Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Old School Obligation Mentality

Due to the weekend stomach bust, I was thrown off schedule in completing a project which I promised to have done prior to Mr. Big's arrival.

To complicate matters, when I arrived on Monday, the window washer had already got most of the wood, that needs 3 days drying time after the prep process, wet. Fortunately it was not soaked, but I did not feel good going further until it had another 24 hours.

Fortunately, there was one segment of the teak population which escaped unmolested by aquatic ne'er-do-wells. He didn't know. Thinking the landscapers wouldn't be there, I took my note down on Friday. I was unaware of the dangers.

Even though things dry quickly in the fun California sun, you need to be sure all that under the surface moisture has taken a hike.

So, I managed to complete the spared segment, and do more sanding on the stuff done Thursday. I did not feel like it. But I said I'd have it completed. And to do right it needs a few days to cure before Mr Big sets a cushion and his gazillion dollar butt on any of this stuff. It is just the right way, in my book.

That left today, and I also had a mountain obligation. For a slow poke, you'd be surprised how much high quality semi-mindless work I can turn out in a block of time. I'm surprised. Especially because I felt no corners were cut, and I went back over what needed it. It was like an assembly line. Two sanders, this that the other.

I worry that I escaped the old school indoctrination with only my loathing to show for it. Perhaps that is not entirely true.

That dumbass Letterman is on TV, making a Roger Clemens joke.

This brings to my mind a couple of questions regarding this unbelievably irrelevant issue:
1--what business was it of Congress if a baseball player takes steroids, hemorrhoids, opium or magic mushrooms?
2--Why is it a crime to lie to Congress (while they ask stuff that is not any of their business) yet it seems to be no crime for them to lie as a group, individually, to one another, or to the public?

They should not spend another dime of public money on the Clemens thing. That prosecutor must be one sorry ass piece of work. Can you imagine being willing to send someone to prison over something that is none of your business, unimportant, and irrelevant? That person should be deported to Cuba, via innertube dropped in Florida Bay.

We pay those soulless pricks. They make a hell of a lot more than I do, and I don't harass people who don't matter, or need it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

How Hermits Suffer

No way this is going to be another episode of What Hermits Eat. Just an aside, I'm not nearly as hermited as once I was, but relative to most lives I still live one of quiet solitude, not unlike a monk high atop a mountain. Think of me as a Shaolin master. I don't even think I spelled the word right.

Anyway, somewhere along the adventures of the weekend which included a large gathering at some commercial venue which had delicious choices of fish, chicken, or beast of unknown origin, I may have eaten a wrong thing. Needless to say, all the choices which thrilled others were like offering me varieties of stone to eat. Seafood, fowl, or mammal do nothing for me. I just don't eat the stuff. Never have.

The desert pastries were great and I may have gone overboard. I think they spiked the mashed potatoes with dead critters which may have accounted for the reaction later that night.

I arrived home feeling fine, and soon not so fine. It was like my stomach had been lit on fire from within. For hours and hours it was pure weirdness. It was puffed out swollen and felt like any second would lead to barfdom. Maybe I should have forced it. Whatever the case, it left me totally wiped out, spaced out and depressed for a full day. I even missed doing work I'd planned. That means I have to really push to catch up tomorrow. The nature of some tasks is such that you can only go so fast. Oh well.

It took an hour after I felt safe and not dizzy before I could move without odd pain. Not kidneys I hope. That killed some of my family. Mostly the solitary ones, but not exclusively.

It was weird. Stomach puffed out like a basketball. My only thought was that I can't afford to jump a size in pants so I can't be having this belly bust thing go on. Luckily with relief came belly deflation. It isn't like you think. There was no big exit from any of those available which eased the situation. The fire just gradually burned out.

Should my story become one that is used to promote the convoluted health care law? "See, this poor man didn't have insurance. If he had, he could have gone to Dr Quack who would have put him on medicinal marijuana and valium."

Of course, we know that would not have happened. They would have ordered several tests, most of which would have been completely irrelevant to the situation. Then I'd go home, come back and be cautioned about cholesterol--not that it is real bad, but it could get there. They'd suggest I try Pepto Bismol, refuse to give me any recreational drugs or let me have sex with the nurse, charge tons of money and I'd feel worse for going to the doctor in the first place.

That is how hermits suffer; crying out in pain in the dead of night for no one to hear. So sad. But please, do not support any government program conceived by those who feel superior and in much better circumstances, who think they may know what is best to relieve my pain. That would truly be a disease I couldn't face.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Good Bad Stupid and Brilliant

I caught part of a radio conversation on the way home this evening. I've been working Over There again but not always spending the night. Anyway, there was some discussion about whether people are innately good or not.

The lady said, "the heart of man is dark". For those of you who have become too caught up in the world of categories, she meant people in general, not just men, or a man. So, she doesn't think people are, by nature, good. She said that keeps her humble. ???

I think CF once accused me of believing people are generally good. Probably due to one of my rants about how we'd be better off with no laws than too many. I haven't changed. There is a need for a few, but most preemptive strikes on the part of The Man are nothing short of immoral and oppressive.

So, this brought a few things to mind. One is that the woman's view is in keeping with many religions; you are born a miserable sinner, unworthy, etc. The other is that I don't think people are evil by nature. I think instincts get skewed and perception of how best to survive gets distorted. Mostly I think people are tricky and confused, but not basically bad.

I think the obviously bad, harmful, no good people should be erased. Why keep a serial rapist or multi offense child molester alive? Not on my dime, thank you.

That raises another issue; benevolence and charity with other people's money. It is all the rage. I think You can afford to help group X with your money. So be it decreed. Always these things are cloaked in Good. That covers up the immoral aspect. You are the rightful owner of your own life, and the fruits of your labors. The two actually follow. For me to dictate how the rewards for how your hours are used is spent, is akin to taking ownership of part of your life. Same mentality as that which would permit slavery. Involuntary servitude.

Check with Walter Williams for an in depth explanation. He makes a good clear case.

Anyway, I think good or bad is a choice in most humans. I'd define bad as causing harm to others or limiting their opportunity to make their own choices. People who would steal life, property, ideas, who would manipulate through lies and deception, half truths, etc. are evil-doers; bad people. All of it is a theft.

I think most people have good in them, but they also have that herd instinct. It is part of the survival mechanism. That makes them easily led astray and allows group insanity to snowball.

Many of us have a knee jerk reaction of patriotism and support for the military no matter how it is used. Gonna bring democracy to Islamic countries. I don't think it will happen or is wanted in the way we view such things. Cloak it in good. Or what has become accepted, due to repetition and herd instinct, as good. Anyone who knows a little knows that pure democracy is tyranny. No matter, we accept it as a good thought. Have to respect the military people because you have to follow orders in that game, or your army would suck and be useless. I do not have to like how they are used, when or where they are used. And I don't. Not since WW2 can I say I have been 100% behind much that has been done. I think we should have taken Cuba, but don't feel like arguing it.

