Friday, February 27, 2009

A Million Things

Heck with it.

I doubt my views are interesting. Right, maybe. Ahead of the curve. But inconvenient, and contrary to the opium dreams we've been fed for eons.

There's a difference between being oppositional by nature and refusing to condone any form of slavery. Many of those subjected don't even see it themselves. One hint would be to look twice at those who insist that unity and mass sacrifice are necessary in order for them to fix problems they created. When those who are flying high convince others their freedom is a selfish luxury, I tend to view them with suspicion, if not pure disdain.

When you think of all the possible sources of energy and possibilities for making it more of a building by building independent process, it is disheartening to find authorities insisting on their prescribed choices. It locks out all the unimagined choices. Both those not imagined by the mutant gangsters we know as career politicians (often arrogantly self titled "public servants"), and those unimagined systems that people might conceive who aren't on the subsidy list. Maybe ideas conceived by people who can't comprehend the idea of asking for permission and ransomed money for their idea in the form of government grants or other payout.

The possibilities go so far beyond the tripe that public funded Bolsheviks pretend is the last word in invention, it enthuses and nauseates me at the same time.

Thank God for rich people who can't stand natural teak that turns gray like old barn wood. No, they like it alive with that amber glow, and that is my saving grace at this moment.

I know I should be working on energy ideas I've toyed with since way back in the invention days. But I am having a tough time doing it. Back then after seeing how corrupt agencies and corrupt companies work together, and how that is how government works (and has for a very long time), I decided to quit and never bother again. It's been hard deciding to give it another try. I've not sincerely made the effort to restore that innocent passion for an idea. Besides, I like sanding teak, working in a place that is remote and secluded.

Morons. Cap and trade. Only those who hate people, or have the most incredibly limited view of possibilities would entertain such convoluted plans. What a lame unjustified means of punishment. Once again, it will put the honest companies, those not in bed with sick authoritarian bureaucrats, out of business, while the ones who are in a position to afford it will publicly bitch while privately insisting on it. It won't benefit anyone worth benefitting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Matters

Solitary thinking, or reacting to the barrage of information and misinformation, propaganda which assails us 24 hours a day, may be an addiction. Much as I sometimes believe I ultimately want constant company and other things which do not now characterize my existence, I wonder if I'd have to find ways to be left alone for hours at a time. It's kind of a need. But maybe it is the same sort of need that ice cream or opium would be, provided both were equally available to me.

In these times it is hard not to have a storming mind. A second rate newspaper prints a cartoon intended as a dig at Congress for writing a very expensive bill which they then passed without reading. The public and press are so ignorant that they think it was a racial slur against the most deprived person in the country, the racially handicapped and held back poster boy--Obama. Oh, I forgot, he's the president, and has the most sophisticated plane on earth for a company car. Maybe he isn't suffering from unfair discrimination. At any rate, professional instigators of racial hatred decided it was somehow a slur against him for being nominally black.

That wasn't enough. There are people upset because the stupid cartoonist(s) weren't fired. It was a takeoff on the pampered chimp gone wild. No one was talking race. This issue of freedom of speech is reaching a crisis point, I think. The most bizarre part is that the loudest outcry against such things is based on pure ignorance. Anything to drive home the message that we are now forbidden to lampoon certain elected officials. How can I help but think when I hear and see these things?

And we thought the murders and threats and riots over innocuous cartoons aimed at Islamic fanatic terrorists seemed the mark of a backward people incapable of grasping the tenets of freedom. At least some of us did. Apparently our own country has degenerated to the point that freedom and equality are interpreted according to an ever changing set of rules. You can express any view or criticism of government you want as long as you do it in ways that please the right people. Bluntly, the current president is off limits.

I hope it is merely the paranoia that comes from being me, but I honestly think we are being duped in ways which are so insidious and clever that we'll be the 21st century version of the USSR before we know it. Never was any truly free society, of which there have been maybe one (almost), predicated on the idea of collective pain, involuntary sacrifice of the individual for the better good, or any of the things that we are being fed, and accepting.

There are people, some in my own family, who would class what I say on these matters as pure fiction. If I think it, it must be wrong. That was my first postulate of logic when I was old enough to try to figure things out. The more I've encountered authority, the more true that has become.

Since I see what is being done on the legal authoritative front as 100% wrong, it follows that what I think is right is wrong in the eyes of the powers that be. Except now, I am unwilling to accept it just because of the immense resources and power at their command. It's mostly just stolen goods anyway.

But does that matter as much as a good day in a kayak out in the bay? I don't think so. To let these neo-Stalinists ruin one's personal world is a huge mistake. Take my money in the form of killing the market, maybe, but I think it is possible to find some shred of contentment regardless. I know I'd rather die of a minor ailment than accept their vision of universal health care, and I'd rather live like a bedouin in a tent than accept any government housing.

Damn. Ahnold has yet to learn how to speak English. He was just on saying something, and I swear, I could not understand any of it except when he said, "da people get...". I think it had to do with some sort of checks being sent to illegals or teachers or someone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What if They Said We were Flying High?

I was wondering how many people would find their present view of life to be different if all we heard was how "robust" the economy is. A lot of us would assume we made bad investments, or assumed an unwise loan, or just don't fit in. When they were talking about how strong the economy was, I did not do much better. "The economy" has rarely been in sync with my prospects.

During periods in which it was supposed to be easy to get a job, I had trouble. When "they" said jobs were scarce, work was there to be had. I guess the lesson is that I am not a macro man.

The collective macro economic picture does me no good. It is tough not to think of it, have opinions and feel that a country is being, has been, sold out, but being personally affected too much, as far as believing I can't survive OK, is not the best move. I'm just glad I may be able to bring in as much as I spend because anything saved or invested is a liability. These are times when starting from scratch is not as penalized as being responsible and successful at accumulating some wealth over the last decade or so.

Why are the middle class and upper middle class being punished? It's an odd occurrence. The tone and reality of things does seem like a punishment.

I certainly don't blame the rich, if you define rich like Obama does--people who make over 250K. Those people spend money given the chance. They are the bread and butter of those who make less but want to survive, or do better. Try selling your widgets to the homeless.

Oh well, the king has no clothes but there is so much fog generated that people don't see it. Yet. I doubt they will anytime soon. Too much misinformation for people to think it through from the reasonable starting point. In light of the last 100 years, today is inevitable. None of the permitted schools of thought gave credence to those few who insisted that trouble was ahead over that period of nation dismantling.

Finessing It

The local neighborhood musicians have cranked up the rehearsal schedule because we're playing a coffee house in an area that has recently rebuilt or is rebuilding from a fire awhile back. It's mostly folkish sort of music. Since they sing so well, I find it kind of soothing. Playing with them is a challenge because it is not the sort of thing you wail on through an amp like I was doing in Memphis. Definitely an exercise in subtlety.

On another front, I'm finding that learning basic habits which make tennis more playable requires much the same restraint and precision. It's all about finesse. Maybe that is the right word. probably slightly not. Both endeavors ought to make me a little better and have implications which reach farther. Things which normally provide me a way to vent when frustrated now require that I just keep in focus and exercise restraint.

