Friday, April 30, 2010

The Industrial Powers Shall Receive No Apology

This is my sacred vow to each and every one of you, that the industrial powers shall receive no apology from me!

Oh, they want one, all right. At this point, they want one just so they can see me cower, not because the actual words and gestures of a repentant person would really do them any good. But they want one just so they can crush yet another innocent victim under their heel.

How I hate the rich and powerful, the higher echelon industrial powers, who keep "We The People" under their heel, heedless of our desires as fellow citizens. To them, it's all this: what's in it for us, how can we profit off of someone else's misery? Has someone looked at us cross-eyed? Can we make that miserable so-and-so pay for it the rest of his pathetic life? And questions like that.

So where does that leave us? To them we're simply dirt under their feet. So that leaves us vulnerable and submissive to their selfish desires.

I can guess what the industrial powers were like as kids, the kids who put firecrackers under living creatures. Then they grew up to manage the businesses at the industrial section of town. They're sadists, very sadistic. That's been my experience over the last couple weeks.

My supposed crime, beyond exercising my freedom of speech as a taxpaying American citizen: Calling into question the behavior of the industrial section of town, all the way from exploiting our natural resources and blocking out the sun with the smoke from their pollution to allowing trucks to speed by and suck the weeds and grass down into the mud. It's very unsanitary.

So what did I do? As you know, I went out to the industrial section a few times, nosing around, taking pictures of some of the evidence: A pile of limbs, some pallets, a few chain link fences, etc. Along the way I saw what I thought was a fake deer staring back at me, that, by its absence later on, appeared to prove to have been an actual deer with no relation to the industrial powers or their ways. There's barely any reason to keep mentioning the thing. I figured it was thirsty. I believe it's still alive somewhere, perhaps in a thicket somewhere still looking for water.

That's what I did! That's all I did, nosed around a little and wrote about my experiences. Some grass, some weeds sucked down into the mud. And a few rusty buckets or tire rims, which I believe I did not show because they were not in the industrial section proper but in a city park. Anyway ... you'd think that would be within my rights as a normal citizen, but nooooo!

Now I'm reduced to various underhanded stratagems to post my blog, having taken to dressing up like an old woman and sneaking out. The industrial agents in the trees are oblivious to it, and most of them sleep right through my comings and goings. So that's a helpful sign. And as long as no one alerts them to the "facts on the ground," I'll keep right on doing what I'm doing. I hate to be devious, but they've left me very little choice.

Some of this, I realize, is navel-gazing, but you have to take your pleasures where you can find them. And these are mine, as they stand right this minute.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

No Industrial Etiquette From Me

Guess what, heh heh ... I got out of the house, heh heh ...

What I did -- and before I say this, let me assure everyone that I am 100% straight -- is to put on one of Grandma's dresses, some of her hose with the racing stripe up the back, a pair of her big black block shoes, and fashion a white wig out of a brown wig and some flour.

Then I went limping out the door at about 10 steps a minute, inching myself very slowly to the garage. I had my laptop under my dress, with the rounded corners down by my belly, sticking out like low lying fruit, if you catch my drift. I inched into the garage. I glanced over my granny glasses and could see a few industrial spies in the maple tree by the well, and off a short distance a few reserves in one of the pussy willow trees.

I slumped down behind the wheel, looking very realistic as an old woman driving. I could barely see over the wheel. But no matter, I know this driveway well enough to get out without hitting anything. They didn't appear to notice it was me, although I did see an underling trying to explain to one of the bosses something with excited gestures. But the old man brushed him off and fell back to sleep.

So I'm at the college library, looking very much like an non-traditional student working on her homework. But what I'm actually doing is posting this blog. Two days in a row. I'm outsmarting these jokers left and right!

If you don't recall the situation here, and I don't see how anyone could forget it, the powers that be at the city's industrial section, in league with the industrial sections of other towns, are trying to smoke out an apology from me for daring to question them. It's my contention that the industrial section of town is a public nuisance, despite their protests that they provide a needed service, employment and products. That's crap!

Who needs monster truck tires, really? They're using up rubber that would best be used by future generations, who will have developed their minds sufficiently to realize that we only need regular sized tires. Then there's all the other problems noticed in the industrial section, like trucks speeding by and sucking down all the grass and weeds into the mud. It's unsanitary. Not to mention the black smoke that blacks out the sun on a daily basis.

They live like the devil, yet they expect me to practice the etiquette of apologizing for my harsh words. Well, like I said the other day, they can kiss this side, then they can kiss this side. And I think you know what that means. It's the part usually covered by the backside of my pants. In the immediate vicinity of my underpants except when I'm taking a shower, then it's exposed in the privacy of my bathroom. Am I being clear enough?

So suddenly they expect etiquette, niceness! They demand it! But as long as I have life and breath, however long that might be, I will not buckle, I will not bend!

I guess that's enough for the night. But speaking of the bathroom, which one should I use, since I have to go? I'm in this dress and wig, I guess I'm going to have to get in and out of the ladies' without getting busted.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Industrial Powers Are Wearing Me Down

I know the old adage, "Don't let them see you sweat," but I'm starting to lose my grip and, with it, my ability to control the perspiration (another word for sweat).

In fact I'm sweating up a storm. I stripped my shirt off, then my undershirt. I've got my entire torso completely exposed and it's not doing much good. My pant legs are rolled up and I've got my feet soaking in a tub of cold water. I'd take my pants completely off but Grandma might wake up at any time. The last thing I want her thinking is that there's any hanky panky going on.

What's got me in such a stew is my new reality, the constant presence of and surveillance by the various industrial powers of the area. They're still in a multinational snit over my supposed insults against the industrial section of town. Little did I know that one local man could become the center of the industrial universe. But these guys you don't really want to mess with ... now they tell me.

The problem with them is that no one is big enough to tell them no. They've been so long segregated in their own little section of town, plus having buffaloed the world into thinking they're both indispensable and untouchable, they live above and beyond the rules. Rules don't exist for these guys. They're good at crushing an entire town, state, and nation, of course they can crush one guy. Occasionally they've been shooting a fiery blast of real fire over my house. It's a good thing I don't have a straw roof or my house would've been long gone.

Their demand is a simple enough one, to apologize. Which I feel like I'm just about to do. Just between you and me (although I know they monitor this blog when I'm able to post) I might be holding my fingers in the King's X mudra, because I know how to do some buffaloing too. How sincere do you have to be when you apologize anyway? Most people are just happy to see you go through the motions, to say the bare words. Because they're lucky to get that. These blasted industrialists probably feel the same way. If you go through the motions, they count it good.

Still, I have my pride. And I'm not just going through the motions on that.

I know you're interested in how I'm managing to post this blog today, since the electricity is off, etc. I'm shut down in this little island which is my home. It turns out I know something about hooking up a bicycle to a generator, then a generator to a computer and modem. I'm pedaling and typing at the same time, so it's all good. But a fireball could take even that out if they figure out which window to shoot through. (They may be powerful but they're not that bright.)

Whether I apologize or not is something I have to consider. I'm considering it right now. And sweating it out every minute as I go along. If I could overcome my pride, get the apology out of my reluctant mouth, and get on with it, things might be better. But then what? The industrialists would be able to trample others just as they've trampled me. Which they do anyway.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'll Never Apologize to The Industrial Powers

I missed Sunday, couldn't post, thanks to the industrial powers. They're still seriously on my case (Get off my case!) over this stupid "apology" issue. They think I should apologize -- no, check that, they demand that I apologize.

For what?! Holding opinions that aren't in line with the party line, their line. That's ridiculous. It's my right as a loyal American citizen -- I take the loyalty oath daily -- to think what I want to think. At least I thought it was! My Grandpa fought in the war, one of them, to guarantee his grandson the right to get up on a soapbox and spout as much as I want.

But no! The powers that be, the industrial interests, the flakes at the industrial section of town, who were so offended at my attacks on them, have banded together. They knocked me off line the other day. I was only able to post because I was driving around town, tapping into people's unsecured wireless accounts. They expected I'd be doing this, so they had a big snow fence around the library to keep me away. Even the Super 8 motel was surrounded.

