Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Last Day of 2007!

And I must say, I am not displeased to see this year end. It was a turbulent year in my life, full of ups and downs; highs and lows. But it certainly ended on a high-note.

This weekend, the last of the year, I attended a session of the Basic Rider Course, put on by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the College of Southern Nevada. The two instructors, Larry Loyd and Rod Hahn were great. They taught the basics in a way that was gentle to the riding noob, while emphasizing the importance of doing things right. Bad judgment and lack of skill for a particular situation can be deadly, especially in turns and traffic.

Riding in the early morning Las Vegas air was chilly. Saturday and Sunday both started in the mid 30's. After moving around a bit on the bike, the coldness just seemed to fade away.

Saturday riding was fun. I discovered that I REALY liked the weaving exercises. REALLY! I was weaving in & out like nobody's business! Third gear seemed like it would be fun, but that might have been too much...

Sunday morning was more range and practice time. Fast swerving around an obstacle. Oh my. I can swerve without thinking on my Rebel, but here on this little Nighthawk, my brain just seemed to cramp up. Then there were other things that started to tick me off. The bike would skip into neutral on it's own some times. I would forget the kill switch when starting. I only turned the fuel valve partially on once. I was overly heavy on the rear brake and not heavy enough on the front brake.

I was frustrated. All of the exercises I completed were ok after a few runs, but things simply were not clicking like Saturday.

Practice over. Break time. Larry and Rod briefed us on the practice; we were doing well and about two hours ahead of schedule. While we went to the restrooms, smoked, whatever, they would set up the range for the skills test. I was first in line.

Test one – The figure-eight-in-a-box. Previously I had dropped my foot twice out of about six practice runs. I was a little nervous. What the hell. I go for it. NOT a problem. No dropped feet or bike; no wheels over the line. YEA!

Next was the avoidance swerve. After practicing the thing about two dozen times that morning, I aced it.

Third test was the fast stop. Lost three points for not stopping soon enough. Analysis: On my Rebel, the front brakes are quite strong. It doesn't take much front to stop it. So on the Nighthawk I had for the test, the front was a little weak and the rear grabby. So, I skidded the rear. Oh well. That's just three points.

Next was the 130 degree turn. It was timed. Aced that puppy, but then again, I like the curves! Even ground the foot pegs on the Nighthawk a couple of times in practice!

So, in my pocket is a little piece of paper that instructs the DMV to give me a license with a motorcycle endorsement! That is one helluva way to finish off 2007!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Last Saturday I was spending a little 'alone' time, simply e-baying and writing and so forth. I open Chapter 3 of Blood and Snow and start in with my little brain dump. As luck or fate or karma or whatever would have it, my brain dump stalled. I just stopped. Like someone threw a switch somewhere; broke the circuit. I wonder... Is the end of a life like that? Like someone throwing a switch?

burnout – from

  1. a fire that is totally destructive of something.

  1. Also, burn-out. fatigue, frustration, or apathy resulting from prolonged stress, overwork, or intense activity.

Life burn-out. I am just tired of so many things. Burn-out is probably the best definition. At work, I know I am capable but things really don't hold my interest. I used to be a 'go-getter'. Now, if I am done and there is nothing apparent to do, I will just surf the web or do something non-productive. That is SO not like me. I like productivity; doing something that has a goal.

I look at a problem and know I can solve it. A little voice somewhere whispers 'WHY?' That little voice is intruding on several parts of my life, it would seem. Perhaps, just perhaps... that little voice will not like the solitude of the open road.

However, I have a sneaking suspicion it will take more than an afternoon ride to rid my brain of that voice. It has been with me for quite some time. At times, his little apathetic 'WHY' is warm and comforting. Maybe that is a peek into my own apathy; my own depression.

For my sake, I need a solution. Not a band-aid or temporary fix; a solution.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Daughter Has Great Musical Tastes...

Some days I wonder where the youth of today are headed. I doubt many.

Then I see something, hear something like this and I am assured in my soul that the future is in good hands.

Thank you, Bri.

---The Frey - How to Save a Life---
Step one you say we need to talk
He walks you say sit down it's just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
You begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you've told him all along
And pray to God he hears you
And pray to God he hears you

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you've followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he'll say he's just not the same
And you'll begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
How to save a life
How to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
How to save a life

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday Night Thoughts...

Special note: I have had a few drinks... nuff said.

It sucks when you loose a friend for what ever the reason.

I am SO broke. I promised my daughter she would be signed up for the classes she needs to graduate, before Christmas break. I couldn't pay for it... not enough money because I was stupid enough to loan my ex enough to fix her car. Now, not only can't I pay for her school, but I can't buy her Christmas gift - A new keyboard..

Can't pay credit cards, can't pay the regular bills. My truck broke down early December and had to spend $700 or so. Well, didn';t have to. did

Was moving out a week ago. No go. Not enough money. Still here

Here indefinite

Jitter... Sad... Must move on.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blood and Snow - Chapter 2

And here is chapter two from my brain-dump. As this is flowing from brain to keyboard, it seems I have seven chapters in total. I'm not asking, and my gray matter isn't telling. :-) So... Here is two-of-seven...

Bulldog slumbers and smiles, his friends laughing and playing in this mortal universe; mortal but immortal. Need.

Friend honor betrayal. I make happy. Battle within not without, I fail; loose for my strip of recursive iteration. Paper. Judge. It is done.

Friend and mate walk away to the shade of an oak. Marlow and I subsist. Cookies of grain. I work and learn and fail; more school to be a notch up. Up. A thrown wine bottle, night, green park and smoke.

Twist. Hot sweaty nights in my cave. Universe dark from my own blanket of depression and honest understanding. Poke and prod for light and I see through a tunnel but resist, comfortably warm in my blanket.

And there she is. Embodied lust to illuminate. My world is bright while dark matter and orbiting rocks remain at bay; stable but unstable; waiting for the fateful; the inevitable.

Quickly jump my dear frog. Electrode to muscles I push the buttons, hand held by another. I enjoy and am consumed by this new universe. Twisting beautifully into a spiral galaxy. Beauty in the chaos.

Twist and conjoin and lustfully consume. Wait! Slow! Too soon! No! Hold On! Plans and hopes scream! They fall asleep; inattention. Red banners pushed to the periphery.

Warm in my new blanket I revel in the possibilities. I am desired. Plans and another carriage. We join under the darkness of privacy and another mortal paper is signed in watercolor black. I ride along in the back of the truck. Smiling, I sleep.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Into the Fire Again

Just some ramblings & a little update.

Saturday started as rather benign. That was a blessing since Friday was a rather confusing day. I am not exactly sure what to think. I am no stranger to confusion but this certainly came from an unexpected direction.

I am out driving the ex-wife to a store Saturday to get something; a simple hour trip. The water pump on my truck locks up. $650 to get it fixed. But I had planned on moving in a week; moving out of chaos. $150 for taxis and other associated expenses. Hat to wait for four hours or so for a taxi.

So I had to use my apartment money to repair my truck. I didn't have to, but if I didn't then I couldn't move. Sure, I could have rented a moving truck, but that would be more unexpected expenses.

No choice; back into the fire until February. And my daughter will suffer. I see echoes of my ex-wives behaviors in her. I have failed her in some way. I know it.

Until later...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Blood and Snow - Chapter 1

Here it is. It is more than a little cryptic and odd and strange; somewhat like parts of my life! I am not going to explain this; only say that this is a flow, right from brain to computer. All I am doing is correcting the spelling.

