Thursday, September 4, 2008

LHC and U

Soon it will be September 10, and the Large Hadraon Collider will be cranked up:

They are looking for Higgs Bosons, a big particle that adds "probability" to other particles. We call probablity Gravity. If you will think back to the time of the Big Bang, you'll remember Gravity sank out first of the four forces. So quickly that it doesn't have good symmetry wioth the other forces. Gravity is like that guy at the party that leaves first. I am that guy pretty dang often. I process stuff by going home and writing it down. I make my reality sink into strata. I am a Higgs Boson. Many people have called me this, just leaving off the last "N"

I wanted my own way to predict the LHC's results without spedning 18 billion dollars. So I got the latest in predction equipemt, the Answer Me Jesus

and I asked if the LHC would find the Higgs Boson, Jesus said "Let Me ask My Dad."

Now if you are not familar with the Higgs Boson, here is an easy way to think of it:

OK you're thinking, "How will the Higgs Boson make my life easier?"

Well for one thing it makes sure that no matter where you go there you are. That's right, no non-probablistic drifting away as you see in this balloon cartoon:

Billy could have used some Higgs Bosons to keep the balloon from acting up.

Some people are worried about the collider:

Aparently Nostradmus warned against it. He said, "Watch out for that damn Black Hole!" Heck, I didn't even know that he knew about particle physics

The good news is, that the Black Hole will absorb most of the American credit card debt. That makes me happy.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Writing, Typewriting, Orgasms, Sci Fi

Dear Friends,

As you know, every now and again I spek about the art and craft of writing. I have little useful to say, but that has never stopped a writer since Homer and it is not stopping me ;) At the recent Aemadillocon I was part of the wrting workshop and some good soul recorded a little of this. I pass this on to you for your amusement. I am the one in the black Hawaiian shirt. That pretty much sums me up -- a black Hawaiian shirt:

I did my first writing on a Royal eltie, then an some forgotten electric and then I moved to the Texas Instruments 99-4a and it was word processors ever since. Fewer and fewer people use, maybe even have seen manual typewriters these days. My friend Chris Merwin pointec out their use in art recently:

By the way if you are looking to buy a manual typewriter with ribbons, try the Vermont Country Store. (I know most people looking for manaul typewriters check out my blog):

Now where do writers get their ideas. I was going to tell you, but I found a video clip that does this better than little me:

And finally what do non-writers need to know in this world? I think Uncle Harlan says it best:

I will stick this at my blog at

But feel free to pass this on to writerly friends anywhere,



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Neal Barrett

When I was 16 I bought an old Amazing (December 1963) at a used bookstore in Amarillo, Texas. It had a picture of some aliens approaching what appeared to be a giant okra. This cover was for Neal Barrett's "To Plant A Seed." I notice that Neal has the cover story of the current Asimov's. In fact this is Neal's 50th year of writing. Now Neal produced The Hereafter Gang, which John Clute called the "Great American Novel." Neal was born in 1929.

Barrett has also written under other names including: Victor Appleton, Chad Calhoun, Clay Dawson, Franklin W. Dixon, Rebecca Drury, Wesley Ellis, and J.D. Hardin.You can drop Neal a note, or buy a copy of a few of his books here:

Neal has poured out Westerns, SF, and Mysteries. I haven't been disapointed in anything I've read by him in 32 years. That's a pretty broad recomendation. One of great lights in Austin

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Recently I was invited by Kathy Spiers to attend the Cotton Festival in Hedley, Texas.

This is Hedley:

Kathy is writing a history of the town and I asked her the question that I had always wanted to know. My dad (Veron Llyod Webb) had always told me that my when my grandfather, Dr. James William Webb, delivered a child he would ask the parents "What are we going to name this baby?" If the parents did not have a name picked out, he would supply one. Dad said granddad like to give out the first name of "Webb" as well as names of his brothers and sisters -- Max, Thresa etc. (No that was not a spelling error) Thresa. My mom, Mildred Scott Webb, told me that one of the women in her Sunday school class had been named Thresa, and said to her, "You know where I got that name." Well Kathy told me that her mom Patsy Vernon Spiers could textify to the family story as she was both delivered and named by Dr. Webb.

