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2001: The Viagra Years
Tuesday September 11, 2001
I am at home after returning from a day in the salt mines. Sitting, relaxing and reflecting. Reflecting that I am happy to be alive. In a world gone mad, staying alive is a privilege not to be taken lightly. In a matter of seconds, several thousand people disappeared from the face of the earth, their destinies determined by faceless mercenaries. They were victims in a war that really doesn't exist except in the minds of a select few self-appointed zealots. Ideology should not consume the lives of people who are not instrumental in its construct. Alas, the evil that men (and women) do.
The news channels continue to repeat the same morbid scenes over and over again. The endless pundit pap runs a close second to the inane senselessness of the heinous act itself. Many people are in a state of disbelief because they have seen those clips time and time again. Only before, they were the special effects in action flicks. Reality intrudes upon fantasy. The windbags who serve as politicians can only spew the same old rhetoric with little effort to conceal their insincerity. They make idle threats to an unknown villain after they have emerged from the underground bunkers which protect them. They are the ones who should be lying in the rubble, with their craniums cracked open by the tons of debris which once was part of a 110-floor building. The rank-and-file will always serve as the pawns and sacrificial lambs for the politicians and the international moneychangers.
I am thankful to be alive today. The finger-pointing has begun. However, I'm not as quick to rush to judgment. I am worried that the events of today may have been perpetrated by our own. Anything's possible. Wrong is right. I have refrained from my usual banal dribble. Instead, I offer my condolences to the family and friends of the victims of today's tragedy. We can seek remedy in the form of retaliation, but the real perpetrators have perished with their victims. In the end, only the [true] God can exact punishment on the souls of the wicked. "Vengeance is mine," he has said in His own testimony. Justice will prevail but in its own time and place.
Wednesday September 12
An entire nation has been brought to its knees by a small handful of people. The heart of the military industrial complex has been stabbed critically and the aftershocks are still to be felt in the financial markets later this week. Tensions are running high, and with that comes the rising tide in nationalism, bigotry, and warmongering. There is much to be concerned about because senseless violence begets more senseless violence. In the end, I find little solace in the posturing offered by the politicians who remained sheltered in bunkers throughout the ordeal. The declaration of war and the subsequent invasion of a country in an area which been a powderkeg for millennia is not exactly prudent. Loyalties may quickly shift borders, and we will find ourselves facing the Apocalypse.
The acts of yesterday were cruel and senseless in our eyes. After all, there are rules of war. Yet, who exactly fashioned those rules? Our own hands are dirty and blood-stained as well. In the past, our clandestine operations did little to respect the governing mechanisms in place in other countries if they conflicted with our "interests." We have empowered, embraced, and financed regimes, governments and people, often overlooking their transgressions. Then, in a wink of an eye, we abandoned them and embraced their enemies. One thing never changes — the powers-that-be always have armored bunkers. The rest of us are just a human wall of vulnerability no matter what side we are on. The bloodguilt rests upon the politicians and the moneychangers. Their insatiable greed, their lust for power, and their rampant disregard for humanity has brought us to the crossroads of good and evil. When will it ever change?
The commoners want peace and security. They want to live in harmony in a clean world devoid of crime and corruption. They want an end to injustice, poverty, and hunger. They want good health. They want a sense of community where love prevails and sacrifices are made for the good of all rather than martyrdom. We, the commoners, want an end to the fighting and killing. Life is already too short.
Thursday September 13
The pundits and the gasbag politicians are lining up, each of them engaged in a rhetorical war chant. The phrase "Pearl Harbor" keeps intentionally coming up in order to incite more outrage. People are crying for us to go to war with absolutely no idea what the ramifications are. They want us to invade and bomb the crap out of somebody. Anybody. Afghanistan. Pakistan. Iraq. Libya. The more the merrier. Sometimes I wonder if this whole mess was financed by Big Oil just so we would have an excuse to wage war across the whole Middle Eastern landscape. If we could secure a major victory, all of those oil fields will be ours for the taking. No need to answer to that evil cartel anymore. Have we ever learned a lesson from the Vietnam War? No, we rather remember the incidental victory during the Gulf War. Yet, the Gulf Oil War and our other questionable dealings in that part of the world is what has put us in this precarious position now.
In discussing the terrorists and the high stakes scenario yet to unfold,
Salon editor Scott Rosenberg wrote in "The Kamikaze Factor":
The single most important fact about them is not technological but psychological, and it is something Americans continue to be in deep denial about: These people were willing, even eager, to die.
