Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Found A Cool Ice Bag

I was driving in the country yesterday for pleasure, looking to see what I might see. My eyes spied in a field afar a group of deer. I got my binoculars to get a closer look. A buck was standing there, looking good with his masculine rack.

I kept looking -- putting the binoculars to very good use. And then my eyes were drawn to some litter. A litterbug had apparently discarded some trash by the road, then with the wind it had blown into the field.

After the deer were departed, I climbed the fence and ventured across the field, which turned out to be quite a walk -- these were really good binoculars. It reminded me of the first time I saw the Rocky Mountains; you see them from an enormous distance, then you drive toward them but you never actually arrive.

In this case, though, I reached the spot where the litter was -- which turned out to be exactly what I thought it was from a distance (with my really good binoculars ... I could've guided an unskilled hand in heart surgery from my car with just the binoculars and my phone.) The litter turned out to be an ice bag. The very kind of bag you get ice in from an ice machine.

I'm of course now interested in ice machines, trying to work myself up to a fanaticism and expertise on the subject so that someday I might be featured on the Travel channel. So I'm interested naturally in ice bags too. And what demonstrates my fanaticism any more than walking across a huge field to claim an ice bag stuck up against some weeds, being buffeted in the wind?

There was some risk in this undertaking because the field was marked 'No Trespassing,' and the farmer might've caught me -- technically the litter belonged to him. But I made it back to the road OK, so that's a little bit of extraneous karma I'll get to deal with sometime later, doubtless.

Anyway -- as to the bag -- what an interesting specimen it turned out to be! You can see it in the picture, admittedly not as good as being able to see it up close, where you'd be able to thoroughly examine it.

What I notice first is the great illustration, meant, I assume, to convey the sense of coldness. It's a polar bear standing on his back twos and holding a block of ice in his front twos. He's in a very cold land, as is typical for polar bears. There's an igloo in the scene. By the looks of it, the igloo either has a window or its simply missing a block. Perhaps the bear is going to stick the block there (the nice option), or maybe he took the block from there (not so nice) to sell it. The smile on his face doesn't show anything incriminating, in my opinion, so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

The next thing I see is an icy font and a slogan: "ICE WHEN YOU NEED IT!" Like I mentioned the other day, these icy fonts are expected on a bag of ice or an ice machine. I don't have much more to say about it than that. It doesn't take a genius to explain the connection between the font and the product, but if it did, I'd be well equipped to expound upon it in some detail. One genius observation I might make is maybe the bear's plugging the space with a clear piece of ice (a window) because it's 'Ice When He Needs It.'

The part I like best is actually one of the smaller elements, in the upper left corner, a small starburst mortice with the words "PREMIUM ICE." That's good. You're not just getting ordinary frozen water; it's better than that -- it's premium. It might be cubed, crushed, or extra crushed; whatever, it's the good stuff.

This was a great find. And the walk didn't bother me -- I need the exercise. I also got to see some cool deer, including a buck. I only regret that I had to trespass on a guy's field. But look, I was able to liberate an excellent ice bag!

UPDATE: I'm going to leave out the name of the ice company that made this ice and their location. The last thing I want is more competition in this ice fanaticism thing I've got going. And, besides, the ice companies already have all the ice machine groupies they can handle.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Power Of My Archives

When you have over 1,000 posts on the internet, as I do at this blog, it starts getting interesting. Because you have readers hitting them all the time, things from years ago, and sometimes I wonder how they got to the random post. They go on like residuals, or reruns, or golden oldies.

Approximately 20% of my posts come from the time I was the philosophical father of the Residential Industrial Movement. At that time, I had my own electrical generating plant and my own tire factory. That really struck a chord with people, believe me, and it continues to this day!

You'd think people would have enough tires in their lives, but you couple the fact that people simply like tires with the idea that you can make a fortune off them, of course there's going to be an enduring interest there. So a couple of my most popular posts have to do with making tires, how to get your own tire company up and running. I myself no longer do this, since the Residential Industrial Movement was destroyed. But that doesn't affect my archives. So there's always someone hitting these two posts: "The Black Smoke of Industry" and "My Tire Industry Rolls On."

They want to know how it's done, how to make tires! So they read a little bit and it starts something. Then they often write me for more information, exactly how they would go about starting their own tire factory. I tell them all the same thing, that you better love hard work and long hours. And that you may as well kiss your family goodbye right now, because you're either going to neglect them to do the work, or you're going to lose them in the work. Like if you have the kids helping you, sooner or later they're going to fall into a vat of something, get crushed, or be overcome by toxic fumes. It's an unbelievable story but a true one.

Still, there's hardly any swaying some of these people. Because all they can think of is the big money. They're reasoning that every car needs four tires and one in the trunk, making five. We all know a tire is between $80 and $120, then with all the add-ons -- balancing, alignment, old tire disposal fee, white walls, air spigot, tread polish, miscellaneous service fees, federal and state surcharges, gauges, lug nut snuggies, and even air, which is going up all the time thanks to inflation -- you're looking at an average cost of $500 per tire.

That may sound like big money, and that's as far as the dreamers look, but think, most cars already have five tires. No one's starting from scratch. You're not going to have a car drive in to your factory on nothing but metal rims with an empty trunk. You're going to have to wait for their old set to fizzle out, and in the meantime you're looking at a mountain of inventory and supplier bills you wouldn't believe. Because the fact is, people hardly ever really need a new tire. Real life isn't like NASCAR, where they're changing tires every 20 miles.

OK, putting that one aside -- that gets a lot of hits. But you want to know the biggest search phrases that bring people to my archives? You're not going to believe this. There's two big ones: "If you see a red dog running free" is one of them. I wrote a post on the song "Abergavenny" one time. And ever since then, on a daily basis, there's someone in the world looking for information about that. To me, that's wild, because this isn't a Beatles' song or something extremely popular; it's obscure.

The other big search phrase is a lot more scandalous, and it's this: "undress grandma." Seriously. I just shake my head. Because, believe it or not, there's lots of perverts out there constantly googling for information on how to undress their grandma! I get letters on this too, which I completely ignore, since I have no way of getting a reliable affidavit signed that says they need the information for legitimate purposes. As far as I'm concerned, in the absence of those assurances, to me these people are nothing but perverts. The irony here is that this post today has the phrase in it again and so this will also be a drawing card for that crowd!

Anyway, what's so hard about figuring out how to undress grandma? You do it the same way as any other woman, just perhaps without the same urgency. I hope that's true. I've undressed mine many times -- there's no thrill to it. It's all for purposes of hygiene or changing clothes. Nothing lascivious. I'm like a doctor. And I look away a lot. There's still things I haven't actually seen ... clearly ...

Of course there's grandmas out there who don't have my grandma's hard years on them -- she's 104. You get one of the ones who was pregnant in high school, then her daughter was also pregnant in high school, I guess you could easily have a grandma in her upper 30s. But face it, the grandkid's still got a ways to go, no matter what Freud says, before he's going to be consciously looking for action. By then she's in her '50s ... which, I guess that's not so bad. Still, she's your grandma, for crying out loud! Get a girlfriend your own age!

So I'm not too happy about that traffic. But what can you do? I'd love to put a parental lock (or a grandparental lock) on their computers, but I'm limited in my abilities to do so. I have no ability to do that.

The power of my archives! Everyone should try it. Get your own blog, write a bunch of stuff, and watch the world beat down your door!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Ice Machine Fanatic

I'm seeing some of the craziest stuff on TV. We've got an infinite number of channels trying to fill an infinite amount of time, so naturally anything goes.

I think it was on yesterday, a show on the Travel channel about the "most unique" McDonald's restaurants. The crazy thing about it was that they featured an expert on unique McDonald's places and things, a guy who's made it his mission in life to visit every McDonald's. He's already been to around 12,000 of them. Of course he has lots of stories to tell, and there was a TV show this one time, at least, that featured him.

He looked normal enough in all the typical things you look for, eyes, head size, etc. But there he is, going nationwide and around the world, looking for the elusive good meal at McDonald's.

It made me think of other fanatics, what I might be able to do to be featured on one of these Discovery-type channels and all their feature stories. Definitely going to McDonald's is now out, thanks to you know who. But you could have a guy who goes to every adult bookstore/movie place in existence. That would make a fascinating study, since you figure there's going to be less and less of them thanks to the internet. Probably the best place to find them would be where truck drivers go, the interstate. And even there, with 3G/4G network cards, we're going to lose a lot of these little pieces of imagined paradise. Anticipated paradise, anyway, although ultimately disappointing.

