— Non-escalating Verbal Self-Defense


"Don't criticize; don't analyze; don't explain; don't complain — Just be!"








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In Engrish!


In the earliest days of the web, when you wondered whether the page had completely loaded, you'd look for a final "" — the marker meaning, "End of file." So, ... let's start from the top: When you design a web page, create the beginning and the end furst,


And never worry about making mistakes. That's the beauty of it. You can always go back and fix them — over and over! It's kind of fun.


These are the secrets of design used by systems programmers.


Cascading Tables

Have you ever noticed how quickly the front page of loads? That's because it's designed as a series of tiny tables, which get loaded and displayed one-at-a-time — FAST! This gives the reader a chance to start right in, while the rest of the web page continues to load down below.


Never, ever, ever say a web page is "under construction." I mean, let's just assume it's under construction — Why wait? Give the people what you've got, and that's really good enough.


These are really rules of working.


My sister figured out if you use three different colors, you can go back and insert a new table in between two others without thinking about it too much.


You don't have to change what's already there; and you end up with an interesting design. Something that begins to shine.


She works in North Carolina and ships her art over here to California as attachments to ordinary E-mail.

I find it's useful to create a web page that's nothing more than a palette of colors — and messy, too! Then you can pick and choose from among them as you go along.

Unencumbered by the process of thought.


Point Out the Competition

The first thing to do on a website is give people a way out. Different strokes for different folks! Dr. Suzette Haden Elgin, for instance, established the World Verbal Self-Defense League in 1997. And George J. Thompson, Ph.D., is the President & Founder of the Verbal Judo Institute, Inc.

By providing links to your competitors, you define yourself in terms of what you don't do.


(1.) Build an Audience — (2.) Monetize

If I had a daughter who worked as a baby-sitter, I think it would be lots of fun to show her how to build a website so people could pay her with a credit card!

Her website might show

(a.) her community activities, with perhaps a school picture;

(b.) her schedule, including the times she had free;

(c.) her transportation needs;

(d.) reliable references, and how to contact them by E-mail (instead of by telephone);

(e.) an itemized menu of services she might provide, along with fees;

(f.) her E-mail address, so clients could provide special instructions (in writing!);

(g.) her future plans — for instance, to offer her services as a tutor, or as a "personal assistant" to help with Christmas shopping, or to groom their horse!

(h.) payment options, including by credit card;

(i.) a feedback form, for questions or suggestions.


When my sister and I started our website, we each bought a top-of-the-line Macintosh, a high-resolution Sony monitor, and DreamWeaver software from Macromedia. DreamWeaver lets you build the website right on your computer in "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" format, much as in a word processor. While you're building your website in one window, DreamWeaver generates the "HTML code" on-the-fly in another window, teaching you HTML as you go along.

Soon, as you engineer code in the HTML window, DreamWeaver instantly updates the WYSIWYG window. This "round-trip HTML" method is very powerful.


A Website's Inner Design

"Design is really directing people's attention," my friend David Van Ness says, "and the best designers have respect for people's attention."

If your website's design has elements of playfulness, your readers become seals and dolphins — Real surfers!


Looking for a Name?

The best tool I've found for researching domain names is at the following URL (Uniform Resource Locator):


A Page Counter

The page counter we have at was supplied by our web host, Originally, their software had safeguards so the same visitor wouldn't be counted twice. Does it still?


last alive

in overdrive

our counter



An Invisible Page Counter!

Our home page has an invisible counter — which is just a dot! — one pixel by one pixel.


Going, ...



Going, ...






A Remote Counter

The Museum of Counter Art provides hundreds of page counters to a companion service,, which counts page hits (for 84¢ a month) and delivers the counter of your choice from a remote server:




Community Service

The Web is unique in that, if you can identify a service you know would be ideal for your community, nobody's stopping you!

My sister and I provide two pages on our website for graduates of our two High Schools. Mine was in Missouri; hers in Connecticut.

John Burroughs School Alumni and Alumnae Websites - I went to a close-knit High School in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. Now the graduates of John Burroughs School are scattered all over the world.

Choate Rosemary Hall Alumni and Alumnae Websites - Located in Wallingford, Connecticut, Choate Rosemary Hall is a coeducational boarding and day school that attracts a diverse group of students from all over the world.


