Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Debt

This article suggests the U.S. gvt. is an unwelcome oil oligarchy, entirely supported by either weapons trade or oil taxes. It should lead the world in education related to STEM fields but that involves a long approach of preparing students for engineering from an early age and basically requiring them to become engineers (which I support). It's disappointing that with all this income there is still going to be a $20 trillion debt. Maybe when professional lawyers, accountants, and economists are elected to represent 300 million people and they manage to get $20 trillion in debt it's safe to say there has been a failure in education or else massive corruption. Even Mexico is 'only' $35 billion in debt. Think about it. Not even $1 Trillion. Not even half a Trillion. More like a 30th of a Trillion. A 30th!! A Trillion is 1000 Billion. So $20 Trillion is 20,000 Billion...and Mexico is only $35 billion in debt. And the US will soon be $20,000Billion in debt.  $20,000,000,000,000.
How can we take anyone seriously who is that deep in debt? I get anxious when I'm $180 in debt. I guess the answer is by not taking debt seriously, which makes me wonder if debt actually exists or if it's a manufactured concept to manipulate fear in the populace. The only way that's getting answered is with a global economy collapse...and history suggests that's in the near future. So this bickering about politics and taxes will all be irrelevant soon.
My advice for 2015: Put all your savings in oil when it reaches $30 a barrel. Bankrupt all the small energy companies, bankrupt Russia, Saudi Arabia, consolidate all your investments in ExxonMobil.



They were only $16,000,000,000,000 short. hahahaha

I was going to start a campaign to pay off the debt but someone already tried that. It's definitely the worst campaign video I've ever seen and is amusing. I think it's funny that people take the government seriously when it's $20 trillion in debt. You've got to be a total asshole to obey anyone that deep in debt. At what point do people take notice? What level of illegitimacy does Washington have to reach in order to be voided? I think $20 Trillion is beyond any rational limit. Who is more crazy: Asshole A who over-spent by $20 trillion or Asshole B who pays attention to Asshole A on matters of finance and social reform? If I bought 10 Lamborghinis and was $1 million in debt, would you take me seriously? No, Oggy has $0 debt and he's considered a slimy ignorant piece of shit. Ok. That makes sense. I need to buy a $200,000 mortgage before I'm an adult. Ok.

2015

A long way from Pecos, Texas

It's a cliche to wish people a generic happy new year. You get the life you deserve for the most part, the life you earn with effort. Ain't nothing handed out in life, even food stamps are a full time job to obtain. I've been crippled by back spasms recently and can barely walk to the kitchen for a banana. My routine of twice daily ventures to the gym has been interrupted by Guatemalan holiday vacations and that left my spine to decay back to it's normal crippled state.

terraza view of Xela to the Northeast
I'll write a 2014 year in review one of these days. It went by fast, didn't it?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Guitar Chords With Roots on Every String




I decided the video was insufficient to demonstrate what I'm talking about. I only went through this trouble because I had not yet encountered this particular method so maybe it's novel. In the Levelland jazz class I took I learned the horizontal chord voicings, taking a GM7 on the 3rd fret and then moving to the GM7 on the 5th fret, then a GM7 on the 8th fret and then a GM7 on the 12th fret, and finally the 15th fret is the same as the 3rd. There is also one on the 10th fret but for some reason we didn't do much with that voicing, which I didn't care about because it was the one voicing of the Maj7 that I already knew. I feel this vertical method is as important as the horizontal method.


