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.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

TEST DAY!


Pew Research recently did a survey that I thought I would replicate here and let my imaginary readers do some serious self analysis.

So here we go, this is a pass fail test, by the way, no pressure.

RANK, IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE, THE BIGGEST THREAT TO OUR WAY OF LIFE:

Iran's Nuclear Program                                                          _______________

China's Emergence As A World Power                                ________________

The Confict between Israel and the Palestinians                   ________________

Islamic Extremists al Qeeda                                                  _________________

The Islamic Group ISIS                                                        _________________

North Korea's Nuclear Program                                            _________________

Growing tensions in Russia                                                   _________________

The rapid rise in infectious diseases like Eblola                     _________________

Global Climate Change                                                         __________________


Okay, please, take your time

Go ahead, make sure you have them in your oder of importance

Okay, first, in my tradition of being the only blogger who actually sources when stealing other peoples work, I got this chart from stevengoddard.wordpress.com








Yepper, there you go.  A good liberal democrat considers climate change more of a threat to humanity than Islamic terrorism.  Which brings up today's joke of the day:  How can you tell if your neighbor is a liberal?

When he and his family are dragged out of their home by Islamic terrorists to have their heads cut off in the front yard, the husband will comment to his wife he doesn't ever remember it being this warm in October.

Frankly, it doesn't speak well of republicans that one quarter of them thought global warming was the biggest issue either.

Steven Goddard's blog is a great place to read how the chicken little's are screwing around with the data to make their point.  He does an excellent job of showing how the numbers are being cooked and what the real numbers are - plus he is not some Rush Limbaugh conservative, this is a guy who rides a bike everywhere he goes type of guy.

Did you think the joke was funny?  I didn't.

Liberals are the reason when the SHTF you really need to have a plan to hide somewhere for about six months, because it's going to take the Islamic demons, Chinese hordes, and Russian army that long to kill off all the liberals; then they will be so tired the rest of us can kick their asses back to hell.

At least, that is my theory.

Did you pay your dues?
Did you read the news
This morning when the paper
landed in your yard?
Do you know their names?
Can you play their games
Without losin' track
and comin' down a bit too, hard?
Oh...


Mmm, maybe I'll be there to shake your hand
Baby, I'll be there to share the land
That they'll be givin' away
When we oughta live together
We're talkin' bout together, now


Guess Who



Friday, August 29, 2014

ODE TO THE 80'S

I work with lots of young people, hey, who's kidding who, I quit drinking in 1983 and most of the people I work with weren't even born yet.  It's kind of hard to follow them sometimes, they have all these texting shortcuts and outside of LOL I don't have a clue what they are talking about.

Many people come from a retail background, Best Buy, Staples, etc and often tell stories about life in those organizations; how managers managed, working times etc.

So the other day I started talking about when I worked in 'retail', for ComputerLand in Dallas, well, Carrolton actually,  back in the mid 1980's.  And, as most of my imaginary readers know, once I get started I just start rolling.

Life in the 1980's was seriously different.  I pointed out to my coworkers that if I was on the floor I always knew when it was noon because I could here the beer cans popping open in the back area.  Which was great because by 2 or 3 in the afternoon, I took all the walk in traffic because the others were too sloshed and stoned.  I was stoned too, but you could never tell when I was stoned.

I spent the entire decade stoned.  Not bragging, just thought in the spirit of fairness you should know that.

Lunches were often at restaurants with bars and took several hours on many occasions.  I usually drove back, since I was sober and mostly never paid for my lunch since the bar bill always exceeded the food bill by a multiplier so I made sure everyone got back to the office, or to home if necessary.

Sexual harassment consisted of, well, I guess it would have to be actually physically rubbing someone up because first of all, no one heard of sexual harassment and in Dallas the women usually dressed to the 9's and didn't mind when red blooded heterosexual men acknowledged they looked hot today.

What is 'dressed to the 9's' anyways, why not dressed to the 8's or dressed to the 10's?  I'll have to look that up later.

And, there was a lot of coke, and I'm not talking about New Coke or Coke Classic, but the powdery stuff.  Me, never did it, well, once in college and once after college but I really didn't like the stuff, weed was good, but coke was evilish so I stayed far from it.  I remember one salesrep always did a couple of lines because it made him 'sharp' and I asked if he went to the doc or dentist and the doc did a couple of lines before cutting him open if that 'feeling sharp' thing would sound so smart.  He didn't like me much and was later shot and killed in a restaurant in Dallas in the late 1980's.

But he did have a nice car.  Fully loaded BMW 3 Series, cost him 18k.

Now pull yourself back off the floor and into the chair, because that is another thing about the 1980's.  Thirty thousand a year and you lived well.  One bedroom apartments, nice cool singles places, were under 500 a month so one of those every other week paychecks didn't just pay the rent and the other check covered car payments, credit card payments, utilities, and you had 1/2 a check left over each check.  Health care?  No worries, companies paid 100%

The adage back in the 70's and 80's was make your age to have a good life.  Now you have to make at least twice your age which would be okay except wages haven't doubled,  just the prices of daily living.

And these were the years before cellphones, texts, voicemail, and all those other things that really don't make our life easier but make us more and more droned to our jobs.  I mean you could learn Lotus 123, WordStar, and DBase III and be a seriously always employed computer geek and have time to read novels, take art classes, cook meals with non GMO foods, and have a life.

