Sunday, December 29, 2002

Desperately Searching for Jesus Herrera

Pronounced "Eh-zeus Eh-reh-rah," and feel free to roll your "R's."

Jesus was my childhood friend. Together, we must have walked hundreds of miles, getting up at the crack of dawn and setting out for gosh knows where. One time I remember - we set out at around six in the morning and walked down to the old Pabst brewery in El Paso, Texas. It was next to the train tracks and quite a way away from our neighborhood. Jesus knew a Mexican lady living near the brewery who fenced rare animals for illegal trade and we visited her that morning. While Jesus spoke to her in Spanish, I played with a tiny monkey on her kitchen table. I'll never forget that place, nor the stench she lived in, with all the animals stuck in cages, walking around in their own excrement.

After our visit we began walking the train tracks when a slow moving train came along. It took the two of us about ten seconds to make our decision to hop the train and ride all the way to downtown El Paso, a good thirty miles, give or take. We easily hopped onto a flat car and sat there, feeling our oats and enjoying the scenery as we headed to the downtown train yards. Passing through intersections, the cars waiting behind candy-cane colored barricades, we waved to the people, happy as larks. Later that evening, while in trouble for being late getting home, I was surprised to find my mother knew I had hopped a train. It seems that one of her customers was in the traffic while we passed an intersection and recognized me. Foiled again. I got the stuffing knocked out of me that evening and ended up enduring yet another in a string of groundings.

That was just one of our many exploits while walking miles and miles about El Paso. In high school, we didn't see each other as often as Jesus was a grade ahead of me and our school was massive. We still got together after school some days and on weekends the two of us eventually entered into a business venture of sorts, fixing aquarium pumps for a local wholesaler. Jesus and I raised tropical fish, bred them, repaired tanks and brought air pumps back to life. The salary was small but enough to keep two teenagers in candy, taco's from Chico's Taco's and tropical fish.

Jesus eventually met a woman. Linda was a product of a local Mexican family whom I would generously describe as, "TROUBLE." Her brother was a local hoodlum and drug dealer and her father was a severe alcoholic and drug addict. My other good friend Steve Willis and I tried to reason with Jesus, telling him to get away from her, but a bad case of hormones got the best of him and weeks later Linda was pregnant. The rest is a sad and sordid tale.

Jesus and Linda lived in the welfare section of town, having little money and a child on the way. Knowing he would not be looked upon favorably for getting her pregnant, Jesus managed to avoid Linda's family for the most part, until one day when he took her home so she could pick up some clothes. Jesus waited in the car while Linda was inside, knowing it wouldn't be a good idea to go inside with her. He eventually told me the last thing he remembers seeing was the glint off of a blued shotgun barrel and the flash as the gun went off. He had been shot by Linda's father, whom after that incident, fled to Mexico somewhere, never to be seen again.

Jesus was blinded by the incident. Shot directly in the face at fairly close range with birdshot. He was flown to an eye specialist in Dallas, Texas, and underwent surgery for several hours to no avail. When I found out, I suffered that typical fear of the unknown, avoiding Jesus at all cost out of my own fear of not knowing what to say or do. Months later we finally reunited. He was home recuperating from the accident and his spirits were remarkably intact. I always admired him for that and was amazed that he was so positive about the whole thing. I had more of a problem with it than he ever did.

In the months following our reunion, we would set out to cause trouble. We operated as a team. Jesus would have me point out some unsuspecting people at a local shopping center and he would hit them with his blind cane, pretending to be searching the area for obstacles. We'd enter stores and he'd knock stuff down, always getting away with it naturally, because he was blind. Afterward, we would get into my car and howl with laughter at our sick little exploits.

Surprisingly, Jesus ended up eventually living with Linda. Steve and I visited one sunny afternoon and were greeted by a sour miasma of rotten garbage and filth. Linda never greeted us, choosing instead to lay on her bed in the middle of the afternoon in evening wear. Dirty dishes were piled in the sink and garbage was overflowing the trashcan. Steve and I changed the baby's diaper and before leaving, pulled Jesus aside and informed him of the conditions we had seen, including the baby's diaper rash. Once again, Jesus was a pillar of strength and told us he knew something was amiss but did not know of the extent. He thanked us and that was the last time I saw Jesus for many years. I heard through the grapevine that he divorced Linda and actually acquired custody of his child, but our paths never crossed because I was heavy into the drugs and bent on leaving El Paso for more fertile ground.

Much later, while in the Navy, stationed in Philadelphia, I received a call from Jesus. He wanted me to send a plane ticket so he could come visit. "On whose salary?" I exclaimed and he laughed. We had a nice conversation and caught up with the years. He was working as a minister of a church and had met and married a wonderful woman whom he met through the Lighthouse for the Blind.

My last venture home, was when my mother died in February of 1989. I called Jesus from the motel I was staying at and he sounded happy and very busy. Again, our paths would not cross as I was leaving for New Hampshire within days and he had too many appointments he could not break. Since that day I have made at least a dozen attempts to find Jesus, all to no avail. I sent e-mail and letters to every agency for the blind I could find in El Paso and a couple of people remembered Jesus, leading me to two different ends of the earth, Tennessee and Mexico.

My ploy here is simple.

I recently have seen his brother listed in Raul Herrera and I were never as close as Jesus and I, but we still traveled in the same circles. Raul was known in our circle as, "Camel," due to his height and stooped posture. Last I had heard Raul was either in Japan or China. I also have seen a listing for Steve Willis, another of my close friends during that era and another story in-and-of-itself.

Not being a paying member of I am looking for someone who is a member to send these guys an e-mail, giving them my e-mail address and telling them to contact me. I am in hopes that Raul knows the whereabouts or has at least heard from his brother. At any length I'd just like to say hello to these guys. asks way too much to become a member, for the few people I would ever care about contacting. Many people I already have contact with have either never joined or have let their membership expire because has become yet another cyber-capitalist.

Personally, I think they are shooting themselves in the foot, as many people would probably join if their membership was more affordable. Anywho, if you are a member and are willing to help me out, please drop me a line and we'll go from there.


Friday, December 27, 2002


Hi folks!

It's finally over and we're starting to dig out. It may take me a while....

Good time to check the roof for leaks!


Thursday, December 26, 2002

Emberton is back at it again and full force I might add. This time he's writing about "The Curse of the Generic Man-Gift." His December 24th posting, touts the merits of giving creative gifts and steering clear of the typical Man-gift, such as the generic tie, socks or power tool.

Well, my girl Wanda must have read his site (or his mind) because she came up with what I REALLY wanted.....

A Radio Shack, Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM 2000 - 1/32 Scale Collectable radio controlled racer! This thing is fun! You should see the cats! It takes a little practice, but in no time I've got them running all about the living room and kitchen, retreating from this tiny, motorized, cat calmer.

Emberton's right! We men need some thought put into our gifts. Why settle for the typical Man-gift? If you want to make us happy, get us something we can have fun with!

Something irresponsible!

Something decadent!

Something that will allow us to go back to our childhood for a while, cut loose, let our hair down.

Women burned their bra's in protest, bringing the Women's Liberation movement onto stage in the 70's didn't they? Perhaps we should stage a similar protest of the generic Man-gifts, burning our jock straps or our Fruit of the Looms!

It would go down in history.

You first Dave.

Well Annie, I hope this will suffice....

I couldn't seem to find a .wav file of Perry Como singing, "Do you hear what I hear?" So, I hope Bing Crosby will be a close enough replacement.

Taking requests!


"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore!" ....a common response to a Google Image Search.

Yep, you guessed it. The image above was culled from a Google Image Search titled, "Christmas Day."

Go figure.

So, how are all the little Christmas Campers out there? Good and happy I hope! Didja get everything ya wanted? I did. Actually, I would have been just as happy with a tree, Christmas lights, warmth and the realization that I finally have an awesome life, but I got a bonus instead....

A radio controled mini-Mercedez Benz!

Cool beans. Wanda really knows me....I'm just like a kid.

The cats will never be the same however; what with the plastic ball gun and the radio controlled car. Zippy has sought refuge in the loft somewhere whereas Zooey has a morbid curiosity with the two toys.

Wanda and the kids are off to Maine and planning to stay the evening and wait out the storm. Meanwhile, it's already been snowing here, covering everything with a dust of white. This is SO much better than having to get through Christmas in the southwest, without snow. I personally can't imagine Christmas without snow. The forecasters say we're gonna get hammered with snow today, begining sometime tonight. They say we'll get anywhere from six inches to two feet in some places, which is 15.24 Centimeters to 60.96 Centimeters for our International visitors. Cool beans.

So, are you all focused in on the twenty-four hour marathon of "A Christmas Story???" You better be if you're gonna answer my trivia questions! So far nobody has had the intestinal fortitude to try them out. And speaking of television shows.....has anyone seen "Trigger Happy TV"" on the Comedy Channel? Oh my God! I saw that show last night and thought I'd get a hernia from laughing so hard. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Well, it's late...2:38 p.m. and snowing hard outside. I'm gonna cook a nice hot meal and settle in for the storm and some good TV. Life is Good.

Merry Christmas everybody!


Tuesday, December 24, 2002


I found this image on a Google Image search for "Christmas Eve." Hey! It's got that Christmas Evey kind of feel to it, don't you think? You find the damnest things on Google searches.

