Friday, July 08, 2011

Killing the dog that killed Charlie

So - here's what went down.....

From my early to late teens, there was a family dog named Charlie. He was a cute little mutt, about the size of a large cat. And - in fact - he liked cats. One or two of the family cats got along with him, and they were often found sleeping together - curled up in an adorable cross-species ball. Other cats knew not how to deal with Charlie. They left the marks of their displeasure as scars on his cute little "rubber eraser" nose.

When I was in Middle School, he knew my schedule. Walking home from school, I would find him waiting at the corner of our block. We would then race to the front porch. As time passed, the number of races I won increased.

When I was a high school student - when dinosaurs roamed the earth - there appeared in the neighborhood a bitch who was in heat. She was a larger dog. Among the males who presented themselves as suitors was a son of a bitch about the same size as the bitch who was the center of attention. Competition ensued.

This mongrel bastard - spawn of satan dog - chose to deal with Charlie by taking him in his mouth, biting down hard, and shaking him.

While my father took Charlie to the vet, I went on a motorcycle ride - to collect my thoughts. Charlie was to die a few days later. We didn't know that yet.

Later that night, my father and I spotted the offending S.O.B. in the neighborhood. I loaded up the Rugar Nylon .22 and and we gave chase. With - at least to begin - my fathers blessings.

We found the S.O.B. in the back yard of house that my father owned - a rental property that I was later to buy from his widow. At the same instant the word "No!" came from my father's mouth, I pulled the trigger. And again. And again. Until the rifle jammed. I heard a yelp, indicating some measure of revenge, but the dog escaped.

Fast forward a month. My father, serving as a judge for the Utah 4th Circuit Court, is hearing the case of a man charged with having a dog running at large. In his defense, the accused states the following: "I was sick and tired of dealing with that dog, and was ready to put him down. But someone saved me the trouble. He was found dead - shot with a .22 - at the intersection of 600 West and 100 North."

At this point, The Honorable E. Patrick McGuire complemented the accused on his proper attitude, dismissed all charges, and prayed to heaven that the man before him would never learn that it was his son that had killed the dog.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Stalag 17

I was Eugene Heschle's paperboy. [Hope I spelled his name correctly.] I knew the following things about him. 1. He was in the Wehrmacht in WWII. 2. He lost a leg in battle. 3. After recovering, he was assigned as guard to a prison camp. 4. He converted to Mormonism and immigrated to the U.S. - not necessarily in that order.

One night, when delivering the Provo Daily Herald to his home, I heard two sounds emanating from the house. First, there was the television show Hogan's Heroes playing. Second was the sound of Mr. Heschle laughing his ass off.

35 years later I still smile when I think of it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Let it rain

When a single small blessing falls from the heavens, we call it a miracle and pray for more. When a billion small blessings fall from the heavens, we call it rain, and wish it away.

I was awakened at five o'clock this morning by the sound of rain. I thought of my car. When I parked it in front of the house a scant three hours earlier, I left the windows cracked. I smiled, turned over, and returned to a peaceful sleep. There was nothing in the car that wouldn't survive a shower or bath. I've driven with a wet butt before and lived to tell the tale.

Last night, a friend sent me a text message telling of an art project she is undertaking. She is decorating the fence that encloses her small back yard. About 7:30 this morning, I took a walk to check it out. She only lives a block away. The rain was still coming down. Hard. I dressed in pants and an undershirt, with no thought for the weather. I left my head uncovered. It was my intention to get soaked to the bone. I succeeded.

During my walk, a recalled a similar walk many years ago. Kat and the kids were out of town, leaving me alone. It was late summer. It was a warm steady rain, at sundown, following a thunderstorm. Wearing shorts and sandals, I walked to the parking lot of a local restaurant (now The Discovery Academy). Standing near one of the storm drains, a felt the warm water washing over my feet. It was like baptism. Would you rather have your sins washed away by the chlorinated waters of the duly registered 503C tax exempt corporate entity, or by the warm waters of the summer rain that are also carrying the sins collected on the asphalt, in the guise of dirt, dust and oil? I presently walked back home, into the back yard. I spent a while laying on the trampoline, in the dark, nude, wishing the rain would never end.

Walking back home this morning, I passed Kat's place. I saw something under my daughter's car. Trash? Pieces of the car falling off? Wait - this is a Camry. God drives a Camry, and pieces don't fall from God's own car. What I saw was birds hiding from the rain. They were waiting for the weather to clear so they can pillage cherries from the tree in the front yard.

As I climbed the steps to my house, I remembered scenes from a few movies where rain played such a role. A scene from The Crow - "It won't rain forever." Purple Rain by the artist formerly (and once again) known as Prince.

I have bathed myself in the billions of small blessings fallen from heaven, and I am renewed. I am reborn.

