Another trip around the sun completed successfully.
Some perspective: On this day in 1968 I came into this reality – whatever this reality really is – and as of today, I have existed in this reality for 53 earth years.
I was premature so I had to cook in an incubator for a while until my body took over and I could support myself without the assistance of science and technology.
I was soon adopted by two amazing people Cathy and Clayton – who accepted me into their home as their own child. They later adopted another child in need and named her Lesly who then became my wonderful sister. She met Jonas and they raised two wonderful children – Cody and Ashlyn – who I just know will go above and beyond and do great things. I am lucky and proud to be a part of this family.
I was born in the middle of one of the greatest scientific achievements humankind had and has ever experienced–the Apollo-era moon missions and landings… and, fitting the space exploration and cultural turbulence of the times, the first incarnation of Star Trek was on TV…and it still is!
I have been alive (whatever that means) for ~464,280 hours and climbing. I have orbited our closest star Sol – 53 times. I have now traveled around 30,952,000,000 miles (49,812,415,488 kilometers) through space in an ever-spiraling circle around a rather remote and average little yellow star while riding on a water-soaked living rock along with you and over 7.25 billion other naked, bi-pedal, mostly hairless, multi-colored, fire and tool-using, thinking apes, and countless other amazing life-forms – while spinning at an equatorial rate of around 1000 mph while at the same time passing through the icy blackness vacuum of space at around 67,000 mph in our orbital path around the sun while also orbiting around the supermassive black hole in the center of our home galaxy at a rate of around 514,000 mph. At this rate, it will take me, you, our wet rock, and our star – about 230 million years to make one trip around the galactic center thereby completing one Galactic Year. And all of this, all of us, everything, our entire Milky Way galaxy – is traveling through intergalactic space at around 1.2 million mph (1.9m kph) relative to the cosmic background radiation.
So far I have had an amazing existence full of tons of excitement, exploration, friendship, laughter love, and light as well as periods of loss, pain, hardship, and a little bit of darkness.
I was here the last time Haley’s Comet passed by our pale blue watery rock of a dot in 1986 (and I plan to be here to see it again when it comes back around again in 2062).
I rode along in spirit and in support of every space exploration mission humanity has launched since I can remember way back as a 4-year-old kid watching the last Apollo astronauts bouncing about the lunar surface in the early ’70s. I have since watched in awe, great appreciation, and hope as the incredible Space Shuttles flew and 15 nations set aside their differences to build the international space station – a castle of science, discovery, and international cooperation in the sky. Today I am elated at the rapid evolution of non-governmental space travel organizations and I hope to see us back on the moon and then Mars before too long. Go SpaceX!
I chased nature and wild animals, first as a child for personal interest sake, and later in the name of science, education, and conservation of species. My favorites being the misunderstood creatures of the world such as reptiles, amphibians, bats, Opossums, and vultures.
On a few occasions, my body was invaded by microscopic festering armies of “wildlife” that tried to use me as a replicator for more of their kind and/or end me, and yet, my own immune system as well as the findings of many, many scientists that came before allowed me to boost, augment, and bio-hack my body through the use of antibiotics and vaccinations thereby giving me a “force field of science” inside and out so I could continue awkwardly onward into the future.
I came closest to feeding the soil, worms, and trees when in 2014 a rather archaic and not that useful part of my internal anatomy (my appendix) malfunctioned and suffered a massive R.U.D. (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) – so I had it removed by a robot that was designed by science and piloted by a scientist we all call a doctor so I could continue in my present state of existence.
