Monday, September 25, 2017

Heroin, GOP, Big Pharma and Money vs America

Before I get started....

Dave Matthews whose band was formed in Charlottesville (Dave's from South Africa), on Charlie Rose Friday night with Pharrell about their recent Sunday, September 24, 2017 Concert for Charlottesville with Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake and others:

"People in Nairobi know, people in Cape Town know where Charlottesville is. And they know, it's where Nazis are."

Good job, America.

How can we want to be known in that way? That, is not the America I want to be known for. Though, apparently it is, in part. But it's not, it's just not and it shouldn't be, who we are known to be. We cannot allow it to be, We have to shove this mindset of these people back down their ignorant, arrogant throats until they vomit through their beliefs and religion, out all of their orifices both in their body, mind, soul and... their miserable little defective social structures. They, are not America. Their beliefs cannot be allowed even to be seen as being even in part, America.

Nor is this, getting back to the topic at hand. Let's face it, cannabis is not a gateway drug. That is ignorant old fashioned, even racist thinking.

That's like saying a Volkswagen bug is a gateway vehicle to street racing. Well, yeah, it's a car, but...come on. By that thinking one could say tobacco is, or alcohol is a gateway drug (which by it's effects it can be as it numbs you like cocaine and can be addictive). Cannabis is simply not in that category (though newer cannabis can be quite strong). Now a days it can be ridiculously strong, still it is not a schedule 1 drug by definition, like heroin is, and as our government is too cowardly to fix that travesty.

One could also can claim that caffeine, sugar, even milk, anything that elevates you to a new more pleasant way of feeling, are all also gateway drugs by the current unspoken definition used for Cannabis.

We can blame our government, police and judicial practices for this misunderstood way of thinking. If only they could be adjudicated for this nearly century long abuse originally direct against blacks and which seeped because of money, into our entire population.

Years ago in Seattle there was a cannabis shortage and I found I could get heroin far easier, with the snap of my fingers. Ridiculous. Why in that case are they even wasting a dime on cannabis?

We need to stop, adjust and attack the real criminals. Big pharma and our Congress.

But the big pharma lobby is too strong, too entrenched in Congress. Much like that of banks, our out of control war machine and our out of control conservative Republicans who are the party of big money, big business, big abuse. Will they ever act for us, or do we need to objectively destroy them?

Remember, focus on our real enemies. Big money. Big pharma. Lobbyists out of control as well as those in our government who are out of control. Including the Republican party who are as culpable as any, more so even.

They were recently being called the hollow Republican party on Sunday morning political talk shows. I've called them the zombie Republican party for some years now, as have others. They are on their way out. Not that they will ever die. They are after all, a zombie party.

I had thought their demise might be a good thing. Except....

It now looks like they might give birth to an undead baby in that of a Donald Trump splinter party.

His supporters are also a novel travesty. One we need to deal with, to educate, to bring into the folds of intelligent, informed, intellectually and ethically mature citizens. Much like what happened with the Catholic Church in their splinter groups, well we one day find we have not a better party, but simply yet another ignorant party? One rebuilt in the original image, to withstand reality, being slightly more functional, but also to continue to the damage their original parent entity no longer could do? To go on and continue to damage innocent people.

We need to regain control. We had the right idea in that, but the wrong people gained control.

We need to stop avoiding reality. We need to gain ground on defining words as what they actually mean and not what conservatives wish them to mean. We are living in a surreal world now.

I love Alice in Wonderland. I just don't want our government living it for real. Or us.

#GOP #Republican #Cannabis

Monday, September 18, 2017

Epiphany - Note to self: September 2, 1994

I have been consolidating my old files lately. I have bins and bins of papers from my own writings and notes and just historical archives of stuff. In looking through this, I've found some very interesting things from previous decades.

