Monday, October 20, 2014


I just learned that my first wife who divorced me mainly because I would not tow the line to the religion I had fallen for earlier in life is on her death bed. I have neither joy nor deep sorrow over the situation. It was inevitable that this day would come soon, and I know all too well that it isn't that far away where I'm concerned.

When people die, it leaves a temporary hole in some lives and it's sad that it leaves such a little one in her children's lives. She was not an evil person in basic intent. Nevertheless, the ravages of cultic religion took their toll on her and led to her estrangement from all her children.

A few years later, after my second wife left me a widower, she made overtures to a renewal of our life together, but I was not interested. I knew it would be disastrous to try anything of the kind.

I moved on and built a new life and so have the children. I know she could not have been deeply happy, but none of us could do anything about that.

Time to go to bed and reflect on this and many other things, like her telling me right after she separated from me and filed for divorce that I was going to "lose everything." That's about as good as all other prophetic prognostications that came out of that cultic hodge podge.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Controlling, opinionated and hateful people are a great big pain in the ass!
We went to WalMart today for some shopping. As usual, we took our Poms with us and sat with them on the bench just inside the entrance and cart area. As soon as we appeared, some hateful woman complained to the greeter that they were allowing dogs in the store and he told me it might be best if I didn't bring them next time.
I'm not one to bow to that sort of thing and objected to some bitch with a bad attitude destroying all the joy we and so many others get out of those little dogs and certainly the joy they get. People have learned to look for them and fall over them in joyful petting, dog kisses, etc. So, I told him that until the management told me to cease and desist, I intended to keep on bringing them and sitting in that entrance area where they store carts and welcome shoppers. We never take them into the store proper, but many do and claim they are service dogs whether they really are or not.
The manager happened by a few minutes later and the greeter mentioned the situation to him. He said not to worry about it. So, we're home free for now.
No matter what people do, some scowl-faced busybody is sure to try to take all the joy out of other people's lives based on their personal quirks, beliefs and prejudices. Those dogs live for trips out like this. They've never even growled at a human being in their entire lives. It's two-way love, and the world needs a whole lot more of that!


I'm sure everyone has had that constricted feeling in their throat when some anxiety or fear gripped them. It can even get painful and last a while after the episode is over.

We're not the only creatures in which this phenomenon occurs. I've seen it in our little dogs, especially the oldest and most sensitive Pomeranian, Trouble.

I wrote about our losing Daisy, our Pomchi, last Friday. Everything that transpired had an obvious effect on her two fellow pack mates. They were obviously upset when she failed to come back home Friday and I'm sure they didn't know she was in that little box. Saturday, Trouble developed a hacking cough that got so bad we were back at the vet's by late morning. It was just a restricted breathing passage, which is common to small breeds like Pomeranians, especially when they are upset. We got an expensive prescription which helped yesterday, but the problem cleared up by today.

Now that we know why these attacks come on, it will be easier to deal with them. I took extra pains this evening to brush and pet Trouble in my lap and make him feel secure. People make a big mistake when they discount other creatures capacity for emotions and deep feelings. They're not that much different from us.


There's sadness at our house today. "Little Girl," our beloved Pomchi didn't survive a medical procedure to realign her right hip joint. I had forebodings last night and was up over two hours, unable to sleep.
Daisy had breathing difficulties that were enhanced by any emotional upset, a sort of asthma. She got very upset when we went yesterday for diagnosis and that was heightened by a nearby electrical storm last evening. She was even more upset when we put her in the car to go for treatment this morning. She's been a bundle of nerves ever since her original owner gave her up to us because she was being bullied by her new husband's chihuahuas. She grieved over that for many moons but had settled down to a seeming acceptance of us.

Even when she would stand at the bedroom door and yip to be let in or out when she was perfectly capable of going through it on her own if we weren't around, we couldn't be cross with her. You see, she was a princess, and by cricketty a princess should get better service than that.

So, a little bit of the consciousness that has evolved out of the atomic mixtures of the galaxy is now returning those wonderfully organized atoms back into the intricate mixture that makes up everything and they'll go on in myriad new forms and mixtures, including other animals and vegetation.
It's been a privilege to have her in our lives, to see her joy and a multitude of delightful little idiosyncrasies. She'll be remembered as long as our breath continues. Inevitably, we will join her.
Not the best birthday present.

Friday, September 5, 2014


Human beings are so much like computers! Computers don't think or reason and neither do most human beings about the programming they receive right after manufacture. Both come into existence totally blank. Programming is the key to everything, and you'd better have good virus and malware protection or some bastard is going to corrupt everything for a multitude of nefarious objectives.

I have Avast free antivirus because of budgetary concerns, but I noticed that a whole lot of annoying popups were still plaguing me. Then, thanks to a tip I got on Facebook, I downloaded Malwarebytes and a whole host of things got expunged from my computer. No more problem with those annoying popups but I can't get into a game program that was apparently the source of some of my problems. Good riddance, as far as I'm concerned. I really don't need to be wasting my time being frustrated by that stupid butterflies game. It gets to be a time-wasting habit.

I came into this world like a pristine computer. Immediately, through my family, community, schooling, social contacts, etc., my programming began and a lot of it was corrupted, Along about eighteen, a virulently malicious malware invaded through radio, print and publications and I embarked on twenty-two years of viral madness. It's taken decades to slowly and painfully erase one junk item after another, sometimes wandering into other malware territory.

Just thought I'd toss that out for you all to ruminate over.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Some facts about myself have forced me to carefully analyze some of my attitudes and motivations, mainly what makes me so hostile to religion and faith and so dedicated to fighting both. As in most negative scenarios, such emotions usually hark back to some psychological trauma.

In my case, it goes back to squandering about two decades of my life through falling for the machinations of a cultmeister who artfully employed all the conman and mafia don devices of an Adolf Hitler or a Carmine Gallanti. In fact, he had studied Hitler's Mein Kampf I have since found out. He was absolutely determined to make himself a god on earth, and like Hitler, he succeeded, in this case, until the end of a life of 92 years.

I have to admit that falling for this gigantic scam did serve to get me out of the nowhere situation I was trapped in. In spite of all the trauma in my life, I did escape from the humdrum existence I would have naturally hated if I'd been stuck on a farm or ranch for the rest of my life. I am thankful for that, but it doesn't change the fact that, like a goosestepping SS fanatic, I did lasting damage to many I love the most, as well as many other innocent victims I wrote to and counseled, in addition to having to spend decades straightening out my own mind.

If I could have had the prescience to know that my natural place in life was in the journalism and teaching field and had I had some way to get myself there, I'm sure I'd still be an outspoken liberal activist, but I might not be so heavily dedicated to debunking things of faith and religion. I'm sort of a Simon Wiesenthal.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


I have a question for just about everybody on this earth -- why the hell are you so dedicated to and fanatical about the gods and religions that have been, throughout history, forced upon you all through brutality and violence? In short, it's the old mafia game of making an offer that cannot be refused, and you go along with it out of fear toward doing anything else and actually thinking.

Rev. Al Sharpton is on MSNBC right now and I can hear it clearly from the kitchen TV. He's a black man and an ordained Christian minister of some denomination that is absolutely convinced they're representatives of the only legitimate god. How come? His ancestors were brutally kidnapped and brought by the millions to this and other areas of the world. Preachers took advantage of their subservient and desperate conditions to systematically fill their minds with the garbage that constitutes Christianity. I'm aware that a few negroid people have tried to keep alive some of the original African beliefs through Santoria, but the majority just "Amen" themselves hoarse shouting out their grafted on beliefs in multitudes of churches.

Same with Native Americans. Do any of them still worship "The Great Spirit?" Maybe a few have spurned the nonsense missionaries tried to palm off on the few desperate survivors. (I'm not saying that they had any deep truth before, but it wasn't the crap of a malevolent deity condemning the whole human race to death over eating some fictional fruit, then raping a Jewish girl to impregnate himself into human form so he could sacrifice himself to himself to supposedly set everything right -- if you manage to get the formula right and accidentally end up in the "right" group.)

Throughout the Middle East and Africa, people fanatically worship a religion that was forced upon their ancestors on the pain of being summarily and brutally dispatched if they didn't acquiesce and start flopping on their brainwashed faces five times a day to pray to Allah.

How about you? Where is the Thor, the Odin, etc. our ancestors (if you're white European in ancestry) worshiped and abandoned to keep a sword (or worse) from dispatching them to whatever afterlife they previously looked forward to.

It's about time people started thinking about all those certainties they're so fanatically dedicated to believing out of plain old fear of condemnation.

Talk about Terrorism! The "Stockholm syndrome" controls the world and dictates what most people say they believe, but in the back of many, many minds there have to be deep questions. At least, there should be

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


A good friend of mine and former Worldwide minister tells us this morning that there is a spot on one of his lungs that has to be tested for cancer. Of course, that will take a few days. He had a cancer removed from his shoulder a few months back and has pretty well recovered from that. This is way more serious. Hopefully, it's only a fungus infection. That would still be serious but much easier overall to deal with.

It all seems so unfair, and it is. Here I am, nearly 80 and healthy as an old nearly worn out horse. Of course, there could be some serious condition creeping up on me while I'm blissfully unaware just like they crept up on him. I've noticed how slowly wounds heal now because my body just doesn't repair itself as fast as it used to. I tire out and want to sit down much sooner than I did last year and shockingly sooner than I did a decade ago.

