Is Freedom a good signal and full battery?
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Is the extent of freedom in the digital era the number of bars you have both signal and battery? Does my life exist only in the good reception zone or good battery life zone? It’s a stupid question I will give you that. Frankly the best times now are when I simply leave my phone at home and disappear. I don’t take my phone on walks anymore. I don’t take my phone on family outings except as an emergency device.

But it is an interesting thought.

The reality of cloud computing today is that the mobile device drives the changes around us. What we can and cannot do with our iPhones, iPads, windows phones, android phones and android tablets becomes the binding factor often. From the chase for power in every airport to the chase for bandwidth to make a connection more and more time is spent chasing the devices of productivity.

My phone is a huge asset for me. I use it as a device to connect to other people, answer questions and quickly review emails. It is my backup GPS device and my emergency camera. If I were gollum I suspect I would gently stoke my phone and call it “my precious.” Without of course the ring of power’s ability to corrupt my mind my phone is a great tool.

I just wonder about the battery and signal.

Am I bound by the 8 hours I get on a single charge or by the reality of a signal? You see commercials all the time with dead batteries and no signal offered by the cell companies as examples of what happens with the other service. But I wonder…I watched the first two episodes of the show revolution where a time in the near future the ability to use electronic devices is lost. I know a guy who says in the medieval times he used to have a sword and hunt people like me. That is very evident in that show. The reality that some people believe might makes right. The reality of that show hit me with the 2nd episode. One of the characters carries a dead iPhone with her. The other character asked her why do you have that. She says “it has the only pictures of my kids.”

Bound by battery. Bound by Signal. And now, the device has the only pictures of our kids.


of children, graduation and considerations

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I was thinking yesterday of “what” I was more proud of. 33 years ago in June 1979 I graduated from high school. 12 months ago in 2011 my daughter graduated from high school. You sit in the audience for both, one as a “brief” participant, and the other as an observer. As I walked I thought about that. I do that sometimes, walk and debate issues in my head. In this case I realized pretty quickly that while they are vastly different types of “joy” the experience of watching my daughter was far more impactful on me emotionally than my own graduation.

Part of that was the reality of high school. It is a brief time of passage in our lives. 4 years that we begin to mark where we will have an impact but the reality is in high school there is more of your life in front of you than behind. Watching your child graduate from high school is less of a personal triumph and more of a realization that you did at least one thing right. Actually its more than that – it is a reality check. You’ve hopefully accomplished some of what you dreamed about in high school.

It came to me about 10 miles into my walk that if I am to be measured as a person I wish as much to be measured as a parent and a writer as I would anything. That I am and have accomplished my goals professionally, but that family is and always will be the most important thing to me. The raft upon which we journey may leak, so the more hands that are working together to clear the water the more water we clear delaying or even presenting our raft from sinking.

I am proud of my children – all four of them. They are a gift that will always bloom colorful!


Commencement speech coming up…

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A passage back to the place I was before. The only poem I ever sold for money (cash the definition of a professional writer was the poem “seven days journey in an open boat in search of the sun”) I’ve had poems published but always for author’s copies. I am not sure why that came up today. But its in my head for some reason.

I am giving a commencement speech next week. I keep struggling with talking to 18 year olds about the world that is coming. I can easily tell them about what was.  I could use the line from Welcome back Kotter “what will be was, but will be again.” Or I could come at it from the William Faulkner angle (life is a tale told by an idiot).

Who knows what lies ahead. It is the mystery of what will be that makes life so intriguing and scary at the same time. We embark on a journey without course or map and hope that journey takes us near to where we believe we were heading in the first place. The world is a dark cave and education the torch that gets us a little light to see what is directly around us. Life teaches us to eventually realize that the cave may have lights and so in looking for the switch we can illuminate so much more than just the torch can illuminate.

Bound on a journey that begins and ends without our consent.

For the next few days I will be thinking through some thoughts for the speech – I have until Tuesday at 7 pm to finalize it.


Down the path with friends

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Around the bend

and past the large rock with the red stripe

that is where you will find

what you are seeking

in the end it was more than a destination

not an address

but a state of mind

as we packed our bags and

loading the car


slowly pulled out of the driveway into

a night filled with stars

wonder around us

as we turned onto the road

and soon our way was lost

we stopped

oh we stopped

for directions




we stopped

and stopped and


never moving forward

as if stuck in mud

or riding on a layer of snow

that separating the tires

from the road

left us with

no progress


just around the bend

past the rock with the red stripe

but what if it takes forever to get there

what then will we do?

Sandler Boggs

I am not the rock

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The chatter flows around me

as if I was a rock

in a stream

impeding the flow of water

that fresh

(and cold)

flows from the mountain

fresh from melting snow and

the crude image of

waking bears

releasing months of urine

into the snow

that melting

flows down

to strike the rock

that I am


and cold water


and disgusting


to flow around me

as though

as the rock

I am the problem

not the hibernating



that flows

discoloring the water

the strong odor of sleep

and time

wrapped in water container

the blue

mixed with cold

hitting the rock

that meant no harm.

Sandler Boggs

A conversation with the mango tree

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Roots just out of the water,

tiny fish darting about

questions are posed

of the mango tree

where were you the night

of June 12th

the bright lights pouring down

pouring around the tree

where were you

the question again

is it that the mango doesn’t hear

or only hears the where or were or

none of the message or meaning

or is it that the mango cannot speak

its lips parched

its roots withdraw from the water

the question comes

and goes

but the mango stays

always there

never answering

any question about whereabouts

in the month of June.

Sandler Boggs

From here to there and back again
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Found a great new trail yesterday which was a great and enjoyable walk. Luke made his world famous chili – maybe the best batch he’s ever made for dinner last night and we all sat in the living room and watched the game. Well Jackie came in and watched halftime. When she was little she used to love football – watched it with me every Sunday. But one day Barb told her “girls don’t like football” and that was the end of that.

the walk for yesterday took me into a couple of parts of the neighborhood I hadn’t walked through before so it was interesting.

Long day ahead so its a short blog.