Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In Emergency Push to Open

Yesterday I went to the grocery store, and as I walked out, I noticed that the large electric sliding doors had a notice on them: "In Emergency Push to Open".

 We have all seen such notices on similar doors, and I bet no one ever thinks twice about it. 

But it seems to me that this is one more example of our Bizarro World, where things are done backwards. 

Having to push open big doors is the last thing a person should have to do in an emergency. 

In fact, it wouldn't hurt anyone to push doors open during all the non-emergency times, the way we all used to do before electric everything replaced manual everything. 

In an emergency, doors should just fall open,  and stay that way. 

If you are trying to get away from a fire or a chimpanzee on the loose, you shouldn't have to stop and push doors open.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The to-reads

"No President since has dared to
do the same."

>>(The quote was part of someone's comment on a forum*; I wrote this reply, but due to it being off the article's topic somewhat, did not submit it there. However although this rant can't be fixed, it was too good to throw out. So here it is.)<<

Yes. Fifty years of it. And since September 11, it seemed to get much worse. 

Although both Bush and Obama put on a bold front and have acted the commander-in-chief, I can't escape the strong feeling that they were/are just taking orders- not advice, but orders- from unknown others in the shadows. 

For example, as we all know, Obama campaigned on certain promises having to do with war and with Guantanamo. Immediately after getting in office, he either refused to fulfil the promises which had gotten him elected, or else he tried to do so but was blocked by unknown forces more powerful. 

Also, Congress. Remember Pelosi's famous "Impeachment is off the table" line? 

No good reason, that I know about, although there was the excuse that there wouldn't be the votes. 

But they didn't even try. 

It was exactly as if an order, or a threat, had come down to the Speaker, and to most or all of the senators and representatives, that certain subjects were forbidden, taboo, and would not be tolerated. The three main subjects which would not be tolerated were

 1. Honestly investigating September 11

2 Impeaching George W. Bush

3 Ending the wars on the grounds that they had been started illegally by means of a treasonous crime functioning as a false flag operation to garner widespread support for a war, really a crusade, against Muslims.

If these things had been faced and dealt with properly, our country would have been so very different the past twelve years.

All was enabled, and is still enabled, supported, and facilitated, by the lie about September 11. 

Every week it seems we hear of more killings by drones, or more bombings in Iraq or mass shootings in Afghanistan. 

Periodically we hear of things that are in the news briefly, and then more or less ignored, but which are war atrocities and crimes- the killing of prisoners, the killing of children, the mutilation of bodies, and so forth; rape of the women; torture. 

And the excuse is usually "al Qaeda". For a long time the excuse was "bin Laden" or "Saddam". 

There is always someone who serves as the focus for the two minute hate, or rather, today's American version of it. "Al Qaeda" so and so was killed today, yesterday, tomorrow. 

What American even has a clue what "al Qaeda" really is? I know I don't. 

It is a will o' the wisp. It is the boogeyman. It is the devil. It is evil personified. 

This has been drummed into the minds of Americans for many years now, with little relief or sanity to temper the effect. 

So when the news reporter reads to us another fairy tale, and mentions that another number two or number three "al Qaeda" has been killed, (and by the way a few children and women and animals were blown to smithereens or burned alive at the same time)  Americans, by and large, experience either a slight distaste, at best, which can be shrugged off quickly with a distraction; or they don't care about it at all and don't pay attention; or they like it, and feel a sense of victory, or vengeance, or satisfaction, because another "al Qaeda" has been killed. 

I believe we live in a society where the conditioning about war- and in particular about the wars of the last dozen years- has been so effective and so pervasive that it has, metaphorically speaking I mean, become part of our national DNA. 

It might as well be. Already, the children growing up now are told the fairy tale, and no American public school that I know of dares to teach anything but the fantasy tale about the destruction of the World Trade Center and the other events of September 11, 2001. 

Even the Wikipedia article about the Twin Towers sticks with the story which cannot be supported by evidence or science or even logic, and can be refuted in a number of different ways with relative ease, in fact. 

