Friday, January 30, 2015

The Medical Profession - To The Right Of Capitalism

This little Peruvian girl's parents take her to the doctor only
when necessary.  They pay for the visit, and for whatever
procedure, they go home, and that's all there is to it.
It worked that way here in America pre 1975.  How
did things morph into the ridiculous as it is today?

There was a time when it was said, “Offer a good product or service, and charge a fair price”.  Well, if you are unfortunate enough to have learned this in previous generations, or ever, for that matter, you will be left smoldering in the ashes in the inferno of monopolism that has become the new American Way.  I don’t have answers for any of this, only observations.  My objective here is to put out this information in the simplest form possible, without all the pedantic bullshit, so that people can see what is going on, and so those with a platform may one day decide to step up and do something.

Today I’ll be using the medical profession as my display monkey.  I have no actual proof of this, all of what I say here is a result of my own experiences and observations.

Sometime over the past twenty years or so, the entire medical profession has adopted the same cheap sales tactics as all other businesses that involve sales – which of course, makes up over 98% of our lives.  Before the current state of the profession had morphed into what it is today, the better the doctor, the better he was at diagnosing and treating a patient – with good results, the better his reputation would be, and the result was the sky was the limit as far as income.  He could place himself in more upscale neighborhoods, and his fees could be significantly higher.  Folks who were financially better off than others didn’t mind paying for good, competent health care.  As used to be with capitalism, if a doctor (or any business person) tried to gouge patients (customers), he would gouge himself right out of the market – same goes for if he was less than competent at his trade – people would provide feedback to friends and family, and pretty soon, the dishonest, and the incompetent, would be out of business – as it should be.  Well, it does not work that way today.  When you go to a doctor, dentist, or even mental health care professional, they will partake in the huge scam that has become the business.  First, they have been trained to do a couple of things – other than how to “treat” illnesses and conditions – in fact, I would say that “treating” the patient has become secondary to the business or sales part.  The main objective of the health care professional is to get a lifetime membership from the patient – get him or her to visit the office as often as possible – hopefully for the rest of their life.  They will use technical mumbo jumbo, scare tactics, “policies”, “standards”, bullying, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

