of us are entitled -- if you want something, you have to work for it and earn it.  Don't sit back and expect it to happen -- you must make it happen!

Hope you have a great weekend -- I'll see you again next week!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Sun Will Rise!

Hi All,

Sorry I missed yesterday -- this week's started off very busy for me.

Hope you had a good weekend -- we had some company and did the Renaissance Festival thing.  Had a really good time -- but also had something unfortunate happen.

Some of you long-timers may remember I've had a couple of instances where someone snuck into my house and stole guitars.  Happened again this past week -- they took 16 guitars, 3 mandolins, and a viola (about $15,000 total worth)  What's screwy is they left most of the guitar cases!

We've had a house guest (one of my daughter's friends) who was supposed to only stay for a weekend while his new apartment was readied.  Ended out lasting almost three months!  We don't know 100% that he took the gear, but we do know he constantly left our house unlocked (even after being told not to do so) when he was gone during the day.

We'll do the police report thing this afternoon -- although I'm not expecting the police to do anything.  The first time I had guitars stolen, I watched the thief auction them off one at a time on Ebay.  Reported each one and the name of the seller to the police as it appeared; they did nothing.  The second time I had guitars stolen, my son actually caught the thief inside our locked house (he had climbed in a window).  The police again did nothing.  I don't expect anything different this time.

Anyway, it's a new day and a new week.  Not going to let it get me down!

How about a reading to start our week -- we'll again draw two cards.  The first offers a suggestion to consider; the second offers perspectives we might use to help us think about the first card.

Our first card is -- the Six of Swords.

I've mentioned before that when you see an old black-and-white movie where the gypsy fortune teller pulls a card and says "Oh, you will be taking a trip over water" ... this is the card she pulled.

It doesn't mean you'll be taking a trip over water -- but does suggest some sort of change you might be considering.  One of the reasons we fear change (even if we want it) is because we fear the uncertainty it involves.  "Things might be worse if I change!" True -- but they might be a heck of a lot better, too!

It's normal to feel unsure when you're considering change.  When you're in this situation, it helps to recall the reasons you're considering change in the first place.  Want a better job?  A better living environment?  New relationship?  These are types of reasons for change.  Think about the reasons you desire change and it helps get you over the uncertainty involved in making that change.

Our second card suggests what we may encounter during a change -- The Sun.

Think of uncertainty as a cloud that's masking things -- you're unable to see things clearly; everything is uncertain and confusing.  As The Sun rises, it slowly burns away that cloud -- making it easier to see things as they really are. 

One thing that you always know -- the Sun will rise!  When you're unsure about things, you know that you'll eventually be able to clear away that uncertainty in order to analyze things as they really are -- so don't shy away from issues because you're unsure about them!  Of course you're going to be unsure about something new -- but as you learn more, you'll be able to view and know them clearly.  Just let the Sun rise!

Hope your week goes well -- I'm off on the road tomorrow, but hope to be back in time for a weekend reading.  Talk to you later!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Confidence Gets You Through!


Hope you had a good weekend -- we had a wet one!  Didn't get the flooding that other areas in Southeast Texas received, but a good soaking.

Did a little woodworking, watched some football -- fall weekends in Texas!  My favorite time of year.

I appreciate the feedback on the radio show -- and I think the Youtube channel might be the best way to start.  I'll have to find a young person to show me how to use my camera first, but I hope to have something started in a week or so.  I'll keep you posted when something happens!

Let's move on to our reading to start the week -- we'll again draw two cards.  One offers a thought to get us in motion, the second refines that thought so we can best utilize it.

Our first card -- the Knight of Swords.

I've said before, some cards are masculine, some are feminine.  The Knight of Swords is probably the most testosterone-laden card in the deck!  In the deck I use (Robin Wood), the knight has a sword, he's riding a horse ... and it can fly!  What can possibly be more "guy" than that?

This is actually a good card -- it's full of energy and full of confidence.  This knight sees a challenge and is charging off after it.  He's eager to solve the issue!

His weakness is his eagerness -- he's so quick to act that he often misreads the challenge.  He's charging off for a solution in one direction -- but may be more successful if he looks in a different direction.

Sometimes the core issues aren't blatantly obvious -- we have to reason things out in order to understand them.  Only then can we make a careful and thoughtful decision regarding how to approach our problems.

Not to say the Knight of Swords won't be successful -- but he's probably not going to be efficient and may make several false starts before he finds the right course.

False starts can cause us to lose confidence -- we'll win if we stick to it, but constant failing makes it hard to stay the course.

Let's see how our second card can help -- the King of Wands.

If this King were a person, he'd be a very successful businessman -- or maybe a powerful and benevolent statesman.  He's extremely confident -- this spreads to his followers; they become confident, too.  This King believes in himself and in the rightness of his actions.  He knows the right thing to do and he is confident that he will reach the outcome he's chosen.

