Another Day

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Chinese Discon...

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75 Years Ago

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In Beirut

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Blog Post

Home Blog Post Page 238

Politics

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I think the squirrel is a Democrat. There is that Nancy Pelosi/Joe Biden thing going on.

Former Frog Man

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LCDR’s LL (USN, ST-5) and Hoang (ROK – Navy, Squadron 56, ROK ST-2)


I’m not the girl with the golden orb. That’s for sure.

Lawyers

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99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

It’s simply how I feel this morning. Shakespeare was right when he wrote, “The first thing we must do is kill all the lawyers.” (Henry the Sixth, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2)
For those of you who don’t know me personally, I retired from the District Attorney’s Office in Orange County, California two years ago. Orange County is located south of Los Angeles and people make reality television shows about people who hang out there. (Real Housewives of Orange County, The OC, Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County) So I do know lawyers. I simply have a stone in my shoe at the moment for the profession.
PS – None of the reality shows on television reflect reality – this comment has nothing to do with lawyers, but I felt that I needed to have some fine print in this blog.

New Moon

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Don’t you think it’s sad when a lady can’t afford a pair of jeans that fit and don’t have tears in them? 

I’m not an apologist

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There is something about going to war on a horse, encased in armor that appeals to me. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Well, I know I’m not the only one. Somebody drew this picture (left) and it wasn’t me. 

Dealing with Mexicans

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Yes, it’s always manana…

Robotic Spiders

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Defining arachnophobia in the 2000’s. Times change, spiders evolve, fears have to keep pace with the press of technological mastery. 

Icarus

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All the wide sky was there to greet him as he steered toward heaven,
Meanwhile the heat of the sun struck his wings,
And ran sweet that which once was wax.




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Into the distance, a ribbon of black

Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a windswept field
Sanding alone my senses reeled
A fatal attraction holding me fast
How can I escape this irresistible grasp?
Can’t keep my mind from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted – Just an earth-bound misfit

Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
Unheeded wrnings, I though I thought of everything
No navigator to find my way home
Unladened, empty, and turned to stone
A soul in tension that’s learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer
my grubby halo, a vapor trail in the empty air
Across the clouds I see my shadow fly
Out of the corner of my watering eye
A dream unthreatened by the morning light
Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night
There’s no sensation to compare with this
Suspended animation, a state of bliss

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things change/things remain the same

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people
are
people
You must remember this,

A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply,
As time goes by.

And when two lovers woo,
They still say, “I love you” (2)
On that you can rely,
No matter what the future brings,
As time goes by.

Moonlight and love songs,
Never out of date.
Hearts full of passion,
Jealousy and hate.
Women needs man,
And man must have his mate,
That no one can deny.

It’s still the same old story,
A fight for love and glory,
A case of do or die.
The world will always welcome lovers.
—As time goes by.

Charades

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Some of us wear our disguises well. Sometimes they’re so well done that when we’ve constructed them, we realize that we’ve become the disguise. Perhaps that is the ultimate disguise – when you live the cover story.

The term of art in the intelligence business is: Creating a Legend. It starts with an operational necessity, develops as a course of action, matures as we adjust the present skin to fit within a new skin. And if we’re good – if we’re very good, nobody can tell where the old person ended and the new person began because it’s all new person. That is why when you work undercover you need a handler to whisper in your ear that you are not the new person. You’re simply the old person using this new identity to get from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’. It’s a charade, not real. Or so they whisper.
Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. It sounds simple, but it’s not because there is a duality under the skin. 
What is real, what you feel, how you think — now subsumed within the visible reality of sight and perception that others see.
Life is far more complex. If you live the charade long enough, it’s difficult to know in time who you really are and that confusion results in tension. That protective shell that we draw around us like a suit of armor becomes a cage. It requires an industrial size can opener to cut off the crap. But once free of armor are we better off than we were before? Now that’s the question isn’t it? 

A Regular Job

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Run, rabbit run.

Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done–
Don’t sit down. It’s time to dig another one.
I’ve done regular work. I’ve had a six figure salary. I’ve done cool things with official sanction. I’ve been the rabbit.
Today is another day, and I work another way, making more money without anyone to tell me what time to do this or that and without a boss to please with the exception of myself. The things I do are easily as interesting and the people and situations are challenging without being onerous.  An obnoxious client’s bill is 3x what a nice client is charged and while clients are not usually treated this way, I can fire them just as easily as they can fire me.
And life is much better. I’m not a rabbit anymore.

Worldwide Financial Crisis – Explained

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In simple terms (a metaphor, sure, but not far from the point):


Alice is the proprietor of a bar in New York City. In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers, most of whom are unemployed alcoholics, to drink now but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger, thereby granting the customers loans.

Word gets around and as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Alice’s bar.

