Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jaguar


My friend Tom got himself a Jaguar. I've heard about this car for nearly two weeks. We had country lamb dinner on Lonsdale so that he could tell me all about getting the car and having to fix the car.  I heard an in depth story of water pumps and octopus with the inevitable one missed nut. This was followed by the rescue. No soldiers died. It was a good story.  It carried into the Rhubarb pie and ice cream.  By the time we drove back to our boats, everyone was looking at his car.  I told him my friend George feels the same way about his car. I enjoy hearing their car stories. I hope they enjoy hearing my motorcycle stories. It's not just being polite. We're friends.  If we were cowboys we'd ask about each other's horses. If we were future space ship captains we'd tell each other about our latest intergallactic  hopper. The little jaguar looks great. I wish Harley had a little moulded eagle like that.  Since Harley Davidson is a Scottish name, maybe a wee eagle playing golden bagpipes.

The next day we couldn't get my boat out of the water for repairs because all the boat lifts and work space in the neighbourhood was spoken for. So we checked out the Yamaha xt 250's and wandered about PopEyes looking at used boat stuff.  I tore out the old sink faucet in the head and installed the new one.  When I asked Tom to check the installation he suggested I turn on the water.   Unusual request, if you ask me.   Tom replaced the gasket that must have dropped out somewhere by itself. It's absence accounted for his getting thoroughly soaked. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

First Annual LOUD Awards

Tonight GLBA and TD Canada Trust presented the First Annual LOUD Awards at the Stanley Park Pavillion.  It was a gala affair with cocktail reception,  silent auction and Sassy Songstress Kim Kuzma. The Gay and Lesbian Business Association chose the word LOUD for their scholarship program because the letters represented Leadership, Opportunity, Unity, and Diversity.  Thanks to the pair selling 50/50 tickets I didn't have to write that down.  Someone had already taking the liberty of writing it on them.  

video

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sexual Deviance

Sexual Deviance is one of many 'clinical' and 'legal' terms that has made it's way into common usage.

 

To truly appreciate the origins of such terms it's important to first reconsider what the term 'deviance' means and even the term 'sexual'.  It can almost be guaranteed that others do not generally agree with you in regards to these meanings which most consider 'self evident'.

 

They are not.

 

First, sexual connotes many meanings with various shades and greater complexity in whatever context the word finds association.

 

The term 'Sex' is itself a word that is changing and no longer can be assumed to have a 'universal' meaning.

 

A joke exists as most do to bring attention to the limits of our comprehension. In this particular sexual joke a man is asked to state his sex and respond's 'no' or 'none' because he has never considered it in terms of general but solely as a 'condition' one has or doesn't have.  The examiner is reasonably perplexed. 

 

This confusion abounds today.  Most of the  confusion exists between those who believe in an 'innate' morality which they claim 'they have' or 'my morality' versus 'your morality'. These discussions are not new and go to the origins of ethics in the debates of Plato, Aristotle and the teachings of early church fathers and later debates of enlightenment.

 

Sex itself can be an 'adjective' , a 'verb', a 'noun'.  Alone it is uncertain what it actually refers to.  All of this is neither good, bad, right , wrong or inherently evil.

 

It is merely a reflection of the changing times.  It is a fact that the word has changed in use, meaning and continues to change. Yet those who don't comprehend the transitional nature of language, that culture is changing and attitudes change and that there is no 'agreement' on whether the change is evolution or devolution, universal or local, have serious 'opinion's' and even more commonly speak with the authority once associated with only the queen, as in Queen Victoria, "we are not amused".

 

The once "catholic" and universal society has become segmented and insular with a variety of associated languages and more importantly dialects which reflect less 'regional dialectism' but rather as 'cultural'. 

 

Sex has different meanings to different classes, to different cultures and too different ruling hierarchies.

 

Consequently the adjective 'sexual' is at first glance a non sequitur.  It's vague and non specific. Clearly it does not refer to the gourds though with the consideration of 'fetishism' it may well. 

 

With just this consideration, deviance is even more historical.  The term 'deviance' or even the more recent clinical term "disorder' assumes all manner of attributes such as 'normal'.

 

Normal to the moralist is a highly different 'normal' than that of the epidemiologist.

 

Further, the law courts inherrently are involved in maintaining the status quo and serving the authority which exists only in the status quo. Hence the attribute of 'normal' must serve the most abnormal 'ruler' and apply more seriously to the majority.  The economic division of rich and poor with the greatest wealth distributed with power to the fewest possible individuals causes the 'value systems' associated with words like 'deviance' or 'disorder' to have a wholly different context.

 

"Steal a little and they put you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king," is a Dylan paraphrase of English philosopher Dr. Johnson's famous words. 

 

In the clinical setting and the textbooks accepted in the university, sexual deviance has simply referred not to the behaviour of the wealthy and ruling class but rather to those that aren't.

 

When I worked in Saipan the law courts had been paid for by a famous gentleman known for his charity and contribution to the islands who also loved to have sex with little girls.  Like the men of the old testament who had several wives or committed adultery or didn't have sex at all their 'sexual deviance' was 'judged' in relationship to other aspects of their lives.

 

The present 'sexual offender' lists are like most laws not for the likes of presidents but for those who cannot afford lawyers, the majority, or justice, the majority, in societies which fall far short of any ideals of society that various 'utopians' have announced.

 

That said 'sexual deviance' is a term I choose to use for sexual practice or behaviour since in an historical sense all sexual behaviour has at some time or other been denigrated. Even in herterosexual marriage sexual behaviour can be deviant and missionary position sex with devious regularity may itself come under the purvey of the age old 'thought police' and may or may not fall afoul of 'political correctness'. Indeed , many 'feminist lesbians' consider the church and state sanctioned 'marriage' as 'sexual abuse of women'. Masculinists have in turn called this 'institution' of 'normality' 'state prostitution'. 

 

Modern and post modern scientific researchers have meanwhile concluded that the variety of sexual behaviours of humans is as diverse as that of the birds which according to those researchers have demonstrated every form of sexual congress and behavior imaginable and certainly more than any non ornithologists might imagine.

 

So I use the term sexual deviance as a means to group sexual behaviour and discuss the behaviour with consideration of it's place in context and time.  Today sexual deviance might well be considered the norm or inclusive term.  Those who practice missionary posiiton heterosexual monogamy (mphm)  a  significant minority today, would be considered 'sexually deviant' by the normative standards used at the time the terminology originated.  So either our grandparents generation are collectively deviant by present day standard or the terminology should adapt to what is normative and perhaps take into consideration modern and post modern concepts of "consent", "do no harm", "adult" etc. In this way 'masturbation' once thought extremely sexually deviant would not today be group with pedophilia which morally and ethically is still considered very deviant.  

