Friday, December 31, 2010

Just the Way I Like New Year's Eve, almost

The number way to bring in the year is to be in the middle of wild, in-love passion just as the clock chimes the midnight hour. Rarely does that timing work out.

The next best thing, if such a source of passion is not part of one's life, is to be up on a quiet mountain in just barely freezing weather, on a perfectly clear, quiet night, safe and secure in a Ballistic Cabin.

This year I am momentarily content. No self pity and woe because the imaginary Mrs and I can't host 24 of our closest friends and their offspring for the weekend in our lovely, comfortable, hospitable villa. I did venture out earlier to a back country gathering of a few people who relish not drinking at times like this.

Before that, I noticed my one TV station had Oprah on. I have not watched Oprah almost ever. Certainly not in many years. Not that I have ill feelings toward her. As a matter of fact I admire her continued success. Such things do not happen to total slackers on a long term basis. She has to have something special going for her, like it or not. We may not agree on some things, but I believe she's a far better person than, say, David Letterman, or many other big names.

Anyway, I was about to cut the sound off again when I realized she was interviewing JK Rowling, of Harry Potter fame. They discussed a bit of what it is like to make a billion dollars. I found it interesting.

JK is hot, if you ask me. But married--go figure. Her thoughts on the books and various topics were things I found somewhat inspirational. She was apparently at rock bottom when this whole thing began 17 years ago. She was told she'd never make money writing what amounted to children's books. So much for the advice of experts.

Then there was the bit about people deciding that her fantasy stories were somehow an affront to one religious belief or other. Really, people miss the whole point. Do those same people think that it is OK to put a hit out on the Satanic Verses guy? OK to kill people over rather innocuous cartoons? Maybe they don't see the parallels, although I doubt they went beyond book burnings and stupid lectures. Take the attitude my nephew did when he was in high school.

He and his brother, along with a couple of other friends made a self recorded little album. They ran off a bunch of copies, along with a little artwork and peddled it at school for $5 a pop. It was called the "S----- Brothers Blues Band". They covered some rather good tunes, particularly classics by Robert Johnson. And it was pretty good.

So, one guy hated N1. He expressed his disdain by purchasing the tape, then throwing it down and stomping it to bits in the hallway. N1 then encouraged any others who hated him to do the same while suggesting his anti-fan buy more to really vent his hatred. No one else publicly destroyed the album, however they did sell out quickly. 500 copies. Some relatives put in orders too late to get one. At one time I had 2 or 3. I jumped on it as soon as I heard what they were up to. Some believed I may have had an influence in the inspiration of the enterprise. Who knows. They surpassed anything I've ever done long ago.

If I could write a book that groups would buy and then burn in protest, I'd encourage it. Buy my book and show your disapproval by using it for outhouse purposes or fueling your fireplace!! I guess it gets riskier when you offend Islam, so maybe that is not a good target group to offend.

But that just makes people like me want to do it. I won't because they and their holy things do not interest me enough to include them in much that I'd write. If things I'd say or do inadvertently offend any such group then such groups are minding business that is not theirs way too much.

Outrage over free speech and its opponents is an odd and inconsistent thing. The press of the western world was largely bullied into not showing the truly inoffensive cartoons that sparked riots and murder, yet they insist on the "people's right to know" in so many instances when obscene, macabre, or much more offensive images, or even items which may have consequences to innocents, are in question.

I dare the artists who push the envelope with Jewish, Buddhist, or Christian imagery to do the same with Islamic icons. I agree that free expression ought to be free, but I find the defense of free expression rather selective and inconsistent in analogous circumstances.

Amazing that JK has actually become a billionaire. She has provided a lot of people much enjoyment and inspiration. She has served to induce people to read who may have otherwise never developed the skill enough to get through half a page.

What was nice was that she seems happy. Oprah may be happier than at some periods, but she seemed slightly less happy, but more used to being mega rich.

I wish everyone a year in which dreams can come true without the long arm of the law taking them away. Things can still happen that are better than you ever believed possible. Don't let The Man or Nitwit News people convince you different. Unless, of course, you feel better doing so.

Now It All Makes Dr Phil Sense

I was watching Dr Phil with the sound off. How this came about was that I thought maybe the one channel I can pull in would have a bowl game. It did for a minute but the end of the game was 30 seconds away. U of Miami lost to the Irish Catholics.

Next thing I know, Phil is on. So I turned the sound down. Then I became curious and turned it up just in time to hear that the judgement part of your brain is not done developing until you are 25, so if you do a hardcore amount of drinking, drugs, and/or headbanging prior to that time, chances are good you will cause permanent problems and do dumb things forever.

See, it is all because your limiting mechanism, the one that says, "No, do not get naked and mow the neighbor's lawn while her hubby is out of town and she is out sunning by the pool. Homeschooling her seven year old".

There are things you just don't do, if you can help yourself. However, there are many items which can stunt the growth of the part of the brain that will keep you safe, keep you out of jail, and provide a long and happy domestic life, even allow you to get rich.

This explains everything. What I now need to know is who to sue. First my head was bounced and battered far more than was prudent or necessary. Strike one.

Then because I was told it was smart and cool by a reliable source, I began drinking. I started right off heavy at it. No sips of Papa's wine at the table growing up. For one thing, had he had it at the table, I doubt he'd have been willing to share. That would have resulted in more head banging.

Soon, there were very peculiar people from the police department giving talks at school in order to let us know what were the best drugs, where you get them, how they are made, and what makes them so cool. Oh, and of course, don't you kids do drugs now, y'hear?

Curiosity could only be put off so long. The odd police people upped the number and intensity of their talks, as the media coverage became more intense and glamorous as well. I guess they did that for kids who didn't go to school. Now everyone knew the names of things, what it looked like and had seen images of really stoned out very hot hippie chicks running around naked eager to spread their love in fields of daisies.

There frontal lobes seemed to be quite healthy, but probably not the type Dr Phil's pal was referencing. So, everyone was putting their good sense at risk. This accounts for dimwits and nincompoops throughout a certain generation or two. Or three.

They decided to expand this effort at government promotion and educations concerning drugs. They felt that it would be a good idea to also declare war on drugs. If you think about it, that phrase means nothing. You going to line up a bunch of poppies and valium against the wall and shoot them?

So, we now have people who probably fried their lobes before turning 25 populating an agency that arbitrarily fries people for small offenses or lets off foreign smugglers--no consistency to it--running an agency which has declared war on a very broad word. Is caffeine a drug? Pepper?

Now I know, my problems stem from stunted development of my brain and good sense. I do believe that I was a sucker for the glamor that media sources and the government itself attached to the art of self destruction.

Odd how it all works. But there is a certain type of being who likes it this way. Those are the ones you would have slapped silly in elementary school had you not been placed on heavy medication.

So, now I can blame substances, and government for my poor judgement and often risky behavior. I intend to sue.

Even I have enough judgement to know that shooting a firearm into the air in a populated area is a very stupid thing to do. It is an issue in some areas of CA. Cultural diversity.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Roots of Confusion:#6; Flirtation part 2

It all started just a minute ago when I was thinking about another topic altogether. Then a quotation came to mind which caused me to recall times I've heard people say, in that affected Ivy League/Hollywood/Garrison Keillor tone, "Someone once said...".