Many of us think socialism is wonderful. Mostly people who think they will do the allocating and planning, and those who are hurting and figure they stand to gain. Some of that first bunch are filthy rich and have no intention of actually living like their subjects. And that is how we are viewed. Unless we speak up against them. Then we are "angry", ignorant, racist, and any other derogatory term in the book.

I've heard more in the last five years or so from people who seem to hate their own species than I have heard in my entire life. Got no idea how to address that. Maybe if you think humans have no right to live, you should do you part and jump off a high cliff, or drink a bottle of draino.

If people weren't good they never would have invented the air plane, air conditioning, The Pill, or the tube amp. There are some bright people who've walked the earth. They generally had to put up with a boat load of people who were trying to go with the crowd by being obstacles to brilliance, but that is how it goes.

There was a point to this but I think I'll leave it with the observation that every racist, sexist, non-idea based group lobby actually perpetuates and creates their own stereotype while playing victim to being stereotyped. And it is all predicated on a tacit approval of theft of property, and, to a degree, of slavery.

Are people by nature courageous? That one is rather iffy. I think maybe some are and some aren't, and others possibly can attain a degree of courage if they choose. Most aren't unless they have peer group support, which is really not the same thing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another Edition of What Hermits Eat

Let me start with a side note: I wish I ate everything, like pig entrails and such. I would show pictures and describe just to offend hold overs from the Dark Ages who insist that religious insanity become a pain in the ass to everyone else in the world. I'm so sick of it .
On all sides, to some degree, but why pretend? I am way more sick of it on one side than others. The main redeeming quality of any religion is if they give you ganja and/or have fertility rites of the fun variety. Beyond that, I've had it.

So, I come into possession of the secret seasoning, made by the One Wolf in the Great Lakes area. The wolf is a howler, so beware. But that sucker makes some kind of general rub for all food, even non carnivore food. It was suggested it might work for eggs.

Alright!, I said, I forgot breakfast so I'll have it for dinner--now that I am back home and it is 99 degrees on South Grade road. Heat from the hot plate be damned!

I learned how to make omelets from an article in the paper maybe 30 years ago. I was married. Poor her. What a shame. Sorry, I am going through another period of remorse about that, all over again. Makes me mad and sad and confused.

Anyway, Paul Newman wrote out how to make an omelet, and he was right. It is easy and no one anywhere makes better.

I chopped up green and red bell peppers, spinach, and sliced sharp cheddar. I chopped all but the cheesef real fine. Recently I caught part of Julie/Julia and was doing my Julia Childs chef school chop. Sounds gay. You fix my dinner and fix it as well, then you can have an opinion. Julia was macho, and so am I. I showed that spinach and those peppers who's boss. Little grains of sand sized stuff, almost.

[haven't got the phone photo thing down yet. Not clear on this phone how to zoom in and out. Makes for blurry work]

I put the Wolf seasoning in the egg along with the finely chopped stuff, then the cheese on top when it started cooking. I put it in the hash browns, and a little more on top of the omelet.

Oh, and I had a couple of those picture of bacon soy substitutes. To me they taste great. I fold the omelet in three so the stuff won't fall out and it fits on the plate. Also, Paul was a three-fold omelet proponent. I sometimes just do the in half routine, especially if it is only a two or one egg deal. The one pictured is three large eggs, from hens with beaks. Happy chickens, happy eggs. It's in the Bible, or should be.

The Howling Wolf, lone or one wolf, makes some great seasoning. It is secret and only those who can commune with the wildest of wild life are able to cop this substance. That would be me. Never mind that others may have been involved. I say it is not coincidence. It is the call of the wild. Exactly what that means I have no idea. I think that happens just so wild knows you still have a pulse, and haven't gone over to the Dark side--government work, willing immersion into urban civilization, or the like.

I, for one, feel much jollier when I don't wait all day or even 6 or seven hours before eating. Needless to say I am rarely very jolly.

I'll need to keep track of the Wolf because I think I'll be wanting to score a lot more of this stuff. It is good and I like it, therefore it is either illegal or will be. I hope it makes children fat. Yes, I say this right into the face of you know who--royalty sans garments, so to speak.
PS: Omelet cooked in a healthy dose of butter. The real deal.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mosque Schmosque

It is interesting and somewhat nauseating to see this mosque in NY drama unfold. I see very little of use in 99% of the discussions on the subject I've had the displeasure of hearing or reading.

First and foremost it is the business of that community. Use whatever rationale you want, it is not a federal issue. People wanted Obama to weigh in on the alleged issue, and now there are even cries for George Bush to get involved. This is nothing but part of the smoke screen for things that have become federal matters, whether the feds have any right in those matters or not.

I'll bet more definite info is known on the mosque fiasco than on the health bill. I took the trouble to find out more than most people, and I still can't grasp the full scope of that bill. It certainly doesn't do what was claimed. Ever notice how they sell legislation beginning their spiel with the words, "what this bill will do..", rather than "what this bill specifically states is:..."?

Major news has forever reported everything with the conclusion that "much needed legislation" or "more regulation" must be enacted. People bought it and now wonder why things are so out of joint that you can't actually make a statement of naked truth or honest opinion without winding up in hot water. Bizarre times, and some are more equal than others even though we are all equal.

It is a matter for New Yorkers to deal with. If zoning variances are involved then they ought to to deal with it. This is where the zoning game comes back to bite. Forever they manage to change zoning for preferred customers at the expense of those who buy into an area with certain understandings in place. People have allowed it, and continued to elect the slimy grub worms who work the system. Now it may be happening in a way they don't like. Work it out NY. It is beyond my jurisdiction.

Would I want it next to my business? Unless I was selling something they would buy like crazy, No, I would not. If they did that loud speaker call to prayer action, and the city did not have the sense to see that as overstepping, I'd arrange to get the speakers disabled mysteriously.

Another case of pretense, all around. No question that this is not a center to celebrate the freedoms we once revered, or a gesture of peace and understanding. It is a way to screw with the culture, and it has worked. They may have never really intended to build anything. We shall see. It should have been but a blip on the radar and no more than that.

Once again, an issue that is not the proper purview of the national government becomes a big damned deal on both sides. I don't respect that. Whether you like the idea or not, it is irrelevant unless you live there, and even then, you have to have some legitimate stance before it holds water. Personal preference and even the knowledge that the guy behind it has an ugly agenda won't carry a case. I think scrutiny regarding the zoning would be the first place to look. Trying to force the issue based on emotion and gut feeling is a tactic that can come back to haunt you. Don't do it.

I'd park my stand out front that sells bacon burgers, and offers strippers for your bar mitzvah if I was really displeased.

