Sunday, June 18, 2017


60% of our yearly budget is for the War Machine,  that means 60% of our workers are employed in those industries. Do you think any of those workers will vote to eliminate their jobs?
That’s more than Russia & China combined spend on war. 

The days are trickling away as inexorably as the sand in an hourglass.

During my early days of experimenting with East Indian culture, (Sanscrit, Dance, etc.) I studied under the dancer  Bupesh Gupta long enough to promote and perform in a public performance . I rented a small Church ,( owned by the local Laguna Beach Hari Krishna Sect.) for a one night stand. This all came back to me recently when my wife & I attended a local Indian Dance program at the Green Music center. Mysteryously, we were given free tickets at the entry ($50 each) for the performance, and watched the dance which was so different from my recollections that I was very disappointed, although the small group of musicians were outstanding. Anyway, as we were leaving, Joy said" That was a surprise, I thought it was going to be Indian Dancing, not from the middle East" .

Photo of SMARTS in Aix in Aix in Provence, 1998

SMART a personal transportation module

I recently bought an almost new SMART car to stay in the forefront of Design. Ever since I saw their debut in Aix in Provence in 1998, I have secretly lusted for one.  This fabulous machine is the ultimate Anti-American auto, due to its size, horsepower, & everything else.  Nevertheless, I am having a blast driving it, 4 miles each way ,  although I do have to admit I have to turn on all my defensive driving tactics to get to my office every day.  Since new ones will go for nearly $20,000, I was looking for a used vehicle. Joy & I went to our local Honda dealer who had a used SMART so we checked it out. The Salesman, a slick Mexican complete with pin-curls on his temples, ran next door to find the car. We actually drove it around the block and it seemed kind of like a normal car, except for a weird kind of automatic shifting device that mimics a transmission and clutch.  When we  returned and I asked told him I wanted to see the engine, to assure myself they did not have a couple of squirrels in a wheel there.  I suggested it might be in the back so we looked in the micro cargo space (about 12” wide) but didn’t see any sign of an engine so we checked out the front of the car but there didn’t seem to enough space there. Well, he struggled around trying to lift up the tiny hood and managed to disengage the upper part but not enough to open it up to see if there really is a radiator somewhere.  Miffed, he went into the agency for help, but we decided we had enough and left.
  I was enamored with a red one so Joy found one in San Francisco Mercedes Dealer, where we visited to see what they had.  We had struck gold as it is called, as this place sold more SMART s than anyone else in US. And had a new slick showroom on the second floor for the SMARTs.  Also, they had a 2nd generation 2014 red one with only 5,000 miles on it for $8,000. We struck a deal, as Joy should be able to sell her 20 year old Honda V-Tech for nearly that much.  I drove it home in a huge rainstorm up and down the hills of SF, learning about shifting , windscreen wipers, etc. as on the job training.  Around Novato I discovered I was doing about 70 mph in a heavy rain so I slowed a bit as I am forever cautious driving in wet weather.
  After driving my new car for a couple of weeks, I am more than happy about the car, once I understood the automatic transmission and looking up other anomalies of the car. (How to get into the hood, etc.). The car only weighs about 1600 lbs. and I can vouch that it could be due to the elimination of springs, & shock absorbers.  Also, it drives pretty much like a normal car except there is no front or back. It does have a few creature comforts like a sensor that turns on the wipers when it gets rain, heated seats, and air conditioning. I do not like the fact that I have to turn off the lights manually, but I suppose it could be a portion of the system that will turn off everything after you’ve left the vehicle? I finally located the battery under the floor mat as well as a swell tire patch kit that takes the place of a spare tire.  Heated seats, but no tachometer (most new cars have these but are probably not used as most of us are ignorant of what to do about it.).
  I am not real happy that my neighbor, Michele, called it a “Clown Car”, but come to think of it, that’s pretty accurate.  So of course Joy gave me the red sponge clown nose to wear while driving.
This car has brought me back to Deja-Vu, as Smart car drivers are waving at each other, just like us early Volkswagen drivers did in the 1950‘s.

