Sunday, March 29, 2009

Good, Bad and Whatnot

Floods cannot be much fun, especially in freezing conditions. It was good to hear that the worst may be over in ND. It sounds as if the Fargo people are a hearty breed, the way they took matters into their own hands. Old school reality comes through at times, despite any spin fed to the masses. That is real emergency. It makes the kinds of crises and fears we've been throwing money at for the last six months, in particular, seem like a joke.

It is good to see the National Guard being used properly instead of sent overseas. A state militia is not for federal madness. Fargo has got the coolest accent in the USA. That may not do much for flooding but it is worth something.

Oh well, anything said often enough becomes believed as true, with or without solid reason or understanding. I wonder why that is.

It was a nice sight to arrive home from a good working Sunday, soon after sunset. I looked up the hill at thew bottom of Ballistic road and I I saw a cloud just behind it but in front of the peak behind. The cloud was just to the right of my place but at a slightly lower level. These are commonplace things but things I haven't experienced. Not at home, anyway.

The first time I discovered that clouds can lower that the peaks of mountains or tall hills, without being fog, was when I was maybe 9 years old. We were on a bus in Guatemala, traveling from Guatemala city to a place in the mountains called Antigua. There were indigenous people with chickens and all kinds of other things not usually found on public transportation. I'm not sure but it seems like some people rode on the roof. They had lots of bundles up there. That would have been my seat of choice.

The road was one of those edge of the cliff, winding things. I guess it would have been scary to those of little faith. What was scary was that town. So quiet, and the guy who brought tortillas to the room of the scary hotel looked like something from a movie where people get knifed by the quiet Guatemalan. If there is such a thing as energy in a place, that place freaked me out like nowhere I've ever been. Lots of ruins there. It was a strange thing. That place struck terror into my heart. Nothing I could do except ask if we could get out of there. My childhood was not one in which you made scenes and got away with it. Normally, I'd not have begged to leave, but I did. We looked at whatever the ruins were supposed to be. At that time it just looked like falling down buildings and chunks of rock.

Most ruins are fallen down buildings and chunks of rock, but I usually find them exciting and uplifting. At least the limited experience I've had with them has been such. I've not seen some of the Greek and Roman stuff, only the aqueduct in Spain, outside Segovia or somewhere.

I'd forgotten about Antigua until now. People always think about that Island Antigua and they say it "Anteega". This one was pronounced how it looks by everyone I remember.

If you think the Aztec nation was peaceful and fun loving, read the book. I sure hope they don't bring back all the sacrifices and rituals when la raza gets the Azteca nation rolling. Some features of the old days could be good.

There was a lot going on in North and Central America before and during the Aztec days. They weren't the big innovators and creators of everything, just the war power, at their peak. But, more than the Romans or Greeks or Vikings, I'd love to be able to go back in time and see the civilizations down there in action; Toltec, Mixtecs, and all the other tecs. At a safe distance, for sure. I'd not want to be sacrificed to whatever God needing a fresh heart.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Second Thoughts and the Danger of Honest, Solitary Labor

I think I indicated that I despise misguided people. That is not really true. Most people are misguided. If they weren't we'd have minimal border issues, economic woes, and people could smoke in the park and others wouldn't have to pick up the butts left on the ground. If people weren't misguided, we'd have never heard of Barney Frank, either Bush, Bill or Hillary, and list goes on.

But, people are a bit easy to dupe when it comes to trade-offs and misperceived items of self interest. It happens. I can't be too upset by it because my most consistent career since slightly prior to adulthood has been that of self defeat. Even so, I see the big picture when it comes to the philosophy of power in civilization. I grasp the concept of liberty. Most of those who bandy the word about, do not.

They just don't, and I can't help that. It places one in the position of being uncool, uncomfortable, etc. At least that is what keeps most people in line; don't want to be the odd man out and not fit in. Maybe it is a blessing that not fitting in like that is what makes me lovable.

Alright, it may also be that only I realize I'm lovable, but that's the story I'm sticking to. Speaking of lovable, the manual labor all alone at the villa can be a little bizarre sometimes.

At any rate, many of my best friends and beloved family are misguided when it comes to the proper principles of state. Irrelevant, almost, but I feel free to now say, I never did like Arnold much. His inflated ego on long ago talk shows left me cold. he also is one of those who is smart enough to grasp certain things but not smart enough to realize that he is not really all that bright. He learned nothing from his roots.

Arnold would gladly be a fascist dictator, given the chance. Fascist does not necessarily mean cruel or unlikable. They always get in through some initial popularity and charm.

One service Ahnold has provided, and that is to clearly demonstrate that there is not a big difference between republican and democrat when it comes to respect for the individual. Look at the practice of both and listen to Arnold. He and Obama are on the same page.

OK. So I partially disassembled some chairs. One part is a wooden rod like a closet thing that hangers go on. Maybe it is a foot and a half or two feet long. So, it has to be sanded and I caught the shadow as I was performing this task. It was what one might call a Caddy Shack moment, if you remember the Bill Murray character. I hope they have video surveillance going on and caught the shadow on tape.

Not only that, which is childishly weird, but I found myself musing in a borderline (need to check with the Pope on this) impure manner about the assistant housekeeper. They stop by for some reason almost every day. The housekeeper (HK) and her sidekick (HKA) are very nice. HKA speaks almost no English to my knowledge. That can often be a plus. She could be Aztec. Maybe because I am re-reading that book, my thoughts go south in her case. Who knows. I just figure manual work, like the sea, does strange things to a man.

Look, it was just a fleeting thing and the absurdity of it amused me. Don't be so judgmental. At least not when it comes to me. When it comes to other things, go for it.

No traffic goods report today. All I heard was about a couple of roads closed in El Cajon because the cops shot a guy in the intersection who was running around with a big knife. The details are unclear. The first time I heard reports they said he was breaking windows and threatening people.

Now the news makes it sound like he was all but laying down and going to sleep. They have strange reactions when people shoot cops or do mischief. News people always want to know what, other than a person's aberrant nature, makes them rape and pillage, harm the innocent. Modern news delivery and the thought behind it is a sickness all its own.

Most likely a meth induced insanity influenced the knife crazy, or it could be he had some other issue. Maybe he was simply a very defective unit. I'm not sure it makes sense that they couldn't have pulled nightsticks and subdued him. Several cops and he was pretty well cornered. It was not like he was throwing the knife or had a civilian at risk by that time.

I won't second guess it. Lots of people would be better off and tax payer money saved if they offed more criminals. But then there are those that ought not even be in jail so the balance is all askew.

In the end, no couch or ladder in the road slowing traffic. Instead, the late knife man in the road and they closed it down.

Once again, I commend the engineers at Milwaukee tools. That orbital thing is the best. While I'm at it, I have to say my handy dandy Leatherman tool is as useful an item as I have ever owned.

It may be a clue regarding why I am not wealthy or important, but little things like that give me more than average happiness. Maybe it is a gift to be able to derive satisfaction from the minor things in life. I don't really consider them so minor. The Leatherman was a gift from someone who matters. I take gifts from friends very seriously. It means a lot that someone cares enough to offer a gift. When the spirit is pure, it is the thought that counts. When the item hits the spot it makes it double cool. I'll spare you my Christmas lecture about gift snobbery.

That brings me to K, the almost is my daughter girl. There's been some strangeness in that life and I had to do the "where the rabbit ate the cabbage" lecture. That means tough love; dose of reality. It's birthday time and I bet no one would guess what she got. Money is tight and doesn't go to best use anyway. I hear all the woes of the phone not being charged and other odd phone woes. A solar charger designed to power all kinds of phones, laptops and other stuff ought to fix that. Even that ingrate ought to see how cool a thing it is. If not I sure hope she gives it back. I want one.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What Matters/ Sander Review / Hiway Update

Fortunately, I don't expect a lot of comments. One reason is that I rarely write short entries, and I hammer on the same theme repetitively. That theme, of course, is freedom, and my disdain for philosophies and people who push to limit that birthright of humanity.

To me everything that matters follows that right to live one's life as unfettered as possible. Our world has become very much like some classrooms I suffered through in public schools. Someone committed a crime; maybe it was theft of a test, minor vandalism, or an inappropriate snicker. If we don't know who did it, the whole class gets punished. Many of these cases involved culprits unknown to me. Not only was I oblivious to the crime but I had no idea who was the evil doer. Most of the others were as bewildered as I.

People tell me that our freedoms are restricted because people make trouble when they can. They abuse freedom so it gets taken away. I find that reasoning faulty. It is no one's job to steal your freedom in order to curb trouble. It is the job of assigned authorities to target the trouble makers for abridging the freedom of others. That is different. Because rights of individuals are not granted. Rights of the authority (government) are granted by the people and supposed to be limited. The document under which our society allegedly operates spells that out. I didn't make it up. Limit of authority was the big theme of thing.

That matters. Especially now, I would say, but that is not quite right. The distinction described above has been blurring for many decades. The understanding and teaching of the concept has flip flopped. People have come to believe that rights equal entitlements and that they are granted by some mysterious all powerful government. Now is just the logical conclusion of a lifetime of Animal Farm/ 1984/ Brave New World style rhetoric and behavior.

It could be that the majority of people never have been, and never will be, capable of living out from under the big boot. It's too bad. Some people cannot function under so much supervision and insanity. Term limits, salary curbs, removal of special retirement and all special health care benefits- all benefits that are now given elected officials--would go a long way toward improving this country.

