Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The Book is large and heavy, so trying to take a pic using the computer is a trick. This time I left the book laying flat and tilted the laptop, propping it up on my toe while I hit shift and clik at the same time to prevent flash. It's technical. The watercolor pencils and book have become an obsession. I feel like I have to add to it daily. It is intended to be a pictorial which might reveal the subconscious, or the meaning of life or where Blackbeard buried the treasure. Things of that nature.
Otherwise, I'd be ranting more about the insanity of the things which are in the news and which affect air travel, and more. If none of that had any impact on regular life it would be less interesting to me. It feels like I'm watching a thief raid the neighborhood and due to peer pressure, trying to look the other way and mind my own business, but I can't.
This page is different from the others, so far. Not quite sure what prompted it but it all has some symbolism. But then, what doesn't?
I think the colors are more vibrant in real life. This book is going to be a fun thing. I'm using the front and back of the pages. The paper is high enough quality to pull that off. So far I have eight sides done. They are almost radically different from one another, yet some patterns are beginning to emerge.
This year is at an end. I'm actually pondering some goals for 2010. That is a new thing. For a long time the only goal was not to be as sad in the coming year as I was in the last. Now it is to continue the journey, being sure not to become that sad again. 09 was not a sad year. It was like a dream, as was the last half of 2008. A better than normal life dream.
The next phase is still only half baked, if baked at all. The Book will probably help the next plan cook.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Perhaps it reflects the general philosophy of the country, I don't know. I do know it makes me cringe when I hear the man on the street, as portrayed by loathsome news outfits, claim that "I don't mind the extra inconvenience because it makes my family safer". After working in that business before and after 9/11, I don't think the reaction makes you safer. None of the increased security measures would have prevented that attack. Profiling and making the air crews aware of current intelligence would have helped.
Our basic premise was that all governments become oppressive and exploit the citizens if not held to strict limits. Based on that an effort was made to structure this country so that government's scope was strictly defined and attempts made to install checks which would keep it from usurping the autonomy and privacy of individuals. History and experience indicate that governments of all kinds evolve into tyranny. That is what a constitution is supposed to prevent. Some constitutions, however start off a little over reaching. Ours did not, to any great extent.
What has been happening for many years prior to 911, and at an accelerated rate afterward, is the same practice I witnessed in public schools from teachers and administrators who were unable to handle their jobs. Someone allegedly talked, or wrote "do do" on the board. "OK. Until the person who did this comes forward and you tell me who it was, everyone is going to stay after. All of you will be punished." Half the time we had no idea what the "educator" was talking about.
The only way to curb the threat of jihadist terrorism is to PROFILE intelligently and not ignore intelligence. If there is a battle of ideas going on I have no idea what ours is. We are giving up all recourse against an overbearing government in the name of security, while reaping no true increase in our safety. It is a huge mistake.
I remember a very zealous member of the TSA management claiming you can't be sure who is a terrorist. He'd ask, "Can you draw me a picture of what a terrorist looks like?" My answer in the affirmative wasn't what he was after. He was almost orgasmic in his prediction that soon everyone entering a shopping center or sporting event would have to be searched.
This last guy was a case of ignored intelligence and failure to use common sense. All the mass harassment of citizens is actually bogging down the real process of filtering out the riffraff. You can easily discern the likely suspects. Of course that means some people get more attention than others. It is easier to focus on them when you aren't searching 2 year olds and their church group.
For awhile after 9/11 I had to search bags and people. It was insane how they expected you to treat the innocent. I was skeptical of a couple of different profiles. Obviously disdainful Arab men, and flakey acting overly religious types who seemed ready to bomb to prevent abortion. Not many of either type.
I'm convinced that many people on selectee lists and such are placed there randomly in order to achieve a good ethnic mix. It is not efficient or useful. For example, the last people likely to bomb a plane would be a black husband and wife with a couple of young kids. They just don't do it. Most people don't. In that case, I found it painful when they might be selectees because they paid cash for the ticket. Against the rules, sort of, I often barely went through the motions on such people. It was bad when they thought color of their skin was behind it all. No, it was idiocy and refusal to accept the truth that was behind their harassment and that of the white woman in her nineties.
It has to occur to others beside myself that each incident or alleged threat, whether to the country or the environment or anything else is dealt with in a manner which severely limits and controls the individual in some way. Our ability to be mobile is being eroded on every front. To think these tactics can't or won't be used to purposes not so different from those of Nazi Germany or the USSR or Castro's purges in Cuba is to be rather myopic and naive. That is exactly how such oppression comes into being. Always an excuse to force citizens, without probable cause to defend their right to exist.
How can we claim we are defending ourselves if our defense is to throw out the liberty which defined us? There are better ways, but they depend on not being afraid to admit the identity of the enemy and acknowledge the truth when they attack. To say the mass shooting on our military base, and this pants bomb attempt are not part of that effort is not smart. That is how that setup works. Another thing to keep in mind is that we aren't the only targets. All western nations, and eventually all infidels are the targets.