Website Aliasing

When a search engine spider follows links through the domain space, it discovers the following two URL's:

The spider discovers, "John Burroughs School Alumni and Alumnae Websites," and "Choate Rosemary Hall Alumni and Alumnae Websites," in the META tags of the HTML code, and indexes them accordingly.

Notice both pages have nothing to do with proper; they simply "live there" as tenants.

If we bought domain names to go along with these two pages, we might "forward the names" to the "actual URL's." This is called "Website Aliasing."


Never Link to the Alias Itself!

As long as you submit actual URL's (to search engines and directories) or link to actual URL's, search engine robots follow right along.

On the other hand, if you link to an alias, major search engine spiders do not follow the "forwarding" instructions, so the target, or actual, URL never gets indexed.

My sister and I own two aliases: <== For a bumper sticker. <==. . . . . . For a business card.

The links point to the actual URL's.


Add a Search Box — A Room with a View

Here's a site whose authors understand design, and they never stand still!



My friend Virginia almost sent off a business E-mail today reading, "It was nice to meet you toady ...."

We were all rolling in the isles over that one.


Excerpt from an Access Log

We have an industrial-strength web host, and they provide us with an Access Log. If you look at this excerpt [the first 20 hours from December 11, 2000], you'll find a computer-generated list of every page and image which served to roughly 58 unique visitors from a computer somewhere in San Jose. (At least, that's the location a technical representative in Florida told me a week ago; a month earlier, another representative told me our server is in Virginia; it's not clear)

It looks like one person in 58 actually discovered this particular page.


The "Generosity" Model

Two days after Christmas, someone using an Internet Service Provider in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA, left the following "trace" in our Access Log: search?as_q=poetry+paradise&num=20&btn G=Google+Search&as_oq=&as_ep q=david+daniels&as_eq=singer &as_occt=any&lr=&as_dt=i &as_sitesearch=&safe=off

Because I have links to David Daniels' The Gates of Paradise, the person who left that trace found me! The only thing I have left to do is mention the word, "poetry"; pataphysics takes care of the rest.

The Internet is funny. If you're kind to Mozart, Google (alive and kicking) and Mozart (who died in 1791) will be kind to you.


How to Be Bad

It's all in your mind really. If you do something bad in the outside physical world, there are always consequences. The way out is to be humble as a dove and wise as a serpent.

(1.) Let's start with manners. They help people get along. The trouble is, if you think manners, you begin to believe that's all you are, and life becomes a boring pink cocoon. "Thank you for coming by!"

(2.) Then let's try rebellion. That's a total waste of time because it empowers the ones you're fighting against. Even an argument is a clever way for two people to ignore each other. "Thank you? For coming by?"

(3.) So let's be hip. Except it's too much work, and the rewards are slim. Trying hard to "not try," you're always one buzzword out of reach in a perpetual one-night stand. "Thank you for coming! Bye!"

(4.) Or a thief, or a pickpocket! It's like old shoes — just because they don't have them in Churches doesn't mean they don't exist! It's their way to feel important — a clever cover-up for feeling insecure. "Thank you for ... coming by."

(5.) What's left? Nothing. The way to be bad is to be nothing! You're a Buddhist!



I knew about robots.txt files long before I actually made one. Essentially they tell search engine spiders what to ignore — your Access Log, for instance. Unfortunately, someone else made a robots.txt for our website, and "hacked it in," with instructions to ignore everything!

I wasn't paying too much attention to our Access Log at that time, and was only dimly aware that search engine spiders were issuing their normal GET's for "robots.txt" and our website was responding with a code 200 instead of a code 404, at which point the spiders simply stopped accessing the website. [A code 200 means, "the file exists, and here it is"; a code 404 means, "the file does not exist." When a spider finds a code 404, it assumes there are no restrictions, and goes about indexing the entire site]

Well, it took me a month to figure out what was happening, and by then, a lot of damage had been done., which had previously listed "Non-escalating Verbal Self-Defense" as tops in "verbal self defense," had removed us from their search results.

So I decided to go to the FBI — My friends thought it was a joke! — went to the District Office, and waited in the lobby. I was wearing a nice new shirt and tie, and looked pretty Republican for a cab driver, though in retrospect, I might have been wearing the wrong shoes.