Regardless what you think about this blog today, let me take a brief aside and offer support to a great project I am involved with from the British based Dark Chapter Press. The A-Z Horror Anthology. Stories are being regularly released on Amazon where different authors are assigned individual letters. This month (9/17) has seen two letters released for I (Imprisoned) and J (Judicator). The entire anthology will later be released as a book once they have all been individually published. Here is my blog article about this project. I'm updating it as each story is released. I have been assigned letter X with a story I titled, X-The Unknown about a Seattle FBI agent who stumbles across a serial killer. As you can see, it will be a while before my story hits the shelves. As I explain in the blog, I had originally written a great story titled Xibalba Unleashed, but I went over the word limit and had to write another. Thanks for excusing this interruption. 

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Here is one I had sent to myself to my home email address, which at that time I was accessing at home from my first purchased home in Covington, WA, right after having gotten married, from my work email address at US West Technologies in Bellevue, WA.

Just to show how far we have come email address wise since then, I think, my work email base was:

I am transcribing this as I found it in the print out and without any editing. Even though hopefully, I have since become a better writer. To understand some of what I wrote, some time after I graduated Western Washington University with a degree in psychology (minor in writing) I found I had a new skill. One that I verified whenever I could as it was, fun, to be simplistic about it.

I found I could ask someone to tell me about their life and I could then tell them in general, quite accurately about their childhood experiences. I could alternatively ask them to tell me about their childhood and I could then tell them quite accurately in general about their life experiences. Yes, it may be nothing more than what a con artist or fortune teller does. But then I didn't used to be able to do that, certainly not so accurately. I remember leaving quite a few people speechless in doing this.

Before I go on just let me say what I was doing was harmless. It was for my amusement. I wasn't offensive to anyone, I didn't abuse it, I didn't use it to scam girls for sex, I just thought it was harmless fun.

But there is one especially humorous situation I remember at a party I attended. It was a party at my friend Liz's apartment. There was a woman I immediately became interested in and Liz knew that. She told me to go talk to the woman and I did. It was myself, some guy and the woman talking together amidst a crowd of people, having drinks, in the living room. Of course I then proceeded to delve into having some fun.

But things didn't go the direction I had expected and was used to. She listened to me for a few minutes, and then she verbally ripped me to shreds. She did it with a sense of humor., a sly grin on her face, and if I hadn't been so stunned, I might have found it funny myself. No one else really got what was going on, not even the other guy in our little threesome. He just stood there stunned himself. I didn't quite know what to do. I'd never had the tables turned on my like that before, because she proceed to tell me who I was and what it was I so enjoyed doing.

I couldn't understand how she could be so full of knowing exactly who I was as a person. She was even better than I was. It was as if... looking for help I turned around looking back down the hallway to the bathroom, hoping to catch sight of Liz and that she might come and swoop in and save me.

However instead I saw my dear friend Liz, hurrying to finish fixing her hair or something, leaning out into the hallway, obviously to see what was happening between myself and this woman. Sigh... Liz. I suddenly realized, I had been set up.

After extracting myself from the woman, I sought out my friend who herself had a razor sharp tongue and a very impressive wit. I loved her for it. In sharing my obvious and cultured confusion, List dropped some obvious hints to me as she tried not to laugh, until I finally came to realize she had fully informed the woman (who by now I was now completely enamored with) about me; about who I was, my history and so on. Needless perhaps to say, this, which was Liz's intention, stopped me from doing this ever again. I realized that even though to me it seemed completely "harmless", it was perhaps in some ways, not.

I remember one other woman who breezed by me. Quite attractive, not exactly beautiful but the kind of person who has much more attraction coming from her sapiosexuality (sexual attraction to one's intelligence). Her apparent intelligence and knowledge fully researched before she needed it, gave her an edge up.

This woman was obviously pushing my buttons, buttons she somehow knew instinctively, stunning me. She had her say, then simply disappeared into the crowd. I didn't quite know what to think. Until my friend who had invited her to the party, pointed out she was a "professional" woman. Not a professional who was a woman but a woman who was a professional at being a woman (i.e., a call girl). I have to say, it wasn't an unpleasant experience in those few moments.

