Friday, August 31, 2012

Saving Time and Money

Do they use tax money on these athlete doping fiascos? I guess so, since Congress likes to poke its nose into baseball and such.

For the record I do not care if athletes use steroids, or other drugs which have initials and possibly fatal side effects, or no side effects. I do not care. If it is really bad, then the punishment is in the crime.

It won't solve the deficit, but removing any and all law enforcement and grandstanding charlatan politicians' official involvement in such matters is a move in the right direction.

Just do not care. Do you take vitamins or drink coffee to wake up? Oooh, that is knowingly taking something you believe enhances your performance in some way. I won't even address the viagra implications. If a drug or supplement does not enhance performance, health or do something to alter the status quo, why bother?

Mostly, I Don't Like Quotes

Sure, the previous post was nothing but Voltaire quotes, but it annoys me most of the time when people spout quotes. When you are trying to make a point or have a discussion and the other person says, "Well, Kennedy said, 'blablabla'", I see it as a way to use the propaganda technique of appeal to authority to bolster the argument by quoting something from a source they consider infallible.

I love the times when a person says, "Someone once said, "gibberish gibberish blablabla". Someone once said? Someone once said all kinds of things. I'm pretty sure that someone once said any word I have ever used, and any phrase, as well. Given that the word is actually a word. Pregumptiousness may be my own.

People like Garrison Keeler use that "someone once said" bit. It is generally delivered in a lofty tone, but I think it is bizarre. Who once said it? Someone once said, "we're going to hell in a handbasket". Hmmm, so deep and meaningful. If you said it without telling me that someone once said it, the gravitas would be conspicuously lacking.

I guess I like quotes OK when in the context of crediting the creator of the quote with insight, wit or whatever. It is when it is used to somehow grab a little undeserved value on the part of the person quoting that I get bored.

Maybe it is useful for making a point. I don't know. It usually sucks when it finds its way into the political circus. I cringe more than not, even if I am hoping that specific political person will win some points.

Someone once said, "any port in a storm", and I'm reminded of my many follies over the last five years or so and the preceding decade as well, which brings to mind the words of a great leader, John Paul Jones, "We've not yet begun to fight!!". Or something like that. Remember the Alamo. Damn the torpedoes, and as someone once said, don't take any wooden nickels.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Perfect Quotes

Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung. --Voltaire

A multitude of laws in a country is like a great number of physicians, a sign of weakness and malady. --Voltaire

A witty saying proves nothing--Voltaire

There are other from the Voltmeister, but I am not sure he actually said them, or that they aren't somewhat paraphrased, etc. There appears to be some evidence of that. That is what set me on the quest that unearthed other quotes.

"The first priest was the first rogue who met the first fool."
Now, that one is a classic which, to this day, could get one stoned to death or prevent one from being elected to a public post like president or mayor.

"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." [Voltaire]

That crazy Frenchman certainly provided some gems.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GOP C C in Pictures-2; Who'd have guessed?

In a dramatic and surprising turn of events, the nominees for President and Vice President of these 57 or so United States are...



Top Democratic National Committee advisers pay close attention as they plan their campaign strategy to combat these formidable challengers.


Such excitement is in the air. Who will be the next to be labeled a racist? Who will say the most idiotic thing for no good reason?
I can't wait for more drama to unfold.

Will Chris Matthews figure a way to at least get to first base with Barack Obama?

Will Ron Paul supporters finally give up on procedure and just beat up the establishment jackboots in a vicious brawl on the convention floor?

*****JUST IN!!!! A politician from deep South Florida, in a startling turn of events, gave Obama an enthusiastic endorsement, accompanied by a leader from the Northeast.

GOP Convention Coverage in Pictures

Mitt and Ryan arrive into town for the convention


Hey, why don't we change the rules so we don't have any pesky disagreements?



Internal RNC battle ensues.



Order restored

This is so exciting. I can't wait for the next chapter in this thrilling example of the two party system. I think the key word here is "party".

Just an aside; is Chris Matthews insane? Or is he so absolutely infatuated and in love with Obama that his passion has fooled him into not realizing that Barack is never going to have sex with him. I think Photo-Lady has that same delusion.

According to Chris Matthews the term birth certificate is racist, and any mention of food stamps is racist. Actually any hint of questioning anything Obama, his imaginary love master, says or does is racist. Also Chris knows what "African-Americans are thinking". I'm afraid Chris' over the top infatuation, coupled with his own racist notion that he needs to protect Black people, has pushed him dangerously close to a chronic state of delusional psychosis.

Damage Report; libertarian inside extortion lobbyist retreat

So, the good news is: they didn't stuff entire rolls of toilet paper in the toilets or break any lavatory fixtures this time.
They only broke one tray which was a part of a teak lounge chair. No apology or mention of such discrepancies is ever offered. These things are just left for others to discover and deal with. Cool. That's how Chicago insiders roll.

Only one table suffered from the massive spillage of unknown liquid which dried like lacquer, and also dripped, and dried, on six chair cushions. It was clear not even slight effort was made to wipe up the mess whenever it happened.

The big blotches of sunscreen or whatever it is on the lounge cushions is bound to come out with some kind of solvent, yet to be determined.

Just another episode in the lives of those benevolent people who are fighting for you poor peons. A lobbyist in the Jesse organization.

Obama's pals.

Oh well, I guess the best way to have reliable, conscientious caretakers is for them to hire the dirty capitalist, freedom seeking enemies. Who else is fool enough to trade without looking for an angle to suck it out of a government entity of some kind?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Reasons Not To Tweet; or tweet is for twits

Fidel Castro questioning a Cuban farmer who was later executed. Fidel betrayed the real revolution, he and Che did not carry out what the people actually supported. They still put people in prison for dissent, and even execute them. According to Ed Asner, in an interview awhile back, it is all the fault of the USA and Bush. Castro attracts useful idiots like dog droppings attract flies

Samuel L. Jackson on Monday tweeted
"Unfair s---,
"GOP spared by Isaac! NOLA prolly f----- again!"


NOLA means New Orleans, Louisiana.
Good God. People are nuts. And they still get rich. It's unfair. waah waah wah whine whine whine.
Critical thinking is a lost art altogether. Geez, Sam, do you really think NOLA folks are big victims, and it somehow is tied in with the republicans? Get a grip, man. You sound like an angry moron.

Meanwhile the Mayor of NO LA suggested people in that parish just hunker down in place, while many surrounding parishes attempt to order mandatory evacuations. Will the people there pay attention and decide for themselves whether they need to high tail it? Or will they glumly crawl up on the roof as the water rises, bitching because no one forced them to get out?

Maybe nothing will happen. My guess is that there will be some wet houses and people. New mayor, different results? I am also guessing no one could be as incompetent as their previous mayor, Nagin.

Those people sure do place a lot of faith in levees. If I were below sea level, depending upon government built levees, I'd get out if a storm surge and massive rainfall were imminent. I've been of minimal means like many of them allegedly are, but had no phone and such. I'd just go up the road a piece and sleep in the car or something. If I did not have a car, I'd look around for stuff that floats and keep it handy.

This place may be a tinder box, but it is just as pretty as can be, driving from Alpine home about 20 minutes before the sun sets. You can have New Orleans, and Memphis. I confess that I do miss Miami whenever I hear of a hurricane near Florida. Crazy but true.

Oh, Come on!!! Clear the Smoke and Shut Up


It would be great if I could just ignore anything in politics for a few years. At one time I could because nothing went on which was pressing in a way that would directly affect me. Even though I had my views of what I thought was wrong or misguided, I was able to just ignore almost all of it for a number of years.

Those days are gone. You can't just be left alone. Especially in California. If I never paid attention I could have done something awful and illegal like smoke in a public park or by the beach or never mind--I still have no idea how to get rid of things like spent battery booster packs and the like.

Perhaps it is because of the many traumas to the head I've experienced over the years, or perhaps it is born of a higher spiritual awareness. Whatever the reason, I do have big fear of totalitarianism in any form, whether it be a tyranny of the majority or unbridled bullying from the minority or some kind of official authority. The thought of others having big power over me in ways that prevent free choice and mobility is one that gives me the creeps.

I'll count to three, and you better show me your health insurance policy by then or..Adios you capitalist pig!

So, I pay attention here and there, actually research the text of various bills that get big press but very little actual disclosure. The usual hype on such things from politicians generally begins with, "What this bill will do....", or "By opposing this bill, the opposition is... [condemning some group or groups to death or similar vile terrible things}". The actual straight content is not disclosed. One reason may be because they'll hide little things in there like taxes, grants, mone for someone's farm to become a landmark, bridge to the moon, etc.

I am convinced that the philosophy and intent of the Obama administration is very much at odds with my own views. I see that crowd as Hugo Chavez type socialists. I'm not on board with that set up. I'm aware the republican machine is also thuggish. They just diddled with the convention rules to disenfranchise delegates and supporters of Ron Paul, and to silence other strongly supported groups who may want to have some influence and say. Dumb move.

