The Beginning....

The Beginning....
When William Least Heat-Moon toured the country many years ago, his steed, if you will, was a van that he named Ghost Dancing. His journey of America was 13,000 miles. His book is Blue Highways, A Journey Into America. My steed will be a Subaru WRX (traded for an XV Crosstrek). My travels will be, what in the past were called, the blue highways of Virginia. Years ago, maps showed secondary roads in blue. Yes, the ones less traveled.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Chili Bowl (No, Not Football) Nationals

A little change of pace. Here's information about the Chili
Tony Stewart

The Chili Bowl is run over several days drawing drivers from all racing disciplines. Routinely, several of the top NASCAR drivers compete and racers from as far away as New Zealand. It's a big deal for small race cars called midgets. They have 300-400 horsepower and weigh a mere 1,000 pounds. This year started with about 350 cars. It's an indoor track of 1/4 mile.

The videos here are from the drivers' seat, with the cameras mounted on the cars.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

What do Austin McChord and I Share? Money? Fame? Well, not Exactly....

Austin McChord just donated $50,000,000 to RIT!

OK, what do we share? A world-class-low GPA. McChord's is 2.2. Mine was (as I best remember), 2.08. It took me 14 years from my first class, while in the service stationed in Savannah, Georgia, to graduation in 1975. In addition to my ODU credits, I have a few from American University and Ohio University.

When I started back for the big push to graduate, about 1973, my GPA was 1.55. Not to make excuses, but it was that low as I walked away from a bunch of classes without formally withdrawing. Yep, a bunch of Fs.

My low-GPA graduation was followed by an unremarkable and somewhat ordinary career. No $50,000,000, to ODU.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Bizarre Perfect Storm Kind of Event, Chiropractic Meets Energy Healing....

First off, no I surely do not think what I'm writing about in 
this post is funny. Far from it.

That said, when all of our states license these people and allow them to parade around in white coats and call themselves doctors, some of this is bound to happen. (And, yes, I know that real doctors sometimes do these things.)

For those of you who don't know, chiropractic was dreamed up by a grocer in 1895. Yes, someone with no medical training. And, little has changed except the chiropractors just keep adding to their arsenal of pseudoscientific BS.

The fellow this posting is about is set for trial in Virginia Beach in a month or so. His license was revoked in April 2017 and since then there have been a bunch of continuations and so on. As I best remember, the charge is misdemeanor sexual assault.

The perfect storm? The information at the board of medicine, states one patient said that he had his hand on or near, you know where. The chiropractor responded to the Board by saying he was performing Reiki. Ahh, Reiki and chiropractic, what a combination.

I'm sure no one is going to respond to this. And, on the off chance that someone thinks chiropractic or Reiki works...hey, spend a little time and learn how bogus inert treatments may seem to work, but alas, they do not. Remember, chiropractors are still adjusting vertebral subluxations, invented if you will by DD Palmer in 1895! Folks, there is no such thing.

Suppose your PCP or GP's education stopped in 1895? Hmm. 

Ahh, Yes, More BS From the Religious Folks!

I want to thank Hemant Mehta for his article about James

Here is a link to the article.

Dobson is asking us (OK, maybe not me) to pray and fast so that Trump isn't impeached. As with just about everything religious, this is truly amazing.

Let's see how this would work. We pray to a non-existent deity and stop eating and that's going to save Trump from impeachment. Well, I don't want to waste more time on this one. But, I will say, yes, I know how prayer is supposed to work...but, dang...I starve myself and it helps Trump.

Would it be fair to ask what would happen if we all, instead of fasting, for the next month ate twice as much as usual? Hmm. Would that make Trump get impeached?

Religion occasionally does have a certain sad and pathetic entertainment value. But, that as we know doesn't offset the destructive power of religion and all of the terrible things that happen because of religion.

Prayers to you.... 

BTW, I'm headed out the door to buy six Double Whoppers.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Shackleton, the Explorer and Shackleton Scotch. Quite a Story.

My friend Eddie sent me this link to a New York Times 
article. Well, I guess he sent it...ahh, because I'm  a fan of  Scotch. What can I say????

Anyway, I found this to be an amazing story. Hey, a little history of an amazing man and at the end, we have a historical Scotch.

What Will a Border Wall Accomplish?

I have no knowledge of what's going on at the border. I only
As I understand it, these are the sample walls.
know that Trump's talking about spending $18,000,000,000 (dang, is that eighteen billion?).

There would seem to be two kinds of folks crossing the border. Regular folks who are seeking a better life and those who are crossing for criminal reasons.

