A MIND FOREVER VOYAGING THROUGH STRANGE SEAS OF THOUGHT, ALONE


This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.



The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I'M GETTING TO OLD TO TRY TO BE YOUNG

Oh, man, am I sore.

Last week I joined a Kettlebell fitness club that work out MTWTh.  I only did M&W last week.  This week I did T&W.  Bad idea.  I was so sore from Tuesday I had no business trying to workout again tonight.

More Motrin please, thank you very much.

Thirty years ago when I worked out and really hit it hard enough to make me sore, I was sore within 12 hours and it was gone within 24.  When I worked out last night I was still sore from last week.  What the hell am I thinking.  I'm 55 years old and I am in a workout class with mostly 20 somethings, a few 30 somethings and maybe one or two in their early 40's.  But I am smart about it; I take breaks, I decide when I need to rest a set or quit.  I guess pulling crap out of your dad's ass pretty much eliminates any reminisces of  ego.  Plus, I do intend a year from now to be able to haul, swing, press, and squat bigger bells than anyone else in the class and teach these youngsters that geezers still run the world.

Now if I could just get them to play something besides that mind numbing ear splitting crap they call music, rap music.  I even hinted I could bring in some great tunes to workout to that the musicians actually know more than two or three notes.  Heck, some actually can change octaves during the song!  They didn't seem interested.

On the other hand, boy some of those babes are seriously hot.  Too bad I'm old enough to be their dad.  Sigh.

Speaking of poor, I'm having trouble working up any sympathy for A-Rod but it's a good lesson for everyone:  get the money up front.  I always wondered how the Yankees were going to try to get out of that monster contract that was going to being paying him 25m until he was 45 years old and I guess MLB is jumping into help.

A-Rod admitted to doing roids about 10 years ago, but he has never flunked any tests, never been caught.  Many other players have and a 50 game suspension is standard practice.  But apparently A-Rod is going to get a lifetime ban, or at least enough time to allow the Yankees to void his contract.  MLB is claiming he didn't cooperate and may have actually tried to hamper the investigation. Gee, no shit?  Somebody guilty of breaking rules lied and tried to cover it up?  I'm shocked!  Can we get this rule for elected officials and government employees?  Heck, DC and every state capital would be ghost towns.

So they are going to ban A-Rod forever so the Yankees can free up 25 million in payroll for next year and buy some more free agents so they can win the World Series again and again because MLB knows that when the Yankees are in the WS, TV viewership is high and everyone makes lots and lots of money.

Like I said, hard to work up sympathy for A-Rod since his yearly dry cleaning expenditures are more than most people will make in a lifetime but I do hate seeing anyone getting hosed by the corporate masters.  I know guys like A-Rod, Armstrong, Sosa or McGuire roided up and 'ruined' the game but lets face it, they put a whole bunch of million dollar bills in the pockets of the owners, their cities, their sponsors, and anyone else a hand in the game and then got dropped like leppers but the big boys kept their millions, who cares about the athletes.

I remember back in late 80's when roiding raged in football, bodybuilding, and was beginning in baseball.  I've worked out at many a gym where guys and gals were roiding up.  I knew one chick at The Gym in Dallas that had a voice as deep as Barry White.  Or a guy who came into the gym about 150lbs and six months later was well over 200lbs, no fat, and zits all over the back.  I would never touch the stuff and was talking to someone over a business lunch one day and the guy said, "you know, if they came out with a drug tomorrow that would guarantee the performance increase in sales that steroids delivers in athletes, not only would every sales person in the country be taking the drug, but every sales manager in the world would be pouring it into the water cooler and coffee maker every morning."  I thought about that and realized it is true. 

Lots of talk about tranhumanism and the ability to manipulate the human body to stop the aging process and I wonder how many people would gobble up such an opportunity?  Let us put these little nano devices in you to manipulate your DNA and you will be a 40 year old for the next 300 years, turn back the clock and repair your 65 year old body and be 30 again!  Would people jump at such a chance?


Rev. 9.6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. 

Hmmm.  Might want to put some thought into this before you make the choice, no?

Well we all have a face
That we hide away forever
And we take them out and
Show ourselves
When everyone has gone
Some are satin some are steel
Some are silk and some are leather
They're the faces of the stranger
But we love to try them on


Billy Joel

Monday, July 29, 2013

WHY DO ANYTHING?

The other night, I lay awake in bed for several hours, as is the new usual, and had a one sided conversation with God.  Unfortunately, once again, it seemed I did all the talking.  Just once, wouldn't it be cool if you started out "Dear God" and God said, "Okay, I'm here, let's talk."

But the conversation the other night was my feeling of being stuck and not knowing what to do.  What makes this kind of strange is being stuck is not something I am use to feeling.  Making choices, adjusting, making choices while others sit around scratching their heads in confusion, afraid to make decisions is something I've always been exceptional at, with a couple of exceptions, usually involving a girl dumping my butt right after I reached a point where I thought everything was great.  Thus one of my theories of the opposite sex:

"When things start to feel swell, it is all about to go to hell".  Okay, crap, now I'm thinking about women of my past again, I hate going into those times, faces, and years.  I also just realized, after all these years, the Freudian entendre.

