Monday, June 19, 2006

Mt. McKinley & Wonder Lake, Denali National Park, Alaska captured by the great Ansel Adams.

I'm living vicariously through my parents and their retirement. They are currently in Alaska. They just spent a week doing some tours on land (including a couple days at Denali National Park) and are now on a cruise ship for the next week seeing the sights from the sea. be retired!

So much to see in this world, and so little time.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Keeping myself in check.

I work in downtown often. In fact, the studio that I work at the most often is actually on Main Street. One of the things that goes along with working on main street is having to deal with the homeless people that roam around the area. I have been approached countless times by guys looking for a buck. There are a number of canned stories about why they need the money that you hear very often. My most often response is that I do not carry cash on me. And that is not a lie. It is not very often that I carry cash in my wallet. I do however carry a little stash of ones in my car since I have to pay for parking everyday, but my response is not a lie to the beggars since I am almost always approached while walking to or from work. Seldom will they will approach you in your vehicle. I generally get to work a little early since I believe in punctuality. Sometimes I have to sit in my car and wait until someone else shows up before I can get into the studio. Well that happened this morning. As I was sitting in my car, listening to the radio. I was playing with my phone when I saw someone out of the corner of my eye heading straight for my car. I glanced up and there was a homeless man approaching. After having this happen before, and being the cynic that I am, I generally just wave at the people in a manner to tell them to move on. This generally works and I go on with my life. I always feel bad about prejudging these people and assuming that they just want a buck, but everytime I talk to them it is the same story over and over. And in the back of my head, I am always thinking "this money is just going to buy more booze". That's me, the cynic. I don't like the fact that I always think this way, but it is almost always what I think.

This morning was no different. When I saw the man approaching, I waved him on without even looking him in the eye. He just stood there, I looked up and he mouthed the word "please". I shook my head in a "I'm sorry, but no" manner and went on with my business of messing around with some settings on my phone. Excuse my language but, I felt like a real ass (but not as bad as I was about to feel). Anyway, the man began to stumble around the parking lot (which is rather small by the way), I saw him looking at the ground, every now and then bending over to pick something up. I assumed he was finding change. He walked near my car again and reached down to pick something up again. As I looked over, I saw him eating half of a cracker that he had just picked up off the ground. My heart sank. Here I was, sitting in my nice car, playing with my cell phone, while this man outside my car was outside eating a cracker that he just found on the ground. Feeling very ashamed of how I acted toward him just a few moments earlier, I began looking for any food or snacks that I had in my car. I found a pack of peanut butter crackers and quickly rolled down my window and tried to get his attention. It took a second, but he came over to my car and I handed him the crackers. I could tell by the look on his face that he was VERY thankful. He, very sincerely, said "thank you and God bless you". I could tell that he was very happy to have something to temporarily fill his stomach. He stumbled away, leaving me with my thoughts. I just sat there for the next few minutes (before venturing into work) thinking about my actions and remembering how good I have it, no matter how tight the money might be sometimes. It definitely gave me a different outlook on life for the day.