This was painful to make so donate to the SPCA if you find it useful

The main breakthrough that this method helped me reach was learning all the notes on the 3rd and 4th strings, which were a little hazy above the 7th fret because I simply did not play chord voicings that had roots on those strings/frets...and that's how I memorized all the other strings. I've heard one simple method for learning notes is to find all the BC_D notes and directly beneath then are the EF_G notes. It's at least something to start with but I've found knowing the chord shapes with root notes on all the strings really helped me memorize the notes....and furthermore, this particular skill, playing these 3 chord qualities with roots on any string...is actually a portion of the jury exam that one must pass to graduate. I tried to write a computer program that would simulate this exam but I couldn't do it. I think there are random string generators online that you can program with music note names and qualities and string number but the easiest thing would be to make three stacks of flash cards. One set has all the note names on it Ab, A, Bb, B, C, Db, D...etc. The other set has three qualities, Major 7, Minor 7, Dominant 7. And the last set has the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6. Shuffle and Pick one card from each set and play that chord. D...... dominant 7.......root on the 3rd string. It would look like the Bb7 in my picture, except played on the 7th fret. See, everything is movable but if you don't know the actual names of the strings then you are either relying totally on your ear, which makes you more awesome than Oggy, or you only play the chords in the voicings and positions that you've always known and you never venture beyond that comfort zone. I played the 5th string root Maj7 formation exclusively for about 13 years. I got so sick of shifting 7 frets when I needed to play a maj7 chord that I broke down and drove to God-forsaken* North Texas to learn how to play better. This diagram is a way to push yourself into some different positions and it's definitely how professionals think, and you won't have to live in Levelland if you study hard enough.

This is by no means exhaustive, as there are voicings up the ass, high, low, drop 2, drop 3, 11th extensions...diminished, augmented, etc. But these three qualities and these limited voicings should give you something to work on.  One hint that I've learned is the professionals don't play these complete voicings. They simplify them to maybe two or three notes and concentrate on rhythm. They know what the whole formation looks like but speed and instrumentation make them simplify the chord shape.

One of the exercises I did was to play iimi7 / V7 / Imaj7 in any key and any position, and it's really not complicated because all the voicings you see in the picture are within a fret of each other when played in a particular key. It's a different lesson so I'll save that for later. I probably saw this lesson half a dozen times before I finally understood what it was demonstrating. It's merely a way to revoice the same chord so your comping can have some kind of momentum and variety. Western Swinger guitarist Eldon Shamblin made a career out of revoicing the same chords to make it sound like he was playing some complicated arrangement, when really it was just Shamblin who was complicated.

There's also a formation at the 10th fret but for some reason these 4 grips are the main ones for each chord quality.


*Considering Lubbock is the "city of 200 churches" this depiction is wrong. God has totally occupied North Texas. I mean it is flat and windy and everyone is white and wears cowboy hats and their "frontier days" parade is almost identical to a normal day. North Texas is like a huge boring theme park for Baptists where you don't ride on a hay wagon unless you pitched all the hay onto the wagon first. And you study animal husbandry or petroleum engineering. People in North Texas think Los Angeles is a fictional place invented to demonstrate the horrors that happen when you stray from God. It's noteworthy to point out that Los Angeles requires North Texas for survival, but North Texas would not blink if all of Los Angeles vanished. The most radical thing that happened in the history of North Texas was a Bluegrass music program was started at a community college. My arrival there is still discussed in coffee shops. In all my travels I've never met someone from North Texas outside of North Texas. North Texas is the only place in the last 20 years that I've been able to go to a street called Main Street and have a cup of coffee and slice of pie made by Ma at a cafe called "Ma's Cafe" next door to a western wear store whose owner is the cashier, across the street from the city hall/jail/courthouse where every week business owners play old country songs in a gazebo on a lawn. If you are under 30 years old then you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. 
I was driving to New Mexico way up in North Texas and honestly my road map got sucked out the van window. It took me a minute to get the van under control and turn around and go back to get the map, laying in the middle of the road. As an experiment I decided to wait to see how long before another car came and forced me out of the road. Another car never came. Finally a rancher drove slowly along his fence line and asked if I was ok. Probably thought I was stoned. I said I was fine and he nodded and went to check on his cattle. I finally got bored and started driving west again. I could see New Mexico about 40 minutes before I got there.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Soap Box

