Saturday, 12 April 2008

Rain


Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying tonight or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be for what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me,
disappoint.

7 Jan 1916
Edward Thomas

Why I Like Lost


Just another reason why I like Lost.

My "Other" State

Quietly, without any fanfare....I am an official resident of Colorado (while living in Germany). There are extending circumstances...since I do actually own 2.5 acres of prairie land where cattle still roam on occasion there (south of Pueblo). Some Bama folks would say I'm skipping out on them...since I chat much on Bama....but for some stupid reason....those Colorado folks don't take much on income tax. And the property association simply works well.

So Colorado is my "other" state.

This week....them smart folks there got up a bill and they are going to sell a "carbon" fund car tag. Yep, for around $53 a year.....I could have a specialized state tag....identifying me as a "carbon-friendly" individual. I sat and pondered this event....thinking I'd naturally want a 8-cyclinder SUV ifing I lived in my "other" state. And it would be amusing to have a carbon-friendly tag on my big huge gas guzzler.

Naturally, I read into this mess....and the dimwits were at least half-smart and demanded that the vehicle had to be 16,000 pounds or less.....to qualify for the carbon-friendly tag. Whilst they were writing this legislation....they also wrote up that no community association can limit a guy from adding solar panels or wind turbines. I thought that was kinda funny because of all the trouble that Al Gore got into with his local association. But then you start to think about tossing up a wind turbine in the backyard of your 1 acre lot....with the neighbors eyeballing it and getting upset....and now....ain't nothing they can say or do about that turbine.

Yep, mighty fine folks in my "other" state. But to be polite and honest....I just ain't partial to Colorado....they don't even run a NASCAR event there. But adding to this mess....Bama offers up twenty odd specialized car tags: the USS Alabama battleship tag, fraternal order of police tag, Bama wildlife federation, Sons of Confederate Vets tag, real estate sales dude tag, Bama Shakespeare fest tag, rescue squad member tag, Bama cattlemen's tag, retired educator tag, retired Air Force tag, retired Navy tag, retired Army tag, shriners tag, square dancers tag, amateur's radio association tag, firefighter tag, Civitan club tag, twenty-five version of college graduate tag (which you don't even have to be a graduate to have one of them), and even Ducks Unlimited tags. Ifing I were back there....I'd have a Bama Shakespeare fest tag on my car....and own up to being a reader of the Bard.

Luckily....I'm just in Germany....with one stinking tag option.

If You Build It........They Will Come

This week in the UK.....a little news item fell into the public domain.

Some guy opened up a pub, called the Halal Inn...basically an Islamic alcohol-free pub. They have darts and various little things to keep a Muslim dude busy for an evening....with prayer and chatter on the coming and going of various Islamic things.

I sat and pondered this....a pub without a brew....designed for guys who are losers in life (Islamic dimwits). I don't have alot of respect for these folks....i used to....but then I started to listen to their arguments and wonder if things were that terrible here in the civilized world...why not return to Syria or Iran or Turkey? They don't naturally like answering that question....because they like making money.

So how would a guy enjoy a evening at a pub like this? I'm kinda wondering. Naturally....no women....probably no betting or gambling....no booze.....and nothing bad going on except religious chat. THEN it hit me....this is the type of pub that a Baptist fellow would love. No booze, no women, no gambling, no betting, and just religious chatter. I started freaking out....thinking of the millions I could make throughout the south....putting up a pub like this in every Baptist community.

I'd have various names for the pub: St Johns, Mathew & Mark & Luke's, Moses's Red Sea, Garden of Eden, Eve's Apple Tree, The Palm Tree, etc. I could eventually even open up a women's pub, with the same principal....and get those women to spend money as well. The best thing? No booze license. I would just sell ice tea, Pepsi, Coke and Mountain Dew....and make millions. I could even branch out and draw in those stupid Methodists and Presbyterians. With the right sell....I could even bring the Jehovah's Witnesses in....with a sign over the door of "Armageddon any minute". The only group I see an issue with....is that group that handles the rattlesnakes.....I'd have to have a separate room in the pub where snakes are allowed to be handled and foreign tongue spoken. This might be a problem.

My Analysis of Attention Deficient Syndrome (ADD)

So I sit and pause and ponder. When my son was seven...I brought him over to the base for some odd reason and had to go back to the office for 60 minutes....so I took him to the BX and bought him a slice of pizza and a soda....and I gave the kid $5 in quarters and showed him the arcade area. Its the base....so its safe...and no weirdos around. I left to attend to my office business.....walking out of the BX....walking across the parking lot....to my building....less than five hundred feet away.