So how are American students in the many thousands of American public schools going to learn history, or chemistry, or physics, if the fraud about September 11 is perpetuated in the very classrooms where the youngsters are presumably trusting, or hopefully trusting to some extent, the information that adults, teachers, and administrators, not to mention parents, give them? 

The deception of Santa Claus is as nothing compared to this enormous fraud. It is a form of educational child abuse. At least one high school physics teacher has told the truth about September 11 in terms of the destruction of the World Trade Center (David Chandler of AE911Truth), but I haven't heard if he has actually taught it to students in an American public high school. 

But how can students be taught chemistry or physics and history, with the fraud in place? 

It is ridiculous. 

Will the result be the raising up of a generation of little "Hitler Youth", American style, who are taught not to seek facts, evidence, and truth, but to obey and trust authority implicitly and to follow orders and to learn about war and be ready to kill, for money, and for so-called glory and honor? 

To some extent this is happening, I think. It began to happen- in a different fashion, but these times remind me of it- during the Reagan presidency. 

I went back to university for a semester at that time, and was in classes with students born about 1964, and there was widespread affection for Mr. Reagan, and from the students I talked to, no real knowledge of the reality of the Vietnam War, or of the Sixties turmoil in the U.S. 

No, to these students, everything was a new day in America and Grandpa Ronnie was the king and  daddy. ROTC was popular, it seemed.  

Otherwise, the attitude seemed to be "Let's all go get MBA degrees, or get into medical technology and make a lot of money, and that is what they did-  or at least tried to do, and became Generation whatever. I don't know which  "Gen" is which any more. 

With the murder of John F. Kennedy, the evidence from November 22, 1963 is sparse in comparison to the voluminous evidence about September 11, 2001, and I wish we as a nation would take advantage of that.

That is, the Kennedy assassination evidence has been too thin- I mean the hard, confirmed evidence- to prove JFK was killed by a conspiracy, and who was in it.  It has been too thin to prove Oswald did it. 

The proof of any Kennedy theory, if offered at all, has been insufficient. There is only one short grainy low-resolution video,. Evidence was lost or destroyed, etc.  His very brain was stolen and has never been found.

But with September 11, a huge body of forensic evidence is available, and yet, it is almost completely being ignored. 

Even Wikipedia will not give it any credit in its article about the World Trade Center. Many people rely on Wikipedia, so I feel that this is irresponsible, and harmful.

And guess what now? This is spooky. I wanted to find out about the original WTC1 antenna- the data and statistics, and some photos about it. 

So I Googled "WTC 1 antenna", I Googled "World Trade Center antenna", I even Googled  "Twin Towers antenna", and the pages that came up were led and dominated by links to the NEW building, which is now also called WTC1, I guess, and which is apparently one of a proposed two towers, so it is showing up on a search for "Twin Towers".

 My point is, it is as if the history of those two magnificent buildings is being quickly erased, and, not too subtly, replaced by information about the new building. This is similar to a petrifying process, in which, grain by gain, some original thing is replaced by a simulacrum, as in petrified wood or the creation of fossils.

 So it seems that for anyone who was a newcomer to the WTC subject, or who didn't read beyond the first few page hits, it could be very confusing as to which buildings were which and what happened and what is there now. 

As time goes on, fewer and fewer people will know, or care, what happened to the original Twin Towers and the thousand people who were vaporized within them in a quarter of a minute. 

Instead, it will be the "Freedom" tower, coincidentally given the same title of World Trade Center Tower One, so that it is easy for a young person, or a relatively uninformed adult, to confuse the two, and forget all about the old Twin Towers. 

Sorry, your comment set off many thoughts, and I probably should have written all this as a separate comment, but thanks for setting off my thoughts. I always come back to the 9/11 issue, which probably annoys people even here- I know it annoys people in my "real" life. 

But to me, it is necessary.

 It's like the old story of Androcles and the lion. 

What if Androcles had done everything BUT pull out the thorn? What if, instead of pulling out the thorn, he had gathered up an army and gone and attacked another tribe, to avenge the lion for its pain? 

