Wednesday, March 31, 2021

So, I lurk like a spider.

I have been busy. Occupied, rather. Focused. It is engaging. Engagement is good. Right? Isn't it? 

I should find a picture before I write any more. There we go, a portrait of the boy. What could go wrong now?

I have gone easy on taking portraits of the boy and his mother, an effect of covid and sheltering. It suddenly feels somehow invasive. The boy is changing, too. I do not wish to make him unnecessarily self-conscious. I do like taking pictures of him, and of Raquel. 

I am writing this post out of a strange sense of guilt and dedication. I have not written in a while, and time starts to haunt. I have so little to say. The things of life have worn me down. 

I drank champagne after work. A mood took me, now the sugar has. Then what?

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Denver to Sacramento

I am still out of pictures, and out of time this morning. I must pack my stuff and get ready to go to the Denver airport. Then, the drive home from Sacramento. It took me a few years to discover this, but the Sacramento airport is the same amount of driving time from our house in Sonoma as the San Francisco airport, and the drive is much more pleasant. You don't get to see the city, or the Golden Gate Bridge, but the drive is more pleasant, fewer stop lights, simpler on the mind. 

I will eat a late breakfast in the airport since my buddy will be dropping me off about an hour and a half before my flight. He has an errand to run that has a clock ticking on it. So be it. I don't hate being in airports and on planes the way that I used to. I have come to peaceful terms with the experience. 

Some of the most comical experiences of my life have happened on planes. People are crazy, and I am very much at one with them on this. They make up stories that don't hold together, and I struggle to match them. I'll drink and tell them that I am flying to perform an exorcism, or that I used to be responsible for cutting off the hands of child shoplifters in Morocco. 

When I'm in a more benevolent mood I'll say that I am a lawyer who fights unjust evictions - pro bono. Or, that I am traveling with the ice-packed heart of a boy that just died in a car accident. The team is trying to save a little girl in Tulsa. 

Anything, really. You can be anything at all, if you just set your mind to the lie. 


Friday, March 26, 2021

Delight In Evil

Birthday Boy Q6, and buddy

The boy's birthday was almost three months ago, but I have run out of pictures to use, and who doesn't love birthday cakes? 

Only the evil among us, that's who. 

Everywhere there is the danger of people discussing race. It seems that if you subscribe to any belief at all that people of color are and have been oppressed then you are "the woke" and must the resisted at all costs. Little matter that there is enormous objective evidence of this oppression... If you mention it then you are wrapped up a Critical Race Theory, a thing that you must be too stupid to understand. It's a bizarre world. Apparently the only way to not be a racist is to denounce anybody that cites the existence racial bias or oppression. It's called neo-racism, and the smart kids simply love it. 

There is much moral and intellectual hysteria on social media. Now, I love moral hysteria as much as anybody, and simply relish the intellectual kind. That's how God occasionally speaks to us, through his messengers and prophets when they are in their spiritual delerium. When they come stumbling out, they speak the truth. I've done that a few times at Burning Man, to much imaginary adoration and applause until they turned on me with the stones.

It is only through spiritual and moral certainty that documentaries such as this one can be made: 

Okay, that's all for me today. I am preparing to go for a bike ride with my buddy. A nice, long wholesome bike ride through the country. Maybe we will stop and get a beer or two with lunch. It is my last day here. 


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Blue Sky Basin - Vail

Super Shredder Event

Well, I know how much the fans of this page have been clamoring for some action leisure sport shots. So, today is your day. That's me, looking stylish and athletic, at Vail - Blue Sky Basin, to be exact. Yes, I know that there are many who find the very existence of this newly opened set of runs a contentious matter, but when you're paying good American money to enjoy the artifice of freedom you can't let yourself get wrapped up in all that noise. I am eager to bring Raquel and the boy back here, now that I have explored the region and verified that it is safe. 

In truth, I'm glad that I came back. The last visit here was strained and I spent much of it distracted, self-involved. This visit was mostly more fun. As I improve at snowboarding it means less of a daily strain on my body and more enjoyment. It's still a physically demanding sport, but it helps when you learn how to fight it from happening less. Proficiency at the sport helps conserve leg strength. We rode about sixty miles in three days. 

Today, I plan on only resting and eating, maybe a little afternoon wine drinking. Possibly a bike ride this afternoon. Last night my friend made braised short ribs, asparagus, and salad. I paired it with a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Decoy winery. Not quite within my new "no red meat" diet regimen, but who can say no to such deliciousness? I am on vacation. I slept for many hours and awoke feeling that I had done the right thing. Now, I must fight off the calories. 