Christmas Eve is one of those wannabe holidays. How come you never hear of an Easter Eve or a Thanksgiving Eve or St. Patrick's Day Eve? Well, cause Christmas is BIG man! I mean it's huge! You don't hear people say, "Man, I can't wait until Thanksgiving comes," or "Is it Easter yet?" Yep, Christmas is THE HUMONGO HOLIDAY, enough that the day before Christmas rates a holiday in-and-of itself.

Tradition has it, in some American homes, that one gift is opened on Christmas Eve. Others don't have any gifts under the tree until Santa delivers them early Christmas morning. Still others have even different traditions, some family traditions, some religious traditions, some cultural traditions. I'd like to hear from others out there just to see what your traditions are.

Growing up in the desert Southwest, our tradition was to go to an evening church service, have a huge dinner and then pile into the car to go look at the Christmas lights and luminarios (paper sacks weighted down with sand and filled with a lighted candle). When we got back home, it was permissible to open one gift. I could have skipped church, the dinner and the Christmas light tour and just cut to the chase with opening a gift. I usually picked the one that shaking, feeling and guessing hadn't revealed the contents and it usually tided me over until early Christmas morning.

So, I'm feeling rather reminiscent this morning. Wanda, her girls and their friend Sam all came over last Sunday night and we went out to eat at a Chinese - Japanese restaurant up north in Lebanon, New Hampshire. The kids were bushed by the time we arrived and I couldn't understand why until I realized that they travel an hour to get to my house and then we were on the road another hour north to the restaurant. Why so far? Well, I had a coupon to use and we wanted to see the Christmas lights at La Salette Shrine, which is close to the restaurant in the bordering town of Enfield.

We had a wonderful time that evening and one of the topics of conversation while driving home, was memories of Christmas. The gang thought it was sad that I will be spending Christmas alone, but Wanda came to my rescue telling them that I am used to it and have spent many Christmases alone. So, they all pressed me to open one of their gifts when we got back.

Ah, memories, memories. I can't remember when I've been so happy. We had fun sitting in the living room, Christmas lights glowing, Christmas music playing and laughter resounding throughout a living room that is usually silent. I opened my gifts for all to see....a homemade calendar made in Kori's fifth grade class, a basket filled with all my favorite goodies (even Red Bull!), a plastic ball gun that the cats have grown to despise, a Ralphie tee-shirt titled "Pink Nightmare" of him in his pink bunny suit, Dockers flannel pajama bottoms (with pockets!), a pair of Nike sweat pants and a Nike shirt (picked out by Lisa), and another gift that remains under the tree until Christmas.

What an enjoyable evening it was. I haven't had that much fun in a long time. Sam was forever the gentleman and left a lasting impression on me, hoping for his return. So, here I sit on Christmas Eve, pondering memories. I have many. E-mails have been flocking in from my friends from every corner of the globe today, wishing me a Merry Christmas. That is so, so cool. I'll make it a point to send out my e-Christmas cards tonight sometime.

Got another hit on my Guestmap! Welcome to ......ah, er....Engelbert? A blogger from down under. Now I've finally got that continent covered. Those South Americans don't seem to have a sense of humor......where are they? I've sidelined Engelbert today as his site is reminiscent of the Emberton's wit and humor. Must be that Vegemite! The Aussie's are funny as hell. Hell, I'd have a sense of humor too if I lived on an island brimming with poisonous flora and fauna as well as kicking kangaroos. Welcome mate!

Well, enough for now. Hope you haven't been NAUGHTY!


Saturday, December 21, 2002

Well, good news on the career choice front...

Got an e-mail today from an education nurse manager at a local hospital I've been trying to contract with for a preceptorship. She wants to set up an interview with the nurse manager of a medical unit, in preparation for my clinical practice. Seems there is a hitch though....

They contract with me to sign on as a nurse for a period of time after my license is reinstated. Hummmm. Well, I guess I was a silly boy in thinking that you get something for nothing in this world. Working a medical unit for a year or two wouldn't be that bad. Hell, working shoveling shit for a year at twice my past salary wouldn't be so bad either.

Today I am taking a break from studying. Yes, I feel a little guilty about it, but my bamn drain is fried. I'm moving along at a pretty good pace anyway, finishing up module four of a twelve module packet, with an immense amount of reading. For encouragement yesterday, I surfed the state employment site, looking at entry level nursing salaries.

I am psyched.


Thursday, December 19, 2002

Dave's back at it, this time with a vengeance, on"So bad it's Good." Must be his food subjects that are drawing a rather small herd of roaches to his site. I've heard of computer bugs, but this is an infestation.

In one short article he lists the ingredients found on a shopping list that was found lying on a shelf at the local supermarket. Now that's human curiosity for you. I know I've done it, picked up someone's shopping list left in a grocery cart and read it. Now what do you suppose the interest is there? Can you tell much about a person from their grocery list? It's rather anonymous don't you think? Do you think this qualifies with other personal invasions such as peeping or eaves dropping?

The list included VEGEMITE....

Well, I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but Vegemite is definitely Australian. So, one could assume.....oh hell, we all know Dave's from Australia so that's no big Whoop. But seeing the name "VEGEMITE" brought back a very vivid and noxious memory for me.

I once worked at a treatment center with a real, authentic, Australian lady. She was attractive, rather earthy and very, very in shape. After days of watching her spread the dark brown jam-like substance on an english muffin, I finally could not contain my curiosity any longer and asked what it was. "Vegemite Mate!" she said, (Dave also expounds on this phenomenon in his December 9th posting) and offered me some. I only ended up taking a tidbit on the end of a spoon because I couldn't seem to get my nose past the smell. It was simply awful.

That ausie woman didn't remain employed for very long as she lost her job for sleeping on duty, but I'll never forget the Vegemite experience. I suppose wherever you go, each region has a famous delicacy that outsiders cannot stomach. Mine, from the Texas - Mexico border, is Menudo. It's a tripe soup that is famed to be a hangover cure. It's actually quite delicious but most people can't seem to get past what's in it, to try it. An acquired taste I suppose.

If you want to learn a bit more about VEGEMITE from another perspective, go HERE.

Well, I was up late last night, blogging away like a madman, so it's time to go study. Make sure to check out Dave's new and improved site!



Have you seen it?



God! She is sooooo cute!!!!

For those of you who haven't been following the EXCITING events lately, Annie of "My Secret Garden" fame, has bent to pressure and uploaded a picture of herself on RBJ. But you GOTTA see the picture! Oh gosh she's a cutie! The face any mother could love. Not quite what I expected Annie, but definitely a show stopper!!!

Well, if you haven't checked out the site, you just gotta....even if it's just to see Annie's picture!

Around ten this morning I got a call. It's Annie, speaking into my message machine, "Hi Jim, this is Anne...are you at home but not really?" She knows how I screen my calls because of all the telemarketers (and bill collectors). We had a nice conversation (meaning I talked her ear off) and eventually the truth came out...she had seen my blog and had called to tell me the pressure was just too much, so she had uploaded her picture on RBJ and before all those pleading e-mails had come in too!

Ha! Well, besides all that, naturally we talked about food, travel, and the weather - It's about 25 degrees Celsius there (close to 80 Fahrenheit) to our minus 12 Celsius (around 10 degrees Fahrenheit) and I felt myself getting homesick for Asia. I miss it, I really do. I don't miss the oppressive humidity but I do miss being in Asia. Annie is going on holiday come Friday and according to her recent blogging and e-mailing, it sounds as if it is a much needed break.

Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season to you Annie!


Once in a Blue Moon...

Recently, a person I care about, relapsed. Turns out (so the story goes) that he had been drinking and was hitting the crack pipe for the last few months. This is only second or third hand information, but he IS in treatment and that, at least, is a good thing. This news gave me a jolt and turned out to be a good dose of reality for me.

Lately, away from the substance abuse field of work, I've gotten into living more of a normal life without anything to remind me of where I came from and what my past was like. The shocking news of someone I care about having relapsed, brought me right back there to just how easy it is. It's just a thought away. Several events lead up to the thought, the thought comes, you dwell on it....remembering the euphoria, the release, the temporary peace from the wrenching pain of reality, then......

"Scuse me while I kiss the sky."

I know how he feels right now, or better yet, how he felt in the subsequent hours after the last time he used. It sounds like such a minor thing, to just understand. You see we humans, especially us guys, seem to want to DO something. All I can offer now, is my understanding. For me, I know that having been right where he is right now, if I would have known that people just understood, it would have meant the world to me. For me, it was all too easy to get wrapped up in how people perceived me as a failure or how once again, I had let both myself and others, down.

You see, that's all anybody really wants. To be understood, respected, accepted and loved. I understand him, respect him and accept him. Can't say I LOVE the dude, but hey, three out of four ain't bad! People who don't suffer the malady, "earth people" I call them, can't understand, no matter how hard they try. They have an excuse. What erks the hell out of me, is the very people who DO understand, condemning someone who relapses. Go figure.

Yes, it's a sad time for my buddy, but it's also a new beginning. A beginning of better times to come. These days in detox will serve to remind him of just how easy it is and no matter how damn strong we think we are or how much we accomplish in life, we are still vulnerable. Life (and shit) happens. Hopefully he will grow from this and move on. He's one of those really great guys that only come along once in a blue moon.

Stand strong my man!


Wednesday, December 18, 2002

My good friend and fellow blogette, Anne Charmaine of the famed "My Secret Garden" has achieved RBJ fame, sans fortune. Actually, this happened some time ago, but slow guy that I am lately, I have eventually managed to get around to telling all you fellow bloggers and bloggettes.

