Friday, December 31, 2004


I made my living as a surveyor for a long time. How long? You might not believe it but I was there at the very beginning and that's the truth.

When I started in surveying they didn't call us surveyors. We were just a bunch of guys who laid around in caves, went out and beat on rocks with our clubs, and then went and drank beer. Nothing had names in those days so they called us The Guys Who Lay Around In Caves, Go Out And Beat On Rocks With Clubs, And Then Go And Drink Beer.

Then they formed a committee to name things. In one day they named trees, trees, and those smaller things... oh yeah... bushes... they named them too. And lots of other stuff. They were naming everything.

One guy there said, "What'll we call those guys who lay around in caves, go out and beat on rocks with clubs, and then go and drink beer?"

A second guy said, "How about calling them civil engineers?"

Another guy said, "Jutht a darn thecond! You thaid I could be the thivil engineer."'

"That's right," the first guy said. "We promised that to Brucie."

"Okay," the second guy said, "then how about calling them surveyors?"

So that's how we came to be called surveyors.

And that's the truth.

Some time later a lot of people got to complaining when we beat on the rocks.

"You know, like stuff is falling from the cave roofs and konking guys. And the noise. It bounces around these lousy cave."

"Hey," we said, "that's our thing. We got a permit to beat."

"Yeah," they said, "but it's to much. You gotta quit."

"What do you expect us to do? Drink beer all day?"

"Naw. Try wood. That might help. Try beating on wood with your clubs."

So that's what we did. It wasn't the same but that's what we did.

And that's the truth.

But it didn't help much. They came at us again.

"The beatin's too much, man," they said. "It's gotta go."

"Hey," we said again, "we got a permit to beat."

"Yeah. But it don't say where and right now it's elsewhere."

So we went over by the caves in the next hill to beat on wood with our clubs.

It wasn't long before those people came at us.

"Later with the beatin', man," they told us. "It's piercin'."

"Hey," we said again, "we got a permit to beat. We can't beat here. We can't beat back there. Where we supposed to beat?"

So they all got together and tried to figure it out. In a little while they came back to us.

"We figure," they told us, "if you beat half way between their caves and our caves you won't be botherin' anybody. We're gonna call that the boundary. That's where you can beat on your wood."

"That's crazy!" we told them. "How the hell are we supposed to know where the boundary is?"

"It's up to you guys to find the boundary. If you wanna beat on wood with your clubs, you gotta find the boundary."

So that's how the whole thing got started.

And that's the truth.

From the Memoirs of Walter Guest

And that's the truth.

Monday, December 27, 2004


Why? He's brilliant, charming, competent, dedicated... have I left anything out? Of course they should dump him. He's better than us. He makes the rest of us stiffs look like the stiffs we are.

Seriously, this broo-ha-ha has served to point out what a bad president John McCain would make. Now, I'm a big fan of John McCain. He's a GENUINE war hero and one of the bravest men our country has ever produced. But excelling in one field does not mean you could be even competent in another. Think of all the successful people who appear to be kind of wacky when they get involved in politics.

I'm not saying John McCain is wacky. But he certainly is not being presidential when he expresses "no confidence" in a Defense Secretary of the same party at a very difficult time in a very difficult war. Is that being helpful? I don't understand how he might think he is contributing to the war on terrorism by doing that.

Saying he is not being presidential in an understatement. He is being anti-presidential. His work this week should disqualify him from consideration forever.

Sunday, December 26, 2004


One day the two op-ed columns in the Bangkok Post were by Paul Krugman and Frank Rich. These are two flaming, weeping, panty-wetting liberals. Krugman, being the weepier, is of course their favorite. They will occasionally print Safire but only when he's neutral (not discussing politics).

I have never seen a pro-American column or letter on their op-ed pages. In this respect they are far to the left of the LA Times or NY Times. In this respect they are far out of touch with all the people I have met in Thailand. In this respect they are basically pro-Iraqi insurgent and al-Qaida.

They are not being brave in taking this stand. Just the opposite. If they supported the US our opponents might wish to do them harm. But they know they can criticize the US in complete safety. After all, the US didn't even get mad at them when Thailand declared war on us in 1942.

So they are in a no-lose situation. If they get in trouble, they know the US will come in and save their worthless asses. In the meantime, they have made it clear that our enemy is not their enemy.

Update: On Dec. 31, 2004, a date that shall live in history, the Bangkok Post printed a column by Safire that was pro-American! That is the first thing I have ever seen on their op-ed pages, columns or letters, that was even mildly approving of The United States. And this despite the people and government here being strongly pro-American. Congratulations and thanks to the Bangkok Post.

