Saturday, December 17, 2011

Two Of You, At Least

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, Off and On
Two of You, At Least

PINE RIDGE, SD - You ever get the sense that the whole universe is waiting for you to get your shit together?  That's what they're saying about the entire planet.  Waiting for all of us to make some changes so they can complete the symphony.  If everybody could elevate just one tick, we could make that quantum leap.

', annnnnnnd LIFTOFF!'

We've got to do something different, tinker around a bit more with dna and stem cells, or scrap the old model entirely and return to the drawing board. There must be some reason why we came to the garden, if there's a reason behind everything, like people like to say.  I've heard people say it, anyway, as if it were a common truth, like gravity.

What if they're wrong? What if the bumper sticker is right?

No.  Contrary to contemporary proclamations, shit just doesn't happen.  Shit happens because of prior shit happening.  Any scientist will tell you.  Cause & effect.  Buddhists say karma.  What go around, come around.  Isn't learning figuring out relationships?  Monkeys and lab rats figured it out.  Why can't we?

In any case, here we still are with things closing in.  Live, evolve, reproduce, die.  There must be more.  Experience?  Create?  We sure make all kindza shit. Seems like there would be a tipping point, a breaking point, where we can't make any more shit because we've used up all the resources.  I can see the graph. Then what can we make?  Or maybe we can't make any more shit because all the jobs got shipped to China.  Perhaps they could assume our capacity to make war.  They've got the guys.

Reason why I say that about the waiting universe is because I'm still thinking of the multiple universes, a parallel universe of endless possibilities, my clone over there on the backside of a black hole, trying to copy all my moves, trying to keep up with me on the dance floor.  I'm over here doing all the heavy lifting while he's over there just going through the motions, vamping on my psyche.

You think people see the same person you see reflected back at you in a mirror, who all these years you think you are? They're seeing the real you.  The person we're looking at has it all backwards, but thinks they've got it straight.  Check it out.  The part is on the wrong side, if there's a part.  Look at a photo.  That's you.  The mirror?  That's an illusion.  The Self-story, the bullshit script we tell, is all delusional, a chasm between the perceived and the real.

Reason why I say that about the mirror is because I just saw some creepy horror movie over at Bo and Misty's where the girl was in front of a mirror, and when she moved, her reflection didn't.  That was creepy.  It got worse.  Her reflection came crashing through the mirror, no shit, into the room, and proceeded don't want to know...maybe you do...try to kill her with a long, pointed mirror shard.

Maybe you know the movie.  Gave me the yim yams.  Turned out, the girl got away from the evil twin, and was all right by the end of the movie.  I don't care for that horror shit in the movies, ever since Vietn...ain't gonna say it...ever since my time working for the government in Southeast Asia, the aftermath of a tsunami, and life here in the Real 3-D World on Pine Ridge.  Who needs more horror?


Speaking of being scared, have you noticed lately on the radio the government, FEMA, is telling us to continue to be afraid.  Prepared, actually, and that's okay because that's the motto of the Boy Scouts, a fine organization, and what do they say about an ounce of precaution?

Nothing.  But they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  An ounce of precaution will save you a boatload of paranoia.  Insofar as FEMA public service announcements are concerned, they're asking us what we'd do in the case of a disaster with the combined sounds of a tornado, screeching brakes of a subway, and agonized cries from hell going on in the background.  They advise getting a kit.

If you aren't the go get a disaster kit type, or maybe you'll put it off until the last minute, along with a gallon of milk, which won't be of any significant consequence if a massive solar flare hits us, we get slapped by something big & nasty whizzing in from space, or if you find yourself quite suddenly and unexpectedly swimming for your life.

But what gets me is the language they use, asking; 'What would you do if life as you know it is turned on its head?' and later, 'What will you do if your family's world gets turned upside down?' One hopes they're speaking only figuratively, but what an odd choice of words.  Twice.

If you live in a perpetual state of fear or non-specific anxiety, and are even mildly concerned about the possibility of polar shift instantly freezing your lake and iced tea in July, then that kind of momma earth-spinning talk could be disturbing, to say the least, especially when it's coming not from some alarmist late-night end-of-the-world kook, but from your  government. 

They say have a back-up plan for your family, in case everything 'goes down'.  Is this like fallout shelters and 'Duck and Cover', or are they prepping us for something everybody has a feeling is coming? You can go to

You don't have to be paranoid to be good boy and girl scouts.  Stock up. Be prepared.  Food. A gallon of milk, more ammo.

'Duck and Cover' - For those too young to remember or to have participated, the federal plan in case of nuclear attack from the Soviet Union, the Russians, the fucking Communists, all same same at the time.  Don't run to the window to see the source of the brilliant flash. There's going to be a helluva shock wave next.  Get under your desk.  Grainy black and white instructional films of happy, white, early1950's American kids in the classroom, all obediently and quickly taking cover in unison at the instruction of their teacher,  'All right now, children...everybody...DUCKANDCOVERYOURASS!"

It was funny then, and it still is now, has lasting comedic power, and as ridiculous as yesterday's discarded color-coded federal terrorist threat alert system, to be heard only in airports.  You'd have to go to an airport to learn how afraid to be on a given day.  Surely, someone in the administration at the time was asking, 'Shouldn't we be broadcasting this message on street corners and Wal-Mart?'

The response had to be, 'No. That would create too much a climate of fear.'

Everybody soon realized the obvious, including government security agencies after a time, a decade, that you don't need to be in the air to be extra afraid, though we continue to experience a charade of security as American air travelers who are all first treated as presumed suspect criminals, then allowed clearance only after submission to humiliating invasions of privacy at the hands of strangers.

This bothers me.  It seems an acute outrage, and in airport security lines, I feel an absurdity, an innate urge to resist a numb, voiceless pathology, removing one's shoes, remove all items from your pockets, don't make them pull you aside, move along, move along, down the plank, stay in line, into the boxcar, over the cliff. 

I've got this thing about being in the air; in fact right now I'm seeing how up I can get.  Climbing trees, tree houses, kites, back-flip high-dive high school swimming pool clown, the high-wire circus act, helicopters in Vietn...ain't gonna say it...helicopters in a Southeast Asian rice and noodle-eating nation starting with a 'V' and ending with 'M', the transmitting tower incident at the Fort Wayne tv station, and now, today, these airplanes all over the place.  The air up in here is thick with aircraft.

In reflection, I'm beginning to get it - I always wanted to be 'UP', or high.  I can still hear my mom, 'Come down from there!' the chief engineer screaming, "DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY VOLTS ARE RUNNING UP THAT TOWER?" and years later, the judge hollering, 'STAY OFF OUR ARCHITECTURE!' after those guys, the cops and those people, talked me down from the attempted St. Louis arch crossing ('Judge Fines Man in Arch Crossing; St. Louis Post-Dispatch 4/16/73).

The attempt was to prove to my colleagues in the Flying Palominos that I wasn't chickenshit, after all, as they had alleged.  That was without a net, a six hundred and thirty foot drop from the crest of the arch to the Mississippi, but it seemed a lot higher than that.  A misleading headline, as well, since I was prevented from crossing, but I probably could have made it had they not interfered.  Like they said after the spelling bees and the war, 'You didn't win it, but the important thing is that you tried.'

And just the other day, my daughter asked her brother, 'What was he doing up there in the first place?'

So, I see this 'air thing' a persistent and lifelong strand, my android clone operating a robotic device, harvesting minerals and rare ores from asteroids in the ort cloud.  Speaking Chinese.


My Chinese Friends

Speaking of speaking Chinese, I'd like to welcome you new Chinese readers on board.  What a plllleasant surprise!  Tell all your friends.  All 1.3 billion, ha.  I've been trying to get a toe-hold over there.  A toe-hold; that's a figure of speech.  That's like, 'a foot in the door'.  That's like, uh, developing new markets, okay?  Maybe you know English figures of speech, already.  That's what I do, officially, professionally - cliches and figures of speech.  I have no idea of your proficiency, but, whatever, welcome. I hope we can be friends.  I lay off the Chinese jokes.  My landlord is Chinese.  I buy of lot of your stuff in Wal-Mart.

Annnnd...without sounding overly patronizing, one of my best friends is Chinese, and I have another good friend who studied Chinese in Kunming.  Did I say my landlord is Chinese? I was raised Chinese, we had a China cabinet, I eat Chinese food fairly regularly, I can find China 'Town' on Google Earth, a distant grandfather served with General Tso,  and as a small child I ate spinach because of your starving people, and, and, I watched you guys launch your spaceship last month.

So.  We're like brothers.  Be sure to tell your friends.  What?  You want Chinese jokes?  Okay.  I've got one for you;  In China, even if you're a one-in-a-million guy, there's 130,000 guys out there just like you.

In China, you've got to get caught red-handed, because nobody can describe the suspect.

Will this get by your censors?  Next time, some jokes about you guys finding a wife.  What're the odds over there of getting laid, 10,000 to one?  No wonder the young dudes are heading out.  Who wants to oversee a mining operation in Nigeria? The sheer demographics of it have the world's population as half Chinese by sometime soon, so you can feel good about the future.


