Category Archives: Adventure

Jack’s blog introduction, 2006

Jack wrote this in February, 2006, to introduce himself in a new blog:

Hello blogsters:

Just beginning this thing, so this qualifies as a test.  Only a test.

If this were actually an emergency alert you should turn your radio dial to 640, or 1240 to the National Emergency Broadcasting System and listen for further instructions.

But this is only a test.  (Which is a plus, since the National Emergency Broadcasting System and CONELRAD appears to have gone belly-up sometime during the past 40 years).

So this will have to do.

_______________________________________________

Okay.  That stuff posted.  The test?  If my memory serves me correctly I never scored higher than C- on any test.  I haven’t seen the scores on this one, but I’ll confess I didn’t study for it, so prospects don’t look good.

Fact is, I’ve been out of school several decades too long to care, much.

I’m more interested in psychic surgery, at the moment, than I am tests.  Psychic surgery, some specific aspects of southwestern US history, a wide range of metaphysical avenues including energy conversion, dowsing, Reiki, ‘thrust dowsing’, and nailing down a Unified Random Numbers Behavior Theory.

Fairly humdrum stuff, I think you’ll have to agree.

But this ain’t likely to bore you, because there’s about a zero-to-none chance anyone will ever read it anyway, what with tens of thousands of blogs starting every fraction of a second.  Thank goodness.

So there.

One more thing to add to my affirmations of gratitude.  I don’t have to search for those, but when one jumps out of the sky, as this one has, and lands spang on my dinner plate, trust me.  I’m going to jump on it like ugly on a monkey.

That about covers it for my self introduction to non-readers.

Jack

 

Lots of blood, no corpse, and Blackjack afternoon

Jack wrote these two posts in December, 2005:

Morning blogsters:

Minor mystery here this morning.  Got me wondering and the cats spooked to high heaven.

I went out for my wake-up smoke and discovered a LOT of blood on the front porch.  A lot.  No evidence of where it came from, why it’s there…

No corpse lying around that I’m able to find in the dark sporting a half-inch hole in the forehead and two in the chest, so I’m reasonably certain I didn’t get up during the night, shoot a prowler, and casually go back to bed to deal with this after daybreak.

I slept fairly soundly and didn’t hear anything during the nightl.  The security camera didn’t pick up any noise.  But somewhere out there in the world there’s a warm-blooded creature with a lot less of it circulating around inside him than he had yesterday.

Strange way to start a day.

Jack

Hi blogsters:

I decided I needed a break from the numbers and all the mud and blood, so I headed off and spent the last nine hours or so playing blackjack.  A modestly spiritual experience, as blackjack tends to be on a good day.

Anyway, it was good, the cards were right except for a couple of dealers who kept bringing me back down to even, after which I had to begin the long struggle upward again.

As I got my old levi jacket around my shoulders and prepared to come home and face the angry cats and whatever comes next after blood, pit boss came over and gave me a high-roller card for a meal.  I took it down to the snack bar and got two meals, instead, one to go.  Then sat around talking to a guy about my age for an hour, us telling one another how sorry young people are today compared to how unsorry we were when we were that age.

Talked a lot about how the country’s gone to hell in a handbasket, how young people don’t know nuthun, don’t work, how the whole shebang is doing the long swim down the commode because smart, hard-working, literate, mostly wise men like ourselves ain’t going to be around to pull things out, etc.

First time I ever came across talk of that sort I was a lot younger listening to old guys saying much the same things around the time Sputnik I went up.  Then a little later I read Pliny the Elder stealing the ideas around 100 AD.

Ah well.

Jack

The language of numbers

Jack wrote this in February, 2006, when he was studying lottery histories and trying to find patterns in the winning numbers:

Evening blogsters:

This blog entry isn’t about winning lotteries. 

It’s about the attempts by man to impose randomness on them, and about how numbers respond.  It’s about whatever underlying meaning can be drawn from that information.