This trip has not been all laughs. Yesterday, we were driving home from the mountains and we just so happened to drive by the supermarket in Boulder where that kid just killed ten people, including a cop. There was a big vigil outside the supermarket. We kept driving on, the road was lined with hundreds of emergency vehicles, many with their lights on. We realized that it was a procession of some sort for the cop that was killed during the shooting. As we sat there in traffic all the cop cars with their lights on drove by, then eventually the hearse that carried the officer’s body, covered in a flag. It was all very surreal, an unexpectedly powerful thing to witness. 

What can be said about those things by me that has not already been said. It seems that almost everybody is against spree killings, but nothing can be done. Nobody is ever truly safe from anything. My joke above about exploring the region to verify that it is safe confirms that. 

When I try to imagine the thoughts and feelings that go through a person's mind leading up to and then conducting a spree killing, all that I can usually come up with is that the killer wishes to see people in helpless terror. To know that he is the cause of that helplessness and terror. There must be much more to it than that. Because if that's all that it is then it would probably happen even much more often. 


Wednesday, March 24, 2021



I just love flying in helicopters

I know how cherished my vacation pics are. That is what I will bestow on my fan base today. Followed by a lengthy opinion piece, an exploration of which watches are the best to wear snowboarding. Give the people what they want! That's what I always like to say. 
I feel truly terrible this morning. My buddy and I stayed up and drank last night. Today we are supposed to do the Blue Sky Basin trails. They can be seen just underneath the word "Legendary" in the above picture. These trails are not for beginners, a group in which I like to still count myself. There are only Blue and Black Diamonds there. I have been assured that I have really advanced in the sport, and that I am now squarely in the "intermediate" category, but I know better. I can feel how little control I have over the speed and direction of the board and myself upon it at any given time. I am never very far from tragedy or an airlift off of the mountain. 

But, it all makes me feel younger. Death or disfigurement seems a small price to pay. 

We stayed up arguing politics, which went really well. We are both lifelong liberals, whatever that means anymore. Don't let the Tom Brady, Buccaneers' jersey fool you. Some mutual friends bought that for him as a gift. It is not a political statement. It is the only time that I have ever seen him wear a sport's jersey of any kind. I tried to point out that both liberals and conservatives engage in a lot of bad faith arguments and that contemporary "liberal politicians" have basically become the GOP-lite. This discussion was very thin on facts and detail but heavy on emotion, opinion, even a little harmless conspiracy. 

This is how aging liberals get their kicks, I guess

Liberals annoy me so much that, at times, I have resorted to defending Trump. It brings me a perverse pleasure, specifically when it's an area that is so easy to prove your point. Like the claim of white nationalism in his remarks after Charlottesville. The "very fine people on both sides" claim that many major media agencies reported then and now refer to as a settled truth, confirming Trump's support of white nationalism. Joe Biden, that battery-operated corpse, even cited it as his reason for deciding to run for the presidency. Most people are either shocked or dismissive when they read the entire clip. 

Some are smart enough to realize they've been duped, some others must enjoy it. 

This is not to try and say that Trump deserves defending, at all. He doesn't. I just think it's worth establishing precisely how duplicitous our cherished media outlets can be, and how much politicians knowingly take advantage of this dishonesty. If I can do this at the expense of an old friendship then the taste is even that much sweeter. 

I hope you can hear my sarcasm and perhaps even mild remorse in that last sentence. It is no fun to argue politics with anybody, but definitely not an old friend. They're just not making any new old friends any more. It's only the old, broken-down ones that I should learn to get along with. 

I may need to practice holding my tongue more when Nancy Pelosi is presented as one of the great defenders of liberalism, and the levee that held back the Trump abuses of power.

Uh-huh. I'll just keep nodding my head. Uh-huh.




Tuesday, March 23, 2021

"I wish that I knew what I know now"

I told you.... that's us at the Ritz Carlton in Beaver Creek. My face looks about twice as big as my buddy's because it is. Everybody has their cross to bear, mine's my skull. I should know better by now and always have my friends take the selfie, so that I can arrange my face compositionally behind the other face or faces. This will help make it seem more normal. It's not normal, but there are tricks that can be employed in photography to make things seem other than they are.

