Why is the military beyond reproach? In our society we’re taught you have to support the troops. Have to. As soon as you open your mouth and utter words that even MIGHT be questioning the troops you’re met with “you’re unpatriotic!”, or “You always support the troops!” I was recently told that “anyone that has ever served is beyond reproach!” Notice the exclamation point? It was hurled at me because the sender was very emotional as she was attempting to “educate” me in the ways of nationalism.

Get this: she’s Canadian.


Here’s the premise. We, as Americans, are living in a free society because of our fighting men and women. This used to be true. WWII was tragic. So many lives lost. As an aside, no one ever seems to bring up this fact: the number of Russian deaths, due as a direct result of the war, is staggering. Here is a pie chart make it a little easier to understand.


People understand that a lot of people died in WWII, but you rarely hear specifics, unless it’s the statistic of how many Americans died fighting for our freedom. A big “thank you” here.

There was this idiot named Hitler who thought he was going to take over the world. Shortly thereafter, along came Stalin and Mussolini. They allied and actively went about their version of Risk.


Both Stalin and Mussolini came to power before Hitler…but how many of you knew that?

Back to Americans. Though we lost much fewer lives during this war, we were extremely effective in denying these evil tyrants that which they lusted after. In exchange, they received their due. Hitler, for all of his efforts, died in a ditch, covered in petrol and on fire.

Well done, you mass murdering fuckhead.

A true testament to the effectiveness of the United States military. They were dubbed “the greatest generation,” and I would be hard pressed to argue that. I do, in fact, think of them as such. That was a cold, bloody and frightening thing.

Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for protecting my personal freedom from those that would snatch it away in that most pornographic of vices – power.

But that’s not the military I have concerns about today. Would you expect the food you ate yesterday to sustain your body today? There’s nothing like going back sixty years to study current events.

We are told that the military protects our personal freedoms. Really? Okay, riddle me this. What freedoms did you have restored after Saddam Hussein was hanged? Or, what freedoms did you have reinstated after the execution of Osama Bin Bigfoot?

Is it possible that you could explain to me how Osama Bin Laden was allowed to leave the country hours after the 9/11 attacks?

Yep, thought so.

That’s how far you have to go back to attach the idea of protecting our freedom. By the way, do you know the reason why the U.S. will never be attacked on our own soil? Because there’s a rifle barrel behind every blade of grass.

A citizens’ rifle, not a servicemen’s rifle.

If every person serving in the military is a hero, then why is it that by and large, only people from low, and the ever dissolving middle class are staffing it? Why is it that people from the upper class are given a pass during draft time? (I’m looking at you, Donald Chump.) How many senators’ children can you name are even enlisted – to say nothing of having seen combat? If we get down to brass, war is rich guys ordering young poor guys to go kill someone for a reason that’s unclear and untrustworthy at best. How long do you think war would last if little Bush had to go fight? …can’t never tell, he might be good at it. No way he’s worse at war than he is at speaking publicly.

Want to know what it’s like to be brainwashed? Join the military. This is a new thing to me. I understand the conformity aspect. Something very special happens when we humans work together. We become EXPONENTIALLY effective at achieving our goal. Whatever the job is, two people become two and a quarter. Three people become three and a half. And so it goes, by working together we can accomplish many, many great things, but with this comes the chain of command. The old saying “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” comes to mind. The military does this in such an efficient manner, it boggles the mind.

No, what I’m speaking of is conversations with people who have served and they tell me things like “We had to endure hours long speeches, over and over again. They were filling our heads with so much propaganda.” I totally understand what he was telling me. Think about it like this: it’s very easy to get men to go to war. It’s hard to get them to go back.

These men and women get “spun up” and become so “high motor” so as to be effective in the theater of war, and then have trouble adjusting to society back home. Many vets feel that something is lacking when they are no longer in a hostile environment…to the point that they will intentionally “drum up” situations in order to experience that adrenaline rush that accompanies being in danger. PTSD is a real thing. A really bad thing.

Nationalism also gets a ride from those in uniform. Attaching patriotism to supporting the troops ensures that we also can’t criticize our nations motives. War is profitable. War makes a lot of money for people who are not fighting in it. See above where I wrote about who goes to war, and who doesn’t. Much akin to institutionalized racism in prison, where inmates are forced to “stay with their own kind,” and have to fight because their “brothers” need “back up.” By instituting compulsory admiration for the military, you ensure that your stream of money doesn’t run dry. In prison it only ensures that you need a handful of guards to maintain order. Divide and conquer. The idiots are already divided.

It’s much easier to conquer those that will enslave themselves.

Group think. Ask yourself, is right still right even if no one is doing it? Ask yourself, is wrong still wrong even if everyone is doing it? What do you gain by deriving your self-esteem externally? Are you willing to stand alone, and think for yourself?

I have a voice. I can also think critically. I question things. I try to understand things whenever they pique my interest. When I find something objectionable I say so. To not have the right do so is to live in North Korea.

