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.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

So-Called Psychic Sandra Marks Arrested......

Yes, I often make fun of people who fall for bogus treatments, psychics, astrology, and so on; however, that I will not do today. The indictment for Marks is charging her with 31 counts of wire fraud, two count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.

How appropriate and ironic that her name is Marks.

mark....noun. A person identified as an easy target, or "sucker". A mark is always the short end of a joke or scam, and is never let in on what's going on. A mark is usually being cheated out of money. Definition from the urbandictionary.

Here is a quote from a recent article at 

"According to the indictment, victims from several states wired Marks money, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars."

So, what does it take for someone to be conned and scammed by a so-called psychic? With or without the help of confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance, you'll have to believe:

There are people who can see into the past and future.
There are people who can detect curses.
There are people who can remove curses.
There are people who can cleanse your money (whatever that means).
There are people who can communicate with the dead.

These so-called psychics can be dangerous to your health, finances, and emotions. Take a look at "What's the harm," for examples.

Monday, July 20, 2015

How Not to Treat a Customer.... A Few Minutes at CVS and the Craphead Award Number Two.....

For about a year I've been using a lamp on my desk that has a chimney, like an oil lamp.
Because of the chimney, I could only use a small light bulb, a max of 60 watts.

A few months ago I took my small light bulb to CVS to see if I could find a higher wattage bulb that would fit. Anyway, I ended-up buying a 100 watt compact fluorescent bulb. As I best remember, it was guaranteed for seven years. It cost eight bucks. 

The bulb fit and I like the increased light. As I tossed the box and receipt I wondered if I'd regret it. I am unorganized. Figured even if I kept the box and receipt I'd never be able to find them. Also, I figured that if it worked for a couple of years, that would be fine.

So, yes, the bulb crapped-out last night. 

When I went to CVS today to get a replacement I figured I may well be in for a battle. I knew they would ask for a receipt. I have a CVS card and figured they could see my purchase by looking at my card. Also, would be insulted if they questioned whether I purchased it at their store.

The clerk of course called the manager. She was most likely in her 50s. I told her my story. 

You can't exchange it if you don't have the box. I'd have no way of sending it back. (Because there's not a box you can't send it back? Well, that doesn't make sense to me, but I didn't mention that.)

Well, that's fine, I'll give you the box from the new one. (BTW, she seemed put out and hostile when she came to the front of the store to talk to me.)

She looked at the clerk, said OK, and literally stormed off without eye contact or a word to me.

I briefly thought about tracking her down and telling her she shouldn't treat her customers as she treated me. But, I figured, what the heck. She surely wouldn't change her attitude...and, maybe she was just having a shitty day (though frankly, I think it was who she is.....).

Hey, maybe she could put on her resume that she earned my second Craphead Award!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Craphead Award Number One to Kathy Verrico, Executive Director of the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority, Boca Grande, Florida.......

Yesterday, in Chattanooga, TN, a Muslim terrorist murdered four Marines. I've been thinking about posting a comment, but what to say? Go on a rant about Muslims? Muslims suffer the same god virus that all religious people suffer-firmly held beliefs in the supernatural and what amounts to fairy tales. 

I guess my only comment would be that if a Muslim plans an act of terrorism she/he should be sentenced to life in prison. Why? Simple, if they are released they will be the same and nothing will have changed. They will still want to kill us. It would seem giving them a fifteen-year sentence would only delay their attacks.

Then I saw the article about Sam Samsonov, a 77-year-old  toll collector, who's worked for the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority for almost 30 years.  It seems he lost his job, fired, for an act of kindness in paying a toll for someone who he realized he'd changed too little. Obviously, there may be something that I'm not privy too, however, it seems he wasn't fired exactly, but told that he could only work two days a week. Read the article.

I guess I had what I'm calling an epiphanySamsonov and I are almost the same age-I'll be 76 in a few weeks. I worked until I was 71 at which time I was forced out of my job. I can appreciate the importance of people working who want to work. It seems Samsonov's job, was more than just a job.

Anyway, I decided that the person who fired him, Kathy Verrico (she's the executive director, so I'm putting his firing on her) would be given my first S*ithead Award. In deference to my mom, I have toned it down to my first Craphead Award. My mom, who maybe said damn once or twice in her life always said, Profanity is the tender, if you will, of a bankrupt vocabulary.

