Author Archive

Urgent assist.

by on Jan.14, 2012, under Current

Sorry for my going inactive, but RL and other pursuits have taken their toll on my online stance as of late. I come to you on behalf of 2 of the greatest folks I have ever had the pleasure of having met through online forums. My friends, Danny and Kaitlin Smith of CA are missing their eldest daughter and I humbly ask all of you to repost this in as many places as possible. and

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St. Pat’s

by on Mar.17, 2011, under Current

St. Patrick, a fine fellow, the Irishman who didn’t rid the land of snakes, didn’t compare the Trinity to the shamrock, color wasn’t green and wasn’t even Irish.

But who cares, right!? Let’s drink!!

Incidentally, playing devils advocate(snicker), “Snakes” may be a reference to Irish pagans who were converted. It took 200 years to fully Christianize Ireland, but it’s one of the few examples of Christiandom spreading without bloodshed.. So credit where credit is due, I suppose.

St. Patrick was born in Britain (or Wales), the son of a Roman official. At 16, he was kidnapped, shipped to Ireland and sold into slavery. He escaped, only to return years later to spread Christianity. A feat that eventually had a very negative effect on the slave trade as well as ritual sacrifice and wild orgies.

Yeah, let’s drink!!

St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish feast day celebrated in Ireland since the 9th century. It became an official public holiday in 1903. A law was later introduced that closed pubs and bars March 17 after drinking got out of hand. A persistent, horrible law that survived nearly 70 years.

What? No beer?!

It may have started in Ireland, but it has spread all over the place… from the island of Montserrat to Korea… from Canada to New Zealand.. but it took the US to really turn it into a party. The first recorded St. Pat’s parade was in Boston in 1737 as a march against social status and the lack of jobs. The shortest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, Cork. The parade lasts just 100 yards and travels between the village’s two pubs.

Where’s the freaking beer!?

Popular imagery surrounding the holiday include the color green, shamrocks and leprechauns. St. Pat’s color wasn’t green, it is reported to have been blue. Wearing green is a reference to Irish revolutionaries wearing a shamrock on their hats to signify rebellion. Green was the color of the Society of the United Irishmen and the wearing of revolutionary symbols was outlawed, punishable by hanging. Leprechauns are Irish folk-lore creatures noted for their diminutive stature, penchant for mischief, and a healthy lust for gold. Gold they purportedly earn fabricating and repairing footwear.


Ok, ok.. they store their giant pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Our ancient Norse brethren called the rainbow, Bifrost and the pot of gold, Valhalla. It was really a giant bucket of beer.



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No Class

by on Oct.09, 2010, under Current

There are currently three classes in this country. The lower, the middle and the upper. I’m inclined to add a fourth and perhaps a fifth…, the super-upper and the super-lower, respectively… but I will confine this discussion to just the three for simplicity. Upper middle think that they have made it and the lower-middle would consider them selves lower… but, again, we’ll go with just the three. The distinctions between the classes might be hard to define by persons from foreign countries, countries where the dividing lines between the classes are not as wide. There is also the illusion equality that is often portrayed to foreigners of Americans by mainstream media circles. But to those of us directly in the thick of class separation, the lines are clear. What is often not clear, is what defines “class” here in America. If one should ask a person of the lower class, what grants one “class”… the answer will invariably be, money. Ask the same question to a member of the upper class, and they will tell you that things like, refinement of taste, etiquette, leisure or philanthropic pursuits define “class”, money being no longer a determining factor. Ask one of the middle class and they will resort to praising education and employment as measures of “class”. Barring some miraculous win-fall, the lower class will be confined to their position for generations. The same can be said for the upper class… barring some catastrophe. But the middle class struggle to maintain their position. Do well, scrimp and save and perhaps one is able to send the offspring to good college, and in doing so… advance a rung on the class ladder. This is a fragile position because a moderate stoppage in the supply of funds due to sickness, injury, loss of job..etc… has the potential to force the middle into the lower where the promise of higher education is now defunct and will likely remain so for at least another generation. It is far easier to fall than it is to climb. I concentrate on the middle because I believe that my class and it is the middle tier that has been most adversely affected by recent trends in global commerce initiatives.

The fact of the matter is, America is losing jobs to outsourcing. And the premise was that companies could outsource jobs to free funds up for the hiring of more workers here… at least, that is what the companies were telling us through the various media outlets. The truth is a bit more nefarious. It is also readily apparent that the majority of the jobs lost have been from the middle tier in terms of class. This is not to say that lower class and emergent workers have not been affected. For each manufacturing job loss, hundreds of other workers in support jobs are also affected. From supply workers to local business. As I stated before, this serves only to increase the numbers of lower class families. I’m not going to address the actual numbers here, but they are staggering. Not only have those jobs been lost to cheaper labor overseas, the replacement jobs that were supposed to manifest, have not. In some cases, they have… but at a substantial reduction in wages. There is no possible way that our government can NOT know of this. They know, and yet they have done nothing to stem the tide of out-rushing jobs… in fact, they have compounded the problem by throwing money at it. A typical “knee-jerk” reaction that we’ve come to expect… well, at least they’re doing something, right? Even if it’s the wrong thing? Sure. Give it another 20 years and America will be a “third world” country. The upper class having fled to greener pastures.

