Space is big. You are not.

Photo Hubble Ultra Deep Field. An estimated 10,000 galaxies are shown in this image from the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Source: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/30946

Space is stupendously massive with countless galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of stars and trillions of planets and moons. Statistically, there must be life elsewhere in the cosmos and IMHO most of it is probably microscopic and/or not intelligent/spacefaring.

However, if there are intelligent, spacefaring species out there, and if they have visited us – then the massive scale of the cosmos and the incredible technology, knowledge, and ability needed to traverse it would suggest these beings would possess technology and intelligence as far “above” ours/us as we are “above” the chimpanzee…or the ant…or the bacterium…or the virus…and lately and with each passing day, evidence reveals that some humans seem to be de-evolving and acting more and more like a virus.

Therefore, as we mostly naked, multi-colored, bipedal, primates will often camouflage ourselves with our technology and technique in order to study other life forms upon our planet without revealing ourselves to them…

…it is very possible the extraterrestrials have similar technologies (yet vastly superior to ours) that would easily hide them from our detection. Yes, that would then suggest that all the blurry photographs, videos, books, and eyewitness accounts/interviews over all the years by all the people claiming to have seen/encountered/been abducted by aliens are in fact – 100% pure and total bunk manufactured by charlatans wanting attention and fortune.

Another possibility exists: they have been here in the past and yet may still be here (maybe not them personally but their technology – think: cellular/internet-connected wildlife/trail camera traps/webcams etc that would allow them to remotely study us from the comfort of their home planet) studying us as we study other lifeforms on earth – such as looking at chimps and deer in the forest, ants under a magnifying glass, bacteria under a microscope, or African wildlife visiting a waterhole…

Check out Earthcam for many examples of what I mean: https://www.earthcam.com/events/animalcams/

It is also possible that many randomly selected and/or “of importance” or “special interest” humans have been “tagged” with 100% undetectable with our current technologies tracking devices (no, not injected via anal probes or vaccinations – oh lord people please grow up and just stop it with the TV/hollywood inspired stories and lame conspiracy “theories”) so as to be observed by these extraterrestrial observers in the attempt to study the mundane and unique among our species and learn more about us as we wildlife researchers work to learn more about the natural life movements of wild creatures currently existing with us on our home planet.

Or, they may, in fact, be so far evolutionarily, emotionally, and technologically advanced “above” us that we are only mere curiosities to them…or of no interest at all…

Maybe, due to the destructive, hateful, selfish, natures, and our viral reproduction and expansion without any concern for future generations – maybe our solar system has been put in a physically distanced quarantine zone far from the rest of the galaxy and its populated worlds until we children grow up out of our dangerous malignant infancy, start taking care of our planetary life support system, and coexisting with each other and with all species on this strange water-soaked living rock we call earth.

Another view of our home. Can you find the earth in this image? Yes, we are there, the tiny pale blue dot hanging in space under Saturn’s rings on the lower right.

A close-up view.

That’s here, that’s home, that’s us.

Photo Source: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/resources/185/the-day-the-earth-smiled/

Home from 1 million miles away.

Photo source: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/86257/an-epic-new-view-of-earth

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” —Neil Armstrong

The Sandbox

It seems that the majority of humans in power today are about as evolved as little children fighting over toys in a sandbox, driven only by emotion, fear, hormones, and greed, unable to see how childish and dangerous their thoughtless actions are to themselves, their futures, and to their tiny, fragile home – a water-soaked pale blue dot of rock orbiting a rather unremarkable star located in a remote outskirt of a vast and wonderful universe.

Driven by their primal urges the infantile children continue to fight each other – endlessly dealing out insults and eye for an eye punches over the finite resources and imaginary lines drawn on the maps they have made and wave in the air above their tiny sandbox.

Often, for whatever the reasons, they choose to unquestionably and blindly follow the dictates of xenophobic fear and hate-driven separatist policies penned by their long-dead heroes who rightly chose to attempt to remove themselves from all-powerful bullies who themselves, in desperation to be in the control of others and be above nature, dreamed up and revised even more ancient doctrines whose erroneous teachings continued to program the sheeple into believing their oh so short finite existence was to be followed without question and: “my way is the only way,” the earth is the center of the universe and was gifted to us to dominate, consume, and destroy because nature was somehow unclean, imperfect, and savage…simply because the writings of the high kings and obscure ancient soothsayers and snake oil salesmen say it was so and still take precedent over the impartial, observational, fact-based, tested and retested, findings of modern-day free spirits, critical thinkers, scientists, ecologists, and naturalists. Those early heroes sought to remove themselves from the control of their forefathers – but many of them failed and continue to do as they always did never learning anything from their past mistakes. Still questing for stuff and still endlessly bashing each other over the heads with their fists, and highly modified sticks and rocks.

All the while their fragile sandbox and all of its inhabitants suffer from their never-ending me first self-harming greedy assault.

I hope someday we thinking apes can somehow find the logic to grow up out of our childhood, think outside the sandbox, and protect our fragile oasis of life, this shining eden-like planet called earth…before it is too late and we wake up one day only to discover that we have blindly destroyed our home and our futures in favor of turning everything into ephemeral money and plastic just so we can live in a mythical eternal paradise after all our short lives have ended and there is nothing left but sand in the box.

Fossil Fools

Yes, whatever the cause may be, gas prices are getting higher and higher.

Along with this fact many people are now hating on and bashing electric vehicles and renewable energy.

Wait – what?

Yes. In the last two weeks, I have seen many posts and comments by many people about renewable energy sources and electric vehicles that try to paint them in a negative light.