Saturday, December 25, 2004


I used to think I was brilliant at analyzing statistics. Then I started reading Bill James and discovered I was just a plodder.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


Things you should know:

The electricity here is 220. (I burned up a computer that I lugged from California. Stupid me.)

Do not try to bargain with the cab driver before getting in the taxi. The fares are so cheap you will end up with the worst of the deal. (Again, stupid me.)

The local beer (Singha) is very good and very strong (6% alc.). For me, diluting it with ice doesn't hurt it at all.

Tap water is not supposed to be drinkable. Bottled water is provided everywhere. The Jungle Princess was using tap water to make my ice for quite a while unbeknownst to me. It had no ill effect but I wouldn't reccommend it. I may have built up antibodies.

If you are going to visit for a while, don't make a lengthy reservation in one hotel. That money is not refundable and the hotel might not suit you. The first hotel I stayed in was okay but catered mainly to Japanese and their types of food. The second hotel was more Americanized and centrally located. The third hotel was for the convenience of The Jungle Princess (what else).

Traffic moves on the left, British style. I've driven in that before (in Hong Kong), but I would never try again. It's very confusing to me.

If you just tell a cab driver you want to be taken to a girly bar, he will drive you to a bar that pays him to bring customers. Any cab in town might take you to the same place every time, which is the one that pays them the most. Better to look at ads in the paper or phone book. On the way, look around. These bars/massage parlors are everywhere. The only thing that rivals them in abundance are 7-11 stores.

Don't look at the road ahead while you're riding in a taxi. The way they drive is pretty frightening. Three times I was sure I faced imminent death in a cab. On the plus side, I know what my last words will be if that ever happens because each time I said the same thing: "Holy shit!"

Bangkok is a city of very clean public toilets but very often no toilet tissue. Carry some with you whenever you go out. There's one prominent department store that has a toilet tissue vending machine. It costs 2 baht (about a nickel) for I don't know how much. Who the hell carries 2 baht coins around with them?

UPDATE: I should mention that Thai food is hot. How hot? I am accustomed to hot food. I used to eat wax peppers or jalapena like candy along with my meals. But Thai food is too hot for me.

They have a fruit here called "pomelo." It is very close to grapefruit. It is the sweetest, juiciest grapefruit you will ever taste. Try it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


I spent several months at the Nha Be marine police facility down river from Saigon. That was a severely polluted river. Everything was dumped into it. To make it worse, it's a tidal river in that location so a lot of that crap passed us a few times, going back and forth.

The river teemed with life though. I saw men poke a hole in the bottom of a can, drag it thru the water, and come up with a catch.

I was reminded of that yesterday when the Jungle Princess and I joyrode on a water taxi up and down the river that goes thru Bangkok (Chao Phraya River).

That river is just as polluted as the Saigon River and just as teeming with life. Some people were tossing bread chunks off a dock. There were hundreds upon hundreds of fat fish scrambling and thrashing for the food. My wife reached in and pulled out a two pounder with her hand. (She threw it back.) That was a smaller one.

I got it all on my video camera. We had to watch it as soon as we got home to make sure we weren't dreaming.

Many years ago I was in Teheran. I was told that Teheran was the largest city in the world without a sewage system. The sewage ran down open ditches at the sides of streets. These were called jubes, if memory serves.

My questions are these:

Why aren't all the people in Teheran dead?

Why isn't all the water life in those two rivers dead?

Would those be the predictions of environmentalists if they were given the situations as hypotheticals?

The sad truth is that environmentalism has become one of our many religions, and like all religions, logic is rejected and dogma prevails.

I say sad because I'm interested to know why cholera isn't (wasn't) epidemic in Teheran and why fish thrive on crap, chemicals and whatever (plus still make a great food source for humans). But enviros have become so anti-logic that, in the end, they do the envirement more harm than good. In these cases they would probably just shake their heads and say, "No. That's not happening."

Here's a few examples of their logic:

When the San Onofre nuclear plant opened the enviros learned that sea water would be pumped in to cool it. The water would then be discharged out in the ocean. The enviros immediately coined the term "thermal pollution." They protested and predicted dire consequenses to sea life. Short term and long term studies revealed that sea life flourished at the end of the pipe.

An enviro spokesman became hysterical on a radio talk show and shouted, "These creatures are being killed!" (He was talking about trees.)