Here’s my own personal experience with two dentists I had the misfortune of visiting.  A year ago, I was eating a burrito, at which time I bit into a piece of metal that somehow made it into the thing, and cracked one of my back teeth right down the middle.  So, I make an appointment to see a dentist.  On my first and second visits, I didn’t even get to see an actual dentist, I see only the assistants, they ask me why I’m there, I tell them about the cracked tooth, they tell me I must make another appointment.  So, my third visit, I finally see a dentist, he takes X rays, tells me what I already know, but he tries to sell me on every dental procedure known to the human race, and a few others; he then, like a tornado, gets his prescription pad out and asks me what kind of pain killer I prefer.  I told him I don’t use drugs of any kind, so no thanks, I tell him to just yank the tooth that is broken.  He says, “Well, I can’t do it today, so make an appointment for the extraction”.  So, two months later is the soonest, I get in to the office, he takes a quick look in my mouth, says, “I don’t have time to do it today, make an appointment for the extraction”.  Ok, so two more months (approximately SIX months with the broken tooth) go by, it’s back to the dentist’s office.  His assistant puts the blood pressure contraption on my arm, takes the reading and says, “Oh, your blood pressure is high, I don’t think the doctor will be able to do the extraction today, you’ll need to make another appointment”.  He comes into the office and gives me the whole spiel about how I could “stroke out” in the chair because my blood pressure is eight points higher than his supposed limit.  Funny, the readings at my previous visits, when he had other excuses, were comfortably under his limit, only when “I don’t have time to do it today” was used twice did he come up with these bogus blood pressure readings.  I try to convince him to yank the damn tooth anyway, but he insists he’s not going to do it, implying that there is some law that doesn’t allow him to perform the extraction, he tells me I must make still another appointment.  Two MORE months, back once again, the assistant comes in, puts the blood pressure device on me, and this time, the reading is outrageous – something like 190/150.  I figure he has control over that device (being able to tell it what reading to show) – and being that he expected me to maybe have gotten some kind of bp medication, he set it to make up for my blood pressure being normal – to that ridiculously high reading.  I tell him there is no way in HELL my blood pressure is that high, he ignores me, and insists he’s not going to perform the extraction.  So, two things here, first, my blood pressure has always been what is considered borderline - around 130 – 140/95 – 105 – been that way since I was about 20 years old (that I know about), it hasn’t gotten any worse, so it appears that’s just the way it is with me – similar to persons whose blood pressure is low – not because of any condition, but because that’s just what their body does.  I’ve never had any symptoms of high blood pressure – again, being borderline generally does not cause problems, especially since that’s just the way my body is.  The other thing is, after my fourth visit to the dentist – after he claimed my pressure was high, I went straight to Safeway – to stick my arm into their blood pressure machine – which I’d been doing for the past ten years or so.  My bp was 135/97 – this was less than an hour after leaving the dentist’s office with that ridiculous reading.  Funny thing, in a previous time needing an extraction (before I learned about flossing), I had a tooth pulled in one visit – no rigamarole, no excuses, I was in and out in about a half an hour.  So, after going back for the SIXTH time, and him sending his assistant in to tell me my bp was still too high, that I needed to make STILL another appointment, I told the assistant that I had had enough of the runaround, and that I wasn’t coming back.  So, I make an appointment with a different dentist, which I went to today.  He’s this little mousy guy, but he has basically the same line of B.S. – tells me I need every procedure in the universe.  Let me say here that I take immaculate care of my teeth, and while I’m not a dentist, I know that other than the broken tooth, my teeth are just fine.  He wanted to yank perfectly good teeth, and put me in dentures.  I of course told him that was crap and that there was no way in hell I was going to allow that.  As I did with the previous dentist, I tried to get him to pull the tooth, but same, this mousy guy wouldn’t do it, saying I need to make another appointment.  I managed to ask him if there was some law that dictated he could not pull teeth if the patient’s bp was above a certain number, he said, “No, it’s a standard” – meaning he could do it if he wanted to.  After telling him what bullshit I thought this whole thing was, and how sick and goddam tired I was after a YEAR of this runaround, he finally said he could send me to some kind of oral surgeon to do the extraction, because “Should anything happen on the table, they’re equipped to deal with it”.  Before that, though, he prescribed some kind of antibiotic, claiming that I have some kind of infection, I would need to go to my regular physician to get a “Medical Release”, then go to the surgeon.  I know damn well I don’t have any goddam infection, there is no redness, no swelling, no pain, and before that last ditch effort, there was no mention of any infection – even when he was looking at my X rays – the infection was an afterthought – another cheap bunch of bullshit to convince me that he couldn’t do the extraction right then.

Here’s the math:  I happen to know that a dental office visit normally costs between $120 and $200, add to that whatever procedure is done.  X rays are in the hundreds, which I had once from the first dentist and two sets from the second one.  So, let’s say my office visits were $120 each – multiply that by seven total visits (six to the first dentist, one, so far, to the second), I believe that’s $840 just for the office visits.  Add three sets of X rays, today’s prescription, and whatever kickbacks he gets from the surgeon he referred me to, my guess is just from one patient (me), my insurance company has paid out around $2000, and I’m not even close to being done with it.  Think about the fact that the first dentist brought me into his office six times, charged $720, plus his cut for the X rays (which a separate person did) and did absolutely NOTHING.