The latest tactics are nothing short of a stupid dog and pony show designed to make the public think they are being made safe. PR is the main goal, as well as an increasing effort to make citizens subjects of the state rather than keep the state subservient to its citizens. It worked after 911. People went through all the increased intrusion so they figured something was being done. The fact that it was a joke did not matter because to say that was almost like blasphemy. We had to fight this thing. To admit that our intelligence agencies were hamstrung by seedy politics and scumbag officials in government wasn't going to happen, even though that was the problem, not lack of feeling up the public.
We bought it then so we will continue to buy it now. In the mean time, people like Johnny Sutton and most of those in DC will continue to ensure that the drug trade flourishes along with illegal immigration. If they are so concerned about who gets on a plane, why aren't they looking at the borders with a stronger eye? Even there I think profiling is ticket more than running everyone through the wringer. Go with the fair tax or something like it, eliminate the IRS and don't provide tax paid benefits to people here illegally, and the problem would be minimal. At least any money they spend goes in part to the tax base under that plan.
One thing about conspiracies and conspiracy theories, sometimes there really is a sinister aspect to what goes on with those pulling the strings. I believe there are those who benefit from all these crazy changes. They all have that one element in common---control and limitation on the citizens of this country.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
This is page 1 of the magic book, which began on Christmas Day.
This is page 2, a glimpse of some vague notion of events and places which may be found as the BallisticTour takes on 2010 . Also an experimental effort with no known goal.
So, even though I have not been good this year, someone stuffed a watercolor colored pencil set, along with a huge hardbound book designed to go along with the pencils in my stocking. 696 huge pages designed to be drawn on with the pencils, then you use a wet brush to turn it into watercolors as you like. I'm getting used to it.
This will be a book from another dimension and when I am done, it will serve as a time machine and possible WMD, or HMO.
Really, I have never seen such a large hardbound book, with blank pages for art. I feel like I should be doing that intricate type of work you see in wizards' manuals and books that tell the fate of souls; that sort of thing.
As disjointed and scattered as it seems, almost everything has some reason or significance.
Perhaps this could become a children's book, something to instill fear and nightmares so your offspring will be less likely to challenge your authority. They'll seek you out for comfort.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Now I realize I can't possibly directly state the items of angst which plague the restless soul. It's an out out damned spot moment, I suppose. Succumbing to such discomfort and uncertainty ought not be an option. It takes practice. You'd think enough time would have been put into that effort over the years to make a better mental state an easy achievement.
One of the things I discovered this year is that I am not playing with a normal deck. It may or may not be full, but it definitely doesn't contain the usual number of cards in each of the four accepted suits. Knowing that can theoretically facilitate reasonable compensation techniques. Employing such practices then, in theory, should allow one to balance out the pain-pleasure ledger to a manageable point so that pain is reduced to the level it should be. I place the ideal level of pain at 0%, pleasure at 75%, and neutral at 25%. I would be happy with that.
Another thing I realized this year is that it takes some sort of tangible effort to accomplish anything. The catch is that to do anything a start must be made before you get into the process which then yields a result. It's physics and nature. They say nature abhors a vacuum, but I say nature abhors happy humans. Just look around.
You want to go camp in Yellowstone? Forget it, they have privileged bears running around who seek out the innocent when you least expect it. They did that to a motorcycle camper when I was there. He'd obeyed all the ubiquitous bear rules by putting food in a designated hide it from the bear box, he did not cook so that his clothes had the smell of bear food on them. He jumped through all the hoops, but the damned bears tore up his stuff and wounded him anyway. They don't care.
Nature could care less. Look at the blizzards in various areas, causing car wrecks, pain and discomfort. Nature is far from pristine no matter where you find it. It is a tornado or toothy menace just waiting to ruin your day. If we were natural, we'd have no guilt about defending ourselves from its wrath. As it is we are told to feel bad if we build houses and roads and motorized vehicles. Nothing else in nature would forego comfort and survival so that wild beasts, bugs, and bears could run roughshod over it. Only humans do that.
Not only that but now humans blame themselves for the inconsistencies in the solar system. Other planets are experiencing similar changes in their climate. Not just earth. What should we do? I know, let's pay the dictators of countries with starving people, and tax those who fight nature for longer life and more pleasant survival. We can use lightbulbs which last longer, use less power, and which no one knows how to dispose of without offending nature or poisoning people. When mine go bad I am going to encase them in ground beef soaked in honey and leave them in the woods where bears live. Two birds with one stone, so to speak.
Where was I when I got off on the tyranny of nature and the rude nature of bears? Oh yea, I was pondering the uncomfortable feeling that threatens to suck the humor from my soul. I think it is guilt. Guilt that I'd like to do more for people around me, but I'm basically worthless so I don't. And guilt toward myself for the myriad of errors in judgement which pepper my past. A very peppered life, I must say.
Before anyone plays devil's advocate, I'll concede that nature throws us crumbs here and there. Beware, those are just bait for the trap. Sure you get powdered snow on a good slope, and the ocean looks polite and harmless much of the time. Next thing you know you are buried in an avalanche or a tidal wave, or being chased by big dumb hungry fish. Allegedly there is a balance which depends on sharks and cockroaches and any number of other ugly things. Without much explanation we are supposed to buy the premise that maintaining the status quo in this balance is somehow holy, spiritual, and good.