We like to say of cars that it's probably time to jack them up and drive a new one under it, and that's kind of the way with our physical bodies. We are a physical machine after all. Some last longer than others with fewer problems but all eventually break down.

I try not to dwell on these facts, but they're real and can't be totally ignored. That makes each day that comes along more and more precious.

Monday, August 25, 2014


I love our dogs, and I like to pet them, but if they have a choice, they will go to Phyllis every time. I think I know why.

There's something special about the soft touch of a female. I noticed that early on in life. I know my dad loved me just as much as my mother in many ways, but I always sought out her comfort first. I didn't wear ties much as a kid, but I soon learned how to tie them myself so I didn't have to endure my dad doing it. I characterize it as "whoop, whoop, whoop, whap!" It ended up so tight on my neck that I had to loosen it. So, I learned how to do dad's half Windsor really quick and stepped up to the square knot of a full Windsor when I started college and learned the difference.

We males have a hard time equaling a woman's gentle touch. I guess it's a hormone thing, and there's probably an equal desire on the part of women to feel the strength in a man at appropriate times and circumstances. We complement each other.


Condemnation of the Holocaust is pretty much universal, but the spirit of the holocaust lives on, here in America and elsewhere in the world.

There's a clandestine holocaust going on today against people who are viewed as different -- immigrants, homosexuals, poor and downtrodden (especially if you're black or latino), anyone with a drug or alcohol problem. In short anyone who isn't rabidly christian and monetarily prosperous.

Our prison system has become a bloated source of wealth for private capital while we lock away a greater percentage of our population than any other developed nation in our growing system of concentration camps, knowing full well that when the inmates are released, they will almost certainly have to resort to some sort of crime just to survive and end up right back where they were so the bloated millionaires can continue to rape the economy and ride around in luxury.

Think I'm kidding? Think again! You have to be blind if you don't see what's going on, or just too damn mentally lazy to think about it.

Police are becoming more and more thuggish and militarized. People as a whole are being deadened to the suffering and inequality all around them. It's Nazi Germany all over again. Time to wake up and quit being placid because they haven't come for you yet.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


What is a human life, after all? We all stumble through it with our triumphs and our disappointments.

I drive across the desert or through the plains of the Midwest and Canada and see all the tumble down places and shelter belts that no longer shelter any buildings at all and wonder who once lived there and what they dreamed would become of what they so laboriously built. I wonder how much would still be recognizable on my parent's ranch today.

Even in my younger life, the original 160 acre plots people had homesteaded in the early 1900s had been absorbed in much larger holdings of several quarters or sections, and there were a few traces here and there of buildings and fences that had long since disappeared. Since then, the trend has increased exponentially.

We bought the property we now own (in partnership with Nationstar) in Cottonwood a little over six years ago, and we've made a few improvements and planted some trees and shrubs. Mr. Guhl, the former owner had died, and it was too much for his wife to keep up. She moved into some kind of retirement community, and the place became ours, but that is only interim also. The day will inevitably come when we will either die or have to give it up for someone else to take over.

The last time I was in Pasadena, the downtown was totally different. That great mall on Colorado Boulevard had gone belly up. Ambassador College was still recognizable, but it wouldn't be today. Many of those magnificent old buildings we took such pride in have been razed to the ground and replaced with something more in keeping with what the population of today needs. That, too, will likely only be temporary.

Nothing is so permanent as change. Nothing more temporary than our personal accomplishments.


I was ruminating over the common belief that we go on living in something that's often referred to as a spiritual or astral existence after we die. Those who believe such things assume we're just a physical mirror of something more permanent and invisible that goes on after we die.

Comforting beliefs, but why doesn't that separate existence come into play when our brains are deadened by anesthetic? How can that entity speak without a mouth, hear without an ear, feel without a body, see without an eye, etc., all of which function through a brain that is physical and ceases to operate once its supply of oxygenated blood is cut off?

Resusitation of a dead person doesn't lead to anything except a vegetative existence if the physical brain is deprived of oxygen for any significant period of time and even that has a definite time period attached to it. It looks to me like anything "spiritual" is inexorably dependent on that fatty mass of tissue that resides inside our skulls.

I've not experienced anesthesia more than a couple times, but I can't tell you a solitary thing about what went on while I was "out." Why didn't I astral travel like some people claim they can? All we have as evidence for their doing so is the anecdotal claims they make for what could be nothing more than a vivid imagination and a daydream. I've had some pretty vivid daydreams in my time, and you probably have also. I can dredge up pictures from my boyhood on that North Dakota ranch anytime and about several other places I've lived. I can make them pretty vivid and if I let myself or was impressionable enough, I might even be sure I went back there in spirit.

I know this proves nothing, but neither do extraordinary claims which require extraordinary evidence and proofs before they can be established as facts. Courts don't accept "hearsay," and neither am I prepared to do so.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Religion and politics are both a money and power game. That's why our founders tried so hard to keep them separate and why we had to have a Bill of Rights before the former colonists would ratify the Constitution. It's been under assault continuously ever since.

The problem with religion is not the average "believer" who carelessly goes along with whatever his forbears and the culture saddles him with, and the same is true with the average political loyalty of the average person who just buys in emotionally to some groups propaganda for innumerable psychological reasons.

The problem is the "leaders" whose power and affluence depend on selling a bill of goods which furthers their nefarious objectives of control, and enrichment, I saw it in action when I was ensnared in Herbert Armstrong's cult. He was ruthless once he had a power base and reacted in fury to any challenge of his position while he lived the luxurious life of an oriental potentate.

I've learned to ask, "What's the real agenda here?"

Think, people! I know it takes effort, and it's not fashionable. But -- just think!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Another famous dead person from show business, Lauren Bacall. At least she died of a massive stroke at the age of 89. That's a good long life!

Soon all those of my generation are going to be among the fondly remembered and in a few decades, they'll slowly slip from people's minds just like the silent film era stars did. It's the inevitable fate we all face.

I guess that's why the fiction of continuing existence in heaven, reincarnation on earth and numerous other fanciful notions are so compelling. We don't like the thought of just disappearing from reality in a blast of finality. We're too unique, too special. We just can't fathom not being anymore, not seeing, not hearing, not doing loving things for people dear to us, etc.

I've had to struggle against the reality that cold reason and plain old facts forces upon us. That's another reason I don't seek after funerals and memorials anymore. I know what people expect, and I just can't conscientiously deliver it. I'm not a liar. I don't believe in furthering fantasy and false hopes. For a while I could skirt the edges because I wasn't totally convinced myself. That has all changed now. I'm absolutely convinced that this temporal existence is the real "it." I'll be just as gone as those moths being fried in my bug light.

It would be comforting to still believe in a resurrection or wafting off to heaven and some waiting 'pearly gates.' Waiting for Santa every Christmas used to be comforting too to my naive little mind. Then, I got smart and pretended to be asleep and knew all about my parents pulling stuff out of the attic and putting those things under the tree and pouring all those goodies into the stockings.

It happens to stars. It happens to everything else in the universe. Birth, existence in more or less a blaze of glory for a definite period of time and then it's all over. Even the earth on which we depend won't last forever.

I had my birth. Much of my life was a blaze of glory now that I look back on it. Now, it's beginning to fade at an increasingly rapid rate. One day, it will be over, just like Lauren's and Robin's lives and just like all those others I've known, interacted with and who are now gone.

Do I like it? Can't say I do. I just have to face it and make the most of it.

Monday, August 11, 2014


There has to be a lot of pain and/or despair in someone's life for them to commit suicide. On the surface, one would think Robin Williams had it made. He was famous. He was loved and respected, praised as a talented comedian and actor. I doubt that he had deep financial worries and he was married to a woman I assume he loved deeply and had children he loved very much.

His wife's parents used to live in unit 5 of the condo complex Phyllis bought into in Phoenix and which I moved into when we got married. However, they were no longer there at that time. He used to come by to see them.

I saw on TV how he felt that the most wonderful things that had happened to him in life was welcoming his children into the world. I can identify with that. Yet, something was just too overwhelming for him to face any longer.

Would I ever come to the place where I'd rather die than go on? I have to honestly say, yes. Right now, no. Life is just too good and too interesting. But, that could easily change. There could come a time when the pain of going on is just too much, the struggle more than one can bear.

And, don't give me any high falutin' "spiritual" garbage about it. If a revered Israelite king could fall on his sword to prevent capture by and humiliation from the enemy, I can decide life has become intolerable and end it all. That would be my business and nobody else's.

So, thanks for all the laughs and for all the good you tried to do, Robin. You'll be remembered longer than most people are, so that's a little bit of immortality -- the only kind any of us can count on achieving.

Friday, August 8, 2014


I drug the steam machine out of my van and hauled it into the house so I could clean our carpets. They really needed it. I ended up totally exhausted and torn over whether to put the machine back in my van or figure a way to store it at home. I knew this day was coming, but I didn't realize how devastating it would be emotionally.

You know life forces changes on you, but until they actually come about, it's somewhat hazy and ethereal and the actual reality eludes one for a long time. At eighteen, sticking a pitchfork into the corner of a stack of hay and glorying in rolling it into a hay wagon like it was nothing became a way of life for me until way past middle age. Young men really do glory in their strength and it's hard to really grasp what it's going to be like when it begins, with ever growing rapidity, to decline.

