Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ummm … is this one of the outer rings of Hell?


Have you ever been driving along, distracted by conversation or thoughts about something coming up or events just past when … suddenly you realize that the surroundings don’t look familiar?  Or particularly friendly?

Driving through time and events to Lafawnda’s wedding on Saturday has been relatively glitch free.  Most of that can be laid at the feet of Lafawnda and her friends with the able guidance and assistance of the Lady F.  They have been ahead of the curve at every step of the journey and things are proceeding quite nicely.

With the possible exception of the Old Fossil himself.  It all began in late January when the Lady F and I joined a new and quite vigorous exercise program.  Hoo boy!  It took me about two weeks to really screw up the arthritis in my lumbar region and send pain shooting down my left leg.

I quit the program and started my own rehab.  I got a Bowflex machine – marvelous exercise machine and I love it! – and did a lot of walking.  Believe it or not, with careful work, it took me 4 months to get rid of the pain in my leg.  But …

When I was doing a yoga move  - and I lay the blame squarely on Ramana simply because I know him and he is from India, more solid reasons than people generally use when laying blame – I experienced an intense pain, a cramp, in my lower abdomen.  Sheesh.  More rehab.

So, I’ve been working around that for two months.  Recently it has gotten worse rather than better and it had all the symptoms of a hernia!  Finally, last Friday, I went to the doctor and it was confirmed that I had a hernia.  Well, it didn’t have ALL the manifestations of a hernia, but it had all the symptoms right down the line.  So, I was sent to a specialist.  My strategy was to find out how we could patch me together to get through the wedding and all the visiting family, then do the dreaded surgery afterward if that was needed!

So, I go to the specialist yesterday.  Turns out that I have something called Epididymitis, which mimics a hernia beautifully but is nowhere near as serious.  At least in my case it is not.  So, the show is back on!

Then, the insurance company decided that our insurance was inactive.  Inactive?  Even the insurance people said we were paid through the end of September!  So, at a time when we are pretty tapped fiscally, we get to write a check to the specialist.

OK, this gets better.  They discovered that the problem is that we have the wrong policy number on our cards.  Even though it is the same policy number they use on our bills!  And they had neglected to ever send us new cards!  Oy.  The dingbats are still trying to get their act together.

But, Carol and I stepped back and realized we weren’t in an outer ring of Hell like we thought, we were in one of it’s suburbs, Heck.  Instead of some devil damning us to Hell, some wannabe darned us to Heck!

We carry on happily because these devils have no potency.

Friday, July 27, 2012



I hate them!  Basically a natural Type-B person, I find myself in a Type-A world.  I love working on things … if they don’t have a deadline.  I hate to be hurried.  But, business – busy-ness – requires faster pace, especially in America.

What a wimp.  Think about it, boy.  Do you really need to ACCEPT all the rush?  Do you have to accept the panic?

No.  The only DEADline you really need to meet is at the end of this life.  As to the rest?  Well, it’s kind of like this:


Check out what the other members of the Loose Blogger Consortium (links on the right side of the page) have to say.  Some of them may not have met the deadline, though …

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Beauty of Interdependence

The Beauty of Pollination

I am unsure how some of the photos were made or whether anything is computer enhanced.  However, it is a beautiful representation of the interdependence of nature.

In the past, that which some took as destructive, the wolf, was removed from Yellowstone Park.  Yellowstone was diminished in ways unforeseen.

However, reintroduction of the wolf in the recent couple of decades or so has restored balance.  The elk population has been cut in half or so to get it to a stable level.  This has allowed the aspens to reemerge as the overpopulation of elk do not keep them stripped.  The aspen resurgence has allowed the beavers to fell trees that have blocked some stream water.  The blocked stream water has led to regrowth of lakes.  The regrowth of lakes has added enormously to biodiversity.  On and on it goes.

Do not take the chain of interdependence I recounted here as gospel, for I am reconstructing from memory.  It is this or very close to it, though.

We are all interdependent.  People are not separate from the true royal dance and we must remind ourselves of the hidden virtue in those we see as enemies.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gratitude to the LBC

I have reason to reflect on the gathering we know as the Loose Blogger Consortium on this, our third birthday.  It has given me much pleasure and friendship, companionship that I value for more than the obvious sharing of family.  I also want to salute the integrity and quality of what the members express.

