Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Nazi Super Mouse

Just a few days ago I passed my 47th birthday and the events around my birthday better than ten years ago came to mind.  The events are true and the names have been changed to protect those involved.

Meta, Roman, my brother, and I were sitting talking among ourselves one evening in the late 90s.  I remember that the television was on but the sound  had been muted.  Whatever the topic of that night’s conversation was has long escaped me.  May be it fled my memory after the image of a small, furry, shadow with distinct brown highlights darted across the threshold of a closed door, the door to the outside, bathed in bright illumination.

I jumped to my feet and yelled, “Mouse!”

After which I tore into a stack of makeshift shelves, Roman was quick to join in the hunt.  Needless to say we didn’t find the mouse.  Roman, it seemed, was wondering if I had just had a hallucination as some schizophrenics do and I happen to be one that does.  Meta on the other hand was willing to admit the possibility, being that the appartment we rented was poorly maintained and near the water.  She would state that she believed me but for some reason, possibly my own paranoia, I had the sensation of being humored.  Rather than push the argument to its natural extreme I dropped it and everything settled back down after the makeshift milk crate shelves were reassembled.  Roman left the appartment that night semi-certain that he had somehow just taken part in a hallucination.  Meta went on about her night and the following days as if nothing had changed and I forgot about the mouse.  I want to say, that with in the week, but it might have been ten days, Meta saw the mouse for herself.

The little critter ran across a door way that sat between our spare bedroom and the kitchen.  She had seen it clearly and when she told me of the incident she stressed, I mean STRESSED, that she and the mouse could not share the same living space and as she paid part of the rent so it was the mouse that had to go.  I mean, she wanted the critter dead.  I can remember that look in her eye, it sends a chill up my spine to this day.  I felt that the mouse was a living being, just like her and I, and it had a right to live too.  She aggreed, just not in the same space she lived i. , Meta was very insistant.  I had no way of capturing the mouse and releasing it (That was my big point in the debate).  She stated again, the mouse can’t live with her, eyes blazing with a murderous fury.

“What did that mouse ever do to you? Humm?” I did my best to sound like an anti-war protester and worked up the saddest eyes I could.  It was my trump play and she softened like butter.  Mice had a right to live, didn’t they.  So the mouse and Meta and I lived moderately comfortably, for the next several weeks, everybody relaxed and there was time of peace and prosperity.  That was until what Meta and I refer to as the “incident” occurred.  It was nearing the end of the first third of july and my birthday, the 9th, was close at hand.  Meta made for the day of my birth a most spectacular chocolate cake.  This was a specific receipe that would come into creation from her precious finger tips pulled from the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa can once a year at best, like some bit of ancient magick.  This wasn’t just any cake now, as it was assembled from scratch, the icing extra, extra chocolate.  Now there are those in the world who don’t have a taste for such a thing and maybe prefer spice, yellow, fruit or angel food but for those who do it was a piece of the divine.  The chocolate so heavy that it could cause one’s mouth to seal shut and the only cure was cold milk or possibly vanilla ice cream.  She had finished it, whorls of thick black icing calling to me when she said, “I think I’ll put this in the refridgerator.”

“What!” I said, “Don’t put that in the fridge!”  I despised cold hardened cake.

“What about the mouse?” She says.

I surveyed the tables spindley metal legs that joined with the top well underneath and the smooth paneling that climbed up the wall beside the table and said, “The mouse can’t get on that table!”  I admit my tone may have been a bit condesending.

“It surely can,” She says.  To which I respond, “What is the damn thing? Spider man?”  “O’Kay,” She says, the vowels pulled in such a manner that I would later realize was dictated by experience.  So the next morning I crawled out of bed, pulling on my second hand factory worn overalls and made my way to behold my birthday cake with an anticpation hitherto only seen in children.  I approached the cake slowly, I know I was smiling, in the strata Meta and I found ourselves living in this was my gift and it was a big deal.  My gaze dropped down to behold what would be to my eye the most bueatiful confection ever conceived when my smile froze.  Tiny little foot prints crossed the delicatible surface starting at the corner nearest me.  It seemed that the little bastard had decided to go for a walk one day, but not in month of may.  There, in the corner nearest me were eat marks, but apparently, atleast as far as the mouse was concerned, the cake there wasn’t good enough for him. so he marched in practically a straight line to where he would try again.  The second eat mark was larger, the cake there must have been better to the rodent’s discerning palette.  Half the cake, ruined, the smile falling from my face.  Some would say the mouse was very rude, I would call it a travesty, a disgraceful, ungrateful assualt apon its ally.  After all I was the one that had saved the mouse’s life.  So, with steam puffing from my ears, I cut the cake in half, disposing the parts the mouse had definitely walked apon.  I then hacked a chunk from the remaining cake, six four frame leaning against the door,  surveying the appsartment as I, growling, chewed on a piece of cake that the little vagrant decided was good enough for me, Mind dark with thoughts of revenge.

