Sunday, June 24, 2012


Okay, I am going to put up the pictures here of two different men. I am not even going to tell you who each of them are, if you don't know, please find out for yourself. I will just tell you that one of them is considered to be "black" racially, the other "white". but isn't this a remarkable resemblance?

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I got going looking into this subject on the Internet this morning. Here are a few things that I can definitely establish.

First of all its a pretty large controversy. What I mean by that is that quite a lot of people have strong opinions to express about it, on both sides. There are quite elaborate descriptions, dedicated websites and videos on the pro side, mostly suggesting aluminates and barium salts are being deliberately spread into the atmosphere by the US military, possibly for weather control, possibly for radar shielding, or possibly for population control, with attempts at proof. On the denial side there is also a very lot of material, most of it consists of a priori denial and subsequent attempted debunking.

Second of all, it can be pretty well established that aluminum is natural to be found in the body though it serves little purpose, but bodies can uptake enough aluminum to be poisonous and destructive. It is commonly added to municipal water systems during the process of antisepsis. Further aluminum compounds can be uptaken via acidic foods in contact with aluminum cookware. It is also commonly found in medicines and over-the-counter preparations such as antiperspirants. Aluminum poisoning can affect organs, muscles, and especially bones and the brain.

Third, I'm not set up to remove it from my environment. The best way would be to drink and cook only with distilled water, but the only device I have that I could use for distilling is, well, my cast aluminum pressure canner. Oops. Distilling water is quite energy-intensive, that's why its so rare for water systems to employ sea water.

Fourth, I have flown extensively in commercial jetliners over a period of decades, and I always take the window seat because I love to look out and see the different point of view, I love the shapes of clouds from across or above, I also love the aerial views of territories resembling maps, a long-time love of mine. From my own observations I can definitely state that commercial flights are going higher and higher than they used to, that commercial flights never release contrails (its now common to see other commercial planes from cruising altitudes these days), and that wide contrails or "chemtrails" at altitudes slightly above cruising altitudes are something I've only been starting to notice for the last few years.

Finally, I have to unleash stinging criticism for the folks on both sides of this debate. Everything I read and saw appeared to have been produced by people who already had their own minds made up and were attempting to influence other people. Thus there is no science going on at all. Just as a reminder, the first step in the scientific process is observation. Before you make your mind up, go out and do some tests. If there is a definite, recent uptick in chemical spraying then it perforce must be showing up in our rainwater. How about some extensive testing of aluminum and barium concentrations in rainwater over affected areas and then a comparison with rainwater in places where the supposed chemtrails are not happening, such as Addis Ababa or Reykyavik? Lets all find out for sure what's going on before we try to influence others, eh?

Friday, June 22, 2012

snide remark

With the economy going the way it is, Obama needn't worry too much about immigration. If anything, he'll need to build a wall to keep people IN ....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I have had this joke in my head for the longest time. But, I have never told it to anyone. I have not even written it down. Finally, this morning, I realized the reason. Its because the joke is on me.

In my life, I have dabbled in many, many different activities. And in quite a lot of them, I have touched greatness, only to back off. The list includes intelligence-test-taker, comic actor, artist, cyclist, world-class navigator and traveler, computer programmer/researcher/developer, contract bridge competitor, investment/stock trading. But that is certainly not an exhaustive list.

In the process, I have touched many vocations for the mundane requirement of putting bread on the table. They run the gamut from construction, short order cook, taxi driver, mover, designer, chart-maker, furniture builder, landlord. However there is one vocation which I have never, never attempted, not even considered. And what is that? Well, its the job, the life of a farmer.

Well, why not? You had to ask.

The answer is very simple, really. In my heart of hearts, I never wanted to be out standing in my field.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I was sharpening a circular saw blade this morning, one of the old high speed steel blades that a very deliberate old veteran had assigned to me. I was working by hand with a fine white Arkansas stone I had purchased recently. I still have the one that Vickie bought for us, some 30 or more years ago.

All of the feelings are gone, now. There are no more tugs at my heart over the memory of her or the realization that she actually would appreciate what I was doing. I got to realizing that I have actually attained many of the goals that she had for me, for us. My lamp is sitting upon the cherry office file-cabinet/chest of drawers that I built last year, its a nice piece that I get quite a lot of compliments for, both for the unusual design and for the fine workmanship. It contains more hand-cut dovetails than you will be able to find in almost any antique still extant. Our very last fight had been over her wanting more dovetails in a piece I did for her.

