Friday, September 30, 2011

Stunts and I Don't Know

The higher the office the more they pull insulting, patronizing stunts, and people eat it up. I don't mean to specifically single out Michele Obama for sneak shopping at Target, and, of course, somehow getting caught in the act. She's just following the tradition of political people. And make no mistake, she is political people. Just because she's Barak's number one shill doesn't make her apolitical. Oh, I guess that goes without saying.

Hell, like those damned spouses before her, she had to take on a pet project which costs us money and we wouldn't care about if not for the press. Obesity. There are now people who want to regulate the diet of the entire friggin world. Mostly fat cats.

It is fun to tell people how to eat when you can afford anything you want and have a battery of chefs to do your bidding. It is fun to shop at Target when designers are just dying to supply you with their wares. One garment would cost enough for me to live comfortably for a year.

It's all theater. And it is all bad theater; the kind that makes you want to barf except it leaves you feeling like you already have.

We can plan on plenty more in the coming months. That is one reason I'd like to see Romney and Perry fall out of this thing. They both already have what I think is fake hair. All dark except for that grey on the sideburns. I think it is done that way, and it is a look I don't trust. So what if I'm a bit like that myself. I don't color it to make it happen. Those guys are part of the system and guaranteed to perpetuate the status quo if they get in.

No, I think those gus are in the power structure on some level which means they will do all the fake stunts for the photo ops. Perry will be shooting targets or prairie dogs while talking tough about something. Romney will tour a coal mine. No telling.

And while they step up the game on that, the Obamas will be doing things of unimaginable insincerity in order to stay ahead in the race. It is a race to see who can get ahead by insulting the intelligence and character of the American people the most.

While they're at it they will pander to groups as if your race or ethnicity is some kind of philosophy. If I have any sense, I'll take a hot air balloon ride around the world and leave all communication devices at home. Just avoid the party altogether.

I wonder if it came down to Cain vs Obama if the press and the people who now cry "racist" every time someone disagrees with this administration will shut up about race. No idea how LaRaza would react. You can't predict that group by trying to use reason because they are very selective and unpredictable in their use of logic, and their historical references. But then, who isn't?

I saw a video of Jeb Corliss, I think is his name, flying around in one of those glide suits. You can zip around for a long way if you begin with adequate altitude. Then you pop the parachute at very low altitude. That whole fly suit sport is fantastic. That's the kind of thing I should have been doing at an early age.

Maybe one of the candidates will do a base jump off the Washington monument in one of those. That may be too low but who cares? They'd get good press and if the effort is ill fated we wouldn't have really lost anything of value. Those flying squirrel style suits are very cool. What people have done in those things is beyond cool.

I wonder if there is money in coming up with cheesy political stunts? It's a bit of a different game for the first spouse than the wannabes. Just the nature of things. And the incumbent president gets to tool around in AF1 on tax money hitting fundraisers. That has always annoyed me. But, what's power for if not to abuse? People still want a monarch, and no matter what we do they will continue to demand it. Not everyone has the disdain for monarchs, dictators and rulers that I do.

I guess I'd rather see Michele doing stunts like the Target caper than listen to her tell people how to feed their dumb ass kids. If you need her to tell you that junk food is junk food and that your four foot tall five hundred pound 9 year old is fat, you are a walking argument for why abortion should be legal, and I'm talking legal on fetuses as old as 20 years. plus

Thursday, September 29, 2011

No Other Species

A stupid great white shark got caught by a fisherman up by Venice Beach. It was a baby, which in white shark terms means it was about as big as me. The big deal was to get the hook out of his mouth so they could rescue the vicious predator. The guy must have been fishing off the pier. The shark was sort of beached.

Eventually they got the hook out and got it back in the water. The whole time you can hear some lady, the one who took the video I guess, fretting over the whole mess--"oh, poor sweet thing.....don't kill it.....can you save it?....awwww.....will he live?....awwww..."

Come on, lady. It is a firrgin shark with no conscience, and sharp teeth. Where does the "sweet thing" part come in? What is your definition of sweet? No doubt you think tigers and bears are cute and cuddly, too. Oh how I wish armies of people who think like you would set aside a worldwide "Hug a Predator Day".

You can go find a white shark to cuddle, maybe a mountain lion, or Bengal tiger, any number of bears.

It will be awesome!

No other species anywhere would rescue a predator which has been known to eat body parts of that species. But humans will do it. Why? Because we are probably the only self hating species.

My thinking is that I wouldn't go out of my way to hunt sharks, under normal circumstances, but if a great white comes up on the beach in surfing area, I am going to kill it, and use the fins and whatever other parts are thought to be aphrodisiacs and such. What I don't use, I'd sell.

It may be that some of the shark's colleagues are watching from afar. I believe my way transmits the better message. They will stay away, be less likely to get hooked by fishermen on the beach, and will not be as likely to make a snack out of a surfer's arm or leg.

No other creature on earth would risk losing a hand to save an animal that would eat you up in a heartbeat. But the humans on Venice Beach would do it. And they call the guy, who finally got the hook out of the shark's mouth, a hero.

That lends credence to the assertion that the word "hero" has been so loosely thrown about in the last decade or two, that it has all but lost its meaning.

You Hear What You Want to Hear, See What You Want to See

It just occurred to me that someone who says they like my wrting, but rag on me to write this or that, anything other than what comes naturally, can't really like it in the first place. "Why don't you write about X, Y or Z? Why do you waste your time on on Q? I want to hear about ABC".

Obviously this is someone who wishes I was an entirely different person. Probably a fan of little Jimmy Hoffa. There are certain mindsets which cannot be changed, but there are lines that normally aren't touched. One is that when writing, not for a grade, not because I was paid, and not because permission was requested to do so, I would not expect advice or complaint of the sort I sometimes get. As if I have offended all that is holy because I don't conform to another's idea of what best use I can be put.

If anyone had a good idea of what best use I could be put, and I had no doubt of the veracity of such view, then I would do my best to conform. The truth is, no one really knows, including me. So, the badgering to be someone other than who I am just feeds the already pervasive feeling that I have let down anyone I've ever known, and any family who didn't spent too much time trying to kill me.

I've failed them all. I know this, yet I think that this is a feeling which is not healthy or appropriate. That makes it doubly hurtful for someone to act as if my writing here in some way lets them down, It is not here to do them favor or disfavor.

But then, it is possible that some people think I have no emotion, or inner workings at all. A rock, or else just not smart enough to be affected, or too smart to be touched. I think everyone I know has less clue in this regard than do total strangers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

If You Were In The Back Seat...

...of the Tourmobile, on the road that leads on and off of Ballistic Mountain, and BG was in the front passenger seat, this is how it would look. You can see she has long hair. I have to say that BG has really great looking long dark hair. Fin may or may not have let on to the blogger world how pretty she is. OK, that bit of info is now out for sure

The Day The Music Died

Greensboro's music scene in the 80's has been a topic I've discussed a few times here. Many people are not aware of how many musicians, actors and the like have come from NC. NC has produced more than its share, but that is not totally relevant, just a bit of info.

The phenomenon known as the Somewhere Else Tavern Sunday night open jam is what I'm addressing here. Those who were lucky enough to be around for those events and had the opportunity to participate still talk about that period of time fondly. We all find it slightly frustrating that we've never been able to encounter an open mic or jam situation in which those in charge, or participating, seem to "get it".

My critic friend and I have discussed this at length, trying to analyze what ingredient was unique to that place and time which made the thing work so well, and produce such outstanding live, spontaneous music. Why was it so good that name bands who were booked at Greensboro's Coliseum would sometimes rush over to the Tavern after their show hoping to jam with the Somewhere Else Crowd?

It certainly wasn't the upscale neighborhood or the state of the art facilities. The Tavern was in an edgy neighborhood, and may as well have had sawdust on the floor. You drank your beer out of the can, unless you were willing to down that piss they called "draft beer" out of a plastic cup.

In their defense they did eventually get the license for liquor by the drink, and when Burley wasn't pinching pennies he could make the best Long Island Ice Tea ever made.

I think everyone who had the good fortune to be a part of that scene for any length of time agrees that the essential catalyst that allowed the mix to produce magic was Aubrey Henley, known in music circles as McGoo--possibly due to his whimsical resemblance to the cartoon character (I never knew for sure). What I do know is that he could contain a stage full of guitar players, percussionists, etc. so that they would play with, not all over, everyone else.

How he made it work, I can't say. But when he was manning that B3 and admonishing the band to "Bring it down, y'all!", all but the most diseased of guitar players would heed the advice.

The style of music played did not fit any particular category as no "purists" were in any position to dictate their own dogmatic ideas like "blues only, and these are the rules that make it blues", etc. Since I was rarely home and had no significant music collection, the majority of songs I played at the jam were new to me. The first time I heard most of them was when I played them.

I consider that a blessing because I had no preconceived notion of how it should be. That way I just tried to fit something in to aid the overall tune and not be so bad that McGoo threw a beer at me or something. Actually he never said a cross word to me. He had to up the urgency of his requests for people to tune or tone down a bit once in awhile in the case of over eager guitar players who did not have the sense to play background when it wasn't their lead.

That much was organized; you did not take your time until it was your time. He'd say something like, "break it down band, tell it, Johnny!". He called me Johnny most of the time. Some people do and it is perfectly natural in those cases, usually. Not many people but some.

