Infomercial

Whatever it was, it had stepped on his foot, waking him. Still seated on the couch, he looked around in response to the pain.

Nothing.

“I should go to bed,” he said to the dog as if it might understand.

He looked down, but the dog was gone.

“Ah, the dog stepped on me,” he said.

In a sleep-fog still, he noticed that the TV was on and an infomercial was playing.

“But wait, there’s more,” he grunted, pushing himself from the couch, remote in hand.

He didn’t feel the bite of the Werewolf as it chomped his head off.

In-flight Phone Call

Helene got out of the shower, toweled off, and wrapped it around her. She was exhausted and laid back on the bed.

The phone rang. Helene quickly grabbed it because she didn’t want her family downstairs to pick it up.

“Hello?” she said.

“Hi, hon,” it was her husband, Dan.

“Daniel?”

“Yes. Who else would it be?”

“Where are you? You should be here with me. With us!”

“I know, I know, but there’s a little trouble with my flight.”

“Trouble?! Trouble?! We buried you today, Dan!”

The phone went dead, dead like Dan’s body had been in his casket.

If It…And

Found this on a sticky-note inside a pile of loose papers in a box labeled ‘1995’ with no other annotations. I cannot recall if I wrote it myself or copied it.

if it stays,
it is love,
if it ends,
it is a story,
if it never was,
it is a dream
and
if never begun,
it is poetry.

In Defense of Employees

The newsroom fell silent as the heated exchange grew louder. The two men were practically nose-to-nose arguing over a single word.

“I’m tired of the use of the word ‘workers’ when it ought to be ‘employees,’” Bob stated.

Rich, the news director, returned, “I don’t care what you think it should be. The guide says ‘worker,’ and therefore it’s ‘worker.’”

That was the end of the argument.

Bob returned to his work-station and continued with the business at hand; writing and editing. Rich had a report to file.

The following day as Bob was on the air and in the middle of presenting the news, he was arrested and charged with seditious behavior.

Thirteen Weeks

He had always been the wrong kind-of-citizen, so Tony was not surprised when they arrested and held him for deportation. What did surprise Tony was the number of good citizens the police had rounded up in their recent city-wide sweep.

Many were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when picked up, often found to be without their mandatory papers on their person. But it did not matter as the police had a quota to fill.

That was more important.

Loaded into moving trucks in the middle of the night, destination unknown, those that survived the trip would never survive the ordeal. Of the ten-thousand sent, only a third would live to tell the tale, but none would ever be allowed to speak of it.

The play for survival began the moment the rolling doors on the large vans closed. Criminals pushed their way around the darkness, assaulting women, murdering any man that offered resistance, and taking what valuables anyone had in their possession.

By the time the two-day journey ended, few men were alive, and even fewer women wanted to be alive. Tony was one of those men still living, having played dead to keep from being strangled or suffocated.

Authorities, not wanting such undesirable people near their town, decided that it would be best if they loaded them onto barges and off-loaded them onto the nearby island in the middle of the river. While they knew the island had few resources for so many people, they believed the deportees would figure out how to make a living from the isolated land.

Once the boat landed, and with no guards present, Tony quickly walked into the Poplars and disappeared. Here, he would stay until the crisis had passed or until he could figure a way off the island.

Day-in and day-out, Tony heard the screams of people, mostly women, and children as they were tied limb from limb between two trees and filet while alive. Men of the most inhumane kind stripped away the choice parts for eating.

Slowly the screams died away, leaving an eerie silence in their place, and death over-ran the camp.

Tony did not witness what happened next. He was killed by a sniper from the other side of the river while riding a raft of three logs towards freedom.

“This is how I know what’s happening over there,” Bryant explained to the town’s Mayor, laying the still-damp note’s on the desk before him. “I read these papers I found in his jacket pocket, where his makeshift raft and body washed ashore.”

Bryant would be labeled ‘undesirable’ the following week and would not survive the following 13-weeks.

Eaters

He’d been warned not to go into the old mansion, but Daryl didn’t listen. He was itching to confront whatever the thing was that left people scared.

Armed with a thick bible and a wooden crucifix, he entered, intent on learning the secrets of the dilapidated house. Soon Daryl found himself cornered in a hallway designed to confuse the spirits, but it wasn’t working.

Instead, Daryl was the one confused, unable to find the door he entered, and now the dark mass had him trapped in the exitless hall. In his attempt to escape, he threw his bible at it, then his crucifix.

The demon simply absorbed both without effect.

Helpless and panicked, Daryl resorted to defending himself with all he had left. He pulled off his right shoe and chucked it at the demonic being.

Suddenly, the creature began to wobble and appear weak, so Daryl yanked off his left shoe and heaved it at the thing. That did it, as the shadow broke apart and disappeared like so many atoms in a vacuum.

