Christmas Card 2012

Christmas Card 2012

tania: all it needs now is some lights…
jon: how many strands do you think we’ll need?

Title: Decorating The Mayan Pyramid Of The Jaguar in Tikal, Guatemala
Format: 3D cardboard cut-out collage
Original Image Size: 25” x 24” x 20”

We spent a couple of days working on this project in early December, from brainstorming to the final printed card – here’s some photos (see below) from the process. Enjoy!

Gallery Of Images From Creating The Card

Off-The-Grid In Hidden Valley

Tania and I don’t just go camping, we mount a small expedition in our Honda Element. We pack our car with all the camping gear and supplies we’ll need for the next few days. We’ve got our tent and chairs, a stove, 3 bundles of wood, 9 gallons of water, food, flashlights, lanterns, firestarter, pots and pans, cooking utensils and on and on… and usually nothing that we don’t end up needing.

We usually spend a couple days preparing our supplies in a process refined by years of camping, and especially camping at Hidden Valley Campground in Joshua Tree National Park, (where we’ve camped at least 7 times so far – each time a unique experience.)

Then, along with our two dogs, Moseley and Suki, we leave cellphones and computers behind and enjoy some time off-the-grid… this year we spent our time in site #25.

In Our Element

Our love affair with Joshua Tree began eight years ago when we got our Honda Element, which we bought because we wanted a camping-mobile (among other things.)

Here’s a photo from our first camping trip at Hidden Valley in June of 2004 with our green Element in the background.

2004

The Element has been an awesome mini-expedition vehicle. Before we got the Element we had not gone camping for a few years and really missed the time away from the city, just the two of us together, or with a small group of friends.

Our history of camping together goes back twenty-some years. Tania and I even got married while camping in Big Sur twenty years ago on October 12, 1992.

Here’s a photo from just after the ceremony under the redwood trees at Limekiln Campground in Big Sur. We had a Volkswagen Vanagon back then for our expeditions…

1992

Boulders and The Light

Over the years many different things have been my focus-of-the-moment in this love affair with Joshua Tree, from the Joshua Trees themselves to the Gram Parsons legacy to the broad landscape of trees and boulders.

Currently I’m fascinated by the way the light changes the shape, color and presence of boulders. As an artist I marvel at the light and wonder how to capture it’s majesty in some kind of medium – a painting, sculpture, something I haven’t thought of… It’s a problem I keep turning around in my mind.

So far, I can only capture a photo of the idea, a mere representation of the real moment. This (see photo below) is what the light really looks like at sunset in the fall, but the real moment was 100 times better than any photo we could have taken.

This year’s expedition was the first time we camped in Joshua Tree during October. Usually we camp around September 19th in remembrance of Gram Parsons, one of my favorite musicians.

The light in October is very different than September. The angle of the light is steeper and full of contrast. Around our anniversary on the 12th the light is magical, and this year we had an unseasonal cold front that added a coolness we’d never experienced in our September camp-outs.

This Year’s Expedition

We arrived in Hidden Valley on Wednesday the 10th. Of the 44 camp sites, only 3 or 4 were still available. One of those sites was #25, on a side of the inner loop we had never camped on before.

The first night we had thunder and lightning in the middle of the night with rain. Our Hobitat tent which we bought a few years back from R.E.I. was very water-tight, and just we laid there enjoying the sounds and lightning throughout the night.

The next couple of days were unseasonably cool all day with beautiful clouds flying across the wide open sky. I wore a hoodie and knit cap most of the time, and really bundled up for the evening’s campfire.

We spent our time taking walks with our dogs, boulder scrambling, taking photos, talking, hanging out, napping and generally relaxing. It was a bit of heaven. And everywhere we looked were beautiful boulders basking in the changing sunlight.

At night the temperatures dropped down to 38 degrees one night and 40 degrees another night – very cold when you have to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

On Friday the 12th we celebrated our 26th year together with special beers in the afternoon, a nice nap and a great afternoon walk… later Tania cooked-up an outstanding rib-eye steak and potatoes for dinner and then we relaxed around the campfire for conversation and more beers. A magical day all around.

The weather was finally warming up when we were packing up camp on Saturday morning the 13th to come home.

Moseley (a real homebody) was happy to be back home, while little Suki pup is already waiting for the next adventure.

Gallery of Photos

Here’s a selection of photos from this expedition into Joshua Tree. The photo order starts with morning photos and goes into the night, but covers several days of camping. All the photos have captions to tell you more about our expedition – Enjoy!

26 Years of Love!

Adding another photo to our annual Anniversary Day post…

Above – Photographed on the eve of this year’s anniversary – October 11, 2012 at Hidden Valley Campground in Joshua Tree National Park…

The Jon and Tania Story – In 27 Photos!

We started going out on October 12, 1986, got married on October 12, 1992 (our sixth anniversary) and now 26 wonderful years have gone by…

To celebrate our Anniversary, here’s a gallery of photos of us together from 26 years of love – From 1987 until now, with one photo representing each year of the journey.

Enjoy!

Joshua Tree – Hidden Valley Campground – 24 Views

My mind in on Joshua Tree this week, due to an upcoming camping trip…

There is so much beauty to see in Joshua Tree National Park – there is the land itself along with the iconic namesake trees. There are the small flowers, the lizards, snakes, plants of various kinds – and then there are the boulders. I love the boulders!

This video, which was filmed in 2006 in Hidden Valley Campground – one of the best rock-climbing locations in the world – consists of 24 views, each one 10 to 15 seconds long, filmed in the warm, afternoon light…

One of the many reasons I return again and again to Joshua Tree National Park is to watch the light play across the boulders. It’s a very slow form of beauty and it’s worth spending all day just watching the light change the color of the boulders, re-drawing them over and over again into new and interesting variations.

When I’m back in my regular city life, and I daydream about camping in Joshua Tree, I imagine these boulders in the warm afternoon light…and what I imagine is what you see here – Enjoy!

Credits – the music is by Scenic, and the song is called “Lunar Afternoon” – it’s off of their album called “Acid Gospel Experience”, which I highly recommend.

All video segments were filmed by Jon, onehumanbeing.

$1 Hits – The Complete Word Collage

On August 29th we embarked on a 36-day trip called $1 Hits – a word collage that covers 36 pages in a handmade book that was created 1994…

I posted a page each day over the last month or so – along with the poem taken from the collage piece of that day – from then until October 3rd.

What Materials Were Used?

The material that went into this collage included the novel The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, a pulp fiction book called Fistful Of Death, a book on how to fly a Frisbee, Publisher’s Clearinghouse junk mail material and stickers, along with various other materials including cut-up pieces of my own poems.

What’s the Story?

As the story in this word collage moves along it’s seemly random way, this word collage takes the voice like a TV salesman, selling you useless junk, strangely invented objects, with just enough sex in it to sell the product, until we get to the last few pages where the story turns to Stark Naked, Linda and Sensual X and how their acid trip goes roaring off into the Movie…

Below is a photo of the small handmade book that holds this word collage. The “skin” of this book is my old painting shirt from 1992 until it was retired in 1994 to be used for different handmade books – this one and a very Dada-esque book called “My Left Arm”.

Enjoy!

[Page 1]

$1 Hits

[Page 2]

{newspaper photo of Kramer from Seinfeld}

[Page 3]

A beautiful blend of images,
Embark on a spectacular journey through a unique celebration of our carpets of rainbow-hued flowers through the mist-shrouded science and technology.
When the lion’s skin will ride the white water and roam the glaciers of science and technology.
your free examination copy

[Page 4]

It is very important that your prize option be chosen when you enter this sweepstakes.

[Page 5]

Peel off one coupon, paste it on your Acceptance construction with belts and zippers and buttons
“I’m invited too?” Tony said
“You bet your ass,” Freddie said. “Now here’s how it works,
because it’s impromptu. Tony, shooting the movie, making tapes- they managed it all like a team. Once a few minor personal hassles are worked out-
“When?” Tony said.
In that very moment between twilight and sunrise
you. Who’s your friend?”
“Edward Duff,” I said.
“Duff? Duff?” Freddie said.
He walks streets
disaster and despair
in an overcoat

[Page 6]

Indonesia is strung out
and once again just sun and the green belly of America sailing by…
She had never taken LSD before,
Blissed out, Red Star
she looks fearless and immune and ready for all,
she was an electric guitar on a Sunday night
…serene. Certain things worked smoothly on every level.

