Thursday, May 31, 2007

Our Synthetic Futures

Another cool story I found on Wired. Science fiction writer Rudy Rucker imagines what it would be like when we use technology (especially at the nano scale) to benefit ourselves through biological means.

A humorous article yet undeniably possible, Rudy wittingly takes us for a ride into fictive scenarios.

"One last thought. Suppose it were possible to encode a person’s memory and personality into a single, very large, DNA-like molecule. Now suppose that someone turns himself into a viral disease that other people can catch. If I were you—sneeze—oh, wait, I guess I am. Are we completely agreed?"

Atlas of the Universe

Following a link from Wired will take you to an Atlas of the Universe. This site will help you gain spatial perspective of the known universe beginning at around 12.5 light years from our own solar system. Just imagine what could possibly be beyond the known universe. More Universes? Nothing? Exotic anomalies? God? Nothing? Do you get goosebumps just thinking about it?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

(From Tired: space-exploration movies. Wired: brain-exploration movies

I wouldn't be so quick to call space exploration tired, however, inner space does seem to be the next wave. It is the type of SF that I will mostly be engaged in creating.

From Wired:

"The fantastically imagined anime Paprika, which opens today in New York, offers more evidence that sci-fi cinema is trending away from the stars and planets and zooming towards your gray matter."

DC Mini is some kind of machine construct that allows psychiatrists to enter the dream of a patient. It opened in select theaters in New York on Friday 5-25-07. I'll probably have to wait until it's available on DVD. If you like this kind of SF, I'm sure it's worth a little of your time.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Amazon prime

I bought two more books from Amazon two days ago, and using their free trial of the Amazon Prime service, I got them today with no shipping costs. I'm seriously considering keeping the service. It applies to all items Amazon has in stock. Currently, the costs for annual membership is 79 US dollars. One can also get their in-stock Amazon items overnight for only $3.99 and two day shipping is always free.

The books I bought were: Feeling Unreal: Depersonalization Disorder and the Loss of the Self (the first definitive book on depersonalization disorder) by Daphne Simeon and Jeffrey Abugel and Fear of Writing: For Writers & Closet Writers by Milli Thornton.

I've read a little about the Fear of Writing book and am hopeful that I can get over all my hang-ups, and get "tips to type" (fingertips to type).

I will posts summaries on both books when I can.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The end of cosmology as we know it


Cosmologists and theoretical physicists believe that if human knowledge is lost that our decendents billions of years from now may not arrive at the correct conclusion as to the age and origin of their universe.

As the universe expands, the galaxies will separate further from each other and eventually if our decendents are able to observe, because of the vast distance between galaxies, all that they will be able to detect will be the local cluster. To them, the universe will be "static" and will have no concept of the "big bang".

And on a lighter note:

"And, said Krauss, there's a positive side to not knowing the universe's true history: "There'll be almost no static on their TV screens," Krauss said, explaining that if there are no distant galaxies around to emit cosmic rays, the airways will be a lot cleaner."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Geni - 3 Wishes for a Future Internet

From Science Daily

"If the proverbial genie gave Internet users three wishes for an improved network what would they ask for" Peace of mind about secure financial transactions" Protection from hackers" Inventive new applications that improve the quality of life""

"With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), researchers are working together to design a bold new research platform called GENI, the Global Environment for Network Innovations. As envisioned, GENI will allow researchers throughout the country to build and experiment with completely new and different designs and capabilities that will inform the creation of a 21st Century Internet."

The researchers that the NSF has granted funding for and who will spearhead the project are BBN Technologies, a company that has been in business for 50 years and who also were largely responsible for ARPANET, the forerunner to the internet.

Principal investigator and project director Chip Elliott of BBN says, "GENI will give scientists a clean slate on which to imagine a completely new Internet that will likely be materially different from that of today."

This should be interesting. And I was just getting used to this one.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The "Eyebox2" has you!

From Sciencedaily

"A Queen’s University Computing professor’s invention – recently unveiled at Google’s corporate headquarters in California – provides a unique, affordable way for advertisers to track the effectiveness of their messages by measuring how many people are looking at their billboards and screens."

"Called eyebox2™, the portable device uses a camera that monitors eye movements in real time and automatically detects when you are looking at it from up to 10 meters away, without calibration."

Does anyone remember the 2002 movie "Minority Report" when Cruise's character, Jon Anderton, is going through the mall (after the eye transplant) and all the visual ads appear and they target what he may want. Well, actually is was a Japanese gentlemen's eyes he had and when the scanners scanned his eyes they recommended merchandise based on the Japanese gentlemen's history. Kind of like the Eyebox2 and Amazon combined.

This technology is just a natural advancement and will soon no doubt become even more sophisticated.

Space Junk hits New Jersey home


A family from Freehold Township, New Jersey was surprised to learn that what they thought was a meteorite had fallen from orbit to land in their upstairs bathroom. Originally thought a meteorite, it has since been confirmed as a stainless steel alloy, scrap iron, if you will. No one is sure how it got into orbit in the first place. This will be an interesting one to follow, for sure.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Shifting Realities are not so Cryptic

In November or December of 2002, while living in the trailer at 507 South Hickory, I had ordered a couple of books by Lawrence Sutin. One was an official biography of PKD, touted as the best one of any other biographies. Another book called "The Shifting Realities of Philip K Dick" was one which had various extraneous writings by Phil. Included were his own authors short biography for book jackets, various essays and a chapter in the proposed sequel to "The Man in the High Castle".

Also included were selections from Phil's Exegesis.

I would like to talk about the section of his Exegesis entitled, and bare with me here please:

"The Ultra Hidden (Cryptic) Doctrine: The Secret Meaning of the Great System of Theosophany of the World, Openly Revealed for the First Time (March 2, 1980)"

Yeah, some title huh? In this section, Phil uses his syncretory abilities to mix religions and mythic systems to come up with a possible "System of the World". Isn't it funny how he goes to extreme in mocking his title within the title itself? That's Phil, alright!

Phil claims to use the "highest sources" in coming to this conclusion, those sources consists of many of the worlds religious doctrines in an attempt to explain 2-3-74. His sensationally revolutionary occult doctrine he has derived is essentially this:

"We are dead but don't know it, reliving our former lives but on tape (programmed), in a simulated world controlled by Valis the master entity or reality generator (like Brahman), where we relive in a virtually closed cycle again and again until we manage to add enough new good karma to trigger off divine intervention, which wakes us up and causes us to simultaneously both remember and forget, so that we can begin our re-ascent back up to our real home. This, then, is purgatorio, the afterlife, and we are under constant scrutiny and judgment, but don't know it, in a perfect simulation of the world we knew and remember--v. Ubik and Lem's paradigm. We have for a long time been dying brains/souls slipping lower and lower through the realms, but the punishment of reliving this bottom-realm life is also an opportunity to add new good karma and break the vicious cycle of otherwise endless reliving of a portion of our former life. This then, the sophia summa of the six esoteric systems-seven if you count alchemy-of the entire world. Eight if you count hermeticism. We are dead, don't know it, and mechanically relive our life in a fake world until we get it right. Ma'at has judged us; we are punished, but we can change the balance...but we don't know we are here to do this, let alone know where we are. We must change the "groove" for the better or just keep coming back, not remembering, not reascending."

The preceding was as quoted in Phil's essay.

I was sitting comfortably on the couch, legs crouched, while reading this passage. Liza was playing or watching tv and Tabby was on the computer. As I was reading this, An overpowering sense of Deja Vu nearly caused me to panic. Everything, the same situation; me reading this particular passage of Phil's Exegesis in exactly the same trailer, sitting the same way. I've had deja vu before, but this nearly caused me to puke. I mean, think about it, having deja vu about reading something discussing deja vu. Okay, quick reality check, a few quick pinches, I'm still here, my daughter is playing happily on the floor in front of me. Okay, read on: This is Quoted below:

Phil: "Therefore it can be reasoned that Valis will show as few times as possible, and, if he does reveal himself to a person, Valis will becloud the situation so that the person cannot make the knowledge he has- hence the real situation- generally well known. (NOTE: This system makes use of my ten-volume meta novel. This is valuable to me.)"

Wow! This is enough of examination of this essay for now. I will go over more later. So Valis will indeed obscure any communication or relationship with it. This is of course, to protect our potentiality, of ending suffering some time or another. If too many people know about it, then the knowledge will impede upon our reawakening, and we may all be doomed to repeated cycling, forever. This is the Law. It can not be undone. I wish things were different, if I could make them would I? I don't know. In this system, everyone is given a chance, and we are all given a chance to help others, to be boddhivistas.

So, Phil, could be insane, or sick, hence Valis is not generally well known. I, myself have had mental issues, been in the hospital a couple of times. Valis again, has obscured itself. Even from me, because I still haven't concluded that I am indeed not insane. I could very well be.

I think it could have been later that night or the next night, but I was reading some more about Phil, the part where he and one of his wives see the "older" Phil at the foot of their bed. In my mind I said, "goddammit, Phil, why won't you show your self to me? Give me a sign or something, show me your here."

All of a sudden my big orange tabby cat, who was laying on the bed beside me, wrapped his teeth around my wrist. The bastard wouldn't let go. I had to spat him unfortunately rather hard for him to let go. What the hell? This was the first time he had ever done that to any of us. Tabby was witness to it, and in a sort of question herself.