Ok, here’s the rest of the story.  Pre HMO, pre “Medical Coverage/Insurance” days, doctors would charge what they charged – it was usually reasonable and affordable.  For the poor folks, there were county hospitals and free clinics – that did not charge people who made less than a specified income.  So, when these insurance companies and HMOs came along and took charge of the whole medical profession, that put a very low ceiling on their (the doctors’) income.  There are claims adjusters, who do the billing, there are certain prices set for whatever office visits and procedures.  If a doctor or dentist charges more than what is stated, or they attempt to call for certain tests (X-rays, MRI, etc.) that are beyond stated limits, the insurance company can refuse payment, and, if a particular doctor or dentist does this on a regular basis, they (the insurance company) can launch an investigation.  I happen to know all of this because someone close to me paid medical claims for twenty two years.  Let’s not forget the possibility and likelihood of kickbacks in all directions – as opposed to before, when it was the doctor and the patient.  The result of all this is that not only do the doctors and dentists have a ceiling on their income, but the insurance companies get their cut, which, you guessed it, all comes out of the customers’ payments – in the form of the ever rising costs of health care.  So, now all doctors make basically the same income – whether they are better than another doctor, and not mattering what neighborhood their office is in.  To be fair, doctors and dentists in more affluent neighborhoods usually accept the higher tier insurance policies, which may have slightly higher ceilings for office visits and procedures, but still a ceiling, still it is dictated what they can and cannot charge, and what tests and procedures they can and cannot administer.  So, we have the medical professionals who are angry at the insurance carriers, so they must now find other ways to make up their income.  One of those ways is to gouge the insurance companies the best they know how.  They know how far they can push, and it seems the easiest one is to keep the patient coming in for endless office visits.  Another moneymaker is to be peddlers for Big Pharma.  We’ve all seen how fast any medical professional whips out the old prescription pad, and we’ve all been on the receiving side of endless office visits.  Compare this to thirty years ago on back, where a doctor could almost always offer diagnosis and treatment in one visit, prescribed meds only if he thought they were necessary, and would only recommend a certain test also only if he thought it was necessary.  Occasionally one follow up visit would be recommended.  So you see, the medical profession is quite different today than it was pre mid 70s.  On top of that, today, everybody is sick, on meds, and pretty much has a lifetime membership for weekly or monthly visits to the doctor’s office.  Today there are huge medical centers that take up one, two, and three city blocks – three, four, and five stories high – sometimes even bigger than  that, and you know where the money to build and maintain them came from, right – yes, from US.  This is opposed to the little neighborhood doctors’ office in the days of old – in the days where most business people prided themselves on being fair and honest.

So, Big Insurance has taken over the Health Care system, doctors are angry, are finding other ways to make up their income, including gouging as much as possible, and are peddling drugs for Big Pharma (huge kickbacks for that).  Health care costs, already ridiculous, are constantly rising, most people are in the doctor’s office once a week or so, and are taking handfuls of pills two, three, four times a day and more.  Everybody is fat, sick, and stressed, oh yeah, and gouged to death by these parasites disguised as HMOs and insurance companies.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Is It Paranioa, Or Is It Gangstalking?

This is the guy who continues to be ignored and shunned
by more music business people and organizations than
I can begin to count.  And these videos ain't the half of it.

I don’t know how much of the following is a result of the Gangstalking I frequently speak of, but I’m going to list as much as I can, within reason, anyway.  My complaint is not necessarily that these things happened, I'm more concerned with who is behind it, why, and if there's anything I can do about it.

I’m eight years old, a school friend offers me some corn seeds, says, “Plant these, and you’ll have corn in a couple months”.  I go home, ask step mom where I can plant them, she begrudgingly points out a spot on the side of the house, so I go to work.  Every day, I run home to water them, weed the area, and just watch for a while.  Soon there are sprouts, then little corn plants, then big corn plants (keep in mind, I’m a little kid), I’m thinking I’m going to have corn any day.  One day I run home to find my corn plants have been dug up, so I run into the house to ask step mom what happened.  She says, “Jay and Scott dug a hole on the other side of the house and “the man” had to use the dirt to fill the hole”.  I search for the hole, and of course, there is no hole, so I ask step mom again, at which time the bullying starts, as in, “Just shut up and forget about it…”.

I’m 11 now, playing little league baseball – the Senators.  I’m a pitcher and catcher. To my dad’s credit – who would take me out in the back yard and make me throw for hours, I learned to pitch – throwing whistling fastballs at the plate at 11 years old.  Never hit a batter, but had some kids where the coach had to carry the kid to the plate, crying in fear.  That’s right, no arc balls from me.  The following year we move, so now I have to play for the “White Sox”.  The coaches are Pat Tanibe and Stan Tanibe, each having a kid on the team – one on second base, and the other pitching.  We’re 12, the pitcher is throwing arc balls in slow motion, the opposing team smacking the ball all over the place.  There’s Kip Kamoto on third base, who, on the rare occasion that he actually fields a grounder, cannot even begin to reach first base, wildly tossing the ball in the general direction of first.  Meanwhile, easily the fastest and most accurate pitcher in the league the year before has not seen one second of game time – he’s on the bench – for three full games.  Dad goes out to the field, tells the coaches what he thinks of them, and that was the last time I played baseball.