There were no HR Departments that ran companies, some had personnel that dotted the i's and crossed the t's once you were hired.  Workplace rules were 'don't be an ass' and that about covered it.  Bosses and employees played together afterwork, volleyball, basketball, softball teams, and bars. Hell, I had one boss that when he decided to leave early would ask if Uncle Joe was around, his term for pot, and take me out of work to go to my apartment to catch a buzz before he went home - meanwhile I had to go back to work stoned to the gills and then a week or so later he'd warn everyone about not coming to work stoned.

Always made me giggle, though that might have been the weed.

And, as long as you were not living in the rust belt, the economy was booming.  Taxes were low and jobs were plentiful.  You could quit a job, take a month off, start looking for work and be employed again in 30 days.  Just walk around and knock on businesses with your printed resume and 1/2 the time the owner would look it over, say nah or come on back to my office and talk.  Or get the paper, back in the 1980's, the Sunday papers in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Denver and other places had three or four full sections of nothing but jobs.

Music was better too, the musicians were strange looking, but it was still some good music. I remember having a debate whether you'd want your kid to idolize Arnold or Boy George and the girl said Boy George.  I wonder if she had kids; frankly I wouldn't want a kid to idolize either of them.

Okay, it wasn't all roses.  A computer cost 6 - 8k but then, no one really wanted them at home.  VCR's and fax machines were all the rage alone with answering machines.  And AIDS was booming, well, not really booming but boomed enough, okay, too much.

Time moves on and things do change.  Lots of things are better about the world today, I guess if I used twitter with that 150 word limit I could list them there, but not going to waste 1/2 a paragraph in a blog. But with all the better thing we have today, we lost something in the process.  And old geezers like me, it's not that we don't like the improvements, it's just that we miss what was lost.

Nothing stays the same, no matter how many times you see it in life, it's still tough.  I recently was promoted and just finished the training period.  Next week I have a new job title, a new manager, and a new team.  I really got on with my now old manager, he understood how to adapt to each employee and fit his style to what they needed.  And I fit with the team, which truth be told isn't something I always do.  So it's a pretty big adaptation ahead, figuring out how to work with a new team, a new manager and starting over with a new job.  It's all good, it's an improvement, but, well, it would be nice if sometimes things just stayed the same for awhile so we all could have a chance to breathe.

Yea, I know, I'm getting old.  Enough for tonite, going to take my Geritol and drink a glass of water with some powdered fiber and go to bed.

Winding your way down on Baker Street
Light in your head and dead on your feet
Well another crazy day, you'll drink the night away
and forget about everything

This city desert makes you feel so cold
It's got so many people but it's got no soul
And it's taken you so long to find out you were wrong
When you thought it held everything

You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you're tryin', you're tryin' now
Another year and then you'd be happy
Just one more year and then you'd be happy
But you're cryin', you're cryin' now


Gerry Rafferty




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

CONTROL

Well, it's geek dreaming time; Apple is going to announce all the new products in a couple of weeks and the rumor mills are ablaze with stories of products, pictures, and software.

Now what I am about to tell you is simply the ramblings of a no named internet blogger with few readers, well few real readers, and millions of imaginary readers.

I'm not going to speculate specifically on the products that I know absolutely nothing about, but I will let you in a little secret: all the rumors of what is coming - are coming straight from Apple.  So what you see in the rumors articles the last three months is exactly what you are going to get with a couple of surprises kept secret.

Why do I know this?  Because all companies have learned to control the rumor mill.  They have to control the rumor mill because so many billions of dollars are riding on things, CEO jobs and options are riding on stock performance, and they vultures will need to be kept at bay.

Let's say Apple didn't control the rumor mill, or Samsung or Google or Microsoft or all the other techy toy makers.  Then more and more things would be suggested and then other lazy writers would just copy and paste other peoples theories and before you know it the next great thing would have to be as big as a car to have all the things in it that all the writers and bloggers came up with.

Then, when the product is released and doesn't clean the kitchen sink while you are making a call and the algorithms are day trading options for you automatically, well the vultures will swarm and say what a disappointment the new device is because it doesn't regulate global warming while tracking the implanted chips in your kids.

Stock price crashes, people don't stand in line, CEO doesn't get his vestments and a new CEO will be named.

However, smart company drones with MBA's from the best named schools realized if they control the rumors, release the pictures like it's a big secret or something, then people buy into it and by the time the day comes to release the device, everyone knows what will be in it plus a surprise or two that was held back.  No one will be expecting something that won't be in the device.  All the writers look brilliant, the company looks brilliant for coming up with what the experts predicted.

So, in a couple of weeks, new iPhones with bigger screens will be announced, new iPads with a 12 inch screen will be announced, the new iWatch will be announced, just like all the bloggers and tech writers are suggesting, fed the information from a group with Apple who's purpose is to release and control such things.

Just like all major companies have, from drug companies to tech companies, we are fed the information they want us to have and like little rats we run around believing it.  Our government feeds us false statistics with fake unemployment numbers to hide the 10's of millions of unemployed while hiding the 10's of millions of more illegal aliens than they will admit to being.  Have you seen the absolute slap down destruction of the whole global warming data that has been done?  The manipulation of stats to hide a criminally coverup the fact that it's all a sham and are paid millions each year by the government to foster the lie, and how numb nuts, my dad's favorite name for Obama, is about to slam thru a UN climate treaty on us without congressional approval all based on fake data.

