Thursday, November 29, 2007

Duty First .....But Come Back To Us

An open letter to the children of my Oklahoma friends and neighbors....

My fellow Oklahomans, on your way to the internal screams of battle and a boring sandy mind numbing hell, please go into this with your eyes opened to the paradox of your deployment.

Consider that Bush-Cheney-Rove have shat upon the Veterans of my war, the Vietnam War to gain personal power for themselves.
Consider that they could even drive a wedge between the Vets from Nam, see swift boat stuff.
Consider that what ever their spin, they were cowards and avoided the unpopular war.
Consider that they would "out" or let be "outed" a whole secret CIA operation countering weapons of mass destruction to discredit one of their political critics.
Consider that losing three out of four limbs in Nam is not enough of a hero for them, that they won't lie through their teeth about him, see Max Clealand.
Consider that having the shit beat out of you in a North Vietnam prison is not enough to be a hero in their eyes.
Consider that they are willing to torture the innocent and the guilty and won't listen to military veterans who say that is no more than sadism and does nothing for intelligence.
Consider that your Commander in Chief is a hypocrite, a lire, and self serving to the n'th degree.

Now consider, what do you expect out of these people.
Don't be fooled by the accolades you are receiving now.
Don't be blinded by the shinny bling and the flying flags.
Don't be fooled that any of these people care a whit about you at all.
They are already lying about you. When you come home and are unemployed, you won't even be counted in the unemployment statistics. If you die there your body will be snuck back into the country under the cover of darkness.
If you get PTSD while in country you will probably be sent home with general discharge and no veterans benefits.
And on and on and so forth....

The point is simple: Your duty is your duty.

You took an oath to do it.

So do it.

Do it well.

Do it with pride.

But never believe you will be respected or loved for doing it. As an example, remember how much glory the soldiers who fought against the Red Army in Siberia received when they came home in 1920.
What you have never heard of them?
See if you can find a monument to the cold warriors who died flying secret mission over the Soviet Union in the 1950s.
And so forth and so on.......

It is not the mission, it is the duty.

The mission is a job.

Duty is your honor.

These dorks in the administration are cowards and users. They are using you and squandering your duty.
Don't expect more from them. To them heroes are a stumbling blocks to their goals.
Stick close your buddies and close to your families and expect little from anyone else.
Most, but not all, Oklahomans will support you and love you.
When you look into the mirror and wonder who that is you see there, remember that at your home in Oklahoma your are still loved and welcomed.
You will be welcomed home here.
Come back to us.

I salute you.

The Center of Time and Place

A poetic comment on the 4% versus the 96% versus what it means.


All of my todays
fall into yesterdays,
and all of my todays
are yesterdays'
Here is there,
and there is everywhere,
and only Now
touches Eternity.
Now is where I Am,
and where I am too,
and will be
for today.
-----William Sandia

I am a fan of Robert Frost and William Sandia plus other wordsmiths and plan to leave their gifts here from time to time. Poetry doesn't get enough respect for containing the Truth as it should these days.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Photons are Dark Matter/Energy Hypothosis

Somebody somewhere probably has already thought this one up but I'll throw it out on the web anyway.

It is now believed that 0.4% of the cosmos is composed of the stars, planets, and other objects we see. Also 3.6% is composed of gases and such that we can also see or detect. The remaining 94% is composed of Dark Matter (23%) and Dark Energy (73%). That is the stuff that is not seen or detected.
What is that Dark Stuff, why it is all them photons. It must be. I mean we can't see that 4% until a photon hits it and then the photon must travel all the way from there to here to be seen. Doesn't that mean that there are photons going all over the place in every direction all the time. Space has to be full of these durn things. Dark matter and Dark Energy are Photons. After all you can't detect a photon until it hits some of the 4% so it all makes sense in the Occam sort of way. 96% of the Cosmos/Universe is composed of photons. We can't see them because they are to us kind of like air was to the ancient Egyptians, unknown except when it hit something.
Of course we aren't really sure what photons are otherwise except that if Dark Matter and Dark Energy are Photons then Photons are about three quarters energy and one quarter matter.
Now that is two hypothesises for the price of one.
Drlobojo Hypot-one
Drlobojo Hypot-two
More will come I bet you.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

VIETNAM Visuals: Page One

Once upon a time I wanted to be a professional photographer.
Heck, I was even admitted to Brooks Institute in photography but I didn't go.
I did go to Vietnam however and a I took a camera.

