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Archive for August, 2017

Who was that Masked Man?

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

The Lawn Ranger Rides Again

Here is a quick one for you. I finished the small pasture.

He Maketh me to Drive in Circles in Green Pastures

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

The New Adventures of Tractor Boy

I received a pleasant reminder tonight. You can’t enjoy living in Ocala unless you go outside.

For the last ten days or so, I’ve been living like a cockroach, shunning the light and sitting indoors, working on an endless stream of unexpected problems. I kept wanting to go out to the shop and enjoy it, but I put it off. Always busy or tired.

Tonight I got a little time to myself, and I went out to look things over. The other day I managed to get the garden tractor running, and I butchered the yard, but it wasn’t very relaxing. I was nervous about running into things, and I didn’t know how to run the machine, and then, of course, it started raining. Tonight was a little different.

The property has one side which is woods and another side which is pasture. The pasture is getting overgrown, and it makes me nervous. I don’t know anything about farming, but I know you don’t want three-foot-high grass and weeds in a pasture, and I don’t know how a bush hog will feel about cutting it when it gets too tall. There is also a small pasture behind the house, and it was getting tall, too.

I decided to mow the “road”(grass track) that runs from the house end of the property to the end of the pasture, down by the highway. After some confusion and false starts, I got the John Deere running and took off.

I don’t know if you’re supposed to mow foot-high grass with a garden tractor, but I was not ready to risk death on the farm tractor, and I figured I could get away with cutting a narrow swath. We have a twenty-foot-wide circular burn area in the big pasture, and I decided to mow around that, too, so I wouldn’t have to walk through a jungle to burn limbs.

When we bought this land, I thought mowing was one of the major down sides. Boy, was I wrong. It’s very relaxing, and it puts you in contact with the nature you paid for. I spend about two hours zipping around in my Rural King hat and my Gun Muffler ear protectors. I didn’t stop until it was too dark to mow safely. The tractor has headlights, and I actually used them.

It’s very satisfing, seeing a scary overgrowth of weeds and grass lie down in an orderly, sheared carpet of green. You can walk in mowed grass. You don’t have to worry as much about snakes and other critters surprising you. You can see where to put your foot when you walk. When you mow, you show that someone is in control and that he cares.

I learned a number of things. First of all, when you mow in a spiral, you want the grass to shoot out of the outer side of the tractor. You don’t want to shoot it into an area you’ll have to mow on your next pass. If you do that, you keep piling mown grass up in the center of your spiral, and the mower has to deal with it over and over. It kills your speed.

I also learned that evenings are the best time to mow. Either that or early in the morning. The sun is just too brutal in the middle of the day. You have to be stupid to mow at noon.

The mower gets things done a lot faster than I expected. It really cooks. I’m sure it would be even faster if the grass were lower.

I don’t plan to mow the whole pasture with a garden tractor, but I can clear the road, and that allows me to get to the far end and out the gate onto the swale by the highway. I’m responsible for that swale, so I need a path a garden tractor can handle. I do hope I don’t get pancaked by a semi while I’m mowing it.

It’s scary using the garden tractor. I have come to realize that it sounds disturbed even when you use it correctly, and that has helped. It’s hard to get used to the fact that it has no clutch. You just ram it into gear, whether it likes it or not. Also, you turn on the PTO without a clutch, while the engine is running. That feels wrong, but the manual says it’s right.

I’m nearly sure I dinged one blade when I mowed the front yard, but I have no way to get under the tractor to change it. I need a set of ramps, as I understand it.

I did everything I wanted to in the big pasture, but I left maybe three-quarters of an acre in the little pasture. It was just too dark and too late. I don’t want to drive into a hole or a stump I can’t see. I’m definitely an amateur, leaving it that way, but I can knock it off in half an hour tomorrow.

When I was a kid, my dad got a push mower and figured I would use it. It had powered front wheels, so really, you just steered it. We both lost interest, and I forgot all about it. I didn’t like it much. I was lazy, and it wasn’t fun to use. A tractor is different. It’s a pleasure to use. I thought people were nuts when they said they liked mowing, but now I get it. Mowing is fine. Pushing a heavy machine that takes two hours to finish half an acre is what’s not fun.

Maybe I shouldn’t mow the little pasture. I’m told I may be able to sell hay. You find someone who makes round bales, and he mows in exchange for part of the proceeds. I suppose the little pasture has some potential. Thing is, it makes a very nice extension to the back yard. I don’t think it’s worth it to give up foot access to it for a few dollars.

Hay could get me a tax exemption next year, so letting the big pasture grow is probably a good move.

I look forward to the cooler months. I moved at the worst possible time. It’s boiling hot during the day. Mid-90’s. A month from now, I should start to see some relief. I was here in March, and it was wonderful. There will be cold days, but let’s be serious. Forty degrees is not cold. I lived in New York and Kentucky, and I know what it’s like to have two weeks of temperatures at or below zero, with thick snow everywhere. Northern Florida cold is a joke. It will be uncomfortable some times, but come on. While I’m complaining about forty degrees, people up north will be wondering which six-foot-deep pile of snow is their car.

I should have posted some photos. No one would have been impressed, though. Because the grass was so high, it was not an elegant cut. This was not maintenance mowing. This was desperation mowing, to get the height reduced at all costs before it was too late. If I want to make it pretty, I’ll have to wait until next time.

Anyway, I’m glad I got to mow a little. I feel that God used this to remind me that things are going to be okay here. If I sit in the house and look at the computer all day, life will be depressing and empty, but if I take advantage of the things that drew me here in the first place, I’ll enjoy myself. Moving here and sitting in the house is like moving to Miami and staying on shore. The only thing Miami has going for it is the ocean, and if you don’t make use of it, all you have is a rude, sweaty city with terrible traffic, high prices, and no culture.

Pray I don’t destroy my machinery while I’m learning to use it.

By the way, I checked, and they do make gun racks for golf carts. Does my golf cart really need a gun rack? Who cares? That’s not the point. Gun racks are fun, and they make a statement. That statement is, “I am all about conservative overkill.” I almost feel like getting a Confederate flag, just to make it worse. But that would be disingenuous. I gave up on the stars and bars years ago, because of slavery.

In any case, it will be good to have a .22 or the 16-gauge with me out there. We have rattlesnakes, possums, coons, and coyotes. I don’t want to kill possums. They’re harmless, obsequious creatures. But it looks like one is pooping on my front walk regularly. Coons…I hate. The first time you pick up trash after a coon, all your thoughts of cuteness and charm will evaporate. As for rattlesnakes, they should all be killed. Let the greenies whine. Rattlesnakes do horrible things to people. Google and see what a snake bite looks like after the poison has done its work.

Maybe I’ll get to shoot a little soon. This place is perfect for practicing with the .17 HMR and scope.

That’s all for tonight. Time to shower and look forward to another day.

The Moravian Slave Myth

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

God Doesn’t Need our Lies

I decided to interrupt this morning’s prayers to write.

Today I supplemented my prayers with some Youtube videos. I looked for Fred Stone, a preacher I admire. Here is a video I watched. His testimony is remarkable, and because he preached for about 60 years and never made much money doing it, it’s credible.

When I searched for Fred Stone, I came across a video featuring audio of preachers talking about the selfishness of modern Christianity and the need for repentance and confession. The video was great, but one of the preachers told a story that caused me to pause and Google. He repeated the Moravian slave myth.

Here is how the story goes. Two young “Moravians” (actually members of a sect that had “Moravian” in the name) heard of a Caribbean island owned by a man who would not permit preachers to talk to his slaves. They decided to sell themselves into slavery and go to the island to preach. When they left their families in Europe, they knew they would never see them again.

Problem: it didn’t happen. It sounded fishy to me, so I checked it out. I knew white men could not sell themselves into slavery.

Here is what really happened. Two men named Dober and Nitschmann offered to sell themselves into slavery so they could work as slaves on St. Thomas and preach the gospel. Because they were white, they couldn’t become slaves. Instead, they traveled as free men. Dober worked as a carpenter, and Nitschmann helped him. Nitschmann left for Europe in a few weeks, and Dober left after less than two years. They did preach, but they didn’t give their lives away in order to do it.

Stories like this are harmful, because people hear them and think they can never serve God. I can’t imagine selling myself into slavery and moving to a bug-infested tropical island where I would be beaten and forced to labor in the sun all day, every day, until I died. If I thought I had to do a thing like that in order to please God, I would be very disturbed, because I know I’m not strong enough to do it. It would discourage me. God gave me a phrase earlier this year: “We discourage people.” It’s true. We try to bury people under burdens God never intended them to carry.

Jesus said his yoke was easy and his burden was light. I assume he told the truth.

As far as we know, Jesus only had one bad day in his entire life. We never read that he was sick, that he was beaten for preaching, that he starved, or that he had to beg. We never read that he had to work as a slave or even an oppressed employee. To me, that suggests that the more aligned you are with the Holy Spirit, the more smoothly your life will go. This has been my experience. I will be rejected, and I may be murdered some day, but I don’t expect to live in pain and frustration as a general rule.

The Bible is full of promises God has made to the obedient, and most of the promises are about his help with life on earth, not in heaven. I’m sure God will deliver you from slavery if you’re a slave when you give your heart to him. I think it would be very unusual for him to tell a person to give up an ordinary life, which is hard enough as it is, and submit to things like forced labor, beatings, incarceration, castration, complete poverty, and separation from loved ones.