Dawn. My adolescence blooms into a rancorous period of puberty. Smells and tastes and touches and sites are different. Adrenalin and hormones mix in an intoxicating cocktail of manhood. The way of wandering the woods wondering of animals and monsters and glaciers and storms pass, allowing a new sentient being to emerge.

Strength and intelligence and desire spread out to the world. Senses heightened to my body and its inherent biological purpose. Disinterested girls skirt my universe with little more than passing glances. Inner galaxies tumble into serene pools of my mind as day after long day pass.

There, amid the din of daily parochial life she emerged from a newly birthed world. Dawns were deeper blue and sunsets a deeper crimson. Hands and lips and bodies touched; Devils and angels merging to form a being not unlike the one before. Full was I with life and death.

Pappa. My blood. My progenitor. My teacher. Floating on a tempest sea, raft of cornstalks and broomcorn. Impermanent, fibrous existence stripped from inside and out. His heart tired and broken rages no more. Eyes still, cold and sunken. The bulldog rips and discards the straw and sticks floating on the surface. Rest well my father, may you farm in peace forever. May the tears of my soul provide gentle spring rains and may you never worry of many things solely within the domain of this, my mortal world. I pray this to repay my foolish choice as our small world; my childhood home sold to the highest bidder with nary a tear or shudder. A singular word, “YES,” never uttered.

My carriage passes by a singular tulip on the bank. I know her from another time and another existence. Her beauty absorbs the color from nearby space with the promise to repay the debt double over. Light and her very essence swirls and plays around my soul as I pass. I freely drink the brilliant red laughing tendrils of memory swirling within my consciousness. An acrid intruder bursts forth. I twist left and right, knowing my universe has changed but not immediately how. I see him. The bulldog of brimstone and smoke tramples the singular tulip and exits this dimension, leaving only a cloud burning flesh in exchange for now nonexistent happy futures.

My mate and I weep over a singular perfect tulip petal mired in mud and blood and asphalt. The bulldog did not accomplish his insidious goal. Another younger tulip grows unseen. Tiny narrow green shoots of youth peek through the otherwise lifeless ground, promising to honor its mother's debts.

Dark gas of death comes forth when summoned. Filling the cage with odorless stench. The bulldog laughs. Blooms wilt and die, their invitations for the gas' visit etched in their eternal souls with a rusty nail. Sobbing and confusion and sadness saturate the universe and the world's oceans are filled with the tears of fond friends. A fleet of boats pitch to the storm. The bulldog sleeps and the dark odorless gas leaves a permanent tendril of its existence throughout all universes.

White beauty of youth, long black hair, flowing wedding dress. Simplicity. Bounding through the fields and forests of exuberance and youth and lust do we go together. Touching and experiencing. More responsibility that others but in the same, less. Trees of knowledge grow for us and we eagerly consume their offered fruits. Ageless streams, fed by virgin springs quench our lustful thirst and baptize us unto nature.

I please. Anger and conflict do I avoid. Tales and fables told to settle and calm. I scar my own soul. Only ten lengths down the road I see. Not a single sin did I commit but tales continue. Discontented smoke swirls, words to cover. Why? 'Tis not a sin? Yet down that path I continue.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Bikers Against Child Abuse

Tumbling in My Brain

There is another tale tumbling around in my brain. This is an important one, I feel. It is close to my heart and must be written. It is not something concrete, but rather flowing. It is full of cryptic symbolism and unexpected references.

I see a sharp turn up ahead at the crest of a hill. I know not what direction it shall take me; sharp to the right or sharp to the left. I only know it is there, and that knowledge keeps me safe... relatively so.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Riding Light

The world of motorcycling has quite a few safety rules. Good rules, like checking your tires and your chain and head light and so forth. They are not simply convenience checks; they are life and death items. Should one or more of these things not be right or within 'operational parameters,' fact of the matter is, the operator could die.

And so goes for loading a bike for a long trip. The more things placed on a bike, the more its handling will be effected. Sure, there are saddle bags and sissy-bars one can strap things to. But, that is not what the bike was really intended for.

From the 2007 Honda Rebel CMX250C Owner's Manual, page 29, “Your motorcycle is primarily intended for transporting you and a passenger.” There you have it, straight from the manual.

Perhaps on a trip, one should travel lightly, only bringing along a bare minimum. Traveling with too much cargo, or baggage can easily cause handling problems and quite possibly send you and it into the ditch at the side of the road.

Riding with too much baggage is no fun, even if you do manage to not crash. The balance of the bike is off, handling can be sluggish and aerodynamics can be all out of whack. Just when you think your baggage is stable and you have a grip on the handlebars as you buzz down the highway, that thirty pound bag of stuff strapped to the rear fender bounces loose, falls over and starts rubbing on the tire.

In short, excessive baggage can kill.

And, how does a passenger ride with all that baggage? Hop on top, grab a bungee and ride along? That is certainly not the safe way to go. Any operator who would allow this is quite remiss in his or her responsibilities.

Ride safe, ride happy and ride light.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Flowers and Memory

Three things and that's my limit. When I go to a grocery store, that's the number of things I can remember without having to write a little list. That's it. More than three and I run the chance of forgetting something.

It is interesting the things I can remember easily and those I can't. Birthdays? Holidays? Events? Forget it! Even if they are written down, my poor little brain has a difficult time remembering them. Heck, I can't even remember to look them up after writing them!

However, there are some things that I remember rather easily. Not sure why; I guess my brain is just wired that way.

I remember flowers.

My friend in LA likes sweet peas.

My friend in Louisiana likes columbines.

My friend in North Carolina likes daises.

My mom likes violets.

My grandmother likes roses.

A woman at work simply adores birds of paradise.

A fellow I used to know in Colorado was a HUGE orchid aficionado.

Me? Orchids and sunflowers.

I find it interesting that simply by looking at an orchid, I can generally determine the species. It doesn't matter if it is flowering or not. I can simply tell. The orchid; how strong yet fragile. How varying yet similar.

And sunflowers; how noble in stature. How strong and varied. Sunflowers blooms are really rather complex. Each large sunflower bloom is actually hundreds of small blooms. They feed birds and bees and other wildlife. They provide oil and a great snack food for us human folk.

Now that I have stated my favorites, I must admit that I love all flowers; Geraniums or tulips or cherry blossoms or daffodils or iris.

Such function and beauty. The procreatory device for nearly every plant on the earth can be so varied yet related to all others through function. So soft and supple and complex.

Very few other things can touch skin so lightly yet have such a large effect.

Yes. I remember flowers.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Motorcycle Maintenance

Motorcycle maintenance is far more than checking the oil once a month and maybe looking at the tires once they start squealing. Polishing a fender or cleaning a rim is a portal to concepts of mortality.

Operating and maintaining a motorcycle is much more like an airplane than a car or truck. Car or truck drivers seldom think of their oil or coolant levels. Infrequently the tires are checked for wear and typically lights are ignored until a police officer issues a ticket.

With a motorcycle, as with an airplane, it is different. Low oil can cause a motor to seize up, in a matter of moments. Tires with insufficient air pressure or excessive wear can be a catastrophe waiting to happen. Lights are SO important. A single missing tail light on many motorcycles, means they are virtually invisible at night.

On vehicles such as these, the little things are vitally, if not mortally important. A loose brake caliper can mean near instant death to a motorcyclist. To a pilot, a broken brake caliper can throw the plane into a ground loop or even cause the entire landing gear to separate from the craft at touchdown or take-off.