In fact I wore out two cameras while there due to the dust grit and humidity.
While doing so I took about 2000 photographs.

Self portrait Lai Khe at 337 RRU

All of the photographs were taken in 1968 and 1969 across South Vietnam.

Convoy gunner. Let's go to Phuc Vinh.

Some are strictly military subjects.

Skeeter my dog.  I had to leave her at Lai Khe when we went TDY with 1st Air Cav.

Some are just human interest.

Cobra fire at Lai Khe

All of them were taken by me and reflect where I was and what I was doing. Time to time I'll post groups of these. I've culled the 2000+ down to about 400 and will only show those.

Starlight scope, me, and my M-16 at the free fire zone.

"Air America" at Quan Loi.

Peat boat on the the Song Dong Nai

Bugs that bit me. The coin is a quarter.

Night soil (Honey) wagon.

Razor wire and sun

Two soldiers (she was our house "girl" and was actually a VC according to CID)

Song Dong Nai

Thursday, November 22, 2007

From There On, It's All Gravy

I'm sitting at a table in the Fellowship Hall at Church where we are sharing our Thanksgiving turkey with other people in the community and congregation that did not have family to be with this season. An older gentleman (I'm old but he was older) was sitting across from me when someone asked a question about my Army service. When I used the words security agency his face lit up like a lamp. You were in the ASA? he asked.

The next forty minutes was a delightful trip back into history. He was one of the first 32 soldiers in 1947 to be sucked into the black hole of the National Security Agency and it's auxiliary service the Army Security Agency. As a private and 18 years old, he was one of the agency's first cryptologist.. Twenty years latter I followed him into a full blown agency of a much greater size and scope. And today, after forty years more, well you don't really want to know about what it does.

Our conversation took me back to one of the pivotal points of my life. That was when I left the Army and the agency. From that point on, I knew it was going to be all gravy. I had made it home alive. My mind was screwed up, my soul somewhat tattered, some of my was hearing was gone, had a disease acquired from not drinking enough bad water in Africa and Asia, but I was otherwise intact, and alive. I had beat the odds. From here it was all gravy and it has been. Easy no, but no one has tried to kill me since. No problems, not hardly but no one died when I made a mistake. No responsibility, I wish, but there has been a lot of that. However, since Nam, no one died when I did my job right.

You see it has been all gravy from that point on.

On this day of all days I am most grateful to be here, and that I came home alive.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Modest Grump Of A Prayer For Oklahoma

My good friend and fellow Blogger The Erudite Redneck who got me into to this shit in the first place has posted a Thanksgiving Centennial prayer on his web site.
(someday soon I'll learn how to put them blogs out to the side, that I read and recommend)

So he inspired me (that doesn't sound right somehow) to do my own little grump of a prayer.

A modest and alternate prayer:
Lord of Life, maybe we should not look too hard towards Oklahoma's historical past for lessons on how to follow you into the future.

I mean, dear Jesus, we made sure that Jim Crow was alive and well at the State Constitution Convention, and even though the Choctaw and Cherokees were there in force we included a segregation clause against Indians that wasn't repealed until 1969. The five tribes of course traded that clause for their two Indian only colleges in Durant and Tahlequah and because they were afeared of the political clout of them wild Indians to the west in Oklahoma Territory.

Come to think of it Jim Crow himself was a compromise between the separatist Blacks and the separatist Whites. The Blacks traded old Crow for Langston University and autonomy for their black towns. So our history is a series of compromise of the radicals not the wishes of the main steam.

Now we look at today after 100 years Lord and see them radicals at work again race baiting for personal gain and political power.

Dear Jesus as I look at our centennial events and squint just a bit, I see a line that is drawn between them and us. We give them bread and circus in the ball park and reserve the personal close up pleasures for those with the money to buy them and the elite contacts to get the tickets in the first place.

As usual Lord we parade out the required tame Indians and Blacks to ride the required floats, but we are damn sure not going to let them Mexicans get any historical credit for making Oklahoma. Although they owned the place for 200 years, it is not politically correct to remember anything they did here.

