Old Diver Tales

My diving career began a long time back, I was staying with a friend of mine, we were barely surviving, but we were staying alive, amazing what you can live without when you are young. One day my friend says to me, I’m going to go toe digging and make some money. Toe digging? Money? I had to ask, what the hell is toe digging and how does it translate to money?

Well, there are these critters called freshwater mussels. Kentucky Lake on the Tn. River, right here close to where I live, just happens to have the best quality shell in the world. The shell grow very well here, they break good*, and the Japanese/Chinese love our shells. There used to be three buyers of shell locally, but the economy boom of the eighties/nineties went bust, the cultured pearl biz* never recovered really, and we are down to one buyer here. It’s still alive, but barely breathing.

Anyway, long story short, there are companies who pay for these shell. Though not nearly what they used to. At one time there was big bucks in it, and I got some of that. Anyway…

Toe digging, is where you go to the river/lake, (it’s both really, a huge lake with a 50′ deep average, river channel running through it,) so you go to the lake (after you bought your license to harvest shell,) and you wade around in the backwaters with no shoes on, feeling with your feet, for the shell. You collect these shell up and at the end of the day you go sell to the buyer. Clearly a summertime job.

I made around 50 bucks my first day, my friend closer to $75. Well damn! I like toe digging. So began my toe digging experience.

Well, there were also guys out there with boats rigged out with diving equipment, and those guys were getting shell too. A LOT more shell than a toe digger. I soon realized where the money was at, and aspired to be a diver someday. But that’s an expensive proposition. Boats/motors, and dive gear, ain’t exactly cheap. And I ain’t exactly a Rockefeller.

As it turns out, a neighbor at the time, he is one of those guys always looking to make a buck, he had a boat rigged out for two divers. The deal was he supplied all equipment, the diver just had to get the shell, 50/50 split. He knew I was toe digging, and he stopped in one day. One of his divers had quit, did I want the job?

Why hell yes! I want the job. He said be ready to go at 6 AM.

I grew up watching Jacques Cousteau, and always knew I would love to do some of that ๐Ÿ™‚ Bonus was, I could make money while achieving a dream of going diving. I could not pass on this opportunity. I couldn’t not go. I’m somewhere around 19 or 20 at the time. No matter…

I was ready to go come 6:00 AM. The other experienced diver on the boat, his nickname was Crazy Charlie, that’s all I ever knew him by. Well they put me out in shallow water to get my feet wet so to speak. I started off in water I could stand up in and my chest/head would still clear the surface. So I went down, you crawl on your hands and knees to feel for the shell, and sack them up as you find them. Well I crawled a bit I was enjoying the experience immensely, then I thought I’m going to stand up and see where I’m at, relative to the boat. I stood up, my head was still under water. I looked up, could see the surface above me, and for a second I was like oh crap! But I soon realized I had air, I was perfectly fine, I had no reason to be afraid, the diving gear was doing its job. So I calmed down and I went back to crawling. But I wasn’t finding any shell. There just weren’t any there. This was a test dive to see how I’d take to it. I knew that. I went back to the boat and told them what I told you. There’s nothing here. Well Crazy Charlie tells me, the shell are over there, pointing at the river channel. I said “let’s go where the shell are.”

Well the shell here were 40+ feet down. The plan was I’d start at the top of the river channel, and work my way down to where the shell were. My first day diving, I hit 40′, it was a slow crawl down that steep river bank, then once you got down so far it started to slowly taper off towards the middle of the river channel getting deeper as you go. Didn’t make much money my first day, but I took to it pretty quick.

Well, I worked for this guy for close to two years. A friend of his I knew, also had a rigged out boat with the same deal, 50/50 split, a boat he had just recently got ready to go. The guy I was working for, put me and two other divers (Crazy Charlie was long since gone and these two guys were complete greenhorns,) out one day, in a mudhole. I went down, did my best to find shell there. There weren’t any. I went back to the boat in 20 minutes or less and informed him of the predicament. He told me to get back down there and work. I tried to explain we could do better elsewhere but he was a hard headed bastard and wouldn’t have it. He told me to go down and work, I told him to shove it. I quit on the spot. I had just been down there, there was no reason to go back, I wasn’t going to waste time and effort and risk the skin off of my backside for absolutely zero gain. I don’t care if Jesus told me to do it. After a good while, maybe an hour, the other two divers came up with little to nothing to show for it. I wasn’t wrong. This guy I was working for was a bit of a jerk, I kind of knew I wasn’t going to last much longer here anyway.

Went to work for the other guy though, George, the next morning. I went and talked to him and we went to work. He was a lot easier to deal with, very agreeable guy, he understood if I said we need to move, that we need to move. George valued my input, and the experience I had developed. He was never pushy, or an ass, just a really good guy and a good guy to work with/for. George passed away a while back, I still miss him. He was one of the good guys. But the point is, if I’m not getting shell, neither of us are making any money. He had no trouble understanding that. I worked for George for a year, probably a year and a half, by then I had saved up the money to get my own gear. I slowly but surely rigged out a boat, buying one piece at a time, and when it was finally ready, I told George it was time for me to head out on my own. But I stayed on and trained a couple of guys for him before I ventured out into my own diving adventure. I didn’t have to do that. But I wanted to, if that tells you anything.

