Our ponderosa friend Moe is now a stump.


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When we first moved into our house here in Bend, Oregon, there were three old ponderosa pine trees in our backyard. We named them Larry, Curly, and Moe. Curly had gnarly branches and an arborist told us that it was infested with some kind of beetle disease, that it was a sick tree and might spread its disease to the other two trees, which were close together although their branches weren’t touching. After worrying about that issue for a while we had Curly removed.

A year ago there was a terrific windstorm here and five trees within striking distance fell, but only one full-grown Ponderosa hit our house a glancing blow. The homeowner’s insurance covered most of the twenty-five thousand dollars damage, although one of our picture windows has recently developed cracks because the house was still settling from the damage. The house directly behind us took a direct hit in the middle from another tree fall and after major restoration is just now being reoccupied. During the same storm, Larry fell and fortunately missed all the houses, and that left only Moe.

As the year went by there were some more windstorms and because Moe’s roots go under our house there was some squeaking occurring in the walls. Also, the concrete foundation was cracked and a five-foot section was lifted about an inch. When Larry fell it made a twelve-foot diameter hole and I was worried that if Moe fell that hole would include a portion of our house, such as the exact spot where I am sitting writing this blog post. That would be bad, but if that happened the whole frame of the house would be disrupted and require major repairs.

I didn’t want to take Moe out, and Debbie was even more hesitant, but when the wind blows the wall squeaks. For our own self-preservation, it had to go, and today was the day.

Half of Moe’s roots were going under the house.

I like living in a forest, but sometimes good sense must prevail over a good view.


Can one invisible entity make a difference?


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Here is a blank space [ ]. Can that make a difference? What if it was twice as big, [  ]?Would it make twice as much difference? OR, what if it was twice as big as that, [    ]?Would that make four times the difference as the original [ ]? Or, to go the other way, would [], which is half as big as [ ], make only half as much difference? Or how about ][, which reverses the container borders? Does that make something that wasn’t significant even less significant or suddenly make something quite meaningless suddenly slightly comic, and if that was expanded with more spaces, ]  [ , does it become more comic? How about this, ]          [? I suspect that before this blat you would never have thought that had any meaning whatsoever and now it does. Maybe.

I don’t know a plausible answer to any of this nonsense, but it does seem to be thinking outside of the box … [_].

Being honest and liberal has its failings.


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Being honest and fair has disadvantages in the real world. A person who scrupulously obeys the law will soon learn that many people around them do not. This becomes very obvious when the traffic signs are clearly posted on an arterial street as 25 MPH and the average speed that people are going is 35 MPH, and where there are no cross streets for three blocks the speeds will briefly push 45 MPH. Obviously, there are rarely accidents or people would go slower, but they are clearly in violation of the  posted law. What’s going on?

Perhaps the average driver is simply averaging the worth of their time versus the cost of traffic tickets and what they estimate to be the additional expenses of automobile repairs from accidents. When there are large numbers of people routinely driving on given streets that may, in fact, be a realistic assessment of the true costs on that street.

But, to go back to my original problem, being perfectly obedient to the law is counterproductive because every moment of obedience has a personal economic cost and an emotional one too. The economic cost is that time is wasted relative to other people who get ahead. They get an unfair advantage in life because they cheat.

The automotive example doesn’t matter much, but it is easy to observe and to write about. However, it is probable that people who do not obey the clearly posted traffic laws do not obey the other laws of the land or those of interpersonal civility either. A person who cheats at a 35 to 25 ratio is gaining about a 30% advantage in all of their interpersonal relations. That makes a huge difference because it is cumulative, and it is super cumulative if they find ways to invest that 30% advantage in such a way that it grows by itself. That is, if they live within the normal means and put the remainder of their ill-gotten surplus into something that somehow gains in value.

This same kind of advantage may go far beyond the economic transaction concept that I have been using here to illustrate the idea. Also, there may be no downside to behaving in the mildly criminal way because there is rarely any punishment for behaving a little beyond the law, and there is no social punishment either because everyone else is doing it and therefore it is not only tolerated, it is expected.

