Archive for the ‘neuropathy’ Category

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 252: Cognitive Dissonance

April 8, 2023

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 250: when my life changed forever

February 26, 2023

February 26, 1973, was when my life changed forever. Metaphorically, The Time Lord came into my life. Not unlike this image. The Lord of Time and Space, Creator of the Universe. Third year of college and I’d never heard anything about religion in my family as I grew. In high school I had learned that I was an existentialist. I found the purveyors of god at my first college to be annoying. Conversations with dorm neighbors in year 3 led me to reading theology. One day the “dinosaur” above came into my dorm room—it was terrifying and I learned that there is more to life than our everyday experience. There is a ‘spiritual’ side of life—not unlike Light. Visible Light is only a portion of the Electromagnetic Spectrum.

The electromagnetic spectrum describes all of the kinds of light, including those the human eye cannot see. In fact, most of the light in the universe is invisible to our eyes. The light we can see, made up of the individual colors of the rainbow, represents only a very small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Humans, in our self-centered nature, want to be able to see infrared images while stuck in Visible light. Some people see this impossibility as being unfair.

By the end of that school year, I handed my life over to the One who made it. I wasn’t doing a very good job with that life on my own. It would be inaccurate to say that I’ve never regretted the decision; consequences sometimes suck. I stopped feeling lost. I stopped feeling broken. Fifty years later, I can hardly believe we are here again. I was of Middle School age when the President was assassinated. While I was in high school his Attorney General was assassinated, as well as three other Civil Rights leaders. The first thing President Johnson worked on was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I have trouble believing that there isn’t a connection there. I don’t know if Johnson, a Senator from Texas, was expected to forge a Civil Rights Amendment.
A seemingly unending war that no one really understood. My draft number was in over 300. My second year, our dorm floor had a raffle—the person with the lowest draft number received however much money had been collected. The President we had after Johnson was disliked as much as the orange guy, who also did not concern himself with legality. The FBI and J. Edgar was standing there beside him.
It will be good if humans never leave our Solar System. C.S. Lewis was correct.

I inherently [a permanent, essential, or characteristic way] distrust strangers. Can’t really explain it. I think I’ve been this way all of my life. I sometimes describe myself as asocial rather than anti-social. My entire life has been a continual encounter with an American world that [1] isn’t the product that is sold; [2] Never has been. At least for someone who does not have pink skin. An entire branch of our government that once again is lobbying for the belief that people with brown skin are not the same as pink-skinned people. Lynching by cop, in this period of time.

Our age of impunity. By David Miliband

Mr. Miliband is a former foreign secretary of the United Kingdom.

Impunity is the exercise of power without accountability, which becomes, in starkest form, the commission of crimes without punishment.
When billionaires evade taxes, oil companies misrepresent the severity of the climate crisis, elected politicians subvert the judiciary and human rights are rolled back, you see impunity in action. Impunity is the mind-set that laws and norms are for suckers.

The orange guy, not-yet-convicted criminal, is six years older than I am. We have seen the exact same things in our society; but he saw it from a place of Impunity. My parents, my immediate family saw the world from the viewpoint of ‘suckers’ according to Mr. Miliband. My Dad was raised as a wheat rancher. That did not work; the ranch disappeared. All through my aware-life [much of it seems to have been not-paying-attention] my Dad worked more than 12 hours a day at different pursuits. When he and Mom had guests, Dad usually fell asleep because he was always exhausted—and he was simply sitting, not working. He lived on coffee and cigarettes. He worked himself to an early death. I am now three years older than my Dad lived to be. I have about six more years to catch up with the man that I knew as my grandfather. This year, I catch up with his brother—my actual grandfather—who was in a sanitarium for most of his life, brain damaged from one of two separate stories, neither of them good.

“…there are two things that l remember about my childhood.
First, l remember being with my dad. He would get these far-off looks in his eye, and he would say, “Life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan.”
l just wish l realized at the time he was talking about my life.

While You Were Sleeping [1995]

From Nadia, and what is being called the Asbury Revival:

“I swear that social media should just be called “Joy Stealers Anonymous”. Analysis has its uses, but I’ve been left, over the past couple days, wondering: can we just absorb something with an open-hearted awe and curiosity for one fucking minute?”

Nadia Bolz-Weber is an ordained Lutheran Pastor, founder of House for All Sinners & Saints [HFASS] in Denver, Colorado, and one of my heroes. A friend I’ve never met. Sometimes known as Pastrix, she is covered with tattoos, many from church history. She currently preaches at a Women’s Prison in the Denver area.