Yep, Annie made the Malaysian list on Rice Bowl Journals! She is official now, listed on page 7, ID #1368. But wait! What's this? No picture? Awww, come on Annie! The world wants to see YOU!

I think everyone should e-mail Annie and insist she put her photo up on the site. You can catch her e-mail link on her site by clicking HERE or following the link above, or by finding her sideline link on this blog under "My Secret Garden." We can all call it "Campaigning" if she asks what is up.

Oh, and by the way, I never suggested this....


Monday, December 16, 2002


Movie Trivia

Many have referred to me as the "A Christmas Story" guru.

I'm not sure if I can live up to that title, but I can say that I have seen the movie quite a few times, at least over fifty times easily. I recently got my drawers in a pinch when my girl Wanda posed a trivia question about the movie which I could not answer. So, today I set out on a fact finding tour of the movie that aired on TBS at 2:00 p.m.

So, after finding the answer to Wanda's trivia question, I got the idea to post some of my own trivia questions on this blog, to see if there are any other Christmas Story fans out there. If you are stumped, TNT is airing another twenty-four hour marathon of the show beginning Christmas Eve, so you'll have plenty of time to take notes.

If you chose, post your answers in an e-mail to me later and we'll see how you did.

1. What was the name of the magazine Ralphie stuck the BB gun advertisement into?
2. Name of the Lone Rangers Nephew's Horse, according to Ralphie's mom.
3. Name Ralphie gave his rifle in his fantasy of protecting his family from "Creeping marauders."
4. Name of the boxed product on the sink in the kitchen.
5. What was the name of Ralphie's teacher?
6. What did the kids have to give up to the teacher that she kept in her lower drawer?
7. What was the bully's name?
8. What was the name of the bully's toadie?
9. What was Ralphie and Randy's last name?
10. What time did the radio program come on that Ralphie wanted to listen to?
11. What song did the family sing when they were coming home from buying the Christmas tree?
12. What was Ralphie's preference in soaps when he had to eat soap for talking dirty?
13. Who did Ralphie blame for the four-letter word he said while helping his father change the tire?
14. Who stuck his tongue to the flagpole on a Triple Dog dare?
15. Who dared him?
16. How far did the kid that made the Triple Dog dare live from Ralphie and Randy?
17. Who countersigned Ralphie's certificate from Little Orphan Annie?
18. What was Ralphie's mom doing when the lamp broke?
19. What did Ralphie's dad eventually do with the broken lamp when it couldn't be fixed?
20. What grade did Ralphie get on his class theme about what he wanted for Christmas?
21. What color was Ralphie's theme?
22. What did the sign on the garage say at the site where Ralphie gets into a fight?
23. What color is Ralphie's eyes?
24. After Ralphie gets into the fight, where does Randy hide?
25. What did Ralphie say to the Wicked Witch when he was in line at the Department Store?
26. What smell did Santa hate?
27. What color were the bully's eyes?
28. What was the name of Ralphie's school?
29. Who gave Ralphie the bunny suit?
30. What did Ralphie's dad say he looked like in the bunny suit?
31. What was the name of the Chinese Restaurant?
32. What was the restaurant next to?
33. What does the head waiter do with the ducks head after he cuts it off?
34. What is the name and state of the fictitious town where this all takes place?
35. Jean Shepherd, the author, makes a cameo appearance in the movie...where?
36. What is the name of the department store where Santa is located?
37. What rhyme does Randy say when eating meatloaf?
38. What was moving in the teachers bottom drawer?
39. What is the name of the head "Creeping marauder?"
40. Who's dogs ate the turkey?

Yep, some of these are tough! You'll have to watch the movie for most of them, unless you're an old pro at the movie. I'll post the winner, or should I say the one who comes the closest to getting the most right, the quickest. Have FUN!!!


Friday, December 13, 2002




Christmas, for me, has always been a wondrous time. Aside from a quote-unquote "dysfunctional" upbringing, Christmas always seemed to somehow come together and it represented a very happy time for me when I was young. My parents seemed to call a truce during the Christmas holidays and the focus was mainly on me. I couldn't wait for Christmas to come.

I was a sickly child while growing up, burdened with asthma and severe allergies, necessitating a "fake" Christmas tree, lest I break out in hives or go into a coughing fit. I hated both being sickly and having a fake tree. To me, Christmas just wasn't Christmas unless you had a real Christmas tree, but I learned to enjoy Christmas all the same. Rather than a fake GREEN Christmas tree, to make matters worse my mother had purchased one of those aluminum jobs, starkly silver with a multi-colored, revolving light trained on the tree.

Eventually, I got over the asthma and the allergies and managed to make getting a real tree a major priority during Christmas. I moved out of my home at seventeen and every Christmas I had a tree....real, green, pine smelling and replete with falling needles. Hell, I loved Christmas.

My most memorable Christmas was in Seattle, Washington in 1977. Typically, I was alone during Christmas but had managed to get a real tree and drag it into my dark, dingy basement apartment on seventh and Spring street on Capitol Hill in Seattle. I was working at Providence Medical Center and during my rounds of the floors, making deliveries for the pharmacy one day, a friendly nurse on one of the floors who was always pleasant to me, asked me to join her family for Christmas.

I had turned down her offer at Thanksgiving and this time she wouldn't take no for an answer. She knew, from previous conversations, that I was alone and away from my family. So, eventually I consented and on Christmas eve, I showed up to her home on Mercer Island bearing a small gift that she had requested I bring: An ornament inscribed with the date and my name to hang on their tree. I remember being nervous and typically overdressing for the occasion. I've never been the social type.

I arrived early and upon being greeted and ushered inside, I was suddenly awestruck at the first sight of their Christmas tree. It wasn't any bigger than most, it was just the fact that you could hardly see the tree for all of the ornaments! So, winter coat taken off and glass of eggnog in hand, I was left to survey their tree while my hosts busied themselves in the kitchen.

Each ornament was dated and bore the name of the person or persons who gave the ornament as a gift.

I spent the better part of an hour looking through ornaments that dated back to the thirties and forties. Some of the ornaments were homemade, others were store bought, but all were inscribed....

"Mike and Betty - Christmas '69"

"Merry Christmas 1935 - Tookie & Sugar"

....and so on. I was amazed. In the first three hours I was there, family showed up to the house who had flown in from Florida, Nebraska, California, Mississippi, and other states all over the U.S. This was tradition at it's finest. Members of the family welcomed me and we all sang Christmas carols. Instruments came out from hiding and members of the family pieced a band together and played all night long. We drank eggnog, laughed, told stories, sang, played and ate good food. Then finally came the major event....

We each added our ornaments to the tree.

My ornament, a brass Cartoon Cat with a red ribbon around it's neck, was inscribed with a Christmas greeting, my name and the date. It hung there on that tree, amidst relatives, friends and acquaintances representing over fifty years of tradition. Not a Christmas goes by that I don't think of that ornament hanging on their tree, wondering if anybody asks, "Who is Jim Anderson?"

For the last four or five years I have not celebrated Christmas much. No tree, no decorations, no lights. It has been a sad time for me in most cases, in and out of relationships, going through bad times, feeling alone. The last of my true family died in 1989. I have no children. Christmas, to say the least, hasn't been what I would have wanted it to be.

This holiday season, Christmas was brought to me. Wanda showed up, Santa hat on her head, Christmas tree jammed into the back seat of her little car, decorations and lights overflowing their box. I didn't know what to say but I could feel that sprit inside of me, welling up and filling me with joy. I wanted to cry but guys aren't supposed to do that.

We decorated the whole living room, set up the tree with blinking, itchy lights, and hung ornaments. Each of the ornaments had significance and each was explained as we listened to Christmas music and my Christmas spirit was finally rekindled.

We all need to have times like that I think, special memories that make us want to cry because the feeling is so good, warm & secure. I'm very thankful this Christmas season and sentimental fool that I am, I'm thankful for all the memories that I have to cherish.


Thursday, December 12, 2002


Alias: Professor Quartermass, Zebulon Mysterioso and many other fine, North Irish names. No doubt you will be making many resolutions on this fine day....after a few pints of Guinness of course!

For your birthday Chris, I've dug up some famous events that have happened on your special day.....

On this day in 1719 - The Aurora Borealis was first recorded.

On this day in 1804 - Spain declared war on Britain.

On this day in 1863 - Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter famous for The Scream was born.

On this day in 1896 - Guglielmo Marconi gave the first public demonstration of wireless communication in London. On the same day in 1901 he made the first transatlantic radio transmission from Cornwall to Newfoundland.

On this day in 1911 - My adopted mother, Marie Opal Sharp, was born.

On this day in 1913 - The painting Mona Lisa was recovered in Florence, in a Florence hotel bedroom, after having been stolen from the Louvre two years earlier.

On this day in 1928 - The House of Lords approved a bill to make driving tests compulsory.

On this day in 1936 - Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek declared war on Japan.

On this day in 1941 - the song, "Two In Love" by Tommy Dorsey is released.

On this day in 1964 - the song, "She's A Woman" by The Beatles is released.

On this day in 1966 - Pink Floyd played their first gig, an Oxfam benefit concert, at the Royal Albert Hall.

On this day in 1984 - The group known as Band Aid -- 38 of Britain’s top rock musicians -- recorded Do They Know This is Christmas? for Ethiopian famine victims.

On this day in 1999 - Pub-goers were to be able to drink round the clock under Government plans to shake up the licensing laws.

