It's official, nothing exists!

The latest research from the top scientists of the day now proves beyond all doubt that the probability of 'existence' is not just very very small, but simply impossible! This startling conclusion is the result of a succession of newly proved advanced theories of the nature and beginning of the universe.

Namely matter and energy must have always existed because it cannot be created or destroyed, so time is infinite, but it must have come about somehow, and then how did organic cells come about from inorganic matter and how can consciousness possibly exist and come about by chance?

It now seems that that the answer to all of these questions and the many others along the same lines is that it simply can't have happened, it's impossible and therefore, using Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's thinking, when you have eliminated the impossible, that which remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Namely, nothing exists, not even you, so you had better start getting used to the fact that what you think of as yourself and what you see around you does not exist in any capacity whatsoever.

It should be noted that once the scientists had come to their conclusion and vacated their research laboratories a huge party bong was discovered and taken away for further examination.

If you find that one day
The bluesky has gone away
Or on misfortune's toes you tread
And lose yourself in a spider's web.
Here's a glint of what was before
So that the skies will blue once more:
Keep the Hope, and please don't cry
So, like the wind, in the the highest blue sky
We can find you soaring up there
And we'll always remember you no matter where

- November 1987

I am a very lucky man.

It's Father's Day here stateside, and I've just sat down to a nice breakfast with dear old dad, and handed over some cheap baubles to express my admiration and appreciation for everything he's ever done.

Some people don't get to be that flippant about the strongest bond a young man (and sometimes woman) can have.

On, there was a recent posting of Father's Day poetry and letters, written by juvenile hall residents in various San Francisco facilities. The inmates have a monthly publication, The Beat Within, where they can anonymously submit anything, from song lyrics to drawings to essays to .. well you get the idea. Here is one sampling of the holiday correspondence:

Thanks to my mom's dead boyfriend

I remember I had my first drink at age four. Bottoms up -- one, two, and three swigs of peppermint schnapps. You just had to give me some because I asked. Now I'm an alcoholic like you were. I hope I don't die falling down drunk with a brain aneurysm like you did.

Thanks for my first drink!

I remember when you beat the living crap out of me every night from getting drunk so much. Thank you for the bloody welts on my back. I remember when the social worker came to the house when I was three or four and got mom and me out the house. We took the first greyhound out of San Diego we could afford, after living in a hotel for a month just to get away from you.

Thanks for all the threats on my family!

I remember when you died.

Thank you for finally leaving me and my mom alone!

And another:

You would always beat me

I remember when I was in kindergarten. You would always beat me. I was only a little girl and I didn't really know what was going on. It was all because of drugs. Dad, you really hurt me, and even though it got worse by the week, I still love you, because you're my Dad. I've had a hard life, Dad, and I just want to let you know I haven't forgotten that, and I still hurt inside.

So, Father's Day or not, if you have someone in your life who loves you unconditionally and takes care of you and provides for you, be very thankful. Such a thing is rarer than gold.

Breaking news (and other objects)

OK, here's a turn-up for the books - while using e2 I have been a peripheral witness to a crime. I was sitting here, at my desk, typing away for a forthcoming node, and suddenly heard a noise outside my open window, in the twilight, like a tree coming down. So, alerting my family, I headed off outside. I was awfully reminded of an incident about two years ago when a young man, drunk, ploughed his car through the hedge at the side of the main road. The road I live in is a little dead end, and to the left, looking out of it, is a set of council allotments that flood from time to time. The young man's car in that case had torn up yards of wire fence and hawthorn hedge, and he had been killed. When we got to the end of the road, we could see that a similar tragedy had nearly occurred. Next to the first house in our street - call it 'Number 1', because it is - is the side garden of a house in the main road. Sticking through the remains of the hedge separating that garden from Number 1's front drive was the back of a Volkswagen, still with the lights on and the engine running. The rear bumper was a hand-breadth from the outer wall of Number 1's front room. There's a family living in Number 1.