But my problem now, as I started to explain to God is I just don't know what to do.  It didn't come to the end I expected.  I thought I'd finish my Masters in Theo and then be off and running on a new career, but no.  So what do I do?  Go out and find a job for about 5 years, finish the masters and maybe a different one in Biblical Studies and then make the changes?  But what exactly does a 55 year old man do when trying to start a new job against people 20 years younger?

And the kicker is, God knows what will happen.  See, for us, in the box, time is linear.  There is a past, the moment is the present, and there is the future, nice Trinity, huh.  But we really go through life and all we have to make our decisions today are the moments of the past and we really don't understand the present until it is the past.  It's like we are traveling on a train, with our backs to the direction we are going, and all we can really see is the past and the present out the window.  We think we know where the train is going, we bought a ticket for the future, but we really only know the past and present.

By the way, that is also the safest way to ride a train.  Sit with your back in the direction the train is going and if you are in a sleeper, sleep with your feet pointed in the direction the train is going.  That way if the train hits something you don't go flying head first into some solid object.

Where was I, oh yea, talking to God.  God, unlike us, sits above the whole thing and sees the train, where it's been and where it's going.  One thousand years from now is no different than 2000 years ago, just a different spot on the cosmic chessboard.  So bringing it down from the macro to the micro, God knows what is going to happen to me, where I will work, what will happen next and when you think about it, there is nothing I can do to change anything that will happen.  God knows, He sees, we are clueless.

So why should I do anything?  Why should I worry?  Why should I try?  But then if I don't try, does God provide a push to make it happen and stay on track or did He know before time began that I was going to hang it up, give it up, and the future of homelessness was always in the cards, which means no matter how hard I look for a job, I will still end up homeless.  Is it any wonder I'm having trouble falling asleep at night?

I've got all these lanes of traffic racing around in different directions in my head and I can't seem to get them traveling in the same direction let alone stopping for the night to rest.

Okay, I'm back.  Had to take a break.  I'm listening to some tunes and Silver Springs by Fleetwood came on and I just had to pick up the flute and play along.  This is one of the songs I played, sitting on the roof of my car in the middle of a snowstorm in Toronto.  Traffic was totally stopped, I was bored, so cranked the tune and, well, it was one of those things you just had to be there to appreciate.  Unlike the old couple in the car next to me who kept trying to inch as far away as they could from my car.

So what this all is leading up to is what I discussed last March after my dad ended up in the hospital and the realization that even if I did everything differently, none of it would have mattered, we were still going to end up at that point in the disease where he was totally uncontrollable and I would finally have a breakdown.  So the illumination of this illusion we have of free choice, that we control our fates, when the bottom line of truth is we are really not in control of anything.  I don't care how many Tony Robbins tapes you've listened to, how much an expert you are with the Franklin Planner, one drunk running a light, one pressure release from the earth,  a tornado, or meteor or an infinite number of variables being released will just ruin the best laid plans of mice and man.

I do remember one other time in my life when I got stuck and everything I seemed to choose was bad and I started flipping a coin to make all my decisions.  This was about 1985 or so.  Drove others nuts; "hey, wanna go out after work?" and I'd flip the coin and go "No".  But the strangest thing started happening.  My life started coming together fairly well; though I did finally learn not to tell others I was making all my decisions with a coin flip.

So what do I do now God?  Nothing?  Try hard?  What difference, in the end, does it really make?  Memento mori, as the French say.

Time cast it's spell on you
But you won't forget me
I know I could have loved you
But you would not let me

I'll follow you down
Till the sound of my voice will haunt you
You'll never get away
From the sound of the woman that loves you
I'll follow you down
Till the sound of my voice will haunt you

Was I just a fool...You'll never get away
From the sound of the woman that loved you
Was I just a fool...I'll follow you down
Till the sound of my voice will haunt you
give me just a chance
(you'll never get away from the sound of the woman that loved you)
never get away
never get away
never get away
You could be my silver spring
Blue green colors flashing



Fleetwood Mac

Friday, July 26, 2013

FINDING THE GROOVE

I guess I'm having a bit of a problem finding the groove for this new blog.  The Barkley blog had a purpose, discussing my dad dying of Alzheimer's and what it is like for him and for me taking care of him.

But AfterTheCaretaker is drifting around and I need to bring it into a focus with the occasional tangents into other areas and I think the focus will be Theology.  Good bye most of my imaginary readers!

Been doing some thinking along those lines of late and that is what I want to discuss tonite.  I can relate to agnostics, having been one for so many years in my life.  There are two types, those that know there is something, read everything they can, experiment, but eventually give up because they can't figure it out or continue through life trying to figure it out.  Then there are those that don't try; just watch sports, endless TV, drink, eat, and wonder why they ended up unhappy, ill, and miserable, though they do their best to make the miserableness with diversions.  I fell sorry for the latter group, they end up with a life of nothing to show but endless diversions.

Though they do tend to die with lots of cool toys.

Atheists are another story entirely.  The chorus that religion is just some make up thing to try to describe the world around us and they never realize that as atheists, they to have a god they worship and that god is nothing but made up in the mind of man.

Mathematics.  The God of Atheists.  And they treat this god of theirs just like the Catholic Church use to treat the Bible or the Rabbi the OT; something special that only elite types can understand.

