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Archive for February, 2009

Sedona

February 19th, 2009

Julie and I were both drawn to make The Big Detour, so I guess it’s time I came out about the reasons why.

Many would call it the metaphysical and spiritual capital of North America.  There’s even an old saying, “God created the Grand Canyon, but he lives in Sedona.”  Having been there, we concur. Going through the area on the way back from California was well worth the extra effort and expense, and it’s one of the most beautiful places we have ever seen. Sedona is also, in many ways, our kind of town.

I don’t know how much it comes across on my site, but an affinity for metaphysics has been a big part of who I am for most of my life. I was raised in a very spiritually centered environment (I was actually born in the small campus hospital of a very parochial university) and early on I began to explore within and beyond the belief system I inherited. I never disavowed most of what I was taught in those days, except the concept of exclusive access to the truth granted to any one consensus of outlook.  I’ve merely embraced a broader spectrum.

You see, I believe in magic.  Real magic.  Otherwise known as science we haven’t figured out yet.  Sometimes because of science we think we’ve got nailed but don’t yet know we’ve got wrong.  History’s full of that.  It’s subtle and often difficult or impossible to prove, but I’ve seen and felt it many times.

That may sound a little cryptic but that part of my life has never been done justice by attempted verbal narrative. Suffice it to say that so far it has morphed into certifications in Usui Reiki (recently) and Alphabiotics (since 1990) in addition to projects in shiatsu, remote acupressure (Julie’s horse taught me that one) meditation, shamanism, ESP, EFT, etc. Without question, it was the underlying reason Julie and I were drawn together.

If you do a search on Alphabiotics you’ll get lots of positive hits and a few negative ones, because it has come under attack several times.  Mostly at the hands of chiropractors who are trying to debunk how much better it works, or say that it’s really chiropractic. It is not, in several ways. Quite a few of my classmates were DC’s, and they certainly knew the difference. It’s a difficult technique to learn, and the chiropractors were generally surprised to find that they didn’t have much of an advantage over us laytypes.

It’s not a cult as the new age watchdog sites will tell you, and the stuff about the only big court case against someone doing this work fails to tell you how long ago it was, how outside the mainstream of the work the practitioner was and how little this all has to do with Alphabiotics today.  It fundamentally reunites matter with spirit and left brain with right, with a resulting dramatic decrease in stress and its side effects.

I’m results oriented – about all of this. If it works, it works. I could go on for hours with the stories of people I’ve known, including close friends and family members, who have seen amazing results with this less invasive and more effective modality. My own story was one of a skinny kid who kept locking up with a muscle spasm (usually left trap muscle) that rendered me incapable of holding my head up quite straight, made it hurt to move and hurt almost as bad not to move. Dr. Virgil Chrane, with that first alignment in 1980, opened a window to a new world for me.

As for Reiki, learning Alphabiotics makes your fingers learn things your verbal side can’t begin to address. I’ve always preferred to end an alignment with an aspect of BEST (bio energy synchronization technique) because it cemented the left – right hemisphere balance, and it let me tune in to the new relaxed and centered energy of the participant.  A very palpable sensation.

As Julie and I learned more about equine acupressure (from a great lady we met from East Texas, which led me to the discovery of the remote variant) we came across the subject of Reiki quite often. I had been the recipient of many sessions over the years from Reiki Master Maji Phillips in Arlington (we’ve traded work on each other over the years) but it had never occurred to me to ask her if it was something I could learn. When I inquired about the process involved, she said yes, and Julie and I became certified level 1 practitioners of Usui Reiki last year.  We underwent level 2 training and attunements in February.   This field has always had a remote version, so the match was perfect.

Julie is really amazing at it.  It’s fun to watch as her horse goes all mushy when she works on him, and the dog, the cats, the squirrels and the cardinals all move in very close to soak up the energy.  As for me, my new abilities in channeling Ki have taken what I can do for a participant to a whole new level, to say the least.

Our plan is to incorporate these modalities into a primarily equine practice that will address the fact that a horse will benefit far more from a Reiki session if the owner receives one too, and since I work on humans and can offer the additional option of an Alphabiotic alignment we’ll be offering an unprecedented combination in the field. Come to think of it, any animal/owner situation could benefit from this.

