Jerry paid me a huge compliment. He selected me for a blog award. The Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award. He placed me in company with Paulz Blog, Year 31, and the life and loves of the bubble bath queen. We were the four blogs he selected after receiving the award himself. This is a pass-it-on affair, with a few stipulations. First stipulation is to pass it on to four worthy bloggers, preferably bloggers who are not nearly as broadly read as they might deserve.
That was a bit of a challenge. I read a lot of worthy bloggers, a few of which I have followed for a number of years. Tioga George ranks high on my list of award worthy bloggers, but he is actually very well known on the Internet. He is especially well known among travel bloggers. Others are worthy but blog too infrequently to receive a recommendation. Two of my final selection are travel bloggers, each with their own style, one is a blog of deep thinking and the final selection is an artful space that is comfortable and fun.
Gypsy Larry is a full time RV'er. He writes well of his travels, and is an excellent photographer. Larry is a cancer survivor, something he has in common with Tioga George. Having followed Larry's blog for some time now, I am convinced that surviving cancer has given him a perspective on life that is positive without being cloying, and a sense of strength that only comes from being tested in battle. His blog has been of enormous value to me, as I will share later.
Stu and Donna are solo travelers who found each other on the road, and have joined together to continue the adventure. They share that adventure through pictures and prose, and provide a lot of great reading for a vicarious traveler such as myself. They have combined the RV travel adventure with motorcycle adventuring, which lends some added interest to their blog.
La is a story teller. Her art form is not fully appreciated in our modern era of endless entertainment, but it is a critical art form for humans. Books, poetry, songs, movies and the like are modes of telling stories. The story teller who passed culture on from generation to generation were the original entertainers and historians. La keeps this art alive. Her blog is a warm and pleasant place, rich and full of fun.
Pliny is a thinker and very good writer. He is also a fair poet who receives high marks for tackling subject matter that does not fit well into the forms of poetry. We are far apart on a number of things we have discussed, yet the discussions have always been civil and positive. His observations are always challenging and interesting, and his opinions always seem to be founded in sincere thought and a genuine compassion for human beings.
Each of these blogs contribute to the quality of my life. I read them regularly, and value the contribution each blog makes to my day a bit better. These people have become Internet friends, and I appreciate them as such.
The next stipulation is to present ten things about myself. This is the kind of thing I generally avoid on the Internet, along with surveys and similar things. Ten things. Hmmm.
1. I have spent the last twenty years in jail. Granted, I wore a badge, and got to go home each day, but I was still in jail. I have been retired for three months, now. I don't really know how long it will take to gain the perspective necessary to properly assess the things I gained by this protracted experience. The career provided the adequate income and stability I sought to raise my family, and I now have a pension. All in all, I guess I won.
2. Being a grandfather is my favorite job. I now have five grand children, the youngest being a week old. Four currently reside in my house, with mommy and daddy, and the fifth (who is actually the first) stays with us frequently. I am frequently buried in children as I sit in my recliner. It makes me feel wealthy.
3. Along that same line, we have four generations living under one roof. It is a bit like Rosanne meets the Waltons. Our senior member is 83, our youngest a week old. For the most part it is very good, but there are days I miss the parking lot.
4. I lived a good part of last year (and a bit more) in the back of my truck in a parking lot. I was working graveyard shift at our south county jail. I did not feel safe driving after being up all night working twelve hour shifts. So, I got a truck tent and set it up in the back of my truck. It was surprisingly restful, quite comfortable, and I enjoyed it very much. I may go camping again, soon, once the rains go away.
5. The whole family loves Disneyland. I have been to the resort twice in the last year, for a total of eight days in the parks. I can't get enough of the place. We have current annual passes, and have had previous annual pass years. My wife and I prefer to fly down, these days. Trying to drive 400 miles in one day is for the younger family members.
6. I have a reputation as being quite good at inflicting pain. I have mixed feelings about the skills and the reputation. I started working in our jail at the age of 37. I realized that I was going to be working in a difficult job during years of my life that lacked some of the benefits of youth. I learned to fight fast and hard. I mastered pain compliance techniques so that I can end battles quickly. I developed even more facility at ending conflicts non-violently. It really is better that way.
7. I have written a fantasy fiction novel. It is not yet published, but finished. I am still assessing publishing options. The traditional modes are time consuming and difficult, but do insure some kind of income. Self publishing options are easier, but more challenging in marketing. That said, the book served it's purpose.
8. I am a depressive. I had a near breakdown several years ago, and sought counseling to correct the problem. Through the counseling I learned of the depression, and developed a system of self-help to overcome the problems. One thing I had to do was start something and see it to completion. As a consequence of that therapy I have a finished novel and depression is under control.
9. My family is of great importance to me, yet I have a deep need for quiet time and an intense wanderlust. To manage my depression I also sought out and followed the blogs of travelers. If I could not be on the road myself I could be there vicariously. In a very real way my travel blog friends have helped to save my life and my career. Google maps with street view has been pretty useful, as well.
10. I am a Christian, trusting in the grace of God through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, to be sufficient to pay for my sins and bring me into eternal fellowship with the God of creation. My particular pathway to God came through agnosticism and mysticism. I choose to respect the pathway of each of my fellow humans, sharing with them my own experiences but trusting God to guide them on their own journey.
Well, I made it to ten.
So, for my winners, here is you award.
Cruise to nowhere, and a salty cocktail hour
12 hours ago