Monthly Archives: September 2013

Chicken Little and the Ozarka Security Blanket

The following is a reprint of an article I posted several years ago. I was reminded of it as I watched the rain coming down outside my front door tonight.


I saw Chicken Little today and he had his Ozarka Security Blanket. As a matter of fact, I saw many Chicken Littles today and they all had their Ozarka Security Blankets firmly in hand. They were soon to be on their way to the Gas Stations to fill up their Chicken Littlemobiles before going about their Chicken Little lives.

I live in Texas, specifically Tyler Texas. If you’re not familiar with Tyler, it is in upper East Texas about 100 miles east of Dallas. Yes, Hurricane Rita is expected to move up this way after she makes landfall somewhere around Galveston. At last report, we were expected to get approximately 4-6 inches of rain and winds in the neighborhood of 20-40 mph with gusts upwards of 50 mph; nothing I haven’t seen on more than one occasion. Last June, we had a storm with 30-40 mph winds and 70 mph gusts that bent a 8-10 inch SweetGum tree over at a 90 degree angle about 4 feet off the ground. The power was out for a few hours on that one, but the water and telephone were fine. In 2000, we had a pretty good ice storm here that knocked power out for 3.5 days at my house, but water and telephone were fine.

I say it was Chicken Little I saw because these people seemed to have a real sky is falling mentality. I’m watching this woman with this look of desperation snatching a case of Ozarka water off the shelf at the local grocery and I’m thinking, “Why are you getting a case of 12 ounce bottled water? Is it that you’ve determined that one case is the exact amount you will need if the water utility is unable to supply water for a time because of a power outage? Is it because you’ve determined that 12 ounce bottled water is the most efficient and cost effective way to stock up on water?”

I don’t think either of these is the case (no pun intended). First off, if the power does go out and the water utility is unable to supply water … highly unlikely given past history, but let’s say for the sake of argument this happens, have you given any thought to how long that would last or how much water you would need? And buying it in 12 ounce bottles? I’m thinking a few 5-gallon water containers I fill up at home, while the water is still flowing, is the way to go if I’m really serious about stocking up on water for an emergency. Not to mention a lot cheaper. Hell, if it’s a balls to the wall downright emergency, I’m filling up the bathtub for a supply! Now if Chicken Little is thinking about throwing a party that case of Ozarka might be appropriate.

Hey, I’m not knocking being prepared for when a storm comes, but people can be just downright strange at times. Yes, we may get some bad weather and lose power but to the extent that people need to stock up on water?

This seems more like the equivalent of a security blanket to me. I know I saw a lot of cases of bottled water on the news in the aftermath of Katrina and didn’t think anything of it, as far as thinking bottles weren’t a good choice. When you are handing out water to a lot of indigent thirsty people, bottles are a very good idea. But when you are only facing 20-40 mph winds, it’s unlikely anyone in my area is going to have their home blown away or even be without water. It seems more likely that those cases of water are fresh on people’s minds and when faced with another hurricane, peace of mind takes precedence over common sense. Chicken Little goes into the store, buys a case of Ozarka and walks out thinking “Whew, I’m okay now!”

This isn’t really a new phenomenon. I’ve seen similar behavior before just about every big storm prediction, especially when it is snow or ice that is predicted. First, you have to realize that where I live, snow rarely happens and when it does, it is seldom on the ground or streets for more than a day, so there is really no reason to stock up on a week or more of supplies. Yet it is common to see many empty shelves in the grocery store the day or night before a predicted storm.

Lots of Chicken Littles buying their Ozarka Security Blankets … safe once again.


The Fair

I went to our local fair last night.

Truthfully, I only went because some musician friends were playing that night. I got there early so I could have time to walk around, see the sites and exhibits, and get some ‘fair’ food.

I eventually met up with some other friends and that, along with the music, was the highlight of the night. It could have been any other venue and I still would have enjoyed the company and the entertainment.

The fair itself was a different story. Walking around looking at the vendors and the exhibits, everything seemed so … not real. I know that’s not a very descriptive way of putting it but it is hard to describe how I felt. It all seemed so cheap and artificial and fake, as if everyone were putting on a show that no one longer believed in or that anyone held any real desire for. It was tired and it was sad because I remember the fair when I was young being a very different thing. It was exciting, it was fresh, and it was constantly amazing and wonderful.

After reflecting on my impressions, I wondered if it was just me. Have I changed in my adulthood to a point where new and wonderful had become faded and tawdry? Or was I finally seeing the fair for what it had been along… a glam for easily fooled children.

I still don’t know the answer to that question. Perhaps I’ll figure it out or perhaps I won’t. I do know that I do see the wonderful, I do see the amazing, and I do see the beautiful …

..every single day.

Artists Nation Presents: Live art & Poetry Slam


Saturday night I was honored to be invited and to participate in a Live Art & Poetry Slam presented by Artists Nation.

