Technology; Friend or Foe

“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.” – Christian Lous Lange

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Photograph provided by Pexels

Is it just me?  Am I just old school?  Is technology infallible?  I am sorry but the way we have become so dependent on technology makes me nervous.  We store everything on hard drives but have no real hard copies of anything.  That works great until something happens.

Maybe I just don’t understand technology well enough but if the power grid were to go down for some reason what would we do?  Computers run the power grid and computers run off the power grid.  What would happen if someone attacked our power grid and took it out?  I mean computer glitches grounded some airlines for a while disrupting the travel of thousands of people.  What if it would have been the power grid that went down for five or six hours.

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Photograph provided by Pexels

I can see you shaking your head at me.  Another old fart who just doesn’t get it.  There are safeguards built into our system to protect us from that thing.  Really?  Well listen up.  They said the Titanic was unsinkable too.

Please remember I learned to count on an abacus.   Actually did, and still do, math problems in my head.  We didn’t have those fancy little calculators.

“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives.  It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.” – Steven Spielberg

Technology is so easy to become dependent on.  I use to know everyone’s phone number and had them memorized.  Not anymore.  They are all in this little ole phone now where you push a button and abracadabra, phone number has arrived.  One can live in St. Louis, MO and be vacationing in Mexico and see in your living room and check to make sure everything is ok.  However, if you are flying you still end up in Dallas, Texas and your luggage ends up in Chicago, Illinois.  We have driverless cars but they still need to work all the bugs out of that idea.  Yet at a fast food restaurant when you order a hamburger you never get one that looks like the one in the picture on the wall.

All we can do is hope that nothing causes our system to go down for a long time.  Hope you enjoyed my post and thank you for taking the time to read it.  Spread the love.

Bonne Terre, Dragstrip

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“If you want to make a million dollars racing start with two.” – Ken Shrader

For many years the ground that Bonne Terre Dragstrip sits on was a place to pump tailings and water from the mines.  Eventually it was turned into a 300 foot sand drag strip.  After a lengthy time of sand drags the track changed hands many times then finally closed down.

Then it was given a new life when Jarrod Keen purchased the property and made several improvements to the property.  One of the improvements ended the chance of ever having sand drag races there again.  An eighth mile track was built and a drag strip was born.  That was in 2014 and it is still going strong.

“I’ve been upside down, backwards, and on fire, faster than most people will ever think of going in their life.” – “Big Daddy” Don Garlits

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Bonne Terre Dragstrip is located at 7640 Blackberry Lane, Bonne Terre, MO.  Presently racing is on Sunday and gates open at 10 a.m.  Friday nights is “Test and Tune” and starts at 6 p.m.  Admission is $10 at the gate.  Kids 12 and under admission is free when with an adult.  I have been there a couple of times and it is well run and a great place to take the whole family.  They do have a cook shack and the food has been good and priced right.  Make sure to check them out this summer.

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The world of drag racing is very exciting and if you have never been to a drag race, by all means put it on your bucket list.  Hint: You may want to take some ear plugs with you.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.  It is really appreciated.  Remember to share the love.

 

Experience/University of Life

“No one is the same, and we all have different life experiences.  It’s not my place to judge them or  for them to judge me.  We should all be accountable for own lives.” – Joanna Krupa

Experience can be a direct observation of or participation events as a basis of knowledge. It can be practical knowledge, skill, or practice derived from direct observation or participation, or the length of time of such participation, something personally encountered or lived through. It can also be defined as the conscious events that you have lived through.

Our lives are a collection of experiences that starts as soon as we are pushed from the warmth and darkness of our mother’s womb into the bright light.  We live a life full of different experiences and there are those who have had near death experiences that say they were drawn toward a bright light.

There are good and bad experiences.  Experience builds character and can give you an edge in making some decisions.  I have always said that experience is life’s education system.  Book learning is good but when you learn something from experience you tend not to forget it.  Experience has a way of etching a lesson in your mind permanently.