Later we found out that most likely he was in heat, and this had started as a result. Male cats will sometimes link onto the females neck by biting on them. Well, we had that fixed, we had him neutered not long after, and that seemed to work just fine. Was this my sign? Some fucking sign, Phil. Thanks. That's okay, it seems I've been playing with some entity my whole life, anyway. It was playful much in Phil's own vein.

It was also around this time, in which I had a dream, that some friends of Phil, I'm assuming family too, were visiting with me in the trailer. We were exchanging theories and what not, when suddenly it became the general consensus that I was the spirit of Jane, his twin sister that had died not long after birth. Great goddammit, why was "I" the girl, was all I could think of. Think of it what you will, but I did have the dream, and I had never before postulated that I could have been Phil's sister, Jane. This could possible explain why I feel like I have written some parts of his earlier works, because I had not been yet born (not till 73). We were like Bill and Edie in "Dr. Bloodmoney". You'll have to read to find out what I mean.

Note: This does not mean that I believe I am/was Jane. It is just one of many possibities.

description of television anomaly

That was not the only time in which I remember something from, and those were not the only books remembered. "UBIK", "Dr. Bloodmoney", "Eye in the Sky" are the three prominent books I recollect. In "UBIK", it seems I remember all of the psychics and their introductions, especially. In the "Eye" I remember the bevtron accident, and the individuals trying to help them, and especially the part where they are on the balloon and then it falls. Also the end where the two main characters invent the machine, and decide to work together.

In "Dr. Bloodmoney" it is more like what do I “not” remember. Everything about Stuart McConkey and Hoppy Harrington is familiar, especially the part where Hoppy is trying to repair the electronic equipment and he ends up using psychic abilities to do it. That in particular, was perhaps one of the most familiar of all to me. Except that scene seems to take me back to my experience with the radio in '88, maybe even a few other parts. Actually, some of it seems to come from '88 and some seems to come from the other time I am about to describe.

It was the summer of 1986, and I had been sent to my biological father's home for part of the summer. It was my first time on a plane, but I found it very pleasurable. I was introduced to my dad's new wife and two of her sons and her one daughter. My dad's wife's name was Michelle, her daughter was Amber and her two sons were Jon and Dennis. Jon lived with his father and I did not see too much of. Dennis, also called "tigger" or "tig" lived with my dad and his mom. He was about 4 years older than I was. We became friends instantly. He was like the big brother I always wanted but never had. He taught me a little bit about the old Commador computer he had and took me often to his friend’s house and taught me to dive even.

We did a lot of things that summer and had lots of fun, but the one thing that stands out the most is the experience I had while alone one night. Dad and Vickie were out somewhere, I forget where. Dennis was at work at some fast food joint.

I was at home by myself watching television in a recliner. I decided to change the channel, so with the remote in hand while I was sitting on the recliner I began changing the channels. After one click, all of a sudden, I say my own self in the television doing what I was doing right at that moment. I stood up. The me in the television stood up, too. I changed the channels rapidly. Oh My God, I thought, what the hell is this? What's going on I cried out in my mind. It was like there was a camera behind me some where and I was being monitored and broadcast on every channel on the television. I quickly looked around, ran to the exit door and dashed outside. At least outside I wasn't alone. There were other people. It did not matter that I did not know them. But they were alive, real. I was severely freaked out.

This couldn't be happening. I don't know how much time I spent outside before I finally came back in. Everything else is a haze.

I remember wondering if Amber and or anybody else may have been playing a practical joke on me. I really did try to think about it logically. Albeit, I could come up with nothing. It remains an enigma. Although, I am fairly certain no one was playing a practical joke on me, and it is what it is, a mystical experience. I don't think it is schizophrenia, because most schizophrenic hallucinations are rather fragmented, not fully experienced sounds and sights for the brain to interpret. Also, they are usually derogatory in nature. Not ever neutral. Those two instances were the only "hallucinations" I have ever had, or at least, that I recollect. It could also be hypnogonic in nature (that point where you are almost asleep but not quite, and the days experiences and other memories flood your mind, and play out in nonsensical ways). I don't think that was the case, either. I'm familiar with hypnogonic associations and they were nothing like the "visions". I'm therefor inclined to think that they are indeed real. But, like everything else Dickian, I may still be obscured from reality.

Reading more books, description of musical anomaly

Once we had settled in at the trailer things seemed to get better. Tabby was happy that I was working again and planning on finishing school. Liza was had just started Kindergarten. She was doing extremely well. I continued to read Phil's books, although I had never planned on reading all of them. It was sort of taboo. What happened once I had read every single piece of writing Phil had ever produced? Would the world then end? I was not sure and was not ready to find out, either. I would just keep at a decent pace. I probably read about fourteen of his books (most of them the "works" that he is known for) between then (August) and March of the next year (03).

The very first was Valis, followed by (and I'm not sure in which order): Ubik, Martian Time Slip, The Divine Invasion, Radio Free Albemuth, Time Out of Joint, Dr. Bloodmoney, A Maze of Death, The Man in the High Castle, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, A Scanner Darkly, Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, and The Penultimate Truth.

Most of these I got from Barnes and Nobles, although they usually had to special order them for me. It seems they only had a select few on the shelf, which was a real shame. The Penultimate Truth, however, I had to buy used from one of Amazon dot com's contracted online book stores. Once I had received it, some one had scratched a note on it that said: "Hi, Thanks" and was signed "Phil Thomas". How interesting! Phil's "other" that he felt he had been was Thomas in the New Testament. Perhaps it was purely coincidental, and this guy just likes to sign on the book orders, or perhaps he knew a little about Phil Dick and was just being funny. Although, there is the likelihood that it was "meant to be", even if this guy knew it. It was still interesting even if turns out to mean nothing, and is nothing. But to me, especially at the time, it meant that I was on the correct path to discovery.

Okay, I just found a paper that I listed which books I read and which order, at least for most of them. It is as follows: Valis, The Man in the High Castle, Flow my Tears the Policeman Said, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, UBIK, Dr. Bloodmoney, A Scanner Darkly, Time out of Joint, The next few I'm not sure in which order but this is how I have them listed next: Eye in the Sky, The Divine Invasion, A Maze of Death, Martian Time Slip.

Valis was interesting, but did not bring anything into memory, it did not mean anything to me (as far as memory is concerned). However, "The Man in the High Castle" brought back memories, somehow. From the creation of Mr. Tagomi to Robert Childan, and Frank and the jewelry shop. It was all so weird. It was like I had made these characters myself. Suddenly, when I first started having these strange sensations, I felt as if I had penned the words; "he said" and "she said" umpteen million times. Like I was a writer at one time, a long time ago. What the hell was going on? I especially remember when Mr. Tagomi witnesses the alternate world, and even more when he is forced to kill the two Germans. Oh my God! The grasshopper does indeed lie heavy!

This particular instant brought me back in time to a surreal, fuck it! No. A fucking Supernatural experience I had. It felt as if I had something to do with writing this book back in 1988 or 1989. I forget which year. Since 12-14-90 I have forgotten some things that happened before 12-14-90. Nevertheless, on a particular night (it was early morning actually, and yes I had been up all night but I was wide awake) I had decided to go for a jog around town (when I first typed this current sentence I had typed "a jog around time". Hah! talk about your Freudian slip!). I was listening to a dual sided tape in my tape player "boom box" as I was putting on my shoes. I heard a song that was on the other side of the tape overpowering the song that was currently playing. That does occasionally happen and nothing is supernatural about that. Then I realized that that song was NOT on that particular tape that was in the tape deck. What? I was thinking, "This isn't right". I pressed the off button on the tape deck. The music played on, even more crisp and clear than it was before.

Determined to find out what the hell was going on I unplugged the tape recorder and fan (I thought perhaps the fan was causing me to not hear or interpret correctly. I turned everything off that was running in the room. Coming smoothly as if they were playing right there in my room was the song by Loverboy, "This could be the Night" right smack in the chorus. Knowing everything was off I also turned the light off, stepped out of the room and then switched the light back on and stepped into my bedroom. This time the music was crystal clear AND coming directly from beneath my bed. I walked over to my bed and lifted the sheet that was sweeping the floor while kneeling down to peak beneath it. Nothing was beneath it, except for the sound emanating from the apparent air. Holy shit, boy was I freaked. I immediately darted off to my mom and step dad's bedroom. There I stayed until it became light. Mom woke up and told me to go back to my bed. I told her what happened and told her I would go in there as soon as it was. l do remember thinking that I had been frightened at something that was essentially free energy. I did not know why I was afraid. This could actually benefit people. I tried to make the best of a confusing situation. But then I had other nagging thoughts, like what if it was my peers, those pricks and bitches. What if they had something to do with it. I could just imaging them somehow peeking into my room (maybe it was their collective consciousness) and laughing at me. Fucking with my mind in this sense, just like they always did in the physical sense Then I also thought if it were the Russians, doing some kind of experiment with the air waves. That was the more practical of the other theories. Of course, there is "what if I had only imagined it"? Well, I know what I imagine and what I really perceive as real. And believe me, this Really happened.

