Monthly Archives: January 2013

Supernatural perhaps?

So about a week ago my girlfriend and I drove down to Domingo’s for dinner. She loves it there, and I have been eating there as long as I can remember, phenomenal Mexican food. Though I admit, not as good as it used to be since Domingo sold the place to his cousins. After dinner I took her out to where my dad lives, just to show her where it is. On the drive out, things got spooky.

My dad lives in a little plot of land in the middle of no where that is called, Aerial Acres (here is a map). To get there you have to get off of Highway 58, go through the small unincorporated town of North Edwards (on the North side of Edwards Air Force Base of course), and then drive about five miles down a dark, narrow, windy, two lane, crumbling asphalt road. My girlfriend started becoming fidgety about the time we hit North Edwards, became worse once we cleared the town and started down the dark road, and about two thirds of the way down the road looked at me and asked “Was their a fire out here?” This spooked me as I knew the answer was yes, but I did not answer her right away.

We drive by my dads, and my brother Dan’s place (they live next to each other, but hardly ever talk to one another), and then were on our way back down to the highway. She was uncomfortable the whole time. Once we were back on Highway 58, and headed West towards Mojave, she asked me if a lot of people had died out in the area, I answered in the affirmative. She asked if one was a boy, and if he was beaten to death. Very freaked out, I again answered in the affirmative. She asked me to tell her about the area….so I did.

I told her that their had indeed been a fire out near my dads. Their were ranches out in that area (some of the foundations and other things still exist) that dated back to the early 1900’s, in fact Aerial Acres exists because of a gigantic alfalfa ranch that used to be out there.  Back just after World War Two, one of the ranches was supposedly owned by one of the original members of Our Gang (also known as The Little Rascals). Some time after that it was sold to the Grantham family.

I don’t know the details, but I do know that some time after that the ranch house burned down and had to be rebuilt. I am not sure how, but the ranch ended up with the eldest Grantham son, who was friends with my mother. Some time in the 70’s he hung himself out at the ranch. After that it sat empty for many years until his brothers family moved in, they were also friends with my mom. I spent a lot of time at that ranch house as a child, and I will tell you that I never liked it. I was always afraid of the place, and would get scared out of my mind going out there at night.

After a while, due to some personal things, my mom and the Granthams fell out of friendship. Over the years that family imploded, a lot of bad things happened to them. I really don’t know what happened to them in detail, only that after they went their separate ways and left the ranch house did they start doing better. The ranch became a very short lived alpaca ranch, not sure what happened after that. I don’t think that the ranch house is stall standing any more.

I then told her that the while desert was the grave yard for test pilots from Edwards Air Force Base. After WW2, it was the dawn of the Jet era and Edwards was THE place to be for test pilots. Many pilots died in those days, including the man they named Edwards AFB for, Glenn Edwards. However, their were other deaths out their as well, and one of those had indeed been a young man.

II was told this story by my grandfather, but I don’t remember the exact details. California was either building Highway 466 (the precursor to Highway 58) or turning 466 in to 58 by making it a 4 lane highway from Boron to Mojave. While building the road workers dug up a skeleton of a boy/young man with a deformed leg. A article was ran in a couple newspapers about it.

As I said before, their used to be ranches out in that area. It wasn’t always scrub desert land, it was high desert, at least until Mulholland came along (but that is a story for another day). One of the ranches was about a days ride from Mojave, and on that ranch was a family, and a member of that family was the boy with the deformed leg. His father was supposed to make the trip in to Mojave with the wagon for supplies, but his son begged him to go in his place. The father relented and the son was sent to Mojave with cash, a buckboard, and a couple mules to drive the wagon. The boy, mules, and money were never seen again. The wagon was found about half way to Mojave. Investigators believed that these were the remains of the boy, found about 50 or 60 years later.

After the article was ran, a old woman came forward and sad that she had some details about the remains. She said that she had worked in a hospital years before, and that one of the patients was a elderly man that was dying. One day, he decided to confess his sins. He told the nurse a story about the thing he regretted the most…… killing a crippled boy in the desert outside of Mojave for the money on him and his mules.