“We are all born with a unique genetic blue print, which lays out the basic characteristics of our personality as well as our physical health and appearance…And yet, we all know that life experiences do change us.” – Joan D. Vinge

Unfortunately we can’t choose our experiences.  We have to take them as they come.  Parenthood is quite an experience.  We experienced childhood and went through many changes.  The day comes we find out we are going to be parents and we say we are going to use a different approach of rearing our children than our parents because we think we can give our children a better experience.  Then that fateful day arrives, you turn into your mom and say “If you don’t stop crying I am going to give you something to cry about!”

“Character cannot be developed  in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”  –   Helen Keller

Thank you for reading my post.  Spread the love.

 

 

 

My Thoughts on Fishing

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“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” – Henry David Thoreau

I have been fishing for a lot of years.  I had the big bass boat with the big gas guzzling motor on it.  I fished bass tournaments, mostly held on lakes.  Then one day I was diagnosed with melanoma and had to have it cut off.  They didn’t get all of the cancer cells so they cut some more and this time got it all.

Growing up we always fished the rivers.  So I decided to sell the bass boat and head back to the river where I had learned to fish and I have no regrets.  I bought a kayak and started fishing with ultra-light gear.  I prefer a spinning reel loaded with 4 pound test line.  I like a medium action rod.  If you catch an eight ounce fish on this rig it feels like it weighs five pounds.  I have a lot of fun with this set up on the rivers.

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Two of my favorite crankbaits, Wee Craws by Rebel.

“Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world.  It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way.  A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self.” – Ted Hughes

My favorite way of fishing is with a fly rod and reel. set up.  Personally I have a difficult time trying to cast from the kayak.

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Minnow and shad look- a-likes that I love to use on the river.

There are all kinds of different artificial baits one can pick from.  There are soft baits, jigs, crank baits, spinner baits, top water lures, just to name a few.  For those of you who would prefer using real bait there are worms, crawdads, minnows and crickets.

Here in Missouri I would say the 4 most sought after fish are large mouth bass, small mouth bass, crappie and the catfish.  In Missouri we are blessed with some great places to fish.  I fish the Big River and the Missouri Department of Conservation has designated several miles of the upper part as a Small Mouth Trophy area.

 

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Large mouth bass

 

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small mouth bass

 

“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” – Steven Wright

I hope this post helped inspire some of you to pick up some fishing equipment and head out to the river or lake.  It was short so feel free to ask me any question you might have.

I hope you enjoyed my post and thank you for taking the time to read it.  Remember to share the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equine Laminitis

 

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Rotated coffin bone.

 

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No rotation.

 

Somewhere in time’s own space there must be some sweet pastured place

where creeks sing on and tall trees grow, some paradise where horses go.

For by the love that guides my pen, I know great horses live again.

Stanley Harrison

Well it is that time of year when the pastures start to green up and the sugars come to the top.  Some horses can’t handle this sudden onslaught of sugar and the result is laminitis.

Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae of the foot – the soft tissue structures that attach the coffin bone of the hoof to the hoof wall.  The inflammation and damage to the laminae causes extreme pain and leads to instability of the coffin bone.  When the coffin bone rotates it becomes founder.  The only sure way to know if the bone has rotated or become founder is by taking a set of x-rays.  Unfortunately the term “founder” is used loosely and what is just a case of laminitis is labeled founder.  You cannot have founder without laminitis but you can have laminitis without founder.

A good owner, veterinarian and farrier team can do a lot to help these horses if caught early enough.  In severe cases they can have a bad ending though where the coffin bone drops through the bottom of the foot.  It is usually in the front feet, all four feet can be affected.

Symptoms

  • Reluctant to move and they rock back on the hind quarters.
  • They will lie down a lot.
  • It will be hard for you to pick the leg up because of the pain  in the opposite limb
  • The hoof wall and coronary band are often warm to the touch.
  • A hoof tester will reveal pain  particularly when applied over the toe area.
  • The horse will have a strong, rapid digital pulse.