Or ignore it as long as no lines were crossed. Religions of peace are tough to find. I certainly don't think these boys represent one of those. But to each his own, just don't be making your crazy ass rules the law of the land or looking for special treatment. that goes for any religion.

At the Track

Del Mar is a fairly spiffy horse racing venue. It is a good place to be when you want to turn the phone off and leave it in the glove box, which I did.

Betting is stupid if you don't have money to burn. That did not stop me, even though I don't know how a lot of the tri, bi or homo fectas work. I placed simpler wagers, and most likely cheaper. Won one and should have stopped; $16 ahead. In the end I probably lost about that much, but who keeps track? I approximate in these situations. No need to be too specific with debits and credits when you know the odds are against you.

Any time the venue you are in can afford better landscaping and upkeep than you can at home, there is a reason for it. The reason is that the house is set up scientifically to win most of the time. Why else would they bother to be there? Why would anyone be a bookie if the odds were unfavorable? In this case, Del Mar is the bookie.

I enjoy the races as much without betting but I can see how you could get the bug; you like horse #9, M'Lady's Toosh, you don't bet, M'Lady's Toosh leaves the field agasp, winning solidly. If only I'd wagered the farm on that filly. Don't be fooled. M'Lady's Toosh will lead you to ruin.

Jockeys must work hard on race day. Every race a different horse that they may have never seen. One horse bucked a jockey off in warm up. He got back on and came in 3rd or 4th so I guess they came to some sort of understanding. At Del Mar, judging from the names, Mexico produces the lion's share of riders. What I think is that somewhere in Mexico they are binding children at birth to ensure the child can find work at the track. They are to people what bonsai plants are to the world of horticulture. I hope it doesn't hurt.

Later they have a band play. In this case a latin fusion band I wanted to see. Great stage, insanely cramped area for viewing. It is a standing room only, no where to sit area, cordoned off so that there is an eye of the needle situation for entry and exit. A small sea of people packed bumper to bumper so that no one could fall down even if a sudden death befell someone in the audience. No thanks.

I could tell the group was worth seeing, but even the Beatles or the prophet of your choice (pbuh) wouldn't be worth joining that can of sardines.

The track would be a cool place to work if you dealt with the horses or maybe played the bugle. Not sure the betting cashier would be so great, although many of them seemed to like it. I know horse work doesn't pay that well, but it is kind of an all consuming life and a world of its own. I find that appealing. Plus there is a quality about horse people I like.

In Miami I used to take the metro-rail to Hialeah, sometimes. It was easy and no traffic to fool with. It was cheap to get in and Hialeah is a pretty track with a pond and a gazillon flamingos. Just like the ones you put in your front lawn, except these can fly. I never bet when I went, just enjoyed the escape.

They've had issues keeping Hialeah open over the years, but it is again up and running. It was once the premier venue for the horsies. I think the fancy Calder race track made it tough. It has 1/10th the charm but such is life. Tropical Park bit the dust due to updated stuff in the scuzzy northern Dade county-into Broward county area. I spit to think of that. But you probably thought South Beach was always splendid. It used to be nothing but garbage. A beach so skinny and dirty children cried if you offered to take them to the beach.

If you want to go to Del Mar you have to deal with THE Five (I-5) and the snarky traffic. Why is that every mile closer to LA the more drivers attempt to prevent you from getting where you are going? One guy was dead set on preventing a lane change--he failed--then he tried to speed up from keep another driver from moving over to the right to make an exit, and finally he had to move left because he wasn't even getting off. He almost had to exit because he was more intent on making trouble than getting to LA or wherever he was headed.

They always preface the numbered highways with "the" out here. That is not how it is done in eastern states where I lived. I don't mind. I just find it a noticeable characteristic of the vernacular out west. Everyone does it; my friends, the TV people, homeless people who "will work for food", everyone except me.

OK so they installed the new carpet in the suite I painted. Not the carpet that was ordered but "it will do", according to the house manager. Since it was different the door now doesn't work. Looks like someone will have to shave some off the bottom. I am not crazy about that task but work is work.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Couple of Entries from My Illustrated dictionary

I just happened to be browsing through, and these definitions caught my attention. This is such a good book. They put a picture in so you can get more of the flavor of the language.

dem·a·gogue   [dem-uh-gog, -gawg] noun, verb, -gogued, -gogu·ing.

a person, esp. an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.

–verb (used with object)

to treat or manipulate (a political issue) in the manner of a demagogue; obscure or distort with emotionalism, prejudice, etc.


Blue: [bloo], verb (past tense), used with objectMonika

That doesn't appear to be the famous dress with stain.

Maybe it was the seemingly simple paint project that brought this to mind. I've been knee deep in "Brazilian Blue" for several days, and one's mind tends to ponder under such circumstances. Job done and it is a very professional one at that. Tons of edge work due to designer features and just because. I realize I have a very steady hand and can cut in with the best of them, with left or right hand. While damned near standing on my head atop a ladder.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Things I Know Little About: part 1 -Wimmins// else

What wimmins like:
I don't know too much about that, but I do think they like to have the last word. This comes to mind when texting, emailing or talking on the dreaded phone. That is my theory on wimmins for today.

So we played the Crest community center for a 50th wedding anniversary Sunday afternoon. Some of the band knows the people. The husband of the pair used to have some bit parts in some old cowboy movies and liked our performance.

They were nice people and the little community building there is a cool place. We played out on the back patio and I sweated through my shirt.

It was a low key affair but a lot of people. Some guys played after us but all the people went back inside. They seemed nice enough, and played well, but kind of boring. I loaded up from the buffet then took off to come back to the mysterious power brokers house and continue working. I need to finish this project in a day or two, so I stay here, work, hit the pool at night and goof off.

There are some good harmonies in this group and strong individual vocals. They did well.

My brother is digging up things with a little half track steam shovel looking thing. It is supposed to be for excavation in his never ending search for dinosaurs in the middle of absolutely nowhere, Montana. He said he'd do terrible things to anyone who called the machine "cute", so of course I have called it the "cutest steam shovel I ever saw" and variations of that more than once. We rarely communicate but he sent a picture of it. He picked it up in WA state somewhere and dug up a bunch of stuff at N2, youngest nephew's house in Seattle, before hauling it back to dinosaur country, I guess it goes on a trailer he can haul.

You wonder how people can grow up in the same house and have such divergent life experience. I don't really wonder so much. I can pin most of it down. I suspect my brother and others find it more of a mystery, or assume it is a disparity in basic intelligence. I think that assumption is off the mark.

In any case the completely different paths do put a bit of a wedge in the relationship. Too bad. But it is what it is.


