Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Over Half Way Home

There may be a word for it.  It may even be one of the many new mental illnesses they've created, or signs of domestic terrorism, like disagreeing with the police state buy body government.  It seems I am at home everywhere, and nowhere.  Nowhere is really home, but at the same time many places are.

I don't care.  It has little to do with anything.  I made it to Dallas on time and without problem.  The cool thing is that I took the high road through Louisiana.  Far better than I-10 (thee 10 in California speak).  Not only that but I made it into Texas before stopping for the night.  Rightly or wrongly I feel better in Texas than Louisiana.
To a point.

Now I am in no hurry to get home, part of the time.  This was an unusual trip and when I get home I have to figure out how to make more money, keep an eye out for cheap flights to S.Florida, while somehow managing to manipulate someone special through subliminal assault.  Otherwise why worry with flying back?

Gotta go.  I'm in cousin land. Off for Mexican food.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Florida is a little off beat

So, I meet my friend in Panama City Beach and follow him into the high rise complex in which he lives.  It appears to be a complicated place with inconveniently located parking garages and various security measures in place.

We take one of the elevators to the 8th floor, punch in the secret door code that opens the door, and enter the apartment.  "What are these papers doing on the floor?", he asks as he darts into the master bedroom.  "Someone has been in my apartment!!".

The balcony runs the length of the bedroom and adjacent living room, a floor to ceiling wall on either side.  The curtain in the bedroom by the glass door is pulled back and draped over a chair.  The door i closed.  His laptop is in plain view.  I commented that they didn't take the computer.

He sees nothing missing.

So, he goes down to the lobby/command center of the complex.  Mystery solved.  The police had been in his place!  It seems a neighbor woman had edged around the wall and was somehow perched on the outside of his balcony rail on the two inches of slab that extends outside the railing threatening to jump.

It is a long way down and does not look like landing would be soft.  The cops had entered his place disrupting the drapes, knocked a stack of papers off the kitchen counter, snatched the woman so she didn't off herself making a big mess down below, and left without any notification or calling card or anything.
Jump! Jump!

Jump! Jump!

View off in the distance

It is good they nabbed the chick--she could have fallen on an innocent child or other unsuspecting soul. It is bad that no one from the building or the cop factory left any word that they were there.  Weird all the way around.  Apparently my friend's neighbors are an upper middle aged couple who argue a lot.  She must have run out of things to say in their ongoing angry debate.

Par for the course in this part of the country.  Possibly the result of mosquitoes or swamp gas.

If the nothing else the human race is very adept at weirdness and self destruction.  I wonder why.

I'm out of here tomorrow.  I think my marketing plan, or plan of attack, may be having the intended effect on my target, the enigmatic RR.  That could be a cool thing.  The 3000 mile issue is one I will have to resolve, should my efforts truly be fruitful.  For various reasons time is on my side, but not enough time to be a slacker.

I want to smoke, but I have not done so for almost ten days.   I'm a few hours short of that.  I'm pretty sure that 13 days is the mark that ends the worst of it.  Plus there are those lozenges which ease the impulse.  It helps having the sort of reason that motivates me.  Few things do.

No matter what anyone says, I think there is more to life than meets the eye, even though I can neither define nor explain it.  This trip has much of that so far.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


I guess I won't post the picture--it is on facebook somewhere anyway.  But I have to say I was caught by surprise.

What am I going to do now?

Anyway, I decided to drive up to Miami to see R. and her parents.  I grew up down the street from me. I mean I grew up down the street from her. She's my age.   There is no real direct history there but a great deal of common ground.  Her mom was the hottest mom on the block.  A Georgia girl.

Her dad is now 93, totally lucid, and fairly healthy.  He was an airline pilot, and much else.  What was news to me is that he likes to write and ha written several books about his experiences in the airlines, world war II, and I'm not sure what else.

I had no idea that I would be so mesmerized by the three of them.  R moved back to the apartment at the end of their swimming pool to help them out and for other purposes.  And I'm not sure but I think she has not seen the last of me.  Who knows if that goes both ways.  But as I said when I landed the one I married, years ago, who cares?

This sort of trouble hasn't visited me in years.  Probably just another of my loose wires acting up.  However I think I am going to make a project of finding out.

I may be old but I am not dead.  That became almost embarrassingly evident during the visit.

At last, a goal.  And a plan.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Baby Rabbits

My nephews are probably a bigger influence on me than is usually the case with uncles and such.   Once upon a time I could carry them around while making various threats, one under each arm.  The threats weren't all that bad--deportation, forced attendance in public school, that sort of thing.

They became too large to carry a time passed.  Neither one seemed in too big a hurry to have kids, although #1 did go for marriage a bit quick the first time.  Blink a couple of times and they've multiplied.  Bam bam bam, burp me ma'am.

Finally all the babies have arrived.  I'm hoping the two six month olds will cry in unison because I predict an exquisite harmon that only comes from sharing the same gene pool.   So far they both appear to be way too happy most of the time, and far too easy of temperament.  I bet I can fix that!

The 2 yr 9month old hasn't figured out just who I am or why I am here yet, but he went straight from the flight in to the extended family's Noche Buena party.  I arrived after they had been at that house for a few hours.  She seemed to think the place was a hotel, or at least that is what he called it.  But, like me, she loved the salsa music.  This is a case in which you remain aloof until the kid seeks your favor.  This girl is quite adept at outsmarting adults in a very clever and pleasant way.

