Friday, December 23, 2011

Atheists at Christmas

There was an article I saw today. Thirty percent of Christmas decorations made in China are now sold in China. Yeah, turns out Christmas is big business now among the coastal nouveau riche over there.

Well, it doesn't surprise me much. There's a whole class of people over there well educated, ambitious and eager to demonstrate they're cosmopolitan. It's about the same thing as a bald hillbilly using 'nouveau riche' in a sentence, I reckon?

Interesting that atheists have no problem celebrating Christmas. Makes me wonder who screwed up Christmas so much, that it's readily accepted as a purely secular event?

I guess the introduction of Santa Claus is the main culprit. Mr. Claus and the Easter Bunny are two rather incomprehensible characters to the holidays they're associated with.

But it's Christmas for atheists too. If they can't find comfort in Jesus' birth, it's good they have a time of gift giving and family.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Shame! Come back Shame!

See that's a twist on final line from a movie famous to people who are old enough to join AARP.

It's a well made film with Van Heflin, Jean Arthur, Jack Palance and Alan Ladd as the eponymous 'Shane.' Now eponymous? That just means there's a guy in the movie
named Shane, and the movie is called Shane. So it's eponymous. I like to throw in words like that now & then to prove I managed to stay awake during some of my night school classes.

The old TV show 'Kung Fu' owes a lot to the plot of 'Shane' actually. I watched that David Carradine show a lot as a kid. As an adult, I have some issues with 'Kung Fu.'

First, 'Kung Fu' likely won loads of Emmys, Golden Globes, etc. back in the day for being "bold... cutting edge... takes the Western genre to new places." Bold would've been hiring a Chinese actor for the lead role. I bet Bruce Lee would've taken that job.

Second, we should respect our elders. And sometimes that includes indulging in things they find entertaining. But I just wouldn't spend 15 years of my life trying to snatch a pebble from a blind guy, all right?

Third, I accept the Chinese are a wise and ancient race. But there just HAS to be a better way to take the BBQ grille out to the patio than one that leaves David Carradine's forearms horribly scarred. However, it's their culture, so none of my biz really.

So this movie 'Shane' was doing the 'Kung Fu' basic plot in the 1950's. This guy has death dealing skills but is now a 'man of peace.' That means you have to wait until the end of the show for him to dispatch the bad guys.

But that's not what I wanted to tell you about...

This culture along the way seems to have lost the concept of Shame, and I wish it'd come back. So look, we're friends here right? We can talk. There was no looting in Japan after the recent tragedy because that culture is very tight knit and everything you do reflects on your entire family.

It used to be like that in US culture too, only less vigorously regimented. Like back in the 1960's for example? If your son got his girlfriend pregnant, and then burned his draft card and ran off to Montreal? People would treat YOU noticeably different at Church, or the grocery store, etc.

Well that was wrong too, but it happened. Not to me personally; I've never been to Canada, but things like that happened. You do bad, people shun your entire family.

I'm not advocating a return to such Draconian levels, but Shame has value in a culture. And Shame hasn't ridden into the Sunset by any means. It's still here.

When Congressman Weiner's relatives walk into crowded rooms these days, I bet some people start talking about the weather, rather abruptly. Shame is still here, except as a behavioral deterrent for the individuals engaging in stuff that will totally embarrass a lot of good people once the weasel gets out of the box... or cat out of the bag if you insist on those pedestrian metaphors.

Shame! Come back Shame!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cadillacs and Communists

So GM is providing complimentary Escalades for cast & crew to drive around China on their location shots in making a laudatory film about founding of the Chinese Communist Party...

This is yet another example of why I think anybody in 2011 who is taking LSD is pretty much wasting their money.

I can't even figure out all the ways this story looks like a Picasso painting.

'Cadillac' is firmly placed in American vocabulary as meaning 'top of the line.'
More than that, it's sort of a symbol of 20th century American striving for upward

I've never read 'Das Kapital' because I'm waiting for the movie to come out, however?
Kinda presume there's no 'striving for upward mobility' in Marxism.

Yet people are riding around in Escalades making a propaganda film about the founding of Chinese Communism. Am sure the film makers have some way to rationalize that.