Someone once said? Come on, someone once said all kinds of things, I thought to myself. Then I remembered an example.

Someone once said, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours". "OK. You first. Show me how it's done", I replied, sincerely having no clue what this was about. So she very discretely showed me. We were in first grade, in the class. It was an under desk situation, sort of.

At that moment the evil Mrs. Marshall (aptly named) roared about talking in class and stalked toward us. "Sorry, I can't show you now--the teacher!"

I wasn't sorry. I had no intention of keeping that bargain. It wasn't my idea. For some reason though, it did make me a little bit fonder of that girl.

We escaped that one unfazed by the long and evil arm of Mrs Marshall.

Soon after that little ice breaker with the little girl with glasses, we were lining up for something. We were always lining up for something, and the line was a big damned deal to the teacher. Like everything she tried to make it as unpleasant and confusing as humanly possible.

In a rare display of wit, as I was lining up in the boy's line I reached over and tapped the little glasses girl, quite gently, on the back while musically admonishing her, "Better get in line!". She smiled because it was so clever a mocking of the tyrant's wishes.

Next thing I know, I am being man handled by the evil woman who stole tax money pretending to teach children. I was in big trouble mister--how dare I?

Everyone in the area was both confused and scared. Right then and there I was sentenced. Crime: battering the little glasses girl.

Mrs. Marshall's hobby was striking kids with a wooden ruler in front of the class until they cried. Humiliation of little kids was her life. At that time you could do that. I know that is a foreign concept to many. A little leeway would be helpful in our times, but not like that. It was cruel.

A kid named Bucky was paddled daily for some unknown reason. It was painful to witness. He was not at all a bad kid. I wouldn't have blamed him if he'd brought a knife to school and cut off Mrs Marshall's paddle hand.

Anyway, I was marched to the front of the class and received several licks with her stupid custom made torture ruler. I received more licks than most because A--I denied any wrongdoing, and B--I wouldn't cry. Other than the public nature of the event, it was child's play compared to the home version and I refused to cry for them too. I was much tougher as a child than I am as an adult.

The thing that I find interesting is that my first flirtation was initiated by the glasses girl, and I played it perfectly. She made the first move and I got it for free. But, when I showed a tinge of affection, I was arrested and flogged.

Now, what kind of message would that send to a tender innocent child? I'm sure I don't know. I think someone once said something on that subject.

Someone once said. A stupid, pretentious prelude to bullshit if ever I heard such a thing.

I'll forever be grateful to the little glasses girl. She tried to say I hadn't done anything wrong, but to push it any further would have resulted in her being flogged as well. I've yet to meet the woman who would go to those lengths for me on a matter of principle. The only other time I was flogged by that evil teacher was for defending a kid against false charges being brought against him.

Crude as it was, I feel the little glasses girl's attempt to be my friend was kind, sincere, and educational.

Needless to say, I learned almost nothing in first grade. By year's end I was considered one of the "slow" children. She had successfully labeled me for future teachers. Fortunately my second grade teacher, Mrs. Keller, was an angel of mercy who had not taken the job out of her love of torturing little kids. She figured me out and managed to get me into the swing of things. By third grade the school officials were baffled and inquired of my mother how I went from being a hopeless dimwit to an underachieving over achiever.

Compared to many I suppose my schools were good, but I have to say, many of South Miami Elementary's teachers were rigid, unyielding morons. But compared to South Miami Jr High, they were the best of the best. The Jr High was run by an army of Mrs Marshall types and first rate perverts.

Though a great many who teach in public schools are good and honorable people, it is the nature of the public school structuring that they tend to beat down the good and promote bad things. They are set up like prison communes. It is absurd how the Great Pretense flourishes there more than anywhere else. And it flourishes a lot elsewhere.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Ghosts of the Past and Present

Pipe organ in Charlotte, NC--31-year-old Zimmer & Sons pipe organ
Thought Scrib might like that. It's at St Patrick's Cathedral in the state of states, NC.

These are times that try men's souls. For the universally challenged, the word "men" in this case applies to any human, or, if you prefer, hu-being, with a soul. It is highly possible that most times are trying. Especially when people organize themselves such that they are ruled by select groups and individuals without limit.

Not my problem.

The times are not really what try my soul. My ability to adapt to them, maybe. In any case, you carry on as best you can, and depending on your basic internal constitution, refuse to give up the dreams. That is the tough part. Most dreams die on the mind's cutting room floor. Deemed unrealistic, impossible because they are my dreams, etc.; the reasons for aborting them number more than the stars in the sky. In my own case, history shows that the substance of the negating rationales is far less than the substance of the dream being squashed. But that is, of course, hindsight.

Some people claim that hindsight is 20/20. I disagree. It depends upon who is doing the analysis. Too often history as we know it is full of inaccuracies and false premise, therefore one may think he is able to spot the cause and effect which resulted in the reality of the time, yet he may be lost in fiction. Happens all the time. Political people and those who control them depend upon that fact.

I thought the Christmas season held no pressure and depressing demons for me. That may not be true. It seems the season of retrospection and worse, sometimes. My own code prevents me from embracing such realizations because I like the spirit of the thing, even if I curse myself for lack of family and wealth.

What I have concluded is that there is no way I would have ever been happy trying to participate in the corporate cultures to which I've been exposed. Not for any real length of time. Even in low level positions I often agonized for years over instances when I "just did my job" by following the company policy, following instructions from above, rather than following what I knew to be the right thing.

The result of that is always someone or some group being unnecessarily slighted, harmed, inconvenienced, or penalized in some way. You know it is wrong, but you "are just doing your job". Makes no damned sense.

Even though it put me in a vulnerable spot a time or two, I do not regret the times when I stood on my values and did not let a less than stellar salary buy my soul. I never felt bad about not leaving my conscience at the door when entering the work place, even though that is how you please the employer. My way was not something that cost them money in the long run. But it is surprising how far most places go in their efforts to save a dollar, and reinforce the serf status of underlings. They'll cost themselves thousands in the process.

Most larger firms are so tied in with government in one way or another that they lose all sense of reason in efforts to satisfy directives and obvious opportunities to earn political favor. It is rather sick, I think.

So, clearly, I do not belong in such places. Many have told me that is cutting off your nose to spite your face. I agree, but I am not cut out to do anything else. If they levied a small tax on all my neighbors in order to fill my pockets, I couldn't very well accept it. That is what separates some people from others in these matters. When the money trail is complex and less obvious, most people and businesses have no problem with it ending up in their pocket by that means. I envy them. They know how to get paid, and don't bother looking beyond the fact that it is legal. Legal, but not a truly voluntary transaction. Not always even really above board and honest.

Still, the ones I really admire are those who know how to get paid and manage it through eyes-wide-open voluntary trade. I hope I find such an endeavor that yields more than my current efforts do, before I am too tired and sullen to try.

This year's New Year's resolution: Avoid any and all New Year's Eve parties. I've never liked them. Amateur night. I'm in no mood for drunks. When I get grouchy like this, I just want to beat them with a 2x4.

