Tuesday, September 29, 2015


It's not just Freddie Green, but the whole arrangement is divine. Check out the Count Basie Orchestra for more. One person refers to this music as P.E....Pre-Elvis. Swing is the correct term.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Extreme Sports

I think when George Mallory was asked, "Why climb Everest?" and he replied "Because it's there." he was really referring to his Ego

He said, "I want to travel light and take the summit by surprise," and the translation of that is ,"We paid an army of poor sherpas from our oppressed colony to carry our shit for us, but we'll take all the credit in the end."

Mallory might've reached the summit but he took that secret with him when he died on the mountain and his body is up there still along with the corpses of many others.

I watched the movie Everest the other day. It is based on the true events of the bungled summit attempt by about 50 thrill seekers in 1996. There was probably a little bit of editorializing and exaggeration, but that's only because this unknown director didn't quite grasp there is no need to exaggerate anything that happens at 28,000 ft. Like there are no average days for a human in outer space. If you tape a cocktail straw between your lips and use only it to breath, while running a marathon, then you might get the idea of what it's like to operate at that altitude, but this grave effort is only brushed over along with ridiculous cinematic conventions such as removing ones goggles and mask in sub zero temps so the audience knows who is talking...but I can ignore that.

 I've been reflecting on this topic of extreme sports, considering opening a Los Angeles guide service that walks you through a month on Skid Row. Escorted heroin addiction. The complete package will include starting out living in a van that will be confiscated by the police in a midnight raid while you are suffering from food poisoning. The police will club you and mace your eyes while you plead for medical attention. You will wind up sharing a cardboard box with a lunatic, wearing unisex pajamas in 30 degree temps and rain. Why not? Driving the Pan American Highway is a breeze compared to living on the streets of Austin where I was a false move from either being gunned down in the street, wrongfully convicted of murder and executed, or mugged and killed, not to mention heat stroke. The stress was very high and there was no Embassy to call for relief, the chance of 'disaster' was also very high. And if someone paid me $65K for the chance to spend a month living in 125 degree heat, dodging pimps, meth heads and trigger happy cops you would be right to call them crazy. One day I lugged 200 pound sheets of masonite into a church attic for 10 hours, tore all the skin off my arm, ate a single uncooked Ramen noodle packet for my entire calorie consumption, and earned about $22, which all went in my gas tank, and then was interrogated by the police for an hour with guns aimed at my temple, while they tried to get me to do something suspicious so they could arrest or execute me. Believe me, after my work day there was no fight left in me. I sincerely didn't care if they executed me or not and the cops eventually went back to their bat cave. Only after I navigated all those dangers could I sleep in the 120 degree oven my van had become during the day. Yet, there are no guide services for this 'urban challenge sport' and equally crazy people who pay $65K to climb Everest get a movie made about them when they die. That makes no sense. I survived a hellish situation in Austin and Corpus Christi for 5 months and for a small fee I could lead you through a similar experience. If Everest is a Summit then why is it not popular to plunge to the depth of social decay and survive? Los Angeles just declared a state of emergency because of 25,000 homeless people dying on the streets. Don't you want a chance to be one of them? I don't get it, but I'm not conventional so I guess I'm biased. I also accept the fact that some adventures must surpass any rational limit, at some point we reach a do or die, safety limit and keep on going anyway. That seems to be the lesson of the movie: rarely is your goal easily achieved and sometimes you have to die to reach a summit. But you will die knowing you reached the summit and if it's that important to you then go ahead because you'll die eventually anyway. That's what Mallory thought.

The movie is interesting but they all chose to be there at 8000 meters and their choice puts many people at risk for their mistakes. They all depend on an army of locals. They leave behind trash and shit and frozen bodies in a wake of destruction following their summit attempt. What kind of person would do that? Nature lovers? No. The kind that would later claim to have "Climbed Mt. Everest" Sure, you climbed Mt. Everest like I built my car. Fortunately, the dead don't ask for sympathy, so I don't have to have any. I'm selfish, I cultivate my own private goals and hobbies, but at least I admit it. But I also try to limit the imposition on others. When I'm asked if I will drive to Chile in my van I respond, "The question isn't if I can make it; the question is how many Bolivian potato farmers I want to inconvenience along the way." The answer is zero. I think a Bolivian potato farmer has enough challenges without taking time out of his day to help me find a distributor cap or help me through a parasitic attack. And since a trip to Chile in my van will not only cost around $7K, it will also inconvenience dozens of innocent people unlucky enough to live along the route I choose, I think that kind of trip is not going to happen. Better to take a bus or motorcycle.

