Category Archives: RADIX

Our origins and how we came to Cavette house, snippets of forty years living in Cavette house, and why we are choosing to sell Cavette house

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.

mac3impact-com4 B-Fly

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.

mac3impact-com4 B-Fly

 

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…

mac3impact-com4 B-Fly

 

 

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!

mac3impact-com4 B-Fly


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!