The one time that we were at HFASS at church time, Nadia wasn’t there. However, the church service was beyond description even without her. There have only been a few times in these fifty years when I have felt the Presence of the Creator. It’s an experience of awe.

 One of the people below believes she is an ‘influencer’—whatever that means. I think she’s an idiot, but no one has asked for my opinion.

Jimmy Carter served one term as President. From what I remember of the time, the reason he wasn’t reelected was that he refused to declare war against Iran.

“…a growing confrontation over United States support for the deposed Shah of Iran exploded on Nov. 4, 1979, when Iranian revolutionaries invaded the United States Embassy in Tehran and seized 52 American diplomats and citizens.
    The crisis — in which billions in Iranian assets were frozen by the United States, American warships patrolled Iranian waters and an attempted American helicopter rescue cost eight lives — was a pivotal episode in the history of deteriorating United States relations with Iran, and a major factor in Mr. Carter’s landslide loss to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election.”

New York Times

Jimmy Carter has made the world a better place as ‘ex-President’ than most presidents do while in office. At 98, he has placed himself in Hospice care. He’s tired of going to the hospital to fix another issue.
“The man was a marvel. The starchiness and righteousness were still there. He had not mellowed, thank God. He remained, to use the descriptor favored by one of his sons, intense. He still felt the sting of being dissed and held at a distance by his successors Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

As a post-president, Carter’s decency and honesty shone. Unlike Clinton and Obama, he didn’t go
Hollywood. Through the Carter Center, he worked tirelessly to eradicate diseases like Guinea worm and supervise elections in more than 100 countries.
He cared so passionately about peace that he even offered to go on a mission for a Republican president with very different values, Donald Trump, to talk to Kim Jong-un in North Korea.

Carter cared about building — furniture and relationships. The nasty new face of Georgia politics cares about dividing.
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene followed up her furry catcalls to President Biden during the State of the Union by proposing secession.”

“The man was a marvel. The starchiness and righteousness were still there. He had not mellowed, thank God. He remained, to use the descriptor favored by one of his sons, intense. He still felt the sting of being dissed and held at a distance by his successors Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
As a post-president, Carter’s decency and honesty shone. Unlike Clinton and Obama, he didn’t go Hollywood. Through the Carter Center, he worked tirelessly to eradicate diseases like Guinea worm and supervise elections in more than 100 countries.
He cared so passionately about peace that he even offered to go on a mission for a Republican president with very different values, Donald Trump, to talk to Kim Jong-un in North Korea.
Carter cared about building — furniture and relationships. The nasty new face of Georgia politics cares about dividing.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene followed up her furry catcalls to President Biden during the State of the Union by proposing secession.”

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 249: Hope has to be cultivated

February 1, 2023

I found this once again. It wasn’t on my shelf, so I didn’t see the title. Changed that.

The crazies have won and now, Governance has become Revenge Politics. I guess this is why the Speaker was so adamant about becoming Speaker. The last time choosing a Speaker took so long was around the time of the Civil War. And the crazies winning was the price of the role. Tomorrowland was made in 2015; the slides teachers were using in classrooms could have come from this weeks’ news outlets.

Nix: Let’s imagine… if you glimpsed the future, you were frightened by what you saw, what would you do with that information? You would go to… the politicians, captains of industry? And how would you convince them? Data? Facts? Good luck! The only facts they won’t challenge are the ones that keep the wheels greased and the dollars rolling in. But what if… what if there was a way of skipping the middleman and putting the critical news directly into everyone’s head? The probability of wide-spread annihilation kept going up. The only way to stop it was to show it. To scare people straight. Because what reasonable human being wouldn’t be galvanized by the potential destruction of everything they’ve ever known or loved? To save civilization, I would show its collapse.

But how do you think this vision was received? How do you think people responded to the prospect of imminent doom? They gobbled it up like a chocolate eclair! They didn’t fear their demise, they re-packaged it. It could be enjoyed as videogames, as TV shows, books, movies, the entire world wholeheartedly embraced the apocalypse and sprinted towards it with gleeful abandon. Meanwhile, your Earth was crumbling all around you. You’ve got simultaneous epidemics of obesity and starvation. Explain that one! Bees and butterflies start to disappear, the glaciers melt, algae blooms. All around you the coal mine canaries are dropping dead and you won’t take the hint! In every moment there’s the possibility of a better future, but you people won’t believe it.

