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I wasn't looking for trouble. They were Gang, I was white.
I couldn't pass.
The insults. The lines.
I was too tired.
I turned, squared off, at fifty; and asked the crew 'Who is the Man'.
Subtle gestures pointed to one sitting on a porch. He wasn't that imposing, but he was surrounded by others who were.
I stepped up. Nodded at one on the porch to move.
He surprisingly give up his seat.
Tre and I didn't know how to deal with this.
So I asked "Have you ever flown in a Plane?"
He said no.
So I told him, in front of his crew. 'Meet me at ..." with no clue how I would make this happen.
The next morning I was at' ...Field'. The deskman/field co-ord thought me crazy.
I explained. It didn't touch him. You just don't go to a small field and expect a flight. It doesn't work that way.
I pulled out my checkbook. I signed a blank check. I know Av-Gas is over $5.00/gal and I've got less that twenty in my bank.
I tried to explain again how much this would mean, sweating, before Tre showed up.
Maybe I had been to one too many Burningman's.
Tre showed up. We are at a small field. One of the last left in the inner small city of a large town.
I turned. Not knowing what to say.
He trusted me. A White man passing his portion of a Hood.
Tre showed up.
I let him down. As every other father figure, cop, or god knows who... had let him down.
A wizened man I hadn't noticed (if I did, I thought he a drunk passed out on the plastic chairs) sat up and said. 'Jim, gas me up'.
I was expecting the guy behind the counter to throw him a bottle of Old Crow.
Jim left us to pump a Cessna sitting too long as me and Tre...well...there is only one way to say this...
As MEN we individually pondered the wisdom of trusting this 80 year old sot with our lives in a small plane that was held together by bailing wire.
Bailing wire. Good typo. I know planes. This was a piece of shit with no parachutes!
Tre...Tre didn't know any better. His manhood. Pride. His Ego had him as trapped as I.
We flew. Me in the back scared as shit knowing better. Tre in the front not caring just trying to not scream 'Yahoo!' as he had never flown in his life.
Landing, hard, I could tell. He saw his 'Hood' from the air and...maybe it was just me, but he seemed bigger from seeing things smaller.
I'll never know.
I never saw him again. I moved on in life.
But I will always wonder.
Wonder why he trusted me. Wonder all those things.
Sorry to bore...just nostalgic...
On his radio-graphic studies, the MRI of most of his cervical spine on the PAC system from Dec. 12, 2011, shows advanced degenerative changes with a collapse of the C5-C6 and C6-C7 disk spaces. He has bilateral uncinate-process spurs that are probably a little bit worse on the right side than the left at C5-C6. The rest of the disks look normal. he does have a very large hypertrophic arthritic facet on the left at C4-C5 that is kind of where he is pointing to in his neck that hurts so much, but there is no canal compromise at any other level other than the neuroforaminal stenosis at the C5-C6 and C6-C7'
Cervical spondylosis without myeloradiculopathy.
Advanced degenerative disk disease at the C5-C6 and C6-C7.
Severe arthritic facet on the left at C4-C5.
Bilateral neuroforaminal stenosis on the right worse than the left, at C5-C6, but pretty much symmetric at C6-C7.
Left upper extremity radiculitis versus peripheral nerve entrapment.
...pain clinic for a cervical epidural steroid to try and calm things down and maybe consider a left cervical facet block at C4-C5...
*Regarding surgery fusing my spine*
...for sure he would have a C5-C6 and C6-C7, but honestly, he would be required to do the C4-C5 too because he has a very arthritic facet at that level...
It's not a fun read, but is so well documented with valid source cites that I have been forced to question much of what I learned to be the 'Truth' from grade school through college (Political Science/Government major). We, as a people, should know better. From the Burningman Org. to the preacher in the pulpit (no matter the faith). We should know better. But we don't. Time and again. We deceive ourselves. Time and again. I am seeking the truth of this in myself and I do not like what I see. Makes me wish for a kinder gentler reality, but something in my nature compels me to seek the truth even if it is ugly and hurts.