When I was admitted to the Interviewing Booth, I reached out and handed the FBI agent my bright yellow business card, reading, "" in red letters before the dot, and blue letters after: "Non-escalating Verbal Self-Defense." The man looked me up and down, looked at the laminated business card, and said, "Where did you get this?"

That was the last I heard from them. In the meantime, I replaced the intruding robots.txt file with one of our own: Because if you're not using yourself, someone or something else is.

As for, which hasn't touched our site since the date of the hack, January 10th, 2000 — we sincerely apologize. We upset the apple cart.



Today is Thursday, December 14th, 2000, and we've had 10 favicon.ico's this week!

Whenever someone using Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 bookmarks a website, it sends out a request for a "favicon.ico," which probably means, "favorite icon dot icon." I've never actually seen our favicon.ico, because I'm using a Macintosh, and I only have MSIE 4.5, which doesn't call for them. My sister has seen it, though! She went over to a friend's house, who has a Windows machine, and asked the friend to Bookmark our site.

About a year ago I used an Internet utility to create our official favicon.ico, and from what I remember, it's a bitmap of a taxicab, surrounded by a checkered square, though I could be wrong. The utility sent the tiny picture to me as an attachment to E-mail, which I saved in our taxi1010 folder and then uplinked to our website. However, no program I own can actually display it.

I comb through our Access Log in search of "GET /favicon.ico" — Then I call up my sister, and cry out, "Amoret, our favicon.ico's are going through the roof!"


Add a Press Kit

When your website has more than a hundred unique visitors per day, it's probably mature enough for an Online Press & Media Kit. The whole idea here is to help someone who's under a lot of pressure to meet a deadline. If your kit clearly provides what they need, (Think, "Cut & Paste,") the writers, copyeditors, and producers will provide what you need.


404 — Document Not Found

"The requested URL /bushwhack.bootles was not found on this server."

Ordinarily, your web host issues a mundane "Not Found" error message whenever a user encounters a "broken link" to a page that "doesn't exist" or is "no longer there."

With your own web site, you can supply your own "404 Document Not Found" page, which at the very least will entertain everyone. Or add to the fun. You just have to be careful that your "404 Not Found" page doesn't take too long to load, and that it "behaves correctly" inside your sub-directories. [Use "absolute links," specifying complete URL's, such as <> rather than "relative links," such as <../index.htm>.

The 404 Research Lab shows you how to create your own "404 Not Found" page, then enter it in a contest!


Page Tracking


Pull back the curtains! When a web page needs a picture, your browser issues a command similar to the following:


Your browser can also make a call for a transparent picture, containing nothing but "transparent bits":


Computer programmers in Amsterdam discovered they could use JavaScript to generate a call for a transparent picture, on-the-fly, "tacking on" a whole lot of other information:

<GET and by the way this call originated in New Zealand using Google with a search string emotional intelligence from a Macintosh computer with a high-resolution monitor using Netscape Navigator 4.7 on December 18 2000 at 22:08 GMT.gif>

Which is exactly what happened when you landed on this page!

You, too, can add a page tracker! If you go back to your own website and execute a link to this page, then your link will be recorded here, providing an automatic link back to you! (If you want to keep track)


testing one, two, three

testing one, two, three

testing one, two, three

testing one, two, three


What's Normal?

Computer programmers are just like everyone else, and they're always trying to make things easier for everyone. I mean, that's the whole point: Computers, easier. Computers, easier.

The trouble is, they're working at different times and places under slightly different conditions. So a Netscape programmer, say, in 1997, might have one idea about how to transform the <H2> directive onto his or her particular computer screen [as an HTML Header 2], while a Microsoft programmer might have a slightly different idea.

It's not their fault World Wide Web browsers come out different. They don't exactly have a Presidential hotline connecting their workplaces. Put yourself in their position: What, exactly, does <H2> mean? Exactly what reference would you use if you were a programmer working on a WebTV browser? It might be a different reference than the one I would be using.


Limited Resources

A website designer has a slightly different problem: Knowing in advance there are cross-platform and browser compatibility issues, he or she might decide to "take the bull by the horns" and take "firm control" of his or her website fonts.