The Romans used to day "Nomen est Omen.: That a name was an Omen. This was meant as a useful guide to parents. It has also become a German Metal song:

But what interests me is the number of parents that pick names wuth bad Wyrds for their offspring. Every year that I teach I have Cassandras -- and yes, nobody belives them. None of these girls have ever heard of the Princess of Troy, certainly none of them know the literal meaning of the name = "She who hang/entangles women." Even more to my surpise none of them care. A few kids always ask to look up their name on the Internet and scoff at the idea that I migfht know their names' meanins simply by having been on this planet for nealry half a century. Alsmot known of them know the biblical roots of James, Matthew, Juan or Abel.

The power of name is strong ju-ju, ask any school teacher about the beahvior of a Jesus, Angel, or Christian. These kids will do their damndest to be the Anti- from of these things. makes me wonder how Anton La Vey's last kid, Satan Karnacki La Vey turned out.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Set Animal

From time to time the icongraphy of the god Set is discussed in His temple. Now this is not a pressing theological concern, despite Plato's remarks about knowing a god. Various animals are suggested -- the mormyus fish, the seluki dog, even giraffes. I am a salawa man, myself. Many of these debates are just touch tounge in cheek.

Iconography ain't simple. Let's take Jesus. What are his
icons? The pretzel, the shamrock, a fish shaped doo-dad (based on a Latin-Greek pun based on a Hebrew contraction eing 'Greekified" to start with), a pine tree (from Jesus Quest for the Runes), some Renaissance cloth from Turin, his blonde hair/blue eyes yadda, yadda, yaddaand we are only looking at only two thousand years in a historical times .
. .


Oh Set.

Set's a toughie. Of course part of the (agreed-upon) iconography shows up at least 6,000 years ago. Is he a Mormyrus? Hmm, Well unlike most fish they use electricity and noise. "Hey, Chick Pea, I tried to pick up this fish and it shocked me and then it said 'Water' so I threw back in the river." (This is funnier in Egyptian). "Hey Chick-Pea you notice how it isn't raining like it used to? Let's go down to the old swimming hole and
mark up some petrogylphs for the god Dazzler to keep that creepy Osiris dude away when we die. I hear that them glaciers are almost gone in Europe. It's global warming I tell you. That damn ditch between here and Italy will fill the fuck up with salt water soon. You know my big fear is that people will forget the soul goes North when you die and start worshiping the sun,
and start thinking the soul goes west when you die -- by the way I invented calendars and astronomy over at that little playa where the buffalo wallow. I'll show you sometime. Sure is damn weird about that fish though. I don't fish should talk and use lightening. You know what god that has to be about. Last night I dreamt that a Hungarian named Laszlo Almasy will discover our
swimming hole in about 12 thousand years and make no connection between the image of Dazzler and those an English man named Petrie is going to discover. Instead -- get this he'll think they're fucking giraffes! I think I'm going to work some fish imagery into my petroglyphs today. I don't know what a Hungarian is, but it's just damn creepy. Tonight I have go polish the bull
horns on my dad's grave so his Bakha will still be be honored up in the Constellation of the Thigh. Hey Chick-Pea you know what Uncle Den found out? If you take a Bull's dick and turn it inside out and dry -- it looks just like the Dazzler's Head. He's giving them out for Christmas this year to all the other head men. I can't believe how early the Christmas stuff is being put in the malls this year. It's still Proyet and the Wind of
Breathing hasn't come. You know I'm tired of being a nomad (Month) all the time, I think I'll use that calendar idea to create agriculture. I mean I will always love cattle, but I like bread better than drinking cow's blood for my sugars. Here's another think Chick-Pea the headman of our Masai cousins now calls himself the King of the World, he believes his descendants
will get to meet Priest F---- some day, so he's acting all big and bad. I'm glad he's getting a bull dick for Christmas."

But then you got that great tail, which is birthing knife/circumcision/ Opening the Mouth tool, which was a symbol of Set in archaic times and the Empire. Dr. Ann Macy Roth makes a good case for that being where the tail comes from. Not a bad symbol for Imitation god. Birth, join your guild
(Phyle/ Za), join the Akhu. Very African (even today)

But Egypt being the great crossroads of the world, Set got wings from the Sumerian gods -- not many Sumerians around these days -- Sabaras folk in India and Zheng-zheng speakers in Tibet.

The local Bedouins had those great headless demons and that entered into the mix pretty early -- "I don't know Adbul something just grabbed me and I had all these weird thoughts, what do you think of that? Anyway what makes you think without a head of its own? You know I always have them dreams after a
meteor hits the sand. There's some connection with the night sky and Headless Demons I tell you, just the other day I was visiting Thebes and a Monthu Priest named Lives the Moon told me that he has been dreams about Headless demons too, in his next life he is going to check them out. He said he is coming back as a Greek god named Alastor. So I said, "What the frak is a Greek?" and he said, "Remember those pirates that Raesses III kicked out of the Delta?" yadda, yadda By the way, I had the goofiest dream last night that the Headless Demon tradition is going to go through a weird path of historical corruption and become something called a Barbara Eden."