Problem one is pondering the universe.  The problem is we are like fish in the aquarium, we suspect an outside world but can never fully see it or understand it.  When we talk of beginnings, it's almost impossible for most to grasp what we are talking about.   Most people think of the universe as existing, just empty space, no matter, no energy, nothing. What most don't or can't grasp is space itself did not exist either, that empty space is just as much a something as matter or energy are something.  It's like a blown up balloon, and inside that balloon is the matter that makes up stars and planets, the energy produced, and the space, but when you let the air out, not only does all the matter and energy leave the balloon, the space taken up disappears and the balloon itself disappears.

And what a scientists does is start writing complicated math equations on the board that the average person cannot comprehend.  It's not the addition/subtraction or the multiplication/division, it's the symbols; sigma, lambdas, sums, 'e', and other things that loose the average person.  But we don't want to appear stupid, so we nod our heads like we understand when the only thing we've understood in the last 20 minutes was lambda because that was the name of the frat in Revenge of the Nerds.

So said scientist can use all that math to prove whatever theoretical theory they want including the rotation of the earth is caused by dwarfs in a hollow earth running around in circles and even though we know there are no dwarfs we can't argue because we don't understand the math.  And when we leave the auditorium, we see a sign that says 'Wet Paint' and we just have to touch the rail or bench because that, we can understand.

But what most never realize is all the math is just made up in the minds of men.  We made up the math to fit what we observed.  The math did not exist prior to the universe, it did not exist prior to man.  It is made up by man and they make the rules as they go along.  For example, when Newton came up with calculus, he had a problem because the current man made up rules of math and science said change could not happen outside of time; so in order for calculus to be accepted, Newton had to create a new law called The Law of Instantaneous Change that said change can happen outside of time.  New made up law, new made up math system.

He made up the math, and the rules, so it fit what we observed.  And since most of us don't understand high level math, we just assume the math came first.  But with math, scientists can explain everything because as new things are found, they just simply change the rules.

We use to think that everything in the universe, matter, energy, space, etc were all compacted in this incredibly dense ball and the ball exploded and ever atom in the universe came from that little ball.  They could prove it mathematically.

New information came in and now the theory is that there was nothing.  No matter, no energy, no space, nothing, pure nothing including no word for nothing.  And then it exploded.  They claim now there were certain forces, like nuclear, that caused nothing to explode and in the initial moments of the birth of the universe no natural laws, which are also made up by man, but things moved faster than light and on and on and on.  And they can fill up entire buildings with the math calculations on white boards to show how this all worked.

Except it is all made up in the mind of the scientists.  Dark matter, cosmic strings, dark energy are all made up; there is not one iota of evidence other than math for any of those things.  But they mock Christians claiming it's all just from the imagination of man to explain the unexplainable.

Science seeks to explain the observable universe but what has been lost in science, as well as philosophy, is while they define the box they can work in, they eventually denied there could be anything other than the box they make up in the first place.  This is a recent development over the last 300 years, prior to that most scientists were also theologians.  Newton spent a large part of his life trying to work out the end of days based on the Bible.  Today any scientist that even did that for a hobby would lose funding and professorship at most universities.

But what science really does is similar to a car suddenly appearing out of nothing and then someone writes up the schematics and engineering diagrams to explain the car.

And the really funny thing is now science is up against those limits on the box and have come up with this new theory of infinite parallel universes.  So now they have instead of one box, infinite number of boxes but we can only see the one box we are in but they insist those other boxes exist and have even created new mathematical models to prove what can't be seen, measured, observed, or replicated exists.  But that is not faith to think there are other boxes, it's math.

If anyone is still reading, don't misunderstand.  I am not denying the benefits of math, of science, of experimentation.  I am simply pointing out that science and atheists have made Math their God and rewritten the opening of Genesis to read:  "In the beginning, there was nothing.  Then nothing exploded into everything and from the flames of the beginning, math and all natural laws were born."

Science doesn't 'discover' natural laws, they make them up.


If I were a swan, I'd be gone.
If I were a train, I'd be late.
And if I were a good man, I'd talk with you more often than I do.

If I were to sleep, I could dream.
If I were afraid, I could hide.
If I go insane, please don't put your wires in my brain.

If I were the moon, I'd be cool.
If I were a book, I would bend for you.
If I were a good man, I'd understand the spaces between friends.

If I were alone, I would cry.
And if I were with you, I'd be home and dry.
And if I go insane,
And they lock me away, will you still let me join in the game?

Pink Floyd

Sunday, July 21, 2013

EXAMINING LIFE


Well, it's been a month since my dad passed away.  I still have trouble sleeping at night; last night I was up reading until 2am, tossed and turned in bed until after 4 and finally fell asleep and slept just fine until 10.  I really hoped to be sleeping normally by now, I'd hate to start looking for work and asking if they'd mind if I worked from noon until 8pm.

This weekend I dug out the LOTR movies and sat down for a watch.  Like some other things I've seen over the last 10 years, they are completely different movies now that I can focus on the movie.  There were two points where I stopped and rewound, do people still say rewound or is that really last millennium, to listen again.

The speech Sam gives towards the end of Two Towers caught my attention.

I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
What are we holding onto, Sam?
That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

It dawned on me that is the best explanation I've heard about why I took care of my dad all those years.  Especially the line "the ones that really mattered".  Because being a caretaker really mattered.  Taking care of your spouse, your parents, you child really matters.  Being a clog in some corporation, doesn't really matter.  And after you live a portion of your life, really doing something important, how do you go back to being something unimportant?