Maybe that is because I was once in their shoes, but less as an amateur. I'm pretty sure people wanted to beat me with a 2x4 a time or two, and probably did. I just didn't feel it until a day or two later.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Bad: Too Much Info

So, there I was at a little gathering of people at someone's house. I think I knew everyone there to some degree. Casual acquaintance degree, but they've always been rather nice and down to earth.

Then Mr X (not real name) made a huge mistake--he asked a couple of probing questions which hit the button which by passes the internal censor. It is not always the racy stuff that is best to censor before broadcasting. The boring, intricate intrigues of one's life are often the kind of thing you may compulsively want to get off your chest, but they should be buried deep within your psyche instead.

The poor guy. He asked, and I told, and told and told. We went through so many facets of the cotton dust saga that things came up which I'd long forgotten, or tried to. Mostly I was just trying to prove my point that when industry is in bed with government, and when government officials grandstand with talk of sticking it to the evil corporations and "special interests", chances are that the biggest players in that industry have actually written the script, even while crying the blues about it in the press.

That is actually how it works, and once you've been in the middle of it your view of the process will forever be tainted. And, of course, I desperately want the rest of America to see what I see. You can't always get what you want, and many times you should quit trying. Think of something else to want.

Once a story gets started, it is hard to cut it short and escape while not losing the point. I kept wishing I could disappear after every volume of prattle spewed. But no. I somehow found myself stuck in the next volume in the series instead.

Maybe it is because I know I am often perceived as a life long day laborer who plays harmonica now and then. In that regard I can't rule out that there is not some ego feeding motive that compels me to override good judgement in such circumstances.

My assessment of this latest instance of bizarre behavior is that I am somewhat sad and maybe a little fearful deep down. I am very tired of handiman day labor drudgery and I feel a little guilty for not having the gumption to roar-in the Helen Reddy sense of the word, except I am not woman, so we can leave off that part of the hear me roar scenario. Surely I could do something which is a little more mentally challenging, like run a cash register, or count bears in the wild.

Perhaps I can't do anything more satisfying. At least I see the results of my work. That hinge is no longer falling off the cabinet door, yippee. I did that.

Whatever is going on, it is a downer. And I am sick and tired of fighting it. Or not fighting it in the right way. The right way is to change things. Things would be my actions and efforts. Who wants to actually change what they do or don't do? Not me, that's for sure.

All this has left me down, and angry, almost aggressively angry. That is no way to win friends and influence people.

hulu movie review

For those of us TV challenged, who like to see movies, especially at times when the mind needs to be quieted through diversionary pursuit, is an easy place to go for free flicks. I was in just such a mood , as I often am, and found the movie Rock My World.

Peter O'Toole played a major role, so how bad could it be? Fortunately, no bad at all. Just the thing--a movie about a band and the crazy things that go on, and about regaining perspective when pride is at stake, as well as livelihood. The music was, fortunately, an irrelevant aspect of the film. The music itself was nothing to write home about. But it didn't matter. It's a fun and silly story. A good movie to watch to enjoy a brief escape from the less pleasant story that might be running through your mind. Depending upon who you are. If you are me, it was the ticket.

Some Hulu movies are worse than awful. Don't be fooled by what's on the first page of choices. Often the good ones get buried down the list. I think they up their position according to what is a recent add, and what gets the most play. There are plenty of teenagers or others with poor taste who also use the site.

So, in addition to Artois the Goat--a very original and clever movie, I'd say Rock My World has its place. Of course Artois is in a class somewhat by itself, and given a choice, one or the other, it would win out.

I hope this has been helpful.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

And Here I Thought Only Insanity Visited

Happy days must surely be upon me. In my semi-hermitic world I often feel as if insanity is my only counsel. Fits of it seem to try to intrude upon my unending meditative, daydream existence. Or so I thought.

Recently, right here in this place I have been spoken to by the voice of sanity. At first I was somewhat frightened. I expected Sanity to scold me and point out my many flaws. Being who I am, I expected sanity to hold no patience for me. What does it want, I wondered. Is it going to throw back the veil and tell everyone of my many misjudgments and odd choices?

But that would probably be mistaking sanity for dogmatic judgmentalism. Probably a mistake.

As it turns out, even though I have no idea if I know sanity or not, sanity seems to know me well enough, and has been kind. If I'm not mistaken I think sanity led me to place the bungee cord on the garbage can lid in order to thwart the efforts of the litterbug raccoon. I did it, and it worked. Of course I refuse to admit I wouldn't have thought of it, yet without the voice of sanity it may have taken me years to do the simple, reasonable thing.

It does me good to think sanity considers me worthy of its voice. Perhaps sanity is not the stranger I thought. Could be one of those Christmas miracles. I am open to those and fully believe they are possible.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I'd Be Scrooge if I Could

If I were Scrooge I would get to fly through the night, and time, with oddly dressed ghosts. I'd also have money and power to bestow wonderful relief to friends in need, once I saw the error of my ways. Not a bad gig, when you think about it.

As it is, I doubt I will have the fun of flying through time and the night. Maybe I lead too much of an inconsequential life. Not that I haven't messed up and hurt people's feelings once or twice when I should have known better. But on the whole, nothing of major consequence is there.

My biggest woe at the moment is purely selfish--I misplaced or lost my trusty sunglasses--the prescription ones that take care of my eye condition--I have stigmata; more in one eye than the other. Oh where oh where can they be. I heard that having stigmata can be a miraculous thing and sometimes you get visited by priests and other experts. I'd prefer a benevolent opthamologist and optometrist.

Maybe I'll find them. The lenses are in terrible shape but better than nothing when you are on I-8 (THE Eight in California lingo) driving west at the end of the day. It can be a blinding situation, which is not good at 70 mph, or so. The scratched up stigmata glasses help a lot. Guess I'll have to make due with cheap sunglasses that are not help at all for stigmata of the eye.

I bought them the Christmas before my exodus from Memphis, specifically for the journey. When was that? Would that be three years ago? I should have fixed the date in my mind. I lost track and have to search for mental landmarks in time to put it together.

Those glasses have sentimental and intrinsic value, dammit.

So, woe is me. I can't be a rich SOB and fly through the sky until I become a rich wonderful person, and I have to suffer the sun with my stigmata uncompensated. And people in Haiti think they have it rough.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Many Things and Blue Sky

Just when I was trying to send the picture that I will then place here, I thought about those denial of service attacks on Mastercard and whatnot, supposedly in protest of the wikileaks guy being arrested. Or maybe in protest of people being pissed at him.

Some people approve, and some don't. That is not the issue I am addressing. Protests and what constitutes legitimately peaceful and what doesn't, how it relates to one's view of freedom, capitalism, totalitarianism and whatnot is the issue.

This is where many unions' tactics in the past have conditioned people to take the stand that if they believe in their cause, then all other values are suspended when dealing with the opposition.

I disagree with that approach. A cyber attack designed to crash a commercial website is not a peaceful protest. Imagine the millions who needed the service to work, who have zip to do with the wiki man or anything relating to him. It is wrong to harass strangers and disrupt innocent businesses because you don't like something. I think it is wrong to stop traffic, throw rocks, or do anything beyond letting your voice be heard and yourself be seen in protesting a decision by a company. For one thing, you do not know whose life you may screw up by doing things which impact people not connected to your issue. You may prevent a sick person from getting help in time, may cause someone down to his last dime to miss a non refundable flight to a circumstance of relief and hope--you just don't know and you do not have the right. Not morally.