I copied this from Seth Godin’s blog today because it is so apt:

In the relentless search for clicks, profit-focused media companies are racing to the bottom as fast as they can get there.

Can we do anything about this? Should we care?

I think the answer to both questions is yes. We should care about an influential industry that creates and amplifies fear, on deadline, distracts us and festers, like a fast-growing tumor, diminishing the healthy tissue around it.

We get what we click on.

Alas, we also get what others click on. And society does a poor job of marketing productive media to itself. We're consuming more media than ever before, but I'm not sure the mass media is making us much smarter, braver or more willing to take action.

The integrity, honesty and well-placed human values of my fellow members are a great counter to this.  This group does not race to the bottom at a time when not doing so really matters!


I’m late.  I was up half the night with an intestinal ailment – no details forthcoming, thank me very much.  But, last night I was the one who could have used some caregiving.  I’m glad my mother’s computer is down right now, or she would be booking a flight as we speak.  The irony of the timing does not escape me …

This topic is brought to the official beginning of the fourth year of the Loose Blogger Consortium Friday topic by Ramana, perhaps one of our premier caregivers.  Please check out the entries by our other members linked on the right side of the page.

Ramana takes care of his father after years of caregiving for his beloved wife even though facing physical ailments of his own.  He has turned it into one more element of his own personal growth path.  I, for one sit in awe of this accomplishment, for I can think of no higher in life.

Right in there with him is the shackman.  His situation, unless he reveals more today, is more private.  But, I must say that it is as difficult as any I’ve ever seen.  I feel much the same awe for his fortitude and determination to ever be a better human being as I expressed for Ramana.

These two stand out in some ways, because in our world, the face of the caregiver is usually female, usually a mother or wife.  Grannymar spent all those years caregiving for her beloved husband.  The loss pulls on her still, but any time any of us has needs, big or small, there is GM able and willing to help.  She also nurtures her entire brood in the parlor of her blog continuously and I love her for it.

Delirious cares in the right kind of way for people in many far flung regions and works tirelessly to help.  Maria the Silverfox has opened our hearts and minds through her care for one little autistic boy that she nurtures til he wants to pop.  Maxi, I know less well, but I can already tell that the caregiving roots there go to the center of the earth at least.  The same with Marianna, LBCer Emeritus, who goes with the moniker Auntie Stress and helps people with stress even though she herself faces debilitating arthritis, while Padmini radiates wisdom, health and peace.

I could go on, but I would just emphasize the deserving that I left out in the process, something that I know I have done.  What I am trying to say is that I take my greatest pleasure in this quality of the people I have had the joy to share slices of life with since we began this venture three years ago.

It is not just the LBC writers that demonstrate such caring spirits, but also the readers drawn to the various sites, people obviously cut from very similar cloth.  I salute all of you as we begin this, our fourth year of sharing, discovery and mutual caregiving!  Cheers!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This is where you run me out on a rail … but you get to meet Basil!

ouija board

So, Anne was nervous and I was excited.  Ben had to go to his work shift, but wanted us to keep him posted.

Anne: I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.

Me: Me either.  The only thing I know is to get a Ouija Board.

So we did.  This is where you would standardly run me out on the rail, because there is nothing dumber than a Ouija Board, right?  Or, nothing more evil if you have that frame of mind.  In our case, we just didn’t know what else to do.

So, we sat at the Ouija Board and waited for about 3 seconds.  Seriously.  And the pointer started moving and I asked Anne if she was moving it and she was asking me if I was moving it and we are both saying no and telling each other just put one finger on it to see what happens – all the stuff that happens when you are a little flustered.

So, it spelled out, “My name is Basil.”  That isn’t the name he gave us, but I have no desire to invade anyone’s privacy by someone being able to Google a name with which they are familiar.

He proceeded to tell us that he knew Anne in a monastery or some such in England back around the 10th Century or so.  I don’t remember that detail very well, but in any case, the conversation had begun.  Just like us, Basil needed some place to start.

When Ben got home, he and Anne tried the board and things picked up considerably.  This was to be the combination for our sessions from that point on, but the Ouija Board was a comfort for Anne and she really didn’t need it.  Very soon, the pointer was just flying around and never pointing to anything while she talked.  Indeed, Basil told us we could dispense with it whenever we wanted, but Anne always felt more comfortable with the board present.  I think with the board present, she always avoided the idea of a trance although she was able to speak for Basil real time with full expression without any sort of trance.  She was amazing!

