Going Blonde


I originally attended college in the 1980s to pursue electronics, computers, and psychology. Along the way I also dabbled in art, literature, philosophy, and swimming. All these things were of major interest to me.


But as I started working I noticed the great explosion in computer technology and their usefulness. I found now I could save my ideas on a hard drive, scan my drawings, and even print out some chess openings, my personal opinions on a variety of things, and even simple birthday cards.


And I wanted to go back to college and learn more about all this computer stuff.


So I did exactly that. My newest interest was graphic design, something I still find very useful today..


My return to college was many years ago. And I do want to re-return sometime later.


Anyway, back to original return to college time.


I was still young, and I seem to recall my hair being all black.



I liked it long, except during the summer when it (my hair and head) got hot (you see, the color black tends to attract heat – a problem I’ve always had until recently).


My jet black hair was also very thick. It contributed to the heat on the head.  That was about the only concern I had about my hair. Like everything else that I find bothersome, I made some jokes about it.


These next statements are hyperboles, but not by much.


It was so thick it also doubled as a helmet.


It was so thick it broke my barber’s scissors.


By cutting my hair, I would lose two pounds.



So I (sort of) like(d)  my hair.


But one thing I noticed during all the times at college was that there was preference of us male guys for the blonde girls on campus. I’ve always wondered if the reverse was true – do girls at college find blonde men more attractive than others?




On day when I was walking to class, a young female student approached me. She was studying Cosmetology and needed some test subjects. She offered to change my hair color. I thought about for about 2 seconds (just to make sure I heard her right) and replied, “Yes”!


They needed to bleach my hair first. And my hair looked good just being a light brown. But I wanted to go all the way.


So they begin the applying the dye. And after some time (it was over an hour) I finally was able to see my new blonde hair in the mirror. It never occurred to me, but I got a high from hair color thing.



And interesting, I did come compliments from some of the girls at the college and some of the even approached me for some small talk (and one case – to flirt).


I didn’t tell them my hair was colorized. After all, I wanted to see far my experiment would go in answering my original question, “do girls at college find blonde men more attractive than others?” Besides I was enjoying the attention.


And I don’t know if these compliments were the result of my increased self-image or simply the result of the now blonde hair. I suspect it was mostly the latter.


The hair coloring lasted about six weeks. By then my natural jet black hair replaced the blonde.


I never repeated the experiment. I don’t know why. I think it was because I had a good experience. I had an answer to my question. And I appreciated the attention. And that was enough for me.




While I was writing this blog, one question jumped out at me. Or rather two questions.


If you could change any physical attribute about yourself, such as height, weight, eye color, hair color, skin color, voice, etc., what would it be? And the second question is, why?


“X” Marks the Spot


There are times I like to make lists of words, if for no other reasons other that I like words, and I am a nerd.

About a week ago, I was wondering how many (English, or at least used in English) words start with the letter X. I was wondering if I could get to 100 words.

Now, it’s pretty easy to find 2, 5, or even 10 words (try it!). But 100? I had to try.

Well, I think I did. It was struggle but I did it. (a smiley goes here 😉

Here are 100 words beginning with an “X”. Even more if you include plurals and conjugations.