Just let your mind wander ... there's all kinds of places you could be a fanatic and an expert about. Fast lube places, oil change stations. The biggest drawback would be you don't get your oil changed as often as you eat. Plus it sounds very boring. I was driving around today and saw an ice machine and thought maybe that could be my specialty. Everywhere I go having my picture taken with the ice machine. Then let's say I've got 12,000 visits to ice machines -- and there have to be more ice machines than McDonald's -- and the Travel channel has a story about ice machines, guess who they're going to come to for information. I'd have all the specs, my favorite kind of machines, etc.

One thing that would be interesting in this subject is the "ICE" font they always use. With snow and ice hanging from the letters. I'd love to know how many variations there are on this. It'd be interesting also to know what psychological difference it makes in ice sales to use an icy font.

But what I don't want to happen is, say I go to 6,000 different ice machines, then I hear there's already an ice machine guy who's been to 20,000. And the Travel channel people contact him ... and I'm left out in the cold.

A Plumbing Disaster Last Night

When I go to the basement to do laundry, one thing I don't want to find is standing water on the floor. But, darn it, that's what happened last night.

I walk through a darker part of the room to get to the light switch, and I'm not used to hear sloshing under my feet in the process. So I immediately had a very bad feeling about things when it happened. Right away I knew the night was shot as far as discretionary time went -- time for relaxing.

These things have to be taken care of right now.

I called my Cousin Roto to see if he had any favorite plumbers. His dad was one of the original Roto-Rooter guys in the area, and Roto was obviously named after his work, so, of course, who better to ask? His dad is dead, so there's no getting him. And Roto isn't doing it anymore. But he makes pretty good recommendations, so he told me who he'd call. It turns out now there's about a dozen different "Rooter" companies, so the Roto-Rooter company, when they went to trademark the name, somehow let the "Rooter" part of the name get away. Unless it's a generic word, like "Cola" in Coca-Cola.

I was looking at the names -- and thinking about the ones I didn't see, like if I wanted to be a plumber. Like how come there's not a "Presto Rooter"? But I Googled it and there is a Presto Rooter somewhere. What would be another one? "Rooster Rooter"? That sounds absurd. But I Googled it and there is a Rooster Rooter, in California. Oh my gosh. How about "Mighty Rooter"? You know what -- there's a Mighty Rooter out there too! So it looks like the hardest part about coming up with your own Rooter company might be getting a name. What are the chances that "Super Rooter" is taken? Pretty good, let me see: Yes, there is! Probably about the only ones not taken would be "Wimpy Rooter" or something weak like that. I don't see any. But there's a septic tank service on Wimpy Road in Georgia and a Wimpy's Backhoe Service in Florida.

Anyway, the guy from the Rooter company Roto suggested -- and to be fair, Roto said they're all equally good, at least in theory, since it's a snake thing and a one way pipe -- showed up pretty quickly for a Saturday night. He squeezed in back there in the little space we have and put together his big old snake, letting it do its work, at 400 rpm. He got done and I asked when it was going to go 400 rpm and he said it already had, so that was a big surprise to me. Meaning I'm going to need another clog to see it better... I'll wait.

We had a good conversation, a friendly time. I could see the crack of his ass while he was squeezed in back there sitting. It made me think of a Saturday Night Live skit from decades ago. But I kept looking away, for my own comfort and sanity. All told, though, we had certain things in common, etc., and I was super friendly. I'm always super friendly -- that's just my way. But it pays to be extra super friendly when you've got a guy with your house's plumbing in his hands. And speaking of hands, we had such a friendly time we wanted to shake hands, but since he had sewage on his hands we didn't.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cold Turkey Leftovers

I was listening to John Lennon's song "Cold Turkey" today: "Cold turkey has got me on the run..."

Today of course is the day for cold turkey, the day after Thanksgiving. But I didn't have any, maybe for the first time ever. Some of the family was over, and I had the foresight to send all the leftovers home with them, thinking how much I hate them, the leftovers, not the family.

It'd be better than nothing if I didn't have any other food. But there's something about turkey that makes it ultra dry as soon as it's been cooked. It's very disgusting stuff.

But I've got a few leftovers today, bits and pieces, snippets of ideas, and stray ideas that I want to get rid of:
I'm looking for a diner with the lady in white or pink serving hot roast beef sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy and happy to see you. I think it's a dying breed, like __________ (whatever).
Church of the Embittered Shepherd -- "Some wolf bastard stole my sheep!" -- "The end of your search for an embittered church."
Concrete Football League -- All games played on cement fields for real bone-crunching action. 8 hour games because of constant injuries.
Doodletron illustrations. Colorful backgrounds with doodles overlaid.
Overheard on 11/14/2010, a guy on the phone: "Oh man, I just did the front page like an hour ago." Must have been some big news!
Driving on college campus: Didn't see anyone carrying or waving pennants. Saw lots of gadgets, and a few Gidgets on phones.
What color was the wood? Wood-colored.
The worst part about going blind, not being able to see.
Turkeys these days are nothing like the ones I had when I was a kid. Back then, each of the kids got a wishbone from the old bird, so they were happy.
Have I ever seen a cute ear? No. Nicely proportioned? Yes, most often known by not being too big.
The process of dying is tough, but it looks like you get used to death right away.
Facial hair grows overnight, meaning Santa sleeps a lot!
Man speaks with forked tongue spooning with daughter, must get knife.
The heart, of course, is susceptible to heartburn.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I've Got An Itch Right Here

I'm bugged about itching and scratching. There's way too much of it.

There's a big difference between sleeping and being awake. I hardly ever itch when I'm asleep. It's like at funerals I've been to, the difference between being alive and dead. Others are scratching, but the dead are content.

Just thinking about itching makes me itch, and I've heard others say that too. I have some thoughts about localized and universalized phenomena. When it comes to itching, for me it's localized. There doesn't seem to be a general field of itching. I don't feel other people's itch. Still, just like yawning, if I saw others scratching like crazy, I'd probably start itching too.

One itch I've had for years is itching in the ears. That's very annoying. The ears have a nasty construction, being open yet you're not supposed to mess with them. But how can you not? It looks weird to be scratching your ears in public, but we don't associate them with erogenous zones, so no one thinks anything more about you scratching than how weird it looks. The appearance of an ear itch, for me, is immediate. There's no arc to its appearance. It's just there ... 100 mph.

Then we all know about scalp itch. I haven't got much more to say about it, except it's well addressed by consumer products. I'm thinking about shampoos.

Then, more embarrassing, there's the region where everyone's action takes place. Why that would be itching all the time, I could make some guesses. For one, there's too many folds and creases, and too much rubbing together. Nothing's really nailed down in a permanent place. It might be left, right, center, up, down, big, little, tight, or loose. Then with some exertion, you get perspiration, and it all interacts in a negative way. And it builds on itself, with perspiration accumulating in the surrounding garments, and next, dirt, various leakages and minor soiling from an inability to meticulously clean oneself.

All the nasty regions are so concentrated in that one area, in my opinion, there's no better place in the universe where the conditions are so right for the spontaneous generation of new strains of harmful bacteria. We try to blame it on African monkeys, but I'm not so sure. If you have an itch, you need to get it checked out. And if you happen to scratch, please clean under your fingernails before you shake my hand. The only positive thing about crotch itch is you can reach it in an emergency. The same thing goes for the ear.

The itch that has the worst placement is in the middle of the back. Normal length arms aren't long enough to reach it. So you're left seeking out a pasta stirrer, or getting someone to help you (left, right, up down), or buying a professional backscratcher. For me, the downside to a backscratcher is that it makes it itch again within seconds. So it's best not to scratch your back too well, just touch it enough to take care of the immediate problem. Touch a tree but don't rub too hard.

Time doesn't allow me to get to all the other itches, like the bottom of the foot, the top of the foot, and the tip of the nose. The tip of the nose itch is the worst of these, unless you're dealing with a foot fungus on the others. Because the itch you get on the nose is always some little bacteria that needs to be killed.

It's strange, speaking of bacteria, why we don't get itches in our internal organs. But thank God we don't, because they'd be really tough to scratch.

P.S. -- Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Real Happy Meal

It's soon almost going to be that wonderful day, when family gathers from far and near to eat the stuffing out of the turkey. Of course I'm talking about the holiday known as Thanksgiving, commemorating the time that the pilgrims first did it.

We're more blessed in that we have more modern conveniences than they had. We go to the store to get the turkey that a slaughterhouse has killed rather than having to pursue one through the forest, making a bunch of turkey noises with a turkey call. Actually, I knew a guy who hunted his own turkeys, and the way he described it, you have to sit there very quietly because a turkey has very sensitive hearing and is easily alerted to danger.

The pilgrims -- they had it their way. That's what they were used to and they didn't know any difference. It's weird for us to try to imagine life without a refrigerator or freezer, but at least they had the advantage of never knowing any difference. So it looks like, once again, ignorance is bliss. But put one of us out there, nothing but a blunderbuss and no idea how to use it, and we'd show up at home with nothing and the kids would be sitting there hungry.

