Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Resolution for those who worry - Build some steps!

The best New Year's resolution for those who worry is asking 5 questions about each worry:

  1. Is the worry real? Is it true?
  2. Is it important or significant?
  3. Is it my responsibility? Or even partially mine?
  4. Is it timely? Is it an immediate concern?
  5. Thus what can I do about it NOW?
Then turn it into practical steps.


This Image was released by the United States Navy with the ID 090911-N-1783P-005
(U.S. Navy photo by Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Juan Pinalez/Released) Fireman Chris Liberton, assigned to Naval Nuclear Power Training Command at Naval Weapons Station Charleston, constructs a new wooden stoop for a homeowner. More than 2,000 Navy volunteers worked in the Charleston area community on September 11, 2009 as part of the annual Day of Caring

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Why is My Mind Full of Black Holes?

Why is my mind so full of black holes? Black holes are areas in outer space that swallow everything that comes near them. My mind has many of these swallowing engulfing heavy spaces.  They swallow my useful productive thoughts and replace them with depressive painful thoughts.

 Mind has pain when I am caught in one of these black holes. A kind of phantom pain. Phantom pain is physical pain that feels like it is originating in a limb but the limb isn't there. The limb has been removed. So my black holes are the phantom pain when my mind is not connected, not connected to living.

My mind's black holes are the depressive phantom pain from not living...the life is drawn out of me.
Source: NASA.

I can reduce my phantom pain by looking at myself. Physical therapists address phantom pain using mirrors. I never used to look at myself in a mirror. Maybe using a mirror I can pull myself out of my mind's black holes. Mirror therapy for the mind's black holes of phantom pain when the mind is cut off from living.


Small Stones

Grateful stones
Grate full of stones

Mindful stones
Mind full of stones

Mind full of grateful stones.
Grateful mind.

By David Bleasdale from England (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Victorian Stone Grate with small stones and heart-shaped holes

Visit other Small Stones at 
"Small Stones Anthology - A Black Bird Sings" link

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Remembrance for Death of Grandchild

Buzzing ears

flowers bunched in vases.

Rosemary creeps.

Salty eyes burn from emptiness.

Bee landing on rosemary flowers
Taken by
Rosemary is for Remembrance.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Strangling a Boulder Headache

Eyeglasses pull down my forehead.
Eyes press together.

Pain shoots out the temples
To clenched jaw.

Muscles wrestle the inside out
Strangling a boulder of thought tangles.

A Strangler fig growing around a boulder at Katandra Reserve, near Gosford, New South Wales, Australia. It is a prominent landmark along Toomeys Walk. The boulder is around 1.5m in diameter.
By O. Baudys (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Where You Live ... Tears of Aging Cobwebs

Where you live
captures dropped thoughts,
Crusted memories
In closed music boxes.

Moving stirs thought tangles
swirled into the tears of aging cobwebs.
Memory dust and cat whiskers
Dance and unwind as the lid is lifted.

Penny Mayes [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, January 27, 2014

Who Am I?

From moment to moment
Thoughts reinvent myself.

The mind throws many stones
On the surface of the lake
That mirrors only past and future.

The now creates a sense of self
That interconnects all.

Stereoscopic view of Mirror Lake, Yosemite Valley, CA, U.S.A 
Source: By Singley, B. L. (Benjamin Lloyd) -- Photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Storm Tickles

Tree branches reach out into the storm
while the woodpecker bobs and alights on the swinging clothesline.

Then it  flies back to the familiar steady  trunk of its home
Tickling the tree branches who dared stretch out to test the wind.

Photo by Michael L. Baird

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Thought Tangles

Ears hiss.
Traffic whizzes and shoots through
my mind's thought tangles.

Adjusting posture
back to the slow pulse
of body's diaphragm

In and out
Over and under
the breath rocks
gently loose the tangles.

Discover more small stones loosening thought tangles through Mindful Writing at
A Blackbird Sings – our small stone anthology

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mindful Writing, A Tool for Living in the Now. A Moment's Peace.

