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We have not yet met face to face, and I would love some quality time to get to know you better. You have not replied to my invitation to lunch, I know you are busy as am I, how about Wendy’s by 55th and Arapaho, Boulder, CO  Tuesday – Thursday sometime? I’m open afternoons  midweek.. You bring your crew, I’ll bring mine.



ed: This was posted before the incident in Chicago.

#Bernie2016 #FeelTheBern #TeamBernie



Years ago when I was in a neurobiology lab studying the effects of drugs on nerves, it dawned on me – why use synthetic pesticides when you can cook up some of the most bug-toxic stuff in your own kitchen? Nicotine and caffeine, two of the world’s most popular drugs, are LETHAL to insects. Here’s how to put this to good use in the coming “aphids are eating my garden” season.

First, take  some tobacco – equivalent to about two cigarettes should do it, and two table spoons of ground coffee – DON’T USE DECAF -the caffeine is what you are looking for. Go ahead and use more of both if you like (I cooked up the first batch of this simply by cleaning up the cigarettes butts my smoking roommates left on the back patio).  Soak this in rubbing alcohol – maybe a half cup or so (or high-proof vodka, if that’s more convenient, it will also help make this more fun -soak longer with vodka as it isn’t as strong alcohol-wise) for a week or so. With a funnel and a coffee filter, drain off the resulting dark brown stinky fluid into a 1 liter spray bottle. This alone with some water will be pretty bad, but there’s something you need to do to make it better.

Bugs breathe through pores in their skin, and this stuff will kill much quicker if you can get it in there better. Also, its good to have some repellent qualities to this stuff, so lets juice it up.

Add several dashes of the hottest hot pepper sauce you can get –Capsaicin is what you want – pepper spray would do the trick too, but be careful if you try that – spraying into the bottle could get you covered in nastiness (trust me on this one).  Next fill the bottle with water. Finally, add  good squirt of liquid dish soap.  Why the soap, you ask? It’s because of the bug breathing pores (spiracles for the geeks out there) – the soap helps break the surface tension of the liquid and allows it to enter these pores much more easily. Don’t use very much soap – too much and the spray bottle will fail as the liquid foams in the mechanism.

Give it a little shake to mix it up. Let it settle.

This stuff is almost instantly fatal to aphids, and will kill most any other insect eventually if sprayed directly on them. And your plants won’t care one bit about it. And to us mammals, it’s effectivly non toxic – DON’T DRINK IT THOUGH – the nicotine from two cigarettes CAN KILL YOU if you drink it. Shouldn’t be hard to avoid drinking it though, it STINKS.

Also, DO NOT SPRAY UPWIND – trust me, you don’t want to get a face-full of this spray.

So, yeah, it’s smelly, but would you rather be spraying some synthetic chemicals made by a mega corp?

Think about it.


PS – for aphid control, spray the UNDERSIDE of plant leaves – that’s where aphids feed.

When I started this blog, I decided I would keep my political commentary out of it, you’ll have to see my Facebook page for that. But I recently (yesterday) attended Ron Paul’s rally in Berkeley, CA, and what I saw reminded me that politics and social issues go hand in hand, so I decided to share my thoughts.

First, I have long admired Ron Paul for his sincerity and his ardent refusal to change his views to please the masses or bow to the pressure of the story-of-they-day. I also long ago decided I would never vote for him for President. I’ll elaborate in a bit.

OK, he wants to audit and eventually end the Federal Reserve. Hell yeah.   He wants to end our ceaseless foreign undeclared wars and stop being the World Police. Hell yes.  He wants to end the War on Some Drugs. Hell yeah, again. He is angry that millions are homeless while there are millions of empty foreclosed homes. Agreed, I am too. He is rightfully angry that our federal government is intruding into our freedoms at an unprecedented level. Repeal the Patriot Act? It’s about fucking time. Abolish corporate subsidies? Yep. I’m still with you, Dr. Paul.