Sixty minutes pass and I walk back to the parking lot....and in the rear of the truck....was the kid sitting. I thought he'd stay over at the BX, but he wandered back. We got in to leave....and he pulls out this $10 watch in a box....the cheap stuff you'd find at a flea market, manufactured at some Mexican shop and works for six months before it breaks. Newly packaged, and in the container still. He gives it to me...."a gift". I'm sitting half-driving and half looking at this watch...which was nifty looking but cheap.

The kid then pulls out another box from his jacket....another watch....same deal....a cheapo type. Then he pulls out a third watch....same deal. It hits me then....there is a huge arcade in the middle of the BX, where they had Bart Simpson dolls, watches, lighters, etc. You pay 50 cents and you get a whack at grabbing a "prize". In an average day...if you stood there long enough....there might be two guys who accidentally grab a prize...out of forty attempts.

So I asked him how he acquired these. And he naturally said the "prize" arcade. I asked him how much he had spend...thinking the whole $5 in quarters I gave him. He picked out of his pocket $1 in change....and said that it took him three chances before he mastered the grabbing arm, and then he hit the next three in a row. The statistics of doing so.....one in a million. You can't play this stupid game and master it in three attempts and then get three in a row. The kid didn't have any other change on him and I sat there thinking about this. It was a vast indicator of ADD....if I had thought about it long enough.

By the end of the third grade, the kid had serious issues. Lack of concentration, non-delivery of expected homework, mentally unprepared for quizzes. By the end of the third grade....the doc agreed to examine him closer....so the IQ tests came up....he aced those. The hearing tests, the vision tests, and all of the other tests. By the middle of the fourth grade (the year they split you off to your lifetime trail of education)....they finally came to the conclusion that he had ADD. The Ret-medical routine was suggested and accepted. The fourth grade came to a conclusion and he didn't get the closer better school. He got the middle-school system in Kaiserslautern, which was a step down in nature (the teacher admitted that he just didn't measure up).

The new school talked boldly about how they knew about ADD and could handle situations like this. By the end of the fifth grade....I grasped in my mind that the school chatter on knowing ADD was all hype and nothing else. The older the teacher.....the less likely they believed in ADD and their belief that the kid was faking or just lazy. It was a marginal year. The sixth grade....even more marginal. By the seventh grade....he simply couldn't be relied upon to deliver homework period. Even checking notebooks didn't adequately cover the situation because the dimwits at school would hand out xerox-papers with work on them.....and the kid would merely lose them in a stack of papers....and never accomplish them. So he failed the seventh grade. The school desperately wanted him moved to the lower school....because he just wouldn't deliver the homework. But onward he went...back to repeat the seventh grade....and would fail the seventh grade a second time....which now the school could dump him with a smile.

The new school.....mostly built for the lower intelligent kids...with no huge expectations and no homework hand-outs. The ret-routine was halted by the doctor at this point....saying he was "ok".....and I merely sat there in a daze....thinking that the guy didn't grasp the picture. But this is Germany....and professionals know best.

So the past three years at this school have improved to some degree but my analysis begins to examine the entire ADD situation. The kid is progressing finally...with no complaints from the teachers, and quietly does what is necessary now. Maybe the doc was right.

So my analysis. ADD kids can bring on massive amounts or "spurts" of concentration....and do highly demanding things....multi-task things....that most folks can't do. ADD kids do math in their head...with no written formulas necessary. ADD kids can sit in a long and boring class, and never remember a single thing said in that class. ADD kids become anti-social and limit their circle of friends to four or less. ADD kids tend to be geeks in nature. They are natural gamers. They can easily adapt to World of Warcraft and progress to the 66th level in a matter of weeks (my son is a 4-time 66th level WoW player, I know). ADD kids don't grasp the future, consequences of actions, or dream of doing great things. ADD kids think primarily of the moment. ADD kids grow into ADD adults (I know....I used to work in a room with a guy of such a nature). To oppose the Ret-medical routine with natural life changes, proper diet, and massive discipline? Maybe.....but the massive discipline comes at a price for the entire family and those without absolute patience can hang it up.

My analysis centered on patience....being able to discuss issues in a very short time frame and get across problems in a direct fashion. The longer you chat with a ADD kid....the less likely they remember anything you said. The chances of a ADD kid becoming a genius or successful businessman one day? One in a million. I think most will be burned out on a crappy life and make life changes are detrimental and negative. I don't think ADD kids are losers but then they aren't winners either. Patience is a quiet vehicle to bring a kid from point A to point B....and wait for the move to point C. Patience is not a practice that most people can brag about.

