Thursday, August 22, 2013

Anger Management

When you occasionally have a really bad day, and you just need to take it out on someone, don't take it out on someone you know, take it out on someone you don't know!

I was sitting at my desk when I remembered a phone call I'd forgotten to make. I found the number and dialed it. A man answered, saying "Hello."

I politely said, "This is Chris. Could I please speak with Robyn Carter?"

Suddenly a manic voice yelled out in my ear "Get the right f***ing number!" and the phone was slammed down on me. I couldn't believe that anyone could be so rude. When I tracked down Robyn's correct number to call her, I found that I had accidentally transposed the last two digits.

After hanging up with her, I decided to call the 'wrong' number again.

When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled "You're an asshole!" and hung up. I wrote his number down with the word 'asshole' next to it, and put it in my desk drawer. Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I'd call him up and yell, "You're an asshole!" It always cheered me up.

When Caller ID was introduced, I thought my therapeutic 'asshole' calling would have to stop. So, I called his number and said, "Hi, this is John Smith from the telephone company. I'm calling to see if you're familiar with our Caller ID Program?"

He yelled "NO!" and slammed down the phone. I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're an asshole!" and hung up.

One day I was at the store, getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I'd been waiting for that spot, but the idiot ignored me I noticed a "For Sale" sign in his back window, so I wrote down his number.

A couple of days later, right after calling the first asshole (I had his number on speed dial,) I thought that I'd better call the BMW asshole, too.

I said, "Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?"

He said, "Yes, it is."

I asked, "Can you tell me where I can see it?"

He said, "Yes, I live at 34 Oak Tree Blvd, in Fairfax . It's a yellow rancher, and the car's parked right out in front."

I asked, "What's your name?"

He said, "My name is Don Hansen,"

I asked, "When's a good time to catch you, Don?"

He said, "I'm home every evening after five."

I said, "Listen, Don, can I tell you something?"

He said, "Yes?"

I said, "Don,you're an asshole!"

Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial, too. Now, when I had a problem, I had two assholes to call.

Then I came up with an idea. I called asshole #1. He said, "Hello."

I said, "You're an asshole!" (But I didn't hang up.)

He asked, "Are you still there?"

I said, "Yeah,"

He screamed, "Stop calling me!"

I said, "Make me!"

He asked, "Who are you?"

I said, "My name is Don Hansen."

He said, "Yeah? Where do you live?"

I said, "Asshole, I live at 34 Oak Tree Blvd, in Fairfax, a yellow rancher, I have a black Beamer parked in front."

He said, "I'm coming over right now, Don. And you had better start saying your prayers."

I said, "Yeah, like I'm really scared, asshole," and hung up.

Then I called Asshole #2.

He said, "Hello?"

I said, "Hello, asshole"

He yelled, "If I ever find out who you are..."

I said, "You'll what?"

He exclaimed, "I'll kick your ass!"

I answered, "Well, asshole, here's your chance. I'm coming over right now." Then I hung up and immediately called the police, saying that I lived at 34 Oak Tree Blvd, in Fairfax, and that I was on my way over there to kill my gay lover.

Then I called Channel 9 News about the gang war going down in Oak Tree Blvd. in Fairfax .

I quickly got into my car and headed over to Fairfax. I got there just in time to watch two assholes beating the crap out of each other in front of six cop cars, an overhead news helicopter and surrounded by a news crew.

NOW I feel much better.

Anger management really does work!!!

2nd Amendment *FACEPALM*

I don't know why I keep trying to educate and persuade about the 2nd Amendment on Internet news threads... I'm either an optimist or insane. This is a discussion I had on a CNN news thread:


Hope springs eternal...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I'm not a prude, but...

Yahoo's CEO, Marissa Mayer, appearing in Vogue

I have to ask... is this appropriate for the CEO of a company?

Now, we're not talking candid shots on the boat or beach of her, (or a male CEO) in a swimsuit, on vacation, etc.

She is deliberately posing, and given the concerns of sexual harassment in the workplace, it just doesn't seem to me that she should be sending this message to people that work for her. (I'm not 100% sure what the message is, it just doesn't seem she should be sending it!

I'm all for a woman looking her best, feeling as sexy as she wants to be, etc, but I think she is sending a mixed message. And I would say the same thing if she were a male CEO doing a "beefcake" pose.

Maybe I'm being oversensitive to the issue?  She's obviously an intelligent lady and I hope gave this a lot of thought.

Secondly, I don't care for a lot of the changes that have been made recently. I think she's got better things to do with her time.  The company may or may not be circling the drain, but I do think I hear a sucking sound...

I read on CNN's site that her original goal was to be a pediatric neurosurgeon.  Can you imagine if she fucked with children's brains the way she's fucked with Yahoo?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Insomniac Theater

A person recently told me they essentially didn't give a crap about the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  (That's the one about keeping and bearing arms, in case you don't know.)  Not in those exact words, but you get the picture.  And you know, that's kinda sorta OK. Every person is entitled to their own opinion. Just because a right exists does not mean we have to exercise it.