It applies to the internet as well. Unless you are shutting down the IRS in this manner, you will have a hard time convincing me that attacking independent businesses in this way is peaceful protest. It is an abuse.

Other than that, the sky does exist. It is blue. Sure glad I had an ark already built. The two coyotes I had on board are already running amok, multiplying and tearing up rabbits.

Looks like one of my neighbors cut the corner on a blind curve once too often. It is pulled off to the side toward the bottom of the hill. That front tire is off the rim. Can't say this is a big surprise. Seems like that car is one of the usual ones which travels the wrong side of the road going way too fast, all the time. I'd love to race around on that hill, but I don't for just this reason.

SD State Aztecs beat Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl. I think that is the right Poin.
I took a shine to that team upon my arrival here because they always lost and seemed doomed forever, but they have a cool name and had heart. Now they are a real team and only lose weirdly--like the Chargers. When they lose it is like they are under a spell or curse because they lose in odd ways to riffraff. They must have taken my advice and conducted the proper ceremonies with the cheerleaders, as I instructed.

If they had done these rites slightly differently, we'd be having a bumper crop harvest next fall. As it is they beat the US Navy. That makes them a world super power---possibly The world's number one super power.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Need a Good Mud Wrestling Venue?

..come to Ballistic Mountain, especially up by Molly the Cat's house. He probably won't bother to fight you as the great outdoors hasn't held much appeal for him lately.

We've had non stop rain and mist for days. This may be the longest I've gone without seeing even a glimpse f the sun or even a sliver of blue sky since I arrived here.

The road up there is far narrower, with steeper hills than the unpaved road up to my place. There is more than one patch of thick gooey mud. No way you can stop on the downhill side in a couple of places. Try and you just slide.

My big concern is meeting someone coming the other way. Some complete idiots live a little past Molly's place, so if I was on the road going one way and one of them was going the other way, it is a sure bet that only one of us would be looking for traffic. In normal conditions they drive as if no one else could possibly be on the road.

There are some good people up here, and some people who are either always very drunk, naturally dimwitted to the extreme, suicidal, or brain damaged. Maybe all of the above. It's always the same ones who cut corners on the blind curves, escaping collision only by the vigilance of the other drivers.

I have made rude gestures more than once. Sometimes I forget to avoid such emotion. I hope my mean look is actually mean and scary, but I doubt it. Could be time to wave the machete out the window.

Tomorrow morning is last Molly feeding, providing his people's flight can get into the airport in all this foggy mess. It has been a hassle but kind of enjoyable. I usually hang around awhile to give him some quality time and convince him they will be back soon. He seems to appreciate it. Half the time I wonder if I got the needle in when shooting him up because other than the first time, when he tensed and had his ears back in anticipation, he has shown no notice whatsoever. I do it while he is busy eating. It's a very skinny needle.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another Passing Thought

It makes zero sense for Subaru to advertise that if you buy a new 'ru, they will donate something like $250 to each of your five favorite charities. They call it "giving back". I call it grandstanding with my money and getting a deduction for tax purposes.

Wouldn't it make more sense to just drop the price by a thousand bucks? (they are playing on people who finance for long periods--only pennies a day more) I like the product but they sure do market to people who are not of my mindset. I do not believe that I take anything such that I need to make a scene and claim I am giving back. I do what I do. Hopefully, whether money is involved or not, my efforts are a benefit.

The best service to this community is the grocery store that is 8 instead of 11 miles or 20 miles away. Do they now need to "give back?". Their prices aren't any higher than stores in town. I think they have already "given to the community".

There are a lot of non-sensical buzz phrases going around lately. People think they are giving back if they do the civil thing and don't leave someone bleeding in a ditch by the side of the road. I mean that figuratively--and literally.

So, I have no plan to buy a new Subaru and when I do, I hope they just don't take it up front to begin with so there won't be that need to give back.

Passing Thought

While I was trying to navigate this place, I noticed that one of the links on the top of my page says, "report abuse". My first reaction was to click it so I could report the behavior of the El Cajon Highway patrol a year and a half ago, and thought maybe I coud turn someone in for abusing Workman's Comp.

I was wracking my brain for instances of abuse--against myself and others. Then I thought, "Does self abuse count?". I've been in the employ of what I consider abusive companies. Many of the people in high places where I've worked were abusive in their way. Many in low places were abusive as well. Of course, I was not the victim all the time. Usually, others were more the victim and I was an uncomfortable witness. There are times the victim prefers you stay out of it because a job may be on the line and a busy body can queer the deal.

So, I chose not to click it. If you ask me, strangers tempting you to report abuse is probably a trap. I bet that if you click on that and start shedding light on abusers that they will just abuse you for it. Like when you call the cops in Miami to report a safe in the alley behind La Carreta, across the wall from your hovel. By the time it was all over I wished I'd managed to get the thing open, or at least said nothing. They wasted my whole night, and I had far better prospects for my time, I can tell you.

That was abuse.

They may as well re-title the damned link, Pandora's Box--click this to unleash all hell on your life.

another passing thought: if you are sending out a series of cards or letters and you don't check off the list of places to be targeted, you may end up wondering if you sent this one or that one. You won't know which ones, if any, were left out. Then again, it keeps life interesting and full of surprises when you hide the facts from yourself in this way.

It's been raining non stop for over a day in SOCAL!!

I suppose you know what this means; end days. Sky is falling, earth is sweating out its fever, new ice age, a good reason to make some extra laws and maybe levy a new tax or two, a perfect time to picket Hooters (or otherwise amuse ourselves with them)

The road up to Molly the Cat's house is even more rustic than the stretch up to my cabin. It is nice to have the subaru in such circumstances. Others have to take a running start at the muddy hill, and often have to give it a number of tries. I have no such issue.

Speaking of issues, who in their right mind would actually try to get laws enacted because they don't like a restaurant's way of doing business? If you don't like it--don't go there. I'm concerned that the NOW has caught a sort of group sickness, a contagious disorder of mind and emotion.

They want rules to ensure that people can't bring kids to Hooters. It gets old-this thing of strangers wanting to dictate the decisions of parents. Somehow I sense absolutely no sincerity in their affected concern for the tender little psyches of children.

WARNING******please blindfold your children or remove them from the room before viewing this image******

Oh, the humanity!!!
It is easy to see how these two women serving up Buffalo wings and fries could forever traumatize the youth of the nation. I think these terrible criminals hail from Tampa Florida--your town could be next!!!!

What is clear is that their basic premise is that it is wrong that some people are more attractive to most people than are others, and further, that it is a crime against humanity to in any way profit from this natural resource. If you accept that reasoning--that it is wrong for perceived beauty to be used in any way for gain or satisfaction--- then it must also be wrong for those born with intellectual talent to benefit from using their above average intelligence.

In fact, if one's natural physical advantages are off limits for exploitation in any way, then one's musical, artistic and athletic talents should also be off limits.

