Monday, April 29, 2013

Am I Supposed To Care?

Geez, the lead story on radio news---a basketball player is gay, and even said so!    Oh, and is anyone surprised that there are gay people in pro sports?  Well, I am not surprised, or much interested.

The curious thing to me i why "the White House" has to weigh in on it.   But then I couldn't believe it when Congress got all up in private business during the baseball strike, long ago, and several other serious national professional sports emergencies.

That's tax money.  Is it worth it to most people to spend money, paying Jay Carney to announce Obama's pronouncement about how we should feel because some guy says he's gay?   Certainly not worth paying Congress to wring their hands over who took perfamance enhancing substances.   Unbe-friggin-lievable.

But I figured it out.  People like myself simply abhor uninvited, unnecessary oversight of their lives and activities, whether we "have anything to hide", or not.   We tend to see that bending rules in the name of safety or the kids or the war on the wind always results in more power in the hands of those already wielding too much power.

Most of the time, if you mind your own business and walk the straight and narrow you can remain relatively unmolested by the voracious authorities.  Not always.

One thing I like about living where I do is that I can be pretty much out in the middle of nowhere in just minutes.  The troubling part is that if you are like me, you sometimes just go out there to be alone.  More alone.  And that must raise red flags.

We've given up the right to be left alone unless they have a good reason to bother you.  I've had sheriffs and highway patrol, and border patrol swagger up to me demanding I justify my existence many times. I'm on public property.  Places made for leaving your car and hiking, or just catching the view.

If I drive twenty miles east on I-8, then turn around I have to go through a check point.  Border patrol, 25 or 30 miles north of the border.  They have them on the back road too.  Sometimes they have a portable check point out here just a couple of miles from home on a road not that traveled.

If they have a reason to stop me, I've yet to be advised of it.  No, the idea is let's prove you no longer beat your wife/dog/husband/baby.  Wait, I never did!  Prove it.

So, what it comes down to is that most people don't view things as I do.  Those in power see the public in terms of "the masses", and the masses are mostly a big mindless herd, given to the behavior of herds. Those governing do not really see themselves on that level.  They are a little better.  If they didn't think so, they'd not make special exemptions for themselves when crafting various rules for the rest of us.

I've concluded that view people can visualize themselves as autonomous beings whose natural rights include a high degree of freedom and self supervision.   They see those who control them and their resource as better and holy.  They want kings and queens and dogmatic priests in various disguises to control them and protect them.  Mostly from themselves.

We won't snap out of this somnambulist march toward a society very much like that in the book 1984 because people refuse to see what's up, and they still sucker for straw causes set up so they can cheer or protest while they are being robbed, fooled, dumbed down, dehumanized.  I like people, but it seems that when it comes to some things, even smart people are really stupid.

If you've been bombarded with lies all your life, truth becomes a various suspicious and unwelcome intruder upon the psyche.  No one wants to wake up and realize that what they thought was true is false.

It cannot have been too hard to get the bandwagon in motion so that many who question or bemoan over regulation and a super powerful governing set up have mostly been classed as kooks, and even security threats.  That is a coup.  Those who believe in the least violence and coercion are labelled just the opposite.  And because no one wants to be thought a kook, people go along.

Never have I seen such blatant propaganda in use to increase power.   Many have been shameless in using Sandy Hook, Boston, and other events to grab a few minutes in the limelight.  Hijack the tragedy or crisis, then use it to further the power of government over people, and pretend it is out of compassion.  Not buying it.

We are the only species who will run people off of family farms and such if they are in the way--  Eminent domain---but we'll completely kill needed projects for humans if there is a hint of risk to the habitat of another species.  That sucks.  I'm not saying ignore everything, or that making a mess is OK. That is different.  Often the species in question is not a real issue.  I have seen perfect examples of it.

The problem is there is very little ground which is neither blunderingly abusive to people and other things nor ridiculously misanthropic nonsense.  All or nothing is how many people see it.  You're either for stripping the earth of all beauty and purity, or you think humans have no right here, unless maybe the bears say it is OK.  I hate that attitude of no third view.

Same goes if I say I think the democratic party is not the way.   Oh, so then you're a republican--and they'll throw some evil republican thing at me--so you think that is fine?  Geez.  Both parties have robbed people of their self respect, their money, even opportunity, and they never stop making big problems then rushing in to claim they "are fighting" to solve the problem.  What a deal.

If you grew up too late to taste a bit more freedom, and it may depend when and where your parents grew up as well, you are unlikely to react much as the long arm of the law squeezes a little tighter.