Fortunately, we've made progress since those earlier, darker days, of which I don't know much more than that. They were used to a lot more hardship that I'm frankly glad isn't typical for the general American populace. They had a lot of family and fellow travelers dropping dead on the boats just to get here, so how any of them kept their happiness ... it's beyond me. They were coming here for religious reasons, right? So they must've done a lot of meditation to keep up their spirits. And maybe they were visited by a hedgerow of warring pilgrim angels so that at least a remnant might survive. That'd be something to be thankful for.

Anyway, the family gathers for this important day of chowing down. Everybody brings something, maybe a cranberry salad, a basket of buns, a pie. And we pool it all together on one big table -- sometimes a second table for the kids -- and we realize that we've all got it pretty good. Still, you have to think of the hardship those other folks went through -- the pilgrims, the death -- and realize it could happen to any one of us. After all, we look around the table and we can picture the faces that aren't there from bygone years... We're all going to die.

Do I really mind the facts of mortality that much? No, I really don't. I'm not crazy about the idea -- don't get me wrong. But what can you do? Nothing. I actually use the facts of mortality to try to stretch out my lifespan. Like this, I don't engage in dangerous behaviors: criminal activity, risky friendships, interpersonal relationships with people when I don't know where they've been and what they've been doing with it, which includes everyone. My basic philosophy is: Be happy with a normal life, with a serious substratum, admittedly, of Sit quietly until you die.

We do that at Thanksgiving, everyone sitting there, thinking the same thing. All those people who used to sit around this table aren't here anymore. Could I be next? Lord, is it I? (The kids' table isn't like that ... they're very happy.)

I see the general run of kids playing at McDonald's when I'm there. They've turned the restaurant into a playground, and it's very loud in certain sections. There was a crowd one day, so I was sitting right next to the playground entrance, which turned out to be a terrible place to eat. It made me think, we ought to make a pact with the parents that they wouldn't allow their kids to go to the McDonald's playground because the rest of us want to eat in peace. If we could just persuade kids that they need to sit quietly till they die, the world would be a nicer place.

But, no, there they are, with their little Happy Meals, taking a few bites, then running off to the playground. They definitely don't have the pilgrim spirit. In 1600, they would've been dead the first day!

Thanksgiving, whether these little hellions know it or not, that's the real happy meal. So sit there quietly and eat it!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dale And His Dog

I got the unhappy word yesterday that a dog died in the neighborhood, Dale's dog.

It was a matter of having to put him to sleep, which doesn't take away the sadness even though it was elective to some extent. Dale did it, and it broke his heart, of course, but the dog was in severe discomfort. He was old and completely under the weather.

We've all had troubles with pets. It's a trade off, the love they give and get with the fact that they live extraordinarily short lives. But at least dogs fall midway on the spectrum, not as long-lived as horses or cats but beating gerbils, hamsters, mice, and sea monkeys by a country mile.

We're going to miss Dale's dog. For all these years, it's been, "There's Dale again and that dog." We look out and see them pass, or maybe we don't, since it's been a constant sight several times a day for virtually ever. We started taking it for granted, but ... now ...

I watched them pass the last time ... it's been a week anyway.

They were basically one. Where one went, so went the other. You might say, it was Dale and two left legs or two right. Or it was the dog and six legs. The dog loved him and he loved him too. If the dog ever looked for a reason to bite Dale, he never found one. If Dale needed a fur to pet, the dog was always there. And if the dog needed a hide relatively free from fur to get close to, Dale was always there.

Sympatico. That's what Dale and his dog were, in every decent way known to man.

As Good As I'm Ever Going To Be (1000)

Yes! I have finally achieved something that's always eluded the rest of my family, 1000 posts on my blog!

Isn't that great? But, you know what? I'm still going to put my pants on one leg at a time, I'm still going to empty the mousetrap by myself, and I'm still going to have breakfast like a normal person; I won't be hiring a cook.

I said this achievement was something that eluded my family, and that's true. As much as Grandpa did in his life -- serving in World War I, guiding his family through the Great Depression, sending off three sons to World War II -- he didn't even have a blog, let alone hack out 1000 posts. He died in the late 1970s.

And it's the same story for the others. Either they died before everyone got computers, or they were too old and begrizzled and already in nursing homes, or they weren't cognizant for some other reason of the value of sharing their opinions with a vast audience of complete strangers. Whatever the reason -- and it could be that I have cousins out there with assumed aliases writing up a storm, I just don't know -- they held back, leaving the field open to me. Then I flew under the radar with quite a bit of stealth, and here I am today!

But we all know, blogging isn't just something you do so you can brag about it as it somehow relates to your dead relatives from bygone generations. That's of course a big part of it, but it's not the whole story. If you're like me, whatever generation you're living in, you have a compulsion. Even if I were living in the days of the cavemen, and computers were hard to come by, I'd still be blogging by whatever name it went by. Like in the Flintstones. I'd have a typewriter with a couple of big birds pecking out the letters on a huge slab of rock. We'd set them by the side of the road, and passersby would stop and say, "Look, he's got 1000 rocks ... It's prehistoric!"

You get a compulsion, a few ideas, and you do it, that's all. If I'd've been in the world wars, I can see myself dissing the Axis powers in my posts. I might've shamed Hitler into surrender. Or if it was some other period in history -- just name one -- I can see myself, maybe with a big quill pen (a feather two foot long) and a bottle of ink, scribbling out something. Being around bottles of ink would be messy, of course. Remember hearing about Martin Luther throwing a bottle of ink at the devil? But if that's all you had, you wouldn't know any difference. (What I really miss from childhood are those little plastic ink cartridges we put in our pens. That was some smooth writing, although, again, they were messy.)

The problem with 1000 -- and I've been thinking about this for a couple weeks, so forgive me if I get a little teary-eyed -- is that it could be my best years are behind me. And the past has stretched out so far that it's not prologue anymore. It seems natural, doesn't it? Eventually the past isn't going to be prologue, eventually it's going to be epilogue. I might be bumping up against my natural ceiling here, folks. This might be about it. Maybe I was crackin' good at one time -- when I was young and hepped up on hormones. But now, it could be I'm getting too old to cut the mustard, as Grandma always said.

When you're old, of course you can still do a few things in life, at least go through the motions. I know I go through the motions quite a bit and it seems like the frequency's picking up. You get a mental block that stays around a little too long. You're dawdling on the sidewalk, even tottering, and all the neighborhood kids pass you by with their happy games. You find yourself window-shopping for caskets and checking out the sales. Triple X entertainment doesn't hold any thrills anymore. I'll be sitting there with a cup of coffee, lose myself in a revery, and 'wake up' and my coffee's cold. That's a terrible feeling -- Where was I? But it makes me feel a little better knowing cold coffee's now in style.

I'm going to try to continue on. It seems like if I'm conscious of the idea that this is as good as I'm ever going to be, that's still a positive enough mindset to work with. If somehow I can turn that into actual optimism, without being blind to the facts, then somehow I'll be able to keep going. Maybe someday they'll make a "Pluggers" cartoon about me, if I ever start dressing in heavy flannel and one of those dorky hats.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Why My Blog Doesn't Get That Much Traffic

I've been doing this -- writing this blog -- for a long time. Like other things in my life, I've stuck it out when others didn't think I had much to give. And as far as I'm concerned, I believe I have something to show for it, even if it's only something I enjoy by myself.

Yes, welcome to the tough slog of the blog, where, if you're good, you can labor in the trenches, fight it out in the fields, and even take the fight to the enemy in the skies over India, and the crowds of the world are off looking at something else. Usually sludge. They're drawn to it, as documented in the illustration. (That's supposed to be sludge, even though it looks like an upside down phallic Cheeto.)

Anyway, here I sit -- the years behind me, the years before me, at my 999th post -- wondering where all the people are. In my earlier reveries, I pictured that I'd be featured in the Daily News by now, "Local Man Writes Own Blog." But those days came and went, along with the madding crowd. The last I saw of them, they were going over a hill toward the horizon, more or less fingering me.

Looking back, I guess I can pretty well pinpoint when the decline started. I took a hiatus of a few months, I think it was in the first half of 2009. That's when everything went downhill. But for a while there, wow, it was great. I was able to reshingle the house with the money I made from Google Ads! I had a ton of followers! But now I haven't heard from them for a while. I had the blog, I had a printed newsletter on the side, and I was even sponsoring some real life visits with readers, etc. It was a wild time.