And GM is providing the Escalades to stay cozy with the thugocrat regime. More Cadillacs are sold in China currently than are sold in the US. Got to make a buck after all, right? Well in this case, a Yuan I guess.

Now a funny thing about this? US taxpayers currently own 1/3 of General Motors. So the government could order GM not to cooperate in a film about how Mao was totally groovy. But that would kinda be Marxist, telling a mostly private biz how to conduct its affairs.

Yet there are people saying the US government should wield semi-Marxist control over GM to keep them out of this propaganda film deal. So I guess that means you have to act like a Marxist, else you're helping the Marxists.

Yep, anybody taking LSD in 2011 is wasting their money.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Navy SEALs Don't Squeal

Now how did that get out? And should I take it as having happened with some policy purpose in mind, or just juicy pseudo-gossip from people who should've known better?

This whole thing about they found porn at Bin Laden's house I mean...

What to type about first David? America's romance with elite military units, or the importance of keeping secrets, or the seeming stupidity of announcing to the world that porn was found at Bin Laden's house? Hmmm... hang on, I'm sensing the embryonic swirling mists of a semi-coherent narrative...

OK, I'm fairly sure that America first became enamored with uber-warriors during WW2.
There were the Marines slugging it out with the Japs on islands with funny names, and it sort of entered our collective consciousness about then, that ALL our fighting men were brave, handsome and above average, but those Marines were just badass badasses.

I'm not sure why as the decades rolled, smaller groups of warriors seemed to capture the pop culture imagination. There were the Green Berets in Vietnam. And there was Delta Force some in the 1980's. Not sure if we spent much time with the Army Rangers, but am pretty sure they got some attention along the way. Now it's Navy SEALs, the American ninjas!

Maybe our fascination with smaller units of uber-warriors stems from our fighting smaller wars after WW2... not really sure.

But I am pretty darned sure? It wasn't some Navy SEAL twittering to his girlfriend that announced to the world Bin Laden had porn. Those kinds of soldiers don't do stuff like that. They take themselves VERY seriously, and loose talk would be unprofessional in their world.

To them keeping secrets safe is part of the mystique of an organization to which they've devoted a big chunk of their lives. In government though, keeping secrets is an important part of doing biz. You never let anything out without a purpose.

What purpose is served by telling the world that Bin Laden had porn? The whole funeral at sea gag, I get that. Splendid idea really. Arabic culture loves shrines.

But I can only conclude allowing gossip on his DVD collection is amatuerish. For part of the Arab world, Bin Laden is their Pancho Villa or Robin Hood. They're not going to believe Bin Laden had "Confessions of a Naughty Cable guy" and it must look to them like an attempt to besmirch the memory of a slain General.

So much for 'winning hearts & minds' I suppose...

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Behinder I Get

Well the days just didn't grow legs and walk off, did they David? They must be around here somewhere!

Eh, feeling way around new job. Particularly active tornado season this year. Young woman seems to have disappeared into thin air about 20 miles east. All that kind of stuff can make a person trend reflective.

I gotta watch out for that crap! I don't want to become a deep, soulful person who speaks in hushed tones about the infinite. Nobody has much use for such people.

Like Socrates for example? I don't think he was ordered to drink hemlock because he was seen as undermining authority. Naw, probably not that at all! Mostly, just got to the point where he was annoying. So I don't want to be like Socrates.

The factory Food drive finishes up next week. I wouldn't call it a spectacular success in human terms. I sure don't think the local food bank will need its shelves reinforced due to our contribution.

But next year we do better.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Heart Heart

Some people might think being an intellectual requires me to be rather parsimonious in my praise for 'common' things, and reflexively dismissive of anything 'pop culture.'

It's not that way at all though. For example, while I will always dearly love the Marx Brothers, I sure do admire much of the 3 Stooges' work. Except for Shemp; he's just creepy.

My opinion, if one is stuck with being an 'intellectual' it should be defined as an expanded range of things to delight in, versus some snooty isolationist perspective.