It would seem that for those in the first group there would be no incentive or reason to cross if there were no jobs. Yes, my idea is simplistic. Anyone who hires someone who is in the country illegally is fined $1,000 per workday. Yep, a fellow is here illegally and works ten days, the employer is fined $10,000. Have special courts set up to try these cases within 30 days of arresting the employers, This would not cost the taxpayers anything. The fines will cover all of the expenses.

I don't see how a wall will keep anyone from crossing the border, especially those who are coming with criminal intent. Here is where we should spend our resources. Pass any needed laws that would make these people think twice before coming here and committing crimes. Harsh penalties.

I'm sure I had a 55-word story about Trump's 30-foot walls but I can't find it. All it amounted to was that Lowes and Home Depot started an ongoing sale on their 30-foot ladders. (Remember, our president said among other things, that the walls were going to be thirty feet.)

EDIT: January 9, 2018. Here's an interesting article about the wall. A gift to drug cartels?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Yard Angel II to the Rescue!

A few days ago, yes, here in Virginia, we had about ten inches
of snow. And, for several days the temperatures have been below freezing. As I'm typing this it's about 20 degrees.

Anyway, the morning after the snow, Yard Angel II was at my house clearing a path.

As I've babbled on before I surely don't believe in gods, and as such, I have little faith in anything. That said, Yes, I have faith in the Yard Angels. They are always there looking out for me and doing what they can.

Faith in a so-called, god? No. Yard Angels, yes.

All of you so-called believers who continue to pray to so-called gods...hey, pray for a Yard Angel.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

I Think I May Feel Sorry For Our President....


Here are a few of the quotes from the article.

President Donald Trump wants people to know he's "like, really smart" and "a very stable genius."

Trump says "my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart."

He says going from successful businessman to reality TV star to president on his first try "would qualify as not smart, but genius .... and a very stable genius at that!"

For almost twenty years, I was paid (small bucks) to do mental health evaluations and diagnose people. For every person who I interviewed, I had to list a diagnosis. Sometimes I used NOS (not otherwise specified) and sometimes I used RO (rule out a particular diagnosis).

Am I qualified to diagnose our president? Well, any of us can see the obvious...Trump has at least two personality disorders-narcissistic and grandiose. And, folks, that's not good for anyone...especially someone, who as Trump says, has the Big Nuclear Button.

And, why would I feel sorry for him? Good question. He has created a mess and he must surely at times know what he's done. Of course, my feeling sorry for him has nothing to do with changing my opinion that he's a lying scumbag who's not fit to hold any public office, much less be our president. And, remember folks, being rich or whatever term you want to use doesn't mean you're smart.

Maybe we should all pray (couldn't resist).

Yes, a couple of 55-word stories about our president.

That Trump’s Something, Ain’t He?

“What do you mean?”
“First president with no government experience and was never in the military.”
“First big-deal billionaire.”
“TV star, too.”
“Anything else?”
“What do you think?”
“Know of two firsts. President with the smallest hands and the first First Lady who we can see nekid with a couple of mouse clicks.”

January 20, 2017

BTW, if you'd like to see the First Lady, click here for another of my postings.

Accident left him in a Coma

Happened Christmas 2015 and was doubtful he’d regain consciousness.
Family worked in shifts to be by his side in case he awoke.
He did December 2016.
“Tell me, what’s new in the country?” he said.
“Trump is president-elect and Palin is considered for VA secretary,” his brother, said.
“Please, put me back in a coma!”

December 16, 2016   

EDIT: Hmm, actually I think I need to better define in my mind what "feel sorry for" means before I commit to that as far as Trump is concerned.

Another Brief Rant About Prayers and Praying....

It’s 1:00AM and I can’t get to sleep. So, as I’m ticked off about several things
thought I’d hit the computer for a few minutes and pound out some of my frustrations.

I’m sitting here in Virginia Beach, Virginia and the temperature is in the teens. And, we recently had 10 or more inches of snow. Thousand without electricity and of course all business comes to a halt and the roads are dangerous.

For you folks who believe in God (BTW, when I write about religion I’m using the Christian religion as I know a little about that…not so much about the others) I would pose the question, why in the hell would He allow weather like this?

The only positive thing I can think of that it accomplishes is the kids get to play in the snow and stay out of school.

And, for the many of you who prayed, Please, please Mr. God, spare us this horrible weather, now what? Still, believe in old God? Of course, you do.

What kind of twisted logic did you use to excuse Him from not answering your prayers? Oh, He had so many other more important things to take care of. Well, there just weren’t enough of us praying.

Of course, did it ever occur to you that this all-knowing God would already know what you’d be praying (for)…so, why bother?

OK, where was I?