According to the most recent information, three to six men boarded each of four airliners on Tuesday to execute their vicious plan. That means a minimum of 12 to 24 people accepted, with what we can only imagine was alacrity, their own certain death as part of the plot. None of of our airline safety plans and hijacking scenarios imagined such as ghastly possibility.
Rosenberg further adds:
President Bush keeps saying the attacks were an act of war, leaving the nation to wonder: Who is the enemy? We know that our foes do not care about such niceties of international law as "acts of war." And we know that our enemies are killing themselves and will no doubt keep killing themselves if they know they can keep hurting us. The more casualties that result from our superpower fury, the bombing raids and invasions now being weighed in councils of state, the happier they will be, because our fury will swell their ranks and fuel their rhetoric of martyrdom.
The real enemy is unreason. And our most important task in coming days, as we pursue the inevitable and justified retaliation, is to make sure that the enemy does not become us. Sacrificing our own reason in the face of a mad enemy is just another way to give up.
I didn't intentionally mean to break copyright law by quoting so much, but I believe that the message is sound. We are at a critical juncture. There is no room for even a small margin of error.
The skies over Hawai'i have been clear. There also hasn't been a single plane visible where normally one can be spotted at least every few minutes. There are probably thousands of people stranded on each of the islands. Although the likelihood of a similar attack here is slim, many people are still wary. Hawai'i is a prime strategic military location and was a potential nuclear attack target during the Cold War days.
I remember the days when I used to shuttle back and forth to the mainland. I may not have mentioned it before but I always spent about 30 minutes before the flight contemplating what I would do in case the plane was commandeered by some maniac. I always took inventory of what was available to use as a weapon in the cabin, and I scrutinized all of the passengers whenever they got up during the flight. I suppose that I was prematurely paranoid. However, I assume that many others will now be following this ritual.
As a monk, I must also keep a vigil for signs of the prophesy. A few people have already made reference to the end of the world, that being Armageddon. We are awaiting the rise of the seven-headed beast which will turn against Babylon the Great. Symbolically, this must occur on earth and will involve all governing and religious bodies. We are poised to act out this scenario now. It could be just a dress rehearsal or the real thing. Only time will tell.
Friday September 14
The inevitability of war draws closer with each passing day. I grow more fearful of the outcome. I have spent a few minutes before each of my classes to talk with my students and attempt to make them at least use some aspect of critical thinking to test the soundness of the arguments in favor of war. One student was fairly adamant about going to war:
"I'm ready to kill," he said. "I'll kill as many of them as possible."
"But, are you ready to die?" I asked.
He kept repeating the same line to me, but was unable to answer my question. In the war against the often faceless terrorists, we must be prepared to meet them on their own ground. We must be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice. However, in a PlayStation world, a person can die a thousand painless deaths. That is about as close to war as most warmongers have gotten.
I was awakened at about 3am by the sound of a jet airliner, the first I've heard since Tuesday. As I waited at the bus stop this morning, I saw a plane flying toward LA. Slowly, everything is returning to normal. I was glad to return home from the salt mines. I don't want to think about the upcoming war. I don't look upon the event with the great excitement and fury that many armchair patriots share. The gasbag politicians continue to fuel the fire. None of them will be at the front lines, mind you. The outrage has reached a fever pitch. Hysteria is setting in, and now a kind of madness is taking over. Reason has been lost.
Saturday September 15
As a monk, I must always respect the separation of church and state. This is mandated by the Good Book. Yet, many of the sinister kahuna's brethren pose as shepherds to the flock. As unbelievable as it may seem, the Washington Post reported a few off-the-cuff remarks made by the Abbott and Costello of religion, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson on the latter's Christian Broadcasting Network. "God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve," Falwell told Robertson on the 700 Club Wednesday, referring to the catastrophic events of the day before. "Jerry, that's my feeling," Robertson responded. Falwell went on to blame the ACLU and federal courts for "throwing God out of the public square." He then babbled on, "The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"
This coming from the same morons who pretty much embraced the bombing and killing of abortion clinic staff by domestic terrorists. Heck, I have listened to both of these fools at the pulpit, urging their congregations to vote for certain candidates and proselytizing about extremely secular matters. Who really is mocking the [true] God? This is interesting to note because we are now looking at the emergence of a real Holy War. I am appalled that these false prophets have chosen this time to capitalize on guilt and outrage to further the pursuits of their own political agenda. The so-called "Christian Right" is not a small contingent. There are many in this country who firmly believe that the US is the "chosen nation" of the [true] God. Only the false prophets would subvert the Scriptures to imply such nonsense. Only agents of the sinister kahuna would be brazen enough to incur the wrath of the [true] God in this manner. Little wonder that Salon's Joan Walsh called Falwell "America's answer to the Taliban." She adds, "But in the end they'll punish themselves. Falwell and Robertson have to live with their own idiocy. By their twisted logic, the terrorists were agents of God, and thus we should welcome their vengeance."