Then, there were more novels of Phil's that I had "remembered writing/reading/collaborating?" all during this time at this house, more importantly it seemed, on that one particular day when I heard music under my bed singing "This could be the Night". Those novels include "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch", and also "Flow My Tears the Policeman Said". In "Flow my Tears" some scenes that I seem to remember from a different time/place are 1) the scene in which Jason Tavener is darted by the pneumatocysts of the octopus-like creature 2) the scene near the end when the Felix is talking to the African American at the gas station. I know there are more scenes that I remember something from but I would have to reread the novel. It's been about four years since I have last read them. In "The Three Stigmata" I remember having read before or written before the opening scene in which the colonists are doing the perky pat layout and they try to squeeze their minds into the one body. 2) the scene in which Leo Bulero is running from the creature that was beneath his desk (when he thought he was back in the real world). 3) The part where one of them is in the future when two future earth men with "big dome heads" are talking.

I should also point out that while I was reading this book, more exactly when I just read the part about the introduction to chew Z, I had gone to a convenience store (it was Huck's) to get something, maybe lottery tickets, who knows? Anyway, right on top of the check out counter lay a box of candies, which were called Chew-Z! That was the first time I had ever seen them. Another one for the interesting synchronicity files.

Phone deja vu, going back to school, move to another house

One incident I remember well in that house occurred one day when we were trying to get the electric transferred over to our name. It was such a big fiasco. Apparently, my mother had used one of the kid's name so she could turn electric on in her name, because my mother had owed a prior bill to them. This type of thing is typical with her. Well, the kids' last names are the same as Tabby's, and it looked rather suspicious to the electric company because she had the electric Britney's name and ran up the bill without paying for it, again. Naturally the electric company reps were giving Tabby a hard time. She was trying to explain what was going on. I could sense the desperation in her voice as it quivered at the uncertainty. I felt a nagging sense of doom lingering over us, and then deja vu hit slapped me in the face. Smack! Hello, we've been here and done this before, this exact same thing. You know it's true!

We eventually got the bills worked out. Another instance occurred just a couple of days later. We had come home from somewhere and attached to the screen of our front door was a note. It had something to do with a car lot in Braxton, just twenty miles east of us. That of itself was not remarkable, except for the deja vu feeling I got with it.

I started seeing my psychiatrist again and got on the right antidepressants and began to feel much better. I started reading more of Phil's books. They were like a therapy for me. His protagonists find themselves in much the same situations as I had all my life, and they said: "Okay, I'm here now, now I need to make a plan and use it to the best of my advantage", be it they find themselves in a parallel universe or another planet. Life goes on. And that is exactly what I had figured upon, as well.

I decided to call the medical technology program director at the hospital in Capeston and see if I could finish out the program, some how. Luckily, grades are kept on file for one year, and I wouldn't have to pay any more tuition. All I had to do was finish a few rotations I had started earlier in the year that I did not finish and go to a few lecture series, then I could graduate with the new class. Finished. That was all set up. Now, all I had to do was start working again to bring some extra income into the house. I started working back at Manpower at the Procter and Gamble manufacturing site, doing quality control and various other tasks on diapers. Tabby and I had the same shifts, so we left Liza at mom's and off we went. We started bring in more income, and with my provoking Tabby to move, we finally did. That house we were in was like a death sentence. Nothing good would come of it.

So we moved into a trailer at 507 South Hickory street in Trent. It sat front facing the highway, part of a trailer park. We got lucky, because the trailer we got was actually fairly nice. It had a decent sized front yard, the frame of the trailer had wood planked siding that looked like bark peeling from a tree.

Moving to Trent

By this time, Tabby had had enough of my crazy shit. Who can blame her? She would have to take Liza to my mother's house which was an hour away, and then drive back home to get ready to go to work, which was another twenty minutes away. I wasn't in the most reliable state as it were. I guess she figured at least all she would have to do was take Liza to mom's while I stayed home and moped and she could go to work. So we moved into 827 N. Mulberry Street in Trent. It was the house my mom and the kids had lived in when I first had the PKD connection. We were now living in the run down, shabby, barely held together house, if you could call it a house. Floors were sunk in everywhere, cracks scattered the sick white paint.

Moping is probably not the best term one could use to describe what I was feeling. I had an immense depression, so severe that I began to lose weight again. I couldn't focus on anything. I felt dead, everything around me felt dead. It was Almost like it was on 12-14-90. Nothing could match that. But this time, it was fairly intense. I felt as if hands were draped around my neck squeezing the life out of me, choking off the oxygen supply to my weary brain. I had gone go the nurse practitioner I had been seeing for my back spasms to prescribe some anti depressant. I knew if I did not act quickly, I may not be alive much longer. It was that bad. I had started thinking about everything that had happened and especially the occurrences with PKD and I had tried my damndest to figure out what was going on. I spun forth theory after theory, just like Phil would do himself if he had been presented this enigma. One theory that I had thought of that of course was very depressing was that I was Phil Dick and this was the afterlife. I am being made to go through life as if it were one of my very own novels, sanity be damned. Whether it was some supernatural entity or some well meaning dream architects. Who knows. All I could think was like David Ames of "Vanilla Sky", "Tech Support! Tech Support! I want out of here! Help me!". Such a lonely disparate place my mind was residing in.

At the Bluff

A few days after that I had found out that the movie "Legend" was being released this year as part of a two DVD package. It had the original directors cut using the original score, which was more classical in nature as opposed to the Tangerine Dream score. Actually, I liked the Tangerine Dream score just fine, but, I had just bought a DVD player, and wanted to own the "Legend" DVD as well.

My mother had a doctors appointment that day (actually it was for one of the twins) at Bluff and had asked me to drive them up there. I said I would, and while they were waiting I started off for Kmart to look for the DVD. On the way to the store, there was a lady in a small car behind me, and she veered off to the right lane. I had another intense deja vu moment. Everything was just as it was before. I made it to Kmart and got the DVD and went back to the doctors office and waited. These deja vu moments can really take a lot out of a person, especially having them at the frequency I had been. It certainly doesn't help with depersonalization. I feel even more like I'm in a dream, very surreal.

I'm not sure where else to fit this in so I'll say it here. I should mention that Ridley Scott was the one who directed "Legend" and also directed "Bladerunner" which was based on Phil's "Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep".


A few days after that I rented a video on VHS called Impostor. It was a movie based on one of Phil's short stories. Essentially the movie goes like this: a man who works for the government in weapons is chased down because the government thinks he is an android impostor. It's what the new alien threat is. They like to play dress up with human likeness. Anyway, the Earth's shield is breached as an alien ship crash lands somewhere in dense forest, near the city. And because of Spenser Ollums close proximity to the chancellor, and other decoded and deciphered messages, they have reason to believe that Ollum is a fake. Ollum, however, is convinced that he is not a fake.

The chase is on. Ollum's wife, Mia, is a physician at one of the local hospitals, and as such, both of them know quite a few physicians. Ollum contacts one of such acquaintances and arranges for a body scan to prove his innocence, and that there is no bomb inside him. He is on the chase again before the scan finishes. He arranges to meet with his wife where they first met, which was also where they had spent the last weekend and is near where the Centaurian ship crash landed Quickly following Mia is the government, which sneaks up on them. Ollum and his wife quickly dash away and look for the alien craft. They find it not too far from where they were. After they clear debris around the hatch, they open it. Inside is Ollum's wife, Mia, throat apparently slit. Lifeless. Ollum looks at Mia in surprise, as she backs away, in disbelief of her new identity.

When they first open the hatch and we see the real, dead Mia I had an immense feeling of deja vu wash over me. It's like I had watched that movie before, right here in this spot with Tabby. It was so real of a memory it was unbelievable, even for me. Back to the movie. One of the other officers calls out the leads name to get him to come over. The lead does. Apparently it was another hatch, and when opened it revealed Ollum, himself. The real Ollum Spencer. The lead looks at the real Ollum and then back at the impostor Ollum the impostor sees himself in the hatch, and leashes out a horrid expression of disbelief. Then a bomb explodes, incinerating everything within probably a twenty mile radius.

The movie was dark, as well as the concept and overall theme, which Philip Dick constantly expounds upon in his stories and novels. But that moment of deja vu, it was incredible.


One day I decided to rent a few movies from the local Hastings. One of the movies I got was "Legend", one of the very first fantasies to come out in theater using superb digital effects. We didn't have a DVD player at the time, so it was a VHS that I rented. This was at the very early acting career for Tom Cruise. He played a mortal human who lived in the forest and was in love with a princess. He shows the princess some unicorns one day but unbeknownst to the two of them, they were followed by Evil. Evil in the forms of Dwarves and Imps cut the horn from one of the unicorns and thus the downfall begins. Jack (Tom Cruise) must find a way to put things back in order, again. This was sort of a precursor to what would be "The Lord of the Rings" one day (cinematically speaking , of course).

When watching this (I was also drinking a little) I remembered that I had watched this before. Not in the deja vu sense, but I had really, earlier in this life time watched this. That time was back in the summer of 1986 at my father's house in Tulare, California. Watching this movie brought back "magical" memories, or so it seemed, of a very fun, complete summer.

A few nights later, I dreamed that I had the antenna from my Dodge Daytona and was using it sort of like a fencing sword, at no one in particular. That very next day, when I first walked out into the glaring sun and glanced over at my car, I noticed that my antenna was missing from my car. It was apparently broken off since the last time I was in it. This was a very strong indicator that I was indeed having a sort of "psychic prominence".