I sat for a while on the patio and mulled the situation over, only to have a former neighbor stop by and ask if I'd be willing to do their living room and kitchen carpets for them and what I'd charge. I guess I can handle that yet, but it was only a short while ago that I would have greedily sought after such a job. Now, I don't even advertise for them.

If you're young, treasure that strength and agility and employ it judiciously so you don't end up with a bad back or some other problem. Enjoy all you can while you have the ability and you'll be able to look back with satisfaction when you get where i am at things you've done and accomplished. It's still going to hurt though when it all goes bye bye.

It will go bye bye!

Saturday, August 2, 2014



I was finishing up a late breakfast and Phyllis was showing me some things she was thinking of ordering, including a non-sticky fly catcher. It got me ruminating about things that pissed me off at "god" even when I was dumb enough to wholeheartedly believe in that nonsense.

I couldn't begin to list all the travesties of the natural world that inspire loathing and revulsion at the very concept of a "loving" creator but mosquitoes have to be near the top of the list. Any supreme being who could think up those insidious little blood sucking, disease carrying monsters has to be a sadist on galactic proportions. The disgusting litany of horrible parasites that infest us and the rest of the natural world have to be right up there with them.

Then, what about all the genetic horrors that seem to come out of nowhere to afflict just about every species inhabiting this planet. I mean, we can, when we're careful about it, mass produce perfect products in an endless stream, but "god" can't stop a mongoloid child from coming down the pike.

Supposedly, he's all knowing, all powerful, all wise, ad infinitum and ad nauseum. In fact, that fictional construct is a "fuck up" of cosmic proportions that only infantile and deluded minds could have dreamed up.

I used to love Superman comics when I was a kid and all the other super hero constructs as well, but then, I grew up and became a bit more rational. However, it was a process that took many decades because, at age 18, I substituted something just as ludicrous as Superman, etc. and dutifully served and preached that nonsense for a mighty long time.

Come on, now. There's one statement Paul made that I agree with, but even he wasn't following it. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things (KJV)."

God concepts originated when the human race had hardly reached the toddler stage yet we hang onto them like a scared little kid who won't go to sleep without his or her "teddy."

Monday, July 14, 2014


I was just out on the patio enjoying a brief and far too light rain shower when I got to thinking about some of my past religious experiences. In the cult I was part of, we tried to out-jew most Jews in observing everything from the food laws to the weekly Sabbath and the Bible holy days. We were quite a bunch of nuts, as I look back on it now.

I reflected on a particular Day of Atonement I endured (can't recall the year). That holy day is known as Yom Kippur to Jewish people. They are to afflict their souls for the whole damn day without eating or drinking anything and we dutifully did so, only to find since then that old Herb had a habit of fudging, but we never guessed that then.

Anyway, a real heat wave hit that day and we were sitting through the obligatory morning and afternoon services in the old not-air-conditioned Shakespeare Club in Pasadena. It's a wonder there weren't some medical emergencies, but I know of none. We got through and back home where we had a fan and a shower. My wife and I stripped bare naked and alternated between jumping in the shower and lying down in front of the fan to air dry. It cooled a bit about sunset and we went to a restaurant to break our obligatory fast and I think we must have consumed over a gallon of water each during that meal.

I look back on that now and wonder at what a dumb ass religion makes out of us. Whoever dreamed this crap up had to be a master of manipulation to realize how righteous such stuff makes people feel. Muslims are even worse about it. They're going through their Ramadan right now, fasting all day, feasting at night. What a dumb ass thing to do! But, it makes them feel special, holy and blessed.

How well I remember.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


(From Facebook.)

Things just keep popping into my mind and this morning it's about how similar things stay in religious huckstering through the ages. As other posters have pointed out, most of religious stereotypes past and present, exhibit the clear signs of mental psychosis which gets credited to inspiration and spirituality.

I'll contrast Paul and my old nemesis, Herbert Armstrong. Both claimed special inspiration and leadership from "god." Herb claimed he was specially led in an Oregon public library. The truth is that he mined the psychotic madness of several other far out denizens of spiritual stupidity and plagiarized chosen bits of their nonsense to concoct a hodgepodge of pseudo spiritual nonsense that appealed to people who yearned to be specially chosen "god's pets." Most of us were misfits in the societies we were running from.

Once Herb had his millions of dollars secured from all us fanatics, he set out to palm himself off as some great teacher taking the end time warning message to the world. He got himself a luxurious private jet and flew around the world, hobnobbing with the rich and powerful, shopping at Harrods of London for steuben crystal gifts to present to people he called world leaders, but they were usually washed up former royalty and third world despots, bloviating about "a strong hand from somewhere" while pretending that was preaching the gospel.

So-called "apostle Paul" (he made the claim -- nobody in Jerusalem considered him such), also claimed special revelation through a seizure of some sort on the road to Damascus and an undocumented jaunt to arabia where Jesus, he assures us, personally communicated with him, much like a later guy by the name of Muhammad. He too, liked to travel around and build up admiring followings from the misfits and unstable of the world, but that often lasted for a short period and he did complain that everybody in Asia had forsaken him. He eventually ended up under arrest and unable to move around anymore and, I guess, executed.

At least Herb got to pass quietly sitting in a chair in his sumptuous mansion, but what he built has degenerated into the same kind of confusing plethora of warring sects as the original Catholicism Paul helped give rise to.

There's really nothing truly new under the sun when it comes to the circus that is religion.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


My second grandson, Connor Mounts, has just turned 21. I remember how I waited for that fateful day that would confer on me the magic of being an adult. In my case, it meant that I could go with the fanaticism that had seized control of my mind and I was soon off to do my part to change the world with the enthusiasm of a Hitler youth.

That was so long ago. So much has happened since then and here I am, almost 80, bruised and battered by many things that have transpired but infinitely wiser than I was way back then.

There was a time when I believed in reincarnation and thought I had already lived many lives and probably would live many more. That would be fine if we could remember all those lessons and not keep going through the same old crap over and over. It's supposed to be for soul progress and learning, but where is the learning if you have no memories on which to base conclusions and change outcomes?

I no longer accept such fantasies. I don't even think there is such a thing as an immortal soul that operates independently of a physical brain. Our human intelligence, as limited and faulty as it is, resides right there in that marvelous cerebral cortex no other creature has to the same extent. When it ceases to operate, it's curtain down and show over.

Yeah, I know, people have out of body experiences that convince them that they have eyes that see apart from their physical being and brain. But, you know, I've had similar things in dreams where I seemed to be looking at myself. That shows me that it's probably just a dreamlike mental fluke and similar things have been experienced by astronauts in high speed centrifuges.

If I happen to be wrong again, I'll deal with that when I get there. I'm just trying to do the best I can and I'm really totally fed up with the gullibility I once was prone to.

It's "skeptic Al" from here on out!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


We had our monthly planning meeting for our freethinkers group today. We discussed, among other things, the need some people have for "spirituality," whatever that means. Ask for a definition of that term and you are likely to get as many variations as you have respondents.

It's a very ethereal subject, much like trying to nail a blob of jello to the wall. People like to claim it for themselves as a substitute for being religious. "Oh, I'm not religious -- I'm spiritual" is a common way of saying it. I just don't like the term because it's become an undefinable cop out. Theologically, spirit is often likened to wind or breath. It might make you feel good on a hot afternoon, but it lacks a bit in tangibility.

I try to avoid the term entirely. I'm a humanist atheist who relies on compassionate empathy and common sense ethics as my guide in life. That's basically a live and let live way of viewing the world and human relationships. I frankly don't care if you want to believe in a non-existent god or in the flying spaghetti monster. Knock yourself out and squander your resources supporting organizations and pompous blowhards if that's your fulfillment in life. It's when you contrive to force me to go along that the brawl is going to start!

So, I'm really not interested in sponsoring speakers on this subject because I view it as kind of "fluff fluff" philosophizing. Anyone who wants to devote time to such discussions are welcome to the activity as far as I'm concerned. For the most part, I'll just opt out.


(From Facebook.)

OK. Another day to live and do. Like I just said, my life has gotten steadily better overall ever since I had the presence of mind to walk away from that miserable cult and do my own thinking, earn and spend my own money as I saw fit -- not as some avaricious asshole told me I had to spend it while he lived in more luxury than many kings and pretended to be god's gift to mankind.

I finally found what I could call my soul mate, and that alone makes my life splendid. Phyllis is everything a man like me could ask for, and I'm not referring to sex either as that is a very limited part of life that's pretty much a pleasant memory now. She's simply my perfect partner, and we are partners in every way. We have each other's backs all the time.

How I was so lucky to find her is something I wonder at. I just set out with determination when Joyce died of cancer, and in less than six months, it all happened. Of course, I didn't set out to find a "christian" woman. That would have been a disaster! I went into square dancing again, and she just happened to do the same at about the same time and for the same reason -- she wanted a partner to share her life with.

One tip I can give to any free thinking person is to seek a mate through secular, non-religious outlets. I'd run from any woman who was spouting so-called spiritual crap or going to church all the time. In fact, I dumped one woman back in the seventies when I took her out to dinner and she made a show of bowing her head to say grace. I still hadn't totally departed from religion, but I knew that here was someone totally incompatible with me.

That's it for this morning. Our free thinkers planning group meets here in Cottonwood at noon and I have to get ready.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


(From Facebook.)

