Sunday, February 21, 2016


However bitter may be the cup which our Heavenly Father gives us, it will in the end overflow with blessings rich, abounding, and eternal.

I have cancer. Multiple Myeloma to be precise. It is a blood cancer and is found in bone marrow. All of my bones. There is no "cure" for it; it cannot be totally eradicated like some other cancers. Breast cancer, prostate, bladder, thyroid all can be treated with a combination of surgery and radiation therapy.

I am not so fortunate. The best course of treatment is with chemotherapy. The goal is to reduce the cancer to a small amount held in remission. Sooner or later the chemo becomes ineffective as the cancer cells develop immunity. At that time a different regimen of chemo is applied. Sooner or later there will be no chemo that will be effective and the cancer will progress.

It's the sooner now, ran out of later.
When I first started medical treatment for my cancer the prognosis* went from two, three, five years up to ten or fifteen years. Now the Chemo options have just about run their course. The medicine is having less and less an effect on the cancer. My kidneys, I am on dialysis, will get to a point where they cannot be revived. My bones will erode like, well think osteoporosis. the least little bump may break something. 

*My oncologist said to me in an eye to eye contact: Charlie, start thinking in terms of months.

 Based on that we are making more effort to get the missus into assisted living. She needs it for her dementia and will want to be set up for my sooner rather than later demise. It would not do to have her wake up one morning and find me dead on the floor; put her on cruise control and chas, take care of business as much as possible to gather up loose ends. Her family will help and step in when needed. Until then I … think in terms of months.
The Holy Spirit is with me in my time of trouble.

I have come to accept that as my fate. I admit to being afraid, and angry, and sad but I am at peace with God's will for me. if this be my fate, it is God's will, not mine, and I accept it. I will not lay on the couch whimpering or behave with a negative attitude. The following passage of scripture tells of Jesus entering the garden of Gethsemane to talk with His father, God. It reveals Jesus' thoughts and feelings of what is to become of Him the next day — the crucifixion — and how Jesus accepts God's will for him.

The Garden of Gethsemane      Matthew 26: 36 - 46

36 Then came Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and said unto the disciples, Sit you here, while I go and pray yonder.

37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very distressed.

38Then said he unto them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death: tarry you here, and watch with me.

39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.

40 And he came unto the disciples, and found them asleep, and said unto Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour?

41 Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, your will be done.

43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.

44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

45 Then came he to his disciples, and said unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that does betray me.

 He moved "a stone's throw away" from them, where He felt overwhelming sadness and anguish, and said "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it." Then, a little while later, He said, "If this cup cannot pass by, but I must drink it, your will be done!" (Matthew 26:42).

Sunday, February 14, 2016


People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about.

Fear and Faith cannot occupy my heart at the same time.
These are troubled times and sometimes I am afraid. That’s fine, I’d have to be catatonic not to be. But I have learned over the decades (6.5 of ‘em and not done yet) that I do not want a fear-based existence. A spiritual framework helps. Mine is Christian but any will do if it includes morals, character values, behavioral guidelines, a perspective of how one fits in the world and a notion of God, or a Supreme Being, Master of the Universe, whatever you choose to call it. Fear or faith? Um, I'll go with faith.

It’s the uncertainty, the fear of the unknown, what’s gonna happen next. And, am I prepared for it? That’s why we have always had fortune tellers, sages, those like Cayce, Nostradamus, shamans reading entrails; they attempt to see into the future. Might as well flip a coin, be just as reassuring. It gives us comfort and makes the darkness not so dark. The Book of Revelation, last one in the Bible, deals with this as well.

 But, folks, the fear won’t go away if we rely on external things because they don't matter. What is awaiting me tomorrow or next year or ten minutes from now does not matter. How I deal with it, that matters. If I die, OK. If I don’t die, OK too. What life I live - Does. Not. Matter. How I live my life, that’s the thing. Life is an Inside Job. And running scared is not an effective strategy.

"I will try, and I will stumble, but I will fly, He told me so.
Proud and high or low and humble, many miles before I go."