This surprised me; I heard a Romney quote that I could agree with, to a point. He said the abortion issue comes up every election and that it is a matter for the courts to decide, and that they already had ruled on it. I don't even think it is for the courts but anything to just get it off the front page.

We've got a ten year war in Afghanistan going and it is tough to find out what the objective actually is. If it is about oil, they sure fooled me. Where's the oil? If we want oil, the USA has plenty of ways to get it here, or from Canada. Apparently that is not the objective of this government.

There are way more important matters. In many ways I agree, economically with the rhetoric of some republicans. I agree most with those who would abolish the tax system as we know it, and the irs as it now operates. Ron Paul is on board with that, not sure who else.

So, we have this total nonsense about birth control and abortion. Both are legal, and both are obtainable without a lot of effort, so what's the deal. Approve or disapprove, no one forces you one way or the other. But people get in your face about it no matter what you think.

My view is that you are more than welcome to partake in either of those endeavors--get an abortion or get some kind of birth control. You want it free means you want everyone to pay whether they like it or not. I don't go with that, but nothing is stopping people from organizing free clinics to do whatever. It is not a government issue. I even convinced my very conservative anti-abortion mother, years ago, that it was in the best interest of freedom loving people to let it go whether they approve or not.

I do not approve of facial tattoos but I wouldn't make it illegal. Not a good analogy. I'm heartless. I believe abortion should be legal up until the 33rd month after conception. As a species, it is suicidal to insist on forcing the aberrant to live and multiply. Quite often, those people would abort if no one interfered. It ain't my child, and I'm not in the business of performing the procedure. No one should be forced to do it or not. The fewer matters government can deal with, the better. The culture can better evolve and change without direct control from those with the guns and cages. What a smokescreen issue designed to appeal to emotion while the citizenry is being robbed and pillaged.

If you'll notice, the more that government has grown in scope, the less value based the general population has become. Everyone, almost, feels the need to lock their doors and scrutinize single uncles. I grew up in S. Miami and never owned a house key. Now you aren't even secure with surveillance and a fancy alarm system there.

So, you have to realize that these ridiculous efforts to make the election about abortion and birth control, or other irrelevant things is by someone's design. Both sides are running with it. To me, it is suicide for republicans to get all evangelical and busy body on such matters. Their out is that it has been ruled on(even though the federal government has no business being involved in the issue. I think no government ought be involved, but I don't see value in as many functions of the gov't as most people do) and other things are more pressing.

But no, people who make some fiscal sense have to babble on with incredibly stupid rationalizations about their view of something they'll never do anyway. And that makes people uncomfortable so they vote for outright collectivist tyranny. Makes me wonder if it isn't all an act from the get go. Are some of those people really that nuts? I know, why ask.

It is a sign that republicans will do some idiotic things, again, and let this group of totalitarianists continue the process of massive control using division tactics based on race sex and any other non-philosophical way of separating people and pitting them against one another. Once again, all you have to do is convince brown eyed, green eyed, left handed, bald people, or short people that they are victims and you're home free. Everyone responds to being a victim.

I guess, right now, I'm willing to support lunatics rather than support more of what is going on. I wish I could say my views align with someone who has a chance in hell of ever getting the job, but they do not.

The effort, on every side, to cloud the truth, and silence those who may actually have their number, or who espouse a philosophy which would really limit their continual power grab, is obvious. The lies are blowing around like leaves in autumn. So many you can't count them all.

Sadly, many of my relatives, friends and acquaintances are well meaning neo-bolsheviks. They always assume that since I want Obama, Pelosi, Feinstein, Harry, and many others out of office that it means I am all for whatever it is republicans are for. I consider republicans just a less aggressive vehicle toward a totalitarian state. Right now, I prefer the ones who may be slower in destroying the hope of a free country. That is actually how I view it.

(how did so many family members, near and far, become such marxist dupes? Of course they all have good jobs or pensions and no motive to see anything wrong with what's gone on for fifty years or more. Alone in a pink genetic sea)

The big tell, believe it or not, is not to do with abortion or health care. It is to do with the IRS. You don't hear front runners on either side loudly demanding doing away with that awful institution. That is the big tool both sides use to harass the enemy, to keep people fooled and thinking in terms of class, and to squelch dissent when necessary. It really is. This administration has given them more power by making them the enforcers and punishers in this misnamed healthcare initiative. It is about power and control. If the overall level of care improves, and I don't go to jail, then I'll concede that I was wrong.

Last time, since Paul was off the final ballot, I voted for whoever was either libertarian or constitution party--don't recall. I refused to vote McCain or Obama. This time, I am so convinced that our current president should not serve another term that I will likely vote for Romney. I honestly do not think all birth control will suddenly be illegal or that abortion will be relegated to witches with coat hangers in back alleys. I wonder if anyone will make sense of this trend to fight wars with unclear goals. And I wonder if anyone will quit pretending the humungous stimulus packages are not merely enriching a very few while punishing those who don't support the party in power.

Right now I'd vote for anyone on an abolish IRS ticket, or kill the healthcare scam platform. I still wonder why you can't buy insurance across state lines. I see no untangling the big picture and the web of outright corruption and, possibly, evil. Whatever slows it down. That is why I do not consider "gridlock" a dirty word. I love it.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Who to Blame

It is once again time for the mayor of New Orleans to high tail it to Vegas. But first be sure not to follow the disaster plans in place. The governor can also, once again, hide under the bed.

The trouble this time is that, if much damage occurs, they can't blame Bush, and Spike Lee may have to find another great insight other than the one about it all being a plot to kill Black people. Maybe he can spin it as a secret CIA plot which was done without Obama's knowledge. One thing for sure, it will be a grandstanding opportunity for politicians near and far.

I hope someone suggests to those in that city, who waited last time for public transportation to come get them out of areas about to flood rather than get to high ground and shelter any way they could, to find a way out as if it were their responsibility to do so; like it is your job to zip and unzip your trousers.

I remember seeing a lady complaining that the government didn't come and get people when evacuation was being suggested. Spin it any way you want, but there is a serious safety issue when people are conditioned to believe that the state controls weather and is there to keep you from putting your hand on a hot stove, getting fat, or sitting on your front porch waiting for someone to get you out of a hurricane. "I knew it was coming, so I waited for 12 hours for someone from the city or whatever to come get me. Then I had to wait on the roof because the water came." victims of the world unite. International Association of Victims Union.

This is the political crisis moment they've been praying for. If the damage is not all that bad, the mayor and the governor don't refuse to do the right thing, then the president can take credit for handing it all better than his predecessor. I was not a big Bush fan, but the hurricane discussion has been hugely twisted, and filled with embellishments and omissions which create a fictitious story.

After all the tornadoes and floods and incredible disasters that have hit so many areas, with so little press and complaint, it causes one to wonder if New Orleans wasn't peopled by far too many criminals and outright idiots. It could be that the press only interviewed and showed criminals and idiots. I don't make light of the devastation. I do think the victim mentality and politics involved were shameful. Their own cops caught on video looting WalMart. People shooting at relief and rescue helicopters. I would hate to live there.

If this one does the city in, maybe they should rebuild somewhere above ground. It is sad when the main reason I don't want it to hit there is because of all the BS that we'll hear for the next billion years as if everyone else did this to poor New Orleans.

Oh no, it will be a bonanza for Hollywood celebrities seeking the limelight. I can't wait to hear the first one show such public sympathy and tell us how righteous she/he is. I'll bet Sean Penn will check to see if the drain plug is in the boat before he does any aquatic grandstanding this time. That was classic how he had a camera crew to document him going to rescue people in a boat driven by someone else, and the damn thing started to sink because the drain plug was not in.

Something must have erased my normal PC and patience with bolshevik idiots filter.

I also worry about people in Mississippi because I know and like them. Not because they will become useful political props.

This must mean I am cold hearted. Memphis set up relief places after Katrina so people from N.O. could come have food and shelter and help getting back on their feet. Bad as it already was in Memphis, crime spiked and car jackings must have quadrupled with the influx of Katrina "victims". When you use the word victim referring to people who experienced an act of nature, I think the stage is set for a strange mental attitude.

I was in hurricane Andrew. I was not a victim of it. Those who claim to be were mostly the victims of corrupt contractors and county officials and building inspectors who allowed stupid buildings to be built in stupid ways and not even to the stupid code.

Nature is a bitch. That is why I do not worship it. Too often it is not our friend.

Anyway, if you live where the Mississippi meets the Gulf of Mexico and there is a minus sign in front of your elevation statistic, get the hell out, preferable to high ground in a building made of something better than cardboard.

I have no idea who you can blame this time, though. Someone has got to be blamed. My guess is that there will be renewed blaming of Bush. Or maybe that Missouri guy who must have been paid by the other side to remain in the senate race. It might be better if politicians just take multiple choice tests on every issue and never say anything off the cuff or even written for them. It is so embarrassing. 57 states, women's bodies can reject pregnancy if they are forced, and on and on.