But in a broader sense, it does disturb me.

For example, right now I am exercising my 1st Amendment right by saying the stupid or crazy stuff that is on my mind as the sun rises.  There should be no constraint on that right, other than things like yelling "Fire" in the proverbial crowded theater.

The police did not kick in my door at 2 AM this morning and ransack my underwear drawer, and I don't think they should have done that at your house either, at least not without probable cause and a warrant.

And that is the point I'm trying to make.  Even if you don't want to own a gun and exercise your 2nd Amendment right, you should respect and defend my right.

I won't enumerate the Bill of Rights and other amendments here, but I will say that I stand for every word of The Constitution, and I swore to support and defend it on multiple occasions. Even though my oath and military service ended in 2004, I still believe in that document passionately.

Just because I might choose to be silent does not diminish the vigor of my defense for you to shout.

Just because police are not violating the sanctity of my home does not change my defense of yours.

Those are but two examples...

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Catholic.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Rev. Martin Niemöller

If we don't defend the Bill of Rights, (and The Constitution) it becomes a "Bill of Maybe When or If I Get Around to It"

'Tis the Season... for Stink Flies

It's mid-August in Eastern Washington, the local area has dried out and mosquitoes are not nearly as problematic as they are in late Spring or early Summer.

Seems that at most any time, other than "butt-fuck cold time" (aka "Winter") we have some type of nuisance pest around here.

I'll single out the green lacewing.  Chrysopidae according to my Google search.

Fascinating, beautiful creatures.

I hate the little fuckers.

They are actually beneficial insects. But I can't stand them. They are predatory and don't discriminate.  I can be outside, often with a drink in one hand, watering my lawn, flowers, or garden when it's not "butt-fuck hot" outside.  (aka "evening")

Suddenly, one of those little bastards will land on my neck and decide to start chewing.  Then I drop the hose or spill my drink to swat.

In addition to the indignity of being feasted upon by a lower order invertebrate, I suddenly am treated to the wafting odor of a bowel movement which is not my own. It stains and permeates the skin of both my neck and of my hand.

Gawd... I hate those little green stink flies...

Thursday, August 15, 2013


One can hide from a child.  Even allowing the child to cover their eyes might deceive them into believing the game, that you are gone.

I can't see you, you are gone.  *poof*

But for an adult to cover their ears and eyes, to metaphorically say "nanny nanny boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo" is beyond ludicrous.

I want to see life in its full Technicolor 360 degree glory.  I want to see every pleasant and unpleasant detail.

We live, we die. Those we love also die, sometimes in a horrible manner, sometimes pleasantly in their sleep, but usually somewhere in between.

Such is is the inevitable outcome of life.

Life is beautiful... a miracle if you want to use a supernatural term. But the world is not always fair or friendly.


And to lend a bit of levity... from one of my favorite movies, Planet of the Apes... a deliberate tribute during Charlton Heston's testimony before the Ape tribunal.  (Not many people notice this fleeting image...)

Monkey see, monkey do?

My Crusade

Those of you who know me personally are aware that I was in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years.  I was not drafted, I chose to take an oath every time I reenlisted.

Part of that oath was "... to support and defend the Constitution of the United States..."

I am no longer in the U.S. Air Force, but my commitment  "... to support and defend the Constitution of the United States..." is no less passionate.

I get angry when I hear of any sort of suppression in American culture or society. What part of individual freedom do people NOT understand? I feel similarly when I hear about it in other countries, but I don't live or vote there, so I'll stick with what I know and can change.

I am reminded of a couple of examples from "The Ed Sullivan Show"  I won't look up links, you can find them via Google if you wish. I'm going to ad-lib, so forgive me if I get details or quotes wrong.

When The Rolling Stones appeared, it was requested that they change the lyrics of "Let's Spend the Night Together" to "Let's Spend Some Time Together."  Now, we're not talking about just lyrics... that is changing the name of the song! The Stones sold their souls.  Forget Sympathy for the Devil. They sold their souls to Ed Sullivan and whoever was sponsoring the show that night.

Then there was the single time "The Doors" appeared.  It was requested that their song "Light My Fire" be altered from "Girl we couldn't get much higher" to something else. I don't even know what tripe was supposed to be inserted, but they agreed.  But when Jim Morrison sang the lyrics... he sang them as he wrote them.

Afterward, some big-wig came back stage and said "You'll never be on the Ed Sullivan show again!"  And Morrison said "We just DID the Sullivan show..."  Or words to that effect.

Who do you think I respect most?  It wasn't government censorship, so it wasn't unconstitutional.  But it was wrong. Thank you, Jim Morrison.

I find that I'm suddenly on a John Denver kick.  And yes, this ties in with the First Amendment.

