A Parents Gift

when I was growing we were taught to be obedient. We were to do what our parents wanted us to do. We did our chores, mowed the lawn pulled the weeds. Some of us were better at it than others. If we did well we were rewarded with an allowance.

We might be expected to keep the fire going in the hearth. To make our beds, cut and split firewood. If we had cows I am sure we would have been expected to milk them. Different families had different expectations. Children might have been expected to keep the family business. Many families expected the children to keep care of their parents in their old age. Families expect their children to keep their political values intact, or more precisely, to fight their wars for them.

At least that was the way I was brought up. Of course children will rebel. They may not always agree with their family values. Yet, sometimes, the apple does not fall far from the tree. More often though the apples are mechanically harvested with great big tree shakers. Then the apples are then turned to applesauce. Draw your own metaphor.

Rebellious parents spaun rebellious youth, compliant parents spaun compliant youth, curious parents spaun curious youth. Boring parents, Boring youth. Sure there are plenty of anomalies, that is what keeps life interesting. Still, most parents put a lot of effort into raising their children.

There are those that believe children should be subservient to their parents. This conversation not exactly a political post, it was not motivated by political conversation. I was motivated by a small epiphany on the meaning of parenting. We do not have to parent of the betterment of ourselves, we can parent for the betterment of others.

Not everyone gets that. In fact that may be an aspirational thought. I will refrain from talking about our politicians children. There are people that would be happy to be judged by their children. For their children are their gift to the world.

The Virus

Except for the doctor’s office nobody is wearing masks anymore. Sure people are getting sick. Some of them even have some lingering effects. I know people that have had Covid several times. People are regularly testing themselves. If they get sick they quarantine themselves. A frinds boss tested positive and then went to work. All his employees were mad at him. People are concerned that somebody old might catch it.

Although my wife and I have not had Covid, seems most people we know have had it. As I had said a while ago, everybody is going to get it. What I find surprising is there is no remedy. You get it and suffer. Unlike the cold and flue there is no over the counter medication. No wives tales like warm milk and honey to make us feel better. Not to say there are no remedies out there, it is just political suicide to say there is. Alleging a cure is so dangerous that even the charlatans are staying away.

Looking about I think most people believe it is time to get back to normal. I was out shopping for a couple of hours and saw nobody with a mask. That is until I pulled up to a traffic light. I glanced at the car next to me and had a chill. Normally I do not mind when people wear a mask. Sometimes I barely notice. It is their right to wear a mask. I do not like to tell people what to do. I had seen people solo in a car before wearing a mask, and I get a chuckle out of it. I have not seen much of that recently though.

In the car next to me the driver, the sole occupant was wearing a mask. It was not a standard surgical mask. It was a custom form fitting mask. A few months ago we were told we could not wear form fitting masks. I had had a collection of masks that were different colors, I would choose a color depending on my outfit. If I had to wear a mask I was going to be stylish about it. I was a bit disappointed to have conformity forced upon me. So I noticed when someone was non-conforming to the surgical mask rule with a large dark beige form fitting mask.

What were they thinking, a virus spore was going to somehow waft out of my car and enter through their ventilation system and get them? The odds of such a thing happening were really rather slim. So why would someone do such a thing?

I have been told the answer by those that do. They think we are all viruses. We are no longer people, we are all just a virus out to get them. That may be a bit harsh, yet anyone that does not cover up is considered an inconsiderate virus. That may be a psychotic view, but it is not what gave me the chill.

As I pulled up and glanced, all that went through my mind as I realized I was now sitting next to Hannibal Lecter. The thought chilled me to the bone.

Shopping In The Big Apple

I don’t typically throw my coworkers under the bus, in manufacturing it is rairly done. We typically depend on each other. Teamwork is like that. Funny thing about this new place, tossing a colleague under seems like a regular sport. So today will join in and toss a couple of my colleagues under the proverbial buss. l think if you check my writing I have never directly identified bad behavior. Some people just cannot help themselves they just have to make things political. So here is my reply. Not long ago, in front of students, two of my coworkers were dishing on Republicans and their policies. I am typically fairly tolerant of such speech, there is much I do not know, so I listen. I do my best to not trigger such speech also. Although the conversation was general I think it may have been directed at one of the students.