Gratitude

Thank you for indoor plumbing.  I like flush toilets and hot showers. Thank you for indoor temperature control. I like indoor heating and air conditioning.  Thank you for down comforters and wood furniture and international distribution of materials and manufacturing that transfer thes products around the world. I like the Mexican carpet, the Indian wood carving, the Malaysian wood chest, the Chinese painted box, the Russian painting, the Argentinian leather and all the diversity of goods that come from the four corners of the wold. Thank you for electricity and the lights that let me read at night, the electric stove, the computers. Thank you for the batteries that let me take my phones and computers and radios and flashlights with me whereever I go. Thank you for the GPS that followed the sextant that helps me travel on water and land. Thank you for binoculars and microscopes. Especially thank you for my stethescope.Thank you for xray, CTScans and MRI's. Thank you for pots and pans. Thank you for reliable through hull technology. Thank you for light weight durable helmuts.  Thank you for Thank you for the refined steel in my knives and scalpals. Thank you for the bow I used to shoot deer and rabbits. Thank you for the old rifle I used to shoot a moose. Thank you for all the means I have of obtaining food especially the supermarket.  Thank you for the balcony and the engineering that makes high rise construction with balconies safe and for the plants that grow on the balcony.  Thank you for internal combustion engines that go into Ford Trucks, Honda generators, Yamaha outboard motors, and Harley Davidson Motorcycles. Thank you for jet planes that bring familes together. Thank you for tv and dvd and all the wonderful movies from around the world, especially Hollywood.  Thank you for the printing press and all the fine books I can read. Thank you for the internet. Thank you for velcro. Thank you for medications and antibiotics that prolong life in comfort.  Thank you for pasteurization. Thank you for telephones and cellular phones. Thank you for the space shuttle. Thank you for hamm radio. Thank you for electric tooth brushes and shavers. Thank you for clean water. Thank you for aerial photography and satellites. Thank you for perfumes.  Thank you the Mars probe.   

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stem Cell Research

I was at a conference once where they were discussing the use of stem cells garnered from abortions by street women and others.  The government here was unwilling to address the issue of 'ownership' of this material but was looking to get permission to use this material in research.  A whole range of ethical and religious questions arose.  I was instantly hated because I wanted the women who'd had the abortions to be paid reasonably for this material and the women researchers holding the discussions were gravely offended by my suggestion. Indeed by their looks they wanted my entire body donated to research there and then.    I don't like such conferences.  Naturally they scare me.  
It was obvious that some priviledged people wanted something for nothing and thereby could get richer.  They didn't care about the street women, alcoholic and drug addicts and such who had in addition to their existing diseases,  no support for their pregnancies and really were encouraged to have abortions as the only options for them.  They'd no doubt believed these fetus would be disposed of but they weren't. Unbeknownst to them and without any legal release their fetus were kept and now were going to the 'benefit of science'.  Unfortunately the 'benefit of science' is no longer in an era of altruism but rather an era of business and copywright. So these stem cell researchers want free product for their raw factories so they could make a killing so to speak. 
When I asked the question about paying the women who'd had the abortions the lead researcher and her beaurocratic friends looked at me with the hate and fury that you only get when you threaten to steal a child's piggy bank.  She terrified me. Her and her friends are making new human bodies for her and and her friends to inhabit.   It was silly of me to make such a powerful enemy by asking about street women who were alcoholics and addicts.  
Now from this exchange I was labelled "against stem cell research".  My file was flagged and I was never again invited to another of these illustrious conferences. Another fancy free lunch opportunity gone.  The alcoholics and addicts will always let me join them at the gospel mission or rainbow church food lines, though. All is not lost. 
The next time I passed one of these women they gave me that eye roll thing too.  That was as they were getting into their sleek new sportcar dressed as one of the girls from sex in the city might dress.  Not your traditional medical researcher. Times had changed.  
I just wanted to say here that I love 'stem cell research'.   I love science.  Business and government often suck in my mind but science still moves me like fine music or great art.  I think stem cell research is the cutting edge of biology.  
We all have stem cells. These are the cells that differentiate into all the different specialized cells of our bodies.  Stem cells can be put into the body and will differentiate into the cells that they're replacing. Something about putting a singer beside a tenor and he starts to sing tenor.  So they're growing ears for soldiers and bladders to implant in people who were carrying around external plastic bags before they got their new stem cell bladders. 
This is space age stuff. This is medicine at it's finest.  I'm hanging in their for a new brain, heart and would gladly see my ponch cells regenerated into pecs and lats.  That's the latest. Researchers have reverse engineered skin cells to make them stem cells so the whole abortion discussion is no longer relevant. Tomorrow if I'm lucky they're reverse engineer my fat cells to muscle cells.  
The question still will remain who gets these body parts, especially the sexual ones or the cosmetic ones.  Now that's business and it reeks of the same old same old.  But the science, it's incredible and I'm all for it.  All that science fiction stuff is happening today and body parts are being grown in vats.  Quite frankly everyone who is injured could have new eyes, limbs and burned faces replaced.  
The trouble is old men and women continue  to kill  young men and women with needless wasteful wars.  Old men and old women want to keep all this to themselves, too.  Maybe I'll understand all this when I'm older.  Some things get dim with age as it is but other things get crystal clear.  This stem cell research is great but like everything in science it goes back to who uses it and for what purpose. We got a lot more nuclear weapons instead of nuclear energy plants thanks to the last paranoid cretans in power.  
Today I'm going to hope stem cell research makes more healthy babies rather than building a Star Trek army of clones.  It's good to be hopeful.  Stem cell research and the applications give us incredible hope.  Let's hope our leaders will see it that way. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

Visions Bookstore

What a thorough delight!  I walked in this morning after a meeting in New Westminster. There was Bruce sitting in an armchair reading one of his books.  Incense was burning. It was warm and friendly.  A kind of Banyan Books East. More Recovery.  Maybe even more peace and joy.  I delighted in talking with Bruce who in his 70's now is more uplifting each time I see him.  Visions Bookstore, 700 Columbia Street, New Westminister, BC V3M 1A9, between the Columbia and New West Sky Train.  I left with some really positive mind food and an easy peaceful feeling. Great way to start the day.

Gratitude


I am thankful for the colour in my life. It could be in black and white. I’m thankful for the contours. It could be all flat. I’m thankful for family and friends. I could be alone. I’m thankful for life because I don’t know death and where it might be better it could be worse or it could be nothing at all. I’m thankful for what I have.  I’m thankful for the air and the scents that come on breezes. I’m thankful for feelings, feeling the sun on my leg and the wind in my hair. I’m thankful for my vision, I could be blind.. I’m thankful for all my bodily perceptions as I could be without any of them and that would make life more difficult for sure. I’m thankful for mobility. I’m thankful for my fingers. I’m thankful for all the internal organs and glands that work independent of me.  I’m thankful for the autonomic nervous system.  I’m thankful for my cat. I’m thankful for my faith. I’m thankful for hope. I’m thankful for the trees and plants and animals and flowers. I’m thankful for the sun and moon and sky. I’m thankful for the earth. I’m thankful for skin and clothing.  I’m thankful for taste. I’m thankful for children and old people and houses and apartments and buildings and tents. I’m thankful for trucks and motorcycles and bicycles. I’m thankful for sports and crafts and books. I’m thankful for furniture .  I’m thankful for birdsong.  I’m thankful for coffee. I’m thankful for boats. I’m thankful for music and instruments. I’m thankful for harmony and collaboration.  I’m thankful for money and banks  and storage lockers and carpets and hard wood floors. I’m thankful for rain and snow and wind.  I’m thankful for typing and writing and paper and pen and computers and television. I’m thankful for planes and trains.  I’m thankful for humor and altruism and spaceships and planets. I’m thankful for orgasms and good feelings and fine thoughts and eureka and aha.  I’m thankful for confidence and self esteem and dreams.  I’m thankful for hats.  I’m thankful for shoes.  I thankful for thankfulness.  When I have it I have no fear, anxiety or depression. An attitude of gratitude pushes out all negativity.  I’m thankful for gratitude.     

