Do you Believe in Magic? Maybe

4th o' July 2013 or not.

4th o’ July 2013 or not.

Someone wise once told me that a trick only happens in the mind when one cannot imagine a plausible truth.  Stage magicians call this magic.  Priests and Priestesses from long ago and some today use a similar trick.  They healed the sick and otherwise caused changes in people they themselves could not explain.  Ponder the placebo affect for a moment. …. How does the mind cause the healing of the body through the mere thought they are receiving medicine? Is it a trick or do we just not understand what healing truly is?  Therefore, I would be an enlightened being with omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience, that is, if I could be any being I wanted to be.  That way I could never be tricked. HA! Take that universe.  Then I would shine a rainbow light on all the beginnings and esoteric meanings of all the mysteries; so we could finally live in peace and focus on the next step in our collective development.




When was the last time you were giddy?  How old are you and how long has it been since you where truly giddy?  I’m 40 and it’s been longer than I can remember until yesterday afternoon.  My son had two friends over playing music and video games, and my other two little ones were in the giddious of moods.  Laughing, running chasing, jumping …all that kid stuff.   The giddy whirlwind left a trail of destruction behind including a small bowl of shredded cheese that she was eating.

Of course Dad had to sweep it up.  As I was preparing, I noticed my oldest had his new Beats Studio headphones.  I immediately  commandeered them citing the “All Objects in Fathers House Belongs to the Father of the House “Act of 1723.  He protested.  I denied all appeals.  Justice served.

I slide them on, plugged in my iPhone and hit play.  A playlist from earlier continued starting with Eric Clapton.  Nice.  The headphones are truly awesome technology.  I turned on the sweeper, and then I turned on the active noise cancellation built into the headphones.  The sweeper noise disappeared, and the music is all I heard.  My son started to talk to me, and I could actually hear him.  That’s through the music and the sweeper running.  I was absolutely amazed and fascinated.  I started talking back to him in a voice, I and he, could hear.  I did not feel like I was yelling.  But, I guess I was, because he yelled “WHY ARE YELLING?!”.

Oh.  These are great, I thought.  I click next on the playlist.  It’s on random so Black Sabbath’s, “Paranoia”, started up.  This is a real oldie, but we  listened to it back in high school, so it had fun memories associated with it..believe it or not…

I started sweeping, the giddy whirlwind keeps bouncing off my legs, the older boys wrestling, the music loud and crystal f’n clear right in the center of my head.  Those loud guitar riffs and drum beats and melodies started flooding my head with non-specific feeling based memories from years gone by.  Days when I had the energy of youth still in me.  It became infectious.  I started to laugh hard with them.  Then they laughed more at me and I laughed back.  There we were: me sweeping away and laughing uncontrollably just like them as they bounced around the room laughing.

Now this only lasted maybe 5 seconds, if that.  But I was giddy.  And it felt damn good.  Everyone should try it at least once a year.

Daily Prompt: The New School “Old School New School”

My grandfather would lecture and talk for hours about days gone by.  About how some old things were better than the new things.  He always advised mixing the old with the new.  “You gotta’ mix the old with the new” he would say.  Now he was probably 3 sheets to wind at the time, but the advise is timeless.  So with that lofty advise I look back into history to find a system that did work.

It’s difficult or impossible to find successful mass education systems in our history. Ours truly is unique and the culmination of 1000s of years of asking this same question.  Let’s give ourselves some credit I think there are good ideas and goods start but nothing perfect.  I think the lack of good examples reflects the power and personal nature of knowledge and skill.

Knowledge is power.  And the powerful control the flow of knowledge.  It should be free and open to all, but books cost money, building are expense, massive computer server farms require huge amounts of energy.  Knowledge is not free.  The benevolent of the powerful have built infrastructure to support it’s free dissemination. Think about all the small towns in America that have libraries because of these folks. The malevolent of the powerful horde it or produce it for their own ends.  How does a democratic republic decide to educate it’s people to insure the malevolent force does not win the day?

The only truly successful model I know is the Master-Apprentice model.  It has produced successful people and civilizations for centuries.  The model is generally used only in the crafts or trades but others use the model by other names.  So simple. The master teaches the apprentice over the course of years.  The apprentice works and ventures away from the master as a Journeyman.  Later he is the master and transfers his knowledge and skill to a new apprentice.

This model may work in a mass education environment, but only with a radical change in our view of delivering knowledge.  The daily education would be handled by a large team of teachers distributed through out the city.  We would go back to one room schools but group into ages with no  more than a 3 year spread when they start.  A single teacher would educate no more than 12 students in small specially equipment buildings.  There would be many of these small buildings in a city.  These teachers would educate the students on all the basic areas of knowledge and transfer skills for living in a modern word.  Existing schools would be repurposed into specialized instruction centers.  Laboratories for writing, math, science, music, liberal arts.  They would keep there athletics and social functions and facilities.