I am extremely worried. The prophesy is specific about the discord that will precipitate the events to Armageddon. As the religious fervor bubbles to the surface, the signs becomes more apparent. To add to the stale air of cynicism , the financial pundits are calling on all responsible citizens to go on a spending spree to help the economy recover. Elevated levels of consumerism will squash these terrorists, they say. Bozo pundit Bill O' Reilly is at his pulpit preaching that there is no more time to think about endangered species and wildlife. Drill the damned wildlife reserves to get the oil we need to sustain our lifestyle and to fuel the upcoming war, damnit! Well, I've gone beyond the confines of the journal. I have never wanted to venture into the area of religion and politics in the journal because I am a monk. I'm sure that we can all see the contradictions and subsequent hypocrisy. We can also see the many serpents who are attempting to capitalize on tragedy for their own ends. Then, again, sometimes I have to wonder. Perhaps Falwell, bin Laden, O' Reilly, and all of these other fools are impotent. That could be why they are causing so much mischief. Maybe some Viagra could help them, eh?
I am, like most everyone else, extremely fatigued. I am going to relax this weekend. I'll take some time to reflect on how fortunate I have been and to feel a deep appreciation knowing that I am alive and well.
Sunday September 16
Yesterday, I wanted to go to the gym, but it was too hot. I ended up lapsing into a coma for most of the day. My bro dropped by late in the afternoon. He also brought a 12-pack of Steinlager brewskis. He just purchased a bike for his son as well. So, while his son rode around in the cul de sac, we partook of the brewskis and talked story. I lapsed into a coma for most of the day, but my bro and his family came by at 1:30pm. I had already decided that I was going to the gym, so I did. I bought a 12-pack of Steinlager brewskis before walking home. My bro and I dropped back the brewskis while his wife and son rode their bikes around the neighborhood. Later, we drove down to Koko Marina and bought several take-out plate lunches from Yummy's. We all enjoyed a good dinner before my bro and family departed. This was a nice day. I am thankful for that. These days, only the simple things seem to matter.
The financial markets will come close to collapse tomorrow, according to the doomsayers. Most of us will continue to lose more dough. The news is filled with war jubilation. However, there are some disturbing tidbits embedded within the stories. There are reports that some of the terrorists could have been trained at US military installations as part of an exchange program with other countries. Also, bin Laden himself may have been enlisted by the CIA or trained using US funds during the Afghanistan incursion with the then-Soviet Union. Interestingly enough, Pakistan has agreed to aid the US in the war effort. Did the US decide to shelve the plan to strategically ally itself with Pakistan's enemy India? Once the war effort is over, will the US cast Pakistan aside? I am also curious about the war effort. We have declared war and publicly announced it along with our intentions to use Pakistani resources. It is clear that we are going to Afghanistan. Will bin Laden still be there? After all, he only resides there. He has no other loyalty to that nation. Because of the rough terrain of Afghanistan, we will have to send in ground troops. What will happen then?
It is clear that we are moving in the direction that bin Laden (and many other terrorist leaders) wants, that is, launching conventional warfare in the land of Islam. The localized war could spread all over parts of Southeast Asia and the Middle East, if it drags on and polarizes the other moderate Arab nations. And, what about the home front? Could this be a "wag the dog" situation? The nation was moving closer to a recession. There was increasing pressure on the Vice President's office to reveal details of the secret energy policy meeting. Resistance was increasing concerning the carte blanche drilling for oil in protected areas. The main reason that we have any presence in the Middle East is simply because of the oil fields. We do not have military installations in Israel, only in Saudi Arabia. There's much more, but the war has now distracted us from those issues. However, none of this relevant. I am a monk. I am only watching for the fulfillment of prophesy.
Monday September 17
Everywhere I look, I see the US flag. Nationalism is on the rise along with pro-war sentiments. More disturbing news is surfacing. The FAA is pointing fingers, stating that it had notified NORAD immediately after observing the rogue jet airliners veer off course. Jet fighters were dispatched to intercept the planes but arrived too late. Even if the fighters had arrived in time, there was no authorization given to shoot down the civilian planes. Booyah! The ease with which Pakistan gave in to our demands had nothing to do with fear. The US promised a huge economic aid package in exchange. Oddly, the now detestable Taliban government of Afghanistan must have been in good graces with the US before. Millions of dollars in economic aid and subsidies have been awarded to the Taliban, the most recent being $43 million for effective reductions in poppy (read: opium) harvests. And, bin Laden was a "resident" there during all that time. Booyah! The Washington Post provided the following tidbit:
Senior Pakistani military and intelligence officials - whose officers have advised, coordinated and in many cases participated in combat in Afghanistan with various factions over the past 20 years - said they are warning U.S. war planners of the daunting challenges.