It is all the same old cherry-picking FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) and nay-sayer arguments and then some.

Why?

IMHO I think it is because the bullies and bashers do not want to acknowledge that it is time to change from an outdated, toxic, war-supporting, finite, politically polarized, planetary-sourced, energy/fuel system to an up to date, much cleaner, renewable, energy secure, distributed, energy/fuel system powered by locally-sourced energy from solar panels on your own rooftop or wind turbines silently turning on a windy hillside or west Texas ranch. With our current technology, it no longer makes good science-supported common sense to power our society primarily on hydrocarbon-based energy products sourced on the other side of the planet – be it from the Persian Gulf or Russia – when we have the technology, engineering, and knowledge to get things done with clean, secure, home-grown energy sourced close to home – where it is needed and used.

Some will say the environmental impacts of renewable energy and electric vehicles are actually greater than that of fossil fuel sourced energy systems. This is a total falsehood manufactured by fossil fuel mongers using the same playbook used by the people who tried to tell us that smoking was not bad for your health or that lead in gasoline was safe and, more recently, that Volkswagen had developed a “clean diesel” engine – we now see where all those arguments lie – deep in a steaming pile of festering worm-ridden filth in the bottom of a long-forgotten moldering outhouse.

Yes, it is true that everything, even EVs and renewable energy systems has an impact – and the greater our population – the greater our need for resources so the greater our impacts. Our survival as a species is no longer about growing – it is becoming more about balance, it is about reducing our impact on our planetary life-support system so we can reach equilibrium and continue without harming the very life support system that gives us all life. So why do we keep accepting and using the worst possible energy/transportation sources with the biggest most harmful impacts when far better options with far less of an impact are readily available?

Many will often simply say it is too expensive – but my answer to this is have you actually done the math to support your opinion?

Driving electric and going renewable does in fact cost more upfront – but over the life of the product – the solar panels or the EV – you make up for that initial higher cost and the lifetime savings far offset the initial costs. As an example: I power my daily driver EV primarily with solar-produced electricity. Therefore, my fuel costs to drive the vehicle are less than 1 cent/mile. I drive around 200 miles/week – so therefore I spend less than $2/week to drive the car everywhere I need to drive it.

I do still have a legacy vehicle (Honda Pilot 4×4 SUV) for towing/hauling and short trips to town and getting to work in bad weather. It costs an average of 15 cents per mile (at today’s gas prices) to drive. So, to drive the Honda the same distance as I drive my EV I will pay ~$30 (200 miles x .15 = $30)!! Yikes!

How far do you drive and what are your costs per mile? (and don’t forget to figure in the costs of maintenance on your vehicle – all those tune-ups/filters/exhaust pipes/catalytic converters/oil/fluid/filter changes etc)

Now, imagine if you have a few solar panels on your roof and an EV in your driveway – how much money would you save now that you are not paying for electricity for your home and fuel for your car?

Some will say it takes forever to charge an EV. Earlier EVs – yes. They charged far slower than today’s EVs but today’s EVs charge far faster – some add hundreds of miles of range in mere minutes and the speed is getting faster every day.

Fact: Most EV owners charge overnight while they are sleeping or while at work and the car is ready to go when they are. If you can use a smartphone, you can drive an EV.

Some will say “charging an EV at home will raise your power bill unimaginably high.” Nope. In my experience charging at home* only raises my power bill by about $10/week – how much do you spend on gas per week? *back when I most often charged at home – now I rarely do since I most often charge at work so I can take advantage of solar-produced electricity.

Obviously, if you have an EV with a larger battery it will cost more to fill it up – but even a Tesla Model S Plaid with its massive 95 kWh battery would cost less to fill up than almost any fossil-powered vehicle in today’s gas market.

Some will also say “the energy for your electric car comes from dirty coal – so it is a coal-powered electric car.”

Nope.

Fact: even if an EV is charged with the dirtiest coal-fired energy – it is still far cleaner to operate than any petroleum-powered vehicle. Why you may ask?

Answer: because the entire fossil fuel mining/transport/refining and supply chain (and let us not forget the human costs from war/terrorism and the environmental costs from emissions and pollution from the final use of the product) is now out of the picture for the EV…AND the US power grid is getting cleaner every day as more and more legacy energy power plants retire and more and more renewable energy power plants come online – so every day your EV gets cleaner and cleaner to drive – that is an impossibility with any vehicle powered by fossil fuels.

Let’s face the facts: using fossil fuel-powered anything is simply a subscription to dependency. We are hopelessly addicted to fossil fuels…well, some of us anyway.

Some will say “at the end of their life solar panels and EV batteries cannot be recycled and are just tossed into landfills.” Really. You are really going there? Sad. Ok. Here are the facts.

In reality – solar panels are made mostly of glass and aluminum and these things can be recycled – into more solar panels.

EV batteries, when they are not able to push a car down the road, are repurposed into stationary energy storage such as storage batteries for homes and businesses (think backup generator – but with batteries.) Then, after another decade or so of life as a stationary storage battery – they are recycled – into more batteries. In other words, we can mine the battery for its resources and do not need to dig more holes for more raw materials to make more batteries – we already have them. It’s a win-win for everyone.

In fact, it is just stupid (and illegal in some places) to throw away a used battery due to the high value of the raw materials contained inside. This is why when you need a new 12-volt car starter battery the auto parts store will pay you money (the core charge) for your old one and it is then recycled into a new battery. It is no different with used Lithium-ion batteries.