Millions of people are out there today trying to predict what numbers will hit tonight on the burgeoning Powerball Lottery.

The advertised jackpot is now $300 Million, which means a person who took the money instead of allowing them to ‘invest’ it for him at low interest for decades, would be entitled to around $150 Million before taxes.  Roughly $75 Million after taxes.

Way more money than any human being needs to struggle through a stint of three-score-and-ten times around the star.  More challenges hidden in that $75 M bucks than most anyone needs, as well.

But the reason I’m writing this blog isn’t about stupid overwhelming amounts of money a person can buy toys with.

It’s about those random numbers and the way they behave.  They ain’t random.  They’re coming from somewhere, and they mean something.  They’re showing up in the lotteries throughout the world, all in the same non-random sets of patterns.

I’ve been studying this over a year.  It’s been a spiritual experience I never expected when I began…. but once I saw the Universe is trying to tell us something, measuring something, labelling something, through the numbers that hit each day, particularly when they win prizes, it was also clear it’s all by intelligent design.

All those people trying to predict what numbers are going to hit tonight would be better served trying to understand what those numbers are predicting.

Within the last couple of weeks, you might have noticed on my feed, the Wisconsin lottery hit the same combination of numbers twice during a ten day period.  Can you imagine the odds against such a thing happening?

Here’s another example.  These are the numbers that actually won the last ten jackpots on Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries:

MM 1/6/2006 8 11 28 37 53 12
MM 12/30/2005 14 20 25 40 44 37
MM 11/29/2005 7 8 40 51 52 5
MM 11/15/2005 2 4 5 40 48 7
PB 11/2/2005 6 11 14 27 41 38
PB 10/22/2005 6 7 36 51 53 17
MM 9/20/2005 35 36 40 42 52 45
PB 8/13/2005 1 2 18 37 43 37 37
MM 7/26/2005 1 10 18 29 55 8
MM 6/7/2005 7 14 28 46 40 25

Look at them closely, and when you do, imagine the buzzillions to one odds against it happening even once.  Look at how every time a jackpot is won one, two, or more of the same numbers win the next one, even when it’s on the other lottery.

We’ve got a lot to learn.

One of the things I want to understand before I die is what those numbers are trying to say, aside from screaming, “I ain’t RANDOM, you humans!  I’m trying to TELL you something.  Listen to me.”

The more trouble human beings go to, the more security measures they use, the more methodology, to try to impose randomness on numbers, the more they stretch and sing.  The more they try to get our attention.

Maybe in some future blog entry I’ll tell how a forward I got by email about a ‘black box’ in a university basement in the UK designed to generate random numbers first twigged me this might be so.

First I’ll see if anyone but me finds even a speck of interest in the subject.

Jack

Afterthought:

You dowsers, and the other metaphysical folk among you blogsters:

 If you have trouble believing this, dowse it for truth.  Channel it.  Skry it.  Do whatever you do, and once you’ve done it, tell me it ain’t so.

Namaste

Jack

Jackpot

Jack wrote this in November, 2005:

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Evening blogsters:

Someone gave me a bag of these.  Finest peppers in all Christandom.  They are, to the pepper world what Powerball and Megamillions are to the lottery world.

Habenero.

The name sort of rings musical, as does the pod.  High grade Acapulco Gold of fire and brimstone cuisine.

Fact is, they’re great for other things, as well.  You can grind them up, boil them, and spray the soup onto areas you don’t want the neighbor dogs to pee on.  You can take that soup and melt cold cream around it to rub on aching muscles and joints.

Or you can forget you have the pot boiling with them, let all the water boil off and you can fumigate your house impromptu.  You and the cats will go heaving and upchucking into the front yard first, followed by every spider, centipede and unborn generations of rodents who anticipated visiting the adobe one of these days ten years from now.

All lined up outside coughing and trying to breath, wiping the eyes, and generally having a big old time.

