John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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JfZ making a mess of the web
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Monday, December 22, 2003
Dances with Stumps goes brown

That's a suicidally orange wife beater he's wearing

Congratulations to Dances with Stumps for passing his Brown Belt in Karate.  That's pretty impressive.

Then again, I think I'm pretty impressed with anyone that can ambulate without artificial assistance at this point.  Will my own knee be
stronger, faster and better with 2 metal plates and 6 screws in my leg?

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003
I am a meat popsicle

All-you-can-eat Donner BBQ, if you don't mind picking metal staples out of your teeth

It's actually true what some of you already have been thinking about me.  As Bruce Willis says in The 5th Element, "I am a meat popsicle".

This is my first blog entry since before Thanksgiving last month.  Disregard any date/time info on the blog entries until the middle of the month.  I'm going to play catch-up for a little while.  It's only been a day or two since I could take sitting in front of the PC for any length of time.  I just got back from a doctor's appointment today (17th) where the nurse unceremoniously yanked out the happy little metal staples in my leg.  I counted just about forty of them. 

Then the doc checked out my slab of meat, or leg, if you prefer, and put in two little stitches where he had cut a drainage hole that hadn't stopped bleeding after two weeks.  He told me that since I was such a smart ass all of the time, I could wait a week or so and cut out my own stitches, if I wanted.  I had to fill out an update form this morning, which I thought was silly since I had just been in his office only six days ago.  So, to answer his question of "Has anything changed since your last visit?", I replied, "I've shaved" to see if he actually reads his own little forms.

The surgeon, Dr. Mitchell, really has been pretty cool with me about this whole deal, though.  He described the condition of my leg and knee after the surgery as "trying to prop back up a crushed bag of saltine crackers". 

He knows I don't have any frickin' medical insurance, so he's been letting me take a few short cuts along the way.  He discharged me out of the hospital after surgery a day earlier than normal.  He hasn't padded my experience with any extra, unnecessary procedures or appointments.  He showed me some exercises that I'd have paid a physical therapist to instruct me on, and so forth.

While I'm not supposed to put any weight on the knee or leg whatsoever for many weeks to come, I am now allowed to get vertical, sit in a chair or bounce around the house using my happy, happy walker.  It's a cool collapsible walker that I bought for my mom's hip rehab almost two years ago.  It folds up and can be tossed in the back of the truck.  I even zip-tied a handy-dandy white rubbermaid container to the front of it so I can easily take stuff with me as I hobble about aimlessly around the house. 

I was hoping the doctor would give me a little bell or squeeze horn I could attach to my walker today, but he was fresh out.  I would have settled for a pair of cute little sparkling handlebar tassles, but I think you need major medical insurance for those kinds of amenities.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

I'm blue, I'm cute, and I can bug your office
Today, I went on a virtual tour of the CIA compound with everyone's little buddy, Ginger Bear.  While I grew up with Yogi Bear and Boo-boo, now kids in grades K through 5 can hang out with Ginger at the CIA.

Yogi and Boo-boo did steal pic-a-nic baskets, but Ginger also seems cutely sneaky.  First, she's not supposed to leave Marta's cubicle but decides to go on an adventure around the CIA compound anyway.

Snooping in her friend Marta's appointment book, Ginger thinks, "Hmm, Marta is going to be out of the office on business most of today. Maybe I can take a little tour by myself and get back before she does".  And so, off we go.

First, Ginger wanders outside to the Memorial Garden.  It's the most zen peaceful place of the three memorial areas at the CIA, and the most recently built.  The other two -- the OSS memorial and the CIA memorial wall -- are more traditional.  Ginger Bear doesn't go into much detail about these memorials.   Instead, she comments on how big the fish are in the memorial garden's pond, how big the statue is at the OSS memorial and how very many stars the are on the CIA memorial.

Ginger tell us, "Because of the secret work we do, not everyone's name is listed in the Book of Honor".  The book of honor is bound with Moroccan goat skin, but if you're a CIA agent that disagrees with the Cheney-Bush administration, your name could end up in every newspaper in the world

In light of all the recent problems between the intelligence community and Dubya's administration, I had to laugh out when little Ginger bear described the DCI portrait gallery:

"This is the DCI Portrait Gallery . What's a DCI? Well, DCI stands for Director of Central Intelligence. When you have been around here as long as I have, you know what this stuff means! Well, each one of these men was head of the CIA and the IC, or the Intelligence Community. The DCI helps the President and other leaders by providing them with information or intelligence about the world to help them make decisions on how to lead our country."