But then I hit a part towards the end of the 3rd movie, when Fordo is talking to himself, which I do now on a regular basis, don't you know.

Frodo: How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back? There are some things time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep that have taken hold.

There it is.  I'm trying to figure out how to get back to what I did and what I was before I became a caretaker and there is no going back, there were fuses blown in my brain that will never be repaired.  Hurts that time won't heal.  There is no going back, there is no home anymore.

Everything you want to know in life can be found in the Bible and if you don't want to read the Bible, just read LOTR; Christianity for Agnostics.

Unlike Frodo or Bilbo, I don't get to ride off into the sunset with the elves to some magic kingdom.  I have to go on.  There is no Shire to call home.

I don't know.  Maybe if I'd lived a regular life none of this would matter.  Maybe most of you out there in reader land who married, had kids, already figured out this stuff in your 20's.  Maybe you realized raising children that jobs and stuff didn't really matter, it didn't matter what you did, what was important was just bring home the bacon to put a roof over the head and food on the table for your kids.

And maybe I just think too much.  I remember an old friend from college, Sally, told me that my problem was I don't take seriously the stuff I should and take too seriously the stuff I shouldn't.  She was much smarter than I was, I still don't know what the hell she was talking about.

I always worry a little about quoting and comparing life to LOTR so much.  I know if you quote Star Trek you are showing you are really a geek, and if you quote Star Wars you are showing the world you are a real nerd.  I'm not sure about LOTR though.  First of all, it's the most popular novel of the 20th century, voted the best novel of the last millennium, and I have actually read the book twice and am thinking of reading it again this week.  I also enjoy Kreeft's speeches on LOTR as well as his book on the subject of Tolkien.  So I don't know if quoting it falls to the lower levels of mental exercise as a Trekkie or whatever Star Wars fans call themselves.

I talked to John Loeffler of Steel on Steel and he is reading my book and I think I will be doing a radio show interview with him in the coming weeks about my book, my experiences as a caretaker, dealing with the medical system, and how churches were of no help at all dealing with the issues we faced.  That will be cool.  I've been a fan of his show for over 10 years and hopefully enough of his listeners will buy the book so I can afford to self publish a softcover edition of the book.  

Now, if I could just figure out a way to get interviewed on Coast to Coast….

And what do you fear?

A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

AS GOES DETROIT SO GOES AMERICA

Huh?  Detroit?

Detroit is bankrupt.  I remember doing some computer and network installations in Detroit around 1989/90/91.  It looked bankrupt then.  I remember driving into a couple of areas where I thought "this is what Columbus must have felt like - first white man in the area".  Never had any problem, I guess people figured if I was there I must be someone not to mess with because no normal white person had been there for 20 years.  In fact, I will always remember one installation.  Black woman had an office, east of Greek Town, and it was only her in the office.  She was buying the PC and Software Shop Systems software because what she did was she would front several construction companies.  Since she was a minority, she got preference in all city construction bids so these construction companies would hire her.  The construction company would do the bid, she'd mark it up 10%, put in the bid and win because she was a woman and black.  Then all billing went from the construction company, to her, to the city.  Payments went from the city, to her, to the construction companies.

Your tax dollars at work.  In the end, one minority got a highly paid job and all the taxpayers paid more for their construction than they needed to pay.

Well, I guess this is reaping what we sewed.  Detroit was once a booming city, jobs jobs jobs.  Jobs guys with no education could find, work their lives at a plant, and make enough money to buy a home, raise a family, and retire with a simple life.  Those were the days, my friend.  But today such a world no longer exists.  It's never coming back.

Once upon a time, when Ford or GM built a car, they built a car.  Now they might have bought the steel from some US steel company in PA or IN, but the rest of the car was all Ford or all GM. But along came the MBA's who started thinking maybe Ford didn't NEED to make the seats, the engines, the paint, etc and all those things were spun off till it reached a point that all Ford or GM did was design a car, outsource all the parts,  and then Ford or GM just put the parts together.

Then those MBA's started figuring out that they could really cut costs by having those parts made overseas or in Mexico rather than by union shops in the US.  So gone were those jobs and the whole plant's systems were unassembled, packed up, ship to some foreign country, reassembled, and now are made by people making a week what GM use to pay an hour for in the US.

I wonder how much better off the country would be today if we'd outsourced all those MBA's to India, Mexico and China and kept the blue collar jobs in this country?

What is an American car today?  Damned if I know.  After Fukushima a few years ago, you couldn't buy a red or black pickup truck in the US for awhile because some of the things they put in paint came from Japan.  We truly are a global economy, can't even make paint without buying metals or pigment from Japan.  Ford bought Volvo just for their technology which is why Fords today are so reliable and safe, they are really Volvos.  Then they dropped Volvo after they got the technology they wanted.  So now the Fords are made all over the world, Swedish autoworkers are disappearing as a Chinese company now owns Volvo, Saab is out of business, and one day Ford will be out of business because in a few more years a high end Volvo will be made in China and that 50k car will now be sold in America for 20k and that whooshing sound will be more and more workers out of work.

So, MBAs, what exactly is your long term plan to deal with the 50% of the country that made their living working with their hands, sweating to build things, when YOU have figured out a way to make their jobs obsolete in this country?  Maybe part of ObamaCare should be after graduating high school, if you don't go to college and can't find a job within a year, they just terminate you.  I mean, we don't need you anymore, we got Mexicans who will live 20 to an apartment that will mow the lawns, clean the streets, build the homes, clean tables, wait tables, and do all that other sweaty stuff that MBA's wouldn't be caught dead doing themselves.

