Another Matrix

Life is like a bowl of jello…

water on door
The waves kept coming in for my friend’s daughter Erica, reminding me of my ex-step-daughter Erika life at that age and my own…so when she asked of I’d do a mural for her daughter on her closet doors, I began with the tides…like life’s tides, always moving, their power unleashed by some kind of control just beyond our comprehension. The sea is alive and one of the most difficult things to reproduce, for painting life only allows us a still, unless we go anime or video

 the Excentric Voyages of an Eccentric Mind

A personal Matrix is when life resembles non-reality. Dunno if other people have had it happen, yet I have had several “episode” in life where reality became…well, for lack of words to define my experiences…different. Unbelievable. Inconceivable. Weird. Exotic. Strange. Unusual. These are the words that drift to mind right now, yet it will be something for you to follow as I reveal their unfolding delicacies in titillating delight or tantalizing  mystery.

Those little reveals are kind of  like looking at a tinted fog with a friend who sees yellow, while you see light green. Or a quiet, normal evening suddenly brings an aurora borealis to your neighborhood (yes, it happened in Red Bluff during 2000, an extremely unusual condition of atmospheric phenomenon). Or like when you wake up in the midst of making love with your wife and neither of you remember instigating it because you were both asleep (I totally enjoyed what I remember of it and so did she – it was a wonderful experience, yet we both were bewildered as to how we got so far into it without either of us knowing how it started – we simply awoke going at it! Ha! Ha! Now if only life brought happy little surprises like that more often! Tink! <that was the sound of the gleem sparkle which appeared in my smile just thinking about it).

Mike goes serialDyslexic typewriter letters aside, sometimes I look at “if” or “the” and although I know they are spelled right, they do not look correct. Semantic Satiation is what it is called when simple words just seem wrong due to repetition, and it’s become almost a new science for wordologists to ponder and muse about, finding amusement.

I used to get it in school when writing reports; my brain would freeze on a word that didn’t look spelled correctly, so I’d check a dictionary (no cellphones around in my youth)…and see, yep, it’s spelled right, yet, no matter how many times I wrote or spoke it, it still felt wrong. Brain-whackin’, hard-laced fun, eh? especially those times when you’re typing a report at 4 AM which is due by 9 AM. Debilitating? Mesmerizing? Or was it just the pressure tickling your stomach in the back of your spine? Doubtful.  Just weird crap.

So school wasn’t that hard for me. Matter-of-fact, it was damned boring the biggest part of the time. Except for Trig.  I tried to get along with Trig, but no go. I hated trig! I just could not get my mind wrapped around it, no matter how I tried. I mean, Geometry just pissed me off. I could guess-ti-mate the degrees within two or three points (which impressed the hell out of my teacher) just by looking at a triangle, or trapezoid, and I could never see, or even think of a practical use for it after school. I wasn’t gonna be a nuclear scientist.

During those days, I did think about becoming a pharmacist (which raised the eyebrows of a few teachers), yet never a nuclear scientist. Rocket man, sure. But clinic statistician? Hell no, I mean, hell, no! Spending endless hours contemplating mathematical equations with strange symbols to form a hypotenuse? Nope. I had far better things to do with my mind (not to put down people who do that kind of work). I was always going to be a huge artist with a reclusive lifestyle so nobody would really know what I looked like, yet would pay me wheelbarrows of money for a painting.

Nikola Tesla age 34 (1856-1943) – head-and-shoulder shot of slender man with dark hair and moustache, dark suit and white-collar shirt – Napoleon Sarony postcard ( ~ Courtesy Wikipedia

I was too sci-fi minded to challenge the rigors of mental prowess on mere theory. I’ve always wondered about that anyway — isn’t science just waiting for the domino effect to fall and disprove it all? Theory based on theory, which is in itself based on theory, seems like it’s kind of a precarious balancing act. I’ve always felt scientific fact was the where-it’s-at-of-the-universe; that is, until I got older and saw how they work hypothesis to determine fact. Just because something happens 100 of 100 times, that does not prove it is real. I was a geek in the sense that I’d spend hours upon hours, delving into books on Bugs, Space, Rocks & Minerals, General Science, Astronomy, Medicine, Invention, Advanced Mathematics, like Euclid and the Eight [now like 12 types depending on who you listen to]  Other Higher Maths of our time, Construction by Applied Science (structure, resiliency factors and properties of objects), Anatomy (got obsessed with the female, since they have better shaped curves, bumps & valleys – hahaha – still am), Physiology, etc., my list goes on quite a ways. I consider myself a lifetime student of… well, life.

