Last day of the year. Kiss it goodbye.
Ask for forgiveness before it's too late.
Or not. It's up to you.
I hope my occasional readers are enjoying the uploaded music. The recordings are rough but that's what makes them fun for me. If my dreams had come true as a young man, I would have pursued music as a vocation. However, dad wanted me to be an engineer and mom wanted me to be a dentist. I wanted to be a cowboy, or a butler for my mom so I'd never have to find a real job much less move out, maybe a preacher of my own made-up religion, or maybe an astronaut. If I washed out of the American astronaut program, I'd go to Russia and volunteer as a cosmonaut. I had it all figured out.
You know what happens to the best laid plans. I became a hippy guy, decided to get educated in college, and then that got interrupted by fun and games in Southeast Asia.
I came home from the war disappointed and bitter. I had a look behind the curtain and decided we were working a fixed game. I've learned a little more since then, but the realization that my life is an illusion did not come naturally. We are too propagandized to break free of the programming without effort. Effort comes through a driving interest in the truth and the courage to accept it when it is revealed. If you're still going through the motions of life based on the reality that the establishment has offered you, then your life is meaningless -- the unexamined life is not worth living.
If you have allowed yourself to fall into a sinful or deviant lifestyle, you don't have to accept the notion of God to realize you have crossed the fine line that divides sanity from insanity. You're not going to hell; nope, you're already there and what's more, you're going to take down those around you, including kids, grandkids, lovers, enemies, and friends. This is guaranteed. The ramifications of a truly demented lifestyle affect everyone. One contributes to the insanity of the world by leading a life one knows one shouldn't. But you do it anyway 'cause it feels good. Furthermore, most don't see themselves as the demons they've become. That's what happens when you sink to those depths. You sacrificed peace, truth, friendships, and normality for fringe behavior. I am sorry. It's such a cheap offering for a life.
In regard to the damage done to me, I am sorting out the reasons for the emotional poison revealed to me. The shaman and the woman down in the valley are helping . They said the "infection" is deadly and I will go crazy if it is not treated properly. Everything they have told me about the witches' behavior and how I would react has come true. I am doing as they requested; I'm fasting, drinking water, and seeking clarity from all my solo time in the woods. At this time, I don't feel like I'm getting any better. I'm getting worse. My anger comes out without me knowing immediately what I'm even mad about. Sometimes I wake up mad; like fighting mad. Shaman says I will be all right but I have to work the process, so I've still got two weeks until the woman will perform the cleansing ceremony. She won't move up the time. Maybe by one day, she said, but no more.
Shaman told me again to stay away from people. "Anything can happen," he said. "You could get mad and hurt somebody."
A quick rundown on what happened: I was deceived by a woman I was enchanted by and loved for years -- unrequited, I might add. I earned another cluster for my fool's wings . The deception centered on her concealing her own deviant nature (oh yeah, we're talking really nasty here) while presenting herself as a righteous woman. I was taken in and the accumulation of lies worked to distort my view of reality, including the efficacy of the Christian religion. You might think it's a load of nonsense, but I'm telling you it's not. A tribal shaman agreed to treat me after meeting me and that's where I am. They're working psychological magic on me with my permission. Jesus or Buddha ain't got nothin' to do with it.
If Sasquatch really existed, don't you think someone would have gotten a photo by now? Ever heard of trail cams? Duh. Also, no skeletons have ever turned up. So I'm voting for no Bigfoot. However, there remains the possibility that Bigfoot was brought here by aliens aboard spacecraft from the future.
I found a place about six miles to the south towards Tenkiller where some kind of brambles had lost all their leaves and underneath a layer of branches, I was able to set up a roomy space out of the wind and totally dry. In the summer, there was no way to get in there but in the winter, it was like a framework. Plus, it was extensive, probably covering 1/4 acre. I had found fresh wolf prints and Mae was acting funny. It was too late to walk home and clouds were building up. It was a good place to camp. I would be safe. Or, so I figured.
When it got dark, I watched flashes of lightning approach over the next two hours until finally it started to rain and the temperature began to fall. The rain put out my fire, but I was okay and still dry sitting under my blue tarp. Mae, however, had become soaked. She's just not bothered by being wet. It's the Great Pyrenees in her; they are such strong, stoic animals. But anyway, she was wet and sitting/lying next to me and getting my other stuff wet.
By then, the rain had redoubled and was coming down in sheets. Any thoughts of remaining dry disappeared. Additionally, streams of water flowed through my camp, quickly turning everything to mud. I told Mae it was time to bug out. "We're already wet," I said to her, "What difference does it make?" After I said it, I thought about Hillary Clinton. I crammed my stuff into my backpack (I had my vinyl poncho on by then), checked my compass position, and set out on the most direct route to the river where I planned to use a highway bridge as shelter. That is, if the hard rain didn't make the river overflow. I had a flashlight, one of those head-strap lights, and I used that at first but discovered I could see better without it at all.