Like that with music too. I really like Jim White, Tom Waits and 16 Horsepower. I realize that puts me in a minority. The mature view is to neither revel in the obscurity of things I appreciate, nor judge unfairly work with far wider appeal.
So I like Heart. I really really like Heart. But just the first 2 albums. The rest of their body of work is fairly pedestrian.

But 'Dreamboat Annie' and 'Little Queen' is some amazing stuff. Totally different than anything on the radio at the time. I'm listening to it right now. There's a defiant confidence in the music, quite rare for newbies. I'd say 'Dreamboat' is right up there with best 1st efforts in history of rock & roll; quite comparable to Lynrd Skynrd's first actually.

So I enjoy stuff other people like, OK? I just happen to like some weird stuff too.

Guess that applies to Tennessee as well. I enjoy looking at mountains in the morning. My favorite kind of mountains to look at are the killers who silently wait for unprepared fools. That's what I like to look at in the morning.

Instead, this morning I sipped coffee on my deck and looked down from my hilltop perch at the trees and rooftops of hillbilly land. There's a lot here to appreciate too though.

Never have felt myself a native of this land; more like some karmic diplomatic hostage, held with widely varying levels of courtesy at times, for the safekeeping of others. I really have no idea how it feels to be a native here, only that it must have its benefits.

Nor can I really understand how it feels to be a tourist here, only that it can be a really interesting place for tourists, with a knowledgeable guide.

So I'm going to gas up Mustang Lucy, and take my tourist son for a long ride.
"Heading out this morning into the sun"...

Well actually it's overcast. You ever try to find a song lyric that rhymes with 'overcast'? It's not easy, I'll promise ya that.

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Not Mad 4 March Madness

This is one of those times of the year when I know more than usual, I ain't exactly mainstream.

Not that reminders of that are in short supply any time of the year, but this is when everybody is talking 'Sweet 16' and 'final 4' and of course, their 'brackets.'

Well. Am I disparaging of President Obama because he announced his 'brackets' with much fanfare? Naw, not really. I have plenty other reasons to be disparaging of him.
But realistically, he has to stay tight with a public image much of his base relates to, that's all.

It is kinda scary to me that a US President might be spending more time thinking about college basketball than events in Japan, but hey? His supporters will tend to think their man is SO super freakin' awesome cool, he can think about Japan AND college basketball with no deletirious effects to either project.

Hmmm, what was I gonna type about... oh yeah! This whole NOT being in the mainstream thing!!!

Well it's certainly there all the time, and VERY noticeable when I walk in on heated discussions of whether UTEP can beat Rutgers, but I guess I don't mind it that much.

My thinking, everybody has three names. You have the name God gave you, the name this world will give you, and the name you make up for yourself in response to the world.

If I tried to give myself a name that rhymes with 'digs college basketball' I'd be dishonest.

Best I can tell, my God given name just has a lot to do with knowing obscure things that delight and inspire me.

College basketball just doesn't interest me, and I don't care whether it consumes every other brain on the planet. I'd rather spend my idle hours pondering on Dr. Willem Kolff, Virginia Hall, or Minnie Vautrin.

And sure, I spend a good bit of time thinking about suicidal grasshoppers, termite symbiosis and bird migration too.

And on people, I often find myself considering people with legacies far harder to sort out, like Albert Speer or Robert Oppenheimer.

But I don't think much about college basketball. Apparently, not the sort of work God designed me for. Hey, little known fact from the history of great spies?

Virginia Hall had a killer jumpshot. Imagine that, and her with a wooden leg too!

Well... I've never read any scholarship that proved she DIDN'T have a killer jumpshot, OK?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Idiot Killers get Caught

Well it's going to take a lot of self-discipline to keep this thing going apparently.
Most people don't like being disciplined. There is however a certain percentage of
the population...

Some guy in a ritzy Memphis suburb is in legal trouble for running an S&M B&B.
Now personally, I'm a very open minded person, and it's none of my biz what two
or more consenting adults do behind closed doors. It would be however, the city of Memphis' biz, if it's your biz to profit by facilitating said conduct.

Me personally, I have only two issues with an S&M B&B. First, I think that's too many ampersands. Second, what do they serve for breakfast?

