Thursday, November 29, 2007

Welding in Cincinnati

I passed my welding test today, but with sleep deprivation and no food yesterday or yet today I wasn't certain how it would go. I begin work tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. Due to security measures around this project I will not be posting any photos of my work here. I don't know the hours per week for sure or the length of the project yet. Apparently these numbers and dates continually fluctuate, so I won't put much stock in the rumors until after something has already happened. If it looks secure enough I plan to get into an apartment and out of the hotel. Semper Gumby! (always flexible)

It is ridiculously hot work, so if anyone has nomex gloves and balaclava that they aren't using please let me know. (rollerblading style, hard knee and elbow pads as well) This is definitely going to be an adventure.

I'm seriously hungry, so that's it for now. I'm going to get some food, then perhaps a short nap. This photo is from Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ray Anderson on Sustainability

This man is walking the talk with his business. Worth a look.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Another successful crash landing.

Hey kids,

I'm in Cincinnati and I am scheduled to take a welding test tomorrow. I will be working on military field equipment and that's all I feel free to say about it at this time. This is a strange project for me, given my support of the troops, but absolute revulsion at the current administration's policies and actions, both at home and abroad. I was somewhat underwhelmed at first, but have connected with a sharp guy who's definitely more experienced than I am. He has been reasonably happy working here so far. He got here in September when they wanted me to start originally.

The weather here is much warmer and more clear than Michigan. I hope to come home for Christmas break or get the "Crumbgobblers" down here.

That's it for now,

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Introducing some of the Tribe

Today I'm going to begin introducing some members of my tribe. I will begin with my kids a.k.a. 'The Crumbgobblers'. On the left is my 10 year old son Takeo (tuh-kay-o) and to his right is Akayla my 7 year old daughter. They are mind-blowingly fun to hang out with. We enjoy camping at music festivals, going to the Meijer Botanical and Sculpture Gardens, various art and musical events downtown, traveling, board games, playgrounds, beaches, bike rides, being with 'extended family', and too many other activities to list. They are amazing! This is what it's all about.

Now we have come to 2 guys who are like brothers to me. Craig Gray (Ronin Martial Arts) is the menacing character to the far left. The refined gentleman on the right is Don Young (Innovative Martial Arts). Both of them are phenomenal instructors and really quality guys.
Behind me and with staff below is Jason McMillen (school name unknown at present) I have worked out with him a few times now and he consistently impresses me. Jason has a solid background in the military as well as civilian law enforcement/corrections. The guy that I'm rolling with is Aaron. He's a karate sensei from Lowell, Michigan. Aaron is quite good on his feet and a very nice guy. 4 highly competent and very humble men. This kitchen photo was taken at the most recent Gathering of the Tribes. Innovative Martial Arts hosts this crazy event twice a year and we get folks from far and wide. It is the only martial arts gathering of it's kind that I'm aware of. The host family (Chuck and Jeanne) puts everyone up for the long weekend and they feed us. I love these people! The first time I came for one I was invited by a buddy and didn't know anyone else (I ended up staying for weeks and am living here as I type this). The level of instruction is world -class and very practical (we are blessed by the presence of some legitimate masters), but it's the ego-free community spirit that sets it apart for me. Anyone can fight, that's nothing special. The positive energy and genuine concern for each other is what's truly special. Getting this large and eclectic (I'm being gentle here) group to settle down and train together is no small feat. Getting them to settle down and eat together however is almost impossible to prevent. Every Gathering of the Tribes has had great potlucks with spouses and kids hanging out for hours. The after hours exchanges are always the highlight for me. It truly feels like a family.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Just getting started.

I Buddha, am setting myself up (with assistance and an outdated long-haired photo) with a blog for my birthday. I am turning 32 as I type this post. Almost midnight now. This has been a long time coming, as I've had many friends try to convince me that I needed to start a blog. (Probably so that I would have an outlet and stop trying to save the world through them.)
The name TribalBuddha is a result of my strong desire to live in community with friends and family coupled with my interest in philosophy, self-awareness, and martial arts. I picked up the name Buddha over a dozen years ago while serving on active duty in the military. It evolved from Grasshopper to Cain (Kung-fu series) and then they settled on Buddha and it has followed me since. The name Buddha means the enlightened one. I make no such claim for myself, instead preferring to simply state that "I am awake".
This Monday I will be moving south for the winter for a short-term contract. Leaving my kids a.k.a. "The Crumbgobblers" behind feels incredibly strange as I fought like mad to maintain custody and have had them 1/2 time since the separation and subsequent divorce 6 years ago. Fortunately my ex-wife and I are friendly and this does not alter my legal standing. We will resume our standard arrangement on my return.
I don't yet have a clear direction that I want to take this site in. My best guess is that it will be as hard to pigeonhole as I have been. My hope is to use this as a vehicle to promote the vision I have of the world that is possible and the people and institutions (which interestingly enough are run by people) who are crazy enough to be traveling the same path. To those people I say "I love you all" (you know who you are). That said I do need to warn you that I am prone to rather intense 'save the planet' ramblings. Rest assured that my heart is in the right place, so if I offend you or post something that is incorrect or outdated (other than photos), by all means let me know. I hope that this will be more of an evolving discussion where we can all benefit, rather than just a madman's mountaintop monologue screamed into the wind. It's definitely gonna take a tribe to wrangle my stampeding herd of thoughts on sustainability, community, and myriad other topics. My thanks and /or apologies are offered up front.