A few days later, I was working on the car (installing new brakes on the front wheels), when I got a sudden urge to look after my daughter (she was five years old at the time and plenty curious; she was walking around the gravel alley next to our apartment buildings parking area) to make sure she was okay. And everything began to swim before me in familiarity. The deja vu had come on in a blast of fury. It was like I could not shake it. I tried, but everything leached out that I (we) had been in that same exact situation before.

Around the next night, as I we were walking back to the house after walking down by the river for some kind of street carnival, I found a note folded in half being held down to the windshield by a windshield wiper blade. It was a about an eight inch long by three inch wide piece of stationary. It had a picture of a colorful teapot and cup and saucer on the bottom and the writing area bordered by green box and two tone blue triangles with the very top orange and red ribboned. It read in yellow, "shopping list" at the top, as part of the stationary. The note handwritten in ink read: "Simon - Call Home ASAP Mom and Dad".

Another overpowering sense of deja vu hit me. Not only that, but the name Simon. Simon was one of the early Gnostic Christians in the Bible. Another Gnostic was Thomas, whom Phil thought he may have been, or been in contact with in his 2-3-74 experiences. For some reason, I felt this message was meant for me. Maybe Phil was Thomas, and I was Simon, and we were part of the same mission (not necessarily religion related on the deepest, most real level, but metaphorically).

The Short Stories

The following week, I went to the local Barnes and Nobles and purchased a collection of short stories written by Philip K. Dick. The particular collection was "Minority Report and Other Short Stories". Of course, honoring the instigating factor in my investigations, I read "The Minority Report" first. It was essentially, about a police officer, Jon Anderton, who is head police over the pre-crime division which consists largely of pre-cognitive individuals who can tell the future if and when someone was going to be murdered.

Jon is indicated of murdering a general who supposedly wants power over the pre-crime unit. Jon gets away with it (well, almost, he is actually sent to a penal colony along with his wife) because of the minority report. Without going into further details, I did not sense any familiarity with the story until the very end, when Witworth placed his hand on the door of Anderton's vehicle and slowly walks with them as if he is personally escorting them. It is at that instant, I remember having read that story. It was a really strange feeling, a sense of remembrance so strong it is not deniable, yet no proof is available, either.

Most of the other short stories in that volume seemed interesting and like something I would myself write, but the familiarities with most of them ended there. Over the course of a few months I bought the rest of the short stories, and although I did not read all of them, I did read a majority of them.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

New Research Sheds Light On Memory By Erasing It

From the Folks at Science Daily.

"For years, scientists have studied the molecular basis of memory storage, trying to find the molecules that store memory, just as DNA stores genetic memory. In an important study published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, Brandeis University researchers report for the first time that memory storage can be induced and then biochemically erased in slices of rat hippocampus by manipulating a so-called "memory molecule," a protein kinase known as CaMKII."

John Lisman and his Lab Group have been able to confirm that CaMKII is indeed a memory molecule.

Apparantly, they saturated mouse hippocampal memory stores, and then proceeded to "attack" CaMKII which then "chemically erased" old memory stores, after which they were able to insert new memories into the synapses.

This work will pave the way for future work in Alzheimer's and other diseases in which memory loss plays an important role.

This article may be of interests to PKD fans, also. Memory may not be what was originally remembered. As soon as one floods the hippocampus with the the CaMKII, (thus we have full memory capacity) how can they then selectively target certain memories before deleting them, and inserting false memories?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Secret Ascension

Next on my list of things to do to try to determine what the hell was going on was to see if Kent library had any works by Philip Dick or any works about him. The only two books I could find were neither written by him, however one was a biography by Douglas Mckey? and the other was a piece by Michael Bishop in which Phil was portrayed as one of the protagonists.
I checked out both of these, reading the biography first and then delving into the fictional piece by Michael Bishop. It goes by two names, one of which is "Alas, Philip K. Dick is dead" and the other is "The Secret Ascension". The hardcover I had read was titled "The Secret Ascension", which to me especially at this time, seemed more appropriate.

In the beginning of the book, we have a sort of a prologue I say sort of because this scene is integral to the entire book, from that point on. What we have is basically the science fiction writer, Philip K. Dick, somehow through nanotechnology (or so it seems) being regenerated in his old apartment. Michael Bishop, to the best of my memory refers to this copy of Phil as a ghost, or the "other". This copy of Phil is somehow strengthened by coffee, of all things, and doesn't remember who he is at the beginning. So he happens to stumble into a psychologist's office, to try to determine who he is.

The psychologist's husband, Cal, happens to be a Philip K. Dick fan, and upon learning about his wife's secret, unknown visitor, is instantly intrigued.

The major antagonist in the book is of course, Richard Nixon, although it should be noted that this is an alternate universe story. The end of the book has Phil, somewhere engaging in creating new worlds. This book is an homage to Phil, and very close to his style. This is not just my opinion.

Soon after reading the first couple of chapters, it became apparent to me that I had read this book before. When, I wasn't sure, but I know it was true. It had happened. Although, I could not prove it. The further I got into the book, the more familiar it became to me. By the time I had finished it, I knew where I had read it. The summer of 1986. I had flown out to California to stay with my biological father and his new family. I was only twelve years old at the time. I had read that novel, The Secret Ascension, that summer somewhere in Tulare, California. Exactly when and where, I had no earthly clue, But I know I had done so. The memory was more vague than anything I had memory of before. It is really difficult to explain. It was like I knew I had done that but not quite sure of the details. However, deja voe at this point had not figured to prominently in my mind. No, I hadn't thought I read it just like I read it now, but that I actually had read it in the summer of '86.

What is the big deal? The big deal is that the book was not ever published until the following year, 1987. I had confirmed this by looking at all the available editions, and even going to the author's website, and emailing him or his staff. So, what the fuck? Was I just crazy or had I really read it before? How could I explain this? I was not sure at that time, but that certainly instigated my decision to buy works from the man himself, Philip Kindred Dick. If he was trying to say something to me, I was determined to find out what. I mean, that man left his calling card on June 23, 2002.

(the girls at walmart/ phil's virtual grave)

I had to have that copy of Time magazine, I thought. Maybe there is more to it than what is on the internet. So I set out on my mini quest to obtain the magazine. It was a warm night, less humid than it had been in prior days. The stars competed with night lights, each trying to out shine each other.

Exiting the store, I noticed two young women, wearing blue walmart smocks and smoking (apparently on their lunch break?) One said to the other, "I know he's a scientists".
Then, the larger girl sitting opposite her said, "He thinks he's a god, but hes not".
Holy shit! What the hell is going on here? I mean, is that normal conversation for two young ladies on to be talking about on their lunch break? And, saying it almost as if they were reading it from a cue card. So I could hear what they were saying.

Earlier in the day my mother had come by our apartment in Cape, and brought dinner from McDonald's, for everybody. It was weird, could have been coincidental, but with everything else going on, probably not. I'm sure it happened this way for a reason. One of the toys was a Green Goblin toy advertising the Spiderman movie that we had watched earlier on Sunday. Also, there was a soda tray turned upside down. When looked at this way, it was a duplicate of the liquid chamber that the pre cogs in the movie "Minority Report" were living in. I cut one of them out, and it resembled it to a "T". Wow, was all I could think at the time.

A few days later while surfing the net I was directed to a site, it was "find a grave memorial" site, and it was a direct link to a picture of Phil's and twin sister Jane's shared grave. It wasn't until I read a comment by a guest that I was once again struck by that all to powering presence of deja vu. The comment said: "It's strange to feel sadness for someone you never you, especially someone who died 20 years ago, but your books continue to be eerily close to my own life (scary, huh?). I hope you got some answers." It was posted my "Kemek", and it is the only post or virtual flower by said person even to this day. It was posted on 6-30-02, and there was a cartoon picture of a horse's head next to it. Yet another instance of deja vu

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The day after 6-23-02

The day after (Monday night and Tuesday early morning), I decided to see how much I could learn about Philip K. Dick. Certainly, I thought, it was nothing. I'm just imaging this. I was frightened, yet excited still. I had to get to the bottom of this. How was I to know, that I was about to shine light down a bottomless hole. It was sort of like what Morpheus said to Neo, "How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?"

I went to the Google internet search site and put in 'Philip K. Dick'. One by one, I started browsing the sites that the search engine brought up. I found a few essays, biographies, etc. When I read a detailed biography of this science fiction writer, my jaw nearly dropped to the floor. My god, how many other writers have had experiences like this, science fiction writers at that. It's like he was really a part of his work. Or crazy, as some may have thought. Perhaps the first thing that got my attention was the year of his birth and death. He was born in 1928 and died in 1982. The 28 and 82 are reciprocal of each other. This, from all that I have read, was a typical phildickian thing to behold. To me, it stood out as a stark signal, a beacon in the night.

Not only that, I had learned through my searches that a few others have had seemingly synchronous events. Special timing. Some have even had dreams. What was really pronounced, was that I learned his middle initial stood for Kindred, which means 'related to' via Webster's dictionary. How fascinating. Especially for me, since it seemed like someone or something, whether it be the ghost or spirit or mind of Phil, or perhaps something artificial was wanting me to delve into the life of this science fiction writer.

