Archive for April, 2021

Larry Visits…Martinez

30 April 2021

I was inclined to pronounce it “mar-tin-EZ,” however, the correct way to say it is “mar-TEE-nez.”

It’s one of several towns in what I would call the North Bay – the region surrounding San Pablo Bay, Carquinez Strait, and Suisun Bay. It starts with North Richmond and includes Hercules, Crockett, Martinez, Bay Point, Pittsburg, and Antioch (coastal cities in the East Bay). On the other side of the water are San Quentin, San Rafael, Santa Venetia, Vallejo, and Benicia. beyond there is an extensive wetlands area.

On weekdays, my least expensive ride into the Bay Area (currently) is the Fairfield and Suisun Transit’s “Blue Line” bus. That bus goes straight into an East Bay BART station. But on weekends, the best way I have found is the Capitol Corridor trains operated by Caltrans using Amtrak facilities. They go to Martinez, Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland and south to San Jose. Most of those stations are not very near BART stations. So after you get to Martinez, for example, then you have to catch a bus to get to BART.

Train ride

I was excited to get on the train, as I hadn’t ridden for some time. It’s the same basic layout, except masks were required.

The ride only takes an hour, and it is very smooth most of the way. The trains run multiple times a day, even on weekends, and people DO ride them! My ride (one way) cost less than $20.

The land between Sacramento and the East Bay consists mostly of farmland and pastures, with some encroaching suburban development. There is also a major Air Force Base (Travis) in the area, and an adjacent wind farm.

There are two bridges across the Carquinez Strait, and the train takes one of them. Martinez is less than a mile from the bridge.

Benicia side of the Strait
Carquinez Strait

Station and town

The train station is modest but adequate and manned. Outside in the parking lot are bays for several local buses.

Walk to town, featuring young lady sporting the new (old) bare midriff look.
Parking area, with station on left.
The 316 waiting at its layover position.

Downtown Martinez is a bit chic, but I did not explore it this trip. I did see a considerable gathering of beer enthusiasts outside one downtown brewery, as I rode by on the bus to the nearest BART station.

The 316 arrives at Pleasant Hill BART.

Stowaway

30 April 2021

Larry Visits…background

29 April 2021

I plan to write a little series of short illustrated articles about places I have visited recently.

I want those articles to just be about the places, and sometimes the people I found there.

But that leaves out the question: Why did I visit those places?

It all started when…

I suppose it all started when someone decided this would be the perfect time to release an experimental virus on the planet and thus create a massive global scare that would send people screaming for face masks and medical cures while neglecting the important things in life, like companionship.

At first I was simply aghast. Next I became convinced that we were being gamed – same suspects as all those other times. The pattern had become clear… at least to me and a handful of others.

But by that time the battle lines were drawn. This, it seemed, would be a fight to the death. It would shake our confidence in many of our public institutions and shake my confidence in my own church, perhaps even in myself; I was alone.

As related elsewhere, after a significant struggle, one of my newest friends reappeared. She was, if anything, much more tired and battle-worn than I was. She had put her heart and soul into a career, and had been rejected – in effect – by her own dream. She was so glad to have someone to talk to! And I was, too. But, she had to say goodbye and return to her hometown and her family. Her carefully-built world of independence had totally collapsed. My carelessly built world of interdependence was likewise in a shambles. She left me with a suggestion: Maybe you can find some friends using dating websites.

What? I had never dated! But the notion intrigued me, and so I tried it.

I met some interesting women. A few in person, but most only online. I met some old acquaintances, and made some new ones. But most of them were looking for a new husband, and I was not looking for a wife. So we were “playing” different games that operated on different rules! A few understood, and few others, somehow smitten, chose to ignore these differences and plow on regardless.

The Bay Area connection

I was born in the Bay Area and spent a lot of good times there. It is only 50-100 miles south of Sacramento. Could I make some new friends there? Would that even make sense?

My first challenge was to find a way to get there. This search was encouraged by a woman who really wanted to meet me. And so I found a very cheap commuter bus that could take me on weekday trips to and from the Bay Area. These trips took almost 2 hours, but the bus was ridiculously inexpensive, and it went right to a BART station. My first trips using that bus have already been documented here.

