Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Sermon of the Storm

It is a drag not having any internet connection but it keeps me dealing with reality. And reality this last week was the storm of the decade. See, the ice storm of December '08 sounded horrible, but it wasn't a storm as much as a bad combination of weather events. This thing that rolled up the coast two days ago was a monster on wheels. Every tree that survived the '08 ice storm fell down the other night, including this fir tree that had been in my neighbor's front yard since I was a young pup playing whiffle ball. If anyone wants some free wood, bring a chain saw and have at it!

I drove home from Greenland and passed many trees on the ground. Power was out. For a moment I was living in my energy neutral utopia and then power came back on and the fry vats at McDonalds started to warm up. The oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia breathed a sigh of relief.
So I played some chess and got beaten badly until I pulled off this incredible come from behind victory. Observe I have two bishops and a queen and managed to check mate the computer with just the bishop and the queen. I was down to my very last move. It was a brief moment of vindication after getting beaten so many times.

When I sobered up enough to drive I went over to my buddy Nick's place and he insisted we drive down to Gloucester for a hamburger. I agreed and we ended up at 5 guys, a fast food style old school burger joint that gave free peanuts at the door and service with a smile. The burgers are all double patties unless you specifically ask for a junior burger. The fries are fresh cut and as big and plentiful as you would ever want. I stuffed my face with a double burger and grilled onions and tomato and fries and peanuts.
This is Nick's 2nd burger. Observe the double patties. He said, "I didn't drive all the way down here for one burger."
I could barely finish my meal.

Similarities abound to my favorite joint in L.A. In N Out Burger. The service and style were very similar. The Five Guys burger was more expensive at $5 compared to $2.49 and the fries were also about twice the price so I paid something like $10 for a burger and fries that was a round trip of about 100 miles from my house. Feel free to point out that this is insane.

Now for the real reason I'm writing today: A man sitting behind me at the burger place with his kid gave a lecture to her when she brushed all the peanut shells onto the ground. A few of my friends are parents now and what parent couldn't relate to this? I mean, even through peanut shells are meant to end up on the ground, it is still a bit of etiquette to get the majority of them to the trash. Most of my shells ended up stuck to my cashmere sweater. And the lesson here is the father was taking a moment to teach the kid to not leave trash all over the place. Anything wrong with that? This parallels with a lesson I was considering about parents trying to get their kids to eat all their food or be polite or not behave like barbarians. Well, I happen to agree with these lessons. But something has gone horribly horribly wrong in the transition from child to adult. See, America is 14 trillion dollars in debt. That's $14,000,000,000,000.
So, any wealth you think you see is like rouge on a transvestite hooker working the Tenderloin in S.F. You think you are going to get a budget hand job and all of a sudden you've got a man dick in your mouth.
My point is that America is worse than flat broke. The Man in the Van is flat broke. That's not unusual. No, America is $14 trillion in debt. It means we are paying for things like social security and schools with counterfeit money. I'm no economist, but anyone who tells you that being $14 trillion in debt is a natural and necessary means of civilized commerce IS A COMPLETE FUCKING ASSHOLE!

See, the comparison I would like to make is for all those parents out there. You have a sit down dinner with salad and some bread rolls and spaghetti. Yum! Your ideal situation is for your son and daughter to eat with some kind of respect and dignity. Now please imagine this scenario: Your son kneels on the table and scrapes all the food off your daughter's plate WITH HIS PENIS. Then he eats it all AND KILLS YOUR DAUGHTER. He proceeds to walk over to your plate and throw everything OUT THE WINDOW. Then he goes to your husband's plate and PISSES AND SHITS ON THE FOOD. Then he goes into the kitchen where HE BLOWS THE REFRIGERATOR UP.

Amused? Proud? Loving?

Well, maybe I'm wrong, but this is basically how I see the collective global conduct of Americans. $14 trillion in debt, obese, the #1 polluter, waging wars overtly and covertly WITH MONEY THAT DOESN'T EXIST. I'm frankly horrified. Ideologically, America is a complete mess. I don't know if the genius industrialist is, as Ayn Rand claims, generously pulling the common man out of the ignorant mud or if gigantic corporations have such a brilliant propaganda strategy that they make slavery appear to be a privilege. Either way, I'm gravely concerned.

God gives all things to industry. I think of that saying and the LaChance family in Quebec who embodied it perfectly. They are original pilgrims, uninfluenced by politics or the tides of power and prejudice. But how many families like that are there in the world? The family did not leave crumbs on floor of their kitchen or on the floor of the earth. God is their anchor. I would argue that nothing less spiritually proven than God can withstand the conflicting tides that are pulling at public opinion right now. Only because the idea of God has been misused so often am I a hesitant convert. Truly, nothing is sacred. The only port in the storm is the one you manufacture with a cold, selfish heart. Like the storm that came to town a few days ago, the winds will knock down trees and burn houses and blocks. What remains after such violence? The church within your soul. Call it whatever name you want but build that sanctuary strong. It's your only protection and it's the only thing that will last after the Tea Parties and the Republican Parties and the politics have been forgotten.
Emerson started out as a minister, a Unitarian Minister. Maybe that's what I will end up being, not for selfish reasons, but because propaganda must reach the masses in digestible formats. I will start my ministerial project on my 39th birthday, which is tomorrow. I don't want to be a leader of people, I want people to lead themselves. I'd rather play guitar and video games. But this essential truth can't be ignored, that storms can be caused by man or God and to protect yourself you must have a pure shelter, built not from the mortal bricks of media pundits but from the immortal blocks of spirit. This is at the heart of my campaign against Hannah Montana and her morally bankrupt clan. I have been through the wilderness and my opinion is this: you must begin to weave the protective chain mail of a strong spirit, and you must begin today if you will survive the coming storms. The pine tree in my lawn is a mere symbol of what happens to the spiritually insecure man. Your roots must go deep and no one can tell you how they grow.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dog proof locks?

It's official, these black antiqued door latches are not only functionally useless and ugly and presumptuous on a house with skylights, but they are completely dog friendly. It's like, the dog merely had to lick the latch and it opened a cornucopia of trash and tasty morsels I had thrown away.

And since she had filled her belly up prematurely she had to relieve herself on the carpet.
All this while I was downtown at the Press Room singing Tom Waits songs. I did a whole set on piano there since I had forgotten my guitar. I sang "Rosie" by Jackson Browne. "Hit The Road Jack" by Ray Charles (I'm learning his "Hallelujah, I love her so") and then this song by Tom Waits that I don't know the name of but it goes, "I had me a girl in L.A. I knew she couldn't stay", and so on through all the towns in America. Well, I'm no Romeo but I like the song and I sort of dedicate it to the women I've known in almost all the states and Canada and Mexico. And the chorus is nice, "The doctor said I'll be alright, but I'm feeling blue." I had the room going crazy as I improvised the entire thing. "I had me a girl in Texas...she had a nice ass." I meant to record it but It'll have to wait.

This is after Bonnie hit the water bong with me...

She does look terrified, but it's those gigantic eyes. She always looks observant and alarmed. We were at Rye Beach in the wind. I myself was a bit terrified and cold in the hostile environment. She is looking back at our car wondering when her real owners would return and end this horrible nightmare.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An expensive day

All the money I made yesterday was wasted today on a parking ticket in downtown Portsmouth. Just trying to buy some beads and hemp for necklaces and the damn ticket cops must've been prowling every two minutes because I didn't leave the car unattended for 300 seconds and I find it cost me $10 to park there. I didn't even see the meter because the spot in front of me didn't have one and the meter for my space was way behind me like in front of the car behind me. Damn them!