After reciting a litany of the failings of Republicans and their policies, they, my coworkers, focused on W Bush. This surprised me a bit, as the students may have not been born at that time. It could have been directed at me but I really don’t think so as typically don’t respond to political bashing. After deriding the intellectual capabilities of W Bush they focused on his statements after 9/11. Apparently in his speech Bush said something like “Let’s get back to normalcy, let’s shop in NYC”. My coworkers thought that was the dumbest thing ever. They loudly agreed and made sure everyone in the room could hear them.

I do not remember those particular words in history, I remember something like a war on terror being talked about. It is very easy to pick apart and twist words. If one is intending to find faults they will find faults. That is what people like my coworkers do. They think it makes for better people.

I had recently returned from New York City. It had been a while since I had previously visited. I actually had been in the world trade center on one of my last visits.. When I was young I spent lots of time there. My wife and I had been invited to a very nice wedding. We also did some shopping.

We went to the world trade center memorial. Tears pored from my eyes. My best friend had taken care of the service dogs after 9-11. He died of brain cancer. This blog is dedicated to him. I had a jacket that I bought with him for my wedding. My wife and I thought it might be nice to buy a new jacket in NYC in his memory.

There was a suit shop in the new world trade center. The building was made of shiny marble and glass. There was an absolutely massive staircase in the building. It was a very fancy building. We walked into the suit shop. I was a bit surprised that we were the only ones in the shop. The store was absolutely magnificent. There was a line of suits that looked like they were every shade of the rainbow. A salesperson came around the corner. He was prettier than a TV commercial. I can’t imagine the amount of time spent on his hair. He looked dejected when he saw an old couple.

My wife said we were looking for a jacket. His mood improved when I made a dramatic swoop with my hand and said that it needed to go with a purple shirt. He quickly brought out a cotton Miami Vice style jacket, that did not fit. It was quickly apparent that nothing in the store fit a fat old guy. It is probably just as well. Nothing there was under 500 dollars.

We did buy a bunch of stuff, some of it hand made by the street artists. We never did find a jacket, though we looked. We will never forget though. It was all part of the NY experience.

All of these thoughts were going through my head when my colleagues were deriding Bush for asking people to shop in NYC. I replied, “Isn’t that what New York all about?”

Union people sure can be negative.

A Tale Of Two Gays

At one of the many schools I attended there were two gay teachers. Not that I really knew what gay was. Actually I did not know what anything was. That is a different story though. Anyway I was told two of the professors were gay. One of them had “Come out” and that was very exciting to people. He could draw a crowd whenever he spoke. The other was still in the closet as they say.

The out professor taught cinematography. He specialized in cinema verity about himself being gay. People loved it. What it is like to live in a cabin and be gay. I will admit to being somewhat perplexed about what being gay was all about. I watched the movie and all I could figure was he lived with another guy.

I will say years later I saw him on national TV. He had filmed himself dying of aids. It was quite sad. At that point in my life I had learned a bit more about what being gay actually ment.

The other gay professor never mentioned he was gay. He did talk about the children’s books he wrote. I was enthralled. I took all of his courses I could. When we went to his house he introduced us to his housemate, who was a guy. I so wished he was my grandmother or something. I was so happy around him. I had my first cup of coffee in his new home. He showed me all of his treasures in his studio. I was quite lucky to have known him.

For many years I wanted him to design a paint job for my plane, of course I did not have a plane, I needed to build one. Dreams unreleased. He died recently. My wife’s company took care of him. I wished I had known. I would have liked to say goodbye.

A Bucket Of Sand

What is in the future? That is a hard question to answer. So we try and prepare our children the best we can. I believe that manufacturing makes for better lives. So that is what I teach. Almost everything we touch is manufactured. Almost everything we do we can do because of manufacturing.

Sometimes things that are manufactured do not make society better. I would hope that we try and make things that make everyone’s life better. Still that is a judgment call. I try hard not to judge.

So how do I teach manufacturing? It is a digital world. Learn to speak the language of digital fabrication. Dimensioning, the relationship of objects, collaboration. Those are what are important to me. I also try and listen, as I do not know it all. Practically, people that want to manufacture need to know how to use modern machinery. They operate digitally. We have digital CNC machines they are underutilized.

One of the things I enjoy telling the students is “When I was your age they told me, Don’t trust anyone over 40”. I then take a deep breath, exhale then say “Remember that” I then proceed to say that I will do anything I can to help them. The future is yours not mine. I think there is a very good reason to tell them that. We old people are stuck in our ways. We want to teach things like draft in sand casting. Or what angle to hand grind tool steel to use on a lathe. We might as well be making pottery. The students want to use new equipment to make new things.