So my mind has always been deeply rooted in imagination, truth, reality and nature. I did spend some time trying altered realities off and on in my high school years, but what I am really talking about is when life itself actually becomes an altered reality. (Note how easily I segway-ed back to my topic of origin)

Life is strange! STRANGE! I mean, downright weird…at times. My life has done that a few times and I just happened to thought it normal. Like, when S**T HITS THE FAN, life gets strange. Rock people melt. Melted people become ROCK. Middle-ground people…well, they change, but lots of time it’s like left-middle-ground, not right-middle-ground anymore. Kinda like changing in a circle and stopping two steps from where they were.

This twelve-foot tall Fairy Ring appeared in my back yard during a time I was asking for help from my higher power, at the brink of suicide – my wife of 25 yrs left me, then a month later I suffered a broken back ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

Death brings a kind of surrealism to life. It can be any kind of death…a loved one, can instantly be very swift, a life-changer; so too a divorce, loss of career, serious injury…we have lots of death in life. You can’t live life for sixty years, without death; experiencing a lot of little deaths that cut you in pieces, and, hopefully, only a few major ones too. You never know how death will affect you or it’s effects as they emanate out of you into your world. No matter whether you try to keep a death under wraps, such as a divorce, it will emerge into the public. “Everything gets cleansed in the wash.” The wash is pretty much, the worst thing which could happen for all involved when they desire to keep it hidden from everyone. Yet life will force you to face whatever sin you created, or involve you in someone else’s sin, which had not before been revealed to you. Surprise!

It doesn’t matter which side of the secret you are on…stuff is gonna come out, and that which you hid the deepest will soon become your front page to gossipers. I abhor gossip. It reeks and reaps destruction. Gossip has destroyed more lives than anything else of human origin. Created wars, feuds, brought death, death and more death. It has literally driven people insane…driven them to kill…driven them into a bottle. Gossip drives people — usually to very bad places. People don’t gossip about good things, instead they “spread the news” about good things. I have committed the sin of gossip and also been paid quite dearly for my contribution. Lost friends, lost loves, lost relatives all come from gossip. Hard, hard lessons. Those lessons that, for some of ’em, never stop, cuz they don’t learn to stop!

Sixty to Zero in 0.0 seconds

oak tree 60--0 in 0.0A commercial on television when in high school began by showing a new motorcycle, the fastest and quickest bike on the market — a Yamaha “V-Max” motorcycle, burning it’s rear tire into a huge cloud of smoke then speeding off. The announcer said the name of the motorcycle and it’s zero to sixty time interval, which was less than six seconds if I remember correctly. Next it showed the slightly older Kawasaki Ninja the same way, then a few other models with their times. Finally, at the end of the thirty second spot,it shows an oak tree and the announcer said, “Sixty to Zero, in 0.0 Seconds.”  POW! That was a punch in the solar plex IMPACT!

I was hooked on advertising!The power behind that work was amazing! I loved that commercial! My 250cc “Big Bear” Yamaha Scrambler was my transportation to school each day back then, so safety was a major concern. That commercial was a safety Ad by the Highway Patrol, a Public Safety  Announcement.

Darren Stevens on L P Safety Poster NewsletterBewitched! was made into a bumbling, loser type, who was utterly and completely disorganized, and yet, stupid as he was, his wittiness was sharp and swift. Watching his campaigns over all those years, I used to wonder how he got some of those ideas and how people in that profession kept going all the time. Bosom Buddies was about the same in that they also didn’t really show the advertising business at all. It was only needed as a qualifier, not necessary to the scripts for the show to run.

I used to design safety posters for a couple of local companies (St. Elizabeth Hospital and Louisiana Pacific Corporation) when worked for them over the years. When first asked, I was trying to help the boss with an example and said, “You mean something like, you can’t pick your nose with a hook?” Well, his face actually turned red as he choked down a cough and gulped loudly. “No, that is far too graphic an idea.” Of course I knew it was, I was just trying to see him set some real boundaries so I’d have an idea of what he wanted. Perhaps it would fly by today’s looser standards, but in the 1970’s, it was way too advanced for society. Not as much a gentle world anymore.

The Monster Inside Begin’s to Roar

In that reality, life’s deaths were more overwhelming, with far more impact than in today’s world. If people then saw what is on the TV screen today, they’d have freaked. Imagine, if you will, what it must have been like in the 1940’s when George Orwell’s “War of the Worlds” came out on the radio. People actually committed suicide!