Maybe it was the timbre of his voice that helped. He had a sort of screechy, gravelly sound going. I heard it was due to an injury received in Vietnam, where his job was to chauffeur either a colonel or general around in a jeep. Someone blew something up and he caught shrapnel which affected a vocal chord. Maybe a true story, and maybe not. It seemed feasible, and I'm pretty sure the jeep driver aspect was true.

I was really tentative back then but that is where I learned how to play a lead break in a song with a band. Once in awhile I really got hold of it, and once in awhile my time would go double the usual. They say you can't really teach people how to do that thing of jamming and fitting when and where you should. I don't know. It was one of the more astute Berklee grads who told me that.

I have noticed in my musical adventures since then that most people I've played with can't really jam like that, or don't. It was a huge surprise when that sunk in. For a long time I was talking a language foreign to those players because they'd never actually participated in a jam that might change directions or be begin with someone just making up a riff and going from there. Especially not on a stage in front of a crowd.

And many of those players were very good, better than I. But in the school of jam, barely pre-schoolers.

Often there was a standing room only crowd. Word got out and it became the cool thing for the hip yuppies in the area to attend.

I've never even heard of a similar scene, or one that approximated The Jam. It was open, so if you had the nerve and thought you could hang, you could get up there. You may have a tough time if you thought you were going to get up by yourself and sing a ballad with no other musicians on stage. It was a jam. Can you lend your ax to what they are playing? Better be able to do that because it wasn't just a showcase for front men. If you were able and good, you could earn some front man time.

If there were a ton of players there, sometimes you had to take turns. Instruments like harmonica are not often good in multiples. So, if there were other harp players there, it was good to either get up there early so you didn't have to wait, or just wait until a break so you could have your turn when it started back up.

Another trick for guys like me was to play on the songs most harp players wouldn't play. It may mean playing very mellow sweet straight harp or just floating little notes in here and there. That became something I enjoyed doing and it gave me more chance to play.

But nothing worked very well for long if McGoo wasn't there. He and Dwayne (not sure he spells it like that), the sax player , had a two man band and played various venues throughout the state.

They were the heart of the jam, and McGoo was the heart of the heart. He was like no one I've ever known. Edgy, yet as kind and gentle as they get. He was something, and it is the world's loss that the movie makers and people who make you famous did not broadcast these things nationwide or worldwide.

Maybe that would have spoiled it. I don't think McGoo cared about such things. He finally married a good woman and had a child. He cared for friends and family and that was that.

At some point the jam died. McGoo got a regular job and was absorbed in the family life and caring for his people. And about four years ago Aubrey died. I don't know the exact day, but I'd have to say that was the real day the music died.

Monday, September 26, 2011

When Your Dealer Is A Critic

It seems that I was not entirely correct when I said that Joel, of North Carolina fame, was trying his hand as literary critic. He has become a critic at large. Not being one to do things the easy way, he is not focussing just on literature. If it needs or doesn't need criticizing, he's on it.

The latest criticism deals with how I write my posts---the mechanics of it. I volunteered the fact that I don't write in a word program and then paste it here. I just type it in Blogger's post create thing. The original one, not the one with added bells and whistles. I only switch to that if I want to use big red letters or something like that.

I do tend to hit publish before doing much proofreading, then I read it and usually notice that I used the wrong form of there/their/they're, left off the y in they, or forgot to put a subject and verb in a sentence, e.g. "...and a big...". Often I rush to edit as soon as I see the first thing, skim a few more lines while on the edit page, then publish again.

It probably makes it look like I published the same thing five times if I check the archive list, which I haven't done in recent memory. My bad.

I like to write in this box and don't know why. It feels better than a big blank page and so that is what I do. No excuse, no shame, no regret, no problem. Except to critics at large.

No, the critic at large insists it makes no sense and just isn't the right way to do things. The feel of the critical assault is that because I do things this way, I am no good and probably should be shot.

Why do you put up with it? Why not have him banned for life from the internet and other places?
Very good questions. But there is just one very significant catch; he's the pusher man--my dealer.

Only Joel knows where to get Richard's Delicious Seasoning (that's the name of it whether you think it delicious or no). The stuff is really good on my favorite sandwiches; spinach, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, mayo, mustard, and the vegetarian pictures of bacon they sell, on whole wheat or rye toast. Melt the cheese on one of the pieces before assembling the sandwich.. I like the Morningstar Farms pictures of bacon. Of no relevance but I do not like that textured protein stuff at all. That is the crumby stuff that is supposed to be like hamburger or something. People cook with it instead of ground beef, I think. Not for me.

It's good on home fries too. But really good on the sandwich. I'm hooked, and my only connection to the stuff is Joel, critic at large. See the problem? I have to pretend to agree, or to do things his way. I can't take legal action or hire someone to play rap music under his window. Aside from the cost, if I tried to silence the critic, he'd cut off any possibility of hooking up an O Z, or a kilo of the magic powder.

So, let's pretend this was written on my computer in a word processing program, then neatly pasted into the blogger new-post box. It is a delicate and important issue. There will come a time when I run out, and I do not look forward to the withdrawal symptoms when there is no Richard's Delicious seasoning in the cupboard.

Richard must have been pretty confident that people would find this mix delicious to name it that. Maybe he's arrogant, or maybe his wife or someone close to him tried it and said, "Hey Richard! This seasoning is delicious! You should go up to that little store in Brown's Summit and see if they'll let you sell it there."

Richard then procrastinates because he doesn't know what to call it. He thinks about calling it My Mix of Hen's Teeth, Oyster Poop, and Blood Pudding, but then everyone would know the secret ingredients. Richard can mix spices, but thinking a thing like this through may have been too much.

Then the other person--wife or friend or relative or trusted pastor--comes over and asks if he's talked to the store yet. Months have passed.

Richard cannot tell a lie. Naming his seasoning is bad enough, he doesn't need the mind twist keeping up with a lie would bring, so he admits that he hasn't done anything toward marketing this addictive substance.

The clever friend or wife, etc. decides to take the bull by the horns. She/he puts some of it in a mason jar and strolls into the store demanding to see whoever it is that decides what goes on the shelves. This involves maneuvering around a large cardboard cutout of a NASCAR driver hawking beer.

She--I've decided it was a wife or girlfriend or sister. She has cooked up some kind of beast, maybe a piece of fish, and seasoned it with the secret mixture. The store owner is hooked. "This is some deeelicious seasoning!"

They make a deal, and since the sample she left was hastily labeled, Richard's delicious seasoning, they went ahead and put that name on the printed labels. No one knew if it would be liked universally. You never can be sure of what will sell in cases like this.

Before you know it, Richard's seasoning is famous and people in California are writing about it on the internet, breaking into a cold sweat just thinking of the day when they'll run out and not be able to get more. Unless the critics can be appeased.

See what happens? It may seem strange to hide out and go incommunicado, but just look at the complications which arise when you decide to revive old friendships and stay in contact. Your best friends can turn out to be critics and send you into withdrawal because they are your only source for Richard's Delicious Seasoning.

Howling Wolf will solve some of the problem, but on the crazy vegetarian sandwich you'll be craving Richard's. Your life could be ruined, all because your old friend turned out to be a vicious critic, and you are no longer in the driver's seat. If you don't take the beating, you're doomed.

And you thought my life was easy, and that you have problems? I guess hearing about my complicated dilemma has brought you to your senses and you are at page two of your gratitude list as we speak.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Joel Was Wrong

I spill my guts. Tell tales of my troubled past, including Somewhere Else blablabla.

No one cares about that, Joel. It is like an inside joke. To the people outside it can look odd, repulsive, boring or stupid. Not one single comment or reaction which indicates no one has time to read all that, and if they do they aren't talking. Why? Because it did not leave them a single thought to add or express.

Your career as literary critic will never get off the ground until your instincts improve.

In the mean time, I still think we're being played like fools by establishment politicians. Obama for sure, and it seems te media is in cahoots with Perry and Romney--no relief there. It is a poorly scripted stage play and we are suspending disbelief so we can enjoy and participate in the story.

The end.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Home For Wayward Musicians;part 3

Where was I? Mavrin, oh yea. So I was pulling in about 80 to 100 dollars a month playing with Mavrin. I could pretty much drink and smoke for free because there were always people from the Tavern playing and they'd let me sit in. The perks of being accepted in that way meant you got brain numbing or enhancing agents given to you.

Most of my basic needs were covered but I'd never confronted the issue of How Am I Going to Eat? Fortunately, I was not that much of a food fanatic at that time. And Dave had experience in the world of limited or no means. This experience carried over to matters like laundry as well.

I learned about buying rice, and mixed frozen vegetables and other cheap stuff. We'd cook a lot of rice, and he'd mix his with chicken noodle soup and I'd mix mine with beans or mixed vegetables. I learned about dried beans and soaking them. Stuff I didn't ever have to do before. When I was married, my wife was the brains of the outfit. I had, however learned to iron before landing in the wayward home.

My youth was spent in a sweatshop behind the house making spears and other parts for spearguns. And doing yardwork. I was not well schooled on normal day to day aspects of maintaining one's life. To this day, I am very bad at it. Also, I have a tough time attaching reward to work. That may be because the reward to work connection was not obvious or just because I have peculiar wiring. I have done well at finding some satisfaction in about any work I've done, though. Once I get started. Getting started is an issue for some other story.