"You yourself [the United States] trained them to be the best guerrilla force in the world" said a former Pakistani intelligence official who said he advised Islamic freedom fighters under CIA-sponsored programs during the rebels' war with Soviet forces in the 1980s. "Some of these Taliban were the CIA's superstars."
"Doesn't the CIA remember they were the ones who gave the Afghans the best lessons in the world in how to humiliate a great army?" said another former Pakistani intelligence official, who has advised the Taliban in military operations for the past five years.
Taliban leader Mohammad Omar fought under one of the CIA's most prized rebel commanders, Yunis Khalis, according to the former operative.
What exactly is going on? Wrong is right? The warmongers have rallied enough support to wage war. But, what are they going to do? A protracted war with ground troops will certainly lose public appeal once the casualties increase. I've heard a lot of fools discuss how our superior forces could take any of these leaders out at any time. So, what happened with Saddam back in the Gulf War days? Apparently, President Ford had signed legislation a while back that prohibits any US agency from assassinating any foreign head of state. The complexity and complicity of this nonsense would leave anyone totally confused.
I am extremely fatigued. I feel as though I am experiencing a really bad dream, or that I have materialized in the plot of a John LeCarre novel. There is a lot of bamboozling going on, and people are reacting without seeing the big picture. The stock market declined as predicted. We are in a recession, just no one wants to be labeled the primary doomsayer by admitting it. All I know is that the dog is being wagged.
Tuesday September 18
Everywhere I look, I see the word "war." The word is repeated incessantly by every pundit, gasbag politician, and journalist. The public is excited and ready for action. So, what happened? The Taliban has decided to not extradite bin Laden just as expected. A ruling by the Afghan council of clerics is due soon. Former Russian military leaders involved in the prior Afghanistan conflict have warned the US about the difficulties ahead. The Soviets suffered 15,000 casualties at the hands of the Pakistani-trained, CIA-financed rebels before finally retreating.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...
At the faculty meeting today, it became obvious that the Asylum is running itself into bankruptcy. Most of the spending has been on superficial nonsense like the new storefront offices along King Street. Even the indulgent faculty retreat will now be held in one of the classrooms this year. I'm not even certain if I'll be employed there next year. The administration is extremely top-heavy considering there are only 500 students total. Almost all of the students are on Title IV financial aid in the form of loans. All of the students are recruited from areas with the lowest per capita income. That's the whole crux of the business plan. As long as a person has a heartbeat, then that person can qualify for a student loan. It's easy to see why all of the academic issues are constantly in Code Red status. The placement office claims a 96 percent placement ratio. I almost started laughing. Many of our "graduates" are being placed in minimum wage jobs that they could have gotten without borrowing $5,000 to pay for a mediocre education.
Hawai'i will probably be on the verge of collapse soon. The economic woes of the nation translates into an even worse situation here. The terrorist crisis will certainly have an impact on tourism. In addition, there are the 3,000 households due to go off welfare at the end of November. I have already adjusted my lifestyle to make it through the tough times.
Finally, I should comment on the concept of the "chosen nation" of the [true] God. Our own religious zealots are convinced that the US is that "chosen nation" and, therefore, we can implement our "manifest destiny" with divine approval. What many uninformed zealots don't know is that there is no "chosen nation" at this point in time. The [true] God enacted a covenant with Abraham promising that the Messiah would come through his lineage. The nation of Israel (originally the name given to Abraham's son Jacob) did become mighty, and eventually delivered itself to the Promised Land. However, Israel eventually lost favor with the [true] God because it rejected the Son of the [true] God. All in all, the term "chosen nation" only signified that the promised "seed" would eventually be conceived through Abraham's family line. The [true] God only protected and assisted the "chosen nation" until the "seed" was born at the appointed time 42 generations later. The US is not the "chosen nation" of the [true] God. Even in the Good Book, it is explained that the original serpent is now the ruler of the world. Those who say otherwise are false prophets who are bringing the real prophesy into focus.
Wednesday September 19
If the US doesn't blow somebody to bits pretty soon, then there are going to be a lot of upset people around here. It's hard to start a war chant and end up canceling the war. I'm not even sure that I want to follow this story anymore. It has put me on the edge. I was very impatient with my students at the university today. I am at wit's end because there is nothing that I can do to make them read anything or do the assignments. At the Asylum, I have circumvented the problem by reverting to "high school shop teacher" mode. I only wonder how I will make it through another two years.