Am I a fool for being scrupulously honest and fair with other people?

Samumpsycle smiles gamely at his fate.


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My garden gnome acquaintance, Samumpsycle, (I hesitate to call him a friend because he is so transcendent compared to me) was visibly disturbed when I asked him how he felt about my conversation with the UU labyrinth stones. That conversation occurred four Sundays ago and I hadn’t mentioned it to him before.

My personal problem with the labyrinth stones was their disparaging of my insignificant age and obviously transient qualities compared to their longevity. My existence maxes out at a hundred years, but theirs is more like a hundred million years and perhaps some of them will have a personal identifiability even after the sun goes supernova in five billion years. That’s my problem and I have been coping with it.

But Samumpsycle is made of painted plaster of Paris and has a problem too. His past is even briefer than mine. Ten years ago, probably less, he was simply minerals scattered in the earth. He was formed not through natural forces but by human ingenuity into a stone image of a human-like imp. Furthermore, he isn’t made of permanent materials compressed by heat and pressure into something that can endure, like basalt or granite. He is made of a material that would be weathered away into his constituent materials in a few years if directly exposed to weather. If he and a human were left in the open to survive as best they could, the human might outlast him by many years. 

Samumpsycle under a Christmas tree.

“Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? Quite chapfallen? Now get you to my lady’s chamber and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come.” – Hamlet at the graveyard speaking of dead Yorick’s skull – Hamlet – Act 5, Scene 1. 

Perhaps if I found a hole in Western Australia’s four-billion-year-old rocks and put Samumpsycle in it, he might last quite a while. Not me.

It is about time to go public.



The background materials for the new diet plan are now in place. At least they are near ready, and some of the handouts have been rewritten quite a few times. Generally, I have to redo at least a dozen times on my “final” drafts of pictures and writings before I am willing to show them to anyone other than my local critic buddies.

Fortunately, I have some friends that are skilled in areas that are very helpful in spotting nuances that I usually feel, but because I haven’t brought the problems fully to consciousness it requires a lot of muddling around. But, with the fresh eyes of a person experienced with a subject, they can spot them instantly. I have become familiar with the kind of comments that will be coming, such as “too wordy here”, “too contentious there,” “too judgmental there,” “make it more conversational and not so pedantic,”.

I know these types of comments are coming and therefore I should put up a card right here on my computer screen saying those things. … I just did that.

It is important to give some public talks on this project because that is the only way that some of the problems will be discovered. They must be exposed before they can be corrected. If a dozen presentations are necessary before they are decent then it is time to make final preparations. I have already sussed out two places where I can give presentations, so that won’t be a problem. I have done enough “stage work” so I can probably feel okay being before a small crowd. I have read plenty of background material and thought about it enough to be sure I understand the basic concepts, but it requires presenting it before people before one can become skilled at presenting the material. Perhaps the most important thing is that I am certain that I know what I am talking about because I now have a year-long track record of perfect success doing what I am promulgating.

The time for action is near. I had been thinking to do my first presentation about May 1st. May Day! Perhaps even calling it the May Day diet. Probably not. I checked the possibility of “A Life Strategy – Food” online and that title seems unique enough to be useful. That title leaves the option open to make the whole enterprise greater than just diet. That is where the work on Love Your Life was going when I got distracted for a couple of months by “the other group.” Fortunately, that fell through and I now can devote my energies to more important tasks that are dearer to my heart:

Saving the species of the world, saving humanity, saving people’s health and lives.



My Life Strategy


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Strategy issues have interested me since an early age. Perhaps it is because my high school years were lived a half mile across an open field from where the plutonium was created for the first atomic bombs. During those years I was the closest living child to those facilities and I was old enough to be aware of what they were. Somehow, it didn’t seem strange to me that of the billions of people on earth I was the one who was there. Someone would be the closest and that it was me was just a random fact of life.

Six years later I was assigned to B-47 bombers as a pilot and was about to be issued H-bombs, which are a thousand times more powerful than A-bombs, when I balked. Perhaps someone was going to destroy humanity, but I wasn’t going to be the one.