[Page 7]

She stood out like a crowd
She played the city like a pinstripe suit.
She asked for the moon in a cup and her breasts hung over the city.
romantic past, copped out of the American trip. New York
ancient New York intellectual thing, duck back into the Art thoughts and Camera dreams

DREAM WARS
Revolutionary Chicken Feed
12 tiny elephants in a bean

[Page 8]

You win, you could be exposed,
Imagine feeling so
As the full moon rose we started to drink
Through my blue window I heard a fragile scream. I saw smoke coming off my shoes
Luminous shine-in-the-dark Stars for your ceiling
images
lurching in the dark
at the bottom of the stairs.

[Page 9]

Move things with your mind
26 Sounds!
New on Cassette
New on Compact Disc
Video Offer
Pets love It!
Deal of the Month!
How to Pick Pockets
New Prophecies of the End of the World

[Page 10]

Magician’s book of Hide ’em in your Heart Songs
The Secrets of Floating Light
Authentic Chairman Mao Magic Key Bender Pop Ball Surprise Gift
Uncensored Truth about Big Secrets

[Page 11]

NEW! NEW! New Offer!
It…It…It’s Alive
five feet two, dark hair, etc, and checks out Sensuous X and Gretch and Anonymous in the window-
Lighted match changes to lovely Flower instantly
Smoke from your Fingertips
Flowers from Fingertips
Now imagine how you would walk.

[Page 12]

New! Set of 6!
New! Set of 3!
Not sold in stores!
Easy to use!
Biodegradable Kitchen Helper!
Vanishing Egg Bag vanishes any small object
Disappearing Liquid Trick
“Aren’t you going?”

[Page 13]

New! Set of 8!
Great Value!
Set not sold in stores!
Free Inspection Authorization
Use Anywhere!
BBQ Party Rack Bingo Bag
Rain Wand
Great for lawns and gardens instant weather report

[Page 14]

New Cookbook!
Extends to 5 1/2 Feet!
Excellent Workout
As seen on T.V.
Family Tradition 2-Piece set!
4 Volumes!
Kitchen tool 6-Piece set!
Children’s Video!
As seen on T.V.
Family Tradition

[Page  15]

The All American Cafe

Miracle Glass
Food and Freezer Storage Containers
Send ‘n’ Seal Salad Bowl Set
New! Two 10-OZ Bags!

[Page 16]

Miracle Changing Ropes
Miracle Electric Deck
Levitating Magic Wand
Realistic Human Skull
Realistic Gag Chicken
New and Improved Security Wallets

[Page 17]

New! Set of 3!
Free Gift! Set of 3!
Set of 3!
Deluxe bald head gelatin brain mold activity kit
New Ancient treasures
7:00 AM Before
7:02 AM After

[Page 18]

Angled Toenail Scissors and Clippers
Not sold in Stores!
Computer Animated Virtual Reality
The pale boot of summer
you must patch it out with 10,000 Formulas, Secrets, Processes
Webster’s Large Print Tweezer Set with Magnifier

[Page 19]

New Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries!
New! 1 Video, 1 Audiocassette!
Limited Edition Teardrops from the Heart Dictionary
Sale! Zero Pain Live-Action White Mouse Instant Hair Remover Vanishing Device

[Page 20]

Sale! Cigarette thru Coin Melting Coins
4 Nickels to 4 Dimes
Real Folding Coins
“Round Tuit” Coins
$1,000,000 Phony Money Secret Thumb Trick Magic Mystery
New Video!
See Special Offer Below

[Page 21]

Great Gift no camper should without
New Book! $3.00 Off!
Book of Hocus-Pocus Card Deck Perpetual Motion Machine Prison Chain Escape
Walk on Water!
Instantly turn liquids to solid grace
To get where your going isn’t as important as the going.
Living in mind powered machines you can build

[Page 22]

That warm, damp, seductive environment calls for a little meandering
Champagne sprouted slender nozzles from silver ice- Why may a person who has had a few drinks have no feeling that he has been affected by alcohol?
How do Sword Swallowers do it?
Not sold in stores!
Your price $14.95
Your price $11.95
Your price $8.95

In Java, I’ve noticed, a woman’s walk has a languid, extra slow moving
“Maybe she didn’t want her old man to know.”
nobody denied her, and she could wail, nobody tried to cool that inflamed brain that was now seeping out Stark Naked brain eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-

[Page 23]

Sale! Ginseng Tablets
Buy 1, Get 1 Free!
New! Ginseng Toothpaste
New Cassette Offer
How to be a Ventriloquist Wrong color Playing Cards
7-Piece Set!
Set of 2! Government UFO Conspiracy X-Ray Glasses Life Size
6 Card Repeat

[Page 24]

New Book Offer Stops Skin Problems Fast
Sale! Fade Ugly Skin Spots
Before & After
How do they do that ?
Spilled Nail Polish Chattering Teeth Disgusting Sounds Machine Backwards Wall Clock Foul Smelling Stink Spray
32-OZ. Spray!

[Page 25]

New Cassette!
New Video Offer!
New Black Light Wall Hanging Mind Blowing Jigsaw Money

Joke Money is touring France
blanket over her lap and her legs wedged back into the corner, her and her little bare breasts, silent, looking exceedingly go, and she is on the bus, christened Anonymous, down to her bra and panties, which she prefers.
Collector’s Puzzle Box
Mysterious Life-like Leg
Life-like no matter how weird it is.

[Page 26]

Not Sold in Stores!
New Video stars Clint Eastwood!
Wrestling’s Strangest Matches
New Cassette or CD!
Set of 2!
New! 3 Cassettes!
7 Movies on 2 Videos!
Deluxe Joy Freaks “Powerful, Horror Masterpiece”
New! Not Sold in Stores!
Old Russian intellectuals have always looked for… another country, a world class practical joke

[Page 27]

New Magic Eye 3-D Illusion Video
Remnants of a Super Power
2 Hours of Amazing Animal Struggles for Survival and Dominance X-Ray Vision Games you can’t Lose
“Get those cameras and microphones out of here,” the guy said.
“I’m not afraid of you!”
Great Values on Cassette!
Great Value!
4 Payments each
$6.24 $2.49 $2.24 $2.24

[Page 28]

Sale! Ponytail Cap
Hide Hair Loss
Originally Formulated for Movie Stars
Sale! Genuine Russian Electronic One Track Cap
New Tornado Video
Military Medal Zig Zag Pencil Archeology Proof we are not alone!
UFO’s and Aliens are Real!
surrounding her threatening her
Now you can see what the Government doesn’t want you to know
“I’m never worried when I’m with you, sweetie.”

[Page 29]

The Photographs-
New Sleight of Hand Lanterns of Light with the utter ridiculousness of it…
Now you see it
Now you don’t!
-but no one denied her a moment of it, neither the conked-out bug-eyed paranoia nor the manic keening coming on desire and causing her to laugh and Mary Tyler Moore desire reaching inside herself
Remember the pleasure
Reaching out for herself
A celestial aspect made easy

[Page 30]

Action Books
New All Occasion Friendships
Not available in stores!
Buy one, get 2- save $5.00
Favorite Chef Greeting Cards
The Joy of Cooking by Large Men
32 Inspirational Note Cards
New! 2 Cassettes!
New! Double-Length CD for the Microwave!

[Page 31]

Put any words here

[Page 32]

Order Enclosed

[Page 33]

Got an itch?
Vibrating Shocker
Disappearing Imitation Vomit Ink
Gets Rid of Zits!

[Page 34]

$10,000,000.00 Prize

She kissed my ear. She said at my ear, “You think I’m Stark Naked
“Sure. Everybody’s heard. Freddie-boy made sure of that.”
It starts small.
some acid, and now she is outside of the bus on the Euphoria
and is in a wide leg stance over her with the camera as she lies disclaiming on the desert floor, camera them and the movie-The Movie!-
many zeroed in on her like she is Maria Montez in a love scene-
Oooooooooh! It sparkles!”
-surfaces euphoric! euphorically garlanded in long greasy
“Mmm, I think so.”
“Good Friend of yours?”
“Uh huh.”
“She’s with the show?”

[Page 35]

“Oooooooooh! It sparkles!”
-pulling her long stands of slime-slithering hair outward
we can’t duck the weird shit,
and I was not going to stop
their voices, their presence,
She’s zonked out of her nut, but it’s all in wild
in a black blanket-
We clinked glasses again and sipped.
She took a black snakeskin blouse and a black mantle off, and suddenly Stark Naked crazed vibrations- with the flow.
Stark Naked; Stark Naked; silence; but, well…
comfortable inside your body, you feel alluring maybe even a little wanton
with her eyes open, staring, the next laughing and coming on, a lively Stark Naked,

[Page 36]

“Now I’m keeping Linda freely freaking!” she said.
“Tell Suzy to sign on the dotted line for one picture a year at two thousand per picture
with her long black hair coming down over it
and she becomes Stark Naked in the great movie, one moment all conked out,
Maybe that’s her thing
Very excited- and Sensuous X said she made Linda
“Because of her-
Who would like to see?
She has taken to wearing nothing but the blanket and she sheds that when she feels like it.
“Why!”
Sensuous X doesn’t know. No why to it. She just had the painting and a cosmic grin on her
off on her trip for good…

The End

Gallery of Page Images

My Personal Cognitive Matrix

Note: This post comes after many months of contemplation and is based upon theories which are under development, but I find very interesting and I want to share my thoughts so far on this concept I call my “Personal Cognitive Matrix.”