There are countless erroneous and outright ignorant “memes” circulating on the internet that have been created to spread FUD around electric vehicles and renewable energy sources. One of the most recent I have seen involves the following:

From Diego Loredan on Facebook:
“This is a used car dump near Paris, France with hundreds of electric cars. Please note, these are only used cars of the city of Paris and not personal vehicles.
Everyone has the same problem …. the battery storage cells are dead and need to be replaced. Why not replace them, you ask yourself? Well, there are two reasons.
One, battery storage cells cost almost twice what a new vehicle costs, and two, no landfill or landfill will allow you to dump batteries there. So these green fairy electric cars are dumping toxins from the battery right into the ground.
Still think we need to think green ???” Very interesting!!??

I did a quick and simple Google fact check and discovered the following about these cars:

“The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

News reports from France say the cars are part of a fleet from a failed car-sharing service, and the vehicles shown in the field are being resold or sold for parts.

A French television news report in April, with photos like those appearing with the Facebook post, said more than 1,000 vehicles used in the Autolib program are being stored on a lot in Romorantin-Lanthenay, an area about 130 miles southwest of Paris. 

The Bolloré company had a contract with local authorities in and around Paris to provide the vehicles, which people could borrow for a fee. That ended in 2018 when the service was in debt and failing. 

Some 4,000 of the vehicles were sold, mainly to two companies that have been reselling them, according to the report. That includes the ones shown in the Facebook post. 

The TV stories and a French newspaper article noted the claims on social media. “Unlike what buzzes on social media, this is not a cemetery,” the newspaper report said.

We rate the post False.” – From Politifact

Another thing to note is the following from Reuters:

“French media reports here , here and here which show pictures of the cars lined up in a field like those in the social media posts, explain that the termination of the contract meant that Bollore had to remove its 4,000 vehicles from the Paris region to Romorantin-Lanthenay, 200 kms (124 miles) south of Paris. Bollore sold the cars, most of them going to two companies, Autopuzz, which resells the cars throughout France, and Atis Production.

On claims about soil pollution risk posed by the cars, Paul Aouizerate, head of Atis Production, told France Info here “Our vehicles are properly stored. The firefighters are aware, the construction site is well organized. All the batteries have been removed and the connectors are isolated.”

He added that the cars were not going to a junkyard. Autopuzz told France TV Info it is reselling the cars to buyers across France at a rate of 50 per month (here).

VERDICT

Partly false. These are genuine photos of electric cars in France, but they were taken off the road due to financial difficulties, not problems with the battery storage cells. More than 2,500 of the cars have been resold.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.”

Sources:

https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-electric-cars-france-idUSL2N2N60XA

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2022/01/10/fact-check-electric-vehicles-stored-when-rideshare-service-failed/9105813002/

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/electric-cars-abandoned-france/

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/may/17/facebook-posts/no-electric-cars-werent-abandoned-because-batterie/

https://factcheck.afp.com/electric-cars-france-were-not-discarded-due-faulty-technology

If you remain unconvinced – do your own simple research.

This erroneous meme and many like it have been manufactured/miscaptioned in the attempt to illicit FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) about electric vehicles. More than likely the FUD generators that made this meme have money tied up in fossil fuels/fossil fuel infrastructure and are terrified at the prospect of losing their nest eggs.

Along with all that nonsense: many renewable energy haters/doubters/FUD spreaders will often say “wind turbines kill countless numbers of birds and bats” – another falsehood. While it is true that some of the earliest wind turbines were smaller, lower (closer to wildlife habitats), spun faster, and did impact wildlife – today’s turbines are designed from the get-go to lesson wildlife impacts and it is rare for birds and bats to die via modern wind turbines. In fact, do you know what kills the most birds, bats, and small animals in this country: pet/feral house cats and impacts with glass windows. The numbers of wildlife deaths from these two top killers are in the billions per year. Wind turbines do have an impact but it is minuscule when compared to bird/bat deaths from cats/windows and ahem: fossil fuel-related pollution from mining, shipping, spills, refining, use, and incorrect disposal of used oil, etc.

Some people are even saying that when someone drives an electric vehicle they do not pay gas taxes so the roads will suffer. This is simply a falsehood. I have been driving an EV since 2013 and I pay a yearly EV tax which makes up for the gas taxes I would have paid if I drove a legacy vehicle. This tax then goes to support highway maintenance and infrastructure. I have absolutely zero issues paying this tax because I enjoy driving on nice roads as much as the next bipedal naked ape.

I believe that many of these erroneous myths have and are being spread by the fossil fuel producers themselves and the “think tanks” they have hired to sow doubt in technologies that are their competition, as well as those with loads of money invested in fossil fuels – at home and abroad…possibly even in part by Russian government hackers since we all know that Russia’s main export products are soaked in hydrocarbons and they will do anything to keep the oil flowing out and the money flowing in.

Just stop it, people – stop it.

Stop falling for and spreading the clickbait and lies being spread by those who do not want to change – it is not helping anyone or anything except the old fossils running the petroleum companies, their politician puppets, and the tiny dictators who do not want to accept that the future of our species is renewable energy powered and electrically driven.

Change is the way of nature.

The time for change is now.

Change is often scary and it is often hard but remember this: very often the life that exists on the other side of change is far superior in every way to the one you are living in right now.

Someone once said everything worth doing in life exists on the other side of fear. It is time to push through the fear and adapt – because if we do not adapt, we die.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Knowledge conquers fear.

Do good things.

Leave the world better than you found it.

Appendectomy

This is something I wrote a few years back on the value of science and modern medicine which seems very applicable to the situation in which we find ourselves today.

From 2014:

I was recently diagnosed to have appendicitis with an appendiceal abscess.

Yep, gross huh.