The sanders I already reviewed, Dewalt finish sander and Milwaukee random orbital got a good report. The Ryobi detail sander is better suited for brushing teeth. It is ineffective and doesn't even reach places that you'd expect. Thumbs down on that.

The last two traffic reports I heard today included a cement block on the hiway, and a couch. One was on The 5 I'm pretty sure, and the other was on The 15 or 805, one of those. Couches really do lead the list of highway refuse. This takes littering to a new level. Maybe they just didn't talk about it in other cities I've called home. It seems to be epidemic out here. Probably some environmental issue with rope or tie downs. Whatever the case, lots of people just refuse to believe that anything could fall from their truck or off the roof of the car it seems.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Big Fun In the Daily Life

Once again I experienced the joys of the daily job, or as close as my work gets to being a daily job. I wonder if most people get as hung up on details as I do. Some don't, I know from experience. Plenty of others might. It is usually reserved for things like sanding teak for someone else. If it were mine I'd probably take a much easier route. When I do things someone else is paying for I try to cover any detail they may one day see.

What if they have a freak fall and land with their head stuck under the table looking up at just the right angle? I want them to look and say to themselves, "That crazy teak guy even took care of that impossible little triangle no one but the unlucky faller would ever see."

Just to give a flavor of my area in SoCal, the last two traffic reports I heard mentioned a mattress in the road on The 8, and shelves on The 5, and a ladder in on The 8. Interstates 8 and 5 are the top repositories for home furniture and extraneous construction items. If you had a knack for being in the right place at the right time, you could make a modest living off of road finds. In these allegedly depressed times, you have to keep the options open.

I realized today that I am as intensely concerned with this teak project as I would be if I were doing something that mattered to huge numbers of people and involved huge sums of money. I don't even know if this matters to the owner. Probably not a big deal. It will pay my rent and I find a degree of art in the deal so to me it is important. Making it into some kind of art, even if I am the only one that gets it, gives me some degree of satisfaction.

Mostly, since this is the way to put bread on the table for the moment, I do not want a mediocre result. That would mean that I am over-employed instead of under. It helps the ego to imagine one's self over qualified for whatever job is at hand. I prefer to consider myself an underachiever than over achiever although the truth is I do the best I can. This may be the best and most I'll ever do. I certainly like the freedom. I do have other things on the project list that do not involve teak but they may or may not ever be attacked and brought to life.

Once again, today I looked around and wondered how I got here. It is so much the right thing at this point in time. I am still grateful that I was able to make the change of everything, and that the idea to do it came to mind a couple of years ago. About 2, exactly, I think.

The Tour continues. When the time is right, well other aspects should appear. I am expecting it. I'm on thin ice in many ways, but if the ice doesn't break, that's as good as thick ice. It's a little dicier going, though.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Teak Tales and Folk-Country Music

I wonder if my neighbor musicians here on Ballistic Mountain think I'm a wacko. We had a little practice to better learn the songs we kind of faked at the recent gig. After awhile people were demonstrating some of their dark originals. Mine are the eeriest I think. I can't believe I let them hear the general idea of a couple. Being one who can't tell how people see me, I now wonder did they think they were gazing upon a lunatic. Maybe they liked it. I'm not used to sharing that much. Oh well.

Tomorrow may tell the tale of the first part of many in the teak saga of the Duke of Earl's(not real name) outdoor collection of tables and chairs. I picked one of the larger pieces to do in its entirety. Once it is done and I like it, I'll do the rest like an assembly line. Sand it all, sand it with a finer grit, clean it all, etc. Or most of it. I will do three groups of four or five pieces, depending on the group. They know who they are and where they fall in the mix. I've trained each piece to line up and count off on cue.

This is the best work I've done yet, but I wonder if it will show. To the touch it will. Prior to this, you'd never have known how pretty the wood actually is. It had some dull red stain on it. What were they thinking in Indonesia when they made this stuff? No doubt some insulting thoughts regarding the discernment of Yanks. But the Duke is Pom, a Limey. Boy did they screw up.

Anyway, I was worried that I wouldn't have any way to get it to this point because it looked so bad. Not any more. At least this big table is looking splendid and when it is done it will win the award for most improved trivial piece of furniture in all Caleeforneeyah.

Martial Law and Colonel Klink Revisited

It reminded me just how risky life in the people's republic of Caleeforneea, and elsewhere can be. I was minding my own business on THE 94, after missing turns and driving almost to Mexico on The 5. I'd turned around and made my way back so I was not near the border on 94. I was on my normal back way home near Target and the friendly Mobil station.

All of a sudden I find myself in a traffic jam. At least one lane was closed, red cones and cops everywhere. I thought maybe there had been a big wreck.

No wreck, a "sobriety check point" roadblock. It would have been a great time for someone to rob nearby stores or houses because the cops were all boxed in by their own design, and there were scores of them at the big party in the road, or so it seemed.

My first thought was, "I wonder if I am inadvertently committing a crime." Maybe it is illegal to have a notebook in the passenger seat. Maybe I should be wearing a helmet. Who knows? I'm trying to figure out if my credentials are in order. An inner voice with a German accent is taunting me, "So, ver harr your papahs?!!" Yikes. Where are my papers? Maybe in the glove box.

I'm sure I had the proper credentials somewhere, but I find it incredibly inappropriate that I should have to prove myself in a free country, with no probable cause to lead the authorities to suspect me of more than a burning resentment.

Because they figure they might find a drunk, which they could better do at any of a number of nearby bars, they punish everyone on the road by bringing traffic to a very slow crawl, with frequent dead stops, and flagging random vehicles for further interrogation. Lucky me, I was not flagged for the strip search. I was wearing clean underwear so I was prepared, I guess.

No, I did not "have anything to hide". I've heard that line that there is no need to worry if you have nothing to hide. I disagree. Any time the government can detain you without cause, there is plenty of reason to worry. It is a precedent that can be far reaching and effectively make any answering of the government to the people impossible. It has pretty much reached that point.

Many think that responses to their cries of "how are you going to help me?" are indications of accountability. They are so far from getting it that it is probably useless to try to explain the basic tenets of freedom and accountability.

Then I find out that in San Diego, or some local school system, you have to get so many hours of approved community service signed off before you can get your high school degree. Welcome to the USSR. Hola Habana.

What about a kid that works a lot when he isn't in school? That's what I did in high school. I did not always like it but I know I'd have liked it better than being under the thumb for community service. Since when is free time, doing something that may or may not be useful, better than just living a good life, being responsible and generally not making trouble? Very few great inventions or innovations which have saved lives and made living much easier and healthier have been born of mandatory community service. Or community service at all, according to how it is defined by these collectivist slave masters. Mass insanity.

I found both realizations troubling.

Before I left Memphis, Homeland security staged a joint exercise with more law enforcement agencies than I knew existed. They stopped people on highways gathered information and put it in their master data bank. It was nuts but it happened. They raided some businesses without explanation and even took computers. No charges filed but they cost these people a ton in lost time. They detained people who had done nothing and were in no way a threat to anyone. I wrote about it at the time. Major news did not. The local news initially carried the story including interviews with the victims of this aberrant jack boot action, but immediately, within hours had a watered down story and no interviews except with the gleeful power drunk sheriff and some evil Homeland security KGB wannabe.

I forget that people just go along and think this way of governing and protecting is good. It is pure tyranny. Totalitarian sickness.

Whatever people think, it turns my stomach and bothers me a great deal.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Go Memphis

That's right, I, the ultimate despiser of Memphis and the "Mid South", one for whom basketball normally holds no appeal whatsoever, am morally supporting Memphis to win the college hooplah madness. For one thing, Memphis is a school which doesn't have to cheat for their players academically. The other students are equally illiterate and dimwitted on average. Other schools have to pretend that their athletes are up to snuff academically. They are big cheaters. Not Memphis. They do it fair and square.

And their coach actually has some true affection and sense of caring. It means a lot to him that his players remain out of jail and don't commit or get caught committing any major crimes.

In a Perfect World

I decided it was drivel and deleted.

All Better

There is always that tendency to think if I just just find the missing piece of the puzzle, things would be all better. That is a mentality to be avoided. There is no all better. Things just are, and either some benefit can be seen in that or not.

I decided the rest was tediously expressed nonsense so I deleted it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Tour Continues; notes and neuroses

First let me thank Wisconsin, assuming that is where Milwaukee Tools are created. I'll pretend they are from that fair state even if they are really from China. It's rare I don't settle for the 29.00 model when it comes to these things. This time I refused to settle, although I did not go for the high end whatever because that would have been no advantage, and I don't have that in the budget. I'd rather save my money for adventure of some kind. You never know.

That's why I call it the ballistic tour; it's like being shot out of a cannon blindly, so where you land is anyone's guess. If the launch didn't kill you, then the ride can be splendid. It helps if you open your eyes and take it in, rather than clench your eyes shut, all tensed up waiting for the hard landing. metaphorically speaking, of course. Still, stranger things have happened. Just saying.

So, the great state of Wisconsin has done well. Good thing they don't keep these things confined within their borders. The variable speed random orbital sander has proven a versatile, comfortable, companion which makes one's work less strain and more joy. Life is better post sander.

