Tag Archives: occupy

Blown tires and ‘the homeless’

Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Strange trip to town yesterday to get my town business taken care of.  A guy was telling me about a bunch of ‘homeless people’ living down behind the Kerrville Public Library and the Guadalupe River, and I moseyed down for a looksee.  Middling surprising.

Kerrville’s a fairly wealthy, relatively small community filled with mostly retirees from government, military, and top drawer private sector.  It has golf courses the way most small towns in Texas used to have churches…. one-per-street-corner.  The rest of the population mostly makes do fetching and carrying, ringing up cash-registers to fill the needs of the golf-coursers.  Ingram used to be a different town a dozen miles down the road, but now it’s indistinguishable from Kerrville except for the population being part of the old-timers and people working to make life better for the rich retirees.

But here, out-of-sight in the midst of all this resides a colony of ruffled, smelly people sleeping on the grass and under the bridge over the Guadalupe.  A cursory look would number them somewhere between 50 and 100.  A good many do their washing up and hanging around in the library to get cool now, warm when it’s cold.

Not a homogenous group in any way I could see.  Some are the usual ‘homeless’ stereotype in the larger urban areas, some younger, some drugees and alcoholics, some maybe ghetto types, and some you wouldn’t spot as any of this, just seeing them on the street.

Evidently the Kerrville city government’s getting enough complaints about it to cause them to try to figure out how they can drive them off to somewhere else where they won’t be a nuisance.

I’ve never been comfortable with the word, ‘homeless’ as a means of placing people into a tribal stereotype.  The emphasis on the structure a person dwells in as a tribal name is just too damned lots-of-what-I-wish-different-about-America-disease.  The straight fact is that every single one of us has a few thousand generations of ancestors who lived in similar homes to the ones these people sleep under, minus the library. 

And the names we give our ancestors are peasants, serfs, nomads, hunter-gatherers, the whole range of words describing people who weren’t aristocrats, struggled to stay alive any way they could.  People who were fetching and carrying for the aristocrats and starving/freezing-to-death-doing it.  Filthy, stinking peasants, serfs, nomads, scratching out a living any way they could, stalking the game animals in the rich-man forests and getting hanged for it, or wandering around grubbing for nuts, plants and meat varmints they could eat because they hadn’t advanced far enough to have aristocrats.

What those people used to be was tramps, hobos, beggars, derelicts, which was nearer the truth, but still didn’t cover the subject.  That place between the river and library is a hobo jungle minus a railroad track.  But I don’t think the people living that life can qualify by any stereotype.  For instance, my long-time-ago post about Stephen Schumpert, a guy I grew up with:

Could you choose to live on the street?

 If the cats all croaked on me I think I might like to try that for a while to flesh out my life experience while I still have some.

Anyway, I was thinking about all this as I drove home when I blew out a tire on the RV…. another inside-rear.  Sounded a lot like a shotgun when it went.  After examining it I decided to nurse it home instead of trying to change it on the road. 

The cost of a new tire’s going to set me back about a month in my best laid plans, and trying to get the RV off  the ground high enough to change it’s going to be a day spent in hard labor.  Haven’t decided whether  to try to nurse it back to Kerrville and let one of the working-for-a-living serfs and peasants at the WalMart or Discount Tire do the work.

Maybe instead of ‘the homeless’ a better word to describe the colony of people down between the library and the river would be, ‘the blown tires’.

I sort of like that.

Old Jules

New Mexico Farmer Nomads Circuit Community

Hi readers.  I posted this on the Intentional Communities website.  http://www.ic.org/

http://directory.ic.org/24101/New_Mexico_Farmer_Nomads_Circuit_Community

Figured I’d run it up on the flagpole and see if anyone salutes:

New Mexico Farmer Nomads Circuit Community

New Mexico Public Lands, New Mexico
 Proposed [forming]migratory community to occupy BLM and National Forest lands with water available capable of growing food crops. Members would occupy each site and tend gardens 14 days maximum to stay within BLM and USFS regulations, then rotate to another community site at least 25 miles away, replacing another rotatee[s] who’s been tending the garden there.
 
No permanent structures are allowed on these multi-use BLM or USFS public lands, though if, say, a mining claim is filed [a cheap, easy means of establishing certain legitimate, defined rights of occupation], a storage for ‘tools’ building is allowed.
 