In the near future, a driverless van will pick them at the one room school, and drop them off at their specialization center.  Then pick them and drop them back off at the school.  Private companies would maintain all the buildings and equipment for the teachers .  The buildings themselves will be highly connected centers of learning.  Video conferencing with other schools of a similar age group would occur daily.  Teachers would team up to produce materials and teach.  A social network would replace the current school board system.  It would allow and require parents to make selections and choices on mass curriculum.  And it would publicly place some accountability on the parents of bright poor performers who do not receive reinforcement at home.

The students and teacher would stay together from K through 12.  They would serve as the Master of Life Knowledge and Skill.  This would serve the purpose of the master-appretence relationship.  And helping a kid find their natural vocation would be much easier for a person that had worked with the student for years.

It would work differently than my vision.  But my grandfather was right.  Mix the old with the new and you can’t go wrong.  The Master-Apprentice model works.  It worked for Jesus and his disciples.  I think it could work for us.

Bad Advice for Venturing with Kids


I am a venturer of the highest order.  I am a charter member of a special band of merry folks, men and women, that like to take adventures at the drop of a hat.  A slight breeze can fan my adventure fire.  This can be a challenge to manage on a personal level.  Most people don’t like that much adventure in there lives, and being a parent tends to extinguish the flame most of the time.  There’s always something else to be done as a parent and householder.  But not this Saturday.  55 degrees at the end of December in Indiana demands adventure to seized.  Carpe Deim!

Oh but the kids.  Damn. I had 4 in my care and my lovely bride was with her family in another city junk store crawling.  So I selected the CONTAIN, RELEASE, SLEEP (CRS) method of kid management.   This entails containing your kids in a car for awhile and traveling to a remote location where you release them like wild animals.  This is followed by them sleeping in the car on the way home.

Now where to go?  Shades State Park of course.  Google says its 27 minutes from our house.  That’s about perfect with kids.  They play about 9 songs on an iPhone and we’re there.

So whenever I venture,  I don’t really like to plan anything.  I decide where I’d like to go or at least a general area then I go.  I might make sure I have my phone and my credit card.  That’s about the only way out of the kind of emergencies I would find myself in.  Any other emergency would require assistance from the EMT’s.  But I do have kids in tow, and the soft feminine voice in my head urges me to plan ahead.  No scratch that.  It’s my lovely brides voice in my head.  I pack water, juice, extra shoes, extra clothes, extra coats, pull-ups, wet whips and dorito’s.  I’m scared of her at times so I listened to the voice this time, but if it was just me taking this adventure, maybe not.

We had no plan but we were prepared.  First trail we saw we took.  Beautiful.  The silver cascade falls are incredible.  We went a little off trail to a nice little spot where a storm had toppled a small tree.  The older kids did dude things.  They brought their knives and they whittled and chopped sticks.


The 7 and 3 yr olds wandered and played. I tried to convince them that fairy’s lived in these woods.  And they built their houses in the trunks of trees.  They went looking’.  I sat on a log and puffed on my electronic cigarette a little bit then placed it back in my breast pocket.  I grounded my self.  Brought in the energy of place.  Deep breaths Vince. Peace. Quite. Organic.  But kid energy is infectious.


We played there then went back to the playground picnic area.  More fun.  Dudes went back in the woods and little ones wanted Daddy to push them and help them up and down.  Of course I had to make the other parents sweat a little bit.  My middle son is thriving with Down’s Syndrome, and he broke his arm at school a few months ago on a slide of course.  He still has his cast on.  It should be off next week.  But the poor other parents, they see him and feel a twinge of empathy and love for him immediately.  Suckers.  He reads it so quickly and has them picking him up and placing him at the top of the slide.  I just laugh from far away, then I wander up and to take over.  They can’t help themselves.  He plays every parental sympathy note there is.  They give me a look I recognize.  They don’t get it.  And they don’t need to right now.

But now it’s getting cold.  As I told them, father sun was flirting with mother earth today.  She was just starting to warm up to him, when he ran out of time. Back to the car we go.  Racing with the young ones of course. Now the sleep portion of the management plan kicks in.  I only lost one today.  To much older boy energy in the car today, they all wanted loud music.  I’m good with that.


Daily Prompt: Your a Winner – Blowing it on health, wealth and happiness for all.

1 billion dollars you say.  Well that’s easy.  First and easiest is building a trust for the family and future generations to insure everyone born into the family has the basics.  Shelter, food and eduction.  The last is my addition to the basic survival equation for modern times. Eduction seems to be the single biggest environmental factor that affects our development.  Much like a garden with rich soil, the fruits are always better when we as humans enrich our lives with knowledge and skills.

I think that will only chew up a few hundred million.  I’m not sure, but I would have a team of lawyers and accounts on it.  They would figure it out.  I manage large departments and small businesses, and the only thing I’ve always hated is crunching financial numbers.  I like seeing the product, but don’t like the work of getting there.  I have come to appreciate accounts, thankful there are people that like doing the work for me.