Some of you maybe didn't care, some of you may have had your head in the sand. But in 1985 there was a censorship movement. (Rock music was evil and if you played your albums backward, you'd either commit suicide or go to hell.)  Never mind the groups which wrote lyrics FORWARD to achieve the same result.  Al Gore's wife "Tipper" was leading a group called the PMRC. (Parents Music Resource Center) There were hearings before the U.S. Senate (Al Gore was a Senator at the time, so why not?)

Anyway... it was one of the most bizarre things I've had the privilege to witness. (Thank you C-SPAN!)  Who could imagine? It brought together Dee Snider of "Twisted Sister," Frank Zappa, and John Denver!

Dee & Frank were a little more crass in their presentations, but who cares?  (I *am* talking about freedom of speech here, right?)  John Denver's, in my opinion, was respectful and got the overall message across more successfully.  (Frank Zappa was a genius, ...not nearly enough credit is given to his music or thoughts.)

So I will post a couple of links for John Denver. You can also find Frank & Dee's testimony on YouTube.

This atheist says "God Bless America!" (Perhaps insincere... but old habits die hard!)

And a song which still sends chills down my spine.  Unless you've been atop a mountain at midnight... it's hard to fully understand what he's singing about:

On a side note, I don't really give a rat's hairy ass if every one of his friends was Bogarting a joint. I believe him when he says that's not what the song was about. Music is wonderfully open to interpretation.

(The version I've posted is not visually captivating... but so many versions leave out one of my favorite lines "Talk to God and listen to the casual reply")  

How about that... an atheist saying that leaving God out of a song is wrong?

Can things get any stranger?

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"Corrupting Morals?" (This becomes graphic, beware!)

I have a confession.

There is a web site I visit sometimes, it is a Gore web site.  It is not pretty, it shows images of accident scenes, videos of horrible things drug cartels do to other people in Mexico, dash cam videos of traffic accidents, etc.  Executions, chain saw decapitations... you name it.  Hollywood has nothing on reality, in my view.

Do not go there if you are faint of heart, it may traumatize you. I mean that. LITERALLY.

Best Gore

I have a morbid fascination with death. It is the inevitable outcome of this terminal disease we call "life."  We will all die, perhaps we have a choice in the manner, means or time, perhaps not.

In my opinion, we are far too removed from two important things in life:

1) Our food supply.  I get seriously pissed off at people who lament the demise of Bambi, the supposed "cruelty" of hunters, fishermen, etc etc... yet they have no problem grabbing a 1 lb pack of ground-up cow muscle at Walmart, or a Big Mac at McDonalds.  (You can debate whether that's actually meat on your own time.)

2) Death.  In years past, when a human passed from this world, the family would cleanse, prepare and dress the body. There would be a viewing or wake in the home. The family would prepare the grave site, then arrange burial.  Some still practice this, but many in American culture are shielded from the "unpleasantness" of death.

So I go back to the idea of the web site I mentioned.  It shows you images of how life can end, or how horrible injuries can be. I consider it to be educational. Frankly, if I die in a horribly stupid manner, please take photos and submit them to the site owner.

And that's where I'm going with this.

The web site owner, Mark Marek, is a European immigrant and lives in Canada.

In 2012, he received a video which showed the apparent death of a Chinese student, subsequent cannibalization and desecration of the body by a person later known as Luka Magnotta. He (Mark) asked the question "Is this real?"  He also contacted authorities, who ignored him.

It was only when body parts started to show up through the mail at Canadian government buildings that they woke up and realized "Whoa, there might be something to this whole video thingy."  Mark was subsequently asked to take down the video, which he did.

Since then, Mark has been arrested.  He has been charged with a rarely used statute under Canadian law of "Corrupting Morals."  Some of his property, particularly computers and cell phone, have been confiscated.

He was allegedly a flight risk, and perhaps he WAS attempting to flee the country.  If so, perhaps now you can see why?

He did not contribute to or facilitate the murder of Lin Jun. Why is reality a crime? First responders deal with it all the time, and so do some average schmucks, even people like my wife who works in nursing.

Mark also posts some anti-Semitic comments on his site. Is that the root issue?  I don't agree with him or other holocaust deniers, but they have a right to their own opinions.

Interview with Mark Marek

Should Mark Marek be able to post whatever the hell he wants on the Internet?  I think yes, as long as he is not exploiting minors, such as is done through child pornography.  Exploiting the dead?  Maybe. They certainly didn't give consent, but crime and accident photos are public record, and sometimes leaked.

It's an interesting moral conundrum, but I fall on the side of free speech.  If someone snaps a cell-phone image of my bloody corpse on the pavement somewhere, I don't think they should be prosecuted for sharing it.

Life can be beautiful, death... not so much. But free speech should never be suppressed.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blog Subscription

To anyone getting e-mails with my updates:

When you see these posts in a message, you will not see video and audio clips, such as in the John Denver Sweet Surrender post.  You'll have to actually follow the post back to my source to fully see what I'm talking about.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.  Thank you for listening to my ranting and raving!