After I related these stories to my girlfriend she sat in silence for a bit. She then looked at me and asked if I would never take her out to my dads again. She felt like their was something out in that area (the area of the ranch house) that was evil, and that it had been watching us, and that it would of come home with us if it could have. I agreed to that, I don’t like going out there much myself. I asked her about the kid on Highway 58, how she knew about it. She said she could just feel it, just knew it.

What I did not tell her was that not far away from my dads, across the desert, is the Rand mining district, and other mines in the Garlock area. Their were horrible atrocities committed to the Chinese miners in these areas. Ghosts have been seen in the hills, and along Garlock road, and one always has a bad feeling traversing that desert alone.

I was talking to my brother (the one that does not live next to my dad) about this, and he agrees with my girlfriend. He thinks that their is a bad spirit out their, a dark entity, and that it will drag you down if you let it. He reminded me of the time (about ten years ago) we were standing in my dads front yard. The sun was going down, the coppery red had all but faded from the sky, stars were beginning to come out. Every dog in Aerial Acres started howling at the exact same time. Not a few with more joining in, but every single one and at the exact same time. It was summer, but a cold breeze kicked up, and every grass killing cotton tail rabbit ran for cover. We looked at one another and walked back in to the house. The dogs quieted down a short time later.

I think my dad and brother need to move out of that area.

Categories: Supernatural | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Not so prolific

I have been neglectful of my wordpress writings as of late. It is hard to find time to dedicate to sitting here and write about things, between work, a girlfriend and her daughters, trying to get back in to exercising regularly, and just every day life; things get left behind. Not to mention…I sometimes do not know what to write about! So fear not constant reader, I have not forgotten about you, I just need to dedicate some time. 

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Not so sweet 16

Today’s daily prompt Sweet Sixteen says: “When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?”

I moved here to Ridgecrest about one month before my 16th birthday. Things were already going badly with my new stepfather, his abusive tendencies, uncaring nature, and just plain lazy nature, were already starting to show. My mom was beginning the downward mental/emotional spiral she took due to the abuse, leaning on me heavily to get through day to day routines after school, etc. After I moved here and then turned sixteen, things only became worse.

At sixteen I did not know what my life would look like now, but I was very pessimistic about my future. I did not think my future would turn out well at all. I once held a conversation with djmatticus about the teenage us vs. the adult us. He was talking about how teenage years were full of hope about the future. I told him that was not my teenage years, I held no hope for the future. I saw only darkness.

Now, compare that to where I am now. Things aren’t  too bad really, they could be better, I have made a few decisions the last couple of years that have made things tight financially, but this life is certainly livable. I have good friends that are more family than friends, a good job, a cool car, a tiny run down apartment that is comfortbly worn in, food in my tiny fridge, a wonderful girlfriend, etc. It’s a simple life, I’m always broke, but I am better off than many. I am certainly in a better place than I thought I was going to be in 15 years ago.

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I have been frustrated and angry lately. I look at the world around me, and I don’t feel like I belong here, I don’t understand the people in this world, or how they think, and I don’t like it. I feel like I was born in the wrong time, that I belong somewhere in the past. I understand my grandfather and his way of thinking more than I understand society today. 

People’s unwillingness to educate themselves on things anger me. If you are for or against something, educate yourself on it. You will be able to argue your case more intelligently. Don’t just rely on the news, because lets face it, the news is no longer unbiased. News networks rely on ratings and a viewer base, and they will pander to that base.

So again, if you are for or against something, educate yourself on it through outside sources. If you are against semiautomatic guns, then go learn about them. Don’t just rely on things you read and hear. GO LEARN ABOUT THEM! Go to a guns store, take a gun course, learn the mechanics of it, fire the damn thing! At least that way you can say you tried it, you know about it, and you don’t like it.