In 2016 I had an encounter with a wild venomous serpent (Timber rattlesnake) who was only defending himself due to my accidental stupidity and, while I was in no danger of meeting my end – it did really hurt a bit and slow me down for a few weeks (yes, the snake still lives in the wilds of the forest 🙂 ) The only way I was able to overcome this one without losing a finger and possibly suffering lasting damage to my body was through the findings of science. Yep, there is that science thing again. Ain’t it wonderful 🙂
On all these close calls (and many I have not even been aware of due to my science augmented/trained to recognize and destroy the “bad guys” immune system 🙂 I was given another chance at existing in this reality through the findings of science, miracles of modern technology and engineering…and possibly a little bit of some as yet undiscovered by science mystical energy field or omnipotent ancient and possibly extraterrestrial/interdimensional intelligence that, for some strange reason, many individuals/cultures/factions on the planet have coined different names/stories/belief systems for – yet cannot ever seem to agree upon…and often even choose to childishly take sides, argue, fight, and even kill each other over…so bizarre is the proudest monkey. IMHO – if this intelligence exists – it is as far “above” us as we are “above” our closest relatives the Chimpanzee and Bonobo…or maybe the bacterium…or the virus. Whatever the case, I’m pretty sure that if it exists it might be studying us as we study the animals and it cares not one single bit about the books we write about it, our childish bickering on who/what it is, who or what is right and wrong, who uses which bathroom, who’s skin is what color, who is left and right, etc. – just like we do not care about the comings and goings of bacteria and viral organisms…until they invade our personal space and become overpopulated…hmmmm…
At an early age I became tired with all the factions telling me what to do, how to believe, how to think, how to live my life, how to be a human – so I chose to follow my own path. I chose to listen to nature, to the evidence and logic and teachings of the wilderness and the findings of the great minds and philosophies of history. Some may call me a “free spirit” – nice! – thank you! Some have called me “lost” – really, how rude! But whatever the case this is my path and I will never try to force it on you or anyone. You must find your own path.
I learned to drone a didgeridoo.
I fell in love with a wonderful beautiful intelligent human female called Marian and we settled down a bit…but not too much 🙂
A few years later I fell into a wonderful career inspiring, leading, and sharing knowledge with at-risk amazing youth on the connections, beauty, and joy of nature, wildlife, science, and life the universe and everything.
While working to inspire tomorrow’s youth to better themselves by connecting with nature, wilderness, wild things, and to trust science and let it be their guides in life – my students, interns, volunteers, amazing friends Jim and Bob, and I all worked together to build a photovoltaic solar power plant that benefits not only our classroom and campus but the entire local community with clean, locally-produced renewable energy!
Around this same time, my wife and I started phasing out almost all our connections to nature and life-harming dirty fossil fuels. We have been driving mostly electric since 2013 and intend to soon go fully electric with most of our transportation, energy, and fuel needs coming from EV’s and local renewable energy sources.
Relatively recently the amazing findings of the science of genetics and DNA sequencing allowed me to connect with my wonderful biological father and other awesome family members and answer many of the questions about my genetic roots and my connections to nature that I have had since an early age.
And now I find myself near the end of a global viral pandemic that has sadly ended the lives of many and upset the lives and plans of most. As before, I will follow and trust the science above all other randomly repeated, vociferous, evidence-lacking, emotional, opinions and options. I rolled up my sleeve and gladly accepted the expertly recommended vaccinations against this microscopic attacker and I will continue to trust in science, even with its changeable and incomplete nature, to give me guidelines and support during this global human emergency. I hope you will choose to join me and in doing so, together, you and I will get through this thing – and hopefully, I will still be here to rewrite this yet again next year on this day.
Whatever all the facts and reasons may be, I am very glad to still be here on this incredible and sometimes bumpy but always interesting wild ride through the cosmos with all of you other crazy wonderful and beautiful mixed up mosh pit of humans and always wonderful animals.
I’m not sure where we are going or when, where, and why we exist – but wherever, whatever, whenever, and whyever – at least we are making good time and it has been and will continue to be one heck of a wild ride through the cosmos on this one strange rock we all call home.
Thank you all for being here and for riding along on this roller coaster called life with me 🙂 Now let’s all take another spin around the sun together on spaceship Earth!
Improvise, adapt, overcome, evolve, survive, thrive.
Live long and prosper.
Bring the change.
Be the change.
Do good things.