Monthly Archives: May 2020

Amazing Instant Pain Relief

3.22.03 and back ups 095

Shrine of the Perfect Man, Columbus, NM

Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

Have you ever heard anyone say, “Wow!  I just put out my eye with a nail-gun!  Thank you Lord (Universe, Goddess, Higher Self, Coincidence Coordinators, or whatever the person happens to hold sacred)!”

Probably you haven’t.  Not many people know it’s a profoundly effective way of causing pain to diminish or vanish entirely.

I usually don’t even remember to pass it on, though my Y2K and since friend, Jeanne, has seen it work.  She might use it. (Somehow I think she doesn’t because she’s always calling me long distance to help her get rid of a sore throat, headache and the like.) (Note from Jeanne: I use it, but with slightly less success).

Try it.

  • Go find a hammer, put your thumb, thumbnail upward, on the front step.
  • Draw the hammer over your shoulder and smash hell out of that thumbnail as hard as you’re able.
  • The moment your vision changes to a nuclear fireball, shift gears mentally and say, “Thank you Lord.”

Doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist or atheist.  You’ll be amazed.

See for yourself.

I don’t know of any better demonstration of the power of gratitude.



Book Thoughts


Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

The village is trying to get a library started, so I paused in my various re-readings off my own bookshelves to check out library books.   I was familiar with some of the authors I began with, but had been long since reading them.

Elmore Leonard –  I ran through a plethora of his books in a short time.. everything the library had.  I’ve never read a book by the man I didn’t like, whether it’s the westerns he began with, or the detective stories that later became his tour de force.  I recommend him to anyone in danger of doing some light reading.  However, I came across one that’s unlike any Elmore Leonard I’ve ever read.  The Touch.  Those of you into metaphysics and healing would probably find it of interest.  It’s the best handling of the stigmata phenomenon, guruism, and commercial evangelism that I’ve ever read.

Rudolpho Anaya – This guy came highly recommended by the librarian.  Sorry folks.  I came away thinking some editor somewhere dropped the ball on the three books I checked out.  Loose sloppy writing, wordy, rambling.  I suspect editors are a lot more forgiving of ethnic writers these days and mooshy metaphysical gawdawful rambling flashbacks than I ever encountered as a writer.  150 pages of Rudolpho Anaya would have benefited by a lot of cutting, brutal rewriting, and still ended up with maybe 75 pages worth the time.  Maybe.

Nevada Barr – Never heard of her, but I thought I’d give it a try.  Checked out three books, made it twenty-five pages into one and declared, “No more!”

Elizabeth M. Cosin – I check a couple of these out because the first one was named Zen and the City of Angels.  I’m willing to try what I don’t know, and the name of the yarn brought back pleasant memories of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  Checked out two.  Score, zero-two.  They’ll go back in hopes someone else can struggle through them.

Poul Anderson – checked out The Stars are Also Fire because I recall liking Anderson’s work several decades ago.  The Boat of a Million Years comes to mind.  It was a fine work.  However, this Stars are Fire piece seems to me to be the work of a person who needed to smoke some weed to get his mind back, or a manuscript written early in his career, a dead turkey no publisher would touch by an unknown writer, dragged up out of the files and published as a pot-boiler hack to raise grocery and whiskey money, riding the name of the later, more competent Poul Anderson.  I’m 67 pages into it, debating with myself whether to drop the effort and read some William Saroyan off my own shelf until I get back to the library tomorrow.

I’d like to point out to you that the sentence-before-the-last in the previous paragraph is five lines long.  Count’em.  Five.

No good writer would put a sentence that long on a page where some poor human might read it.


Life Story… (up to about 2013)

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It occurred to me that since Jack hadn’t blogged for so long, some people might enjoy seeing a short summary of his life that he wrote while he was living in Texas, before he moved to Kansas and then eventually to the Leavenworth VA complex apartments. –Jeanne

Born 1943, mom went through three divorces by the time I was four, moving about from Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. Did grunt labor on farms and ranches weekends and after school all through my youth. Summer after junior year of HS I thought I’d quit school, so I followed the wheat harvest north into the Dakotas operating various equipment and hauling grain. Decided to try to finish HS after all. Found a town where I could manage it barely.

Joined the army after graduation, served three years, entered and eventually got booted out of Peace Corps training. Worked for a railroad a while, a dredging company, longshoring on the Houston docks, taxicab driving in Houston, going to the University of Houston nights, the University of Texas working construction on the side.

Made a living as a writer for a couple of years, then entered the first of two professional careers for about 20 years, Eventually decided what I was doing didn’t need to be done, so I changed professions for about 10 years until I decided that didn’t need doing either. Meanwhile I’d begun research on a particular lost gold mine and making trips west looking for it, became a pilot and bought an old airplane. Second career gradually became a way to support the search for the lost gold mine.

Y2K was coming up and I came to believe it would happen, so I cashed in all my retirement from two careers and bought a remote piece of land on the continental divide, built a cabin and began preparing to help all the refugees I believed would be coming out of the cities. When it didn’t happen I stayed around there about a year trying to figure out what to do next.