I'm not so sure I want to cooperate. Not to the point where it is illegal to defend myself against wild animals whether in human disguise or otherwise. What other species hates their own kind so much that they would willingly remove their own defenses?
Oh well. That is what I do; something bothers me that I refuse to openly address, or even clearly admit to myself, and I go off on irrelevant tangents.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
More than likely, you wouldn't believe the number of times in my life when I was one degree away from the real deal, in varying contexts. It's probably the same karma that once caused my brother to note that if there was a weirdo within a hundred miles, chances are I'd met him. I attract the bizarre. A bizzarro magnet. But I'm just mild mannered, run of the mill, an average Jose doing my best to make enough sense of things to get by.
Legend has it that much of the work I do is the result of a curse placed on a particular facility by an angry ex spouse of the owner. I'm not so sure that explains why everything continually breaks. I'd say the wrong contractors have been brought in to do the major work, but you never know. It seems one man's curse is another man's blessing. It puts money in my pocket. Actually in the pockets of those I owe for monthly bills. It has pretty much paid the rent, and made me lazy. I think it is time to cultivate a bit more ambition and look to future, etc. Not my forte--planning well for my future.
One thing I've learned in the last year, witnessing the different ways people live who have the means to choose lifestyle, is that not everyone is into the Zenness of their work. Menial or not, I tend to get a kind of peace out of doing a job, enjoying the process more than thinking of it as something which has to get done with the least amount of work in the least amount of time. That is a goal, but I tend to like the work itself even when it is not fun, or when it is tedious.
I'm more interested in being satisfied with the quality and if I have to take more time and do more work to be satisfied I gave it my best shot, then that's the way of it. Of course, there is that balance which has to be maintained so that overkill does not yield negative results. You can get things done quickly and still receive the benefit of the zen like space the doing provides.
The biggest hurdle is getting started. The second biggest hurdle is assuring observers that, even though the initial aspect of a project make seem slow, and my way of going about it may seem peculiar or slow, when I reach the final stage it will fall together quickly. In short, there is method to my madness.
Maybe it comes from the period when I worked on a prototype system. Any design of even minimal complexity involves anticipating possible snafus if you want to limit the trial and error, and redoing process. Sometimes I may carry that too far, but I think I mostly have it contained to proper context these days.
Just thinking out loud. That's enough about me. The Chargers have won 9 straight games, and I find I have a ittle Southern pride I had not suspected was there. It gives me a degree of satisfaction to know that my favorite quarterbacks, Rivers, Favre, Payton Manning, are all southern boys, and Rivers comes from NC State. The head of their textile science department once tried to talk me into going back to school to pursue a doctorate in the field. That sort of flattery wins loyalty and friends. I did not do it, obviously, but that university di work with me very well on a project once, hooking me up with a doctoral candidate who conducted some testing I helped design using equipment I made.
Oops. That was about me, again. I'd write about you, but you're more of an authority on you. Besides, it is not polite to write about someone, crossing the line of confidentiality and common courtesy which demands one doesn't put the business of others out there, innocuous or not.
That was one of the positive events in a process that left me wiser, and very disappointed in the nature of government-business partnerships, lobbyist activity and the ignorant approval of such corruption by the public. End result, I dropped out and decided I was not of the nature required to play that game. I may have over reacted, but I was young and knew I was way too naive to know how to swim with sharks without getting eaten. I did not think it could be done unless I wanted to be a shark, too. Now, I believe differently, but I'm less confused now. Less motivated as well.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
However I would like to see jewelry store ads banned from the airways. That's for people who want to go into debt, or people with ready cash. I'm not in either category. Besides, I don't even like diamonds very well. You can make some nice things out of gold, though, and even combine some spiffy stones.
Just keep in mind, a lot of guys have lavished women with high dollar diamond stuff and the flame burned out quickly, so women should refuse to accept or expect them. Thank you.
I can just see the look of horror on faces of some people I know that I would say such a thing. They cringe at how I place myself in the category of way too- whatever.
Still, I feel tinges of guilt, maybe, because I am so unprepared for holidays and other occasions that land on a preset day. It happens and I don't know why. My inner clock is simply not linear. One second or minute is not equal to the next. It is either shorter, longer or lost altogether.
It will be OK. Tis' the season to hope I add something to the lives of those I know and like. Sincerely, that is what it is. Feeling bad for not being able to lavish things on people is really a self centered thing. It could be that is only an expression of one's desire to be loved, or in control. Often, generosity is not at the heart of it. It can be, but frequently is not. Otherwise shoppers would not be pushy and wear those strained psychotic expressions as the Big Day approaches.
One good respite from the melee is to watch The Riches, and Sons of Anarchy on hulu.com. My newest addiction is The Riches. Partly because they are Travelers, Irish descent, I believe. Gypsies, but not quite so gypsyish. I identify with that feeling of not being part of established civilization. However the idea of resenting the norm to the point of conning and taking from them is not a thing we have in common.