I'm probably in need of that. I've ventured far from good manners and my new environment is not conducive to such a lapse. Who would have thought it? Until I found myself here, I was unaware of my own edginess. Fortunately, edgy is not what I want or respect. As much as anger has been a blinding factor at times, I never considered myself an angry person or one who considered it a virtue. Some people pride themselves on their temper. I guess if it is channeled toward those who sorely deserve it, then good can come of it. A rare thing.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Imagining the Best

There is a theory that you can attract things you want, or don't want, in life by consciously picturing them. I can only guess that others, especially worriers, have a tendency to picture the worst. In most matters I'm not a big worrier. I do have my areas of paranoia or concern though.

It seems that the more I dwell on the worst of my condition, the more it perpetuates and becomes entrenched. I know that the big move across the universe was begun with the realization that it could be done. It took a lot of effort to make it happen. All part of the big picture goal which was to climb out of the pit. Vague as that may sound, that is exactly how it felt. A dark sticky tar ridden pit with steep slippery sides.

Now that phase one or so has been accomplished, I have discovered that continuity of effort is required in order to prevent falling into the new pit that stagnation brings. No way I want to deal with that again. Hell no, I won't go.

Anyway, now I want to formulate a clearer better picture of how I think things could be, and should be, for a healthier more stimulating life. Variations of the word stimulate have been so rampant lately, the word is nearly in the category of those which bring a gag reflex. Even so, that is the best term for this context. It works in concert with passion, I think. Passion tends to require an object. We're not just going for the typical significant other scenario here, although the proper love goddess has got to fit in there sooner or later.

Where I am, the kinds of friends I already have, and much else is uncannily close to what I imagined when I tried to visualize what circumstances I wanted to find at the end of my journey. Coincidence? I wonder. Actually, I think the friends are better and more understanding and inspiring than I imagined.

I'm only saying this to help me get away from thinking about unwanted views of my future self. If I imagine those, I will soon be that. I'd rather do better.

It's one thing to draw opportunities to yourself, but another to actually make something of them. Good things come my way frequently, and people tend to treat me really well. Better than average it seems. But I often find I drop the ball or get confused at that point. The result is I run and hide until I'm forgotten or reviled. I used to, anyway. That is a pattern that has to go.

So, settling on the scene I want for the future is important. It helps the actions of today which will bring it become easier to initiate. It involves work, setting, people, health, and more. There are plenty of things to be accomplished, many of which would benefit the lives of others, and could make me rich enough.

Feah Its Own Bad Self

What a brat I am in some ways of looking at it. There are mitigating circumstances I suppose. As much as I think our new dictator president is the enemy of my basic values and the freedom of the individual, I guess I am at the point where "Yes I can" should replace my feeling of "Oh sh..., I'm f....d". I know it is silly to bleep out my own expletives but I don't want to tinge tender children's outlook if they accidentally stumble on this. Maybe, if they are young enough not to be aware of the implication, the local adult will tell them it means "Oh shotguns, I'm fermented". I don't know. I figure some language should be kept kind of reserved. Like canned beans. In case of emergency.

Bobby was saying something about passion that hit a nerve and rang a bell. That triggered other thoughts about broken hearts, why, how, and what now.

All of what followed at this point has been deleted in one fell swoop. It was too maudlin and not productive. I think there is more sadness created by things not done than by action taken. I've not done too much serious damage. Except to myself. I suppose, in terms of what ifs, that constitutes a cost to society due to the withholding of more important contributions I could have made to my fellow ingrates. There's a bit of satisfaction in that.

Passion for life is worth cultivating when possible. I miss it. For a minute there in my adult life, it was white hot. That's a far cry from today's tepid existence. I'm not satisfied with that so I keep trying to get some fire burning. In a way, I've made progress. That lust for life was ice cold not so long ago. Little sparks flare up here and there. It must be annoying to others who know me. It's annoying to me. Oh well.

Who would have guessed there is a secret waterfall just off the dirt road to my cottage? I decided to hike/walk down to the bottom and back up today. What a scenic walk. On one of the curves up toward the top, I heard the sound. I followed it a short way off the road, and there it was in a bunch of huge boulders; a little waterfall rushing out of the rocks. Fair volume of water there, gpm-ly speaking.

Dogma is a bitch

More often than not when someone is wanting to make a new form of control over others materialize, arguments against the move are characterized as "outdated ideology", or some other form of ideology. I think they are confusing ideals with dogma. In this sense they are often classing a set of ideals as unfounded dogma, but using the term ideology.

Ideology in and of itself is not a bad thing. I tend to think in terms of the definition of ideology that suggests it is a system of beliefs. Or the study of ideas guiding beliefs and systems of behavior, etc.

Recent trends in discussion of matters which pick the pocket and dampen the spirit tend to lean toward the dogmatic while specifically eschewing anything that might be classed as ideological. It is really a splitting of hairs which begs the question. One example is the angry assertion that the cause, effect, and degree of global warming have been indisputably proven and that is that. It has been set forth from the realm of dogmatic dictate rather than honest analysis of scientific studies and discoveries which might temper or change the conclusions.

The same can be said of present economic discussion, as well as matters involving war and international charity (foreign aid). Tedious as it is to really grasp the problem, I think one would need to examine the process of our development, dispassionately, in detail, for the last 100 years or more. The trouble is that in the realm of business, commerce and monetary policy the various factions jump the gun in defense of either capitalism or socialism without considering the corrupt aspects which hide behind each of those ideologies.

Those, like myself, who favor somewhat unfettered capitalism, tend to ignore the process (unlike myself) by which self proclaimed capitalists became something other than that through changes in government structure which allowed them to control it, thereby reaping tax dollars. When you go too far in that direction, it is no longer what I would call capitalism because it is not a free market; those who pay you do not have a choice.

Socialism by definition removes the choice of an individual to spend his money as he chooses. It is a controlled market, if a market at all.

Both cases rely on dogmatic pronouncements regarding the better good. That is what makes it such a joke that Republicans call themselves capitalists. Their performance when in power proves that they are not. Democrats rarely class themselves as capitalists with any degree of sincerity. Those whom I have known in business tend to consider themselves realists, so they play those in power in order to gain from governmental policies, contracts, and preferences. As one owner of a large advertising firm once told me when I questioned the socialistic rhetoric of a candidate he was actively (monetarily) supporting, "What they say is irrelevant. You back the winner and he will look out for you. He owes you. It's all about who wins".

Never has it been clearer that dogma is being used to manipulate money behavior and the lives of individuals. The more you pronounce a thing to be true, the more people will believe it, with or without evidence. In the general population, global cooling could easily have been pushed as effectively as global warming. People would find that they could sense it themselves. Weather cycles of any significance span more years than most human lives.

The other side of that coin is that it doesn't do much good to ignore byproducts of what you do. Balance in the discussion is astoundingly absent. Hysteria is dangerously given the stamp of sanity.

All you have to do is consider what is an infringement of the rights of others, an assault, or a deception, use the law to prevent and prosecute such crimes, then back off. Let people be free. That requires that we go back to the idea of protecting the individual in the sense of ensuring the rights of the individual to decide his own fate. We now assume that it is best to let the government decide in the name of the collective.

The trouble is that what is set forth by those in power as for the better good is neither proven nor necessarily true, and rarely born of a real desire to promote the "better good". It is just a way to cloud the greed for power and wealth at the expense of those not in power. That would be most of us; not in power. We sorely need to get back to the idea that government is supposed to act only with permission of citizens, not the other way around.

The massive move toward citizens requiring permission from government for almost everything they do is not a good thing. We are continually required to prove innocence without provocation. All in the name of the better good or the security of society. I feel less secure under such a boot.