I spent some time there, rolling the van downhill to get it started, showing up at various places in a fifty mile radius to sit in and drink free, eating cheaply and probably more healthfully than I had in a year or two, and playing harp for Mavrin's rockabillys at some very odd and spooky venues. I won't go into that.

The goings on at Dave's house are a bit foggy in my memory. I remember some young ladies there who for some reason were hanging around in undergarments, yet they weren't actually with anyone. I couldn't say no at that phase of life. I'm lucky no inconvenient diseases were passed my way.

We had to do what we could to stop Steve B from shoplifting from the neighborhood market. It was a small place and the guy running it knew that guitar player was stealing. Slime ball. That is where we bought our rice and other things.

It was still winter and rather chilly. Dave's house had an oil fired heater in the middle of the living room. The oil tank was on the side of the house. We couldn't afford oil, but it turns out the Cat Lady's house, through the woods, nearby, was vacant as she'd been relegated to a home. Not sure what happened to all the cats. There's a reason Dave called her the Cat Lady.

With the Cat Lady in the rest home, or sanitarium, and the house vacant, and apparently never going to be otherwise. At least she'd never be back. It did not seem unreasonable to prevent her heating oil from going to waste, which it would have.

I felt proud suggesting a bucket line using milk jugs. We soon had enough oil to get the heater fired up. Maybe I am only remembering it this way, but I am pretty sure I was the one who figured out how to get the heater going. Dave may have played a part. He seemed adept at such things. I do know it took some doing, and that the guitar guy, Steve B, was not useful for that.

Had we wanted to attempt arson or something, then Steve B would be the go to guy. I kind of recall that Dave did his best to keep him away from the heater firing process. Steve would be the type to poor gasoline in there if it wasn't lighting immediately.

Eventually, I realized I couldn't live with no aim whatsoever, so I went to Miami to straighten out a bit, work with a friend, and oversee roofing work being done on my mother's house while she was out of town. Then I went back to NC and lived other crazy places. The drying out did not last, but I did have an awakening of sorts that helped in future days and probably kept me alive.

To this day, I know if I'm in a bind I can wash clothes in the sink or the bathtub, I can soak beans in good times and bad, cook rice and live cheap. I've never met anyone else who put stick on letters on a nice Gibson guitar, or met anyone prone to misspelling his own name.

Dave absolutely was good for his word. We made a good team, he having a van, me a license. He never would let me pay much of anything after that initial utility bill, but he did put the bill collector hammer down on sleazy Steve, so I guess that kept the lights on.

I remember one night we were lost in the van and a cop stopped us, He gave me a drunk test but let us go because we were sure we were only a couple of blocks from our destination. It turns out we were a long way off course, but on back roads. I recall we made it somewhere, but where, I can't say. I did keep to completely untravelled streets, but it is good I did not do anyone harm.

That old van was great. I wish they still offered a stick shift on the column like that. Three on the tree with a straight six engine is a recipe for reliability and easy repair.

None of this is the sort of life anyone would have expected of me. Clean cut, good test scores, naturally somewhat innocent, and of a middle to upper middle class upbringing. Truth is, I kind of expected worse.

I expected to be a career criminal of some kind. But then I realized the moral implications of taking what is not yours. Other crime, like drug sales involves people who are just too worthless to do business with so I didn't be a criminal. Although I see nothing wrong with an individual growing poppies or pot or whatever for their own use or even for sale in many circumstances. The feds see it another way, and I am not drawn to that business or to crossing paths with the slimy authorities.

It has been a very disjointed journey. On minute I am engrossed in patenting a thing which had ample market, then I blindly quit it altogether, then before I know it I'm playing some backwoods redneck lunatic bin with Mavrin's Rockabillys, Racing Van parked strategically outside for quick getaway and good downhill starting runway.

And before I know it, I'm a semi-hermit trying to figure out what I must do to feel normal or at least on a pt toward balance, stability and adequate companionship. I guess I don't try too hard at the figuring of that. It does feel much better not being drunk and convinced that the things of self destruction must be right. If nothing else, I do have that.

One thing for sure, I had a lot more women around when I was poor, drunk and crazy. But after that I lost the ability to not take others seriously, and I look at consequences to others as well as myself. That sucks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pseudo Science with Prof. John0**; and very fast food

Beware any scientific information which you read or hear from normal news sources. The reason for this is simple; most journalists do not grasp the math behind it, nor do they catch the subtle, but important, defining factors, caveats, and limits which are important in truly understanding experiments, discoveries and studies, and the conclusions drawn from them.

"NASA says there's a 1 in 3200 chance that the space debris will land on a person!". This is a mild example. Very mild, because it contains enough information to analyze a bit further. At first you think, "I'm wearing my helmet because I have a 1 in 3200 chance of being squashed by a dead satellite!"

Wow. Chances are worse for winning the lottery or getting lucky at the lesbian sports bar in Memphis (straight male point of view). Do not fear. There are, what-a couple of billion earthlings scrounging around on the planet? So, you only have a 1 in however many billion chance of being the squashed earthling and, if they dumped this exact stuff 3200 times, odds are only once would anyone get nailed.

If space were privatized all those drunken, obese tyrants in DC would be filing all kinds of injunctions and making rules out the ying yang to prevent companies from being so irresponsible as to not pick up their space trash before putting someone at risk. That may be beside the point. The point is that the implication of the news report makes you think your chances are greater than they are.

It might be a good idea for a private outfit to go collect stuff that isn't being used before it comes flaming through the sky. They could come back and sell the stuff on ebay for big money. That is how it works in a free market without corruption, which means the government doesn't handle the money or assign the contract and force and fraud are squelched instead of promoted by publicly paid authorities.

Also, I question how accurate such an estimate of odds can really be. Especially since they can't even pin down the day of the event. Or couldn't at the time they gave the Vegas odds of a human getting bonked by the debris.

Another interesting tidbit I read concerned the problem some scientists are having in Europe (and elsewhere, come to find out) because the neutrinos sent from somewhere I forgot are arriving in Italy faster than the speed of light. This has been going on for three years. They originally sent the stuff there for some other reasons but noticed delivery time was a little faster than they allegedly thought possible.

I used to be able to do the kind of math involved in all such equations but I forgot it. And that bugs me because news stories first filter through a journalist which means some fact is almost always wrong. You have more like a 3200 to 1 chance of that happening. I know, that is like saying 10 times out of 9 they get something wrong. I stand by it.

Then the journalist decides to put it in terms the public will understand. Since they think you are idiots and they are lazy, they try to figure out the quick phrase that will sum it up. So, something that might take lengthy equations and all kinds of complicated parameters to properly describe is laid out in a phrase that may or may not contain any truth relevant to the issue.

As a result you have people asking questions like "Do you believe in GLOBAL WARMING?", as if they were asking if you believe in God, or the Tooth Fairy, or those trolls who make people get lost in that woods north of Seattle. We've heard that the science is all in, and Al Gore even rode on a Scissor lift to explain it (although the hockey stick model has been discredited). Believe in?

Anyway, these neutrinos, which I assume to be a rare spice used in fine Italian dishes, are really hauling ass. The article says this is shaking the world of science and much of Einstein's work because it is based on nothing with mass going faster than light.

This troubles me in more than one aspect. First, did anyone honestly believe that some way, some how, nothing would go faster than light? And does that really shake it up that much? I figure it is like Newtonian physics; it predicts and explains things within certain limits.

You get beyond those limits and the other stuff kicks in. If scientists don't expect and actually strive to formulate theories and discover proof beyond current limits, then why in hell do we allow them to be paid with tax dollars? I strongly dislike that sort of scientist--the one who is afraid of new knowledge--and believe me, that ilk is plentiful.

Actually, I thought they'd already found things trucking along faster than light, but like I said, I forgot what I used to know and the speedometer on the BallisticTourmobile doesn't go up that high, so who cares?

I think UPS, FEDEX and the Postal service should hook packages to these things and charge like crazy. Your package would be there before you could ask, "How long will it take to get here?". People would pay big bucks to have important things shipped right now.

We've yet to scratch the surface on the nature of all that is, both big and small. Some things are easy to see. Like vertical posts, set with precision instruments on earth should be parallel, right? Not really. Follow the line up to infinity and posts set exactly vertical a few yards apart will be way far apart up there near the infinity road marker.

That is assuming that gravity pulls toward a point at the center of the earth. That is probably only a rough and somewhat inaccurate assumption, but it works OK. Just like the ocean isn't flat on top even if the sea is totally calm. Other wise it would follow a plane which is tangent to the earth's surface. Even then it may not really be flat because the bigger picture of the heavens may actually look like the road up to Ballistic Mountain.

So, once again, don't get too set on an opinion because you hear about a discovery or study in the news. If you are lucky, you only have half the real story. And if a neutrino snatches your purse, don't waste your time trying to chase it down. It will be in Italy before you get the first step completed.

Here's an excerpt or two, hopefully out of context, from a source somewhat more astute than BBC or AP where I first saw the article.:

CERN has a similar, higher-energy version of the Fermi experiment called OPERA, which sends neutrinos from a source in Switzerland to a detector at Gran Sasso in Italy. After accounting for all the sources of error, the people running the OPERA experiment expect that their measurements may be off by as much as 10 nanoseconds. The neutrinos got there 60 nanoseconds ahead of when we'd expect them to arrive if they were moving at the speed of light.

Notice the reference to opera. Perhaps I was wrong about using these things only for seasoning food. Perhaps it has something to do with the fat lady singing, or people wearing helmets with horns on them on stage.