Everything you see on TV and read is a lie.  Why bother reading?  Well, except my blog.

Standing by the ocean watch it tear away the shore
Glide out upon the desert, the horizon is the door
And though your voice is shouting above the wind it can't be heard
Drop all sense of reason, it's there you'll find your own worth
And though you are surrounded, feeling quite alone
There's a light to guide you home

If you stand with your face to the wind off the water
At the point of lands end where the ocean begins
Look to the memory of the ones gone before
The light and meaning of the voices on the wind


Little Feat


Friday, August 22, 2014

OH YEA

One more thing.

I got promoted this week with a raise.  Now, instead of making what I use to make 25 years ago, I now make what I use to make 20 years ago.

Golly, I might be able to afford hiring an attorney to file bankruptcy in a few months now!  Happy days.

SQUARE PEGS ROUND HOLES AND ROBOS

I don't fly, I think I've mentioned that before, then again, I can't remember what I wrote last month let alone last year, so maybe that is news to my imaginary readers.

Consequently, I've driven thru 36 of the 50 states which gives me a unique perspective on topics, one of which is when you have to go to the bathroom, you go to McDonald's.  McDonald's is the same, no matter where you are in this country, same building, same food, and clean bathrooms.  Funny thing is, I haven't eaten a burger from McDonald's since May of 1979, but I've used their bathrooms.

When my dad and I drove to Colorado, he had to go badly and we stopped at some gas station in, I think we were in Colorado but not yet to Sterling, and I took him to the bathroom and it was the most disgusting dirty bathroom I'd ever seen.  I held him up so he wouldn't have to sit on the seat and didn't care much if he hit the toilet because most others who used the room didn't bother much with aim.  Gawd, just writing this I remember that place.

But McDonald's is always clean, well pretty clean, and that is something McDonald's strives for; when you walk in a McDonald's it will be McDonald's - the food will taste the same, the environment will be the same, the people will look and talk the same, regardless of whether you are in Macon Georgia, Park City Utah, Nashua NH, Kalamazoo MI, or Waco TX.

Trainers are like this also.  I took Train the Trainer back in the 1990's, it was required to be a Certified Trainer for Microsoft or Citrix.  Tell them what you are going to teach, teach it, tell them what you just taught them.  Sound familiar?  Every damn book today follows that pattern.  Objectives for the unit, meat of the unit, then review of what you just learned.

And one of the things that drives me absolutely nuts?  Almost as much as 'perception is reality' and 'it is what it is'; when you ask someone a question and they reply, "that's a great question".  It's not that it's wrong, but in a training class, you will hear the trainer say that for every question from 'what time is lunch' to 'how does Bohr's light experiment relate to Einstein's theory of relativity'.  So by the end of the week, it becomes quite irritating and patronizing and I've actually stopped asking questions because I didn't want to hear 'that's a great question'.

And sometimes companies strive for a similar experience for their customers, like, oh say, telephone support.  They want everyone to provide the same experience to the customer, no matter who they are talking to in the company.  The problem is if a customer calls several times and talks to multiple people they will start hearing the same thing over and over and realize there is a script of some sort being run and then what?

People don't like being manipulated and scripts are manipulation.  Now scripts don't have to be verbatim, they can allow for some creativity, but it feels unnatural to me.

God blessed me with the ability to speak in public.  No fear, little nerves, but no fear.  And I hardly ever will write out a speech, okay, the eulogy for my mom I wrote out but I had no idea if I was going to get through that without losing it so writing it out was smart.  But most of the time I have an idea, some notes or not, and away I go.

So to answer calls and have a script seems so confining, it's like shackling an athlete with balls and chains.  Now some things are smart to do and natural, like restating the problem to make sure you understand what the problem is - my problem is empathy statements.  They come out so disingenuous, like some line at a bar.  It's not that I'm not empathetic, it will show throughout a phone call, but to say it just doesn't work.

Which is also a subject I've thought about but read little about elsewhere.  Sociopaths are people devoid of empathy and there are a host of character and personality traits that go with sociopathic behavior.  What is scary is how many of those traits I possess, yet my problem is the opposite of sociopathism, I over empathize with people, their pain, their problems and many of those personality traits are protection, to protect me from over empathizing.  Gawd, I hate self analysis.

What really surprises me is a company, which is nameless on this blog, that is famous for innovation, for independent thinkers, independent thinking, puts so much emphasis on structuring behavior to fit a model.

It also scares me.

When will AI evolve in the labs to a point where computers can do telephone support?  Think about it for a moment, if for years people respond the same to every call, when will artificial intelligence be able to take over and no one will be able to tell?  When will AI develop to a point where we will converse with machines and only machines - think how many times you call a company today and check balances, make payments, order new services, and never talk to a human being. We are being conditioned while the places still using people are conditioning and standardizing communication.  I often wonder if the recordings of calls is done for legal purposes, training purposes, or something more nefarious, to use to program artificial intelligence.

Do you ever wonder when you read news stories or blogs if computers wrote the story?  I do.  I could even suspect misspellings in stories may be intentional to cover the fact it is a machine AI generated story.

Funny how The Terminator was this great scary movie of an unstoppable force chasing you, and today we have a whole different meaning to the film where sci-fi has met reality and reality is losing.