When I asked how she had known things about me, Liz just said it was her job to know things about me, about men. I didn't at first understand until she explained the professional part, and I never saw that woman again. Liz said, probably because at that time in my life I was broke, having just graduated recently. college. As for the other (first) woman, I did see her again, several times, and though we openly discussed what had happened, I never could get a date out of her. Sigh....

Liz died some years ago. Obviously I will miss her always. Her and another special friend of both of ours, Rose. I also just found a 1991 birthday card from Rose while looking through all my old papers. Bittersweet memories, I must say.

Regarding the martial arts reference below, a true martial artist needs nearly to be a mind reader. To be able to walk into a room (or a battlefield) and surmise the situation instantly. Not far removed from using psychology (or the skills of a con artist) in order to read a situation, or a person, and act appropriately to either save oneself or defeat the other. I could walk into a room or down a street and quickly assess the dangers, the people to be wary of and how to skirt problematic situations. Whether I should attack things head on, or simply avoid something or someone. And so I assume my skills learned through my studies in psychology worked hand in hand with my already pre existing skills from years of martial arts going back to a very young age. And so that explains my reference to it below.

I suppose I'd also have to add into that mix my childhood. As I understand it children raised in an environment such as I was and my siblings, but especially myself (see, my step father really didn't like me) requires one to constantly be hyperaware of things. That and other things create in the child an ability to be quick and smart (even though I was seemingly quite stupid about some things). It's also why we see street urchins who make great con artists or criminals.

All that being said, this writing I had found isn't too bad as it is. Here is how it goes:

You know,
I was just thinking:

I get these little spurts of feeling, or imagery at times.
Similar in nature to a "Deja Vu" experience.

I'm not nuts. My degree in psychology was in
Awareness and Reasoning Division,
Phenomenology, Alternate States of Consciousness.

Between that and martial arts training from childhood, it may be easier
for me, than for many, to "see," into their thoughts.
To "feel" things in their mental and emotional processes.

Things that many people don't realize are there, but things that
ARE there. In everyone.
Really, it just takes looking "inward."

I know there are people I've talked to in the past,
that think they were talking to a real screwball (me);
especially, some of the more banal types that I've spoken with.

And it occurred to me, that the only times I'm really happy,
are when I am writing away at a project, when I am deeply involved in
a novel I've developed. Or a project that I have fully conceived;
or, a project I've developed along with a significant person in my life.
As opposed to a project at work, or one given by an instructor.

I get these little flashes of really... good... feelings, that I can only
attribute to being "feelings-of-well-being."
Or euphoria.

Feelings that I can link pretty much, only to heightened emotional
experiences; events from my temporal past.

A moment's "Deja Vu" from being in the mountains; or,
looking out over a spectacular sunset on the ocean,
as viewed from a scenic beach; or,
watching a waterfall unraveling in the middle of nowhere,
while I sit, all alone, with no one around for miles, with
the sun glistening off the cascading flow of water; or,
droplets on the moss in the mountains in the early morning, with
the crisp moist air hugging you, and the fresh smell of life,
biting, deliciously, into your lungs.

These Little Flashes of Moments,
Moments that give me this feeling,
feelings that I can conjure up while writing,
while creating, making a universe
that I've created,
while watching something come to Life.

You know, it just occurred to me,
there must be a reason I like to write,
one, other than the pedantic reason of
simply being able to do it well.

Perhaps, it was taking those little sojourns,
brief intense stays of exotic journeys,
gleamed from books read at a tender young age,

Maybe that has something to do with it.

No matter how I look at it, though,
I will never be happy until I am making a living writing,
and writing whatever I want. What feels like it is being
born from my chest, separating from my heart, springing from
my mind, leaping from my soul.

It's just a thought.
Just a moment.
Just a comment.

