Thursday, January 30, 2014
When I write, I like to send a message. I want people to hear me -- loud and proud. I guess I'm like all great writers in that respect. Being ignored isn't my thing. As for regular everyday readers, maybe I don't have as many as I'd like, but it's like I always say, I prefer quality to quantity. If I wanted nothing but quantity I could do like they do on Facebook, cutesy crap on cats and solemnities on veterans everyday of the week! I know one guy who posts every picture he takes of food on the BBQ, and he has readers up the butt. The pork butt.
But I have one regular reader -- I should say a host of readers, no doubt -- at NSA headquarters. Which I just looked up. It stands for National Security Agency. Who like to think they're the biggest baddest playahs on the block. When you see them comin' you better run! They're gonna getcha! You don't want to meet them in a dark alley! They'll scan the contents of your wallet, give you a full rectal exam looking for the missing documents, and send you to Gitmo!
That's what they want you to think. Heh heh, but I'm too smart to fall for that. I've always been able to see through propaganda. They can't be everywhere at once. And even if they are, they can't pin anything on me. All I have to do is say I was "just kidding" when I wrote this stuff belittling them. Sure, I believe they have some power. But this is America, right? We the People are the boss and we can't be pushed around by government flunkies and nitwits. I hope you agree, and of course I hope you've got my back.
Apparently they're able to some amazing things. Like read every blog, every website, watch every YouTube video, all trying to pin something on someone. They're able to download a record of every phone call, every piece of mail, track you with your smart phone, and know what you're thinking even if you're in bed asleep in the dead of night.
OK, let's test it out: I heard of a guy who was possibly killed by some mean hombres and fed to the hogs. Just kidding or am I? OK, I don't remember his name, exactly where he lived, exactly what year it was, and I don't have one single clue about the people who allegedly did it, or any way of communicating with the hogs who ate him. It's a total cold case, probably all of the principles being dead. Now, if the NSA is as bad as they think they are, they'll either be here in 20 minutes to question me or they'll have to settle for just kidding. Anyway, even if the hogs were still alive, they'd have a good defense: People have been eating them for years...
My sense of how it really is with the NSA is, yes, they're able to download a bunch of stuff. But actually getting to you and doing anything about it, I don't think they can. Safety in numbers. They're surely overwhelmed. So it's all completely worthless. You heard me, completely worthless!
UPDATE: Obviously I said too much. As it turned out, they were at my front door within 10 minutes of posting the above tirade. There were four of them. Three took turns tying me in a chair and slapping the snot out of me. The other one was outside shooting flaming arrows over my house, which is very dangerous with the tufts of dry hay that Grandpa used for roofing the house in the mid '70s. It turned out they were interested in the hogs eating the dead man. They said I gave too many details for it to be just kidding. Which I admitted, yes, you're right. Then I quickly backtracked and said I wanted a lawyer, which they denied me, knowing I wouldn't be able to afford one. I raised my right hand and said I was just kidding.
Now they're gone, and I'm still tied to the chair, unable to move even a muscle. The NSA did this to me. Send help! I'm typing this at 6 words a minute with my nose. On an iPhone keyboard, no less. NSA, I hate you! But I understand you're just trying to protect my freedoms, so, OK, you can't be all bad.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Famous people with their huge problems have always been off limits to us common folks. So it seems that they develop huge problems and die, whether by their own hand or another. I always think the same thing: "If only I'd been there!"
Because my philosophy has always been, People are people. What's good for one's good for another. One size fits all. And I've always been good at this sort of thing -- not to toot my own horn but just to state the facts. If only I'd been there, frankly, it's bloody hell likely they would've made it through. Not to put too fine a point on it.
I remember thinking this when Elvis was in his downward spiral, expressed in one of his last songs, "Way Down," his last single before his death. My thought went something like this, "The guy's in the grips of Death ... sure wish I could be there!" But of course, you know how it goes, he had lots of hangers-on and it would've taken some doing for me to get in.
Too bad. Because with my natural talents of talking anyone down, if they're able to think at all -- I'm no good with human vegetables -- I'm sure he'd still be recording today. I'm able to do this because I'm super friendly, very competent and empathetic, and able to contextualize the truths of life for the individual. Pretty good, huh? In a way -- and this is my biggest secret -- I'm really only channeling the female forebears of my family, Mom and Grandma, who had social skills that didn't quit.
