Bright lights and dim bulbs.

8 11 2015

I was thinking while out walking the dog, walking the dog often promotes thinking.

Money is the problem, we imagine that it’s useful, but it’s not really, it’s a big black wall with a sign stuck on it which reads “You cannot pass”. Even for those who have enough money, it has restricted the richness and beauty of the world that we might’ve had, if the poor were allowed to shine.

There are bright lights out there, ordinary folk with massive, life altering ideas. Perhaps it’s a cure for cancer, perhaps it’s a musical sound you’ve never heard before, perhaps it’s an invention, who knows?… but these people cannot get to first base, because they have no money.

Instead we’re stuck with dim bulbs to lead the way, greedy politicians hurting the weak, instilling fear through the rotten teeth of religion. Encouraging the growth of dirty industry while the masses are conned through bought media.

How can we live this way?

Wolfie Rankin.

Working myself out

6 11 2015

Giving yourself room to work out the way you think, is always a good idea.

I tend to write it out, and put it out there.

It’s mostly for my own benefit, and I might get a comment which might shine a light on something.

Last night was quite hot and humid, it was a night in which often I’d find sleep to be difficult, and yet I was tired enough for it to come. Jette, my Alaskan Malamute, spent part of the night sleeping half-way under my bed.

I seem to remember a set of dreams, one was a psychological thriller, a nasty position for anyone to find themselves in.

My fears seldom come in the form of monsters, since I think Monsters are far less frightening than people. Monsters are simple, A stake through the heart of old Drac and it’s all over, a shot of Electricity for The Thing, Ice for The Blob. Human beings however are far more complicated, so all my bad dreams are about Humans.

Horror films don’t even rate a “Meh” for me, no matter how frightening they’re supposed to be.

I’m not going to talk about that dream, only that I had it, and would rather have not.

The other involved David Bowie.

A friend sent me a picture of Bowie from the time he was on Soul Train years ago, A young man dressed in blue and yellow, I was familiar with the image as it was recently used on the re-issued Fame picture disc.

I was dreaming that I was friends with the young Bowie, He was just hanging around in our home, Mum was here, she seemed to like him, It was lovely to have him around, I wasn’t seeing him as a big celebrity, but merely as a friend. But a friend I really liked having around.

I’m a frustrated musician, something which has become clearer to me in recent times.

I loved music, always have, from the earliest days on earth, from a far younger age than most people.

At one point Mum was going to get me piano lessons, but decided against it because I was somewhat hyperactive as a child, would I have sat for lessons?

I used to sit down and sing a lot, often in the garden, on the roof of an old shed in the shade of an apple tree, and then one day just shut up shop at the age of about nine, because I realised people on the radio sang better than I. but I had not heard about singing teachers, I didn’t know you could go to someone’s house and learn how to sing properly or to play an instrument. I thought School was just a place you were dumped and forced to learn Mathematics.

My upbringing was strict in some ways, and that only helped to stunt my growth, sit there, be quiet, behave yourself.

I learnt to be embarrassed about who I was, or would have been.

School only made matters worse, Kids are cruel, and sadly, very often they don’t grow out of it, as I learned later.

I failed to meet people who might have grabbed me by the collar and pulled me along, I think that would have been useful.

I felt incredibly timid, I wouldn’t talk to people, even if I really wanted to.

Social media has helped to drive much of that out, it would have been useful as a teenager, but I’m thankful I have access to it now.

So now I’ve met, and spoken to people I have admired, online.

And while their personal fame is the worm on the hook, What I want is to share a cuppa with them and ask them how their dog is today, you know, the kind of thing everyone else talks about.

And I can do that now, I don’t have that fear anymore.

Another of my dreams involved being intimate with someone I knew from School, and have bumped into now and then over the years.

Sex dreams are incredibly rare to me, it’s almost as though I have some sort of censorship office in my brain, checking all my ideas, and thumping a huge blood-red rubber stamp over things… BANNED… BANNED… BANNED!!!

Often Mum walks in with sandwiches or something and buggers everything up.

I’m aware of a sort of psychological “loosening up” going on.

I recently bought a guitar, partly due to the story I was writing, partly to say “Well here you go, do it, if you can”, and partly to wean myself off the internet, which I love, but it takes up too much of my personal time, I want to light up other areas of my mind.

It’s difficult, but I did expect difficult, and my mind doesn’t operate at a fast speed, part of the reason I don’t drive. My mind operates at the same speed as yours does on a good dose of Valium, I’m not quick, but I can reason a thing out eventually.

Who knows, I may awaken something while playing with this alien thing in my lap, although it’s now as alien to me now since I have been playing it.

I always wanted to play a synth, but a synth is kind of disconnected from the body, and is a bit too much like a computer, which as I’ve said, I’ve somewhat over-dosed on. So I will leave keyboards for others.

