Rebooting

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I have spent my morning trying to reboot my laptop computer when it petulantly decided it didn’t like moving cursors, and then decided to throw a fit about being rebooted which I had to do about three times.  I was successful, or this post wouldn’t be here.

I have spent most of the week trying to reboot my devastated finances.  Yesterday I was given longer to make that reboot succeed.

But I also wasted considerable time trying to reboot the opinions of friends from Iowa who are livid about Southern States removing statues of Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson.  That reboot has sadly failed.  It’s odd that there are Iowegians who now side with Southern issues like this.  Our State, the State we grew up in as boys, fought the armies of Lee and Jackson.  There are veterans of that war buried in the Belmond, Iowa cemetery, the town we graduated high school together in.  There were no black people or Jewish people there when we did that.  Maybe it is vague fear of people they really don’t know and understand. If they had only been able to teach children of other such cultures the way I did, then maybe they would understand that people are people and we should love them all.  Even the ones who want to argue endlessly about State’s rights and not letting poor folks have food stamps and why Confederate monuments are not monuments to traitors to the American government.  But what do I know?  I’m one of them long-haired, hippy-type pinko freaks who believes in all that kumbaya crap that “real Americans” are supposed to hate (unless, apparently, they use their communist computer wiles to help a Republican win the presidency).  I’m tired of arguing.  I don’t hate anybody.  But I will not hesitate to throw a mighty shield to defend people I love, respect, and admire.

So, I posted an old picture and whipped off an angry rant because Facebook still has me steaming. I promise to do better tomorrow.

 

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What I Want to Know

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This colored-pencil picture is called “The Wings of Imagination”.

What I would like to know is…  how do you think outside the box if you don’t understand what the box is… and where it is?   Do you have a box inside your head that you normally think with?  Is it a cardboard box?  Mine is probably iron.  I do a lot of rather thick thinking.  Like now.  Trying to come up with a clever and new idea for what to write about after I have been squeezing my idea-maker with both hands while doing all the necessary bankruptcy paper work that proves I don’t have enough money to even be considered poor.  And how do I do that paperwork if I am already using both hands for squeezing?  Did I magically grow a third arm?  Or did I learn to write with my feet?

I waste a lot of time watching YouTube videos from the BBC with David Mitchell the comedian.  He doesn’t waste any time with a cardboard box in his brain.  He is a thinker after my own heart.

What I would also like to know is… what words should I use for talking to city pool inspectors so that I can properly express my thanks for causing me to have marital troubles and bankruptcy paperwork to do all because removing a defective pool is more expensive now than putting pool in was twenty years ago?  I mean, of course, words to properly express it without getting arrested.

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Tim Hawkins’ Handbook would appear at first to be useful here, but telling him to “Shut your pie hole!” might still result in further tickets that I can’t afford to pay and possible jail time in prison cells with other inmates who had to talk with city pool inspectors.

I kinda like the epithet, “You son of a motherless goat!”  That’s a Steve Martin line from the movie The Three Amigos, probably my favorite western movie of all time.

But I have to do something about my increasing use of foul language, dag nabbit!  I swear and use profanity too bleeping much.  Unlike Mark Twain, I don’t particularly care for the taste of it in my mouth.

But what I would really like to know is… the ultimate answer to the age-old question, “Mary Ann or Ginger?”

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After all, the biggest burning unanswered questions in my life are questions I have had since boyhood, and they don’t burn any bigger than that one.   I fell in love and married one that turned out to be more Ginger than I thought at first.  And I am not sure I ever really got to know or date a Mary Ann.

And another burning question I have had since childhood is, “How the great googly moogly does a question catch on fire?”  I would really like to know the answer to that one.  But I keep those kind of questions in the iron box in my head.  That should be safer than cardboard, because cardboard is flammable, and besides, I have to do my thinking outside the box where there is no danger of catching on fire from burning questions.

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Stardusters… Canto 60

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Canto Sixty – The Bonehead

Light suddenly blared into the prison pit with a brightness that sledge-hammered the skull of anyone and everyone who had eyes.  From pitch dark to bright light in practically no time at all.  The optic nerves had no time to adjust, let alone the reactions of an intelligent brain.

“We are landing!” called out a Galtorrian voice that Farbick had not heard before.  “Now is the time to be free of that prison.”

“Okay,” said Farbick carefully, “does that mean you are setting us free?  Or are you just asking us to come out so you can kill and eat us?”

“We don’t trust Senator Tedhkruhz to allow us to survive for very much longer.  You were right to point out to us that we are not helping ourselves by helping him.”

“And you let me live when you could’ve killed me, Stabharh,” said the voice of the guard from before.  “We kinda owe you for that…  I do, anyway.”

“Yes, what is up with that, Stabharh?   First you betray your precious Bahbahr, and then you try to convince us to do the same with Tedhkruhz?”  It was the first voice again.

“Slahshrack, is that you?” asked Stabharh.

