From the Editor

Can There Be: Love, Peace, Beauty, Wonder, Joy . . . ?

 

“We’re alike. I, too, believe that everyone should have a chance at a breathtaking piece of folly once in his life. I was twenty when they said a woman couldn’t swim the Channel. You’re twelve; you think a horse of yours can win the Grand National. Your dream has come early; but remember Velvet, it will have to last you all the rest of your life.

. . .Win or lose it is all the same, it is how to take it that counts and knowing when to let go, and knowing when it’s over, time to go on to the next thing. Things come suitable for the time, enjoy each thing and then forget it and go on to the next thing. There is a time for everything. A time for having a horse in the Grand National, being in love, having children, yes even for dying, all in proper order at the proper time.”

~ Enid Bagnold ~
Recited by the character Mrs. Araminty Brown, in National Velvet

 

I believe that it is irrefutable that we live in an age of internal conflict, of epic proportions; so much of what once easily defined us is being challenged and the ideas we once took for granted, at least collectively, are falling by the wayside, as if they were dominos lined up to tumble with the slightest tap.

For example, we once used to believe that the clergy was all but infallible, and I am in no way speaking about the countless individuals who through tragic personal experience, learned long ago that being in the clergy, for so many was just a job and not a divine vocation. Growing up, while I may well have been aware that there were doctrinal differences, if I knew a person was in “ministry” I automatically felt that they could be trusted. I also would never have imagined that school teachers were or would have sexual relationships with the children that had been entrusted to their care. Nor, though one certainly heard more stories about the “bad apples” would I have considered that police officers would engage in illegal activities.

But today we now know that there are people who take jobs as coaches or team doctors simply to be able to hurt children, and it is no longer just isolated stories or exceptions, that people use the power they have, to give others a way to earn a living, to force those souls into unwanted and degrading sexual situations; and none of us in the United States now believe that politicians are beyond using their position, to seek financial and sexual gains. It makes me sad that this is the world we live in, maybe it always was, and I was just living in a bit of a fairy tale; but I do feel that over my life time, I have seen a change, and not one for the better.

So here we sit in a much more cynical world, where people “do not do unto others, as you would have them do unto you, and do not love their neighbors as themselves, and do not put others before themselves”, and where there is this general feeling of everyone looking out for their own agenda. Gratitude and civility seem like antiquated notions and all we do is complain that we are not getting the respect we deserve or the creature comforts others have, who have earned them through their hard work.

For me, at least, I find these days rather sad and a bit hopeless; stirring me, more often than not, to turn away from the news, social media, and even the offerings on television. Recently, the heavy handedness of the world, sent me searching for something I could walk to, on my treadmill, that would not either make me sigh in sorrow, at the quality of “entertainment” or cry in despair, at the reality that seems to currently define the human condition.

I came upon National Velvet, a DVD that I had purchased for my Mother, but had not sat with her to watch. I must have seen this movie, as a child, but I had no memory of it; yes, I looked it up on Wikipedia, ten minutes into it, to make sure that it had a happy ending; I could not bear the thought of a tragic end. Oddly, Kate, who usually does not care about such things, asked me if the film ended well.

The writing truly is spectacular; the author manages to fill her pages with a cast of well-developed characters who are living in the present and savoring a life, which may appear, for most of them, rather small, but in fact is as grand as life can or should be.

As I watched the movie, mostly set in an idyllic, small town where everyone knows each other, I thought about my Christmas village, and how in it, I get to create a “perfect” world. The streets and neighborhoods are all lovely and the inhabitants are joyful, interacting with cheer with one another. I so wish I could live in my village; but sadly, I cannot. So what can we do? Is there any hope?

Yes, you already know that I am Christian, and that my faith is the most important element in my life; but unfortunately, being and/or interacting with Christians is not enough to create love, peace, beauty, wonder, joy, or any of the rest of those ideal moments that I would like to live in; our faith meets one set of needs, but we are still on earth, and need earth to be welcoming, while we are here – how do we find the love, peace, beauty, wonder, joy . . . that make life palatable?

I think the answer is in people; but my question is not rhetorical. I believe as difficult as it may be, we must search for the like-minded soul; and pray God has mercy on us, and send one or two our way. Also, I think we need to stop and smell the roses, when they are in bloom, and not lament that their season has passed; not an easy habit to master.

As I thought about appreciating “the moment” I recalled this weekend, in the pool with my niece and her family. Her husband was holding their youngest son, who is closer to three years old than two; when he noticed the cement horse, on the deck.