Keep in mind as you are reading that everyone has their own personal cognitive matrix. In this post I share examples from my own life just for illustration purposes.

Introduction To My Personal Cognitive Matrix

I used to assume that the world looked the same to everyone. I thought the way I saw the world was the same way everyone else was seeing things. I was wrong about that…

In many ways, for many years, I naively assumed that everyone also had the same values I do, felt the same rage at injustice that drives so many of my projects, looked for the same beauty I seek, desired compassion, truth, idealism, etc. – all the little pieces of personality or my “self” that make up my personal cognitive matrix.

My view of things started to radically change when I was 33 and found out I have bi-polar disorder. For the first time I really became concretely aware that I was experiencing a world in a very different way than many of the people around me.

Sure, it all looks the same, but the perceptions are very different for each of us, very subjective and subject to change.

In the post ahead I’m going to go back to the basics and explain some of the elements in my thinking process, and look at how I see my personal cognitive matrix constructed.

Personal Cognitive Matrix Defined

Personal – Of, affecting, or belonging to a particular person rather than to anyone else.

Cognitive – Of, or pertaining to, the mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes.

Matrix – An environment or material in which something develops.

Personal Cognitive Matrix is a phrase I have created to describe the world “as I know it to be” separate from the world “as we all know it to be”  – which is  very different from the world “as it really is.”

My personal cognitive matrix is built from many things like my spirit and my relationship to the greater “super-consciousness”, but the beginning is my most basic relationships – where did I enter this world – what time, what day and where on the planet?

What were the relationships I was born into, family-wise, socially, and cosmically?

My Birth, The Stars And Then Everything…

Above: My Birth-sky – Here is a image showing where the Sun was at the moment of my birth in relation to my main planet Mercury (between the Horns of the Heavenly Bull), as well as Venus, Mars, Jupiter, my two dogs Canis Major and Canis Minor, the cradle of the slingshot of the Shepherd Auriga and the battle club of Orion, and most importantly – my birth sign, Gemini. The day after I was born Venus rose as the morning star…

I was born on Thursday afternoon, June 18, 1964 at 2:14 in Glendale, California.

My mother was checked into the second hospital in Glendale California she had been to in the last couple of days, during which time my Dad had gotten a new job, and the family moved from one house to another.

Maybe because I was born a Gemini I needed two hospitals to be born in, but when I came home I was, for my family, a new baby in a new home, son number three, and child number five.

My parents called me their “Holy Spirit Baby” because they had been “baptized in the Holy Spirit” around the same time I was conceived. This had a large impact on my life growing up.

And I was born during a time of great social change.

Born Under The Sign Of The Twins

As I mentioned (and I’m sure it’ll come up again) I was born in the sign of Gemini, with the Sun at the foot of Castor, one of the twins which make up the Gemini sign, Pollux being the other twin.

In the myths, Castor and Pollux were born to Leda after Zeus seduced her in the form of a swan. Castor was born human and Pollux was born divine.

When Castor was killed Pollux pleaded with his father Zeus to allow him to share his immortality with his twin, and raise him from the dead. Zeus agreed and together they became the constellation we know as Gemini in the night sky (this is the really short version of the story).

Anyone who has a Gemini friend knows the reality of two twins sharing an existence together in one body. We are the mercurial ones who naturally shift quickly from one mood to another like an ever changing breeze.

On my astrological chart, Gemini is everywhere – Gemini and Mercury.

When I was born Mercury rested between the horns of Taurus, the great bull of the heavens (shown below).

Spirit and Intention

In my meditations over the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking of the words “Spirit” and “Intention” as interchangeable. Here’s some phrases I wrote down that illustrate this idea:

My spirit is my intention and vice-verse.

Intention is what animates us and moves the spirit in us.

The Holy Spirit is the Holy Intention of God.

When I do things with intention my spirit becomes engaged.

In my thinking I picture this spirit energy and intention as emanating from our hearts like a giant magnetic field which surrounds our whole body, and out a couple of feet – what we normally feel as our “personal space.” (see illustration below)

Spirit/Intention is different from consciousness – which includes a broad range of awareness/states we experience.

Consciousness

Most of the time when I’m sitting and thinking, my personal consciousness is engaged with the greater “super-consciousness” along with my intention/spirit, which is floating in this realm of the greater “super-consciousness”.

I see it as a morphic field without confining barriers (it doesn’t just exist inside me, but rather it’s a field that runs through every conscious thing) – like a great sea, but not of water, just created from the field of the energy of existence – also known as “chi.”

My personal consciousness seems to be anchored (primarily) with the pineal gland in the center of my brain, but each of my cells seems to participate is this process too, even though I don’t understand this very well – that’s just my intuitive feeling.

My personal connection to consciousness seems to be a complete body experience, while at other times it’s merely tethered to my body by it’s connection to my pineal gland. This is a strange science indeed – and we are just at the beginning stages of studying this fascinating part of reality.

Below: this is a rough sketch from my notebook showing the magnetic field that originates in our hearts and surrounds us like much like the Earth’s magnetic field. The wavy lines show how our personal fields tend to sublimely interact with one anther in the “greater super-consciousness.”

These two parts (intention/spirit and consciousness) seem to work together, or not, to create my individual human experience which is somewhat porous and can receive outside conscious information.

These two parts of myself combine with where I physically exist in time and space, which also includes the cosmic influences on me because of the place and time of my birth, and together, all this helps to form my Personal Cognitive Matrix I live in everyday. And everyone around me is having their own similar experience – similar, but very different.

This is the beginning of my postings on this subject – we still need to add the “soul” into the mixture, but I save that for a later posting.

The Late Great American Novel

Back in July of last year I posted a list of the 24 things I figured a writer needed to include in his (or her) book to make it qualify as the next Great American Novel.

Well, this year – or the last few weeks specifically – I’ve been busy writing away on a project I’m calling The Late Great American Novel. It seemed like a good time to revisit my list and see how my novel matches up… [my comments are between the brackets – red mean “not done” and green means “check”]

  1. a revolutionary beginning – [no, but I’m ok with that…]
  2. a charming “coming-of-age” story [ not so charming, but yes – got that]
  3. a romance [oh yes]
  4. a “come-from-behind” victory [still to be written]
  5. a hero with a flashing smile and twinkling eyes [ no flashing smile but the main character uses “sparkly eye techniques”]
  6. a “gut-busting” success [not yet]
  7. a “rags-to-riches” saga [in process]
  8. an “us and them” struggle [big time]
  9. a religious background [very big time]
  10. a rapture prediction [oh yes, coming up in the next chapter]
  11. guns, car chases and lots of explosions [lots of violence]
  12. manifest destiny and American exceptionalism [but of course]
  13. scapegoats, super villains and other monsters [more than enough…]
  14. flags waving and lots of red, white and blue [not so much – need some work here]
  15. cowboys and indians [not yet]
  16. terrorists and warmongers [hell yeah]
  17. greed, sex, gossip and lies [oh hell yeah]
  18. the American dream of home ownership [no so much]
  19. cars, highways and road-trips [yes, yes and yes]
  20. good cops, bad cops and buddy cops [not yet]
  21. football, basketball, baseball and ultimate fighting [very little]
  22. a ride into the sunset [yup]
  23. a twist at the end of the story [were not there yet…]
  24. a sequel [probably]

That’s 14 out of the 24 so far, and several more are already in the works. Of course, I am at Chapter 43 in part 5 of the book right now, so we’ve covered a lot of territory.

So What’s It About?

My story concerns a man named Jerry (not his real name) who does not know who he is, what he’s doing, or where he’s going – but he’s on the run.

We also have a corrupt Reverend down in Chihuahua Mexico who’s going to find himself in the middle of a religious revival.

People seemed to die off in every other chapter – the death toll is pretty high at this point.

And then there are all the other issues, including; quantum-Pentecostals, the end of the age, the mysteries of consciousness, Lizard people, The Illuminated Ones, secret societies, alternative history, UFO’s, a financial crisis and war – among other things.