Now, I have been told I have the disposition of a rattle snake, that I am heartless, cold hearted, uncaring, mean, insensitive, etc. This all may be true, but at least I have a basic respect for humanity and don’t do stupid things that endanger others (only myself). I have never purposely put anyone in danger over my own desires. The other day I am driving home up US Highway 395 from my grandparents. It is a narrow two lane highway, one lane North, one lane South. It was full of Southbound traffic, most likely people returning home to the Southern cities from up North. A few people were heading North too. I was run off the road by a South bound driver that decided passing on a double yellow, on a blind hill, endangering everyone around him, and gaining himself maybe a few minutes of driving, was more important than his safety, my safety and everyone else’s safety that was around. Later on down the road I was being tailgated by a Lincoln. I was stuck behind a semi with an oversized load, and we were going maybe 45mph. As soon as I found an opportunity I started to pull out and pass. I was half way in to the other lane when that Lincoln whipped around me, almost side swiping me, and passed both the semi and I. Now, I didn’t take to Kindly to this and started following the Lincon. I think this scared him/her, because that car started speeding up, so then I started speeding up, and you get the idea. It got to the point where I backed off because I didn’t want to hurt myself or another driver, and the way the Lincoln was driving to get away from me, it would have ended up hurting another driver. 

Not my finest moment, but I am getting angry at people. I have a certain level of respect I show for others, and I want that shown back to me. There is a quote from a movie that I like to use, and it is appropriate here “I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.” 

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Charley Reese’s final words

 Normally I do not do this, but I received an email at work the other day, and I thought I would share it here. 


A very interesting column. COMPLETELY NEUTRAL.

Be sure to Read the Poem at the end..

Charley Reese’s final column for the Orlando Sentinel… He has been a journalist for 49 years. He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN.

Be sure to read the Tax List at the end.


545 vs. 300,000,000 People

-By Charlie Reese


Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. ( The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President’s proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. ]

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ..

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees… We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.



Accounts Receivable Tax

Building Permit Tax

CDL license Tax

Cigarette Tax

Corporate Income Tax

Dog License Tax

Excise Taxes

Federal Income Tax

Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)

Fishing License Tax

Food License Tax

Fuel Permit Tax

Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)

Gross Receipts Tax

Hunting License Tax

Inheritance Tax

Inventory Tax

IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)

Liquor Tax

Luxury Taxes

Marriage License Tax

Medicare Tax

Personal Property Tax

Property Tax

Real Estate Tax

Service Charge Tax

Social Security Tax

Road Usage Tax

Recreational Vehicle Tax

Sales Tax

School Tax

State Income Tax

State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)

Telephone Federal Excise Tax

Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax

Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes

Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax

Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax

Telephone State and Local Tax

Telephone Usage Charge Tax

Utility Taxes

Vehicle License Registration Tax

Vehicle Sales Tax

Watercraft Registration Tax

Well Permit Tax

Workers Compensation Tax



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A day at work

My job title is Occupational Safety and Health Specialist, which is just fancy way of saying that I am a safety inspector and mishap investigator. I work near, around, and with some interesting people, and see some interesting things. Every once in a while, my job is actually work though.

This is not the typical safety inspection end result, but it is not uncommon either:


Per our walkthrough and meeting, here are my findings.

Program findings:

1. MSDS binders need to be updated; Old MSDS sheets need to be disposed of or replaced with current ones. You don’t want old MSDS sheets for stuff you don’t have, hanging around and cluttering up the binders.

2. No documented ORM/SOP (Operational Risk Management/Standard Operating Procedure) for any process other than the laser lab processes. The machine shops and optics labs need to have ORM’s and SOP’s.

3. No formal ORM training is documented for your employees.

4. No HAZCOM (Hazardous Communications) training is documented for your employees.

5. No documented NAVOSH orientation for your employees.

6. No documented Energy Control/Lock Out Tag Out training for your employees. 

7. Fire Extinguishers are not being inspected.

8. There is a NAVOSH Safety for Advisors class that is in ESAMS. This class is designed for any Safety POC that interacts with our office. It is not a required class, but I do recommend it.

Facilities Findings:

Building XXXXX

Room C-33
1. Air nozzle in machine shop is not compliant with 1910.242(b)

Rooms C13-17
1. Extension cord being used as permanent wiring. This Vilates NFPA/NEC regulations.  
2. Old fridge being used to store hazmat. If hazmat needs to be stored in a fridge, it needs to be a “laboratory safe refrigerator.” This is per NFPA-45 Section and Section
3. HAZMAT is being stored in regular cabinets, not HAZMAT lockers.
4. Cabinets need to be secured to the wall.
5. Blade guard was removed from the optical saw.
6. Drill press is not secured to the floor.
7. A power strip is next to flowing water.
8. Housekeeping over all is poor.

