Time to Pay the Piper

They know that Trump is a criminal, and they want to put the screws to him to make the dirt come out, but he has not been put on the rack yet.  They will scrutinize his tax returns, which he claimed that he was not able to release because he was under audit, but he is no longer the president and he can’t continue to make excuses, so these tax experts will run through his tax return and start ripping it to pieces, and then he’ll end up in an audit, which will ultimately produce taxable consequences, and he will be forced to pay penalties and I hope this ends in jail time for him.  Trump has tried to avoid releasing his taxes for decades and it is not clear yet if he broke any laws, but it is thought that he has avoided paying hundreds of millions in taxes over the last 10 years.  Trump has overstated the value of his assets to brag about his wealth in an attempt to be listed amongst the wealthiest people in Forbes magazine, but when it comes to the IRS, he has taken the opposite position, saying that his assets are worth far less than what has been reported.

One of America’s biggest secrets is the speculation over what exactly is Donald Trump hiding in his tax returns, but most people feel it is his lack of paying his fair share of income tax and I am almost certain that he claimed some illegal dubious deductions, or took some distorted suspicious and mysterious write-offs.  The Times discovered that Trump paid no income taxes at all from 2011 to 2014, and a paltry $750 in 2016 and 2017.  The deal making business genius claimed that his businesses lost massive amounts of money, but he wants to keep this damaging information from public view.  In 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses which were largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings.  They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade and in fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer.

They are just scratching the surface not, but these documents that he was forced to release will be subject to grand jury secrecy rules that will restrict their public release.  The New York State grand jury is investigating alleged hush money payments and other issues and their subpoenas span his tax records from January 2011 to August 2019.  Trump is doubling down saying this is nothing more than a fishing expedition and he is calling this the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our Country.  Things are not looking so good for Trump, as he has hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, much of which he personally guaranteed, coming due in the next few years.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #174.

Understanding Time

Electrons are always moving.  They spin very quickly around the nucleus of an atom.  As the electrons zip around, they can move in any direction, as long as they stay in their shell.  Electrons can move in any direction you can imagine.  Electrons are constantly spinning in those atomic shells and those shells, or orbitals, are specific distances from the nucleus.  A guy named Schrödinger started realizing that all electrons weren’t the same and they didn’t move in the same way.  The mathematics describing the vibratory patterns that define the states of atoms in quantum mechanics is identical to that which describes the resonance of musical instruments.  Eventually it was found that all forces in nature can be classified into four types.  The gravitational force holds together the universe at large, plus the atmosphere, water, and us to the planet Earth.  The electromagnetic force governs atomic level phenomena, binding electrons to atoms, and atoms to one another to form molecules and compounds.  The strong nuclear force holds the nucleus together.  The weak nuclear force, is responsible for certain types of nuclear reactions and has little bearing on energy sources today.

In 1905, Albert Einstein published his Special Theory of Relativity, which deals with (frames of reference) objects separating with constant high velocities (close to the speed of light).  In this first theory, Einstein stated that the speed of light was the absolute limit for all velocities and furthermore all observers, whatever their motion, must measure the speed of light to be exactly the same.  Finally, only mass-less objects may attain the speed of light.  This is because as massive objects contract in their direction of motion, their clocks slow down relative to observer’s clocks and they gain mass and thus inertia as they accelerate towards the speed of light.

In order to sidestep the issue of Newton’s Third Law of Motion and the impossibility of matter traveling faster than the speed of light, we can look to Einstein and the relationship between space and time.  Taken together, space, consisting of three dimensions (up-down, left-right, and forward-backward) and time are all part of what’s called the space-time continuum.  In his Special Theory of Relativity, Einstein states two postulates: 1) The speed of light (about 300,000,000 meters per second) is the same for all observers, whether or not they’re moving.  2) Anyone moving at a constant speed should observe the same physical laws.  Putting these two ideas together, Einstein realized that space and time are relative, an object in motion actually experiences time at a slower rate than one at rest.  Although this may seem absurd to us, we travel incredibly slow when compared to the speed of light, so we don’t notice the hands on our watches ticking slower when we’re running or traveling on an airplane.  Scientists have actually proved this phenomenon by sending atomic clocks up with high-speed rocket ships.  They returned to Earth slightly behind the clocks on the ground.