XANTHATE (+S) [n. A chemical salt]
XANTHEIN (+S) [n. The part of the coloring matter in yellow flowers that is soluble in water]
XANTHIC [adj. Having the color yellow; yellowish]
XANTHOCHROIA (+S) [n. A condition causing yellow patches]
XANTHOCHROIC [adj. Having a yellowish or fair complexion, (2) pertaining to people or races with light hair and pale complexions]
XANTHOCOMIC [adj. Yellow-haired]
XANTHOMA (+S or +TA) [n. A skin problem marked by the development of irregular yellow nodules on the eyelids, neck, and back]
XANTHOMETER (+S) [n. An instrument for measuring color of sea or lake water]
XANTHOPHYLL (+S) [n. Yellow carotenoid pigments in plants and animal fats and egg yolks]
XANTHOPSIA (+S) [n. A visual defect in which objects appear to have a yellowish hue]
XANTHOUS [adj. (1) of the color intermediate between green and orange in the color spectrum, (2) Having light brown or yellowish skin, (3) Yellow or red-haired]
XAVIER [n. A male given name and surname, as in Saint Francis Xavier (a Roman Catholic missionary)]
XEBEC (+S) [n. A small, three-masted Mediterranean vessel used for pirating and trading]
XENIA (+S) [n. (1) The ancient Greek concept of hospitality, the generosity and courtesy shown to those who are strangers, (2) pl. of XENIUM, (3) The effect of the type of pollen on the characteristics of the endosperm, fruit, or seed of a plant.]
XENIAL [adj. Of or concerning hospitality towards guests]
XENIUM (XENIA) [n. A gift made to a guest or ambassador; any compulsory gift]
XENOBIOTIC [adj. Relating to a substance foreign to the body or ecological system]
XENODIAGNOSIS (XENODIAGNOSES) [n. A diagnosis of disease by allowing laboratory-bred diseases to affect material]
XENODOCHEIONOLOGY [n. Love for and of hotels, motels, and inns]
XENODOCHIUM (+S or XENODOCHIA) [n. A room or building for the reception of strangers]
XENOGAMY (XENOGAMIES) [n. The transfer of pollen from one plant to another]
XENOGENEIC [adj. Derived or obtained from an organism of a different species]
XENOGENESIS (XENOGENESES) [n. Generation of offspring entirely unlike the parent]
XENOGENOUS [adj. Caused by a foreign body]
XENOGLOSSIA [n. The alleged speaking or writing in a language entirely unknown to the speaker]
XENOGRAFT (+S) [n. Tissue from an animal of one species used as a temporary graft]
XENOLITH (+S) [n. A rock fragment embedded in magma or another rock]
XENOMANIA (+S) [n. An obsession for foreign things, customs, or people]
XENOMORPHIC [adj. (of a stone) Having a form not its own]
XENON (+S) [n. A colorless, odorless, inert gaseous element]
XENOPHOBIA (+S) [n. An abnormal fear of foreigners]
XENOPUS (+ES) [n. An African clawed frog]
XENURINE [n. A species of armadillo]
XERANSIS (XERANSES) [n. The gradual loss of tissue moisture in a body]
XERARCH [adj. (of an organism) Developing or growing in a dry area]
XERASIA [n. Abnormal dryness of the hair]
XERIC [adj. Dry; lacking in moisture]
XERODERMIA (+S or +E) [n. Abnormal dryness and roughness of the skin]
XEROPHAGY (XEROPHAGIES) [n. (1) A Christian fast during holy times in which only bread, salt, water, and vegetables may be eaten, (2) A diet of bread and water]
XEROPHILE [n. A plant adapted for life with a limited supply of water]
XEROPHILY [adj. (of an organism) Adapting or flourishing in a very dry environment]
XEROPHTHALMIA (+S) [n. Abnormal dryness and soreness of the eyes]
XEROPHYTIC [adj. Adapted to a XERIC (or dry) environment]
XERORADIOGRAPHY (XERORADIOGRAPHIES) [n. A process for taking permanent pictures of X-ray images]
XEROSERE (+S) [n. A succession of ecological communities originating in a dry habitat]
XEROSIS (XEROSES) [n. Abnormal dryness, esp. of the skin, eyes, or mucous membranes]
XEROSTOMIA (+S) [n. Abnormal dryness of the mouth resulting from decreased secretion of saliva]
XEROTHERMIC [adj. Of or relating to the condition of being dry and hot, esp. of a climate or environment]
XEROTIC [adj. Abnormal dryness of a body part or tissue]
XEROTRIPSIS (XEROTRIPSES) [n. Dry friction, attrition, or abrasion of the body]
XERUS (+ES) [n. An African ground squirrel]
XERXES [n. One of several ancient Persian kings]
XI (+S) [n. The 14th letter of the Greek alphabet]
XIPHIAS [n. A swordfish]
XIPHISTERNUM (XIPHISTERNA) [n. The lowermost segment of the sternum]
XIPHOID (+S) [n. Same as XIPHISTERNUM, (2) adj. Shaped like a sword]
XIPHOPAGUS (XIPHOPAGI) [n. Conjoined twins joined by a band of flesh on the torso]
XIPHOPHYLLOUS [adj. Having sword-shaped leaves]
XIPHOSURAN (+S) [n. Any arthropod of the subclass Xiphosura, including the horseshoe crabs and many extinct forms]
XOANON (XOANA) [n. A primitive wooden statue sometimes overlaid with ivory and gold]
XRAY (+S) [n. A code word for the letter X in international radio communications]
XU [n. A monetary unit of Vietnam]
XYLAN (+S) [n. A gelatinous compound found in the cell walls of plants and wood]
XYLEM (+S) [n. Plant tissue] 
XYLENE (+S) [n. A colorless, flammable liquid]
XYLIDIN (+S) [n. Same as XYLIDINE]
XYLIDINE [n. A chemical compound used in blending gasoline]
XYLOCARP (+S) [n. A hard, woody fruit, such as a coconut]
XYLOGENOUS [adj. Living or growing on wood]
XYLOGLYPHY [n. Wood-carving]
XYLOGRAPHY [n. (1) Wood engraving, (2) The art of engraving on wood, (3) The art of printing texts or illustrations, sometimes with color, from woodblocks, as distinct from typography]
XYLOID [adj. Resembling wood]
XYLOL (+S) [n. A colorless, flammable hydrocarbon]
XYLOLOGY (XYLOLOGIES) [n. The study of wood]
XYLOMETER (+S) [n. An instrument to measure the specific gravity of wood]
XYLOPHAGOUS [adj. Wood-eating]
XYLOPHILOUS [adj. (1) Fond of wood, (2) Living in or on wood]