Lately they've taken to following me in my car, jamming me with a radio controlled jammer. It completely confuses my computer, more so than usual. So the thing doesn't know whether to stay loyal to me, its owner, or to listen to the powers. Then, being a mechanical device, not knowing anything about loyalty, naturally it responds to whatever mechanical force is strongest in its vicinity. Meaning it betrays me and is disloyal when it breaks down completely due to the rays of the jammer.

But I will never apologize to the industrial powers! May I underscore one of the key words in that declaration: I will never apologize to the industrial powers! To do so would bring everlasting shame on me.

I'm typing tonight really fast. Why? Because I managed to leave my car in the garage. I put my bike over by the fence at 4 in the morning, looking ahead to tonight. Then under the cover of darkness I crawled out the window, attached my wireless to the bicycle handle, and I pushed my bike about two miles. Now I'm parked outside one of the cheaper motels, which still happens to have wireless access, and typing this as fast as I can.

I'm typing fast because I see the industrial powers are beaming a light through the night sky, perhaps hoping to catch me if they determined that I wasn't in my house, which they have no reason to suspect. They're devious, true. But two can play at that game, the second one being me, who also knows a thing or two about giving the industrial powers the slip.

I've always been good about giving people the slip, kind of like the Lone Ranger, who, you may recall, never hung around to the end of an episode. Clayton Moore. Take out the commercials and they had a 23 minute episode. Clayton was picking up his check at the 21 minute mark, every week. He was a do-gooder who gave the people he helped the slip. Because he'd just as soon not see them humble themselves by being thankful.

I'm sort of like that, except I give the industrial powers the slip to show them who the true man is, who the true victor is. It's not them, because, to repeat, I will never apologize to those filthy scumbags. They can kiss this side, then they can kiss this side.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Industrial Section Or Industrial Area?

I went through a town yesterday in my endless travels checking out the ins and outs of industrial sections everywhere.

I came to a town that actually had this sign at the outskirts of town, pointing off a particular direction. The sign said "Industrial Area."

I thought, "Area?" Isn't it usually called a "Section?" That sounds better: "Industrial section," not "Industrial area."

Victory Or Defeat At The Hands Of The Industrial Powers

As I more or less predicted, while still trying to come across as optimistic, those industrial so-and-so's did indeed target me for internet elimination, wiping me out and my ability to communicate with the larger world.

They said they would, but I was hoping against hope that they'd be busy, or that they'd be too big to actually do it. Which is sort of a victory for me, because they're not so big now! They've been cut down to my size, taking on the little guy in a little, small-minded way. Even in my abject defeat, I'm still the victor, because I've reduced them to my own minuscule size. They're no bigger than me! I am the winner!

What I won, though, is only in a manner of speaking, as stated above, when you look at it from one very narrow and particular point of view. I wouldn't doubt it -- since they've shown themselves very creative in this whole matter -- that they also think they won, and that they are not cut down to my size. They're probably very puffed up about it, thinking that in their extreme size that they've managed to crush another peon under their boot. That's one way to look at it.

And it's not hard to see it from that point of view. You could liken it to crushing the grapes to make wine. There's a big crusher, the person doing the stomping, then there's the little grapes. You can't very well make the argument that the grapes win or that the stomper is reduced in size to the size of a grape. From the point of view of the industrial powers, then, their conclusion would be the same, that they remain their same size as do I. Or it could even be that they would see themselves as enlarged and me as reduced. I'm sure I would strive to see it from that point of view were I in their position.

But I'm not in their position, I'm in my position. Leaving me with no alternative, unless I were willing to completely undercut my own self-esteem and buy into a state of inferiority and defeat, but to see these matters from my own point of view, that is that I am the victor and they the reduced power, taking on inferiority and tasting defeat. That I will never do! That is my vow to myself!

Yes, they were able to knock me out for two days, or one and a half, because I'm back tonight, after endless fidgeting with the computer. They knocked off my internet. But that hasn't kept me from wandering neighborhood after neighborhood in this town looking for an insecure wireless access point. I guess I should've stood outside the Super 8 first thing. And even there I needed a password, which I got by making friends in the hall and explaining to this guy that it was an emergency, that I have a Nigerian uncle who's dying and that I needed to work out some of the details of his will. My little scheme worked!

The industrial powers think I have suffered defeat. But I think they have suffered defeat. The industrial powers think they have achieved a great victory. But I think I have achieved a great victory. And we can't both be right!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Industrial Woes

There's probably nothing more far-fetched than this whole thing that's involved me in a back and forth tussle with the powers that be behind the industrial section of town.

It seems indeed that the powers that be are powers that be, hovering over us all, working us like so many marionette puppets, taking control and keeping it at their own will. I always knew they had their tentacles out there and that they could pretty much hold sway according to their desires. But I never knew it was this bad, where they have full control. If you cross them, zap.

It's like on the old show: They control the horizontal and they control the vertical. We're just meant to sit here like so many compliant zombies and take our medicine, bitter as it may be. You see everyone rushing around like so many busy bees, seemingly unfettered. But that's only because they're already in compliance. It's no big deal to be in compliance. The average citizen is always in compliance, simply because he is not kicking against their system.

But then once in a while -- every 50 years or so, just to make a conservative estimate -- you have a guy like me, who's considered a renegade. He starts nosing around, asking questions, feeling along the seams of society, scouting out the dregs of society, and next thing you know, he's a renegade.

That's what happened with me. I have very sensitive senses and feelings. And I've always been bothered by the noise, that droning, and all the other sensations associated with the industrial section. The smoke, that's a biggie, especially in my town, where they make tires for monster trucks. The smoke pouring out and the fumes is something else. It's so thick you could cut it with a sharp edged utensil if you could see where to slice. Maybe a knife would work.

I started complaining, and I was ignorant enough to think no one noticed. But they had. And that's why they're on me. Yesterday I was supposed to go down the path of making amends, then I forgot and dug myself in deeper with renewed criticism.

Now they've let me know ... one more infraction and I'll be off the internet for a couple of days, if I'm lucky. But can I stand for that? Can any man? Am I meant to be their pawn, their plaything, their patsy? Or am I a freeborn man, with rights to stand up for my beliefs? We shall soon see ... because consider this NOT an apology.

So we shall soon see! If you don't see a post tomorrow or the next day, then they will have won. Then I will probably be back with an apology, to regain my posting privileges. But maybe they're not so tough! Maybe I'll be back here tomorrow just like I was today and yesterday and the day before that. I think that's what will happen. They can't be everywhere at once, can they?

Check back tomorrow and read what I have to say. I'm going to lay it on thick, laying into them for their offenses. It'll be wild. But if you can't read it, that will be because they've reached out with their tentacles and taken me offline. I don't think that'll happen, but if it does ... then I'll have to deal with it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Making Amends To The Industrial Industry

Like it or not (and I don't), I'm trying to make amends to the highly respected individuals who run our top industries and inhabit the industrial sections of our towns and cities.

Said amends are the result of a dispute between myself and these same folks, because of some things I wrote that obviously infuriated their patrons in the higher echelons, who then went to bat for them, pulling the strings to censure me and to demand certain changes in behavior from me, apologies and the like. Part of it is for me to balance out my attacks on the industrial sections with what I would call "puff pieces" on the benefits that industry give to society.

So today, for a short time, which is about what the subject demands, let me think long and hard, then try my best to sketch out some of those benefits. I've always believed that if a man sets his mind on a task that he can get it accomplished, if it is at all possible to do. So I am sitting here racking my brain for something nice to say about industry.

I just used an interesting expression, "If a man sets his mind..." I like that phrase. I like the whole idea of "setting" things in motion. You get a particular bee in your bonnet, you go with it. And that's what happened to me with the various industrial section posts that I've run in the last few days. It was just "set" in motion. I "set" my mind to explore the subject, which quickly became an attack on the industrial section and their ways. To me that's what comes natural, because of the various drawbacks that the industrial section gives to any town, as far as its appearance and its quality of life.

My family used to have an expression along those lines, about setting. Grandpa and Grandma very seldom argued, but they did once in a while about a few things. One of those things had to do with what we ate. Grandpa would be gone all day, maybe thinking we were going to have something particular to eat, then he'd be disappointed when he got home and he was wrong. He'd say, "I had my mouth set for ..." whatever it was, pork chops or fish. So I used to think about that phrase, like we were robots with a little controller next to our mouth, a dial you could turn to say "This mouth is set for pork chops and it will not be satisfied for any other taste sensation."

