Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Califronia Dreamin; Part VIII-XXXI-MMXI

So many things about this state are great. Geographically, there is just about everything except high humidity, although it may seem so in certain places. The real trouble is that it takes more money than I have to live in an acceptable coastal situation. That would be one in which I could afford a relatively quiet place withut a bunch of odd roommates. I cannot imagine roommates at my age. I haven't done that since my early twenties and not for long even then.

That doesn't rule out a sugar momma who can convince me I'm not free-loading. Convincing me would be the hard part.

The fire threats are what really bug me. Earthquakes, not so much. It seems really puzzling that more measures to mitigate the threat are not taken. Down the hill, in my back yard, there are markers indicating where the Cleveland national forest begins. It is mostly weeds with a few scrubby shrubs. They can weed-eat the dry brown weed field up to that point, but can't touch that. All that dry stuff is ultra fire prone. It catches much easier than your average kindling wood.

But, in the name of environmental "stewardship" it is off limits for fire prevention. So, I guess it makes more sense to endanger the whole area and many people, and risk the forest burning out habitats coyotes and whatever than it is to take different measures where people and property stand to lose.

Whatever the rationale, unless you are pretty close to certain coastal areas, you are at risk. If anything could ever send me back east, this is it. I have a bad feeling about this year. There was already a brush fire by the highway west of Alpine. And another couple of larger ones near where the tourmobile number one bit the dust.

The real annoyance is that I have yet to hear of new creative ideas to predispose the forests to limited fire spread. Some areas---where people and property are at risk, should be altered to create built in fire breaks and I think other steps could be taken. They can't so it because of the new religions which treat earth and anything non-human as holier than thou.

It is my belief that preservation of forests and us need not be mutually exclusive plans. All that is wishful thinking. In the mean time, I guess this is one more reminder that I should quit coasting through life and make some money so I can better dodge such threats.

I've even started bringing my computer if I leave home for a day or more, just so I will at least have that if a fire hits my mountain. Only one way on and one way off that hill as far as I know. And even on each side of that dirt road they can only cut the brush back maybe a foot. So, if that part burns there is no way it wouldn't jump that winding dirt road.

It irks me when things aren't built back in a manner to withstand the next storm, and it irks me when measures to prevent a disaster like fire are forbidden. With all the people who sneak into the country on foot and camp in the hills as they go, fires get started a lot. They not ony don't care if they leave trash in their path, they don't follow Smokey's campfire rules. Actually you are not supposed to have a campfire at all in most of these areas. And there's lightning, and careless legal people, not t mention the occasional arsonist.

I'm not enujoying this time of year. From now until maybe November sometime, it is high fire danger time. That is the main thing that sucks about where I live. That and the fact that government tends to work against you. They hate it that everyone isn't living in a city highrise.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wondering About Law

As we've moved into a hyper litigious society, many people are able to use the system to squash those with less power. Nothing to do with truth, justice, freedom, right or wrong.

Somehow, I have to question the decisions of courts all the way up the chain who've allowed this to develop. It is a great thing for lawyers, and whoever can pay the most and hire the most, and afford to have them file the most motions wins. That cannot be right in a free world.

I guess, since judges are mostly lawyers they help facilitate this kind of thing. It is way too easy for nitwits to sue over nothing, too hard for honest people with legitimate claims to get justice, and much too common for the whole thing to get twisted and molded into a weapon by those with the power to use it.

Oh well. Rather than seriously try to make it right we hear the often jowly voice of reason remind us that, "It isn't perfect, but its the best system there is." And they may be right. Just goes to show that much of the world really sucks when it comes to rules and regulations and how they deal with them.

It just came to mind, and I seriously wonder how anyone can think this is headed toward a more free country where anyone can seek his fortune using whatever resources he has and his wits. I avoided the phrase equal opportunity because some think it isn't equal if you are smarter or richer coming out of the blocks. They don't get what the words opportunity and freedom mean.

Anyway, something like court ought not be anyone's weapon used to harm the innocent.

Oddly Charmed Life, or just consistently lucky in chaotic circumstance?

Anyone who knows many of my life's details would probably have a view on that question. A coworker back in my more dangerous days commented that for an unlucky guy, I was the luckiest guy he'd ever seen

Part of his opinion was due to multiple car crashes in which people who towed the cars thought surely someone died in the wreckage, but I walked away. There were injuries but nothing major or even warranting a hospital stay. He was one of the group who tried to buy life insurance on me have me name them as beneficiaries.

So many second chances which prevented me from experiencing logical consequence of my dimwittedness. Like the time I was 7 and tried to cross a highway on my bike in front of a corvette going 50 or so. He slammed on his brakes and screeched to a halt. I somehow laid the bike down. Part of my bike and legs were underneath the front of the car, but it didn't touch me. I still remember the look of fear and relief on the guy's face when he ran to the front of the vehicle. He just knew he'd killed some dumb ass kid.

I still remember how shocked, happy and freaked he was. He was very nice about it, and I pedaled on to school as if nothing had happened. I never did that again. Not on a bike.

There was the time I fell in front of a speeding truck and no one can figure out how I didn't get run over. The time I slipped and my foot went under the running lawnmower but no injury. I had witnesses for those. No way I could duplicate any of them. Just lucky, and always I did something stupid.

I've been lucky with the cell phone when I left it on the roof of the car. One time it fell as I was driving but got stuck on the rear wiper. One time it bounced so that it landed sideways and lodged against the cross piece of the the roof rack holder--no actual rack just the two cross pieces.

Today, I almost burned the cabin down. I'll spare details, except, at the last minute I decided to combine today and tomorrow's travel and work so I stayed in. Had I not, I would not have discovered the smoldering, lightly flaming little rug on my deck. I won't explain the stupidity involved but I swear it wasn't as stupid as you might think. The point is that I was ready to leave and then thought, wait, why don't I arrange the next few days this way instead.

I'm not claiming magic or anything. I'm just saying I get bailed out in strange ways from events that could kill me, others or really make a very bad mess with a frequency that is somewhat unusual. I hope I quit doing so many stupid things because it is fairly certain that one of them will be my demise. When that happens, I hope anyone who cares will know that I was probably on highly leveraged borrowed time to begin with.

That is why I can't believe the universe is anything but somewhat benevolent. There are a multitude of other events which I could have listed but did not.

I'm so glad I did not burn the cabin, and possibly the whole mountain, to a crisp. This one was rather serious.

When I think about it, I know many people who've dodged bullets by dumb luck or whatever it is. It is amazing that people survive as long as they do. Maybe somewhere deep down most of us tend to think we'll be OK in spite of ourselves so we do really nutso things like form highly destructive weapons and armies, figuring we will again survive our own stupidity or negligence.

Whatever it is that allows so many to make it through circumstances where the odds are stacked against us, I am glad it is there. I only hope I'll learn to quit putting myself in situations which test my good fortune.

I used to think the war thing was just a ruse by middle aged and older men to get rid of the most virile and obnoxious of their kind so they'd have a better chance with younger women. I figure in times long past that would be likely. Now that women go too, I'm not so sure I see the charm of that plan. Maybe it is finally backfiring.

Many will deny it, but most men over thirty dislike their young brethren at a gut level. Not everyone, but if you pay attention you can see it. Perhaps that syndrome is a remnant of the past and we are evolving beyond it. I wish.

What Happened to OBX?

Maybe if I had a great connection I could go to local TV channels and get at least a locally botched news report about relevant hurricane aftermath. As it is, all I find is the story that people are without power. No kidding. That is what happens in hurricanes.

I'd like to know what went down in Bobby's neighborhood, how much beach was eaten up in the Outer Banks, did most structures remain standing and repairable? As it is, I know New York had water on some streets and other things related to New England. For some reason I care very little about New England, though I wish them well. I'm not emotionally invested there for the most part, and doubt they experienced a major catastrophe.

I doubt this will cost them nearly as much as their own rules and regulations cost. Who knows. They gave us Biden and Romney. I know it is silly to blame the whole region for that. That would be like blaming me for Arnold or Maxine Waters.

It seems the news sources believe the public is more interested in stories about a running of the bulls event being cancelled in Arizona, or sex offending baby sitters in Chicago or Obama's disapproval rating. I do not care about approval ratings. Another trick to let you know what you are supposed to think. Who needs that? If you can't decide for yourself, then your opinion is baseless and of no validity whatsoever. Too bad they let drones vote.

I hope things on the NC and VA coasts aren't too torn up. That is a very special area in my book.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Glimpse of the Real Deal

Because we are so heavily conditioned from birth to embrace the basic ideas of governance and hierarchy of power, it seems nonsensical to seriously question it. But there are times when, for a brief moment, the scope and self serving nature of the system and even the opposition to it lay bare for what they are in my mind.