How could I expect people to have better sense?  We've been fighting wars since WWII, sixty years or so, with no real resolve, conflicting excuses for the wars, and little if anything positive to show for it.   Yet it seems that people have not been sure enough the wars were garbage or they'd have refused.  Of course, often times, these wars don't affect us personally, so big deal.

That may be why they quit the draft, at least for now.  That VietNam thing almost got out of hand.  They pushed use of the draft about as far as the could manage without a revolt.  Even then, people who hated hippies and flower power collectivists tended to embrace the draft and VN war out of rebellion against them, never fully probing the question of what was the point.

If it ain't defense, forget it.  W says the spread of democracy or freedom is the big deal.  The two are not actually the same.   W is wrong.  Strengthen at home.  Don't lay out a red carpet for non-productive types who jump the border for benefits.  That is just common sense.

They love using the phrase "common sense" when they talk about guns, borders and such but it is meaningless in the context generally used.  I like most foreigners, myself, but riffraff of any stripe is worth filtering out.  We have plenty of seriously undeveloped people running around like rabid dogs as it is.

And even though I like foreigners, I would not throw money in the kitty, and would certainly not force you to, in order to pay their education or other bills, including medical as a welcome for crossing the border.  In a freer economy, with a government that did what it should--protect against force and fraud--this would not be a big issue.

Most of the laws and bills passed are pretend efforts to fix problems created because they don't enforce what ought to be enforced.  They go all zealot when it come to enforcing things that aren't hurting others.  Sorry abortion fanatics, or anti-abortion fanatics, but I include that.  I see your point, but just let it go.  Fight it culturally.  And good luck, the culture is having many other issues as well.

I will compromise and change my previous stance on abortion:  I no longer think it should be permissible up to age 15 years.  I now believe you got to get it before it pops out or the game is off.  It comes out alive then you have no more shot at it.  Never should have been a public issue.  You cannot force your way on such things and promote a free country.

Odd that the biggest supporters of choice also tend to support a gazillion other rights and humanity and money robbing measures.  Makes me think they just do it so the Christians will get worked up and make opposition to their other totalitarian efforts look clownish.  It is working.  Sad to say.

So, it comes down to this.  Too many people are too stupid to want a free society or understand it.  The thugs and gangsters of history, under guise of priests, king and warlords knew this and have controlled the people and culture forever.   Whether a constructive paradigm shift is possible remain to be seen.

Give me a break.  Gay basketball player.   Maybe not an oxymoron, but I'll bet there are dozens in the NBA.  And NFL--except in the NFL they may not be basketball players.  Just ball player, I suppose.  If that i being used as news, it means some truly nefarious activity must be at play in the shadows.  Hey, look over there...



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Free Floating Confusion

I'm never in the right place at the right time when I think of good things to say, so I either say nothing or I say not good things.

Saying something seems necessary for me to convince myself I have one foot on the ground and that I haven't fallen off the edge for good.  I do worry that I could fade away into fantasyland and not return.  From the outside that looks like a person oblivious to his surroundings, rocking back and forth staring at the wall of his rubber room.

We don't want that, do we?  I do not think I do.  Why I tread so close to that line, I may never know.  I blame society, racism, sexism, islamophobia, hetreophobia, and homophobia.   Those are things you can blame for your confusion without question.  Especially if you recast confusion as persecution.

If anyone can do that, I can.  Where this activity loses it's charm is at that point when you can no longer believe your own lies and excuses.  Sure, I'm a victim, but maybe not enough of a victim to justify my downfall and lack of healthy up lift.

That part is tough because it leaves the obvious alternative staring one in the face.   The alternative is to examine any failings of my own which can't be satisfactorily pinned on society and them.

I know I could get others to encourage pinning my difficulties and weaknesses on a host of things which beg the question.  But at the moment I'm in one of those states of mind characterized by not buying all my internal lies and theories.

Maybe the playing of music for no good reason actually is helping keep my feet somewhere near the ground.   I don't know.

I may have to play Sat night to help out the Mormon tabernacle choir.   We'll see.  If he has that drummer there, then I won't play.  They sent out a thing inviting me to the event, and also to play.  Maybe I just don't want to hurt his feelings or his girlfriend's.   I don't know.  I cannot imagine how I would benefit them musically.

He's a one man show, player-singer and that means he has to change to bring in instruments.  He plays well, but sometimes you have to not try to play all the parts or it is no fun to be a sideman.

Throw in the world's worst, least aware drummer, and we got us an event to remember.  