An infection of that little worm-shaped vestigial organ held over from our raw food diets so epically long ago is most painful and dangerous and of which the only treatment option is removal. So, at some point today, the offending bit of my anatomy will be removed and discarded and I can then get back into life full force. I can tell you that I am so ready to have that maddening little over-inflated meat monkey swinging around on the lower end of my Ascending Colon – that for the last few weeks had been swollen with infection and then one night decided to rupture and spew its putrid contents into my abdominal cavity and is now wreaking havoc with my health and my life – quickly removed and incinerated into the primal elements of its origin.

It has been very painful, I have lost a bunch of weight, there have been loads of tests, visits to doctors, scans and more scans, blood and other fluids and substances taken and tested (originally it was thought to be Diverticulitis, Chrones disease, or something else because I had symptoms that were longer-running and a bit different than the usual case of appendicitis) – then finally a double-contrast CT scan revealed the appendix had in fact blown out and ejected its putrid sappy contents into my abdominal cavity – yuk! Lucky for me my immune system switched into high gear and encapsulated the festering area like a pearl in an oyster – only nowhere near as pretty.

It finally ends today, under the knife, or laser (I hope), using the amazing robotic/laparoscopic tools and training developed by medical scientists, engineers, and doctors to save our lives when our fleshy bodies eventually malfunction or take damage from this thing we call life.

Scoff and speak ill of doctors, medicine, and science if you will – but you will change your tune when it’s your turn.

This brings up a pet peeve of mine, science denial. I feel I must speak out about this, especially after this life-changing science-saturated event I am going through as I write this. My support for the scientific and medical communities could not be stronger and if you live in today’s world, you do so in a very large part because of all that science. If you were born via modern caecerian section, put on life support as a baby, had antibiotics and/or vaccinations to heal your infections or protect you from an uncaring viral disease, have ever had a hospital stay, doctor or dental visit, took your pet to the vet, driven a car down the road, flown in an aircraft, boat, ship, train, submarine, spaceship or bicycle, bought food in a restaurant or grocery store, cooked food in an oven or microwave, kept leftover food cold in a fridge or freezer, heated and or powered your house with energy produced via coal, oil, nuclear, natural gas, hydroelectric, solar, wind or geothermal power, we’re alerted to or saved from a fire via a smoke alarm, brushed your teeth with a tooth brush (standard or electric), played a video game, hunted or fished for dinner using hunting and fishing gear/tools etc, watched TV, listened to music on your radio, stereo, tape deck, turntable, ipod or at a live concert, surfed the net, surfed a wave, snowboarded , skied, climbed a rock face, parachute jumped, base jumped, SCUBA dove, kayaked a raging river, paddled a quiet lake in a canoe, piloted an aircraft, bassboat, airboat, pontoon boat, or battleship, fly fished, slept in a modern sleeping bag on a thermarest style pad or on a memory foam mattress, carried your gear in a backpack, wore hiking boots, cross trainers or running shoes, navigated using a gps, map, or compass, cooked on a gas, biomas, or solar powered camp stove, turned on a light, or answered the phone – landline, mobile, or satellite, (and so much more) – then you my friend have benefited from science and engineering. Nobody on this earth can logically deny that science and engineering have played a massively important role in almost everything we have and do today…so how on this one strange rock of a planet is it at all possible that we still have so many people that so passionately deny the findings of science? From flat earthers, young-earthers, and hollow-earthers, to anti-vaxers, and evolution deniers, to those who deny climate change – all while taking advantage of all the science, engineering, and discovery all around them, inside them, and in their hands – the denial of the science and the evidence all around them is simply maddening.

Take anthropogenic climate change for instance: a massive and ever-growing number of reputable scientists that, after decades of meticulous research, from independent experiments all over the globe, meticulously gathered data from observatories and stations on earth and in space, collaborated with scientists in other earth and atmospheric science disciplines, studied the massive amounts of data, and then drawn informed conclusions, and finally published heavily peer-reviewed reports that have all then come to the indisputable (but yet still passionately disputed by some very loud voices) conclusions that by the actions of we humans burning copious amounts of fossil fuels to power our technologically wondrous culture: that we are causing the Earth’s climate to change in a negative way that is and will continue harming the very life support system that supports us all – and may one day render our species extinct.

How is it still possible that even with all this evidence – there are still people who choose to ignore and deny all the findings and all the hard evidence of these scientists? It would be like me ignoring the scientifically accurate findings of all the medical experts, doctors, and nurses taking care of me in my current uncomfortable situation – AND also ignoring all the findings of all the previous medical experts, doctors, and nurses who came before today’s doctors. If I ignored all these obvious findings, supported by all the hard evidence, and the decades of past medical research/experiences/findings from all the medical scientists/doctors that studied appendicitis in the past – and then just attempted to go on with my life as business as usual. How would that end for me? Simple and no question about it: pain, suffering, death, decay.

Ignoring and denying a potential problem because you do not understand it or do not want to believe the evidence that it exists – either because you do not understand it or it does not fit into your world view of the way things are – will not make it go away.


We have the fastest, most advanced supercomputer ever devised by nature or humanity sloshing around inside our hard hard heads so here is an idea: let’s use it and wake up out of our complacent sheeple-like sleep, cast away the tribal, fear-based, ideas of the past, and look to science as the way, as it always has been, to conquer our ancient fears of the unknown with the knowledge and factual, observation-based, peer-reviewed, findings of science and put into practice using the amazing tools of modern technology and engineering. When we do this we wake up to infinite possibilities, we become more enlightened, more tolerant of others, and more thankful for the beautiful complexities of life, time, space, and existence.