I'd hate to live around Detroit right now.  Since the city is such a burned out pit as is, I'm sure the government actuaries have already figured out we should do a false flag nuclear hit on Detroit and kill two birds with one stone.

Are you kicking back thinking this doesn't affect you?  Guess again.  Look at the states:  CA is 406B in debt, NY is 339B in debt, TX is 281B in debt, FL, IL, PA, NJ, MA are all over 100B in debt.  These number include the pension funds.  The pension funds for teachers, police officers, firemen, and others.  All those people that we call in emergencies are going to get a letter one day soon that they won't be getting that 1/2 or 3/4 pension they were promised their entire careers.  On average, every citizen owes about 10k in state debt, which is cheap considering the federal debt per citizen is about 54k.

If the foreign powers that own all our debt invaded and your freedom was based on your ability to come up with 64k, could you remain free?  That doesn't count your personal debt.

We are slaves to the banks folks.  We are slaves to the federal reserve and the large banking institutions of this planet.

Won't this be fun.  Just think about your local police force finding out their pension is gone and how that will effect traffic stops.  Every cop in America will be pulling every person they can over and taking cash to ignore the speeding and other traffic violations.  I pity the women drivers who won't be expected to pay cash, if you know what I mean.

We have state governments that are about to go bankrupt.  We have cities about to go bankrupt.  And a federal government that is bankrupt and you sometimes just sit back and wonder how long this game of musical chairs can last.

I don't know about us as a people any longer.  Most are so swept away in the stupid brainwashing stories the media feeds us.  Your state is bankrupt.  Your city is bankrupt.  Your federal government is bankrupt.  Those that still have jobs live in fear it won't be here tomorrow and less than 50% of working age adults have a full time job anymore.  And what's on the news?  Trayvon?  One black kid killed in Florida almost two years ago when nearly 1,000 black kids have been killed in Chicago streets in the meantime.  It is all illusion and slight of hand.  The news entertains.  You might as well just read The Onion for your news now.


THE LIE IS IN MY FACE
I FEEL IT'S COLD EMBRACE
THE UNEXPECTED FRIEND
HOLD HER ARMS AROUND ME TILL I KNOW I'M NEVER GOING TO BE THE SAME AGAIN
HOLD HER ARMS AROUND ME I CAN NEVER TURN IT BACK AGAIN

BUT I'M FREE TO FOLLOW EVERY SINGLE RULE
AND I'M FREE TO BE EVERYBODY'S FOOL
I'M FREE TO BE SAD I'M FREE TO FEEL BAD
AND I'M FREE TO FALL APART

SOMETIMES I MIGHT REGRET
I NEVER WILL FORGET
IT'S THE SCAR IN MY FACE
ITS THERE TO SHOW YOU THAT I'M NEVER GOING TO BE THE SAME AGAIN
ITS THERE TO SHOW YOU ON AND ON AND BACK AGAIN

BUT I'M FREE TO FOLLOW EVERY SINGLE RULE
AND I'M FREE TO BE EVERYBODY'S FOOL
I'M FREE TO BE SAD I'M FREE TO FEEL BAD
AND I'M FREE TO FALL APART

Apparat Studios

Friday, July 19, 2013

FOLIE A DEUX: A MADNESS SHARED BY TWO


Well, the Barkley Pontree blog is over but fear not.  All three years of my mental wanderings, rantings, and ponderings are now available in a new Kindle book called Folie A Deux by Dick Lane.

Here is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/FOLIE-DEUX-Madness-Shared-ebook/dp/B00E0T0XV8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374256448&sr=1-1&keywords=DICK+LANE

I want to thank everyone who read the blog while I struggled through the years taking care of my dad as he slowly died from Alzheimer's.  Now all those tears, laughs and memories are captured in the book.  Yes, I did edit the book, I didn't think anyone would want to read my analysis of the 33,403 republican debates for example.

It was difficult going back through those years to put together the book.  I THINK I caught all the spelling errors.

Anyways, thank you again for reading and thank you ahead of time for buying the book. Please tell your friends and anyone you know who is care taking, thinking of being a caretaker, or was a caretaker.  It's about Alzheimer's, our medical system and how old people are treated, and a child doing the right thing.  It should make you laugh, it should make you cry, and I hope it makes you think.

Oh yea, this is my favorite picture of my dad and me.  It was taken in our driveway right after I graduated from college and left for Texas.  If you look real close, you can see my black Opel Manta in the garage!  That was a long time ago.



Signing off:

Dick Lane

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

NEW BLOG, BIBLES, AND VIOLENCE

Boy, the new blog is really racking up the numbers.  Three people visited yesterday.  I know on the old blog that numbers were skewed by those porn sites trying to get the writer to visit the site by hitting the blog dozens of times and showing the referral site to be something cool like www.topblogspots.com and all, but three?

I find it more difficult now to write, that singular focal point of my dad is gone that contributed to much of the old blog and frankly, my life is boring.  I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I don't date anymore; the big excitement yesterday was visiting and having a talk with the priest at a Greek Orthodox Church.