Wherever Dewalt is made deserves praise as well. It is pretty good, but the Wisconsin product is the best all round unit. the two together seem to cover most of the territory that ought be covered for a good overall result.

You can't force things with these tools, just let them flow as they will, with a little helpful guidance and gentle pressure here and there. You never know how this stuff will turn out until it is done. I can tell when it will probably be a good result. Already one work of art is almost ready.

I could hear a band nearby. I think it was at the main resort building. I think they have suites and an event area. It is hard to say. I just explore when it is appropriate and so far just on need to know basis. I go where invited and leave it at that. What I heard sounded world class.

I'm too tired to cover it all. I did see a hot air balloon hovering at 10 feet with a basketful of people. Maybe they were waiting for a landing crew to show up. I guess the high flying drifting is fun but it seems like landing is no piece of cake. When I think of it, that makes sense.

Maybe I should take Sunday off to let the arm heal and so I won't risk being too noisy on a weekend.

Great Day in the Neighborhood

The debut at playing tennis, keeping score and not throwing things or crying when I did it all wrong went well. Everyone had a good time and a couple of times I did things right. That may be of not interest, but I like to write these things down.

Living a charmed life, I was fortunate to have some home cooking with great friends that was as good as any dinner I've ever had anywhere. Maybe better. I would have gone for seconds after a huge plate but it was so good it seemed somehow wrong to stuff. The amount I had was perfect and I figured if I turned glutton it would somehow be a blasphemy.

They had visitors from out of town. A four year old boy and his dad. What a fun bright child. This kid is way more articulate than many adults, and his coordination is remarkable. A more delightful child I have never seen. His dad is strict and requires the most high level of respect and behavior. It is all done by means of example and consistency. The kid seems to eat it up. Within the framework of the boundaries his dad sets the boy is allowed creativity and expression. This child is definitely thriving. What a fun person. His dad is clearly an exceptional human being as well. He was once a teacher who had very profound positive influence on on of my younger friends. Very cool.

Then I was headed home and decided to take the back way. I also decided to call my renegade friend from the north and put it on speaker phone--to stay legal and so I had my hands free. It is tough to admit to voluntarily being one of those people talking to mid air while cruising down the road; missing my turn off and not realizing it until almost in Mexico. That proved to be a longer back way home than originally anticipated. It was much more interesting and enjoyable than expected, too. Left me feeling surprised at myself, kind of excited about things, and at the same time it seems perfectly natural.

Tomorrow is another day in the land of the rich and teakly distressed. It's like being forced to work at your own pace at the Huatulco Club Med, with no one over your shoulder. The labor aspect can be a little painful but in the main it is not very difficult. Besides it is a good excuse to expose myself to mind altering fumes.

My mind is kind of spinning in a good way. There is more to life than meets the eye, much of it good.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hints Not Habits

In case I caused alarm, the last post detailing a helpful hint was just a piece of wisdom acquired over the years, not a reaction to an unfortunate amputation or mishap in current times.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Helpful Hints #000001-420

Avoid cooking, especially if frying and/or using large sharp knives, naked.

For those who hate it when I talk revolution and freedom

OK, so the tennis/teakology elbow and wrist are getting a break today. Tomorrow I will try my luck playing tennis where they keep score and you have to know which side to be on. It isn't a league or million dollar tournament, just a friend or two and someone I never met. I was hoping it would be all women. Oddly, it is easier to take losing to them. This event will be a mix. It is hard to be the most macho guy on a tennis court when everyone else there is twenty times more experienced and better. Even the chicks are mas macho.

Maybe I can compensate; rent the biggest Hummer made and drive it there, or get and extra large, very long, macho racket. Or I could just divert their attention by wearing a tinfoil hat and periodically mumbling into my lapel.

Because my work is only done when the client is long gone, my present project is on hold for about a week. People there. The new job, no excuse. I'll start in earnest on Saturday. I like working weekends.

Domestic Threat to The State

According to some things I've seen, tips on how to spot The Enemy---I'd be considered a domestic threat. Not because I advocate violence, which I do not, generally, but because I vote third party almost always, I suggest that the IRS is a terror group and should be abolished, and I think the UN is an evil collection of corrupt dictators, warmongers, and freeloaders. I oppose the draft, support any state's right to secede. I think most drugs ought to be decriminalized, and traffic laws should not be a source of revenue obtained through sneaking around in bushes, entrapment or photographic processes. It ought to be illegal to be dangerous to others and that ought not be reasoned and extrapolated into the stratosphere the way it is now.

Those beliefs are considered dangerous in many circles, and more and more they could get you put on a list. I believe I should be able to carry a weapon, concealed or not without permission. To me, concealed makes more sense because a bad guy doesn't know what he has to defeat. Either way it should be OK. The drug thing would reduce a lot of the need.

Although some of it may have been blown up a bit, I read the report, and according to Missouri law enforcement, I could very well be a militia member or sympathizer. I'm not big on groups, especially if they are all dressed in cammo and have racial issues.

I watched the Freedom to Fascism movie on line. That is supposed to be a sign. Aaron Russo was not a nut case. He was a film maker and did a good little documentary. If you love the IRS, their tactics, and that system of things, then you're OK. Missouri thinks anyone who displays anti-IRS, anti-UN, or anti government symbols or materials may be a member of a secret militia and a domestic threat. I think it is just a sign of the times; those who object to the state of the state are the enemy and painted as kooks, lumped in with groups that have yet to kill as many people as hospital mistakes every year, or gangs and all that. I don't support the groups.

If they make it sound like these people are skulking about in the woods all around us, then lump people who don't accept republican and democratic politics in with them, they discredit by association, sidestepping the issue of a growing police state, nanny state, and general over abundance of rules and twits creating them.

Maybe those, who looked askance much of my life, and still do, when I divulge the essence of my beliefs and the passion behind them, are right. It could be I am too much of a simpleton and pathological rebel, or oppositional disordered miscreant to understand the finer points of living a civilized ordered life. Obviously, I think those people are seriously misguided and full of it.

That's because they are.

It is no longer as comfortable as it once was to freely state one's opinion, or the truth, but I suspect more people are beginning to see the truth of it than in times past. On the down side, I feel a sense of a somewhat hostile split in this country. That's because people buy into cults of personality. Instead of philosophy they look to people. When power is the game the only safe thing is definition. We've lost that so people go for who they feel will wield it to their advantage or liking. Missed the goddam point, they did.

It is really crazy. Because I think Obama is not a supporter of freedom or the Constitution. some assume I must be big on Bush or republicans. I think we have been given progressively dangerous presidents for some years now, and that the potential for all out martial law and nationalization of any or all business has increased dramatically over that time. The rules are in place. Not saying it is going to happen or not, but it easily could. Look how hard it is to disagree any more, how insanely hollow and one-sided news is, and how many people look at what is going on now, saying, "well we had to do something", even though they see the sacrifice is in terms of one freedom or another. If the market ain't free then neither are the buyers and sellers. You cannot be a free country without a free economy. It is impossible.

I'm rambling. May as well spout off while it is still legal. Since I'm not in Missouri and I'm blissfully ignorant of most laws in California, I figure I can type out my radical domestic threat drivel. The only militia I'm joining is one that has comfortable tanks they'll let me drive, or jets they'll let me fly without the license.

Pep Talk, and nausea treatment

First a word on the nausea issue. If you were one of those who had an early education in the principles involved with the idea that inherited royalty and the attendant power have no place among people who believe in freedom, you don't seek saviors in "the public sector" (I hate that term).

The phrase "all men are created equal" is meant in the context of not being born to a caste; having the right to make the most you can of what you have. It does not mean all are born, or should be, to a level playing field. The kid down the street might be stronger, faster, better looking, smarter, etc. The "advantaged" youth may even be richer. But you have as much right to try for whatever goal you choose as anyone else. Many of the most successful people came from humble beginnings, poverty, and weren't considered exceptional in early life. They chose and they persevered. I guess they somehow managed to avoid the brainwashing and propaganda in the process.

That's how free people do it, which is why these alleged town meetings make me sick. Here's a guy living on public money, ragging on those who supply the majority of the public money, telling the little people what He is going to do for them. HE cares. And worst of all, these star struck nincompoops actually believe not only that it is the job of government to do these things, but that HE is somehow going to bestow upon them a miracle of healing. This is mass hysteria. It truly is sickness. It is also the psychology that has kept the world at war, kings and dictators in power and great civilizations destroyed.

Somehow I thought things would get bizarre beginning a few years ago. I wonder how much of that influenced my move. It didn't hurt, although motives were more personal than that.

Wow, I almost used all my space on the barf factor. The pep talk part is that, regardless of anything you hear, despite the destruction of the monetary system and value of the dollar, as long as there are people, there will be needs to meet, skills that can be traded, goods produced, etc. I know the implicit mantra which has become internalized belief, like the pull of gravity, is the idea that government makes these things happen; they design fuel efficient engines, power plants, mouse traps, and Gulfstream jets. People make those things, and it all starts with someone's need or passion or both. What is happening is that those who don't create are believing that all things come miraculously forth if you legislate it, or if you march in unity or come together, stand up, and all the other fool's games that give the warm fuzzies to so many.