Members will need to be willing to live in tents, RVs, campers, or converted school bus shelters while occupying the sites.
 
The only reason ‘community’ is an issue is to assure crops get planted and tended at each site through the growing season, and because of the 14 day occupation limit per site.
 
Some rules regarding wood cutting, site cleanup and maintenance, and waste disposal will be needed, along with a rotation schedule for each member unit.
 
My thought is that if there’s sufficient interest in this alternative lifestyle it should begin before spring planting, 2013.
 

You just never can tell until you try, I figures.

Old Jules

Sunday morning thoughts December 18, 2011

Good morning readers.  I’m obliged you came for a visit and read.

I’m going to start this morning by telling you something you ought to know already, but mightn’t:

Sometimes I take myself a lot more seriously than is justified by my history of being ‘right’ compared to my history of being ‘wrong’.  People who’ve known me forever are acutely aware of this.  The terms, ‘alarmist‘ and ‘melodramatic‘ have occasionally been used with brutal accuracy by people in a position to arrive at informed judgements.

Keep in mind I’m the guy who dumped a second career within a couple of years of being able to draw a hefty retirement check because I believed so thoroughly Y2K was going to happen, leading eventually to my current situation.  Keep in mind I also spent a lot of years climbing and unclimbing mountains searching for a lost gold mine I believed I’d find.

And keep in mind I don’t regret any of it.

So with all that in mind, I think those of you who read my ‘indefinite detention’ posts of the past few days would be well advised to examine other opinions, even though I still believe I’m generally right.  My believing it shouldn’t carry any weight for you.

Here’s another viewpoint offering up a mitigated set of possibilities regarding the same situation and the activities leading to it:

Addicting Info – The Knowledge You Crave http://tinyurl.com/cjs4xav

The NDAA Is A Horrible Bill, And Why Obama Is Going To Sign It
December 17, 2011 By Wendy Gittleson

If you’ve formed any opinions based on anything I’ve said here I think you owe it to yourself to read it.   Wendy Gittleson is certainly a lot more qualified to have an opinion than I am, most likely.  Even though I don’t necessarily agree.

Old Jules

Blind Chickens, Talking Diamonds and Greedy Galaxies

I’m aware some of you readers keep chickens.  If you’re having problems with blindness among them you might be interested in joining http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Free_Ranging_Chickens/ where there’s an interesting discussion going on about the problem.  This was the beginning post for the thread:

Blind Rooster
Posted: Sat Dec 3, 2011 5:47 am (PST)
Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this. Monday afternoon, I noticed two hens on the wrong side of the fence, so went to retrieve them, and find the rest of their little band. Found all but one rooster. Couldn’t find him in any of the “regular” places, but they do have lots of room to roam. Figured I’d check again before bedtime, as he’s usually the first one in. Didn’t show up. Put everyone else in, and went hunting, for feathers if nothing else:(. Well, I found him by the fence, but inside. Just sitting there. He let me pick him up without protest, but he’s always been laid-back. Still, I knew something was wrong. Put him in a different coop, with shelves instead of bar roosts. The next day he was down on the floor, walking around, but bumping into the screening for the duck section, and sitting in corners/nests. Realized his vision was at least partially gone. Blocked him in, and started antibiotics, since I had no idea what else to do. That night he was back up on the shelf, so he must have some vision, I guess. Wasn’t eating or drinking that I could see, just walked over everything. Brought him into the Hospital Unit (a carrier in my bathrooom :). He began to drink, and finally eat. He crows (oh, swell) but his cue seems to be noise rather than light. Put him outside yesterday (in a big crate) afternoon for some sun, but he just sat there. Some of the other chickens did come scratch around him, but he seemed oblivious.
His eyes look odd, not whiteish, but the center (behind the cornea and inside the iris, where it should be black) looks “solid”, if that makes any sense.

Any thoughts?

Free_Ranging_Chickens@yahoogroups.com

Meanwhile, you readers involved in clandestine, extra-marital relationships might be well-advised to remove your diamond jewelry before checking into some seedy motel. 