I spoke above of leaving my head uncovered. About six months ago, a stopped cutting my hair. Two months ago I started covering my head. These two things are connected. It is a spiritual thing. I only uncover my head for a few things: sleep, personal ritual, making love. This walk in the rain was personal ritual.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The wind that blows in the new day

Back when I was younger, and when I was more wise in my foolishness, I would sometimes stay up the entire night with a few friends. This usually happened in warm weather, and most of the time was spent outside.

One night - or rather one morning - at about 2:00 AM, a breeze blew in from nowhere. It disturbed the still of the night just enough to be noticed, moved a few leaves around on the lawn, then went away. It was a magickal moment. All three of us noticed this breeze. I turned to Rick and Kathleen and said, "It just blew in the new day." The gave me a blank stare. "That breeze - it just blew out the old day and blew in the new day."

They smiled and enjoyed my whimsy. But the few times since then that we stayed up through the night, about that same time of morning, a breeze always came up. It interrupted the still of the night, moved a few leaves around on the lawn, then went away. And, without speaking, we all agreed the new day had arrived.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I have a friend who is a top. We will call this friend X. X is 'managing' a person we will call Y. Every once in a great while, I will be present when X mentions the need to send a message to Y lifting and/or imposing punishment and/or reward.

I mention this because whenever I am privy to these moments, I get jealous. This sort of play doesn't appeal to me. I am not drawn to it. I would not enjoy it. But I still get jealous. Why would I react this way?

Then it occurred to me. Y is getting attention. It is simply the craving for attention, regardless of the nature of the attention.

This is so revealing. It explains so much about myself and about the humanity that surrounds me.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Cowboy Up!

Been neglecting the blog for a while.

Been dealing with depression.

Things gotta change.

Gonna deal with depression in a different way.

"Never give up. Never, ever, give up."

The Disposable Wombat is going to kick some ass, even if that ass happens to be his own.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thirteen minutes and twenty-three seconds

Last night, I overheard conversation where my nephew mentioned that he did a 1.5 mile run with a time of 13:30. I broke in and said, "Well I can do that!"

This morning I realized I needed to put the money where the mouth was and prove the "I can do that."

I arrived at the Provo High track a little after noon. It was covered with snow (thin packed layer). This means two things. First, I will not run as efficiently as on clear track. Second, I don't know where the lanes are, so I won't be running the inside lane. But I hit the start button on the stopwatch and took off.

On the fourth lap I dropped the stopwatch and had to go back and retrieve it.

So - with all of that, my final time...


Not bad for a 49 year old dude with bad knees and an Irish build.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A word on Prophets

A few of my close friends have recently be delving into Crowley's commentaries on the second chapter of "The Book of The Law." For them, I offer the following (from Zen Buddhism - The Selected Writings of D. T. Suzuki).
It is a great mistake to think that any existent religious system was handed down to posterity by its founder as the fully matured product of his mind, and, therefore, that what the followers had to do with their religious founder and his teaching was to embrace both the founder and his teaching as sacred heritage - a treasure not to be profaned by the content of their individual spiritual experience. For this view fails to take into consideration what our spiritual life is and petrifies religion to its very core. This static conversation, however, is always opposed by a progressive party which looks at a religious system from a dynamic point of view. And these two forces which are seen conflicting against each other in every field of human activity weave out the history of religion as in other cases. In fact, history is a record of these struggles everywhere. But the very fact that there are such struggles in religion shows that they are here to some purpose and that religion is a living force; for they gradually bring light to hidden implications of the original faith and enrich it in a manner undreamed of in the beginning. This takes place not only with regard to the personality of the founder but with regard to his teaching, and the result is an astounding complexity or rather confusion which sometimes prevents us from properly seeing into the constitution of a living religious system.
So....who shall join the battle and rescue the Religion of Thelema from the sins of its founder?

Monday, January 03, 2011


Let me start off by giving this bit of advice: If you ever divorce, avoid taking the path of a "friendly divorce." Make it acrimonious, spiteful and full of hate. In this manner, you will avoid being sucked into helping with "projects" (otherwise known as "tar pits, death traps, hell holes") at the home of the ex-wife.

(A disclaimer is in order - she is still my best friend. I eat her food. I steal her internet - a future blog post in the making. I turn to her when I need to gripe and moan about the injustices of the universe. My cell phone exists from her good graces. Etc. etc. and etc. I ignore my own advice and, in my case, this is all well and good.)

* ahem *

Kat wanted a mixing valve inserted between the various supply lines and the toilets. Right. No problem. Find a source for Hot, find a source for Cold, feed them into a mixing valve, then direct them to the two toilets. No problem. Really.......

The project decomposed into five parts...
  1. Break into the Hot supply.
  2. Break into the Cold supply.
  3. Construct a mixing assembly (mixing valve and associated parts).
  4. Hook in the upstairs toilet.
  5. Hook in the downstairs toilet.
Estimated total time for the project: One working day.