(My favorite.) The enviros said research had shown that that people exposed to secondary cigarette smoke were in more danger than the smoker! Wait a second! Back up! Think about this one. Where is the smoker when these people are breathing in his secondary smoke? Is he sneaking in, blowing smoke on these innocents, and then running outside giggling? I think not. If he stays in the same room, isn't he also exposed to secondary smoke? Doesn't he get both primary and secondary? So how could it be more danger to the innocents?

As in all religions, dogma and group-think replaces reason. When you lose logic, you lose your cause.

I realize these are anecdotel accounts. But I am much too lazy to do scientific research. I'm sure we can all add many, if not hundreds of examples.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could put the common good ahead of our petty causes. The enviros are so out of touch with logic and so unwilling to do honest research that they have lost all credibility.

Another favorite of mine is the commode with the smaller resevoir to save water. Someone should have tested them first. It turns out that to get the commode to do its' job properly, you must flush it twice. The result is a largs loss of water.

During WWII I lived next to a beach on San Francisco Bay which was near a large shipyard/drydock (Hunter's Point). Now and then damaged ships would come in spewing oil. Our beach would turn black. No human ever tried to clean it up. In a while the action of the tides would clean it. I can't say how long that would take. I would guess three weeks. Maybe it was more. Maybe it was less, but it got done. It would be valuable to do an experiment the next time there is a "catastrophic" oil spill. Rope off a portion of the beach and forbid entry to enviros. Let there be a race to see which part of the beach get cleaned first, where the enviros work or where only the tide works. I would bet a tie.


While peacefully watching TV I have been resuscitated five times, put on life support twice, and buried once.

Sunday, December 19, 2004


Don't never hitchhike in Colorado.

People don't take to strangers there

You could die by the road in Colorado,

And all you'd get is a fisheye stare.

They brag about scenery in Colorado.

I walked it all and I don't lie,

The thing I saw most in Colorado,

Was the back end of cars passin' me by.

A state cop asked, "What you tryin' to do?"

I told him, "Nothin' man. Just passin' thru."

"Hippie," he said, "you're goin' the wrong way.

The state line's back there. Cross it today."

I hid from that man two days and two nights,

Crossin' through fields and dodgin' car lights.

I went a far piece. Got back on the road.

It did me no good. Still walked with my load.

The way they are, those sons of bitches,

Be you stand up guy or desperado,

They know one thing for certain which is,

They don't want you in Colorado.


He always meant well

In everything he did.

Al least so he felt,

The evidence was hid,

Even from himself,

A murky, mental grid.

So in the end

We tote the score,

Too much against

Too little for.

There is one thing

Defense might bring,

He raised himself a kid.

Saturday, December 18, 2004


I loved and cherished her from the day we met.

We were together from that time on.

The times we had, I'll never forget.

I can't believe that now she's gone.

A man makes commitments, that makes him a man.

From the time she put on my ring,

I protected her and took care of her and,

I never hit her with a full swing.

A wisp of hair fell across her face.

Her smile came slow and kind of shy.

She laughed at my jokes but in the wrong place.

We didn't really say goodbye.

People are crazy, they just don't care.

What is it with this police thing?

They've got me chained in jail though I swear,

I never hit her with a full swing.


Not the way you might think.

Kindergarten didn't have much to do with it. Although I distinctly remember my close friend Dick McLafferty and I manuevering on the mats at nap time so we could look up the teachers dress as she passed. Then we would compare notes afterward. Fun times.

No, it was in the first grade when they introduced numbers. We were given pencils with thick, soft lead and beige paper with wood fibers stuck in it. The teacher showed us how to write numbers to 10. That was our assignment.

That was easy so I continued on until I got to 99 and then, I must confess, I was stuck. She had shown us two digit numbers and I honestly couldn't figure out what came next. Everyone has their limits.

I asked for help. She maybe thought I was stuck at 8. I heard her gasp when she saw I was stuck at 99. When she reached down and added a third digit to my numbers, in a flash, I saw INFINITY!!!

No, that's still not what shaped my life although that helped. It was the next day when the class assignment was to write numbers to 20.

It was then I discovered that I had a low threshhold of boredom. I have spent the rest of my life trying to escape being bored and succeeding occasionally.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


It's on account of my parents. They were always kidding around. Like this name thing. My older sister, they named her The Savior. My younger brother, they named him The Messiah. Me, they called me Hey You. Or when they talked to each other they called me The Dumb One. They were always kidding around.

I guess it would sound kinda funny. "Hey You, hold The Messiah's hand when he crosses the street." Or, "Hey You, quit teasing The Savior." Or, "Hey You, that's The Messiah's toy. Give it back to him." They were always kidding around.

Then when I started school I found out my real name was Walter. I thought they were kidding around. Who would give their kid a dumb name like Walter? But they weren't kidding.