However, we must not forget where we came from, how we came to be where we are today, and always continue to teach the lessons of nature, the old ones, the great prophets of all peoples, the lessons of humility, love, compassion, faith, acceptance, coexistence, interdependence and respect of nature, a reverence for all life, and common sense as taught by the ancients. Without the combined truths of science, history, and the “soul” – our lives will be off-balance, and without a healthy balance we may be tempted to walk down the dark path of fear, hate, toxic tribalism, and confusion – and that trail does not ever end well.

Thank you to all my family and friends, for your friendship and support (even if we do not see eye to eye sometimes on some things) – you all mean the world to me and I love you all 🙂
Thank you to my coworkers, students, and friends for supporting me and my animals in my absence, and visiting me while I was in the hospital, you are the greatest crew to hike the Trails of life with and truly great friends.


Thank you to the doctors and staff of CMG, GPM, MMH, and TRH for professionally and expertly getting me through this tough but scientifically and biologically very fascinating time.
Everyone wish me luck and any blessings from your favorite chosen deity, rock, crystal, energy field, or creature because very soon I am going under the knife/laser and with any luck, I will see you all again soon 🤓


UPDATE: 8:15 pm Tuesday. First, thank you all so much for your kind words 🙂 and to those of you that stopped by to hang out with me 🙂 especially my beautiful wife Marian for staying with me through this and helping me do the things that need doing, I love you so much ❤

WOO HOO! Ambulance ride! 😃 On way to a nearby city for a special pre-operative procedure. The last time I rode in an ambulance was over a decade ago when I owned an old 1966 ex British Mod Series 2a 109 field ambulance that I converted into an overland camper. Does anyone out there remember the old “Warthog”?

So here’s the big news – no surgery for six weeks!? According to my doc the safer way to deal with this situation is to tap and drain the stinky “sap” out of the appendix and its associated “alien pod of sap.” This will allow the swelling and pain to go down. Then, when the major infection danger is past, they will operate and get the nasty, useless thing out of there. So today I took an ambulance ride for yet another CT scan and Jackson-Pratt drain tube implantation to get the nasty infection out. It was a scientifically fascinating procedure that I was able to watch from a drug-induced stupor but the result is simply the most painful and 100% mobility limiting condition and that is the worst part about it-even more so than the pain. Currently, I’m flat on my back but should be up and moving around again tomorrow and hopefully back at work and life on Monday…but at least I can eat real food again 🙂 I will be sure to keep you all posted on my status in this most interesting health science adventure that I have embarked upon.

The Jackson Pratt drain is in place and so far a great success with over 25cc of “sap” being removed so far!

Gross!

UPDATE 5:30 Wednesday.
I’m finally home 🙂
Drain is working well siphoning off nasty appendix “sap,” not in much pain but moving mighty slow and I’m eating almost normally again. Now I wait for a few weeks to have the appendectomy that will free me from this bout of vestigial intestinal madness.


THANK YOU to everyone who helped me get through this by sitting by my side, shuttling me around, chatting with me on the phone or text, and leaving heartfelt and funny comments and offers of help and prayers on my status updates, you are all great friends and I truly appreciate you all more than you can know. 🙂

APPENDECTOMY: It went very well and as I was under general anesthesia I do not remember anything. It sure was nice to get that thing out of me! Now let’s get back to life and living!

THANK YOU to all the surgeons, doctors, nurses, and others who have saved my life!!!

THANK YOU to all my family and friends who stopped by to visit me and/or send me supportive comments during my hospital stay and recovery.

THANK YOU SCIENCE!!!!

I also like to take this opportunity to thank God, Gaia, The Great Spirit, Allah, Jah, Buddha, the Force, and any other love, health, and peace-fostering omnipotent beings/energy fields – if they actually exist somewhere out there in the cosmos – and/or evolution by natural selection (whatever made our thinking ape brains possible) for giving/granting/tweaking/planting/MacGyver-ing the seed of consciousness into us fragile, mostly-hairless, multicolored, naked, thinking apes which eventually evolved into our ability to craft tools, engineering, and science to better our lives – at the moment I am speaking specifically of all the technologically superior medical, diagnostic, and healing, tools such as digital radiographs (X Rays), endoscopes, computerized lab analysis equipment, and MRI/CT scanners – for without these devices, and all the dedicated professional doctors, nurses, and technicians that operate them – I would probably be somewhat fertile soil feeding some flowers or trees somewhere.

Be More Like Jesus

I encountered this on social media and it made me think: we should all be more like the real Jesus.

Ever since I first learned about the real Jesus (not the twisted popular “white-washed,” construct many blindly follow today) I have always tried to carry a few of his teachings somewhere deep inside my heart. I always try my best to be kind, loving, merciful, and respectful to all living things – because my momma, Sir David Attenborough, and Jesus taught me so.

Since I am a naturalist and science communicator and I regularly teach folks about our deep, genetic connections to nature and all living things (evolution by natural selection), and cleaner energy and transportation choices (renewable energy and EV’s) – it seems that I very often find myself telling true, evidence-supported, peer-reviewed stories that make people think a lot about a lot of things – and for some bizarre reason these stories often upset/anger people – especially some closed-minded, holier than thou religious people…and those of certain political affiliations. (see, I’ll bet that comment upset some of you – so be it 🙂 )

Most of my friends are like me so they are: unpopular nerds, “weirdos,” geeks, scientists, technophiles, nature and animal lovers, and long-haired, pierced, tattooed, tree-hugging, hippie-type, dirt worshipers, “witches,” atheists, agnostics, and those with different colored skin than I have – as well as those who think and learn differently, and those who identify the way their brain says to – not the way society expects them to.