Although it may be considered idealistic to define right and wrong and the limits on what can be dictated by those with guns, it is a necessary thing. Either a person has a right to live in peace as he sees fit, not forcing others in any way, or he does not. There are naturally times when one's desires have to be tempered because they'd overlap the territory of another's rights, but a lot of freedom can be had without such line crossing. What has happened is that overreaching ideas of "cost to society" have been stretched as far as the "general welfare" clause of the preamble to the US constitution.

I'm curious how those, who discount criticism as steeped in ideology, class their own ideas and agenda. The thing that bothers me the most is that throughout the present turmoil in which many have lost most of their net worth, there seems to be a staunch refusal to look back to the first dominos that were toppled which may have finally led to this. The string of dominoes has been falling one by one for longer than I have been alive. That is true in monetary matters, international affairs and individual freedom.

What makes it so hard to see in this country is the racial history. The move toward racial equality tends to make it tougher to see the larger trend toward wholesale restriction and removal of rights in general. Most people of all races seem unaware of that, and I find that scary as hell. Racial preference in the way of legalizing second class status has changed. The fires are continually fueled but in reality you don't have to be a white male to be president or the secret rich guy whose dirty work I do. It is unfortunate that such a thing as letting everyone be free has somehow been played in the larger game of subjugating all of us to a point we only read about in sci-fi fiction only a few decades ago.

Don't Bring Me Down

That's what I keep having to tell myself over and over these days. I'm only a thread away from full tilt bozo, and I am trying to convince myself that it is best to stay this side of the line.

When TV works and I decide to watch it I'm able to keep up with the Jack in the box saga. Jack, the Ronald McDonald of Jack in the box, was hit by a bus and is in a coma. He/she/it is a humanoid figure with a giant ping pong ball head. It appears to have shattered like an egg. I'm concerned for his recovery and I never even set foot in one of his fast food emporiums, let alone ventured into the drive through. I've seen it in movies. Usually the drive through is the butt of a joke. Poor Jack.

So, helpless as I am to cure the comatose Jack, I contemplate locating his fictitious hospital so I can camp out holding a candle in pious vigil. It would give meaning to my life. Perhaps Jack is but a metaphor for my own existence. Or something.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ties that Blind

Recently, a friend unloaded a nice tie on me. The original person of intent parted ways before receiving his gift, so she decided I'd be a good recipient since I was in the 'hood. The most bizarre part was that it shocked her how easily I could tie the thing properly. No mirror, no second try. Her reaction indicated that she was surprised I even knew what it was.

When people, not acquainted with the south, hear that you moved from Tennessee, they often conclude that you:
must be illiterate, are unfamiliar with hot and cold running water, are astounded by "cement ponds", are way too fond of your sister, if you have one, are inbred, and are generally not so refined as the city folk of the northeast and pacific states. Certainly, a guy from the South would never know how to wear and tie a tie. It was a nice tie, but that reaction offended and worried me at the same time.

Perhaps I give the impression of being a very narrow and unworldly handiman. If one were to conduct a thorough canvassing of the country, my bet is that the results would show densely populated cities outside the South would yield more instances of illiteracy, more cases of incest, more bigotry and narrow mindedness, more violence and crime, and more outright stupidity. Not to say elsewhere is peopled by congenial geniuses, just saying.

Regardless of the state of a place outside the South, if they get a hint of your southern history, often that stigma is tagged on you regardless. I don't get it except there have been some visible creatures in the past who did make the place look pretty bad. Then there is the entertainment industry. Even though a great many of the the best writers and performers are from the south, the entertainment crowd pushes the stereotype. These things catch me by surprise.

I'm actually from Miami. That's hardly the cultural south. I did spend a long time in NC, so it may have rubbed off some. Parts of NC where I lived were definitely more civilized and sane than Miami. There were times I used the southern thing to my advantage; cases in which I wanted them to think I was just a dumb guy from the south. I managed to play it to my benefit one time when selling hard core, mobster/union boss types some equipment for their new building near DC. Now there's a stereotype. New Jersey union thugs. I would not want to be anywhere around the kind of neck tie they might offer.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Must be the Season of the Witch

It may be that humans are hard wired to seek and serve shamans, witch doctors, priests, psychics, holy men of any sort cloaked in various disguises. We seem to love ritual, superstition, and the idea that certain others have inside knowledge we could never understand. Perhaps it is because it is part of the state of being alive and human to feel like there is more to the picture than meets the eye. Many things in our lives point to that concept. At least it is so in my life.

A certain defensiveness goes with that. What I consider to be misguided use of the Bible, Koran or even the Constitution is to some grounds for a fight. Usually these things cannot be reasoned out because the book or document itself becomes a talisman by many, and usually they know nothing of the history of the item, or its contents.

How many have sworn to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States who have never read it, and don't grasp its intent? Or don't agree with its intent? Two of the last two presidents, without a doubt.

People have been ruled by these things throughout history, although some of those who wrote our constitution were attempting to break that spell. Their work was monumental and extremely clever, but as far as it ever really taking hold in a durable fashion, I'm afraid they failed. Even at the outset, compromises which were completely against the philosophical basis of the document were made which haunted us ever since.

Over time, people have become even less ready for such a radical departure from rule over their lives by charlatans and thieves chanting gibberish, wearing impressive robes, and claiming special powers or knowledge. Even the civilizations of ancient Mexico and Central America were run by rulers who were in league with mystics and priests. No one dared question too much in Aztec related civilizations any more than in the lands of the Inquisition.

Although times have supposedly changed, they really haven't. Probably more people are radically religious than they were in much of the early United States. If they aren't hard core in one church or another they are largely in superstitious awe of science. The way the words "scientist" and "science" are bandied about, they've lost much of their meaning.

When politicians use the terms "science" and "scientists" they tend to cast a mystic twist on it. I don't really know what constitutes a scientist as opposed to someone simply trying to figure something out, unless it is that a scientist must have some connection to government and supply an excuse for robbing citizens.

Since those scientists who dispute the findings of scientists who provide those in power with excuses to grab more power are shut up, and dismissed as quacks or non-existent, regardless of reason or documentation, one can only assume that their dissension disqualifies them to be called "scientists".

Part of that hard wiring seems to include a need for words which identify nebulous, larger than life, things not understood by the masses. Yet the masses will believe whatever is said about such things. The economy for example. No one knows what that is any more. We just know it needs fixing, jump starting, stimulating, and some kind of vague sacrifice that we all must make in order to appease the angry forces which control it.

I was an econ major (among other things) and I can't say any more what constitutes the economy. Well, I guess I could, and have, but I could not say in terms that take into account a world run by thugs. Free market economics, contrary to popular (fallacious) belief, is not predicated upon thievery, dishonesty, or force. The system which has evolved is largely based upon those things. That and the old trick of the mystic shamans in impressive robes casting spells and incantations.

Today, in America, those charlatans have titles like secretary of the treasury, chairman of the Fed, etc. And people sincerely look to them as supernatural beings who will make it all better, ignoring the fact that those are really the people who made it what it is.

I keep hearing news people say things like, "the greed in the banking industry that created this crisis". It was not so much the greed in the banking industry as it was the corruption and abuse of power in government. And the incredible belief on the part of many in the public that they could live well beyond their means and that it was their right to do so. It's hard to con an honest person. One who is not expecting something for nothing.