So what ever is left I’ll spend on something new and life changing for as many people as possible.  But what is it?  What technology or organization out there that could possibly change each and every life for the better.  The only idea with that kind of power would have to be in the realm of alternative energy, moreover, it’s in the shaky, sketchy world of free energy.  We just need a guy like me and my special team to start shedding some light into those rooms.  We live in a universe filled with energy.  Albert E. proved that when we wrote the energy content of a given quantity of mater is equal to it’s mass multiplied by the speed of light squared.  Fancy language for saying all matter has huge amounts of energy contained within it.  Essentially, rivers of energy that have turned in on themselves, and then they “done got all dog knotted up” into quarks, bosons and atoms.  We just need to find the special set of keys that will allow us to untie the knots in a more controled fashion.  Nuclear fission, a.k.a the bomb, releases all it’s energy at once.  And reactors pose radiation hazards for generation to come.  There must be another way.

My foundation would evaluate the best ideas and select the technologies with the most promise.  We’d staff it up and find some answers.  Unfortunately, a problem this complex really requires a billion dollars per month until my children’s grandchildren are great grand parents.  That’s about 110 years from now by my math.  So my drop in the bucket would not amount to much.  However, the foundation and the technologies and methods it developed would act as trim tab for the future of mankind.  Much like how Buckminster Fuller envisioned the long term affect of his work. He knew anything he wrote or invented would eventually fade in significance much like a plane traveling on a 5000 mile journey.  Very tiny adjustments by the pilots at the beginning will produce huge affects on the final location of the vessel.  Free energy is the only technology that would lift the entire planet just a little bit.  All boats lift in a rising river, someone just needs to open the flood gates.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

Weekly Photo Challenge

The kids in the photo are obviously expressing the joy of the moment. Bright sun on an August afternoon with their parents sweating behind the camera trying to capture the moment. They may or may not be mine.

But that’s not the joy I’d like to point out. It’s the statue behind the kids. It’s titled “Man with Fish” by the artist Stephan Belkenhol. If you look, he is not smiling. His face is not expressing joy, but he’s hugging a fish. I find hugging people I love joyful. This guy must love fish. And the fish seems to love him. It’s spitting water from it’s mouth which must be how fish express joy.  They don’t have arms and hands to hugh with, you see.

The ideas of sacrifice, knowledge and teaching all come together to produce a human that can easily feed himself and his family. That is a joyful and lovely idea Mr. Balkenhol. It worked on us!

The Pen

Every year my wife and I struggle to find gifts for each other.  I’ve started to create a wish list on Amazon to make her life easy.  And this year should’ve been very easy for he.  You see I broke my favorite fountain pen.  I know it sounds funny.  It’s 2013 and all, and I do have an iPhone, 2 ipads and a computer at home if I want to write.  But there is something quite magically about writing with pen and paper.  So, I added a couple of decent pens to my wish list for her to choose from.  A few weeks later she told me “she was done with me” as far as gift giving is concerned.

So I went to the Amazon site to see which one she ordered.  I know, I hear you.  I’m ruining the surprise.  But wait.  There was no fountain pen ordered.  I was beside myself.  I told her what I wanted.  I even told her that my broken one was my favorite, and I had purchased in Portland, OR.  It was a real special trip and the pen had been my little companion for 7 years.  Longest I ever had a pen.

Well I did what any man would do.  I found another pen I liked and ordered it.  One with a nice carbon fiber barrel and gold nib.  Now my wife sees all my purchases and noticed this one.  She inquired.  I responded that I saw she did not order one and I really needed (ok wanted) one.  She was mad.  Ballistic would be more appropriate.  I was so clueless.

Well I can’t undo what is done.  So I took the fire I knew was coming, and I received it on 12/19.  We argued about it on the 20th.  I felt a little bad  so I left in the box until 12/24.  I finally got it out to test it.  Very smooth on my heavy note book paper.  Silky.  Nice.

I decided I would charge the pen.  Program it with my energy.  I put on a shaman drum track in my car as I sit parked in a local city park.  I traveled in the second sight to a specific location to gather energy so that my pen would write true and with clarity.

Later that evening, I was looking for something in my car.  I was down low looking under the passenger seat when my pen smoothly slide out of my breast pocket onto the driveway.  Only about 18″ at the most.  Well the impact caused the cap to break free from the thread portion.  Leaving the pen cap worthless at performing it only function.  I was devastated.  And a little angry that I would have to face my wife.  I kept quite as most men would.

Christmas rolls around.  Angie had bought me a nice fountain pen as gift.  Really better than the one I bought my self.  I understood now why she was so anger.  She also got me a pack of purple ink cartridges.  My favorite.

So later that day it occurred to me the synchronistic nature of the event.  I laughed.  I went and gathered the piece of broken pen and laid them in front of her on the kitchen counter.  I said, “You can call off the flying monkey’s now.  You broke my wand.”  “Whatever do you mean?” she says with a smile.  You see, her favorite character from the Wizard of Oz was always the witched witch.

The destruction brought by the flying monkeys

The destruction brought by the flying monkeys