I sat in Labor Ready and watched Hot Shots I, the worst piece of crap spoof movie ever. Oh, I hated it. Never mind that Valeria Golino reminds me of a certain someone in Mexico.
And no tickets came in so we talked about monkfish some more.

Then downtown where everything was closed except the damn ticket cops.
Then a chat with the seacoast's finest premium ticket salesmen who were kind enough to buy me lunch while I cleaned their parking lot.
Then a chat with the folks at the Edgewood Nursing Home where I want to play 1940s swing piano for those still living. I believe all four of my grandparents spent some time there and three of them breathed their last breaths there. I'll bring Castalia too.
Speaking of the dog, I took her out to New Castle and could not find a single place to legally walk her. I didn't push my luck since the law was obviously not on my side today.

Here's a picture a buddy from Mexico sent me from my Ciao Molino days. This was the last performance.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Exhaustion...the alternative to pondering life's mysteries.

I wonder, is this how normal people feel at the end of the day? How do we go on? I don't know.
It's been a tornado of activity since I left that bleak mill town called Laconia.
I packed my gear and cleaned the room. I wonder, the room stank like musty old dirty boxer shorts for the three months I lived there. Guess what I found underneath the box spring?

Yes, a pair of boxer shorts, marine blue. OR aqua? gross! But there's no looking back. I split Laconia and made it to Portsmouth in time to pick up a buddy and his nuclear family at Logan airport and then...I went and picked up my new best friend...

She's has the greatest peripheral vision possible. 360 degrees

Bonnie is what they call her but since she is deaf and temporarily mine I will call her Castalia, after the fabled civilization in The Glass Bead Game. She gets me up EARLY. And we walk the cold streets. I say, "If you don't shit soon, I'm gonna take a dump behind that car." She ignores me because she can not hear.

I find it hard to believe dog owners do this routinely in the winter, but it must be so. Of course, I live on the third floor and must walk on these outside stairs and Castalia REFUSES to walk up or down these stairs. So guess who's an elevator to a struggling King Charles Spaniel? Oggy!
I carry her up and I carry her down. Now, that is unusual. She dislikes it to the point where there are claw scratches on the wood deck from when I drag her over the precipice.

And then, since I was up at an ungodly hour of 7 am I decided to head on down to my local day labor hall since they treated me so good a few months ago and sent me to rebuild Poco Diablos. Remember that? What would they have me do today? Break more rock?

No, I went to a moving/storage facility, a "Cross Dock" as they call it in the industry of shipping and commerce. It's where those fancy cabinets you ordered from Lowes arrive with hundreds of other cabinets. And we separate them out for the individual cargo shippers (truckers) who will get it to the specific spot, even a private home (UPS). So these container trucks full of boxes arrive, we unload and sort them, scan them, and they return into another container and are shipped out. All day, every day, thousands and thousands of boxes. I worked with a commercial fisherman named Jeff who was just saving money to take the bus to Jersey to do what he really does which is catch monkfish.
"You hit 'em with a hammer when they come out of the net. Big old ugly bottom feeder. Delicacy in Korea."
"A fucking hammer? They bite?"
"They got hundreds of teeth. You hit 'em with a 15 pound mallet. We let one grab a line and hung it up for twenty minutes before it let go. I found one with a license plate inside it. That's creatures of the deep type shit."
He showed me chewed hands like claws of a wolverine. Here's a pic of a monkfish...I wonder if they do tours where you go out with them and then do battle with the monkfish using a mallet? Something like this really should be left alone at the bottom of the ocean. Leave it in peace. No good can come from disturbing this creature.

His ex-"old lady" had taken the truck and his heart and the gossip is she's quite the booze hound. So he's got nothing left here.
"8 Years. That's enough."
And we milked that work ticket for $50+ and then I sped home and dropped Jeff off at the tavern for a drink while I went back to get Castalia out of the house before she pissed on the carpet. That didn't happen but she did tear up something that I didn't inspect. Then I gave her a free ride down five flights of stairs and off the to dog park!
Then a tour of the town.
"What a pretty dog. What's her name?"
"Castalia. I named her after the utopia in the Glass Bead Game. Where they refine the spirit and not the heavy metals. See, Steve Jobs is a gargoyle and..."

Then back home where the day caught up with me. I don't sleep until normally 4 am. Last night I was in bed around midnight and this morning it was no earlier than 7 when I was dressed and active. I just made it to the library to change my address and email a guy selling a cherry barn find CB 550, my dream bike. I told him I'd do anything for it but I'm making $50 a day so, come on. Give a guy a break!

I do want to recommend my new favorite sub shop. Suds and Soda, an old school deli with pickles and chips kind of place in Greenland. I've lived here many years and don't remember eating a sub there. I think I considered Greenland subs beneath me in 1988. I was so bourgeois. Today, I walked into a dusty time warp when I went there on my 15 minute break from lugging boxes of freight.
"What you want, honey?"
"You got meatball subs?"
"Showah. Whatevah ya want." (They had fresh lasagna in a pan)
"I want one with the cheese."
"Ok, hon."

She gave me a sausage and pepper and onion sub instead that was delicious. (I should've been suspicious when she asked if I wanted mustard.) I'm definitely going back for the meatball sub.

A big guy walked in and bought a salad and some scratch tickets.
"What ya doin', Teddy, watchin' ya figuah?"
They all laughed.
I thought, here, I'm almost a contributing member of society. I'm telling you, dear reader, I almost got tears in my eyes because I was working again, moving cabinets and shelves and mattresses and buying (could afford) a sub sandwich in Greenland, NH with money I was making and a dog was waiting for me at home and if I wanted a bag of chips then, by god, I could buy any bag I wanted! Even the biggest bag they had. And a can of iced tea! And I threw that empty can in the garbage boxes we made that literally were so plentiful that they would fill numerous gigantic shipping containers. I mean, these boxes of trash were twenty feet high. We needed pallet jacks to move them. And me and Jack worked those hand trucks and tossed shit around, "Where this one going?"
"Is it an A?"
"Naw, a B"
"Row 10."
"10's full."
"Then stack 'em against the wall."
And off I'd go with food in my belly, breaking a sweat, my back aching, a paper cut bleeding on my finger.
And Jeff was on his cigarette break and two guys were driving forklifts around expertly turning backwards and around obstacles, swearing, "Aw go to hell!"