My thinking was direct and simple, I had longer legs than it did so I was probably faster, no doubt I was stronger, I could bench 230 pounds and I had some college so I must be smarter.  Tool of choice? an Aluminum ball bat.  At first Roman assisted, each of us equiped with an aluminum ball bat.  The minute we sighted the mouse off we would charge metal thudding the floor like a giant’s club.  As it would turn out, a mouse which believe me is a very small animal is also very fast.  The little critter was a blur and we never got anywhere near him with the crude weapons we were using.  After a few days Roman lost interest and I didn’t presist much longer.  It seems a seige situation had developed.  The mouse was definately faster than I was, but I still had strength and brains.  While I sat watching and thinking it occurred to me that I had an insurgency on my hands.  The mouse had become cocky, when Meta and I were sitting in the living room, he would pause in the center of the doorway.  In clear sight, the mouse, would sit up like preforming for some photo oppertunity.  I realized that “live and let live” had turned into appeasement.  Since I couldn’t take him man to mouse I would have to bring in technology.  After all, its what humans are good at, creating technology, especially the killing kind.  The beginning of August came and so did the bit of money from socail security.  Along with paying bills we purchased a few mouse traps.

An effectuive device that had changed little in a hundred years.  I had been studying the mouse’s movements and after baiting the traps with peanut butter (everybody likes peanut butter) I carefully placed them and went to bed confident that the problem would soon be solved.  There are times in the dark of night or morning, sometimes even late morning, when a body’s stirs one into moving to answer some call of the wild, in this case, to use the bathroom.  Eye’s heavy with sleep my feet knew the way by memory as I took slow careful steps towards my goal.  For reasons today that still escape me, my eye opened just as I was about to complete my last step before turning into the restroon.  Frozen, before any thought could fully crystillize in my mind, there under my left foot, held still in mid air on its course to the floor, lay a mouse trap, still set.  I staggered back and stooped low to get a good look.  It had been pulled out from its place behind the utility room door and repositioned where we would have unknowingly stepped.  This had been accomplished without setting the thing off and the little freak had stripped the peanut butter bait.  This was no ordinary mouse.  Then a thought occurred to me, what if he had brought friends?  I looked suspiciously around the appartment, every corner, behind the furniture, even in the walls we could have, through my complacency allowed an army of mice to overwhelm our defenses.

I had set four booby traps for the mouse and each was stripped of bait and repositioned in a main walkway and remained set.  I can still feel the crawl of chills up and down my spine.  Whether it was a mouse or mice, they weren’t the ordinary kind.  Some sort of hybrid, probably engineered in some NAZI lab as an odd last hope to win World War II and now they were in my home.  Then an even more chilling thought, what if we had a rat?

Meta had wisely held back a few dollars from one of the bills we owed, probably the land lord.  It is vital in times of crisis to have a top notch Secretary of the Treasury, especially when raising the debt ceiling (gettiing a credit card) is out of the question.  With some of this money we purchased two mechanical rat traps.  Never have I seen a more menacing piece of home pest removal equipment before in my life.  As I set and baited the rat booby traps I was keenly aware that one miss step would, in the very least, break one of my fingers, one misstep could cost a toe.  They seemed incredibly sensitive and I grinned with the knoweldge that the tide was about to turn in our favor.  If this mouse were only a lone scout then his timely eliminataion could prevent a broader conflict.  But, if the insurgency was at full swing, well it could give us the advantage we needed.  Mouse traps, rat traps, all set, carefully positioned, baited, my wife and I went to bed and slept well.