High school, I’m on the varsity basketball team.  This one is a triple whammy.  First, being that my dad was a somewhat outspoken sports guy, had his own sports magazine, and was also a referee in the state referees’ association.  Well, he had apparently offended some of those whistlehappy blockheads (my dad’s words), and left the association.  My whole senior season, the referees would take their hatred for my dad out on his 17 year old kid.  I was even called for “reaching” regularly.  Since when is it against the rules to “reach”?  Next, there was Rodney Loo, point guard, who was going to make damn sure I didn’t get the ball – after I was scoring 25, 30, and 35 points a game in the first pre-season tournament.  The rest of the season, the only way I scored was on offensive rebounds after Rodney’s wild ass shots, or, when the other guard, Bert, would pass me the ball.  Also to my dad’s credit with showing me some great moves, I was able to score almost at will – but since I rarely got the ball, my scoring average ended up that year at 17.5 – fourth in the league.  Third part of the whammy was at the end of the season, it’s All Star picks by the two Hawaii newspapers.  It was obvious who was on the first team, and yes, you guessed it, I was on it.  My dad, having his own sports magazine, which came out on the same day every month, happened to publish the all star team a few days before the Star Bulletin did.  Somebody showed the sports editor at the time – Jim Hackleman – a copy of it, he went berserk, screamed and cussed for a couple minutes in the office, and ordered Rod Ohira to yank me off the team, put somebody in my place – and try to make it so anybody who got wind of the team before publishing would be backed off.  So, the paper comes out a week later, with Floyd Jones in my place.  He wasn’t a starting player, his scoring average was 2 points per game, hardly did anything, but there he was, and there I wasn’t.

Fast forward to 1978, I’m a resident manager at “Crescent Arms”, a 153 unit apartment complex in the Salt Lake community of Honolulu.  The place was a wreck, swimming pool out of order, graffiti everywhere, mechanical damage to the elevators at least once a week, trash strewn all over the grounds, and occupancy of about 60%.  So, against the wishes of my “boss”, I fire the two slackers who were supposed to be the maintenance guys, and hire two others.  These new guys (Tim Harris and Chip Corcoran) worked their asses off – in fact, I owe much more credit to them for how well the complex did than I do to me.  But, they did make me look good, and, I brought the monthly income up from $127,000 to $145,000.  Besides the fact that the place was immaculate after the first month, the swimming pool was now in perfect working order, and well maintained (to Tim’s credit), the graffiti and elevator damaged stopped completely, and I got decent people living there, everybody in the front office was happy with me except my “Boss” – that would be Kenneth Nagahara.  So, after being there exactly a year, having cleaned the place up, and bringing the monthly revenues up significantly, Nagahara fires me.

It’s now 1980, I’m making my living playing music – playing in country bands in Hawaii.  I’m working for J.T. Cardens.  We do very well there for two years, so J.T. wants to take the band to Nashville.  Tom gets an early out of the Army, “T” who has a wife and five kids to support, takes an early retirement from the Air Force, and I, with my 8 month pregnant wife, we all make the move to Nashville.  It’s the middle of winter – 1981 – the year of the blizzards down south.  J.T., after our quick road trip to Sault St. Marie, Canada, decides to quit, says, “I do not want to go onstage anymore”.  So, there we all are, no work, no money, the middle of winter and the worst snow storms in decades.  The three of us were able to scatter like cockroaches, and I guess we survived.