Yesterday was really something. A full day snowboarding. We did about 13-14 runs and 25 miles. I have started to ride glades. Those are patches of trees that can be reasonably maneuvered around, often separated by runs on either side. My skill levels are not quite up to where they need to be to do such a thing, but that is often how one learns. 

I'm still a little bit surprised at myself for taking up the hobby of snowboarding at this age. I wonder how long before I simply can not get myself locked into my bindings. You will see older people still skiing, often together as cute retired couples, but there are no older snowboarders. I am the oldest that I've ever met. So, I begin to ask myself if snowboarding is simply something that becomes too difficult to do as you age, or if the relative newness of the sport has created a population of mostly younger - or at least younger than me - snowboarders. That, as I get older I will also see others like me.

Perhaps there is just that one injury that takes them out of the sport for life. Every day that I ride it occurs to me that what I am doing is in fact a rather dangerous thing to do. If I stop and think about the risk vs. reward it does raise some questions. But, what did I end yesterday's post with? Something about my high willingness to purchase the cosmetic feelings of freedom. Could anything be more indicative of such a thing as a privately owned ski resort where my buddy and I happily bought $10 draft beers. Perhaps only Disney World offers a similar superficiality of feeling and experience.  

Today: Vail. 


Monday, March 22, 2021

Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek Lift/Runs Map

This is what I'll be doing today - women will love me, price will be no object, my feats of athleticism and skill will wow the many onlookers and fans. 

Hardly. I stayed up last night and drank a bottle of red wine and had a baked whitefish dinner with my buddy, Tim. We talked about old times and recent times. We talked of the suicide. Apparently the friend who ended it had become obsessed with conspiracy theories recently and had somewhat even fallen from the grasp of the deep end with them. He had not emerged recently from the proverbial online basement and was given over to increasingly wild speculations and claims. He went Q-Maganon.

Their romantic relationship had suffered greatly from the increasingly detached and angry political stances. He and his wife had been separated for over a year because of it. Or, that was at least a part of the cause of separation. Or, that is what I was told. 

Okay, I must wake my buddy up soon, so that we can start our long and exhausting day. This resort has very long runs. If one wishes you can pretty much snowboard the entire mountain, then take a series of lifts back to the top and do it all over again. Doesn't sound like so much fin when described that way, but for a person that has always been happy to purchase or barter for the temporary feelings of freedom, it is something. 

Ritz Carlton


Saturday, March 20, 2021

Limantour redux

The boy and I went to Limantour beach today, with the husky puppy, Akira. Then, we went to Nick's Cove for seafood. The boy ate fifteen oysters. I only know because I noticed that neither of the two dozen we bought were shared quite equally. I can be quite understanding about such things, and love nothing more than to see the boy happy and hungry.  

Raquel and the boy depart for Arizona tomorrow, from the same Sacramento airport that I'll be flying to Denver from, though two hours earlier. A week in the desert, for them, with grandma. The same week spent funboarding in the snow, for me - Beaver Creek, Vail, Breckenridge - listed only to drive CS dippy with the opulent sin their resort names must evoke in imaginary costs, prestige, and of course privilege. 

We will have cocktails at the Ritz-Carlton, again, my buddy and I. Etc.

My life is not so enviable, though. CS' impression is a distorted one, but how could it possibly be otherwise? What was it the old Allman Brothers said about such things?

That video is well worth watching. It's a time capsule, of sorts. It documents the true and genuine pride with which some women of a certain region and era used to display their receiving departments, particularly how such behavior is directly related to cars and music, though the connection is rarely ever made explicitly. 

Of course, my impressions have perhaps always been distorted.


Friday, March 19, 2021

The heretics

Identity is the inward sense of being that one projects outwardly. Or, I think that's what identity is now. It can consist of other attributes and phantasms, also. A shared sense of self, particularly as it conforms to a recognizable heritage, though that sense can become delimited by an array of ambiguous cultural and racial superstitions. 

To note another's unshared heritage is heresy. 
Only we can assert me. 

I got the news this morning that a friend committed suicide. He was one of my favorite old people, from back before the war. His mother killed his father, then herself, many years ago. I remember when he told me, one afternoon when we were listening to records. I was shocked by the truth of it, the complete and violent supremacy of the act. There can be no murder trial in such cases, except in absentia, when there is money to be fought over. 

His children found his body on Tuesday. 


Thursday, March 18, 2021

We'll call it even

I have been looking at watches again - Swatches, even. They are as fine a thing as most all else - finer, even. I suspect that I have discovered why I love watches - they need no one, ever. 