Going way back, back before I had any idea about any of this, I probably could've helped Judy Garland. She was still alive when I was a budding kid, but I didn't know much about my abilities. I was a little too young and stupid. But let's say they had explained the issue to me, and opened the door, and explained to me who she was, the kid from the Wizard of Oz, I probably could've helped.
Since then, many crises have come and gone, demanding but not receiving my counsel. I won't mention the lesser lights because of their families' continued grief. But I can think of writers, politicians, and movie stars that I could've helped. Of course there's a huge name, Michael Jackson, not a lesser light. He needed a lot of help, all along the way, which I would've been happy to provide. But in his case, it being a matter of years, I might've needed a job in the same town. Or, who knows, I might've cleared him up right away and gotten back home right away.
OK, I can't help Michael now, or Elvis, or Judy, but there's plenty of celebrities in trouble today. I read the Huffington Post, so I know. Whether they'll contact me or not, that I don't know. I only know that if they did, it would only benefit them.
It'd be nice to be known, not for my own benefit or ego, of course, but for of the positive good I could be doing. Some famous person – maybe an actor, singer, a writer, someone in despair – wouldn't have to linger but could simply say, "What about that guy with the blog? Get him!" Then I would take a few days off, go there and get everything worked out. Everyone would be happy. Everyone would win.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an imaginary post, located in a more perfect world, where we are free to feast on eagles. In our current non-imaginary world, of course, at least in countries where the eagle is the national bird, such freedom does not exist, although it should. It stands to reason. I've heard it said, "The freedom of your fist ends where my face begins." Meaning, if an eagle is clenched by the neck in my fist, I'm free to do what I will as long as neither my fingernails or its talons scratch your face.
I love eagle jerky. I just love it! Most people do, even if they're not good at making it. In fact, most of the eagle, like the hog, is good for something. Like with hogs, you use everything but the squeal, so with the eagle, you use everything but the squawk.
I watched my dear old Dad make eagle jerky many times. The whole process has a delicious fragrance, from the first gutting of the bird, to the delight of dogs eating the innards, right up to the cooking. I remember Dad carefully separating out the talons, the skin, the meat, the feathers, and even the beak. Then he went through all the steps and made the world's best jerky. Or, depending on how close it was to Thanksgiving, we'd roast a few birds for the meal.
Now Dad's gone ... and Mom ... both to the scourge of cancer, giving me something to think about as to my own physical disposition ... which is neither here nor there ... although I had the opportunity to buy cancer insurance when I was 30 and didn't. I could probably be cashing in in a few years.
Now Dad's gone ... and when I want an eagle I have to go over to the lake and get one myself. Sometimes with other guys, hunting by the old "storming the tree" method and filling them full of buckshot. We split up the haul and discard any eaglets that may have been hit. Even the dogs are repulsed at eating an eaglet.
Is it sad to kill an eaglet? Yeah, sure, a little, because that's one that won't grow up to be harvested later. Still, we rationalize it away like this, that the eagle is a big bird, a bully in the wild, so if we kill a few young it helps the other species. It's the same rationale for not allowing too many big people to live, giving the rest of us more wiggle room.
As for me, when I get my fill of eagle meat -- and mostly I dream about the jerky around a roaring fireplace in the winter, a big blanket on my legs -- I like to fool around with the rest of the bird. Especially the feathers. I arrange them in my own religious ceremonies and pray. I also make hand fans and dreamcatchers for craft sales. There's a lot of little old ladies who are unable to hunt eagles, but that doesn't mean they don't crave them as much as anyone.
I'd love to raise the little boogers, for fun and profit. I still have Grandpa's old chinchilla cages from the '60s. How hard could it be?
Sunday, January 19, 2014
I had a date today after church -- yes, a woman this time; I met her in church, so she's not your average pervert -- and we shared a special moment.
I asked her out, and we made our way in my car to a hamburger restaurant where they also give away free peanuts. I always like that. The burgers may be average to a little better, but the peanuts are always to die for. And free to boot.
We sat somewhere near the door, seemingly a meaningless detail, but it's not in this sense: That's right where purse snatchers like to see people, so they can grab your purse and have an unimpeded path to the door and beyond. I asked her if it'd be OK for me to watch her purse, since she seemed to be a little careless about it. She looked at me, I believe admiringly, as someone who only sought her well-being. She passed me the purse and we both felt better.