EDIT: July 18, 2015. Sadly, a fifth person has died.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Yes, Let's Make the Bible Our State Book...... This Time it's Tennessee....

Not going to waste much time on this one. Here's the link to an article in the Guardian. Subsequently, the bill was sent back to committee. So, we'll all have to wait and

Amazing, and sadly, I think these politicians are so eat up with religion that they can't help themselves. They have the god virus for which there is no injectable antidote. The only things that can help are common sense, reason, logic, and the desire to seek out the truth using evidence and lack of evidence. 

Yes, 2015 and folks still believe in the supernatural. Amazing, and these are the folks who control our destiny by writing our laws.

EDIT: Here's a link to my comment about Mississippi. Yep, they want the Bible and Confederate flag.

Monday, July 13, 2015

This So-Called Doctor is Treating People. And, Yes, Homeopathy Again.....

Dr, Ben Goldacre, an English physician, I believe has a saying, mocking morons. Folks who have mystical thinking beliefs that are easily refuted by science but keep harboring them, seemingly can never be reasoned with. And, maybe they deserve to be made fun of, ridiculed, and mocked. Of course, that will rarely change their minds and their mystical and magical beliefs will continue on.

OK, here we have Doctor Charlene Werner. The state of Texas gave her a license, she's allowed to parade around in a white coat, and ostensibly treat people. However, I doubt if even in Texas the scope of practice for an optometrist would allow her to use homeopathy to treat folks for problems other than those related to the eye.

Here's a video with Dr. Charlene explaining homeopathy.     

Here's Dara O'Briain's take on homeopathy.  

Here's a link to her website.

Energy Healing.... Yes, Ain't Life Grand.....

OK, I'll readily admit as I'm pounding away on my keyboard I'm ticked off. Well, actually
more than ticked off. The reason isn't important.

Where to begin?

Seemingly, no one has cornered the market, if you will, on energy healing. however, all of the so-called modalities (Reiki Therapeutic Touch, Jin Shi Do, BodyTalk, Quantum this that and the other) or whatever you want to call them, do have a few things in common.

They all talk about universal life energy. Yes, there are various names for this, one is Chi,  pronounced chee.

And, how does this go?

Well, most of them talk about meridians. Though there may not be a consensus, most mention twelve and they run from head to foot.  Channels, if you will.

They all talk about blockages. Yes, in the channels. And, they all talk about how to unblock them. (BYW, this is the same bullshit that acupuncturists talk about.) After all, if the old universal life energy is jammed-up your health will be influenced, any maladies you have will be exacerbated, and other problems may pop-up.

There are no telling how many of these modalities out there; however, a few have a leg-up on the others as they offer distance or remote healing. If you thought healing while the person is in your presence is about healing from a remote location? Yep, they claim they can heal you regardless of where you are. Using Reiki for the moment, the practitioners  claim they can lay on hands or send remotely massive (my word) amounts of Reiki energy. I believe they use the word limitless. 

OK, so how does a Reiki session work? OK, I fess up...I've never pissed away any money on this stuff, however, the practitioner will check out your meridians and look for blockages. Using acupressure they put their fingers on you pressing down. I guess you could say they are trying to mimic acupuncture but instead of using needles they use their fingers. Then lay on hands to infuse you with Reiki energy.

OK, stepping back for a minute. What will someone have to believe to buy into this stuff...yes, this energy healing stuff?

There is an energy (universal life) that has never been demonstrated to exist. Additionally, this energy can be manipulated. This energy, when unblocked, can treat illnesses and maladies. There are channels that will not be found on any physiology charts.

Now, let's say we visit our Reiki Master (dang, and they aren't even embarrassed to refer to themselves in this way) and we don't feel better. What might the old Master say?

Gosh, you may need more treatments.

Sometimes it takes a while for the treatments to kick in.

Maybe you don't want the healing enough.

Maybe you have doubts about the treatment working.

Sometimes you may actually feel worse for a while.

They may also throw-in, this has been around for hundreds of years.

So, here's my summary, if you will. You're spending money and not only doesn't energy healing work, it can't work. Sadly, if you have a medical problem you are putting off seeking actual medical treatment. 