Assemble, construct the thought
Pattern
Deadly repercussions of science
No thoughts of self
Breaking down the mind
Under one control, forging
Obedience like a dog
Complete domination
Electricity the life's blood
Walking thin lines
To deaden is to live
Efficiency without feeling
Now your soul is lost

Wielding immense power
Without fear or emotion
In man's struggle
The rights of life
Uniform command
Erosion in all unity
Imprisoned by intelligence
Imprisoned by progress
Industrial empire
The greater of all thought
Production of a mind
The power of creation
Now a silent God

Trapped in this hollow shell
Trapped in the abyss
Technological cell
Electronic living hell
In this anarchy lives
Among the strong
I shall stand
I will never surrender
I live


Epidemic

Monday, August 18, 2014

SCREWED AND THEN THERE IS SCREWED

Well, no matter how bad your life might be right now, I bet no one would trade positions with that cop in Fergie, MO, who is on his way to prison.

According to the cop, he was forced to fire on the young man, who is about 300lbs and 6'5", and was charging the officer.  According to people not there, this racist cop gunned down this young boy.

I thought it was racist to call blacks boy?

And now one of the 'witnesses' talking and filming afterwards happened to catch the person behind him talking to someone else and this person saw everything that happened and kind of backs up what the cop said about the giant charging him.  Not that it will matter.

Riots are going on, the black minister fund raisers are in town, the parents called some TV doc to do a second autopsy, and now the feds are involved with Eric Holder personally traveling to STL to oversee the lynching, I mean investigation.

This cop doesn't stand a chance.

Let's face it, if some giant nearly 300lbs is charging me the only chance of me coming out alive is either I shoot him or some inanimate object happens to fall/ hit him before he reaches me.  And this giant of a man is filmed screwing around in some store minutes before, walking out with stuff and physically slapping around the poor clerk.

But the giant is black and the knives are out.  Even if the state decides to charge him, what happens at trial?  Does the jury have in the back of their head that if they find the cop innocent, blacks will riot, their names may appear in the paper, and their own lives will be in danger?  Be seriously gutsy under those circumstances to find him innocent.

But so what, once that happens the fed will step in and charge him and prosecute him which is double jeopardy, or was, but now is not.  If the federal government doesn't like the verdict, they just charge him/them again and again and again until they get their man, kind of like a psychotic canadian mountie.

I wonder if the next cop will die, hesitate because the cop doesn't want the same thing to happen and gets tackled by a giant who beats them to death.  And you can bet Jessie and Al won't be within a 1,000 miles of helping that cops family.

Well, went to the eye doc today.  I pay less than a buck a month for insurance for eyewear and must say I got my money's worth.  The insurance pays for a frame up to 150 bucks and pays for lined lenses, who the hell still wears lined bifocals?  So I have to pay the difference.  Of course, no frames in the place were less than 150 and the progressive lenses were all well over the cost of lined lenses so it cost me nearly 200 bucks for glasses, with insurance.

I remember paying about 250 the last time I paid for glasses with no insurance.  Now, in fairness, it has been 5 years and I really need the new ones, I was like four clicks off in each eye.  No wonder I've been having headaches.

But I smell a rat in all this because on the receipt, there is an insurance discount of 340 bucks and the amount the insurance company owes is 44 bucks.  So what I have is an illusionary discount card where the prices are marked up 400% and the client thinks they are getting a good deal but in reality you are getting kind of screwed.

So I think when I pick up my glasses I will make sure I get a copy of the script and do some shopping in a few months when I buy the sunglasses and see if I can find a place not ripping off people.

Kind of pisses me off, but then, in relation to the cop, can't really complain too much.

She'll expose you, when she snows you
Hope you're pleased with the crumbs she throws you
She's ferocious and she knows just
What it takes to make a pro blush
All the boys think she's a spy, she's got Bette Davis eyes

And she'll tease you, she'll unease you
All the better just to please you
She's precocious, and she knows just
What it takes to make a pro blush

Sunday, August 17, 2014

HOMO SINE DEUS

Blogging is a strange thing.  So many people with so little to say write so much to so few.  There are some blogs I've written I really really liked and 5 people read it, others I wasn't really happy with get dozens, and then sometimes out of nowhere, some blog I posted awhile back suddenly takes off on the numbers, like Flipping Off Mr. Charlie which for some reason has 17 hits this week and it was posted months ago.

Have a appointment tomorrow to get my eyes checked, been five years since I could afford to get a check up and new glasses and I've noticed for awhile I needed a new script - I've been avoiding reading a lot lately because it gives me a headache, so that will be nice.

Read an article recently, the topic of todays blundering, about how churches are opening up around the country for atheists.  Looks like a church, they meet regularly like churches, sing songs, have sermons, study groups, do good things in the town, but there is no God.

I have been thinking about this and wondered if this wasn't inevitable and a commentary on the whole church scene in this country as a whole.  I've been in a lot of churches over the last 10 years and generally find it 'wanting'.  My dad and I visited about 5 churches in Fort Collins of different denominations and most were so similar; rock band type 20 minutes of music with everyone dancing and swaying, announcements, a Bible passage is read and then a 30-45 minute sermon based on the passage, supposedly, but strangely missing any further references to scripture.  More of a quasi Tony Robbins style seminar with golf stories.