I've barely started my research into the history of Guatemala but what I've read so far confirms my suspicion that U.S. foreign policy led directly to the conditions that required Guatemalans to flee north, where the same country that undermined their democracy in the '50s because it had hints of social welfare programs, would later condemn them for fleeing the civil war caused by the aforementioned foreign policy. It's blatant, but I'm also close to a breakthrough on the mentality of jingoism. By pointing out injustice I can be accused of "rooting for the opposition" and dismissed. This suits the agenda of the political elite because it negates debate and allows them to avoid justifying their actions. Noam Chomsky is often accused of anti-American sentiments. If criticizing government policy makes you Communist then Bill O'Reilly is one of the biggest Communists in media. One response of Chomsky's was, "We should abide by the rules we agreed to." another comment was "I listen to the population." He's not pro-statist but I don't think he's anti-statist; he's more like a political agnostic. As politicians can not yet be trusted, democracy is not possible, so statism always becomes elitist and rife with special interests the voting public had no control over...thus it's not a democracy. If you go to get your car painted red and it's returned to you as a green van, then that's a problem. It's not a question of anarco-libertarianism being better than democracy, because democracy is only how textbooks define America and isn't really true. So, do we want a transparent film of "democracy" covering a bleeding scab of special interests or do we merely want anarchy. The population has chosen the former because it basically helps avoid civil wars and I think the collective fear of war is stronger than the collective desire for some ideal form of government. We'd rather slowly creep toward idealism than make any sudden moves.

Well, in 1954 and then in 1982 Guatemala tried to make two extreme lateral moves on the political spectrum and those two events, both involving the CIA, are still causing problems.

Chomsky listens to the population. Whatever country is in question has a population, not the elite, not the media, not the politicians, not the military but the population and those are who he listens to. And that's the difference because the population can not write a press release the "words" he hears are open to debate. He interprets them one way and someone else refuses to even hear them because the media or politicians have a neat package that explains everything. The population is dismissed in favor of a guy in an expensive suit who is on television. It's ludicrous, but maybe it's a desire of trust in the media that some people rely on because to distrust the media would leave them in the hellish world Oggy lives in, and that's distasteful so they cling to the known, even if the known may be lies.

Remember Harry Wu who was imprisoned not because he was anti-state, but because he was not blatantly pro state? That's the kind of rhetoric I hear directed at Chomsky. He is never anti-America, but he is routinely not pro-America. He waves no flag, and that's traitorous in the same way Chairman Mao demanded aggressively loyal subjects. It seems this loyalty trait is not confined to China.

The lesson here is that I've landed in a country that politically is like the United States in 1880, still recovering from a long (30 years) civil war that basically started when Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown by Eisenhower's thugs and progressed through several awful regimes involving leftists, rightists, anarchists, Mayans, guerrilla groups, communists, and several coup d'etats. It's way more colorful and complex than the North vs South 1862 U.S. civil war. For instance, the B actor turned politician Ronald Reagan authorized full support of Efrain Rios Montt and Montt was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity as recently as last year. Montt had his own brand of ethnic cleansing fully funded by Reagan's CIA and ignored by everyone who wanted cheap bananas. President Clinton had to formally apologize for the previous President's support but for some reason probably involving utter irresponsibility on the part of America, Reagan was not charged with any crime. If it were up to me Ronald and Eisenhower would be charged posthumously with crimes against humanity. Why? Because I'm Anti-American? Because I'm a Liberal? Because I smoked pot? No. Because it's true.

I'm still learning about the details but the evidence strongly supports the conclusion that America twice aligned itself with a brutal, genocidal military regime, twice enabled widespread massacres and destruction of sovereignty and then immediately detained the refugees who crossed the border seeking refuge from the death squads who were trained by the CIA. It reads like a bleak novel where the villain is this fictional country called "The U.S." and by the end of the book it will be exposed and overthrown to great celebration.

But it's not a book and it's not fiction. They are still digging up bodies with Israeli and American bullets in them. It seems that all of Central America's conflicts arose from a U.S. effort to eradicate any hint of socialism, again, because socialism would raise the price of fruit cocktails. So the question is if pointing this out makes me anti-America? Another complaint about Chomsky is that he doesn't offer solutions and it's true that his lectures usually involve history and facts, not the future. But I feel the solution is unstated because it's obvious: justice. Listen to the population and facilitate justice for the population. That's all. The details are complicated but if we start with that simple premise then we'll make progress. Chomsky likes to say that one either defends state violence or denounces it and if I'm going to polarize the debate then that's a pretty good line to draw...either you approve of state violence like the overthrow of Arbenz, who was born in the city I live in now, or you denounce it. If we differ on that opinion then everything else is impossible. No discourse can begin. One of the great regrets of the future will be that we squandered the intellect of someone like Chomsky by requiring him to explain to us what just happened. It's pretty sad when we need smart people to analyze current events for us. He can write essays about the future but I think he knows that the details will require someone to be alive to see the plan through so his recommendations today will all sound a little off when we finally get around to implementing them after he dies. And it's obvious we have not all agreed to denounce state violence so the future is still imperiled.