And you wonder why I think lots of government is big trouble and why I believe it to be one of the major vehicles for most evil. Look who runs it, what they say, how they live, who their friends are, and how many of their own rules include exemptions for themselves. People still play because they get paid to do it, one way or another. Or they think they get paid. In the long run they get stung. It is such a con.

Let's see how it goes down. I'm going to probably vomit the first time I see a picture of some politician "surveying the damage" from a helicopter. As if they accomplish anything other than a photo op and satisfaction of morbid curiosity. How can people sit still for such pandering, insulting play acting? Oh. I guess if they believe people like Spike Lee, they'll believe anything. Just tell them they are victims and the sale is as good as made.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Early in the Morning


This is how it was early this morning looking north off the back deck of Ballistic Cabin. Maybe something to do with the marine layer they often mention in SoCal. The thick white cloud looks like a foamy ocean. I think the peak in the distance to the right is Cuyamaca, 6200 ft according to an unreliable source.

On my way down the dirt road, heading toward civilization, I drove through, then under, the cloud. Much of my life I've been accused of having my head in the clouds (better than up my...). I guess they weren't always wrong.

Whether it is the slightly cooler temperatures or something else, my mood is stranger than it has been in some time. It may be that sadness thing, but I'm not sure. I am too calm, and too resigned in a way that defies definition. Like a man a peace with himself and the world as he climbs the 13 steps up to the gallows. Bizarre.

Songs and Lyrics

Lately, I've done some experiments at Valley Music on Saturday nights. I'll take a song that I haven't been able to get get guitar players to work out, yet, and try to sing it, giving the bass player there a rough idea of a lead in line. I pretty much do know the key at least.

Then, I finish the singing and go off on the harp, and last time it worked into a bit of a jam. Still, I'd love to get the words fitted to a better melody, in most cases.

They decided to do an originals night on wednesday which prompted me to write something new. I have yet to try to present that. It did make me curious about what I have in the lyrics file, though.

After years of losing what I write, or throwing it away, I decided to type things on the computer and save them. Many are from many years ago.

I was surprised at the number of songs in there that are not too bad. There are some that need to be worked further, but they do have promise. Or I think they do. I'd forgotten most of them entirely.

When I was in Memphis, I'd email lyrics to the band, but I gave that up for two reasons. One was that I could not get G1 to shutup and try to catch the idea of melody I had in mind, and the other reason was that he'd try to jazz up the words. One of the tunes I found tonight was one he'd tampered with, then sent back, apparently. It was immediately obvious what he'd written; awful cliches which I'd never ever put under my name. Pretty funny. But it reinforced my choice to quit sending anything out.

The stuff is not as dark as I remember. Or maybe the music I hear now to go with it eases the impact. Lots of wimmin songs. One is called You Ain't My Baby, and one is called Baby, Don't Come Back. The last one is kind of funny. Most of the material does not have words like ain't and isn't filled with double negatives. Those two are probably exceptions.

I really like the one called Dream Lady. I totally forgot writing it. It is sappy in a way, but I'm a sap--in case I never mentioned that. I can see that one being a very pretty tune. Maybe even include a flute or one of these nice wooden flutish instruments I have sitting around. Nothing may ever come of it, but the one song that got halfway completed with the Memphis Snake Doctors, even though I was never completely at ease with the entire melody line, is their biggest crowd pleaser. They definitely do it differently than I would but it is still satisfying to know. It lends itself to singing, screaming guitar and free running instrumental.

I discovered that I reworked the lyrics of that tune and added several verses. I like it. One new bit goes like this:

they say the light of heaven
is for the pure of heart
and I know a moment
can be a work of art

some say my motives
were not pure and true
I say they're wrong
'cause I purely wanted you

Tough to figure that out with no context but that is the way it goes. I'm not going to put it all down here. It's a rocking song in Cminor. Almost an Aztec or Indian tom tom sort of beat. In my mind. What happens when it plays, who knows. When we had two guitar players in the Memphis band, the best instrumental they ever did was on that song. I loved the bass line and what those guys did. We should have worked on it more.

I will give a hint--one line in the song is kind of suggestive, depending on how it is taken. Again, there is context which may temper it a bit;
felt my body rising
like the flame of a fire

Hey, I didn't say stuff like "we knocked boots in my MPV", or any number of other equally odd phrases which have permeated the musical airwaves over the years.

One of the songs ends with, a good woman's worth a (blank) one's weight in gold. Haven't filled in the blank yet. There was a word, but I fear it would bruise feelings and make a few people uncomfortable. So, I'll replace that word with something else that works without causing such injury.

Most of the songs on Wednesday were face value and either somewhat comical in intent or about how my girlfriend left me, didn't like how I dressed, hurt my feelings, made me jealous, etc. They sounded like police reports describing the details of everyday, he-said-she-said life. One, somewhat comical tune was a good song I thought. Cliff wrote that. He has some great material.

What was the point of this post? I forgot. It must be another secret I am keeping from myself.

------
that reminds me, Valley really needs a business plan. If I could think of one, I could probably raise the capital to implement it. They are strapped---no significant inventory and no dough to get any, but not in debt. If I knew what woud sell right away, I might work something out. They've been in business 60 years, but between some robberies and such and just being asleep at the wheel, I suspect, they've fallen out of rhythm with the times. No way to compete with guitar center but they have lots of connections in the musician world and the open mic thing is getting better and better. The space is ample, they do give guitar lessons and such, but rent is becoming tough for them to cover. If only I had the vision of what would turn it around, I know I could put it into play and the owner would gladly work with me.

It is one of those times when I think, what would Mitt do? He's the only one I can think of that I hear has turned a company or two around. Joe would apply for a grant. Jesse would sue. Who is famous that could honestly, without tangling with government, turn such a company around? I know I can't think like Mitt. That might freak me out. Who then? Maybe that WalMart guy from yesteryear.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Part 3; another union anecdote

When I worked for the airline, living in Memphis, the teamsters made a big push to get voted in by the agents. That was when I worked for Fawlty Airways. Agents there worked upstairs as well as on the ramp, although we tended to keep some exclusively upstairs and others exclusively ramp. Everyone was cross trained, but I assure you, you do not want some people anywhere near an aircraft being pushed out of the gate, or involved in loading your bags on the plane. And you don't want people whose scowling face would scare children, and whose vocabulary consisted primarily of expletives, checking you in.

I was considered to be in management so I couldn't vote one way or the other. The agents most invested in promoting the union believed that they would be in heaven and never have any more difficulties if the teamsters prevailed. Reminds me of the woman who thought Obama would pay her mortgage and put gas her in car if he was elected. Somehow I doubt her hopes and dreams came to pass. Who knows, maybe he bought her house.

Fawlty, itself, was asking for it in my opinion. I forget most of the details but their management was awful. Other than the chief financial officer, I don't think any of them attained their positions based on ability and brains. Scum bags. The CFO, though was a person I considered brilliant. He also had a clever wit and sense of humor--something the others sorely lacked.

What many agents did not realize is that if the union won, many of the rules which now could be tempered by common sense would have to be followed by the letter. Since I was rather generous in giving benefit of the doubt, my group would have suffered a lot.

The good thing about this threat was that someone in corporate figured out that it was to their benefit to make some changes that any sane person would have put in place from day one. The union lost, changes were made, and Fawlty improved ever so slightly. Unfortunately the lying worms who permeated the managerial staff remained.

But, the moral of the story is that the agents were better off without the union, but because of the union, things got better. Why people are so steeped in the feudal mentality that they have to have a gun to their head to somewhat treat people in certain industries as possessing just a tad bit of value and humanity is beyond me. My way of dealing with it is to walk away. Because most people don't do that, the method of choice is to unionize.

I guess unions are the reason that everyone who has been in a job the same period of time gets paid the same. At least in many companies. Probably those that have government contracts in the closet. In the case of the airline I had about four agents worth X dollars per hour, ten worth X/4, and maybe seven worth X/3, the remainder were worth X/7. But they got paid the same, based on seniority. I'm being generous in the relative values. Some were only useful because you need to place a warm body in certain places at certain times. If we could have got by with a mannequin we'd have been better off, even if we paid it more.

Those worth X, were paid about half their worth. The others were paid more than their worth to the operation.

That is where the labor/management model we have falls way short. It wasn't that X/3 was doing his or her best. They were just devoid of that quality which causes some people to care if your bag makes the flight, if you make the flight, if your wheelchair gets destroyed, etc. The lack of empathy in the general workforce, both in Memphis and Greensboro, in that world, shocked me. At the same time, the inner drive of the A team to do a thing right, as long as they were going to do it, was impressive. Some people have pride in their work despite management's best efforts to kill it. And believe me, management in many companies does punish the responsible employees while rewarding the slackers by keeping them around.