—If I fix my "mainstream" font, they reason, at 18 points, I will essentially control the appearance of my text across all browsers and computer platforms.

La, de dah!

Of course, that's wrong.

The trouble is, Microsoft long since decided on 96 dot-per-inch screen resolutions [up and down], whereas Apple settled on a different standard: 72 dots-per-inch. An 18-point font on an Apple computer gets translated onto the screen as characters 18 pixels high, whereas the same characters on a Windows machine appear 24 pixels high.

On a Macintosh

On a Windows machine

This is how the "standard text" of my website appears while I'm developing it on a Macintosh.

This is how the "standard text" of my website appears while I'm developing it on a Macintosh.

On a Windows machine

On a Macintosh

This is how the "standard text" of my website appears while I'm developing it on a Windows machine.

This is how the "standard text" of my website appears while I'm developing it on a Windows machine.


And the typical website designer doesn't have the resources to check all this out.


Something Worse

There are other problems:

With my Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) browser, if you don't explicitly specify a "font family" for your "mainstream font," you will encounter "text overflows" outside table boundaries.

Also, when it encounters "nested font specifications" within tables, it multiplies the specifications together, creating super-big or super-small fonts! My Netscape browser interprets the same specs as "innermost wins."

Both browsers have "preference settings," resolving "dynamic fonts" in user-specified ways. Let's see ... Is this the "real webpage" I'm looking at, or the "dynamic webpage the browser has created for me with preference settings I've long since forgotten?"

Finally, manuals for browser compatibility issues don't seem to be widely available!


The Way Out

"Dear Judy," I wrote a new friend:

Well, after an all-nighter and into the next day, I have a breakthrough in website development!

(1.) Specify all text in terms of and between <p> and </p>, including all headers.

(2.) Specify the font-family within the p class; however, leave the font-size unspecified. That is, override the definition of p with just the font-family; for example,


p {font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, serif}


(3.) Specify additional font-sizes with percentages! For example,


.font12 {font-size: 75%}


.font24 {font-size: 150%; font-weight: bold}


.font36 {font-size: 200%; font-weight: bold}


.font48 {font-size: 250%; font-weight: bold}


(4.) Then, later, to specify a header down in the main body of the website, you would bracket the header with <p class="font36" align="center"> and </p>, for example.

This will work uniformly across browsers, Windows machines, and Macintoshes, because all programmers understand the percentage concept in the same way!

Programmers, after all, have to treat concepts such as "point size" and "h1" and "xx-large" in almost arbitrary ways, without outside authority. Netscape programmers are pretty much forbidden to consult with Microsoft programmers about the exact meaning of "x-large"; so they treat these "fuzzy concepts" in non-uniform ways.

However, they all understand percentages in the same way! Two-hundred percent always means, "twice as big!" I understand all this because I used to be a systems programmer at IBM and Atari, and when you're doing nitty-gritty work, you just do the best you can — without making too much fuss! The managers don't like programmers consulting with too many people! They see it as "uppity!"

Anyway, taxi1010 has been recast in terms of percentages, though not completely updated because our webhosting server has been out of commission for the last six hours! The main page and most of the eighty-eight stargate pages are compliant at this time, though the major indexes are not.

"Thank you again, Judy, for all the attention you have given me on this issue!



The Mainstream Case

Of course, by leaving the font-size of <p> unspecified, I'm leaving it up to the programmers to resolve it in terms of the "mainstream case."


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

"What is it about site names with numbers? TAXI1010 is disorientingly strange."

We get good press, disturbing links, and untraveled paths back to us — Lycos Advanced Search discovers references we never find in our Access Log, probably because on the World Wide Web, negativity rarely connects.

Sometimes editors include us in a directory, and six months later censors remove us. "Chainsaw=1" appears in our logs, then ... nothing!

That's not so bad. I just try again. And again. And — I kind of like it! — again.

On the Web, just walking down the street, you never know about the people you meet. The censor wears a black hood.


A Rubber Band

I've started carrying rubber bands around; I never used to.