I see now why, and how, life spirals into its funnels, eddies of strong downstream currents; fun without escape, ever and ever; even Eden, Eve.

Look! A mechanical moon, sun.


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Short-Term Capital Gains

Vacheron Constantin, ref. 57260

The watch would not only be for the storing of little souls. The science is still undecided on whether or not midgets even have souls. I've read that they're using albinos as a control group for testing, though I'm not sure how that would possibly settle the question. It is impossible to say what truths mankind has missed out on by ignoring some of its most cherished rituals. The science of cat-burning is no more. It fell out of favor as an area of serious intellectual inquiry hundreds of years ago. I suspect there may be fringe scientists along the coasts of Mississippi and Louisiana, doing God's work. 

The watch pictured above is considered the most complicated mechanical watch ever built, with 57 complications. That is, 57 functions that go beyond the simple relaying of hours, minutes, and seconds. The watch I bought recently has a single complication, to give you an idea - it mechanically relays the date. 

Cost for the Vacheron Constantin: somewhere near $8 million. It is not a watch that is meant to be touched very much. 

Why the fascination with mechanical watches? I do not know and can not quite express it, but I feel it. I tend to doubt that I will buy another. They are not quite like cameras, for me, where each one does something slightly different, and where lenses can be used on multiple bodies. Or, even if each one does do something slightly different, I believe that I only wished to satiate my desire to own a mechanical watch once. I have no interest in becoming a collector, though there are a number of beautiful watches out there. People who collect watches are an interesting and odd group. There are many websites dedicated to the pursuit. Here is one that I find to be better than most of the others, also for reasons that I can't quite put my finger on.

The deep divisions within that group that the word "Rolex" evokes is a fascination unto itself. CS is against the chronograph behemoth. I will admit that they make fine watches, though they have never entered the truly haut de gamme market.  CS says they are for douche-bags and there is evidence aplenty to suggest this is the case. Tag Hauer is not far off from Rolex, either. I'm thinking about going to a watch show just to see if I can get somebody to take a swing at me. My Casio is probably the best watch to be wearing for a fist fight, and jail. 





Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Now, some people

I've decided that I am going to use my new watch to house people's little ephemeral souls. This perfect miniature mechanical world seems the place for it. Or, even better, the one pictured above, from Milan. It has more of the look and feel of a reaper, a storer of spirits. Between Italian and German watches I suspect I'd have all of my soul repository issues pretty much sorted. 

Now, some people, when the location of souls is discussed, find it demonic to suggest that one person should be the housing for another's soul. Others incorporate the idea into their religious practices. I'm neither kind. I just want to know and feel that the spirits of the tortured and joyous are held alike and forced together inside my wristwatch, where I can hold it to my ear and discern their frittering. Not forced together in the standard sexual manner, for visual pleasures, but rather forced to coexist in this timekeeper's idea of chronological harmony.

Using the watch above as an example: On the 6th of every month, when the date field reflects both the correct numeric for the representation of time of day as well as the day of the month, then we will celebrate Satan - whether this likely imaginary entity either is or isn't, whether Beelzebub exists or otherwise. The 6th is his day. The 5th is reserved to celebrate man, in accordance with the scripture of The Pixies. We know what the 7th represents. That will be the day that no underwear is allowed to be worn or spoken of in all of paradise. 


Monday, March 15, 2021

How you wait

I don't take pictures any more. I am just going to write longingly about my deep and abiding love for expensive vacation locales. I might write a slim volume of poetry about Tahoe, employing the pathetic fallacy in every stanza. That is what seems to keep my fans happy. That, and the stock pictures I can pull from the internet and use without permission. 

I go back to Colorado on Sunday. More snowboarding. I'm going to ride as much as I can until the inevitable lifelong injury. 

There is only waiting and death. It is how you wait that seems to matter most. 


Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Big Pond in the Sky

I did not take this pic, and do not like it

Yes, it's true, in some ways I have a charmed life. I am CS' Paris Hilton, without the chihuahuas. I keep reminding him to stop being poor, but some messages just can't ever seem to land. He is resistant to the finer things in life. I do what I can, but he may be beyond reach or repair.

I sit here again this morning at the big A-frame window watching the sun come up over Lake Tahoe. It is even more beautiful than it was yesterday with the rich pinks lining the horizon. I know that color functions as a possible warning for our drive home, but who cares, we will have a full day of skiing and snowboarding. The drive home will take care of itself. My Audi is all-wheel-drive, so what could we possibly have to worry about. 