Laminitis can be caused by insulin resistance as well as retained placenta, overfeeding grain, septicaemic  conditions, obesity, and lameness which prevents weight bearing on one of the legs.

I recommend taking the horse off grain and put on dry lot until you are able to get a vet out to evaluate the situation.  The vet will figure out what has caused the laminitic episode and then devise a plan to get the horse on the road to recovery.  He/she will take x-rays and if there is any rotation they will get together with the farrier and decide what kind of a shoe package they want to use.  Steward clogs and heart bars are a common prescription.  I use a Myron Mclane pad and a bar shoe.

I have been lucky enough to work with Dr. Don Walsh founder of the Animal Health Foundation.  The AHF is dedicated to supporting research and education about the disease of equine laminitis.  Checkout their web page at http://www.ahf-laminitis.org.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.  I appreciate it.  I just did the highlights about laminitis/founder.  I hope you enjoyed it and it was helpful.  Remember to spread the love.

 

 

 

Respect; A Two Way Street

“People have different reasons for the way they live their lives.  You cannot put everyone’s reasons in the same box.”  – Kevin Spacey

 

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Drag races in Bonne Terre, MO.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone had  the same likes and dislikes?   I would think the world would be a very boring place.   Everyone would be driving the same kind of car, eat the same kind of food and wearing the same clothes.  Being different and unique can be a good thing though and sometimes a bad thing.

Behind every person is a reason as to why they like the things they do or the life style they choose to live.  Something, somewhere, one day (or week, month, year) happened that influenced a person to take that first step onto the path of life they wanted to live.  Now you and I may not agree with the path they choose but Newsflash cupcake!  It doesn’t matter because that individual has their rights too.

If we don’t respect the beliefs and ways of others how can we expect them to respect ours?  I see a lot of that in today’s world.  Why can’t we learn to agree to disagree?  There’s no good guy, there’s no bad guy, there is just two people who believe differently for different reasons.  No one is right and no one is wrong.  Let’s quit arguing and fighting.  Debate is good as long as it is in good form.  It can even be healthy.

“Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect.  We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves.” U Thant

One of the biggest problems that I see is when someone tells me I have to respect their way of thinking then shows no respect to my beliefs.  For instance you don’t like dogs,   I respect that and I won’t bring my dog to your house and I won’t force you to like my dog.  So don’t come to my house and tell me I am going to have to get rid of my dogs and accept your way of thinking because you don’t like dogs. 

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My dog Kate

Respect, like common sense used to be common.  Now days neither one are.  I don’t know when or how it happened but it did.  Respect is an integral part of every day life whether we want to admit or not.  I hope one day respect and common sense make a come back.

“When was it that men agreed to respect the appearance and not the reality?” – Henry David Thoreau

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and a big thank you to those of you who follow me.  Remember to share the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Hole or Two

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If you use Facebook I am sure you have seen this before.  If you have used one you are going to know where I am coming from but if you have not I may be hard to follow.

My story begins in Lafe, Arkansas in the 50s.  My grandparents had a farm located here.  They lived in an old farmhouse with out running water and ………NO BATHROOM!  Yep you heard me right, no bathroom.

Now it just so happens that they did have an outhouse.  Because of their glamorous aroma, especially in the hot weather months, the outhouse was located some distance from the house.  Did I mention that it didn’t have electric in it.  Anyway ours wasn’t just any old outhouse.  No siree!  It was a genuine two hole privy.  Not just one hole by two!  Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, we were styling.

Or were we.  Now if you have never seen a two hole privy let me tell ya, the holes ain’t that far apart and there is no divider or stall like you see in the public bathrooms today.  Nope, just two holes cut in a piece of wood.  However my grandpa had installed a couple of real toilet seats which added some comfort.  Now for the life of me I can not, CAN NOT, imagine two people sitting there, that close together, beside each other having their morning bowel movement.  I read that back and it even sounds sick.  I don’t ever recall seeing two people coming out of the outhouse together.  One hole would have been enough.

 

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Grandparents old house.

