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The dictionary says a relic is “an object surviving from an earlier time, especially one of historical or sentimental interest”. There are other definitions, but this is the one I do believe will be the common denominator for our connection and understanding within this short story, and the seed I intend to plant for your “food for thought”. So here goes …

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After a whirlwind tour of the country like the one Brian and I rode in my last Potato Soup Adventures of Indiana JoeGrit, I still have flashbacks of so many memorable places that were too numerable for me to try and include in the story.  And I’m sure that happens to each and every one of you whenever you get away for a short scoot or a long haul .. there’s just so much out there to see and experience that most of the time spent after your return revolves around “where can I go next?”.  It’s a biker’s own “Call of the Wild”, so to speak, and I never stop hearing the “call” or yearn to discover a whole new world that could possibly be right under my nose.

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Sometimes .. life just abounds with miracles. Granddaughters are born .. rain falls on arid soil .. remarkable feats of discovery and adventure are experienced .. while astronomical odds against certain events ever happening are foiled .. and they do occur. (Talk about “odds” .. read The Adventures of Indiana Joe – Issue 07: Odds) We can spend an eternity contemplating it all .. but the only “certainty” is that things do happen .. and the reasons for most of that will forever remain a mystery to us. The good news is .. we always have something to ponder when we saddle up our Iron Horse and ride off into the sunrise.

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Well, I guess in reality, things just don’t change much no matter where you go. I was lucky enough to get away for a couple weeks in Florida to break the winter doldrums .. and wouldn’t you know it, the “spring break” and “bike week” traffic was pretty much the same as a busy 405 through Orange County heading into LA. It just confirmed my suspicions for many years now .. that there’s just too many people cramming our cities and highways and the floodgates are still open! I’m hard-pressed any more to get any sort of “service tech” who isn’t located in the Philippines or India .. let alone have “English” as their primary language .. but that’s pretty much the way I’ve found it anywhere I’ve gone for YEARS now. So I’ll spare you my soapbox rant today with the firm belief that you all know “where I’m coming from”. Sometimes a rock is just a rock .. no matter how hard anyone tries to disguise it. Collect enough of them and it just weighs you down .. and swimming no longer becomes an option. Just “treading water” is the miracle skill we’re all trying to perfect now .. and with that understanding, I think I have us all on the same page once again.

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It’s no surprise that this time of year has always been an interesting “coin toss” of emotions.  Suicides and depression are at an all time high .. for as many reasons as one can possibly imagine .. and yet all of them are justifiable!  Of course, for many children, it’s the most wonderful time of year .. as parents “spoil” their children as much as possible .. hoping to give them a different life and better memories than they experienced as a child themselves.  But that’s where so many “parents” fail to look beyond their own noses .. as they do so much of the time.

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I’m sure I’ve quoted Dale Carnegie’s remark in a past adventure somewhere, that “happiness doesn’t depend on who you are or what you have .. it depends solely upon what you think”.  And, without a doubt, if it weren’t for the positive energy and positive thoughts driving people like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, the world would be a quite different place today.

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In a vacuum .. radio waves travel at the same speed as all form of electromagnetic radiation .. that is 299,792,458 meters/sec.  But human beings do not live in a vacuum.  Wherever we are .. we are surrounded  by stimuli .. both positive and negative.  When negative stimuli is perceived ..it travels from its source to its destination .. the sensory cortex .. at a mere 100 meters/sec.  But regardless of its relatively slow speed .. this unpleasant sensation registers as something we call pain .. and as humans we are conditioned to do anything and everything to avoid it.

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Well, I’ve only changed my mind a dozen times already as I’m browsing through Bohemia picture files trying to decide what “adventure” to take you on this month.  If you recall, I only have a little over 12,000 digital “memories” of Europe to spark my adrenaline again each time I see just ONE of them!  As you may also already know, our memories are directly related to our adrenal system .. and that’s why some memories are much more “vivid” than others .. and some evoke the emotions that accompanied each experience.  Some make you laugh .. cry .. miss someone .. happy .. sad .. but the ones that seem to leave the biggest imprint have what I call the “Wow Factor”.  In the Czech language, that “WOW!” expression is “Ty Vole!”

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There are infinite ways to communicate .. some .. better than others. Today, the average person will say 17,520 words to 7.4 other individuals .. yet change the language, one border to the next, and we are hopeless .. stumbling to explain the simplest of concepts .. “I want” .. “I am” .. “I love”. In the moment we’re born, we’re drawn to form a union with others .. an abiding drive to connect .. to love .. to belong. In a perfect union .. we find the strength we cannot find within ourselves .. but the strength of the union cannot be known .. until it is tested.

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Everyone writes their own unique story .. and each and every day they compose a new chapter. Imagine just how many stories that really is .. and imagine just how many of them are almost unbelievable. Most of them, I suppose. We all live in our own little world .. and within each one is just someone trying to make it through another day. But the varying degrees of that immense challenge is what makes some of those chapters “unbelievable” to those of us who have yet to travel that road.

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Another new year .. if you’re reading this, then the Mayan calendar must have been mistaken .. so we’d better “get up, shape up, and show up” if we’re to continue this challenge and see if we can make it through another year. No one said it would be easy, did they? But first, I’m hoping you all survived another “Holiday Season” .. knowing it’s the most depressing time of the year, bar none.

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