Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Me and Van Gogh

Van Gogh was a talented artist in the 1800's. He led a complicated life which was frot with all kinds of problems. It wasn't until recent years that the medical people decided that he must have suffered from menieres disease not epilpsy as many thought for years. Menieres is a terribly debilating illness. It starts out slowly and progresses into a living hell. A disease of the inner ear which is not totally understood to this day. There are very few doctors who can diagnos it properly. And then even fewer who know how to treat it.
In the early 90's I started to develope the disease myself. It eventually turned my world upside down. Attacks at first occured once a month, then once a week, and eventually they came to call on a daily basis. The nature of the disease causes problems with a persons thinking and ability to concentrate. Since you have one affected ear and one good ear, the brain gets confused trying to decipher two sets of signals from your balance system. This in time causes depression and a fear of going out in public for fear of having an attack. It is much more than being dizzy. It effects your whole mental being.
Most of the doctors I conacted didn't even know much about it or how to treat the disease. After getting to a point where I thought my world might as well end, i found a doctor who understood the disease and knew how to treat it. In 1999 I had surgery on the effected inner ear and have returned to the world of sanity.
Van Gogh wasn't so lucky. They say the reason he cut off his ear was probably because of the disease coupled with the horrible bouts of tinitis that comes with menieres. He eventually killed himself in an attempt to ecscape the horror that comes with a disease that most misundertood in his day. Having had the disease myself the painting above, Starry Night, makes perfect sense to me. X

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Body Bag Flight!

The human brain is an amazing peice of work. It's abilities are endless. Even though they keep trying to outdo it with machines and computers, they will never duplicate it's beauty.
In March of 1967 I had been in Vietnam for nine long months. At that juncture in my tour I had long since acquired the 'thousand yard stare'. I had become a hardened killing machine without emotions or morals. I felt like I was living in a dream world far from the real world.
I was told it was time for my R&R. That was what they called some down time spent at a place of our choice. Usually Taipei or Thailand for a weeks period. Sort of a break from that 'dream world'.
There were about 60 of us going on a flight from Da Nang to Taipei. We were on a C130
cargo plane. It has a big door that folds down to the ground at the rear of the plane and is used as a ramp to load the plane. Since it was a cargo plane the only seating was along both outside walls. You set in canvas seats facing the people who were on the opposite side of the plane about 25 ft. away.
After we had been seated and they raised the tail door. The door suddenly started to reopen and was lowered back to the ground. That's when they started to carry on the bags. They were laid on the floor between our two sides. About 25 in all they stretched from the front to the rear.
Stunned at first, realety started to creep back into my foggy brain. I had seen a number of body bags at that point. Even carried some to the choppers as they were wisked away from that horrible place. But this was way more up close and personal. Silence fell over our group and stayed for an eternity. That is what the trip to Taipei seemed to last any way, an eternity. In the beginning I started to get angry, that they had chose our flight to move the body bags. As time passed I cut through the fog some more and realized there were bodies of my comrades in those bags. That thought kept me from looking at the tag that was on the body bag laying at my feet. Just days before some of my unit had several KIA's. That's when that brain of mine started doing it's number. For some reason, I was unable to look at that tag, that was close enough to touch.
That trip with the body bags was erased from my memory for over 35 years. Then as I got into my 50's I started to have this terrible night mare. Not that I didn't already have a lot of night mares, but this was a new one. I dreamed I was on that C130 fight with the body bags. Much of the dream was what I had experienced originaly. But then the bodies started to move and cry out. That is where I usually would awaken in a cold sweat with my heart about to jump out of my chest. I had this same dream for a considerable time and then just stopped. Somewhere during that time I guess my brain had restored my memory of that flight and it seemed to be alright that I remembered. But that image of those body bags on that plane is as fresh today as it was back then when I lived it. I guess you could say I had gotten some closure for that horrible event. Problem is, I have many more hiding in the recesses of my mind that will eventually come back to haunt me.
The Vietnam War brought several new products to the world. Body bags was one of them. They are still used world wide. Another is 'super glue'. Super glue was first used in Vietnam. It was used to save lives. The medics used it to seal up battle feild wounds so a soldier could make it to a field hospital somewhere. Xavier

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Darkside of Sturgis

On the night of the full moon at Sturgis several of the outlaw bike clubs got into it. A member from each club went to the hospital with knife wounds. A number of people were arrested.
It seems every time we go, the outlaw clubs get into it. The last time they had a shootout at the Custer State Park Campground.
For the most part they don't cause problems with the general public. And even have booths set up to try and improve thier image. Since they compete for territory the disputes usually are caused when one feels his area is being trespassed on.
I would like to make one thing clear here. They would like you to believe they are just good ol boys with a unique lifestyle. The truth is, there is a darkside to that lifestyle. Make no mistake about it. X.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tom gets suckered by the rubber lady!

