Category Archives: angry rant

From an Alternative Point of View

These are not my two sons. The picture was drawn fifteen and ninteen years before they were born. Yet they were my two sons in the cartoon story this picture was lifted from.

Am I literally able to fortell the future? Of course not. But as an overly-sensitive artistical type one could argue that there is evidence in my art and writings that my reality now was at least partially embedded in my consciousness many years ago.

Estellia the Demoness

And truthfully, looking at the truth of things based on empirical evidence is what this point-of-view post is all about. We cannot always rely on the traditional concepts of good and evil as they have been taught to us. Sometimes you have to look at how the evidence stacks up properly, and just plain intuit a new way of seeing the whole picture. Yes, this is a portrait of a fifteen-year-old former student of mine. And she was definitely evil and difficult to deal with. But she went into nursing after high school. She works in the ER where her decisive ways and ferocious insistence on having things work out in her favor because that’s the way the established rules say it must be done turn into positive qualities that are probably saving lives in a Texas hospital as we speak. It is all in how you perceive the truth of a situation and then apply it.

Comedy, of course, depends greatly on rearranging your point of view. If you are going to make a joke about something, you have to re-mix and un-match the details in ways that still make a sort of sense to the reader or the hearer of the joke. I have taught at schools like Dudwhittler’s. If you are a teacher, you recognize that that school bus carries not only that which is funny, but also that which is very true. The teacher driving the bus is a tin man who easily rusts and cries too much, thus rusting further, but you can see he has earned his heart, even if he has to drive the bus on top of teaching so he will have enough money to buy food.

But probably the most anticipated thing from a new perspective that you were expecting since reading the title is a new perspective on the Coronavirus shut-down and economic depression. That alternative take is simply this… the pandemic, though extremely hard and painful, is a good thing that happened at the right time.

I am willing to say this, even though the way the virus has been mishandled in this country is going to very likely be the death of me, because there are benefits that we simply don’t recognize without a thorough punch to the gut and another to loose teeth.

It is a good thing because it will make it harder for Herr Fuhrer Pumpkinhead to win the next election, and he will probably take a number of corrupt Republicans down to the bottom of the sea with him.

It is a good thing because it is proving to us that we can survive on less and still make our way out of the bad situation.

It is a good thing because kids get extra time off from school, and probably also the chance to spend more time with the people who really teach them things we need them to know… like parents, grandparents on Zoom, teachers who don’t fear distance-learning technology, and trolls on the internet (Yes, I know that last one is risky and mainly learning the hard way, but it is also true from before the virus hit).

It is a good thing because the air is cleaner. And we have proven that we can make radical adjustments when it is a matter of life and death. And the environmental crisis is actually a matter of life and death.

So, now I’ve had my twisted say about my pretzel-minded perspective. And so you can now trash it, or possibly learn to like pretzels.

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Complaining for the Sake of Complaining

Sometimes you just need to vent for the relief you get from releasing all that extra fart-gas that builds up in the brain from too much politics and environmental stress.

Have you noticed that there seem to be certain pests that you just can’t seem to get rid of? Mosquitoes? Rats in the attic? Fairies in the garden? In-laws who need money?

The St. Louis Cardinals seemed to be poised, based on late-season improvements, to make a bid for a World-Series surge in the playoffs. But they were taken out by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a one-game wild-card playoff. Wait till next year again.

We find out more and more bad stuff and crimes from Trump’s Presidential Administration (Prexydental Apeynation?) every single week. And the criminal is still not in prison yet? If this were a true banana republic, he would’ve been executed after the coup failed.

I keep taking careful steps to improve my health and become physically fit enough to stay alive. And yet, I can’t seem to get healthy enough to visit the Bluebonnet Nudist Park for a second time. I called them and found out that they are very willing to take Covid precautions and help me out. But blood sugar balance and a number of small wounds that won’t heal keep me from going au naturel.

I am too old and irritated to go for very long without ranting about the general unfairness of the universe. I am mindful that people like me can easily become annoying and are no fun to be around. So, I try hard to limit the Mr. Grumpy vibes I give off in this blog to only a day or two per week. But I often fail. So, dang it! I just have to spout out a little more today. That fart-gas in the old brain cavity really builds up fast.

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The Puzzle of Life 2 : Will the World Outlive Me?

