Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Mercedes Benz - Another Dream

I had another dream last night. I wanted to remember it, so I wrote down everything I could remember. I had to do it soon after waking because as I transition between that fuzzy period of just waking and the moments when full awareness set in, well, as each minute passes, I remember less and less.

Okay. .......... so I am at my sister in-law's home at a location that is flat as far as the eye can see. Off in the distance barely discernible, are a couple of big trees and a silo cozied up next to a barn. All I can make out are their silhouettes against a blackening sky in turmoil.

Still watching the scene unfolding in the distance, I try to think of a reason why I am at Nancy and Bunk's house and why their house is now located on what looks like the plains of Kansas or eastern Colorado and not in northeast Maryland near the Susquehanna River. 

I can feel I am close to understanding when flashes of lightening refocus my concentration. Where the trees, silo and barn had been was now occupied by a huge tornado reaching from ground to sky. It was moving in my direction. 

Scene Jump

I am seated in a luxury car. Might be a Mercedes, but I am not sure. Leather seats and a polished wood dash may be why I think that. In the rear view mirror, the tornado is fading into the horizon. I once again relax and try to understand what the Hell is going on. I look around the car. On the passenger seat is a "Baltimore Gas & Electric" power bill addressed to my sister in law. 

Okay, I figure I have probably stolen their car. But where are they? Try as I might, I can't figure it out or I chose not to.

Scene Jump, again 

I get out of the stolen car and walk across a huge parking lot and enter a large box store of some kind. I must work there, as I immediately begin unboxing and assembling some sale items to be part of a huge display at the front of the store. All the while I am doing this I am still trying to understand the what's and the why's of what I have been doing.

I pause a moment to ponder the items I have just assembled. They look like 3 wheeled golf bag carts without the golf bags. That each one is noticeably different from the others imply specific duties for each one. They look really odd. Orange plastic wheels and body supported by tubular aluminum rails and handles. I have no clue what their purpose is, but I know they are not golf bag carts. 

At this point, police enter the store. They begin walking toward me. I turn and flee to the back of the store, exiting out to a loading dock area .................... That's all I can recollect now. 

I am not sure why people chasing me are a consistent part of my dreams.  The chasers are sometimes cops, but most of the time, just thugs chasing me because that is the part they play. I very rarely if ever have remembered the reasons of anything that plays out in my slumbering moments.

I long ago decided that knowing the why of a dream was not so important as enjoying the dream moment as it was happening. Remembering even a smidgen of the dream is then icing on the cake.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ....................................

______________________________ 

What bothered me the most about that dream was the presence of a Mercedes Benz. This is the second dream I have written about in the last couple of years that has included a Mercedes. ...... Hmm.

So here is Janis Joplin and her classic, "Mercedes Benz". She was a force cut down long before her time. 

RIP girl, RIP.


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Rich, White & Republican

My efforts to refrain from political comment lately have not been as successful as I had hoped.

Apparently, I cannot resist the  over abundance of ongoing acts of political stupidity unfolding in this early election cycle. Some of the targets are so ripe and irresistible, never mind shooting fish in a barrel, it would be like shooting the poor bastards in a bucket.

The White Wingin, Bible Trumpin Maga  faithful have stepped up their game with a White Supremacist out of step march in DC recently. And not so long ago, a star studded election denying hoe down in Florida re-ran a potpourri of tired and worn out Qanon  conspiracies, while also spewing stale, old hat Pizzagate, Jewish Space Laser Battalion Bullshit.

And I don't care. Giving stupidity anything more than minimal recognition is all stupid people and their bottom feeding enablers deserve. There seems to be no depths to how low the Right will sink in order to nurture their their rank and file's fear and loathing index. The "Make em afraid and Keep em afraid" strategy appears to be working. 

If we don't step up and demand more from the leaders we elect, we will and do deserve everything that is happening to us. It has gone well past the simpler issues of Left v. Right. We and our society are broken, in disrepair, have gone off the deep end. Everyone seems to be looking at everyone else as a potential enemy. The USA is in trouble. 

The benchmarks data experts use to define healthy societies seem to drop to lower and lower standards with each new year. Our nation's emotional instability means the moneyed interests and their butt kissing puppets are loving Life right now. They have us exactly where they want us; extremely paranoid and ready to strike out at the imaginary boogeymen our leaders have conjured up for us.

The problem exists on both sides of the aisle, but at the moment, it is the Right who have criminalized their tactics the most. If we can get the Right to find some rationality and show some spine in the face of their manically out of control leadership, the Left might just ease up also. 

The Republicans are the party who have lost control of themselves. They will have to do the initial heavy lifting first. If they do, the more extreme Right Wing factions might follow their lead. Appeasing any Republican demands at the moment is not the way to change.

In the meantime ...................

Do your best to Keep it 'tween the ditches .......................................

___________________________________

In my search for an appropriate tune some days ago to find a song that fit in with my "Pure Puke" post, I stumbled across Root Boy Slim & his Sex Change Band. The song was called "Boogie Til You Puke"

Root Boy was a local artist from Takoma Park, Maryland who bunched Conservative panties throughout the Washington, DC area. He and his music did not last though as he died at age 48 from loving Life too much. I only caught his act once in some boondock bar somewhere in between Baltimore and DC. 

Here is his song, "Rich, White & Republican", released on his 1986 album, "Don't Let This Happen to You".



The Merry Minuet


I had not heard the song in years. 

When I work in the kitchen cooking, cleaning, or sometimes just sippin coffee, instead of listening to the TV drone on with a Bonanza re-run or some newscaster, I will punch up Youtube's video and music channel. The other day I pumped up an hour long YouTube music compilation with songs from the Vietnam era. "The Eve of Destruction" came on at about minute 45 into it. 

The first thing I thought of was my sorry self standing at a podium in the Academic Building 53 years ago suffering a mandatory Senior moment of embarrassment in front of all the cadets at Charlotte Hall Military Academy. In order for all seniors to get their diplomas, we had to solo at a podium in the assembly hall and give an oral dissertation, speech, some kind of talk. We were told our brief oral humiliations could be a poem, an essay, but absolutely no song lyrics. .........

