Sunday, July 30, 2017

Return Of The Goths

Truly can any civilization resist the forces of the barbarian hordes? History is replete with this culture and that falling to the restless masses of tribal cultures that crave the way of life that only to leave ruins of the very thing they craved in their wake.

Perhaps it is a bit unfair to refer to my beloved children and their families as Goths. BUT we live such sedate, set in routine lives, that when any member of the family comes to visit is always a bit of shock to the daily live system. And when the entire clan comes in for a visit, it requires taking one's mindset and going to a different plane altogether.

I think having moved into the Transitioned State has helped immensely. It was much harder when working full time to almost completely submerge myself into the experience of having families with tons of young ones staying with you. Now it is much easier to simply let go of the normal routine and go with the flow.

With our family scattered across the globe, it is a rare treat for us to be able to join as one family.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Wife and I decided earlier this year that we need to get out to more places that are close by. There are large parts of our state that we haven't seen even after being here 24 years. Our trip Bryce Canyon last month was in that vein. This last weekend we drove through large parts of Northern/Northeastern NM. I think one of our goals is just to check off the boxes of various places in the state LOL.

On this trip we checked off:
  • Eagles Nest
  • Cimarron
  • Philmont Boy Scout Ranch
  • Springer
  • Roy
  • Mosquero 
  • Logan
 Not to mention the ghost towns of:
  • Elizabethtown (totally non-existant
  • Glenrio (ghost town and ghost highway of Route 66)
  • Bard - where we ran into an older woman who used to work in one of the abandoned stores when she was a child
And of course we were taking pictures

Just outside of Angel Fire way north is the NM Vietnam War Memorial
It's very neat because it was started by a father in memory of his son and then was taken over my more institutional caretakers. All things Vietnam oriented tend to make me emotional and this was no different.

 Philmont Boy Scouts Ranch


My sweet, sweet Wife having lunch at a park in Roy (which I will bet will be a ghost town in 50 years)
Ghost Town of Glenrio on the Ghost of Highway 66

Mountains and Clouds

Driving into the storm

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sleep Or The Lack Thereof

Sleep patterns and the amount one can sleep are all normal casualties as one gets older. In my case, my ability to sleep has diminished to a point where I can only sleep around 4 or 5 hours at a time before I wake up. This led to developing a pattern of napping once or twice during the day for around 20 minutes which seems to be sufficient.

But over the few months a really annoying version of the pattern has developed. With the coming of the summer heat, I've been getting up at 4:30 in order to get out hiking around 7:00 to beat the heat. On these days I will be in an extremely sound sleep when the alarm goes off usually with me feeling like I could have slept much more if only I had not needed to get up.

On the other hand on the days when I CAN sleep as late as I like, I am ALWAYS up much earlier than I have to be. Sometimes as early as 3:30 AM. I can almost never fall back into a deep sleep afterward.

It is exceedingly frustrating.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

MUPGT...Maybe We're Buds?

I have a long time client who has developed pancreatic cancer and we're having to scramble to put in place a program that will ensure the company's continuity and financial security for the owner's wife. The wife who has not been involved with the business needed to be brought into the process and the only time I could get up to Chicago was Saturday. With my schedule already tight, I booked the last flight from Albuquerque I could through Denver that got me into Chicago at Midnight so I could have all day Saturday if necessary with the wife and come home Sunday morning.

I was getting into my car to go to the airport when I saw a text from United Airlines. My first flight was going to take off an hour later than scheduled which would only leave me with 10 minutes to make my connection. Since they shut the plane doors 10 minutes before departure, that was clearly not going to work. Uh oh, Magical Unicorn Pony God of Travel throwing down the gauntlet again. You think you might be forgotten not being the road warrior but you're not.