We don’t have to pay for heaven. It’s not a vacation you pay for in advance. It’s a gift. God doesn’t say, “Well, Bob sold himself into slavery and died toothless and alone at the age of 76, on a tropical plantation, shivering with malaria, so now I owe him eternity in heaven.” Someone else paid for heaven. We’re supposed to obey and make certain sacrifices, but we don’t trade earthly agony for heavenly bliss. The Bible says sin, not righteousness, has wages. We earn hell. Heaven is provided free of charge. If it wasn’t, the crucifixion would have been pointless. What was Jesus paying for? His own salvation? How would that help us?

Jesus was already saved when he was crucified. He had nothing to pay for, so if he wasn’t paying our bills, what was he doing?

Why would God make serving him so hard, no one would have the strength to try?

I heard something else when I watched the video. A preacher said he went to Africa to teach about salvation and end earthly suffering, but when he arrived, he found that the people already knew about Jesus but wanted no part of him. They loved sin. Isn’t that something? You create a mission for yourself, you sacrifice everything for it, and then you find out it’s a waste of time, because God didn’t tell you to do it.

Didn’t Jesus tell the disciples where to cast their nets? Has he stopped doing that? Has he decided he wants us to fail?

As you get older, if you have any brains, you will find that most people can’t be helped. They choose not to be helped. You can give them assistance, money, and things, but they will squander them and end up worse off than when you showed up, and even then, they will refuse to change. This is not something to marvel at. It’s completely normal. It’s the way the world works. People who can be blessed are in the minority. The world is not like a store full of shiny new things that are full of potential. It’s like a landfill with a few salvageable items in it.

The world is like a filthy, stinking dumpster full of excrement and rotten meat, and we are like cockroaches that live on the outside of it. Hell is inside the earth, and its stink permeates the surface. The earth is really an extension of hell. It’s like the front porch. God has been overwhelmingly rejected, many times, and Satan is, as Jesus said, the god of this world. The earth is very, very far from God. It’s not the focus of his universe, as people tend to believe. It’s like Africa; a distant, lost, screwed-up country God visits as a banned missionary. Human beings are not God’s children, until they choose to become such. By default, we are really just stubborn monkeys on our way to hell, and God manages to turn a few of us into successful projects.

You have to be very careful with charity. You have to ask God whom you should help, because the world is packed with people who will turn you into an enabler and neutralize your very existence. The things you do for them will be nearly worthless, and you will be kept from doing things that are profitable.

I don’t want to get distracted and forget the valuable things I heard in the video. I was reminded how filthy I am. I have nothing I can hold up to God for praise. I have done so many disgusting things, I have no hope of justifying myself. I have hurt a lot of people. I have failed to help people I could have helped. I have been extremely disrespectful and ungrateful to the one who allowed himself to be tortured to death for me. Change requires an end to denial. If I want to continue to grow, I have to admit what I am when I talk to God.

I don’t want to be a Joel Osteen Christian. The burden is light, and the yoke is easy, but God didn’t endure murder in order to make my life a resort stay. I’m supposed to be close to him, and I’m supposed to welcome his criticism and instruction.

Time to finish praying. Hope I have not bored you.

My Pal Edgar

Monday, August 28th, 2017

New Life, New Friends

Rural life continues to amuse and enthrall.

Right now, two guys are putting a new AC unit in the house. Assuming there are no catastrophes in the next 24 hours, I will be sleeping without a fan buffeting me tonight. In other words, I will be SLEEPING.

The phone and Internet company is fun to deal with, as people on the web predicted. I have Centurylink, and saying so is a lot like saying I drive a brand new 1976 Camaro (notice I didn’t say 1970). I have a DSL modem and wifi. Primitive. So far, it’s working too well to cancel but not well enough to really enjoy.

When I signed up for service, Centurylink sent me joyous emails celebrating our new romance and promising ecstasy. Then they didn’t send a tech. They mailed me a box containing a modem. I looked around the house and finally found the only jack that works with a DSL modem, and I plugged it in. I plugged a cordless phone base into another phone jack, and I was in business. Only I wasn’t. I had DSL hum. Because DSL and voice operate on a single line, you need a filter to remove the DSL noise from the phone signal. Remember? Remember that from 1997?

I never use the land line except to answer calls from scammers, so I put off fixing it until today. That’s not entirely true. I contacted Centurylink over the web and complained that I had no phone filters, and they promised they would be all over it. Then they sent emails asking how I liked the service. The big problem here is that there was no service. They did nothing, unless emailing me counts. This is even worse than a participation trophy; to get a participation trophy, you have to show up.

Centurylink does another big favor for its customers. They publish their phone numbers without asking. Without warning anyone. To get an unlisted number, you have to pay seven dollars per month. Obviously, they know you’re going to get scam calls, and they want you to receive a bunch and then call and beg to pay the seven dollars. The big snag with that plan is that by the time they agree to stop publishing your number, everyone in the universe has it, so you’re paying seven dollars for nothing. After giving everyone you know your number, you have to have it changed. Thank God that’s free.

I called today about the DSL hum and the scammers, and I believe I had to speak to four different departments. The first guy was in “customer service,” although he made it very clear that the one thing his job did not permit him to do was to provide anything resembling “service” to anyone who could conceivably be described by the word “customer.” I think he was more like a receptionist than anything else.

I’m exaggerating. He did manage to get my line unpublished, which is like trying to put the steam back in a tea kettle.

I used Nomorobo to stop scammers in Miami, and as the Nomorobo site asked, while I was talking to Centurylink, I said Centurylink needed to start supporting Nomorobo. The CSR asked me what it was. I explained that it was a service that intercepted calls and only passed on calls that were legitimate. He said it sounded great, and that he needed to try it on his home line. Which is apparently not supplied by Centurylink. Okay.

Regarding the hum, I spent a very long time talking to a number of people, and the last one told me Centurylink doesn’t provide filters. She said I should go to Best Buy. Of course, this is 2017, so Best Buy does not sell DSL filters. They don’t sell sundials or Betamax players, either.

I was told to plug the phone base into the modem, and that the modem’s built-in filter would kill the hum. I tried that, and now I have a phone base in an inconvenient place, plus DSL hum.

I have filters on the way from Amazon, so maybe that will help. I am inclined to dump the land line. In the past, I never understood people who didn’t have land lines, but that’s because I lived in an area where the service was bad. Here, in the backward rural South, I can’t get a good Internet connection or decent TV, but the phone service rocks. It even provides a better Internet hookup than the wired account.

DirecTV…don’t get me started. I would rather be Super Creepy Rob Lowe than have DirecTV. In fact, I did watch some people swim the other day, so maybe I am Super Creepy Rob Lowe.

I have no idea which DirecTV package my dad has. I am too busy to check and fool with it. You can’t just look on the web and get a quick answer. Figuring out which channels you have is like choosing insurance. “I have Discovery but not Discovery HD…I have HBO…no, wait, it’s HBO East…” Whatever package it is, it doesn’t matter, because if the receivers screw up, they will think you have the base package until you reset them.

I tried to find stuff to watch. With Xfinity, this was simple. I’ll describe how it works with DirecTV.

1. Use tiny channel +/- button to go through 9000 channels.
2. Get frustrated and try to enter a channel directly.
3. Get message from DirecTV saying you don’t have that channel, but you can pay extra and get it.
4. Get sent back to channel 1 so you can start over.

I am not kidding. It really works like that.

I have a list of channels, but the list doesn’t say which channels WORK and which ones send you back to channel 1.

I’m not stupid. I know what’s going on. They sell you an affordable package that makes your life a living hell, hoping you will upgrade immediately. They hope you will prefer finding topless women easily to putting braces on your son’s teeth.

My take goes like this: if you’re already punishing me before I give you more money, why should I reward you?

Fortunately, I don’t care at all about TV, and my dad watches about 5 channels, so they’re SOL, which stands for “Satellite Out of Luck” or something like that.

The first day they hooked the TV up, I made the mistake of searching for content while the TV was tuned to Ellen Degeneres. Every time I got sent back to home plate, I saw more of a person who hates everyone like me and is crusading to rid the planet of us. When you struggle with DirecTV, it’s best to start on a channel you don’t find unbearable.

I don’t think I’ve watched a single show yet. I can’t remember watching any. I’ve seen bits of this and that, but when it comes to finding things I like and watching from beginning to end, the pain is not worth the gain. DirecTV is the Nicorette of TV. It will help you get off of TV and back into real life.

I have been hoping to find a fixed wireless company up here. They should exist. Fixed wireless means you get cell-quality Internet, because it works off of cell towers. Cell coverage is very good here, so fixed wireless should be available, but it’s a new thing, so I haven’t found a provider. I saw a sign on a telephone pole advertising great Internet speed, and I’m hoping it’s fixed wireless. I plan to call.

What else is happening? Let’s see. Some kind of animal is leaving poops in inconvenient places. I asked the AC guy if he knew what it was, but he was stumped. Probably not something he expected to be asked.

It’s a gelatinous poop about 1-1/4″ long and 1/2″ thick, shaped like a Good ‘n’ Plenty. This animal likes to poop on bricks, so that means it poops where I walk. I want to identify it and kill it.