I'm struck by the fact that my connections in San Diego county are all in the very best of the places here. I'm out in the country and in a pretty good spot. I like the quiet and the view and many of the people. It is horse country and coyote country. Then I work in a resort community full of uppity-ups. Very nice place, but the best of the people tend to be the workers, not the owners. Except for the lady who, maybe with husband I never met, used to own this resort and still owns plenty around here. She's a spunky, cool older woman. One of those who could be 80 and kick your butt for the hell of it.

Most of the others just go out of their way to be pushy and seem to make asses of themselves trying to affect the demeanor of VIPs. This is horse country too, but not like normal horse people who are almost always cool. Probably the ones who actually care for the horses and train them are OK. But they don't run one another off the road in BMWs and Rovers. But to their credit, they collect some strikingly stunning trophy wives. Although at times I suspect the eye candy on the arm is being rented for a day or two.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Want To Play McGonagall in The Movie

A movie based on the life of William Topaz McGonagall (self described poet and tragedian) could be a great flick. He would be a blast to play. People paid to hear his recitations for the humor and generally bizarre content and delivery. Had he not had an intensely serious aspect, the humor would not be there.

It is suspected that he may have actually been putting people on, but there is little hint that he ever got caught out of character. One article I read suggested that he may have glorified people and ideas in a way that actually made the opposite case. He never showed any signs of not being very serious and sincere, but that made some of it even more farcical.

My favorite story about him is the one describing his first foray on stage. He managed to play the role of Macbeth but when he was supposed to be run through with a sword he refused to go down, wildly flailing about with his sword until the other actor finally tackled him to make him go down.

Other performances of Shakespearean characters involved him becoming so animated with sword play that all the others ran off the stage and even some in the orchestra sought refuge under chairs or ran to a safe distance.

His history and writings are hilarious. It is still hard to figure out if he was a totally sincere lunatic, or a genius. Times were tough and had he not been such an outrageous character no one would have paid for his entertainment.

I love the part about being in a play and deciding he didn't want his character to die without a real life fight.

His efforts to get the Queen to name him Poet Laureate involve more bizarre and hilarious adventure. Why no one has made this movie, I do not know, but it could be the best period piece to come out in many years, maybe ever.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Public Service Message Re: Demon Drink

With all the wine promoting I've done, I feel the responsible thing to do is offer this warning, written by William McGonagall. There is no way I could match his simple elegance and deep insight.

First a bit of a bio on Bill:
William Topaz McGonagall, poet and tragedian of Dundee, has been widely hailed as the writer of the worst poetry in the English language..

A self-educated hand loom weaver from Dundee, he discovered his discordant muse in 1877 and embarked upon a 25 year career as a working poet, delighting and appalling audiences across Scotland and beyond.

(apparently references to Home Rule in the following masterpiece are referring to Ireland-)

The Demon Drink
Oh, thou demon Drink, thou fell destroyer;
Thou curse of society, and its greatest annoyer.
What hast thou done to society, let me think?
I answer thou hast caused the most of ills, thou demon Drink.

Thou causeth the mother to neglect her child,
Also the father to act as he were wild,
So that he neglects his loving wife and family dear,
By spending his earnings foolishly on whisky, rum and beer.

And after spending his earnings foolishly he beats his wife-
The man that promised to protect her during life-
And so the man would if there was no drink in society,
For seldom a man beats his wife in a state of sobriety.

And if he does, perhaps he finds his wife fou',
Then that causes, no doubt, a great hullaballo;
When he finds his wife drunk he begins to frown,
And in a fury of passion he knocks her down.

And in that knock down she fractures her head,
And perhaps the poor wife she is killed dead,
Whereas, if there was no strong drink to be got,
To be killed wouldn't have been the poor wife's lot.

Then the unfortunate husband is arrested and cast into jail,
And sadly his fate he does bewail;
And he curses the hour that ever was born,
And paces his cell up and down very forlorn.

And when the day of his trial draws near,
No doubt for the murdering of his wife he drops a tear,
And he exclaims, "Oh, thou demon Drink, through thee I must die,"
And on the scaffold he warns the people from drink to fly,

Because whenever a father or a mother takes to drink,
Step by step on in crime they do sink,
Until their children loses all affection for them,
And in justice we cannot their children condemn.

The man that gets drunk is little else than a fool,
And is in the habit, no doubt, of advocating for Home Rule;
But the best Home Rule for him, as far as I can understand,
Is the abolition of strong drink from the land.

And the men that get drunk in general wants Home Rule;
But such men, I rather think, should keep their heads cool,
And try and learn more sense, I most earnestlty do pray,
And help to get strong drink abolished without delay.

If drink was abolished how many peaceful homes would there be,
Just, for instance in the beautiful town of Dundee;
then this world would be heaven, whereas it's a hell,
An the people would have more peace in it to dwell

Alas! strong drink makes men and women fanatics,
And helps to fill our prisons and lunatics;
And if there was no strong drink such cases wouldn't be,
Which would be a very glad sight for all christians to see.

O admit, a man may be a very good man,
But in my opinion he cannot be a true Christian
As long as he partakes of strong drink,
The more that he may differently think.

But no matter what he thinks, I say nay,
For by taking it he helps to lead his brither astray,
Whereas, if he didn't drink, he would help to reform society,
And we would soon do away with all inebriety.

Then, for the sake of society and the Church of God,
Let each one try to abolish it at home and abroad;
Then poverty and crime would decrease and be at a stand,
And Christ's Kingdom would soon be established throughout the land.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, pause and think,
And try to abolish the foul fiend, Drink.
Let such doctrine be taught in church and school,
That the abolition of strong drink is the only Home Rule.

***my impression is that he was kissing up to the Crown whenever he could. But how can you fault his wisdom and logic regarding Demon Drink?****
You can go to the Wm Mc site and sign a petition for the Brits to put him on a stamp. I know most of us have no business petitioning the Royal Post, but it kind of makes me feel like I'm getting a taste of what it is like to make demands on foreign lands. That's all the rage these days...

Sometimes Brits are hilarious.
Here's the petition to get Wm McGonagall his own stamp

To: Royal Mail
Julietta Elgar
Head of Special Stamps
Royal Mail
148 Old Street

We the undersigned urge the Royal Mail to release a commemorative stamp to honour the memory of Scottish poet William Topaz McGonagall (1825-1902). Mr. McGonagall was an exemplar of optimism, having travelled on foot over fifty miles to petition Queen Victoria for the position of Poet Laureate, despite being unburdened with even the most basic understanding of fundamental poetic principles such as scansion. Nonetheless his poems, principal among them his masterwork “The Tay Bridge Disaster”, remain with us today, overshadowing the works of many more technically gifted poets of his time. His life stands as a testament to the irrepressible nature of the human spirit, and we ask you to make this gesture in celebration of the life of one of the greatest eccentrics Britain has ever known.