“Of course it is, you fool.  Who else knows you well enough to question your actions… especially the changes from your old ways?”

“It is Slahshrack,” Stabharh said to Farbick with a sudden toothy grin.  “We went to Galtorrian Centurion School together to learn to become generals.”

Slahshrack and the guard helped all three prisoners out of the hole.

“There are only two of us that will help you,” Slahshrack said directly to Stabharh.  “No one else trusts anyone else aboard the Bonehead.  Helping one another is against Tedhkruhz’s rules, and gets you turned into dinner.  Most of the Galtorrian soldiers who are left alive are not really capable of thinking for themselves.  But I am, and Goahnahd is as well.  That’s why he told me about your plans.”

“I’m very glad he did, and you came back to let us out,” said Farbick.

Slahshrack glared at the Telleron.  “We wouldn’t have believed it if Stabharh hadn’t stayed in the prison pit.  It made me believe he really had changed.  If you had just killed Goahnahd and escaped the pit I would’ve killed you as worthless minions of the Galtorrian system.”

“You don’t believe in the system any more, Slahshrack?” Stabharh asked.

“Of course I don’t.  Tedhkruhz is more conceited and ruthless and corrupt than fat old Bahbahr could ever have been.  But I couldn’t go it alone.  And now, Stabharh, with you as an ally, we can make the world our own.  Tedhkruhz has the last working space ships and the last living army on the planet.  If we slay the great dragon, then we can easily become the next great dragon.”

Suddenly the entire space craft crashed into a large, domed building.  It had finally come down to the planet.  Unfortunately, the damage and violence to the craft probably guaranteed that it would never lift off again.

“What happened?” asked Farbick.  “Why have we crashed?”

“Well…” said Slahshrack, “we kinda started this rebellion by killing the pilots.”

Farbick was beginning to feel a little queasy in the craw.  He pulled Starbright to him and folded her in his sucker-tipped arms and fingers.

*****

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When the Old Mind Wanders…

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When the old mind wanders…

They tell you you’re just too slow.

But thoughts like mine drift everywhere,

And the edges of the universe… are a place to go.

 

Maybe I should write in red.

And argue with the voices

That rhyme inside my head.

And break the rhyme scheme 

Here and there

Because of what they said.

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Or maybe I should write in blue

Because I’ve been thinking in the nude

And laying all my secrets bare

Which really might be rude.

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But the old mind wanders…

In the form of a poem,

And breaks and squanders

Tallest waves in mere foam.

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Becoming a Nudist

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I have been to a nudist park and taken all my clothes off one time and one time only so far.  Yesterday was supposed to be visit number two.  On a Saturday there were supposed to be more visitors to meet and get to know… and I mean really get to know.  But it didn’t happen because of weather and poor health.  It rained.  And my blood sugar was a long way from perfect.  In many ways it was a relief not to go.  I was nervous about being with a crowd of naked people.  I was nervous about how to act and where to go, and especially, “What are the most embarrassing mistakes that beginning nudists make?”

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Because I figure I will probably make them.  And will it be extra embarrassing because I am walking around naked?  Probably.

But I do think it is not going to be a mere one-time experience that I will never do again.  I think I am committed to going back, not just because I am supposed to be writing for a nudist website, but because it benefits me health-wise, both physically and mentally.

To be specific, I have visited the Bluebonnet nudist park near Alvord, Texas. It is a beautiful campground and clubhouse facility.  I borrowed pictures from their website to post on this blog and give them a bit of extra advertising.

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Here’s the things that benefited me the most.  I got to meet some of the most welcoming and accepting people you ever want to meet.  They are polite, interesting to talk to, and just as naked and vulnerable as I am.  You can’t get much more socially equal than when you are talking to naked people.

The sunshine was also a very good thing for me.  The problem I have with psoriasis in old age is that the plaques and sores that result are never quite dry enough to heal when you are wearing clothes in the Texas heat.  But in the nude in the midst of nature, I felt cool and dry and hadn’t even a hint of the old itch that made me want to tear my skin off.

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They have a beautiful pool there, which I had all to myself during that first visit.  The picture with people in it is from their website.  It is one of two pools that they have there for weekly water-volleyball.

I didn’t believe it would be so relaxing and fun the first time I went, but I can safely say the feel of it, the sense of accomplishment of it, the feeling of self-acceptance it gives me, was worth all the risk of embarrassment I faced.  It was a stupid thing to do.  But I am not the only idiot drawn to it.  There are actually thousands of nudists in the United States.  There are even more  in Canada too.  I am actually glad I did it.  And though I didn’t make it back there on Saturday as originally planned, I do think I will be doing it again.

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Fantasy Combat

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Dungeons and Dragons is a role-playing game.  That means it is about pretending to be a fantastic character and, with your group of players, collaborate on living in story that takes place on the table top, but mostly in the imagination.

But it is also a game about battling and winning or losing.  And the combat system is based on a role of the dice.

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Cyrus the Cyclops faces off against a fire giant on the table’s edge.

