Archive for April 2014

Energy Problem Solved

April 26, 2014

Hot flashes  

I don’t know why no one else has thought of this, it’s not rocket science.   I’ll lead you through it one step at a time and it will be evident to you, as it was to me, that this is the answer. 

OK, there are about 6 Billion people on this planet and approximately half of them are women.  I don’t know why, but it’s nice that it worked out that way.   So that gives us 3 Billion women and at any one time about a third or maybe a sixth of them are going through menopause.  So, anywhere from one billion to a half billion are suffering with this right now.   Anyone who has been in close proximity to a woman in menopause knows that they put out a tremendous amount of heat in something they call ‘hot flashes’.   This heat could be compared to a moderately sized thermonuclear device. 

You’re way ahead of me by now, aren’t you?  All we have to do is tap into that energy.  The beauty of it is there’s probably one of these energy plants near you!  They’re pretty well scattered throughout the globe.   How do we tap into that energy?  I don’t know, that’s a job for an engineer, I can’t do everything!  I do know that it’s probably going to be difficult since they’re pretty hard to work with.   There may be an added benefit to this idea in that it could make them a little easier to get along with if that energy is bled off somehow and they can get a good night’s sleep. 

Well, I’ll just sit back now and wait for my Nobel Prize.

Susans Birthday and Pattys Summer

April 21, 2014


Patty is gone (again) and I’m taking a break from watching “The ‘X’ Files” on Hulu. Patty just got back from a week in Salt Lake City looking for dead people in the Mormon Library and now she’s off to Seattle and Patos Island where she’ll be working to get the island ship-shape for the tourist season. The second week of May we’ll be going back up to Seattle and will spend a week at Kala Point. The week after we get back from that Patty’s classmates will be visiting us to see “The Marvelous Wonderettes” at celebrating Springfield High School’s class of ’58 and their 10 Year Reunion. The next week Patty leaves for Hell’s Canyon where she’ll be pulling barb wire and building trail and keeping a wary eye out for rattlesnakes (she almost grabbed one the last time she was there. She reached down to pick up some debris and a rattlesnake was coiled there- good thing it was cold or she’d have gotten bit).   The week after she gets back from that she’ll be back in the San Juans doing trail work. She hasn’t slowed down much since becoming a septuagenarian. What am I doing while she’s off on her adventures? Watering the plants.

Susan's piano

Susan’s piano

Their Tap-Dancing recital

Their Tap-Dancing recital

Tap-Dancing PR photo

Tap-Dancing PR photo

I don't remember what CRTA stood for

I don’t remember what CRTA stood for

Patty will be with Susan tonight and Susan’s birthday is tomorrow. She was with Susan last year on Susan’s birthday come to think of it. They were both in London and Queen Elizabeth II just happens to share Susan’s birthday so the British were having a big celebration, Susan was 36 and Elizabeth was 87. It’s hard to believe that Susan will be 37. Patty and I were talking about that a few days ago and remembering driving to River Mill Elementary School for an event, I don’t remember what it was, and Traci and Susan were in the back seat talking when Susan said to Traci, “By the way, I’m going to be the MC tonight, do you think it sounds better to open with …?” and that’s the first we knew that Susan was going to be doing that. Susan was seven then. Susan was also playing piano and tap dancing on stage at that time. I especially remember her performing in a school talent show where she brought the house down with renditions of Shel Silverstein poems of “Sister for Sale”, “I Cannot Go to School Today” and “18 Flavors”. For “18 Flavors” I had made an ice-cream cone out of a Styrofoam cone and eighteen balls which I had colored chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, etc, and then put a string through them so that when Susan came to the right part she could release the string and all the ice-cream balls would hit the ground. Patty and I were saying how we wished we had a recording of that. It was awesome and one of those moments in life that really is special.

So, anyway, Happy Birthday Susan!

Operation Puppy Peace

April 5, 2014

Susan Outward Bound

I woke up this morning thinking about my daughter, Susan’s, project Operation Puppy Peace It really surprised me that she started this effort to help war veterans that are experiencing the effects of our wars since she is a liberal vegan and not someone who you would think of as supporting our military. However, I think she met and talked to some veterans during her Outward Bound trip that made her realize that our soldiers are also victims of war. Most people across the country, and especially in Congress, that beat the war drums have never heard a shot fired in the heat of combat but they demand that we use our military to enforce our will for God and Country.

The people that fight these wars are our children. No, not the fortunate children of the elite, but the children of the 99%. They think they are immortal and are filled with patriotic rhetoric and passion when they proudly march off to war. When they experience war for themselves, it’s often a different story. I never got shot at or shot at anyone but I do know a little about this since I retired from the military having served from ’59 to ’79 and trained many who got shot at and lived with the survivors of the Vietnam Conflict. I trained in Ground Radio and many Forward Air Controllers wore a PRC 41 (Prick 41) radio on their back and called in air strikes in support of our troops. I often stayed with Marines stationed at embassies in Latin America and remember having a beer with them while they told war stories. I also remember my brother, Pete, when he came home from Korea where he was wounded twice and the stories he told. I think they told those stories as a form of release or of Catholic ‘Confession’ to help them deal with what they had seen and done. In some cases they left home as innocents and became monsters because that is what we asked them to do. A lot of people can’t deal with doing monstrous things.

I don’t think that our soldiers are all ‘heroes’ because I know what motivated me to join the military and stay in for 20 years. Patriotism was a part of it but not a big part. It was a way out. The military made promises to us, having to do with a stable income (at the time I enlisted it was $58 a month), training to better ourselves and medical and retirement benefits.   We assumed that our government would take care of us. I always believed that and I finished my military career as a recruiter and felt good about the opportunities the military offered.   And for the most part, the military fulfilled its promise to me. However, I never woke up with night sweats like my brother or became an alcoholic or drug user to escape the nightmares of things that I had seen and done that most people never experience.  

How do you fit in and cope in a society that has never had to deal with the horrors that bedevil your soul and fill your dreams. A lot of people don’t. In retrospect, I believe my brother had PTSD although we never had a name for it back then. His life was a struggle and he always had demons. He slept with a .357 under his pillow and never had a stable or enduring relationship until he died alone and estranged from his family. Pete was a B.A.R. rifleman in the 1st Cavalry in Korea. I followed the troop movements reported daily on the front page of the Eugene Register Guard and worried about him constantly. He was a hero to me. I like to think that if he had had the opportunity to experience the ‘Defining Moment’ that Susan described in the Boundary Waters Wilderness it might have helped in some way.  

I’m proud of Susan and that she cared enough to take on this project. Please read her description of The Voyageur Outward Bound, a 501c3 non-profit, veteran program specifically designed for OEF/OIF veterans—soldiers at high-risk for PTSD.

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