You see where they found a new, possibly life-supporting earth-like planet about two or three times the size of us?  Told ya we'd find it. That's the good news; there will be lots more space for everybody.  Only thing is, it's 15, 20 light years away, give or take a bump along the way.

How do they know?  A little bird.  Also, they can see it.  This isn't the not-too-hot, not-too-fucking-cold 'Goldilocks Planet'.  That one was much farther away in another distant galaxy.  This new one is close.  It's right there.  We can practically reach out and touch it, with a long enough hand.  A virtual hop, skip, and jump.

Fifteen light years.  Hmmm.  Some say twenty.  Another dude said 600.  Oh?  Is it possible that something could be racing toward us from deep space and we wouldn't know about it until the last minute?  They said yes.  Which direction would you look.  Up?  No.  Out.  Look the fuck out.  Again, duck and cover.

These aren't 'ramblings', as some readers have referred to it; 'Keep sending your ramblings.'   I'm working from notes here.  Just looking for a way to tie it all together into some form of a consistent line of thought, which it is not.  It's not a treatise.  It's's a...a..uh...

A sort of rambling report from my world.  No doubt, you've got other things to think about in your universe.  If we listen to people talk, we can tell exactly what's on their minds.  What never ceases to amaze me is how each and every one of us has something different going on in their head.  As they say in Asia, same same, but different.

I had an arrogant asshole of a boss one time tell me, "I need your best thinking on this."  This was several years ago, but it stuck, and today I'm still as baffled by his comment as I was at the time.  What the fuck?  Like, your hazy, everyday, 33 1/3rd isn't good enough?  You need some ginko?  Slam it into overdrive?  And if so, just how do you do that?

I suppose a person could start with a pot of coffee.

Milo Yellowhair stopped by for a pot of coffee last week, and upon hearing my lamentations that few, if any of our eighty-six pilots knew their tail numbers or the name of our organization, created a hypothetical prisoner-of-war scenario for downed and captured pilots from the 335th, more than willing to spill their guts at the hands of their captors under the threat of torture, but helplessly unable to remember the tail number of their aircraft or the name of our squadron.


"Wait a minute!  Wait a minute.  Let me think," he said, holding up his hand.  "I can tell you.  You guys don't have to do this.  I can remember.  Just give me a second.  It's on the tip of my tongue...the ah, The Aerial...the...The Slim Buttes Aerial Squa...uh, The Slim Buttes...uh..."


The Cafe

With the advent of high-speed glass data delivery here, we witnessed the unofficial opening of a dream of bringing an internet cafe and coffee shop to Slim Buttes, with several people showing up, saying, "We heard you got your internet."

They stayed way beyond 1 a.m., sipping coffee on a tab, listening to pow wow music on You Tube, surfing the net, checking their email, fiddling with their mobiles, texting, and totally ignoring me and my jokes.  'So this is the way it's going to be,' I thought.  In disgust, I had to eventually kick them out.

Along with the big new sign, 'Home Of The Slim Buttes 335th Tactical Aviation Squadron', the six-wicket croquet golf course, and Bavarian Beer Garden on Tuesday and Thursday nights out on the veranda, the plan is to serve connoisseur coffees; your Guatemalan, Ethiopian, East African Uzuri, Sumatran, got your organic Free Trade bean here from Costa Rica, and my favorite, East Timor.

We're going to be as serious about our bean here as the folks in Seattle, and as as you may already know, Indians are some serious, competitive, major league coffee drinkers.

Okay, as opposed to Facebook or the dream world, here's a serving all in one big glob, one big blogglob.  Enjoy the holidays.  May you and your loved ones be blessed through the coming year.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thank You, Water

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, Then Quit For A While, Then Started Up Again
November 2011
Thank You, Water

PINE RIDGE Indian Reservation, SD -  HEY!  WHERE YOU BEEN AT?

I don't know about you, but me, myself, I've gotta be in 'my space' to write.  A coffee shop or airport lounge doesn't cut it.  Sure, you can zip off a quick confused, incoherent message amidst overloud distracting chatter and espresso would you describe that sound?..KRRRRRRRRRRRTT....but for focused writing, like, to you, like, now, I've got to be in my space.  From here, I can produce a clear and focused, concentrated, incoherent message.

That would be right here at home.  Just got phone and internet.  Only took 2011 years and eleven months.  Just got water after a six-year wait, and electricity after two years of off-the-grid solar, four years of candlelight and batteries when the solar attempt failed, and after four months ago when I swallowed my eco-electro energy independence dream and went over there to Martin, SD and humbly requested service from Lake Creek Electric Company.

"You got a special deal for vets, or retired people on fixed income?" I asked the efficient and polite middle-aged lady like the kind you see working for years at a rural electric company.

"No," she said.

"How does it work, then?" I asked.

"The way it works is, you give us money, and we give you electricity."

They wanted a signature on a ten-year contract, just short of marriage, so I scrawled 'Peter Larsen' on their paperwork, laid down about $700 bucks up front for the poles and the deposit and the survey and the crew lunch and office party and gas and whatnot, and here about a month ago, they came out the very same day the tribal water crew installed the long-awaited yard hydrant, and run the lines and set the poles, telephone poles, inadvertently cutting through the Mini Wiconi water line with that bigass hydraulic auger when they drilled the holes for the poles.  I had water for fifteen minutes.

"Couldn't have hit it more dead center if they'd laid out tobacco and prayed," I told Bo and Misty, who were over here drinking coffee and getting some kinda way, hearing the story three times.  "There's only one place those lines (water & electric) intersect, and they nailed it."

Thinking maybe it was just me, I asked the guy, "This has happened before, right?"

It had.  Not alll the time, but it had, like the time they went through a, wha'd he say?,  a four-inch line? and had the truck submerged before a bigass wrecker pulled them out of the sinkhole they'd created.  It happens, he said with a shrug of resignation.  Fortunately, the water crew was still here with their backhoe and bobcat, and repaired the water line straight away, as the gecko likes to  say.*

Anyway, I've got water and lights, lights on all over the place, and just here last night, phone and internet.

Maybe city and off-the-rez folks take all that for granted.  Like, a shower and indoor flush toilet.  After all this 3rd-World time doing without, hauling water, out of communication, and sleeping on a Meadowlark's schedule, I can just say I'm pretty happy about life here in Slim Buttes.

Soooo, just because you haven't heard from me doesn't mean I don't care, or haven't been thinking of you.  I have.  And it may sound cliche', but I've been meaning to write.  Really.  I've got notes, notes out the ass.

Let's see...let's see here.  Yeah, I've just been out here checking my traps, managing air traffic control up in here, and waiting for contact from the Pleidians.  That's what I told Jack and those Red Cloud nephews when they came out here, none of which seemed to register, because they just said, 'Uh huh'.

So to make an imprint and see how much attention they were paying, I shouted out, "TO HELL WITH THE HOG MARKET REPORT!  WE WANT SOME FUCKING FOOTBALL!" as I went over and changed the AM station on my little battery-operated radio, tuning in the Cornhuskers at home in Memorial stadium over in Lincoln.

They didn't laugh at that, either.  I don't know what it was.  Maybe they didn't know what to expect.
They seemed a bit apprehensive, staring at all the planes.

Mouse traps.  But they didn't ask.  Didn't ask who the Pleidians were, either.  Just kind of nodded in agreement that they'd prefer the game over the price of pork bellies.

Here, on Pine Ridge, it would be a fair guess to say most Indians don't give a shit about livestock reports, but just down the way in the panhandle of Nebraska, from which the local station broadcasts, the price of grain futures and bulls and heifers and hogs dominates the noon news.  Around here, the people become excited when water comes to the 'ville.


You see where my predictions came true?  Shit falling from space?  ('Alarm Raised Over Shit From Space'  07.03.09) Yeah.  And I've got another one for you - things are going to get better before they get worse.  Like that?  That's what Reagan told us, and you can see he was right.  Get government off our backs, he said.  Trickle down economics.  Um hmm.

So yeah, I'm trying to elevate to where y'all are at.  Ipod, Ipad, GPS, palm pilot, cell and mo-bile device, text, twit, and triangulate, tweet astral realm and ascended light body, but things happen slowly out here, everybody knows.  TMI, man.  ixnay on the x-rays.  Give me a hand search.  Still trapped in human body.  Still working without a net. Contact me by ESP.

Gotta elevate.  Soon. Before 2012, they say.  Before Armageddon. Before the rapture. Before Niburu. Gotta start working out. Gotta have some dreams.  Gotta have some ideas.  Where you going to get your ideas?  Copy somebody else's?  Join somebody's circus?  You're going to need some hiking gear.

Double universe, parallel universe ain't nothin' but a theory.  Just think, there's a person over there just like you, doing all the same shit, making all the same choices. Would they look over here, through the mirror, and ask you to cut 'em a break, cut 'em some slack?