So, I have cited an example in which a union was useful---even though they broke rule after rule in their efforts to cajole the employees to instate them.

part 2 re anarchy, laws, right and wrong

I must preface by saying if one believes as my "there is no truth" friend, then one likely also holds to the corollary of that theory which suggests there is no right or wrong--your wrong may be my right. In that case, there is no point in the discussion.

Once upon a time I was a member of a union. I thought it would help my plight with the racist, sexist phone company in Miami, heavily dominated by Cuban women and duplicitous managers of all shades. In reality, the well meaning union reps' hands were tied. The contract consisted mostly of guarantees for union management, provisions for offices, etc.

If you had a legitimate grievance, the first review to see if it could be acted upon was before a small board of 3, 2 of which were the people against whom you filed the grievance. There were further tedious, time consuming procedures which were very difficult to implement. Mostly the game was, pay dues, and let the union bosses thrive under a guaranteed tenure.

Not all of them are quite like that. I finally just left. If they didn't want me there and wanted to ignore good work while harassing me, my free market beliefs directed me to remove my services. The whole thing got rolling due to an incompetent co-worker who was in my training class. We were being sent to the same section at the end. He, one of few males in the place, was Cuban, so he would go up after class to kiss up in spanish. He gave reports on me that were untrue. A Black girl and I were the top of the class, but she was much faster at things. He was the class idiot. He claimed I was not getting it and he was trying to help me out.

Shameless, but he was of the preferred race and that set the stage. Unfortunately, Zena, my classroom pal, the black lady, went to another section. But this has little to do with anything.

What does have to do with anything is that it has become beneficial to many politicians to suspend normal rules for union behavior. Coupled with that is the effort to force people and companies to be unionized against their will. In public service (tax paid) jobs that means you have no choice but to pay dues to the outfit which then lobbies Congress and contributes to campaigns favorable to extending their power and wealth. Not many union bosses on food stamps.

To me that is a bit of a scam on taxpayers. That is where the money originates. This has become a major force in elections. And the tactics on the street are not always pretty. No one even blinks at union violence or destruction of property when they want to get their way.

Of course, I'd disallow any government contractor from direct lobbying. But, that would imply a free market approach to necessary government contracts. That doesn't always mean award the lowest bidder. As in real life, the best approach is to settle on what works best for the duration of the need.

Anyway, I know some people worship unions and turn a blind eye to this power structure. They beg the question; "what about xyz, etc.."

My argument is for choice, and for union members using their own personal money if they want to campaign for Chuck Schumer or some such crook. I've seen signs that say the International Brotherhood of Firefighters--or whatever it is called support a particular candidate, and that the ad is paid for by them. I'm thinking, "What if I was in that union and did not support that person?. My dues go to his campaign against my will, and that has nothing to do with the alleged purpose of this organization."

The fact that all is paid by the pubic under the guise of having people around to put out fires leads me to believe that this is a far cry from government services and agencies being under the will of the people.

But, that is why I think laws governing government need to strictly limit the scope of authority. The Constitution is supposed to do that but, like in the case of the union loop (union pays to campaign, politician kicks back laws and regulations to promote union which gets richer and more powerful and puts more people in office---etc). It goes on elsewhere too, I understand that, but this scheme may be about as powerful or moreso than any of them. They also push and cajole their people to vote a certain way. Sheeple welcome, all others Beware!

The healthcare thing is much less about health than it is a forfeiture of power by the citizenry. Or, in other words, a power grab by the federal government, particularly the executive branch. I still wonder why Congress and the president are exempt.
So many convoluted, unrelated little tidbits in that mammoth bill. Well, it bothered me when I heard Huxley, or one of them, predict that people would end up not only marching willingly into a type of slave state, but that they'd actually ask for it. He was right.

Whether this is evolution or design, I am not sure. It is such a subtle process that involves emotion and psychology that there seems no way to stop it. Considering the fact that people on every strata of power do, and have done, great harm to others, there is always a way to avoid the subject and point to past transgressions of one sort or another, then claim the new bold tyrannical move will fix it. But it doesn't seem to do anything but further limit freedom and mobility. That growth of that syndrome accelerated exponentially since the inception of TSA and Homeland security.

I'm all for defense and squashing the bad guys, but not for reverting to a condition of existing by permission of the state rather than vice versa. Never sure whether visa versa or vice versa is more correct.

Lots of people are short sighted idiots, or lack the nature not to steal and cheat if they can by with it, so I am not for no law whatsoever. I do think something is wrong when police culture is generally one of an "us against them" mentality, where the world of non-cops is seen as the enemy, or the prey. That is the fault of the way the system and laws have been constructed.

I've often been on the receiving end of great disdain when I suggest a distaste for the over-regulated nature of things, and the boot-on-your-neck nature of current governments. The compulsive devil's advocates always pretend I'm for chaos and anarchy. I almost am for the latter, but not quite. That is like me pretending that they are for central control of all industry, resources, personal choices, everything. Ooops. I guess some people actually are. Odd that the one extreme sounds more radical than the other.

Giving Anarchy a Bad Name

It is a bit of subtle salesmanship when officials and others decry amoral behavior and violence in the streets as "lawlessness and anarchy". An overly high percentage of violence and abuse of human rights is perpetrated by the lawmakers and enforcers, themselves. So, being of the law does not really define justice and peace.

Maybe it is because governing is one of the oldest professions, possibly as old as the "oldest profession". Certainly kindred in spirit, although I consider good honest prostitution far nobler, and less destructive. It is always about money and power.

So, it makes sense that every effort has been made to convince people that government, people and groups who rule others, are holy and necessary and are more worthy of trust and reverence than any other human institution. They share this with religion when they have to. Or, like in the MidEast, the sort of meld the two entities. What a great thing. That's the worst insanity ever.

Diversity be damned, hard core muslims are lunatics. Don't give me the "what about Christians? blablabla". First off, Christians aren't the topic here, and secondly they aren't the ones who won't let women drive, ar actually crucifying people by nailing them to trees, stoning people to death, etc.

Any religion shoved at me with any force annoys the hell out of me. But I will flatly say, I think Islam is bloody insanity, a cult, and like just about any overly superstitious, rite ridden faith, I am opposed to any public accommodation of the insanity. Everyone can do what they want on their own time. If you want to drive my cab and you won't take service animals and have other taboos which screw with my clients, then you are out of here. There should be no credence to given to the sneaky lying groups like muslim association that sues everyone, knowing they are playing us against ourselves. Killing us with our misguided notions of tolerance, of which they have zero.

OK, back to anarchy. These thugs who use that title, organize in groups, and spray paint the logo are not anarchists. They are amoral disrupptionists. Pure misanthropes and unforgivably selfish.

The latest thing is to disrupt the republican and democratic conventions. No real goal, just do things which cause harm to innocent people because the parties are bad. Yea, I get it. Hell, I think most police departments are bad. That doesn't give me the right to stop traffic, throw bottles, damage businesses and private property--or public.

It goes back to that school of reasoning which argues by saying "what about..blablabla". Like I say, you are messing up lives in unknown ways when you stop traffic---someone may be minutes from dying and almost to the hospital, who knows--and you say, "What about the dirty corporations and politicians not paying their fare share, what about Bush, the Gulf of Tonkin, Mary Jo Kopekne, blablabla?"

Begging the damned question. It is unreal. That is how the tyrants manage to keep strangling the country with more and more laws and regulations. The real question is whether the majority, the government or anyone has the right to regulate certain aspects of life and to decide the fate of certain resources. That question is ignored and instead people debate whether or not regulating the size of a stupid drink will help in "our battle against obesity". It is insane!

The way things are going, be glad ou are fat. If this crowd gets another four, we are in for some lean times ahead. We probably are anyway, but I think the full tilt bolshevik plan which modern democrats espouse is less palatable than the bolshevik lite we may get with republicans. I'm ignoring the dumbass talk regarding abortion, etc. I don't think abortion or birth control, or health care for that matter ought to be paid by tax money--in most cases. That's about it.

But I don't think much should be paid with tax money. As far as regulating abortion and morning after, before or whatever contraception, that's foolish. But come on. Convincing people that if it isn't provided by government that then there is no hope and that they are being abused---that is pandering, condescending and indicates a desire to have a paternalistic/maternalistic parenting government. Excuse me while I vomit in an officially approved bio bag which I have no idea how to discard in a legal manner.

I'm not anarchist, but I do believe that there are models of life which include only the slightest governmental presence which might be preferable. Anarchist just means no government. No ruler. It is a propaganda device used over a great deal of time which has conditioned us to define anarchy as chaos. You don't think the proliferation of gangs, of never ending wars in parts of the world we can't even name, the increased incidence of terrorism, mass shootings, goddam beheadings---never heard of such things a few decades ago---is a sign of chaos? All that has come with the exponential growth of governmental powers in the western world. With that comes involvements in affairs outside our borders which defy analysis of any real validity by most laymen because we have no idea what the truth or the whole story is.