Okay. The "Eve of Destruction" by Barry McGuire was a definite no-go. It was so current and topical, even our grandmas had heard of it. Because I was intent on continuing my "do as little as possible my senior year, I just wanted it over" program, I figured to apply minimal time and energy to punching this obligation off my senior year bucket list. I had also decided that since song lyrics were not acceptable, then I would go ahead and use a song lyric, picking a song with strong anti-war messaging. They could kiss my ass.

I tried to think of song lyrics that would fit, yet a tune no one would notice. I finally remembered a song on one of my Kingston Trio albums that sat at home in Maine not being played and had not been played for awhile. I was well past Kingston Trio in my expanding quiver of music genres. As a child, I would play a tune I liked so much, I often wore the record out; or at least that section of the record. A song I remembered wearing out was "The Merry Minuet" from the 1959 Kingston Trio album "From the Hungri I". It is a cheery, happy tune with a very dark message.

The day of the oral presentations came and I was ready. Since I could not give credit to a musical group, I made up a false name as the author of this "poem". I cannot remember what that name was, but it certainly was not Sheldon Harnick, who I just found out moments ago was the man who wrote it. 

When I sat down in the school hall and waited my turn on the stage, I sat down cocky and sure I was going to nail it. Several of the seniors ahead of me lost their cool once they had to open their mouths and speak in front of 200 plus kids in uniforms. Some slurred, some paused at the wrong inflection points, and some mumbled and stumbled their way through the ordeal. Most of the seniors did fine, but I could only remember the screw ups and by the time it was my turn, I was sure I was going to blow it.

My turn came and I stepped up to the podium  and ........... My memory of that public torment ends there. I cannot remember the moments of actually giving the speech. I assume I did at least as well as the other guys. I do not remember hoots and hollers and definitely no one gave me a standing ovation. And finally, I was not snagged for breaking the rules by using song lyrics. At that point in my life, there was not much that gave me more pleasure than successfully breaking the rules, no matter how trivial.

I actually started this post over ten years ago and then deserted it to the Draft Bag. I had pasted the image at the top and a first paragraph or two. There was enough down that allowed me to expand it, but not enough there to know my original intent for starting it.

So, it appears I had no point here today other than just a straight forward memory with no message along for the ride. 

Okay ........... I guess there does not have to be a message every time.

_____________________________

There are three antiwar songs from my formative years I figured helped me form the basis of my life long hatred of  War and everything associated with it. I fucking hate war. 

Today we have a "Three-fer";

"The Merry Minuet" - Kingston Trio
"The Eve of Destruction" - Barry McGuire
"I Feel Like I'm Fixin to Die Rag" - Country Joe and the Fish



Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day, 2023

 


It's Memorial Day, 2023. We are supposed to take some moments today to remember the soldiers, living and dead, who fought in America's name in our past. A laudable and sobering day that, on the face of its original intent, has morphed into something quite different.

That is not a bad thing necessarily. Everything evolves, mutates, and finds new ways to stay relevant. What once was meant to be a solemn day comprised of millions of moments of silence and flag waving has become also a celebration of BBQ's, beach visits, and parades on Main Street. Even the most apathetic and uninformed citizens look forward to this day. We all don't have the same incentives or moments we use to celebrate, but all in all, we ease up on our partisan differences, come together and celebrate being American.

I guess I have nothing else to say........ Oh, who am I kidding? I have plenty more to say, but today is not the day. 

Celebrate the loved ones who served and the loved ones who did not come back. It is still really their day and not a day to light fires.

Later ....................................

_______________________

I was thinking of some anti-war tunes from my youth to tie in with this post. But I figured that I rant and rave against war enough the rest of the years, I oughta take a break and post up a tune I ever heard from George Jones, that Country Crooner of my youth with the excellent Jar Head flat top. Nobody could sing the "my dog died" Country music like he could. Please enjoy his version of "50,000 Names on the Wall". And by the way, the image of the Marine near the end is George.


Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Red Bench & Other Thoughts

I posted a meme the other day on Facebook. It spotlighted a red bench an elementary school used to help children who were new to the school, anxious, or just lonely. The idea was that a child who felt down would sit on the bench and soon, another kid would ask them to play, talk, whatever. That child's discomforts would be alleviated through the support of their peers. And its presence helped the other kids understand what empathy was and the positive results of using it. 
I mentioned in my comment that a Red Bench at a few of the many schools I attended might have helped me when I was young. 

Then on "Morning Joe" I heard that Missouri Senator, Josh Hawley, another despicable Republican from the cesspool that is the GOP, has written a new book, Manhood: The Masculine Virtues America Needs . In it, he blames the "Epicurean Liberals" for, well everything bad and the Bible Thumpin Right for all that is good. All in all, just more Left is Bad, Right is Good partisan garbage that does not stand up to scrutiny.

The image of "Run Away Josh" evoking tough guy talk and at the same time claiming to be a victim somehow did not compute for me. All I see is Sen.Hawley captured on film hightailing it out of Congress on January 6, 2021. A book about Masculinity written by a holier than thou wimp does not seem like a page turner. 

His claims are being run through the twisted filters of his loyal fringe Right brethren; helping convince these Wingin Whackos on the Right, that the Left is intent on emasculating the manly men of America to further their evil Space Lasering Feminization of this country that, which by the way, was born of the blood of Men, not women. Women were there of course, but only to cook, clean and sew for the boys while they crossed the Delaware River and shot shit up like real men are prone to do.

The manly Josh contends the Democrats' Extremist Feminization of our country is destroying Masculinity in American men. 

This very real and complicated issue is totally distorted by him and his handlers to serve his and his handler's political purposes. The answer is not simple, yet Josh Hawley would have us believe it is. He is doing more harm than good. Of course that seems to be the GOP plan -  "Do More Harm than Good."

So what does a red bench have to do with "Run Away Josh" and his sad excuse of a political party?

Well .......... I have thought about that red bench often since I first heard of it. I really believe, had I had one available to me as a kid, some of the hate and discontent I felt and received as the new kid might have been avoided.

And then I watch the GOP and the Right acting like bullies and I think, most of them could probably have used a red bench themselves when they were kids. Being a bully is a childish response to emotional issues and a sad way to go through adulthood. Feeling intensely victimized like they do indicates a life time of feeling marginalized by their own self inflicted fears. They are afraid and think all of us should be afraid also.

Ya'll have a good day now .................................

