Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, Off and On
KHUK KHAK, THAILAND - This calico cat has been hanging around, hanging around. I don't care for cats that much, being more of a dog guy. Seems like cats come with women. Dudes don't bring a cat into the house. We come home with a dog, someone who'll listen, somebody we can relate to.
Cats are good for rats and snakes, they say. That being the case, while going after trash bags at Nang Thong Market (to clean up eight months of rubbish out back, pushed down my way by the two Thai yabba meth freaks three doors down, who got busted by a dozen police pounding on their door at 3 a.m. and taken away for rape and murder two months ago, I was told), I saw the cat food, tuna, salmon, other kinds there in the with the dog food, and thought I'd give the cat a treat, prompted by seeing the shedded skin of what had to be a eight foot snake in the garden, today.
Saw it, no snake, just the skin, snake for sure, no doubt, laying there, went one way four feet, wrapped around a small tree, and went back the other way, four feet. I looked at that a moment, head to tail, then gauged it's width with my thumbs and index fingers in a circle, oh, about the size of a, of a, of a, it's a fucking python.
So, can a cat keep a python away from the house? Or would the cat serve as lunch for the python? When they say 'cats are good for snakes', what does that mean, exactly? Good for lunch, or keeping them away? You tell me. Boa, Python, I don't know. About the size of a softball. Bigger than an orange, for sure. Smaller than a grapefruit. A softball. That's a python, right?
The skin was laying flat, so I was imagining it, and what I saw was one big fucking snake, whoever you want to call him. That could explain the jumpy nature and wide-eyed, fearful look in the cat's face whenever any sound occurs. Any sound.
Now it's become somewhat of a nuisance, underfoot and bugging me while I'm trying to get the place squared away from eight months of neglect, but I guess I'll just have to accept it with the illusory hope that somehow this little cat can keep a python away.
The more I think about it, what's a python doing here in the first place? Could be the snake habitat I've created. But the cat was obvious here, already, too. Hmmmm. It's a puzzle. I'll let you know what, if anything happens, cat-wise.
You saw Tarzan, didn't you? Those old black and white movies? You saw him wrestle with the alligator, crocodile? You see him wrestle with that python? He always had a knife handy, so that's what I do. Scissors, couple of knives close by, a machete', a bow saw, a hatchet.
With Tarzan, there was a contest of strength before he dispatched the snake, and I'm not sure if the monkey had to go for help once or not, but as you would know, Tarzan prevailed because of the next episode and many other King of the Jungle reasons, but for me, noticing a particularly sharp loss of muscle mass and strength over the past few years, I think my best bet is to keep some sharp-ass slicing and dicing utensils within reach, when working in the garden.
See? I'm still thinking about that snake.
Could be a cobra. Cobras can go eight feet.
Which is worse?
Makes a nigga just want to heave a big sigh.
Exerting himself to the extreme, Tarzan's hollering, wrestling the fucking python, "CHEETA! GO GET JANE!"
"NO, CHEETA! WAIT! GET ME MY KNIFE!"
People over here acted like they were pissed I stayed gone in the States for so long, upsetting their view of where I should be in their world. Found myself explaining spending Christmas with my family for the first time in years, and then New Year's, and the nice weather, and lights and electricity and water and the internet and the squadron responsibilities, and the projects I had to wrap up before heading out just as that snowstorm hit Denver.
BBC in Bangkok said people in Europe were freezing ass. Out on the sizzling street, I was drenched with sweat, an obvious new arrival just off the flight, too stupid to stay inside from the mid-day oven, feet blistering in sandals after being tenderized eight months in socks and shoes.
Over here, people have a thing about feet. You can't point your feet at a buddha. It's uncivilized to point your feet at anyone, or show them the bottom of your feet. Don't put your feet up on the table or up anywhere. Feet belong on the ground or motorbike foot pegs. Only heathens won't remove their shoes at the door.
So, after being here for seven, eight years, I take particular notice when someone is picking and playing with their feet, their socks, their toes, then want to do something like pass me a joint. I have to decline and tell them I'm trying to quit. Maybe other folks don't notice things like that, but I do.