XYLOPYROGRAPHY [n. The art, practice, or technique of engraving designs on wood with hot iron or poker]
XYLORIMBA [n. A pitched percussion instrument]
XYLOSE (+S) [n. Sugar found in plants]
XYLOTOMOUS [adj. (of certain insects, insect larvae, etc.) cutting or boring into wood]
XYLOTOMY (XYLOTOMIES) [n. The preparation of sections of wood for microscopic examination]
XYLOTYPOGRAPHIC [adj. (1) Of or relating to wooden type, (2) Printed from wooden type or from wood blocks]
XYST (+S) [n. Same as XYSTUS]
XYSTARCH (+S) [n. An ancient Greek officer in charge of gymnastic exercises]
XYSTER (+S) [n. A surgical instrument for scraping bones]
XYSTUS (XYSTI) [n. A roofed area where athletes trained in ancient Greece]




That was eXciting! But I am sure, upon eXamination,  I  might have missed some words.


If you think of any that I missed, please email me. Or, if you want the world to know, please feel free to post a reply here.






The word perfect has two meanings. One is, “without error”. The other is “being complete”.


 It does not exist in the real world.


There are some that would argue their religion or their god is perfect. To that I would say that the fantasy world is not reality. I am defining fantasy here as, “a mental image”. It is neither good or bad, or without value. After all, we do use fantasy to sometimes solve (our) problems.


Mathematics and logic may be closer to perfection than religion. But they are also elements of fantasy; mental tools we use to solve problems.


And like all other elements of the fantasy universe, perfection is not something we will ever experience and perhaps never be aware of its existence. We can’t touch it, hear it, taste it, eat it, dig a ditch, cook a meal with it, or build a house with mere perfection.


The pursuit of perfection is something we can all strive for. The stress, tension, and the uncertainty of being on the right are all real things. But let’s argue if it is real. What does one do after reaching “perfection”? Is there anything better? No!


I am fond of this motto I created.


 “Those who limit themselves to perfection don’t advance any further.”


Instead I find people who believe they found perfection, whether in religion or a hobby, or an exercise program, or an academic pursuit, stop questioning, stop learning, and generally decline in spirituality, creativity, love (of their chosen goal and many times, of people), health, knowledge, academic pursuits, and even being normal.


 In extreme cases, such people can become nut cases.



So set a goal. Just don’t make the goal to be a perfect human being, or even perfect in some activity. You’ll never reach that goal. Plus, the stain you will place on yourself will increase the odds of a heart attack, stroke, an aneurysm, a viral infection, and as added bonus, you will find less joy in your life, even if these physical problems never manifest.


Instead I recommend that one have other pursuits. Like just enjoying all other things that life has to offer. Need a suggestion? A sunset, a walk, a book, hold hands, laugh, cheer up someone, play with a pet, go swimming, watch a video or movie, jump for joy, sing, write a blog, book, or novel, paint, draw, create an art project, eat a dessert. All for joy. How’s that for a change?


Dear Tom


Dear Tom,

You are my first cousin and it’s been a long since I wrote you. Again, I apologize for being so late and negligent.

And yes, I do remember you!

I am having some memories of the early 1970’s, when we were both under 10 years old.

We played kickball in the open streets. I always loved the game and did quite well. I didn’t have too much talent; I was just very quick and fast. And skinny and small enough to avoid the balls that came my way.

Hey, did I tell you I also good at dodge ball?? I think I did. 😉

To tell you the truth, I was fearful that when I was “pitching” the ball to you, you would have kicked back to me with such force that it would knock me down. You were so big (that was the preferred term for being fat and wide – pssh – don’t anyone)!

Yet, you were kind to me. I think you only played chess to keep me to keep me happy. I won all the games. You called me a square and I called you, “circle”. I thought that was funny.

I lost contact with you when we attended different high schools and then again for college. I think I missed you then. But then I other things on my mind, like calculus (which I passed), electronics, sports (running, and other non-contact sports), girls, and everything else a young twenty-something male adult would have on his mind.

