More Thanks, Despite It All

Today me and my family have much to be grateful for in spite of so many recent events in our lives and country. Hence, on this day we enjoy the company of loved ones, laughing together, remembering all the good shared, missing those who in leaving this life took a part of our hearts with them. Together in gratitude we listen to music (two songs) befitting our mood and fortunes.

And…

Happy Thanksgiving to you all with warmest wishes from the Miller-Strange family.

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

When Everyone Is Armed Security

This will be a pretty short post because I really only have a few questions about the recent verdict by a criminal court and jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin the other day.

Admittedly I did not closely follow the story because events like this have sadly become regular occurrences (weekly? monthly?) across the U.S. over the last decade or more. However, when a dear family friend stopped by to visit yesterday she asked Mom and I what we thought about the jury’s decision in the case. Not knowing much about it to even say three words, I looked it up online on several news websites to familiarize myself with details. My very first question was Who exactly were the victims killed by the shooter? and second, Were those killed protestors armed with weapons drawn? I found my answers to these questions on NBC5 Chicago’s website here. I was pleased NBC5 Chicago provided some background on the three victims.

To my slight surprise I read that all three men shot by Rittenhouse were white/caucasian men. Though the original incident that they were protesting was a (white) police officer firing 7-shots into the back of an African-American man, Jacob Blake, which paralyzed Mr. Blake from the waist down. Later the white police officer was not charged for the shooting of Blake though the incident was captured on cellphone video by a neighbor. This trend by law-enforcement on ethnic minority persons has become a national powder-keg, deservedly and understandably so. This is why Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz—the three victims of Rittenhouse—were at the Jacob Blake protest in August 2020.

Kyle Rittenhouse, then 17-yrs old from Antioch, Illinois claimed ‘to be offering armed security’ with his loaded AR-15-styled semi-automatic rifle around the protesting crowd then supposedly had to defend himself against Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz who, as he asserts, ‘wanted to take his life.’

All sorts of questions began swirling in my head after reading these accounts, including a plethora of unproven presumptions by all parties concerned. I am really struggling to find the understanding and wisdom of these angry people, protestors, armed protestors, law-enforcement, and the priority of non-violent grievances by citizens! What am I missing? Why wasn’t there longer and more forethought BEFORE acting on intense emotions? In fact, I have so many questions like this that I’ve tried these last two days to condense them down to these few questions, yes, some rhetorical:

  • Was 17-yr old Kyle Rittenhouse trained and licensed to legally or morally “offer” legitimate security and safety with other trained riot-officers?
  • Was Rittenhouse trained and licensed in the field of psychology and necessary Crisis Management techniques to “offer” peaceful security?
  • Does an AR-15-styled semi-automatic rifle, fully loaded, and ready to fire project an air of calm and peacefulness to a volatile crowd?
  • Does a teenager armed with this military-grade weapon, but not dressed in any recognizable law-enforcement uniform or in riot-gear as law-enforcement project an air of calm and peace?
  • If an unarmed protestor sees civilian clothed, heavily armed boys or men (or women) coming toward them in a weapons-ready posture, will that unarmed civilian protestor immediately feel safe?
  • Did Rittenhouse previously know—or have a friendship with—all three men he felt attacked him and wanted to kill him? Did the three victims know Rittenhouse at all?
  • If one wants to deescalate a highly intense, possibly volatile situation and encourage “cooler heads to prevail,” would coming armed with an AR-15-styled semi-automatic rifle, fully loaded, screaming(?) and postured to fire at you immediately… project the best way to “help” someone relax, become civil, and calm?
  • Continuing from the previous question, did the Kenosha Police Department and/or Riot Division ask the general public—even people from out-of-state like Rittenhouse—to come out and give armed security to the event/protest, especially unchecked, untrained citizens?

How many of you would want random, untrained citizens being your police-peacekeeping force and calling themselves 2nd Amendment Militia?

I come up with several more questions that arise from answers to these above eight questions and more. However, I’ll refrain because as I mentioned, I did not follow the entire story and court proceedings. I was and probably still am unaware of key proofs and refutes. But I will close with these further ponderances…

When one is surrounded by fellow statesmen and women, fellow Americans or fellow human beings, or if you are part of a peacekeeping force in a volatile situation or event, or better yet, if you are a member of The United Nations (UN) or very supportive of the UN’s role among (unruly) world governments and vicious regimes… would you attend meetings or negotiations fully armed postured to fight, harm, and kill then with body-bags present, proclaim you were offering safety, peace, and security? Should implications by appearances be completely ignored, completely overlooked as impertinent? Doesn’t the opposite behavior bode much better for non-violence, mentally unstable, inciteful antagonizers or intentional criminal negligence?