I remember the discussion in Biology class with Mr. Grosland back in 1973 about Paul Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb. The book was pointing out that the rapidly growing population of human beings on Earth had been increasing exponentially for a long period of time and was creating environmental crises that could eventually cause extinction of life on Earth. In particular, he mentioned how farm-fertilizer runoff and the use of pesticides were contaminating the water table, threatening to kill all the fish in the Mississippi Watershed and eventually destroying life in the Gulf of Mexico. In particular, the fertilizer was overstimulating algae growth, eventually shutting off the oxygenation processes that make water breathable for fish and other water-breathing denizens of the lakes and rivers of the Midwest. Widespread famine, disease, and other devastating conditions were also predicted by that book.

Later, in the 1980’s concern began to grow over the increasing chlorofluorocarbons in the upper atmosphere, due at least in part to the careless release of gasses from air-conditioners in need of recharging and repair. A huge hole began opening up in the ozone layer over the continent of Antarctica. That, of course, meant the sun was free to bombard the South Pole with increasing amounts of ultraviolet radiation. I myself had to be treated for skin cancer in 1983, and that was in Texas where the ozone above us was not yet completely depleted by waste gasses.

From my youth onwards, it seems, humanity has been anticipating ecological disaster for our planet on a massive scale.

The Carbon Dioxide problem actually began in the 1800’s with the advent of the Industrial Revolution.

While it is true that the regulations provided by the EPA have helped a lot since Richard Nixon was bullied into creating it during the Watergate Era, you have to remember that Republicans have been pulling its teeth since the Ronald Reagan Administration.

Many of Paul Ehrlich’s predictions of doom have been prevented or delayed by specific actions taken at the government level, both State and National.

The ozone layer has healed since industrial regulations began reversing the causes of the problem.

But the horrible truth is, we as individuals have no power to change any of these things. Regulations get removed in the name of profits because one billionaire is more powerful than hundreds of millions of concerned voters. The Green New Deal still seems doomed by the will of the Koch Brothers.

The truth is, even though we have the collective will to survive, we have twelve years to overcome forty years of doing the opposite of what we need to do because billionaires love profits more than the continued survival of life on Earth.

The bad news is, there is a lot more bad news in the near future.

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Life is a Cartoon Car Chase

Our strength as human beans is not from the power of fang or claw, nor even from the power of Hercules’s muscles (since only Austrian dudes named Arnold and CGI Hulks have those,) but from our adaptability.

Of course, we are bound to call upon that power soon. There are those religions that say the world will end by 2026 (which wouldn’t be quite as concerning if one of those religions wasn’t climate science, based entirely on factual observations and measurements.) So, we will need to adapt to breathing carbon dioxide and develop fire-proof skin as the surface temperatures rise above the flash-point temperatures of cloth, wood, and eventually steel.

Now that the spoiled mango with a yellow bird’s nest on his head is no longer King of America, we have to adapt to a two-party political system where the GOP (Greedy Old Perverts) are led by Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam (who love guns and are immune to consequences; you can blow up dynamite in front of them and it only turns their face black and singes their eyebrows and moustache,) and the Donkey party are led by Bugs Bunny (in a dress and calling anti-maskers morons) and Daffy Duck (who only thinks of himself and his stupid, impulsive self-destructiveness.)

And somehow we have to get that whole mess to save us from a swiftly warming ocean, the profit-making corporate polluters, and a population that is working harder and making less money for it than they were half a century ago.

Maybe (as in the Paffooney where the flying saucer is about to snatch the kid bounced out of the rumble seat) the aliens will save us.

But we have to adapt. We have a tendency to be suspicious of outsiders and people who look different than us. And, boy! Do the Zeta Reticulans ever look different than us! Well, except for Jeff Bezos. He’s actually an artificially intelligent robot created by aliens. He actually began life as an electric duldo in the 1980’s.

The aliens need to teach us how to use cold fusion and zero-point energy instead of fossil fuels. And how to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and turn it into wood the way all the trees we have cut down used to do.

If we can rapidly adapt to changing situations the way cartoon characters do during car chases, we will all be okay.

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Under Unlucky Stars

The Astrologer

Here;s something undeniably true; Astrology is NOT science.

That being true, it is also true that there is a certain untestable validity to the ideas of someone gifted with a semi-accurate intuitive foresight I find Nostradamus endlessly fascinating. But I don’t rely on any of his so-called predictions. It is uncanny that his quatrains can be interpreted as having come true after the fact. I remember Orson Welles narrating a documentary on old Nosty back in the 1980’s offering a possible prediction for the near future. in which the third antichrist arises in the Middle East and sends destruction through the air to the New City.

Osama Bin Laden’s attack on the World Trade Center Towers in 2001 is a scary coincidence. But it is no more of a useful prediction of the future than Nosty’s predictions of the first and second antichrists, Napoleon and Hitler. Did anyone know about any of these three predictions at a time when they would’ve benefitted anybody?

The Coming End of the World

My most recent Christian faith system was, unfortunately, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are an eschatological faith that believes Jehovah God will soon destroy “This wicked system of things” and the bad people will all be done away with before all the newly “perfect people” take over and turn this world into a paradise. I am doomed. I have knocked on doors and shared the “Good News from God’s Word the Bible” with all the potential “other sheep.” But that’s not good enough to punch my ticket to paradise. I don’t keep the right words in my heart.

But my wife and other Witnesses are now eagerly waiting for “tribulation” to wipe out the rest of us so that the good times can begin. Wow. Jehovah can wipe you out just for touching the Ark of the Covenant with the wrong hands. He’s a rather angry, vindictive sort of God.

And yet, the world does seem to be ending. Actual climate scientists are presenting evidence in their latest report that it is a problem that will overwhelm us faster than I am ready for. And corruption in the world governments, prompted by the fossil fuels industry, continue to ignore the problem in favor of short-term profits. Talk about “having the wrong words written on their hearts!”

It does actually look like we are all gonna die. Not an A+ outcome.

Predictions and Solutions

So, what predictions does an amateur wizard like Mickey of the Goofy Grin have to offer about living under unlucky stars?

Well, here’s one I know will very likely prove true; If the world is ending tomorrow, I will be among the first to die. Seriously, my health is poor enough that a hot wind can easily blow out my candle. When the zombie apocalypse begins, I have warned my children to make good use of the time they gain to get away while the zombies are picnicking on my gray matter. I believe my brain should be pretty tasty.

But even though I and many many other people just like me will fold up and die at the beginning of the coming dark times, that doesn’t mean everyone is doomed. Humanity has shown remarkable resilience against war, famine, disease and that boney guy on the fourth horse. They may yet come up with a magic-bullet solution that allows life on earth to continue. Even if it becomes the planet of the cockroaches. And probably lawyers. I’m sure there is a legal maneuver that gets around not having air to breathe. From a God’s-eye perspective, there is still an entire universe to play with. We could go get reincarnated somewhere else in the galaxy. Maybe there are people out there who are smarter than us. There are ways to heal the ecosphere if we just have the will to do it.

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The Inexplicable Explosion

There are good things that happen, and bad things that happen, both happening suddenly and in a very large way.

We tend to refer to that kind of thing as an EXPLOSION!

The biggest and most deadly explosion right now is the viral pushback on Emperor Abbott’s “No masks in school!” imperial edict. Or is it Grand Wizard Abbott of the Republican Empire of Texas? Whatever it is, kids are back in school, in the building, with a rule that no school district is allowed to mandate masks. And inexplicably the number of cases of Delta Covid in unvaccinated students is exploding. Who could have foreseen such a thing?

Of course, there is no suggestion whatsoever that ruling tyrants like Emperor Greg Abbott, or King Ron DeSantis in the Crackpot Kingdom of Florida bear any responsibility for this explosion. No one is suggesting that, since their kids and grandkids, and those of their wealthy friends go to expensive private schools, they would actually like to see a greater deadly outbreak amongst the children of the poor, minorities, and other people that might grow up to vote for Democrats.

But there are other explosions as of yesterday too. My car, coming back from Walmart made an inexplicable “Pop!” followed by coughing sounds and then an engine warning light on the dashboard. That was further followed by engine overheating and a necessary stop for engine oil at the Dollar Store. Miraculously, after the extra oil was put in and the car had two hours to cool, the thing worked normally with no red dashboard lights, or even yellow ones. Of course, in the near future, I will have to take it to a mechanic to be checked (even though I am certain they will find something wrong, and it will be expensive.)

But there has been a good explosion too.

For more than a year now, it has been my goal to get 50 or more views on this blog per day. It has been an uphill haul. I failed to reach that goal, it seems, at least one day of every week. But not these last two weeks.

Last week I topped 100 views every single day. Then I began noticing that I have at least 50 views every morning before I even wake up. And I have hit 200 or more five times this week.

Yesterday was 299 views by 177 visitors and 22 likes.

Why the sudden explosion?

ingI have noticed that my number-one-viewed post was called Nudist Notions. But it can’t be merely because those who are looking for porn clicking on the picture-search nudes. There wouldn’t be twice as many views as viewers if that were true. Besides, those looking for nudes can now basically only find the ones that have been there a long while now. Nothing has changed on that score. And nudists from Twitter have been finding my blog to be nudist friendly for a while now too. And there haven’t been any surges in nudist visitors that I am aware of.

So, the explosion is inexplicable. At least for now.

Maybe the algorithm has changed its mind about me and displayed my page more for two weeks. But that doesn’t ezplain it either, because… well, it’s Mickey’s blog. And Mickey don’t get no random good breaks from this universe. No, not Mickey the Unread.

Well, just in case you see this and want a copy of this month’s free-book promotion, here’s a link to that book which is good from today through midnight Monday

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Forever Fumbling Forward

What do I really think the future holds? That’s a question where, if I answer it truthfully, I will be told, “You should not think that, stupid man! What good does it do to be that negative? Lighten up or we’ll burn you at the stake for evil thinking.”

Okay, okay. I get it. The truth makes you afraid. And it should.

As California, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as the aliens working with the military-industrial complex at Area 51, are all burning up with record heat, drought, and wildfires, we are definitely going to need to find a new, cooler place to live.

Maybe a planet in the Tau Ceti system. Tau Ceti is a star system with a solitary G-class Star only 12 light years (3.7 parsecs) away. Do you think the Tau Cetians will mind us colonizing. Or do the Republicans plan on simply invading?

Or there is Mars. But do you really think Elon Musk will be willing to share? And we do have to figure out how to breath mostly carbon dioxide to thrive there. Or do the Republicans plan on just taking a lot of stinky Earth air with them? That’s still a matter of learning to breathe carbon dioxide, along with methane cow farts and whatever chemical crap Dow and Monsanto have been burning and pumping into our atmosphere.

But you know full well the Republicans are not planning to spend any of their vast fortunes earned by all their hard work investing money in stocks and avoiding taxes to take the rest of us along wherever they plan to go. They will leave us behind to enjoy the climate change catastrophe that they have worked so hard to convince us is still not happening.

But all of that doesn’t mean I necessarily believe we are all gonna die a horribly hot death being unable to breathe on the garbage ball that Republican Space Forces will leave us all behind on. Not necessarily… just probably.

But I do have a certain amount of faith in the ability of people who actually have beating hearts in their chests rather than empty spots for installing safes packed with gold bars to use their problem-solving abilities to teach us all about carbon recapture, solar and wind power, carbon sequestration, air scrubbers, vertical farming, and reforestation. Before we get a total grip on weather control, we may have to move into underwater cities and spend some time countering the acidification of the oceans. We will also have to apply conservational farming practices to fish and kelp and shellfish, because if we let the oceans go sterile and lifeless, we’ll all be doomed anyway.

Human beans (of course, I meant to say “beings,” as I would never get that wrong on purpose only for the sake of a bad pun) are better under pressure than you probably believe. We have survived terrible things before. And, I am sorry, T.S. Elliot, but it is more likely to end with a bang rather than a whimper. Beans in the pressure cooker explode rather than deflate or dissolve. We will succeed in becoming successful carbon-dioxide-breathing baked bean-people or go out with an impressive bang while trying.

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Things that Matter

One of the things that I repeatedly need to do is to reaffirm fundamental beliefs. My son and I were talking this morning about things that might be worth getting fired for because there are lines we won’t cross, not even if someone is trying to push us across.

All People Count as People

Our family is made up of Caucasian, mostly-German-American white guys on one side (my side) and Filipino Hispanic-Polynesian folks on the other side (my wife’s side.) We believe that all kinds of people are equally valuable. As a school teacher I had to learn to love Hispanic and Spanish-speaking kids, loud and mostly happy black kids, Asian kids with tiger moms, and, of course, white kids of a thousand varieties. It upsets me that a former president tried to deport Dreamers who’ve never known any other country than the US. It upsets me that the Texas legislature is trying to cut down on the right to vote for black, Hispanic, and Asian people, as well as any other group who might vote for Democratic candidates. I am directly opposed to any Fox-News comments about any group of people that makes it seem like they are worth less than rich white Americans. Grant us all our human dignity.

Children Deserve to be Protected

I think one of the most important reasons for me to become a teacher was that I was myself sexually assaulted as a ten-year-old. I made a secret pact with myself to do everything in my power to prevent such a thing happening to any other child.

Maybe I never got the chance to confront a sexual predator myself, but I did take steps to help in situations of neglect, suicidal depression, drug problems, and I mentored several fatherless boys.

If you do it right, you can nurture a child into becoming an excellent human being.

Making People Laugh in Tough Times is a Good Thing

I am devoted to the idea that humor is a solution to many problems in this modern world. Of course, my wife (pictured to the left as a Panda from the Pandalore Islands) disagrees with this notion. That is because I am the husband, and husbands are always wrong. It is one of those unwritten rules followed by wives everywhere.

But because of my weird sense of humor I can laugh at anything even if it is actually hurting me. Against the healing power of laughter, nothing truly terrible can stand.

And so, today’s incoherent tirade now comes to an end. Not because I am actually done talking about my myriads of essential beliefs, but because three main points makes a good, teachable essay. And I can’t think of a number four right now because my brain shuts down after three just like everyone else’s. In fact, just like yours.

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The Rat War Rumbles On

We live in a residential area of a Dallas suburb that used to be a large cattle ranch with a couple of mills for grinding grain along a winding tributary of the Trinity River. Our house sits next to a greenbelt park that is the creek where the mill once sat to service the Josey Ranch. We are located on a small hill that would’ve been the bank of the mill pond back then. Hence the swamp fauna that live in our immediate environment.

We are visited yearly by mallard ducks, and sometimes Canadian geese on winter holiday. There are squadrons after squadrons of dragonflies, and the many small insects they search for and prey upon. We have the occasional coyote and families of raccoons residing under the Josey Lane bridge. Frogs and toads and seasonal mayflies… and more than our fair share of mosquitoes.

But by far, the biggest pain in the tuchus are the rats. Especially in the cold of the winter, the heat of the Texas summer, and whenever we get enough rain to wash them out of their nests in the storm drains when the rats move indoors to have sex parties in the attic, squaredances in the walls, and raids on the kitchen, especially the dog’s bowl, for extra snacking and pooping on the floor.

We are not talking about cute rats here. The mice in the Paffooney that leads off this essay are definitely not the ones that caused me to write this anti-rodentia-disgusticas rant. Those mice are actually me and my family portrayed in cartoon form. We are talking about more than fifteen roof rats and one big Norway rat, numbers that reflect only the ones we have slain so far in this pitched battle.

The fight started a couple of years ago when they first moved into the house through a hole in the roof and another one that opened when bricks fell out of the wall above the back patio door, allowing rat access to the insulation and the spaces behind the interior drywall panels. Once they were already inside, I tried to stop them first with rat poison. I had three confirmed kills that way, But then it began to seem that no matter how much poison I set out in poison traps in the attic, their numbers only increased, never diminished. In fact, I discovered they were eating the poison and enjoying it as much as they did the bait. We had created at least two generations of poison-resistant rats. They broke into a sack of poison I had on the patio and ate every morsel of it. Rats started sending me thank-you notes in the mail. (Wait a minute. That sentence may have been an exaggeration for comic effect. The thank-you turds were left in the kitchen, not the mailbox.)

picture from Pinterest

We really didn’t start making headway until we discovered the right kind of trap. Snap-traps didn’t work. Every rat seems to know how to eat the bait on a snap trap without setting off the snapper. Electrocution box traps didn’t work. They simply ignored the peanut butter bait. We never caught a single rat in those traps.

But sticky traps… like flypaper for rats,,, didn’t work either… until we started placing them in the escape routes the rats used to flee from the family dog. Suddenly the traps began to fill up as Jade, our half-corgi half-rat-terrier, learned to chase them towards the traps. In the last three months, twelve more roof rats, and today’s amazingly large, eighteen-inch-from-nose-to-tail Norway rat makes thirteen caught by sticky trap. Ha-ha, Mortimer! Your days are numbered now. Don’t look at me with those skeptical black rat-eyes. I am winning the Rat War. At least for now.

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Spitzen Sparkin’ Daze

My old laptop is not happy…

It’s seen much better days,

It growls and grumbles, snorts and fumbles…

And gets revenge in many ways.

Now it thinks a tiny font…

Is funny next to this

And zooms the screen five-hundred percent

To make the next rhyme miss!

And hopefully, I can afford//#%& a new c om pu ter soon

Because this one is veery weiiird

And totally out of tune.

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