All posts by mac3air

Estne Nihil Sanctum? (Is Nothing Sacred?)

“Estne Nihil Sanctum” asks not, “isn’t anything sacred?” but “is nothing sacred?” It seems subtle, but there’s a world of difference. Warning: Spoiler Alert for the YouTube segment & next heading, but see the movie anyway – it has some great laughs and funny setups!

Everyone wants hAp’PįNïSs

A woman’s accent from the emphasis her accent places upon the words and how it sounds, brought me to ROTFLMAO (roll on the floor laughing my ass off) because I’d not seen anything about it.

It points out the difficulties of communication with accents when saying particular phrases. Communication as the culprit happens all the time nowadays in conversation and often in texts . . . usually by accident, from laziness, spellcheck, or human error, communication problems occur daily to just about everyone that has a cellphone.

Often, the very words we say, because of how we say them, leads to many of those errors, or mishaps, and can cause arguments, or simply miscommunication…at times, I am sure, with extremely dire consequences. Terrible consequence could occur and probably does, quite often, although this type of situation would definitely be either something not revealed or hidden, if at all possible.

On August 29, 2014, Kyle Wiens of iFixit wrote:

“…fixers and makers are cut from different cloth. Makers put things together; fixers take them apart. One creates new gizmos; the other rebuilds existing ones. But I’ve always thought that, under the skin, they’re incredibly similar — two different sides of the same coin. We are, all of us, tinkerers. We’re motivated by the same ideals: an inexhaustible curiosity, an appreciation for things done by hand, a sentimental attachment to the smell of wood shavings, and a never-ending pursuit of understanding the things around us. As tinkerers, we become more…”

Common Sense is Taught

…more involved, curious, investigative. (to finish the sentence of the quote.) This is where common sense starts, yet if a child is not allowed the time to figure it out all by their self or, after watching the child wrestle with their problem for some time, waits until the child asks for help and explaining a solution while watching the child attempt the solution with their own hands,

Art of Bikram Yoga ~ cc sa by 2.0
Art of Bikram Yoga – Ow…hurts me just lookin’ at her…OMG! How does? WOW! ~ CC BY-ND 2.0

I agree. Although there may be some which would not agree, I’ve always been driven by a need to know what makes things work. Take, for instance, the picture above. How she can bend her legs in such a way without messing up her knee joints, all has to do with her yoga training, stretching and exercises. We all have the capability for doing miraculous things if we apply ourselves towards a goal.

Chasing a goal . . . sideways

We’ve all had that experience where no matter what we do, we seem to find a goal intangible for a certain period of time. Some things just warrant more time than others…even if someone we knew just did it. Why is it that the same thing in the same place brings different results? I think it has to do with a lot of factors: intention, belief, needs, wants, and the worst — sabotage thinking. On some things, we feel we cannot accomplish our goal. It can come from certain things we are taught, especially during youth. The story of the “Little Engine that Could” is about sabotage thinking and overcoming it.

The Little Engine That Could ~ CC BY 2.0
“Little Engine That Could” ~ by Cliff on Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Sabotage thinking is not that uncommon, occurring to the best of us, unconsciously, most of the time, and usually without our knowledge or recall of the incident which brought it about. It can be a simple as a sound or tune you hear, a particular set of circumstances, or even a simple gesture someone does towards you. These little imps of life can destroy your best-laid plans, install a ruse behind your steps towards something, or thwart one’s ambition, though-processes, or best intentions. It is that invisible wall which prevents success in the manner we dream of for something. Sadly, most of us has it for something…the one big reason why we are not all wealthy I suppose. At least this applies to me in some way.

Hindsight, the great teacher, has shown me (unfortunately after the fact) that I’ve had a few of those “big breaks which will change your life” come by that I totally and unfortunately, missed. “SWOOSH right over the head” said one comedian I remember, in his act . . . or as Homer Simpson says, “Doh!”

Discovery of these kinds of flaws in our personality can take years, decades, or even an entire lifetime, never seen by the person themselves. If we have good friends or relatives, we learn at an early age, so we can at the very least, know where to start working from to change our life’s direction. Would you drive into a hole in the road after you’ve seen the rut? Ironically, a lot of people do exactly that, even after learning they have sabotage inside themselves.

Our Responsibility as Guide

Whether we choose to have offspring of our own or not, our duty as human beings is to guide. Guide everyone to make our world, this world, a better place. Oh sure, there will be those who lose their way and forget to guide, succumb to personal ravages within and jump into drugs (alcohol, medications, illicit drug use, etc.) or reclusiveness (hermit, vagabond, bum, drunkard, etc.), or play like they do not matter (self-depreciation, self-deprivation, etc.) or just plain lack of mindfulness in the present by reliving trauma or drama.

There are a million ways we become invisible, only the length of time we do it varies. For some it is rare, yet for others, it’s like they have no self. The reasons vary from individual to individual, yet they are all based on pain. We become invisible to avoid pain in our present.

Working with my children to fix things before they really understood, taught curiosity, common sense & problem solving skills just by being with them each day. letting them participate, plus answering questions as honestly and factually as possible ~ courtesy Cavette Collection
Working with my children to fix things before they really understood, taught curiosity, common sense & problem solving skills just by being with them each day. letting them participate, plus answering questions as honestly and factually as possible ~ courtesy Cavette Collection

Life is a journey and our responsibility as parents is to educate others, build curiosity, increase integrity, instill morals, offer guidance, and let them develop to their greatest potential as individuals to contribute their best for betterment of our world.

This is a responsibility each person has as a human being to propagate continuance of our species. It is both selfish to endeavor to continue our species and selfless to continue our species . . . and we assume this pledge upon birth into this existence, whether we realize it or not. Sometime in our life it will matter, even if only for an instant in the subconscious of our mind, it will be a full thought — which our free will allows us to dismiss or admit into the conscious — yet it will happen. GUARANTEED . . . someday you shall be struck.

Choice: a Luxury taken for Granted

Who? Why? How? Where? Because??? We all ask for help. From our parents, our friends, our personal support gang, a stranger standing nearby . . . someone. Anyone. We need help so we ask for it and we get it. Right or wrong, we get help. Good or bad, we get advice or advisement, the latter, by far, being the most valuable, because someone actually went through it and can offer their experience. Experience is a teacher in the school of hard knocks. Our first and last, every time and each time. Nothing we do will always work as it did before, because each time we do something, it is new . . . until it has been done.

Our choices make or break us. They make us rich or poor or we take the middle ground. Regardless, we do the best we can at the time and timing is everything. When the cards line up and all our ducks are in a row, we shine! Yet when the unexpected hits, we fail. Then we learn and do it again or walk away. Is it better to turn the page and walk away? Sometimes. Yet eventually we will follow the grief and cry for it. today, tomorrow or 20 years from now, we still have to deal with our grief. If we choose the right day to deal with it, the pain is lessened because we can see in our hindsight it was for the best.

WHAT??? Bull-hokey bunk! That is a personal lie we tell ourselves to lessen the blow. To shut off a portion of our life and pretend we didn’t participate, is to lose all of what we learned and gained, while allowing it to haunt us, appearing when it wants, not in a way we can control.

You never stop loving anyone you ever loved. FACT. It’s a failed love, a broken heart, a love not accepted . . . yet it still exists. Unloving someone is erasing experience in life or deleting time. Only a fool truly believes they can stuff a part of their life eternally. Amnesia doesn’t count because it is involuntary and if you have a true blank in life, you seek to fill the blank, even if only unconsciously.

We can choose to hide things from ourselves, but they will resurface eventually. And if our love was truly to the full depth of our heart, it will always be there, the hurt only diminishing over time, yet always there. You may hate that person because of their baggage, yet even then, if the sorting was done properly, the love will be seen. If sorting was incomplete, it will resurface and not always when you desire to deal with it, at a most inopportune time. Not always a choice we desire to make, yet it happens, because love is what life is about. We simply can’t truly unlove. We can only bury that love we once had with our pain. Love remains because it is the true purpose of life.

So, what do we do to fix it? Deal with it. Face it. Cowboy up. OUCH!! I HATE THAT. Sounds like a personal problem to me (snicker, snicker) because it-is-your-personal-problem-until-you-deal-with-it. “@#$%&/!” I hate that too. Life is hard and then we die. WTF? Who said that? Do you actually believe it? So-Sorry-For-You-Then. Loser. You made a choice to sit down on the job of “finishing yourself” and became “Less-Than”. Life is only as hard as we choose to allow it to be.

Ruby red slipper rip-off ~ courtesy Ruby Slippers / Oz theme Christmas tree skirt - no good for witch Modifications: enlarged house, removed boots, adjusted yellow bricks, added ruby slippers
Wicked Witch Ruby Red Slippers ~ courtesy Wikipedia: Ruby Slippers (Public Domain)/ Flickr tsayrate: Oz theme Christmas tree skirt – no good for witch Modifications: enlarged house, removed boots, adjusted yellow bricks, added ruby slippers (CC BY 2.0)

“Bullshit!!!” you say, “I didn’t choose to have than house fall on me and let Dorothy take my slippers!” Oh, but you did.

Choice . . . can’t live without it, can’t live with it, but life goes on anyway, like it, or not. We are our own worst enemy where it comes to pain. We naturally avoid it, rather than face it and deal with it, because although temporary, pain trips our time circuits inside and feels like forever while we are in it. Yet that too, is a choice! Believe it! Whaa!

We choose to feel. Everything is choice. Wham! Pow! Zam-oh! True confessions Dude, or Dudette. It’s all choice. Don’t believe me? Remember that time you bumped your toe while running after your sister that spit water on you and made you mad? Or the time your child started to fall onto a sharp object and you got your hand spiked saving them from harm? Or when you jammed your finger but saved your favorite coffee cup from shattering? Or some other time you hurt yourself but decided to ignore it because there was a more pressing issue . . . anger, safety, sentimental reasons . . . choices. You chose not to feel the pain and either delayed or completely ignored it. Parents do it to their infants all the time – distract them and the crying stops. Why?

We are taught to react – to every, single, thing we have a reaction about! We also choose the length of time we decide to stay within that particular emotional state. Swoosh. Head spinning, right? Yep, for e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Every emotion, every incident, every hurt, every pain. We choose whether it warrants months, minutes or just an instant. We create our own suffering based on what we were taught to believe. It extends into everything about us

Epsilon = Έψιλον = e

The movie, Alien Visitor, or Epsilon, as it is called in a later release, provides an obviously simple lesson about human emotions and how illogical the human can be when seen from an “outside” perspective.

At one point in the movie (at precisely 1:13) , the visitor gets upset. She’s only upset for a certain period of time, then suddenly stands up and declares, “Okay, I’m done.” Yet that is exactly what we do. We are trained how to do emotion, the same as how to tie our shoelaces. We simply do not realize it unless we think about it.

Therefore, we can change emotions too. We can amend, adjust and change emotions, to become different. It can happen from deep within ourselves, in a conscious effort. This is basically what happens in training during boot camp for all the military services, worldwide, in varying degrees depending on what they desire to achieve.

Both of my two sons joined the U.S. Marine Corps. In a short period of time at boot camp they changed from adolescents into men. Not completely, but enough to accomplish the duties expected of them. As they explained, they were broken down completely, emotionally driven into uncontrollable tears, then retrained in control of their emotions, rather than their emotions controlling them. They learned restraint and how to apply it to situations by mental exercise, so they could force themselves to overcome emotions when it is necessary to save their lives and the lives of their colleagues.

This is a fantastic asset, one we all should learn at a very young age to apply to our lives. How different would be the world, were this so?

Permittivity

The permittivity of a substance is a characteristic which describes how it affects any electrical field set up in it. A high permittivity tends to reduce and electrical field present. In terms of the human aura, high permittivity can literally change the “feel” of the entire room, regardless of the amount of people present. it’s like when you meet a person of exceptional “presence” that can bring the entire room up, or down, depending on their mood.

Tesla Coil is a radio frequency oscillator that drives a double-tuned resonant transformer to produce high voltages. We are all like a tesla coil ~ courtesy Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)
While a Tesla Coil is a radio frequency oscillator that drives a double-tuned resonant transformer to produce high voltages, the human body is like a tesla coil in terms of the aura and it’s effects on other people ~ courtesy Wikipedia: Tesla coil (CC BY-SA 3.0)

If you clear your spirit often and build your personal aura, you will develop an increasingly larger aura of energy over time, which can be felt unconsciously by people when they come near you. It will quite literally “draw” people to you in need of energy like a moth to a light, so if you do not learn to control your emotional nature to maintain a positive focus, they can drain you “lickity-split” and leave you feeling quite spent, exhausted and depressed.

So, to be better equipped to deal with the varying nature of people, it is necessary to learn how to “call in” additional energy from the world around you. It takes a bit to learn but is relatively easy with a little practice, just as learning to focus your mind.

The aura is an effect  of the individual’s mind, emotions and spiritual nature. Whether healing an individual or energizing them, building your spiritual strength is a necessary step. Balancing your chakras is relatively easy, and with practice, can be done nearly instantly, just as energizing yourself and your aura. It has a lot to do with what you believe concerning limitations. Disregard limiting thoughts and embrace the speed of spiritual energy. It can be, and is, an instantaneous delivery system . . . yet only if you completely believe it to be so. Remove your doubt and know it is instantaneous and it is.

Limitation is taught to us on a constant basis. When I was a kid, that belief was not only changed by my parent’s belief systems and words to us children, but finally started to be taught publicly on the television show Kung Fu (<- link to pilot episode) during my late grammar school and early high school years. How to learn to recharge your chakras here. Another site has a good method here, that you can use and with a little practice, can use for an instant recharge.

Find a quiet place like a bathroom where you can be alone. Hold your hands before you, facing each other (ensure that the palms are about 2 inches apart). Concentrate on the space between them and on the palms of your hand. Eventually, you will feel a tingling sensation . . . this means that the chakras are getting activated.

Now, imagine a tearing sensation on both palms. Mentally rip open your palm chakras. You will feel strong pressure. Wait about a minute to stabilize. Now feel the palms absorbing great quantities of light from the air. Imagine light streaming into both palms. Allow the charging to proceed for about five minutes or until you feel a cessation of the flow.

Now open your arms fully at your sides, palms facing away from your body, and draw them above your head, gathering as much energy as possible from your surroundings.