All the way there, I thought about the very real possibility the bridge would be flooded. If the bridge was flooded, then I wouldn't be able to hike home without a boat. Mae and I had to find shelter. Because it was dark and raining, I had her on a leash, and so it was slow going. We were soaked by the time we reached the highway bridge. The river was definitely up but the understructure of the bridge was bone dry.
It was a typical concrete ramp going up at a 45 degree angle until it ended at the concrete beams that held the bridge aloft. Between the beams were open spaces and I spied light coming from one of these. I smelled smoke and knew someone had built a small fire. "Yo up there," I called up. "Is anyone there?"
At first there was no response. I thought I heard a sound, something moving, then going still again. It didn't seem like a safe situation and, taking a step backward, I looked around. The rain was coming down like a curtain. Mae and I were out of it, but we stood near the river's edge. It raged and slowly crept up. I didn't know what to do. Mae kept beady eyes on the spot of light above. A figure appeared and Mae responded with a deep-throated growl. I had two large hunting knives strapped to my belt and I slipped the Buck out of its sheath, flipped it around, and slid the blade up my sleeve while hanging onto the handle in my cupped hand.
Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared.
You can't predict what's going to happen in a fight, but if you're into such things, statistics say a knife is much more effective than a firearm in a close quarters' encounter. I believe that as well. Surprise, a direct attack with purpose, and the fight is over. This is not secret knowledge. Bar fighters all over the world know it's most advantageous to be first. Most guys don't want to fight with a broken nose. Also, some of us are more patient because we know we can take a punch and keep on ticking. Lots of folks can't.
I wasn't thinking about all that stuff at the time. I was wondering where else I could go to get out of the rain.
A voice came from the looming shadow. "You all right?"
"Sure, yeah. I came out of the rain."
"Yeah, she's pourin'. Come on up."
"I got a dog."
"I can see that."
The old man had a little fire at the top of the ramp with the smoke venting out through a seam in the overhead. There were pads from old furniture, blankets, a large pack on an aluminum frame, and the old man's sleeping bag, which had seen better days. It wasn't too bad; comfortable and warm. He urged me to take off my pack and have a seat. Surreptitiously, I slipped my Buckaroo back into its sheath. When I was situated, he handed me an old towel so I could dry off Mae and I went to work on her.
"Coffee?" he asked me.
"Sure. That'd be a real treat."
We introduced ourselves and he said he was Tom Franks originally from North Carolina but had given himself over to fulltime tramping twelve years before. "I lost everything in 2008. I had a plumbing business in four cities, but I got over-extended on loans and when the bust hit, I had to cut back. Money was tight. My wife left. One of my partners took off with $200,000. One day I found myself sitting on the floor in my million dollar house without any furniture because it all had to go back. My wife was still using her credit cards and she had moved out to the most expensive hotel in town. I sold everything inside a week, placed a notice in the local paper saying I had no other debts besides those I personally owed, and after purchasing a sturdy pair of walking shoes, I hitched a ride out of town, and never looked back. Best move I ever made. Here's your coffee."
He handed me a tin cup with the dark liquid. He got it from a coffee pot dangling above the little fire.
Thin and with lively eyes, Tom was about my size with graying hair. His face was tanned and wrinkled. A black and gray beard covered the lower portion but his teeth flashed white when he smiled. He said he was eighty years old and handed me an open tin of sardines, which I declined, although Mae was grateful to share it with him.
Mae likes fish, hot or cold, cooked or raw. Tom also had crackers. I broke out my last tins of tuna and we ate until everything was gone. Afterwards, Mae stretched out and snoozed as Tom rolled a joint and I revealed my half-bottle of TX.
Even with the rain and cold, it turned out to be a pleasant evening in the company of old Tom Franks. He told me about criss-crossing the country -- just going without a destination in mind. When he arrived at a pleasant place, he stuck around. Sometimes, he found simple work and sometimes he lived off the land, which probably meant he stole what he needed to survive day by day.
"I made the same mistake most everyone makes," he said.
"My ambition, my ego, were too active. Everything was surface. I didn't have any depth, you know. I believed in money. I was too much in the material world. Now I'm in the real world every day."
We listened to the rain, drank my whiskey and smoked Tom's pot. A couple of times we had to get up and walk down to the river's edge to get away from the stink of Mae's sleep farts. Tom told me about staying in hobo camps and camping outside Denver during the winter. He said riding the rails was the quickest way to get somewhere but if you hopped cars often enough, sooner or later the odds were going to catch up with you. "If you just lose a finger or a thumb, consider yourself lucky."
He asked me about the military and working for DOD and I told him it was like anything else, it became a job. He perked up when I told him I was a writer and he recited this Dylan Thomas poem for me:
Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night
In my world, one good, drunken exposition deserves another. I offered up some Housman for my new friend:
How is it I can only remember this stuff when I'm drinking? We had a good time and enjoyed one another's company. We got some sleep but Mae wake me up at dawn. I got myself together, gave old Tom all the money I had in my pocket (30 or 40 dollars) because he was broke and I waved good-bye. Mae and I hit the trail.
The next day, I was driving through the area on my way to Walmart. I stopped at the bridge and looked for Tom but he was gone. Sometimes that's how it goes. You make a friend and then they're gone.