Because space and time are part of the same entity it’s impossible to move in space without moving in time.  Time, for anything moving, changes.  One of the most startling consequences of special relativity is that any moving clock slows down relative to a stationary observer.  There are of course many different types of clocks, such as digital watches, clockwork clocks, atomic clocks and even our own biological clocks, but they are all equally affected by the same principle, namely: moving clocks run slow.  It isn’t until we get to speeds that are a large fraction of the speed of light that any change in the flow of time becomes apparent.  However, at speeds very close to that of light the effect grows in magnitude very rapidly indeed until time almost comes to a standstill.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #172 – Components of Time.

Well Water

A breakdown in domestic water supply caused the town leaders to consider new alternatives and they made an appointment to talk with the well water sales engineer today.  When Mr. Jones arrived, they asked him what type of guarantee they would get for their money, if they decided to invest in this well water system technology.  Mr. Jones said that he would need a retainer to do a study and depending on what information came from that, then he could give them an estimate.  Mr. Jones told them, “Since you can’t see ground water, we have hydrologists on staff that utilize scientific methods to find water, but this can be a crap shoot and sometimes your neighbor may have water and you won’t.  We will have some test holes drilled and check our records that we have acquired for all the holes that were drilled in this area and that should give us something to go on.”

The mayor spoke up and said, “How much of a retainer do you require to get started and instead of equivocating the issue, tell us the chances on a scale of 1 to 10 that you will be able to hit pay dirt or us hitting rock bottom and this project becomes a money pit that runs us completely dry.  Ten would match up with us having to pay a minimal amount of money and would yield a vast water supply that would last us for years to come and one on this scale will have you run out of here on a rail.”  Mr. Jones replied. “Do you want me to calculate the cost of water treatment, just in case there may have containments present?”  The mayor said, “Yes of course”!  Mr. Jones said, “Well in that case, I am going to need a retainer and you can make the check out to the We Dig Wells company.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Instead, for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January prompt – Neighbor, and for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #168 – A breakdown in domestic water supply.

The Sure Thing

I woke up in 2021 caught in an intimate relationship and I guess that I just got used to having her around.  When we met, she told me that there was no need to romance her, as she was a sure thing.  I became distracted by her beauty which was mesmerizing, but romance was one aspect that I certainly wanted to have in a relationship.  I wanted more and I turned into a basket case because I started ignoring the ignorance of this situation.  I wanted to kiss her and she insisted that wasn’t necessary, so we argued constantly till I got tired.  She looked just like Elizabeth Taylor and I asked her if we could go up on the tin roof with a blanket where we could be like street cats making love.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Distracted, for the Daily Spur prompt – Aspect, for FOWC with Fandango – Intimate, for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January prompt – Caught, for January Writing Prompts – Ignoring the ignorance, for Ragtag Community – Blanket, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #167 – I woke up in 2021, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver hosted by Michael prompt – A basket case, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Tired Tin More and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Mesmerizing.

Reverse Strategy

For Reena’s Exploration Challenge #166, we are asked to find an appropriate picture that fits the following two poems.

inkblots mutate
to form pictures,
alphabets,
stories
I did not create

This reminded me of the DC Comics Watchmen character Rorschach.  Walter Kovacs was a violent and ruthless vigilante who is driven by moral absolutism.  Walter got a job working in the garment industry where he had to handle female clothing.  There was a special order for a dress in a new Doctor Manhattan spin-off fabric, made out of two plastic membranes with fluid between them, so the fluid keeps shifting around like a lava lamp.  The customer didn’t want it, saying that the dress looked ugly, but Walter thought otherwise, and since no one wanted the dress, he took it home.  Two years later, he heard that the customer was raped and tortured outside of her apartment building while her neighbors just watched, not calling the police.  Being ashamed for humanity, he took the remains of her unwanted dress and made a face that he claimed allowed him to bear to look at in the mirror.

decorated trees
sway to songs
emanating from
masked lips
imagining smiles
that reach
twinkling toes and
luminous tips

I gave up on this one.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #166 – Reverse Strategy.

All I Want for Christmas

This is not a letter to Santa, as this is meant for the team of WordPress Happiness Engineers who from what I have heard are helpful individuals.  I would like you to pitch in and lend a hand to a wonderful blogger named Fandango, yes that guy with the paper bag over his head.  He is a very decent guy and he hosts a bunch of challenges to keep other bloggers busy and that is not an easy task.  He blogs on his iphone and one of your recent software updates has caused him a lot of trouble.  I am sure that you know all about this because he has written several post alerting everyone that he has contacted you and that you promised to work on this issue.  Please give him the assistance that he needs to remain the awesome guy that he already is.  If you can resolve this problem for him. I am sure that you will be the one Who Won The Week.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #165 – photo prompt Hands.