The case that Hooters is tacky could be made, but so could the case that many personal injury lawyers are shameless. Don't go there. Don't employ them. Or in the case of John Edwards types, get rid of judges who don't throw their cases out of court.

It appears to me that the National Organization of (alleged) Women has run out of real substantive issues and has to search for things they can twist which will give them power and notoriety while screwing with the lives of strangers. People would not work at Hooters unless they wanted the employment--some even like it. I've hardly ever gone in the place but the people I saw working there looked kind of cheerful. I'm sure that varies. Many work there because it was the best shot they had at making ends meet. All that is actually irrelevant.

Anything that acknowledges the attraction of most males toward females, and the fact that the initial draw is the way the female looks, is going to be under attack. It is simply how it works. Try as you may, I doubt you can train the "knee jerk" reaction of healthy hetero males toward good looking females out of the human race. And it has been being tried for awhile. We don't have a safer, more polite, or more moral society as a result. Just a lot more neurotic and confused.

There is a logic and simple natural inclination to what promotes attraction both of male toward female and vice versa. It is not bad. It's what it is, and often quite a thrill. No one wants to admit that females are attracted to males who project power and security. It is true. It is friggin nature and it makes sense.

Of course it pisses me off that the guy with the yacht and a billion dollars has more 20 somethings falling all over him than I ever had, but it is not all just cultural brain washing. It makes sense and I understand it. If you have wealth and power and are a fairly personable guy, of course you will do better than a nice guy who is destitute.

It's from the old days when someone had to protect against riffraff--back before tyrants cautioned against "taking the law into your own hands" concerning self defense. For the species to multiply you have to provide a safe environment for the baby machines. That is rather obvious. And you have to have some drive that induces you to set that machine into action and to keep it safe. That's why some women can take a guy's breath away just by looking so damned good. It happens. It is power.

That's not to say some women couldn't kick your butt into next week. Not too many who are 8 1/2 months pregnant would do so well at that, or want to.

I actually think what NOW is doing is far more demeaning to women than anything good looking women whose physicality helped get them the job are doing. NOW is accusing those women of being too dumb and weak to know how to take care of themselves. So they step in, not by request of those chicks, but often over their protests. Explain that.

Forcing the rest of humanity to make choices according to your mandates and prejudices is not my idea of liberation. NOW promotes oppression, as does every other outfit which seeks to curb liberty because they have decided they can run your life better than you or nature.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pg 95 and so it goes

I wish these people would do something interesting. They're stuck in my story, which is like an ongoing dream, which means it may be best to read it while you sleep.

People in this saga end up with primo jobs and I think they all have more stuff to do than I do. At least they waste less time. Plus they are obligated to do what they do, otherwise they'd be out on their ear and back in the weeds. Maybe I could get one of them to write my story instead.

I wonder if I ought to kill anyone off after awhile. So far no one has suffered physically; only psychologically. What's the opposite of thriller? This book is a psychological [opposite of thriller]. But don't worry--it is not that convoluted or hard to follow. Not even that deep. Or deep at all.

we'll get to this later

I think I'll find an excuse for them all to join up on Mt Laguna in the Spring for some old fashioned no-holds-barred fertility rites. Not enough of that around these days. Other than some bizarre practices here and there involving stoning and dismemberment, the wildest religious practices involve a cracker and a sip of wine. Just curious, but has the FDA managed to gets sticky fingers into that yet? Wouldn't surprise me. What if the bread or cracker is not up to anti-obesity standards?

Oh well. I manage to avoid such issues in the story so far. And I have yet to do like they do in chick books--I haven't described the fabric, colors, and particular fashions people are wearing. So far no specific shoe types are discussed. Maybe I need to fix that so that someday women will like my story better. They should like it because the men are somewhat baffled and a little fearful of the A Team women in the book. Probably some of myself in there. That danged Eddie, not even the main character, got my favorite of the women. Figures. Everyone likes Eddie best. I may have to send him to jail or out to sea never to return.

I'm only writing this so the 3 or 4 people who read it will read my book when it is done.

Soon it will be 100 pages--that is a huge landmark. I doubt it will get shorter when I go back through to edit. A lot of editing will probably be to expand and some things, restate and clarify others, fix the conflicting spelling of some names, etc.

It's good to have a project to which I have committed. Commitment is not exactly my strong suit these last however many years.

When I finish, maybe someone will trade me a set of all the keys, minor major, melody maker, etc. that Lee Oskar and Seydel harmonicas make for my book. Can't blame me for wishful thinking. Well, you can, but you shouldn't, that would be bad form.

Here's the cheaper version of the Seydel, from close to $70 for the other to near $40 for this one, but REMEMBER all Keys available are the terms of the trade. Just saying. I had one of these and like it even better than Lee Oskars. I've switched to all kinds of harps and always eventually go back to Lee Oskar, even though I have some Golden Melody, special 20 big river, marine band and whatnot from Hohner, and a few Herings--bad quality control on those

So, save up for when the book is done and we can trade. You can obtain both Lee Oskars and the Seydels at

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wikileaks: Cuba not Healthcare Utopia

Big surprise, according to wikileaks documents Michael Moore's Sicko movie was banned in Cuba for fear of stirring resentment since few Cubans can get care in the facility he filmed.

Only the overly optimistic ever believed that Cuba has the ideal system. Talk to people in Miami who still have family there, or recent immigrants. Other than making money and becoming a very fat rich white guy by villainizing very fat rich white guys, I have no idea what Moore's motives for most of his propaganda is. He has the kind of manner that would egg a peaceful guy on to punch him. I feel that way just seeing photos. I want to punch the guy.

I think it is hilarious that his flick would be banned in Cuba because the fantasy would make the citizens upset. His site claims it wasn't banned. Well, hell, if Mike says it, I know it must be so.

People I have talked to who have seen the system there first hand did not give a glowing report. Only a few idiots in our Congress who weren't there, and maybe a few of Castro's guests (useful idiots from Hollywood), are the main people who have spread the myth outside of Mike. Cubans in Miami certainly didn't. Then those who hate everything not controlled by central bureaucracy took up the cry.

The assertion that Cuba has a wonderful universal health care system which serves all is bullshit.

Here's the link to the story in some Limey newspaper. oooh it's British. Might as well be on PBS, NPR, etc. Why is it that our public broadcasting is mostly British news sources reporting about America? Must be that thing where Americans think everyone with a Brit accent is super intelligent.

Movie Review:Artois the Goat

Once in awhile you run across a low budget flick that you never heard of, and it turns out to be better and more poignant than 99% of those that get the hype and huge production budgets.

That does me good for a couple of reasons. One is that it proves a good movie can be made simply and relatively cheaply. I forgot the other reason. Maybe that I got my movie fix without contributing to what I think is a relatively closed shop.

Artois the goat is about the love. To know what that means, I suppose you have to have been there.

I won't tell the story. It is not actually about a goat. If it were Disney, I suppose Artois would be off on an adventure, possibly in the Yukon, befriending grizzly bears, narrowly escaping an avalanche, saving the dumb ass kid from the mean oil men, then leading him home to a ticker tape parade in Mayville. OK. You saw that one, too.