Fear then is nothing like today. We laugh at Frankenstein movies and the Creature from the Black Lagoon seems phoney. Only the men who went to war ever saw shocking things, unless you happened upon a wreck before anyone else. If you arrived at that same wreck,  fifteen minutes after it happened, back in those days, clothing or tarps would be placed over the deceased to protect rubbernecker sensibilities as well as the reputation of the deceased. Now it’ll be on the local evening news. “I make my living off the evening news, Just give me something, Something I can use, People love it when you lose, They love dirty laundry…Kick ’em when they’re up, Kick ’em when they’re down…” Don Henley (<link) made a pretty open comment in his song, but far too many people just don’t listen.

Boris Karloff as “the Monster” in Frankenstein (1931) A promotional photo of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster, using Jack Pierce’s makeup design. each one of the shoes weighed 11 pounds! Karloff used goalie pads underneath his coat, toothpicks to flare his nose and platform shoes he made himself. He was in great pain throughout filming while wearing the costume ~ Courtesy Universal Studios (Dr. Macro) via Wikimedia Commons

In today’s society, you can see graphic pictures with a newsperson standing in front, so it is the background picture in the corner of their report. People just don’t shield and protect people anymore. Children see things that even most adults did not view in years past. We laugh at 1931’s “Frankenstein” movie with Boris Karloff, yet in 1931 it was unlike anything ever seen before.

Bela Lugosi had already sparked fear in his Dracula movies, yet the impact of Frankenstein’s monster scared people deeply. Interesting to note how differently that Hollywood treated the monster…Mary Shelley’s novel had the monster given more flexibility than an average human, yet Hollywood made him stiff and rigid. But that is how it is with surrealism & imagination — it becomes a different aspect inside each mind’s view.

When overcome by severely heavy emotion, life can go to places we’d never expect.  After my first wife left me, then suffering a broken back the following month, life began a very surreal and unbelievable journey which lasted for several years. Looking back, although it eventually became auspicious, at that time I’d never have expected it to turn out as it did. It felt like life was over in so many ways. Work comp didn’t pay me and “lost” my check somehow for a full month! Christmas was coming and it was looking so dismal. Depression is too nice a word for what I was going through inside. I kinda, sorta “lost” it. Well, not kinda according to my son. He came down to visit, one of the few people still talking to me, and said people were worried, I wasn’t being myself.

When Christmas came, everything was bleak and washed out. It was on December 23rd that I got the divorce papers. I lost everything! The very foundation for my core beliefs for life was ripped out of me. What I felt was necessary for a full life was gone. My marriage, my career, my body, all broken…even my surroundings became uneasy. Fear came to the forefront of my life, from being a background to be ignored at work. For twenty years I had pushed up to the edge of danger, walking 2″x 4″ studs strapped to 8″ wide beams, carrying everything from nail kegs to 4″x 4″ ‘s twelve feet long across, walking the 2″x 4″‘s and trying not to stumble – over jagged rocks 35 feet in the air. I pushed…walking atop 35 foot tall siphon walls that were 12″ wide with beveled edges on each side – without handholds over a drop of thirty feet to solid concrete on one side or a steeply sloped hill on the other, many times littered heavily with debris.

Challenging the Highs and Lows

Standing atop the high rise buildings in San Diego was an interesting experience. One day, a pour up on the 24th floor developed a problem, an elbow of the heavy-duty steel pipe which pumped the concrete up the inside of the Bank of America building where we were working, suddenly blew out during the beginning of our concrete pour. According to my boss, over six yards of concrete spilled out, dumping all over, burying a huge corner of the basement floor, the concrete from all 24 floors emptying down the tube and expelling out the spayed hole of the elbow in a bubbling stream of grey goo. The 1/4″ thick steel pipe was destroyed, a spalled uneven and jagged gap, four inches wide, laid open across six inches of the elbow’s bend.

Tip for shooting downtown San Diego ~ Flickr by Bill Morrow CC by SA-2.0
Tip for shooting downtown San Diego ~ Courtesy Flickr by Bill Morrow CC by SA-2.0

The unscheduled break for the 42 guys up on the 24 th floor waiting to finish the pour began a rumor which said the nearest place for a replacement was Los Angeles. Having all those men standing around with nothing to do gets very expensive, very quickly. We watched the litttle people below, counting the concrete trucks as they lined up down the block…working their way up to twelve before they finally called them off. That was a huge expense in itself, but not that much for a huge building like the B of A was. I think they called it an”Act of God” type accident when 1/4″ thick pipe weakens from all the rocks wearing across the inner surface with each surge of the massive pump, moving it up those 24 stories.

People were smaller than ants. Concrete trucks were smaller than toy matchbox trucks. The photo above is pretty close to what we saw from that height. The view was beautiful! We could see the entirety of Coronado Island to one side, San Diego International Airport a little to the right and the San Diego Zoo from our vantage point on the southwest side of the deck.