Sweet Surrender

A few months ago, when I was feeling at my lowest and most pathetic. Post back surgery, feeling worthless, in constant pain. Not as bad as others have felt, but it’s all relative, isn't it?

I asked my wife why she loved me, why I was worth being with.  She didn't respond right away.

Instead, the next day, she gave me this song from John Denver.

One of the best gifts I've ever been given.  It gives me strength.

I don't know the "right" version on YouTube for this song... even if I find one today, my flavor preference may change. I have not found the one I want yet.

For now, it is enough that John Denver wrote and performed this song, and my wife shared it with me when I needed it most.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dear Christians...

Dear Christians:

God here.

Are you really so small-minded that the concept of a 13,700,000,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the actions and thoughts of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is not utterly ludicrous?

Look, if I did exist, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Greco-Roman mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was compiled with certain writings included and others excluded, nor how it has been edited over the centuries, yet you cite it for the most extraordinary of supernatural claims.

Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Japanese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.

Fifthly, in the same vein, I would not make about 5% of the human population gay, and then punish them for being that way. In fact, I wouldn’t care about how humans have sex at all, given that I created all of the millions upon millions of species on the planet, all of whom are furiously reproducing all the time. Human sex would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Has it ever occurred to you that your obsession with making rules around human sex is an entirely human affair?

Sixth, I would have smitten all you Christian activists, and all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric even for a sick, sadistic bastard like me to contemplate).

Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. (Never mind the pesky devout Muslims who pray five times per day... they're worse than telemarketers!)  This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you cringed in fear during the Dark Ages and thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

Move on – get over me. I did.


(Not entirely my original work... I found it a while back somewhere in my random travels about the web. I only cleaned it up, added a few sentences, corrected a few errors and added a photo & video. -- Sam)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Forget the Birds... Let's Talk About Bees

This might be one of my more convoluted posts. We’ll see, I’m just gonna write and not edit a whole lot.

Hang on.

Time magazine is running a cover story about the demise of honey bees.  There are stories of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in which bees seem to simply disappear from their hives. Theories are bee mites, pesticides, and stresses to the bees from mobile pollination programs.  Some even say cell phones & towers play a role.  I don’t know the answer, I don’t even know the right questions.  All the way back into the late 80s & early 90s, my ex-father-in-law (RIP, who kept some bees) talked about mites & such.  Not a new phenomenon, perhaps bees are like a “canary in the coal mine” signaling our pending demise.

Whether you believe in a god or not... they are incredible and amazing creatures.

Debate that all you want, I am not an alarmist. I don’t think the world is coming to an end.  We grow food to feed people. We need bees to pollinate our crops. To pollinate without natural bees is going to be difficult, so we may need more bees, or less people to feed.  The bee “die-off” may be real, or it may be media sensationalism.

I don’t advocate killing people, and anyone who does is Hitler’s bed-buddy in hell. (Or imaginary hell, since I’m an atheist heathen.)  And I’m not writing this post to provide a bee solution. Rather, I’m writing to approach the problem from the other end.

It’s interesting how population curves change. Generally, in the Western world, they are tapering off. It seems that as people, women specifically, become more educated and have access to birth control, they have fewer children. (Gasp!)

Here, I’m going to rail against a couple of organized religions, and this is at least partly to blame for my heathen atheist beliefs. (Should it be heathen atheist or atheist heathen?  I think perhaps the latter due to alphabetization, but I’m not sure theologically?)

I find it difficult, nay, impossible, to believe that a supreme being, a creator, could want us to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28) to the point that we can’t feed, clothe and nourish our own. Or prevent wars, epidemics, and famine. Does the god of Genesis think so much of himself and so little of children that he must smite them, to allow them to suffer and die in agony, to demonstrate his imagined glory?

Anyway, the Roman Catholic Church is low hanging fruit, and easy to pick on.  But that church has yet to renounce its opposition to birth control. Condoms, pills, abortion, what have you. You get knocked up, you have the kid. No matter if you can feed them, clothe them, you did the deed, we wouldn't let you prevent it, your genitals are ours, so now deal with it. And maybe we’ll help you. If we can, but you gotta become a member of our club.  Renounce your own beliefs… you gotta be one of us, and after we're finished paying for our cathedrals and communion biscuits, we’ll see if we can help you.  Oh, and you're going to hemorrhage to death during birth? So sorry... but at least you died (waving fist pump...) for the cause!

(Full disclosure... I was raised as a protestant... so I'm already going to imaginary hell according to traditional Roman Catholics. So I might as well laugh at the Pope's hat.)

Magnificent human folly... cathedrals, forts, castles, big guns of battle, ships, instruments of religion and war... sometimes both.  Renaissance art, Gothic cathedrals... stained glass, I've seen them.  Perhaps they pushed us ahead in some manner, artistically, culturally. But I wonder if the money would not have been better spent on that poor woman struggling to bear and raise her kids?