What does all this have to do with snakes? Actually, the snake is the ultimate example of a spinal column, and my understanding in both fields has been a healing influence on my animals – and provided deeper insight into my work with humans.

So on the way home from California we stopped for the night at the home of my friend Dale and his wife Heidi, and left Phoenix determined to take the scenic route. Funny, as soon as we exited 179 Maggie the Magellan GPS unit thought we were lost. When we reached Oak Creek Village just outside Sedona she thought we were still two hours away. That route starts to turn beautiful pretty fast, and as you enter the canyon it gets really breathtaking. There’s a lot of road work being done in the area but it wasn’t all that much trouble and should be really great when it’s done.

You know you’re in Sedona when you start to see the crystal shops, the healing centers, the jeep tour offices and the incredible backdrop of the landscape all around you. How to describe it? A little like being in the Grand Canyon, only someone let you build a pretty little town and actually live there.

We’re thinking about it.

We hiked the energy vortex known as Bell Rock, and I’ve never seen Charlie the dog happier. I had been worried that at 16 this was going to be a hard trip on him, though he has always loved to go along and would, every time we pull out of the driveway, if we let him. He can’t hear very well and is nowhere near as fast as he used to be. It was a matter of carrying him up steps and into the van the whole trip, but by the time we were leaving Sedona on the trip to Flagstaff he was leaping from stone to stone and going up inclines he would have completely avoided two days earlier.

We spent two nights in Sedona (thanks to Dale, we stayed in a killer resort condo) and are determined to make more of them happen very soon. Great food (most notably Ken’s Creekside Gourmet and APizza Heaven, which was) and all of that incredible scenery. Plus, gorgeous weather – in early February. Sweet. If you’ve never seen it, consider this our highest recommendation.

So how to live there?  Well, there are stables in the area and trail horses need even more TLC from dealing with all those tourists than most I’m sure. They’ll love Julie. I’d be the only Alphabioticist in town (the next nearest is in Scottsdale) and lots of those tourists would want to add the new Sedona Serpentarium to their list of stops when they visit.

I could still do big road shows, and could even do stuff as small as parties, scouting events and libraries in the surrounding area, including Sedona, Prescott, Flagstaff – and Phoenix.

We could even learn to be Cards fans.

daryljuliesedonasedona-a1sedona-a3sedona-a4sedona-b11sedona-b51

On the Road

February 9th, 2009

This one was really grueling. 3175 miles in 8 days. Stops in Glendale AZ, Glendale CA, Anaheim, Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach, CA; and on the return trip in Quartzite, Glendale – and during our Big Detour through Sedona,  Flagstaff and Albuquerque. It was my privilege and responsibility to be traveling with Julie, Charley (the dog) Alley (cat) four lizards and a dozen snakes.

We rented a big passenger van this time, thinking we’d need the extra space and some room for one of us to sleep while the other drove. Bad idea. 14 mpg on the highway (ouch) and the seats weigh a good 200 pounds each. There’s hardware to remove if you want the floor space too. Worst of all, we were told it had rear climate control, when it in fact had only rear FAN control, and all of the airflow was concentrated on the driver side, so managing the resulting rear temperature zones was extremely problematic the entire trip.

Speaking of which, the departure from Dallas went normally (read late) enough, but a bit west of Weatherford the antenna began to ice up. Shortly thereafter we saw the first of a dozen 18-wheelers we would find lying on their sides as the stretch of I-20 before us was a solid sheet of ice all the way to Odessa.

Among these big rigs who seemed to have forgotten that the rubber side is supposed to stay on the bottom, the last was stretched all the way across both lanes ahead of us. I eased down the left lane past at least a dozen more trucks lined up down the right, and cautiously approached the front of the line. As the overturned rig finally came into view (hard to see with the rubber side pointing toward you in a heavy freezing rain at night) I carefully got out of the van to investigate. The ice under my feet was at least an inch thick. The driver was just climbing out and I was able to confirm that he was okay and 911 had been called.

