Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Now this is what I'm talking about

The magnetic levitating train, or "maglev," can travel at up to 310 mph, and could compete with commercial airplanes, which cruise at about 550 mph.

This is exactly how I depict transportation in my forthcoming novel "Forbidden Seed(s). This picture even shows fall foliage in the background a la what you would find in my Vermont setting.'s nice to know I've got a direct line to the collective consciousness of the universe.

And pretty soon we're going to be seing these in the sky.

It's way past time to radically alter our views on transportation. Fossil fuel burning automobiles have outlived their usefulness and the only reason we keep driving them is because the guys that make them and make millions suckering us poor consumers into buying them are scared stiff that if we explore the alternatives we're going to kick them to the curb and give our hard earned money to someone else who's smarter.

Of course the more of these I see around Bloomington, the happier I get.

Hee Haw

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just how I pictured...

Amidst all the other stuff going on in my life right now, I have to marvel at the things that happen to me that can only be explained as the collective consciousness of the universe at work in full force.

This morning I spent my hour or so of plodding away at my latest novel crafting a scene in which my main character, Matthew, in his present incarnation as a World War II soldier, is lost and alone in a forest somewhere in Germany. In my mind I pictured him dashing from tree to tree until he comes upon a large stream. When I wrote about it, I had no idea if this place really existed, but after doing a search of Google images it turns out it does.

Exactly as I pictured it.

Is that weird or what?

Hee Haw

Friday, June 20, 2008

This is interesting.


Just to illiterate on the notion that you never know what to expect, this is what I saw when I heard a noise and looked out my front door yesterday.

That's right. A freakin' hot air balloon landed in my yard.

Oh well, I guess I'd rather have a hot air balloon in my yard than a meteor or some other form of space junk.

Here's some more photos.

I just wonder how long it will take NASA to decided to use my lawn as a landing strip for the Space Shuttle.

Hee Haw

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Write this down

Extraterrestrials -

Sometimes I need to write things down, just to remind myself of my belief system. One of the primary tenets of this concoction is that everyone needs a belief system. Not that anyone else needs to buy into my belief system. You've got yours (you do have yours, don't you?) I've got mine, and as long as we're all satisfied with what we got, wholeheartedly and 100 percent, it's all good. Right?

So let's start with my belief system that life is organic. Everything you do should come naturally. In my writing, for example, I have to let things happen. I can't force anything I write to happen anymore than I can force someone to agree with me.

That's why I don't plan much, or outline, or any of that other crap. When I allow my writing to develop naturally it will always come out better than if I try and force it into being something it's not.

This morning is a good example of this. I know that in order to be successful as a writer I have to instill a certain amount of discipline on myself and stick to my schedule of writing for an hour each morning before I hit the day job. What I have to accept is that some mornings will be less productive than others. Once I'm aware of this happening, I need to realize that it's probably a good idea to step away and move on. I still have the rest of the day ahead of me to deal with and one little setback isn't going to fuck it up. That's just the reality of existence. Life is composed of unexpected occurrences. How you react to them is what makes you who you are.

But what happens when those setbacks aren't so little?

Now I'm not advocating we should live life in fear, in fact I'm going to say just the opposite. There's nothing to be afraid of. But you (and I mean 'you' in the broadest sense of the word) need to be aware that big things, major life-changing things, both good and bad, can happen at anytime. And when they do, it helps to be aware of how you react to them. And part of that awareness is that resistance is futile. (That's twice today I've made a Borg reference. Am I a geek or what?)

Of course that's just part of my belief system. You can do whatever the fuck you want.

I'm sure I've preached this to others before, and I'm sure I've been guilty of not fully living according to this belief. I'm human and react badly to the things that happen around me as much as the next person--maybe even more.

That's why I need to write it down, probably on a regular basis, so I don't forget. Maybe one day it will sink in.

Hee Haw

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Greetings Extra t'ers.

Depression has officially set in. No crowning achievements to crow about, no "but look on the bright side," the feeling I had this morning simply sucks. I have no motivation to do anything at the moment because what's the use?