The OPERA neutrino detector hardware. (so say they!! Looks like old blowers in a junk yard if you ask me.)

In defense of my seasoning explanation, here's another bit from the same article:
Neutrinos have generally made the news because they engage in what are called flavor oscillations,...

Notice the word "flavor"? Case closed.

That article can be found here...and Haha. That's a trick--both heres go to the same place. So does the and. See how life and science are full of surprises?

The article cited is definitely more scholarly and complete than the one I read from the mainstream source.

I should note that many of those involved in the discovery of this oddity have been hoping someone will figure out what they did wrong so that it will be shown that these things don't exceed the speed of light. Otherwise they have to deal with something that requires new equations and theories. They admit it. Very smart on their part. They leave it to the skeptics to figure out if they screwed up. I respect their approach.

**Prof. John0 is the science editor for the BallisticTour Journal of All Things Worth Knowing, and the acknowledged science and poet laureate of Ballistic Mountain. He lives quietly with coyotes, wild animals and imaginary friends in southern California

[wondering how Fin and BG's whirlwind tour is going. Covering lots of territory. I hope to see some of the pics they took while I had them kidnapped in the Ballistic 'hood]

Dynamic Disruption

It has been another odd phase in the life. Just not in balance. Not synchronized.

That leaves me a little less than at the top of my game when it comes to reading people and their reactions.

So, hopefully Fin and BG had a good time on the brief tour. I think they were tired from driving all day, and really just wanted to eat and sleep.

I ignored those clues, held them hostage in my dirty car, made them look at my horror film dirty house, and finally drove them back toward their hotel and safety. No one screamed or cried so I guess it was not too bad.

It was enjoyable to me, except I hate having the big mess. For some reason I went ahead and let them see that problematic aspect of things. I guess I thought it would be bad not to take them to the back deck so they could judge if I tell lies or accurately depict my circumstances. It is not a bad place.

I felt bad once I realized how tired they were. It has to be a byproduct of the break neck itinerary. I'm still wondering if it would have been better not to take them for that drive around the neighborhood.

In any case they were clicking off pictures like a couple of Japanese tourists. Is that racial? So be it, and who cares. Do Japanese tourists generally snap more pictures that the ones from Poland or Iceland? Who knows. It is their reputation.

They were headed up the coast first thing the next morning. I guess all is OK. I did hear that BG left her fancy water bottle in my car. I mailed it to her home in Mississippi. Had we known sooner, I could have run it out to them before they took off. I hate losing my travel cup or not having it handy.

It was good seeing them. They looked great, and they have a very spiffy rental car. I hope they enjoyed the stop. It really is a high paced trip they are on.

I'm not feeling in touch with much at the moment. Maybe that is OK

Home for Wayward Musicians; part 2

[I've tried to use the option to schedule posting times so this will appear below part 1. Then I decided to stagger the posts, in case anyone reads the story.]

There I was walking down the road on a sunny, cool, crisp, North Carolina day under a Carolina blue sky. No idea what was next but I knew I might find solace at the Somewhere Else Tavern.

The music scene in Greensboro at that time was incredible. The heart of the action was the Sunday jam at The Somewhere Else Tavern. Other nights often turned into spontaneous nights of vibrant live music, but Sunday jams were fairly dependable.

People would not believe the quality of the jams, the nature of them, and the number of big names that drifted in. There were also many who'd toured with name bands, big stars and all that. I hardly paid attention to that aspect because I was, and am, woefully ignorant when it comes to band names and who's who. There were grads from Berklee School of Music, Juliard, and people that may have been kicked off of other planets and just dropped off at the Somewhere Else Parking lot.

I arrived that afternoon about 2 PM, I think. If I'm not mistaken it was a week day. No one was there except a couple of the usual suspects; the bar owner, the old guy who drank beer 24 hours a day, the guy who did all kinds of odd jobs and such there, and my favorite drummer, Dave. That explained the old ford van parked on the opposite side of the building from the parking lot, facing down a rather steep slope.

That was the vehicle we dubbed, "The Racing Van". A 65? Ford with three on the tree. Wow, I didn't know Dave had a car, and I was fairly certain he had no license--a misunderstanding with the authorities involving drinking, I think.

It was my lucky day. Dave said he had a place for me to stay, and would be grateful if I would drive since I was legal, and I had that "clean cut all American boy thing going". I informed him of my lack of funds and he disclosed that he was also in the same fix.

As a matter of fact, if he couldn't pay the $120 outstanding utility bill, his power would be cut. It had to be paid that day. How convenient. I happened to have that much, so we worked a deal. Pay the bill and stay as long as you like. We can split up the power bill in the future. Besides the shifty and less than trustworthy guitar diseased Steve B was renting a room. And he owed money. He'd pay the next bill or be out. Steve B was odd. That's about all I can say. He wasn't the type you thought might punch you or anything, and he wasn't really stupid. He just had his values misplaced, if they existed at all.

Dave had somehow been given use of a large, pleasant, very old house in Jamestown, rent free. I think whoever owned it was dead, or got it from someone who was, and felt it better to have it lived in that just let it sit and rot. I've never been clear on that detail, or on the matter of who actually owned the Racing Van. It was registered and had legal plates. I trusted Dave and knew if an issue came up, he'd step forward and take blame rather than let me go down for something not of my doing. Dave had a bit of the Code in him. You either understand The Code or you don't.

My room was one of the better ones. It seems like we found wood and materials and built me a closet. I guess we went back and got my bed from the apartment in the racing van. Oh yea, the van had no starter. That is why we always parked on a hill. That way we could let it roll, put it in second and pop the clutch. It usually started without us having to push it back up a hill. Usually.

This was my period of purely dropped out, almost homeless. One of my periods of that. There was another span of time in the same general era, after being at Dave's, which found me working temp jobs and sleeping on a few different women's couches or in their rooms. Sometimes both.

OK. Due to the fact I was never not under the influence and constantly drinking, there are some very blurry extended periods of time.

I do know that I began playing with a very very bizarre band fronted by the one and only Marvin, aka MAVRIN. Sort of a country band. We had a gig most weekends, and we did not hold out for the high paying stuff. That's the guy I mentioned another time who used stick on aluminum mailbox letters to write on his guitar. Dave often filled in when the regular drummer couldn't make a gig.

On his guitar, in mailbox stick on letters it said, Mavrin's Rockabillys. He misspelled his own name. I didn't say anything for a couple months and neither did anyone else.

When I did ask if he spelled Marvin, M A V R I N, and pointed to his now defaced, very valuable Les Paul, he exclaimed, "W'll Ahl be! I spelt my own name wrong!" Dave and other friends have referred to him as Mavrin ever since. Mavrin was a bit spooky in a country sort of way. Never did figure out the nature of the rotgut stuff he always drank. He sipped it somewhat stealthily out of a dark bottle in a paper bag.

Whatever it was, it definitely was potent. Made Mavrin want to dance--not a thing of beauty.

part 3 next

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bashed By Critics; and the Home for Wayward Musicians:part 1 of 3

***I decided to re-publish so this and the next two appear a day apart.****

My old friend, Joel, in NC has decided to try his hand as a literary critic. He's elected to hone his skills on me. If you ask him, he'll deny it.

However he informed me that my political commentary is of no value, that opinions on issues of the day are a dime a dozen, and that he doesn't even agree with my views. Obviously he has a misguided sense of what constitutes a free society, and of what is the true genesis of the problems we face today, yesterday, and no doubt tomorrow in the realm of soft tyranny and matters of state.

Far be it from me to set him straight. I prefer my friends enjoy a blissful life, and as they say, "ignorance is bliss", so what kind of friend would mess with that?

In honor of my dear friend's limited awareness in the stuff of freedom, and because he requested it, I will tell the tale of my residence in the Home for Wayward Musicians. It is a painful tale for me to tell, and it was a troubling phase of my life, but it did have its moments.

I think I'll have to make this a two or three post series.----It worked: parts 2 and 3 are probably going to appear Thursday and Friday, respectively--if not respectfully
Part 1; HFWM

It was somewhere around 1984, and I was an habitual drinker, and else. My marriage had been trashed within the last couple of years and there was nothing to temper my judgement and life choices. I was behaving as if there were no tomorrow, and co-workers at the car place seemed to believe there wouldn't be. They tried to talk me into letting them pay for life insurance and listing them as beneficiaries. How insulting. They were drunks! Yet I was elected most likely to meet the Reaper first.

Well, I showed them. My nifty VW van (a plush '82 Vanagon) got repossessed, primarily due to negligence on my part. I could have sold it, paid it off, and made a tidy profit. Tending to basic affairs of life was just not on my agenda. I almost never checked the mail. When I did, it was only because the box was stuffed to the point that you could hardly remove it without the use of special tools. I'd empty it and just throw all my unopened mail in the trash.

Finally, I couldn't even handle going to work, pretending I was trying to sell cars. I quit. I notified the landlord that I was leaving. I didn't have the dough for next month's rent anyway. I figured if it wasn't enough notice, take it out of the security deposit. At least the place wasn't trashed by me. Frozen pipes overhead had burst and made a fountain of the ceiling light, and the landlord did little to help the situation. The carpet smelled like death.