Preparing to take a bike out on a ride is much more than turning the key and hopping on. It is like a plane's preflight check. Turning signals; lights; front brake; rear brake; throttle; clutch; tires; oil; brake fluid; gas; chain; and constantly checking for loose items. If any of these are not operating correctly or within tolerance, they can easily be the direct or indirect cause of death.
Polishing the fenders and forks and suspension and gas tank provides ample time to think of these things.

I have never been one to buy things because they are “new and shiny.” I typically prefer function over form when it comes to my vehicles. This is an interesting case.

The bike's sharpness, the shiny suppleness of the rubber hoses and cables and fenders, are simply not for show. They are functional. Part of a bike's purpose is to draw attention. This is not for some self aggrandizing reason; simply an important purpose. Shiny and bright -equals- more noticeable and less likely a car driver will fail to see it.

I can't help but think of these things as I carefully ensure the hoses are clean and check for loose bolts and connectors and cables. And while thinking of physical mortality for a while; I think of emotional mortality and of my friends who were shiny and brilliant and caring and protected my emotional mortality.

The next time you see a red motorcycle being ridden by a guy with long hair, please pause. If you are my friend, and it is I on that bike, be prepared for a hug or twelve. Life is too short for one to not show a friend their thanks and appreciation.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Solitary Life

Solitude vivifies; isolation kills.
Joseph Roux

I yearn for the road less traveled and a comfortable ride; the clink of a tequila bottle on a wine glass; the laughter of a good friend; the view of an open field of wildflowers on an April morning; the salty intermingling of tears and spindrift while looking out to the ocean's horizon; the palpable quiet of a snowfall in a Midwestern wood; the crackling of a fireplace; the scent of coffee and a woman's hair first thing in the morning; the intimate tranquility of two people quietly walking down a peaceful country road, hand in hand.

Living alone is not necessarily a function of a solitary life. Being comfortable within oneself is outright necessary.

The road beckons for my embrace. Near infinite miles and combination of paths echo their siren song to my soul. There await friends and experiences and places and family and solitude beyond my meager estimation. Beyond the mountainous prison gates of this place.

Left or right, high or low shall be my choosing. Concrete or asphalt, gravel or dirt; these shall be my choices for I am the pilot of this two wheeled machine and of my life.

Endless fields of flowers before me. Sweet pea and daisy and sunflower and columbine and lily perfume my universe and indelibly place their gentile marks on my soul. Fragrant memories dance on the periphery of my consciousness as I follow my path.

Indefinite ways and intersections lace my future into a patchwork quilt, finally converging into a single point over the horizon in a direction I know not. I shall know it only once I arrive.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Long hair, as dark as a warm humid night, draped down over her firm bare breasts, barely perceptible in the midnight summer moon. The scent of sweet skin and green grass blend with the opus of a whispering Midwestern night. We embrace. Skin touching skin. Bodies intertwined in the enveloping darkness.

We kiss. We hold each other. We caress. The ethereal touch of the moon's light and a brief cool breeze yearn to become one with the young lovers. Nighthawks flit overhead while the owls stand their nocturnal watch. The gentile cooing of the rain doves foretell an oncoming summer storm.

Our bodies wrapped in a blanket of heated passion, merge with the rising wind. Clouds build to the west as thunder echoes in the distance, vibrating the ground with a primal energy. Leaves rustle and the woods come to life, awakened by flashes of nearby lightning. Simultaneous crashes of electrical energy introduce the clearing to a much needed gentile quenching rain.

Quickly recovering our damp clothing, blanket and empty bottle of wine, we quickly make our way out of the clearing to the protection of a nearby abandoned farm building. Without a word, we stand in the barn door's ample threshold quietly kissing, rain and sweat mingling. The scent of passion and hay and the woods and rain press against our souls, making their tender but permanent marks in our memories.


Whew. That has been rolling around in my brain for a few weeks now. Sometimes ideas just do that; roll around in there and just push and prod to be released. This was definitely one of them.

While this is for the most part fiction, it is based on a real event. There was no clearing or woods or bottle of wine. The altered details and extrapolations not withstanding, this is an event I will probably never forget.

And I wonder about it. Will I ever experience this sort of passion again? Will I ever kiss a woman in the rain or maybe a lightly falling snow? Is young love or passion relegated only to the young?

And I further wonder, for me, does it matter?

Thursday, November 08, 2007


It is Snowing!!!

Well, not here in Vegas but in the upper midwest; Michigan, Wisconsin and a little in New York, Indiana and Maine. Some people have opined that I must be slightly masochistic. I love snow. I love winter. I love the shoveling and blowing. I love to see the snowplows on the road. I love to go for walks, feeling its unique crunch under my feet. I love to hear the absolutely tangible nothing as it gently falls in a field or woods. And I love the contradictory, melancholy beauty of a barren landscape after the snow has melted.

The snow and cold are like some primeval energy source. Walking out in the chilled, snowy winter air, to me, is like connecting my soul to a battery charger.

Ah, the memories... Memories of walking out to feed the cattle and hogs and chicken in a moon-filled early winter morning. Fresh virgin snow, never touched by a human, yielding yet supporting me. Unforgiving to stupidity or inattention yet that gentle white blanket protecting the earth from the killing cold of winter.

Sitting for hours next to a stream carrying a babbling flow of freshly liberated water from a winter's collection of snow. It's seasonal job now complete, it transforms to liquid beauty and tumbles away without complaint to its next job. The stream, performing it's duty with nary a whimper or whine, decade after decade. As its liquid passenger, it does not tire of its duty; it simply transforms.

Kissing in the falling snow is, for me, a sublime experience. Lips pressed together, passion melting the tiny snowflakes even before touching skin.

Watching a gentle day-long snowfall in solitude, feet propped up next to a blazing fireplace, good book in one hand and cup of coffee in the other. In my life, there are few other things that rival a day spent like that.

I was born a Midwestern farmer and lover of nature, and I shall remain one in my heart and soul until the day I die.

Monday, November 05, 2007


You can only miss something, if you know what that something is.

As a child I never missed quite a number of modern day conveniences. I never missed color television; cell phones; central heating or air conditioning; being able to run out for something at the local 24 hour store; reliable utilities; and... well... inside toilet facilities.

I certainly knew they existed; they simply were not part of my daily childhood life.

Am I missing something? It certainly feels similar to missing something. But, I am not sure what it is. One must know what is missing to miss something. So, what am I missing?

One that misses an unknown is a seeker. At least a seeker should know a rough direction to travel. I haven't a clue. The fog of the unknown embraces me in its lifeless arms.

So, there is some empty place somewhere in there. Somewhat like the lingering vibrations of a long forgotten favorite song. The tune is gone and all that is left is a shadow of a vibration. There was something there, once, I simply have no clue what it was. The void is at time seemingly tangible. A physical and mental weight of nothingness.

A forgotten song? A book I read?

Solitude, I think, may be part of my path. I need time for quiet reflection. Please though, if you have my phone number, do not hesitate to call, or e-mail, or PM, or IM me. There is something more specific in my mind. Perhaps a trip.

I have in my garage a small motorcycle. At work I have more than three weeks worth of vacation. Perhaps, once my life starts to settle down, and I get a few hundred miles under my belt, I will go for a little ride. Nothing but a few day's worth of clothes, a little cash, few books, map and an emergency-only cell phone.

Three weeks on the road. It may not make clear what I am missing. It may not help me figure out what I am seeking. Minimally, it will clear away a bit of that fog.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Expect weirdness... I am going to attempt an upgrade to the newer blogger interface.