I feel OK because I was lucky enough several years ago to make it a point to get out of debt and to stay that way. I own what I need and very little that would be easy to take away. If I owned large tracts of land, buildings and the like, I'd be nervous. But not that nervous. People are compelled to produce and survive. We may have created huge segments of the population that haven't moved past the stage of crying loudly to get what they want. Even very dimwitted folks can comprehend the truth when it is stark enough, simple enough and obvious enough. It has to be pretty clear before that happens, but it does sometimes. So, when the crying to get the warm milk fails, after awhile they'll catch on.

California Dreamin--part 420 or so

Just a few observations:

Almost every day the traffic report includes a caution that one or another of the major highways has a ladder, couch, lawn furniture, stove or the like in one of the lanes "so use caution".
My thought on that is, why do so many people around here not think to secure their cargo? Couches seem to top the list of things that end up in the road. It's puzzling.

In speaking about the highways, and I may have mentioned this previously, not sure if I only discussed it verbally, they always use the word "the", as in "the 5" or "the 67". That wasn't the custom in Florida, North Carolina or Tennessee. It was, "highway 40" or just "40". Like, take forty west to Nashville. Here they would say, "Take the five north to LA." Sounds funny to me still.

I see almost no out of state license plates. That is surprising. I've seen more Mexican plates than out of state, and not too many of those.

That's it for now. It is no illegal to smoke in parks in San Diego. I wonder if that covers medicinal cannabis?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Power Tool Heaven and Home Depot review)

Good excuses to acquire more power tools are actually far and few between, if one is clinically logical and honest about the matter. Since I am the rising star of teakology among the rich and famous, it is only reasonable that I have the right tools for the job. Also, anything that reduces the amount of hand sanding is useful considering the onset of tendonitis here and there.

The new job for the Duke of Earl(not real name) more than justifies the acquisition. Although I am as much a magician with a belt sander as there is, it is not the best thing to use and it can only be used for the very first rough sanding. By rough I mean to take off the remaining surface varnish and such. Then I have to do two more passes by hand.

All the literature on the subject strongly discourages belt sander use. They pretty much say, "Absolutely, under no circumstances ever use a belt sander in the practice of teakology!!!!". If you are good, you can ignore that but if you are good you only use that machine to the extent you can without causing trouble. That leaves a lot left to do by other means. I'm satisfied I now have the proper stuff to make the job go quicker.

When I was at the Pt Loma Home depot, they did not have the Milwaukee unit I wanted for the random orbital unit. I have no idea what is random about it. It's not obvious. I needed a finish sander too.

What luck. On my way home today, and it is a great drive, I detoured over to the Poway Home Depot. I should add that I checked some prices and such at my favorite hardware stores as well. Anyway, I entered the Poway Home Depot, the A team of Home Depots.

First I noticed that the parking lot was not the California equivalent of running a gauntlet, or a mine field. People were more laid back and traffic was polite and unhurried. Not too crowded. The people in the store weren't hiding and they knew where everything was. I did misunderstand some directions given by a girl whose first language was valley speak, but she was pleasant so I won't deduct points. I figured it out.

Not only that, but the sander which was unavailable elsewhere was right there for the taking. I also liked the Dewalt finish sander so I bit the bullet and shelled out the dough. By the time I loaded up on some other supplies I spent just about what I figured in the Duke's job for materials. Since he is known to be a nitpicker and possibly has magnifying glass vision, I figure I want to restore his sadly screwed up teak to a level only a psychopath would believe possible.

I like new tools, and old ones. What's really great is that I actually find uses for them. Generally I do not get things like this unless there is good reason. I'm used to never having all the stuff I need which forces me to try harder and make more than maximum use of what I have. I think it is good to not have each and every possible item that can be applied to a task. It ensures use of the imagination and craftsman skills. But having the basics and a few specialty items makes it all go well. Overcoming the tendency to worry about spending any money on such things is a task unto itself.

Today was just too perfect and the Poway Home Depot too fine an example of what all Home Depots should be for me to leave empty handed. Given the choices, I think I chose the best ones for the money and for ongoing teakological studies. While I was at it, I added to the drop cloth stash as well. Tarps and drop cloths are well worth having if you have to work in stone paved courtyards.

I could have been a brain surgery, or a lawyer, I suppose, but I am actually very happy to be doing what I am doing. When I'm rich and famous I'll probably long for these days or at least remember them fondly.

Today was good. I had a very nice long conversation with a pirate, as well. That was a treat. Maybe there is some teak that needs an artist's touch on that vessel. Pirate ships need attention, too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Sucker Play (minding the business of others, continued)

It surprises me that while our version of kings and queens enjoy retirement health care, and numerous perks for a job that never should have become a profession, republicans, democrats, and people of all ilks are up in arms because of executives for companies getting bail out bucks are receiving bonuses.

Something tells me the whole story is not out there. Apparently some lawmakers signed a bill which allowed bonuses for bail out recipients if they were in place prior to some particular date. It may also be that, by contract and prior agreement, that was part of the payment package.

Whatever the case, the public at large has allowed themselves, for reasons of class envy and a feeling of power, to take for granted that it is OK to play arm chair CEO and decide who should be paid what in corporations whose business few of us understand any better than the tax code or our utility bills. The more we find and are given excuses for making the lives, pay, and conduct of others our business, the more we erode the philosophy that is essential for a free society, and one that is bound to be most innovative and fair. Of course, my idea of fair is not the same as the Castro definition or that of many trade unions.

The first big scam was to pretend that this gigantic spending frenzy was not a feeding frenzy for the well connected special interests, those who placed those in power who hold elected offices of all kinds. The next big joke was to convince the public that now it is OK to hate "the rich". Now it is up to the public to dictate how corporations run seminars and conventions. That is not a positive thing.

But, can't say I never railed against the dependence of so many upon grants and government contracts. They couldn't resist that piece of the endless pie made up of tax dollars. Right wrong or indifferent, if it is legal people convince themselves it is OK. Now it is time to reap the real consequences of that game which has become bigger over the last century.

In many ways, today's disregard for freedom,. privacy and free market are merely the culmination of a path taken many years ago, before I was born. It is not the result of Bush or Obama or that shameless charlatan Barney Frank.

Just in case no one heard, Cuba was not fun as the onset of the communist regime began implementing policies, neither was the USSR and other such places. What they have in common with today's USA is that atmosphere of finger pointing and hypocritical self righteous indignation over supposed breaches of the "better good". The better good changes at will. the will of those calling the shots.

Maybe many of the various hated "rich" executives are bad guys. Having worked white and blue collar jobs, let me tell you, being a bad guy and a thief is not a condition confined to the rich. Buying into the encouragement to single out a class of enemies is a serious mistake and very dangerous. That is the same tactic many dictators and totalitarian regimes employed. Facts are always either irrelevant or only partial. It works because people would rather have a sanctioned target to judge than know facts which would mitigate their feeling of power.

It also works because in an atmosphere of blame and witch hunts, no one wants to be the witch getting blamed. The same people who have been running things for years and have to bear some responsibility for trouble we now have are using these tricks to keep light off of themselves and to stifle any efforts to implicate them. They are instead parading before the public people on which they've declared open season. It's OK to criticize these evil executives, but those in political power are more and more off limits.

I don't care about bonuses. I do care that none of this is a proper function of government. I do care that they pass bills without disclosing what is in them, and I do care that they tag little favors for specific interests onto bills which have nothing to do with such pork. That adds up to so much more than these bonuses or big partying conventions, it is laughable those creeps have the nerve to feign outrage. They are playing the public. People are oddly upset, saying "they are having fun and getting rich on our money".

Well, where the hell was the outrage when they were blowing billions upon billions on things equally useless to the citizens of this country over the last fifty or a hundred years? How many dictators, insane holy men from religious states, etc. have received millions and millions of our dollars while we cheer? How many companies have been put out of business while our government negotiates on behalf of specific companies abroad?

Get some damned perspective and make up your mind USA. Either you want to be a totalitarian state of absolute control over enterprise and resources, or you want to be a place where people can live free and kick ass. It would require a lot of live and let live. The "let live" part is what is sorely lacking.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Waiting for the windshield to cure

They came up here to put in the windshield. Apparently this remote dirt road and community are well known as far west as El Cajon. They knew where it was as soon as I mentioned the address.

I'm waiting for it to cure awhile before driving, as suggested by the tech who performed the work. So this is post N approaching infinity. Mass production is marvelous thing. Even though I don't like the expense, it is far less than I would have thought. It would take me forever to laminate and shape pieces of glass together, then find a location and actually install the thing.

It may not be abundantly clear, but that is another reason to thank "the rich".

In light of the present climate which validates class envy and the misguided notion that your lack is somehow because of what someone else has, I may start doing a series on why the rich (or those perceived as rich) should be publicly thanked, supported, and treated as a national treasure.

WOW. Abandonment Issues

I just looked and noticed I now have 0 followers. I used those links to navigate to other places. Was it something I said?

Minding the Business of Others (tyranny of the majority)

Over the years there has been a marked increase in excuses to control behavior and make private affairs the fodder of public opinion and government oversight. Many of the dubious reasons for this have a shred of logic and truth, but like most things which defy true values and reason that kernel of truth was used to grab much more influence over private activity than free people would expect.

