All aboard. People I very much appreciate:

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Winter Memories and Questions

In winter of '81, we bought the remains of a farmhouse ruining in a fallow field. We worked hard and now it's almost livable. I don't know what the rest of this post will be about. Let's see where Brain goes:

In the1960s I drove truck in the hop harvest --late summer-- and tutored English Composition in the other seasons. I earned enough to keep fed, sheltered and, quite often, clothed. I'd drive past unpaved lanes off Calvine rd., some with their own signs --brush-painted on posts by owners. My favorite was "Helluva Road" --as much warning as sobriquet, full of dips and holes. It intersected Calvine across from the new Kingdom Hall --yes, even Jehovah's Witnesses have a sense of humor. However, when the High School got built, the name changed to "Kingsbridge". Go figure.

In 1972 I became a custom picture-framer and fine-arts restorer. I worked on J street in Sacramento. One day, a soft-spoken, sophisticated lady came to my shop with some antique prints she needed matted and I recommended rag-paper. She asked why and I told her 100% cotton rag mats were chemically inert and would not contaminate the artwork. No one else had told her that so she hired my service. I filled out the invoice and asked what street in Amador she lived on. She leaned in and whispered, "Pig Turd Alley".

Brain jumped ahead 48 years to see if Pig Turd Alley would suffer the same sanitizing as Helluva Road. Here's what I find:

It hadn't. Now I hear the sort of metallic creaks one makes rolling over in an old bed. Is it Brain telling me to get a proper post-subject or just me rolling over in an old bed? 

In closing, Norma supplied all photos above while getting several other things done. So, for (y)our consideration, one more question: How is it women can attend gracefully to 5 different things in as many directions at once?

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Atomic Brains (!) Revisited

Nearly a decade ago I posted a personal essay on the possibility of the ATOMIC BRAIN(!). I got several comments but nothing recent until today, from a manly psychologist named Hmeinson. This impelled me to repost the piece with original comments plus Hmeinson's. I welcome new comments under those.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Atom Brain Or Is Psychology Science Or Science, Psychology, hah?

Psychology presumes the existence of a brain, and presumption is a very unscientific thing to predicate a science on, isn't it? Puzzling development. It forces us to consider two important questions. First, where does science come from? Short answer is it comes from the brain. The brain composes science. There is no long answer.

Second question: how does a thing that composes science compose a science of itself? To answer this, we must determine what science is. Here is a detailed chart:

The above is derived from the philosophy of Empiricists, an impressive list of thinkers that begins with Aristotle and winds up around John Stuart Mill. I believe Hume did the lettering and Berkeley added the pretty colors. It took them 2000 years to produce this chart, so be careful with it.

The Scientific Method is a logical sequence of six procedures: identification of a problem, research, hypothesis (educated guess), experiment (fun part because it can include explosions), analysis (seeing what blew up) and conclusion. I shall discuss this Method because one can streamline the process with minimal sacrifice of empirical protocol. It is done semantically and one needn't trouble with technical knowledge of the universe beyond basic grammar. So I can do it.

Here's how. You take the first empirical step, Purpose, and figure out that it means stating a problem. In language, that's called a question. Example: Do I have a brain? Then you skip down to the sixth and last step, drop interrogative punctuation and transpose the subject and verb. You get the following declarative sentence: I do have a brain. That's known as a Conclusion.

Now that we've scientifically proven the existence of the brain, we could use the same method to pursue the logical second question, a question --I might add-- asked by every inquisitive kid in the 1950s: Can I have an ATOMIC BRAIN please? We could use empiricism but this works too:
Ok, it's movie poster. Me and my brother, Frankie, went to see this film in 1956 or 7 and haven't seen it since but it left an impression. I remember it was about a mad scientist and some guys. Mad scientist used mad science to stick atomic brains in the guys. Then the guys would lumber around crashing through walls and doors to get victims who'd fall on the floor and yell. It was a great film!

Frankie and I went home and drew big stitches on our foreheads. We lumbered around the yard and crashed into things. We'd go, "sshhkkkrrrrssshhh!!! That's a wall! We got ATOMIC BRAINS!" The cats and chickens were afraid of us. They ran like hell.

Now I hear psychologists and physicists have reached theoretical confluence. It is possible the human brain exploits some form of quantum coherence. This is promising, not only in redefining memory as a sensory perception of subjective pasts --real time travel-- but in more deliberate investigation of various types of telepathy. This is not merely progress; it's a new possibility of existence.

My brother and I, however, would recommend stitch marks more erasable than ballpoint pen ones.