Why a Greek Orthodox Church?  Well, I've learned something interesting over the past year about Bibles.  Let's start with the first writings of the OT.  The OT books were written in ancient Hebrew, the Hebrew with no vowels.  Then a few hundred years before Christ, Greek had taken over the world as the universal language and in Alexandria, a bunch of Rabbi were brought together and these Rabbi sat down and translated very carefully the Hebrew OT to Greek and we got what is known as the Septuagint.  The Septuagint became the default Bible because Greek was the default language.  In fact, many times when the Gospels and letters of the NT refer back to the OT, you will get confused reading the referral because it doesn't quite match up and there is a reason for that little problem.

Around 100AD, some Rabbi got upset he was always getting his clock cleaned in debates with these followers of Jesus; they would use the OT against the Rabbi.  So the Rabbi decided it was time to translate that old Hebrew OT, in Hebrew with no vowels, into the new Hebrew that had added vowels to the language and while they were at it, they also started making changes to the text to lessen those verses that were being used to prove Jesus was in fact the Messiah.  This new version of the Hebrew OT is known as the MT text.  And rumor has it that once they finished a book, they destroyed the older version, known as the AT, so only the MT version was available.

So basically, the MT version of the Hebrew test is corrupted.  Now, take a guess how many different english translations we have around today are based on this corrupted MT version of the OT?  Did you guess JUST ABOUT ALL OF THEM?

The Greek Orthodox is the only Bible where the OT is translated directly from the Septuagint and when you read the OT you will notice some subtle and some big differences.  Job especially is different, since I've read that book in about every English version.

The KJV is based on the MT.  Most English Bibles afterwards are based on the KJV, the MT, or the Latin Vulgate which Jerome took years to learn Hebrew and then translated into Latin, except he used the MT.

So I may start attending the Greek Orthodox Church.  Not sure I will ever join, but I think from an education standpoint I have a lot to learn from them.

Read a story today about some poor sap down in Texas who had the bad luck to have the same name as some guy who ripped off a mexican drug lord of some coke.  Police show up at the guy's door, arrest him, and take him away.  The wife calls the cops to find out where he is being taken and they don't have a clue what she is talking about.  So the gang, dressed as Texas cops, take the guy, tie him up, put him in the trunk, and drive towards some ranch on the border.  THEN they figure out they got the wrong guy and release him.

No.  They don't release him, they take him across the river anyways and now authorities believe the guy is dead.

Or you have the stories out of Egypt of one group throwing others off the roof, raping women left and right, killing coptic christians because they are christians, all paid for by your tax dollars our president sent to the muslim brotherhood of terrorists.

How do we fight against someone who has such little regard for life?  How would you deal with a situation when you are faced with such people?  You believe in laws, you believe in higher powers, you believe and don't want to kill someone and the people you are about to deal with don't have those same hangups and chances are you will be dead because you will hesitate, not wanting to fire first.  You don't want to be Zimmermanned.

And that moment of hesitation will get you killed because those who do not fear the law, who do not believe in God, will have no problem firing first.

I guess this is the same issue soldiers in the pacific dealt with in WWII.  Pilots who would crash their planes into ships, soldiers who would hole up in caves and fight to the death, even mothers and children who jumped off cliffs rather than be captured by GI's.

It is hard for most of us to fathom this evil.  An evil that makes a man or woman totally callous and immune to pain and suffering of others, who can take a life like you or I kill a mosquito or spider.  Then again, if someone is raised to think we are no different than a mosquito or spider, just a different branch of evolution, what difference does it make.  But those mexican drug lords, the Japanese soldiers, the Islamic Brotherhood of Terrorists Local 666 are not using Darwin for their thinking.

There is much evil in the world today.

Live on the second floor now
They're tryin' to bust the door down
Soon I'll have a new address...

So much for liberation
They'll have a celebration
Yeah I've been under too much stress

And as the clouds begin to rumble
So the juggler makes his fumble
And the sun upon my wall is getting less


Supertramp

Thursday, July 4, 2013

LIFE ON MARS

Over the past four days, I've taken a few hours to watch the entire Life on Mars series, again.  I absolutely love this show and every time I watch the series, I catch new clues in the earlier episodes that I missed the first four or five times I've watched it.

I'm not going to give away the show, in fact, you really don't fully understand what is what unless you watch the sequel Ashes to Ashes and get to the end of the third and final season to fully grasp what is what.  But there are clues along the way, the episode with the guy who takes the newspaper office hostage is a good example.  Even in the first episode, you get some clues and even more if you pay attention to things like numbers, hint hint.

On the surface, the story line will turn many off.  It's about a DCI, that is Detective Chief Inspector, who gets hit by a car in 2006 Manchester and wakes up in 1972 Manchester as a DI working for the ultimate retrosexual DCI Gene Hunt.  Sounds stupid, doesn't it - yet it works and is so believable you will be sucked in big time.

I'm not sure younger viewers will fully appreciate the differences in 1972 versus 2006, but for those of us alive in both those eras, it comes through the screen like someone hitting you over the head with a book.  One of the best lines in the series is:

Sam Tyler: An overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline-alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding.
Gene: You make that sound like a bad thing!

But you see a good example of life and the struggles of life in the 1970's; the Irish in Britain, the growing asian population, the introduction of heroin - I thought that was a little out of place since that really is a 60's thing - and probably the best collection of music you will ever hear in a series, though they did make some mistakes with dating the show to the day and month and then having music like Yellow Brick Road playing 4 months before it was ever released, but why be a nancy boy about the thing.