Nobody knows the future; it cannot be “predicted”. Probabilities maybe, projection of trends and dynamics, but what about the random nature of life? All the people on Earth love, laugh, get sick, die, breed or ... go haywire and kill themselves or others for no apparent reason. Buildings fall down, aircraft come apart and crash in infinite combinations. Occam’s Razor demonstrates: slice a thing (or personality) very thin but eventually the thing falls on one side of the blade or the other. One side or the other: no preference, wind blowing, somebody jiggled the blade, who knows, and one teeny weeny electron tips the balance. If it is flying around its nucleus no telling where it’s gonna fall. If I hadda turned left instead of right back at that corner ... I would/would not have run over that kid that jumped out into the street. We are not machines and we do not live in a machine world. Come to think of it, all the machines I have ever seen are not infallible either. Sooner or later a wheel comes off, something comes unglued. Or a brick falls from the sky

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


My Art Director and Public Radio Interpreter has brought to my attention a source of The Blues.  

"You say you're feelin' bad and you don't know why
 You're broke and your woman been lyin'
An' just one thing before I'm fired
The blues have just been certified"

If you are new to Blues music, or like it but never really understood the whys and wherefores, here are some very fundamental rules:

    1. Most Blues begin with: "Woke up this mornin’..."

    2. ”I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."

    3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find
something that rhymes - sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and she weigh 500 pound."

  4. The Blues is not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch...ain't no way out.

  5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Walkin' plays a major part in the Blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

 6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, "adulthood" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

  7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or anywhere in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the Blues in any place that don't get no rain.

   9. You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

  10. Good places for the Blues:
    a. highway
    b. jailhouse
    c. empty bed
    d. bottom of a whiskey glass

   11. Bad places for the Blues:
    a. Nordstrom's
    b. gallery openings
    c. Ivy League institutions
    d. golf courses


12. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be an old person, and you slept in it.

  13. Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if:
    a. you're older than dirt
    b. you're blind
    c. you shot a man in Memphis
    d. you can't be satisfied

   No, if:
    a. you have all your teeth
    b. you were once blind but now can see
    c. the man in Memphis lived
    d. you have a 401K or trust fund

    14. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the Blues. Sonny Liston could have. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the Blues.

   15. If you ask for water and your darlin' gives you gasoline, it's the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
    a. cheap wine
    b. whiskey or bourbon
    c. muddy water
    d. black coffee

   The following are NOT Blues beverages:
    a. Perrier
    b. Chardonnay
    c. Snapple
    d. Slim Fast

   16. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So are the electric chair, substance abuse and dying lonely on a broken-down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or while getting liposuction.

17. Some Blues names for women:
    a. Sadie
    b. Big Mama
    c. Bessie
    d. Fat River Dumpling

18. Some Blues names for men:
    a. Joe
    b. Willie
    c. Little Willie
    d. Big Willie

   19. Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Jennifer, Debbie, and Heather can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

   20. Blues Name Starter Kit:
    a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Mute, Lame, etc.)
    b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi, etc.)
    c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, Clinton, etc.) < B R>
   For example: Blind Lime Jefferson, Pegleg Lemon Johnson or Lame Kiwi
   Clinton, etc. (Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")


I don't care how tragic your life is: if you own a computer, you cannot sing the blues, period. Sorry!

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Some folks think things got started in a random, everything bumping around and gee look what happened kinda way. Or maybe space aliens visited and showed us how to build pyramids. Or, I dunno, it's all some kind of huge, uh, coincidence.

Scripture following the music and cartoons. You may scroll down to it.

Me, I believe it started with God:


The Creation
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 ¶ And God said, Let there be light: 2 Cor. 4.6 and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
6 ¶ And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. 2 Pet. 3.5 And the evening and the morning were the second day.
9 ¶ And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 ¶ And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 ¶ And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 ¶ And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 ¶ And God said, Let us make man in our image, 1 Cor. 11.7 after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Mt. 19.4 · Mk. 10.6
28 And God blessed them, Gen. 5.1, 2 and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

1Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

2By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
 3Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.