I just realized this afternoon that many of my life projects have been motivated by similar considerations. The Free Speech Movement made it possible for students on every American campus to speak politically in their public squares, and foreign students to speak there too. That is a much more powerful right than the Second Amendment right to bear arms. A personal gun seems like an insignificant toy against a government with H-bombs and the right and ability to deliver them at their choice. But with free speech an individual with a good idea can confront the most powerful government in the world and win. It happens all the time.

The species of the world are being threatened by human exploitation of their natural environments and it is inevitable that many of them are going extinct. Because all animals live on other life forms it is necessary for the plants that are at the bottom of the food chain to survive for those animals to survive. With that in mind, I spent a lot of time trying to save them. My plan is called the EarthArk Project. It is simple but it hasn’t happened yet. The idea is to distribute envelopes addressed to the EarthArk in Antarctica to people throughout the world. These people would travel about their local area with the instructions to get pinches of local seeds and soils and drop the filled envelope into their local postal system. Once in Antarctica, the samples would be put into permanent cold storage at -50° F. on top of Argus Dome at 14,000 feet altitude.

My present interest is in helping humanity to get control of the obesity epidemic. The government has failed the public because it has promoted policies that don’t work and have failed repeatedly. We humans could add several years of healthy living to our life expectancy with a simple method of eating. Basically, “My Life Strategy – Food” is an improved version of eating the way everyone ate back before 1973, when the US government began interfering with how we ate. It supported farm policies and food manufacturing policies that ended up feeding the public vast amounts of corn-derived sugar. That made vast amounts of money for some individuals but has destroyed the health of Americans and now the population of the world too.

The attention of humanity is continually being directed to unpleasant things which keeps our anxiety high and sells newspapers and other media. Also, there is a constant plea for money to give to the poor of the world, much of which gets used up in “administrative costs.” To instead take a positive approach, I am presently creating markers to identify local places so that people can go there and have a meaningful experience.

My Life Strategy is to find key points and reveal them in a meaningful way.

My Life Strategy – Food


I am planning to give a presentation on diet and weight control and have been working up the handouts for the presentation. Because of my failure to convince a group of people of the worth of my plans for their spiritual life enhancement I now have more time to devote to the diet project. It was interrupted for a couple of months because of my working up what everyone agreed was a beautiful presentation for that group. It would have brought that moribund organization back to life. But that is not what they wanted, and my plans were not to become a reality, and thus I can use my newly developed skills elsewhere, and perhaps even some of my artwork will be of use too.

There is a worldwide need for what I have to present. For example, people are desperate to learn how to control their obesity but the establishment hasn’t been able to get past the inertia of making money. Vast sums are being made with food and information that don’t enable people’s optimum performance and health.

I have had the habit of giving things away for free (for example the 3,783 Probaway blog posts), but to make a great success of anything it is necessary to have people not just use something but to identify with it. There are many million-dollar success stories based on diet plans that don’t work and medical cures for obesity that fail and thus send people to early graves.

There is far more to this human problem than obesity and that centers around people’s loss of contact with reality.

There is a desperate human need to solve that problem and I intend to do it. It isn’t going to be telling anyone to do anything specific; it is going to be in the form of general tips that people can apply to their personal needs. It is putting a point of view for looking at things before the public’s eyes and letting them see the beauty in these views when seen in a healthy way.

My Life Strategy is to see things from a point of view that will make doing healthy things the obvious thing to do.

What is false was once true.


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Before we can see something it must be understood. It must be perceived as true before it can be seen as false. When another person speaks we must understand what they have said in the way they meant it before we can run it through our thinking processes and find where it is in conflict with our own understandings. An idea must be understood as true before it can be understood as false.

Or … if someone speaks something which might be true when analyzed carefully, but it is too complex in the moment for the hearer to understand, then a break in understanding occurs and further statements don’t build on the speaker’s argument and don’t make sense and therefore become erroneous. At that point no matter what the speaker says to clarify his statements they are perceived as wrong because they don’t make sense.