An Epiphany upon the Downs.
Thoughts upon the Velt,
in Revelation.
A Splendor in the Grass.
A Triumph at Dawn.

For that is all it is.


This ends that print out that I so recently found. The footer in that email indicated me as a "Contractor/Systems Consultant-Technical Writer" [this was before I was given Senior Technical Writer status]. The last line in the email footer was this:
"The preceding has been a personal comment only, which does not reflect the affectations nor the policy of the US West Technologies organization."

And as they say, that's all she wrote. Well, all he wrote.
Peace. Be well.

Or as I always used to tell my children in parting from me...

"Go out now and be brilliant."


Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Breathing - The Passing of an Old Friend

Okay, so this happened the other night.

As I was getting into bed and was about to turn the bedside light off, I heard breathing. Understand, recently my 80 pound German Shepherd of 15 years died, in my bedroom. A few weeks ago. And I live alone. Now.

July 17, 2017
His mother was a medium sized white German Shepherd. His after was a massive 120 pound German Shepherd. Everyone complimented him on his looks and his confirmation. He didn't have issues with his hindquarters until this past year when it was hard for him even to walk, to go outside. He was always good natured. A good protector. Smart and so funny at times.

He'd been having a hard day and night and over time had been getting worse. That night I let him know as usual when it was time to get up and head to the bedroom. He tried but just couldn't do it. He'd been getting worse over the year since we moved in here last year so it wasn't surprising, but it was.

So I laid down next to him, petted him and talked to him. My daughter and her boyfriend were staying here at the time and they gave him some love and attention before they went to bed too.

We knew he was near the end, but it could have gone on for weeks, too. Finally, as I was very tired myself that day, I dragged him on his living room pillow bed down the hallway into my bedroom and put his bedroom bed in the living room.

He seemed relieved to be where he knew he should be. Lately a few times he had just slept in the living room and the next day seemed fine.

He woke me a couple of times through the night pawing at the wood floor until finally I moved him over to where his nails would touch the throw rug which seemed to calm him. I was sleepy and didn't realize he was trying to get up.

Finally I woke at 4:30AM, his breathing was labored and he seemed a little panicky. I finally realized why. He had relieved himself on his bed. Normally he would tell me, wake me, leave the bedroom anyway but he couldn't. It was then I realized he was in trouble.

Yes he was always clowning around
Again I laid down and petted him and talked to him for an hour. Tried to talk to him, it was hard to talk. Finally at 5:30AM, he passed on. I was pretty emotional and had been for that night and for that final last hour. It had tasked me pretty thoroughly. I had to leave the bedroom. I got up and wrote a friend an email about it, while sipping on a double Taliskers whiskey. That behavior continued throughout the rest day.

That next week my mother died. It's been a long summer all things told, those two things just being a part of what was going on all summer.

Then last night. The breathing.

As a pup
I had checked the clock radio, actually thinking it was on and I was hearing rhythmic white noise that sounded like breathing. It wasn't on. The breathing was as loud as it was the night he died in my bedroom. I'd considered an animal breathing at the window situated next to and behind my bed. But the window being so high off the ground outside, that would have had to have been a very large animal and the breathing would have been louder and I would have had other issues to worry about.

Then just as I was starting to be unable not to get emotional and anxious over it, the breathing stopped. Silence took over. I was finally, hesitantly, able to lay my head down and eventually I fell asleep.

Some might say it was my dog, communicating. But what the hell would that be communicating? I'm sure he'd have communicated something different, happier. Not that I buy into that sort of thing. So no, I don't buy it. Others might say it's an echo from my memories out of my own mind, but then, I've never been that type. Some might even say it's an echo of something that had happened in that room and... I could almost buy into that.

But in reality I think it was just my mind playing back a tape in my head, telling me how much he meant to me. As if I didn't already know that.

Whatever it was, I could use having it never happen again. Regardless, I'll miss him.

I acquired him as a puppy to help my kids with the divorce I (we) were going through. And it worked so well for us all. It was easy to love him, such a little bundle of energy and humor at first.