So was Basil.  He told us that with our group around to use as a power source, he could do a session with a brick!  He told us that we worked together somewhat like a battery.

Now, to give you some tangible reasons from where you are sitting to take such seeming school kid silliness with more than a grain of salt.

The Light Bulb

About two weeks after our sessions started, I was lying down in bed, ready to do some reading when the image of a light bulb just appeared in my mind.  It was like the afterimage you see when you have been staring at a light for awhile and look away, but it was more vivid and had more detail to it.

I tried to blink and see if it would go away.  I tried to wait and see if it would fade.  I tried to think about things and see if it would disappear.  Nothing worked until it just simply disappeared after about 20 minutes.

The next night, I asked Basil this simple question, “Was that you??  No other lead in.  His response was, “Yes.  I wanted to use a simple image projected to open channels.”

Note that I had said nothing about an image and had not mentioned it to either Ben or Anne – or anyone else.  I was still in the “proving” phase.

The Car

Ben and I were going to go out one evening about a month or so after beginning sessions.  Ben’s car would not start.  Turn the key, nothing.  So, we didn’t go.

Later that evening, we had a session and Basil let us know that he was the one who prevented Ben’s car from starting.  He encouraged us to go out and start the car.  He specifically instructed us to turn the key and wait a bit.  We did and after about three seconds, it started.

Inside again, Basil informed us that he did it because we were going to be in an accident on that trip.  When I asked him how he did it, he replied, “dimensional overlap.  My consciousness was in your dimension while simultaneously in another where the rules are different.”

That’s a pretty specific answer.

Shared Dreams

Later, our group expanded to six.  One of the other members and Ben each reported having the other in a dream the night before.  Then, they found that all the details matched.  They had shared the same dream and what each perceived himself as doing, the other saw.

The Ranch

Another of our six was meditating with me one day when suddenly I was in a place and could move around in it by effort of will (and it took some effort!).  I went around the room, out a door and looked at the outside, looked at some adjoining rooms.  Eventually, both of us snapped out of it.

When we took a trip later that year to her father’s ranch, as we pulled up I knew it to be the place that I had experienced.  Before we entered, I described the rooms, where we would go, what we would see.  And, I was right.  It was the same place.

During the Sessions

These were not simply “mail in your question” sessions.  We were all participants.  I felt movements and impressions, received insights, etc. in the midst of the sessions.  At times, Anne would not be able to explain something when I would spontaneously know what it was and explain it.  Basil said that he needed my scientific knowledge where Anne did not have the concept, because it was impossible to say through her what she had no knowledge of and couldn’t conceive.

And, now you have heard of Basil.  Are there any questions?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What I never wanted to tell you part two–meeting Anne


My quest was underway.  The intervening three years between college and now had actually sharpened my desire.  I had worked as a Science Teacher, served as field foreman at a Pine Tree Nursery, worked on an oil rig, been a gandy dancer on the railroad, run a rock quarry with a friend through a Kansas winter, driven a cab and attended Grad School in Social Psychology … well, the list goes on and on.  I was practicing Karate, reading books on everything I could find that might further my cause.  I was reaching out in any direction that was available.

But, most importantly, I was meditating.  Alone.  I didn’t want anyone to tell me techniques, right and wrong, or anything else.  I was as stubborn as an ox on this!  The only thing I was trying to do was shut off my internal dialogue and see what happened.  I wasn’t looking for peace nearly as much as I was looking for discovery.

It was about this time that I met Anne.  She was married to Ben – neither of these are their real names, but everything else is fact as I remember it – and I had known Ben years earlier and we were reconnecting.  He had been a Hippie in his day and I think that was when they met.  Anne certainly wasn’t a flower child when I met her, though.  She had a mind and attention like a focused laser.  She worked in an office and could rattle numbers into calculations faster than I had ever seen a 10-key worked!  Her tastes ran to PBS, particularly Upstairs / Downstairs.  And, did I mention that she was an excellent cook who liked her kitchen kept in its proper order?

My meditations took a turn that was unexpected.  Of course, any turn would be to the unexpected since I was only trying to shut off my inner chatter and see what would replace it.

In any case, I started to feel strongly that my teacher was nearby.  Now, that is not particularly rational or trustworthy, but I had determined how I was going to do my investigations into reality and that meant opening first, stepping through open doors and explaining later.