And I would point out that one of the main conservative attacks on Chomsky is that "He profits from his lectures, so he's a special interest hypocrite." Ok, BUT WHAT DOES THAT MAKE ME? I guess I'm a tree hugger bleeding heart idiot who laps up all the drivel that Chomsky pukes out in his quest to misinform and manipulate everyone into hating America. Sure. But I don't hate America; I hate injustice; I hate the injustice America is responsible for. I denounce it. Chomsky did not fund and openly support a genocidal military dictatorship in Guatemala...and if he did I would denounce him. In this case Chomsky denounced it and was ignored while the highest elected official in America, who would get re-elected and honored and revered...but was actually a poorly cloaked global villain....enabled Mayan genocide. Those are the unpleasant facts, and if you approve of disguised* state violence then your response is a shoulder shrug or maybe pointing out that Reagan's whole strategy was to bankrupt Russia so everything he did was justified. But if you denounce state violence then you demand justice. Sadly, all this involves education and when the state controls the media then that's impossible without being proactive and also skeptical. I know people who voted for genocide when they voted for Reagan, but they would not feel responsible because they didn't know the facts, and now it's too late so it's pointless to argue about it.

*For the record, Reagan claimed Montt was "improving the conditions for Guatemalans" and if by Guatemalans he meant the elite ruling class then he was telling the truth and Montt was justified in slaughtering 3000 Mayan farmers a month. I, however, include the Mayans in the category of Guatemalans so Reagan  therefore enabled Genocide with his propaganda. In a just world Obama would not need to proclaim a moratorium on undocumented immigrants who fled Guatemala in 1983 because any decent person would understand the situation and immediately offer refuge to them instead of detaining them to ship back to the death squad. Any decent person would defend said refugee from a detention squad because state violence can only be healed by state mercy.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Choosing Words Carefully

I've been having weird dreams lately. One dream involved my riding on top of a freight train, the train stopped way in the middle of a broad desert and I got off and walked around...and then I saw that another train was coming down the track...and I waved the train down and it was being followed by a path of fire...and the second train was actually being pushed by a 2nd generation Ford Econoline, a different color and style than El Conquistador but it wasn't on fire; it was setting everything on fire around it. And another dream involved internet comments and in the future everyone is only allowed a single quote that they can use for comments. I mean that you only get one quote and that's the only comment you can make on internet content. Some people have signatures to their internet identity, and this is an extension of that except all you get is your signature. You can not expand on your signature. Your signature quote is the only comment you can make. And it's strange but also not much different than people repeating themselves with different words. In the future you won't be given different words, you only get a certain quote to use and that's all. So maybe in 2015 I will only use a single quote...to stay ahead of the curve. And I have 6 days to decide on the only comment I will be able to make for 1 year. 
I doubt I'll be able to limit myself but it will be a game. Is there a quote that summarizes every comment I could make?

The quotes I'm leaning toward are these: 

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.” F. Nietzsche

"It is men who take ventures who make the world. It is courage the world needs...launch out into deep waters. Half measures, trimming the shore in shallow waters, never pays anything."  Sir William Grenfell


"The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people. "
Cesar Chavez 


Those would look a little strange on an article about baseball but there's a lesson in that. I probably wrote something worth repeating but to find it I'll have to reread everything I wrote and that's not going to happen. 

A Christmas Card From A Gypsy in Guatemala

Actually this Tom Waits song is called A Christmas Card From A Hooker in Minneapolis. It's the kind of song that requires personality as it's being sung from the perspective of another person, down and out and in jail, lying about themselves like everyone seems to do nowadays on their status pages. No one wants to be in rehab or depressed so we dress our egos up in elf suits with a silk tie wrapped around our false smiles. A video is out there that has Waits start off and end with Silent Night and I ripped that approach off because I can't improve on it.



I can't really sing loud because the apartment building I've landed in actually has occupants and it's this open central courtyard and I know my piano echos through the halls and makes the Guatemalans wonder who is playing Barry Manilow or Nat King Cole. (I like to the everyone I wrote Some Enchanted Evening.)