What happened with the mouse traps would be repeated with the rat traps the following morning turning our hallway between the bedroom and the livingroom, the spine of our home into a mine field.  I realized that not only was the mouse or mice faster, they were porportionately stronger and, yes they were even smarter than I.  Brute strength had no avail and the mechanical type technology had been turned against us.  As against chemical weapons as I was, I realized that I had found myself in a corner and that a good solid weapon of mass destruction seemed to be the only way out.

Meta, with our last few dollars, purchaesed some Decon.  We had no pets or small children and under such circumstances Decon is an inexpensive and effective weapon.  It could be compared to Raytheon’s answer to cock roaches with less radioactive fall out.  Tense, feeling the apparent threat from the uber mouse, I carefully placed the poison in key junctions of his nightly runs, his Ho Chi Minh Trail as it were.  That was it.  No more mouse.  In the future if Meta tells me she can’t live with some critter, you bet I’ll listen.

July’s New Moons

New Moons have always held an interest for me.  As Meta and I prepare for the coming month I noticed my calendar indicated two new moons for July.  It is a significant month for us as the first is our eighteenth wedding aniversary.  I have come to understand that traditional notions about marriage are fading in popularity.  Alas all things change in time.  I am also aware that, scientifically speaking my calendar my be incorrect and the two new moons in question may, astronomically, fall on the second of July and the first of August (Lamas by my reckoning).  As much as I would like to watch the moon with my eyes, going outside in my neighborhood at those hours of the night or early morning requires a flack jacket at the very least, by the way one of which I possess, a relic from the early vietnam era.  Its just such a hassle getting into it, the sight scares the neighbors and the jungle camoflauge pattern encourages a rather idiotic feeling within myself.  So however one might disagree, I go by my calendar and its accuracy is only important to me.  I am not suggesting now or at anytime in the future that you or any other person should go by my calender.  I figure if your that interested you can purchase your own time keeping pad.

In my mind there is little doubt that the reality we inhabit is under constant assault by flux.  Change, at times dramatic, is the only true constant in the universe.  Our preception of dramatic, or unpredictable, types of change is dependant on our chronological prespective.  For instance, if a person of eighty years age states that this the worst (plug in disaster of your choice) that they can remember, to a person of twenty or thirty years, it can be preceived with an intense alarm.  If the individual making the statement is five hundred or a thousand years old,  this could mean a living person or a historical account, the forementioned intensity, fear climbs porportionately so.  Simlpy put the greater the distance into the past one must travel to find a comparable disaster the more alarming the event.  Always be aware of such comparisons as the are given more persausive credit than they deserve.  Yes the world is a spastic chaotic place when you watch it from day to day over any given period of time.  An individual must step back before the larger cycles begin to become clear.  These cycles, lunar, solar, seasonal and millenial are far more sedate than the day to day events over any given weekly or monthly period, in no way am I aserting that they are free of flux.  As explained earlier flux is a constant and when taken in larger and larger chunks it just appears calmer.

Cycles are an important concept.  As we human’s find ourselves more and more out of the elements in a smaller world were we appear to exert more control and we are falling out of concious touch with the very planet we are not only physically, but psychologically and emotionally tied to.  Our bodies respond to the change in seasons, the phase of the solar or lunar cycles and we have direct hormonal and digestive cycles that fluctuate with starling regularity.  By breaking our awareness, or tie, with the world we are bound to we allow our bodies to suffer and struggle against the changes it naturally cycles through.  With sheer will we force of bodies to behave in a manner that is destructiuve to its own health.  My father use to insist that all it took to stave off illness, disease or death was simple will power.  I think you know how that came to an end.

So if you or I choose to accept these cycles as a reality then what is so special about a new moon?  Well, it is a good time to consider or start new projects and to assess your progress on continuing and/or ongoing projects.  Its always a great time for quiet introspection and remembering those who went before us.  As far as a double new moon (Two new moons in the same month) It is a good period to clean up old business that has lingered too long and consider long term plans.  By long term I mean years.  Where do you want to be five years from now and how can you begin to work in that direction.  All great undertakings require prespective and this will be a good month to aquire some.  Introspection and reflection never hurt anybody and neither did dreaming.  Now, even if it appears contrary to the prevailing logic, is the time to dream, always dream big with an eye on what direction to choose and what to accomplish first.