I'm skeptical, to say the least.  Must be guilt or something.  In one sense I fell like I'm being a friend.  In another I feel like a sucker.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Fine Couple of Musical Days

Last night I went with K and L to a thing in a large Point Loma house with an ocean view and lots of window.  It was sort of a new agey deal, but not really.  I'm able to adapt in that environment because of my strange life.   The guy doing the house concert is a really nice guy, and the way he described his process of playing is how I'd describe mine--on a good day.

His main thing is cello.  Way back, he was a session bass player.  Anyway, he mixed in some Indian string instrument--not a sitar--used looping and created layers then usually played cello over it, altering the loops as he played.  It was good.  I liked his attitude and his playing.

And, I swear, ALL the women were good looking.  It appears there is a chance they want us to play there.  That's the foot in the door I'm after.  With luck, I may yet encounter another kid in a candy store scenario.

OK.  So, we were slated to play Cosmos, the smarmy place, tonight.  And we did, and every negative thing I had in my mind about the place was wrong.  They did something so the stage had adequate room.  A guy I know had the sound system under control.  I do not think I've had things set that well since I've been in California.

By the way, Feliz quatro vente.

Before Cosmos, there was the Sat. open mic in Rancho San Diego.  Cliff was there but didn't want to play.  Neither of us wanted to do anything like what we'd be doing later.  They put my name on the slate whether I ask or not.  I decided to see if I could get a bass and guitar player to pick up and carry with me after I started some sort of pattern.  On the first one we ended up morphing into Kansas city because the guitar could sing it, and it was fun to slide into it.

We did another far different thing in Eminor.  I couldn't believe the guitar was able to work with it.  That is the kind of situation I miss about decades ago in Greensboro.  That was what people did, and had to do then.  I guess they were emphasizing the make it up as you go school.  They also emphasized that whatever you are doing better fit.

So, it was a mini jam and it worked.  Planting little seeds.

The people that organize that event closed it early so people could go see us at Cosmos.  That was unexpected.
Whether I played better than I have in a long time, I don't know.  I do know I had more fun playing than I have in a long time.  Sometimes playing well is not overplaying, and just complimenting the background.  There were plenty of times when I am expected to run amok.  The sound was so good, I had all kinds of control so I let myself get lost in it.  No complaints.  I still wonder how it sounded, but I had fun and played without second thought.

There was one of the beauties from the yoga group place.  And she appears single.  But am I too old for her?  I can't tell.  Seems reasonable to just be used for awhile then dumped.  So, under those conditions I won't mind if I'm found to be too old.    That woman has "trouble" coming out of every pore.  

It's like I'm thinking, hey this could be a fun roller coaster even though it would certainly end badly.   If that isn't mental illness, perhaps it is spring fever.

It looks like my insistence on trying to play background, and not noisy on top all the time, is paying off.  Some of the better players I've encountered, who do regular gigs around town, are taking notice and commenting favorably.  Eventually the circle will widen to include who knows what.

The music thing is silly, I think.  But it is there, and I think I have some angle on it where I'm competent.

Was listening to Donato Poveda CD.  He's some kind of Spanish speaking nationality.  The music seems to have Mexican, Cuban and something else influences.   I was big on that CD for much of my exodus trip, when I first left Memphis.   I highly recommend Donato.  But you have to listen to the whole thing.  Great traveling music.   Lots of percussion on some of it, cool Mexican-ish harmonies.

I find some of the rhythms on Donato's album to be compelling.   It has been awhile.  I forgot how Donato rocks.
Did I report that Los Lonely Boys cancelled the show on the 28th?  They did.  I'm not surprised.  It was that long ago that the guitar player fell off the stage and did some injuries.  If I'm around in August they'll be playing Shelter Island, right there on Point Loma.  On the bay.  I know it is stupid to pretend anyone knows what I did or did not "report".
OK.  That's it.  We only played two 1/2 hour sets.  Some other guys alternated with us.  The place was not that big.  Not a huge crowd, but enough.   1/2 hour is not bad for a set of this kind.   Enough mix that I could gage the demographics of who seemed to like various things.  I do OK with the younger set--the ones that look like possible trouble.  Seriously.  I've found that you can't jump to conclusions.  If they like what I do, then I'll vouch for their good character and high sense of artistic integrity.

In some ways, SoCal does find ways to keep people entertained.  Only in CA would a house concert like that be happening as it did.   I hope it doesn't become so heavy handed that I leave, because this place is beginning to suit me fine.