Anyway, that's an interesting subject, but I've got my fingers set to make amends to some of these cretins and the faceless lackeys who serve them, peons trying to make a living at the greater expense to the rest of us unable to breathe fresh air or enjoy the great outdoors without seeing and hearing trucks speeding by at all hours or seeing weeds along side the road sucked down into the mud. You go out there and you expect people to come goosestepping by with lots of grunts, straight armed salutes, and gun play.

But really, as far as being a benefit, I'll have to really think it over again. Then if I come up with anything beneficial in this societal disaster, I'll post it right away.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What Various Industries Concern Themselves With

As part of my settlement with the Mega Amalgamation of Commercial Heavy Industrialists Necessary for Earth (MACHINE) -- to keep them from suing me over my so-called "inflammatory" posts on their deeds and possible misdeeds -- I agreed to research some of the various industries and report on what they do and the "good ways" they "contribute" to our world.

I've only got a few minutes and about a million industries to consider, so this will be somewhat abbreviated, relying less on research than on common sense.

THE COAL INDUSTRY -- The coal industry is an industry that works with coal, a product found deep in the earth's lower sections, being a result of some kind of decomposition of plants and possibly animals and bacteria. It is packed down there in veins and needs to be jackhammered out by workers down where it is. They work in mines and pick at it with axes, hoping against hope that there won't be another cave-in and they'll all die. Coal contributes to the world in that it is used in the making of electricity and heat. But it's still considered a terrible gift to get at Christmas.

THE STEEL INDUSTRY -- Steel is a natural byproduct of iron, which is steel in its rawer form. Both iron and steel, being the same thing, the one being much rawer but being the precursor of the other, are magnetic. Meaning if you stuck a magnet up to it everything would attract each other. They use steel in the making of many things, like cars, trucks, faucets. A good way to know if it's steel is to hold a magnet up to it. If it's not magnetic it might be nickel or copper, two of our least favorite, yet necessary, coins.

THE RAILROADS -- I was sitting at a railroad crossing the other day, giving me an opportunity to research the railroad industry. The biggest thing they're known for are trains. Trains come in all sizes, from the O scale, the HO scale, the size of old fashioned Lionel trains, all the way up to actual size, the full scale models. Trains have been around ever since they were invented. At one time they used to be featured in old fashioned movies, where a lady would be threatened with being run over. The engineer is the driver of the train. He used to scoop coal into the fire and that's what kept his cabin warm. Trains pull many goods to market and also provide an artistic outlet for graffiti artists.

TRUCKING -- Trucks are one of the basic forms of transporting goods across the country, the state, the county, and locally. They range in size from toy trucks, a favorite with children, to regular size trucks on the road. They have their own songs, sung by the drivers, called truckers. They're able to go vast distances. As long as there's a road for them to travel, they can put one wheel in front of them and keep on truckin'. They usually put the merchandise they're hauling in the back, the space designed for it. If it's tied down it gets to its destination a lot more neatly. If it's not tied, it can shift and spill and it makes a mess. They weigh trucks on the interstate a lot, but mostly it's just a way to find out if the trucker is high.

THE MAKING OF ELECTRICITY -- Electric plants are charged with the task of making electricity, which we use to power all household appliances that plug in. Electricity is a thing that all of us take for granted, meaning if it weren't there we wouldn't know what to do. Yet it is also a subject that most of us don't know very much about, myself included. It's like the wind in that you can't see it but you know it's there. You know it's there by plugging in something, and if it works, it's there. Or you can accidentally touch it and it will shock you, so you know it's there. How they make it? It's made by the rushing of force ... somehow. You have to use it as its being made because there's no way to store it. Milk has a sudden expiration date and so does electricity. But whereas you can get powdered milk, they haven't successfully been able to make powdered electricity. Anyway, if you mixed powdered electricity with water, let's say, it'd shock you. So the only way to make powdered electricity would be to mix it with some other active agent rather than water, and there isn't any.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm Laying Off The Industrial Section

I'm laying off the industrial section of town ... for a while.

I was contacted by their organization, the Mega Amalgamation of Commercial Heavy Industrialists Necessary for Earth (MACHINE), and asked nicely "to cease and desist" from "all propaganda of a negative tone that detracts from our organization's function and mission."

I got the letter, which they were nice enough to have the post office hand deliver and ask me to sign for it, and took a couple of days to study it. They apparently contacted a lawyer to draw up the papers on this matter, no doubt paying a hefty retainer and probably a fairly high "per sheet" rate on the paperwork. If it's anything like the time I went to the lawyer and had a will made, they'll be taking a little money out of at least three paychecks to cover the expense. So this is a big deal.

Anyway, I studied it. I have one of those editor's visors, a hat with a hole on top where your head sticks through. I sat at my table and turned off all the lights except one shining directly down from slightly behind me. It would've had to have been quite a scene were there any observers of me sitting there. The single light, the odd shadows, a studious man at a table, the visor...

I carefully laid the papers out, then felt the raised printing on the lawyer's letterhead. I held it up to the light and noted the nice watermark in the paper. This is quality stuff, not like the reams of paper you get at Walmart, which, as good as it is, still isn't as good as this stuff. This is the kind of stuff that, if you're not a lawyer, you always have trouble finding. It's such fine stationery that you have to subscribe to it like the Wine of the Month club, and I believe they only send out about 12 sheets a month, tops. I saw an ad for it in the Smithsonian magazine, that's how good it is.

I had a number of thoughts on this. And a lot of joy at having set MACHINE back a pretty penny! And along with that, the idea that one little guy, me, was able to essentially bring an entire amalgamation to their knees. That's pretty good, it's darned good. And yet... Can one local man buck the MACHINE forever? Or would they very quickly be able to crush me under their massive heel, as the letter seemed to indicate was the gist of their threat?

I could well imagine the rumblings at the highest echelons. You get a organization like this and they're barely humans. They're more like fallen angels who've yet had the good fortune to rise up out of Hell, get an education in economics from a university, make friends with stockbrokers, get in with a bad (but powerful) crowd, and set themselves to squeeze society for their own selfish economic interests. Wall Street types. These are guys who can be dangerous to mess with. As nice as their letter was -- and there was every indication that they had read every word of my blog (I just hope they clicked on some of the Google ads, because that would be change in my pockets) -- I'm afraid of some of the machinations that must have taken place in those higher realms.

And what happens at the higher realms of course affects those of us at the bottom sooner or later. So this is where I have a choice, to press on, probably foolishly and be crushed, or to tread lightly or even withdraw, and hope that somehow I'll survive and be able to press on later. It's a matter of living to fight another day, perhaps not entirely on my own as it has been but with an amalgamation of my own.

This could be a task best left to the underground. I might not be able to burrow under the streets, then into the industrial section to destroy their workings and save the world. But maybe I could burrow down in another sense, go underground, and find those who are like-minded, who care about the damage the industrial sections of our towns are doing, most of it very scurrilous. Then we could come together, plan and chart our course, and try, through political and social means to change things. Then when that fails, it would be time to bring out the pickaxes and head lamps, share our marching orders and take these guys out from beneath.

So, yes, MACHINE, I got your letter, MACHINE. I read it over more than once, MACHINE. I believe I understand what you're trying to say, MACHINE. The message has come through loud and clear. You've got me ... for now, MACHINE ... But know this, you better watch your backside, MACHINE.

That's all I'm saying about it for now, just watch your backside!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

An Industrial Section I Never Knew

I've been so wrung out lately about the industrial section of my town. Reading my posts and being in agreement with me, you can well understand and appreciate my ready tears. It's been a period of my life in which I have been notably distraught, perhaps unlike any other time since Grandpa unexpectedly bit the dust.

Thank you for your words of concern and prayers, and for joining me in this fight. This much we know, that maybe we can't do much about the various industrial sections in our towns -- they're such entrenched interests and players in the community and society -- but we can hope, even against hope, that maybe something can be done about them. We are agreed on this one thing, that they are a sprawling blight on our world and the many towns in it.