Monday, September 17, 2007

You cannot open the frontiers if you want 100 percent probability that nothing is going to go wrong.
Dan Goldin, former head of NASA, reflecting on the possible loss of Steve Fossett.


Two weekends ago my daughter had a brush with immediate death. She is fine, dear readers. No need to worry. You see, she was doing something very benign; something that tens of millions of people do everyday. She went out to pick up the newspaper from the driveway.

The skies were cloudy and ominous but not terribly so. Coming back into the house, while closing the outside door, there was a powerful SMACK and an immediate boom. She, as she put it, “screamed like a girl,” and jumped into the house.

Lightning struck the street, not 20 feet from where she had been only 15 seconds before. Holding onto the steel outer door, she could even feel the discharge.

I see this as a lesson not only in our own mortality, but in taking chances.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING has a 100 percent probability that nothing can go wrong. I sit typing this in a car, outside a casino. The laptop could short circuit, giving me a sharp bite of electricity. Or perhaps the short would cause the battery to quickly heat up, possibly catching on fire or burning my leg. What if some miscreant grabbed my computer off my lap and ran, or worse, threatened my life?

Driving to work? I have been driving for more than 25 years and quite throughly understand that it is a crap shoot.

The reality is that we are not immortal. We are going to die sooner or later. The preference is of course later... much later.

Knowing that reality, why not take a few chances in life. Mitigating the possible damage in case of failure is of course a good thing. Don't jump in and tilt at that windmill without making sure you have a sturdy horse.

The simple things: Don't sky dive with World War II surplus equipment; Don't scuba dive with empty tanks; Don't take up street-luge on a busy six-lane highway. That sort of thing.

I guess the point is this: Take that chance but cover your ass. You may need it the next time you try something. Now, if you will pardon me please, I have some lightening rods to put up.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thrash – Definition: To move wildly or violently, without accomplishing anything useful. Paging or swapping systems that are overloaded waste most of their time moving data into and out of core (rather than performing useful computation) and are therefore said to thrash.

Someone who keeps changing his mind (especially about what to work on next) is said to be thrashing. A person frantically trying to execute too many tasks at once (and not spending enough time on any single task) may also be described as thrashing. (Free On-line Dictionary of Computing) Definition of Thrashing.
Thrashing and procrastination have been a monkey on my back for years. I start something and then move on to something else before I finish the first. Why? Am I impatient with myself? Do I have a short attention span? Is there some ethereal, unrecognizable fear of me actually accomplishing something?

To be honest, I have asked this question for years and not once have I struck an answer. Maybe, just maybe there is no answer. It just IS.

Fine. I am through analyzing and measuring and wondering. Time to change. Time to stop thrashing and get down to business.

I am going to be open an honest here; I have a goal; I have one large personal thing in my mind now that is important. I want to live in the country and participate in the agricultural life again. If this means starting out on an acre in a travel trailer with a large garden, so be it. Living in a barn while I remodel it into a residence? You bet.

This is not to state I am going to be single-minded. I will absolutely work to help my daughter through college. I will pay off the bills after the divorce. I will help my friends when they need assistance.

What about those other things I want to do? What about writing? What about flying and that plane I want to build? What about ham radio? What about traveling the country, maybe even the world to visit my friends? What about that motorcycle?

All in due time. I will get to them.

To that end, I have started another blog: To Farm Again . I will post there regularly, even if some posts may seem small or insignificant. As for this blog, I will probably post rarely or irregularly; so, really, no change here (LOL).

Monday, September 03, 2007

It's a cruel and random world, but the chaos is all so beautiful.
Dante – a Character in the anime Full Metal Alchemist.

I sat down today and attempted to write something coherent. With full intention, mind full of thoughts, I placed pen to paper and my brain just seemed to stall. The translation from thoughts to written word simply broke down.

Typically when this occurs, I write a few notes and toddle off to do something else. This time I decided to just keep writing these little notes. The result was interesting, if not a bit confusing, if I do say so myself.

Judge for yourself... Chaos? Beauty? Both?
I want to do something great,
but not be great.
I want to do something fantastic,
but not be fantastic.
I want to do something amazing,
but not be amazing.
I want to do something interesting,
and yes,
I want to be interesting.

Accomplishing something great merely requires the fortitude and persistence to accomplish many minor tasks while keeping the greatness of the complete task rooted in the heart as if it is already complete.

Regularly pursuing trivial pursuits with no goal is a closed stateless system.

The result of one deconstructing their creation is akin to a sculptor deconstructing a marble statue of their own creation. All that remains is a pile of dust whetted with its creator's blood and tears.

A person's limitations should never be allowed to get in the way of their dreams.

I don't care if you stop this treadmill or not. I am getting the fuck off.

Since when has a bank account been required to do something great, fantastic or beautiful?

Different is not always interesting, but interesting is always different.

The property known as “interesting,” requires no explanation, marketing, selling or advertising. “Interesting” is inherently a self defining property.

Everyone has the right to sell their own life. I am tired of living mine on credit.

Every journey starts with a single step. Unfortunately, the highway to hell has many pedestrians whom started their way to damnation with a single step.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I think the frightening thing is when we lose our civility, which I think is happening across the board, and I find disturbing.

Emmylou Harris

It is my firm belief that a civil society requires a firm amount individual solitude. This, we have very little that is obvious in today's world. We are close together; constant contact. The pervasiveness of cell phones, internet, e-mail, and all other forms of relatively new communications modes strip us from our solitude. We become angry, introverted, disconnected from the real and natural world. We spend so much time interfacing that there is no time for introspection. We become a mass; not unlike a large hill of ants or termites. A school of fish with no individuality, simply moving in synchronicity with the mass.

Some samples of incivility. They disgust me.

Woman Stabbed to Death

Mother's Deadly, preventable Secret,0,1975658.story

Woman Killed by Ex-Boyfriend

Signs Of Domestic Abuse Not Always Recognized

Woman Shot on Ute reservation,5143,695201958,00.html

Jealous Boyfriend Gets Life in Murder Case

Woman Shot to Death After Domestic Dispute

Woman Fatally Stabbed, Suspect Arrested,0,3100004.story?coll=hc-navigation-mhc

Local Woman Slain by Boyfriend


This must stop. How? I plan on trying.

(sorry for the formatting wierdness on the links)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

“Not the glittering weapon fights the fight, but rather the hero's heart.”


I know a hero. Rather, I know several. I am proud to be a part of their lives, as tertiary as it may be in some cases. I am proud of their heart. The hero gives hope to the world.

One is my daughter. Many years ago an event occurred in my ex wife's life that could have extinguished her flame from this existence. Without unnecessary details, our daughter, her daughter... my daughter, saved her life.

Another, a friend stepped out of her norm to rescue someone from a dangerous, potentially life threatening situation. She took a chance and made a difference.

And another, being the beautiful person she is, showed caring. A simple voice of compassion that pulled another from the precipice of a cliff.

A hero knows when to act and how. It cannot be practiced or rehearsed. It is spontaneous, a reflex originating from ones' soul. Many choose to ignore or suppress this reflex. My daughter did not.

A hero is willing to exit from their norm and venture into unknown territory. This path may be uncertain and the road slippery and rocky and full of pot-holes. They press on. Flinching perhaps, but not deviating from the path to their goal.

A hero is compassionate. Sending a simple correspondence, or enjoying a five minute phone call. Many times, saying the words, “Hi, I just thought I would call,” can literally mean more than life itself. One should never minimize the power of simple kindness.