To give you an idea of what the story feels like, I would best describe the flavor of the novel as: “Imagine a Tom Robbins novel written by Kurt Vonnegut.”

I’m thinking about serializing the story once the end is in sight. We’ll see how that goes…

Added Late – I like this from Wikipedia

The “Great American Novel” is the concept of a novel that is distinguished in both craft and theme as being the most accurate representative of the zeitgeist in the United States at the time of its writing.

It is presumed to be written by an American author who is knowledgeable about the state, culture, and perspective of the common American citizen.

The author uses the literary work to identify and exhibit the language used by the American people of the time and to capture the unique American experience, especially as it is perceived for the time.

In historical terms, it is sometimes equated as being the American response to the national epic.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_American_Novel

Until later, best of health.

New Souvenirs From The End Of The Age

 The End Of The Age

There is a lot of talk these days about “The end of the world”, and in my opinion it’s not the end of the world but the end of the age we are witnessing right now – also known as the Kali Yuga – a time of chaos, destruction and rebirth.

The Dream of a King

There was a Babylonian king who had a dream thousands of years ago. He saw a giant statue of a man standing on a great plain of the desert.

The head and neck was made of gold, it’s arms and torso made of silver, it’s hips and loins made of bronze, the legs made of iron and it’s feet made of a mixture iron and clay.

As the king was watching this statue in his dream, a giant stone was shaped from a mountain and thrown by an unseen hand and it rolled across the great desert until it smashed into the statue and obliterated it.

Then the stone that smashed the statue became a new mountain and it’s kingdom was established forever.

We are now in that moment when the stone is rolling across the desert toward the statue.

Devolution And The Ages In Decline

Long ago there existed a golden age of man, which gave way to the silver age. Later on both of those ages were swept away and the bronze age began.

When Rome arose we entered the iron age of man and since the “Renaissance” we’ve been in the iron and clay mixture that made the feet of the great statue.

Where-as most contemporary history treats our moment in time as the pinnacle of man’s ascent on the mountain of civilization, I see it in reverse. We are the feet of clay and iron, not the head of gold.

But this won’t last – the next great age is just around the corner – but more on that later.

A Time Of Collapse

The ideas, sounds, emotions, and words in this collage represent a world in collapse, where violence seems to surround us on a daily basis and no one knows who is on who’s side anymore.

Is our Government for us or against us? Is our Government, CIA, FBI, NSA, TSA, DHS, and all those other lettered agencies for us or working against us? Who are these crazed mass-killers? Have they been hypnotized and turned into human sock puppets for some psychopath pulling the strings in the background?

And all these weapons – it’s like there’s been a giant Government giveaway of guns… hold it, that part is true.

These thoughts and more blend in this sound collage which contain Explicit Content – both language and violence – so be warned…

Close Your Eyes And Listen To This Sound Collage

Complete sound collage length: 20:12

Track Listing

1. A Free Weapons Giveaway Program 02:30

2. I Will Be King And I Couldn’t Control Myself 02:14

3. Nuclear Infowars Hypnosis – It’s In The Code 03:42

4. We’re All More Suggestible In Groups 03:35

5. A Fast And Furious Commercial Break 00:52

6. The Hot Seat Pinched My Ass 01:55

7. Fatman and Little Boy, We Can Be Heroes Just for One Day 02:14

8. The End Of The World Is The End Of The World 03:06

Materials Used

This sound collage really began a couple of months ago when the John Lennon song I Don’t Want To Be A Solider, Mama got stuck in my head.

I kept thinking “If someone starts a revolution, I’m going be a solider whether I want to or not – and I don’t want to be a solider, mama…”

That song, along with David Bowie’s Heroes, became the music that comes and goes in the back ground along with several drum loops mixed together…

I also took material from the movie Slacker which includes the Ranting “Weapons Give-away Program” Guy (played by Kendal Smith of Cameron, Texas – his rant starts about the 1:35 point):

In the process of creating this piece I found a video of The Amazing Kreskin – a mentalist, who ended up becoming a major star of this sound collage.

Here’s the video of The Amazing Kreskin I used – Enjoy!

Download this sound collage for FREE

Either visit our BandCamp site and download it in a number of different high-quality audio formats (limited quantities available), or click the link below, and download all eight tracks of high-quality MP3s, complete with album art in a zip file (49 MB) – ready to drop in your iTunes (or whatever MP3 music player you use) and enjoy – instant gratification.

Click Here To Download Album

Note: My heart goes out to the Sikh community in Wisconsin – this kind of ongoing American tragedy is one of the subjects in the sound collage I’m just about ready to release today – which I just finished mixing last night. It makes me so sad…

Making Sound Collages…

Just a little thought about the process

When I’m making a sound collage it’s an experience that is very visual for me, like I’m working on a physical collage – except the picture is just in my head, and what everyone else experiences is an audio experience.

In my mind I’m seeing something like a Robert Rauschenberg collage painting…

Above: Kennedy by Robert Rauschenberg

And then there’s the mixer (shown below), which doesn’t look like the picture of the collage in my head, but creates a secondary image of the collage framework I have to work with to translate my mental image into audio form.

Here’s a screen shot of my latest sound collage I’m working on, tentatively called Souvenirs From The End Of The World

Building The Sound Collage

I tear off a large piece of some song or sound piece that I want to use as a background texture. I paste that down and then add various elements to build the collage.

If I have a theme in mind I gather materials to use to support my theme – a song clip of this, a loop of that, a variety of incidentals, maybe a major quote or two, and sometimes an extended spoken word piece.

If I don’t have a theme then I’ll go deeper into the sub-conscious and dig through some material I’ve collected and hear what catches my ear, and then another thing and then another… and slowly I start seeing and hearing the direction the sound collage is going to go and I gather more materials to support that direction.

All in all it’s a 25% purpose-driven and about 75% intuition-driven. I’m working on bringing up that intuition percentage.

Do It Yourself and Give It Away

On my birthday, back on June 18th, I got the idea in my head that NOW would be a good time to look into making a CD out of my latest group of sound collages and call it Grand Deception Star.

Now it is the end of July, a day before Tania’s birthday, and I’ve just about completed 7 CD’s of sound collages from UFOverdriver. The artwork is finished and I’m just waiting on 3 test pressings, which are on their way to me, and once those are approved, we have a complete set!

The UFOverdriver CD Collection – 2010 through 2012 (shown above from bottom to top)

My Brilliant Marketing Strategy

If I was doing this to make money, I have the worst marketing strategy in the world – I’ve encouraged people to download all my work for free (which many people have done), even on the same pages where I offer people an opportunity to buy the CD, usually for the outrageous price of $7.99 plus $3.00 – as close to giving it away as I can.

Guess how many CD orders I’ve had since I released the first 4 CD’s on July 25th…

Of course, I said if I was doing this to make money – which I’m not… I’m practicing my favorite form of living – D.I.Y. and G.I.A.

Do It Yourself and Give It Away.

A Few Reasons, But Just A Small Part Of The Bigger Thing…

Even if I wanted to be a good capitalist, I’m just not wired that way – I’d rather give stuff away than have to think about money.

I mean, sure I’d like to have some extra money to buy stuff I need for my art plans, get a little something special for Tania, or have some kind of cushion in our financial budgeting situation, but hey, maybe someday in the future.

One of the reason I love making buttons is they are so easy to give away. I could work out some money-making scheme to try and get people to buy my stuff, but that would just take time away from doing what I really enjoy – making art-objects.

Multiples and the Uniqueness Of Paintings

Selling paintings is something I’ve come to terms with. Each one is such a unique creation you have to put a price on it so it ends up going to the right home.

Above: We Sit At These Tables – a painting that got added to a very good collection this week…

Paintings have a lifetime of their own and good collectors respect that paintings must be hung in a good place, viewed over long periods of time and allowed to live with you as a part of your life.

But some art-objects are multiples – unnumbered series of art-objects, reproduced in limited number or mass-produced – and they are so much easier to give-away.

This is not to say they have no value – value is a whole different subject. Money, giving stuff away – these things have nothing to do with the value of the art-object.

These buttons I make and give away are multiples…

The sound collages, in both their digital form and in their new CD form are also multiples.

Due to the cost of making CD’s, I can’t give them away – but I can just make them as inexpensive as possible.

Sure, I can afford people downloading for free until the end of time, but CD’s – unfortunately those cost money to make.

A CD As An Art-Object

For over twenty years I’ve been thinking about what makes an art-object. Here are two categories I (sometimes) break my work into:

1. External Work – Painting, Large Sculpture, Framed Art, Videos – This is work you stand back from and observe or experience, like a painting on a wall or a sculpture on a pedestal.