I'll look back ... Here's a link where I was feeling a little brought down by the way my readers abandoned me. That was a sad post, "The Hiatus Persecution Complex," in which I wrote:

Of course all of this only stiffened my resistance to calls that I end my hiatus. It's the oldest truth in the book: "The persistence of resistance is equal to the insistence of existence." It's quite literally an existential crisis when you see it in those terms: The enemies insist on the existence of my blog, probably my newsletter, probably the real life meetings. But when they insist, I resist, and therefore my hiatus persists. And not only that, but whenever words rhyme so well and tell the actual truth of the matter, you can't help thinking there's some divine inspiration at play.

Divine inspiration at play! Ah yes, maybe there was divine inspiration, but you know, sometimes the divine leads his loved one through the wilderness, taking away his hat, coat, tie, and leaves him for dead without bread and water. I can look back and attest, It hasn't been easy. Leading me to ask, Where are the readers? Where are the stinking readers!?

I know they're out there. I know my blog is accessible all over the world. I myself have gone to random places and typed it in. It comes up every time. And I've seen where the few readers I have come from. There's a few in South Korea, India, Australia, and a bunch of other little countries. There's even a few in Russia! That's wild. I was brought up with the idea that Russians are barely human like us. Until I was 15, I never slept in my bed, I slept under it, thanks to the Russians. And now I have a handful of them reading my blog! Still, it's just a handful, not enough to bring down communism, so what's the use?

Friends, I'm left with more questions than answers on what exactly the problem is. But I've come up with a list of things to help rationalize for myself what's going on, why my blog doesn't get that much traffic:

-- I refuse to cater to the fashions of the day. People are very fashion-conscious. If you're not "with it" they're not "with you."

-- I keep it strictly clean, nothing blue allowed. Any mention of orifices and protuberances is strictly verboten. I'm the Fuhrer when it comes to smut talk. Naturally, there's little reward in this policy.

-- I keep my temper in check, not lashing out at my enemies. On the internet, there's little tolerance for this policy, because virtually everything that becomes popular is filled with invective. Especially religious discussions.

-- I always take the high road, using well-reasoned arguments and rational diatribes.

-- I'm not going for cheap belly laughs or anything rude. People like rude behavior, especially with the anonymity the internet brings. Nice guys finish last.

-- I've refused to buckle to the fashions of the day, loud trashy gossip and celebrity recipes.

-- I'm abiding by ever increasingly severe values while others have given up all moorings at the altar of relativism, usually with their legs spread apart and a change maker on their hips.

-- I've got a bad location, far from the blogging meccas of the coasts.

-- I've suffered from bad publicity. My publicist was a shyster and ran off with the money I gave him, what was left over from the reshingling.

-- Dark forces seem to be conspiring against me, whether out of spite or jealousy. Why would they be jealous? Probably because I'm able to consistently write quality posts whereas the others are left to plagiarize each other's works or they write like blind monkeys at broken typewriters.

-- Then there's a lot of people who act like they're too good for me. Which is odd because I have the same feeling about them. They couldn't scrape dog crap off my shoe in a way that I'd appreciate.

-- Finally, there's the vast subset of internet users -- 90% or more -- who never advance past their homepage. They're stuck toggling between their homepage and Solitaire. That's how stupid they are, so of course they're not going to find my blog.

So today I'm wishing a happy anniversary to myself -- 999 going on 1,000 -- and giving a tip of the hat to all the other blogs of the world, which, in my opinion, emit nothing but raw sewage. It's ridiculous.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Clash Of The Titans -- Masturbananda Vs. Wadd

This is the record of an event that happened recently. It tells of the clash between titans, who also happen to be dread enemies. (To be fair, Swami Sri Masturbananda judges no man to be his enemy, but he's willing to put up his dukes if attacked. As for Pastor Wadd, he has lots of enemies and loves them all, but is willing to strike first if he feels he can advance righteousness.)

Swami Masturbananda is of course pro-generative faculties, Pastor Wadd anti. He's anti-generative faculties to the extent that he feels they're being misused, as in a loveless or selfish non-procreative way.

Each man stewed in his respective quarters in such a way that each was "het up" with their own particular mix of energies. Masturbananda found his power in the divine consciousness, reaching near his bag of tricks for a handful of awareness, and in the process, blew off the roofs of five consecutive outhouses, arranged in a kind of Stonehenge way. Wadd retired to his quarters with the book, and in intense, sweaty meditation over the written word, sweaty in part because of the tight hair underpants he'd recently had woven by an old yak farmer's wife. He looked up at the brim of his black hat and saw the lights of home, where God dwells.

The next step in the process was to channel into their system the energies of their respective devotees. For Masturbananda's part, he brought in the stored up virtue of his chelas (students) that had been released through their devotions. Not a single one could blow the roof off an outhouse, that was true, or even really budge from its moorings a ceiling fan, but Masturbananda knew their hearts, that they were good. He drew in his breath, and along with the power of his students' devotions, pulled it up the interior of his spine to the Sahashrara, the crown of creation (and more).

As to Pastor Wadd, being a sexual addiction counselor, sexual addiction being loosely defined as anything stimulative of the generative faculties except in limited instances of the procreative drive, as in a conscious decision not to allow the human species to become extinct, he reached out mentally and channeled his counselees' many repressed energies, coupled with the grimness of their regrets.

Then they came together over the skies of India, ascending each one to a place of prominence in the heavens.

Wadd began the proceedings, sending powerful volts toward Masturbananda's crotch. But the swami, even in the face of such power, had no difficulty because his chakras defended him, with a loud metallic slamming lockdown noise being audible from the ground.

Masturbananda, striking second, sent powerful volts of his own toward the sun's swag drop, with huge fireballs descending, meant to fry Wadd's brain. In response, Wadd pulled out a big mirror and, upon reflection, staggered Masturbananda. The swami, feeling himself weakened from the top of his head to a region near the navel, and from the feet up to his groin, thrust his hips and sent super volts toward Wadd's own crotch. The thrusting alone brought Masturbananda renewed energy, but the volts took away Wadd's power, burning a hole in his black pants; the smell of burnt yak fur filled the air. He apparently wasn't cognizant enough of that area of his body to defend it.

Masturbananda pulled back on the power, having made his point, and being merciful. Wadd's condition wasn't good, but perhaps he learned something. All his sensations from the neck down were neutralized, to make the point that he had emphasized the head and neglected the rest of the body. Of course Wadd could never get it. He thrashed around in midair, shaking his head, denying culpability, and covering the exposed area. With that, the pastor retreated, hoping to save himself and perhaps fight another day. We saw him disappearing over the horizon somewhere.

Swami Sri Masturbananda descended to his chelas' delight, teaching them later in a grand symposium to continue the techniques, and let no man tell you different!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bikers Bars Need A Pink Professor

It's one of those counterintuitive facts of life, like 'Which line is the longest' in optical illusions, that every bikers bar needs a Pink Professor among their clientele.

I say they "need" a Pink Professor, but of course that doesn't mean they actually have one. They can stumble along apparently in a very nice way and have a reasonably nice business. They'll have bikers in and bikers out, with a kind of malaise that is barely discernible but nonetheless is very much there. They'll appear to be enjoying themselves and yet there'll always be the nagging sense that something's missing.

It's my contention that actual Pink Professors are tough to come by. Not tough to come by in that there's very few of them. But tough to come by in that they're not always drawn to bikers bars. They're very smart individuals -- that is true -- but it usually escapes them that a bikers bar needs them and would welcome them if they were to show up. I feel fairly proud, I have to say, that I know about this. I didn't always know about it, of course. But I had the opportunity of meeting the fellow in our town who's called the Pink Professor. And I know of his place at one of the local bikers bars. And I'm guessing about the rest -- call it human nature -- that other bikers bars, whether they know it or not, need their own Pink Professor.

The Pink Professor I know himself didn't know about his intrinsic place in the bikers bar ecology until it happened. He showed up, they gave him a hard time, but he stuck it out, gaining their trust, adding to their appreciation of their group, etc., etc., and now he's there to stay. (When I first wrote about the P.P., I wrote about him in a hypothetical way, because he hadn't given me the green light to discuss his actual business. Since then, he's allowed me to open the closet door and reveal some of the things of his life. I love the guy.)

The whole thing about it being counterintuitive ... it wouldn't have been my first thought. That they gave him a hard time, I could put a check mark by that; that I'd get. We don't immediately accept it that rough will accept nice, since it seems like rough will only accept rough. But it's kind of like in Ike and Tina Turner's version of "Proud Mary," where they do the first half nice and they do the last half rough. The Pink Professor indeed is a nice guy, and, remarkably, he fits right in!

One theory about this is that rough has no way to distinguish itself if there's not a nicer or softer counterpart. It needs the contrast by which to more clearly define itself. Then I'd add to that, to nudge it along a bit, that there's a soft spot in the heart of every biker. They're a band of brothers, after all, and you don't get that simply with rock solid roughness. The softness necessary is self evident. So, whether it's with a brother, one of your own kind, or with one who draws a greater contrast, they're very open to all people. It's just that a Pink Professor is so obviously a different personality type that we think at first that they can't mix.