In the quantum world, diamonds can communicate with each other

December 2, 2011 By Joel N. Shurkin

The vibrational states of two spatially separated, millimeter-sized diamonds are entangled at room temperature by scattering a pair of strong pump pulses (green). The generated motional entanglement is verified by observing nonclassical correlations in the inelastically scattered light. Credit: Dr. Lee and colleagues, Image Copyright Science|AAAS  http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-12-quantum-world-diamonds.html

Elsewhere in the news, the 99% movement has suffered a disturbing setback with the discovery we live in a greedy galaxy, gobbling up smaller galaxies.  http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-11-beast-tails.html

Barred Spiral Milky Way. Illustration Credit: R. Hurt (SSC), JPL-Caltech, NASA

The Milky Way galaxy continues to devour its small neighbouring dwarf galaxies and the evidence is spread out across the sky.

Government and Wall Street Cray computers working on the problem tentatively estimate the 99 percenters are actually 0.000000000000001 percenters galaxy-wide.  Political and financial-industry hired-guns are working three shifts to prepare television documentaries and PR campaigns to assist in correcting the error.

In a related story, multi-national corporations and Wall Street banks have hired a team of astrophysicists and astronomers to study black holes in an effort to develop more thorough strategies and techniques to solidify and expand their holdings.  Additionally, the illustration on the right suggests black holes might also provide improved methods in the use of pepper-spray.

“An optical image of the sky showing the location of the black hole, Cygnus X-1. (Right) An artist’s conception of the black hole system, showing the black hole drawing material towards it from a massive, blue companion star. This material forms a disk and jets that emit radiation. Credit: Optical: DSS; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

“Black holes are among the most amazing and bizarre predictions of Einstein’s theory of gravity. A black hole is thought to be point-like in dimension, but it is surrounded by an imaginary surface, or “edge,” of finite size (its “event horizon”) within which anything that ventures becomes lost forever to the rest of the universe.”  http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-11-black-hole-unmasked.html

The overall optimism derived from these stories was something I wanted to share with you readers to lift whatever waning spirits you might experiencing his crisp, rainy morning.

Old Jules

The Great Tick Migration – Occupy Texas

I wrote this when I lived in Socorro, New Mexico, but I’d guess it’s as timely and germane today as it was then.

It’s sad, but they have to migrate: there’s no good water in the Rio Grande anymore.  It’s all sewage passed downstream from Albuquerque and other towns. 
 
This was almost home to them. Their ancestors arrived with the first cattle drives from Texas in the 1880s. But finally they’ve had enough. Lemming-like they’ve decided as one to return home, Lone Star Ticks to the Lone Star State, same as those invading Confederate Texas humans had to finally stagger and stumble home when things took a turn for the worst..
 
This far south they’ve just begun to gather; just started to come out from under the grassleaves, the treebark, stragglers still coming out of the brush. The main migration gathering is further north in the Isleta lands, Lost Lunas, and up by Belen. 
 
There they’ve mostly already grouped. They’ve dropped off the rats, cows, deer, dogs and coyotes. The earliest ones are drifting south ahead of the others. They’re the lucky ones. Those got far enough south yesterday to find a stray muskrats along the river and get a little something to eat. The stragglers will find it hard going.
 
It’s sad, but hopeful: tiny seed ticks huddling close to their mamas at night, the great herd constricting in the cold dark, mama and daddy ticks worrying about the great crossing of the Jornada del Muerto, about the dearth of animals on the Jornada. But also knowing in their tiny network of neurons passing for a brain, that once further south, things will still not be easy……the migration there, the gathering will have already emptied the countryside of hosts, bloodmeals will be a rarity.
 
When those Isleta and Lost Lunas ticks get as far south as Socorro, the southern ticks will have eaten away everything available. Fishermen will know something’s up by then; they’ll be staying away from the river bottom country sensing some new thing, some change in the atmosphere near the river, hectored by the early gathering; the dogs, the feral cats, the rodents, all driven away from the river bottom by the strange new presence of so many tiny pests. 
 
The animals left will be sucked dry. Probably when the latecomers reach Socorro they’ll have to take their chances in town. Maybe they’ll find pets or townspeople for a last meal before they try to cross the dreaded Jornada del Muerto.
 