Never know what is around the corner, at least in my world.  How do I know how it works for anyone else?  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

420 and More Odd Harp Player At Large Foolishness

This probably doesn't happen to you, but it happens to me a lot.   I walk in a place where people know me, and at least one, often more over a span of time, will give a look of recognition then immediately mime like they are playing harmonica for a few seconds.   I don't play air guitar every time I see a guitar player.  I don't play air piano at Fin when we cross paths.

They always do it with a cheerful attitude, but it does get a little scary.  I guess I have to accept that people associate me with playing what I am not certain is even a real musical instrument.   I wonder what mime antics they'd employ were I known for being a proctologist, or gynecologist.

Oh well.  Wednesday night, at the last minute, I decided to show for the Parky's semi-blues jam/open mic.  I didn't have a great time the first time I explored that place.   This time was different.

I met new people and some hotshots had me sit in with them.  All was quite hospitable and ego boosting.  Even the regular bluesharp player there insisted that I must come back.   That was nice enough.

Now I have to play tonight at Cosmos in La Mesa.   What they call a stage is the size of a bath mat.   How the four of us will deal with that is yet to be seen.   I ought to have a better attitude, but Cosmos is one of those places where young yuppies in training, who fancy themselves intellectual go to be hip and to put on their best bored faces.

I'm probably being unfair, but there is a chance that I am not.   I did not want to play this.  The rest of the CopperCreek bunch did, so I piped down.  Such nice people--can't say no.  

We are filling in for whomever is the regular Saturday night act at this smug venue.  I used the word smarmy to describe them in the past, but I think the actually meaning of the word is a little off the mark.  It certainly sounds spot on for this crowd though.

I can only hope I am nowhere where people try to hijack tragedy by conducting moments of silence, etc.  I hate it when people play compassion commando, seeking attention with their pious manipulation of crowds and such.

Oh well.  Why let the bastards who forever try to take the fun out of life win?   I won't be overly cautious or safe.  And screw worrying about embarrassing myself or any of that.  How ridiculous.  People will mock anyone who is real and happy.  I have a history of fear of being laughed at so I spent much of life unhappy and not real, and no one laughed.  Worth it?   Hardly


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Never Let Chaos and Ignorance Go To Waste


The curse of living more than a few decades is that one can recall a time when 15 year old kids could ride motor scooters and small motorcycles, with .22 rifles strapped on board, out to 117th av in Dade County to shoot rats among the appliances people dumped there.

We didn't even wear helmets.  I'd wear a helmet now in that situation, if one was readily available.   There are a number of things which one could do which one cannot do now without permission or official oversight of some kind.  And there are numerous activities which pretty much went out the window along the way.

It is a different world.  I've heard various explanations for it, but none of them seem all that solid.  What is clear is that freedom is not what it was, and the general attitude toward life, liberty and pursuit of happiness has changed a great deal.

The Boston bombings have brought out reactions that leave me in utter disbelief.  There are actors who are using Boston to somehow show that the 2nd amendment has to go.   There are news organizations which openly hope the culprit is a white male, ant-government radical.  

I guess all the speculation and hopes that whoever did this falls under a category which will serve a particular political agenda is to be expected since logic, decency, and reverence have long been forgotten in the world of news and politics.

Some hope for the usual Islamic fanatic terrorist.  I'm somewhat disgusted by all of it.  It is stupid to make assumptions until you know.  It is sleazy to use it to paint your philosophical and political foes in a bad light.  Especially since all we know is that someone or ones planted bombs and killed.

The fact that people can, with a straight face, claim that the answer here is more government and taxes (Barney Frank), or that the right to bear arms is the evil, or that somehow it must be one of "them radical constitutionalists"  ...I give up.

When believing that a government ought to adhere to its written guidelines casts one as a domestic terrorist, something is definitely off kilter.  I am largely anti-government, in the sense that I think less of it would be better, and that too many laws are detrimental to people.   It is a big jump to lump that thinking together with violence.  Quite the opposite.  I'm opposed to use of force unless for self defense, or defense of innocent others.  

Lately, I read and see things all the time which label many of my beliefs as somehow threatening and worthy of watch lists or whatever.  But then those same people ignore the fact that Mao, Stalin, Castro, and most other communist dictators killed massive numbers of their own people to avoid any possible opposing viewpoints and factions.  No, those people view totalitarian states with envy and awe.  Useful idiots, and presumptive elites.  They never think of themselves as peons obeying without question.  They see themselves as enlightened guidance counselors.