I Had No Idea That I Was A Netizen

Apparently, this word is a portmanteau of the words Internet and citizen, so that fits me quite well, because I am often involved in online activities.  ‘Paper in Fire’ was a hit single from John Cougar Mellencamp’s ninth studio album The Lonesome Jubilee which was recorded in 1987.  This song reached #9 on The Billboard Hot 100 and it got to #86 in the UK.  Mellencamp’s Uncle Joe had died of cancer at the age of 57 the year before this song came out and ‘Paper in Fire’ is about Joe and the family’s ingrained anger.  John Mellencamp came from Seymour, Indiana and this is where his father, Richard Mellencamp, met his mother when he slammed into her on the street one day in the late 1940s.  Richard and his big brother Joe were running from the cops after pummeling four guys in retaliation for a whupping that his father Richard had gotten earlier.  Mellencamp recalled that his Uncle Joe who was once a massive man was down to 100 pounds in the intensive care ward, but he still didn’t want to spoil his macho football star image by letting loved ones see him.

The “paper in fire” represents the dreams that disappear when Americans are hit with the harsh realities that destroy them.  The song touches on elements of the bible, the 1963 Paul Newman film Hud, and the rock-and-roll lifestyle.  Paper in fire is hell, and it is mentioned in Revelation 20:15, “Anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire”.  The Book of Life is the book in which God records the names of every person who is destined for Heaven or the World to Come.  The line in this song, “We keep no check on our appetites”, comes from the 1963 movie Hud, starring Paul Newman.  The line is said by Melvyn Douglas who played the character of Homer Bannon who despised his son Hud.  Homer got pissed off with Hud and said, “You don’t care about people Hud. You don’t give a damn about ‘em. Oh, you got all that charm goin’ for ya. And it makes the youngsters want to be like ya. That’s the shame of it because you don’t value anything. You don’t respect nothing. You keep no check on your appetites at all. You live just for yourself. And that makes you not fit to live with.”  Mellencamp liked the movie so much, that he named one of his sons Hud.

Mellencamp recorded six albums as John Cougar before switching to John Cougar Mellencamp and finally back to his given name.  In 2008, John was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

She had a dream
And boy it was a good one
So she chased after her dream
With much desire
But when she get too close
To her expectations
Well the dream burned up
Like paper in fire

Paper in fire
Stinking up the ashtrays
Paper in fire
Smoking up the alleyways
Who’s to say the way
A man should spend his days
Do you let them smolder
Like paper in fire

He wanted love
With no involvement
So he chased the wind
That’s all his silly life required
And the days of vanity
Went on forever
And he saw his days burn up
Like paper in fire

Paper in fire
Stinking up the ashtrays
Paper in fire
Smoking up the alleyways
Who’s to say the way
A man should spend his days
Do you let them smolder
Like paper in fire

There’s a good life
Right across the green fields
And each generation
Stares at it from afar
But we keep no check
On our appetites
So the green fields turn to brown
Like paper in fire

Paper in fire
Stinking up the ashtrays
Paper in fire
Smoking up the alleyways
Who’s to say the way
A man should spend his days
Do you let them smolder
Like paper in fire

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #164 – photo prompt.

Stoner Psychobabble

Reena gave us three sentences to ponder today, those being, “His thought process was on so many levels that he gave himself a phobia of heights.”  “Random words in front of other random words create a random sentence” and “I come from a tribe of head-hunters, so I will never need a shrink.”  This made me think about a flexible record of Neal Cassady babbling on about who knows what that was included inside of a Grateful Dead album that I bought.  Neal was a fast-talking whirligig of a man who’d been the real-life inspiration for Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road book.  Neal was often shirtless and it seemed like he was always high on speed while he danced around to the music of the Grateful Dead.  I have no idea what happened to that record and I only listened to it a few times, as it was mostly stoner psychobabble, that was not particularly coherent.

I am pretty sure that the stuff Neal Cassady said, probably made sense to him inside of his own mind, but for anyone else it must have been hard to follow along.  I found a recording of Neal online, but I don’t think that it is the same one that I had.  This one was included in The Dead Book: A Social History Of The Grateful Dead published in 1973 by Hank Harrison where Neal was at the grand opening of the Straight Theater in September 1967.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #162 – three obscure sentences which Reena says that we can build our piece on.