Dantians of the body ~ courtesy Bostjan46 Wikimedia Commons
Dantians of the body ~ courtesy Bostjan46 Wikimedia (Public Domain)

Maintain a space of about two inches between your hands when they reach each other overhead, arms fully extended. Now rotate your wrists to face your body, and draw them toward your face, continuing past and down the front of your body, maintaining that two inch margin away from touching, your eyes following. Continue pulling all the energy down until you reach your lower dantian, located about three finger widths below your navel and two finger widths behind and inside you, turning your wrists inward to direct all that energy to that point. Repeat 3 – 5 times.

The more you focus your mind and practice clearing your energy field, then recharging your energy with fresh, positive energy . . . not only will you feel your energy grow, but so will other people around you. You can do this anytime you feel low energy throughout the day, but be sure to always clear your chakras first, so only positive energy enters your personal flow. If negativity comes into focus, stop and take a break. Go for a walk to change your mindset, then try again.

When under heavy stress, it is always far more difficult to focus. A great time to meditate is in the morning, while your mind is fresh. The energy of morning is clearer and cleaner, and will bring stronger vibrations, especially as the sun starts to rise.

I’d generally clear myself first thing after I arrived at work (I arrived 30 – 45 minutes early to allow enough time to meditate each day). Since retiring, I meditate after a cup of coffee, so I am alert, because I can concentrate much better then. Since I began this practice, it’s always made my day go smoother, with far less stress.

mac3impact-com4 B-Fly

Another Trip to Pebble Beach

My Big Feet & Hairy Legs ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection
My Big Feet & Hairy Legs ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

Ugh. Sweat-fest of 114 degrees

Don’t you hate when the bacteria under your armpits is so bad you feel like it’s going to pick you up and carry you away? Don’t ever get there, you say? Then you’ve never lived in the desert, that’s for sure. Our wonderful areas in the real Northern California, up in the middle of the top third above the Bay Area (actually CENTRAL California, but they made the change at the turn of the 1900’s to win more commerce and become economically superior [sadly, it worked too], so our political representation is minimal [even being twice the land mass] as compared to S.F. or L.A., but they don’t even need there name spelled out). Enough political woeful musing.

Today is a little different, with a wonderful cool snap. It’s only eighty degrees instead of near 100 and it’s past noon. Yay! Time to chop holes in the side of the house, just under the roof, and put those vents in! Ladder-work is hard on me, especially holding skilsaws and stuff, but venting our sealed attic will drop the heat monstrously!

I have a memory of leaning against a door as a kid and complaining to my Mom about how hot it was…126 degrees in Red Bluff, hotter than Death Valley. She looked up from sewing on her machine and said, “Go find something to do then! Boredom is lazy because there is always something to do. Now go play and give yourself something fun to do.”

I don’t remember what I did, just that uncomfortable heat and the picture in my head of my “woe is me” time. When I was young I thought it was mean & not very nice…yet having raised my kids and dealing with grandkids now, I say the same thing to them. I never get bored! That day I pretty much stopped. She was right, there is always something to do. It may not be something you really want to do, but there is always something…

We’re Number One! We’re Number One!

So I’m thinking of a time when I was given an official numero uno, Number ONE privilege, the very first something ever…and I’m reminded of being in Berkeley. My uncle Tony and I went down to the corner market to get a soda, and I had a silver dollar that was literally burning my hand (well, slightly anyway) from my grandfather’s body heat, holding it in his hand until he could round me up long enough to place it in my palm, then wrap all my fingers around it, leaning over and whispering in my ear, “This is for you Mike.”

Then he’d lean back with a satisfied smile, and wink at me. So we head down to the Berkeley Market, go inside and get a candy bar, then sit on the curb eating. A beverage truck pulls up and the guy heads inside with a clipboard. They always wore white coats like doctors back then and kept it clean somehow too. Anyway, the guy comes out and opens the side of his truck to get to the rows of

We were given the very first bottles of Tab for free, one day sitting in front of the store down in Berkeley.
We were given the very first bottles of Tab in the Bay Area, for free, by a delivery driver. one day sitting down in front of the Berkeley Store ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

bottles and reaches in, then turns and faces us, saying, “You boys look pretty hot, wanna try somethin’ new?”

We looked at each other and said, “Sure Mister!” in unison. He hands us each a 12 ounce bottle of something different than I’d ever seen, a dark liquid in a clear bottle with like yellow, stary kinda things on it all over, and three letters, T-A-B. “Tab,” he says and produces an opener out of his pocket and pops them open for us. “Give ‘er a try!” then he paused, reaching back into his truck for something, then, reappearing, finished, “And let me know what you think, okay?” We were already taking a big guzzle abd gulping down the dark liquid. “Ahhhh!” we both exclaimed, then a second later, looked each other in the eye and bunched our faces up. “What was that?” I said to the driver. He says, “Supposed to be some new-fangled drink…maybe some kinda diet stuff for the ladies or sumpin.”

“Pl-ah, pl-ah, pl-ah” we pretended feigning being ill. He rolled his eyes at us, shrugged, then smiled and headed into the store. “Diet…” he trailed as he walking inside. When he came back out, we tried to hit him up for a couple of orange crushes and he said okay, for giving him our opinion.

Then he told us, “You boys are the first people in the entire Bay Area to even taste that new Tab soda! I know cuz I’m the first truck to carry it and I leave first before any other drivers, and Berkeley Market is my first stop… so you are the FIRST!” he boasted, then asked, “Think it will sell?” He paused a second, “You really didn’t like it?” We shook our heads in both yes and no directions. “It was okay, but it’s got this kinda weird taste, what stays in yer throat after,” Tony said and I nodded agreement, “Yah.” It was my very first officially known first at anything, so it was COOL.

Size 10-1/2 Paddles

I’ve got big, flat feet (and kinda hairy legs). It-was-not-my-fault, runs in the family. When I walk, though, they catch peebles and stuff, just like a magnet, and one shoe throws it into my other shoe. Friggin pebbles jumping into my sandals as I walk. I hate it. Dunno why either. Nobody else I know has this problem. Other people walking beside me in sandals don’t have this problem. Kids only have it happen on occasion, but for ME, it’s happened to me all my life.

I understand some Native Americans believe rocks are just as alive with life inside, as grass or a tree is. I can go with that. Just because life moves slow and looks non-existent doesn’t mean it isn’t there, especially if you look at it scientifically, and know about all the space between molecules. Nothing truly is a solid according to what I’ve read. So, I guess that means rocks are alive. So I surmise that the ROCK PEOPLE LIKE ME. So it’s a good thing, but bothersome when they hitchhike too often.

swim  trophy
Local Boy Makes Good! ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

Swimming is supposed to be faster if you are blessed with flat feet (bwah-ha-ha!) and during those days my two boats were size 10-1/2. Awarded 1969’s “most improved swimmer” trophy  on Triton’s Swim Team, I guess it was true for me. I was the youngest swimmer in my class, only 14 yrs old at start of season, my AAU Age Class was 15-17 yrs. My coach wanted me to win my last race and beat the oldest swimmer in our class (he had turned 17 yrs old), but I was one-hundredth behind him, swimming his race, not mine.

Coach Kurt’s disappointment and anger at me for not beating that guy, combined with my personal insecurities, changed the course of my life. I was so down and beat myself up. I quit competitive swimming forever. Later I discovered he had made a bet and was upset about losing the money. Kids take things seriously, so watch it!

My best for 100 meter butterfly was 1:04.1 seconds, setting Double AA time, beating the first world record set in 05-31-1953 of 1:04.3 by Gyorgy Tumpek, Budapest (Hungary), according to. I was told if I’d have broken 1:04 seconds, I’d have been sent to the Junior Olympics. So how much is a hundredth of a second? Less than an elbow length…how different would life…? Those pesky “what if’s . . .”

My idol at the time was Mark Spitz. Although he had ten world records going in, Spitz finished second in Mexico City Olympics (1968) with a 56.4 for 100 meter butterfly. Mark Spitz’s 1969 world record was 55.6, much, much faster than me (like almost a half pool length), but my personal record was a big mark for me. Mark Spitz’ set 33 world records (26 individual, 7 relay) before retiring, still only 22 years old.

250px-Unveiling_of_LZR_Racer_in_NYC_2008-02-13 - wikipedia
Unveiling of the LZR racing swim suit in 2008. Michael Phelps exclaimed, “When I hit the water [in the LZR swimsuit], I feel like a rocket.” ~ Courtesy Wikipedia
Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985) is an American competition swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals from three different Olympics. Michael Phelps world record for 100 meter butterfly of 49.82 still stands today, won during the 2012 Olympics.

Our Speedo swim team suits were mainly a two-way stretch nylon tricot lycra, and we (male) swam bare-chested. Later on, the LZR Racer Suit (pronounced as ‘laser’) was launched on 13 February 2008, a line of high-end swimsuits manufactured by Speedo using a high-technology swimwear fabric composed of woven elastane-nylon and polyurethane. This was the swimsuit Michael Phelps was wearing when he won all his medals.

Following the December 2008 European Short Course Championships in Croatia, where 17 world records fell, it was felt there was a need to modify the rules surrounding swimsuits. The combined effects of the LZR both compressing the body and trapping air for buoyancy led to many competitors who used the LZR wearing two or more suits for an increased effect. This led to some claiming that the LZR was in effect “technological doping”.

Here’s a Michael Phelps butterfly video showing the stroke:

Naked to the World

The worst thing about those swimsuits, was my age…and shrinkage. Boys are very aware of this even when wallflowers.  My first year in swimming, I was thirteen. There were highly-fit, shapely and beautiful girls of all sizes and shapes, from kindergarten to our 18 yr old Coach’s Assistant, walking around all-day-long in second skin tight, form-fitting, one-piece, competitive swimsuits… and my body was waking up to the pace of raging hormones! Adding in the imagination of an artist and desire of a body feeling the instinctive need to pro-create, I would have been far more dangerous, had I not been a wallflower.

We had a visit to the swim team by a couple girls who were on the Santa Rosa swim team, who asked if they could practice with us while they stayed in town. Our coach was fine with this and felt the experience of faster swimmers could enhance our efforts at becoming faster. It worked great for me and I set my sights on Liz. She was a little faster than me and we competed during our warm up laps…setting up an opening for conversation later. I was in first love and we spent two wonderful days hanging out before she left.

Triton swim  suit
Freebie picture from public domain, edited to show team colors. My feet are a little flater, since by that time I had no arch, taking a far too-high jump from a city park swingset ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

However, it seemed for me, the times my body was attracted to a girl or woman, was not always when my mind was in the same place. Never understood that, especially when laying down on a towel 150 yards from the closest bathroom at an out of town swim meet. Luckily, I was never called to swim during one of my unfortunate episodes, and I only remember once when a girl happened to notice. I really liked Ruth too, yet after that personal embarrassment, rather than face her again, I stayed away from her until the season ended. What a woose…

Paper Sir? Paper Ma’am!

Boy selling newspapers ~ Courtesy Wikipedia, Lewis Hine
Boy selling newspapers on the street ~ Courtesy Wikipedia, Lewis Hine

As a newspaperboy selling on the street, I went a lot of places. One of my regular places was the local hospital to sell papers to the patients and nurses. It was a good job… kept me out of trouble for the most part. Also meant I was a snot-nosed street kid, but one of the good kind. I was a Cub Scout growing up in a small town of 2500 people, same as my Dad said the town size was when he was growing up down in Oakland. I can’t even imagine Oakland being that small, it’s so friggin’ big nowadays!

It was fun talking to people, especially some of the really strange conversations selling to people in the bars, and I was independent at an early age from it. The only time danger ever came around was usually also when adults were watching, except on Saturdays, when population was sparse and the newspaper office was closed…on those days, I always checked from the alley and watched for a bit before heading over to drop off my tinder fares in the envelope

By Minnesota Historical Society [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
My friend, the candy dispenser ~ Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society [CC BY-SA 2.0]
slot, the counter lady giving me one before I took my papers out, so we could figure owes at four cents for each one we sold…we got six cents a piece. I always had a buck or two during those years and built my savings (after candy bar and soft drink operating expenses, of course) up to a mighty $29.00 adding to it whenever I thought of it over the next three years. Had I not been such a shopper already at nine years old, buying albums, models and bike parts, I’d have done better.

Each of my street routes took me through a number of businesses of daily obligation and with one route I got to go into the hospital, I really enjoyed talking with the nurses. I knew a few since my Mom worked there, plus one was a distant relative, like seventeen cousin removed, and I also knew a few who were Moms of schoolmates. One nurse though, was special…she used to flirt with me. I was at that age where it tickled deep down in my soul, making my body feel funny inside…but in a nice way. She was very well endowed, with a very fit figure and a beautiful face that smiled a lot, warming me inside.

Ha’Cha! Adult Training, Class 101

I was a witty and cute, slightly geeky, curious kid with a very high vocabulary from reading so much (college sophomore in sixth grade according to the Iowa Basic tests), so I understood many of the terms they used while talking with each other, and dropped into conversation when I could, my smarts easily allowing me to mingle. I loved science, and with medicine being my second after invention, trivia knowledge via Ripleys Believe it or Not books made me subject of interest with most adult crowd. I often overheard “ten going on thirty” from adults at edge of earshot, so apparently I was interesting, and loved catching them off-guard with some amazing fact, my shy, but winning personality, admitting me into daily conversation with almost all the nurses.

One day my special lady nurse was busy and I followed her to see what she was doing in the old wing of the hospital. I’d only walked through the hallway a few times, once seeing almost all the rooms empty except for on room where this heavy lady was strapped to a bed, body writhing all around and screaming loudly…once she saw me, anyway. Her face resembled Large Marge for PeeWee’s Big Adventure and she had scared the hell out of me when she screamed after I said, “Daily News” to her. Suddenly I heard some guy at the other end of the hall yell, “Hey you there! What you doin’?” and that frightened me too, so I hauled ass out the backdoor exit as fast as I could and hid behind a bush. A couple seconds later the guy ran outside following me, but he didn’t see me so I was scot-free!

They didn’t have very many people in that wing and usually most of them didn’t buy a paper anyway, either being a crazy person and strapped down, or sleeping, or just too sick to do much talking. One guy motioned me over to him. He was skinny and wrinkly and seemed like he wanted to say something to me, so I leaned over close to his mouth and heard, “Aurgh, ah, aurgh,” then he just did this super heavy sigh, “Aroughahaaaaa,” and then he was gone in a wisp og smoke about twice as transparent as a smoker’s exhale breath. I knew what had happened and a nurse was there just after he perished. She looked at me and said, “are you alright?” a look of concern crossing her face. Dunno how I convinced her, my “Ya, I’m okay,” so weak and feeble. I knew what had happened and wondered why I didn’t see something special when he died, then realized I had in the little cloud that left with him.