I don’t know, maybe I’m just way out of touch with what represents common decency these days. 😔

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Still Something More

Are you familiar with the Drake Equation? Do you know what it “equates”?

If you don’t know, here is a brief explanation by Space.com:

The Drake Equation is used to estimate the number of communicating civilizations in our galaxy, or more simply put, the odds of finding intelligent life in the Milky Way.

Note that the definition states only or strictly inside the Milky Way, our very own galaxy. And how many more galaxies are out there? According to the Hubble Space telescope scientists and mathematicians and their subsequent estimations, roughly 200-billion just within the OBSERVABLE Universe.

Basically, as there is indeed more than dust we see with our naked eye and beyond that more than just molecules, atoms, electrons, protons, neutrons, and probably more than even Quarks, there is just as likely “Still Something More” out there in interstellar space. It certainly stands to reason.

It is because of these above concepts and verifiable principles/proofs that today I can give you song; song that speaks VOLUMES without my words, but with musical notes and lyrics… which speak, which pronounce that truly there is and excitingly always will be…

“Something More!”

There is always something more. If one cares to discover more, to stop, listen, observe, examine, absorb, and TRULY understand all, all the nuts and bolts. By doing so then there will be… more! A lot more!

Yet, this begs our rat-race society a question, or more… How much time/effort do we commit to, set aside to actually DO those six things I listed? Are you hasty, have no time, too shallow to stop and observe? Or do you really slow down, apply those six attributes in your life with other people? This begs another question, Do you spend irreplaceable time WITH other humans doing those six things or spend irreplaceable time doing NON-human activities?

I ask you genuinely, honestly, truthfully to think about it! Pay close attention to the following lyrics as you listen to the apropos tune. Then, if you like, share your thoughts below.

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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What’s Going On At the Asylum!?

I have a brief respite from my full-time caretaker duties today. It’s allowed me a speedy post, a kind of shot in the sky from our emergency flare gun (three flares remaining 😬) so that some of you, my friends, will know that we three are remarkably still afloat—granted dehydrated with weak pulses—drifting in a vast, seemingly unstable, insane sea of escaped asylum patients wandering around everywhere and in our state capitol. Today, I think my sister has begun imagining me as a side of lamb-chops, prime for roasting. The white asylum jackets, those are everywhere, from one horizon to the next. A sea of white: white robes, white straight-jackets, and oddly diminishing hospital staff in white lab-jackets—those must be the lifeless buoys floating by our life-raft at night.

Am I dreaming? I believe I’ve begun hallucinating; apologies. On to the quick status update!

The Lunatics Have Escaped and Taken Over!

It is no coincidence that 666 (yes, Satan’s three digits), that’s six hundred and sixty-six new Laws went into effect (mostly) this past September 1st, 2021. Much is happening here in the Lone Star State. Too much many would retort. When Texas politicians and their fanatical supporters want to be seen and heard on the front-page of every major newscast in the country and many around the world, Texans go big indeed. Way BIG! And I’m not referring to the anatomical part most alpha-male Texans try to brag about or over compensate for… being cheated down there—or up there for that matter—by his supposed Creator. That’s another sort of “blessing” I have no interest to venture.

Quick bullet-points of what narcissistic insanity has befallen we Texans, we 8th, 9th, and 10th-generation Texians (i.e. heritage/origins not of the Confederate Deep South), we Tejanos, and Native American Tribes people here long, LONG before Confederate Southerner Euro-Americans arrived or those well after. Here’s just a handful of these unprecedented disturbing new laws:

  • House Bill 1927 — Texans ages 21 and older can now carry handguns with zero training nor any type weapon’s license as long as they are not legally(?) prevented from doing so. Despite this bill’s forcing through the Chambers and onto Texans, near 60% of Texans oppose permitless-carry, or what I describe as incompetent-carry.
  • Senate Bill 8 — prohibits abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy. This bill also rewards any private (vigilante) citizen $10,000 or more for any private Texas citizen to pursue (harass?) and win a lawsuit against “any person” accused of having “aided or abetted” in an abortion, including clinic and medical staff/doctors.
  • House Bill 1280 — outlaws abortions in Texas 30-days after any potential future U.S. Supreme Court decision overturns Roe v. Wade, backed heavily by Texas Republicans.
  • House Bill 2497 — establishes an “1836 Project” committee to produce patriotic Texas history materials, which will be distributed through channels such as when people receive driver’s licenses. The initiative’s name mirrors the “1619 Project,” a New York Times publication examining U.S. history from the arrival of enslaved people.
  • House Bill 3979 — limits teachers from discussing current events and systemic racism in class, i.e. “critical-race-theory.” The bill also prevents students from receiving class credit for participating in civic engagement and bans teaching of the “1619 Project.” For example, teaching a positive viewpoint about the Nazis-SS “Final Solution,” the Holocaust, is apparently urged strongly by our State’s Educational Board and by ISD’s on our middle and high school Social Studies and History teachers. They will have to soon comply. See below news video at the end of these bullet-points.
  • House Bill 19 — protects/insulates even more extensively “Big Business” corporations in Texas against an opposing public. It requires drivers of commercial vehicles—including Ubers, Lyfts, and delivery trucks—to be found liable in court for causing a car crash resulting in injury or death before a case can be brought against their employer.
  • House Bill 1382 — creates an online tracking system for mail-in ballots and applications for mail-in ballots. The system will be run by the Texas Secretary of State.
  • House Bill 1925 — makes camping in “unapproved” public places (homeless camping) a misdemeanor crime that carries a fine of up to $500. Cities cannot opt out of the ban, even under the virtue of compassionate aid.
  • Senate Bill 1 — bans Texas voters from registering using a post office box as their address, another allows the secretary of state to cut funds for voter registrars that fail to remove certain people from the rolls, and one more makes it harder to apply for a mail-in ballot for medical reasons. In this bill 24-hour voting is banned, drive-thru voting is banned, officials mailing unsolicited mail-in ballot applications is banned, further empowers Partisan “poll watchers” (indecent hecklers), and new extensive requirements for people assisting disabled voters to vote.

And no surprise, Texas Republicans have also further REDRAWN (yet again) the political districts of the state to keep Texas Republicans in majority power for the next decade. They simultaneously diminish the power of voters of color—despite new census numbers pointing to Texans of color as the main force behind the state’s population growth. The new districts will be used, no surprise, for the first time in next year’s 2022 primary and general elections, barring any court interventions.

Texans/Asylum patients wading out into the croc-infested Mara River, Tanzania, Africa — Are they tRump Republicans seeking a Promised Land on the far side?

Therefore, in the dysfunctional, pathological spirit of current times in Texas, I offer a most apropos musical tribute to Lone Star living inside (and outside) the Asylums, known as Texas…

See a clinic full of cynics
Who want to twist the peoples' wrist
They're watching every move we make
We're all included on the list

The lunatics have taken over the asylum
The lunatics have taken over the asylum
No nuclear the cowboy told us
And who am I to disagree
'Cause when the madman flips the switch
The nuclear will go for me

The lunatics have taken over the asylum
The lunatics have taken over the asylum

I've seen the faces of starvation
But I just can not see the points
'Cause there's so much food here today
That no one wants to take away

The lunatics have taken over the asylum...
take away my right to choose
take away my point of view

The lunatics have taken over the asylum...
take away my dignity
Take these things away from me

The lunatics have taken over the asylum...
take away my family
Take away the right to speak

The lunatics have taken over this asylum... 
take away my point of view
Take away my right to choose

The lunatics have taken over this asylum... 

As I’ve mentioned to one or two blogging friends recently, me and my family are not out of the dark yet with our misfortunes this past Spring and Summer. Furthermore, it has now come to light from various specialized doctors that my Mom’s mental-memory condition is significantly worse, to put it optimistically. This is probably a contributing factor, if not the main reason, to how and why our large “Family Estate” with hefty financial account balances were possibly (illegally) accessed and emptied, moved. The investigation and litigation is ongoing. But it is clear to me that Mom was hood-winked and horribly exploited, but didn’t realize it. Now she cannot remember anything. We have our suspicions as to who or whom the non-family member(s) might be, but we must allow due course and legal officials to do their jobs. Grrrrrrr. Ugh. Where is time, or speedier time when you really need it?

I’m unsure when I will be afforded this kind of brief, opportune respite for WordPress again, but I will and do pop-on every so often. Geezzz, if there is one thing I’ve realized these last four months it’s that I NEED, I mean… really need contact, engagement, discussion with civil, intelligent, reasonable thinking, adventurous, moderate and especially free-thinking minds! I’m surrounded by everything that is none of this, my life-line, my steady diet of unconventional, sort of unpopular popular freaky, liberal friends and who possess impeccable senses of humor! Well, there’s one or two who don’t fit that description, but they’ll remain nameless. 😉

Be safe and well all of you. I miss my precious, regular, usual hours with all of you. Hopefully this world—maybe this state?—will return to a moderate normal and kinder balance. We can hope so, yes?

