Our Rivers Through Life

1/15/16 - Drew Vics

From the interstate the houses appear clean and well kept. Perfect, like miniature homes set up beside a model railroad track. From this distance you can’t see the dirt, chipped paint or fading siding.

Passing by at 70 miles an hour the guardrail and roadside grass blur, but distant proper looking homes and farm houses drift by slowly.

Horses graze, goats romp. Little white and tan dots moving around must be chickens, pecking at feed in the barnyard.

And then the raging river.

After exiting the interstate we drove onto winding, back country roads through rural Pennsylvania, in the northern counties of the Susquehanna River Valley. Beautiful country for sure.

The high river raced along beside us, swollen with recent rains. My wife was driving so I had the opportunity to watch the river rage and roll over what must be large stones and boulders beneath the surface. I gazed up beyond the churning, frothing rapids to watch the river bank beyond.

The river was coursing by the same old homes and farms we were passing, and I thought, “if the river could talk.”

Rivers have been flowing since the begining of time on Earth. The ripples and currents hold stories from before the rise of mankind.

Water witnessed the birth of life. Water witnessed the first lobe-finned fish waddle out of its wet world onto dry land.

Water has provided a refreshing, nourishing drink for dinosaurs and every thirsty creature that has since roamed the planet.

If the river could talk.

Just like neural pathways in the brain the river has dark recesses, tunnels, dams and falls, that hold it up or cause it to diverge from the original course.

Sometimes I’ll watch a movie and realize half way through that I’ve seen it before. This has only happened in the past for or five years, but there is a specific period of time effected. I blame too much alcohol consumption directly after the divorce from my first wife, while I was stuck in limbo, with all the memories I’m happy to forget now.

The drinking was a natural response. For sure it was intentional. It helped to blur that period of my life so I could move on with it and off-load the bullshit into some dark part of my brain to gather well deserved dust. That part of the brain psychologists are always telling people they need to peek into.

The dark recesses of the brain are there for a reason, to hold all the crud that would otherwise mess up our dirty up our windshield. Like debris on the surface of a river will collect in certain recesses of the riverbank, allowing clean water to continue flowing. We don’t need to be looking at that stuff. In my opinion, some things are just better left alone.

Canoeing on Chazy LakeIf the river could talk it might reveal things that are better left hidden by time and silence. But there are some things in history that we would love to ask the river. The river might whisper tales of trappers, fishermen, timber mills, battles, riverboat travels, good fortune and love.

As we drive by and I gaze out the window of the car to the river, the trees, towns and people we pass, my brain siezes the opportunity to imagination adventures, amazing things that could be, or may have been. I wonder and dream. And that’s a good thing.

Our lives are like rivers in that sense. If we spend time in the shallows digging through the garbage we don’t get anywhere. There is a bigger, wider lake or ocean that the river, or life, is trying to lead us too.

I say paddle on. Point your canoe downstream and paddle. Find someone to paddle with and it’s even better.


Welcome to 2016 – Watch DNews

1/4/16 - Drew Vics

Happy New Year! 2015 came and went without a post here at myeyez.net. It was a busy year with music and art persuits. Early in the year I began playing guitar for the Sin Brothers and we gigged pretty steadily over the summer. That schedule, mixed with frequent road trips which included some BrewPubs, and a bunch of new artwork added to CafePress and Spreadshirt, kept me pretty busy. I barely had time to be distracted by Facebook let alone blog.

Trace and Amy of DNews playing wine glasses.This year my wife and I also became huge DNews fans, and we check in regularly with this vodcast to get our fill of good science on various topics. Their videos typically include real human hosts from a cast of colorful, comical, smart and lively personalities, including Trace Dominguez and Amy Shira Teitel pictured here. But sometimes they do animated presentations on a given topic.

A recent video titled “Which Animals Have Sex for Fun” — you can watch it below — included a short segment on homosexuality in the animal kingdom. I found it quite interesting and thought provoking. I’ve heard people call homosexual behavior “unnatural” but the facts indicate exactly the opposite. Homosexuality is absolutely a natural occurrence, not some twisted perversion to be shunned by “normal” people.