Monday, December 13, 2004


(This is an email I sent out the day after)

No one has ever mentioned his greatest performance. That was in "Sayonara" in which he had to act as if that dog he was provided as a leading lady was an immensely attractive woman.

There must be an interesting background story of her selection. Did the Japanese force her on them in exchange for filming in Japan? Did the producer or director get an absurd attachment to that troll?

The result was to turn American men off of Japanese women, and even Asian women, for a generation.

"What? That's a beauty in Asia? Forget it."

Whatever, Brando was magnificent.


Is Bangkok traffic the worst in the world? It's close. It rivals LA at rush hour. (But Bangkok drivers have got to be the most polite. I've been stuck in traffic for hours and never heard a horn blow.)

What is the cause of the traffic jams?

I've only lived here seven months but the answer is obvious to me: Cars are a status symbol here. Every house on the cul-de-sac on which we live has at leasr one car inside the gate at night. Extra cars are parked on both sides of the alley at night until there is no room for more and barely room to drive thru.

And the odd thing is cars make no sense here. (Even my new Thai wife has reluctantly agreed with me.) Taxis are plentiful. We live close to a street on which taxis go by constantly. The nearest subway station is a 40 baht (US $1) ride away. The subway connects to the Sky Train. The two systems form a closed rectangle encompassing the center of the city. Anywhere we want to go is usually a 40 baht taxi ride from the station from which we detrain.

We avoid most traffic, parking problems (!) and the expense of buying and maintaining a car. Now if I could get my wife to agree to charging the neighbors for parking in front of our house, it would be a perfect world. (Perhaps if we rent the space inside our gate?)

A bonus in all of this is I get to view (wife permitting) some exquisitely beautiful Thai women who seem to be on every train we take.

Sunday, December 12, 2004


Here's a hypothetical: I am being asked to go deep under cover in Venezuela or Cuba. The job is very dangerous. They want me to contact opposition leaders to evaluate their strength and to see if it would be worthwhile to give them some help. (Ordinarily, that is something that I would dearly love to do.) Somewhere up my chain of command, sitting at the Venezuela or Cuba desk at the CIA headquarters is Michael Moore, or Ed Asner or, (for the movie version) Alec Baldwin. Would I take the job? NOT IN A MILLION YEARS! The chances of my being betrayed in a situation like that are astronomical. Those people would see me killed and pat themselves on the back for having "done good."

Okay. Change the cast. Now it's the normal, everyday, CIA employees in the chain of command. Would I take the job? NOT IN A MILLION YEARS! It is almost certain that there would be a flaming liberal somewhere in that chain. Probably a lot of them. I'm sure that most of them are loyal Americans and dedicated employees. But all it takes in one Bush-hating, Chavez/Castro-loving clown, and I am toast.

The truth of the matter is that I would not work for the CIA anywhere in the world.
Once they got up to 20,000 or 30,000 (or whatever the number is) employees, they got out of control. To think that they are not deeply penetrated by all kinds of agents is totally naive. And the recent liberal Bush-hating group insanity multiplies the problem.

That is a very serious problem and I honestly don't know the answer except to minimize the number of people who could betray the precious field agents.

UPDATE: Not long after I posted this some idiot in "The New Yorker" disclosed that we have units infiltrating Iran looking for nuclear sites. He wrote there were multiple teams and described their M. O. Is this not treason? How could an American writer do something like that? How could an American magazine allow such a thing to be published? I'm not a fan of torture, but here I would make an exception. I would gladly do it myself and continue after he had told his source and everything else he knew.

Of course he has an excuse: He's a liberal first and an American second.

UPDATE: And also a reporter for the New York Times writes that a blogger in Baghdad might be a CIA agent. Does she know that this put his life in danger? Of course she does. It was her intention to silence that man. Why? Because he was continuosly posting positive reports on what was happening in Iraq. This enraged the reporter because she is a liberal and liberals have a vested interest in the failure of America in Iraq.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


"I think I found a connection between the missing water on Mars and the expansion of the universe."

"No kidding?" I replied absent mindedly. My partner was always coming up with wacky ideas.

"You're not interested?"

We were having lunch in a restaurant in Pasadena. "What was that? The missing water on Mars is connected to the expansion of the universe. That seems like quite a stretch." If that was a pun it wasn't intended.

"I know. But as soon as I found out about that stuff on Mars a lot of stuff became clear."

"What stuff?"

"You know. The canyons, the mountains, the water. That stuff."

One time he 'discovered the origin of the universe.' "What if," he asked back then, "when astronomers observe black holes they are witnessing the creation of matter and not the obliteration?"