Oh, and guess what: some of these wonderful “sinners” may or may not partake of certain plant/fungi-based diets/herbs that – for whatever the bizarre reasons – some have chosen not to agree with.
(I’ll bet that comment upset some of you – so be it 🙂)

These wonderful, unique, open-minded, free-thinking, free-spirited, people – myself included – are the types that in days of old would have been arrested and hurriedly burned at the stake, fed to large, drooling, carnivores, or stoned to death by the toxic religiopolitical establishment. In fact, I would much rather hang out with what some of the religious/politically close-minded people of yesterday and today might call “sinners” because these people are:

1. Not usually “sinners” at all, they are just people who are tired of the way things are and they are going against the status quo because they only want freedom from those things and ways that are wrong with the world such as hate, war, prejudice, injustice, the pollution and destruction of nature and wildlife for short-term and/personal profit, and obviously all the greedy religious leaders and politicians.

2. These are some of the nicest, most loving, caring, and compassionate people you will ever meet.

(I’ll bet that comment upset some of you – so be it 🙂)

In fact, it seems I do all these things – the sleeping on boats part as well since I once fell asleep on a top bunk in the crew quarters of the USS North Carolina battleship memorial (pictured below).

How you may ask – it is a long story that involves: hanging out with college friends at the beach, missing another boat, a knife fight in a parking garage (that I was not involved in but quickly extracted myself from), sleeping in my car in a vacant lot, a massive coastal thunderstorm, an inquisitive security guard (Barney), a dead eel, some rather heavily amorous teenagers in a dark “alley,” and a battleship with 60-year-old bunks that looked very comfortable to someone who had a very long night but just really needed to get some sleep.

BTW: I am not and would not compare myself to Jesus – but I really do like the old bumper sticker that reads: I like your Christ but not your Christians. Be more like the real Jesus.

Do only good things.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

(I’ll bet all of that upset some of you – so be it and say what you will – my job here is done 🙂

Prepare for Launch!

This internet meme is a serious flashback to me on my bike in 1978 – launching from a wood plank and brick ramp with no helmet or any other PPE – just visions in my head of Neil and Buzz on the moon and/or Luke Skywalker in his X Wing fighter…followed by speed and gravity…followed by an abrupt impact with the ground/bike/tree…followed by a whole bunch of pain, bleeding, cursing…followed by all the scabs and bruises…

I honestly have no idea how I never broke a bone or have any serious scars to show for all the bicycle, horseback riding, jungle gym, treehouse building, rope swing, related accidents I encountered over all the years of growing up.

Was I doing it for the “chicks” – no. I was 10. I just wanted to be like Luke Skywalker and my other heroes.

Did I do it again? – of course I did.

Would I go back and do it all again if I could – oh yes!!

It is not over

This thing is not over.

Some of us will get through this thing with science and common sense leading the way and sadly, some will not.

As I learned in the Boy Scouts: be prepared.

1. Listen to the experts – they know more than you – that is why they are the experts.

2. Keep your distance – especially from strangers.

3. Wash up well.

4. Keep wearing that mask.

5. Get that shot and then get the booster.

6. Ignore/report/block/delete the ignorant anti-science and anti-common sense conspiracy “theories” and “natural cures” being fabricated/spread/sold by the covidiots, crazy meme trolls, greedy charlatans, and religiopolitical fanatics crapping their steaming fresh clickbait turds all over the internet.

There are only two options in this thing we call life on planet earth: adapt or die. Science, technology, and good old common sense are the ways we humans improvise, adapt, overcome, evolve, survive, and thrive.

Choose wisely.

Tailgaters

A huge pet peeve of mine is tailgaters. People who choose to drive inches off your back bumper endangering themselves, other passengers in their car, and everyone around them.

I am fully aware that many of these folks are just regular people who are late for school, work, a D&D game…whatever. To these people I offer up some advice: just leave earlier. It is just common sense.

Some tailgaters are just not aware they are doing it. Their minds are elsewhere – oblivious to what is going on around them. They may be distracted by their technology or someone else in the car, maybe they are putting on makeup or reading – yes, this is a thing! Yikes – driving is an activity that requires intense focus and awareness. If you fall into this category – then you should get some help or not be driving.

However, some of these folks are impatient, know-it-all-always-in-a-hurry-to-get-nowhere-fast teens and 20 something’s who still believe they are the center of the cosmos, and totally invincible. Here’s some reality – don’t be a dumbass and you are not in any way invincible.

Some may be slick-suited business-types in their high-end sports cars and Caddilacs with over-inflated egos, expensive chips on their shoulders, and a desire to own the road and everything else. Grow up, back off, and have some respect oh, and BTW, you are not better or more important than anyone else – you are just another self-absorbed mostly naked bipedal ape with delusions of grandeur.

Some of these individuals may be speed junkies and/or “muscle car” drivers perpetually stuck in the Daytona 500 or some other race to get nowhere fast. Grow up and back off Speedracer – the road is not the track so go find a track and rent some time and drive as fast as you like.

Some may just be trying to read my bumper stickers – and if that is the case – maybe they need glasses and/or I need to remove the stickers.

And now for the not-so-regular people and their “reasons” for driving like they do.

It seems that some folks may not like my choice of vehicle or its fuel source and may even be offended or somehow threatened by my choices. Yes, oddly – this is a thing. But here’s another thing: I may not like your choice of vehicle or its fuel source and I may even be offended (with actual peer-reviewed evidence supporting my reasons to be offended) by your choices – but I’m not ever in any way going to endanger your life, my life, or the lives of others by driving like a total dumbass. I will, however, write about your lame vehicle choice and knuckle-dragging dumbass attitude in my blog. Yes, this is a free country but you are not free to freely endanger others with your dumbass attitude and garishly over-modified vehicle. Grow up and back off.