Friday, February 5, 2016


This the first place I'll look when the troubles begin. Jade Helm wasn't a training exercise or a joke. The military and law enforcement? Watch which way the weapons are pointed. 

One hundred miles along the entire US border. Mean anything to you? Those of you who went to school when they had subjects like Geography can probably name all fifty states, maybe throw in some capitols too. 

I got this from the ACLU website. I am borrowing and posting so folks like us get an idea of what is going on right before our very eyes. I give the ACLU full credit for the text and map. I don't want them coming after me with lawsuits.

This is what it means to me:
Look for Waco-like events followed by a cascade of smaller operations; show trials of prominent dissidents and Breitbarting of others; a blizzard of draconian regulations; confiscation of weapons and wealth; and rule through intimidation and Soviet-style terror. Expect successive waves of state-sponsored urban riots, deflation and inflation and revaluation, price controls, closing of international borders; internal travel restrictions, closing the internet to civilians, a fully captured news media ...

Think Martial Law, Executive Orders, UN involvement.

 And that's the optimistic part. I don't think people understand what they're up against.

Here's what it means to the ACLU; be sure to check out the map.

Fact Sheet on U.S. "Constitution Free Zone"
October 22, 2008 Courtesy of the ACLU                            

The problem:

"Normally under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the American people are not generally subject to random and arbitrary stops and searches. The border, however, has always been an exception. There, the longstanding view is that the normal rules do not apply. For example the authorities do not need a warrant or probable cause to conduct a “routine search.”

"But what is “the border”? According to the government, it is a 100-mile wide strip that wraps around the “external boundary” of the United States.  As a result of this claimed authority, individuals who are far away from the border, American citizens traveling from one place in America to another, are being stopped and harassed in ways that our Constitution does not permit. The Border Patrol has been setting up checkpoints inland — on highways in states such as California, Texas and Arizona, and at ferry terminals in Washington State. Typically, the agents ask drivers and passengers about their citizenship. Unfortunately, our courts so far have permitted these kinds of checkpoints – legally speaking, they are “administrative” stops that are permitted only for the specific purpose of protecting the nation’s borders. They cannot become general drug-search or other law enforcement efforts.

"However, these stops by Border Patrol agents are not remaining confined to that border security purpose. On the roads of California and elsewhere in the nation – places far removed from the actual border – agents are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on an everyday basis with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing. The bottom line is that the extraordinary authorities that the government possesses at the border are spilling into regular American streets.

Much of U.S. population affected

"Many Americans and Washington policymakers believe that this is a problem confined to the San Diego-Tijuana border or the dusty sands of Arizona and Texas, but these powers stretch far inland across the United States. To calculate what proportion of the U.S. population is affected by these powers, the ACLU created a map and spreadsheet showing the population and population centers that lie within 100 miles of any “external boundary” of the United States. The population estimates were calculated by examining the most recent US census numbers for all counties within 100 miles of these borders. Using numbers from the Population Distribution Branch of the US Census Bureau, we were able to estimate both the total number and a state-by-state population breakdown. This custom map was created with help from a map expert at World Sites Atlas."

See if your aunt in Tallahassee or your pal in North Dakota is affected. My cheesehead kin in Wisconsin are, fer gosh sakes! 

Sorry but 96dpi does not show well. Go here for the original.


"What we found is that fully TWO-THIRDS of the United States’ population lives
within this Constitution-free or Constitution-lite Zone. That’s 197.4 million people who live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders.

"Nine of the top 10 largest metropolitan areas as determined by the 2000 census fall within the Constitution-free Zone. (The only exception is #9, Dallas-Fort Worth.) Some states are considered to lie completely within the zone: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Part of a broader problem

"The spread of border-search powers inland is part of a broad expansion of border powers with the potential to affect the lives of ordinary Americans who have never left their own country.  It coincides with the development of numerous border technologies, including watch list and database systems such as the Automated Targeting System (ATS) traveler risk assessment program, identity and tracking systems such as electronic (RFID) passports, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), and intrusive technological schemes such as the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBINet) or “virtual border fence” and unmanned aerial vehicles (aka “drone aircraft”).

