Holidays Journal

Easter Sunday 2020

It is 7:01 AM on Easter Sunday 2020. As usual on days without school my son woke up early and asked if he could go play games. Since he has woken me up I often have to choice but to get up as well since it can be difficult to go back to sleep. I do like to get up early but recently it has been more around 5:30 or 6:00 than 4:00 AM as it used to be.

I like to get up early because it is my quiet time. I make the coffee, put the dishes away, meditate and if there is time will write in this blog. The early morning is always the best time to write for me as I’m fresh and there are no distractions. I am under the gun this morning though because there is a 50% chance my wife and youngest will wake up and come downstairs in the next 20 minutes. It is Easter after all and the Easter bunny has hidden Easter eggs all over the house. How does he get in without a key?

I’m glad I got my meditation in this morning; it has been sacrificed quite often lately as I’ve opted to sleep longer then do not have ample time before everyone wakes up. I’ve discovered that meditation is critical for me at this period in my life. I’m 42 and have lots of responsibility, this is the age of Trump where anything goes and half the country loves it, and we’re also now in a historic pandemic called COVID-19 where we cannot leave our homes!

With meditation I can let it all go and come closer to the absolute truth. A good chunk of what I’ll call “truth,” is that life is short, wonderful and the only thing that really matters is to bring joy to others. Life is one big experience and it helps to try and see your own life as though you’re observing it from the outside. Appreciate all experiences, even the bad ones. When you look at your own life from a third person view you see you’re living a story and like all good stories there are ups and downs. It is also critical to believe that there is a divine level of reality that perhaps can only be sensed through meditation or in the Christian tradition prayer. For me, meditation is my preferred method as prayer to me seemed to be always asking some divine “person” aka God for some sort of favor. Meditation on the other hand is simply “to be.” Just be as present as possible in this very moment which is in itself a creation of the divine, or in other words, of that force which we can only sense in slight flickers through meditation.

Well, it is always fun diving into the deep thoughts but I’ll come back to the shallow end and write about my experience in the current moment which is that of COVID-19.

So far we’re doing just fine. We live in a fortress of a house with a view of the ocean and our very own gym. We’ve always bought in bulk from Costco so the pantry, toiletries and other necessities remain well stocked. I have to say the gym as been wonderful and we’re all getting more use out of it now than ever before. Our karate class has started streaming lessons which we do in the gym and just yesterday I learned that if I swing the punching back and rest it high up on the weight bar then we have enough room for all three of us to do a lesson. With the extra time I’ve also started my son on weightlifting. He is a solid, stocky kid and being a good Dad I want to ensure I give him the confidence he needs to live a very wonderful life. For guys, one of the main sources of confidence is having a great body and that means lifting weights.

In helping him train I’m also helping myself. I’ve been stuck doing the same exercises for decades. Now that I actually have to teach it I’m finding that I’m looking up how to do other exercises. Today I’m also going to take my stack of Men’s Fitness, cut out all the workouts and put them into a binder. In this quest to really get a good workout in I’ve also meticulously organized every aspect of my gym and even hung the various weight accessories which I rarely used on the wall for easy access. I want to use my weight cage/pully/machine to the fullest and do all of the exercises it allows so have been studying the diagrams and doing exercises on it I’ve never done before.

I also examined our elliptical and have started making use of the app again. I got the idea when the wife had trouble setting her workout time manually so I downloaded the app and taught both her and my son how to use it. The app really is convenient and much easier to use. I guess when you’re stuck inside you have the time to really examine all your toys to the fullest and find ways to use them that weren’t used before.

I’m finding I love being in the gym and am motivated to really get in shape and build up my muscles. However, I’m also cognizant that this is occurring because our normal schedule is suspended and we’re stuck inside. During the normal schedule I’m often too tired from karate and we’ve got too much going on to take two ours and get in the gym. When this Shelter-In-Place does end I’m going to have to make it a priority for gym time not only for myself but especially for my son. Gym time is an “essential activity!”

As the effects of shelter-in-place and work one aspect that has changed greatly is that I’m now using video for all my conference calls when I never had before. I’m no longer wearing my daily hoodie but instead something slightly nicer but still comfortable and warm. I also thought it would be a good idea to have something a little more professional for a background than my shed. I had some old pull down drapes that came with the house I had stored in the garage. Previously I had installed one of them in the shed to block the sun during late afternoons. I installed another one just below the ceiling so I can pull it down when I need a white background yet it is high up enough to never get in the way when I don’t need it.