This is not that.

Some of it is almost surreal. And some of the more surreal parts are way too close to real life. It has great humor, especially if you are on the outside of the controversy about making it illegal to sell fresh dairy products and such. It has great humor otherwise as well. Never a dull moment and even I could follow the story without asking my imaginary friends what was going on.

In some respects this is almost up there with El Mariachi. Totally different, but both independent low cost flicks which were stellar.

For an uplifting film, and a little reinforcement if you wonder at your tendency to travel to the beat of a different drum, this is the mojo for you.

I watched it free on HULU. Of course they play ads but that's no big deal. Many were the world's most interesting man doling out sage advice. He always has marvelous senoritas hanging about. And he is always right, I suppose. However he did not mention the movie. Sponsoring it must have been enough.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hermit History-onics; part N to the Z

Could it be my eventual gravitation toward the Subaru brand was actually due to subliminal messages planted many years ago by tricky advertisers?

Speaking of taming that spirited one. Here's how it's done; settle her right down, and her unfortunate child as well

Wonder if this explains certain elements of my life, past present and, hopefully not, future...

don't blame me--I'm just a hapless consumer who believes everything he reads, except warnings about hot coffee and slippery when wet signs--those I leave to my attorney

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Molly, Raccoons, and Other

Sunset looking toward Alpine from Ballistic Mountain

Originally, I was all hyped to write about "other", but I forgot what other was. Or is.

Now, I have to fill in the latest on Molly--The Cat. Tonight I went over for feeding lessons. I had the pleasure of shooting up the cat. I don't think he even knew it was happening, but then I am an artiste in all things. I nailed him with the needle while he was eating.

Then I find out they don't leave until Sunday. I thought it was tomorrow. I forgive them. My friends made it clear that it is not my fault if Molly dies, runs away, or turns to life of crime. These are very thoughtful people who do not want someone doing them a favor to feel on the spot.

What I had not realized previously is that Molly can go outside when he chooses. If, for example, I have fed him in the morning and he wants to go out when I leave, it is OK to let him out and leave him there until I come back. Due to the many good hiding places around the house, and Molly's wily nature, they say he'll be OK. And when you come to feed him, he is sure to be right there as you open the door.

Even so, of all the possibilities, I hope nothing unusual happens, or, at most, he turns to a life of crime. In California that could mean anything--smoking in an empty park. Growing medicinal marijuana is only a federal crime.

That brings me to a question:
Given the choice, would you pull money out of your pocket to pay the feds to raid medicinal pot facilities in California if you lived on the east coast or Texas or somewhere?
I certainly would not willingly donate money to deal with herbs grown elsewhere. Actually, not here either. I see no harm in it and find arguments relating to harm to be unfounded. Not saying it is a productive habit, but it is by far less dangerous to others than alcohol. That goof who flipped out on an airplane then blamed his medicinal pot was purely lying.

So, if Molly, the cat, goes into the medicinal pot racket while his wardens are away, no harm done, unless the feds decide to do one of their periodic muscle flexing exercises to prove they have power over the states--which is actually contrary to the Constitution in many people's minds. Especially in a case which is not denying people rights.

My raccoon is still after the garbage, but so far, he can't get the lid off. I keep the bungee cord on it at all times. He did manage to tip over the can the other night. I put on the light and threw water at him--no time to boil the water, or oil.
I must say, he is a fine looking critter and he stared at me with an inquisitive, overly innocent expression, as if to say, "Hi. You can't possibly think I did anything wrong. I'm too cute! Besides, I'm just looking at that garbage can, I have no idea how it got tipped on its side. Can I be your innocent, harmless friend?"

"No you can't, you trouble making varmint!!!", I said in raccoonese.

Must have been last year I had the flu. Seems like much longer than that.
Here's the photo taken by flu experts at the time

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In My Mind, I'm Probably Somewhere Else

No telling where else, but I've heard it all my life. Now I begin to think THEY were right; I'm probably not here. Or more correctly, I'm somewhere else as well as here, with my attention not holding a 50/50 ratio between the two. Often it is 98/2 in favor of elsewhere.

We multi-dimensional types are like that.
(Not to be confused with the trendy and ill-conceived idea of "multi-tasking". Most who claim to be so great at multi-tasking are a danger to themselves and others, and rarely comprehend the complex as they try to show off. It is nothing new to juggle chores and tasks. Talking, typing and reading all at once, while driving, has never worked)

Here or there, I do believe life is better in a custom Subaru tour-mobile.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Molly the Cat

It slipped my mind, then I was reminded that I have to feed Molly, the diabetic cat, from the 17th to the 21st of December. He (it took awhile to discover she was a he) is not a kitten. I think the cat is over ten years old. At this stage he gets a sht of insulin before his morning and evening chow.

What that means is that I drive up the mountain and shoot up a cat twice a day. This ought to be entertaining; more for the cat than for me, I suspect. Keeps me off the streets. With luck the cat will survive until his real adults return.

Whenever people take off, leaving their pets in my care, I worry that they'll pick that time to kick the bucket. Then it will be all my fault. I do avoid caring for pets I don't like. Believe it or not, some animals are jerks. If I have to care for jerk animals, I would feel double guilty if they kick because I secretly wished for their demise long before I had to play nanny.

Molly is a likable creature so I worry more about being up to the task. His owners do this every day--how hard can it be? With luck I won't accidentally give myself the shot. Too bad it isn't something more glamorous, like morphine.

Really, though, Molly probably has it tough enough being saddled with a girl name. He's made up for it by standing off rattlesnakes and avoiding coyotes. Even so, it has to hurt.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dilemmas Abound When You're Strange

I can't describe the dilemmas which abound because then I could be in trouble. And they are not really anything more than half baked dilemmas. One could say I live a half baked life.

The crux of the matter is that I am again in one of those stages in which I find myself thinking I want more baking to occur. It is a choice, I think, like most things involved in the nature of one's life path. I don't rule out luck or fortune, but those factors play out quite differently based on choices made before or after the stroke of fate presents itself. You can milk good luck or bad luck to the fullest, or be so unprepared that you miss it altogether.

I've done that more than once. It has to do with some element I've yet to define for more than a moment, but which has pulled in the reigns when I should have rode that baby for broke. This is now, however, so those events ought serve only to prove that my thinking can be off the mark. Clearly repeating that thought pattern and resultant behavior is an error to avoid.

That's why I will yet finish my book, no matter who thinks it sucks. Especially if I am the who who thinks it. The writing is rather poor but I think, once the story is complete, I can go back and make it better. Besides I have begun another story in my head which may be better. It is different, darker in parts, and more dramatic. For some reason I feel like that future story ought to be told.

In the mean time, finding ways to be useful is probably the best route to better mental state and the path of good fortune. Those who tell you that petty family friction and such aren't worth distancing yourself are correct. In some cases you cannot bridge the divide, and that is that. In others you can and if the people decide to leave this life too soon, you wil look back and realize you should have exercised a little more understanding and a little less reacting. Fortunately that doesn't play a giant role in my confusion. It does play a small role.

Maybe the biggest dilemma of all is whether to believe even tiny dreams are within one's grasp. What if I am delusional and so off from reality that I am just thinking like a fool? What if?