Now here’s a little bit of Ole’ Wives Magick:

I first heard of this through my wife Meta, It was a trick used by her mother and possibly her mother before her, although of that I am less certain.  You need a checking account for this.  On the new moon, at a time where you may be expecting an additional expense, a special occassion or holiday, back to school expenses, someone’s birthday or an unexpected expense like a short fall in a paycheck, loss of a job or house or car repairs or even an increase in property taxes.

Step one: Make out a check to yourself and tuck it away somewhere in your billfold or where ever you keep your cash.  This must be done on the new moon.

Step two: Let the check disappear from you mind.

Step three: Keep your eyes open.

Simple Rules: Don’t be greedy, ask only for what you need.  Always remember, Magick is like water, it seeks its own level by the shortest root possible.  The help can come from anywhere so forget your pride and appreciate what you get.  Meta has made this trick wortk three times in the eighteen years we have been married.  Whether you believe or are skeptical, when things are too tight to breath, What can it hurt to try?

Yet more Babbling on the absolute sense

Why do we preceive what we do about ourselves, others or the world around us?  Do internal mental or emtional states influence what we preceive?  What does it mean to preceive? does preconception affect preception?

Here’s is a little experiement you can do yourself.  Find or purchase a small note pad/ stenopad, you know like the kind people use to make lists.  Label three pages in a row day one, the first of these three also labeled morning.  When you wake up for the day, sit on the edge of your bed for just a few minutes and let your thoughts clear and then, before you begin your morning write a short sentence, or if you prefer a string of adjectives about how you feel, emotionally or physically, and put a line under them.  You don’t need a great deal of detail to start but be honest.  After you done you bathing or whatever you do, avoiding the mirror as much as possible, before you leave for work or begin whatever project you maybe undertaking look in the mirror with intent and write down, under the line on page one the first word, words or sentence that comes to your mind.  Turn the page, at the top of page number 2 for day 1 write midday.  In the middle of your day, at lunch or when that time comes depending on your routine answer the following questions with a yes, no or ?.  They are, Do I feel attractive? Do I feel competant? Do I feel confident? Do I feel appreciated? and finally do I feel anxious?  This should only take a few minutes and when your done turn to page three.  This page, with day one labeled at the top is marked evening.  Before, or when, you get home for the evening, before interacting with your family or roommates give yourself a few minutes to clear the thoughts of the day from your mind and when they clear ask yourself, quietly, focused inwardly, how you feel.  Write a short chain of adjectives or a brief sentence and put a line beneath it.  In the evening before you go to bed for the night take a last look in the mirror, and record the first words that come to your mind.  Repeat this process for a week minumum, two weeks is ideal.  Once the pages are written don’t look back over them, leave them exit your thoughts, refrain from looking in the mirror more often than instructed, and finally don’t fret over the experiement.  Just be honest and be yourself.

When you have finished collecting the data then, when you have an hour or two, go over the information and ask yourself the following questions:  Has the level of my internal awareness changed, Have I become more aware of my moods and feelings and thoughts?  More importantly, does these internal moods affect my preceptions of myself in the mirror, in other words do my moods change the way I look?  How considerable do you suppose this change is?

I remember one night sometime ago while listening to my favorite radio program, Coast to Coast, when the guest, who’s particular name is unimportant, and the host, again whose identity is unimportant, had reached an impasse in their conversation.  The host and the guest had different points of view on the subject and the hosts efforts to make his point were being hung up for one simple reason.  The two kept using the same word or phrases to describe their slightly opposed views and didn’t seen to be able to communicate.  In other words it sounded as though they were making the same statements, saying the same words, but because of variances in meaning, the effort to express the differing view resulted in a fustrating experience for the host.  I could feel his frustration through the radio.  It wasn’t angry or nasty between the two but vexing.  The words in question were preceive, preceiving and preception.  The statement that started the dialog was, and I’m paraphrasing as I am unsure of the exact words, “If I preceive a threat, to myself or my family, then I will use any tool at my disposal to eliminate said threat.”  This was expounded apon tp include neighborhood, nation and such and I have heard it stated in one form or another since I was in my middle teens.