Like Digger told his good friend Devon, "Nigga! You gonna step over ALL those shoes inside the doorway and come walking in here on my carpet with your muddy-ass shoes!"
The Thai won't say anything; they're too shy and non-confrontive. They'll just stare at your feet.
The squadron, mentioned earlier, the 335th, The Slim Buttes 335th Tactical Aviation Squadron (I answer the phone there, '335th Tac', just like they, the radio operators, do if they were really doing it) was taking up more time since taking on the contract to deliver 63 planes by the end of January, delaying my departure until that loose end could be wrapped up.
Talked to Lupe' and Bo & Misty about picking up the production of about, well, 247 planes at $5 a plane.
Lupe' did some figuring, and said with a shake of his head, "Bro, you can't live on five dollars a day."
True, not even on the rez, but you could amp up your production. I can knock one out in about four hours; three, if people leave me alone and stop bugging me about another cup of coffee and would I mind if they checked out their Facebook page.
So, despite the claim of being 'made in America,' I sought out the Myanmar girls, got three already, and when I can get two more and somebody to translate, I'm going to re-fire up production over here with one girl on design, one on cut-out, one on drilling, and two on assembly, day wages at 200TB per day, per girl.
That's about seven bucks each, and selling them at $499.99, I'll make a fortune. Seven bucks. Even if they only crank out two a day, it's better than what Lupe' thought he could do after reverse engineering the thing and saying, 'maybe I can make them faster after I make forty or fifty,' he said.
Bo Davis was non-committal. Misty, too.
"Five bucks a plane," I told them. "And, you've got to deliver them to Denver."
Bo just shook his head. Misty wouldn't look me in the eye. They didn't ask about the transportation costs. Their unspoken message was that they can make more doing bead work.
So, it looks like my best bet is over here with the cheap Myanmar labor. There goes another five jobs out-sourced out of the country. There goes another shot at tribal sovereignty.
Already told you I've got the Chinese beat, hands down, with our 40-point assembly. Theirs is a laughable three, a punch-out idea off a flat piece of cardboard, stolen from my templates, mind you, after being hustled off to Shanghai by my former crew boss, Li An Song Su Ky, a hateful, scornful, no-smiling, scowling, snake-of-a-woman, who was formerly a sweet little dirt-poor, flat-footed, no-make-up, up-country village girl until coming down here and mingling with all the corrupted infidel foreigners, with whom she undoubtedly had a bad experience prior to our association.
You see it happen. People get burned, they get pissed and maybe withdraw. Don't want to trust or be open to the world. Start making accusations maybe and fall into some kinda prolonged emotional septic trench.
As old man Palamioni said after Tito's fall from the trapeze, 'These-ah thingsa happen froma time-ah to time-ah."
You may know the taste of deception or theft. Best is to spit and let it go. In any case, excuse the digression, the shipping costs of the planes are going to offset the labor savings, and with the squadron now six years old with 187 pilots, it's still in its marketing phase until 350 aircraft are produced.
Thus, our principal investors won't realize a dividend until sometime in 2015. Maybe earlier. I keep telling them we must stay the course, look at the long-range plan, beyond the elections, beyond the Mayans, beyond our wildest imaginations.
Honor Your Food
I've been trying to eat four, five, six times a day. Part of it is trying to replace a sharp loss of muscle mass and strength noticeably absent in the mirror and when swinging a splitting maul, and part of it is the food is so good.
At home on Pine Ridge we eat what they like to call food, all of which comes in a package or can, loaded up with horrible shit that will kill you sooner than most other addictions or other hosts of vampire bugs and parasitic chemicals floating in our environment. Out planet is just DRIPPING with toxins. Any Indian will tell you the government is practicing genocide with the food.
Don't believe me? Take a look. Take a look at Indian people.
Even here, where the eating is fairly close to the picking, I'm told the Thai have 25,000 harmful chemicals in their agriculture. Yeah, and the restaurants usually have dogs, and sometimes chickens working the place.