I am mostly convinced that a significant portion of the people who aggressively drive inches off your back bumper drive trucks. Not everyday utilitarian-type farm, work, professional, or delivery trucks – but the stupidly huge, jacked-up, oversized, pickup trucks that have names like “Super,” “Power,” “Raptor” and/or “Cummings” etched in huge letters across their paint maybe as a way to either make their drivers feel somehow more special or powerful and/or to intimidate those around them. These tailgating trucks often come with high-intensity headlights and other oversized auxiliary lighting systems amounting to billions of waisted candlepower of “fog lights” on their light-encrusted roll bars – all on “high beam” melting the paint off your car while their overly modified power-thrust-deep-throat-diesel engine growls so loud that it may soon suffer a rapid unscheduled disassembly – but not before it’s grossly oversized-must-be-compensating-for-something exhaust pipe vomits copious clouds of foul-smelling thick, black, toxically flatulent, particulate-rich, life-killing, effluent into the atmosphere we all share as they speed by you at 20 miles over the limit in a blind curve on a double yellow line in the fog at dawn or dusk while their driver is gesticulating visual and vocal profanities in your general direction when their hands should be on the wheel and eyes and brains should be on the roads…it is these tailgaters who really chap my hide.

Humorous and yet often scarily and accurately applicable over exaggerations aside – I am mostly convinced that these dangerously misdirected, toxically hormonal, most often young male, individuals driving these garishly loud, overly-modified, extra-large, toy pickup trucks are nothing more than the insecure, insult spouting, pushing, and shoving red-faced little bullies from the elementary school lunch line and playground who have grown up physically but not in any way mentally. Is it possible that they have taken the big-wheeled plastic toy trucks (remember Bigfoot and Stompers?) they played with as a kid in the sandbox and they have made them a reality? Did they do this because their fathers did it? Is it the only reality they know, understand, or choose to accept. Did they choose to stop learning when high school ended and refuse to learn anything more even when it is freely available to them? Are their tiny brains are stuck in their tribally-locked past, mired up in the mud pit of the toxically competitive mentality of their youth but now so copiously soaked in testosterone that they have become a very dangerous drooling wild animal thing that sees everything in life as a personal attack on their manhood and/or a competition for dominance over others. I do not know the answers but what I do know is these individuals are dangerous and should not be on the roads. Anyone who chooses to use their vehicle and emotions as a weapon is an endangerment to everyone around them. (Read another of my blog posts on my EV blog –Stuck Fast in the Past – which goes even deeper into this as well as a closely related/connected topic: people with large trucks who intentionally block electric vehicle charging stations.)

Whoever you are and whatever the reason you feel the need to ride inches off my bumper remember this: I am driving the speed limit because I follow the rules. I am a safe driver. I care about the safety of others around me including your lame, hairy, knuckle-dragging, apelike, arse, and I left early so I’m enjoying my drive…well, I was until you started trying to drive your vehicle up my rear!

Tailgating for whatever your lame-ass reason makes the roads more dangerous for everyone and it makes you look like a childish, ignorant little bully.

Cars are people transporters for moving people around, and trucks are utility vehicles meant to be used for utilitarian reasons, they are not extensions of your manhood, political statements, weapons, or bully transporters. Sure, it is fine to personalize your vehicle – but do it and drive it in such a way that it is not attacking, insulting, frightening, or endangering other drivers.

Grow up people.
Grow some respect.
Grow some consideration.
Don’t be a small-minded bully.
And if any of this enrages you – then maybe you should consider getting yourself castrated for the good of all the rest of us.

Trashy People

People who litter are trash.

Trash on the roadside, trash in the ditches, trash in the rivers, trash on the beach, tons of pollution spewing into the atmosphere from tailpipes, smoke stacks, and cigarettes hanging from mouths – we humans have achieved greatness in our ability to litter and pollute the very planet that gives us all life.


The self-centered, uncaring, disregard for life and the environment that supports all of us – no matter what part of the planet we are from, our skin color, our sexual orientation, our chosen political or religious beliefs or lack thereof – coupled with a blatant disregard for the health and wellbeing of those we do not know, the manufactured disregard for science, the rise of fringe-dwelling conspiracy-worshiping evidence-denying, lunatic-fringe dwelling doubters, the worshiping of dusty ancient books and imaginary deities, hateful and harmful historical figures, flags, and imaginary lines drawn on maps – as if politics and religion were some sort of sport – as well as putting profit over people, planet, facts and evidence, and the acquisition of wealth, power, status, and excess at the cost of all else – I fear that all of this negative toxicity and wastefulness may be the beginning of the undoing of this country as a world power – the downfall of our global society, and possibly even the extinction of our species.


Unless we change, unless we grow out of our bullying, tantrum-throwing, finger-pointing, expert doubting, rule-breaking, nature and life trashing adolescence – I fear that COVID19 is just the beginning of a downward trend that will only accelerate the mass extinction scenario we have created for ourselves and are now all living in.


No matter who or what anyone chooses to believe or support – nature does not care at all about any of us little human beings.


Without us, nature will recover and life will continue.


Without nature, without clean air, clean water, healthy soil, diverse wildlife – we bipedal primates will sicken, suffer, and eventually die.


Natural selection is a powerful process and it will wipe us out if we pull the wrong strings, burn the bridges, remove the puzzle pieces, break the cogs and wheels, etc.