An airplane took off and as it flew by us, we could see the people on the plane and they were clearly in view, close enough to count the fingers of their hands. A kid made faces at us and grown, bad-ass men that we were, we made faces right back at him! SOme guy got bumped by the person behind and with the look we saw, it looked like we were ringside for a bout. THen he sat back down in a huff and crossed his arms — I swear you could see his bottom lip start to purtrude as he began to pout like a baby, unaware anyone was seeing him.

The stories began to float amongst the crew. Only several weeks before the entire county had a half-mast day for a fallen construction worker who got hit by a foundation brick from eight stories above. Another guy spoke about how a carpenter was building the elevator surrounds, dropped his bags to go to lunch and stepped back, right into the hole! It was said his head stopped on the eighth floor of the twelve story building and his brother was the first person to find the body. The superintendent of the job was the man’s own father too. Cold! Life is cruel. We all gave a long pause in remembrance.

The break was long enough, but not long enough for us! Somehow, the gopher on the pipe, drove up to L.A. and back to San Diego in two hours! OH WOW! Evidently the company enlisted the California Highway Patrol for an escort given the extreme circumstances and amount of money involved. They probably offered a huge donation to the police fund

after the pour
David De Loera wipes concrete from his face while helping to pour the foundation for the New Wilshire Grand tower ~ Courtesy Concretepumping

All the groans came from the crew as we heard the massive surge of the pump below, seeming like it was going to rip off the chains holding it to the structural red-iron beams fastened up the empty elevator chute, at that time only holes cut into the deck which were surrounded with a 4-foot tall, double-layered, wooden handrails with kick-plates on it. They were solid enough and had to be stable or death could result and concrete pours were the place for an accident waiting to happen. Once you get into the pour and the concrete gets all over your face, glasses get steamed up from the heavy exertion of energy, and so much noise surrounding you, that you can’t hear someone yelling standing beside you , it’s danger-bay!

Showing up at my son’s practices when I could, early enough so I could watch him practice scrimmage before giving him a ride home, was a looked forward to event.  I’d go whenever possible, sometimes about asleep from the weight of sheer exhaustion. I always wondered if I embarrassed him (he told me not), my face littered with concrete ju-ju-bees stuck all over, in my ears, my mustache, up my nose, and sometimes even in my mouth. If the chunks weren’t bad enough or I’d missed a few, it was the chalky-white dust coating me everywhere. Women especially, either gave me a wide berth, or leered at me with juicy eyes, damned near drooling, enthralled at their daydream of a construction worker…you could always tell because they’d look and gaze far too long past the polite timing rile, set by that invisible etiquette patrol of high society.

On days when I had the time, I’d pull out my trusty Leatherman tool and smash the chunks that were on my mustaches, just to clean up a bit. I’d get up from the bleachers and little pieces would fall off onto the seat or on the foot area of the bench, sometimes the outline of my pants neatly marked out by a slight dust of concrete cloud. When the wind was high at times, little clouds puffed off of me as I walked, choking people who happened to be nearby, bring them to cough. Tough luck on them. For me, it was important that they knew I was there for them while they practiced in anything they did.

My parents apparently used to show up, but they didn’t let me know they were there! I only found out years later when I made a comment about them never going to my games or swimming meets and my Mom and Dad both were shocked. Mom said, “We were there at almost all your swimming meets and your basketball games, honey!” I said I never knew and they said they didn’t want to interfere. I asked, “How can I know you even participated if you don’t ever let me know?” It killed me all those years thinking I was always alone and didn’t matter.

My reality was hard work, soft lovin’ and being a student of life. It only amended instead of changing. fairy tales can come true in real life. Miracles happen yet you can only witness them if you live in the present. Pixies are a real thing…I discovered one and after having an affair for eight weeks  with a real live one, that part of my heart will always be hers… Far more exists out there of the cosmos…and right here in our world too, than most ever believe to be true

mac3impact-com4 B-Fly

Burned My Dance

W-T-F!? Got HACKED! Wha’ta-do-NOW?!!?

Devastating as a fire, a hacker destroys what they touch. Trust is a big issue after the intrusion into your personal space, ruining all your fun ~ Courtesy Public Domain. Modifications: changed computer screen picture; added smoke, fire, my personal coffee mug, and my wife’s iPhone

 Intro…a little update

It’s been too many months since I could actually blog, and I still have more to do in updating all the photos with acknowledgements. You’ll know when I’ve reworked the page, because I add a butterfly heading into my logo at the bottom of the page when I get the page completed. Lately I’ve had some computer problems, so each time I add a credit or update the copy, I have to publish immediately. I learned the hard way that an entire day’s work can disappear in an instant…just ask me, yesterday I lost an entire page and had to re-research all my credits and try to remember all the copy changes, yet you’ll never know ’bout the copy, less’en ya been here before.