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Signing Off


Imagine with me for a moment please. My family and I settle inside our passenger’s quarters for another voyage gladly anticipating the next chapter of our lives, occasionally apart, but more so together. We’ve left port heading out of the Bay into the Atlantic. Seas are fairly calm this late hour. All of us sit to exhale for the journey, until our eardrums are pierced…

Ka-BOOM!

Debris flies everywhere. Everything jolts and falls breaking. We look at each other stunned, puzzled. Barely three seconds tick-off…

Ka-BOOM!

The floor and walls shutter as we are thrust upwards! The entire ship lifts up out of the water as if bouncing from a trampoline. The alarms and bells sound-off and the Captain yells over the loud-speaker system:

“ALL HANDS ON DECK! ALL HANDS ON DECK! MAN YOUR BATTLE STATIONS! LIFE-VESTS ON! LIFE-VESTS ON!

I lunge up to the cabinet doors labelled “Life-preservers” and grab all three—in a flashing thought to myself, How odd there were not more preservers. Odder still the word “preserver.” For how long? I throw one to Mom the other to my sister. I’m confounded as to WHY they are frantically grabbing makeup bags, laptops, perfume bottles and phones! STOP I scream. There’s no time for petty things! Get the damn vests on NOW! You must save yourself, your body! That’s all that matters right now! Pfft, how very basic a concept in life and yet, so disregarded.

I manage to reach the main deck through greyish smoke, bells and alarms screeching, and crewmen scrambling frenzied in every direction. At the main deck I turn to the port side: a white foamy trail visible leading straight to us. I turn to starboard across the dim, late evening horizon on the outer Chesapeake Bay. Another white air-bubble trail of those hidden “deadly fish” straight at us. Just an hour and a half ago we left the mouth of the Elizabeth River and Norfolk, Virginia Naval Shipyard and out to the Bay. No sooner had we left port, pass beyond Nags Head and Cape Hatteras, we’ve sailed straight into a German U-Boat ambush lying in wait as dusk passes into dark. How did the patrols and lookouts miss them!? Those tiny stealthy periscopes barely out of the water?

Minutes earlier one would’ve heard in the Kriegsmarine U-boat Control Room:

Los eins, Los zwei, Los drei! Seconds pass… Schlag, Schlag!”

I imagine another third or fourth Nazi fish missed us. Lucky? Depends on how many seconds or minutes we have remaining afloat.

~ ~ ~ § ~ ~ ~

Back to real life now; no more daydreaming or night-dreaming. But it has been like a bad dream last Sunday then Monday and since. The difference between now, August 19-20, 2021 and those twilight evenings just off the U.S. east coast in 1942 are as follows.

Eins, my Mom, sister, and myself are indeed Americans, long long generational Texans, seven and eight to be exact. But we were not attacked by a foreign enemy like the German Kriegsmarine Wolfpacks and their deadly, coordinated U-boat torpedoes.

Zwei, we were attacked (not physically, yet) and have been attacked by Americans, of all people, fellow Texans. Our naval refugee ship was our entire family estate—left to us remaining three survivors from my late father and my paternal grandmother; a portfolio that once impressed a few CPA’s with bulging eyes. It was attacked (or seized?) and has gone missing.

And Drei/Three, my Mom’s three-year domestic partner has gone dark, off the mental reservation and evil toward her forcing my sister and I to get her out of there FAST and safe. We did that last weekend and early this past week with whatever we had in our pockets—see #2 above.

I cannot begin to describe what these last 10-12 days have been like. Nor do I have the luxury now if I wanted to. I’m writing this post rather fast over two nights between 1:00am–3:30ish AM, I think, despite being exhausted for the last two weeks. Ah hell! Who tha F*CK am I kidding, I’ve been exhausted for damn near 18-19 months. My personal health has not improved, but instead suffers significantly.