There was a time when the peak of Everest was free of conceited and selfish assholes, but it's safe to say that time has passed. This movie is both a fittingly garish/lavish tribute and commercialized memorial to those selfish, conceited assholes who now seem to be the only people capable of reaching the summit.

We were just minding our own business...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Oh, man, Julie London had the whole package. Check out this throaty pass at Bye Bye Blackbird. Nothing tired about this.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

P105 Yamaha Digital Piano No Sound From Speakers

It only took 2 weeks on the beach for me to realize this salt air is all wrong for my guitars and computer and digital piano. Then an earthquake in Chile sent a Tsunami this direction and I felt that was my second warning to get out of town. Then I dodged two evil looking Manta Rays in about 8 inches of water during my daily swim. I didn't heed any of these warnings, preferring to drink mojitos and go cliff diving and snorkeling for lost pirate gold (ironically losing my beaded necklace during one dive), and yesterday turned the piano on and there was no sound from the speakers. Then the sound returned, struggled, cut out, came back, staggered, and finally gave up for good. There was never any static, the sound simply cut out and came back, and then cut out. No sound from the 4 cheap internal speakers. The headphone jack works fine, as normal, the rear outputs work too, but with less volume and the L/R jack only puts out Left. The right puts out Right. I never tested these rear outputs before so I have no idea if this is normal. But I do know the headphone jacks are not stuck in closed position because I disconnected the headphone jack connector and there was still no sound from the speakers. The speaker wires both had continuity, the ribbon cables are secure, though the assembly techs at Yamaha could leave a little more slack so they aren't so tight. It all looks clean. The caps are not bulging. I put it all back together and there's no change.

I cursed my luck that this piano is a mere 20 months old, purchased at Guitar Center in Louisiana and trekked with me through some harrowing adventures but always protected in a padded case and treated gently when moving it to get into bed, in fact, I left the piano on the bed and slept in a hammock to avoid messing with it. All this was futile as the sea air possibly killed the speakers. So I took it apart since the closest warranty shop is in Texas I don't trust anyone to actually fix it here in Costa Rica. And I did spend a few years as an electronics tech and I have all the tools, but on closer inspection none of the wires were broken, there was no corrosion, the innards looked pristine, no debris. If you are curious, all of the 20+ screws on the bottom had to be removed to take the pieces apart. But they are all the same size screw so it's not too big a deal with a power driver.

Either a bad electrolytic capacitor or integrated circuit
All I could do is look for a bulging e-cap or corrosion or loose plastic connector. None of that was to be found so it could be an electrolytic capacitor going bad in either the power supply or the power amplifier section. Next would be an IC in the preamplifier stage followed by the power amp section..which is beyond the multimeter-on-a-tropical-beach testing stage. So the piano is retired from public performances. I am going deaf so the headphones are better. I do have an amplifier if an emergency comes up and I want to record something. Still, this is a bummer. If anyone out there in virtual world has fixed this problem then email me at oggybleacher@gmail.com
Lame. 20 months is a rotten life span for an electronic device. If it's one of these surface mount capacitors then it's not even my fault. It's simply crap components and bums me out because it's otherwise a good product. The P-105 has been discontinued too.

Update 9/16: The sound came back to the speakers, worked for a few months, then stopped again. Now when I turn it on I hear about two seconds of sounds from the speakers and then it cuts out. The headphone jack works fine and the tone is still clean but the speakers are not working. I think it's humidity and vibration or age and that circuit is intermittent. Probably can be fixed with $200 worth of troubleshooting but the piano is not hardly worth that investment. So I plan to give it away.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Group Of Lunatics Meet in Library to Discuss Apocalypse

I had to watch the Republican debates the other day and wonder if I was the only person who thought it was ironic that a library was named after a senile, babbling, mass murderer who got elected by reading optimistic scripts, like an actor, which is what he was. But the real irony was the religous zealotry and 'sanctity of life' was dripping from the lips of these monsters as they muttered in the same breath "unborn babies are precious, gun rights are holy, all who would harm Americans will die" Gun rights are holy? But unborn babies are precious? Am I reading that correctly?
The symbolism of greed was rich

What an incredible mess of ethical stew. Good luck, you pedantic, phony, bible thumpers.