We do not have an economic crisis so much as we have a philosophical crisis. When society ceased to build upon the idea of maximizing the freedom of, and protecting the rights of the individual in favor of making the individual subject to the whims and wishes of the collective, the die was cast.

That necessitated an increase in the power of a ruling class to decide what was for the "higher good". Goodbye limits which were so carefully and strictly placed on the central government. Some people like it and enjoy fitting in. They don't mind all the intrusion into everyday life. Those are the same ones who aren't troubled by random roadblocks in the name of the better good, or licenses for everything from doing business of any kind to fishing.

The fastest growing religion in the country is collectivism. It's a sort of worship of government. Very little thought is given to the wasted time and money spent on things which, given the choice, few would be willing to reach into their pockets to fund. I'd rather no relative of mine be a prostitute, but I'd not pay to arrest someone who chose to do that. I'd kick her off my street if she was parading and soliciting but that's another issue. Same for much in the realm of drugs.

I'd not willingly pay a dime to support any other country. Certainly not to bring in lunatics from the fanatic groups of the mid east. All the money from us which has gone into building up the power of religious fanatics and religious states is baffling. Most of what is done with tax money I'd not pay for given a choice. Roads and DEFENSE, not the evangelical spread of "democracy" (whatever that even means when coming from the puppets in DC) Selling bullets is big business. Maybe it is a gift to some new modern gods.

Government has done far more to promote drug trade than to stop it, yet they've used it as an excuse to infringe on the rights of all.

I'm not one of those who goes along with that line about not being bothered by searches if I have nothing to hide. I don't recognize the right of the government to make me prove innocence or ask permission to live free. Of course, there are those who love to play devil's advocate when a statement like that is made, because they do not grasp what freedom means. They assume that means you step on the rights of others. It doesn't. Just the opposite.

But being free means you may not choose to worship the larger than life spectacle which assures us we are in crisis if they don't do something very stupid with our money and our lives. The smokescreens todays shamans use to avoid being seen for what they are astound me. Like the latest one with the guy who is attorney general trying to stir racial animosity. If race shouldn't be an issue then don't insist on making it one.

I figure that was just payback to Jesse and Al for supporting Obama's candidacy. His victory could have potentially hurt their business tremendously had he played it straight. But he isn't. His cabinet reflects his agenda, so he bears responsibility. I do not hold him responsible for the idiocy of Congress, but his philosophy is of the same totalitarian bent.

No need to worry. If we all just hope and believe, spending by an institution which creates and produces nothing will reduce its debt and make it worth more, and that will make it better for all the people who have nothing whatsoever to do with the "public sector". Who first came up with that BS of public sector and private sector in economics. Was it Keynes? Maybe Galbraith or possibly Stalin. The only sector that creates is private unless you nationalize all producers. And then you stifle true growth, innovation, and motivation. It doesn't entirely eliminate it, but enough to make some people go underground.

One example is the green energy bit that these thieves are blubbering about. No question there is energy to be had in the wind for example. Also no question that current designs suck. But GE makes those things and stands to benefit by federal programs designed to keep the same basic technology, just more of it. It's voodoo engineering.

We got voodoo science, voodoo engineering, and voodoo economics. It's definitely the season of the witch.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Zenness of Being

An appreciated reader's comment (makes it sound like I have lots of readers and comments) started me thinking. I call it thinking, anyway. Perhaps you have another word for it. I don't want to know it if you do.

There was mention of wasted effort, kind of along the "casting pearls before swine" lines. I use that old phrase a lot because I often do what it describes. However, many times the result of an effort is not so much the point. It is the effort, the doing that provides reward in and of itself.

When you live in another dimension much of the time, normal reward is not the issue it is to those grounded in reality. At times that is a liability. At other times it proves an asset. For the nobody of minimal means and little to show for his time on the planet, it is a godsend.

The case of Garfield Marmaduke, IX

It has been awhile since I checked on my journalspace site * at first I said wordpress and just now corrected it**. Over there I am john. Someone who is Wilson sent me an email which included a great chance to make tons of money helping him get funds out of West Africa, etc.

I decided to send Wilson aka Atta something or other, a request of my own. A very similar request to his except I discussed my twin brother and a steam roller rather than a father and poison.

Here's the note to wilson:

My Dear [insert name]

It is that I am seeking your aid on a most important matter which is of urgency, and involves significant recompense for us both. You were suggested to me as being of inpeckable character and stamina.

My circumstance require the utmost of discretion and libido, as I'm sure you will appreciate. The matter involve some 65,000,000 of your US dollars, of which you would receive 15.5% for your assistance.

I am Garfield Marmaduke, IX, of Okracoke, a small nation on the Cotton Coast, as the coloquials once termed it. My unfortunate twin--not identifiable but fraternistic---was brutally crushed by a rival family who covets the throne. He, being first to be born, was in keeping of our communal fortune. Those who hired the assassin and his steam roller have driven my family from our native hostel, with a big price hanging around my neck.

My dear departed brother, Pepe l'Peau Marmaduke, V, had conveyed to me a secret envelope to be opened if he came to any untimely harmed, as it was. Into this envelope was found the number to a bank account containing funds of 65,000,000.000 dollars. However in order to gain rightful possession of these funds, a family member must present claim, and account to which to transfer the monies. It would be to murder of myself for me to involve.

Be assure, there is no risk to you. My attorneys will draw up the proper documents for which you ony sign and attest that you are a distant cousin. Our enemies have no way of checking, and as they are yet unaware of the monies, no suspicion has been accrued.

All you need do is to include a valid address in your country and the account(s) to which to
detain our funs. To assure absolute security, do not send these particulars to this address, but send me your address so I can dispatch the proper documents which then they will require the information heretofore enscribed of you.

All other necessary details will be handled at this end and we will meet at a future date in your country's choosing to conclude our affairs. I will then prepare my exile more in the manner to which my station demands.

I am most grateful to yourself for assisting my determination to persevere despite my enemies most unlawful coup and defenestration of the tradition of my family.

Most humble thank you for helping.

I remain,
Garfield Marmaduke, IX

I tried to keep the language on a par with the note from atta.

Maybe I'll get a reply.

here's the email wilson originally sent:

Hello Dear,

With Respect,

Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you.

I know this mail may come to you as a surprise, since we have not known or written before.

Afer you receive this mail kindly contact me on my private Email contact below. introducing myself, I am Wilson Atta Mamadou, the Only Son of the late Atta Mamadou, my father was a gold and cocoa mercahnt based in accra, Ghana and Abidjan (Ivory Coast), he was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their business trips recenty.

Before his death, he called me bedside him and told me that he has the sum of $6.500,000USD deposited in one of the prime bank here in abidjan ivory coast, that he used my name being the only child as the next of kin in deposited fund.

I will need your assistance as follows;

1) To assist me in retriving this money from the bank.
2) To serve as the guardian of this fund.
3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a residential permit in your country.

Moreover, I am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful transfer of this fund to your nominated account overseas.

Reply to my private e-mail box below: ( )
Anticipating to hear from you soon.

Awaiting your urgent reply.


Wilson Atta Mamadou.

Reply to my private e-mail box below: ( )

feel free to email atta at his/her email addr. I'm sure you'll be well and strangely received.
I stuck to the JS mail.