I've seen sites wholly dedicated to trying to water down the stereotypes of Travelers as con artists. Good luck. Even so, I imagine some are fun people. What I don't get is how they raise hell in parts of the UK because there aren't enough public sites where they can set up camp. Possibly this would not be an issue if they weren't kicked off of non designated camp areas. It is probably a thing like here, in which half the open land is off limits for camping or anything else.
I'm unwilling to get into that too much. Of course, it doesn't help that governments over there, and probably here, too, decide to impound their motor homes and trailers because they don't have any officially sanctioned place to park that is not full up. The seizing of property is a common tactic among all governments. Once upon a time it was a far rarer practice than it is now in this country. The rest of the world may have never experienced the wide open deal we almost maintained. At least not since they quit being marauding tribes.
That sounds somewhat disingenuous; the marauding is dressed up, not dead. Here, too.
I still can't say what is really on my mind, assuming I know. It is easy to see that whatever comes out gets farther and farther away from that as I write. That is not so bad. Being in touch with one's feelings is highly over rated. Almost everything along those lines we've heard since the sixties is pure trouble, and doesn't work. Not for males, anyway.
I still think Christmas is a pretty holiday. I like it. The smells and greenery and lights and imaginary sleigh hijinks. What's not to like? And the Salvation Army people with the red suit and bell. I like those people.
If only I knew of a good orphanage, like Father Flanagan would run, then I'd go do Christmas stuff there. Somehow two things did not make it across that bridge to the 21st century. Remember when Bill was going to lead everyone across? Well, good, old fashioned orphanages, and sanitariums got left way behind. Those things were once part of the private sector. That was before we considered government a sector. Christmas was better then, but I try to imagine that spirit now.
I wonder if we are having earthquakes or if I am imagining things suddenly moving slightly under me. It could be ghosts, or even inter dimensional anomalies which I feel due to my heightened sensitivity to such things.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Unfortunately, choice of automobile has become interpreted as a political statement. Even my car, a Subaru, is tied in with enviro-politics and a certain image. Too bad. Then again, people I often agree with perpetuate such myths. I've heard talk show hosts, with whom I agree 57.5% of the time, disparage Prius drivers, and the car itself. They have obviously not ridden in one or they'd know their characterization of it as a car with no room was false. You have tons of room. But what makes it green?
It gets good milage and makes use of braking and all that to charge batteries. That is good. What goes into making and disposing of the batteries? I'm not sure I know the answer. I've heard that what is required to produce and dispose of the batteries, coupled with the manufacture process of the vehicle, fuel used, etc., puts its carbon footprint up there with a Hummer driven average miles for however many years. Bottom line, according to those reports, is that it nets out about the same as any other car, if you consider all things involved.
That takes nothing away from a car that requires fewer visits to the pump. But saving the earth? Probably not saving the earth any more than farm animals or 4Runners. Maybe they save the earth more than Al Gore. I'm still unclear what the earth is being saved from. I'd hope it is being saved from slavery, but I see the opposite happening in the name of saving it from the mind and creativity of man/and/or woman kind.
For awhile, methanol was considered green. Then I think they assessed the production process and such and found it mostly skewed the food production process. Maybe THEY didn't come to that conclusion and I only heard it on the street. I actually like the idea of vehicles that will run on garbage, corn, manure, and anything else you might find by the side of the road. Thinking these things don't take resources to produce is a bit off the mark, but why let facts get in the way of a cause that seems peopled by lots of hot young chicks?
It is good to have a group handy for venting your anger, and acceptance from a peer group as a result. Even though I think the real ring leaders are setting up a very heavy handed control plan which will enrich a few and lower the standard of living and scope of opportunities for the rest of us, maybe it is easier to swallow my real views and join the crowd. I may even score a grant, or a government job. To hell with those who have to pay for it.
Can people who lavishly landscape their yards get tax credits for planting trees and shrubs? Can they sell offsets to the guilty? That would be a good sales tool for landscapers nationwide.
I heard some discussion on the radio about toilet paper. It seems the green craze is now up your butt. They were bemoaning the amount of "virgin forest" cut down to provide high quality rolls of the useful commodity. My first thought was skepticism regarding the "virgin forest" phrase.
I think toilet paper comes from slut forests like most paper. Paper companies have, for many years, been replanting and selectively harvesting trees, like a crop. They have a staggered process so that there are plenty of young virgin trees on the property at any given time, just frolicking in their innocence. Not a care in the world. They have trees at every stage of growth. Only the worldly sluts get harvested, not the virgin forests.
Since the lumber and paper people often plant more trees than anyone else, should they get to sell offsets? Would they be competing with Al for carbon guilt dollars? I wonder.
Now that the consensus is in, we can control the climate, why not see if we can give the ski areas lots of prime powder snow, and cool off Miami in the summer, and generally provide the sort of environment that doesn't kick farmers and coastal dwellers around like it has throughout history? We really should do something about the twisters in tornado alley, too.
We thought it was hilarious, a number of years ago, when a lady from NYC called a talk show and suggested that Congress pass a law to make Spring start earlier. She thought daylight savings time was actually increasing the hours of daylight, so to her it was within their purview to regulate the seasons. In light of current mass hypnosis, that is no longer so funny.