People have their theories and ideas but many do not hold much water. Afghanistan and Iraq are about oil? I don't see how that is happening. If oil is such a goal, why is China taking more advantage of offshore drilling in the Gulf than we are? If we want oil, we have it. It was a blunder to let the Arab oil become nationalized over there. But, that's what you get when you aren't careful when you go doing stuff in someone else's yard. Chances are, if you don't get things straight up front, they'll want it all if you strike gold.

So, if anarchy is senseless crime and chaos, it seems that half the world or more has been run by official governing bodies which must have been anarchists for many years.

Don't be fooled by the logo. Those selfish creeps are merely Aberrant creatures. That is what the A stands for. It is perfectly OK to throw bricks at them, or to shoot them if you see them harassing strangers and tearing up property. You may be better off using a blowgun, stun gun, or paint balls because, in our wisdom, it is not OK to violate the rights and freedoms of those who threaten your life and property.

I think they should be beaten for false advertising. Just because one doesn't appreciate edicts from legal bishops and priests does not mean he is supposed to have a logo and an inexplicable disregard for the rights of others.
Aberrants, not anarchists.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summertime Blues

Ever catch yourself behaving in the same manner which you found troublesome in someone else? Then you realize that had it not been for the person who ruffled your feathers you wouldn't realize you were doing, or about to do, the very same thing to someone else.

What a conundrum. It takes all the self righteous wind right out of your sails. You can no longer feel quite as justified in feeling wronged, on the one hand, and justified in setting someone straight--when it wasn't my business-- on the other.

When my energy level is low, like today, I wonder if I am capable of any direct communication with others which won't find me making more blunders than politicians from Delaware and Missouri. Of course I have no claim to the kind of pension such blunderheads often enjoy, so I guess it doesn't hurt me as much in that way. But I have an active conscience, and a desire not to step on the sanctity and rights of other humans which may very likely lead to a bit more angst in my case.

It may sound like I'm making the case that I am a better person, in some spiritual or moral sense than some of the politicians to whom I've alluded. I guess I'd have to say that most of my friends and acquaintances are better people by my measure than most politicians I've followed. As am I. Sorry, but while I consider than all should have equal opportunity and protection under the law, I guess I can't deny that I think some individuals are better human beings than others.

I do not think Che, Stalin, Castro, Hitler and people like that are good people. Most likely you agree. That would mean that you, too, believe some people are better than others in that sense. Many churches seem to think that way or they wouldn't bestow sainthood on some but not others.

I just had a discussion with a lady who claimed there is not truth; that my truth is true for me and someone else's truth is true for them. I asked if that meant if my truth was that a bullet in my head would not kill or maim me if that was still valid truth. She said it would be for me. I suppose my truth would default to reality after the funeral.

If one assumes absolutely no absolutes exist, then how can people carry on any meaningful discussion? Some definitions have to be in place or it is all gibberish. Speaking the same language indicates a tacit agreement on the meaning of at least some sounds and words. That implies a bit of universal truth. Either a chair is a chair or it is not a chair. Of course, there are nuances and varying meanings which occur, but all it takes is a small portion of the language to be concrete to make the point.

What happens when people adhere to her view, which is very much stuff of the sixties, is that people pick and choose when to agree with accepted meanings and when to decide their truth is in play. The issue of rights is a perfect example.

All people should have unalienable human rights; an assertion with which most in our country would agree. The Islamic governments may have a severely abridged version of that. Then people of my friend's school of thought decide that the word right means something other than what I would think, or what it generally meant in 1800. It's a complicated world and very tough to find harmony and peace unless one remains incommunicado.

But that is just no fun. The desire for socialization is a characteristic of our species. Not to be confused with socialism. Although allocating the use and beneficiaries of the resources of others does appear to be a popular hobby of many of our kind.

Allocating my own resources, such as they are, is enough of a challenge for me. Deciding what to do with your time, effort, money and property is probably not best left to me. That's part of the summertime blues I think.

The heat and energy sapping weather leave me lethargic, tired and low on brain power. That leads me to do less than optimal allocating of my resources. I waste time, lose track of ideas, and generally don't look at the world around me, spot the possibly opportunities to fill a demand or maximize my enjoyment or that of others, and act so that these opportunities become concrete reality. Nope. I just can't wait for the chance to sleep and keep cool.

Now maybe I can convince myself that my truth states that I am really working hard and doing the best I can, and that I am really rich, married to the hottest most beautiful perfect woman possible, and that my private helicopter is due to pick me up any minute. It really helps that my truth can be true without having the slightest resemblance to reality.

Then Again, Maybe Not

There is a fine line between being realistic and fatalistically cynical. It is so easy to convince myself that nothing I am or ever have been, nothing I do or ever have done is at all worthy of even an approving nod. That is a stupid exercise if one's goal is something other than depression and misery.

Still the mind is a persistent doomsayer. It is the old battle, still raging. The one I never quite win, but haven't quite lost.

I do feel that there is a possible final win in the cards, though.

How come so many naturalized citizens I've met, who actually made the effort to become citizens rather than spend their time protesting and waving the flags of their ex-countries, seem to know more about identifying and seizing opportunity than I, or most Americans, do.

I think we've been conditioned through stupid status ideals and ridiculous convolutions of what constitutes respectable behavior so that we refuse ourselves the freedom we ought to embrace. I don't necessarily blame Hollywood and other media strongholds, but I do believe they are hugely influential. Who influences them, I can't say. Someone who knows how to make idiocy seem intellectually advanced, that's for sure.

There is a vast difference between the arrogant person who flaunts his disdain for a country he is visiting (or annexing, or squatting upon to illegitimately demand rights), and one who has respect. The LaRaza mentality is not one of respect, and their total lack of knowledge, or intentional lies, when it comes to their own history is shameful, selfish, destructive and born of nothing but naked greed and envy.

You should see the looks you get in this part of the country if you are doing any work that resembles yard work or domestic labor if you are not of the prescribed ethnic group. If you are American doing the work Americans supposedly won't do--one of the most absurd arguments ever posited--you could get mugged by the illegals who believe they are entitled to have all such work reserved for themselves. They'd probably picket city hall if they knew what I get paid.

But, unlike them, I do not cause collateral damage in doing my work. You don't have to clean the building if I clean the patio. Since their number one tool of choice is a power blower, if they clean the driveway, your cars and all nearby building will need cleaning, or the neighbor's driveway. If they paint the wall, all the things which were too near to the wall now need a paint removal job. That is how it is in SoCal.

Thank God there is a huge difference between general attitude and philosophy from north country and east county, and from LA to San Diego. Closer you get to Hollywood, both geographically, and in the trade, the jerkier and more hypocritical the nature of people and culture becomes. I guess I am a little harsh. Why not? It is true, and the world of pretend gets old sometimes, causing one to impolitely suggest that the emperor has no clothes.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Maybe This Is A Life

My return from the week or two journey was uplifting. I looked forward to coming home--something I rarely felt in Memphis, or other places in the last decade or so.

I had texts and messages from friends on the coast and here on Ballistic Mountain expressing the sentiment that I was missed. They even sang to me in one voicemail. That was very cool.

Now we are back to practices up here, and practice with the other group in Poway. I managed to lure a pretty girl onto the property, and even made her a cappuccino with Cuban coffee. I've done some work, and have more work ahead, and I feel primed to finish a particular creative project which has been on hold for some time.

Hot as it has been, the gully washer which assaulted the mountain this afternoon was quite welcome. It truly was a gully washer, as the road up past me now has deep crevices that most cars can't navigate. There is enough flat path on the edge of the road for them to make their way on up, I guess. It was a spectacular rain storm. Intensely hard rain.

Back to reading Michener again. The last one I read is called the Novel, and like My Mexico, it gives plenty of insight into the writing process. The Novel delves a lot into all the facets of publishing, as of maybe 1990. Even though that world has radically changed, I think it provided some timeless insights. The fact that change was on the horizon did not escape him.

I've got books scattered everywhere, and all of them have been read, so it is time to haul them into the used book store and trade them for more. I'm so illiterate in ways that I will never be able to catch up to where I should be, so I select what suits my purpose, and holds my attention.

I revisited the film, Artois the Goat, and I still consider it a brilliant screenplay. Low budget, obviously, and made in such a way that that adds to the charm. Some of the humor is silly, but so well placed. Kind of like Monte Python meets A River Runs Through It. I very rarely watch a movie more than once, but I found watching this one again was not at all boring. Of course, plenty of time had elapsed since my first viewing.

Code Contemplation

There was a conversation that ended quite badly some weeks ago. I've mentally reviewed it and tried to look at it from both sides. My conclusions are inconclusive.