2. Internal Work – Handmade Books, Sound Collages, Videos, CD’s – This is work that is experienced as a hands-on experience – like listening to a sound collage or looking through a handmade book.

Video can fall into either category.

These are rather imperfect category names – but that’s how I define them for myself.

The Art-Object As Revolution Against The Monetary System…

To me, an “art-object” is a created, non-commercial object, which can be either given away, or sold in a commercial transaction.

Sure, I could be like everyone else and go for the money, but I hate the current monetary system, so giving stuff away subverts and by-passes the whole commercial system.

Even if I sell my work, I can under-cut the monetary system by pricing “below value” and inducing a state of monetary-dissonance – when “value” and “price” don’t match.

My marketing system will not help you pay your rent – you’ll probably use your rent money to create art-objects any ways – and could be referred to as a “get-poor-quick” scheme. I don’t recommend my methods to anyone.

As for me, I’m just built this way – I’m going to take those ideas that flow through my head and make stuff, then I’ll probably give it away… D.I.Y. and G.I.A.

About The Process

Since I started UFOverdriver I’ve had it in my mind to eventually put my sound collages on CD’s, but until now I hadn’t found a way to do it that made me happy…

Two years ago I tried to do a handmade set of CD’s, but the project – with all it’s various pieces and elements – quickly got out of hand and then abandoned.

On my birthday I gave it another go, and I was very happy to discover a CD fulfillment company in Minnesota called TrepStar that produces CD’s on demand and sends them out to your fans – just what I needed.

I’ve been working with TrepStar (via emails) for a month and a half and they have been very good at helping me get through this process.

The CD setups aren’t elaborate – Standard Jewel Case with Insert Card – but they are perfect for this project at this moment.

Above: TrepStar project preview page…

So – if you’re an artist or band looking to get some CD’s self-produced here in the good ol’ USA, I’m recommending TrepStar to all my friends…

CD Fulfillment: TrepStar in Minnesota

To Sum This All Up…

That all being said – I’ve created seven art-objects over the last month and a half – 4 are available now and 3 more will be available very soon.

This is for those who what to collect the “art-object”, in physical form, of they favorite sound collages.

I like having CD’s. Once I converted my whole CD collection to digital and sold the CD’s I realized how much I like the physical CD, so I’m slowing building a new CD collection.

Now my CD collection has 7 more CD’s in it.

Until later, best of health.

PRE-ORDER

The UFOverdriver Collection – 2010 to 2012

A 7 CD Set + Special UFOverdriver Buttons!

Release Date
Mid-August 2012Number of Tracks: 68

Length
Over 370 minutes or 6.1730 hours of sound collage goodness

7 CD’s only $50
shipping and handling included

 

Pre-Order the complete UFOverdriver CD set and save yourself over $20.00

This set will be available after mid-August, but everyone who pre-orders the 7 CD set will get special UFOverdriver buttons sent to them – how sweet is that!

Collection Includes

This collection will be shipping around mid-August – Pre-Order now and save over $20!

 

LINKS

UFOverdriver website: http://ufoverdriver.onehumanbeing.com/

UFOverdriver on Bandcamp (FREE Downloads): http://ufoverdriver.bandcamp.com/

Buy First Four UFOverdriver CD’s: http://ufoverdriver.onehumanbeing.com/2012/07/25/ufoverdriver-cds-now-available/

How do I get some free buttons? Contact me and I just might send you some

PS. The complete set of all 7 UFOverdriver CD’s, along with some UFOverdriver buttons will be available very soon – pre-order now for just $50! (plus shipping and handling)

Grand Deception Star Promo #1

“Why do you try and put out a CD during a Mercury Retrograde?” I ask myself… not just one CD, but four of them*.

Since June 27th (when I “officially” released this collection of sound collages through my UFOverdriver bandcamp site) I’ve been working on getting this CD release ready – and it’s been one glitch after another… I’m currently awaiting the latest test-pressings to arrive in the mail and hoping – just hoping – it’s all ready to go this time.

But it’s process – all process.

So while we’re waiting for the test-pressings to arrive, I’m moving on to the next step – Promo Videos and then Merchandise.

Yes UFOverdriver fans, coffee mugs, stickers, buttons, t-shirts and other UFOverdriver merch are headed your way, but first – promo videos!

Here’s promo video #1

That’s all for now – until later, best of health.

* The four UFOverdriver CDs I’ve been working on…

  • Grand Deception Star
  • Calling Down The UFOverdriver
  • The Brothership Has Landed
  • A New American Prayer

My Tree Friend

Something I posted on Facebook today (along with the photo above):

This is one of my friends, who happens to be a tree. A great tree. I love to stop under his tall branches when I walk my dogs and stare up into his lofty and spacious realm. Then the breeze rustles the leaves and I listen to him whisper gently… It’s good to have a friend like that.

The Presence Of Trees and Listening To Consciousness

This tree really is one of my friends. I have come to learn things about trees, their nature, their social ways, their cycles, why leaves fall and cover the land… so many various whispers which have come to me while standing under this tree during the last 5 years.

Is it because I have turned my thoughts to trees in general when I have stopped under it’s canopy that has brought these ideas to me, or is it the tree sharing his consciousness with me?

After years of visiting this tree, I’m more inclined to think it’s the tree speaking to me.

Of course, I can’t convince you of this – you have to know my tree friend to know how conscious he is, how he has grown and established his realm.

It took me several years of walking mindlessly past this tree before I learned to slow down to his pace – which is much slower than ours. The best I can describe it is as a “presence”, a space that surrounds the tree and draws your heart and thoughts up into it’s cathedral like space.

I wish I could say I have this kind of relationship with all trees or plants, but I don’t. I’m actually very bad at growing plants and come from a family who always had a brown lawn full of weeds. Horticulture is not in my blood, so to speak.

After realizing my tree was so aware of the world I tried to connect with other trees on my walk, but no such luck.

This experience with my tree friend has added to my growing pile of questions that I have about the nature of consciousness – what is “aliveness” and being aware? When does life know it’s alive? How does it know it’s a part of the greater reality? Where are the boundaries of consciousness? Where do I end and other consciousnesses begin? How varied is the field of consciousness among different creatures? How does my consciousness stay tethered to my body? Is it inside my skin, or does it exist around me?

My tree friend is doing his part in slowly helping me figure this stuff out – and I sure do appreciate that…

Video Portrait Of My Tree Friend

This is a video drawing I did back in April of 2008…

Note: my tree friend is a Sweetgum Tree

Grand Deception Star

Documenting the deteriorating connection between truth and reality in these times…

About This Sound Collage Collection

UFOverdriver began creating sound collages in early 2010, and throughout that year released two different digital albums and a number of digital EPs and several collaborative projects.

Since April of 2011, UFOverdriver has limited it’s releases to a small number of digital EPs and single track recordings (you can find all those on the UFOverdriver BandCamp Site), capturing the various impulses from the collective consciousness, and my own impressions on this moment we’re living through – yesterday, today and tomorrow…

Grand Deception Star is a collection of selected sound collages from December of 2010 through May of 2012, and though previously released on their own, make a complete vision when grouped together.

A Grand Deception Star

Some people would say, without a doubt, our country (U.S.A.) has accelerated it’s long move towards manifesting the dsytopian dream of some very secretive individuals and groups.

Through the use of the mainstream media, political manipulations, financial control of the banks and monetary policies, the military industrial complex, the private prison industry and an innumerable amount of deception and lying, these people have created a world of illusion and misinformation that fools many people into believing what they’re told is the true reality.

But it’s not reality – it’s just a grand deception star that’s so bright and luminous, so all encompassing, it obscures the truth and illuminates the lies as reality.

“Exposure to true information does not matter anymore…” (taken from a video of an “ex-KGB agent”…)

This sound collage captures a small piece of this dystopian change, chaos and confusion.

Listen To Grand Deception Star

Track Listing

  1. Transcendence Happening Here – The Earthquake and Tsunami Dream
    April 28, 2011 – 06:57
  2. This Land Is Your DreamWe Can Turn It Upside Down Pt.1
    November 20, 2011– 02:32
  3. Life Is But A DreamWe Can Turn It Upside Down Pt.2
    November 20, 2011 – 02:52
  4. The Old World Order Defense ScreenWe Can Turn It Upside Down Pt.3
    November 20, 2011 – 01:18
  5. The Highway Is A Riot Tonight – We Can Turn It Upside Down Pt.4
    November 20, 2011 – 02:36
  6. Has Anybody Seen Sam Lowry? The Seven Curses Mix
    February 20, 2012 – 09:57
  7. Make Today The Day
    May 28, 2012 – 03:24

Track By Track

Track 1 – Transcendence Happening Here – The Earthquake and Tsunami Dream

Released on April 28, 2011
Length: 06:57

This sound collage is built around samples from the Buffalo Springfield classic – “For What It’s Worth”.