______________________________

I hope Chicago's fine cover of Bo Diddley's song, "I'm A Man" fits somewhat with the post. 


Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Where Eagles Dare

Two days ago I had an interesting encounter with two juvenile Bald Eagles.

I was busy cleaning litter trays in front of the garage. A large shadow passed over me and I looked up just in time to see a juvenile Bald Eagle clear the eaves over the garage. I was just beginning to think;

"Hey, wasn't that....... " and another juvenile Bald Eagle followed the first one and disappeared over the roof.

Again, I had no time to gather a response when both of them flew back. One of the pair attempted to land on the steel roof over the living room. It failed to find any footing on the steel and began to slide down. A couple or so feet from the eave, a talon caught on a roofing screw and a few seconds of frantic wing flapping followed as it struggled to extricate its talon from the screw. Finally free, the young bird flew across Sam Page Road and settled on a branch near its sibling. They both hung awhile in the branches and then continued on their way.

Awesome.......... Really Awesome.

All in all, a very rare moment I had the honor of sharing with two fledgling Bald Eagles on what may have been their inaugural flight from the nest and the beginning of many flights to come. The only thing that would have made this moment better would be if I had my phone handy to capture the encounter on digital film,

Oh Well ............. I'm still a Lucky Man. Days like the other day prove it.

***Eagle image not taken by me.

________________________

Only one song would do for this post -  Steve Miller Band's, "Fly Like an Eagle" including the best intro ever to hear on Acid.


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Pure Puke

I'm not even warmed up this morning checking out what's up in my corner of Facebook, when I come across the image to the right. M, an old high school alumnus and Right leaning ex cop posted it.

I did not know who Kim Petras was and still don't, not really. You can bet your sweet ass though, the Wingers know who Kim Petras is. Apparently she is previously of another gender and at the least, a semi-famous/famous singer/songwriter. Nothing fires up a Winger like fiddling with one's gender.

And now, ....GASP, and DOUBLE GASP,  she is soiling the cover of one of the great bastions of male dominance and spank the monkey Spring semi-Porn - a swimsuit issue of "Sports Illustrated".

It was a typical posting by M:

Here we go ladies and gentlemen . . . another trans-pecker moving into the feminine world. The ‘Sports Illustrated’ new cover model, fake boobs and all. Gotta be kidding me!!!!!🤬

Seems to me, its not so much a trans-pecker moving in on the feminine world, as it might be better seen as an invasion into one of the sacred temples where the neanderthal hearts worship women they will never have.

I then checked out the comments that came with the post when I ran across it:

Steve- 
 Disgusting

PJ - 
   POS

Suzanne had way more to say with some Hard Wingin sage advice-
Sports Illustrated is also just as disgusting for supporting this platform with "it" on their cover !
Never bought or read this magazine (except when I've been waiting in a Doctor's office) and for those who have - should either cancel their subscription or simply just never buy it again !!

M, being the dutiful host of the meme replied -
Then again we could have a very big bon fire!!🔥

Karen with the unfortunate first name-
Disgusting!! 😡 Where'd ol' Martha go??

And finishing it off, George stuck a fork in it -
Pure puke


This issue and meaningless issues like it are what the Right worries about. And why is that? It bears repeating that it is because the adherents and loyal followers of the Right have been and probably enjoy being programmed what to think. 

I know the Libruls do their best to program their herd of cats also, but that's just it, the Left is made up of cats, the Right is made up of sheep, contrary to the images foisted by either's mascot. Sheep follow. Cats as a group, are harder to move in the same direction.

The Right is strongly in favor of Freedom as long as it stays in their yard and no one else's. 

The Libruls, like the cool cats they are, don't believe in yards.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ....................................

________________________________

How does one come up with appropriate music for "Pure Puke"?  Back in my deviant past, I saw Root Boy Slim & the Sex Change Band" at some bar in Maryland. He and his band were local heroes to all the lowlifes and ne'er-do-wells who could afford drinking in bars. Sadly, Root Boy partied too hard for too long and died before his time, which was at a premature age of 48. He left a mark though.

Without any more fanfare here is "Boogie Til You Puke".


Monday, May 22, 2023

Not Facing the Past

The City of Tampa and my time there as a kid has been of real interest to me these past 15 years or so. Every so often I do a little more digging and finally, I am beginning to fill out the moments of note with some authentic background information. I have a short story about Tampa I have been picking away at for over a decade. To say it is like pulling teeth, well...........

When my family settled on San Rafael Street, our house looked nothing like the image to the left. There was no garage. The house was brand new and sat on a slab. It was surrounded by a newly sodded lot and barren of any other growth. The sod was still squishy and you could see the lines of the rolled out sections. 

Across the canal behind the house, was where Nature began. Mangrove swamps along the shore of Tampa bay gave way to palmetto and Spanish moss infused pucker, finally transitioning deeper inland to a landscape of pine trees and savanna. No houses or anything man made except roads all the way to the new Dale Mabry Elementary School and the ball fields around it. 

It should have been heaven for a young boy. It was for awhile, but then it wasn't. My parents having issues combined with several very ugly and traumatic moments in my young life made me grateful to see Tampa in the rear view in late Summer of 1963 when we moved to Tallahassee.

I sat down here today to write about my time in Tampa as a kid. I told myself, after so many years of denial and anguish, I would write an honest account of my time there. But today is not to be that day. I will once again do what I so often do, kick that can down the road some more. 

So, we'll just call this post a record of what I have found researching Tampa again and be happy I have some more filler for that part of my life story. 

Today, I have once again failed to face my past.

Later ....................................

_________________________

Today I found another tune by Disturbed that runs counter to their normal style. Here is "Hold onto Memories". .......... Awesome tune.


Sunday, May 21, 2023

Just a Second Divides the Hunter From the Prey

This image to the left came across my Facebook page with Pro Atheist points attached. The words were silly, but this image stuck with me. There is indeed a thousand,..... no make that thousands of possible words in this so simple a picture.

An obvious and probably a correct interpretation of this Kodak moment is that a cute and clueless bunny rabbit is nonchalantly hopping down its snow covered bunny trail. 

Life is wonderful for this bunny. It hasn't a care in the World. It knows that because of its white winter coat, it can dance around in the open with wild abandon. .......... oops.