I’m enjoying the insect life here. Take a gander at the creature I found stuck to the front door. This could be one four-inch-long bug, or it may be two passionate bugs having a tryst. I can’t tell. It clung to the same spot on the door frame for two days, and finally, I tried to scare it off. I waved my hands at it and made threatening noises, and it merely looked annoyed.

I got a stick to pry it off the door, and instead of fleeing in terror, it resisted. Finally, I got the end of the stick under it and flung it onto the porch. It left, slowly, leaving behind a huge pile of bug poo which had accumulated beneath it during its stay on the doorframe.

My friend Amanda brought her kids over to swim on Saturday (cue Rob Lowe), and we saw the same bug, or a friend, clinging to the swimming pool coping. I warned her not to mess with it, because it would harm her self-esteem, but she went over to drive it off, and she succeeded in making it move about ten inches. When she returned to the near side of the pool, she informed us all: “Its name is Edgar.”

This is all I know.

I should have stomped on it, but when a bug gets to a certain size, it starts to seem like an animal. I mean, bugs are animals, but I’m saying that stepping on Edgar would be like stepping on a terrier. And he might resent it.

When I say Edgar is four inches long, I am not including the antennas and accessories. We have…had…grasshoppers bigger than Edgar in Miami, but they weren’t as assertive.

Things are starting to fall in line, and if they continue doing so, I will mow the yard this week. I can start the garden tractor, and I got myself a straw hat for shade. If I survive, I may get crazy and take a shot at bush-hogging the pasture.

I wish I could write more. I have not even scratched the surface of the Ocala experience. I have not, for example, mentioned my visit to Rural King. But I still have a lot of dragons to slay, so I can’t blog all day. I have to watch some episodes of Spongebob Squarepants. Don’t ask why. It’s an assignment.

Look, stop whining. Are you not entertained?

Even More

I have some background on Edgar. He is a two-striped walking stick, also known as a spitting devil. If you bother Edgar badly enough, he will spit poison in your eyes, and he can nail you from up to 15 inches away. Isn’t that nice? Glad I learned that the easy way. Now I feel better about stomping on these things. It’s them or me.

Wait till you hear about the object on Edgar’s back. It’s his husband. Edgar is a girl. Male walking sticks find females, and they attach themselves to their backs. Even if the females are below breeding age, the males attach and hang on until they grow up. That’s what I call patience. Isn’t that what Mohammed did?

“Husband” may be too kind a term. Edgar’s mate makes him do all the work and carry him around, and the mate does nothing at all. In reality, he is Edgar’s pimp.

If I find the brick-pooping creature, I will let you know as soon as I can.

Killing Dostoevsky

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Last Painful Read in a Series

It’s time to give a progress report on my trudge through the Columbia College Literature Humanities reading list.

For a long time now, I’ve been dreading Dostoevsky. He writes long, long books, and up until now, I hated the only one I had ever started. As I approached the book I’m reading now, that memory did not encourage me.

Crime and Punishment is one of the last items on my list, and I figured it would be even more boring and painful than The Iliad and the heinous, overrated, affirmative-action-receiving-for-being-Spanish Don Quixote. Surprise! Dostoevsky isn’t that bad. I would say it’s 10% less boring than Dickens, and that puts it well within the “tolerable” category.

C&P (as we Dostoevsky buffs call it) is about a guy who SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER NOW YOU CAN’T SAY YOU WEREN’T ASKING FOR IT murders a couple of women in order to get their money and valuables. The murderer is a starving former student named Raskolnikov. He kills a pawnbroker and her sister (the Ron Goldman of the story) with a hatchet. That happens early in the book, and then, I guess, Dostoevsky explores the terrible ordeal he goes through, dealing with the guilt.

The obvious problem with this story is that a person who feels terrible about murdering innocent people for small amounts of money will never commit the crime in the first place. But let’s let that slide.

Here’s where I am in the book: Raskolnikov has killed the women, and he has become physically ill from guilt. He lost at least part of the swag because he felt so bad after the killings, he didn’t care much about the loot. Again–sorry to mention it after saying we would let it slide–this is not how actual criminals think. A person like this would not murder you for money.

There are a couple of interesting things about the book.

I don’t know whether Dostoevsky gives an accurate picture of Russian culture, but I have a feeling he does, because it reminds me of things I’ve seen in news stories and articles. The people in the book treat each other like relatives. They call each other by their middle names, for example. Imagine your name is Rupert Horatio McMurtry. In C&P Russia, coworkers, people you do business with, and slight acquaintances would call you “Rupert Horatio,” as if they were your mom and you were in trouble. “Rupert Horatio, what is this thing you have done with the axe?” “Rupert Horatio, you cannot leave the house without your galoshes.” People in your extended Russian circle would be all up in your business like the hamster and the creepy Girl Scouts in the old Sprint Framily commercials.

In addition to being way too chummy when they speak, C&P Russians are very presumptuous about stepping in and helping other people when they’re down and out. They go in and out of Raskolnikov’s apartment when he’s sick, bringing him food and medical care and buying him clothes.

If Russians actually look after each other the way they do in C&P, it must be wonderful to live in Russia and have a lot of people you can rely on when you have serious, difficult problems. On the other hand, it’s nice to be able to do stupid things without having to fight a bunch of random individuals who don’t have proper standing to meddle with your life. “Rupert Horatio, what have I told you about trans-fats?” “Rupert Horatio, I see someone didn’t go to the gym today.” Too much help.

Another strange thing about C&P: in Dostoevsky’s Russia, it is apparently completely acceptable to beat women. Not just your wife. All women. You can beat your neighbor’s wife if you want. There’s a bit in the book where Raskolnikov encounters a bunch of women at some kind of social gathering, and most of them have black eyes. Dostoevsky doesn’t present it as a disturbing depiction of a sick society that needs reform. He mentions it the way you would mention kids wearing saggy pants at the mall. Just part of the scenery. You go to a party where single men and women are socializing, and most of the women have been punched in the face by the men. And they’re still at the party.

Vodka must be a hell of a drug.

I’m afraid I may know where Dostoevsky is going. Please don’t spoil it for me, because this book is not that entertaining, and telling me the ending will make it worse. I suspect Raskolnikov will never be caught. I suspect that “punishment” really means the suffering he endures because he is never punished. So far, no one has any inkling that he’s the axe murderer, and their kind attention during his illness is driving him nuts.

I’m past the point where the cops drag an innocent suspect in. Maybe Raskolnikov will have to watch him hang, and then, given his pointless waste of the things he stole, maybe he’ll confess so they can hang him, too.

The last Lit. Hum. book I read was Pride and Prejudice, which might as well have been titled Telegraphed Punch Romance, because it was always obvious how it would end. Darcy was going to SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER turn out to be a great guy, and Elizabeth was going to marry him and feel real bad about thinking he was conceited and cruel. I hope C&P doesn’t turn out the same way. Mainly, though, I hope I get through it quickly. The last two items on the reading list should be much more entertaining, so C&P is the last big push near the end of a terrible labor, in which I deliver a large, dry baby covered with velcro.

I would like to be done with this book. It’s depressing. The people are hopeless. They have no connection at all to God. No one answers their prayers. They struggle and fail, in their own strength. They live in squalor and humiliation.

My move to Ocala has had its depressing side. I’ve had the stress of unexpected expenses, and my dad has lost more of his ability to take care of himself. I still have a lot to do, with less help, just when I thought I was expected to be wrapping things up. I don’t need a depressing book, reminding me what it’s like to have lots of problems and no hope.

The up side of the unforeseen problems is that I am drawn to God by them. I know that if my prayer life is good, answers will appear and stress will fade. If my prayer life is not good, I could fall into a world of insurmountable setbacks and remorse. The strain of having no help is more than I am willing to tolerate, so I have good incentive to pray and do what I know to do.

I got myself some cheap wine and crackers, and I’m doing communion every day. I’m getting back to serious prayer in tongues. I am a bit less busy, so I spend more time with God.

Sometimes I feel I should put off praying, get out of bed or out of my chair, and get to work on this or that problem, but then I realize something: when I’m praying, I am working on my problems. Prayer, blessing, and cursing are much more powerful than effort. If I am aligned with God, no problem can withstand me. If not, nothing I do in my natural strength will help, and my problems will overcome me.

Some Christians like to say people with my attitude are “so heavenly minded they’re no earthly good.” That’s not in the Bible, folks. Elijah made the rain cease for three years by praying, and he ended the drought the same way. Try doing that with effort. Moses parted the Red Sea by standing at the shore and saying a few words. Jesus brought Lazarus out of a tomb by speaking to him. You can’t tell me effort is more important than supernatural tools. That’s pride, and pride, according to the Bible, causes God to fight you.

What did Jesus say when Martha complained that Mary was sitting at his feet instead of helping with dishes and cooking? He said Mary had “chosen the better part.”

Either this stuff works or it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t, you might as well be a Buddhist and do whatever you like. I have found that the supernatural tools of Christianity work.

It’s too bad Raskolnikov never learned about the power of serving God, but I suppose I shouldn’t feel too bad, because he had a great advantage that negates all the harm: he was fictional.

It is time to get out the cracker. I suggest you do the same!

Shabbat is Coming

Friday, August 25th, 2017

In the Meantime, Happy Friday

This is my sixth day in Ocala. It’s not the seventh, so I can’t complain if it’s not a day of rest.