Anyway, I caught up with her in a room where some guy looked like a skin-covered skeleton. She snapped her head up at me as I stood in the doorway and she asked me what I was doing. I told her I just wanted to see where she was going and all, then walked in the room and took a look out the window. She was busy tending to the sleeping corpse-guy, and said, “You know you aren’t supposed to be in here, er, I mean, on this side of the hospital, and that’s why those doors are closed.” I lied, “Oh, sorry,” because I wasn’t. She said, “well, I guess since I am here it’s alright, but you gotta promise to go as soon as I am done with this patient.” Then she leaned over and began to adjust the bed (back in the days of crank-handles).

Clash of the Titans

I was suddenly witness to a tennis match, “love!” “love!” “love!” betrayed in the back and forth action revealed to my youthful virgin eyes. When she noticed my early puberty vision riveted to her show in display of undulating wonders, she smiled a big, warm smile, her cheeks suddenly rosy, and she told me straight out, “You should never be embarrassed in admiring the beauty of a woman’s body motions,” completing her task.

Nonetheless, the room now glowed in a soft red from the brightly lit shimmering of my nine year old face, my ears burning with the addition of color intensity seeing her rhythm, lowered eyes and seductive smile. Suddenly I was experiencing the first noticeable reveal of my own, sexuality blooming hormones into the air of that private room. My mind immediately went into a swift and sudden daydream…slowly unzipping her uniform with my hand and seeing a reveal of white lace over flesh, and just as her aureola was slowly coming into view… no, wait, her uniform had changed…(oh, stop me please! I am able to step back into that memory, feeling all the same sensations…yes, what a wonderful experience some memories can be!)

This is how that nurse looked inside my mind, in a state of dress quite unlike her normal uniform.

Whew. SNAP! Reality then hit me like a ton of bricks as I suddenly realized, she knew. My face grew even redder by then, but there was no containing myself! No cool exit. I quickly spun around to the window and mumbled something about the view, yet I was caught, pants up, totally naked in front of her. I knew that she knew… plus that there was nothing I could do about it. My mind spun: she knew, she knew, she knew.

The blaze on my ears spread to my chest. She finished what she’d been doing, and exited the room so swiftly and quietly I didn’t even realize she’d left, and only a minute later, the stark quiet yelled at me. Turning my head quickly, saw she had left and saved me more embarrassment. As I went out to the back exit door again on that day, I saw her wave from the other side of the long hallway, before slipping out and getting away as fast as I could.

For the next several weeks, each time I closed my eyes at night, I saw her, teaching me to please a woman in every way possible. Next time I arrived at the nurse’s station, several days later after avoiding them just in case she said something, I discovered she’d transferred to another hospital. Even though I’d been embarrassed greater than ever before in life, I was completely crushed. She’d been one of the few adult persons that treated me real and not like a kid, teasing and flirting with me, all the while harmlessly pulling me out of my shell of shyness. She opened me into the world of, adult flirting, the teasing parlay with innuendo. What a wonderful education she was for this chubby, freckle-faced, and insecure kid, “Opie”, in the more innocent and safe world of the late sixties in a small western town.

 Ditty of Juvenility

Each of us has a period in time when life turns and you are recognized for abilities beyond. For me, it was in my freshman year I got “a rose pinned on my nose, while winning a medal.” That was usually a term of sarcasm delivered to me by my Mom when I screwed up as a kid. However, it came true after starting high school. In superb shape from all the practices while on the swim team, doing warm-up for P. E. was waaay easy. I had huge lungs! My record for underwater swimming was three-quarters of a 50 meter swimming pool, by the end of my second season. So running our one-mile warmup was nothing! It did tax my legs, but I could sing while running without any huffing or puffing…much to the chagrin to other guys in the school.

Then something new was added…the Presidential Fitness Award. It was a test in physical prowess, agility and endurance which not everyone could pass. My best friend, John A., and I were the only boys in the school which passed…and we were honored in a student body assembly with the entire school. My social embarrassment was in high gear that day, but was warmed out of me when the girls took notice of me — something I’d never experienced before.

240px-Rock_Hudson_-_Julie_Andrews
My first “French Kiss” was like a wash over my entire being (Rock Hudson & Julie Andrews) ~ Courtesy Wikimedia commons

During Spirit Week for Homecoming, they had a contest called “Mr. Irresistible” and it was this crazy thing where guys got kissed and a paper medal was given them. Robbie R. was my ideal dream of a woman at that time. She raised the stakes by rallying all her friends to award me with kisses and paper medals…one of the most wonderful experiences I ever felt in my life up until then! Some girls gave a peck on the cheek, some kissed on the lips, but Robbie gave me a long and full french kiss — my first ever — and lifted my heart so high I was off the ground for the next few days!

Even after I discovered a couple days later that it was to make her boyfriend, Peter P., jealous, it didn’t matter…another first timer situation in life which propelled me closer into adulthood from puberty than ever before. Of course I was a little crushed that all her attention was a misdirection as soon as I found out, I wasn’t too sad since it also made me popular with the girls. Our school was unique in that only 29 boys in the entire student body that year, with over 80 girls. Pickin’s were wonderful and I was ready to play the field, never having had opportunity before. And life was strange…I’d lost 30 lbs, plus gained five inches, bleached blond hair (tinted with green from chlorine) and a fabulous full body tan (which lasted beyond January), I was a Beach Boy catch.

Kissing the War Goodbye - 14 August 1945 Wikipedia Commons
Kissing the War Goodbye – 14 August 1945 Wikipedia Commons

It really blossomed me out of my shy nature, yet brought other problems I had no experience to deal with at all. Girls are just as fickle at that age, playing with heart-strings in their own dealings with puberty, hormonal changes, and development of social skills, so I was played quite often. It was always crushing to find a girl was paying attention for some reason other than really liking you…for me that was far more devastating than for others who had previous experience. As a late bloomer, it hardened me to a point I became fickle, crushing a few innocent hearts I should not have crushed because of the affect it had on their lives, though my callousness only lasted for a few short weeks during that adjustment period of life. Those memories will always remind me of what it feels to be held in high standards…and judged while relying on others for your personal values and self-assessment.

It was a hard lesson, yet one worthy to learn…you gotta be pleased within yourself and honor your self-image…never from outside of your self. If you don’t, your self image will be destroyed, weakening your character and preventing you from achieving a lot of things during your lifetime. It is far easier to learn while young than to waste a lifetime and learn it without being able to sow your seed in the sea of mistakes and free abandon which youth provides.

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Ghost In My Machine

A TRUE NATURAL MAN: Rabbit Fur Cap & Collar, Palm Tree Bark & Deer Hide Coat, Black Leather Cord Hair & Deer Hide Face , airbrush and hand paint ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

 Narration always begins the real story…

“There have always been ghosts in the machines…”
“Random segments of code, that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols…”
“Unanticipated, these free radicals engendered questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of what we might call the soul…”
“Why is it that when some robots are left in darkness, they will seek out the light?”
“Why is it that when robots are stored in an empty space, they will group together rather than stand alone?”
“How do we explain this behavior?”
“Random segments of code?”
“Or is it something more?”
“When does the perceptual schematic become consciousness?”
“When does the difference engine become the search for truth?”
“When does the personality simulation become the bitter moat of the soul?”

Sonny, the main non-human character from the movie "I, Robot" starring Will Smith ~ Courtesy Wikimedia Shao19 (Own work) GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 licenses Modifications:" changed background and crop
Sonny, main non-human character from “I, Robot” starring Will Smith ~ Courtesy Wikimedia Shao19 (Own work) GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 licenses Modifications:” changed background & crop area

Frustrated with problems with my new website not working correctly in April, I could not get it to work on it’s mobile page…my number one reason for picking GoDaddy as the host. The website started making changes om it’s own arbitrary whims since December, and after speaking with MANY technicians, waiting for the required three days to see the changes (which did not happen as was told me), I was beginning to boil, furious having been a state of mind which increased with each new waiting period.

Text boxes resize. Text backgrounds changed color. An orange background which I had used on one occasion, then changed back to the original brick red color previously used, only appeared on the mobile pages, yet could not be found on the regular pages, anywhere! Text began to totally drop off the page…so I had to add it back! All those lost things reappeared, yet only on the mobile page which I could not access. I was told the technicians are not supposed to work on because that code IS the golden fleece of their Website Builder program.

“WARNING! Warning Will Robinson! Intruder Alert!”

Robot B-9 was in my mind, flailing his omni-flexible arms wildly up and down . . . or being Neo after taking the blue pill, that flexible mirror sucking into my body, triggering a metamorphosis that was distorting reality. How many times do you hit your head on a brick wall before you stop doing it because of the pain?

“Island in the Sky” Lost in Space TV Show – Robot B-9 moves down the ramp of the Jupiter 2 Spaceship ~ Courtesy by permission of Jon C. Rogers Collection, RogersRocketships.com

So the conundrum exists, where four, no, five, no, six, er, seven (IDK- I friggin’ started to lose count!) separate sessions with techs who then contacted advanced techs during the call, plus 2 incident reports to the advanced team of technicians, and FINALLY a report to the Website Builder DEVELOPERS themselves… yet issues remained. The M-5 computer from an early Star Trek episode dying, played in my head’s jukebox: “ERR-O-R! ERR-O-R! ERRRRR-OO00-RRrrr…”

Ghostbusters (rerelease icon) ~ Courtesy Flickr: theNerdPatrol [CC BY SA-2.0]
Can’t call Ghostbusters, no matter how appropriate, those “ghost” pieces of code which hang after things are deleted occasionally when building a website. What to doo-oo-oo?!?? If I could download it all into MS FrontPage, perhaps I could fix the code just by looking for the code’s inconsistencies. That’s how I did it years ago and it seemed to work. But, “NOooo!”

Most people would have copied all their stuff and moved to a new host. Then they could even try to get back at them, say things in spite, clear their transgressed feelings and possibly make some anime and go viral with vindictiveness. Pipe dream dude – not in the real of life! WHAT?!?? You ain’t afraid  of no ghosts? WELL . . .  what about attorneys? Lawsuits? How many pillows can you shred to alleviate a problem? We would soon run out of pillows…

Noa sporting the angry alien baby V ~ Courtesy Flickr: Yaffa Phillips (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 On the Road of Redemption…

NOPE! That does not FIX the problem. For me and my investment, which had now cost me several hundred dollars and almost six months of time investment. What does fix the issue, is to stay on the developers, techs, etc., until the problem is fixed. It is not the easiest thing to do though, creating continuance of the turmoil within you, so as long as you don’t dump your emotions on others, only working the problem, you’ll do fine. Not always a simple thing to do… especially given months of aggravation heaped on top. *SIGH*

So, work that dead horse until it is reborn, birthed to resolve, or give up on the situation and start all over, completely rebuilding the site.

A little graphic doodle beginning with Flickr: The Killers Among Us by Renegade98 [CC BY SA-2.0]
Angry Feelings of Never-Applied Evilness from Accumulated Frustrations with many Technicians – building from a picture from Flickr: The Killers Among Us by Renegade98 [CC BY SA-2.0] The “List of  Modifications” includes: rearranged lettering and graphics, added additional: words, drew an ‘insert’ symbol (took a photo of it & sent it to myself), created ‘tape’ over items at top
 I chose the latter for my answer to resolve my issues, choosing a completely brand-new theme, for which it completely deleted the old one with the exchange of theme I chose. Luckily I copied each page first, not knowing!

WHY DO WE WRESTLE IN TURMOIL? …instead of just letting go? (warning, parent quote)=> IT’S JUST THE PRINCIPLE OF THE THING! It’s about making things right. Sometimes, “cutting off your nose despite your face” (another, thrown at us often for being stubborn) when conflict raises one’s dander, breeding stubbornness to “Nth” degree. My family was built tough in stubbornness to achieve the correct resolve though. In the case of the website, I’d have to redesign everything anyway . . .

Parlay the problem – ya might just Win

Mom told us all to get some shoes before we went to the supermarket and the older of my two sister forgot to get hers before we left. When we get there, mom says, “put your shoes on, cuz the pavement’s gonna be hot. It’s over 110 degrees.” We all get out of the car, my youngest sister, Debbie, and I have our “Zories” (brand name of our thongs) on, but my other sister, Christi, doesn’t, so she starts stepping from one foot to the other so her feet won’t get burnt. Mom sees her do this for a few steps and says,

“Damn it Christi! I TOLD you to get your shoes before we left!” Then, looking at me & Deb, “Check for cars before you leave! NO RUNNING! Walk, or just sit in the car!” 

spring toes, baseball sunburn, (yes, I have Fred Flintstone feet) - Courtesy Flickr: Britt Reints [CC-BY-SA-2.0]
spring toes, baseball sunburn, (yes, I have Fred Flintstone feet) – Courtesy Flickr: Britt Reints [CC-BY-SA-2.0]
My barefoot sister suddenly blurts, “It’s not that hot!” and begins an angle, purposely walking beside Mom. Deb and I look at each other and shake our heads. My feet are already feeling the heat burning my feet from both sides of my Zories! I tell Mom, “I’m gonna run and get out off this hot pavement!” Debbie says “Me too!” and we both jetted to the shade of the sidewalk, then inside the door of the store, watching out the windows. Christi, now determined to prove the parking lot asphalt is not that hot, simply continues, deliberately walking besides Mom, purposely taking her time, probably just to teach Christi a lesson for not following her direction.

When they finally reaching the doorway, I step back out the door from inside where I’d been watching, and opened it for them to come inside. Mom exclaims, “Oh my goodness! How wonderful it feels in here! It’s likely twenty degrees, or more…much, much cooler! Yea!” Mom releases in a deep breath, “ Shoo-wie-sh!” By this time we are inside, moving away from the door as we reposition to let Mom lead us.

Christi follows Mom past us, her toes wiggling wildly in the rug between each step, walking in slow and very deliberately controlled steps past me and Deb, then spots the linoleum floor on the other side of the big area rug, and about knocks Debbie over trying to get past her to the cool linoleum. Rolling her eyes while looking at me, she quietly murmurs, “ah!” reaching the chilled floor. On the way home I could see asphalt tar was covering almost her entire feet underneath, some places looking up to a 1/4 inch thick of buildup. It would not come off her feet even with a strong scrubbing, she later confided to me during a low emotional point. Usually she didn’t say much to me because we were sibling nemesis-es most of the time.