What is a Live Art & Poetry Slam, you ask?

It was an amazing event featuring painting, music, & poetry, not to mention great food at a local eatery ‘What About Kabob’. Several local artists were painting ‘What About Kabob’ while enjoying the event. Later, Tyler’s first Poetry Slam kicked off with poets taking the stage to perform and share their poetry. Reakt!on. pleased the crowd with his unique sounds and there was also an amazing fire dance after dark.

The painting was awesome and the people were wonderful. Several of our local artists collaborated on what become some beautiful work.



Later on began the Poetry Slam. I had never been to a Poetry Slam before although I had read at what were called Poetry Readings about 20-30 years ago. It was exciting! It was fun! There was a good amount of participation from young to old.


I had a wonderful time and I could tell everyone else did as well. If you ever get a chance to go to one of these or to participate, do it! You will love it!
Word is there will be another held in October. Can’t wait!

Click on over to this page to see more photos and videos.


Your Brain on Yoga: A Blueprint for Transformation — Gabriel Axel

If you’re over a certain age, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen or heard those commercials or possibly the many parodies that go something like this.

‘This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.’

It is usually accompanied by someone cracking an egg and dropping it into a heated fry pan. It is humorous and designed to make a point about drug use but the truth is one’s brain is an amazingly adaptable organ.

The simplest example of this is how a person learns. Whether it’s new ideas, new language, or new ways of doing things, the brain rewires itself to  perform in a new way. Another example is how someone can adapt after a life changing event such as an accident or loss of a limb or of a sensory organ. The brain adapts to compensate for the loss.

The good part is that yoga does much the same thing in as much as the brain is concerned.

Read this article by Gabriel Axel and you will be amazed. Unless you are a yogi, then you already knew this.

Your Brain on Yoga: A Blueprint for Transformation — Gabriel Axel


Strike a Pose + Call Me in the Morn: 5 Ways Yoga Changed Me | Sara Gottfried MD

Here’s a whole new take on ‘Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning’. Do you want real change? Real relief without medication or chemicals? Read this article to find out what yoga has done for me and what it can do for you.

Strike a Pose + Call Me in the Morn: 5 Ways Yoga Changed Me | Sara Gottfried MD.

Breakthrough. | Rebelle Society

Absolutely wonderful piece written by Amber Shumake

Breakthrough. | Rebelle Society.

On The Mat

Almost two years ago I walked into my first yoga class.

I was ready, for what I didn’t know for certain, but I was ready. The previous fifteen years of my life had been, well … not exactly what I would call ideal. After a severe injury (I fractured the 4th, 5th, and 6th vertebra in my neck) which resulted in two surgeries, I spent a year or so re-learning how to walk properly and gaining back most of my fine motor skills. Then a few years after that I developed Meniere’s Disease which has caused me to lose practically all the hearing in my left ear and, oh yeah, there’s those attacks of vertigo which last for hours.

Fun stuff.

I’m not complaining; I’m alive and that’s a wonderful thing. But between the rehab and trying to cope with staying vertical while doing my best to be a functioning part of society, I also managed to gain nearly 40 pounds.

Damn, I was a mess!

I don’t remember exactly why I decided on yoga but I do remember thinking it might help with my balance. Did I mention that I had lost about 25% of my ability to balance. I’m talking close my eyes and fall over, bouncing off door jambs every time I went through a doorway loss of balance. Of course there’s that extra poundage I was hauling around which I wouldn’t have minded getting shed of since I felt like shit, had no energy, and was going down fast.

Ok, so first class I’m thinking ‘How hard can it be?’ I mean, don’t they just bend over, maybe stick out an arm or leg or something? After the first fifteen minutes, I’m like ‘Holy Fuck!! This shit is hard!’ Here I am arms and legs trembling just to stay erect, nevermind raising one foot else I would fall flat on my face, and there’s these little skinny women not even breaking a sweat.

Well, I stuck it out and made it through class, and then I made it through another one, and another one, and another one. Then an amazing thing started to happen … no, it was still hard as hell…I started feeling better as in my attitude, my outlook. Things seemed brighter, cleaner, clearer. I realized I was starting to feel happy … for no apparent reason.

It was then that I started to discover that yoga is about more than poses and breathing and standing on one leg. Yoga is about discovering yourself. For me, it has been about getting back to the me I knew many, many years ago. Probably childhood. It was a revelation to find I had lost myself so long ago and either had not realized it had slipped away or had forgotten how I once was when I was younger. Probably both.

And yes I have benefitted physically from yoga as well. My weight is down from a high of 195 to around the 160 I’ve maintained for the better part of the past year and my balance is much better. I don’t ricochet off doorways as I pass through them.

But that’s not the best part of this continuing yoga journey. The best part is that what I learn on the mat stays with me whether I’m on the mat. Or off the mat.


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