Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Almost Fall

Day Out in Comfort Texas

Hot San Antonio and south Texas days are just now starting to reduce its brutal affect on outdoor activities.  There still may be a few scattered high ninety degree days ahead, but the day-after-day run of extremely hot temperatures is probably over.  By northern standards high eighties can seem summer-like but to the residents of south Texas eighty degree days are almost balmy.  Fall or what equates to fall is soon approaching.  No change in the trees or frosty mornings but a sub sixty degree morning is almost as good.  Only a few areas of south Texas enjoy colorful foliage during late fall so the abatement of the heat is the signal that fall is near.  Winter is only a few weeks in late January and February, and it usually only results in rain not daytime freezing temperatures.

Last Saturday my wife, her sister and I ventured forty miles north of San Antonio to one of Texas’ little known gems.  The German Freethinkers who founded Comfort in1854 embraced the democratic values of their new homeland.  Comfort Texas is unique in the south because many of its original settlers remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War and as a result thirty-five soldiers from Comfort were massacred during an ambush as they tried to get to Mexico during the war.  

We drove to an outdoor art show in nearby Comfort Texas.  Today Comfort’s old historical district is home to a small number unique shops and restaurants.  We walked a block or two and had a wonderful lunch at High’s CafĂ© and Store.  My wife and her sister enjoyed an extra cup of coffee and dessert while I wandered around taking photographs and adding to my Faces collection.

Old Bank is now the Comfort Heritage Foundation

Old gas station now a Pizzeria, Ice Cream Shoppe and Bicycle Rental

Celebrating arrival of Fall

Combination Meat Market, Tavern and Music Venue


Antique Shops

Metal Insect

Art by Al Roche


Just an interesting comment on life

No earth shaking thoughts or revelations, just an enjoyable afternoon after a long, hot summer.  Life can be enjoyed in small bite-sized pieces.  Served cool (or almost cool).

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reality Distortion Field

Mr. Berney, my high school physics teacher, droned on about E= MC2 one hot spring afternoon.  Most of his students were mentally on a trip to the Jersey shore from the previous weekend or dreaming of the next trip.  Alan next to me was dead asleep and Richie was working full-time on his geometry homework due next period.  I was just staring out the window at the pizzeria across the street, the image of a hot steaming slice with extra cheese and sausage caused my stomach to grumble.  I am surprised it didn’t wake Alan.

Mr. Berney had perfected a method of putting his students to sleep or otherwise kept mentally preoccupied as a way of holding the noise down for one more day before he retired.  Mr. B was using his personal Reality Distortion Field for his own devious purposes.

Mr. B is on far left.  I am in this picture.  Homeroom 1961 in physics classroom.  Picture from Weequahic HS year book, Jan. 1962.

BS.  Nothing like that ever happened to me.  But I am sure that teachers all over are working a secret, patentable and marketable Reality Distortion Field device to use in their classrooms.

But wait a minute.  What is the Reality Distortion Field?  An associate of mine was taking about a person we knew in common and used Reality Distortion Field as a descriptive phrase.  He went on to say that in the recent biography of Steve Jobs the phrase Reality Distortion Field (RDF) was used by Bud Tribble to describe Jobs’ behavior and management style and attributes this phrase to Star Trek. 

In the Star Trek 2-part episode Menagerie (Nov. 1986), Gene Rodenberry tells a convoluted story that used RDF as a plot gimmick and as production technique.  The characters used the RDF to manipulate Captain Kirk and Doctor Spock into believing that a twisted reality was true. 

RDF is a phenomenon in which the impossible is stated to be possible through force of personality and persuasive force.  Impossible is made out as easy, people are motivated to perform difficult tasks and they end up believing the RDF user’s logic or at least working towards elusive goals despite reservations.  World leaders use it all the time, likewise politicians,  business tycoons and other charlatans cajole and convince their followers black is white, hot is cold, and any number opposite and mutually exclusive terms that are proposed with authority.  The users of RDF generally justify their actions by stating, believing and acting that the end justifies the means. 

I visualize RDFers at a traffic stop, ““Sorry officer I wasn’t speeding, you were standing still.”

The higher power position the user of RDF occupies on the political or business ladder the more difficult it becomes to defy the power of the RDF.  Once used it become difficult to counter at a later time.  The force of the RDF can be resisted very easily if the user is confronted with the falsehoods of facts or logic early. 

I wish I could get my RDF working right now and have that slice of pizza from my 1961 daydream.  Things were better in the good old days is a phrase average RDF users employee since we don’t have the power over thousands of employees or followers.

You might want to consider reading this blog from the Musings of the Big Red Car to read about the Theory of Global Bullshit.

Or if you’re lazy just visit this website and recite its mantra.

In any event you need to develop your own RDF counter offensive technique because global BS is getting deeper and smellier everyday.

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