Now back to the story…

I was overcome by fear, having made a grievous, stupid, amateurish, mistake and let an impostor intrude into my computer! I thought it was a real Microsoft Security Essentials technician I was speaking with, after my screen changed as soon as I hit the search button, and a security essentials page jumped up, saying I’d been hacked.

Intruder alert BOGUSDuring the first few minutes of my call, they loaded 11 changes into my H-Key root files! To disconnect him, I restarted my computer and put it into Safe Mode with Networking, then didn’t load anything. Once I felt the suspicion enter my gut, I immediately did a search for Microsoft Security Essentials and called them directly by phone.I’ve learned over the years, that when my stomach starts to flutter and just feel wrong, to “pay attention” – it’s saved me countless times!

Once I discovered they were charging the wrong amount (thank god for small favors!), I called the bank and shut down the card. That first realization I was making a mistake prevented them from accessing any funds off the card I had given those jerkwads to pay for the “fix” which was only needed because they screwed up my whole system on purpose. Then they load several programs into your computer and “Fix” it for you, meanwhile putting your card into their “kitty” for use at a later date. If I’d have been less tired and numb with bereavement, I’d not have become such an easy “mark,” yet that is exactly who they are looking for. They want a gullible “Opey” type honest person, preferably an older person. I fit that to a “T”. Doh!

So, I surmised I needed some more computer “how-to” lessons. for some unknown reason. Now, to remove the intrusion took many, many hours of steps, and it took the better part of three weeks before it was all said and done, but I will provide a brief summary for your “just in case” file in case you get caught in a low moment.Don’t think for one minute they won’t get you…I’ve been trained as a CAD Technician, built several websites, created partitions inside my Windows XP Operating Systems, and done a little “tweak hacking” between the different programs inside my old desktop, to make them work how I want. So I would not consider myself an inexperienced individual – my family thinks I am a geek, relying on me for better than ten years to fix problems with their computers.

Anyway, I do not consider myself a geek. I go to Microsoft Technician site and read, then experiment. 99% of the time their instructions are good enough to figure out whatever it is I am trying to do, and so I give it a go. That’s for the off chance I won’t have to do a restore to get the computer back where ot was before I had started, and I’ve done that plenty a time or three too.

However, after a hack, you can’t just do a system restore. After a lot of research on my iPhone, I found several ways to save all my most important files. So, first I made a copy of all my library files and saved them to an external hard drive (a cheap one so I wouldn’t cry if it was infected and rendered unusable. Then, using a friend’s computer, I downloaded TOR Browser to a thumbdrive.

TOR Browser logo
TOR browser logo for TOR Project Inc. ( This blog is NOT sponsored by the TOR Project ~ Courtesy Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License

The Tor Project is a non-profit corporation organized to research and develop the Tor anonymity software and network. The Tor network is a group of volunteer-operated servers that allows people to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. Tor’s users employ this network by connecting through a series of virtual tunnels rather than making a direct connection, thus allowing both organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy. The variety of people who use Tor is actually part of what makes it so secure. Tor hides you among the other users on the network, so the more populous and diverse the user base for Tor is, the more your anonymity will be protected. It works great, opening a browser directly from your thumbdrive. Handy for students and such people who want their privacy. The US Navy uses it, so do journalists for whistleblowers and dissidents, to stay private.  I recommend using Tails too.

Tails is a live operating system, that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity, and helps you to use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship; all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network; leaves no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly; and it uses state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging. Okay, enough of the commercial for free internet like it used to be.

‘Puter begins to flutter again

I ordered the “back to factory” reinstallation CDs for my laptop and while waiting on the Bleeping Computer fixes, read more on the best way to clear my system so there was no way to trace anything in my ‘puter ever again. Then I found what I was looking for: DBAN [Darik’s Boot & Nuke]. DBAN encrypts everything on your computer, then scrambles what is left so ALL information on the hard drive is completely destroyed. I ran it three times as recommended. Then I loaded the reinstallation CDs to factory “out-of-the-box” standards.

Once complete, I inserted my TOR Package loaded thumbdrive, opened TOR Browser, and downloaded AVG Internet Security (Paid Version) from Cnet downloads, and ran their update/full scan. After that was done, I downloaded Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Paid Version) from cnet and ran their scan too. Still feeling insecure, I added Dragon and Chromium Secure (supposedly the most secure, free, open-sourceware browser available) for a secondary browser (runs much like Mozilla Firefox and was created by ex-Firefox technicians) to TOR. I changed between Dragon and Chromium as my primary browser, ran all Microsoft program updates, then loaded all my Program CDs, plus all the updates for them too.