But, and first in this argument, I have some problems with him I cannot ignore. As a biologist and philosopher by education I know a few things. First, corporations are not people, they don’t get scared, can’t be imprisoned, don’t feel pain, don’t need food or air or water.  Ron Paul would abolish the EPA and if we abolish the EPA, and let the threat of lawsuits and such keep corporations from polluting our environment as he suggests, that we will see a return to the times when poisons were poured into our water supply untreated, where industrial air pollution created acid rain.  A billion dollar lawsuit cannot undo the damage that a single BP-level accident can cause.  Money can’t fix it after the damage is done. Second, he is a Creationist. As in God made the Earth for mankind and evolution is “just a theory”  (please see “Just a Theory” for more on my views about this). Some have criticized me for allowing religion to taint my politics, but that isn’t it. Fact is, in this country, no one could possibly be nominated for President if they do NOT at least appear to believe in God. I don’t give a hoot if you’re running for President and you are Christian, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim (yeah, right like THAT would happen)  what ever.  What I DO mind is someone who doesn’t believe  that life evolves. Who believes that we were created exactly as we are today and the world was made for us, specifically.  It is  simply not true, and if you DO believe this, you are deluded, clouded by the Authority of the Church.  If you merely CLAIM to believe it you are being dangerously manipulative. Finally, tied to his  religious ideals, he believes that a fertilized human egg is a person, and therefore would prohibit abortion, (I suspect he would be happy to overturn Roe v Wade in the name of States Rights, one of his big talking points).

One, two, three strikes, you’re out Dr. Paul.  If we could somehow combine him with say, Bill Clinton and Teddy Roosevelt  and JFK and cherry pick features, we could have a fantastic President.  You can guess who is getting my vote in November.

Anyhow, here are some pictures.

All done.


PS  To clarify : Obama is not the clinton-roosevelt-JFK president. Still voting for him.  this two party thing we have going on sucks.

Warning, this is going to be a bit of a rant.

I was at my credit union the other day (move your money!) and as I was signing the receipt I noticed something a little odd that bothers me still. Beneath the signature line was a line labeled “Driver’s License Number”.  Innocent enough, you say.  But those three words speak volumes about our American society.

Why? It does NOT say “Identification Number”.  It says “Drivers License Number”.   Who ever wrote the text for those receipts assumed everyone doing business with the credit union would have a driver’s license. You can’t get one without a driving test, so you must have access to a car.  Ever heard of someone renting a car for someone else to use for their driving test (you can’t rent a car without a license) ?  Didn’t think so. (note: I checked, and they have no problems accepting non-driver’s-license valid government issued ID, state ID cards, passports, military ID etc) There are more people than you realize who don’t have licenses.  The very poor, the mentally ill,  the disabled or very elderly – by and large they get around by begging rides.  And, of course, people convicted of DUI or who have lost licenses for other reasons. I’ll get to public transportation in a bit.

The city where I live is not pedestrian-friendly.  Many streets simply don’t have sidewalks.  I’ve been out running and seen several places where the sidewalk simply dead ends at a patch of dirt. Wonder where the sidewalk ends? Ask me, I’ll show you.  I wondered about this, and I did some research; the city was chartered in 1956 – the era of the interstate,  of American domination of the world auto industry.  The suburbs were exploding, and it was rapidly becoming impossible to get to work or visit friends without driving.   Every family had a car (well, almost) and it was a  status symbol to have the “two car garage”.

Before I moved to California, I was an avid bicyclist in Boulder, CO.  Boulder has an extensive bike/foot path system, and it’s usually faster to bike than to drive because of this.  When I showed up at work out here on my bike, after a ride of less than a mile on quiet side streets the first thing everyone said to me wasn’t “good job for going green!” Or “good job, get some exercise”. No, what they said, every one of them, was “What’s wrong with your car?” I’ve since moved several miles closer to the hills.  But I don’t ride my bike much out here. Why? I was nearly killed on my motorcycle a couple of years ago.  Bicycles are even more vulnerable. During my recovery I got back on the bike to work my leg.  I noticed a couple odd things.  First, the city lets people park their cars in the bike lanes, forcing cyclists into traffic and second, the bikes lanes on the large streets are also turning lanes for cars. It just isn’t very safe to ride your bike on the streets. I’ve tried taking the local buses. A trip that would take me fifteen minutes or so in my car took  over an hour, and I still had to walk about a mile to reach my destination.  Round trip? Over THREE HOURS.  I really began to pity people who didn’t own a car.

I’m not making this up.

And people are worried that Iran will build a nuclear weapon, start a war, and OH NO! Gas prices will rise! It will cost more to drive my precious car!  What about all the death that a war would bring?  The destruction and misery?