When we look at both of these cards, we see that the danger of the energetic Knight is that he may lose confidence -- especially if he fails a few times.  The King, on the other hand, is supremely sure of himself.  The King tells us to remain confident in ourselves and our ability to achieve what we desire. 

Let's use the energy of the Knight -- and try to temper and guide this Knight with a little evaluation -- and use the confidence of the King to get us through any temporary setbacks we may encounter.  These are merely stumbling blocks -- we can overcome them!

And that's it for now -- hope your week goes well!  I'll be back with more later ...


Monday, October 07, 2013

Be Optimistic -- New Challenges!

Hi All!

Ready to start a new week?  I know, I know!

The weather took a turn here in Houston over the weekend -- we had a real cold front come through Sunday.  Temps in the low 70's; people in Houston are trying to remember where they stored their winter gear!

It rarely gets really cold (like down to freezing) in Houston.  When it's in the "cool" range (which means anything below 70 and 50 degrees), we break out our sweaters.  When it's "cold" (read between 50 and 40 degrees), we break out the winter coats.  Not sure what we do when it's "freezing" -- it just doesn't happen all that often!

One year, we had a fluke cold front that unexpectedly brought temps down to the mid-40's.  I had no idea where our cold-weather gear was, so ended out sewing up a handful of quick-and-easy fleece earbands (take a look at  Fleece Ear Warmers!)

The only downside to our "cold" fronts is that our normal "hot" weather usually returns after just a few days.  I remember days in February where we hit 100 degrees!

It's not as bad as it might seem -- we spend a lot of time in air-conditioning!

Before I jump into this week's reading, let me ask you a question.  I've been considering hosting a weekly web-based radio show -- probably about a 15 minutes segment.  You could listen to it either online or via phone at a toll-free number.  You can even post questions and comments.

Question is:  Do you think I should do it?  Would you be interested in listening if if I do so?  If so, what times/days do you think would work best?  I did a test show last week at 4:30 CST on Friday afternoon.  Do you think earlier is better?  Or later?  Different day?

I'll look forward to hearing what you think -- just leave a comment below to let me know.

Okay, now lets jump into this week's reading -- we'll again pull two cards.  The first suggests some starting point to consider; the second offers some perspectives we might want to consider.

Our first card is ... The Fool!

It's hard not to like this card.  It suggests innocence, excitement, looking only to the positive and ignoring the negative.  It suggests new engagements, new directions, new potential and possibilities.  It only sees the good side, not the bad side.

True, it sometimes gets into trouble with this approach (it is called The Fool, after all!); but it also can stumble into grand situations.  Remember, this card doesn't mean you follow this approach throughout your experience with a new situation -- just that you let your optimism lead you into potentially good situations.  After all, if we always look at the negative side of things, we'll never get out of bed in the morning!

It's good to be blindly optimistic about good prospects sometimes -- but once we get moving, what should we consider as we deal with issues?

Our second card suggestion -- the Eight of Pentacles.

This is actually a good follow for The Fool.  The Eight of Pentacles isn't afraid of new endeavors.  He enjoys taking on new challenges and learning new skills; he isn't afraid to put in a solid effort to help himself succeed.  In fact, if the Fool suggests the beginning point, the Eight is a perfect mid-point.  This Eight isn't really worried about the end result yet.  He finds comfort in doing the work necessary to lay the groundwork so that he can achieve his ultimate success.  He's not impatient -- because he's enjoying the learning and effort involved in the mid-point work.

Will you succeed?  Maybe so, maybe not -- but The Fool will get you going ... and the Eight of Pentacles helps you through the mid-game.  Play these two right to lay a solid foundation to increase your chances of achieving your goals!

That's it for today -- hope your week goes well ... and keep looking for opportunity!

Oh -- and be sure and let me know what you think about the radio show!


Friday, October 04, 2013

Put the Rabbit in the Hat

Hi All,

It's almost the weekend!  A cold front is scheduled to pass through Houston -- bringing temps down to the mid-80's!  (Well, that is a cold front in Houston).

We've got cleaning and straightening up scheduled all weekend.  Will probably end out not doing anything, though.  That's just the way is seems to go.

My daughter's getting her Associate's degree in December -- went through the process yesterday to get it all arranged.  She's going on to University of Houston in the spring for her BS in Marketing -- they have several campuses in addition to their main one.  They have an excellent business campus in downtown Houston and I think that's the one she'll be attending. 

I told her to consider continuing on for an MBA -- if she plans the courses right, it'll only add another year to her schooling.

It's so hard to go back to school after you're out in the working world (that's assuming you can find a job in this 14% real unemployment world -- but that's another story!); we've been telling her to get all she can now.  I think she's starting to understand that a little bit now!

She's been working at her first real job for the last two months -- part-time waitressing.  Some night's she'll do really well -- like maybe $300 in a three hour shift.  Other nights, not so well - like maybe $8.00 in a shift!  Still, she's starting to see things from a working taxpayer point of view.

In other words, she's now reaching that grown up point where you realize you don't really know everything after all!

How about a reading for the weekend?  We'll start with -- The Empress.