Room C-9
1. Housekeeping is needed. 

Room c-6
1. Small fridge being used to store batteries has a microwave located on top of it. Technically batteries should be stored in a fridge like the one I referenced earlier. However,  it would suffice if you just relocate the fridge away from the microwave and re labeled it as a “batteries only” fridge.

Room C-20
1. Exposed electrical panel. Fixed on the spot.
2. Housekeeping is needed.

Room B-26
1. Housekeeping.
2. Cabinets need to be secured.

High Bay
1. Housekeeping.
2. Storage shelving needs to be rearranged. Heavy and unstable items are stored up high, with small and light items stored below. 

Building YYYYY
1. Nitrogen bottles improperly stored.
2. Oxygen and Acetylene bottles shall not be stored next to one another, ever.

Wing 4 of building IIIIIIIII:

Room 1404
1. Microwave is located in work area with chemicals. Food and chemicals shall not  be around one another.

Room 1406
1. A bunch of paper is located under a breaker box, this needs to be relocated. If a breaker malfunctions, shorts, etc., those papers are going to catch on fire.

Room 1419
1. Power strips are “daisy chained.”

Room 1423
1. Extension cord is plugged in to a power strip, and then that power strip is plugged in to another power strip. NFPA/NEC regs explicitly forbid this.

Room 1426
1. Emergency light does not work.
2. House keeping is needed.


Travis Wilkins
Site Safety Office 

The funny thing is, I just created a bunch of work for myself. I have to keep track of all these findings to make sure the supervisor actually does something about them. 

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And now for something a little different……supernatural?

I went down to my grandparents today to help my grandpa out with his computer. The fact that my grandpa is 84 and owns a computer amuses many people, including me, but excluding my grandmother. As usual, my grandfather starts telling stories about the past, most of these are the same stories and lectures I have been hearing since I was a youngling. Some are boring, especially the political lectures and the stories that accompany them. Though I have to admit, I have learned a lot from them. Every once in a while though he pulls out a story that he has never told before, and today was one of those days.

My grandpa was a corporal in the 19TH infantry regiment, 24TH Division, C company, during the Korean war. He said that one day they had taken a hill from the North Korean Army, and that their was a N.K. soldier who couldn’t have been any older than 16, that was still in his fox hole. The soldier was scared out of his mind, and in the fear was holding on to his rifle and would not let it go. Two U.S. soldiers were trying to pull it from him, but this kid would not let go. Finally a sergeant walked up and ran the kid through with his bayonet. My grandpa said that this sergeant was not well liked after this incident, and most of the soldiers shunned him, My grandpa said that he was always nice to the sergeant after that, but never went out of his way to be the sergeants friend. A few weeks later the 24th Division was retreating across a river, and the sergeant was killed. My grandpa said that this was around the 20th of September.

My grandpa then said about a month later, in October, he was on a forward patrol with a few other men, including his lieutenant. He said that he became very sick, and should not have even been out there, but he never reported his illness to anyone. Not that it would have mattered at that time anyway. He said that on this night they had laid their sleeping bags out on the ground, and that most of the patrol was sleeping. He felt someone stepping  on/kicking his should. As my grandpa woke up he saw someone standing over him in the dark, but could not focus his eyes as it was dark, and he was still waking up. My grandpa asked “what do you want? What’s going on?”

He said the figure never said a word, and just pointed to the North.

At this point the just waking up fog lifted from his eyes, and he saw that it was the before mentioned (and dead) sergeant. He said the sergeant then turned around, took a couple steps, and then was gone. 

His Lt called out to him “Heath, who are you talking to?” at which point my grandfather said, “Nothing, I was just dreaming.” My grandpa said that he lay their after that, trying to explain what he saw, and coming to the conclusion that it must be his fever. While he was coming to this conclusion, he said a bunch of bugles started blowing to the North. He said his Lt jumped up, gathered everyone up, and some how they got back to the American lines without getting caught.