Bigger legal issues, pain not as form of foreplay, wanton idiocy wreaking havoc on
strangers who have no 'safe' word is more on my mind right now though.

I've never been in prison, except to visit people. (I have LOADS of interesting friends & relatives)So maybe I've no right to judge those who escape from prison
when they have maybe only two years left on their sentence.

I suppose it's bad being in prison. There aren't any girls in there, at least not any
'original equipment' females, and the food is bad. Wardrobe choices are very limited, and I for one do like to dress stylishly.

These two fellows who escaped a Louisiana jail and were finally caught today in Memphis, they killed a guy in Mississippi. They're headed straight to Death Row.

Who did they think they were I wonder. They killed somebody's husband, a father of four, for a vehicle. The sovereign state of Mississippi is going to exact vengeance
for the widow and the orphans. There won't be any breakfast for those two idiots, one of these mornings.

Times like these of course, it's not popular being a death penalty opponent. I'm judicious in my comments as nice people talk of their very justified blood lust.
I don't say much of anything at all really. The most I ever say is, "It won't bring back the dead."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

About Grenades

Well, is that the actual speeling? They could be 'Gernades' and would be just fine with me.

So I'm watching episode V of 'Great Alaskan Mystery' and our hero just tossed a Grrrnade at the bad guys. Our hero is played by Milburn Stone, Doc from the 'Gunsmoke' TV show. In this Great Alaskan Mystery of course, he's somewhat younger.

I just can't figger how he came by the Grrrnade though. In the plot, he's a former Marine pilot who is now civilian due to war wounds. Guadalcanal has been referenced several times, but we're not told the nature of our hero's wounds. So far though? I think the Japs shot him in the personality.

WHERE did he get the Grrrnade from? If they gave those things out as parting gifts to discharged WW2 pilots, I've sure never read anything about it.

Let's just assume he's a sloppy packer. Probably has a loaded Bazooka mixed in with his dirty underwear too.

But WHY do American soldiers bite Grrrnades? They do it every time. Yep, they bite the pin off the Grrrnade before throwing it. As a kid in California, bet I watched "Combat!" every week, starring Vic Morrow. On that show, American soldiers invariably bit the pin off Grrrnades before throwing them.

The German soldiers never bit their Grrrnades, not as I recall. Now, German grrrnades didn't have that metallic pineapple look that our anti-personnel devices did. German grrrnades looked like an oil filter with a stick stuck in it.

On the surface of it, that would seem humiliating. The Germans invented a 'no-bite' grrrnade, since they were the master race and all. Here's what I think...

The Nazi war machine HAD to invent a 'no-bite' grrrnade because all their soldiers had bad teeth. This project of course diverted their best Scientific minds for quite some time, which is why we got the A-bomb before the Krauts did.

WOW! The toothbrush is real reason us good guys won WW2? And all this time I thought it was because John Wayne was on our side...

Friday, February 25, 2011

This is Inappropriate!

There is no excuse for a writer not writing.

Hmmm... well broken fingers David, that'd be a good excuse.

Don't start with me David!

Life's certainly changed backdrops since I started this humble documentation of how I've managed to elude mental health authorities so well and for so long... so far.

But it's only the backdrop that has changed; the play remains the same.

It's the fight to define yourself without drifting into the Golden Calf construction biz. It's about struggling to do the right thing for the RIGHT reason.

Feed the hungry because you're so freakin' cool... well the hungry still get a meal, but some small amount of evil has been released into the world by that 'good' act.

Feed the hungry first because Jesus said to, and second with heart realization we're all hungry, all the time, but only in various ways? That's the right way, and no demons get fed by such an attitude.

That is what the play is about. A passion to define yourself, but in a way that doesn't dot the landscape with Golden Calves.

Calf is a very funny word. Why is the 'L' silent? I wonder if the silent letters in words ever get jealous of the letters that get pronounced. It's just like 'talk' now why is that poor 'L' the only silent letter in a word that describes the opposite of silence?

Uhm... what was I talking about? Oh yeah, the play! Well I started this blog with intent to remind myself and others, you might be 60 some day in the future. What sort of 60yo you are is up to you.