  1. Now my brain hurts...oh wait...
  2. Reminds me of Descartes. I wonder if he also had stitch marks as a child.
  3. Delores, Rubye Jack, My brain hurts therefore I am. Or would that be putting Descartes before,no, I won't say it!...
  4. My God, I DO have a brain!

    What a brilliant post. I'm glad they spent those 2000 years working on the chart so we don't have to.

    I'm partial to zombie brains.
  5. Thanks CarrieBoo! It may not be long before scientists can put atomic brains INTO zombies. For some goddamn reason we live in an age of progress!
  6. Holy crap. You've just pointed me to the origin of my drawing those stitches on all my dolls' heads. All those years of pointless analysis! It was a freakin movie my brothers made me watch!
  7. Hmmm...perhaps Atomic Brain Barbie? No, dangerous idea. World is not ready. Thanks Austan!
  8. I love confluence.
    My son was a pirate film fanatic, which led to a spate of playing tattoo shops. He once drew pictures of anchors all over my shins in permanent marker. So glad he didn't watch the atomic brain!
  9. Confluence indeed. Clearly, both atomic brains and pirate shins leave a mark on one.
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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Hmeinson, I was compelled to remove backlinks from your excellent comment:

      "Mesmerized article written on this blog with other relevant information. It is straight to the point that how we can improve our skills as well as how we can be represented to a new stream of professionalism. Manly Psychologist."

      I appreciate your interest and hope your psychology will always be "Manly", if that's what you want.
New comments welcome below 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Why Parcel Companies Don't Hire Cats

For those dear readers who saw a message implying this page does not exist, I prevail upon your patience. I have been watching a cat, which makes me crazy --and prone to error. I asked Tux if he knew how a box worked. He said "yeah?" --have you ever noticed how everything a cat says to a human sounds like a question?

I replied, "Ok, see if you can close this box." 
He surveyed the problem and said,"yeah?"

Tux studied it from all angles and tested its flexible features. I asked, "Are your researches yielding data?"

He said,"Yeah?"

Then he attacked the boxtop with his mighty jaws...

...and finally collapsed in frustration.

Poor Tux poured his fluid self out of the box and gave me that I-know-what-you-did-here stare --not an interrogative.
"This heinous thing has no business in my life. Please take it away, okay?!"

I replied, "Of course, Tux. I didn't mean to unsettle you. Just remember I was educated by people who took unkindly to my questions in response to their questions."

Tux scrambled into taller grass to ask another cat-question: "Shall we explore a wider world?"

I replied, "Ya think?"

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Newyear Misphonia

I have never thought myself feeble-minded more than 5 to 10 times a day until recently. This scholarly essay is intended modify that estimate.

You may notice the clip above, in technical terminology, does not "go". I set out to demonstrate a marvel of modern handheld electronics by making the little clip to show what a wondrous circuitry we inhabit. All I found was YouTube no longer supported my modest home-page and was catering to commercials in the middles of other clips. Well, with one thing and another being both and back again, I decided this was awkward --especially when I couldn't figure it out after several week's inattention. 

To improve matters, I accidentally pressed "publish" instead of "save to draft". I hope to correct that slight error forthwith. I shall now investigate another "camera app". Does anybody know what "camera app" means? I sure don't. Is anybody working on this? Here goes:

I hope I have not confused anyone, or myself, beyond limits of correction. I was simply entranced by this gift --from Chicago Daughter-- of a handheld fart machine; I once had a little pet dog who fit that description. I also appreciate the excellent reports, dispositions and suggestions of commenters who suffered through earlier tests of this post. Happy New Year All.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Puzzle of Remission

I have been remiss. Excuse me. There has been some sadness here. Perhaps this jolly photo of my birthday morning will fix that.
My crown is made of tissue paper from a party-popper. Daughter sent it from Chicago to crown me king of my day. This may stem from my cautions when she was a little girl. I told her if she ever got crowned queen of anything, make certain of the crown's composition: Even gold is a metal that can scratch the hell out of you so be sure the pointy side is always UP. 

Tissue crowns, no problem.

I ought also to update the progress of our Rat Patrol.
It is a photo of a feral feline Norma named "Tux". It reminds me of a movie I saw in the late 1960s called "Reflections In A Golden Eye" --a film I attended because it was co-authored by Carson McCullers, a very good writer. It was also memorable for a brief scene, in artistically poor lighting, of Elizabeth Taylor climbing a stairway nude --which, to certain teenaged observers, comprised a religious experience. I've been a devout movie-goer ever since. Speaking of movies, here is a Normaphoto of Tux reenacting an iconic scene in "Titanic" in which Dicaprio and Winslet share a kiss on the bow of a big ocean-going wheelbarrow.
Of course, we had to resort to contractual perks and special effects:
2020 arrives in about 20 minutes, so I'll wish all a happy NEW YEAR. Please remember the world is more than politics and movies; it's us and some cats.