Later when Dad got home from work, I hear Mom relating the story, and overhear, “…and damned if she didn’t walk across the entire parking lot beside me. I took my time too, because I knew she was going to have to run, and then admit she’d been wrong. Mom switched to a squeaky mimicking voice, “It’s not that hot!” she goes back to her regular voice.  I mean it was so hot you could see the flames coming up through her toes!” Then both of them set to belly-laughing, enjoying each others company.

Those pesky embarrassing lessons of life

The Fuzzy Feet of the Quarter dispenser machine at the Grocery Store - Courtesy Cavette Collection
The Fuzzy Feet of the Quarter dispenser machine at the Grocery Store – Courtesy Cavette Collection

That wasn’t the only situation for teaching of a lesson by Mom at a store. I decided to get a couple silly fluffy rug type footprints to put into my car on the dashboard. So I drop in my quarter and turn the handle. Out pops this folded paper something-or-other, not looking a thing looking at all like those fuzzy feet. I said “Rats!” as I came back to the checkout stand where the clerk was ringing up our groceries. Mom asked what’s the problem, so I explained that the quarter machine gave me the wrong thing, not anything like on the front and I had wanted those fuzzy feet for my VW’s dashboard, just as Mom finished paying, so I started pushing the cart.

As we walked towards the door, Mom stops by the little office just inside the entry doors, and raps on the door. AS I WATCHED IN HORROR, that stupid 25 cent purchase brought me to stand in front of other classmates (the cute girls I liked too!) in the next line.

I was dying of embarrassment, as Mom brought the Store Manager over to the quarter machines to fix my purchase. It did eventually yield return of my quarter, and the Manager even opened the machine to retrieve the fuzzy feet from the inside for me, plus left me the folded comic too. The worst wasn’t until the next day when I saw those girls at school the next day. Giggling, all three walked up to me and then this one girl puts her hand softly on my shoulder and said with pouting lips, “Did you get your little toy Mikey? Are you all better now?”

My face was shining beet red. “No, really, we all thought it was really cool that your Mom stood up for you and got you what you bought. Cauz, really it’s the principle and that’s what counts!” Thank god I thought. Then the girl who had done all the talking, leaned over, kissed me on the cheek, then pinched my butt before running a few quick steps, turning to look me in the eyes and wink, then they all turned and walked away. The sweat started to dry slowly as I regained myself.

If suppin’ hurts ya, friggin’ fight back!

yoda
Today, anger not, worry not, grateful be, diligent, in your endeavors be, to other kindness, show – Yoda-Principles The Reiki Principles ~ Flickr: James Deacon [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

PRINCIPLE. When is it necessary to stand on principle? To better mankind is a great example. But for a 25 cent purchase? it seemed extreme to my high school beliefs. However, that was my Mother. Big or small, it was about making people own their problem until resolve occurred.

Once Mom was refused a charge using her Montgomery Wards card. She was so thoroughly and morbidly upset at the other people in line seeing her embarrassment, plus the clerk’s snotty and disdainful attitude toward her, the clerk requested Mom leave the line. Mom started to cry she was so upset. Then the insensitive witch called out to Mom in a loud voice heard across the store, “You should take it up with the credit department, M’am!” Mom stopped crying and got completely and utterly LIVID instead.

PRINCIPLE. I tried to calm Mom’s frantic raving, embarrassment/ anger driven cuss words as we left the store to head home, amongst her mumbling. She’d say several words so quiet, then one indiscernible word LOUDLY, then more quiet mumbling. The harsh mumbling was the worst, her face reddened up in such a rage, she barely was able to control the car safely. Thank God  traffic was light that day. So then my Mom went to the library, walking to calm herself, and I walked beside her at a very fast pace trying to keep up.

flickr liz west [cc by sa 2.0]
Team West suffered two broken legs before the three-legged race, here they are in practice with broken legs ~ Flickr: Liz West [cc by sa 2.0]
Mom’s crutches propelled her along quickly in her anger state and soon she was speaking with the librarian on how to research a company. My Mother was an avid researcher and amazingly fast reader; tested at Shasta College for a speed reading course, she read over 700 words a minute with 95% comprehension. She also graduated on the Dean’s List with a 3.8 GPA that year, while carrying 28 units in health sciences (anatomy & physiology) plus several classes in law (legal aspects of evidence, deductive reasoning, basic principles of applied law) and astronomy for an elective. She loved learning and passed that passion on to all three us children.

Anyway, the librarian revealed there was a series of books, called Moody’s Corporate Data, where Wall Street businesses published Company information. Mom set about researching through them and writing things down in a steno pad, while I went to the science and art sections of my interests. After I checked my books out, I checked in on her, but she wasn’t ready to leave yet, so I headed home.

Vindication: Sweet Taste for Victory

Mom located the home address of the President of Montgomery Ward Corporation, plus the Chairman of the Board, sat down and wrote them a letter describing her embarrassment, especially after sending a payment that very morning, before heading out to shop, so she knew she had a balance left to do a charge! I didn’t get to read the letter, but she gave me a description after she had sent them.

wards letter
Mom used Moody’ Financial Books to find the home address for the President of Montgomery Wards Corporation ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

About two weeks later, Mom received a letter directly from the President of Montgomery Ward Corporation, telling her that she will be called very soon by a Montgomery Ward’s representative to speak with her on her account. It was only the next day when she received the call, from Montgomery Ward’s West Coast Division Department Head!

He was very polite, she said, and apologized profusely for her discomfort and embarrassment; the clerks of the local Montgomery Wards Store had been contacted directly about the incident and their behavior towards her, in particular the clerk who embarrassed her like that. The lady was not happy with her reprimand at all, and apparently attempted to defend her actions. By the end of the conversation, due to her attitude, she was fired.

Mom’s credit limit was raised by $4000 in hopes of defraying any negative feelings she may have towards their company, plus given an additional thirty day leeway of extension (total of 60 days grace period), just in case her payment ever happened to arrive late, courtesy of Montgomery Wards Corporation, who very much appreciated her business and loyalty as a customer.

principles
You can take my gun when you pry it from my long dead hand ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

“PRINCIPLE!” she yelled in glorification, after hanging up the phone. “SEE, IT WORKS!” she gleefully yelled, punching the air with her fists. Those rules were steadfast and hard, buried deep in tried and true principles of life in our home, reinforced that day with an integrity lasting forever.

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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.

tesla
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 (radiographics.rsna.org) ~ 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.

Frankenstein_monster_Boris_Karloff
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. (https://www.torproject.org/) 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: https://youtu.be/VhXuO4Gz3Wo?list=RDVhXuO4Gz3Wo) 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: https://new.mac3impact.com. 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…

800px-US_Navy_120131-N-MD252-362_Sailors_wash_dishes_in_the_scullery
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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Warn Mensk!

The Accolade by Edmund Leighton, British Painter (1853–1922)
“The Accolade” by Edmund Leighton, British Painter (1853–1922) ~ Courtesy Wikipedia

“Warn Mensk!” quite literally means “Present Honor!” in Middle English. For our knowledge of Middle English, we can thank Chaucer, who almost single-handedly preserved the language for us to know in his stories. There are a few others, yet nobody who presented anything like the sheer volume of Geoffrey Chaucer’s collective work, The Canterbury Tales, written between 1387 and 1400, all of it by hand!

Sinan Kökbugur created the amazing Librarius,  a complete version of “The Canterbury Tales” in it’s entirety, which offers a glossary, plus Middle to Modern English translation of the romantic language. The eloquent style and beauty of the written word is a joy to read and here is a YouTube where you can listen to spoken  Middle English: Prologue of Canterbury Tales.

I enjoy the English language no matter the period it originated, because I love obscure words and their usage. One of the few words I hate is the word: war. I’ve known far too many who’ve suffered knowing that word firsthand. While visiting the girl’s dorm during my sophomore year, my friends brother came home from ‘Nam.

The second day he was back, a backfire blasted out in the street. Before anyone knew anything, that guy was under a little coffee table in the rec room. A couple of people laughed, but I saw the fear in his eyes and knew he’d been changed forever by his experience with war. More and more came back, totally different from who they were when they left.

Being an empath, I’ve felt the terror, also watching them turn from stoned zombies into wild-crazed at sudden and unexpected provocations, like backfiring exhausts, firecrackers or any sudden, loud and unexpected noise…even a sonic boom! So sad.

8 inch Moving Wall composite
Trinity High School the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall Event July 2-6 2003) ~ Courtesy  Cavette Collection (Complication of Seven Photos)

The above photo was never taken. Rather, was taken in numerous photos and is a composite created from all of those photos. If I remember correctly, seven main pictures were involved for this composite with parts from about 27 all together, in order to find matching lighting and perspective.

This picture was created for the Veterans who attended, so they could have the picture as it was seen from the stands at the high school football field of Weaverville, California, in it’s entirety, following The Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall (1/2 sized facsimile of the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.) exhibition during July 2-6, 2003. Because of the location of the announcement building, pictures of the VVMW could not betaken and capture the entire memorial

For the three months prior to the event, preparations were made to cover every contingency imaginable. I had no idea what would be involved once we started. So much healing occurred. I am still in awe of the power within this monument, it was so impressive. Lingering. Brought tears of sadness, of healing, of joy…misery files were opened inside many Veterans as they related their experiences…opened their hearts and exposed themselves. It was raw and honest unlike anything ever witnessed.

At times confusion set in during this project; it’s doubtful I slept more than 6 hours the entire 4-day long event. One night, about 2:00 am, I listened as a Veteran finally spoke, twenty years later, of his experience and all those bottled emotions blasted out of him in a torrent. His sorrow, so deeply held within; merely exposing it brought him an enormous healing. All most Veterans needed was to tell their story to someone who could bear witness for validation.

Most spoke of lost buddies and the good times they shared back then; some revealed inner horrors of their experiences; all wept, either openly, or later, in quiet. Peace and solace was result from these open wounds which had gripped lives for so many years, once confessed. Guilt lifted; anger subsided; for some, laughter could replace tears, memories revisited of lighter times with one of the etched names inscribed upon the artifact.

Created to depict a wound set into the earth to symbolize the gravity of the loss of Soldiers, a design by Architect Maya Lin, while still a 21 year old undergraduate, beating 1,441 other public competition submissions for the design in Washington D.C. The finished design was completed in October 1982, of granite and v-shaped with one side pointing to the Lincoln Memorial and the other to the Washington Memorial.  The black cut-stone masonry wall carries the names of 57,661 fallen soldiers.

While The Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall is not cut into the ground, seeing such a dramatic, jet-black, sculpture in person, I was gripped by the immensity; over-powering, over-bearing, it makes one feel so small. Not having visited the Washington D.C. original, the heaviness of the smaller version was  a stark intercourse to the result of news reports for so many years and the personal touches returning soldiers had on my life directly. When I discovered names of relatives etched upon it, my connection deepened exponentially; and a slight dizziness overtook me for a few moments, even though these relatives had not been ones I’d seen since adolescence.

Those times, during the sixties, were days of a nation in turmoil… sadly, for so many, the toll of war was misplaced onto the soldiers drafted into the war, not the government that forced the soldier to serve. The draft was officially abolished* January 27, 1973, but in March 1973, 1974 and 1975, the Selective Service assigned draft priority numbers for all men born in 1954, 1955 and 1956, in case the draft was extended — but it never was.

draft
~ Courtesy Newspapers.com

Since my 18th birthday was in June 1973, reading the newspapers was kinda different:

This appeared two days before my birthday but I didn't see it until afterwards. Our local paper had published draft numbers in May for some reason and mine would have been 13 on the draft.

My Mom went kinda crazy over the idea of me going into the service, and Dad wasn’t real happy about it either. So my parents went out and got travel brochures from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and a few other places. I had decided I’d serve if the draft came back and I was picked anyway.

So I thought about it a bit and decided perhaps it may be the better choice to go in; besides I always liked Popeye’s suit. So off to London Lodge I went. The ride down was long, but I was ready by the time we arrived for a new adventure. Tough luck on that recruiter though…he’d forgotten to get my signature before I left. It ended up costing him a recruit by the time I got back.

All was going fine until we were told to drop our drawers and grab our ankles. I wondered what the heck this was about, but I’m game for most stuff and every one was participating soo… “Monkeys” he had said when telling us to assume the position. Hmm.

He was the darkest man I’d ever seen, a bluish tint in the reflection of his face, highlighted by the white of his lab coat as he walked into the room from the side. He walked behind all the guys and I wondered what he was looking at. My naivety came to fruition in a few more seconds when, Luc-ie!

I’d never been touched like that before! A royal goose if ever there was one! Unexpected, it caught me totally off-guard! Hello!!!

My hands left my ankles and I started to straighten up as my head snapped back to look at the doctor, his eyes widening once my gaze caught him.

Out in my peripheral vision, I detected movement — the MP’s! The doctor took two big steps back, held his hands open in front of him and said, “That’s All!” Evidently my face changed as I felt my ears begin to glow a bright crimson which lit my hands by their glow, and the Ironside theme started to play: Reeet-ruh! Reeet-ruh!

I think my entire body flushed as he said, “Rectal Exam! Nev’ah had one?”

I shook my head, No! as he waved off the MP’s and wiped his brow with his sleeve. He gestured an away movement, letting me know to return to my prior position of holding my ankles. I did not like the sensation afterwards, when we were allowed to pull our underwear back up and stand again.

My first couple of steps must have looked like I was a cat with wet paws, because the guy behind me giggled. “Feels like mashed potatoes in your underwear or somethin,” he said. We both laughed. “Yeah!” I agreed.

I was taken from my group for a bit, while they did x-rays on my feet. I didn’t know why, wondering as I stood on the table. When I came back out, I saw that the other guys in my group were heading out into another room. I was told to go and wait until my name was called.

I asked if I could use the bathroom and was handed a cup. I asked what it was for and told to pee in it. I’d never done that before and couldn’t get my body to work. Mind was fine with it, but my body ignored the request. Oh well. I found some toilet paper and took the K-Y Jelly off my behind. Yuck!

When I sat down in the waiting area still holding the cup, the other white coat asked me if I was having a problem, indicating towards the cup. I nodded and he left, all of the sudden coming back with a Coke for me. “Cool, thanks” I said. The cold in my hands made my whole body cold, and since I was thirsty anyway, I downed the Coke.

Pretty soon, there was no waiting and I got them the sample – to the brim of the little cup! I noticed then, when I came out, that my group was getting dressed. I wondered what the deal was, why I was still waiting.

Fifteen minutes later, I was called in to talk with the doctor. He asked me questions about my feet, if they hurt and the like. No. Then he asked if I had any medical problems ever. When I told him about my Osgood Schlatters in both knees bothering me during basketball, he said, “Uh-huh,” nodded, then began writing.