We humans seem to be addicted to what I call "the blame game." While I was getting dressed for this day, my mind somehow took me back to an incident that happened years ago.

My son, Gene, and I were changing out a water pump on his truck. We were at the stage of bolting it on and Gene was tightening up the bolts. I was about to say, "I think that's tight enough" when I heard the dreaded pop of an overtorqued bolt. Gene was left holding the remains and turned to me and indignantly said, "Why didn't you stop me?"

My first instinct was anger at being blamed for his ignorant mistake, but then, the irony hit and I burst out laughing. After taking the pump back off, I noticed a little piece of the bolt protruding, got my needlenose pliers and carefully backed it out to where I could get my fingers on it and spin it out. There was a perfect substitute in my extensive bolt collection, so the problem was soon solved.

So it is with most human problems. Instead of calmly and cooperatively going about seeking a solution, people want to play the blame game and often, nothing gets done. I'll let you run with that. I have more important things to get on with.


Let's see now. Radical theists claim the human race has existed somewhere around six to ten thousand years. Of course, science knocks that bullshit into the proverbial cocked hat.

But, let's just go with that 6,000 years nonsense for a moment. Even if that were true, for Christianity to be true, we have to assume "god" didn't give a damn about all those humans who existed for about 4000 years before he got his lazy, indifferent ass around to arranging for that marvelous human sacrifice that finally brought salvation to lost humanity. According to the myth, he even got so mad at them along in the middle that he drowned all but eight of them and sent them to hell in one fell swoop.

I guess he finally got tired of sending everybody to hell and decided to finally offer a way out to a pitiful portion of all those millions who have perished in most of the world since about 33 AD.

What a miserable excuse of a god we unthinking hairless apes manage to conjure up in our pitiful imaginations. Terms like omnipotent and omniscient become laughably ludicrous when you take time to rationally think about it.

C'mon now, do you still seriously believe all that bullshit?

Friday, July 4, 2014


It's the Fourth of July and I guess that should excite me, but it doesn't, really. I do get to officiate that wedding in a couple of hours, and that's a nice highlite for the day.

I'm trying to shake the depression and anger that has afflicted me all week. It's not easy to see your country being surrepticiously plunged into a dark age of religious and economic oppression. Don't kid yourselves. That's exactly what's in the cards. The Vatican now rules the USA through 5 fanatical Supreme Court appointees that were craftily wormed into office by fanatical religious plutocrats.

I'm thankful our founders are stone cold dead and can't know what has transpired. They would be horrified and apalled.

Benjamin Franklin, when asked what kind of government they had given America replied, "A republic, ma'am -- if you can keep it." We're not keeping it.

Step by step, it's being demolished!

Thursday, July 3, 2014


I love our "monsoon!" This afternoon, we made a little trip down to the store. I was sitting inside the entry lobby where passersby enjoyed our ever-friendly pomeranians when there was suddenly a horrible racket from the metal roof over our heads. Stepping to the door, I saw a blizzard of marble-sized hail bouncing all over the asphalt and that was soon followed by brisk rain.

Thunder was rolling around outside a few minutes ago, so out on the patio goes me to sit for a moment in the twilight and just enjoy it all, including a few sprinkles. I suppose, if I were on some other planet in another part of the universe, I might be composed differently and enjoying quite different natural manifestations. I can only wonder and hope to maybe have some clarity on such before my short life is over.

As I was sitting there, my mind was as active as ever. I was thinking about how insane everything has suddenly turned. Corporations were always artificial constructs set up for economic and legal reasons to allow people to operate in the business world without endangering their own financial and legal futures.

Now, we're saddled with the insanity of them being regarded as individuals with the rights of individuals. That turns the whole damn universe upside down and has led to the recent ruling that forces real people to be subjugated to a corporation having the right to pass judgment on their personal lives and how they live them. It forces real people to suffer under the stupid religious concepts of those who sit in control of such artificial creations, bereft of any actual existence as a conscious being.

This is madness! This is oppression in its most insidious form. It's time to stand up and say, "ENOUGH!"


It's really very simple. If people are paid a decent wage, everybody profits. Henry Ford was wise enough to know that when he insisted on paying his workers enough so that they could afford one of the cars they were manufacuring.

All this stinginess is really avarice and hate. It's also shortsighted.

When I have a decent amount of money in my pocket, I show my love to my loved ones by taking them out to dinner or buying them something they need or want. The people who provide those things prosper.

Austerity and religious-like stupid trumpeting of "trickle down" and "supply side" only decreases every thing and leads to misery for all but the few lucky and ruthless enough to claw and steal their way into obscene wealth. It also builds hatred toward those who have more than they can ever hope to spend or use.

What happened in Russia a century ago should give them pause for concern, if they had the intelligence to see beyond their avaricious noses. Some of them, Like Bill Gates, try to alleviate problems, but their efforts can only have a piecemeal effect. Fair pay and benefits for all have a universal effect and we proved that until about thirty years ago when the forces of avarice and greed obtained an overwhelming advantage and control through the efforts of Ronald Reagan and his shortsighted, hateful ilk.


(From Facebook, July 1.)

Today, I visited with a nice couple I'm going to join in marriage on Friday. He has a home here in Cottonwood and is marrying a lady from Australia who owns two pharmacies there. He also has business in Australia much of the year, so they'll be here sometimes and there the rest of the time. Corporatism and plutarchs don't control Australia. Hers, and other such businesses, are independent there, like I remember they once were here when I was a child.

I really envy that man. How I wish I could have known what I know now decades before that fucking hateful catholic Reagan wormed his way into the presidency and started my country on its now accelerating decline into plutocracy, religious tyranny and oligarchy. Oh, it was already in the works. He and his cohorts just put the final plan into operation.

This is no longer the greatest country on earth. It has become a disgusting crock of shit, and don't expect me to apologize for writing that. It will never be retracted, and anyone who objects can just go ahead and unfriend me. I will say, "good riddance."

Happy and fortunate are those few Americans who were wise enough during the Viet Nam era and after to get their asses out of the United States and move to Australia, Canada, Scandinavia, The Netherlands, etc. I was too dumb and unaware to see or grasp the opportunity, and now it's too late. The die is cast and I'm stuck here in maniacville.

Cursed be the name of Ronald Reagan. He started all this crap. The Bushes accelerated it, and the religitards who control congress, the courts, etc. locked it all in place. I really see no deliverance, no matter how hard the only sane president we've had since Clinton tries. They've locked it up and I see no deliverance in the cards.

Are you going to vote the bastards out, or are you going to go docilly to the slaughter along with all the other sheep?

Monday, June 30, 2014


The return of the dark ages through the aegis of a carefully contrived supeme court proceeds like a runaway train. It all began with catholic Reagan, along with his other attempts to return america to the rule of the rich, powerful and fanatically religious that was originally begun by emperor Constantine and caused over one thousand years of human stagnation under a cruel, ignorant religious hierarchy blinded by their stupidity and hatred.

I'm very down this morning. Those five assholes on the bench have finally succeeded and I'm sure they're smugly proud of themselves. I wouldn't be surprised if they somehow contrived to have me arrested for something for daring to write what I've just written.

Don't get excited, guys. My voice will soon disappear just through the natural attrition lifespans impose. In the meantime, fuck you bastards! Fuck all churches! Fuck all stupid gods and religious book crap! Fuck what the USA has become!

Sunday, June 29, 2014


(From Facebook.)

There are some people who keep on following what I put up and I know they must find it diametrically opposed to their own set beliefs. There was a time when I probably would have been in their shoes, so I kinda understand. I hung onto "faith" long after I should have chucked it into the nearest trash can. It's not easy to cast off a lifetime of surity and supposed security overnight.

Anyway, it wasn't easy for me either. As recently as a decade ago, I was buying the "secret" CDs and giving them credence. I still value positive thinking, but I recognize that it just gives you a mental attitude and approach more conducive to progress and possible eventual success. Life is still pretty much a crapshoot because neither you nor your thinking can alter every happenstance.

Before that was Neille Donald Walsh's books. Same general facts apply. Some good phiilosophy, but it didn't come from any actual "conversation" with any deity anymore than the Quran or the books of the Bible did.

So, rest assured that I appreciate those who stick with me even if some of the things I say and share might irk them or make them feel uncomfortable. I didn't get where I am overnight and you may never join me.

That's Ok. But, don't expect me to "lighten up."

That just isn't me.

Friday, June 27, 2014


I had a terrifying experience in my van today. I was coming downhill on Rio Mesa Drive (nearly everything in this river valley is either on or near a hill) and the motor cut out. I could still steer laboriously, but there was no brake! I finally got my arthritic leg up high enough to slam on the parking brake and skidded to a meandering stop. The motor started, then stopped once or twice more then kept going and I proceeded but decided to go up another uphill street to the right. Bad move. It stalled again and I'm careening backward downhill toward the intersection with little control. I managed to swing left around the corner and into the ditch where I was finally able to again engage that ridiculous emergency brake.

Luckily, no one was where I careened wildly, and by this time, I'm trembling mightily. I thought a moment and decided to try again. It started. I put the brake part way down, put it in 1st gear and eased out of the ditch and down to the 260 main road and around the corner, then shifting into second and slowly making my way home where the van is now safely parked.

My diagnosis is fuel pump. It's one of those in the tank monstrosities that cost a fortune to replace, so the van will be sitting awhile. If it were a sane vehicle from a few decades ago, I'd disconnect and unbolt the fuel pump, go get a new one and put it in. No way is this a shade tree deal! Especially not for an eighty year old stove up old fart.