His odor-eaters did the trick.

Nevada Seeks to Keep Voter Rolls Unchanged

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford wants a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed after the November election that claims voter rolls contain ineligible names and that illegal aliens cast ballots.

The state attorney general also said in the motion that the lawsuit wrongly identifies Nevada’s secretary of state as the official in charge of voter registration. Deputy State Solicitor General Gregory Zunino wrote in the motion to dismiss the case that the role Barbara Cegavske plays in maintaining voter records is only “supervisory,” and that the clerks in Nevada’s 17 counties are responsible for maintaining voter registration and lists of eligible voters.

The lawsuit, filed in December, came after state and federal courts in Nevada and other states rejected election challenges by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, including its claims of widespread voter fraud. While the suit doesn’t seek to undo the 2020 election, it does cite DMV records of applications for driver authorization cards and claims that nearly 4,000 illegal aliens voted.

While the plaintiffs allege those ineligible votes “diluted” their legally cast ballots, the state’s filing to dismiss calls any allegations of harm “hypothetical” and compares it with the injury that honest taxpayers suffer when someone evades paying taxes.

In 2018, a newspaper report revealed that Ford owed more than $185,000 in unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties. The article came out two years after paying back those delinquent taxes.

The request to dismiss the lawsuit does acknowledge that there are errors within the voter rolls.

“Immigrants who conduct business with the DMV have ended up on Nevada’s voter rolls,” it says, adding, but “immigrants rarely vote,” and to prosecute, the state needs to prove that the person who voted knew it was a crime and intended to break the law. The attorney general’s filing further claims that inaccurate voter information “generally consists of the names of deceased persons and the addresses of persons who have moved.”

The Googliwooglie

Not only did Barney and Rat work in the same department, but the two Airmen were also housemates, living off base. Between the two of them, Barney had the only working car, a 1972 Nova.

After a 14 hour day, Barney was behind the wheel, pushing down the gas pedal, flying through the long loping curve. Ahead was a slight rise in the road before it straightened out the final three miles before home.

Barney fairly flew over the rise, but it was too late. The man, caught in the headlights, went careening over the top of the car with a heavy thump.

The tires squealed, and the car fish-tailed and bucked as Barney pumped the brakes before coasting it to the side of the road. Even before it had stopped, both were out and were looking back at where the man had been standing.

The night laid across the road and the grassy field to either side, so they could not see where the man might be. Rat ran back to the top of the rise as Barney made a quick U-turn in the two-lane road to get some light on the area.

As Rat walked up and down the side of the road, Barney drove beyond where he was sure he had hit the man. But neither one could find him.

After another pass, they drove to their trailer house to call 9-1-1. The dispatcher routed the call to the Sheriff’s Department.

“Can you meet the deputies there?” the dispatcher asked.

“Yes,” Barney answered. “We’ll be there in less than five minutes.”

Shortly after they arrived, two sheriff vehicles pulled onto the side of the road. The first order of business was to have Barney and Rat fill out an incident report as the deputies searched the roadway and the grassy gully on either side of the road.

“You sure it was a man and not a deer or something?” the older deputy asked.

“No,” Barney answered, “I looked him in eyes. It was a man.”

“Well,” the younger deputy said, “We can’t find anything.”

“Then how do you explain the damage to the car?” Rat asked.

“We can’t,” stated the older deputy.

He walked over to his unit and pulled the microphone to his mouth, and said, “We need more help out here, can you activate SAR?”

“10-4,” came the reply.

Within half-an-hour, the first of the search-and-rescue team arrived on the scene, bringing floodlights and dogs. Before long, they were trotting the K-9’s up and down the roadside.

To the west, they found a trail in the grass beyond the barbed-wire fence. The flattened grass led to some volcanic rocks, and it was there the dogs either refused to go any further or lost the scent of whatever they’d been tracking.

The search for the man continued for another two hours after sunrise before it was called off. However, nothing was found other than a patch of blood on the asphalt where the two men said it happened.

Still, in uniform, Barney and Rat returned to the base and to work.

It wouldn’t be until that weekend when the two were sitting outside their trailer, enjoying the sunshine and cold beer, that they would strike up a conversation with the elderly neighbor lady. She quietly listened to their tale.

“You know,” she started, “I’ve lived here all my life and not always so close to the city. Tell you this, there are more things in the wilderness than meet the eye.”

“What does that mean?” Rat asked her.

“It means you might have hit a man, but the Googliwooglie made off with the body, thinking it was fresh roadkill,” she said with a straight face.

“A Googli…” Barney started.