There are 60yo people who live fascinating (why is there a 'C' in fascinating? Isn't that redundant? Oh shut up David!) lives, while there are others the very same age who are owned by the forces of entropy. Who decides these things? I suppose we as individuals do.

I still believe that forcefully. But again? It's a right thing to decide what kind of old person you'll become, yet infinitely more valuable to make those choices for the right reasons.

I realize I have to be more diligent in scribbling in here, and I'll see to that. The play goes on; it's only backdrops that change really. How have I changed? Hmmm... well I tend to think less about what people owe me, and more about what I owe people. And I tend to smile a lot. Other than that though, I'm a disappointment in the metamorphisis biz I reckon.

Got to go to Olive Branch now...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It never fails

I'm getting older but not much wiser. My supply of answers can't ever seem to catch up with my supply of questions. I wind up saying, "hmm, that's interesting" a LOT more than I'd like to at this point in life.

Hey, did I tell you I'm growing my beard back? Well I am. Naw, not one of those ZZ Top beards, cause that's just creepy. More something well groomed and dignified I should think. I just can't do the little goatee thing anymore. Technically, I think that look is called a 'Van Dyke' anyway. Which is weird because I used to watch the Dick Van Dyke show a lot, and never saw any facial hair...

Uhm, what was I talking about? Oh yeah! Part of wisdom is your head is a peaceful enough place where supposedly antagonistic concepts can be friends. Like this for example?

The world is a VERY big place. The world ain't a big place at all, when you're in it. Those two concepts can't possibly both make sense at the same time, right?
But they do. And I don't care how many 'first three visits half price!' coupons I get from psychiatrists.

I was supposed to be watching the sun rise at Machu Pichu this morning. Yeah, no kidding. A bit of technical difficulty over the past few years interfered with that there plan though.

Machu Pichu is a long ways from here; that's just a fact. But the same sun that rises over Machu Pichu rises over Lexington, TN.

Nobody's been by here lately fitting me for a halo. I'd still rather be at Machu Pichu on this day, a particular day that has more numerical significance for me than I can explain.

But y'know something? (this is the part where I get all trippy) It's not what you look at, but the health of the eyes that look upon it. That's what I mean by the world being small when you're in it. Everything you can see in this big old world, you'll see it with your two relatively small eyeballs.

This world is as big or as small as your eyes. The mental/spiritual health of your eyes, the power of observation and analysis Watson. That's a lot more important than what you happen to be looking at, any given moment.

This world is as big, or as small as your eyes.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Deadly sex and instant zombies

I recall exactly where I was when first heard of what'd later be called AIDS. Early 1980's and I was driving a Pontiac sunbird home from Church.

The radio man said a mysterious disease was killing homosexuals. It wouldn't stay mysterious for long.

That was more than twenty years ago, long before we learned that Rock Hudson was homosexual. Heck, back then we weren't even sure about Elton John, but most of us had our suspicions.

I mention that to note my membership in the last generation to reach sexual maturity before there was a fatal venereal disease. It'd be pretty difficult to imagine all the ways that makes me fundamentally different from people now in their 20's. But I'm certain it's there.

Not that the reality of AIDS has made people more careful, not that I can tell. The culture seems a lot more sexualized now than it did when I was young. The effect is much more subtle; it's a kind of fatalism present that must be accepted generally and denied specifically.

I don't recall a moment I learned about Crack or Meth. I remember Richard Pryor catching himself on fire, but with the instant zombie plague awareness slowly came to me I guess. First came the awareness there was something cheaper and more powerful than powdered cocaine hitting urban areas.

And then the hillbillys got into the act with Meth. I'm not the first to observe how much Meth manufacture/distribution resembles the moonshine biz. But it has changed our culture a lot, the convenience of the whole thing.

We were a much different culture overall, back when getting high on illegal drugs was more inconvenient. Oh, I'm certain that drug users would protest how it's still pretty damned inconvenient.

But to me it looks convenient. That's changed the culture by drawing more people in. Instant zombies are no longer an easily identified subset of the population.

Nope, I'm not pulling a 'back in my day' rant here. Just observing those are two ways I've seen the culture fundamentally changed while I was knocking around a few decades. Impossible to say what other changes are just around the corner.

