Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I stole this from Bloodletting. Good stuff:

The following are some things that I learned first in the Marine Corps, and again in medical school. Some, if not many, are not my own ideas, but are from outside sources that are applicable to both.

Mistakes get people killed.
Sucking chest wounds are nature's way of telling you to slow it down
People can bleed a lot, but not forever
Often, the best move you can make is to keep your mouth shut
They wouldn't yell at you if they didn't care
People function better if they are rested and fed
You need the people under your command more than they need you
Lead from the front
Share in dangers and hardships
If you aren't bloody and tired by the end of it, you had it easy
Life is fragile and fleeting
The important things are simple, but the simple things are hard
Extend your kindness to strangers, but stay your trust in them.
strong stimulation of the vagus nerve can induce bradycardia and syncope..which can be beneficial or detrimental depending upon your aims
It's not the dangers you see that you have to worry about, it's the ones you don't detect.
Anunciate when giving verbal orders
Keep your tools clean and ready
Keep yourself clean and ready
You must be prepared to meet the best and worst of the human condition
Life's got nothing to do with what you deserve
Death has even less.

I wish I'd written that.


Monday, May 29, 2006


Well, it's graduation time again. A few days ago, the son of a friend of mine was on the front page of the local paper in his graduation outfit... man oh man but that lady was so pround of that kid that I thought that she would just bust. The boy was just standing in line, flirting with some honey who was in front of him with one of those sashes that means that she's smart... and I could just feel what was going through that guy's head. He wanted to start a chant..... toga... toga.... toga.... toga.

OH YEAH. GRADUATED! Next stop... Georgia Tech. Didn't want to go to UF. Hell, that would mean that he'd have to come home on the weekends to wash his dirty jeans. All he wants is a better allowance. The rest of the world will sort itself out.

My first year teaching I was the 12th grade sponsor at South Sumter High School in Bushnell, FL. That graduating class was full of those sort of guys. Oh, man. When I showed up the last day of school (I was a half honors English/ half advanced math... algebra 2,3, and 4 as well as one section of calculus and trig.... actually serious college bound stuff)... the last day of classes just before graduation but after finals and grades and all that scarey stuff but finally... finally.... graduation time. My prankster 12th graders had managed to take the windows out of my second floor classroom and hoisted my precious lovely Jaguar XK-E up to my classroom where it would be with me all the time rather than be down in the lonely teachers' parking lot. Then replaced the windows so that I would find the car there without knowing how it got there. Oooooh... Thanks guys.

Toga... toga.... toga.

Look at what happened down south this last weekend. Ha!


Thursday, May 25, 2006


I'm sitting at my desk, rereading West's "The Judge" and listening to a rendering of Send in The Clowns from Lincoln Center on the radio... and I'm thinking that we, as a culture, are so much less than what we once were and could currently become. West was such an elegant lady: so thoroughly the artist, completely the Elegant Dame. Why can't we make women like that any more? Surely.... surely....


Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I went to see The DaVinci Code this afternoon. There were a number of positives.
Good movie. Well rendered. True to the book. Beautiful Hans Zimmer music. Astounding visuals. Of course, a lot of people will want to politicize it. At least, that seems to be the preliminary buzz about it, but I don't think that take has legs.

There are two things working here: first of all, a lot of guys (like me I suppose) pass themselves off as failed Catholics and have heard a whole lot about Opus Dei and the Knights Templar and there has always been that undercurrent of feminism for the movie to work through. There is a major component in the Church that is femenicentric. The whole cult of Madonna worship is a big part of Catholicism. That will push all kinds of emotional buttons for any Catholic.

And... who knows. I know that when I visited the Louvre a few years ago my whole mission in life was to see the DaVinci things and see the smiling lady. And, when Katie and I took the boat on a circumnavigation I made a point of stopping in Malta so that I could visit all those piles of rock that were the basecamps of the Knights Templar.

Well worth the seven bucks.


Monday, May 22, 2006


I was up in Sanford last weekend and went by Otters at the marina to see what was what. The new marina owners have painted everything but so far it just looks cosmetic. But what can they do except tear it down and start over and they're not likely to do that. Anyhow, it's painted but not much else. The inside looks like it's being redecorated. Elaine says that they will be surprised when they get to the plumbing and electrical. My feeling is that... it's being painted. We'll see. In the meanwhile, the old Otters crew of babes has been cast to the wind... and that was a very special group of women who were mostly led by The Redhead (Elaine)... and held together by her through a long series of catastrophes. She's now gotten her real estate peddling ticket and says that she wants to sell condos over on the beach. Sigh.