Our cute and clueless little bunny rabbit did not take into account the notion of moving shadows on a brilliant white coat of fresh snow. A raptor of some type was passing by. It looked down with very perceptive eyes and said to itself;

"Oh look.  A cute and clueless little bunny rabbit hopping down its snow covered bunny trail....... Look's like its lunch time."

In an instant of brief violence and wings flapping, the cute and clueless bunny disappears into the great beyond, gripped hard in gruesome talons. Lunch has been served.

Yeah, that image is the only physical evidence left of this so very brief encounter between hunter and prey. The natural world accepts this as part of the day to day hum drum of physical existence. In the world of Humans though, we like to take a simple fact of physical existence and assign deeper meanings and emotions to these integral parts of Life's flow.

Now that I have created the opening to spew untold words regarding the deeper meanings hidden inside this average, everyday event, I should take advantage and jump right in. But, the infusion of metaphysical abstracts into the realities we live with are for another day ...... 

No. No I won't. Not today. 

This picture is a thought provoking accounting of a natural part of our mutual existences. Take from it whatever comes to mind. I just liked it and felt it deserved a few words to go along with it.

Enjoy your Sunday .......................................

_________________________________

 Now some music. I chose "Hunter or Prey", a tune by Noisemaker. I know nothing of this group. The tune is catchy. It was a chorus line in the lyrics that sold me :

"Just a second divides the hunter from the prey"


Saturday, May 20, 2023

Competition V Cooperation



  Competition is the Law of the Jungle


  Cooperation is the Law of Civilization


~ Peter Kropotkin

________________________

I have tried to figure out what kind of Facebook user I am. I am active, mindlessly active sometimes, oftentimes. I am always searching for that next poignant Meme or really kick ass video. I don't lurk, I try to participate as much as I am comfortable with. I leave comments as well as likes, hates, and whatever that huggy emoji is; but mostly I look for meme's to pick up my day or feed my mind.

I have a love / hate relationship with Facebook and all the other forums and newsgroups I have been part of these past 30 years. I love interacting with folks, but sometimes I hate myself for liking it so much. I often mindlessly pass along whatever clever and insightful meme's that come my way. It's as if I feel if I don't include some substance into the inane and mundane that makes up the major portion of online interactions, the whole network, culture, and infrastructure will collapse. We will be thrust into a Social Media Dark Age where all there is online are bad dad jokes, thoughts and prayers, and really sketchy videos in 3 parts on how to perform brain surgery. My sharp and incisive participation is the only thing keeping a balance out here in the Internet ether.

Take for instance Peter Kropotkin at the top. I knew nothing of Peter when this quote meme crossed my page. I did not even know if the quote attached was his or just some shit someone made up.

At the time I read this quote and really looked at the photo, I didn't care if Peter and his purported quote were real or not. The quote was salient and the pic was a wonderful black and white portrait from back in the day. So, I shared it before I had authenticated it's truth.

As it turns out, Peter was real and this quote is attributed to him. Several sources confirmed that. I would toss in some links, but I figure I looked it up, so can you.

Peter it seems, was an OG Anarchist whose life bridged the turn of the last century. The seductive notion of Anarchy was a favorite of the coffee house intelligentsia throughout the Western World. In a nutshell, this is his overall opinion on the state, power and the working class:

Kropotkin believed that the mechanisms of the state were deeply rooted in maintaining the power of one class over another, and thus could not be used to emancipate the working class. Instead, Kropotkin insisted that both private property and the state needed to be abolished together.

I blasted through my "Anarchist Period" years ago. I still believe that of all the political and social constructs, in its purist form, Anarchy would be a wonderful way to live. Like so many high minded ideals that do not rely on Reality for support, the pure unadulterated forms of any of our invented forms of society are a fool's paradise. 

Humans can be assholes, selfish, abusive, and will most likely exploit any situation they can to their own ends. For this reason, the idyllic tenets of the "What ifs" will not come to pass any time soon. And I wonder if we did indeed find nirvana and everyone loved everyone as they loved themselves, would this make us happy?

That question is what slapped me back into the real world. A major part of our human endeavors are our efforts to find happiness. For Humanity it seems, seeking the goal is more important than finding it.

Later Gators .....................................

_____________________________

Some audiophiles consider "God Save the Queen" by the Sex Pistols as the greatest  anarchist tune ever. I don't know about that. Frankly, I thought the Sex pistols sucked when they were all loud and proud and Johnny Rotten was at his snarling best. Listening to them again, I still think they suck.

So instead, here is a cover of "I am the Walrus" by Spooky Tooth, an awesome band from across the pond back in the day.


Friday, May 19, 2023

Don't Send in Any More Clowns

The Political clown shows of the two parties used to be somewhat interchangeable. Each party depended on similar types of moronic and hypocritical behavior. That all changed when the nation elected a black man President of the United States of America in 2008. 

Most of America saw this as a positive thing, a move in the right direction. Unfortunately, it fired up the die hard Right Wing Racists and re-kindled their White Nationalism which apparently had been lying dormant these past many years. Racist White men and women popped out of the woodwork; certainly more than anyone thought were out there. They are emboldened by the recent atmosphere of hate and are defending themselves against perceived attacks on their entitlement of racial and cultural superiority. Seeing a black man and his family in the White House was all of a sudden, patriotic and religious blasphemy.

This simmering cauldron of White Wing hate and discontent in the GOP finally bubbled over when, in 2015-16, a Great White Bwana with golden locks assured his lowlife racist Bible thumping sycophants on the Right that he was here to save their day for them and nobody else.

This is where the clowns of the Left and the clowns of the Right parted ways.

Today, 15 years after that black man was elected the first time, the head clowns of the Right and the GOP have completely dumped any hint they want to actually govern. Now their goal is to obstruct, retract, and limit many of the rights we have come to take for granted. 

The leadership of the Right doesn't even pretend anymore to being responsible stewards of our trust. These new age spineless guardians of Scum and Sleaze now play to the interests of the extremists from the white populations. These Righteously Indignant Nincompoops would rather legislate what we read, how we have children, who can wear skirts, who can't, who can vote and who cannot. Dealing with budgets, taxes, healthcare, infrastructure, defense and the rest of the nuts and bolts of government that smooth our way forward have only token attention paid to them. 