“Got any brothers or sisters?” he asked. “No, matter-of-fact, I’ve been told I am the last man to have our last name.” He wrote again, “Uh-huh.”

That’s when I heard something I’ll never forget.

“I can’t seem to find your signature on any form,” he said. I replied, “The recruiter never gave me anything to sign.”

Sharper than before he exclaimed, “Uh-huh! Well, you have your recruiter get that form done with your signature.” I was free to go.

As I walked out, I heard some guy say something in the room across the hall, that I couldn’t quite make out. All of the sudden, these two uniformed guys came up on each side of him and started yelling, right into his ears! They called him names and pretty soon the guys had tears on his cheeks. Then, one of the yelling guys began mocking him about his tears and about his mother…

I heard all this as I got dressed, so I left hurriedly. I decided right there that I’d not sign any papers when I got back home. I was still shaking from that yell-a-thon, and knowing that, if it was me, I’d have bashed one of those guys faces, just for being treated like that, and to stop the yelling.

I also knew, that would be exactly the worst thing to do under those circumstances. No way I’d ever let myself be treated that way…so, when I got back, I didn’t sign.

According to my two Sons, who did their hitch in the Marines in Security Forces, I’d probably have been turned into one of the best, mainly because of my attitude. My oldest boy was a Scribe through bootcamp, and he said the most stubbornest, bull-headed, hot-heads, were exactly who the Drill Sergent’s wanted to train… the “tough guys” are the best to break down, for they become model soldiers when trained…guess we’ll never know. Life turned out anyway…for the most part. But that’s another dozen or few stories.

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*Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/72085.html#ixzz3OvG22Tvl

LOCUS

NorCal Counties Map
Northern California Counties ~ Courtesy Wikipedia

— Northern California

Northern California is not a formal geographic designation. California’s north-south midway division is around 37° latitude, near the level of San Francisco. Popularly, though, “Northern California” usually refers to the state’s northernmost 48 counties. This definition coincides with the county lines at 35° 47′ 28″ north latitude, which form the southern borders of Monterey, Kings, Tulare and Inyo counties. The term is also applied to the area north of Point Conception and the Tehachapi Mountains.

The human history of the west coast of North America is believed to stretch back to the arrival of the earliest people over the Bering Strait, or alternately along a now-submerged coastal plain, through the development of significant pre-Columbian cultures and population densities, to the arrival of the European explorers and colonizers. The west coast of North America likely saw the first sustained arrival of people to the continent. Although there are other theories, most scientists believe that the first significant groups of people came from Asia, through today’s Bering Strait area, then through modern Alaska, and from there spread throughout North America and to South America.

Although the cultures on the west coast of today’s Canada and United States are not known to have developed substantial urban centers and sophisticated writing or scientific systems, it is likely that, before European contact, the population density along the west coast of today’s Canada and United States was significantly higher than in the rest of the northern part of the continent. For example, it has been estimated that in 1492, one-third of all Native Americans in the United States were living in California because of the temperate climate and easy access to food sources.

Map Land Bridge Migration
Land bridge migration trail of ancient peoples ~ Courtesy American Indian Civics Project

In the western half of Mesoamerica (western portions of Mexico and northern Central America), the oldest known settlements date to approximately 2000 BCE A succession of cultures started with the very early Capacha culture, which appeared on the Pacific coast of modern Mexico about 1450 BC and spread into the interior. The following cultures developed into “high civilizations” in Mesoamerica, with extensive urban areas, writing, astronomy and fine arts: Olmec (beginning about 1150 BC), Mixtec (beginning perhaps 1000 BC), Maya (settled villages along the Pacific coast appear from 1800 BC, and ceremonial architecture by approximately 1000 BC) and Aztec (from the 14th century AD). Farther south, Panama was home to some of the earliest pottery-making, such as the Monagrillo culture dating to about 2500–1700 BC; this culture evolved into significant populations best known for spectacular burial sites (dating to c. 500–900 AD) and polychrome pottery of the Coclé style. Each of these cultures rose, flourished, and was then conquered by a more militarily developed culture. While not all of these civilizations had large settlements along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, their influence extended to the Pacific coast.

Early Native Californians were hunter-gatherers, with seed collection becoming widespread around 9,000 BCE. Due to the local abundance of food, tribes never developed agriculture or tilled the soil. Two early southern California cultural traditions include the La Jolla Complex and the Pauma Complex, both dating from ca. 6050—1000 BCE. From 3000 to 2000 BCE, regional diversity developed, with the peoples making fine-tuned adaptations to local environments. Traits recognizable to historic tribes were developed by approximately 500 BCE.

The Indigenous peoples of California are the inhabitants who have lived or currently live in the geographic area within the current boundaries of California before and after the arrival of Europeans. With over one hundred federally recognized tribes, California has the largest Native American population and the most distinct tribes of any US state. Californian tribes are characterized by linguistic and cultural diversity. However, the California cultural area does not exactly conform to the state of California’s boundaries. Many tribes on the eastern border with Nevada are classified as Great Basin tribes, some tribes on the Oregon border are classified as Plateau tribes, and tribes in Baja California who do not cross into California are classified as Indigenous peoples of Mexico.

The indigenous people practiced various forms of sophisticated forest gardening in the forests, grasslands, mixed woodlands, and wetlands to ensure availability of food and medicine plants. They controlled fire on a regional scale to create low-intensity fire ecology; this prevented larger, catastrophic fires and sustained a low-density “wild” agriculture in loose rotation. By burning underbrush and grass, the natives revitalized patches of land and provided fresh shoots to attract food animals. A form of fire-stick farming was used to clear areas of old growth to encourage new in a repeated cycle; a primitive permaculture (a site that sustains itself and the gardener) that was successful.

One of the difficulties with American Indian research in California is in the terminology used. In most of the United States, the difference between the term tribe and band is quite clear. In California, the Bureau of Indian Affairs seems to have used the two terms almost interchangeably. At least some bands, or subdivisions, of some tribes are sometimes identified as tribes. And in a few case, smaller trust areas of land are called villages or colonies or settlements.

What are called reservations in most states are sometimes identified as such in California, but smaller land areas are also called Rancherias. Jurisdictions are also sometimes confusing. Agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs certainly existed and operated in California, but sometimes the duties of an agency were carried out by a school or a subagency. While that happened in other states, too, it seems to have been more common in California. Another unique part of California Indian research is the need to be fully aware of the influence of the Spanish Missions, especially from 1769 to the mid-1800s. Much of the native population associated with these early missions and some were converted to Catholicism and have their names included in the Mission records.

Pre-Contact map of Indigenous tribes
Pre-Contact Tribal Territories map ~ Courtesy Wikipedia

The original inhabitants of the territorial area that is now known as California included these 64 Tribes: Achumawi, Atsugewi, Cahuilla, Chemehuevi, Chilula, Chimariko, Chumash, Cocopah, Ohlone (Costanoan), Cupeno, Diegueno (Kumeyaay), Esselen, Gabrielino (Tongva), Halchidhoma, Hupa, Juaneno, Karok, Kashaya, Kato, Kawaiisu, Kitanemuk, Klamath, Konkow, Lassik, Luiseno, Maidu, Mattole, Miwok, Modoc, Mojave, Mono, Nisenan, Nomlaki, Nongatl, Northern Paiute, Panamint, Patwin, Pomo, Quechan, Salinan, Serrano, Shasta, Shoshoni, Sinkyone, Southern Paiute, Tataviam, Tolowa, Tubatulabal, Wailaki, Wappo, Washoe, Whilkut, Wintu, Wiyot, Yana, Yahi, Yokuts, Yuki, Yurok, and spoke over 300 dialects of approximately 100 distinct languages.

Most indigenous languages of California belong to three language families: HokanPenutian, and Uto-Aztecan, the first two being somewhat controversial classifications. Historically preceding these families are two ancient lineages, the Chumashan and Yukian families. Algonquian and Athapaskan languages are also found, the latter being characteristic of relatively recent immigrants. The large number of languages may be related to the ecological diversity of California, according to research released in 2013.

The distinctive northern rainforest environment encouraged these tribes to establish their villages along the many rivers, lagoons and coastal bays that dotted their landscape. While this territory was crisscrossed with thousands of trails, the most efficient form of transportation was the dugout canoe used to travel up and down rivers and cross the wider and deeper ones such as the Klamath and Sacramento. These tribes used the great coast Redwood trees for the manufacture of their boats and houses. Redwoods were cleverly felled by burning at the base and then split with elkhorn wedges. Redwood and sometimes cedar planks were used to construct rectangular gabled homes. Baskets in a variety of designs were manufactured in with the twined technique only. Many of these arts survived into the twentieth century and traditional skills have enjoyed a great renaissance in the past twenty years.

The elaborate ritual life of these tribes featured a World Renewal ceremony held each Fall in the largest villages. Sponsored by the wealthiest men in the communities, the ceremony’s purpose was to prevent future natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, floods or failure of acorn crop or a poor salmon run with supplication to supernatural spirits. Because such disasters directly threaten the community, great attention to detail and the utmost solemnity accompanied such ceremonies. This and other traditional rituals continue to be practiced, despite the grinding poverty that plagues many of these groups. These tribes were governed by the most wealthy and powerful lineage leaders. The great emphasis on wealth found in these cultures is reflected in the emphasis on private ownership of food resources such as oak groves and fishing areas.

The Nomlaki (Central Wintun) and Southern Yana people originally inhabited the area along the banks of the Sacramento River where Red Bluff was built. Inhabited for millennia by Native Americans, from the Shasta tribe in the north, to the Miwoks in the central coast and Sierra Nevada, to the Yokuts of the southern Central Valley, northern California was among the most densely populated areas of pre-Columbian North America.

— Darkest Nightmare of Oppression to Indigenous Peoples 

Warning: this article is a true historical account which may affect sensitive people who can feel emotion directly from reading (Examples: Star Trek's Mr. Spock feeling an entire planet screaming as they were being destroyed or the similar - Star Wars' Obi-Wan Kenobi feeling the Death Star Weapon's destruction of an entire planet). The account sickened this author in discovering this atrocity was of our local history. ***The healing ceremony at the article's end provides contact information for Wiyot tribe's "Celebration of Healing" plus where and how to attend the ceremony.
In 1848, somewhere between 70,000 and 150,000 Indians and less than 1,000 Euro-Americans lived in America's new acquisition - California. At the time of white contact, Indian people occupied all the land that we now know as California. Most of the native populations of the area are thought to have died in a malaria epidemic or smallpox epidemic brought by trappers in the early 1830s, shortly before white settlers arrived in the 1840s. 
As more history becomes public knowledge through the Internet, many cover-ups within of the past are released, so historical facts once hidden, are fast becoming exposed and the wrong-doings are slowly becoming open knowledge, so they can be dealt with openly. Many schools are beginning to teach historical truths to our children so they not only know what was done, but also can participate in the beginnings of healing to prosecutions of our historical past. 

While the official policy of the Federal government was to protect Indian people, California policy and the desires of its growing white population sought to remove Indian people and ensure that they did not present. All three goals clashed with the wishes of the native population who did not wish to be protected, removed, or used as a labor force. During its first ten years as a state, California neither recognized Indians as citizens with civil rights, nor did it treat Indians as sovereign people. The famous historian of California, Hubert Howe Bancroft, summed up the state politics towards Indians in a few sentences:

“That part of the early intercourse between aboriginal Americans and European which belongs to history may be briefly given …The savages were in the way; the miners and settlers were arrogant and impatient; there were no missionaries or others present with even the poor pretense of soul saving or civilizing. It was one of the last human hunts of civilization, and the basest and most brutal of them all.”

Despite inconsistent federal efforts to “protect” the Indians of Northern California, the legal policies of elected California representatives and the vigilante actions of white citizens were deliberately genocidal. To some degree, their genocidal actions were successful: by 1870, the vast majority of the Indians who had lived in Northern California had either been forcibly removed to Indian reservations, or they had been killed.

Indeed, the Indian population of 1850 which ranged between 70,000 to 150,000 had dropped to about 30,000 just twenty years later. By the 1900 federal census, only 16,000 Indian were recorded in California. Those who survived suffered great indignities, as well as the loss of much tribal sovereignty. On the other hand, despite the many attempts to destroy the Indians of Northern California, within cultural, political, economic, and spiritual traditions.

By the end of the twentieth century, California had more Indians than any other state in the nation. About one-sixth of the estimated Indian population lives in California – approximately 320,000 Indians. The Bureau of Indian Affairs serves about 56,000 Indians who live on California’s 104 federally recognized Indian reservations, about one-third of which are located in Northern California. About 200,000 urban Indians and 75,000 other indigenous Indians live on about 80 reservations that are not federally recognized. (As of late 1999, approximately 52 California Indian Nations had applied to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for federal recognition.)

Tribal members in dugout canoes make their way from Indian Island to the Adorni Center  for a ceremony marking the return of part of the island to the Wiyots. Photo by Ryan Palmer.
Tribal members in dugout canoes make their way from Indian Island to the Adorni Center or a ceremony marking the return of part of the island to the Wiyots. Photo by Ryan Palmer, NorthCoast Journal

An Indian Island Candlelight Vigil is held every February to remember those who lost their lives in a Massacre that occurred 145 years ago. Early morning February 26th, 1860, a massacre occurred on Indian Island, the center of the Wiyot world, decimating the tribe. Visit www.wiyot.com for more information on this annual event or go to their February Events section.

The first vigil was held on the last Saturday of February in 1992. A vigil has been held each year in February ever since. With each year, the number of participants has grown.

This Vigil may be the first memorial for the lives lost where the Wiyot, other Indian nations, and the non-Indian communities have come together. This process helps heal the whole community. A fire is lit. A Wiyot elder lights their candle from the fire and from that candle all candles are lit. A moment of silence is observed, a prayer is given remembering all who have gone before us, songs are sung, poems are read, and one leaves with a feeling of accomplishment.

Excerpt from the North Coast Journal (2014):

“It was Feb. 22, and it was indeed the Wiyot’s last vigil. The tribe has held one every year since 1992, on the last Saturday in February, to memorialize the hundreds of ancestors killed by white men in a series of premeditated massacres in villages around Humboldt Bay in the last week of February 1860. As many as 100 of them, mostly women, children and elders, were murdered in their sleep at Tuluwat, on Indian Island — the center of the Wiyot world — where the tribe’s annual World Renewal Ceremony was underway. The tribe was shattered, the people dispersed. Wiyot land became white people land. Tuluwat, over time and heavy use, became virtually a toxic waste dump.