“…wooglie,” she interrupted. “Not an ‘a,’ but a ‘the.’ It’s a Bigfoot-like creature and he’s been seen many-a-time in the Buffalo Ridge area.”

Over time, and with no one reported missing or a body ever found, the incident was relegated to the cold case file.

Time Split

that is me
a 6-year-old boy
riding the bicycle
with training wheels
staring at an old man
with white hair on his face
sitting alone in the cafe
i had never noticed before, and
having a profound feeling
of I don’t know what.

that is me
a 60-year old man
sitting alone in the cafe
staring at nothing in particular
suddenly overcome by a sense
of déjà vu as my eyes
lock with a boy on a bike, and
who looks eerily
like the schoolboy version
of me.

Mad Minute of the Mind: 0730-0731 Hours

Time to put down some thoughts truths maybe not me not till later another zit I’m too old to be getting zits shake the mental cobwebs loose Internets slow again they’re choking it down neighbor has fired up his truck it’ll run for thirty minutes now the sheets are already dry I jus’ put them in shit make the beds-time I need a shower got do it before I can wash the towels coffee in the bathroom gonna have to heat it up again three times now I wish I’d never found that pimple wanna pick it this is Friday right paper is due out today glad I have a calendar this stupid-assed Internet I swear they’re choking it down so slow need a new keyboard is there one in storage still need to check gotta pull that old camera out too wanna show it off coffee that’s right bathroom shower time add ellipses run through Grammarly need to clip my nails must write two news articles today watching Grammarly will be fun reward myself with reading something not work-related phone calls to make need my list of chores no to ellipses that is sixty-seconds I’ll never get back coffee

The Cattle Truck

One day, when my son was four or five years old, we were heading somewhere in town when we came up behind an enclosed cattle truck. Back then, there were no car seat laws or laws demanding that you keep your little one in the back seat of your vehicle.

I side-eyed him as he leaned forward to get a better look at the cows.

“That one looked at me!” he squealed.

I smiled because he was never much of a talker, so to hear that much come from him was a joy.

The truck went straight while we turned left. I never gave the cattle truck another thought.

However, he’d been thinking about it ever since we’d first seen it, asking, “Do we get hamburgers from cows?”

I gulped, wanting to lie my way out of the question, fearing it would upset him to know that we do slaughter cows for hamburger meat.

In the end, I said, “Yes, we do.”

“Seeing those cows made me hungry,” he grinned, “Can we go to McDonald’s?”

About Those Sheep, Jesus

I was trying to outrun myself.

Tooling along near the Arizona-New Mexico line on I-40, it was approaching nighttime, the sun setting behind me. And since I couldn’t find a music station, I had resigned myself to listening to a radio preacher sermonizing on John 21:17…

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

“Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?”

He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

Feeling Peter’s pain, I pulled off the road and started crying. After I finally composed myself, I got back on the highway, sure that I should become a preacher.

Twenty years later — it has yet to happen and I’m still awaiting the third rebuke.

The Mail-Ordered Bride and the Bandit

The eastbound Central Pacific passenger train pulled into Colfax, California, Sunday afternoon, July 27, 1873. Passengers disembarked, walking to the Wells Fargo Depot, where the stage ran twice a day except on Sundays.

Driver Bob Scott soon pulled up, and 13 passengers boarded. Wells Fargo Agent William B. Storey loaded more than $7,000 in gold coins into the strongbox.

Aboard the stagecoach, rode prominent passengers W.R. Tully, E. Black Ryan, Thomas Bard McFarland, newly elected U.S. Senator Aaron A. Sargent. Not so important was mail-ordered bride, 22-year-old Miss Eleanor Berry.

As the stage approached Sheets Ranch, five miles from Grass Valley, Scott jerked his team to a halt. Four armed men had stepped into the roadway, blocking their path.

With a floursack over each head, holes cut out for their eyes, gunnysack-cover boots, three of the bandits carried shotguns, the fourth a six-shooter.

“What do you want?” Scott called out, Ryan adding, “Yes, boys, what does this mean?”

“We want that treasure box,” came the reply.

“It’s on the other stage,” Scott lied.

“Well, we’ll keep you until the other stage comes up,” declared the leader.

His bluff called, Scott told the highwayman, “It’s no use fooling any longer, this is the only stage tonight.”

“That’s what we thought,” the robber replied. “Climb down from there and unhitch your team.”

As the passengers stood against a roadside fence and with the strongbox about to be blown open, Berry protested.

“Gentlemen!” she cried out. “My trunk, which is on the deck of the stage, will in all probability be blown to pieces. It contains all that I possess in this world, and while its destruction will not benefit you in the least, it will be an irreparable loss to me. I beg of you to take it down.”

“Certainly, miss, with the greatest pleasure,” the head robber said.