And because you won’t believe it you won’t do what is necessary to make it a reality. So, you dwell on this terrible future. You resign yourselves to it for one reason, because *that* future does not ask anything of you today. So yes, we saw the iceberg and warned the Titanic. But you all just steered for it anyway, full steam ahead. Why? Because you want to sink! You gave up! That’s not the monitor’s fault. That’s yours.

Last week, in my timeline, there was another warning that will probably be ignored…

90 Seconds to Doomsday

“Humanity is closer than ever to the end of the world.” That was the dire warning this week from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which, since 1947, has been estimating how close the world is to ending by stating starkly how many “minutes to midnight” remain on its signature Doomsday Clock. The clock on Tuesday was set at 90 seconds to midnight, the closest to midnight it has ever reached, according to the Bulletin, a nonprofit organization and publication.
The Doomsday Clock had been set at 100 seconds to midnight since 2020. But the clock was moved forward this year “largely but not exclusively” because of “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the increased risk of nuclear escalation,” the Bulletin said in a statement.” New York Times

“Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy,” [J. Michael] Luttig told the [January 6th] committee on live television.
“We Americans no longer agree on what is right or wrong, what is to be valued and what is not, what is acceptable behavior and not, and what is and is not tolerable discourse in civilized society,” he said. “America is adrift.”

I think the whole world is adrift [a generalization. I think I know people who are far more ‘positive’ than I am].

Tomorrowland is about the possibility of hope. Hope is internal. Hope has to be cultivated.

They were just high school kids, named Ernest, Elizabeth, Jefferson, Terrence, Carlotta, Minnijean, Gloria, Thelma, and Melba, who made history in 1957 when they became the first Black pupils at their school, in the face of fierce opposition. We start Black History Month here in Little Rock, the state capital of Arkansas, at the Little Rock Nine Monument, named for that group of kids who played an important role in desegregating public schools.

Meanwhile, on the planet Mars:

Mars Bear

December 24, 2022

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 235/248: A Story of Christmas

4th Sunday in Advent

[I’m about 10 hours early]

This was created last Christmas, with some edits today.

I still don’t do Christmas well. I don’t know why. I enjoyed watching our adult children when they were young [Back When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth], and anticipated Christmas. I enjoy watching the continuous joy of our 3+ year old grandson as he wanders through a forest of new things. I am thankful for the birth of his little brother. My major understanding from this year is that “happy” appears to be ‘standard equipment’ for humans. At four months, our new grandson clearly understands happiness; this begs the question as to why I have trouble understanding this.

Back When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, and I worked for the City of Portland, at lunchtime I would listen to a local Catholic radio station that played only Advent music in the weeks before Christmas. Music that prepared people for the appearance of the Christ Child…

The Story isn’t all that complicated. The Creator of the entire Universe entered Time and Space [not unlike Doctor Who] in the form of a single cell implanted in the womb of a teenaged Jewish girl named Mary. Her son Jesus lived as a human male, apparently took over his adoptive father’s carpentry business, then preached for 3 years reminding people how they should act and was subsequently killed by upset religious people of Authority.

Yes, I believe the Universe is Created. I’ve worked as a designer for 50 years; I recognize Design when I see it. I have experienced Intervention over the last 40+ years. Things that have happened that I cannot explain. Not often. Jesus is believed to have healed 30-40 people in a three-year period. The Evangelical Church expects healing all the time. I have a problem with that. I have ‘been healed’ [no other explanation] several times in the last 50 years; at some point I would be ‘broken’ again.

Christmas in America has little to do with the Story. Jesus probably wasn’t born in a barn; the Magi came when Jesus was a toddler. Christmas Trees have nothing to do with Christmas. The Magi brought gifts for a newborn King, nobody else.

Humans have a need to venerate/celebrate/experience wonder. I don’t have a problem with that. Celebrations of the Winter Solstice accomplished that. Jesus entered the world to bring Life; not to create a reason for a party; not to help Christmas sales.

Back to Mary. She was visited by an Angel and was told that she would that she would bear a son who was to be named Yeshua; and that he would save the people from their sins. There is a long passage in the New Testament called “The Magnificat”—Mary’s response to the Angel that came and told her she would bear a child, not having ever having sex.