When that happens, I desperately wish I could take a snapshot which would adequately render into words my view at that instant. I know the thought is there and that it is valid, based on observed fact, and kind of interesting, but it plays hell with me when I try to adequately present it.

I think it must have been because something caused me to question a statement I made in an earlier entry. (Thank you S. I couldn't figure out what to call what I write--not really articles or memoirs or fiction or self help tips--entries. I write Entries! yay. got a label for it) The statement was that government is a necessary evil. I'm not sure that government, as we know it anywhere in the world operates in a fashion I consider necessary.

I'm not saying I have the plans and means laid out for how it should be changed, undone and all that, although I have no more fear of such a thing than I do of the way the many forces of thought and behavior modification serve one another and manifest themselves in almost every source of information and education.

Maybe when Obama told people in the areas hit by the storm to continue to listen to the "instruction and guidance of government officials" red flags went up in all corners of my mind, and I'm pretty sure puffs of smoke were visibly billowing from my ears. When I've been in a hurricane, whatever the president had to say was totally irrelevant. But my mentality wasn't one of, "Oh what do I do? Let me wait to hear from a government official. I need guidance and instruction."

Nothing is wrong when seeking information when your property and possibly your physical well-being are at stake in a natural disaster. In that case I can usually get what I need from weather forecasters. Even then, guidance and instruction seems a bit of a stretch.

I interpret such language to mean "let's use this excuse to further convince you that your government knows what is best for you. Let us run your life. After all, who can argue with our helpfulness in this time of need? Do what you are told and you will be safe." And the flip side is "Good news!! Leaving the thinking to us!"

It is not just Obama, so don't call me racist or uncivil or whatever today's tag is when you think the president is full of it. He's the big wahoo of the moment, so screw him. It's the idea and what such a scene represents. I hate monarchy, have no love of kings, queens, dictators, or people who play the game as it has become played.

Well we've let THEM do the thinking and controlling and "protecting" for hundreds of years, and how is history marked? By wars, conquests, and destruction. Leaving the thinking to them has created entire classes of people with no moral compass, and who live purely to destroy themselves and others. Classes of people who believe winning is the goal, even if you cheat, kill, lie, steal and deceive. And most of those include our governing bodies and political parties. So, tell me convincingly that, in the long run, we need this sort of elitist control, that it is a necessary evil.

There is need for standards of respect and courtesy, which I hardly consider evils, necessary or not. The policeman is your friend, even when he tickets your mom in a sleepy residential section for coming to a rolling stop at a stop sign but continuing on after realizing no other cars are in sight. Thanks pal, that was certainly necessary. You just saved the community ten minutes of a safe driver driving on the by ways.

Listening to some who no doubt consider themselves progressive intellectuals I am astounded at their absolute blindness to the nature of cause and effect. The internal contradictions in their conversations also amaze me. Never do they consider that free individuals could enjoy freedom and thrive if they simply did not screw around with people's lives beyond their natural rights.

No, they justify those who do damage to others, constantly present ethnicity as a moral value rather than condition of birth, and then set such philosophically irrelevant features as reason for one group to resent or pander to another and yet another's expense.

It was nervy of this country to push ideas like innocent until proven guilty, and to limit the police power--even though in practice people's rights were being denied. The fact that the idea was there is a big deal. Instead of using such a philosophical base to steadily increase personal freedom and ensure that people could enjoy their natural rights, they found ways to interpret language in convoluted ways and increase the powers of authority. And the public at large has bought it forever.

It is not a matter of one party over the other. They both push the mind washed. They are brain washed themselves, just like those before them. I'm a little suspect of the church in this area, as well. The most religious countries gave us things like the corruption and ongoing crime in Mexico, the Mafia, Muslim terrorists, etc. Maybe because the biggest ones are a form of government in themselves. Got nothing to do with souls, God, the meaning of life or any of that.

People are afraid not to look up to something and it is usually just a group of humans. Otherwise, explain why skank celebrities, wife beaters, drunks, louts, thieves, etc. are making millions, get swamped by eager fans and their mere presence causes people to faint or achieve spontaneous sexual release.

Many an avowed atheist falls right in line when it comes to seeing a politician or celebrity as larger than life and some sort of savior. Really, it shames me that I can't help but know that Charlie Sheen flipped out, or that Oprah decided to end her long running show. I pride myself on knowing very little beyond that. Regrettably, I know who Paris Hilton is, and I have no idea why I know, or what she even does. Hated as she is, she has fans and money, and is probably making money at this very moment.

It all plays together in a sick way and will be the demise of the species. That's because the governing officials control science and research for the most part. And the only way the human race will ultimately survive is to conquer long distance travel. You can bet that every government will want to control that technology when it comes down the pike, and that it's emergence will be radically slowed and delayed by those same people we are supposed to look to for guidance and instruction.

It is easier not to look at these things because we literally have guns pointed to our heads insisting we play along. And half the hostages are crying, but if we don't do it this way, how will we do it? It is hard to argue with that.

I guess it is why lawyer shows are popular; not because it makes sense that these people make obscene money or that often wrong wins, but because it is a world of man-made complexity and drama. So is politics, international affairs and the DMV.

As an added bonus, soon after Vietnam, when I could not imagine they'd be able to sell non-defensive wars, the glamorizing of war and military life began its renewed rise in movies and television. Eventually it took over much of the video game world. Coincidence? Probably to some degree, but look how it plays hand in hand with the real deal. All of it is based on government agency, unlimited funds, and power that civilians never enjoy. Like when, in cop dramas, they yank a citizen out of his car while flashing their badge because they need it more--in their view. The hero abuses the common public and we cheer for him or her. Not me, I flip em the finger and am ticked off that tax payers have to now pay for the hijacked and trashed vehicle instead of the arrogant creep who has no respect for people minding their own business.

Conditioning. It is hypnotic and certainly makes for an easier life if you embrace it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Guitars Under Attack

Crack agents of fish and foolishness departments raided Gibson guitar factory. The instrument manufacturer must prove its innocence, and will no doubt receive no compensation for the cost of doing so. Their fret boards are of exotic wood that must be shown to come from approved sources. I do not think Gibson has gone black market on this.

If you own a vintage guitar, you can be asked to prove and document where the ebony fret board or other parts came from, when they were built etc. Before a certain date, it is grandfathered in, and after it has to meet certain criteria. The thing is, you have to prove it in any case, especially if you travel with it in or out of the country. Customs can take it away from you if you bring that old family heirloom, the old old Martin guitar, if you do not have papers and proof of every detail. And who generally has that?

Maybe now that guitar players are being touched by the police state, they'll be less likely to jump on every ridiculous bandwagon that results in more power to the state. Isn't it about time people refused the encroachment of totalitarian, police state tactics in this country? We need to insist that the burden of proof be put back on the accuser--the state--and let the accused be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Gibson's CEO supported Obama's opposition in the election. Hmmm...much like the various profitable GM franchises who were forced to close, although some of their less profitable competition wasn't, when that company was semi nationalized. I so much wish we'd trash this two party dynasty.

Trouble on the Horizon?

Here in east San Diego back country we experience mini micro climate. My weather may vary significantly from that of points east, west and north which are near enough to see from my cluttered, yet lovely, back deck.

Just now as I gazed to the east I noticed dark clouds and a pocket of rain slightly to the northern edge. I also heard thunder and witnessed long lightning bolts at the southern edge of the eastern clouds. The troubling aspect of this is that, where the lightning was, there was no rain, and everything out there is highly flammable dry weeds and such. It is a mystery to me why you can't mow down swaths of that stuff near roads and in ways which would contain brush fires. There is no shortage of volunteers who would supply the labor to do that.

People don't realize that much which could be done to mitigate fire dangers in the west is forbidden due to odd ideas that it protects habitats and certain vegetation. So, in the name of protection we ensure that these things are likely to be destroyed by fire. I guess it satisfies everyone involved in making these rules since it also ensures the destruction of human habitats and property. You know, down with people and all that.

I hope the lightning did not manage to ignite the landscape. It is troubling that there was lightning but no rain for miles around it. I'm not sure I've ever seen that before.

In the mean time, I keep trying to find out what shape the Outer Banks of NC and the Norfolk area are in as Irene saunters through. I am really sick of the AP reports which are so completely obsessed with NJ and New York and Bloomberg. Your mayor is a fuquit, NYC. Sorry you can't do what LA and New Orleans did and ignore the incompetence of local officials by blaming Bush. Truth is, the mayor and governor were guilty of criminal neglect, incompetence and hobbled the federal effort. Not to say FEMA activities aren't rife with corruption, stupidity and bizarre practices. Farther up the ladder you go, the more that happens.