The Undersigned

They have things on that site where they ask your country. They have all of North America under the British Empire heading. Then they have a category for "Other Colonies". Funny people there.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Product review; Jack's Juicer///and other

Lots of entries here. Starting Friday I have a project which will be a real push due to time limits. It will be a live-on-site-until-done operation so I doubt I will write much then. Not that it matters. The self indulgence of this sort of blog is mainly for me. Otherwise I'd be disappointed that millions don't read and enjoy or argue or otherwise react.

OK. The Jack LaLanne power juicer. I have the shiny one with lots of chrome and stainless steel, and black on top. What a wonderful gift that was.

In Memphis, at some point during the planning stage of my escape I bought a cheaper brand which worked OK. I felt it was wise to find ways to pump in some natural nutrition since energy was low and diet was bordering on malnutrition danger. It did the job but was not nearly as efficient and splendid as the Jack Juicer. I gave it to Photo Lady but I don't think she ever got the hang of it. I believe it induced fear, like if she were to try using a chain saw. Just not the power tool sort.

This juicer operates on a centrifugal set up that pulverizes what goes in, casting the juice through a metal screen and the pulp back into a hopper. There is not way to get 100% of the juice out of things this way, but it does a good job for the type of machine it is. I like it.

If you have ever seen the info-mercial for it you know that Mrs. Jack is the one doing all the hard selling. To put it bluntly, Mrs. Jack is about the money and speaks with forked tongue; she lies.

While Jack is trying to say how great he thinks it is that the machine uses an induction motor, she cuts him off claiming clean up "is a snap!". Big lie. It takes a few minutes to clean the thing up, and it is a process for which you develop a system. It is worth it, but definitely NOT "a snap!!".

Mrs. Jack also tries to suggest you can make all kinds of tasty treats from the left over pulp. That I would have to have proven to me before I believe it. I used it to make some kind of broth once and it was not tasty. Nothing else has come to mind. Supposedly you can make muffins or birthday cakes. I think she is just lying because she thinks the hard sell is the cool way to go.

It could be that the thing to do is dry the pulp in the sun, then spin the fibers into some sort of straw and make baskets. Whatever the case, Mrs. Jack earned my distrust for all she says with that "clean up is a snap!!" malarky.

The truth is, to get a better juicer you need to spend ten times as much for one of those things that uses a gear crush mechanism. Short of that, it is unlikely you can really do any better. It rates my recommendation, but only if you are a person who understands it won't clean itself, and you have to use some sense on what you jam in there because things can get stuck.

They rave about how you can put apples in whole, but some apples are too big for the inlet mouth. It will accommodate some apples whole, and many tomatoes as well. It ain't rocket science but I know how the public is, and if you take Mrs. Jack's word for it, you will be confused and disappointed. Jack, himself, tries to play it straight. But the man is 150 years old and his wife is bossy, so he can't get a word in edgewise on the commercial. Even so, you can trust Jack. Old as he is, he can still kick most our butts into next week.

In keeping with my last discussion about solving the problem of a life un-lived, I made a big batch of juice which included unknown green leafy things, celery, orange, yellow, red, and green peppers, cauliflower, spinach, lemon, apple, carrots, and tomato. I think that was all I included in this batch. I made enough for 3 days--one substantial glass per day. I drink the stuff right down, and actually like it. Others may find it is an acquired taste.

+++update: I just remembered that I put a bunch of broccoli in there, too. You'd be surprised how the apple and lemon make the stuff taste OK. People who don't want the sugar of the citrus or carrot use hot peppers to make the flavor less "earthy".+++

In any case, who cares about taste if a glass of something gives you more good stuff than you normally get in a week of your usual diet? That is my situation. I'm not much for sitting around eating a bunch of fruits and vegetables unless someone else fixes them and does so in a way that makes it taste good but not cooked to death.

You'd wonder what does a vegetarian eat then? Often nothing. Sometimes omelets or peanut butter sandwiches, maybe cheese, lots of corn tortillas, potato chips, cheese sandwiches--stuff like that. Any kind of nuts when they are in front of me.

Geez, who cares what you eat? I don't know I just felt a need to explain. No one cares so shut up. OK.

That was a little internal conversation. I know it is impolite to whisper among myself in public. Sorry.

Sudden Recall; vertigo, or what

I just now recalled some of my last gigs in Memphis. There had been a running battle over volume, me not wanting to wear a hat very often, etc.

On the volume front I remember that for the last six months or year of playing, I sometimes would suddenly become totally disoriented on stage and the sound would lose all structure in my mind. It would be alike just a bunch of disjointed noise and rhythms, and would make me dizzy and somewhat nauseous. Almost like a seizure or attack. I remember one time it happened there was a guy who wanted to sit in on harp so I put him up there and kept him there longer than he really wanted.

Then it happened at other gigs and I just continued to play from habit not really hearing or feeling any of it. No one seemed to notice because I guess I was in key and starting and stopping at the right time. But it was like operating on remote control. Very weird. I had to avoid much more playing in that environment for awhile.

I think they were too loud. It drove people out the door, I know. They still deny it, but how they can I do not know. More than one inn keeper and patron said we played well but way too loud on the guitars. Duh. That did not phase them.

Amazing. But I am more sensitive to noise than most people, and especially more sensitive to it than most electrified musicians. Good I got away from it before it caused a grand mal seizure, which it very well could have.

Now I think I would not have a problem. I'd like to sit in with a high powered band again sometime. Due to the precision and different techniques required to play with my mountain buddies I think I could do far better than ever in a blues/rock electric setting. Amplified harp setting. If I did it for any length of time though I might get those special ear plugs. To loud is hard on the ears.

Abstract Introspective Apologia Critique

Initially, I was pondering the course of events with an eye toward defining what permitted others to overcome what I apparently could not. Much of it was in the vein of the rich man/ poor man, good son/ bad son scenario. That proved somewhat fruitless, as I realized there are innate, organic factors which separate those who thrive from those who perish, regardless of external circumstances.

Naivete may be one such factor. I always assumed everyone was honest and knew of what they spoke. Those close to me who overcame many shared obstacles were never under such an illusion. They assumed that most of those around us were idiots or small minded schemers, and rightly so. The disparity between what they reasoned as true and what was put forth only strengthened their resolve. It served to cause me to believe my ability to reason and use logic must be greatly flawed.

As a result, much effort was aimed at somehow aligning my conclusions and attitudes with those which appeared to be well accepted by my peers. That was disastrous. Much like those who suddenly find themselves in new business positions and proceed according to what they think is the norm. They prove to be tyrants when in power because they really don't get it.

All that failed effort toward rectifying conflicting values led to purely angry resignation, and some edgy activities. Needless to say such a mindset does not lead to constructive outcomes.

For a minute there, I wanted to post an open letter apologizing to those I think I let down. Those whom I perceive as being less than proud to include me in their family tree. Then I think I would not have such a view, positions reversed, but how can one really be sure? If not for the extreme pain and desperation experienced, would I have the same compassion and insight that I have now toward those who fall off the edge of the normal life path? Doubtful.