If you carry a rubber band around long enough, you figure out why you're doing it. Yesterday, when I stopped for sushi in the downtown financial district, after I had duly inserted legal tender into the parking meter, the parking meter handle cranked around, then spit the quarter onto the pavement! I picked it up, along with an old napkin that hadn't blown away, unlocked my cab and pulled a rubber band off the gear shift — I forgot I was carrying one! — and affixed the napkin as sort of a makeshift hood over the parking meter — a symbolic gesture to any parking detail who might be coming by. All right then!

If you look at this picture, try to realize as deeply as possible, I'm carrying a rubber band around in one of my pockets.


"Part of One Big Machine"


People who provide for other people are always provided for —

And if you
Like doing it,

We do, too!


Internet Definitions

Want to know what the latest jargon means? Look it up! — Definitions for hundreds of the most current Information-Technology-related words.

Just simple things!


Bonus Links

Here's where I go when I'm bored, curious, or nostalgic.


Philosophy for Getting Good Grades

Act smart!

(1) Study at a desk that's very similar to a school desk, in surroundings very similar to a classroom. The muscles in your body will "remember" when you take a test. Posture and surroundings have more to do with memory than most people realize. (For instance, why does sometimes leaving a room "leave the memory behind?")

(2) Study as if a test will be given twenty-four hours earlier than scheduled. This will give you an extra day to "sleep on it."

(3) When you study, try to realize as deeply as possible that your teacher is always trying to "make things easier for you." Follow that stream!

(4) When you take a test, realize other people "made up the test," and they're just people. Then it won't seem so scary.

(5) Read the test, skip whatever questions you don't know cold, and most importantly, go through the entire test again to "fill in the parts you skipped." By skipping parts, you're giving the deepest parts of your mind enough time to work things out. Don't forget to go back and fill in the blanks!


Philosophy for Learning Things

Act dumb! Have a lot of fun. You don't have to "act serious" to learn things.

Remember what is was like learning how to ride a bicycle?


Philosophy for Getting a Boyfriend or a Girlfriend

Act really dumb! Let your "real intelligence" shine through. People have a lot of stress in their lives. The more stress you can take off them, the happier they are.

Always treat them with courtesy and respect. Leave them alone, and make small gestures towards friendship. Then back off.

You want to give them a chance to start dreaming about you. Nothing forced is ever beautiful.

The Willow Wood Doctrine, an extremely personal compact between two friends, goes a little deeper.


Foolproof Alarm Clock

Every night, just before you go to bed, drink a lot of water. This is the opposite of what parents teach children, because parents don't want children to wake up in the middle of the night.


Foolproof Shoelace Bow

The common knot for tying shoes has two loops and two ends, and frequently comes untied. However, this variation, the uncommon "bow-and-a-half knot," adds just enough of a twist to keep it tied, while easily pulled undone.

(1.) Hold the left lace in the left hand and the right lace in the right hand.

(2.) Lift the right lace and hold it stationary — Create an overhand knot (single knot) by spiraling the left-hand lace behind the right-hand lace, up towards you, then down through the loop, tightening it to the right as you transfer the stationary lace to the left.

(3.) Holding the overhand knot in place with your right thumb, create a generous loop with the lace which has worked its way over to the right, and pinch it firmly between your right thumb and forefinger.

(4.) Again, holding that right-hand loop stationary, create a reverse overhand knot (with loops) by tightly wrapping the free lace across the top of your right thumbnail, down and around the stationary loop to the tip of your right thumb, which, when slowly withdrawn from the bight, allows you to pull a second loop up and through ...

(5.) However! Before pulling it tight, bring that entire loop all the way around and up through the same hole again!


The Exhibitionist's Diet

Near the end of each meal decide the time, place and content of your next meal. Be specific, and be kind. A few minutes later, or when you next feel a sensation of hunger, envision yourself at that next meal, explaining to the youngest parts of yourself how nice it will be. Treat yourself the way a good parent would treat a healthy and growing child — conscientiously explaining when, where, and what will be your ensuing pleasure. If you feel really hungry, take a nap.

In a bathroom mirror, try to look as fat as possible. Stick out your stomach and puff up your cheeks.

Then drink water. Drink lots of water. And in a pinch, grab a handful of Sun-Maid California sun-dried raisins, or a couple of Tropical Fruits LifeSavers to take the bite out of your appetite.