As for the French, well we best not bring them up at all.

I do, dear Jesus, give thanks that the Indian Princess bride of Indian Territory this year was not wearing buckskins and moccasins as in former re-enactments and that the White male Oklahoma Territory groom wasn't in his usual boots, spurs,six gun, and other Cowboy attire. I am sorry, Jesus, that we none the less saw fit to do the wedding of the two territories anyway as in the past. Of course what they always leave out is Teddy Roosevelt there with his damn shotgun forcing these two into an illegal racially mixed marriage. I'd like to see that aspect portrayed some day Jesus .

And last dear Lord, I thank you for the near $100 a barrel oil prices recently that allowed us to finance this celebration without a tax increase that we would have never in a million years got through the legislature.

I tell you what, Lord, you give us another 100 years and we'll do better, I'm sure.
Of course, I won't be here to account for it, so I can't make any hard and fast trades offs with you to get your blessings. So I am counting on your advanced sense of humor Lord to make the deal.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Oklahoma State Song Needs to Go Away!

It is Time to change our State Song and get rid of this Broadway fiasco of a picture of Oklahoma. We can do a lot better. Our State Song has some real fine lines of dumb in it.
Here is the whole thing. I shall dissect it down page.

Brand new state!
Brand new state, gonna treat you great!
Gonna give you barley, carrots and pertaters,
Pasture fer the cattle, Spinach and termayters!
Flowers on the prarie where the June bugs zoom,
Plen'y of air and plen'y of room,
Plen'y of room to swing a rope!
Plen'y of heart and plen'y of hope.
where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk
Makin' lazy circles in the sky.
We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say Yeeow! Ayipioeeay!
We're only sayin'
You're doin' fine, Oklahoma!
Oklahoma O.K.
where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk
Makin' lazy circles in the sky.
We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say Yeeow! Ayipioeeay!
We're only sayin' You're doin' fine, Oklahoma!
Oklahoma O.K.

Let's start with:"Gonna give you barley, carrots and pertaters, Pasture fer the cattle, Spinach and termayters!"

Now damn few places in Oklahoma raise barley, carrots, pertaters, Spinach and termayters. Maybe in in someones urban garden, but everywhere else it is wheat, cotton, milo, broom corn, watermelons, (potatoes maybe, but no pertaters) and such.

"Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk Makin' lazy circles in the sky."

Any damn fool knows that hawks don't fly at night. Obviously what they are looking at is an Owl.And owls don't fly high if there is a moon, so what are they looking through, night vision goggles?

"And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet When the wind comes right behind the rain."

If the wheat is ripe enough to wave, the last thing you want is rain. Besides wheat doesn't have distinct smell until you combine it. Alfalfa yes, Wheat no.

"Flowers on the prarie where the June bugs zoom"

The flowers are down in the draws, along the road sides, and the creek bottoms, not out on the open prairie. That stuff out there on the open prairies is called grass. In fact our state flower the parasite Mistletoe grows best in trees. And everybody knows the only place the damn June Bugs zoom is around your yard light.

"We know we belong to the land"

If we don't realize that, our bank will remind us. Just ask ole Tom Jode.

"Yeeow! Ayipioeeay!"

The only time I ever heard anyone in Oklahoma say that other than singing this weird song is when a tractor ran over their foot.

"Oklahoma O.K."

Wow, ain't that just fine I live somewhere that's just OK. I used to love to drive my car into California to see my C.I.O. relatives when my license plate said "Oklahoma is OK" on it.

Put all those song writers we have exported across America together somewhere in Oklahoma and let them write something that reflects their own state. Something with their hearts in it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

They Really Did Come West In Old Wagons

The family Wagon Company in Abingdon.

This year is the centennial of Oklahoma's Statehood. But my memories are going back to the Semi-Centennial in 1957. Some things I learned then are just now coming into focus.

I was twelve years old in 1957. That was the 50th anniversary of Oklahoma Statehood. That was a big deal, that celebration. Most probably it was a big deal cause I was 12 years old.

