Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lost, . . . , Sorta

[Pain.  My left hip is screaming every time I stand, apparently wrong.  My latest mental image is to be a skinny guy in a fat suit.  When I do it right, I can stand up without pain.  I can jog, still, real slow, but the motion feels more "right" in some way, the fat suit bouncing around me.  It allows my pelvic angle to be better, I believe, but also has the aesthetic detriment of a serious gut hanging down.  I almost look like someone that has lost a ton of weight and has loose skin, but I have not lost much weight.  Anyways, . . . , muscle memory is causing great pain, and my mind is too spent to focus constantly of proper movement.  It sucks, and I feel like I have lost my way, almost.  Reminding me . . . ]

In 1995 I was a member of the King's Canyon Roaring River Trail Crew through AmeriCorps, one of the truly most wonderful things I have ever done, where I lasted 3 months living out of my tent doing trail work.  That winter had been a deluge in Northern California, and we actually spent the 4th of July camped out on 3 feet of snow at 9,000 feet.  Things had not melted.  It was awesome.

A ridiculous number of trees had fallen because of so much snow, seemingly across every hundred yards or so of trail, and I found myself as part of a spike crew with the task of clearing a 20 mile section of impediments.  We separated from the main trail crew, four of us, and went "camping, with tools" out on our own.  When I think of all the hiking, over passes, 80 pounds of gear in my pack, plus water, plus a 6 foot bar chain saw over a shoulder, all done with a perverted body, I wonder how much damage, how much engrained, incorrect, muscle memory, was created or strengthened in those 3 months.

Anyways, after just the first day, we realized we did not bring nearly enough gasoline.  I was the fastest hiker, so I would set back to the horse corral for gas the next morning, fast as I could, to get the gas we would need to cut through the downed trees.

As you can guess, I got lost.  Kinda.  I had managed to miss a switch-back coming down one of the passes.  I realized it when I was suddenly in the middle of a meadow.  None of the trails out had gone through a meadow.  I was on a cattle or deer trail.

I did not want to back track.  I knew the general direction I needed to go.  I also knew I would eventually hit a stream to my left, which would get me to a trail I knew, or back on the trail I had left somewhere to my right.  So, I just started walking, certain I'd hit one of the two sooner or later.

Later came, and so did doubts.  I never actually got afraid, but I got close.  While the worst case scenario was bad, I had never stopped believing I would hit one of the two ways back to where I was going.  I had left all my gear at the spike camp - having an empty pack for the needed gas and some water.  I didn't have much with me.

But I did begin to have doubts.

I didn't like that feeling.  I knew I had not crossed a stream and that the trail I had left was to my right.  There was just no way I was lost, not lost lost.  I was just kinda sorta lost, and I had walked easily 4-5 miles without regaining my bearings, which did not really fit, unfortunately.  Again, I did not have fear, but I could feel fear coming around the bend if I didn't find my way soon.

*     *     *     *     *

That's how I feel now.  I'm having intense new sensations, every day.  I even did full on backstroke in the pool today.  At one point during the swim, my right shoulder felt like it was in the right spot for a short time.  Yet, there is so much pain, and I seem to move wrong, the way my muscles want me to move, the way they have always moved, in ways that cause pain, every moment I let my gaurd down, and I am exausted.

The progress is there, though, so it is much like knowing I am not lost lost.  However, I am unable to keep my bearings.  I can't make a plan, or remember one once made, and I keep hurting myself by just standing up.  So, I have doubts.  I'm just kinda sorta lost.

*     *     *     *     *

Well, I am hopeful it turns out like my hike to the horse corral to get gas did.  As you can guess, I made it back.  It turned out my "guess" as to which direction to walk was spot on, and I was walking parallel to the trail I had left, so it was a long time until I was back on it. 

Worth telling, I reached the corral, got the gas, and loaded up my pack.  When I started to put the backpack on, the mule packer (one salty SOB - loved that guy), said, "What the hell are you doing?"