Some of them will drift up onto the freeway to find broken-down motorists with flat tires or dead batteries. Truck drivers stopped to urinate by the road or unsuspecting drunks sleeping with the window opened a crack to release the foul tobacco smoke from inside the car will save a few. Maybe an unlucky hitchhiker sleeping under a bridge or one of the frequent escapees from the prison or jail; some hapless hobo along the railroad, waiting for the next train.
 
If the motorist doesn’t get bitten by too many at once there’ll be a chance for a jump south by vehicle across the Jornada and avoiding the hard crossing….a quick ride to Cruces, or Truth or Consequences, or El Paso for a small group if they don’t get greedy and just take it easy on the driver. But so many of these younger ticks want everything now. 
 
It might be hard going for them when they get down toward Cruces. That’s where they’ll first meet the newly arrived fire ants. Also, those deep southern ticks will resent their presence, nudging their little fat grey bodies aside as they scramble in a fold of flesh for a foothold and a meal. And ahead, Texas.

The ancestral homeland.
Renewal.
 
Yes, it’s sad, of the hundreds of millions of ticks starting home; tens of millions won’t make it. There’ll be stained smudges on the freeway where they try to cross, but many run over by recklessly speeding cars.

Thousands clogging the river with their tiny carcasses where the water rose unexpectedly during a crossing, catching many unaware, the long march, the trail of tears, the trek home; so many dead, so many lost, the seed ticks, the mama ticks, the large swollen soft ticks shriveled and wrinkled with hardship….so many friends left back there along the trail, so many loved ones, lost, so many seed ticks lying there in the massive killing fields along the route. 
 
But they’ll do as they can, do as they are able, do as they must, heading south on that lonely migration that long dusty trek, always knowing they won’t be welcomed by their distant kinsmen.

The plethora of ticks in Texas, those hungry, selfish younger generation ticks will push and shove on the hosts, fighting for the best positions in and behind the ears, high on the necks where teeth can’t reach, tiny skirmishes and struggles for position everywhere; on cows, on dogs, on rodents, in the thick hair of women and unreconstructed hippy men in cowboy hats..
 
As always, those selfish Texas ticks will not agree to share their bounty. They’ll fight despite the sad happiness of the return of their distant relations. 

 Old Jules
 

So what happens when you lose light speed? Occupy CERN!

A theory,” Robert Frost observed, “If you hold it hard enough and and long enough gets listed as a creed.”   “And people build castles on it,” observes Old Jules.

A September report from CERN giving results of neutrino experiments might rattle some expensive real estate underneath castles so solid we don’t even think of them as ‘theory’.   Neutrino bunches, they found, were moving at speeds higher than light speed.  60 billionths of a second faster than light doesn’t sound like much, but it was enough to raise a lot of naysaying and protests the results couldn’t be valid.

The experiments were repeated, this time taking into account the factors that might account for result errors.  Now those results are out.  Those Communist neutrino SOBs are STILL going faster than light speed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15791236

Lousy news for all manner of certainties of physics stacked precariously atop old Albert’s theory that became a creed.  But nobody cares about neutrinos anyway and how fast they go.  The smart approach would be to just ignore it and not let it foul the nests of everyone working on all manner of important other theories they figured on becoming creeds.

But if you can’t trust a neutrino, who can you trust?  What other Communists and anarchists are skulking and going faster than light and not getting caught at it because it would violate the speed limit and nobody was playing cop?

The world of people who call themselves scientists because they’ve read and memorized what people getting their hands dirty put forward as theory and adopted it as a creed to say back and forth to one another doesn’t like to be banged around this way.  Yanking the rug out of things they memorized creates all manner of conversational difficulties.  Now when they say something they memorized there’s a chance someone who memorized something different will say that back.  Instead of two people reassuring one another how mutually smart they are, how well they both understand everything, you get this pack of mooshy uncertainties and blank looks.

All because of something so small nobody can see it anyway.

Who cares how fast a neutrino goes, anyway?  It doesn’t exceed light speed because 10,000 grant applications are based on premises relying on light speed being the speed limit.

Everyone hates cops and snitches.

Occupy CERN.

Old Jules

 

 

Unanimity

She was the mayor
Of course
Chief of the cops
Dog catcher
And sometimes ran
The sewer plant
Owned the bar
The grocery store
The factory
And bank.
Although the berg was small
It always seemed larger
When the yes-men
Those yes-men she served
Those little people
Saluted

Old Jules