After experiencing events in which much alcohol was present, I thought maybe the other party was somewhat drunk; had reached that point of belligerence which happens sometimes when you drink, especially when talking to someone who makes or contemplates choices you wouldn't make.

That conversation was worrisome. If the other party is unaware how questions were put to me, then my answers probed for more detail, then when detail was offered I was assaulted with angry complaints about the topic, then there is a serious problem which needs to be addressed. I can't make it happen, and I suspect any direct suggestion would bring more rage.

Another case of a person getting super angry because I did not care to entertain unsolicited advice about matters which affect only me. The subjects came up in response to queries, not from me introducing the topics out of the blue.

It was either a conversation tainted with some mind altering substance, or possibly influenced by some health issue or outright mildly psychotic episode. All my experience with such interactions proved in the end to be the result of depression tempered by drinking.

Where the code comes in is this: I will not tell you how to spend your money unless you ask. If it makes you happy to buy an iphone for every day of the week, then I'm happy for you. That is not my business. I won't step in uninvited claiming I'm doing it because I care and am your friend. Some things are simply the result of how a person chooses to use time, resources, and whatever else life is offering. Ridiculing innocuous choices is just a way of raining on your parade because one refuses to accept that he is ignoring his own. Or her own.

My code differs from that of some people. Just like I am very hesitant to apply the concept of social cost in supporting measures which ban or require certain behaviors; like helmets, use of poppies or pot, sugar, and a host of other things. If I see a real and present danger to what a friend is about to do, I will speak up if I can. Sometimes it only sends them over the edge, so discretion is needed. Let it look like someone else's idea. There are times when giving up the credit for an idea is the surest way it gets implemented. I've used that trick many times. I was more interested in the result than getting my ego justly boosted. That's kind of an ego trip in itself.

The code is largely about boundaries. That is a form of respect. It has to do with knocking and waiting to be admitted before barging in. Not like they do in the medical profession--knock on the door as they open it. Why do they bother knocking if it is not a polite request for admittance?

Defining those boundaries and what constitutes respectful approach is kind of difficult at times. I know the rules when the situation arises. Sugar coating the breach does not change anything. You can't humiliate or ridicule a person's nature, then justify by saying you are only trying to help them, it is only because you are a friend, or that it is for his own good. It is a strange way of killing trust. It certainly does not ring of the respect the one offering the character assassination claims is the motive.

There are things one can not fix. I think it is when the personal code of one person is too different from that of another.

We see it all the time. There is a growing difference of opinion in this country over the definition of the word "right"--as in right to a free press, speech, etc. Some believe in a right to brain surgery, higher education, housing etc. Others believe in the right to earn or pursue such things;you have a right to buy a house if you can, as opposed to the right to have that house, regardless of purchasing power, willingness of the seller to sell it, builder to build it, etc. That bit with rights goes on and on. There are people who think their right to free speech includes the right to stop traffic and more. Sometimes I think semantics clouds the reality to which the discussion allegedly refers.

The point is, not everyone is on the same page, and that can be fine and dandy until one's understanding conflicts with another's in a way which makes it impossible for them to peacefully occupy the same space or conduct a pleasant conversation.

A perfect example would be the situations in which someone gets emotionally involved over whether someone else does or does not eat meat. If you don't do what I do in a situation which has absolutely no affect on me, then you are no good. People have been on this planet too long to be such idiots. No excuse for it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Round and Round

The Subaru parts guy, on the phone, says they have no center cap for the steel wheels, but they do for "the aluminum ones". I got to thinking, I bet that will fit. He mentioned the diameter, so depending upon how it hangs on... I'll go down there and take a look.

Today I decided to paint the things. They had semi-rusty stripes due to uneven exposure to the world caused by the wheel covers. Ignore any over-spray on the tires. That will be gone quickly. I did not shine up the tires in the process. Another time, maybe.

You can still see part of my dirt road on the rubber. It was another hot day, but we had a welcome downpour at midday. I'd run up and down the hill on errands, enjoying the softening effect the mud had on the crazy washboard, teeth-jarring stretch during my last trip home.

So, of all the cabins in all the hills in all the county, she shows up at mine. The cowgirl up the hill. Maybe past discrepancies have dissolved.
pic stolen borrowed from wikipedia
I guess it didn't hurt that I flagged her down while I was playing around with Rustoleum. I had just sprayed all the rims with the flat black primer. She encouraged me to finish it off with the gloss black. I had both. She may have been right. I did end up doing the final coat with the shiny stuff.

I just wanted a good looking dame on the property so as I saw her wave in passing I did the "come on down here" wave, and she backed up and drove in. There is a God.

A man has to experience such things from time to time or he becomes convinced his life is possibly devoid of...spirit.

It is good to keep friendships. Perhaps I'll just have to institute a no more than one text per day rule, should this get interesting. She tends to get carried away in that regard. I must say, the dame was looking swell. I guess my resolve, of which I probably haven't written, is coming to fruition rapidly.

When it rains it pours, though, and that can get complicated. That's OK. Said precipitation is several states away and who knows. I figure that Ms Right and Perfect will slip away if I don't get some practice in which will improve my manners and prepare me well. It's happened before. I want to be ready when this mythical being crosses my path.

Maybe I'll hit the open mic they have in the Starbuck's patio area tomorrow. The lady associated with that has given me good word-on-the-street, and facebook reviews. Nice dame. And my pal Cliff may be there, as well as another good player or two. I'll show off my newly painted, plain jane wheels.
I must say, I now feel smart owning a car the same color as Ballistic mountain dirt.

Maybe with the crazy wheels it at least looks like a butch lesbian car. (G1, in Memphis, informed me when I bought the first tourmobile that the Forester is the official vehicle of lesbians in America, so don't blame me) Not that anything is wrong with being a lesbian, butch lesbian, bull dyke, gay, transgender, bi and/or tri sexual. Some of my best friends are Black. Oops, wrong apologist line.

Some of my best friends are LBGTBDBLTS. And many speak languages other than English. That's better. Good thing I have high cheek bones and ample pigmentation, and I'm not always hitting on all cylinders. That excuses me, and increases my latitude in mentioning cultural divisions.

We call it maize, you call it corn.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Elites and Bionists

I've finally given in and decided that maybe They do know what's best for me. Since they are deemed to be a little smarter than the rest of us and are led by "the smartest guy in the room--IQ off the charts!"***, I've decided to do what I can to emulate them.

So, my first move is to do as they have done and exempt myself from the health care law. Problem solved.

I'm not sure what my friends and relatives are doing, particularly those who have recently become bionic with new high tech knees and hips. I have several bionic friends and relatives now. I'm certainly glad they were able to obtain the relief that procedure is said to bring.

If I find myself in such need, I'll hold a benefit or start a solar company, get a grant, then run with the money and go bankrupt. It appears to be a good way to realize a quick windfall. If I plaster the right bumper stickers on the car and all that, I don't expect much legal hassles.

Recently, I've read some things that crystalize the belief by some that it really is their duty to control the direction of the arts, and intellectual thought. They truly believe themselves to be the elite class, and consider it their duty to combat the natural inclinations of lowly people who do work or build businesses. Those ignorant fools are devoid of the understanding of art and how things should run. Good thing the volunteer caretakers are in place.

A psychology professor at Florida State once told us that those of us in the academic world were the elite. It made me uncomfortable when he said that. He went on about it for awhile and the further context did not improve my impression of the assertion. Many of the professors there made me uncomfortable, except those whose field was math or science or engineering. (too bad I got schnockered and skipped so many classes) Or the guy who did metals and jewelry making. Philosophy was a bust, as was theater, english, history, and pretty much all else. Those were difficult times and confusing days. I survived. sort of

Sumer session was the best time to attend because many of the more egregious a-holes were down in Cuba volunteering in the sugar cane fields. I kid you not. Talk about useful idiots.

Oh well. That war is over. And I'm exempt from confusing insurance regulation. I'll just wear a helmet and tell them I'm doing it for the good of society and maybe to save the planet. For the kids or for the planet is a good method of avoiding unwanted discussion. Kind of like claiming it is God's will or His idea.

***not sure what that means. I don't know much about IQ, but I did know one person whose score on one part of the IQ test was "off the charts" according to a psychologist. I asked my shrink friend what that meant and she said that test's chart did not go as high as the person scored. (I was in a situation in which it was OK to discuss the score--all parties permitted it) The individual did better than what would have given him or her the top mark on the chart. The person taking the test didn't do anything grand or earth shaking, to my knowledge, so maybe it doesn't mean much unless you are in politics.

Conversations with psychologists can sometimes be fun and informative. Sometimes, though, shrinks are too arrogant and nuts to be enjoyable.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Searching for center caps

Geez, I wonder if that title will bring more spammer comments. All the auto maintenance entries bring something like, "Wow! Great post and you written it very good. Maybe you could visit my site xyzstupidstuff.com"

I'm always flattered because I know they read and loved whatever I wrote. But that won't help me in my current quest.