I have no idea about what's up with the OS X update. No one is certain if it has even reached Gold Master status. In the meantime, there is a media blitz about Windows XP. It's pretty obvious why Apple is way behind. OS X is a great operating system. I use it 99 percent of the time. I believe that it's a great alternative to Windows, but there's not one word about it mentioned anywhere. Even Apple has not disclosed much. Odd, considering that the release date is in this very month. With two weeks left, shouldn't there be some kind of publicity?
My mind is ready to snap because of all the nonsense. I just want to relax. I am even more chagrined because the stock market took another plunge. More dough lost. Sheesh!
Thursday September 20
The stock market took another deep plunge. My loss for the year is a little over $5,000, of which about $1,900 were just over the last four days. I expect the market to completely collapse within a week. There will most likely be a huge sell-off and a possible run on the banks. Money markets are likely to follow suit. So, in less than a year, I've lost 10 percent of my total assets. That brings me to my topic today — the fallacy of "saving" and "investment" for peons.
Only the rich benefit by any kind of saving and investment plan. The poor are fooling themselves because the Millennium Capitalist Model defines only one role for them — spend every dime and maximize debt. It makes no sense to save or invest unless one's annual income is in the six-figure range minimum. I'll tell you why. Multi-million dollar diversified assets and investments provide a hedge against any kind of loss. Further, the acquisition of real property provides the best investment advantage. The poor cannot afford to play this game. Usually, peons who make less than $100,000 per annum can expect to lose a lot more by attempting any other investment than retirement plans. The inability to diversify across an extremely broad spectrum with much more than chump change will only lead to the typical cyclical losses as is being witnessed this week. As a true peon, I have observed one thing — when I have any dough to invest, I will lose much more because a major correction is always around the corner. If I don't have any dough, then I won't be able to invest but I will see incredible growth trends across the board. Only the rich will be well positioned to take advantage of those new opportunities. The writing is on the wall. We are being taken to the cleaners right now. There will be a recovery sometime, but the peons will be on the outside looking in when that happens. The bottom line? Spend every dime you have. Enjoy it while you can, because saving it will only mean that it will disappear before your very eyes.
I am seriously looking at my plan of moving as much as I can into an insured savings account. I expect the money markets (i.e., commercial paper) to sink, especially if war is on the horizon. More dog wagging continued today with speculation that Iraq will be the target of US fury. Skimpy evidence is being gathered to implicate Saddam as the true mastermind of the terrorist attacks. Looks more like an excuse to implement a political assassination and appease the blood thirsty tribe at home. The military needs a quick victory in order to justify prolonging the "crusade." Israel is claiming that its intelligence operation has the goods on Saddam. The US is doing all kinds of wheeling and dealing to buy alliances from the various nations in the Middle East under the guise of diplomacy. So, what happened to Afghanistan and bin Laden?
Friday September 21
I've lost another $400 in less than a day. The stock market will plunge further next week as more and more bad economic news keeps coming in. The economy of Hawai'i will probably completely collapse before the year ends. The floor gave way on tourism, and there are no other contingencies in place. I was even more irritated today because absolutely nothing makes any sense any more. I paid my cell phone bill, but I did not terminate my service. The BMW Z-3 is looking pretty good again. I could buy a new one in cash right now, if I choose to. What is the sense of saving any dough?
The Nimda "virus" has infected the computers at both the university and the Asylum. I can no longer receive e-mail. Most of the workstations and servers are using Windows. Computer terrorism is on the rise. I suspect we will see even more potent strains of nefarious software soon. Regardless, the Windows XP fanfare is in high gear. Not one word about OS X from Apple. Even loyal Apple users are in the dark about its debut. Microscum is lining its coffers with "pre-orders" for XP. It's a sure bet that XP will be the rage. Windows ME was so pathetic. I just don't see how anyone wouldn't be forced to upgrade.
Professor Brian invited me to join a few other faculty for Pau Hana Time at the Aloha Tower Marketplace. I declined because I was too fatigued. I just wanted to leave the salt mines as quickly as possible. I have three Steinlager brewskis left in the fridge. I may have to drop 'em back right now. It's been a long week.
Saturday September 22
I am now ex communicado as far as my beloved cell phone is concerned. I terminated my service. The ordeal took me about 20 minutes to complete. That's part of the procedure to discourage such a decision. In contrast, making a payment takes only about a minute. And, the only person who has called me in the last six months was the handmaiden. I realized right then that I did the right thing. My next project is to rid myself of all but one credit card. I only use one anyway. I'd like to eliminate as much of the paper trail that I had previously established with the evil moneychangers.