 Magnificent Cathedral at Cologne, Germany... been there!
Interior of Cathedral in Luxembourg, been there too!

Abortion? Well, I personally am anti-abortion. So is my new wife. Even though we're both in our late 40s as I write this, we've agreed that if she (we) became pregnant, the baby would be carried to term. But I am also pro-choice, meaning that just because I feel that way doesn't mean you have to agree with me. I wish no one had to endure an abortion, but accidents happen, birth control fails, economics dictate, and finally… who am I to say that a woman’s uterus be commandeered for 9 months due to the beliefs or myself, or someone else?  Any woman is so much more than an incubator.

Islam? I am not a scholar of any religion, but orthodox Muslims seem to believe women to be chattel.  (Ring a bell, American slavery scholars? Easier to control ignorant masses…) And you certainly don’t want to educate your property. In fact, women are a commodity to be collected, depending on the belief and tradition… wow… I’m so glad I’m not a polygamist Muslim (or any polygamist, for that matter… the women I care about want attention, and sometimes I just want to BE ALONE and so do they!)

What DO I advocate?  I advocate for the liberation and empowerment of girls and women.  And boys & men.  What does that mean?  Well, for starters, every girl & woman should be able to study any career (and advance) in which she is qualified.  Women are approximately 50% of the brain power on this planet, to disavow is foolish, yet so many female voices and minds are unheard, and left behind.  Many in Western culture, and the numbers increase in the developing world, in my opinion.

(I've always heard that we use a small percentage of our mind, the numbers vary, say 20%?  But on a global scale...on the scale of humanity,  I think it's absolutely true, perhaps even less.)

Imagine where we as a race or species could be if each mind were allowed to develop free of cultural or sexual stereotypes, if each mind were allowed to soar, male and female ...


I likewise think it should be OK for a man to be a stay-at-home parent. Social norms dictate otherwise in Western culture… but that should not be up to me.  It is up to each person or couple to decide their roles, and there is nothing wrong with upsetting the apple cart.

I’m running out of steam here… can we just say that an educated woman is an empowered woman? And that every woman should be educated? And if she chooses to have zero kids, or somewhere above… why is that tragic?

I’d actually like to see the population curve head downward… But I may not see that anytime soon. I understand the desire to reproduce, nature has instilled that into us, or god if you so believe. 

As of right now, if each couple had only two kids, the population curve would instantly flatten. Add in mortality, war, disease, infertility, the curve would head downward. I myself came from a family of five kids, my grandmother of over one dozen. So I don’t fault anyone for their family size, and if some choose to have similar sizes, while others have none… I am not judging. I think it will average out.

Back to my earlier point.  Education is power. Educated people (specifically women) tend to have fewer children.  Note I said “tend to.” That does not mean an individual woman with a PhD can’t be like the Old Woman in the Shoe.  But I’d like to see one interviewed, because I think that’s a rare instance.

(Woman + Education + Access to Birth Control = Fewer People to Feed) = Less Need for Bees

Which hopefully leads to Nature finding equilibrium without the need for pesticides.

How was that for a ride?

(Hope you've hung on… this was typed late at night and early in the morning after an evening at a local bluegrass fest.)

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I Should Have This Luck with the Lottery... (Part 1)

What are the odds?

I couldn't find my flip-flops, too lazy to put on a shirt, unshaven, eyes squinty in the bright sunlight, hair uncombed.

My lawn needs to be mowed, cars need to be washed... etc.

Just a few minutes ago, I went down my driveway to check the mail, and here comes the Google camera car.  Up the hill, I saw it and silently said "Aw, shit..."  Then it pauses at the intersection and turns down my street.

I'm on a dead-end street that was already imaged a few years ago, but apparently it needed to be again.


Oh well… at least I did put on shorts rather than walking down in my undies.  What a way to be semi-immortalized...

Update Nov 16, 2013:  It went live... (groan)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Golden Country

One of my favorite songs by REO Speedwagon, written by Gary Richrath:

Golden country your face is so red 
With all of your money your poor can be fed 
You strut around and you flirt with disaster 
Never really carin' just what comes after 
Well your blacks are dyin' but your back is still turned 
And your freaks are cryin' but your back is still turned 
You better stop your hidin or your country will burn 
The time has come for you my friend 
To all this ugliness we must put an end 
Before we leave we must make a stand 

Mortgage people you crawl to your homes 
Your security lies in your bed of white foam 
You act concerned but then why turn away 
When a lady was raped on your doorstep today? 
Well your blacks are cryin' but your back is still turned 
And your freaks are dyin' but your back is still turned 
You better stop your hidin or your country will burn 
The time has come for you my friend 
To all this ugliness we must put an end 
Before we leave we must make a stand, oh yeah...... 