On this day in 2001 - Irish police and Customs officers today seized up to 80 million cigarettes from a ship in the borderside port of Dundalk, valued at IR£13 million.

Lá Breithe Shona Chris
Sláinte agus saol agat!

Your friend,

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Ahhhhh. Unless nobody picked it up, I need to print my first retraction.

That's it, Jim's quiet musings...has been up and running over a year now and already things are going to crap. Yesterday I said it was minus twenty degrees Fahrenheit here. Well, that was a mistake. I must be hanging online with too many foreigners as I was reading the Celsius scale on my outside thermometer and not the Fahrenheit scale.

It was minus four degrees Fahrenheit here, which it turns out is minus twenty Celsius. Sorry for the mistake. I just know there was somebody out there who was horrified and sent aid to our freezing state. We're into a big warming trend here now has warmed up to twenty above. My pipes were frozen this morning, so no shower for me. Of course that wasn't a problem since I haven't been showering a lot lately anyway. Finally got them unfrozen late this afternoon.

Well, I would have blogged a bit more tonight, but I really need to catch up with my studying as I wasted some valuable time today with a hair dryer in my hand. I hope to get as much written down as possible before they come and yank the telephone lines out.


Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Crazy as a shithouse rat

This unemployed thing is for the birds. Especially when no money is coming in. For all those who care and are concerned.....SEND MONEY!. For all who only have a mild interest in my exploits, read on.

I'm done with module two of a twelve module theoretical review and moving on to module three. Hours of reading, reviewing, writing and doing practice tests is causing me to go crazy as a shithouse rat. I can't go anywhere cause I haven't got the money to purchase petrol and besides, it's too cold out.

Minus twenty degrees Fahrenheit at eight o'clock this morning (that's minus twenty-eight Celsius to the rest of ya'll). The static electricity around here could power this house. I've grown accustomed to zapping myself, discharging the remnants of my electric personality before sitting down to touch my computer keyboard and grounding myself before I touch a light switch. I don't care for electricity except when it's needed.

Zooey is getting along very well and getting quite friendly with me, following me all about the house and trying to help wherever she can. She won't know what to do if I ever go back to work again. Zippy seems happier with a companion now, albeit a bit worn out with all of Zooey's energy.

Well, not much to report here. Things are pretty boring....just sitting around waiting for the U.S. to go to war with Iraq, making chicken soup and studying, studying, eviction notices yet.


Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Ah...well, another day of peace and serenity for the unemployed.

I joke about this now, but check back with me in two months and I'm sure to be in a mild panic. Tonight I sit before my computer screen, sipping my Yerba Mate and reflecting on my day...

I awoke rested and happy, having felt the stress of five years slowly leaving my body over the past twelve days. My first disappointment today was learning that I missed YET ANOTHER Leonid meteor shower! THEY say this one was the biggest and best (how do they know that?) for at least the next one hundred years. Oh joy.

I began the task of working on my middle room today. Boring you say? Ah, but you've never seen my middle room! Rarely, if ever, has anyone seen the middle room (please refer to the July 22nd posting of "A single man's rules for cleaning house.... " rule number nine) in it's "true" form. I know my limits and I have a very real capability of biting off more than I can chew, so I paced myself.

I worked on one corner of the middle room, spreading items about the house in "piles" separating said items categorically. This made for a more spread out mess akin to spreading a pat of butter over the expanse of a submarine roll. The pat of butter in-and-of-itself appears substantial until it is spread over the expanse of the larger roll. Results: Items were categorized, corner was revealed, walking room was created and now the whole house looks messy instead of that one little corner of my middle room. *sigh*

Two of the three kittens are now placed. One went to a woman in the next town, another to Charlie Brown's little red headed girl up the road. I have decided (on a daily basis) to keep the little tiger as a companion for Zippy. This decision is subject to change at any moment. I need to get these guys - Zippy and "Zooey" - on my time schedule though and I'm not exactly sure how to accomplish that, except to constantly WAKE THEM UP during the daytime. This evening I'm making a trip into the living room at least every hour to investigate a CRASHING noise.

Well, as of Monday I began an exercise routine of walking. I set out Monday and walked up to the main road and across the street. This distant neighborhood was like a history lesson. The adjoining side roads and names on the mailboxes matched. Three main characters abounded, some whose housing dating back into the seventeen hundreds. The descendants are all still in the same area and I slowly began to put together names of locals in town that I know personally with the names of the roads and mailboxes I passed during my stroll. One thing I learned quickly here in New careful what you say about someone because you are probably talking to a relative of theirs.

It was a peaceful walk, not a person in sight and very little traffic at 12:30 p.m. I felt just a tad guilty (only a tad) for being out and about, enjoying myself and the outdoors while others were working. I picked up some roadside trash, a good habit my ex-wife taught me when we first moved here nineteen years ago. A broken Budweiser bottle, a Skoal chewing tobacco container, a flattened grape soda can, an empty cigarette pack.....suddenly dawning on me that every item of trash represented something that Americans stuff into their mouth and not one of them with any real nutritional value. What a healthy race of people we are breeding.

Well, the nightly news is over and I'm developing the bad habit of staying up later and later. Zippy has that worn-out look about her tonight as if to say, "Why didn't you give this kitten away?" as Zooey hangs from her neck in playful banter. I'm off to bed. Tomorrow is a new day with some light snow on the horizon...a nifty thing to awaken to, wrapped in my flannel sheets.


Monday, November 18, 2002


I credit the idea for the banner above to: Zebulon Mysterioso

Thanks Chris!

Wintry Mix

There's about three inches of snow on the ground and it's been raining/icing/sleeting/snowing all day. The weather report calls it "WINTRY MIX" and I love being out in it! Yeah, a bit nuts I suppose, but I've never professed to be normal in any way. Stubborn fool that I am, I had called the plowguy from up north and he never returned my call. So I said, "Screw him," and decided to put him out of business by shoveling my driveway this winter. So, here I am, sitting at the computer with water dripping from my nose, earlobes and chin, shivering while I get warm and go out there for round two.

That'll show him.

I'm such a genius.


Saturday, November 16, 2002

FBI Warns of 'Spectacular Attacks'

I just got back from a shopping run...not one of my favorite things to do in this world. So, I've got everything put away and so I sit down to put in a little computer time, munching on hot wasabi peas and what do I see on the news front?


Staring me in the face, from the computer screen.

It seems there is a new threat now. Bin Laden, (the heroin kingpin) and his Al-Qaida network, are supposedly threatening to unleash a "spectacular" terrorist attack intended to damage the U.S. economy and inflict large-scale casualties. The White House said Americans should remain vigilant, although it left the alert status unchanged.

Just ignore those "BORING" attacks or those "EVERYDAY" attacks and only focus on the "SPECTACULAR" ones. Is there such a thing as a NON-SPECTACULAR attack? Hey, inquiring minds want to know!

Kinda reminds me of the Forth of July.

You're sitting there, watching the explosions in the sky and rating them. Ever do that? We did as kids. "Oooooh! Ahhhhhh! Good one! Ahhhhh..SPECTACULAR!" Well, all kidding aside, I don't think there is anything "Spectacular" about an attack.

Unless of course it's unleashed upon some miserable terrorist bastards.


Friday, November 15, 2002

Call for Condom Testers Swamped by Offers

LONDON (Reuters) - An appeal for British students to volunteer to rigorously road test condoms and be paid 100 pounds ($158) a term into the bargain has been overwhelmed by applicants, manufacturer Condomi said Friday. Within a week of the appeal for sexually-active men and women to come forward, the firm had received 10,000 applications and is combing the list selecting 100 who will get lucky.

The winners will be required to perform what the firm called "rigorous pleasure tests" on its entire range and fill in a detailed questionnaire on their reactions. "The response has been phenomenal," marketing manager Victoria Wells said. "It is quite surprising how much detail some people go into when answering intimate questions."

......I'm telling ya, those British are a randy bunch! Why is it ya never see contests like that in the U.S.?

Don't answer that Chris!

Nothing good on NextBlog tonight. Just boring, political, golf-themed, preppy-techno, pseudo-intellectual, Korean, twinkie-esque, Lotte Custard fueled doo-doo is all. Guess I'll have to give the NextBlog button a rest for a day or so. Is anyone else picking up those blogs from Israel and the Netherlands? Interesting.

God it's nice to be HOME ALONE. I love my home. For those that have been asking, my so-called retirement is coming along nicely. I await my final checks and my study review course in the mail. Meanwhile, the house is getting a good cleaning and I've been staying close to home, saving on petrol. I'll be putting my nose to the grindstone soon enough.

My honey is coming over tomorrow and I can't wait. Suppose I'll have to shower and shave if I can remember how it's done. I don't look half bad with a beard! I must smell, but I can't tell over the fumes from the catbox.

I need some more talent.


Wednesday, November 13, 2002

For the Love of GOD!

REDWOOD CITY, CA—Video-game developer Pixxel Arts announced Monday that it will delay the release of Beltway Sniper: Silent Strike out of respect for the victims of the recent D.C.-area shootings. Based on the sniper attacks linked to suspects John Muhammad and John Lee Malvo, Beltway Sniper: Silent Strike was slated to hit store shelves Nov. 15. Last Friday, however, Pixxel top brass made the decision to postpone the game's release until March 2003. It was said by the Pixxel Arts president, Davis Conway, that a percentage of the profits from sales of Beltway Sniper would be donated to the victims' families.