"Huh," I replied. We had three mutual interests: astronomy, bridge and the stock market. We met at astronomy seminars, became partners at bridge and got rich in the stock market. But that didn't make him any less wacky.

"How else," he continued, "can you explain the radial arms in galaxies?"

"What about the Big Bang Theory?"

"That was nonsense from the beginning. I call mine the Multiple Creation Theory. They will find a black hole at the center of every galaxy. Some inactive. They will find first generation stars on the edge of galaxies to be billions of years older that first generation near the center. That will be the proof. Also, colliding galaxies are a myth and can never happen. What they see are two competing black holes in close proximity."

See how wacky he is? So I asked him the killer question. "If black holes create everything, where do black holes and all that matter come from?"

He has this laugh. He calls it uninhibited. Some call it insane. Anyway, that's what he does now, comes out with that wacky laugh. Then he says, "What do I look like? A scientist? I just say what's happening. Let them explain. They always do. That's their job."

So that was his creation theory. And now he has an expansion theory. We were between sessions of a regional tournament. We'd won the morning session with more that seventy per cent and had two hours to kill before the evening session. He may have been wacky, but wacky people are seldom boring. So I said, "Tell about Mars and the universe."

"I have to start with earth. The best evidence is here. You ever study a global map of earth? I mean really study one?"

"Those maps on a big ball? I've looked at them. I've never really studied one."

"I studied them a bit. Not a lifetime but a bit I thought it was obvious that many of the continents were at one time connected. It was like a jigsaw puzzle for the mentally challenged. The fit was obvious.

"There was no challenge there so I went on to other things. Later I read about the tectonics plate theories and how they theorized that there was a super continent on one side of the earth and that there was a split and a continental shift and the tectonic plates and blah, blah, blah.

"You have to understand the scientific community to understand why no one stood up to that silliness. Scientists run in packs most similar to the wild dogs of Africa. When they endorse a theory, they have a vested interest in that theory and anyone who tries to denigrate it is considered a threat to their food source and is ferociously attacked. The pack is very democratic in the sense that the majority rules, but minorities are killed off if possible or otherwise disposed of."

"You digress," I told him. He was totally undisciplined. He once came up with a plan to damn narrow inlets to tidal basins. The electricity generated would far exceed thousands of wind generators, he claimed, and be much cheaper and just as polution free. Luckily, he was stopped by environmentalists who saw that sea creatures would be denied passage through the inlets. "Get back on track," I told him. "Remember Mars and water?"

"I'm getting there. I had no confidence in the lopsided, wobbling earth theory, with all the land mass over on one side. So if you discard that silliness, what are you left with?"

"I don't know." He was just the same at bridge, but there he acknowledged his wackiness. He'd say to me, "You remain disciplined. Let me be the wild one. If you do that, we'll kill 'em." And that's what happened. We were in a national tournament once where the same hands were played across the country. In one hand I opened with two hearts which meant I had a weak hand but might be able to take a few heart tricks. The next guy doubles which meant he had a strong hand and support for the other suits. My wacky partner thinks for maybe two seconds before he jumps to seven clubs. Of course he gets doubled, this time for penalties. We go down three, not vulnerable. They miss a grand slam, vulnerable. We lose five hundred points which is one of the best scores in the country. With the other cards, even the bad players scored a game in spades with overtricks which is around seven hundred points. I truly felt sorry for our opponents because they had one of the worst scores in the country. But what can you do when some nut goes to seven on his first bid?

"What are you left with?" I asked, returning to his subject.

"When was the earth formed? Seven billion years ago?"

"More or less in that area some say. Some say maybe half that."

"Close enough. Lord knows this isn't an exact science. When the earth first formed it was half the diameter as now, not because a lot more matter came but because it was more dense. Picture a rubber ball compressed to half its normal diameter."

"Okay. But are you saying the earth was compressed? What could cause that?"

"At first I thought it was the multiple hits from space. You know, the continuous bang, bang, bang on the surface pushing everything inward. But then came The Case Of The Missing Water On Mars." The caps are mine of course, but that's what he made it sound like.

"From when it was first formed, the earth has been expanding an average of one or two millimeters a year in diameter. That doesn't sound like much but one millimeter for seven billion years is over four thousand miles."

He looked at me expecting a comment but I just stared at my jello with the fruit inside.

"After a billion years or so the earth's crust started to harden. Up until then it was pretty much in a molten state enveloped in gas. After all, it had been created from an exploding star."

I found a candied cherry in my jello so it was okay to chew. I never knew if you were supposed to chew jello.