Christmas morning will be a trip.  There will be nine adults, all of whom are some form of blood relative to all three rug rats.   Most all are nuts in very different ways.  I think the kids are lucky, but only time will tell.  I hope they don't get too much of whatever it is I have to much of in my make-up.

I will say this: my nephews landed incredibly spiffy mates and produced an abundance of cuteness.  The rate at which they suddenly multiplied, and for all I know may continue doing so, is mildly alarming.

The tiny ones seem to take to me well, so I'm pretty sure they must both be above average.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Non Productive Lives

A family member's comments in a discussion indicated the belief that if one hasn't built a long lasting career, achieved financial success, snagged a spouse and had children, that this represents a non productive life.  That is probably accurate, I guess.  But it makes me feel like wasted space on the planet.

Plus, I am not sure I buy that definition.  Plenty of murdering politicians, gangsters, and other creeps have all the trappings of family life and material worth.  Many are even talented in various ways, have intelligent hobbies, etc.  It still stings.

It is one of the reasons I left Florida and moved far away from my family--I found myself pointing a loaded rifle between my eyes way too many times after various interactions with them. (winchester 3030 saddle model) Why, I am not sure. It seemed the only decision that would ensure never having to feel the criticism, disapproval, or unwarranted advice which reeked of disrespect.  Amazing how quickly that feeling, that internal reaction can still be triggered.  Only now I know to ignore it.  It does make me sad, even though no one means such harm, I don't think.

But it may be that I'll never be out of the woods on that.  Maybe not having that lurking thing that makes me want to give up, totally, is my only real goal.  At least when I care enough to have a goal.

Few people want to be a waste of life and space.  It is hard to resign one's self to the idea of being useless and leaving no positive mark on the world.  At least it is for me.  That is why I find the idea of living off of some government thing like social security somewhat abhorrent.  Though I don't fault other who do.  They probably paid more in than I did.

It is a confusing life and family muddies the view of it even more.  They do not mean to do it, in my case.  Things that may seem mean are not intended.  Not everyone has insight enough to see these things.  I actually think I do at this point in life, which is why I'm doing better about not reacting.  They may be able to win in civilization and thrive in a police state, but I have better empathy with both the "productive" and the "non productive".  Maybe empathy is the wrong word.  Insight, possibly.

That's the stuff that makes a person want to smoke and use drugs.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Check Eng

What a surprise it was- after loading my car, locking the dwelling, and driving up the hill to deposit a bag of garbage into the assigned dumpster, with intent of then traveling back down the hill and eventually to florida--when the CHECK ENG light illuminated as I descended the hill.  What to do?

All packed up and can't go?  I was not happy with this turn of events.  Was my car telling me to check my English?  If so, was its suggestion in the context of language, or perhaps billiards?  Have I always been so confused and out of the loop?

I chose the best option. Turn off the car at the bottom of the hill.  Get out and look under the hood for something telling; errors in grammar or other obvious clues which may have generated this alarming warning.  Then I decided to casually walk around in circles>  Ignore this unknown problem and it will surely go away.

Finally I disconnected the battery, removed and replaced the gas cap, then mustered the courage to start the car after reconnecting the battery.  Disconnecting a battery is known to temporarily clear the Check Eng light.  Last time I did this the light returned in less than a minute, eventually leading to moderately expensive repair of the seals around the spark plug guides---not found on all engine designs.

This time the light remained off.  I drove ten miles to Alpine.  Still off.  I bought ice for my cooler of food.  Still off.  I drove east to the scenic view point.   I checked the oil, kicked the tires.  Still off.

So, here I am in Benson, AZ.  No check eng light so far.  I tried to watch my language all the way here.  I almost lost my temper at the border patrol, sniffing-dog roadblock on the way here.  "Are you a U.S. citizen?"  Yes.

"Where are you coming from?"  San Diego.  "Oh. Do you live there?"  Nearby.  "Where are you going?"  Florida!  "That's a long way"  Yes, a long way.  "So, why are you going there?"  Geez! Why would you even ask me that?   "It' a simple question, sir."  I'm going because I want to!!!  "Have a nice day".  (inaudible)@#$%^&* @#$%^&*!!!!!  And I didn't trust the look on that dog's face.  He was just waiting for cues.  I don't think he could sniff out a skunk without prompting.

I hate roadblocks.  I hate proving innocence regarding crimes of which there is absolutely no reason to believe I am guilty, and which have not even been named, and have not occurred.  Those of us who see armed state agents as a possibly necessary evil, see the minimization of the evil aspects as desirable.

I'll won't argue against the necessity of government, neither will I argue for it.  I see the accepted forms of authority--human over human--as highly prone to trouble, abuse, and amorality.  Detention without cause has become a generally accepted tactic, though not by me.

I'll continue to check my English when in the presence of unwelcome armed inquisitors whose job is base upon the following model:  this person is not armed or employed by the State.  Criminals are allegedly not armed or employed by the state therefore this person could be a criminal.  We will treat him as such until he proves his innocence.  We will decide what constitutes innocent.

That's the only sense I make of this warning light.

The roadblocks are my number one complaint about the west.  It was a serious, dangerous, destructive turning point in our culture when the idea of warrant-less search became the everyday approach to controlling the citizens.  It is one of the big steps toward the decay of our country.

I hope to make it to the Keys without incident.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Who Dumped All This Stuff on Me?

Somewhere along the way, things I thought had been sorted, were hiding.  And multiplying.  This is the curse of those who lack routine and who can't filter the evidence of past life, accomplishments and failures without experiencing an awful feeling which is hard to simply name.