Taking advantage of her customer’s freedom from immediate payment constraints, Alice increases her prices for wine and beer, the most often consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic customer service consultant at the local bank recognizes these customer debts as valuable future assets and increases Alice’s borrowing limit. He sees no reason for undue concern because he has the promissory notes of Alice’s customers as collateral.

At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert bankers transform these customer assets into DRINKBONDS, ALKBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then sold and traded on markets worldwide. Nobody understands what these abbreviations mean and how the securities are guaranteed, nevertheless, as their prices continuously climb, the securities become top-selling items.

One day, although the prices are still climbing, a risk manager of the bank (who is subsequently fired due to his negativity) decided that the time has come to start demanding payment from Alice for the debts incurred by the drinkers at Alice’s bar.

Unfortunately Alice’s customers can’t pay back any of their debts to Alice.

Alice can’t fulfill her loan obligations to the bank and files for bankruptcy.

DRINKBOND and ALKBOND drop in price by 95%. PUKEBOND performs better, stabilizing in price after dropping by only 80%.


The suppliers of Alice’s Bar, having granted her generous payment terms and also having invested in the securities are faced with a new and desperate situation. Her wine supplier files for bankruptcy and her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor.

The bank is saved by the Government following dramatic round-the-clock consultations by leaders from the governing political parties. They came up with a rescue plan that saved the bank.

The funds required for this massive rescue are obtained by levying a new tax on all the non-drinkers.

Searching for Truth

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Believe those who are seeking the truth and doubt those who find it. 

We human beings are prone to believe things that play to our prejudice as likely true or absolutely true even if there is no evidence at all to support it. This is how myths began. This is how magic got its start.
If the purported truth is counterintuitive or goes against our prejudice, we scrutinize it closely and unless the evidence is overwhelming, we refuse to believe it.
Therefore the search for truth is not merely a rearrangement of our prejudices. It is an examination of evidence in spite of our prejudice and requires an open mind. You can only seek truth if you’re unafraid of what you find.
Though I am not Buddhist, considering what Buddha taught (paraphrased into English) is useful in this discussion. “Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it’s said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because somebody else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.”

Animal Farm 2009

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Organizational leaders often manipulate the organization/country for their own benefit, and end up being as bad, if not worse, than the real or imaginary evils from which they are protecting their followers.

“Comrades!”, Squealer, the pig, cried. “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a privilege of selfishness and privilege. Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health…We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of the farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples! Do you know what would happen if we failed in our duty? George Bush would come back. Yes, Bush would come back. Surely comrades, ” cried Squealer almost pleadingly, skipping from side to side and whisking his tail, “surely there is no one among you who wants to see Bush come back.”

Read ANIMAL FARM, by George Orwell. Consider the pups taken from their mother and father at birth and trained up to be attack dogs for the Pigs.
Then contemplate the “GIVE Act” recently passed by the House of Representatives. The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act is the gateway to President Barack Obama’s promised civilian national security force. Then consider why they would pass a law allowing people to volunteer. Voluntary service is optional, the law makes it mandatory.

Sound Wisdom

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I think I’ll keep my opinion of this private…