I now have my own band, Rio, all throughout the time of my playing music, I’m getting a good reaction from the people.  I heard, many times, “Man, I hate country music, but I love you guys”, and, “You guys are doing the same thing Alabama did at the Bowry, I’ll be seein’ ya on TV soon”.  Not only did the staff at the local radio station show horrible contempt for me, and not only did some of the players I’d hired play sneaky, vindictive games with me, but my wife at the time, against my constant saying that we need to move – preferably to Nashville, but anywhere away from Hawaii – wouldn’t budge until late ‘88.  This was six wasted years, at which time we finally left Hawaii to move to Washington State – where we had an offer to do a full blown Canadian tour.  Well, with the obnoxious jerk, Allen Stolz, and the neurotic dimwit, Buddy Manley, their ridiculous antics and head games, the band and the tour fell apart.  Again, survived it, ended up in Ft. Worth, Texas, where I did a duo with Lynda for the next year.  Shortly after that, got a call from an old acquaintance who we’d met in Hawaii, now out of the Marines, and wanted to start a band with me and Lynda, so off to Northern Virginia/DC/Southern Maryland area.  We do ok there, but personal problems with the wife started to escalate, and the stalking (from her, not me) started.  After three tries at dating other girls, and being physically attacked by her more times than I can count, I finally moved back to Hawaii.  BTW, my son was born in 82, and was with us the whole time, I took him with me when I went back to Hawaii.  Soon to be ex wife called where I was staying, conversation went like this, Clint: “Hello”.  Mom:  “Hi, where’s dad?”  Clint:  “He’s out on a date”.  Two days later, there she was, back in Hawaii stalking me again, having left a working band, the drummer (who she was supposedly in love with), and our van back in Virginia.  BTW, the year I spent in the DC area was the first time I had any conscious thoughts that maybe I was being sabotaged, couldn’t put my finger on it, but things started to look somewhat bizarre about that time.  Hawaii in the 90s, I started to play a lot of Hawaiian music – in a Hawaiian band that played all over the island, and on the Windjammer Cruises five evenings a week.  I tried going to Nashville in 92, but I’d left my nine year old son in Hawaii with his mom, which I felt horrible about, not only did I not trust her with him, I felt like I was abandoning the boy.  I had no idea how long the Nashville excursion would take, so, after having a small management company get partway through getting me pitched to the Nashville record labels, I had to go back to Hawaii – but not before the airline baggage handlers broke my expensive 5 string banjo, my brand new Fender Super 60 guitar amp, my effects board, and had banged my bass around so hard that the black fuzzy stuff inside the case was embedded in the neck of the bass.  I felt lots of sabotage in Nashville.  I’ll save all the gory details for another time (maybe), but let me tell you, more bizarre stuff happened in that short month than I care to think about.  So, back again in Hawaii, tried doing the country thing, but the line dancing craze had all but destroyed the country dance halls, so I went back to playing Hawaiian music – did that up until late ’99, when I met a Navy girl and moved to England.  England was mostly uneventful musically, I worked every weekend for the most part, but about that time is when other strange things started.  There were many, many times, when I’d be writing an email to my mom, I’d lose my connection, and subsequently but strangely lose my whole email.  This NEVER happened after the first few minutes, it always, without fail, happened after I’d spent an hour or so, and it was very strange the way it would happen.  I would be typing, just about to sign off, when I would here “click, click, click”, then the email would disappear, never to be seen again.  I’m no computer whiz, but I’m savvy enough to know that when you lose your connection, the email stays, you can reconnect and continue what you were doing.  Next, I had my music equipment sent to where I was (Mildenhall, England – it’s an Air Force base that had a small navy attachment).  I had expensive stereo speakers – the old ones made of real wood, with the carved grille, an old Marantz 2213B receiver, my complete sound system for my live performances – including a Mackie power amp that was supposedly indestructible.  My expensive 5 string banjo (which had been broken so many times by then that I’d lost count – each time by strange circumstances), several guitars, and a bass.  Well, the handlers managed to break just about everything of mine that was to be delivered – including the old stereo speakers, the Marantz receiver, and the indestructible Mackie power amp.  Also, while I was there, I gave up on the banjo – after having it get broken so many times, I bought a new one – even more expensive and beautiful than the first one.  It gets there, and yes, you guessed it, broken in the same place (the headstock) as the other one.  After going in circles with the dealer, I finally decided to keep it – I’d repaired the fracture and it help up fine.  We bought a computer, ordered it from the States.  The thing arrives with a defective CD reader, so they tell me to send it back, and they’d send me a new one.  Three months later, no computer, so we order another one.  Literally, the very next day after the new one arrives, here comes the replacement.  I order a keyboard from Musicians Friend, they send me the wrong one, so gotta send it back.  I needed the damn thing for a recording.  Believe it or not, exactly three months go by (same as with the computer) – no keyboard, so I go to a local music store there in England and I buy a synthesizer module.  Like cosmic goddam clockwork, the keyboard arrives the very next day.
Ok, next stop was San Diego – my Navy wife got stationed there, so it was a 3-1/2 year stint.  That’s when my depression surfaced – complete with paranoia and severe suicidal thoughts and actions – some including my .44 magnum, loaded with hollowpoints, cocked, and pointed at my head.  I don’t know what stopped me, but I guess something did, because here I am.  Musically/financially, I did pretty well there, in spite of the depression.  I felt constant hostility every time I ventured outside the front door, and many times without even doing THAT.  I did feel some instances of sabotage, but I kept plugging.  This is the time, though, that I started to notice even more bizarre stuff.  I would always leave my wallet, keys, and watch in a certain place on the counter just inside the front door.  Being somewhat OCD that I am, I had a certain way of placing them.  I would come out to find them moved – just enough to know that they had been moved.  I of course, asked my wife if she moved it, which she didn’t – and I knew that even before I asked.  One day I was vacuuming, and found a yellow baseball cap behind a chair – didn’t belong to either one of us, and no, Lisa was not the cheating type, and even if she was, she would have told me.  Next, to my embarrassment, I was listening to talk radio at the time – just the one station.  After a short while, somebody apparently put in with some kind of jammer – one day I turned on the radio, to hear a loud quacking noise – so much louder than the signal – made it impossible to hear anything but the quacking.  This went on for the rest of the time I lived there – about another three years.  My neighbors were nasty towards me – for no apparent reason, and again, I felt hostility whenever I left the apartment.  I tried therapy for my depression – didn’t seem to do any good.  For the record, if somebody would have told me ten years earlier, that I would have full blown clinical depression, and that I would be suicidal, I would have laughed and said it’s not in my personality, but well, there I was, and I still fight with it -  it seems to be less severe at this point in time, but I can still feel it, along with the anxiety.