I seem to remember being stuck in the mud in Northern Louisiana last year at this time, somewhere near Shreveport, where a new salt water disposal facility was being built. I tolerated it in hopes that one day I would be in Guatemala with a piano and a year later that has come true. The path is clear that I should only play jazz standards at fancy restaurants or cruise ships. I could play Ain't Misbehaving for hours consecutively and the pain in my neck is always worth it.

I have almost exhausted my bucket list. If I can spend a little more time writing about Santa Cruz then maybe I will silence my demons and finally have a silent night.

Merry Christmas to all.

Xela, named by Mayans after 10 peaks...and that's one of them. It's located over 7000ft above sea level which is why I must wear a coat.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Only Google Sent Me A Christmas Card This Year


Because I'm not already media saturated Google decided to quit edit my uploaded photos into a slide show and even added music. This kind of creeps me out because I know a person did not actually compile this slide show, so it was all a computer browsing my photos of Alligator swamp lizards in the high Chisos Mountains and Santa Elena canyon and my endless maintenance of my van. This is interesting because I've seen all and shared most of these photos but what's depressing are the photos and memories that Google is not aware of and thus virtually don't exist. You would think that watching this slideshow that you are witnessing my year in review but there were many pivotal events that I could not write about nor photograph as they were emotionally personal. I remember crossing the border into Mexico from Texas and giving spare change to a man with a club foot. Many people are bilingual near the border and we discussed my van. That incident is not in this slideshow. Nor is the 60 amp fuse that I blew because I didn't wrap a wire splice with enough electrical tape.

So this is the generic Oggy's 2014 Review as compiled by a loveless computer. It's incomplete, and yet, it's something.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Thinking Outside the Gridiron

This won't happen any time soon but as an example of a non-intuitive approach to problem solving I have a theory that the way to make pro football more safe is to double the schedule and have teams play at least twice a week. Maybe even three times a week. Instead of 16 games, the schedule would be 48 games long in the same time period from Sept to January. My theory is that like basketball and baseball which have 82 and 160 games respectively, the NFL players will pace themselves, the physical nature of the hits will have to be turned down. Every week you can decide to play utterly fatigued because you went all out during the last game, or you pace yourself, like NBA and MLB players. The reason the NFL is so violent is because the players have 6 days to lift weights, replenish their energy and they know they will have 6 days off after the game so they give 100%. This makes for a high impact/energy game but it's clearly too violent even for the taste of the owners as more and more rules are being made to protect players. Well, what the fuck? The rules aren't working because it's rarely a dirty hit that causes the injury and the hits that get the flag aren't the ones that cause injury. The extreme nature of the game has not changed at all because the players themselves have no incentive to go easy. The only way to give them an incentive is by punishing them with more games so they physically can not be as violent and careless because they know in three days they have to do it all over again. That is exactly how MLB and NBA get through their seasons, they pace themselves. The teams that don't pace themselves are without key players late in the season.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Bordering On Madness

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
 
Imagine this scene with my van somewhere in the middle of it
This will be my summary account of crossing the Mexico/Guatemala border at the El Carmen "Talisman" crossing a week or two ago. In addition to my fictionalization of the drama I will try to include some factual information of what anyone foolish enough to attempt this in the future will need. I accept no responsibility for what happens to you if you attempt this crossing. If you want to read a good concise description of the process without profanity go here.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Songwriting Masterclass

This is the stuff that makes me smile. If loving the band Bread is wrong then I don't want to be right. James Griffin was a strong songwriter and singer with Bread but David Gates got the spotlight. It's sometimes hard to tell which high alto singer is Gates or Griffin. This is a tune Bread released but the studio version is too complicated with some kind of synthesized horn sound ruining the simplicity. I like this song even though it blatantly and repeatedly misuses the word "just", which is my pet grammar peeve, but I feel in lyrics it is permissible. It's also permissible as long as you are wearing leather pants* and a denim shirt with embroidered flowers and playing a grand piano and can sing the shit out a song like Griffin.  I like Jackson Browne's solo stuff too but they are probably pressured into a production room because there's more money in a band. Griffin flubs the very last piano note so you know it's real. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters by Elton John, and For A Dancer by Jackson Browne are high on my list of excellence. In Your Eyes by Billy Squire is up there too so Rock can be represented.