For these, and a million more reasons, I am proud to know these wonderful people.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

As you make your bed, So must you lie on it.
English Saying.

Typically I have little problem finding just the right quote to match the topic I want to write about. At times I see a quote and it sparks a thought. Alas, this is problematic from time to time. With this topic, neither really happened.

What is this topic that I found so difficult to quote? Personal responsibility.

This is the common sense sort of personal responsibility with no complex religious, moral or political bias. The simple things. Don't golf in a thunderstorm. Don't flip-off a policeman. Don't run out in the middle of a four lane highway. Don't continue driving when your engine oil light comes on. Don't mix Chlorine and Ammonia. There must be a million of these.

Then there are the “well, duh” sort of situations. Take sleeping pills, chances are you will fall asleep. Drink more than two beers in an hour and you are probably, according to the law anyway, drunk. Write lies and abusive, idiotic drivel, and someone will call you to the carpet. Ignore that gas gage long enough and that car will stop moving. Again, millions of them.

I think in the due course of a lifetime, one will certainly violate several of these common sense items. As humans, we are not perfect; we make mistakes and then typically learn, let go and move on.

Unfortunately I know of people who regularly violate the personal responsibility of common sense. There are some who violate this responsibility and somehow avoid circumstance. There are violators who seemingly have good Samaritans, indentured servants, or witless individuals to protect them from the consequences of their actions. And then there are those who accept the outcome, only to continue.

The ones with good Samaritans on their side may possibly be helped. How? By letting them fall on their ass and allow them the opportunity to pick themselves up. Give them the opportunity for an education. Maybe, just maybe they will learn.

But then there are those who don't learn. Those that just keep going down the dead end alley. They don't learn. Maybe they don't want to. Maybe they can't learn.

How many times must a person misuse drugs before they learn? How many times must a person break the law and are thrown in jail before they learn? How many times must a person drink themselves into oblivion before they learn?

How long must a person grieve over a relationship that has been dead for years? How many times must one beat their head bloody before they even obtain an inkling that something isn't right.

The sad thing is this... Some go to the grave with a bloody forehead.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

All the universe in a grain of sand.

Many people believe quotes to be fluff; void wit; a stroking of intellectual ego. Others view quotes as distillations of a singular thought or concept; specific, to the point, no nonsense statements.

It is written that the famous physicist, Richard Feynman would spend hours crafting witty, memorable quotes for his students and colleagues. He would distill complex concepts into small, shot-sized memorable quips; and was surprisingly good at it.

A drama is not required when something can be succinctly stated in ten words or less.

I am utilitarian. I like things to make simple sense. I like things that simply work and are not fancy or extravagant. Maybe this is why I dislike drama. Drama is fancy and extravagant and makes no sense. Drama is not utilitarian.

As long as my vehicle gets me from point A to point B with a minimum of problems, an AMC Rambler would do just fine. Any $5 watch will suite me just fine. Why pay thousands of dollars for a Rolex? That $5 watch performs the same basic function. The new iPhone certainly is cool. You can do so much with it. You can send and receive e-mails, chat with people using any number of programs and even, yes, use it as a phone. It is sad that so much of society focuses on the medium and method rather than the message.

That simple grain of sand is the perfect symbol of a simple, practical, sustainable life. Its message and medium is simple but poignant; specific; deep; metaphorical. Look at it. Since the dawn of time it has existed in one way or another. It has withstood untold millenia of punishment. It has been transformed through all it has experienced to a simple existence; useful; singular; simple; functional; independent; eternal.

Oh, to be a grain of sand.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

One Way
Do Not Enter

And yet, the driver piloted his vehicle right down the street into early morning on-coming traffic. Why? He didn't want to drive around the block and stay safe. He didn't mind placing others in danger so he might make his trip home more convenient and shorter.

It is indeed one thing to break the rules when the only one placed in any danger is the one breaking them. It is a different matter when others are placed in danger. This is the world we live. These are our neighbors. These are our friends. These are our worldly cohabitants. At times, these are ourselves.

I have certainly done a few things in my life that placed others in danger. I am not proud of them and I am certainly aware enough to see these opportunities for a failure of personal responsibility. How is it some among us are watchful of these possible failures where others rush headlong into the realm of pushing others into danger?

This is not just a personal failing, but is a failing of our popular society. We would rather see the rainbow today and ignore the oncoming hurricane tomorrow. Immediate gratification while ignoring probable outcomes will only result in failure.

Most Native American cultures did not believe in land ownership. They believed nature and the land were on loan to them; on loan from their children, granted by the Great Spirit. What a powerful concept. All of nature belongs to our children, not ourselves. Perhaps one could extend that belief to time; our time is on loan from our children.

Land ownership is something that is unavoidable in today's American society. How we treat that land and the environment is completely up to us. Treat them poorly and abuse them, and while we may see short term gains, like topping a tree, we are only stunting our growth and causing unseen damage.

Do people not see things breaking in the environment? Then again, maybe things are not breaking. Should we worry about the future and change our behavior and the way we think, or continue down the road we are traveling?

In the logical methodology of Voltaire, this can be broken down and analyzed.

Possible situations:
  1. There is no such thing as global warming or ecological changes. Everything is fine.
  2. The globe is warming and the ecology is changing, but it is a natural cycle of things. Human existence has nothing to do with this.
  3. The globe is warming, the ecology is changing, the environment is on a decline, but this is not part of a normal geo-physical cycle. Humans have caused this.

Possible actions:

  1. Do nothing.
  2. Take action.
1 – Global warming is a Red Herring; it doesn't exist. Doing nothing will change nothing. Taking action against something that does not exist is a waste of effort. One vote for doing nothing.

2 – Global warning is occurring but not due to human habitation. Doing nothing will change nothing. This is an irresponsible act of inaction. Just because you are a passenger in a car careening toward a cliff edge does not mean you should merrily sit by and wait for the end to come. Taking action will minimally show concern and empathy. Ultimately, taking action could improve the entire situation regardless of blame or cause. One vote for taking action.

3 – Global warming is occurring and it is due to human habitation and misuse of natural resources. By all means, a person driving a car should keep it safely on the straight and narrow. If humans have damaged the environment, it is our duty as sentient beings to do what we can to take action. Doing nothing destines us to certain failure as a species. One vote for taking action.

So, given the above style of argument, it cannot be denied that regardless of circumstance, we as sentient humans must take action. Large or small, minute or grandiose, we must do what we can. How can we start? How about not driving the wrong way down a one way street. If you must got the wrong way, the least you can do is walk.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Time is just something that we assign. You know, past, present, it's just all arbitrary. Most Native Americans, they don't think of time as linear; in time, out of time, I never have enough time, circular time, the Stevens wheel. All moments are happening all the time.
Television program, “Northern Exposure”

Time is simply a vibration of dimensions; places and times beyond comprehension in resonance.

There is no present; only the razor's edge cleaving the future into the past. By the time you read this sentence and it registers in your brain, it is already the past. That point of future to past is, according to Einstein, undefinable. The present is simply the recent past; a recent past that should be savored for all it can provide.

There are some few who exist only on the distant past, unable to release things and allow them to settle into a quiet harmonious hum that is our individual existences. There are some few who exist only in the future, hoping and praying and wishing for things and never appreciating what they have.

Neither enjoy the recent past; the present. They live in times and places that will not; or should not continue to exist. They may exist in the moment of the present only briefly, only to jettison themselves to whence they came. Perhaps it is an illness. Perhaps it is their own universe.