I have started calling the place Tahoe Lake just to piss people off. It grates against their expectations and people do not care for that. Comfortable people should have their sensibilities disrupted from time to time, if not entirely upended. That's what the IRS has just done to me. For the first time in my life I have money set aside for an emergency, or perhaps to buy a house. But I made the mistake of saving too much of it too quickly, through the sale of stocks. The mathematicians that work for the government decided that I was their kind of citizen and generously bumped me up into the next tax bracket, which allows them to take enough money from me to knock me down into the next tax bracket. Instead of calling this a wash, they just keep a lot more of my money than I expected. This resulted in. me making less money than I did the year before, by making more money in 2020. That's not a joke, they literally took all of my raises, post-tax bonuses, and even some of my stock sales away from me. I kept much less only because I made some more. 

Complaining about it is not patriotic, I know. What I've learned from the experience is to never just barely enter the next tax bracket. You should always make enough to leap to the center or higher of it. Anything less really does feel as if you're being punished for your ambition and success. 

It is only a matter of time before I start decrying the wastes of social welfare programs, advocating for a flat tax for all. 


Saturday, March 13, 2021

Incline Village

I know that CS will lose a little bit more of his mind at this post, as he is just on the verge of traveling and I have hardly stopped, but we are at Lake Tahoe again for the weekend. Two friends were in town and they had a spare bedroom at the place they're staying, so away we went. Next Sunday I depart for Colorado. When it comes to winter sports one must strike while the iron is hot.  Metaphors don't always work for me, sometimes it feels that I am only a contract worker for them. 

Watching the sun rise over the lake here this morning is beautiful. The house my friend rented for a few months sits slightly up the hill at Incline Village. The waters of the lake can be glimpsed generously through the trees. The morning sun placing in spotlight the tall trees that surround the house like sentinels. It truly is a lovely place for white people to contemplate the meaning of things. It's going to be fun when whites are no longer the majority in America. It will open many comedic opportunities for me in conversation. What a privilege that will be. Perhaps my irreverence will finally receive its just rewards. 

Okay, we have planned to be at the lifts early. I must go manage my body's expectations for the day. 

Hate me all that you wish to. I am ready to travel, also. 

From CS's post yesterday (it made me giggle):

 It is my fretting and worry that holds the world together.  My world, I should say, for the rest of you seem to enjoy life trouble-free, or so it would seem.  It must be nice, for instance, to have the Life of Q, with its hundred vacation days in Aspen or other haunts of the rich and famous each year.  New cameras and expensive wines and boogie watches and the natural beauty of California's Wine Country--the boy never tires of reminding me that he has it made.  He rides me like a cheap mule.  


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

And are you satisfied with the life you're living?

Even bad sex can keep you in a relationship. Ask your priest. Imagine how bad some of the sex must be between the fathers of the church and one or more of those flirty kids that lure them away from Christ and into sexual relationships. That more priests don't strangle kids to death during sex is a testament of their dedication to Christ and his principles. Though, sometimes I suppose it must feel as if they are floating, freer than they have ever felt before, liberated even from the prying eyes of their beloved savior, when a child parishioner seems receptive to their kindnesses and coquetry, to their touch. 

That said, initial penetration must be a real shocking nuisance for the child. The human anus only becomes elastic with practice. 

Fuck, this is not at all what I thought I was going to write about. This should stop, it is hideous. I mean them, not me. 

The only time that I ever considered fucking a priest, I stopped myself, I was merely using him to get to God, and the sacrament of wine. Nuns are useless in this capacity. Worse. They are oftenest the tattling teetotalers of the sacristy. God humors the weaker sex. It's called punishment. You can read about it in the expository biblical chapters. My favorite is Exodus. How did the Jews know about Bob Marley then? All credit must go to Jah, on high. Prophecy, it is written.

Do you see what happens when I don't write in the mornings? Ugly and misshapen things spring up from my mind like a fount of holy water. 

I'm getting into identity as a focal point for my entire moral and ethical framework. I am a middle-aged white cis-gendered male living a privileged life. I like the sound of that. No commas, just descriptors without separation. Who would not wish to live the privileged life? I'm absolutely all for justice under the law and equality of opportunities, but those are very easy principles to support in speech. Anybody can do it, even the Trump children. What sort of monster doesn't want those things for everybody? Well, there are some. But, what sort of person can rest until their full fruition has come to be? Those who are not sufficiently anti-racist, and willing to make public displays of their allegiance with their allies. The kind that I described earlier in this paragraph. 