I would gladly be a "citizen of the world" if not for the fact that most of the world is more racist than the USA, much of the world consists of religious states-theocracies. and much of it is philosophically, culturally much cruder and crueler.  I'll hold off.  For now, I'm a citizen of the US, although it seems as if I was dropped in some bad imitation of the US.

The complete love of authority is what probably shocks me the most.  How people can be so willing to place control of so much in the hands of so few amazes me.  I certainly do not trust an unchecked police force, military or legislature.  It is not coincidence that "career public servants" tend to come out far better, financially, than the job supposedly pays.

Really, though?  Hoping the culprit is white and opposed to the abuses of the king?   Damn.  It is a pandemic which makes the flu look pleasant.  There may be no free land left.  Where do those who don't fit well in a world patrolled by hall monitors go?

Monday, April 15, 2013

I May Be Related to Forrest Gump or Leonard Zelig

It seems I often wind up in circumstances as if I'm just wandering around through life happening upon various, seemingly unrelated places and events.  There is no real rhyme or reason for most of it.

Sometimes it all works out, but I am left as baffled by the result as I am pleased.  I guess this usually involves some sort of social situation.  Like the wedding this weekend.

Having no idea what to expect, except that I might be cast in the role of roving diplomat should any of the potential conflicts gain ground, I enjoyed the opportunity to attend without any preconceived expectations.

I had no idea there would be more than maybe fifty people.  There were 165, and they all seemed to genuinely care about the bride and groom.  That was very cool.

They had a dinner/reception after the wedding.  All the tables had the guests names, so you knew where to sit.  There was a big list in the lobby that listed the tables and names of the people at each.

The bride and groom had a small table with just them.  Then there was table number 1.  It turns out that was the hotshot table with mother of the bride, her husband, and I guess ten more people.

They'd determined dietary bias ahead of time, so some had chicken or some such, some steak, and a few a vegetarian Italian dinner.  It was all good.

Much to my surprise, I was at table #1.

Soon enough the dancing began.  I think the wine, beer, and more spirited spirits were flowing from the minute the ceremony was over.  Some guy was playing DJ, I guess.  For the most part, not any music that made me want to dance anymore than an engine idling with a rod knock gives me happy feet.

However, when he played a couple of catchy Santana tunes, I temporarily let loose of my inner lunatic. Then all those wild married women wanted me to dance.  What a pain.  Married women, your job is to herd single women who meet my specs my way, lie about my good character and reliability, and generally help me work my schemes.

Don't wait until someone who is, bless her heart, in no way attractive to me wanders by to make a big deal about the fact I'm single.  If I felt that desperate I'd just go to the mail order store; find me a wonderful East European.  Right there in black and white they promise to be wonderful wives.  I'm sure there is no risk involved.

Anyway.  It was great.  Never did I expect it to be such a good time.  For various reasons a few things could have been rather awkward.  It is due to the parents of the bride that all remained harmonious.  They are very good at not letting their egos get the better of them when wisdom suggests restraint.

There were several people from Florida, some of whom I know.  That was fun.  While all the wedding party and out of towners stayed at the hotel/resort complex, I went to Point Loma to dog sit for a dog who may weigh as much as me.  And he's not fat.  A great pyranese. Maybe that is how you spell it.  Very pleasant and gentle animal.  Fluffy white fur.  In the old days, they lived with the sheep and killed wolves.  Wild.

So, I had a view overlooking the bay, with downtown San Diego skyline straight across on the other side.   It is about as nice as you can find for a picturesque city view.

Then it was back to wedding land for brunch.  Then loading up all kinds of wedding and party props, cases of wine, etc. to take back to the house with the view.

It is so strange that I have this unique place in that family, and even their friends expect me to be around for these things.  I guess they are my friends as well, some of them.

I left feeling a little bit better about myself than I did going in.  It show developmental retardation but I have a little trouble in that regard.  Lots of people are kind and tend to give me special treatment, I think.

I did realize, that while I tend to take in more of the subtleties and various things going on in a group setting like that, there are a lot of things about human interaction that eludes me.  I probably compensate well, but compensate, I do.  It made all the difference that I was able to take care of a few things during the event which helped out.  Prevents one from getting bored or isolating too much.

I was certainly in the thick of it much of time.

Anyway, if Mrs Me ever shows up, I'm still inclined to just go to the courthouse--if she has to have the friggin paper.  I'm hoping she's not wanting a big wedding.  By big, I mean more than maybe one guest, if that.   But, if I'm smitten, I guess I'd end up doing whatever she wanted, because that is pretty much how it goes.  And I'm good with that.  Women have broadened my horizons more than anyone, nudging me out of my comfort zone now and then.   They alway seem to be very sure they know what they are doing. It takes awhile for the truth to surface.