*There is another video of Griffin's set on The Old Grey Whistle Test program and he's wearing shiny black leather rocker pants.

Catching Up

Seriously Large monastery somewhere in a place no tourists visit.
Leaving Atlixco was unnecessary and probably foolish. It's paradise on earth. But my goal was to write my Santa Cruz epic novel and that floundered amid my punditry and online wars with other pundits....a failing I blame on my moral weakness.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Windshield or Dog?

No harm was done to this dog.

I´m almost beaten by the change in misfortunes. I told the man at the Mx-Guatemalan border that because I had no solution for his situation that I was going to pray for him and he should also pray. Indescribably bleak, like Karachi or Sao Paolo. My prayers were kind of answered by a short term solution involving a guide cooperative at the border to offer services to those crossing by vehicle. I write the whole process out in English, translate it to Spanish and then set up a booth where the guides can be hired to facilitate the process. That makes sense even if it probably won´t work. Right now the situation is beyond hopeless and is getting worse and violence is soon to follow. 100 people fighting over a bone that is still on pig´s leg walking around. But all my notes for that project soon were lost on the streets of Queztaltenango. I hunted for them but could not find them. So what kind of a sign am I to take from that?


Real glamorous night in Tapantepec, Mexico 

The difficulties soon began after crossing the border as the verticle climb out of the border valley is a sheer cliff that El Conquistador bitterly tackled. A sailboat can technically navigate a reef or rocky shoals...and technically El Conquistador can handle this terrain. But in both cases one mistake and it´s a long ride home on a bus full of broken dreams. I felt this way in Labrador, that I´d pushed the limit of the van and myself, no funds, no support, tires falling off, the wolf soon extinct, but I pressed on. Now I feel that it´s a one way trip, that no one could navigate the van backwards. One problem will follow the other until the final straw sends the van to the bottom of a cliff.
The second casualty of Guatemala
One night in Guatemala and the funnel(cap) to my spare fuel tank vanished while I slept. I wish they had taken the whole tank as it cracked in the sunlight. Why steal the funnel part? Pointless. Then I lose all my notes for saving the economy of Guatemala...The moped would not start in my desperate attempt to avoid driving. The plugs were fouled...maybe the altitude of 8000 ft is the problem. I drive off and the rear view mirror falls out of the frame and cracks in half on the ground...
I find a place that is flat to properly get my hands dirty fixing the moped....spend two hours cleaning everything....it starts at the exact moment near dusk that a large dog is struck by a truck about 30 feet away from me. The dog´s leg flies off like the animal had stepped on a landmine. I see the leg arc through the reddening sky,...the animal has broken back, no leg, motionless, starts to whine. A volcano nearby has erupted but the busy highway brings no serenity. I think, ¨travel means fixing petty bullshit in exotic places.¨

There are thousands of stray dogs here..that make the Mexican stray dogs look as healthy as Odie and Marmaduke. To make my point about 15 stray dogs came out to bark at the dying, 3 legged dog in the road. Maybe they were mocking him. But to see one maimed and killed in front of me still pained me. It whined pitifully until it was run over repeatedly by another truck or two. I kicked the tires of the moped in futile anger, unable to help. I had no resources to drag the dog to the side and didn´t want to risk my life for a dog corpse. And I was disappointed in myself and the world. I should note that Guatemalans like Mexicans and other Central Americans have a high tolerance for stray dogs. much higher than Americans. Americans think that by rounding the dogs up and executing about 90% of them that they are more humane. How the fuck is that more humane? Well, dogs run free and wild in Central America and locals do not mistreat them and do try to avoid hitting them with their trucks and buses. But in this case it was getting dark and the dog was dark and picked a busy time of day to dart across the street...so it died. No one tried to kill the dog and it was probably dragged to the shoulder when traffic died down. Locals do not deign to interfere with dog survival. It is more a "live and let live" situation. In some towns there are so many stray dogs that their corpses are burned to generate energy. Imagine 200,000 stray dogs. I should also note that people approach me daily who are undernourished. I'm wearing a ridiculous Mayan bracelet that I had to buy out of pity. Guatemala is not like Haiti, but someone from Haiti might just prefer to stay in Haiti if they were offered the option to immigrate to Guatemala. My point is that resources are stressed here and dogs obey the Pope too so the result is rough.