I drank the leftover Steinlager brewskis before lunch. I was extremely groggy after that, so I didn't make it to the gym. Oh well. I did absolutely nothing except to lapse in and out of a coma. Even I must admit that the routine is getting real old. Well, I'm sure that it will be more of the same for the ol' lavahead tomorrow. What can I do? I've lost over $5,000 for no particular reason. Sheesh!
Sunday September 23
The gasbag politicians have used the terrorist crisis as a smokescreen to hide the fact that they are contemplating the passage of more bills giving more tax breaks to the affluent. Something eludes me — how does easing the capital gains tax for the rich aid in the fight against terrorism? The military activities in the Middle East are now a total secret. The so-called "evidence" against the usual suspects (i.e., bin Laden et al.) is substantial, we are told, but no details can be disseminated. What the hell is going on? With each passing day, I am beginning to wonder if this whole scenario was staged. The sad part is that all roads lead to Big Oil and to the defense contractors, the mainstays of the US economy until the technology boom. It's "old family" money. The aristocracy. A veritable who's who of the major contributors to the Gross Domestic Product during the Cold War days. Some of the old fossils from that time period are now key players in the current administration as well. I'm having difficulty sleeping well at night because I smell a conspiracy. Something is really wrong with this picture, and it has been that way ever since the Supreme Court overstepped its jurisdiction and stomped on the Constitution.
The most telltale sign is the hellfire and brimstone spewed from Jerry Falwell last week. Most have dismissed the remarks as sheer stupidity. Upon closer scrutiny, I believe that Falwell spoke confidently, and firmly believed every word he said. It falls in line with his own version of the prophesy. His brazen, self-righteous comments truly represent the feelings of his flock — the filthy rich who believe that their wealth is a divine blessing from God and a birthright to the gates of Heaven. They are the "chosen." Most of the conservative, warmongering politicians are also of this flock. They believe that they have been anointed by God to cleanse the world of evil through the "chosen nation." Could they have known about the attack beforehand and ignored it for this reason? Sure. It falls in line with their perverted interpretation of the Scriptures in the Book of Genesis when the [true] God confronted the serpent — "He will bruise you in the head but you will bruise him in the heel."
The Holy War has begun. The serpent has bruised the "chosen nation" in the heel. Now, the "chosen" are prepared to deliver a fatal blow to its head. The Holy War is also going to be fought at home. Falwell has already identified the Pagans whom he plans to expel. In the name of security, personal privacy will be violated. However, it will go further to ferret out the Pagans and invoked under a cloak of secrecy, just as the war (read: "crusade") on terrorism. My guess is that the powers-that-be believe they can do no wrong. God is on their side and will deliver them from their enemies. I have begun perusing the Book of Revelation to see whether I can identify any parallels to the Falwellian doctrines. They may have already broken the First Seal of seven.
I actually made it to the gym today, thank goodness. My bro and his family came by later this afternoon. My bro had a 12-pack of Steinlager brewskis in hand, so you know what that meant. We'll both be hurting tomorrow when we return to the salt mines. Oh well. What else is there to do when the end is near, eh?
Monday September 24
I am fatigued and confused. There are no answers anymore. Today, I noticed that there are a lot of gorgeous, young babes in my classes at both the university and the Asylum. I'm not sure why I was distracted by the young vixens. Fortunately, they all have BoyToys, not that I was hoping for something to happen. I surmise that the Apple forums inadvertently caused me to stumble. There are "roll call" threads on Friday and Saturday night. The regulars were at their computers, cheap brewskis in hand, lamenting about the lack of babes. It reminded me of the old days in Convalescent City.
I've been happy as a monk. As I walked home from the gym yesterday, I realized that I enjoy being by myself. I don't even miss the company of old friends. Yet, today, I was momentarily stricken with what seemed like a jolt of depression. I actually felt lonely. That's when I noticed all of the babes I'm in contact with on a daily basis. Overall, I am very content with the monk lifestyle. Nothing else made me see the folly of my ways.
Rumor has it that the OS X update will be unveiled tomorrow. That's about all I look forward to. My iBook is my only useful material possession. The iBook can (and has) replaced any need for a babe. And, I'm not talking about my hurdy-gurdy DVD library either. I spend at least two hours on my iBook every night. I write my journal. I catch up with the news. I read the Apple-related forums. Certainly nothing to rival da wild thing. Who cares? I live a quiet and peaceful life. That is a reward in itself.
