Getting Nailed

nailed.jpg[Apologies to my readers. This is more than 1,700 words, but I couldn’t say it in less. Exploring a new thought, and linking it to things you already know, just takes time. And when you write it out, it’s … longish. But I do have a couple of ideas here that were “Ahas” for me, so if you have the time, I’d love to know what you think. — Hank the Interminable]

Say you did something you thought was good at the time, but later turned out to be bad. You could admit the mistake. Or you could refuse to admit it.

Any sensible person would probably say the first option was the best one. If you can admit a mistake, you can probably do something to fix it, or correct your course so you don’t do it again. And you can move on.

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Thank You, Mr. Darwin. Again.

tree-of-life.jpgI grew up in Texas. Spent part of my childhood in Alabama. And I grew up among racists.

So I was a racist. When you grow up when and where I did, you can’t not be.

By the time I was in high school in the late 60s, racism was passé. It was no longer okay to hate the people who had progressed from being n*****s – also called, among my own relatives, “Negroes” or, given our accents, “niggrahs” – to being “black” people, or “African-Americans.”

But just because society changes, that doesn’t mean you do. I’m afraid the racism was still there in my head. (I like to think I can admit this not because I’m evil, but because I’m honest.)

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Debate Deux


I couldn’t bring myself to watch the whole thing, but I saw a few outtakes of the second presidential debate.

I’ve already seen three mentions in various news stories about McCain’s use of the “that one” phrase in this debate.

Over the past couple of days I’ve been seeing stories about the atmosphere of Palin’s weirdly closed and secretive campaign. One story said the press not only doesn’t get the chance to question Palin, they don’t get the chance to question Palin supporters.

After accusing Obama of “palling around with terrorists,” Palin told a Florida crowd of 8,000 on Monday that Obama “launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist!”

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Holy Shit!

god-dog.jpgI just read a New York Times article about a report in the new issue of Science.

It relates a vital clue to religiosity! It’s so darned obvious once you hear it.

The story shows two random-seeming collections of scratch-marks, and asks if you see any sort of pattern in them.

The thing is, according to research, people who feel out of control of their lives are more prone to see patterns.

The story relates this to Wall Street traders wearing their lucky shirts to work during uncertain times, or deep-sea fishermen who reportedly have more rituals and superstitions than fishermen who work near shore.

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Letters to the Future: 2

earthman2.jpgHello to the year 2010!

This is really a letter to myself, but it’s here because it seemed the best place for it. But it’s to you, too, you people of 2010 and beyond, so you’ll know how I felt back here in the past. I guess I want you to realize that we had our passions just as you do, and they sometimes drove us to … extremities.

I just quit my job. Walked out.

Was it a good choice? Well, it’ll be a while before I know, I guess, but right now … it’s good and bad.

Really bad, in a way. I mean, seriously, deep-shit bad.

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Lee Pulls the Trigger


This is a true story.

It’s about 1990, and a friend of a friend is gettin’ married in a few days.

We work at pack stations and ranches up and down the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, and on this night we’re all dressed up in our go-to-town best – jeans, western shirts, White packer boots, satin wildrags and our best felt hats – intending to meet up in Bishop for a night out. Not exactly a bachelor party, but something like it.

I roll up at the ranch where Russ works and Russ and Lee are there waiting. I’m the designated driver because I’m not much of a drinker, but since I have a tiny Toyota pickup, we’re going in Russ’s truck, a big old 1966 Chevy pickup.

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