Not only did I feel that my teacher was nearby, but that Anne was definitely part of that picture.  I went to her and Ben and, quite frankly, scared her half out of her wits.  She was made of stern stuff, though, and recovered quickly.  It was with trepidation that she agreed to sit and meditate with me.  She and I both agreed later that her fear was because deep inside she knew her own potential.

To her amazement, something happened.  She felt like she took off.  She had meditated before, although rarely, but this time she said she was able to sense my consciousness and go with me, that it catapulted her.  I, in turn, felt the capacity to guide it, focus it, redirect it.  For me, it was much more highly charged and energized than my meditations alone.

Here was the frightening part for Anne: I realized somehow, without any doubt, that Anne could be a medium.  Ben thought that was intriguing.  And I really wanted her to try it!

To be continued …

Monday, July 16, 2012

This is why I never wanted to tell you what I’m going to tell you now … part one

I lived my youth with a passion.  When it came time to graduate from college, the final act allowing me to graduate with Honors was to write a Senior Honors Essay.  It turned out to be the finest thing I’ve ever done academically.  Coincidentally, it also happened to turn my life in quite a new direction.

I decided my topic would be something connected with existentialism.  My mentoring professor said he wanted me to read, among other things, this new set of books written by Carlos Castaneda about his anthropological excursions into the Sonoran Desert of Mexico and his tutelage by a Yaqui Indian Sorcerer.

I read those books with a passion.  I also read the Germans and the French, the philosophers and the playwrights.  I had been a physics major to begin with and dug more deeply into the far reaches of our understanding, embracing the impact of the revolutions in thought that accompanied the dawn of the 20th Century.

By the time I was done reading over 75 books, I began my magnum opus having developed a sense that logic itself got in the way of science at times, but that rigorous thought was still absolutely of the essence in any serious attempt to understand reality at its core.

I eventually was able to prove, using classical logic, that logic itself was not needed for scientific analysis, but was instead more of a historical artifact, determining that we were blinded to much of reality by our logical bias.  Finding a rigorous core of any reality was much more important and I wanted reality to explain itself in its own voice. 

By that point, the academic wasn’t enough and I decided that I wanted to try out my new theories in practice … and that it was time to find a teacher.  Tomorrow, I’ll tell you just how frighteningly well six of us succeeded at just that!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Is Pessimism More Realistic Than Optimism?

Politics has turned into armed camps, the economy is hurting, the world is getting hotter and we have too many people.  Woe be unto us.  Organized religion is less popular than ever before, Europe is on the ropes.  Woe be unto all of us!

Kind of hard to escape, huh?  So, when I thought this topic up, how could I even consider it to be a real question.  I mean, how can you debate other than that things are bad?

Yet, here are two of the finest men I know, gentlemen and obvious optimists both:


This is John McKay (pronounced muh-KYE) the owner of South Pacific Seed out of Methven, New Zealand, near Christchurch.  John didn’t know us from Adam and Eve, but helped us arrange our trip to New Zealand when Lafawnda was studying over there.  A patient of the Lady Fossil had known him when he was in college and gave us his name and told us to contact him and mention her.  We did and the rest is history.

John arranged the car rental for us and told us the best route, things to see and timing for our visit to the South Island.  Then he told us to contact him once we were close to Methven.

Little did we know that John had accumulated wealth by working in the fields as a farmer his whole life, hooking up with the right people in Australia, organizing the wide area farmers and developing a magnificent seed company.  To give you an idea of some of the scale, John’s company supplies half of the radish seeds to the entire world!  And that is only part of what he processes.

We expected to go to a hotel or motel and come to find out he was putting us up in his home.  He gave us a complete tour of the plant, found out I had grown up in Kansas and took us to the World Plowing championships – and I will tell you more about that in another post, trust me – and we had a fantastic time!  He is now in the process of helping people from Christchurch after the big earthquakes they had there.

Two observations about John: 1) he hasn’t changed with success.  Everyone told us that was true and it sure looked that way to us.  and 2) he really would think you a coward for being a pessimist.  He is used to hard work and he absolutely loves people and the world around him.  See that look on his face?  That is typically how he looks and it is returned in spades by all those he meets.