Yesterday, I was thinking I could go out and nose around a bit more. Then it suddenly hit me, again the sense of despair. It's been the dark night of the soul for me over this and, even though I'm a guy, I have shed more than a few tears over it, as already confessed to above. I decided I would not go nosing around, because what would it gain me? I'm already a wreck over it. Do I really need the extra burden that comes from seeing everything perk along as it always has?

Even from my home I can look across to the sky and see the black smoke continually belching forth. That's nothing new. Just another day in paradise. In my mind's eye I can see thousands of workers dutifully shoveling raw and recycled rubber into the maw of the beast, with the fumes reaching out occasionally and pulling one or a handful in. Others are lined up, their time card in hand, ready to punch in on a moment's notice to replace them. It's just like in the old film Metropolis. I can see other workers with their arms up against big swiveling levers, looking like human clocks. They've got to keep everything in sync or the whole thing will belch downward and they'd be consumed in a flash, before they could say goodbye to their families and pay their final bills.

So I decided to get in my car and just drive. Where was I going? I didn't know. I left a biscuit by Grandma's bed and a cup of milk in case she woke up. Then I drove like a madman, keeping my car in my own lane and adhering to the speed limit. The longer I drove the more distance I covered. In fact I covered so much distance, I looked way back and didn't see the place I started from. The car seemed to have a mind of its own, responding normally to my foot on the gas, the brakes, and my normal usage of turn signals and other components. When I went west, as I did for a while, that was achieved. Then I turned and went south.

Going south, my mind started to clear. Then I saw, looming over to the west of this particular south, a big, unknown industrial section come into view. There was no exit ramp or I would've gone to nose around. So I was only able to observe it from the road. I recorded on my phone what I saw, thinking I would refer to that to describe it. But since it was just yesterday, I believe I can reconstruct it by memory:

I saw the usual massive buildings, all very intricately designed, as the buildings form together a complex, all geared toward a common purpose. In this case I believe it might be the making of electricity. Why do I think that? That's a good question. But I saw piles of coal, acres of it. Then all the towers, augurs, strung lights, truck ports, exhaust fans, pools of water, and chutes and ladders that go along with that work. We think of electricity as being made cleanly. But coal? That's not clean. That's filthy stuff. I used to pick up a piece on the railroad track and you'd get coal dust on your hand that was there for a week! Pork may be "the other white meat," with chicken, being both meats. But coal-produced electricity and wind-produced electricity are not comparable. Coal-produced electricity isn't "the other clean energy" by any stretch!

Later in the day, after shedding a few more tears (I worked myself into it this time), I went back home. I swore I wouldn't use electricity until the next day, and so here I am.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Industrial Sabotage In The Industrial Section

Sit back and let your mind go. Floating downstream, is it a daydream? Or the opening up of a deeper consciousness that is there all the time, meant to guide you and every organism? And beyond organisms, with all things being self-guiding, self-enlightening, etc., etc.?

It helps me, I'll just say it right here, to know that some of my ways are divinely ordained, or, excluding that, are guided by a self-guiding universe beyond just the day to day consciousness that I have, in which I'm worried about every little thing. I suppose worry would have a function in the self-guiding universe -- since it appears to exist -- but it takes away some of my sense of clarity for the path ahead, and it seems anyway that a self-guiding universe would advance along with a lot more confidence, even to the point of having no confidence, because there's nothing for it to be un-confident about.

It's tape loops like this that help me get back to sleep after I've gotten up to go to the bathroom at 3 in the morning. All the things I worry about can wait until morning, like what that weird noise is in the refrigerator fan, or wondering if that could be a rat making all that racket under my bed, or whether the thickening smoke in my room might be from something left on the stove. I just think philosophically, which is another word for ignoring everything by being subsumed in something that at least appears to be bigger than me.

Now, about the industrial section of town, what to do about it, I could stay in bed or sit in my easy chair or putter around in the yard and drift off into one of these self-guiding universe reveries. Or I could take those philosophies -- insights that I have that the poor, dull, unreflective common man doesn't think about -- and use them on behalf of my personal interests, and thereby for the public good.

Am I thinking what you're starting to think I'm thinking? I believe so, if you're starting to think that maybe I'm thinking of ... industrial sabotage.

But what to do about all the infernal video cameras! That's what I come up against every time! Why was I born in a time when the video camera was invented?! How much easier it would've been back in the day, when your every move wasn't under constant surveillance! Like with the Luddites. And it's all machines now. We've made ourselves slaves to machines and now we can't move except their big ugly eye catches our every move. The video camera was invented by a very suspicious person with too much time on his hands.

That means a do-gooding citizen like me can't climb over, crawl under, burrow beneath, fly over, etc. We're stymied! All because getting from Point A to Point B -- the most natural path -- suffers from regulation. They've blocked our path. We have allowed machines -- themselves a product of the industrial section -- to now regulate the industrial section. That's crazy! That's like turning over the grocery store to the brown paper sack! The brown paper sack was made to serve the store, not the other way around! Sheesh!

Anyway, it's frustrating. Self-guiding universe, my ____!

So, since there's no way to get in there undetected -- it's Mission Impossible -- I'm going to have to forget it. If things don't change, there'll be no burrowing under the ground to get at the controls. There'll be no unplugging everything and letting all the cooling fluids drain out, thereby overheating the machines and bringing the whole groaning works to a final, clanking, sputtering, smoking termination.

But I still will not give up. One thing they can't regulate is my ability to speak out, at least I don't think they can. They might be able to turn off my electricity, water, heating, and burn me out of house and home. Meaning, before any of that happens, I need to get my own video camera! Two can play at that game!

Until I am finally silenced somehow, I will continue to be the leading voice of agitation against the industrial section. Telling society they've sold us a bill of goods.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Industrial Section -- Monster Truck Tires

This is the last photo I took in the industrial section of town the other day when I was out there nosing around. You can probably see that it clearly represents some big monster truck tires being tested in their ability to crush things, in this case some misfortunate wooden pallets.

I'm trying not to say too much about the specific location of this industrial section, to preserve my ability to nose around out there with less suspicion. But I will drop a major clue as to where it is. My town is known as the Monster Truck Tire capital of the world. They make them right here.

That makes for a lot of pollution, of course, because rubber is a hard commodity to come by. They get it by recycling smaller tires, grinding many for the raw materials and burning others for the intense heat required to bring the elements back together. We regularly have rubber drives. And the prophylactic machines at the gas station are routinely broken into.

So all this rubber is fed into the system, then it comes out as tires ... and smoke. There's a smokestack out there big enough that they could fit a football stadium on top. The fires are burning and the black smoke spews forth until the foreman hits the switch at the end of the workday. That's when we breathe.

To get a picture of it is hard to do, because when it's in operation no light can enter or escape. And at night they retract it far down into its ground chambers to muck it out and get it ready for the next day. Plus, it's said that they enforce a strict "No Cameras" policy, trying to avoid governmental intervention. Even the local camera store is in cahoots with them and the manager says he would refuse to develop the film if there was anyone foolish enough to take its picture.

I, on the other hand, am not in cahoots with them. I fiercely oppose the industrial section and everything about it. I simply don't care that half the population depends on the place for their livelihood. One, I've been to other towns and I know this isn't normal. Two, everyone gets an ugly looking Fred Flintstone beard from all the smoke. If that makes me "a bad guy," then so be it!

Still, it's hard not to feel a tingle of pride working its way up my spine every year during Monster Truck Tire Days, when the whole town comes together in the park. The foreman has flipped the switch and turned the thing off. We're able to see each other and get reacquainted. The Lion's Club fires up the grills, super hot, fueled with charcoal and tire rubber, and burns everyone a few hamburgers.

For those days it almost seems worth it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sprawling Industrial Section Blight

This is my world. I live in it. And I should not have to co-exist with this, a never ending tangle of fences, wires, towers, transmitters, and video cameras.

The picture doesn't exhaust the blight of the industrial section of town, of course, but it does illustrate nicely the concentration of ugly elements that you see there.