The Empress is a very maternal, nurturing, and caring card.  It suggests taking time to consider personal relationships that matter to us -- to consider ways we can better the way we handle our environment -- and to consider ways to create a better living environment for ourselves and those we care about.

Where does this bring us?  Let's look at our next card, the Three of Wands.

I envision this card depicting someone who is expecting his ship to arrive.  He's done the front-end research necessary to be successful, he's put the pieces in place so that he can realistically expect success.  And ... after doing all the prep work, he's now taking a moment and is expecting to succeed!

He's not seeking success by playing the lottery or hoping for a quick fix -- he's taking the longer but more certain route by doing the right things in order to be successful.

I've been corresponding with a wonderful person for years via this Tarot medium (I'm not going to name her, but she knows who she is).  Recently, I emailed her that "The best magician cannot pull a rabbit out of a hat -- unless there's already a rabbit in the hat!"

The message -- don't worry about the outcome.  Instead, start laying the groundwork so that the desired outcome becomes inevitable.  If that's schooling, then get it done.  If that's work experience, then get it done.  If that's contacts, then get it done.  If that's learning a particular process, then get it done.

Once you've done these things, you've greatly increased your chance and expectations of success.  If you keep it up, success is inevitable.

In this case, since we began with the Empress, I'm thinking we're looking more at personal issues rather than professional issues.  Think of your living environment, your friends and family -- what would you like to improve?  Then ... what can you do to best encourage that improvement?  Start picking away at the obstacles -- once done, you can realistically sit back and expect success.

That's it for now -- have a great weekend!


Tuesday, October 01, 2013



I hope your week began well!  Mine started slowly -- had to wait at home all day yesterday because I had a water leak in the attic.

I have two central AC units in the attic -- both used drip pans.  They'd pull much of the water from our super-humid air (Houston) and would drip the condensation into a drip pan underneath the AC unit.  A drain line led from there and exited on an outside wall.

Worked fine, but every now and then the drain line would get clogged.  The drip pan would fill up and start overflowing into my ceiling.  The ceiling in one of my upstairs bedrooms once actually completely fell in from the water!

Turns out it's an easy fix -- just go up in the attic, stick a tube in the junction between drip line and drip pan, and BLOW really hard.  Clears it up pretty easily.

Problem was, I never remembered to go and do it until it started leaking!

So, the last time the AC was serviced, I asked the AC guy to do something about the drip pans.  He complied, eliminated the drip pans completely, and created a drip line straight from the two AC's directly to the outside wall.  Worked great -- for a while.

Turns out this line can clog up, too.  Because of the way the two drip lines joined right at the edge of the roof line, I couldn't get in there to try and clear it up.

I had to call a plumber -- I was kind of ticked because I had asked the AC guy to try and eliminate this problem.

The plumber cleared the line; when he was leaving, he said "You know there's a cap on your drip line you can use to eliminate this problem.  Just open the cap, pour in a bottle of bleach, and replace the cap.  The bleach will kill the algae that plugs the drip lines."

How brilliant!  I wish the AC guy would have mentioned this when he fixed the drip lines!

Anyway, ceiling's not leaking anymore and I'm going to add "Bleach in the drip line" to the yearly maintenance list -- maybe even the bi-yearly maintenance list!

Let's get on to this week's reading.

Our first card is --- The High Priestess.

This is a card that gives guys trouble -- but women tend to identify well with it.  Guys don't like it because we just don't understand how it works -- meaning we don't understand how it CAN work!

The High Priestess is essentially feminine intuition!  It's that special unexplainable something that women use to make mental leaps from one place to another.

I honestly think both women and men have this sort of intuition -- but men tend to ignore it.  Women best use it to analyze complex situations -- instead of having to puzzle out each step, women listen to what intuition tells them -- enabling them to make mental leaps to arrive at the proper solution.

This is a wonderful tool we can use -- but we don't always trust it.  Often, after intuition tells us the leap, we then try to confirm it by rationally analyzing it.  Sometimes that works, sometimes that doesn't -- but it always delays us.  Intuition works best when you don't try to explain it -- you don't know why you know something, but you do know that you know (if that makes any sense!)

So, how can we best use our intuition to help use this week?  Let's look at our second card to get some ideas -- The Heirophant!

This is an interesting mix -- the Heirophant is the authority figure, the rule-follower.  He completely ignores intuition -- if there is a problem that needs to be resolved, the Heirophant wants to solve it the tried and tested way.  He's not an innovator -- he wants to follow established rules and methods.

I'm thinking we can combine these two approaches -- follow intuition until it reaches a point where established methods can take over.  If we try to follow our intuition the entire way, we may fail.  If we try to follow the rules the entire way, we may also fail.

But -- when we combine the best parts of both approaches, we best optimize our chances for success.  We shouldn't ignore either method ... but should incorporate each where it best fits.

And that's it for now -- hope this can help you approach any issues you may face this week!

I'll be back later with more -- see you then!