This is life, I thought, yes, it's insane that the world would ever need this many pressboard kitchen cabinets but this is the real world of meatball subs and cheese and dogs walking and errands and scratch tickets and picking up friends at the airport with baby car seats and stuffed birds and diapers. Ah, this is madness but it IS overwhelming. My whole invulnerable philosophy is defeated by a simple sausage sandwich at Suds and Soda. I was humbled and exhausted today. My body merely survived the effort and tomorrow I get to do it again. There were flags all over the place, waving in my face, reminding me of my birth. I heard on the radio a story on nanotechnology, carbon charged fabrics, that will be the future battery. We will solve the energy crisis and it will be too late for some wolves but it will not be too late for some humans. We will have our cake and eat it too, it seems. OR some of us will. Not the Vietnamese or Mexicans or Indians or Chinese. No, they will never survive the resource shortage, but many many Americans will live and watch movies like Rush Hour 2 (it was on at the Labor Hall this morning) on energy neutral televisions. This is a guarantee.
And thus I see the finish line. I have found my formative dichotomy, the dichotomy that all writers must have if they are to write works of substance. It is this: The refinement of the spirit or the refinement of the environment. Hesse, had his spirit/flesh dichotomy that is the essence of his work, the fulcrum his characters balanced on. Now I have mine. Because though I believe the future holds a way to reclaim the energy now lost in mountains of trash, I must recognize that there is more to life than energy, to resources. There is soul or something intangible in the sausage sub with provolone cheese at Suds and Soda in Greenland. I will investigate and develop this theory over many subs, for therein lies the answer.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kicking a Technogenetic Stud Horse

I know I said I would leave Steve Jobs alone but I just can't do it. SOMEONE HAS TO STAND UP TO THIS MONSTER!
He basically sees the world as incomplete without his devices. What kind of insane arrogance is that? Like all this mercury and gold WAS JUST WAITING for him to come along and refine it. Am I the only one who reads "The Glass Bead Game" and notices the absence of high tech devices? Castalia is like the opposite of Apple Corp. Castalia refines the man...always the man and the mind. Never the mercury. Fuck the mercury! I'll examine nothing before I examine myself. That's their motto. And it turns out that examining yourself, your worldview, your philosophy is enough for one life. There's no time for micro engineering. The violin, meditation, universal themes. The Apple approach to living is so completely backwards I can't believe it. I'm certain it represents a gross absence of spiritual reflection in our culture that we would find comfort and completion in highly refined electronics. I KNOW these are related. It's a surrogate spirituality and, as I've said before, Jobs is Guru. If only there were another planet to plunder! If only more than 20% of the earth was habitable! If only Jobs had a trace amount of self reflection!
Man, the chain of events to allow this catastrophe to happen is really incredible. I almost think someone planned it. Having Fox news, FOX NEWS, try to inform people??? Having a brand new nation be controlled by slave owning business owners from day 1 AND have access to almost all valuable natural resources. The only living model of sustainable living, a diverse, continent wide civilization, IS MASSACRED in less than 100 years from the country's birth AND ALL TRACE IS EXPUNGED FROM HISTORY! Did I mention FOX NEWS is a source of information?? I would trust Joseph Goebbels before I trusted Fox News. And yet, there they are running press releases for Apple Corp. Is this real? Is this some kind of dream? Is Fox News sponsored by Apple Corp? Only by a complete suppression of truth would Apple be allowed to operate. That's my role here. I have to get the truth out about what they are doing. Because it is one thing to just not tell the truth, but Fox News is actually promoting lies and disinformation and just useless gossip. That's their role. Someone probably mapped it out in a board room.

"Ok, Fox News will be the disinformation and propaganda specialists. We want lots and lots of celebrity gossip, lottery winners, lost cats, sports and commercials for our sponsors. CNN will pose as the in depth journalists but really they should just do product safety tests and exposes on teen prostitution. Better yet, lets get teen prostitutes to be anchor women. What? Is that too much?"

Oh, please let me be wrong about all this. I'd be glad if there were any evidence I'm wrong. How can I describe it? If Karl Rove can be so smart as to package a president out of a sub literate stock boy then you have to believe there are smart people out there doing things behind your back. There are pickpockets who steal your wallet and then there are the big thieves who steal cultures. The good ones do it without anyone noticing. You see...oh, wait, gotta go, The Simpsons are on!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chess: Board games for smart people.

I have overcome my computer solitaire addiction by replacing it with a more complicated and painful addiction called computer chess. The chess board I have is a computer and you follow the readout and put the computer's pieces where it wants them to go. You push down on the space to activate it and register that you have acted as the computer's arms. It's like playing a very very smart and quiet handicapped person.
The computer has 73 skill levels. I started out playing against 15 and would lose in a maximum of 11 moves. It was an absolute slaughter. Many many times at night I would scratch my head and look at the boards and mumble, "You dirty motherfucker. You think you're so smart. Never any mistakes for you. So superior. Oh, one day..."

so I finally figured out about the level thing and I put it on level 1 and the computer would just randomly move the rook back and forth for no reason. I beat his ass all over the place. Then up to level 2. He was a little more strategic but I still won every game.
then to level 3. It took some work to win but I could do it and I felt so good when the screen said "I lose"
I'd celebrate with a little dance.
then to level 4 which is actually a perfect pairing. I have to play my absolute best to beat him. If I make one or two mistakes I lose. But once I won two or three times in a row (without using the 'take back' feature) I moved up to level 5.
Level 5 has me weeping like a little child. My blood pressure goes up when seemingly by magic EVERY SQUARE I WANT TO MOVE TO IS COVERED. That's the dirty trick. The computer won't put you in jeopardy every move, but it will work it so you can't move without a rain of terror falling on your head. So then I think, "I'll just move this innocent pawn. Nothing bad will happen then. There is no...wha? What the fuck. You moved THERE? Why? I'll just...wha??? No!!!! THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO!
See, it's like after the first 5 opening move I am completely assaulted and attacked. I'm on the defense and nothing I can do stops the attack.
This last game I held on until I had a king and a pawn and he had a king and a knight and a pawn. I lost. That was as close as it got.
When I beat level 5 straight up it will be a miracle. Chess is such a weird thing because how do you get better? I can't get any smarter but there are so many options to choose from and the computer always pics the right one and I always pick the wrong one. How do I get better? Lately, I just mirror the moves the computer makes...and I still lose. I'll play again in a minute. I can't be afraid. Level 73 must be hard.

Of course, moments after I typed that I decided to give level 73 a try. And I must've channeled Bobby Fisher because about 50 minutes later I queened a pawn and cornered the king. I think the battery was weak so it wasn't thinking clearly but I still had to play phenomenal chess. The trick was to be aggressive and take the pieces that he ordinarily abuses me with. But take them strategically. I might have used the take back button once. That's a good game of chess. I wonder if this has a replay function so I can post my win on a chess forum. grandmasters would probably say, what the hell kind of strategy is this? It's the man in the van strategy. I verbally abused the computer and played it when the battery was low. The X factor wins again!

I beat level 5 too! The computer's ego has been bruised.

midnight rant

A pointless rant that I thought had more of an uplifting message when I started. I keep thinking I'm going to look in the mirror and see no more grey in my beard. I mean, who doesn't do this? I think, today is the day I will wake up from this horrible nightmare that has me getting progressively, insidiously older and more frail. So I go to the bathroom and look and instead of less grey, I see more grey. I see grey beard hair, head hair (what's left of it) and chest hair. I found some white hair on my pillow. What skanky old woman was sleeping here? I thought... Wait, it's mine!
Oh, Christ!
So I thought, since this is unstoppable and everyone from Gary Cooper to Gandhi ended up dead I had better get fit and stay fit for as long as I can. Not because I think that will stave off death's cold hand, but because it is the only way to make life tolerable. God, I hate resembling characters in American Beauty. I'm sure having children is the best way to distract yourself from the crumbling infrastructure that is your body.
Am I the only one who has a hard time getting off the floor? Or am I the only one who falls down for no reason?
I sometimes think that I'll exert less energy and thus slow down the aging process. Like I'll meditate for the remainder of my life and thus stay young. Has anyone give this a try?
I guess listening to Kai Winding and Bert Kaempfert instrumentals from 1963 doesn't help. They're just so good! Someone go listen to Spanish Flea by Herb Alpert and keep their face from not smiling. Here, just try not smiling...

Since the music has no video you can read while you listen. Here's some inappropriate content to go along with the upbeat trumpet tune that summons another era...