So, no open letter explaining how terrible I feel for being a let down and disappointment. And no letter vowing to make from now on a better more constructive process. The wish to change everything and the actual doing are worlds away, and that gap is not so easily bridged.

I cringe any time I hear a person expressing their disgust with a wayward brother or relative who seems to flounder about in unhappy chaos rather than thrive; who seems unable to make good use of the special consideration and generosity of well wishers. That is frightening close to who I am, and have been since the age of 12 or 13. In my defense, I was not always in the position of authority over those choices. Some of the glaring cases of turning my back on opportunity were due to family restrictions forbidding such things.

But later cases were merely my own autopilot at work, continuing such ignorant negation, as if an internal guidance system felt an insane loyalty to the powers that used to be. Good thing I was sedated through most of that so my mind did not explode from the internal conflict. That conflict is still with me but less intense now, so sedation would be a waste. That had its own consequence and too many lines were crossed to ever risk smoothing the edges with alcohol or opiates again. I do not rule out being a pothead. But for now, forget it.

I wish I'd done like the head of the physics dept and head of math department at one or more institutions suggested, and taken it seriously, gone on to grad school, then made it through the doctorate level and become a secluded academician or mad scientist. Trouble is, even then the thought of having to rely on government money turned my stomach. Still, it would have been a good thing to do. Maybe I was constitutionally incapable of such discipline. There are some places in private industry for physics people. Mostly the government partnership with corporations has killed that. They sold out so that government has the corner on research and such.

Besides I really dislike most so-called scientists because they seem to fear truth, and are more concerned with everyone thinking they are superior. I've known plenty of them. A rather arrogant closed minded bunch, especially those who are strictly paid from government coffers.

But that is all external. Maybe the internal landscape is just too worrisome to explore at this point. It always has been, in reality.

It leaves me continually feeling secretly apologetic to life, in general, for my lack of effort and accomplishment. Never, or rarely, proud of my existence and life. This is beginning to interfere with enjoying life and looking forward to waking up.

Beginning to? Well, it comes and goes and is actually an old emotion, not something that is just now beginning to cause annoyance.

Vegetable juice may be the only answer; throw every green thing they sell and all other colors of plant life into the Jack Lalanne
power juicer and consume in large quantity. It usually improves energy and mood. But it requires buying groceries and keeping up with it. I suppose most people find they have to buy groceries from time to time. The very basics are what throw me the most. Dammit.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Too Much Info

Perhaps it is my destiny. I recall the strange and unbelievable story my foray into cotton dust control revealed. In short, the companies, which politicians and agencies act like they are going to fry for whatever reason--usually something stupid--are often behind the very actions being taken. They will whine publicly while pulling the strings privately. Don't be fooled into thinking we have no major textile manufacturing, particularly in the world of cotton, because of cheap labor and all that abroad. The whole thing was being orchestrated in the late 70's. I fell into proof of how that web operated. Makes no difference if you believe it or not.

Now I'm in a circumstance in which I, once again, just happen to see some things first hand which indicate that what you hear in the press, and the images very prominent people convey are not the real story at all. It does make one tend to believe there is such a thing as a conspiracy. The why of it still eludes me, but the if, how, and who sure don't. If you are one of those people who think that those who talk redistribution of wealth mean to pilfer from the rich and give to the poor, you are being duped. Wealth is and will be redistributed, but it is more a matter of shifting who controls the wealth. Mostly it will go from very wealthy to ultra wealthy, from producers to those who deal purely in money handling of one form or another.

[[OK. I don't know how to make a post short by splitting part of it out so, since I know you really don't want to read this, I am cutting what remains and sticking it in the comments. I sort of got the idea from over at BenB's. Except he had a post in comments then posted it in a post. It seemed technical and like a good idea. I think it had to do with site malfunction. ]]

Proof of WHISK shakes, etc.-You do not drink My milkshake

Long awaited photos from my security cameras prove I wasn't lying about my limited kitchen facilities and milkshake making.
I am disappointed I couldn't get away with referring to the implement as a "wisk". I like that word better than whisk. However if you try to use Wisk to make a milkshake, you are in big trouble.

I drink your milkshake. I drink it up!

*****Wine Update---Here's the label you look for, and if they don't have it, tell them they need it

Of course the text under the ass may be different, as there is more than one type of wine from this outfit.

Not sure if that is Bonnie or Clyde. Those are the names of the burros they got on a rescue a donkey mission.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wine From Ballistic Mountain: wine lovers, trust me on this

[this was originally the last half of the previous post, but I wanted to make the posts a mile or two shorter than usual)

****added bonus!!! wine tip--if you want to try some wine from the winery further up the dirt road from me, go online to
Rock Canyon Vineyards

The site gives a feel for the better parts of Ballistic Mountain. Tim and his wife are great people. I got to know them at the party up the hill the other night. People seemed to be enjoying the wine they brought. I don't risk alcohol, so I rely on the impression of others. Some people brought wine with them, but I noticed that after tasting the Rock Canyon stuff they just stuck with that.

If wine reflects the personality and character of the vintner, then this stuff has got to be good; intelligent, witty, smooth, earthy, with lots of personality. When I'm around the right people I end up cutting up with as little inhibition as those who are drinking, sometimes I'm more over the top. Such was the case with this crew. That only happens rarely. Check out their wine and if it can be shipped to your locale, give it a shot. Shipping alcohol involves a ton of convoluted regulations. Can't ship to Tennesse or other places who try to protect their own fledgling wineries.

This is from their site, and very much what the view off my deck was like this morning, early. They live sort of to the south and west of me, but you can't see the place from here.
Just follow the dirt road, take the right fork and when it seems like the road is gone keep going.

Click the pic for the full view.

Oh well, I decided to steal another pic from Rock Canyon Ranch and Vineyards. This guy used to live at the beach. Seems like a surfer dude/cowboy. Way it is here.
There's a rise between us, but this view includes some of mine.

Gourmet Tips for those Who Have Not # 6

Actually, this is tip # 1 in this series, but I wanted to make people think this has been going on awhile, and that they missed something. Then, because I am ever so compassionate when it comes to deceptions, I had to own up. I'm the guy who spoils the tasteless practical jokes if it involves misleading or messing up the victim too much. I have my own brand of those.

Imagine your kitchen consists of a hot plate, and that you gave away numerous blenders, mixers and more when you decided you had to be a vagabond, or else. So, as luck would have it, your only powered appliance is the vegetable juicer given to you as a welcome to your new place present (and maybe by default--finally, he's not sleeping at our house present). I love/and/or/heart my juicer, so don't be messin'.

You don't know when you last had a milkshake but you are craving one, yet you do not want to spend the money for a store bought one. Assume that you purchased ice cream on sale, along with some extra stuff so you could finally get back to the vegetable juicing. I'll discuss that later.