I did some of everything for the next decade, wild years of craziness among the sort of people I’d never been around, nor wished to. Eventually I ended up up destitute and supremely happy in this remote cabin in the Texas Hill Country with four cats and a flock of free-ranging chickens.

Surveillance Weirdness

Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

3.22.03 and back ups 1001


This brave new century offers a lot of interesting twists and turns for the observant.  I was reading a blog this morning, someone ruminating over a friend-request he’d gotten from someone, maybe in India.

I’d gotten a similar request yesterday, so it caused me to consider whether blogs aren’t being used by intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, both here and abroad, to find folks with particular sets of viewpoints.

For instance, I came across a blog the other day posted by a person who called himself something like ‘dope-smuggler’.  Hmmm, thinks I, is this for real?  The blog entries and photos all involved various aspects of the use of controlled substances.

Suppose I worked for DEA, I went on thinking.  Would I throw out a trot-line or two searching for folks who’d like to admit on blogs that they were felons?  I think I might.

Or suppose I worked for Mossad  (I think that’s the right spelling), the Israeli intelligence agency.  Would I like to know as many names and locations of people who held Nazi-like viewpoints?  Would I be equally interested in folks who rabidly approve of anything Israel might do?  Probably.

And so on.  But that’s not what this blog is about.

This blog is about what’s happened with surveillance technology and general nosiness, both of government and individuals.

The technology and availability of spying equipment with amazing capabilities and invisibility at a shockingly low price is out there for anyone.

At least it was shocking and amazing to me when I found myself moved to investigate the matter.

One day I’d been sitting at a blackjack table for about twelve hours, and when I got to my car in the parking lot my cell-phone rang.  I answered and was treated to hearing a long playback of my conversations at the game-table several hours earlier.  I thought back and recalled a guy who sat next to me for a while wearing an unusual fanny-pack he kept messing with, so I figured it was him.

But his motive for doing such a thing was a mystery, and how he happened to know my cell-phone number was one, as well.

That happened several times, the casino playback thing, but I only saw that particular person once, and when he took the chair next to me I asked him if he had his equipment with him.  “Oh yeah,” he answered with a laugh.  “I always carry everything with me.”  And left the table.

During the same time-period Jeanne was in New Mexico.  We were in the living room, me standing, her sitting across the room, having a conversation.  The land-line phone rang and I answered.  Similarly to the casino experience, I had a conversation played back to me, but this time it was the conversation Jeanne and I’d just had within the past five minutes.

Someone obviously had the capability to listen to what was said in my home.  But what’s intriguing to me is that they wanted me to KNOW they had that capability.

That happened a couple more times and I could never see any signs around the house of any microphone/camera, but it was obviously here.  From then until now I’ve gotten spam emails I don’t open, but with subject lines referring to something or other that’s happened in my life, said or done, recently.

Which confirms for me that I am one helluva interesting guy.  I cannot for the life of me imagine why anyone would put that kind of effort, energy and expense into my life, but I do try to provide with them with some amusement in various ways.

Sometimes I figure it’s the rich neighbor kid, sometimes I think it’s the neighbor across the street next-door to my buddy, Wes, who’s generally known to be a negative busybody.  But that doesn’t quite fit the casino incidents.

I haven’t a clue.

But after the first phone-at-home incident Jeanne and I went to a surveillance store and looked over what was out there on the open market.  After seeing it, I decided we live in a time when it’s useless to think there are any secrets, any privacy, if anyone’s determined enough to want to know, sick enough to be willing to put out a few bucks and plant a device.

Flattering, though, knowing that despite the fact I don’t talk to anyone but the cats these days unless I’m on the phone, I’m still one hell of an interesting feller.



A Question for the Brave New World

Harper TX plus all videos 100

Jack in Harper, TX

Blog post written by Jack in 2006:

When I went back to my hometown as a young soldier on leave, Christmas, 1961, it was enough of an event to bring my granddad in from his hardscrabble farm. 

We sat around the living room, my mom and step-dad, sisters, and granddad, mulling over the war we were certain to have with the Soviet Union soon.

At that point I was as well educated (by usual standards) as any of the people in the room and all our ancestors by virtue of having completed high-school prior to entering the Army.

In talking about the (then current) brink-of-war crisis my granddad muttered something in Latin.  My mother and step-dad cocked an ear. 

“Cicero’s probably not the best place to gain any wisdom about America today,”  My step-dad frowned and adjusted his dentures, followed by another Latin quote.

“Neither is Pliny.”  My mom shook her head at both of them.

Young man who knew everything worth knowing, I was. 

I didn’t know any Latin, didn’t know who Pliny was, nor Cicero.  I was as ‘well educated’ as anyone in the room and considered my knowledge sufficient to have a wealth of valuable opinion on the issues of the day.  I felt a vague discomfort with them spouting Latin back and forth at one another and naming people I knew nothing about. 

I had reason to recall that conversation in 1976, the US Bi-Centennial year, when the state of America and the state of education was being examined and bandied about.  Thoughtful minds were concerning themselves that Americans were becoming illiterate and ill-educated.