It is a fact of human life that things can be done better, and in ways not previously imagined. It is extremely rare that these advances are conceived by bureaucratic fiat, or so-called scientific consensus. Whereas consensus may carry some weight, it is mostly employed in the more hypothetical arts, such as paleontology and archaeology. Hard science like chemistry and physics rely more on things which can be demonstrated to hold true within certain parameters. Even there, you cannot extrapolate but so far without risking error.
Newtonian physics breaks down on the atomic/subatomic level, and things work differently approaching the speed of light, etc. Even with slower speeds and and the kind of mass where Newton nails it, the results are often counter to what is intuitive. Rotational dynamics is a perfect example. That is why a spin balance of a wheel yields a different result than a static balance.
The point is, a thing can sound totally convincing coming from a good presenter with swell graphics, but the truth may be miles away from the content of lecture. When anyone, scientist or not tries to promote broad legislation in the form of tax penalties for a behavior in the name of something they cannot prove, watch out. Once the money and power come into play, people will do anything to promote their cause, even if they have to fudge the truth, or silence skeptics and prevent open debate. That does nothing to promote truly better ways of doing things.
Friday, December 11, 2009
So, it rains and the cars go faster and drive closer together. Maybe it is a huddling instinct to make use of body heat. It can result in overall slowdown when people wreck and the traffic gets blocked, like tonight on The 56 east. A truck and a big car.
On The 8, I saw some trouble as well. Plenty of hooplah when you get sustained rain here. I guess houses up near LA may be sliding down hills. It is another world from the ones I've known.
I'm not saying the driving is bad here, not compared to Memphis or Miami. Memphis is just dumb, and Miami is crazy. Here they seem to have a little too much affection for the rear of the car in front. Make of that what you will. After all, it is SoCal, even though I live closer to Mexico than LA, and east SD county is not what you'd call Hollywood type people, for the most part.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
It almost made me want to flee California when the highway patrol on the scene played on their ignorance, assuming I was a hillbilly deserving of ridicule based on the Tennessee plates. Many people who get their world view from Hollywood movies and TV assume that Southerners are stupid and mean. They are no more stupid and mean than anyone else, and often more compassionate and intelligent. Just depends on the place and the group.
So, after fighting lies from the highway patrol, the crooked truck driver, and people in my insurance company who had trouble grasping the simple arguments I gave based on very simple physics, I finally won. I'm amazed and happy.
CA has a board that arbitrates insurance company disputes. The Lizard decided, after much prompting, to dispute the finding of the other company and the police report suggesting that I could have avoided this collision. Despite the fact that the trucker sent in photos of a different trailer from the one he was pulling that night, one lit up like a Christmas tree, the board found him 100% liable. Maybe I should get a neck brace and sue that lying degenerate. I only wish I could demoralize the cops involved and get them fired. They were as bad or worse than any southern cops I've seen, and I've seen some doozies.
Finally getting all of my deductible back and, by implication, having an official stamp placed on the fact that I was the only truthful party in this matter, should be enough. Let karma cure the others. It will.
The whole thing was some kind of lesson. It is the first time that I fought that hard as my own advocate, rather than get fed up, lose money, and say to hell with it. The money is hugely needed at this time, so that is really great, but it was also a matter of principle. I'm glad I had the chance to champion myself and truth while one still can. Principle has become so grossly ignored and under rated lately that I wonder how many can discern a principle from a wish or an unfounded opinion.
Agents of government ought not be able to hurt citizens on a whim. This was just one small example of that activity. I guess it is something people have to consciously make an effort to avoid; that small minded abuse of power when they possess it. Few people can do that. You see it all the time, like when someone not normally in charge is placed in charge while the boss is gone.
Anyway. I've been vindicated and I deserved this decision. I keep thinking there could conceivably be a lawsuit here but I'm not into that. I'd rather just punch people, provided I didn't get punched back.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The expression is "SET FOOT", not "STEP FOOT".
This has bothered me for awhile now. There are others which escape me at this moment, but I may remember them later.
Example: I vowed I would never set foot in Miami again, but I broke that vow many times over and rescinded it altogether. Many vows have been made and forgotten over the years. How many times did I say, "I'll never drink again. I will not set foot in a bar ever again!!"?
That's a rhetorical question.
Eventually I did not drink for many years. I know better than to say it will never happen, but I do not intend to do it. Vows get in the way.
I am pretty sure that step foot thing was one of Dan Rather's twists, probably while he was saying "hope against hope". He said that alot and it annoyed me for some reason. What the hell does that mean? I do vaguely remember the first time I heard that step foot bastardization. I can't recall the specific though.
Most like it was Dan. They got things wrong whenever possible and still do---news people. Walter misquoted Neil Armstrong during the first moon landing. I heard it and tried to tell people it was wrong at the time. Teachers swore by the nonsensical misquote until just the last few years when it finally came out that he said, "One small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind".
Saying a small step for man, a giant leap for mankind , makes no sense or is a contradictory sentence. I knew then that people like Walter only pretend to think, but really don't. Dan steps foot and hopes against hope.