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fort Langley





I’m at Wendel’s Bookstore and Café, Glover Road, Fort Langley.  I’ve had the smoked salmon bagel and am drinking a mocha coffee.  It’s sunny and country pleasant.  Fort Langley has become a great tourist town, a terrific destination for a day out of Vancouver.   Today I came out on the #1 freeway and will return that way. In the past I’ve taken the circle route using the Albion Ferry which connects the North and South Sides of the Frazer River.  

There are a lot of café’s in this town and a lot of outdoor tables. Both the motorcyclists and cyclists who abound here like that.   The outdoor tables keep us close to our bikes. 

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On the road it was great to be alive. The farmer’s fields were magnificent with green, green and more green.  The sun was on my face, the wind in my hair and my Harley Davidson 1200 engine was sounding great.    Perfect day for touring.    

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On the way back I arrived on a hit and run with a cyclist down.  Another cyclist had been the first responder and was doing a great job when 2 medical specialists arrived including an anesthetist.  I was the third MD. The  Fort Langley Fire Dept and Ambulance arrived and were superb.  Then the police arrived and seeing that the downed man was in good hands went right to asking questions about the hit and run.  Having little to do I was able to watch with admiration as fellow humans were at their caring best.  I sent the pictures I took to the Langley paper hoping they’d show that.

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Earlier in the day, I’d stopped at Trev Dealy for the latest in armour inserts,  T Pro CE,  to be slipped into shoulder and elbow pouches of my summer jacket.  $30 of insurance I hope to never need.

On the #1 freeway doing 120 km/hr  I was wearing my Junior Air Bird Glasses and the little helmut for scooping up brains after a crash.  I’m usually wearing a full face mask.  A beetle hit the tip of my ear. It really stung.  Just then a guy passed on a HD Classic riding in shorts and shirtless. He was young , tanned and had a contoured body.  “Just wait till a beetle hits your nipple,” I thought "at" him thankful for my armoured jacket  which  concealed  my middle aged ponch.  


Soul Sadness

Soul Sadness by william hay


At times I am so sad;

That I know such great sadness

Cannot be mine alone.

 

I must tap some world reserve of suffering,

Because my own life has no such horror or loss

To explain these tears of haunting self pity

And wrenching pain.

 

I am blessed beyond my wildest imagination.

My life is rich and my cup overflowest.

 

Yet in my heart  at  times I flounder,

And cry alone,

Not knowing where this depth of despair

Issues from.

 

It cannot be mine

Else I’d have been swept away

Long ago in this abyss.

 

Where cries of abandoned children,

Starvation, torture, conflagration

Must resonate with my little griefs

And tiny sorrows.

Giving them such self importance!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Talking about Spirituality

When I was growing up I learned somewhere that one wasn't supposed to talk about politics and religion. In contrast it was supposed to be okay to talk ad in finitum about cars, consumer products like tampons, and sports.  As a guy you later could talk about girls until radical Feminism outlawed that but girls could talk about boys and still do even though they clearly know less about the subject than men once knew about women.  
Talking about politics is really talking about relationships and power.  Historically only toadies got to the top of the political food chain and the leadership was a collection of paranoid scoundrels who only wanted to be surrounded by people who agreed with them. The trick was to figure out who was going to be in charge and flatter the hell out of the little shit so he'd promote you to being his right hand boy or girl especially if you were just a wanker.  If you were overheard talking about politics a little weisel scoundrel in the making would rat on you and you'd be out of a job even if you were the only person who had any actual competence or skills. Politics is all about who you know and clearly not about what you know.  
In contrast spirituality was about the essence of religion. Religion was an arm of politics.  When the strong man got into power some other guys wore dresses and they were allowed to dominate the women while not taking any of the women from the strong arm guy and his friends. This was celibacy in exchange for good food, wine, fancy clothes and maybe sneaking a little on the side.
Spirituality isn't about politics.  Religions generally use spirituality and maybe spirituality is what gave rise to the best of religion but spirituality is to religion what perhaps idealism is to politics. Politicians laugh at idealists.  Religious leaders laugh at spiritual people unless the spiritual people threaten the religion and then they kill them by crucifixion, ostracism, hanging or ridicule. 
It's probably smart not to talk about spirituality because it can get you killed.  Nobody cares if you talk about sports.  It's a code anyway and only the spiritual men know what the code is anyway. Herman Hesse likened it to a Glass Beed Game. 
Spirituality is about relationship to the highest ideals.  Spirituality is about asking the central questions, what's it all about.  Spirituality is about the highest good in an individual's life.  Spirituality is not about war. It's about love. 
The brain according to McLean is triune with the lowest part being reptilian with the functions present in the human brain essentially the same as those in snakes. The next part of the brain is the mammalian brain with the functions found there being emotional, kinship, tribal, all the things we see animals capable of, mother child love, grouping, packing, herding, caring for their own and similiar, forming bonds.  The human brain is a higher function of that and as such it transcends tribalism and nationalism and gets into those nether regions of 'love your enemy'. Clearly this is something that a snake or fox or even a cow wouldn't do naturally but is a truly human trait.  The human brain is Einstein and Gandhi and Jesus and Bach and all those highest developments of art, diplomacy, creativity, engineering, medicine, altruism and humor. It's not selfish in a fear driven way but rather selfish in a self actualizing way.  
It's what seems to be missing from the corporation model which works as lizards and ants work but seems to have not evolved beyond that basal brain level.  I've seen a lot of transnational corporations but so far none that were transcendent.
Spirituality is beyond copyright.  It's about two musicians getting off making music together. It's about that moment one scientist collaborates with another and they both go 'aha'. 
It's about lovers rather than fuckers though with the self aggrandisement of Hollywood most idiots would believe the best fuckers are the best lovers.  The best love is the best fuck and then some in the erotic domain.  C.S. Lewis has however told us clearly about 4 loves: affection, friendship, eros and agape.  While fucking is about fucking, spirituality might well encompass that but it's more about what C.S. Lewis referred to a Agape. It's also inherrent in the salutation, "Namaste, which means the God (or best) in me salutes the (God) or best in you."
So Spirituality is something that is mostly about the unknown.  It's that silly song , To Dream the Impossible Dream, or it's Man of La Mancha and windmills.  T. S. Elliott's Hollow Men talks about it's absence.   The truly spiritual is outside the reach of individual man. 
It's a place of harmony with something known as God or the Collective Unconscious or Spirit , Higher Power, or Mother Earth or Father Space or another who is a stranger, really.  We really only know others through our own projections.  Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land called the spiritual kind of connecting " grokking' because there weren't really any words for this encounter with this awe inducing higher than ever before experienced, hence unknown, place of realization.  It's why the old religionists when they experienced these spiritual moments which they called encounters with God 'trembled with fear'  It's alien.  Meeting our true self if we've been little hypocritical smucks is like an alien encounter too. 
It's a recognition of you and the other.  It's this realization of separateness and then the bridging of that aloneness.  It's humbling. Politics and religion is full of arrogance. Spirituality is all about humility.  
In the game Prisoner's Dilemna there are four outcomes, I win-you lose, I lose-you win, we lose, we win.  Most people, really, almost all people, would rather make the choices that end in 'we lose' rather than forfeit or compromise so that 'we win' is the outcome.  Spirituality is about the 'we win' outcome.  
In religion people know what's right and will tell you because they also know what's right for you too. They know this because it's in a book or in a building or in their family heritage or in their group but it's really political more than spiritual.   Spirituality is more of a question than an answer.  It's a relationship with the other but it's never clear if the relationship is child parent or adult to adult. There's are alot of authority and parentalisms and even militariism in religions but in spirituality its more like a love story or a child's quest. It's a journey rather than an outcome.  
Now the best of religion to my mind is founded in spirituality and maybe the best of politics is too.  But politics and religion may be your business so I'd not like to talk about them but spirituality is everyone's business so maybe it's a good thing to talk about.  It is beyond any business that I've known.  Spirituality is about dreams really.  Like Martin Luther's, "I had a dream."  It's that kind of realization.  It's about building up more than tearing down. 
It's easy to talk about too.  Just stop talking about all the other shit and be silent.  Spirituality always seems to start with silence.

