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.

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


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