Wait, you say. Aren't you the guy who says there's always hope. The guy who says live for the moment. The universe is self correcting and will right itself in its own course. There is no success without failure. Perseverance is key.

Of course I know all those things are true, but right now I just feel like saying...

Fuck that.

I don't want to be happy right now. I want to wallow in my misery. I want to embrace the dark side of my soul and shout out "nothing matters."

"But there's always next year," you say, and, "time heals all wounds."

I don't want to hear that right now. Just let me wallow for god's sake. Wallow! I don't ask that you wallow with me, just don't make a big deal out of it. Let me be, I tells ya.

I'll move on when I'm good and ready, which may not be for quite awhile.

Until then...
Hee Haw

Friday, June 13, 2008

Openining up an old wound...

Greetings Extraterrestrials:

Man, if I was a horror writer I'd have a real go at creating some nice imagery to go along with the title I've given today's rant fest. Festering wounds and the like are great fodder for wordsmiths such as myself--especially if you write in the horror genre. I'd go with something along the lines of "oozing pustules" and "maggots converging for a picnic on scabby surfaces until there's nothing left but the shiny red tissue normally covered by my pasty thin skin."


Crimson inflamed infections eating away at my flesh like an obese family at a Chinese buffet.

That's why I don't write horror.

But that's pretty much what last night's game reminded me of. The nightmare of Larry Bird stealing an inbound pass and hitting the game winning shot in the last seconds of game seven in 1984 came flashing back in a blind fury as I watched the devil spawned Celtics come from 24 points back last night to take game four, all but extinguishing our hopes of winning it all this season.

I think I still have scars on my knuckles from that 1984 series, and emotional scars that will haunt me forever, the result of a lifetime of watching the Celtics cheating their way past us to get to the top. (And by cheating I mean selling off their souls plus the souls of their children and their children's children. Note to Danny Ainge: Those contracts are not easily broken. Remember Len Bias and Reggie Lewis?)

As I mentioned to someone today, it's a good thing I don't own a gun because I probably would have shot something (or someone) and definitely regretted it this morning.

Yes, despite tossing and turning in what little nightmarish sleep I did get last night, I still dragged my fat belly and bony ass out of bed this morning and managed to conjure up 5 or 6 hundred words to add to my gestating baby.

Listen: I'm not giving up hope. On Monday I fully expect to be back on here writing about how possible it is to take two games from Boston in Boston.

Until then,

Hee Haw

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What's botherin' me today?

Greeting Extraterrestrials...

You might think I'm nervous about tonight's game. Surprisingly I'm not. I hate to stick my neck out but I'm pretty confident about tonight's outcome. Look for big games from LO and Pau as well as more contributions from our role players.

But there are other venues for this kind of chatter.

Here's what's really bothering me...

Same stuff that's probably bothering anyone else possessing an ounce of moral indignity. Energy.

There are many types of energy out there, some good, some bad. The good kind I can live with. Spiritual energy, positive energy, the kind of energy that keeps an 8 year-old going at full speed 16 hours a day. Those are fine.

The other know what I'm talking about.

Check this out from

If you don't feel like reading all of this then here's my summary. The huge agri-foods corporations along with their buddies in Washington are now touting Agro-fuels as the answer to our current energy crisis. Seems to me that in spite of significant fallacies, we are being fed (no pun intended) a load of crap. ADM, Cargill, and Bunge are chomping at the bit to cash in on an industry they see as being the next big boon in energy - if they play their cards right. The part that incenses me the most is that they are marching under the banner of creating a cleaner environment and sustainable energy while relieving our dependence on foreign oil.

Don't worry, in the end they'll all burn in hell.

Myth #1: Agro-fuels are clean and green
Because photosynthesis from fuel crops removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and can reduce fossil fuel consumption, we are told fuel crops are green. But when the full "life cycle" of agro-fuels is considered -- from land clearing to automotive consumption -- the moderate emission savings are undone by far greater emissions from deforestation, burning, peat drainage, cultivation and soil carbon losses. Every ton of palm oil produced results in 33 tons of carbon dioxide emissions -- 10 times more than petroleum. Clearing tropical forests for sugarcane ethanol emits 50 percent more greenhouse gases than the production and use of the same amount of gasoline.