In fact, they like him a lot! And he likes them a lot, too! It's a beautiful thing, giving us all hope that, given enough time and effort, all hostilities might cease between peoples, of different countries and persuasions. The Hatfields and McCoys, the Israelis and Palestinians, Republicans and Democrats, Freepers and Sane People. If they can do it somehow on their own, more power to them! If it takes a Pink Professor type of individual in their midst, then so be it.

The actual Pink Professor, the one I know, is well aware of the way he fits in at the bikers bar, and he relishes his role. But for him, it's all sincerity. When he shows up on an evening, he's not thinking of his role in an analytical way. He's always thinking of it in terms of the real relationships he has, and the fact that he, as a patron of the bar, also wants to have a good time. So he's not looking for any favors or any breaks. As far as he presents himself, he's simply one of the guys at the bar. Nothing different about him. Just one of the boys.

That's true, and we would never take that away from him for a minute. We love him too much. But we can stand back and see there's a whole other dimension to his place in that setting. He is the Pink Professor, indispensable to that bikers bar's vibe and rich camaraderie. Worth his weight in gold!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cold Case -- The Following Incident (1970)


I have another case that has presented itself, and I'm proudly including it in my Cold Case file, something to look at and perhaps solve.

Right up front, I need to stress that the evidence is slim on this one. We don't know the make or model of the vehicle involved, nor do we know the exact date, nor do we have the slightest clue as to who was driving it.

I don't usually ask for help from the public, because I'm usually able to put together a pretty strong investigation with very few clues, but in this case I'm making an exception. Please -- and let me stress that, please, if you have any information as to the identity and whereabouts of the driver in this incidence, let me know. If I can get those particulars, I'm sure it will put me pretty far ahead as to tying up any of the other loose ends.

I'm pretty sure this incident happened in 1970, and it seems like it was the fall. That means it's getting away from us somewhat, and will continue to do so the more time passes unless we can get the facts nailed down. At this point, again, not knowing the identities, etc., it could very well be that those involved are deceased, etc. But I feel it's an important enough matter that I can't let something like that stop me. It's driven me crazy all these years -- decades -- and I'd like to finally be able to put it to rest. A special note to my surviving relatives: If I should die before this is solved, please pick up the scent and follow the trail; the answers have to be out there somewhere.

The incident, the facts as I recall them are:

I was driving a car and had a female passenger, a high school friend. We were driving around the town here, when it suddenly became clear that we were being followed. It was another car, if memory serves, and it had several people in it, estimated between three and six. A driver was in the driver's seat, driving. It appeared that he was male. We proceeded on our way, not being able to ID anyone. We drove up and down several streets. They followed us maybe 20 minutes. Then I drove her to her home and we pulled in the alley/driveway and parked next to her house. The vehicle behind us continued on, speeding up the road to the north. I don't remember the make or model.

Admittedly, this isn't much to go on. And the pursuit for facts is hampered by the reality that they didn't have video cameras on every building and post back then. And even if there had been a videotape, it's likely someone would have lost it by now. Because I had videotapes in the '90s and '00s that I can't find now, mostly because they've been thrown away or donated to Goodwill. And we're talking about 1970, when video would've been on open reels, wasn't readily accessible, and in fact wasn't used for videotaping random cars, especially at night. Did I mention it was night?

The thing that's driven me crazy all these years is, Who were these guys? What did they want? With the relevance being, 1) To satisfy my curiosity, and, 2) To know if they're harassing other people yet today.

But how am I to solve the case without something to go on? That's a huge issue. Still, I'm not ready to give up!

I'm thinking my best bet might be to return to the neighborhood where the girl lived and to look around for tire marks matching 1970 and earlier model tires. If I can put together a list of tires available, then get a list from tire dealers as to who they sold tires to at the time, I might be able to narrow it down. Of course then I will have to contact everyone living from the high school, as to the model of tires they had back then. Factoring in that most people don't keep this kind of information on the tip of their tongue, I'll also ask them if they were the ones following us that night.

Like I said, that's my best bet. But there's surely other evidence still out there. I believe that everything is recorded somewhere in the Akashic and Karmic records, the difficult trick being to gain access to them. Barring that, I don't know what I'll do. Although there could be some benefit in going to the police department and asking them if they knew of any habitual followers in 1970. That would probably yield something. And I could also interview any survivors, people who lived on the streets we drove down ... but I don't remember what they were precisely. I could contact the girl passenger as well, but she didn't know at the time who the guys were, or so she said.

Lastly, and I don't know why I didn't mention this first, I could have myself hypnotized, because maybe from my subconscious I could help make a sketch of the shadowy driver, then match it up with yearbook photos.

Anyway, they don't call them cold cases for nothing. And this one is getting colder all the time. My job -- my passion -- is to make sure it's solved before it's unsolvable.

My other cold cases are:
Cold Case -- The Trivial Stuff
Cold Case -- Errors In Books
Cold Case -- Details On "The Grandpa Case"
Cold Case -- The Two Brothers
Cold Case -- Did The Major Industrialists Hide The Flight Plan?
For those who are writing in about these cases, where the investigations stand, alas, there isn't any new evidence yet.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Deflowering Of Swami Masturbananda

I love the teachings of Swami Sri Masturbananda. He's so laid back and free. Everything about his way is airy and light. There is such a big difference between the master, and, say, a teacher like Pastor Wadd, whose constant battle-cry is "Abstinence!" to the point of self-castration. One finds the highest consciousness in our nature, the other says to deny nature and somehow you'll gain your reward.

I've been cleaning up around the back yard, fallen leaves, other things that have blown off the trees, twigs, etc., and some of the flowers that have withered up and died with fall. Seeing a big basket of crunchy chrysanthemums makes me think of Sri Masturbananda's teachings on the cyclical nature of things, and what we can do about it.

There's all these flowers -- the lilies of the field and wildflowers of all kinds out on the hills, unnoticed by any. But they have their day in the sun. And if someone comes along to pick them, that's just as well, too! They'll repopulate the place -- the others -- to make up for their plucked comrades. The bees are standing guard to make sure it gets accomplished. With the deflowering comes more flowering in its place!

I can see the eternal spirit of Masturbananda in every field of posies. He's the true bloom in a field of weeds. If we were to imagine weeds as a bad thing for a moment, and of course they're not, they might represent the more ascetic masters (and I'm charitable enough even to include Pastor Wadd in that number), who keep their business nice and tidy, but also ultimately withered and shriveled. I know there's some karma I'm accruing by speaking this way of them, but I'll work it out later.

Instead, Sri Masturbananda leads us to pick the flowers on the field, to pick and to pull. How beautiful it is, going with the fullness of his teaching, to pick the one you'll pull, then pull the one you pick. It's like the old song, with a few variations: "If you can't be with the one you'd pick, honey, pull the one you're with." Or something like that! Although pulling the one you're with isn't really part of the master's teachings insofar as I know, because they can pull their own.

What's the value of any of this? Just this, that in those five to 10 seconds of ecstasy we have the glimpses of the divine consciousness that ultimately will be our constant state. Whether it takes a million years or a million incarnations to reach makes no difference. Our creator has given us the means of glimpsing the glory here and now, and our master, Swami Sri Masturbananda, puts it within easy reach of every man. (Women have a parallel means of glory, but you'd have to ask them exactly how it works.)

Flowering and deflowering, the way of true life! Blessings from the master ... and of course to him!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Pink Professor -- The Biological Impetus

It's mid-November and love's in the air at the Roadhog Roadhouse, the bikers bar frequented by The Pink Professor.

The fact that it's mid-November has nothing to do with it, of course, since there's always a little something going on indicative of the ways of Cupid, the winged fairy of fornication, at the Roadhog.

And none among the patronage of the bar notices and appreciates it quite like The Pink Professor, as he settles in and enjoys an imported beer. Because there's no one else quite like him there, so appreciative of life, on the one hand, and on the other, so quick to put it all in some larger context.

Things get underway every night around dinner time. They're open through the day for the occasional customer, but things really get revved up when the day is passing toward night. The Pink Professor checks in through the day, maybe dropping off the morning paper for the staff. It's still good, even though he might've cut out an article or two, maybe a recipe or cartoon.

Then he checks back at night, at no particular time, which is really a sign of something. It's a sign that he belongs there, because he doesn't have to check in at a particular time. Everyone's expecting him, but whenever he gets there ... that's when he gets there. He no longer has to prove himself, like might happen if he were still in process of going for acceptance but not serious enough about it to show up at the same time each night.

Anyway, love is always in bloom at the Roadhog. The waitresses have their pick of the clientele. There's several couples from the neighborhood in there to play pool and spoon and perhaps shop around. There's ladies night, which the ladies and the guys appreciate, and so forth. It all works together; you get enough folks showing up, and enough drinks, and things happen without having to explain it.