I'm still amazed at how much fun people were having, and how well the whole thing was managed.

Next stop: Los Lonely Boys on the 28th.  A lady I work with is a fan so both of us will go.  Don't call it a date. I don't.  That would be problematic in many ways.   We're pretty good friends.  I think.

I figured since I never go see any groups, mostly because I don't like crowds much, and few bands inspire me a whole lot, I should do this while I have the chance.  It is at one of the casinos a couple of hours north of here.  Out west it seems that a couple of hours away is just no big deal.

I'd rather see LLB than groups that charge five times more for tickets.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

out my front door

This borders the left side of the 60 foot wide or so driveway out my front door.  Spring has sprung.
In real life the sea of color is so intense that it tickles the soul.   Thanks, landlady,  for planting and tending these things.  You have enhanced the beauty of the world.

Oh Thank You, Mrs. President

Never would I have drawn the connection between diet, activity and body fat had not our defacto Queen been so diligent in helping to direct tax money toward efforts to educate us on these highly complicated facts.   Thanks to the M-bomb, I realized that if I ate less, moved around more, and avoided fatso food, I stood a chance of tightening the belly enough to fit into the only pair of dress slacks I own.

That is important because I didn't want to go shopping.  The good news is, it worked.  I am no longer too rotund to fit into the ancient pair of trousers.  So, I can be half way presentable at my friends' wedding.

I should stress, however, that I was never as fat as I appeared in various videos.  Those who were there will attest to that fact, and I have their sworn depositions to back me up.

It is a bit telling, or maybe the opposite of telling, that some news sites have as their #1 headline reference to gay hockey whatever at a time when N.Korea is allegedly promising war, and mischief.  Add up all the war theaters, or police actions, in which the US is engaged worldwide and it looks like a messy recipe for disaster.

How many different theories are out there which explain why we are where we are, doing what we are doing?  That was rhetorical.  I know there are many views on the topic; most of which seem lacking in that they ignore inconvenient facts that cast the theory in doubt.

The scary part is that I rarely get what the official line is on these efforts.  Often it seems the story varies from one agency or official to another.  To me that screams, CON.  YOU ARE BEING PLAYED, YOU PEON.  Maybe it is a thing of, well we'll have to just go there so we can find out why.  Like, we have to pass the bill so you can see what's in it.

OK.  I can't change that.  I can fit into my pants, though, which may be a blessing to society as the option of a shirt and tie with no pants might create issues.

The internet sprint cellular connection is suddenly good.  Out of nowhere.  The antenna is on the way, and may still be good to have.  Besides, the problem could return.  Who knows.

I'm so out of touch with whatever it is that causes people to jump on ridiculous bandwagons that I feel at a loss to even discuss the march toward a collective sort of state run by those who think they know best for all.  We are obviously there.  People do not realize how they seem to invite elite rule and a feudal sort of structure.  Or maybe they do.

And I thought I had self esteem issues.  Maybe I don't when it comes to some things.

People who travel in a pack of armed body guards lecture the rest of us on the importance of not wanting personal firearms.  Their main poster boys consist of a British subject and a billionaire mayor.  And they use the horrific killing of several children as the rallying cry.  Even though the proposed law would not prevent such things.  That is what we call demagoguery.  It is low and a really sleazy way to grab power while people are in shock.  All under pretense that it is for those who will actually not benefit in any way.

And the band plays on, while those who want to appear pious and compassionate march with the parade off the nearest cliff.  Useful idiots is the term for that.  Who coined that phrase?  Lenin?  Not sure.  I believe Karl Marx actually used the phrase, so maybe he gets credit.  Maybe not.  Apparently it is hard to pin down.  Also there have been references in the first half of the twentieth century, from various sources, to useful innocents--meaning the same thing--people who do not realize what they are really promoting, but whose zeal is high.  Tools of an agenda, and suckers for propaganda.

So much pretense.  Oh my gosh, the treasury is too broke to pay the bills without borrowing.  How in the world did that happen?  Must be global warming.

OK.  So I won't be banding together to worry about seals in LaJolla, or occupying Wall Street, or demanding gun laws, or any of that any time soon.  Have at it.

I will be trudging along to deal with my world without the help or advice of my friendly government agencies, which number in the thousands, I suppose.