So I got out of the car and called the airline. As I've said many times in the past, these are the times you cherish having your frequent flyer status. They were able to book me on a flight that left at 6 AM went through Denver and got me to Chicago at 11:30. I got a decent seat on the Denver flight but was going to have to sit in the middle to Chicago. So here is what transpired from that point on.
  • Called the client's wife who was relieved we would be meeting later and said she would pick me up at the airport.
  • Called my hotel (where I have minor status), told them of my flight issue. They saved my room and said they would not charge me for the first night.
  • Got my new flight information. Went to check-in online and decided to check seat availability. A window seat in an exit row had opened up. Sweet! Grabbed it.
  • Got an email telling me I was upgraded to First for my return flight. Really? Sweet!
  • Went to airport for ridiculously early 6 AM flight and went through the TSA Pre line in literally 3 minutes.
  • As I was boarding the plane, the gate agent said, "Oh you've been upgraded to First. Really? Sweet!
  • Although my connection in Denver was tight, the inbound flight was on time and the flights were only five gates apart.
  • Got on the plane and was settling into my window seat when a gate agent swam through the  boarding passengers and said, "Mr. Palohdalny you want your upgrade?" "Uh sure." Sweet!
  • Going back home I whizzed through the TSA Pre line again in just minutes.
 As I'm driving home, I'm thinking, "Come on, this isn't like the pointy headed equine godlet at all." It was almost as if he (or maybe its a she) was just joking with me for old times sake. Or as Wife thought maybe he/she is just setting me up for some epic battle to come. I prefer to think of the Unicorn demi-god and I as old adversaries just getting together to talk about the good old times.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Living The Dream - The Transitioned State

Just over a year ago I wrote a post on what I perceived was the conditions that created the post-balls-to-the-wall career state. I called it the Transitioned State and talked about creating new buckets of interests that employed your now reduced energy in a more full and enjoyable way.

Since we came back from Asia and had the post trip buzz, life has just been one wonderful ride. Work is great. I have just about the perfect client load and I'm bringing money to pay for travel (I REALLY like making money...sorry...probably genetic) plus just about every client I'm working with I'm getting to do things that use the skills I enjoy with very little stress.

I am busy planning with Wife our next big trip. We are such a good team. I do the basic research. She reviews and adds a different viewpoint on each potential decision. We end up with pretty good itineraries. I find now that after so much time being back home that I'm hungry again for that travel experience.

I continue my exercise, spiritual, and writing activities. My cooking creativity goes into what we do on a daily basis and if not wildly grandiose is constantly focused on little creative things to change up what we eat on a daily basis. For example today I had some leftover tomato sauce so I sauteed zucchini, onions, tomatoes (all separately) layered them in casserole, put a layer of sauteed sausage (also leftover), a layer of tomato sauce, fresh basil leaves and some grated cheese. Put the whole thing in the oven for 20 minutes. Nice, balanced, not too much food. Tasty.

Wrapped around all of this is a state of extreme gratitude - an understanding that none of this is deserved, that you are blessed to have it and need to give thanks for that blessing. And finally an understanding that it is going to end. Not might. It is. Something is going to happen. Most likely health related. It's only a matter of time. So that gives the incentive to not just milk the joy out of each moment but to be fully aware of the joy that is coming from each moment.

Life is a long hard grind but when you are blessed and you get to be in the Transitioned State you sure the heck should be fully aware of it!

Sunday, July 2, 2017


Three times recently I have had conversations with others who like to travel that go something like this.

"Yes we are planning a trip to so and so and somewhere. But you know we just like to do XYZ. We're not crazy like you and Wife."

This is always said in a matter the fact tone. "We're not crazy like you are." Like it is just a fact of life. when it comes to travel, there are those that are normal then there is Wife and I.

I happen to mention this to daughter #1 during our regular weekend Skype call. She said,

"I don't think of you as crazy. I think you have a passion for travel experiences."

EXACTLY. So for all you out there, Wife and I are not crazy. WE HAVE A PASSION FOR TRAVEL EXPERIENCES...

...that just happens to manifest itself as looking like we're crazy.