The horse was given to me by Jean, a dear friend, from our neighborhood in Florida. Jean had been given the horse by another neighbor, when he moved, making her promise to dress him up seasonally. After her husband and best friend died, Jean became ill and decided to sell the house and move in with one of her children; one of the last times we saw her, I asked her about what she was going to do with the horse, which sat outside on the retaining wall. Jean looked at me, checking me out in a way she had never before, and stated that she was looking for a good home for the horse. My eyes must have lit up, because she next asked: Would I give the horse a good home?

Jean proceeded to tell me the story of the horse, and what was required of me, if I took him. I felt certain I could keep the horse happy, and brought him, with a bit of work, as he is quite heavy. He lived on the front patio until we bought the house in Maine. When we moved north, my nephews-in-law came to help us unload the truck, including the father of my great-nephew, who had just discovered the horse.

Enoch was memorized, by the horse, and his father took him to the edge of the pool, where Enoch got out, and walked over to the horse. Starring at the horse for a few seconds, Enoch decided it was safe to approach, and went over and began to pet the cement horse, eventually giving him a gentle kiss. The moment was past precious and filled with love, peace, beauty, wonder, joy . . .; everyone in the pool stopped and took notice, how could we not, but I also looked at Enoch’s father, who watched his son with those love filled eyes.

I thought back to the day that the nephew-in-laws had kindly struggled with the impossibly heavy horse, and humored me while I figured out exactly where the horse would be happy; and I wondered if he ever imagined that his son would one day so enjoy the fruits of this labor?
.
It is those moments, and we must seize them and hold on tight. Perhaps love, peace, beauty, wonder, joy . . . are fleeting, only last for a moment, but I think I must resolve to find more moments! That Is All For Now

http://thatisallfornow.com/?page_id=1331#.W2ORMaBy82w

Did You Know?

Iron Mike

 

Marines 006

 

Behold, Iron Mike – Iron Mike who? Just Iron Mike, as it turns out. This statue stands at the Marine Corps Museum, in Quantico, Virginia, but it does not represent Mike, rather all Marines. I have gone searching for more information about Iron Mike, and it turns out that Wikipedia has once again provided the information I needed; I thought you might find this as interesting:

 

“Iron Mike is the de facto name of various monuments commemorating servicemen of the United States military. The term “Iron Mike” is uniquely American slang used to refer to men who are especially tough, brave, and inspiring . . . .https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Mike

Connected

Integrated Security Operation Center – ISOC

You Cannot Fight What You Cannot See

Tech-016-300x225

For those of you asked about last month’s podcast, I offer you this post to help answer your questions.

One of the largest concerns in the United States, regarding cyber security, is how to secure the electrical grid. By consolidating all events into what we call a single pane of glass, we are able to see everything that is occurring in an environment; the more data you are able to analyze the better you are able to understand and address the issues you are facing.

It is not unusual for a SOC analyst to manage three different SOC’s; you will see in the diagram below, that you are able to incorporate an operational technology, the business network, and nuclear/plant network into one central management system, by creating a central location for all devices.

If you have malware in your OT network (operational technology network – SCADA) and there is a cyber-attack, it is extremely beneficial if you are able to centrally manage the malware. If you notice the IOC’s (indicators of compromise) pattern, which may include hash’s, IP addresses, virus signatures, URL’s, domain names of C&C, and other observables, and you have to validate it in three different controls, in can take easily takes weeks. If it is one single pane of glass, you are able to much more easily search all of the events and discover all of the patterns, understanding how it is swimming in your network. Take a look at the PDF to better understand this concept, and by all means continue to contact me.

We need the electrical grid to be safely secured, so that we can all stay Connected.

To see the presentation, please click on the arrows on the bottom left hand corner:

ISOCv2

 

Film’s Recommended by Marcial


 
 
This is a trading world and men, women and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a business established by the Author of our nature.  If he worthily fulfills his mission and amuses without corrupting, he need not feel that he has lived in vain.
 
~ Phineas T. Barnum ~
 

In Therapy, Brazil, 2009, 93 minutes, Comedy

Soul Kitchen, Germany, 2009, 99 minutes, Comedy

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, US, 1961, 114 minutes, Comedy

Queen to Play, France, 2009, 101 minutes, Drama

Castaway on the Moon, Korea, 2009, 116 minutes, Comedy

Eat Drink Man Woman, Taipei, 1994, 124 minutes, Comedy

Bride Flight, Netherlands, 2011, 130 minutes, Drama

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sweden, 2009, 152 minutes, Thriller

Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi, Israel, 2003, 94 minutes, Comedy