The Optimum Way to Fold US Money

Ten's on top, then twenty's, then one's (flipped over), finally five's at the bottom of the stack, all facing the same way. This arrangement hides your twenty's, gives you quick access to your ten's and five's, with "random access" to the more plentiful one dollar bills somewhere in the middle, (and when flipped over, their leafy green color makes them easier to distinguish in dim light). Keep your money in different locations, so when you're robbed, you can keep surprising them.


How to Find Something You Lost

My roommate went on vacation for a week, and to celebrate his good fortune, I went out and bought a jar of Black Pearl Salmon caviar to eat in his absence. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the little mother-of-pearl spoon I like to use on such occasions, and rummaged through our flat looking for it.

The first thing to realize is that it's hidden away inside something ... inside something you like ... inside something you really like. Then you realize it's inside you!

Why, I have reveries of that little spoon, each moment a tiny pearl of experience to wear around my neck like a garland! The last time I used that spoon was when Chris (He's my roommate) was reading Portuguese poetry he translates off the steps of a High Society lawn in the foothills of Berkeley. What a spoon! I tried to lose it then!

[Also see, The Secret of Stores, below]


How to Remove Price Sticker Glue

When you buy something, you really should be able to remove the price sticker, no? So what about the stickum underneath the pesky thing?

Repeatedly apply a two- or three-inch section of Scotch Magic Tape to the stickum, lightly pressing the tape onto sections of the stickum with your thumb, then carefully peeling it away, until all the stickum has been removed. There's a certain wizardry in decorticating an object until it's totally new.

Philosophy for Housebreaking a Dog

Build a Puppy Palace, as follows: Place an air-travel kennel inside a playpen outside in the back; or place a dog house inside an eight-yard portable enclosure out in your back yard. Go outside with the dog whenever you think it's about to do its business, and praise it.

Whenever you find an accident inside your house, say, "UH-OH!" in a very distressed voice, then pick up the dog and place it inside the Puppy Palace, and leave it for at least an hour. If it howls, whines, or barks, place it inside the air-travel kennel and cover the whole thing with a tarp until it's totally quiet.

The dog will not like any of this, and will relinquish barking unreasonably or having accidents sooner than you might imagine.

In this way, the dog will never trick you into "being a sadist," and the two of you will live happily together as human and beast.

After all, who wants to be treated like a puppy?


The Evolutionary Throwback

Sometimes you suspect your stepfather, father-in-law, roommate or other nefarious character of being an evolutionary throwback. Don't be optimistic about this situation! Assume the worse.

The greatest day of my life was when I realized this guy I had been living with wasn't just hypothetically sick — He was actually sick! Then I started a thorough analysis. Don't be shy. Itemize their symptoms and apply terminal kindness, though you have to be somewhat clever.

What you have to do is avoid them most of the time, then make a lightning-like "raid" to accomplish two concrete goals: First, you want to take a current "reading" of their (a.) sickness, (b.) intelligence; (c.) veracity; and (d.) superego charge; in order to calculate their current level of (T.) being an evolutionary throwback. Second, you want to apply a small dose of simply being friendly. That's the only thing that can cure them.

Then beat a hasty retreat.


How to Finesse Your Finances

The lesser understanding is, Don't use your credit cards, Put a cap on your day-to-day expenditures, and Expect the worst. The greater understanding is, "The universe might be the ultimate free lunch." —Dr. Alan Guth. A child vacillates from one strategy to the other; an adult embodies both at once.


Philosophy for Raising Kids

There's no right way. How much stress can someone be under? Tell them, "If you don't want to play, don't play!" Isn't that enough? Set rules so the child will feel secure, and never expect the kid to follow them, because they're just kids! Be careful for their future, and give them a break. Remove any obstacles you can foresee.


Philosophy for Creating Capital

Deposit checks that other people give you in a savings account in an obscure bank. The money you earn is yours. The money other people give you is capital, and it never matters if the check bounces.


Philosophy of Being Cool

Writing an essay on being cool leads straight to the mathematical side of the mind, which is also the realm of sadism, voyeurism, and distance.


Philosophy of Being Compassionate

To regard another human being with compassion, from the humane side of the mind, is to see them as somewhere between a newborn infant and a dried-up old prune about to die. You can turn compassion on; you can turn compassion off.