Anyway, so what is what in God's country east--NC and VA? I did see that Nags head beach houses were in the water a bit---an absolutely predictable situation. The pic I saw showed them still standing but the water was up the stilts on which they stand a foot or two. I very much like Nags Head and the entire area. The stick houses which show no signs of aerodynamic design and consideration still puzzle me.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Case Closed; re news nonsense

OK. There is a hurricane hitting the east coast. That part is almost assuredly correct.

But try to get specifics on what is happening on the VA or NC coast--particularly the most vulnerable areas--and what do you get? Panic over Atlantic City and NYC. They may not care about flyover country, and may think the world revolves around them, but almost no one even likes them except them. I really have no interest in New Jersey and assume the feeling is mutual.

Like a place, or not, I'd like some current, relevant info on what is happening now in the areas being hit. Is the storm surge formidable, are major structures holding up, did Amelia Earhart come blowing in, maybe Jimmy Hoffa bobbed in with the surge?

But noooo. We get all the inside scoop on stuff way up there in Atlantic City and hear about Bloomberg's babblings in NYC.. Let's get to that when it is their turn. What the hell is with news departments and those who teach journalism these days? Really, this latest crop of decision makers and reporters doesn't even deserve to be labelled by a word as polite as "incompetent". They are a notch or two shy of even that.

This instance makes my case that big time news organizations are unreliable and not in touch with the subject at hand. They'd rather stand on the beach up the coast and pretend they might blow away, but they are on the scene, action reporting FOR YOU!!

Reasoning With Misanthropes

More than once I have tried to reason with people who love it when "Mother Nature" wreaks havoc upon the "arrogant" elements of mankind who dare to do things like build bridges and create flying machines. One recently went so far as to say, "down with people, Mother Earth will have her revenge". WTF?

Such conversations are best defused and dropped because those who claim to hate humanity get extremely angry at the drop of a pin (an item invented and made by humans). Usually the words "greedy" and "corporation" enter the discussion. Not always in that order. If you are lucky "The Rich" will get mentioned. Makes me want to change my name to Richard, marry a woman with an eastern european accent then instruct her to tell anyone who calls, "The Rich is unavailable. He's out defying new taxes.

Guess you had to be there.

It is this hurricane that has me thinking. First, we are not victims of nature. Neither are bears, oak trees or anything else.

Anyone knows if you live near a big river, it may flood. If you live in CA you may be there for a big ass earthquake that topples everything, if you live in hurricane land, that friggin big blow is going to visit. And for God's sake, realize that if your city is surrounded by water and built below sea level, you just might find yourself in over your head if a storm comes. It is up to you to know how you will react. So sad that people actually believe master government is going to take care of them and make it OK. Let's get off the manor and quit being serfs. It is the plantation mentality being shoved down our throats in a clever backhanded manner.

Anyway. We are part of the universe, life, nature, and what is. And what is is not a static or overly stable system. Nature is like that. Nothing pristine and peaceful to it in the grand scheme of things.

That is why birds build nests--the environmentally unaware little bastards. They actually commit unnatural acts like assembling mud, sticks and anything else their greedy little beaks will carry to build a place to lay eggs. Why? Because the damned things will fall and break if they just sit on the branch dropping those babies out, expecting them to somehow stick to the limb.

They make use of nature to protect themselves from elements in their environment to promote their survival. Some species run their course and disappear. Do you think other species give a damn? No, they don't.

Beavers radically screw with their surroundings for their own greedy selfish purposes. I bet Mother Earth is going to kick their little beaver butts, but good! How dare they soil the pristine benevolent Nature just because they are hungry? Dams!! The nerve of them. Down with beavers!

That is the character of life. Everything does what it can to make it easier to thrive in an often hostile environment. Humans are no different. But humans have the capacity to use their heads to change how they cope, and to examine the side effects. They often don't do it, but if most of the prevailing religions and political philosophies would take a sabbatical, I believe you'd see that such sane practices would be the norm and possibly the concept of being free AND responsible would catch on. As it is, neither of those concepts is in fashion.

Where people go awry is when they do things that may give a quick bump in the wealth department but have impoverishing consequences down the line. That is because myopia and small minded greed, envy and avarice are contagious. But this does not mean that brilliant invention and use of resources is automatically wrong. Plastic, in and of itself is Not evil. Neither is steel, or fiberglass or concrete.

I know, I'm either preaching to the choir or talking to a brick wall.

What I was really wondering is why things like buildings in seriously vulnerable hurricane zones always get built back pretty much the same way instead of trying new methods and designs which anticipate the inevitable. The same happens in ice storms. Power lines get coated with ice, they fall down, power goes out and it gets put right back waiting to do the same thing next year.

The usual excuse is that it is too expensive to do anything different. That is BS. Good engineers are supposed to be there to work within given parameters to solve the problem. You can find ways that are not so expensive, then when proven, that will be the norm until something better is figured out.

In construction this is tough because of vested interests in the status quo, backed by government enforcement of the status quo. Be sure to turn the evil eye on unions as well as those greedy corporations because they are built on a structure of not changing how things are made or done. I only include them in the mix. I do not hold the others in the system blameless. All pieces of the short sighted, destructive scheme.

Anyway, I have been thinking of a number of ways to radically change how a few things are done, and I believe if my ideas were put into practice, the result would be a house on the Outer Banks of NC which would withstand not only a tremendous storm surge bigger than any in history, but also substantial winds of double or more the force they are getting tonight from Irene. And it is highly unlikely the place would flood.

Maybe my ideas wouldn't totally work, maybe they would. I know it can be done, and I do not think that the cost need be prohibitive. I suppose it would not be as natural as just living naked on the beach and dying in the hurricane, but I don't think it would destroy the planet or earn the retribution of Mother Earth, whoever that bitch is.

PS: it might be cool to live naked on the beach until the storm hits, then go inside the clever dwelling and ride it out

Too Hot to Dance

How brilliant of me to take that trip while my part of the country was experiencing moderate weather, and everywhere I went was 100 degrees and high humidity. In east SD county the hottest time is just beginning. So while NC is in the 70's, or under water, we are getting the 99 degree junk, with higher than normal humidity--still low compared to Florida or Memphis.

I've about had it with super hot weather. If I honestly thought it would cool the world off, I'd do whatever it is they convince kids in school will save the planet. Well, only if saving the planet meant cooling things off.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oh Yea, The Real Reason Storms Get My Attention

Shrinks have had their theories on this, none of which help me cope with civilization. I'm at my very best, or have been in the past, when something like a hurricane hits.

I am good at preparing with minimal materials, and when the traffic lights go blowing down, streets are largely impassible, power is out, and all that, I am at my sharpest. Not sure why.

Maybe it is the leveling effect when everyone is having to work things out without the usual outside resources. It all gets down to the basics. The powerful and wealthy can't travel that road any more than anyone else. Problems that need solving arise, and I never felt so much energy as the last time I was in that circumstance. It puts most people into a sort of shock, but it makes me clear headed, energetic, and, I suppose, helpful.

After all, the City of Miami did give me a certificate of appreciation. I still don't know why. I have made up stories like how I saved babies who were drowning in the bay in the middle of the storm, and stuff like that. I was too busy to remember.

My car was blocked in by a downed tree which just barely touched the bumper, so I got on a bicycle and made my way around to deal with problems of friends and relatives. I guess I felt in control. In immediate storm aftermath the only rule is shoot looters and dump the body down the street. I soon had the tree out of the way, but I accomplished plenty on the bike. It was better than trying it by car for a day or two. Roads were bad. I got medicine for people, gave a cop the real story of what happened in a traffic dispute I witnessed. Cut a tree up so emergency vehicle could get through. Gave the national guard some 2 cycle gas mix, just a peddling fool back and forth.

So, for awhile, I lived by my wits and my rules, and had no confusion. As soon as things go back to normal, I am again less confident and far less enthused about my purpose and life on this planet. Too bad I can't see man-made societal structures and institutions as forces of nature like a storm, or as things that just are, like trees in the road--deal with it accordingly--but I can't seem to do it.

I wish I was up in Bobbyland or on the Outer Banks to help prepare, and help in the aftermath.

People with front loaders and stuff will show up from Georgia and all over. Many will be ripping people off, charging a fortune to remove a stump and doing bad work. People in aftershock feel compelled to say yes to the first charlatan who offers to fix something. I hope the storm people will be patient and resist the temptation.

The big ass storms take a long time to clean up. One place can take a month. You figure an acre full of tropical trees like mango, plus oak and all these other large tropical things I can't name, can be a hell of a task. Especially since you have the house in the way of any easy path. All that stuff gets cut into smaller stackable pieces and you make a ten foot high by hundred foot long stack at the road's edge. Maybe 15 feet deep. And you try not to wreck what survives of the sprinkler system while you are at it.