Sunday, May 21, 2006


Excellent article in the Tampa Triune today on the immigration issue. The truth is that most of the illegals I've met are just here working and they think that "home" is back where their mamas live. Here's the link.



I don't have any messages to go with the picture from Clockwork Orange. I just love the movie, and when I saw it on Alice's blog I couldn't resist stealing it. Let's go to a milkbar and get some Beethoven into our systems. Oooooh. Now THAT's dangerous!


Saturday, May 20, 2006


As some of you know, I live on a boat. At least, I own a boat... and I'm supposed to live on it. But I admit that lots of times I'm tied to the shore. For the last half a year I've worked for the State with an agency that housed me in a little place called Winter Haven, Florida... with an apartment in an old classic property in Lake Wales... about seventy five miles to the marina where my boat is sitting, waiting for me to get my shorts on and get out of town. Lake Wales is an interesting place in that there are a lot of migrant laborers on town to do agricultural work and to do construction labor in the booming Orlando area.

Because I've cruised my sailboat extensively on the Gulf coast of Mexico I've met lots and lots of Mexican folks of all classes... and I can say with some certainty that they are pretty much like any other large group of men: some good and some bad, some civilized and some brute, mostly hard workers and conscious of their honor, quick to defend their women, children, and their own notions of right and wrong. Lots of them live in the area of Lake Wales that I am currently camping in. Most of them without immigration papers, here just for the work, their families back in Mexico.

The other day, when I was walking back to the apartment building I'm in, I made the mistake of walking into the lobby during President Bush's speech concerning immigration on the cable TV in the lobby. Needless to say, there was a crowd of illegals there watching his words in silence. I stood to join them, dividing my attention between the President and the crowd of potential citizens glued to the set. One fellow was cursing the TV violently. The manager, a white woman with children staying with her in the apartments, came out and told him to cool it. She may be American but she knew exactly what puta and chingar meant and she wouldn't have it. The guy apologized but he didn't stop cursing, both in English and in Spanish. He'd been drinking and was wearing work clothes. A fruit picker.

Another resident, a black restaurant worker and a native Floridian, told him to shut up... that cursing was "unseemly". The Mexican guy thought he had said "unmanly" and in an instant the two of them were rolling around on the floor, coating everything with blood from the Mexican's pocket knife and the American southern black's straight razor. In the end, the police had to settle the politics of the incident and both of the guys would be lodged in the Polk County jail after getting out of the hospital. The Mexican guy will get a bus ticket back to Sonora when he gets out and the black guy will probably do thirty days in the county jail for displaying a weapon. Both of them were treated for knife wounds. None fatal.

Lessons learned: First of all, the local man learned that while Mexican guys may have some courtesy to women they are passionate and willing to allow their tongue to overload their tails, no matter what the cost. And second, the Mexican guy learned that they aren't the only ones to keep a friend in their pocket. Older Southern American blacks have a habit of carrying a straight razor in their back pocket and they learn how to wield them at an early age. That's why you see so many older black men with long scars on their arms and faces. The same sort of scars that the Mexican patriot will be taking with him back to Mexico.

I need to get back to my dock home. Life here on dry land is dangerous.


Friday, May 19, 2006


About four years ago a French team published some data in the journal Nature about a skull they had found in Chad that has become known as the Toumai find. 6 to 7 million years old. The find may be the "missing link" that is one of the holy grails of archaeology: the link between monkeys and men. At the time the French guys didn't have enough bones to determine if the thing stood erect or not, but they were pretty sure it was male. Sounds like some of my old fraternity brothers at UF. Now there's some indication that there might have been some cross breeding between these eary hominids and the simian branch of the tree. Gee... I wonder what those beauties looked like. Here's the link.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006


You know... I miss Warren Zevon bad. I mean... bad. I got an XM radio for my car last Christmas and now I'm losing the will to listen. Used to be that I'd listen to FM radio and cruise down the interstate with the help of classical music thanks to Public Radio. They were lamely liberal and said all kinds of dopey things inbetween playing cuts of Mozart and Phillip Glass, and I would wake up in time to go in the house and take a shower. But the XM radio has a channel of nothing but conservative talk radio and I have caught a habit of listening to talk... Not the big time colorful guys like Limbaugh and stuff like that, where the guy clears all his issues with my dead mother (bless her) then agrees with everything that my friend Tom Leete says. Noooo... now days the talk radio has to be "topical" or some shit like that. I tell you, it drives me crazy to try to understand as I listen to Hannity & Combs and there are a panel of people that I've never heard of arguing and screaming at each other about something that it's perfectly obvious to me that none of them understand but they are arguing and carefully toeing party lines. It all seems like such total crap. If you ask me... their shit's fucked up. Thanks Warren.