Look around. Check out the tube. You tell me total fools and idiots don't often get paid well and rise to fame and fortune. One thing they have in common; either they've no idea they are dimwits or they don't care, or both. Got to give them credit for that.

Green Washing and Running Through the Wringer: condensed edited shorter

***The foregoing was edited because it was far too long***
###and it still is too long###

As I have explained previously, I am not very fond of most mass demonstrations; particular when they involve impeding traffic on public streets and inhibiting the mobility of uninvolved or disinterested persons. For one thing you might be endangering the life of a mother about to give birth or just generally screwing with lives whose paths you cannot know.

That is not to say I am against making views known, uncovering corrupt skulduggery, or free expression. Those things do not require stepping on rights of others.

I have attended civil assemblies related to the powerlink debacle.
Sunrise Powerlink in southernmost California. And fairly easternmost as well. Out there where few people live. Despite facts from their own reports, and facts confirmed through other sources, SDGE and those who stand in line for ill-gotten gains bulldoze forward.

In the name of green energy, which it isn't.

Cloak anything in greenness and it flies in CA. Unbelievable. Often it is more harmful than the alternative.

The path of corruption is a complicated and boring. In simplest form, the utilities commission, and the judge assigned to the original review all said it was a bad plan. Arnold, the ever-compenasting-for-something governor, threatened to fire the commission if they did not reverse their opinion and override all objections, which they did. Of course everyone knows that politicians like Arnold and Al Gore are experts on electricity and its production.

It should be tied up in court, yet with all that mess pending, SDGE is still going ahead with their ground breaking. It occurred last Thursday out in the wilds near Boulevard. That is way east and so far south you can literally see the border fence between the US and Mexico.

It was down a dirt road leading to what had once been a ranch, a Chargers' spring training camp, and a homeless rehab facility. Now it is an SDGE work camp, heliport. We are talking middle of nowhere. So, out of interest and curiosity I went with a couple of friends to see what was up. A couple hundred people showed to express their disapproval of this thing.

The complex is fenced in with barbed wire, and they had a point beyond which you could not pass. Only officials and invited guests. The actual buildings and all that are far within this multi acre annexation of land. The need an acre, they take 600. Everyone was well behaved and of all ages. These are east county horse people, wine makers, hermits, and recluses. And people who just like living out of the city.

Arnold showed up with a motorcade. They bussed people in from various parts of the county. News could go in while they held speeches to the choir and all that. It was bizarre.

What struck me most is that when they were approaching the gate on the dirt road where the people were (I suppose you could call them protestors although there was no blocking the road or pounding on cars--probably fifty cops and sheriffs hanging around), at the narrowest part they gunned the engines and flew by people creating a rather unsafe condition. There were little kids. It was a case of purely elitist arrogance.

Many of the others that came through did not race by, and people waved at them and they waved back. Some shrugged in that, "just doing my job" way.

I was heartened to see that this was not a crowd cut along party lines. Ray Lutz was there but largely ignored. Some of the most knowledgeable and involved people who have organized the lawsuits are almost as libertarian as I am. There were right wing tea party people, and left wing progressives. And Native Americans whose tribes I forgot. Their burial grounds are being screwed with.

No one knows where Gov. elect Moonbeam Brown stands on this, but he is another guy who pretends to be an expert energy engineer. He is all in with the green lobby so, no doubt, since it calls itself green and represents big campaign funding, he'll use it as an example of progressive government saving the earth.

This is a case where the knee-jerk democrats say "go green, rah rah rah", and the knee-jerk republicans say, "go business and capitalism rah rah rah", and both are completely ignoring reality. This is not free enterprise capitalism, and it is not green. No more than the mafia forcing people to pay protection to keep stores open were just trying to help keep the community safe and providing a valuable service.

For the cost of this system, they could put up enough roof-top solar to almost power the county. There's a curious thread, including Obama's secretary of the inerior who was a Sempra lobbyist. (the company that owns sdge and who has the Mexican contracts and plants over there. He's paved the way to help downgrade forest land classifications to allow this to go through.

And Arnold sat there like the wax figure of a man he is while his driver and other cars in his motorcade accelerated through a crowd of peaceful non-violent people causing a serious threat. And he'll say he's all about the safety of "da peepole".

Unlike many, I never liked Arnold much. Way back when he first became famous, he was such a clueless conceited dolt in interviews, I couldn't believe he achieved success as an actor. I tried to like him because various girlfriends seemed to. Where are they now? Obviusly they were nincompoops. Or maybe just I am.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Magic Wax and Wonders

As it happened I was asked to apply the secret santeria formula to an eight foot wooden gate.
Either due to phone not liking the light or my insistence upon moving while shooting the picture, or because a magical haze was in the air (I refuse to use the spelling that includes a k, magick, or do they say magik? oh well), the picture is blurry.
You can't tell that the far left, or part of it is not done. Don't remember what was done and what not at this point.

Here I am after sacrificing secret offerings to the god of magic wood wax.

Make of it what you will. I believe the god of magic wood wax is bullish on America

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Memories Suck

Whether it is an organic defect or a phenomenon of internal chemistry, or simply bad character, I am not sure, but when I look at certain people from the past and their lives, I get sick inside. Not that they are sickening, but it scares the hell out of me because I don't know what happened, while their lives seem to add up and my doesn't.

I doubt I can make a difference from now on. Maybe it is possible and maybe not. At times, like at this minute, it is quite a painful thing to consider. Part of me wants to unleash any and all ability I have on some endeavor that amounts to something so I can say to Them, "Screw you. You were wrong. You couldn't kill my spirit. Screw you all.".

That is a childish fit, I know. The worst of it is I cannot conceive of any worthwhile ability or endeavor that would redeem me. This is the way the battle rages. The best that could happen is that one day I am able to save someone worthy by falling on a grenade. Then they'd say I died nobly. As it is I have fallen on many a figurative grenade without actually saving anyone. That can scare the piss out of you at a certain point in life.

It is all pride and ego. I may as well accept it. I've gone from allegedly promising to kind of stupid, lacking status or import. It had to have been my choice. Today I am a mediocre, at best, handy man. And not even full time at that. I forgot what it was I was good at. It seems my lack of skill in understanding the ways of civilization and the corrupt aspect of capitalism* did not work well for me. By corrupt aspect, I mean the usual office politics and willingness to take credit for the work and inspiration of others. That is a quality in more people than not, if you don't actively defend against it, but I assumed it was a rarity. Then I would react in the most idiotic of ways. Not their fault. I got glitches. Just certain non sequitur mental and emotional reactions which screw things up, especially if I pretend the don't exist.

[*please note, I consider pure capitalism the only natural, holy, right and fair model of human transaction. I'm referring the the bastardization of it. ]

Too many hard blows to the head, I suspect. Must have been knocked out one too many times, long ago. Maybe it was one of the times I collided with a concrete floor or a tree limb.

Remind me not to search names of long ago nemesis types. Or even casual acquaintances.

Quote of the day, re Capitalism: History suggests that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. Clearly it is not a sufficient condition. Milton Friedman.