Here is how it worked out....
  1. Break into the Hot supply.
    Cut the line.
    Insert a "T" assembly.
    Put it together.
    Watch it leak.
    Take it apart and put it back together five times trying to figure out where it is leaking.
    Remove the female portion of the union.
    Apply "Rector Seal Number 5" in copious quantities.
    Put it all back together.
    It doesn't leak anymore, but....
    Discover the hot water supply to the downstairs bathroom sink is blocked.
    Remove the shutoff valve for the sink.
    Discover that your recently 'blown out' knee just DOES NOT LIKE THIS.
    Clean out crud knocked loose from previous actions.
    Put it back together and find it now leaks.
    Buy a new supply line from Lowes.
    Put the fucker back together.
  2. Construct a mixing assembly (mixing valve and associated parts).
    One 3/8 Compression fitting that converts to 1/2 inch copper.
    A "T" connector.
    Two ball valves.
    More "Sweat Pipe" soldering than any human should be forced to endure.
    (The valves come back into the end of the story. You have been warned.)
    Decide you have had enough for one day.
    Stop work.
    Visit friends in a nearby city for New Year's celebration.
    Have experiences of emotional and sexual natures that are profound.
    You really have no idea. Really . You don't.
    Some things are so very, very sacred.....
    My gratitude for what I was allowed to experience is boundless.
    ...but, alas, we return to the story at hand....
  3. After taking a day off from the project - - - - -Break into the Cold supply.
    Cut the freaking pipe.
    Insert a valve and 3/8 compression fitting on the source side of the cut.
  4. Hook in the upstairs toilet.
    There are two sections of pipe, and two elbows. They all need to go.
    Use the Makita saw's all to break the pipe.
    Discover you broke it in the wrong place.
    Fine - - - - Do it again.
    Unscrew sections of 1/2 inch iron pipe that are older than I am.
    (Really - and I do mean REALLY - close to 50, if you need to know.)
    Insert a plug.
    Hook it into the mixing "valve" portion of the mixing assembly.
    Discover the alignment isn't what you thought.
    Connect the fucker anyway.
  5. Hook in the downstairs toilet.
    Discover the pre-assembled 1/2 copper almost fits.....but not quite.
    Find a way to make it fit anyway, goddammit.....
    Discover that water makes a REALLY GOOD heat sink.
    The solder finally flows after much water evaporates, and the house almost ignites.
So here we are....all done, after two working days. three calendar days, and endless frustration. I have turned on the last valve, I am cleaning up the tools, and....


"Plop" is the sound of a drop of water falling on top of my head.




I raise my eyes, looking for the source of the leak. I trace it finally to one of the valves. The connections are all good. It is the valve itself that is leaking.


Right now - stop reading. Get in the car, go to the local Big Box hardware store, and locate a"'ball valve." Look at it carefully. Do you see that seam along the center? It is in the 'Longitudinal' orientation. Yeah..... That one.

It was split.

Just - a very - tiny little bit.


The valve - already placed and soldered an made an integral part of "the freaking plumbing project from Hell" - was leaking.
  • I found a C-Clamp.
  • I wrapped the clamp around the stem portion of the leaking valve.
  • It sopped leaking
  • It looks ugly as hell.
  • I - DON'T CARE.
  • It no longer leaks.
  • I dragged the ex-wife down to the scene of the crime.
  • I explained to her, in bitter detail, the final standing of the project.
  • I paid proper homage to the memory of Rube Goldberg.
  • I went home.

This is where I broke into the Cold supply, and into the supply to the downstairs toilet.

This is the Hot supply. It was supposed to be the easy part. Yeah. Sure.....

...and here is the mixing valve itself - the focus of the adventure...

And - finally - the c-clamp that made the adventure complete. Really.

Pray god that this is not your fate.

The birth of Lucifer, the Bringer of Light, the Son of the Morning....

From the introduction to The Ritual of Transcendental Magic by Eliphas Levi...
Intelligence awakened, and comprehended it's nature completely by the understanding of that utterance of the Divine Word: 'Let there be light!'

It felt itself to be free because God had called it into being, and, raising up its head, with both wings extended, it replied: 'I will not be slavery.'

'Then thou shalt be suffering,' said the Uncreated Voice.

'I will be liberty,' replied the light.

'Pride will seduce thee,' said the Supreme Voice, 'and thou wilt bring forth death.'

'I needs must strive with death to conquer life,' again responded the light.

Thereupon God loosed from His bosom the shining cord which restrained the superb angel, and beholding him plunge through the night, which he furrowed with glory, He loved the offspring of His thought, and said with an ineffable smile: 'How beautiful was the light!'
Quit the darkness and seek the light...