"I've got to get back out there, they'll be out of gas soon," I replied, ready to haul ass the 15 miles to where I left my co-workers.

"I know," the packer said.  "I'll pack you out."

"I never rode a horse," I pointed out, meekly.  I was a fast hiker, and was about to say I'd just go on my own when he cut me off.

"You will today."

And that was how I ended up having my only ride upon a horse, a large pale male named Dick.  We went 12 of the 15 miles before he dropped me off.  We crossed three streams and several snow drifts (one of the streams was covered with snow and ice).  I only pissed Dick off a couple times, not leaning forward enough at certain moments.  The views were amazing, having a new perspective 6 feet above what I was so used to, in some or the Sierra's best.

An unforgettable moment, one of the packer's dogs was bugging one of the pack mules, directly in front of me.  The mule did a sideways kick that sent the dog flying, literally 15 feet, up the side of an embankment.  "Dammit, [dog name]," said the packer, "will you ever learn?"

I've never wanted to ride a horse again.  There is just no way it could top that memory.

I'm hoping a similarly incredible payoff is awaiting me when regain my bearings with regards to my rehabilitation.

But for now . . .

Thursday, June 21, 2012

An Apology To The Intelligent Gang BANGers OR Comment Section Blues (Part II)

[It's been a tough stretch.  The spawn is in a half day summer camp, making me do the parent thing from noon to 7:00 this week, also meaning I have not swam or exercised in 6 days.  Aside from a momentary nuclear meltdown over my child opening the front door for a stranger (thank R'hllor the dog didn't attack the poor salesman), I've held up decently with the help of my good friend Mr. Codeine, though I really need time in the pool and less gravity pulling on my limbs.  When the meds wear off, I'm praying for the week to end.  Anyways, . . . , I got a few inquiries as to my absence of late from the Giants Extra comment section, so here is a polite version of a response.  The apparently impolite version, which was my last post in said comment section, did not get posted after it's submission a few weeks ago.]

I have issues.  This is no secret.

One issue that has plagued me for over a decade now is pretty simple.  I hate being misunderstood.  I become frustrated when my position is misinterpreted.

A more complicated version evolved from my realization that true communication is nearly impossible.  So many, too many, words mean different things to different people.  Even when they think they understand each other, they do not.  When the written word is used, such that voice inflection and facial expression are absent, this inability to communicate is greatly exacerbated.

Make no mistake.  I hold much blame myself, unable to craft my prose as I wish, especially when the pain is winning or, in the alternative, the pain killing drugs are winning, as they are now.  It is not as simple as arguing others fail to comprehend me.  I am often incomprehensible.  Yet, I do know the fault is often not totally my own.

I struggle greatly with this phenomenon.  It is a major block for me when I try to explain my condition.  For example, I often feel like a kinked Slinky (a metal one, not the plastic ones that no longer kink which they sell now).  You may be able to conceptualize what certain aspects of this feeling is like, but unless you become like me yourself, which I do not recommend at present, you will never understand, no matter how well I can describe the sensations.

It is very important to note that even the smartest of individuals will suffer from this inability to communicate truly with one another.  Yet, when stupidity, or ignorance, or a complete lack of imagination, or the inability to empathize at any level whatsoever enters the equation . . .

Or worse, when the individual one tries to communicate with is merely waiting for their turn to respond (or cleverly retort) rather than actually trying to understand the expressed opinion . . .

Well, that puts me over the edge.

And so, after I had included in one of my posts in the comment section of Giants Extra, a blog for the San Francisco Giants through the Bay Area News Group (BANG, hence this post's title), that one reason I express some of my ideas is that they may actually make a difference, I was replied to with a comment starting with the most miserable and unintelligent of phrases, "I'm not saying you are delusional, but that comment was delusional."