There was another problem discovered – oh no – Malwarebytes settings showed auto-protect was not on, and despite numerous tries, I could not set auto-protect on. *SIGH* I had a “hang down your head Tom Dooley” cry for a bit, then wrote Malwarebytes for technical help, which began a three-week long series of instruction by email to correct all the errors in my computer. After the technician did all he could, I downloaded Firefox, then Chrome…yet found each browser displayed websites differently! (Watch the Kingston Trio: I don’t give a damn…I was friggin’ upset now! Inside it welled up, then almost audibly,

I admit I yelled the “f” word

through my clenched teeth. Inside it was simmering and suddenly I was seething. My fear had been replaced by anger! I searched for a solution until my eyes blurred, but it was beyond me.  Then I remembered Bleeping Computer and posted my problem. One of their technicians had fixed a prob with the old XP ‘puter, and it worked great after! Three long days passed, but the tech worked with me and fixed the browser errors too.

Public domain picture that I added flames to make more racy…like I pray happens to hackers frequently each time they attack anyone. “May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits!” is the gypsy curse I cast upon them! Oh yea, I got Finnish ancestry, so I am qualified to curse

Getting caught by such an amateurish mistake happened at a very low time – I was exhausted from very poor sleep and placing way too much pressure on myself to get the website and the blog finished to sell my parent’s Victorian house. Yet seeing different views in the website was a killer aspect, which brought major depression until it was fixed. Especially on a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) website builder. Thank god that these technicians helped me restore the website/ blog so I could finally start working on them again. The process was slow, since those techs aren’t able to focus on you completely, it being a free service, yet I commend them for sticking with the issues until they are fixed. Therefore, I highly recommend Bleeping Computer and Malwarebytes for anyone with computer issues.

Back onto the subject of website and blog…I saw the need to increase security for both too, paying for the upgrade to https:// from http:/  Might not seem like much, but it provides a little insurance to protect anyone who views  the website or blog.

What I did not realize, is that the website was considered a “subdomain” with the “new” portion in the address: That was added by a GoDaddy representative, since I do plan to use the website after the house sells for my own personal website to promote my art & crafts. SHe didn’t inform me about the subdomain part…at least so I understood. So it created a lot of problems along te way…but that’s another blog. More of a learning experience than expected…but that’s another story in itself that I think I will call, “the Ghost in the Machine” at a later date, because it goes way far beyond what I’ve written here.

Limits are a product of the mind…

Bracing Rods in My Back
Some people go to great lengths in baring their soul, how about your backbone? Here’s mine…

Back to initial priorities of date…and reason for both website and blog — to sell the house. Neither of us three kids have the money to buy the others out, plus we are all disabled in one way or another at our young ages (the youngest of us will turn 56 on March 8th), so fixing the house isn’t really practical for any of us.

Although I do have the knowledge to do the repairs, I simply am no longer able to do so without major rest periods of a week or more following a full day of work. Just simple stuff, like keeping up the yard, tears me up for the next three or more days.

one hand baby
I started exercising at a young age & stayed healthy all my life

However, I have been exercising my body much harder this year, having started slowly, and am finally making gains on my endurance, etc. Oh well, we are each given our duties, so who is complaining? Not me. Oh, it was an extremely difficult path at first, but it changed in a very short time. I can only thank my higher powers for the fantasy pathway which was provided to me, and the magic which began directly afterwards and has led all the way into today, during those times I allow myself to open up to it.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to stay open spiritually all the time, despite years of attempting to do just that very thing. Biggest issue is that for many, many years, I used all the angst of my life as an energy catalyst…driven by anger, I energized myself at work, I found the energy and strength needed to combat extreme fatigue, beat muscle pains, or even injury, so I could continue to finish the day. Not the best deal to give yourself in life. TO give you an idea of my stubbornness and determination, I worked for a week with my broken back thinking it was simply some badly torn muscles.

Ya don’t get paid when you aren’t working  in the International Laborer’s Union. Had I known I was plaguing myself and that attracting more of the same abuse to myself, I’d never have taken that path of using angst for energy.

I know drug use had something to do with it, because after I began to experiment in sophomore year of high school, I saw much more of the negative in life. It could have been the interruptions to routine that year brought and all the extra-curricular stuff I did. I was going to night courses one day a week with my parents – Anatomy & Physiology – sponsored by Shasta College, and with the husband of Mom’s boss as the teacher.