In my hometown of Frederick (actually I lived on a farm, 3 and1/2 mile west of Frederick on highway five) everybody had dug out their fathers' and gradfathers' pistols and rifles and old stuff from when they came to Oklahoma and displayed it in the store windows all along the full three blocks of main street. There was one display of wagon parts and people and horse bones and old barrels and such that someone had found in a blow out back in the dust bowl. It was a remnant of long ago from some poor soul that hadn’t made across the west. “Killed by Indians” was the placard in the window. Yep the county fair was real big that year, and we had a parade, and Tex Stevens the county commissioner’s son and I rode on the Fire Engine in the parade.

We also went up to Oklahoma City and my uncle JW took me and my two cousins Frank and Jimmy and we went to the Semi-Centennial Exposition at the State Fair grounds. I saw the GM car of the future, my first microwave (ate a hotdog cooked by it in 15seconds), heard my first stereo recording, and stood in line and got myself a commemorative state medal for free.

But the thing that had escaped my memory for all these years was what my father had told me about coming to Oklahoma himself. There were these wagons in Frederick displayed on the street corners as genuine pioneer wagons that had brought people to Oklahoma.
Well, my Dad poo-poo’d them by saying that they were just old farm wagons that people had ridden in to get here. We had one back at the farm that I played on all the time he told me.

This probably what the "old wagon" looked like new.

Combining several of his stories after 50 years it finally dawned on me that he was talking about the old wooden wagon without sideboards that he used to store his scrap metal and stuff on its bed up off of the ground. I knew the wagon was the one his father had brought to Oklahoma, but it had not registered that what he was saying was that his family road to Oklahoma in the wagon. He was saying that they were one of those pioneer families.

My dad was born in March 1908 in Tazewell, Indiana. I knew from family stories that his father had gotten crossways with his own family back in Virginia and had left to come West. My father had told me more than once that his father had built that old wagon, but he forgot to mention that he had built it at his Uncles’ xxxx Wagon Factory in Abingdon, Virginia and drove it westward for several years living in various places until he finally got to Oklahoma. My Dad would have been a toddler or two years old when my grandfather decided to stop in Quanah, Oklahoma and take up a plot of land.

A page from a brochure about the company's Dump Wagon.

Now I look back at that damn old wagon and realize that it was a family heirloom of sorts that connected me all the way back to Virginia and then Pennsylvania and all the way back to Switzerland almost 400 years ago. I don’t even have a photograph of it. The last time I saw it was in February of 1959 when my Dad had given up share crop farming and had sold off everything we owned in the way of farm equipment at auction. Some farmer bought the wagon and everything on it for $25. Now that was good money in 1959. My last visual is of it was it being pulled behind a pickup truck slowly down a dirt road.

Quanah, Oklahoma is long gone now, my dad is gone too. That old wagon was so well made that it might still be around. Maybe someday I'll go down there and scout out those old farms and see if I can find it.

We are in the 4%

This damn blogger system has eaten my brilliant posting three times in the last two days.

So I'm just posting the damn chart and let you wonder what the hell I said.
And wonder why the theologians are NOT aghast at the potential that this provides?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Gang of Youths Mauled by Bears!

Then he (Elisha) went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number. And he went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.

2 Kings 2;23-25

Wow, my Sunday School teachers never got to this story. So the Prophet Elisha is going up Mount Carmel to do some Jehovah work, and along the way going through some settlement or other a large gang of "lads" come out and mock him by hollaring "Go up, you baldhead" and he curses them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the trees and maul the shit out of the gang so much that 42 or them die.

Now this is interesting stuff. I might have paid more attention on Sunday mornings if this had been the topic. Let's see who was Elisha and what was he doing and why did he do this?

So I've wandered through a whole buch of versions of what this story means, but most of them didn't really tell me what this story means. But let's distill this a bit. Elisha was a farmer out plowing in his field one day when the Prophet Elijah came by and decide to adopt Elisha as his son so that someone would carry on the propheting when he Elijah had departed. So Elisha immediately kills the oxen with which he is plowing and breaks up the wooden plow and roast the oxen as a sacrifice to Jehovah commereating the adoption and his new role as a Prophet himself. Well I've polwed fields and I can safely say that Elisha probably got a kick out killing those stuborn oxen and burning that heavy damn near usless plow even though it probably ment his true family would go hungrey over the winter. So here is a dude that is compulsive and dreamy eyed enough to leave everything and follow a magician of sorts. Sort of like running off to join the circus.