Now, keep in mind, the James Randi Educational Foundation has $1,000,000 waiting for the person who can show that this stuff works. Out of the thousands and thousands of these so-called energy healers out there, why hasn't someone taken Mr. Randi's million bucks? You tell me. The next time you go to your healer ask why they haven't picked-up a million dollars?

Now, sadly nurses, yes, real-honest-to gosh nurses (RNs and LPNs) use this stuff. No, thankfully, not all of them. There are 50,000 plus trained. Of course they have their own name, it's Therapeutic Touch.

This video is one of mine. It's about Therapeutic Touch. Please note, there are a few minutes of the video when it rolls. Hang in there with me, it will stop. Sorry.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Homeopathy, Yes, One More Time.....

Recently, I twice posted comments about homeopathy; however, there are two videos you need to watch. One might be considered humorous even though the humor is based on the uselessness of homeopathy. The other is a well-done investigative report by a Canadian TV journalist.

Listen up folks.... Most, if not almost all of us will find ourselves in a drug store or pharmacy looking for an-over-the-counter remedy. You've been warned. The next time you're shopping please take the time to read the box. If it says homeopathic, folks, you're being hosed.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

You Must See This Movie! Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

I watched this movie last night. I guess it was my 5th or 6th viewing. In many ways it
reminds me of one of my favorite books, Catch-22. If you haven't seen this movie you need to watch it. The plane featured in the movie is a 
B-52 which I first worked on about 1958 (yes, a few years ago-I repaired the radios, intercom system, and nav aids). The plane is still in service today.

I'm sure the movie is available many places, buy a copy, or for Amazon Prime members watch it free.

Interestingly, Peter Sellers played three roles. An amazing performance by him as well as all of the other actors.

Sadly, Sellers may have died sooner than necessary. What follows is from Whats The Harm's Website.

"A heart attack in 1964 had permanently damaged his heart. His doctors were advising bypass surgery, but he delayed it and instead saw psychic surgeons twice a year. He died of a massive heart attack."

The video is James Randi demonstrating so-called psychic surgery.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Can Any Good Come From Religion? Basically, I Think Not. Do I Need to Take Another Look? Maybe.

Well, my best friend, Mr. Charlie, sent me a link today. His only message along with the link
was, "Sometimes faith really makes us do strange things." Mr. Charlie, himself a Catholic, knows my thoughts on religion. 

Though I am surely far from being a religious scholar, I do have my opinions. In
fact, among Christian religions Catholicism is way up there in being downright weird: annulments after ten kids and 30 years of marriage, saints, miracles, lots of men parading around in truly tacky ostentatious costumes with nutty hats...oh, yeah, they
actually have exorcists.

Of course, the Mormons are not slackers when it comes to being weird. Let's see, it started after a dude found a couple of gold tablets and went from there. Do all of them end-up with their own planet, or something? Oh, yeah, they one-up most religions with their magic underwear, for cryin' out loud.

Then we have the so-called evangelicals.  Yes, if I'm not mistaken they take the Bible literally. Well, they should be out by the village gates stoning unruly kids...and, oh, yeah, going to their neighbors in nearby villages who don't believe in their God and killing them all. Yep, even the babies, livestock...hey, even little puppies.

OK, enough of that for the time being. Here's what I want to write about.....

Dr. Tom Catena, a 51-year-old Catholic missionary.

"He is driven, he says, by his Catholic faith. “I’ve been given benefits from the day I was born,” he says. “A loving family. A great education. So I see it as an obligation, as a Christian and as a human being, to help.”

I guess the point I'd like to make, at least for me to think about, is this quote. If this man is doing this strictly because of his religion and not just because of his inherent goodness and compassion for humankind, then maybe I need to take a harder and closer look at religion. Or, at least for a few minutes, just shut-up about religion and drive myself nuts over other things.

BTW, click on the above link and read the article! Here's the link again. Do yourself a favor and read the article.

EDIT: Send Dr. Tom a donation:

You can donate online at the Camboni Missionaries website, but make sure to specify that it should go to “Dr. Tom Catena” in the Donation Note field.
Alternately, you can make a check out to “Comboni Missionaries” and write “Dr. Tom Catena” in the “for” line and mail to:
Comboni Missionaries
1318 Nagel Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45255

Thursday, June 11, 2015

You May Not Believe This! $44,000 For A Do-Nothing, Bullshit Supplement! And, We Are Paying For It!