The saddest aftermath thing is to watch, like I did, a lady pull a perfectly good couch out the front door and hose it down and throw dirt on it, put it back in the house and break a window pane so she could get insurance money.

If a Hurricane Is Headed Your Way

Number one, do NOT hole up with a bunch of people and throw a drunken hurricane party. That only works when no one decides to drive drunk in the storm, climb a tree to experience the full ambiance of the occasion, or use fire as a means of illumination if the power goes out. It only works if you aren't getting that much of the brunt of the thing.

A powerful hurricane blowing through the 'hood is not reason for celebration. Being on top of things is, but not drunken celebration. Of course I have little tolerance for drunks anyway. Reminds me of dark days in the past, and I hate the flow of conversations and emotional dynamics.

The last thing you want if trees come through the roof or sticks break windows is to be in the middle of a bunch of drunks. If you've done your best to batten down the hatches, taken measures to secure the property, planned for power outage and possible flooding by having ample light sources, exit plans, easy food, plenty of water and all that, then just relax and slow your system down. You can't change it by constantly expecting some earth shattering info from the weather channel in the middle of the fray. They said the hurricane was here 30 secs ago, and it still is--look outside.

Don't expect light trailers, flower pots and anything with significant surface area to stay put on its own. Stow those things inside that will fit, and tie those other babies down. If you have trees that could go onto the house, depending on size and such you can tie them off to one another in order to influence the trajectory of their fall. I've done it and it works, but you have to think and look at it for awhile. It usually takes tying up high in one and down low in the other.

I can't stress the tying down of things like camper trailers enough. When Hurricane Andrew was about to hit southwest Miami I helped a guy tie a camper down. He was more in a hurry than I was and it was his so I did it his way. The early gales were blowing in and it started to work on me. I went back and tied it the way I thought would work--overkill in his mind. I finished when things were getting way to dicey to hang outdoors. Within the hour the first tree in their yard blew down. I was trying to sleep. My girlfriend comes in all aghast, "John, a tree blew down!!"
Did it come through the roof or in the house?
So, do you want me to go outside and put it back up? This is not a thing I need to know right now. By morning there will be more trees down.

By the time it was all over it was clearly evident that the only thing that kept that camper from blowing into the house were the extra lines I added. Do not think in terms of the least in such cases. You never regret over engineering such things.

Having experienced many major hurricanes growing up, and being responsible for major cleanup since age 9, and because I like to give advice, I thought I'd offer this public service announcement. It is certainly of more value than telling you that taking the stairs rather than the elevator burns more calories. Seriously, if you have to be told that you are probably a burden on society and everyone around you. Why would I want to prolong your life? Boy I am mean.

Oh, and do not assume government agencies will take care of you and that they are there to think for you. Use your own head and if the water is getting high, start figuring ways to get out of it. And for God's sake don't claim you wanted to evacuate but no one (meaning government agency) showed up to give you a ride. In other words, do the opposite of almost everything the press showed people doing during Hurricane Katrina.

Unless I lived in a really flimsy house, about the only reason I'd evacuate is if there was strong change of a serious storm surge which would put me under water. Or if I had a helicopter. If you do have a helicoptor and it is not parked in a very solid hangar, I suggest flying it out of there asap.

I'm hoping for the best for all areas in the path. Bizarre that I was just out there on that side view window of North Carolina, Ocracoke Island, and my buddy Joel was saying that the way they've built up some of the outer banks they are fried if the big one hits. So, there we are.

People will be in shock that three story stick houses on tiny islands in the Atlantic suffer greatly when hurricanes hit. They are shocked every time it happens, and it happens a lot. They'll probably come back with four story stick houses.

Once Upon a Time in Tallahassee

I went to FSU for two reasons; they accepted me by about Halloween of my senior year of high school and I was too lazy to jump through the hoops where I should have gone, and if I did not go right into college I would have no student deferment from the DRAFT (truly a dirty word in this context). Could have been 1 2 3 what are we fightin 4, don't know, don't give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam. Many of my friends and acquaintances went. Many got injured and a few never came back alive. I wasn't a protestor. For one thing I never hated the military just because they had short hair.

The period of time in question was the hippie era. Contrary to what you hear, the seeds may have been planted in the earlier 60's but it did not catch on big time until late 60's through early 70's.

No free country should have a draft, and no free country should enter a "limited police action" in which people can get hurt, go crazy, and lots of money is wasted. Thank you to all those who made Korea, Vietnam, Bosinia/Kosovo, Iraq, and all the others possible and a way of life. IDIOT BASTARDS.

If we conducted personal home security the way we conduct our "defense", people would be raiding other neighborhoods on the grounds that they are likely thieves and home invaders and if we wait they'll get strong and kick our ass.

Or we might go there because they just don't do things right and it isn't fair to their residents. Who knows

Sorry. This was supposed to be about a stout little Mr Potato Head of a man who was my first engineering professor. He covered the basics to get everyone up to speed on reading engineering drawings and drafting techniques; finding true angles and lengths from drawings of parts and such.

I think his name was E F Kumpe. Dr. Kumpe. Like most of my favorite teachers, he was so distant from pop culture or any thought of being cool, he had no clue what people were talking about if they made reference to even themost well known of things.

Dr Kumpe had a cheerful aspect but it wasn't like a smile in which he was smiling at anyone, but more just an expression of pleasure that most of mechanical engineering fits very neatly into Newtonian physics. He would get an extra twinkle in his eye after explaining something like the concept of a point in space. It is there but takes up no room.

The coolest thing he did--professors could smoke while teaching back then--was to take a huge, prolonged drag off of his Benson and Hedges 100 menthol cigarette, and never visibly exhale any smoke. He hit that thing like it was a big joint. His one drag would burn the cigarette halfway down. Then he'd commence to talking while using a wooden calipers that had chalk in both ends.

He'd walk that sucker all over the board which contained the plan in question, and with increasing rapidness saying, "this distance equals this distance, this distance equals this distance...", and pretty soon it just sounded like he was whistling--sss, ssss, sss, sss.

Oddly, what I learned form him was directly applied to a job I had later on. No one else in that place could find true angles and such on blueprints of exhaust systems for yachts. Well the prints showed the exhaust in the yacht.

The whole last half of this got lost due to connection issues. Here on ballistic mountain, it is no simple matter if you don't have satellite tv.

I'm not going to re-write it, but it was the best entry I've ever done and would have radically changed the world for the better, saving mankind at least 300 years of heartache, trial and error, uncertainty and over-use of helmets.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ocracoke in Danger Due to Mirror-like Qualities

That's the island on the outer banks which is accessible only by ferry, boat or other means which need no road or bridge.

Now that a hurricane is looming in the distance they are evacuating. No surprise there. What is a surprise is that the Associated Press never ceases to outdo itself in its endless quest to confuse, dumb-down and generally bring incompetence to new levels.

How do AP writers manage to get a job? News language has long been a little different and rife with bizarre and inapplicable metaphor, not to mention that if you were ever close to a story personally, you were aware that the reporting mangled fact and quote---it never fails. It is almost as if they purposely do that, like it is a compulsion.

Anyway, according to AP, here is why Ocracoke and the Outer Banks are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes:

All the barrier islands have the geographic weakness of jutting out into the Atlantic like the side-view mirror of a car, a location that's frequently been in the path of destructive storms over the decades. emphasis mine. Does that mean that the side view mirror of a car is a location "that's frequently been in the path of destructive storms over the decades" ? Well, I suppose that is true if the car was outside or you drive in hurricanes. (I'm not Shakespeare, but this writer really sucks)

Jee Suss H Keeryst!!! The side view mirror of a car? Stick to talking about Florida, Champ. Even you might get that one halfway right.

Yep. I drove over bridges and then took a ferry to the side view mirror of North Carolina.

View Larger Map

See Ocracoke out there to the right of the mainland? (bottom center of map)
Do you see anything that just smacks of side view mirror on a car?
This is the trouble when people live their entire lives in NYC or some such place, and never actually draw the connections between nature and life; like cow=steak, tree=wooden chair, etc. They yearn to be colorful artistic writers of newslike fiction, but they have little reference with which to compare things like islands in the sea. Now they could compare restaurants, subway lines, and things like that.

I'll bet the writer doesn't even drive. He or she probably got nailed by a side view mirror one night, while walking on a crowded sidewalk trying to catch a cab home from Club Spankme. I've bumped into side view mirrors myself, in less urban settings. That was what the writer termed, "an aha! moment". Ever since he/she heard the phrase, aha moment, he/she had been dying to have one so he/she could then say, "and that was my aha moment!". So the old side view mirror had been boiling in that pot on the back burner of it/he/she's mind ever since, just waiting fora chance to come to the fore to clarify a news story. And boy, did it!.