There are other environmental problems as well. Industrial agro-fuels require large applications of petroleum-based fertilizers, whose global use has more than doubled the biologically available nitrogen in the world, contributing heavily to the emission of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

To produce a liter of ethanol takes three to five liters of irrigation water and produces up to 13 liters of waste water. It takes the energy equivalent of 113 liters of natural gas to treat this waste, increasing the likelihood that it will simply be released into the environment. Intensive cultivation of fuel crops also leads to high rates of erosion.

Myth #2: Agro-fuels will not result in deforestation
Proponents of agro-fuels argue that fuel crops planted on ecologically degraded lands will improve, rather than destroy, the environment. Perhaps the government of Brazil had this in mind when it re-classified some 200 million hectares of dry tropical forests, grassland and marshes as "degraded" and apt for cultivation. In reality, these are the bio-diverse ecosystems of the Mata Atlantica, the Cerrado and the Pantanal, occupied by indigenous people, subsistence farmers and extensive cattle ranches.

The introduction of agro-fuel plantations will simply push these communities to the "agricultural frontier" of the Amazon where deforestation will intensify. Soybeans supply 40 percent of Brazil's biodiesel. NASA has positively correlated their market price with the destruction of the Amazon rainforest -- currently at nearly 325,000 hectares a year.

Myth #3: Agro-fuels will bring rural development
In the tropics, 100 hectares dedicated to family farming generates 35 jobs. Oil palm and sugarcane provide 10 jobs, eucalyptus two and soybeans just one half-job per 100 hectares, all poorly paid. Until this boom, agro-fuels primarily supplied local markets, and even in the United States, most ethanol plants were small and farmer-owned. Big Oil, Big Grain and Big Genetic Engineering are rapidly consolidating control over the entire agro-fuel value chain.

The market power of these corporations is staggering: Cargill and ADM control 65 percent of the global grain trade, Monsanto and Syngenta a quarter of the $60 billion gene-tech industry. This market power allows these companies to extract profits from the most lucrative and low-risk segments of the value chain -- hundreds of thousands of small farmers have already been displaced by soybean plantations in South America.

Myth #4: Agro-fuels will not cause hunger
Hunger, said Amartya Sen, results not from scarcity, but poverty. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, there is enough food in the world to supply everyone with a daily 3,500-calorie diet of grains, fresh fruit, nuts, vegetables, dairy and meat.

Nonetheless, because they are poor, 824 million people continue to go hungry. If current trends continue, some 1.2 billion people could be chronically hungry by 2025 -- 600 million more than previously predicted. World food aid will not likely come to the rescue because surpluses will go into our gas tanks. What is urgently needed is massive transfers of food-producing resources to the rural poor, not converting land to fuel production.

Myth #5: Better "second-generation" agrofuels are just around the corner
Proponents of agro-fuels argue that current agro-fuels made from food crops will soon be replaced with environmentally friendly crops like fast-growing trees and switchgrass. This myth, wryly referred to as the "bait and switchgrass" shell game, makes food-based fuels socially acceptable.

The agro-fuel transition transforms land use on a massive scale, pitting food production against fuel production for land, water and resources. The issue of which crops are converted to fuel is irrelevant. Wild plants cultivated as fuel crops won't have a smaller "environmental footprint." They will rapidly migrate from hedgerows and woodlots onto arable lands to be intensively cultivated like any other industrial crop, with all the associated environmental externalities.

Agro-fuel: a new industrial revolution?

The International Energy Agency estimates that over the next 23 years, the world could produce as much as 147 million tons of agro-fuel. This will be accompanied by a lot of carbon, nitrous oxide, erosion and more than two billion tons of waste water. Remarkably, this fuel will barely offset the yearly increase in global oil demand, now standing at 136 million tons a year -- not offsetting any of the existing demand.

The agro-fuel transition is based on a 200-year relation between agriculture and industry that began with the Industrial Revolution. The invention of the steam engine promised an end to drudgery. As governments privatized common lands, dispossessed peasants supplied cheap farm and factory labor. Cheap oil and petroleum- based fertilizers opened up agriculture itself to industrial capital.