The best response I have to them all is simply, "Your council is demonic." 
I don't know if they have advisers or they simply hear the ghost of Reagan in their head, but the voices they listen to are the voices of demons. Their premises are totally fucked. Mostly, they clung to life raft positions that will guarantee muddy conclusions to guns, drugs, terrorism and immigration. These 4 topics are classic septic tank discussions as they are all cash cows that can have absolutely no conclusion but can be dangled like a bloody fetus in front of the American public and agitate to their advantage. Climate change, which will kill everything alive today, was not discussed in depth. God was mentioned quite a bit.

These are individuals who have very high levels of deception and narcissism and merely want to check off another accomplishment on their Type A list of goals. They have no concept of humility or ethics. They are a wasteland of oratory babbling and zealous invoking the name of Mass murderer Reagan, who not only flooded the streets of Los Angeles with crack cocaine in order to fund religious terrorists in Asia who would later bomb America, but who gleefully funded Central American dictators who murdered 1000 farmers a month to prevent the spread of economic equality, and then plead senility as his excuse. For this list of crimes he got a library named after him. He is celebrated and honored. Though he was a mass murderer his name is equivalent to a pope's blessing. So, if you go to this library to celebrate something so awful then we obviously can't expect humility and we got a mouthful of shit from them all. But it made for good entertainment.

A couple of these idiots remarked on marajuana as a gateway drug that should remain illegal. Oddly, one of those idiots was the governor of New Jersey, where Atlantic City is located, filled with drugs, booze, gambling, sex trade...and the other idiots was trump who owned one of those casinos. Well, they got one thing right, marijuana is a gateway drug...for the DEA, FBI and CIA to justify their 80 years of attacking private citizens private habits. The DEA used marijuana to target activists, poor people, jazz musicians, and anyone who was undesirable to the corrupt status quo. So, marijuana is indeed a gateway drug which has turned into a permanent addiction of federal infringement on private citizens and a cash cow of phony intervention strategies that are really laundering methods for dirty wars of dirty politicians and have nothing remotely related to health care. As far as marijuana leading to use of other drugs they probably have the chain of events backwards. Crack users smoke pot to wean themselves off crack...they don't grow tired of pot and move on to crack. In fact, the illegal nature of pot requires a person who is in search of pot to engage with sellers of all illegal drugs, which makes sense because they are all illegal and equally evil in the eyes of Christie and other idiots. So, the very law that makes pot illegal guarantees that someone who is looking to buy pot in a fucked up state like New Jersey to be immediately asked, "Do you want some crack or meth or heroin?" since the dealer will also have those products. In California, the dispensary had pot and only pot. Heroin was illegal in Los Angeles so you had to go to a different street corner for that. And if Heroin and pot were both legal, I can predict that they will not be sold in the same store. So, these stupid and blind federal prosecutors are not only wrong about marijuana being a gateway drug, but they are doubly stupid because it is their law criminalizing pot that guarantees pot users will also have access to crack and meth, which are evil, but still fall into the category of a private matter. The best way to prevent pot users from "trading up" to heroin is to make both drugs legal and have them sold in different locations. Adults should be able to make bad decisions without some piece of shit federal prosecutor pretending to care about them so much that they put them in jail and force them into rehab. Totally pathetic remarks on pot from all of these idiots. I wish I had been on that stage. 
"Oggy, have you smoked pot?"
"Ever smoked pot? I'm high right now!"

It was disgusting to watch but at least the signs of collapse are so obvious that we will have no one to blame but ourselves. This imbeciles could not deceive a drunk sailor. Their evil is transparent.

I promise you that nothing good can come from any of these candidates. I'm no fan of Democrats either and until there is a wider selection of vetted candidates then we are doomed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Swinging Jazz

When I look at elite songs in the global songbook I think "Some Enchanted Evening" is perfection. "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserable is also elite...also, "Memories" from Cats. Musical Theater has the historical tradition of employing the great songwriters and all of these are from that arena. But it's not my favorite. Nat's approach to "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down" is also perfection but it's also not my favorite. Chet Baker's stab at "I Get Along Without You Very Well" is very good and I'll never get tired of playing "Don't Get Around Much Anymore". But it has to be "Frim Fram Sauce" that is my favorite because it's clever and it swings and there's a story to be told and a moral and it isn't sappy. Pointless to rank elite songs but these all are immortal.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Maintenance and Reflection

It does sort of look like Paradise but the mosquitoes and ants aren't in the picture. Regardless, the instruments have given me signs that they don't belong on the seaside. And the drug abuse and alcoholism is rampant here along with predictable petty theft so it's not my scene.