Tuesday September 25
The OS X upgrade was unveiled today at the Seybold Conference in San Francisco. After that, chaos ensued. Most of us will be sending in an order form for the upgrade, and it will take about two months before we get it. A free upgrade CD is rumored to be distributed by major Apple retailers on Saturday. From what I've read in the forums, people were calling everywhere. There were more rumors and misinformation as a result. I even called CompUSA, only to discover that no one there had any information. Others are reporting that CompUSA locations on the mainland will be distributing the CD. I am now having second thoughts about my switch to Apple. I have been very excited about OS X since I installed it this Summer. However, this bumbling debut has me worried. You can be certain that Windows XP will not have a pathetic debut like this.
I am not going back to Windows. That is certain. I have had a good experience with OS X, and have not had any complaints about it as compared to most other Mac users. I am certain that my version will work fine until I receive the upgrade package. I guess I became caught up in the hoopla. Sheesh! Speaking of hoopla, I have been wondering about the developments concerning the war. I may be wrong, but it looks to me that most of the public has returned to a normal (read: complacent) lifestyle. People are already beginning to forget about the tragedy of two weeks ago. It's really an indelible part of our culture. We treat all aspects of life like media events. Once the coverage reaches the saturation point, it's time to move on. Maybe we'll return to coverage about Chandra Levy, or perhaps we'll focus on Gary Condit's zipper again. Sometimes I feel like going off on a violent diatribe, and then start chanting, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" before collapsing on the floor in convulsions. Remember that memorable scene from Network?
Wednesday September 26
I sent in my order for the OS X upgrade. There is so much confusion about the free upgrade and where it will be distributed. I can't take any chances, so I paid the $20 to insure that I get a copy. Well, I was called in by the Associate Dean's office at the university like a schoolboy gone bad. I was reprimanded for a policy that I put in my syllabus and was ordered to issue a memorandum immediately to rescind it. I doubt that I'll be faculty there much longer. I'll be joining the ranks of ex-Pseudo-professors John and Emmett. Frankly, I don't care. It will take much longer for me to reach my financial goals, but I am not exactly sure what I was working toward. I'll never really be able to retire. So, it doesn't matter how much dough I earn. I don't buy anything anyway.
I've already learned how to live as a mendicant monk. I can probably reduce my spending even further if I sell my beloved six-four and wean myself of the gym. None of it really matters. I've discussed the fallacy of saving and investment. That's the law of the land. I've learned that everything is vanity. I can only make peace with myself and learn to live within my means and accept my limitations. I have no reason to keep up with others, or to desire more than I have. At least I have finally come to understand my need to divest myself of my useless worldly possessions. My concern is not clutter but rather the symbolism of those detestable idols. The useless crap symbolizes the vanity of the world. It stands for morons like the Dean at the university and every other superficial [rectum]. Now I see why I am perfectly content with having close to nothing. I am no better a person with or without that [dung].
Bumrush da Fools Part II
I have become extremely disillusioned. I don't feel that I belong anywhere. I am a nomad amongst fools and morons. Yet, I am the one who is basically penniless. The journal is the main focus of my life, even though I often have a poverty of words. I know this to be true because the journal is the only real reason that I own a computer. Sure, I certainly need the built-in DVD player to peruse my extensive hurdy-gurdy library. However, I could have bought one of those cheesy DVD players instead. I am willing to get rid of everything else except my beloved iBook.
Tomorrow, I will clean out my desk at the university. I'll donate my various books to the Asylum's library. A fitting end, eh? No, I am not resigning. I'm just getting ready to join ex-Pseudo-professor John in forgotten obscurity. I may even beat the fools to the punch by transferring to the mathematics department. Then, I'll just facilitate a class or two every now and then. No real pressure or strain. Nonetheless, I am becoming impatient. There is an anxiety building up which I sense could lead to a violent climax. I've been on the edge for a long time. I'm teetering on the borderline of sanity. Everything has gone terribly awry. I suppose that it's time for me to chill. So far, I've been thwarted at every turn. Not much can change that. Perhaps most everyone shares the same destiny. I just feel that I am alone because I am out of touch. Disillusionment may very well be the prevailing axiom. I am just one of many. Yet, I have forgotten that I am the Keeper — the Keeper of Lost Lives. Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaa!
Thursday September 27
I cleaned out my desk at the university this morning. I threw most of the papers into the recycler. I also donated a few of my books to the Asylum's library. I stuffed everything else into my small locker located in the faculty computer room. I seldom go there anymore. I have not seen many of my colleagues in a long time. In fact, I rarely spend any time at the university. After my meeting with the Associate Dean yesterday, I'll be spending even less time there. Mark and I had lunch at some Italian fast food joint this afternoon. I can't even remember the name of the place, although I must admit that the Ravioli was really good.