Mechanization intensified production, keeping food prices low and industry booming. The last 100 years have seen a threefold global shift to urban living with as many people now living in cities as in the countryside. The massive transfer of wealth from agriculture to industry, the industrialization of agriculture, and the rural-urban shift are all part of the "agrarian transition," transforming most of the world's fuel and food systems and establishing non-renewable petroleum as the foundation of today's multi-trilliondollar agri-foods industry.

The pillars of this agri-foods industry are the great grain corporations, including ADM, Cargill and Bunge. They are surrounded by an equally formidable consolidation of agro-chemical, seed and machinery companies on the one hand and food processors, distributors and supermarket chains on the other.

Like the original agrarian transition, the present agro-fuels transition will "enclose the commons" by industrializing the remaining forests and prairies of the world. It will drive the planet's remaining smallholders, family farmers and indigenous peoples to the cities. This government-industry collusion has the potential to funnel rural resources to urban centers in the form of fuel, concentrating industrial wealth. But this time, there is no cheap fuel to drive industrial expansion and there will be no jobs for the masses of people displaced from the countryside. Millions of people may be pushed farther into poverty.[end]

Hee Haw

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How long can you hold your breath?

If you watched last nights game you, like me, probably have a pretty good idea of how to answer that question.

Memo to David Blaine:

Dude, your 17 minutes is jack compared to the collective amount Laker fans stopped breathing during the last quarter of game 3.

Of course, given the proliferation of nonsense on Lakersground today, I'm sure many of those fans suffered irreperable brain damage. Then again, there were those fans who already didn't have much to lose going into the finals.

I won't mention any names.

As sleep deprived as I am at the moment, that's as deep as I'm gonna get today.

Hee Haw

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The expansion of the Universe

Greetings Extraterrestrials:

Used in the loosest sense, I've grown accustomed to referring to the almighty authority that we all answer to, for lack of a better term, the Universe. I don't think I'm unique in this sense nor do I think it's very original--it just seems to make the most sense. The Universe is the most mysterious thing I try to wrap my brain around. I know I'll never understand it fully. It's scope is unimaginable and it's origins, while not scientifically a total mystery, are unexplainable in the broader context of 'why' over 'how'. Physicists can offer a fairly plausible, although incomplete version of 'how'. I'm not sure anyone can explain the 'why'.

Okay, enough of that crap. I just thought of it because I was watching something on the History Channel last night and it was pretty fascinating. What really made me scratch my head was the current theory of where the Universe is going and how it will end up.

Several trillion earth years from now, at some point will the Universe cease to exist? I find that hard to fathom, especially since my take on the Universe is that of not only physical, but spiritual energy. So where will all that spiritual energy go?

A new Universe maybe?

My brain's too tiny to know for sure, but my imagination would like to believe in a scenario that has endless possibilities in terms of what a new Universe would look like.

Too bad I don't write sf/fantasy.

Wait a second...maybe I do. Just not in the scope of anything that extreme. much to write about, so few skills.

If any of you extraterrestrials out there have any theories on this or know of any sources which might expound on this area of thought, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Oh yeah...big game tonight.
Go Lakers.

Hee Haw

Monday, June 9, 2008 worry?

Greetings Extraterrestrials:


I need to rectify something in my shout out to PDTP last week. Just as I predicted I forgot to mention JMK (that's JerryMagicKobe for those of you about to cut a vein). Please forgive my feeble mind. I have no excuses for my actions, they are unforgivable.

Moving on...

So you're looking down on this tiny planet of ours and you've gotten the impression that things are pretty fucked up down here. Entire regions of the world trying to wipe each other out pretty much for no other reason than financial gain. Despite dire warnings, the blatant abuse of natural resources continues, again strictly for financial gain, with no regard for the future. Torture and social injustice on the masses by heartless rulers abound, and the fucking Celtics are up two games to none on the Lakers. My response is simply "It's nothing we can't handle. We're fine. Really. Seriously. No need to jump in and try and save us or, probably more likely, wipe the whole stain out and start all over again. Let's everyone calm the fuck down let things work themselves out."