The nephews understood the comment about air traffic control, seeing as how the air space here is becoming crowded, the home strength of the Slim Buttes 335th Tactical Aviation Squadron at fifteen aircraft.  Yesssss.  Fifteen.  Eight new 7th ed. tri-wing Fokkers went out over the summer to some retar...special needs kids down in Colorado, with production working by candlelight filling back orders from before the economic downturn and later, a shutdown after that slut Li An took off to China with my templates** last summer, and after layoffs everybody knows its hard to get up and running to full steam once again.  Even then, once you see a profit, it's hard to take on new people and not put that cash in your pocket.

Anyway, as of last quarter, end of July, the 335th experienced twelve downed aircraft from pilot error, six prop damage, ten landing gear failures, five strut and wing damage, one tail section mishap same same Reno air show, two downed from enemy fire, and one downed from cat playing tetherball.

Internal Affairs has taken over the investigation of the purported attempted sale of a squadron aircraft at Cubbies convenience store in Oglala for $4.99 by one of our pilots whose name is being withheld because of her age.  A witness stated the pilot was unable to sell the aircraft.

Note to pilots: For minor damage, such as props and rudders, fix it in the field if you can.  For more extensive damage, haul 'em in for general maintenance. more flying over the grandstands!  Period. No more horsing around.  You see what can happen.

Ok.  Mixing up a little work with play here.  Play with work.  Work is play. Work is play, they say. Work is play if you love what you do, and you're not working for an asshole.  Gotta get the word out.  We've got 86 pilots now, with No. 129 rolling out off the assembly line just last night.  That rate of production over six years may seem anemic by Boeing or Lockheed standards, but for a one-man operation since the Myanmar girls got pissed and quit, it's not too bad.

**I'm going to deal with this here, as opposed to a footnote at the end of the story.  Li An, you may recall, was my hateful English-speaking Myanmar crew boss.  First, she incited the crew against me, then while I was home for the summer, she absconded to China with my templates, which she claims was her idea, and the result was my plane appearing on the street six months later as a cardboard cut-out with some assembly required.  All of 'em blue.  Mine are one-of-a-kind.  Theirs are cheap, mine are $499.99.  Theirs are made in China and stamped out, mine are handcrafted, made in the USA.  Except for the ones that were made in Thailand, then shipped back to the US.  Mine are limited edition, they've made a blue million of them.  You can get theirs at Wal-mart and on the street; mine, you can't.  They also produce a punch-out aircraft carrier; I don't.

So, there.


You ever experience the 'hurry up offense', caught unaware perhaps, where plays are coming at you so fast you haven't the time to organize a defense appropriate to the alignment on the field?  Its later, when reviewing the events and replaying the tapes that you can get an accurate picture of what occurred, how it happened, what you could have done, what you could have said.

A person needs a generic, knee-jerk, off-the-shelf, reptilian, reflexive, prevent defense, some kind of preparatory instantaneous survival mechanism.  Fight, flight, lie, deceive, cajole, manipulate. Catch 'em napping.  Stop 'em in the red zone.  Keep 'em out of field goal range.  Make 'em punt.


Did I give you the results of the croquet golf tournament, the 1st Annual Slim Buttes Invitational Croquet Golf Tournament?  I won it.  Ballanco took silver.  Ted Ebert got the bronze.  That was Labor Day Weekend, following a last-minute agreement between the owners and players arriving at a settlement, which means the 2012 croquet golf season is BACK ON!

Back in July we held a weekend 'Zero-Tolerance' Advanced Fly-Swatting workshop for adults, focusing on long-term vigilance, long-distance recognition, interdiction and elimination.  There were breakout sessions on fundamentals and techniques such as the feint, the overshot, the no-look backhand, fade-away, the ceiling slapshot, and 'coming out of the sun'.

Upon completion of the program, participants were presented with new, vinyl 'Nevva Miss' swatters in the shape of a hand.  We made a video.  You can check it out on UTube.

 Maybe city and off-the-rez folks don't have to deal with flies the way we do, either.  Out here, it's a basic fact of life, and we take it seriously. Quite seriously.


Do you have a personal trainer?  No offense if you do.  Complete the sentence; A person who has a personal trainer is someone who...

Just wondering.  How about a hero?  On the radio an ad for returning vets said at the end, something to the effect of...'let's help our wounded warriors...let's help our heroes...' which sent me seeking a dictionary definition of heroism.  Yes, like you'd suspect...'above and beyond...without regard for one's own safety...courage...sacrifice.'

Sure, many of the vets are heroes, without a doubt, but it requires more than putting on the uniform.  There's nothing heroic about getting blown away by a roadside blast.  Not everybody who takes a hit was doing something heroic at the time. It is more a matter of unfortunate circumstance, a wrong place and time, no hero in the humvee, no extraordinary measure of valor.  Can you be a hero just going along for the ride?  Can you just toss the word around?

The reason I ask about a personal trainer is, why?  We had personal trainers, too.  It was called a swing set.


Waterboarding couldn't have been worse.  About a little more than halfway through the appointment, I had as much as I could stand, the breaking point, I flashed the girls a timeout signal and literally leapt up from the dental chair.  I HAD to swallow.  I HAD to spit.  They recoiled in surprise.   I asked them, "You ever have people jump up like that?"

"No," they said, shaking their heads.

"You're kidding me!"  I thought it to be a common occurrence.  I told them I could take it, but only for so long, then I had to get up.  Same with an airplane seat in coach.  Same with this computer screen.  Know what I mean?  I told them that when I die, I want to be cremated because the thought of being closed up underground like that in that claustrophobic casket would drive me absolutely crazy.  I wouldn't be able to stand it.  I've seen it happen.

In fact, any type of confinement bugs me - rat cage, prison cage, handcuffs, chem class, jock strap, sweat lodge, peyote meeting, human body, my own delusional thinking.  The rez.  That dentist's chair.

Wow.  Got me to thinking...were you a 'squirmy' child?  Or were you okay with being held and snuggled?  How long?

No, I don't think it's that, some kinda Freudian shit.  It's probably Dr. Sardonicus being buried alive, a horrifying movie I saw decades ago and have never been able to forget.  And just when I thought I had the notion completely suppressed, here comes 'Kill Bill II' where she gets buried alive.  Ohhhhhh God.  Just cremate me, ok?  Just be sure I haven't got a pulse.

Okay.  Enuf talk about dying.  It's winter here on the rez, everything dead, geese gone south, but I've got water and light.  Coffee, too, and here comes visitors.

- end

*yeah. about that gecko.  a gecko is a lizard, right?  a cousin to a snake.  you're going to buy insurance from a lizard?  a cousin to a snake?  On the surface, just think about it.  Just for a moment.  Isn't there something primeval about not trusting reptiles?  Not just Genesis, but deep within our DNA? And on top of it, he's speaking with a British accent.  You're going to buy insurance from a lizard with a British accent?

Monday, May 09, 2011

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Coming Out Of Retirement, Maybe

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Some people use the words, 'washed up,' or 'burnt out' to describe those people, usually athletes, but not always, who are considered retired and whose years of greatness and productivity are behind them.

You can think of a number of stars who have retired, and then 'laced them up again', 'returned to the court', returned to the ring, the stage, the field, government, gunslinger, or corporate world to see if they 'still had it', resurrecting some of that old time magic to once again fulfill somebody's wish.

Could be the money. Could be the money.  Probably could be the money. Big contract, big offer, big incentive, big crowds, big ego, everything big, so big it will make an over-the-hill retiree think he or she can still go out there and show those young pups a thing or two. Still got game. Lookit Ali, George Forman, Michael Jordan, Newt Gingrich, Whatshername.

What one may soon learn, especially if you haven't done much more heavier lifting than a fork, is that you've lost your edge. Timing is off.  Way off.  Things, like muscles and mind, might move a bit slower. Reaction time is too late, went for the fake, didn't catch what was said, lost me in the innuendo.

The mind, and maybe some of your friends and most ardent believers will tell you, 'You can do it!  You can do it!  Go back out there and show 'em how it's done!' and maybe you can, but after a long layoff, the body can be an unwilling or reluctant performer.  And sometimes you forget.

It could be any stage of performance; actors and comedians tossing out lines, politician making a run, third-string philharmonic flautist, substitute teacher, got called at the last minute, asking if you could fill in on the trapeze act, second semester, come run the offense, the CIA or State Department, pull the corporation out of the tank, help out weekends on the check out line.

It happens all the time, you've seen it plenty.

So, I've been testing the water.

Yeah, I'm thinking of 'giving it another go', 'tossing my hat in the ring', and yes...coming out of retirement, making a comeback. Why not?

After the last time, people said, 'This is it. He'll retire after this.' And even beforehand, there was speculation, ok, consensus that I should've have considered permanently 'hanging it up.' People shook their heads, saying I was too old, or didn't have that ol' magic, that edge, that touch, and razzle dazzle, like the old days.

They say not to let doubt enter your mind, and move forward positively toward your goals. Ok, I can buy that in theory, but one need consider reality, as well.  Sure. For instance, there won't be Manny to help with the necessary training and rigorous rehab, and not because he swore he'd never work with me again, but because he's dead.