Berry then saw the scar on the back of his hand.

The blast ripped through the stage, exposing the cache of gold coins. Soon, the four highwaymen disappeared.

The explosion blew the strongbox lid through the stagecoaches roof, shattering the walls and floor, but the running gear survived. Soon Scott had his team hitched up, the passengers back aboard, and was en route to Grass Valley.

After alerting police to the robbery, Scott drove Berry to Nevada City and her destination, a small rented cottage. Earlier in the week, Lewis J. Dreibelbis had rented a room for her.

The landlady explained to Berry that Dreibelbis, the man she was to marry, had been called out of town but would soon return. Though still rattled, Berry remained determined to go forward with the wedding.

Soon Dreibelbis, her senior by 37 years, arrived at the cottage, where the pair were married. Berry believed his voice to be familiar as he recited his wedding vows.

Upon seeing his scar as he signed paperwork legalizing their marriage, she ran from the room. A few minutes later, Dreibelbis left the cottage.

Berry spent the night locked in her room. She only told the landlady, preacher, and a few neighbors that Dreibelbis was “not so well fixed” as she had expected.

The following day, she boarded the first stage, leaving Grass Valley without further explanation.

Meanwhile, local lawmen were busy hunting the robbers. A posse led by Nevada County Sheriff Joe Perrin pored over the robbery scene and began tracking them.

A half-mile-long trail led to a mask, giant powder and percussion caps, and two miners in a cabin, whom they arrested. Later that day, officers picked up two more suspects, including Ormstead Thurman (alias Charley Thompson, alias Bill Early.)

Sentenced to prison in 1865 for robbing a stage in Maricopa County, Thurman murdered another convict for foiling an escape plan. He had been released from San Quentin six weeks before the latest stage robbery and seen in the company of local one-armed saloon keeper Jim Myers.

The four men appeared before a Justice of the Peace on July 31. After giving their alibis, the judge released three of the suspects.

While Myers claimed Thurman had been drinking in his saloon when the holdup happened, Scott and one of the passengers identified Thurman. He was held over for trial.

Deputies searched for the other bandits for more than a week. Then, on Aug. 9, Wells Fargo Chief Detective James B. Hume got word that a man named Rob Walker in Colma was drinking heavily and spending freely.

Hume learned Walker had deposited $1,000 in gold coin and a bar of bullion with the hotelkeeper, claiming to be a former mining superintendent at Ophir in Placer County. But when Hume telegraphed Ophir, he found that no such man named Walker had ever worked there.

Traveling to Coloma, Hume examined the coins and gold bar, which matched those stolen in the robbery. Hume arrested Walker and took him to jail in Placerville.

“I told him I thought I had a strong case against him,” Hume later recalled, “That the condition of his coin clearly indicated the effects of the giant powder explosion of the Grass Valley treasure box.”

Walker finally broke, confessing to both the Grass Valley robbery and the June holdup of a stage near Downieville. He also admitted to being an ex-con and that his real name was Lewis J. Dreibelbis.

Saying he was tasked with ‘guarding the passengers,’ only. Hume soon matched the description of Dreibelbis to that of the leader.

He also learned that Dreibelbis had severely cut the back of his hand during the Dowmieville robbery. It was this scar that Berry had noticed after their abbreviated ceremony.

Dreibelbis eventually identified Ormstead Thurman, George Lester (aka George Lane), Nat Stover, and saloonkeeper Myers as the other gang members.

Hume and Perrin soon rounded up the rest of the bandits. They picked up Myers at his saloon and found Stover at a mining camp near Grass Valley.

Both confessed, and Myers led them to the spot where he had buried his share of the gold. Stover also led the officers to his cache, but a ‘soiled dove,’ named Nellie Gassaway made off with his loot.

All three were convicted, with Dreibelbis providing testimony against each of them. They each received long terms in San Quentin.

George Lane was indicted but managed to escape. Hume found him in Virginia City, Nev., the following year, returning him to California to stand trial and where he received a 15-year prison sentence.

For testifying against the others, the state dropped all charges against Dreibelbis. Hume bought him a one-way train ticket home to Iowa, where he lived quietly on his farm in Scotch Grove until his death on Dec. 12, 1888, aged 75.

Berry moved into the home of Gilroy pioneers John and Sophia Eigleberry, where she dared not reveal that she had married a highway robber. Instead, she explained that the mail-ordered groom had been a failure, yet rumors of her strange affair spread like wildfire.

With the truth out, and a month after the robbery, Berry survived an attempted suicide using chloroform. What became of her afterward is unknown.

Inside Joke

The war vet lay on the park bench beneath his woolen blanket, half-frozen, half-asleep, and all in on a night terror. Above him in the bare branches of a tree, ink-black feathers reflecting the full moon’s shine roosted two-dozen crows.