Last year the tribe finished cleaning up Tuluwat. The land was ready. The tribe declared the mourning period over. It was time to dance again.

Next week, beginning March 28 on Tuluwat, for the first time since that terrible February 154 years ago, the tribe will once again hold its World Renewal Ceremony.The Wiyot, you might say, are back — though they’ve been here all along.”

(Sources: [Wikipedia: Indigenous peoples of California, History of west coast North America], CA Indian History, Native American Tribes of California, Indians of California, American Indian Civics Project, Intro to CA Native Peoples)

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ANTIQUITY

Tehama County Judge Charles P. Braynard was given the duty of property distribution for Tehama County by President Andrew Johnson in 1867, after the Federal Government found land sold and given away by Senator J. Grandville Doll, which he had purchased from the State of California at $1.25 per acre, had not been properly surveyed and some parcels had multiple owners.

During the investigation, the Department of Interior filed suit against California for selling land they did not own, citing the fact that Lands purchased from Mexico by Peter Lassen, appointed Ambassador to make the purchase, was bought with Federal Government Funds.

The dispute raised such alarm, that it went to Congress and as a result, President Lincoln’s successor, President Andrew Johnson, by way of a Special Act, appointed Tehama County Judge Charles Braynard, the most trusted man in Tehama County, Power of Authority to sort and settle confusions concerning Land Patents, a process which took over a decade.

In a special election during 1875, Horace A. Mayhew, Lawyer and Minister, took the bench with Judge Braynard as a Tehama County Judge,  was among the many others who fell victim to Senator Doll’s misconstruements.

Joseph Spencer Cone
Joseph Spencer Cone

 Joseph Spencer Cone, of Tehama County, California, is one of the representative men of his time, and of his region, and of his occupation. Although vice-president of a large banking corporation and the head of a large mercantile firm, he is essentially an American farmer, and proudly registers himself as such wherever called upon to state his occupation. The farm has been always generous and kind to him. Natural selection brought them together early in his life, and neither money changing, merchandising, politics, nor other allurements have ever shaken his love for the simple yet noble occupation of tilling the soil.

 The lineage of Mr. Cone is traced back to the days of the Norman conquest, embracing eight and twenty generations, among the last of whom were many families which cast their lot in what was then the British-American colonies. He is the son of Timothy Cone, a native of East Haddam, Massachusetts, who was the son of Joseph Cone, a naval officer in the Revolutionary war.

Joseph was the seventh of Timothy’s ten children, and was born on the 26th day of August, 1822, near Marietta, Ohio. Of noble lineage, reaching by connected historical records to the invasion of England by William I, a more unaffected and thoroughgoing American, despising cant and humbug and modern snobbery, cannot be found anywhere.

Until reaching his twenty-second year Joseph worked on his father’s farm, making the best of such scanty educational facilities as the neighborhood afforded. His choice inclined toward a profession, especially to that of the law; and had he selected this career, he would, beyond a doubt, have achieved success, for he possessed a full share of the qualities required for this calling—soundness of judgment and a ready wit, coupled with a remarkable force of character and an almost unlimited capacity for work. But this was not to be, and fortunate it proved for his adopted State, and perhaps for himself, that while losing a good lawyer his country gained the assistance of one whose later services in developing the resources of Northern California it is impossible to overestimate.

But Mr. Cone was resolved to make his own way in the world, and as a beginning set forth in 1843, upon obtaining his majority, on a trading expedition among the Cherokee Indians, with the results of which he had no reason to be dissatisfied. From that date until 1850 the incidents of his career contained nothing calling for special mention. In the spring of this year the excitement that followed the discovery of gold being at its height, he joined a company of adventurous spirits like himself bound for California, starting from Jasper County, Missouri, and following the banks of the North Platte to the neighborhood of Fort Laramie. Here he became wearied with the slow and tedious travel of the wagon trains, and with four others, packing their effects on horseback, made their way to Green River, where, as he supposed, a settlement was near at hand. Meanwhile their animals had been stolen by the Piutes, and now provisions ran short, so that for a fortnight they were compelled to live on crow soup, to which were added a few teaspoonfuls of flour. At length, however, all arrived in safety at Nevada City, following exactly the route afterward selected by the Central Pacific Railroad.

He mined, engaged in merchandising, packing and all the varied occupations of that early period until 1857, when he settled down to the stock-raising business in Tehama County, on Alder Creek, where he remained with fair success until 1868. In that year he purchased the celebrated Rancho de los Berrendos, near Red Bluff, which he has developed into the finest ranch property, probably, in the State. The limits of this article will not permit a description of this noble estate. It has grown under the inspiring genius of its owner until it embraces nearly 100,000 acres, and is a principality.

Every branch of agriculture known to the wonderful climate of California can here be seen. Cereals, stock of all kinds, fruits, gardens, orchards,—indeed, all the varied products of our generous soil and climate here find splendid development. Mr. Cone is vice-president of the Bank of Tehama County and one of its largest stockholders; he is also at the head of a large mercantile corporation—the Cone & Kimball Company. Other business also engages his attention, and yet every detail of his great farm receives his supervision. He was president of the first railroad commission under the new constitution in 1879, and served with great benefit to the State for four years. He was the leading spirit in the railroad commission, and through his practical knowledge of affairs and his friends in dealing with the question of freight rates, he succeeded in obtaining for the people a reduction on all the staple products of the soil going towards tide-water, from twenty-five to thirty-three per cent. He has marvelous executive ability, and yet does his work in so quiet a way as to appear not to do it at all.

Mr. Cone is a man of strong and decided convictions. He is a Republican in politics and believes profoundly in the doctrine of protection to American industries and labor. His recent travels abroad have confirmed him in this belief. While not a communicant of any church he yet respects all creeds and supports the church liberally and endeavors to walk uprightly before God and man.

In 1867 Mr. Cone returned to his native State and married the daughter of Colonel Reppert. One son and two daughters are the fruit of this marriage. Kind and generous and helpful to the needy; enterprising and broad-minded on all questions, he is one of the foremost men of this region, and has stamped his influence and his character upon the history of his time. We regret that this work does not admit of a more extended sketch of his career.

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RADIX

Passion, Power and Grace [Mixed Media] 1991

 Success

Rushmore Roundup Series (17)
Rushmore Roundup (South Dakota, USA) Series of 17 originals. Commissioned by Australian Cattle Dog Association. National Kennel Club Association granted special permission to use paintings as placement awards, for it had never been done in the history of international Dog Shows.

I believe success is a measurement of self. It is based in perception and how you see the world, measured by how you fit into it. Do you meet your own expectations? Those are the only ones which truly matter. Except pleasing parents and making them proud…yet it still comes back to you.  Ricky Nelson’s wise word lyrics for Garden Party, “…only got to please yourself.”

The definition is so very simple, yet the personal meaning to those words, are not. Success, fame & fortune, is it what we really want? Nope. We want what recognition gives us. VALIDATION. I mean for real. Success gives us a sort of freedom, yet success also takes away a part of you – privacy. You have to become a public personality to be successful. The extend you push for in achieving your recognition, all depends on what you are willing to give up for the dreams you have. Scary that success is what we all strive for based on that premise…give privacy away to gain recognition. It’s what we do.

cherib heart card- colored -framed
A drawing for my sister’s birthday card (2013) ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

Deep within me is an insecurity of losing myself, which threatens my personal security. Those unseen aspects in the cost of fame…loss of privacy, plus possibly losing who you are from the changes of who you become… brought me to undermine and sabotage  my own life repeatedly in pursuing Art as a full-time career…unconsciously, yet for many years. I was my own worst enemy. I prevented myself from that very glory I had sought since my early youth, because deep down inside, I had a very real fear of who I’d become with success. Yet knowing the meaning of the word: success, which I have had in many different ways, well, that didn’t quite cover it either. I may be a bit touched in the head. Perhaps? Oh yes! and “for sure” on numerous levels. I won’t kid myself there, for I’ve known for years that I am generally a mental nut-job as compared to other people, but gentle as the hurricane kid in a Loony Tunes cartoon.

While I’ve always fancied myself more a Marvin the Martian personality, on the construction jobsite I was like the Transylvanian Devil, earning the nickname “Mr. C”, where the C stood for catastophe. I am excellent at channeled destruction and pouring concrete. The rest of the time on the job, unless I was running a piece of equipment from a crane to a backhoe, it was, “Give that guy with the big guns the jackhammer and cut him loose destroying stuff.” And I did, all up and down California. Built some nice-looking stuff too, from hospitals to water-treatment plants and a few bridges. I started with a shovel in my hands and retired just the same. 

BEST OF SHOW “Still Life” (1969) Watercolor on watercolor paper done in 8th grade when 13 yrs old ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

So, a crazy person I am. I mean, hell, who really sees an angel, much less the Archangel Michael, and talks with him for hours? Although my Mom said I had German Measles at the time, I truly believe who I know I saw sitting beside me.

So that verified I was totally bonkers, or, at the least, one of those someones who’d better keep my mouth shut. Don’t wanna get burned at the stake like Joan of Arc, a relative traced back on my Dad’s Mother’s side of the family. Cool, cool, cool! So, anyway, I didn’t tell anyone until I was grown up, and then only to a very close loved one; ’til now. That she didn’t keep it a secret is a whole ‘nother story in itself, reading like a die store novel…but that’s for a later post. Now that I’m back, I plan to stay writing for a bit.

the Shadow Loom

Life got dark at an early age, so I escaped into art and crafts…beauty through creation. That wasn’t enough to satisfy me easily however, it also had to be difficult to achieve, a struggle. Unless there was struggle, it took far longer for me to get into the “zone” of the void. Then, I was free, so I became addicted to the zone, naturally!

Succumbing to a free-floating of mind and spirit, without body, out farther and farther into the void and that comfort zone of solace, peace and solitude…where beauty was only a thought away…instantly traveling within, at whim’s notice, and to wherever I wanted to go in my daydream; no responsibilities, no duties, no time, nobody hassling me. I was addicted to art, it truly was my greatest escape. Everybody was cool with it too!

a-JDs Dog-600dpi
“J D’s Dog” (1995) Airbrush acrylic on CS-10 Illustration Board ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

So, to make it seem a worthwhile pursuit, I demanded my art be more technical, deliberate and detailed. Tight control. Forcing my right hand, by shear willpower, to endure the finest of control, be it a light stroke or dark, it was all about commanding my body to the most finite control possible, creating that 1/4″ area into perfection, then blending all the rest to fit. Over and over. Finish, repeat. Tight detail, overall matching detail.

Years later, when I found airbrush,  gifted a single-action Pausche for Christmas by my Mother, it was about control of the dot from the very beginning. My eyes burning and tearing from intensity of focus to see as fine as my eyes could tolerate, I began to “see” the dots of paint as they escaped the gun and floated onto the canvas with my God-given 20/15 vision. Now I don’t really see in the sense that you’d see…say, like a period on the end of a sentence in detail; instead it is a feeling, like developing your sixth sense to control the paint as it exits the spray-gun, as if you can mentally move the paint droplets and form the direction they go in.

Allowing me to draw with air and a watery mix of paints, was like a new discovery, allowing unbridled passion anew! Though the guts and grit was much the same as pencil, I could create so easily in full color, and totally without worry of smearing! Pushing myself harder and harder into the most confining spaces of extreme detail,ever smaller, deeper into the smallest dots of paint…then coming back out hours later. This was a divine escape, a dream fulfilled into the reality of life itself. Ahhhh!


the Balloon Deflates

pole climber
Lineman climbing telephone pole ~ Courtesy NARA via Wikimedia Commons

Up until I was in 2nd grade, we had  a pretty normal life. “Nineteen twelve, Bailey Road, Concord Cal-i-forn-ya!” was a nursery rhyme song, taught to me for kindergarten. Life went on without much incident. Dad had started at Pacific Bell working on telephone servicing, and switched over to PG&E later, working his way from groundman to lineman.

Mom raised us four kids and worked odd jobs on occasion as we started getting older; bank teller, secretary and even drive-in cashier. Life was good except the time she was held up at the drive-in. That was scary and she got hurt when the gunman knocked her to the ground to steal the till, but nothing else came of it.

Then my parents got a little over-extended, so Dad changed to the PG&E’s construction unit, building Goat-Head Towers for high-voltage power transmission lines. The plan was for Dad to work on the road until the power line run was completed, then transfer back to his lineman job and come back home to live with us again.

Goad-Head tower for high tension, high power line. This is the kind of tower my father was working on, at a point above Dunsmuir CA when his back got broken. He was lowered over 200′ down to the ground never losing consciousness ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection
"The best laid plans..." Dad said relating the story to me at my request. "Well, I guess you're old enough to understand now," he said, then slugged down his beer and gave a heavy sigh. I was about nine or ten then. "It was about ten weeks into the job and a crane operator was transferred in to cover for the regular
guy who was out sick. On his second day, this operator was moving a girder past me and somehow grabbed the wrong handle by mistake, setting the girder down onto my shoulders.
"'Oomph!' I said as it knocked the air out of me. In response to my look, he said, "No, it didn't hurt...at first. It just pinned me on the beam I was straddling so I couldn't move anywhere. The operator, seeing his mistake, 
A crane lifts a section of the new tower at Buxton Mountain as contractors help guide the top section into place ~ Courtesy Oregon Dept. of Transportation CC BY 2.0
panicked a little at first, and tried to move the beam off me too fast. Son, heavy weights work differently on a crane and the cable. Let me explain. The weight kinda stays in place for a second and the cable's properties change a little, so even though the crane started pulling the beam up and away, for
an instant, the beam will stay in place and the cable will stretch. You know how rope is twisted? (I nodded) Well, cable is made the same way, only with steel wire instead. So when the crane started to move up, the cable actually untwists slightly, and stretch a little more...then...will finally lift." He took a big draw of his beer, crushed out a smoke, lit another, then continued.
"So I'm still straddling the beam and the cable stretches, but he did it too fast, so, like I told you, the cable strands stretches just another an inch or so. That inch was too much and that's when it hurt! So I tried to twist out from under it...guess that's what gave me the nerve damage, deadening the muscle on the front of my leg, so I can't lift my foot up like others can...like you raising your toes...and also messed up the bottom of my feet."