If he was living, I think under the right conditions, the right offer, I could move him from his avowed position, and the lights just now suddenly flickered twice, which could be a 'yes' or a 'no', if it was in fact a message from Manny from the spirit world, which I am inclined to believe it was, given his temperament, so, given his temperament, I'll take that as a 'no', he won't be on board.

Manny, Mr. Ferguson, and most of those guys from the old crew, the inner circle, the 'goon squad', are either dead, doing time, or reformed and found Jesus, so I'd have to tap some new talent, new ideas, fresh faces in the places.

Gotta get your people together, people you can trust, people who'll back you, some goons, some lap dogs, some yes men and a couple of complete idiots, the best possible team behind you, whether you pulling a heist, running a monestary, or making a run for the roses. 

You'll need an outline of your scheme, and a big sack of money or how to get it.  Right up front, people like to talk about the money.  Got to get the money straight, who gets what, what the expected returns will be, how a share will be divvied up if someone dies, get the unofficial, off-the-record nods from the folks who prefer to stay in the background, out of sight, out of the press.

Then there's a whole bunch of hard work, the heavy lifting to be done before you step back out there. That's a lot to consider, and you've got to ask yourself if you're really up for another go at it, and if you are, whether you've still got what it takes.  Gotta walk before you can crawl, and you gotta crawl before you can backstroke, or whatever. Could be a long shot.  Could be pathetic.  Could be glorious.

- end

Post-Bin Laden

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903
Khuk Khak, Thailand

You say these same people have nukes?

- end

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Surreal Time


Monday, April 18, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's A Party!

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903
KHUK KHAK, Thailand

Facebook Question Party.

Think about that for a minute. It's a party. You're invited. It's a party where you're going to be asked a lot of questions. What kind of party is that? That's not a party. That's called interrogation.

What, something short of Gitmo? That's a party, too, they say.

Maybe it's just me, and my naturally occurring suspicious and paranoid ways. So I checked into it; I'll play your game, following the link, the pathway through the electronic labyrinth that eventually led me to a page requesting 'allow' or 'don't allow' access to personal information, ID, gender, web address, list of friends, contacts, and all other information posted to all others.


Give 'em that right, and you can open the magic box.

I thought about it for a minute, 'Nah, I don't want to play the game that things around here I could do...' and then hit the 'don't allow' button, thinking I can contact people via another avenue to see what they want, or what they're up to. I really don't need a Facebook personal info data-dump going to someone's holding pen, a datadumpster.

'What do they want to do with all that?'

Sell it, use it against you...tell you it's for your convenience, your tailored needs, your benefit.

So, I hit the 'don't allow' button, and the same page came up four times in a row, almost insisting I change my mind and hit the 'allow' button. Seeing no change in the program's behavioral response, and provided no other choice, I exited the site, my suspicions further substantiated, my paranoia compounded and reinforced by the programs' catty intransigence.

It's a game. It's a game. A fun game. Lighten up, wouldja? Millions are playing it. Play along.

I can see where a person might be coming from, saying something like that. 'Don't be so daggone paranoid,' but seeing how there's so little out there in the consumer/marketing world that would be trustworthy or reliable to convince me otherwise...

hunter/gatherer, hunter/killer, gatherer/killer. we haven't moved too far in 7 million years. ever since Lucy learned how to do 'The Locomotion.'

Lucy, then Little Eva, Grand Funk Railroad, and Kylie Minogue, all hits a decade apart after that long stretch following Lucy.

'You can't walk like that
talk like that
go on the attack like that

Share something with you; a partial something, and then maybe tell the whole story later, but a portion of it involved a dream resulting from an inquiry about a certain artifact, a stone, an atlatl point, to be precise, of speckled Jasper. In the view presented, two cave people were sitting around a fire after an apparent dinner, joking around in an extremely rudimentary language and working on their weapons.

There was more to it, for me to extrapolate any personal meaning relevant to the atlatl point, estimated at six to ten thousand years old, but the connection here being, that ever since Lucy and maybe before, we've been at war.

Some kind of war with something...the environment, that wooly mammoth, that big-ass boar. Then soon the arrival of the Spaniards, air raids over London, AIDS and resistant bacteria. Only thing that's changed over time is the enemy and the weapons systems.

Sure, you could say the cave people from the, what was it, upper paleolithic, only used their spears, clubs, and atlatls for you could say the same thing about a semi-automatic weapon or a Predator Drone.

Further inquiry in the archeological academic and intelligence worlds demonstrates that even your best guess, or what you think could be real or accurate, is only a theoretical pinpoint in what could in fact be a vast universe of difference and erroneous to what the truth is. Erroneous intelligence. Erroneous targeting.

Are you sure?

Give me a Ballpark Guess. Ask any cave man, shaman, priest or general.

Good news is, everything is becoming more refined. Everything. Your phone camera, more pixels till they flip it over; your personalized nano-doctor; our view of distant worlds; the laser-guided, real-time, smart bomb; your dining habits; advertising.

Sittin' in the drone zone
waitin' for a ring tone
should have kept your ass at home
and now they gonna make a crater
on the news we'll see it later
you and your meeting high command
composed of
disposed of
from a console in Nevada

It's a game! A fun game. Millions are playing. Come play along.

- end

Arm Libyan Youth

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, sure

Most Agree To Arm Libyan Youth

'....and this is live ammo, kids, so for God's sake, Allah's sake, be careful!'


Thursday, March 31, 2011

NO, Officially

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903


They're all in the air. Except for our people on the ground.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thai Broom

Then What Do You Say?

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Just lately I've experienced a sudden flood of re-connections with people from the past, with whom I haven't heard for ten, twenty, forty years. School reunions, war zone compatriots, students and mentors. Some old girl friends. It's quite nice, isn't it? Saying hello once again.

And after a few lengthy updates, what do you say? There is a reason this person wasn't in your daily life. Your commonalities ended. You went on with your life, and they proceeded to follow their own paths. What more can you say?

What changes a relationship? Usually, geography has a major bearing. It could be a job, jail, or attitude. Could be you're on the run, the rebound, a refugee inside your own skin. Maybe you wanted to sober up, make some new friends, a new circle, or entourage. Join some kind of group that already had people in it. Or maybe you went into a depressive funk and wanted people to please just leave you the fuck alone. Relate to that?

Besides physical relocation, what would it be if you were in near proximity...same town, same house, same idea, same T-Shirt, same kind of shoe. Different dynamics would be at work, no doubt. People would be playing race, class, and gender roles, with the circles becoming smaller and smaller, and why is that?

Turns out one day, you're sitting on your step, exhausted, and you look over at the dog. He ain't saying nuthin'...just looking back at you.

Now, THERE'S someone who understands you.

Did I tell you about going into the farm implement store in Nebraska for the third time, after the necessary part, and asking those guys behind the counter wearing company caps, white oval sewn-on name tags, blue shirts, and steel-toed work boots, 'You ever have one of those decades where every move you made...was wrong?'

That got their attention. '...nothing you could do...would please her...your boss...the cat.'

One of the guys turned to get the part. The older guy cut his eyes over at the boss when I said 'boss'. The younger guy, flipping through a parts catalog on the counter, looked up and gave me a look of comprehension when I said, 'her'.

It wasn't a comedy act. I wanted to see if they could relate. Maybe a decade is an exaggeration. Maybe it's not.


So, everybody's away, school, work, whatever they were doing, and everyone's pissed at you, it seems, or maybe you just had this awkward volatile misunderstanding, and it's just you and the dog there on the back step.

Could be you just lost your job, the argument, your composure, got fired, divorced, bad news from the DA, the doctor, the IRS; rent's due, got rejected, was runner-up. And you look around, and there's no one there but the dog. Facebook tells you, 'You have 0 friends.'

Or, could be, you're on top of your game and want to play frizbee.

Everything is working in your dream, and...there are those important to the dream, and those who are not. Simple as that.

So, for one reason or another, we lose touch with folks, everybody does. Significant at the time and place, we may hold an illusion those friendships will last forever, but change in time and place, and life's experiences tell us otherwise. We simply move on. Unless we don't.

And then you get an email from an old friend. After a few lengthy updates, what do you say? 'Look me up when you're in...fill in the blank. Hudson Bay. It would be good to see you.'

You stopped being my friend after you:

moved away
wouldn't answer my call, email, friend request, invoice.
sobered up
got transferred
got married
became famous
found Jesus
insulted me
got arrested
got a life
became a Republican
left me hanging
took sides
went back to the States
pressed charges
voted for Bush, twice
joined the opposition
fired me
testified against me on the stand
lost it on the back nine
screwed my best friend, old lady/old man, girlfriend/boyfriend
screwed me
screwed my bank account
stayed silent
found somebody else
became holy
found the truth
became the boss
got abducted

Why else do relationships end? Mostly it's because of geography, but it's interesting to explore some reasons, which, if we needed to get over, would allow us to write back. But after a few lengthy updates, what do you say?



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Libya in Crosshairs



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Slow To Come Around

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903, eh?

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - This being a public forum, a free-for-all journalistic mud pit wrestle, for what? Communication, Information, entertainment, basically; artistic expression, exhibition, advertising revenue, 2D world second life, purchasing, and what else? Control?