This is sick. REALLY sick. I wonder what THEIR families think of their new product?


Eminem a.k.a. Slim Shady

All that name brings to mind is Enema and I think this kid needs a good one. Rap isn't my thing and I could care less about some hooded, tattooed gringo singing ghetto grunge from Detroit, but one can hardly miss the promo's on this kid lately. He's made it BIG in the movie world and they say his new movie has netted $5.4 million so far.

Eminem or "Enema" whichever you prefer, was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III and is also known as Slim Shady. He is a white, foul-mouthed rapper from Detroit. I recently saw him on MTV, undergoing an interview and without even knowing who he was, I wanted to knock his freakin' head in, just listening to him. He's nothing but a punk who THINKS he knows it all and puts on this embarrassing tough air about himself, which is only gonna buy him some pain down the road.

But each his own, right? Besides, I predict this stupid punks fame will be his demise. We'll read about either drug abuse, jail or a drive by shooting, to end his pathetic existence. When you flaunt your toughness, you usually aren't tough to begin with and there will always be somebody out there to try and knock you off your pedestal.

Good riddance Enema!



Thursday, November 07, 2002


Oh my GOD!

I have water! Real, wet, RUNNING water!

Do you have ANY idea what that is like? Well of course you do. Why? Because you are spoiled. You had running water all along....and you aren't humble like me! Me.... with a NEW appreciation for turning a spigot and getting water or pushing down the lever and flushing the toilet.

What's it been now? Three months? Four months?

I won't have to go to the river again. I won't have to freeze while breaking the ice to fill my buckets. I won't have to heat water on the stove every morning and pour it into a bucket in my shower to pour over my head with a sauce pan.

Holy Jesus this is rich!

I think I'll go wash my dishes just to celebrate.

Karma's gonna get all of you for having water when I didn't....



Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Wet Kitty's are FUN!


As you all know, I've been out of well water for a while. So consequently, I've got buckets of river water sitting inside my home, keeping them out of the freezing outdoor air. Well, tonight my buckets of water were discovered by one of the most curious kittens of the litter, which is fast approaching the eight week age mark. This one decided she would climb up and peer into the bucket. Well, she made it....but that wasn't enough. She pulled herself up onto the edge and teetered there for a minute or so before falling into the bucket.

Yeah, I're thinking I've got the cruel shoes on. No, I was watching her...I wouldn't have let her drown. I was teaching her a lesson.


It's a good thing I never had children.


Monday, November 04, 2002

Alright, alright.....

What am I going to do?

Despite popular belief that I am going to be found frozen to the side of the road somewhere, bearded and homeless, I do have a plan. I am cashing in my retirement package for the state and buying into a review course to renew my nursing license. Being unemployed will free me up to finish the course in record time, probably four months, which will give me my much needed break and allow me to refocus.

Aside from my constant ranting and ravings against money versus self-respect or freedom, the above action will more than double my salary. Poor me, right? Well, I do need to get an artesian well installed and finish up some things in the house before I sell the damn place and move. Yes, that is a plan too. My short-term goals, if they pan out, will lead to some long-term goals of selling the house and moving up north, possibly getting a nice, cushy supervisory nursing job in the future and freeing myself up to travel the rest of Asia and beyond.

I'm on a mission from God


Sunday, November 03, 2002


Thanks to all of you who have written me or called me, expressing your concern over my recent decision to quit my job. Especially those of you who have expressed concern over the fact that I have nothing lined up to replace my current job. I can only hope you will try and understand and accept me for who I am.

I try not to judge others, but I still do. It's none of my business and especially none of my business if those "others" don't ask for my opinion. I do; however, give my opinion, whether those "others" like it or not, when their decisions screw with my life. Otherwise, I basically believe we are all products of our own experiences in life and our decisions are based on our value systems and our moral beliefs. I cannot see another person's perspective if I have not walked in their shoes.

Within the last three months or so, the love of my life and I heard a person say the following, powerful statement which we both found to be true:

"There are those in life who...."

1) Make things happen.

2) Stand around and wait for things to happen.

3) End up saying, "What the fuck happened?"

I would like to believe that I practice number one. I am ready to leave my place of work. I learned things there. Staying there would only mean for me that I had, "Settled" for less in life. I'm moving on. The fact that I have nothing lined up, to make cash, is really not a big deal in my life. In another person's who has not lived my life, it might strike them as a stupid decision. Their opinion.

Walk in another person's shoes for a while before you judge them or try to force your values and morals down their throat.

Once, a long time ago, while working with a man who had a tenth grade education and had not obtained his G.E.D., I chided him for choosing a career that was far beneath his obvious intelligence and suggested he get back into school. I rambled on and on about ways to finish up his G.E.D. (high school equivalence exam) and enter college so he could gain a higher position than he was in at the time I was working with him.

He tolerated me and eventually told me, "Jim, I am happy digging ditches. I enjoy it."

Point taken. I learned a lot that day. I learned that just because I felt he was making all the wrong decisions in life, didn't necessarily mean he was. I was trying to shove my value system up his butt and he wouldn't have a part in it.

Good for him.

I will soon possess three college degrees. Those degrees are not what taught me what I know to survive. I rely less on those degrees than I do my common sense in life. I feel sorry for those people who stand around and wait for things to happen or end up saying, "What the fuck happened?" But, if that is what floats their boat, then more power to them.

My serenity in life is more important to me than a job. I know people who are miserable in their jobs, or their life, or their relationships and sometimes in all three and do nothing about it. They live in a my opinion. Everyone else can usually see it, except for the ones immersed knee deep in it.

At the recent conference / training I was forced to attend, I did go away with one learned tool.....this tool was presented as such:

Look at the following list:

* Money
* No legal problems
* Job
* Good Health
* Freedom
* Self-Respect
* Family
* Religion / Spirituality
* Good Friends
* Drinking or Using Drugs

Now, as you can probably see, this is geared, a tiny bit, to offenders in a court-ordered program. But, humor me.....

First, pick three from the list above that you would GIVE UP. I mean TOTALLY GIVE UP. Three of them. Go ahead....pick.

Finished? Pretty easy right? Maybe not, for some of you. I hope you picked carefully.

Now, pick three more.

Yep, three more. That is a TOTAL of six things you would totally GIVE UP if you had to. Pick carefully.

Now pick three more and circle the ONE ITEM you could never give up. Nine things you would totally give up and one that you would hang onto until the bitter end. This exercise will tell you a lot about yourself. You might think everybody would pick the same items as you do, but you are wrong. Some might give up "Family" before they would give up freedom. Some might give up self-respect before they would give up money. Everybody is different, based on their own value systems.

Get my point?

Towards the end of the check off, I struggled between self-respect and freedom. That's me. That's who I am. Trust that I will make the right decisions for myself, in my life and you will be my good (and true) friend.


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Jonathan vanAtom is the hottest new sound in electronic Trance music!

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HEH, HEH.....


Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Penis Size Big Worry for UK Men, Poll Says

Mon Oct 28,12:30 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Almost one in four British men is unhappy with the size of his penis, according to a survey of sexual behavior published Sunday.

And such concerns do not diminish with age.

While those aged 35 to 44 are most likely to worry, a sizeable 26 percent of over 65s admit to being less than happy with their organ.


Oh Jesus....

I swear, I'm not gonna say a word.

Not ONE word.


Thursday, October 17, 2002

Inflation sucks.

Just when ya think you're getting ahead and the price of prostitutes goes up!


Thank God somebody has a solution. Just when you think things are hopeless, some concerned citizens get together to join hands for a cause.

Fairplay IS concerned! Those boys in the U.K., know how to fight for their cause!

Good grief....


Who woulda thought?

Ya want yore ass kicked buddy? No problem! Just click here and make a bid!

Jesus, what will they think of next.....

China Patrols Tiananmen Square for Chewing Gum

Wed Oct 16,10:35 AM ET

BEIJING (Reuters) - As China's ruling Communists try to ensure a critical party congress comes off without a hitch next month, a 1,000-strong army is patrolling Beijing's Tiananmen Square, removing a troublesome scourge -- chewing gum. Ranks of cleaners have toiled in the vast square for 18 days to scrape off an estimated 600,000 wads of chewing gum, the official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday.

Each wad of gum cost 13 cents to remove, Xinhua said, citing a cleaning company working for the Management Committee of Tiananmen Square. The cleanup comes as the government spruces up the city ahead of the 16th Communist Party Congress that starts in the Great Hall of the People on one side of the square on November 8 and is expected to see a younger generation take the reins of power. Lying at the heart of the Chinese capital, Tiananmen Square was the focal point of huge pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989 crushed by the army with heavy loss of life.

Hey! 599,000 of those weren't mine!


Wednesday, October 16, 2002


People will suffer for messing with me today.....

Their personal Karma will kick their righteous asses royally. Maybe not today, or tomorrow....but someday. The bastards. *sigh* It was a rough day today. I took some action though. I applied for a new position at Department of Corrections.

Parole Officer.

Ten more days and the position closes. I've crossed my fingers, hung a chicken's head on my door, thrown salt over my shoulder, rubbed a real rabbits foot, found a four-leaf clover and ate it....among other things.

Good thing I'm not superstitious.


Sunday, October 13, 2002

Keep your pecker up and I'm sure you will find something...

Those english and their expressions...