The Pink Professor is parked on a wooden chair by the southernmost pool table, casually sitting on it with the back of the chair as the front. Some tough guys are playing a game. And he's a part of the conversation on the ways of love, because there's always some kind of talk about how "easy" someone is, or how "hot," or whether someone's breaking up, "dumping," "ditching," "giving the old heave ho," etc.

The conversation goes on, then the group hears a knowing chuckle, so they look down at a very delighted Pink Professor. They want to know what he's laughing at, and he says he's not really laughing at anything, just laughing with something. Because, he explains, what he's thinking about is "the biological impetus" always at work in their midst. He explains a little of what he means and how it's ever been and shall always be.

The biological impetus is a term for the congeries of conscious and unconscious desires and drives ever present in the behaviors of mating habits and rituals. The impetus goes back to the beginning, when time itself was young. And it's with us today, regardless of style and the superficial shifting of culture.

He stretches their credulity a little farther, explaining that that's why pornography is so boring: Not enough variety, unless you're part of the action. The impetus isn't to watch other people's boring body parts go through their motions, but to be part of it. When the action's happening with us, it's all quite interesting. Even the smallest protozoa is interested, hanging out in its equivalent of a bikers bar looking to get lucky. And the guy just getting off work at the car fix-it place up the road, sneaking in for what he might find, is no different.

The Pink Professor glances over at the bar, where Waitress Exhibit A is doing an "innocent" tushy wag not going unnoticed by the guy standing at the jukebox. In an instant, the Pink Professor has connected the dots, knowing how it will later end ... He muses over a snippet of T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland":

Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
Exploring hands encounter no defence;
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)

It's not that funny, of course, but the Pink Professor smiles nonetheless, a wistful, forlorn smile that remarkably combines a strange look of deep concern and bemused blitheness. And you really have to have an understanding face to do that. One of the first mates of the Roadhog sees this strange look, that usually accompanies a bout of diarrhea, and asks if anything's wrong. "No, Tony," he says as he tries to shake the poetry out of his system, "I'm fine. Thank you for asking." Kind to the end!

It's an old old story, very old yet new as tomorrow's clipped up newspaper, the things we do for love and the drives that make it happen.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Last Time I Checked

The phrase "The Last Time I Checked" is one I don't like. It's like George W. Bush, completely disgusting to me. Or dog waste or freezer burnt meat or outdated milk. All four of which, the last time I checked, were things I didn't like. And should I check again, as I've had to recently in the case of Bush, I'm sure my opinion wouldn't have changed since the last time I checked.

I just checked my archives and it looks like I've never used the phrase before today. The last time I checked was just a few minutes ago. I may have used it in conversation -- like in some moment of contention and tiredness, but I don't remember it. Actually, the last time I checked, I'm usually wide awake if any contention happens, out of an instinctual desire for survival.

We all want to keep tabs on things. And with all the "last time I checked" talk I hear on the internet, we're keeping things checked out pretty well. To be constantly checking things means constant vigilance. It's probably Wikipedia's fault. I know every time someone dies, I immediately go to Wiki to see if someone's put in their death date yet, and someone always has. We can't wait 10 years for the encyclopedia to get updated, like we used to. You can go to Goodwill and get one of our old encyclopedias where JFK is still president. And the last time I checked Wiki, he's been dead for a number of years. So maybe that's why everyone's so mean today, too much checking; no one has time for anything else.

You have to be really vigilant to maintain such vigilance. We're checking once, then twice, then again. Like Santa Claus: "He's checking it once, checking it twice, going to find out who's naught and nice." And the last time he checked, I was nice.

I checked with a Google search on this phrase last night. It had 11,000,000 hits. I checked again this morning. It had 11,300,000 hits! So roughly another 300,000 people since last night did more checking and wrote about it on the internet. Imagine all the millions who checked things and didn't make it public. But 300,000? The last time I checked, 300,000 was a bunch! In one night!

Where did this phrase come from? I didn't hear it in the '50s, the '60s, the '70s, the '80s ... although, who knows, the last time I checked, I don't have a photographic memory. Plus, in the '50s I was a baby and a toddler and a bigger kid. I had other people doing my checking for me. In fact, they were checking me. "The last time I checked, he was dry."

A few weeks ago we had the "The Rent Is Too Damned High" party candidate for New York governor. And he kept saying that in the debate. Maybe next time I'll start the "The Last Time I Checked" party. That'd be a great catchphrase. I'm in the debate, and finally it comes around to me, and whatever the issue, I'm saying, "The last time I checked, taxes were too damned high" or too damned low, whichever they happen to be at the time.

Then if I get into a fight with one of the other candidates, of course I'll have a killer line. "The last time I checked, you were a bastard, and I see you haven't changed!"

And of course, if there's some issue about me getting equal time, I'll say, "The last time I checked, my opponent's time expired five minutes before he quit talking, which the last time I checked was a violation of the rules that we agreed on." Then I'll go on to make several points on other things I'd recently checked on.

Enough of this. The day's getting on. And the last time I checked, I've got a busy day today. Need to go.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Small Us, Big Everything Else

My old friend Michio Kaku was on TV again last night, his usual place, the Science Channel. He and I were in school together. He was the dumbest kid in class. I don't know how he got so smart since then, unless he just decided to apply himself. So it might be true, what they say about applying yourself. I wonder if it'd work for me after all these years.

I'm just kidding, of course, since I am a giant brain. That's what they used to call me, anyway. Whether I actually know anything -- heart knowledge -- or whether it's all just head knowledge, that's another question. I think I know quite a bit. I watch Jeopardy almost everyday, and usually can get 10-12 of the answers right. Double Jeopardy's always my downfall.

Michio was talking about the universe -- what else? In this case he was talking about black holes, which I'm coming to appreciate more and more all the time. I never really knew what a black hole was -- still don't, but I'm learning more about them all the time. For one, they say there's a black hole at the center of every galaxy. I hear something like that and I start thinking of something mind-blowing. All this time I thought they were just random, maybe theoretical things out there somewhere, not at the center of everything.

So, to review, I don't know that much, because I never applied myself. That, and possibly that in combination with the fact that my potential is not all it might've been. But I'm brainy enough to know that my perspective on the universe depends on me being here -- so that's something. Take me out of the equation and everything would keep going as it always has -- or maybe it'd collapse.

Another science show was also on galaxies and communicating with advanced civilizations possibly out there. The stuff of SETI and armchair scientists using their own PCs to scan for radio signals from distant sources. The host, a scientist, was more than a little skeptical that any of this can do any good. The biggest problem, the vastness of the distances. He said we keep hearing that our radio/TV signals have been beamed into space for close to 100 years, like that's anything. But the galaxies he's talking about out there won't be able to receive our signals for another 900 years! Meaning it's a little early to be expecting a reply when they've still got nine centuries to make sure their sets are adjusted!

So are we small? He held up a piece of dust and that was the Earth. Then the vastness all around him was everything else. It gave me a humbling perspective on some of the tasks that I need to do around here, including raking the leaves. As though, perhaps, maybe, it doesn't make that much difference. Except in the sense that it makes a difference to me, and the neighbors also appreciate it.

We're left with the distances being vast. But they've always been so. And we haven't felt insignificant all this time. So it's our decision to keep on like we've been keeping on. The fact that I'm about to have 1,000 blog posts on this blog is still a major event in world and galactic history. I will blow a party horn when the magical day arrives.

None of us needs to feel so small that we don't matter. Let's turn this thing around: The Earth may be a tiny place. There may be incredible vastness all around us. And so forth and so on. But at this point a lot of that stuff out there isn't habitable. Just look how smart we were. Look how we beat the odds and happened to be born on a planet that is habitable! I could've picked a world that wouldn't sustain life, but I didn't. And my parents didn't either. They picked Earth. I come from a really smart family!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Pink Professor Explains A Game Of Pool

Before you go to play a game of pool, it helps to know what you're doing. In fact, if you don't have any idea about what you should do, it would be unlikely you'd ever take cue in hand to break and possibly to scratch. Oops, I'm getting ahead of myself! Because of course you're not yet familiar with the specialized vocabulary necessary to the game.

To get the job done, you need a teacher. It's like so many other things in life -- raking leaves, turning on a gas grill, changing the oil in your car -- it helps to have someone who's done it, who can then show you how to do it too. As for me myself, I both grew up playing pool, getting it somewhat by osmosis and somewhat by instruction, and I took a class, receiving the expert instruction of a stubby guy who picked it up in tough Chicago or perhaps the service.

There's a place, though, not far from where I live; you have to veer in and out of dense traffic to find it, but it's out there nonetheless; where, if you're lucky, and if you happen to go there the right night, and you chance to survive any missteps along the way, you can learn the game, meaning one of the more popular games that is played on the pool table.