One of the wonderful things about the mud pit is that millions of people worldwide, for whatever purpose, have returned to the joyous craft of writing, lost during the ugly, wired, land line, fixed telephone years of Alexander Graham Bell till just here the other day.

Except now we're writing with our thumbs, a retrograde skill, it would seem, so what the hell, is that evolution?

And by writing to a vast audience through a highly technical medium, sending a message, trying to inform, convince, sell, keep posted, we unwittingly expose our ignorance, mainly; our narrow rigidity, stupidity, vulgarity, infantility, no such word, you get the idea; our intolerance, temperament, opinionated narrow-minded smallness, crass lack of civility, crude lack of propriety or discretion, and whimsical exuberance in broadcasting our claptrap to all the world.

I know, because I commit these whachyoudcall literary sins every time I write. It's a pitfall, a snake pit, a vipers nest, where sometimes your author doesn't even know for sure where he's coming from or at the very least, lost the train of thought.

With the technical means of delivery blistering by at faster than lightening speed, I've stripped the gears in my rational hot-off-the-presses think tank restraint, a kamikaze run, you'll see, and Bobby, it ain't just you and me.

As my Thai friend said convincingly, 'Everything too quick!'


Don't believe me? When's the last time you...? Catch that? See what I mean? Everything too quick!

If you're serious, it helps to have an editor, a Manny father figure around to keep your ass in check. But who has time for that? You'd have to send it, they'd have to look it over, then send it baaaack. You'd have to make the changes....Nobody'sgottimeforthat.

If you're not serious, or think you're serious but really not, you don't need no editor, but maybe a second set of objective eyes, like that gecko over there on the wall. Others can catch stuff we don't see, or even think about...

' you think it's a good idea to talk about....?'

...Drugs, Allah, your politics, your boss, your whereabouts, your breakfast?

If you're not serious, and nowhere near really good, or even near sort of half-assed good, say it, bad, then fuck it, you can let anything fly, it's a free loosey goosey world where you do your thing, voice your opinion*, use your own lingo, do your art, tell people in comments columns to fuck off, go fuck themselves, and worse...because for one, you're not getting paid and there's no advertising pullout threat, and two... one is going to censor or shut you down for saying some half-baked wildass shit...unless you're in an Islamic Having-a-Revolution-Right-Now country, or China, Myanmar, or Pakistan, or the U.S., where gestapo mind police can crash your door to take away you and your computer; and several other free speech countries where you'd better watch your free-lance wanna be journalistic step. The maniac on the loose might look you up.

Odds are not in your favor there's no maniac extremist opposed to anything you might say. You say it, he's against it. And odds are, he's on the loose, smoldering on idle until the last straw you provide.

It's a sad, sad state when a population reveres a murderer for slaying an advocate of moderation, tolerance, and free speech. What have you got when the voices for tolerance and moderation are silenced? You've got a situation where you've got to keep the nukes out of their hands.

We already know what can happen when extremists run the show. Isn't that what got us where we're at now, the subject of my new rap release?

So, freedom of speech isn't all what it's cracked up to be when the integrity of the State or the status quo, especially, is at risk, is it? That's what all them guys, China, Myanmar, Muammar, Sheik and Sultan and 'em, know. Control the flow. Oil, information, arms, commodities, you name it. Seems like it ain't nothing but a matter of time, a matter of time, my friends, before dem wallsa Jericho come a tumbling down.

Join me now in song, ya'll.

(After sitting in my 'drafts' folder for too long, I've decided to publish my newest rap release. Please understand that it is a parody, and not intended to offend the reader, nor do the views expressed necessarily reflect those of the author. I don't particularly care for rap, and there are many thangs about it that go against my grain, in this one especially, but artists, poets, and comics must say things that others cannot, and in this case, say it, let go of it and move on to something else. Unless it can be packaged and sold).

Rap with me, now, 'Axabrutha'; If you wanna, move your shoulders, with the beat. Show some attitude. Get that head moving...and can we get a little rythym for us with them sticks?

Doo bappa, doo bappa, chicka chicka doo bappa. That's it.

Axabrutha ('bout Mutha Erf)

It's a mess, a mess
a muhfuckin mess
people on this hot rock
talkin' 'bout a sun spot
solar mass ejections
electron injections
mayan predictions
and cosmic afflictions

ain't that what yo' mama sayin'?
ain't that what yo' shaman sayin'?
all that horseshits comin down
nasty shit all floatin' 'round
something you ain't seen befo'
in yo' lifetime not befo'
ain't nowhere to run to
'cause there's nowhere else to go

Where is all the people going?
where is all the people going?

High tide mudslide
muhfuckin double wide
crack in the sea flo'
open up a hell doe
all the oil sucked away
belch up a doomsday
muhfuckin walla water
nuke plant fuel rods
gettin' hotta
time to look for clean air
everywhere everyplace
people bein' displaced
swimming in they own waste
now they only wish they hadn't
trashed away they garden planet

Japan took a hit dinna?
make the nippon spin a minna
over yet?
naw nigga
erf a tsunami trigga
on the Richter itsa bigga
land and people undawatta
flood control cannot preventa
bigass hood catastrophe
main street swept up out to Sea

Ripple cross the world went
GPS message sent
time has come to pay the rent
real time
surreal time
time to cut a deal time
on the street
people meet
RPG and twitter tweet
what is on your mind, my niggas?
what's that in yo' hand, my nigga?

I see you got yo' cell phone
i see you got yo' i phone
camera phone
sittin' in the drone zone
waitin fo' a ring tone
masta blasta supa stome
gonna see you make a crater
orchestrate a def theater
muhfuckin detonator
mosque bazaar or marketplace
women children in the space
who gonna say who gonna die
inhuman twisted views apply

They hate you
they hate you
they hate you, nigga
for being who you are, my nigga
what you represent, my nigga
get it through yo' head, my nigga

I see you got yo' camera
you see me with my camera
UTube picture gonna wanna
see you light yo' petrol bomma
everyone a picture taker
photo op the riot maker
upload the atrocity
document the refugee
whole world gonna wanna see
red blood runnin' on the street

who blood
yo blood
his blood
anybody else blood

What the nigga gonna do?
make a martyr out of you?
shut down the internet
set up a dragnet
snuff the poet
jail the writer
execute the freedom fighter
bolt the do'
control the flow
perpetuate the status quo
thwart the niggas' overthrow

Bring on the Big Dogs
that shit can't go on forever
ax a brutha
any brutha
that shit wont go on forever

I got me here my homemade rocket
AK ammo in my pocket
drop a warship out the sky
stop a tank by suicide
storm the gates and then the palace
take apart the apparatus
liberate the torture cell
overtake the oil well
da people gonna take no mo'
till Mr. Nasty out da doe

Left wing right wing
hoodwink in between
wall street banker scheme
pulled a rip off so obscene
take the whole world down the drain
from a villa south of Spain
Tierra del Fuego
where all the people's money go?

And who's it fo'?
you, my nigga
you convinced of that yet, nigga?
you got yo' freedom yet, my niggas?

Uh oh, damn, there go yo' job
then yo' house they gonna rob
while they be livin' off the hog
bonus check and profits, dawg
snatch it out from 'neath yo' feet
put you homeless on the street
downturn didn't hurt them none
corporation giant won

Stole yo' pension broke yo' plan
safety net and food program
poor sap worker bee still hold
myth and bullshit that he's told
rotten cotton he's been sold
dollar still be good as gold
China hostage collar hold
all new shit come from they molds

Don't wanna ask it
body bag basket
dogtags inna casket
implement the masta plan
Iraq and Afghanistan
tribal region Pakistan
liquidate the boogey man
eliminate the taliban
all through the vicinity
war in perpetuity
who the winner gonna be
take a look around you, sucka
last man standin' is one bad muhfucker

Whazzup in yo' world, my niggas?
what happened to yo' world, my niggas
Ax a brutha
Ax a brutha
ax any brutha's brutha
tell me something new, my niggas
someone tell me why, my niggas

copyright 2011.

(I tossed this over to Barbara Bush, and she said it flowed fine, but 'nuke plant fuel rods' was hard to spit. She give me a thumbs up).

Freedom of speech and freedom of artistic expression. Those are two wonderful things that some you know have died defending.


Monday, March 07, 2011


Brovic - Blogging since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Wisconsin. Isn't that just up the street from you? People all over the world, picking up a cause. Remember the peace movement? I like the way we defined ourselves by what we were for, rather than what we were against.

'There was music in the cafes at night, and revolution in the air.' - Bob Dylan


Any of you
breathing underwater
in your dreams?

If so
Where did you go?

Same with flying, right? Just have to remember you can, and your technique. Same same Superman. One, Two, Three, up, up and away.

Kind of like watching a toddler realize they don't have to crawl around everywhere.

Get up. Go for a little walk. Take a look arouuuuuund.


You're invited to a dinner party next month! I'll give you a map and let you know the details later. You'll have to find your own way here, because I can't pick you up at the airport, but I suppose I could send a taxi and have 'em hold up a cardboard sign with your name on it. That's a nice reception. Big smile on the driver's face when you see your name and your eyes meet his in recognition.