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

It Needs Answers!

I've undergone some distractions these past few months which are gradually withdrawing. So I'm reposting a post from early in this tumultuous decade to which only 2 lovely people responded. I hope to get some more comments now. After all, how much can a societal climate change in a mere decade? Please enjoy:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pumpkin Pants, Evolution Or Creation?

This weekend, from a woman whose opinion I have always treasured, I've been learning some excellent lessons about pumpkin pants. She is a theatrical costume designer of substantial experience. The subject was trunk hose, about which I had read the following: Trunk hose and slops can be paned or pansied, with panels of fabric over an inner lining. Pansied slop is a bulbous hose with a layer of fabric strips from waistband to leg. These are called "pumpkin" pants.

She replied that pumpkin breeches are not always slops: "Slops are similar in that they are also big, balloon-y shorts that can have slashes and panes in them, but slops predate pumpkin breeches and are both less structured and usually hit lower on the thigh. Pumpkin breeches hit quite high on the leg and are much more structured. Slops were more drapey."

I wanted to try on a pair, but was wary of going to a clothing store and asking for pumpkin pants with pansied slop. Who knows what that'd get me in this day and age? So I did the next best thing. I got out my sketchbook and headed back to the 16th century. I even made myself a little younger and better-looking for the trip. As you can see by the middle figure in the doodle above, I also got a doublet and wacky hat thrown in.

Not only did I feel as silly as I looked, the outfit inspired me to greater curiosity. So I cast my thoughts a hundred years ahead, to the late 17th century. There I met two handsome fellows. One on the left is a French peasant. On the right is a mounted gendarme. Fashionwise, both appeared to have been thrown together at random --frills, sashes, hangy-down things all over them-- which argues in favor of evolution. But I had my suspicions.

Both wore frock coats of considerable length, with distracting amounts of buttons. Gendarme had high, broad boots and peasant had a skirt on. These boys were hiding something! What? I decided I did not want to know, but suspected they had pumpkin pants somewhere. This would argue pumpkin pants were part of their creation. Concealment suggests creation and evolution equally.

I brought these findings forward to my authority, who pronounced my trunk hose slopless. She said:"I have a less precise visual shorthand for differentiating between the two: slops=Pirate pants; pumpkin breeches=Shakespeare." This meant I would have to backtrack, prior to 1564 --Shakespeare's birth year-- to get any idea of proper slops. I decided to go lie down instead.

However, this question is by no means settled: Pumpkin pants, created or evolved? There is much to do and more data to collect. Data is important! Except for my gendarme using a (at the time, uninvented) snaffle bit to control his dinosaur, my account is historically correct. But did slops disappear or evolve into disguise? Until I am rested enough to deal with pirates, I must be content to live with the mystery.

Friday, December 6, 2019

The Old Rusted Question Mark

When I was very small, 1954 or so, there were many visitors to my grandparents' riverside property --relatives (on Sundays), my cousins, Neighbors who wanted to fish in peace on the banks of our river frontage, and Grampa's surviving friends from the Old West.

I objected only to Rex Clark, an Old West Remnant who had a scary MOUSTACHE and would chase me --probably for hug but never caught me-- which brings us to a larger view of the old rusted question mark:
It is part of a counterweighted balance Grampa used in the general store --the back door of which communicated with his saloon at 4th and L street-- until 1914, when he retired from dusty streets and fusty rustics in town and went to Riverside Road to open a gasoline station-- and then, The Old West was pretty much over.
I did this with it:
I doodled only a dot. The whole scale is in the  barn I built in the '80s. I masked out whatever wasn't an interrogative --easy work. If the title of this post reminds you of a song ("Old Rugged Cross"), by Geo. Benning from 1913 --now part of the Open Hymnal Project-- you are correct. 

I consider the Logos --the initial Word of God-- to be an interrogative. Too many have sacrificed themselves in doubt. In the ninth hour even Jesus said,
"Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?"*---an interrogative.

What it means is, we've still got a long ways to go before we achieve balance.  Good luck everybody!
*While sabachthani is also valid Mishnaic Hebrew, the fact that Jesus is quoting the Aramaic Targum rather than the canonical Hebrew version probably indicates that he was speaking Aramaic. In Mark, the word that Jesus uses for God is actually ελωι (Eloi) rather the ηλι (Eli) used in Matthew.
Hence, the origin of H.G. Wells's term in "Time Machine".