There's the catch-all edict of "cost to society" which can be used for everything from mandatory skateboard helmets to what color you paint the bathroom. Second hand smoke, global warming, beliefs contrary to prevailing AMA practices, Oh, and don't forget the wars on drugs and "terra". Presumably good causes, combined with lack of imagination in executing measures to reach a goal, have become blank checks for officials and busy bodies of the world to figuratively, increasingly literally, enslave the masses. How many have come to feel "empowered" to involve themselves in the education and raising of the children of others, to bitch at a smoker in an open air park, to decide what others should be paid for their work?

Now we have a very sad state of affairs, (much or most of it brought on by governmental policies of the past, the willingness of private concerns to drink from the bottomless well of public funds) which is characterized by public funds being given, sometimes without request, to large corporations. Then professional politicians who vote themselves raises, have cushy retirement, and who've never made any money not generated by taxes, self righteously condemning the bonuses that executives receive.

Whether the bonuses are valid or not, often it is much more irrelevant than the public might think. It is grandstanding and hypocrisy. Worst of all, we have now set a precedent of politicians controlling the operation of private corporations all the way down to wages for executives. No doubt there is abuse and corruption of every kind at play. Many of the more willing recipients of public funds have contributed to the campaigns of those in power.

I personally oppose the entire philosophy and method of this bailout frenzy. One thing I think should disqualify any company is if they contributed to any campaign. How can they afford to lobby if they are broke? What is being rewarded is simply dishonest. If the damned authority of government were kept within proper bounds, lobbying would be minimal at most. Unfortunately the public has enthusiastically given over power, as have the states, to such an extent that few companies of any size do not receive a portion or all their earnings from tax money. The vast majority of these expenditures are not essential and not things most people would support voluntarily.

What we are seeing is the equivalent of Charles Manson self righteously admonishing Jeffrey Dahmer for his crimes. Although Jeff may be despicable, giving Chuck a by is pure insanity.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

So here I am at Crest, CA's community club house, doing a benefit for the community club house. It's a community center but the sign said "Community Club House". People don't realize that CA has a down home, warm, country people side to it. Except they aren't like Jeb Clampit type country. Mostly smart. Even smart people can be warm, gracious, and unassuming.

That's one of the three others in the group, and myself. This group's called Copper Creek. There is also a female singer and another guitar. All three of them sing a lot. I pretend when forced. I do air vocals to make it look like I'm harmonizing. The woman who sings is this guy's wife--the player in the pic. I really like her voice. Just something about the timbre and richness or something. Not a huge range, just a nice sound.

PS: even though I kind of botched every single tune, but I faked it well enough, I'm told I did not misbehave or act like a mad angry man in front of people. Being one with minimal frontal lobe development and activity, I have to be careful about such things.

Zen and the Art of Sanding Teak

One thing about this teak business, it is tedious. I've learned a lot and from researching the topic I have concluded I'm doing it right. It is very easy to lose patience and want to cut every corner in the book. I'm not paid to cut corners and I don't enjoy the result when I know I didn't do it how I think it should be done. Often, I am not concerned that others may not see the necessity for the measures I take. It's often got to do with me and some sort of feeling of self honesty. Bizarre.

Maybe too many chemical fumes.

Once I get in the groove though, I find hours just float by. And I also find ideas of all kinds come to mind. Labor, if it is solitary, and unmarred by an over-the-shoulder tyrant, can take you to that sort of dreamy place where ideas live.

I've thought of various designs and concepts that could be engineered into reality while doing the menial tasks that I do. At times I feel guilty that I may be taking jobs from illegals, and I endeavor to stay under La Raza's radar.

The only thing between me and working on any of those ideas is laziness, and some genuine exhaustion. Knowing they are there, and that I am in the perfect place and situation to explore them gives me some satisfaction.

Back when I worked on items that received patents I always felt that the actual idea, even though I methodically worked to find the solution, was just floating "out there" waiting for someone to tune in the right frequency and pluck it out of the air. Of course, tuning to that frequency is something of an art.

It may be that when you go through every known answer, listing the pros and cons, that the ideal solution comes out as the mind merely makes some logical jump like putting a piece in a puzzle. It doesn't feel that way though. In my case it seems so different, yet it does fit the parameters I put in place. I hope to experience that again sometime and have the same reaction, "holy smoke!! Where did that come from? That's it!".

In the mean time I'll wrap wrists and elbows hoping not to further inflame angry tendons while I make art out of the most insignificant and tedious of jobs. The surroundings are all anyone could want, and I like it. I feel like I shouldn't be so happy with such under achievement, but I am. Partly because things have been evolving and moving forward. It is not a case of stagnation. Besides, I'm plenty grateful someone is willing to pay me enough to work in paradise, at my pace, and without constant oversight.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dinner and a Sawbuck

It was a benefit of some kind for the betterment of a rebuilding Crest. They were burned out by fires awhile back. The community center is new, and a pretty cool building.

The place was pretty well packed. It is not large.

People don't like me saying so but I was not overly pleased with our performance. Fortunately 2 of my bandmates have been doing stuff as a trio with another guy for ten years, so they sounded very good doing sets without me.

Our stuff is just not down pat yet. Myself and another guy are kind of new to this thing. The two who play as a duo and trio with that other guy are getting used to us, and we are getting used to ourselves. At heart, I think I'm a Latin jazz guy or world music type. It's very rare that I've played anything remotely like that, but I think that's kind of where I am, with a heavy dose of blues infused into the mix.

Anyway, it was funny how it worked out. I'm talking about the gig we played tonight in case I've started in the middle of the story here. We all lost our way at different times and simultaneously but managed to wing it enough to muddle through and still have fun.

The harmonies of the trio were really good, so the overall evening was surprisingly entertaining. My friends who showed up enjoyed it, I think. You never know what things will be and hate for friends to come and be disappointed. I had a great time, and some lady who has marathon jams at her house gave me a card. Reportedly a lot of heavy hitters like to play her house concerts.

I'm pretty sure I didn't act too disappointed with my flubs. That is an area where I need improvement. I always expect to be at a particular level and when I miss, it hits me hard. I know better than to mess up but do it anyway. Going from adlib and jam to rather precise set music takes a little work. I can do it and that's good to know.

Overall I'd say my bandmates are every bit as good as I thought. Actually I think they are even better than I thought.

So, in addition to the requisite donation at the door there was a tip jar. It bought all of us a big dinner at an Italian pizza, etc. place, including a healthy tip, and left us each $5.00 to boot. I was not expecting anything. I figured a benefit is a benefit. Made out like a bandit. One of the ladies at the Community center place gave me a care package of cookies, brownies, and cupcakes, all home made and tasty as can be. So, here I am, in Caleeforneeya, playing country/folk in the mountains in a once burned out town. I wouldn't have predicted this.

I find the whole thing amazing.

Friday, March 13, 2009

If You Knew Me, I would Be Less Boring

So often lately I think of funny, uplifting facets of being alive and human; the sort of thing that would enrich lives and generate merriment, if not thought. By the time I get home and on the computer, it has vanished.

The compulsion to write something leads me to attempt to figure out what is on my mind (usually nothing) and type it out. It's usually a stretch, then I think of something Obama related or to do with the Man and all those who don't get it. B O R I N G. True, perhaps, maybe even brilliant and farsighted--but far be it from me to praise myself. Be that as it may, none of what gets put in here is what I wanted to share with the victims who are kind enough to read things here.

Too bad.

So, now I am wondering how this latest job for the notoriously pompous limey oil man and his author of strangely kinky literature concubine will work out. With any luck, the oil man won't live up (or down) to his reputation. Just as long as he doesn't drink my milkshake. Jury's out on whether I'd like the writer to live up to her image. They'll be out of town when I do the work, but I'm sure I will have to see them on their return to force payment from the tight fisted monarchist.

Oh well.

So, tomorrow night is my California public performance debut, minor and informal as it is. It could go either way I guess. I think the group sounds really good when everyone is on. If I screw up, it stands out and messes it up altogether. They don't mess up too much. I'm not working tomorrow so I can practice up a little on my own. Also I can't put off that windshield replacement much longer. The cracks have grown together and it is not a good thing. Maybe I can get it done. If I were the glass guy I'd work weekends and maybe take some weekdays off.

I need to get a power sander or two. Maybe I can just wait on the south side of the mountain and snag illegals. Supposedly they work for nothing. I doubt it. If they are so easy to please, how do you explain the various organizations and demonstrations on behalf of illegals' complaints? No, I'll continue to do the jobs they refuse to do.

Back to the point, though. If you knew me in person, you'd see that there are days when I am not all that boring and dull. Like the day I walked on water.

While I'm At IT, supporting no marriage

Here in Caleeforneeyah, people kind of pride themselves on the notion that it is the land of nuts and fruits. Only a real local can say that about the place, so I don't. I'm just an indefinite tourist living the dream. Or something.

A couple of collegiate types somewhere in the state are trying to get a proposition on the ballot to take the state out of marriage of any kind, man-woman, same sex, human and bear, etc. I think for legal reasons such unions would be called "domestic partnership" or some such.

I have to say, I tend to agree, but probably for different reasons. I do not see it a proper function of government to involve itself in marriage. Really, I don't. I wouldn't want to enter into it, but I would let people marry more than one unit at a time if they are all willing. I can go with an age of consent but that's it. And for various reasons, not personal, I'd put the age maybe lower than some would like.

Such things are the job of the culture the homes, etc., not tax paid goons. The whole marriage blowup(no, not intended) would not exist if it weren't for stupid tax codes and intrusive laws. I'd vote for a measure that removes the government from marriage and lots of other things.