I had enough, on so many levels.  Never mind that the idiot failed to realize that, it being my honest opinion, my idea which I believed in, he was calling me delusional, something I have an entirely different set of issues with.  Never mind that the idiot lacked the intelligence to conceptualize the manner in which an idea can spread, read by one, mentioned to another, and so on, until it reaches an ear that may actually have a voice in the organization.  A good idea can travel.  Never mind that the idiot presumed, after years of interacting with me, that I must have believed Bruce Bochy read the comment section for my posts, which would be delusional.  The idiot didn't bother to think at all.

I was pointing at the moon.  The idiot thought I wanted him to look at my finger.

I became exasperated.  I ranted, then clicked submit.  Only days later did I see the post never got past moderation for some reason (perhaps the idiot DOES have connections, as I have theorized, the shill).

I miss good discussions on things Giant related, where the points are whittled down to as close to a meeting of the minds as two can reach, especially in the written medium.  Yet, I do not miss being misunderstood, especially when I would sometimes spend significant energy trying to phrase a comment properly to best express myself.  I really do not miss being disrespected through responses that did not even try to understand what I had written.  My brain has been much quieter since I stopped reading the comment section.

It is a personal fault that I cannot "let go" when my position gets misunderstood or mischaracterized, especially by those I respect and enjoy trying to interact with.  Because I cannot, just leaving has been the better solution.  I also don't get exposed to Sargento, which in and of itself should be enough for everyone to leave the blog.

I may well be back sooner or later, but I need a quiet mind for a while.  The body is screaming at me enough, lately.

On top of it all, I am beyond depressed.  Up 5-0 so early, and my wife wanting to record two shows, I missed Cain's perfect game.  It ripped a hole in my soul.  I had watched nearly every game he has pitched, or at least listened, even having a journal entry regarding his major league debut.  Now I don't even feel like a Giant fan.  I missed the rarest of events, by one of my favorite Giants ever.  At least my wife got her Next Top Cooking Show Chef Wannabe recorded [See, without voice inflection or the glazed look of abject disappointment that sits on my face like man who's dog just died, one might actually believe I find some consolation in my wife having recorded an imbicilic cooking show host competition.  When will there be a reality show host reality show competition?  I want royalties if that sentence leads to something.  I have to leave my daughter something.]

Anyways, to those I miss, to those that miss me (however hard that is for this friendless tool to actually imagine), I apologize for bailing in the manner I did.  I should have given word after learning my last post went unposted (or deleted?).  I'm not dead, though I may still wish it from time to time. 

Be well.  And if you really miss me that much, just write "fire Bochy" from me now and then.  I can't believe he and Bam Bam are actually getting credit for "turning Belt around."  Just unbelievable how stupid people to believe a Comcast aired classic Baer spun crock of crap like that.  Never mind the history.

I'm not going to post a link for this.  I figure those that get curious will find it sooner or later.

[Now, nearing 2:00 a.m., I have to go throw a rock at a bird that is driving me crazy, nightly.  I call it a "Car Alarm Bird" because it cycles through several different songs, just like an annoying car alarm.  The moonlight sets the damn thing off.  One of these nights, throwing a rock via echolocation into the tree behind my fence, I'm going to kill the damn thing, and not lose a bit of sleep over it.  In fact, I'll sleep better than I have in months, quite literally.]

Friday, June 8, 2012

I Sure Hope Stupidity Isn't An Accident

[Wow.  Just wow.]

I can't say why it took me so long, especially given that one of the songs I have most identified with throughout this entire process, the song I never believe I understood until this began, was certainly a topic of significant discussion on the Internet.  And yet, all this time, I never Googled The Beatles' While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Seriously, I have listened to it over and over.  A classic, I have always loved it and it has been on many a mix tape since I got The Beatles CDs for my 16th birthday, shortly after the first set was available on the medium.  I made a pretty cool three piece set of the CD boxes, framed, which is probably one of the only pieces of "art" I covet.

The song lyrics fits way too well, that I was perverted and no one alerted me, that I was folded, that I had been diverted.  So much.  Give a listen.