“What should we do?” the veteran screamed as his mind drew him through some unimaginable imagined horror.

The largest crow looked down, “How’s about we commit us a murder?”

The surrounding crows cackled and cawed at the dark inside joke.

Celebrate

While putting on a shirt I hadn’t worn in a while, I found this ditty I wrote on my birthday in 2020. Each line is three syllables, so with 20-lines, it adds up to 60…

sixties child
turns sixty
dirt roads to
internet
gen-Tang drink
to moonshine
fat chance
to skinny tv
heroes gone
whiner near
Downey fresh
A Calgone
destress moat
regress, no
depress, go
in slow-mo
jus’ today
oh my how
life spreads
out so long

Still

He’d been crossing the prairie for eight days. Jordie Keller figured he had another couple-dozen more to go before he’d reach Fort Bridger.

Head down, he didn’t see it as he trudged up the incline. It was near the top that he saw that he had inadvertently trespassed into an Indian burial ground.

Remembering the Old-timer’s stories, Jordie began walking backward, stepping in his tracks as he worked his way back down the incline. Once at the bottom, he dug out his tobacco pouch and offered four healthy pinches of the shredded brown leaves to the four corners of the earth.

His final offering was given as he turned around.

That’s when he discovered that he had an audience: three Braves, two armed with spears and a third with an arrow nocked and aimed at him. Jordie Keller didn’t understand their words as they spoke rapidly between themselves.

“Did you see that?” one of the Braves with a spear asked.

The other spear-armed Brave answered, “Never. It’s a good thing. Honorable.”

With a scowl on his face the third Brave, the one with the bow and arrow, replied, “Fools, he’s still a White man,” as he let the shaft fly.

Time

“Wonder when the train’s coming by?” he asked the mule, chuckling at himself for talking to a dumb animal.

He thought of the Sunday school story about the ‘ass’ who spoke to its master while trying to protect the man from a vengeful Angel. He wished an Angel would arrive or that the mule would talk.

It had been days, endless cycles of dark and light. He had no idea what time it was.

“Used to be able to tell the time, that train was so regular,” he said.

The mule wasn’t listening and would never again. It was dead.

Fallow

Quietly over the years, the six richest men in the world purchased millions of acres of land throughout the country. They did this with so little distinction that no one noticed.

Those who did notice were often self-congratulatory for having such well-known and wealthy neighbors. They never once gave it a second thought beyond this fact.

Then, following the same unassuming steps they had taken in making their purchases, all six men sold their land-holdings to the government. That same government used the tax-payers money to make the purchases.

Now, those millions of acres are off-limits to all unauthorized humans.

Correctthink is Here

We have a problem known as ‘cancel culture.’ Recently actress Gina Carano was fired from her job and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s social media platform permanently shutdown.

This isn’t the first time. The tech giants have ‘canceled’ President Trump, several of his supporters, and cut power to several ‘right-wing’ platforms like Parler.

In Carano’s case, she tweeted, “Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors….even by children.”

She went on: “Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?”

The now-former LucasFilm employee’s post included a picture of a bloody ‘Jewish’ woman, clad in underwear, trying to outrun kids chasing her with sticks. I’ve seen the photo before and always thought that the woman was French and a Nazi collaborator, which doesn’t excuse the children’s behavior.

At any rate, Carano’s point was made, making her ‘cancellation’ all the more ironic.

And while I’m no fan of Kennedy, Instagram, a Facebook product, kicked him off after they discovered he was posting personal anti-vaxxing opinions. The son of Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, had over 800-thousand followers when the ‘plug was pulled’ on his account.

See the problem? They’re ‘canceling’ everyone who doesn’t conform to ‘correctthink.’

If you want to delete or block me, that’s fine, but that decision ought to be yours and not up to a tech firm. We need to come together and destroy this ever-growing oligarchy.

Futile

The struggle for liberty wasn’t real to people when masks were mandated or when social distancing was approved, and self-isolation was lauded as the ‘new normal.’ The struggle didn’t seem to matter to one-half of the nation, as it learned that there were ‘election irregularities,’ and discovered that national elections could be rigged in favor of one political party over another.

And once the Internet was shut down, the struggle for liberty became even less of a concern. The sudden disruption of online interconnectedness became a mental health crisis, with mass suicides.

The Oligarchy had finally assimilated the entire population.

Chasing a Conspiracy Theory

People keep sending me bit-and-pieces of information to put together like a jigsaw puzzle, and while a bunch of it is official-looking documents, it’s the photographs that best explain what seems to be happening in our nation’s capital.