Golden country your face is so red 
With all of your money your poor can be fed 
You strut around and you flirt with disaster 
Never really carin' just what comes after 
Well your blacks are dyin' but your back is still turned 
And your freaks are cryin' but your back is still turned 
You better stop your hidin' or your country will burn 
The time has come for you my friend 
To all this ugliness we must put an end 
Before we leave we must make a stand 


Sunday, August 4, 2013


E Pluribus Unum 

"Out of many, One"

That is the motto of the United States of America.  Many states, one Nation.

I won't get into the debate of Federalism vs States' rights.... that's for another more lengthy and academic post.

Rather, I'll posit this concept:  We have a process for states to JOIN the U.S. of A, but is our only way of secession the bloody mechanism of civil war?

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

That's from a wise man named Thomas Jefferson, a fellow Virginian and one of my personal heroes.  You know, author of The Declaration of Independence? (From which I quoted, btw)

We have cleanly admitted 37 states into the union beyond the original thirteen.  It is apparently a one-way street.

What is missing?  Even Czechoslovakia managed to devolve into the Czech Republic and Slovakia without civil war. And most can't even spell either.

I do not advocate the dissolution of the U.S. of A.  Most citizens probably want to remain a part, no matter how messed up or abhorrent our Federal system seems at times.

But shouldn't all the options be on the table? Always?

Northern Ireland

I don't pretend to know the entire history of the land.

I don't know who did what to whom, or when.

I do know there are people who feel oppressed, and others who feel threatened.  I worked with British soldiers who served in Northern Ireland, and I felt their pain.  Protestants, Catholics... I don't have the answer.  If you want to worship a purple furry rhinoceros, I don't really care.

Get together.  Have a barbecue, a few drinks, some potato salad. No weapons, just sit and talk.  You may find that you have more in common than different.

I don't mean to trivialize the struggle... but please... quit killing each other.

Zombie... zombie... zombie... doing the same thing over and over...

In your head, in your head...

Another head hangs lowly,
Child is slowly taken.
And the violence caused such silence,
Who are we mistaken?

But you see, it's not me, it's not my family.
In your head, in your head they are fighting,
With their tanks and their bombs,
And their bombs and their guns.
In your head, in your head, they are crying...

In your head, in your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie,
Hey, hey, hey. What's in your head,
In your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie?
Hey, hey, hey, hey, oh, dou, dou, dou, dou, dou...

Another mother's breakin',
Heart is taking over.
When the vi'lence causes silence,
We must be mistaken.

It's the same old theme since nineteen-sixteen.
In your head, in your head they're still fighting,
With their tanks and their bombs,
And their bombs and their guns.
In your head, in your head, they are dying...

In your head, in your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie,
Hey, hey, hey. What's in your head,
In your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie?
Hey, hey, hey, hey, oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, hey, oh, ya, ya-a...

Things have calmed... but the tinderbox remains. Please be at peace, people.

Facebook Friends into the Vapors

OK, Facebook friends. Here’s the deal:

The other night I received a couple of game requests from a Facebook “friend” I don’t even know in real life. That person is now vaporized into the virtual stratosphere. I went a little over the edge, but I’m back now.

I am not leaving Facebook. Particularly since my back surgery in February, I have found it a good way to connect with people I haven’t seen or heard from in ages. I've been more house-bound than I would like to be. I’m also about 2,500 miles away from the place I grew up, now living in Eastern Washington. (The state, not D.C.) Habit. Seems I have to clarify that more often than I should.

There is an ad on TV, I can’t remember for what, maybe an internet service, in which someone talks about having 2000 Facebook friends. What a bunch of virtual tripe.

There are many ways to measure your success in life. I do not consider the QUANTITY of Facebook friends to be among them. Rather, I consider the QUALITY of real friends to be a better measure.

I am downsizing. I want my Facebook friends to more closely mirror my real-life friends.

I’d like to get a private message or e-mail from you every now and then. If you want my postal mailing address or real (non-Facebook) e-mail address, please send me yours. I may actually get off my ass and send out more Christmas cards this year.

If you want to, subscribe to my blog. (The one you're reading now) From now on, I’m primarily using that as an outlet for my ranting and raving, rather than Facebook.

(Heck, send me your e-mail, I’ll subscribe you… all you’ll have to do is confirm.)

I don’t play Facebook games, I don’t do Candy Crush Saga, Farmville or Mafia Wars. I’m one of the few humans on the planet that has never watched an episode of Survivor or American Idol. (I've actually pretty much sworn off the 4 major networks because of the garbage they air.) There are some good shows too, but I can either time-shift them, or catch them in syndication. The networks are circling the drain, in my view.

So that’s it in a nutshell. I’m not going away, but if I don’t find you to be a real-life friend, you may find yourself vaporized from my list.

You will be judged by this atheist and cast into the pit of virtual oblivion.

Hugs & kisses!

The Sounds of Silence

"Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.

..... "

The words...

"Fools" said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach out you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence."

"The Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel

Sometimes I think of silent voices.  In some ways, they scream at me.