Ice sheets drape the inside of the window's glass
And the silent sentry cat watches the outside movements through the ice trails.

Meanwhile Arctic frigid air greets
the steaming breaths of the waiting crowd at the bus stop
Amid the tail swish of the traffic's tires on the road.

The day's light creeps in on sentinel paws.
Peaceful awe of the moment.

For other ideas about Mindful Writing see
Writing Our Way Home: Engage the World through Mindful Writing

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Do You Write? Why Do You Post Your Images or Art? An experiment to get a list of reasons why bloggers write or post their images or art?

Leave your reason why you write. The comments will be the contents of this post.
image source: image by Benutzer:C-M

image from,_%28late_17th_Century%29_%2823%29.jpg
Idea starters: Why do you write...
to ____________...
or your writing has changed __________...
what was your first post about...

why is not ________...
write one sentence describing your blog's ________...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Václav Havel - A Man Who Lived, Wrote, and Governed for Humanity Has Died.

From playwright and poet,
the last President of Czechoslovakia to the first President of the Czech Republic
Chair of the International Council of the Human Rights Foundation 
International Advisory Council member of Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. 

A man compared to Gandhi who believed and worked for world peace and human rights. Amnesty International gave him their Ambassador of Conscience Award.

May we remember his activism and his written word. 

This is the Flag of the President of the Czech Republic.

Flag source: 

Česky: Pamětní deska na základní a mateřské škole v Hrčavě, připomínající návštěvu prvního prezidenta České republiky Václava Havla (Moravskoslezský kraj, Česko).
English: Memorial plaque on the primary school and kindergarten in Hrčava, commemorating visit of the first president of the Czech Republic Václav Havel (Moravian-Silesian Region, Czech Republic).
Polski: Tablica pamiątkowa na budynku szkoły podstawowej i przedszkola w Herczawie, upamiętniająca wizytę pierwszego prezydenta Republiki Czeskiej Václava Havla (Zaolzie, Kraj morawsko-śląski, Czechy).
With Respect for My Polish Heritage.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pray It Forward. Be Blessed with Healing as You Pray It Forward.

When you are healed that is what you do.

Photo taken by Daderot May 2006 at the Richard H. Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass, on the Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois, USA of \Two Angels - Tiffany Studios, c. 1910.,_c._1910.JPG
I believe in angels.

When we are  troubled... and think ourselves most overwhelmed it is then when angels carry us so softly we do not realize they are there...


My precious, precious child,
I love you and
I would never leave you.

During your times of
trial and suffering,
when you see only
one set of footprints,

It was then that I carried you.

Be blessed with healing as you Pray It Forward.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What is your choice for a book for book club if there was only one last book you could read?

Let me ask which books have helped keep you sane while craziness abounds?  I have reached a tipping point where the reality of life challenges my rationality.
What is your choice for a book for book club if there was only one last book to read?

All my life has been devoted to rationality. Like choices for book club. Reading a book should help you understand life. I want to learn some guiding principle from reading a book for book club. Like why do people suffer? Poverty. Bankruptcy. Pain. Sickness. Wounded Warriors. Why is there war WITHIN ourselves and OUTSIDE in the world?

I keep wanting to make sense of the the stuff that happens in life.Is there a book that helps build sanity when insanity abounds?

I used to say go to a playground when life exceeds its tipping point. Now I know life has made me dizzy with repeated tipping toward the unfairness, the insanity and life exceeds its tipping point too often for many people.

Whether it is fiction, poetry, or non-fiction as a book club choice can book club members find in a book how to deal with the irrationality of life? 

By reading, just as by writing, are processes whereby I seek to understand the complexities of my life. Sometimes I reach a tipping point where I need that special book to put a heavy rock on my side of the teeter-tooter and lean me towards sanity.

What is your choice for a book for book club if there was only one last book you could read?


Sunday, September 18, 2011

What is the Higher Power's timeline? Does God have a 'To Do' List?

Does God, a Higher Power, or what name who you think influences life or death have a 'To Do' list with a timeline? Do you know the timeline of the rate of recovery from illness?