I've done the fake out before. Look up, see the name, smile and nod at the driver and just keep walking, never looking back again. A person could go so far as to take the fare, have 'em deliver you to your destination, and really screw up Mr. Wolfe in the process. It would be great for a comedic routine, but not so funny in the Real 3D World.

You'd have to go with a Western name, right? It would be hard for my black ass to pose as Mr. Shin. Middle East, no prob. Sweden? Not. And then, you'd have to have the right clothes to look the part. So, if you're wearing less than five-star clothes, you'd need to examine the hotel for whom the driver was working. That's not a lot of time. You'd need to be close. Forget it.

Better for you to hire a guy outright. You'll need to taxi from Suvarnaboumi International over to Don Muang, the domestic airport, and fly from Bangkok into Phuket. Don't pay the driver any more than 1400Thai Baht to get here. Stick to your guns. Start at 1200. He'll laugh and start at 2,500, then immediately offer 2,000, then 1800, then ask around if anyone wants to take a farang to Khuk Khak for 1400. Someone will. Give him a 200TB tip, and he'll offer to pick you up to take you back.*

Don't need to. I know a local guy who'll take you down for 1,000.

I can put three, four, five of you up without discomfort, and sardine-style, like the Thai or Tom Cook's basement, I can put up, oh, about seventeen. The rest of you can stay over at Karl's Lakeview Bungalows, just across the lake.........he was over here today, telling me how to go about my work.

Yeah. Green wood puts off more smoke, he says. No shit, Sherlock. I'm clearing land and burning it off. Green jungle burns. Everybody knows that. He suggested I save it, let it 'dry a littaabit,' and have a barbeque, a big bonfire, after asking why I cut the nature. "Why do you cut the nature?" he asked.

Didn't wanna let it dry. I'm clearing a section of land and burning it off, with the help of my Myanmar gardener friend, the workhorse guy who's hard to keep up with, the one who lives in a pitiful hovel between here and the beach, whose wife died in the tsunami, and whose grass trimmer is on the fritz, and I'd like to shoot a photograph of him and his place, but I don't want to insult his personal dignity.

Dirt poor. Worked all day and took only one break in both the morning and the afternoon, but I beat him back from lunch. It was hot. We're going to wrap up the project tomorrow, and having no further need for it, I'm going to trip him out and give him the saw, just to see the look on his face.

Karl checked out the saw, asked how much I paid for it, and said he was busy, full up over at the bungalows, and couldn't stay. Said he'd see me later. Yesterday, Michael from England said my idea of clearing that section of land was akin to 'that Joni Mitchell song,' 'Pave Paradise...put up a parking lot...' and those freaking lyrics kept running through my head all day.

'...cut down all the trees, put 'em in a tree museum
and charge all the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em.'

Don't want to see jungle. Wanna see the lake.** Already got jungle on three sides, anyway. Got plenty of jungle. Plenty of jungle here. That's why I'm doing what I'm doing, and besides, when you mow your lawn, are you doing it for your neighbors, or for yourself? How about that shed? And the color of your bathroom tile.

Well, you can see some of that 'you oughta' stuck. Now, you could call me a hard-headed nigga, and you wouldn't be the first, but already told you I bristle when someone suggests they know what I should do. Recall that essay on thinking for your own damn self? THAT'S what I'm talking about.

Someone...OUTSIDE, myyyyyy...........skull, wants to tell me what they think I should do.

"If I were you, I'd quit those Krong Thips (local cigarette)," said my friend from Sweden, bless her heart.

"You're not me," I told her calmly without hesitation.

After a long pause, she said, "You're right." And we pretty much let it go at that.


A few years back, the second opinion at the VA ran through the checklist; 'Depressed?' 'Living alone?' 'Divorced?' 'Up at 2 o'clock, 4 o'clock?' 'Wake up in sweat?' 'Resistance to authority?'


Found my head nodding through the questionnaire.

"You brought all that shit home with you," Michael said, when the conversation went near that direction.

"I never killed anyone," I spat out, reflexively, the same thing I told the second opinion. "I don't have no ghosts or flashbacks."

Well, okay. I understand the survivor's guilt, delayed grief, denial, acceptance and all that, but I just don't like it when someone thinks they've got your past, dreams, and motives figured out. I wasn't a fucking door gunner, for Christ's sake. That's what I told him. "I was a medic, a angel of mercy. Guys was glad to see me........"

And he pretty much let it go at that.

But I didn't.

After a pause, I said quietly, "I lost a couple good friends over there...I should have been the one, both times...I saw people, whole people just a few minutes ago, all butchered up, Mike, all torn up, lives changed forever. I treated everybody; Americans, Vietnamese civilians, the enemy......"

He nodded, and I had a story of a North Vietnamese Army patient, but I pretty much let it go at that.

Well, my fellow Americans, that's what wars do; kill and injure people. Maim all the rest. We should bring our people home.

Exhale, Joey. Don't take in water.


That's enough.

- end

*What the heck. You don't have to go right back. If you're coming for the dinner party, you might as well stay a couple weeks.

**With the racket from the chain saw and all, booming across the lake, we attracted the attention of a few monks who sauntered around the bend to see what I was doing over here with the nature. Later, it was our good fortune to be asked by a couple of old local men if they could have the wood. They wanted it over at the temple, they said.

No sooner than I could get 'Sure!' out of my mouth, four Myanmar guys showed up with a pickup truck and hauled off all the long poles. Never mind Karl and Michael - something was very right about the project. The monks got the wood, my friend gets a new saw, and I've got an expansive view of the lake.


Saturday, March 05, 2011

Seven Eighty

Live Fire

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand -

The people went to see the king
his politics for them extreme
the king said all is calm and well
the outside world may go to hell

and for this discord who to blame
as common people rise inflamed
their world long tired of tyrant rule
and dignity so miniscule

that hopelessness prevailed on stage
the palace plaza's seething rage
should set to fire all the past
and bring to them their fate at last.


"We're going to issue each of you a clip of ammunition. The first ten rounds of the clip are blanks, but the last five are live bullets, so for God's sake, be careful."

- Commander to a group of children


To set your anguished heart to rest
we'll have a tailored suicide vest
for you to wear to marketplace
and demonstrate to human race
compassion is not commonplace
but murder for the sake of cause
is righteousness devoid of flaw.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Three, Two, One One

Gruffy, P'Thai, Sii-Dam, lately

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Heyyyyyy, when I said 'diapers and a gallon of milk' a couple of posts back, ha, I didn't mean to let on I was still having babies. Nope. Not me. That was intended as a literal, but generic parental statement, and we were talking about 'things' a person needs; diapers and a gallon of milk for, gee, several years straight, isn't it?

Seems like babies, adolescents, and adults are happiest when all their needs are taken care of, with many carrying the childneed right through on out to the grave. A tisket, a tasket, then a green and yellow casket. And what would be your final wish?

"I'm gonna sayyyy...'Master of the univer'"

Is that your final answer?

There may be some who are thinking, 'he isn't talking to me...this time.'* But you can see it played out around you, right? how infantile we can be when we get our way thwarted. Never mind the everyday zen, those retreats, and the however many years of TM did you say?

I am happiest when...fill in the blank...'when everything is going my way.'

And so a person could say, 'world peace' is their way, or something noble and magnanimous. Think we could have something if enough people wanted it? Anything?


Man, I gotta tell ya, I don't care for snakes or any reptile in general, but today the dog, the one that's been hanging around taking Gruffy's share, since Gruffy decided to hang out across the lake at Karl's Lakeview Bungalows, since there are three bitches there, and no males, and the girls in the kitchen keep feeding him, along with all the other guests...and when I pulled up over there for breakfast last week, he came charging up like my long lost buddy, and I told him, "SO!", and he got this really sheepish look on his face, put his muzzle on my knee and said sadly with his eyes, 'you understand...' which I did, but he sure as hell can't just DROP IN spontaneously and out of the blue, expecting his daily handout.

Gave up three square meals a day to go beg tourist tables over at Mon's restaurant. Mon and her sister, Roon, feed him, but Karl doesn't want himl to stay, although he admits he likes having a male in the mix.

"During the low season, that's another mouth to feed," he said.

Anyway, this other dog, a white with brown spots female Thai 'Ridge Back' from the temple with her ribs showing, has been laying around in the sun over here and waiting for Gruffy's share, like I said, and she was barking out there today, enough to make me take a look.

Lo and behold, what was it? I didn't have my glasses. Looked like a big lizard's tail in the crust of an old stump out there. I drew closer, and what the hell? Holy Smokes! It'safuckingsnake. 'I hope it's not a cobra,' I thought and tried to see it's head. There wasn't a head. There was a huge swelling at the other end with a rat's ass and legs sticking out.

When I got close enough to actually make out something I'd never seen before in my life, I finally saw the head, tiny, atop this mass of....and when I saw him, he was looking right at me, and you know how snakes are psychic and everything, and he immediately began disgorging the rat, leaving it in a grey mucous-covered lump of yuuuck, and headed without delay for that hole in the middle of the stump, and within a matter of, oh, about fifteen seconds, the whole show was over.