Then it was time to get down to some serious eating. She had the regular cheeseburger and me the hamburger, both pretty large, plus fries. She was drinking pink lemonade and I ginger ale. And of course I was eating the free peanuts. I had one container of peanuts and one for the shells, something new for me, since before I've always made do with the same container.
At some point, then, I came across what looked to me to be the perfect peanut shell, pictured above. It was broken perfectly, was incredibly flat, and seemed to have some use beyond its life as the shell of a peanut now eaten. I suggested to her that she could use it for a little cup, good for just a sip of water, were she to keep it. Frankly, it looked like a small trough, so if you had a small animal, a gerbil or even a bird, you could use it for water or grain. Or just enjoy it yourself, maybe as a nicknack for the mantle.
She was absolutely adorable in picking it up and putting it to her lips as a demonstration of how useful it might be. I looked at her and she looked at me. Our eyes met and it was tender. Then, as if having some slight embarrassment for revealing too much of her core being -- and I being intuitive enough to see it displayed in such a raw way -- she pulled it down and put it among the other shells. She was a little flushed. I did my best to dispel it by patting her hand and smiling, while reaching with the other hand, on the sly, to retrieve the shell and spirit it into my jacket pocket.
All the way home I did what anyone would do, prayed that nothing would crush the shell whose moment we had shared. And sure enough, it was fine, arriving with me moments ago here at home, for a quick photo shoot and this blog. Wish us well. We shared that beautiful time. There's so much more to come! I hope.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Obviously I prefer the classic bulb, that's ready when you are. You click it on and it beats you to the toilet. There's never any doubt where everything's going, since the vagaries of things pressed against underpants for eight hours never guarantees a straight stream.You have to eyeball the eye.
I wish I would've started hoarding bulbs a year ago, when they were still manufacturing them. Now, with 2014, everyone's snapping them up and it's illegal, I guess, to make more. But still, I suppose since drugs have been illegal forever and dopeheads still get them, it's not beyond all hope that classic bulbs will pop up somewhere.
I'm thinking -- unless I do have a shady rendezvous with some shady supplier under a dim streetlight -- I might really have to get on the stick and find some. I have a few bad sockets in which the bulbs don't last that long. The last thing I want is to buy $9.99 bulbs for a month and a half worth of good. I need a steady supply of the cheaper stuff.
But where to go? Walmart might be out. Everyone's going to think of going there. Instead, what I'm thinking, there's all those cheapo closeout places, where they get unsold freight from who-knows-where. I know a place. It's junky as hell, but if you dig you can find some unusual things. Christmas trees all year long. Candy 10 years old, the kind where the ingredients are so mottled you have hallucinations, the good stuff. I used to know a guy who knew a guy who found things you can't find, like Walkman cassette players. Which I also should've hoarded.
Next, how many will I need? I probably go through 20 bulbs in a year, mostly 60s but a few 40s. I'd seriously love to have some 75s for my garage, since it's hard to find anything in there with a 60. But I could use a 60 if I had to, then I'd want to accentuate it with a flashlight, or two 60s in side-by-side lamps. Now, if I need 20 bulbs a year, and I'm virtually 61, if I live till 80, that's 19 years, 19 x 20 = quite a few ... I might need to space them out. Use a few, then not replace them for a year. That'd cut back on, let's say, 10 a year. Tough but doable!
The good news is I might not even live till 80. My dad didn't make 70. I mom just barely missed 80. That would be 12 years between the two. Split the difference. I could easily die anywhere between 73 and 76, meaning I've just saved four years worth of bulbs at the least, which is a savings of 80. Getting easier all the time! If I could just die at 73, or maybe 72 with a little willpower, that'd be 160 bulbs. So it's suddenly very manageable. And, if I stepped it up and quit exercising all together, and ate a few more full slabs of fatty ribs, breakfast, lunch, dinner, I might not even have to worry about it.