Stuff keeps popping up to make life interesting. This week I noticed a wet place on the upstairs rug, so I had to get an A/C guy to come look at an air handler. We are low on refrigerant, which is not all that bad, but the reason we are low is bad, indeed. The coils in the air handler are leaking gas. You can shoot gas into a leaking system to make it work for a short time, but then you lose it, and the system quits cooling. The answer is a new air conditioner. It will be installed Monday.

The house has one big air conditioner and one small one. Here’s a shock: the bigger, more expensive one is the one with the problem.

Arggh. Well, we did have the house inspected, and we knew this air conditioner was 17 years old.

Life will go on. My big concern now is making sure my dad has a reasonably cool place to sleep. Both of our bedrooms have ceiling fans, and the nights here are in the mid-seventies, so there is hope.

I knew money would have to be spent. I did not think we would incur a large expense every week, however. Presumably, the outflow will slow down soon.

It’s not just the move. Some tenants in Miami abandoned a condo immediately after signing a lease, and we had to refurbish the kitchen and baths. Also, my dad’s house needed sod and sprinkler work. I wish I could sell it right now, but capital gains tax is a harsh master.

The A/C guy asked if we knew the sellers. He said a lot of sellers hire him to pump gas into their old air conditioners to fool buyers. I don’t think that happened to us. The sellers spent four figures on totally elective repairs before we moved in, and they sold me over $20,000 worth of machinery for $11,000, so they don’t strike me as cheats. It’s not a new house, and it’s August in Florida, so I think the air conditioner problem is just a consequence of physics.

The unit we’re replacing only cools part of the house. It cools the master bedroom and upstairs. It may well be that the sellers were only using it to cool the master bedroom, so the problems weren’t noticeable. It has a zone system, so it can be set up to cool the master bedroom alone. That wouldn’t put much strain on it.

It would have been nice to get this done today. I forgot to call the repair people two days ago. If I had remembered, we would probably have a new air conditioner right now.

I haven’t been able to enjoy the shop yet. What with my dad’s self-inflicted medical problems and the usual difficulties with new cable and TV service, I have been very busy. Unpacking junk and cleaning and fixing up a house are enough work by themselves.

Things might conceivably slow down this weekend.

My dad has gotten a lot worse, mentally. Our offer was accepted in early July, and since then, he has become a different person. He needs help with things he could do in June. It’s shocking. I have had to adjust very fast. It’s a good thing we moved when we did, because it would have been a lot harder had we waited. He seems worse today than he did a week ago.

I hope he stabilizes somewhat. It would be a shame to buy the perfect house for someone who needs care and then have to move to assisted living almost immediately. This place is nearly ideal for a person who has to be looked after. I wouldn’t know what to do with all the space if he had to leave, and I would feel as if the whole mission had experienced a major failure. I’m not ready to have to drive to see him. I hope I’ll have a fair amount of time to prepare for that.

I’m hoping my law school friend Amanda will come down tomorrow and give me some clues about setting a house up. Amanda is an old-fashioned person with conservative taste, so she should be a valuable source of help. It’s nice to have one of the best people I know living 20 minutes away.

Food is turning out to be an issue. We are still not set up for cooking much of anything except breakfast and Crock Pot soup. My dad likes to go to restaurants for lunch, so I have been indulging him. That means driving. We are close to a Cracker Barrel and a good barbecue, but you can’t eat the same things all the time. We are going to have to start driving farther north several times a week.

A lot of things are cheaper here. Gas, groceries, and restaurants are cheaper. McDonald’s costs half as much as it did in Miami, and they can understand orders in English. Driving to get lunch will not be as expensive as it would be in Miami, so that’s a blessing.

We tried a local place, and by “local,” I mean “not a chain.” I had heard good things about it. It didn’t pan out. The tables were sticky. The whole place was grimy. My dad had grilled chicken, and it was so tough he had to spit some of it out. I had CFS with corn (canned, I think) and mashed potatoes which appeared to be made with water instead of milk. I would say the CFS was a quarter of a pound, which is not much. They served some kind of disgusting margarine instead of butter. I won’t eat that stuff.

When we paid the bill, my dad told them the chicken was extremely tough, but they didn’t offer to take it off the bill. Someone needs to take them aside and explain the importance of customer relations. Obviously, neither of us will ever eat there again, and we will tell everyone we know how bad it was.

Chains aren’t so bad. If I can find some that serve lunches under 2,000 calories, we’ll be fine.

There are a lot of fat people here. Seriously fat. I feel bad for them. They need to get it together. This place is full of Christians, so I can only assume pastors aren’t informing people that gluttony is a sin.

There are also a lot of unhealthy people here. Publix (a grocery) has a “diabetic food” sign over one aisle. When my dad was in the ER, I saw a number of people in very bad condition come in. It seemed like no one came in with a cut finger or a sprained wrist. It was all people on gurneys with tubes in their noses. COPD and heart problems. Southerners with typically southern bad habits.

I hate to see such nice people in such bad shape.

I don’t know much about COPD, but as far as I can tell, it’s short for “I smoke cigarettes.”

Once all the BS is behind us, I’m going to enjoy living here. I enjoy it now, as much as one can under the circumstances. It’s an incredible sensation, driving five miles without stopping at a light. The people are so nice they say goodbye when they get off of elevators. I was so right about Miami, it hurts.

One month from today, all of our stuff, including my machine tools, should be here. The house should be running like a top, with air conditioning and everything. The nonsense with the tenants should be over with. I will have settled into a routine, caring for my dad. I will have been to at least one church. The weather will be cooler. Things will be easier.

Right now I’m writing to let my brain cool off. I’ll be back at work putting fires out shortly.

Maybe I can go outside for ten minutes and look around. That would be pleasant.

Whatever happens, it beats being in Miami. You can take that to the bank.

Sunrise

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Drowning Pharaoh’s Army

Today was a pretty good day.

I know the reason I had such a bad time moving up here. I got so busy with the mechanics of moving, my prayer life suffered. I knew it at the time, and I prayed for help finding breaks so I could pray, but people kept throwing me curve balls and dragging me away from God. Yesterday morning I finally had a little time to pray, and yesterday was not very difficult. Same with today.

If you’re not spending a couple of hours with God every day, you probably should not expect to be free from stress.

My dad is still in the hospital. They are trying to get his pulse regulated. I am not spending much time there. I have to get this house together, and part of it involves waiting long periods for TV and Internet people who don’t show up. I have an appointment tomorrow and another one the next day. It may not seem that important, but try doing what I’m doing without the Internet. And believe me, I am going to want to have the TV working when my dad gets out. Aside from that, living alone in a huge house in the woods is a little weird when you’re completely disconnected from the world.

Today I got a couple of stacking plastic armchairs so we will have places to sit while I round up a breakfast table and wait for the couch to arrive. I got stuff to make shower-cleaning spray. I cleaned the insides of the kitchen cabinets and started unpacking and washing kitchen items. I also waited for a TV guy who failed to materialize.

I had to deal with my dad’s business affairs via phone and email. We got an offer on a house we’re trying to sell, and I had to discuss that with the realtor. A fire inspector is giving a tenant a problem, so that had to be managed. Another place needs cabinet work because the tenants ran off right after signing a new lease. I made some arrangements with the guy who is doing the work.

As a caregiver, I will make a confession other caregivers will back up. When the person you take care of has to be absent for some reason or other, it’s a useful break that allows you to get things done. It may sound mean, but once my dad was admitted, I didn’t want it to end too soon. As long as I have to deal with the aggravation and concern of getting him treated, I may as well receive the benefit of being able to take care of business while he’s gone.

His bathroom now has a rug and towels. I picked up one or two things that will be essential for good hygiene. His bed is clean. His TV is ready for the TV guy. I got him a simpler coffee maker than the one he had in Miami. When he sees how things have improved, he will wish he had stayed in the hospital and let me work for a month.

My friend from law school kindly visited my dad today, and I caught up with them on the way back from Lowe’s. It was very different from yesterday. Last night he seemed to be showing signs of “sundowning,” which means becoming agitated at nightfall. It happens to some demented people. He kept asking questions and writing things down. He had all sorts of demands that had to be met right away in order to make him feel safe. I had never seen him do that before. Usually, he’s calmer in the evening. Today he was lying back in a recliner enjoying a chat with my friend. He kept saying he looked forward to living in Ocala. That’s new. It’s a big relief. He was complaining a lot when we moved, even though he hates Miami and wanted to come up here.

If you pray in tongues for an hour or two every day, and you do it more than once, you will find that God orders your life. The problems you think can’t be defeated will start to dissolve. Paths start to appear; solutions you didn’t see until you prayed. If you’re not praying in tongues, you’re not doing the whole Christian program, so there will be gaps in your coverage.

Tomorrow I have to get my dad a shower chair and a grab rail for his toilet. He needs a bathmat or nonskid stickers. Maybe I can get these things taken care of before they release him.

This is a great place. Miami is a horror.

This is my Stop

Monday, August 21st, 2017

The Armed Compound is a Reality

Today I’m trying something new: golf cart blogging. I’m in the woods east of my house, sitting in my E-Z-GO, drinking an Arizona Watermelon cocktail. I have the laptop with me, and I’m using my phone as a router.