Of course the dice thing is nerdishly complex.  There is a standard six-sided dice, but also an 8-sided, a 4-sided, a 10-sided, a 12-sided, and most importantly, the 20-sided dice.  The outcome of an attack depends on how high or how low is the number you roll on the 20-sided dice.  Rolling a 1 is a total disaster, making your attack wound an ally, or making your fireball burn you naked, weaponless, and hairless in the middle of the angry orc horde.  Rolling a natural 20 will automatically slay the fire-breathing red dragon.  Of course the numbers in between make all the difference.  If success is rolling a 15, but you only roll an 8, you will fail unless you have enough pluses in skills, weapon mastery, and magically enhanced weapons to make at least a plus 7.  That’s crystal clear and easy to understand, right?

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In order to protect yourself from enemies who have big nasty weapons, there are armor bonuses that subtract from the enemy’s attack roll.  Ditty’s magical plate armor adds a minus 7 to whatever the zombie leader’s attack roll lands on.  And if the zombie leader’s ogre friend throws a magical bomb at Ditty, Ditty can make a saving throw to avoid the fiery death he would otherwise be entitled to.

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So, over time, the character has to build up the pluses and minuses that protect him and make him a more potent part of combat experiences.  It makes the players carefully build up and enhance their numbers.  And kids learn a lot about numbers and math by playing D & D.

Here, then, is the reason for all this wonkish nerdism.  It is the way the game works and the necessary process of making the game seem like any outcome is possible, even though the object is to complete the story and succeed in having an adventure.

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Synonyms for Modern Republicans

I promise not to use profanity and other assorted bad words, which will probably affect the accuracy of my synonym picking.  But it is has come to my attention that people really just don’t know how to label modern Republicans.  Fortunately, I am in a position to offer you warning labels that are at least somewhat useful if you ever have to buy one in a store (assuming, of course, that you have millions to invest and reasonable prospects of using the hard-to-label-accurately products to make even more millions).

Anti-Ironical

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Yes, the modern Republican cannot identify irony.  Irony is when the opposite of what you were led to expect would happen is what actually takes place.  For instance, when a political candidate expresses the will and the plan to “drain the swamp” in the nation’s capitol, and then, when he wins, he hires a racist crocodile as Attorney General, a slimy Wall-Street snake as the Treasury Secretary, and a brainless bayou woodpecker as Secretary of Education, and the average Republican voter applauds the choices as the most expertise and experience for the job.  Who better to control criminals and thugs than a former master criminal?  And you can’t actually accuse Republicans of having a sense of humor and get away with it.  They will punish you for it.  They want to endlessly debate every political cartoon you post on Facebook.

Notzactly Generous

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If you have to ask the fateful question, “Are Republicans generous to others?”  The answer is always a resounding Notzactly!  They are willing to give great gobs of wealth to certain select individuals.  That would, of course, be the Walmart heirs, the Koch Brothers, Mark Cuban, assorted other billionaires, and, inexplicably, Jay-Z.  But when it comes to food stamps in the SNAP program, why, those lazy individuals don’t deserve hand-outs just because they cannot feed their families on the income from two full-time jobs.  They should get another job… or two, and pull themselves up by their own  bootstraps (a metaphor which apparently breaks the law of gravity, in the total absence of anyone willing to throw a rope from above).

Undoo Obama-ist

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Any idea that is tainted by snowflake commie Democratic Obama flavor must be overturned.  If the previous administration passed a healthcare reform law borrowed from the Heritage Foundation and Mitt Romney’s successful Massachusetts healthcare plan, then it is the worst disaster ever and must be repealed even if you leave the people with nothing to take its place.  If Obama changed the curtains in the Oval Office, they must be changed again for gold ones to please the orange one who took Obama’s place.  And if Obama passed a regulation to prevent pouring coal-plant waste directly into rivers, then the regulation must be de-regulated because we obviously need more coal plant waste in our rivers.  Anything done by Obama or Democrats during the last administration must now be immediately undone.

Loud-angry Voice-inators

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No matter how stupid or destructive an idea is in the modern Republican party, it can be pushed through easily because it is backed by the loudest, angriest voices spewing their gaseous brain products through the media and government platforms.  Take for instance a particularly loud and bug-eyed red-faced crank like Congressman Steve King of Iowa.  His message gets through to voters.  Everybody knows his name.  He has achieved this by saying cruel and racist things from his bully pulpit.  You probably remember how he claimed that Mexicans that had calves like cantaloupes were carrying hundred pound backpacks full of drugs across our borders.  And, of course, this is an important message to Iowans because of Iowa’s long border with Mexico.   But the message was loud and public enough to have a Tea Party impact on the national dialogue, where ideas are repeated often enough to be taken as fact, no matter how stupid and destructive they are.

So here are a few words that are synonyms for modern Republicans.  And to them, these will probably not be taken as insults, because they agree with the definitions if you explain them well enough.

 

 

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