Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Reality Check”

Coffee and the Morning Ritual

My wife and I have our morning rituals these days. After we wake and let the dogs out for their morning constitutional we head for the coffee. It is like the kick-start that begins the day. We also reach for our respective technology and get an update on the news of the day and the weather ahead.


I have tried to ignore coffee over the years. I have worked my way toward tea and assorted other hot drinks. I have skipped it entirely and made sure that the breaking-fast was centered around a healthy menu fit to start a day.

But in the end, it is the coffee that I come back to.  Like mine with nothing in it generally, but strong enough to give it a bit of rich taste. Admittedly some days it doesn’t end up that way. Never destined to be a Barista I guess, just as long as I get the caffeine I suppose.

Many of my friend and work mates go for other caffeine in the morning. Colas or Diet Colas, the infamous Mt Dew. That just makes me shudder really. I recall younger days after a long night out – waking up with a thirst. But overall I couldn’t do it.

  • So what are your rituals in the morning?
  • What are the things that are at the starting line of the day for you?

Plenty of things that happen over coffee. 



Couple of  my favorite songs with coffee in them.

Black Coffee in Bed – Squeeze

Coffee – Copeland


Getting Your Answer Now

So we live in these times when we can say ” I want my answer now!”. Believing it may be something different.


Just the other day I found myself arguing with a friend over a beer about world affairs and the economy. Unlike days not that long ago, we didn’t have to go on too long expounding about our views and the actuality of what was happening in the world.

The fun of arguing and having a position on something has been severely changed in this Information age.

The answer was in our hands! Both of us grabbed our “smartphones” and Googgled and Binged our way to what we saw was the answer to the debate on the current events of the day. AH-HA said my opponent, listen to this… as he began rattle off some profound insights… I wrangled my way to a URL that had other things to say about the topic too.

So there we were, both spouting off answers about the shape of the world. Knowledge was at our finger tips, the answers were there and we could settle this once and for all and go on enjoying our beers with a bit more repose.

EXCEPT there was one problem: Access to the information didn’t mean we could claim to be knowledgeable at all. In fact who’s to say that what is posted on those Internet  sites our search engines returned was  factual in any significant way? I mean they can site sources with keen authority, but are those sources really correct? For some cases aren’t they just other Internet sites? Are they at risk of being colored with their own opinions?

So there we were- we had opined that we had gotten to our answers about the world’s economy and agreed to disagree.

BUT THEN we realized it,,,, that the Internet may have all sorts of biased and distorted information depending on its originator.

SO that is when we sparked up our next heated debate after all it is fun isn’t it?) : “Is everything you read on the Internet” the truth… just because it has an official name or URL that appears to have some authority or has a well-organized website – how can you know?..

My friends suggestion of how to solve that debate: “Let’s take a look on the Google and see “ …. okay – so I got my answer I guess…. :)


Relax and Take It In

Just take the time to look around, and see what you have found.

Whiskey On The Rocks


I have to say it is hard to do. To stop and just appreciate the art of relaxation.

But then our lives are going so fast. For many of us meditation of the day is not on the schedule.

In these days of self-diagnosed ADD and ADHD we have  come to leave it as an excuse then I suppose.

But there are times when it is just good to relax and take it in. I am going to plan on it.

Turn off your mind relax and float downstream.



My Father’s Drill

As a father of four children, I was never truly keen on the meaning of “Fathers Day”. It seemed like one of those days set aside to commemorate something that should be observed every day of the year. But then I recall as a child, I was not the best at  reflecting on the genuine care my dad provided to me those days.

My Fathers Drill

The old and the new.

As i got older I had very fond memories to recall. Many of them that I didn’t even realize I had absorbed at the time. But he was indeed the kind of father that I can say now I hope that I have been to my children.

He was in some ways distant like every working father would be from time to time. Busy making a “living” and trying to provide for his family. We had some great and very traditional family vacations, station-wagon packed to the windows and trips to cabins in the woods and relatives near and far. There were some personal times fishing together and spending time in the back yard at the grill.

So the movie of the younger days and  “good” times plays back in my head, along with some black and white photos and a few 8 MM films. After I got married and we moved away, we were still close enough to get “visits” from him and my mom. We would visit them too.

They worked hard to have an active retired life, but they were also there when I needed them. It has been over 20 years since he passed from this earth. I still remember all of our times together fondly.

When my wife and I got our first home, he gave me some of his tools ( a new homemaker must have tools!). One of them was a power-drill. Nothing special really, but to this day I have had it in my tool box.

It has his drivers-licence etched into the side, the label (Black and Decker I think) has fallen off. Last time I used it was recently with my son – when we were working on some kitchen cabinets. The drill worked, but it sparks were coming from the body of it. It was still a functional tool, but it had seen generations of better times. Time takes toll on everything and everyone.

So with regret I will likely now retire the drill, most likely bought at the local hardware store in my small home town in Wisconsin. Most likely with dozens upon dozens of projects for the home behind it. It will be replaced by a drill bought from Amazon (not made in the USA I am afraid) and shipped to my door. A concept my dad would have marveled at.

Or maybe I should hand the drill off to my son? Tell him to be careful with the “sparks” inside, but mind the fact that it has worked well for decades of projects meant to build on the future.


Take The Weight Off

No, it is not a diet edict. This weight is the weight we all carry, regardless of our physical appearance. It is the weight that becomes a burden that we come to be dependent upon. It is that heaviness that we don’t want, but no change in diet or physical exercise is going to remove it.

It is the weight of information. and we are all subject to that these days. One time stored in encyclopedias, reported in newspapers and magazines and complied in text books – the information for those of us who have access to the Internet seems nearly infinite.  Mistaking that for knowledge is another thing. The nearly infinite source does not have a definitive declaration of the truth, but only the versions of the truth we come to find there.

I love the Tom Waits picture below. It is pretty profound. It is the weight of the things in our lives.  Here in America we collect things to make us more important. From what I can tell is that way in many other places around the world too. The more we have (information, possessions, money,friends, etc) the more we think we will be happy. Abundance can sometimes seem to translate to safer life, or a better life. But hopefully that is understood. It is not going to ever be enough. And as the adage says “you can’t take it with you”.

Kids, my advice is to understand where you are, and know how you should see it? There is more.

DO you have the weight of the world carting around on your soul? Of have you found that there is much more than that?


Buried Beneath the Weight



Love this quality video from The Band. The Weight.

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