 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sparkle Hayter


Sparkle Hayter

What’s a Girl Gotta Do by Sparkle Hayterhttp://www.noexit.co.uk/hayter.htm

Robin Hudson is a  reporter. She’s having a bad year.  Belching into the open mike at the White House has set back her career as well as asking a woman who survived a plane crash by eating fellow passengers what they tasted like.  She’s been banished to Special Stories when her husband leaves her for the younger woman reporter. A black mailer targets the television studio women and all hell breaks out. Robin becomes a suspect and everyone wonders what secrets the newsroom staff might kill over.  That’s just the beginning.  The characters are rich and hilarious. Robin is priceless with her bad attitude, attack cat and poor taste in men.  The climax comes when Robin goes undercover on a sperm bank story.  Hayters fertile imagination and indecent sense of humor couple to make this hard thrusting mystery a thorough delight.  No wonder this free lance journalist and stand up comedian has won Crime Writer’s awards for these Robin Hudson mysteries which include Nice Girls Finish Last and Revenge of the Cootie Girls

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Long Weekend on the Water





I heard the choir of angels first. A 21 gun salute followed. The Queen of England waved her little wave.  The prime minister of Canada nodded. Premier Gordon Campbell saluted.   It was a momentous occasion. Canada’s Snowbird squadron flew over as the fireworks went off.  I didn’t see it but I heard later that those on the space shuttle dipped a wing. 

The GIRI left dock for the first time since arriving back from her 34 day momentous dismasted sail from Hawaii.  The steering and engine continued to work avoiding potential collision with million dollar yachts that prey on poor old boats like mine.  Laura, as acting First Mate, wearing her black pirate wool hat, didn’t say anything that might distract me and occasion an immediate beheading.  Tom on the Naomi was already ahead steaming up Coal Harbour.  No doubt someone had taken the precaution of grounding all shipping till we got some sea room leaving First Narrows behind. 

It was a fabulous day in English Bay.  Other sailors dared to tack their boats across our sea but we were gracious about their presence.  I even phoned my 90 year old father surviving bad weather and politics in Ottawa to gloat about the glorious time we were having in British Columbia.  Eventually I even got a fishing line rigged finding bits and pieces here and there throughout the boat.  I’d not been fishing since we caught tuna on the trip back.  Not a salmon in sight though.  Then it was Bowen Island’s Mannion Bay (Next to Snug) begging for the anchor.  I gave her my CQR and she was happy. 

The anchor chain however had become tangled in the thrashing of the gales and seas of crossing.  Thankfully enough got out to hook us before I was running back and forth from deck to chain locker below.  In seconds without steroids my back and biceps had swollen with work.  I was quickly twice the man I was before I sweated it all out.  Tom was still hand cranking his windlass when my anchoring nightmare ended. 

I threw the dinghy overboard, hauled the Yamaha motor  overside and would have prided myself on the quick starting engine were it true.  Much yanking on the rope later I found the kill switch was engaged, turned it off and the engine purred.  When later Laura went over to bring back Tom for dinner she rowed  while leaving the engine I'd started for her running.

Tom called out, “Did you hear of the Newfie logger who bought a saw only to return to the hardware store a week later to say he’d been falling trees byes the bey but  it wasn’t cutting so well. The store owner pulled on the rope to start the saw and the Newfie said, “What’s that sound?”

“I’m afraid it will go too fast and I won’t be able to shut it off, “ Laura called back.

When Tom got back the two of us put together the prawn traps and crab traps without instructions, no internet consultation and no 6 week evenings and weekend assembly preparation.   

Then I was left to study the technical nautical works of Alexander Kent’s, Enemy in Sight, learning grappling and cannon grapeshot techniques in case we were confronted with square rigger ships sporting  tricolor pennants.  Tom and Laura prepared barbecued steaks, corn and potatoes with sour cream, fit for a king.

A bowl of  mandarins and melted chocolate ice cream bars with floating wooden sticks followed.  I’d got the diesel heater fired up without setting the boat aflame so we were very cozy.  We watched a VCR episode of Tudors, the tale of the philandering King Henry, put out by the Anglican Church of Canada to recruit divorced parishioners  .  We all dreamed that night of beheadings.

This morning I let Laura take first go at showering with the propane hot water heater hearing her squeal and squeal as the water temperature fluctuated hot and cold.  It had not been used in years since I’d had no need for it in the tropics.  After she’d got the kinks out of the system I had a splendid hot shower.

Tom arrived with the dingy full of empty traps saying we’d caught nothing.  Maybe a night school diploma would have helped. Instead, I produced the eggs and cheese I’d stalked and wrestled to submission in the jungles of the Save On  Supermarket.  They’d already been impressed with the steak I’d speared bare handed in the frozen food section. As the great white hunter I went back to studying Alexander Kent.  They produced omelettes to die for.  I was already on my second cup of Starbucks  coffee brewed by hand in my personal aluminum stove top expresso machine.

 With a cup in my hand I weighed anchor with one foot on the electric windlass pedal watching Tom on Naomi at the back breaking task of hand winching his anchor in.  What a beautiful day for a motor round Bowen to Keat’s Island.  Sanding the electrical connections I got the down rigger working.  The fish were not nearly as impressed.  The bald eagles were all over the thermals above Hutt Island.