It may confuse things a bit since my very first reply to wilson was the following:

"You must be kidding.
A curse on you, your goats, your camels and your house.
A lowly liar and thief is all the more shameful because it is a choice."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Forgotten Tales Are The Best

My mind must be going, or just has a loose wire. I thought of something catchy and maybe even interesting, for a change. Now I can't remember what it was. That happens all the time lately; I think of something I want to write, hoping it will be a refreshing and entertaining change, but come time to write, it is lost.

There was some thought of requesting that no one with out door teak furniture let anyone shoot a coat of varnish or lacquer on it. But that wouldn't have been it. After a few months in the sun the teak looks like hell, though, just so you know.

Maybe a primer describing how the inside lane on a highway is for passing, not creating a slow moving obstacle for others, was in the works. I doubt it. That's a lost cause.

I'd sworn off telling people that Obama is frontman for a small group of elites who are taking over the country in fascist-like fashion. So, that couldn't be it.

It could be that I was going to inflate my history by claiming some accomplishment that never happened, like the time..etc. I can't even think of reasonable fiction regarding any astounding feat involving me.

This is frustrating. It was simple, clean, poignant and the best of anything I've dreamt up so far.

I've been rationing out the last of my birthday cake. Some things made of chocolate seem to get better with time. I froze it so I could thaw out a piece at a time. I'd rather do that than try to remember whatever I think I forgot.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Tennis Nazi

OK, so I'm just out there at a public court getting ready to gently hit balls with my pal M. I claimed a court while he finished parking. This old curmudgeon with a British accent was at the court next to me and struck up a conversation. "Hey, how about hitting a few while you wait?"

I explained that I'm a novice and not intending to do anything spectacular today. OK, just few easy ones. He proceeds to hit rocket shots right at me so they land just in front of me. Caught me by surprise. He's a little bowling ball of a codger and chronically abrasive- as I was to discover.

After the first couple of WTF shots I returned a few way up in the air, high lobs too far back for any great smash. It's the one thing I can do. Then my friend showed and I said adios and figured it would be the end of it. To be polite I introduced myself as I was taking my leave.

He then approaches us and starts in like the lion in Wizard of Oz, "I'll play ya both, two against one, c'mon..". Any minute I was expecting him to offer to tie one paw behind his back.

My friend explained I was just starting out on a program with a local guy and wasn't playing any games just now. He then turned on me like a rabid dog, "Let me see your grip!!! You know the difference in a bla bla grip and a yadda yadda bla bla bla. None of the people around here knows a damned thing, What about...bla bloa bla".

My friend was so amazed at what a prick this old Brit was that he froze with his jaw hitting the floor. It was funny. I did that horizontal hand wave thing like a referee ruling an incomplete pass in football. I hate intrusive pop quizzers. He was not invited.

Finally I'm doing the throat cut signal and the incomplete pass thing while saying, "Woa!! Let's cut this off right here. I'm not interested, and like it or not I'm going to go about things as I see fit! I'm not going to debate it." He went grumbling off. He had no one to play with. I wonder why.

This guy had about forty balls with him and he hit them all to one end of the court then back the other way. Some other old guy met him there for about two minutes then he took off. I think this jerk may have been trying to hustle up students.

I like to play and want to be better and I have a plan. It's simple and easy. Amazing how people you don't even know want to get in on things like that. It turns out this guy is known to some people who go to that court. He has had run-ins with anyone he can find.

It's completely unexpected and almost out of character that I would ever play tennis. I happen to enjoy destroying myself on a tennis court--just worked out that way. Another of the odd things on the Tour. What's even stranger is that I want to take the time to learn the correct basics before I worry about beating the overzealous nutcases and naysayers. I have the tennis Nazi in my sights. One day I'm going to find a way to drive him back home. All the way to the UK. I've rarely encountered a ruder dimwit.

It was funny in the long run. That may have been because it wasn't a case in which someone's nerve and lack of couth left me bulldozed and stunned, so that I regretted my actions or inaction. I think I cut him off properly and in a timely fashion.

Ignoring him while I did my nursery school hitting with my friend was the real challenge. We managed to ignore him long enough so he finally got tired of hitting by himself and went away.

If you see him, he's about 5'6 in all directions, wears Bucky Beaver tractor treads and garb, and looks like one of those aged muppet curmudgeons. Beware, I did some checking and understand he really likes to play the bully when dealing with women.

Apparently he lives just a few houses from the place. My guess is that he has a telescope fixed on the place so he can scope out potential trouble to make. I remember when learning to fly getting cornered by run amok pop quizzers. They'd just start quizzing you if they thought they could get away with it. I was young enough I probably could have said I wasn't allowed to speak to strangers. Hindsight. Have you ever been assaulted by a hostile pop quizzer? Are you one?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Making a Difference

Judging from the stories delivered by apparently drugged out grinning news people, and public service ads, school kids and gullible adults are encouraged to believe that sacrifice in the form of buying a new energy efficient water heater, marching with a crowd of people, or serving soup to soup line people is somehow more noble than just living life and doing your job.

The term, "giving back to the community" often comes up, as if anything you have was wrested from your neighbors at gun point. It is really a senseless concept pushed by people who want to influence your behavior or find excuses to pat themselves on the back. Because so many truly believe that by walking rather than driving they are saving the earth from certain destruction, and similar acts of sacrifice, the number of ways one can publicly and conspicuously show their pious community spirit has multiplied in recent years. Along with that come the number of ways they can feel righteous admonishing others for their choice of automobile, smoking a cigar in private, not having a new water heater, etc.

Those who "give back" the most to their community are those who provide wanted and needed goods and services honestly and reliably. Of course, they get paid for it. They could not do it if they were starving and on the street. That is not a bad thing. The general trend lately is to make it seem bad to get paid or to produce without specific sanction from some community or governmental body. This thinking seems happy and holy, but it is the devil in disguise. Most on that band wagon can't see it and probably never will.

The high profile people who make a big scene about their volunteerism and giving back are usually getting a big damned tax break and doing it on advise of counsel. Some are actually generous. And can afford to be. Voluntary generosity is fine. Forced sacrifice is not, and the defamation of excellence through the implication that the workaholic ace auto mechanic. who is honest and fair, is somehow not an asset to the community because he doesn't march for a cause or volunteer for politically correct efforts, is 100% garbage. To think he should "give back" to the community could only be the act of a people hating lunatic.

I've got to think that people who push these things never had months of hard 60- hour weeks, and never mastered the basics of simple logic.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

More Mush Thoughts

Since making the decision to change everything so that my life felt like something other than an inward apology for breathing the air, creating a Gorish (Al) carbon footprint, I've learned a lot which sheds light on the past. Much of it is just definition which I probably knew deep down anyway. It's technical and few people would understand or be interested. It helps to realize certain things. It makes effective compensation a lot easier.

At points in my history I have noticed, and friends have sometimes commented, that people tend to treat me rather well. I've had my share of betrayers in one way or another but that's not a big issue. Most of the time it isn't so hard to see if you open your eyes. Certainly it is not as noteworthy as the better treatment. I'm somewhat spoiled in that way if I take in the big picture over the years. I've had to learn lessons over and over for reasons unrelated to how others behave. It is not so much their fault. I just didn't know what was what. People will be how they will be.

The subject came up in conversation last night that in general people tend to treat me rather well. My friend commented that she'd noticed that. It just seems to happen. At times it irks acquaintances or bystanders in my life. That's when trouble ensues.