Except for the rat. What am I saying.? EsPECIALLY for the rat, the show was over. I checked later, and it was still there, covered with ants.

Whaddaya thinka that?

So, yeah, you'll encounter snakes over here from time to time. Last month a cobra sleeping between two sacks of coconut fiber suddenly awakened when the nursery lady pulled the top sack off. He began a slow sleepy slither away, but she quickly grabbed a stick and pulled him back out in the open, whereupon he coiled, rose up, and just when I was thinking, 'I wonder if it's a cobra,' fanned out his hood.

Remembering that they can blind you at twelve feet with their spit, I immediately began a roadrunner-esque back-pedal, a Muhammad Ali bob and weave shuffle, knowing that cobras can't get a fix on a moving target.

As he was following me with his tongue, the nursery lady off to his right was really the one he should have concerned himself with, posing the greater threat, for she dispatched him forthright, leaning over and striking him across the neck, if a snake has a neck, with her lips pressed together in an impressive display of firm determination of intent to kill if I ever saw it.

He went limp with that first blow, stunned and severely incapacitated, although it wasn't fatal. That came moments later across a log. She laughed about it as she tallied up the bill for the coconut fiber and potting soil.

'Ha ha. Sa-nake,' she kept saying and laughing at my obvious discomfort, raising her arm, bent at the elbow, her hand bent forward at the wrist, making a shaking snake's head. I was still trying to discretely brush the goosebumps off my arms, and shake the chill from my spine.

- end

*I'm always talking to you. Every time.
Who? Me? Yes. You.

**'Gruffy' was a nickname given by Claudia. 'P Thai' was the formal name given to him by his owner, who moved back to Takuapa when the high season ended and obviously left him here. We were all feeding him, but he preferred the company over at Mon's, where they call him 'Sii-Dam' (Black). Everybody, the guests, everybody, says he's real likeable. All black with a wispy white goatee.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Caddies Up And Running

Brovic- Blogging Since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Just wanted to let you know we got the shower caddy operation back up and running, which in and of itself is remarkable, since I located the former crew manager, Li An Song Su Ky, and she magically reassembled the remnants of the Myanmar tag team, the crew, on conditions.

After lunch they, Li An and the four girls, were there at the table working on the caddies, and I was thinking, 'Now, that would be a good shot, photo, with their faces all painted in powder, their colorful sarongs, and everything.' AND it would actually provide actual proof that I'm not bullshitting you here on this one.

Had the coconuts, the wire, the prototypes and the tools and everything right there, but they wouldn't consent to being photographed, and became downright hostile when they caught me all smiles trying to surreptitiously obtain a shot. Quit working, all of 'em, angrily slamming the tools and coconuts on the table, and just sat there glaring at me, rattling off some shit back and forth to one another and casting dagger glances at me.

I was thinking, just then, 'Heyyy! Easy on the angle grinder!' but my thought got cut short know how it is when you can tell a foreigner is talki...actually, I'm the foreigner here...they're the when you're in somebody's country and they're talking about you, not behind your back, but right in front of you, in their own lingo, spitting some vile shit about you and your kind, thinking you can't understand what they're saying, which you don't, but you can tell anyway?

That's the way it was with those girls. I could understand a little bit of what they were saying, and it wasn't good...I could make out the words, 'liar', and 'cheap', but mostly I was reading their expressions and body language, and that wasn't good, either. Hostile. Openly hostile.

Li An got up in my face and told me they SAID they didn't want their pictures taken, and I was backing away, telling her, 'I know I know I know, sorry, sorry, tell 'em I'm sorry,' hoping she could patch things up by telling them somehow 'no' got lost in the translation with this ignorant foreigner, and so they wouldn't walk off the job again the way they did with the airplanes.

What is it? What is it ABOUT these people?

The conditions. Right. The conditions. Those girls wouldn't work hourly or by the day. They demanded to be paid 'piece work', or per unit, which we didn't determine just yet, because I wanted to get up and running right away already, and they wouldn't negotiate individually, but demanded to be represented collectively with Li An, who hates me, as their spokesperson. Plus lunches.

So, why, you may wonder, would you hang out, or work for or with someone who despises you, inside? People do it all the time. It's about the money. It's about the money and the mutual co-dependent nature of the relationship. For Li An and the tag team, it's about the money and just how far they can squeeze me until I snap, and for me, I need an interpreter.

I need an interpreter, and I need a crew. It's the only way we can get these caddies out there. Already told you, the demand's there.

I'm not giving up. I'm not giving up. I can get you your picture. Gotta use a different approach. Gotta tell 'em I'll pay them to model with the caddies. Yes. That's it! Pay them to model with the caddies. That'll work.

That should work.

Uh...wai...there's going to be a problem. Problem is, they're going to ask me what I'm going to do with the pictures, and when I say they're going to be published they're going to want to know where and who's going to see them, and that's going to be hard to explain, maybe impossible, and then they're either going to want a large sum of money, or return to being too shy and just say no.

I'm going to have to get back with you on this; this photo business.

Anyway, the caddies are up and running. I thought you'd appreciate being among the first to know.

- end

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lizards Holding Their Ground

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - I mean,* every time I write 'Since 1903' I gotta smile...just putting me in the right frame of mind. And the reader, you, my friends, right off the bat must be thinking, 'this guy can't be serious.' You would be most absolutely correct!

And so, from the git go, to really follow along with any writer, comic, politician, talk host, your fishing buddy, whoever, right? you got to buy in to where they're coming from. Your client. Your patient. Requires listening, at least partial attention.

'Were you listening to me?'

"Yeah...sort of.................something about feeling homicidal."

Point is, lemme think here a minute, point is, sure, you can hear see feel where a person is coming from, and you're either following along with the rant, tale, complaint as an objective listener, or you can be discerning and judgmental, depending on where you're coming from.

If you're the flexible sort, and have had a nice dinner, you can listen to about anything from anybody. When people are hungry or wrapped too tight in their own stuff, then that can result in tomatoes being tossed on stage, beer bottles hitting the cage, folk jumping up in fits of rage, molotov cocktails igniting the throne.

I used to see that all the time in the audiences. Some are there just to enjoy the night out and have some entertainment. Those are the ones who are with you 100%, love what you're doing. You a rock star. The empathetic, too, are with you. They want to see you do well, the mothers in the recital audience.

Then you've got those who doubt you, and wonder what you're doing up there** to begin with. And then there's a percentage with whom you just sort of naturally clash, the class I would call natural assholes, because it's not you; they are genuinely assholes with everybody if you listen to their rap.

And then the last category, and who knows what percentage that is, is the nasty little evil low-life...anti-Christ......baaaaad people who are outright against you. They and the genuine assholes are your enemies. Everybody's got at least one (see Lennon, Gandhi). They want to see you fall.

**Yeah, I'm gonna clarify this right now, as opposed to running it at the end, past the end, because...just because. By 'up there', I mean the tightrope. No net.

Top of the luge run. Top of the charts. King of the hill. Or, you could be a Bernie, a shyster, a perp-master magician or the ex-governor of Alaska or the prez hisself. A mover and shaker. Saddam. Pablo. Pinochet, Qaddafi, or Hose Me Mubarak.

Gaddafi. Gadhafi. Kaddafi. Kadhafi. Quaddafi. Quadafi. Gotta Havi. Speaking of lizards holding their ground. You notice? Although it seems the whole world knows who this guy is, King of...Tripoli, right? seems there is no consensus among major news organizations on how to spell his fucking name. Lemme check with uncle Al. Al Jazeera. 'Gaddafi'.

Sure, people want to see him go down. Lula. Lula was about the only leader in the world that people didn't want to see go down. Lula and Michael Jordan. Nelson Mandela. And what'shername, Sirleaf, running Liberia.

Seems like it depends on how you go up. You stepping on people, running a gitmo, beheading your opponents, then you're bound to have some enemies wanna see you pull a Humpty Dumpty. What public figure do you know who enjoys popular support?

Popular support? What? Where am I going with this? This was supposed to be about lizards, and having a sense of humor.

Out here on my patio, I noticed the lizards aren't running from me anymore. They just...stay there, holding their ground. I wonder, is it the music? Me talking to them? The jokes? A reptilian affinity? That sunny spot on the concrete?

- end

* I absolutely hate it when people begin a written or spoken statement with, 'I mean.' That's a clarifier, isn't it? I mean, don't you already need to say something first? God, I hate that!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tooling Up

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - 'I will achieve happiness if only I could get that angle grinder.'

Once you've been ripped off for all your tools three or four times, the experience leaves you feeling violated, of course, but also, tool-less, so to work, you must go back out and re-purchase those same tools once again. Question is, do you buy the good shit, only to have it stolen, or the cheap shit, in anticipation of passing it along to someone else.

I used to carry the good shit. Craftsman, Black & Decker. 'A workman is only as good as his tools,' some people will say. Old worn tools, passed down from dad's hands. All that stuff is gone. No need to lament too long. Be happy that someone got some good tools, cheap, for drinking money.