I think of those voices silenced by war or disease in the past.  I think of those who were silenced by World War I & II, other wars in the 20th century. Korea, Vietnam... futility. If only a despot had been silenced before millions of others had to be...


One voice does not equal one voice.  One voice touches others and fine tunes them, or begats other voices.

Think about it. It is exponential, and will blow your mind with human futility if you really delve into the inner reaches.

The kid killed by the stray bullet as she did her homework in the ghetto. The young guy riding on a convoy in Afghanistan, blown away by an IED, but was working on his college degree. The young sailor at the bottom of the Pacific, who wanted to come back and marry his sweetheart and raise a family. He and his progeny are forever silent. Maybe he would have been "only" a janitor, but even if so, what could his children have done? And his grand children?

I wonder what any one of them could have directly or indirectly contributed to the pool of human knowledge? How many could have contributed to a cure for cancer? Or the common cold, or genital herpes or warts? Been the next Stephen Hawking or Carl Sagan.  Every mind lost is a tremendous loss to the human race.

I don't just think of death. I also think of  people whose minds were never given wings through education, were never allowed to take flight and lift us all. Women, girls, the poor, the downtrodden, the sick, African-Americans, Native Americans, the minds left behind because they didn't measure up to someones version of "right."

A rising tide lifts all boats. We should all be bailing water INTO the harbor. As a people we are not sinking, but we should be riding the waves much higher than we currently do.

Of course, some voices are evil. We can never know in advance. But most are voices for good... None should be silenced prematurely, at random, and without due process.

Every life is precious.

"No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee."

John Donne (1572 - 1631)

In other words, any loss is a loss to the whole. And when the bell tolls, it is because part of you has died also. We trivialize life... but we shouldn't. Even the lowest amoeba is a miracle of the universe, and given the infinity of evolution, perhaps much more than the mind of a human being.

How many times have we rebooted evolution with a tablespoon of bleach?

Think of the impact a single voice has had. Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Fleming, Louis Pasteur, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ghandi. Then think of the ripples throughout time those voices have left.

Of course voices can also leave negative tracks in time… but who is to know?

Silent voices. I wonder what they sound like...?


I posted this on Facebook a while back, I'm now bringing it back from my own archives, and your perusal.


Do I trust millions of American citizens to own firearms?



Most people are inherently good, or at least not evil.

I invite you to consider this analogy.

The next time you are driving on a non-divided, two-lane highway at speed (55 – 60 MPH), think about that car hurtling toward you at a similar speed. The oncoming driver might be mentally ill, hell-bent on suicide. Or intoxicated. Or fatigued. Or texting on their mobile device. Or simply incompetent. The list can go on. There are many reasons and examples of why a motor vehicle might cross the center line, and as a driver or passenger, you are mere seconds from oblivion and annihilation. And that’s not even considering mechanical issues, and also assuming YOU are not the “offender.” How many of “those” people do you pass every day on your way to work or the grocery store? Count the vehicles some day, then find a statistical model and apply it to your numbers. 1% intoxicated? 10%? I don’t know the exact amount, and it varies by time and day of the week… but it can get scary really fast.

Yet none of us seem to worry too much about that. We place a lot of faith in fellow drivers, even though motor vehicle fatalities are high on the list of reasons of “how people die” in the USA.

Thousands of motor vehicle accidents, thousands of fatalities. Your odds of being a victim of a “nut” with a firearm are much lower than being the victim in some sort of motor vehicle accident.

How many people do you know who have been involved or injured by motor vehicle incidents, vs how many people do you know who have been victims of firearm incidents?

Think about it and try to put it into perspective.

Now who is the nut?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Why would you ever buy something with SHAM as part of the product name?


And the Jizzle:

You need to know your options.  After all, $20 per month on paper towels can bankrupt you!

Friday, August 2, 2013

New Ammo...

For my fully automatic, belt-fed ass-ault weapon?

Can you guess the characteristics of the weapon into which these rounds will be loaded?  I'm not talking about the stray brass around the belt...

If so, maybe you'll win a prize!  (Doubtful, but maybe I'll tell you how smart your are.)

Or maybe I'll just laugh at you and poke you with sticks through the bars of the cage I keep you in.

Who knows?

Nanny State = Brave New World

Whenever I hear the latest news of a particular figure, political, religious or otherwise, attempting to impose their will on myself and others, I am reminded of so many things.  The book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury spring to mind foremost.  Two different stories, with similar themes. If you want to see a possible future version of the U.S.A., or the world, please read them.  Today's science fiction is tomorrow's science fact. Except both of those are not just science fiction. They are also social commentaries. And we are headed there.

Brave New World touches on genetic engineering, social detachment, and controlling the masses with drugs. Fahrenheit 451 focuses on censorship, but again on social detachment... the protagonist Montag's wife is drug addled and addicted to watching and interacting with "The Family" on the telescreens surrounding her... a precursor to reality TV.