 

Note the officer between the two groups. My assertion is that the one attending the Biden/Harris party is not an officer, and may not be military at all. Then there is the tale of the two planes which are very different from one another and that in fact, the one on the bottom does not have to Presidential seal on the fuselage, though the seal can be seen in the galley doorway.

  

These two photos are interior shots of the oval office. In the first, note the off-angle set of the ‘secret doorway,’ and in the other, how the corner of the walls have become separated.

 

Lastly, a photograph of the WH Press room which has buildings outside its windows that should not be there, and then the difference between the Oval Offices, with the top one showing a parking lot outside the window, while the lower one is filled with trees.

Now I am not one for conspiracy theories, but damn, this a lot of inconsistency, and I cannot make out what is going on in Washington D.C. As an aside, the White House has been dark for days, meaning no outside lights and very few lights inside, especially in the residential area of the building, and the National Guard continues to surround the building, though one cannot tell what it is they are protecting it for or from.

Finally, when I go looking for information on this – ALL my searches contain the same two sentences: “Didn’t find what you’re looking for? We’re temporarily hiding some results for this search query.”

The Coming of Ancient Man

They had found the cave while foraging. It was tucked in the crags of a high cliff wall, accessible only by climbing.

That was 1,115-years ago, and they made it their home. They decorated it with charcoal drawings and colored them using the natural flora found in the lower basin.

Over time, the tribe grew, eventually melding with other nearby tribes until nothing but the crude drawings on the cave walls, a burn pit, and few pottery shards were left. Even the dust forgot that people had once lived there.

Then in the year 3136, archaeologists stumbled onto the antediluvian dwelling.

Zippy and His Big Mouth

My wife is mad at me because I cannot control my tongue when it comes to bad drivers, and by saying ‘bad,’ I mean STUPID.

Here is the situation: it’s a four-lane roadway, the speed limit is 55 miles-per-hour, and in the slow lane is a dually pick up truck doing only 50 mph, and you are behind him, left turn signal blinking on-and-off, and the drivers in the lane next to you are passing you one at a time, and no one is letting you in so you can pass this fucking idiot — I mean this dually driver.

You finally get around that particular driver, only to have a 1975 Datsun pull slowly into your lane. You were going 55 mph, and they were at a stop sign when they drove into your lane. Mind you — you were only a couple of hundred feet from the stop.

What do you do?

In my case, I stepped hard on the brake, looked for an escape route around the piss-ass – I mean the Datsun truck and driver — then downshifted, blowing by him on his right where there is no roadway, only gravel. Happy to have avoided a crash, I stepped on the gas, but because I’m still in second-gear, I wound out the engine, making it sound like a jet taking off.

That’s when my wife, bless her heart, says, “You’re in the wrong gear. I think I can drive better than you.”

Yup — that’s exactly where Zippy lost his shit.

Mind Passages

Mental health is such a tricky thing and after watching two disturbing videos yesterday, I lost control of mine.

The first video, about Anne Frank who hid from the Nazis in a secret room with her family for over two years. The other, about Elisa Lam who in 2013 disappeared and was later found drowned in the water tank of a Los Angeles hotel.

Here’s where my mind slipped: I decided that because I feel isolated like Anne, am manic-depressive like Elisa, I had to create a new ‘isolation’ diary, like Anne and it had to be online, like Elisa’s. Crazy, I know.

Later, in the evening it dawned on me that I should’ve known I was in trouble. That morning, I did what many with our disorder do: I enjoyed some online impulse shopping, spending money I didn’t have. Once back in my right mind, I returned everything and got most of what I spent back, but by then the damage was already done.

Anyway, about fifteen minutes after creating my new ‘online diary,’ I came to my senses, asking, “What in the fuck am I doing?”

It was as if I had suddenly awakened. I immediately deleted the damn thing, knowing I already had one that I could use.

Black Horse

He lost nearly everyone, some to the virus, others to the vaccine. Now, Travis was forcibly removed from his house to a government relocation camp.

Quickly, Travis figured out how to escape the compound. He immediately disappeared into the mountainous terrain of the high desert.

Soon he regretted his decision as starvation had taken hold of his body.

It was mid-winter and very little food available for the wildlife, let alone for a foraging human. Finished, Travis sat down in the snow and awaited death to overtake him.

In the freeze of early morning, Travis finally saw his Black Horse.

Another Memory Slip

Mom loved her pulp mags. We always had four or five issues on the coffee and side tables next to our couch.

One article I read when I was 11 was about Sister Aimee McPherson, an evangelist and founder of the Four Square Church. The story horrified me because, as I remember it, she burned to death after refusing to abandon her church tent when it caught on fire.

Fifty-years later, and I can’t find that version anywhere. The story now is that she was believed to have drowned only to reappear in the desert claiming she was kidnapped.