I think I used to feel bad for getting special perks in that way to please those who resent such things. Mistake. Anyone who resents affection or kindness because they aren't the target is a nincompoop. I like to see good things come to good people. And there are a lot of good people.

There does seem to be an inner thing which requires maintaining for continuity of the good luck to exist. I don't know, maybe it is that SoCal new age mojo getting to me. I don't really think so, though. It's probably easier to think things are OK if you don't feel like there are a myriad of requirements from life, or for life to be OK. There are a few more changes I'd like, additions and subtractions to what is, but overall I have to say I feel more enthusiastic about waking up in the morning as time goes on. I've got plenty I could panic over, but for some reason that feels unacceptable. It's just as easy to be kind of content. I paid the rent again, and that is one of the things that makes me happy.

Separating true needs from wants and putting the wants in the gravy category puts a good perspective on things. Right now I have what I need and more. I'd like even more of the gravy but it would be bratty to decide I can't be happy without it. It's quite a wonder I'm even alive considering how many close calls I've had. They've not been health related, just the sort of thing you generally don't survive. Several were obvious and dramatic.

Oh well. Tennis has unexpectedly caught my fancy. I think I'll learn to play well enough to beat my friends. Or at least hang in with people over 50 or so. Next year it's going to be snow boarding. And we have to get some sort of kayaking or small cat sailing in there too. That's all gravy.

Other more interesting items in the gravy column are expected, but not demanded. This last however many months--9?--has been kind of magical. It makes me think more is at play in life than meets the eye.

Flushing Out The Truth--etc

It has been said, and not only by me, that I live a strange life. The word entertaining should often be included in that description. Recent work at the secret compound of Daddy Warbucks has been interesting.

People other than DW often stay there; relatives and associates, I assume. I just do what is in front of me to do and don't have direct involvement with the owner or his cohorts, so far. The last group only broke a few things. One of which was a trip bar thing that makes the toilet flush. Of course it is of a type that is not typical so the rather generic piece is not like those in the water closets of lesser folks. It seemed a simple issue when I agreed to solve the problem. Fortunately there is some time between now and the next visitors.

Maybe I'll have to make the part. I can't even find anyone who has that size brass or bronze rod. So, a ten minute job has involved hours of searching and driving and emails to Fancy Toilets R Us. If they reply, I will be happy. It's good to be hooked up where odd things break, requiring one who is good with odd fixes.

There's a rabbit out back who is lucky I'm so sporting. He was a long way off before I tried to nail him with my slingshot. I hit all around him then gave up. At that distance it probably would have only startled the creature anyway. I thought he'd make a good hat. I could fold down his ears over mine in cold conditions, like those hats Inca musicians wear in the subway. Canadians wear them too I think. Not all, but some.

I'm really taken back by this witch hunt on Michael Phelps. It's a case of law enforcement totally losing sight of their legitimate purpose. They can't be blamed considering the administrators of government have forgotten their legitimate purpose. What a waste of tax money. How people can condone such police state shenanigans is beyond me.

Hopefully I won't have to go around saying, "Free Michael", like when I was saying "Free Martha" after she was railroaded by tyrants and a kangaroo court. Piss off the wrong people and they bar no holds.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Freedom and Environment, Etc.

Back in the days when I believed it was not only possible, but advisable to conceive a preferred solution to a problem and then find a way to make it work, I toyed with ideas which reduced or eliminated dependence upon expensive fuels, power companies and tedious building systems. That floodgate opened when I watched an idea go from sketches in a notebook to shop drawings to the physical object to a thing that knew when to move specific parts to perform the task for which it was designed. Since the patent office agreed it was unique, and it actually worked, I assumed a person could decide to solve a problem, lay down the parameters the solution had to meet, then eventually the answer would appear.

I still think so.

Environmental concerns were never the motive for ideas that would make a building or home self sufficient. Freedom and independence from The Man drove that passion. Back then the same group who now want to force their ideas of greenness on everyone were prohibiting the development and manufacture of things that took people off the grid or would lead to reduced dependence upon fossil fuels. The pretense today is that these things are really encouraged.

GE is the biggy in many respects when it comes to wind energy, not because their designs are all that great but because they have clout. There are a number of companies who have been the beneficiaries of grants to design specific components and systems which are predicated on keeping existing system design. Refinements are nice but the big picture is wanting in many of these endeavors sponsored by the American politburo. Eurpoean countries are that way, too, but I don't live there and am one of those stubborn Yanks who has no wish to emulate european bureaucracy.

In researching some items I found endless cases of governmental interference and subsidies which amount to promoting the status quo in some of the industries considered by the press to be cutting edge. In reality, much of this is very old technology whose advancement has been stifled due to subsidies and grants based on the existing methods.

My theory is that the most efficient, cheap energy solutions which would allow inexpensive, independent home energy and/or water are still actively discouraged and squashed by the ever present government. People who are on the take and people who've never taken a design from nothing to something tend to swallow the tripe that political leeches and thugs spout concerning research and development in the field of powering homes, cars, and all other facets of life. I find that disheartening.

The reason it is allowed to happen is that so many are directly dependent on tax money for their research. If you've met many government scientists in a situation in which you had a better alternative, you'd quickly realize that they are not as clinically open minded as they pretend. The system stifles creativity, and in many cases greed and pride tend to kill the creativity of the government supported scientist or engineer. It is human nature; if you are doing well being paid to make a better buggy whip, you would probably not be wanting to promote or even listen to some upstart who has created a horseless carriage.

We've come to the point at which there is a conflict of interest in the policies. It is one that I haven't heard discussed. Consider that the real pioneers in off the grid systems for homes were outlaws only 30 years ago. Most were painted as kooks, and enjoyed everything from physical threat to court action. What is interesting is that the main motive of these green kooks was independence and self sufficiency, not misguided hysteria that they could change climate or that "Mother Earth is sick and in need of healing". That same spirit is still stifled. If the true motive was energy independence, government would not penalize some efforts while subsidizing others. They'd butt out.

Now that some of the major firms who own government have cornered various markets involving alternative energy sources, government is all into it and robbing taxpayers to fund it (payoff those firms). The way it is being done and the nature of the development is aimed at keeping the public dependent and under control, not toward left alone independence. Now that those who want no dime or hint of interference from the feds can't usually afford to start any enterprise, the idea of true energy independence is actually slipping away more than one might think.

The goal of every panic we've been dealt for years, but specifically since 911, is to force more intrusion on private lives, and control how resources, human and otherwise, are allocated. Serfdom.

One hoax after another. I think Michael Phelps proves that occasional use of marijuana is not a big deal. Why are they down on him? No one in their right mind can say bong hits constitute a performance enhancing drug when it comes to swimming. Research into why they made hemp illegal to begin with indicates it had nothing to do with the drug aspect. Another big scam foisted on the public, then after enough repetition people believe whatever they are told, replete with kooks appearing on cue to make it all seem valid.