Republican leadership has embraced immoral and unethical behavior to attain their culturally regressive policies and goals; more so than any of the sleaze currently found on the Left. And in the meantime, they do everything they can to hinder the Democrats' efforts to actually do the grunt work of governing.

Yeah,  the White Wing Clown Show is a bastion alright. Just not the honest, upstanding moral bastion their talking heads would have us believe they are. They are scum and they know it. What's worse is, they do not care.

I used to hope the GOP would get their shit together, but I gave up the day the traitor Ronald Reagan was elected. Now I hope to live long enough to piss on their grave.

I feel better now. I guess I took too long a break from venting my political frustrations.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ..............................

____________________________

Rifled through more than a few songs about clowns, with clown in the titles, or a clown singing. I finally settled on "St. James Infirmary Blues", sung by Koko the Clown.



Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Creating Our Replacements

People are becoming concerned over Artificial Intelligence and its evolving abilities to write like a human, sound like a human, look like a human and now, think independently like a human. Hmm .... 

Anyone who didn't see this coming must be a Trump supporter, uh well, stupid, dumb as a box of rocks, and nummer than a bag of pounded thumbs. Creating machines that can think independently and labor without human supervision has been a dream of many since Leonardo Da Vinci's days at the least.

Along with those fantasies of how much good A-I could do, the doomsayers and SciFi writers have told us all along:

"Be careful what we wish for".

I guess we still don't get it. All the warning signs are there. If we don't start considering the long term ramifications of out of control development of Artificial Intelligence, the negatives that have emerged so far might just later become the warning signs we wished we had paid attention to. But since Humans have an ingrained inability to think past the next bauble, fad, or cum in their pants climax dangled in front of them, I don't hold out much hope for us.

Which brings me to God, or at least the idealized idea of the Christian God that is so popular today. 

To re-cap from my interpretation of the interpretations chiseled in Christian stones a couple of millenniums ago; God created us in his image. 

( I love how saturated our culture is with constant reinforcement of the Patriarchal center of power over the planet that assumes God had to be a man. Why not a woman? Hey, maybe God was a hermaphrodite ..... Anyway, moving along...) 

So, we were created in God's Image. That assumes God looks like us, or is it we look like God? Maybe this explains the keen interest in creating A-I that is housed in machines that resemble humans.  Lord knows we are not happy with ourselves and from time to time think we could have turned out better.

........ Here is where I step off the rails some.... Okay, maybe more than some.

It might be that when God created us, all God wanted to do was build a better version of himself/herself/itself and the clown society he/she/it lived in at the time. If this is true and God considers what he/she/it created was a success, then what does that say about the culture he/she/it existed in? 

When I look at God's creation of man in these terms, My opinion about the possibility of our existence being the result of efforts by a higher intelligence, well, that opinion takes a serious hit. 

We are the best He/She/It could come up with? If so, God ain't much of a builder. I just hope we do a better job of building our replacements than God did. Because it sure seems like God blew it with us.

Keep it 'tween the ditches .............................


BTW - Just a small plug for the adult anime series "Love, Death & Robots" on Netflix. It is a series of short animated films by very creative people. Awesome stuff. 3 seasons so far. The image at the top comes from it.

___________________________

There were many songs about Robots and many songs about God, but none I could find that included both. I settled on this Connie Francis song, released in 1960, titled "Robot Man" . The song is full of double entendre's.

The first two stanzas:

I want a robot man to hold me tight
One that I can count on every si-ingle night
He wouldn't run around like other guys
I wouldn't have to listen to his alibis

A little robot man to call my own
I'd never have to worry that he wou-ouldn't phone
He'd never dance with anyone but me
I'd just have to wind him with a robot key



Sunday, May 14, 2023

Happy Mother's Day


When one's ability to remember dates of importance has never been stellar, once one gets to old fart ages, it becomes easier to come up with excuses. But no matter the excuse, the date is often skipped over by a clueless spouse, relative or friend who are too busy in their own world than to notice anyone else's.

Once again, I missed the Hallmark moment that today is all about until reminded by Willie Geist on "Meet the Press". He acted all the loving son and told us he had texted his mother this morning.

My wife and I were enjoying some tube cinnamon buns. I turned to her: 

"Oh yeah, by the way, Happy Mother's Day. Sorry I missed it."

"Don't you always?" 

No, she did not say that. But she probably should have. While technically, I have not forgotten all of those important dates; the collection of the ones I remembered are barely a hill of beans compared to ones I left unnoticed.

And just to emphasize just how unprepared I am for this particular date, I am re-running a previous salutation I came up with, I think, a couple of years ago.

To all the long suffering mothers out there:

Happy Mother's Day !

____________________________

I could not think of a better song to share today than "You are the Sunshine of my Life", by Stevie Wonder. It celebrates my wife, my daughter and to some degree all the women I have come to know.


Saturday, May 13, 2023

Waylon's B-Model Mack & the Lost Weekend


I have a handle on the broader strokes of this lost weekend in Dallas, Texas in the summer of 1978. The finer details however, are a tad fuzzy. But knowing myself and how I was at that time in my life, I can fill in the blanks with some safe assumptions. I was reaching the end of my ability to function soberly.

Substance abuse had an insidious hold on me. I was consuming massive amounts of cocaine and Jack Daniels. This 4th of July bender should have been the signal I paid attention to. It wasn’t. It took me landing in jail in Michigan a month and a half later on possession charges before I began to smarten up.

~~ * ~~

After finishing up a one truck tour with the Kinks at the end of June, 1978, I left Los Angeles, California and took a leisurely 3 days to make it back to SHOWCO's headquarters in Dallas.

I was feeling great. A one truck tour will do that. Multi-truck tours always had more intricate moments of drama and mania compared to the lower key rhythms of one truck tours. A one truck tour usually meant smaller venues and were closer to each other or there was more time allotted for the drive than on the bigger tours. A one truck tour often felt like a working vacation.

So I was back in Dallas with over a week to use as I wished before I headed out with Genesis to tour up in Canada and the eastern US. Needless to say, I had stocked up on pot, toot and Jack Daniels in LA before I headed to Dallas. Seven or eight days off stuck at Days Inn in Irving, Texas with no car might be tolerable if I had enough stimulation.

