It pains me to say this……but…

I am not invincible.

The human body can take but only so much, before things start to go wrong. Bones can take only so much strain, muscles get pulled beyond their means, and the mind is actually one of the most frail organs ever.

And I’ve had my share of pains through the years, both physical & mental. Sometimes more than one would think  was normal.

  • I was about 6 years old when I decided to help feed our dog by myself. Somehow I had my left thumb on the top of the dog food can as I ran the power can opener and sliced my finger nail right off.
  • In the 2nd grade, my sisters, the neighbor’s kids, & I were playing in the neighbor’s yard. Long story —> short, I took a bad tumble and my left hand was 1 inch higher than my left arm. A quick trip to to hospital and a cast up-past my elbow for 8 weeks, and I was as good as new.
  • In the 8th grade, my younger sister & I were playing tennis in the street in front of our house. The street had a moderate downhill slope, so I let her have the upward side (to even things out). After a while, so got pissed off at me and lobbed the ball far over my head, then slammed the racket down on the ground, and stomped her way back inside the house. After watching the ball fly overhead, I walked down to street to retrieve it, then returned to our house, retrieving her racket from the gutter where is lay. I was angry and tossed the equipment back into the shed, then stomped around the backyard, brooding. I wanted to punch *some*thing, ANYthing, but I new that if I punched my sister, mom & dad would kill me. Looking around I spied an empty rabbit hutch next to the shed. Instantly I unleashed a punch with my right fist and a split second later, I knew I had fucked up. I slowly walked into the house, holding my right wrist under my left arm. I asked my dad if we could go to the hospital and he obliged. 3 X-rays later confirmed that I had fractured my wrist in 3 places. Luckily none of the bones were out of place, so this cast only extended up to the elbow.
  • In the 10th grade, I was playing soccer in gym class at school and took a direct ball hit to my right middle finger. The splint the doctor gave me looked like I was “flying the bird” to everyone around me.
  • Throughout the years, our family utilized dentists that, shall we say, were…  not “up to par”. Tooth #19 has quite a long history with me.
  • In the late 1980s, I was helping a friend put lower control arm bushings in his ’70 Duster. Since I did not have a hydraulic press, I decided to use an 8 pound sledge hammer and a drift to try to drive the old bushings out. One stroke of my mighty “Thor”, I missed the drift and mashed my left thumb squarely against the work vise, turning my left thumb into what can only be described as a “Pez dispenser”. That would be the first of several times that my left thumb would (literally) take a beating.
  • While working at Manassas Dodge, I got a small speck of metal lodged in one of my corneas. I went to the doctor, who numbed my eye, then strapped my head in a skull-shaped vice. “Don’t blink” he says, as he slowly moved a micro-drill ever closer. 3 small drills and the metal bit was gone. I wore an eye patch for a few days, then it was back to normal.
  • One Friday at this same dealership, I got a tiny cut on one of my knuckles. As a mechanic, your hands take quite a beating, and even though this cut was minor, I washed it, coated it with medicated salve, covered it with a Band-Aid, and reported it to my supervisor. “You gonna live?” he asked and I agreed, then went back to work. The following Thursday, as I was driving my motorcycle to work, my wrist seemed stiff. The next day I decided to drive my car, but on the way to work I noticed my wrist was even stiffer than the day before. When I got to work, I walked into my supervisor’s office and said “You remember that little cut I got last week?“, then I turned my arm over, showing him a blood vein with a dark streak running towards my hand. He turned pale white and said “You get to the doctor, NOW“. Off to the doctor I went, who admitted me to the hospital (the only time I’ve ever had to stay in a hospital) where I was pumped full of medication, kept my arm elevated, and watched TV all day. My stay ended on Sunday afternoon, just in time to go home for a good night’s sleep before returning to work Monday morning. As an interesting side note, about 6 months later I saw the doctor who treated me on TV. I turned up the volume and heard the reporter say the doctor had been arrested for writing prescriptions to herself.
  • In the early ’90s, soon after I had moved to NorCal and landed a job at a computer company, I was out back feeding the cats on yet another non-descript day. And as usual, the 4 chickens that happened to be living on this farm when we rented it came over and started to eat the cat food. Our cats, being tame city-dwellers all their life, would allow the chickens to eat the food, and then start meowing at me because they now had no food; so I’d have to feed them again. After a few days of this game, I decided to take matters into my own hands. One morning I placed a spring-loaded rat trap with just one piece of cat food on it. As expected, the chickens came pecking around and the largest one took the bait, getting his head snapped in the trap. All 4 of them are flailing around and 3 of them quickly ran away. I walk over and pick up the rat trap, expecting to carry it (and the chicken) out to the barn for a swift kick in the but, but instead the chicken dropped out from the trap and begins to flail around. In my efforts to avoid the chicken, I lost my balance and fell against my father-in-law’s pickup truck. As my body descended, my left arm was bent up and over my head, dislodging my shoulder from the socket. The chicken ran away and I, mostly defeated, picked myself back up and slowly worked my arm back down to a point by my side. It was painful and I knew the joint was not in the socket. I knew what had to be done, so I ran my shoulder into a tree; trying to reset the arm back into the socket. It took 3 attempts, but my “pioneer medicine” did the trick. Once in a while, my left shoulder still reminds me of the event even today.
  • Then one time, one of my eyes started turning red. Not irritated red, but the white part of my eye started to turn blood red, filling from the bottom up to the top. The doctor said “It happens“, but not to worry. It wasn’t painful and my vision was not affected. Slowly over the next 2 weeks, the red color slowly drained back out ans my eye returned to normal.
  • In the early 2000’s, while working for a friend’s heavy equipment company, I stepped out of an 18 wheeler while carrying a steering column. There was only an empty bucket as a step, and of course it flew out from under my feet. I hit the ground back first, knocking the wind out of me. Then, to add insult to injury, the steering column I had been carrying, came crashing back down from orbit with me being in the landing zone. I rolled around on the ground for a few minutes before calling my girlfriend (now wife) to tell her how I had fucked up.
  • One day, while working to straighten a bent trailer draw-bar, the piece of 2×2 angle iron that I was pressing on with a hydraulic jack flew out and smacked me in the nose, knocking me on my back. A major bloody nose was quickly quelled by a semi-clean red shop rag, and back to work I went.
  • And then just last week, I stepped down from a structure onto an un-even surface, which rolled my left ankle. It’s a pain that is quite unique, and I know that my aging body is going to have to live with this one for quite a while.