The five popularized stages of death are:

Dabda is the Acronym. What's a good mnemonic?
Doesn't Anyone Buy Dildos Anymore?
Don't Ask Bobby Dylan Anything.
Dentists Are Better Drinking Anise
Death Always Beats Down Alcoholics

Make your own one up, it's fun!
So help me figure out what stage I'm in? I hear you say, "Oggy, you aren't dying." Then I would say you are in Denial. You are telling me that I'm not dying because you don't want to believe that YOU are dying. Then you would get Angry. Then you would try to reason with me (Bargaining). Then you'd get Depressed. Then you would Accept that we are both dying. I mean, seriously, look at yourself in the mirror. Take a good look. Does that look like someone who isn't dying? I didn't think so. ACCEPT IT.
I think my new get fit plan is really Bargaining. I'm trying to cheat death. "No, look. I'm serious about living now. Please. I want Mary back!" So I should just be a fat bastard? No! But I'm past the anger phase. And I'm not in denial like you.

Does anyone want to do radio theater with me? It's perfect for non actors or camera shy folk like myself. No improve, we'll just write out a script. Heck, we can start with my workday story. Or we'll do a funny one about death.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Father/Son Duo Fail to See Eye to Eye For Record 70th Year


93 year old Doug Mitchell and his son Lance proudly announced to the Indianapolis Sun that they have been at odds for 70 years.
“He says seventy, I say sixty-nine,” said Lance Mitchell, now 71 years old. “But who’s counting?”
“I am,” shouted Mitchell senior. “I’m counting and this all started in 1940 when you wouldn’t stop crying.”
“Whatever, pop. You know everything. You’re always right.”
“What? What did you say?”
“His hearing is going and so is his memory. Trust me.”
“Trust you? Like I trusted you with my car?”

The story goes that when a teenage Lance wanted to borrow his father’s 1950 Plymouth Sedan to take his friends to the quarry. He ran out of gas and the car ended up in a ditch.
“What did I tell you before you left?”
“To have a good time?”
“No, I said, ‘Make sure you fill her up.’ That’s what I said. Your mother even heard me. 'Fill her up.’”
Mabel Mitchell passed away in 2002 so she could not corroborate her husband’s claim.
“That’s bullshit! You don’t even know what you’re talking about. All day long, the bullshit just flies out of your mouth.”
“Bullshit? I’ll tell you what bullshit is. Your college degree. I tell him to go the Navy, to get into a trade and what does he do? Nothing. Just wastes his life.”
“I wouldn’t call a History degree from the University of Chicago doing nothing.”
“Of course you wouldn’t. You actually think it’s useful. He's proud of it.”

The two have been arguing about life choices, politics, religion, and sports longer than any father and son in history, shattering the previous record held by Tom Scheib and his son Tom Jr. of Schenectady N.Y. The Scheibs had been arguing for 58 years before Tom Jr. shot and killed his father in an argument over the proper way to change the oil in his truck.

“They didn’t have the endurance,” mused Lance Mitchell. “Most fathers and sons reach a status of quiet resentment. Like a truce. They will bitch to their respective spouses about each other but when they are in a room together they don’t argue. They don’t even speak except to say Merry Christmas or goodbye. If it weren’t for football most sons would completely disown their fathers. Me and dad aren’t like that. We’re not quitters.”
“So why did your marriage fail?”
“Pop, she died,” Lance explained. His wife Sherry passed away in 1997.
“Oh, you and your excuses. One after another. He’s got an answer for everything.”

Diane Belluci, author of Fathers and the Sons who Hate Them, said it is not unusual for fathers and sons to argue.
“This trademark of the male relationship has its roots in biology. The pack leader, the dominant male, must earn that position. When the breakdown in traditional communities and families occurred after the Second World War, males were left with the impotent positions of assembly and grunt work. The leadership roles that made this country great became archaic and males turned their aggression on each other.”
Belluci explained that record setting dysfunction like that of the Mitchell Duo is not to be admired.
“We can learn something from the petty, immature hell that rules their lives, but no one should seek to emulate their intolerable relationship. No. This is not a record to be proud of. They are an extremely unusual, maladaptive pair and they should get help immediately.”

“I’ll get help when Lance grows up,” declared Doug Mitchell. “Not one minute earlier.”
Lance rolled his eyes. “The problem is that I don’t like him. He’s got a big mouth. He doesn’t know when to shut up. From my choice in girlfriends to my preference for baseball over football, it’s always been a battle. He’s a product of his generation.”
“Baseball is for sissies...."
Doug Mitchell paused to suck oxygen from a home respirator. He has suffered from emphysema for a decade.
"If you like baseball then you’re a sissy.”
“Not everyone can be a longshoreman, dad.”
“That’s sissy talk,” Doug wheezed.
“Did you even know what was in those boats you worked on? Are you that ignorant?”
“I did my job. That’s all I did.”
“So you admit you’re ignorant.”
“I admit you’re an idiot. Why can’t you be like your brother?”
Lance's older brother Tim has been estranged for 20 years.
"We think he's in jail," said Lance.
"At least he had guts and ambition," added Doug.

Doug and Lance Mitchell didn’t want to discuss the secret of their seven decades of disputes. Arguing had become as natural to them as swimming for a fish or flying for a bird.
“It’s a way of life. I’d say I was happy with it but my father would just contradict me.”
“Won’t you ever shut up?” asked Doug. “Hand me the remote control.”
Lance looked at two remote controls on the coffee table.
“This one?”
“Yeah, you got shit in your ears?”

Lance looked murderously at his father and then slowly handed him the remote control.
“You’re welcome,” said Lance as the silence in the room was broken by the blaring television volume. "I wouldn't take that kind of crap from anyone but my dad," he added.

Memorable Quotes:
"What was silent in the father speaks in the son, and often I found in the son the unveiled secret of the father." Friedrich Nietzsche

"Every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice."

"Love and fear. Everything the father of a family says must inspire one or the other." ~Joseph Joubert

"A father carries pictures where his money used to be."

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years." ~Mark Twain

"Mother, I'm going to get my things and get out of this house. Father hates me and I'm never coming back." Marvin Gaye...moments before his father shot him to death.

"The child is the father of the man."

"You know nothing!" Father to his son.

I'll dedicate this to handyman Al and Cora who are now proud owners of a baby boy named Desmond.

Monday, February 15, 2010

survival of the fittest as it applies to technogenetics

Nat King Cole trio is fit. It's may as well be live because these cats don't miss a note. They survive.
I'm finishing The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth by E.O. Wilson. It's filling in the gaps in my universal theory of existence.

I've called Steve Jobs a diabolical, evil, cunning, murderous, and reckless programmer of humanity. But maybe I'm being unfair. Maybe he is really a technogenetic stud. That's not a word yet but I want to be the first to define it. Steve Jobs basically is impregnating humanity with his technological genes. He's creating new Apple users...people dependent on Apple. Genes are biological, refined salts to be exact, DNA with inherited traits from parents. Now, the latest development has been a hybrid human with traits from mom and dad and Steve Jobs. The iPad is like a sickle-cell immunity. How has this happened? Technogenetic transpiration, of course. Yup, you heard it here first. Can I fault a man for finding a way to spread his genetic seed over copper wires? Yes, I can, because it is atrocious, abominable, inhuman.

But in the world of biology there is nothing wrong. There is only what is and what is not. Again, we always return to philosophy...and the theory of self determination. Are we subject to the whims of a techno sire like Steve Jobs? Or can we determine our fate, should we determine our fate? This is a topic for another day...maybe a topic for my master's thesis in metaphysics.

Dinner timeline.