As for other improvements aside from the gym and shed I also spent a day in the garage hanging things on the wall and ceiling that had previously been on the floor. Two of the bigger items were our very large ladder, now on the ceiling and rooftop cargo box which is now on the garage refrigerator. Doing this as well as a thousand other improvements has created a lot of space and a very clean garage.

Well, the time is now 8:13 AM. My youngest and wife came down while I was in the middle of this post and so I took a break so I could watch the kids find the Easter eggs. They’re now enjoying there loot but also wandering off from time to time to try and find the especially well hidden eggs.

As for today we’ll have a nice breakfast then perhaps try yoga by watching a YouTube video in the gym. After that my other projects for the day are:

  1. Cut out the workouts from my old Men’s Health magazines to put in a binder then discard the old mags.
  2. Cut a few bars off the old fence to use as stabilization posts for areas where the hill is sliding down.
  3. Hang up the nunchakus and jump ropes in the gym.
  4. *Maybe* update WordPress on my other blogs. I’m not sure if I’ll get that permissions error again and really don’t want to spend the day fixing it so maybe not.

Happy Easter!!!


Spring Equinox – Easter 2019

It is 6:05 AM on Sunday, – Easter – April 21st. The Easter baskets are out, eggs have been hidden throughout the house and I’m waiting for the household to wake up. As for me, I woke up at 4:00 AM and this time actually got up.

I put the dishes away, cleaned the few dirty ones, made the coffee, meditated and learned something new in VR. Let me start with the meditation.

For the location I chose a a temple in Egypt and went with a sort of Tibetan monk chant. Usually I prefer nature scenery but this time thought a temple was a good change of pace. What occurred to me during the meditation was that the ancients were very spiritual people. They built huge structures, temples, pyramids and so on that are much more impressive than anything we have today. Yes, the recently burned Notre Dame is a work of art, and St. Mary’s cathedral in San Francisco is impressive in its futuristic cult temple like glory. But, nothing we have today is as impressive as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Chichen Itza in the Mexico, the temples in Greece and Rome and so on. The only thing that comes close to matching this splendor are the grandest cathedrals and mosques such as Westminster Abbey, any number of cathedrals in Spain or Italy. Those buildings are impressive and beautiful indeed but put any of them up against what Angkor Wat must have looked like in its prime and you’ll see my point.

So what occurred to me is that spirituality and the importance of understanding the divine, the afterlife and what reality all is must have played a much more important role in the ancient times then it does today evidenced by the structures archaeologists have discovered. To build something so grand, so immense and detailed says to me that spirituality must have played a central role in ancient cultures. It was not only pervasive but was ingrained in everything.

That is not the case today. I live in California and the root of our culture and society, the driver of everything is not the divine or religion, it is money and the accumulation of things.

Today being Easter a good part of the population will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. They go to church, reflect a bit, ask for sins to be forgiven and then the minute they step out of church return to the mold society has made for them which is to acquire more, lookout for what is best for themselves regardless of the impact to others and so on. This all sounds a bit pessimistic and negative but should one need a solid example then one need look no further than President Trump. Trump is the result of such a society, a society that has lost its way.

The real kicker is the one thing that tries to keep them in line, religion, is completely made up! A good portion of people will go to worship today something that is not true. How amazing it is to realize that. The ‘resurrection’ of Jesus is a myth based on a hearsay of a hearsay (as Hitchens would say). Easter, before its conscription by Christians, was and still is a celebration of the spring equinox when the days are equal in length. It is the beginning of the triumph of light over darkness. The warm days are getting longer and the vegetation is coming back to life. The long, dark, cold nights of winter are past. It was in winter that vegetation died and now it is risen again!

Seem similar? Yes, the Christians took all this and just like many of the holidays we celebrate today, and turned it into something Christian in order to help ease the conversion of pagans. Now, mainstream society has lost that meaning and go worship an instrument of death, the cross, and a myth of a guy who supposedly came back to life.

It is really something to realize all this when 75% of Americans are Christian. You feel smart and “woke” as people are saying these days. It is a good word to express what it is to be free of mainstream religion. I’ve woken up from the mass delusion and am in awe that so many people never will awake from it. We think of ourselves as so smart with our universities, medical and scientific advances and discoveries about the universe. All of these things are miraculous but then our society goes back and worships something whose ideas have been proven to be false time and time again. Logic and reason are thrown out the window the minute they step through the church doors.

That reminds me, one book that I just learned about and should have on my shelf is The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible. It is the Bible but with notes pointing out the nonsense and craziness.

Well, the time is 6:42 and Kai has just woken up. He’ll get to do the iPad until Mom and Ren wake up then we can start the Easter egg hunt.


Happy Easter!


It rained today.