Why is the US Congress involved in sports? I do not care if a baseball player takes steroids. We know it is potentially deadly in many cases. That's between him and whoever pays him. Buying tickets doesn't give the general public the right to waste congressional time and money on such things. Just drop it. let the tabloids rake them over the coals if they must but legally, it is not an offense that warrants anything. Let a team launch a civil suit if they don't like it. As if they really have no idea.

the end

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lost and Forgotten

My computer decided I wasn't connected and that the connecting device didn't exist so the last post was lost. I could have saved it to a text file. Not worth it.
Highlights of it were: it is raining in SoCal, wet and windy in Alpine, authority sucks when they are twits, people don't care because they like twits, my life in the cottage is like camping out in the woods in the mountains but with fewer trees, it doesn't leak in the rain, I have electricity and indoor plumbing and a bed--other than that and the kitchen conveniences, it is just like camping. My kitchen consists of mostly plug in appliances--2 burner hotplate stove, microwave, some kind of euro whatever convection oven that can make toast too. You have to supply the bread, though. It says "euro-pro". I wanted the one that said "euro-trash", but you don't always get what you want. You can get what you need, if you try sometimes.

The refrigerator looks like the real deal you'd find in a house. Still, this is a lot like camping, especially when it is cold and rainy and windy. Nothing like camping in the Everglades, though. I'm not sure much short of hell is. I've had friends and relatives who liked that--camping in the Glades. Not me. Not one single night, ever. It would have been good practice had I decided to go to Viet Nam, but I missed out on both experiences, Glades and the Nam.

Fair Tax people are trying to make the point that now would be a good time to transition over to that rather than blow all the taxpayer money on the Political Payoff bill, and that it would stimulate the economy in a way that would produce something useful. I'll let imaginations dream up metaphors along those lines. I'm very supportive of just about any alternative to taxing labor and income, especially under present code and setup. It's absurd that people have to fill stuff out pay to have someone tell them what to pay, etc. I know, but I don't give a damn how they do it in europe. My relatives left that place a long time ago, opting to farm, live with Indians and run amok over here.

This situation is as sinister as the foreign policies which have put our cajones in a vice controlled by foreign countries and lunatics. This place is potentially too much fun to be continuing policies which punish passion and create organized crime opportunities and markets.

I remember now. The lost post dealt with my question about whether the current design you see in wind farms for producing power from wind is really the ultimately best way. I believe there is enough wind at my house to power the place but means of harnessing wind power are not the best that could be devised, I don't think. I haven't designed the alternative but that doesn't mean the present machines are anything close to the best that could be done. I'm sure the wind could be of more use than it is, but my instincts are that the present windmills are a poor effort to do the job. Great design as far as bearings and blade, bad overall concept.

!La Musica por la Gente!

Or something like that.

I caught the Grammy show tonight. Most of it was apolitical which was nice. Then the worm who is the head Grammer cracker had to lobby for legislation and do his version of the "Yes we can" speech. Tacky, and transparently self serving. Politics permeates the music world even down to rinky dink blues competitions. Adding to it is not a commendable thing. Too bad people have to do that.

Many of the acts and artists were exceptionally good. Justin Timberlake is better than I realized. That boy rocked. I was surprised to see Robert Plant. I don't keep up with these things. Zeppelin goes country, and it doesn't sound bad. Of course teaming up with Alison Krause helps the effort considerably. They rock.

Radiohead was particularly inspiring, performing with the USC (I think) marching band, but the USC guys stayed stationary. It was an inspired thing. All those drums, how can that be wrong?

I've caught bits and pieces in the past and liked it this year more than any other time since Lionel Richie won about a gazillion awards. He did win, didn't he? Maybe he just played. It would be inconceivable if he didn't win maybe five or ten of those things. That was a long time ago.

McCartney is always a favorite of mine. Just showing up is good enough but he did OK performing.

The result of it was that it made me want to play. I wish the people who tried to squeeze politics into it would have put a sock in it and just stuck to the music. Can't there be an entertainment awards thing in which people don't talk about the president or Washington DC? It's sick. The sickest part is that some of those people are simply pushing something that gives them an edge in some way, at taxpayer expense. And being a great performer does not a political genius make. Often those people are not really capable of intelligent critical thought on matters unrelated to their particular talent.

In my opinion, Stevie Wonder and Justin Timberlake were the winners of my imaginary battle of the Grammy performers, and almost all the others were pretty good.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Movie Review: Across the Universe

The library dvd wouldn't play correctly on the big screen setup but it played fine on my computer. Probably operator error. Who knows.

This is a very well done flick. The soundtrack is all Beatles and done by killer singers and musicians. Someone is very creative and clever I think. The people who designed this film. And it's a friggin musical. The way the music was done and the general look of the movie kept me captivated for the duration. I give it several stars.

Out In The Fog

On my deck, a much more inspired title came to mind. By the time I came in, got the computer switched on, played a few meditative licks on the didgeridoo, and began to write, the title disappeared from the shelf in my brain of items I can recall.

That brings to mind a song, which I will paraphrase, written long ago during one of my semi-sad periods, of which there have been many. I've learned to curb the sadness better now. It is still there, but it has been weakened through much effort and good fortune.

Before I bore anyone with the paraphrased/revised version of that song, I will tell the tale of birthdays; 2008 and 2009. Last year I do not recall much of it, except that I was to the point of no return in the planning of my escape from the rut I was in. The Ballistic Tour was far into the planning stages. I'd sold the condo and had only to get the clutter out of my way and hit the road. Fortunately, it took until May 10, 2008 until I was able to clear the last of my goods out of my apartment and embark on the journey into the unknown. As it turned out my favorite points along the tour were just then cleared of snow, opened to auto travel. That is an example of the sort of luck I have which offsets my ignorance.

It was a birthday of hope and anticipation, even if it felt a little lonely and I was feeling blanketed in that heavy-as wet-cement fog which characterized much of my life. What I remember most is the video a friend in California made which included various people from that social circle, and even a few others. They had been coached to say something about me as if they knew me. It was the coolest film ever made. Obviously, I knew I had to include San Diego on the Tour after viewing that. She who started out enthusiastically then became strangely mercurial and unavailable was even in it.

This year, I tried to pretend I did not know my birthday was at hand, and even connived not to be in town on the 4th. That's my day, February 4.

Next thing I know, I had phone calls with singing voices and orders to be in town on the 6th for my birthday party. What can you do? I haven't had a pleasant birthday celebration in so long I've forgotten. I'm sure I must have had OK birthdays but I generally block them out. It has to do with childhood horror parties in my stupid neighborhood at an early age. I'm not sure if it was because I had to beat some kid up who left no alternative or what, but I know as young as age 8, I adamantly requested NO PARTY every birthday.

There was one surprise party when I was married that should have been nice. I remember my wife or one of the in-laws gave me a harmonica, and I was pleased about that. The fact that it was the day the cotton mill got the air quality tests back from the lab which showed my machines worked, accomplishing what everyone in the industry said couldn't be done, proving the idea which had appeared on paper a year and a half before actually worked, made it a red letter day. I wasn't crazy, I was right. It was the high point of my achievements before or since, I think.

I'd been at that mill, fiddling with the machines, enjoying the smiles and congratulatory pats on the back from the mill's president and V.P.. I was on top of the world. I couldn't wait to get home and tell the wife. First I had to do a little work to the prototype machines, then I hit the road.

When I arrived my in-laws were all there. I was fond of that family, but the wind swiftly left my sails when all I heard was how I was late, and how they'd been waiting. No one cared about the good news. At that time, the documented results were believed to be as good as millions in the bank. (That should have been the case but I lacked the savvy to know how to proceed, another story, another time). So, a very nice party, a surprise party and I was the bad guy because I had not anticipated my part in the play. From then on I avoided any celebration of my birthday.