All the signs pointed for me to get away but there is no away. Oggy has come to the end of the road and he can´t go back. Surrounded by volcanos.

Of course it´s my fault for trying to find a culture that isn´t poisoned and I accept that. I´m hungry now and can not adequately type on this broke ass internet cafe keyboard. Now I remember why I like my own computer.

My advice is to Pray.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Desperation

Now I have arrived at the edge of darkness, the lawless land. I met a toothless coyote bringing 4 Honduran teens north. they had only small backpacks...the coyote had nothing. they had no papers so could not drive so they walked and jumped the train and took the bus at night so they could pretend to be asleep at the checkpoints.
Ï ask who is in charge, and no one answers.
this is a desperation that wakes me up. it´s hot, I´m sweating and thirsty and many people are hungry. Lawyers, guns and money would solve all my problems.
 the resources in Chiapas are stressed to breaking. The coyote said,´once, this was Guatemala.¨and he´s speaking of Chiapas...so now Guatemalans recross the border that was once somewhere else as this story plays out repeatedly in history.
This is beyond changing, it is human nature. so is the part about villanizing people struggling to survive. the coyote was toothless and he was escorting teens to the northern promised land, but I had a nice conversation with him. I think he was an American citizen...somehow, spoke english, he seemed a bit of a philosopher and a student of life.
I need a quesedilla.

I will try to write a detailed essay of this particular scenario but it requires some time to digest. But for now I want to warn anyone approaching Guatemala and Central America in general that things are kind of desperate here. grown men ride bicycles far into the mountains to pick up wood, small branches and then bicycle back to town with the fuel for their Mezcal refineries. It´s good mezcal, espcially the jamaica flavored, but my point is the lengths we will go to survive. that´s the issue really. Only innocent Oggy would go to Guatemala to look for work while thousands flee because of lack of work. I am resourceful, but more than that I can´t tolerate the level of manipulation I´ve seen in the north. it´s pure poison, obviously debilitating to mankind, but because it produces sales it is allowed. I want a place that does not tolerate slimfast garbage and that makes me a fundamentalist, a pilgrim, a religious refugee...the exodus of one in a 45 year old mayflower.

do what you will do but when you approach Guatemala hide your valuables, don´t hand your paperwork to anyone without a visible gun....don´t believe anyone who is walking...only converse with individuals in an office in a uniform. be prepared for chaos.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Detour

Rough day of driving....like crossing a parking lot full of tire curbs and simply driving over all the curbs one after another for hours
Crubs? No problem, just drive over them...for hours.
I made one mistake after another, got so lost I didn´t even bother asking the people where I was...it would`ve been embarrancar. I had some musing that basically involved an outline of a person....and every day is a pencil line in filling the person´s outline up. and the pencil lines are richness...but not necessarily riches. There is a fine difference between the two. Richness is watching the sun set, smelling flowers, breathing mountain air. Riches is importing fish, drawing blueprints of a garage, programming an animated dog.

More on that later.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Sign From Aztec Gods?


Tranquility

So, my last day in Atlixco, packed, even woke up before noon, a final picture of El Conquistador between the volcanoes and the cloudless sky, the Paso de Cortes right around the smoke stack.

And then about 40 seconds later...



A sign?



Moments after turning around to get out of town the volcano erupts. It´s active and usually puffs ash but not during the 30 seconds I happen to have my van in front of it. Even if you don´t believe in signs this will make wonder....a van called El Conquistador has about a 120 second window of opportunity in front of two volcanoes named by Aztecs...like 400 years after the Conquistadores existed...and the volcano erupts at that exact moment?

I took it as a sign to turn south...head toward unknown lands.

Atlixco Survived
I was curious so I cheated with this compilation


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Futility

American news looks more and more like a soap opera that is going to get cancelled.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Screenshot Trivia #3

Screenshot #1
Too easy but kind of obscure. I think you can deduce the movie from this screenshot. But it will hopefully inspire some to revisit this fine movie.

Pipeliner


This song is finally in the ballpark for a demo version complete with my vocal effect unit that makes me sound like Kermit the Frog. It sucks having the soul of Jackson Browne and the the voice of Pee Wee Herman but the good lord may shine his love upon me one day and inspire a pretty, popular artist to record one of my songs.

