What do you say about someone as prolific an icon as Willie.
I want to be him.
And in some ways I am.
But I will never be Willie Nelson.
I will be me but I sure as hell love Willie Nelson.
I have several music legends that I aspire to and are music influences. But Willie is different. It more than just his 50 years of play-list unending On the Road gems of songs. It more than just his lyrics.
It is Willie.
He is the brand. His personality and his heart are what drew me to him as a 17 year old sneaking into a 6th Street bar in Austin Texas in 1977. You could drink at 18 back then, but I wasn’t 18. So I faked like I was the dishwasher and came in the alley door. I put on an apron and started to fill the sink.
That’s when I heard it.
“WHISKEY RIVER TAKE MY MIND”
17 times in one night.
Since that night and now 40 years later I still love to hear Whiskey River.
I have two guitars. One is at my mama’s house and one sleeps with me.
Jolene is my Washburn 6 string guitar, that is missing the G string. I could of had it fixed but it makes a kinda unique sound that I like on some songs. So not so melodic but more of a harder twang. (picture later)
Spot is my 1970 Ventura (Gibson design made in Japan) a numbered series. I learned how to play this guitar in Kentucky from a pig farmer that played the banjo. This is the one that sits in New Braunfels, Texas at my mama’s house. It’s going to cost me $350 to ship it up here to Alaska. It cost $100 in 1970. (picture later)
I was 14 working on the family farm in Kentucky. Tobacco and Cows. That was all we know. But 30 acres of tobacco base and 120 milk cows and a few bulls and steers was the livelihood and lifestyle for three families. We are talking Northern KY just near Lenoxville. About 45 minutes south of Cincinnati and 45 minutes north of Lexington. it was a 250 acre farm with mostly bushes and trees and hills. All the places that a young active COW-DOG would love to explore.
Yep. My nickname was COW-DOG cuz my job was to scout out and round up the cows every day for milking time.
But at age 14
I found something that became the obsession of my life for the next 45 years.
It was at the Grange for a non-alcoholic square dance. i didn’t drive a truck but I drove a Ford 2000 tractor the 5 miles down the road to the grain feed where the dance was.
walking in the door fresh off the boat from Texas I spied the prettiest girl in the world.
She knows her name.
I said, “Hi, I’m Lance from TEXAS!”
That was all it took. We were best pals. She was 17 and had a truck. I said i got a tractor.
That summer I learned about the three things that are still the best part of my life.
WHISKEY | WEED | WOMEN
Yep. I went down on the farm. Specifically the stripping house at the old barn up the road. it was raining hard. no beans to snap. i ran all the way in the rain following the hollow across a hill.
She was already there. A hayloft with fescue salted down hay. it was warm. a steel roof made the raindrops sound like atomic bombs. I had shit on my boots so i took them off.
She had already taken off her shoes and pants and was just standing there with a long shirt for a night-gown. i never seen anything like that ever before in all my life.
Oh my a flower of such sweet proportions and a bean. flower and bean.
That all she said. Flick the bean and Pick the flower. And whenever we wanted to meet up or say something like I love you and want to make love to you all night. we couldn’t just say that or aunt and uncle might catch a clue.
So we just said, want to snap some beans. Yeah i love flickin bean.
And that is how i learned how to go down on the farm. Hence my first EP is called and all about learning oral sex on a 17 year old hillbilly girl in KY. i was 14. now i wasn’t gonna be playing ball with the boys anymore.
Now I’m in Alaska wishing i was on the farm.
Today is ONE YEAR since I sold everything I have in life in the way of possessions and moved to Alaska. I moved to Alaska to become a AK WRITER. Aug 2018 I produced my first music EP called Going Down On The Farm.
Someone asked me why didn’t I move to Austin just one hour away. I mean that is besides Nashville a Country Rock Blues mecca. That is where all the professional musicians and recording companies are located.
There are over 1000 Willie Nelsons and 500 Stevie Ray Vaughns in Austin Texas.
In Alaska I am the only one.
Also, I have mental health problems. I am bipolar with PTSD. One of the best cures for PTSD is weed. Smoke Weed in Austin sure. But keep it to yourself or you go to jail.
I moved to Alaska to become a writer that smokes weed. Another moody musician that smokes weed. That is what Bipolar420 is all about. Google it. #bipolar420 and see what you see.
I have been single for 10 years now and I like it. I just met a remarkable woman from Moscow that loves me for me.
So while for the last 10 years I have slept with Jolene. Soon I am going to have to put the guitar by the side of the bed and make room for my girl.
That is me.
That is why I play music.
I play music so i can flick bean.