"This illegitimate expansion of the extraordinary powers of agents at the border is also part of a general trend we have seen over the past 8 years of an untrammeled, heedless expansion of police and national security powers without regard to the effect on innocent Americans. This trend is also typical of the Administration’s dragnet approach to law enforcement and national security. Instead of intelligent, competent, targeted efforts to stop terrorism, illegal immigration, and other crimes, what we have been seeing in area after area is an approach that turns us all into suspects. This approach seeks to sift through the entire U.S. population in the hopes of encountering the rare individual whom the authorities have a legitimate interest in.

"If the current generation of Americans does not challenge this creeping (and sometimes galloping) expansion of federal powers over the individual through the rationale of “border protection,” we are not doing our part to keep alive the rights and freedoms that we inherited, and will soon find that we have lost some or all of their right to go about their business, and travel around inside their own country, without interference from the authorities."

If you made it this far, here is a tune. Captures the mood, uh?


Wednesday, February 3, 2016


More and more I am seeing a certain expression on folks' faces. I'm not talking about the look that the Brocker gives me when I'm acting up and she's not gonna put up with it, (you married guys know what I'm talkin' about, 17 different ways of saying "no" and none of 'em mean "yes"). This is not the wide-eyed deer-caught-in-the-headlights look that a lot of innocent/naive/ignorant don't have a clue dingbats are wearing. Like, "Oh, gee, do people really do things like that?" Our country is tanking and they still think it's like a game.

I am talking about a look that is in the eyes. Face too, but not so much, it is all in the eyes. Men mostly, but the women have to be strong as well; folks that have killed others, buried family, lost crops, pulled victims or bodies out of wrecks; y'know, that have a pretty good idea of what life and death are all about. They are tried in the fire and hammered out on the Anvil of Life.



This is get-down time. Batten down the hatches, we're in for stormy weather. Executive Orders, Martial Law, race riots, food shortages and some other catastrophic conditions I can't think of right now. All the poignant film clips of the Dustbowl Depression years, families living in a busted down Model A or a tent, all the Wall Street guys jumping out of windows, it ain't some James Stewart/Frank Capra movie. It all happened and it's gonna happen again. A lot of men know this, more than show it - denial helps keep the lid on - but check it out. Look at your neighbors, at the guy that changes your tires, at people that get their hands dirty for a living. It is not a look of defeat. It is a look of dpjk.

 The look says:

Are you serious?
What's so funny?
Cut the crap.
You talk like a sausage.
Piss off.

I've found that machinists are the most dpjk people I have ever met in this business. Like friggin' special forces of manufacturing. I design in +/- a couple thousandths and they machine in +/- a couple ten thousandths. When they like you they stare at you with cold, mean, dead expressions. When they don't like you they just get up and leave without saying a word. Very dpjk.  - Philistine

A lot of people are scared nowadays. They cover their fear with a pasted-on smile, with a false bonhomie. I'd rather have the dpjk. at least I know where I stand. Up front and no surprises.

As Remus says, avoid crowds. Watch out for anyone that enters your perimeter. Those who would do you harm are always oh so clever, and they think they are invisible. If you maintain Situational Awareness you can see right through them.   

Well, there's a whole lot in life I don't care much about, but I am pretty well centered in my own spirituality and the older I get I reckon there's probably 23 different ways to get into Heaven. "Everybody's got their own way to butter their bread" as my father would say, "don't trust the priests, son, all they got a key to is the shithouse".

And besides, as I get older, I pay more atten­tion to the evi­dence and less to the arguments. The walk is more important than the talk.

I have smelled the foul sulphur breath of Satan as I lay dying; I have crawled the narrow path to lay at Jesus' feet, asking He intervene with Father God to spare my life; there are wicked wild hounds that visit me in the dark hours before dawn, scratching at my door, looking to carry me away if I drop my guard; but I do not fear them. I have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb.