I really want a job with AP. Fact doesn't matter, logic is irrelevant and I can compare anything to anything. It is like sleeping with a dust pan in a gold mine, while stalking the wild grizzly with a grain of salt.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Econ 01 by Professor Ballistic

Hello class! Sit down, shut up and put your smart and dumb phones on silent. I do not care if you attend class, text or draw, just don't annoy me or I'll have to use the TASER (air quotes) on you.

Today we'll explore the bizarre topic of Job Creation.

So, just how are jobs created?

Put your hands down. It was a rhetorical question, as almost all questions I ask in this class will be. I hate audience participation events.

OK. Some think jobs are created by LEADERS (air quotes)
I suppose this depends on how you define the word leader (air quotes). Most define it as a charismatic preacher who extracts his salary and much more from you at the point of a gun. ie; politician. I will discount this method of job creation.

My beloved students.
Now I have their rapt attention they pore over the ledger accounts of last night's drug transactions and prostitution proceeds...

In the world of nature in which humans dwell, surprise, surprise, a job is created when someone comes up with a good and/or service which others want and will trade for. Because not everyone needs a house built and who would give you a house for that shirt you made, we have money, which ideally represents a fairly universal unit of value, or effort combined with skill, need, etc. Brain surgeons used to be paid more than electricians due to skill level, need, and scarcity of talent in that field.

OK. So, someone figures out how to make your house cool in summer. That is worth a bundle to many sweltering souls. This person finds that more people want what he has to offer and will pay an amount that covers costs plus affords him a decent standard of living. He or she then reasons that people could be paid to help do the work, distribute the magic machines, etc.

It's easy, right? Oh maybe not so easy. Now he has to satisfy a dozen government agencies, buy a license, get bonded, be inspected purchase insurance and pay various agencies an amount equal to at least 40% of his employee's salary. Better not hire too many. Looks like we'll let part of the demand go unsatisfied. Competitors will take up the slack once they figure out how to make these things.

Oh, by the way, if you are wondering what the difference is between macro and micro economics, think of it like this:
micro economics is a dollar bill, or a gold piece.
Macro economics is a roll of toilet paper with pictures of dollar bills stamped on it. That's all you need on that.

In short, when someone or some group makes things or does things that people will give up something to have, jobs are created. I'm not sure I really count census workers in the mainstream of that. Especially if they gather information which is not useful or voluntary.

This applies whether you talk public sector or private sector. The only difference between the two is that it is legal for the public sector to demand wealth from the private sector at gun point. That door don't swing both ways.

The real trouble comes from elements cloaked as private getting in bed with elements of the public sector. Then you have preffered members of the private sector getting theirs at gunpoint through a convoluted legal process. This presently makes up 81.5% of our commerce. Many of the others would salivate at the thought of a cushy, unneeded government contract. People are mostly thieves, as long as no one knows or it is given some other name.

Anyway, the public sector does not produce much of anything. They provide services, some of which the population at large want, need, and find it best to accomplish in that sort of collective fashion. Defense of the country and border was once one of those functions---not sure what it is now. Protecting people from force and fraud perpetrated by riffraff was another. Presently it is impossible to discern the private riffraff from those who allegedly protect against it.

All that said, a job is still created when someone is willing to make or do something for someone who is willing to pay more than it costs that person to do or make it. (anything less and they can't cover cost of production or eat so they cannot keep operating) The only way the public sector can aid in job creation is to make it easier for someone to do these things. One way is by refraining from taking too much of a cut off the top. And another is by making rules and regulations streamlined. When dealing with government, complicated tax codes, city codes, state codes and the goddammed united nations requires hiring full time employees, in even a small firm, job creation suffers.

There are many culprits in the mix on this job thing. A huge portion is attributable to the "partnerships" between government entities and business. That is mostly due to the lack of constraints on government function. They are into the charity business, research, giving money to other countries for totally unknown purposes, negotiating contracts overseas for corporations, deciding how and who regarding marriage, the list goes on and on. It all costs money and the only producer of wealth is everyone but government.

Many have come to see "profit" (air quotes optional) as a dirty word. Were it not for the tax structure, the issue would rarely arise. Profit is what is left after you pay your bills. Since it costs more to take your money and put it away for whatever, or use it to buy a bunch of stuff, they have it set up so the owners pay themselves a salary and then put the rest back into the company or otherwise juggle it around without it appearing to go into their own pockets. If it were in their pockets they'd probably spend more and that might mean some hapless company gets to hire more and that means there is more to do for those willing to do it.

Like I said, there are certain things that are best left to government to do--it is a necessary evil. Veteran's hospitals and police, for example--although I think tactics and scope ought to be drastically changed in the latter realm. Some might argue for private veteran's hospitals, but it would still have to be paid collectively.

But we are talking economics. Neither George Bush nor Barrack Obama held/hold a position which actually has the right or the authority or the wit to create jobs. They did/do have the opportunity to remove stumbling blocks and get out of the way. Putting the private sector and everyone else in debt to pretend to make work is ludicrous and short sighted. As we've seen, only a few of their private sector bedfellows benefit and it leaves the rest of us poorer.

I'd get into unions but I doubt you'd understand. The only reason unions were ever even marginally justified is because some companies were in bed with government to the point that they violated the code against force and fraud in various ways, with the aid of the body sworn to protect against it. Now the unions themselves have become big corporations who live by the creed "might makes right" and do it with the help and blessing of government and many corporate interests which would surprise some.

So, you want to create a job? Just try franchising lemonade stands or starting a home window washing enterprise and see how much it costs or if it is even legal.

Alright, get the hell out of here. The test will be on the economic and spiritual implications of Shakespeare's Hamlet, or the movie Artois the Goat, or the movie Boondock Saints--your choice. If you can adequately impersonate Wilem Defoe in his role in Boondock Saints, you get an automatic A..

And if you want to bitch to someone about "creating"(air quotes) jobs, don't go asking would-be kings, dictators and charlatans who've never had a regular job to do it for you. Just tell them to back off, to quit funding crazy ass things all over the world, and to shut up unless they are suggesting laws and agencies to be repealed or abolished. If they utter the phrase "new program", wash their mouths out with soap.

Hold it!!! Sit down. Just want to quickly add that forcing you to pay more so I can hire more people to be sure you pay, and more people to make you safe from enemies I enriched with your money and my clever people skills, is not really creating(air quotes) Jobs(air quotes). You might just decide to quit your enterprise and do something simple like work for CALTran holding a sign that says Slow on one side and Stop on the other.

It's fun. You can hold it edgewise to traffic so they don't know whether they're coming or going. And you can avoid all those new hires paid by money I intended to take from you, But if you do that, I'll just borrow the money in your name and call it job creation.

OK. Let's flee this scene. Go away.

ps: I secretly envy G1 for managing to be a college/university professor. I would so love that opportunity--captive audience on a daily basis and you don't have to take the crap a high school teacher deals with from students with no recourse.

You just cope with the usual phony pressures of academia---I have a tweed coat with elbow patches and a pipe picked out just in case. The beard part is easy. Once you've got tenure, you have a license to be nuts and they'll call you eccentric and brilliant

Too Good to Ignore

Photo of DC Earthquake damage

That showed up in my email. It came from . The picture did, not the email. The message was from the usual suspects. Subject line: Pray for DC earthquake victims. I'll say a prayer of gratitude that I do not live in that wasteland of skulduggery and fuquittedness.

Really, it is such a big deal if something happens in DC or New York but places like Memphis have had earthquakes. I know my old apartment house rattled more than once.

I wonder who will get blamed; George Bush? Exxon? The DC transit system? Racism? Got to blame someone or some thing, and the usual blamers are unlikely to blame Obama. Global warming and evil industrialists. God, I hope the usual demagogues and charlatans don't have nerve enough to weigh in on this one.

I know, blame The Rich!! He's a guy who lives there, not unlike how The Donald lives in NYC.

Best title for a movie and best explanation for most things: The Gods Must Be Crazy

California Dreamin; part VIII-XXIII-MMXI

Since you asked, I will discuss traffic slow-downs, jams, and snafus. Some of these issues are unavoidable when you have too many people traveling on too few roads...


Under normal conditions with no massive roadwork, suicide jumper teetering on a bridge, etc., a huge part of the slowdown is due to either ignorance of or blatant disregard for a few simple principles of the highway.