Last year, I created the image below, thinking about how my 20-year-old granddaughter might act, if she was in Mary’s situation.

A male-looking Angel comes into her bedroom[?] and she apparently does not get freaked out. I have trouble believing that part. Eventually understanding that what the Angel said might be true, I can believe.

Now we get to the ugly part of the Story.

Searching for the Christ Child, three Maji from East came to Judea. They stopped at the Palace, to ask King Herod for the location of the new King that they had foreseen. Herod did not know but asked the Magi to return after they had found Him so that Herod could worship Him [he lied]. Having visited the new King, leaving behind gifts to honor a King, the Maji took a different route home.

Herod, realizing he had been fooled by the Magi, ordered that all male children of 2 years of age and younger were to be murdered. History calls this The Massacre of the Innocents [above left]. Such massacres have continued into our time. Humans are broken. An Angel warns Mary’s husband Joseph in a dream and tells Joseph to take his young family to Egypt [above right].

The Gospel of Matthew tells the Christmas Story, complete with Angels from Heaven, and domestic animals in a barn. A great Story told and retold for two Millennia. The Story would probably look different if there had been a camera and a reporter there to document the event. Doctor Who, the Time Lord who has roamed the Universe for Millennia, claimed to have been there, near the barn where Mary gave birth to Jesus, because he had rented the last room at the inn…

I am making a conscious choice to allow the Story into my life this year. This year has been exceptionally difficult. What’s worse, nearly all of the challenges have to do with the choices I made in the past, intending better outcomes. As it says in the movie:

“Okay, there are two things that l remember about my childhood…
First, l remember being with my dad.
He would get these far-off looks in his eye, and he would say,
“Life doesn´t always turn out the way you plan.”
l just wish l realized at the time he was talking about my life.”
While You Were Sleeping [1995]

I never had that conversation with my Dad.

The Story isn’t all that complicated. I also never had this conversation with my parents; they had run from Church in early adulthood and weren’t interested in the information I wanted share with them—information that I’d never heard before.

Evangelicals have lists as to Naughty and Nice. Different denominations have their own list. They tend to believe that everyone has the same list.

I’m on the Naughty list owned by the church I served since 2004, up to the Pandemic. I’m on the Naughty List for a certain Political Party in this country. I believe that we are all [no Exceptions] tasked with finding Creator wherever we can. No one is separated from Creator by their actions. This the concept of Omniscience—All Knowing; in the same category as the Laws of Thermodynamics. We can never surprise Creator. There are no Naughty and Nice lists with Creator.

To say that ‘sin separates us from Creator’ can be found in passages in the Bible. As can the following:

Psalm 137
1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion…
8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one
who repays you according to what you have done to us.

9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

I have never heard a sermon preached about that part. Probably would not go over well in Texas and other states that advocate pro-birth. [If they advocated pro-life, they would assure early childhood care].

The Story is that Creator came into the world as a cell that grew, was birthed,
and was raised as a Jewish child.
It is believed He became a Carpenter, following His adoptive father.
In His 30s He became all of the Creator that a human can be.
…For God did not send his Son into the world that He would condemn the world, but that He would give life to the world by Him.  John 3:17   Read it literally.
The male pronouns above refer to Jesus.
Jesus came into our world to give our world Life.
Jesus either succeeded, or Jesus failed.
There really are only two options.

I choose Succeeded

December 7, 2022

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 247: I’ve always needed Heroes

November 23, 2022

The image found at the Webb Telescope NASA website above, is a likely-illustration of a planet in an entirely different solar system than ours. This opens the door wider on the subject of “impossible”.

We are living in a time of only-imagined science, only found in Science Fiction as I was growing up, far too many decades ago.

This example of wonder is placed in the same ‘box’ as the destruction of seemingly everything due to human destruction of this planetary gift, given by the Creator of all.

On the front pages of news ‘papers’ at this time is political squabbling about revenge politics and the death of the innocent by the hand of FEAR. Mass murders every day.

Tomorrow I will gather with my immediate [in the sense, “present”] family at a wondrous table [my son was an Executive Chef, before blowing-out the ligaments and tendons in his wrist] of food and good company, including our nearly 3-month old grandson and his older brother. If I am smart [doubtful] I will take that opportunity to be thankful for Creator’s gifts; my own FEAR is that I will be unable to see Grace because of human stupidity.