Wolfie Rankin.

My first guitar

30 10 2015

I’m almost 50, and have just bought my first guitar, I acknowledge the insanity contained in that sentence.

I had wanted to play an instrument when I was younger, but my primary school didn’t teach music… although one teacher tried to get one going for a while, and my high-school was much the same, of course there was, a big focus on sport, which left me entirely unimpressed.

There wasn’t any direct contact with music, it was something done by the musicians I listened to on the records I bought during the 80’s.

It was the synthesizer I was most interested in back then, especially the brilliant Fairlight CMI, but those were expensive, and without piano lessons, how would I be allowed to join in the fun, I stayed home and dreamed.

After leaving high-school, I had a stint at The School of Audio Engineering in St. Kilda, but its focus was less on the art of music making and more on the technical, which lost me.

Then I went to Radio school, and learnt how to be a DJ, which I enjoyed, although the music I played on air would always be someone elses.

I met friends online who had instruments, they could play them, a few others could sing, some were well known, others simply did it for fun, which was still more than I could manage.

I thrive on music, I couldn’t live without it, It keeps me sane.

I am a frustrated musician on the inside, as many of us are.

Oh yes, I can edit a few sounds together in Audacity and produce an intro or something, I could probably produce a whole instrumental in that way, I’m sure there is better software to do this in an easier way, but I am unfamiliar with it.

The technology to produce music via electronic means, is now in everyone’s hands, I use the computer daily, do I really want to use it even more for my art? I don’t find the computer much fun.

I am still disconnected.

I tried guitar apps on my phone, which even as awkward as they are to play, suggested that I could play, that perhaps if I tried, I really could.

I began writing a story about a band too, but then began to wonder about it, would it sound honest? although I know my way around a studio, I don’t know a thing about playing instruments,

My story might seem a bit like a story about a surgeon, who removes an appendix via the chest,

So I began looking for a guitar online, and finally settled on a Hagstrom Viking “P” in Wild Cherry,There was something about it, it looked cool, a guitar should look cool, it was big, bold and beautiful. It was electro-acoustic, and it had “F holes”.

It looked very similar to the one Marty played in Back to the Future, something I didn’t realise until later.

Whenever I want to find out about something, I consult YouTube, and wasn’t disappointed to find Mike Bradley demonstrating a black one in admirable fashion, I’d love to play with as much confidence.

Confidence is something I will have to cultivate, I am confident with a camera, I’ve had cameras all my life, they never bothered me, I even have an unusual 3D film camera which I have used successfully.

I am confident with computers, although there was a time when I remember not even knowing what a sound card was,

But this?

There is only one way to know if you can play a guitar, and that is to buy one, and try.

So, I wanted a Hagstrom, and why not? I found out they were favoured by Elvis, Bowie, Zappa, and Bjorn from Abba (It is a Swedish guitar)

Except… nobody in Australia sold them, worse still Amazon wouldn’t ship them to Australia and there were very few of the model I was after on E-bay.

I asked one of the salespeople at a guitar shop in the US if they could get one, so they checked for me, only to return and tell me that not only did they not have any (Cherry ones, they had a black one), but Hagstrom in the US had none left, and were not making them anymore.

Hopes fizzled.

But there was one guy with a small guitar shop in the US, his E-bay page said “Probably won’t ship to Australia”, Probably…

I e-mailed him and said that if he were to reconsider, he might have a buyer.

Not more than ten minutes later, He wrote back and said he would do it for me.

So I have waited all this week, fretting (see what I did there?) about the delivery, and whether I would ever really play the thing, if dreams would be shattered, confidence lost, would I roll into foetal position and cry about it?

I’m scared, I feel like a person who has never seen the ocean, and been driven to the beach in a bag, carted to the end of a pier, and tossed over-board.

It’s a massive risk.

I’m scared, I really am, but perhaps I need to fear something else that at least I can possibly overcome given time and care.

It turned up today, early, in a box inside of a box filled with lurid green beans, I have never seen so many beans, it’s a shame I don’t have a bean bad to fill up, it would do the job well.

It had arrived safely.

But it’s an alien from another world, it doesn’t belong here, and looks wrong against my narrow body, and in my hands, it’s so big, I didn’t think it would be so big somehow, My air guitar is much smaller, and a lot lighter.

I tried the strings, The A string sounded wrong, especially when I placed a finger on the fret, it buzzed. My tuning app claims it’s too low, but I haven’t adjusted the strings, I’m scared.

Now I haven’t got any picks yet, but they are coming with Rocksmith, which I hope is going to keep my enthusiasm up, if I can make it to the point where a light-bulb comes on, then it will have done its job, that’;s really all I need.

