Thursday, July 24, 2014

When Beer Goes Stale

Brewski, Suds, Liquid Gold, and many more monikers are labels we give beer.  It appears that we name our liquid passion as if we are having a romantic affair with it.  But beer, just like us, is organic. And because of this organic nature, when beer goes bad, it's really bad.  Like us, beer (ale and mead too) has a natural lifespan; it will not last forever.  For it to be good, frothy, and tasty beer requires certain care that is wholly incumbent on us to carry out.  

Draft beer, straight from keg to mug is the best.  But, if it is not cold enough, the lines are in need of cleaning, or some fool used a dirty bar rag to wipe out your mug, that Brewski will not only taste bad but could make you sick.  

Then there is the bad batch from the brewery that somehow made its way into bottles and cans.  You know about that:  your favorite Suds taste flat and seriously skunky.  Here you have options.  Either throw it out, exchange it, or get a refund.  There is the horror of seeing your favorite Liquid Gold passed on to you in a plastic bottle.  Seriously?  It's one thing to drink beer in a plastic cup at a ball game, but to find it on store shelves encased in plastic?  Plastic does not enhance the favor, period.  In any case, when beer gets old, care is needed to maintain its' freshness.  One basic rule helps:  do not leave your Brewski in the hot sun - refrigerate it.  Beer is, just like us, organic.  We too can go stale. However, if we care for ourselves as well as we care for our beer, we can live a long and productive life.  

Take care of your body, you only have one.  You cannot exchange it like a bad case of beer or trade it in as if you were buying a new automobile.  The body you have is the one you have, that's it.  And realistically, drinking too much beer or anything alcoholic makes a man not just drunk but foolish. Ditto on food gorging.  Nobody wants anything to do with a glutton; drink moderately.  Feed your body top-notch fuel:  eat a balanced and healthy diet.  And indulge yourself in meaningful exercise and good sleep.  
Havamal, verse 12 - For good is not, though good it is thought, mead (ale and beer too) for the sons of men.  The deeper (the more) he drinks, the dimmer grows the mind of many a man.*  Ancient wisdom tells us - the more alcohol we consume the dumber we become.  
Havamal, verse 21 - The herd do know, when home they shall, and gang from the grass to their stalls.  But the unwise man will not ever learn how much his maw (stomach) will hold.*  No one likes a glutton.  There is more. 

Going to bed with a head full of worry is not conducive to a good night's sleep.  What you worry about when you put you head on the pillow will still be there in the morning when you wake.  In many cases, a problem can be solved after a good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast.  Since the problem will still be there in the morning, why take it to bed with you?  
Havamal, verse 23 - The unwise man waketh all night, thinking of this and that.  Tosses sleepless and is tired at morn:  nor lighter for that his load.*  Taking your problems to bed with you does not solve them.  By doing so, you are robbed of sleep and lack a clear and rested mind in the morrow.  But there is still more.  

Feed your head with good things just like you feed your body with good food and exercise.  Read good books and exercise your mind by doing math and crossword puzzles (just two ideas of many).  Do something constructive:  build a birdhouse, plant a garden, or write a book (again, three ideas of many possibilities).  And here is the big one:  change your attitude.  When you change your attitude, you will change your life for the better, guaranteed.  Having a 'can do ' attitude gets things done.  An attitude of 'I can't do that' just will not.  
Havamal, verse 8 - Happy is he who hath won him the love and liking of all.  For hard it is, one's help to seek, from the mind of another man.*   

If, at the close of your life, you are like that case of Brewski in the corner called regret, old, flat, and stale, understand this - you put yourself there.  I prefer to leave this life still fresh, tasty, and frosty.  
Havamal, verse 95 - One's self only knows what is near one's heart, each reads but himself aright. No sickness seems, to sound mind worse, than to have lost all liking for life.   Keep your mind as healthy as your body!   

* Havamal quotes - The Poetic Edda, Hollander translation, Copyright @1962 Lee M. Hollander, University of Texas Press.  

                                                      Copyright @2014 Terry Unger 




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dream Crushers

You are too fat, you are too tall.  You are too short, you are too skinny.  You do not have the right qualifications, you are over-qualified.  You lack the right education, you do not have the right education.  You do not have the stamina, you do not have vision.  You are wasting your time, you are barking up the wrong tree.  And, this list of put offs/blow offs goes on.  But these naysayers do not take into account the human will, the desire to succeed and accomplish the goal.  