That is whom: Them.

I wonder when or if American society at large will return to the idea that they are free to choose their own identities. Things were not always as they are now, they have been better and worse. We heralded rappers for their assertion of identity. Or, I did, from '88-'92. We herald serial killers with binge-worthy passion on Netflix for their unique pathological dispositions, and its expression in crime. We share a national heritage of fierce individualism, which includes Billy the Kid as much as it does Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln and Lee Harvey Oswald, Kurt Cobain and his wife. Etc. The lists of individuals go on and on and on. Yet, we all seem willing enough now to accept a type as a possible shield against the very things we had hoped to enshrine: the burden of defining yourself. Identity is much easier to adopt or claim than personality is to develop. 

Soon, I hope, we can mostly all just agree that the strict identitarians whose voices have become loud and amplified by others are at once boring, loathsome, and wrong about what it means to be human and free. 

No group has ever been all that fascinating. Name one identifiable social group and I'll demonstrate that there are thousands or millions of forgettable and insignificant people deeply attached to it. 

Glory is fleeting, but identity is for never. 

Like this: I am a middle-aged white cis-gendered male living a privileged life.


Sunday, March 7, 2021

Raquel Garterbelt

Similar to CS, I wrote a post but then deleted it, now I have nothing left to whine out loud about. I took Raquel and the boy out in the back yard yesterday and subjected them both to a few candid portraits, to better document our time in isolation. In truth, we have not suffered very much. Learning to become a teacher has been the most difficult part. I leave for Colorado again in two weeks, to go snowboarding. We go to Tahoe next weekend, for the same. It is not as if we are being punished much by the pandemic. I should feel bad about it, but I don't. 

Many years ago - when Rachel and I were dating off and on, breaking up as much as we got back together - her maiden name was Rachel Gartley, which I converted to Raquel Garterbelt whenever I would write her postcards from wherever I was in the world, which she seemed get tickled by. It seems another lifetime ago now, and it is, one in which there is no possible return. Twenty years have come and gone. I remember one postcard that I wrote from Barcelona that read only: To see you naked is to recall the earth. It is a quote from Lorca, I believe, and I do believe it. 

Oh, those wonderful early years when our love was fresh and new and volatile. I wish now that I would have written it all down, to give myself a trail of crumbs to climb my way back towards it. All of it. There should be pictures which bring to life the desperation of our love. 



Saturday, March 6, 2021

After Time

I am happily back to my series of underwater pictures. I received a new work computer and also fixed my old work computer, which granted me access to the beloved submerged family portraits. There are so many things I should do today. So many things. 

Ha!... submerged family.

Last night's post provides ample evidence of why one should not write after drinking a bottle and a half of wine. It seemed to make sense as I was blathering it all to myself. I even went back and edited it a few times. To endure another's drunkenness, or the after-effects of your own just as you recorded them, is horrid. If I had less capacity for shame I would probably censor myself. But I seem able to absorb all of it, time after time.


Friday, March 5, 2021

Neither North, Nor Forth

Now is just as good a moment as the others, once and for all, to be final and honest about my adult drug use, Sirs. 

Dear, Honesty - the principled sense is, neither morally forth nor upright. 

No airs; some stairs; keep climbing. 

Who wish to be honest about things - the thes and thoses and that's this, then there is the thusness - none of those shrugs assure the fuss - none of those things consider fixes - undertaker, of this, I promise is and ises. Undertaker of these, our promises. 


Playing Catch

The wonder-pup, Rizzo. I know how beloved my pet photography is here on this site, and I do not wish to disappoint. Also, I have stopped taking any new pictures, so this is what I have left - a sweet and loving dog. This dog will play catch with you or put its head in your lap and love you for as long as you will allow it. Truly a sweet and noble creature, filled with joy. I have known the dog its entire life, and now he is old and having heart problems. His briefly stops about 2200 times a day, sometimes for up to 10-12 seconds at a time. His best friend - Nelson, another sweet and wonderful dog - passed away a few months ago. There is but one end to the sadness.