I'm ashamed to admit that when I took delivery of this car about three years ago, I did not pay closer attention. I'm almost positive that when I first looked at it that it had factory alloy wheels. I drove off with plain steel wheels with wheel covers which closely resemble the alloys at first glance. For whatever reasons I did not push the issue in a timely manner.

It is what it is. Kicking the covers back tight when they appear to be less than snug on the wheel had become tiresome over the last many months.

Then, prior to the trip, one cover fell off without me knowing exactly when. I had a spare as a result of the deer strike repair--no need to explain why--so I grudgingly snapped it on.

One of the tires developed a slow leak about the time I reached Oregon, so before heading out to the campground event, I stopped at Eugene's version of Discount Tires which is called America's Tires. Same company.

They fixed it and did everything they could to be first rate; balanced the wheels because they suspected they might be slightly out, and generally behaved competently. It didn't cost anything because I bought the tires from that company.
Then I stopped for fuel about ten miles down the road and noticed a wheel cover missing. I went back to the tire place but they looked everywhere and are sure they did not leave it off. The guy who did the work wasn't defensive, but he was concerned and helpful. They had some wheel covers that would fit so they put that set on so all would match. They were a bit less sedate than what was on but I had just about had it with frigging hubcaps.

I kept a couple of the old ones, throwing them in the car, trashed the third since I still have spares at home. While at the wedding celebration event I drove up the store one day. When I got back one of those had fallen off a different wheel. That was it!

I removed the others and tossed them in the dumpster. Hubcaps flying off of wheels could kill someone or damage a car. It is a public hazard, like driving drunk. Eliminating the known risk was the right thing to do.

Now I need just simple, plain center caps to cover that axle nut in the very center, then I'll spray the wheels flat or semi-gloss black so they look ok, and that will be that. They aren't really ugly like some wheels.

My problem is finding the simple, functional center caps. I tried to look on line and all I found was stupid stuff that costs over a hundred dollars for one. There should be simple ones that don't even cost ten dollars each. But where are they?

DEBT BOMB - The Global Financial Crisis Stripped Bare

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Everyone Must Do This

My lack of home A/C has now become a matter which is impossible to ignore. I know that anyone reading this must be somewhat of a humanitarian at heart, so I must appeal to your sympathy and your probable Bolshevik sense of fair play.

What I'd like everyone to do is to box up the cold air from your refrigerators and send it to East County, San Diego. Also run your air conditioning at max cold, High speed, and open your doors and windows, especially if you live west of the Mississippi. I think the cooling will make its way to Ballistic Mountain, and I will, once again, be able to wear clothes without burning up with fever and drenching them with copious amounts of vile sweat.

Thank you. It is only fair. Spread your wealth of cool air.

As Planned, played Crest Comm. Ctr. on way home

The target time of arrival into Crest, a community out here in East County, and on my home from this trip, was 7PM. I arrived at 7 PM. even though I got lost in this town which is less populated than the high school from which I graduated.

We were one of four acts playing, and were the last ones to play. First each group played a short set, the they had a break, then each one played about 15 minutes. I haven't practiced with the group in awhile, and I haven't played much in a few weeks. It worked out OK.

The second set almost warmed me up. They chose things that give me a lot of leeway and I was in need of that. It is like a nutrient that my mind and body crave; being able to let go and float in the air for a minute or two. That is partly how it feels to play that way. In any case I had a blast that last fifteen minutes, and I think it came through.

What a great way to end a trip.

Being a neighborhood band, my landlords know the others. There was some kind of neighborhood meeting today with the fire people or the power company or someone, so they knew about this event. They showed up to see us. I hope they liked it and don't raise the rent or kick me out for being a disappointment.

It has been ultra hot here, just like it has in regions north.


***I even shaved before hitting town. Maybe I care more than I thought

I look forward to playing the various practices and open mics that have become part of my regular routine.

There is work on the near horizon, and a new found passion for some other projects. I'm a lucky enough guy, I'd say. The warm reception from the CopperCreek bandmates was almost a tear jerker. It is nice to know when people miss having me around. I'm such a sap.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Gig at Crest; guess it is time to shave

On the road I tend to skip shaving for days at a time. I found that the whiskers grow faster as I get older. It is time. It is past that hip hollywood shadow point.

So, I'll roll into town in time to play, and probably in time to set up if we have any equipment on site. Better remind K to bring my microphone.

What is with this heat? Parts of CA are well over 100deg. F. It is amazing that my trusty tent is perfectly comfortable at night with these two battery powered fans I ordered from campmor.com for not much money at all.

The Kelty tent was definitely a good purchase at the sale price. Sets up very quick and it is easy to deal with. Good thing I made off with some food from the family event. Lots of people loaded up since there was so much left over. I would have taken more but I was a little slow on the grab. My lovely sister in law, and my nephew made sure I didn't leave empty handed. Why my sis in law looks out for me like she does is a mystery. You'd think I've been an upstanding family member all these years. I haven't, but she always acts like I'm OK. I certainly do admire how she held the threads together despite the dysfunction which plagued us all early on.

It is an odd life but sometimes I like hanging out in a box made of thin fabric, sleeping on an air mattress. At many points along the way I would have thought the idea the dumbest thing imaginable. Now I appreciate the incommunicado aspect.

I'm about ready to go home.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Things I've learned So Far on this Tour

I learned that I can be chased by bad loneliness if I am not careful. I've altered my original plan regarding route just because it seemed like it would be easier to stave off the blues if I did so.

I learned that my family and their various extended families by in-law connection tend to drink a lot. It bores me and makes the closeness not so close in festive settings. But for that same reason, I learned that when key things come up I am able to take care of it. They rarely even realize I saved them big trouble. Sometimes the do.

I'm not sorry I don't have to have alcohol every time I'm around people.

I'm playing the Crest Community Center on Sat. night, so I'll be back by then. I may just time it so I go there on the way home.

I like swimming in rivers and sailing off of rope swings.

In spite of all, I learned that I have a rather accomplished family--no need to worry about them in most ways--, and that brings a sense of comfort that they are doing well, and a sense of failure on my part. I realize that I blew it early on. I could yet feel better about things depending on what I do and how I do it. I also realize that relying on the estimation or approval of others, and doubting myself have been key elements in letting good things pass me by. Oh well. Life is far better than it was not long ago, and it continues.

But I'm the only one who ever had any ideas patented. But I didn't know how to play it so great, it worked and I let millions slide due to my bewilderment at corrupt business and government. Still, I know.

I want that perfect ballistic babe to join me for the duration of the tour (the Big Tour, Life, not this road trip). Surely this will come to pass. On a good day I'm decent company.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Finally A Sane Parent In An Ad On TV

The image of the dad and kids in TV commercials is not generally flattering.

Dad is a total dimwit who is desperate for his kids' approval. The kids are disrespectful little brats. Unfortunately life too often imitates TV. I won't say art in this case. Plus I believe art reflects life. TV tends to set trends.

Enter, finally, an ad in which the dad is exactly how a dad should be. I offer the Ballistic Tour Best Dad in a TV Advertisement Award to the guy in the Geico advertisement who got his kids a 'possum instead of a puppy to save money. And when the thing hisses at the kids he doesn't blink an eye.

Whoever created and approved that ad has done America a service. If you are one of those people who gets wrapped up in the whole role model thing, there you go. If you know any young fathers, steer them toward the 'possum pop as their role model. We'll all be better for it.

I hope it sets a trend. There are many kids who don't deserve a puppy, and many families who cannot reasonably afford a dog; or kids for that matter.

I Heart Misty and Kerri

Somewhere in CA I am availing myself of AC and watching some Olympics. I've never seen the kind of heart displayed by the US women's Volley ball pair. They narrowly defeated the Chinese and they overcame a sizable lead by the opponents.

Correct or not, I hate it when communist countries' athletes win anything. It gives their police state way of things an air of credibility which is sickening to me.

Those two women are unbelievable. Apparently the other American pair--don't know the names--are exceptional as well. I think they are a younger pair.

The cool thing is that those are the two teams to make the finals. I guess that means the USA wins that medal no matter what. Good.

Every time I travel it amazes me what a great land this is. It also puzzles me that people often don't get it. That strain of something that makes our species want to go extinct. Odd.

I've had ample opportunity to see "Your Tax Dollars At Work". I know because they have signs telling me so, just in case it is not clear to me.

They say the fines are doubled in work zones. I noticed a couple of work zones marked off but no clue regarding what work was being done. I suspect it was merely a speed trap which would result in double the ticket cost. I slowed down.

I had no interest in seeing the olympics, but then I caught some of Phelps kicking foreign butt in one event or another and I couldn't help myself. That guy has it made, and he has to be doing something right to have been such a major force for so long. I love seeing people succeed in exceptional fashion.