Well, it did solve a problem I'd been wrestling with. I'd booked a Sedona cleaning job for Monday and was questioning whether I'd bitten off more than I could really chew, especially with the probability of stairs to wrestle that heavy machine up and then down, which is even more dangerous, and maybe split levels inside. Very little in Sedona is one level.

This happenstance effectively puts me out of the flooring business, and maybe it's for the best. I'm so ornery that I just hate to quit. Maybe it's akin to my first marriage. My ex made the decision for me. I doubt if I ever would have divorced her. We Dexters are great at toughing it out and loyalty and dedication seem to be a built in given. It also helped keep me in that ridiculous cult far longer than I ever should have stayed.

So, I don't have to feel guilty and like I'm a quitter. We humans are enigmatic creatures, aren't we? We have so many psychological quirks. One of my biggest is just plain stubborness. But, if you want somebody who will hang with you through thick and thin, I guess I'm your man.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Everything evolves! It's the law of the universe. From simple to increasingly complex everywhere and in everything.

In the beginning was hydrogen gas that grouped into stars and stars gathered to form galaxies and galaxy groups. As stars exploded, heavy elements evolved, new generations of stars came into being with planetary systems so diverse we'll probably never be able to isolate and categorize the variabilities.

We can watch it all with ever more power and clarity and it is going on all around us in the vastness of the universe.

So far, we're only able to identify the evolution of life on our own infinitesimally small piece of cosmic real estate, but it follows a similar route to ever greater complexity. And we, who seem to be the pinncle of evolutionary development in this eco system carry the principle forward with our ever more complicated and wondrous technology.

Just look at that cell phone in your hand and then go look at an original hand crank dinosaur in some museum that was a marvel just a short century ago. It's the only computer many have or need and it blasts to insignificance those original vacumn tube monstrosities I read about in Scientific American as a teen ager. A big monstrous computer monitor sat unclaimed in the free stuff lineup at an estate sale this morning. That would have disappeared very fast just a few short years ago, but who wants that when a tablet will do much more and certainly much more handily?

You have to be stubbornly intent on believing for the sake of believing to deny the reality of evolution.

Monday, June 23, 2014


(From Facebook.)

I wasn't able to attend the meeting of our free thought group last week and missed out on meeting someone who came with flyers and business cards obviously hoping to proselytize among us for a following. There are a lot of people like him in the Sedona area, each set on promoting their paticular brand of wooo. He was not at all impressed by our secularness and concentration on proven scientific facts. Here are selections from an email he sent to the leader of our group:

"For the past 35 years I have been to over 50 countries, traveling and spending time with Native American medicine people, Canadian medicine people, Peruvian Shamans, an Eskimo medicine man, psychics, channels, complimentary therapists and literally hundreds and hundreds of other healers and therapists worldwide.

I have also developed ways to heal the underlying root cause of diabetes, allergies and cancer. These are very logical approaches, however I doubt if any western trained doctor would validate my work.

I have also been invited to work in holistic chiropractic and medical clinics to help in cases where the traditional practices could not solve the challenges. What I have seen and experienced in the past 35 years, including physically seeing spaceships, has humbled and stretched my logical left brain to the point where I had to honor my right brain and my intuition."

Why he shows up at our meeting with his flyers, etc. instead of taking his momentous achievements to the AMA and other peer reviewed and rigidly monitored organizations is a question I would like answered. He told Ron, our defacto president that he has cured cancer. I'm sure the medical world would love to see documentation of that and be able to duplicate the wonderful things he claims to have done. Maybe they could even give a research chair to some of those medicine men, etc. he mentions.

This kind of thing has been going on since the beginning of time. We even see it in the pages of the New Testament.

For prime example, along comes Saul whose name got changed to Paul. He freely admits that he never met someone named Jesus, or ever exchanged a single word with him. Yet, his writings are the main foundation upon which the christian religion is based. He even gives details of the "last supper" at which he was totally absent and it surprisingly parallels rites common to some other sects of competing savior/hero religions.

But, in this new thing he first tried to stamp out, he found something he could promote as a special revelation to him and went around to synagogues and other places of meeting and discussion and slowly built up a following for himself. Among those intrigued by his message would sometimes be someone with an active and questioning mind who gave credence to wooo wooo tales and was also very rich. They often provided a comfortable place for Paul to stay with all the perks that particular aristocrat could offer. Not a bad life at times and he got to preach what entered into his deluded brain and often to write it down. He says he got these things revealed to him by Jesus personally in Arabia. Hmmmm.

Arabia seems to be a common cauldron of wild-eyed divine revelations. A few centuries later, a guy by the name of Muhammad got some other crazy stuff there while holed up in a cave talking, he says, to an angel. I had an uncle by marriage who got similar things through his bad case of shizophrenia and died in a boarded up apartment with aluminum foil covering every opening.

Anyway, we definitely are secular free thinkers. That does not mean we're going to go hieing our behinds off after every cooky pitcher of wooo that happens by. We go with history and science. We demand proof of claims, not bombast.

Monday, June 16, 2014


There's an ancient saying -- "he slept with his fathers." Kinda sums up human existence and the inevitable end result.

I only remember back as far as father and grandfather. I remember them as energetic, vibrant men, and so were my mother, grandmothers and two great grandmothers. They're all gone now, and I have no memories of any of the "fathers" who preceded them because I never knew them. I just know that the day will come when I will join them, but I'm not so sure that it's a sleep. More likely, it's the finality of blackness and nothingness just like what preceded my birth. Like Mark Twain, that nothingness was no inconvenience to me and I expect no inconvenience when I'm gone. If something continues on, so be it. I'll deal with that when I'm there, but I really question whether I'll have to.

I know for sure that my brain will stop functioning just as surely as when I was under anesthesia a few times as soon as the oxygenated blood ceases to flow. It's doubtful I'll be able to see with no functioning eyeballs to convert those electromagnetic waves into electrical signals to go to a brain that's stone cold dead. There'll be no smelling, no touching, no speaking. Those all-important five senses will have no means of functioning, without what a friend of mind has described as a five-sensed, carbon-based wet suit.

The belief that something astral and composed of spirit goes on is appealing, but I'm not convinced it does. Appealing anecdotes are out there. My second wife and step-daughter were certain they dealt with ghosts in Tombstone. Phyllis is also sure she saw a ghost once. People are absolutely sure in their own minds that existence goes on. The reality I have to consider is that people see all sorts of things that aren't really there all the time. Even courts of law have to cross examine eye witnesses and individual accounts of the same event can vary greatly because no two people see things exactly the same way.

There's only one way to find out, and I'm in no hurry to run that experiment quite yet. I know I'm going to "sleep with my fathers" one day. I'm just not sure "sleep" is the perfect metaphor. However, when I'm asleep, except for an occasional dream, I'm blissfully unaware of everything, even that recurring sharp pain in the top of my foot I wrote about last night.

Ah, questions and musings. They never end.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


I was eating breakfast and reflecting on Father's Day when my son called to wish me a happy day to which I reciprocated. We've both been privileged to continue an inexorable process that began way back -- clear to that nebulous "big bang," in fact.

In the beginning, all was pure hydrogen (maybe a little helium, I'm not sure). It's taken billions of years for that hydrogen to give parenthood, through the process we call evolution, to everything that exists and has existed. Stars had to be born out of the primordial gas clouds and eventually die explosively to spill all those heavy elements necessary for you and I to exist into the cosmos. I have no idea how many now extinct stars lived and died to make me possible.

Then, there are all those struggling lifeforms that probably started out in the seas that came along, slowly mutating and evolving with most being dead ends. But, enough live ends with just the right physical setup continued on, leading inexorably to the complex being that is me. I passed my half of those complex genes on to my four children and two of them have in turn passed the torch first kindled in those long ago stars on to a new generation.

So, today, I honor that long evolutionary process and am happy I had the opportunity to take part in it. Who knows where it will all end?

Nobody! Absolutely Nobody!

It's just been a privilege to be a conscious part of it.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


(From Facebook.)

I just made a comment on Bill Flavell's post about attending an origin of life gathering in London which I wish I could attend. I hope the discussions will be made available online.

Anyway, abiogenesis is inevitable. Everything had to have a beginning somehow, someway, including any god people have dreamed up. Even that fiction about Jesus shows that. He had some father, and it certainly wasn't any supernatural being. I know how children are made and so do you, if you have been even minimally observant -- or complicitory, as have I.

Creationists and other daft devotees of superstitious nonsense have to push that abiogenesis back beyond the beginning of this universe and assume that something beyond comprehension for magnificence and all-everything power just magically happened and never had to evolve painfully and slowly as everything since then certainly has. (Technology is another example of the ievitability of evolution in producing anything.)

A particularly stupid ex-friend of mine who is also one of those incredibly dumb and irrational tea partyists had the balls to tell me god just always has been. He knows the universe hasn't always been, but his god could have always been. Of course, none of the equally implausible gods that preceded his christian religion, could and also always exist -- just his god dreamed up by warring hebrew tribes and desperate prelates ordered by Constantine to come up with a new religion for the empire or else. That god has to be real, because he just couldn't have grown up in a society and culture that got anything wrong. Everybody else can be wrong, but not him and his perfect in all things progenitors.