So when I hear about San Francisco banning McDonalds "Happy Meals" or New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg's latest assault on individual liberty... my blood boils.

I'll pick on Bloomberg for now, but as the motto of my home state of Virginia says "Sic Semper Tyrannis."
"Thus Always to Tyrants"

Bloomberg and his ilk scare me.  Not the "I can't sleep, give me a hug" and "What's under the bed?" kind of scare me... but "Where and when are you going to stop?" kind of scare me.

I don't know everything Bloomberg has his political and sociological hooks into, but he is far overreaching his authority, and his positions undermine individual liberty. Doesn't matter if you agree with him or not. Sooner or later, he will likely want to slaughter one of your sacred cows. Because he's smart, rich, and knows what's best.

I am a grown adult, have raised two kids that I am proud of... but I still don't always know what's best. It's part of the human experience.  So how the hell can someone who doesn't know me AT ALL know what's best for me?  Or you?

I think of Bloomberg, (I'm surprised I haven't found this as a meme online more often) and am reminded of the 1993 movie Demolition Man with Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and the then newly minted Sandra Bullock.

(Bit of trivia here... Not many picked up on this, Sandra Bullock's character was named Lenina Huxley.  That's a direct tribute to Brave New World, which I've read several times.  The protagonist, John Savage's, mother was named Lenina... and the author was Aldous Huxley.  Thus Lenina Huxley.)

Onward with Demolition Man... the simple synopsis is that there is a god-like post-apocalyptic savior of us all from ourselves, in the form of Dr. Raymond Cocteau. The world has become a milquetoast version of itself, with police not carrying weapons, fining for "profanity" and Taco Bell being the only survivor of fast-food wars and serving lettuce pellets or some crap like that.

(Ask yourself... do you like lettuce pellets? I don't, no matter how much hot sauce you put on them.)

Watch the movie if you want... it's got action and violence (what do you expect from Stallone?) and is not bad entertainment. But the social message is far more powerful, in my mind.

Also ask yourself... if you're in San Francisco, and your kids want a Happy Meal, shouldn't you be able to get one?

And then ask yourself... in New York City, if you want the 22 or 36 oz (I don't even know the sizes... you're just asking, remember?) Slurpee®... who am I to tell you that you can't have one?

Forget tobacco.  (Bloomberg is working his way against it, BTW.) I'm not even a smoker and find myself siding with smokers lately!

Forget gun rights. (Bloomberg is trying... and I hope he fails... miserably, even though New York already has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the U.S.A.)

Tangent alert:  Bloomberg's group is called MAIG (Mayors Against Illegal Guns)  Guess what?  I'm an NRA member, and I'm against ILLEGAL guns too! (gasp!) Mr. Mayor has a hidden agenda, however. He wants to keep firearms out of the hands of as many people as possible. Of course, in a Utopian world with no guns, there would be no gun violence. But putting guns back into the secret treasure chest of Pandora is like putting drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes back.  It ain't gonna happen.

So where does Mr. Mayor stop?  He wants his Senators and Representatives to carry his social control virus to Washington D.C.  He may even run for President again. If so, I hope he doesn't make it out of the primaries.

I don't want a 32 oz Slurpee® but if you want one, I want you to have it.

I've posted it before, and will again. This is a clip of the anti-hero Denis Leary from the aforementioned Demolition Man, when he finally confronts Stallone and his "good guys."

A little more reading, if you wish:

Is Mayor Bloomberg Pushing Us Towards a Dark Future?

I was at a pet store yesterday. I watched the hamsters, mice, gerbils and fish. They are all probably quite happy in their little glass enclosures. They have food, water, a place to sleep, someone cleans their waste, a wheel to exercise on.  What a life... all taken care of.  They may even imagine themselves free, for the glass gives an illusion of a bigger world.  They apparently don't have minds as we envision, otherwise we'd have hamsters with pitchforks and torches marching on the HQ of PetCo.

But is that the life you want to lead? My mind is infinite. I don't know everything, and never shall. But for someone to hobble me, physically or mentally is reprehensible.

The next step after Brave New World and Fahrentheit 451 is 1984.

Scary shit.

If you don't wake up, then you have reason to be afraid, for your freedom at least. And I'm not going to come and look under your bed for you.

The Way Things Are Done

One of my favorite allegories from my days of government service, particularly in the U.S. Air Force. But this applies to private companies too:


Start with 5 monkeys locked in a cage.

Hang a banana from the roof on a string and place a set of stairs under it.

Before long the monkeys will go to the stairs and start to climb toward the banana.

As soon as the first monkey touches the stairs, hose the other monkeys with cold water.

After a while another monkey makes an attempt with the same result. All the other are sprayed with cold water.

Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and goes to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm!

Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.

Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water.

Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.

Why not?

Because as far as they know that’s the way it’s always been done around here.

And that, my friends, is how company (or government agency) policy begins.

Now you know.