I backed my trailer into a loading dock at SHOWCO headquarters on Governors Row. As the trailer was unloaded, the head of transportation asked me if I would mind doing some more driving while I waited for the Genesis tour to come together. I jumped at the chance. Working beat sitting any day. He sweetened the deal by saying I could expense my week at Days Inn on the first expense sheet of the Genesis tour. Life was really looking up.

I was tasked with hauling a small amount of additional sound equipment to the Cotton Bowl for a stadium gig Willie Nelson was promoting on July 3rd.. It was his "Picnic with Willie Festival" which included acts like Kris Kristoferson, Waylon Jennings, and others.

Because my memories of that weekend are still fuzzy, I can't say for sure if it was a Waylon roadie or some other clown I met backstage who first got me into trouble out back next to the Waylon Jennings rig; a beautifully restored B-Model Mack that reminded me of the tired B-Model Mack I had driven several years earlier, hauling twenty foot overseas containers filled with raw rubber to Ohio.

Since I cannot remember his name, I will call him Slim as I have a hazy memory of a skinny dude with white powder crusted on a badass mustache. Yeah, the 3 or 4 day substance bender started with swigs of Jack Daniels Black, alternating with snorting bodacious lines of toot off a logbook on a fuel tank step.

Later that night I managed to get my truck and trailer outside the gate before I passed out. I woke up the next morning draped over the dog house and my mouth tasted like muddy footprints outside a row of porta potties.

I noticed Slim had crawled in the sleeper and was passed out. Spittle had dripped from his gaping mouth onto my brand clean sheets. The most god awful smell huffed and puffed out of his mouth with each breath. Slim’s eyes opened.

He mumbled, "What time is it?'"

I looked at the alarm clock I had duct taped to the dog house (Cabinet sized structure in a cab-over truck that covers the engine). The clock was not ticking.

"Dunno, forgot to wind that bitch."

I opened the door of the cab and jumped down. As I stood facing the drive tires and drained them of some clear water, I looked up at the Sun. Once the shock of looking right at it wore off, I noticed it seemed to be hanging higher than an early morning sun.

I shouted up at the open driver's door, "Bet it's closing in on Brunch. ..... Is there somewhere close we can eat and get some cock tails?"

Slim stuck his head out and grinned. "Well driver, do your pre-check and then let's go. There's a great Tex-Mex joint over near ABC truck rental in Irving. They know their way around Tex Mex for sure."

By the time I had circled checked my rig and climbed back in the cab, Slim had a couple of beefy lines of toot laid out on the Dog House with a 1/2 pint of Jack Daniel's Black set up between them.

"Won't do the Jack, but I will snort that line if you don't mind. I try not to drive with the demon rum poisoning my insides. Can't afford to lose my license."

Slim looked at me and said, "Yeah, that's what you told the Dallas PD last night when they checked up on us hanging out behind the Cotton Bowl. How you talked your way out of that I will never know. You could barely talk there bout midnight when they showed up."

The sloshing frothy head I had been sporting seemed to clear in seconds.

"Cops were here last night?"........ I tried to remember but couldn't. ....... "Okay. I guess I lucked out then.". ........ What did the cop say?"

"Well he knew right off you were shit faced when you fell out of the truck. He also believed you that you had not moved your rig any further than outside the fence, especially when you could not find your truck keys. He did grab both our licenses and called them in. No warrants, so with a final warning not to drive drunk, he climbed back in his cop car and drove away."

I sat behind the wheel taking this all in and rubbing my temples. I started the truck and began a search in the vicinity for my sunglasses. It was definitely going to be a sunglasses day. Once we got rolling I settled down and in a short while we were at the ABC Truck Rental facility.

I dropped my trailer and parked the tractor in front of one of the garage doors. I began emptying the cab of whatever I figured I might need for the next 4 or 5 days. I dropped the keys in the drop box and began strolling around looking for Slim. He had disappeared when I dropped the trailer.

It was an hour before Slim showed up again. But show up he did; in a beat Pontiac Fire Bird belching black smoke through at least one blown muffler.

"Where you been?"

"I called a cab, went home got my car and here I am now. Throw your gear in the back and let's get us some Tex-Mex and Bloody Marys. ……. And then I’ll fill you in on the plan for the 4th. We’re camping out tonight under the stars and howling at the moon. Al has some fireworks and a portable grill. Come on guy, It’ll be a blast. ( 1128 )

~~ * ~~

I remember eating a Tex-Mex breakfast and drinking Bloody Marys. By early afternoon, I had faded out again until I woke up, face up in some tall grass, around sunset. The sky above me was a layered series of pinks and reds. I tried to sit up and banged my noggin on what I discovered was the front bumper of Slim’s Fire Bird. I was next to a lake surrounded by brown grass. Not a tree worth mentioning as far as my eye could see. In front of the Fire Bird was a group of good ole boys sitting in lawn chairs and spitting into a campfire that was way bigger than it needed to be.

I shuffled over to the fire. Someone tossed me a Lone Star long neck and then an opener. Damn, that beer tasted and felt great as it washed the dust pit in my mouth clean.

“Hey look boys, the dead do come back to life. …. Slim, where did you find this light weight anyway?”

“ Oh he’s alright Jack, he drives a truck for Willie, you know, the show at the Cotton Bowl yesterday? Besides, he’s got Blow.”

I decided it was time to speak up. I smiled.

“Hey fellas, wasup? We gonna party or what?”

Jack stood up and stepped into my space.

“Well friend, that depends.”

I stepped back, out of Jack’s space.

“Depends on what Cowboy?”

We stared each other down a minute or so without another word passing between us. I eventually reached in my jeans pocket and pulled out a mangled and tired looking joint.

“Got a light?”

Jack smiled and pointed at the huge cooler.

“We got no more chairs, so grab that cooler and drag it over to the fire. We’ll just smoke that joint of yours and get to know you.”

We were camping in a local park that surrounded a narrow bay on a manmade lake. There were campsites all along the shore full of families getting their fill of July 4th libations. We were just another family of sorts playing the same game.

Al pulled out his fireworks around nine I guess. I remember a fleeting thought that with all the dead grass everywhere, was it a good idea to set off fireworks? Since it was a fleeting thought, I soon found another fleeting thought to ignore.

The fireworks were fun I guess. I did not partake. I sat on my cooler, drank Jack Black and snorted toot with a shit eating clueless smile on my face while the boys hooted and hollered after each glorious explosion over the lake. Between explosions, I’d raise the bottle and shout:

“ Yer damn right!”