What really gets to you is in the last episode, little bit of a spoiler here so if you plan to watch the show after my rousing endorsement, stop now and jump down at least two paragraphs, after the final Nelson quote.  In the last episode when he wakes up back in 2006, everything is done in blacks, blues, and soft whites.  As he walks around the town, everyone in the background is either on a cell phone or has ear plugs in their ears, everyone in their own little world.  And the music by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow is haunting.  And then he finds himself sitting in a meeting everyone will recognize, talking about something that seems so important but Sam realizes is not and then he is so zoned out he cuts his finger and doesn't even know it and realizes he can't feel it at all.


NELSON We all want that, Sam. What's real, what's not. I see folk who walk about in a sunken dream 'cause they feel nothing. Are they alive?
SAM (heatedly) I wake up every morning and I tell myself, "I am alive."
NELSON When you can feel, then you're alive. When you don't feel... you're not.

So what makes this show, now, so appealing to me?  Okay, besides the music, the cars, and the great banter of a retrosexual?  It's because, right now, I feel like Sam.  I've been secluded from the world for 5 years.  I've been living a life that was dedicated to caring for my dad 24 hours a day, seven days a week, only going outside to grocery shop, take my dad to a doctor, everything about dad, dad, dad, and now I awaken and am looking at a world I really don't recognize any more and not sure I can live in successfully again.

The other day I went to get gas and because I'd let my debit card expire and tore up the credit card, I had to go in to the store to pay cash before filling.  No longer, even if you have been buying gas somewhere for 3 years, you still have to pay first.  And the guy in front of me was at least my age, or looked older, grey hair and all, and he bought a pack of cigarettes and the woman had to card him.  Company policy, don't you know.  Have to card everyone when a pack of smokes is sold; can't leave it to the discretion of the clerk because it's all recorded on video surveillance and they watch the tapes to make sure the clerk is not selling smokes to people in their later years without carding them.  And you thought those cameras were for crime prevention?  No, employee monitoring.

So I am watching Sam in that meeting where 8 adults are all dressed in blue suits with blue ties and off blue shirts discussing something so totally moronic and now after taking care of my dad for 5 years I think of all the moronic meetings I've sat through and I just can't go back to that life.   I'm too damn independent and such to work for some company that monitors my behavior constantly.  When I work for someone, I try real hard to earn more than I'm being paid, I won't steal from a register, I don't even take home pens or staplers.  But I resent being treated like I'm the enemy to corporate balance sheets.

I've noticed the world has passed me by.  I hate how technology has moved from being something to help us do a job better to some mindless system of monitoring all of our behavior.  It drives me nuts when I give someone an address and start to give directions and they say no problem they have GPS in their car.  Oh good, so you won't have to think, you can just follow directions and hope like hell there aren't road closures from construction or some street is now one way but your brainy GPS hasn't been updated recently.

I emailed off a query letter to about 10 agents last week and I have this sudden feeling in my gut that most of those won't be read by a person, but will by scanned by some computer algorithm and the algorithm will make the decision based on reading level or something whether it's worth pursing.  That is how resumes are done now.  You can't walk into a business and say you want a job, write a president or owner, no, you have to go online, attach a resume which then comes back all screwed up cause the algorithm can't really tell your name from your address and you spend an hour fixing the algorithms mistakes and then that same algorithm will decide whether your resume should see a human resources drone who doesn't know anything about the business they work for but just how to comply with rules they don't even know who wrote or why.

We had a world, once, where those who were 2 sigma or more away from the mean to the left, the criminals, muggers, rapists, and such didn't fit in society.  Now we have a world where anyone more than 1 sigma away from the mean, left or right and that is not a political left right thing, but any direction straying from the mean/median, no longer fits in our society.  I'm sure some fake it or are far enough along in their career to be immune to it until they get laid off, but if you spend most of your adult life pretending to be something you are not, at some point you actually become what you are pretending to be, not what you thought you were.

And now I am coming back into a world where you need five meetings, an ROI analysis, have a legal team and human resources signing off on whether the toilet paper rolls in the bathroom should spin over the top or from underneath because someone might be offended if it comes over the top or you might save 3 rolls of toilet paper a year by having it come out one way over the other.

I read something the other day where 1/3 of male baby boomers have lost their jobs over the last 6 years and most are still either not working or asking people if they want fries with their burger, wondering what happened to their goals and dreams while they slowly siphon away their retirement accounts in their 50's and wonder where they will be when they are 70.  It won't be on a golf course, unless they are working at the golf course.

And there is no improvement coming.  We are going to see 20 million illegal aliens legalized, and they are filling up those lower level jobs, keeping wages down while prices skyrocket.  More americans will be unemployed because there is a little section in the bill that says if you hire an american, you have to pay for their heath insurance but if you hire a new Obamazen, you won't so the Obamazens will get hired over someone who was born here.  Now 50% of baby boomers will be unemployed.

And the really funny thing?  The 1970's were not considered a great decade by any means.  Wage price controls, the market lost 1/2 it's value over a 6 year decline, union jobs were cut by at least 1/3, inflation skyrocketed during the 70's, interest rates were double figures.  And yet, compared to today, it was nirvana.  Plus the tunes rocked back then.