And someday soon I won’t be sleeping with my guitar. i be flickin bean all night long.
Here BTW is Willie Nelsons story of his guitar “Trigger” my hero.
Maybe that’s it. Willie got trigger. i got Jolene, Spot and Bean. (my girlfriends nickname is bean, she calls me Santa Boris)
Besides becoming a trading hub in the bering strait. This will be the location of a new power plant to provide free energy to all of the area. The free energy will heat, cook, grow food, grow weed and power a new metro hub at the place all shipping goes between the Pacific and the Arctic Oceans.
This is a great piece written by my “niece” Amy Jo. Check out her writing blog and her personal blog. (BTW she edits mine. haha)
Please be sure to follow her blogs.
Originally posted on Amy Jo – Jest Me: Beyond time Beyond dreams There’s a moment The camera sees The camera sees A naked me Dripping drops From hair unteased Blood warmed skin Kissed by arctic wind Force open pores To close again Fragrant scent In Flower hole Moist and wet From depths below A Misty…
Why does Thorium matter and why hasn’t it been done before?
This has been done before in the 1950’s when nuclear power was being researched. However because it didn’t produce bomb material it was never pursued. Now that the current centralized solid core power generation is in place, there is no reason for the nuclear industry to adopt a different strategy. A thorium reactor promotes a more decentralized approach where states that don’t have energy production can start making clean energy and produce enough electricity to sell back on the grid.
By products of the process include electricity, extra heat to desalinate water and gasoline. Yes, gasoline.
If a reactor was built in Port-au-Prince it could not only produce sustainable electricity but it would also desalinate enough water for Cite Soleil.
Where does Thorium come from and how available is it?
Thorium is mined and created by coal. Instead of burning coal we would create thorium which is a renewable resource and produces clean no burn reactions.
As far as prevalence it is more available in the earth than any other energy fuel on earth. Countries and States even private corporations can build a small reactor or a big reactor to benefit.
Imagine what Thorium would do for the coal industry
Essentially create a need for coal to mine and export thorium. However, it also replaces coal as an energy source so it is a mixed bag.
Where is coal and potentially thorium located?
There are a number of persistent myths about radiation, nuclear energy, reactors, thorium, and the LFTR itself that are often repeated at all levels of education and experience. This is an attempt to separate myth from fact.
Myth: Thorium is just another idea being pushed by the nuclear industry.
Fact: The predominant “nuclear industry” of today consists of companies like Westinghouse, General Electric, Toshiba, AREVA, Rosatom, Babcock & Wilcox that are pursuing water-cooled reactor designs fueled by solid uranium dioxide. They have expressed very little if any interest in thorium as a nuclear fuel for the simple reason that it is not a good technological fit with their solid-fueled, water-cooled reactors. For them to embrace thorium in a liquid-fueled, high-temperature reactor like LFTR would require a complete “reboot” of their nuclear business strategy thus far, which is heavily dependent on revenues from the sale of fabricated solid nuclear fuel.
It is highly unlikely that they will ever have an economic incentive to adopt thorium in a liquid-fueled form, and most of them have evaluated the potential benefits of thorium in a solid-fueled form and found them uncompelling. The notion that thorium fuel is a fad that they are embracing to improve their public relations position has no basis in reality, and is a figment of the imagination of anti-nuclear campaigners who are troubled by the growing interest in the thorium fuel cycle implemented in liquid-fluoride nuclear reactors.
Myth: Thorium as a nuclear fuel has been a failure.
Fact: Almost all efforts to use thorium as a nuclear fuel in the past have been connected with solid-fueled reactors, where as previously mentioned, it does not offer compelling advantages, a fact that we have never contested. The effective use of thorium as a nuclear fuel, by definition, implies a system that employs chemical processing to separate uranium from thorium, and fuel from fission products. Chemical processing of any type is very difficult with solid nuclear fuels, like uranium dioxide fuel or thorium dioxide fuel. It is much simpler with fluid fuels, and simplest of all with liquid fluoride fuels. In liquid fluoride form, the chemical processing needed to realize the potential of thorium as a nuclear fuel is much more straightforward, and thus the benefits of thorium can be realized.
Myth: We know that it will take at least thirty years to build a thorium reactor.
Fact: No one knows how long it will take, but we do have valuable analogies to examine. The Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) went from a new start to criticality in five years, and went on to operate for another five years, in the equivalent of $80M in today’s funding. When Rickover asked the Atomic Energy Commission in the early 1950s how long it would take them to build a reactor for a nuclear submarine, they carefully considered it and told him that one should be ready by the 1980s. The USS Nautilus put to sea in 1954. Drive and determination to achieve a goal, coupled with technological competence, work wonders on the timeline for a new technology development. Given incentive, financial resources, and a responsive regulatory environment, thorium-fueled liquid-fluoride reactors can be designed, demonstrated, and implemented in a reasonable period.