Ok, from San Diego to Florida, we buy a house in New Port Richey – to Lisa’s credit, not mine.  The marriage was not a good one, in fact, my track record with women had not been good up until then (and hasn’t gotten any better), and I’d been wanting out for 3 or 4 years by this time.  Lisa was sick – terminal cancer.  So, I was to inherit the house, the cars, the bank accounts, along with the insurance policy – which would have easily set me up for the rest of my life.  Well, just in the nick of time, along comes Gala, the Peruvian girl.  She sees a music video of me, and just HAS to have me.  Five months of being pushed, guilted, and bullied, and I end up in Peru.  I know how that sounds, but it was mutual, and there was no emotional hurt on either Lisa or me – as we were not in love, and we’d both made that very clear to each other.  Now, if Gala hadn’t come along, I would have stayed with Lisa until the end, and again, I would have been set for the rest of my life, not to mention, I wouldn’t have the guilt or remorse – even though it was mutual and all, I still feel horrible about the whole thing.  I would have liked to stay with her as a friend.  I was weak and I know it, and if there’s one thing in my life I could go back and change, that would be it.  Anyway, I didn’t think it was fair to her for me to stay only for the money and the house, and the convenience of it all, and she agreed.  It wasn’t, though, like she was telling me to get the hell out, she was being sensible, saying that her illness shouldn’t be a factor in any decision to end the marriage or not.  As it turned out, while not some noble gesture on my part, she spent her last few months with her parents, sister, and a close friend.  Yes, it was a horribly difficult decision, but after weighing all of it, it seemed to be best that I go to Peru.  There was the promise from Gala that we would be in Peru for one year, then we would move back to the States.  She said Peruvians loved Americans, and while I was there, it would be no problem for me to work, as well as to get my music played on their radio stations.  She also claimed she was well off enough so that we wouldn’t have to worry about money.  Well, those were all blatant lies.  She had absolutely NO intention of ever moving away from Peru, we struggled financially, and their music people would have nothing to do with me.  There was, though, the agreement with Lisa that she would leave me a third of the insurance money – and she was happy to do it.  It was stated in the divorce decree.  Well, I ended up with a tiny fraction of what was agreed on – and I know without a doubt it was the controlling, vindictive, money mongering sister who pulled something.  I was told I could sue the insurance company, but I wasn’t going to do that. The strange thing about all this is the timing, and how well Gala played me.  First, it took her five months to get me to cave in.  The timing – this all happened at precisely the right time so that I would not only have to live with guilt and remorse, but  now I wouldn’t get the house, the cars, the savings accounts, and the insurance money – in other words, my financial freedom went right out the window as a result of my moving to Peru at the time that I did.  Had this happened even a few months later, no problem, or a few months earlier (before there was any insurance policy or house involved), nothing would have been lost.  Funny that not one other time did some girl see my music video, and basically yank me by the collar away from my life – not before, and not since – and this was ten years ago.  Since then, my life has been a living hell – one fucked up situation after another.