It was zero degrees and felt like minus infinity when the pipes burst. Must have been a bunch of dormant flies in the ceiling because it caused them to wake up. It was like a horror film. I tried everything on the carpet. Tons of baking soda. The landlord's guys had done the wet vac thing but it did not help the smell, hence my efforts. I vacuumed it all up before I left.

Having almost no money, few sober moments and no ambition whatsoever when it came to trying to reason with the property manager, I headed out on foot. I guess I didn't have too much stuff, because I am not overly clear on what I did with anything. I believe I gave a three sided screen, that I made to serve as window treatment, to the nice red headed girl who lived upstairs. We had an odd and somewhat one sided relationship. I guess she thought I could be saved. Or maybe she thought I could be easily and agreeably used and it would look as if I was the one incapable of anything more--which I was.

There I was, walking toward the Somewhere Else Tavern, hoping no one passing by would recognize me now that I was a professional pedestrian. I certainly hoped none of the nice people who'd bought cars from me spotted their once beloved sales creature.

It's true, I did have some fans in that regard. Blitzed or not, I had an aversion to playing games or hiding the truth. The car game back then could be a little odd. Mostly you helped people in the same way they put people into houses they couldn't afford by sinking them into loans they probably wouldn't be able to pay back. Dumb people, but who's got the heart to play on their greed to feed his/her own?

Sure, the people jumped at the chance, but it still wasn't the right way to do things. I spent more time trying to talk people out of buying than into it. I was not getting rich.

this is a good time to stop and go to part 2.

prelude prologue

The posts below which tell some of the story of my time in the Home for Wayward Musicians cover just a bit of the education received from the experience. It was during that time that I became adept at playing background with bands, finding ways to supply a little excitement to the music and find spots to fill without stepping on the tune.

It is interesting to note that at that time I was incapable of vocally testing a mic. I would test by playing harp into it but couldn't talk or sing into a microphone. Not the case now as I do both.

Within a couple of years after the story told below, I was again in Miami where I spent the better part of the next nine years. I played very little with bands during that time and for about four years after that. But the ability to jam and to handle a solo during the song stuck with me. My actual skill on the harp improved most when I got with the group in Memphis. And everything has improved since I started playing with Copper Creek here on Ballistic Mountain.

Playing is something that I've done and then not done and then done again. Otherwise I'd be better than I am and would have learned more sooner.

Even though I was in serious trouble in ways, the time spent in the world of the Somewhere Else music scene was the best foundation for knowing how to jam that I could imagine. So many quality players and, in my case, the necessity for becoming versatile. I wanted to play and often my only chance was to play on the stuff other harp players wouldn't do because it wasn't meaty blues harp material. I could usually find some piece in the fabric that lent itself to floating in a note or two. Some of those became my favorites.

I've never seen a true jam of the sort they held at Somewhere Else anywhere since then. That is probably because noone I've encountered knew how to hold it together, yet ensure it wasn't overly structured like Aubrey aka McGoo, keyboard player-scratchy wild vocalist. He's since passed on, and he was a good man. Dave the drummer was highly under rated for his ability to help a guy like me feel confident and feel the joy while playing. They taught me to take chances and they tried to teach me to be comfortable being myself on stage.

Sometimes we'd have ten or more musicians on stage and on a good night it clicked. On a really good night, what started as a jam off a particular song would evolve into something that went on for half an hour and took some really good turns.

The real confidence came when I hit Memphis and realized that though the players were good, they lacked much of what was taught at Somewhere Else. I wish I had videos of some of those jams. Otherwise there is no way you'd believe the quality, spontaneity, and energy of those events. Not to mention some of the connections to bands and divas you know.

I should add that when I quit being drunk and drugged, my playing improved.

Monday, September 19, 2011


So, I don't have much to say. Not in the mood to write. I'll tell the tale of taking Fin and BG hostage for a three hour tour maybe tomorrow.

In the mean time, I'm heading to the port to dump grain, cut brake lines, mess up rail cars and such, hold the guards hostage and get away with it under the veil of collective bargaining. I'm immune to consequence because I'm talking UNION here. The Ballistic union of underachievers. Well maybe some of the rank and file will get their wrists slapped, but since I'm the UNION BOSS I can't be prosecuted. It is a legal thing from 1973. Enmons decision. Since this is a "legitimate union objective", I'm in the clear.

Some other underachieving union is getting my work and I can't let that go unpunished. I'm the victim here, and anyone who says different is a racist tycoon who will get smashed to bits.

Should be an early night. The port activity won't take but a couple of hours. Then we'll all go to the Ballistic hall and watch tv, wait for the evil producers and transporters of goods to cave, and watch the money roll in. We'll expect pay for days we might have worked had they actually hired us instead of someone else. It will be fun.

Too Many Wake Up Calls

Despite the many indications that maybe I should change the routine, I tend to do no such thing. Now that friends are arriving in a nearby town for the night in just a few hours I am suddenly aware that there is no way to make my place hospitable in less than a few days.

Too much stuff, too little space, and it is all jumbled with little organization. I've had times when it was well hidden so it wasn't too hard to half way be able to offer something less than a frightful hermit hovel experience. Not so today.

I guess I'll show them where it is help them navigate out to the back deck for the view, then be on our way. It is definitely a mental illness and I hate that. But it is a step this side of the line from jumping off a cliff or taunting a cop into shooting me. That is progress in my existence. Something inside, very deeply rooted, constantly tells me that earth would be better off rid of me, or that I would be better off rid of me. That is not a good thing, so I generally try to keep it at bay. But I know that is what keeps me in a state of environmental chaos and out of the loop--distant from friends and much of life.

Whatever the deal, I'll meet them in Pine Valley and hope my car is not too dirty for their sensibilities. I have no small vacuum to take care of it, it is hot today and the do it yourself carwash with good vacs is 20 miles away in a place that is even hotter than here. Timing wouldn't work overly well.

I did what I could to make room and remove things from the car but there are few places to put many items I'm using for current work. Thanks for febreeze. I have used liberal amounts, spraying into vents and all over everywhere. It tends to work fairly well.

It is clear that I need to have to do a lot of things every day, and that I need tons of exercise. I am not comfortable with letting myself go to the point of having an old man's body. You can only fake it so long, then the truth wins out.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mountain Madness and No Dead Uncle

The big blowout on Ballistic Mountain was surprisingly successful. Unbeknownst to me, we have a few navy SEAL types up here. The guy whose property we were on was once a SEAL and then an instructor in the SEAL program. I did not pick any fights.

Apparently there are families who live up here with fathers doing tours of duty off in Afghanistan and places like that. Some of their kids were there and sang songs related to soldiers and such. There was a bit of a patriotic theme to this party, even though the actual theme was island Hawaiian or something like that.

The retired SEAL and his wife had the place set up very well. He had a flat bed trailer rigged as a stage with decorations and lights and beachy stuff. They had tents with tables and chairs and plenty of room for people.

Kids sang, adults sang and we played. Then they asked us to play some more. That was when we did my tune where I jam out in C minor off a tune I wrote long ago. We don't do the whole song, we just jam. Or I jam and the guitars lay down the rhythm and the progression. It either goes well or I lose my sense of the thing and am not too happy with it. This was by far the best it ever worked out in a public forum.

Then they demanded more and more. That is when it got cool. Some songs were ones that various people knew so they came up and sang with us. The neighborhood folks who were there had a great time. It ended up with some people just sitting around with guitars coming up with stuff to play and sing, and at the last just some singing.

Copper Creek, that's us, played well. I am glad to see how relaxed we all were, and at the same time how much we were on our game. The music was tight and we were loose. It was one of the more rewarding gigs we've done--but not monetarily since it was a freeby neighborhood thing.

I'm glad it worked out so well. You never know about these things. The crazy guy who sang last time wasn't there. That is the guy who sang an original song of maybe 97 verses about his uncle shooting himself in the bathroom. It was not fun from any angle. Fortunately there was no such riffraff, and none of the people who played were bad. All of it good.

I was not expecting to enjoy this or to feel much a part of it, but I did like it, and because they liked what I did I felt like a minor celebrity. That can be fun. Other than that I don't know. Still wonder what is next or what I ought to be doing.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ballistic Madness

The longer I've lived here, the more aware I am that many people who live up in these hills are crazy and could be dangerous. Not saying that is a bad thing, necessarily, just how it is.

I only see the people as they barrel down or up the winding dirt road creating a hazard to others, while I flip them the finger. Wonder how many recall that. Today there is a talent show/arts and crafts fair/ bake off up the road from me. They are using our P.A. so we'll play first.

When you play to a crowd of crazies it can go either way. They might be whooping and dancing or they just stare blankly while you do the best, freest solo of all time. You never know with these Californians in the hills, or much anywhere else for that matter.

Many of the people up here are nice so don't let me taint it too much. It is just how it is. Maybe the crazy ones make such an impression that I think their numbers are greater. California is a strange place altogether. IF one is wealthy, it is the place to be, like most places. Maybe wealthy is the thing to do regardless of location. If you are not well to do, you can usually get by, but then the personalities and little things bother you more.

I'm hoping to play well this afternoon. I'm feeling tired inside and that will probably energize me temporarily. It is definitely a pretty day for it, as most days are.

We'll be east of my house past the place where the mules live.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sunny and Mild on Ballistic Mountain

I'm still uncertain what kind of weather is typical for my micro climate at any given time of year, but I'm pretty sure this is the hot season, and the time when Santa Ana winds might blow. We have had some 90 to 100 degree days, but in classy San Diego style they are tempered by breezy days with temps of 80 or less.