First--lane usage. When you are on a highway, the left lane is for passing. If you aren't going faster than the cars to your right, get the hell out of that lane. What happens is one or more drivers decide to hang in the left lane, not passing anyone. Other cars come up behind them hoping to pass the people on their right. They get backed up and start going into right hand lanes to pass.

That screws up the flow. If you have more than two lanes, the right lane is generally for ultra slow drivers or those who plan to exit soon. Driving in that lane when you see an entrance ramp which merges into the lane up ahead, if you have a choice, is NOT the thing to do.

If you can't move left from the right-most lane, then do not speed up in hopes of blocking people from merging. Let up a little and let them in. In the long run this promotes the flow.

It should go without saying that if you follow too closely to the car in front of you, and worry that someone will move into your lane ahead of you if you leave adequate space, you need driver therapy and a sharp slap to the face.

On the other hand, if you are merging, don't gun it and cut in two inches in front of the other car.

If only 50% of the drivers on CA highways, and elsewhere no doubt, observed these practices, traffic congestion would be relieved by a good 43.5%, minimum. People would get where they are going quicker and there would be fewer accidents.

In the interest of political correctness I will not break down the offenders by ethnic origin and the like. We only do that when trying to prove certain groups are being victimized by others, or the universe in general. I will say that it is clear that none of these concepts are standard procedure in some nearby countries and the third world. Or in places far, far away, for that matter.

About 29% of typical legal US citizens get it, and that is the largest group who does.

What do I conclude from all this?

I conclude that driver's licenses have little to do with ensuring or promoting highway sanity and safety, and that the curriculum for driver's ed must be severely lacking in matters of real use and substance. And I conclude from observation that in some circles one is considered a sell out and a sissy if he/she in any way contributes to the safe and sane flow of traffic. First to go would be the turn signals--guess they traded 'em in for rims.

Also, in SoCal, a large portion of the twenty something women in the Honda Civics seem an angry and ignorant breed--driving wise. They appear to have the idea that being aggressive without cause is somehow an act of liberation.

I sense that the word "empowerment", or variations thereof come up in most conversations one might have with them. Just a hunch. Their boyfriends most likely ramble on about tipping points, play bad ass in internet chatrooms and such, and have been trained to pee sitting down. They also appear to believe that they know what they are doing, yet a huge percentage really don't get it. Maybe they dated too many bad boys from the circle of society mentioned above and they learned their ways.

I guess I did not do well with the PC aspect of my tirade. oops Hey, if they can drive without creating a battleground or a parking lot out of the highways then tip that point all to hell and more empowerment to them.

I'll leave trophy wives and trophy children out of the equation for now. They are so pretty, why say something mean?

Oh yea, if you plan to change lanes, use your damn blinker, even if you don't understand why.

Walk or Run?

My brother told me, about the time I left on my wandering drive, that all the remnants of my nuclear family and his offspring, etc. were hitting the Keys for Christmas at his place. I figured, OK, well they usually don't book cheap flights that far in advance so I'll wait awhile. Both nephews reiterated that this was the year everyone was heading south for the holidays. I hate to commit money far in advance of the service sought.

Holy smoke!! I checked flights and they are not the super bargains I had hoped. The cheapest one has me returning at 3 A.M. from Fort Lauderdale airport. All the cheapest flights go to Ft Lauderdale rather than MIA. We are used to that from years past, and I am not the only one who flew in there.

I guess I'll bite the bullet, pull yet more of my dwindling savings out and arrange to get there. Part of me starts feeling quite separate from my brother and my nephews, and certainly their wives and may-as-well-be wives. It doesn't take much because I feel like a failure and a fraud.

The odd thing is that the fraud part is because I pretty much threw the fight. I did not have to lose. It goes back a long way when that started, but it was mostly because I felt bad and guilty for the shortcomings and difficulties of those around me and didn't want them to hate me for winning. So, I learned how to lose in style. It became a habit that I can't change. Doom is always the imperative and dark goal.

The discomfort and feeling of being an outsider, misguided as that may be, causes me to feel like I have to show up just because one should face the fear head on. The worst it could do is kill me, and that would not be a big deal.

The cost of flying is almost as much as driving. It is still cheaper to fly, I guess. The thing I hate is having to book so far out and having no refund. Southwest is not the cheapest way at this point. At least they don't just pocket your money and forget it. You can get full credit of what you paid toward any other flight, whenever. They are so much better to deal with than anyone else.

I'm still not sure about booking. I guess I'll work every angle tonight and do something, even if it is wrong. You'd think this constant state of moroseness would kill a person by now or age the hell out of him. Maybe it is and I just don't know it.

At least I wrote a little more in my book. It probably sucks, but that is too bad. Lots of books in the library, on the book shelves and in Kindle suck big time. And many f them sell. Someone got them out on the market. I'm assuming that the books which suck but aren't in-your-face ripoffs which took little effort and involved no real talent are the ones most easily lost in the rejection world.

Ever see those books that try to be funny but really seem to be saying, between the lines, "You are paying for total tripe here because I'm an allegedly cool celebrity"? When you compare the effort and work involved in one of those with a good novel, or even a friggin romance novel, you wonder how they charge even half the price.

My book will get written, and that may be the end of it. It may not be as good as the worst pandering semi-funny piece of tripe but it will be mine and between the lines it will be telling lots of people to screw off, and lots of people to hold their heads high and take no prisoners.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

When Opportunity, He Knock

Found this exciting offer in my email. How lucky that they chose me. I'm going to be rich!!

Chugai JP
show details 6:01 PM (3 hours ago)

Chugai pharmaceutical, Japan Based company seek for an international payment receiving agent in your region. We shall you an acceptance message and also your monthly salary details.
Please send details if you are interested;
Chugai pharmaceutical

Wowsers! you bet. You go ahead and shall me an acceptance message. I'll be learning Japanese. Sigh o narra. Nissan. Mothra. Godzilla--or is it Godzirra?

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy

Many weren't born when that line debuted in a Beatle's tune. It is a fairly timeless sentiment, I think.

I'm trying to remember the phrase I heard recently that hit a nerve. t was one of those phrases that has been done to death in the realm of trying to mold behavior.

I'll probably think of it. Two words; that is my only recalled clue. It was a two word phrase.**** Oh well. When I read the news my attention was quickly drawn to another word that leaves me cold, and in a context involving a public figure who leaves me icy.

So, direct from the files of Machiavelli, Hugo Chavez manages to stage typical tyrant theater by being in a big photo op with sycophants who shaved their heads in SOLIDARITY with their leader who is undergoing chemo--therefore dealing with the hair loss issue.

Now, I wonder if this will somehow become a mark of support which leaves those unshaven standing out like dissident sore thumbs.

In any case, the tendency to use the word "solidarity" any time it remotely can be used, and the context in which purely communist dictators, who by definition believe the state is a better judge of how you use your time, talent, resources, etc., makes me want to throw red paint on them and remove them all from my Christmas card list. The wealthy idiots from the USA who promote such bastards must really hate "common" people. They have no clue what honest self sufficient types deal with under such a system---or even under our bastardized setup.

But why should they? It is easy to go back home on the private jet while bitching about how the rest of us need to pull together, get our solidarinosc on and defeat the evil people who build their planes and facilitate their cushy lives. IDIOTS.

No use even commenting on the rest of the news. I believe very little of it gives enough true information to form a reasonable view, and most of it is the sort of thing that should not even be connected to my life or any shred of this country or its government. The news is one big shadow picture show born of the tales of mass manipulation.

****Might have been "tipping point". Tip this point you unoriginal parrots of the world. Why not go back to using the word "gravitas" every third sentence?


That is how it is. Like trying to fight a wolverine on meth. A nasty biting animal that won't let up.

So, I make sure I have a confusing mess to ensure I don't check out. Last thing I want to do is leave a mess for the innocent, and not so innocent, to deal with. That keeps me going.

One day I suspect I will not care who gets left with what mess. The older you get the less you give a damn about feelings and convenience of ingrates. You care less and less about anything. It pays to grab on to what you can, even if it is not to leave anything to fuel gossip.

That's what keeps me going at all. The thing that makes me sure I'll lose in the end is relentless, and I guess I really know that I already lost, long ago. And I am mad at myself and many others as a result.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Give Me a Grant to Study This

On the subject of shark attacks, I want to check out a few things.

It is a rare occurrence--sharks attacking humans. I saw a thing in which they tested the old adage about how they were crazy attracted to human blood. It turns out they like their normal fishy diet better and aren't overly drawn to it.

What I wonder is if they have collected data on what bite victims have eaten before the attack, maybe going back a few days. Also are those in wet suits more likely to be attacked?

Another thing I'd test, and PETA would hate me, is which types of other mammals are they more or less likely to attack. Not necessarily ones commonly found in the ocean. I'd have a large contained area for the tests, and suggest we start with grizzly and black bears. Just toss one in and see what happens.