Wake up, people. We are responsible for much of the strife in the middle east. We still practically drink gasoline.  I’m not sure how we can change, but the problem isn’t a lack of oil.

Think about it.

Whew. Rant done. For now.


Please see “Gasoline Perfume” for more on my thoughts about a war with Iran.

Please see “Your Vote Doesn’t Count – Because You Can’t Place It”  for my take on requiring photo ID for access to the voting booth.

The Thinking Viking is a taller than average but not towering, usually well-groomed white man of 40, weighing in at 175lbs.  About as far as you can get from a slender  black teenage boy, 140 pound 6’3″ Trayvon Martin, aside from our gender and being tall.  I’m wearing a freaking hoodie as I type, I own four of them, three black, one grey. I wear one almost daily as I walk to the store a couple blocks away.  The rent-a-cops in my neighborhood are all – so far as I have seen – Hispanic or Black.  If one of them had shot and killed me while I was walking home, talking to my girlfriend on the phone, I can assure you, they’d be in jail – or at least charged formally – by now.  The man – George Zimmerman – who stalked and shot and killed Trayvon Martin has not been charged, and is walking around a free man.

Anyone who thinks this isn’t racially motivated isn’t seeing things clearly. As for the Stand Your Ground law he is using as his defense? You cannot claim self-defense if you follow a total stranger  in your car and then confront them after being told by 911 dispatch to stand down, wait for the real cops. Would he have done this  if a 40-year-old white man had been with Trayvon? I doubt it.

But I will tell you this.

If I had been followed by an unmarked car with some strange dude in it, clearly watching me, I would have run or at least hurried, as Trayvon did.  And if that car had  followed me all the way home, and the driver confronted me, he would have been met by a few things  a lot more dangerous to him than than a bag of Skittles.

A camera, a gun, and my phone dialing 911.

Trayvon, I wish I could have been there for you. Best I can do now is write this, and hope the outrage your murder has raised will change some minds.  I doubt it will change many, most  people who think like Mr. Zimmerman are like concrete – all mixed up and permanently set.


This is to all the other good men out there.

That which we love is under attack.  Not the NFL or NHL, not NASCAR, not beer, not hot wings, not motorcycles or dogs. Rock and Roll? Doing fine. So what’s taking fire? Who needs our strength and honor?

Our sluts and prostitutes.  Or – According to Rush Limbaugh all women who use contraception. Rather, our mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters, and daughters to rational people. If we stand silent while the rabid religious right continues their onslaught of hate and lies and domination we cannot call ourselves “men”.  We are bigger, we are stronger, but we are not “better”.

Remember how we protect the “weaker sex”?  First on the lifeboats, first out of a burning house, we hold the door for them and defer to their compassion and kindness.  How many of us express outrage when we hear stories of a woman beaten by her husband, of  a teen girl gang raped, we say to ourselves, “If  I had been there, I would have stopped that.” or ” I would kick that guy’s ass.”

I,  for one, won’t take it anymore. This man is  standing up and saying “Enough. This ends with me.”  Taking a quote from “They Live” (one of the best ever terrible sci-fi movies, IMHO)  “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum. “

You want to go after our sluts and prostitutes?  The women I love? You’re going to have to go through me first.

Think about it.


Please see “I love women. My Mom was one. Not that there’s anything wrong with that”

And “Rush Delivery”

And “The Littlest, Cutest  Terrorists – The Girl Scouts”


Dear Rush Limbaugh,

Thank you. You have done more damage to your reputation with your hateful words (and by extension damage to Fox News as well), than any clever Facebook post or WordPress blog could possibly do. Keep it up, and let me know when they can your ass so I can throw a party.

And further thanks for the “apology”.  I just found out that I am actually agreeing with Ron Paul.  A more backhanded and self-serving mea culpa has not been seen for years. Your true colors are showing, and they aren’t red, white and blue.

Sandra Fluke, I’ve got your back.

That’s all for now


PS  I applaud the advertisers who are withdrawing sponsorship. Hit him with money.  When he is no longer profitable, he’ll see how much his owners at Fox News love him.

PPS – Clear Channel? I hate you. You trashed my favorite radio station. But I’ll forgive you for that  if you cancel his show.  Sign a petition to have Clear Channel cancel his show