Misrepresentation: Thorium reactors still need uranium or plutonium. This is a proliferation risk.
This is a misrepresentation of how a liquid-fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) operates. It is true that any reactor, including a LFTR, needs fissile material in order to start up. This is the “initial inventory” by nuclear engineers, and it is necessary for “achieving criticality,” which is what the startup of a nuclear reactor is called. Natural thorium contains no fissile isotopes, so this material must be supplied initially. But it is a misrepresentation to say that LFTRs still need to be supplied with uranium or plutonium after this initial startup. LFTRs generate new fissile fuel from the thorium in their blanket (a region of the reactor that surrounds the active core).
In the blanket thorium absorbs neutrons and forms new nuclear fuel, uranium-233, which is chemically extracted and added to the fuel salt of the LFTR. So after being provided with the initial fissile material to start the reactor, it doesn’t need anymore. It uses the neutrons of the fission reaction to continue to make the fuel it needs. Furthermore, if enriched uranium or plutonium were to be used to start LFTRs, this would not constitute a “proliferation risk”. Using this material to start a LFTR is not going to help countries that don’t have nuclear weapons to obtain them. Rather, it would work against that risk by permanently destroying this material (through fission) and replacing it with a material (uranium-233) that has strong intrinsic barriers against diversion for use in nuclear weapons.
Misrepresentation: Using thorium would require a resumption of reprocessing in the United States.
This misrepresentation requires some additional background explanation. Early in the nuclear era, it was assumed that the spent nuclear fuel produced from solid-uranium-fueled reactors (which also contained plutonium) would be chemically processed to separate the uranium and plutonium from the fission products and from one another. Then the uranium and plutonium would be refabricated into new solid fuel pellets and used again in uranium-fueled reactors. There was particularly strong interest that the uranium/plutonium fuel would be used for sodium-cooled fast breeder reactors. France built a huge chemical processing facility for nuclear fuel at La Hague for this purpose.
There was a fear that the same chemical processing technology that would be used to handle civilian spent nuclear fuel would be exported, along with civilian nuclear power plants, to developing countries around the world that did not already have either a civilian nuclear power program or a nuclear weapons program. The fearful scenario continued with the expectation that the possession of the technology to chemically separate plutonium from uranium would prove so tempting to those non-weapons countries that they would build special plutonium-producing “production” reactors, just as the US, USSR, UK, France, and China had done, in order to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons, and then employ the chemical processing technology to extract that plutonium and use it to fabricate weapons.
This never happened. Any country that wanted to develop nuclear weapons did so prior to obtaining civilian nuclear power or chemical processing technology. Other countries like Germany and Japan developed conventional chemical processing technology for nuclear fuel but never built “production reactors” or fabricated nuclear weapons. Furthermore, conventional nuclear chemical processing has nothing to do with the liquid-fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) technology we advocate since the chemical processing in a LFTR is based on fluoride chemistry (totally different from conventional chemical processing technology) and on the separation of uranium from thorium, not plutonium from uranium.
The chemical processing technology proposed for a LFTR would be ineffective if someone attempted to use it to separate plutonium from uranium, and furthermore the LFTR is designed to make as little plutonium as possible. If plutonium is used to start a LFTR, it is consumed in the first few months as the reactor establishes its fuel cycle, again, based on thorium and uranium-233. The chemical processing system proposed for use in the LFTR is entirely contained in the reactor facility, and operates at high temperatures and under high radiation fields. It is essentially impossible to repurpose this system once it has operated, and it simply isn’t designed to produce any materials suitable for weapons.
Those who perpetuate this misrepresentation play on public ignorance of different chemical processing techniques to cause people to believe that conventional, aqueous reprocessing techniques (often called “PUREX”) are just the same as those that would be used in the LFTR. They’re not. In fact, they’re absolutely nothing like one another.
Myth: There’s no point to developing thorium reactors because it will still produce radiation.
Fact: Yes, the fission of uranium-233 from thorium will still produce fission products that are highly radioactive, and these will have to be carefully isolated until they decay away. But to reject fission because of the production of radioactive materials is to miss a tremendous opportunity to help mankind. Many desirable products of thorium reactors come about precisely because the fission products are radioactive. The beneficial use of medical radioisotopes relies on the fact that these products are radioactive, which allows them to be used for imaging and treatment in the body. Fission reactions are the only practical ways for many of these medical radioisotopes to be generated in sufficient quantities and at affordable prices.