Aside for the night class, once a week, I was taking a full day of courses at high school and working 3-4 days a week at the local hospital. Plus I had a little quickie job for my Dad, sweeping the sidewalk of the newspaper each morning, plus tailing off the press during it’s Saturday run of 5000 or so. I was a busy guy with the freedom to start adult judgments…my life was sheltered in a small town during that era too, yet we had our share of danger. Murderers, weenie wavers, and the like were there, yet during those times, adults still watched kids and corrected them if need be. It kept us a hell-ov-a-lot more safe than nowadays, when people turn their back on others and don’t want to get involved.

Limited does not = disabled

“Injured Piggy Bank with Crutches” by Ken Teegardin ~ Courtesy Flickr CC BY SA-2.0 Modifications: removed piggy bank and background

Where I remember things changing for me totally though, was about the time my Mother became injured from an accident with my Dad — Mom was thrown out of the truck — an injury that began ten long years of a painful life for her. It began a sudden shift of burdens within the family, as would be expected; not all ones that our youth allowed us to readily accept.

Dad was injured in 1962 with a broken back and after healing, suffered nerve damage he was unable to heal from for the rest of his life. I was young when this happened, only 7 yrs. old, so we grew up with their disabilities on a daily basis as apart of life. Dad was just Dad…he managed to will himself to do things other Dads seldom did, so we never thought of him as disabled, just limited in some ways.

Mom was no different in that aspect, once she accepted her newly forced on limitations, carrying what load she could of life. However, for me personally, some resentments came during her adjustment period, as I was immediately denied the freedoms I had come to know the previous year.

Once I entered into high school, the tether to home was pretty much lifted entirely and I had the ability of an adult, to take responsibility for myself and my own actions. If I woke at night and wanted to take a walk at 2am, I just did it. My time for being home from school was no longer in question, just as long as my reason for arriving late was believable, and because I was a good kid, there never came a reason for doubt.

swim trophy
Beach Boy me

My G.P.A. of 3.0+, personal freedom and no longer a fat, pimpled and round freckly kid; nope I was muscular, tanned, about four (plus) inches taller and thirty pounds lighter than the past year of 1969 eight grade ho-hums and put-downs in life — the world was my oyster and I was my own, newly released, responsible high school — man — which my younger sisters hated with a fury of passion!

I grew cocky after winning trophy for “the most improved swimmer.” At home and around relatives I was a smart ass, yet was still shy in public, and that included school. Relatives kept me in check, so my swelled head still fit through doorways, yet the shyness never left. That fat kid inside, receiving a lack of attention from all the girls during my eighth grade year, just as I finally came riveted to glimpses of girl’s legs and breasts, or even attempting to flirt with a girl (who played along then teased me in front of other kids), those days were GONE.

Yes, life changed into a dream! My new, fit, chiseled, muscular body (coach had me lift weights to improve my swim times), and beach boy blond (actually sorta green from chlorine stain), deeply-tanned, look, from being outside in a swimming suit for the entire summer, made the move into high school a magical culture shock for me.

Suddenly, I was noticed by girls (some which I’d known since 2nd grade), and they approached me to flirt! Girls whispered and giggled as I walked by still…but instead of glaring, pointing, or continuing to laugh, they winked, seductively exposed a shoulder, or licked their lips in slow motion. I had only seen that in movies.

Raseberry lips
I got the idea for this picture from an advertisement I saw

Puberty hit me hard…literally. I was carrying my books in front of my body all the time. Then, during spirit week, I was fought over by two girls, open-mouthed-tongue-deep kissed by a senior (Highlight – I almost passed out from the sensations rushing through my body everywhere) and elected Mr. Irresistible! *Sigh* What a year! Sure, it had it’s ups and downs, but I was floating so high above the ground with all the attention, the low periods were very short and my confidence was high! Freshman year was the bomb! Best ever year of school!!!

Then sophomore year started. It was not the same. It started a little slower and more relaxed. Girls didn’t seem as excited as the year before, and I grew very quiet. Suddenly the girls seemed aloof, a dimension away. Yet I know now it was me that was different.

I remember clearly the day of substantial change…making me different inside and flourishing those forgotten feelings of dismal depressions from earlier years in fatness and rejection. It was inside me that it happened, not outside. My attitude and personality alienated me from my classmates; I just did not see it then.