I left downtown on the first express bus. I do not care to hang around there any longer than I have to. The grand opening for the gym in Hawai'i Kai is happening this evening. I'm afraid that I will have to miss the event. The fiasco with OS X continues. The Macworld and MacAddict forums are indicative of the frenzy and confusion that continues to get worse. I will only have two choices to obtain the free upgrade this weekend — CompUSA or Circuit City. There is no clear indication that either place will have the upgrade. Even then, I may have to deal with a huge crowd and end up empty handed. Fortunately, I've already sent in my order form, so I should get the upgrade about two months from now. Sheesh!
Friday September 28
The confusion over the distribution of the OS X upgrade has now reached a frenzied state. There is absolutely no reliable information available concerning the availability at local Apple retailers. For those who do not know, Apple is making a limited number of upgrade packages available at "participating" retailers this weekend. I have also discovered that the shipping information on the forms for the mail-in program had changed. So, I may see my order within two weeks.
The stupidity at the House of Lolo has kicked in again. The young ho' is totally out of control. There have been yelling matches for the past two nights. Aside from that, there is a continuous train of guys appearing all night long. The young ho' comes and goes until the wee hours of the morning. At 1am this morning, I was awakened by the sound of a piece of [dung] pimped-out VW bug racing around the cul de sac. Two guys and the young ho' were inside. They later got out and were carrying on in the middle of the cul de sac for about 30 minutes. They sounded as if they were hammered.
The financial markets seems to have stabilized for the time being. I have not even checked my accounts. Nor have I been reading as much news about the war developments. I have been pretty much preoccupied with OS X. I have also been mapping out my strategy to divest myself of the remaining "symbols" of materialism. Ridding myself of the cell phone was a very important first step. Cleaning out my desk at the university was also crucial. I'm only glad that it's Friday. I have a reprieve from the salt mines.
Saturday September 29
I purchased my beloved iBook just a few days after pops' passing. I ordered my free copy of OS X and received it on July 2nd, about two weeks later. I didn't install it until August 24th, almost two months later. Now, I am wringing my hands while I'm waiting for the 10.1 upgrade package. Sheesh! I checked the Apple forums this morning to see how the Instant Up-to-Date program for OS X was doing. I decided to take a gamble. I drove to CompUSA and arrived there at 9:20am. I walked into the store and went straight to the Apple section. An Apple representative was there. I picked up my copy of the OS X upgrade. That was it. No lines or crowds or morons. So, I didn't even need to order the upgrade. Another $20 down the drain. Oh well.
I installed OS X immediately upon returning home. Took about 45 minutes. There was no large increase in speed since I have 384MB of RAM, and I'm sure there are some hardware limitations in my beloved iBook. The DVD player works adequately, although there will probably be upgrades for it very soon. After playing with OS X, I cannot imagine how anyone would want to deal with Windows anymore.
My bro's family came by late in the afternoon. They stayed for dinner. My bro brought another 12-pack of Steinlager brewskis, so we spent some time doing the male bonding thing. I really wanted to nerd out with my beloved iBook. After my bro's family left, I stayed up past midnight to check out all of the new features in OS X. Well, hey! I'm a computer nerd!
Sunday September 30
Things have really changed since last night. The OS X upgrade has created quite a few problems. Some application like Fetch (FTP client) stopped working. I had download a new version. It still doesn't work properly. The "About" screen for many applications locks the menu such that I cannot even terminate the application unless I use the "Force Quit" method (similar to "End Task" in Windows). In fact, OS X is beginning to seem much more like Windows. Also, whenever I click on the "Save" button, I hear the DVD drive being accessed as well. None of these problems existed in Version 10.0.4, which leads me to believe that this is entirely new code.
I did not go to the gym today, much to my chagrin. I was content to sit in my favorite chair and lapse in and out of a coma. Later, I sat outside on my beloved resin chair. My bro came by at about 5pm. He had a 4-pack of Guinness. We dropped 'em back fairly quickly. Then, we drove to Pizza Hut in Kuapa Kai to buy a take-out pizza for dinner. We had a couple of leftover Steinlager brewskis to wash down the pizza with. All in all, another day in Paradise.
I'll have a few hours to fool around with OS X. I hope that I can get Fetch to work. Otherwise, I will have no way to send up the journal. I have no idea why this kind of crap keeps happening. All of the crises seem to be focused on some aspect of the journal. The weekend was not a total loss. I did my houseboy and yardboy chores. I'm ready to return to the salt mines. Sheesh!
To be continued ... Go to V.15
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