Don't spend a lot of time thinking on stuff that you'll never figure out. There's no profit in it. Try to steer towards thinking about what's unchanging among these shifting sands.

Monday, January 31, 2011


It's Monday in Hooterville. Up in St. Louis, only 150 miles due north, they get 14 inches of snow tomorrow night. The only weather question here in my part of Tennessee is whether we get maybe less than inch of sleet/snow or massive thunderstorms. Notice how I used 'weather' and 'whether' in the same sentence?

That's called alliteration... or maybe a palindrome. All I know for sure is they shouldn't make HS students take English Comp. on hot days right after lunch. I'm getting sleepy just remembering about it!

So I went to the local vocational-rehab place today. I have a new product coming on line in March. The customer wants the product partially assembled before it hits his assembly line. Not much to it really. Form a plastic strap into a circle and start a 10-24 screw through the hole.

I go to vocational-rehab centers for that sort of job. Now is where we play perspective bingo... let's have fun!!!

Dude, instead of paying someone a decent wage to do that, you go to a place that employs retarded people! And the lower price they do the work for is subsidized by tax payers! BOO, HISS evil greedy business guy David!

Well I suppose that's one way of looking at it. When I explain my actions to anybody, is only because I'm fond of that person. It's me being gracious.

Considering all the enormously idiotic things our government spends tax payer dollars on, subsidizing steady work for retarded people is like the Apollo program in comparison.
Retarded people are like that for a variety of reasons. Not enough oxygen getting to their brains during birth. Mom had measles while pregnant. An extra chromosone. They're Americans too, and all of us came within a hair's thickness of being them.

Getting them out to a place where they can work, earn a wage, give their parents time to breathe and run errands, that's all good. I'm happy my tax dollars subsidize that. I'm happy to send them some work.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about; I was being gracious just then. What I want to know is why retarded people are more friendly than we 'normal' folk with our triple digit IQ's.

A man in his fifties with a walker next to his chair turned around and said, "I'm Andrew, I'm from Lexington. Who are you? Where are you from?"

A man in late thirties with Cerebral Palsy AND mentally retarded (how's that feeling sorry for yourself thing working out?) walked up, told me his name was James, told me he was glad to see me.

A young man walked up to me. Hair parted in the middle, soft blonde curls. He could've stepped out of a Rembrandt painting really. He smiled broadly at me, patted his chest and said, "Pat!"

I thought, 'well son, your parents sure did name you right, as it turned out' but what I sincerely said was, "Pat, I'm very glad to meet you. I'm David."

I could've been any of these people. You could've been any of these people.

Had my meeting with the center managers, then went back to my factory, where we all have triple digit IQ's. On my way out the door, James asked if I knew his Momma and Daddy. Told him I don't think so.

What I wonder about is why are retarded people friendlier than smart people?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Where's my List?

I like to make lists of things to do, and then cross them off. It's very satisfying. I've even made lists of lists I need to make.

That's not obsessive/compulsive behavior. The way I am about worrying while at work did I turn off the coffee maker, now that's obsessive/compulsive.

Making a list of tasks to be done has about four rock solid benefits...

First, it's an aid in thinking about what's important. Act of making a list takes you briefly from the reactive to proactive mode.

Second, the list is often useful documentation for later. As in, 'yeah I turned off the coffee maker' for example.

Fourth, I'm not just really good at math, I know bunches of other stuff too. One of those is how we can trick our brains in our best interest. A lot of good things you should do, they may not yield immediate gratification in the realms of human endeavor. Your brain, aside from the many wonderful things it can do, is just another bodily organ. It runs on glandular secretions too. IF you can adopt a routine of crossing items off lists, you can get your brain to shoot you a little endorphin (AKA happy juice) so that's a good thing.

This is why I make lists. Lists are important to me. So... where's my list of people I pray for? I pray for LOTS of people.