FEAR:  False Evidence Appearing Real

This is Tarzan

To be more accurate, this is likely to be an image of Tarzan in a book I am writing, illustrating, editing; originally written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It will take years to finish.

Why Tarzan, now?

  1. I need Heroes. I’ve always needed Heroes. My babysitters, for a large portion of my childhood, were these guys:

For the uninitiated, Robin Hood, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Superman and Zorro.

They were all in Black and White. In 1960, I was 8 years old

Both of my parents worked, my Mom worked at home. Television kept me absorbed.

I feel as though this is what has occurred:

Heroes are hard to find. Anti-heroes are more common.

An anti-hero is the main character in a story who lacks conventional heroic qualities and attributes such as idealism, courage, and morality.   2.No one has ever done Burroughs’ Tarzan well, in all of the various versions that have been created. The most recent movie, The Legend of Tarzan [2016] was much closer to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ vision.I’m old enough now to have the arrogance to say that I will do Tarzan better. This is part of the reason I expect to be at this for years. I’ve already been at it for a year, and I’m barely started. There are Heroes who pass through our lives, often unnoticed. There have been heroes in my own life; ‘debts’ that can never be adequately repaid. One of those heroes in my life is a blues guitarist named Eric Bibb. I met him once at a Ray Charles concert, about 25 years ago. I’ve been listening to him ever since.

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 246: “Hope is something you have to earn, to create.”

November 5, 2022

Election Season: Animal Species are dying every day, and this does not make the news cycle. I don’t read many news articles, but I read headlines throughout the day.

Mon September 23, 2019

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth,” the Swedish climate activist told the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. “How dare you?”
Speaking during the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, the 16-year-old was visibly frustrated with her audience and at times appeared to be holding back tears of anger.
 “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet, I’m one of the lucky ones,” Thunberg told the assembly, her signature long braid swept to the side. “People are suffering, people are dying.”
Thunberg’s message to the leaders was clear. Like many times in the past, she accused them of not doing enough to mitigate climate change. “For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away?”

Sat 25 June 2022

Greta Thunberg has warned that the world faces “total natural catastrophe” unless citizens take urgent action as she made a surprise appearance at Glastonbury festival.
She said it was time for society to start “creating hope” rather than waiting for it to arrive: “Hope is not something that is given to you. It is something you have to earn, to create. It cannot be gained passively from standing by passively and waiting for someone else to do something.
“It is taking action. It is stepping outside your comfort zone. And if a bunch of school kids were able to get millions of people on the streets and start changing their lives, just imagine what we could all do together if we try.”

What will it take before the human adults take the Climate Change emergency seriously? Every country on the face of the Earth is facing historic Climate Events, upcoming food emergencies, upcoming energy emergencies; and the rising of the Ocean Level—glaciers melting. Here in the United States most of the media outlets fill the air about Mid-Term Elections. They are important, but one of these days, Washington D.C. may find itself in a more horrific Event than the Attack on the Capital. Or a Massive storm/tornado/ earthquake disaster. Some Idiot may decide to lob a nuclear weapon at the seat of American Democracy. If that were to happen, Mid-Term Elections would not be as important. Pontificating from the U.S. Capital will seem fairly pointless. It is already too late to prevent some climate dangers.

Greta Thunberg, Climate Activist

I would be the first to admit that I am taking refuge in “Sheltering in Place”. Aside from 14 years working for City Government, I have avoided being around people outside of my family for most of my life [there are family members who would rightly suggest that my avoidance included them]. People are messy. At 70, I look back at my life with a lot of wonderment; on the order of “I really did that?”.

Ever since the orange whore [he will do anything for money] invaded the airwaves, it has become ‘politically correct’ to lie about anything that others find offensive. Sound Bites, Mic Drops, Misdirection. Back When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, there was Senator named Joseph McCarthy, who made it his goal in life to find communists in the Federal Government, in Hollywood and wherever else he could crawl. These activities ruined the lives of many, people who lost their jobs and the ability to gain employment anywhere in the US. The Red Menace that no longer exists. A form of government that imploded. What a colossal waste of time and talent. I look at headlines and get the impression that our government is being led by 4-year-olds. My 3-year-old grandson has better sense.