Then if you work way over in Rancho Bluster Bucks, home of the trophy everything, it is even more pleasant. Since that is what I do, I'm a happy camper today. Finally, low humidity, just enough heat so that the sun's rays feel good, and the work went well...sort of. I may have killed some grass in a plant bed.

I was using the new secret teak cleaner-brightener on the Englishman's stuff and forgot to wet some of the adjacent vegetation. Namely the little clumps of grass in the plant beds. Undiluted, the cleaner will do a number on plant life. If the vegetation is wet down well, it does no harm. The cleaner-brightener is all greenish and not a cause of global warming, earthquakes, or flooding--provided that you do the right thing and wet the adjacent grass clumps well.

Maybe the 1.5 square feet of grass was already brown; bright brown. Maybe not. It will grow back or else I'll have to make peace with the landscaper. In any case, I'll take the initiative and let the house manager know I may be the cause of the problem and inform her that the effect is not permanent. The soil is not forever tainted.

Oh well. Finally get a product that does a great job, and I fall down on my very complicated, high tech, unbelievably challenging, mildly rewarding task.

At times like this fear creeps in. Why am I such an under-achiever? Will my mind go completely numb and dull before I put it to real use? Why did I have to protect that kid by beating up Stooowahrt in kindergarten, thereby cementing a lifelong distrust for authority because Mrs Anderson(I bet there never was a Mr Anderson-she just usurped the title) refused to hear my side of the story and she punished only me, causing me to distance myself from ever being an enthusiastic participant in the educational process?

Yes, I think I finally found the key to all I've done and all the times I turned my back on opportunity. It's that damned Stewart. But if I had not stepped in, he might still be whipping little Joey with the banyan roots (they grow down from the branches like vines). Life is not always a thing of justice, but I bet Mrs A had to answer for that in the hereafter. No way she's still around. She was old even then, at least by my measure.

So, now that I am here, what do I do? I've ruined the best relationships, embraced the worst until even I saw the light, and wound up in Hermitville. It is better than it was, and I must remind myself to see and appreciate that fact. Far better than just a few years ago.

Don't think that just because I identify Stooowaart as a root cause of my difficulties with tyrants that I don't cite wimmins as playing a role in my state of abundant confusion. I certainly do. They will break your heart, say yes and mean no, or maybe, say no and mean not today but maybe yesterday, and still be the best reason for taking another breath.

Too much for me to figure and define. I'll just focus on the neighborhood talent, arts and crafts, bake-off event this saturday on Ballistic Mountain. Our group, Copper Creek will kick off the talent part. It is one of the guitar player's P.A. He's pretty much lead vocalist and driving force of the group, too. But, it never kicks if any of the members is out. Good bunch to play with. We'll do just a few tunes and hope they demand more, but this sort of crowd is peculiar and you never know.

Some nice people up here. Some brain dead rednecks of both sexes as well. Kind of like the country version of a dysfunctional family you see well portrayed in a couple of movies. Carolina is one such flick.

And I should prepare for the arrival of the semi-ex curmudgeon and the sexy librarian on Monday. They'll be overnighting nearby in one of my favorite itty bitty towns so I hope to get the car clean enough in case a tour is in order. Otherwise there'll be no room for them and it would scare them away.

It'll be good, regardless of my messy lack of organization. I must not be too close to Godliness, since cleanliness and I have barely ever made one another's acquaintance. One of these days...

Seeing those two again will be a bright spot in the landscape of my near future. I hope they aren't too tired. They've carved out a very demanding, non-stop itinerary for this adventure.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tennis Villains

Serena just adds credence to the idea that...never mind. She's kind of classless, even though an exceptional athlete. I hate that ghetto finger wag, head bob thing. Pure jerry Springer nation.
So, I am fine with her losing to a classier player.

Now this guy Novak. I don't like that guy too much. I guarantee you he was a bully in school and still is. But he's of the kind that once people fight back hard enough, he curls up in a ball.

Federer and Nadal, I like, but they don't have this guy's number. He'll crumble if they get the edge and quit being intimidated. I think Djokovic and his coach are evil doers and that's all I have to say about that. Novak Djoko does have a cute girlfriend.

That brings me to a half baked theory. It is common knowledge that women go for the jerkiest guys. This may be because nature expects the jerkiest people to multiply, and being self centered bastards to reverse this trend of humans sacrificing their own well being for that of species they only heard existed, liker snail darters or monkey beetles. The other theory is that there is no figuring wimmins whatsoever.

Serena is an embarrassment if you think of her as representing the USA in tennis. These people make big money and that is because it is so rare that anyone can play at that level. It doesn't always follow that they have class like Roger Federrer or that pretty Caroline chick.

Better to be a player than spectator. That covers just about anything in life. It is the degree to which I spectate rather than perform that fuels my discontent and frustration.

You Just Never Know

Sometimes I feel like a character from a science fiction tale; like my reality is not quite what I think of when I think of reality. Maybe I'll wake up and find out it is all different.

Whatever it is, I couldn't have predicted much that has gone on in my life. Too many times I've changed location and everything about my life. I miss some of the people that have fallen from the radar along the way. That is the tough part. I guess at one time I figured they'd only be disappointed in me or turn out to be less than the loyal friends I thought they were, or both. I'm over that part. Some serious betrayals at impressionable phases of life probably planted those seeds.

That stuff is long gone. But I doubt the moving about is. Except now, I try not to lose contact with people. The last trip helped cement some reunions and establish or re-establish the bonds. If nothing else would have come of it, I think that would have made the journey worthwhile.

But that has nothing to do with what I was thinking. What I was thinking is that it wouldn't surprise me to end up on a house boat in some salt water harbor somewhere. What I'd do in a place where the floor was constantly moving, I'm not sure. At least the yard wouldn't be in danger of catching fire, and there'd be no weeds or poison oak.

Maybe it would be better to live on the land or have a bridge house. I now wonder why and what I was thinking.

Never mind.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Philosopher General's Warning

Not quite clear whether Sally read this or originated the idea. The conversation was punctuated with much laughter and high tech info. Whatever the case, she is my source for this. I did not think of it on my own, though I wish I had.

The suggestion is a gem: In plainly legible letters, have a banner at the bottom of every news broadcast, at the top of every newspaper---do something aurally equivalent for radio--which states
Warning: This Broadcast May be Fact Free

I'd go further and also include this important message during every political speech or press conference.

That way they can go ahead with the fear mongering report but those who can read might eventually think to themselves, "Hmmm, maybe this is just sensational hype and not even true".

Given the state of edgy panic which has gripped people this 911 season, such a warning could not come too soon. There is reason for concern on many fronts, but I think much of it is misplaced or twisted around.

What entity or abstract thing do I fear the most? Number one would be my own government. 2 is bad health, tied with wildfire.

If I trusted more than feared the government, then I might have terrorism listed. It's just that I tend to think terrorists have become the useful idiots of our own power mad money thieving officials, so it is difficult to have any idea what is true on that subject. Given the treatment good people receive routinely from our own authorities, I'd say your chances of being abused or killed or ruined or robbed by your own government and their agents are much greater than being molested by foreign lunatics.

Doesn't mean I think radical islam is not dangerous murderous lunacy. Just means I think our own lunatics are more likely to get us first.

Here's An Example of the Racial Absurdity

It would not matter what story this was pulled from because you get the identical thing in issue after non-issue. Here's an excerpt which makes clear that race is considered something of virtue or a curse--not sure--and that we approach everything on that basis. People are bleeding. Hmmm, what percentage of Blacks are bleeding as opposed to Whites? Well, we need to fix that. One easy way is to cut a bunch of the less bloody race to even things out.


Prominent African-Americans like Kenneth Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express and Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia, quickly applauded the plan. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has been one of the most vocal advocates for dealing more effectively with black unemployment, but she was enthusiastic.

Maxine makes her living treating race as an element of reason, which is why she is often heard making remarks that only the LSD influenced would find remotely coherent or sane. Apparently, though, her constituency is either heavily drugged or easily bought with little crumbs and promises from a government that will "help" them with pity payments of only enough value to keep them stupid and not self sufficient.

How Blacks and any other group who are labeled as having things like Black leaders, Hispanic leaders, can put up with this stuff without spontaneous, individual eruptions of outrage is beyond me.

We don't hear about or even accept the notion that people like Rahm Emmanuel, or Dick Cheney are White leaders, meaning because the are white they represent the thinking and interests of all whites.

Prominent Crackahs, like Anderson Cooper, Alice Cooper and Bill Gates applauded the plan. Pundit Jon Stewart, who has been one of the most vocal advocates for dealing with Crackah guilt and unemployment was enthusiastic.

So, what is the difference? People have been told over and over that if they called a charlatan, like Jesse Jackson, out for what he is, a money making race pimp, and exposed the insult of confusing race with virtue for what it is, then they must be racists. Unless, of course you are speaking to the white racist groups and people--kkk and that sort of thing. Truth is, the Maxine Waters, Al Sharptons, Congressional Black caucus--all of those are of the same ilk as kkk, organized discrimination--all of it.

They are race based, and seek different treatment based on race. Simple as that.

What do "we" do about Black unemployment? Don't know. What do "we" do about White unemployment? Looks to me that when "we" decide to over control things, especially things we can't control effectively, "we" yield the opposite result that "we" were allegedly after. Interesting how certain people and groups always manage to profit.