And, how about all of the horrible events in just the past year…hurricanes in the Islands, Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas (yes, I may have missed a few). There were millions of people praying. Millions. And, why did the hurricanes come after all the prayers?

Ahh, yes, I can answer that one. Let’s for once try to use a little logic and reason, OK?

1)  There is no God so you’re whistlin’ Dixie. Just pissin’ away your time when you should be at the store getting needed supplies.

2)  If there is a God, then either He doesn’t give a crap about our welfare and wellbeing or He isn’t in control of anything and has no power.

3)  Lastly, you could throw in with Pat Robertson and others of his ilk who say God is mad about homosexuals and so on and is punishing us.

OK, Christians. Where do you stand? Pick one! Unless I'm missing something it has to be one of these three. Can you think of anything else to explain it? Can't? Then pick one, please.

I was going to make comments about the above listed three reasons for your so-called God not acting, but I will not.

BTW, the next time you folks have the urge to pray…hey, do something else. Do something that makes sense. Have a drink. Take a nap. Read a book. Clean your house.

I’ll close by including one of my 55-word stories that might explain some bad weather.

What the Hell Happened Here on Earth?

Citizens inspected.
“Look at the geography. Deserts, Arctic ice, so many places we can’t live. Poisonous plants, venomous snakes, and ferocious animals. How did this happen?”
“Some think the Devil took over. Others think God got confused and rested on the fifth day. Truth be told, he got drunk and cavorted with the darn angels.”

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Thank You God for Pat Robertson!!!!

Here's an article by Hemant Mehta. Pat Robertson, who I am
sure has God on his speed dial, says at least for the time being, we're not going to have a nuclear exchange with North Korea.

According to Robertson God has a bunch of other stuff He's working on. I'm sure we all feel so much better. Hmm. I thought old God was a multitasker. You mean He can only work on a few things at a time. Dang, I'm disappointed.

Actually, I feel blessed to live here in Virgina Beach, we not only have Robertson and CBN, we have the Edgar Cayce center where you can find every kind of bogus pseudoscience and all things that aren't real.

Yes, truly blessed.

To add a little levity, here's one of my 55-word stories. Yes, nothing better than politics, God, and religious whackjobs!

President Cruz, Called Staff to War Room!

“You are here on an urgent matter. God told me to bomb Russia.”
Those in attendance looked at each other, wondering if this was a bizarre joke or something.
“Mr. President, I’m confused, we now have a great relationship with Russia,” said General Adams. “They pose no threat. Could you get God on the speakerphone?”

January 3, 2017

When Cruz was on the campaign trail, he famously said, “I put God first, my country second….” Suppose he’d been a Muslim and said that?

Do You Want Your Marriage to Last? Here's What You Can Do!!!!

To some of us, this is not amazing. To most, however, it will be shocking.

All you need to do is to toss your Holy Bible in the trash and 
To add a little levity.... This is NOT mine.
Borrowed from ING.
start spending your Saturdays and Sundays relaxing and not going off to pray.

The studies that show atheists have fewer divorces is provided by an evangelical Christian organization. Thanks, guys.

Evidence, Reason, and Logic vs Faith

Yes, you may find all of this silly, but that said I have a point to make.

You want to paint a room and want a light blue color. You get to the paint store and tell the salesperson what color you want. There are hundreds of unlabeled cans with no colors on them. When you question the salesperson about what colors are in the cans, they say, Pick one. Just have faith.

You are told the car you're considering buying gets 100 mpg and goes 200 mph. You ask the salesperson, do you have any evidence to back up these claims? Road tests? Just have faith.

You're buying a house. You are told the payments are $1000 per month. When you are given the contract to sign, the selling price is shown but not the monthly payments. Just have faith the salesperson says.

Yes, I could go on and on and list more examples of the three above. However, I've made my point, I think.

Now you are 35 or so and have never paid much attention to religion. Have never gone to church. Yes, of course, you read about God and people going to church and so on, But, you've just never had any interest. It never seemed important as what little you knew made no sense.

Your best friend has asked you several times to attend church with him. Finally, you go. After the service, you learn your friend has made an appointment with the pastor.

The three of you meet in the pastor's office. The pastor goes over the history and the tenants of the religion. Afterwards, he says, Well, what do you think?

Frankly, it all sounds crazy. There's no reason, logic, or evidence in what you've said.

The pastor leaned back in his chair and smiled.

Well, I feel the same way. You're right, none of it makes any sense and none of it is logical or reasonable. However, all you have to do is have FAITH!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

My New Year's Resolutions and This Video is Worth Watching....

Hi Folks,

Yes, I'm still working on my New Year's Resolutions. Actually, I basically have them finished I just don't feel like writing them out. Plan to do that soon. Honest!