By request, here's an illustrated timeline for y'all.

Man, there are some funny and creative blogs out there. One is about spoof emails
that I really found amusing even if the guy probably wrote both parts of the emails.

another one has a photographer setting the timer and running into the frame. It gets creepy after the first ten or twenty pics. I decided it is a psychological test, you interpret the meaning of the pictures as you interpret life. A friend of mine said the pictures felt like he was running from her because he was afraid the pathetic-ness of her life would infect him. I interpreted it as a statement of futility because he would always get captured approximately the same distance from the camera. He could never get away. How do you interpret it?
It's information overload but some things are amusing. I try to keep my head out of the toilet long enough to write an amusing thing once in a while. Blogs really are for photography, but I still feel a complicated novel is the only format for me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

home remodeling

Here's an idea I'd like to create some day:
three identical rooms in a row. You walk in one door and then open another door and the next room is identical to the last. And then the next room is also identical. But identical down to the very pencil shavings on the floor. It would be a statement on uniformity. I want to hire Andy Warhol impersonators to greet you as you walk in.
He could be sitting in a chair and say, "I've been waiting for you." Every time you opened the door he would say that. And then you walk into the next room and the next guy would say the same thing. It just sounds weird so I know it would be weird in real life. Something about opening a door and closing it and not changing environments at all is strange. I think the brain would reject the stimuli.

computers and objectivism

what frustrates me is that computers foil my completionist spirit. With my 1974 Vespa Ciao moped, for example, I can literally teach you everything you can know about it in maybe a few days. If you're ambitious and have a dry workshop we can cover all topics in one day. I mean, everything. From single cylinder combustion theory to mechanical drum brakes to electric circuits. I mean, I had never seen one before I bought mine and there are only a few specialists in the country who deal with them anymore and I was living in a van at the time but I was still able to sort out pretty serious issues with the moped engine and electrical systems. I understand them well enough to explain them now. The light switch is a little baffling since all the electrical systems have been removed except the high tension coil.

Anyway, you don't really need a handbook unless you want to study it on your own. Even the process of refining aluminum and pouring engine castings could probably be covered in a week or two. Copper current theory. All that is fundamental engineering trades that haven't changed (as far as the Vespa Ciao is concerned) in 200 years. I'm talking about a complete understanding of how this thing was made and how it works. You can actually explain it all with a chalkboard, a crescent wrench and a calculator.

Now, computers are completely and totally different. I just was looking at the help section for mozilla. That's all. Just looking for a bit of information on links...and I'm telling you that it would take you years to understand JUST HOW THE BROWSER WORKS. The help section would take up volumes. It's gigantic. To use the browser for basic things is pretty easy. You can use all the default settings. But if you wanted to change every default setting and also to understand the process for changing them and what will happen...then you would quickly find a never ending mobius strip. Every setting has another setting behind it. It becomes a fractal puzzle.

look at this madness...
/* Variable definitions


You just go deeper and deeper into a fine tuned universe. For me, this is difficult because troubleshooting any computer problem turns into a trip down the rabbit hole. And that is just the browser settings. Forget about the microchip processor that has microscopic threads of copper somehow programmed to turn binary into images. That's just overwhelming to approach. You take a Piaggio 49cc engine apart because it leaks and you will have time to check out the low tension coils. Go ahead. It's copper wound in a circle. opposite Magnets go around it real fast and create a current. That current can directly light a bulb, or it can go into a high tension coil where the current builds up and is released when the points separate. Boom. 6 volts is turned into like 200, which is enough to make a spark...which detonates the fuel....etc.
At some point the fractals stop. That's not true with computers. it just gets more and more...mysterious. Settings upon settings.
This is a complaint totally separate from the environmental consequences. This is more about self-determinism. When your life is dependent on technology that is constructed of several components that are each complex technical fields of study then are we determining our lives? It feels like we're flying with invisible wings. It works but no one person can grasp the complexity. Not even Steve Jobs has read every word in the Safari browser help manual. It would take forever.

Ignatius talked about a King who favored taste and decency. He rebelled against things like fashion and trends. He lived in a time before computers but I suspect he would've preferred his big chief note pads to an iPad. In another book, Round the Bend, by Nevil Shute a wealthy Arab oil baron is asked why he doesn't build roads or hospitals or schools for the people in his town. He says something about self determinism, that only an industry developed by the people should be used by the people. And while he had the money to pay to build the hospitals and roads, the people who would use them were "not ready" for them. They were not ready for them because they themselves had not built them on their own. See? It's a philosophic book. Furthermore, the practice of Islam was the priority. Plain and simple. He could build a mosque, but not a school. It was very interesting, even if it wasn't based on actual fact, it rang true. The muslim world is actually richer than the united states because of the oil. So why aren't they shopping at macys and Apple and Nike? Because their priorities are different. they will forgo luxuries to concentrate on religion. Has it gone haywire in some respects? Yes. And that could be used as an example of why they "aren't ready" for roads and subways. Saudi Arabia could put a man on the moon. Why don't they?
Think of it this way, your teenage kid wants a sports car. "Buy it for me." What's your instinctual reaction? No way. Buy it your self. Everyone together, "You won't appreciate it if I buy it for you."
So what Steve Jobs is doing is basically jumping light years ahead in complexity. We have to buy the iPad but are there 50 people in the world would could make an iPad from scratch, who could earn it?
See, this is the Ayn Rand philosophy: That the man of intellect leads the world one way or another. He can't be stopped. He's a intellectual trendsetter. I agree with this. And the Objectivist conclusion is that while havoc may be the current environmental trend, men of intellect will figure it out. I also agree with this too. But I feel that it skips over some ugly consequences, namely wolves perishing as their habitat melts. And Rand loved to highlight the futility of providing for the mentally deficient. Oh, she had so much fun describing the mealy mouthed social service activists who posed for pictures with state dependent retards. Oh, she loved it! But what if those kids chief crime was living in San Jose, where Jobs and crew were pumping mercury laced wastewater into the aquifer? It's natural progress, she would say. More people benefit from microchips than are harmed. Furthermore, the market demanded (allowed/funded) the progress. It happened so therefore it should have happened.
Is she really a philosopher with this perspective? Or is she the first of a rogue think tank that understood propaganda? It worked and it is irreversible, but what would her response be to my suggestion that Jobs is just the father who is buying his kid a car it won't appreciate? That's what being an intellectual leader means. I don't want to argue about Steve Jobs. I want to talk about philosophy. That's what is important to me. This is a philosophical debate and I still don't see their side of the argument. What we have now is uncontrolled growth because the theory is that if we don't grow then we die. Is that a valid theory? Or if we don't grow then you'll die? Because we're going to die no matter what. People are living longer, and we are going further into debt to provide for those people...and the lives they lead are more like machinery devoted to Steve Jobs. I just don't see this as progress.

But I think the model the oil baron was defending is one of slow sustainable growth, rather than the Steve Jobs model of fast growth and damn the consequences.
I've said it before that the technology is evolving but not man. I go to an Apple store and I don't see high tech people. I see frumpy, lazy, shuffling caffeine addicts poking gadgets and drooling in front of dancing lights. That's just me. Call me an asshole. So I guess, it's an issue of philosophy. Is the development of devices more important than the development of the man. Because I WOULD LOVE for someone to explain how America is actively developing better people right now. PLEASE SHOW ME SOME EVIDENCE OF THIS!
You can point to Obama being elected and I'd ask what made that possible? I've got my suspicions but why do YOU think Obama is president.