I hope when Jesus makes his return it is on a Sunday morning so millions of people attending churches will leave church and wonder where everyone went.  Plus they will be shocked at Jesus' return and discovering He doesn't play golf.

The church I attend now, though not regularly, is old fashion: Hymnals and old fashion Hymns and I like that.  And the sermons are good, multiple references in your Bible, even sometimes verse by verse preaching without any sports metaphors.  But, still, there is something missing, it doesn't feel holy.

Maybe the problem is me.  Have to acknowledge that possibility.

But these churches from the Rick Warren Church Growth programs to the Joel Osteen services that fill 30,000 people 3x a day on Sundays, to the emergent churches, and is it really surprising we now have churches starting up that just finally dump God entirely?

The serpent in the garden.  The shiny one, charismatic, the deceiver, not a snake in a tree, tempting Eve, saying you can be like God.  And how many stories in the Bible are nothing more than people thinking they can be like God, they can be without God, we are God.

We live in a world today where stories are constantly filling our minds with the prospects for immortality, we can live forever, we can manipulate our DNA to be part man, part animal, part machine.  Super soldiers, half man, half beast.  Homotechnologia, man and machine as one.

Are artificial limbs playing God?  Hip or knee replacements?  Probably not.  Are chips implanted in our brains?  Much closer.  Some 'official' and member of the Gates Foundation commented yesterday about the concept of implantable chips to prevent reproduction in people not suitable or deemed 'worthy' to have kids.  Artificial wombs so non reproductive couples, read gay, can have kids.

You can be like God.

So when you have chips implanted in your brain, how can you know who you are?  How do you know that thought, that idea, is yours versus a 'suggestion' from a chip?  Will, 'the chip told me to do it' be a valid legal defense?  You may want said chip to prevent seizures or something, but what do you give up in the process when scientists now control your thinking?  Will you vote for whom you wish or whom you were programmed to vote for this election?

A year without TV, well, not really, because I have about 400 DVD's, endless downloaded movies and TV shows, so in all honesty I am probably watching something four or five nights a week.  But I have not seen or heard a commercial now in over a year and I find myself less and less 'wanting things'.  In fact, about the only thing I 'want' but not necessarily need is a device that I support on the phones but don't have in front of me and sometimes it's frustrating.  Well, and a manual transmission.  I swear if my 99 Volvo had a manual, I would have no desire to have another car.

By the way, the light on the dash is the catalytic converter, but I had it turned off, passed the emissions test, so I can go two years before the next one.

But the no commercials and the change it's made in my thinking made me realize how much my life was influenced by commercials, so now I find myself analyzing the TV shows or movies to see what is being said to affect thinking.  Watch Joss Wheton(?) shows and you get a seriously anti God atheist philosophy.  But even Buffy was good over evil, what I've heard is on TV today is that Evil is good, being a dead demony thing like a vamp is cool.

But maybe Buffy was the segue, maybe Buffy without God, good witch Willow, semi good Angel was the necessary step to Evil being Good.

I just can't figure out where the TV and commercials convinced an entire generation or two to shave all their body hair and get tattoo'd up.

So after decades of television and movies, after decades of churches removing sin, repentance, damnation, consequences for bad behavior, ordaining blatant sinners, and implementing market research to church growth, is it any wonder we've now entered a time period where churches are being created to provide the social structure and removing God?

As believers in God who take the Word seriously leave churches, the pews are being filled with non serious 'believers' who are looking for a feel good feeling, for social contact, and the next step to just eliminate God entirely was entirely natural and expected.  Hitler did a similar thing in Germany; add the swastika next to the cross, his book next to the Bible, then one day the swastika is on the cross, and then the cross is gone leaving only the swastika.

And we've placed Us up on the alter with God, then combined the two as Us/God, and now have removed God from the alter.

As in the days of Noah.  We are God.  Homo Sine Deus.


Yesterday, when I was young
The taste of life was sweet
Like rain upon my tongue

I teased at life as if
It were a foolish game
The way an evening breeze
May tease a candle flame

The thousand dreams I dreamed
The splendid things I planned
I always built to last
On weak and shifting sand

I lived by night and shunned
The naked light of day
And only now I see
How the years have ran away

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

WHEN ALL THE LAUGHTER DIED TO SORROW

Always one of my favorite book titles, Lance Rentzel I believe, though it wasn't a happy book or the typical sports book.

But that was what went thru my head when I read Robin Williams hung himself.  When all the laughter died to sorrow - and I was not 'shocked' by the news.

Comedians are a rare breed, more so than other entertainers, they feed on the laughter, feed on the attention.  Singers can move from large stadiums to hotel lounges and still get the rush, but what happens to comedians when no one is laughing any longer?

If you want to understand what might have been going on in Robin's head, watch his last interview on Ellen.  She holds up name after name and Robin performs while she guesses what he is, like a trained seal.

You once hold the world in the palm of your hands and now you are a trained seal.

And that is also an issue, holding the world in your hand and now he was in his sixties and 'broke'.  Not broke like you and I define broke, I mean I wish when I had money problems I could have sold a 35 million dollar ranch to make ends meet, but unable to live the lifestyle; and not where he imagined his life and career would be.

That is the trouble with expectations, you always fall short.  Have no goals, have no dreams of what your life will be in 10 years and when you get there you won't be all that disappointed.