Perversion exist, but on both side of the equation. We’ve got some pretty twisted people out there my friends, gay and straight.

This is not about tolerance either. Social tolerance is an idiotic and conceited notion. I tolerate the stupid buzzer on the clothes dryer. We tolerate different religious beliefs, snoring, humming and other annoying things like that.

Homosexuality is not something to tolerate. What humans need to do is learn, understand and accept the facts. Then move on with their individual lives, practice general human decency and leave other people the hell alone.

Anyway. Enjoy the video and check out other DNews episodes. See links to various resources below the video. Here’s hoping you have a healthy and happy 2016. Here’s hoping I actually think of some more interesting stuff to post before another 12 months have gone by.

There are references to gay penguins, the Laysan albatross forming same sex pairs, and bottlenose dolphins exhibiting homosexual behavior. You can find more information on homosexuality in the animal kindom in this Wikipedia article.

You can subscribe to DNews through iTunes, which is what we have done. You can also watch on their YouTube Channel, or watch and follow on Google+.

The rest of the DNews cast includes Julia Wilde, Julian Huguet, Crystal Dilworth. Learn more about DNews at TestTube.com.

Host, Amy Shira Teitel, having a strong passion for spaceflight in particular, authored Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA, which will be officially release on January 12, 2016. It is available for pre-release at Amazon.com. The book details the pre-NASA history of space flight.


Make Time to Skip Stones

7/23/14 - Drew Vics

Lodi Point State Park, Seneca LakeDuring a recent trip to Watkins Glen for an annual family reunion, on my wife’s side, we decided to spend some time exploring the area instead of just sitting around the campground

We usually take in some sights and visit the wineries, breweries and other nearby places, but this time we wanted to get off the beaten path.

While driving northward up the east shore of Seneca Lake, we made a left. I forget the name of the road. Cindy had been perusing the map on her iPhone and said, “take the next left, it will bring us closer to the lake shore.”

We meandered down a gravel road for a few miles, then turned right and drove along a peaceful lane by the shore of the lake. To the right were small homes, bungalos and getaways. To the left their associated docks and and boat launches.

The day was clear, bright and beautiful. Soft white clouds dotted a pure blue sky, and the slight breeze russled through the draping branchlets of Old Weeping Willow trees. We drove slowly beneath them, so calmed by their soft shade and enchanted by their beauty that I had to back up and do it again.

Farther along we arrived at the Lodi Point State Park. We strolled through the grounds, taking pics with our smart phones, “checking-in” on Facebook, you know how it goes. But then we pocketed our phones and stepped up to the rocky shore. Countless colorful flat rocks dotted the shoreline, smoothed by years of being caressed by the water.

I picked one up and skipped it on the water. Cindy would argue that it happens all the time, but suddenly I was a kid again. I knelt down to pick up another rock, skipped it. Then another, and another. I couldn’t get enough. Cindy tried her skill, plunked a few, and then made some skip.

The simple joy of skipping some rocks rekindled fond memories of being young, and made me feel very alive that day. We are lucky people, alive on a very rare and beautiful planet.

I have decided that nothing is greater than living life and making adventures. Nothing is better than connecting with, understanding and appreciating our world, especially if we have connected with someone who shares that same idea.

Live, learn, wonder, wander, and love. Make life an adventure. Take some time to glance up from your smart phone, and put it away. Get off the beaten path and skip some stones.


Don’t Think, Just Live

4/29/14 - Drew Vics

Knowledge is good, thinking is great. Don't just live, think and live a wonderful life.While perusing my Facebook News Feed the other day (if you really want to consider most of the bullshit we see on Facebook “news”; but then I guess some consider my FB posts BS too, touché) I stumbled upon this doozy, “Don’t Think, Just Live.” A simpleton statement presented within the image of a peaceful ocean scene. Hey, I’m all for nice scenery, but you know what? There is way more to life than just fucking sitting there enjoying the view.

Pardon my harsh language, but I won’t censor myself when I feel strongly about something like this. “Don’t Think, Just Live” has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Who the hell does that?