This year, I was left no alternative but to show up, and it was like a chapter from some other person's life; a person with nice friends who like to make things pleasant. Normally, this would have been way out of the comfort zone, but it was comfortable, and even fun. I should add that I no longer know what or where my comfort zone is. I was pretty comfortable with the giant, heart shaped chocolate cake--very good stuff--and the balloons and the sign expressing the fondest of sentiments and affection.

All through the evening I thought how lucky I am that people would take the trouble to make me feel good about being born. Maybe it is because I like all those involved and they like one another as well. I don't know. Maybe I am not as tense as in the past. It looks like I am locked into this tennis thing now. Birthdays offerings involved a very nice scheme to ensure that, as well as my favorite Bollywood soundtrack and my favorite roast of cafe in the universe.

On the actual day, I was feasting on lasagna at M's, the scuba chick. And playing pool on her very nice table. Some of the shots I was able to pull off back in the Pfeiffer college game room manager days seemed to come back. I thought I'd managed to go through my birthday unnoticed but she was already aware of the upcoming party. They all acted like this was just the normal way of things. I'm spoiled is how I see it. People who know me probably agree. For a lone moper I do get a lot of special treatment. I think I always have.

Only now, I don't feel guilty for it or feel tangled up in the strings.

It's strange that I can't remember any specific birthdays for the last 20 years or so. Only these last two. As far as the usual, "Oh no, a year older and nothing more to show for it", I don't feel anything one way or the other. I'm here and it is against all odds that I am. Things have changed since coworkers were wanting me to let them pay for a life insurance policy and make them beneficiaries. They never thought I'd live past 35. I think I was 34 or 35 at that time. I'm glad I don't have the need to get drunk on days like that any more. Birthdays are still no big deal in and of themselves to me, but being blessed with friends who like to let you know they are glad you are here is a very big deal.

One possible change in me is that I am a little bit more receptive to such affection than I was in the past. I know I have made it extremely difficult for those who wanted to show kindness or affection at times. I guess I don't feel like there is a hidden harmful aspect to things, and before, I did.

It's doubtful any other group would have found me less defensive. Whatever the reason, that is how it is. That is a big change. I've been unable to know when affection is a cover for an unpleasant ulterior agenda in the past, so I often shielded when maybe it was the wrong thing to do. This is a new world; to feel secure and natural at such a simple thing as a small gathering, eating incredible home made calzone, pasta whatnot, and birthday cake. Since it comes at such an advanced age, relatively speaking, I guess something must have screwed with me for decades, stunting my growth and limiting my ability to live life.

This is getting lengthy and involved. I have one major goal for this year. Even though I know you can't force or put a timeframe on some things, some unknown soul is in for an interesting surprise if it works out like I hope.

the song

In the misty night
a baby dreams
a mother weeps
a flower screams

and the fog
from the hills
rolls and rolls
stealing the sight
from the valley

It actually has a meaning of sorts. Everything I write is either about innocence, redemption, or what EVAH

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

People Around Here Are OK

In order to protect those who know me, I mention them less and less. I'm protective and oddly private, even though here I seem kind of open. I try to avoid specifically providing info about others. So, I do it less and less. Even so, I have to say, people still tend to treat me pretty well, unless I want to mate with them. Nothing new there. You're the greatest thing since sliced bread until you have designs. Probably because people don't want to change you until they can sleep with you any time they want. Women, anyway. Or almost any time they want. It's complicated and technical; I wouldn't understand...

Movie Review and Else

Gran Torino, I guess that is what it was called. I wasn't a big fan of those cars when they were still on the road. I guess they didn't stay around too long. The one Clint had in the movie was spiffy though. This was a movie about a guy somewhere around the age of Clint Eastwood. He looks just like Clint, too.

I enjoyed the fact that the guy is the anti-PC but they manage to weave in some depth of character and interesting cultural observation. He figures out that he has more in common with hard core third world immigrants because they still have some tradition and old school values; the ones who aren't punksters in gangs. My hatred of gangs and the mentality behind humans who run in packs like dogs is still intact. Unfortunately it isn't a movie which depicts complete bloody annihilation of every punk and wannabe in town, but I liked it anyway. Eastwood is good as always. So was that chick. Since I think telling the story would make it less enjoyable to view, I won't say more.

So many things have crossed my mind and I took the thoughts to great lengths, apparently, which caused me to think I'd already written them down. Guess not. Now I wonder what it was I thought I'd written. Political scene speaks for itself, or should. Why bother pointing out that we are witnessing tax money being used to pay political debts? Pay for play is alive and well.

I have a feeling the gov. of Illinois was far more innocent in that regard than much of Washington at the moment. Some systems cannot coexist. Nationalizing capital and free enterprise capitalism, is one example. Another is the unionizing of public employees, giving them better perks than what can be found in private enterprise, and continually succumbing to various demands. It will never work for long without socializing most of the marketplace. Even then it won't work for long.

Then you end up with French style strikes over every little quibble. The advent of unions was allegedly not supposed to hold the public hostage of government workers. That has been one item that appears to have contributed to the demise of California, once a state with surplus, and a culture which the rest of the country envied. Some of that is still there, not in the rule making governing sense.

In the long run, the only hope for survival of the species is to master space travel, in whatever form that may take. I suspect it would be something as yet not on drawing board. You have to figure, dinosaurs were greener than Al Gore, and they bit the dust. One well placed rock and human life on this planet would not be worth much. Ultimate survival depends on spreading out to points unknown. The current trend toward herding us all into metropolitan areas with all we depend on centralized, power, water, food, etc., is more devo than positive evolution.

You can worship the damned planet all you want and it won't change the long term situation. Of course, it doesn't pay to trash up the place but letting lawyers dictate research and development according to what gets them reelected is a sure ticket to Hell anyway. That's pretty much what is happening, and the human hating misguided people who think reducing standard of living is always good and shows love,'s not worth fighting that battle. You get accused of being in full accord with some other insane school of thought. Truth is, the two pretend opponents are the same. Some companies(many who've corruptly cornered an industry) have no problem looking like the whining evil empire while using government to smash opponents. It's an old trick to bitch in the press while instigating the source of the complaint behind the scenes.

Yikes, I almost puked. The TV is running for background noise and extra light. That new propaganda show, Homeland Security is on. I had to run and change it to some advertisement for pizza. No wonder they included some perks for the right Hollywood enterprises in this bogus taxpayer ripoff. I'm not sure how it works, but they always come out with shows that tend to direct the public view favorably toward things to come, or to make swallowing the pill of serfdom taste sweeter.

It's cool living so close to some very nice spots, both mountainous and coastal. To get away from all people, I can hit Mt Leguna, breathe the rarified air at 6000 feet, then in thirty minutes be back home at 3000 feet. I don't have the nosebleed altitude issue any more. Maybe it was the lack of humidity doing that for awhile. I've never been a nose bleeder, and these episodes were minimal. Just unusual.

I wonder if that lady at the grocery store was hitting on me. That would be cool. She's probably just a nice person and secure enough to be friendly. Good for her.

It's sad when you reach the point of having to pretend a stranger hit on you. I suppose if it is all in your mind and you don't react oddly at the time, no harm done.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

AZ by 4 in Super Bowl---oops. I mean Pitt

Steelers are favored, with good enough reason, but the Cardinals are the Western representative, so they get extra credit. I want to be for someone. Since San Diego didn't make it, and Miami is my next favorite, I go with the west. That's my reasoning for this call.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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