Pulling into Plumper Cove off Keat’s Island across from Gibson’s, I put on the new Bob Dylan album, Together Through Life. First words I heard were, “My ship is in the harbor.”  You can always trust Dylan to be there with you. This has to be his best album but which one wasn’t!

Laura has the smokies cooking while Tom is eyeing all the bikini’d babes on the power boats.  Something about sail boats bring out the Birkenstock in a woman.  The passing kayakers compare prices on thermo underwear.  

The afternoon and evening were then spent reading, kids together, no longer with comics, now we’re reading big people books, but little has changed.  Bodies lie about couches. Every so often someone gets up.  Drinks and cookies or macadamia nuts follow, “while you’re up.”  Hours pass. I’m reading The Lost, A Search for Six of the Six Million, by Daniel Mendelsohn.  Laura has Mary Maffini’s, The Dead Don’t Get Out Much and Tom’s picked up my Alexander Kent.

Another morning with light shining through the deck hatch. What a glorious sleep indeed.  I’ve woken Laura with a coffee then had to suffer holding the rusted shower hose connecter to the tap.  I was outside the shower curtain and turned my head gentlemanly away from all my adolescent fantasies.  Later I told Tom of my chivalry and he commented loudly that he was always ‘ready to assist a damsel in distress.” 

Then we got back to work connecting the alternator ground which explained why we’d had no juice that morning to turn over the engine.  He’d been glad to be hailed finally on his boat to come over in the dinghy  The coffee was on my boat but I wouldn’t let him at it till I had the engine charging the depleted batteries.  He works best with prospect of reward even though he’s a tad ornery without his morning coffee. We both found it far easier to fix things in harbor than in 20 foot seas with winds singing in the rigging.

It began to rain so  we didn’t do anything more except hang out on the boat at anchor reading and eating. It was idyllic really. No work. No phones ringing. No pagers.  Pitter patter on the deck.  Diesel stove flames flickering. Tom decided to make up pork chops and after we had yoghurt and peaches.  Laura cleaned the dishes.  I said grace and praised the cook and thanked Laura for doing the dishes.  After that I complained about all the work I had to do.

The next day it was blue sky and sunshine again with bits of cloud.  We weighed anchor (it was still 60 lbs)  and headed back. Eventually we actually got back to the dock and rafted our boats together. 

There were no police chases. No Miami Vice cigar boats or helicopters with SWAT rapid descending or SEAL frog men appearing alongside with spear gun explosives.   Lightning didn’t strike.  A whale didn’t swallow us, spit us up,  and force us to tell America to mend her evil ways.   It was really uneventful.

After my sailing solo to Hawaii in winter or Tom and I coming back last summer with a broken mast, uneventful was good.  Given it was the long weekend, it’s now a short work week.  Awesome!   

 

 

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pacific Theatre - You Still Can't




Tonight I was number one. I was the first person to buy the next season's tickets for Pacific Theatre  http://www.pacifictheatre.org/ 
Concluding this season was Ron Reed's, You Still Can't, starring Tim Bratton, Katherine Gauthier, Mack Gordon and countless others.  It was the perfect sequel to "You Can't Take It With You".  We so enjoyed that last year and hard as it is to believe enjoyed "You Still Can't" perhaps even more.  Maybe the message of the Beatles and Walt Disney, Abbie Hoffman, the 60's and so many still displaced and starving people in the world is an even more poignant back drop today. Now how can that be comedy. Simply because the life of this extraordinary family of characters from You Still Can't Take it With You  remind us in the most hilariously funny ways what's truly important about our lives.  It's really a touching love story at a funeral.  I was still in tears laughing.  The play continues to June 13.  
It's been a great season. Were it not so late tonight I'd find a thousand eulogies to describe how much I appreciate the family of characters who have provided me with nearly 20 years of theatre joy.  They really know how to make an audience feel like they're number one.  

Friday, May 15, 2009

Marijuana Smoke Blues

Marijuania won't hurt you none
It's just a herb you say
Where have I heard that one
Tobacco companies
Cocaine
It's smoke
The lung and the heart don't like smoke
We weren't born with chimneys
Ask a fireman to go into a burning building
Without a mask
Ask an animal
Ask some horses in a burning barn
If they like smoke
Maybe if you weren't smoking that shit
Or trying to sell that shit
You wouldn't say
Marijuana don't hurt you none
It's just a herb you say
Would you want your neursurgeon to be smoking a doobie
Would you want your space shuttle pilot smoking a doobie
It's smoke
The lungs and the heart don't like smoke
It's not natural
The lungs don't like smoke
The heart doesn't like smoke
And the brain doesn't like it either.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Addiction - Outsourcing Happiness

Addiction is a brain disease. The brain has a capacity to produce opiates and cannabinoids, adrenalines and aldehydes. Daily the normal human body produces roughly 1 to 2 ounces of alcohol naturally. Given the presence of cannabinoid receptors the body is also producing cannibis equivalents. As well there are endorphins which are like heroin. Indeed everything that makes one high only does so by mimicking a naturally existing system of happiness production. When children of 1 or 3 or 10 are happy they literally shake with joy. There is no greater 'high' than that of a gleeful infant.
When a person becomes addicted to foreign substances it's as if they have outsourced the body's own happiness, laid off it's own happiness workers and shut down the hometown factory. It doesn't happen suddenly. A few lay offs lead to more and more until finally all the brains happiness is outsourced to Scotland, India,Afghanistan, France, Columbia, where-ever. The problem invariably follows with extended supply lines. Given it's not the real thing too, there's never enough and always there's a need for more. Alcoholism and drug addiction are simply unnatural.
When one abstains from drugs and alcohol it's like the body is told, we're going to return production to the hometown. The outsourcing suppliers aren't going to be happy. And the hometown happiness factory workers aren't going to come back en mass because frankly they've been brought back to work and laid off with many false promises. At first they dribble back in until there's a real committment.
Eventually though, with abstinence over a year or two or five the whole hometown factory complement is back at work. With abstinence it's possible for the brain to restore happiness.The brain has neuroplasticity and is a self healing organ. Natural highs become possible again. The hometown factory returns to full production with even greater efficiency.
Recovery is about being born again with the potential for the joy of a child. It's in the laughter of an infant our greatest happiness is found. Within ourselves lies the chemistry of the brain for all the joy and happiness that is humanly possible.