Yes, one of these days, we will advance enough to explain why life, including the life you and I possess and pursue, arose by abiogenesis and subsequent slow and steady evolution. It's just as inevitable as admitting the earth is not flat, that the heavens do not revolve around the earth, that the sun is not a god but a stupendous fusion plant, etc.

Suck on that, creationists!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


It's a bitch to get old and even more so in a rethug dominated nation. Every day that goes by, I struggle with my declining physical prowess and the worries of expenses coming along that threaten to put us under. Month by month, everything costs us more, just like everyone else, but I have fewer and fewer options to blunt the effect

I went to look at a carpet job today which I was pretty sure was too much for me, even though the guy was willing to help out. It was a nightmare in the making of somewhere around 80 to 90 yards with no tack strip remaining in old flinty concrete and the idiot thought some fool was going to do it all for around $200 or he would be better off going with Home Depot's deal.

First of all, I'm not up to tackling a nightmare job like that, and I'm no damn slave either. I took the opportunity to slip in my feelings on politics and religion before I left. Don't know whether he appreciated them or not, and I frankly don't give a damn. I'm no longer one to hold my tongue on anything any more. I've replaced my grandfather's favorite statement about "that goddamn Hoover" with "those goddamn republicans." (That's only a convenient common way of saying something and not a recognition of any f=====g god, but I sometimes substitute that common word instead.)

What a difference in old Al in about five decades! I guess no more mister nice guy pretty well describes me these days. I'm mad as hell, as the saying goes, and I refuse to hide it.

Friday, June 6, 2014


While I was driving today, an analogy popped into my ever-active mind. Recently, I've seen a lot of pictures of trees ripped out of the ground by high winds and often sent crashing into homes, cars and people. It can be quite disastrous.

The similarity to economics flooded into my consciousness. An economy is much like a tree. We see the glorious part that waves around in the sunshine, rain and wind, but we tend to not consider much those all important roots that keep the whole thing tethered and flourishing. They'd better be sunk very deep into very solid soil. If anything stunts their development or weakens the soil in which they're anchored, disaster is on the way.

Our trickle down economic system is very much like one of those trees. Oh, it looks very stable and glorious if you happen to have a fat job and bank account. You can dazzle anyone who happens by and strut your stuff as someone special, gifted and important. A lot of people are dazzled by the prospect of being such a glorious success as they fight for advantage in our unbalanced system which tends to ignore both the soil and roots that make for a long-lasting, healthy tree. The consumer is constantly being deprived of everything that sustains the nourishment of that tree and firmly stabilizes it for the benefit of the opulent few joyfully cavorting in the economic breezes.

What they don't realize is storms are inevitable, and one of these days one is going to come along and uproot the whole unstable mess. It's inevitable that all will someday, and probably soon, come crashing down!

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Ah, the inanities and insanities taught in religious faiths. The nonsense of heaven and hell first comes to mind.

Can you imagine the isufferable boredom of sitting around gazing rapturously at some god's face for eternity (what's that mean?) and endlessly shouting out praises to him (it's always a "him" it seems)? One day of that would get old -- but, an eternity? Says a bit about the mindset of the males who drempt up the nonsense, in my opinion. Their ideal existence is probably sitting around in their dirty skivies drinking beer, eating some dietary trash while their beer gut rumbles away and everyone in the vicinity competes to tell them how wonderful they are.

Then, how about an ever-burning hell which is supposed to afflict you when you are in a supposed state of pure energy with no physical pain mechanisms existing?

Ever-burning? Even stars don't burn forever. Give enough trillions of years and the universe will end up bleak and cold, unless there is some renewal mechanism we haven't yet fathomed.

Just some Sunday morning ruminations and thinking outside the ridiculous box people like to confine themselves and others to. I could go on, but there are other things waiting to be done.

Saturday, May 31, 2014


I've made up my mind that I'm going to make an appointment with my doctor on Monday to discuss the problem with my right knee. I've been hoping my own measures would alleviate the problem, but it's not happening. It works rather well part of the time and then seems like it wants to lock or actually go backwards and hurts when that happens. Meloxicam doesn't help either. It looks like I'm going to have to give up the floor work altogether and I hate that as we need an extra few bucks now and then. That cane is seldom left behind anymore. I need that extra stabilization.

I guess I can't complain. Almost 80 and I've never spent a night in any hospital. Only dental and cataract surgeries and skin cancer freeze offs. I even escaped colds for several of the last few years but one got me last winter and sent me on my weight loss quest.

I'm trying to be philosophical about it, but the change is so radical compared to what I've enjoyed all my life. Such things always cleared up with time and care in the past, but I don't heal and repair like I used to. The drying up of those hormonal "juices" is very noticeable in its overall effect. The "machine" is in need of some major overhuals I'm afraid, and I guess it's getting pretty well plumb worn out.


As a human creature, I'm an organized concoction of atoms that were born in stars intricately arranged into molecules and chemical compounds that work together in an harmonious state. Once in awhile things go wrong, and the older you get, the more that happens. Eventually, some malfunction will kill me. I know that, but I don't think about it too much. Living is just too interesting in the meantime.

Just like in the technological world, one improvement leads to countless others and we now have touch screen computing devices that make the first computer we owned look like a lumbering dinosaur in comparison. Remember those first clunky cell phones? Now, the only computer some people have is a smart phone they hold in one hand and it far oushines the first computers.

We recently found the missing link fossil (yes, missing link fossilss are all over the place) of a fish that had jointed limbs. That fish is in my genealogical lineage, and those apendages are the forerunners of the fingers that are clicking these computer keys.

That wonderful development took place eons ago -- eons that are virtually impossible for me to wrap my mind around. It was a far different planet then. The present world map didn't exist. Landmasses have moved around painfully slowly in the meantime. Oceans and seas have come and gone. Millions of species have thriven and perished. It's a miracle that just the right ones came along and led to ME!

Have parallel events transpired on other planets? Probably. But what stage are they in? Has anything comparable to us evolved out there somewhere? Maybe. Maybe not. It's doubtful I'll ever know. But, I can wonder.

Time to get on with the day and go outside to observe and wonder about all those other marvelous creatures (and relatives) that fill this wonderful world we seem to be hell bent on trashing and destroying for the sake of human invented wealth.

Friday, May 30, 2014


A good man had to bite the bullet and resign today, not from anything he personally did but due to the deception and lies of people under him. I have to feel sorry for him, but that's the way with high office holders overseeing as best they can people under them and being lied to and betrayed. I can't help feeling that he's better off getting shut of the whole bureaucratic mess. At least the resignation of the White House Press Secretary was a voluntary decision made for overall career reasons that must have made sense to him.

It's a whole different world from that I remember just after World War II. We were a nation that really cared about each other then. The goal was the advancement of the nation and everyone in it.

Not anymore! What I see today disgusts me. It's a lie and a travesty to refer to ourselves as a democratic nation. We're a plutocracy, pure and simple, and the average person is nothing more than throw away garbage to those who hold the ultimate power.

I'd like to be optimistic and think this will all pass, but I'm also a realist and what I see coming is pessimistic in the extreme.

We're Rome all over again!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Propaganda does horrible things with people's minds. Two examples are global warming and creationism.

All qualified scientists are unanimous in stating that global warming is real and a growing threat and that creationism is a lot of bunk. People don't like either fact so they are quick to grab onto any off-the-wall bullshit some idiot pulls out of the nether region of his anatomy and publishes. They have no academic or scientific background or credentials. They just endlessly quote each other based on manufactured credentials from spurious organizations they themselves created.

But, they get equal, if not even greater, coverage, and the average gullible cretin who desperately wants to believe his opinions are just as good as all those "edicated fools," parrots it and seeks to impose the nonsense on public policy, especially education. After all, they aren't going to stand for their kid coming home and telling them that they don't know diddly about anything.

Well, they don't! And, the tragedy of the situation is that some of them have their asses firmly planted in the halls of congress.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


It's sad, actually horrifying, what people can get themselves into because of addictions, usually alcohol.

Today, I was planning to help out a recent acquaintance, actually my neighbor to the rear, by taking him to Jerome for a court date. We were to leave about 9am. At 9:15 I went over to see what the holdup was to find the lady who rents the place cleaning and spraying to get burn odors out. Seems the guy who was staying there is an alcoholic who got drunk and nearly burned the place down last night with something that caught fire on the stove. So, he was arrested and taken to jail.

Later today, I was going to drive his truck back from Camp Verde where it is stranded due to him being arrested there for a little hit and run resulting in a broken mirror, his license taken away, etc. I was just trying to be a good neighbor and help someone I hardly knew out just out of human concern, even though the whole day promised to be a gigantic pain in the you know what. That's just the way I roll, as the saying puts it.

The guy is a former marine veteran and seems to be a conscientious and hard-working guy. "Semper Fi" is one of his favorite and habitual phrases. I really wish there were something I could do to help him, but it's completely beyond my means and capabilities. Alcohol has completely ruined his life since everything he owns is in that parked truck because he had decided last weekend to move to Black Canyon City to get away from a situation he didn't like where he had been living. I suspect they got fed up with his drunkeness, but I can't know for sure about anything.

Oy Vay! What messes we humans can get ourselves into over a simple chemical and a genetic compulsion to consume it.

It's tragic!