But there I go again with the terminology! A pool table is a table-like thing that typically has a green felt surface, with holes in the corners and two on the side. A set of balls is placed on the surface, and with a stick called a pool cue, the balls are hit. To get the balls in the holes is usually the object of the game.

The place I'm talking about, where you can learn to play, is a local hangout that is a bikers' bar. But you need to get there on one of the nights when one of their patrons is there, a guy they call The Pink Professor. Because -- unless they've changed -- nobody else there is going to care whether you know how to play or not. The others will be too busy playing themselves, pool or some other sport that might, coincidentally, involve a hole in each corner and two on the side, to be of assistance to you. And my advice, just good advice, if you see any of this extracurricular action taking place in the corners, that you step back out of the facility, do not advance any further, and get the heck out of there!

OK, The Pink Professor. I've mentioned him before. And here.

Someone shows up wanting to play pool, but they've never done it, they have no idea how it's done. If the PP is there, he'll get you familiar with the sticks, he'll help you warm up with a few whacks. It's good to warm up, because in the heat of the game it'll be assumed you know what you're doing.

As he patiently explains, the balls are set in place with a triangular form called a rack. Then they're placed in a particular place and the rack is removed. You put your cue ball, the white one, in a region called "the kitchen." Now you have your pool cue, and you're going to hit the cue ball toward the other balls, that it will hit them. That is called "the break." And the lessons go on like that!

A chair comes flying across the room. There seems to be some mix-up in one of the corners, as a rowdy biker's hands have accidentally found their way to the topmost part, below the neck, of some other guy's woman. A broken bottle suddenly comes into view, being freshly broken at that moment by a sudden downward parry against the edge of the bar. You duck for cover just as you also take a stroke at the balls, scratching, which means the cue ball goes into one of the holes.

The Pink Professor goes over and quells the struggle, explaining that in the darkness and with the over-drinking, that mix-ups with women and the men they love are bound to happen. "No harm, no foul," he explains to the principles, getting them to put down their shivs long enough to shake hands and make up.

Then he's back to teach you the essential rules of what you're doing. That in this particular game you have to hit the balls in consecutive order, calling each shot, etc. And that if you're successful -- and sometimes success takes a little practice -- you will be the winner when you finally hit the 15 ball in ... last of all.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sex And The Single Hidden Book

Well, there it is, Grandma's illicit book, "Sex and the Single Girl," shown out in the open (left) and hidden amongst some other junk (right). I pulled it out to get a full shot of it, more or less to prove that I still have possession of the nasty little thing. Then it went right back into hiding, where it will stay.

I first found this book a couple years ago while poking around in the basement. I quickly eliminated other suspects for who might've possessed it, which basically would've been my mom and my aunt. They were married and out of the house by 1963, which it was published. The book next came to my attention during the whole 'Peruvian Grange Queen' fiasco of last year. Since that episode had a terrible sexual center to it, and since my grandparents were both involved in the grange movement, I put two and two together, determining that Grandma was a lech.

Well, guess what, probably despite her wishes, I've still got it! I've been cleaning out the basement and I came across my hiding place, trying to keep it out of her sight. It still galls me that it's been down there all these years. One thing I hate is to know that people are hiding sex books around the house, especially an aged grandmother.

The picture I have above makes it look like it's hidden in plain sight, but it's not really. I pulled down some other junk from off the shelf. You can see it's pushed all the way to the back of the shelf, with other stuff covering it up. Still, you start uncovering stuff, which she would probably be able to do, if she were looking for it, and it's fairly easy to find.

I don't know for sure she wants to find it. It's a hard subject to bring up, for both of us. On the one hand, I don't want to let on that I know about it, because then she'd be looking for it for sure. If I keep my mouth shut, maybe it's a matter of 'out of sight, out of mind' on her part. But then she might not be saying anything about it, because she doesn't want me to know about it. In that case, it's making her very nervous, because she has to know the book is like a ticking time bomb, something I'm bound to come across sooner or later, whether before her death or after. So she doesn't dare ask about it, because then I'd know her dirty little secret.

So, I guess, from here on out it's going to be our own little personal game of cat and mouse we'll be playing. Which proves that holding out on me carries absolutely no reward whatsoever.

You may wonder why I don't simply destroy it. Because I'm keeping it for evidence against her if she ever tries something. A little leverage like that could really come in handy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Swami Masturbananda's Family Jewels

Swami Sri Masturbananda, yogi guru of India, is a very wealthy man, especially in the ways that really count. He has the bliss of life, of divine awareness, and he treasures every opportunity to lead his chelas (students) in the same. His whole life is a treasure.

A big source of the master's wealth is found in his family jewels, because therein is the path to divinity, part of it, I should say, the glimpses of glory every man seeks. When it comes to the master's jewels, he always makes sure they're comfortable in their vault. But not so comfortable they can't be pressed into service on a moment's notice.

Jewels are precious things for many reasons. They make great decorations, like on an old lady's dress, a big jeweled broach. But perhaps more precious than that, nothing so directly illustrates the chakras that all of us have, particularly the power centers on the path up the spine to the crown of the head. They're always in motion. Jewels with their sparkles also show certain aspects of energy, that it's always in flux.

The family jewels, we know, are a center of energy. We think of the energy of life, and that's exactly what they have. They're like lotus flowers. They're like baby birds in the nest with their mouths straining open. The whole thing speaks of shifting, of motion, of vibration. The energy "speaks" to us; we hear and heed them particularly in our experiences when the libido is aroused. Like when a girl walks by with cut off jeans, cut so high you can see the pockets hanging down. Whether you're seeing it or remembering it later, nothing gets the vibrations going quite like it.

We can get a stoved up feeling if it's been a couple days, and we make a quick determination that our family jewels are getting restless. Of course, I'm speaking of the experience of men. Women also reportedly get some of these feelings, like, I guess, if they're craving the attentions of a man, a Cary Grant or Burt Reynolds, someone like that. You give them a good chick flick and they're usually happy. Or a vibrator.

Swami Masturbananda pays great attention to his family jewels, receiving for his efforts a rich payoff, those great glimpses of the highest consciousness. Only he knows exactly what it takes for him, but I have the feeling that one who so intimately knows the very center of life has no difficulty finding something lascivious to think about. He's eternal, so it might be a fantasy he's had stewing of some girl from the 1700s. She's a dried up skeleton in a forgotten grave to the rest of us, but to him in his mind she's still laughing in a pub and showing a bit too much cleavage.

The same things happen for him as happen for us. But the big difference for him is that he actually knows that state all the time. But he has put aside some of his prerogatives for the benefit of us, his followers, helping to lead us through incarnations and the glimpses of deity that we can get here and now, five to 10 seconds at a time. Perhaps you know the cycle: personal stimulation, build-up, glimpses of deity, denouement, afterglow, cleanup, video games, and finally to bed.

The master is the wealthiest man I know, with his wonderful family jewels and all they're capable of. There must be a turbine in there. But each one of us can share in this blessing of life, just as we are, as we also keep our own family jewels in motion, ever churning out the glory.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Masturbananda In The Morning

Swami Sri Masturbananda has a very wonderful teaching, that also guides his thinking, that we're all starstuff and we ought not forget it.

I like that word, starstuff. I know it goes back to the old days, like the '70s, I think. But in fact it goes back to the very first orgasm, the Big Bang, just prior to which everything was very stoved up. Then there was some manipulation with a black hole or something, and next thing you knew everything blew into being and happiness.

I also like -- I love -- hearing the scientists talk about this stuff on TV, especially the Science Channel. If they could just get rid of some of their hideous commercials -- Mantracker promos, Pumpkin Chunkin', Progressive, Geiko, etc. -- it would be a TV paradise. Especially when they're showing close-ups of planets, stars, galaxies, moons, comets, and big phallic things hanging from the sun and swaying hypnotically back and forth. It does something for your mental well-being to realize you're part of all that, not as a kind of foreign appendage, but as an intricate part, not exactly derivative but essential in its being.

Of course we wouldn't be "at home" on a planet that's 5000 degrees. We're "at home" on this planet, with everything else being out there at an appropriate distance. We can look but not necessarily touch. It's like a cosmic go-go club. The stuff out there has its place, we have ours. It's all energy and magnificent.

The upshot of all this is that in spirituality we're also right at home, spirituality being really only a focused awareness on what is and our part in it. That's where our guru, Swami Sri Masturbananda, comes in. Because, as in everything else, he leads the way in understanding and practice, being an avatar from the star stuff, sent (in the sense that he's here and it's nice to think he might've been sent).