Now when I was knee high to a grasshopper I became acquainted with my grandma’s tom turkey.  Now he had somehow figured out that I was terrified of him.  Now in my defense, if you have never seen an old tom all puffed up and strutting his stuff and coming at you don’t pass judgement on me.  I am here to tell ya that will scare the devil out of you especially when you are only 5.

Now every time I had to go to the bathroom that old tom would be between me and the outhouse.  I need to explain something at this point.  When a guy is headed for the outhouse that can only mean one thing because there were plenty of trees to tinkle behind.  Ok now that I explained that, when you have had a big plate of biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast time is of the essence.  It is dangerous to be playing around at this time.

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Another view of the old farmhouse.

My grandparents got running water in 1970.  All the kids, there were nine, chipped in and had a well drilled for them.  Then five years later my uncle and I put a bathroom in the old farmhouse for them.  I remember one visit in the summer not long after we installed the bathroom, I saw grandma grab the TP and head for the barn (outhouse had finally succumbed to gravity).  I asked her why she didn’t use the bathroom and she said it was too “purty” to mess up.  That winter when I was down visiting and the snow was whirling she used the inside bathroom.  I guess the bathroom wasn’t that “purty after all.

I had a lot of fun on the farm.  I wish my son would have been able to experience some of the things that happened on the farm.  It was a great time in my life that I will always cherish and Grandma White, well she was a saint and the sweetest person you ever met.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.   I hoe you enjoyed it.  Remember share the love.

 

 

Goodbye Winter; Hello Spring

 

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Soon winter will lose its grip and spring flowers and plants will brighten this area.

“March is a month of considerable frustration – it is so near spring and yet across a great deal of the country the weather is still so violent and changeable that outdoor activities in our yards seems light years away.” – Thalassa Cruso

The seasons will soon come full circle once again.  In a few days winter the winter season will be over and spring will be the new sheriff in town.  Mother Nature will begin a rebirth and the countryside will be filled with flowers, tender young plants and newborn forest critters.

Baseball spring training camps will become a hive of activity.  Farmers will begin preparing their fields for planting.  The hillsides will come alive as Mother Nature paints them with the colors of the wild plum, redbud and dogwood trees.

Mother Earth will once again renew herself and the circle will begin anew and once again end with winter.  Here in the Midwest I can remember when spring lasted for awhile.  However in the last 5 or 6 years it seems like we go straight from winter to summer with just a smidgen of spring in between.

“Behold, my friends ,the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” – Sitting Bull

With the spring comes the spring rains and the flooding.  Man has done a real good job of causing historical floods by building their levees.  The floods use to clean out and remodel the riparian area of the river which was good for the river.  With the levees the water backs up and stays put for a longer period of time and I think this makes the flooding less effective at clearing out some of the debris.  Oh well that is my story and I am sticking to it.

We have had some big snows in March.  I remember when I was a youngster, one Easter we woke up to 6 inches of snow on the ground.  We have a couple of sayings here in Missouri though about the weather.

“Don’t like the weather you say.  Stick around for it is sure to change in a couple of hours.’

“Here in Missouri you can experience all 4 seasons in one day.”

 

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A Sign of Spring

Here they are calling for high of 50, low of 36 and Sunday high of 39 and low of 37 with a chance of rain or snow.  Winter is still holding on.

“The coming and going of the seasons give us more than the springtimes, summers, autumns, and winters of our lives.  It reflects the coming and going of the circumstances of our lives like the glassy surface of a pond that shows our faces radiant with joy or contorted with pain.” – Gary Zukav

I don’t know if we will have a lengthy spring or the scaled down version but I hope it takes a while to give in to summer.  Time will tell and we will have to take whatever Mother Nature deals us.  That is part of what makes life interesting.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to share the love.

 

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A March sunset in the Midwest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature In Its Beauty

 

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Monsanto Lake, St Joe Park in Park Hills, Mo

“Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with the secrets of life.” – L. Wolfe Gilbert

This morning I am sharing the pics from my fishing trip yesterday.  Fish weren’t biting however Mother Nature showcased her beauty and splendor.  Glad I had the camera with me.  I also added some of my favorite quotes about nature.