The good news is we do have a diamond lathe. It gets lots of use and the students love it. The old people are unhappy because they want a mature course. They complain about the new methodology and go back to their old methods. Unfortunately the students become angry with the old methods.

I am encouraged though, last week I received a new vision system. I had a lot of fun with it, I am looking forward to showing the students how it works. I have a list of new equipment I would like to see. Also a list of projects. Yet I am willing to listen. A student just mentioned they want to do 4D printing. We will do that.

My lab is in transition, to where I do not know. Some people want to restore the antique machinery. They think it is important. I say they are living in the past. They care about sand casting. I am into the vision system. Before they went home the last thing they bought was a bucket of sand. We have to much old stuff as it is. I am trying to clean up and get rid of old stuff. I wonder to myself what I am supposed to do with a clean shiny new bucket of sand?

If I had my way I would build an airplane. Anyone want a shiny new butt can?

Synopsis

Politics by its nature is designed to divide us. It is easy to find a flaw and exploit it, usually to gain a selfish advantage. It is that simple. I have been writing about it for years. Here I will try and condense it to a page.

Trump was not beholden to any party in the beginning. He was was unlike all other politicians in that respect. Yet he eventually fell into the exploitation trap. It started with “Lock Her Up” and ended on January 9th. For me the moment was when he had Anthony Fauci on the stage with him. I saw Trump looking at Fauci with in bewilderment. At that moment I knew the technocrats were back in control.

I do not use the term technocrat kindly. They are experts at leveraging self interest at the expense of others. Old school media is simply an extension of the technocrats corrupt domain.

Trump lost. I see Elon Musk taking up the fight. I have no idea if the dark forces will crush him. What I think does not matter.

Texas Shooting

It is a sad thing when innocent people needlessly die. I received an email saying this shouldn’t happen in our world. Yet it is your world. When I was young there was no gun violence in school. Students carried guns in school. People respected the police. This was all normal. Criminals only shot other criminals. It was a law abiding society.

In this new society in which we live demonization has become the norm. Vast swaths of the populace are labeled with very unflattering terms. Sometimes it seems that because I breathe and exhale carbon dioxide I am a bad person. Tell enough people they are bad and some of them will act out bad behavior.

Tell people they are good, and they might be more inclined to be actually be good. It seem every week Joe Biden is calling all sorts of people whit supremacists, it is not a surprise that some weaker minds act out Joe’s words. When you are powerful your prophesy easily becomes reality.

Bad people need to be locked up. Do not make excuses for them. There are bad people out there. Good people need to stop them. Someone should have stopped Putin. Nobody did. Good people will be hurt because of that.

People that own guns need mandatory gun training. Owning a gun implies responsibility. People have a right to be responsible. Constitutionally they have a responsibility to protect us all. I was trained in gun safety as a child. Bad people typically do not pray on people capable of protecting themselves.

It wasn’t that long ago that the gun industry was dying. Yet it was the Blue world that enabled the resurgence. Life is not better in the Blue world. For whatever reason gun violence flourishes in the Blue world. Not so much in the Red world.

To the writer of the letter, who is ultimately my boss. It is our world that this tragedy happened in. We need collaboration to make a better world. Until then, things will not get better.

Propaganda

I got into trouble the other day when I used the word propaganda. My view was propaganda was simply the dissemination of information. Typically with a view that would be favorable to your cause. This is a view of the word that I have had since high school. Back then I looked the word up to discover the meaning of the word.

After I used the word I was told that the meaning of propaganda was to lie. I was informed propaganda was a very bad word. I took my phone and looked up the word, and indeed the first three results said that propaganda was to lie to influence opinion. I was actually surprised. I have seen the word used on TV in a benign sense. A laundromat might publish the price of cleaning sheets in its propaganda. In my view propaganda was different than an advertisement because advertisements were paid propaganda. You could spread propaganda without paying other people to do so for you. After a rather stern lecture I promised not to use the word in question and rephrased my sentence to include the words “publish positive information” instead of the very bad word I had used.

I had to find out why what I thought was positive information was considered a lie. I checked out the etymology of propaganda. Simply, propaganda is the feminine form of the Latin word propagate. To propagate is to spread the seed, or the word of God. Propaganda would then be to give life to the seed, or the word of God. Yes Latin is a Roman language that became the official language of the Catholic church.