Then try a skunk, a dog and cat, a dog or cat which has been sprayed by a skunk. You never know, a useful and effective deterrent may be found.

I'd also test all manner of sonic range. It may be that a tiny little thing on a surfboard that a human wouldn't even hear might run them off. Or maybe just some bear grease. If they are overly attracted to bear, maybe we could do regular sacrifices off shore to keep them happy.

I really want to test this out. In order to do it right, it probably would take more than fifty bears or so. If the skunk thing worked, that may be evident rather quickly. So, only a few of the cute little striped bastards would have to take one for the team.

If they were really on board with this grant, I'd like to see if Gilbert Gottfried is as abhorrent to sharks as he is to me. Toss him in and encourage him to talk under water.

Before I even knew it was him I used to cut the sound or switch channels when the aflac commercials came on. I hated those ads and vowed that if it ever came up I would do what I could to prevent my company from doing business with them. My employer at the time didn't so it never came up. I bet sharks would want no part of that.

And if they did, then we'd know he wasn't a good shark repellant. RIP

How to Silence Opposition, California (union) style

Really, I only barely keep up. It is simply unavoidable that I hear propaganda.

Some group is trying to gather petition signatures for an initiative that I think has to do with out of control public employee pensions or something in this state. Whether the plan is good or bad, I can't say.

My natural inclination is usually not to empower and enrich public employees, or to sympathize with unions. That I will say. Both situations can be a threat to freedom and a problem in long term economic well-being.

I do not approve of businesses being in bed with government andy more than I approve of unions being in bed with government, or the mafia. Only way to stop it is to curb many government activities, and to have a reasonably responsible populace with a bit of integrity as the norm.

Big wish, I know. The alternative, obviously, is working poorly, so don't give me that smug look like I am unrealistic.

But I'm one who recognizes that unions are big business, and in bed with what media usually refers to as big business. That is because I have better insight than most and do not have a dog in the fight, so I don't have to make rationalizations for things that go against a pure conscience.

Here's the very clever way the unions are trying to combat this initiative. Well, besides hanging around physically intimidating anyone who is collecting signatures or signing. Typical union thug tactics. How can anyone justify that? Never mind.

What the union did was form a non-profit organization which claims to be out to protect against identity theft. Then they advertise on the radio with one of those man and woman conversation skits--presumably a couple--discussing the fears of petition people stealing their identity. It is really a brilliant maneuver, albeit dirty and dishonest. But if people weren't addicted to having fears fed to them, it would fail.

They imply that the people have criminal backgrounds, and state that in California "they don't even have to be licensed and bonded!!".

One thought on that last: How can the average Joe start an initiative, and collect signatures on a petition, against the status quo through the lawful petition process if he has to be licensed and bonded--which means paying money and getting approval from those he likely opposes?

As it stands, you do have to be eligible to vote. So, if you have some crime in your past, but can still vote, you should be forbidden? Maybe you were framed for political reasons.

Anyway, a petition takes name and address--much like the phone book. The scare tactic sounds good because the man and woman sound smart, but afraid--just like you should be.

So, this way, the SEIU, or whatever affiliated union can scare people off rather than discuss whatever the initiative is about. When it is time for them to circulate petitions, I'm sure they will say that since they are a non profit and a name you can trust, you can be safe and happy signing whatever they ask.

The whole thing--this issue and almost all the really annoying ones that number in the thousands--could be pretty much avoided if our society had never given over so much of our lives to authority, and had resisted the temptation to use government to control others who don't live as we will them to live.

There is an effective limit when it comes to keeping order. That was passed long ago, and certain exceptions to universal freedom were in place from the get go. Too bad, because the whole idea is the purest ever to come along and should be sought not rejected because it never got full play. Too much control yields negative results--same as too little order.

I suppose if a powerful group who can force their ads on radio in the name of public service will convince people that going to the polls is dangerous if they fear losing. Nothing would surprise me, especially in CA.

I've pondered how such bright people can be so misguided. My conclusion is that they overthink how to control things, but are very weak in the area of mutual respect and integrity--can't resist that feeling of power and being somehow in the elite controlling class. Lots of smart people find it tough to lay off and let the lesser idiots control their own lives.

Often their feel good ideas are based on inadequate knowledge and involve things which either further their wealth or status, or don not affect them personally. People are like that, even when they have above average intelligence. Gives them someone to look down upon and a way to feel important and holy--even if it is BS.

I quit signing petitions because Ray Lutz--a big union supporter--hijacked it for his own political purposes, and because I do not trust the government to have me in a trouble maker database which may haunt me down the road. I lost faith in the government to the point that I do not believe real influence can be had. Attempting to petition the establishment is just a means of painting a target on one's back.

If the people actually want what I want, then they'll vote for the same, or cast an obvious vote of no confidence. That is still possible. But as far as writing my views to Diane Feinstein or Obama, or any of them, I see that as trouble if they or their staff read it at all. And a petition is guaranteed to land one in some database--at least that is my gut feeling.

So far, people want what they have or it would be different, but I do believe most people fail to see what they have given up for false promises and being tossed a bone now and then.

Can't Hide from Big Bro or Sis, dammitt!!!

So, there I was in Starbuck's, where you can find me about once every three months. My thermal cup of Cafe Cubano had spilled nicely on my shirt and more pertinent areas of my work jeans.

Imagine my surprise when, as I was adding sugar--real sugar--to my espresso (which you shouldn't do as per government advice and studies), I see a placard there on the condiments table explaining that, in compliance with prop 65, they needed to advise me that roasted coffee contains acrylamide--a substance which occurs naturally when certain plant matter is heated or fried. Of course, like many things, in California it causes cancer, birth defects, and horrors beyond your wildest dreams.

That's what they always write, "In California" xyz has been shown--or is considered--to bla bla bla. I can't cite the examples just now, but some of the studies which landed things on the list were proven to be bogus, corrupt, or both, yet California doesn't budge. Most likely I have been shown to cause trouble in California and soon they'll tattoo all the info on my forehead, or worse.

The placard rambled on about what the FDA has to say, which was nothing definite, but rest easy, they are continuing to wisely use tax money to study this pressing issue and will publish dietary guidelines accordingly.

Here are the substances which very well could go the way of trans fats. Or DDT. All or any of the contraband below could kill you if you are a laboratory animal and regularly ingest the stuff for the equivalent in your little years of 70 years to a human.

French fries, potato chips, other fried and baked snack foods, roasted asparagus, canned sweet potatoes and pumpkin, canned black olives, roasted nuts, coffee, roasted grain-based coffee substitutes, prune juice, breakfast cereals, crackers, cookies, bread crusts, and toast all contain varying levels of acrylamide

Oh, he's making this up. No, he ain't. The above is copied off a CA government site.

Sometime in the past I guess the people of California saw fit to vote for what seemed like a proposition to ensure safe drinking water and food that was reasonably sanitary. It apparently contained few limiting clauses, if any. Air will kill you if you only inhale and never exhale. Just wait, that will soon be discussed by these LEADERS, and with a straight face.

It is good have the ability for the populace to take initiative, but here is an example of what majority rule unhindered can do. If you simply could not involve the government in so much, many fewer problems would be had. People don't see that. Live, let live, mind your own business and don't tread on me or others.

Just the way fat politicians discuss obesity. OK for them to be plump but you should feel guilty. Talk about cruel. Why do people put up with this stuff? Oh yea. Most people get a payoff in one way or another so the whole thing just snowballs.

I'll tell you right now--they screw with coffee and I am out of here. Or I become a java smuggler. Juan Valdez and his little hijo, whatsisname, don't need no steenkeeng evangelical do-gooder committee putting them out of business.

There are a number of ways a substance can get on the list. Of course it is all highly scientific and, therefore, unbiased and altruistic. The comittees and such are to the agencies and governments involved what the extended family is to a fertile Cuban couple in Miami--multitudinous and sympathetic. That is not a racial slur.

That culture treats even the in-laws' brother like gold. I know first hand and I like it. But you can bet, if they wanted a particular answer from me on whatever matter, I'd do my best to supply the answer that pleases them.

See what I mean?

Maybe you do. Or maybe you will now conclude that my very distant Cuban relations have convinced me to ban coffee, or at least tax the hell out of it and require a prescription if you want to own it. People have concluded things equally far fetched at times. On the personal level, and on the big time news level. Just follow the antics of Al Sharpton for example.

That brings me to the latest update in political correctness. Never use the term "Black cloud" in a metaphor of any kind. I assume "dark cloud" is also out. Any reference to the color black, whether connected to shoes, cloud color, or mood is now a racist slur or the lowest, meanest, most malicious intent, no matter what you were saying.