I quit smoking a few years ago. For the second time. For good. I felt like she wanted me to quit to show her that it could be done and that she could learn to say "no" to things too, not only cigarettes but maybe also Inverness Scotch or even married men desirous of her.

Even, no longer do I have any longings or regrets for our lost son. For one thing, there have been numerable young men who have stopped in at my shop, learned some skills from me, shared in a bit of affection, and then moved on. I gained a young adult daughter and still serve affectionately and whole-heartedly as her surrogate Dad, the real one having died under questionable circumstances when she was very young. Besides, these are times when masses of current young people are going to die rather "unexpectedly", on account of circumstances. I am very glad that God prevented me from contributing to the burden of sorrows and pain that that will involve.

Long ago I realized I could never search her out again. She had held on to the utmost but I had hurt her, and then hurt her again, in my utter frustration with a situation that I could neither accept as is nor devise a way to improve. I knew she had married again, another programmer, knew his name, their new address, and that they had a new son. Almaz reported to me much more recently that she thought she had come to the restaurant to check her out, and that touched me deeply though I tended to doubt it. But I no longer look for her to arrive at my front door in heels, looking down at me from the step below me.

What struck me, as I patiently honed each tooth, all the while examining them closely with eye and finger, was that Lo and Behold! She is still with me. I still carry, remember, all the things she cared so much about, her cat Pud and his kisses and catnip, her long conversations, the twinkle in her eye as she poked fun at the common ways of viewing. I am so blessed to have known her. I still have the Kodachrome slide boxes she built for me and I have come to realize more and more how much care she put into them. I still have the Fine Woodworking magazines. I still have the oil lamps, and use them and trim the wicks for very special occasions. I still have one kitty-cat who loves and adores me and even kisses me the way that Pud used to kiss Vickie. I still have the attitudes, of wanting and enjoying painstaking, careful workmanship, of enjoying little details, of saving the screws from pieces of furniture headed for the dump. What a fine collection of experiences and knowledge I have collected, over the years, truly extra-ordinary!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


There's been a pair of grey birds hanging around my garden all season. They are about the size of robins or starlings. The male likes to sit on the wire in the morning and sing. He has a repertoire and virtuosity which would make a mocking bird envious, but he's clearly not a mocking bird, his calls just sound more demure and sincere. His tail plumage don't fit the striped giveaway. They are not cat birds either, none of that plaintive, manipulative whine. I do not know the breed, I am not a birder or that driven to label and name everything that I see as if that can control them.

The very first words of God's to me that I began to recognize and understand were dead birds that He put in my path right as I put a woman under the bus. I think the first one that I noticed was the day that I rejected Holly Morrison, in Estonia. It had not been a conscious choice on my part, I was still not fully awake to her play for me but I rejected it. Looking back later, I realized that I greatly admired her independence and fortitude and the life she was building for herself. She had picked herself up from total disaster in the outskirts of D.C., taken her four kids and her pittance of a SS check from her late husband, and begun to forge a very respectable estate, following, and reputation on the edge of the arctic circle and right under the nose of the great bear. But as for me, though I do eschew my own culture and people, the idea of spending six months in total darkness and deep snow just doesn't, quite, grab me for some reason, and I made a wise choice there.

After that one, there wee several other incidents which impaled themselves upon my consciousness til I recognized that they were not, in fact, mere coincidences but that He was trying to find some way to get my attention. And, as He began to succeed, the single words became a torrent til I began to realize that hardly anyone ever listens to what He has to say, anymore, and He gets pretty lonely sometimes. I know, there are quite a lot of folk who preach loudly about the word of the Lord but they are pretty much preoccupied trying to get themselves heard to bother to actually listen to Him.

About two weeks ago, I ran across a fledgeling sprawled underneath my Impatience, attracting the flies and the ants. It had chosen to die over the spot where my latest apprentice had helped me to annihilate the large mulberry stump which had hitherto been refusing to recuse itself from my flower garden. I was beginning to become quite fond of my budding apprentice, but suspected that for amorous activities she preferred someone younger, a whole lot stronger and active, and rather darker in pallor, so I refrained from making any advances, though the work we did together was quite physical and close. Sure enough, she called the next day to say she was being evicted and would get back in touch with me when she got her feet settled again, and has since dropped off the face of the earth.

However. The point that I am getting around to is that the apparent parents, those two grey warblers overseeing my paltry horticulture, well, they carry on. They continue to feed themselves upon the pests attracted by the fruits of my labor, they continue to flit about hither and yon, and most importantly, they continue to greet the dawn with their joy and abandoned notes.