In my chauvinistic view this sort of makes sense. Women are better communicators. In the chauvinistic world men work, and women raise the children. Not that happens much anymore. Anyway, most definitions now describe propaganda as a political lie. I find this somewhat disturbing. By redefinition, to reproduce is to lie. Though this change may be an anti church thing.

Such is the state of affairs now, the words that represent communication are redefined to represent lies. That may very well be true. I write this blog because I do not belive the mass media. As I have stated before, the truth is not allowed. So this is my own version of propaganda. It would be very easy to say everything I say is a lie. However these are my thoughts that I write about what I see. Simply one point of view. They may be opinion, these views certainly are not judgment. They were written to encourage discourse.

When it comes right down to it, my use of the word was certainly old fashioned.

I Am Cindy Grant Chase

Cindy died in the state prison for men. There was no infirmary in the women’s prison, so she was transfered to the men’s prison. Before she died she could look out her window and see lots of men.

I would know nothing about Cindy Grant except for a red Jaguar XJS with no engine that my brother picked up for 50 bales of hay. Our farm ledger is a book called 50 sheds of hay, that is a riff off of the book 50 shades of gray. It is a book that I have not read. Yet it is a book known for innuendo.

The red Jag in question was a Rouge Edition. It was previously owned by Cindy Grant. She had bought the car with a stolen credit card. Cindy would do jail time and the car would be placed in storage. What Cindy was most famous for was the oldest profession. With the car came stories about limo rides. I heard stories from people in the back seat and from the front seat. Sort of the upstairs and the downstairs of the trade.

I also heard stories of shootings and boats, and I learned there was was a TV show about Cindy. Of course I purchased the episode from Amazon. The stories I had heard were much more elaborate than what was told on TV, yet the TV confirmed the lurid details of her life.

Naturally there was no mention of the automobile. The red Jaguar was casually cast aside. Not even a footnote in the story of her life. Yet it is possible that the red Jaguar is the only thing that remains of her rather passionate story.

So why would I compare myself to Cindy? In the end she died in the men’s prison. By all accounts she loved men. She desired nothing more than passion. I was told that she was able to look out at the jail yard from her room. It was a jail yard filled with men. I was told she was extraordinarily pained to see all those men that she could not pleasure.

Myself, I am pleasured by machines running. A well running machine makes me happy. Yet I am frequently surrounded by machines that do not run. Running machines gives me pleasure. To be surrounded by machines that I cannot bring to life, gives me pain.

Odd as it may be, that is my comparison.

The Hypersonic Bomb

They say Putin has the bomb, and it is hypersonic. That is why we are letting him do what he is doing. They said Sadam had the bomb too. He didn’t. I did not believe them then. I do not belive them now. That is my view of our unionized media. Leave our very own echo chamber and there is another story. We are being accused of ethnic genocide in Ukraine. We allegedly have dozens of secret biological warfare labs that we fund for research. It is for this reason that the Ukrainian people are being slaughtered. Personally I would need more proof than simple allegations. Yet there are probably millions of Russian and Chinese that believe these stories.

Our top politicians, on both sides, have had an inordinate interest in Ukrainian politics. Though now that I think about it, Paul Manofort was recommended to the Trump campaign by the mainstream. Manafort would bring gravitas to the campaign they said.. At the time I thought it was a sign of unity. Joe Biden was heavily involved in Ukrainian politics when he was Vice President. What are friends for?

When you expect the worst you will never be disappointed. I read that Putin is unafraid to use the bomb. Many expect him to use it. Conversely I read many stories comparing Putin and his supporters to Trump and his supporters. Trump Derangement Syndrome still reads its ugly head in our media. President Biden has been known to dish his own supporters if they do not agree with him, so when the media compares Putin to Trump, it is a bit unfair. Yet it has been done. I can imagine that if Joe was told there was a button that could eliminate Trump and his supporters, Joe would push it.

Fortunately people like Elon Musk have come to aid Ukraine. He is providing the Ukrainians with communication. I always had thought that the next big war would be digital. Guess I was wrong.

Things are only going to get worse before they get better. My only hope is the Russians take out Putin and replace him with someone more reasonable. We are a big beautiful world. It would be nice if we all got along. I can understand why Elon Musk wants to go to Mars. We are crazy down here.