My hand aching from tirelessly moving and clicking the mouse, I did not give up. There was more to see, so much more. I happened on a site called "", a fan site spearheaded by Jason Koornick. Upon entering the website, the home page was simply a blue background with a retouched color photo of Philip K. Dick as a young man. It was a picture taken when married to Ann in Marin County, California. He was probably in his early thirties when the picture was taken. He was sporting a pair of dark sunglasses. The wind tussled his hair over his right temple. He was wearing a dark button tee shirt. His face was slim but thick with a wide goatee.

From my distance I was shocked to realize how similar Phil looked to my own father, when he was about that age or a little younger. In fact, if one were to superimpose a picture of my biological father and myself, I believe it would look nearly identical to Phil's picture. I went about the house searching for any old pictures I might have had of my father to compare. I used to have his marine yearbook when he graduated boot camp. However, I could not find it.

"Humph", I said aloud. The screen saver should have come on by now. Interesting. I tried to move the mouse around click on something to forward on to other pages. It was to no avail. It was like I was meant to sit there and take notice of that picture of Phil. Interesting indeed. With everything that had happened, I was sure that this was another synchronous event.

After restarting the computer (and the point had been made) I got back on the fansite and began snooping around. An essay there, an interview here, a book cover or two else where. The site was chalk full of interesting literature and art. I got to a spoof page that mentioned a sponsor named Ubik. By then, I had known that Ubik was the title of one of is novels.

It was a spoof add, showing a person spraying a can of ubik onto items and they would turn back to their original state, entropy free. An outline of a large can of Ubik was situated in the center of the screen. They have modified the web page since then. But the page at that time, brought back such a strong memory of being at my biological father's house in the summer of 1986. Not only that, I had such a profound sense of deja voe, it almost made me sick. I felt somewhat dizzy. I couldn't believe this. How could this be so familiar? It seemed like my world was less mine and something right out of one of Phil's novels. At least from what I read about the man and his stories.

A little bit later, I was on the Time magazine website, and had found a page that talked mostly concerning Tom Cruise and Stephen Spielberg, but also had a short snippet about Phil. I should note that Tom Cruise was the actor playing Jon Anderton (the protagonist) and Steven Spielberg was the director. Also of note is that Steven Spielberg had a cameo appearance in Vanilla Sky.

I finally went to bed around six that morning (Tuesday morning), and had awaken around two or three pm having remembered fragments of a dream. It involved a friendship with Tom Cruise and the voice of one of the pre-cogs. It was soft, melodic, smooth, and refreshing. I could have basked in the wake of her sound waves. It was that pleasing. But I could not remember what she, he, or it had said. Nothing. I could not remember. Damn it!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Medical Technology school 7-2001 to 6-2002: Prelude to a Clue

The first day of class for the medical technology program was July 22. And of course this was the year 2001. The first day was typical of most first day programs anyone will be a part of. We introduced ourselves. Ann Rose gave us our course intro packets and we discussed what medical technology is and the scope of our practice as medical technologists. She also gave us our tentative schedule for lectures and also our clinical rotations. The rotation was the situation where we were actually in the lab with an employee, running patient samples as the employee supervised.

The material was compact and compressed, as we had so much to go over, however it was very informing, and I grew to like the field more and more. There are several career pathways I could choose from, even now as I write this. One could of course work in a hospital laboratory testing specimens from inpatients and outpatients. One could go into research, either at a hospital equipped to do so or a research laboratory. One could work for medical equipment manufacturers as sales representatives and field service technicians. One could even go into public health. Since public health was sort of what I was doing as a graduate, this sort of just gives me another opportunity to pick up there where I left off.

All is well through the first component of the program (the lecture component) up until about sometime in January. At that time I think I was stressed from the intensive program and we were beginning the clinical phase of the program. That is where we work along side the employee techs with patient samples, in their respective departments. We would rotate through chemistry, hematology and coagulation, urinalysis, immunology, blood banking, and microbiology.

I think it may have been sometime in January or early February that I came across a movie in which Tom Cruise starred in. Penelope Cruze was the co-star and played an easy going, simple but beautiful woman who attracts our main characters interest. From here on out I will refer to the character names and not the actors and actresses while talking within the confines of character analysis. Now, when I get to what it means to me, then I will most likely use the actual actors and actresses names.

David Ames (Toms character) is from an upper class family. His father left him fortunes in an editing and publishing firm. David thinks that the board of directors has tried to frame him for a murder that he insists he did not commit. The film opens with David in a cell wearing a mask and talking with a psychologist. He's been having dreams about Ellie. David insists he is innocent. So now we come to the story. David had a girlfriend who was rather possessive and when he breaks it off because of a new love interest, Sophia, his ex girlfriend drives them both off a ramp. She dies, he becomes disfigured. Fast forward a bit: David is in bed with Sophia after having made love when Sophia changes into his ex girlfriend. This occurs a few times, then stays in shape of ex girlfriend. David freaks out and begins to strangle ex girlfriend until she is silent. When David calms down, he slowly pulls the pillow away from the womans body and sees the mole on her chest. The mole belonged to Sophie. He loses it again, and goes screaming out of her apartment.

We go back to the cell, and the psychologist says he can't help him any further, he doesn't know what to do. He leaves while David looks off to the tv in the guards room. The tv is blaring on about some life extension because a man had a dog put on ice and the dog, Ellie, was successfully reanimated. This reminded David of something, so he pounds on the windows, and cries out, "Let me out".

David and his councilor and the guard all go to the place called L.E. for life extension.
He meets tech support in an elevator and learns that he signed a contract with them. He had been put in suspended animation for over one hundred years, but there has been a problem. They have found the fix but now he must choose on whether to wake up to the real world (where the technology exists to fix his disfigured face) or stay under the ice a while longer.

One of the things I find fascinating about this is that this is exactly, well sort of, how I feel on the inside. Like I'm here but I'm not here. In and out. Yin and Yan, again. Perhaps even more interesting is that this movie was first aired for the theaters on December 14, 2001. Obviously the 12-14 sticks out like a sore thumb, at least for me, anyway. Not only that, but this was out on VHS only. It wasn't out on DVD. Usually it is vice versa. I did not have access to a DVD player at that time, so I sort of imagined it was like that for a reason, so I would be able to see it at that time. That plus the date of theater introduction just kind of makes a person like me go, "Hmm". I should also mention that on one of the making of featurettes. that played at the end of the movie, Tom and the director, Cameron Crowe, made it sound as if they were looking for somebody. Again, hmm?

I should also mention another movie I saw. This one was Artificial Intelligence. It was directed by Steven Spielberg. The story is sort of set up in two parts. The first part concerns two parents who are losing their only child to a disease. They decide to have a child built in the likeness of their son. The mother was reluctant while the father was the instigator. So they have the andritic child made and brought home. The mother can not deal with this and therefor has the child taken away for "decommissioning". On the way the child android (along with the human child's robotic sentient teddy bear) escapes. This brings us to the second part, in which David, the sentient child android, and Teddy meet up with a male android and they seek the "blue fairy" who can enlighten David as to his purpose. They eventually find the child's makers who attempt to try to explain to him what he is. He is heart broken, he still searches for the blue fairy, and upon finding an old Disney fairy, with blue dress, sign underwater (in his ship) he eventually freezes underwater. Thousands of years later, robots from made by humans (humans are gone, gone extinct?) find him and are taken with him because he looks like the humans (one of the first AI). They reanimate him and set him up with the supposed "real" mother (taken by a hair sample that Teddy had on him). However, they haven't perfected this technology and she is can only survive one night. It's okay, because David really needs that love and belonging that he had with her before.

When I watched this, I had such a pull toward the story. Like I was supposed to look for my own "blue fairy". Was this movie trying to tell me something? I didn't know. I knew I was sick, but it felt like something was here and searching me out.

These few months between up to June I had had several non Philip Kindred Dick related experiences one of which was fool proof evidence, or at least to me, that Something was going on.

Things were getting weird at school. By this time we were in the work area of the lab, what we commonly refer to as "the bench". There was a rather rude older lady, fat, dark hair whose name was Carol. I was working with her one day, and I had the feeling she was about to trip in the chemistry area. Then all of a sudden, an extreme surge of Deja Vu came on. It came on so strong, I about tripped myself. Well, looking aver at Carol she was walking toward an analyzer and she nearly fell. I had to break her fall. That was probably one of my first of many encounters with Deja Vu.

Several more paranoiac episodes occurred during that time, a few of which I will recount.
This incident occurred on 3-13-02 and although it is probably more of a personal clue, because the very nature of it is so vague, it could have been mere coincidence, but this precedes a few other incidents. Therefore, this could have been the "mental set up" I was supposed to acquire Our class went to the City today on a field trip to visit the American Red Cross blood distribution centers, a research lab at the City University, A stem cell research lab, and finally to a reference laboratory. While we were at Quest Diagnostics, the reference lab, the lab director was giving a tour of the facilities and near the end of the tour she began telling us about their toxicology department. She mentioned they did do lead testing. Myself, being interested in environmental health, I had asked her if they had tested for any other environmental toxicants. She said they did not, and then proceeded to go off on a tangent discussing how that it would be a waste of time to go into a medical technology program if one wanted to do environmental testing. they discussed how medical technology is about correlating results with patient disease states. Well, I did not ask for this lecture. I was quite sure I knew what I was going through this course to do. It was a simple question. I thought at the time that they were all doing this to humiliate me. Our lab school director looked at me as if she were expecting me to ask a question. I thought, "Is all this set up for my relentless torture"?