It feels like the sudden fear one experiences when realizing that an obligation has not been met, or a responsibility has been neglected.  Like leaving the stove on when leaving home, or forgetting to pick up the baby from day care; that sort of thing.

It also has that guilt tinged fear and remorse that would come if one didn't remember to pick up serious medicine for an invalid relative or similar transgression against such a simple trust.  I think there is some form of grief at the heart of this.  What is being grieved is unknown, but refusing to face the evil contents of old files, and related documents and mementos tends to cause the free floating grief and fear to be amplified when finally faced.

It is probably not as bad as it was.  A lot of useless refuse from the old days has been cast into the trash where it belongs, with a sigh of good riddance.  I dwell less upon thee things.  I find things which seem totally foreign to me.  I know these thing were once related to my life, but I have no recollection of them at all.

Overall, every time I consider the organizing of the items relevant to my life, fear plays in my gut.  A morbid feeling.  I thought I had rid myself of these worthless emotional triggers.  I guess most of it has been sorted, but I find not yet enough has been faced.

Now to stow what needs stowing in the newly emptied bins---mostly tools and related objects.  Then pack what I need, run around doing errands and hit the road Sunday morning.

I'll be wary of freezing children selling pencils, considering the long ago attack upon the person of the great grandfather of Belmondo, ballistic Tour guide.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fact Fiction and Wishful Thinking

At last I'm in the midst of putting things in order, in the trash, or in the Goodwill bag.  Actually I have no preference in the realm of who gets old clothes and such from me.  There happens to be a Goodwill facility in Alpine. That was where I found my dresser.

There is a set amount to accomplish before departure.  I pushed blast off back one day to best achieve my ends.  I have a feeling I may wish I'd flown, but that carries other limitations which are not ideal.

So many things come to my attention, but they fly away when I decide to write something.  That is why I write things like the previous post.  It may have a point but it is not really that interesting to me at the moment.  Not a high priority topic.

Most of the travel will be through places which aren't that great this time of year, but in South Florida it is prime time.   Hectic and nuts.  It is good to get to the quiet of the hodge-podge neighborhood on the inlet canal on the Gulf of Mexico.  If you wanted, you could easily walk to the Atlantic Ocean.   More fun in a boat.

It has been awhile since I've stayed with others more than a day.  Definitely some overdue re-programming and overall edification appear to be in the cards for this Tour.   A Belmondo Christmas Carol, we will call it.  His mission is secret, his methods--beyond repair.  Reality, as we know it, depends upon the conduct of the journey.

Legend has it that, long ago, the little girl selling pencils on the sidewalk, in the freezing cold, attacked the great grandfather of Belmondo, leaving him riddled with pencils stuck in his person here and there. She attempted to rob him, so he shot her with his Derringer, placed the gun in the hand of a nearby starving orphan, then called the constable.

No one came, so he took his gun back from the orphan, gave him the pencil girl's pencil money, then wished the lad a hearty Merry Christmas!  Before the boy could get out of there, Grandfather Belmondo prevailed upon him to help remove the pencils still stuck in his flesh.

The young orphan was happy to oblige the old man; after all, both were overcome with the Christmas Spirit by now.

But how does this legend bear on the matter at hand?  Perhaps it doesn't.  How can one know for sure unless he knows more than one knows now?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Question Authority?

To those who believe in the sanctity of the individual, questioning those and that which attempt to rule us seems like a good idea; even a virtue, for if no one had questioned the status quo slavery would still be practiced worldwide as it was for much of history, affecting just about every ethnic group, with most groups experiencing both sides of that dynamic during their history.  Now it is hidden, for the most part, and is mostly done in Africa, particularly North Africa, and part of Asia.  But there are sad incidents still in the Americas.  Instant death to those who trade in humans would not be too draconian.

But the issue which caught my attention is the trend in mental health and government to class individuals as mentally ill or dangerous based on their disagreement with, or questioning of, authority.  That is a dangerous thing for those who do not think a forced conformity and collectivism is the best way to achieve a civil society.

New mental illnesses identified by the DSM-IV include arrogance, narcissism, above-average creativity, cynicism, and antisocial behavior. In the past, these were called “personality traits,” but now they’re diseases.
That is from a link on the Verbivore blog. The dsm is the manual which catalogs mental illness and is used by shrinks for diagnosing the ever growing types of crazy. The human race, as a whole, is a bit nuts. That is why many geniuses aren't recognized during their lifetimes. They are often considered crazy or weird, or their work threatens those whose short term gain is possibly imperiled by constructive progress or great art.

People (or in politician bs, folks) have become so accustomed to thinking it is "for the greater good" to police their neighbors' behavior that little outrage happens when children are overly stifled, stigmatized and drugged under dubious circumstances; and diagnosed based upon anecdotal rather than solid scientific evidence.  Their parents are often painted as villains, and way too often the state kidnaps the kids with very flimsy cause.

Obviously, the outfit responsible for countless deaths worldwide, which can't do anything but exacerbate inner city and gang issues, etc., is the best judge of how you need to raise your offspring.  It is also the best judge of which social and political philosophies are of value.  Those who disagree bear the scrutiny and wrath of any number of security agencies, including homeland security, national security, and no doubt in security.

There is plenty of spill over, usually seen in the inspired genius of public schools; keeping squirt guns, and finger pointing out of the hands of errant, clearly poorly raised youth.  Good thing they hold the parent and criminal child responsible when young Elmo points a finger or bites a sandwich into an L shape.  I can't tell you how much better I sleep knowing that "zero tolerance" in these matters has become the norm.