Really annoying problem that finds gasoline underneath the carburetor, trapped in an area where no gas should be. Baffled by this but the good news is that it doesn't affect performance at all. The gasoline looks like oil but I think it is simply dirty gasoline. It's a puzzle, but the conclusion is that when the carb overflowed three times recently with gas bubbling all over, once when I forgot to clip the float valve retainer wire in place, and twice when the float valve got stuck with crud and bubbled up in the immigration parking lot, the gas flows into the butterfly valve and leaks between the gasket, probably saturating the gasket, and into the reservoir. Simply a bad design to the intake manifold that would give the gas a place to collect, but it can be cleaned in 45 minutes so if the carb overflows then I must remember to clean that reservoir.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Oggy Child Care Center

 The kid’s father said, “You can’t blame the boy for acting like a normal 7 year old kid. Right?”

At that moment the boy was chasing a transvestite in mini skirt and high heels (and actually looking pretty sexy for a 19 year old boy) up the middle of the busy street, barking like a dog, throwing rocks while the transvestite tried to hit him with her purse or handbag and yelled insults at him. Cars honked and dodged the two at high speeds.

The father continued, “He’s learning the best lessons about how to survive on the street.”

 I could barely understand the father because his jaw was locked by the effects of speed and he was mumbling and clutching the pizza cutter, carving aimlessly into a cardboard box.
“I don’t know,” I suggested hesitantly, “I never chased a transvestite into the street when I was his age.”

 “Could you go get him before someone calls the cops?”
“He doesn’t listen to me,” I replied.
“He doesn’t listen to anyone. Just go grab him. Handcuff him if necessary. I gotta watch this pizza.”

I honestly didn’t want to get involved but years on the street has taught me that if I remained in the vicinity then I was going to get involved whether I liked it or not. The only options were to leave immediately or try to intervene, but years on the street had taught me that intervention would never work right. I had my guitar and walked onto the porch of the pizza restaurant with the guitar slung around my back. I called the kid’s name. He only spoke Spanish for some reason to I said, “Ven aca! Ven! No molesta la muchacha!”

 This had absolutely no affect and the transvestite was trying to hit the boy to get him to leave her alone. She was walking back toward the restaurant as the boy darted quickly in and out to punch or pinch the woman’s clothes. It was a totally unacceptable situation and the transvestite was yelling for help. So I chased the kid around as he seemed to think the whole thing was a joke and we were missing out on the fun. I said, “This isn’t a joke. Don’t bother this woman or anyone. Get in the restaurant, Now!”

 The kid laughed at me and tried to run once more at the transvestite and with the guitar in one hand I grabbed the kid by the neck like I would grab a dog, hard, violently, mercilessly. He tried to get away but I got one of his arms behind his back. It was hard with the guitar in my other hand but my instinct was truly violent and he was no match for me. Stray dogs attacked me routinely in Nicaragua and I learned to defend myself with sticks and rocks so my ordinarily diplomatic nature was on vacation; the kid had pushed my limit and I dearly wanted to beat him with a belt or tree branch in the street. I saw him not as a human but as a junk animal who either learned to obey or could find another place to sleep. Children in the farming collectives obeyed the slightest command from their parents, even a imperceptible nod or grunt, and demonstrated the responsiveness of obedient farm animals who had been whipped repeatedly into submission. From the age of 4 until death a Nicaraguan farmer will work as long as hard as humanly possible to survive. The girls take care of the younger children until they have children of their own. The boys start out moving small rocks and graduate into moving buckets, shoveling sand, mixing cement, building rock walls. You work or you die. Parents do not make requests of their children, no, their word is the law. But children are also free to entertain themselves up until the point they are told to do something by an adult, at which point they don’t question the task. Certainly the lack of Disney sponsored media perversion (pester power) is part of the reason rural farming kids are not trained to resist the law and order of their parents, but I am sure the belt or switch is also used. Disobedience is unheard of in rural Nicaragua and now I had crossed into Costa Rica and met the exact opposite scenario, a totally lawless kid and a parent who lacked the motivation and skills to even attempt discipline.