The bugles were the Chinese. They had invaded the Korean Peninsula, and were massing for an attack. 

My grandpa says that to this day he can’t explain what he saw. He is a very practical man, very logical, not prone to a wild imagination, does not believe in an afterlife or the supernatural, and does not make up stories. He has told himself over the years that it was a hallucination brought on by his fever. However, in recent years he has thought of the figure pointing towards the North, not even 20 minutes before the Chinese attacked. It bothers him. He asked me what I thought about it, and I had only one thing to tell him.

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

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Taft Shooting

Any time a school shooting occurs, it is tragic. One school shooting is one too many, and it would be nice if we lived in a society where these things did not happen. Sadly, we do, so we try to make sense of it, learn from it, and do something to prevent it. 

Now, it does not surprise me that this occurred it Taft. Taft is in the same County (Kern) that I live in, and I know the area. It is not far from Bakersfield (where the crime rate has skyrocketed over the last few years), has no real job base, poor economy, and is drowning in drugs. The joke is that Taft stands for, There’s Another Fucking Tweeker. Taft is a smaller town that can trace its roots to Oklahoman’s and Texans escaping the dust bowl, and Mexicans coming over for work as field hands. You can’t swing a cat by the tail in Bakersfield and the surrounding towns, without hitting someone who can’t speak English. I am not saying that this has anything to do with the shooting or to crime in the area, just setting the stage of the area. 

Taft, is a high school football town, and the school revolves around sports. Bullying is rampant, and overlooked. I’ll bet you ten bucks this kid was bullied and saw no other way out. Does this excuse his behavior? Not at all. I grew up in a mining town that is just like Taft, and was bullied from Kindergarten all the way up. Did I kill anyone? No. However, I won’t say that I didn’t have violent fantasies from time to time that starred the bullies. I’m betting if the bullies were handled, or the kid talked to a little bit more by either the school or his parents, this could have been avoided. 

How culpable is the media in this also?

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Moments of Beauty

Ever have those moments that stick with you? Ones of incredible beauty?  The ones that take your breath away because they are so beautiful. I have been lucky enough to have a handful in my short life, and I would like to share a few of them with you.

The earliest one I can remember is a sunset. I don’t know how old I was, I just know I was very young and it was in the summer time. Desert sunsets and sunrises can be things of beauty, and this particular sunset has always topped them all for me. Their were clouds in the sky, but it wasn’t totally overcast, and as I said it was summer, so it was hot. That sun was mostly down, and it turned the whole sky a shade of red I can’t even describe. The clouds became a deeper red, almost scarlet. I have never witnessed one like that again.

The next one I can remember, was somewhere in the Mid West, but I do not remember where. I went on a road trip with my dad the week after high school graduation to Michigan, and then to Washington D.C. My dad has a tendency to drive as much as possible, and only sleep in the car at rest stations. At one point in the evening I fell asleep, when I woke up I looked out the car window I saw a big field that went on for a long time until it became trees. Firefly’s where dancing all across this field, while lighting was flickering in the background. I will never forget it.

The next moment came not too many years ago, at a bonfire on the beach in San Diego. I remember looking at the stars over the water, the fire, and some of my closest friends around the fire, and just feeling that it was a thing of beauty.

The wedding of djmatticus and his lovely wife.

The first time I realized I was in love, not falling in love, not what I thought was love, but actually in Love.

Which leads me in to this; the first time I saw love in my beautiful Jennifer. I saw it in her face one day, the depth of her feelings….and it and she, was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

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Lonely Road

I wanted to expand a little on yesterdays post. Here is a picture of the road to Austin, Nevada from Tonopah, Nevada. This road goes through the Big Smokey Valley, and is very long, very straight, and very lonely road. Not much out there but a few ranches and a mine or two. It is a really neat drive though.



The town of Austin itself is tiny, old, and interesting. One little part still has the old wooden porch that fronts all the business, which is basically a restaurant and an attached bar, and maybe something else. Neat little town, wish I had been able to explore it a little more, wish I had taken some pictures. 

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