So, you hate anyone not on board with the present group in power?  It only makes sense for dissenters, no matter how peaceful, to be considered evil by so-called law enforcement (I say so-called because if they actually enforced the basic, decent laws, I would not be discussing this).   But, what if your views fall from vogue in the future, and your favored organizations and viewpoints become the targets classed as threats to security, complete with harassment from IRS and other legal thug entities?

There is a marked difference between non-violent groups and views which are at odds with the powers that be, and groups which wish to force, by any means, psychotic religious law, or subjugation of one group or other.  Groups justifying violence or threat of violence. Force is the key consideration there.  Ron Paul supporters are not terrorists, neither are die hard socialists or tea-party-ists.  I would argue that socialism is violent in that it relies on forced confiscation of wealth, but those who like it, on the whole, won't personally blow you up and all that.  They are not somehow too dangerous to exercise their natural right to express their view of how things should be done.

I've seen suggestions that amount to silencing, by force if need be, the opposition.  Much of it on the net where most of those people are exaggerated caricatures of their fantasy selves.  Real bad asses.  Lots of tough guys and gals who say lol to prove they have for sure outwitted their opponent.   Still, that there is the degree of sentiment in favor of curbing one's right to speak his mind unless it coincides with whatever everyone supposedly should think, is disturbing.  Anything of that nature which is actually enforced is bullying of the worst kind.  Those same people, though, have taken that word to a place which it does not belong.  They bully the innocent in the name of anti-bullying.

Often socialists and others decry what they term "capitalism", but what they are really talking about are crony capitalism and the often touted "government-business partnerships"-- which are at the root of crony capitalism and the odd corporate power matrix.  Actually the phrases, "crony capitalism" and "government-business partnership" are pretty much interchangeable.  But one sounds better and people buy it.  It is usually said as if it is a proof that they aren't totalitarian rulers at heart. Can't fool me!

The excuse used to justify all the over 350 labels for mental disorders (and counting) is that they only now have been identified.  What a marketing ploy by the dark side of the pharmaceutical industry and the paid shrink racket.  You can just make stuff up, and they do using real life personality traits.  Especially the ones that reflect independent thought.  While some conditions are real (seriously, there are some truly dangerous, unrepentant people running around, and pure wackos too) and do truly need some chemical help, most life issues with which people cope respond best to compensation strategies and learning to accept reality.

Certainly the vast majority of children don't need meds.  They need a better educational environment which is the opposite of the direction much of public education has gone for well over fifty years.  Good parents would also help. The temptation to use schools as political tools and as propaganda camps is too great when under the micro management of those who, for some reason, wish to control the world.

I'll never forget being threatened with "the office", and the ninth grade civics teacher trying to demean me in the eyes of my classmates, because I did not approve of progressive income tax, which was the so-called discussion.  Part of his anger may have been that the class didn't turn on me and he looked like a jerk.  Well, he was a jerk.  Most of the class had no opinion, really, and were impressed I understood the topic--aside from my opinion.  So even then, the "proper" prescribed viewpoint was the only one allowed, or else.

I was forbidden from participating further in the ongoing discussion under threat of being booted to the principle's office. It could have gone on my permanent record. What then?

There does seem to be a tie-in with such broad and subjective mental illness diagnoses and the use of this kind of thinking by the state in order to squash dissent and opposition.   And that is why I point out that you can be a raging democrat or a raging republican or raging libertarian or anything else and you aren't necessarily safe from official censure in the long run.

That is why the established core of both major parties seems happy to keep the irs intact, and finds plenty of excuse for all kinds of intrusive practices to "protect" us.   They each bitch about it when not in power, but do little to remove the rabid dogs at their disposal.

In class discussions, like the one I cited, even waaaay back then, I was accused of being oppositional when I reasoned a view which did not match the propaganda being shoveled down our throats.  But it was not a disease.  Just some of the few times when I actually paid attention, was interested and participated.

A kid like me today would either be sedated, taken from my home by the state, expelled and/or failed.  An adult like me would probably be on every list they have, if I had money and power, and any audience.  And I am not any kind of aggressive threat.  Just not on board with what is being officially, and sometimes culturally, pushed, in the realm of basic philosophy and how it applies to my rights and those of others.

Used to be that the difference between the established political powers and normal, decent people was that, though many normal, decent people disagree with one another, they would not take vindictive action to silence the other.   It is clear that silencing opposition through ridicule and bureaucratic intimidation has become so much the norm that it is rare that people interested in civic affairs actually argue from a point of logic.  The heretofore normal, decent people have begun to behave like political insiders in their tactics.  Used to be less of it in the mainstream.  Thuggery is not new, there is more of it now, and in more and new guises.

On the internet, calling all opposition idiots, and adding plenty of LOL, substitutes for reason.  And half truths put out by talking-point outfits substitute for truth.  They pick a team and demonize the other.  Fact be damned.  That lol stuff at the end of a political comment makes me wish I could send a message that would cause their internet device to slap them silly.

So, if you are a little blue or somewhat angry about official policies and practices don't be too quick to see a shrink, and if you do, don't blindly accept a diagnosis of mental illness merely because you think outside the mandated guidelines which are shaped by those in power.

Much of the time, the only obvious pressure is the going along with the crowd kind of thing.  It is a collection of conditioned responses, it feels like.  Pavlovian.