It took Thomas Edison 10,000 attempts before he created the incandescent light bulb.  And at every attempt, Edison meticulously documented his work; he took notes.  Ten thousand times.  He had his naysayers, but he pushed forward, because he believed in his dream, his work.  In our today's world, Thomas Edison may be considered a bit daffy.  Well, just consider who are the daffy ones, when you flip a switch and turn on your lights.  

Abe Lincoln lost every election he entered, with the exception of president in 1860.  His detractors condemned him, even after he was in office.  Modern psychiatry believes that Lincoln was clinically depressed.  Even if he was, he guided the United States through its most difficult and bloody era.  
Lincoln believed in and lived his dream, even though it killed him.  

How many dreams and aspirations have been killed or crushed by some heavy hand?  In our today, how many beginnings have been stopped by some form of, "no, you cannot do that because .....  ."  The sad answer is - one too many.  

The next time someone steps on your toes, kicks you in the balls, or pisses on your dream, ask them this:  what have you done in your lifetime to advance yourself and humanity?  Who are you to judge me and my dream?  What is it that makes my desire to create something special and good a threat to you and your interests?  Are your jealous that my success can out shine you?  Those who condemn another's efforts of any kind for self-improvement or positive human advancement are a sad bunch.  

These people harbor a belief that they are perfect; they are not.  They think that they have all the answers; they do not.  Believe in your dream and pursue it; the hell with them.  Asatru, the belief in the old Gods, supports those folks who want to advance themselves in a positive manner.  

Verse #9 from the Havamal - It is a happy man who is smart and clever.  Many times you will get bad advice when you ask (or it is thrust upon you......italics, mine) for another's opinion.  

                                            Copyright @2014 Terry Unger



Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Redwoods

A 4G smart phone can put a person in contact with loved ones half a world away.  Also, it entertains its owner with game apps and can put a person in touch with a myriad of information from the Internet. But this device cannot beat a giant Redwood.  

Recently my wife and I had the opportunity to spend a few days among these beautiful trees.  A picture of one or even a picture of a group of them cannot do these magnificent trees any justice.  A person needs to experience them.  

When touching the bark, we had the feeling that they are a tough-skinned tribe.  As we gazed upward, we swore that they touched the sky, and had to have tap roots just as long, embedded deep within the Earth.  Several folks joined together and tried to give one of these Big Reds a group hug; they failed for lack of human arm span.  Then we discovered something truly amazing.  

Many of these trees are at least a thousand years old.  That means that they were here before Columbus. They already had healthy growth and years before Leif Ericsson and crew scampered ashore in North America over a thousand years ago.  We wondered, if these giants could talk, what would they tell mankind?  But would we listen or even care?  After all, it's only a thousand year old plus Giant Redwood, not a 4G smart phone, bound to be obsolete in a few months.   

                                                Copyright @2014 Terry Unger   


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Road To Hell

Today I was told that I was "going to Hell."  The reason that I was told this by a self-proclaimed authority is that my worldview collided with his.  And oh, the hate!  If hateful looks could  kill, I'd be stone cold dead.  But I am alive and well, and never felt better.  Maybe my well being has something to do with my worldview.  

Life and the world around me is good.  Prosperity and sex are good.  I revel in life and all that it has to offer.  Condemning life and the world as something bad or evil I see as not just silly and absurd but the ultimate folly.  And, living life in a draconian existence with the hope of some vague after-life promise is a wasted life; if you suffer enough in this life you may have earned a seat in paradise.  What kind of being, what kind of God demands brutal subservience that amounts to lowly serfdom?  A God that acts like a spoiled 13 year old in need of a spanking.  A God created in the image of the men who made him. Real divinity worthy of the title does not dole out punishment for non-belief or demand serfdom/servitude for vague promises of some heavenly paradise.  Only men do this, and have been doing this since the creation of Monotheism in ancient Egypt.  In this matter the old adage, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, does not apply.  The road to Monotheism's Hell was designed by the twins, Ignorance and Intolerance with the goals of servitude and blind faith as their guiding light. This road is paved with the flesh and blood of all those who "did not believe" in their one, true God.  

Every culture has its' native religion and folkway, many of which have been usurped but only partially buried by Monotheism in one form or another.  Today, for the people of Northern European ancestry, that folkway is called Asatru.  In a simple definition, Asatru means the belief in and the following of the old Gods.  But it is more than religion as we understand it.  It is a way of life, it is ancestry, it is culture, and it is heritage.  Northern soul, check it out. Come home.  There is a place prepared for you.  