My good friend Angie, from the West coast of England, just got back from her holiday travel. She was responding to my backed up ICQ messages, one of which detailed my recent job search that has turned up rather dry, so she sent me some of her english words of encouragement:

"Well Jim, Keep your pecker up and I'm sure you will find something."

What a gal.

I think I'll follow her advice.


Thursday, October 03, 2002

STOP! You're giving me a VISUAL!

You've all experienced it.

You're talking to somebody and they say somethin' that creates a visual image in your head that elicits a bodily reaction. That bodily reaction isn't always a pleasant one either.

I was GOOGLing this morning, while at work and stumbled onto an online journal.

This is what I read:

"My cat greeted me with the stench of her Korean twinkie-esque Lotte Custard fueled doo-doo (apparently she dragged them out of the basket, into my bed, sucked the cream filled contents out through bite holes and left the empty wrappers on the bed.)"

Oh yuck.


That word alone elicits a reaction.

Korean twinkie-esque Lotte Custard fueled doo-doo?





Saturday, September 28, 2002

Weird chinese herbal medicine stuff

Annie Charmaine is at it again. Anne always has a way of stirring up the Asian side of my brain and I think she does it on purpose.

In my lifetime, I have been exposed to weird chinese herbal medicine stuff, four times.

The first was at my Karate dojo, in El Paso, Texas. I was studying judo at the time and my friend Oren, was sick, sitting on the couch in the dojo, watching us work out. My instructor Ty Hayashi (yeah, I know....he was Japanese) pulled Oren aside, telling him to go upstairs and he would mix him a concoction that would cure him. Ty told us all to take a break and I followed Oren upstairs to watch.

Ty mixed Oren the most GOD AWFUL looking mess in a drinking glass that I had ever seen. It smelled like a cross between rancid potatoes and a wet ashtray. Oren had to hold his nose to drink the mess. An hour later Oren swore he not only felt better, he felt the best he'd felt in years. You would have had to catch me first.

The second time was when I was married and lived in Virginia. My wife worked for a Chinese restaurant and had been feeling ill one day. The owners took her out back and poured her a cup full of a noxious mixture from a large container they had pulled out from behind a table. She never drank it, refusing politely, but later telling me what it looked and smelled like. I didn't blame her. You would have had to catch me first.

The third time was when I was in China. I had been eating at a favorite little Chinese dive on a side street near my hotel in Beijing and while eating, I eyed the huge, glass bottles that contained the nastiest looking crap I'd ever seen, wondering what the hell it was and who would be crazy enough to consume it. I never saw them delve into one of those containers while I was there.

Now I'm hearing about it from Annie.

Mouse fetus drowned in Brandy, with ginseng and herbs. Oh yum.

You would have had to catch me first.


Monday, September 23, 2002

Do you realize that on any given day...

of any given week...

of any given month.....

in your regular dealings with the general public.....

You are dealing with at least one...

CERTIFIABLY deranged, mentally unstable, undiagnosed, mentally disordered individual?

Oh yeah.

They could be your cash register lady, your grocery store clerk, your meter reader, the school bus driver, a cop, the local florist, the UPS guy in those funny looking shorts, your neighbor, the dog grooming attendant, your AVON lady, the waitress at the corner deli, your karate instructor, your kids teacher, the town dump operator, a crossing guard, the gas station attendant, the guy mopping the floor at Kentucky Fried Chicken, the meter maid or any number of folks.

"So Jeeem," you say.....

"How is it you know this?" you ask.....

Cause I know.

I can't tell you WHY I know. You'll just have to take my word on this one.....

I want to stress the term, "UNDIAGNOSED," which means, quite simply, they haven't been found out yet and are NOT on any medication. Hell, some of these people have been diagnosed but aren't taking their medication. Some of them are....ANGRY. Not at anything in particular, just ANGRY.

In the past, their behavior has cost them their jobs, a marriage or two, some brushes with the law, an eyebrow raised here and there and other troubles, both more and less severe. Eventually, something will happen calling attention to them and the system will then find them and lock them up or hospitalize them.

Meanwhile, they are out there.....

Waiting to serve you.

No, I ain't talking DEPRESSION. I ain't talking ANXIETY. I'm talking weird stuff.


Grassy Knoll stuff.


A quick Google Search turns up: "Individuals who have an untreated, severe mental illness commit more than 1,000 homicides a year in the United States."


Have a nice day!


Sunday, September 22, 2002

Thanks Keeley for the kudo's and compliments!

You rock.

Just chatted with Chris of Blacktelescope - a self-centered web about the finer habits of drug use, attainable product and the subject of women.

I love this guy.

Chris has a way with metaphor that grabs you right in the crotch. His quote today, regarding the ruts we get ourselves into sometimes was....

"Those ruts are sold to us every fucking day. We're taught to buy into them and sold the shovels we use to dig ourselves deeper."

Chris states, "I had a theory that people are split up into three different groupings. 5% of people are innately able to see what's going on. 40% of people will never be able to conceive of a world outside of their TVs, but the other 45% just need to be shown, they just need a trigger, a phrase, a photograph, a book..."

Brilliant Chris.....just brilliant. I would have worded it a little differently, but basically would have said the same....

5% - People who are stupid and don't have a fucking clue....
40% - People who are hypnotized by the fucking media.....
45% - People who have a fucking chance but are too scared and too set in their own miserable ways to wake up and smell the coffee....

Perhaps I suck as much as I think I suck at math and figures, but are we not leaving out another ten percent or so? Must be the percentage of people that have a clue and are doing something about it.....I'm not so sure about the percentages either Chris! Of course Chris's perspective is from Belfast, Northern Ireland and his outside world of travel, no doubt.

Anybody want a kitten?


Saturday, September 21, 2002

Jessie's working on her "Stupid People" dissertation for her PhD again.....

I just love this chick.

I'd never want to meet her in a dark alley, but I love her......from afar.

Have you taken your medication today?

A heartfelt Welcome and salutations to Adrian of MALCONTENT weblogger fame. He thinks you should just....

Shut up and reboot!

A Malaysian transplant into the capital city of Australia via the University of Canberra, Adrian leaps full bottles of Jack Daniels in a single bound, speeds along the cheras kajang highway at 140kp/h in a crappy iswara (when home), avoids broken ribs from wild kangaroos roaming around the new ressies area and misses his homeland of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which he describes as....

"Land of 24-hour access to cheap exotic foods, overpriced cars, pirated CD's and DVD's, multitudes of tollbooths, bad public transportation service, traffic jams and good ole pollution."

Wow, thanks Adrian....we'll all be booking our vacation flights soon!

Wild, roaming ain't life a bitch?

On the home front, ZIPPY HAD HER KITTENS!

Dad awoke early this morning, at around 3 a.m. to loud mewing. A white one had been born. I watched as she had her other three, encased in transparent parachutes connected to rouge colored backpacks and went back to bed grossed out after watching the Zipster eat this mess and free the struggling kittens. Yuck, my stomach isn't in it's prime at three in the morning.

So, today we have two white / creme ones and two dark tigers. Anybody want a kitty?


Sunday, September 15, 2002

I Can Add Inches To My Penis NOW!

You ask me, "How Jeeem? How can you do that?"

Well believe it or not, there is some chick out there in cyberland, name of Heather, who for whatever reason has taken it upon herself to see that I get my penis enlarged. Yes, I'm serious! I got an e-mail from her today.

What a gal.

The only problem is in the e-mail she asks me, "Do you want your PENIS to be HARD as a ROCK all the time?"

Well NO Heather, I don't. That would be a bit embarrassing don't you think?

As nice as Heather seems, I think I'm going to pass on this DHG stuff. After all, what if I overdosed? I mean....I'm a drug addict and I might take the whole bottle in a day or something. Can you imagine?

It could happen....


Saturday, September 14, 2002

My good friend Mark, a.k.a. Pokey eater, of Potkettleblog fame, has decided to move on to bigger and better things and shut down his site. A pity as he will be sorely missed. I remember an e-mail Mark sent me in January of this year....

He was responding to my blog quote regarding my new resolve to write anything and everything this year, but mostly to just write....

"Some of it will suck. Some of it will shine." I said.

"Bingo," Mark said, adding, "and there's no need to keep your musings quiet. You can make 'em EXPLODE, too."

So true. In retrospect, he was right. There was no need to keep my musings quiet and I didn't. I thank him for his helpful comments and constructive criticism over the last few months. I'll miss his wit and his humor and I learned a lot from his writings. Hopefully we will hear from him again.

Well, God is at it again. This time (as my finger is healing) he drained my well dry. That God....he's such a practical joker. Okay God. Enough already, you've made your point. My life is at another juncture, a new woman and an old friend in my life, a dry well, a smashed finger, tons of homework and winter is coming....

I'm taking it a day at a time.

Went to the laundromat this morning, grouchy as hell, as I didn't have water to make coffee this morning. Joyce took my laundry and we real news on the Bristol front today so I picked up a couple of local papers and headed out to the local spring with my plastic containers.

Sometimes I have to force myself to be nice and I hate doing that. The spring was jammed up this morning with flatlanders. Can't they get water in their own damn state? Why do they have to come up here and make me, a New Hampshire resident, wait at the damn spring?

(Mental note to always have water available for coffee)

Got my water and now I'm home, nursing a whopper of a headache from lack of caffeine. I've got to grab some more containers and head out to the river to pick up some flushing, washing and general cleaning water. Lack of water makes life so interesting.

Lack of HOT water makes life.....SUCK.

This ought to be an interesting weekend.


