I ‘n’ I was fighting glaucoma with my bredrins Mike and Aqua Boy. I was laying out my Presidential strategy for taking down The Cheetolini in 2020:
With the JFK coup anniversary looming: Was it Bin Laden on the Grassy Knoll? Discuss!
But then the discussion took a turn. When baseball season is over, I ‘n’ I turn to a new time suck: Ancient Aliens on the History Channel.
I was talking about the documentary’s 2 hour tribute to Erich von Daniken, the Father of Ancient Astronaut Theory. His book, Chariots of the Gods, lit the fuse for a whole generation seeking a connection between ancient astronauts mis-labelled as Sky Gods by mankind.
I took to the alternative cosmology of Ancient Astronaut Theory late in life. But I should have been into it for 40 years….
I grew up in a small farming community in North Central Montana called Fort Benton. Beautiful little river city. We had a theater and a drive in. It was a short bike ride from my house to go see a movie to get out of the sun.
It was sometime, summer 1975. I was ten years old. The movie was Young Frankenstein: Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman and Teri Garr. But, in the lobby was something that really intrigued me: a whole display of cut outs, movie stills and placards describing Chariots of the Gods. The movie.
One of the stills described a picture in Ancient Assyria; my mother’s homeland in the Fertile Crescent. I was totally enthralled and could not wait to see it in two weeks!
The following week, the movie theater went out of business and became a farm implement manufacturing business. Cursed!
Wheel it forward to last weekend. I was regaling my mates, between bongrips and bourbon, of the story von Daniken described from the Bible: Ezekiel and the crystal ship. A wheel within a wheel.
Ezekiel 1:14-28. Ancient Astronaut Theory
14And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.
18 As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.
19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.
23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies.
24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
25 And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.
26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.
28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
That, my friends, is the description of nothing other than a space ship which travels by gyration, the wheel within a wheel!
<Ezekiel’s crystal ship>
My bredrin Aquaboy, who reads dinosaur media like the New York Times and The Nation magazine, was not having it. He was giving me the red eyed hairy eyeball.
So I’n’ I zone in on the kill shot: The Ancient Aliens episode devoted to Chariots of the Gods’ legacy talked about one of the original NASA scientists who thought von Daniken was a crank and set out to use physics to debunk the wheel within a wheel.
His name was Sidney Blumrich…
I ‘n’ I, who does not read the New York Times nor the Nation, never got to finish…Aquaboy was full on scoffing. I ‘n’ I held up my hand and calmly said,
“Your perception is not my reality.”
They’re here. They’ve always been here. And they’re coming! Scoffing won’t save you!
Bobbylon’s Top Ten Biblical Alien Encounters
Moses and the burning bush – spaceship
Ezekeiel and the Crystal Ship: the wheel within a wheel aka a gyroscopic spaceship
Stairway to Heaven – walkway to a spaceship
Enoch – Noah’s grandfather who walked with God and then was not
Lot’s wife – turned into a pillar of smoke, not salt after Armageddon was destroyed in a nuclear attack
The New Jerusalem – Borg cube massive space ship
The Nephilim – Biblical giants describing the Anunnaki who created mankind and mated with their women
Noah’s Flood (1) – Utnapishtim in a tessaract spaceship to wait for the flood waters to recede (Sumerian origin story)
Noah’s Flood (2) – Ziusudra in a submarine to wait for the flood waters to recede (Sumerian origin story)
Jacob’s Ladder – spaceship walkway (see #3)
How about some examples from Islam and Hinduism:
The Prophet Muhammad’s midnight journey to Heaven on the back of a winged horse Al-Buraq. Buraq means “lightning” in Arabic (one man space capsule)
Descriptions of flaming minarets in the sky (missiles)
Hindu Vimana’s: space chariots fighting battles
Shiva’s Trident – missile
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-vember 16, 2019 Annotated Playlist: 73 sec.