Suddenly,  our night of frivolity and celebration turned ugly. Al fired off a rocket that, instead of going up, flew across the narrow inlet and into a campsite located in the wrong spot at the wrong time across from our group of drunk and disorderly cowboy truck drivers on vacation.

It was a direct hit. Sparks flew, scaring the shit out of the family who was camped there. At least that is what the boys thought happened at its worst. We saw flames growing and heard a female voice screech. Shortly, what we figured was the golf cart that had been parked at the park entrance made its way toward the fire. From across the inlet we watched people scurrying and hurrying until the fire was doused. I found out later no one was hurt but several campsites took it hard.

It was at this point the boys decided their welcome here was worn out. Jack and his buds gathered up all the gear, piled in his van and booted. Slim poured me into his Firebird and away we went. He dropped me off at the Days Inn near SHOWCO. I spent the rest of my five day layoff reacquainting myself with sobriety.     ( @ 1900 )

~~ * ~~
"Truckin", by The Grateful Dead is the logical choice for the musical entertainment of the this post.

So be it.


Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Don't Confront the Snowplow

I had long ago accepted my father's tendency to make mountains out of mole hills, especially after he had consumed a few cocktails.

It was winter 1968-1969 and my first Christmas in Maine since my parents had re-settled one more time in a new home. I was sixteen and not ready for that night my dad confronted the town snowplow.

Dad declared war on the town plow after the first six inch snow landed in our driveway in late October my mom said. He was positive our driveway was being targeted because we were "from away". I can't dispute nor confirm that, but treating new folks back in the 1960's here in Acton was certainly different than it is today. 

My family had thick skin. They were used to cold shoulders from years living like gypsies in the military and long after. For some reason, my father had taken issue with the way snow was removed from the road in front of our house.

Note - I could possibly stir up some local shit if I use real identities here. So I won't with the exception of my father, or "The General" as Mom called him when he was 3 sheets to the wind. This night, he definitely had a good head of alcohol infused steam when the first run by the plow went by, lights flashing, and the sound of a tortured plow blade edge reached us in the kitchen..

I did not notice how many drinks my ole man had had, but Mom surely did. She used to keep track and recite her count at breakfast the next day or save until she needed the emotional support of throwing shit back in his face.

I was seated at the kitchen table probably thumbing through a magazine. I saw Dad, clad in only long pants and a short sleeved shirt, head to the front door, open it, and walk out into the snowstorm. Mom waved at me.

"I want you to go out there when he stops the plow on its next pass and separate the two of them before either get hurt."

I was puzzled and began to question her. She would have none of it.

"Shush, Put on a jacket and follow the General outside, please. Last time, those two old drunken fools almost hit each other."

Through my mind as I followed my father down the drive, "Dad throwing punches? ..... And who was he throwing them at?"

The plow lights had crested the hill. The showdown on Grant Hill was about to go down. Dad stepped out into the road and turned in the blowing snow to face the truck lights as they slowly lit him up. His legs spread into a wide stance and his right arm went up like a traffic cop of old at an intersection downtown in anywhere, USA.. He was going to make sure the plow would not to proceed any further until he had spoken his mind. Meanwhile my stomach tightened.

"Oh Geez, he is gonna punch someone....... What the Hell can I do?"

The snowplow slowed and stopped a couple of feet from my father. The driver's door opened and the driver stepped out. He was in shirt sleeves also.I didn't know it at time, but the old fart who climbed out of the plow truck was an Acton Road Commissioner. He was inebriated also. He staggered into the truck lights, leaned on his plow blade and faced my dad.

"Get the Hell out of the road, you old drunk."

They stood some moments glaring at each other, my dad's arms up and Mr Breton standing with his fists clenched at his sides. Neither of them giving an inch as the two old dogs sized each other up.

That's when I made my presence known by stepping between them.

My dad ignored my presence, he was focused on Breton and what he had planned for him. Mr Breton, not to be outdone by my father; leered at me and said,

"Oh I get it. You brought some back up this time. Ain't got the balls to face me alone. Hey ole man, your back up looks kinda puny. How old is he anyway?"

Dad ignored the jab and acted as if I wasn't there.

"Damn you Breton, you are not going to plow me in again." 

Dad stepped around me and I grabbed him.

"Slow down Macrum. I treat your driveway like everyone else's. If I meant to bury you, you would surely know it."

"Go to Hell Breton, how would you know what you do, you're never sober"

I let go of my dad and stepped back. If these two old drunken fools had it in them to land some punches, I was not going to stop them. They're both grown ass men and they deserved each other. Besides, I sensed nothing but a boaster's profanity filled standoff. I turned around and headed back to the house. Before I got there, I turned and looked down the drive at the two of them in the blowing snow, arms gesturing and snow clumps being kicked. That is when I began laughing. My ole man was certainly an interesting man whether he was shitfaced or not.

The Mexican standoff lasted another few minutes. Dad turned and headed back to the house. Mr. Breton climbed back in his truck and finished plowing. 

Before I departed to head back to school, Mr. Breton showed us what plowing someone in really looked like. My father would pour another drink and mumble as he watched the flashing plow truck lights pass by. My mom and I would just smile, waiting for a chance to snicker in private.

Like the rule "it is never wise to piss off the cook", so it goes with it not being smart to piss off the guy who plows the road your house sits on. To the day Old Man Breton stopped plowing, he took much pleasure in brutalizing the two ends of our driveway.

Some lessons come hard ...................................

_______________________

I picked the tune, "Snowplow Song", by Maine's very own, "The Kelly Brothers Band". Low key easy  listening. Maybe too easy of a listen. Anyway, anytime I can highlight Maine, I do.


Monday, May 08, 2023

White Winger Logic

Just in - Stewart Rhodes, convicted founding member of Oath Keepers wants leniency in the form of time served instead of the 25 year sentence the DOJ wants to hang on him. 

His claim for leniency is based solely on his efforts and "good works" in creating and leading the most patriotic 'Murican loving groups ever for the last 12 years.

Apparently, our ever so patriotic Rhodes must think nobody loves this country more than he does and maybe he should get a break because no one can love the USA more than he can.