The following gentleman has been a friend for years:


George Hurley, shown here with his wife Judy on their 40th Anniversary, live in the Sierras now.  They came from right here in our hometown and George spent his career running warehouses for Kellogs.  Strong as an ox and more fit than most Olympians, George now spends his time in his 60’s clearing his land and the land of his neighbors.  His energy is limitless.

George has seen hard times and I won’t violate his privacy by letting you in on them, but suffice it to say that he could justify a dour outlook.  But, it just isn’t in his nature.  I just can’t help feeling good around George, whether he is coaching kid, showing me his railroad collection or sitting back in his wine cellar deciding what would be the perfect beverage for the evening.

So, is it so simple?  No, it is individual.  George never shied away from the reality of his son in Iraq and John doesn’t shy away from helping those unhomed from Christchurch or helping his wife recover when she was hit by a car and almost killed.  They are both willing and able to take on the needs of the day, whether they be pleasant or not.

However, when these guys are there … it is ALWAYS more pleasant!

After you comment here, go check out what the other LBC members think of this topic on the right hand side of the page.  Just click their links.  Read and leave a comment.

Come on.  Get going! Smile

Friday, July 6, 2012



a name added to or substituted for the proper name of a person, place, etc., as in affection, ridicule, or familiarity.

Sports have always had nicknames for their athletes.  To wit:

Mordecai “Three Fingers” Brown


Hall of Fame pitcher who lost his index finger in a feed chopper on the farm.  He could do things with a baseball no one else could because of it.

Bill “The Owl Without The Vowel” Mlkvy


He played for the Temple Owls and obviously had no vowel in his last name.  Ergo …

Charles “The Round Mound of Rebound” Barkley

17 Mar 1999:  Charles Barkley #4 of the Houston Rockets looking on during the game against the Denver Nuggets at the McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado. The Rockets defeated the Nuggets 114-103.   Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr  /Allsport

His heft also earned him the moniker of (my favorite nickname):

Sir Cumference!

Of course, nicknames have also been applied to various political SNAFUs ever since Watergate.  All you have to do is put “gate” on the end.  Yesterday, this was the headline:

Syria-gate? WikiLeaks' latest drop of secret files.

Syria-gate.  Really?

And, of course, the two cutest names of the bunch which will be with us throughout the election season:

Obamacare and Romneycare

Kindly refrain from comments on that one way or the other with this post even though your passions are no doubt aroused …

I wish they’d just stick with athletes.

Paul “Blackwatertown” Waters brought us the topic this week.  See what the other LBC characters have come up with by clicking their links on the right hand side of the page.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Celebrity invites skewed assumptions

You know how it is with celebrities, those overpaid, elitist scofflaws plaguing our society with their arrogance.  Take for example our American professional football players.  Violent men who can’t contain their violence and are a danger off the field.

Let’s see.  2% of the general population is arrested for DUI.  .7% of NFL players are.

Well, that is probably an aberration, right? Arrest rates as a whole for the general population is one person in 22.  For NFL players, it is one in 45.

Hmmm… have we built a myth based on over-exuberant coverage of this group when some individuals actually do have problems?  Maybe.  I’ve also read that priests have almost exactly the same rate of pedophilia as the general population.

On that last one, though, I’ve got to admit that I expect better.  But, I’m not really sure why I should.

Tired of Zealots


This is the image of John Brown the revolutionary abolitionist, the violent crusader against slavery.  He led much of the battle in Bloody Kansas in the 1850’s when it was being decided whether Kansas would enter the Union as a Free State or a Slave State.  Many historians feel that Brown’s actions and his failed raid on Harper’s Ferry had more to do with the start of the Civil War than the Lincoln-Douglas debates.  He was soon hanged and is seen as America’s first domestic terrorist.

The above painting is hanging in the Kansas state capitol building.  I’ve seen it there in Topeka.  The Kansas Governor recently pointed to it and to Brown as an example of great individual initiative founded on principle.

You can tell it is Kansas by the tornado in the background.  That is always a dead giveaway.  But, look at John Brown’s face and eyes!  His cause is great, his methods effective – and he is crazy as a loon.

I’ll be damned if I’d want to have anything to do with the nutcase.  Zealots are a pure pain in the patoot and they will distort any argument they join, but you have to give them their due.  They will win an argument or a battle just by willingness to commit anything to the cause, even the bodies, minds and hearts of their fellow man.

I wonder: Is it possible to make that level of commitment to sanity?  The great American lab experiment is trying to figure that out.