What does it mean to preceive a threat?  Often examples like this are used, “If you saw somebody about to shoot you then you would try to shoot them first? wouldn’t you? or if you saw a missle about to be launched and you could knock it over while it was still on the ground you would, its the only thing that makes sense.”  (Refrence the documentary, “Why We Fight.”)  This statement seemes obvious and direct but it logically presupposes intent.  This presupposition tends to automatically, more times than not, draw aggrement even though most of us, myself included don’t natural study said presupposition.  The argument presupposes both intent and some godlike omniscience on the part of the preceiver to know something that is otherwise unknowable.  I simpler language its dependent on two great big assumptions.  Question, have you ever been in a public place when a person whom looks familar in someway to you waves in your direction and when you wave back it becomes apparent they weren’t waving at you at all but someone else in your vicinity?  Remember the embaressment or feeling foolishness.  They looked somehow familar, where motioning in your direction and you assumed to were the object of said motions.  Has anyone yelled your name in what appeared to be your direction and as it were someone else near you just happened to have the same name?  Did you feel silly reacting to someone in a familar way or responding to your name when no one was talking to you in the first place?  If it this easy to draw a incorrect conclusion based on a simple assumption should we just start popping of rounds at some idiot who is only guilty of brandishing a firearm.  If you think that’s O’kay, then you can alway move to my home town, people around here fire off their guns for any old reason.

The reality is nothing more than a simple case of basic logic.  A statement is either true or it is not true.  Think about this:

Is it always true that possession of a weapon, be it a nuclear missle, conventional bomb, fighter plane, tank, battleship or even a hand gun implies or infers in anyway a person’s intent to use said weapon?


Is it not always true that possession of stated weapon or weapons imply or infer a person’s intent to use said weapon?

People always get pissed at me when I ask such questions, stateing its not that simple or some other phrase that is generally specific and equally vague.  The fact is that it either is always true or its not always true, there is no moral presupposition or any other preconception involved, it is just the place were the conversation starts.  The United States has the largest aresnal in the world.  Our government borrows money to add to this stockpile.  If the first case is true, that intent is always implied and inferred then what does that tell you?  Remember that when someone starts ranting about the threat from Iran, Pakistan or China.  But wait, before you start to fume, What if the second case is true, that ownership of a weapon(s) does not imply or infer intent to use?  Then why borrow money to build weapons?  If they are not ever definitely going to be used then how will our government ever pay off all that debt?  The more I think on it the crazier the whole thing seems and it simply make less and less sense.

One last question, I do blather on, is feeling threatened the same thing as being thgreatened?  Both feeling and being are based on the act of preceiving.  As I have said, I am a paranoid schizophrenic so I understand the feeling of threat, especailly since I have heard it said, through the mass radio media of the 90s that people like me should be buried up to our necks and have our heads run over by bulldozers.  It was a long time ago and I felt very threatened even though I understood the source of the rage.  It involved a school shooting by an ex-employee who had a “history of mental health issues.”  I had not shot anyone yet somehow, by simple association, I had become a thing that should be elimuinated.  Just throw open the furnace doors and march me in.  I realize with thought that the talker on the radio may have been using an extreme position to raise awareness of serious issues in the mental health care system.  It was Meta who helped me grasp that, but what if I took the earlier position, “If I preceive any threat to myself or my family I will use any tool at my disposal to eliminate (Terminate) it.”  If any government or group has the moral imperative to act in self defensein such a way then so do I, don’t I?  In short, no, not I or any one else is in the moral right to, simply by acting in a violent fashion first, premptivelt elimante a preceived threat.  People feel threatened all the time, some act others, do not.  For some people here in my home town living on the far right, the election of a black president was intensly threatening.  Young African Americans walking our city streets with pride at finally being fully equal members of our society was seen by these individuals as strutting with lawlessness on their minds, after all. now they can get away with anything.

Always start your thought with a simple statement and a question.  Is your statement always true or not always true.  People feel threatened all the time, they say threatening things to each other on a daily basis.  If just feeling scared, or hearing or saying threatening sounding things is all it takes to give people the god given moral impertative to start killing each other, well, then, I guess the game called planet earth is just about over.