Classical physics tells us that the past affects the future. Actions direct future options and possibilities. That may be true. Quantum physics has a different take on it. The observation of something, sort of 'snaps into place' the past. Actions still direct future possibilities, but it is the past that is truly affected.

Perhaps those living in the future are simply hoping to change the future. Perhaps those living in the past hope to change history.

For those who live in the future: dreams and hopes and wishes are only as good as the actions placed behind them. For those who live in the past: history, with or without quantum physics, cannot be changed.

It is my belief that happiness lies on the razor's edge.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

You say that you are my judge. I don't know if you are — but take care not to judge wrongly, lest you place yourself in great danger.
Joan of Arc

(I wrote this about a year ago and decided to post it tonight.)

Each person's path is unique and by pure definition, must be. Judge yourself before laying judgment on others.

I am screwed up. My life a mess. Decisions made that now must be followed. Not because I must, but because I want to. All will gain by following through.

I do my best to insulate my close friends from myself and my messed up existence. But what if they want to open their doors to me? What if they choose to accept some of my burden? Do I allow them, even if it messes up their already complex life? Opening up could create new paths of existence and experience, but at what cost?

Opening up completely to them could cause a harm that I do not desire anyone to have. My burden is mine alone to carry. But if someone offers to help, knowingly causing themselves harm, should I let them?

Who is to judge, whom I share my existence and experiences with? The answer is simple and short. Only the people I share with and myself. We decide and no one else.
Just get off yer ass and do it!
My dad

Journeys have neither beginning nor end. Beginnings and endings are simple narrow artifices that humans give to events in an effort to place them into some easily conceivable context. Don't blame us for that; it's a simple matter of how our brains are wired.

Our lives, as with the entire universe, operate in cycles. Beginnings and endings merge and become jumbled in a cacophony of inter-related events. A writer could easily say that they started writing a book on a certain day and completed it when it was printed. To our hardwired human brains, that is how we perceive it. The writer may not remember or even recognize the importance of something as trivial as receiving a pen and pad of paper for her seventh birthday. Without that gift, perhaps the successful author would have never conceived of the book. So, when was that book started?

Does a choice start with its precursive events or at the moment a person makes a choice? Or just maybe the choice was made at the time of the event, without the knowledge of the person. Maybe, just a subconscious nudge in one direction or another.

My dad was a proponent of just getting things done. Small or big, things left undone can only cause problems. There are multitude of little and big things we would all like to do. What stops us from doing them?

Maybe. Just maybe, if we were just get off our collective asses and do something, our world would be better; not just for us, but maybe for that seven year old you buy that cheap pen set for.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny ...'
Isaac Asimov

Sometimes our lives become so weighted by perceived limitations, it is good to hear (or read) of interesting discoveries that just 'happened'. It is wild to imagine that Alexander Flemming discovered Penicillin by complete accident! A discovery that revolutionized the treatment of infections and illnesses, discovered by something as simple as a petri dish accidentally exposed to the air!

X-Rays; a complete accident while Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen researched cathode ray tubes.

Velcro came from an inspired George de Mestral after observing how cockleburrs would cover his pants and dog's coat.

Microwave ovens came into existence after Percy Spencer's candy bar was melted by World War II RADAR equipment.

Quinine, the cure for Malaria was discovered quite by accident when a severely ill South American native drank from a bitter tasting pool of water near a Cinchona tree. The bark from the Cinchona tree, previously though to be poisonous, became a tremendous life-saver.

Safety glass, the kind used in automobiles was discovered by complete accident in 1903 when someone accidentally knocked over a flask filled with plastic. The plastic partially evaporated and the person cleaning up the mess discovered that it all stuck together in a way that made the glass stronger.

Dr. Roy Plunkett, working with gases to keep things cold, discovered a mystery item in a device he was using. He had no idea how it got there, who made it or what it was. He and his lab assistants ran some tests on it, only to discover that it adhered wonderfully to metal, but to most other objects it was very slippery. Any guesses??? That was the birth of Teflon (a.k.a. Tetraflouroethylene)!

So, get out your spoons and knives and soldering irons and saws and a cup of serendipity. Leave all your preconceived notions and limits aside.

Anyone up for tabletop fusion???

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ugly just dies; Beauty lasts forever.

Nature not only abhors a vacuum, but it also abhors 'ugly.' Can anyone admit to seeing a truly ugly flower or tree or bird? I don't mean something that is simply distasteful like the odd little flowers in the desert that smell like rotting meat, or trees that are gnarled and grotesquely twisted, or birds with no feathers on their heads that consume only carrion. I mean ugly as in the actions of people; the abuse and desecration and disregard for another human being.

Ugly as in rape.

Ugly as in genocide.

Ugly as in murder.

Ugly as in physical, verbal and emotional abuse.

I see photos of concentration camps, and the grass and trees are overtaking them. I see photos of great battlefields from years gone by, and the plants are healing the scarred earth. Nature will, in the end, replace all the ugliness in the world with beauty. There is no ugly powerful enough to survive nature's light yet eternally persistent push.

Through my distant memories I inhale the softly moist air of the wild woods and hold it in my mortal lungs for as long as I can. If, perhaps, only through proxy, it heals the wounds and helps make me whole again.

The way of nature is healing. The way of nature is nurturing. We are made from the dust of stars and to the dust of stars we shall return.

We are the expression of nature and this should not be wasted. We should embrace it with every heartbeat. We only have a finite number of them. They are ours for the taking or the wasting. It is up to us to choose the former or latter. I choose the former but it is not easy. For some, for me at times, the fight against lethargy of the heart is a regular battle. One that I am determined to win.

There is beauty in all of us, and it is eternal.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up.
Anne Lamott

Hope: Such a small word with such huge meaning.

There is eternal hope, false hope, childish hope, forlorn hope, and further divisions and subdivisions as to be nearly innumerable. But they are all 'hope,' a purely human function.

According to WordNet, hope: “the general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled”; and “expect with desire”. And there you have it. Hope is based on feelings. Feelings are personal; therefore there is no shared hope without shared feelings.

Hope is ephemeral and fleeting like that of a light spring breeze but yet as solid as a mountain. Hope is not something that disappears with a whim. It is built through hardship or sincere desire. Once built, it can only be willingly deconstructed by the same person who built it. If not deconstructed, it is simply ignored; pushed aside by the builder, perhaps to be rediscovered later. Or if not acted upon, to die with its creator.

If you have hope; if you have dreams. Do not deconstruct or destroy them. Ignore them if you must. Push them aside if you must. But never, ever, destroy a single one, for they are precious and they are truly you.

Friday, May 11, 2007

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you.... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.
Ruth Stout

Perhaps that is why winter is my favorite season. And perhaps this is the cause of my terminal distaste for Las Vegas; the incessant crowd and hell borne summers. I do manage to capture minute moments of blissful solitude by walking alone in the desert among the rocks and scorpions and scrub brush and snakes. But this is different than the solitude of walking quietly on a virginal white blanket of snow, covering a gently slumbering forest floor.

The stillness is almost a tangible patch-quilt of comfort and warmth. It envelops and embraces me and I gladly embrace it in return.

Originally raised on a farm, I moved to the Chicago area in 1988. This was the beginning of my slight yet increasing decline into a depressive urbanism. From there, an ever so brief respite in rural Iowa was quite refreshing. A following year in Minneapolis was acceptable but this move truly started the spiral.