But in those days, for better or for worse, people made decisions, not technology.  People were smarter, kids were kids but smarter than kids today.  I guess the pot wasn't as strong and we hadn't spent our youth using our heads to hit a ball.

I'm about to rejoin a race I don't want to run.  I know there are not enough chairs for the number of people playing musical chairs.  I want time to go back, but I don't want to go back being what I was but I don't want to be what I've become; a stranger in a strange land and strange time.

(blog was edited after I realized I'd made a dozen stupid errors in my English)

What if you reached the age of reason
Only to find there was no reprieve
Would you still be a man for all seasons?
Or would you just have to leave
We measure our days out
In steps of uncertainty
Not turning to see how we've come
And peer down the highway
From here to eternity

And reach out for love on the run
While the man for all seasons
Is lost behind the sun
Al Stewart

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

THE WONDERS OF THE INTERNET

I don't know who came up with the idea for Craigslist, I assume it was Craig, but it was a wonderful tool.  It's like a high tech garage sale.  Just list what you got for sale and then people email you without knowing your name or email address and buy your stuff from you.

And, like everything else in life, something that started out good and cool has now become a cesspool of corruption.  Recently I'd listed a stack of books, a bed frame, a TV, and some art work I had for sale.  TV, crap it went fast, should of asked for more.  The rest, not so quickly.  But what I also found was a bunch of prostitutes now using craigslist to advertise their services.  They don't list on Craiglist, as far as I know, I haven't really looked for hookers on their web site, but they answer messages, primarily the books listing, and talk about how hot and serious I sound blah blah blah.

Oh, pictures too.  Bad advertising for one girl, unless you like overweight swanky women I guess.

So now I've probably gotten over a dozen babes offering themselves to me over the internet.  I don't even read them anymore, the first few lines show up in the mail listing.  I'm not even responding to emails anymore, if you don't include the phone number, I just delete the message.

I don't mind people making a living and if you want to do it that way, it's your life, it's your body, make your choices I guess.  But it sure has ruined the experience of a high tech garage sale.  On the other hand, what an interesting real garage sale that would be!

By the way, I still have three limited edition Doolittle prints, signed and numbered, and a classic 22 year old Wysocki signed and numbered for sale.

No hookers please.

BLONDE JOKES, GOOD BYE MORSI, CITIES BURNING, AND CHEERING SATAN

I don't know when it happened, but I've somehow turned into a blonde.  Not my hair, mind you, just my brain.

Yesterday was a long day, going to several places I had to go to hand out death certificates like they were valentines or something and then I came home and cleaned out drawers, shredding things left and right I no longer needed.  Then I tried to call and cancel my dad's credit card but realized I'd already shredded it and needed the damn number.

It gets blonder.

So today I go grocery shopping and when time comes to check out I run my debit card through the system and it is rejected; it expired at the end of June.  Fortunately I had the cash in my wallet, but now I had to race to the bank before they closed at noon for the holiday and order another card because, yep, I'd shredded what was suppose to be my new debit card the day before.  This is why I need to take a month off before trying to find a job; I've become a bloody airhead.

Well, it appears Morsi's reign as Obama's puppet in Egypt won't last quite as long as Obama hoped.  The people have risen up and defied death to take back their country.  Too bad Americans don't have a set of balls that size left.  But now Morsi is on the way out and who knows whether the next leader will be an improvement or not.  I'd love to hear Morsi admit his involvement in Benghazi and the deal he had with Obama.   Just remember, when the story breaks, Obama and Morsi were faking a kidnapping of the ambassador so Obama could have the military rescue the kidnapped ambassador right before the election to assure a big win for Obama but the plan blew up in their faces when the kept in the dark about the plan ambassador hid behind the locked iron gate and the kidnappers tried to burn him out and just burned him instead.  Remember where you read this theory first.  Not that it would make a difference to the average American who will be celebrating the founding of this nation over the weekend by drinking, eating grilled food, and watching television.

Makes one wonder if the founding fathers ever regret even bothering.

I am watching the trial in Florida closely and recommending when the verdict comes down people pay close attention to what is going on.  I don't know what bothers me more, all the twitter traffic by blacks threatening to riot and kill whitey or all the white people twittering bring it on, let's get it over with.  Careful what you wish for white man, you may not like martial law very much.

On the other hand, some american cities could use a good burning down.  Think of the jobs that would be created cleaning up and rebuilding all those homes and buildings.  I mean, we have to find something for all the illegal aliens to do.

Interesting story in the news about Texas and passing a law banning abortion after the 20th week.  Funny thing is, that kind of law really is what Roe/Wade said; that after a certain point the life of the child overrides the wishes of the mom.  But somehow we went from that ideal to late term abortion being okay and now we are swinging it back to setting some stricter guidelines.  Give and inch and they take a mile and now it's time to reign in the insanity.

What got my attention is when those protesters that were rallying against abortion started singing hymns, do you know what the protesters who were rallying for abortion started doing?  They started chanting Heil Satan.

Well, no shit Sherlock.  (that is my favorite 1970's saying by the way)

I've heard some religious people claim abortion is nothing more than 20 million blood sacrifices to Satan and the older I get the more I think they may be right.  But blatantly hailing Satan in public like that?

One of the prayers I asked was for the Lord to take my dad to heaven before He takes his punishment out on the United States; a people once blessed who now are soon going to pay for our sins.

Have mercy on us, oh Lord.