However my bet is still the salawa.

There is a modern Salawa Information center in Armant(Hermouthis). They still show up there from time to time. There's a little problem with them though -- they vanish after you catch them -- in fact they seem damn similar to the stories of shaman that can make their bodies into dream animals. At
Heliopolis there were bounties posted against them. Now here's the Rub -- why Hermouthis. Well, the only other god to have a Set-head, Monthu was worshipped there:

So boyz and squirrels, there you have it -- the Bull Woshipping Nomads had a little trouble with werewolves as the desert moved in . . .

Friday, July 4, 2008

Bowling for Narrative

Dear Friends,

On this day where we celebrate the great working of Will that brought a secular Order to this land. I give three things, a little essay, some notes on writing, and some community service links.


Getting Drilled.

It was my first ball.

I hadn’t got into bowling until I was thirty-eight. When I was growing up I was a sickly child, more of a slug than a human being. I compensated for my mucusy life by being vastly well-read, and developing several snobbish opinions. Bowling was considered a low sport, and my only venture onto the lanes was during a Navy ROTC tournament in Tascosa High School, where I earned the “Most Gutter Balls” trophy. (If you took ROTC you didn’t have to take gym, and you got to mount a virtual amphibious assault against France -- beating the frogs at their own game as it were).

When a group of friends took to me to the Dart Bowl, I expected an evening of tedium, and (of course) gutter balls. I met a young grad student and we discussed Heidegger between rolls. I went away with two strikes, four gutter balls and a much better understanding of Being and Time. The Dart Bowl in those days was a great hold-over of 60s architecture. I felt like I was on the set of Lost in Space. The sounds, the equipment, the air filled with an inaudible vibration all took me back to an imagined future.

Much to my surprise I found myself urging us to return. It wasn’t hard to convince them. Some of them were “intellectuals” like myself hypnotized by the rolling black balls. The ambiance had changed, now it was all new millennium. There were fancy displays that gave you animations when you bowled. I hated it until one cartoon congratulated me on getting a spare. I found myself liking the little bowling pin that lifted weights when I got an eight, or wrestled with a gorilla when I got a spare – and dreading the one pin that became two pins when I got a split, with its terrible reminder of the Sorceror’s Apprentice of Lucian (and Goethe and Disney). Each alley had a radar detector that told you the speed of your ball.

I was back in school at this point, finishing up my BA in English after a twenty-year hiatus. The Sigma Tau Delta, which is the national English Honor Society, had a bowling tournament for Honor chords. Papers about Joyce and J. Frank Dobie and the Book of Thousand Nights had had to come into being, for this honor. I had been bowling for about a year and was able to win my cords. I marched through gym at UT wearing them in May of 2002, the second oldest graduate at the ceremony. Thank god, I thought, bowling and good handle of post-modernism have brought me here.

Christmas came and Guiniviere, my lovely wife, asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I said, “my own ball.” I was tired of looking through the scratched black public balls, trying to find the fourteen pound wonder for the night. I wanted a ball with pizzazz, style, magic. Sure enough on Christmas there was the gaily wrapped box with my fourteen pound beauty all red and orange and black like a comet. I was suspired that it had no holes. I didn’t know that new balls are drilled for the user.

I had (and have) a tough schedule. In those days, before they canned me, I work at the Writer’s League, I teach, I write. I couldn’t go to the Pro Shop until the day before the Super Bowl. Also it is psychologically hard for a man to go to his ball drilled. The nice lady with the big drill massaged my right hand and had me try various grips and gestures – I felt that I was being inducted into a strange Masonic order with a dozen secret handshakes. She made many notes and told me to come back in a hour.

There it was all red and black and orange and beautiful. I picked it up and it caressed my fingers. Surely I was some male Cinderella invited to a ball. I even got a free game coupon.

So I have my big moment. I bowled with the new ball. The flame pattern made the ball look slow, but the radar detector on the alley told me that my ball was flying faster than ever. I got strikes, picked up spares, even dealt with the four pen split. I had been initiated into a secret and wonderful society.