It's down to three contenders tonight for Dancing With the Stars finale, and they're all good. The real contest is between Meryl and Maks and Amy and Derek. Hard to choose, but my votes went to Meryl and Maks. We'll see what happens this evening.

I appreciate having something like this excellent program to take my mind off what's wrong with the world. A little inspiration goes a long way sometimes. I certainly need it.

It's truly inspiring to see what human beings can do when they really pull out all the stops and give it their all. There are very few truly lazy people in the world. Most will rise to their potential if they have a decent chance. It's such a tragedy when children are put down and their spirits broken before they even get an opportunity to show what they're really made of.

The marvels of genetics are truly amazing. Every baby that comes into this world is so full of potential and I often wonder how much true potential never gets to be. There wouldn't be space to accomodate it all, So, we should cherish every little life that comes along and strive to develop it to the full.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


I was just reading on the Banned by HWA blog the touching tribute to a former worldwider who has gone the way of all flesh. He was, apparently, one of the more genuine adherents to that theological aberration.

What struck me was his widow's belief that a "crown" is laid up for him.

I have no doubt that he was an exemplary person who did his level best to live a good and loving life. He's not alone. Most people have a desire to live that kind of life, and many succeed to some degree. We certainly all aspire to the goal if we're decent human beings.

But, why does everyone aspire to have a "crown?' What's the great attraction of having something that signifies absolute rule over other creatures? When I was in Worldwide, that was the ever-present "carrot" suspended in our plodding gaze to keep us hyped up as we traversed one "gun lap" after another. We practically orgasmed over the prospect of being rulers over this messed up earth and being able to be that "voice behind them" every time they were about to mess up.

It's still going in all those laughable splits and splinters that remind me of the divisions of protestantism we used to so self-righteously ridicule.

What comical denizens of primatedom we are! Might as well laugh about it. All comedy harks back to the stupidities of reality.

Monday, May 12, 2014


As a compulsive history buff, I tend to dwell on what the hell is wrong with the world and how did it get so damn screwed up. I'm not alone in that but a lot of people think they know and most of them haven't a clue.

We started to get screwed up when crafty con artists and would be mafia-don-type leaders set out in early societies to lord it over their fellow primates and appropriate to themselves the lion's share of everything so they could live in opulent ease while the lesser peons (I like to picture that as literal pee-ons) groveled along in abject subservience, having to bow and scrape to their now exhalted masters.

The myths of religions and manufactured imaginary gods kept everybody in properly cowering fearful mode because none of those gods could be seen. They just lurked there in the imaginary but oh so powerful background and every time some disaster came along, either individually or enmasse on the whole populace, the bombastic gurus were quick to make sure everyone knew it was because they had angered one of those oh so powerful entities.

By the time things had evolved into the Roman Empire, that marvel of crass militaristic oppression and amalgamated chaos, so many cultures and religions had been absorbed that the plethora of supreme gods and saviors extant became a confusing morass of bombastic and mutually condemnatory, duplicatory and totally confusing and divisionary empire endangering stupidity that old emperor Constantine had to do something to get the "family" straightened out, At least, he was pragmatic enough to know that all that confusion was bad for the overall family business. Any respectable "don" with a lick of sense could have seen that.

The answer! Imperial decree, of course!

By decree backed up by a still very impressive and ruthless military, he ordered all those warring religious "authorities" to hie their behinds off to Nicacea and have themselves a conference and they'd better get it settled once and for all what was to be the only religious faith and doctrine to be tolerated in the empire.

It took months of arguing and fighting, but what came out as an amalgamation of the most influencial and dominating of the "leaders" present is what the western world struggled along under as the Catholic Church through all those oppressive times we refer to as the "dark ages." All the scientific progress made in the ancient world was pretty much buried under a totalitarian system of superstitious ignorance and oppression.

Human progress came to an almost total halt for more than a thousand years! That's what religion does for a society!

Not too long after that, a deranged camel jockey called Mohammad came on the scene and soon set up a competing religion known as Islam and through terror and ruthless conquest, it imposed itself on a great deal of the world and still lusts for the rest of it.

The enlightenment did a lot to reverse things in the western world, but the minions of superstition and groveling obedience to imagined all powerful beings still holds the majority of people in our country and many others in its oppressive sway. Reason is kicked to the gutter and replaced by stupid fairy tales while the rich and powerful love to have it that way. People who have no idea how to really think and reason are easier to keep under control.

It has always been so and the miserable course of history shows what is the inevitable result any time "faith" takes over. I'd like to be optimistic, but I have qualms when I look at the real situation.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


I bought a book Saturday -- George Carlin's autobiography, Last Words -- for $1. I love autobiographies and especially about people I love and look up to, like George Carlin. He's sharp. He's irreverent. He's totally honest and above board. Especially, his knack for saying it exactly like it is. I respect that. Too bad he's now among the dearly departed.

I don't know how long it will take to get through the book, reading a little every day but I'm certainly going to finish it. People are so damn interesting and when someone as interesting and unique as George tells his story, it gets downright spellbinding.

We really should be fascinated by everyone we meet because, if we could know their story, it would usually be fascinating. Maybe some lives could be a bit dull, but even that would contain lessons in avoiding dullness.

Biographies are good two, but they have the disadvantage of being secondhand, someone else's take and interpretation of a person's life.

I like it firsthand.

Monday, May 5, 2014


(From Facebook.)

Time to get going on this day. I need a haircut and have an eye exam scheduled. We'll see how those old lamps are doing.

My son called last evening to see how I'm doing. It's comforting to know your children care about you as you steadily decline. I now have a problem with my right knee which tends to lodk up when I stand still for a long time doing something. I'm trying to figure out the machanics that cause the problem. Probably just an old, sloppy joint. I guess I need to consult a specialist. We're kind of like old machines that develop bad bearings with use. A knee operation definitely does not appeal to me.

I can't complain. Nearly eighty years of vibrant health and physical agility. I've never spent even an hour in a hospital bed and hope to keep it that way. I have that die with your boots on attitude.

It's still frustrating though when I have to take slopes slowly and couldn't feel safely balanced on a step stool yesterday when I was putting a new chain on a ceiling fan. Had to go get the A-frame aluminum ladder so I could lean against it. A lack of testosterone does a lot more damage than just diminished to absent sex drive. It affects everything!

I now know what "the juices drying up" means. It's more than figurative language. We come into this world wound up and the spring gets tighter until we pass that quarter century mark. Then, it's a steady downhill trip that isn't too noticeable at first. Just fifteen years ago, I could still square dance up a storm and work long days.

It's that "memories" stage of life.

Saturday, May 3, 2014


It's "cinco de drinko" weekend. I'm not too enthusiastic about taking any long drives and the enforcement teams will be all over the place. A lot of chicanos are going to end up with legal problems, and I sympathize with them.


Because most of them have a good dose of native american genes in their system, making them desirous of and totally helpless against the curse of the alcohol europeans brought to these shores. Many of european ancestry have a similar problem, but not anywhere near as overwhelming as the problem those of native ancestry face. I know. I'm stepfather to a full blood native american my wife adopted at birth. He's spent most of his life since mid-teens behind bars due to his overwhelming addiction to alcohol. He's there right now.

Another proof, as I see it, that evolution is an actuality. There certainly was no intelligent guidance behind a situation like this.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I can take that chemical or leave it, and usually leave it because there is no overwhelming compulsion in my genetic makeup to lead me to lust after it. A 30-pack of beer will last me around six months and the harder stuff sitting on a shelf in our pantry often sits there for months and years. I've got two-year-old rum waiting for the next eggnog season, but it's the eggnog mix that I really like. I have pretty much a take it or leave it attitude toward the rum part.

So, I have an attitude of pity and compassion toward those who are stuck with a chemical compulsion. It makes for a thorny problem and we're stupid if we think draconian punishments and persecutions are going to solve anything. It only makes for more and worse problems. I liken it to the justifications some people make for torture. It's really a similar attitude.

Monday, April 21, 2014


People are so damn stupid! I mean, the average yokel out there thinks he knows everything about everything and really knows absolutely nothing about anything.

We went donwntown this afternoon with the dogs to get a few things. We stopped at Food City and a thrift store up the street. I passed a young guy out front who inquired if I had any jobs he could do. I didn't but decided to walk by again and converse with him. Turns out he's jobless and homeless. I expressed my understanding and that led to his badmouthing Obama, so I had to point out that it wasn't Obama's fault as he has been thwarted in everything he's tried to do by congress. Of course, that led to whole plethora of cliches like "they're all crooks, etc., etc.

There's no sense trying to converse with or argue with stupidity. Stupid, ignorant people universally consider themselves knowledgeable in everything and they're going to try to impress you with their supposed wisdom about all the things they know absolutely nothing about. So, I gave it up as a lost cause and meandered off with my quite sensible and astute Pomeranians.

I think we'd be better off if we all "went to the dogs."


One of the greatest enslavers around is the matter of being underpaid. Most of the super rich get their wealth from banking and related financial services. If you don't earn enough to live comfortably on, the end result is usually going into debt when some emergency comes up. That only compounds the already existing problem by saddling on the extra burden of exhorbitant interest and increasing debt is the only way to survive.

Often, the only way out is to declare bankruptcy which also costs money but far less than continuing on with the crushing debt.

It's an evil system and the true "lazy" of the world are determined to keep the gravy train for themslves rolling right along. Everyone else is just an expendable pawn in this ruthless game.


(From Facebook.)