I’m an American.

“He who joyfully marches to music rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”
Albert Einstein

Buenos Noches, Seniorita…


My favorite jeans

The ones with holes in ‘em

A Carolina t-shirt,

Ball cap, bent brim.



Worn out pair of Tony Llamas

Rounded toe

Even if I do wear sunglasses

This boy ain’t San Diego



Cuz I’m a hard workin’ man

And I’ve put in my time.

Come on, jump in this truck,

I’m ‘bout to show you one hell of a night…



I say ma’am, and I say ya’ll

To this southern boy, that just seems right

I still tell my mother I love her, and I’m not scared to fight

I’m ‘bout to show you one hell of a night.

Free writin’ an’ sheeit…

I have a friend who is very well written. Clear, concise and one of those authors that make you do a double take. …sly. She challenged me to look at a picture and write whatever came to mind. Here are my submissions. Feel free to use this exercise as well, it does work. My engrams have been lubricated, sans booze. THAT’S saying something!




This picture makes me think of children. This would be the view from an artist’s perspective. The artist is married, and has the ability to work from home. The studio is set up so that they can watch the children as they play outside. Every parent remains the constant vigilant. The house is quaint and full of love. The studio is much like the kitchen, in that is a very special place for romance. Just as the food prepared in the kitchen nourishes the family’s’ bodies – the studio has seen it all. A late night spontaneous love making session, talks that prying children ought not hear – even the occasional spat. The studio nourishes the invisible, yet oh-so-necessary bonds the family must have.


The artist is charged with animating the brushes, but should they become autonomous – the stories they would tell. If a picture is worth a thousand words – expect a five volume tome.




This picture screams “organization” to me. The symmetrical shape to the right signifies order. Much akin to ants, symmetry must follow a predetermined route. Even worse, each ant is dependent on the one in front of it, due to each ant not being able to grasp the route in its entirety, or so they’re taught. Thus, when an ant loses track of the one in front of it…it doesn’t know where to go. It panics, stricken with fear it frantically moves about in no true direction, and seemingly all directions at once. If only the ant had the intestinal fortitude to believe in itself and strike down the notion of “they know better.” Leaders go their own way, but most importantly, they’re average humans – just like us.

Think of it this way: when was the last time you were first, able to ask a politician a direct question, and second, when was the last time you received a direct answer?

To hell with order.




The singer and the song.

The tears…

Joey was special. Joey was kind. She posted this video, I suppose, to help her gain closure. People need closure, though I’ve never understood why. I have a shell. Things don’t get to me. In truth, I’m pretty sure that I developed this shell because I’m weak. I find it hard to deal with feelings. Perhaps only the strong cry.

Joey wrote this song for her brother who was killed in an automobile accident. As I understand it, her brother, Justin, was somehow pinned. It conjures to mind a scene I’ve seen somewhere in my past where a man is pinned between a truck and a telephone pole. Somehow, all parties know that if freed, the man will die. This was the case with Justin. I’ve never gotten the specifics, but I do know that a Tennessee State Trooper made the decision not to separate Justin from his confines, as to allow the family to say goodbye.




I discovered Joey and Rory on YouTube. They had a hit single that I think was also played on the radio and CMT. The title of the song  was “Cheater, Cheater” and it showed both Joeys’ voice and passion for music, as well as her personal beliefs. Everyone is familiar, or at least should be by now, with the prototypical southern values. We don’t look highly on infidelity. Joey, it seems, was able to both clarify and express her values in a way that wasn’t brow beatingly Sunday morn. If you’d like to hear it, I’ll post it below.


Joey wasn’t fake. She believed in the truth, and I’m not sure she ever lied. We all do as children, but once she cemented the idea of right and wrong in her head, she never wavered. Many of her childhood friends have come forth to testify to that, along with family members. I’m pretty sure she was easy to love. I say that because I have a good girl of my own.

She even sang about it. You can hear it here.

My girlfriend grew up in Wyoming, and always reminds me that there are good girls out there too. Sorry if you thought I was restricting those small town values to the south. J  Here is my favorite song by Joey. If you understand what I’ve said so far, this song will resonate with you too.

Joey was on the path to stardom. Good husband, good life and writing/singing music wherever and whenever they could. The public responded. Guest appearances on “Can you Duet”, and other shows only proved the point. There was true talent here. Not that shoe shine polish Ke$ha, or Milli Vanilli type crap. She was the real deal…what so many artists lack today is that they are a marketable act, not a desirable, whole person. Joey would just step on stage and say “here I am” with her music. We all loved her for it.

Then she got sick.

It would figure. This world has a way of, much akin to water, seeking its own level. You can’t be this good in the world. It’s too far out of the norm. In a world filled with greed, lust, envy and sloth. Shit, didn’t John Lennon die, but that wretch standing next to him is still here? Nope, you can’t be young, pretty, responsible, caring, compassionate AND talented! No ma’am, you’re asking for too much.