His claim that the Oath Keepers are an organization dedicated to "good works" fails in light of what he and his clown team were just convicted of. Sedition is hardly looked upon as patriotic, unless of course it is successful, which these clowns were not.

There must be some Wingin Logic in there somewhere, but since I am nothing but an American hatin, limp wristed, Commie Pinko Libtard, I can never know the deep patriotic waters he swims in. To him and his ilk, I belong in the kiddie pool; or better yet not even here mucking up his Nationalistic wet dream.

Anyway, this excellent news for us and bad news for him makes my day. And because I am definitely full of hate for the GOP and everything to the Right of them, I hope he gets 25 years and becomes some convict's boy toy.

Today's Article in Rolling Stone

Keep it 'tween the ditches. ................................................

________________________________

I had picked a song, a wonderful and heartfelt song that perfectly laid out why the USA is the greatest country on the planet............ But I couldn't do it without serious guilt. Because of the leadership we have chosen for ourselves over the last 50 years, we are nothing but the biggest banana republic in the world.

That being said, I fall back as I often do on an old favorite tune still as relevant today as it was in the 1990's when Green Day recorded it. Please play "American Idiot" loud and dance with wild or mild abandon; take your pick.


Sunday, May 07, 2023

Culling the Herd

Recently, I have been dickin around with trying to finish or at least move forward several stories I have had on my "to write" list. They all have promise I think, but I haven't been able to make much progress on any of them lately.

I awoke this morning determined to work on one story. I brewed some coffee, poured a cup, and came back here to what I call my "office". It is really just another hoarding hot spot where I keep just enough junk out of the way to use the computer and listen to music.

Sadly, my morbid infatuation with bad news followed me in. The TV had been on while I brewed my coffee and of course the channel was set on a news channel. Morning TV in our house is almost always tuned to the news. The bad news of this day was another mass shooting at a mall in Texas, Trump's ongoing legal troubles, blah, blah .......blah.

On the tube, a state senator who lives near Uvalde, Texas was interviewed. In the last year since the Uvalde mass shooting, he had proposed at least four new laws to pump some common sense back into the bi-partisan nonsense that is Gun Policy in this country. He was asked about one of his legislatin' shoot from the hip com-padres who invoked God's Will to support his take on pro gun views. The State Senator replied, "He should be removed from office." 

Various gun control odds and ends filled out the news piece, but the point was made that all good and God fearing Texans were for guns without restrictions. Texas continues to keep its pedal to the metal supporting no gun control at all, while at the same time, pushing hard to force every woman within the state's borders to birth children no matter the cost.

I could feel my BP going up. I knew I should just walk away from this latest morbid infatuation, but I couldn't. I began to rant out loud to nobody particular and I created a fictional scenario. In my best, which ain't very good, Texas accent, it panned out something like this:

"Yes Sireee Bob, ... Buckaroos, the great state of Texas is gonna continue to support all ya'll's God given rights to own a gun, shoot a gun and go anywhere with a gun, especially to Church, ... Praise the Lord! "

"Now I know some of ya'll are a tad miffed that some misguided folks are abusin' our sanctified and legally protected gun rights by occasionally raising their 30 shot automatic Deer rifles against their feller citizens. We here at the Austin Statehouse, well sir, we got a plan to fix that."

I paused here as I had not yet thought up the plan my imaginary Texas legislator already had in his pocket. I sipped on some more coffee, sparked a doob and sucked on it  until it came to me. I stood back up, faced the TV and continued:

"Now, you have to believe me when I tell you we legislators take gun safety and the safety of our citizens who carry guns seriously. On the subject of Guns and the unborn, we ain't all hat and no cattle."

"We sat up late with some chaw, a few long necks of Lone Star, and came up with a bunch of plans. Some were, right out of the gate, tossed because well, we knew those whiny Libruls in our state would raise more Hell than it would be worth fighting. Arguing with a Librul is like hollerin' down a well."

"We finally settled on two proposals that had serious support."

"The first proposal came from the good legislator from East Texas, Billy Sol Estis Jr. He said, ......well what he said wern't quite polite; but essentially in a Texas nutshell, he said we ought to have regular sanctioned hunts. Everyone's so fired up about over populatin' the planet, well, free range, no holds barred, sanctioned hunts could help to bring the out of control populations under control and at the same time, fill every Texan's need to shoot something." 

"Just like the deer we cull to keep the herds healthy for the next hunting season, trimmin' down segments of the over populatin' losers in the state would make life so much better for the rest of us. He went on to say a series of well thought out controlled hunts would cut back on those certain segments of the population's need of needing abortions and sucking off the public teat, meaning we would most likely piss away even less money on Welfare than we do now. Win, win. He was sure of it ."

"Well folks, his plan created some serious discussion. In the end it was not to be. Some bleedin' heart Librul lawmakers from down Brownsville and Houston ways pissed and moaned about how it might be a smidgen racist. So we came up with a compromise, kinda."

 "Our plan is a low cost solution that addresses head on, the overblown issue of gun safety. Folks, it will allow our gun totin population some safe outlets for when they feel threatened, sad, or in need of just shootin' something, anything. You know, ........ we've all been there."

"The Great State of Texas will put out bids to all the in-state sign makers to come up with replaceable, cost effective targets, backed by bullet proof logistical materials. The targets would be found at malls, main streets, residential neighborhoods all over the state. We would only use the classic red-white circle targets though. No representative images of any critter, human or otherwise that might piss off those Nancies over to PETA, the ASPCA, or that crazed cat lady at the end of the street."

"Remember Folks, in Texas we's all equal, only gun owners and the "unborn" is more equal than others."

At this point, I ran out of breath, stood down, turned around, and sat down.  I immediately felt better. All the recently pent up anger over American Stupidity vanished for a moment or few. I had purged and tossed out ugly thoughts while some light began to slip in.

Ya'll keep your powder dry now, ya hear?

_____________________________

The image up top right is the album cover of a self titled first album I think from a Metal band right here in Maine. I took their name as my post title, but could not find a tune from them that made my metal hairs rise up and be happy. They're not bad, just not my cup of Metal.

So, I had to look elsewhere. The song I found is from a Scottish group, "The Real McKenzies". It is called "Culling the Herd". Rockish, Punkish, it doesn't matter. They wear kilts and have a bagpiper on board. This tune has a " Turn up to WOW" designation.