Online Diary: ‘Dust Storm’

“Disillusioned saviors search the sky, wanting just to show someone the way.”
-Jackson Browne, Colors of the Sun

24183592502_1658e279b8_bIn the classroom where I teach, the door nearly blows off its hinges anytime a desert windstorm kicks in. You have to pull it closed slowly and carefully. When you fail to do so, there is a loud “Bam!” It really seems like the next time will be the one where it blows off the hinges. The poor kids cover their ears and cringe.

Today it was doing that because there was an emergency-alert-level wind and dust storm running through the high desert. The office announced the kids were on rainy day schedule because the dust was dangerous to kids’ lungs and eyes outside. It looked and sounded like a plague outside.

I love walking through a rainstorm, even a hailstorm as long as they’re not too big. I detest being out in a dust storm. It’s uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. It’s dangerous to drive in a dust storm. My iphone is set to receive emergency alerts for weather and Amber alerts. It was going off every hour on the hour today. It was like a Twilight Zone episode right there at my work.

How is dust like life? Well, when you’re body chemistry has you down, it’s overpowering like a dust storm that gets in your eyes. Often you can’t breathe correctly. You have to breathe in a safe clean place to regain your composure. Things around you can spin so fast, you don’t see the way to go right ahead of you. You really can’t create things like a blog post or lesson plans. The best thing to do is getting to a place where you can wait it out. These things always pass.

The message I give again and again on my blog and in my circle of friends and family is to take care of ones self. You can’t do much in a dust storm. You can’t do much when you’re down. Build yourself up, by all means necessary, and then take on the world. Too many people try to lead while blinded in a dust storm of their own life.

Online Diary: ‘Dust Storm’

“Disillusioned saviors search the sky, wanting just to show someone the way.”
-Jackson Browne, Colors of the Sun

24183592502_1658e279b8_bIn the classroom where I teach, the door nearly blows off its hinges anytime a desert windstorm kicks in. You have to pull it closed slowly and carefully. When you fail to do so, there is a loud “Bam!” It really seems like the next time will be the one where it blows off the hinges. The poor kids cover their ears and cringe.

Today it was doing that because there was an emergency-alert-level wind and dust storm running through the high desert. The office announced the kids were on rainy day schedule because the dust was dangerous to kids’ lungs and eyes outside. It looked and sounded like a plague outside.

I love walking through a rainstorm, even a hailstorm as long as they’re not too big. I detest being out in a dust storm. It’s uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. It’s dangerous to drive in a dust storm. My iphone is set to receive emergency alerts for weather and Amber alerts. It was going off every hour on the hour today. It was like a Twilight Zone episode right there at my work.

How is dust like life? Well, when you’re body chemistry has you down, it’s overpowering like a dust storm that gets in your eyes. Often you can’t breathe correctly. You have to breathe in a safe clean place to regain your composure. Things around you can spin so fast, you don’t see the way to go right ahead of you. You really can’t create things like a blog post or lesson plans. The best thing to do is getting to a place where you can wait it out. These things always pass.

The message I give again and again on my blog and in my circle of friends and family is to take care of ones self. You can’t do much in a dust storm. You can’t do much when you’re down. Build yourself up, by all means necessary, and then take on the world. Too many people try to lead while blinded in a dust storm of their own life.

Onlne Diary: ‘Health: My Private Challenges’

diabetes-blood-pressure-medictionI felt like posting a rant today. I don’t talk about my health issues much but today for some reason it feels right to. I think I am everywhere I want to be right now at age 47 except my health. I never though high blood pressure would darken my doorway. Since I started on medication, I figured it would be easy to manage but alas it’s not. That was 8 years ago.  still dread the doctor’s office. I hat sitting down as they put that damn cuff on me. If I’ve been working hard at it, I’ll get a good reading like 122/79. If I’ve been eating bad, not exercising and such, it can be as high as 152/85. So depressing.

I wish I could have done something about this when I was younger. Now the doctor wants more tests. He wants to see if I am not diabetic. Well, they’ve been telling me I’m as risk for it so long, I figure they might as well just take their best shot and stop beating around the bush. They tell me they always start with pills. Great more pills.

Blogging and career wise, I couldn’t be happier with where I am. I’ve worked hard for many years to get here. Now I have to work to make the appointments and keep the appointments in between doctors retiring, quitting, and stuff like that. When you get sick you really see how messed up our system is. It makes you feel like an outcast. I think doctors prefer healthy people. They get their 200-300 bucks for a 10 minute visit and move you out. When I can clear my head I think I am poised to write my greatest stuff and bet the best teacher I have ever been. It’s the clearing the head with the medical stuff going on that is the real trick.

Then sometimes I think: I’m 47 now. How is this all gonna be when I’m 57? 67? and up I’ll roll with it. I always do. Your life is a sort of art project, managing it: your private challenge. It’s not about what I do to manage my health challenge, but rather what I do after its managed like teaching, and blogging, and podcasting, and being a great dad and husband. That’s the only stuff people see.

Online Diary: ‘More On My Podcasting Adventures’

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This is a photo of me in the spot where I do my recording of Talking Stars.

It used to be only the frozen chosen where podcasters. Nowadays, everybody and their brother is doing it. It can be a lot of fun but there’s a lot more to doing it than meets the eye. A little bit on the history: the word “podcast” is a bit outdated and a misnomer now. Podcasts used to be audio enclosures that could be downloaded onto an ipod. This was before the iphone came out even. Subscribers would “sync” their ipods at home every day and the episodes of their subbed podcasts would roll right in. Then, in their busy day they would take a break to listen to their subbed podcasts in effect making them smarter and more attuned with life, if not just entertained.

Now, there are celebrity podcasters who don’t produce an itunes podcast, they just offer files from websites for downloads. Most prestigious podcasters offer itunes and regular raw file downloads. Some video podcasters just offer a Youtube channel to their readers and they are usually called “Vloggers.” Before the Summer, I answered a call for someone wanting to podcast. It was a blogger I had been reading and the podcast would be about movies. We went for a few episodes and found we liked it. We recorded podcasts over the Summer and we have some planned even now in the not so far off future. He came of with the name “Talking Stars” and it seemed to fit. We’ve been having a blast doing it and I hope it continues. You can listen to our podcast at: http://www.talkingstarspodcast.com We have a link there to itunes in the sidebar. I’m exploring my own podcasting as well. You’ll find new episodes of “The Damien Riley Podcast” announced here when they are published.