OK so you are making a tasty sandwich, bread toasted in your frying pan with a little oil and garlic powder. The hot plate is slow so I put an upside down steel bowl over it. I have one that just fits.

Spinach lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, and those Morningstar farms picture-of-bacon strips. They cooked along side the bread. Don't criticize--it is what I like. You may like squid. Just not for me, that's all. Of course I use lots of mayo to glue things to the sandwich, and mustard too. I even splurged for chips. I worked today, got paid, and quit feeling like life is or should be over, so I planned my reward.

The combo is sometimes best with a milkshake, and I am not sure when I had the last one--was it in Seattle? Who knows. But now I have milk (I don't know why but one of the brands claiming to be organic, from cows that don't use steroids, seems to last twice as long as other milk. I don't use it quickly and the normal stuff goes bad before I'm done. Not the milk from happy cows. So, I actually save money even if I pay slightly more.) and ice cream.

Alright, usually I'd make a milkshake by putting ice cream and milk in a blender, along with some extra flavoring if I had it. I don't.

So what you do, if you are a have not, and you want to make a milkshake is put milk and ice cream in your glass, then use your handy dandy wire wisk--the only one you have, which just happens to be smaller diameter than the glass. It works like a charm.

(spellcheck on this blogger thing doesn't think "wisk" is a word. I think it is.)

I used a little vanilla ice cream, and a lot of mint chocolate chip--Breyer's if you must know. I go by price on these things, and it is so rare I have ice cream, I don't know that I'd like one brand that much better. It said "all natural". But every atom on earth is natural in some way, so who knows what that means. You can manipulate natural ingredients, but where else but in the natural universe can you get the most basic of raw materials for anything?

If I had been in a real bind I would have secured a fork in my electric drill, and used it like a mixer.

You don't need much to produce a world class sandwich ensemble.

In case you are wondering: the juicer is not a thing that works for milkshakes.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Public Service Appeals and Charity

Something which has puzzled me on and off for some time now is the whole structure of the charity/ enlightenment game. Having spent far too much time in the underbelly of a city or two, I often find myself reacting unfavorably to guilt based efforts to encourage people here to send their wealth over there--usually to a region most people have never seen, for purposes that sometimes don't add up, and sometimes do.

Why are problems in distant regions, in cultures far different from our own, of more importance than some serious issues within subcultures right here? And why is there tax incentive to cast your lot with organizations you know nothing about, yet none for merely helping those you see who need it? Personally I am for no tax incentives, and a flat rate tax at most. It appears those who run many non-profit organizations profit plenty. Why should being non-profit be considered more noble than for-profit?

We've got situations in large cities in which people growing up in many neighborhoods are receiving more education in how to use weapons against one another than they are learning useful skills like reading, using language effectively, basic math, basic history, basic human decency, or any other constructive thing. It is a culture of crime, violence, and disrespect for life. It does not have to be that way. I'd argue that government policies and practices, the prison system, and refusal to really look at the problem contribute a great deal to the mess. You always hear about how hard it is for a kid to escape it, to distance himself from gang life. I believe that is fairly true.

So, instead of concerted efforts to eliminate the hierarchy within these places that keeps the problem going, we send money all over the world for who knows what. We build new schools in Pakistan and other regions, imagining that this will somehow "stabilize the region" and everyone will like us.

If school districts are complaining about condition of school buildings and funds, why are we building schools elsewhere? If you can't take care of your own, you really don't need to assume you can fix everyone else. It may be useful to realize that the general goals and aspirations of the people in various cultures are not necessarily the same. Thinking they are is idiotic if not suicidal.

I'd feel better if various actors and such people would give away all their money, leaving themselves the same amount I live on, then see if they enjoy being asked to donate $10 here, 7 there, 20 somewhere else. If they care so much they will buy up millions of dollars worth of mosquito nets, sponsor thousands of children, and put their money where their mouths are.

It is all part of the big pretense, the ubiquitous blind eye. To anyone who pays attention you see it in public schools where non offensive kids are terrorized by riffraff, and in prisons where many of the idiots in normal life think it is cool that there is a jungle hierarchy in which people are brutalized, mini gangs develop based on race, etc. That is dumb. With all the people incarcerated in this country, there has to be a huge number who should not be there. Well, that is obvious just from the things that land some people behind bars.

Whether it is the church, our own government, or some Hollywood hack, I do not get the drive to take up causes abroad while ignoring the problems at home. A good many problems in other places are the direct result of self righteous idiots insisting on bringing them the Word in one form or another.

It is hard to rise to the top in America, so I guess it soothes the ego to find places that have yet to discover the wheel and go play God.

Our system indirectly penalizes those who simply help a neighbor in need. No, the only way to a lower tax bracket is to throw money at huge, government approved organizations, whose top admin people make far more than most of us, and often the percentage of money that actually goes toward directly dealing with whatever problem is shockingly low.

They've done a good job of using peer pressure to maximize the profits of the non-profit game. You can buy your way to positive reinforcement and recognition without ever personally doing any thing for a person who needs it, one on one. Unless, of course, there's a photo op in it.

Lost Decades

they happen. Wasted by one form of stupidity or another, or through some inexplicable doubt in one's own right to be here.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Then and Now, apples and oranges

For those who actually think there is a comparison between the Ellis Island immigrants, who came in documented, and those who come in illegally and then make demands:



People who have some connection to the time when people came here for opportunity rather than entitlement can probably easily discern a difference between these photos. Our president and many others can not.

Obviously selected photos, but the difference in behavior and attitudes, and motives I think is real. It is part of our ongoing great pretense that such realities are ignored. We ignore it in the home grown, and in the gate crashers.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Out My Back Door

For all the angst of being an unsettled rebel/vagabond/scofflaw/lover of freedom/defender of non offensive humans, it is kind of amazing in ways.

I only dreamed of living in a place like this for years. Now I'm here, and I find I tagged along. That is the only thing that slows down the process.

The phone has a tough time with dusk and night shots, but the idea is there. You really do not see any houses. Far off there are a few lights coming on in Alpine, but that is 8 miles away, as the Subaru flies---maybe 4 or 5 for the crow.

My would-be-world-dominating employer's** last guest left a new case of strawberries and much else in the fridge. They never keep anything so I had pick of raiding the goods. I get first shot. The housekeeper got an unopened thing of bacon. I was resisting buying groceries so I could waste money on bad habits and convince myself I am saving for the upcoming adventure.

Lucky me, I take what the power brokers leave untouched if it suits me. bread, eggs, dozens of yogurt whatchamacallits, and lots of produce--enough that I can again make ugly looking nourishing juice drinks. Those vegetable juice drinks make you strong and energetic. Without them I regress into mopeland.