Weekend visits would be more problematical. The best choice seemed to be the Capitol Corridor train service. It was more expensive than the bus, but it only took an hour to get from Sacramento to Martinez. The first article in this series will cover that trip.

The next challenge was to get from Martinez to Bay Point (Pittsburg) where my new friend lives. My next article will cover a hill I found in Bay Point that people climb to from a nearby park.

Past and future travels

In the past I have also visited Yuba City (where my young friend now lives and works) and in the future I plan to visit Placerville and other towns. Usually I take my phone on these trips rather than my camera. The photos from my phone I find somewhat inferior, one reason being that it has no optical zoom. But they convey in broad strokes what I have seen and the environments I have experienced. I hope you enjoy these Larry Visits… articles.

Lupine!

14 April 2021

This should be a nearly textless article offering you some recent Spring photos centering around the wild-growing lupines that bloomed very strongly in the Folsom area this year. A few “bonus pics” should show up at the bottom.

This year, it really started last week….

“Lupine hill” by Lake Natoma

They were still going strong this week…

Here is a yellow lupine growing in a garden that is part of this park system.

Other earlier pictures from other areas:

A beautiful closeup from a garden.
This one was growing wild by a fence.

Bonus pics!

Locust tree flowers. Also of the pea family.
Lizard at Aquatic Center refuses to leave his warm rock.
I catch a butterfly off guard at DOCO.

Easter

4 April 2021

I have never written on this subject before, as I am not religiously trained. But the data and attention on this subject kept piling up, to the point where I feel that I should write about it.

Tradition

madonna nursing
Amazing old painting by an unknown artist. Note all the symbolic energy radiating off the pair.

Easter celebrates the last day in a series of events related in various biblical stories. It is connected with the Jewish tradition of Passover, as these events are said to have occurred during the Jewish Passover.

Passover celebrates part of the Exodus story, which includes the parting of the Red Sea and other miraculous occurrences.

On the day we celebrate as Easter it is said that Jesus arose from death. This includes his ascent into Heaven.

As most are probably aware, Jesus had been killed by the Romans as a favor to various Jewish leaders who felt threatened by his activities. Tradition holds that he was nailed to a cross, where he died with the assistance of a Roman soldier who cut him with a lance.

It is a very emotional story, and full of the gruesomeness that we associate with the life and politics of those times. It is the foundational story on which Christianity as a redemptive faith is based.

Recent mentions – Dave Rubin

Dave Rubin is a conservative-leaning liberal from New York who currently lives in Los Angeles and has made a name for himself doing political commentary and interviews mostly as video podcasts.

In recognition of Easter, Dave invited a local Rabbi and a local Priest to come on the show and talk about these religious traditions in particular and also the larger problems that religion faces in the form of secular opposition such as that embodied in the “public health” mandates which closed many churches for an extended period of time.

Their discussion centered on the secular attack on religion and their attempts to maintain a balance in their congregations between the desire for a spiritual connection and concerns for personal and public health and safety. I have dealt with these issues elsewhere on this blog.

There is wide agreement among conservatives and religious people that the church closures violated the First Amendment and were unwarranted in the face of all evidence and rationality. I agree with this view.

Discussions with Christian believers

I often walk down to Old Sacramento on Saturdays, and there I meet people who wish to talk with passers by about Christianity. I have come to be well-acquainted George, his wife, and their beautiful black Lab. Yesterday I was met by Robert and his brother and we had a long discussion about faith and eternity.

Christians are sold on the idea that they visit Earth only once, where they are normally presented with numerous opportunities to follow The Lord. I told him of my understanding that people return to Earth numerous times. As this truth is blocked using various memory loss technologies, most consider it only a belief. This includes most Christians. I of course disagree with this and feel that the evidence for this truth is powerful enough to make it a basic fact of life.

The story of the crucifixion and resurrection is very important to Christians. Because of the numerous written accounts, they are convinced that these events actually did occur more or less as related in the Bible, and that we should assign to these events the significance that Jesus asked us to assign to them. I disagree with this, but not strenuously. It is a story that seems to have done some good over the centuries, and one I would not wish to pull out from underneath the people of Earth, like some old dirty rug, without a better story that might serve a similar purpose.