Philosophy of Being

Here's an idea from the animal world: You have to be born a cat to be a cat; you have to be born a dog to be a dog; you actually have to be born a Hindu to be a Hindu. That's why you never see any Hindu missionaries.

To be unobtainable, to be of worth, and to be an individual, a penny must be a penny, a dolphin must be a dolphin, and a person must be themselves. This is cool, this is compassionate, this is being.


Why The Moon Gets Bigger on the Horizon

Within the boundaries of the earth's atmosphere, objects straight overhead are actually closer than those same objects off towards the horizon. A redwing blackbird perched on a lamppost over your head is much closer than a redwing blackbird on a lamppost on a distant hill. A blowzy cloud or a helicopter hovering up above you is closer than a dappled cloud or tiny helicopter far away. A treetop in a canopy high over your head is still closer than a treetop miles away. As they retreat toward the horizon, all those things get smaller — except for the moon, which stays the same size, becoming immensely magnified by the magic of your own mind.


A Clean Slate

My mom named me Richard simply because she liked the name, which was an unusual thing to do back in 1946, in Dodge City, Kansas. Next she moved to Colorado Springs and got a divorce so she'd have me all to herself. Eeek!

Anyway, both my parents are dead now, and I pretty much do as I like, mainly because I've figured out what to do with my stuff, my bills, my hours, and my abilities.

Every day I start with a clean slate ... Earth, Water, Wind & Fire!


Earth -- Possessions

Let the earth be your possession. Then you can let it go! Search for things you really like, and throw away everything else. Arrange your possessions as if you're a traveler.

Throw away heavy things first. It's the quickest way to lighten your load.

When you were an infant, the first possession you ever had was a little turd, wrapped in a diaper. Throw it away! Throw it away!


Water -- Finance

A baby spends money. An adult saves it. Do a little of both.

Credit cards are no more than servants, demanding a monthly salary! How easily they turn on you, keeping you prisoner in your own castle.

Insurance policies are really savings, if you think about it. Also, put a little money away, for emergencies.

Spendthrift children don't understand planning, and stingy adults don't understand living. Go half way. Live as if you're going to die tomorrow, and plan as if you're going to live forever!

Pay for your insurance, and save a little money – for instant liquidity – without pissing it away!


Wind -- Hours

Where are you breathing from?

Are you in a hurry? Then it's not from yourself.

Are you upset? Then it's not from your essence, which is the part of you that dreams at night.

Are you ... having an orgasm? Now that's the way to breathe, and every cell in your body wishes you well.

When you breathe from your belly, four breaths a minute, and sense your genitals, you are breathing like a baby. Sense a point in the center of your forehead, just above your eyes — It's the key to a gate.

Suddenly the wings of your lungs open, and you fly.

When you chase endorphins, embody rules, and forget yourself, time flies. When you learn to breathe from your essence, you fly.


Fire -- Abilities

The earth is gravity; the sea, economy; the wind, vacation; so light a fire.

A newborn babe has many abilities. It can suddenly breathe. It can get nourishment from it's mom, and it's free!

If you go to the racetrack, you're punishing yourself, because you're pretending you can't hold on to money.

If you go to prison, you're punishing yourself, because you're pretending you can't follow rules.

If your parents wanted you to be rich, you'd be rich.

If your parents wanted you to have abilities, you'd have abilities.

You have to learn how to be your own mother and father.

Give yourself nourishment, rest, kindness, and attention, the way you would treat a little baby. Learn how to cook for yourself, because feeding a child is the definition of good.


Magic -- Bodies

Here's where it gets really fun, because we're going to put it all together.

Earth, Water, Wind & Fire!

Your body has all the magic. It can transform food into energy, light into understanding, time into experience, and injury into healing.

In olden days, mystics spoke of humility, because they weren't allowed to freely discuss the workings of the large intestine. Humility means we all have to defecate. Even the President of the United States takes a shit, and the sensation is called nirvana. Earth, your possessions, your bottom.

Second, when you dream of flying too close to the sun, your wings melt and you wet your bed. Urination feels like melting. It's the genitals. Water, finances, your genitals.

Third, you live by the hour, get paid by the hour, subject yourself to time ... unless you decide to take a little vacation from it all, and sense the location (called "intuition") between your eyes. Sensing yourself there unlocks your breath, you sense the wings of your lungs, and you fly. Wind, vacation, between the eyes.