Since I have played a little bit lately after taking a break, I think I've had enough ego boosts that I could lose sight of reality.  I know pretty much where I stand, so hearing what I wish to be true is a thing to take as kindness, and maybe well meaning ignorance, of others.  But something a bit shy of the real truth.   Either way, I am so spoiled that I wonder what is wrong in any setting in which I am not complimented conspicuously.

I shouldn't admit that, but it is true.  I was at a thing at some guy's house where singer songwriters gather in a big circle, taking turns playing a tune.  Others play along if they choose.  Many of these people have written tunes which were recorded by someone more famous.  Long ago.

They seemed to be locked in the past, like life ended when the folk/hippie era gave way to whatever.  The VietNam war ended and it took away their best source of material.  No more draft.  Of course many of them were more concerned with VietNamese this and that, and we are meanies, etc.  I despised the draft.  Period

I do not find the past to be that wonderful.  Besides, I am here now, and I hope the future is even rosier.  I was a fish out of water in that clique.  It was like people who had died and managed to gather in the afterlife to boast of, and relive, their glory days; which were not that damned glorious, but did contain some noteworthy moments.

They seemed a bit cold toward me and a few others, and I wasn't overly enamored with them.  OK.  I'll call that a draw.   Maybe it didn't help that the lady next to me kept saying  things best left unsaid.   No filter.   I could only hope others did not hear.  I hate the seed of competition being introduced in that setting.  It is like declaring war.

My tactic is to lay back, let the ego-prone do the peacock feather spread, then when it is appropriate I play assertively.  They either decide I'm a threat, if they are that idiotically ego-bound, or they want to know me, or I suck and they know it.  Either way, don't declare war by saying who is best and all that. Not in such settings.

I'm pretty sure most of the nearby folks were too wrapped up in themselves to be paying attention to anything else.  I noticed that many did not really listen and pay attention even when they played along.  It is shocking how many good players do not know how to pay attention when playing with others, and how to just supply a little back up.

Listening to five or six acoustic guitar players trying to play lead at the same time, while three or four others play rhythm or godonlyknows what, is an interesting experience.  Especially since they are all old and supposedly professional or semi-professional level.  And, oh were they such hotshots back in the day.  Barf

I came out realizing that my musical skill and knowledge may be lacking, but I have far better sense than most when it comes to sitting in and knowing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em in a jam or music setting.  So, I'm glad I went.  I won't be back.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride

Or something

Attending a wedding this weekend.  Weddings are an incredible amount of work, looking from the outside in.  Even small weddings make the people putting it on very jittery.  I was in one of those once. And then I wasn't married any more.  Enough on that.  I will say animosity was not a player in the split.

Weddings make you think of those things.  Even if you don't want to.  And I don't.

In this case I'm close to the family so there will be strategic assignments relative to relatives, and taking care of a few other things.  Sort of a diplomat.  Or covert operator.  In any case it is dangerous.

It is the code: Sometimes being a friend requires risking exposure to drama and intrigue.  There are times it cannot be helped.

I like to keep the code fairly flexible, just in case unforeseen circumstances require it.
Or do I?  Now I'm not so sure.  Just don't test it, please.

Air Card Internet Woes

For those of us on ballisticMountain, the cellular internet option is tough.   All are tough.  Only way people get cable is by satellite and the net options are poor.

Anyway, whatever they deal, I have great reception here at the THE 8 overlook.   That's I-8 for east coasters.

I wanted to test the signal because I was considering a little booster antenna.  Stronger signal closer in indicates that may help.  So, I ordered it.  Now I wait at least a week for it to arrive.

Sprint' tech people having been stone-walling, pretty much.  I go through another company that uses their network and they pushed some.  No great result, but a few answers.

That's all beside the point.  I'm sure the two birds that just walked by must be ravens.  They are as big as I am.  If you plucked and cooked one, I wonder if anyone would think it was turkey.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

When I Was Seven

There was once an avocado tree in our front yard.   It was good for climbing.   A friend and I had rigged a line to raise and lower a box so we could bring things up.  It seemed a cool thing to do.

The line was not thick, but it was made of some kind of strong, green nylon material.  The color plays into the story.

One evening at dusk, a few of us were playing in the tree.  My favorite thing was standing on one large branch and jumping so that I could catch another, higher branch with my hands.  The high branch required a leap forward.  I was good at it.

That evening, someone had placed the line in a different spot from its usual place.  In that light, with a Miami lush background, the line was rather invisible.

I jumped, my foot caught the line, so I missed the branch, and the action of the line stopping my foot redirected me straight down.  I broke both the bones in my left wrist.  Clean break, no bones pierced through the skin.  It was obvious the bones snapped in two.