St. Patrick’s Day

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Other Worlds
by Larry B. Lambert
Are there other worlds in other dimensions of space that somehow touch ours? Does it seem that the membrane between what we see with our mind and what we experience unconsciously is as porous as a bridal veil? Can we tear that barrier to feel what we can’t explain—that smallest of things that are present seem completely beyond our reach and beyond our understanding?
People called him an angry gnome, but Basil Noldor ignored them. Others said he might be possessed of Satan because he didn’t acknowledge God’s hand in all things. He merely winked an eye, magnified out of all proportion by the coke-bottle-bottom eyeglasses he wore draped over a large, outsized nose. A more objective and far kinder evaluation of the essence of Basil Noldor, writer, dealer in antiquities, was that he was, militantly eccentric.
In his cottage, not far from the river, Basil sat hunched over a gnarled oak desk, wearing out another iron nub, dipping it in ink and scratching words on a page. His son tried to ignore him but found it difficult because his father engaged him in conversation. Basil Noldor’s voice, high pitched and raspy with much angry use, intoned, “There is no such thing as magic!” His son heard this rant before and did his best to tone his father out. “But I do admit that the human imagination needs superstitions.” His son added a log to the dwindling coals on the hearth. “They weave the fabric of history and society so that, in time, there is very little difference between fables and historical fact. It all becomes fact, and without that historical reassurance of legends mixed with truth, the world would be a lonely place indeed. That, my son, is why I write.”
Ignatius Noldor, only son to Basil, rose in society partly through bribery offered by his father and partly because he had a singular talent for obsequious pandering. His present rank of assistant alderman, a tribute to both causations. Unlike his father, Basil, he firmly believed in magic. Ignatius gripped fast to the hope that mystical incantations could bring the metaphysical world directly into his physical presence, for his specific benefit. He made a respectable living as a pander and factotum, eating other men’s bread without guilt or any remorse at all, while providing scant services in return.
After adding wood to the fire and reclining back into his chair, Ignatius picked up a well worn , leather bound tome dealing specifically with magic. While his father ranted in muttering tones and scratched his pen. Ignatius read other en’s words, trying to suck the marrow out of their mystical message.
Suspended by a rod reputedly fashioned from meteorite iron, an elaborate tapestry hung on the wall over the fireplace. Careful embroidery recounted the journey of the Noldor family through time. It was a chronicle, a family tree, a historical tribute, and had been in the family for over four hundred years. Ignatius was less than impressed by it. there had been a time when he was younger when he looked at the gilded names with awe. Age and experience taught him to be underwhelmed by the tapestry. Noldors held ignominious postings and minor jobs as bookkeepers, bank tellers and nannies. None ever rose to command an army or even be knighted. None of the Noldors was a scarlet woman or a powerful bishop. Clement Noldor did become a man of the cloth but never advanced beyond the ash stained sackcloth of an ordinary monk.
A serious understanding of the family’s painful mediocrity spurred Ignatius to exceed the standard set by preceding generations through the study of magic, mystics, witches and warlocks, shamans and the traditions of the dim and distant past. His father thought it complete foolishness, a complete waste of time and an indulgence in fantasy.
Peering into crystals, uttering and muttering, studiously mixing chemicals and often getting sick from the fumes they produced, Ignatius’ single-minded pursuit of truth-in-magic continued without any significant breaks. There was something out there, and he knew he was the Noldor to find it.
Suddenly Basil stopped writing. He looked at his son, so much an image of himself, reading and pondering and he made a decision.
“Son, stand by the fire if you will.”
Ignatius set down his book, carefully marking his place and joined his father.
“Magic is not real nor does it exist apart from natural law. It’s simply a way of trying to explain the unexplainable in a way that discounts science. I want to show you something that has been in our family for nearly five hundred years.” Basil said, as he drew back the heavy tapestry from over the fireplace as one would pull a curtain aside.
A tunnel, three feet high, large enough for either Basil or Ignatius to walk through without bending over, recessed back into the wall at least five feet. A shimmering darkness glittered in the tunnel and Ignatius stood on his toes to get a better look as his father fetched a ladder.
Once in place, Basil climbed the ladder and led the way into the tunnel.
“What is it, father?”
“One of the most closely guarded secrets of our family. It’s a portal in space-time, naturally occurring, stable and possibly driven by the energy created by the stones in this part of the house.” Basil said with a prideful flare.
“Magic?”
“Not magic, science, my son. I don’t understand precisely why it’s here or how it came to form here, but its process is part of the natural order. It’s night there on the other side of the portal but when I first saw it, the doorway in time opened on to a glade, with violet heather blooming so that the world appeared to be a rolling sea of lavender under a cerulean sky. All the magic in the world, all the fables and mystery of the ages were challenged by a single leap into the dark that my brother took. Winthrop and my cousin Garner took a free dive into oblivion. I was there to watch them walk through.”
Basil lighted his pipe with a cinder held fast by iron tongs. “They didn’t seem like ghosts or apparitions to me, but I have no idea how they might have appeared to somebody looking at them from the other side of the door in space-time. No shade of a lost soul or glittering angel, I expect, but you never know.”
“Did they ever come back?” Ignatius asked. “Have you heard from them?”
Basil contemplated the shimmering world on the other side of the portal as dawn began to peak beyond the distant hills of the alien world. “They came here and spoke from time to time. They needed things. So I had fine suits of green made, sent pots of gold coin to help them pay for their needs and such.”
“So there are people on this other world? People like us?”
“People twice our size, who are different and not so different, I expect. I have seen them. I don’t think they can see me and a trip through this doorway, this shimmering membrane is a one-way journey since neither Garner or my brother Winthrop were ever able to return. Winthrop told me some of the people took Garner and forced him to disclose the location of his pot of gold. Once they found it, they were so enthralled with its value that they ignored him and he escaped from them.”
Ignatius was floored. “But gold is so common.”
copyright Larry B. Lambert 2009

Winters Blooms

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In winter when the flowers die,

Amid the weather drear,
Behind the glass in heated room,
The buds of spring bloom bright and clear.
Their fragrant scent and color hide,
Behind stained glass of springtime bloom,
A gentle blush for me alone,
A springtime bride for her loving groom.
Roses’ thorns aren’t needed here,
Kept safe behind the fortress walls,
Adoring petals mock harsh life,
Beyond the fastness of the halls.
by Larry Lambert