But I’m kind of glad I haven’t got Rocksmith yet, There’s an alien in my house, and I’m a bit scared of it, I need to sniff it warily until I am convinced it’s a friend.

Perhaps some of you will watch me from the bushes, as I take these cautionary steps.

Should I manage to do something interesting, I will likely upload a video to YouTube.

But right now I’m unsure if I’m drowning or waving.

Wolfie Rankin.

Learning Science

20 07 2015

There have been many theories on why people are not accepting science as fact, some of the theories are quite complex, such as the one about having a religious center in our brains, which might be true, but would you consider this?

Go back to when you were a child, do you recall singing Silent Night, or Away in a manger, at a very young age?

Do you then remember getting to your teens, and falling in love with songs that contained religious themes? Songs that called out to angels, or spoke of divine intervention bringing two lovers together?

Now in contrast, how many songs about science do you remember?

I’m sure you’ll have to think hard about this, and although you may identify a few, how many were you passionate about? how many did you fall in love with?

I think having more songs about science, which even small children will understand, is what’s needed to get more kids away from religion and into fact based science.

But producing songs which people will remember, songs that become ear-worms like Stock, Aitken and Waterman productions, such as “Never Gonna Give You Up” as an example, is essential.

Wolfie Rankin.

Icehouse tri-colour

17 06 2015

I’ve been collecting again and have picked up a very rare Icehouse LP.

It’s been something that I’ve been after since the 80s, So I’m very pleased to have it.

Boobs and Dicks

16 06 2015

Sex has fascinated me from a very young age.

When I was a kid, growing up in the 70’s, boobs were everywhere, they were in movies, tv shows, newspapers too. My Dad was a delivery man who delivered conveyor belts for local factory, and whenever I walked into an office, I was often confronted with women with huge norgs staring back at me.

I think because of that, because nothing was hidden, boobs were just normal.
So when I saw Women breast feeding, well, that’s what breasts were for.

But now we have a society where breasts are hidden from view and highly sexualised, their display has devolved into an ugly taboo, which has made things worse for everyone, especially Mothers with Babies.

So with this rational view of breasts that I had, I suppose they didn’t titillate me, as much as other blokes, so I had to find other options.

Where were the vaginas? and where were… where were Men?

Not that I could ask at the time, or I’d invoke the “What are Ya, a poofta?”

I really wanted to know more about My bits being an owner and potential operator of those parts.

Once, at Sex Education, I asked the teacher about male bits, and was brushed off with “It’s all too simple”, Well that’s fine, but I haven’t got a womb, I won’t be menstruating… and probably won’t be breeding. (a lot of factors there, marriage never appealed to me, I sadly heard a lot of domestic rows over the years)

Years later, I began to hear Men talking about their parts, and how they thought everything functioned. Their explanations were often colourful, fantastical and wrong.

Balls were some kind of bladder which fill up with cum and everything shoots out from there, um… no.

There’s a sort of bladder between your legs where it’s all stored up… no.

Perhaps they were as frustrated as I was, perhaps they wanted to know too?

So I began to read various items on male equipment to try and get a truthful handle on how it all works, even now I’m not completely sure if I’ve got it right, but I can research thanks to the wonders of the Internet.

So my understanding, and if I’m wrong, please correct me, goes a bit like this.

Men tend to imagine that Semen or Cum, is a singular fluid, like urine, it’s an easy assumption, but wrong.

In fact, it’s more like a milkshake, in which you add milk, flavouring, ice-cream, and shake like mad.

What we call pre-cum comes from two little glands not far from the base of the penis, called the Bulbourethral glands or Cowper’s glands, they are about pea sized.
Pre-ejaculate appears on the head of the penis after an erection or two, and looks like clear fluid which is slightly viscous (thick) like honey.

The fluid acts as a lube, making everything just a bit more comfortable during sex, isn’t nature clever?

Other species have the same glands, but some animals have much larger ones and the fluid is much more copious.

Early on, Catholics suggested a thing where you get off the train before it pulls into the last station… or pulling out before ejaculation. The trouble with that is that sperm are everywhere, EVERWHERE! (Well almost) While born in the testicles, sperm tend to swim off to any old place once they’re out. so lots of babies were born as a result of the mis-conception (see what I did there?) that sperm were only released after ejaculation.

Did you know a thousand sperm cells can fit on the head of a pin? It’s true. Sperm cells are the tiniest cell that the body produces. The egg is the largest.

Then further along, but right next to the Cowper’s gland is the Prostate.

This is one part of our anatomy that many Men have heard of, but are not always sure of what it is, or does.

When My Dad developed Prostate trouble, and needed to have it checked, there was some confusion. Both Parents had heard of it, but didn’t understand what it was for.