Hopefully my next post/blog will be more upbeat and life affirming. For now...I suspect the physical pain coupled with depression is fueling some psychic pain.
I'd apologize, but most of my friends are strong enough to deal with it. If you can't, you are always free to un-friend me.
Have a nice day
I'm in pain. Higher than usual. I'm cranky and lashing out at those close to me. Please consider me a wounded bear in a den licking his hurts. In other words... this would be a very bad time to poke me with sharp sticks.
I know some of Y'all want to comfort me. Fix me.
You can't, but I appreciate the Human gesture of simply wanting to heal a friend in pain or hurting because of loved one's hurt.
Thank you, All of you! for allowing me to be a part of your lives.
I don't know much, but I do know that we can not do this thing called 'Life' alone.
I hope to be back in full force writing soon, but for now...this is where I am at.
I'm sick and tired of you left wing socialist commie tree hugging media biased intellectual non-god fearing free thinking liberal progressive Obama supporting hippies using your so called science to claim Man has anything to do with your so called global warming! I watch Fox News and all of our problems are those damn (forgive me, Lord) Democrats in Washington! How do I know this to be the word of our Savior Jesus Christ? Because I listen to AM radio and Rush Limbaugh amongst others completely agree with the only real network in the world that is fair and balanced and I will die before you take away my 27 assault rifles or make me pay for health care or any taxes in general. It's a matter of principle! But I will pray for your immortal soul to be saved before you burn eternally in Hell!!!
My buzz is harshed and my chakras out of alignment from your manifestation of right wing fascist military industrial complex destroying mother nature narrow minded reactionary hate mongering Gaea denying consumerism wrapped in a sermon of fear based christianity out of context bible reading no other books allowed home schooled bullies telling me that comedy central is not a valid news source! I read Thoreau and the New Yorker and people with a lot of letters after their name so I know that my path is in tune with the Universe when I cut and paste 5 slogans a day on FB gently chiding your anachronistic world view. How do I know this to be the universal consciousness? Because when I get high I hear voices from higher beings like overlord Xenu and they all say the same thing! Only Love will cure your AK 47 wielding paranoia and my Intention is to Hold Space for you as I chant Om and walk without fear into your gated compound to give you a much needed hug thereby Manifesting world peace.
'A letter to Bob - Flying the de Havilland Gipsy Moth' by Grant Wells.
Grant was a Pan American Airline mechanic on Guam when the Japanese attacked and spent the next 5 years in a POW camp.
My Father was a Pan Am pilot at the time, flying the China Clippers. Sikorsky's. Caribbean route during the war.
How we all ended up in Vacaville, CA is another story, but I was best friends with Jimmy Watkins, Grants Grandson, and our parents attended the same Church (Church of Christ. Every Sun morning, evening, and Wednesday to boot).
Jim's dad, Jerry Watkins, was a 'Preacher/Pilot'. He flew for TWA and pissed off his Co-Workers by always leaving a 'Jesus Saves' sticker on the Yoke after a flight.
By then, my Dad was grounded by diabetes and was working for Pan Am as an Airport Manager.
One of my first memories of the Cold War was going to work with him when I was a kid and seeing B-52's lined up on Nuclear Alert at Travis AFB. The pervasive fear of living next to a major military installation was palpable.
Anyways...Grant Wells wrote a few books. 'Funny Face' I remember was a touchimg one. It was about a dog and a Pilot and the Afterlife, but the one I called the Vacaville Reporter (local newspaper) and the Vacaville Heritage Council about was the short story about the de Havilland.
I googled and googled and googled some more.
It doesn't exist in electronic format.
Neither does Grant Wells. An amazing man who died a few years ago at 97 and had lived a life worthy of memory.
I can Google my paltry existence, but he and my Dad don't exist online.
That doesn't seem right. These men were true pioneers of Aviation.
Aviation has been in my blood since I first looked up at the skies. Every year we would take a family vacation to some exotic country. By 18 I was flying the world on C-5 Galaxy's. I didn't know until recently how blessed I was. To be exposed to different cultures since childhood. It just seemed...normal to me. I mean, Y'all have a well worn Passport don't you?!