I am saddened by last year's taxes, and the emailed news that I awoke to this morning. Between California and the IRS they want several thousand more dollars than I have already paid. Apparently they moved me up into the next tax bracket, so that I would have kept more of my money if I had made slightly less of it. I will be a Trump supported by next tax season. They do not provide any accountability reports on what they have done with the taxes they have already taken from me, nor what they plan to do with the additional money they will take next, but as a good liberal I'm just going to write a check. That money might have gone towards something I really want. Perhaps I'll offer to send California my watch and see if they'll just "call it even." Who knows, perhaps there is someone corrupt enough to just take the offer. 

At some level I believe in progressive taxation, I think, but it stings when you make enough to enter the next bracket, but only just barely. The system only seems to reward you if you leap to the middle of the next bracket up. I'm tempted to try less at making money. Maybe I too can be a Reagan Welfare Queen. 

I'm going to start telling everybody "poverty isn't a sin, but laziness is." That should help me gain the trust of the people who can help me get my tax revenues back and where to hide them once I do. It is important to first gain their trust with tropes. Once you have their trusts then you should try to snatch their hedge funds, also. 



Thursday, March 4, 2021

Mama Tried

Halloween '20

It's hard to tell just yet, but I might have a day off from work today. I try to avoid writing about work here, but I slipped into it for a bit yesterday. Then today, there was an unexpected change that seems like it might result in me having at least a few hours away from it this morning. All of my most recent pictures, the underwater ones, are on my work computer, as useless as a bag of rocks. So, today I will treat you to an older pic from last year.  It is one of my recent favorites.

If so, I will go for a nice, long bike ride and hope to make the most out of the unexpected pause in activity. I almost wrote, The Good Lord knows I could use it... but then thought better of it, considering I had made overtures to some temporary adopting of fanatical Christianity yesterday. I was never very good at convincing people of the righteousness of my beliefs, though not for any absence of effort. I was an impassioned and idealistic young man, which can result in all sorts of beliefs and convictions that simply do not last. I was no Greta Thunberg for Christ, either, but was convincing enough to my little circle of prayer friends. I think back to some of my young Christian friends very fondly - Lisa, Tim, Jeff, and the young woman that committed suicide after years of both heavy and destructive drinking. 

I shared a memorable and tender period of youth with them, the ending of its innocence. They, most of them, tried to save me from whatever wickedness there was in the world. After I started getting blow jobs from the young girls that seemed to be everywhere at the time, and quite willing to find out what all the fuss was about, the loving arms of Christ were never quite the same for me again. Yet I got married anyway, twice, to see what all the fuss was about. Twice. 

One and only rebel child
From a family meek and mild
Mama seemed to know what lay in store
Despite all my Sunday learnin'
Towards the bad I kept on turnin'
Til' Mama couldn't hold me any more

- Mama Tried, Merle Haggard

Witchery '20


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Is it valuable, usable, and feasible?

Hippie Chicks Ride Free

I have run out of images to use on this site. I will return to some previous ones used. Okay, found one. It is, at least, an energy sustainable image. I bought that shirt for the boy at a Dead & Company show at Shoreline Amphitheater, a couple years ago. It is incredible to me that there are still traveling hippie collectives that drive their vans from show to show and sell merchandise, but there are, and they do. They really do make the best tie-dye shirts. There is no other group that compares, or even comes close. Most tie-dyes are obnoxious and poorly done. 

My favorite moment from that show, I think, was when they did Fire on the Mountain. When intelligent people feel free and happy they cease to recognize themselves. That's the point, I think. Happiness is a state of mind, intelligence is a scope of mind.

I'm not sure we're allowed to say, Hippie Chicks Ride Free any more, but they do. Everybody in California knows that. 

Cash, grass, or ass... I wonder how old my son will be before I drop that historical nugget of hitchhiker wisdom on him. I hope it's still yet a few years away. 

I have been thinking more lately about scope of mind. Believe it or not, I love what I do for work. It can be challenging, and sometimes never lets up, but the people are good, if not great, and the pay is more than sufficient to provide for a modicum of satisfaction. I have few complaints, truly. Though, it seems that there is so much more out there and that I should start actively thinking about that, because it takes time to arrive anywhere in life. Emotionally unstable people tend to cling to security when they find it, to a fault. That's what I've been doing for about fifteen years now, it seems. Every few years the imagination yearns for more, or something different, but the fear of instability functions as a constant reminder of what life was like when I was more entrepreneurial in my choices. 

That's where I am now - not at all unhappy, but thinking about what a different life might be like and how to possibly get there. It is tough to leave departments where you have many friends. Comfort zones are so nice and deadly, everyone there has such a nice watch. 