…so many tears.

On October 26 2015, Joey made the decision to stop treatment and enjoy every second of life she had left. Ever driven, she set goals to the end. She wanted to spend the holidays with her family, (knowing they would be her last) and also Valentine’s day. She desperately loved her husband Rory, and he loved her just as much. Lastly, she wanted to see her daughter, Indiana, turn two. Indiana is the little one you see in the pictures above. She was Joeys’ only child.

She made it.

One of Rory’s last blog posts details how Joey, ever the consummate beauty, said she was so grateful for the length of time she’d been given.

Oh my god the tears…

It seems that we have been granted a choice, or that I’m greedily grabbing at one, when it comes to death. I’m not good at it. Even now, as I bite back the tears that would drop on my keyboard, I’m looking to greener pastures. Sorry Joey, I’m not strong enough to cry. My heart is broken because I have the song, and not the singer. This is how I choose to remember you…




Much has been written about the differences between these two fuel delivery systems, and for good reason. It basically denoted the separation of technicians when fuel injection came along. Usually, especially at that time, technology moved forward but it didn’t move quite as fast as it does now. When fuel injection came out, it was so much of a leap forward that some technicians made the decision to retire early as opposed to learning a whole new delivery system. No need to be afraid, electrics have proven themselves. Those technicians who chose to leave early instead of staying on to learn made a mistake. I’m about to show you how.

There’s always two sides to every story: the pros and the cons. Fuel injection is superior to carburetion in many ways. Here are three. Better MPG, fewer emissions and better uphill/downhill performance. With fuel injection the adjustment potential is vastly greater than carburetion because EFI is not limited by physical parameters. In order to adjust the air/fuel ratio on a carburetor you have to disassemble it and change an orifice called a “jet.” Even then you’re only tuning for the time frame the car is in the MAJORITY of the time. A fully warmed car, driving at the speed it will be used the most is absolutely acceptable – provided you don’t care how it runs when cold, the time of year it is or if you’ve taken a trip in which you’ve traveled up or down in elevation.

With EFI the computer is constantly measuring and adjusting the air/fuel ratio. Constantly. Driving through the mountains? Measuring and adjusting. Cold start on a cold day? Measuring and adjusting. The computer doesn’t have to know where you are, or what you’re doing. It just needs to measure the exhaust, and adjust accordingly.


Emissions – the “E” word. Just as EFI will enable the engine to run better across the board, it also enables the engine to run cleaner. Think of it this way: the engine is going to get a certain amount of fuel no matter what with a carburetor (without being too technical), but it may not need it all. Perhaps it doesn’t need quite as much fuel at idle in July as it does in January. No matter, it’s tuned to run in the cold. Who wants a cantankerous engine when it’s cold? We want it to run so that we can have heat sooner, right? This equates to over fueling in in July. The carburetor doesn’t “know” anything. The temp, altitude, in all facets of its range of operation it’s set to do one thing. It doesn’t even know what engine it’s on. It’s readily apparent that a system which can monitor itself will easily defeat one that can’t. Don’t all businesses inventory themselves?  If not, they won’t be around long.

Uphill and downhill. I picked this because I am an avid over lander. When four wheeling, the pitch of the vehicle is much greater than, say, highway driving. With a carburetor, you’re limited to the float bowl. Much like the flush valve in your toilet, when the float bowl fills up, it pushes a needle into a seat in order to stop the influx of fuel. Now, go pick your toilet tank up and jostle it around as it would be in the back of your truck when four wheeling.



With EFI, there is no worry. You have 43 psi of fuel at the ready constantly, and the injector is monitored by the computer, which is monitoring the exhaust. Adjusting, constantly adjusting.

The biggest knock on EFI, or at least in the beginning, was that it was electric. This is very telling. Basically, what it denotes is, that we in the automotive industry were staffing people who couldn’t repair electronics. Electricity is funny, because you can’t see it. With electrics came a whole new bloodline of technicians. Eager, and willing to learn. It restructured the automotive business from the bottom to the top for the better. It helped us “clean house” and “drop dead weight” if you will. We have EFI to thank for that.

I’m at That Age…

…such a beautiful soul. Follow if you like…I do.

Gypsy Pen


I guess I’m at that age.  I remember when my mother would read something in the paper and begin to tear up.  For a few years it was so regular, it seemed surreal.

Now, as I read obit after obit for beloved musicians, writers and actors, I get choked up.  I cry.  I shed tears for strangers who, despite not knowing them, touched my life in unbelievable ways.  Bowie mesmerized me as a teen and Joe Cocker told me I was beautiful.  Wes Craven kept me entertained for hours.  Alan Rickman made me believe even the villain could be loved.  And so many more…just recently. The past year’s list alone boggles the mind.

I know it happens to everyone eventually, this constant reminder that we are fragile and finite.

Just hoping for later, was all.

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