That said, this video is only a few minutes long. Please watch it.


Yes, resolutions from an atheist. He talks about reason and critical thinking. Whether you are a believer or not, please watch this as it applies to far more than religion.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ahh, It's Time For Rehab!!!!

Luann de Lesseps, is the latest who's in trouble with the cops.

Actually, needing to go to rehab is not funny or a joking matter.
That said, it seems all too often when so-called stars and celebrities run into trouble with the police, regardless of the cause, they head for rehab. I would imagine that usually, it's with their lawyer's encouragement or suggestion.

Yes, it seems that most of them think when they make it to court they can proudly proclaim that they are in rehab. Hmm, as if the judge has never heard that one before.

What is rehab? How does it work, or not. And, are there alternatives?

For this posting, I'm going to use alcohol and alcohol problems. To some extent, drug treatment works similarly. But, I'm going to concentrate on alcohol.

Unless you've lived in a cave your entire life, you've been around people who have had problems with alcohol. This could be old Uncle Henry, who every holiday gets blitzed and causes family turmoil. Could be a close friend, relative, or spouse who ongoingly readily admits to a drinking problem but does nothing to get their drinking under control. And, yes, some people get a divorce because of alcohol use. Then there are the DWIs and loss of jobs. Alcohol use does cause many problems. The other aspect of alcohol is that we do things under the influence that we would never do when sober. Well, you know what I’m talking about. Too much alcohol impairs our judgment and tosses our impulse control put the window.

Before going further, I'd like to mention that many communities have city-sponsored detox centers. I think that the lines are blurred and you may well find the same services at some detox centers that you'd find at rehab. That said, the celebrities that we read about are surely going to private hospitals (psychiatric) and not using the community-based services.

Detox may be a misnomer, as most people don't actually have to detox from alcohol. By that I mean, if they stop drinking they will not have any type of physical/medical problems from stopping alcohol. That said, yes, there are some who when they stop drinking should be medically monitored in case there are physical or medical problems caused by stopping the alcohol use.

So, what’s available for treatment? I’m going to lump the detox center and the private hospital (both can be reffered to as rehab) together. Most hospitals will have all of what I’m listing and detox typically fewer.

1) Information and education about alcohol and how it affects the body and mental status.
2) AA’s twelve-step program. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this program if you will is relied on too much. God is mentioned, if I remember correctly, six times in the twelve steps. In fact, courts have said prisoners can’t be forced to attend treatment that uses the AA model, as it’s a religion. Another thing I don’t like is that those who participate in the program state that they are powerless over the alcohol. If they are actually powerless, hey, there’s nowhere to go from there.
3) Group meetings.
4) Visits by a psychiatrist and or counselor for individual therapy.

While I’m a little out touch I guess I would say, not having worked in six or seven years, I doubt if things have changed.

Would imagine most city/county or state funded detox centers are short term. Get in and sober up, participate in some groups, and be offered ongoing treatment when leaving the center. This would be individual or group counseling with an alcohol and drug counselor. Of course, some folks who have problems with drugs are also mentally ill. And, the discharge plan from the detox center would include mental health treatment and a case manager.

Now, the fancy places that the rich and famous go I would assume would have somewhat regular visits by a psychiatrist as well as individual counseling with a licensed counselor (LPC, LCSW, and psychologist).
 Of course, the fancy places would have a discharge plan for ongoing treatment.
Does any of this stuff work? Well, you’d have to define work. It’s not like a broken arm. You can go into a hospital and have your arm fixed. It’s surely not the same as dealing with drinking alcohol that’s causing you problems. You can't go to rehab and get fixed. You can go into rehab and possibly have a better chance of making changes in your drinking-surely, no guarantees.
EDIT: Time for a comment. Nothing I say here is medical advice. I am merely giving my opinions. If you have a problem with alcohol, I suggest you look into whatever treatment is available to you and try to make an informed decision.
 Now, that said, unless you have medical problems that might make detoxing a problem I’d most likely try to stay away from the hospitals and detox centers. This does not mean I’m saying you shouldn’t seek help. Most communities have free help through community services boards and if you have insurance, it will usually cover a counselor.
What I would watch out for are the places that may well be scams. I know of folks who’ve paid $50,000 plus for out-of-town treatment that seemingly are not any better than what should be available locally. And, there are some actual scams out there. Let the buyer beware. And, good luck!

I've read over this several times. Obviously, this surely is not a complete survey of problems with alcohol or alcohol treatment. Though I think the information can be helpful if you seek treatment, ask lots of questions. And, if you are having problems and can't seem to get going again or whatever term you want to use, seek help!