An enormous amount of money has been spent in trying to show that the orange whore intended to lie, cheat and steal. It is clear that he did so; the problem is to show that he intended to lie, cheat and steal, rather than simply being incompetent. Three Impeachment hearings… Government leaders accept the idea that it is worth the colossal expense to indict a man who knows he cheated the country; rather than trying to hold off climate change.

the iconic Pillars of Creation

Originally captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope has created a stronger image of this series of gas clouds that form stars. Apparently, there are very few galaxies shown in the new image; what we see in the background is the content of the Milky Way Galaxy, where we live. Distances we will never travel. If humans don’t get their shit together soon, no humans will ever travel that far. C.S. Lewis, a contemporary of Tolkien, and one of the ‘Inklings’, wrote a Space Trilogy. He stated on various occasions that he hoped the human race would never travel beyond our Solar System, limiting the plague that is the Human Race to Earth.

My personal belief is that there are beacons surrounding our Solar System, warning that we are infected with greed and resulting plagues. We don’t have Visitors from other solar systems because they don’t want to be infected. They pass by to take photos—like going to Yellowstone.

I have never heard a religious person ask the Judas Iscariot question. The answer is ‘yes’. Jesus came to bring Light to the World. Creator exists in Non-Linear Time. We never surprise Creator. God created us so that we could be the presence of the Creator. We are doing a poor job of it…

Looking at the political situation around the world, I don’t think God is on our side.
We are addicted to violence and War.

I am weary as hell. The confusion I’m feeling can’t fully be described. Words fill my head and drop on the floor. Some of that comes from neurological issues.

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 245: Privilege

September 26, 2022

I’m not sure that ‘growing up’ ever ends. I thought it would stop; but I was mistaken. I’ve known people for whom growth seemed to have ended; I did not envy then. They tended to stay stuck in the mud hole they dug for themselves.

A conversation with my wife pointed out I have some choices to make in how I live my life. An ‘if-then’ sort of transaction. Sometimes, ‘if’ goes in a direction I don’t really want to go, but the consequence of inaction is also not acceptable. So, I choose to accept the difficulty along with the benefit.

Perhaps this is why ‘snotnose’ politicians of a certain age think that their actions make them important. It merely causes them to be noticed. Perhaps a fear of being rejected creates the need to be noticed. It certainly does not make for Democracy.

While in high school, I learned that I was half-Vulcan [metaphorically], and that’s why I rarely fit in. Living in college dormitories was a bizarre experience for me. Back When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, dormitories were co-ed by building or sometimes by floors. Four years, living with rutting males. I knew a guy who said he was in pre-med and planned on being a gynecologist; there was only one part of female anatomy that interested him. I was interested in women’s brains.

The Doctor on Mars

The word, “Privilege/Privileged” is frequently thrown about, in this time of my life. Typically, it’s definition means that someone has so much money or so much presumed power that there is no need to be kind toward the people they encounter; especially toward “essential workers” who weren’t considered Essential before the COVID Pandemic. BTW: COVID will probably return in force.

Back When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Privilege/Privileged meant: to have the good fortune (to have, be, or do something).

The image above is from a collection of images I called, The Unwritten Adventures of the 13th Doctor. This was taking place in the interim between the first announcements from the BBC about the new version of The Female Doctor, and when I could actually watch the stories.

When I was young and checking out science fiction from the Multnomah County Library, I never imagined that I would have the privilege of seeing the surface of Mars. The image above is the actual Martian surface [scale may be wrong] with added Martian Soldiers and the 13th Doctor.

This coming November is bringing out the worst in some people. Politicians trying to score points, as if this was some bizarre team sport. Politicians who sit down after making a speech, and bring out their electronic brain, to see how well the speech scored.
Politicians breaking the law with no sense of remorse…

And then the religious people drag the Bible into the argument, ‘proving’ their argument by using verses taken out of context, so that the words may sound appropriate, but in context, an entirely different subject is being discussed.
The Bible did not have chapters until the 13th Century. The Letter/Book was simply read start to finish. The Bible did not have verses until the 16th Century; and the verses were created by a printer, not necessarily a theologian. John 3:16, as a standalone concept, did not have any meaning until roughly 1500+ A.D. There is no way to read the third chapter of the Book of John, so that the one verse that is featured in video sports broadcasts has meaning. John 3:17 changes the meaning of verse 16…

White male ‘adults’ [by age, only] determined to keep America as refuge for Jim Crow and The Handmaid’s Tale. Every woman I keep in touch with, and who live in America is voting for what Eric Bibb calls, “Put a Woman in Charge”.
It seems that in general, a lot of White males are afraid of women. Women use a different way of thinking then what I have experienced as typical male brain-use. I can’t really call the usage ‘thinking’ because I’ve known very few men who actually think, beyond ‘what channel is that on’ and ‘bring me a beer from the frig’. I find it embarrassing. My Vulcan self, coming through again…

An artist’s impression of Europa Clipper in orbit around Jupiter’s frozen moon Europa.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As infuriating as life can be in these United [?] States, where all people are still not created equal, we can still experience wonder.