The next major incident occurred that same day after we had made it back to Capston from the City. I was riding around the University, making sure I knew where the crime lab was, because we were supposed to meet there at nine the next morning. At that time, I was thinking about a certain young oriental man that used to go to the university. I forgot his name, but he used to be around a lot. I also saw him around the hospital quite often, and I wondered if he was perhaps from the last class. For some reason, at that moment, I was thinking about him and having suspicions that he was covertly "watching" me. For what reason, I did not know. Almost immediately after thinking that, I saw him strolling along pacific street, next to the large stone Glowell building. I thought, "What the hell is going on"?

We, or I should say Tabby, had a good friend who was about to give birth there at our hospital. So one day I decide to go up and see her, and wouldn't you know it, she was talking with Tabby as I was walking through the door.

Of course, I was stressed. Mental illness can drive you crazy. So naturally, I seemed probably somewhat distant at school. Things were beginning to get hard to keep up with. It was March and I was on my last week of four weeks in the Microbiology department. I had over heard the Micro supervisor talking to another student and the supervisor mentioned that if I didn't want to be there I shouldn't have came. That was in response to a misunderstanding between the supervisor and myself earlier that day. That was it, it was the last straw. I just couldn't take it any more. If I came back the next day, it would probably be as a patient on the fifth floor psychiatric ward, again. I called Ann and we had worked out an arrangement where I could come back and finish the sections I had missed next year. I was very pleased with her compassion and help.

I was finished with the program for now, but I wasn't totally done for. I was able to work, so I went back to Manpower at the Procter and Gamble site. One day, I had cut myself while trying to adjust the back of a chair. I had made a make do bandage by getting a piece of paper towel and placing a piece of tape around it to secure it to my finger. It wore off soon, and as I was walking to the break room, with just a section of paper towel wrapped around my finger, I was thinking how nice it would be if I had a piece of tape to secure it with. Well, I looked up and there was about a two inch piece of tape hanging from a rail, like it was just put there waiting for my convienence. It would have done the job nicely. I didn't use it however, because I did not know where it had come from. You have to be cautious in manufacturing facilities. You never know what you could be hazarding yourself with. Almost immediately, I "noticed" tape in four or five other locations. Whole roles of tape. Some how, my vision seemed to gravitate in those directions. It was like there was a florescence, a halo, around each role of tape, so I would notice them. They "stuck out", pun intended!

I told my counselor about all this, and she said that it seemed to her like I was very "intuitive" and perhaps had a special relationship to the universe. I told her I was frightened, and confused. She told me to just keep going on, it will get better. Unfortunately, this was my last session with her. She did let me know. She went to work with a private practice psychiatrist in her home town. We hugged and said our good byes. God, how I have missed her.

It wasn't long after that, when June 23rd came around and I made the connection. One thing I'd like to point out, or question is this: If I had not been going through this other stuff, the paranoia, seeing patterns in things, the psychic situations, I wonder if I would have made the connections that day on June 23rd? I don't know. It seems that it possibly could have helped, however, I have asked a few people about the seemingly valid synchronicity and it appears that it could very well stand on its own.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

9-2000 to 7-2001: This is a long, but VITAL post

It was sometime in September, I'm not sure exactly what day it was. In fact, I don't think it was any one particular day that set it off. I just began to feel bad. I think it was partly due to the fact that I was now in graduate school, and soon I would have to make a decision on where to next take my career. I was kind of limited as it was then. SOME University didn't offer doctorate programs, so I would either have to stop at the masters level, or move to complete the doctorate degree. At this point moving was not really an option, so finish the masters degree it was. However, the degree program I was seeking was brand new as I understood it. And for what I wanted to do (environmental health) I wasn't sure if the degree would really be of benefit to me. I was planning on sticking it out, though.

Then there was also the more philosophical problem of other minds, solipsism I understand it is called. It just became very difficult to teach class. I would go around helping the students with their labs, dissections, etc., and I would think, "can they really see me like I see them?". And I would try to superimpose myself onto their physical space and look through their eyes. And you know, I've read stuff like no one can really know what or how some one else interprets things, anyway. Because essentially all stimuli is filtered through our brains and interpreted as is. That image is my image and no one else's Now whether or not the other bodies could see an image, and I suppose it would be near or similar to mine. They could say they could, and I'm sure if I were to ask them, they would affirmate. But, how could one Really know? You can't. You can just assume. Sometimes, this just isn't good enough for me. It's still a major stumbling block, a major hurdle; one of my many so called "burdens" I must bear. I would keep trying to tell myself that if was just the dp/dr and my analytical mind was trying to deal with it this way apparently.

I became so stressed that I could not function like I should have been able to. I could not prepare for my courses, nor could I prepare lesson plans for the labs and lectures. I felt like I was breaking. However, it wasn't as bad as 12-14-90. Nothing can even remotely compare to that. I was in all practicality, more myself before then. Since then I had been slowly building myself back up to a living level. Some kind of functioning contentment. Happiness is not really an option. Although I do admit, my daughter does make me happy at times. I thoroughly enjoy and love Liza with all my heart. There is nothing I would not do for my baby girl. Even if I have to live a life of hell, a million times over to make everything okay. I would do it. I am prepared. Other than her (and to a lesser degree, Tabby) I am at times merely content. I've often thought (and still do) of what might have been, had I not had than initial mental breakdown. As of lately, I have been rather busy trying to figure out my (our) present situation.

This "perception" problem and the unreality thinking (along with two hallucinations/visions I had when I was younger; one was audio and the other visual) led me to investigate further. However, before this, I had been seeing a counselor for quite some time concerning the dp and dr. I have a huge collection of used text books that I had collected over time from a discontinued book sale. You could generally get twelve books for a dollar. So, this is a routine event for me. I had a few psychology texts in there and began looking through the abnormal psychology chapters, and a particular symptom caught my attention.

It basically said that some think that either they are not real, or the world is not real (a figment of their imagination) or both. I found out that the destructive disorder called "schizophrenia" is capable of causing delusions such as these. The more I read into this, while thinking about various other symptoms, I thought that it was possible that I had this disease of the brain. That would explain so much. To be honest, I was somewhat relieved to have been able to put a label on this. Like perhaps I was really human after all.

It has been known that depersonalization and derealization can lead to schizophrenia. Where that cut off is, I don't think anyone is really for sure. If I was or am schizophrenic, I would be known as an "intuitive schizophrenic" or a "high functioning schizophrenic". Damn, what a situation to be in. Either the world really isn't real and the disease called "schizophrenia" is just made up (perhaps by myself) to try to trick myself into thinking the world is real and I'm just sick, or I really do have this brain disease and IT is deceiving me as to the elusive nature of reality.

I had been seeing Karissa at the community counseling center for about a month before suggesting to her if I could be perhaps a high functioning schizophrenic. She said that it is certainly a possibility, and then arranged an appointment to see one of the psychiatrists, Dr. Suave.

Dr. Suave, a small mild mannered man, and I engaged in fruitful conversation in our visit. For the most part it was a general recap of life history, current medications, what's going on now type of questions. I had seen him once before with the general work up of the depersonalization and derealization. He seemed to agree about the possibility of schizophrenia. There is a term used in psychology and it means essentially that one can "put on" symptoms or greatly exaggerate them to make them fit into a certain diagnoses. It seemed, now in retrospect, that this is what I could have been doing. Nevertheless, the symptoms fit the bill so Dr. Suave prescribed an anti psychotic drug known as Zyprexa

For a while, a was able to continue at the university, but soon, after a couple of weeks, I felt more agitated and compulsive. I was wanting to be healed of these mental maladies. No longer able to fulfill my duties as a graduate assistant or a student, I withdrew from the university some time in October. A few days or a few weeks after that, compulsory thoughts livid in my mind, I shaved my head. Like I said, there was no real reason, just a compulsion to do so. Perhaps I was just so depressed, this is one way I could induce lasting change?

I wouldn't live that one down for a couple of years; hopefully, my daughter doesn't remember any of that. Apparently, I had taken a half bottle of Tylenol and then left the apartment and walked around for a while. When I came back my sister Britney, who had been watching Liza, wore a questioning and frightened look, and asked me where I was. Tabby had just walked in and was glaring at me. They told me the police had been there looking for me. It had shaken Britney up pretty bad, and of course Liza, was only five at the time was more inquisitive than frightened.

I spent most of that night getting my stomach pumped in the emergency room of SOME Hospital, in Capeston. The staff kept saying how hopefully they got it all out in time before any damage could be done. Christ, Tylenol is some pretty wicked shit. And usually it doesn't even do anything for me. If I'd known this I would have found something a little more "fun" to overdose on.

After that, they sent me up to the psychiatric ward, floor 5, in the same hospital. This was the hospital that my daughter was born in. I felt shame, that I had let my family down. But what else could I do? I thought perhaps it was the Zyprexa causing the compulsiveness. The depression still lingered over me, like a baby lingers to its mother. That was real. While taking the Zyprexa, I had noticed a distinct sensation in the middle of my head. It felt like somebody was turning a cork screw in my head. Pressure minus the pain. So, there ya go. See it? The medicine made me do it. Only, I do not think Dr. Rivers agreed.