You know you are definitely of the servant-entrance, hired help class when you can't wait to see what Mas'r left behind. Even so I see myself as something different. Although it does sometimes dawn on me that I am at that age which is hard to still call "middle aged". Even so, I don't have the soul of an oldster, and from the first time I heard the term I vowed never to accept the tag, "senior citizen". That sounds so Orwellian, like we are subjects of some state, categorized by arbitrary criteria.

I'm not quite senior anyway for most discounts, although I do qualify for some. Another of those sucker ploys people go along with. If you aren't being robbed to begin with why should a particular good or service cost less or more depending on when you were born? That is so sick. We would not need it if we did not have things like this.

But who cares? All the confusion is a voluntary maze, to some extent, and the best choice is not to enter into it. There are things to do, fun to be had. I still haven't flown a paraglider or an ultralight, haven't gone down the Mississippi in a kayak, and lots of other things that seem worthwhile.

I was doing some checking and found that one consistent theme of states without income tax is that they are usually less encumbered by debt. It is not totally black and white, however the highest taxed states are the least solvent pretty consistently. Hawaii must be really screwing up. We already knew New York and California had issues.

Looks like "fly over country" has it more together than the fly-to states. Probably because they are too busy farming, and fighting locusts, snow, blizzards, etc. to dream up the things that coastal types get into. Or they are just smarter. no opinion on that. Lots of very great people in CA. I think the riffraff have been able to take advantage of the good nature of the others, while the evil schemers get rich off the dynamic.

I just want the country to be full of easy, good looking women, people who can drive, cheap fuel, good music, and freedom. Is that too much to ask?

+++Seven states have no state income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Two others, New Hampshire and Tennessee, tax only dividend and interest income.

Mass and Connecticut have the highest per capita debt. Washington has plenty enough but I give them credit for not having income tax. It is just wrong.

Somehow Nebraska is damned near solvent in terms of almost no debt per capita. Wyoming and Iowa make up the rest of the three lowest debt states. A few of the more over regulated states are fairly low as well, like Colorado. I assume that is because they do not have just a few paying everything, like in some states. There are places which have a large portion of the population which take without any productivity, and a small group which pays. It is unsustainable, to use another buzzword I'm sick of; especially because in political speak it often means something other than what it is.

As good as Mexican food is, why do so many people want to leave that country? What has that government done to make people flee? And why wouldn't their president hang his head in shame rather than come here and act like it is a crime for us to want a little border security? You cannot approach anything honestly any more without accusations of racism or xenophobia. I assure you, in my case, it is neither. I love Mexican culture but not punks of any nation or color.

**a reference made, not because of this person's wealth, but how it is used and, to some extent, maintained and obtained.**

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Loyal Friend, Rodent; Hero

As I was winding my way down one of the local two lane country roads, I slowed for a squirrel as I frequently do. They can be hard to miss due to their impulsive nature and tendency to change directions multiple times while moving maybe a few inches. Often they fake one way, you swerve the opposite way to avoid them, then they dash the same way you go. It happens quickly.

I've learned to fake first which often thwarts their attempt to commit suicide by Subaru.

This particular squirrel, however, was on a mission, and quite easy to avoid. He(and/or) she ran out to the middle of the road to retrieve a fallen comrade. I mean that in the sense of colleague, not calling it a member of the communist party.

I was so touched and amazed by the act, I stopped and took a photo as seen below. The loyalty and bravery shown was commendable. I hope the creature wins the Golden Acorn award, and is named Rodent of the Year. I have bestowed the name Sparky upon this brave ball of fur. Partly because it doesn't matter what gender it is, so I remain politically correct and avoid trouble. Sparky is a noble, dynamic moniker which befits such a rodent.

It really was amazing to see it run out, inspect what I assume was a corpse, deftly grasp t by the nap of the neck with its razor sharp buck teeth (I know this from raising a squirrel and experiencing just a hint of what squirrel anger can mean---they can kick your butt, be sure of that. Although my friend Waldo just let me know he could tear me to shreds--he never actually drew blood).

Where was I? Oh yea, he/she got a grip and transported the allegedly lifeless squirrel safely clear of the road. I say allegedly because it may have still had a pulse. I think Sparky did some very quick triage as he inspected the downed colleague before dragging it to a good spot to render first aid.

Let this be a lesson to us all.

Maybe they'll make a public service announcement out it. ("us all" is an oft used phrase when blasting the masses with drivel) Uh oh. I don't want to get started on public service announcements. Latest one I saw is an actress who obviously lives well telling me to wear a sweater if I am cold and to open a window if I'm hot. The nerve. And it is required that the media play this garbage. Why don't you mind your own business, lady? IDIOT

Sparky would never go bossing strangers around on TV. Real heroes just do not do that.

Monday, August 2, 2010

If You Knew What I Do About You Know Who

No telling. You'd probably just carry on like you are. Or you'd be squirreling away survival supplies and dried food, looking for a safe getaway cave, learning how to make alcohol and run it in your motorcycle, or else you'd look into moving to Costa Rica, the Falkland Islands, or who knows. Most likely, none of the above.

I'd suggest finding the place whose rhythm suits you. For me, I suggest this thing. I get a beat going through my mind and for days it runs in the background of everything I do. There may be a chord progression to go with it, and it goes on and on. Really, as much as I think guitar, it would make sense if I played it. Too much of a bare bones vagabond even for that. I'm thinking of grabbing one the next time opportunity presents itself. Very hard to play, but what the hell. Good for thinking.

The thing I want to remember is that the people who made money in the gold rush were those supplying the people who were in a rush to find gold.

Somehow I think that ought to make the market slightly clearer. But the truth is the invisible hand has been replaced by the heavy hand, and unlike the invisible one, the heavy one does not follow natural law. Figuring out what the heavy hand is up to could get you rich, thrown in jail, killed, or all three.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Who Scrambled the Eggs, and When?

In attempting to eventually get the ever elusive handle on things I realize the tendency toward disconnect and isolation began long before I even got out of high school. It appeared as if I had lots of friends but in truth I had few, if any. There were partners in crime and self destruction but not much in the way of normal friendship. I did not recognize it when I saw it anyway.

Somewhere along the way the eggs sure got scrambled. It is astounding when I try to figure it out. Some are just born one way and others some other way. That is about all I know. It wears a person out.

There's a better shot at whatever IT is than there was a couple of years ago, but it is certainly a touch and go proposition. Wish there was a pill to fix it. Any I tried proved to create other undesirable issues.

I bet it all gets sorted out and enlightenment and energy abound maybe a day before I die. Time's running out, and it only seems right that one grow up before the end. Most likely this is just the sort of side effect one experiences when he is hopelessly ahead of his time. By definition that is not the sort of thing you can expect would be answered satisfactorily by some sort of consensus. Just goes to show that consensus of opinion means little in the long run.

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


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