 Normally I find ways to avoid these situations entirely since I have vowed to avoid any child under the age of 18 because I do not want to hinder their permanent corruption by a corrupt culture. I’ve concluded that when a culture becomes as poisoned as the United States has become then your best alternative is to embrace the poison, assimilate the wickedness, augment the awful traditions. Waste food, exploit labor, dominate others, profit, profit, profit at all costs. The world is upside down: A good parent should be ashamed of their child. Do not resist a mass migration to vile ethics and lack of morality; no, that will only lead to struggle and ostracism. Furthermore, it’s pointless because we are talking about institutionalized corruption and degradation. Like Hunter Thompson said, In the land of swine, the one-eyed pig is king. My advice to the young person is to aspire to be that king swine. There are other factors such as the wave of desperate migrants who are about to pour into the United States from Central America, migrants who are more hungry, more willing to work for less, who will do anything to work, and these will be the competition of the average kid growing up today, In addition to the educationally far superior Indian and South Korean migrants so their killer instinct must be refined, not suppressed. Kids today need to conform to the villainous and destructive modern values, learn to oppress all who would seize their wealth, further exploit those weaker than themselves, and show no mercy to anyone. Those are my conclusions and since I want no part of that paradigm and live as an affront to that paradigm, I have voluntarily removed myself from any active contact with youth. I will not lead a rebel army to slaughter. But I will not conform.

 I wish I had some Doctor Phil advice, but he and I run in different circles, so I grabbed the kid away from the transvestite and brought him back to his father who was snorting cocaine in a corner. His mother is apparently a drug addicted slut who houses illegal Nicaraguan immigrants who beat the kid, so he prefers to hang out with his father since that means running down the street with no clothes on chasing transvestites and having strange guitarists wrestle you down and drag your ass across the street. I swear I wanted to beat the living shit out of that kid until he never disobeyed any adult again and I’m pretty sure I would’ve used the line, “I’m doing this for your own good.”

 The conclusion of the story came when the kid tried to get revenge on me by throwing a cup of water at me, barricading himself into a corner of the restaurant and throwing a bunch of crap at me like a padlock and a comb, saying I had assaulted him, which wasn’t a lie. Calmer heads prevailed so I did not beat the living shit out the kid as I so much desired. I dried my guitar off and left him to the fate of his drug addict mother, the abusive Nicaraguan immigrants, and his inept father. The last thing I heard was his father saying, ¨Be a good boy and get your papa two beers from the liquor store.¨and in Costa Rica, that is possible for a 7 year old to get done.

I don’t know if there is a moral to this story except that it explains the look on my face when you ask me to baby sit for your 7 year old kid. A 7 year old Nicaraguan farm kid does not need a babysitter, so if it took you 7 years to create a disobedient little brat then I’m not the right person to call.

Oyanca Challenge

Here´s the video of my descent from Oyanca. Really, the round trip was the hardest driving I´ve ever done. I want to present it as the Oyanca Challenge. Get Your vehicle to Oyanca, Nicaragua and back. Take a photo, donate some money to the community...and you have met the Oyanca Challenge. I did the first ascent but it was rough. I take no responsibility for anyone crazy enough to take the challenge in a 46 year old 2x2 vehicle.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Milking Cows

Closest Oggy Has Gotten to having Sex in a while...

The trick is to fill the nipple and then pinch it between the thumb and hand and then squeeze the milk out the bottom. Otherwise the milk goes back up the tit. This is what people are doing when the American Embassy contacts them to inform them that they have been reported missing.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Oyanca Challenge

Photo taken from inside the van hovering over cliff

I want to present The Oyanca Challenge. I have a video I took during the descent that was bad enough to get a local to bolt from the vehicle and walk the rest of the way, but the internet is not cooperating right now so stay tuned.
 The rules of the challenge are simple: Get your vehicle to Oyanca, Nicaragua, take a photo, donate some money to the community, and you have the honor of completing the Oyanca Challenge. I take no responsibility for fatalities.

But if you get there then you can take photos like this one that is going in on my wall of fame...
Simple Living

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Time To Dust Off My Hawaiian Shirt

Finally, a place where no one makes fun of my white yoga pants

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