Good to Reason Out a Plan

Finally, a plan has emerged.  Whatever switch was thrown, I now have an itinerary-- loose, but for me a big deal.  It bring a sense of relief.  It includes things to do prior to the tour launch as well.  I characteristically pack 30 minutes before I leave.  This time, maybe I won't wait until the day of departure to do everything.

It helps that visiting 2 out of 3 of the people and families I want to see on the return trip is possibly more convenient for them as well.  I haven't been able to contact the other one yet to see what works.  Eliminating the time pressure helps a lot.  I forgot that in the past it was a little different sort of trip.  Also I know I put in some very long driving days of over 12 hours at a shot.

This time I intend to avoid driving when I reach that zombie-like riving condition, which fools you into thinking you are fit, but as soon a you stop for gas and stand up you realize you are spent.  As good as even a smidgeon of organization and forethought feel, I have to wonder why I don't make such rational practices a daily habit.  Do I blame Bush?  Or Obama?  Or the 1%?  Or the 99%?  Or climate (warming, cooling, climate change, not enough carbon taxes?

I guess I blame my first grade teacher, and too many blows to the head during my life.

Don't know why I didn't get a pic.  I saw a car parked at the overlook which had an array of solar cells on a board as wide and long as would work on a 4 door Focus.  It was on a piece of plywood, hinged along one side so it can be tilted up for good angle.

I couldn't see the occupants in the car but it looked like it was packed to the gills with cables and electronic things mounted everywhere inside.  I kept my distance out of respect for privacy, though I did see some evidence of movement within the vehicle.  But I don't know if there was more than one person or whether they be male, female, old young, white, black, or other.

It looked like a great system for traveling, or from running a base of surveillance with depending on the car's power production.  Should have claimed to be a reporter or building inspector, knocked on the window and conducted an interview.  It was an interesting rig and I'd like to know more about it and what is being powered.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

So Quick to Forget

I must have forgotten how far Key Largo is from San Diego.  I'm telling everyone, "Oh yea, I'll stop here an there along the way, as if it is just a leisurely few days.  I'm thinking I better see them all on the way back, otherwise I'd have about thirty minutes to visit and it won't work well.

OK.  Anyone on the trail, expect a call today or tomorrow, depending upon when you see this.  I've driven it before but don't recall how that worked out.  Plus I think I had some monster drives of 14 or 18 hours.  I'm not so sure I'm up for that this time.

Two hours driving and a fifteen minute break.  That is probably the best way to pace.  I wonder why I didn't realize that placing additional time pressure would queer the deal.  (not that there's anything wrong with queered deals in the new millennium.  Even so, the term has a good ring and expresses the meaning well)

It will work out.  I certainly want to see my friends and kin.  How could I have been so cavalier in my trip preparation?  Not too hard when you're the guy who left Memphis for a life unknown, in an undetermined location out west, with only a map of the southeastern United States.  No gps at that time either.  I knew which way was west and that I'd be going through Taos, NM.  Other than that I had not much plan.  I expected to hit Seattle.  San Diego was not expected.  Chance encounter with a long lost friend put this place on the tour.

So, my history of researching and planning trips, major moves, or life changes is a bit sketchy.

I know I want to be in South Florida by the 20th or 21st.  This is why I need a mate.  She would have all that stuff worked out and make the drive that much more pleasant.  Only a dumb ass would manage to come up without, at this point in life.

If the shoe fits

Oh Folk Yourself

"Those folks on the other side of the aisle..." blablabla.   Folk this and folk that.    Does it make it less offensive or stylistically banal to use the word "folks" when rambling on in an effort to divide and conquer the idiots of America?   Obama seems to think so.  So do a slew of others in the business of getting paid to rob Peter to appease Paul.

I think Bush may have used that word, too.  I find him no more offensive than Obama on that score, though the big O tends more to act like it is taken for granted that he is king, and that he allows Congress to operate just so those folks can pretend they have influence.  When he used "folks", it warranted the same response as when Obama uses it, in my book---watch out, you are about to be screwed.  Or you already have been.  At any rate it is a flag that guarantees a politician is not being fully truthful.

What is really classic is when islamic terror groups are referred to as folks.   "Well, uh, those folks just blow themselves up in public places, darnit all".   Or punks and thugs; "Those folks in the Crips have got something to say, just like the folks who cross the border in search of a better life and other folks in their drug cartel outfits".

If you say folks it sounds homey and innocent.  Or if you are being less than impartial, it makes you seem less vindictive.  "Those doggone republican folks want to kill women and poison all minorities".   See, by folking it up, the total absurdity is diluted, and it sounds like you are reasonable and tolerant.  Good propaganda trick.

Of course you hear that folk thing from Rush and other radio people too; "Folks, don't say I didn't warn you..."blablabla.  It gives the feel of a modern day prophet standing on the back of a hay wagon addressing a multitude of good, honest, hardworking farm folk looking to a leader to tell them what's  what.  I've even seen people use it in comments on the net in an attempt to give themselves an air of credibility or superiority.

That is even more obnoxious.  They are like the demonstration people with the bullhorns--dying to assume the role of self appointed leader.  "Folks, be afraid. Be very afraid."   Brilliant, you worthless dweeb!

I've seen that exact comment more than once.  Or even better, "You voted for him, folks.  Live with it."  That folks thing is a way of separating yourself from the ignorant masses and placing yourself above them.  As if they actually value your opinion more than their own.