Why hasn't my organized approach to daily life extended to my prayer life? Is it that I don't take prayer as seriously as I do engineering?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Ride's Here... Again

"he said Bravos you better ready to fight,
or we'll never get out of east Texas tonight"

Mr. Zevon (1947-2003)

Are you much of a risk taker? Well think about it, are you?
I'm not much of a gambler myself, not really. What's always looked daring to others seemed fairly mundane to me.

Only times I've ever taken a big chance was when I found myself in big trouble. Those times, you've got precious little left to lose either way the dice land.

Some would say my opting to leave the Batesville job for Lexington was a risk. The only real inherent risk there is whether I can be in Lexington every day without eventually choking somebody. I was driving 700 miles a week with the Batesville job. Really bad wrecks on that commute at least once a week.

The challenge with Lexington was whether I'd go there a petulant, resentful child or with the right spirit. I certainly wasn't scared about jumping into a totally foreign manufacturing technology.

That's because I've got a lot of talent. You do too, if you'd just stop and take inventory now & then. Every person has many amazing abilities. You shouldn't feel discouraged if your abilities don't appear to be very marketable. No matter how mediocre you think you are, you were provided all needed tools to build a joyful life. Learn to use YOUR tools, we're burning daylight here!

Me, I'm still sitting right beside you in God's big Shop class. Uhm... what's all this 'We can beat Notre Dame' junk got to do with taking risks? Well you see, it's like this. The top tray in my personal tool box? All hammers! Yep, no kidding!

A book about me would make intensely boring reading. At least 150 pages would be nothing but 'Bam bam! Bam bam bam!' But I lift up that top tray, there are other tools in the box. It could be more hammers, which would be TOTALLY AWESOME, but I suspect it's strange new tools. You can't pick up the new tool David, unless first you put down the hammer. That there friends is risk.

I believe in omens and spirit guides. The Tudor cottage was shown to me via odd circumstance. The owners are moving out of it this weekend, after having a 'For Sale' sign in the yard for 18+ months. They wish to move to Colorado and so they're going. I'm already renting an apartment. A lease/purchase opportunity is in front of me.

Hammer says houses aren't exactly selling fast in north Mississippi right now, wouldn't it be prudent to stay in a holding pattern for now?

Just about 100 percent of gambles I've ever done, they were forced on me by external conditions. I don't think I've ever run up to a risk and thrown my arms around it. Maybe it's time for me to experience that.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Learn Shoe Repair at Home

Yeah, when anybody wins some $100M lottery prize, it spawns some wishful thinking and downright envy in the population at large.

Now why so many of us are even at large, I have no idea. Probably has to do with that whole 'deinstitutionalization' movement back in the late 1970's. Deinstitutionalization is a VERY fun word to type though...

When non-lottery winners are daydreaming about owning castles and such? There's one aspect of material wealth they probably fail to consider. $100M means you never again have to do anything you find uncomfortable.

You'll never again have to speak with someone you don't like. You'll never have to go anywhere you don't want to go. You don't even have to floss your own teeth.

Well congratulations! Because in that aspect of obscene material wealth, you've arrived, in spirit at least. We're all of us already avoiding things we find uncomfortable, every chance we get.

Some things that make us uncomfortable, there's a darned good reason they should. I'm not talking about that kind of thing. I'm talking about learning shoe repair at home!!!

Has oft been said, You never understand a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. Let's attribute that to Abe Lincoln. What the heck, he always gets the folksy platitudes laid to his legacy, right?

Well, I think shoe swapping is questionable from a hygeine perspective, unless you know the person really well. If you already know him well, no point in the whole mile walking experiment anyway. Why not walk a mile in YOUR shoes instead?

What makes you uncomfortable, and why? Naw, it's not a trick question! I realize that many things where a sense of unease attends, these things happen real quick in dynamic situations.

You know it darned well when you're experiencing it, but it's not the sort of situation lends itself to your calmly taking notes.

But there are some recurring themes, if you'll think about it. These are your shoes you're wearing, so why don't you go nuts and walk a mile in them and really understand you?

Maybe your shoes are just dandy, but mine are rundown at the heels and the laces keep coming untied. So here's some of what makes me uncomfortable. You make your own list, send it to me if you wish.