After I explained to him about the feelings of unreality, and the fact that after the initial experience in 12-14-90 was the worst of "feeling like I was in a dream". I told him I didn't really feel like it anymore. However, I just lived life like it is not a dream, like everything is real, even though, deep down inside I still wonder if it really is. "This is schizophrenia, this is the disease that is talking", he told me, repeatedly, trying to reassure me. I was just so sick of living like this, pretending that everything was real, when I wasn't sure it was.

My god, what would Pascal say to this? Good ol' Pascal, trying to help everyone get to heaven whether they really believed in it or the religious dogma, or not. He said essentially what do you have to lose? If you believe there is a heaven and god then you may have a chance of going to heaven, but if you don't then surely you won't. A major counter argument to that is: if you really don't believe, wouldn't an omnipotent creator god see directly through the hypocrisy?

Perhaps the depersonalization and derealization has advanced so far that I've built a tolerance to the actual physical effects, those manifestations such as seeing through an invisible shield? The vertigo that sometimes waxes and wanes? I hadn't reality tested in quite a while. I had just given up. Fuck it. What will be, will be.

I'm not sure if I should say that the depersonalization and derealization has advanced so far that I was now just tolerant, or that the effects had just subsided over time. I mean, I had been going to school, and actually enjoying it. I hadn't been a recluse the entire time, although I do enjoy being alone most of the time.

Dr. Rivers, a true pill pumper, decided he wanted to treat this as aggressively as possible and put me on resperidol, haldol, along with my Xanax and whatever else I was taking. He said that he's seen cases like mine and he's seen some really good results. Thanks to the haldol, I couldn't stop shaking for about three or four days. I discontinued that in a hurry. It didn't take long, five days I think, and they had decided I was well enough to go home. No immediate danger. What the actual stay did for me, other than get introduced to people who were over stressed, depressed, etc., I'm not sure. There were a few there with serious depression and one catatonic schizophrenic.

During this time, Tabby still worked at Manpower and I had the leftovers of my stafford loans. We barely made it, but we did. Christmas and the new year came and passed. In February, we got our tax refund, and I used my portion to stay caught up with rent, etc. I found my way into the hospital a couple more times and once even at a psychiatric center in a major metropolitan hospital a couple of hours away. The night I left it was snowing and the wind was ferocious. I have no idea how I got there. I have no recollection of the drive.

When I finally found some point where I was able to, I started working part time at Manpower. I had thought about and even attempted to get social security income (SSI). However, the waiting and all the red tape to get it going was almost too much. I started thinking about other opportunities.

I think it was Tabby who brought a program at the Hospital to my attention. It was a program for Medical Technology. Some refer to it as clinical laboratory science. I had a friend who went through the program. I knew him from my biology courses. So, I thought, what could it hurt? I applied, sent in my transcripts, and all that good stuff. I interviewed with the program director, Ann Rose. She was the sweetest most cordial person I had seen in a long time. She welcomed me to the course. All my documents were in and I was one of the selected candidates. Woo hoo, I was going back to school. I think part of my problem was that I was essentially doing nothing prior to that. Having a short term goal seemed to alleviate some of it.

This is not a long post

My apologies for the recent influx of long posts. These stories are autobiographical in nature and are true. The only thing that is fictional are the locations. I'm about a third of the way through with it. It is a story that I really need to share. I don't know what, if anything, will ever come of it. But it must be done.

University - Part 2

After a short month with a lumber company in Frenscot, we got jobs with a temporary agency called Manpower. They had an onsite office at a manufacturing facility called Procter and Gamble. Even though it was a temporary agency we could be assured full time work if we wanted it, or part time. So we worked out there full time for the summer, fished alot, cruised the country side, and enjoyed each other's company.

When school began, I cut my hours to part time so I could concentrate on my studies. God, if I could have foreseen the problems it was going to cause, I would be almost inclined to have either not gone back to school or left for California. But like I tried to explain to Tabitha, if I didn't go to school, the little education I have now would be for nothing. Also, finishing my degree will certainly pay off one day. I told her I couldn't work full time, because I had to study at least a little. I mean, I was a pre-med major. My grades weren't that hot, so I needed to preserve what I had and try to do a little better, or I could kiss the dream of being a physician good bye permanently.

During November, the middle part of the month, our precious daughter to be was first conceived. July 8th, 1997 is indeed the happiest day of my life. Sure, I was extremely tired, even exhausted. I had stayed up the night before. But this day, our little bundle of pure joy came into this world, to share it with us. I can remember Tabitha holding her, Elizabeth's large perky eyes darting around the room. I can't even imagine how she was interpreting all of it. She was so beautiful. Seven pounds and eight ounces and nineteen inches long. She had a head full of beautiful brown hair. It was a thrill. For once, I had something definite to live for.

About six months after Elizabeth's birth, Tabby and I starting arguing more. Usually just little things. But at times, there were some major issues. Our biggest issue was probably money. It's not like I didn't care or anything, I knew everything would work out okay. It seems she wanted me to quit school and work full time. Like I've told her a million times, it's a little more complicated than that. If I did quit school, it would take me that much longer to start earning at a higher potential. I would be stuck working in a factor for the rest of my life. In the long run, nobody would win. If we just kept on what we were doing, we would be okay. And we were okay.

She usually always worked full time. I worked part time, went to school full time. I also received pell grants and was able to borrow as an independent student because I was a military veteran. So what did this do for me? It made the expected family contribution stay nearly the same, and aloud me to borrow more unsubsidized loans as an independent student. Big mistake. From then on my loan bill kept growing staggeringly high. It almost seemed exponential.

From then until fall of 2000 everything seemed okay. I graduated with my bachelors degree in December 1999. It took two and one half of another year to complete (since I began in fall of 93, If I had went straight through without any detours, I would have graduated in spring 97), but considering what I had went through, it was quite an accomplishment. I withdrew at least one semester, possibly two during this time. I also had enough hours to be whats known as a double major. It would have been both biology and chemistry. But the major in biology and minor in chemistry suited me just fine.

I began taking some graduate courses during my last semester as an undergraduate. It gave me somewhat of a head start. The following spring semester of 2000 was my first full semester of graduate studies. I spent this time thinking about what I could possibly work on as a thesis. I was interested in so many ideas, but nothing in particular just stood out from the rest. I wasn't just gung-ho on anything. I started thinking maybe I shouldn't be in this field then. But no, that's not right. Because I haven't been gung-ho about anything since my breakdown on 12-14-90. I have been driven with a hunger for contentment all these years. Contentment is enough for me.

I was also awarded a graduate teaching assistantship that semester. Usually, graduate teaching assistants help with labs, or supervise their own section of a lab. Some also hold recitations (where students ask assistant about core concepts from class). I was a graduate assistant for Dr. Roger Crowsland for his ZO 200 course. It was an introductory zoology course. We covered most of the animal phyla and even some of the phyla that animal-like protists were in. We went from the most simple to complex, highlighting major evolutionary steps in body plans and functions. It was a really neat course. I remember when I took it as an undergrad.

As a graduate teaching assistant, I would go to the lecture and attend his lab section (to get an idea of how to do mine and also help with his). I did notice that quite a lot of times he would lecture for about thirty minutes the first part of the lab. Man, I thought, I'm not a damned professor, yet. How am I expected to lecture well enough on these subjects. Actually, I performed rather well. The students say they got more out of my lecture than they did his. I even devised my own laboratory tests and practicals, which were much more indicative of what they actually learned, as opposed to worrying about potential "trick" questions, which Dr. Crowsland was known for.

For the most part, I had fun that semester. I even got paid a stipend (and tuition was waved). It amounted to about ten to twelve dollars an hour. It wasn't bad at all.
That summer, I think I may have went back to work for manpower until the fall semester began, for which I was supposed to lead another section of Dr. Crowsland's zoology laboratory. I may have taken some courses, as well, but I'm not sure so I'll have to check records at a later time. Things were well until September of that same year.

Monday, May 7, 2007

University - Part 1

So I began college at SOME University in August of 1993. I was just about to turn twenty at that time. I was two years late in the making. My god, I thought it was so horrible. I felt old even though it was my first semester. In my mind, I was still upset at having not began in August of 91 like I had originally planned. Now, in retrospect, I think, "Man, what was I thinking, I was still a pup". There are folks now in their thirties, forties and even fifties beginning college for the first time. However, two years into a major depression and most devastatingly the feelings and thoughts associated with depersonalization and derealization; it seemed like an eternity had passed.

That same month of August I applied for and was accepted a position in at the then new Walmart supercenter. I would remain there part time until summer of 96, working various departments. I started out as a cashier, but then transferred to layaway, domestics, automotive and finally the shoe department.

Things were going okay at the university. My major was premed in which my chosen major was biology with a minor in chemistry. I thought about many different careers along the way, some of which were: geology, chemistry, physics, and geography. However, because I was premed I had to take a certain required amount of biology and chemistry courses. We had to also choose an area of interest in biology, so I chose zoology because in this area were most of my premed courses.

I lived on campus for a couple of months of my very first semester. However, campus life didn't really suit me because it seemed I worked all the time. One of the shoe associates at walmart, Derek, lived in a three bedroom (although there could actually be four renting) house close to the river. One of their roomies was about to move out and they needed someone else to come in. So I was invited, and I happily took it.

The summer of 95, I had decided to move to California and spend some time with my biological father. I already had a job lined up in the automotive department at the walmart in Ceres, which is essentially a suburb of Modesto (where I was born). [the California locations are factual]
That lasted all but two months, I believe. So I transferred back to walmart in Capeston, and even managed to get a room again in the house with Derek. This would now be the early summer of 96. During this time I had some problems with my heart "skipping beats". So much, that I even went to the emergency room because of it.