Welcome Back to Light

A portion of the Grateful Dead’s only Top Ten charting album In the Dark was actually recorded with the lights out, but this segment never made onto the album.  The album was recorded in an unusual fashion, because the band was constantly touring and they had a lot of the new material that they had been playing live for several years, so they decided to record the basic tracks live on stage in an empty auditorium.  Playing without an audience just to themselves was an experiment for them.

Drummer Mickey Heart said that they set their equipment up onstage, but there was no audience and as they were looking at each other, he came up with the idea to turn the lights off.  He told the equipment guy, “On my signal, turn the lights off”.  Mickey didn’t tell anybody else, about his joke.  When the signal was given, the lights went off and the guitarists Garcia, Weir and Lesh started tuning up, but they couldn’t see their fretboards and Mickey and Bill Kreutzmann the other drummer were not able to see their cymbals or their drums, so this became complete chaos!  It got dangerous, as nobody knew what they were doing, but everyone seemed to be laughing.  When the electricity was turned back on, they all stopped and looked at each other and laughed their brains out.  Mickey said, “Yeah, it’s great to be playing music in the dark” and the practical joke that Mickey played on his colleagues is how the album got its name.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #161 – Welcome back to light!

A Long Way Down

Reena is offering us a situation this week where, “You go down in a lift that doesn’t stop for hours. When it finally opens, what do you see?”  This made me think about ‘Hell in a Bucket’ the Grateful Dead song from their 1987 In the Dark twelfth studio album that is sung by Weir and was written by Bob Weir, John Barlow and Brent Mydland.  The album reached #6 on The Billboard 200 due to the popularity of ‘Touch of Grey’ which peaked at # 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually this album went Platinum.  ‘Touch of Grey’ was the first Grateful Dead song to have an accompanying music video.  The song ‘Hell in a Bucket’ got to #3 on Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and it also reached #3 on the Hot 100.  The video was directed by the longtime Dead Family videographer Len Dell’amico who co-directed the film Dead Ahead, So Far along with Jerry Garcia, and Len also directed the music video for ‘Throwing Stones’.  This is not my favorite Grateful Dead song, but it is my favorite Grateful Dead video, because it is so much fun to watch.

The ‘Hell in a Bucket’ video begins in a smoky bar that was called New George’s located at 840 Fourth Street in San Rafael, which the Grateful Dead rented out.  They all had a lot of fun making this video, as it ended up being a family affair using the drummer’s wife Shelley Kreutzmann, the keyboardists wife Lisa Mydland and Garcia’s third daughter Trixie as dancing devils, all dressed up in high heels and wearing a lot of makeup and some of the crew were dressed as riffraff.  The Grateful Dead office staff played the demons in the nightclub scene, managers and roadies were rioting and dancing in the bar scene, so their entire organization got to be a part of this while Bobby lip-synced the music video.

The video opens up with Jerry Garcia sitting at the bar wearing a red flannel shirt facing the crowd and strumming his beloved guitar named Tiger, which Doug Irwin took six years to make for him.  Jerry looks happy in his shades as he is sitting next to a girl with a tattoo.  The bikers all seem to be lively and you see this girl slap a guy in his face that is playing pinball.  It fades back to Jerry and you see a duck walking around on the bar behind him wearing a leather collar.  As the camera shifts away from him, Bob Weir has a surprised look on his face while he is wearing a lavender Miami Vice blazer.

Bob starts singing and the guy sitting next to him gets smashed in the head with a bottle that knocks him to the ground.  Bob keeps shoving this picture of a girl in the guy’s face, because he thinks this guy might like her.  The girl in the picture (an unidentified actress who to my best guess might be Janet Soto-Mayor Knudsen, one of the bookkeeping staff) has wavy hair and she is dressed up in black leather looking like a dominatrix standing outside these double doors and when they swing open a chopper rides out and continues down a carpeted hallway.  Weir picks the guy up off the floor and someone breaks a wooden chair over his head and then the guy starts fighting with somebody else while the bartender is washing glasses and watching.  Bob is in a different room laying on a canopy bed that is covered with a zebra pattern bedspread and the dominatrix is on the right and above the bed on the wall there is a painting of Catherine the Great.

The girl climbs on the bed and Bob falls onto the floor and she walks up to him putting her leather boots in his face, and as the camera pans up from her boots to her fishnet garter stockings and runs all the way up her body, you get the feeling that some type of S&M bondage scene might happen.  Now the video shifts to what looks like a big old pink Cadillac driving down the street.  The band’s two drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Heart who are known as the rhythm devils are both wearing devil costumes sitting in the front seat with Bill driving and Micky fumbling around with a map, while Bob is sitting in the back seat with the same girl and he is holding a drink.  Kreutzmann holds up the map and it looks like he is directing Billy to HELL.