Mikey Dread – Voice of Jah; Dread at the Controls (Trojan) ’79 UK vinyl
Aggrovators – Dread Locks in Jamaica (Attack) ’76 JA vinyl dub album of the hour
Chachi feat. Sister Carol – Natty Dread; (Kariang) ’99 Ethiopian dawta cover Bob Marley
Sister Carol – Natty Live Up; Lyrically Potent (Heartbeat) ’96 Bob Marley’s Natty Dread
Jah Thomas – Tribute to the Reggae King; In Disco Style – Entertainment (Midnight Rock) ’81 Bob Marley tribute
Sublime – Legalize It; Hempilation (Capricorn) ’96 Peter Tosh cover; 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Junior Murvin – Bad Weed; 12” (Upsetters) ’78 UK – Lee “Scratch” Perry prod’n; herbtune over Police & Thieves
Zema – Joy in the Morning; Black Sleep (Melchizedek) 2003 Culver City, CA dawta
Linton Kwesi Johnson – Sonny’s Lettah; a capella live (LKJ)
<UK sus laws against “vagrancy”; 28 sec.>
The Eagles – Country Living; Reggae Classics (DCC) ‘73
Tapper Zukie – Black Man 12”; I Can Hear the Children Singing (Blood & Fire) ’78 dj to Prince Alla
Barry Brown – Release the Chains; 10” (Rockers) ’80 UK; Augustus Pablo prod’n
Set 3: Best of Smile Jamaica 30 Years
Martha Velez – Get Up Stand Up; Escape From Babylon (Sire) ’76; Wailers cover
Mighty Diamonds – Gnashing of Teeth; I Need a Roof (Hitbound) ‘76
I ‘n’ I have been hosting Smile Jamaica for 30 years now. October 1989. Don’t remember the first Halloween Reggae show I did, but it would have been early 90’s.
So a quarter century of the exploration of Jamaican, mostly, superstitions about witches, vampires, ghosts/duppies, Obeah Black Magic, The Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein and the rest!
About 10 years ago I was transitioned into head of the Audio Studio at the Marriott Library: Fall 2009. The early days of digital content. So I had started to notice many soundbytes in a horror vein from my Reggae CD collection.
I started ripping those clips from CDs, pull them into ProTools digital editor. “Snip, snip”. Export as .mp3. Same with a multitude of Halloween sound effects disks.
And there you go! Just like Dr. Frankenstein cutting up sound for your ghoulish pleasure!
Oct. 26th Smile Jamaica will be 3 hours of Boneyard Skanking. But play this podcast to keep the kids off your porch while you hand out your high fructose delights.
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-tober 19, 2019 Annotated Playlist; 91 sec.
Don Carlos & Gold – Harvest Time; Raving Tonight (RAS) ’83 DC vinyl
The Aggrovators – Strictly Rockers in the Dreadland (Justice) ’76 JA dub album of the week
Victor Essiet & the Mandators – Mi Friends (Duppy Conqueror); One Love One World (Mystic) 2006 Nigerian singers cover Bob Marley Halloween tune
<Vinyl vindication: vinyl to outsell cds; 1 min. 55 sec.>
I’ve always been a record guy. Back in Montana as a youth, I would drive 35 miles each way to record shop at the local Hastings outlet in Great Falls. Usually buy a couple pieces of vinyl and a cassette for the drive back home.
When I moved to Utah for University in 1986, I was already dabbling in CDs. In 1985, Cactus Records in Bozeman, MT had a small rack of CDs in a corner of the shop. I remember buying Fleetwood Mac and the Police Outlandos d’Amour. $16.99 (in those days a fortune). I didn’t even have a CD player yet.
For Christmas, I got a Fisher deck, (probably from Montgomery Wards), – 1 drawer, no frills: just the song number in red LED. I was blown away! Space age technology in rural Montana!
What’s not to love? Smaller. Harder to scratch. Easier to store. Portable players to play them on.
Yet, the smaller size and lack of information on many of the disks didn’t make collecting CDs as enjoyable as buying vinyl. Especially, when I switched to collecting Reggae. Early on in CD’s history there was not a whole lot of Reggae available. And a total lack of the 12″, 10″ and 7″ vinyl I especially was looking for. The rarest of the rare.
I was in a Record Shop in San Francisco. Summer of ’87. Up to my elbows in vinyl racks. The shop owner was trying to up-sell me into CDs. He was like, “Why are you so hot for vinyl? Everybody is moving into CDs”. I shrugged, “I’ll always be a record guy.”
Here is how it worked back then. CDs were new. And expensive. So, many people sold their vinyl for pennies on the dollar to add up cash for CDs.
Vinyl was cheap and plentiful. CDs were exotic, limited in selection and expensive. So the stores were in transition from black wax to shiny metal disks. I built the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives this way: buying other people’s vinyl discards.
All the great things you hear me play today came about through hoovering up as much black wax as I could in the voluminous Bay Area Record stores. I was flush with student loan cash (Thanks Ronnie Raygun!) and I went from store to store digging through the crates.
I would stay at the Travelodge across the street from Tower Records in North Beach: Columbus and Bay. Some days, I would be tired after a day of cratedigging. It was awesome.
Wheel it forward 30 plus years. Most of the record stores are long gone, (Hastings went under in 2016), via over committing to CDs in a digital age of iTunes, Pandora and Spotify. People wised up and started piecing out vinyl for the Ebay collector’s market.
But for 20 years, I maxed out the opportunities even if around 2005 I started to notice stores were no longer there when I would visit.