Androcles, had he done that, wouldn't even have a story. 

We like the story because Androcles was smart enough to pull the thorn out, and didn't waste time doing everything but that. 

Well, if America is the lion, the thorn is September 11, and it has been festering, and has been ignored while everything else is tried, for twelve years. 

The only thing that will change this country to what it needs to be is a reversal of public opinion, based on accurate knowledge, about September 11. 

Otherwise we will go on and on until we are a bankrupt country where everyone owns guns, or until we are brought low by some apocalypse, nuclear, ecological, or other kind.
* http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_kennedy_myth_the_kennedy_legacy_20131115

Friday, November 15, 2013

  There was an artist in the city of Kouroo who was disposed to strive after perfection. 

One day it came into his mind to make a staff. Having considered that in an imperfect work time is an ingredient, but into a perfect work time does not enter, he said to himself, It shall be perfect in all respects, though I should do nothing else in my life. 

He proceeded instantly to the forest for wood, being resolved that it should not be made of unsuitable material; and as he searched for and rejected stick after stick, his friends gradually deserted him, for they grew old in their works and died, but he grew not older by a moment. His singleness of purpose and resolution, and his elevated piety, endowed him, without his knowledge, with perennial youth. As he made no compromise with Time, Time kept out of his way, and only sighed at a distance because he could not overcome him. 

Before he had found a stock in all respects suitable the city of Kouroo was a hoary ruin, and he sat on one of its mounds to peel the stick. 

Before he had given it the proper shape the dynasty of the Candahars was at an end, and with the point of the stick he wrote the name of the last of that race in the sand, and then resumed his work. 

By the time he had smoothed and polished the staff Kalpa was no longer the pole-star; and ere he had put on the ferule and the head adorned with precious stones, Brahma had awoke and slumbered many times. 

But why do I stay to mention these things? When the finishing stroke was put to his work, it suddenly expanded before the eyes of the astonished artist into the fairest of all the creations of Brahma. 

He had made a new system in making a staff, a world with full and fair proportions; in which, though the old cities and dynasties had passed away, fairer and more glorious ones had taken their places. 

And now he saw by the heap of shavings still fresh at his feet, that, for him and his work, the former lapse of time had been an illusion, and that no more time had elapsed than is required for a single scintillation from the brain of Brahma to fall on and inflame the tinder of a mortal brain. 

The material was pure, and his art was pure; how could the result be other than wonderful?

 - Henry David Thoreau,   WALDEN.

Washing the Dishes

First of all, I don't have a dishwasher, and I don't want one. Second, I'm a guy who lives alone, most of the time, and have to fight the slobbiness that goes along with that. Third, the plumbing is old.

The water heater used to be down in the crawl space, where it was dug out deep enough into a mud floor to house it and also a gas furnace.

They're both still down there but I got a new water heater some years back when I looked into the crawl space one day to find out why the water wasn't heating up right and saw orange flames coming up the side of the outside of the thing, because mud had washed into the area gradually since the foundation on this house only goes down three feet, so rainwater just goes under it, and is gradually filling that crawl space up, which is fine with me, although over time it has made the side yard cave down a bit, but who notices? Only me, and the dog, and neither of us care very much.

 I'd just as soon have the crawl space filled right up, so there would be fewer places for the brown spiders to live. The furnace, the last time I saw it, which was years and years ago, had mud almost covering the burners, and quit working and was also replaced with a new appliance up here on the floor of the living.

Well, the result of all that was that the water lines are longer than they should be, since now, the hot water has to go from the water heater to the crawl space and hook into the old line which then comes back upstairs and goes to the kitchen and the bathroom.

The pipes are old and full of lime, too, and the water runs better than a trickle but is not very powerful. The result of all this is that it takes a small eternity for the hot water to get to the kitchen sink.

Because of the lag time, which is only about thirty seconds from cold to hot but seems longer when I am impatient, which is much of the time, I usually let the dishes pile up in the sink and on the counter, since I don't want to go through the thirty-second  wait, and leaving hot water in the pipes  just costs extra money.