I’m typing during the eclipse, which is on the way out now. I did not make any effort to observe it, but when I walked out of my dad’s hospital, I noticed that the sun was casting thousands of crescent-shaped lights on the sidwalk. To see an eclipse, you look down, not up.

Traditionally, eclipses have been considered bad omens, and lunar eclipses have been considered particularly ominous for Israel. I don’t know if it amounts to anything. I have not seen a correlation. I find eclipses themselves kind of dull, but it’s neat to see how the world becomes darker while staying sunny. I remember seeing that when I was a kid.

My dad is in the hospital because he refused to wait for me to give him his prescriptions two days ago. I already wrote about this. We were leaving a hotel in Kissimmee, and I asked him to wait by the car while I got the birds. They were in travel cages in my room. He wanted to take his pills, and I told him he needed to let me get them for him. When I got back to the car, he had a bag of bottles in his hands, and he was taking things. I had to pull the bag out of his fingers to get him to stop.

The next morning, in the new house, he came to my bedroom and said he didn’t know where he was.

I thought he had had a stroke, but it looks like he took the wrong dose of one drug and slowed his heart rate down to the point where it affected his thinking. I learn new lessons all the time, and now I’ve learned I have to keep his prescriptions in a special place.

The day we left Miami, he insisted he was not going to give up driving. He said he was perfectly able to find his way around the neighborhood. He was adamant. He was angry. He got in the car and tried to go to a Wendy’s about a mile and a half away. I didn’t see him again for several hours.

I used a phone app to track him, and I saw that he was several miles north of Coral Gables, driving in random directions, as if he were using dice to choose his way. I ended up chasing him down with the app. I found him near Northwest 79th Street, which is about 12 miles from where he should have been. Instead of leaving reasonably early and taking a leisurely drive to Ocala, we ended up leaving late and checking into the hotel in Kissimmee at about 1 a.m., and needless to say, a lot of loose ends down south remained loose.

I took the car keys, and I figured things would be okay, and then came the pill incident.

The movers didn’t finish putting everything where it should be. As Miami’s final slap in the face, the moving company sent three Cubans who did not speak any English. The job called for six, at least one of whom could communicate. They finally left at about midnight, promising to come back in a few days. Will I see them again? Search me.

I have one friend in Ocala, and she has been a godsend. When I texted her about my dad’s hospital stay, she drove to the hospital on her day off to visit him and see if he was okay. This gave me time to buy towels and some other things we needed. When I caught up with her at the hospital, she showed me where the Wal-Mart was, and I loaded up on waste baskets and so on.

Her ex-husband is a lawyer. Well, that’s not true. He used to be a lawyer. He stole a lot of money from two clients, and he is currently a guest of the state, awaiting final sentencing. Long story. She and I kept each other laughing with tales of our dysfunctional families. For example, we discussed the time her 350-pound great aunt got in the bathtub against everyone’s advice and got stuck there, and then insisted my friend lift her out.

The ex-husband is a strange case. The videotape of one of his hearings is online, and I decided to watch it. The judge asked him about his education level, and he said, “nineteenth grade.” What can you say about that? You’re talking to the person who decides how much time you get, and you decide to make a joke? I would not have made that choice. It may explain why the judge denied his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. He could be looking at 10 years or more.

The house, shop, and grounds are wonderful. The shop is going to be big enough for all my tools, and it’s already set up with a security system, a powered garage door on one end, and a chain-driven roll-up door on the other. It has a nice porch outside, with a swing and 4 plastic Adirondack chairs. When I experience failure and frustration with my tools, I can go out there, sit in one of the chairs, and sulk in the shade.

I have endless room to store my junk, so for the first time in years, I will not have to worry about clutter. I can’t get over that.

The area is like medicine to me. The people are polite. Nearly everyone speaks English. I see Trump stickers all over the place. The traffic is a joke. The landscape is very pretty. I can’t wait for the August heat to die down so I can enjoy Marion County even more.

I have some stress related to my dad’s little surprises, as well as the movers’ interesting business methods, but other than that, I have peace here. I’m trying to get used to the fact that everyone isn’t angry at me, the way they are in Miami. I was right about that place. It wasn’t me; it was Miami.

My friend Travis called and said he had a dream about me. He’s house sitting for me. He said he dreamed an angry hag tried to get into the house. At first, he didn’t know who it was, but it turned out to be my sister. That makes sense. She has been used against me all my life. Whatever it is that drives her is probably not pleased that I’m out here living among Christians.

Travis has had prophetic dreams before, so this one could be legit. He’s very concerned because so many of his strong Christian friends have left Miami. He thinks something bad is going to happen. Of course, something bad has already happened. It became Miami. How much worse could it get?

I guess I should fire up the Mach 5 and get back to the barn. In a month or two, I should be able to blog out here in 70-degree weather. That will be something. Maybe I’ll have some rifle targets to show you.

Expect more move-related posts. This adventure is just starting.

Welcome Home, Me

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

Not a South Florida Resident

Just a note to let people know I am now a resident of Marion County.

My Internet service will not be running until at least tomorrow, so blogging has been impossible. Today I had to switch cell carriers in order to get a signal, and now I am able to use my phone as a mobile hotspot. It works very well. I don’t want to go overboard, though, because if I use it too much, they’ll kill the speed until my next month starts.

You would not believe the things I have endured since I began packing for the move. My dad did a few highly inconvenient things at the worst possible moments, and it caused me a great deal of delay and vexation. Just to provide an example, he is now in the hospital because he grabbed his prescriptions and took too much of a heart medication. I told him to wait a few minutes so I could give him the correct dosages, but as soon as my back was turned, he grabbed the pills and started swallowing them. I have been to the hospital…let’s see…four times today. Guess how much time I’ve had to clean up the house and enjoy the property.

He’s fine; I should point that out. They’re just holding him until the excess medication wears off, which should be tomorrow.

Stubborn people with dementia are full of tricks. I am starting to realize that. They do things an inexperienced caregiver can’t see coming, and short of chaining them to chairs, you can’t do a whole lot to prevent it.

When I moved up here, I thought I would spend two days with the moving business and then enjoy life. Due to a whole bunch of totally unnecessary problems, I have not reached that stage yet. Tonight I may be able to sleep for more than six hours, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to enjoy more and put out other people’s fires less.

This is not the time to talk about the moving crew that left at midnight instead of 5 p.m.

Anyway, I’m cutting it short tonight. Overall, I am thrilled to be here, and the property exceeds my expectations. The people are great. The area is great. The transition is what’s not great, and it will end soon.

God’s generosity is far greater than I expected. I think I can assure you that I will have more-uplifting posts to share in the very near future.

I Juan to Go Now

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Packing Continues

I have about a third of a second before the movers stream through the front door. One is already waiting outside.

Here is today’s comment on Miami. I left the house at about 8 a.m. The little temperature gauge on the dash said it was 87 degrees outside. Seriously? Is there no parting insult this disgusting city will spare me?

At least it’s not raining.

I shouldn’t say that. I’ll give the enemy ideas.

I do not believe the devil can go around controlling the weather at will. Unlike the global warming faithful, I believe God makes all of our weather-related decisions. But still.

I’ve been thinking about all the Miami people who got angry at me for criticizing this city. “Why don’t you just LEAVE??!!!” Angry people…this is your day. Or rather, tomorrow is.

Are you planning to move from one city to another? My advice: don’t do absolutely everything yourself. Of course, if you’re like me, you have no choice. My dad can’t do a thing to help me.

I’m looking at a desk covered with loose ends. I have to go to Home Depot, get yet another small box, sweep everything into it, and hope for the best. If I owe you a check, you will have to wait two more days.

I’m taking my dad’s car, so I will have to arrange to ship my truck later. I don’t have a single friend who can drive it up there for me. I have friends who are busy, and I have a good friend whose driver’s license is suspended. My mother is dead. No point in discussing my sister.

Will I have good Christian friends up north who are allowed to drive? Will I have friends who aren’t on parole or on welfare or in such debt they can’t do much of anything? I believe I will. I already have one good friend up there. Sadly, her financial situation is bleak. Her husband was convicted of stealing money from clients, so she and her kids had to pack up and move to her mother’s farm. But I know she’ll do whatever she can to help. Maybe I can be helpful to her as well.

I suspect that Ocala is a place where a larger percentage of people turn to God BEFORE their lives disintegrate. There should be some people there who didn’t completely blow it before they got it together. We will see. I wouldn’t say I’m their equal!

I better brush my teeth and get ready for a final run to Home Depot. May the Lord smile on you until I return.

The Liberation of A. MacMoofing

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

GANGWAY!

If you want to have a thrilling experience that will leave you gasping, don’t buy a wingsuit and jump off Mount Everest. Hire movers to move your grand piano.

Today I watched movers turn my piano on its side and roll it outdoors. It’s like watching nurses play catch with your newborn child. Anyway, they seem to know what they’re doing.

Of course, the movers are doing more than I required in the original estimate. I’m handling everything myself, so it was not possible to get every possession packed. The cost went up a few hundred dollars, and it may go up more tomorrow. C’est la vie. That’s what money is for.

I still can’t get used to the idea that I’m leaving this miserable city. Day after tomorrow, I will be in MY house, in northern Florida. I won’t be a tourist or a guest. I’ll be a resident.