I think Gay men would be far more familiar with it than most straight Men, and that’s a shame. It has been called the male g-spot, and many new types of vibrators have been developed to help stimulate it. And no, you don’t have to be gay to get a vibe.

The Prostate acts as a junction, keeping urine and semen separate.

The Prostate itself is rather like a horn on a bike, when you squeeze the rubber ball, the horn honks, and when you ejaculate, you’re honking your horn, but instead of air coming out with a loud honk, which would be weird and inconvenient (“Dora, It seems our Son has finally discovered himself”) a fluid comes out.

You may have realised that ejaculation is like a sneeze, sniffing a cloud of pepper while cooking irritates your nose and your body reacts by sneezing. It’s not something that you can just do whenever you like, your nose must be stimulated to get there, and the penis also needs stimulation before you can ejaculate.

Although a very realistic dream will have a similar effect.

Behind the Prostate are the two Seminal Vesicles, and this is where the “Ice-Cream” is produced and stored if you’re using the milkshake analogy.

During ejaculation, it is released into the prostate, is mixed with the other fluids and pumped out.

It is thought that the white, sticky fluid de-acidifies the vagina, which helps the sperm survive, and also blocks the vagina up, so that a second male would have a more difficult time getting the Woman Pregnant… something that may be of less importance now, but was a big thing during caveman days.

It is also thought that one reason the penis has evolved into the shape it is, is to squeegee fluid from the vagina that the first caveman has left behind.

Ahh the good old days.

Behind the Seminal Vesicles is the Vas Deferens, a couple of tubes which lead to the testicles, and are often full of sperm.

These are cut and tied during a vasectomy, a quick operation to prevent Fatherhood.

As you can probably tell from my description so far, the other parts of the anatomy are before this point, so if you were to have a vasectomy, it would only stop a small amount of fluid, containing your sperm, from being released, you still have all the rest of the milkshake, and shouldn’t notice any difference in your ejaculation.

When you ejaculate, muscles along the Vas Deferens, squeeze and propel the sperm upwards, could it be the flavoring of our milkshake? there’s not much of it, but it is important.

Next is the Epididymus, a tube which is very narrow and coiled up on the side of each testicle. Stretched out fully, it could be up to seven meters long, and is where young sperm, born in the testicles, grow up. I suppose you could think of it like kids entering kindergarten, and entering the vas deferens after high-school.

Then our Testicles.

These are not bladders, but quite meaty, if you were to cut one open, don’t, you will find that they are very solid on the inside.

If you’ve prepared Bulls testicles for dinner, you would most likely have seen what they look like, but you’d be braver than me, I’ll pass.

The testicles produce both sperm and the male hormone, testosterone, which makes us all macho and hairy.

One mystery remains, what gives us that sense of fullness that we feel when we have a lot of semen?

We tend to think we feel it in our testicles, every few days, is it the Epididymus?, The Vas Deferens?, or the Seminal Vesicles?. Perhaps it’s all three. Does the feeling of “being horny” come from this fullness, or does feeling horny produce more semen?

An emotional trigger is likely, much like how we drool if we think of sucking a lemon, give it a try now.

My Mother, who grew up with family who were in the Salvation Army, said that kids would suck lemons in front of a Salvation Army band… causing them to drool and falter while playing their music.

It’s no wonder I turned out the way I did.

In Sex Education we are told that semen will just be re-absorbed if we don’t use it, and while that might be true in theory, most of us know that if we don’t ejaculate within three days (usually) we’re “climbing the walls” as any teenage boy will know who has attempted to hold on for a week… we’ve all tried that one.

Also, here’s an odd thing about the penis, all animals have different styles of penis, which do much the same job, but have evolved in very different ways. Most animals have a bone in their penis, dogs and racoons have bones, but horses and humans lack them, It’s probably a good thing, as bones can, and do break… However a Man can snap his penis when erect, so proceed carefully.

I hope I’ve cleared a few things up, and perhaps busted a few myths.

Wolfie Rankin.

Being Wolfie.

24 05 2015

I’ve been wanting to write this, and I understand if you read it back and roll your eyes, it’s weird, but I’ll still like you if you call me a big silly.

The whole Wolfie thing has been with me for a long time, it has been with me before I knew what a furry was, which means I felt this way since before the discovery of Usenet Newsgroups in the 90s.

The feeling has changed over the years, as though I have been discovering little bits about myself, and this is what I want to say.

I feel like an animal trapped in a human’s body, I feel that my outward appearance is alien to what I am.

It is, in much the same way, like being a man trapped in a woman’s body.

Except it’s a question of species.

I think a lot of my inner sadness comes from this, not all, much of it is because I’m alone, and fearful of the world at this point in time.

It’s not “spiritual” in the way that being gay or straight is not spiritual, it’s there, but it’s something else.

I just thought I’d say.


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