There are two camps: Do it because it can be done.
Ponder what can be done and Allah will decide.

I just want to point out that I'm not alone in questioning unchecked research and development. Most cultures and most animals have some instinctual hesitation to develop. Is it a flaw? Or is it priorities. Are computers a priority of life? Right now America is definitely worshiping a silicon deity. They might be the words of Jesus, but they are on an LCD screen. Are the screens spreading the word of God, or are the words of God spreading the LCD screens?
I think these are the questions Muslim Imams don't want to ask.
This is impossible to answer, just like it's impossible to totally understand computers.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I spent the last of the funspot tokens today in a marathon of Venture. I embarrassed myself yet again because ordinarily the place is desolate empty. So I can curse all I want. But today as I reached a critical stage and could not negotiate the hall monsters I was killed by a mere pixel length of a hall monster's leg and I yelled "Fuck!" and almost punched a hole in the cabinet.
of course it is a weekend and the place is filled with 9 year old kids and their parents. They didn't kick me out but they didn't exactly give me free tokens either.

Oddly, the very game where I recorded was the best game I played with at one point I think I had 4 players left and was on the 5th level. Oh, it was so so close to going further. I didn't record the whole thing because that would be too unbearable to watch.
In case you have to know, Banananarama sings "Love in the first degree" the song playing in the background. Great chorus. The soundtrack in the classic arcade area is commercial free 1980s music to completely recreate the ambiance of, say, Dream Machine circa 1984. I heard at least two adults walk by with awed expressions and say, "I'm in heaven." The song that comes on second is...Pac Man Fever by Buckner and Garcia. It's like Country pop. Lord, tell me this as a bad as it gets.

This comes very close to replicating the graduate projects invented by Hermann Hesse in the Glass Bead Game. One of them is something like, "The role of lap dogs in the lives of 14th century courtesans."
The first level can be cleared in about one minute. The game isn't timed but there is a bonus for fast gathering of the treasure. The clock starts at 10. So if you complete the level with a bonus of 8 and you earned 1000 points then you get a bonus of 8000. plus the original 1000 is 9000 for the level. and so on. The highest score ever is 370,000. Now, there are 36 rooms but each level repeats itself three times. There are only 12 unique rooms and 3 unique levels or "floors". So, you go level 1a, level 2a, level 3a....then level 1b, level 2b, level 3b...then level 1c, level 2c level 3c. Each level has 4 rooms. 12 rooms for the first cycle. 12 rooms for the second cycle. 12 rooms for the final cycle. 36 rooms. I just noticed that level is a palindrome. Anyway, the first level usually ends with 12,000. The second level with 40,000. The third level with 80,000 and that's where you get a free winky which you will need to finish the second cycle. Completing level 2b will leave you with about 140K. Completing level 3b will give you about 160K. You can see by the amount of treasure I had that I died with 2 rooms cleared on level 3b.
Thus far I have completed only the first cycle a and then on level 3b I die swiftly and mercilessly. That will get you to 150,000. So on the final cycle, level 1c, 2c, 3c you will earn another 150K + meaning the value of the treasures increases by some factor. This also means that you will earn more free Winky and be able to continue the game because after the first three floors the monsters all move much faster than winky so you have to anticipate where they are going. I'm telling you it's tense. In my memory I never cleared the entire game. What I did was get to level 1c or level 2c in 1982 and 1983 at the Little Store. Remember, this game was one block from my house at a time when arcades were the absolute Valhalla of childhood. This was before Atari, computers, CGI, GPS. Hell, The Terminator didn't even exist. Holy shit, there was no Return of the Jedi. Think about that! And at 12 years old I was among the top 5 players ever in this game, better in fact than I am today.

I think if I were able to open the control stick and clean the carbon off the copper then I'd get better response. I've still got some tricks to learn but when the enemies are working flawlessly and Winky is limping along like a hobo then it won't work. This is really the maximum I can do these days. If absolutely everything went right I could make it to the final cycle of levels, Level 1c, but I know that would be the end. I've got 12 rooms to clear at that point with maybe 2 Winkys. It'll never work with a crappy control stick. Ever!
It seems there are two plateaus for the game. One plateau is 80K. The other plateau is at 150K. The next plateau has only been officially reached by 3 people and it starts at 300K. So either you end your game at 150K or your are one of the elite. That's a huge spread.

The reason I like this game is because it is fast. Each level takes no more than 1:30 to complete. Most can be done in about one minute. Furthermore, you can't take longer! The hall monsters speed up and make it impossible to tarry. You have to complete each level in under 2 minutes or you will lose. A lot of games allow for ways to take breaks. Not Venture. So, maximum 2 minutes multiplied by 3 levels. That's 6 minutes for the first cycle. Then you have to be even faster on the second cycle. But let's say it takes 5 minutes. That's 11 minutes to be among the top 5 players in the world (I am currently #4). The final cycle will take no more than 5 minutes. That's 16 minutes to finish the game. I'm sure the world record holder finished his game in less time. I like it because the longest a game will take is 10 minutes. In fact, by 8 minutes you're either one of the best or your game is over. That's unusual. The thing is that when you die then you lose time and also you start from the original starting spot which screws up the whole pattern that makes winning possible. So, you either don't die or you win. You can't die and also finish fast. It's well designed to make a game fast.
In the second cycle the hall monsters enter the treasure rooms in about 15 seconds. At that point you have about 5 seconds to exit. So, you can't really finish the second cycle in more than 1:30.

I don't know. Star Castle was finally taken off the floor and never returned. That game will have to wait for the summer to conquer.
I feel with my imminent move out of Laconia this was possibly the final chapter on Venture. Or at least the chapter before the final chapter.
I posted my high scores on another site that cares about these things (nerds who support each other's insane regressions) and someone posted "Get your Winky on!" That's commitment, people. Dedication. love. In this world you take it in whatever form you can get it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Surfside Resort

This approaches the level of magnification that I need to be satisfied with this story. It's really all about me letting loose. I think I've got the right voice and the ideas and the setting but to expose this kind of insanity isn't coming as easy as it should. This is exactly how my journals from 1995 look like, an endless string of moralistic theorems. I probably spent three years writing about the rationalization of vegetarianism. So it should be easy to just translate that into third person, right? Well, tell that to my fingers. It's a matter of focus...of unlocking a private perspective. It's not a dark place for me even though it appears like a dark place. Visiting this place is like going home, completing a long as the circle has no gaps. I've heard writing compared to duck hunting, where you wait and wait and wait and suddenly a duck appears and you have to act fast. But the ducks are ideas created by the writer's mind. So it's conceivable that the ducks are always there but were aren't seeing them. There are ducks outside my window right now. Fly ducks! Fly!