Dad prayed every meal. A good habit. Went something like 'Our Heavenly Father thanktheeforthisfoodforwhichwereboutreceiveforthenourishmentofourbodiesandsomethin
somethinsomethinsomethininJesusakeIpray Yamen.' It caught on. Not the blessing, but the habit, the idea of saying thanks before you eat. Since if we didn't eat, we'd die. A little thing, then, to say thanks.
So, are we praying for the food, or because of the food. hoping the shit won't kill us.
I was laying there in bed thinking about our food, and how much of it I'd consumed that day, and what life and energy it gave me, and what I'd said and done with that. How did it get played out in interpersonal relationships throughout the day?
Day one, in the womb, we start packing on the pounds, and when we get out, out of the womb, out of the house, out of town, all that food continuum, that energy continuum, gets expressed on our gigantic canvas. What color is yours? What does it look like? Would it be an aura?
I use profanity a lot around the boys, like, barracks talk. I tell the nephews, 'I was in the fuckin' army. This ain't a fuckin' girl scout camp.' And they laugh, keeping it loose, and sometimes in writing I'll use profanity, too, just to keep it loose and real, or to make a point, but when I think about honoring my food, and like Al says, 'You pray with that same tongue?', then sometimes I think I should tone it down and not swear so fucking much.
My friend, the Dalai Lama, doesn't swear around, at least in public. I was sitting with David, the manager of the new Italian restaurant where yesterday I ate one of my meals, said of one of his friends, as if to impress me, "He's friends with the Dalai Lama."
I looked him straight in the eye and said, "I'm friends with the Dalai Lama, too."
His face registered surprise, then he sat staring at me for a good fifteen or twenty seconds. I never blinked. Finally, he asked, "You've actually met the Dalai Lama?"
"No," I replied. "I've got his picture at home on my pantry door."
"Oh," he said, pushing back in his chair and turning his head sideways in a scoff, "Then I'm friends with the Dalai Lama, too."
"Sure, you are," I told him.
Some of it has to be who you're hanging out with. If it's the boys, or the boys in the barracks, then you can say any fucking thing, right? You should hear the way these motorcycle gang members talk, and the Brits, and the Aussies. They are really, really, bad. In front of women, their girlfriends, their wives, their mothers, for Christ's sake! I couldn't believe what Damon called Margaret Thatcher with his mother sitting right there, who didn't disagree.
It's so bad, I can't print it, so I'll tell you psychically.
Get it? That's pretty bad, isn't it?
Wow. Talk about getting side-tracked. Where the fuck was I?
Well, I'd like to think that I honor my food by being kind to plants and animals.
Even before I got on the plane, I was thinking about massage. Shortly after checking in after a solid 26 hours flying in coach class (say, 'sardines') DenverLosAnglesHongKongBangkokPhuket - Wham, Bam, Blam, Boom, exhausted/wired, went straight to the hotel massage, and for ten bucks, had a woman attack me with such ferocity it felt like Turkey Vulture tears up roadkill rabbit. It's quite possible to leave feeling poorer than when you went in.
Complaining? You could say a bad massage in Bangkok isn't as bad as an excellent massage in Pittsburg.
They're Just There
Manuel stopped by the 335th HQ before I left the States, and among other topics, spoke about people being engaged with their mobile devices. Absorbed.
Around the world, new technologies have distanced us further from one another, putting us only physically in the presence of others. For those around us when we're electronically engaged, we could just as well be in vegetative state, on life support.
As Manuel said, 'They're not talking with you. They're not visiting or listening. They're just there.'
I just found some M&Ms I had stashed.
Ok, today, Yon, who gave me the bananas six years ago (yielding just now; sweet), stopped by when he saw I was back. I showed him the snakeskin in the garden. He looked, then looked again, closer.
With his left hand, he encircled his right forearm, indicating the thickness of the snake's body.
"What kind?' I asked, excitedly. "Phython? Anaconda?"
"No Anaconda," he said. "Cobra."
Someone said cats can beat a cobra. At dinner tonight, I ordered fish. After eating most of it, I asked the waitress, "Si krang, samrap meeo, Krap," a 'to-go' bag, please, for the cat.