Space Shuttle Atlantis

Yesterday the crew from the Space Shuttle Atlantis repaired the Hubble Telescope. I can't help but realize how we collectively take for granted that earthmen are operating routinely in outer space. Yet when I think of it I am filled with the greatest awe and gratitude. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article6289728.ece

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CAA - DAPHNE BRAMHAM


"You should remove all the men!" she said at the CAA meeting. Daphne Bramham was speaking about Bountiful, the Polygammy Capital of Canada. National Post calls the book, "Gripping, Illuminating and Infuriating." Much the same could be said about Daphne Bramham in person. She told an extraordinary tale though.
"The Secret Lives of Saints - Child Brides and Lost Boys in Canada's Polygamous Mormon Sect" published by Random House, 2008 was her first book. Already a National Bestseller and nominated for 4 literary awards it wasn't an easy write for this Vancouver Sun Columnist and 30 year journalist. Tasked by the paper to cover the Utah rape trial of Warren Jeffs, "the fugitive prophet" she was deadlined by Random House to have proofs read during the same trial. The extent of her research and the number of interviews that went into it alone make the book a must read on this literally hot topic. It's clearly not just about Bountiful. Sharing the unpublished material in her talk much as she does in her blog, Think Tank, she told of the hypocricy of Canada condemning the human rights abuses of the Taliban in a foreign country while turning a blind eye to what goes on publicly outside Creston, British Columbia. I've bought the book and reading it I"m envious of the hard hitting journalist style that propells the story while giving us all the facts. As an author she had to share the costs with Random House to have a lawyer read the book. In the end it was all poet Jean Kay could do to bring a fast and furious question and answer session to an end so she could thank Daphne Branham on behalf of the CAA.

After, it was just great to meet with all the other authors and hear how they were progressing. Arriving late I'd been glad that Cathy Barzo was there to catch me up. Mackay has his book out to publishers. He commented on my 'dramatic' late entrance. Craig McLachlan arriving minutes later, no doubt waiting for the right moment, upstaged me. Bernice (Colour of Words) was reading something about dead people she recommended. I've only a ghost of a title so must email her for it's resurrection. Margaret (Just Mary) and Perry from "Our" writer's circle made me feel all Bloomsbury when outsiders shared they'd heard great things about "Our" writer's circle. Nuttall-Smith had his book about 10th century meso american priests and warriors out to the reader. I told him how much I admired his painting. He said he might have prints out for the next CAA auction. Dalton was at the door so I could tell him we'd been reading his nautical adventure book, Baychimo, on my sailboat. There were dozens more there but I've forgotten their names because I haven't yet read their books.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BAD GIRL IN WHITE

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Bad Girl in White

-william hay

If he takes you to dinner/you can let him kiss you dear

If he takes you to a movie/he can even cop a feel

But if takes you to church/he can go all the way

It’s okay with your mother/if you’re a bad girl in white

If he wants you to tie him up/he can take you to the ballet

If he wants you to talk dirty/he can take you to the opera

If wants you to do you know what /he can buy you a house

It’s okay with your mother/if you’re a bad girl in white

You’re bad girl in white living in the suburbs

If he wants to video you/he can take you on a cruise ship

If he wants to do you know what/he can buy you a car

He wants a mistress/ he can get you an in law suite

It’s okay with your mother/ if you’re a bad girl in white


Living in the suburbs, driving a porche in the suburbs

With her mother and all of her in laws.

Bad Girl in White

Vicks Vapor Rub Religion

"Yes it' the truth about healers and doctors. Jesus was profane and his disciples worse and as doctors we're too aware that we are born between piss and shit and commonly die in piss and shit but society demands that their meat come in cellophane so they can maintain their personal lies and illusions."

I told the story of my being invited to a discussion of church service. A group of young women in their 30's possibly wanting more to attract the men had invited me to be in their midst to discuss what we were 'called' to do for Jesus. One lush thing opined that she so wanted so to serve the poor but that their smell so offended her sensitive nostrils she couldn't bring herself to be in their midst despite her ardent desire to serve her Lord.

"Vicks vapor rub", I responded. The group had turned to me and one man asked what I meant.

"As a medical student I felt the same in the cadaver room doing dissections, the smell of dead flesh and formaldehyde feces and such being almost overpowering. I'm forever grateful to a senior anatomist who told me that he put vicks vapor rub in his nose so he could work. I used it extensively when I worked on the drunken reserves in the north and doing physical examinations in the inner city ghettos, especially with the old men and women who wear layers of clothing and never wash"

One could hear a pin drop. Thereafter the Christian "ladies" literally shrank from my presence. Leaving for the night the organizer of the soiree extended her hand then retracted it as if on second thought.

I was never invited back.

My missionary doctor friend howled with laughter when I later told him the story. I said, "vicks vapor rub" is one of the hundreds of little things that my teachers passed on to me that literally saved my life. "It was as important a lesson as taking the extra minute to warm the stainless steel speculum before insertion." So much of real day to day medical practice was never put in textbooks. It's only learned at the bed side through mentorship and experience.

"She's been dining off that "excuse" for years, " my friend said. Laughing still, he added, "you've taken it away from her......I'm not surprised you weren't invited back.."

He went on to explain how they had to be very careful on how they shared their missionary experience with the people they sought money and aid from. "They just want those warm fuzzy feelings that people equate with religion. It's important what they do. We couldn't do our work without them but they couldn't sleep at night if they were ever confronted with reality. They live a world of money and things and nice feelings and call that Christianity. Indeed it is, for them. "

Sunday, May 10, 2009

BOAT WORK


"A boat is a hole in the water you throw money into."
"Bluewater cruising is doing boat work in exotic places."

Laura and I were down at the boat polishing brass and oiling wood last weekend. That was before Tom rafted up beside me with the Naomi. Tom's into serious boat work.
I'd gone over to the boat on Saturday with the idea of reading my Captain Bolitho book about square riggers, drinking Kona coffee and eating macadamia nuts left over from our sail back from Hawaii last year. That and shooting the shit.
We did that. He was lying on the other salon seat reading a Reeman destroyer novel. The chocolate coated macadamia nuts were between us. Laura had mother's day with her family Sunay so we'd decided not to go on the Mother's Day bike run with the Greater Vancouver Motorcycle Club.
He'd re wired the old depth sounder in the afternoon and concluded "one boat job a day is pushing it." It had started with me asking him to help with the wiring on the new unit when he showed me there was nothing wrong with the old unit. Just a crack in a broken wire in the housing. So that was the chore for the day. I made a run on the bike to A&W for a burgers and fries and the incomparable deep fried onion rings. After that we'd gone back to reading and drinking the last of the Kona coffee.
I was pleased that we had hot water, the heater was going. Naomi was tied up next to mine after he'd made the trip from Steveston. At night he went back on his boat and I slept peacefully in mine. Ahhh. The bliss of boat world!
Morning: My head doesn't work.
So I cross over to the Naomi.
Bang, bang, bang.
Tom appears bleary eyed, toussled hair, t shirt and god awful old man shorts, legs and bare feet.
"What is it?"
"My head doesn't work."
"Why didn't you piss in the sink?"
"I don't need to piss. I need to use your head."
"It's leaking."
"I want to do that too."
So he opened valves and water sprayed throughout the head while I relieved myself.

"Good, " I said. "Got any coffee?"
"Why."
"I'm out of coffee."

So we had Tom's coffee on my boat. "JD, my French chef friend thinks this coffee is great."
"It is. I like the Fair Trade coffee," I said. "I don't think we're going to make it to church."
"Where two or more are gathered," Tom replied.
I pulled down the Book of Common prayer, began reading the Morning Service. When I was half way through, after the second Our Father, I passed it to Tom and he finished it."