It’s frustrating, trying to do things in the right order. My tools are on a truck right now, so all the things I wanted to do with tools this week are not possible. I needed tools to prepare some things for the move! I had to rely on the movers and their pathetic tools. My lathe has a wooden tool shelf on it, and the shelf has to be removed for the trip north. The shelf uses special bolts. They’re not original to the lathe. I keep the originals in one of my rolling tool chests. Guess when I remembered that? After they started moving my tools into the truck. Thank God they hadn’t taken the chest yet.

Whoops. I have to get up and let them pack crystal. I’ll be back.

I have started to think there is no intelligent, efficient way to move. My obligations in South Florida are a bit screwed up, and there is nothing I can do about it. People are just going to have to show me a little patience. Or drive 300 miles to see me if they want a confrontation. By the time they get there, I should already have the security alligators trained.

I had to move in the most cloudless, blistering, glaring August in history. I hate to say anything that might make a global warming nut puff up and crow, but the sun is about an inch from the ground today. I actually had to walk around it to get to the car. It’s one of those Augusts when the sun follows you in the house. You sit in the air-conditioned shade and feel the sun’s heat and glare through the walls. Even when you close your eyes, you want sunglasses.

I feel like Miami is angry at me for leaving, and I suppose it is. There are big, filthy spirits assigned to various geographical areas, and I’m sure the ones that run Miami enjoy the suffering I endure here. I think they’re turning it up to punish me for going AWOL. It seems like people are ruder and more crass than ever this week. More people turning in front of me without turn signals. More people running yield signs simply because Carlos the Random Miamian and his leased Range Rover are more important than I am. More traffic backups. Papa John’s sent me a guy who could not say three words of English. I’m so busy I debase myself by ordering Papa John’s, and they rub it in by sending me an illegal who can’t say, “Twenty dollars and forty-two cents.”

That is some bad pizza, by the way. Really revolting. The cheese is fake (look up the ingredients), and they put about half an ounce of each topping on the pie. Flour and tomatoes are nearly free, so of course, that’s what Papa John’s sells you. Anything even slightly costly they dole out in tiny amounts more suitable for snorting than eating. They might as well chop the toppings into lines and serve them on a mirror.

At some point tomorrow, my dad’s TV will be packed. I do not look forward to that. He is not good at dealing with minor inconveniences. He was already bored with 800 channels. Now he will have…0 channels. That means he will be 800 divided by 0 times as bored. And we won’t have cable until next week. I may check into a motel by myself and claim I was abducted by aliens.

The flying saucer kind, not the lawn-mowing kind. Although for all I know, Salvadorans are already sneaking over Neptune’s border.

I found out I can use my cell phone to stream Youtube to my TV in Ocala. That’s really something. I can barely send a text message here, and the Internet is slower than Morse code in Ocala, but the phone service up there is so good I’ll be able to watch Youtube. Explain that to me. The phone should be lightning fast in Miami, and it’s not. The Internet should be faster than 1.5 MBPS in Ocala, but it’s not. The cell service in Ocala should be pretty slow…but it’s not. Whatever. As long as I can watch my machining channels with breakfast, life will be good.

Who am I kidding? Life will be magnificent. I’m not going to be in Miami! If I get bored, I’ll hop on my golf cart and tour the grounds with my AK-47. I’ll go lift something with my tractor. I’ll go for a drive! You can do that in Marion County! You can drive for pleasure! Unless you count riding my motorcycles at night, I haven’t done that since maybe 1990. Maybe I’ll just go to McDonald’s and ORDER IN ENGLISH!!!!

“I want two McMuffins.” “Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh…joo Juan A. MacMoofings?”

I’m going to change my name to A. MacMoofing.

Water. I should drink some water. I’ve been drinking it all day, and if you will excuse me for being indelicate, it’s all intake and no output. Too much work. Too much heat. I think it’s affecting my brain. I need to pump some water into it.

I guess I’ve wound down enough. Time to stop writing.

I may be able to write something tomorrow, and then again, I may not. If this is the last blog entry I ever write from this county, let me take the high road and say I will always try to remember my experiences here without heaving. No promises.

Like we Needed Another Reason to Fear Wal-Mart

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Message From the Beast: Your Continued Existence is Intolerable

I feel like God is getting me out of Miami ahead of a tsunami.

Did you see what Doug McMillon, the CEO of Wal-Mart, said about Trump? The President called the Charlottesville murderer a terrorist, which was appropriate, but it wasn’t enough for McMillon. Apparently, Trump was supposed to come out and say violent leftists who plague other people’s rallies are good citizens. He was supposed to limit his criticism to those on the right, and he was supposed to ignore the non-racists who showed up to protest the eradication of Confederate history.

Trump wasn’t playing that. He correctly criticized the leftist nuts who show up and riot at other people’s events. McMillon, who seems not to realize that some people who buy products from his troubled corporation are conservative, says Trump “he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists.” Obviously, Trump did condemn white supremacists. McMillon is just angry because leftist criminals got part of the blame.

What a coward. What a panderer! Unless he lives in a cave, he knows leftists have been beating conservatives in the streets for over a year. He knows most violence at conservative rallies comes from leftists who were not invited, and he knows leftists commit murders at their own events. Doesn’t matter to him. He wants far-right nuts to pay, but he expects Trump to say it’s fine and dandy if BLM burns a supermarket or beats up a reporter.

Everyone has conveniently forgotten Dallas. Remember last year? A far-left black nut named Micah Xavier Johnson killed five innocent cops at a BLM event, and he also wounded eleven people. Are we keeping score? The left is way ahead.

Have you noticed that conservatives aren’t much of a presence at leftist events? That should tell you something about who is doing most of the instigating.

Doesn’t matter to McMillon. Left good, right bad. That’s what Trump was expected to say.

I completely understand why some people think it’s a bad idea to honor historical figures who fought for (among other things) slavery. It’s a little strange that Stone Mountain is decorated with sculptures of Robert E. Lee and company. It’s weird that Robert Lee Moore Hall, the physics building at the University of Texas, is named after a racist kook. Maybe some things need to be changed. But wetting your pants and rioting is not the way to get it done. Demonizing people for putting the Confederate flag on their vehicles is not the way to get it done. Losing your mind and throwing a never-ending tantrum, like a baby with perpetual colic, is not acceptable in a civilized society.

Leftists need to be held accountable for their Nazi tactics. It’s more important to hold them accountable than to hold alt-right wackjobs accountable, because leftists have much more power. The alt-right is a little fringe movement which will never get anywhere unless leftists frighten white people into joining it.

The creep who drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd is guilty of a terrible crime, and no one in his right mind would try to excuse him. At the same time, how about not going to other people’s rallies and attacking them with rocks, pepper spray, slingshots, and poles?

The problem with leftists is that they think rioting is a mitzvah. I went to Columbia University ten years after the famous riots, and I can tell you for a fact that people who were there were proud of it. Many people who were too young to participate talked with awe about the riots. They wished they had been there. They admired the rioters. This is a sickness peculiar to leftists. They think they have a right to go anywhere they want and threaten people with force. When it comes to violence, leftists are caterers. You supply the party; they supply the beatings.

You have to wonder what kind of provocation the driver had put up with. There is no justification for driving a car into innocent people, but violence tends to generate more violence. If most protesters stayed behind the police and used words instead of weapons and fists to make their point, wouldn’t stories like the one in Charlottesville be less common?

Leftists have no self-control. What do you think would happen to me if I drove a golf cart through any ghetto in America, or through West Hollyood or Dearborn, with Confederate flags waving from the roof? Do you think people would smile and ask me to pull over and chat? Come on. If I merely got black eyes and broken ribs, I’d be beating the odds.

I don’t feel sorry for white nationalists or supremacists or whatever they call themselves this week. I don’t feel sorry for leftist thugs who turn out to fight with them. The nuts on both sides are disgraceful. I do feel bad for innocent white people, Christians, and conservatives who are now lumped in with the sheet-wearers and skinheads. We don’t deserve the PR we’re getting, and we won’t deserve the filthy reprisals Charlottesville will spawn.

I’m disturbed by the sudden campaign to get pro-white agitators fired and banned and so on. What would happen if the same rules applied to anti-white cranks? Al Sharpton would be on welfare. Louis Farrakhan would be banned from Twitter. A whole lot of black people would be fired from their jobs. Do we really want to force people out of the economy simply because they old repugnant views? If they can’t get jobs, they will still need food and shelter. One way or the other, you and I will end up paying for it. I say let them work. I don’t really care if the guy who aligns my tires thinks my race is a line of evil subhumans designed by Mister Yacub (a core belief of the Nation of Islam). Just align my tires, stay out of jail, and pull your own weight. For eighty-nine dollars, I don’t expect you to believe what I tell you to believe.

Well. Not my circus, not my monkeys. That’s something I have to remember. I am not behind either of the Charlottesville factions. As time passes, the carnal and the simple will be increasingly inclined to riot and commit murder over political and moral discord. You won’t see me wearing a football helmet and an umpire’s vest, swinging an axe handle and claiming I’m standing up for Jesus. I would never fight for Jesus. Not for one second. Say whatever you want about him. My religion doesn’t call on me to do violence in order to advance the cause, and I don’t care enough about conservatism to go out and act like a baboon.