So... what does CH do when confronted with these and other crises du jour? Well, If you're here looking for answers to these problems and any others that may be weighing heavily on your hearts, then I'll tell you right now, this isn't where you'll find them. When Charlie Horse finds himself confronted with matters of a serious nature, he slips on his headphones and immerses himself into his little word of fictional tales and absurdities. The time for inaction is now. When it comes to the world's problems, for today anyway, I'll deal with them later.

Well, you say...

But gee willikers dude, isn't that the wrong approach? Shouldn't we be trying to do what we can to make our planet a better place to live? To try and avert the dire predictions on the future consequences of our careless actions? Shouldn't everyone be trying to do their part?

Of course.

And for my part, I think I'll try and stay out of the way for a little while. Yeah, I'm trying to drive my car less, trying to recycle, trying to eat local, trying to understand my fellow humans and all the multitudinous ways in which we live according to the customs we were brought up with. But in all fairness to me, which is really what this is all about, I've learned that sometimes no matter how hard you try, if you're bucking the master plan for the universe there's nothing you can do.

The trick as I see it is to figure out as much as possible how you as an individual can best fit into the plan. Figure out your part.

Here's my belief system in a nutshell. God, or whatever you want to call the all powerful entity that created this show, is like the composor of a great symphony. And as we all know, the composor has no control over how good or bad the performing musicians are. That part's enitrely up to them and to some extent the conductor.

Who's the conductor, you ask? Well, as is true in some instances, the composer conducts his own piece. So the the conductor could be this same higher authority of whom I'm speaking (notice the gender neutrality). But I believe the conductor could be something else entirely. Perhaps this is what I commonly refer to as our collective consciousness. The energy built up over eternity that guides us without our even being aware of it's existence. But no matter what, there will always be those screwoffs in the percussion section who just aren't paying attention and those few that no matter how hard they try, can't seem to play in tune to save a boxful of cute little kittens.

Okay, I'll stop now and leave you all with this one suggestion. Take it to the hole and guard the three-point line. Oh, and don't let something you can't control like bad officiating affect your game. Be strong, persevere, and stick to what you've been doing all season long that got you here in the first place.

Hee Haw

Friday, June 6, 2008

Can't win 'em all...

Hey Extraterrestrials:

You may think by the title of today's transmission that I'm going to ramble a bit about last night's game in which the despised Celtics took the first game of the championship series. Or maybe you didn't catch that at all and have no idea what I'm talking about.

Too bad for you.

I got an email just now from a friend of mine in Utah. It reads: I was thinking about you as I watched the game last night. My wife was so happy to see the "Devil" lose.

I replied with this: The Celtics destroyed the Lakers 148-114. The game was a profound embarrassment for the Lakers. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had only 12 points and 3 rebounds in his matchup with Robert Parish. Magic Johnson pulled down only one rebound. Danny Ainge of the Celtics started hot, scoring 15 points in the first quarter. Scot Wedman made all 11 shots he took from the field. The lopsided final score caused the game to be dubbed the "Memorial Day Massacre." Afterwards, Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar apologized to his teammates for his terrible performance.

For those of you who don't remember, that's how the 1985 Lakers/Celtics finals began. I don't think I need to expound on how the series ended. However, I will say that when all was said and done that year I was extremely relieved.

Now I'm no great predictor of the future. In fact, I suck at it. I've given up on trying to figure out what's going to happen from one moment to the next let alone who's going to win a series or when the next great planetary disaster is going to strike. I'm an idiot when it comes to planning. What I am very good at is reacting to events as they unfold. I don't crumble in the face of defeat. More like I find an escape hatch and jettison my ass out of harms way.

I don't think I'll get much into the discussions on Lakersground today revolving around last night's game. I'll stick with my pals on PDTP (don't worry if you're confused, there's really no understanding of what I'm talking about).

But this does beg a shout out to the contributors of that fine nonsense of whom I have found an unexpected and unexplainable bond. To re4ee, 24, MB, Alpha, Aloha, Unggoy, Exick, Kobe Queen, and they guy who started it all The Big Ruski, (oh, I just know I'm going to forget someone) thank the higher power for you laddies and lasses. You all make my days as a life form on this planet just a little more enjoyable.