Without the technology of Confession as practiced in Scientology, our trespasses against societal agreements, as well as our own sense of personal integrity, can weigh heavily upon us. And this can be compounded by similar unresolved actions in our more distant past (past lives). This sense of guilt (that we are all “sinners”) can then be used by the unscrupulous to lead us to do things that further weaken our position in life. Christian teaching is one attempt to unburden us from this guilt so that we may live a free and proud life, even though we know we have done wrong. I don’t see this approach as very effective. I think Scientology works much better.

Christianity is influenced by Buddhist teachings on the subject of right action. Compassion and charity are seen as essential parts of life for believers. This opens the door, however, to tolerating wrong action in others. This is an essential paradox of human life that each belief system handles in its own way. Even the Scientology ethics methods, which includes the assignment of conditions and so forth, are not always easy to follow or obvious in their application.

Data obtained from Remote Viewing

Courtney Brown (Farsight Institute) and his remote viewers have addressed some of the incidents connected with Easter and the Exodus and have uncovered data which I consider significant.

For the full story, you can check out their older projects and trailers for their newer projects on YouTube.

But in a nutshell, when it comes to the Crucifixion, it appears that what is reported in the Bible is not totally accurate.

Jesus, it appears, had “heavenly” (ET) assistance and was working on a plan for Earth that his people hoped would be successful. They wanted to install a newer religious institution to replace the ones in that area (Judaism? Or was the Roman system more likely the target?) and this would require some major miraculous events that would get everyone fired up. All the Disciples were apparently in on the fibs surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection. It was the job of Judas to find someone who looked like Jesus who could be presented to the Romans for them to execute. A local religious fanatic was chosen (we have had problems with religious fanatics ever since!) and it was he who was killed by the Romans. Judas had to be accused of betraying Christ in order for the story to work, which apparently he gladly agreed to. The real Christ meanwhile retreated to a somewhat remote location, and over the next few days, the rest of the story, with some ET assistance apparently, was carried out. I’m not sure Jesus was literally pulled up into a space ship, but that is what the findings imply. All the Disciples then agreed to go out and promulgate the story as it exists in the Bible today. A small fib, they figured, was justified to forward their cause and claim the final “miracle” of Jesus’ life.

Courtney’s viewers later did projects on the parting of the Red Sea and on Moses. It seems these were also ET-assisted events. The bottom line is that ETs were significantly involved in the development of the Judeo-Christian stories as told in the Old and New Testaments. This is supported by Hubbard’s findings that religious belief was an important part of the control mechanisms put in place in other civilizations preceding those of Earth. If anything, they play a more important role out there, as we on Earth are the outcasts, less willing to accept these teachings and stories.

Conflicts of interest

This section is not meant to address the issues mentioned above.

But what I have written certainly paints a picture of confusion for all of us living here. And it does not solve through simple disbelief.

And so it goes with my attempts to find friendship.

Who is most likely to pursue a relationship with me? Someone who sees me as relatively safe, kind, and tolerant, and who needs that because of previous experiences. So, who has reached for me the hardest? Two woman who are overweight and emotionally compromised.

They have both had children with husbands who eventually left them. Why those separations or divorces occurred is lost in the mists of time. But what happened subsequently was similar for both women. They fell in love with men with major emotional and health problems. In one case, this eventually led to an eviction and subsequent homelessness for over a year. In the other case, the man died one night of complications from a recent illness, even as she struggled to revive him.

Both of these women desperately want and need a stable partner, but are very unlikely to find him because they themselves are in such bad shape. I am sure this is the sad story of many women – and men – as they lived through the hopefulness of youth only to find their training and personality failing them as they grew older.

What am I to do with such people? I am no messiah! And there is no system currently present that is fully equipped to help these women live out the later years of their lives with some dignity and happiness. The “mental health” system has totally failed us. It is based on a “psychology” more perverse than any religious story ever written, resulting in practices that could easily be seen as the work of the Devil himself.

The more society believes in this secular form of “redemption,” the more it caves in on itself. I have referred both these women to Scientology. But one is a TV addict and barely literate. And the other has been thoroughly seduced by the new secular “religion” that involves psychology, molecular biology, genetics and drugs. If either of them pulls through into a better place, it will truly be a miracle.

And so goes the planet…