This wire connects to that one, and they all stretch a hundred different directions, coagulating in a massive tangle at boxes attached to the sides of buildings, disappearing within to make a fire hazard. This fence adjoins that fence. They're hooked at the seams, and some of the fences aren't even made by the same company, so the seams aren't even truly compatible. They're not meant to mesh. The poles, the posts, the utilities, all constitute the most confused mess I've ever seen, and I wouldn't doubt it that they're overloaded at times because of the great consumption out there.

It's a blight on our town, and more than that, the world. Especially when you multiply all the other industrial sections of other towns. If you brought it all together, you'd have the ugliest state in the country. It'd be concrete, trucks, piles of stuff, rubble, fences, wires, posts, towers, transmitters, weeds sucked down into the mud, stacks of boards that have fallen over, and rusty nails. The rust out there ... frankly, it's out of this world. Talk about hazardous!

And there doesn't seem to be any way to control it. It's not just a blight, it's a sprawling blight. I don't know how to put it in simpler terms than that. It's an urban blight, a hazard in physical and even mental ways, as we see it, the sprawling industrial section, and it assaults all the senses. The sense of sight, that's clear. The sense of smell, the occasional unpleasant odors that you notice. The sense of touch, if you pricked your finger on a rusty fence, or got hurt in some other way. The sense of hearing, you can hear it groaning away. And the sense of taste, none of it would taste good.

It's a sprawling blight on our world. That is to say it is a blightful sprawl, no question about it.

There may be no way to get rid of it entirely. I will grudgingly admit that some of it is possibly necessary for society. We do need some industry, like the Hefty company to make trash bags. And the truck companies to make trucks to come get them. But beyond that, and maybe a few other companies, like a place for the farmers to wash their crops and put them in cans, then to have a few trucks of their own to take them to market, I think we could severely limit it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Felled Limb In The Industrial Section

This was the first picture I took the other day when I was nosing around the industrial section of town. And in many ways it's the most haunting.

It really shows part of what we're up against when it comes to the Industrial Section vs The World. Though they obviously take a place in the world, they are at war with not only society but nature itself.

It's simple enough to see the environmental damage that goes on out there when you look at the grass, sucked down into the mud by the passing of many semi trucks, usually speeding. The city doesn't put sidewalks out there, for a variety of reasons, including one very important reason: We're not wanted out there. So instead of a nice trim walkway, with families strolling along with a helium balloon purchased from a friendly sidewalk vendor, there's all this depleted grass, muddy muck, and downed limbs.

Trees are expendable in the mindset of the typical industrial section mogul, which would probably go without saying. Because virtually everything and everyone is expendable to these bloated pigs feeding at the trough of fast money with their devil-may-care attitude. I'd love to take this felled limb into their office and throw it on the desk and ask what this is all about.

And that of course is just the tip of the iceberg, as the old saying goes. Look anywhere and you'll quickly see the place is as unsanitary as all get out.

I won't have time today to be gathering and examining evidence and lamenting it with a mind to do something about it. I have other duties in the more hospitable side of town.

But it's funny, I couldn't sleep early this morning, so I got up and turned my ear to that direction of town -- it's not that far away -- and I could hear the roar and hum as a constant background to the rest of the night. I could only shake my head and think, Still at it, huh? Then I waxed a little more philosophical and started thinking, As disgusting as it is at one level, if you listen more closely, it's the same OM that you hear everywhere.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Safety First" At The Industrial Section

I've heard from a number of you who've read my Industrial Section posts, and the biggest theme that's coming out is your instructions to me to "Be safe!"

It's just like I used to hear the reporters say to the correspondents during the Iraq War, back when we used to keep track of it. They'd have an explosion in the background and the reporter would say, "Be safe!"

Well, first, I thank you for that, and, second, let me assure you that I'm being as safe as I can be. I know danger is my constant companion, there's no question about that. But that just goes with the territory when you're someone who feels rightly or wrongly that it's your calling to stick it to the powers that be, especially when they're thwarting the will of the people or enriching themselves at our expense, in particular if it involves environmental hazards, a public nuisance, or arrogant willfulness.

Unfortunately I think all these things are going on in the industrial section of my town and probably your town as well. These people are jaded by their work and have made themselves into little gods who can do no wrong, or certainly wouldn't admit any.

But I'm definitely thinking "Safety First," don't worry about that. My own safety and that of any willful moguls I might be taking into custody by the power of a citizen's arrest. If I can get close enough. Because they have several layers of goons between you and them. It's like trying to visit your doctor. You know the doctor's in there somewhere, maybe in the holy of holies, but you never see him show up, leave, go to the bathroom, or say boo in public. The waiting room door's always shut before they arrive, so maybe they come up from a floor elevator.

I think the best safety "tool" at my disposal is how fast I am on my feet. Not running fast, but thinking fast. I could come up with a million excuses for why I'm there, for one. And two, I can feign ignorance like no one else you know. Even now I'm practicing my blank stare. It's very empty looking.

The Industrial Section -- Looking For Deer's Head

Yesterday I was very bold. Remember what I said about seeing a deer's head out at the industrial section of town? Then when I retraced my path I didn't see it? I started thinking maybe I'd just missed it in my hurry and worry about the guard towers. Well, yesterday, I went out again looking for it.

I've been there three or four times now in the last few days, and that's dangerous right there. By now my car's been entered into the system and flagged. Which is natural, because if a car is never out there and suddenly it's been there three or four times in a few days, something is amiss, from their point of view.

For the most part I was hewing close to the residential district, with my excuse completely memorized. I could recite it like a robot, "I'm looking for a friend's house and must've gotten lost." Then at the last possible second I veered off and made a direct line for the place where I saw the deer's head.

My senses were very honed yesterday. I was trying to put out of my mind any preconceptions and distractions, looking only for the place that my memory would say was it. I passed the mushy place where I took a picture of some miscellaneous boards.

At first I thought maybe the powers that be had cleaned them up, because I didn't see them at first. By now it was just a marker to me that let me know I was on the right path. Had they removed them, that would've made it tougher. But there they were!

A turn there and I was getting closer.

I had two big hopes. One, that the deer's head would be an artificial deer, like a lawn ornament, in which case it would likely still be there. If they didn't get rid of the boards, then it's likely the deer would still be there. And two, that if the deer's head was an actual living deer, it would still be there. But since deer range far and wide, it occurred to me that it might've gone somewhere else. My big hope was this: Since it had rained all day, maybe he would come back to this same spot looking for a puddle to drink out of.

I found the definite spot, which I knew conclusively could be no other, and I turned in. Just checking my mirror, no SUV behind me. Now, being far from the housing district, my excuse if caught was going to be, "I'm a nature lover, and someone told me he saw a deer back here once." Admittedly that's pretty lame, but you have to be ready with something. The guards may be ruthless, but I'm assuming they'd send the stupid ones out first.

There was ... no deer there! And I didn't see any puddles either. The rain had soaked in, making a darned good reason why the deer would be looking for water elsewhere. But what I did see -- and I hadn't noticed this before -- literally curled my hair. I was in the parking lot of a crematorium! This is true! They put crematoriums in the industrial section now?!

I didn't look for the deer any longer! I got the heck out of there! The deer is probably ashes by now! Like I was going to be if they caught me! I felt a terror that I've never felt before! Because now I realized that's why I've never seen anyone else out there nosing around the industrial section: Anyone who does is immediately captured and cremated! Including wildlife!

I drove back toward the housing district, looking neither to the left nor the right. I'm looking for a friend and must've lost my way. Won't someone help me find my friend?

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Hair-Raising Visit To The Industrial Section

I said yesterday that I might go out and do some nosing around the industrial section of town. Maybe you recall, I also said I was tired at the time and might take a nap. As it turned out I did take a nap, a very refreshing one.

I had eaten well at noon at the Mexican restaurant, and, two things, going to church in the morning and eating well at noon always put me in the mood for a nap on a Sunday afternoon. There's just something about being around all those people (at church) that does an introvert like me in. Then to eat is normally thought to divert blood and various gastric acids away from the brain and to the stomach area, meaning that our brains go into a red alert situation and must immediately shut down.

I slept for a good hour, then the phone rang. I was expecting it to be someone from the industrial section, to be breathing heavily in my ear, saying that they had tracked down my number and were calling to warn me off any plans I might have to come nosing around out there. But it was a friend, just checking in. After the call -- and this is rare for me -- I lay back down and slept for a half hour or so more. Very rare!