"I dreamed of a solution to your mast," he said. " We can get a foot manufactured and bolt it in to the keel rather than having it welded in. Your friend Barry could make it."
"Barry of Barry and Andria.?"
"Yea."
Tom explained the whole concept and drew pictures.
"We're go see Barry now. " he said.
"I thought we'd have breakfast."
"I want to go to PopEyes used marine store to get the valve to stop the leak in my head. Barry's welding shop is right there in Mosquito Creek."
We walked up the dock and got in his beamer. "I should have brought another helmut for the bike, " I said.
"What's the matter, don't like my beamer. You're going to really like my new Jaguar. The girls are going to like it too."
"What's wrong with it."
"Just old. Like your boat. How old is the GIRI anyway."
"21, old enough to vote."

We drove to Mosquito Creek Marina. The First Nations folk had really fixed it up. They'd got a gift shop there now, everything was freshly painted.

"My boat was in dry dock here. I've got pictures of it in front of that twin steepled catholic church there." I said as we drove through the marina past the boats up on land.

"Hi Andria " I said. She's a dark haired beauty in constrast to fair haired Barry.
"Where's Stuart." (Stuart was my scotty dog who sailed with my cat Angel and me to Hawaii and then went through pacific quarantines and storms to be with me overseas where I was working. A great little companion. He and Andria had been best of buds when GIRI was tied up next to their Amazing Grace.)
"He was murdered."
"How come?"
"When I was working as a Medical Review Officer, people needed to be pee tested for the government jobs. I wouldn't fudge the results for the marijuania smokers. So they killed Stuart. Happened to the South African doctor I worked with. Murdered his dog too. The vet says that's what the druggies do to the gringo docs. My narcotics detective friend told me it could be me next."
"How did they do it? "
"Antifreeze."
"That's an awful way to go."
"Yea, I held him while he was seizuring. Buried him over there."
"He was a good little guy. I'm sorry that happened to him. We've got a border terrier now."
"Here he is."
Barry showed up with the little brown bundle of wiry haired dog. We all went down to dog level. Dog licked my face. I relate well with dogs. Poor little guy already had had surgery.
"He had a bowel obstruction as a puppy." Andria said.
What a little sweetheart. All personality.

"You broke the mast. At the keel." Barry asked.
"Yea. "
Barry explained how he fixed these things. Much the way Tom had thought it could be done.
Barry would weld the plate and sleeve in his shop and we'd mount it under the old compression pole we'd cut off above the break. To get the right height there'd be 'shimmying'. Lots of times I heard the word "shimmy" and it had nothing to do with dancing. Lots of catching up followed. Tom and I told Barry and Andria about climbing the pole Barry had fabricated for the Wind Generator, out in the doldrums in the Pacific. Then we got talking about Barry's rebuilding rusted out land rovers and all sorts of other stuff. Andria all the while was painting things while the guys were 'shooting the shit". (The metaphor came with the head talk. We had to tell him about the head. Mariners are always swapping head stories.)

Then it was a great breakfast in a little place on the main Lonsdale drag near the other Marine store where we'd got lost for days with all the good stuff.

Seis lom was already at the breakfast place.
"Still drumming." I asked.
"Sweating too," He laughed.
I introduced Seis lom to Tom and told him about Seis'lom taking me out to a sweat lodge in Squamish.
"Seis'lom;s teaching the young guys the old drumming songs too." Seis'lom had his Canuck's cap on.

Great breakfast. Western omelette's and hash.

We went on to Pop Eyes where we disappeared into the time warp of old marine 'stuff'. I got some hose to fix my head. As an after thought Tom gave me some wood plugs to cover up where there screws had gone through the cabin wall to hold the water heater on in the Head.

"45 cents", she said. She was really perky and pretty with just slightly greying hair. "and 45c will buy another glass of beer." I sang , not knowing why.
But she added, " And I just want to hold you closer than I ever held any one before," and I continued, "you've been twice a wife, and you're through with life, ah but what the hell's it for." "I don't know any more words." she laughed.
A guy buying a used outboard said, "I'd have come earlier if I'd known there was going to be a concert.
"I know Mary Ellen Carter," she said beaming. And there in the used marine store she sang Stan Rogers acapello in the sweetest voice one could imagine
"Wow," I said, breaking the stillness and silence that followed her singing all the guys standing enchanted.
"Stan would be impressed," said Tom. And she just smiled humbly like she couldn't help being the lost daughter channelling the master father.

Back in the old Beamer I got Tom to pull over at the Starbucks so I could get another pound of ground expresso.We had a cup back on the boat.

Next thing Tom and I were in the head tearing out hosing and putting in the new. I was glad I'd changed to work clothes when I was up close where the back pressure got me. Tom was in the galley heating the water to soften the hose ends before we shoved them onto Jabsco toilet and the above water rizor t junction.
The head became functional again. I was for returning to reading and coffee but Tom wanted to hear the engine.
So I opened the water cock, checked the oil and turned it over. Sweet sweet Yanmar deisel sounds. To my ears almost like the mother's heart in the womb.

"The RPM guage doesn't work." I commented.
"Who moved the ground." Tom said, looking inside the binacle.
"You mean that old stray piece of wire hanging in there."
"Yea, that was the ground."
"How was I supposed to know that." I asked.
"Is it working now."
"Yea, where did you stick the wire."
"Alongside this black one which isn't doing anything. It's a lousy fix."
"You say."
"Want me to re wire it to the yellow DC ground over here."
"No, I see where it goes. I'll know now."
Old boats have a whole lot of those idiosyncracies like old folks. One of the reasons theives only steal the new boats.

We were back reading books and drinking coffee, then.
"I want to fix up the Jaguar I bought but I need to find a way to make the money to get all the parts. It's vintage so a door handle cost $100. "
"What about boat deliveries. Now that you've sailed back from Hawaii with me you could sail back some guys boat from the Vic Maui race. People offered to sail my boat back for $10,000. The going rate is around there. You'd be great at it. A month at sea and $10,000 in your pocket. I'd give you the best reference."
"That's a great idea. "
"So was your idea for the mast."

"Captain Bolitho is having trouble with his commodore." I said.
"He always has problems with the commodores but the Admirals like him." said Tom, taking another handful of chocolate macadamia nuts from the can.

"When Laura and I take the boat out you'll have to move your boat. You could just put it on the inside or take it along with us to one of the islands." I said.

After that I got out of the docker shoes and khaki shorts and t shirt and put the leathers back on.
"It was a good time." he said standing on the back of his boat as I headed down the dock with my helmut."
"Yea," I said, "Thanks and See you."

Up in the yard, the harley purred.







Saturday, May 9, 2009

SEXUALITY - STD's

Sexuality – STD’s

-william hay

I was watching tv with my friend and an ad came on that said 1 in 4 adolescent girls has a Sexually Transmitted Disease. I looked over and saw that my girlfriend had tears in her eyes. I asked her why. She said she was thinking of her teen age daughters.

At that point I thought she needed some important education about how such numbers are arrived at and what they really mean.