When I see some of these young people run­ning their game I want to say “Kid, I served in the military, blowing things up and killing people; I ran with bik­ers, shot junk, robbed banks; my hands have taken lives and saved lives; I worked with the Billy Gra­ham Cru­sade; I’m thirty years clean and sober; I’m half dead with the cancer; I got a mil­lion miles of high­way under my ass, slept with dogs, danced with angels; I got screw­drivers older than you … what are ya gonna show me, uh?”

But I don’t. Nowa­days I just kinda watch it all going down.

I hold to Matthew 26: 36-46


An aside: what with the cancer, possible kidney failure, possible cirrhosis of liver, my wife heading into dementia, probably a couple things I haven’t thought of yet, my outlook has changed. I am definitely not suicidal nor do I feel defeated in any way. I will not sit on the couch whimpering either. Mind you I’m not gonna buy a motorcycle and go a hundred mph, defying death. A lot of things that used to bother me (we all have ‘em, little things like the toothpaste or some jerk in front of us in traffic) don’t bother me anymore. Some other things that I have taken for granted, like a nice sunset or my wife hugging and kissing me, now these things mean a lot to me. When it comes down to standing up against a threat, some jerk wants to harm me, I have an advantage. I can say to the guy “look, I am willing to die for my beliefs, make your move.”








Monday, February 1, 2016


Got to emailing with my art director, talking about what would be needed if SHTF, water filtering systems, so forth. It was a non-linear exchange, to be sure. He sez:

Me, I just want to have stuff people had 100 years ago, or a better modern equivalent. Bottom line doesn't look so bad then.

and I replied:

Gee, maybe you should join these guys. Find out if they have a local chapter.

which got him going (which is what I wanted; he's good when he gets revved up)

There needs to be a different flavor.

Why does every movement arrange itself as opposed to something? How about the happy Luddites that could care less what you do so long as you stay off my front porch? Meanwhile I'll be sure to keep the things from the past that work- stored food, non-treated water, solar powered clothes dryer (a 50 cent line strung in my backyard), and so forth.

People who worship the golden calf deserve what they get. Empty lives staring at tiny lit up boxes. An iPad cannot grow you a garden, nor catch you a fish. When the battery runs down you can throw it at someone or prop open the back door. 

What is needed is balance, introspection, lack of ego, shunning vanity, humility, and grace. Appreciation. Luddites don't have any more of these than some apple freak Subaru toe hair hippie, nor some slicked-up graphics hipster with every gadget imaginable. Humans are just raccoons picking up shiny objects. Luddites just think very little of other humans. More like misanthropes. 
The funny thing is my house has witnessed it all. Built in 1908, the old gal has been poked, prodded, added onto, scrubbed, painted, wired, and sided. She is a veritable fly paper of all the good and bad ideas that have been forced upon her.

She's got:
Aluminum siding, over asphalt shingle siding, over cedar siding. All three have their advantages/disadvantages. Together they do a pretty good job.
Phone wires running all over. There is but one functioning line, the rest date from the 40's and 80's. 
Cable wires running all over. I don't use it, but I bet none of it works any longer.
Electricity...not when she was built.
Plumbing.... not originally.
Finished basement, ditto.
There is an axe head with tape over the sharp part, attached by wire and pulley to the utility room door. Gravity spring. Looks like it's been there since the furnace was put in... and if it breaks, I'll replace the cable. It works perfectly.
Since the 40's a dry fire sprinkler system throughout, no longer with standing pressure at the curb. But the fire department can hook up to the system in front of the house and provide the real pressure the curb never could.

Real Luddites would have me huddled and cold, bathing in grey water, with no fire protection and in the dark. Well, maybe, but my 50" plasma is definitely a violation. That's my business.

Other folks say "why's the toilet so close to the wall?" or "there's only one outlet in this room".... "why don't you have wi-fi?" 

Realtors call it "personality".

If I treat her right she'll always do what she's always done best. Keep us warm and dry and give us space to manage productive activities. And with zero opposition to any other person's lifestyle required ... except hippies.