Set foot, dammit. That is the age old phrase. I'll never set foot on your property again.
John Grisham got it right. He used "set foot" several times in his novel, The Summons. He's right, I'm right. Dan and Walter are just what they are, as are those who followed their lead by continuing to step foot when they should set those dogs.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Here are some basic driving do's and dont's
If it is pouring rain with high winds, the road is more slippery than usual, give up the poor race car imitation in which you use all lanes like passing lanes cutting right and left 2 or 3 lanes at a shot
Do not tailgate--that is just dumb
Turn your lights on--you are next to invisible in the mist.
They tailgate even when they do not care to drive any faster. I let a couple of cars by me on the windy 2 lane road to ballistic mtn
and noticed they never even sped up. With leaves and limbs and tumbleweed blowing across the sometimes partially flooded highway, you don't need some yahoo riding your tail.
OK. So I got home just minutes before dark. The wind was and is howling, literally. It is the wind, not the coyotes this time. The intensity of the storm, coupled with the likelihood that someone would run into a powerline pole, gave me the hunch that electricity may go out at any time.
I tore the place apart looking for my lanterns from the Tour days. I found them. One is even a wind up type. All are battery powered. They still work and the winder job charges quickly. I found them while I was cooking a tortilla cheese egg extravaganza. Then I remembered to brew a pot of coffee. It was brewing as I unloaded the feast onto a plate. By now it was dark. Very dark.
Just as the coffee was about done, poof, power out. I am glad I was prepared. Since we are on well water and it depends on an electric pump, I am glad I had a gallon or two of purified water handy. Just yesterday I put new batteries in one of my flashlights. You never know, I thought. I guess I did know.
The landlord got home and braved the fray to bring me some candles and see how I was faring. I felt almost smug that I had it all set. The computer battery won't last long. As a last resort I can get the power pack thing out of my car and run off that or charge it in the car, burning fuel and making a carbon footprint right outside my front door. (shame on Paul McCartney for buying into that bs---I never ate meat but this bit of go veggie for a day and save the planet--well intended, severely misguided).
Fortunately I cranked up the space heaters when I got home. Took some of the chill off. Connection was good but inconsistent, I hope I can get this to fly. Almost like being in a kamp kabin, except they usually have a working power outlet.
This really is a big deal storm. It is so rare that this happens. The roads turn very slick when it does and it doesn't drain like Miami. Houses fall off of hills and such. People in town actually drive faster and then wonder why the slide into things. Like snow in Memphis.
It is really heavy wind and rain and I'm in the boonies for sure. It's kind of like camping lite. Of course I have the ever dependable subaru 2, we still grieve 'ru 1, the blue subaru, but that's OK, 2 may be a bit faster, even if not quite as hardy overall. It might be fun to have company. Any form of heat. Plenty of blankets and such and this place is insulated like an Igloo cooler.
Maybe I can read a book by candle, or battery powered lantern, light.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
It grieves me deeply that I feel compelled to come forward to say that I am the true skeleton in the well appointed closet of Tiger Woods. Yes, it is true, we have conducted a secret and torrid affair for many years. He promised to eventually leave his wife for me if I would agree to breast implants. My religion forbids it. I'm not one to sacrifice my integrity or the bond of confidence for personal gain.
If you'd like to know more details, please contact my lawyer (abgado), Manny De La Copa, in Miami. You may have seen his ads on TV, he's "your abogado in a cup!". I don't get it either, but that's Manny. You'll like him, he always honors the highest bidder, although we resist any long term agreement involving exclusivity. I'm sure you understand.
I will say my days, and nights, with Mr. Tiger were like none I've ever known, and involved some interesting putting practice, as well as our own special little games we dubbed "a hole in one" and, my favorite, "pin the tail on the Tiger".
Why I am just now coming forward after all these years is because I feel it is the public's right to know, and even our president often stresses the need for personal sacrifice in promotion of the greater good. It is my duty as a loyal American to no longer deprive the people of the interesting and often peculiar details of my most intimate moments with the Mr. Woods. Not to mention my potential as a centerfold and pop celebrity. I would be remiss in my obligation as a citizen if I did not make these sacrifices so America could follow me around with cameras and microphones and discuss me publicly.
Since my affair lasted much longer than those cheap hussies, now seeking publicity, I'm sure you will alter your focus from them to me. I'm the real deal. You'll soon see, provided you meet the terms set out by Manny, that Tiger's heart is mine.
I look forward to a mutually lucrative relationship.
Juan O Ballistic
PS: I hereby claim dibs on copyright for new commercials themed "I Am Tiger Woods*" ...*secret lover
Anyway, it was another project of dubious urgency. It involved a guy delivering and installing an item. Unfortunately, Pierre's pal allegedly began vomiting and and other grossness, so he was dropped at the emergency room, leaving pierre to carry on alone. I became Pedro, the illegal, I mean Undocumented worker's substitute.
During the process Pierre and I discussed the merits of CA vs Memphis, and such things as that. We agreed that it is a nice place if you ignore the cost of living and all things related to how the place is run and taxed. So, as long as you avoid the news, and don't start a company which employs documented workers, you can enjoy life.