What are STD’s . These are diseases that appear to be transmitted sexually but not solely. In contrast to diseases that pass in bodily fluids there are those that are air born. The flu is an example of the latter.

Gonorrhea is an infection that can be transmitted from penis to throat, vagina or anus or vice versa from vagina or throat or anus to penis. It’s treatable with antibiotics. It’s relatively easily recognised in men because of the common discharge and the discharge can be noticed by women too though more commonly women can have the disease, be carriers, and not know it. Being tested with a vaginal swab is the best test for women and a urethral swab for men and symptomatically throat and anus swabs will pick up the organisms that cause the disease. Usually the worst thing that untreated gonorrhea can do in women is cause pelvic inflammatory disease, painful cramping and involvement of the tubes with the chance of a false diagnosis of appendicitis. The sad part is that this can be a cause for infertility because of the scarring of the tubes. Infertility and scarring may occur in men as well though is far less likely.

Syphillis is the most serious of the old time Sexually Transmitted Diseases. It was apparently what the Indians gave to Columbus and his men and because of the spread in war was commonly called the ‘French Disease’ or the “English Disease’. The treponema is not that disimiliar to tuberculosis the other scourge of latterday. The first symptom is a rash and later it can invade the brain and cause dementia.

Government decisions in the past which were somehat lacking in wisdom were commonly ascribed to syphilis. Perhaps, unfortunately, due to the advances of modern medicine the government has no such excuse to day. In end stage there were ‘gumma’s’ that literally ate away the nose or some internal organ causing death by internal bleeding. It’s treatable today with antibiotics. Penicillin’s fame was indeed related to it’s success with syphilis. History texts and old Scottish songs speak of mercury cures and use of other metals. Today it is treatable and a blood test will easily indicate whether one has or doesn’t have this disease. It became rare for decades in the western world until it began to show again more frequently in the west coast gay population. It has always be prevalent in third world heterosexual populations.

Chlamydia is another bacteria which was little known a couple of decades back. Rarely did it cause symptons though it was found to be associated with pelvic inflammatory disease that crampy abdominal pain illness that mimicked appendicitis and could lead to scarring of the tubes and infertility. It’s asymptomatic in men and not known to cause any real trouble as it really is benign in most women and men but can be transmitted. It was considered a ‘bad bacteria’ when it was found in abundance with disease but it was also found commonly without disease. It’s treatable with antibiotics. Including it in the Sexually Transmitted Disease categories has greatly increased the statistical numbers of STD without there being any overall significant worsening for the population in general.

That comes to these ‘bad’ and ‘good’ bacteria. The body is not a sterile place It is inhabilited with bugs called bacteria, virus, fungus. Most of these are good and indeed having good tenants on the body is a way to keep the bad bugs from moving in. The numbers of bugs and the combinations of bugs and the presence of too many bad bugs is one part of the ‘disease’ equation.

The other part is the immunological system. The body has a recognition and defence system to keep tract of the inhabitants on its surface and in it’s bowels and vagina and urethra and bladder. The early warning system that recognises and detects those bugs without a proper overnight parking pass call up homeland security and remove the offenders. The immunological system has it’s police and armies and a whole slew of high tech weapons that are constantly being upgraded in face of changing threats. It’s just like the computer firewalls and antivirus systems except far more miraculous.

For any disease to happen at all there has to be a play between these factors and far more. It’s not simplistic. Disease is biological, psychological, sociological (political) and spiritual.

To this end I can have a sexually transmitted disease today and without any treatment not have it tomorrow. I am myself a highly specialized self healing mechanism. If we would spend some time on learning about living rather than killing each other we’d know by now why neuts can re grow tails and limbs and be able to do this ourselves at will. But collectively the world is still too primitive politically to think of anything more important than a weapon for killing humans. Occasionally when the whole of the world’s resources aren’t being applied to that task a development in health is allowed even if it’s really a sissy childish thing to heal.

Herpes is a viral example of an STD. Interestingly studies show that almost 97% of the population have had contact with this and kicked it out. It may be something that’s living in the neighbourhood naturally but only gets out of hand when other things happen. People can have one ‘episode’ of herpes….just like a cold sore but on the genitals….and never have another. It lies dormant in the body and is only really transmittable when there is an ‘outbreak’. Just like a lip cold sore in this regard. Kissing could transmitt the cold sore for the lips when a person is infectious. Most people it seems don’t have any problems with herpes but a few have recurrent episodes and then there are those that have some episodes and then it’s over not showing up again at all or only in late stages like that other herpes, zoster, which causes shingles (itchy scaly skin usually on the back in a patch distribution that’s characteristic) and can happen more commonly in the elderly.

Then there is HIV and Hepatitis. I'm not going to even get into this discussion because the 'statistical models" and their manipulations began well before these latest sexual 'scourges'.

As a child I and every boy in my class was taken out to be shown pictures of the sexually transmitted diseases and how they would kill you in the ugliest most disgusting and perverse way if you even looked at your own genitals. Meanwhile it would take Sgte Ryan and some modern movies to finally show us collectively what the War Transmitted Diseases looked like and how deadly a bomb exploding on a child's brain could be. Work Transmitted Diseases are almost as deadly if you are unfortunate enough to work in the Agricultural or Manufacturing sectors of society. Government Transmitted Diseases are ubiquitous because of the arrogance and bullying that beaurocrats are notorious for. Statistically anyway you cut it WTD's outrank STD's and GTD's are altogether worse than WTD's and STD's together. Hence it's still safe to say Make Love, Not War.

Now consider the ‘statistics’. If one is talking about sexually transmitted disease and includes herpes one really could say 4 out of 4 boys and girls have a sexually transmitted disease. Watch this statistically because what I’m going to tell you is whatever way you slice the pie you can get 8 out of 4 people with a sexually transmitted disease depending on how you juggle the numbers. Most commonly the person with one sexually transmitted disease has another but if the statistic is 1 in 4 it may be arrived at by 1 girl having two diseases and another having 2 and the rest having none then with some fancy division you get this higher number. Further the same person often is getting the disease over and over but commonly this is how the numbers are altered upwards much like the Americans in Florida alter their vote numbers to get whatever "politically correct" number they want. Always consider statistics being flouted in terms of incidence and prevalence. Incidence meanss the number of 'new cases" and prevalence is the number of 'existing cases'. Further does the statistic reflect the number of individuals with a disease or the number of diseases because in the latter (perhaps taken from the lab) the number can be grossly affected by recurrence of the disease in one individual, several diseases in one individual or multiple testings of one individual during the course of their one disease.

And yes, the statistics are being manipulated . The statistics are what get jobs and money for the industries that are paying for the advertising and promoting the treatments. Even penicillin which is really cheap has a political lobby. If you don't believe this I have some marvellous swamp land to sell you which will come equipped with a terrorist and a drug dealer in every room.

A lot of statistics are just used to scare people and sometimes they may create the very ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ they hoped to avoid in their attempt to wake up the pollyana. The fact remains that sex is already ‘dirty’ enough in this culture that it really doesn’t help to dirty the waters more with misinformation and fear mongering. Be safe but don’t be stupid.