This hot nurse liked to tease me…

ARABIAN SEA (Jan. 31, 2012) Aviation Electrician’s Mate Airman Anthony Larry and Airman Alex Mcinerny wash dishes in the scullery on the forward mess decks aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson ~ By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher K. Hwang [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I was working at the hospital as a dishwasher and had grown in responsibility to deliver the patient food trays to the floors above. It was a great break and allowed for new friendships to start with the nurses. I knew one on each floor very well; one was an Aunt and the other was a mother of kids I went to school with since 2nd grade.

So it was a safe experience and we kindled our relationships with small exchanges before I went back downstairs to work — plus they each introduced me to the other nurses on each floor. I liked the attention and it gave the nurses a break, allowing them to flirt and joke and occasionally, fawn over me, knowing I was extremely shy and would give them a reaction — even if just the glowing “Rudolph” ears, face and neck of deep embarrassment.  It was about fun and bringing me out of my shy shell, never meant in malice nor without caring that I wasn’t really upset. More about that in another post…

It was a challenge, and I varied my path to the old wing sometimes, which took a little longer away from dishwashing, also providing satisfaction to curious things — like peeking into the emergency room as I walked by it. It was less about morbid curiosity than genuine interest — becoming a doctor was definitely a future possibility.

James Bond “SCORE 3 You Only Live Twice 001′ by Johan Oomen (CC BY-SA 2.0)

I really wanted to be James Bond the most, but figured a doctor was less likely to be killed at work and still would have the tension and stress of making instant decisions of responsibility! Plus they got to see the hot girls too; even if it was more seldom than often compared to Bond. Plus it helped people and I knew I’d be good at my job as a matter of pride, challenging myself to always be better than I was before — kind of a hold-over from competing with myself while on swim team for two years.

 What?  Moms on the ER table?!!?

So I am walking by the E.R. and did my usual rubberneck view as I walked by, yet something seemed different, and familiar, though I was unsure what; so I stopped the cart to sneak a closer look. That particular day, my Aunt Rose was working the E.R., and happened to see me peek in the door. I noticed her first and it was the look of horror on her face which caught me off guard. She strode over quickly, deliberately blocking my view of the person on the table, then literally shoved me outside and closed the door, gripping both my arms strongly enough to bruise them slightly. I was so shocked at Aunt Rose’s reaction, I wasn’t able to react when I recognized Mom on the table before the door shut all the way.

“She’s going to be alright, as far as I can tell from my initial examination, so don’t…” Aunt Rose said in a sharply hushed voice. “Your parents had an accident. Your father is fine, but your mom was thrown from the vehicle. We don’t know the full extent of her injuries yet, but it looks like she only has some deep bruises and a few scrapes.”

Caritas Medical Centre Wai Shun Block sign Accident and Emergency Department Nov-2013] By Mearepotaih (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I felt the color wash out of my face. My heart was beating out of my chest and somehow in my brain, increasing the size of my temples with each beat. Little black feathers lined the edges of my eyes as I looked into Aunt Roses face, and I felt my mouth move but no sound would come out. “Uhhh…”

Suddenly I was being shaken violently, her grip like steel on my arms. “MIKE! MIKE! Come back!!!” My focus came back and I winced a little, my hands gesturing her to free my arms. She reduced the hold to a firm grip. “You okay?” she asked. “Are you with me?”

“Uh, ya. What? A wreck? They are okay?” The words suddenly blasted out of my mouth in an eruption of questions. “Breathe, son, breathe,” she coaxed, watching my face more intently than even a girlfriend before we kissed. It was like Aunt Rose was burning her eyes deep into my brain, and the overtly concerned look she wore was so deeply honest.

“THat’s MY Mom??? Oh my God!” I exclaimed. “Wha…who…where…is Dad here?” She relaxed her grip on my arms completely, yet did not let go.

Close-up Photo of Salvador Dali’s painting ‘The Persistence of Memory” | 110926-2497-jikatu by Jimmy Baikovicius ~ Courtesy Wikipadia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Things centered and time slowed as I noticed each nuance of my surroundings, my eyes darting wildly. Her hands, deeply warm, were soft. The freckles of her face suddenly came into view. I’d never noticed them before, or how deeply blue her eyes were…like I could see into her soul. The sounds of the hospital were clearer; people talking in the front entrance, hushed conversations of the waiting room…then, my Mother’s cough from behind the door snapped me back into the moment. I’d heard that smoker’s cough all through my upbringing, so it was a very recognized sound.

Aunt Rose let go of me, saying, “Let me look at you,” he eyes searching mine, softer now; “How you doing Mike?” “Okay I guess,” was my reply. “You had me worried for a second there. You have duties to take care of and I have to tend to your mother now.” She pushed me gently toward the food tray cart as she slowly turned me around. “Get going, those people will be hungry!” She snapped as I started to walk away.

 so the story continues…

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