"Anyway, throughout the entire ordeal, I never, even for a minute, lost consciousness. The crew put me in a manbasket and lowered me down 
manbasketfrom about 200' up, high off the ground. I remember the ambulance ride, all the bumps in the road and the ride all the way to the hospital. Then they gave me a shot and next thing I knew, I was in the room wearing that big old cast as a girdle, from my hips to my shoulders." 

Tragedy had only started it’s run on our family with Dad’s accident and continued several more times. An accident claimed  one of my sisters, the middle of my three sisters, she was in kindergarten and I was only in 2nd grade. THen my Mom;s first cousin’s child, a five year old girl, was walking across the street in the crosswalk and was hit, killing her instantly. Then, only a few months later, Dad’s father died. This all happened in a 2-3 year span. A dark cloud dropped over life at our house. I was old enough to see all the effects and how it affected our family, yet too young to really understand or help with any of the situations when they arrived.

The effects of those incidents on our family were devastating, especially my sister’s death. My parents never really recovered, and another sister only eleven months older, who was confused by most people thinking they were twins, was the hardest hit and affected far more than the rest of us. Understandably, she had lost her confidant and best friend in the entire world. She felt alone and abandoned. It took a long time for family life to settle into some form of normality again, yet changed us all.


old man 3
“Old Man” pencil #2 sketch (1970) based on a Time/Life Photography Library Photo ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

Being the oldest child, the effects of those traumas were quite devastating! I did feel abandoned, feeling like I’d lost my parents. Laughter was gone for a long time from our house. Mom cried all the time and Dad got extremely quiet.

I discovered at an early age, when I started drawing a picture, I felt more relaxed, forgetting everything around me, transported, wandering about the cosmos, not even hearing anything. Life simply went by in the background, seldom registering, my art a total focus of present in life. That time spent drawing was a place of solace, oblivious to anything and everything; my personal place of healing. Nobody said a word. It was awesome and so I went there more and more often, becoming addicted.

I was raised hearing “with every award comes a concession.” As an adult, understanding “cause and effect” of the universe made sense, yet life in youth began undulating in greater arcs. I focused more towards “waiting for the ball to drop,” I suppose a natural course in thought patterns, given all our traumas. It changed how life affected me, creating effects not before seen in any light. As I grew older, I followed a more spiritual path and started letting religion go, seeing religion as a means to make sense of life for some people. For me, once I started an investigation into religion for a report during my freshman year of parochial school, I came to see that almost all religions followed a similar path in belief systems, reaffirmed by the “Zeitgeist” movies in an more obvious sense, many years later. A lot of people don’t like the message of those movies, but they came to me after a broken back and another divorce, losing a second soul-mate down my life’s path, creating a massive pain inside my heart.

Locally Famous

starliter drawing
“Star Liter” (self-portrait) Flair Marking Pen (2008) ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

I got a taste of fame while painting a mural on the main intersection of my hometown. It was a two-fold project: giving a gift back to all the townspeople where I grew up, and also sort of a billboard to showcase my talents, hopefully establishing means to do art full-time as a living.

However, inner conflicts and insecurities raged a battle deep within. Although very passionately devoted to creating, success gain easily by the project, breaking new ground as an airbrush illustrator was a lot more difficult than anticipated. Having a family with two sons to raise, although hindering in some ways, has never deterred the direction of my life. What helped change that path was my generosity. My ex-wife’s Daycare needed to survive for her self-esteem, so whatever was left over in profits which any other artist seeking success would reinvest into their business, I invested into her daycare. I always liked children, but the daycare was a leech to my making it full-time in the art world.

There were no other airbrush artists in the upper Northern California area of Red Bluff. People simply had no idea what could be accomplished with an airbrush. I pioneered the trail, doing advertisements for the local newspaper, painting signs in reverse on glass (beginning with highlights and working until the background was finished) and other trailblazing techniques. Problem was I kept having signs come in the door — great during the lean times in construction, yet not my cup of tea. I never liked signs because of the mechanical side…and although I could do lettering great by hand, letters don’t look as great when you have “coffee shake” and so nix on the idea of a pinstriping business too.

Dog Show
“Rushmore Round-Up” International Australian Cattle Dog Association Show in South Dakota (series of 17 individual paintings) ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

Art was always an escape which allowed me to vent frustrations, and was exponentially more rewarding as I grew, developed and honed my skills. By 45 yrs of age,  when my back was broken, making a new start on life by incorporating my art and construction into a new career like drafting made sense, so while I waited for opportunity to strike, I started becoming involved in our local small town politics… eventually forcing me to face my fears head on, and learn move beyond them. That last paragraph took about five years to happen in real life.

Communication

Art is a right brain thing, whereas, language is a left brain thing. With each budding artist in the family, eventually they will be gifted with Betty Edwards, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.” I can’t say enough about how the exercises in this book show people how to view life with an artist’s eye. Her exercises teach how to see the shapes everything is made of and she uses fun exercises to accomplish this which anyone can learn.

Having a strong personal interest in advertising, eventually led to study of marketing too. Regardless of who you are and who you know, the scope of your art must appeal to both sides of the brain effectively for it to be desired, then subsequently purchased. This is why television marketing has claimed such success, it accomplishes the engagement of employing both sides sides of the brain simultaneously. This is easy to understand, yet takes a lifetime to do successfully…unless you are innovative, creative and brash in trying new experiments for getting people to see your work.

Just the FactsAdvertising by methods of traditional marketplaces are the means that are generally favored, by most. However, art is an exception. Buying a billboard on the busiest Los Angeles freeway only set in motion an ostracization from the art world for Charles White, considered the “father of the modern airbrush” while seeking greater fame and fortune. Eventually he moved to Japan and started the “sexy robot movement,” during the 1980’s in advertising. Change can be a good thing, making us spread our wings in different directions than we would have without the “disaster” life presents us.

Pioneering new methods and formats can bring greater dividends and results. Experimenting has an “out” if ever needed, in that you can always drop back into more traditional market practices. Use as many aspects as possible to display your product, and as wide a dispersal as is available, then measure the effects. Your timing might just strike that vein of gold!

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the MAC Impact logo
The logo I was designing before changing the name to mac3impact ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

Finding solutions without banging your head on a wall is always a better choice. Otherwise, go move a mountain or two! Life is about channeling energy — do it constructively — GO CREATE SUMPIN’…

MAC Impact logo design
A little animation to add movement to the mac impact logo ~ Courtesy Cavette Collection

I spent 20 years as construction laborer & general illustrator, with a specialty of airbrush, pushing my body to extremes, simultaneously working in both professions.  Once I can enter the “zone,” that place with a feeling of connection to the universe & it’s expanse, time itself seemingly broadens, everything getting all light & airy…tra la la…nothing like channeling the cosmos through you. It’s awesome!

JUXTAPOSE a tour de force

Juxtapose

I have always had an overactive imagination (an excellent asset for an artist) and though I seldom dream (or remember them anyway), I have always been able to visualize extremely well. In my youth, evidently I used to daydream just a little too well, at least if you take any credence from report card comments among the teachers throughout grammar school, yet somehow also maintained a 3.0 or better grade point average the entire time – go figure. Anyway, here is a  scene from a daydream I had as a kid, which I have generously embellished on to fit my purposes and just because I happened to be in a writing mood today. Keep in mind this started with the perspective of a nine year old boy’s imagination after reading Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain for a school assignment:

It was a calm and sunny day during the Spring. There is a slight breeze blowing scents of Jasmine and Lilac from nearby neighbor’s yards. The colors are rich with all the flowers in bloom and the temperature is about 72 degrees, even though it is twilight already.

Sitting in a wrought iron chair on the front porch is an average build, woman in an older-style, Victorian dress, hiked slightly because she is seated, light brown with lace exposed at the bottom, tailored and tapered to perfectly fit her body; finishing her outfit with a set of heeled boots, accented with hooks.

She sat in a very smartly and proper, facing the street, her smile exuding health and vitality. Her face was glinting yellowish-orange from the glow of light from the window behind, as she sat patiently awaiting a meeting with her prospective client, or perhaps, clients, unsure if his wife would accompany him from their earlier telephone conversation.

She loved her job and researched her market and real estate well, enjoying the learning process of history and the newly available massive informational encyclopedia of the Internet, yet was equally versed in library etiquette and study. Leading the clients all round the houses and through the rooms pointing out features of significance, explaining stories based on facts of those occupants of the past and knowledge she’d learned of them, was a very strong talent. Strangely, she always assumed character which sounded like someone from inside a Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer story, or a character straight out of one of Mark Twain’s yarns as told to a friend in a tavern. It seemed to endear her to people and lent a stronger air to both her demeanor and her attire, making her as much an era piece as the real estate she handled.

“You must be the Fergusons!” She said revealing her obvious accent as she warmly greeted the couple and shined her most genuinely cheerful smile, reached out her hand and shook each of their hands.

“Ya know, Joe Spencer Cone hisself built this thing, we ba’lieve an’ lived here ’til he up and got his spread outside of town, a year or so later. It’s called Rancho De La Berrendos, an’ started raisin cattle, then sheep…but boy did he do good with tha grain and wheat! Made hisself rich an all like that, up and b’fore he be’cums mister fancy pants an’ started doin’ law with tha state assembly and done his spit as a ra-i-l-rode commissiner! Yes, goodness me! Howyja like that! Them huge old victor’ans can do all this an’ that, making thingy-ma-bobbers an’ other kinda stuff, inven’shuns an’ tha lik, cuz thar wurn’t nobody out here, or com-pa-ti-shun back then, so’s if ya had half a brain, ya could’a dun real well fer youself.”

Img_2205She smiled and opened the front door, gesturing for them to follow, then she said, “Cum’on in!” Standing in the entry hallway, a beautiful stairway to the left and above, matched by two large pocket doors on the right, contrasted sharply in their dark wood to the large, overhead white lamp with a pull cord hanging down within reach. To the immediate left, a wide bay was built with three large windows, creating a base landingImg_2209 for the stairs. She gestured for them to follow her up the carpeted steps of the solid stairs. Pausing for a few seconds on the center landing, she gestured upwards, towards the ceiling and turned to face the wall, pointing out a huge window far above reach. Turning back, she rose from the center landing, up the stairs and three doors came into view, a single door directly at the top of the stairs across the top landing, and two Img_2211doors graced each side of the center door, half-open framed glass window vents built above each.

“All tha doors still work with a skeleton key, ‘cept’n tha added hooks an’ clasps fer bedroom privacy, plus outside doors is better sa’cured ta keep out any riff-raff fella’s, how’s ya like that? Looky-here,” she paused, ascending the stairs slowly, glancing between the next step and the two clients. Drawing in a sharp, deep breath, continued, running sentences together in nervous monologue, “Ya got lots ov rooms in this place! Hell-a-ce-ous floor space! My GAWD!” she accented sharply, taking another step and breath, continued, “It’s got lik over two thousand, four hundred an’ forty square feet to this here house!” she exclaimed, opening arms wide and connecting with one wall, continued, raising her voice slightly louder in emphasis.

“Footprint’s got ‘bout thirty-four…oh…ah…” she trailed, quickly and as discreetly as possible opened her briefcase, and peeking into it, glanced quickly down, pulled a file partially open and looked inside to check her figures, a small portion of a file end protruding slightly. “Hmm…” she said drawing the sound out, trailing her voice. Then, apparently discovering the information she had sought, dropped the file back into her case, captured a quick breath, and with a quiet sucking sound, continued, “Ah, yes…by a hundred an’ ten feet wide, overall!”

She caught as deep a breath as she could, preparing for the stair climb, the corset just snug enough to hold her how she liked, but while not too tight for airflow, it did constrict a little, so as long as she drew deeper breaths while standing straight and before exertion like the stairs, she was okay. Her friend’s thought she was crazy to wear one while showing a house with stairs, yet they had to admit it did shape her figure well and placed her into the part playing a southern Victorian woman of the period in time she was imitating.

Her eyes met the man’s directly, pausing slightly on the landing to speak directly to him, then, in kind to his companion. She continued as smoothly as possible, “An’ it’s fully fenced on both sides. plus across the en-ti-er back yard.”

“Oh, my, how I do go on…” nervously emitting half of a laugh, took another breath and continued, “ I get that way wit new people on account of my excitement wit showin’ such a grand house lik this one here house is!” She smiled widely, her cheeks flushing. “I think it’s a great buy! An’ I’m not jist sayin’ that cuz I’m a doin’ tha sellin’ eith’a! I own a home, a couple rentals, an’ a office already, or I’d buy this in a lick, er, a short minute!” she sharply contorted in a quick burst, “Yes’um!”

She gave her most sincere look, and then, began again, “Thay’s a big ‘nuff area fer a motorhome on tha side wit tha cherry tree, but tha gate is too small to fit one in thar…but ya do gits a covered carport ov concrete out in tha back fer another car, or boat, three-wheeler, or whatever.”

As they neared the top landing, the open Img_2222door of the room to the left revealed a six foot tall, built-in, white shelf with glass doors on the topside of it, kitty-corner to the door. New carpeting was laid on the floor and fresh paint was accented by hanging drapery 3/4 of the way up the tall walls. As she strode into the large room upstairs, her arms raised upwards in wide, exaggeratedly open arms, fanning the movement first towards the ceiling and continuing slowly down the full breadth of the twelve foot tall walls, down to the floor.

Img_2225She walked across the room and over to the built-in bookcase, opening all the doors, then started speaking in a higher pitch, great excitement and passion in her voice, “You can build shelves up ’em, an’ climb up, an’ add on moor, an’ climb up sum moor, an’ add on sum moor, until finally ya gits uppins to tha ceiling! Jist don’t look down from way up thar tho’, ore ya might jus get dizzy or sick an’ all!”

“Ya know, twelve foot ceilin’s is taller as tha top’a them basketball hooperImg_2224 thangs, they created in ’91, 1891, when basketball was invented. An’ tha rooms wuz built fer boarders way back in them thar days. This house wuz filled with boarders, more’na few times over tha years,” she gasped quickly and continued, “Zilpha E-liz-a-beth Mc-Cubbins, bless her hart, rented out rooms fer a bit. Did I tell ya she wuz the first white woman ta reside in McDonough County, livin’ thar lik’ that, fer over two years…” she whistled slightly as she drew another breath, “Yes’um, she could even speak their langwage, tha Potta-wa-to-mie langwage, back in Hancock, Illinois. Yep! Img_2226Her husband up an’ died ten years b’fore her did, leavin’ her to mind fer herself’s, right here in Red Bluff, pioneer country, sum of tha first ov them early settlers back thar when all tha Injuns wuz still around an’ all.”