But this isn't about me.
I want to Honor my Fathers.
Pilots, Aviators, Innovators, FAA ground breakers, Seekers, and Family Men.
As Grant Wells wrote, and as was printed in his obituary, "To those of us who have been, that others may be."
Must be a guy thing.
Last night I to bed watching the History Channel.
Usually fact based. A good 'nod off' as it's usually boring as sin.
They are doing a thing about Black Holes.
I roll over on my side smiling anticipating dropping off quickly.
10 minutes in, they get a guy on saying that there may be a Black Hole under the Bermuda Triangle. I sit straight up going 'WTF'?!
Like, if a Black hole existed on Earth, it wouldn't be localized, it would be at the center of the planet eating mass.
We even have instruments measuring gravity in orbit.
This 'Theory' is 'Pseudo-Science', yet the History Channel just devoted 20 of 30 minutes to 'Yeah, but maybe if you suspend your logic for 1/2 an hour, we can sell you a show.'.
I see crap like this all around me. And I'm not talking Third World educationally challenged Nations. One of Three USA citizens believe in ghosts, guardian angles, and other unverifiable nonsense.
When did we Americans decide to suspend our rational thinking?
Did anybody here besides me take Science courses in College? Critical thinking?? Math?!
(I recently had a conversation with a Baptist Bible collage student who quoted me chapter and verse why the Earth couldn't possibly be more than 6,800 years old. His goal was to become a Teacher!).
One of the hardest Semesters I had at CSUS was when I was on the debate team and a course that greatly influenced me was 'Argumentation Analysis'. Researching both sides of an issue and being aware of fallacies of logic seem to escape faith based folk and hippies in general (I once had a hippie in Colorado point to a plane in the sky and say " See! That's proof the Government is spraying chemicals to control our minds!". As an Aviator I tried to explain, scientifically, the formation of Con trails at high altitude by jet aircraft. My reasoning fell on deaf ears.)
I would also argue from what I've seen posted here too often, that it is also beyond the realm of reason for some to civilly discuss complex issues currently headlined in our country. Instead the Left/Right polemic cut n paste jobs are far too common. I've seen it on both sides especially living in the tarnished buckle of the bible belt where Fox News is the gospel for most. You are what you eat, I guess. That's one reason I don't post/talk politics or religion. Mostly.
But when it comes to science, I draw a line. Facts are facts and no amount of wishful thinking will change that!
That said...I have had a few experiences in my life that I cannot rationally explain (I'll share one in just a sec). As I close in on the end of my days, I find that I am becoming more flexible in some ways...one I guess you'd call 'spiritual'.
I am more willing to say 'I don't know'.
ex. When I was 26, I was the Chairman of the Board for student govt. at Sac State. Budget 3.6 mill, BMOC, member of the Sig Ep Fraternity, smoking hot GF who loved to...you know...and I found myself at a lake in the Sierra's with a gun in my hand pointed at my temple.
I don't know how long I sat there cocked and loaded, but in the quiet of a still night a voice came to me. I don't believe it was aural, but I also don't believe that it came from my mind. It was...other. 5 words. Clear and concise. True from balls to bone.
The message, the words were "This is not your path".
Since that night I have felt suicidal. Who hasn't? But it's a place that I never have to go because of those 5 simple words from...something other than me.
Where was I...oh yeah (Sorry. Y'all know I tend to ramble as I just sit and type whatever some mornings) Pseudo Science!
I hate hate hate folk who spout nonsense and when called out on it can not justify their logic but instead ask me to just accept that it must be true. Kinda reminds me of when I was a kid and I would ask my Dad something. He would respond with the stock parent answer 'Because'. That never sat well with me. By the age of 8, I quit asking and started reading.
I fear for my species and weep for my country sometimes.