Oggy limped up the rotting steps of Surfside Resort, dislodging wood and rusted steel onto the pavement below. A woman stood on a balcony across the parking lot yelling at a shrunken figure in a bathrobe.
“Take your goddamn mitts off me. Oh, you’re fucking disgusting. You pig!”
Bathrobe tossed a cigarette over the balcony. Oggy watched it land and made a mental note to pick it up when he was leaving. He considered going to fetch it at once but since he was already half way up the stairs he thought the extra expenditure of energy was not warranted. The cigarette butt was likely to still be there when he left, so it was reasonably justified to continue in the direction he was going and then when he was leaving he could pick the butt up…along with the aluminum can that Bathrobe just tossed at the woman. Still, if a seagull did pass this way and thought the butt was a worm then that carcass would be on Oggy’s hands. As soon as he recognized the butt was on the ground and that no one else was going to pick it up then he be became responsible for it. And one single cigarette butt in the ocean could choke a sea turtle or clog the gills of a fish. Birds were often attracted to them and it was common to find a fist full of cigarette butts in a seagull’s belly when it washed ashore. The storm drains all had blue stencils saying “Drains to Sea”. It’s message was clear and Oggy was an unofficial steward of the sea. Calculating that he would only stay a few minutes and then scanning the grey sky for seagulls (seeing none) Oggy decided he would risk leaving the cigarette butt on the ground, continue with his business, and collect trash in the parking lot on his way to the food not bombs meal. Ignoring the screams of the woman and the various projectiles launched by bathrobe, Oggy pulled himself up the stairs like a mountaineer climbing a summit with the help of fixed ropes. He found room number 22 and knocked softly.
“I’m calling the police!” yelled the woman at Bathrobe. Bathrobe put a lamp down as Mary opened the door wearing a flannel bathrobe with printed ducks.
“Oh, hey baby! You wanna get high?”
Mary presented a syringe and vial, toothlessly grinning a pink maw. She scratched her crotch.
“We’re just about to get fucked up. Are they fighting again?” she said as she squinted in the direction the balcony. “Fuckers”
Oggy shook his head and looked for Isabelle. He tried to smile but his eyes didn’t get the message so his expression gave Mary the idea he had just been stabbed in the back.
“You alright, baby? You want some pills or something? Whiskey? I know there ain’t nothing like some whiskey and Vicadin. We got some. Knock you out.”
“It’s just my foot,” said Oggy. “Can I sit down?” He scratched his beard.
“The rainwater didn’t help? I knew a guy in Cleveland who cut his own foot off. Fucked him all up. Hahahaha.” Mary belched. “Excuse me. We got some bologna and shit.”
“Maybe it helped a little. It’s a puzzle but there’s a lesson here too. Abe told me not to depend on my body. It’s flesh and blood and subject to the wrath of the elements. Life is suffering, says the Buddha. We’re working on balancing my level of reaction because balanced action is what is most lacking in the universe. Right?”
“Aw, get in here, Oggy. You sit down in that chair and I’ll fix you a whiskey and soda. You want rocks? How you like it?”
Oggy chuckled. The mere mention of such a spiritual betrayal was ludicrous. He would sooner burn rubber tires to keep warm than drink alcohol.
“Thank you, but I brought rainwater,” he said gesturing with his cracked and leaking plastic water bottle. “I’ll just wait for Isabelle to get back.”
“Oh, she’s here. She’s in the shower. Why don’t you go in there and wash her back. I know you two ain’t alone enough. Go on, ball her in the shower. She needs a good screw, that girl. Me and Steve already did. It’s fun as fuck. Wet and wild, huh, Steve?”
Only then did Oggy notice that Steve lay among the piles of nylon blanket covers, empty beer cases, magazines and pizza boxes that had collected on the bed. Steve moaned incoherently and raised a beer can. A talk show was blaring on the television. Two heavy set men were wrestling on a stage while a crowd cheered. Oggy’s mouth gaped open and he frowned.
“Why doesn’t someone help that man?”
Steve said, “Just don’t get her pregnant, Oggy. Fucking Christ, that’s all we need.”
"How about it?" asked Mary.
“I…,” Oggy began but found himself at a loss for words broad enough to respond to Mary’s suggestion. “I’m good.”
“Ya need a shower, Oggy. I can smell you from here. Not to tell you what to do”
Oggy nodded slowly. It was natural to be repulsed by his odor. He washed often enough but washing his clothes had proved difficult ever since his life had been thrown into chaos. Chaos! There was that word again! A single event like having his home destroyed should never have been enough to derail his quest for purity and peace. What was going wrong? Before losing his hut he had regularly washed his clothes in the river or the park water fountain. That worked for months but ever since reentering civilization he had adopted the filthy habits of the common street person and wasn’t washing his clothes. So they were stiff with sweat and caked soup and rotting bits of fruit stashed in the pockets of his overalls. They naturally reeked.
“Go soap up your ass. Get some shampoo in that natty dreadlock of yours. How about it?”
Oggy pondered the soap, bleach-based, chemical, and pictured liquid death streaming toward the sea turtles in the ocean. This was the kind of thoughtless, reckless behavior that had brought the environment to a state of complete upheaval.
“No. I’ve renounced soap.” Oggy said simply. “It’s poisoning the world.”
“Whatever. I’m not gonna tell you what to do. Here.”
Mary handed Oggy a glass of whiskey and ice. Oggy placed it next to an empty pack of cigarettes on the night table. The pack fell on the floor and when Oggy bent over to pick it up he saw a machete under the bed. His lower back spasmed.
"Ow!" cried Oggy.
Mary leaped across the room and grabbed an open prescription bottle.
"That's it! Oggy, take two of these pills. You gotta take care of yourself." She handed Oggy the pills and then did a slithering shimmy of a dance, running her hands into her hair so her bathrobe opened.
Oggy blushed and dropped the blue pills on the nightstand. He opened his notepad and wrote, "Pick up cigarette butt on the way to FNB."
Mary moaned, "It'll make you feel like dancing! Sheeet"
Steve yelled, "You're blocking the T.V.! Woman!"
Isabelle opened the bathroom door, her face and neck were red from hot water. She hugged a towel around scrubbed body.
Mary bounced over to her and laughed, "Dance with me, darling."

Onion news

There is non stop brilliance over at the onion. All the articles and news spoofs are funny but this one is hilarious. I love how he mispronounces AOL, like it's impossible to know how it sounded back in 2002. Notice the pic below "Last Login: 1,921 days." How funny is that? All the madness does make rich soil for the writers at the Onion. At the very end there's a banner that says,

Friendster's final users left only string of cryptic "I'm Rick James, Bitch" messages.

Internet Archaeologists Find Ruins Of 'Friendster' Civilization

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Human Programming

Can I just say one more word on human programming? See, I'm not so deluded that I think a person will be born and grow up without any form of brainwashing. Not everyone can be B.F. Skinner's kid. But what I am saying is where is this programming coming from and why is it there? My schools basically loaded on a lot of Pro America rhetoric that has more basis in lie than in truth. The government is only by the people by the broadest definition of people. We're talking about the smallest percentage of people in the world, White, Rich Male. It's crazy to pretend this elite clan is going to do the bidding of everyone. But my social studies teachers seemed to think it was perfectly true. Or maybe they felt that way because I'm white and rich and they were telling the truth. They were just nudging me and saying, "Dude, you're in the club. Don't sweat it."

So, there will be programming. Maybe there should be programming. But if you don't successfully program the subject then you should destroy it. There is no need to have Neo out there messing with your code. So we haven't gone totalitarian yet...or at least we're more subtle. Stalin had kids inform on their parents. Jobs puts Apple technology in every crib...

My point is this, people like Steve Jobs are trying to brainwash everyone. That's fine. Get in line. But why is he doing this? Are his motives pure? Do they correspond to the will of the mob? Or what? Jesus had a good presentation. He just said the creator of Man had sent him with the true path to heaven. He died for our sins, ascended, and if we accept him as our personal savior then we'll get to party also. Motives? They are hidden behind the barbed hook.

Jobs is programming people to buy Apple. Is it any coincidence that the best marketing campaigns have been run by software moguls? Marketing is programming and the best programmers on the planet are Gates and Jobs. They see actions in reverse and can write the command that gets those actions. Am I the only one concerned that a reckless psychopath is programming an entire generation of people?