This is serious business. I can't believe the government screwed us over on this deal. And gave Thomas Alva Edison the finger. Who was considered the smartest guy who ever lived when I was a kid. With Einstein coming in a close second. After them, no one else even came close. Not a living soul came in third.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
The older you get, the more you reflect on your life. What has it all been worth? What have I really accomplished? Is there anything left to be done? Or, like the wise men of old, like Socrates, should I simply be content to live out my years with whatever happiness life affords?
I can certainly tell you -- after bitter years of endless striving, most of it apparently pointless -- that the world as a whole doesn't think much of me. Just the other day there was an article in the paper, full page, about all the impotent men of history who've visited or lived in our town. The only ones I can remember now were Jesse James and Jack Benny. But they're great examples. Jack Benny was a funny guy back in his day. And Jesse James was one hell of a criminal. Of the two, obviously both were impotent, but I think it's a shame that we pay homage to a skunk like Jesse James. While I'm sitting here ... overlooked.
I don't mean I'm angry about being overlooked. Really, who cares? The glory of the world is so fleeting that it's meaningless. "What have you done for me lately? More, more, more! You must be this high to be ride the roller coaster, with all its ups and downs!" The world's glory is not worth having. And that gives me a great deal of peace of mind. Because I can do exactly what I want without striving. Like everyone else -- everyone with wisdom -- I can hide in my home, hoping that modern day skunks of the Jesse James stripe don't get me. Or identity thieves at Target.
Don't get me wrong. There's plenty of good impotent people out there still. Forgive me if I don't give examples. Our society is so polarized that no one can agree on anything. Like global warming. Yes, it might kill us but we're going to be obstinate. We can only be thankful that hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, and house fires have a long established legacy, lest our stupider fellow citizens deny their existence and we all die tomorrow.
I spoke of my age. I have a birthday coming up in the next few months, at which point I'll be over 60. Pretty old, huh? It is, but with years comes wisdom. Especially with someone of my intelligence (I have called myself "The Brain" on more than one occasion). A big part of that wisdom is simply the intelligence to be content with myself. To tune out the rest of the world, as much as possible. And accept it -- even insist on it -- that to me I am the most impotent man in the world! There, I've said it.
I don't read celebrity news, gossip columns, or watch red carpet bullshit like Joan Rivers and her daughter, Dick Clark (RIP), or Ryan Seacrest. To me, Rona Barrett and Kitty Carlisle are just has-been, dried up prunes and I don't care what they say. The world's A-list of VIPs, to me, are just a bunch of nothing. And the only autographs I want are on the signature line of a check. To me, none of them has any impotence beyond simply their impotence as a human being in their own right.
This mindset is of great help to me. I recommend it. The Very Impotent Person of the absolute greatest impotence is me -- me, myself, I. I will go where I want, I will do what I want, I will drink what I want, I will hoard incandescent light bulbs if I want, and I will take in stray animals and eat as I choose. In short, when I look for "What's impotent?" and "Who's impotent?" I will never look anywhere beyond myself.
Plus, now I can look back and declare, I've always been impotent ... I just never knew it!
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Everyone who disagrees with me dies, eventually.
You might not be able to tell it from my blog day to day, but I'm a very opinionated person. Another way to say it, I'm a factually-oriented person, since my opinions demonstrate no variance from fact, at least none I can discern.
In addition to being opinionated, my other super power is rage. Manifest most often when anything -- animate or inanimate -- goes against me or disappoints me in any way. You will find me in those moments spinning powerfully in the center of existence, wreaking havoc on everyone, from out and out enemies to good friends who simply misunderstood the question.
I remember one debate, a terrible one, several years ago. I remember it clearly, the issue being on the nature of the Sabbath, whether we should keep it, and, if so, what the nature of keeping it should be. Important stuff. Looking back on it now, having mostly put it out of my mind and being calmed down, I probably could've been calmer at the time. But those were the days before all the "Be Calm" signs, when we had to do tough mental tricks to remember.
It was me and some other guy -- named Burns -- whom, in the muddled consciousness I have when rage hits, I cursed and he dropped dead. His funeral was a few days later and every eye was on me as I entered the church. No one wanted anything to do with me, until one kindly woman in the front row defied the whole lot of them by getting up and walking slowly toward me at the back. She welcomed me. Her example won no converts, but at least I had someone to talk to at the luncheon.
It was that incident that clarified for me the penalty to be exacted when anyone disagrees with me. And I've never forgotten it. It's the basis of my absolute certainty to this day that death is the consequence, and if anyone has a different opinion on it ... make sure your life insurance is paid up.