What a master! To lead us into the glimpses of the higher consciousness, which really aren't so far from any one of us! With just a few well-ordered thoughts, we glimpse great things for five to 10 seconds at a time. We're thinking mostly of our experiences as men, although for women there is a corollary to what we're talking about, involving vibrators and probably some kind of lubricant and a naked picture of Burt Reynolds. Sri Masturbanda can be their avatar too. They just need to realize, as I'm sure they do, that he has a man's equipment, and they'll need to adjust the teachings to their circumstances as appropriate.

Sitting far away from Mother India as I am, I can only remember the master, and picture him in my mind as he would sometimes appear in the morning. I'm thinking of morning because really that's when the day really gets going. And that's what I like about it, that the day is officially underway when morning happens. I for one am up and at 'em, ready to go, ready to make the most of everyday. We look up at the sun -- star stuff, too -- and we love it!

Sri Masturbananda, as I so easily can recall, would be out in the morning. He would go for a walk by the Ganges. His chelas (students), at his direction, had put an outhouse for him in a vacant lot. The door was faced to the east, so the streaming sunlight could come through the little half moon window. It's hard to say precisely what he was doing in there, except I know as the sun became full, it was right at that moment when we would hear a shriek from within, and occasionally the roof would blow off and land fairly far afield, and after a few minutes a very content and apparently weakened Masturbananda would emerge, and the day was started in earnest. He'd leave, they'd hose it out and reattach the roof for the next day...

Like I said, I watch the Science Channel quite a bit. And you know, I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't doubt it if the master's the one keeping the sun going! Because who knows, maybe if the sun didn't see this happen, his outhouse exploding and all the rest, it'd just go back down and we'd be left in darkness. It's worth wondering about. But be that as it may, the sun does come up and it pleases the master immensely. And you know what? It's good for me too ... how about you?

Sri Masturbananda may be far away in Mother India. And we're here. But that doesn't mean we can't join him in this wonderful work. Whether it's an outhouse, or your own bed, or your bathroom, you too can greet the sun -- and maybe keep it up -- with your own personal morning celebration!

To conclude, I quote from the great Alice Cooper song, "Sun Arise":

Sun arise come every mornin'
Bringin' back the warmth to the ground.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Flying Masturbananda

It may sound unusual for an Indian guru also to be a human cannonball, but, hey, there's no telling what these guys will do. They're totally free, and like anyone else they have other interests besides holiness. Especially, as in this case, when there's lessons for his chelas (students) to learn.

Of course in the case of Swami Sri Masturbananda, he is full of grace for his followers, leading them in ecstasy, and doing for them whatever he can to lead them in the higher experiences of divine consciousness. The consciousness comes in precious glimpses, five to 10 seconds at a time, then you're left waiting till next time, so he wants to do everything he can.

Plus, being a human cannonball matches up with his teachings in interesting ways. It's kind of ironic, really; you've got a guy shot from a long protuberance, his flight the high point, what the audience came to see, and when it's over, it's over. There's certain parallels there. The fire is heating up the works, the cannon swells to twice its normal size, finally the metal throbs in rhythm to the heat pulsations, then in a very wet and wild finish out spews the ... performer.

What the audience sees, though, isn't all there is. I've witnessed Swami Masturbananda's performances many times. It looks like exactly what you'd expect. He's in the cannon. He's shot. He flies through the air in a predictable arc. He lands in a net, then stands up to receive the applause of the crowd. But there's more, at least according to his testimony.

With such an advanced being, an avatar sent from on high, of course he's going to see things from more of a heavenly perspective. He says his experience has a lot more to it, including the feeling of ascension and a sense of mental/spiritual dispersion. Going from the cannon to the net, to him seems like it takes forever, because his mind and spirit are soaring into those more subtle regions.

And so the teacher teaches certain things for all of us, which is precious, the deepening of our daily experiences, especially in the activities the swami is noted for. In our activities, we also can look for a deeper experience. We're not just being slaphappy, but every second can be joined to eternity. We might see the end from the beginning, meaning it's an experience that carries with it a spirit of mourning. But he leads us by his example to savor our higher consciousness.

To see the master soaring through the air, and also to know how he is joined to eternity even in those three seconds, is to know there is so much more for us as well. What a blessed master, who will go to any length for his beloved ones!

So try to remember these lessons, as you face the constant issues of tumescence and detumescence. Don't simply rush to the net! Savor the journey from here to there.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Swami Masturbananda -- Never Stoved Up

Of course it's a terrible feeling to be stoved up. Whether it's, say, something to do with going to the bathroom and you're taking laxatives, or anything else. What else it might be, that's a good question. I'm sure if I turned my mind to such a task, I eventually would think of some other way a person might occasionally be stoved up, especially if he's a guy.

As to women, whether they ever get stoved up, frankly I don't know. If any of them do, you'd have to assume they'd have to be ... what my cousin used to call ... nymphomaniacs. I've honestly never met a nymphomaniac who's ever made her condition known to me, and the way I heard it told, if you ever meet one you'll know it! There's something obviously wrong with them -- they've got some kind of issue, if they can't restrain themselves and hang out with the other women who can. I never met any women who were much of a go-er, if you know what I mean, although, of course, my own grandmother owned the book "Sex and the Single Girl."

So where are we, precisely? Women who can't restrain themselves are abnormal. But men are normal. I don't mean they can't restrain themselves as to "going for it," because clearly we can. Maybe guys who collect syrup from trees can't restrain themselves, but I'll leave that for a future topic. Clearly, we can restrain ourselves, since that's one of the ways you get stoved up. You might be anal, literally anal retentive, and not want to go. On the half acre where I live that used to be a common condition, since we had to go to the outhouse. Then it could carry over as a condition into this other area.

Men restrain themselves all the time, without trying to be too graphic about it. Asceticism, trying to please the Lord. Or because they've got a big date on Saturday and don't want to take chances. Trying to please the Lord is probably one of the biggest reasons men get stoved up. Because we instinctively know, through years of conditioning and acculturation in church, that it's a no-no. Although, suspiciously, it's one of the things they keep fairly hush hush. I don't hear too much criticism of it, for whatever reason. About the only time it comes up, now that I think of it, is if some naive 12 year old boy asks about it at the Youth Rap. The leader doesn't chuckle or anything, but you can tell he's uncomfortable with it. He's got that verse about looking on a woman with lust in your heart.

There is a guy at one of the churches I know, Pastor Wadd, who is quite vocal about anything having to do with sex. His big specialty is counseling men (and women, if he ever finds any) about sexual addictions. You know you're addicted if things get out of hand, or perhaps I should say, if they don't get out of hand. And if you're living hand to mouth, of course that's worse, because either there's two involved or you're a very agile contortionist. Anyway, Pastor Wadd is so strict about sex, you'd just love to ask him what his own experiences are. But it'd probably turn out that he's clean, like most of the pastors I've heard of who are concerned with what goes on in other people's bedrooms. I heard him say one time, "I'm happy to address such a large group of horny sinners." It's a great icebreaker.

I was at that meeting. And some guy, who should've known he wasn't going to get anywhere with Pastor Wadd, boldly stated that he'd heard that regular male sexual activity, they say, helps prevent prostate cancer. Of course he thought he had the old boy right where he wanted him, but the pastor deflected him in a great way. He said, "I believe most of us would rather take a chance on cancer to avoid certain shame." And that's not a bad argument. That's also why he doesn't think we should drink wine; there may be a chance we'll avoid heart troubles, but the shame we'll get is certain.

Well, I'm torn on some of this. Because Pastor Wadd is an influence, being a local holy man. But my guru, Swami Sri Masturbananda, over in India, has a whole different take. As you'd probably guess, he's never stoved up. I'd bet there's not a newborn baby with cleaner pipes than this old guy. If there's a flake of plaque buildup in his proximal vas, I'd like to see it. Especially with his well-known fervor and vigor. This is the guy who blew the bathroom vent fan off the top of his house! No one can look on him in his heat and live!

Sri Masturbananda and Pastor Wadd, remarkably, have the same goal, the experience of union with God. But if I had to choose which is the more conventional of the two, it'd have to be Pastor Wadd. Because Masturbananda is unusual even among other gurus. They're noted for teaching asceticism, or if that's not entirely accurate, saying we should "transmute" the inner energy of the vital essence, etc., which just sounds like a fancy way of saying it's a no-no. They believe stifling nature leads to the super-nature, debatable.

The swami doesn't believe that for a second. Because, just to recap, he knows most of us aren't going to get to the fullness of divinity for at least a million incarnations. Giving us plenty of time to suffer. And so, to relieve suffering, and, amazingly, to show us glimpses of the highest consciousness here and now, he encourages us to follow him in these blessed acts.

It must work. I don't really know if Pastor Wadd is ever stoved up. I would guess his wife helps out around the house. But one person I know isn't stoved up, and that's the blessed master.