Normal people would have a dishwasher and perhaps re-route the water lines. Even more normal people might do the right thing and put in an on-demand water heater close to the sink.

But I shuffle on slowly into the future with my primitive devices for washing dishes, and rather than take this time to do anything to improve the system, I am taking the time to write about what it is like to live with it and what happens to the dish-washing program as a result.
I already mentioned that I leave dishes to pile up. That is not as bad as it sounds, because I only have a few dishes, and that is on purpose. I have four Corelle plates, which are plain white and my favorites.

I have two deep Corelle bowls- at one time I had four, and there may be a third around here somewhere, once I get the place cleaned up one of these days. I have some heavy glazed crockery plates which look nice but are about three-eighths of an inch thick, more than twice as thick as the Corelle plates, and don't stack perfectly either, and they are from Pier 1, I believe, but I didn't buy them.

They were given to me by the neighbor with the attack dog, although the two subjects are unrelated, as far as I know.

 Come to think of it, though, the plates might have been given to me because the neighbor knows that the dog is going to go for me if it ever gets a chance, and if I have one of the Pier 1 plates handy, I will be able to wing it at the dog, or break it over the dog's head. It is the kind of crockery, you see, that is used in movies when someone has to break a plate over some stupid unfaithful cheating lying guy's lying stinking head- you know the type of plate I mean.

Sometimes it might be a vase, of course- that is for the high-class movies, I think, and the cheap plates like mine would be for the B movies. Anyhow, you can tell by the sound they make when they are dropped, it's about the same kind, all right.

I don't much care about the crockery plates, and that has nothing to do with the fact that the dog is out to get me. The plates are not to blame for that. Perhaps the dog believes I stole them from its owner, but I did not. I don't care if those break. If I still had a BB gun I would shoot them for fun, just to get rid of them, because four plates is actually more than enough. I am not running a buffet. Generally I only use one plate, and one bowl, and usually not at the same meal.

Why? Why so Spartan, you may ask? Well, it's not Spartan, anyway- the Spartans probably  just ate out of rabbit skulls or scooped- out frozen cow pies or something; dishes would have been too good for the Spartans, and would have made them soft, and that was the last thing they wanted.

A wise man once said, about a paperweight which he threw away because it needed to be dusted from time to time, that it is best to avoid the beginnings of evil. I think it was about a paperweight, and he threw it out, because "no dust gathers on the grass".

But the evil part, that I remember. The beginnings of evil! What a concept. As we know, or will somehow learn the hard way, the beginnings of evil are often very pleasant, rewarding, and seems like good, but then later, when it has its hooks set in you, it begins to reveal its true nature. But that is a whole other essay, and who wants to read about anything like that?

When I write about stuff like that, I almost never read it again, but I save it, in case someone in a generation or two reads it, on a day when a good dose of depressive thinking is the right thing to do; this is one way, and a new way if it's digital, to pass on tradition to the descendants who are not alive until long after you are gone. Send them a happy message, but don't be a liar, is my theory; but really, I am joking, and don't mean a word of any of this.

I just wanted to suggest that even dishes- even nice dishes- could be, sad to say, the beginnings of evil. I have thrown some dishes on the grass myself, as a matter of fact, but ore often, I might set one down in the grass, one with dog food in it, for my little dog, and that doesn't seem evil at all.

But I guess, if you think about the dog food, you could come up with something. However, my dog seems to like it well enough, and one can't have everything perfect everywhere all the time, or it wouldn't be perfect, you see. What we call imperfection may be perfection. Chew on that bit of nonsense for a while. Next: What is up, may actually be down. Next Week: Is water actually wet, or is that just a logical construction based on cultural factors? Coming soon to a mad blog near you.

Anyway, I forgot all about the blasted Spartans for a couple of minutes there, so let us please get swiftly back to them, and dispose of them, although they have all been dead for about a million years.