A GENERATION SWINE (Gonzo Journalism at its’ best)
I just finished reading a book by Hunter S. Thompson “A Generation of Swine”. And wonder where the current replacement for him is in our culture. First, I had to look up the word “Gonzo”.  It seems to be rather murky, of course, but it generally is agreed that it describes the first person participatory style which the author is protagonist.”  (Social critique + self-esteem).
He wrote mostly in 1950’s to 1990’s. It seems there were not a lot of rags that would consider printing his rants but fortunately Esquire, Rolling Stone and even the San Francisco Examiner and the National Observer  had enough sense to publish his stuff. Here are a few tantalizing samples of his wit;
“NIXON:    What we tend to forget ,  he has been elected to almost every office in America except sheriff, and he understands politics as well as almost anybody. He is a mechanic, a true leverage junkie – for all his kinks and crimes and even his weird drinking problem, he possesses a truly awesome, bedrock shrewdness that made him perhaps the most successful politician of his generation. When he lost the governorship of California, he came so close to that one that he ran publicly amok when he lost. That was when he called the press gang of rotten cowards who had ruined his life but who “won’t have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore”.   Six years later he was elected president of the United States.” Nixon?
 “Not all Democrats are speed freaks, lechers and fools,…Nature abhors a vacuum, and it is the nature of American politics in these times to have a Kennedy haunting the White House.”
“One of Washington’s cheapest and scurviest big-time political consultants say the Democrats can’t stand another of those hideous exposures, that the whole party will turn into a late-night TV joke.  -  But he was wrong. The voters are fed up with this orgy of dumbness and punishment. The electorate will demand a degenerate in the White House. (Sep, 1987).”
“It is difficult for the ordinary voter to come to grips with the notion that a truly evil man, a truthless monster with the brains of a king rat and the soul of a cockroach, is about to sworn in as  president of the United States for the next four years….And he will bring his gang in with him, a mean network of lawyers and salesmen and pimps who will loot the national treasury, warp the laws, mock at least one reason to declare war, officially, on some hapless tribe in the Sahara or heathen fanatic like the Ayatollah Khomeni.  (1987)”  Bush?
“IRAN/CONTRA MESS  -  The whole investigation was a farce and a scam that benefitted nobody except Washington lawyers who charge $1,000 an hour for courtroom time. Oliver North’s bill for legal fees will be a million dollars, which has already been covered by the private donations.  If this low-rent scandal is the best this generation can do, they deserve what they’re getting and they are going to have to live with it. They deserve to be called A Generation of Swine.”
“SENATOR PAUL SIMON - Simon is small and ugly and weird and he almost never smiles. He has lips like Mick Jagger and the ears of a young baboon.”
“This is the problem with this anguished generation. Somewhere along time ago they fell in love with the idea that politicians – even the slickest and brightest presidential candidates – were real heroes and truly exciting people. That is wrong on its face. They are mainly dull people with corrupt instincts and criminal children.  (July 1987)”
Have you ever wondered how long a particular critter lived? I’m at your service, once again, with the following collection of minitue.
(ANCIENTS )-    WHEEL OF 84  (Approx.)84 Lacs = 8,400,000 years  (one lac = 100,000)

SPECIES                (Quantity)          Ancient sages                    Current               
Plants                                   3,ooo,ooo                           300,000
Water Creatures                400,000                               ?
Insects                                  2,700,000                             1,000,000
Birds                                      1,400,000                             10,000
Land animals (man)           400,000                              5,500,000?
Bacteria                                       ?                                      10,000
TOTALS                                 8,400,000                             8,700,000 (+/- 1.3 M) pretty close, eh?
LIFE SPAN (Western Concepts)
Ant                         15
Fruit Fly               0.1 day?
Aphid                    5 days
Spiders                 15 yrs?
Tick                        4
Cicada                   17 yr
Wood Beetle     45 yr     

BIRDS                    Years
Blue Jay               4
Canary                  24
Macaw                  64
Tit Mouse            9
Pigeon                  35
Humans               115
Chimp                   37
Squirrel                  15
Pond Scum         ?
Mouse                  3 yr
Rat                         7
Hamster               1.8
Dog                        29
Cat                         38
Horse                    62
Elephant (Asian)  86
Bear                       42

Frog                       5 – 15
Goldfish               25
Sturgeon             50
Koi                         23-200
Tortoise               190
Eels                        150
Whale, Bowhead  200
Sequoia                            3,000
Bristlecone Pine               4,843
Creosote Bush                  11,700! Mojave
Juniper                                 3,000
Larch                                     700
Pine, Swiss                         1200
Redwood, Sierra              4,000
Dragon Tree                       200
Bo Tree                                 2,500
English Oak                        ,000
English Ivy                          440
Grape vine(Zin.)                  100
Mushroom                          days
Crayfish                                   30
Water Flea                          0.2
Clam                                      1 – 10
Snail                                      1 – 30
Bi-valve     Ming                   405 yrs
Earthworm                         10 years?
Leech                                    27
Rotifer                                  0.003 – 0.1 days? Plankton, etc.

Originally I began this rant  (in 2006) about things that bothered me but other people didn’t seem to mind or notice. I sometimes get side-tracked in dispensing interesting ruminations but don’t let me forget about my ‘Pet Peeve  - THE BOOK DUST COVER” . I guess I don’t mind a book that has a cover clinging to it’s cover as the hardcover is difficult to print with pictures and color stuff in order to sell the item. But what really freaks me out it when some friend will keep the cover for years, until it’s all tattered and worn to nothing but a bloody rag. I admit it sometimes handy to use as a page mark until you can score one but for god’s sake, throw it away after you’ve started reading as is a real hassle for me to try to keep it in place while reading. If I know the owner is a “Duster”  I will place the cover aside until I have finished the book, but I don’t guarantee it will be returned with it.