I know most of you look at yourselves as enlightened individuals. You believe in cause and effect and "science" and whatever your own emotions and logic tell you. You depend on the information you receive from recognized authorities. You don't believe in Bigfoot, UFOs, ghosts, or the evil within people.
All the same, I have to tell you -- demons are real. Furthermore, they are all around us. They preach to us from television screens, take our money at the tax office and take our temperature at the hospital. They sit next to us in church. It's gotten so bad, they are in the pulpits and leading the congregation in prayer.
What do they want? Everything you've got. Your property, your way of life, and finally, your soul.
It was pretty cold this morning, 27 degrees, but I had my heavy sleeping
bag, a one inch pad over a ground cloth, and a tarp hung so that I could trap
the heat from my fire. I'm building small fires now that give off little smoke
because I don't want a ranger or a landowner to get upset about me camping
where they don't want me to camp -- which is everywhere. You should see all the
A note about sleeping on the ground: if I haven't mentioned it already, do not sleep on the bare ground. It's not so bad in warm months but in below-freezing weather, you must guard against frostbite, especially those areas of your body that rest against the ground, like the point of the hips and the back of the shoulder. Take care to cover fingertips, your nose, and your toes.
I once had to deliver and set-up an HF portable radio for guys out in the field -- Europe, mid-90s -- and they couldn't get a chopper to fly me out so I had to spend the night without gear. I got frostbite on my hip.
Now, for something completely different, I met a carload of folks at the entrance to the river ranch who were looking for the white eagle. What white eagle? There's an albino American eagle that nests out here somewhere close to the big bridge. So, now I've got another task for myself -- get a picture. They say the eagle has eaglets with her.
I read the gospel of Thomas last night on my phone. I was surprised to get a signal. Jesus had brothers, you know, and some say Thomas was His twin... (Thomas means 'twin')...
I've been poisoned by lies and deceit. To a certain extent, we all have; however, when people you love do it to you, it is particularly hurtful. I will no longer trust another person. I will no longer have faith in the notion of Christianity. I will do my level best to avoid evil persons and the artificially pious when I am able to recognize them. Those preachers and reverends and priests who are out in front telling us how to lead our lives? They're just as twisted as we are. Egomaniacs standing before their congregations so excited by their leadership roles they can barely conceal the raging hard-on in their Sunday-best trousers. You know who runs American churches these days? The American Left. Cadres of feminists and lesbians and homosexual men have moved in and are influencing the population through satanic propaganda. Think I'm kidding? Think I'm off my rocker? Think again.
Corruption is everywhere and if you’re not alarmed by it, then it’s likely you’re part of it.
I’ve run out of time again on my metered connection for the month. I can send and receive email but surfing the web and posting to the blog will be a challenge until after New Years’. I will spend Christmas at mi casa on the mountain with the animals.
My first random thought is that I need to get a cup of coffee. Check.
My second random thought is that I am suddenly devoid of thoughts. I had so much to say and now I can't remember.
I'd like to talk about the presidential election but Jimmy told me absolutely no politics or things that are controversial.
So I guess I'm limited to movie subjects or camping stories. I hate camping so forget that. I haven't seen a new movie since the pandemic started, not even streaming. Nothing sounds good.
Well, here comes Christmas and I am soo not ready. I have to do gifts for family and I haven't done any shopping yet. It's too late to order online. I was thinking of a bike for my daughter and I might even get something for TommyBoy. He wouldn't admit it, but he's had a rough year.
I want to talk a little about TommyBoy. I've never met anybody like this guy. He's wizard smart in so many ways but he just won't help himself. I think he's been alone for too many years and that's crazy b/c he's a good-looking guy with a heart bigger than his good intentions.
TommyBoy is my favorite author. I actually got to meet him at a book signing in OK City. He's funny! Big-time loner. No wife, no girlfriend, just a bunch of dogs and cats and a beat up old pick-up truck that looks like it's on its last legs. No, he's not gay. I think he's Buddhist.
I don't know what else to say. I ran out of words. If I think of something else, I'll make a post.
If I'm so crazy, then explain this:
A tribal shaman has told me I have been infected by a witch but not to worry because he knows a woman in the valley and she knows the correct purifying ritual. I have to fast and chant and drink a lot of water for a month before the ritual will take place.
Meanwhile, he says I’ll be prone towards anger and to avoid everybody.
The infection includes an enchantment and over time it turns you into a slave, or so the shaman told me. He indicated I was already a slave but I had become aware because the witch made the mistake of revealing the truth to me. He also said I was hard-headed and ignorant in the ways of women and that I should take extra care around them. Funny thing in that he added it was good advice for all men. I need to break the enchantment and get rid of the evil that has been put into my mind. The shaman said my perception of the world had been twisted by the witch and the purifying ritual will put things back into their proper perspective.
He showed me respect and called me a great warrior and said I would win every battle until I chose my time to die. “You’ll live as long as you want,” he said.
It was a moving experience and a good pep talk. Guess I’ll have a big meal tonight and start the process tomorrow. Sorry, no pix -- he wouldn't let me take any.