Anyway, here more recently, I’ve experienced more bizarre goings on.  The most recent are what comes to mind.  There is the same constant hostility that I get every time I leave the apartment (same as I felt in San Diego in the early 2000s).  There is the fact that in Oregon, I started working at a Hawaiian restaurant, did very well for a few months, until one cowardly lowlife decided to slander me – sneaking around, saying god knows what to bar and restaurant owners, resulting in my being out of work for the last six months I was there.  It was amazing the way these people just automatically believed what this yellow bellied oil slick said.  At the time, I thought it was just plain, old fashioned envy and jealousy, but I now start to think otherwise, at least partly – which I’ll get to in a minute.  So, now I’ve been in Reno for going on four years, and I have not worked a day since arriving here.  The way it has all happened it beyond bizarre (I know I keep using that word, but it’s the closest I can think of, if there was a word that made it more severe, I would use it, but there isn’t, so…), again, saving all the gory details for another time, maybe.  After all these years of being in this crappy business, I know how to get work, but here in Reno, nothin’ doin’.  As if that’s not enough, there have been strange things right here at the apartment.  A few months ago, there were two incidents involving my hairbrush – of all things.  One day I picked it up to comb my hair, and noticed that the little plastic balls at the end of the bristles had been snipped off  - leaving the sharp ends to scrape my head.  So, I buy a new one, only to find a couple weeks later, it was greasy (I NEVER put anything in my hair, and it’s never greasy for any reason), and with hair that did not belong to me or the other person who lives here.  Being that I’m here just about 24 hours a day (leaving the apartment only for short periods of time to go to the grocery store), and that I’m not allowed out of this person’s sight for two seconds, I knew she had nothing to do with it – didn’t seem like something she would do anyway.

So, to add even more bizarre to the already bizarre, as I said, I’ve been out of work for three years (which is beyond insane to me), putting my life in total control of another person.  I cannot leave the house without the guilt and/or the stomping around, or the angry reactions, and, I didn’t want to come here to Reno in the first place, but since I have no sayso, here we are.  Six months after we got here, it became crystal clear that I was never going to work in this town, and, I’d said in perfect English that I hated it here, and that I was miserable being in this shithole of a town.  So, even though she’s made it perfectly clear that she’s angry about supporting me, she has insisted that we stay here.  She has no problem beating me over the head with the fact that she supports me, and if I dare to stand up for mice elf, well, put it this way, I’ve been tossed out of here three times now, and been threatened and bullied with that and other things hundreds of times.  It seems to have eased off somewhat in the past two months for whatever reason, but still very strange the way I keep being forced to live in situations that I don’t want to be in, that are not good for me – as a result of any income being completely cut off.  I’m almost starting to believe that the same “Gangstalking” organization that I know has been screwing with me for decades may have something to do with why I’m still stuck here, and why I haven’t worked a day in the almost three miserable years I’ve been here.  I wonder if being a paid stalker brings a good paycheck – not that I’d want to do it, I just wonder.

So, the times when I was a little kid, I’ll probably never know if that was part of this gangstalking B.S.  I am sure, though, that most of what has happened in the music business – including being forced to leave Nashville FOUR times by people and situations far outside of my control - is part of it.  I know my stuff didn’t move itself around, that baseball cap didn’t grow feet and walk into that San Diego apartment by itself.  My hairbrush didn’t magically lose the little balls off the ends, and I’m pretty sure there were no greasy haired menehunes who greased  up my new brush and left hair in it.  I’m sure that somebody – somebody with power – got to the entertainment people here – especially that last one – who seemed to be excited to have me play in her bar, until right after she sent me the tax forms – at which time she suddenly started with the classic runaround – this stuff doesn’t happen for no reason.  Over the past couple of years, I have tried to contact countless record companies, booking agents, radio stations, and other music business related people and organizations, and have not gotten a single response – interested or otherwise.  I’ve even done what I swore I would never do – I applied at retail stores – huge franchised ones – thinking I would do it for a while (famous last words) until I could make something better happen – same, not a peep from them.