Suppose you are a "To Do" list type of person with 'timelines' of your own... How much influence do individuals have over their recovery? Why do I need to know the timeline of the Higher Power's "To Do" list?

Why do we need timelines anyway? What is the purpose of a timeline? It may provide normative comparative data. Also, timelines imply a sense of control. A sense of orderliness.

Illness is not orderly.

Who is in control of life's timeline? Being in control, if such control exists, implies a grand plan. What is the grand plan? I ask:

What is the Higher Power's timeline?
Does God have a 'To Do' list?
Recovery timelines are silent except for...

Bandar Lego's Chrono-list_Icon
 Иконка для временных линий и хронологических списков

the steady sound of the ticking of the clock.

If you want to hear what I hear, the ticking of a hospital clock, go to:

Oh, God, what despair a wounded warrior must feel... and hear endless ticking of the clock.

I am not wounded. I am just waiting for the wounded.
I am not living it myself.
Writing helps the process.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My brother had a stroke. One of his healing hands will not move. The utter terror of not being able to feel...

My heart just doesn't know. My brain is numb like my brother's left arm and left leg. It is hard for me to understand how a doctor with healing hands [he is a chiropractor] now cannot move one side of his body.

How could this happen? Yes, he had tremendous stress. Financial and personal. Yes, the clock ticks fast.Yes, expectations were high. No, he does not have medical insurance for himself. He couldn't afford it. Staff to pay, rent to pay... so many migrant farm workers and people who were injured while at work... he treated them long term regardless if they could pay or not. Though he helped relieve pain, he was never free from financial pain himself.

Now my brother is in intensive care. I shudder to think how his mind is racing about in half a numb body that will not respond...What all this means--Will he recover? What happens to his healing dream? All he initially said when he was bought in "Give me some blood pressure medication and let me go home!"

If he survives intensive care he cannot go home. He lost his home to the bank. A hospital bed won't fit in his furnished studio apartment. Later at the hospital he was garbling something like  "No county! No county!" The 'county' nursing home where the uninsured and poor go.

Somehow when the stock market spiraled down 600 points today, a black Monday, August 8, 2011, it seems a marker of the times. Our mother was born on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, when the stock market crashed during the Great Depression. Dreams crash hard. They bleed in your brain...

My brother's 'significant' stroke is the size of a half-a-dollar coin and is near his hypothalamus--indicated by the red arrow.  Image from wikipedia file:hypothalamus.jpg
Other links:
picture of Jill Bolte Taylor holding a human brain from wikipedia by Steve Jurvetson taken 2-27-08
Jill Bolte Taylor, the neuroanatomist pictured above, suffered a massive stroke. Her recovery took 8 years. She describes the sensations she felt during her stroke in the video called "Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight" which is at [click on this link to view the video]

Say a prayer...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Invite You to an Experiment. Need Your Reaction. "Are you an Insider or an Outsider?"

Please read through this experiment's guide below and at the end enter in comments which environment is more important to you--the exterior or the interior of your home and give your reaction to this guide.

Guideline ideas to help you decide:
  • Think about your existing home.
  • Do you feel more comfortable being on the outside or inside where you live?
  • When you make your choice of exterior or interior what activities do you enjoy in the area you prefer? 
  • Is there a specific activity you enjoying doing and what is that activity or enjoyment? 
  • Does your area choice have certain elements that give you comfort? 
  • What are those comforting elements?
Please consider YOUR FEELINGS. Choose only ONE AREA either the outside or the inside where you live. Try to figure out WHY this chosen area makes you feel more comfortable than the other. Can you identify specific elements in the area that create this comfort zone?

And then ASK YOURSELF two questions:
  1. Was this preferred environmental area created by you AFTER you moved in?
  2. Could you transfer some "Feel Good" elements from your chosen area that could be added to your non-preferred area?
Finally, ENTER YOUR REACTION to this experiment in the comments. Thank you for helping me.
Runde Environmental Centre
Runde Environmental Centre, Norway by Toften from Wikimedia Commons
"Is it the Exterior or the Interior of Your Home 
which is More Important to You? 
And Why?"