Studies show that Whites are more likely to die in yachting accidents than Blacks. Top White leaders are calling on Congress to address this disparity. Self hating Cracka leader and activist Michael Moore responding by saying, "I am not a rich fat white man who makes money with half truths and racial innuendo."

I, myself, have had difficulty convincing the Crackah community that I am not a threat. I'm just a simple Black, Hispanic male who is out to help them in their plight. I'm here to elevate my less fortunate White brethren from their ignorance and misery. Since they all think the same, or they aren't white enough to rate my consideration, I'm sure they are all grateful.

Here's a gem from the piece of work who is Atlanta's mayor:

"If leaders in our community want to push him to lay out a black agenda, I believe that will end up disserving the black community and help elect people who certainly don't have a past history about caring about the interests of the African-American community," Reed said after Obama's speech. "This debate is weakening the president and puts him in a political position where he has to do something to confirm his blackness."


Confirm his "blackness"? I recall some of the racists who call themselves leaders saying he wasn't black enough. I donated shoe polish to help him quiet the criticism. What is this insanity that right and wrong are so relative that it varies from race to race? So, what if everyone is as free as possible to live their stupid lives as they see fit? How does that vary from one ethnicity to the other?

This whole thing of every damned minute matter being filtered through the ethnic filter of political correctness, or whether it fits the stereotype of what self proclaimed leaders consider OK for their specific racial mix, has reached a point of absurdity. The extent to which these things are pushed so useless demagogues can maintain power and prestige has never been more transparent and obvious.

Imagine at the next debate or news conference someone asking Hilary or Rick Perry or Jerry Brown what they are doing to confirm their whiteness.

It may happen. In the mean time, why are so few people of other races not insulted to the point of nausea at this institutionalized pandering and condescending in the media and everywhere else?

yikes, I just discovered first quote is missing the beginning part which makes the point clearer. Oh well. No one would want to touch this anyway.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Theories of Conspiracy

How intriguing that my friends who abhor conspiracy theories, and tend to think much more mainstream than I, have come to the conclusion that the recent blackout is something other than as represented. They may be right.

We've seen the way the utilities commission and SDGE operate, so anything is possible, and skulduggery is probable. But we can rest easy because the same people who control the flow of electricity and all the little rules that go with it are going to conduct a thorough investigation. That's like the justice department checking to see if Johnny Sutton did anything wrong in his many questionable prosecutions. Let's just save the money, or pay some kid to write a comic book on the subject.

The main thing that I hope is being looked into by young engineers and inventors is the clear need to generate power locally, building by building when possible and independently in small areas when not. It makes sense on every level; national security, efficiency, fire safety, health emergencies, and to reduce massive corruption.

Most systems are like that. To a point, the collective approach can be good but then all the undesirable elements multiply. This massive electric grid system is one which is not too good when it comes to security, corruption, efficiency etc.

Considering that the same people who like centralized control of water and power also work against keeping fuels, which run the things, cheap and produced in this country, I'd say it would be good to shake up that power structure. Elect the fringe candidates--whoever Chris Matthews or Brian whatsisname consider outrageous kooks.

Or just find ways to get off the grid without ruining the neighborhood. It turns out that many who had solar panels still had no power. The reason has to do with the fact that they are tied into the grid and sell excess power back to sdge. There is some setup that doesn't let them cut off of it altogether and they aren't set up to store the excess so they ended up without. You are better off just getting off of the system altogether and to hell with selling it back. It is a bureaucratic thing--getting off the grid.

Oh well. People did drive better while the lights were down. Then today they drove crazier than usual to make up for it. Strange place, but better than places where looting or rioting would be guaranteed when power went down like this. The level of civil behavior was actually quite amazing.

The thing about conspiracy theories is that sometimes conspiracies exist. So, for one to surmise that evil doers have conspired in some way is not as out of touch with reality as They would have you believe.

All you need do is look at the world, add up the costs of the last four or five wars, the benefits and, if you can determine them, the objectives. Then see how consistent the declared purpose is in relation to how things have panned out.

If you come up with better explanation than some dark conspiracy, my hat is off to you.

As near as I can tell, the more the hotshots aim to fix, the more mess there is. That's one reason I would rather they stay out of foreign affairs as much as possible. They are in league with witless power mongers worldwide creating havoc instead of just screwing with the homefolk.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Still Cranky...after all these years

It is really becoming harder to help than I expected. Too many things affect me and I can't do anything about it. Like the insane electric grid. Nothing to do but shut up and behave.

Never mind that I know the same money being spent now would supply a lot of power, generated where it is used. Never mind that the idea of being tracked and cataloged annoys me.

I was supposed to mellow and become one who refused to see what was no fun to see. I was supposed to become one of those guys who manages to profit while turning a blind eye to what goes down in the way of subtle human slavery and manipulation.
I was supposed to be the guy who looked at guys like me as kooks, a guy who could feel self satisfied calling himself a moderate. That way he won't be radical and stand out in any way. I was supposed to be moderate, dammit, the guy who goes along and is not ever labelled as weird.

Didn't work out that way. As it is I consider the guy I was supposed to be gutless, self deluded, cowardly, witless, greedy, and weak.

That's because I am still cranky

No Chance To Waste Bad Guys

San Diego must really be classy. Ron Burgandy was right.

The worst I heard of the lights out period was about a liquor store charging $5 for a bag of ice. I'm sure there may have been angry incidents in traffic but nothing significant.

Of course out where I live, even in good times, if someone gets caught looting, anything might happen to him, so it was not much different than normal here. In the city where they are used to street lights and such it is different. With traffic gridlock and lights out, I guess it would have been easy for looters.

But what is not realized is that looters can only function when by-standers don't interfere. In this case, with so many people around, maybe the punks didn't feel secure. We tiptoe around admitting to ourselves what conditions, cultures and attitudes are normally present when looting occurs. Too bad, because until people face the truth they will continue to promote aberrance by making excuses and being afraid to address it. That is a form of hate crime in itself--if you are crazy enough to separate crimes into hate crime and just happy go lucky murder and rape.

So now it was the fault of a worker in AZ who was working on a capacitor. I'm still skeptical. I think the worker took a wizz out the back door and it shorted the wires. No word on his condition or lack of it.

The whole looting issue makes me think. In good times or bad, if there are punks playing bully in the neighborhood, people have to start taking them out or they will continue to multiply. By take out I mean don't put up with it. Forget the part about it being damned near illegal to defend yourself. Nail the punk with a 2x4 or whatever the situation demands.

If that clerk in TX had blasted a shotgun into those punks he'd be in big trouble. But they almost kill him and won't suffer at all. We'll only hear about what victims are those who respect neither people nor property.

What has happened in the name of multiculturalism is that chosen people are not held accountable for their actions because guilt ridden elitists secretly don't believe these people are capable of decent behavior. Guilt for not living in a ghetto, or guilt for being white , mated with elitist delusions of grandeur has given rise to many cruel and sad consequences.

I think they have helped the rise of gangs, the rise in numbers of people with no conscience, general dumbing down of the western world, the 21st century plantation syndrome, class hate and warfare. They can't just address a problem and change course to correct for it, they have to find ways to maintain control while pretending to correct things. In reality they've never quit running the plantation in the same manner as always.

Convenient people like Jesse and Al ensure that everyone maintains their role. They are sort of like trustees, keeping everyone in a group, encouraging them not to think or act on their own. It works. Hate and beliefs based on birth conditions rather than principle guarantee that reason has no power. That is how all the groups who play ethnicity as a virtue keep their leaders living in style. Keep the masses hating without true reasoning involved based on color or some other non-philosophical basis and you can control them forever.

Be sure to ignore, change, or cherry pick history in the process--like La Raza. They are great for that.

I guess, it is not really a secret why San Diego did not riot and loot when the opportunity was there. Memphis, Atlanta, Miami---it would not have been pretty. What is the difference? Attitude and beliefs.

The other thing is that, in a nanny state like California you probably have it easier terrorizing the decent people who work, run stores, etc. when things are completely up and running than when they are down and people can defend themselves with less consequence. Sometimes you are safer when the structure of law enforcement and regulation is crippled.

-----I just realized, that some people who would skim the above will come to the exact opposite view of what it actually says. They will think it says what it does not. Oh yea, that happens much of the time anyway, in my life and in life in general. It's the Jerry Springer syndrome--hear half a sentence of some nonsense and form a passionate opinion.

Good conditioning for lives being run by the state while convincing people it is democratic and fair because they can all weigh in, as if your business is theirs.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lights Out In San Diego

Out of nowhere, with no warning, power went out in San Diego county, part of Orange county, Tijuana, and even out to Yuma, AZ today at 3:40 PM. It has been very hot, but the demand was well under capacity.

It took close to an hour before anyone heard a word from SDGE. I'm surprised I got online. Most cell phone service is out, and I'm on a cell card.

The whole thing is quite strange. Over 1.4 million customers, which means maybe 5 to 8 million people, or more are without power. Gas stations can't pump gas, most stop lights are out. Not sure how the ones that were working are powered, but a few are operating. Traffic was very backed up. Since I travel the back way from Rancho Santa Fe, I encountered less delay that those in the city.

Most people behaved, treating intersections like four way stops; first come first go. Of course there were a few idiots, mostly those who do the work we won't do, allegedly. And a redneck or two. But the vast majority stepped up to the plate and did the right thing.