Therefore, a speaker must always speak in a way that can be understood by all of the audience or he will soon lose their attention and he will be interrupted.

On the Verge by Rebecca D. Costa – Book review


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What does the future hold for humanity? That is a subject that must be studied by those of us who hope to participate in a meaningful way with what will come. Rebecca D. Costa in On the Verge does a better job than most of us squinting into the possible futures and suggesting alternate scenarios and preadaptations to those possibilities. When reading the first part of this book I was thinking she must have been reading this blog because of the overlap with ideas which I post about such topics. But, by the end of her book, I realized that was impossible because there are fundamental differences between her relationships with reality and mine.

One error, as I saw it, was the development of the idea of “predaptation: the ability to adapt a priori,” p.8. That is a core idea discussed in this book. It is an idea that is kicked around in the academic community of evolution-argumentation. The usual point of view is that adaptation comes after the real-world experience that a creature has survived and therefore has had the opportunity to reproduce.

Plants and animals other than humans are not thought to have any ability to predict the future beyond what they can easily perceive in their immediate perceptual environment. The degree to which their actions do seem to predict the future, it is argued, is derived from past experiences bred into their DNA. Those came into being because of the survival of these individuals’ ancestors and the death of those ancestors’ cousins who on average didn’t have a particular DNA trait. The argument is that human beings do have the ability to pre-adapt because they can predict the future. There is a sustained development in this book of the idea that this ability is an evolved human trait. Perhaps that is true, but it would appear that to evolve it would require modern language capabilities and the resultant conversations that become available about the complexities of past and future experiences before the ability could evolve. Those abilities have an inbred DNA component to make them available to a speaker and a listener without which it wouldn’t have evolved. Thus without the complex speech available to us, other creatures can not have the preadaptation ability.

Perhaps I quibble too much on that point, but the concluding paragraph of the book on page 209 makes it clear that Costa believes we are on a cusp of being so capable of predicting the future that we are about to assume “our rightful place as aspiring Masters of the Universe.” I doubt that will happen and the best we can hope for is to exploit the concept developed by Nassim Taleb in his book Antifragile. That means to design a path forward in such a way that the possible problems can be easily controlled better than your competitors can control them.

I recommend On the Verge . It has many good ideas discovered by an experienced and deep-thinking author.

I ask the labyrinth stones about failure.


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I walk the Bend UU labyrinth every Sunday morning that the stones are not covered with snow and ask them questions. No, I am not hallucinating that the stones are talking to me. I am projecting my mind over to where they are in time and space and from their point of view I use my powers of projection to get answers to my questions. A couple of weeks ago I asked the labyrinth stones, “What do you need? … From me? Absolutely nothing! Nothing to continue my existence.” In their point of view, I am absolutely temporary. Some of them have been identifiable as unique entities for millions of years and will be for millions of years more into the future, but I didn’t exist in any identifiable form a hundred years ago and will return to absolute invisibility again within another hundred years. I am so temporary!

Today I asked a general question about failure. What is a failure? The stones’ answers ranged from “it’s a meaningless question” to “for us there is no such thing as failure!” Another said, “I am what I am! I do what I do, and I am in perfect agreement with my self and my environment at every instant. I never fail to act perfectly!”

So what’s my problem? Can’t I be as in compliance with my nature as an unthinking stone? The problem, of course, is my thinking, but it is more than just my brain doing its thing, even it is only acting as a stone does, just doing its natural processes. No, it is my free will thinking that is creating the problem. It is my ability to think in words and the concepts they represent and to arrange these words into thoughts of past actions that fell short of my aspirations. Furthermore, these thoughts of failure burden me with projections of probable future failures of falling short of achieving my goals. Thus, I have been, am, and will be a failure. Okay, I can accept that and can move on and be willing to accept partial success.

But the stones say, “What is a success? Isn’t that just another one of your nonsense fantasy concepts signifying nothing?”

Can’t I just be as a stone and just be? Unfortunately, NO. I think and therefore I have things I want to do, and therefore I must always be falling short.