It seems we are beginning to receive daily, more and more Public Emergency Alerts (there’s 5-7 different types in Texas) blasted over all cell phone networks and TV/radio newscasts. I received two different alerts in a 3-hour period night before last on my phone. In my near 60-years of life I don’t remember getting so many Public Safety or Public Emergency Alerts month after month for 16-18 months straight. Speaking of which, it deserves mentioning that part of why conditions here and elsewhere are exacerbated by chronic, incompetent leadership. Point and case, our defiant Texas Governor (R) who has never been personally supportive of Public Safety and Health during this pandemic, just received very bad test results. Read this breaking news article ripe with irony and dimwittedness. I chuckled and could only shake my drooped head at him and his supporters. On another front, some school principles and ISD’s are being forced to sue our Texas Governor and his Administration.

Yesterday, as some of you might know, we received a nationwide notice that starting September 20th, all of us already vaccinated must get COVID-19 Booster shots (Pfizer, Moderna, and others). I may have heard too that booster shots must happen eight-months(?) after your last shot. Perfectly fine. I will be first in line asap.

Nonetheless, all of this pandemic catastrophe and needless premature deaths (latest count: 641,459+) should’ve/could’ve been so much better handled in federal and state governments way back in Dec. 2019 and certainly Jan-Feb 2020 when we knew it would arrive. Then as soon as humanly possible all Americans should’ve been lined-up by the thousands—with masks and 6-10 feet apart, or inside their vehicles—at clinics/sites, grocery stores, pharmacies giving vaccinations back in March-April 2021. But stunningly none of this happened. 🤦‍♂️

Okay. So here we are then, me and my family. Life-vests on as we bob up and down. How long do life-preservers preserve? Those two torpedoes were lethal. The Drei/Three sealed our ship’s fate. The SS Strange-Miller is done. Gone. Her survivors now belong to the sea. Eighteen months or longer has just been too damn long, too damn much, even with COVID Relief handouts. What good are the handouts when predators are everywhere, legal and illegal, seen or unseen, they are sometimes right in front of you in broad daylight.

This I know. In desperate, extreme times, people become animals increasingly resorting to various forms of cannibalism. I’ve witnessed it several times in my life. History repeats it time and time again like a broken record. Yet, we supposedly civilized people continue to pretend it’s business as usual, oblivious to the warning signs, things disappearing, or denying the data because it feels good to do so. We’d much rather ignore the jagged-pills scribbled on the wall or in flashing neon-lights, but we will swallow them, whether willingly or fighting and refusing. They will go down the esophagus or the trachea if not addressed early, or immediately, and addressed effectively.

To explain a bit further in my cryptographic style what this blog-post means, and the American naval ship leaving port, the U-Boat Kriegsmarine commands in German, and the imagery I’m hoping to convey, is that for you I have shared in a metaphor and pseudo dream so you all might at least gain a blurry resolution and surface understanding. There is no need for me to go into the full minutia because after two direct torpedo hits, there simply isn’t enough time.

In fact, I have asked myself a few times the last few days, Why do I need to write and publish this post? Anything? Why spend these critical evaporating seconds and minutes—particularly fighting WordPress’ overly cumbersome writing-drafting model—to even bother during these last moments? WTH is wrong with me? Is that what the HMS Titanic’s telegrapher tapped-out along with the stringed musicians played during her last moments? HAH! And besides, who enjoys listening to or reading a chronic loather’s whining for 16-18 months and how things have to change before… “ka-BOOM! ka-BOOM!” It is now, All hands on deck.” It seems an imperative return to “normal” is not quite here. Maybe it was never to be.

What IS certain is that I am now past Fire-control and squarely into (overboard?) Acute Survival Mode for us three. It is because of current circumstances I’ve also decided to disable the Comments below. Apologies. In all honesty, given the situation(s) and what they demand, I have no minutes to spare to blog or reply to any blog-comments beginning in a few hours. It’s likely I will not have any time to follow all the blogs I follow and engage on. I’m sorry everyone. Pffft. After 11+ years on WordPress that’s a first for my blog. And do not think/hope this is not dead serious happenings and events. It happened.

Despite my long fight, our fight, it has happened. To say things are “dire” would be exceedingly understated. Mom, will not suddenly turn 40-years old and vivacious again. I cannot reverse the last twenty-years of our lives, my life, not after these two-three blind-sided hits. This portion of my life (WordPress) cannot continue. I want to cry, to go postal on many things, some specific people (but I best zip that), to keep fighting this reason-based, science-based, secular good fight, but there’s no time for me to do so anymore. All hands on deck for these seemingly final moments.

Eh, I guess a farewell such as this serves a purpose, maybe, no matter how brief or vague. Better to know a little of fate than getting silence, or a MIA telegram. The mayday signals have faded and are now finished. I can barely type or keep my eyes open.

Signed off, until… (blip – L.O.S.)


Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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