Jack

The Iliad

Jack wrote this December 25, 2005:

Morning blogsters:

Hope all of you are getting the cobwebs out of your punkin heads sufficiently to maximize whatever joy a person gets out of sitting around a Christmas tree unwrapping packages.

I overslept here, didn’t wake until dawn.  Maybe some of this Christmas spirit thing rubbed off on me and disrupted my routines.  Nice morning.  Quiet outside, cool, but not a shock to hit you when you climb out from under the covers or hit you in the face when you venture outside.

A red dawn.  Sailorman would be concerned about that, I expect.

Last night the cats refused to keep me entertained, so I began reading H. D. F. Kitto’s, The Greeks.  It’s a book I’ve read before, but I occasionally read it again as a refresher course.  Kitto’s work is a fairly expansive treatise on life in Greece during the Classical Period, but he constantly jumps backward so’s to demonstrate how they got where they were and why.

Those Classical Greeks are worth the effort of remembering about.  They’re as much how we got where we are as Homer, the Dorians, the Minoans are how they came to be what they were.  We owe our ability to think in particularly organized ways to them, mathematics, philosophy, their practical use of democracy, even our concept of drama to some extent.

But we in the West also owe the curse of the Utopian Ideal to their pointy little heads.

That Utopian Ideal has haunted us every since, even though the Greeks, themselves never actually believed in it.  They knew perfectly well that human beings are fundamentally flawed in ways that assure they’ll poison their own watering holes, then run them dry.  They knew that wherever human weakness fails to do the trick, fate, or the Gods will step in to lend a hand.

Those Greeks studied Homer much the way really devout Christians study the Old Testament.  And Homer, whatever else it might be, is a refined catalog of human strengths and weaknesses.  Of the drumbeat repetition of human experience.

In their own way, the Greeks were experts on a few thousand years of history in ways we aren’t.  They learned from it, not as we believe we’ve learned from it, but haven’t, but rather as an assurance that human beings make the same mistakes over and over.  That they’ll go on making them as long as there’s a human being left to do the job.

The Greeks derived a wisdom from their knowledge of history, but the wisdom was an oblique one that provided a separate wisdom….. one that included the certainty there’ll never be any Utopia.  Never be any meek inheriting much of anything and holding onto it.

But that’s my premise, not Kitto’s.

I’ve had a couple of days break from the numbers, which I badly needed.  I’m thinkng today I’ll get back into the harness.

Best to all of you.

I hope you’ll spend a bit of time remembering what Christmas was supposed to be the anniversary of the beginning of.  Not baby-Jesuses or Santa Clauses, blogsters, but a beginning of a spiritual commitment to peace, love, understanding.

An ideal for breaking the endless cycle of power struggles, killing, worship of gluttony and greed.  A beginning for human beings to take responsibility for their own behavior, attitudes and lives.

Christmas.  Jesus.  A beginning of not being so frightened of everything.  So angry.  So aggressive and downright rattlesnake ugly mean you want to kill strangers a long way from here who are no threat to you if you’ll leave them alone, and take joy from doing it.

A beginning of having the faith that death is part of human experience, and that isn’t something you have to be so damned cowardly scared of it keeps you furious and wanting to look away at anything at all to take your thoughts away from having to do it.

I hope you’ll remember that for a few moments, blogsters, but I know you won’t.

I ain’t a Utopian.

Jack

Ask Old Jules: A personal ethical problem, Are animals proud, Greatest passion in life, The chicken or the egg?

JackTownResized

Old Jules, what is an ethical problem in your personal life?

I fill most of my material needs in life buying used from thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales and just seeing something I need rusting away in a pasture or yard, stopping and haggling with the owner over a price. Naturally, once it’s established the item’s for sale, it’s a matter of finding everything possible wrong with it to get the price lower, throwing up the hands in disgust and showing signs of walking away, pretending the want or need isn’t actually there. The problem is weighing the actual value against the price at which it can be acquired. When to stop bargaining and pay the other person a fair price. Especially in those circumstances where the person doesn’t actually know the value, or if he/she knows, doesn’t believe the value can be had because the potential buyer [me] has put on too good a show of driving down the price. This happens a lot. Probably a lot more than you’d imagine. The natural inclination is to keep pushing, walk out of there with him/her paying you to haul it off it it can be managed, which also happens occasionally. I’d call finding a fair value and paying it is an ethical issue and a challenge to hold to. Particularly in the heat of the moment.