It works.  Plenty of people go for stuff like that.  Too bad.

Speaking of absurd bandwagon folky nonsense.  The argument used to defend the healthcare debacle, or divinely inspired, mysteriously odd law, that "Hey, those folks on the other side haven't offered me an alternative or a better plan"..blablabla, is in no way an argument which justifies anything.  No one has come up with a surer cure for cancer than amputation or drowning, either. Geez, fuquit!

We prevent crime by shooting all strangers because they may be harboring criminal intent.   Hey, you haven't come up with a better way so this way must be right.

Folks is one of those dog whistles, a la Chris Matthews (pundit and horse's ass).   It is code for "we've dumbed you down to the point where you cannot follow simple logic, and you'll believe anything if we tell you you'll get a prize for believing it".  Often the prize is that you get to be an official victim.  "These folks have been neglected by their surrogate god and parent, the government".  Those folks on the other side want them all to suffer and die!

We're all official victims, and beneficiaries, of the system. or better;
Folks, we're all official victims, and beneficiaries, of the system.

See the difference?   It is as if that added word gives a stamp of authenticity.  It's grassroots, homey, populist.  It goes from opinion to compassionately stated fact.  It must be true, he called us folks.

It does feel better when hordes of fanatic lunatics out to kill infidels and such are referred to as "those folks over there", or "the radical folks who give islam a bad name".

So, if you want to soften the truth, veil corrupt or violent people and events, all you have to do is folk it up like crazy.  A good propagandist and a good politician is one who is at home folking things up--a consummate folk up.

"Sure I rag on the folks on wall street, but they sure have made out like bandits as a result of the policies my folks have put in place".  And the cool thing is that the little folks, and most in between folks, seem to have no idea it is happening.  But they do feel good when every thing is all folked up.  Has that Woody Guthrie feel to it.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Yay, Got the Grieces Covered

For those who don't know these things, a griece is a grand niece, girl children of your nephews or nieces.  I all of a sudden have three.  Or so it seems at Christmas since there was only one to consider last year.

I read reviews and descriptions of things and examined the graphs which showed the item's general appeal by age group and gender.  Amazing the number of things that rate way up there with 3 year olds of one sex but have little appeal to the other.  Even in the one and two year old range.

I think maybe we're coming full circle in that the empirical evidence shows that boys and girls are not generally drawn to the same things so much.  Of course, there are individual variations but the trends are hard to refute.  It is not just conditioning.

After all it has been politically incorrect to acknowledge the differences for many years now, so the only real conditioning have been the attempts to de-male boys and butch up girls.  Some of which is well motivated.  Much of which is really deep seated resentment of one sex or the other being played out through unsuspecting children.  They are tough.  One day maybe balance and sanity will prevail.

I'm satisfied with what I ordered.  Most likely either parent or child or both will find the stuff worthwhile. I did have the things sent to their respective houses so they won't have to cart more stuff back on airplanes.  Traveling with six month old kids and a three year old in today's insane TSA terrorized airports is enough trouble.

I did not really get ultra girly stuff.  I got something for the basket cases which has great reviews and doesn't make noises.  Tobbles or something like that. Kids stack them, roll them chew on them and it seems to be a hit.  Who knew?   I did get the three year old a sort of kite thing that girls apparently like much more than boys.  It is colorful fabric resembling a butterfly; allegedly.

She also got kid binoculars designed by a mommy scientist for her own brat.  Looked almost fool poof. Oh, and she also got a stomp rocket!  It uses pneumatics to send a soft rocket up fifty or a hundred feet. I figure someone has to give her stuff like that.  Plus girls like those things almost as much as boys.

When there is a barely house trained kid in the same house with a basket case, and you haven't been around them enough to fully know their personalities, it pays to consider avoiding things which one might use to kill, maim, or merely terrorize the weaker sibling.  I believe all second children should be given tasers or stun guns, early on, just to even things up a bit.  In most homes parents fail to train the eldest not to be obnoxious thugs in dealing with the new kid at the dinner table.

As a matter of fact most parents seem to be as oblivious to the reality of children as public school teachers and administrators.  Say what you will, but the vast majority of such self-proclaimed educators take the concept of obliviot (oblivious idiot) to levels which appear purely sadistic to those with the ability to pay attention.  No, I am not a big fan of public education as we know it, and as I experienced it.

That's OK.  None of those people are on my Christmas list.  Oddly, some first-borns are.  They usually reserve their joyous demeaning for their own kin, so the rest of the world is safe from their self aggrandizing antics.  Sometimes they are the only ones in their families who ended up not going nuts or just giving up.  Good argument for the one child approach to forming a family.  Not the forced one-child approach; because there are cultures that don't value their girl babies so much in that environment.

I'll spend hours on something like trying to figure out a gift.  There have only been a few people that for some reason I found nearly impossible to satisfactorily bestow a gift upon.  In my own family, my father was the only one.  He just didn't get it, regardless.  I think those who can't grasp the symbolism of a gift, and who see giving a gift as a chore rather than a statement of some kind, never enjoy giving or receiving.  The intent and affection of the giver means zilch, even if they are the (reluctant) giver.  I grew to pity my father for that.  He must have found life as difficult in his way as I do in mine, albeit in much different ways.

If I can't afford to get something, I don't.  Many Christmases and birthdays have passed which received only my best wishes but not anything material.  Anyone who can't cheerfully accept that is not worth consideration when the means are there to do more.