It is so hard to avoid hearing anything news wise. Now the president is meeting with a few handpicked businessmen regarding "Jobs creation" or some other such misnomer. Necessity is the key to job generation. And freedom. People who talk "job creation" are rarely the people who do those jobs unless they are cushy, corrupt opportunities for extorting wealth from others.
Does it not seem a perfect opportunity for further feeding of special interests when the president meets with a select few to determine what he "can do for business" to help them do whatever it is he wants them to be doing? Especially since he slams the profit motive of businesses small and large. That talk usually leads to locking in the giants while killing innovation and competition.
The big boys will cry out publicly, but that just adds support for their backhanded agenda. It's the old Brer Rabbit thing, 'Please don't throw me in the briar patch!" Suckers.
Avert your eyes and ears, and you won't feel a thing. That is what I keep telling myself. In the mean time I have my camp stove and tent, just in case I have to go on the lamb as an insurance fugitive. I need a catchy protest phrase along the lines of "hell no, I won't go". "Hot damn, f*** your plan".
Since I agreed on my settings not to spell out such words, I use stars instead. It could stand for "flee", or "fish". I doubt that it does.
Just don't look, do not listen, ignore ignore ignore...
The key to happiness.
Well, that and hot chicks...
Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Did you know that you have to have a license to own a cat or dog in some towns? Actually the cat or dog has to have the license, similar to the plates on your car, I think. Owning a cat is a privilege, not a right. And this is separate from being sure the animal has shots and all that. At least one vet who performed all those tasks then reported the owner for not having a creature license.
This probably makes sense to plenty of people, and they might lecture me about how that $70.00 fee goes toward animal control or maybe lawyers who sue humans on behalf of other living things. Once again we disagree in principle.
So, wanting to be even more privileged than I already am, I set out to get my library privileges here in the best of southern California. I presented my case to the local library in the town northeast of me. Very small town. There is a school, a feed and saddle store, a sort of general store, and the pizza and other food diner. And the library. Very small but their computers were all being used. They have about six of those. I was impressed.
It all went without a hitch so I checked the shelves and found a book and a movie. The movie is an indie film which I highly recommend. It claims to be in the tradition of Motorcycle diaries and Y Tu Mama Tambien. I am no fan of Motorcycle Diaries, being a bit more sympathetic toward those Cubans who did not deserve Che's firing squads than I am toward Che, or Fidel.
This film, The Journey, is not supposed to be about any historical figure or T shirt icon. It is simply a good story, with better directing, and much better acting than the Motorcycle Diaries. Much more real without trying, even though some was anything but realistic.
It was directed by Scott Marcano, who also co-wrote the story. This film makes me want to see what else he has out there. Andres Londono and Kazandra Santana do well in the lead roles as do the supporting players. The soundtrack is not bad at all. I'm a sucker for most films set in Mexico with a Latin soundtrack. This one begins in Orange County, near Los Angeles, with the last 7/8 of the flick occurring in Mexico.
I know that due to Motorcylce Diaries fame and misguided praise, they think it will pique interest by categorizing this independent flick as being in that tradition, but to me that is like marketing Renoir as being in the tradition of the guy who paints tigers on black velvet.
So, I got a license to read and watch movies for free. Not owning a pet, I figure maybe they charge pet fees that pay for the library, who knows? I am not sure they put license plates on animals yet in CA. There is absolutely no way to keep up with the various rules and peculiarities. The license to be a cat thing came to my attention when being told of a story set in a Wisconsin town.
Strange how places settled by very independent people who did not to be told what to do eventually became insane "What if" nanny states. What if you fall of your bike on your head?, etc.
Now that is appears I may not be overdrafted at the bank, I am able to notice the cool setting in which I live. It was all new and somewhat out of my dreams. I can hardly imagine living in a place with no mountains and hills and curvy roads which drop hundreds of feet on one side, while hugging the side of the hill on the other. And no large body of water nearby.
In this case, we have about the largest body of water found anywhere, the Pacific Ocean. I'm still somewhat fonder of the Caribbean as far as oceanic locales, but ocean is ocean, so this serves the purpose. It is big, and here we have sea lions, seals whales, and more surfers than you might guess.
Company was here and now is not. I don't have a host permit or license, but it was a privilege. Like Muddy Waters said, according to something I heard, "You don't miss the water until the well is dry". I miss having my company here, believe it or not. I know. That is so unlike me.
Now I have great leftovers which might last a few days. I actually had a healthy super dinner tonight. Left to my own devices I rarely manage to do that.
This ballistictour thing has been a long term healing journey. It becomes quite clear to me at times just how much of me was whatever unhealed is. In that context it makes sense not to get too impatient with progress in the various aspects of living my life. I'm not quite sure what happened but it becomes amply clear that I am re-learning a lot. Maybe I am learning what I never knew before, but should have by the time I was 20.
This is going to be a slim Christmas. No big Santa this year. I do what I can, when I can, and I certainly don't expect or want others to offer anything beyond good cheer.