Girls! You remember how you told me once that a girl, about our age, was named “Sissy”. I sort of believed you. You thought it was joke. I never did find out her real name. Now, I think I should have. That was a real shame, something that I have never forgot for some odd reason.

Back to the college years. It seemed that during our long absence from each other, and I hate to bring this up, but you became bigger during that time. A lot bigger.

When we met again, you scared me again. Not because I was afraid of you, but for you. I was tempted to remind you of the history of diabetes in your family, and esp., your diabetes. I know what it did to your father; I didn’t want to same thing to happen to you.

Anyway, you got a job in Washington, I think you were cutting trees for a while. It did make sense to have a large and strong body to cut the large trees in Washington state. And you enjoyed it. I never figured out why you liked that job.

I am going to skip a couple of decades now as I want to keep this letter short.

You came over earlier this year to say hi and your mom (who was staying with my family for a few days). I know we didn’t talk too much; we were both in a rush. But again you were kind and gentle. I wish I had the opportunity to talk more. And maybe some more stories to share.

Now I don’t.

Last month I know you had bleeding in your brain. And when that was finally cleared, you had bleeding into your stomach. At the same time, as I understand it, your kidneys and other organs start failing.

Tom! It was the diabetes that finally became so very real.

You had to make a choice, live on life support and a dialysis machine for the rest of your life. Or chose to be free, with the absolute knowledge you would be dead within three days.

You choose to the latter option. I support your decision. I know you were in a lot of pain.

Your wife was at your side. You had the love you deserved. And you were listening to favorite music, your finger tapping out the notes until it could move no more.

I am also glad you were able to die with as much dignity and grace you could give.

Again, I support your choice.


I miss you Tom.


Rest In Peace.


(your first cousin)

More than Chess (sometimes)



Cupid playing chess


Most of my friends know I love to play chess. And I actually do play a (very) good game.


But there are other aspects of chess that one can enjoy that go way beyond than just moving the white and black pieces.


It is a pursuit into the unknown, and possibly the unknowable.


It can be a discipline, even a definition. For the egotist, it is a way demonstrate (or at least to brag about) their own, self-proclaimed, intelligence.


Governments have used it as a propaganda tool to push forward their agenda, with various degrees of success.


In art, literature, and music, it is often used a metaphor; something to celebrate, wonder, or ponder. It can expand the mind, making a work of art something even better.


The last area is one I love to indulge myself.


Three of the most popular songs recorded in the numerous decades since the beginning of the pop culture (circa 1950’s) are the following:


[Chess to further illustrate a literacy piece (or as some suggested, a drug experience)]


“White Rabbit”

By The Jefferson Airplane


One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small

When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low
Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head
Feed your head



[Chess as a metaphor for the complexities of loving relationship]


“I’ve Seen All Good People”

by Yes


(Part I – Your Move)

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day
So satisfied I’m on my way
I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day
So satisfied I’m on my way

Take a straight and stronger course
to the corner of your life
Make the white queen run so fast
she hasn’t got time to make you a wife

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time
and its news is captured
for the queen to use!
Move me on to any black square
Use me anytime you want
Just remember that the goal
Is for us all to capture all we want
(Move me on to any black square)

Don’t surround yourself with yourself
Move on back two squares
Send an instant karma to me
Initial it with loving care
(Don’t surround yourself)

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time
and its news is captured
for the queen to use!

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda
Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda
(Don’t surround yourself with yourself)

Don’t surround yourself with yourself
(Don’t surround yourself)
Move on back two squares
Send an instant karma to me
(Send an instant karma to me)
Initial it with loving care
(Don’t surround yourself)

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time
and its news is captured
for the queen to use!

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (All we are saying)
Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Is give peace a chance)
Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (All we are saying)
Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Is give peace a chance

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time
and it’s news is captured…


(Part II – All Good People)

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day
So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day
So satisfied I’m on my way…


[Chess as a metaphor for the internal conflict of an individual or the conflicts between an individual and society. This song has both.]


“One Night in Bangkok”

by Murray Head


Bangkok!, Oriental setting.
And the city don’t know that the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the chess world in a
Show with everything but Yul Brynner

Time flies, doesn’t seem a minute
Since the Tirolean spa had the chess boys in it
All change, don’t you know that when you
Play at this level there’s no ordinary venue
It’s Iceland or the Philippines or Hastings or, or this place!