The thinkers of 1976, asked Americans to ask themselves whether they were better educated than their parents and grandparents, despite many more years spent in formal educational institutions.

The general answer in polls was that Americans considered themselves more canny, better informed than their parents, though weaker in most areas of knowledge once considered essential for a person to be ‘educated’.

The moving finger writes and then moves on. 

Are you better educated than your parents and grandparents?



How to be a good American (and a good human being):

Here’s a nice blog post I found in my files (copyright Jack Purcell):
Saturday, September 23, 2006
A few subtle ways to become a good American (and a good human being):

Being a good American and a good human being isn’t about waving a flag, hating Democrats or republicans, Muslims, or people who say ugly words about political leaders. It ain’t about fear, hysterical dialect, consumerism and waste.

Being a good American and a good human being is about personal responsibility. About having enough confidence and courage not to feel threatened by every little thing. About assuming the responsibility of not being part of the problem any more than is absolutely necessary. About self-reliance.

Sometimes it’s not obvious how a person might accomplish those things.

* On a personal level your life will find itself a lot better place if you can recognize the fact you are going to die as a means of exiting it. Maybe disease, a car wreck, any of a thousand common ways that don’t have a damned thing to do with any foreign country, foreign leader, foreign war. You are going to die. No point in going into frenzies of terror and hate because the death you get stands a billion-to-one shot at being the act of a terrorist. Trust me on that. You are going to die, and I’ll only be the tiniest, most microscopic bit of a liar when I tell you it won’t be from anything any foreigner does to cause it.
* On a personal level you’ll find it’s a hell of a lot better place if you can learn what is your own business, and what isn’t. If you can change it, it’s your business. If you can’t, it ain’t worth concerning yourself with, getting all worked up about.
* On a personal level you’ll find your life’s a lot better place if you spend considerable energies looking at it, instead of other places, looking at what you like about it, and what you don’t like about it, and changing what you can. Looking in a metaphorical mirror at the sort of person you are and asking yourself if that is the sort of person you want to be. You can’t change the kind of person the prez of bongobongoland is, but you can change the kind of person you are into someone you have more respect for. No one respects a dishonest, hysterical coward, including you when you see it in others.

If all of us could pull that off our own lives would be a lot better, and America would be a better place for it. But insofar as personal responsibility and being a good American, we can expand on that a bit. Here are a few things a good American might do without having to shout from the rooftops about what an admirable person he/she is:

Dependence on hydrocarbons is the ultimate problem of this nation you say you love.

* Be conscious of your own energy use.
* Every plastic grocery or garbage bag, every foam-plastic hamburger box, no matter where it was produced, drives up the price of oil.
* Every time you fire up that hair-dryer you drive up the world-wide price of hydrocarbons.
* Every made-in-China yellow ribbon you buy to stick on your car drives up the price of hydrocarbons world-wide, increases the demand.
* Every made-in-China flag made of nylon you wave drives up the price of oil and increases worldwide demand.
* Every new plastic radio, CD player, computer monitor. Every plastic wrapper from that frozen pizza pie. Every celophane cover and foam plastic bottom covering the piece of animal you’re having for supper and sending to the landfill afterward is driving up the world-wide competition for oil.
* Sure, there’s the other obvious things. The things Jimmy Carter used to beg you to do when he was prez, to help you quit relying on foreign petroleum products. Turn down the heater. Turn up the thermostat on the AC. Don’t drive anymore than you have to. Which, of course, you didn’t care for then and immediately forgot when he left office (which is part of the reason you’re in the fix you are in now.)

But there’s a lot more to being a good American, as opposed to a good human being. Here are a few more ways you could try to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem:

Quit buying ANY foreign product if you can avoid it. Even if it saves you a few cents. Just say no. Refuse and make it clear why you’re refusing.

If this country is going to survive another century the population is going to have to begin manufacturing what it consumes, energy-wise and every other wise. Building hamburgers to sell back and forth to one another isn’t enough to keep a country sound.

Americans are going to have to produce products, and the other Americans are going to have to buy them. We can’t continue indefinitely sending our chunks of our trade deficit off to bongo-bongoland for petroleum, to China for plastic bags, television sets, seat covers and rubber monster toys. We can’t starve out our farmers by buying agricultural products from Mexico and Argentina.

Being a good American involves a hell of a lot more than getting angry when some foreigner says something ugly about it. Loyalty to America and Americans is about keeping America alive, productive, self-reliant, healthy economically.

If we can do those things we’ll find we’re spending a lot less time hurling empty rhetoric back and forth, hating the owners of bongo-bongoland oil, a lot less time bombing the hell out of foreign lands, a lot less angry and full of fear and hatred.

And we wouldn’t need to wave flags to prove we were good Americans.

I have a wealth of written material from Jack, and I’d be interested in knowing whether any of his readers would like to see more on this page. I’m in the process of transferring ownership through WP so I can pay the fee to keep the same address for the blog. If that doesn’t work, I think the blog still will exist but with wordpress in the address. Let me know what you think– Jeanne K.