I was beginning to get down and worried, but I think maybe I ought not do that. Too much that I am happy about, and as always, too many people to be thankful for to be moping from concern that I don't rate it.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
***The measure of desirable results in social systems is predicated upon the idea that it is not desirable to consider the individual components arbitrarily expendable in serving the goals of the whole system or ensuring the authority of the central controlling unit [modeling human social structure after ants or bees requires the assumption that the individual is of least value and expendable. Ants do not possess a great deal of individual autonomy or self reliance. They system is designed to protect the queen. The power unit is not in business to protect the sanctity and autonomy of the lowly ant]***
The theory is that there is a point within multi part systems at which centralization yields negative results, and as the degree of centralization increases the integrity of the system breaks down.
This holds true in mechanical systems, and social systems.
Prior to that point centralized control is effective and beneficial to the survival and sustainability of the whole.
An example would be in the realm of education. Particularly in formative years in which the individual units (students) are less equipped for prudent autonomy. Large institutions, large classrooms tend to lose effective positive effect on individual units. There is a point at which size of institution and size of individual classes are most effective in achieving the goal of positive guidance and education to prepare students to be autonomous, productive and capable of reasonable self governance.
Most school systems consist of institutions which are far past the point of diminishing returns and in possibly the majority of cases are below the break even point; negative results. The oversight and guidelines for the system have also entered that realm as their function has moved from stated purpose of educating to indoctrinating, and care taking, assuming much of the authority which might work best left to family.
Obviously many other factors interact with this. Systems overlap and influence one another. The same principle applies to all such that the only effective means of bringing one system into the positive results range, in which each component is left its most effective level of autonomy, is to also bring the other dependent or interactive systems' level of centralization back into that range.
The principle applies to utilities such as power production as well. To some degree it depends on the method used to produce and transport the power. The problem with one unit serving too many user points is that any problem with the main unit affects a huge number of delivery points. It is vulnerable.
There are also factors of efficiency over large distances, loss through resistance, etc. Additionally it places the users vulnerable to potential tyranny as any evil doer who gains control of the central point can then in essence extort and exert undesirable control over the users dependent up the product.
This is where emerging technologies and even long existing technology which makes possible production at the site of the user, or more production points serving fewer users is desirable. If one of those goes out, fewer parts of the overall system are hurt. As it is with all these systems of society, achieving the best level of centralization of a utility requires other systems to also move toward that point.
The tendency to rationalize control in the name of morality can result in pushing control past the optimal point. There is a point at which removing autonomy from the individual, the family, the community, etc., may detrimentally affect the system as a whole, even if it means some of those components do not adhere to that which other components on equal level would choose. By usurping authority in matters which do not increase a particular unit's ability to exercise self determination, all components can find themselves reducing their own ability to thrive.
Any of the matters which involve humans have to be predicated upon certain common principles. Some of these follow the idea that systems all have a point of diminishing positive result when the balance of authority over function moves from the individual components to one controlling unit.
In military terms, this concept is one of the keys to the success of the US armed services back when wars were defined endeavors with a clear goal. Our system of chain of command allowed for each unit to have one governing member, whose command was broken into smaller units each with a command. If any controlling unit, commanding officer was not present or taken out, the next in command was defined and prepared to continue. Not all forces had this system and once their leader was knocked out, they were thrown into chaos and got their asses kicked.
So, that's the initial idea of my theory. I think it can probably be refined to a formula, which would definitely contain many variables.
I believe the problems faced today are largely due to a lack of recognition of the idea that there is an optimal level of centralized control in systems, especially those which are more complex and contain a wide diversity of subsystems.
Additionally the lack of recognition that there is a point at which subsystems are best served in terms of their ability to be self determinant, even when equal entities may not choose the same path in response to the same stimulus. As long as their choice does not impede the ability of the other components to operate then the need for higher authority does not exist. It is only at that point in which control must be moved up in the hierarchy of centralization.
Often levels are jumped in response to controls which are in place being ignored. That's primarily in human systems. An example would be when fraud, and violation of property are not dealt with according to basic laws which have been in place for some time, but instead are regulated from more centralized entities through very specific edicts which do not cover broad principle but very narrow specificities which then leave pathways for further abuse.
It works like electricity; if there is any corruption in the process at the highly centralized level then larger numbers of component parts are affected. There is a point at which more, smaller, manageable parts can be more effective because the authority and control is closer to the source of the problem, and defects or corruption of a component pose less threat to the whole, and can be more easily traced to the source.
Another example in which over centralization of control has been a disaster is the use of social security number for so many things which have nothing to do with the social security account. It has become a window for theft and fraud which is very difficult for the victim to correct due to the far reaching web each social security number encompasses. In the effort to number everyone for the convenience of control, the security of the individual has actually been compromised. A case where centralization exceeded the point of positive optimization.
One day maybe this can be more simply stated and formulated. I believe it to be a principle which holds for any system which requires controlling units, and as the function, size and complexity increase the tendency to exceed the critical point and dip into negative affect on the entire system increases at an accelerated rate.
See, I'm not really an anarchist, although, if one considers the present day system moderate control, or even not enough, then I am anarchist by comparison.
I do think the kernel of this theory is valid.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
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