To a certain extent, though, this has posed a problem for me personally.
Bear with me. Because if I have an opinion, another word for fact, and read something in a book that contradicts it, giving better arguments than I have, does the author die? Or if somehow the new information changes my opinion, does that mean I will die? I've resolved the last question pretty well. My opinions never came to me out of whole cloth but evolved. Therefore, supplemental information only refines my thought. And in the case of it reversing my previous opinion, I look at it as two sides of the same coin.
OK, I know what your argument would be to that, if you were brave enough to argue. Why do I allow this evolution for myself with books -- even to the point of using the "two sides of the same coin" justification -- but don't allow it if living people tell me? I think it's a good question, which I can't answer fully. But naturally any answer I give, this last answer for example, has to satisfy you. Or you'd be contradicting me and would die.
In the case of the authors, there's so many of them that are already dead, I've just more or less given a pass to the others. I can't be running around Googling every author to find out which ones aren't dead. Which might be a lesson for them, that eventually they'll get theirs. It's dangerous to be an author, thinking again of all the dead ones. Who'd they mess with? An author spreads disagreement widely. It'd be best to lock himself in a room, type his opinions and throw them away. Maybe not fulfilling to the ego, but at least he could survive.
Of course I welcome comments to each of my blog posts. This one included. Please, though -- I'll repeat that, PLEASE -- be careful what you say. The slightest disagreement will be met with rage. That's one thing, and it's temporary. But death will follow, which is permanent. No, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, or next week, or even next year. You might live a good 70-80 years, I don't know. But eventually, whether a day, a week, or a century, mark my words, you'll get yours!
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Sorry I'm a day late on my New Year's greetings to you. I was making rather merry yesterday, thrilled as I always am to see the calendar flip and the end of my life inch that much closer.
But I got up today and knew I needed to get it done. By "it" I mean the graphic, which is a great one. There it is, then, your Happy New Year card from me. Assuming you're not one of the lucky readers who got a French Silk Pie from Perkins from me or a box of Omaha Steaks, I hope you'll be just as happy with this card.
I like it. This is actually a very old graphic, probably from the '20s, with the color added by me. That's pretty arch for the '20s, isn't it? With the baby kicking the old man's ass. I've never seen that before.
Speaking of the French Silk Pies, I got some really nice thank you notes on those. Really nice. One guy was especially touching, saying he was planning to end it all at Christmas. Thinking no one cared, etc. This is where it gets good: He's in another state and I had to have it shipped to him. A true friend of the blog, kind of clingy, yes. Seems that he has very few friends and so he follows me around the internet. Somehow he learned my real name, you know the story. He shows up at Facebook, Twitter, and was even going to drive to my place till I told him the roads were slick. Long story short: He was on a chair, rope around his neck, the whole thing, when UPS rang the bell. Somehow he came to his senses just enough to get off the chair and open the door. You probably guessed it, it was my French Silk Pie, and he didn't kill himself.
As for our "friendship," I know he's reading this, so I'm going to be diplomatic.
Some of the other thank you notes were from normal folks, a lot less desperate, but equally as thankful. I got a very conventional message from a guy who knows what boundaries mean and is by no means a borderline stalker or worse. He wrote: "Thank you, kind sir, for the lovely gift of the French Silk Pie. I and my family enjoyed it to a great extent during our tres jovial and conventional Christmas. We know at this time of year a great many people are suffering and in want. Fortunately, that is not our problem, being flush as we are. Your gift merely added to our wondrous bounty. C'est our sincere hope that you have all the best the season has to offer. Remembering you in our every prayer avec praise et thanksgiving. Mr. J____ DeV____, France." Isn't that fantastic? A friend in France was happy for a French Silk Pie from America! They probably grow on trees over there.
I wonder what they're all gonna do next year! Since I'm planning on giving the gallon jug of Tabasco next year! Which, you may not know, are $40 a gallon plus a fortune for shipping! Pass it 'round the table and everyone take a hit. That's how I drink mine.
Whatever happens, though, if you get gifts from me or not -- and most people don't -- it's my vow, my sincere hope, to keep coming up with things like this, the New Year's card and so forth, to brighten up your day throughout 2014.