From there to Las Vegas. After moving initially, I still recall wondering to myself 'why?' There was just something not right. Something as tangible as “square peg – round hole” yet successfully concealed behind a concrete and glass facade of smiling faces and empty promises.

Many have written about successfully enjoying solitude while still sharing with other humans, the space I guard. I cannot and will not continue allowing myself the pain and aggravation of being more social than I wish. Than I wish.

I have friends that I regularly chat with. These friends share with me a commonality of circumstance. These are people I look forward to interacting with. Other than these rare, special few, I like the comfort of my patch-quilt and the quiet of the forest.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Men only think of their past right before their death, as if they were searching frantically for proof that they were alive.
Jet,a character from the anime Cowboy Bebop

For no specific reason; no obvious stimulus provided; no prompting or major depression I could determine, I thought of death today. Not in any morbid way was I thinking of my mortality, it was more of a productive introspection.

My first official job was walking soy bean fields in the Mississippi River bay area of western Illinois, pulling and cutting weeds and grasses. I worked for this wonderful gentleman everyone called 'Sparky.' He may have been old even in 1981 but his mind and body were as sharp and spry as someone half his age. He died an honorable death in 2000 at the age of 81. So the story goes, he was inside a large grain bin, inspecting and preparing it for that season's harvest. The top of these bins typically have catwalks that allow for typical maintenance. While doing his work, high on the catwalk, he suffered a massive heart attack and fell 40 some feet to a concrete floor. According to the coroner, he was dead before his feet left the catwalk. He felt nothing.

This is from his obituary:
“He was member or the Providence Baptist Church where he was active in the past as a deacon and usher. He was an active member of the Eliza Lions Club, Mercer County Farm Bureau and the Eliza American Legion. He was a World War II veteran, having served in the Army Air Corp in Hawaii. He loved people, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was a good neighbor. He farmed all his life, growing grain and raising cattle. “

I think of my father and grandfather. My father passed in 1983 when I was 17. My maternal grandfather passed in 1990, just a few months before my daughter was born. I wonder sometimes if I and my actions honor the memory of these two gentlemen. Have I been honorable?

They were both physical laborers; my grandfather a heavy equipment owner and operator, and my father a farmer, working land that had been in the family for more than 100 years.
I can let a lot of things go in my life; the stupid; the idiotic; the childish. I find it difficult letting go of a particular childish choice; a stupid teenage mistake. Before my father sold the farm, only a few months before he died, he asked me, a young 17 year old boy, if I wanted the farm.

I said 'No.'

Regardless of whether he or my family or the world forgave me for this childish transgression, for me, this is a hurdle. I pray that before my time is done, I will make things right... not with anyone but myself.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.
C. S. Lewis

The future comes, whether we are ready or not. Newton defined the first arrow of time, pointed it in one direction and let it fly straight and true. Einstein took the arrow and bent it in one direction and then the other. Then Hawking came along and tied knots in that once straight arrow of time.

In one way or another, regardless of the temporal frame of reference, the future does arrive. Your future. My future. Maybe it's the same future, maybe not. Or just maybe, is there a difference?

Some believe that the future is something that is destined to occur in a predefined fashion; fate. Some believe that the future is completely random, for the most part, and is defined by actions of individuals; Free Will.

Pierre-Simon Laplace, a French mathematician and astronomer in the late 1700's and early 1800's strongly believed in something called 'Causal Determination.' Casually stated, this is the theory that given the current state of the universe, as a function of the past, some all-knowing intellect could predict the future without error. In later years, this intellect was given the name, “Laplace's Demon.”

It is believed that this theory was crushed with the concept of entropy and the laws of thermodynamics. Extending Causal Determinism through Einstein's equivalence of matter and energy does give it some defense, however, the true death of Causal Determinism came with the advent of quantum mechanics. In this weird sub-atomic world, determinism is thrown out the door.

Here, nothing or everything is not only possible but actually occurs until something is observed. Once an object or result is viewed, its reality is snapped into place. Loose your quantum keys? They are everywhere until you find them. Your finding determines where they are. In this strange, whacked-out world, the future does affect the past!

As sentient human beings, optimally we learn from the past, evaluate the present and in some way attempt to direct our future. Within the scope of our lives, we are in charge of casting, titles, plot, setting and post production. If that isn't enough, we are also writer, director and actor.

None and all of this happens until it is observed. You get to choose; to observe.

Large responsibility; large reward. Join me. I'm all in.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Kahlil Gibran

One must have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star.
Friedrich Nietzsche

The best work is done with the heart breaking, or overflowing.
Mignon McLaughlin

Via ad Astra

Dreams... What are dreams? According to, dream: an aspiration or goal; a wild or vain fancy or hope; something of unreal beauty, charm or excellence; and to conceive of or imagine. These are fine definitions, if just a little dry.

Here are some quotes that, for me, help define the word 'dream':

Dream as if you will live forever,
live as if you'll die today.
James Dean

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why...
I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?
Robert Francis Kenney (RFK)

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight,
and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
Oscar Wilde

If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
Maya Angelou

A dream. I will admit my problem. I start dreaming and planning and all is going well. Then I see leaks; problems; uninvited incursions into the dream by interloping events and actions and situations.

And I break. I lie down. I let it go. Some times I will tie up my dream in bright orange or yellow or green ribbon and carefully place it away in a safe somewhere in my consciousness. Some of these I never look at again. Others I unwrap, only to promptly re-wrap and shove back in their proper locations. Some I rip apart out of frustration or even sorrow.

The spark of inspiration persists, burning my soul. The dreams' shadows haunt me in the not dark-not light of a misty dawn.

I cannot. I must not continue doing this.

I recently unwrapped a dream and let it breath a bit; my dream of flying. Now I have a plan; a path by which to follow, and that makes me happy.

Then there are the smaller dreams of being a published author, getting my motorcycle license and a bike and driving/riding coast-to-coast, and pursuing my ham radio hobby and maybe a few other things.

Then there is my sublime dream, “Via ad Astra.” It is not a small dream. It may require decades of work. The product of this dream may last centuries or even millenia. It may never be complete. This, I feel, is proof that fulfillment from a dream is not in its completion, but in its pursuit.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Men may rise on the steppingstones
Of their dead selves to higher things.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

With personal power comes personal peril. It is far too easy for one to be in a time of growth and to loose their way. Like a Poplar tree sprinting towards the heavens, there is a danger of getting ones' branches tangled in the power lines.

Unbridled, unchecked, unsupervised growth is destined to result in ones' crown hitting the electrical lines once in a while. That is a danger when growing.

Many species of trees grow unchecked, gorging on the nourishment of nearby streams. Their wood is pithy and brittle and weak. The tree that grows while under some seasonal stress, away from constant comfort has wood that is strong with tight grain. They grow slowly and steadily toward the brilliant blue sky.

According to James Fenimore Cooper, “Power always has the most to fear from from it's own illusions.” This is another great danger as one follows down the path of personal growth. When growing personal power instantiates false images, problems of greater impact can come about. Each step forward must be measured.

One must not pursue personal growth without consistent fearless evaluation.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

All over the map.

My previous post today was, as I hope to believe, from a point of transition on the map and not a true indication of who I really am.

That's what a friend of mine told me about her particular situation; she's "All over the map." I think that's where I am too. I can't specifically define where I am or my direction or speed. I can only be sure of my existence. Maybe that's a good thing. At least I haven't lost myself yet but I feel close.

