Thursday, November 30, 2017


Bare gnarled trees lined the sloped dirt road. Flat spaces on the sometimes gentle, sometimes steep  hills were marked out by low rectangles and squares of concrete. In those spaces were white marble markers. Gravestones from as early as 1844, possibly earlier. One grave was marked with a marble obelisk topped with a statue of Jesus.

The hearse preceded us up the hill; the only car allowed to travel into the cemetery. Carrying the casket 100 yards to the grave site would have been difficult. The hearse somehow made a turn so the back door opened facing up the hill. Everyone at the grave site had to walk.

We climbed the rise to the family plot and looked in the hole. It wasn't like other graves I'd seen, been a pallbearer to. It was a large gaping hole, torn out of the red earth rather raggedly. The dirt removed was piled next to the long side of the plot. The dirt was rocky and coarse. One section of the wall had collapsed leaving a scallop out of the mostly vertical side. The cemetery workers said there had been rain recently and that made the dirt heavy and unstable. The hole 6 feet or more wide, and it was also deep. About 8-9 feet deep. Because it was on a hill, and there was no machine to lower the casket into the hole, it would need to be done manually with wide straps. By the six pallbearers.

The mortuary men figured out how to get the casket in to the ground. Two 2" x 12" planks about 10-12 feet long were placed across, spanning the top and bottom of the concrete sides which were the borders of the burial plot. Because the boards had some flex, pieces of wood were placed on the family grave marker to shim it up. Would OSHA approve? Hell no. But it should be sturdy enough for the task at hand.

The morticians laid out 3 straps each about 20 feet long. They were rough and wide, like ratchet straps used for securing cargo to truck walls. The mortician told us to take off our dress coats. The best way to lower with straps was to have the excess strap length thrown over your shoulder. As you let it in, the strap would feed over your shoulder easily. Because where the plot was we had to set the casket at 90 degrees to the orientation of the hole. There was dirt on one side of the hole. At the bottom of the hole was a steep hill with scrub brush, going up from the hole was the continuation of the hill and another burial plot higher up the hill.

The top of the gold metallic casket needed to be at the top of the plot. I don't think it would matter to the occupant, but we were told what to do. We brought the heavy casket out of the hearse and set it on the straps. The ends were threaded thru the handles of the casket. I was at the head of the casket. I would have to balance on the low concrete curb surrounding the plot to lower the casket into the ground.

Now this was not all done in a vacuum. There were people from the church service who came to the grave side to watch. There was a group of 4-5 older women sitting on the cement curb of the plot up the hill watching. There were also people standing away from us as we were about to set to work. And what they were about to see was, at the same time, kind of sketchy but also pretty funny.

I have been a pallbearer 4-5 times. I was worried about dropping my friend's mom in San Diego on rolling dewy hills as we walked to the grave site off the 15 freeway. We were wearing white cotton gloves, which made gripping the casket handles difficult, and walking on sloped, wet grass. If we dropped it she would have slid down the hill and burst thru the chain link fence and joined the flow of traffic heading South.

This time was trickier. Behind me as I gripped the strap was a steep hill. We had to lift the weight, carry it forward, then make a 90 degree turn. Three people would have to navigate the boards and the 3 on my side would have to walk the cement beam. We started the turn. As we got the first 3 feet of the casket over the hole I couldn't get a good grip on the strap. The casket was not level. My end was lurching downward. Because it was a wide hole the straps were straining outward. I said I needed a hand. It was heavy and I was being pulled toward the hole. Howard jumped in to help and grabbed the handle end. Someone grabbed onto Howard and kept him from falling into the hole.

We slowly struggled forward, all of us precariously perched on a beam or board. As we got halfway over the hole the strain of my strap bent the handle it was threaded under. I was shocked. I said, "We need to go faster." I had no idea how the casket was constructed, but I imagined the handle breaking loose and the box dropping into the ground, pulled out of the other's hands by the sudden explosion of weight. We got it completely over the hole. I don't recall anyone saying lower away, but we started lowering it down.  Howard also had hands on my side of the strap so it wasn't necessarily smooth, but it was safer.

I was relieved when the casket touched bottom. I looked at the guy across from me and let go of my end of the strap. He pulled it out from the handles.

Nice brief words were said at the graveside. We all joined in to sing amazing grace. Purple flowers were tossed on top of the casket. As we finished up and walked from the plot the main topic of conversation was, "Oh shit, I thought we were going to drop her." One of the morticians or cemetery workers said they had seen coffins get dropped into the grave. That's kind of horrifying, but with the locks on the caskets, nothing more shocking would happen.

The funny thing was, we all agreed Theresa would have gotten a laugh out of the spectacle. Not said at the time but she would comment later with observations about the entire operation.

Rest in Peace. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

tRump Don't Care

I think the GOP Deathcare plan will pass the senate. I think the GOP are too cowardly and too afraid of losing the easy job of senator to really take a stand against a horrible bill and the dark money players who want the ACA repealed. There is a dark money group already blackmailing  Senator Heller of Nevada. They are spending millions to convey the fact that they will primary him if he votes against Deathcare.

The rich will do excellent no matter which way the vote goes because they are uber rich. Too bad poor people will suffer and die because of this vote.

What a fucked up political system where the people's representatives are held hostage by millionaires and billionaires.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Locally Sourced Hate in a Global Market

I'm not entirely sure, but social media, Facebook, Twitter, and similar platforms may not be a good thing for society. In addition to increased connectivity and speed of information in the world, they have also contributed to a rise of tribalism never before seen. Not just in America as observed everyday on FB, and Twitter comments, but globally.

Before the internet and before the explosion of social media if you lived in a small town and were prejudiced against a skin color or sexual orientation, you didn't have a platform to connect globally with people who believed like you did. You might be able to find local friends who hated like you do, but you weren't able to reach out and re-enforce your beliefs with like minded people. You created local tribes.