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 244: The inter-related structure of reality

August 7, 2022

Regular readers of my Chronicles will see information I’ve posted before.

Science Fiction stories help me to find sanity in what is an ever-more-insane planet; however, Science Fiction too often chooses to resolve problems by War. This implies that those responsible for the production of science fiction stories can only imagine life in the future as being Endless War.

Then there is The Doctor.
The centuries-old Alien whose only weapon is a sonic screwdriver.
To be fair, many of the enemies of our galaxy are warmongers; The Doctor uses those enemies’ own brutality against themselves.

Somehow, the human race cannot translate the technological accomplishments of the 21st Century into making a better society. We seem to be unable to stop destroying this world. Mega-Billionaires who have prospered enormously during the Pandemic, apparently can’t envision their place in history, as the people who, by themselves, stopped hunger and homelessness across the world while still remaining Billionaires. Instead, they play space tourist. “Ending world hunger by 2030 would cost $330bn, study finds”

“These are the principles for the development of a complete mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science…Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”
“The greatest deception from which men suffer is their own opinions”
Leonardo da Vinci

“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…”
“This is the inter-related structure of reality.”

The first law of thermodynamics states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another but can be neither created nor destroyed. We, each, are energy. We each can be transformed from one form of energy to another, but we cannot be destroyed. You will never die. Your body will be transformed into muck, if you are in a concrete burial box; or transformed into heat energy, if cremated; or into the landscaping, if you are planted directly into the ground.
Your non-physical self, the self that is contained in the brain goes on. Your self does not die in the brain. This has yet to be proven; our medical research abilities are not yet capable of analyzing that self which is our soul.

Michael Burnham: I envy those who can believe there is a greater hand, writing our story, who chooses the words to keep chaos at bay. Connection. Joy. Love. And resurrection. With these words, the path becomes clear for a moment, and then disappears. If I have a path…I’m still searching for it. We all are. That’s how we find our way, by choosing to walk forward, together. And if there is a greater hand leading us into an uncertain future…I can only hope it guides us well.

George Carlin:
…there is nothing wrong with the planet… nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine… the people are fucked! Difference! The planet is fine! Compared to the people, THE PLANET IS DOING GREAT: Been here four and a half billion years! Do you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years, we’ve been here what? 100,000? Maybe 200,000? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over 200 years. 200 years versus four and a half billion and we have the conceit to think that somehow, we’re a threat? That somehow, we’re going to put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun? The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us: been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drifts, solar flares, sunspots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles, hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages, and we think some plastic bags and aluminum cans are going to make a difference?

I believe that all of entire our lives have been KNOWN since the moment of Creation. The problem comes when some people believe that all happens in our life is being done TO us by Creator. We are the problem, and always have been. When nearly half of the country in some fashion believes that the Jim Crow South had a really good idea, it’s hard to imagine that this number will become half of what it was–and that it will take a clear Majority before a Star Trek future can happen instead of a Handmaid’s Tale [NOT my original thought].

13th Doctor

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 167: HPtFtU [part 4] A Cautionary Tale

July 19, 2022

Francis Spufford, in his wonderful book, Unapologetic, uses the term HPtFtU for the Human Tendency to F**k things Up. If you watch any legitimate news outlet today, you will see countless examples of HPtFtU on display; especially in Washington DC.

I was scammed out of $450 in 2018. The good news is that the intention was for me to get scammed out of $3300 [in 2018$]; thanks to my dinosaur brain, it didn’t happen.

I received an email purporting to be from someone at the San Francisco office of ——- Associates, an international graphics and branding business. The email said they liked my work and wanted me to be interviewed by someone in their HR section via Google Hangout; and they gave me a name and a —— address.

The ‘interview’ process was very well rehearsed. They asked me to walk them through my online portfolio; they asked the reasonable questions to ask, for someone looking for a remote contractor for work. Then they dropped the magic words:

We will pay you $55/hr (USD) with benefits and you will receive your pay via Direct Deposit or Check bi-weekly, taxes are taken out of your pay as you will be an employee. Working Days are Monday-Fridays and you may work remotely for us. You can work overtime hours on Saturdays if desired and we will arrange working equipment for you to get started ASAP.