"The crust that formed had pretty much the same area as all the continents today, but covered all the surface of the earth. Water was still in the gaseous state. What are oceans today didn't exist."

I went on chewing my jello even when there wasn't fruit in it. How could anyone know there wasn't any fruit in my mouth?

"Until the crust formed the pressure from the inside made no difference. The crust began to resist the pressure. Suddenly... well not suddenly, but over gillions of years..."

"What's a gillion?"

"Just seeing if you're listening. Over lots of years..."

"A gillion means lots?"

"Yes. Over lots of years the pressure from inside would find weak spots in the crust. Mountains were pushed out. In its molten state the earth was relatively featureless. Most important, the brittle crust was split at its weakest areas. That was the beginning of the continents as we know them. The earth cooled enough that some water liquefied and filled the huge canyons left by the splits in the crust. Eventually more water liquefied while the earth was so small that it was covered almost entirely by water. That was probably when life began."

"And when was that precisely?"

"Gillions of years ago."

"Thank you."

"But the pressure outward continued. The splits between the continents grew but the land area, being pushed out, reclaimed land from the water. To make a long story short, this evolution is still going on today. Every earthquake, every volcano, these are caused by outward pressure from inside the earth."

"One millimeter a year."

"One or two, yes."

"And you're talking diameter. So if it's two millimeter expansion, it would be only one millimeter on all surfaces."


"In a year."


"How could you prove something like that?"

"Where's the proof on the Big Bang Theory? Where's the proof of the lopsided earth? Let me ask you a question. Volcanoes spew out huge mountains and even larger islands. Shouldn't that leave a void or depression? Where's the void?"

"I've never heard of one," I had to confess. "You mean the land area of the continents are increasing even as we speak?"

"Absolutely. By one or two millimeters a year."

"Okay. What has this to do with the water on mars?"

"That was the ray of light on this whole thing. It's obvious that Mars is expanding the same as earth. How else to explain the huge canyons and the unseemly high mountains? These were cause by outward pressures from the core seeking the weakest areas in the crust. Ah! But the water. I loved the water, the missing water."

His eyes glazed over. He was somewhere else, in a different plane.

"They tried to explain it," he mumbled. "The scientists. It was in the polar caps. It was beneath the surface. What nonsense. Scientists can only work with givens. If they had any imagination thay couldn't be scientists. There's a law. There's a test on imagination. If they pass it they are forever forbidden to work in science. There are imagination police..."

I shook his shoulder to bring him back to reality.

"What?" he asked, his eyes back in focus.

"You were wandering. You had been talking about the water on mars."

"Ah," he said. "How I love that water..."

"Don't start again. Get on with it." I must admit he had won my interest. I knew he was wacky but there was a question of just how far out he was going to be I had never seen him so emotional.

"Mars can sometimes serve as a laboratory for earth. It is so much smaller that things can happen there that don't happen here, although everything else is directly parallel. Now what happened there that didn't happen here?"

"Duh. The water is gone." I can play the stooge as well as the next man.

"Not only that but I'd be willing to bet a lot of the atmonphere is gone also. There's not much evidence of that so let's stick with the missing water. And what's the main difference between the two planets that could have caused that?"

I was getting irritated. "Don't make this a test. I hate tests." Some people thought he was the dominate partner in our relationship but I held the trump card of all trump cards. I bailed us out of the stock market at the tech high and got us into CDs. Two years later I bought us ten discredited tech stocks, some for under a dollar. Seven of the ten didn't move but three went through the roof and made us both very rich. Now that's a trump card.

"No more tests," I told him.

The answer is gravity. The situation on the two planets is roughly parallel except for the difference in gravity."

"Yeah. So?"

"Don't you get it? That's our lab experiment. If the only difference is gravity, then gravity is the answer. Gravity is the answer to everything. The expansion of the earth is not due to early compression and gradual decompression. It is due to the gradual reduction of gravity. The loss of water and perhaps atmosphere of Mars is due to the lessening of gravity. The water would get into a gaseous state and be pulled away by the three neighboring giants: Jupiter, earth and the sun. Poor little Mars didn't have a chance once it lost some gravity."

"Why does gravity diminish? Where does it go?"

I shouldn't have asked that question because here came that crazy laugh again. Everyone in the restaurant froze and looke our way. Talk about a mismatched pair. I worried that people might see me chewing jello. He didn't give a thought about laughing like a hyena in the middle of a restaurant. We were both retired engineers, but there wasn't much similarity there. I was civil and he was mechanical. The twain there never met.