Nothing is worse than searching out some really nice valuable, enduring items only to notice that the recipient is in no way pleased.  I have cast more than pearls before swine a time or two. Among such figurative pearls--diamonds, and gold.  And else.  Only a couple of times has it happened.   Not talking even remotely gaudy or in bad or questionable taste.   But, some people are the type who'd rather get a gift card or a chunk of cash than any gesture that I think is special and personal.  They don't get it.  No win friends.  Probably nothing would have worked out.

I may never be in a situation like that again anyway.  Kind of sad, but that is how it is.  Any more it is by choice. I see the red flags too soon and too often.  It happens when you've been around the block enough to believe that no company is better than bad company or company without respect.

It is an odd feeling to look at my life and realize that I have received far more love than I have respect.  I think a person can have one without the other.  I prefer both.  Love without respect is most likely a form of pity.  It doesn't feel that great when you recognize it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

One More week, give or take a few days

It is probably advisable to look at a map to see how long my trip to the Conch Republic will take,    I plan to spend only a day at any stop along the way so I can arrive at a suitable time in the Keys.

There is something very lonely about how this whole thing feels.  But I read a quote recently, probably in a John Irving novel: "I've always been lonely. It's the self hatred that is tough to deal with"--or words to that effect.

I'm not so sure I'd class my condition as self hatred.  On occasion, self loathing, but mostly just self constriction I think.

Speaking of John Irving, I love most of his writing, but when he gets political it is as if he half heartedly throws in typical Hollywood-type slurs and such which lack full context and tend to be half truths.  Fortunately, as of yet I haven't seen him promote the marxist foolishness that many wealthy entertainers pretend to embrace, while doing their best to eke out all the privilege and special treatment they can grab, as well as all the luxuries and toys that money can buy.   Actual people in Congress who praise China's ruling system and Castro's "glorious revolution", are also known to be equally hypocritical in that same greedy way.

Maybe if I can organize enough to be ready for blast off, I can actually plan an itinerary and somehow that will make me feel less of an outsider wandering around without even enjoying what I'm doing.

Number one priority is to not let go and slip over the edge.  Many a nutcase chose, at some point in time, to just give in to the madness; they gave up.  This is what someone I knew many years ago told me; and he was in the counseling field with many more successes under his belt than any other shrink I've ever known or heard about.

I keep that in mind because I believe one is capable of directing his own thoughts, and how he reacts to various stimuli.  It is only difficult because there are belief systems and thought patterns which have carved out well travelled paths in the mind.  Accepting that the familiar pattens are based on erroneous information and are destructive is tougher than it should be.  That is because much of the mind clutter and conclusions that go with it operate automatically and trigger debilitating emotions, or emotions which deter one from seeking and achieving desirable goals.

Who wants to admit his or her beliefs may not be right or even sane?  Not I.  However, I try to acknowledge the truth of things when I see it, even if it debunks long held views.  Not an easy task, but that is what I expect from others so I have to try.

Now, what do six month old baby girls like?  I have to get them something.  Then there is the 3 year old girl.  I have never seen any dolls I like, so that is out.  I have already bought them all warm soft boots at one time or another.  I noticed that one of the six month babies always has those boots on in the many pictures and videos her mom posts on facebook.  Haven't seen what is up with the other one, and that one is the only one, besides me, in this clan that doesn't have dark hair and dark eyes.  Well, the only one that shares my bloodline.  Her mom is a blue eyed, blondish lady.

Slingshots are probably as inappropriate as BB guns in this situation.  I figure they have been born into a world of electronics and virtual everything.  I'd prefer to avoid anything digital unless it is non-electronic, like an abacus.   Maybe hammers all around.  Or hats, though I have never been fond of wearing a hat for more than an hour myself.  OK, except one of those kind that you wear when it is cold--the knit things you pull over your head and, sometimes, face.

Parents prefer it if you don't give young children things that make a lot of obnoxious noise, so I will possibly avoid that.   They are too young to accept the gift of sage advice.  Besides, lately I feel like the older I get, the less wisdom I have to offer.  They have all the guidance they need, and from much more credible sources.  When it comes time to instigate rebellion, I am probably the best man for the job in this family.

Not sure how things stand with V. lady.  Saw her yesterday but always feel like she is uninterested in anything I have to say or think, or do.  You cannot demand admiration or respect.  You cannot make a person know you aren't a moron by telling her you are brilliant.  That is not how it works.  The whole thing rattles me a bit.  And I honestly don't get it at all.  Why even show interest in me if you have no interest?

It is probably unintentional on her part, and most likely some kind of defense mechanism,  like my own such mechanisms.  Allowing these seemingly involuntary, faux-protective devices to dictate your behavior can ensure a solitary life.  It runs off those who prefer a deeper level of intimacy than the most light and shallow of small talk.

This is why I would not be able to handle someone just like me--I wouldn't understand the person at all, and may even find such a personality aloof and offensive.

I'm tempted to say that I think we all feel this is not going to end well.  What "this" is, I believe is best not defined.   I like happy endings.  The other kind of ending is not fulfilling, and no fun.  Those things aren't always controllable, and it can happen that a bad ending is had in order to avoid a worse one.


Peaks and Valleys

In San Diego county we have what they call micro-climate.  It took me awhile to get it when action weather "on your side" would cheerfully announce the "micro-climate forecast".  Maybe they do that everywhere and I missed it.