Pipeliner was intended to get me thinking outside the box, a love song from the wife of a dead pipeline welder, a tribute to the working man from the female perspective. I demonstrated my ability to write totally noncommercial novelty songs but Pipeliner is as commercial as I can make it: pro oil, pro capitalism, pro working class, pro traditional family...(I'm still working on a lyric about his dog and truck but I made up for it with a line about his Lincoln Welder)...except I'm a man singing it for my gay welder husband. Damn it, please let Taylor Swift hear this and record it and put "Written by Oggy Bleacher" on her platinum album! Please GOD LET THAT HAPPEN so I can retire to Belize with the royalties of this cheese fest. Is that asking too much?

And lest ye judge me need I remind you of the years spent in the oil field freezing with no fat on my ass, nothing to protect me from the Louisiana hippie haters and mud up to my balls trying desperately to inject the earth with poisoned frac water.
The flood lights aren't up, because I haven't put them up yet.
I work next to these pipefitters, welders, electricians, concrete form setters, engineers. Fucking 4 stories in the air with a bitter wind in my face on an extending crane swaying in the breeze with a giant light assembly dangling from my lips. Many die, many widows are made, many lunches and next to work boots that will never be worn again. In fact, the work boots I own are from a man who could no longer walk after a life in the oil field. He could not put the boots on...so he sold them. IF THERE IS A GOD THEN HE WILL LET TAYLOR SWIFT RECORD THIS SONG! AMEN.

tree shadow

Hhahaa, I just realize the whole song should end with 'Amen' because that's even more American than a widow of a pipeliner singing a song to her dead husband. The Pipeliner Tribute Song.


ps. my piano lick is inspired by, but not an exact rip-off of, Jackson Browne's Birds of Saint Marks. So he doesn't get writing credit.

The chords are the standard C/ami/F/G...the chorus is F/G/ami and the bridge is ami/G. I rewrote the lyrics from what I sing but this is what I've got so far:

Pipeliner
By Oggy Bleacher

It's 4am, I'll make the coffee.
You can sleep a little more.
I'll put your lunch
with your work boots
beside the kitchen door

chorus: Pipeliner, when are you coming home.
You've been gone so long
I'll be waiting for you when the day is through
I'll be waiting here for you.

In the field the work is hard the day is long
your Lincoln Welder is your pride
Another bead around another mile of pipe
you're never satisfied

chorus

bridge: you and I we had so many years together
you were a lover and a friend
now the days are long, the nights are deathly quiet
and in the morning I pretend

It's 4am, I'll make the coffee
you can sleep a little more.
I'll put your lunch
with your work boots beside the kitchen door

chorus.

It's simple, a video of Taylor Swift singing and a sepai-toned widow making coffee for her dead husband, a dog waiting sadly at the door next to some work boots, an American Flag. That's a Platinum record right there courtesy of Oggy Bleacher. No, let's have more booty jiggle videos. yeah. I'll go ahead and starve to death.

Slap in Face

America: the country where you can be considered too mentally ill to execute after murdering your in-laws, but you can be lawfully murdered by the police for selling loose cigarettes.

The best comment I read about the state sanctioned street execution of Eric Garner was when one Conservative scumbag wrote, "Garner wasn't exactly the picture of health."

A bleeding-heart Liberal kiss-ass responded, "Yeah, a healthy person could have survived the beating."


Hahaha.

Comply or Die!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Poll

A Most Important Poll

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Oggy Learns A Lesson

My joys in life are writing things that make me laugh and fixing my moped. The other day I wrote a simulated call and response between myself and two conservatives. That dialogue ended with this:

Oggy: Which of you fucking cunts gonna make me? What army from Bubba-stan could even find their fat fucking Whataburger ass under all those rolls of cheese colored ass, putrid illiterate Big Red drinking jock strap losers? You guys sit on your ass and beat off watching Honey Boo Boo prance around Bubba-ville in camouflage panties.

I seriously laughed for two days after writing that. It's offensive on so many dimensions.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Moped Porn

1974 Vespa Ciao and Popocatepetl

Vespa Ciao with Popo and Itza

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