Furthermore, nearly all fission products have short half-lives, which means that they rapidly decay to a stable, non-radioactive state. Only a handful of fission products, including strontium-90, cesium-137, and samarium-151, have half-lives that require isolation beyond a century.
Myth: Molten salt will explode on contact with air and water.
Fact: Anti-nuclear campaigners who propagate this myth are confusing chemically-stable fluoride salts with chemically-reactive liquid metals like sodium that have been proposed as reactor coolants in other types of reactors. Fluoride salts do not explode or react with air and water because of their tremendous chemical stability. Furthermore, they chemically trap important fission products like strontium and cesium as very stable fluorides in their fuel form. Finally, to be clear, liquid metallic sodium (not used in liquid fluoride reactors) is very reactive with air and water; sodium chloride (table salt, also not used in liquid fluoride reactors) is not reactive; sodium fluoride (sometimes used in liquid fluoride reactors) is not reactive and is even more chemically stable than sodium chloride.
Myth: All radiation is dangerous at any dose level.
Fact: We are continuously surrounded by radiation, nearly all of which comes from natural sources. Our bodies themselves are naturally radioactive due to the presence of carbon-14 and potassium-40. All lifeforms have radiation repair mechanisms and indeed are always repairing radiation damage to their DNA, a great deal of which comes from being exposed to the Sun. Small doses of radiation are not dangerous because they do not overwhelm the body’s radiation repair mechanisms, and most natural and manmade doses are very small.
Myth: Radiation is a silent threat that is difficult to detect.
Fact: While we do not have natural senses that detect ionizing radiation, radiation in utterly miniscule quantities is easy to detect and verify with modern instruments, and the various signatures will determine whether it is naturally-occurring or manmade. The intensity of the radiation will allow trained personnel to evaluate the potential risk.
Myth: All radioactive material is dangerous, and a long half life means it is really dangerous.
Fact: The longer the half-life, the less radioactive and less dangerous a substance is. Some radioactive materials with long half-lives, such as plutonium-239, are hazardous only in certain conditions such as inhalation because of their specific type of radioactive decay (alpha emission). Fission products—the results of the fission reaction—do not decay by alpha emission but rather by beta and gamma emission. This still presents a hazard but one of a different nature, and one that is well-understood.
Myth: radioactivity lasts forever.
Fact: Radioactivity means the material is decaying away and the most radioactive substances are those that are going away the most quickly.
Myth: Nuclear energy equals nuclear weapons.
Fact: Nuclear reactors that generate power and nuclear weapons are totally different things. Every country that has developed nuclear weapons has done so because they set out to do so. They used the same techniques that the United States did during the Manhattan Project of World War 2, namely the enrichment of natural uranium and the production of plutonium in dedicated nuclear reactors meant only for this purpose. No country has taken electricity-generated nuclear reactor technology from another country and perverted it into a means to produce nuclear weapons. Furthermore, the inherent resistance of thorium and its byproducts to use in nuclear weapons were the central reason why it was rejected for use in nuclear weapons during the Manhattan Project and why it has lagged in development ever since.
Myth: The world will never change and accept energy from thorium.
Fact: The world is always changing. We have to decide whether to make the changes needed to embrace this natural, sustainable, reliable and economical energy source.
Thorium energy can help:
check CO2 and global warming,
cut deadly air pollution,
provide inexhaustible energy,
and increase human prosperity.
Our world is beset by global warming, pollution, resource conflicts, and energy poverty.
Millions die from coal plant emissions. We war over Mideast oil. Food supplies from sea and land are threatened. Developing nations’ growth exacerbates the crises. Few nations will adopt carbon taxes or energy policies against their economic self-interests to reduce global CO2 emissions.
Energy cheaper than coal will dissuade all nations from burning coal. Innovative thorium energy uses economic persuasion to end the pollution, to provide energy and prosperity to developing nations, and to create energy security for all people for all time.
A must read book to understand the implications of a new economy in thorium is:
“This book presents a lucid explanation of the workings of thorium-based reactors. It is must reading for anyone interested in our energy future.” Leon Cooper, Brown University physicist and 1972 Nobel laureate for superconductivity “As our energy future is essential I can strongly recommend the book for everybody interested in this most significant topic.” George Olah, 1994 Nobel laureate for carbon chemistry
As you can imagine the current nuclear industries and power generation companies do not want and do not have financial incentive to produce thorium reactors.
Will there be leadership in Kentucky to announce and research the viability of bringing Kentucky back into needed coal production to produce the fuel for thorium reactors?