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free
You’ll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you’re lucky then the god’s a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One town’s very like another
When your head’s down over your pieces, brother
It’s a drag, it’s a bore, it’s really such a pity
To be looking at the board, not looking at the city

Whaddya mean? Ya seen one crowded, polluted, stinking town
Tea, girls, warm and sweet
Some are set up in the Somerset Maugham suite

Get Thai’d! You’re talking to a tourist
Whose every move’s among the purest
I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me

Siam’s gonna be the witness
To the ultimate test of cerebral fitness
This grips me more than would a
Muddy old river or reclining Buddha
And thank God I’m only watching the game, controlling it

I don’t see you guys rating
The kind of mate I’m contemplating
I’d let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we use would not excite you
So you better go back to your bars
Your temples, your massage parlors

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free
You’ll find a god in every golden cloister
A little flesh, a little history
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me.



Do you know of any more? I would love to hear from you! =)










Star Wars


Happy Star Wars days to all my fellow Star Wars fans!!


May the 4th Be With You!


Note: If you happen to playing some board games today, don’t forget to let the Rookie win!





And the movie that started it all 🙂







About 10 days ago I cycled to the weekend swap meet at Goldenwest College. It’s a perfect place to find fresh food, backpacks (which I now have a collection), clothing, used books, and even to get some exercise.


To get there I ride my bike with an empty backpack (see, the backpacks have a purpose) for about a mile. The ride requires me to cross an intersection and once there I chain my bike and walk around the swap meet looking for deals and getting my walking in for the day.


At the end, when my backpack is full, I unchain my bike, and start cycling home.


Well, this particular day I was riding home and had to stop at a red light (remember, I have to cross an intersection to get home). So I pushed the button and waited until the light turned green.


About five feet from me was a woman. She was white with a few blemishes on her arms and face. And she was little shorter than I, and perhaps a bit older.


As I was pushing the button she loudly said to me, “I pressed it – Don’t press the button.”


I turned around and sure enough she was talking (or more correctly, loudly talking) to me.


I guess she thought this attention automatically gave her permission to continue with, “You are an idiot!”


I replied, “You’re right. I am an idiot”. I thought this would be a good way to end the conversation.


But the conversation continued with something like this.


“You are an idiot!”


“Madam, I just agreed with you.”


“No, no. You are an idiot. You kept pressing the button after I told you not to!”


“Madam, I just told you I am an idiot.”


“You’re calling me stupid. I told you not to press the button and you kept pressing it.”


“I am not saying you are stupid.”


At this point I felt like asking her, “Do you really want to continue this conversation?”


But such people are rarely satisfied. She became just a little more crazy, a little more angry.


“It’s people like you …”


OK, my mind was racing. Who was she talking about? Did she mean all men? Did she mean everyone who shops at swap meets? Or rides a bicycle?


I could have replied, “We are the only people here at the signal. Who are you talking about?”


But of course, it’s really hard to have a person listen when they are on a rant. And the truth is she had something else to share with me.


“…who are in the country that are ruining it for everyone else.”


That’s what was driving her. Her bigotry and fear.


Having been at this intersection many times (in fact every time I go to the swap meet), I knew I had only a few seconds before the light changed. Enough time for a reply and to get away from this nut, fruitcake, idiot, or a Trumpist (choose at least one).


So this was my reply.


“Madam, we Hispanics and brown people were here before you white people came here.”


She took a step backwards and I cycled forwards across the street.


Why this hatred from this woman? Mental illness definitely is playing a part. But I will also tell you that racism and bigotry still exists in the country. And it’s always directed to people with darker skin.


Back in the 1980, I was chased off a park by local teens who were older and more numerous than the single me. The reason? Because the hostages in Iran, whose ordeal lasted 444 days, were in that country held by radicals during all of 1980. And there was a huge push to promote anti-Iranian rhetoric (mostly by the Republican Party – see a pattern here? I do). So the kids, seeing a brown skinned and skinny 15 year old person, thought that he (me!) was an Iranian bent on destroying their country (or at least their playground).


I have told this story to people before. Those with similar skin color understand. Really, such violence still occurs.


And I still don’t understand.


Here we live in a country where we can move around at will. We can travel (or even move to another state) without government interference, make and keep friends, gripe on the laptop (like I am), read whatever we want, listen to any music we want, watch videos and movies for education and entertainment (but entertainment seems more prevalent), enjoy the best in technology, eat when we want (and accept obesity as something common), practice any religion want (or don’t want) and can use our free time in any way we see fit.


We don’t have to marry. In fact, we don’t have to marry to conceive or raise children. We can love whoever we want. Women can keep male friends and vice-versa, and don’t have to worry about religious police.


We have riches that allow us to buy things we don’t need, or consume food that will add unnecessary calories to our bodies, and width to our girth, and to even feed hungry people in our nation.


What’s going on? What can such people be angry about?


Maybe I should have made a turn at the corner.