Doug McMillon’s Nurembergesque letter shows how far America has fallen. Things are getting bad out there. I suspect heavy-duty, widespread rioting is coming soon, and the idiots on TV will back the leftists no matter what they do. There is nothing the rest of us could do to get them to excuse us or help us. We have already been adjudicated guilty. The only way to please the left is to cease being what you are. This is is how genocide starts. The left has a genocidal mindset. They think the earth would be a better place without us.

I can see why the Beast’s minions will want to behead people. The existence of people like me is a problem to the left. Rehabilitation is not going to work well, and besides, murder is more satisfying, because of the element of punishment. I’m very glad I won’t be in Miami when the gloves really come off.

For a long time, I’ve believed the Beast was not just a man, but a movement. I believe carnal humanity is the Beast, and I believe the Internet will be its voice until a man who embodies the Beast arrives. Have you noticed how articles are popping up, saying, “The Internet” says this or that? “Donald Trump Goes out with Crooked Tie Knot, and the Internet is not Happy About it.” The Internet is a hive mind, and it’s not a good mind. Who do you think controls it? Not Jesus. I promise you that.

For years, I’ve been saying that the Internet was Satan’s counterfeit Holy Spirit. Like the Holy Spirit, it unites people in thought and purpose. It’s a sad, pathetic counterfeit. It can’t work miracles or tell the future. It’s wrong all the time. But Satan isn’t ubiquitous or omnipotent, so it’s the best he can do. Now I think I’m being proven right. The Internet is turning into the mind of the Beast. Remember how the Bible says Christians have the mind of Christ? Whatever God has, Satan tries to rip off.

How weird will things get? I know they’re trying to microchip people now. How long will it be until we go past Google Glass and end up with smartphone-type devices that are implanted? How long will it be until we’re forced to accept the implants, “for the good of society”? Are we going full-tilt Borg in the future? It’s not beyond us. We really are that stupid.

If we could be implanted with Internet-connected devices, we’d be a natural step forward from the Internet of Things. We’d be the Internet of People. It would be as close to a superpowered, omnipresent, unified, God-like mind as Satan could ever hope to get. He could order his minions around with great efficiency. Flash mobs for every purpose! Go to this house, drag out this person, and cut him to pieces. Kill this politician. Rape these Christian kids. Will it come to that? I’ll bet it does, if God allows the world to continue.

It will be the Tower of Babel, rebuilt with Wi-fi. It will be something to see. And if it happens, people will love it. They will scorn anyone smart enough to think it’s dangerous. We love every gadget that makes life more convenient and destroys our privacy and free will.

I feel like I just predicted every important thing that will happen in the next twenty years.

All I want is to get away from the nuts for a spell so I can breathe. Sooner or later, if I’m still here, they’ll come for me and kill me. That’s okay. It’s unavoidable. But later is better!

I guess I sound crazy, but think how I would have sounded had I described today’s America to someone twenty years ago. Beatings over Confederate flags! Colleges telling white students and teachers not to set foot on campus on certain days! Bruce Jenner, castrated, proudly, at his own expense! I would have sounded pretty strange.

I do not care. I’m going to say what I like, and besides, I’ve already incriminated myself beyond repair.

Three more days, and I will have a new address. Can’t happen soon enough.

What’s that Noise Behind us?

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Just the Apocalypse

I’m starting another day of preparation to move, and it looks like it’s happening none too soon.

For a long time, I’ve been predicting an upsurge in persecution against Christians, white people, men, and conservatives, and it’s manifesting in a way that surprises even me. We just saw a vehicular murder in Virginia, by a purported white supremacist, at a rally convened by his kind. The left ignores the widespread and prolonged wave of beatings and murders white Christians and conservatives have endured, but they are seizing on this rare act of terrorism as though it proves all of their paranoid fantasies are justified. People are predicting “unrest” in other cities, and of course, that means riots, looting, arson, and violence against white people.

I wish I did not have to mention race, because it makes me sound like a white supremacist, but the truth is the truth. Leftist nuts aren’t picky about their victims. They don’t check ID’s and vet backgrounds. If you’re white, Christian, or conservative, you’ll do. I mention race because it’s the primary means by which victims are selected. You can be a strident Hillary supporter and be yanked out of your car and beaten just because your white skin makes you look like a Trump voter.

Americans don’t know the Holy Spirit, so they have no roots to hold them in place. We are stupid and fickle. We blow with the wind. We listen to every foul spirit that whispers to us, and we are very, very quick to change our positions on things. A few years back, the vast majority of Americans were against gay marriage, and no one cared about the Confederate flag. Now people are being fired from their jobs for refusing to support gay marriage, and no one seems to think that’s bad, and you can get a beating for having a stars-and-bars bumper sticker. People will actually say you were asking for it. This is happening in the same country that had a Dukes of Hazzard movie a few years back, with no issues.

We are a heartless people. By that I mean we have no core and no guts. That makes us extremely dangerous. If you think there is no way the masses could turn on Christians and start beating and killing us in the streets in the near future, think about what we’re already doing to those who don’t toe the PC line.

Miami is a rotten city. It’s full of ghettos, like a body full of abcesses. Between the ghettos, there are big swaths of Cubans, and Cubans have a real problem with blacks. Sooner or later, this place is going to light up. I don’t want to be here when that happens. I don’t want to be here today, for that matter.

When things heat up here, it won’t be pleasant for Hispanics and whites. Stopping at traffic lights will be dangerous. Living near ghettos will be dangerous. Being black around Cuban cops will be dangerous. When the people with no roots start tearing at each other, I want to be elsewhere.

The Holy Spirit is the only dependable source of morality and restraint. The alternative righteousness offered by the godless life is just a thin scab over an infected wound that can erupt at any second. If you don’t have the Holy Spirit to anchor you, you can believe or do anything, no matter how stupid or evil it is. Most Americans, including most Christians, never hear from the Holy Spirit. They listen to Oprah and movie stars and dope-addled musicians. They think “nice” and “righteous” mean the same thing. They’re like the big banyan trees that fell over during Hurricane Andrew. They were huge, sprawling trees with wide root systems, but when they fell over, people could see that the roots were only a few inches deep. Typical Americans will torment and kill whoever the devil tells them to. Don’t doubt it. It’s coming. It already happens in ghettos, and evil that succeeds first in ghettos eventually spreads to the rest of the nation. Look at rap, crack, illegitimacy, and marijuana.

The move north is a huge job, and I’ve been much more nervous about it than I should have been. I don’t believe in worrying. I use supernatural tools to fight it, but sometimes I forget, and then I feel agitated. I’ve been so caught up in the mechanics of moving, I’ve forgotten to feel a lot of the joy that should be associated with leaving Miami. This move is going to work. I may have to return a few times. There may be some humps to get over. But it’s a done deal. I need to focus on that so I don’t cheat myself out of the joy of escaping.

Today I’m focusing on that joy. I’m done with this place. I’m leaving a million bad memories behind. Most of the horrible ordeals my sister put my family through happened here. Most of the problems between my parents happened here. I had a lot of empty, toxic friends here. I chased poisonous dreams here. After this week, apart from rare visits, I won’t have to look at this place. I’ll never have to drive by a familiar location where something awful happened. I’ll never have to see the house in Miami Shores, where we lived for most of my revolting childhood.

Some day, I’ll have this same joy over leaving the earth. Right now I’m going to a place of temporary and limited refuge, and I’m extremely grateful, but no place on earth is free from curses. I want off this planet. Sooner or later, the nuts and murderers will come to us no matter where we live. When they get to my new home, I hope I’ve already move on to paradise. No mature person wants to live a really long life on earth. Clinging to this life is a symptom of spiritual underdevelopment. It’s like insisting on wearing diapers when you’re in high school.

These things are really happening. I wasn’t imagining things when I thought God was warning me about increased persecution. It’s here. It’s ramping up. It’s not going to stop. If I’m still on this planet, it won’t be long until I see the horrible things I’ve been expecting. The green shoots of wholesale murder and sadism are already visible. Thank God, I won’t be in a big city when the spectacle unfolds in its full glory.

I changed mailing addresses and subscription instructions. I have to get TV and Internet service in order today. On Saturday morning, the caravan departs. The movers will be on the road, and so will we. My dad’s old car will be in the hands of the Salvation Army, my truck will be in the hands of a shipper, and that will be the end of it.

Get ready for blog posts about tractors, manure, and rifles. This is going to be great.

Deranged White Male Christian Thug Terrorist Plows into Crowd

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

Let the Spinning Commence

I don’t know much about the Virginia rally murders, but I know enough to make a few comments.

First, this is a gigantic PR victory for the left. Minorities and leftists commit the vast bulk of terrorist acts and violent crimes in America, yet leftists persistently try to portray Caucasians, conservatives, and Christians as violent, ignorant morons who need to be watched, disarmed, fired, and controlled. The Virginia murders will be very useful to the propagandists. If the correct person has been arrested, the murders were committed by a white conservative male, and the left will do its best to connect him to Christianity. He was even driving the perfect propaganda vehicle: a Dodge Challenger. It’s a crude, souped-up car that appeals to psychologically underdeveloped macho men and which is styled to evoke memories of times conservatives miss. It’s a close relative of the Dodge Charger used in the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard. That car had a Confederate flag on its roof. Connect the dots, even when there is no connection.