The piece takes the form of a dream of an earthquake followed by a tsunami and uses sound clips from audio recordings of the sound of the March 2011 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan.

Track 2 – This Land Is Your DreamWe Can Turn It Upside Down Pt.1

Released on November 20, 2011
Length: 02:32

UFOvedriver echos the voices of the 99% in a track that includes “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie, the “Put A Bird On It” skit by Portlandia, sound clips from the movie “Ship of Fools” and more…

This track and the next three are from a sound collage EP called “We Can Turn It Upside Down” and the complete group was inspired by the actions of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Track 3 -Life Is But A DreamWe Can Turn It Upside Down Pt.2

Released on November 20, 2011
Length: 02:52

This track includes samples from “Exquisite Corpse” by Bauhaus, “The Ghost of Tom Joad” by Bruce Springsteen, “Mysticism” by Evelyn Underhill, quotes from Alan Watts and other audio material…

Also, the voice at the beginning of this track comes from a video by this cool couple that has built their own small house to travel in – here’s a link: tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house-video/homemade-spaceship-a-tiny-american-dream-house/

Track 4 -The Old World Order Defense ScreenWe Can Turn It Upside Down Pt.3

Released on November 20, 2011
Length: 01:18

This track includes a man raving at a shopping mall, lots of typewriter sounds and Alan Watts pontificating…

Track 5 – The Highway Is A Riot TonightWe Can Turn It Upside Down Pt.4

Released on November 20, 2011
Length: 02:36

This track includes audio from the fall of 2011 police crackdowns on Occupy Davis and Occupy Oakland, samples from “The Ghost of Tom Joad” by Bruce Springsteen, quotes from Alan Watts and other audio material…

Track 6 – Has Anybody Seen Sam Lowry? The Seven Curses Mix

Released on February 20, 2012
Length: 09:57

The title of this track comes from a quote in the epic dystopian movie Brazil by Terry Gilliam and uses various sound clips from that film.

When Obama signed the NDAA on New Year’s Eve, 2011 and opened the door to indefinite military detention for American citizens, we slipped further into the gravity of the Grand Deception Star…

After laying down “seven curses on a judge so cruel”, this track goes into the collective unconscious, wondering – Dreams, Choices, Decision, Stories… how does the world come into existence?

There is a long monologue during this sound collage – it comes from the opening scene of the classic stream-of-consciousness movie Slacker by Richard Linklater while riding in a cab from the bus station to the next scene in the movie.

Track 7 – Make Today The Day

Released on May 28, 2012
Length: 03:24

This track brings us into the heart of the Grand Deception Star –

“Politics is weird… and creepy, and now I know it lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality…” – Shep Smith

Using sound clips, atmospheric loops, video footage shot in Joshua Tree, along with the usual UFOverdriver blend of dreams, the sub-conscious, and the everyday, this sound collage visualscape from UFOverdriver takes a ride through the desert in that strange zone between the blue pill and the red pill, the real and the super-real.

“Exposure to true information does not matter anymore…”

“We talked through the air in those days… thousands and thousands of miles…”

Watch the video for Make Today The Day

 

Buy the CD – Only $7.99 Plus Shipping!

That’s right UFOverdriver fans, this sound collage will soon be available on a good, old-fashioned CD, with a jewel case and everything!

Of course, you can always download the album for FREE (at least for now you can), but the die-hard UFOverdriver fans want the real deal – the physical object – a CD to put in their collection and have available whenever the mood strikes them for that unique UFOverdriver sound experience.

This album was released on CD on July 25, 2012 for the very low cost of $7.99 plus $3.00 shipping and handling …




Download this sound collage for FREE

Don’t want to invest in a CD and have that exciting time of waiting for a new CD to arrive in the mail? Don’t worry, you can download this complete album for free – that’s right – FREE! (Until further notice, of course)

Either visit our BandCamp site and download it in a number of different high-quality audio formats (limited quantities available), or click the link below, and download all seven tracks of high-quality MP3s, complete with album art in a zip file (91 MB) – ready to drop in your iTunes (or whatever MP3 music player you use) and enjoy – instant gratification.

Click Here To Download Album

Make Today The Day


Above: Cover for the sound collage single, click to download it for FREE on Bandcamp!

Using sound clips, atmospheric loops, video footage shot in Joshua Tree, along with the usual UFOverdriver blend of dreams, the sub-conscious, and the everyday, this sound collage visualscape from UFOverdriver takes a ride through the desert in that strange zone between the blue pill and the red pill, the real and the super-real.

A few quotes from this sound collage…

Politics is weird… and creepy, and now I know it lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality… (Shep Smith on FOX News)

Exposure to true information does not matter anymore… (taken from a video of an “ex-KGB agent”…)

We talked through the air in those days… thousands and thousands of miles… (from a reading of a book written in 1913 about the world 100 years in the future which, in many ways, resembles today’s world)

Note: this sound collage, like all my sound collages, is best enjoyed with your headphones on…

Find more UFOverdriver sound collages….

All UFOverdriver sound collages can be downloaded (for FREE) from Bandcamp: http://ufoverdriver.bandcamp.com/

22 Years In Our Long Beach Apartment

Tania and I have now been living in the same one bedroom apartment/studio since May 25th of 1990 – that’s 22 years… and we still love this special place.

In the photo above you can see it on the afternoon we moved in – taken with an Instamatic camera and pasted together in one of our scrapbooks, and again, as it looked on Friday, (the 22 year anniversary of moving in), with a panoramic taken by Tania using her iPhone… that’s one of our dogs, Moseley in the foreground.

New addition on June 24, 2012…

Gallery Of Apartment Images By Tania

Enjoy!

The Police State Flag

I love the land of my birth, and everyday I try to dream of a better American future…

An America that celebrates it’s diversity, embraces it’s dreamers who live outside the box and off the grid, and a place that is full of generous people…

..the old dream that this is a land where you can be who you were meant to be – where the individual is appreciated…

But when I sleep I’m overcome by nightmares of a dystopian future… and this bothers me very much.

And now days I find myself sleeping way too much…

The Zombie Birdhouse

This is a poem I wrote 26 years ago yesterday. I found it last night in one of my old notebooks and typed it up for your enjoyment.

The Zombie Birdhouse

In a very bad part of the worst of your mind,
Down a dark, foul street, to the apartment that’s rundown.
Where skeletons dance because the blind fish can’t,
And the toothless old men rap with junkies.
Tired old whores get cash for their sores,
And their Johns walk away bleeding.
The pimp just laughs as he collects the cash,
The man he sleeps with is clean.
The cops always stop at the end of the block,
They won’t go near that place.
So the Zombie Birdhouse goes through the day
As if it were already tonight.

Now the junkies and zombies talk one on one,
They relate to each others thinking.
And the toothless old men and the tired old whores,
sleep and don’t wake again.
The pimp who laughed, got stabbed in the back
By a man who had caught a disease.
“Stone-Eye” Dick smoked a bird with the fish,
And the dead cat got high off the fumes.
Sister Lucy, who used to be Bill,
Has just fooled another lucky young man.
And so the Zombie Birdhouse goes through the day
Just like it will tonight.

The man on the can says he’s with the band,
As the point of the needle hits home.
The Acid Freaks speak with the Krishna Elite,
And create their own religion.
The skeletons and fish think this place is a mess,
What happened to this place they called home?
Two dead men told tales that pirates thought safe,
And the stuffed parrot told what he saw.
The Jamaican men sung a zombie hymn,
And the junkies joined in the chorus.
So the Zombie Birdhouse went through the day,
As if it were already tonight.

The band played all night to the zombies delight,
They grooved on the funky bass lines.
Disco Sam danced with whomever he can,
and especially the younger men.
Jimi and John sang a protest song,
As Janis and Jim sat and took hits from their bong.
The Acid Freaks and the Krishna Elite
Chanted where they thought it fit in.
Sister Lucy danced with “Stone-Eye” Dick,
And the dead cat strutted his stuff.
And so the Zombie Birdhouse played that night,
And in your mind it will always exist.

© onehumanbeing.com

About The Poem And It’s Name

For some reason I had this poem stuck in my head yesterday, and when I found it I realized it was exactly 26 years, to the day, from when I wrote this: May 11, 1986 – nice synchronicity!

Back then I played keyboards in a band called Zombie Birdhouse, which our drummer had re-named. Previously we were called Sounds In Silence – probably one of the worst band names ever…

The name Zombie Birdhouse came from the title of a 1982 Iggy Pop album (shown below):

I left the band in May or June of 1986, and concentrated on a music project I was working on called “Eccentric Activities.”

This poem was not typical of my writing at the time (or since), and it was one of those times when the words flowed out as fast as I could write them.

Enjoy!

Bonus: Here’s a drawing I found a few pages earlier in same notebook as this poem:

The Year of the Dragon

Above: A two-headed dragon toy Tania had when I met her. She got it from her younger brother Derek.

Happy New Year!

The Year of the Dragon starts today with the New Moon, and continues until the 9th of February, 2013. In the Chinese horoscope there are five different dragons – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. This year is the year of the Water Dragon.

From Wikipedia:

Persons born within these date ranges can be said to have been born in the “Year of the Dragon,” while also bearing the following elemental sign:

  • 16 February 1904 – 3 February 1905: Wood Dragon
  • 3 February 1916 – 22 January 1917: Fire Dragon
  • 23 January 1928 – 9 February 1929: Earth Dragon
  • 8 February 1940 – 26 January 1941: Metal Dragon
  • 27 January 1952 – 13 February 1953: Water Dragon
  • 13 February 1964 – 1 February 1965: Wood Dragon
  • 31 January 1976 – 17 February 1977: Fire Dragon
  • 17 February 1988 – 5 February 1989: Earth Dragon
  • 5 February 2000 – 23 January 2001: Metal Dragon
  • 23 January 2012 – 9 February 2013: Water Dragon
  • 10 February 2024 – 28 January 2025: Wood Dragon

A Two- Headed Dragon In A Human’s Body

I was born in June of 1964, in the Year of the Wood Dragon, and I have been very proud of being a dragon my whole life.

When I was very young I believed I was a dragon (also “The Kid From Next-Door” and a few others), so I asked my mom to help me find a book at the library that would show me how to be a good dragon. I grew up in a house filled with books and book-shelves which has instilled a lifelong belief that there’s probably a book about anything, somewhere, and if you just look for it long enough, you’ll find it.

I remember that after some searching we eventually found one, but I don’t recall it’s name anymore. I think it was something like “How To Be A Dragon” or “The Dragon Handbook“…

Besides being born in the Year of the Dragon, I was born in June, with all my houses in Gemini, so, as I see myself, I am a twin dragon or a two-headed wood dragon – a special kind of dragon indeed.

More Dragon Information

Here’s some information I found googling “Year of the Dragon” – the source is a bridal guide, the Chinese horoscope section: http://www.usbridalguide.com/special/chinesehoroscopes/Dragon.htm

The Dragon

The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend. A symbol of good fortune and sign of intense power, the Oriental Dragon is regarded as a divine beast – the reverse of the malicious monster that Westerners felt necessary to find and slay. In Eastern philosophy, the Dragon is said to be a deliverer of good fortune and a master of authority. Therefore, those people born in Dragon years are to be honored and respected.

The Sign of the Dragon

The key to the Dragon personality is that Dragons are the free spirits of the Zodiac. Conformation is a Dragon’s curse. Rules and regulations are made for other people. Restrictions blow out the creative spark that is ready to flame into life. Dragons must be free and uninhibited. The Dragon is a beautiful creature, colorful and flamboyant. An extroverted bundle of energy, gifted and utterly irrepressible, everything Dragons do is on a grand scale – big ideas, ornate gestures, extreme ambitions. However, this behavior is natural and isn’t meant for show. Because they are confident, fearless in the face of challenge, they are almost inevitably successful. Dragons usually make it to the top. However, Dragon people be aware of their natures. Too much enthusiasm can leave them tired and unfulfilled. Even though they are willing to aid when necessary, their pride can often impede them from accepting the same kind of help from others. Dragons’ generous personalities give them the ability to attract friends, but they can be rather solitary people at heart. A Dragon’s self-sufficiency can mean that he or she has no need for close bonds with other people.

IN YOUR ELEMENT

The characteristics of the Dragon Sign are tempered by one of the five Chinese elements of Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth overlaying a 5-year cycle of characteristics on the original 12-year cycle.

THE METAL DRAGON 1940 AND 2000

Truthful but extreme, courageous but unyielding, Metal Dragons have a strength similar to the Dragon fire. Metal Dragons succeed through determination. They are mighty and respect people who stand up to them. In troubled times, these Dragons make great allies, but become ferocious challengers. Metal Dragons can often calm others through their forceful personalities. They seek action, and things are never better than when they are defending a thought or belief about which they have complete faith. Metal Dragons like to lead, and have an affect that makes others want to follow them. Yet even if they attract no support they will fight alone.

THE WATER DRAGON 1952 AND 2012 [This Year]

Water has a calming effect on the Dragon’s fearless temperament. Water allows the Dragon to re-direct its enthusiasm, and makes him more perceptive of others. These Dragons are better equipped to take a step back to re-evaluate a situation because they understand the art of patience and do not desire the spotlight like other Dragons. Therefore, they make smart decisions and are able to see eye-to-eye with other people. However, their actions can go wrong if they do not research or if they do not finish one project before starting another.

THE WOOD DRAGON 1904 AND 1964 [Me]

Wood has a modifying influence and brings creativity to this sign. Questioning and liberal, Wood Dragons enjoy talking about original ideas and are open to other points of view. They are innovative, imaginative practical and appreciate art in each of its forms. Generally less pretentious than other Dragons, Wood Dragons have an ability to get along with other people. They have the essentials to build a prosperous and happy life for themselves. Still, Wood Dragons are outspoken and at times a bit pushy to quell everyone, even in the most friendly quarrel.

THE FIRE DRAGON 1916 AND 1976

The Fire Dragon is a powerful force to be reckoned with. This is a Dragon doubled! The Fire Dragon can move from calm and collected to combustible in a matter of seconds. In some ways the Fire Dragon is his or her own worst enemy. These Dragons cannot help feeling they are valuable and all-knowing. When they are right their vehemence and vigor is an asset to the cause, and though they value objectivity, they do not always employ the best decision-making measures, and sometimes jump to the wrong conclusion. They also suffer from recklessness and quick tempers. Yet, when they do keep their temper, emotions, and rivaling spirit under control, they emanate a commanding influence on other people.

THE EARTH DRAGON 1928 AND 1988

Earth Dragons make great managers because they are practical, levelheaded and demonstrate a knack for organizing. They still have the need to dictate and be admired, but they are affable, congenial and supportive. Compared to other Dragons, Earth Dragons are less likely to breathe fire at the least irritation. They will work diligently to complete their life goals. The Earth element adds a greater portion of self-control to the Dragon’s personality and usually the Earth Dragon is deserving of the respect he or she desires. These Dragons take their life and romantic responsibilities quite seriously.

read more: http://www.usbridalguide.com/special/chinesehoroscopes/Dragon.htm

Various Dragon Postings

If you spend much time on my website you’ll find I make references to dragons quite often because it’s such a strong part of my self-image. Here’s a few links to a few stories from the past couple of years:

Self-Portrait as a Two-Headed Dragon

“Here’s a sketch I did last night in my notebook, thinking about my story and allowing the picture of myself as the two-headed dragon I’ve been writing about to pour out of my pen on to the paper.

You can see the left head (our right) seems to be very delighted with these new wings. The new wings have been perplexing and filled with mystery at this point…”

read more: http://onehumanbeing.com/central/2009/10/28/self-portrait-as-a-two-headed-dragon/

Rising From The Ashes

“The true Phoenix is a wondrous creature of such benevolence and majesty that you can not help but feel as if you are in the presence of an ancient emperor. Indeed, every Phoenix reigns over it’s own worldly kingdom.

Dragons, like myself, consider them great beyond great, and practice the Phoenix’s dance so we can gain it’s wisdom.

During the long life of the Phoenix it builds a nest of great riches, fine spices and priceless jewels, and there it produces the Egg of Empires…”

read more: http://onehumanbeing.com/central/2010/08/26/rising-from-the-ashes/

Enjoy the reading and have a Happy New Year!

My D. B. Cooper Spoon

This has been my favorite spoon for about 25 years now. It was Tania’s spoon, but I adopted it as my own soon after we started to live together back in 1987.

Tania got it when she was a little girl, flying back to Minneapolis with her parents, as they did every year when she was young.

This was back in the day when they still gave away “wing pins” to kids when they flew, free decks of playing cards, and real stainless steel knives, forks and spoons – truly a different time.

The D.B Cooper Tie-in…

I was watching a show the other day on D.B. Cooper, the American sky pirate who pulled off the only unsolved airline hijacking in U.S. history. This crime was committed in 1971 and the F.B.I. still has the case open.

Watching the show I learned that the flight D.B. Cooper hijacked was a Northwest Orient 727 – and I thought to myself, “Northwest Orient? My favorite spoon is a Northwest Orient spoon…”

A little investigation online and I learned that my favorite spoon is called “Northwest Orient 01 00105” and is from the same era as the D.B. Cooper story.

The D.B. Cooper Story

From Wikipedia (edited): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper

D. B. Cooper is the name popularly used to refer to an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the airspace between Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington on November 24, 1971. He extorted $200,000 in ransom and parachuted to an uncertain fate. Despite an extensive manhunt and an exhaustive (and ongoing) FBI investigation, the perpetrator has never been located or positively identified. The case remains the only unsolved air piracy in American aviation history.

The suspect purchased his airline ticket under the alias Dan Cooper, but due to a news media miscommunication he became known in popular lore as “D. B. Cooper.” Hundreds of leads have been pursued in the ensuing years but no conclusive evidence has ever surfaced regarding Cooper’s true identity or whereabouts, and the bulk of the ransom money has never been recovered. Numerous theories of widely varying plausibility have been proposed by experts, reporters, and amateur enthusiasts.

The Hijacking

The event began mid-afternoon on Thanksgiving eve, November 24, 1971, at Portland International Airport in Portland, Oregon. A man carrying a black attaché case approached the flight counter of Northwest Orient Airlines. He identified himself as “Dan Cooper” and purchased a one-way ticket on Flight 305, a 30-minute trip to Seattle, Washington.

Cooper boarded the aircraft, a Boeing 727–100 (FAA registration N467US), and took seat 18C in the rear of the passenger cabin. He lit a cigarette and ordered a bourbon and soda. Onboard eyewitnesses recalled a man in his mid-forties, between 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) and 6 feet 0 inches (1.83 m) tall. He wore a black lightweight raincoat, loafers, a dark suit, a neatly pressed white collared shirt, a black necktie, and a mother of pearl tie pin.

Flight 305, approximately one-third full, took off on schedule at 2:50 pm, local time (PST). Cooper passed a note to Florence Schaffner, the flight attendant situated nearest to him in a jumpseat attached to the aft stair door. Schaffner, assuming the note contained a lonely businessman’s phone number, dropped it unopened into her purse. Cooper leaned toward her and whispered, “Miss, you’d better look at that note. I have a bomb.”

The note was printed in neat, all-capital letters with a felt pen. It read, approximately, “I have a bomb in my briefcase. I will use it if necessary. I want you to sit next to me. You are being hijacked.” Schaffner did as requested, then quietly asked to see the bomb. Cooper cracked open his briefcase long enough for her to glimpse eight red cylinders(“four on top of four”) attached to wires coated with red insulation, and a large cylindrical battery.

After closing the case he dictated his demands: $200,000 in “negotiable American currency”; four parachutes (two primary and two reserve); and a fuel truck standing by in Seattle to refuel the aircraft upon arrival. Schaffner conveyed Cooper’s instructions to the cockpit; when she returned he was wearing dark sunglasses.

A Real Gentleman…

[Flight Attendant] Schaffner described him as calm, polite, and well-spoken, not at all consistent with the stereotypes (enraged, hardened criminals or “take-me-to-Cuba” political dissidents) popularly associated with air piracy at the time.

Tina Mucklow, another flight attendant, agreed. “He wasn’t nervous,” she told investigators later. “He seemed rather nice. He was never cruel or nasty. He was thoughtful and calm all the time.” He ordered a second bourbon and water, paid his drink tab (and insisted Schaffner keep the change), and offered to request meals for the flight crew during the stop in Seattle.

 An FAA official requested a face-to-face meeting with Cooper aboard the aircraft [in Seattle], which was denied.The refueling process was delayed, reportedly due to a vapor lock in the fuel tanker truck’s pumping mechanism, and Cooper became suspicious. However, he allowed a replacement tanker truck to continue the refueling—and a third one after that, when the second ran dry. By the time Cooper finished inspecting the ransom money and parachutes, refueling had been completed.

D.B. Cooper Has Left The Plane

At approximately 7:40 pm the 727 took off with only Cooper, pilot Scott, flight attendant Mucklow, copilot Rataczak, and flight engineer H.E. Anderson aboard. Two F-106 fighter aircraft scrambled from nearby McChord Air Force Base followed behind the airliner, one above it and one below, out of Cooper’s view.A Lockheed T-33 trainer, diverted from an unrelated Air National Guard mission, also shadowed the 727 until it ran low on fuel and turned back near the Oregon-California border.

After takeoff, Cooper told Mucklow to join the rest of the crew in the cockpit and remain there with the door closed. As she complied, Mucklow observed Cooper tying something around his waist. At approximately 8:00 pm a warning light flashed in the cockpit, indicating that the aft airstair apparatus had been activated. The crew’s offer of assistance via the aircraft’s intercom system was curtly refused. The crew soon noticed a subjective change of air pressure, indicating that the aft door was open.

At approximately 8:13 pm the aircraft’s tail section sustained a sudden upward movement, significant enough to require trimming to bring the plane back to level flight. At approximately 10:15 pm, Scott and Rataczak landed the 727, with the aft airstair still deployed, at Reno Airport. FBI agents, state troopers, sheriff’s deputies, and Reno police surrounded the jet, as it had not yet been determined with certainty that Cooper was no longer aboard; but an armed search quickly confirmed that he was gone.

note: this is an edited version of the current Wikipedia entry on D.B. Cooper – read the complete article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper

Meanwhile, Back At My Spoon…

Here’s my favorite spoon now, being used tonight to stir it’s 10,000th (that might not be an exaggeration) cup of coffee. And while drinking my coffee, I’ll do a little speculating into the fictional future…

Mad Men – Season 11

In season 11 (which would take place during the year 1971) Don Draper, the lead character, decides to complete his plan of running away, and comes up with a dare-devil hijacking scheme.

After carefully hiding all the money he’s been storing up, he flies to Portland where he boards a plane under the alias of Dan Cooper (Dan because it’s close to Don and Cooper because of his partner at Sterling Cooper.)

The episode would then follow the traditional “D.B. Cooper” story line until the very end, where D.B./Dan/Don jumps – and then it cuts to the falling image of Don Draper they’ve been using during the opening credits since the beginning of the show, and is being used for the poster for the upcoming season 5…

The End

PS. Mad Men – Season 5 starts on March 25th!

Talking Medical Marijuana Blues

An Introduction

Since 2007 I’ve been a member of a number of different collectives in Long Beach.

I’ve volunteered, built websites, taken photos of over 300 different strains of medical marijuana, and grown to care about a number of incredible people.

I’ve also watched one collective after another crumble under the burden of legal fees, changing city regulations and other costs associated with always having to fight to stay open…

My personal history with medical marijuana goes back much further than that however, back to when I first started using marijuana in 1983.

I’ve spent a lot of years watching the medical marijuana story get to where we are today, and in this series I share my motivation for being an activist, talk about being a collective member, and about my own medical use of marijuana.

And then there’s this – RIGHT NOW, in Long Beach, our collectives are facing the prospect of having our city council ban them on Tuesday evening, and all my thinking about this has given me the talking medical marijuana blues – Enjoy!

Talking Medical Marijuana Blues – Part One

Includes the story: The Man On The Other Side Of The Wall

“On Tuesday night, November 18th, I got home from work, sat in my big chair, kicked back, and for the first time in my life smoked marijuana legally…”

Talking Medical Marijuana Blues – Part Two

I Get By With The Help Of My Friends – a brief look at my personal history with medical marijuana…

“There was a time, not very long ago, when I would often have to wait for days, sometimes a week to get my medicine. Sometimes nothing would be available from the few friends I knew, who knew a friend, who knew a friend who could get marijuana for them…”

Talking Medical Marijuana Blues – Part Three

Talking ‘Bout My Medication – looking at the different ways to use medical marijuana and how I use it…

“I wasn’t diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder until I was 33 years old. This revelation – that there was a medical reason, of some kind, behind my most confusing moods and actions – caused a paradigm shift that made me look back over my life through a new perspective…”

Talking Medical Marijuana Blues – Part Four

Rev. Martin Luther KingWe Shall Overcome! – talking about the situation here in Long Beach, right now – about the City Attorney’s effort to ban the collectives, and how you can help!

“Rev. Martin Luther King stated over 40 years ago in a speech that “the arc of the moral Universe is long, but it’s bent towards Justice…”

During my long, personal civil rights march towards medical marijuana justice I’ve seen that this statement is true, just as I also believe that one day ‘we shall overcome!'”