These non-issues which are rooted in choices some would make and some wouldn't but which are not really anyone else's business merely smokescreen things like the wholesale theft of wealth and savings and other measure designed to create control and dependence. I can't believe people love that feeling of vicarious power enough to fall for it. But they do. Even smart people. For the life of me I can't grasp why people are so afraid of freedom.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Copper Creek* Plays Crest

My neighborhood folk/country compadres have us set to play the benefit for the new Crest Community center. For San Diego county, this is what most people consider out in the sticks. They consider me way out in the sticks. I have grown to like it maybe even more than I did when I first landed out here.

We have had very little time to get our set together, but tonight's practice sounded promising. This kind of music can be rather demanding because any mistake is definitely not easy to mask. Still, I find that even on slow melodic rides I play it different every single time. I can't help it, or don't want to. I'm always thinking I can find a better angle, or else some mood strikes. I keep it between the lines and it works out about 50% of the time.

By Saturday night, I'll probably have those tunes down well enough to put something in them. It is not the sort of thing that allows spontaneous combustion, my long time goal when playing on stage. One of these days maybe I will really feel like all of it comes together and I'm up to really breaking free. I've hit moments of it but I know that it never got quite there for long due to any number of things. It's a difficult feeling to explain. An out of body experience would be as close as I can offer. The energy seems to become a separate incarnation and it takes over the playing while I listen, and the intensity keeps rising.

That may sound silly but that is how it is. Good or skilled don't figure in as much as some sort of passion. It's a physical thing and all about the feeling. Chasing that is what has kept me from permanently hanging it up over the years. I tried many times. Finally, I at least quit throwing all the harps and equipment away in a fit of frustration. I've done that a time or two.

This gig takes only a microphone and the harmonicas. I'm playing with the mic on a stand, which I kind of like. That way I can float like a butterfly. Not a lot of bee stinging but maybe a second or two. I get to start one song with my slow to fast clickety clack train. It can hit a fairly rapid pace before I do that whistle thing. I'm more a blues jazz guy but there is more soul in country than you might think, and I am liking this experience. The real highlight is the great sound of the vocals of my bandmates, and their wonderfully kind happy dispositions.

So, if you are there at 7PM, pretend you like what we do and only throw fresh vegetables my way--no rotten tomatoes.

*For this affair we will call ourselves Copper Creek. I don't know why that is. I like the sound of it whether I know what it means or not.

Wonder if it's the Moon

Things seemed surreal in a good way today. I spent a lot of time crafting my teak bid to send via email. I've been warned that this guy is a tough customer, tends to negotiate and is a stickler for perfection. The course I try to take in such matters is to let the heresay keep me aware but to avoid letting myself enter with a predetermined bias.

The guy does business all over the world and much in lands where negotiating is expected on every level. He expressed dismay at my quote but did it politely. I held ground, answered his questions straight out and got the job. It isn't huge but it will pay the rent and replace my windshield, and generally aid in paying my way.

The good thing about these jobs is that the work is always done while the hotshots are away. No one over my shoulder. It is not easy work considering various achy joints and such, but I like a little bit of strenuous labor. This is not nearly as hard as many things I could be doing. Another thing I like is that one of these connections could one day realize I may have an idea or two under my hat that could be worth developing. If or when the time is right maybe such a deal could come about. I certainly don't count on it, but I think the possibility is there.

In any case, I have temporarily fallen into a dropout's dream world. It suits me better than the phone company, and structure-wise, better than the airline. I do like the continual crisis and problem solving of airline work but not the TSA, the management model or the bureaucracy.

The fun thing was being secure in the bid and backing it up without giving in or compromising. When you under bid, even on little trivial work, you deny yourself the room to produce good enough quality. At least if you need the money. Also, most people want to like something for which they paid a fair price. Too cheap and they won't value the work or the worker.

It is an ironic law of nature: the lower the pay, the less respect and rougher treatment the payee receives. You get paid a lot and people do not expect you to put up with much. It's odd how they act as if the lowest paid guy is someone they own, yet the highest paid guy is someone they better treat well. You'd think the guy getting minimal wage would be seen as not being paid enough to include whipping boy duty. Think again.

That law works up and down the scale. Applying it can be tricky, but never expect them to appreciate your kind and good nature, or your desperate need.

It has been awhile since I've conducted any sort of business negotiation. There were times, especially in dealing with companies, that I thoroughly enjoyed the process of winning a non corrupt bid. On a good day I had to apply strategy and figure how to get the edge over competition by thinking of some clever design for a solution that would set me apart. I was never one too interested in wining and dining. There were times I actually advised a client what kind of perks and party to expect from competition, and how to get it. But I got the job. It was mean to aid them in taking the other guy for a ride.

The trouble with government business is that they have less motive to get the best because they aren't really a business as much as a crime syndicate. In that case the guy who sells parties and perks can do well without being the best.

OK. That was a pretty good stretch from teak work and energetic high schooler could handle to convincing some corporation to spend tins of money, to why government involved in things more than bare minimum sucks.

For Fijufic

Since Bobby expressed surprise. That's me on harp at the King Biscuit Festival a few years ago, I like another song or two we did better but those vids seemed to focus on the port-o-lets and such a little more. We put the camera lady to sleep.

Walking on Water

So, I was over at another mega residence, just a block or two away from the usual place. That would be the the place where I am involved in the big teak project. Since word got out, I was asked to give a quote on the stuff in dire need at this place. All these places seem to have a big swimming pool in the middle of things outside, or inside; kind of a courtyard design that is prevalent.

OK. They went inside to get some contact info written down. I was gazing off into the distance in case I could see the other place where I work. Just gazing and daydreaming and moving backwards without thinking, to get a better view, I assume. Next thing I know I find the earth felt like loose jelly, sort of sloshy.

Thanks to the powers that be, these people have a very heavy cover on that pool. I was full on it-both feet. Before I could think, I jumped out onto the hard surface portion of the courtyard. As near as I can tell no one witnessed this event. If they did, I doubt they'll want me doing work there while they are away. Or there, unless they have a great sense of humor. So far, if any humor does exist there, it is well hidden.

That brings me to another thought; is it possible that those with seemingly unlimited power, or seemingly unlimited wealth, have little or no need of humor? My experience has been that people who have enough to meet their needs and help friends and family are in pretty good cheer. Those who are beyond the average millionaire seem to lose it. People of power, as in political power, often have no humor or refuse to show it to the "little people" they claim to love. Just ask people who have been subjected to the Kennedys.

I don't see a lot of wit and humor in Obama or his crew. Maybe some lesser congress members like to laugh. That's no good. I was really hoping they'd all have a big haha press conference saying, "Hahaha, jokes on you. We were only kidding. Like we really would think you are such big suckers. hahahaha".

Say what they want, I walked on water. Got to figure, if they actually hire me for the project, in this economy, it's about the same thing; a miracle if news reports are right.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tongue in Teak

Slightly rusty arm leg neck etc joints squeak loudly when you do things like hand sanding and almost all else involved with doing the right things to treat outdoor teak furniture the way it should have been treated originally. There seems to be an overabundance of outdoor teak in Rancho Rico which has been sprayed with varnish by manufacturer. Sunshines and the elements make short work of it in a matter of a few months.

This may seem a trivial matter, and why am I boring us with the details? Well, little things like that create jobs. Just an aside; I never liked the term "create jobs". Either there are things worth doing and that need doing or not. The idea that jobs are created, like newspaper hats, just so people can have an excuse to get paid makes no sense to me. That's thinking caused by errant philosophy. It's the stuff of collectivist dreams. The forever little people pulling together in a spirit of unity waiting for Big Brother to create activities that they can do for pay. Then they'll collectively bargain via Big Brother's evil twin, The Union, and all will be well, and everyone gets someone to resent as well. In this case the "creator" of the job.

Buy it or not, I believe that system is the root of many problems, and the reasoning behind it leads to thousands of issues which get the title of "crisis" as time goes on. Lots of people fall for that idea of job creation through legislation. It's every bit the Ponzi scheme that Madoff engineered. Government creates nothing other than chaos and difficulty.

However, all that aside, in Rancho Rico there is opportunity for a good teak man. One of those things that just happens. It is tedious work, and mildly physical. Of course the surroundings are as pleasant and attractive as any high level resort peopled by the well to do. It's the main brush I've had with the steadfastly pompous. The workers are friendly and interesting. Those who truly belong are mostly kind of funny as they literally do hold their heads so high it must be an effort to force their eyes forward instead of staring at the sky. They are the ones paying very well for everything in their world, and that works out great for those who happen to be in the right place at the right time. They needn't be pals with me. Of course I know they'd like to be.

Anyway, I've been contacted regarding more bleak teak at another residence in the hood. It is nice to be recommended to strangers. How strange remains to be seen, but I have reason to believe very strange. Hopefully, we can come to an arrangement. Hour for hour it certainly pays better than the airline, and almost as well as some of my better band gigs. Those required a lot of time other than the actual gig so I guess this is consistently better.