Hee Haw

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day Two - Plenty of Social Dilemmas on the Horizon

Hey Extraterrestrials:

It's been brought to my attention that there are two major events on the horizon. These being: a)Hilary Clinton has conceded to the inevitable and b)Lakers/Celtics epic battle for NBA supremacy resumes today after a 21 year hiatus. Which one plays on my mind more? Hmmm...let's see...I'll put it this way, I won't be losing sleep over the elections.

Other matters of planetary importance:
Since I'm contributing thoughts to the universe, it seems these thoughts ought to fall more into the positive and uplifting category rather than the negative and destructive. Of course this may change daily. Tomorrow I may feel like blowing everything the fuck up.

I'll start with the challenge:
Like a spreading fungous, it seems no matter where you go there are signs of an attempt by the corporate superpowers to takeover and homogenize our way of life. Blatantly obvious are the areas of restaurants (e.g. Applebees, TGIF, Cracker Barrel), clothing stores (Kohls, TJ Maxx), general merchandise (Wal Mart, Target), and sporting goods (Dicks). Less obvious are the attempts to control our food source by placing patents on seed technology, effectively putting the squeeze on our nation's farmers to fall in line with this corporate mentality. The single purpose behind these corporate pirates are to suck us hardworking folk into handing over our hard earned cash for inferior quality goods, with fewer choices for stuff that we never really needed in the first place.

The good news is...
There seems to be a growing awareness of the need to counter this invasion with a determination to keep local business strong; even if it means paying a bit more for the things necessary to our survival. There's a dedicated resistance to the homogenization of our country as seen in local food co-ops, restaurants and coffee houses (brewing up excellent blends of fair trade beans I might add), among other things. The push toward locally grown organic produce and other grocery items is becoming more widespread as well (check out the 100 mile diet gaining in popularity around the continent at I'm fortunate enough to live in a place with a positive, pro-active attitude toward local business and healthy living. Downtown Bloomington still maintains its community atmosphere with many local merchants digging in and holding on (curse you Panda Express and Dunkin' Doughnuts) despite being sandwiched between corporate strip malls on both the east and west sides of town. I'm sure there are many other cities and towns around the country that are doing just the same, willing to fight to keep their identity.

Keep this in mind next time you decide to drive through a Starbucks for your morning caffeine jolt or think that an 89 cent beefy burrito is a suitable option for lunch. Isn't there another place owned by locals you could patronize that would serve you up something even better?

Hee Haw


Wednesday, June 4, 2008 this thing on?

Tap, tap, tap...

Excuse me, I can't tell if this is on. Can you hear me?


Okay, the guy in the front row just opened his eyes for a second and flipped me off so I guess I got your attention.

So what's happening on our planet today? Extraterrestrials, if you're reading this I'm here to say, how in the hell did you learn to read English so well? Well, if you are indeed out there and are able to translate using your universal language translation device (only $19.95 during this special television offer), give me a sign, preferably one that won't cause my heart to explode or blood to come gushing out of my eyeballs (I know how you extraterrestrials are).

On to the business at hand.

Just received a copy of "New Issues and Paradigms in Research on Social Dilemmas". I can tell already that this baby's going to keep me up well past my bedtime. I mean the message contained on these pages make the drama of a Lakers/Celtics championship series seem like a playground game of foursquare. And at $89.95 per, it's certainly a bargain on today's market compared to other comparable works. I'll chime in more on this later as I delve deeper into the mystery of paradigms and dilemmas and such. I know you'll all be on the edge of your seats waiting for further revelations on these and many other fascinating subjects as I pathetically attempt to create a blog that is both unique and intelligent. Many have tried, most have failed, and I'm sure everyone who jumps into this thinks they're going to be the next big thing in this freaky world of connectivity.

Myself, I have no delusions. I already know mine's going to suck like a Hoover. And I already know the Lakers are going to kick the Celtics butts. If they had big time betting pools on the planet Uranus I would definitely be plunking down my spare change on the purple and gold.

Hee Haw