The grandfather from Number 1 came out at about the same time. People who had been walking past were gathering, too. A walk as far as the corner showed that an enormous chunk of the old hedge between the garden had been destroyed, and there was debris all over the bottom end of the garden. The car had passed between two trees, either one of which, if hit, would have wrecked the car. All over the main road there were big black skid marks. The driver appeared from somewhere - a young man of vaguely hispanic appearance in a black t-shirt and jeans. He was slightly bruised but otherwise OK, and appeared to be under the influence of something. When asked, he said he'd been doing forty to forty-five miles an hour. I smelled burning, and suggested that just maybe the engine should be turned off. Someone did this. The passers-by started furnishing eyewitness accounts of the crash. The driver's speed was reported to be more like eighty than forty. (The speed limit is thirty.) He had apparently gone past heading up the hill, and some of the passers-by had been so alarmed at the speed and recklessness of his driving they'd tried to flag him down. He'd jumped the top of the hill on the other side of the little valley, and when he got to the top at this side, he'd turned sharply and come back down. On his way down - down the wrong side of the road, if the tyre-marks were to be believed - he'd spun off, narrowly missing a man walking a dog.

Someone said they'd called the police, or that someone had, but nothing much happened, so I went and called them myself, and explained the situation. I think they hd already been called, because not long after, three squad cars and an ambulance showed up. The driver was still wandering around, dazed, and they started taking statements from him and from the passers-by. Dad and I had a look at the damage. Miraculously, as well as not quite hitting the house or the trees, the car had just missed the gate to the back alley and the little pumping station which drives the branch sewer for our road. The police started in on the breath tests and the like, and we all went inside again. We were all pretty startled and angry that someone could have so endangered his own lives and those of many others for some inane kick or other. Let's hope the cops do their job right. I look forward to seeing this one in the local paper.

Father's Day, a special day to a select few families, but for mine it's just another uncelebrated holiday. Occasionally we wish him a "Happy Father's Day" just to see his eyes roll, but it's nothing spectacular to this family. Historians will someday look back on our culture and will not learn of this alleged holiday. This is because, for the most part, fathers are the family member who doesn't care about the holidays, doesn't care about getting gifts, and would rather ignore his birthday if everyone else would let him. It's a role that has been etched into the being of all successful breeding males, a certain disassociation with the environment. They eat, sleep, work, and watch sports on television. Well, the latter isn't a requirement, but it's certainly popular. In a way, this day was only created to offset Mother's Day. Affirmative action for the sexes. All of this became abundantly clear when I went to the store today and couldn't find the "Father's Day" section of the greetings cards. I didn't intend on buying one, but was simply curious what kind of messages are used on this occasion. Admittedly, I didn't search for very long, but still. On Easter the cards are prominent, even more so for Mother's Day. Nearly every other holiday is a Hallmark draw, but I guarantee that Father's Day is the day which lags the most for card sales. Especially schmaltzy cards prophesizing the children’s appreciation for the bounty that their fathers provide for them.

Perhaps this is a reality only witnessed in my home. This may have to do with the fact that each member of this family is so diverse from each other. The separation between my father and I is astounding. For starters he’s an avid hunter, while my experience has been relegated to setting a few mousetraps. He loves the outdoors, regularly snow-showing in the winter and fishing in the summer. I balk at the sight of sunlight, feeling at risk just being outside to mow the lawn. He loves cars and any mechanic device that helps transport him somewhere quickly, while I love electronic devices such as computers and television - two pieces of equipment that require being stationary. His first language is French, mine is English. It’s odd to believe that we’re from the same family tree, sometimes I get the premonition that I was adopted. If not for both being short and ugly, we’d have no similarities whatsoever.

Nonetheless he’s my father. The man that has driven my life and required so much in so few words. I’m proud of the man and all his eccentric outdoor idiosyncrasies, and my only goal in life is for that sentiment to reciprocate. To make him proud, despite the fact that he doesn’t understand the vast majority of the things that I do. I believe he’s a great father and my explanation for that is in how I’ve lived my life. In fear. Afraid to let him down, and afraid to not be there when he needed me. His vocabulary may be little more than curse words and disparaging statements, but he’s just doing his job. To lead me in the right direction, to be the man he wants me to emulate. That’s a father.

Happy Father’s Day dad.

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