For those who like to make statistics lie...  Add a reaction that is not from the guideline at the end of your comment.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Got Stress. Does It Make You Itch All Over. Don't Scratch. PUNT.

Punt is kicking the ball before it hits the ground. How do you kick stress? Start with kicking the biggest stressor. Do not scratch it. Give it a kick before it scratches you raw.

Whether the stresses are people or stuff, stress can make you itch all-over. Kick stress hard and deep. Punt like in football to let your gunners do the work. The gunners force a guy to fair catch. You control stress. It can be a fair catch--not an itch.

A fair catch is a catch of a punt on the fly by a defensive player who has signalled that he will not run and so should not be tackled. You kick stress and then catch it and it doesn't tackle you. 

Football and stress have common tools to combat itching.

Photo by Orrling andTomer Scheib-Wikipedia Commons

for disclaimers by VikingsWorld on this youtube video

Photo by Pitke: a 5-year-old Finnhorse gelding nibbling his itching right hind leg, Wikipedia Commons
Related Links:


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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Myeloma. Bone Marrow Cancer. What do you do? Go to the playground.

You live. Day by day. Minute by minute. The clock ticks. You try to forget. Stress builds.

You live. How to control your thoughts? Some say faith. Some say ____________.

I say go to the playground everyday. Children keep us alive. Watch the children.

Go to the playground. Sit on the sandbox edge. Watch them play. 

Play is therapy for body and mind.

Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive) 15 Jul 1955, wikipedia commons

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thinking. Creating. Use of Time. HOW TO DO IT ALL? Receptor Ripples.

Solution to HOW TO DO IT ALL: Take the kitchen sink throw it in. Leave the faucet running. Then watch the ripples. Let the plasticity of your brain form ripples in its neurons. Be mindful of the wave action to sooth your receptors. Insight will come.

If you create this state of mind, you can call on it when you need it.

Imagine having the power to release ripples on your brain neurotransmitter receptors.
  • Every time you are at your kitchen sink. 
  • Every time you see water.  
  • Every time you see any ripple pattern. 
  • Even on a very hot day in rush hour traffic watching heat ripples... 
Create a Memory Trigger of Ripples.

Perhaps ripples in a tidal pool...
Photo by Hugh Chevallier. Children swimming in the tidal pool at Dancing Ledge, Purbeck

Or if you think better alone perhaps ripples in the sand underwater ...
Photo by Michael C. Rygel from

YOU CAN DO IT ALL. Use ripples on your receptors. Ripples are everywhere.

Some ripple links:
Dancing Ledge and World Heritage site on your doorstep
Wikipedia on Tide Pools
Ripples in a Beaver Pond by fellow blogger, Kim Ykema
Isle of Purbeck
Ripples of Change by Sandy Penley, a fellow blogger

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Post Office by Charles Bukowski. A Menu with Intense Flavors. Choose one of His Dishes to Pass.

With June's book club selection, I selected the first novel of a poet. His life in Los Angeles, from 1920 when he was born to 1994 when he died, went through many social changes. These changes and the alcoholism, his bad acne scarring, his strict upbringing brought forth in him a need, a drive to write. So his writing reflects those different times and experiences. Just as Studs Terkel wrote of the people in Hard Times so has Charles Bukowski written of the people in their lowlife hard times.

This lowlife has intense flavors. No 12-course meals. During a period of his lowlife he lived on one candybar a day for the only meal a day he had. This candy bar was ironically  a bar called Payday. His first real payday was his novel, Post Office. It was the only regular payday he hung onto with the hopes of having enough steady money to continue writing.