I know then that God bowled. The shiny balls of dirty ice we call comets are God’s bowling balls. My revelation was deep and profound certainly no Zen monk had had such enlightenment. I had a mission that I would take to all of Austin – the highest use of human being is bowling, all of our civilization reached toward this moment.

My games over, I put my palantir, my scrying ball, my holy bowler in its red bag and strode to return my rented green-and-red shoes. My cell phone rang, playing its strains of Beethoven. My friends wanted to play pool at Slick Willies.

Pool’s pretty good too, I thought.


A friend of mine wanted to take up the non-lucrative art of short story writing. He went to a site that told he had to read about forty stories to get started. Here is my Short Course in the Short Story:

In some perfect world we get to read everything we want.

In our world however I'd stick to a few stories. Read them and answer the questions for yourself. or do the follow-up reading. That's step one.

James Joyce's The Dead

A. By the end of the story, we feel what Gabriel feels -- a really complex mixture of sadness, acceptance, growing old, regrets, and a sense of the Bigness of the Universe. Joyce never tells us to feel these things, how does he set it up?

B. How does Joyce make us identify with Gabriel?


Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

C. Shirley never tells us that this is a story about women being oppressed by men, and we read every word as a suspense tale. What are a few of the ways she tells our subconscious?

D. When this surprisingly brief tale was in the New Yorker, it attracted hate mail and caused many people to cancel their subscriptions. How could you (like Shirley) use the idea of the Shadow in a story?


H. P. Lovecraft's The Colour Out Of Space

E. The "monster" of this piece is a color we have never seen before. Lovecraft prepares us for that by the visuals in the first few paragraphs. What "head games" does he play on the reader?

F. How does the use of the multiple voices change the effect of the story -- smart young man, shaky old man, and the farmer talking about his wife and son?


K. A. Porter's The Jilting of Grandmother Weatherall

G. How does Porter lets us know what is objectively going on in the room, yet still keep Grandmother Weatherall's point of view?

H. How does Porter tell us the big story, the story of the Jilting, with almost no details? The jilting happens in three or four sentences, yet we know it is the Shaping point of Grandmother Weatherall.


Step Two:

After you have given thought to the above, take stories that you know, or hear or watch and try telling them with any techniques you've thought about above. See what works for you and what doesn't. Feel free to draw from anything in you -- a Shakespeare play, the Jerry Springer show, awkward time when someone told a joke at a party and nobody got it.


Step Three

Just start writing. Pick a time everyday and pick a word goal and make it every day.


Community Service

How to make a natural Viagra using Watermelons

The Best Link You'll read on Cyrptolingusitics and Rubik's Cube

The best link on pork levitation:



Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When I lived in Lubbock, Texas in the early 80s, I would pass a strange looking man on my way to Texas Tech. He was short, maybe about five feet two and had the sun battened complexion of a farmer, but what made him stand out was that he looked like Alfred E,
Neuman, the mascot of Mad. He would be waiting on Ninth Street and when he saw me he’d break into a big goofy grin and gallop up to me like a horse, breaking into conversation. I knew he wasn’t quite right, as we say in Texas, but he seemed friendly. He always wanted me to “sign his book” and seemed to have a hard time understanding that I needed to get to class.

I didn’t know it at the time, but he was a casebook example of Williams Syndrome: Williams Syndrome gives you great empathy and hyper-sociability. Or in other words it fills you with a major desire to fit in. You want to make contact at any cost. Folks with Williams Syndrome usually have IQs in the 60s, but have a have a large vocabulary and an eloquence that belies their shortcomings. They look like Alfred E. Neuman, but are described as “elfin.” They tend to have perfect pitch.

Dr. J. C. P. Williams discovered the disorder in 1961. He worked in New Zealand and the large number of short people in his cardiac clinic with a similar suite of abilities and weaknesses, made him wonder if there was a syndrome involved. Mayo clinic offered him a job twice in the Sixties, but he simply failed to show up each time. Finally at the end of the decade he moved to swinging London to work, but disappeared from the world we know on November 22, 1968e.v. All that seems to be left of him was unclaimed suitcase in Kings Cross Station . Now this is an interesting place for a doctor to disappear, a small pox nd measles ce stood here, and before that Queen Boudica fought her last battle. Indeed her ghost regularly haunts the station The mystical doors of Britain were open that day – it was the day the Beatles released the White Album and Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s major enchantment began working on the world
But what was opened that Dr, J.C.P. Williams left the world and where was he needed?