I do find it odd that the red China team wears blue, and the USA team was in red. Probably my paranoia concerning totalitarian states that tempers many of my observations and emotional reactions. It must have started with that tyrant Mrs. Anderson in kindergarten, reinforced by that sadistic, evil killer of the human spirit, Mrs. Marshall in 1st grade. Fortunately there were some fine teachers after that who convinced me that only 56% percent of teachers work for the devil.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Live From Oregon

Somewhere outside of Eugene, I am resting the night and regrouping after an intensively festive and recreational three day wedding celebration. Observing the way one's extended family grows in size and quirkiness through marriages and offspring is interesting.

What amazed me as much as the fact that my nephew and his wife have so many friends and family who would travel, some with children, all the way from Miami, Maryland, Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas, Seattle--the happy couple's home, and elsewhere just to celebrate this event, was the way that so many of the close to one hundred people pitched in to prepare food, manage games, clean up, and generally do the work that something like this involves.

There was a main building which housed a kitchen that reminded me of the big mess hall kitchens in which I preformed KP in basic training. It was a huge affair with a slot in the wall where people could put dirty dishes, an industrial dishwasher (clipper), and many freezers and refrigerators. Big ones.

This wasn't a weekend of easy picnic food. It was real food and I never saw a paper plate or plastic fork. I even ran the dishwashing part a time or two--usually when the majority of able bodied folks were three sheets to the wind and conversations involving more than one sentence by the participants were next to impossible to conduct. Not that everyone was drunk. Some were off in remote tents renewing or deepening their knowledge--or so I guess.

We went into the river which was not too deep, floated down, availed ourselves of a rope swing, then made the challenging journey back upstream. I managed to hang in OK with the thirty-somethings. The friends and the new bride and groom are early thirties people. That is the best decade of life until you reach maybe sixty.

Some of the kids, particularly one, in the bride's extended family were enough to give one hope for the future. 5 1/2 year old Riley was the nicest, most articulate, bright kid I've ever seen at that age. If his mother was single, I'd marry her just because her kid is so cool. She was kind of cute, too, but --- that damned ring is to me like an electric fence to a sensitive farm animal.

My brother was in rare form the whole time. He and his wife made the food and whatnot run on Friday to stock the place--about fifty miles to the Costco in Eugene. I followed them to bring back frozen pizzas the the starving first arrivals while they went shopping for everything on the phone book sized list. They ended up having to leave Costco when it closed and get other items at the all night Walmart. I guess they don't care if they sell Chinese goods, however I doubt and of the Walmart food comes from Bejing. My people rarely boycott if the price is right.

I made it back by about 8 PM. They made it back about midnight. I must admit, I was the first to start worrying. There was no cell reception so I was going to drive the five or ten miles into the phone zone and check up on them. Just as I was starting to leave my other nephew's in-laws were heading out to the house in a "nearby" town which my brother, they and oldest nephew, wife and baby were renting for this affair. Oh boy, is that little baby girl cute or what? At Christmas you couldn't tell, but she's turned out top be a little brown baby; brown hair, dark eyes, and tans easily I guess. Looks like my nephews did way back when. In Miami, people always thought they were little Cuban boys.

I was the first one on the site by thirty minutes, so I pitched my tent in a place that was shady most of the time. Then young nephew clued me in about the two rooms in the huge A-frame log building where the kitchen and dining hall take the first floor. We never ate in there. There was a big basketball court which had a roof but no sides. It was filled with picnic type tables dragged from all over the property. At one point I silently noted in total political incorrectness that this had to be a predominately white event. Other games may have been played, but few, if any had any interest in shooting hoops. I only saw one person try to make a basket, and he missed from about five feet out.

Many engineers were there. Young nephew is one and so are some of his friends, and my brother the ex-pilot, paleontologist, has a degree in engineering. There were others too. This made some of the solutions to various logistical matters interesting when three or more would get together and out complicate one another until some walked up and did the obvious simple thing.

If I still drank, I'd have been in trouble. No way to run out of beer or any of a variety of liquor options. They took no chances. Even so, I did not see anyone make a big scene or embarrass themselves drastically. It did look like one or two couples may have been in conflict, mostly the female mad at the male, but I could be wrong. Not much of that, considering the number of people.

Oh, so I never did sleep in my tent. It did look nice sitting there. I could see it from my window. My room up in the A-frame has three free-standing bunks/cots with one equipped with two of those foam pads stacked. It was great. There was a bathroom with a shower across the little hall between the two rooms up there. And only one night was the other room occupied. I had the best accommodations in the park.

There were wooded paths that opened into meadows where some set tents. There were also some shelters with one side open by the river, and a few other similar type places which had bunks off in the trees. Many of those places were secluded enough that I have no idea who was where. The main area would be loaded with people, then people would hang around the big fire pit until late, and they just faded into the night and there they were again the next day.

Music played through someone's PA in the basketball place, hooked into various person's song lists running through a mac laptop. Someone had great taste in tunes and knew what to play when. Obviously one or two lists were put there by fine R&B fans. It was an eclectic mix overall.

Well, no one is crazy enough to read all of this. But it is good for me to put it down.

I have to say, just watching and paying attention to things at his gave me food for thought. Being family, and due to my odd history, I often find family hits some nerves, or I feel guilty or who knows what it is, but it is clear that my brother has become one extremely nice and entertaining person. He got on well with the most stuffy of people, and with the loosest, falling down reprobates.

The little things that the couple did to prepare were impressive. They made name tags out of discs of wood cut from three inch diameter logs, and she wood burned names on all of them, then a clasp pin was clued to the back. The young bride must have had to burn the name John twenty times. I was by no means the only John there. It was clearly the most common name in the hood. They looked good, those tags, and people liked them well enough that they wore them.
I left there very proud to be blood related to him and my nephews and related by association to there spouses. People like that don't grow on trees. Rarely, anyway.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

We Fight It With Popcorn

A graph of my condition would look much like a sine wave. Up we go, and back to neutral, then down we go then back up to neutral, and on and on. The good thing is that the period of the cycle is much longer these days, and the curve is a much shallower one.

I think that one day, before I die, it will be as shallow as the rhythms of people who are in the healthier range. I would say , "normal", but I am not so sure that healthy and normal are synonymous.

The disturbing part about the crest of the negative loop of the curve is that it finds me in a state where doing anything but reading, writing, or driving makes me almost unbearably sad. I know it is not real, and I constantly try to avoid acknowledging the feeling. Sometimes being in touch with feelings is not a good thing, not healthy, and certainly no fun. A lot of the stuff that is out there on the subject is pure bunk.

I'm able to get to work as needed, but it is like trying to chop wood in a tank of mud ten feet deep. If you've ever chopped wood in such a setting, you know the feeling. It doesn't even have to be thick mud for it to be quite a nuisance.

This is the main reason I've let the ones get away who got away. Even though the down side of the curve brings on feelings of loneliness, being around friends or anyone makes it worse. It is too much strain to carry on face to face conversations.

So, I soothe the want-to-crawl-out-of-skin fits with diversions like watching shows or movies on HULU, reading whatever, or driving to the water machine to fill up the water bottles.

All the while during this, I try to find a way to trick myself into doing something worthwhile, like get packed and on the road for this trip. Again I am writing way ahead of when it will show up.

One day I hope to find more ways to compensate so I won't feel guilty when a swell woman shows interest. In the past there has been a strong force whose motto was, "I like her too much to let her be saddled with this", pointing to myself. And invariably I forfeited something I valued through pure neglect. I'm not sure I did the wrong thing, but maybe I did.

Many women are highly attracted to trouble and the impossible, so they do sometimes seem interested. Not as many as those who seek money and power, but they are out there. Women love power whether anyone admits it or not. And power can be found in many forms. But the need is set in nature. It is not bad. Men need nurture and some kind of reinforcement.

We pretend nature is not real, but it is. So are the blues.

When the downer thing seems like it is beginning to get too far out of control, my solution is to make a big bowl of popcorn, like I did a minute ago. It's a good weapon against full tilt bonkers blues lunacy. Eat popcorn and say to myself, "It is going to be OK. It is OK".

Catching things before they go too far is essential. I've been over that edge, down in the pit, and when I see it coming, I bring out the popcorn and any other weapon I can dream up. No way I'm going back to that. I pity people who have this and drink a lot because alcohol only fuels depression in the long run. Besides it is a highly potent gateway drug which is often involved when people have sex with people or items that are inappropriate and disgusting. Alcohol is way more of a gateway drug than pot. Amazing the misinformation on that subject. Some people do well with it. Not talking about them.

I know there are others who have similar struggle, but I haven't met many. I do know it is not one of those "we all feel that way sometimes" issues. Like many things which are extreme, it can probably be used to advantage. In my case the manic is rarely very energetic. Mostly it is about up to normal motivation and energy level. Well, maybe once I get rolling it goes beyond that.

Now I feel a little better. I'll have to get out of here soon. Like tomorrow which will be some yesterdays by the time this is up.

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

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