Concerning the Depression and depersonalization, I seemed to have a hold on it. It never truly goes away. You just have to set your mind on practical matters. And going to school was one of them. I was able to actually set goals.

Another, most important reason for my being able to withstand the mental illness was being with Tabitha. I moved in with Tabitha and her mother in the summer of 96, until I got kicked out by her landlord, because my ol' clunker was broken down in the dirt driveway. They even sent the police. So not wanting to cause trouble, I found a place at the East Side Park Apartments in Capeston. I had asked Tabitha if she wanted to move in with me, and we would try to find jobs this summer and I would go back to school in August.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

A short stint in the Navy

Note: names of towns and cities have been changed

I could only do so much, at that time in Xedret. I had been thinking about it for a while, so I had decided to join the United States Navy. I spoke with a navy recruiter, took the ASVAB, did all the prerequisite stuff and signed the papers.

I really didn't want to leave Tabitha high and dry, but I had to start something in regards as to a professional life or a career. I had stalled for long enough. We had talked before (well, actually day dreamed or fantasized) about joining work force on a cruise ship. We could see the world together. However, the practicalities were not there. So, I joined the navy. I left for Bootcamp in October.

The Navy was pretty cool. Bootcamp was a little rough, especially since the weather was so cold in Great Lakes, Illinois. But actually, I had fun there. I got a title as Divisional Yeoman, a title that had some advantages, at least as far as bootcamp was concerned. After that, I had a three week leave and then in the middle of January or the first week of February, I was sent to San Diego to do further training. During this time, however, I broke my ankle while playing basketball. That didn't keep me and a few of my buds from partying at the Tijuana, Mexico night clubs, though. Those were indeed some truly fun times.

During that time, I became discontent with the military. Well, not really the military. I was loathing my decision to spend four years in the military, when what I really wanted to do; what I finally felt ready to do was to go to college, get my undergraduate degree and then finally to medical school. This is what I had wanted to do since high school, anyway. So, even though I was sick and had some mental illness (you know, the depersonalizatin and derealizaiton thing) I feigned being overly depressed and trapped. Eventually, they let me out. I got an honorable discharge. But I wasn't recommended for reenlistment any time soon. That was fine by me. I didn't plan on being back, unless it was as an officer.

So in the middle of April, I was bussed back to the home town. Mom picked me up at Vilport. All I had was what I had carried topside with me. Everything else was lost some where. Still haven't recovered those. The money, about eight hundred dollars, I had sent home for mom to save for me so I could get a car came up missing, too. Well, not actually missing. It came up borrowed without my permission. I had sent it home so I could get a car when I got back. With only a couple hundred bucks on me, I had to settle for the first piece of shit trash car that I thought might actually get me somewhere. God, I hate her. She screwed me over, again.

At this point she and her husband were still together. She had been seeing him since mid 92 I think. They got married a month or two before I left for the navy. This guy was, and probably still is, a big jerk. Meanest little fucker you'll ever see. I like to call him, El' Moron. This guy used to run the streets of Clovil, almost nude, and all drunk.

In fact, one time (this was way before mom had even known this creep) I was driving down main street (this was not long after my mental breakdown) and he in his cut off jean shorts, shirtless and shoeless, lunged out to my car like a dancing fucking faerie and I edged my 81 Mercury Capri over toward the center line just a little. His fingers popped against the door frame of my car. Ouch! I'm sure that had to hurt. Yeah, I felt a little bad about it. But the stupid SOB deserved it, believe me! Of course, he was too drunk to remember anything.

Needless to say, I wanted out of that situation at my moms house as soon as possible. I sent in all my paperwork, applications, etc. for admissions to the local university in Capeston, Missouri. It wasn't too far from home and familiarity, just about an hour and a half's drive time.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Cosmic Culture Scene

According to an article on, mathematics may not be the best answer if and when we communicate with ET. Recently, the SETI Institute brought together several anthropologistand professionals from other academic disciplines in an attempt to further understand a potential human and ET communications.

A quote from the article:

[Several participants of the San Jose meeting advised care in assuming that human ways of understanding the universe will necessarily be mirrored on other planets. "Reliance on mathematics as a major means of communication with extraterrestrial intelligence may be misplaced," cautioned historian Shirley Woolf. In contrast to the view that mathematics is a direct reflection of the structure of the universe, which would necessarily be known by scientists on other worlds, Woolf emphasized a view espoused by some prominent cognitive scientists, that "mathematics is an artifact derived from the specific structure of human embodiment."]

I think this is a very open-minded way to think about such topics. We like to say that we "discovered" mathematics. However, what if it goes deeper than that, and our mathematics is just one of endless ways of expressing such things. It's a large Universe out there, we need not be so "biocentric" to believe that life must have arisen nearly identically to the way it has on Earth, and that civilizations must be cultured by mathematics. Sure, it's a place to start, but let's not forget about the under-dogs.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Learning to live again

During the first half year after the initial 12-14-90 mental breakdown, things went very slow. Time seemed to aggregate slowly and steadily. Most of my thoughts were like; "It's been one month since THAT happened, when will I get over this, when will I be myself again?" then, "It's been two months", and so on and so forth; you get the idea. It seemed I could never be that person I once was; it wasn't going to come back to me with the snap of a finger. Oh, how I wanted it to though.

I kept my job at Walmart, though being there was hard. I was a stockman, and neared the end of the night part of my job was to sweep the floors with a dust mop. I remember sweeping up and down the isles and between the clothing racks, mindlessly; like a part of the programming that told me this had to be done. The lighting was hell. Those fluorescent lights, god! You know, things weren't real as it was, but that damned fluorescent lighting just made it ten times as bad. Everything seemed like a cardboard cut-out, no essence. Fake.

I quit Walmart in the middle of August of 91, and moved out on my own for a little while. I didn't have much money saved up, but enough to rent a little rinky dink trailer in Compton; the town I had lived when I attended my last year of high school (well, I lived there the first half of the school year, anyway.). I had a bond with Compton. It was supposed to be the beginning of a new start for me. Things were going exceptionally well when we had first moved there in 90. I thought that by being there, breathing air in the same area that some how, possibly, I could breathe in my old air and regain some of that sanity once again. Don't take that literally. I thought that if I was around those same places, it would remind me of my past, and if I could remember the past and OWN it, perhaps I could get back to my own self. It's like that Radiohead song "Karma Police" that has the lyrics "I lost myself". Well, I had lost my soul then, my essence was in Compton. I was bound to grab hold of it.

After working and living in Compton for a couple months I went back home to stay with my mother and the kids. I stayed there until about March or April of 92. Then I stayed with my ex step grandfather Rudy. He was my ex step fathers estranged father. Rudy's brother Roy had been staying with them for a couple of months. They sent for him from a nursing home in Eloy, Arizona, where Roy's wife and young daughter also lived. He was non compliant with his meds and got too sick to stay at home. So his wife had to do what she had to do. Roy was a stubborn man. Rudy had sent for Roy (most likely due to some foreseen financial gain). Roy had died in March or April of 92 at Rudy's house. Roy's wife and daughter packed up and traveled to Compton so they could attend the funeral.
This wasn't the first time I had met Roy's daughter, Tabitha. Since she was essentially an ex step cousin, we had met when we were small, about nine or ten years old probably. She was sort of tom boyish at the time, but a lot of fun to play with. At the funeral, she was wearing jeans, a blue top and dark sunglasses covered her eyes when I first saw her. I was immediately attracted to her. I think it was her innocence. It permeated my soul. I could feel her.

Tabitha and her mother, Shirley, rented a house next to the house Rudy and his wife lived in. At this point, I lived at home again, but I would ask Rudy if I could stay over their house often, so I could visit with Shirley and most of all Tabitha.

We talked all the time, and got to know each other very well. We became best friends, always doing things together. We were inseparable, no one could get between us. She helped me through that situation so much, I will always be grateful to her for that. In fact, if were not for her, I would probably not be here today. She was surely my angel, if I ever had one.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Star Trek: Enterprise

Star Trek: Enterprise is currently airing on the SciFi Channel, Monday nights from 6 pm to 10 pm Central Time. It's the latest in the Star Trek universe that has been created, yet it is set about 100 years before the original Star Trek timeline. It is the prequel to the Star Trek saga.

Since Next Generation I have been reluctant to view any of the other new series, which would be Voyager and Deep Space Nine. It just doesn't get any better than The Next Generation in my opinion. However, since I've been watching Enterprise on Monday nights, I have grown to actually look forward to those Monday nights. I even like the nostalgic theme song they play, despite the protests by "the better half".

Although I'm not the most articulate critic and hardly qualified to review the series, I do enjoy seeing the advancements made and how they are put to use before the "Original" series comes into play. One example would be when members of the away team(?) must use the teleportation transporter to get back to the Enterprise. Ensign Hoshi experiences temporal difficulties as well as hallucinations, etc. Of course, these were the early trials of teleportation, so there were the typical stories of people not being molecularly reassembled correctly. Quite literally, a few molecules short of a full entity.

This is just one example of the many technologies being introduced to the crew and Starfleet.
It's a very decent series. I highly recommend it for thought provoking entertainment.