The answer is that the door was opened to the Wizarding World. The three-year-old Joanne Rowling was in Kings Cross Station that day. Witnesses say that the doctor may have even spoken to her. Two years later she began writing a story about a rabbit (names Rabbit), who gets the measles and is visited by a giant bee, named Miss Bee. Notice how measles (one of the diseases of the hospital) and a rabbit (the sacred animal that Boudica gave to the goddess Andraste Can Miss Bee also point to the Beatles?

Why did Dr. J.C.P. Williams refuse the prestigious Mayo Clinic not once, but twice? Rumor in the Wizarding World points to a generous grant from St. Mungo’s Hospital who were beginning the House Elf Genome Project.

Free Government Money

Everyone has their story that begins “I was following my old life and suddenly I heard Captain McBain announce First Contact with the Siirians.
“ Some people became religious, some people became scientific, some people headed for the hills and some people rolled out the red carpet. I became greedy. I knew the governments of the world all wanted a share in history. It’s what governments do. They wanted to get the most bang for the cultural exchange buck. And there was going to be so much exchange between two space fairing civilizations it would make the discovery of the New World look like a farmers’ market opening on Saturday.
So my ad was in the oneirocast stream within an hour. You may have even dreamed it yourself. I put it out there even before any government announced the grant monies. “Have an idea of how we should trade/interact/make friends with the Siirians? Well your government wants to hear from you. They want to GIVE you FREE money to develop your idea and our kit shows you how to do so.” The dream ended with a mega-flash of sex and success images. It was crude but I wasn’t a classy guy. Every brain tuned into the excitement of First Contact, which meant thirteen billion brains on twelve worlds, autosomatically absorbed it.
The next our computers buzzed with queries. Governments were even asking us how we could help them. God bless the Siirians and their shiny carapaces.
I didn’t really care what idea these people had for setting up interactions with the crab-like race. I heard some of them from time to time as some member of my quickly growing staff would tell me.
Arrange a jazz festival for the two species
Arrange a contest between the two species for the best protocol to use when discovering a third species
If the Siirians dream link their oneriostream with ours
Open the Nobel prizes to Sirrians, get them to open their prize system to us
Hold joint Science Fiction conventions with them
Set up an Extra –Solar Writer in Residence in all of our main universities, and get the Siirians to do the same. If could get the crabs to teach Freshman English there would be a great meeting of the minds.
Then an odd thing happened. Bart Chang contacted my firm. I knew Bart from way back -- we grew up on Bradbury City in the Martian Republic. We even went to the same High School. He was the class weirdo. When we were doing simple things like learning to do oneirocasts or simple nanotech or reformed economics, he was reading “The Fall of the House of Usher.” His senior project was building what he called the Lovecraftbot, a device for handwriting long letters. Roy actually walked into our office and asked for me.
“Rex, you old dog. I knew you were behind this. I remember your style in dreams.” “Bart, long time no see. So what brings you here?” “I’m here to buy your services. I have the best idea ever for dealing with the Siirians.”
I didn’t like the shiny look in his eye. He had had that look a few times back in High School. Creeped me out.
“Well,” I said, “We’re more than happy to sell you a grant application kit.”
“I want more than that.”
“Well we do sell a special enhancement package. We will go over your grant application, and make it look very professional, check for any errors in the process and otherwise make it as palatable as possible for the officials.”
“That’s it. You were the best bullshitter I knew back on Mars and I need your expertise.”
“I’m flattered I think.”
“Here’s my pitch. I have been looking over vampire legends. What is the vampire didn’t suck our blood, but information – contextualized memory? What is we sent humans that could suck the Siirian mind clean and come back full of whatever is really going on behind those multi-faceted eyes?”
It was no doubt the most insane of the proposals, but I figured my job was to remove money from fools by selling them my kit. Of course I agreed to get right on it, and frankly I was glad when Bart left my office.
A consortium of three governments bought it. The North American Alliance, the Japanese Empire, and the Ganymede People’s Republic all saw merit in the Dracula scheme. Bart was thrilled and credited it all to me. Sadly the project was very hush-hush
Bart surprised his sponsors by already having mind- vampires. He had been using them for industrial espionage. They had been wiping minds on the twelve worlds for about six years. They really liked it. Bart had been right with his vampire model – not only the spies somehow nourished by the process they drew sensual pleasure from it as well. It wasn’t till First Contact came around that Bart had thought of a patriotic use for them. But like I say everybody’s story starts with First Contact these days. The only question was whether their minds were too different than ours, perhaps horrible and dark.
The three governments had little trouble getting Bart’s vampire in place. His name was Jeffery Sassoon. He was going to Knight Station as support personal. He would hook up to the station computer every night and do its dreaming for it. A crappy menial job. After a month he would brush against a Siiriain scientist suck out the contents of his mind and go home. Burnout on the station ran high; there would be no suspicion.
I had begun to admire he could run much better scams than me.
He arranged for me to be there when spy returned home. We waited nervously as he left his ship. He looked awful, deep black circles marked his eyes. He trembled as though sick to his stomach. Finally after an agonizing walk across the tarmac, Bart asked him, “How did it go? “
“It was awful,” he said, “A mind is a terrible thing to taste.”