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Cupid and the Sleeping Racist

(Cursed to forever chase what we can not know)

I feel guilty writing a post this morning after posting such a poor one from last night/yesterday, but what can a blogger do? The blog must go on. I have chosen an article that CS sent as the basis for today's post. We will see where that takes us. 

So much that I had learned concerning racism while growing up is now considered inadequate, or worse: iniquitous. Merely treating people with respect and as social equals, we are now informed, is just another way of ignoring your implicit distaste for others, which masks your desire to subjugate them. There is no need to register or record this unconscious merging of distaste and desires, it informs all that we do and think and can possibly know on the subject, but does so mostly without our conscious knowledge. Race is today's Victorian sex. It secretly controls all of our motivations. Just look around and you will see evidence of it everywhere. Denial is the ultimate proof of its existence, and what attaches its strange power to its willfully unwitting adherents.

So, to be clear, I am not denying the existence of racism, nor would I. I'm just not entirely sure that it functions in the manner which we are currently being told it does. I am convinced that there is some truth to the claims that racism affects each of us in ways we do not quite understand, and yet I also feel that these claims are not enough to satisfy the burden of proof that it controls our conscious minds without our knowledge.  Racism exists. That much seems abundantly clear. Does it drive all social interactions? Of that, the evidence is scattered and difficult to collect in an empirical manner. We must each trust our feelings, in spite being told that is the very danger we face. Not all feelings are created equal.  

But you're white!, cries the chorus, Just like the Trumps! That I refuse to acknowledge this basic social/racial fact is proof positive of my inherent moral failings. All that it takes is to interact briefly with racially informed individuals and they will point to this always conversation-aborting fact. You must be woke if you hope to avoid racial slumber. 

Those who have studied the matter seem to conclude that race is a biological fiction, that the term is used mostly as one of social convenience. I do not mean that having a particular race is convenient, only that the term is used to describe people whose ancestral lineage stems from various and differing places on earth. Once you move past the arbitrary quality of skin color the science is, for the most part, settled. Race is no longer a scientific question or matter for serious biological inquiry. It simply does not exist in the way that it is being discussed in social circles. In this case, we are not encouraged to trust the science, because it also lacks the unquestioned objectivity that only the woke can provide. One must swear allegiance with, and demonstrate sufficient levels of, anti-racism to have the mob move on to seek allegiance elsewhere. Once the dialectic of racist/anti-racist has been firmly established, the conversation can then proceed. 

I have some familiarity with how these type of morally oppositional dynamics are formed. Many may see the following analogy as insulting and indicative of the very problems they are describing. I hope so. That connection is vital to the point I am trying to make. 

When I was a barely pubescent teenager I walked around my hometown with an evangelical Christian group and stopped random people to discuss "the sin of abortion." We were given brief huddle-style training on how to frame the questions and how to respond when anyone posited rationale over morality. The sin of killing babies was where to keep the conversation headed. Do not let the demonic forces of reason dissuade from God's righteous purpose, etc. 

It did not seem to matter to the youth instructors that engaging random people in this way might cause some emotional anguish. That was the point, to find a way in that precluded any response other than guilt and shame, even if it was only just the sins of pride or apathy. Always it was pride and apathy that kept the sinful from accepting their sins. Sin blinds its victims to its curse. Once the morality of the issue had been successfully bifurcated and Satan kept at bay by His eternally loving sacrifice there was only the individual coming to Jesus left to see through to its glorious completion, usually with hands-on public and private prayer. 

It is impossible to say how many souls I saved, though my guess is fewer than one. 


Grand Canyon

Another weekend lost to wine. I drank several bottles, now I am eager to scratch my way back up the hill towards the cross of Christ. There are signs everywhere that God is out to love me. He has commanded me to be happy most of all, says CS. Or, maybe he was quoting somebody else. Yes, that makes much more sense. 

I am trying to figure out what the boy and I will do for the first half of his Spring Break. We have tossed around the idea of flying to Vegas, to drive, to the Grand Canyon, to do a helicopter tour over the mile-deep gorge. I like this idea, but it is expensive and we will be a little bit rushed. We also discussed just driving the coastline here for a day, with the dog, to get some seafood at our favorite place along the coast: Nick's Cove. I have written about it before here. Oysters are less expensive than helicopter tours of one of the most famous land formations in the world. 

Nothing more to report. Mondays are flat in all directions. 

(This post was so boring, I forgot to post it yesterday.)