Old Jules, is it possible for other animals to be proud and not just us humans?

Yes, they do. Anyone who believes otherwise hasn’t spent much time around animals. It’s the reason a Palomino is a lousy horse. They’re not only prideful, they’re vain. Probably some animals aren’t, but many species are.

Old Jules, what’s your greatest passion in life?

Potable water under pressure inside the house might be at the top of the list. Close runner-up would be hot water for bathing, dish washing and shaving. Refrigeration’s also a big item with me, but not above running water.

Old Jules, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

An egg requires constant nurturing and frequent turning by a hen so’s to be able to hatch. After hatching it’s helpless for days and vulnerable to everything from nutrition to temperature for about six weeks. The egg didn’t come first.

Cold, hard realities

Jack wrote this in December, 2005. I’m including some commentary that came from other readers and his response to them.

Mainly longjohns and sweatsuits.

I did my usual bathtub washing routine on my buildup of clothes that got to clogging my sinuses and causing the cats to turn up their noses at me when I put them on.  I’d been outdoors several times and it honestly didn’t feel all that cold.

So I hung everything out on the lines and figured all’s gonna be well with the sniffers in a few hours.

A while later I went out to check them and they’d all turned to cardboard on the line.

A couple of hours later I made the uplifting discovery that the cold wind was drying them a bit despite the fact they were frozen stiff as boards.

But now it appears the weather’s going sour, so I figured I’d best bring them in and let them dry the rest of the way indoors.

You haven’t lived until you pull a pair of longjohns off the clothesline and have them break in half in your hand, except a line of threads holding them together.

Jack

Jack your writings are so refreshing, but not simply toss the items in the dryer and solve the problem?
A washer and dryer aren’t among the blessings I find myself being grateful for every day. Maybe some future blessing to be grateful for.

Thanks for the comment.
Jack

Jack, 99.7% of the Indian population, maybe more, do not have washers and dryers. However, I suggest you get at least a washer…you’re not getting any younger..
Might well do that one of these days. This old adobe has such deficient wiring it would probably set fire to something if I plugged anything else into anything, as it stands. I’ve got extension cords running all over the house just to get light back to the bathroom. And there’s no place to get water from for a washer, short of running hoses alongside the extension cords. Might could get a hose off the water heater, which I’ve occasionally done for other reasons, but it would be cumbersome.

Then I’d have to run another hose off the discharge from the washer into the bathtub or commode, both of which drain slowly.

Until I pick a winner I’m going to have to just keep being blessed with a bathtub to wash the clothes in and a clothesline to dry them on. Which is a blessing worthy of plenty of gratitude.

Out at the cabin I always heated a washtub full of water over an open fire to wash clothes. Which kicked in my laziness factor when it came to rinsing all the soap out of my clothes. Went around for more than a year with my armpits sudsing on hot days.

This is better.

Thanks for the comment,
Jack

Tiptoeing through darkness

Jack wrote this in October, 2005:

Good morning blogsters:

I had lunch yesterday with a guy who was on his way down to the mountains to fly a helicopter around.

He’s looking for two prize cannons Texans either abandoned, or were killed by Apaches and just left up there somewhere during the Sibley retreat I’ve referred to in earlier entries.

The pieces have been seen over the centuries since occasionally by hunters and cowboys, but the location’s so vague and difficult nobody’s been able to relocate them.

A couple of cowboys found a civil war rifle with a bayonet stuck into a tree diagonally somewhere in the same general vicinity during the 1950s, but they never saw the cannon.