Monday, June 23, 2008

How To Write A Novel

s,How to write a novel in nine easy steps.

1. Read two or three novels. I would suggest ones you can get in paperback. Here are the three that come to mind for me:To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Devil's Own Work by Alan Judd, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin -- they're all pretty short. Keep a journal of your reading. Note two things: What makes you interested (by really honest here -- what really keeps you focused -- not what youthink you should answer) and waft do you NOT see (for example in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper "I am a LESBIAN, get it?" Lee there is only one heterosexual marriage that 'works". Sculpture is about removing what isn't part of the statue.

2. Do not write your experiences, write from your experiences.

3. You can not make things too tough for your main character.

4. Passive voice is bad, avoid forms of "is" anytime you can, avoid adverbs.

5. Senses are very important -- sex has a taste and smell as does everything else. Mention food and wine often.

6. There are no little people. Don't do this,"The shopkeeper sold Ralph a package of cigarettes." Do this, "The Korean shopkeeper has a Hitler mustache and smelled of kimchee as he handed me the cigarettes he said,'Malboros are a manly cigarette.' I didn't know if was a come-on, sarcasm or just what passed for salesman ship."

7. Don't write it in present tense. It really does not make the text more interesting. It just pisses people off.

8. Follow your weird. If what interests you are Roman sewers, Japanese pop culture and phenomenology --write about that.

9. Shakespeare had it right -- include death, violence, mystery, sex, love and humor in everything in varying amounts. I will send you some essays as well.

Most web-advice on the novel sucks. Here is some that doesn't:


Read these summaries to think about somethings that you can do with the novel

The novel is anything you can get away with!

Toward a Future Senate

Towards a Future Senate

My mom is in town. One of her compadres died recently, Cyd Charisse. Cyd danced her first dance recital when as Mom played the piano. She wasn’t Cyd Charisse then, she was Tula Finklea

She picked up “Cyd” because her younger brother couldn’t say “sis.” Mom was nine years old when she played “Dance of the Butterfly” for Cyd. That means that Mom was still living on the family farm rented from the Bush family (not the president's family, the family that gave its books to "Just us Girls" in 1900 to start a library for Amarillo). The Fryingpan ranch, where barbwire was first used,

It so happened that my childhood home was built just east of the border of the Frying Pan ranch and that the fence posts which had held the first barbed wire had been frugally reused in the making of the back fence. Amarillo is all about re-use – for example the first incarnation of the Bid Texan Restaurant, where you can get a FREE 72 Once steak dinner (if you eat the whole thing in an hour) was made from the lumber of the German interment camp. Now what did we use them krauts for? We had make bombs. In fact the site they made bombs later make them plutonium enriched “devices:” The Pantex plant – we all used to take great pride that Amarillo was city number two the Russians would wipe out. (New York being number 1).

Like most facilities associated with Weapons of Mass Destruction it hosts Earth day events. The down side of the plutonium storage site is that it leaks into the aquifer

That also may be seen as slow recycling of virtual deaths from the Cold War into real deaths now.

Which brings me back to my mom. She has long since retired, but her volunteer work is aimed at the Class of 1939 of Amarillo High. She reads the paper every morning and notes who has died of her classmates. They are all friends now. Maybe it was the boy that sat on other side of study hall, maybe it was somebody that you didn’t even like but half a centenary after High School, you survived, you Remember, you are friends. I’ve always been pleased that the Greek word for Truth, aletheia means “Against the River Lethe” “Against forgetting.’

The truism of our age is that we learn to look to the young for peace. I think the actual place of peace will come from people who take great joy in surviving. What would happen if we had drugs to make old folks as clear headed as my momma and let them rule on the basis of “I survived, I remember, if you made it you are my friend.”? After all “senate” used to mean a “gathering of old men.”