sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chance Encounter: A Personal Memoir

A Chance Encounter in the Temple of the Living Elvis (Las Vegas)

I stood next to the Consumer Electronics Show desk at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. It's the place where you stand in a (shorter) line to pick up your pass before you descend into the basement to board a monorail to the Convention Center.

There were a number of conventioneers present and a bunched delegation from Senegal were speaking loudly in French. Sadly, I do understand French, but apparently not when it's spoken in Senegal.

She sauntered up to the Senegalese men standing near me, and spoke in passable French to them wearing a shimmering terra-cotta colored satin ‘not quite a wraparound’ dress. (It looked as if somebody TRIED to stuff bratwurst into a garden hose) What I mean by that description is that it should have wrapped around but it fastened well too short of that goal, and as a result, her breasts kept on coming out of her dress. I found the situation amusingly horrifying that she had that particular euro penchant for dispensing with cumbersome undergarments. She wore a ‘Brazilian’. The fact that I could confirm that at first glance, gives you the sense of the lady, if I can call her that. The men from Senegal will confirm my observation if they pass by this blog.

Not an actual photo, just trying to capture
the general vibe.
European women (monied and destitute alike) often come across as being filled with the pent up frustration of liberalism and the venom that can only originate in a "progressive" culture. The older they get, the more seasoned and bitter they become, much like the news hosts on MSNBC. Ignored by the Senegalese, she spoke to me, switching to English. Apparently my aging and affluent (or effluent as you prefer) tarnished looks didn't translate into the EuroTrash model. I took it as a compliment.

"Are you staying here?" 

"Yes I am," My hand shot out, "Jim Willoughby from New Orleans, and you are?"

"My name is Bambi."

I had to suspend disbelief, because even though I almost used Jack's name (Blogger WoFat) fraudulently, I knew for a fact that there was a Bambi in The Big Easy...

"Have you ever been to New Orleans?"

"No." (what a pity, not the same Bambi) Bambi looked forty-five, real age about 30. She was just mildly unattractive in a soured vinegar and water solution kind of way. At this point she may have read my body language a bit more clearly. "Ok, my name is Melusina. I will go up to your room with you?"

I looked at the sloppy, slurring, sweat stained trout and smilingly said that I had other plans.

"For four hundred dollars?" She mentioned money and ok, I'm a whore. 

"Ok, yes, for four hundred dollars."

She smiled for the first time and yes, the pancake make up actually did crack on one side of her face. Taking me by the hand, we walked toward the elevators. I commented, this time in French, Las Vegas est la ville des rêves, that Las Vegas truly is a city of dreams. Not only could you indulge your vices, but women come up and offer to pay you four hundred dollars to have sex with them.

She stopped, confused, breast slinging out of the loose top as she pivoted toward me, "No, you pay me four hundred dollars."

I replied, "I don't have four hundred dollars, I thought that you were going to pay me to have sex with you. Honestly, I need the money right now, though all you'd get for that is the opportunity to blow me with a party hat on."

Bambi/Melusina pivoted the other way, giving me an ugly pout, her breast loosely re-seating itself in the dress, and stalked off, unfulfilled and unloved - and I didn't make $400...

Complexity (another Sermonette)

When compared to the mass of the planet, Earth's oceans are a very thin film, like fog on a bathroom mirror.

Even though water covers 70 percent of Earth's surface, it makes up a very small fraction of the planet's overall bulk. Earth is mostly rock and iron; only about one tenth of one percent of the planet's mass is water. Earth's massive iron core generates the radiation belts that protect us from harmful effects from both the Sun and deep space. If it wasn't large, it wouldn't protect the planet.

Is Earth unique? Clearly there are no planets in the distant solar systems that we've been able to probe that replicate the life-giving environment that we enjoy. The secret to that environment is abundant liquid water. 

Earth's water isn't just on the surface. Studies have shown that Earth's mantle holds several oceans' worth of water that was dragged underground by plate tectonics and subduction of the ocean seafloor. Earth's oceans would disappear due to this process, if it weren't for water returning to the surface via volcanism (mainly at mid-ocean ridges). Earth maintains its oceans through this planet-wide recycling system which also takes carbon out of the cycle and subducts it back into the interior of the planet.

Whether you take the course of some scientists like Dr. Carl Sagan, who felt that God only existed in the minds of men, or you take another approach, the mechanism supporting the life that we enjoy is exceptionally complex. Examining its complexity inevitably leads to a sense of humility. Appreciating the value of life in general should bring us full circle to appreciating ourselves and those around us more -- but human insecurity doesn't seem to allow it without a lot of effort.

Apollo 8's Christmas Eve Message (submitted below for your recollection):

"The Good Earth"