I'm uncomfortable around retarded people. Nope, that's not lead in for a lame self-deprecating joke. I really am intensely uncomfortable around retarded people.
Reason for that is likely cause my identity is so wrapped up with my alleged intellectual powers.

I'm uncomfortable when I walk up to any soldier or veteran and say 'Thank you for my freedom.' Used to say 'Thank you for your service' which didn't bother me. But at length I came to decide? The tepid sterility of 21st century English won't be applied by me to those who've protected me. 'Thank you for your service' sounds like something you tell a waitress at Applebee's.

Most recent time I said 'Thank you for my freedom' was to a guy doddering around the grocery store wearing a "WW2 Veteran" ball cap. It made me uncomfortable. Reason for that I think? 'Thanks for your service' is impersonal. Served this great nation, Mom's Apple Pie, etc. while 'Thank you for my freedom' expresses MY need, MY dependence on another.

But after you know, after you come to realize mealy-mouthed platitudes don't pass the Sullivan Ballou test for expressing gratitude to our soldiers, it makes you LESS comfortable to mumble 'Thanks for your service.'

And I guess that's what I'm getting at. Sure did take me a lot of words, huh? If you'll think, really think about some recurring things that make you uncomfortable, maybe you'll decide you don't want to be the sort of person who avoids that brand of discomfort. And by doing that, some metaphysical transmutation occurs where your shoes are repaired; it's lots more comfortable walking around in them. You might try it? Crazier plans have succeeded.

Deinstitutionalization, Deinstitutionalization, Deinstitutionalization, Deinstitutionalization... I LOVE typing that word!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Oh Prometheus!

Thinking you are totally in charge of your life's direction is like being the optimistic deckhand on the Titanic.

On the one hand, your delusion isn't going to influence outcomes much. On the other hand though? If it makes you happy to think you're in control right up to the minute you learn you're not, what the heck!

It doesn't really matter whether your last words are "I think I see the Carpathia coming!" or "Damned Iceberg."

My question though? In the words of Paul Simon, you 'lived so well so long' with supreme confidence in your ability to choose your battles, so...

What kind of person are you going to be now you know, well... you're pretty good at doing complex math problems. How will it change you to learn that somewhere in that huge quadratic equation you've always believed describes your life, you've got a math term transposed?

It's not a math term at all really. I was just trying to be nice. It's a Hopi pictograph; a turtle on a fence post.

1. The turtle didn't get up on that fence post all by itself. (Even if the turtle thinks he did.)
2. The turtle's next move, without the beneficent intervention of some external force, likely isn't going to be pleasant.

That beautiful quadratic equation you worked so hard to perfect, and it's got a dang Hopi pictograph slap in the middle of it!

If someone showed that to you, what kind of person would you be after that?

Well I don't know either, all right? Just cause I have a blog doesn't make me some sort of Nostradumbass!

I would kinda suspect finding a Hopi pictograph in the midst of one's beautifully formulated, uhm... formula, would negatively influence the output of declarative sentences in the future.

You can't do everything, so let it be. But don't turn jackass of another color on me, and comfort yourself that you can't do anything. You can do lots of really cool stuff.

Like me for instance? For one thing, when it gets cold in this apartment, I go upstairs, look and see if a little red light is blinking. If it is, I unplug the heating unit and then plug it back in. Now I ask you, isn't that cool?

Well it sure is cool in here when that red light is blinking, I'll tell you that. But wait, there's even more!

Thursday I'm driving to St. Louis to look at a mold! That's not all I do though, I do other stuff! Last night I cooked spaghetti... it was bloody inedible! I ate two plates of it just to be certain.

And I'm being dragged kicking & screaming to speak out on child hunger. I sure don't want to. People will think I'm an annoying jerk (psst... they already do already David) which would be fine if I felt confident I'm getting through to people, which I don't think I am.

But I just have a burden in my heart for child hunger, and the only thing makes it go away is when I'm doing something about it.

So I'm doing some cool stuff. What cool stuff are you doing?

I'm going to have to figure out a way to manage with this Hopi pictograph in the middle of my otherwise beautiful quadratic equation. I've tried erasing it, just comes back. And now the turtle is grinning at me! I didn't know turtles could do that, did you?