He stopped laughing and, of course, said, "Let the scientists figure it out. Just tell them what happened and they will come up with an explanation for it." He then mimicked a once popular, now dead, Chicano comic. "Thass not my chob."

That was a good way out for a lot of things. Then I remembered something else. "Wait a minute. You said there was a connection between the missing water and the expansion of the universe. Remember?"

"Yeah," he said quietly. He looked me in the eye, which he rarely did. "What if," he waved both hands up and down as if he understood all the objections that could come and proceeded in spite of them. "What if the expansion of the earth was in proportion to the expansion of the universe?"

I must admit that what he said and the way he said it sent shivers up and down my spine. "The far galaxies are moving pretty fast," I pointed out.

"Sure, but they're pretty far away. I said in proportion. Let the scientists solve that one too. I just tell them what is."

But to accept that you had to accept everything else he had come up with. As I said before, it was a stretch.

I asked him, "Are you going to write this stuff up?"

"Of course not. Who would pay any attention to me? I'm just some wacko."

It was refreshing to know the wacko knew what he was. "But if you think you're right, why not tell the world?"

He waved a dismissive hand. "No one would print it, and if it were printed no one would read it, and if it were read, no one would believe it."

"You won't even try?"

"Listen, I get a big kick knowing something that no one else knows" He gave his crazy laugh but kept it short. "It's my one personality flaw."

Now that was funny. "But they might put your name on it. You could be like Watt and Hubble and..." I tried to think of others but couldn't offhand, "that bunch," I finished lamely.

"Don't care, Don't care. Don't care. Don't care." He was acting like a little kid.

"Would you mind if I wrote it up and sent it somewhere?"

"What? You mean like a scientific paper? No one would print that."

"Yeah. You're probably right. I'll give it some thought."

Clarification: This story is fiction. The characters are fictional. Only the theories are true and they are mine.

Here's more: The "dark areas" astronomers observe in space are clouds of hydrogen. These are still born galaxies that for some reason never coagulated. There should be a "black hole" in some form in the center of these clouds.


How? By reporting them. When Americans attack, one way or another, the first thing reporters want to know is how many civilians were killed. The assassins, of course, know that. So they ALWAYS provide the reporters with dead civilians, preferably women and children because they know those are the reporters preference.

The media can say they are only reporting the news.

Okay. That brings up another point. Why are women and children casualties generally NOT reported when the assassins attack, one way or another? I'll tell you why. The media doesn't want to show the assassins in a bad light. That might sway opinion in the US more in favor of the war. The American media's objectives are pretty close to those of the Arab media.

And why is that? Because over 90% of the news personell in Iraq are liberals. A liberal reporter is the easiest person in the world to dupe. He goes into his investigation already knowing what he is going to report. He will search ONLY for evidence to support what he has already concluded which is, AMERICA BAD, BUSH BAD, WAR BAD. That is the universal liberal chant. It is a product of their unique group-think.


I hope they put Rush Limbaugh in jail. He deserves it. Not for those pissyant things they're accusing him of down in Florida. Who gives a medium sized crap if he takes drugs or doctor searches or launders money or blah, blah, blah? None of that harms anyone except him and he's not pressing charges against himself, the last I heard.

He should go to jail for a crime against humanity for which he will never be charged. During the 2000 Republican primary campaign he allowed people to come on his program and intimate that John McCain collaberated with the North Vietnamese while he was imprisoned there for 5 years. Limbaugh never offered a word in protest. All he said was, "He said it, not me." This from a lardass who spent the whole war on his aforementioned lardass.

Well he shouldn't get away with it. To me, John McCain was the greatest hero to come out of that war and one of the bravest Americans who ever lived. Of course his politics are sometimes whacky. How many people excel in one thing and expose themselves as complete whackos when it comes to politics? That's not the point.

The point is we should do some American justice on Mr. Lardass. How many times have we convicted a criminal of something he might have done because we knew he had done other things we couldn't get him on? Well that's what we should do here. Put him in jail for that crap in Florida, even though it stinks, because we know he did that other stuff. And that would be fair.

But I would only want him to be jailed if he were able to continue his regular radio program from jail. To silence him would be another crime against humanity.


The real problem with soccer is that attacks on goal rarely result in a goal. One of the reasons for this is the defenders, when the attack becomes intense, can kick the ball over their own back line with no penalty except giving up a corner kick. So a superior team can spend all their time in front of the opponents goal and come away with nothing more than a tie.

There's a simple solution. It will eliminate scoreless ties and virtually all ties. Raise the points for a goal to ten and give one point every time an opponent is last to touch a ball that goes over its own back line. The corner kick will still be rewarded.