Mandela’d again.

Recognition (5/5)

It wasn’t until they had both cleared the town and were in an open field that it came to his mind that he might be chasing a shadow, so he stopped as the hooded man continued. No longer being pursued, the hooded man stopped and looked back, lowered his hood, revealing himself to be a woman.

Still not sure if the person was real or fake, he stepped forward. Without warning, she raised her gun and fired.

He lay on the damp earth, feeling her soft fingers pushing his hair lightly from his eyes and gently caressed his dying cheek.

Trouble with Time

Time trouble comes from not fully understanding how our perception can be distorted. For instance:

  • Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth of England were born in 1926, and yet we think of one as an old woman and the other, a sex symbol.
  • Anne Frank and Rev. Martin Luther King were each born in 1929, making them younger than the Queen of England.
  • Thomas Jefferson died when Harriet Tubman was four years old, and Ronald Reagan was two years old when she passed away.
  • “The Lion King,” “Forrest Gump,” and “Jurassic Park,” movies all released in October 1994, are now closer in time to the Apollo Moon Landing of July 1969 than they are to February 8, 2021.
  • Charlie Chaplin, a star of the silent film era, lived long enough to see the original “Star Wars,” considered to be a computer graphic imagery masterpiece.
  • And even if he were still alive, born in 1935, Elvis Presley is younger than William Shatner, who was born in 1931.

When I was a kid, I couldn’t help wonder what my parents did with their time since neither had a television growing up. But then at one point in my life, I didn’t have the Internet or a smartphone, and now I find myself wondering what I did with my time.

Finally, my son, at 28, has never known a world without television or the Internet. I wonder if he ever thinks what it must have been like for Dad to have grown up in the “good old days.”

Recognition (4/5)

For months, he battled the ‘demons of the mind’ as he called them. They came, and they went, and he continued to function despite the frightening rapidity of their occurrences.

One morning he hiked to a nearby town. It was abandoned and had been for some time, but it was still the best place to find rags and other odds-and-ends to help make life easier.

The movement was slight, but he had seen it. He quickly raced around the corner in that direction only to find the hooded man standing there.

“Stop!” he shouted as the hooded man began running.

Recognition (3/5)

Soon his mental wanderings became worse. He’d find himself having arguments with nearby trees, and once he believed himself to be playing the harmonica, only to awaken to see his pistol in his hand.

“Was I thinking of killing myself or something?” he asked.

The thought frightened him so much that he decided to not pack the weapon with him when he was out foraging. Instead, he’d carry his rifle for protection.

While checking his trap lines one afternoon, he found himself confronted by the same stranger who had rapped at his car window.

“Hallucination,” he laughed, as the stranger vanished.

Recognition (2/5)

The old car, an abandoned station wagon, was now his home. It sat in a copse of trees, on a slight hill near a creek.

Over the two years that he’d been there, he’d pulled out the seats and the steering wheel and added whatever materials he could find from his surroundings. It was there that he slept, and there that he began to have dreams of ‘her.’

He had no idea who she was, yet she comforted him, lightly stroking his face and pushing his long, matted gray hair out of his eyes. He would jump awake every time.

Recognition (1/5)

He knew his mind was beginning to slip. Three years of solitude does that even to the strongest of people.

It began with the first recurring nightmare. It was set back in the time before.

In it, he’d fallen asleep in the front seat of his car and was startled awake by a sudden and harsh rapping on his window. Turning to look, he saw a hooded figure peering at him, and the sight caused him to jump so violently, he woke up.

Looking around, he was still safe in the old car that he’s stripped out two years before.

Hush

Whatever happened, happened quickly and without warning. It left the world filled with things that were once human that now feed on anything that makes the slightest noise.

When he can, Bill listens to an old Walkman he found, with its single cassette tape, ‘The Shaggs, Philosophy of the World.’ It is not his favorite kind of music, but it does the job of whiling away the long, lonely hours.

Sadly, he dropped it, and the noise it made nearly got him killed. Only by running did he save this life.

Bill learned his lesson and now lives in silence.