Saturday, May 13, 2006


There's an outbreak of some sort of South American parasitical disease that is working its way north that they're calling Morgellon's disease. The first pic is a 60X shot of a fiber protruding from the original lesion. The photo on the right is a 10X pic of the lesion on the lip of a sufferer with this fiber sticing out of it. Untreatable directly and is currently treated symptomatically. What the hell is that? Fibers? Nobody knows. Actually, the doctors have no idea what the stuff is and there is no treatment protocol as yet. No data. No cure. No clear procedures of treatment. Doesn't appear to be catching but people are getting it in greater and greater numbers. Classic horror stuff. Some sort of fibers seem to come out of the lesion that looks like pieces of spagetti sprouting out of your skin. Ugh. And itches like crazy.

In my youth I spent a lot of time wandering around the Amazon basin in search of ibogaine and other sanity cures thru better pharmacology. At one point I managed to catch shistosomiasis (sp.?), a parasitic infection of the blood stream with something similar to the heart worms that dogs suffer from. Fatal if not treated. Fortunately for me it was treated successfully and I could continue my attempts at self abuse. Ah, youth! Shistosomiasis presents as a living worm sticking out of a sore on your leg, a living parasitic worm that is carried by flatworm eggs that are in moving water and uses a vector of water snails to do the deed. I think that about half of the children I met in Brasil suffer from that. Easily treated... just like the treatment you give your dog for heartworms... but this new visitor from south of the border is landing here with no medical history and is a real puzzler.

I don't know about you but that scares the hell out of me. Here's the link.


Friday, May 12, 2006


Or something like that. These braintrust natives are like something out of Conrad's Heart of Darkness... bang! Want fuel? Just cut a hole in the pipeline. Duh! Here's the link.


Thursday, May 11, 2006


Well, I'll have to say that I sure saw it coming. I came over here to Polk County mostly because I liked the guy Lyle that I would be working for... retired air force major, ex-nuclear tech worked on the big bangers, the B-52s delivering the really big surprises to the enemy back in the dark old days of detente. So I carried wood for Lyle for a while here with the losers at DCF. Needless to say, it has not worked out. They sent Lyle down the road with neither a bang nor a whimper. So... I told them to put it where the sun don't shine. I wasn't having much fun anyhow. Thus the old pic of David Allan Coe... my god he's gotten older. Do I look that old? I guess so. I knew Coe when he was riding with the Outlaws back when neither of us had any grey in our beards. He doesn't look happy, does he? Another old fart looking for the rebirth of wonder. Hmm... I wonder who the babe is? More trouble I suppose.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Step up to the lab... and lets see what's on the slab. If you'll cast your eye to the modified blogroll you'll see that Miss Dana has been changing things a bit. I must admit that it is a trifle surprising to me to learn that the scientific spirit lives on in spite of the untimely demise of Dr. Frankenfurter.... but there you go. Here's the new link. Hit it Meatloaf!


Sunday, May 07, 2006


Here's a bit of info that will bring comfort to all of us guys who expect to have our coffins dug up in a couple of thousand years. Here's the link.


Saturday, May 06, 2006



Well, I went to Origin of Soul blogger Dana's graduation from
Lake-Sumter Community College in Leesburg,FL last night. It was nice but it did remind me that tempus fugits. I went to that school about thirty years ago, and I used to come over here from UCF and teach classes when our department participated in the UCF/L- SCC outreach program (which still bridges the community college programs to the university programs thank you very much)... but as I looked on the stage full of bigshots I realized that I didn't know a single person there except for Dana. Amazing. I enjoyed looking around at the kids and all the proud parents. Ah... all that expectancy. Hunger for the future. It really made me feel archaelogical. This rather dark photo (sorry) is Dana's mom and her cousin (I think). That's the star of the evening in the middle. Graduated cum lauda no less. Congrats girl.

The family types had a little party at a watering hole down on International Drive after the ceremony but I managed to get lost in the road construction and when I got to the intersection of Sand Lake Road and International Drive where I thought Oh Shucks was I couldn't find it. Oh, well. I really hate that part of town anyhow. Thousands and thousands of white legged tourist ladies from Ohio and dirty chldren with shrill voices shouting obscenities from rental cars as they pretend to be middle class. Shudder. But I'm sorry that I couldn't find the place. Let's face it... I'm an idiot.