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by on Sep.13, 2010, under Current

Back in the 90′s, there was a national push to homogenize the learning experience for students in which they were heaped with affection and the assertion that all were equal and that correction of erroneous answers was approached from the standpoint that any “negative feedback” damaged the individual.

Students were shown that life was easy and anything they did, no matter right or wrong, was to be commended. This was later deemed to be a complete failure as the shock that was to be had when the truth of life hit them, caused many to run for professional counseling or to take the cowards way out. Suicide rates among college age people sky-rocketed and the educational community scrambled to reverse their previously held position. I personally did not benefit from this policy, having spent my educational years under the threat of corporal punishment.

There was also a government agenda to “protect” our youth from themselves. Part of this was to require parents to helmet their children when riding recreational vehicles (i.e. bikes, skate-boards, roller-blades..etc) and those that resisted were labeled bad, uncaring, despicable parents and direct threat to their offspring’s future.

Bullshit! The entire, “do something dumb and you’ll pay for it” idea gets completely destroyed by such mandates. Life is harsh, people equally so, and if one is not prepared for this, then the world is going to be a very scary place indeed. If I had rolled up on my BMX, or my deck wearing a helmet, I would have been laughed off the block and labeled a pariah by my peers. I was proud of my cuts, bruises, and “pizza”. Sheltering children from any and all injury deprives them of the one thing that will save them in all situations that may arise in life…caution.

Caution cannot be taught, but it must be learned. Someone can be told that fire burns but without the sensation of pain, it is simply an observational exercise in one thing consuming another… but let them stick their finger in a candle flame, and the association is forever rooted in their little brains. One cannot explain what the sensation of being electrocuted feels like… go ahead, try it… but get zapped one time, and the lesson is learned. Ride your bike like a nut-case, and I did, crash and burn and you will quickly learn the limits of your own proficiency.

Pain is the great teacher and a lesson learned in pain is well remembered. Caution can only be learned through pain, one’s own pain or the observed pain in someone else’s disaster. Only after the initial realization that something hurts, can those things that cause pain be readily identified and avoided. Only after experiencing pain, can associations be made in regard to what “might” cause pain.

You may tell a child, “Don’t grab a Bee, they sting.” but without the association of sting=pain, they will undoubtedly test the idea… but only once. This a great analogy in that even small things can cause a great deal of pain.. a lesson in itself. After one sting, to say this or that thing may sting you “means” something. Stings hurt, avoid being stung(jots it down)…got it.

It is my job, as a parent, to prepare my children for what life may bring them… to give them the tools that they will need, or at least, put them in contact with professionals that with further that end. One of those tools is caution, but it is not something that I can give them directly.. all I can do is stand out of the way and let nature do what is has been doing for millions of years already.

“Won’t do that again, huh?”… learn it and be prepared to unleash it whenever nature teaches your little monster a lesson in caution.


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PC and loss

by on Sep.02, 2010, under Current

I have often found myself at odds with the “politically correct” movement. Just when did Americans gain the right to “be not offended”? This poppycock has gone on long enough.

Gone are the days when, in polite company, one could reference that which there was a strong dislike for as “gay” or “retarded”. Farewells have been tearfully announced for gems such as “midget”.

Some of the more tragic losses have gone unnoticed and this is the crux of my complaint today.


The Hobo… Beloved and cherished staple of the last minute Halloween costume. Formerly seen as a hallmark of the American Halloween season, it has been hunted to near extinction. The “Indian” has also gone by the wayside.. but being largely a creation of Hollywood, it’s loss is not so mourned.

For years their numbers had been dwindling, a result of the modern media and the tendency for parents to run around at the last minute trying to find purchasable accoutrement. The bias I hold for store-bought Halloween garments cannot be understated… c’mon people, use some imagination!!

Gone is the happy image of the train-hopping tramp, replaced by the crazed, drug-addled, freeway exit-ramp window-washer, begging for change to purchase his “nip-o-the-stuff”… the once resilient wanderer killed by the urban vagrant.

I, personally, have not witnessed the Hobo in it’s native habitat for a good 19 years and the last specimen was past it’s prime, on it’s last legs, begging for some sort of recognition from it’s peers. The sample was received with mixed acceptance. Dirty cover-alls, smudged face and a “will work for food” sign fashioned from a bit of cardboard refuse… was found to be wildly amusing by those with a cynical sense of humor and also by much shaking of heads and scoffing glances by the more prudent local residents. I’d like to think that he’s out there somewhere…his mournful call of “Trick or Treeeeaaaat!” flitting though the ether.

This Halloween season, I ask that you take a moment to consider the possibilities the age-old Hobo may hold. If you are one of those “last-minute” costumers… consider what fun and happiness the Hobo might bring. Let not this powerhouse of American Halloween uniforms be retired. Let not it slip into eternity. Don your ragged trousers, your worn and torn over-sized jacket, your 5 o’clock shadows, your ragamuffin hat and saunter proudly wherever your holed shoes may take you.

Viva la Hobo.


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