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Monsanto Lake

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Monsanto Lake

“Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind.” – Amit Ray

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“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo da Vinci

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I call this “Diamonds on the Water”.

“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful and endless prospect of magic and wonder.” – Ansel Adams

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Monsanto Lake

” The beauty of the natural world lies in the details.” – Natalie Angier

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Monsanto Lake

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful expressive feature.  It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” – Henry David Thoreau

I hope you enjoyed the pics and quotes.  Thanks for taking the time to look at it.  I dedicate this blog to Dr. David Tripp a very accomplished artist, writer, and fishing buddy, who has inspired me in my work.  Thank you for your undying support.  Remember to spread the love.

Nature: The Healer

 

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Big River

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs

I have always been drawn to nature ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper.  I have always had the opportunity to get lost in the allure of nature and fill my mind and spirit with its serenity.  I am truly blessed.

I truly wish that everyone could have a chance to immerse themselves in nature for one week.  No outside interferences and primitive camping only.  I really think it would change peoples lives.  Nature has a way of taking all the negativity you have accumulated and shed it from your inner being.  If you decide you want to do this sometime, I have put together a little something I hope will make it a pleasurable experience for you.

A Guide To Help You Find Yourself

You need a place to camp.  I recommend using state campgrounds in conservation areas.  They usually have walking trails.  Some have creeks, rivers and lakes in them which add to your “things to do list”.  Fishing, kayaking and canoeing become available for you to use.  They make it easy to get lost in nature.

If you are serious about finding yourself, I recommend primitive camping because, in a way it brings us back to the ways of our ancestors.  No electric.  No running water. No TV!  Wow, I heard a lot of moans then.  It really is a humbling experience.  It will make you appreciate a lot of things in your life.  Go by yourself.  Make sure you practice meditation during your time in nature.  It is the perfect venue to use mediation for cleansing your soul, mind and spirit.  A good book doesn’t hurt either.  Now I am not talking A Thousand Shades of Purple or Yearnings of a Desperate Housewife/Husband.  Maybe a self-help book, philosophical, spiritual and thought provoking.

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Camp on 12/16/2017

 

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Camp 12/16/2017

Cook your own meals.  If you don’t like cooking there are some really delicious MREs on the market.  The object of this week long camping trip is to be able to live within your own little world for the whole week so that you won’t be distracted by outside influences or ideas.  This time is to be used for you to find yourself.  Tame your demons and deal with the skeletons in your closet that seem to be holding you back to achieve your dreams.  A good time to evaluate yourself and where you are at in your life.

“Walk in nature and feel the healing power of trees.” Anthony William

 

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Sunrise

Get up before dawn and sit in solitude and watch the sunrise and the beginning of a new day.  Listen carefully as the wildlife begins their day.  Get lost in the sun as it rises in the east and let your imagination run wild.  Track your thoughts and feelings in your journal so that you will have it to remind you of that morning when you are back at the daily grind.

 

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Sunset

Then an hour before sunset make your way to some place you can watch the sunset as  your day comes to an end.  In the solitude absorb all the things that happened that day.  Be sure to add them to your journal.  As the sun slips into the west listen to all the new sounds of the forest as the fingers of daylight recede and succumb to the darkness.  Hear the coyote howling in the distance as the symphony of crickets began their night of music.  Relax and enjoy and clear your mind.  Let the serenity of the night lull you into a peacefulness that is hard to explain.  Once you feel it you will never think the same.

In closing I would like to say I am a realist and know that not everyone would be comfortable in this setting.  If you like the idea and never experienced it please by all means go for it.  You won’t be sorry and you will be a new person.  You will appreciate more in life and you will like yourself better.

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” – Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Thanks for reading.  If you have never done this and do take up the adventure please let me know what you thought about indulging in such an undertaking.  Don’t forget to spread the love.