Guess my trip gave the big O the itch. He's tooling around the heartland in not-white busses***, and the battle has begun. This will be the most underhanded, embarrassing, full of mis-information campaign yet. And it isn't even 2012 yet. Screw them all.
And anyone who thinks I'm crazy. I'm going to ignore it and vote for Ron Paul.

People go, "oh but he's a nut", yet they agree more with him than the other clowns. Who would you most trust if you accidentally left a bag of billions in gold on a park bench---Ron Paul, Obama, Romney, Perry, Jon Stewart, etc. If I had my number on it, I bet Ron would be the guy who'd call.

Besides, he's not a fan of centralized anything. Or the IRS, or however many bizarre wars we are fighting (within strict limits of engagement) etc.

They say hindsight is 20/20. Bullshit.

If that were so, there would not have been slavery after the first millennium or earlier, every damned idiot country and state in the western hemisphere would not have financial and production issues, they wouldn't build gigantic high schools that resemble prison cubes--I could go on and on.

You think people would have allowed more of this sanctioned bullying if they looked back and learned anything? Come on. The idiocy is well illustrated in what England just experienced. Riots kill. Always have and always will.

They result in more control and less prosperity. Innocent people get hurt, ruined and go uncompensated. So, it does not take a genius to know that rioting is not a very smart move, unless you are the one waiting to seize control.

On the flip side, history shows that people will kiss a better life tomorrow goodbye for a flat screen TV today.

***I spoke too soon. Apparently Oba mostly flew in, had the busses flown in, then did appearances not so far away. Not a real road trip, but if I had the company plane he has, I'd forego the busses altogether. Try as I may, I have difficult finding common ground with the Big Cheese or than we've both smoked and maybe "experimented" with other stuff at one time or another. What a BS phrase, "experimented with x, y or z". You were hoping you'd do better with the chicks. You were experimenting on getting lucky, or possibly hoped it would make you play music better.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's Delicious, and I forget the rest

Richard's delicious seasoning, of Brown's Summit, NC, is all it claims. I find myself using it on my secret formula sandwiches, which contain all the variety of food you need in a day--protein fiber, all the essential food colors. It also makes its way onto tortilla things on occasion. If there are tomatoes, potatoes, and greens involved, it usually works. I'd say Howlin Wolf is a little bit better if eggs are in the mix, like omelets.

I cannot imagine anyone taking my advice on this, considering the fact that even other non-carnivores eat nothing remotely resembling my diet. But then many of them think they are saving the planet, bowing to mother nature, or God only knows what. I have my own views of people and types on both sides of the carnivore line. And I find I tend to harbor animosity toward elements of both groups.

Everyone wants to get inside your stomach and decide what should be there. Morons.

I'm not sure you can get Richard's anywhere but that one little country store. It is not all that far from Greensboro, in very nice rural rolling hills, piedmont country. That is probably my favorite NC landscape. That excludes the beach. You go a few hundred yards inland from the beach and I can't say it does much for me. Eastern NC is not fun until you hit the hills to the west, or the beach at the other edge. But you have to go through it to find the coast. One of those mean little tricks life plays.

I tend to prefer the north eastern to the central or southeastern. All offense intended, Lumberton and some of that area is flat, ugly and hot, with a disproportionate number of people who would have been shoe-ins for parts in the movie, Deliverance. It is very dicey if you have any auto breakdown issues in that area, on I-95 or not. In the summer time it can be very hot and humid. 90 degrees there is more vicious than 90 most anywhere else. Even the temperature is hostile redneck.

OK. So why am I starting fights with God-forsaken parts of the world? I don't know. People cannot help where they are born. Maybe they can't help much else. I begin to wonder, judging from my own life.

California is a funny place. I think a lot of the culture has that somewhat warped sense of sophistication you see on TV; where a certain erudition comes through, but the overall awareness level is pretty much clueless (especially concerning life elsewhere).

And the attitude toward the south is maddening. It is really just a matter of being ignorant. But then there are those who rear their heads to fuel the archaic and inaccurate stereotypes. The new south is not comprised of huge numbers of white bigots. It is comprised of huge numbers of black bigots, and very few white racists. Plus some of the best colleges and universities in the country are there, and have been for some time. Doesn't matter. In some circles the hate everyone who eats meat, hunts, fishes, wears leather belts or shoes, or in any way makes use of animals to further their own survival and quality of life.

There are those, too, who hate all evidence of human intelligence and industry. They are "ashamed" to be people. Come to think of it, I agree with their shame. They should feel guilty for being.

So, if you want to find a group who hates all or some of the species, it is easy to do, even in California. In some ways it is easier here than in the South in that regard.

In California, especially in movie land, I think they believe their own movies, even when they are fiction, and based on someone's guess regarding other people and places. That stuff tends to float out into the culture at large to some degree. Maybe I'm in the right place. Clueless, given to fantasy and magical thinking, tan, clueless, gullible, clueless--yea, this is the place where I fit in.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Food Saves Lives

All it takes is you donating to the international Ballistic food bank. You can send money or canned food or good pasta and stuff. We'll be sure it gets used. You can feel good knowing you are a hero and ensured that someone didn't starve.

With so few causes and charities out there, I know you like to be told who needs your resources the most, and whose demise will weigh on your conscience if you don't contribute. It's OK if you buy a mosquito net as well, but if it is one or the other, I'd say food trumps maybe being bit, and maybe being injected with a disease by a mosquito.

This has been a public service announcement

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lucky Are Those Who Have No Time To Contemplate

Where have I been, I wonder. And what is it I'm heading toward that I somehow block from my mind? I'm not so sure the answers are things of beauty.

There are times when I can't answer the phone, write a note or see anyone I don't have to see. I'm unsure why that is. The phone will sit uncharged, off, or in the car when I'm indoors, or indoors when I'm in the car. That's how I deal with it because I feel bad for not being connected with people that matter. I also don't like people that matter to know I'm off in never never land.

What can you do? I decided to get my tires rotated since it is free. They started pointing out wear bars and all that. I figured the tour shoes were good for another 10 to 15000 miles, and no way I was spending a bunch of money for tires.

The clever guy asks if I wanted to see what the price would be so I'd know. OK, I wanted to know. He gave some price and I immediately cut it short, besides, the tires I had were supposed to be good for 60k miles and they only have about 40k. Then he started messing with numbers and pro-rated stuff.

Bottom line, the price of tires that are better than what I had, with a longer milage guarantee, was a couple of hundred less than I paid for the ones that were on there. Time-wise, it seem I just got the Yokahamas yesterday. I figured if I kept them then the discount would be less when I replaced them, and if I let them rotate the new ones on schedule, if these don't hold up I'll get an even better kickback. So, it was either spend at least 200 dollars more in six months or so, or just do it now. I doubt prices will go down. It paid off complaining that I was not getting the 60,000 miles as advertised.

Since he had already played up the wear bar stuff, he could not very well back up and say they'd hang in for the duration, although they may have. In my fog, I felt I had allowed him to corner himself. I'm sure he wanted credit for the sale which may have led to some warranty juggling--I had not done the rotations to the letter, which was my end of the warranty bargain.

Maybe a dumb move, maybe not. I think it may have been smart to do it while I can, and possibly spend less in the long run. So, now I got Pirellis. The only time I ever had Pirellis was before my nephews were even born. I had them on an MG and they handled better than anything, but did not last all that long. Maybe they are better now. They are claiming eighty five thousand miles, and I intend to hold them to it. It sure rides nice. Makes me want to hit the road for year or so. Too bad that tires alone aren't the only things needed for travel.

Anyway, in my stuporous state of mind it made me feel like I was doing something constructive. And it forces me to hustle more for work. This pattern of life is not what I want. I'm a little worried about it. Or else I am not worried enough about it, and that is the real source of the fear.

Forcing myself to write this is progress. Being aware that I may be sending messages in bottles out into a vacuum doesn't please me, but that is how it goes. It is better for me to write something to no one than to write nothing. Beyond that, I really have no idea what I'm thinking or what is next, if anything.

The weather is hot, but not like the places that are really hot. This part of the country is pretty much the best climate you can have if you like sunshine and not much rain.

It would not be that hard to fade away and disappear, but I doubt that is the proper route to take. It may be compulsory, though, so you never can be sure. It is the conflict, the pressures, demands of others that actually keep life going. People think having no drama, no one nagging or pushing--just a little--is an idyllic existence. They are wrong. That sort of thing is a form of death, and it is a mistake to arrange life so there isn't a little bit of outside force, pressure and drama. You don't need much, but a little bit of consistent struggle is a good thing.

About Me

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


Blog Archive