  • And if that wasn’t enough, I badly sliced the tip of my left pointer finger on the edge of a large bolt that had been sharpened by constant wear against the ground.
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What’s in YOUR wallet?

Lots of people (including myself) have railed about how the USA currency is backed by nothing but the belief of the people. Today the latest “fad” in the financial world is Bitcoin. Let’s take a look at how it stacks up.

Bitcoin was originally claimed to be “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” which gave the users complete anonymity.

  • The coins are not connected to any government agency, so they are supposed to be stable and unaffected by government decisions. (Yet their “value” does fluctuate based on many decisions)
  • New bitcoins can be created by “mining” them, through the process of solving a complex mathematical problem. (Why do I have to solve a complex math problem just to earn some money? I already have a full time job!)
  • Subsequent coins are created out of the original coins. (Just like any other fiat currency)
  • Like any currency, Bitcoins are vulnerable to being lost or stolen. Hackers can break in to bitcoin exchanges and steal them from their rightful owners. (What happened to them being “safe”?)
  • Merchants can accept Bitcoins as payment for goods & services. Since the exchange is anonymous, Bitcoins can be used for purchases that may be “less than legal”, such as illegal drugs. (And how can the government get their cut if no one knows who, where, or how the money is used?)
  • The actual value of Bitcoins does vary, which causes up & down surges. (Much like the stock market)
  • Bitcoins only exist in the digital world, no actual physical coins exist. (They are imaginary!)

So in the end, is Bitcoin or any other “crypto-currency” better than the good old US dollar? Nope, they are all flawed and only work to keep the working class of people perpetually in debt (and thus, enslaved just to survive).



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It’s beginning to smell a lot like Chris-mess

So there I was, 12th grade of high school (roughly late 1982), sitting in Trigonometry class and day-dreaming as I stared out the window, hoping for snow. The teacher, Mr. Slivoskey, asked one young, female, Asian student to solve a problem on the board, and of course, show all her work. She started working furiously on the left side of the board, and proceeded to fill the entire board, mapping out a hugely complex equation that no sane human being would ever use in real life. Her breakdown of the equation literally *FILLED* the board from end to end and as she was writing it out, I was mentally checking her work; as was the teacher (and probably the rest of the class too).  Half way through, she missed a negative symbol, and my heart sank for her because I knew there would be hell to pay.

When she was finished, she stepped back to allow the teacher access to the board. He started at the upper left corner and weaved his way through her calculations. When he got to the missing negative symbol, he stopped and pointedly mentioned “Because you missed this, your final answer should be a negative number; not a positive number”.