I would add that you have to have economic freedom to have personal freedom and political freedom encompasses both. I'd further suggest that it is a crime against nature to deny a person any of these freedoms. That is, if you believe everyone is born with the right to make his own choices and own his own life. Obviously, many in the world do not accept or revere that premise.

Brave New World; part MMI

I'm not sure what I do that directs organizations and institutions to my inbox, but I must be doing something. In the case of failed democratic House candidate Ray Lutz, it was trickery. I sign a petition intended for a forestry guy, and it turns out his people were custodians of the petition and used it to pad their propaganda list.

Normally, I avoid petitions, demonstrations and the like. used to write letters but, quite frankly, I've come to believe these things only put a red flag by your name in a data bank. I know my fears smack of conspiracy mentality, but just because one suspects wrongdoing does not make him wrong. Often, people and groups do conspire. Look up the definition and it becomes clear that the word did not enter the lexicon as one which has no concrete meaning or history. Any plan hatched by a couple of people or more is an incident of those people conspiring.

So, now I get an email from Alebertson's, a friggin grocery store. The will give me a five dollar gift card if I get a flu shot. I have to wonder why they care. What if I'm allergic or someone who is better off unhealthy. How do they know? All I want is cheap food. Good produce at rock bottom price so I can juice it up and become super man. No doubt their PR on this issue would include phrases like, "Giving back to the community". Maybe if they didn't take from the community they wouldn't have the guilt trip which induces them to "give back".

No doubt there is a tax break or other behind the scenes perk which causes them to pursue matters unrelated to providing their product at a good price. I'm far more suspicious of companies that blabber on about giving back than I am of companies who just go about their stated purpose and leave it at that. Use that money to develop even better service and products, not to influence my behavior in the name of community service. A company who provides a top notch product or service at the lowest possible price, and does so honorably is already an asset to the community. If they are really on top of their game, "giving back" would only siphon off resources which would be used to better their operation. It is pure bunk, but people buy it.

If only Albertson's would send Ray Lutz to another state or country in exchange for me getting a flu shot, I'd do it tomorrow. Had he not opened his mouth at an event which was not politically based, and had his smarmy smug people not sent emails calling the opponent an idiot I might have voted for him. The emails were over the top. I suppose they assumed that everyone would rather hear their character assassination rather than direct statements of policy and reasoning to back it up.

What does Albertson's have to do with the Lutzmeister? I have no idea. Nothing, I hope. Only that both send me bizarre emails. Raybo lost the election and still won't quit. He's even implied possible vote tampering even though he lost by about three to one. The other people in the race did not hijack names and addresses, or unilaterally turn meetings of concerned citizens and businesses in this area into political photo ops. It really was shameless, and highly detrimental to the effort at hand.

If I ran Albertsons I would give huge discounts to anyone who gave Ray Lutz the flu. What a weird store. They had one program which gave you cookware prizes for buy hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of groceries in a set period. They showed hugely inflated prices for the stuff. A $12 at Target frying pan was supposedly a $30 dollar value or so. Buy $600 in groceries and you could own this wonderful piece of Chinese production.

That's why I go to the local Daniels whenever I need something. They don't care if I get the flu or not and the prices aren't any higher. I bet the Korean manager is not part of the Ray Lutz machine, either.

I think Ray is stalking me and I want it to stop. I sent in one of his reply-and-donate envelopes with clear instructions to take me off of their mailing list. We'll see if it works. Probably he'll send my name to Homeland Security as one of those domestic threats. You know, like veterans and people who like that snake flag--don't tread on me.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Strange and Partly Charmed Life

As of yesterday I have been a non drinker for longer than I was a drinker by three years. What this means is that for 24 years I have had no good excuse for acts of stupidity, poor judgement, incompetence, self delusion and self destruction. So much easier to have something to blame, as if without that something I'd be a filthy rich hero. Blaming society is tempting but doesn't carry a lot of weight.

Maybe my earlier powerless over women is a good excuse. Doesn't really wash but there are plenty of guys who would say, "Hell yea. It's HER fault!!". I can't really go that route. One thing I have learned in the last 24 years is that A) many women actually do have feelings (who knew?), and B) It is not really easier for them, contrary to how it appears. It is just different. Things balance.

I can easily pee outside. I can hardly become a trophy husband. I can have sex without getting pregnant, no matter what, yet I can't render people, men in particular, helpless with a look. A woman can turn a table over on a man in public, or make a scene otherwise, and still come out looking like the victim. A man can't do that--I don't know why. It is very strange. The threat of loud scene will make a man squirm and gives the woman the cards. She can slap or else and get away with it. It is part of the balance. And it is a balance. We can all be victims, but the truth is it's yin and yang. Just life.

Perhaps the long extended effort to meld the sexes will blur these distinctions and then we'll go back to might makes right. Or something.

Too big a picture for me. I think I'm getting fat again and soon my pants will be too tight. I will have to cut back on the potato chips. I'm not really that chubby(oops. meant in the non freudian and non biblical sense) so just cutting back consciously on fatso food and amounts will do the trick in a week or so. Wouldn't it be cool if initial weight gain all went to a really useful place which would be fun and impressive? Maybe not. There could conceivably be drawbacks and it may limit certain possibilities. never mind--just messin' with your head. as it were

Thursday, December 2, 2010

They're Playing Ladies' Lingerie Without Me!!!

Back in the Memphis days, the band had this gig every year, it seems, at Dillard's. They had a special post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas hooplah day which involved special rates for good customers and card holders, food, and general festivity in the store. They had us set up over near the lingerie department. It was great. Should have changed the name of the band to "The Underwear Bombers".

I was talking to one of the guys today and found out they are doing it again this year--this weekend. I'm jealous. And my buddy Ms Rose is going to be there and sing a couple of tunes. Supposedly she still remembers me and asks how I'm doing. We had a stage chemistry I've rarely experienced. It was as if I could do no wrong and she could do no wrong, and it was a blast. No one would ever look at me and guess I'm the guy most likely to get picked for the team by a seasoned soul singer. Just shows how little most people know. I would have guessed it. My old band mates were surprised.
Anyway, it does me good to know Rose is still healthy and singing. That is one very kind, talented woman.

Sometimes I miss the South. I also miss playing electric sometimes. Present group has got the vocals and a creativity that has barely been scratched. If I were not here, then I'd be missing them.

For a guy who knows zilch, and hasn't a clue, I've managed to play with some pretty good musicians and in some unusual places. But, after all these years, I still say the most bizarre gig was with Marvin's Rockabillys at the Whitsett Men's Gun Club. I did not realize the true nature of the place until later. And their just slightly underage daughters---what a mess--I managed to escape those aggressive, lunatic, jailbait and get-you-shot-by-daddy little darlin's.

Their drunk redneck daddys were pushing me dance with them. "Too good to dance with my girl?" Then when I did (I wasn't one for dancing much--friggin Marvin played slow songs to help me out), one girl was trying to set up a tryst. I went along with it but didn't show up at the appointed place and time---afraid on the spot rejection would be met with cries of "rape" and target practice at the gun club. It was way weird. I drank, and else, at that time. If you try that at home, I recommend heavy hallucinogenics, and fast exit car.

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


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