Once I finally got up, as far as I was concerned it was a brand new day!

Anyway, let me hasten to the subject at hand, my visit to the industrial section---

I got my camera and changed the batteries, in case someone in one of the guard towers would have a ray that would disable nearly spent batteries. Then I got Underbrush, my dog, and we headed out. While nosing around this time, I stayed in the car. I had ready my excuse, if captured, that, "I was looking for a friend's house and must've lost my way." Then we drove to the edge of town and entered the terrible confines of the industrial section.

Immediately I felt myself drop 10 degrees in body temperature. That's what anxiety does to me. I stifled a shiver and kept going. I got a few pictures, including the one seen above, a blood-curdling picture of a pallet mangled beyond recognition and left to rot against a rust-stained building. So that's the kind of thing they're into out here?! I thought.

Among the things I saw that let me know I was "no longer in Kansas," so to speak, were many back ends to semi trucks, the chain fences, piles of tires, and dirt mounds (where only God knows what is buried). Off in the back somewhere I thought I saw a deer's head! Then it occurred to me that it might be a yard ornament that vandals had taken back there. Or maybe it was meant to lure unsuspecting animal lovers to their death. I kept going, not getting a picture of it. Later, when I retraced my steps I couldn't see it again!

Suddenly, and this was the hair-raising part of this whole experience, I noticed someone in an SUV following me. So they want to play rough, do this? Right before this I had pulled into a mushy area, the ground being soft, and took a picture of some scattered boards, then I backed out and this SUV was right behind me.

I thought maybe it was a coincidence. But when I went to turn, it turned with me. Then we came to another stop, and this time they anticipated me, by turning their turn signal on first! So we went that direction. Then we came to the main highway, where there were three directions they could've gone. They turned with me! I thought I have one option here to shed them, meaning I would turn on another road that was less traveled, which I did, and guess what ... they turned there too! I reached over and turned the camera off, in case worse came to worse. I drove on, giving Underbrush a consoling pat, when ... the SUV turned off to the left and we kept going straight.

I don't have heart problems, but if I would've had a nitro pill I would've taken it at that time.

At the park, Underbrush did her business, a few Number Ones and a Number Two. We were off in the sticks, but still I dutifully cleaned it up.

Finally we retraced our steps, while keeping a watchful eye out for the guards and cameras. I didn't stop for any pictures on the way back so there wasn't any trouble. The biggest thing on the way back was what I said before: The deer's head was gone!

What happened to the deer's head? It was almost a little too perfectly posed to have been real. Someone must have been back there setting it up and taking it down ... all in a conscious effort to lure me in!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Trip To The Industrial Section In The Offing

Today could be the day, for me to take a little trip out to the industrial section of town.

I still have a few things to do around the house, and I don't know that I have the energy to go out and give the place a once over. But it could happen.

I just had lunch and feel a little full, meaning I also have that tired feeling that goes along with being full. So I might lie down and take a nap, I don't know yet. The thought of it is making me feel sleepy. Then, it could be, I might take Underbrush to the park, and maybe I'll swing by the industrial section.

Of course I know the general look and feel of the place even without making a special trip. It's a very inhospitable place, we all know that. Big buildings, pulleys, conveyors, loud banging noises, piles of sand, piles of gravel, a suspicious eye at every turn.

The big redeeming fact for any snoop, like me, is that there is a housing section abutting against the industrial section. So any Checkpoint Charlie who asks me what I'm doing out there, I can just say "I'm looking for a friend's house and must've taken a wrong turn." Even out there they seldom spray your car with bullets on the first offense. The key thing, I'd guess, is to stay in your car and act calmly rather than making a run for it. Because they can always radio ahead.

It's Sunday, though, and they might let down their guard for the Lord's day. Sunday being the day that we love our neighbor as ourselves. I can use that if they question me.

The Industrial Section -- Addendum

Again, yesterday, I meant to go out and nose around the industrial section of town, to get the real scoop about its affairs out there, but time issues prevented me from doing it.

However this is my solemn pledge and vow to you, I will eventually make it out there. And when I do...

When I do, I fully expect to see things that will curl your hair. Including the usual industrial section sights, such as rusty girders, metal doors that don't fully shut, strange paint jobs on tin buildings, things piled up with weeds growing all around the base, broken concrete blocks scattered randomly, paint cans on pallets, weeds along the side of the road sucked down in the dirt (from passing trucks), dilapidated outbuildings, abandoned gas pumps, and guard towers.

When I get there, I know, of course, that I will see the signs of industry, steam coming out of everywhere, trucks waiting in the line, trains creaking along and coupling loudly, a forklift buzzing in and out of traffic, a dump truck beeping in reverse, lots of pickup trucks parked in a fenced in parking lot, and heavy duty dumpsters.

If I'm able to nose around without being spotted, and because of video surveillance that is not likely, I will be able to dig a little deeper, looking for some kind of scandal to exploit. But because they're always on their guard, it will be more likely that I will only catch hints of possible wrongdoing, leaving me with no proof and just a lot of wild claims. That's how they're able to elude the law, that and the economic clout they wield in a community that alternately hates and loves them.

Like I said, time was an issue for me the last couple of days, which is why I didn't go out. I've just been very busy. But I will make it. I'm willing to do my part to get it done, and, who knows, maybe we'll be able to bring these guys down and reclaim the industrial section for more parks and to make it a more family friendly part of our town.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Even More Industrial Section

I was meaning to make a return visit to the industrial section of town yesterday, then I let time get away from me and it never got done. Maybe today.

I'm thinking back to that time several years ago when I was out there nosing around, which I took the picture of the yucky barrel (posted yesterday). The way I remember it, I wasn't overly concerned about video cameras at the time. But now I'm extremely paranoid about video surveillance, because I believe they have it in the industrial section.

So let's assume I'm back out there nosing around, many video cameras on many corners of buildings, perched on a swivel base for wider surveillance, will be watching and recording my every move. Sensors would be activated, meaning that an alarm, unheard to me outside, would be going off, maybe several, and there would be officials of the various companies in that area watching me. Next, I would imagine, they would alert the police and next thing I'd know I'd be hauled in for questioning, booking, and arrest.

You don't have to be a criminal, technically, for the police to harass you, all at the instigation of the moneyed powers that be who finance and oversee the industrial section. Having the money, they're able to pay off everyone to keep their industrial secrets to themselves. But the truth is, I'm not looking for secrets or an expose in any of this. I just want to understand for my own enlightenment the ways of the industrial section in modern society,

Were I to be seeking an expose, that would be a worthy goal as well. And maybe I'll fall into an expose and eventually get the goods on these guys, even though that's not my goal at this time. I can see it happening, I guess. It's part of my imagination already, whether it'd be a pollution scandal, an animal abuse case, some kind of workers' safety issue, or even something to do with human cloning out there -- at this point I don't know what's going on. Of course I have my suspicions.

I don't know what kind of expose I might get. I do know there's hard water and there's soft water. And I believe that nuclear power plants have some kind of rare earth, rare water component to them, which would make for a nasty run off situation were it to get in our drinking water or aquifer. But there's no nuclear power plants in the industrial section where I live. At least none has so far been proved. As far as we officially know, those kinds of shenanigans aren't taking place. Still, the water in that funky barrel yesterday keeps haunting my dreams.

But how do I get around the video cameras? And if there's video surveillance, there's surely going to be sharpshooters, who are paid off not to talk. A few dead bodies, what do they care? If I die while nosing around out there, at least this blog exists, letting people know that I came to a bad end in the pursuit of justice. I have no known enemies, none out in the industrial section that is. But you can only push some of those industrial types so far.

On another subject, I wanted to call attention to the tire on this truck. That's the kind of access I had a few years ago when I was out there nosing around. Obviously I got in good and close. That wasn't taken from a distance, just the distance between me and it.

The thing to mention about it is this: You don't see tires like that anywhere except in the industrial section. When they're on the road they have all their tires. It's only when they get to the industrial section that they start stripping away all the facades, as they hide behind a different facade. This particular tire, the wheel thing sticking out, reminds me of some of the shenanigans that went on in the movie Ben Hur. But I have nothing more to go on except simply the allusion.