I contend that it is quite possible that when baby Spartans were left out in the snow or thrown into a pit full of asps, they were not given Tommee Tippee cups, and certainly were not given Corelle bowls or plates. So they would have to grub around for stuff, and hate their rparents, and want to slay all other adults as a result; and so,when they grew up they could go slaughter the Achaeans, or Xerxes, or the Cleopatrans, or the people living on Jersey and wearing skins from the silkies-  whoever it was, they could slay them happily, although the Jersyites were slippery, until you threw a bit of sand on them; and these young Spatans would not feel any pain, nor grief, nor remorse, nor regret,- no more than you or I would, after a bracing walk along a beach on a fine March days with gulls overhead and the smell of seaweed.

 To a Spartan, a beach, and gulls to eat, like  that would be "Mon, I doth died and doth went to Valhalla".
Seagulls were nothing to the Spartans. I mean, they were not scared of them one bit, or of their droppings either. They ate seagulls raw, especially the talking ones, to shut them up- yes, ate them feathrs and all, out of their little skull bowls- yes, even the babies.

But nowadays, everyone has dishes, and cars, and big televisions, and being a Spartan is a lost spart.
And hardly anyone one is drinking out of skulls these days; maybe the soldiers- but otherwise, not too many, and that is probably a good thing.

 A few people do, of course, but it is not widespread, thanks to Corning Glass, and thanks to China. There is no need. We have dishes.

It has gotten to the point where we, I mean the average family, which I am not, has too many dishes, and so requires dishwashers and special chemicals and technicians, and a large coal-fired or nuclear power plant nearby, assisted by hydroelectric  or wind generators perhaps, to wash our dirty dishes.

 The trouble and bother of all of this is enough that the foam plastic and paper dish business is probably at an all-time peak now, and most Americans throw away seven or eight cubic yards of food packaging, which is approximately seven hundred kilos,  every week in the trash.  I mean, on normal, not party weeks.

Well, I don't like it. I say it's spinach, and you know the rest, or should.

So a few dishes is enough for me, and it's made me weak and pitiful enough already, just to have a few.  If I had to sleep out in the snow with only a few garter snake rattles for covering, I don't know if I wold be up to it, having gotten so far out of shape from soft living and washable dishes like little white jewels, that a cave man would kill me for, if he was transported into the present and came over.

I probably should have done it all the Spartan way- I could find possum skulls, or a snapping turtle, and hollow him out, and have a strong and durable dish, but I am instead living the cushy life of a Corelle owner.

 But out of respect for my income I don't want to get a dishwasher.

So because of all this, and more, I let the dishes pile up, but even when they are all piled up, they only fill one sink, and part of the countertop. And I don't leave a lot of rotting food in them. Anything edible goes to the dog or the cat before it goes into the sink. The flies get the rest, or, in season, the ants. It works out and everyone gets a little bit.  But there are always traces, and specks, and things that make your mind say "Ewww".
 And so the dishes get a little bit ripe in a day or two.

I don't like to admit it, but it's a case of procrastination. Some hardcore moralists even believe that  procrastination can make you go blind.

When all the dishes, a dozen or maybe about twelve of them, and forks and spoons, are all groaty, I usually get depressed looking at them and at the countertop with crumbs and spilled coffee on it, and pieces of paper towels, and maybe a few rocks from the decorative rock beds at my kid's apartments, which I couldn't resist pilfering and bringing home, in order to see if they will dissolve in acid or not, as an experiment, since they are a different kind of rocks than we find around here.

Here, with these sea bed rocks, you can dissolve the rocks with vinegar or soda pop, but those Arkansas pebbles are a different kettle of fish,  and will sit in a plastic cup of twenty percent acid and just laugh, with nary a bubble. Throw a piece of local limestone in there, though, and stand back.

Where was I? How are you supposed to know? I am asking myself. Oh, yes. When the dishes are all groaty, I get depressed looking at them, and for the next two to four days, I don't eat very much, unless it is something which doesn't require a dish to eat it out of- a chunk of bread, or an apple, a chocolate bar that weighs a quarter of a pound, the heart of an Aztec, or something, anything,  manageable and dish-free by nature.