“Thar wuz anotha man what lived here who wuz a ra-il-road man too — think he wuz tha third own-ah of tha house, went by tha name of Jim, no, James Barham. He wuz also the MasterImg_2228 pooba, whatever they call em in those places; ah, yes, Vesper Lodge! That’s it! Ya know, the Masons, ah, Masonic hall. Guess he ran tha place an’ all. Anyhoo, dunno much ’bout such stuff, ‘cept-in they’s a strange bunch, all se-crative and such,so’s nobody knows they’s business. Suits me fine as long as nun ‘ov ’em go cutting up an-a-mals an’ doin’ voodoo an’ all. Heh, heh,” escaped a nervous laugh, her eyes fogged over with a second in reflection. She yanked open a door on the opposite side of the room, it giving way with a quiet shudder.

She moved back from the center of the room and continued, “An’ plenty of fresh air in this room,” she said opening a door leading to a Img_2268screened in room. “An’ if ya open this door in tha summer, it ba’cums an’ outlet fer a swamp coo’lar. They’s cheaper than a air con’di’shuner, an’ a house fan lik sittin’ in tha wind’ah way up high thar ‘bove tha center landin’ ov tha stairway, might suit ya jist fine fer an air exchange ta remove any built up hot air, with tha high ceilin’s an all! Ya know it git’s pretty hot here in Red Bluff durin’ tha summer…over 110 da’grees sumtimes in August.”

She walked past them through a smaller room and into the upstairs bathroom, then spoke again, ” See this here light fixture?” pointing out the painted accents with her Img_2238hands, “It’s an orig’nal, just lik tha clawfoot tub! Sink too, all orig’nal fixtures. Too bad they didn’t have tha fancy tank on top ov tha toilet, but a crapper’s a crapper, ah guess, ha ha!” She gestured toward the second door to Img_2237the right of the door they had just came in through, “This here’s so’s ya can git in from tha screened porch we wuz jist in, ‘stead ov walkin’ round,” she said absentmindedly. Img_2234“Let’s head over ta tha master bedroom,” sweeping her hand back towards the larger room and upstairs stair landing.Img_2241

Opening the door on the left as we exited back to the landing, at the top of the stairs, she showed the Img_2273large linen closet.

After each looked inside, she shut that door, and then opened the master bedroom to the right. “CheckImg_2254 out this huge walk-in closet!” Quietly she said, “Sorry ’bout tha paint an’ spida-webs!” Lowering her Img_2246voice she added, “they’s still cleanin’ an’ all. Continuing with normal tone she exclaimed, “It goes all tha way round tha corner, with more shelves built in thar,” she gestured indicating the Img_2252curve of the hidden shelves at the back end of theImg_2251 closet. “Tha air condishner works real good too! Good sized room fer back in them days an’ see how nicely tha bay wind’as give light!” There was a shelf one the wall as Img_2257if it was for a headboard to the far right behind the open door.

They continued out and she closed that door, opening the door of the other room at a sharp right to the stairway on the landing.
“Notice the venta-la-shun wind’as above all three doors,” she pointed Img_2214out for the doors around the top stair landing.
“See that one over there for outside air above tha door outside ta tha front porch?” she pointed to theopposite wall. “An’ see tha bay wind’a in here too? Good air an’ light too!” She gestured at the hand-built closet, obviously added at a later date. “Back in tha day, they used Lincoln closets,” she dismissed as she stepped past them to go through the Img_2219 Img_2217 Img_2216 doorway. “So shall we head downstairs? Oh, an’ if’n ya didn’t see it, thar’s tha wind’a I wuz talkin’ ’bout fer tha whole house fan,” she gestured upwards as they began to descend the staircase.

Img_2275“I love how they’s got tha bay wind’as on each side ov tha front ov tha house. Nice feature!” At the bottom of the stairs she steppedImg_2279 Img_2280through the entrance hallway, past the front door and opened the two big pocket doors into the living room. “Tha pocket doors close tha livin’ room off ov tha rest ov tha house. Guess it Img_2210would work well fer parties an’ such, I ‘spose.” Nice iron fireplace with tha green ceramic top an’ tha clawfoots make a nice accent too. Img_2287Wind’as are all bigger here, downstairs I noticed.”

 Opposite the pocket door doorway, on the far wall to the right, was a large, built-in china cabinet with glass doors over large drawers. She walked over to the far side

Img_2342 of the bay windows at the front of the house and revealed an air conditioner hidden by the heavy drapery. “Tha owners said they never used tha pocket doors by the stoves, but kept tha doors near tha front door closed during tha winter ta keep tha heat in, an’ also tha hotter part of tha summer for tha cooler ta keep it cooler.”

Img_2293Closing the drape, she closed the pocket doors they had walked through from the front hallway after coming down the stairs, then crossed the room into the dining room area.”Nice design how they built tha china cab-net so’s ya can see yer dishes from anywhere in tha room.” she commented pointing out it was very similar to the one upstairs, except there were drawers at the bottom and it opened at the back on the kitchen side too.

Passing through the open pocket doors into the dining room, immediately after the doorway, Img_2281a metal gas heater was revealed on the right and behind, several long shelves for books, opening into a dining room. Another doorway could be seen at the immediate left, and farther down on the same side of the wall. Directly across the room on the left, was the door into the kitchen. Walking through to each door in kind, she explained as she opened the closest, at immediate left,Img_2343 “This one opens so ya can bypass tha pocket doors and enter straight inta tha dining room from the entry hallway,” she said, purposely leaving the door open.

Walking to the second door, farther down on the left wall, she spoke again, “They used this as a craftsroom, for tha lady of tha house once had a candle shop inside.” She walked through, revealing a long tabletop shelf aboveImg_2305 several other shelves. Pulling up a cover underneath several items on top, She reached into the box at the far end, made a downward scooping motion, then lifted her hand out. The lid snapped down sharply as she held Img_2307her hand out to reveal sand. She opened the lid back up and let the sand fall from her hand back into the box. Wiping her hands into the nearby corner, she gestured to the shelves that lined the walls almost to the ceiling.Img_2303

“I’m told thar’s ah doorway bahind this counter top an’ shelves. If’n ya look close, ya can see it,” she said gesturing at the hidden doorway. “An’ looky over thar, that’s a nice little workbench,” she pointed to the Img_2295left side of the room behind the doorway they were standing in, then continuing to sweep towards the back of the room, another door sat.

She walked over to it and threw it open. “Ya see, in these old houses, Img_2296they used every bits pf space they could.” A small closet withImg_2297 a tapered ceiling showed. “It’s under tha stairs!”  she declared, pointing out the obvious. “Let’s head into tha kitchen.” She closed both doors as the couple backed their way out of the room, then she Img_2337walked past them and continued on into the kitchen. “How ya lik tha size of this here kitchen!” she exclaimed excitedly. Flicking on the light switch caused a fan to light the kitchen back door & center counterroom, revealing a large Img_2338countertop with drawers underneath, to the right across the room, and a door straight across and ahead of where they stood in the doorway. She walked to the right so they could come into the room.

“Cab-nets everywhere,” she exclaimed, continuing, “An’ the double oven with a overhead lighted four-burner rangetop!” she Oven & stovegestured to their immediate right. “The hot water heater between tha stove and china cab-net warms tha room, an’, of course on tha other side of tha china cab-net,” she continued, sweeping her arm to the left, Img_2339“Built-in dishwasher nosin’ out at the far end, an’ huge farm-style single sink! Look at tha far side of tha china cab-net, a built-in spice rack, an’ all those cab-nets…” She trailed her voice as she walked towards them and gestured to the other side of the room.

“Outside door, actually to a back porch with a washroom,” she dismissed as she continued down the center of the long room. Walking past them, still standing in the doorway between the dining room and kitchen, she passed another countertop with many drawers underneath and cabinets above, centered on the wall to the left of the door they had seen as they first entered the room. Img_2259 Walking to the end of the counter, she opened the doorway revealing a shower stall and bathroom, with a toilet furthest from the door. “How quaint, a pull chain fer thalight,” she continued as they peeked into the room. “Lots of Img_2261room fer shelves or whatever ya want,” waving her arm in a circular motion to encompass the room

microwave counterShe came back out of the bathroom as the couple stepped back, “Have ya ever seen so many cupboards in a kitchen bafore?” she said as she stood in the doorway. Pointing downto the, she said, “They’s a root cella’ with shelves ba’low, still all orig’nal lik, dirt floor an’ all. Pretty good size too…almost as big as this half ov tha room! Wanna give it a looky?” she continued, her voice lifting as she posed the question, “You’s can see tha found-a-shun from down in there.” She whipped out a key and pried up theImg_2265 20″x 30″ cover from the floor, responding to his nod. “Be careful, lik they say, that first step is a doozey!” she added as he stepped down while holding the floor on both sides of the opening.

“All orig’nal,” she continued matter-of-factly, “An’ it’s lasted fer near a hundred an’ fifty years, so’s they got sumthin’ right! Today’s houses don’t last half that! They’s wuz craftsmen then!”

She closed the floor access and walked towards the last door, Img_2329leading to the back porch. Opening the door, she said, “Got ya a washer an’ dryer, with a huge wash basin!” She pointed at the Img_2331deep, concrete double sink. Turning, she continued through the back porch area, around a plain Img_2333wood shelf, then turned and walked through the old screendoor and out into the backyard. “Here ya see tha big workshop tha owner built fer hisself, an’ a carport between tha picnic table deck on tha house an’ dech with tha huge hot tub…” she paused walking over to open the cover, ”Thar’s seatin’ fer eight people, that far side has tha lay down, all body massage bubbles too! Nice deck for flowers and such, an’ a small backyard areaImg_2314 left,” she said walking across the ten foot square deck that led into the back yard.

“Great shade!” she said gesturing above, then pointing to the base of the pomegranate tree, said, “An’ a pom-o-gran-et tree, fig shoots which could become a tree, an’ tha big cherry tree ya’ all seen on left facing tha front door when ya came up ta tha porch!” she said as she led them behind the wash room Img_2316and past the pomegranate tree to see the hidden side of the house.

“See, tha missus put in rosebushes, grapes, ivy,Img_2315 trumpet vine an’… hm… I’m not quite sure what else, guess I gotta do sum studyin'” see said as she pointed out the numerous plants in both directions behind the workshop.

Img_2319Walking back across the yard to the other side, she pointed out the little walkway deck, then the picnic table deck, with the patio. Continuing past, they walked to the other side of the house, to the larger part of the yard.

“Like I said upstairs, it’s wide e’nuff fer a moterhome, but ain’t got a bigImg_2313 e’nuff to fit it in here, lessin ya drop tha fence out and that’d be too much werk if’n it was fer me!”

“Sorry fer all the leaves an’ what’not, makes a bigger mess to see than I gen-raly lik ta show,” she said, walking into the shop. “He, ah, tha Img_2322own’a, had plans fer a, what’s ya call them roof thingies? Like on a church, within shutters an’ such? oh, yea, a cupola!” She danced a little twoImg_2323 step jig in reward at remembering.

“It’s all roofed an’ until he got tha cupola built, he’s been usin’ tarps ta cover tha openin’. Padio goes all tha way under tha shop, fer tha most part. Gates open wide e’nuff fer a car or boat. Let’s look in tha back so’s ya can see tha plants an’ all.” 

Img_2308She walked them across the hot tub deck and out into the back yard. Several roses and some vines climbed the side fence directly at the back of a neighbor’s exterior wall. “How they got away with buildin so close wit that little house is beyond me…guess they wuz bein’ like San Fran-cis-co does it.”

Img_2309

“That one grapevine will cum back, it’s a diff’rent kind, an’ tha leaves cum off sooner is all.” Pointing up, she motioned at the massive trees overhead. “Those trees gotta be a hundred years old all by themselves,” she muttered. “Well, let’s head back…” 

Img_2310“Oh sorry, I forgot to mention ’bout tha hot tub. It’s got a full lounge across on tha oth’a side fer ya ta lay down in, an’ bubblers all across yer backside when layin’, an’ I think 4 or 5 oth’a seats wit bubblers too!” She Img_2312walked up to the steps, turned around,  then pointed to a little planted  garden area with pots. “Tha missus wuz quite tha little gard’ner ba’fore she died. Sadly, she wuz gone a couple years ba’fore tha master of tha house, an’ he wuz heart-broked, so tha plants kinda went awry.”

Img_2326She continued past and said, “See there,” pointing upward at the back of the house, “They’s wuz a whole staircase wit two landin’s, an’ a ladder which cum down by tha back door on tha left side. Own’a took it down cuz wuz gettin’ too unsafe. Old wood an’ all. Guess’in it worn’t made’a redwood lik tha rest ov tha house is. As an after-thought she added, “Oh, an’ all tha decks isImg_2324 e’tha redwood or cedar, not sure.” She stopped for a second before opening the back door, pointing down beside it and exclaimed, “Oh, lookie, a doggie door!” then opened the door.

As they headed back into the house, another little work bench and more shelves appeared, unseen on the Img_2335way out before.

Before opening the door into the house, she opened her purse, retrieved a business card and handed it to the gentleman. “Thank you for cum’in on time. Lots ov people get side-tracked, an’ fergit ta call an’ let me know. I use’yaly give ’em an’ hour or so’s ba’fore I call wit a remind’a. enlessen I got plans.”

She opened the door,Img_2336 headed through the kitchen, and continued through the house. Passing through the dining room she pointed up to the lights saying, “Those ova’head lights on tha fans in tha dinin’ room an’ livin’room, is from tha brick schoolhouse Img_2294on tha other side of tha train tracks at the end of tha street.” Img_2344She pointed to the northwest. “Circa 1920’s I wuz told,” she said. “I lik tha nic-nac shelf wit room fer books an’ tha like. Tha mirror is a nice touch, an’ ya can see a full view.” 

Img_2343Img_2345She walked into the entrance hallway and turned near the door, shaking their hands before leading them out.

She said, “Well, that’s tha house, let me know what ya think after ya talk on it,” she said, watching them walk down the steps.

“Give a call if’n ya wanna take anoth’a tour, or if ya got questions, or anythin’ else ya think ov in tha meantime!” Shaking their hands once more, she presented a warm and cheerful, fully sincere smile, and waved them goodbye. “Bye now! Drive safe! Have a great eve’nin’!”

She reached into her purse and grabbed a cigarette. She took as deep a breath as possible and sighing deeply, placed the cigarette into her mouth. “So, tell me, how’d I do for a first time effort?” she asked. “I was shaking inside the whole time even though I know you.”

The couple stopped at the end of the sidewalk and turned around…

more to come…


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