My bud’s been looking for those cannon on and off for 20 years as part of a larger search for some other things that have led him into countless tales and adventures.

He can afford to do these things because he’s a self-made multi-millionaire. 

A quarter-century ago he lost his job up north because of down-sizing and moved to New Mexico, where he took a grunt-job at minimum wage just to keep alive.  The place he was working was a fabrication plant, and he studied what was going on around him.  He saw a lot of industry standard things going on that looked stupid to him.

So, Marsh got to thinking how it could be done better.  He went to the bosses and told them about it, hoping for a raise, but they laughed at him.  So he started making the changes in his garage and trying them out.  Sold one tool and the people wanted more, so that was the beginning.

Now he owns several large ranches and a company that makes more money than he can reasonably spend, so he set his son up in a smaller business doing other things, and his son’s company’s making a lot more than Marsh’s… a million dollars a month.

But the reason I’m telling you this involves a side conversation we had.

“You’ve got to do it in the dark.  That’s where things happen.” He observed, concerning any dream, idea, project.

Anything that’s different or innovative, you have do do in the darkness of negativity from others.  You have to keep the faith in yourself and your ability to do it, and keep on despite the multitudes around you who’ll tell you at every turn that you can’t do it.”

Seems to me that’s worthy of mention to you younger blogsters.

Marsh was talking about looking for those cannon.  He was talking about setting up a company and making millions of bucks.  He was talking about anything worth doing in life.

His son was lucky enough to have a father who knew, who taught the same thing to him.  Taught him that he could do anything if he believed in himself.

Marsh credits his grandfather for drumming the mindset into his head that he could do anything.  He gave me a quote I can’t recall, because it rhymed so well with something my own granddad drummed into mine.

“You can’t stop a man who knows he’s right and keeps coming.”

There’s an addendum to the anecdote of the last entry that ought to be added here.

Marsh is awfully proud of that son of his. Not because he’s bringing in a million bucks a month, but because of the way he’s using it.

“He’s not loading himself down with more houses, boats, big cars, like some rock star,” he glowed. “He sponsored a church group. They’re in Afghanistan building thousands of cheap houses for those people over there! Just trying to get them into some shelter to keep the weather off them.”

Jack

An old hand at singing inside

Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

Morning blogsters:

The other day the neighbor guy asked me what I’m yelling about over here early mornings.  Something with the cats, or just letting off steam.

I had to think about it before I realized I was singing too loud these predawn mornings.

Reminded me of another Jerry Sires song:

I’m an old hand at singing inside

Held back by a mixture of comfort and pride

Nobody knows, when it comes right down to it

I’m an old hand at singing inside.

Like all of the children who grew up on Hank Williams

I’m richer by measures untold.

But people might think it was downright unnatural

How Otis (Redding) took root in my soul.

But I’m an old hand at singing inside, etc.

Just take my old daddy now

Spent most of his life raising cotton and cows

But if you heard him sing the songs of his youth

You’d just wish that he’d take a bow.

Cause he’s an old hand at singing inside.

Held back by a mixture of comfort and pride

Nobody knows when it comes right down to it

He’s an old hand at singing inside.

Anyway, in my particular case it can be mistaken for yelling at the cats.

Jack

Delusions of somethingorother- Young Frankenstein

Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

Evening blogsters:

Watched a VCR of the old Mel Brooks movie, Young Frankenstein yesterday.  Hadn’t seen that one in a generation or more, but was delighted to see it still moves to the music.  Hilarious.

Marty Feldman probably had his best role ever in this one, as Igor.  But he had strong competition.  None of the leading roles came up short of the mark.  Cloris Leachman was Cloris Leachman at her best.  Madelein Kahn had her best role outside Blazing Saddles.  Gene Wilder never did a bad job on a movie and this is no exception.

If you haven’t watched this classic in a while I’d recommend it.  If you have, watch it anyway in deference to, to, to the season, to humankind, to all that’s lovely and admirable in this best of all possible worlds.

Jack