Second, the left’s evidence is contaminated by the suspect’s background. The left demonizes Southerners all day, every day. It would have been perfect for them had the suspect been from the South. Unfortunately for the spinners and accusers, he’s from about as far north as you can get without moving into Canada. He’s from Maumee, Ohio, which is located just south of Lake Erie. An enlightened Yankee, committing a racist crime…not compatible with the party line.

Third, this entire event lies outside the purview of Christians, even though the left wants to make white nationalism justification for persecuting us. Like a friend of mine says, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” Christianity is not compatible with white nationalism or any other type of identity politics. It doesn’t matter if some of the racist nuts claim they’re Christians. The movement is not primarily Christian, and it does not have the backing of white Christians, generally.

This was not a battle of Christians versus “progressives.” It was two collections of Satan’s drones, pitted against each other for his amusement. Christians don’t have a dog in this fight.

Trump isn’t involved, either. Maybe most white nationalists support him. So what? Most people convicted of violent crimes support Democrats, as do most terrorists. Doesn’t make Hillary Clinton a murderer or terrorist.

People who go to rallies like this one, on both sides, should leave Jesus out of it. They certainly aren’t consulting him when they plan these disgraceful events.

The murderer is a wicked buffoon, and prison is better than what he deserves. The people who showed up at the rally to pepper-spray white supremacists are the devil’s puppets. White supremacy is a joke, and the tiny fringe group that keeps it alive is an embarrassment to everyone who uses sunblock. They need to go back to their Section 8 housing and part-time jobs at convenience stores and beg God for forgiveness.

As for Christians, this isn’t our party, but we will be presented with the bill. We are the Clevingers of the world. It doesn’t matter what we do or say. We will be blamed and attacked. “Christians are the problem” isn’t the conclusion. It’s the premise. Just like, “Jews are the problem.”

I had a funny thought the other day. I realized I would rather live among white racists than among progressives or in areas thick with minorities. At least white racists wouldn’t come after me. They wouldn’t see me as a threat; they would tend to give me the benefit of the doubt. I would be hassled less, unless I were put in a position where I had to speak up.

If I had to choose, I would rather live among alt-right nuts than in Baltimore. It’s not much of a choice, however.

People complain about “white flight,” especially in Miami, but the simple truth is that people leave places where they’re mistreated. This is why Chicago is full of black people; they moved there from places like Mississippi. “Black flight” isn’t even a recognized phrase, and if it were, who would criticize? I certainly wouldn’t. I would not want to live in a place where I had to get off the sidewalk when a person of another race passed by.

Here’s something else that’s sort of funny. A black friend will be house-sitting in my dad’s Miami house after we move. I’m going to leave him a signed document saying he has the right to be in the house, and I’ll put my contact information on it. Cubans have serious racial issues, and Cuban cops here are just too itchy. One hassled him the other day while he was riding his bicycle through the white neighborhood where he lives. I don’t want to have to come back to Miami and bail him out of jail once a week, because he has been arrested for serious crimes such as having an unregistered bicycle or walking on the wrong side of the street.

It would have been nice had integration been more successful, but we seem determined not to get along.

I’m moving to an area where, as far as I can tell, there are a lot of nice Christian people with good intentions. Supposedly, there is not much racial tension there. Hope I’m right.

To get back to the Virginia nightmare, I won’t bother to watch the news. I don’t have to. With leftists in charge, I can predict it.

Logistics

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Goodbye, in Stages

It is becoming obvious to me that I know very little about the process of moving from one home to another.

For several weeks, I’ve been packing boxes, giving things away, and throwing things out. I’ve interviewed movers. I’ve found out about having machines and vehicles moved. After all that, I keep learning new things.

Today the movers told me the job takes three days. They pack on one day, shove things into the truck the next, and move on the third. I thought it was a one-day move, which was actually fairly stupid on my part. The drive alone will take them five hours.

If they have a whole day to pack, it takes a load off my mind. It means I don’t have to be prepared perfectly. If there are things I can’t deal with, I can turn them over to the movers.

The Internet issue is still alive. I found an outfit which will sell me a wireless data plan which is not limited to 32 GB, but they haven’t gotten back to me with a price yet. I feel like anything under a hundred bucks is acceptable. The Internet is important. If anything were to happen to my dad, I would kill the TV service immediately, but the Internet is essential.

Throwing out my dad’s ruined 1980’s furniture has been like lancing a giant boil. He paid way too much for it (i.e. more than nothing), so he has always been convinced that it’s fine furniture. The other day I put his sawdust credenza out for the Salvation Army, and he insisted it was a quality piece. Here are some interesting facts about it.

1. The back is hardboard, which is the hard cardboard clipboards are made from.

2. The body is made from sawdust mixed with glue and pressed into flat shapes.

3. Drawers from fine pieces of furniture are held together with dovetails. The credenza’s drawers are held together (barely) by staples.

4. When you bump into the credenza, sometimes sawdust falls out.

I have the 1981 receipt for the credenza. It cost $1000, and it was a floor model. That explains the strange dents and scratches. This is what happens when a divorced man finds a new girl. He buys things no one should ever buy.

Right now, if the right person (someone whose name ends in “Z”) wanted that thing, a fair price would be $150. New. It’s one step up from the furniture they sell at Office Depot, only less durable and more offensive.

Here’s something to think about. His entertainment center is a nice set from Ethan Allen. It’s solid wood. It has three cabinets, total. It’s around nine years old, and he paid $1010. When he bought it, it was new. That was about 30 years (of inflation) after he paid about the same amount for the sawdust credenza. And the Ethan Allen set was not on sale. This gives you an idea of the magnitude of the swindle.

The credenza disaster took place during the Cocaine cowboy years. People in Miami had even less taste than they do now, which is saying a lot. A lot of fake Bauhaus houses went up during that time. They look like tiny versions of cheap concrete high schools. They were filled with glass tables and bright yellow couches. People kept live tigers on their patios, and when they thought of timeless elegance, they thought of orange double knit. It was pretty gross. That’s where the credenza was spawned.

It’s gone with a capital “G” now. I have no idea why the Salvation Army accepted it. I fully expected a rejection note and maybe a bag of dog crap on the porch.

I’m very glad he didn’t see me and my friend Travis dumping his 1987 27″ TV by the curb. I think he paid $1500 for it. In its time, it was the fanciest TV you could find at Circuit City. As far as I know, it was still working when we gave it the heave-ho. You can’t make an older person understand that a 70-pound, 27″ TV that can’t receive a digital signal is no good. As Travis said, even pawn shops won’t take them.

I thought that TV was great when it was new, but then I was also pretty excited about the 512K Macintosh that only ran when it had a floppy disk inserted. What a machine. It had an external floppy drive, and if you wanted to replace the drive, it only cost $385.

I digress.

This weekend, I plan to take my mother’s mink to the Salvation Army. I saw a website that said old minks could bring as much as $400, so I was hot to put it on consignment, but then I found out it was not the $400 kind of old mink. It’s a stole from around 1970, and they sell on Ebay, all day long, for under $30. Makes me wonder why women don’t snap them up. They still look good. I guess they don’t want filthy hippies throwing red paint on them and forcing them to draw their pistols.

If my sister ever hears that I gave away the mink, the ensuing explosion will probably show up on seismographs. Last time she mentioned it, she thought it was worth a bundle. If we were still communicating, I would offer it to her, but when you commit felonies, get yourself ejected from rehab (again), and fall into society’s cracks, you pretty much give up the right to be informed about the disposition of your mom’s worthless old furs. I won’t be giving it to her, so it won’t be going to the dump or the pawnbroker like my mom’s gold Rolex or my grandmother’s wedding ring.

I was going to keep the Mom-era knickknacks from my dad’s house, but the more I think about it, the more I think I should cut a lot of them loose. Some are not very tasteful, others won’t fit in a traditional Southern house, and the rest are reminders of a dysfunctional past. I would throw out the bed my mom and dad bought after they got married, because it was my bed during many unpleasant years, but my dad is still attached to it.

Maybe he’ll forget about it, and if that happens, it’s gone.

The way you look at an heirloom depends a lot on the way you were raised. If your childhood was happy, heirlooms are treasured souvenirs of a golden age. If your childhood was like mine, you will want to burn most things that are over ten years old. The very thought of burning them is refreshing and redolent with hope.

I’m torn about discarding my sister’s college diploma. Obviously, she doesn’t care about it, or it wouldn’t have been lodged in my dad’s house since 1981. She didn’t care about her law school diploma or oath of attorney, which I set out for her when she moved out of the house she ruined. Those went to the dump. She left them where I put them.

When you have an abusive relative or former lover or whatever, keeping objects on which they have claims is like giving them permanent tickets to your presence. That diploma is like a beacon that gives out a homing signal that attracts swarms of stinging insects.

I believe in shedding my skin. Some bits of the past should be preserved, and others should be cleared away, fast. I gave away my mother’s clothes the week she died, as soon as I could get them in the car. If anything happens to my dad, his clothes and every troublesome possession he has will be gone in a week. All the things I wish he would get rid of…out. A house is not a mausoleum. The dead should be remembered and honored to some extent, but keeping things the way they left them is sick and evil. The dead move on, and we should, too. They’re not in heaven, burying their faces in our old jackets and sweaters.

I’ve rambled enough. Time to set about twenty pounds of my own clothes apart for donation. Goodbye, 1988. That jean jacket never came in handy the way I thought it would.