Side note, one of the guys I trained was my little brother. He stands 6’4″ close to 280 lb. and turned out to be a good diver. He managed to work his way to his own boat, same way I did. I’m sure he could tell a few of these old diver tales too. Anyone who worked at it for any length of time, I assure you, they have tales to tell.

I’ll tell you something else, you can’t judge a book by its cover. I trained a lot of guys in my time on those boats. Big burly tough guys you might think had no fear of anything, wouldn’t make it through a day. They were done after one dive. Some scrawny shit you think will shoot off like a rocket for home first chance he gets, turns out that was the guy who made something of it and stuck with it. There is no rhyme or reason to who has the fortitude for the job. You have to be able to handle your fears. If you can’t control that, you are done and rather quickly. It’s little to no visibility down there. Lots of stumps, old rebar tangles, fishermans nets, trot lines, broken bottles, any number of things that will gash you hands/fingers, steep drop offs, wind and current, thunderstorms, equipment malfunctions, and your own particular level of doing stupid stuff to deal with. If you don’t learn something each and every time you go out there, you weren’t paying attention. Bottom line, it’s dangerous out there, you better be paying attention…

So I’m now self employed. I was still a little green to a lot of the stuff that can happen though, it does sometimes take getting through bad situations to better understand how to see them coming. I’d been diving, harvesting shell for around three years now, but it’s a completely different scenario when you go solo, and there is an endless number of things that can go wrong at any time. It was nice having someone in the boat looking after things and keeping an eye on the weather, nasty storms will sneak up on you out there, and there are towboats, enormous wakes from assholes in huge cruisers, and bass fishermen running 70 mph everywhere they go, these are everyday concerns. Well I went out one morning and tossed anchor on a spot, threw my gear on, pulled anchor, and jumped in, standard procedure. The day before though, after my last dive, I replaced my regulator mouthpiece as I had bitten through the old one. I didn’t have the little zip tie with me to secure the mouthpiece to the regulator, but I figured I’d fix that before I went out the next day. Right?

Completely forgot. The mouthpiece was on the regulator, but not sufficienlty secure.

Well I wasn’t paying attention to the current that morning either. It was ripping and I didn’t catch that at first. The current can be deceiving, it can be really strong and not appear to be, at first glance. When I jumped in, the boat quickly drifted behind me with the current, and jerked real hard when it pulled tight. Probably dragged me three or four feet before I could dig in and hold it.**

Well I got control of the boat, tried to pull against the current, it was tough, I could barely make any headway. And for two seconds I turned my head sideways to the current. My regulator went wubba wubba wubba wubba, fluttering up and down very rapidly, then it flew out of my mouthpiece, now I realize I forgot the damn zip tie! Naturally of course, just after I exhaled, I lost my air supply. So, there I am, fishing for my regulator, the regulator is attached to the air line, the current had it flopping about, I’ve stood up by now, I’m fast walking on the bottom trying to keep from falling down, the current is pushing me, the boat is pulling me, and I couldn’t find the damn regulator! Every half second spent fishing for that regulator, is closer to this getting real serious. Quick calculation tells me that with this level of current, if I drop my weight belt and shoot for the surface, I may go a long ways horizontally, before I make good headway towards the surface. I was probably down 15-20′, I didn’t like that proposition. I’m fast running out of oxygenated blood here, so my only other option was to ditch the effort looking for the regulator, which wasn’t producing results, and to go hand over hand with my lifeline as fast as I could towards the boat. Each pull on the line as far as my arms would reach. There was 65′ of line to conquer before I get back to the boat. You have to make these decisions and act in a split seconds time, panic is your enemy. There is no time to waste. I hauled my ass back as fast as I could go.

Even knowing my regulator was no longer attached to the mouthpiece, I still clung to the mouthpiece with my teeth, and knowing full well you can’t try to breathe in this situation, I still tried to suck air once, and drank a good bit of river water. Fortunately I was pretty close to the boat. I made it (obviously,) but it was dicey there for a minute. No matter what the conditions are, even when you know it is not safe to breathe, sooner or later, your body will defy your wishes. It will attempt to breathe whether you are above the waterline or not.

Just two little mistakes. I forgot the zip tie, and stupid me did not check the current conditions before I decided to jump in. Little things like that can add up to big problems quick. One of these things on their own would have been easily rectified, probably forgotten by lunchtime, and certainly not worthy of mention at the end of the day. Both of those things working against me simultaneously however, turned out to be a close call. There was a lot of things over the years I did not discuss with my wife and kids when I got home. This was one of them.

Every single time I go out since that day, whether for business or pleasure, I check the current before I do anything else. I also always have a lighter and a compass in the boat. Both, stories for another day… Oh, and zip ties. There are zip ties. ๐Ÿ˜‰

* Breaks good, means when you crack a shell hard enough to break it, it breaks clean with no double growth fractures or mud lines. It breaks solid all the way through and has no mud line stripes in it. Ideal for manufacturing nuclei, for implants, in the making of cultured pearls. Yep, I’ve been in the jewelry business! I went back last year and got a few shells, will go again as soon as spring breaks. I missed diving so bad I couldn’t stand it. Had to go.

** The type of diving I do isn’t SCUBA, its Hookah. Hookah, you are supplied air via a lifeline to the boat. The air line is attached to a good sturdy rope. The rope attaches to the front of the boat on one end and your weight belt on the other. You have to wear a heavy weight belt to keep you down there with a wet suit on, which enables you to generate the power you need to pull/control the boat against current, and waves on windy days. You won’t get far at neutral bouyancy, which is SOP for SCUBA.

Whew, I just looked this over, didn’t know I was writing a book. ๐Ÿ™‚

My, How Far We Have Come

You know, back when I was kid, it’s been a few years ๐Ÿ˜‰ we did the nuke drills. Yep everyone got under their desks, to save us from a nuclear attack. Which now that I think about it, I think it might have been better to die looking out the damn window, I’d rather take my last breath looking death in the eye and telling it to piss off. But anyway…

EVERYBODY hated the damn commies back then. There was no dissent. It was as sure as the sun coming up tomorrow. The commies were the bad guys. Pure evil. That’s just how it was. No one liked a commie.

Then I grew up a little bit. I realized that the commies were people, just like us in many ways. I learned not to hate commies somewhere between then and now. I learned not to hate the people, but to appreciate all of our desires, to live our lives, raise our children, enjoy the good things. I learned that the people were not necessarily a true representation of their government.

I also learned a lot about white privilege, the oppression of blacks, and the true history of us stealing this country from those who lived here before. I learned being gay wasn’t such a terrible thing that people thought it was. I learned religion and its adherents are full of shit. I learned a lot of things.

But I never thought I would ever see people in our society actively supporting communists attacking a neighbor. I’m somewhat stunned by the assholes at Faux News. I’m a bit shocked, at some of our politicians supporting the Russian invasion/war in Ukraine. Given the state of our politics, I guess it shouldn’t be such a huge leap. Idiots that the Republican party are…

I am however, not at all surprised at the orange idiot supporting Putin. After all, Ukraine refused to participate in the orange idiots election fraud, so he has an an axe to grind there. Also, Putin is the orange turds most favorite authoritarian dictator of all time. So no, that was no surprise. I pretty much expected that.

Our politicians though, actively and openly supporting this attack, is appalling. For our people, our Americans, to support the communists in a land grab war, this is unacceptable to me. For them to back our politicians support in this attack, is equally unacceptable. Even unbelievable. Any, who support this attack, or our politicans who also favor it, is tantamount to treason in my humble opinion. Communism has been an ever present threat to democracy for as long as I can remember and still is. How anyone can so easily forget that that is beyond my reasoning.

I don’t hate the commies anymore. But I sure as hell do not support their war machine invading Ukraine. Nor should anyone. But here we are. Our own fucking people supporting communism, and communist aggression. Supporting War. Supporting Death. Supporting Mutilation and Misery, from an authoritarian communist dictator. That Americans can support this? Despicable. I have words, but cannot speak them. I cannot believe what my country has come to.

I Guess I Needed the Excercise

While I have always been more of a cat person, despite having several dogs over the years, we somehow managed to wind up with 3 dogs in the house. First a stray was hanging around, and someone made the mistake of putting some food out for it. Boom! Dog #1 (Goldie/female.) Then my son decided to adopt a dog from the pound, and we decided what the heck. Boom! Dog #2. (Champ/male,) Champ was thought to be a lab/pit mix, but he grew into something that sure enough looks like lab, but no pit whatsoever. We have concluded with his body design and appearance he is more likely a labradane. Half lab, half Great Dane. Then one day a vehicle we did not recognize went down the lane out front and exited not long after, we didn’t think much of it, people often drive down there, see it’s a dead end, and exit. But then a little while later a dog we’ve never seen shows up. This time, no doubt, it’s a Pit Bull (Mauser/male.) Boom! Dog #3. Undoubtedly left to his own devices, criminally dropped off in the country, for what reason we will never likey know. We canvassed the neighborhood, put out FB reports of a found dog, (Not me actually I despise FB (or Meta), but my son has it,) and no one ever claimed him, so he is officially ours now.

That’s the setup, we have 3 dogs. Champ is the subject of the post. Champ has a personality that is decidedly kingly, very untrusting of strangers, yet very lovable. His charming super power is making everyone who knows him love his ways. And we do. Well, I let the dogs out for a morning walk, was it 3 days ago now? I can hardly remember at this point. Anyway, in the time it took me to slip on some shoes and a jacket, Mauser and Champ were gone. They, both have training collars, I quickly did the “beeps,” Mauser came right back. Champ disappeared. We assume there was a deer, and he lit out after it.

Well myself and one of the boys made a few trips into the woods trying to find him in the cold November rain, with no luck whatsover. So I’m soon worn out from the walking, in hilly terrain, with open fields scattered about, in deer season, and no hunter orange on. Just was so worried about the dog It didn’t occur to me I might get my ass shot off by some dumbass redneck with a high powered rifle. But then it did occur to me and I was seriously concerned about said dumbass redneck having a bad hunt morning, and deciding to shoot my dog. But alas no sighting of our dog, dead or alive. I got home and used the truck to roam the roads that encircle our location for the rest of the evening up till dark, stopping and talking to people, letting them know, showing them a picture, and putting the word out. No luck.

Day 2. No rain today, but steadily dropping temps and a cold wind. There is a patch of woods to the N of us we didn’t hunt the day before, that’s my target area for the day. But I went to town first and bought some hunter orange vests so everyone in the field had some protection against getting their ass shot off. I swear the last place I want to be, is in the middle of the woods, in deer season, with well armed redneck dumbasses about. But off we go. We separate in the woods, far enough apart we can glimpse and hear each othe calling out for the dog. We covered a good bit of ground heading W, then decided to turn N and continue. We broke out into another field and one of my sons who was with, yelled out “there he is!” I turned in time to see something, about the right color and size breaking into the woodline. Not a positive ID by any means, a one second glimpse doesn’t imprint in your brain too well from a moving object 80 yards off. Well we move that way, I’m looking for dog prints in the field, and my boy is scanning the woods. I decided on the chance it was our dog, that we should again separate, and push through the woods back to the S, hoping if it was Champ we could drive him in the direction of home. At this point I am unsure of his mental state, being a lost dog in the woods, having already spent one night alone, everything is your enemy, to the point you might not even recognize those who love and care for you. So we pushed through the woods, the briars, the holly trees, the tangle of vines, and scrub trees, damn good thing I did a lot of woods exploring as a kid, I can pick a path through rough stuff pretty quick and always have a walking stick.

We got back home, no dog. We never saw whatever we had seen again.

Back to square one. Grab some lunch, change shirts, you work up a bit of a sweat and the wet shirt on a cold day isn’t a good thing. The wife gets home, I tell her about the morning, we decide to go hit the area again, that one glimpse was the only card we had to play at this point. So we went back, wearing hunter orange, and spent a few hours looking to no avail. We retreat to home and start another roaming hunt by vehicle. No luck. We decide to go to town and get fast food for supper, we were none of us interested in cooking at this point. End of the day, no dog. Weather prediction 31 degrees this night. We are concerned.

That afternoon, my son has a job at Wal Mart, someone asks him, are you the one looking for a lost dog? Well my son informed him yes indeed we were. Well this guy says he was hunting that morning and was about to shoot a deer, when a dog broke from the brush and scared away the deer. The dog fit the description. My son sends me the guys phone number, and it turns out he one of our neighbors son! They live to our S, and Champ was definately sighted there, that morning, around 5:30 AM. So we had a verified sighting. It was already near dark, but we went and make a quick hunt before we lost all light and had to abandon. That’s when we went to town for take out. Typing this out as I recall it…

31 degrees. I toss and turn, trying to sleep, worn out, worried about the dog. We get up, day 3. After speaking to our neighbors son, I was aware he is taking his daughter on the hunt this morning, eager to get out looking I texted him wanting to know about what time they would be heading home. 10AM was the reply, and as he was our sole lead, I honored his hunt and waited till 9:30 that morning before gearing up and heading out. My wife geared up and told me she was going to hunt the woods close by, hoping to get lucky, I waited a bit and headed for the area where Champ was last seen.

One of the boys and I, encountered our father/daughter hunters as they were heading out, we were heading in. He showed us the general wherabouts the dog was last seen, and we headed that way. The trail breaks out into a long narrow clearing and we are flanking the clearing, calling out for the dog. My boy gets out ahead of me, and I lose sight of him, but I know he is fine in the woods, as am I, and he will get home. After a bit, I’m moving away from the sighting zone, and I decide to double back and recheck the area of the sighting, and fan out from there. I made my way to a creek, I could see a bean field on the other side, I decide to cross the creek, getting one of my darn feet wet in the process, I don’t care at this point, I didnt even stop to wring out my sock. I was making my way through the scrub when I heard something behind me, Mauser, the Pit Bull was with me, but I could see him, so I turned to see what was behind me, and there was Champ. He was as glad to see me as I was to see him.

I had a couple of Milk Bone treats in my pocket for the occaision, he gobbled them up quick. After a long moment of happy dog, happy guy greetings, I get them moving towards home. Called my other son along the way, told him to spread the news. I was on my way back, with a Champ in tow.

Got home. My son who was in the woods with me and had gone on ahead, had beaten me back. He informs me that his mom, my wife, is lost in the damn woods!

Son of a…

Well, she has her phone, I can talk to her. I call, she is the worlds worst at giving directions, at first I got the impression she headed N, so I’m going that way, then no… maybe it was W from home. So I cut back that way, actually right back through our backyard, I didn’t think she was very far off, she told me she would be close to home. Well as much as I harp on rednecks, I have enough redneck in me to own a few firearms, and I generally do not go unarmed in the woods. There are coyotes, and rednecks out there. I tell the wife I’m going to pop off a shot with the .45, see if you can hear it, and get a direction. Well she hears it but barely. She is further out that I thought. So I’m off traipsing through the woods again. I head W, then cross a couple of fields, through another treeline, and across another field. I’ll stop and yell out “Hey-Ooooo” every little bit and listen for a response. Nothing. I call her again, can’t make heads or tails out of where she might be, or what damn direction. I finally realized, we both have freaking maps on our phones. I tell her to open up the map app, and tell me what she is close to. Well she pinned her location and sent me a screenshot! Even better. I now had her location. She was S of me. So I head off that way, watching my location on the map in conjunction with her position. I’m making my way across creeks, through the woods and scrub, across a field, I can see I’m getting close. It looked like I was darn close, then I did the expand the map thing, and son of a… She was still a long way off, but not terribly far from a highway.

Change of plans. I tell her to head for the highway, I’m going back home to come get her at the highway with the car. I have enough gumption in the tank I can get home, or get to her, but not both, by foot. So by the time I get home, I am so freaking exhausted I can barely think straight. But I hop in the car and get as close to her last location I can get by car. Just so happens I stopped in here a couple days back and told the owner I had a lost dog. I asked him if I could park and head through the woods to find my lost wife. He consents (another EDIT: at this point we had been trespassing all over the damn countryside, generally it is considered ok by most land owners in a “hunting for your dog” situation, in this case I had to park a car so I sought permission.) So back through the brush, the briars, the scrub, a field, some more scrub, and a treeline, she’s at the bottom of the hill there. I packed in some Power Aid knowing she had nothing to drink, she got watered up and we headed home.

This saga is complete. Got the dog, got the wife, the aches and pains, the exhaustion, will subside. The wife had several scratches, those briars are nasty man, a few bruises, she had fallen a couple of times, but otherwise she’s in good shape.

Champ after cleaning up the abundance of ticks, and we still find a few, he has considerable issues with his paw pads, no deep lacerations but a lot of abraded areas, I doctored those up with some Neosporin, an antibiotic ointment, just to help kill any bacteria present, with out subjecting him to a high pain alternative. He is ravenous after being lost for 2.5 days. He is resting well, seems in good spirits, but does does limp a bit with sore paws at times. I will monitor his condition closely, he may have a vet trip trip sooner than later if he doesn’t show massive improvement in a day or so.

All of those things that a normally functioning household gets done, have been left undone for 3 damn days now. I told the wife last night, sit down, I’ll get this stuff done tomorrow. (Today) Well, I told her this morning as she headed off for work, “babe, those things I said I’d get tomorrow, some of that stuff might wait till tomorrow.” ๐Ÿ™‚

Mauser is the white Pit Bull. Champ is the yellow labradane. Both probably around 100 lbs each now. Well Champ lost a few pounds, but he’ll get them back. This pic is deceiving, Champ can literally rest his chin on the dinner table standing up, without standing on his tip toes ๐Ÿ˜‰ A good side view and the Dane is more apparent. Especially when he drools.

EDIT: I completely forgot after all that transpired, on day one, right after Champ went missing, my good friend and great bassist Jimmy, who was coming over so we could do some recording, he helped me on a woods trip, and we did some roaming vehicle looking… We didn’t have any luck at all, but I needed to put that in here. I know he reads the blog ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I’m sure to hear it! I’m sorry Jimmy! I’ll buy you a drink.

Just So Y’all Know…

Me and mine are fine. The horrible flooding that hit Waverly Tn. and surrounding areas, missed us. But not by much. It was just across the Tn. river from here. I heard the weather alert radio go off for a little north of where I’m at, foretelling heavy rains and flash flooding. But all we got out of it was maybe an inch and a half or so, at my location. What a difference a few miles makes…

From the news, it looks like incredible devastation. Last I heard it was 21 or 22 known dead with 40-something unaccounted for.

All we can do is hope some of the missing show up at a friends house, or survived the trip downstream. It’s times like these you count your lucky stars, hug your kids, and hope the best for those less fortunate in trying times. It’s painful watching the news knowing it could have been here, and wishing those who suffered through it, didn’t have to.

Hope you are all doing well. Busier than a six legged dog a scratching fleas around here. I’m exhausted from being exhausted. Got a good nights sleep last night, but still moving slow today and a lot of stuff to do that can’t wait any longer…

Ramblings on Fallacies

Here lately I have been somewhat focused on the how and the why our society has become so damn divided. I used to vote R at a time in my life. I did not disagree too much with the party message, being for the most part, this is America dammit! There is opportunity for us all, it is up to us to get out there, and seek it. So I did. And I prospered to some degree. It all seemed to make sense.

But there were also times I voted for a D. I never identified as a R or a D. I simply looked at what both sides had to offer and made my decisions at the voting booth accordingly. It never occurred to me it had to be an all one or the other concept. My brain just never worked that way. I always saw things are never black and white, there is always a gray area or exceptions to a rule or a norm, and I’ve seen the blinders on people who can only see either/or.

Well my personal position hasn’t really moved one way or the other really. I still try to look at all sides and form an opinion based on what I can see and hear. Over the years what really stands out to me is this. The R party, for all intents and purposes has lost it’s freaking mind! They have moved so far to the right, so far into crazytown, that my middle ground ass looks like a radical lefty. I think, for most of us with an ounce of critical thinking skill, we can effectively agree on this.

So, maybe we agree. Which begs the question, how the hell did this happen? How did we get here?

My personal opinion, the answer is, the weaponization of right wing media, social media outlets (willingly or unwillingly) letting insanity run free, and last but not least, the people we share the world with. I have sort of been harping on logical fallacies of late. I’ll often link to the page of fallacies or insert a link to a specific fallacy as a response to a obvious fallacial argument. Which I know probably tends to make me look more like a prick than I’m comfortable with, but I feel like it is important for folks to understand these fallacies, primarily because they are the oft used tool in the toolkit of a lying, misleading, all out propaganda assault, on all good people. Once we become aware of what is being used against us, maybe we can learn to combat not just the big lie, but all of the rest of the lies and B.S. as well.

Politicians, media outlets, and people parroting what they have heard from these sources, have allowed, even encouraged, a long festering deep seated primal hate, that used to mostly hide under the bed, prosper in broad daylight. It feels to me like the divisiveness today is 1000x stronger than it was a few short years ago. I know myself, depite knowing darn well they can’t all be bad people, I find myself wanting to wall myself off from anyone that walks or talks like a R. Just because the B.S. has become so deep, and they are so embedded within it, I don’t want to be anywhere around these freaking people. I dont want to feel like that. I’m almost sure, that is the outcome, our professional liars in media and politics, are trying to take us to. And there we go, bleating the entire way…

With these things in mind, I did a search today, I found an interesting writeup by someone, I never caught the who, but this is a very well written look, at what I feel is much of the source of our social ills of the day. It is an eye opening look into fallacies, understanding them, and our own human failings, as to why we tend use these fallacies. Once people understand how they are being used against us, it is the way to find our way back, I hope, to a better world. Sadly the people who need it the most will balk at the thought they have ever been deceived, or wrong about anything. It takes a certain amount of open mindedness to open the door to introspect. So, those who need it the most will likely never consider it. But I do believe it is important for us to look at it from this angle.

I didn’t agree with everything there, it is a 10 part series, with lots of great quotes, and videos interspersed here and there to help drive a point home. But overall I liked it. I’m not real sure about the part encouraging folks to experiment with psychadelics, but I’ll have to try it first and get back to you. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m also not sure about the premise of making anyone smarter, but it certainly has the potential to make people think. Which sometimes is a worthwhile investment.

I’d love to see your thoughts…

How to get Smarter: A guide to critical thinking, cognitive biases, and logical fallacies

I could not for the life of me get that link to embed. I kept getting told the site refused the request. But perhaps a copy and paste will work.

After I wrote this up, I went back and perused more on this guys site. (I’ve been exploring issues that could cause the link fail, changing settings, and even trying to use IE instead of my duck duck go/chrome, to no avail so this has been sitting in drafts for a day) Anyway… I saw a bit on astral projection there, that made me wince. Even though I did dabble with it when I was a kid. So, with that in mind it is possible for someone to post really good stuff and go over the deep end in places you did not see coming. I still feel like the place I’m sending my brave friends, is worth the trip.

Again, let me know your thoughts. It’s a long series, there’s no rush ๐Ÿ™‚

The Problem With Thinking

I was thinking this morning, that’s the smell you may have noticed, sort of like hot grease and slipping belts, about the wealth of knowledge we have these days. Even armed with that, we still do not know everything about everything. New understandings, new discoveries, new models, will still tend to show us just how much we do not yet know about that which we may know a little.

I often see fallacious thinking along the lines of “we don’t know everything about “x”, therefore “x” should be avoided/ridiculed/left alone/ or sarcastically laughed off with a hardy har har. And I believe, that every little thing in our daily lives is based on what we know about every little situation, we encounter in our lives. How what we know affects our decisions, is based on personal experience, a few things we may have heard (which should be at least deemed plausible before we use in a decion making process,) and whatever study we have done on the matter. That’s it, it’s all we have to go by.

There is nothing wrong about living our lives thusly. But when we are faced with new knowledge that counters the things we thought we knew, we have to now base our decisions on the upgraded model. Andโ€ฆ “There’s Nothing Wrong With That!”

What got me thinking, and again I apologize for the smell, I don’t think all that often, the gears are a tad dry, wasโ€ฆ I overheard some asinine Faux News moron somehwere, dissing Dr. Fauci, because of some statements he made early on in the Covid crisis. He made statements based on the knowledge available at the time. Those statements were later contradicted as new evidence, new knowledge, came in. And our ass backward, fallacially wealthy simpletons at Faux News, believe that changing our stance based on new information, is somehow ridiculous.

When in fact, it is the best way for us to all make decisions. When we learn new things about things we thought we knew something about, we should base our future decisions with that new information in mind. Not doing so, is a sure sign, your logic chip, if you have one, is malfunctioning!

When I was a kid, I acquired a pack of firecrackers. Well, several packs of firecrackers. I did what comes naturally to kids, I went about lighting and tossing my firecrackes as the notion hit me. I learned in the process that most firecracker fuses will burn at a fairly steady rate. I learned that some firecrackers had noticicably faster fuses, and one should be alert to that possibility. That is, be ready to get rid of it quick! One day, I came upon a firecracker with a short fuse. That was the day that I learned some firecrackes have really, really, fast fuses. I lit the fuse and it went ssBOOM!

I didn’t lose any fingers, but I did gain some new knowledge that has helped me in all of my fireworks enjoyment through the years. And all I can say is, if you haven’t figured out yet, about how to incorporate the things you have learned, into your life adventures, you haven’t lit enough damn firecrackers!

Being able to apply similar logic to the rest of your life decisions, ought to at least be the minimum standard for having children. If you don’t understand what a fallacy is, you haven’t even learned how to think yet. Let alone, are you ready to start having children!

It’s not stupid, it’s not suspicious, it’s not ridiculous, it’s not embarrassing, it’s not somehow dubious, to modify your understanding of the things, you think you know, when you learn more on the subject. If your opinion is contrary to that, the problem is not with someone who used experience, logic, and new information, to change their view. The problem is you!

Most of my blog friends are very much aware of what a fallacy is. For some lone internet wanderer who may have found their way here. This link will enlighten you:


Oh! And if you are wondering, which fallacy our Faux News idiot was using, it seems to me to be a combination of a few, but for the most part, it is the Poisoning the Well Fallacy. Mixed in with a bit of Ad Hominem and an Appeal to Motive. A misguided attack, because a man changed his opinion due to new information. This situation really should have its own formal fallacy. “The Faux News Fallacy.”

You learn what fallacies are, you won’t be watching Faux News much anymore…


On all counts. There is justice for George Floyd.

Now we need justice for all of the wrongful deaths by the police. The very people who are supposed to be here to “protect and serve,” who instead behave as an occupying force, diregarding the laws they too should abide by. Acting with deadly force when none is called for. Operating with built in immunity. The system, swallowing up police crimes with red tape, and prosecutors failing to seek charges that should have been brought forth. Sometimes even defying a Grand Jury order to do so.

It is high time the police get policed. It is also time to demilitarize the police. They do not need armored vehicles and insane firepower to do their jobs. That’s why we have a military.

Let the police, police. We need them to do their jobs. And walk the damn line as they do.

Let this jury verdict be the first step on a path to a better police force.

Why The Bleep! Does WP Do This To Me?

I’m scrolling through the reader to see what I can see, and there’s a post by someone I don’t remember. I don’t recall putting this guy on my follow list? So I click on it to see if it might jar my memory, and I get this:


Good freaking grief! How the hell did this nutter get on my reader? No comments either. Not open to new ideas unless they are served up by Q I suppose…

And while I’m at it, where the hell did the dashboard go?

Can We Just Call It What It Is?

Here lately I’ve been hearing the word “misinformation” a lot. You know, referring to the kind of crap Faux News and Republicans are always foisting upon society. The hell with calling it “misinformation.” Let’s call it what it is.

Low down, dirty, conniving, malicious, unadulterated, LIES!

Alternative facts? LIES!

Spin? Spin isn’t quite a lie usually, but it’s always faulty logic. There will almost always be a false equivalency, or a slippery slope, or a half truth, omitting what they don’t want you to hear. Which in that case, is another LIE!

I’m sick and damn tired of dancing around the fact that the loony infested, right wing, nutcase brigade, is flat out lying about damn near everything, and no one mainstream, is calling it out. It gets called “misinformation” instead.

No, it’s LIES all the way down. The longer they get away with it, the deeper the pile of BS that gets dumped, daily, on the boob toob for all of the logic challenged, red hat wearing, dimmer than the lowest wattage bulb in the variety pack, freaking morons, who will soon be believing the lies they hear as fact. And repeating it as fact. When it’s all a bunch of damn LIES!

There is no nice way to say it. They have made a cash cow out of lying to morons. It’s a big industry now don’t cha know? Lying to people has become as valuable as Wall Street. Look at all of the companies, Fox, Onan, Newsmax, the right wing radio froot loop network, an orange idiot recent president, Facebook, numerous right wing internet sites, probably more crap out there than I am even aware of, all based on, the for profit proliferation of the LIE.

…and no one seems interested in calling it that?

I have mentioned to a few R types, that the former orange idiot president, was a damn liar of enormous magnitude. You know what the first thing that comes out of their mouths is? “Well they all do it!” “All politicians are liars!”

As if, that makes it ok? That little bit of idiocy makes it ok for them all to lie? That means we can ignore all the lies they have told, and all of the BS they have foisted upon society? Really?

For that matter, I am a damn liar too. Yes I have told lies. So have you. Some situations might call for a bit of truth stretching, or more adequetely a lie. “Do I look fat in this dress? Anyone ever been asked that? You might be better off telling a little white lie, than being completely honest in some situations. We have all done that, we have all been there, when the little white lie is a better option than the truth. But…

We aren’t making up crazy ass, nut job, conspiracies from whole cloth though. And then pawning it off on national television, or the internet, or the radio, as a matter of known fact. No. That is something else entirely.

It is high time to make this commercial lie institution responsible for their actions. The sort of lies that instigate insurrections, and make people of different opinion, or color, race, creed, or nationality, hate each other, these lies should be made to pay. There should be restitution for any victims who are a result of the lie. The lie for profit companies should pay the government huge fines, for politcizing and profiting from lie after lie after lie.

Free speech is one thing. But I’m going to say it here and now, lying for profit and politics needs to be shot in the foot. The lie that gets ’round the world before the truth can put its shoes on, needs a good dose of expensive reality. These lies need to be made to pay for their actions.

Make them pay, till they can only afford to speak the truth.

Bought Any Lumber Lately?

A friend of mine, an old diver buddy, and one of the few people I can hang out with and do a little light drinking and have a good time, decided to get a new boat motor. He didn’t trade in his old motor, a 2012 Mercury, 4 stroke, 60hp. Well, he wound up making me an offer I couldn’t refuse. The boat motor is hanging from a hoist, dangling from a swingset I built years ago, which was built heavy duty enough to double as a motor puller.

Well, I can’t leave it there forever, and as I already have a 90 hp 2 stroke Mercury, sitting on the outboard stand I built a while back, I decided to build another stand, this time a quick, easy build, from plans on the net using 2×4’s and a 2×6″. So I drove my happy ass to the lumber shed in town and told the owner I wanted three 2×4″ and one 2×6″. He tallied it up and it came to $42 and change. I was incredulous! I asked him, did he get that right? Three 2×4″ and one 2×6″? He looked it over and told me yes, that was correct. I said… no. I’m not paying $42 and change, for 4 planks that not that long ago I could have bought for a twenty, and have enough left over for a Coke. So I got back in my truck and went home, not just a little miffed.

Well I did some inventory in the shop and I have some 1″ square tube steel, but nowhere near enough to build the stand from metal as I did the first one. So I drove to our closest metal supply/scrap yard and inquired how much would it cost me for three 8′ pieces of medium grade thickness, 1″ square tube steel. It came to $42.

So you can buy freaking steel for the same price as lumber right now apparently.

As I always do when I’m at the scrap yard, I poked around in the scrap and bought some pieces of flat steel and diamond plate, the kind of stuff that comes in handy when you have a welder and are prone to using it periodically. It all came to $51.

My new outboard stand is 90% done, I still have one piece to weld in, and I have the scrap piece of 2×6″ I found while digging in the shop, drilled and drying with its first coat of polyurethane. I typically use a product, it is a spray on bedliner in a rattle can, to protect my steel creations (Dupli-Color brand), but my local Auto Zone no longer carries it apparently, so I had to order 2 cans from Amazon. It’s always something.

Anyway, consider this fair warning. If you are planning a project that will be using lumber, and it’s that time of the year here in the states, be sitting down when you hear how much it will cost you!

Oh, I went back to the lumber shed to buy the hardware to complete the outboard stand, it cost me right around $10, for four 1/4-20 bolts, 3.5″ long, with washers and nylock nuts. And two 1/2″ bolts, 5″ long, with washers and nylock nuts.

If you happen to have a good supply of lumber, and a good supply of hardware right now, you might want to consider leaving it to the kids in the will! Things are getting to where stuff like that is heirloom material.

Just in case you are wondering, you know how some things just seem to be attracted to certain people? That’s my problem with boats and outboards… and guitars. Somehow they find me.