Possible Dominion Voting Systems Contract

So someone is still looking into voting irregularities in Nevada. They claim this is part of the contract between Dominion Voting Systems Inc. and the State of Nevada, Pages 3 and 4, Section 8 and 9:

8. Confidential Information. Customer acknowledges that the Software and related documentation (collectively, the ”Information”) (i) constitutes confidential and proprietary trade secrets, disclosure of which would materially injure Dominion’s business and competitive position, and (ii) is exempt from disclosure under, the terms of any applicable freedom of information, open public records ad or similar statute (“FOIA Statute”). Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. Customer therefore agrees, to the maximum extent permitted by law, to keep confidential and not to disclose any of the Information to any other person or entity, or use such Information for any purpose other than as expressly permitted by this Agreement. Customer shall limit disclosure to employees of Customer having a need to know to perform their duties to Customer who have agreed in writing to be bound by the restrictions of this Section 8, Customer shall take any and all action necessary or appropriate to assert all applicable or potentially applicable exemptions from disclosure under the FOIA Statute and take all other legally permissible steps to resist disclosure of the Information including, without limitation, commencement or defense of any legal actions related to such disclosure. In the event Customer receives a request for Information under the FOIA Statute, Customer shall inform Dominion of such request within ten (10) days of Customer’s knowledge or such shorter period as necessary under the FOIA Statute to avoid prejudice to Dominion’s ability to oppose disclosure, Dominion shall use its best efforts to assist and support Customer’s exercise of any statutory exemption in denying a records request under the Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1 et seq.). In the event that Customer becomes subject lo fines, costs or fees pursuant to Section 11 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 ICLS 140/11) relying upon Dominion’s claim that the information requested is exempt, Dominion shall indemnify Customer for those fines, fees and costs, notwithstanding any other provisions In this agreement. In the event Customer is required by court order to disclose any of the Information, Customer shall give written notice to Dominion at the earlier as soon as reasonably practical after tile imposition of such an order. 

9. Prohibited Acts. The Customer shall not, without the prior written permission of Dominion:

9.1. Transfer or copy onto any other storage device or hardware or otherwise copy the Software in whole or in part except for purposes of system backup;

9.2. Reverse engineer, disassemble, decompile, decipher or analyze the Software in whole or in part;

9.3. Alter or modify t11e Software in any way or prepare any derivative works of the Software or any part of parts of the Software;

9.4. Alter, remove or obstruct any copyright or proprietary notices from the Software, or fail to reproduce the same on any lawful copies of the Software.

And here, I thought this matter was settled.

Bird Watcher

Bored after nine-months of quarantine, Brody slipped out of his house and into a nearby vacant field. And like he used to, Brody took his binoculars.

Sitting quietly, enjoying the sun and breeze while bird watching, Brody was alarmed at the sight of a drone dancing along the treetops on the other side of the field. Dropping his binoculars as he scrambled to his feet, he raced home without looking back.

The following morning he found his abandoned binoculars hanging on a chair in his kitchen. Panicked at the sight, Brody barely heard the pistol slider close before being executed.

Valuing Fantasies

Shortly after boot camp, I saw an article in a magazine about this ‘poor guy,’ who only had a van to live in, spending his time fishing to eat.

“What a life!” I thought.

Eventually, I altered that ‘story,’ making it mine. It included moving to the big island of Hawai’i, peddling a rickshaw bicycle, shuttling tourists around, buying a VW bus, and living on the beach. This little fantasy got me through a lot of trying moments, some that nearly cost me my sanity and a couple, my life.

Recently, I’ve been fantasizing about getting an old horse trailer…

First Rule

“I don’t want to hit it,’ Darwin said.

“You have to,” his supervisor said, “It’s part of the program. Besides, it’s only a robot.”

“Yeah,” Darwin countered, “What if it’s as smart or even smarter than they say it is?”

“Remember Asimov’s First Rule?” the supervisor asked.

“Yes,” Darwin answered.

“Repeat it to me,” the supervisor said.

“A robot may never injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm,” Darwin said.

“Great,” the supervisor said, “Now, hit it.”

Darwin lifted the bat, but the robot took it away before he could swing.

A printer came on somewhere in the laboratory, printing the result: ‘Human is injured by the thought of hitting the robot.’

It had grown more intelligent than its creators.

I Am Not Alone

For 20-years I’ve been blogging and not once has anyone from my home-area ever joined in this task. And while he is not joining me, per se, I am happy to say that I can no longer say I am alone at this.

Please welcome my long-time friend Rick, and please follow his endeavor…

Yesterday is the future, or in this case, the future was 2 days ago. Tom Darby and I established a texting channel outside of FB’s Messenger 2 days ago. We are both highly censored and doxed and canceled and blacklisted and whatever other tricks the fascist tyrants implement these dark days. It is the…Solutions Will Present — SISKIYOUS LIFE

Welcome, Rick!

Number 272


He did everything correctly after the world went to hell. He made it to his initial ‘bug-out’ site and reorganized himself before heading off on his 400-mile journey home.

By the end of the week, he had started traveling at night, avoiding towns, stopping during the day to sleep. Three months later, he came to Giuntoli Lane, knowing he had less than 90 miles to go.

Deciding to cross an open field through some cows to a copse of trees to rest during the day, he had forgotten that the cows, now wild, might have different ideas. He could not outrun #272.