“Don’t worry, be happy” is one thing. I can see trying not to stress too much about stuff. My father used to tell me, “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” and over the years I see that, while he is a hard working man, he is a pretty easy going, happy-go-lucky kind of guy too. You can enjoy life, work hard, and not make too big a deal over shit. That’s the way I try to live. Well, except in this instance. This “don’t think” thing irked me.

But “Don’t think?”

Damn people, we have to think! And I don’t mean, “hey should I make a right or a left here…” We’re not talking about the obvious. Although, now that I think of it there probably are a few peeps out there who would just leave that decision up to luck (or worse, some sort of destiny) and say like “hey man, swing that wheel wherever you feel.”

If we don’t think we are limiting ourselves. If you want to really appreciate life then think, learn, wonder. This is an amazing world in which to exist but it is also an amazing world to try and understand.

“Don’t think, just live” is just as bad as “Ignorance is bliss.” Pure stupidity. Why do you think Steve Jobs dubbed his company Apple. Because he was fucking smart, that’s why! He was a frigging goddamn genius. He thought, and lived.

Knowledge is bliss. Wondering about stuff can be rewarding. Thinking can be a dream come true.


Ion Cleanse and DIY Toxin Foot Soak Scams

2/3/14 - Drew Vics

Recently I was made aware of an acquaintance falling for a scam known as an “Ion Cleanse” footbath. They actually visited a “clinic,” much like a spa I would guess, where they paid $40 to immerse their feet in a tub with a contraption in it that would, it was claimed, remove toxins from their body through the soles of their feet. $40 is a lot of money, but any amount of money is too much when you’re being ripped off!

Foot Detox is complete nonsense. Be smart, get the facts.This is FRAUD! Pardon my crassness, but how does anyone hearing such a claim not know it is complete bullshit? After all we go to school where, in health class, they teach us about our liver and kidneys which are responsible for the filtration of blood. The liver is the first pass, filtering blood that comes from our digestive tract and removing toxins. The kidneys remove waste from our blood and are responsible for regulation of fluid and electrolyte balance in our bodies.

Even if you were half asleep in class you should at least have gotten the gist of it!

Unless there is a problem with one of these organs or a drug overdose our bodies should not load up with toxins. A regular checkup with your doctor is a good idea too. Good doctors have a tendency to find out if something is wrong with us through blood and urine tests. No level headed doctor will soak your feet or check there for signs of toxicity.

I posted something about the detox foot pad scam a few years ago and I’m amazed to see this kind of con still being perpetrated, and on an even greater level. Not that anything I say would make much of an impact, my readership is scant, but holy crap are we really this gullible? How does this kind of nonsense actually gain a foothold and succeed? We’re not thinking for ourselves and we’re falling for nonsense and quick feel-good remedies. It’s all psychological. There is absolutely no reason to feel good after an ion cleanse, other than the fact that you just had a good foot soak. A good foot soak always feels good.

How the Ion Cleanse Footbath Really Works
It doesn’t work the way it is advertised. It does not cleanse or remove toxins from your body. What does happen is this: salt added to the water bath prompts an electrochemical reaction with metal electrodes present in a device which is placed in the water. The reaction creates a form of rust, that’s it. The color that develops in the water is not caused by toxins in your feet, it is caused by a simple chemistry experiment put in motion intentionally to fool people who will pay good money to have their feet soaked in it.

The YouTube video below, posted by Eb Jensen (three years ago!), clearly shows the Ion Cleanse foot soaking products to be a scam. It generates the rusty colored stuff whether there are feet present or not…

Something needs to give. Something needs to change. We have criminals earning a living by selling nonsense remedies and services to a gullible public. There is something gravely wrong with this picture. If it sounds too stupid to be true (it certainly doesn’t sound too good), then it is. Foot cleansing detox sounds just as stupid as colon cleanse!

We need to put these people out of business, they have NO business being in business. Do not fall for the Ion Cleanse foot spa services and do not buy any Detox Foot Soaking products, they are completely bogus!

Unfortunately these pieces of junk are being sold almost everywhere. If people want to spend money on bullshit there are plenty of retailers willing to grab a shovel.