I don’t know about the depression and anxiety.  It’s been said that there are devices that can wreak havoc on a person’s brain, not sure I buy it, but it does seem strange that I would be susceptible to something like that.  There’s also my apparent psychological/mental block that has been stifling my banjo playing for years – I didn’t think any such thing could be possible.  I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours trying to get past it, but the more I play, the worse it gets.
It has always appeared that every situation, every circumstance, every scenario, every relationship (business, romantic, and otherwise) is and has been perfectly placed and timed so that there would be a negative outcome, and usually the result had been the worst case scenario – in other words, not a minor mishap, but a major, catastrophic result.  I’ve never been afraid of work, in fact, I worked my ass off in every way to get to the point, musically, that I’m at.  I’ve never done a drug in my life, never smoked, never been a drinker, gambler, or anything of the kind.  I don’t even play video games – wouldn’t be caught dead doing that.  Even more creepy is when I see something on television that seems to be speaking directly to me.  The one that comes to mind is the blue and white To Go coffee cup that I’ve seen on at least five shows now – a cup that I’d never seen except at an acquaintance’s house – his was ceramic, but the exact same size and appearance.  It’s not common, and not something I’ve ever seen at any coffee shop or anywhere else – except at Jason’s house, and on these TV shows.  I’ve seen many messages that seem to speak directly to me – even quoting my exact words or statements.  Yeah, I know, I sound like some tin foil hat wearing nut job, but well, I’m pretty sure that’s not the case, in fact, I was always thought of as “the level headed one” of the bunch – family, “friends” and whatever else.

“Why would anybody take the time and effort to do this?”, you ask, well, hell if I know.  My best guess would be that it has something to do with my dad.  He was a talk radio show host in the early 80s, he would expose dirty politics, and dirty people, among other things.  He interviewed people who did things that you only see on TV and read in storybooks.  Maybe these cowardly gangstalkers think I’ll follow suit should I ever get a public platform to speak from.  Maybe it was my somewhat active time in the mid 2000s on the internet – where, after a few months, I seemed to be accepted by a few people who appeared to be some kind of elite activists – people who were constantly being threatened, their websites shut down, YouTube channels shut down, among other things.  I was being monitored and censored – manually, and, I had two of my YouTube channels shut down after being (falsely) accused of putting up “Hate speech”.  I know how difficult it is to get a YouTube channel shut down, but whoever it was that was stalking me had no problem doing it.  And yes, I picked up two stalkers during that time – they would post endless filth at my YouTube channels, no matter how I tried to block them, they broke through anyway.  They threatened my life, threatened my son’s life, scoured the internet and found my photography site, and posts that I’d made from previous YouTube channels (two and three years previous) – totally unrelated to the issues I’d been speaking to at the time.  More recently I discovered that it is not possible to find me through Google – I have 60+ music videos online, and if you type in my name plus any of the instruments I play, you will not find any listings.  But, if you go through Bing and do the same, some of my videos appear on the first page, and my blog and website are listed within the first few pages.  At YouTube (owned by Google), type in my name and an instrument I play – nothing.  I continue to experience other strangeness as I’m online to this day.  I continue to see hostility directed at me more often than not.  The entertainment people in this town have ignored me, and the couple of times I did get through, they were nasty beyond belief – again – not normal.  Any one or two or ten of these things can be written off as coincidence, or my supposed paranoia, or overreaction, or whatever else, but well, bullshit, this stuff is real, it’s constant, and let me tell you, I’m damn tired of fighting with it – especially the fact being that whoever is behind this is some kind of monstrous coward – being that they continue to take potshots at me while they hide in the bushes.  I’ve only scratched the surface on things that have happened, but if you got this far, as you can see, there would be endless listings and pages that I’m sure nobody would ever take the time to get through.

Funny thing, all this stuff has made me who I am, and I happen to like that guy.  I still, though, would love to know who is behind this, and expose them for the yellow bellied pissants that they are :D .

So, all for now.