And so I felt really stupid just minutes ago.  I finally typed "while my guitar gently weeps meaning" into the Google search engine and almost immediately found, though not confirmed, that it . . .

comes from a line George read in the I Ching that said something about "everything is relative to everything else, and nothing is coincidental."

It makes me wonder if people (like certain psychiatrists) thought I read the I Ching and came up with all this BS afterwards.

Sadly, no.  I am perverted and still unfolding, and until that first unfolding, I had no idea what that quote would have meant, really meant.  I do, too.  I know.

This has been just another in a long line of personal discoveries that reconfirms I have a quantification of these eastern ideas in my head which I must learn how to express objectively.  I get it.  I have for some time.  Explaining it, however, is an entirely different animal, and I have little faith in the possibility that my mushed and battered brain will be able to come up with profound prose along the lines of an ancient Chinese text.

It looks like I have some reading to do.  Time to order a copy of I Ching.

How in the world did I wait so long to look up that damn song?

I'll take solace in that it was no coincidence.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quiet! Do You Smell That?

[A brief diversion, as I am far too tied up in the pain of adjustments and a drop in temperatures (just when I was getting going, too!), I'll jump into an alternative topic, though still somewhat connected by waves.  Just about everything I believe came from extrapolating backwards from some ideas I have with regards to waves which I shall get into at some later date.  This is separate, just a realization I had about the sense of smell.  You can run around the web after reading and see just how stupid so many blindly remain trapped by the theories in which they were raised.  NOTE - I had this realization without ever having learned any alternative theories existed.  It was new to me, though out there in some forms for a minority.]

Until I actually bothered to think about it for a moment on my own, using my own brain, I was like most college educated individuals (somewhat worse when you realize I studied Cognitive Psychology) that believed the sense of smell was particle based.  That is to say, it occurs when the olfactory system detects a particle suspended in the air which enters the nose.

All it took to change my mind was a single supposed fact - Sharks can smell a minute amount of blood in water from hundreds of meters away.  Here are some shark facts if you are curious.  As little as "one part per billion" from "hundreds of meters away from the source" is noted, and everyone with a TV has at some point heard of sharks smelling blood from great distances.

Now, with air, it is easy to envision minute particles from the stove top, drifting up with the heated vapors, slowly making their way through the house, until they find your nostrils.  Yum.

It is not possible, however, for a particle of blood to so diffuse through sea water.  Blood simply cannot diffuse hundreds of meters from the source within a few minutes, maybe not even in hours.  It just doesn't happen.

Drop some food coloring into a swimming pool and see for yourself.  Your eye will see no more than a few feet of disbursement in a minute.  How much further do you think small, non-visible, molecules could have travelled?  Does a child's pee in the shollow section of a giant lake reach your skin in small amounts 100 meters away instantaneously?  No.

A few conclusions can be drawn.  Either the tests that have been used to determine these tidbits about sharks are grossly incorrect and have nothing to do with olfaction (possible, though I doubt it), or, the sense of smell is based on the detection of waves emanating from the particle.

I originally presumed (and may still be correct) that the waves were simply reflections off of the particles.  After a brief reading of the theory of Luca Turin on the detection of a molecules frequency, the identification of molecular oscillation as smells, however, I found that the particles themselves may be the source of their own waves.  Yet, I am even more certain that wave detection of some sort is actually the source of olfaction.

Just something to think about.  Obviously, if a nose as poor as a human's smells toxic fumes, the responsible chemical is present, probably close by, likely suspended in the air to some degree.  You probably are inhaling some acetone as you walk by a finger nail parlor.  Yet, simply because you and nearly everyone else thought that the sense of smell was particle based does not make it so. 

Yes, yes, you don't get the wave without the particle (or do you? see the Turin article's final paragraph), but the point is that what our scientists believe about the most basic aspect of a primary sense can be called drastically into question by a commonly known fact about sharks, yet most everyone, especially the scientists, go right on believing what they were taught anyways.