They seem to have difficulty really explaining it all. A gazillion volt line in AZ which is interconnected with our grid had some sort of irregularity and that started a chain reaction which cause the nuclear plants up north to shut down which is automatic. Now they are working to get the gazillion volt lines up, and the one that started it is up, but they have to go in from out, and then out from in and it takes time, and then the lesser stations will be up and then the get power there, and later here, but before that the hospitals get power, and it is not their fault and check to see if your sick and elderly neighbors are dead and don't open the fridge any more than you have to and don't put hot food in there, and schools are closed tomorrow, and no they have no evidence to indicate foul play or terrorizm, but there is a rumor a clerk in some office made an error and maybe pushed the wrong button, and it may be late tomorrow before you have power, but some parts of Orange County, the O.C., already have their power restored, and isn't this an historic occasion?

So, that's the word from the radio. Most stations cannot broadcast, so KOGO is letting many of them tap in with their crack reporters all over the county relaying valuable information. Traffic is at a snail's pace downtown, maybe even slower. With no lights on, gee you can see the moon and stars, etc.

I can always see the moon and stars at night where I am. But I cannot run the fans without electricity.

My first thought, when the extent of outage became evident, was that this illustrates perfectly my Centralization Theory. Since back in the 70's I tried to tell anyone who'd listen, or was a captive audience, that it makes no sense to have so many people dependent upon so few sources of power so far from the end user. More sources of generation, serving fewer users so they are smaller and more localized. Ideally, power is generated at the site of use.

That is not always possible, but there is no question the design is ill conceived when a problem at one specific point in the system can cripple an area larger than San Diego county, which is huge and includes many cities and towns.

But, I've been warning against centralized control of power and water for many years, usually to skeptical and disapproving looks and reaction. As this case demonstrates, we are highly vulnerable, and needlessly so, to clever attack from without or within. So far no one declared martial law. Had this been Dade County, or Oakland, they'd probably feel they had to---looters and other idiocy would surely run rampant in those places under these conditions.

Nope. So far, San Diego stayed classy.

I've been without power for weeks at a time due to hurricanes. That is different. You know it is coming and so you prepare. Fortunately I have pretty much everything I need to carry me a day or three. Good think I bought fuel yesterday, and deposited those checks on the way in to work instead of on the way home like usual. It was a last minute impulse.

This may skew tomorrow's plans, although I may have enough fuel left to get to Rancho SF and back. At least they might get power sooner and they have a pool. It is always much cooler there. Maybe there is food, too.

I wonder if they'd say if this had been a planned assault of some kind. Maybe they'd keep it under wraps to avoid panic. It wasn't a big explosion or an airplane hijacked for the purpose, so I guess it could be exactly what the CEO of SDGE said, "A fluctuation of the line which blablabla.

Quick Message to Self Titled Anarchists

Anarchist is a term for one who does not believe in any form of government. That is why, to those in the know, the phrase "anarchists unite" is a clever and humorous oxymoron.

So, if you are one of those who spray paints that red A logo on private property, breaks windows, and violates the natural rights and space of others, and then call yourself an anarchist to explain it, you are an idiot.

Such behavior is not the stuff of one who eschews all forms of government, it is the behavior of a cowardly vandal who needs to have his ass kicked by an anarchist who respects life and liberty. One may not like rulers and people wielding power over others. That does not mean he embraces the notion of creating chaos and violating the lives of others.

I take issue with those who see the word anarchy as synonymous with chaos and destruction. That slant is purely the stuff of those who crave power and those who believe the alpha dogs of government will protect them.

One can question the value of authoritative institutions and systems without defiling the shops and other products of the hard work of others. The idea that government is all knowing, all powerful and the sun won't rise without its blessing is the propaganda of tyrants and their sycophants.

So, next time you see that A logo, just know it does not really mean "anarchy", it stands for as****e.

Some of those idiots now have an organized effort going in the name of communist anarchists, or something to that effect. Talk about your radical oxymorons, and just plain morons. This is why I think it should be ok to shoot looters and vandals. If you don't, they go out, get themselves a logo and do even more obnoxious acts hoping to get attention.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Here we go again...Rigged "debates"

It is OK to say "I told you so". I decided to see what was up in the Republican debate. There is no Democratic debate, so I already know what's up in that camp.

More important than what anyone had to say was the way the questions were asked and the way two candidates were given main stage. Since when is what goes on in Texas or Massachusetts the relevant topic that candidates for federal office should address?

"Candidate X, what do you think of what Rick did in Texas? Of what Mitt did in Massachusetts? Rick, Mitt, would you like to respond? Candidate Y, whose response did you like best? blablabla" Then the AP reports on radio say, "All eyes were on Perry and Romney". Really. Last time the manipulation was transparent enough. This time I guess they think people have simply quit thinking altogether, and they may be right.

It is very clear that none of the journalists asking questions have the slightest idea of how the country is structured or why. They think we are like Denmark or some small homogenous culture which runs on a uniform set of rules and agencies. They are idiots. "Where would you draw the line on the federal government's powers?", they ask a constitutionalist. Holy smoke, Moron, a constitutionalist draws the line where it is drawn in the friggin constitution. That is the purpose of the document.

Although you can be forgiven, Mr Moron moderator, in light of the fact that we may have had only one or two presidents and probably no congresses who've actually paid attention to that fact. And many a supreme court which believes it is all a matter of semantics and spirit and purpose of the law be damned.

Like the anchor baby thing. That law was never meant to be a conduit for people to abuse the immigration system. It was put in place so that ex-slaves would not be disenfranchised when slavery was abolished. Some shrewd lawyer figured out how to circumvent the spirit of the law to serve some other purpose. Now, few people realize how or why the law got there. They just abuse it and allow others to do the same.

The questions addressed to Ron Paul weren't questions but combative challenges. Everyone else was pretty much asked if they like Rick or Mitt better. Then they'd let Mitt or Rick respond. Most of Paul's time was wasted by the panelist who conducted his own mini-debate against whatever Paul had to say.

The other people were grossly marginalized. I find this a real shame. I'm not one of those who thinks the label, "Republican", is a pejorative. I almost don't think the term, "Democrat", is a pejorative either. I actually try to find anyone in either camp who comprehends the value of freedom and the reality of where many of our troubles originate.

Looks like we'll get another McCain out of this--someone with little appeal and no chance. Our country is being crippled in many ways. That much I agree with, as far as what was said. I tend to think the favored candidates would no more get us out of bad international entanglements, and free up our own energy sources, and mind their own business than Obama. And he's done no better than Bush on matters of too much power at the top, abuse of individual rights, and entangling our military while kicking them around if they do their job. I'd never want to be a soldier under such commanders.

Maybe I'll have to run again. It will be fun when they dig up things from my past and expect me to care. Yes, that was a monkey I took to the prom--one of the best nights of my life. Well, that night with the chicken was quite memorable as well.

OK. It was dumb to think I should check it out and be informed, but I can't form my opinions according to who is most lampooned, and who is most favored by Colbert or John Stewart. They are clueless elitists who know on which side their bread is buttered. Yes, I believe they are not courageously bucking the Man's views in hopes of promoting a better America. They are market driven, and without clear cut moral integrity. This means they do what makes themselves popular with the audience and the brass. You may think they are the brass, but I fear the thing is deeper than that.

In any case, the debate would have been better run had Colbert and Stewart been asking the questions. They could not have done anyone less justice than the goof balls who ran the show.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Argument That Humans Are Alien To Earth

It's one thing to allegedly be at the top of the food chain. That, itself, is a dubious proposition. Go swimming with sharks and then tell me who's your daddy.

The general confusion of humans when it comes to other creatures makes theories of evolution and survival quite questionable as well. We sacrifice our own well being, much needed water for crops, etc. to snail darters, swamp guppies, bears, and who knows what else. I'll try not to get started on bears and their over abundance of rights.

No natural species on earth does that sort of self sacrifice, and fosters within its kind a warped sense of self hatred for being able to do what other creatures can't, like make metal, film sex, cook grilled cheese sandwiches, and drive drunk. Maybe the lawyers for the earth are right--we don't belong here. We ain't from around these parts.

If we were, and we were truly evolved more than all other life to adapt to the place, we'd be able to eat dirt and sand, happily, to survive and would be able to quench our thirst with salt water. That's why I think we are from elsewhere. We are radically confused and because of that we tend to make life way more complex and confusing than it ought to be. Huge numbers of us get so screwed up that we live in dingy parts of cities and thrive on nothing but anger and jealousy, having no clue how to make sense of life. So, life becomes cheap.

Then there is the matter of the mass killing of our own species. Much of that fueled by confused allegiance to various religions and a willingness to believe conflicting vague explanations about how it's us or them.

Since we're stuck here and salt water won't do on a hot day, we've invented negative emotions, false values and the likes of Che and Paris Hilton. Then we sell tee shirts and gossip so we can drive nice cars and sport about town with trophy wives and such.

I wondered why this set up was so odd and didn't feel right for many years. Now I know the simple truth. It is quite clear this is not our natural home, but we are stranded. The eons of living in confusion have given rise to ridiculous institutions and methods of coping. It resulted in a mass mental illness that often parades as virtue or some lofty thing. What we are witnessing is a battle of wits between very nutso people.

Once they figure it out, the number one priority will be to develop forms of transportation, as yet unknown to us, and to search for clues regarding our true home. Bears be damned.

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


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