If the majority of Americans do not start opening their minds, researching the issues, vetting claims, when posting...source citing reputable publications; as opposed to saying 'I saw it on the Internet so it must be true' (and every time that you cross post or cut n paste an issue without commentary or analysis that is EXACTLY what you do!) I will pull a 'Rush Limbaugh' and emigrate to whatever Third World Nation that he ain't in!
Whew! Heck of a rant. I don't know about you, but I feel drained. Musta needed to get some shit out. Speaking of...it's time for my morning three esses.
While I am gone I'd like Y'all to debate Twin Tower conspiracies, UFO abductions, and Playa floggings.
Proposal is due in about two weeks, extensions can be made. There is a budget of $3800. If interested email: email@example.com
I'm just cross posting here because of the language barrier. I am fluent in New Zealandese as well as Australian speak.
Iffn Y'all didn't know...I write extemporaneously. I just sit and type. I often don't know where my Blogs are going, but this far in it comes to me to write about recovery. Kiedis survived heroin, coke, alcohol, and pretty much any damn thing you can think of. Me...I've been sober awhile and in the past went to AA. so, here we go...
When I was 32, I was in a relationship that was abusive and alcohol was the primary factor. BTW it was my one and only 'bad' relationship and I learned as much from that crazy tormented woman as I did from my 'good' ones. Only backwards. Things like never ever ever date a woman who has jealousy issues. Things like the power that I give a woman over me esp. in re sex can be broken and taken back. Anyways, I went to AA thinking that if I just got sober it would fix everything. I know, I know. I was naive. I quit, she didn't. It took me a year to escape from the insanity that was me and Jolene. The last time I saw her she was living in a shack in the country outside Dixon, CA. Her skin was yellow, she had scars where her skin had succomed(sp?) to some weird flesh deseise(what the hell is up with spell check today!) and she wanted wine and sex. In that order. I left and never looked back. I spent the next 7 years sober. 3 1/2 active in AA, 3 1/2 on my own. One thing that surprised me was that I experienced 1 year of severe depression in the middle of that sobriety time. I always thought that the episodes of depression were because I was drinking too much. Now here I was sleeping on the floor of a Comic shop in Sacramento.
Brief aside here. Two things will kill your Security Clearance in the Military (besides many others like being Gay until recently). Having a drinking problem and depression. I always Laugh to myself when the inevitable question comes 'Have you ever contemplated suicide?'. As I lie through my teeth I wonder who in the hell HASN'T thought about suicide?!! and BTW...I'd had a few beers in High School, but it was the Military that REALLY taught me to drink!
Back to my story.
I've been sober awhile. The other day I was out and about with my Sister and she was probing into my sobriety. Anyone out there that has or has had an addiction knows that it is impossible to explain it to what we call a 'Normy'. She asked about my support system as I am not and do not plan on doing the 'AA thing'. I mentioned Y'all here, the many phone numbers I use as needed, and an understanding and acceptance of my self that is profound in a way that I can only describe as 'Spiritual'. Her thinking (and she is an MD mind you) is that if you don't attend AA on a regular occasion and immerse yourself in 'The Program' you are setting yourself up for failure. I've been there and done that. Not to pooh pooh AA, I learned a lot there and recommend it highly to anyone seeking help! I just...moved on. I did take with me a lot of 'tools' that I still use, but it's just not for me at this time in my life. I know that as clearly as I know that my Daughter loves me unconditionally.
Back to Sis. I answered her question with this "Marcia. How did people stay sober before 1935 when AA was founded?". She couldn't answer, but I know the Truth. It is inside me and it may ONLY be true for me, but I know the Truth.
Now, I know this is a long ass post, but I thought it important to share more than a cute poster, quote, or political polemic. My life was meant to be shared fully. Warts and all.
Besides...I know some of you are in pain. Hell, I've known personally in the flesh friends over 10 men and women in the Burner Community that have committed suicide (I stopped counting at one point)!!!
I recommend the last two books I read. 'Scar Tissue' and 'Bonhoeffer - Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy' by Eric Metaxas. Both men were inspirational in their own ways for having had an incredibly tough journey through this thing called 'Life'.
That is all.
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