Growing up with the name Dick, I developed one hell of a snappy wit, too snappy, too good sometimes.  Robin Williams was the only person I wouldn't have wanted to get into a cut down war with because he was just so damn fast, so damn quick and too damn smart.

See, when you are really smart, you think you don't need God.  When you are too rich, you don't need God.  And when Robin was at the end, he was too smart, to proud, to something to ask for God.

But Williams, like others who live and get their worth, their nourishment, from the attention of others, had demons; booze, drugs, women, all cries for some meaning in life, all attempts to find happiness and peace and all falling far short.  Maybe if he hadn't snorted, smoked, drank and slept around so much, he wouldn't have had money issues, two divorces - as he said "all the money was shortened to alimony".

I didn't know him, maybe I'm speaking out of school.  Just something I learned a long time ago that if you want to look for the person who is hurting, look for the class clown, the office comedian, the stand up comic.  It's pain, loneliness, and fear that drive them and it's that pain, loneliness, and fear that eventually kill them.

The man who made the entire world laugh, died alone, not laughing.  It had all died into sorrow.

All dead all dead
but I should not grieve
in time it comes to everyone
all dead all dead
but in hope I breathe
of course I don't believe
you're dead and gone

all dead and gone

Sunday, August 10, 2014

JUST MY IMAGINATIONS

Even though I don't own a TV, there are a few shows that came out since 2000 that I do like.  Well, US shows.

Firefly was  a great show but got caught in the network being pissed that Wheton was taking Buffy to another network so cancelled Firefly even though it had good ratings.

But the two shows I really like are Monk and Perception, which, in one of those rare moments of introspection that I detest, I realized might not be good; relating to two crazy people.  What is kind of sad is how many times I mark off behavioral traits of each of them and think, "wow, I do that too".

Maybe I should watch sitcoms instead.

Both these characters are brilliant, which I'm not, and nuts, which I hope I'm not but sometimes worry about.  And I don't wear exactly the same clothes every day, but I do wear the same two or three pair of Lee jeans, the same four polo shirts from JC Penney's,  my four dress shirts are JC Penny's, so there might be just a little color variation, but the truth is I force myself to do that because about 10 years ago I had a couple of clients notice I was always dressed the same when I came and my niece or sister, not sure which, notice my laundry was just shades of blue, grey, or black.  So I added green, white, and an orange polo shirt from JC Penny's.

But sometimes the temptation to just buy 4 or 5 polo shirts of the same color is overwhelming.

One thing about Monk that always cracked me up was his assistant, Natalie, was always complaining about what she was paid and each season was driving a new 30K car.

But back to the point, well several points.  I downloaded Season 3 of Perception this weekend and have watched several episodes and one of the story lines is his father shows up a and is in the early stages of Alzheimer's.  This is really hard to watch.  His dad starts walking around the house stark naked, which I'm glad to say I never had to deal with - my dad always wore a shirt, and throws a fit or two then has a little accident with the ol' bowels.

And then the dad decides, while he can still think, to put himself in a home and everyone is happy at the end of the episode.  Life doesn't work that way.  I found that disappointing, taking care of his dad may have helped him with his mental illness, or pushed him over the edge.  Especially since the scenes were so realistic, even the jigsaw puzzle, and then just wrap it up.

But then, these are television shows, not the real world.  And this is a blog, which may not be there real world either.

Do any of my long term imaginary readers remember the off hand question I asked one time about "if kids can have imaginary friends, why can't adults"?   It wasn't a joke.  Maybe that's why I relate to the protagonist on Perception.  When I was taking care of my dad, it was so so lonely.  And I created an imaginary friend, then another.  Someone to talk to, one who prodded me on in difficult times.  Consoled me.  Talk to me.

I've actually started this blog three or four times to talk about that but always deleted it.  The thing is, I always knew it was made up, not real, and after my dad died they went away too, never to come back.

Well, so far.

Which is why I always discussed my wonder which of us was going crazier faster, I knew it wasn't healthy, yet, looking back, maybe it was - maybe it was healthy because the delusion got me through the hour, the days, the months.  Just as the protagonist on Perception sees imaginary people who help him think through the puzzles on the show, to solve the mysteries of the show, can people create these imaginary 'friends' to help them through moments in life?  Can you do an insane act to maintain your sanity?

I don't know.  I always wondered if Gollum in LOTR was real or imaginary, I guess real, well for a novel, since Sam saw him too, but then Frodo wrote the story, so who is to know.

Come to think of it, all my Doolittle paintings were solitary figured paintings.  Crap, I hate introspection.

But it is disappointing how television treats Alzheimer's; it's either a running comedy gag or it's nicely wrapped up before the final commercial break.  It's neither funny nor 'wrapped up' by bedtime.  It's long, it's messy, and it doesn't ever get better,  just a daily drop off to Hell.

But who wants to buy toothpaste after watching a realistic portrayal of Alzheimer's?