I guess the DCI only helps the President if the President hears what he wants to hear, right Ginger?

I think Ginger has had enough fun with truth and politics at this point and heads over to the nifty Cold War Exhibit at the CIA.  She opines, "There are some really neat spy things here and they actually belong to one person. He has even more at home. I wonder if his mom gets mad about all the stuff in his room?

Oddly enough, most of the exhibits at the CIA's Cold War Exhibit are on loan from Mr. H. Keith Melton, a south-Florida businessman who owns 25 McDonalds fast food restaurants.  Melton is also an author of such titles as "The Spy's Guide: Office Espionage: How to Bug a Meeting, Booby-Trap Your Briefcase, Infiltrate the Competition, and More".  Melton is a pretty interesting guy.  Check out how he recently participated in Spy Fest 2003.

If you just wanted a stupid McJob, I think it would really suck to have Melton as your employer.  This guy would know the number of french fries you ate on your lunch break, for god's sake.  Ginger doesn't care though.  She stopped into the CIA cafeteria, which at this point in her adventure seems to me to be the frickin' climax of her little CIA tour as she eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

You might need all the brain food you can stuff into your fat pie hole with both fists to figure out the next stop on Ginger Bear's adventure.  On the way back to Marta's office cubicle, she checks out the Kryptos statue.  Then, it's time to head over to the new CIA headquarters building atrium where they have some nifty models of U.S. spy planes.  Yup.  That's what you really saw in the Black Rock Desert, in Nevada, when you thought you were seeing UFOs, stoned out of your fucking mind at Burning Man that one year. 

Ginger Bear could have told you that.  Other than snooping, lying, thwarting security, and sneaking around the CIA, Ginger Bear is a good little blue bear.  She doesn't do drugs and see UFOs like you, you stupid pothead.  Then again, who would believe me if I told them I saw a little blue bear standing on the seal of the CIA today?

Monday, November 24, 2003
Charles Darwin would have played Quake III

Darwin is a dead man now
I thought I would point out this story I read over on Plastic.  It seems there is actually a group called World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) that researches toys and compiles a list of what the group considers to be dangerous toys and why they are so insidious.

WATCH was founded by a trial lawyer named Edward M. Swartz who has published books entitled Toys That Don't Care and Toys That Kill.  Here's what one reviewer of these books had to say:

" When my child was run over by a popping-ball "lawnmower", and killed... I became suddenly aware of the danger of toys. I have locally formed a group to raise awarness of the liability of the toy industry for allowing such lax standards to pass. In addition to our monthly toy burning, we all agree to read on book together on the evils of the toy industry. This book is so popular, it's been selected over a dozen times for book of the month.
Very compelling!

I know what you're thinking ... JfZ is being funny again.  I swear to any-God-of-your-choosing that is a real book review.  I could smoke a bale of weed and never come up with my child was run over with popping-ball lawnmower and killed!  You just can't make this shit up. Monthly toy burning!?

Maybe the list can help you with your upcoming holiday shopping.  I mean, hell, if you don't like the neighbor's kids, buy everything on the list, give it to them, and hope for the best.

Other people on Plastic fondly went down memory lane and reminisced about their own childhood toys and some other toys they wished they had:

Chatsubo had a wind-up Evil Knievel motorcycle that flew off its ramp and knocked a cat unconscious.  He also had some fun and injuries with cap guns and chemistry sets.

Josh of Arc wished he would have had an Aqua Assault RoboFighter, as seen on The Onion.

Osomatic seems to have enjoyed not only firecrackers and discarded PVC pipes, but also my own personal favorite, lawn darts.

LostBoyJim pined away for a popular toy.  Saturday Night Live's Happy Fun Ball.

What were your favorite toys that had the potential for serious bodily injury or even death?

Childhood trauma helps us all and shapes our adult lives.  Personally, I really hate Golf.  I think golf courses are obscene wastes of real estate that not only take away millions of acres of natural habitat for indigenous species of wildlife, but also are epicenters of water pollution from lawn care chemicals in the name of a green lawn just so old, rich, fat men can get away from their disfunctional families for a few hours.  I think my opinion of golf formed in my mom's car on the way to Botsford Hospital after my friend Marc created a bloody divot in my skull while trying to instruct me on the finer points of driving a golf ball over Ten Mile Road and into the childhood home of Joelle Lukasiewicz

In addition, I'm very safe and cautious with firearms and projectile weapons in general because my friend Paul shot me in the leg with my own Crossman BB-gun.  I had to dig that little happy fun ball out of my thigh.  Even later in life, I wore an eye-protecting full face mask while running around the same yards shooting it up with paintball guns with the neighbor, Bryan.  There's no way to avoid the sting and pain, and purple-yellow bruising of a paintball hitting you at 300 feet-per-second in the dark at close range, but there's no need to lose an eye, right?