                                                   Copyright @2014 Terry Unger



Sunday, July 13, 2014

I Shall, I Can, I Will

I shall not drink ale before it's brewed.  I shall not sing  a song before it's sung.  In both cases, of course not!  Those two sentences are the silliest I've ever written.  Ale must be made before it can be consumed; you have to make it yourself or buy it.  A song must be written, with deeds and words in one's heart or on a page before it can be sung.  Both require action on my part (and yours).  Maybe this phrase makes more sense - I cannot harvest before I plant.  

Just like a farmer or a gardener who tills the soil in preparation for planting, we must plan.  Planning is our way of tilling our personal "soil."  From planning comes action; we plant our "seeds," those things needed to make our plan grow.  But all the while, we too grow in knowledge and experience as our plan takes shape.  When the time of harvest arrives, we can take pride in our accomplishments.  Our accomplishments in life is the legacy we leave when we depart this life.  And while living, we can take pride in our accomplishments; our personal honor increases and our self-worth, self-esteem is not just healthy but is a light that can shine for others.  

Now drink your ale and sing your song - you've earned it.  

                                              Copyright @2014 Terry Unger       

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Old Time Religion

Recently on this blog (6/20/2014) I posted, Why One God Is Never Enough.  This was in response to what I perceived as the lack of understanding regarding sectarianism and sectarian violence; what is the source.  I was equally put out when I asked several young people about the what and whys concerning July 4th.....sorry, it's not about fireworks, beer, and hot dogs.  But this post is not about the valiant struggle of thirteen colonies struggling to free themselves from the yoke of imperial tyranny. Rather, it is taking the above mentioned post a step further; Monotheism as another form of tyranny.  

*Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines religion as - supernatural constraints, sanction, religious practice, to restrain, to tie back.... 1a:  the state of a religious.... b(1):  the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2):  commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance... 2: commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance.... 2:  a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.  3 archaic:  scrupulous conformity.... 4:  a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.    

The same source* defines Monotheism as - the doctrine or belief that there is but one God (italics - mine).   

Monotheism is, bottom line, life and world rejecting.  Their adherents are told to sacrifice themselves in one way or another in this life for vague promises of paradise in the afterlife, an afterlife that is as vague as its promise.  Sadly, because of this vague promise, countless have died.  It is the only belief system that makes men kill one another over a vague religious promise of some Utopian, heavenly paradise based on supposed religious superiority.  You would think that rational people would find this repugnant; hope does spring eternal.  

This view and its subsequent behavior is contrary to our ancestor's worldview of life and world acceptance.  For them, life was good, the world that they lived in was good, and prosperity was good; killing a man because of a different religious opinion was not just silly but  unfounded.  It made absolutely no sense.  Fortunately today, we have a resurgence of these healthy life affirming virtues.  

This resurgence is called Asatru, loosely defined as belief in the Old Gods.  Check it out and free yourself from the tyranny of Monotheism.  Life is good.  The world is good.  Prosperity is good.  Enjoy it.  Northern soul, come home.  

* Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, Copyright @2007 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated   

                                                      Copyright @2014 Terry Unger



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Life Changes

There are things that we cannot avoid, lie growing older; it  happens so get over it.  Other things, like certain illnesses and disease are genetic and can create more than just an inconvenience for the bearer. However, proper diet, sleep, and exercise not just helps us to age gracefully, but can help reduce the edge of some genetic misfortunes.  Moreover, we are not just physical beings; we also are beings of mind.  

As we age the mind, like the body needs proper nurturing; feeding your head is a necessity.  Read good books, go to the opera, visit museums, or get on a bike and see the sights in adjoining neighborhoods. Find a hobby and do something with it.  You will surprise yourself with your creativity.  And, you just may start a small business for yourself.  There also is volunteer work to be had in any community. Don't laugh.  Those older folks that you see working as volunteers at local hospitals are happier and more fulfilled than those who sit on their ass and wonder where their life has gone.  

Growing old does not mean that you are finished.  You are done, stick a fork in it finished when you quit living.  The choice is yours.   

                                               Copyright @2014 Terry Unger  

Unity of a Forgotten Kind

The world and all it contains, both seen and unseen stands with mankind in a state of consubstantiation.  Our ancestors understood this as...