I met my old lover
On the street last night
She seemed so glad to see me
I just smiled
And we talked about some old times
And we drank ourselves some beers
Still crazy after all these years
Oh, still crazy after all these years

I'm not the kind of man
Who tends to socialize
I seem to lean on
Old familiar ways
And I ain't no fool for love songs
That whisper in my ears
Still crazy after all these years
Oh, still crazy after all these years

Four in the morning
Crapped out, yawning
Longing my life away
I'll never worry
Why should I?
It's all gonna fade

Now I sit by my window
And I watch the cars
I fear I'll do some damage
One fine day
But I would not be convicted
By a jury of my peers
Still crazy after all these years
Oh, still crazy
Still crazy
Still crazy after all these years


Paul Simon

Saturday, August 9, 2014

CHANGES

Many people claim to embrace change, look forward to change they say, but the truth is people really don't like change.

New shifts started today and I'm doing a split, which I volunteered for, so I have time during afternoons to hit the gym, bike, and see the world in daylight - it's kind of like college all over again, classes in the mornings, bartending at night, except now I don't spend the afternoons stoned, watching soaps, and such.

Nor are there a dozen pretty college girls talking to me at work.  Sigh.

But our bodies don't like change, the body likes routine.  It likes getting up at a certain time, going to bed at a certain time, and eating the same foods.  When you make changes, your body doesn't like it and in some cases will eventually adjust, other cases it never adjusts.

Business always claims they want change but my experience at two large companies is that process improvements are great, root cause analysis is great, as long as it's not in MY department!  I actually saw a company decide rather than spend 20k to fix  a problem cause 100k in rework every month choose to keep doing the rework because that's not cash out of the bank like 20k would be.  Yea, doesn't make a lot of sense to me either 5 years later.  I bet they are still spending 100k a month in rework, putting orders a month behind, just to save that 20k and patting themselves on the back.

Last Saturday, there is a great interview on Coast to Coast with the guy who wrote Dr. Mary's Monkey,  about the death of Dr. Mary Sherman, the connection to Oswald, and most importantly the history of the polio vaccine.

Polio was an epidemic, but actually had been around for years.  In fact, between 1900 and 1942, there were about 3k people a year in this country get polio.  Not many, unless you were one of the 3k.  But in 1942 it jumped and kept jumping until 50k a year and what happened in 1942?

Penicillin was introduced.  The interview talks about how antibiotics kill the bad and good and what happens in our intestines when the good stuff is killed off, how fungus forms, and now things that would never get through that wonderful system of intestines that evolved over billions of years, cough cough, protecting us from all sorts of bad stuff is now letting the bad stuff into the blood streams and the polio virus got into many people, other stuff got through including the pesky SV40 virus from the polio vaccine that is dead center of many of the tumors and cancer people have gotten since.

In fact, one of the founders of penicillin wrote there is a dark side to this drug and suggested later that it would lead to a cancer epidemic.

So basically, the line is antibiotics release a polio epidemic, the cure creates a cancer epidemic, the entire BB generation has this ticking time bomb in them, there is a government coverup,  murders, and the fascinating fact that Lee Harvey Oswald is involved and Mary Sherman is killed the day the Warren Commission shows up in New Orleans.

This story fascinates me.  It is such a bizarre tale, yet fully documented and statistically verified issues with cancer.  A murder mystery, a government plot, I am sure guy like Tom Clancy wish he could have imagined.  Ed Haslam is the author, you can find the interview on youtube by now I'm sure and you should at least check it out, it's a fascinating story that more people should know.

It also brings about why I am always looking for what a government will do to it's people and where I came up with the conspiracy theory that our government is going to solve the economic problems of this country by wiping out the BB generation by activating the SV40 virus into a fast acting cancer and turning SS/MED into the black in about 4 years.  Governments do these things.

Of course, Obama has other plans for genocide.  I look at all these people flooding into our country and wonder if we are drawing the bravest of central america to this country for the wipe out, leaving only the passive and scared behind, for better control.

Which brings up the question, are you following the ebola story?  I wonder at what point people will begin to hunker down, will you get to the store in time for that last shopping spree?  Can you go three months without leaving your home?  Whether we like it or not, times they are a changing.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'


Saturday, August 2, 2014

OUR COGNITIVE DELUSIONS

You meet a new person and what do you do?  You smile and shake their hand and ask questions like how are you, what do you do for a living, etc.

But inside our minds, we are working a puzzle, stratifying the person.  Moving them around an imaginary chessboard as we check off variables; tall or short; fat or think; good looking or ugly; rich or poor; good dresser or bad dresser; educated or not; black or white or arab or jew or hispanic.  We move them around the board, the fit section, then the good looking fit section, then the educated good looking fit section, then the affluent educated good looking fit section, and so it goes on and on until we have placed this person in their proper square on the board.

Why do you hit it off with a person on first meeting?  Because each of you after asking a few questions have placed the person in the proper square on the board of people you like.  Others get placed in the ugly fat poor section and you want nothing to do with them.

The problem is the board is wrong, the paradigm is wrong, and it leads to all sorts of problems in interactions.

When I was taking care of my dad, I hated meeting new people.  The same thing happened time and time again.  Think about it, when you meet someone, you can't go 5 questions without asking what a person does or what do you do for a living.  And when I answered I gave up my career to take care of my dad, time and time again, I would see the same look cross a persons face, a look of confusion, a verbal stumble, and a conversation soon to end because I just messed up all their moves on the mental stratification board.

The point of which is, it's all imaginary, it's all an invention of our minds, it not only has no basis in reality but it truly screws up human relations.