Speaking of gigs, I'm doing a folksish gig in Crest on Saturday. It's ok if you show up. They are doing a benefit for the community center they are rebuilding. The place burned up awhile back. Wildfire I guess. This is a challenge because it is a far cry from electric jamorama stuff which I've done in the past. I'm playing with very nice talented people who really like folk/country tunes. They do them well enough to make me like them too. It is hard to do it justice but I hope to leave them glad that they included me. It should be fun. When people have a great attitude it makes the smallest performance worthwhile. This is supposed to be very informal. I think I'm rather fortunate to be in on the act.

Eventually I hope to find a situation in which I can completely cut loose on stage before I give up public playing for good. I always think I will hang it up for the duration. Long stretches of time go by without playing anywhere so no one would know the difference anyway.

There are other musical people I've met recently, so maybe that will lead to something.

Did I mention that I see hot air balloons flying over Rancho Rico just about every afternoon I'm there? Not sure where they start and finish. One was floating west today. It had to have landed near the beach. Much farther and he'd be in the ocean. The lack of directional control has to present challenges. Someone is making balloon money. You have to keep your eyes open for things like that these days. I figure anything that honestly pays the rent is worth considering.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Stem Cell Shell Game

What people seem to miss in many "controversies" involving science and research is the question regarding the limits of what government ought to do. We are hugely in debt. We have chosen to address this issue by allowing government to take on yet more debt; to spend far faster than it can steal (tax).

In the process, they have taken over much control of various industries and corporations. We now have politicians, many of whom ride around in private jets at taxpayer expense, self righteously chastising CEOs for their own luxury and perks of the job. The difference is that those executives are supposed to be working for private companies, so it normally would be no politician's professional place to meddle. That is not longer the way it is, obviously. It reminds me of animal farm; some animals are more equal than others. Pelosi would be up there, considering her unprecedented requirement for publicly funded private jet while pretending private fatcats are more evil than she and her cronies.

Now the big deal about Obama freeing up federal money for stem cell research. All this time the argument has been one of whether Jesus would approve, or some such irrelevant foolishness. If people want it then fund it through contributions and private enterprise. Among other things, government should get out of the business of not military science altogether, and reduce taxes in the process. To say no one else could do it is pure nonsense. Perhaps no one else could obtain the funds at gunpoint and get away with it.

What if government were funding those damned sweaters women tie around their waists when they run? I would abject on grounds of aesthetics and crimes against art. Others would no doubt suggest there was good reason for the ugly practice. The real issue would be why is government involved? Same in this case and a thousand others. Why are they involved?
For the record, I am sorry if this offends, but there is absolutely no good gained by tying the sweater around your butt. If you think your butt looks bad, let me tell you, that stupid sweater ass get up looks worse. This has been a public service tip for the aesthetically challenged or confused.

I don't expect very many people to get it, but you can not have maximum, sustainable, peaceful freedom under a governing structure that is ever growing, operates on presumed guilt and assumes the role of dictating research, science, use of resources, and the individual's use of his own income. It won't work for long. One day soon the forgotten idea that freedom of the individual is not only the right goal, but the most highly spiritual and respectful of life and the universe will catch on and be appreciated. At least maybe more than one out of ten will half way get the idea. If Bush laid the path for Obama, maybe by the same process Obama will lay the groundwork for the awakening of the acquiescent public who mostly wants to be left alone to live in peace. When they see these things come back to bite them then they'll get it. Foresight is in short supply but not reaction to personal pain and loss.

Nature vs Reality

You'd think nature and reality would be one and the same, but in matters of money and men, this is not so. It is the nature of people, or so I think, to live life, enjoy what they can, find satisfaction in accomplishment, even if it is only hitting the trash basket across the room with a balled up piece of paper, and have sex without drama. Actually that last is more wishful thinking--on more than one level. Still, the sort of stuff I keep hearing defies nature--again, on more than one level.

Screw the economy. Economy, schenomony, I say. If I wasn't constantly barraged with media reports and public service messages and hipster advertisements, I'd never know if the economy was considered good or bad. I only know my wealth, such as it is, has dwindled considerably, last I checked. I'm assuming I net out to zero, so I just pay as I go, and as I earn.

Best thing I ever did was edge my way out of debt, and avoid new payments of any kind once I got stuff paid off. About that time, a few dollars fell my way which made it a little better. Still, I'd decided a long time ago to avoid dependence on imaginary income whenever possible. That's the income I thought I might make if I did better than I was doing, back in earlier days when I fooled myself into payments I hated.

All that is off the point. I should delete it, but I won't. What is working to ill effect is all the doom and gloom press. There are people losing jobs and more. There always are, if truth be told. In these times of the Washington coup, and purposeful trashing of real freedom ideals it is a little tougher to remember to just live and let live.

I only need one job, one abode, one item of transport, etc. When people say there are no jobs, no this, no that, they exaggerate to a degree. Someone is doing something, or willing to pay for something. Finding that one thing to make the dollar may be tough, but it can happen. I guess it helps if you're willing to live in a tent in the mean time.

What I'm trying to say, and trying to remind myself, is to live and find simple enjoyment regardless of the totalitarian bastards sodomizing the country. If I didn't know better, I'd say the assault has been orchestrated in such a way as to cultivate a climate of fear, uncertainty, and general lack of humor and joy. I'd hate to cooperate with such an agenda.

Now is the time, if you have a spouse, to make the most of that situation. Generating enjoyment in one's own little world is a productive form of rebellion in this era. If I were of reasonable age and married, I'd be looking to crank out babies. Hell, the species must go on, and nothing is more worthwhile than producing decent humans. Obviously people all over the world are turning out tons of what might be considered in polite circles to be subhuman progeny, but what can you do? Why not buck the trend and produce some worthwhile material for survival of our species?

So, back to the point, which I've avoided all this time. Nature is that people live free, without requiring permission to do so. That means they don't need permission to keep the fruits of their labors, nor do they need instruction about how to utilize same. Reality is that people have twisted themselves into a structure that attempts to punish those who dare to believe they have the right to such freedom. The natural motivators of personal gain, security, attracting a mate, are now supposed to be replaced with allegiance to some distant charlatan's idea of the "better good". It won't work.

And the best way to avoid being made crazy, which analyzing and understanding this game can do, is to ignore it all, and find ways to have a good time. The big picture starts with the little picture anyway.

I have to admit, I am a little stoked at the outside chance there really will be a rebellion to this effort to place the world under totalitarian annoyance and control. When the koolaid wears off and the techies and such figure out the philosophical angle, the game will be up. E-revolt is most likely the most effective approach. It would be the core of how the country could be brought back to a free condition. I don't expect those outside the place to fully grasp this because the idea never really seeded heavily elsewhere. People confuse democracy for freedom, and the two are not the same thing.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Riding on Fumes

The liquid paint stripper from my second favorite hardware store packs quite a wallop. It helps get that crazy varnish off epic teak, too. As in epic teak project in the land of plenty.

It seems that whenever I've had projects involving lacquer thinner, or things that smell a lot like it, I find the work most enjoyable. Almost addictive, you might say. The day goes by quickly enough. Time flies when you're having fun. Or maybe time's fun when you're flying. Whatever.

I don't really get high while working, but I do like the smell of those chemicals. I step aside for big breaths of fume free air every once in awhile.

What really happens when I do relatively mindless labor, even if it is very craftsmanlike, is that I think of things I want to write. The whole thing rolls around in my mind, then falls out by the time I get home and settled in. You have no idea of the great gems you are missing. Come to think of it, I have no idea, either. Easy come, easy go. But sometimes it begins to worry me, the things I can't pull out of memory. People often have those issues, usually saying some annoying comment about getting older. You've been getting older since your first day on the planet. Lots of self fulfilling prophesies wandering the earth and the halls of various kinds of homes.

The fumes tend to help. I think of things long forgotten or never known.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sir What?

It must be a bad joke, I thought when I heard that Gordon Brown somehow bestowed an honorary knighthood on Ted Kennedy. I guess the queen has to issue the decree and he was just the messenger or chief court jester. I'm not schooled in the finer points of monarchy protocol. That's because I live in a country which made as one of it's cornerstones in principle a prohibition against granting titles of nobility or establishing any such automatic class distinctions.

To me, the fact that the Nancy boy from England came here knighting drunken abusers of public money and power shows how confident other countries have become in our demise. What a slap in the face. Suggesting that we need to now subjugate ourselves to some global regulation of the entire banking world, meaning his sapped out kingdom wants to slop around in the bottom of the barrel with us, further destroy the fruits of freedom and the idea of liberty. It's been an international hoax for years. Su casa, mi casa. That appears to be the theme. Let's run one another's banks. We've got a hell of a track record keeping our respective countries in great shape so why not run the world?

We've had the new world order czars pushing their program for quite some time. It all demands a reduction of rights, and collective "action". Same old story. Bush one was the first to announce the dream frankly, and every president since has pushed his version and laid a little more groundwork for the demise of a once rather free country. At least one that had the right principles laid down in print, even if it didn't follow the ideals perfectly. Now those principles aren't even revered.

All aren't equal with the same rights. Speech is free depending on what you say and who you are. Presumed guilt is the cornerstone of our law enforcement and alleged security measures.

Sir Teddy? A real freedom advocate would have said "thanks, but no thanks". Of course if Teddy had any integrity, Mary Jo would have lived a longer life. A normal person would have done a bit of time over that one.

Of all the people to single out for some bizarre honor bestowed by inbred royalty, Kennedy is that last one I would have guessed. Stevie Wonder, Thomas Sowell, Ron Paul, I don't know, someone who actually represents excellence or character or something.