Because, you see, I don't want to wait for that hot water, and waste that hot water in the long water pipes, unless I am going to do all the dishes, not just one, and I don't feel like doing all of them yet.

So when I really have to have a dish, I just wipe it out with enough paper towels and rinse it in cold water and wipe it dry, and then use it. It's not so bad, since usually there was only oatmeal in it, or  frozen cherries, and so it's not really so bad.

But I wouldn't do it in front of anyone. I would pretend I was just getting ready to wash all of the dishes, and then actually wash them all with hot water and soap, just like adults would do, and as far as anyone watching would know, I do this every single time, and never use cold water and a series of paper towels, or my T-shirt, to wash and dry my dish.

This has been the pattern for years, while I have tried to deal with problems that matter, instead of this one, which I could live with, permanently it seems now.

I would use the dishes until they were all dirty, and then not use them, because they were all dirty and I was not ready to wash them correctly yet, and so would wipe a dish and cold-rinse it, if I absotively, posilutely had to have one.

But this morning- well, actually, it was past noon- I was washing the dishes, which had piles upas usual, and it is about a ten-minute job to wash all the dishes and clean off the countertop, and it takes four days to get to it, but is fast once I actually try.

But wait a minute, I didn't finish about how soft owning dishes had made me over the decades. I mean, just look at me now. No, don't. Dishes- the ruination of mankind! Not really.  B

ut I can see how soft it has made me, having these Corelle dishes, so glossy and pert as they are, and not having to scavenge for animal skulls or large collanders made of worm-eaten conch shells- or even  Tridacna shells, which don't live around here. Not at our local lake nor in the river. I hope to God they don't.

But a Tridacna would only be used for a big party- to hold the punch, or the chowder, more likely. And I don't have one, and have too much junk around here anyway.

Now that I have mentioned it, though, I suspect that the goddess of great fortune will soon lead me to a garage sale, or an antique shop, which has a Tridacna right there on a table: "$75, oR beSt Offer!".

But I won't be tempted to buy it.

A few years ago, my old friend Steve had a sawfish saw, a real one, and boy was it a nasty thing, and of course I wanted to saw up some firewood with it, or at least see if it would cut across a two-by-four, but that was only an illiterate childish impulse, and I knew better, because sawfish saws are absolutely no good for carpentry.

If they were any good, carpenters would already be using them.Carpenters are practical that way, and not afraid to explore options from time to time.

Maybe they are used in the Maldives or the Marquesas, or  Baffin Land, to carve coconuts, or something like that.  I can't know everything!

 But I wouldn't use one when I have a circular saw and a plug-in. That sawfish thing would have cut worse than my cheap chainsaw, which is not a very good tool: it's only sharp the day it has a new chain, for some reason.

Well, enough about foreigners and their pets.

What I meant to say, was that this morning, a little after noon, I started washing the dishes and when I was almost done with washing them, but they weren't rinsed yet, I looked around and I had only washed one of the four Corelle plates, and I looked up on the shelf, and there were the other three, and I realized that I had actually washed the dishes early, before I had to wash them.

I had washed the dishes when I still had some clean ones left on the shelf.

I don't know what has come over me, to do something so out of character like that.

Anyhow, before I could forget how exciting it was to see those three clean Corelle plates still on the shelf, and me washing the dishes anyway!- I stopped, and ran in here to the computer to write about it.

Now I need to go rinse those things, and eat something, before I faint.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Little Red Shoe Girls: Diana Lawrence and Phoebe Hunt, "I Only Want To Be With You"

I think this is about my most favorite song ever.
 Diana Lawrence, piano, and Phoebe Hunt, violin. 
Turn it up loud and just watch these goddesses of music. 
When I watched it once, I didn't know what to do! - Twice.

(original source found at YouTube, Hopefully I can also put it up here) 

Some Photographs January 1, 2000 - June 30, 2000
Click to enlarge