With those rules a typical 1-1 tie game would wind up something like 17-15. Defensive and offensive strategies would become for more complex and the game would become far more interesting.

When I was in the States at a baseball game I mentioned this idea to a soccer fan from South Africa. What was his response? He opined that baseball would be greatly improved if, instead of ejecting players, they were given a yellow card at their first offense and only ejected if they got a second.

There's no talking to those people.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


(Tell me this wouldn't be a winner.)

Wimpy guy completes his order in a diner.

Waiter: Something to drink, sir?

Wimp: A soft drink please.

Waiter: What kind, sir?

Suddenly appears in the background a chorus of wrestler-types.

Chorus: (Chanting softly) C-O-C-A C-O-L-A. (On and on.) (Think the old Lava commercials.)

Chorus moves closer and closer, chanting louder and louder.

Wimp: I'll have a coke?

Waiter: Good choice, sir.

Chorus becomes friendly, pats on back, handshakes, congratulations.

Wimp: Thanks?

Chorus spots another diner trying to decide. They move off.

(Now tell me that's not a winner.)


That looks like a headline from one of those supermarket scandal sheets, but it's true!

I was reminded of this when it got down to a frigid 69 degrees last night here in Bangkok. It's warmed up now to 85 so I've thawed out some. Anyway, some years ago the lady I was with was having trouble pulling on her jeans. It looked like she had grown a bit in her rear end. "It's going to be a cold winter," she said.

"What do you mean?" I asked. I had no idea what she was talking about.

"Didn't you know?" she said. "Women store fat in their asses when it's going to be a cold winter."

"I didn't know that," I said, totally amazed. Then I took a closer look at her ass. "Wow," I said, "I'd better buy some warm clothes."

Then, for no reason at all, she gets mad. I swear. Just like that. We're having this conversation and she suddenly gets mad. I'll never understand women.

Anyway, you guys, if you want to know what the weather's going to be like this winter, check out women's asses. Don't say anything about buying warm clothes though.

Friday, December 03, 2004


You need a passport but no visa. You get a 30 day visa when you deplane at the bangkok airport. There is a fine (I think 20 dollars a day) for overstaying that visa. You can get a 30 day extension by taking a ten hour bus ride to the Cambodian border and back. That costs 50 dollars for everything including a meal. It is advertised in both English language newspapers.

No drugs. Minimum penalty for drugs is 25 years!!! And they mean 25. No 10 to 25 and you're out in 5. The penalty for dealing is death!! And good luck on your appeal. I would guess there is still a drug industry here but I have no knowledge of it.

Make your hotel reservation on the internet before arrival. When they say 70% discount they're not kidding. There are hundreds of quality hotels here, all featuring a buffet breakfast. Some priced as low as 20 dollars a day. There are thousands of other hotels even cheaper. Some with a monthly rate of 200 dollars.

So what's the attraction here? Let me put it this way: don't bring a woman unless she's into threesomes. That would be like bringing a ham sandwich to a banquet.

I have been around... a lot... and I have never seen any to compare with Thai women. I was here two days when I decided to live here.

More later...

Walter Guest

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Everything written herein is original as far as I know except when I attribute it to someone else.

Like this is something I found in my old notes. I don't think I wrote it.

Do you love me

Or do you not?

You told me once

But I forgot.

Phil Harris (Perhaps paraphrased): I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.

Lenny Bruce: Every religious leader who owns more than one suit is a con man.

Dan Rather (paraphrased): It doesn't matter if the memos are fake. The facts in them are true.

Jonah Goldberg: It only is ----- THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD! (Referring to memogate.)

Jonah Goldberg: I want to hug it and squeeze it and name it George. (referring to the memogate story.)

Jonah Goldberg: ...Rather shot himself in the foot and kept holding down the trigger as he worked his way up his body.

Steve Martin (paraphrased): Why does everything have to be about you? "Help me! Put me out! I'm on fire!" (When his girl friend's hair burst into flames.)

Walter Guest: Everything I write here is absolutely, totally, 100% true. Except for the stuff that isn't.

Dennis Miller: To call them scum bags is to insult bags filled with scum. (I think he was talking about the French.)

John Kerry (when asked if he would have invaded Iraq as Bush did):
I absolutely might have.

Unknown: Offscreen, Zeppo was the funniest Marx brother.

Mark Twain: Wagner's music is much better than it sounds.

Now I take liberties.

Walter Guest: William Faulkner's novels are much better than they read.

Walter Guest: The Three Stooges were much funnier than they appeared on screen.