“To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” – Aldo Leopold


Thoughts, prayers, politicians, pontiffs, prophets, or profits – will not help you.

Only you can help you.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss

Choose wisely.

Do only good things.

“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.” – Carl Sagan

????

Why do some humans* choose to so powerfully and so venomously put so much energy, trust, and faith in often archaically derived, intentionally tribal, and often toxically divisive, money and power-focused, temporally temporary political systems and/or countless, fearful, intentionally exclusive, endlessly ephemeral, dusty old ancient beliefs systems and religions**…

…yet they willfully choose to ignore the amazingly beautiful, daily, and deep-time realities of nature*** happening all around them and of which they are not only fully reliant for all their biological needs – but also physically, cellularly, atomically, and cosmically connected?

Yes, obviously, to each his own – but when each own’s freely chosen political system, religion, “thing” or “tribe” to follow was designed and/or has been recently re-designed, re-worded, by those in control of the chosen system and/or misinterpreted by the user to be exclusive, divisive, xenophobic, separatist, and toxically tribal toward those on the “outside” of the group, club, party, or flock…when these things serve only to prop up the “insiders” as somehow “special,” or “chosen,” or “above” the “others” and then label those “others” as “lost,” “damned,” “wicked,” “outsiders,” “infidels,” or “the enemy” therefore serving only to further divide friends, family members, loved ones, those with outward or inward genetic and/or chosen “differences,” those from “other” places, and even the very air, water, wildlife and natural systems that support our very lives, etc…

…then all we are doing is intentionally harming ourselves, our natural life-support system, and any possibility of a healthy and prosperous future for our species.

The founding fathers, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Amun, Ra, The Great Spirit, Zeus, Thor, Brahma, God, Allah, The Flying Spaghetti Monster and all the others are fuming with madness (or laughing deeply and heartily – depending upon your point of view) from wherever they are at the moment. (I will not speculate on their location or even their existence – that is not my place until I have more empirical evidence.)


We are one.


Imagine.


One Love.

*Not all, just some. There are many truly beautiful, deep thinking, genuine people in the world of politics and religion that are doing so many great and wonderful things to support, help, heal, and give hope to others in need and to the natural world that supports all of us and everything moving forward. It is not these people I am concerned about.

The ones I am concerned about are those who are deeply entrenched in or drifting toward the lunatic fringe and those on the fringe few who use politics and religion as tools to acquire temporary wealth, power and prestige. They then use their power and influence to and control those who are seeking…something, someone, answers, guidance, a father figure…whatever each individuals case may be. Sadly, many of these power-mad charismatic individuals have the ability to amass great flocks of followers who, for whatever the reason or need, choose to blindly follow their chosen leader without question. They fail to see that those whom they follow or worship are only twisted charlatans and snake oil salesmen using their power and influence over others as a way to prop up their own egos, further their own agendas and/or the agendas of their party or prophet, often with the only end goal being to fill their coffers with the endless shower of profit, offerings, and accolades endlessly tossed at them by their gullible constituents/followers.

**It is the authors opinion that people are free to believe whatever they choose to believe unless that belief system in some way harms or oppresses other people, nature, wildlife, or the environment that supports all of us.  In that case it is my opinion that any destructive, hurtful, harmful, exclusive, divisive, xenophobic, separatist, and toxically tribal toward those on the “outside” of the group, club, party, or flock, belief, religion, or political system – should be abolished and made forever extinct.

It is also the authors opinion that many of these ancient beliefs are simply metaphors – maybe some of them are based on actual happenings, others simply myths and legends of ancient “superheroes” created by their authors either undertaking their own heroes journeys , maybe documenting someone else’s journey/story, or the author just made it all up (fiction) in order to teach the readers a valuable lesson – or a little of all of these things. Their story was then presented to the readers in a way to help them make sense of life, the universe, and everything.  Sadly, the meaning of these centuries-old lessons are often totally missed by the reader who often takes them literally, out of context, out of time, and then severely misinterprets them and attempts to apply them to the situations of their modern lives that could not have even been imagined in the simple agrarian world that existed when the words were first written down. These ancient, metaphorical guidelines for life are often so distorted and misconstrued by their transcribers and followers into the erroneous misunderstanding that they are somehow superior and separate from nature – that they have dominion over the earth and all of its inhabitants and resources and therefore they can do whatever they wish to with it.  Sadly, some of those on the lunatic fringe of these belief systems are even more disturbing when they use the “word” of their chosen deity to cash in on the fears of the deity’s followers and/or announce that they believe that the world will be ending soon and therefore nature, their daily choices and actions, everything real and existing just does not matter at all because it is all “impure” and will all soon be destroyed by a vengeful omnipotent deity – then, as they often say – “you will all be sorry you did not bow down and pay homage to (insert deity here).”

That kind of apathetic attitude is so incredibly dangerous and selfish.

(Note: I have personally heard all of the above statements from real people, good people, even family members and people I deeply care about, and I am just so saddened that there are people who still think and believe these things.  I am so embarrassed and saddened at the actions of my own countrymen and fellow Human beings when they say and act like they do not care about anything but themselves.  Where, when, and why did we go so wrong…?)

Just because you believe a thing does not make it true unless it is supported by measurable, observable, testable, peer-reviewed, evidence.


***as explored by personal observation, experience, and reflection and/or deeply and openly questioned, investigated, explained, and revealed by the careful and thoughtful exploration, observation, experimentation, and consideration, by countless experts over centuries of exploration, discovery, and invention – guided not by money or mythology but only by the evidence at hand.