Then in the not too distant future(7 or 8 years), Elijah leaves earth and goes up into heaven on a fiery chariot in a whirlwind. While departing Elijah throw over his cloak aka mantle to Elisha and Elisha asks Jehovah for a double portion of Elijah's spirit.

Now Elisha starts doing miracles and such, causing the caliche infestation of the local soil to go away and making the water good and so on.
So with the kids or lads mock him with go-up go-up they are refering to the story he has told about Elijah. After all he was the only one who saw it, and it is a fabulous tale. As for the bald head, well I don't know where that comes from, generally it is genectic though.

I am curious about the two she bears. Bears don't travel together much at all, even back then. Two she bears might have been a mother daughter arrangement but doesn't seem likely. Mothers bears run their kids off about the second year. They might have been sisters, or they may have been lesbian bears. Anyway they were instruments of Jehovah as he honored the curse of his phrophet Elisha and sent them to kill and maul the gang of youths. Now that must have sent a message.

Looking through the commentary on the web and elsewhere Eisha is always vindicated for his actions and of course Jehovah needs no vindication for he is Jehovah after all. Anyhow, this is the kind of story that needs more telling.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Sell Your Home With Jesus' Family Reality

I was listening to an otherwise mundane radio program about the current home mortgage crisis in America. Then somehow it turned into a promotion for Saint Joseph selling your real estate. I went what.....?

I love strange catalogues. This time of year we get a lot of them. So thumbing through several of them and marking things for possible future acquisition for in law Christmas presents I ran across two adds for Saint Joseph statues.

This one is a straight forward statue to honor and protect your home.
After all Gods' earthly stepfather was a contractor/carpenter of the first century variety. It would seem, if you are a believer, logical to ask him to intercede about the welfare of your home.
Now this version was what the callers to the radio show were talking about.
Another kind of thing altogether. By the way, the radio program was on NPR.
I think the value of people's home may really be on their minds these days.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

From the Right Side of the Brain

Images often show so much more than the linear alphabet can transmit. Indeed, often the language we have can't form up or transmit some things at all. This is an image that seems straight forward at first with perhaps a simple message, but it is not.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Hotel Irma, Cody Wyoming

Rolled over the mountain pass east of Yellowstone as the snow plows cleared off the roads for one of the last times before winter closed it down. Along the slope of the old stinkwater river (now Shoshone) we found the moose, and drove on in to the town of Cody, Wyoming.

Looking for a place to stay we passed up some of the older places and the new chain motels and settled in at the Irma Hotel.

The Irma has a long history.* Built by Buffalo Bill Cody and named after his daughter Irma the hotel has seen a lot of history.

The Irma had a whole bunch of ghost wandering the halls and the dinning room and bar.

During the tourist season you couldn't have gotten a room here. It is a popular place during the summer, fact they have a "gunfight' every night on the street in front of the hotel.

I asked for one of the historical rooms and ended up in Irma's own room looking over the main street.

In the bar and dinning rooms the walls were covered with trophy heads from all sorts of places. One set of mountain sheep heads represented a "Super Slam"** shot by dude named Bob Dohse. Sounds like a Denny's breakfast menu doesn't it.

The food was fair, the ambiance was great, the coffee even better.

Most historic hotels and inns feel scrubbed or Disney-ish. Not this one. It was the real thing.

We hung out in Cody for three nights. Most times we ate at the Irma's dinning room and would sit with my son at Irma's own personal table next to the window on the street.

From the table the life of Cody wandered by. Hardly a tourist in the bunch this time of year. Across the street was the movie theater that opened at seven every evening to show one movie. If 6 people showed up they would run the movie. If not then you would have to wait or buy enough tickets to add up to six total.

From the table you could see the old cherry wood bar that Bill his own self drank at. To the right was portrait of Bill made by a shootist artist named Tom Frye with a pistol and bullets.

He should have signed his name with a BB gun.

Every once in while you got a reminder that the hunt was on.

But my favorite was the grizzly in the art gallery across the way. Every time the traffic light changed he would start running only to have to stop a few seconds later. At least that's the way it seemed after about three shots of Jack Daniels.