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by John Morgan
Micro Fall and Halloween Breaks
Just reflect on recent conversations with family, friends and colleagues – almost everyone is tasked with doing more, with fewer resources.
Frankly, it is a bear just to hold your own – let alone gain any forward momentum. Dysfunctional, seems to best describe most of our personal and professional lives.
Fortunately, we can all take microbreaks that allow us to hit the mental refresh button.
For example, yesterday, I had a rare business need to take the train from Sacramento to San Jose, California.
It was a welcome change. I brought plenty of work with me to maximize my three-hour trip, but I was amazed throughout the course of the journey how wonderful and refreshing brief glances out the window were for my spirit.
As I boarded the train and peeked out the window, I could see the fascinating old railyard buildings. All in various states of disrepair, but thankfully, these buildings somehow seemed to walk that fine line of being “cool and intriguing,” rather than earning the moniker of: “Someone should do something about this mess – it’s a menace to the community!”
Within seconds of leaving the station, passengers find themselves going over the Sacramento River. This is where two old ghost steam paddle wheelers are alleged to materialize from time to time. Forever locked in an epic race to see who is the faster of the two vessels.
Old Town Sacramento can be seen along the eastern river bank. It is here where mysterious apparitions from beyond are reported to peer at tourists from the windows of surrounding old western buildings. Many more are said to interact with the living in the areas ancient underground tunnels.
Even Mothman has been reported on the Tower Bridge which can viewed just south of Old Sac.
In minutes, you pass one of the major wetland bird sanctuaries in North America as you travel across the Yolo Causeway. Ducks, geese, pheasants, pelicans, and even sandhill cranes can be viewed as you make your way over this large floodplain. The influence of Fall was seen everywhere, even though the temperature outside was in the 90s.
The first station stop occurs near UC Davis and from the train you can see the agriculture student’s fields of corn and pumpkins. Next you travel through Dixon, which recently held the title for the world’s largest corn maze!
For the remainder of the journey, I was treated to sight after sight of images of Autumn and Halloween. From my window I could see the eerie looking Ghost Fleet in Suisun Bay, catch sight of the supposedly haunted Alcatraz and USS Hornet, and view the Oakland Raider stadium, as well as view construction going on for the new 49er stadium in Santa Clara.
The entire trip afforded brief reminders of how beneficial it is to simply take a moment to reflect on the world outside our typical challenges and life routines.
Even if you cannot travel, simply view various web sites of places you would like to see or better yet, challenge yourself to explore subjects or places that you have never focused on before. A great starting point is to see where your blog is being viewed and make it a point learn more about the people and things in that part of the world. Which reminds me that I need to find out how Halloween is celebrated in Moldova!
Let’s face it, we all need to take a break from time to time. If nothing else, it will afford you a fresh perspective from daily grind. As always, we appreciate you taking a macrobreak with us here at Halloween for All.
Proof that Americans are Nuts!
“Sorry Russell, the Only Jack
We Want Around Here is on Our O-Lanterns!”
According to a recent CNN survey, Americans are expected to spend $370 million this Halloween season on costumes for their pets! That is an increase of over $40 million over last year. Well, that is to be expected since we are living in such robust economic times – what better use is there for spending our excess discretionary boo bucks than on pet costumes?
In general, we here at Halloween for All don’t give a Shih Tzu how you spend your hard-earned greenbacks! However, if Reality TV has taught us anything, it’s this: “All issues and problems with people and their pets originate in the gray matter – no matter how limited – found between the ears of the primate in that relationship.”
If you have ever watched an episode of “The Dog Whisperer” or “My Cat from Hell,” you will quickly discover that nearly all animal behavioral problems originate with the pet owner or guardian not treating the animal like an animal. In short, the two shows’ basic principle is this:
“STOP TREATING YOUR PETS LIKE THEY’RE PEOPLE!”
Cats are cats and dogs are dogs – isn’t that wonderment enough? Animals are great companions. It is impossible not to marvel at the parallel and mutually beneficial relationship that humans and especially cats, dogs and horses have developed and maintained through the passing ages.
Here at Halloween for All headquarters, we love animals. We have two cats, one dog, two rats, one hamster, one turtle, one bearded dragon (lizard), one tarantula, and two black widow spiders! In the spirit of full disclosure, we have adorned our dogs and cats – even the bearded dragon – in various costumes.
Is it the right and responsible thing to do? Certainly not, we can recognize that it is not beneficial to the animal. We cannot hide our bizarre compulsion behind the “Dolphin Show Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Tarot Card” disclaimer of “the tricks you are about to see here today are natural behaviors that can be observed in the wild.” We have yet to read about packs of wolves donning “Princess Leia” outfits before the hunt nor have we received reports of bearded dragons dressing like Elvis in the Australian Outback – until now!