So I've sat and paused on this topic for long enough. I'm not the type to sit and wait for Jesus to come around and heal someone, or the type to blame things to feel better, or the type to look for the 99 tools for a better lifestyle, or the type to sit with a teacher for a consultation who pretends to be smart but really isn't. I'm kinda like the guy who you call with a problem and just fixes what I can....hoping that the problem works itself out in the end. So I'm judging life to be a massive push and pull on miracles. Some happen, and some don't.

Tomorrow is a new day, and it'll be like the last 2,000 days prior....and I'll get through that day. And I reckon the kid will too.

An Absolute Killer

So this is what we know. The cops in Germany have come to a vast conclusion...a serial killer of magnificent proportions....who they are referring to as "the woman without a face".

DNA establishes this woman to a minimum of six murders and numerous thefts....over fifteen years. They can safely say that she has traveled over three countries in this time....by the DNA evidence. Even the sweat she left.....was analyzed and identified.

The key point that pushed the cops on this? Down in the town of Heilbronn....there were two cops in a parking garage who happened to come upon someone. The killer, in remarkable speed.....shot and killed the 22-year-old German policewoman, Michele Kiesewetter, with a bullet in the face. The partner, hit with a bullet but somehow managed to survive. Today....he remembers little to nothing about the incident. The cops have this idea that the killer panicked and shot instinctively.

This entire trail starts sometime around May 1993....were a old retired woman was found strangled in her home in Idar-Oberstein, which is within driving distance of Heilbronn. Cops think this was a simple robbery that went wrong. Around March of 2001....another murder in Freiburg (far to the south of Germany, where a 61-year old man died. DNA pins both crimes on this lady killer.

Using DNA, the cops find a disposable syringe around October 2001 in a car-park. More DNA and a hint of a cocktail of drugs that she had to shoot up.

When the killer burgled a camper...she ate part of a biscuit, and left more DNA.

In the fall of 2004....the killer took a holiday in the mountains around the Austrian Tyrol. The killer broke into garden sheds along the road towards Innsbruck, discarding a pair of tracksuit trousers, a hooded cardigan and other items.

The killer kept leaving DNA....when she hit houses in France.

Amusingly enough....they found DNA on a rock used to smash a German window last week....so they know she's back in the country.

So we come to a remarkable case of detective work for this year. There was a triple-murder. Three car dealers who had come from the country of Georgia....to buy older German cars....were killed and dumped in a river in January. The cops originally blamed a informant.....who denied the charges. The informant tried to blame another man who is a Somali Islamist (in the cops custody already), as the killer. But a curious thing happens. The cops have the car that the informant used and they know was used in the murder. They were checking the upholstery and carpets....when they came across more DNA. Yep....our lady killer in action again. So now the cops are thinking that the three car buyers met up with this killer in some fashion. The curious thing...is that the cops actually owned this car when the killing occurred. They had bought the older car and was letting the informant borrow it to gather intelligence for them. So far, the informant doesn't know anything about a lady being involved or how the killer got into the car.

So, what are we looking for? A drifter...probably not a German....someone who was likely in Germany in 1993 as a 16 or 17-year old. After fifteen years....they are now in their late 30s. She doesn't own property or have any permanent connections. She survives. The instinct to kill the cops....means she is remarkably quick on making a decision and is cool about moving in and out of tight places. Whatever car she was going to steal there (my guess)...was abandoned and she walked out of the parking garage. She lives off the street and probably is more of a hobo than a socializer. She is a loner. She operates without friends or structure. She has no borders or limits. I would guess she has traveled through alot of Europe over the past fifteen years. She is a heavy drug user now....shooting up to get the high that she needs. The crimes all pay for her meager lifestyle and the drugs. The next confrontation? She will immediately draw the weapon and kill...on instinct. No one who has ever confronted her...appears to have survived....so she doesn't leave witnesses to anything.

Additional crimes out there? Oh, I'd bet on more than just six murders. These are the ones that she can be blamed via DNA. My guess....at least another dozen murders....maybe more. The robberies....probably into the thousands (remember most cops don't collect DNA at robberies).

Instincts keep her from big scores. She doesn't rob banks. She doesn't hit drug stores (too many cameras likely). She doesn't typically drive around in stolen cars....more likely to steal a car and simply sell it to a Russian mafia individual. She doesn't stay in hotels or establish credit at banks. She is a cash and carry type.

Catching her? I'd say its virtually impossible. She is too quick and instinctive....if any problem arises....she eliminates it. I'd say the German cops have an impossible task in front of them. She isn't catchable.