Spring turkey hunting season employs a very primal instinct. Sex. Tom turkeys are out looking for a little nookie. It's as old as time itself. So it's always struck me as being a little devious that we who hunt them are being just a tad bit dishonest. The turkey is not thinking with his very sharp and alert brain during this time of year.
When turkey season first opened here in Missouri a person could not use artificail decoys. It made it more difficult to get a turkey then as the hunter had to be extra cunning. The change in the law that allowed decoys has changed that dramatically. Once old Tom sees what he thinks is a lady friend he becomes oblivious to any thing else in his surroundings. The result usually leads to his demise.
You've probably heard jokes about men and inflateable dolls. Well they make inflateable turkey decoys. And I'm sure Mr. Tom doesn't consider them a joke as they can and often are deadly to them.
Why is this on my dark side blog? I have mixed emotions about this style of hunting. You have to be a little twisted to take advantage of Tom in this manner. So, you guessed it, I'm a little twisted. Besides, wild turkey is very tasty. And much healthier for you as it doesn't have a bunch of artificail stuff and chemicals in it's diet.
Gobble Gobble. X.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


"Denial has driven the final nail in many a coffin." Xavier

I was going to title this post "One and a half men and a raving lunatic" but opted for "Denial" as it is more fitting.
First off I'd like to say that Two and a Half Men is one of my favorite sitcom's. It ranks right up there with All in the Family, The Honeymooner's, Cheers, and Seinfeld. One of the things all of these comedies have in commom is that they deal with the dysfunctional personality. Humor has a way of taking the edge off reality and allowing us to heal ourselves.
Secondly, I have some personal insight into the meat of this post, as I have fought my own battles with the demons of Alcohol abuse. I know personally that denial has been and always will be, a major stumbling block in the path of anyone who is dealing with alcohol or substance abuse.
During the past week the american public has been force fed a lot of information about one of the stars from Two and a Half Men. Our media seems to thrive on sensationalism. The public then gladly gobbles it up. I watched Dateline last night. It was primarily interviews with Chucky. He talked of his Tiger Blood and his Adonis DNA. He at times rambled on about who knows what. Said things that didn't make much sense. I was bothered by some of his statements about AA. He bad mouthed them in a major way. AA has helped millions of people recover from alcohol abuse and to lead more productive lives.
Over all the show pretty much documented an egotistacal lunatic in action. Not only is he in denial, but those who surround him are as well. Apparently about one million plus fans are to as they signed on to his new Twitter page as followers.
I try to avoid the tabloids and media shows. I just don't like to clutter up my life with this kind of fluff. But, I think seeing Dateline last night brought home the ugly truth about a person who I've enjoyed watching over the years. Apparently, he is a hundred times worse than the character he portrays on the show. He is one of the "pretty people" out there. They seem to have a bigger problem with denial than us average folk because they are always surrouned by enablers who keep reminding them how "pretty" they are.
I am beginning to wonder if the "Chucky" from the movie fame and the "Real Chucky" that does the sitcom are one in the same.
I have compassion for his family and his true friends for having dealt with his abuse over the years. This whole thing has reminded me of a saying I heard in childhood, "Rave on catshit, somebody will come along and cover you up". I just hope they do before lives are lost. Xavier

Friday, February 11, 2011

Religion and War

"Why is there enough religion to incite war,
but not enough religion to instill tolerance?"


Many of the times in my life when I have struggled with a belief in God, I have stumbled over this great controversy. Most of the wars that have been fought on this planet are instigated by a difference in religious beleifs. Simply put, religion causes most of our conflicts.
I was born with a strong sense of fairness about me. So, right away I was conflicted when I was faced with a God who was for war, people killing people. Why does a loving God condon this type of cruel action. For those of you who have never been at war, I can tell you first hand that it is the most inhuman act we do. Nothing matches the horror of war. There are no rules in the final act. No law except the law of the jungle. No winners, only survivors. For a person who was raised to love his neighbor it is a stark confrontation with reality.
As I was confronted with this, I turned away from beleiving that there could possibly be a God. It would anger me to hear people talk about God. I became a complete Atheist. For a long time the only law I abided by was the law of the jungle. It was more natural for me to beleive than what I had been taught as a child. For I had experienced it's practice. It just made more sense at the time. I still had thick walls of protection built up around my mental state to allow any thing else in. That would change in time. More on this later....................X.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Good Angel, Bad Angel

I know I'm not the only one to have duel feelings about things. I've talked with friend and foe about this issue. I've studied it in my college Psychology classes. I listened to the nuns talk about it as a child in catechism classes.
Psychologist describe it as the ego vs alter ego. It's like having a conversation in your head with one side being for something and the other being against it.
Since we're all different individuals, the degree of difference is varied. Some we could call saintly others pure evil. Most of us somewhere in between.
With this blog I will address this light and dark side of the human condition. Xavier