At the time, my father was too busy to help get the injury dealt with.  "You'll live", he quipped, half laughing.  "Get your mother to take you to Doc X".   OK.  That is what I did.  It hurt like crazy on the way there.  Not crying when I broke my arm was my major accomplishment in life to that point, so I thought.  Less fuel for stupid authority figures to make me feel worthless.

The ugly old nurse at the hospital was a bitch.  All else went fine.

Some time later, I came home from school to find that they'd chopped down the tree.  There may have been other reasons for it, but my father assumed I'd be thrilled; as if the tree had somehow harmed me.  I never thought that way.  Fortunately my mother did not raise me to blame objects when I ran into them or when they were otherwise involved in some unpleasant incident.  Odd that my father didn't know me well enough to know I would never have blamed that beloved tree.

Life often includes unpleasant events and surprises.  Wanting to exact justice often clouds reason to the point that we chop down innocent trees, forbid all kinds of activities and choices, as if that will forever save us from pain.

I guess my father was less unique in his indictment of various incidental objects than I thought.  The idea that a tragedy must be met by "doing something" is often an ill conceived notion which results in restrictions and burdens that do little to prevent bad things.  But people can pat themselves on the back, convincing one another that they "took action" and it is good and holy.  It is sick, and often has majority support.  That neither makes it sane, right, or reasonable.

I knew why I fell and broke my arm.  Fortunately no one insisted I not climb trees, or wear helmet and harness to do so.   It was one of many events in my life which taught me to pay a little closer attention to what I am doing.  Somehow it never made news, and I know nothing of statistics and studies related to tree climbing deaths and injuries.  Thank God.  I can only imagine how easily such an effort would lead to the state jailing parents if their kid decides to explore the tree tops.

This trend in public busy-body activity, fear, and insanity really must go.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

TV and Cinema Dramatic Device Suspect

Have you ever just dropped a bowl full of spaghetti, or your highly breakable coffee mug, in reaction to unexpected shocking news?   I have never reacted that way.

Many people on the screen react by dropping breakable things which will make a big mess.   Unless I was directing a spoof or satire I would not be found directing in such a camp manor.  You won't see that absurd dramatic device used in any of my serious dramatic efforts.

Tales from the Oddball Work of Me

the epic garage doors with the santeria wax.  Hard to tell from this but they are textured so that power sanding is out of the question.  Had to hand sand 100% of  this to remove the disaster that happened when stripping.   Now they are doing well, and holding up as intended

This clown lives on that bench just beyond the end of the basketball court at the place where I do most of my odd work, for the wealthy, odd, and peculiarly messy elite of our country and world.  This is definitely a life size clown.  Why is it there?   Don't know.  Maybe the product of a charity auction, and one person connected to this place may be a player on the McBoard.

Other than that I am trying to find some reason for, or value in, my life, but I can't find any.   Maybe I'll table that and try again later.  You catch hell when you win, have good fortune, excel, produce, etc., and that is sick.  Despite those barbs from greedy, jealous types who blame people for success of any sort, it is far better to spend a life building something of worth than to spend it wondering why you are here.

I know many people who are sure their state of being is totally out of their control, and that those who prevail are all either cheaters, evil, or only the beneficiaries of blind luck.  They never really deserve it.  I do not agree.  

The people I know whose lives are very good, and who have built great families did it by making decent choices and working toward it.  They've done more than their "fair share" in life.  Luck is useless if you can't maintain the momentum, or even recognize it when you have it.

Penn And Teller; Sign Water Banning Petition

The mention of hippies in the video title is a little off point.  I'm not sure what the term means in modern life.

What is illustrated is how easily people join causes without any idea what it is they are supporting or opposing.  This happens on every square foot of the public policy playing field; pro-gun control, anti gun control, occupy this or that, don't occupy this or that, everything.

The critical mass may be weighted a little toward the neo-luddite movement, but it is everywhere.  Throw in various religious slants to various issues and non-issues and what we have are people hopping on whichever activist bus flies their preferred colors.

Where it is going is rarely questioned.
All they know is that you will get labelled as being part of the purple bus brigade if you don't hop on the yellow bus.  Either you are with us or you are with them.

So, far too often, people vote, picket and scream about matters of which they know very little, and ignore any facts which might make them question their loyalty to a chosen mob.  It is too bad.  The end result is a very tangled web of regulation, prohibition and other tools which have been the hallmark of human authoritarian constructs for as long as anyone figured out people are easily herded.

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


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