When Tower Records and later Virgin and Circuit City went under, that was the nadir of my CD era collecting.
That is why when I heard on the news that 2019 will be the first year since 1986 that Vinyl is expected to surpass CDs in aggregate sales, I felt a sense of vindication.
I mentioned on this blog that 2019 was the year my Dad’s health went sideways. Other than a bad back, he’s like the Montana version of Clint Eastwood. A rare brain condition damn near sent him to Jah’s Heavenly Choir.
Long story short: Jan.-June was a distracting nightmare of back and forth with my Mom reporting grim news and discouraging progress. Calls and texts to my brother and sister who all feel helpless hundreds of miles away.
Here is what Papa Bob had to recover from in 2019:
My Pops has spent more nights in either a hospital bed or “rehabilitation clinic” (aka nursing home) than he spent at his Snowbird spot in Sun City West, AZ. Retire and then get seriously ill. Life is not fair.
Long story short: The Mayo Clinic in Phoenix “fixes” NPH by installing a shunt in your skull. It’s like the condensation hose on your AC unit. Excess fluid drains away and is absorbed, harmlessly, into the abdomen.
I was there in Arizona when he turned a corner and now is walking with a cane, where he was formerly wheelchair bound.
Mayo Clinic. Wow, awesome. Thank you! Dr. Bendok; Dr. Krishna. All killer, no filler!
So I have been basically “clenched” for seven months. It affects everything and I was keeping all days free in case I had to make an emergency trip to Phoenix. So once Dr. Krishna told my Dad “the pendulum is swinging in the right direction”, it was like Pops had permission to return to the way things were.
One day he said, “Hey go get my book.” He reads these detective novels one after another. Went back to reading the local paper. We watched the Chernobyl Mini Series on HBO together and he was totally engaged. Phew!
I was encouraged enough to think I could engage in a little self indulgence. No more Family With Medical Leave Act for I ‘n’ I.
Now, I want to go on vacation: cratedig, road trip, herbal excursion, concert. While everyone else was dealing with the chaos of the first week of school I was on my way to Denver for a comedy concert.
My Version Excursion Itinerary:
I 70 to Green River for lunch at the Tamarisk Cafe’ my bredrin Aqua Boy recommended.
Stop in Palisade, CO at a dispensary. My weed concierge seemed a little grumpy. Hey fella, you could be slopping Slurpees at the Sev. Answering all my questions on my Seven Leaf purchases should be like a wine vendor sampling his wares. Come on man, you see Utah on the Driver’s License. It’s like having to talk to a toddler. But I don’t care — I’m on vacation. Just gimme my stash and choke on my cash!
Drove through the most beautiful stretch of country I have ever been on: Grand Junction to I 25 approach to Denver. Had it all: fruit stands, wineries, rivers, dams, mountain passes, tunnels, ski resorts, Amtrak. Treacherous driving even in the Summer at nearly 11,000 feet. Wow!
Check into my hotel in Denver. Hit the liquor store. Stealth vape in my room while I plot my book and record store mapping, neighborhood by neighborhood. Successful cratedig: picked up around $200 of fresh Reggae vinyl
Had Dinner a couple nights with my friends who flew in to see comedian Jimmy Dore and because I hate flying, I had my car.
Listened to KGNU Boulder’s “Reggae Bloodlines” show on Sat. 1-4pm. Having a session and a cocktail just like millions of you all do every Saturday during Smile Jamaica. Reggae Bloodlines sounded like Smile Jamaica with more Rebelution type reggae than Mutant Dub I ‘n’ I play, but straight up killer roots!
Sat. 4:20 vape like a viper before the show
Standing online with about 75 fellow Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders fanatics wearing my brand new Ilhan Omar T shirt which got many thumbs up from the Progressive audience in attendance
A round of cocktails with my friends to combat cotton mouth and settle in for nearly 2 hours of gallows humor with comedian Jimmy Dore surrounded by fellow travellers on the Far Left political spectrum. Single payer or death!
Sunday morning sunrise return trip via I 80. Thermos full of bad coffee grinding out flat and bland prairie. Cruise control at 73 MPH churning up the mile markers as my Pops loves to say, “feeling like a whore in church”, watching for Johnny Law on the 525 mile stretch back to SLC.
Gassed up in Rock Springs and called my Mom and that is how I found out my Dad doesn’t need a cane around the house. Praise Anu!
So yeah, good week after a brutal year. Selah!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-gust 17, 2019 Annotated Playlist; 43 sec.
Earl Zero – Only Jah; Only Jah Can Ease the Pressure (Freedom Sounds) ’79 JA vinyl
The Supersonics – Treasure Isle Dub vol. 2 (Treasure Isle) JA vinyl dub set of the hour