As, though it may not always sound so joyful to the untrained ear, do I.

Monday, June 11, 2012

spanish bailout

If this all sounds too complex to you, Spain, PIGS, ECB, IMF, EFSF, EUR, ESM, English law bonds, Cyprus, Ireland, Finland Neverneverland, etc .... What just happened, or didn't quite happen, or was promised to happen, or hoped might be accomplished, was that the failing Spanish banks were promised a new loan to shore up their balance sheets and the Spanish government, AKA the Spanish taxpayers, have been put on the hook to pay it back. Or, more basically, the bankers and the politicians are all trying to fix a problem (too much debt) by creating more debt. Think it'll work this time?

Saturday, June 9, 2012


I do not get it.

Everything in my garden is so verdant! This has been without a doubt the best weather for growing that I can ever remember. The flowers, the vegetables, the weeds, are all doing so well you'd think they all got a dose of radiation from Fukushima.

The rain has been all anyone could ask for and the sun has alternated with it providing warmth and heat. In fact, apparently all the sunshine in March killed off the front lines of the invading insects and they still have not recovered in force. Stink bugs are now as scarce as good-paying jobs. The ants have been decimated and the beetles all seem to have gone the way of John Lennon.

The bean vines have advanced over my head already. Only, they have no flowers. None. The morning glories, I have pulled and pulled and pulled until I have begun to believe that I am fighting Satan himself! They are simply overwhelming all the annual flowers that I planted. But ... they have no flowers. None. Just vines to impress the most prolific spider. The squash have leaves now to outdo the elephant vines in Vietnam. Honestly I could use them for picnic table umbrellas. But flowers or fruit? Not a one! The onions have long since gone to flower, as high as my belly. Pull one, and you find no bulb at all under the ground, only woody tentacles. As if they expect this is the very last year for growing, so there's no sense in leaving anything behind for next year. Nothing. Ditto the potatoes, growing like they were planted in the Amazon rainforest, and storing exactly zilch underground.

Do they all know something I don't?

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I will probably be nailed up to the wall for this. Everybody, but everybody, is convinced that Bernanke is going to restart the printing presses, and make the announcement at the end of the Fed meeting in two weeks. He has to, with the election coming, labor market collapsing, Spain collapsing, Greece ready to exit, the US deficit so large that nobody but nobody has the money to fund it anymore, even the Vatican collapsing. He has to. So what if he doesn't?

Friday, June 1, 2012

humpty dumpty

Yahoo finance ran what it calls news yesterday entitled "Only austerity can save Europe".

I was the first to comment. I said,

The Eurozone cannot be saved. The whole continent is slipping into severe recession. The debts will never be repaid and the banks are all toast. All the Kings horses and all the kings men cannot put it back together again. Get over it.

Well, by this morning I had received sixteen thumbs up and four thumbs down. So I added:

Pretty amusing that I got 4 thumbs down so far for my comment ... that means that there are at least four people who haven't -- yet -- figured out that they had better sell whatever stocks and bonds they have, before they lose any more money .... giggle ...

Market is down big this morning. Gee, what an "unexpected" surprise!!!!


Dear Mom, Honestly there are so many "issues" to self maintenance, I don't understand how anybody can hold a job, too. I got new tires for my truck and had a nice long chat with Almaz about car maintenance. I have been struggling with the hazard insurance industry, they have been insisting on insuring my home for three times what it is worth and then giving me a hard time about its blemishes. I have also been struggling with trying to refinance this property. Although rates are at a historic low, they are demanding huge amounts of paperwork and some of the documents they are demanding do not exist and they seem to have not liked my suggesting that if they need them they can just produce them fraudulently .... I find myself pulling back into myself, wanting to spend more time alone, just working on my house and my art and not dealing with these crazy people at all. But life goes on, and life will go on .... the birds flirt and play in my back yard, the feral cats in the neighborhood have kittens. Even though we are facing one of the worst cataclysms in man's history, some people will survive. I keep the image of Sitaka in my mind these days, she owned nothing but two sets of raggedy clothes, she worked from sun up to sun down 6 days a week \for room and board and $20 a month and she was the happiest person on earth, always singing, playing, smiling, laughing .... never working hard at anything, going from task to task to task, lightly .... after all of this is over and the survivors begin to realize that money was not quite so important as we thought, and trust maybe a little more important than we realized, the sun will shine again and there will be hope. Its just a big circle .... you know that .... love, John