Have you ever met someone, not liked the person, but over time working together new variables, new behaviors, new experiences causes you to see this person in a different light, and you think they are changing but the truth is you had them in the wrong section of the board in your head.

Or you really hit it off with a person and things are going swimmingly and then they do something and it completely blows your image of them and can't believe they would behave that way but the truth is they are behaving as they always have, completely normal for them, the problem is that you screwed up the stratification - but rather than admit your system is wrong, you blame the other person for not living up to the box you put them in.

Or picture you car breaking down some evening in a not so nice area of town, and you are standing next to the car and three large black teens approach you.  What is going through your head?  Fear?  And then you find that the three teens are leaving the local Baptist Church and help you out and now how do you feel?

How many people shut themselves off from the world, from other people, because once or twice they are hurt and now put every woman or man into a section on the board that says cheaters without ever giving the person a chance?  Or throw used car salesmen, lawyers, bankers, and doctors into  some negative square and never realize the person might be one of the most honest people they'd ever know.

Okay, maybe not lawyers.

Or politicians.

People always disappoint us because their behavior doesn't fit the little square we placed them on, the   little web of variables we create in our heads, a warped board of cosmic psychobabble that almost guarantees no one will be what we think they are.  How many married couples look at their spouse after 20 years, disappointed, because the love of their life didn't turn out like our mental board said they would.

So we recognize this, but do you know how hard it becomes to not do it?  It's impossible.  Even when you look at every person you meet as a soul in a vessel, you still can't help but check boxes, fat, thin, tough or pencil neck geek, cute, pretty, ugly, etc.

What I'm trying to do, is simply reduce the number of squares on the board, with the hope of one day getting down to two squares on the board, good or bad,  wondering, could we go thru life with one square?

Everybody's just waiting to hear from the one
Who can give them the answers
Lead them back to that place in the warmth of the sun
Where sweet childhood still dances
Who'll come along and hold out that strong and gentle father's hand?
Long ago I heard someone say something 'bout everyman

Waiting here for everyman
Make it on your own, make it if you think you can
If you see somewhere to go I understand

I'm not trying to tell you that I've seen the plan
Turn and walk away if you think I am
But don't think too badly of one who's left holding sand
He's just another dreamer, dreaming 'bout everyman

Friday, August 1, 2014

GOOD MORNING DAVE

I remember taking my nephew, can't remember which one, to see Independence Day at the theatre and there is a scene where the two protagonists are on the alien spaceship, getting ready for take off, and one character opens up the laptop and on the screen and in voice it says, "Good Morning Dave".

I burst out laughing and so did two other people in the packed theatre.  So few got the joke.

That was a line from 2001 Space Odyssey where, when Dave is headed towards the brains of the computer system to shut down HAL, it announces it knows what Dave is up to by saying Good Morning Dave.  If you have never seen the movie, it's a great movie.  What is really cool is how it shows a future where humans are now nothing but slaves to the technology, the people on the spaceship are there to serve HAL and eventually HAL realizes that some of the people on the spaceship are redundant, unnecessary, and slowly eliminates them from the ship.

That movie was based on a book and did they see the future or what?  Think of all the technology we have today and ask yourself, do computers help us do our job better or our the jobs today serving the technology?

So much of our life is wrapped up in this technology, we have become slaves to our cell phones, our pads, laptops, and computers.  It has our music and movies; our contacts - think about it, how many phone numbers did you have memorized 30 years ago and how many today?  Our calendars, the pictures of our lives, all our data - we pay our bills, communicate.  It controls our lives.

And when it doesn't work, our lives come to a stop.  Remember once upon a time when our car not working was the biggest headache in our lives?  Now, given a choice between a car or a smart phone, most people would rather their car breakdown.

Which brings me to another topic.  Security.  Took a call tonite for the company I will not mention of a person who broke up with another person and other person, the ex, had all the ID's, email addresses and passwords of the other and was making the person's life hell.  And when trying to clean it up with new ID's said person needed to know the passwords and didn't and wasn't happy having to wait a time period to get a reset that would be sent to the original address as well as the new one and person blew up because ex had access to all of that and person ranted and cussed and all sorts of stuff and the whole time I am thinking "dude, it's your fault for sharing all that info".  But I didn't say it.

I hear these calls all the time, ex's reading the messages, emails, etc and making a person's life hell; not to mention the pictures that people allow others to take and the moment of breakup those pictures are flying across the internet at the speed of porn.

Sometimes I think there should be intelligence exams before people can buy high tech stuff, but then sales would collapse.

The point is, people don't take this stuff seriously and when stuff goes wrong, it completely turns your life upside down and inside out because we have become slaves to the technology.  Which is why business and government control so much of our lives, our drivers licenses are chipped, our passport is chipped, our credit cards are chipped, our store cards are chipped, and every where you go the stores read those RFID chips in our wallets and clothing and know who you are, what stores you are in, what aisles you walk down, where you drive, what you watch on TV, where you surf.

Day after day we see articles talking about computer companies 'spying' on customers and what an outrage it is, then when people forget their password people are upset same companies can't tell them what their password is.  The mind reels.

Can you go a day without a cell phone, no messages, no email?  Can you go a weekend with no TV?  No internet?  Can you leave home with just your keys?  If you can't, what is the difference between that and not being able to smoke, get stoned, have a drink, etc?

Slaves to the technology.  Good morning Dave.

"Here am I floating round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do."