Conservative values. Class Warfare is for dope-smoking commies. Standing on your own. No leeching. No whining. Fuck the hippies.  Hanify

So, OK, Here's the skinny on Luddites. More than you want to know I am sure:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Luddites were a social movement of British textile artisans in the nineteenth century who protested – often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt were leaving them without work and changing their way of life. It took its name from Ned Ludd.

The movement emerged in the harsh economic climate of the Napoleonic Wars and difficult working conditions in the new textile factories. The principal objection of the Luddites was to the introduction of new wide-framed automated looms that could be operated by cheap, relatively unskilled labour, resulting in the loss of jobs for many skilled textile workers. The movement began in 1811 and 1812, when mills and pieces of factory machinery were burned by handloom weavers, and for a short time was so strong that Luddites clashed in battles with the British Army. Measures taken by the British government to suppress the movement included a mass trial at York in 1812 that resulted in many executions and penal transportations.

The action of destroying new machines had a long tradition before the Luddites, especially within the textile industry. Many inventors of the 18th century were attacked by vested interests who were threatened by new and more efficient ways of making yarn and cloth. Samuel Crompton, for example, had to hide his new spinning mule in the roof of his house at Hall i' th' Wood in 1779 to prevent it being destroyed by the mob.

The Luddites were a social movement of British textile artisans in the nineteenth century who protested – often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt were leaving them without work and changing their way of life. It took its name from Ned Ludd.

Modern Luddites

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Neo-Luddism is a personal world view opposing modern technology. Its name is based on the historical legacy of the British Luddites which were active between 1811 and 1816. Neo-luddism includes the critical examination of the effects technology has on individuals and communities.

Reform Luddism is an offshoot of Neo-Luddism and represents a personal world view skeptical of modern technology and critical of many purported benefits.


Opposition to the adoption of technology and challenges to the notion of supposed technological progress are sentiments that are echoed across history. In Gulliver's Travels (1726) Jonathan Swift ridiculed the Royal Society, the oldest scientific society in Britain, and both Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson extolled the virtue of unaltered nature. Neo-luddism conjures pre-technological life as the best post-technological prospect (see also primitivism), or as Robin and Webster put it, "a return to nature and what are imagined as more natural communities".

Industrial Society and Its Future (1995) is a recent expression of neo-luddism by Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber. The manifesto states:

"The industrial revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in 'advanced' countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilled, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world."

The more moderate Reform Luddism recognizes the many benefits of the evolving industrial society and embraces the inevitability of change while recognizing that change does not compel the uncritical adoption of new, seemingly useful innovations which may have unanticipated consequences. The balance of benefit and burden for acceptance of new technologies must be arrived at individually. The Reform Luddite movement resists the trend toward industrialization but does not reject and seeks to ensure that change does truly produce a net benefit overall.

Both Reform Luddism and Neo-luddism express significant doubts about the nature of benefits from uncritically embracing new information technology. Neo-luddism holds the belief that we were better off before its advent and is the opposite of technophilia, the belief that technological innovation will remedy all ills. Reform Luddism alternatively holds that an individual chooses to embrace or not an individual technology, that is to "Turn it on" or "Turn it off" and consequently may embrace technology to obtain a full, rich and balanced life.

Both also challenges the assumption that all that went before technology is redundant and to be disregarded because of its inferiority. While neo-luddism is a fringe movement, some of its ideas, critiques and solutions have broad resonance in contemporary culture that resonate with the more moderate Reform Luddite movement; for example, quests for a "simple" way of life.

While Reform Luddism engages change in a moderated way Neo-luddism often expresses itself in stark predictions about the effect of new technologies.

John Philip Sousa for example regarded the introduction of the phonograph with suspicion, predicting:

"a marked deterioration in American music and musical taste, an interruption in the musical development of the country, and a host of other injuries to music in its artistic manifestation, by virtue - or rather by vice - of the multiplication of the various music-producing machines."


Remus sent me these pix. Worth, oh, maybe two thousand words: