Posts Tagged ‘story’

The “thing” going around in the last couple days is that a data collection firm harvested 50 million “Facebook” profiles.

I do not use FaceBook. Never had a profile there. I started one and filled in a few of the initial blanks of the profile and then scrapped it. But my profiles for any internet site are all different. Yes, I lie.

I was in “I.T.” for over 40 years. Yes, before there was a word or name for the technology. I began when information technology was just beginning. When computers became commonly used and memory storage increased, I saw that “information” was going to be key. User / customer data were secure mainly because every Tom, Dick and Harry didn’t have a computer mainframe at their disposal. The “internet” was just beginning, it wasn’t even called that. Only the military, colleges and big businesses had a mainframe computer and phone lines that connected them. Things were primitive.

The most popular computer phrase was “garbage in – garbage out”. Think of that. And that information was on punch cards and later reel to reel magnetic tapes.

Today, as everyone knows, the most powerful “mainframes” fit in the palm of our hand. Access to information is everywhere, whether it is your information or your neighbors, you can get it. How do we combat that? How do we keep our information private? Frankly, we can’t. Eventually your private info will be compromised. You must understand and believe that.

In the words of Mario Savio, “we can only slow the machine, clog the levers and the gears of the machine”. Clog the machine so that the information about you at Yahoo, WordPress, Facebook, Google, Amazon and YouNameIt is unreliable, confusing, conflicted. Confuse it so information gathered, pigeon holed and categorized will be less useful or at least questioned and less valuable.

Most things are self evident and I won’t repeat them here. Other things never to disclose is your real birth date, where you were born, when you were married, where you were married, your middle initial. If it is required, input something different in all of your different accounts. Get it? And if you judge it unnecessary for the account you are signing up for, your real name. It doesn’t matter, because the deep data miners will know that by your internet provider, IP address and probably your MAC address.

On variable information, ie – your life style, fuck’em up. If you are a Dem, input Rep. Next account input Independent. Next time when asked, Dem. Clog the fucking machine. I’ve been married in Las Vegas, Belgium, Washington DC and Fargo. To name a few, I forget the others. I have used 15 different middle initials, so far. For every serious Google search, I make one or two far out ones. My dog’s name has been Old Yeller, Lassie, Ralph, Blu, Skippy and NoneUBiznes. When answering a request for a special password validation question, for gawd’s sake don’t use anything that is the truth. You don’t need to use your mother’s real maiden name in their info profile or your real dogs name or da dit da dit da. You get the picture?

If you are a conservative, visit a few Liberal sites. And visa versa. If you are “religious” check out PornHub (wait, that one may not confuse them). Turn your TV (they are harvesting data on most TVs, too, which I love, every time Trump comes on, I change stations for a few seconds) or computer to Fox News, MSNBC or CNN and leave it on two or three hours while you do yard work or detail your car. If you are checking prices on underwear on Amazon, check out guns for a minute or two also or try to find “Underwater Basket Weaving”. See how far out your random advertisements on Yahoo, Google, FaceBook and WordPress , etc can get.

Remember “garbage in – garbage out”. Definitely keep them confused on location, age, politics, education and income. And most importantly, confuse them on what your fears are.

The point that I’m trying to make here is, we are not the customers of any of the social media companies. We are their product. They sell our data. Not just data that has to do with their platforms, but anything whether public or private that we reveal to them.

The recent news that 50 or 60 million accounts and any of the accounts of friends, associates, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, grandkids and dogs, kittens and personal confession posts and emails were sold to a company that mines, sorts and collates this data to be sold to clients that uses this data for their own cause should not surprise us.

Do you want your private information helping to elect any of your political opponents? Whether republican or democrat it affects you.
Do you want your data used to decide free choice, gun ownership or gender issues? What ever your political hot spot is they can use that to sway votes, no matter which persuasion you have. They don’t care, they are selling it to the highest bidder and turn that data into what ever cause that is willing to pay.

Take Ol’ Great Uncle Nutz advice. If you can’t beat’em then confuse’em. Do what analytical and political strategy companies are doing to us, “If you can’t furnish them with facts, then buffalo them with bull-shit”. If you still want to participate in the social media machine, then clog the levers, clog the gears and stop the machine with so much inaccurate information that their collating will be of no use.





So, you want a few thoughts from me, OC ?  I really am the most colorful, I think, of this bunch that John allows to occupy his otherwise very empty mind, body and soul.

I’ve been having a lot of fun this year. As some of you know , I am more or less apolitical (E says that means non-political) and I don’t give a shit. But I will say this, President Trump is about the stupidest son-of-bitch that we’ve ever had as the leader of our country. I’m just telling you right up front how I feel. You see, I’m just telling you exactly how it is. I ain’t what you call wishy – washy. Some probably say that I am stupid for saying it that way. And you know what, so do I, but that’s just how I feel whether you agree or not, even if it isn’t true. I’m just telling you what I’m thinking right off the top of my head. Take it or leave it mother-fuckers.

Now before you get all burly and excited and threaten to beat me to a pulp for talking that way about your President, stop and think a minute! How I explained myself in that last paragraph is exactly what you stupid bastards said you liked about Trump.

You said “I like him because he tells it the way it is. He doesn’t mince words, he tells ya exactly what’s on his mind, right or wrong , whether you agree with him or not. I admire that about a man and a President”. If you love that about a man, you should love the hell out of me.

But truly, I gauge a man when I first meet him this one way and one way alone. And it is as simple as this, would I like working for a boss like him? Would he be an ass-hole to work for?

Come on you working stiffs out there that voted for him. How many bosses have you had that were like that ass-hole that you told to go fuck himself and you quit to find a better job? You voted for him as President? You need to wake up for Christ’s sake! He’s not going to do anything for you.

Shit, I could run for President.

Now, who brought the beer. Let’s have a drink and try to forget the mess you guys have made, then we’ll find that strip club a few blocks from here I want to check out.


( I guess there isn’t much here that OC has said that I need to apologize for.  He just likes to tell it the way it is.    John)

It is not that the events of the past few months are not interesting, bazaar and in the words of others, “totally unbelievable – unbelievable”. It is just me writing about them that would probably just make them a boor, or is it a bore?

It reminds me of an experience I had while an electronic communications specialist. I received a formal “squawk” via email, from a dispatcher, that many management names were also copied, informing me and they that a vital communications receiver’s audio was at an  “unbelievably loud level“. And he was requesting that the equipment be repaired immediately.  Since so many “higher-ups” were copied I responded promptly assuming that there was something very wrong with this very expensive piece of gear. After “repairing” the receiver, I replied-to-all this short report of the fix.

“Turned the radio’s volume control knob down to a more “believable” level”.

I received the most replies and accolades and chuckles from management on that single “repair” than any other that I’d done in my entire career.

I guess the point I’m making here is, we could use a lot less “unbelievable” adjectives and adverbs these days spewed from the Administration. And it would probably do the Country much more good if before a lot of huge adjectives are used and unnecessary squawking is done, perhaps things should first just be turned down to a more believable level.




I was walking down the street last Thursday
and a dog with bright white teeth and a big smile
approached me from the right.
He said he enjoyed walking with humans and asked if he could join me.
I, a man of great tolerance, said OK, glad to have ya!
We had walked only a block or two and he starts sniffing the street light poles and fire hydrants.
And with that big smile on his face he raises his leg and pisses on one of the posts.
Shocked…. I said, “look, that is very embarrassing to me, to be walking with you and then
having you do that. people will think you are my dog and blame me for messing up the sidewalk.
And how can you do that with such a big smile on your face?”

He said, “Smile on my face? I’m not smiling, dogs don’t smile! I have an urinary infection!” Then he gave me the finger!


Friday March 12, 2010

There’s an old fashion saying, “Home Is Where the Heart Is”. Perhaps I really didn’t appreciate the meaning of that until today.

After a two-week absence, spending all but two nights in hotels, I arrived at my own digs today. But the house was empty. As in, my wife was out-of-town. She is staying one more day with our children and grandchildren. As I reported yesterday, I was able to spend some family time with her and the kids Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. But I must regroup today and Saturday for a return trip to my project in Illinois on Sunday afternoon.

So now you may know what I’m talking about. I’m at my house but I’m not yet home. Home will arrive tomorrow in a red Prius with my wife. It’s funny because my wife believed home arrived today with me in a white Tundra. Home is a very complex concept that is sometimes hard to identify and keep track of. Although we were not in our house, we probably were more at home Thursday night at the middle school in Leavenworth attending Em’s band concert.

But we have been married many years and we have learned that we can adapt easily. I think you call it “rolling with the blows”. We have been very lucky to have raised our two children and now we get to watch our children as they raise their five and create homes for themselves.

Hopefully tomorrow after Marcia’s visit ends, their houses will be just a little bit less home without us. Just as ours through the years has become just a little bit less without them.

Such is the life of John

Captain! Sometimes the most important person is you!
You!….. you dizzled drapes dropper
You! …. you measly mound of moose melt
Get up and fight the sons of bitches!
Hit ’em in the face!
Kick ’em in the balls!
Fuck’em up!

Now wait a minute……..
Think about this
The last skull you cracked still isn’t healed.
And you lost your Secret Society of Greenwich Ring.
Oh! Those were the days!
There was beer, blood and Brylcreem
smeared all over everything.
Royal Fly-boys!…. the Bastards!

Wake Up!!

Whew! That reoccurring WWI dream again!
What time is it?
6 O’clock already!

I HATE Daylight Saving Time!!!


(DST has that affect on some people. This is OC’s  twice annually modified rant about it. Brylcreem??  John   )

Orie, Page 2

Posted: January 30, 2017 in Everyday Life, poet, writing
Tags: , , , ,

Of all the men Orie’s age that I knew, none spoke of World War II or what they had to do in it. Not one glorified their time in the service. I didn’t even know until his death in 1983 that my own uncle had served in a armored Calvary unit that ran reconnaissance behind enemy lines in Europe. His unit traveled in advance of the Allies by 20 miles. He had hand to hand combat with the enemy and was wounded in the thigh but turned down the opportunity to be sent home because he felt at the time that a leg wound was suspicious and used as a free ticket home. For 40 years he never spoke of any of it, I learned of his valor after his funeral while my brother and I went through his personal effects and found his bronze star with V and other ribbons and citations.

That’s how it was with Orie Penny, I knew he served in the War only because of a picture of him in his combat uniform that I spotted in an old photo album. The album was propping up one leg of his leaning end table. What happened to him during the war I never knew but I think he came home a changed man. So changed that after he got back to the States, wanderlust set in and he felt only the urge to travel. The only means were the trains that steamed so frantically coast to coast across the country at the time. And Orie wasn’t buying any tickets.

He spoke of Tin Cup Tim, Plug Nickels, Skeleton Jones, Kid Kicks and Jim Beam Jim. All hobos he had traveled with the four years he spent riding the rails. On a broken slate board with chalk that he kept near the kitchen table, he showed me the “marks”. The code of the hobos made of specialized X’s and O’s, boxes, triangles and hash marks. He spelled out “This woman will serve you pie”, “this man is mean”, “bad dog inside” and “soup around the corner”. As we sat and drank his strong black percolated coffee, he told of the time that Tin Cup Tim fell from a passenger train that they found themselves on and “greased the rails”. Bo speak for being run over by the train.

He spoke of Wild Cherry, Georgia, Paducah, Kentucky, Moscow Mills, Missouri and Ada, Oklahoma to name only a few. He spoke fondly of the cities as if he enjoyed feeling the sound of their names as they rolled off his tongue as he recalled the sway and the sounds of the rides. He said he was taught to always work for the little money he needed and always to take the worse jobs available in town. Like dippin honey, pickin blooms and pushing crumbs, meaning spreading manure, picking fruit and sweeping floors. He said he always took the worse jobs, that way he or a fellow bo would probably be hired again if they came back through town later. I have learned since that’s the hobo ethic.

We stayed up late into the morning hours talking of his travels as Plug Nickels. Remembering the rides and avoiding the railroad Bulls (train cops). But the smiling stopped and the smooth names of cities changed as he began to tell of 1949 and San Quintin.


Tuesday October 12, 2010
Chapter 1

Orie Penny was retired, well let’s say not working for anyone, I never knew which occupation he claimed, horse trader, farm hand cowboy or dealer in Colorado fighting roosters. At the time he made his money breeding fighting roosters and illegal cock fights. He was an averaged sized man, with a 3 day beard, rolled his own and still wore Levis and toe worn boots with stirrup scars around the instep. He didn’t call himself a cowboy, farm hand was good enough for him. Walked with a left legged limp because he had a painful rebuilt hip, reconstructed years ago before modern methods were perfected. He never told me how he hurt his hip but his daughter Anita told me the story late one night.

Orie agreed to marry an immigrant worker’s daughter because she was too old for the father to claim as a dependent and she was going to be deported. The father, being Orie’s best friend, asked him to marry her in name only with the understanding that the marriage could never be consummated and she was to be left alone and never live with him. After a few weeks, Orie, thinking consummation would be the honorable thing to do, made an advance at the young lady . The next morning he heard his friend Ramone yelling outside across the street. Orie went out to investigate the commotion  and Ramone jumped up out of the weeds in the bar-ditch and lowered a 30-06 on him. He shot him through the hip. After he fell, Orie got one round off into the weeds from his old Colt model 1901 .38 revolver that he had grabbed on his way out of the back porch. Of course, he didn’t hit anything but stopped Ramone from popping up his head and shooting anymore rounds. That pretty much disabled him and he couldn’t work riding long hours out on the ranch … err farm as he called it. He never did live with her and never did divorce the girl. She is still living in the States. Orie never pressed charges but Ramone and the rest of his family were deported because of the shooting.

I came to know Orie in the early 70’s. Needing work, I found myself in Western Colorado. I got a job on the construction crew building the cable TV  infrastructure through the area. At the time oil drilling was ramping up due to the oil shortages and embargoes and oil shale had just been discovered on the western slope of the Rockies. There was an minor oil boom going on in the area, which meant no housing available. Until I was able to find a home to rent, suitable for a wife and 2 kids, I was sleeping in a tent and showering at a KOA campgrounds. I met Orie through a friend I knew there. Orie and I hit it off well and he told me to move the tent to his backyard, he knew a lot of people in the area and would help me get a house to live in so I could send for my family. That really did help out.

Although his home had running water to his sink, he had no other indoor plumbing so I still needed a place to shower. He had about an acre of land with his old home. We worked together and fixed up a solar heated water tank and made an outdoor shower out near his rooster houses and horse shed. I can still hear the cackling of his chickens and the rustling sound of his adopted thick legged mustang pony as I slept out in the backyard on those starry nights.

I will tell more stories about Orie and the year I knew him. I might tell about his teaching me to handle fighting roosters in the ring. I would also like to tell about his time riding the rails during the 40’s and his five years in San Quintin prison literally pounding rocks into the roadbed building roads and why he was there. I’m telling this just to say that even men who people may think as the lowest of men may let you stand on their shoulders and give you a leg up. Orie did that for me and I really appreciated it.


Because I’m lazy, I was going to re-post our Bi-annual standard Friday the 13th story. You know the one,  the WW2 ship yards story of building the HMS Friday. Bla bla bla , bla bla bla. How it was lost at sea on its first shake down cruise. Bla bla bla , bla bla bla. And shortly after the loss, no one could find any record, either military or ship builder records or engineering blue prints of her ever having been built or find anyone that remembers working on its construction. Ya da ya da ya da … well……., I went to our archives to retrieve  John’s last post of the story from a couple of years ago, so I could easily re-post it and the post and all drafts of the story were gone, lost, bleato, vanished.

I’m a little spooked. I don’t think I will ever tell that Friday the 13th disappearing story again.

I know, you are laughing, but until a Friday the 13th event happens to you, you can laugh all you want. But I’m spooked!!

John says he doesn’t remember ever posting it!!!

Vanished, bam!!


(Heh, OC is a little confused. It was posted last in Sept. 2013. But I’m not telling him. Be careful out there!.  John)

My Piece of Joy Pie.

Posted: September 7, 2016 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry
Tags: , , , , ,

I’m not sure what is going on out there. It may be the weather. It may be this dumb founded election season or maybe it’s just life, the way things are. Hell, for all I know it may be frickin’ magic.

We are born, we grow up, we get married, we have kids, land that job that can support the whole clan, move to a location because that’s where the job is, not particularly where you wanted to settle but it will do, the kids get through school, they marry, have our grandkids and the cycle continues with them.

In between, we mow our lawns, wash our cars, go to weddings, school graduations, buy insurance, move a couple of times, change jobs, lose jobs, get sick, go to hospitals, get well, have hobbies, make friends, lose friends, go to funerals of friends and parents and grandmas and grandpas and uncles and aunts and brothers and sisters. Life then no life.

We try to laugh as much as we can, even though there’s not really that much to laugh about. So we tell jokes, pull pranks on one another, laugh at how people look, dress, walk and talk. We are constantly looking for something or someone to laugh at. That’s why sports, television and the internet ( or what ever else that you get a few jollies from) were invented, we needed to find laughter and joy in what otherwise would be a pretty dull, hum-drum, hard existence.

What can I say, it’s life. We need food and shelter and clothes on our backs in the hemisphere that I’ve landed on. There is no way around it. But we need that one other thing, just as much as we need water to drink , food to eat or shelter to keep us warm, we need joy. Just a couple of moments of joy each day or month or sometime in our life. Just something that happened or something we saw or read or noticed or someone we talked to that we can look back on and say, “You know what? I had fun that day”.

When I was a confused teenager and was feeling down on some old lonely Wednesday night, a stick of Juicy Fruit gum and an 8 oz. bottle of Coke was enough joy to keep me going for the rest of the week, I still search for those props. It doesn’t take much and a little joy can go a long ways. Every once in a while, we need to find that piece of joy, that one little piece out of life’s joy pie. It’s there, it may be hard to find, don’t expect it to be big, it will probably be very little. But you need just a tad. Search for it, just like we search in the refrigerator for that last piece of dessert, roast beef or left-over chili. Open those doors and peek around every old bottle of mustard and ketchup, keep looking, it’s there. Hell, it’s fun just looking for it, that piece of joy.

Such is the life of John