We say we abolished slavery in the 1860s. A lot of people had good intentions in that direction, but I've come to realize that the world has been a world of slavery to one degree or another forever. It just seems to be in our genes or something to want to ascend to the top and then sit there in self-congratulatory hypocrisy and look down on everyone else while making damn sure they stay in a demeaning, groveling and disrespected state.

If you aren't lucky and ruthless enough to figure the angles and make a huge pile of wealth, those who stumble on the shady and often inherited secrets are quick to denounce you as lazy. Somehow working more than one job to barely get by while neglecting your family life and personal health, etc. turns up as laziness to these self-righteous bastards and bastardesses.

At my age, I can see the facts much clearer than I used to. Cliches and slogans no longer impress me. We're not the greatest nation on earth anymore, though for a short time, we came close. Claiming to be christian and wonderful means nothing when you build a society and culture the Jesus portrayed in the gospels would take up scourges against like he did the temple money changers. I guess that might have actually happened, but I know too much about the manufacture of that tome to depend on any of it as historical fact. Anyway, those who claim to love and respect it are usually totally condemned by it if their attitudes and practices are taken into account.

Just some thoughts that came to me as I prepare to shuffle off to bed.

Friday, April 4, 2014


(From Facebook -- it's where most of my activism get its expression.)

Tomorrow, we have a meeting of our free thought group and will try to hash out exactly where we want to go. Some want a formal organization under 501-C or something similar and many of us want it less formal and loose. The more formal we get, the harder the work for anyone in a leadership position and the more hoops to jump through. At my age and as active as I am here and on my blog, I tend to back off on getting involved in all kinds of time, money and labor intensive things.

Sponsoring speakers and advertising to the public brings in a few new associates but gets very expensive, and a couple of more afluent members have been bearing the brunt of that. That can't continue, so some sort of formal dues paying has to begin or we have to trim our sails. I definitely don't want the social outlet we've established to end. We all need the support and interacdtion of like-minded people.

So, this is an important meeting, as I see it. As one who helped get it started, I feel a responsibility to put in my two cents worth and help us chart a course that will work out well.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Will we ever be able to colonize planets outside our own solar system? We're discovering more candidates all the time, as the article cited below reveals. But, they are so far away that many of them would require trips much longeer than the time from the original colonization of this country to now. We only have a dim awareness of our ancestors who took that journey. They all have one thing in common -- they're now dead!

Unless we can find some way of exceeding the speed of light, it looks virtually impossible to even contemplate anyone setting out on such a journey and living to see the end of it. Whole generations of humans would have to survive on a vehicle containing complete eco systems without ever breaking down in transit, evading all the hazards of interstellar hostile environments, etc.

Interstellor space is mostly empty, but not totally so. A host of wandering objects have to be out there and a hurtling spacecraft could easily wind up hitting one. Once in awhile, wandering objects like that have hit spaceship earth, and the dinosaurs didn't fare very well in the last big collision. There's even reason to believe another pretty big one led to the demise of the mammoths and other ancient fauna and a considerable number of humans as well.

For the immediate future, I think we'd better concentrate on maintaining the habitability or our own fagile world and quit acting like we have somewhere else to which we can move. Instead of worrying about maintaining hegemonic supremacy over other nations, we'd better start concentrating on cooperaating to ward off disasters that could very easily be heading our way from way out there and on keeping this fragile old planet hospitable.

Here's the article that set off this train of thought:


I'm very down tonight after that damnable ruling by the Supreme Court!

I'm angry. I'm filled with hate and loathing for that damnable republican party monstrousity that has systematically destroyed everything that made America great and turned it into a crock of shit. They're all a bunch of loathsome, lying, deceptive and deceitful dregs of humanity that wouldn't recognize common decency if they stumbled over it.

I don't like feeling this way. I just poured myself about a triple scotch to take some of the edge off, and that's something I rarely resort to. But, I need it tonight.

Right now, if anybody showed up at my door and identified him or herself as a rethug, I'd literally kick them off my property. No republican is a friend of mine anymore. I know the enemy when I see the enemy, and if you are a rethug, you are my enemy and the enemy of every other decent american. Just do me the courtesy of staying to hell away from me!!!!

Friday, March 28, 2014


One of the hardest things to rip out of my mind is the old dualist idea that man is dual, having both a physical and a spiritual existence at the same time, that we are physical beings with an immortal soul that lives on after physical death.

This article pretty well debunks that doctrine. I have to admit that I'd still like for the old fairy tale to be true, but there is no real, tangible evidence that it can be.

have a good read:

Thursday, March 20, 2014


We jsut answered a prayer.

It came from little Daisy, our pomchi. She was thirsty and knows if she barks and starts dragging the plastic water bowl across the floor toward us, we will answer and fill the bowl. We never fail her, but I can't begin to remember all the prayers I used to waste my time and energy on and never received any answers that couldn't just as reasonably be accredited to pure chance.

Those chances still come to pass with about as much reliability as they did back then but without the humiliating exercise in subservience to an imaginary entity. In fact, all the good things that have come my way in the past few decades came from private action and pure dumb luck.

I know. It's comforting to imagine some transcendent and omnipotent "master" is going to magically cause things to go right for you and people constantly aver how so many of their prayers are answered. They ignore the millions of concentration camp victims who screamed out their desperate prayers in vain and the brutalized women and children who desperately plead in vain for dliverance as they are victimized and murdered. Their phantom is remarkably deaf and dumb in the face of such realities.

We're sort of like gods to little Daisy. However, we are real and we do act. That ethereal celestial phantom isn't and doesn't.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


We humans are so varied. No two people are exactly alike, even though there may be similariies, such as exist in families and culturally united populations.

I was thinking about myself and my unique talents and proclivities as compared with others I admire, specifically in the area of communications. I admire debaters like the late Christopher Hitchens, but I'm not a debater. I don't have that hair trigger mind and wit debaters have to have. I'd come off poorly, and I know it. So, I'm not about to get out there and do my cause damage by having my ass kicked embarassingly.

I'm an essayist, and I think I'd make a fair lecturer. So, I'm going to stick to what I do well and champion those others who waltze into the lion's den of a debate and carry the day.


I'll cheer you on!


I get so infuriated with these self-righteous, unreasonable assholes who like to quote the bible proscription against people who won't work eating and then denouncing things like food stamps and unemployment benefits -- even earned benefits like Social Security.

Let's get a few things straight here!

Those precepts were enjoined when people lived in small, mostly self-sufficient little groups where everybody had to pitch in their part in the communal effort to provide food, material and shelter. It was not an industrialized world where people had to scroung around for jobs anywhere they could find them and hope there would be something available that conformed to their talents and skills and paid enough to adequately provide for them and their families.

The modern corporation with the goal of mining a host of low paid serfs for the benefit of CEOs and rich stock holders hadn't come along at that time, but the same self-serving goals drove societal evils like outright and in-the-open slavery. What we see championed now by the extreme right is just the modern equivalent of that slave-supported, poverty-generating social system.

The institutions have changed over the millenia, but the driving goals of enslavement have not.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


I'm puzzled. We americans and the western europeans constantly trumpet our dedication to democaracy and say that governments should derive their authority and hegemony from the will of the people being governed. It's supposedly a foundational principle to which we say we are dedicated.

Today, 95% of the people in Crimea voted in a referendum to be a part of Russia, not the Ukraine.

Our response?

We refuse to recognize that referendum vote!

I'm not in love with Putin. He's a thug. He's a dictator in all practical respects. Nor am I especially enamored of Russia. My wife studied Russian at ASU. She knows Russian history and Russian proclivities. She's told me repeatedly that Russians are by nature predominantly thugs. It's in their culture. They are, At least the original core population, descended from Viking traders, just like my Norman ancestors. They've retained some of the more unsavory traits some other Vikings managed to cast off. Yet, there are many admirable traits and accomplishments a great many Russians have exemplified.

We're all human. We tend to reflect as individuals what our culture has inculcated into us. I understand how the recent past of the Soviet Union leads people to be suspicious of Russian motives, but lets be realistic about the fact that Russians naturally gravitate toward other Russians and that nearly all of the people of Crimea (and the eastern part of the Ukraine) are ethnically, linguistically and emotionally Russian. If specific regions vote overwhelmingly to ally themselves with Russia, who are we to tell them they can't do it, just because it doesn't mesh with our hegemonic goals?

Am I missing something?


I am so amazed at people who can trumpet their supposed love of democracy and at the same time endorse Putin as some kind of exemplary leader. It betrays their real mindset, which is fascist and authoritarian.

Such people invariably want a dictatorship of their own concepts and ideaologies. They gleefully paralyze government with their temper tantrums and waste time on symbolic votes to repeal Obamacare while letting the business of taking care of domestic business go begging and ignored. They blame Obama for the debts they ran up for useless (and lost) wars, gifts to their fellow plutocrats and a host of other boondoggles while demanding cuts in vital services to pay for any sensible program that would help solve the domestic crisis.

I'm tired of hearing black palmed off as white and vice versa. It boggles my mind that so many people never put forth the effort to think things through and see through the scam. Oh, I know how easy it is to fall for a con. I did for decades. Thankfully, I wised up and started to think straighter. Before I could, I had to see through the stratagems of bombastic, prejudicial propaganda and pat cliches. Far too many people are determined to hold onto the familiar lies they swallowed a long, long time ago.