All these childhood toys are great for one reason.  Natural Selection.  Our world is messed up enough without all the stupid kids being coddled and protected, surviving their youth, and running for political office.

Friday, November 21, 2003
J f Z thinks about J f K

Ask yourself what you can do for my blog
You hear people remembering where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news that John F. Kennedy had been assasinated.  Personally, I was still happily swimming around the warm liquid of my mother's womb at the time.  And while I was born premature, I would not see the harsh flourescent lights of a delivery room and breathe the air of this increasingly violent planet for another 78 days. 

Today marks the 40-year anniversary of the death of one of the United States most beloved presidents.  A Gallup poll indicates that the popularity of JfK is equalled only to that of Abraham Lincoln, which is ironic to me, in that they both were shot in the head.  Ronald Reagan is the next most popular according to Gallup and he was only shot in the armpit. 

Maybe George W. Bush could regain some of his popularity and win the election in 2004 if he could orchestrate some accidental shooting one weekend at the western whitehouse in Crawford, Texas.  Dubya would need only to actually shoot himself in the foot to give himself a boost in the polls.  He has been metaphorically doing that to himself since he took the oath of office anyway.

The death of JfK also marked the death of the feel-good innocence that the American people felt toward their own government.  According to Gallup, three-quarters of the people polled feel the JfK assasination was indeed a conspiracy with the mafia and the CIA topping the list of conspirators.  I guess this basic distrust in our government is cultured at regular intervals by different events for each generation of American citizens.

While some of you alien abductees will say this death of innocence occurred back in 1947, in Roswell, NM -- I should point out that most of what we think we know about Roswell didn't come out as public knowledge until 1978 when Maj. Jesse Marcel, the 509th bomber group's intelligence officer, began spilling his guts about the whole government conspiracy and cover up.

One of the more obscure conspiracy theories concerning JfK is that he actually didn't die on the afternoon of November 21st, 1963.

According to Killing Kennedy, by Professor Revilo P. Oliver:

"Dr. Crenshaw and the other physicians knew, of course, that Kennedy was dead, but the action of the heart had not entirely ceased, and they made an effort to keep alive, not Kennedy, but his corpse. Had they succeeded, they would have performed a medical miracle and produced a living but mindless hulk of insentient tissue, something much more horrible than a zombie" ...

"This fact evidently gave rise to a theory about the assassination of which I had not heard before I saw it mentioned by Dr. Crenshaw: that Kennedy's cadaver is still kept obscenely alive in some subterranean vault under the Parkland Hospital!"

The reason I remember this little bizarre story is because it's one that my mother believed.  A funny thing happened after I was born in Detroit, back in February 1964.  Shortly thereafter, my mother moved down to the Dallas area, where she started a little business called the National Electronics Association of Texas.  She thought that name was NEAT, I guess. 

Anyway, I was a sickly child.  I was born with pneumonia and the doctors burned all the fluid out of my eyes by giving me straight oxygen.  I was blind until I was about 6 months old.  I had asthma attacks and would stop breathing.  My mom would take me to Parkland Hospital where JfK had gone.

Supposedly there was an entire floor at Parkland Hospital that became inaccessible in 1964.  Rumors ran rampant.  Sightings of secret service agents and even Jackie-O were common.  Many people thought JfK lived on for a time and when he finally died, his remains were cremated, and Jackie-O spread his ashes in the ocean from the back of one of Aristotle Onassis' yachts.  JfK was a navy man, afterall.

Whatever the case may be, I doubt I'll ever know the truth about JfK.  When I worked with Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) back in the 1980's, I was "read (past tense) on" for specially compartmented information because I worked in data communications.  SCI -- top secret information classified by different code words -- is a method by which the missile guys who may hold a top secret security clearance can not look at the spy satellite guys top secret information, and so on.  It's where the term "need to know" comes from.  When you're "read on" to gain access to the country's most highly guarded secrets, you sign an oath of silence regarding that information for 75 years.

It's only been 40 years since JfK was assasinated.  Maybe in another 35 years, someone may learn the whole truth concerning any conspiracy to kill the man.  Semper Preparate.

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