I then checked to see if there might be a way I could sneak past his cab, going somewhat off the road, to escape. The other drivers said, “We would if we could!” and helped guide us around him. I’ll bet everyone else was trapped there for at least a couple more hours. As it turned out, we didn’t have the time to spare.

On top of having to maintain a top speed of 40 mph for all of those miles, the rain was freezing on the windshield faster than the defroster could keep up with. We had to stop about every 30 miles to let the melting catch up. The antenna just got thicker and thicker. At a few points we had to use a canned de-icer to free the wipers when they froze over too thickly. We only lost traction once, but that brief moment will sure put your heart in your throat. I was carrying very precious cargo.

We thought the extra space in the big van would facilitate a sleeping area for one of us in the back while the other drove, but this night would have none of that. The dog liked it though. More room to stretch out than he was used to.

Beyond the ice we took a short, fitful, shell-shocked nap together (which helped a little) and made our way through New Mexico and Arizona. An old friend of mine lives north of Phoenix in Glendale, so we stopped there for a brief break and headed off for the other Glendale – the one in California and the site of my first interview.

Ryan Ray still has the show up on http://ryanray.com. We were scheduled to be there at 5pm for a 6pm show. We arrived at that very spot at 4:55. It was entirely apropos to do a show under conditions of sleep deprivation in front of a logo that says, “Wake Up!” Check it out – it’s very California. The full name is “Wake Up! Explore Your Passion” and Ryan was interviewing me as an example of someone who gave up the normal career path to pursue a dream. Tell me about it.

Then followed the trip from Glendale to Anaheim. I’m not sure which was worse, the ice – or the 5. Californians are generally a very friendly bunch – until they get behind the wheel. More aggressive than Dallas, more even than Houston. Almost apocalyptic. After that of course, a hotel room about three hundred yards from the entrance to Disneyland is the perfect peaceful and serene environment for recovering from 30 hours of low-level ambient trauma.

Loading in is a pretty big deal for us. It takes four trips with the four wheel dolly at least. If someone raises an eyebrow I just offer, “What can I say? We pack heavy.” That always works.

That was Wednesday night, and fortunately all I had on the books for Thursday was a late morning meeting with Tania (she was awesome) to hammer out the last-minute details, and a quick late afternoon introduction to the meeting of the museum’s board of directors (including Anaheim’s Mayor Curt Pringle) featuring Aussie the Carpet Python, Capone the Tegu and yours truly. That left more time for recovery, including a great meal of sushi and miso to help reset our nerves.

Friday I did something I don’t normally agree to do. Three shows in three hours. I need time between to reset and regroup, but the logistics demanded the schedule we did, and I’m nothing if not a team player. But when the last kid left (I let them greet me and pet Neon on the way out) I had to admit that I was really wiped.

Soo, I loaded up the van again (they all needed a water dish rotation, and that’s easier to do in the hotel room) and got that and a few more details squared away. A quickie nap and we were off to Huntington Beach to do Real Orange for KOCE, followed by a fast trip to Laguna Beach to put those animals in Chris Trela’s office so we could see that marvelous production of “Around the World in 80 Days” at Laguna Playhouse. Great stuff.

Saturday was a bit less hectic, with shows at 11, 1 and 3 for the general public. Julie was there to help with video and after show interactions. Hope the annual show idea works out. We love Muzeo and would be thrilled to be involved in what is bound to be a great future for this innovative approach to the fostering a local interest in the arts.

Then it was Sunday. We got mostly packed up and Chris treated us to brunch at a bakery/café in Downtown Disney. Perfect weather, excellent meal. I’ve always understood why people live in California, I just remain somewhat confused as to how.

It was of course, the day of The Big Game (I understand you can’t use the S-Word without written permission from the NFL these days) but the ticket cues at The Resort were very full. By the time we were on the road again, it was almost game time. We averted a complete mess on the 19 (thanks to Chris again) and took the 57 to the 10 (that’s how they say it there) and we were off – headed East.

We found The Big Game on an AM radio station, but that began a big AM surfing series as we crossed Eastern California, otherwise known as the lunar surface. We got a leg up on that problem from a great guy named Ed that we found at the California Visitor Center in San Bernardino at the 10 and Route 66. He downloaded and printed a list of stations across the regions we were headed through while we browsed the excellent info exhibits. They’ve really put some effort and money into revamping their Info Centers. This one is first class.