'Tall ones' (16 oz.). A case. Enough to kick Indian ass and end up in jail. Not for the theft of the tools, but for what the tools bought.

So, in the end it's all paid for. At my end, I go out and buy the cheap stuff in the bargain basket at Ace. I use it until it breaks, and then I go get the good tools, after all. If you've got the proper tools, you can do all kinds of things. You got a camera? You got a computer? You got a back hoe?
You got an off-shore drilling rig?

I got the heavy-duty Makita planer last year so I could immediately loan it to Marc, straight out of the wrapping, who was building tables for his restaurant at the time, and last week I broke down and finally bought my second heavy-duty impact drill so I wouldn't have to keep asking Damon to borrow his.

And just yesterday, I went for the angle grinder so I can re-ignite the shower caddy operation.* Did you know coconuts are a hard nut to crack? Harder than Chinese arithmetic.

Over here in Thailand I've had my tools removed, along with...awwww, I don't need to list all the stuff Thai and Indians have taken from my home during my long absences. They've stolen nearly everything I, laptops, cameras, artwork, star quilts, ceremonial drums.

Here, if you want people to leave it alone, you've got to leave the key in the ignition of your motorbike, the door to your house wide open. On the rez, you need 50,000 volts of electrified fencing.

Choice is mine - give up your tools or your aching joints. I go for following the sun, ducking South Dakota blizzard and Southeast Asian monsoon. Best bet is to put down tobacco, burn incense and ask for spiritual guard dogs.

Ask for guard dogs and give it all away before you leave. Feels good. Somebody's going to need that chainsaw this winter, anyway, and the battery charger, for sure. Can't take it with you, they say. Can't take it with you on the flight, and can't take it to the grave. Forget the guard dogs and electrified fence idea. Give it away.

We were talking at dinner with the Swiss and Germans about happiness and how it may result as a by-product of lifestyle rather than the pursuit of acquisition of 'things'. 'My friends at home have all the newest gadgets, but I would rather have the plane ticket,' said the young visitor from somewhere near Saltzburg.

Still, at times, to be happy, some things you've just got to have. Food, shelter, comfortable shoes, contact comfort, sex, all those esteem needs, some chairs for people to sit around on, a decent ride, diapers and a gallon of milk, a get-away, a raise, an angle grinder.

- end

*The Shower Caddy operation. I see this can happen only with the employment of the Myanmar tag team. After just three caddies, even with the proper power tools, I grew disenchanted with the project and moved on to something else. The demand is there. The demand is there. I've just got to produce the supply.

She Didn't See Me

Brovic - Blogging Since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand -

She was sitting twisted
on her motorbike seat
on the side of the road

looking back over her shoulder
at the oncoming traffic
waiting for a chance to cross

as I passed by
recognizing her
and lifted my chin in greeting

but she didn't see me
otherwise she probably
would have smiled.

- end

Wednesday, February 23, 2011



Brovic - Blogging since 1903

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Writing, not unlike a yoga routine, a mathematical puzzle, or laying a patio block walkway, in that it is an exercise, and often, as you may have long ago noticed, it appears I have little of consequence to impart, other than to say hello, and am only exercising whatchacall this craft. It's like you and what you do, except maybe you're more serious.

Maybe not. I hope not. After a very long time of serious, listening to Manny, I tried not so serious here for a decade or so, a much less stressful avenue I must say, and much lighter, insofar as loads go. People always say when returning home from here how serious everybody is. Nobody smiles.

'Blogging since 1903'. Silly. Sure. But, who else is making that claim? Better jump on it while the field is wide open, right? Like the 335th Tactical Aviation Squadron, 'Who else is making these planes? Noooobody. I'm on the front edge of that wave, My Friends, if it ever catches on.

It's what everybody says when I ask, 'You know anybody else makinese?' 'Huh uh,' they say, usually shaking their heads slowly while their eyes scan the home squadron, anywhere from ten to eighteen tri-plane aircraft in teams of two-plane mobiles. Everybody's got a wing man. I mind read. They're saying, 'You're fucking crazy............these are pretty cool......I could make this shit.'

Out loud, they say, "I could make these."

Ok. You say crazy. Ok. Well, we've got 96 pilots. Ninety-six. Grrranted, some are quite young, but some are quite old, too, by USAF standards. Top Gun is 61. You're wondering, right? That would be Ted.

Sure. Nobody going to argue with that.

If you know Ted, you hear he's Top Gun of the Slim Buttes 335th Tactical Aviation Squadron, without hesitation you're gonna say, 'Right...Right.'

Ted is one of the few people who would accompany me on a trek into Northeastern Laos, across the Plain of Jars. 'That's my old stompin' grounds,' he said. But right now wouldn't be a good time for him to go, because of reasons.

He told a tale in the men's spillover tipi at sun dance of falling asleep atop a crate of food and ammo in the back of a cargo plane, and next thing he knew he was riding the package down under a parachute and had to hoof it two weeks in hostile boonies back to camp.

"I didn't care about food," he said. "I was just hoping on the way down that there was ammo on the load."

Yeah, he's got the 'behind enemy lines' stories out the wazoo. He's also the only one routinely flying combat missions and filing regular status and operations reports, thus his promotion to Captain and designation as Top Gun. How 'bout you, Chuckie? When's the last time you flew a combat mission? You gotta do more than just clock in, clock out.


'...and if those degrees don't work out for ya, you can always fall back on shower caddies.'

Business is slow for BOMERS, (Brovic's Outpatient Medical Emergency Roadside Svc.) with two more happenstance clients last week, but like fish, they're out there, you just have to be patient. But who has time to be cruising up and down the highway all day? a vulture trolling for roadkill.

So that's not working out full-time. It's a pot shot kind of a thing. How 'bout you? Is that working out for you, what you're doing?

Incidentally, don't know if I already told you, and you can call it superstition or whatever, but over the past six years I've had about fifty road patients. None of them were wearing buddhas.
Never leave home on a motorbike without it.

Hey, I have been thinking about firing up the shower caddies again. I got the coconuts, right here. I got your copper wire, right over there. I got a dreel, and needle nose pliers, and buddy, that's all you need. I can give you part-time work, show you how it's done. Day labor, hourly, it's your call. The beach is just down the road.

My Myanmar friend, a logger I think, younger and much blacker than me, in a hovel just around the corner between here and the temple, showed me today where he just about took his finger off last month with an angle grinder and a diamond cutting blade, screwing around trying to cut the top off a coconut.

To the bone. We sit and drink his instant coffee with hot water scooped from an electric pot, and basically communicate with smiles and sign language, 'cause he don't speak no English, and I always get lost trying to talk their lingo in depth.

Besides logging and hand-cutting board lumber with a huge, ancient Stihl, he shreds coconut pulp with one of those spiked spinning machines, and is an artist, dicking around making stuff from coconuts and cool pieces of wood he's found. People around here (Asia) like that kind of stuff...driftwood and hanging plants and Orchids everywhere and people plant crazy. It's kind of cool. The gardens never die.

Although we haven't much to say other than good morning how are you, I'm on smiling and waving terms with the neighbors except those at the T in the bad chi house, getting slammed by all the anxious taxi energy of the road from the beach.

I've attempted to reduce that influence by a wall of bananas, a really nice coconut tree, two slender beetle nut trees and a cluster of long plants. They never die. You've got to cut stuff back.

You've got to cut stuff back, and you've got to find stuff to do. Creative stuff. But you do have to be careful with the grinders. The slightest cut, and I mean the slightest, requires immediate and constant attention. Any opening on the skin is a matter of deep concern. Karl's dad spent two months in a hospital in Germany after scraping his arm in a motorbike accident.

My friend Carl spend two weeks in a Phuket hospital trying to grab a hold of an infection that set in, in the wake of a motorbike accident. Bill had a hangnail! Got infected.

Gotta watch it. This place is JUST DRIPPIN' with parasitic vampire no-name bugs floating around looking for some unsuspecting farang from the northern hemisphere here on holiday to open up their epidermis as a host.

Don't believe me? Check it out. Look out the front. That's jungle across the street. Look out the side. Solid jungle, cep where I've carved it back to make what they call a garden and what I call a yard. Out back...'Gee ya! Lookit the siza that, wouldya?'


First night they were here, Digger's wife Taylor, had dreams of something coming up out of that shower floor drain, so next day we went down to the hardware store, early, like, on a priority mission, to get a drain cover.

So, yeah, there's snakes, too. It's good to have dogs and cats around.


About two or three times a week, or sometimes, a day, I go down to the hardware store, where those guys have sold me most of the stuff in my house, and where a mangy old ugly brown dog with stiff legs is usually laying in the driveway.

Often, I'll point to him, and ask, 'No work?'

They'll respond, 'No. Sa-leep. Him hab hang (hangover). Zantika (night club) last night. Him hab lay-dee...danCING.'

In truth, after six o'clock lock up, he's working night shift security at the hardware store, the 'grave yard' shift, 6 p.m. until 8 a.m., long tough hours for anybody.

- end