Back to the bedroom where Brent Mydland is playing a piano in a red and white striped vest and the girl is holding a riding crop standing behind Weir who appears to be tied to a chair with chains and there is a pig sniffing his feet, a goat wandering around and that duck is on the bed.  The girl circles around Bob, Brent checks her out, Bob gazes at the painting and now he is free of the chair.  Bob and the girl circle around the chair and then the picture on the wall changes to a move of naked people with their private parts covered in black tape.  Bob and the girl are both on the bed and he is pouring champagne with a tiger patiently watching.  It looks like they finally reached hell as several pitchforks appear and the devil is dressed in a black robe with a red cap and 4 girls dressed in red start dancing.  Bob pops in singing in front of them still dressed in the lavender blazer and flames are shooting into the air.

Bob is back in the bedroom wearing a yellow guinea tee shirt and the girl knocks him down to the bed with her riding crop.  Back to the Cadillac where Micky pulls Billy across the front seat to look at the map and Bill has to let go of the wheel.  The duck is back on the bar and Bob is showing that picture to it.  A magician is pointing at something, the duck is sitting at the piano and there is a juggler and a guy swallowing fire.  Jerry Garcia is still sitting in his chair at the bar and then Bob is sitting in the back of the car with that dammed duck.  The duck sticks his bill in Bob’s drink and it goes back for a second helping.  Micky is playing with a pitchfork and Bill can’t sit still any longer, so he stands up while driving the car.  Bob is back in the bed with the girl pouring champagne into a glass boot and the tiger has moved to the floor.  Mickey is holding the freaking duck and Bob is in the back seat with the girl.

The pitchforks are all out now in the hell scene and then it goes back to the bar where the girl is wearing sun glasses and looks like she is going to hit somebody with her riding crop.  A guy is holding a small snake and the magician is chatting with the piano player.  Back in the bedroom, the fire eater seems to be enjoying himself and then it is back to the car for a second with Micky still holding the duck and Bob in the back with the girl.  The bass player Phil Lesh makes an appearance in the bar wearing a brown colored scarf around his neck and a girl hugs him and then some other girl reaches out to kiss him.

Back to the car where the duck is sitting on Bob’ lap.  In the bedroom, the pig is moving around in the picture with black tape on its eyes.  In the bar, the duck is back at the piano and the juggler is still doing his thing.  The video shows a Grateful Dead concert with them performing this song on stage, and Bobby is wearing his trademark shorts, before it switches back to the pinball machine in the bar and then the drunk duck is flapping its wings.  Bob Weir had the idea about having a duck in the video, and before they knew it, they had a drunk duck on their hands, as he got pretty hammered.

Well I was drinking last night with a biker
And I showed him a picture of you
I said “pal, get to know her, you’ll like her”
Seemed like the least I could do

‘Cause when he’s charging his chopper
Up and down your carpeted halls
You will think me by contrast quite proper
Never mind how I stumble and fall
Never mind how I stumble and fall

Chorus
You imagine sipping champagne from your boot
For a taste of your elegant pride
I may be going to hell in a bucket
But at least I’m enjoying the ride
At least I’m enjoying the ride
Yeah at least I’m enjoying the ride

Ahh miss sweetie little soft-core pretender
Somehow baby got hard as it gets
With her black leather chrome spiked suspenders
And her chair and her whip and her pets

Well we know you’re the reincarnation
Of the ravenous Catherine the Great
And we know how you love your ovations
And the Z-rated scenes you create
And the Z-rated scenes you create

[chorus]

You analyze me, attempt to despise me
And you laugh when I stumble and fall
There may come a day I will dance on your grave
If unable to dance I will crawl across it
Unable to dance I will crawl
Yeah, unable to dance I’ll crawl

You must really consider the circus
‘Cause it just might be your kind of zoo
I can’t think of a place that’s more perfect
For a person as perfect as you

And it’s not like I’m leaving you lonely
‘Cause I wouldn’t know where to begin
But I know that you’ll think of me only
When the snakes come marching in
When the snakes come marching in

[chorus]

Ride, ride, ride, ride
At least I’m enjoying the ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride
At least I’m enjoying the ride
Ride, ride, ride
At least I’m enjoying the ride

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge 160 – situation about a long ride down on a lift.