Fourth, you take care of yourself, treat yourself the way a good parent would treat a child. Sense the heat in your belly, the warmth of healing, allowing pain to attract attention from the lamp of sexual energy, to become whole again. Fear is the care you take, holding an infant, not letting it fall. Nurture yourself. Fire, abilities, your belly.

Then in day-to-day life, (1.) if you feel you need money, sense your genitals; (2.) if you feel you need your abilities, sense the warmth in your stomach; (3.) if you feel you need your own time, sense intuition (between the eyes); and (4.) if you feel you need to buy something, sense your asshole.


The Forest of My Mind

When I fall in love, I tend to fall hard. The forest of my mind comes alive, each tree, each limb, each twig, each blade of heaven. They move in me. And when I'm not in love, I love to ponder the mysteries of it all, as if they're something to be solved.

I fell in love with Noriko last, about six years ago. Her ex-boyfriend took a renewed interest in her, took her to Paris, and when she got home, met me at a San Francisco health clinic. "I'm pregnant," she told me. I was the first she told, because it meant something. You know, she had always wanted to marry the guy, and she did, and now they have three kids, happy as lambs.

Six years. That's a long time. I decided to solve the problem once and for all. I mean, why shouldn't every red-blooded male come to a concrete understanding of women, so the next season of your awakening forest will be even more wondrous than the last?

With this in mind, I came to the Internet and posted a query at «», which itself is in Beta testing: "What," I asked, "Is the Secret of Women?" I offered a researcher twenty-five dollars to unearth the basic facts, and he found something amazing: Women process certain emotional experiences on the opposite side of the brain from men.

Well, that's something to sleep on, and that's what I do best. After a good nap, it hit me: If certain men, at an extreme, are sexual predators, then maybe certain women, at an extreme, are emotional predators! Except that's not a nice way to put it. Let's turn it around: Men get a lot of pleasure from sex, and maybe women get that same kind of pleasure from networking. "And bonding!" a young lady in my taxi exclaimed when I told her my hypothesis. "It's true," she went on, "and I'm going to start a website called,, to help people connect. It's what I do best! You know, 'This Plus That.'"

So while I admire networking in fine blouses, women desire networking from fine houses! And bonding!


The Sunshine of My Mind

All of this begs the question of what's going on with the fairer sex, and the truth may be insidious.

My friend David Daniels was marveling at some of today's school girls, saying, "They just go out of their way to torture boys."

Virginia added, "I knew girls like that. They weren't just mean to the boys. They were mean to everyone."

They were enlightening a twelve-year-old boy.

David said, "You'll rue the day ... Don't go near girls like that," and Virginia took on the spirit of one of the vamps, "You don't understand," she said, "He could be someone! He could be a contender! You just don't understand."

"If a girl likes you," David told Angelo, "she'll let you know. They won't come up to you and bug you, either."


My Idea of a Vacation!

Sierra Delta Hotel — Golf, Foxtrot, Tango, Whiskey.

Juliet, Victor, Oscar, Mike, Charlie, Romeo.

Kilo November; Yankee Uniform.

Xray Alpha Lima, Zulu Papa!

Echo India, Bravo Quebec!


The Secret of Con Artists

People believe what they think.


The Secret of Gardens

Divide and conquer.


The Secret of The Economy

"The Economy" is a measure of the velocity of money. In a "healthy economy," money is moving quickly, near the center of the river. In a "weak economy," money is moving slowly, close to the shore.


The Secret of Money

The only reason we have money is there's not enough of it. Money has to do with the distribution of scarce resources. If you are "worried about money," you are actually worried about scarce resources. How many scarce resources does a person need?


The Secret of Stores

Stores are designed to "store all your stuff" and keep it state-of-the-art until you're ready to use it. (Note: If you lost something, the store probably did a repo; if you lost your wife, her mother probably did a repo)



The Secret of Women

They pretend things, and everyone fell for it.


The Secret of Men

They cheat people so they can feel important.


The Secret of Being Popular

There's other people.


The Secret of Human Beings

Why do you have to do what everyone else does?


The Secret of Life

There will always be a demand for people who can help other people.