Working at the post office began with delivering mail. But it helped him have money to drink, write and get very ill from bleeding ulcers and drinking too much. After he nearly died from this he returned to the post office to sort mail for over 11 years. Grueling grunt work.  During those years he drank and wrote every day. The people at the bars and race tracks were what he wrote about--he told their stories. He was their voice. Bukowski began also to write poetry that told a story with the raw intensity of life in the streets. 
Charles Bukowski, portrait by italian artist Graziano Origa, pen&ink+pantone, 2008
image from
Bukowski says it was his father that gave him the ability to write.  His father beat 'the shit out of him.' Bukowski says his father's beatings took away all pretense, all that was unnecessary. Pain cleared his mind. Usually the beatings occurred several times a week from when he was 5 until he was 11 or 12 years old. Bukowski comments that as the years of beatings continued he slowly over time cried or yelled less and less during the beatings.  When he finally stopped reacting to the beatings his father stopped beating him. Within a year or two later he started writing. Writing stories. Later  also writing poetry.

He wrote his first novel, Post Office, in three weeks for John Martin. Martin was a book collector who discovered  and admired Bukowski's streetwise stories in the alternative press of the 1960s. He proposed that Bukowski quit his job at the post office to write full time and he would pay him $100 a month for life. Martin remarked to Bukowski that he might consider writing a novel since novels can produce more income compared than selling stories or poetry. Bukowski found his own Payday, the novel, Post Office. Within three or four weeks after their agreement he called John Martin to come and pick up the novel.

But he had to wait five years before he could cash this Payday from the novel. During that time John Martin gave Bukowski 25% of his own income for 5 years; then Martin sold his  book collection of valuable editions for $50,000. Just as this last money was almost gone, the publishing began to make a profit. Black Sparrow press was in the black. Bukowski finally earned his PayDay, making a living as a writer.

John Martin says there is no other poet whose poetry has gone into 30 to 40 printings and no other poet who has written so much poetry. Here is just a few stanzas of Bukowski's  poem called
Dinosauria, we

born like this
into this
as the chalk faces smile
as Mrs. Death laughs
as the elevators break
as political landscapes dissolve
as the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree
as the oily fish spit out their oily prey
as the sun is masked

we are
born like this
into this
into these carefully mad wars
into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
into bars where people no longer speak to each other
into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings

born into this
into hospitals which are so expensive that it is cheaper to die
into lawyers who charge so much it's cheaper to plead guilty
into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
into a  place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes...

You can get a sense of who he was from some films. There is the documentary film on his life, Bukowski: Born into this. There are poetry readings. One reading is titled Bukowski at Bellevue. Also there are two DVDs called The Charles Bukowski Tapes: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. These are film clips of Bukowski during the filming of, Barfly, which Bukowski wrote. All these films are in Netflix.

Bukowski is complex. He had to drink to face people. He wrote of so many intense human emotions but John Martin says Bukowski could not approach a stranger and wouldn't be able to engage in every day small talk.

I would encourage you to read some of his poetry if you cannot get a copy of the novel. Some say his poetry during the 1970s reflect his best voice. But his later poetry gives voice to all the frailties ... being alone, being sick, writing to Lady Death.

Survey the large Bukowski menu and choose your meal, an experience that you can relate to. If the critics are right people will still be reading Bukowski just as we continue to read Shakespeare today. Many say he is not a 'Beat' Generation poet though some label him so. Bukowski's poetry has a timeless quality. You can see that in theDinosauria, We poem. His writing flavors are intense. I am curious what flavor appeals to you and which of his dishes you are going bring to the book club table.

Here's a Link to the youtube list of Charles Bukowski Poetry Reading. Almost 300.
Also see my previous blogs posts on Charles Bukowski by searching my blog with his name in the search box.
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Michigan may Reduce Funding to Universities w Unmarried Partner Benefits. Knock. Knock. Who's There?

Protect Michigan's Universities and Families

By Stella Sunstein
To be delivered to: The Michigan State House, The Michigan State Senate and Governor Rick Snyder
“David Agema's amendment penalizing universities over same-sex benefits violates the universities' budgetary autonomy, interferes with their academic freedom, and penalizes all unmarried couples, particularly those who are not allowed to marry in the first place. Any further cuts in state funding will directly harm Michigan students and their families. Please ensure that the reconciliation process eliminates this hate-driven legislation.”
The Michigan House Republicans recently approved an amendment to the House bill on education funding written by Rep. David Agema. The amendment proposes that the state subtract 5% from the state funding of any university that offers health insurance coverage for employees who live with another adult outside of marriage.  
During a time where public education operates under increasingly difficult financial constraints, ideologically driven legislations have even less of a place in educational policy than ever. The amendment violates the autonomy of public universities and is thus a direct attack on academic freedom.  

