Saturday, December 31, 2016


2016 is a watershed year for me. It marks the year in which all that had been building since the mid Sixties for me came to a full culmination at last. It means that I no longer believe in our politicians, business leaders and government. I no longer believe in the judgment of most Americans. It does not mean I would immigrate, even if I could and had somewhere to go. My life is here. My destiny, if you will, is here. 

Awakening began with the Civil rights movement. It was clear to any with eyes to see that black Americans were being held down in society and often killed off with impunity. Dark skin and Spanish language put Latin Americans in a precarious situation also. Second was Vietnam. There was no compelling reason to waste so many lives:
Allied military deaths 282,000
NVA/VC military deaths 444,000
Total deaths 1,353,000

Simultaneously, it became more and more obvious the gains made by working Americans were being subverted, slowly at first, but more and more in evidence as decades rolled by. At first I blamed the conservative element of society for the backward movement of workers well being, because conservatives were vocal in resisting progressive change. The pushing of GW Bush into the presidency caused me to doubt more and more the Democrats for helping it and Iraq to happen.
Before Bush was Bill Clinton. 

Bill Clinton had been hailed by me as potentially the best thing to happen in my lifetime. What a disappointment. Ultimately he did more to further the conservative agenda than anybody since Reagan. He helped open my eyes regarding Democrats.

I have come to recognize that both political parties play both ends against the middle. Their biggest donors get all the benefit of their votes. The Democrats will throw the base a few liberal perks but when the chips are down their wishy washy nature causes them to retreat behind money. 

This is the year I became truly independent of both political persuasions. I will vote for a Bernie Sanders, given the chance. But not an Obama or Biden. There is no Republican I would consider.

I don't believe anymore.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Facing 2017

As I prepare myself for the new year, I think back to many things. Today I have been recalling a woman I first met about 1991. She called off of my ad for handyman work. We had just recovered from a hard freeze, an uncommon circumstance for southeast Texas. Her high sitting mobile home had been outfitted with unprotected PVC plumbing. There was not even skirting around it. The pipes had leaks. She asked me to repair them. I had not worked extensively with whole house PVC plumbing. I had no reason to think the entire exposed pipe system needed replacing, because, when I turned on the water pressure, there were just three visible leaks. I undertook to repair those leaks. That done, I found a few more leaks when I turned on the water. And again. I chased leaks all day. My bill to her was, in my estimation, not that high. But, as she told me, with great indignation, "I paid less than that to put it in new." She had to pay me by monthly installments, which I readily agreed to. The last payment was short ten dollars and I wrote that off. 

About fifteen years later, while working my job as maintenance at some apartments, I realized one day that the person living in a certain apartment was this same woman. She never showed a sign that she recognized me and I gave no clue. My memory was jogged, because she had a son living with her. He was an objectionable sort of guy, who took issue with every word out of my mouth. After repeated encounters with him, it dawned on me that he was the one that did me the same way in 1991.

She was a good woman, one who made crafts and sold them. She once gave me a wooden car her late husband had made. Our one issue with her was the incessant smoking, which carried into neighboring apartments. We had some hairy incidents over this. Eventually, she died. Her son immediately moved out, without taking anything of hers. He also refused to release the apartment, so we could empty it and rent it again. Eventually, we gained access. As we gathered all of her stuff, I could not help noting she owned several books on writing. She had worked the dream of becoming a published writer. Many objects about the rooms gave clues that proved her to be a complex person I wish I had gotten to know better in life. 

Her dreams all ended as we sent off the best furnishings to the Teams outlet in Tomball and the rest went in a dumpster. This tribute may be all that will remain to remind the world she was a fine woman.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

I keep turning to that song, as vocalized by Bing Crosby, to be my anthem of the season. I appreciate Bing more these days than ever before. Chalk it up to nostalgia, a new appreciation of his talent - whatever. It fills me with warmth and sooths my troubled spirit. Last week, my sister and I had a divergence of opinion, which led to her disowning me, and ticking off all my bad traits and actions, ranging over the entirety of the past fifty years. I ended my last email to her by saying, "I am going to love you, whether you like it or not, and there is nothing you can do about it." It went to a seeming void, as she never replied. I possibly will not hear from her again, as she has written off other siblings in the same spirit.