READ THIS! Here's the link to the CBS article.

Not only is it $44,000, it seems to have no benefit. The supplement is resveratrolAnd, actually, you may be able to accomplish the same thing by drinking a little wine. Here's the link to wikipedia.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Chiropractors: Since 1895 Riding on the Coat Tails of a Grocer....

I think if I was a banker or represented an insurance company, it'd be great to be able to say, Hey, we've been in business since 1895. We've weathered, if you will, many wars, collapses of the economy, depressions, recessions, and we're still here doing business and providing services. We've kept our promises and have always done what we'd say we'd do.

Yes, it was old DD Palmer who dreamed-up or invented so-called chiropractic in 1895. He talked of vertebral subluxations and vitalism and innate intelligence. Yes, the vitalism and innate intelligence is some kind of energy stuff that is flowing around us and through us. He decided that just about every malady, illness, and disease that we could have could be fixed or cured with adjusting the spine to get rid of the vertebral subluxations.

One of DD's claimed early successes, was curing a man's deafness by adjusting his back. As I best understand it, there are no nerves in the spine that have anything to do with hearing. But, I guess for DD, that would have been a minor concern.

In the years since DD dreamed-up chiropractic....nothing has changed about the vertebral subluxation other than it has never been proven to exist.

Now, let's say you're new in town and are trying to find a doctor. You go to his or her office and notice a lack of the diagnostic equipment that all doctors' offices have. No EEG, EKG, x-ray, and not even a blood pressure cuff. 

You then find that the doctor is using all of the medical science that was available in 1895. Medical education, if you will, and training, is based on what was known in 1895.

For the modern-day chiropractors, it gets better.

The General Chiropractic Council in the UK issued a statement, May 2010, that said in part.

“The chiropractic vertebral subluxation complex is an historical concept but it remains a theoretical model. (Here's the good part.) It is not supported by any clinical research evidence that would allow claims to be made that it is the cause of disease or health concerns.”

Hey folks, you guys have been getting hosed and your pocket books and wallets raided, for over a hundred years.

The next time you visit your wonderful, caring, supplement pushing, real-doctor acting, white-coated chiropractor, to get your back cracked to get rid of vertebral subluxations that don't exist, and never did, you might want to mention this.

EDIT:  This initially posted on another of my blogs, December 2011.

EDIT:  Evidence, you want evidence! Well, one thing chiropractors don't have is evidence. Watch the video. Video added June 12, 2015.

Watch these two videos about chiropractic and Simon Singh. Thanks.

Monday, June 8, 2015

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This! Yes, Homeopathy, Again!

Nelsons Noctura™ a 6c homeopathic potency of Kali brom, Coffea, Passiflora, Avena sativa, Alfalfa and Valeriana to bring soothing relief from sleeplessness. This unique combination of homeopathic remedies can help to aid a good night's rest.

Non-drowsy and suitable for all the family.


OK, folks. Yes, I've known about homeopathy for years; however, just learned about this product after watching a video at JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation). 

Did you read the above ad? Yep, it can "...aid a good night's rest." Hey, we need some rest sooooo, off to the old drug store to stock-up on Nelsons Noctura. 

Thankfully, it's safe for the your entire family and best of all, it's NON-DROWSY!!!!! Yep, a sleep aid that's non-drowsy. Thankfully, we'll be able to get some rest without having to worry about becoming drowsy.... 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Want to Get Fucked but Not Kissed? Buy Some Oscillococcinum or Other So-Called Homeopathic Remedies.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Briefly, homeopathy was dreamed up about 200 years ago. Take a look here to see  what's on whikipedia. The two principles, if you will, are that like cures like and the more you dilute something the stronger it gets. (I'll let you folks look-up the like cures like.) 

Now, let me repeat that, "The more you dilute something the stronger it gets."

Though I don't know it to be true, I think that Oscillococcinum is one of the best sellers. Take a look here to find out more.

OK, here's how it works. They take the ingredient, duck liver, and dilute it. Remember, the more you dilute it, the stronger it becomes. If you look at the back of the box, this is what you'll see:

"Active Ingredient: Anas Barbariae Hepatis et Cordis Extractum (200CK HPUS). Inactive Ingredients: Sucrose, Lactose."

That long funny name, I guess is the ducks' part, and of course we know what sucrose and lactose are. So, here's the good part, the 200CK HPUS. Now, they really wanted to make this remedy strong so they diluted it 200 times. How does that work?

OK, take 100 parts water, add a drop of the active ingredient (the duck stuff), and shake. Actually, these homeopathic folks have a magic way of shaking (if you do any reading on this you'll find out the secret and magic way they do it).

Now, take the diluted solution, take one drop of that and put that in 100 drops of water. So, are getting the idea? Yep, you do this 200 times. I don't think you need to know a lot of physics or chemistry to know that there is absolutely nothing left, no active ingredient. Nothing. No, I'm not implying that the active ingredient would do anything.

I will say that some of what's on the box is true and honest to a fault.
"No side effects, non-drowsy, no drug interactions."

Here's what CVS's Website says:

"Homeopathic Medicine. Reduces duration and severity of flu symptoms. Symptoms of Flu: Fever, chills, body aches and pains. No side effects. No drug interactions. Non-drowsy. Take Oscillo at the first sign of flu! Oscillococcinum (o-sill-o-cox-see-num) is safe, natural and easy to take. Oscillo is used by millions of people and recommended by doctors around the world. Contains 1g of sugar per dose. Nature's No. 1 flu medicine. Made in France."

Folks, you've been warned.

June 1, 2015   I'm sending a link of this post to CVS and asking them to comment.

Here's what I sent to CVS.

Please look at this link and respond.

You are selling this and not only doesn't  it help in any way, it can't. And, look at what you are saying about it!

"Homeopathic Medicine. Reduces duration and severity of flu symptoms. Symptoms of Flu: Fever, chills, body aches and pains. No side effects. No drug interactions. Non-drowsy. Take Oscillo at the first sign of flu! Oscillococcinum (o-sill-o-cox-see-num) is safe, natural and easy to take. Oscillo is used by millions of people and recommended by doctors around the world. Contains 1g of sugar per dose. Nature's No. 1 flu medicine. Made in France."

As a customer who buys my prescriptions from CVS I look forward to your response.

Thank you,

George Callender

Saturday, May 30, 2015

My First Mini-Trip In My New Ride. A Pleasant Day, But Also An Hour Or So When I Was Quite Emotional (for lack of a better word).

Had no idea where I was going when I left home. Decided to head for Suffolk and take Highway 58. It was a tad warm, the temperature in the mid-high 80s.

Tons of traffic (Virginia Beach, Virginia...Saturday). Folks who don't live here coming here and many of us who live here gettin' outta Dodge.

I often go out 58 and then go north on 460 toward Waverly and Wakefield. Today, I went past the 460 turnoff and headed north on a highway the number of which I do not remember.

Then back on 58 and went further west and hopped off on another road headed north.

I then saw a sign: Albert G. Horton, Jr., Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk, Virginia.

I had never heard of this cemetery and frankly had no preconceived idea about what I would find. Though for some reason, I imagined it would be small and possibly not well-cared for.

I was surely wrong on both accounts. When I made the turn on the street that paralleled the cemetery I was amazed at the number of grave markers. Being a military cemetery they were all the same size and there was line after line of them. It was about three o'clock and I was the only one visiting.

I guess I was just a little overcome with the number of tombstones. I sat on a bench for twenty minutes or so. Hmmm.... Then walked around and took a few photos. I guess I was there at least an hour.

Though, at least intellectually, most of us know we can't reach out to the dead, we often place items at the grave. That's why I took this photo of the flag. I tried to imagine how the person who placed it must of felt.

Many of us get great comfort when we visit where our loved ones are buried.

After I left the cemetery, I had a great late-lunch at Ruby Tuesdays. Perfectly grilled chicken with an interesting and spicy BBQ sauce, baked potato, and steamed broccoli. To add to my dining experience the waitress was a delightful young lady who kept my iced tea topped-up.

All in all a good day. And, yes, I'm glad I visited the cemetery. I think we need to do that from time-to-time. To think about all of the service men and women who were killed in our wars. And, to try to imagine how their friends and loved-ones felt when they learned they had died.

No buyer's remorse (yet). Filled the tank after 135 miles of 50/50...yippee, 33 MPG. My WRX was getting 16/18.

PLEASE NOTE: I just couldn't get these photos aligned properly. I thought it better to have them than not.