It is clear that the UK has got political idiocy that at least rivals our own. It's as if they are reaching out begging us to join them in their misery. Well, they were once the world's big power, and so were we. Like a couple of old has been fighters reminiscing their youth, trying to convince one another they still got it. I'd send that bugger boy back home and make him take Ted with him if I had my way.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thoughts From Close Enough to Paradise

Today was one of those beautiful days. Besides the weather and geography, it was filled with enjoyment. Honest enjoyment is a thing of beauty in my book.

Often, when I forget the troubles I can dream up, or the impending doom I can foresee, I almost fall into that trap of wanting to keep my good fortune or optimistic outlook a secret so no one will hate me for it. That and the jinx factor.

Have you ever felt like maybe you should experience more disaster and pain than you already endure just to prove to less cheerful friends that you, too, are a victim of a cruel world? Seriously, there is probably a name for that disorder. I've felt that way many times, even though I have had hard times and dark times which I'd not wish on anyone. Some of those included the external trappings but all were primarily functions of something internal.

Today was good. I spent a little time last night and today with exceptional friends. Remarkable. Everything may not be as I'd wish, but I do think I'm more fortunate than not. Considering how things could have turned out, given certain paths of my distant and not so distant past, I'd say I lucked out. Probably a chemical thing but when I drive by the ocean or walk the pier on a day like this, I have to laugh that I'm here. I don't know how it ever happened. It's as if I've known the place and the people forever. And been fond of both.

I heard mention on the radio, probably one of California's extremely misguided public service ads, something about giving back and making a difference. The inference was that living a normal life makes no difference. You have to go find a public way to be seen doing something for free, presumably for strangers. I don't get it.

Why is it better to offer free whatever to people I don't know than to do something for people I know? If someone I know can use whatever it is I offer, I know that I am contributing to someone good. I don't care what others do, but I don't think there are really such separations in life.

One's spiritual life is not separate from regular life and if you are a positive force of some kind, whether by doing great work, including paid work, or by lifting spirits of those with whom you cross paths, it is all good. What is it that people have stolen which requires giving back? Giving back what and to whom?

I'd be lying if I said anything I do for the community at large, on a non paid, volunteer basis, constitutes giving back. Any paid work I do is imbued with special mojo not to be had elsewhere, and I don't ignore trash at my feet if it needs picking up. I don't abuse the world around me nor do I take what is not mine. Nothing to give back.

Now, in the case of friends, I definitely hope to give back as much enrichment as they provide for my life. Even so, I do not demand or take in a way that would indicate I better give something back and make a show of it. Who wants that kind of needy demanding relationship?

No, they can take their "give back" lectures to the halls of the state and national legislatures. Those people definitely have reason to feel guilty enough to think about giving back. To do it right would take them a very long time.

The "make a difference" part is silly to address. Especially because some of the ads tell you that you can influence the climate. Get over it. The best thing a person can do to really make a difference is to create something useful and better; like the electric lightbulb, or air conditioning. Or maybe a very cheap way to power a home without ugly by-products. That would make a difference. All things which promote the quality of life and independence of the individual make a positive difference.

Perhaps it is telling that I almost never say "we", as in we need to get better energy sources, or we need to sacrifice or we need to all get together. That's because I like people. You may not see it but the "we" talk is generally done by those who want to change and control you; the haters.

ps: I heart tennis. Really, I could become addicted to just hitting against the ball machine. It's icy like Borg. That can psych you out if you aren't careful. It shows no emotion and never gets tired.

Hummer Heroes

Despite the bad press, and the disdainful looks from the dutifully outraged, those who drive gigantic Hummers for real or compensatory reasons, are progressive technology heroes. That's how things work.

First off, if it is true that they use a lot of fuel, they are paying lots of extra tax per mile because each gallon of gasoline includes tax. And those things are made to go off road, so the real deal won't even be using highway infrastructure.

The way things really change, like the switch from whale oil to petroleum products, is for one source to become less abundant as another becomes more easily obtainable. Such things often involve discovery, development, vision, profit, and improved ways of doing things. They almost never involve technology dictated by thugs in lawyer and politician suits. Good things come because nature demands and offers them. Synthetic markets only retard the process. Like the solar goods available in CA.

They even advertise that they are as cheap as regular energy, once you account for state, federal, local, and power company rebates and incentives. That's like saying a horse and buggy is as fast as a Bugatti, provided you truck it to the finish line prior to the start of the race. Such a market increases the motivation to produce a bunch of what exists, but no incentive to make a product which is really does the job better than the existing technology.

Better things can and should be built. Especially designs which free people from centralized control of power, fuel for transportation, water, and all else. Those who benefit from power and control over those necessities resist and fight any change which places the individual in control over his own utilities and mobility.

Incentive and need to create really effective alternatives, which can stand on their own merit, are not there if tax dollars are used to cover the shortcomings in design and function. If fuel is used up, and costs increased due to scarcity resulting from Hummer use, I guarantee those who love to play will find ways to make it happen by other means. Maybe using fat from liposuction clinics. That's how things have always worked.

People find ways to tame or make use of nature in a manner which fits a set of parameters. It's called engineering. So, you ask how can I make this monster all terrain vehicle go a long way at 100 mph without making lots of smoke and trouble. Then creative smart people set out to make it happen.

Of course, it does skew the game when that which is not very harmful, if at all, is treated as if it is. Politicians, newspeople, and science often mix to give a picture as clear as viewing a horse race through a kaleidoscope. Based on truth, but nothing close to the real picture.

Instead of the crazy attitude that Hummers are somehow hurting the world, reality and truth should be embraced. They give something to shoot for. How can I equal what a Hummer can do, not sacrificing space, speed, or utility, but using another power or fuel source? That's how humans think in a FREE world; not in terms of "How can I lower my standard of living and that of my comrades, while patting myself on the back for doing good?".

Contrary to everything the class war beneficiaries and killjoy thugs may tell us, I am all for corporations throwing big lavish parties, buying and using private jets. refurbishing their offices, generally spending money that pays people to do and make things. But then, I am not for government investing a dime in any private company, telling them who to do business with, or interfering in any way other than to prevent them from using force or fraud.

I would forbid the sale of arms outside the US, regardless of the customer. But I'd also forbid the government from engaging in foreign aid of any kind. Let the citizens do what they want independently as far as charitable acts go.

Controlled and artificially manipulated markets are the plaything of the arrogant egomaniacs who assume they know better than the people what is good for them. The truth is, there are no limits to the possibilities in the realm of energy and all else that makes life a bowl of cherries. Don't be fooled by people who claim to know all the options, therefore they use your money to fund what they say are the best of the allegedly limited choices.

I hope the enthusiasm for the unknown, and the belief in what is possible comes through as much as my dislike of the people who try to manage the lives of others. Safe to say I find the trend toward a Brave New World over the last thirty or one hundred years, completely unacceptable, and I would embrace any revolution to restrict this government to its originally stated functions.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sound of Music

So we've been working up a few folk tunes. New territory for me. It's Ok though. I figure I better do what I can while I can. There may be a day when it is considered an affront to the people's sensibilities to play blues harp. The stunning thing to me is that so few people actually get what's going on and how it happened.

As our version of the Von Trapps dance across the Rockies on their way to Alaska, looking for freedom, maybe hoping some state will finally decide to quit the game and secede, they'll be monitored the entire time. Probably the daughter's cell phone, or maybe the son's will be the beacon that brings in the national guard.

It really is not a great leap from the over use of traffic cameras to punish and take money, to constant tracking to tax your milage or just be sure you aren't Osama.

The trouble is that the price of constant surveillance is that we give up the ability to effectively dissent or rebel against tyrannical authority. Even as things are now, I do not trust the safety of sending letters or emails to representatives. With my views, no telling what database would store my type. It takes little effort, if any for you to be classed in a particular way from a letter or petition. Computers can do it through sophisticated software without anyone reading the letter. (like anyone reads them now)

It is not the question of whether you ought to run red lights, but whether you have the right to insist the public administrators stick to the program of letting people be free. Obviously no one has ever heard of Hitler or Castro and seen how their games were played. Europe has a history of learning absolutely nothing from history. It is that oblivious arrogance that allowed us to win a revolution we had no reasonable chance of winning. Apparently we didn't learn either.

The real reason for the IRS system, I am convinced, is that it can be used by those in power to harass or even ruin those who oppose. Look how both parties have managed to divert attention away from substance as they sick the dogs on one another. That's why neither party pushes to abolish it and go to a different less costly system.

You just wait. It won't be long before you look around a say, "he was right, they really are seeking to control us to the point of abstract slavery". I cannot believe most people still think there is any sense to this stuff.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I'm Gil Favor, and this is my ram rod...

For those who never heard of it, there used to be a TV western called Rawhide. It was where Clint Eastwood got his start. He was Rowdy Yates. Gil was the trail boss.

Rowdy was always introduced by Gil Favor as his ram rod. Imagine how that would go over in today's market. In case you still think it has something to do with gay pride, what Gil meant was that Rowdy was like the foreman of the cattle drive, the git 'er done guy.

That just came to mind so I thought I'd mention it. It does seem peculiar to be introducing your employee as your ram rod. Rowdy was to Gil Favor as Rahm is to Barack. Personally I wish he'd chosen Clint Eastwood.

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


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