I can see the nothing beyond my self. My novice understanding of Taoism points me in the direction of believing that this is a good thing. Being a good little novice of this philosophy, I question that. I feel the cold and numbness radiate from it like so much burning heat from a wood stove in the middle of winter.

I must break out of this. It is not good for myself or my daughter. I must at least try... No. I must do it. This blackness cannot consume me. I will stand and challenge its void indeterminacy. It is a very Zen condition: no choice but to fight or run away. There is no choice but there is a choice.
"This life's dim windows of the soul
Distorts the heavens from pole to pole
And leads you to believe a lie
When you see with, not through, the eye."
William Blake

I promised myself that I would not engage in existential navel gazing here. I was wrong to think that. I am wrong. I am not a nice person. I apologize to everyone for them being involved with my life. This post is not full of hope, nor does it contain any sage bits of introspective wisdom. I am not a nice person.

I am told that I hold everything inside, waiting for my anger to blow. I am expressionless. I do not talk about my feelings. I am cold. I should say something when a particular thing upsets me. When I do, I am wrong. I am questioned. I am not a nice person.

I was told last night that I yelled about something I don't remember. I was told that I was an abuser. I was told that I victimized people. I was told that I am not understanding or empathetic. I am not a nice person.

I drove 60 miles last night, trying to find where someone lives, when they didn't now how to get home and I became internally upset. I waited for an hour, outside a casino for someone at 1AM in the morning and I became internally upset. I am not a nice person.

I was asked numerous times last night and once this morning why I try to make problems when all is calm and there are no problems. I don't know. I slept in a fetal position last night, in my clothes. I thought of these things. I am not a nice person.

I do not see with my eyes. I do not see through my eyes. There are no distortions. There are no lies. I am told that I am blind. I stitched my own eyes shut with rusty baling wire. I am not a nice person.

Whether I end up all alone by my own enjoyable accord, or because I really am these things I am told, it matters not today. What matters if route A or route B is taken to reach the same goal. If the goal is accomplished, who cares. I am not a nice person.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

“Do not use – BROKEN”

This was posted on a time card machine at work today. For the most part, this sums up my current point of view.

For the greater or lesser, we are all broken. Some more and some less than others. Some accept their own deficiencies; with pride. Others accept them with remorse or resignation. Some, like me, cycle through these, and a multitude of other feelings regarding our deficiencies and overall brokenness.

“Do not use...” I am not referring to this in any abusive or unacceptably advantageous way. Do not use; do not utilize; stay away; I am broken and do not work correctly; I have a deficiency that does not allow for proper operation; And given proper and acceptable input, I may not operate in a predictable manner.

I am depressed. I am tired. My scars are raw and I am broken. Perhaps recognition of these conditions is a step towards healing. Perhaps recognition means nothing.

Perhaps acceptance is a step towards healing. Perhaps acceptance means nothing.

No. I really don't mean some of that. It is my currently depressive state of mind squeezing its way to the forefront of my consciousness. I am not making excuses; this is simply a reflection of my current state.

I highly value recognition and acceptance. Recognition points the way to healing; acceptance points the way to happiness. The respect, recognition and acceptance my friends freely give is invaluable. I only hope that I successfully reciprocate in kind.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

“How vain is it to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live?”
“Write while the heat is in you.”
Henry David Thoreau.

Write, write, write... When you have nothing to write, write anyway. Just doodle with words. Describe something; your pen or your fingernail. Just WRITE! TYPE! EMOTE with words! It isn't necessary to make sense or to flow or be spelled correctly. Just WRITE!

To be honest, the above are not necessarily my own sentiments. Honestly it is a drastically bastardized paraphrase of something I think I read several years ago. And, well... My memory is certainly not perfect.

For the sake of honesty, it was indeed a sentiment of instruction given to budding writers from a classic science fiction writer. Sorry, but I simply do not remember to whom it should be attributed to. That failure of attribution not withstanding, I do strongly agree. One who wishes to be a writer, should write.

While I cannot be classified as a prolific author, and honestly I haven't had a single piece published in the last 10 years or so, I still write. Not only do I still write, I write a LOT more. Some of it makes sense. Some is utter and complete garbage; just literary doodling on my computer screen. They consist of character sketches, plot and story ideas, article ideas and research, setting descriptions, and even, just free association of words and thoughts.

What ever it is, I stand up to live and I sit down to write.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My philosophy of dating is to just fart right away.
Jenny McCarthy

A few days ago, my soon-to-be-ex wife & I were discussing the possibilities of dating other people. She is interested in getting out there & meeting people, and that's OK. She told me of what she was looking for and again, that's OK. My mind started working... What would I look for, should I ever date? Let's see...
  • A slim, sleek body.
  • All of her parts must be in wonderful condition, but original parts not necessary.
  • A tight fit.
  • Age doesn't matter.
  • Fast, but not dangerously so.
  • Tattoos are good.
  • Responsive to my slightest touch.
  • Body modifications are fine, if not overdone.
  • Not be jealous or upset if I hop in with another.

My potential date must be able to...

  • Handle the bumps well.
  • Pull me back into the seat when things start to go fast.
  • Go her own with no input from me.
  • Take two if necessary.
  • Go non-stop for hours.
  • Let me touch-up her slight blemishes.
  • Let me give her a complete overhaul.
  • Catch us both when we start falling.

I will never...

  • Take her in the rain unless necessary.
  • Fail to care for her.
  • Give her an inexpensive meal.
  • Just let her sit all night after a long, hard day.
... Yes ... I want a plane ... baby ...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Do not loose your temper, except intentionally.
-Dwight Eisenhower

Humans are a species of tool makers and tool users. This sets us apart from most other species. Of course, many other primates and even a few remarkable aviary specimens are capable of making and using tools, but we are the ultimate; the sublime toolmakers. We are capable of engineering and building tools the size of large molecules through sky scrapers and huge aircraft and space vehicles.

We make and use tools. That is us.

I am missing a tool. I don't know where it is. I don't know what it looks like. I don't know how to acquire or build a new one. What I DO know is that I miss it and I need it.

This is not a tangible tool, although its product is presented as tangible action. It is anger; or more appropriately the ability to understand, utilize and relate to other people who are trying to grapple with their own uneasy feelings generated by this emotion.

Anger is difficult for me to understand. I empathize with those who are having a difficult time with this emotion, but I cannot truly relate. All I can do is hug them if they need it, speak reassuring words and say “I understand”. I feel so impotent in this respect.

Coming to grips with the fact that I cannot help everyone was a harsh realization. A good realization. I CANNOT help everyone and that is OK. I will help those I can. That has been fairly settled in my mind.

But, what of that group of people in the joined area defined by those asking for help and myself wanting to give it? There is a third area: My ability to give it. If I knew someone who needed $100 and I wanted to give it to them, but didn't have it to give, it is a simple matter of reality. I don't have it; I can't give it.

Someone asks me for understanding and clarity on the subject of their anger. I want so badly to give them what I have, but I have almost no understanding. My tool is gone; missing; hiding; thrown away. I can barely prove to myself that this tool is gone, or ever existed in the first place. How do I prove it to the person asking for help?

Do I need to? Becoming caught in the complex maze of self-justification is a never ending, reiterative, infinitely recursive process. I want those asking for my help, implicitly or explicitly to understand that I have no tool. It is gone; moved without a forwarding address. I want to tell those that I can empathize but not completely understand.

I can hold the, I can comfort them, I can tell them it will be 'ok'. It is difficult for me to verbalize. I feel a special closeness with certain friends. I pray they understand.