What I know doesn't exist everywhere is different weather and a variance of 10 degrees five or ten miles from a given spot.  It must be because of all the randomly aligned ridges and peaks.  I guess it can be called mountains.  But 6000 feet is about as high as they get around here.  I'm at 3000 feet, and if all is well, the coast bottoms out at sea level.

The result of all this micro climate is that I am often in the clouds, and the rain creates a very distinct ambiance, when we are lucky enough to have it.  When it rains in some places, the mood of things i not that much different.  Here, it is as if someone cut the heat, cranked up the humidifiers full blast, and dimmed the lights low.  And on days like today, they put the fans up a notch; just so you can't get away with dodging the rain by being skinny.  The mist is blown all over you.

If you aren't sure it is raining, just check the highways.  People like to drive very close to the car in front of them when it rains--closer than normal, which is plenty close.  And they speed up.  Accidents everywhere.  But I usually know when it is raining without having to seek the confirmation offered by highway surveillance.

I'm pretty sure the whole deal is a metaphor for the life of a yoyo type personality.  All the ups and downs can take a bit of energy, reducing gas milage,  but they cause interesting phenomena which is sometimes pleasant and desirable.   Although on a bad day they also seem to encourage rapid moving wildfires which ruin everyone's day.  Metaphor schmetaphor, I say.

Monday, December 2, 2013

They're at it again

Back in the 60's the issue of drug use, with main focus on marijuana, was progressively hyped to the point that there was no escaping it.  Eventually we had police officers give vague lectures about it in schools.  They were doing this before I'd ever knowingly encountered this mysterious practice known as "smoking pot".

What the hell does that mean?  I didn't know.  I knew about drinking illegally, being under age and a regular drinker.  Why do they call it pot?  All the promotion on the news and from government agencies certainly piqued my curiosity.  They seemed to exaggerate and be lost to reality on many other issues so their admonitions against doing something that would never have occurred to me had they not shown hot looking hippy chicks and carefree hipsters enjoying themselves rose quickly to the top of my to-do list.

I credit the TV news of the day with doing more to promote and sell drugs than peer pressure.  There are ways to tell stories which convey information, rather than generate fear among parents and giddy excitement among their offspring.

Now we live in times when there is even less parental influence and sane guidance than there was in years past.  Hence we have young racists, mostly black, knocking out people who appear to be targeted  because they are not black.  Old ladies, and anyone else who is likely to be an easy target.  And, of course, it is all over the news being glamorized in a way that would appeal to brain dead youth, while scaring others.

We also live in the age in which violent crime is somehow worse if your motive is hatred of a group.  Due to political insanity the knockout game crimes are not classed as hate crimes.  I am opposed to the whole concept of hate crimes.  I don't care why a person was needlessly punched, murdered, etc.--the result for the victim is the same.

But, if they want to prosecute other events differently, calling them hate crimes, then don't pretend it is different in these cases because you are scared of upsetting Al Sharpton and other racial extortionists.  Better yet, trash that whole hate crime category and deal with all crimes in an even handed, sane and just manner.

The hate crime concept was only introduced to appease certain groups for the purpose of maintaining voter blocks.  Enforce laws against people hurting people even handedly and you don't need to make it a bigger crime to kill someone due to race and gayness or whatever than if the perp just wanted to shoot his neighbor.

The elephant in the room is the fact that black on white crime is extremely high and that the pandering, dishonest approach to the inner city culture, and race has only made things worse.  All Americans lose, regardless of subgroup.  It doesn't help that white and black fools have driven home the concept that all blacks must think alike.  Anyone not on board with that gets labeled as not being true to their identity; not black enough and all that.

This will gain momentum for awhile.  Pundits will dream up any number of excuses to explain it, as if these punks actually reason in terms of history or performance art and the like.  I

t is as if paid pundits--I don't know what else to call them (they certainly aren't journalists)--and government mouthpieces were never that age and never felt that thirst for power or acceptance, or just the rage, that leads one to do really dumb things without a sense of empathy, and certainly without any level of reasoning.  That is what cultural approval or disapproval, guidance from adults, and enforcement of reasonable laws are for.  Making excuses and pretending cowardly, aberrant behavior is not what it is has proven highly destructive.

There are a number of things which I think become promoted in this way of "reporting", and I believe it  results in a lot of pain which may have been avoided had the subjects been treated differently.  When thugs get thwarted or maybe killed when they attempt these assaults, you can bet Al and Jesse will be all over it as if the thugs are victims.

It is a serious problem, the idea in some circles that it is OK to assault certain groups just because of race. I thought we were trying to dispel that idea and eliminate such behavior in this country for the last many decades.  The way it is being handled is not helping.

The other overlooked issue is that inner city blacks need to fear each other more than any other race.  That is a huge problem.  Odd that so little of any consequence is done about that by self styled leaders in that community.

Maybe it would be better to label all Americans as American, and expect a uniform standard of behavior and respect, rather than have the asian community, the black community the privileged,  under privileged, etc.  That is why I don't go for hyphenated descriptions regarding nationality or continent.  If you are confused about where you live or your racial category, get a map and a mirror.

I say black and white because the latin racial designations and such create problems, and who cares.  Even though I'm some shade of brown with other tints thrown in, I just say white.

Oh well.  On one hand we take much of history out of context, or just lie, to get particular groups angry in order to satisfy the agenda of fools and evil doers, and on the other we pretend to be concerned with the results this sort of chicanery brings.

That's all.  They are shamelessly promoting violence while pretending to be too goofy to know.  And many politicians, community shamans, teachers, and news spokesmodels truly are too goofy to get it.

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


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