While programming is a fact of living, this predatory programming is not to be trusted. I'm just seeing America as the rise of the programmer. That's the natural king in a land of free thought. The person who can program people the best will be king. Presidents will use their products, basically avowing their loyalty to one brand or another. This is a Wal-Mart empire with Steve Jobs as emperor. The whole constitution thing is pure smoke and mirrors at this point.

Have you read Naomi Klein's No Logo yet?

See, this is the problem. She's a programmer too and her code made sense to me. Her delivery made a seamless interface with mine. But her code directly conflicts with the code written by Steve Jobs. I mean, they can't exist together. So, I'm not going to pretend I'm free of programming. No. It's just that my programming is not dominant right now so the code war begins. Jobs doesn't spend a lot of time discrediting Naomi Klein but Klein's work exposes some ugly secrets behind the Jobs industry. Jobs is in a position to ignore Klein because his code is an accepted norm.

Lord, as I'm writing this Bob (the diabetic walker dude) fell into the bathtub on his way to the toilet. Diabetes is a bitch, people.

Mary: Is he breathing?
Chris: I don't know.

Gotta help. I will continue my indictment of Steve Jobs after the ambulance leaves. He'd better live because I've got May 20th as his departure date. That's $15 I need bad.


Don't Laugh...I'm a Wizard!

I scored 157K but didn't have the camera on me. I actually kicked a chair when I got killed once. I fell to my knees and cursed. I always go so far that I think I'm going to get the world record and then the goblins get serious and jump all over my winky ass.


More visions of the north country for anyone who cares...
Family Fun! and another American flag!

Google attempts to read my mind...

After I posted that last rant about ants I saw this box of "Things I might be interested in." They base them off keywords in your post. Ha! The computer thinks I'm dying of the plague and being overrun by fire ants but I want to read my kid a book about wolves. I don't think that's an accurate interpretation of my post. But funny. I sound like a madman! Google is telling me, "Relax, it's just the Black Plague! Read a book about wolves." And it all happens automatically. Creepy.

Organize Health Records
Electronically Manage Your Health Records for Free w/ MS HealthVault

Wolf: The Journey Home
True story of wild wolves. Teens' Top Ten book nominee for 2006.

Get Rid of Fire Ants Fast
All natural liquid garlic juice doused on mound does it.

Black Death Symptoms
Suffering From Black Death? Relax, Get Your Advice Here

Ant Plagues and Hannah Montana...

I'm reading E.O. Wilson's book The Creation where he compares humanity to a plague of fire ants in 1670 Hispaniola. Basically, the ant destroyed biodiversity and humans mourned it...but then Man proceeded to do the exact same thing in North America. Interesting.

SO this got me thinking...are we an ant plague? Well, to the perspective of the wolf or bison, yes, we are an invasive species. They must curse the boats that brought us, but the difference is that we built the boats. We're smart. But I'm not a wolf or a bison so why do I care? I should be cheering! "Yes! We beat the dodo bird! We're winning!"

And the short answer always comes back to Hannah Montana and Steve Jobs. See, they are the leaders of the plague. They are dictating the rules of engagement. And I am stubborn. I don't like being told what to do. If I want your opinion, like with Farley Mowat, then I'll ask your opinion. So in this case Steve Jobs is pioneering the plague, the invasion, the destruction of biodiversity by heralding an age of microchips and copper filament and fiber optics. And I say simply, "Who are you to tell me what to do? The ants will follow you to whatever Valhalla awaits but I'm not following anyone. Give me Nat King Cole sheet music and a can of beans. You're dismissed."
It's a mixture of stubborness and yes, I do identify with the wolf more than the iPad. That's my nature. Either way, these plagues are pretty much unstoppable, especially when the wolf has no defense. Humans fought the ant plagues with chemicals that did as much harm and we didn't stop the plague. The ant range basically stopped where it got too cold. They went from places where they were in balance with their habitat to Hispaniola, then Florida, then Georgia, then from North Carolina to the middle of Texas in like 200 years. Wilson predicts complete coverage of North America in another 100 years especially with the climate getting warmer. The fire ant outweighs humanity and we can't stop it. It only needed a little help crossing the oceans and they took it from there.

I'm not rooting for the ant but I see it represents the inevitability of the plague. It's not a matter of free will. It's the mob mentality and right now the mob is fully in Steve Jobs's corner and the push is strong with no concern for the consequences. (Not to sound conspiratorial, but maybe we think the consequences are only the ones Apple advertises) Our methods are more complicated than the fire ant, but the philosophy is the same: It's about conquest of regions and assimilation of members.
As a philosopher, someone who investigates root causes, fundamental motives, this doesn't work for me at all. The concept of being assimilated into a world where Hannah Montana is entertainment director and Steve Jobs is the pope of communication is unappealing. I'll take a deserted beach and a dead puffer fish any day. But I do understand that for a plague to work, for a region to be conquered, everyone has to be pulling for the same goal. The fire ant is probably a model for Apple Corp. because it succeeds. It is insidious and driven to conquer and so it does. That's what haunts me about Apple Corp. I see it assimilating people before they really had a chance to question what they were adopting. That's the power of marketing.
I'd say this is the learning curve for a new species but the ant is as old as time and they don't care about the wolf either.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

seven days of internet then nothing

That was a short bit of internet use. Maybe this old computer is finally falling apart or maybe using Mary's connection was a mistake. Either way, I can't post anything from my room again and I'm too poor to go back to the library. So I don't know when this will be resolved. I get to stay 6 more days on the money I made laying tile on the bathrooms. After that I am in the van again and headed south. I'm indifferent as I have nothing here except overdue books and nothing set up anywhere else. It's the same old story, you can go broke sitting on your ass or you can go broke making someone's garden look nice.
We have a $1 powerball pool. The three of us put in 33 cents apiece. They wonder why I don't play poker every night but if you heard these stories of woe you would understand. It's like the hobos who get to the bar and fall off their stools actually are doing better than us...because they are at the bar. We...we're staring at empty bottles, talking about getting drunk back in 1990. We're writing our own obituaries with every anecdote. He was survived by one unthankful brother. He was separated from his bitchy wife. He passed away peacefully after...He was an amateur magician...He always had a smile.

The internet issue (at least) was solved with avira anitvirus, AVG anti virus, some registry tweaking, patience and some high tech software. hijackthis and a few forums will solve almost anything.

once upon a time in the west

Check out that composition...

oh, man what a movie. How does this movie which is 170 minutes long and hardly contains two full conversations seem much shorter than Avatar where everyone was talking non stop? (The script for Once Upon a Time is 15 pages long.) I don't know. Sergio Leone is a master. I learned through the commentary that he filmed his exterior scenes silently. Then added the sound later. Think about that. That's why The Good The Bad and The Ugly has such bad sound quality sync. He added the overdub months after and didn't get it completely perfect. The final scene in this is damn near heroic and I understand Paramount cut it out because it was too long. Assholes! It's one of the best endings ever. I'm just shaking my head in amazement. Fantastic. The entire movie takes place over like two days. Charlie Bronson never changes his clothes.

Amazing. Revenge, look at that face. Leone must've said. "Look dead." and it works.

a whore with a heart. Gentlemen, stop drooling. She had the best line, "After you're through [raping me] I only need a tub of hot water to be right back where I was, with one more dirty memory."

a ruthless killer, a lifetime criminal who wants to go straight. all the pieces are there and they unfold so slowly. It's an example of less is more. One man killing one man should take a long long time. It's not a casual event. And Henry Fonda's character isn't a monster. He's just practical.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.