Ladies in Lavender, UK, 2004, 103 minutes, Drama

Paper Moon, US, 1973, 102 minutes, Classic

Outsourced, US, 2006, 103 minutes, Comedy

Stranger than Fiction, US, 2006, 113 minutes, Comedy

Run Lola Run, Germany, 1998, 80 minutes, Thriller

Frida, US, 2002, 122 minutes, Drama

The Hours, US, 2002, 114 minutes, Drama

Garden State, US, 2004, 103 minutes, Comedy

American Beauty, US, 1999, 122 minutes, Drama

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, US, 2004, 108 minutes, Comedy

The Green Mile, US, 1999, 189 minutes, Drama

Rain Man, US, 1988, 103 minutes, Drama

Chicago, US, 2002, 113 minutes, Musical

The Upside of Anger, US, 2005, 118 minutes, Comedy

Scarface, US, 1983, 170 minutes, Thriller

The Notebook, US, 2004, 123 minutes, Drama

Million Dollar Baby, US, 2004, 133 minutes, Sports drama

Good Bye, Lenin!, Germany, 2003, 121 minutes, Comedy

Finding Neverland, UK, 2004, 101 minutes, Drama

Spanglish, US, 2004, 131 minutes, Comedy

The Aviator, US, 2004, 170 minutes, Drama

The Bridge on the River Kwai, US, 1957, 167 minutes, Action

Pulp Fiction, US, 1994, 154 minutes, Thriller

The Magnificent Seven, US, 1960, 128 minutes, Western

Zorba the Greek, Greek, 1964, 142 minutes, Classic

O Brother, Where Art Thou?, US, 2000, 106 minutes, Comedy

La Strada, Italy, 1954, 108, Drama

In Bruges, UK, 2008, 107 minutes, Thriller-Comedy

Whatever Works, US, 2009, 92 minutes, Comedy

Good Morning Vietnam, US, 1987, 119 minutes, Comedy

Awakenings, US, 1990, 120 minutes, Drama

Patch Adams, US, 1998, 116 minutes, Comedy

Captain Abu Raed, Jordan, 2008, 102 minutes, Drama

Bandits, US, 2001, 123 minutes, Comedy

Lucky Number Slevin, US, 2006, 110 minutes, Thriller

The Chorus, France, 2004, 97 minutes, Drama

Butterfly, Spain, 1999, 97 minutes, Drama

K-Pax, US, 2001, 121 minutes, Science Fiction

Winter in Wartime, Netherlands, 2008, 103, Drama, Suspenseful

Elling, Norway, 2001, 90 minutes, Comedy

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

Under the Tuscan Sun, US, 2003, 113 minutes, Comedy

Les Comperes, France, 1983, 88 minutes, Comedy

Midnight in Paris, US, 2011, 94 minutes, Comedy

Moscow, Belgium, 2008, 102 minutes, Romantic Drama

Keeping Mum, UK, 2005, 103 minutes, Comedy

The Help, US, 2011, 146 minutes, Drama

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

Mrs. Henderson Presents, UK, 2005, 103 minutes, Comedy/Drama

Memoirs of a Geisha, Japan, 2005, 145 minutes, Drama

Vitus, Switzerland, 2007, 123 minutes, Drama

Children of Heaven, Iran, 1997, 89 minutes, Drama

Volver, Spain, 2006, 121 minutes, Comedy

Rashomon, Japan, 1950, 88 minutes, Drama

Guantanamera, Cuba, 1994, 104 minutes, Comedy

Little Miss Sunshine, US, 2006, 101 minutes, Comedy

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, Russia, 1980, 150 minutes, Romantic Comedy.

The Pursuit of Happyness, US, 2006, 117 minutes, Drama

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, France, 2007, 112 minutes, Drama

Thank You for Smoking, US, 2005, 91 minutes, Comedy

Big Fish, US, 2003, 125 minutes, Drama

No Country for Old Men, US, 2007, 122 minutes, Thriller

Dirty Pretty Things, UK, 202, 92 minutes, Drama

The Edge of Heaven, Germany, 2007, 122 minutes, Drama

There Will Be Blood, US, 2007, 158 minutes, Drama

The Wrestler, US, 2008, 105 minutes, Drama

Bottle Shock, US, 2008, 110 minutes, Drama

The Truman Show, US, 1998, 103 minutes, Comedy

Stranger than Fiction, US, 2006, 113 minutes, Comedy

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, US, 2008, 166 minutes, Drama


Public Square

Public Square

Follow Ft. Pierce Public Art In the Swim by Jorge Blanco   I love the unexpected; it is always wonderful when I go looking for a particular place or thing and find it, but there is something rather delightful about coming upon an unexpected treat, like public art in Ft. Pierce,...

Nature

Nature

Follow Memory Gardening I love plants; my Mother turned me into...

~ Aristophanes~

High thoughts must have high language.

My Mother’s Favorite Verse

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”~ Jeremiah 33: 3 ~

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