Thursday, September 12, 2002

The MAD Pot-Bellied Indian Man

What Anne Charmaine has to contend with in her neck of the woods! You gotta read the Mad Pot Bellied Indian Man with the messed up hair and full grown beard story! Annie, if you ever write a novel, I'll be the first to purchase it!

Annie speaks of "Betel nut red" goo [saliva] and that's what prompted my post. I never knew what a betel nut was until I traveled to Mindanao, the southern most island of the Philippine archipelago. There, in the dense jungle of Surigao and Agusan del Sur, the Filipino people chew this nut for the effect it gives.

Betel nuts contain an alkaloid called arecoline. This alkaloid produces a stimulating effect and increases salivation [lucky for Annie]. In the Philippines it is said that Betel nuts are a common substitute for cigarettes and are often rolled in a quid, containing tobacco and other flavorings.

While strolling down a well-worn path through the jungle, one bright, sunny, excruciatingly humid day in the southern Philippines, I noticed some smoke rising from deep within the jungle. Together with a friend, I ventured down a narrow footpath, eventually coming to a very old woman tending a smoldering fire. The woman was making charcoal from coconut shell husks, silently poking at the charred chunks laying in a shallow hole in the ground. Her face was a leather mask of deep furrows interrupted only by the hollow pits that held her eyes and her mouth, a shriveled opening screwed into a smile....

It was then that I saw, in horror, the blood trickling from the corner of her mouth. After my friend and I had exhausted our welcome and it was apparent to my friend that her dialect did not correspond with this old woman's language, we left. Once a good distance away, I expressed my horror at her obvious internal bleeding.

"She's not bleeding Jeeem! She's chewing betel nuts!"

Not quite a Mad Pot-Bellied Indian Man Story, but not bad eh?

Howdy Sports Fans

Just when life was sailing along peacefully.......


God was bored, spotted me through the opening in a cloud, figured my life was going a LEEEEEETLE Bit too smoothly and ZAPPED me.

Damn. Just my luck.

First he slammed my little finger in the door of my truck.

That was just a warm-up exercise though....he (she?) didn't stop there. By now I'm looking over my shoulder when I walk out the door in the morning. What the hell is God's problem anyway? Maybe he (she?) needs to get a job or something. Oh jeez....I'll probably really get it for that statement....oh well.

So anyway.....

I thought my schedule sucked.....have you seen Jessie's (of, "Just Bite Me!" fame) schedule?

Yeah, I can remember when I was thirty....


Saturday, September 07, 2002

AMAZON's at it again

This time the gimmick is THE GOLD BOX.


"Jim's Gold Box" they call it. Of course I realize that at this very moment, there are about 568,000 or more Gold Boxes out there on the Amazon site, all with the name of their coveted owner on them but that doesn't matter.

This is MY Gold Box. It sparkles. It has STUFF inside it that is reserved.....JUST FOR ME! Hand picked, specially for me, by my special store...

But wait! Hold on there.

Have you checked out your Gold Box yet?

What the hell is Amazon thinking? Where the hell do they get this stuff?

I can't use this shit!

Here's the latest......

This is the Rugrats Radio Controlled Angelica.

Just what I was hoping I'd be able to purchase one day.

List Price: $39.99
Amazon's Price: $14.98
You Normally Save: $25.01
+ Gold Box Coupon: $3.00

Act Now and Save: $28.01 (70%)
Special Gold Box Price: $11.98

Shit, I'd better hurry......only 48 minutes left to buy. Looks like Amazon is taking it's marketing research to new and exciting levels....they really know their customers!


Monday, September 02, 2002

Jeeem's Short Stories Are UP!

I've finally posted a few of my favorite Short Stories to my Website and you can go there and read them if you like, by going.......


Hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, September 01, 2002


Well, if you THINK you are, then why don't you take my quiz to determine whether or not you qualify as a professional?

It only takes a couple minutes.


Good....then click.........HERE.


Saturday, August 31, 2002

I'm picky about who I sideline on this damn blog. I gotta have a FEEL for the blog, It's gotta MOVE me. This one looks damn intrigues me, so I'm gonna be watching it. This gal strikes me as pretty radical and besides, she doesn't seem to like men and that alone ALWAYS gets my attention. Her site is affectionately called: JUST BITE ME!

I wear a flyfishing hat with that aphorism emblazoned on the front.

God, I love it.

So!!! The latest news on the Jeeemeister front is my total immersion into the world of Yerba Mate. As you all know, Eve, my African princess, turned me on to the popular South AMERICAN ......NOT South AFRICAN...... pastime of Bombilla sipping the strangely exotic Yerba from a Mate gourd.

Well, traditionally for me, I tend to take new experiences to untested and wonderfully exotic levels of obsessive-compulsiveness. In following through with this tradition, I ordered three gourds (some of them rather ornate and relatively expensive), two bombillas (one with an Argentine seal and one gold-plated one), a kettle and not one, not two, not three but FOUR packages of Yerba.


In the U.S. we are not on the metric system. In the rest of the world, a kilo is the standard dry weight measure. These packages are LARGE. Two of them are a kilo or 1000 grams. Equal to 2.2 pounds U.S., for all my North American readers. The other two are slightly smaller, at only 500 grams.

Doesn't mean anything to you, you say? Well, perhaps my PC to PC conversation with Eve tonight will ring true......

Eve says, "Oh my God! One kilo package will last me six months!"

So, Eve and I figure I am good for at least three years or more.

The thing is, I took a gourd, bombilla and a 500 gram package of Yerba into work today and decided to give it a try. Everybody said, "What the hell are you smoking?" as the apparatus tends to resemble a bong of sorts to the folks I work with.....that's what you get when you work with a bunch of ex-drug addicts.

The folks who tried it, myself included, all ended up making an awful face and commenting, "Yuck! It's bitter!"


So now I'm stuck with three years worth of bitter Yerba Mate. Knowing me, I will FORCE myself to like it and acquire a taste for it. Eve tells me that I will only gain from this experience and to forge ahead! Given her latest accomplishments in life, I have very little doubt in my mind!


Thursday, August 29, 2002


Got your attention again didn't I?

I am having an affair.

The "affair" is with a Creative™ NOMAD Jukebox C mp3 player.

Herein lies another dilemma....

I don't ever read the instruction booklet so it may be a while before I return.

It's a guy thing


Sunday, August 25, 2002


Well, who woulda guessed? I go to pick up my laundry today and Bristol Laundromat has been robbed. This is one for the record books. Doesn't look like a (hee, hee) professional job though. Talked to Joyce when I picked up my laundry and she says,

"Did you see the door?"

I said I hadn't and went to go look. Appears as if somebody put their fist right through the glass.

"We've been robbed," Joyce says, adding "We know who it is."

Ever seen that show about the WORLDS STUPIDEST CRIMINALS or something to that effect? Well this one would qualify. Seems the culprit(s) were interrupted in their crime by the newspaper delivery man and off they went......

Leaving a trail of quarters to their hideout.



Got your attention didn't I? Just wanted to let all my visitors to this site know that I have added a link up above, "SIGN MY DAMN GUESTMAP!!" or something like that. Shirl created a monster when she introduced me to the simplicity of HTML some two or three months ago. Now I'm an HTML'ing fool.

News on the Jeeem front:

Something crawled up inside my cat and died.

It's awful. The windows are open and the ceiling fan is whirling. I just got back from Cricenti's and have purchased Air Freshener. It's enough to gag a maggot. Yuck. Damn animal. I musta done something wrong and she's getting back at me. I swear I heard her laughing just a second ago.

Bill, the guy from the West, who has raped the forest across the street from me, remains a mystery. Word about the neighborhood has it that he was locked up for a few days in town and has a restraining order placed on him. I don't know the details but I'll continue to keep my ear to the gossip channel grapevine in town. He hasn't been back to do anymore raping except to occasionally drive by late in the evening....a suspicious act.

Poor numby Bill. He obviously does not understand that New Englanders handle things differently. I warned him of that when I first met him (having built a log cabin not far from here) but it appears he decided to do things here like they do out West. A mistake in New England. Word has it that a "Cease and Desist" order has been placed on him. Kinda reminds me of the old Western movies when they run somebody out of town.

A terrible outbreak of Yard Sales is occurring in the surrounding neighborhoods. The intriguing factor of this common Summer event are the signs. Yard Sale signs come in all different forms, sizes, colors, materials and verbiage. Some people get pretty inventive, spray painting "YARD SALE" on the junk hood of a car and leaning it against a sign post or fashioning a sign out of a piece of cardboard with an arrow pointing in the general direction of the sale.

Some people have no concept of direction. The arrow on the handmade sign points into a clump of bushes or in such a general direction that the driver has a variety of options in which to take. You follow the arrow, follow the signs down a country road for miles until it just peters out. No yard sale in sight. Sometimes signs fall down or get stolen. Sometimes the sign maker just takes it for granted you will figure it out.

Once you get to these sales, they are typically in the persons yard. The whole damn family is usually there, but sometimes it is a good excuse for Papa to take the kids and go fishing. Men usually hate yard sales. Either that, or the wife wants to get rid of them because she is interested in actually selling something. Men always want to get tough on prices, often standing firm on a $20.00 item when his spouse would have easily settled on $10.00 or less, if nothing else to just get rid of the damn thing.

Yard sales take many forms. Garage sales, Moving sales, Porch sales, Backyard sales, Breezeway sales, Driveway sales and House sales come to mind. Anything catchy to get the attention of the passerby.