And in your local tribes you probably didn't greet new people and expose your bigotry and hatred immediately. You had to suss out how they would receive it before you released your prejudice. There was a knowledge and a certain sense of shame. You knew what you believed was not socially acceptable. So you hid it only to reveal it when you knew you were safe among friends. When you did tell people your hate you bridled at "Political Correctness." What others might call civil society.

With Twitter and Facebook there is no shame. No acknowledgement you should be ashamed of your hate. Your hate is no longer a just  local manifestation which found like minded bigots. You can join groups which share your small minded hate. You can partake in a echo chamber of re-enforcing belief where doubts  you might be wrong never arise. No contrary thought you might be wrong is allowed. Anyone who points out you are _______ is ganged up on and shouted down. Bullies win by sheer numbers and do digital high fives in posts when the oppressed leave the field of battle.

You take great satisfaction from calling dissenters "Snowflakes." But when your world view is challenged you react like the snowflakes you make fun of. You say things digitally you would never dare utter at work. You would never dare bully and threaten someone if they were standing in front of you. Thru a keyboard bullies are invincible.

How many people have been in the news because they lost a job for hateful racists or misogynistic things on social media? It happens often. The people become national or worldwide  pariahs in an instant of "retweets" or "shares." Their deeply held beliefs which they would have never shouted thru a bull horn in a crowd 25 years ago go around the world on a wave of electrons. They whine about their self inflicted plight with the excuse being, they were just exercising Free Speech.

In America you get to be as hateful as you want. If you deign to put it online you risk a backlash and all the repercussions which can happen. Apologies are hollow. "I'm sorry if anyone took offense." That puts the onus of offense on the person who was offended by your hateful speech, not you who said it. Silently you still think it. Salvaging your reputation is the goal.

In the current climate people are emboldened to speak vile things to the detriment of society as a whole. The coarsening of rhetoric diminishes humans and creates walls that stop us from understanding each other.

There are lots of self feeding tribes. Liberals, conservatives, vegans, hunters, all religions fighting over god.  The shouting they do at each other keeps them from understanding each other.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Everyday I wake up and turn on the Today show and wonder what fucking outrage this horribly unqualified president will do.
And it happens everyday the first 15-20 minutes are spent on some scandal or bullshit tweet he has typed at 3 am.
Do you remember when the news everyday was not about the president being and idiot or the government doing something to destroy America?

Because everyday the GOP are actively working to destroy America. They are rolling back regulations for clean air and clean water. They are denying the earth is growing hotter and man is a big part of it. Do they have another planet to go to because as far as I know this is the only one we have. If we fuck it up the cockroaches are going to be the only ones left to live on it.That and rats.
Every fucking day I despair and rage that this can't be stopped. I've called my government more in past 5 months than I did in the previous decades.
Why is that? Because I never thought the government even under the horrible G W Bush was actively trying to destroy the country so they can give money to the rich.
Every person *45 has put into a cabinet job is unqualified or has a hatred of the thing they now oversee. Who does such a thing? An arsonist looking to burn the country down.
President Bannon has said he wants to destroy Washington. And he's doing a good job of it.

So everyday I fight. I call. I comment.
Because I love my country and an orange fool who never wanted the job is destroying it.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Black cat update 2017

Yeah. I still haven't had much to say in this blog.
The government is a shitstorm because of the GOP and drumpf. It's 70 odd days into his presidency and the only thing I can really tell is he hates the job. Fucking despises it. Wants to be playing golf. On the campaign trail  he said many times it wasn't fun and he could easily be doing something a lot more fun. Being peed on by Russian hookers maybe.
He should quit.

But the little black cat has been coming around pretty regularly. Don't know where he was fed, but he's still alive. I went to England for 2 weeks. He was waiting when I got back.
So I'll feed this little freeloader. It's a very casual relationship. He uses me for food and gives no affection in return.
I let him.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Today America Died

What we once knew as a progressive forward thinking nation died.
The lockdown of information and the rolling back of good things government can do have already started.
It's going to be a long 4 years.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Little Black Cat Update

Yes. I've not been posting since July. I've been busy. or not busy or I had nothing to say or I had too much to say.

There has been just so much fucked up shit going on in the country and the world I was too disheartened to post funny or scathing rants about drumpf, or the grabbers of pussy party, or Syrian war or the thought that there could be world war 3 because of a tiny handed baby twittering in the White House.

It's all so horrible.

So I'll give you an update on the feral cat I've been feeding for about a year.

He fucked off.

Granted, I was just the human sap who was feeding him when he would show up at my door, but since about mid September he's only shown up twice. I kept going to the kitchen door many times in about a 3 hour period from 4-7 pm looking to see if he was stoically waiting for me. He never meowed. Feral cats don't do that I guess. But he would stand like a statue and then move away as I came out with a dish of wet cat food.

But it became weeks since I'd seen him. I rarely ever saw him in the neighborhood in the daytime, he was that elusive. After about a month I stopped worrying about him. I'd maybe open the kitchen door a  couple times in that block of time. But since it's now cold I didn't leave the door open and look for him to come to the screen door like a shadow to wait for food.

I gave up. He was either dead or had found another source of food.

Then before thanksgiving the cat shows up at the door. I still had several cans of food, but you ungrateful little fuck, you could have called to tell me you were alive! Sent a text or something. I gave him the food because I'm not a monster, but I gave it to him ironically.  

Then last week I look out my kitchen window and he's laying in the front yard and occassionally looking at the window nonchalantly. Fuck you, cat. You think you can come expect a free meal after you go on a 3 week meth binge?

So I gave him food. Shit! I'm in an abusive relationship with a cat.

Haven't seen him since.