From 1/2 way back of the room comes my voice in the most sarcastic tone one could imagine: “Mer-ry Christ-mess!“.  Mr Slivoskey turned and stared directly at me, but my job was done, and he knew it.   😉


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I’m the FNG

Here I am, 53 years old, and once again I’m starting a new job, hoping to make enough money to make ends meet and maybe, someday, retire. It’s a great shop – clean, quiet, and a wonderfully short commute. And like most mechanic’s shops, the Fucking New Guy takes all the heat, whether he’s deserving of it or not. It’s a scare tactic that can either make or break a new employee, quickly weeding out the ones that can’t handle the pressure. Being the oldest guy in the shop does have it’s advantages, but I remember many decades ago when things went a little differently.

I was 18 years old, just out of high school and in search of my first full-time job. My buddy, Mark, said his brother, Chris, worked at a diesel machine shop and he needed a helper. I had just signed up for automotive classes at the local community college, so between that and just a smattering of automotive tinkering, I talked my way into the job; even though I had to adjust my work schedule around my class schedule. Working 7 – 3 then going to class from 4 – 10 seems grueling now, but it was a snap for the younger me.

Probably within the first week, Chris had sent me to the parts room for something simple, like 1/2″ lock washers. Me, being green and not knowing how the parts room was laid out (and probably not knowing what a lock washer was), I was unable to find the parts quickly. Either way, Chris came storming into the parts room, grabbed a handful of washers, then got in my face….. “Bill, you’re useless, FUCKING USELESS! Fuck you Bill! FUCK YOU!! YOU GOT ANY FRIENDS? FUCK THEM TOO!!!!“. Then he stormed out of the parts room.

I stood there, dumbstruck, and thought to myself “I need to start looking for another job“. But I stuck it out and I tried to watch my Ps & Qs; but as luck would have it, the following week I did something small & stupid, something that pissed off Chris. Again he got in my face… “Bill, you’re useless, FUCKING USELESS! Fuck you Bill! FUCK YOU!! YOU GOT ANY FRIENDS?” and this is where I interjected “Just you, Chris!

He stopped mid-rant, smiled, started to laugh, and quietly walked away.

I thought of that reply 5 minutes after the first incident and I had been waiting all week to use it. And it worked perfectly. Chris & I worked together as a great team for another 4 months before he quit and moved on to another shop.

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Just admit it

A good friend of mine says he’s not a capitalist,  but in truth, he is one of the best I have ever seen.

He’s got a nice house, a beautiful wife, 3 great kids plus he helped raise 3 step-children, he has a thriving business,  and he owns several other properties. Quite frankly, he is one of the HARDEST working people I know.

And that’s the way capitalism wants us to be. Working hard at buying stuff, to keep the money moving (because once money stops moving, it stops working).

And he’s had quite a bit of help through the years. His parents have helped him financially as well as legally. Sure, it’s great having someone watching your back, just don’t rely on your legal staff more than you do a good set of brake pads. And where would he be now if his own father had not been able to help him through the years? Possibly he’d be just another regular guy, working 40 hours per week, wondering where the money all went…

Donald Trump was just a young man when his father gave him a $1million loan to help him ‘get started’ in life. Where would he be now if his father had never been able to make that loan? Just maybe our country would not have a “reality TV star-boss” as its commander in chief and the rest of the world would not be laughing at us. Or maybe, some other wann-be would have stepped into the nation’s top-slot and the world would simply be laughing at that person.

Many people claim that in America everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. Having money (especially cheap or free money) gives an unfair advantage to the person  who has the money. It gives a person ‘leverage’ over others because those without money see it through greedy eyes.

Having money also opens up the possibility of opportunities that otherwise would not exist, and many of them are stupid. When you have money, you tend to spend it more recklessly than if you didn’t have money. It’s like gambling at a casino – when you’re up & playing with the “house’s money”, you tend to bet bigger; but when you’re going broke you tend to play much more conservatively. That’s why casinos have penny machines – to soak every last bit of money you have out of your pockets. Sure, you might win big, but most likely you wont. And if you do, be certain that the house will change the rules of the game so the next guy doesn’t follow in your footsteps.

The government operates (financially) much in the same manner. Everyone wants a lucrative government contract job because they know it pays much better than a regular working job. This is because the government is not playing with it’s own money, it’s playing with the tax payer’s money.