Moreover, the amendment’s clear intent to divide the academic community is deeply immoral. Targeting unmarried couples, and by intent particularly gay and lesbian families, at a time where every public poll shows significant majority support for civil unions flies in the face of the country’s commitment to equality. Americans, as a rule, do not want the government to tell them how to conduct their private lives.  

Middle class families already suffer from the rising cost of college tuition. If the amendment passes, the loss of funds may well contribute to an even steeper rise, thus penalizing all Michigan families in the interest of an obsolete sexual morality Americans have rejected resoundingly.  
The bill still needs to be reconciled with the Senate version. Please petition the Michigan Senators, both Republicans and Democrats, to oppose this nasty piece of legislation.
If you want to personally call Dave Agema, the author of this proposed amendment, his office phone is 5173738900 per the QUEERTY [Gay Rights] post.  Click here to read their conversations with Mark in Rep. Dave Agema's office.
If you are in a petition signing mood,  Click here to go to the site that wants to "Reclaim Michigan. Recall Rick Snyder," the Michigan governor. Note: 807,000 valid signatures are needed before August 5. 

I think getting petition signatures is a learning experience for anyone going to law, economics, sociology, political science or considering how to get an internship with a desired company  . 

  • Real life experience knocking on doors shows initiative which every employer values
  • Advocating a pro-employer stance of their right to determine compensation 
  • Advocating basic rights of unmarried partners...
If I read your internship request I would want to meet you to talk about your 
"Knock. Knock. Who's There?" experience.

A Soliloquy. Youthful Mercury. "What's this 'ere on the plyte? 'Knock and ring'! Blowed if they won't be harsking yer to 'walk hinside', next!!"
Cartoon from The Project Gutenberg eBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 102, April 23, 1892, by Various, Edited by F. C. Burnand

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tired of People Giving You Their Advice. Test If You Can Stop Giving Advice and Tune into Active Listening.

I failed the test when I tried to stop giving advice. Short of zipping my mouth shut or duct taping it, it is a great effort for me to change and stop giving advice.
designed by
 So rather than focusing on stopping my advising behavior, I think I'll try a pro-active plan: to be a listener, an active listener. The art of listening is a rarity. It requires me to suspend my own needs. How do I let go of my need to give advice?

Michael P. Nichols who wrote The Lost Art of Listening, says "effective listening requires attention, appreciation, and affirmation." If I can learn to really listen then there is no need for advice-giving. The person to whom I am listening will instead form their own solutions.

Can you imagine how much attention, appreciation and affirmation I can show if I said, "Take Your Time -- I'm listening." Listening is not a one-way street - it like a two-way radio or satellite which sends and receives signals. 

When a person talks to me and I am listening, I need to tune into their channel and reflect back what that person said, their original signal. Why? Because my own signal is so strong the other person's channel has static and I don't receive their signal completely. I need to reflect back what they said and check that I received the complete signal. I need to tune my antenna to their channel.

I need to practice listening with the people I have communication problems with. I guess this is how peace negotiators work.

Oh! How I and everyone around me could use more peace! So I'll not need to zip my mouth shut, but to open my ears, my radar, my satellite... to tune in their channel and check with them if I received the signal they sent without my static, my needs.
ACRIMSat animation.gif from (NASA/JPL) wikimedia commons
A Look Inside Michael P. Nichols' book, The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships

Hints for listening if you are in business or social networking

Hints for listening if you are a parent.

Hints for those in Healthcare

Reflective Listening Tips and Some roadblocks to avoid by Chris (WordPress), a fellow blogger.

Please share any ways you have learned that help or prevent the Art of Listening.
I need to tune in... having too much static on my satellite lately.