I told them that this sounded like full-time language, rather than part-time language, and they assured me that my hours would be flexible. Then they asked me about the work that would be needed, and whether I felt confident doing these sorts of tasks; which I am.

The above is nearly identical to my online interview on ICQ today [19 July 2022]. The offer was from a videogame company looking for a Character Artist. The last videogame I played was Minesweeper. This didn’t seem to be a problem for them; I sounded like such a [ripe] target.
The key this time was that they used a email address rather than a

Then they provided me the list of ‘toys’ they were going to provide me with, for which the above check was being provided. The plan was to take a pdf of the front of the check, and a png of the back of a check, and deposit the money with my banking app on my smart phone.Rescued by dinosaur brain—I have 5 computers. While it would be convenient and fun to have a computer in my pocket, the reality is that I do not need a computer in my pocket. So

I have a Bluetooth compatible cell phone that does texting, and if one is really desperate or patient, will connect to the internet. It’s about the same level of sophistication as dial-up; and it does not do apps.

I have a better cellphone today for use by my family; I still would have chosen the same difficulty.

When I finally got them to understand that I am one of the last 12 people on the planet with out a cell phone that does apps; ‘she’ told me that the check would arrive in the mail. The following day, I was informed that to get started with ——–, I would need the program that keeps track of time, for my training. So, I needed to send $400 to someone in Texas via Western Union. Given the presence of the above check in my email, it seemed like a little flexibility was in order. BTW it was explained to me that ——- worked as a payroll company for the ———–, consequently the money was coming through the ———.

After all of the folderol with getting Western Union to like a card from my collection, I was then told that there was a bargain available to me:
The iMac is of 2017 and it will cost you just $698 and it will come with a brand new printer and we will reimburse you all the total amount next week…
At which point, the conversation went as follow [I’m in red]:

You realize this is all rather weird…
I answer an email; I get hired via a chat; you send me a pdf and a photo of a different check; the check is from the ……….., not —— Associates; you have me send $400 to some lady in Texas; and you are now asking me to send her money for equipment you want me to use.
If someone told me I was getting scammed, I’d be inclined to agree with them.

No, this is all legitimate

You need to trust this, we have lots of others working for us and the reason why we sent you the check is to assure you that you will get the full reimbursement.

We can call you and also re-assure, we have a lot of others who go through same process and none has ever had a bad experience

I will not deceive you Marty.

So are you instructing me send Mandy more money to buy last year’s iMac?


and she will buy and ship all the items to you

I need you to trust me

You will get the tracking # to the package coming by tomorrow via FedEx and it will all be delivered to your door step

Trust me ok

You will see everything arrive in the mail

Are you with me?

OK, when your check arrives here, and is deposited, I’ll send her the money.
You may need me to trust you, but at this point you are a name on a screen.

The $400 software [presumed] did not arrive. Before that confirmation, I did a bunch of research and sent messages and a FAX to various executives of —— [no one has email addresses when you want them]. I heard back from one of the execs, who assured me that the name wasn’t associated with ——-, and they never hire remote employees…

So, why am I sharing this embarrassment? So that hopefully you, dear reader, will avoid the scam. I’ve contacted the State of Oregon, the FBI, the Internet Fraud people, as well as a few others. I did not give them a SSN, nor did I give them any information that isn’t already in the public domain. I did send them a high-res image of my new driver’s license [birthday in July]; which concerns me. The —— exec told me that they were contacting authorities in San Francisco. The authorities have the transaction information from Western Union; and I’ve contacted my bank. The reality is that I voluntarily sent money to a private individual, who did not provide me with the stuff I was supposedly paying for; but I wasn’t coerced.

The ——- responded to an email, and told me that the check would bounce, after a few days. So, I would order $3300 worth of toys, from my account, to be reimbursed by the bogus check… Big surprise—I don’t have $3300 lying around in my checking account.

I’ve been full-time self-employed for 20 24 years; including a part-time gig for the City of Salem, which was my last W-2 job. I assumed that I really wasn’t looking for another W-2 job. It was a surprise to find that a part-time job with benefits was so attractive. The money was better than I charge graphic art clients, a little less than I charge for architectural work.

For a few hours, I was hooked.

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