He was the pet I had the longest. The pet who was our family member and who held such a high place in my kid's lives. He was my home security system. My alert system while I slept. We lived on some acreage in the woods and for some years after my kids moved out, I lived there alone with him.

If there was a noise in the middle of the night, he got up to ferret it out in case someone or some thing was at the far end of the house. And he was the first (and will be the last) pet I had for his entire life, save those first eight weeks before I acquired him as a puppy.

Thanks my old friend. For being there every day, always, for always being there.


The late Great Buddha Thai in his prime

Monday, September 11, 2017

Issues with Authority and Producing Smart Answers

I admit it, I have a problem with authority.

Look, I'm happy as hell to follow when things are working. To offer my best efforts and considerations for bettering what is already a good situation. But when you start to realize you're smarter than your leaders (talking jobs, not government, which can be worse and has so much to do with knowing how to play a dysfunctional game, making others smarter than politicians look dumber), it quickly gets hard to keep things under control. Not speaking out, not losing faith can become impossible.

You should and I do speak when I can. But so often you get cut off at the knees, because of the "bigger picture", or money, or just, "reasons". Typically valid much of the time, it is also typically not valid much of the time. Mostly just excuses for not bucking the system by the higher ups.

It's just how it is much of the time.

I learned two things early on in a sizable corporation. Don't talk to much in meetings. You open yourself up to look stupid. A prime motivator for Republicans in Congress. Except they can't take that advice. They speak up anyway and come up with the dumbest crap believable far too often. Well, not so believable actually.

Whenever asked a question, especially in a meeting in front of others, when you do not have the answer to respond with, just say, "I can't speak to that just now but I'll get back to you after the meeting." Then do that. Never let what you promise to not happen. And always come back with a well researched and viable answer. It will give you a reputation and one you definitely want.

I learned right off, in the beginning to just say yes. no matter what, whenever someone tries to give you work. Take on all you can... produce. Then turn it in before expected and do a job better than anyone else.

I took that to another level as a technical writer. I would turn in before the deadline, do an excellent job on the documentation I wrote and frequently would turn in three versions, giving them a choice. The first version was the one they asked for. Then another I thought they really wanted, and finally one that pushed the boundaries and perhaps was the one I thought they most needed (and frequently they never wanted, until they read it).

Frequently, they did not choose the one they asked for and on occasion, would even choose the one that would have been considered too far "out there" when I was initially given the assignment. Things change and you have to be ready for that, prepared ahead of time.

That led to my acquiring a reputation. And a good one. The other thing I did and this was not intentional, but just how I worked. I would turn in typically three drafts but write more. They never saw the first one. As a professor at my university told me...

"We do not show anyone a first draft. That is like showing someone your shit. We just do not do that!"

My first draft then was not my first I would show them, but was meant to be sure that I was in the ballpark for what they wanted. Because managers were not always clear and did not always know what they really wanted. Even when they thought they did. They would typically be concerned in reading that "first" draft that I didn't know what they wanted. Again, typically they thought they were being clear, when they clearly (to me) weren't.

I would then turn in the second draft, usually days later depending on the schedule. I remember one manager who read it, looked at me and said he was very worried I wasn't getting it at all. I told him not to worry, it's just my process.

When I then later turned in my third and final draft, I got an amazed look nearly every time.

They would be stunned I had nailed it so spot on, especially in considering the previous two drafts. Then I would hand them the other two (third) drafts, usually quite a bit different from the initial one I had just handed over. Frequently they would choose the first, sometimes the second but not all that often the third.

This all led to my gaining an interesting reputation for doing way more work than needed, in far less time than they had expected, for merely a single finished product. And this was in keeping up with any and all of my other work.

First and foremost you have to produce and you have to produce quality. But if you can produce quality and volume, if you can also keep quiet enough to at least appear smarter than you are, never letting them gauge just exactly how "brilliant" you may (or may not) be, you will be far ahead of the game. A game that is generally stacked well against us all.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Did "The Pusher" song by Hoyt Axton save lives?