Then, there is the action of today. It began innocently enough. My friend and co worker and I took a captured possum to the park for release. As we drove down the lane, a squirrel and then six deer crossed in front of us. The deer posed as we went by. I released the possum near the dumpsters, and the little guy made his dash to freedom. Our work got on track, and by lunch time I was thinking we would have a smooth time of it. As I stood by the microwave, awaiting my steaming roast chicken, a resident approached me. She was unable to get in touch with her uncle. I told the boss, and very shortly, we and the police went to his door. I was obliged to hop the patio wall, and then to break a window, so that I could crawl inside and unlock the door. Keys are useless when residents lock the upper, one sided dead bolts. He was on the bed, lifeless.

You might wonder that I was able to eat my lunch, but, I have always had to have my food, no matter the circumstances. 

I began the thread by writing about Christmas. I intend to have my joy this year, as every year. The human spirit needs holidays and aspirations for bettering life's circumstance. I compartmentalize disappointment and sorrow, separating them from my primary function of living for now in a positive way. And, so, I smile and wave, and sincerely wish one and all the best holiday possible.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Howl (2016)

I listened as they called my President a Muslim.
I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys.
I listened as they said he wasn't born here.
I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could.
I saw the pictures of him as Hitler.
I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice.
I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialog.
I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was.
I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn.
I watched as they did just that.
I listened.
I watched.
I paid attention.
Now, I'm being called on to be tolerant.
To move forward.
To denounce protesters.
To "Get over it."
To accept this...
I will not.
I will do my part to make sure this great American mistake becomes the embarrassing footnote of our history that it deserves to be.
I will do this as quickly as possible every chance I get.
I will do my part to limit the damage that this man can do to my country.
I will watch his every move and point out every single mistake and misdeed in a loud and proud voice.
I will let you know in a loud voice every time this man backs away from a promise he made to them.
Them. The people who voted for him.
The ones who sold their souls and prayed for him to win.
I will do this so that they never forget.
And they will hear me.
They will see it in my eyes when I look at them.
They will hear it in my voice when I talk to them.
They will know that I know who they are.
They will know that I know what they are.
Do not call for my tolerance. I've tolerated all I can.
Now it's their turn to tolerate ridicule.
Be aware, make no mistake about it, every single thing that goes wrong in our country from this day
forward is now Trump's fault just as much as they thought it was Obama's.
I find it unreasonable for them to expect from me what they were entirely unwilling to give."
Author unknown.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Getting Published

In past times, I tried my hand at self publishing. It was a self indulgent exercise, as such enterprises often are. I threw in every word I ever wrote, almost, with the exception of  a work I called Ollie Filbert, a novel for kids. The result was a ragged collection of stories and poems, in three unrelated volumes. I am proud of some of those tales and verses. The entire enterprise failed, which could have been predicted. Aside from the burying the best work under the weakest, I have no facility for self promotion and no money to hire publicists.

I am currently trying to wrap up a novel. At the same time, I have been peddling a short novel, titled, Beyond the Dark Water. BTDW, I am proud to say, has been picked up for publication. It is fiction based in autobiography and will be available in 2017. I have no illusions concerning money, but am very proud that somebody saw merit in this work, enough to promote it and put it in some bookstores.

I am still wrestling with the details, but I couldn't wait to share the news.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hard to Talk Politics Anymore

I have backed off from most political discussions, while still expressing support and outrage over Standing Rock. Thankfully, the government has seen fit to move the pipeline yet again instead of attacking the ones calling themselves Water Protectors.

So many persons who ought to be allies are in such denial concerning the state of the union that I gave up trying to communicate. The ones supporting the president elect are floating in outer space somewhere. So I am sitting back, waiting for the liberals of America to coalesce yet again into a movement of clout. Whether as Green Party supporters or a newly directed Democratic Party makes me no never mind. I am dubious that the Dems will adapt, dubious that the Greens can muster the political sway, not optimistic about the midterm elections.

I hope there are a few Democrats with backbone still in office, but I don't know who they are these days. So, in essence, I am waiting to see who makes the first move next.