Bartering is part of the fun of yard sales. Bartering is an international sport. I've done it in the Philippines, in Mexico and in China. It's fun. My strategy in the fine art of Yard Sailing, is to wait until the late afternoon when yard sales are getting ready to wrap up. I walk up to the huge box of books, peruse them a bit and offer to buy the whole box for .....say $2.00.


The box didn't sell and they want to get rid of the crap. Most of the time it works.

After the yard sale closes, hubby comes home with the kids and the fight starts.....

"Whadda ya mean you sold my Skillsaw for $5.00?"

"Those waders were worth at least $50.00! Whadda ya mean there were holes in them? They can be patched ya know!"

"I was gonna use that bowling ball!"

Yard Sales. An American tradition. Did you know that your yard sale is not an OFFICIAL yard sale unless you are selling a fondue set? Some people don't realize this. You're not supposed to buy them. You go to the yard sale and look for the fondue set. If you can't find one.....LEAVE. They are kind of like parsley. You don't eat the parsley on your plate, now do you? Ergo, you don't buy a fondue set.

Well, the WEATHER STICK is pointing downwards so we are gonna get some rain. We need it. It's pretty crunchy here. Hope you all have a great weekend!


Saturday, August 24, 2002


Okay! For those of you who have tried and failed miserably to sign my guestmap, I have a link for you to use. Yeah, yeah, I know this is cheating but my philosophy in life is, "Whatever Works." The difficulty you all have had, seems to be a browser issue. It does not work with Netscape like AT ALL but seems to work with Internet Explorer alright. Still, some of you are having no luck at all so here is the link ------->


Hope that works for you. A grand total of like four or five people have signed the thing, including me. It's pretty cool cause you can make yourself a little people icon and place it where you are on this earth, as well as leave a message for all to see and also put your countries flag on it. Cool huh?

Sign away little campers!


Wednesday, August 21, 2002


Somehow I drove from home today and arrived at work. I don't remember driving to work though. I was somewhere else completely. I remember turning onto Meredith Center Road and I remember pulling into the parking lot at corrections, but I don't remember the rest. How the hell did I do that? It's actually kind of scary.

Where the hell was I?

Who was driving my truck?

Wow. Seriously, I drove twenty miles and only remember two tiny little bits of it.

I'm sure we've all done it. I know I've done it before but not for a long, long time. Every morning I maneuver through complicated traffic congestion and avoid stupid moves of other, less alert drivers to avoid a collision.

Less alert?

Hell, how "less alert" can you get than driving while in a different dimension? I don't even remember what I was doing or thinking about at the time. I just remember turning and arriving. Weird.

I'd love to hear other people's stories about this. No doubt it only occurs on well-travelled routes....or does it? Where do we go? Is there a zone out there where we all stop and have coffee? Can you imagine a meeting place on a different dimension where all us drivers go, sharing conversation and maybe having a Danish and watching ourselves drive to our destinations?

"Hey guys! I gotta go! I've arrived!" says Bob.

"Bye Bob! See ya again Tuesday!" the crowd shouts, raising their Danish and coffee in mock salute.

Holy smokes. What if I'm right? Perhaps this is gonna be some paradigm shift and I'll get the Nobel prize for my Driving Amnesia theory.

It could happen.


Tuesday, August 20, 2002

What to post, what to post....

The heat here has been almost unbearable lately. Lawns are crunchy yellow and plants, shrubs and trees are dying. It is a sad thing to witness and no rain is in the forecast. My weather stick has had a hard-on for quite a while now.

Weather stick you say?

Yes. I own a weather stick. I thought I told you guys about it, but in re-reading my posts, I don't see any reference to it. The folks up in Maine make em. These are simple little sticks that you tack to the side of your house and watch them move, according to the weather. Up = Happy weather Down = Unhappy weather

Actually, we could use some.....Down = Unhappy weather ....right now.

When the mercury rises, the tempers rise.


Temperature (Latin temper¨¡t¨±ra = due measure)
Temper = To strengthen through experience or hardship.....To harden or strengthen (metal or glass) by application of heat or by heating and cooling.

From the Latin temper¨¢re time, season.

Interesting. Interesting to me because I have a temper and lately I've had to keep it in check. Why? you ask.....well, I used to say that stupid people piss me off, but lately I've amended that statement. Now I say, "Stupid people at least have an excuse." So, it's the "so-called" intelligent ones that DON'T have an excuse for opening their mouths and allowing CRAP to flow out.

Many people hide their true stupidity behind a mask of intelligence. They blather on and on and on about crap that makes no sense except in their own heads, which serves only to make themselves feel better. Kinda like self-recognition. They use big words, get political, use fill-in smoke screens and blather on and on.....essentially to accomplish saying something that they could reduce into a couple of sentences.

You have seen, heard and read them.

Finger pointers....passive-aggressive prejudice.....bell ringers.....blamers who hide behind their excuse of free speech to condemn whole countries and try and sound like they have a big fucking solution to world peace. They accomplish nothing but pointing their sissy little mamby-pamby fingers at any country of their choosing, typically the United States, because of our so-called WORLD POWER status. Well, I have news for you. No matter where you go in this world, some ivy league grease monkey is gonna point the finger at you. Perhaps you should move to the fucking MOON.

Hey, if you can't run with the big dogs, then get the fuck off the porch!

These socialite intellectuals have no common sense. They blather on for days and sometimes weeks about, "Poor me, poor me," and rarely, if ever, truly do anything about what they are actually bitching about. They point the finger at other cultures, blaming other cultures or countries for their woes and slamming everything in their path to the glee of their own pseudo-egos. These cry babies do not have the true mental capacity to count their own chickens. They blather on and on and on about their elite social circles and their scholastic achievements and lapse into pseudo-political-tirades that truly make little sense.


I've discussed it before. True humility holds no prejudice. It does not take intelligence to get it or to hold onto it. In fact, intelligence often destroys it or gets in the way of it. The only way you get it, in my opinion, is experience. You don't get it by blaming others or pointing the fingers at whole countries or cultures, no matter who their leaders are. Perhaps you do if you have a little Adolf Hitler in you though.

Temper = To strengthen through experience or hardship.....

Some people just can't see the forest for the trees. They do not have the capacity to look beyond their own nose. If you don't have humility or have not tasted humility, then you don't have a freakin' clue what the hell it is!

Temper = To strengthen through experience or hardship.....

Prejudice, either to race or origin, equals stupidity. If you are not stupid and have an education, then you have no excuse and therefore, you are doubly stupid. There is too much hate in this world and too many people who, if they took the damn silver spoon out of their damn mouths and took a look around them, might learn a thing or two. There are so many narrow-minded people out there who jamb all Americans, Africans, Europeans, or Whoeverans into one big ball when they begin blathering on and on politically, oblivious to whom or whose feelings they might hurt.

Yes, I am educated. I didn't have the money or the grades or the luck to go to some fancy school but the schools I have attended dole out academia bull crap just as thick as the ivy league and pristine campuses of the elite. I've read scores of books, studied for hours, obtained degrees and paid thousands of dollars.


My best lessons in life were not taught in a classroom. They were taught through life experience. They were taught through pain. I did not learn humility in school. I got a good dose of it in life though and I'm still learning about it through life.

I once sat through an individual session with a kid who had killed his best friend in an automobile accident. He had been drinking, the weather was bad and speed was involved. The vehicle flipped over and his friend was killed. When I sat and talked to this kid, he had just served five years incarceration for the offense of vehicular homicide. He was just a kid. I liked him. I have since put some thought into what it was that I liked about him.

He was humble.

Ever hear that old saying, "Bad things happen to good people?"

He wasn't a whiner. He wasn't prejudiced. He didn't whine and go off on that pseudo-intellectual, mamby-pamby pity-pot that I've witnessed lately. He was grateful for what he had and he dreamed of goals he wanted to accomplish. I prematurely told him about a young woman I knew about, whom I thought had some humility, but I was sorely mistaken.

It's gonna be tough for him. He is a felon now. He cannot own a firearm. He cannot vote. He will struggle advancing in a job or even getting a job. Why? Because he's a loser?


Because bad things happen to good people.

hu · mil · i · ty - Lack of vanity or self importance : modesty, humbleness, humility, meekness, unpretentiousness, self-effacement, reserve, restraint, constraint, lack of boastfulness, restrained behavior.

That's a hard word to live up to. I remember watching the TV series "KUNG FU" when I was a kid. I used to get frustrated at David Carradine when he would walk away from a fight (restraint). I'd be yelling at him from my living room, telling him to, "Kick his ass Grasshoppa!" But Grasshoppa never did, unless he was pushed to a limit where he had to protect himself or someone else. He remained modest and meek until he kicked the living daylights out of someone. I always wanted to see the bad guy get the crap kicked outta him so he'd learn a lesson to NOT MESS with humility.

Another thing that pisses me off is when good things happen to bad people. But, my irreligious as it may be, is that if you are bad or you are ungrateful for what you have in life, you will get the end. Some people call it Karma. I call it, "YOUR DUE." Sometimes "YOUR DUE" comes NOT in the form of punishment put simply in living a miserable, unhappy life.

What a way to go....

Am I targeting a particular individual in this blog posting? Well, you might say so.....but, if so, they know who they are and they may or may not get the message. I'm also making a general statement because this is not the first time this has happened. True intellectuals don't talk about their smarts. They don't have to.

Have a nice day!

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