It saved mine. I have lived through some interesting times having grown up around the 1960s and even 70s drug culture. I've often ascribed my survival to the Steppenwolf song "The Pusher", since it came out. Since I first heard it. Though obviously it also had to be considered with a certain level of intelligence, my own DNA and simply how I was raised.

I got to see a solo John Kay of Steppenwolf on stage in Seattle in the early 80s, which was pretty awesome.

I always avoided anything I thought I wouldn't be able to kick. So I've never done heroin. Opium in the late 70s and I really liked it. A lot. But it was only more the proof to the belief. The 80s were potential for a mistake in the flood of cocaine back then. But somehow I got through it all with my life, my dignity and my friends.

Yet that single line, "...I never touched nothin' that my spirit could kill", resonated in my mind all through the 1970s and 80s. After that things toned down a lot for me.

The Pusher (Steppenwolf, 1968) first stanza:

"You know I've smoked a lot of grass
O' Lord, I've popped a lot of pills
But I never touched nothin'
That my spirit could kill"

"He’s smoked his fair share of weed and messed around with some uppers/downers, which was extremely commonplace at the time. However, he made sure not to cross the line into hard drug territory with spirit killing drugs like heroin."

"The Pusher" is a rock song written by Hoyt Axton, made popular by the 1969 movie Easy Rider which used Steppenwolf's version to accompany the opening scenes showing drug trafficking.

Songwriter Hoyt Axton did not record "The Pusher" himself until he included it on his 1971 album, Joy to the World.[citation needed]

The lyrics of the song distinguish between a dealer in drugs such as marijuana—who "will sell you lots of sweet dreams"—and a pusher of hard drugs such as heroin—a "monster" who doesn't care "if you live or if you die".

Whatever it is that we latch onto that keeps us alive through our formative and into our adult years in helping us to be smarter than stupid, is certainly worth finding and having. What's yours?

August My Birthday Month 2017

It's weird. I started watching Season 5 of Ray Donovan a few weeks ago. This season seems to be all about death. So I watched episode one, I was confused but figured out what was going on. Then I watched episode two, sadder, weirder.

That was Monday. Tuesday morning at 4:30AM, August 15, 2017, I woke to my nearly fifteen year old German Shepherd, Buddha Thai, having breathing issues. He'd been having them. In fact the past couple of weeks or so it seemed he was on his last legs.

I got up and spent the next hour with him, until he stopped breathing at 5:30AM. I had a double whiskey at 5:45AM. It was a rough week after that.

Then today, the day of the solar eclipse, I woke at 4:30AM. My head was throbbing with a sinus headache. I went back to bed.

I had a rough morning overall. In and out. The sun was up so I got up. I noticed a text on my phone from my older brother. I figured it was about our mom. Maybe my sister bugging him to bug me to go see her because she was old and having difficulty. I felt horrible, so I thought to put it off until I felt better. Honestly, maybe tomorrow.

I had a cup of coffee, I never finished, watched last night's episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. It was on nuclear waste. Just as unsettling as last week's show about White Supremacists and our president. But after it was over I started to feel worse, so I went back to bed.

After a while I woke up and it got dimmer than before, with odd colors to the lighting through my blinds in my bedroom. I fell asleep, woke, same colors, maybe dimmer. I feel asleep and seemingly suddenly the light from outside was very bright.

So I got up. I felt horrible. I watched some of the last episode of the Netflix show, The Defenders. Pretty good. It kept my attention until my phone rang. I answered it, though I had to fight the urge to just let it go to voice mail.

My brother told me our mother died last night, our sister was there now, after the helper had found the body and called her, she was waiting for them to come pick up the body.

That all sounds pertty rough. In a week, I lost my country to Nazis, I lost my dog of 15 years to old age and I lost my mother for a second time, also to old age.