If you stood on that wheel thing while the driver was putting it in first and then reverse, you could do one of those things like they do on a log roll in the water. It'd be terribly dangerous. But danger's what the industrial section's all about.

I might go out there today and I might not. If you don't hear from me ever again, it will be because I did go out there and was pushed or fell into a vat of something.

Friday, April 9, 2010

More Industrial Section

In the industrial section of town, there are very many piles of metal, some of it twisted, some stacked neatly, and some falling over.

You know you're getting to the industrial section when the sidewalks disappear. And what appears are parking strips next to the road where there's a lot more weeds. They have a dirtier look, since a lot of trucks speed by, sucking them closer to the ground one direction, then sucking them closer to the ground when leaving.

You could easily get hit walking out there. It looks like they make it as inhospitable as possible, just so you, the average citizen, will stay away. I was out there one day nosing around and took some pictures of a barrel that had oily water in it. I think it was water. I didn't touch it. It looked thicker than water. It gave off a pretty color. It looked possibly toxic.

Things fall over. All of us know that. If you have a bunch of boards leaning up against a door and someone opens the door from the inside, they'll fall over. Fair enough, we pick them up and put them in a better place. But not in the industrial section. There they simply let it go to pot. If the boards fall over some perturbed individual just kicks them out of the way. Next thing you know, the guy who mows (poorly already) won't mow next to them. And then weeds are growing all around them, big weeds. They're laying at every random angle. They're rotting away. Bugs and worms and snakes are now living under them. And there might be a rusty nail or a bunch of staples sticking straight up, making a hazardous situation.

Look at the barrel again. It illustrates the kind of haphazard standards out at the industrial section. "I'll toss my empty bottles in this barrel." The barrel gets more and more water in it, which mixes with the toxic stew of chemicals coating it, perhaps congealed in the bottom. There's a sizzling sound, a lot of foaming, and being neglected it builds on itself, bubbling, seething, until the bottles are floating in a thick metallic looking liquid, barely recognizable as to their brand, and certainly losing their value if you wanted to redeem them.

It's a no man's land out there. They also have lots of cracked cement, the roads going to pot.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Industrial Section

One of the places in a town that is unpleasant is the industrial section of town. The town thinks they need industry, in the mistaken opinion that business and employment are good. Business and employment aren't good, because it takes away all our free time to have to be at work. Plus if we didn't have those ugly industrial sections of town we could have a lot more parks to walk in, play in, and beg money in, in lieu of having an actual job.

Of course I kid, I kid business men, whose big aim in life is to make lots of money. With it being such an all consuming aim that they work themselves into an early grave and never get a chance to spend it. Then it's taken by the government, who puts it into munitions and end up killing everyone. So it's a vicious circle.

I hate driving through the industrial section. You have a lot of rusty sheds, piles of scrap metal, a few broken down cars, and so many pipes and smoke stacks you can't keep track of them. It's a very exhausting business.

When I was a kid we used to drive by a big place that did something. They had those big gigantic tube buildings, pipes going everywhere, strings of electric lights all over the place, smoke seeping through cracks, industrial stuff being lifted up with hoists and periodically dropped on its head, scalding water going through tubes, men in hard hats looking up and pointing at things that needed to be fixed, scrap metal dangling from electromagnets, torches burning in the hallways, trains and empty cars that would sag under their burden, scaffolding, walkways, metal mesh sidewalks, rusted storage containers, trucks looking like Tonka toys down below, and enough waste pumping out back into the river to kill every fish on the planet.

We used to drive by there on our way to get something to eat and I couldn't understand the place. I used to wonder how anyone would know how to build that monstrosity. Did they need to have everything planned out in advance? Or did they just build a smaller version of the same thing, a slightly bigger dump truck in the smaller perspective, with five or six guys hoping they'd have enough money to someday get hard hats? Then as they went, they'd put up enough industrial pipe, everyone knowing where it would eventually hook on a water spigot when they had enough money to put it in, and so forth.

I don't know what they did there, but it could've been anything. Whatever it was built to do is most likely. Still, very amazing stuff!

It's a very harsh part of town, with way too much metal and rust. Way too many big chain length fences. Way too many semi trucks slowing down everyone else.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Your Own Personal Double Bathtubs Outside

I don't watch much TV, but somehow today I managed to see parts of the Cialis commercial that has the man and woman again soaking outside in their personal bathtubs.

I seem to remember the couple, maybe a different couple, soaking in individual bathtubs while looking out over a special vista, like they were up high somewhere. But the couple today seemed to be in a more low lying area, like they were practically in a forest.

How many people do you suppose really have side by side bathtubs outside that they go out and soak in? And do most of them have trouble getting it up? That is, the one who that would be most personally affected by the condition, as the one with the depressed appendage, that is.

I can see myself frolicking in the nude with a wife through the forest or over the mountain vista, if I had a wife. But to do all the things necessary to be taking a bath out in the forest, that sounds like more work than I'd "be up for."

Think, there's not usually plumbing nozzles, speaking of plumbing nozzles, up on a lonely mountain ledge. And forests, they might have a tap in a maple tree, which is aimed straight out and oozing syrup (effortlessly, and without a pill, I might say), but there isn't usually a hot water spigot.

So that leaves our lovelorn couple toting water from the car, then somehow trying to get it hot enough to bathe in. Because obviously if you're having trouble "in that area" you don't want to be sitting in cold water. Shrinkage is the last thing you need. But looking at the commercial, I didn't see any big hard logs under the tubs with a fire putting out heat. Yet there the people sat, in their tubs!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

So Is The Shopping Center There Or Not?

I noticed a major contradiction in the Grandma Slump world as it's being reported here at the Grandma Slump blog.

It seems that back in March 2009 I reported that the shopping center, including the Mode O'Day (called Mode-A-Day in that blog posting), was torn down. But just the other day I said I was set up with a crafting table at the shopping center and using the unsecured internet connection of the Mode O'Day store.

The only defense I have for this discrepancy is to say that's the way it goes. I'll base my plea on cartoon justice, where unusual, outlandish, and impossible things can happen and everyone makes allowances for it.

It's the same standard that allows me to say that Grandma was born in 1903 and yet she's forever 104 years old. It's like in the Family Circus comic strip, where the kids clearly have birthdays and yet never get older.

I'll try to watch this kind of stuff. But for my purposes, even though I said the shopping center was torn down in 2009, I'm going to say now that it's still there. Because I do a lot of my best hanging out there. So I need it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Boxing Up My Bunnies

I'm boxing up my excess Easter bunnies, with the season now being officially ended. I'd like to box their ears for not selling! Since rabbits are known for ears, just a little humor there.

Their ears are just pipe cleaners, in case you can't tell. To get pink pipe cleaners you have to go to every craft store in the world, it seems. They say they can't get them. But you keep up the pressure, eventually they'll pull a box out from under the counter, way under the counter. They're looking around furtively, of course.

I'm trying to put them away nice and neat, so they look reasonably good when I get them out next year. Because maybe I won't be able to get the ears next time. But I've always been lucky.

You think you could make one of these? There's really nothing to it, although I don't want to give away the entire store. The heads are made of Styrofoam, and the rest you're going to just have to guess.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Last Call For Easter Bunnies

By the time you get to Easter the bottom has completely fallen out of the Easter bunny market. There's a good reason the stores are stocked for Easter right after Valentine's Day.

But for the "small guy," the guy like me who doesn't have a store but has to depend on the rare craft sale to get rid of his wares, I don't have that many opportunities to garner a surpassing crowd to sell to in my hour of need.

The local man, the small guy, takes what he gets "and likes it." I might not like it, but I take what I get. Which in this case turns out to be the bottom scrapings, the castoffs of the mega-moguls who own and operate the shopping center.

Along with the other crafters, I share the same opinion: We wouldn't put it past them that they insulted us on purpose simply because they could! That they knew they had us over a barrel and decided just to rub it in! That they would slap us in the face because their lives are so fundamentally unhappy -- their millions not bringing satisfaction to their inner being -- that they need someone to lash out against, hoping to brighten their day with someone else's misery! There's no other reason we can think of to explain the poor setup they gave us, down the bathroom wing of the shopping center where barely anyone goes.