Private capital investors also play “fast & loose”, by funding proposals that otherwise would not make it past the drawing board had anyone stopped and put some basic thought into the idea itself. How many Indiegogo ideas are actual, feasible ideas, that are an improvement over something else; and how many of them are just “junk-ideas”, that serve to merely suck the dollars out of one investor’s pocket and into someone else’s pocket?

And isn’t that the real game that all capitalists are playing? Trying to suck money out of the next guy. Once you have enough money to live a comfortable life, why would any sane person continue to play the game? Greed, ego, and trying to dominate over others are the true driving forces at that point.

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If it’s not broke, fix it ’till it is

Peanut butter – good. Jelly – good. Peanut butter & jelly in the same jar – WTF were you thinking?

Whoever thought that replacing the throttle cable in your car with a potentiometer (at the gas pedal) and an electric motor (at the actual throttle blade) ought to be shot.

Plastic car parts, especially those that are subject to engine heat and/or sunlight, should not exist.

What was wrong with having a mostly agricultural economy? It’s not like people don’t like eating. But instead, someone decided we needed to ‘shake things up’ just a little bit. Banks thought it was a good idea to finance both sides of a war. Then the military thought they needed to turn a profit. Then the whole world went sideways…..

I have lamented many times about our economy, the military, and how the government wastes so much of our taxpayer’s money (and in turn, wasting everyone’s time on this planet). So many people are blissfully ignorant that they just accept these things as “normal”, whereas I see these things as a cancer on society, slowly chewing away at it’s host, but not so fast as to kill it outright.

More than 1/2 of the USA federal budget is for the military. We need war because there is no profit margin in peace. How can we make money if everyone was sitting around, happy, and with all the resources they need? We need to stir things up, to cause conflicts; that way we can step in and fix the problem.

What is the actual unemployment rate if you factor in the military and all other social programs that people depend on? Farmers getting paid to NOT grow a crop, Retirees sitting around collecting a pension, welfare recipients, every form of administration from middle management right up through congress & the president. All those people who don’t actually build or produce a product. Every single one of those people are dependent on all of the others who keep working away daily, keeping their nose to the grindstone, keeping the gears and cogs moving.

Wikipedia defines Socialism as:

Yet when the word “Socialism” comes up, people get angry and defensive, trying to equate this term with “Communism“. Yet no one wants to admit that “Capitalism” is just as divisive and cancerous as any other form of society (and in some ways, even more so). Most people don’t want to change capitalism because they believe it’s not broken.

And yet it is.

And that’s another reason why I support a Resource Based Economy.


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The “game” of capitalism

Games are supposed to be fun, right? When you were a child, didn’t you enjoy playing games, whether it was a board game, or hide & seek inside the house, or even just going outside and playing? Life was simpler then and we actually looked forward to growing up. I remember being 8 years old, standing with my dad in line at the DMV, and feeling anxious because I had to wait another 8 years just to get my own driver’s license. Does anyone actually enjoy going to the DMV now? Of course not. But the DMV is just a small part of a larger “game”, one that everyone plays daily, yet so few actually get to enjoy. Many of us are just tired of being forced to play along.


The game of life is all-encompassing and it is customize-able, meaning you can create a little corner of “the game” with your own rules that benefit *you*, and if the other players (uh,… I mean “people” or “fellow human citizens”) don’t play by your rules, you get to punish them (emotionally, physically, but usually just financially). I’ve said before that this is a the perfect game, but some folks are more adept at playing than others. Don’t hate the player, hate the game….. right?

So what exactly are some of the ways that “the game” sucks us in and keeps us stuck in this never-ending quagmire? Let’s take a cursory look…..


There is a never-ending list of laws that you don’t know about but they do apply to you, and guess what – lawmakers are making thousands of new laws every year! They are literally changing the rules of “the game” while you are playing it. Is that acceptable in any other area of real life outside of capitalism?

Don’t like the rules that you are forced to play by? Corruption exists in many forms and at nearly every level of the game, that is if you can afford to bribe your way out of a sticky situation.

Would any business owner pay their employees double (or triple) of what they are currently paying them? Of course not, that would cut into their profit margin! And capitalism is all about getting more capital (money) than the next person. (Though they are trying to do the same with you)

Capitalism is a reverse-ponzi-scheme, that keeps every player continuously indebted to the game. You (the player) has to keep adding more and more of your efforts (inflation) into the game just to stay in it. Anyone who can “get ahead” of the game is someone who knows which rules to bend in what direction to tip the scales in their favor.

Personally, I’m tired of being forced to play this game. And I’m not alone.




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