We managed to hear most of The Big Game. We were rooting for the Arizona Cardinals, so the game itself was a little stressful, especially when a channel would fade out during an exciting drive. By nightfall we were thinking rest stop and the one we found had an RV parked there, watching the game. We parked next to him and caught Arizona’s last big touchdown play on his big screen through the window. Sweet.

Our next stop was in Quartzite AZ for a meal. Too bad the rock shops you’d expect to find in a town of that name were all closed, but we found a great little bar and grille called The Yacht Club, which made a mean fish ‘n chips. The crowd was understandably subdued, but they had a lot to be proud of in their Cards for making it as close as they did. They almost won The Big Game, and our Cowboys who were expected to do that didn’t even make the playoffs.

By the time we made Phoenix, it was 4 am. A bed and a shower gave us the resolve to take The Big Detour. Sedona, AZ. I’ve always wanted to see the area – felt it calling to me, you could say. Extra rental fees, fuel, mounting incidental expenses and all – we were going.

That’s a whole other story. It’ll be my next entry.  Lots of pics.

Muzeo – Anaheim CA

February 7th, 2009

Wow.  These guys are a class act.

Brand new (only a year old) this museum of the arts is bridging gaps between the art lover and the uninitiated in ways few have ever thought of, and now I’m a part of that.  Very cool.

Like their current exhibit, “The Color of Rock” featuring the art of Philip Burke.   His vivid portraits of rock legends make compelling artwork meaningful to people who might not ordinarily seek out this kind of museum.

Their next exhibit will explore the world of movie monsters.  The big hall will be full of animatronics from Australia.  It starts later this month.

Meanwhile, they made the very bold move involved in hiring a snake handling comic magician (I prefer prestidigitating herpetological humorist) to perform at a museum of the arts.   On Friday they had sponsors funding local schools to see the show (three of them back to back – whew) followed by three shows for the general public on Saturday.   Responses were excellent, and there are discussions in the works for making this an annual event, with lots more schools getting to see the show and more time to generate excitement with the general public.

Director Peter Comisky was as congenial and professional as ever, and special kudos to Events Manager Tania Aguilar, who made everything go smoothly without breaking a sweat.  She is one sharp cookie.  I even got to meet Anaheim’s Mayor Curt Pringle, who is on the museum’s board of directors.   Great guy.

Julie and I were also treated to a night of theater after my fourth appearance on Real Orange, the nightly news show on Orange County’s PBS affiliate.  Good to see Ed Arnold (a recent Golden Mike winner) and co-host Ann Pulice again.  They’re a lot of fun – and very good at what they do.

My friend Christopher Trela (he was at the Discovery Science Center when we first played there) is now the PR Director for Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach, where we caught an absolutely delightful and consistently hilarious performance of Jules Vernes’ “Around the World in Eighty Days” done by five amazing actors doing 36 different parts.  It was wonderful.  Best time I’ve had at the theater in years.

That was on Friday.  The first interview was in Glendale on Thursday (at the end of a 30 hour odyssey that included an ice storm from Weatherford to Odessa, TX) for a thoroughly California show called “Wake Up! Explore Your Passion” with Ryan Ray.  His co-host was a psychic intuitive, he and his replacement tech guy were more than a little snake phobic going into it, and the whole thing was quite a hoot to do.  Check it out at ryanray.com

Then followed the drive from Glendale to Anaheim.   Californians are a friendly bunch as a rule – except when they’re behind the wheel.  Worse than Dallas, worse than Houston even.  Almost apocalyptic.   I swear three different drivers saw the plates and said, “Kill the Texans!”  They almost did.  We were pretty shell-shocked by the time we made it to the hotel.  When we move into a room, it’s a pretty big production, so by the time that was done we were almost too tired to sleep.

But we did recover, and we truly hope to be back here next year for a bigger and better event.

The long road trip included a pretty significant detour that I’ll report on in my next blog entry.

Brake for snakes!