They raised the table fee and gave us a crappier location.

The crafter's life is not really something to be envied. It may seem exotic to the average person, like we're a band of roaming gypsies with a table and a tub full of styrofoam Easter bunnies. This is a true story: I actually had a naive little kid come up once and ask me for my autograph. But beyond the glamor of that moment and the glamor people think our lives are, it's really more a life to be pitied. And the shopping centers know that. If they could get a juggler in there cheaper they'd go for that. But, no, it's the crafters who are willing to pay for a table and space, just to sit there and stew in their own miserable juices. Jugglers are smarter, they demand their pay up front.

I always feel a little funny about doing it, which is why I don't do much of it. I'm not even a regular guy on the scene, far from it. I make it out like once a year, if I've come up with something. I don't need the money as much as most of them, thanks to my being on full disability (I have a game toe). But sometimes I come up with something and try to make a little extra money, just to have some change in my pocket. But like I said, I feel funny about doing it, mostly because I'm a guy and not a woman.

To me, when you go to a craft sale you want to see women selling this stuff. They look so much better. You see a man behind the table selling Easter bunnies, like in my case, and you immediately think there's something wrong. Men look bulky back there. And men have a naturally impatient look when they're behind a crafting table. Because we want to make money left and right. We're not happy just sitting there idly, looking at our merchandise setting idly. It's kind of funny, too, that it's the cuter the craft the more impatient the man looks. Any man who has something with lots of rounded hearts carved in wood is going to look bad. So you can imagine what I looked like with these Easter bunnies!

But as it turned out I sold close to 50! So people to a certain extent were able to overcome their aversion to a man behind the table, facing their fears adequately. I was trying to look as engaging as possible, randomly laughing and seeming to be happy. There's a few psychological tricks you can do. Like if you see someone coming, grab your cell phone and talk in a friendly way, then a random laugh, then say goodbye and hang up while shaking your head and smiling. Folks aren't really thinking it over but now they know they can trust you.

After the sale I went out with a couple of the other dealers to get coffee. It gave us a great chance to grouse about how badly it went, the lack of customers -- there was also a bake sale in town -- and how the shopping center really did slap us in the face. Because they can.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Selling Easter Bunnies At The Shopping Center

It hasn't been a terrible day at the shopping center selling my Easter bunnies. But I'm glad I didn't plow any more money into them than I did, since I've only sold just over 40 of them, meaning I have close to 60 left.

I keep thinking about dropping the price, but there's drawbacks to that. I'm already selling them one for $5 or two for $9, and if I started selling them one for $4, the two would have to drop to two for $8, meaning I'd be losing $2 every time someone bought two. So it's a problem.

But still, I'm looking on the bright side. There were enough customers to buy just over 40 of them, with a few of those of course being the ones who bought two, cheating me out of the extra buck. Come on, people, I need you to buy them one at a time!

But there I go again, looking on the dim side instead of the bright. Seriously, it hasn't been a half bad day. It's just that I'd rather make more money instead of less, but everyone's looking for a bargain. I suppose I could put myself in their shoes and see that I'd probably do the same thing, regardless of what kind of suffering the guy behind the table might be going through. I put on a brave face.

In some of the slow time I've talked things over with some of the other crafters. When you see them cross their arms and frown you know it's a good time to talk. Because they've always got a gripe on their mind that they're just dying to share. So I heard some of that. They're like me, very paranoid about people sneaking in a camera to take pictures of the crafts; that's why I don't have any pictures from the actual sale, because they'd string me up. We don't want people copying our crafts, whether from a photograph, a sketch, a photographic memory, or from buying one and disassembling it. The last one there is very hard to prevent, as you can imagine.

Crafters are among the world's unhappiest people, and it's not just the paranoia. It seems like there's always an issue about the size of the crowd and whether the advertising was sufficient. If there's anything else happening in town, whether it's a citywide celebration or a bake sale at the church, it's invariably blamed for the poor attendance. We always see the problem out there somewhere, never that people might just be fed up with crafts and surly crafters. I don't say that to them!

Then when we do get customers, we're complaining about how tight they are with their money and how the economy is always against us. I guess the complaints I hear are endless, that people can't keep their kids under control, they're playing with the merchandise, and maybe breaking something. And one of the biggest is one that's been the talk of the day -- this day -- that the shopping center has relegated us down one side hall, where people barely go and where you can barely see us. Most of the people who go down that way are on their way to the bathroom, so they rush by and aren't there to buy.

After lunch it just totally died. That's why I have time to write this. But whether I can get it sent or not is a good question. I'm using the unsecured wireless server from the Mode O'Day store and since we're clear down this hall I'm not getting a good connection. It's going out all the time.

I'm going to 'Publish Post' and see if it takes it. Yes, there it goes. Success.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Local Man Makes And Sells Easter Bunnies

Well, folks, here they are, this year's Easter bunnies I've been working on. If you're going to be at the shopping center tomorrow, stop by my table and pick up one or more!

They're great for kids, for old ladies, anyone really. I know Grandma likes them quite a bit. I've got one on the back of her stool and it really brightens up the room. And it reminds us all of the true meaning of Easter, which is of course a religious holiday of sorts.

I've got a grand total of 100 of these little rascals (they multiply!), plus the original prototype, which is on my dresser and isn't for sale at any price.

They're going to be for sale one day only, tomorrow, so if you want one or more you need to come to the shopping center, or I suppose you could call and I could set one aside for you. I hate to do that, though, because a few years ago I set aside some stuff for a guy who didn't show up to buy it. Meaning that I might've sold it at the craft sale, but then as it turned out I had to "eat" the stuff, meaning I didn't get any money for my work and materials.

Anyway, I'm easy to deal with, if you promise to show up. Usually I think a man's word is his bond and all that. I'll take your word for it if you smile and seem like a nice person, but please don't be a fast talker, because I'm convinced that most fast talkers are only out for themselves. And naturally if that same guy calls me and wants to get some of these, he's going to have to get in line with everyone else and wait his turn. I'm not doing layaways for him, that's one thing I do know.

Why is it that people expect crafters to bend over backwards for them? They don't know the work we put in. And so forth. I've set up at numerous sales and all crafters have the same gripe. We're rolling our eyes more than half the time at the ignorance that our customers display. Most of our customers don't have any sense. They think they can bring in a camera or a sketch pad and duplicate our work at home. Which is why we have a strict "no cameras" policy. And "no sketch pads." If you have a photographic memory, we can't do much about that, except we do discourage it if we see someone who's doing a little too much looking. I might strike up a conversation with him and lead him to another part of the sale.

Back to the bunnies. You can see I have quite a bit in supplies there, as well as the work to put them together. And I'm pricing them at $5.00 or two for $9.00. You're saving a dollar if you buy two. I'd rather sell all 100 one at a time, but if someone wants to buy two I don't say anything. Just put them in a sack and tell them thank you with the best smile I can manage. And if I'm a dollar poorer, that's just the way life goes sometimes.

I hope to see you tomorrow! Have a happy Easter, which, glancing at the calendar, I see is on a Sunday this year.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Gift Of Gab

Do I have the gift of gab or don't I? That's a question that I'm thinking of tonight.

When I'm around people and they're talking, I know enough to trail along with them, responding, thinking ahead, anticipating where they're going. I'm usually thinking enough moves ahead that I can see it fizzling out before we get there.

I have Severe Conversation Fizzling Out Anxiety Disorder, for which there is no cute acronym. SCFOAD. Maybe I could make it into SCAFFOLD, Severe Conversation Anxiety Fizzling and Failing, Onset of a Lamented Disorder. Or SCAFFOLD for short. Since it's called SCAFFOLD, it's a major hang up. It's very bad noose.

There's a lot on my mind, that's not the problem. It's just I don't feel like saying it to everyone's face. Plus, I'm actually a very private person. I'm willing to listen to everyone else's confessions, but my own confession I keep in my psyche. I do fancy myself very self-revealing, but since I'm so busy editing it as I go along it sounds frantic even when it doesn't need to. I have a feeling that I fuzz up my voice a little too much, like there needs to be more treble at those times.

Some guys I know who have the gift of gab actually have the curse of gab. They're not editing ... or they edit so fast that it's seamless.