Richard Day's picture


    I have been away from computers for nine days.

    I have been away from virtual reality for nine days.

    I have been away from writing for nine days.

    I have been away from my hermitage for nine days.

    I have been without my cloak of isolation for nine days.

    And now I am back.

    My friend died.

    My virtual friend died.

    I had met John via the blogosphere, I had met him via the email machine, and I had met him on the phone and the very moment I was to meet my friend in person, he died.

    Just six months ago I received a small package in the mail.

    It was a 500 gigabyte external hard drive. He had included on that drive 100 gigabytes of tunes. Ha! What surprise. Every band you can possibly imagine is stored in this machine; a machine that backs up my pc and protects me from ever losing anything I will ever write or store.

    There was no previous discussion of this gift; it just arrived at my door!

    I am so sad about all this. John has been commenting on my blogs for almost three years; and I have been commenting on his.

    He announced to me just three (?) weeks ago that he had quit smoking.

    His abode had been badly damaged by fire and he had just gotten back home and was fixing it up.

    He had just begun receiving full SS and was continuing his efforts with his small business and it seemed like he had stepped into an entirely new life and he wanted to share his new lease on life with his friends. And now I am weeping once again.

    For the first time in four years I went somewhere to visit human beings in person; to meet LisB; to spend time with my children (actually they are the adults and I am the child); to see people interacting at airports and bus stations and parks and on the street...

    I will be writing about this experience more than a few times in the future but there was one experience I would like to write about that I think John would have liked:


    I rode on several different types of jet aircraft in order to get to Syracuse, NY and back again to my thriving metropolis (Virginia, Minnesota)

    There were three by threes—three people seated on both sides of the plane.

    There were two by twos.

    And there were three by twos.

    There, now you know how much technical knowledge I have about the different jets that act as magic carpets sending millions of us to our destinations; taking us above the clouds as magically as those heroes transported thusly in our bibles and in our myths.

    All the aircraft had one thing in common: First Class.

    People found themselves in First Class a variety of different ways.

    There were those who had accumulated bonus miles and cashed in their points for a luxury ride.

    There were those who were awarded this incredible comfort by the businesses that paid for their transportation.

    There were the airline employees who sometimes reach the pinnacle of success on a stand-by basis.

    And there were those who just came up with a few extra bucks because they wished to feel special.

    The seats in first class are a little bigger and the leg space is a little longer.

    There is the magic curtain that separates this aristocracy from the peasant fliers. However this magic curtain is usually left open. hahahaha

    These passengers are allowed to board the magic ferry first and, of course, they are allowed the right to disembark before the rest of us upon landing.

    And that is about it; I mean the difference between the luxurious first classers and the rest of us.

    I was seated high above the earth as the cart made it down the aisle.

    What can I get you? she asked. a bout a nice Chateau Briand cooked medium. Now just medium mind you. Not medium well done or medium rare!

    Okay. What kind of pop would you prefer to go with your pretzels and nuts?

    Now we are offered ¾ ounce of pretzels or ½ ounce of peanuts. Sometimes they offer cookies.

    While I am downing my pretzels with a Diet Coke, I watched as the first classers were passing around a basket filled with gigantic bags of chips and such which they downed with WINE (they keep the boxes in one of those secured cupboards!)

    These gigantic bags of goodies easily ran three or four ounces in weight.

    All I could think of was:


    I really wish that America worked like this all the time.

    The Middle Class would do just fine with 1800 square feet of living space for a family of four.

    I would not begrudge a 'rich' family for residing in a 'mansion' of 3,000 or 4,000 square feet.

    Just as I would not begrudge the aristocracy their fine wines, their fancy cars, visits from outside house cleaning agencies, better attorneys and doctors, nicer yards, or even better schools and universities.

    That is all to be expected and frankly I do not give a damn.

    But that is no longer First Class in the America today.

    First Class for the Managerial Caste has nothing to do with bigger bags of potato chips and more leg room.

    First Class in America is now represented by gigantic private jets with priority to the best runways in the best environments this globe can provide.

    First Class in America is not represented by a safety net of one million bucks put away in a savings account following thirty years of hard work and a little luck.

    First Class in America is now represented by a salary of one million bucks a year; semi-anual bonuses several times that amount with additional millions in assets hidden in tax free international banks.

    First Class in America is now represented by 30,000 square feet of residential space, live-in servants (slaves), gated communities with armed security; all the while they pay most of their employees minimum wage and demand pep fests to begin each morning of business.

    Oh but this kind of discussion represents class warfare, some would say.

    If this is class warfare, BRING IT ON!

    John wrote blogs almost daily and he could make me laugh.

    Recently he was discussing Matt Taibbi's article condemning Wall Street and the SEC and...

    John came up with a method for educating the American People as to stem the tide of First Class Abuse by the current 1% who own everything; the 1% who feel free to abuse our nation's legal and moral codes to get what they want.

    I’m a firm believer that if every citizen of this country either read all of Matt’s work or had it read to them they would be appalled and no factory in the universe could keep up with the demand for pitchforks.

    I am going to miss John!





    Previous draft @




    This is wonderful.  And what a remarkable pivot you make when you segue to the story of First Class.  I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to meet up with you this time around.  Next time, I hope.

    I was going to write to you; I got blind sided!

    I'm sorry.

    It is a long story but...

    John was a good man.

    His sister said his politics kind of led to outbursts...hahahahaha

    My kids would say the same. hahahaha

    I thought I was going to NYC for some reason and I was not!

    We shall talk again.

    I will email you after I rehabilitate. ha

    I am saddened with your loss. I will miss reading him.

    Ooooooh Momoe.

    John had this huge family of siblings and they all cared about him!

    From everything I know he was a gooooooooooood man.

    He certainly was a good man to me!

    And I know you read him!

    Makes me happy!

    I'm glad you are home safe and sound, Arthur, and that you had Lis with you to face this sadness. It was good to hear your voice and see the pic Lis posted. You look and sounded well. I'm sorry your heart is broken.

    Thanks for sharing with us John's goodness. I had the honor of behind the scenes visits with him when your computer went bust. He seemed like a really nice guy, and I'm so sorry you weren't able to meet him in person.

    Oh as I told Momoe, he certainly was a good man to me!

    And he dies with a real family who cared and supported him!

    Thanks for taking our call.

    I think we waited about 30 seconds! ha

    DD, I am so very sorry for your loss.  You are eloquent as usual in all that you say, and even in your pain you manage to bring some light into your beautiful post.  For what it is worth, you also helped me make a decision that I have been wrestling with; and I thank you for that.  

    So glad Lis was there for you; I know it must have meant a lot to her as well to get together with you.

    Love, Jan


    Oh Cville....

    Lisb is the BEST OF THE BEST!

    I will go into this further, maybe at Paradigm but we were two travelers seeking to party with a friend from different locations.

    John was just a wonderful man who wanted to celebrate his new life! He wished to share and he had always shared with me.

    He liked my writing and he would not be shut up. hahahahahahah

    Oh its the mortality, it is the coincidence, it is the...

    I was afraid to go.

    I was afraid to make the last minute preparations.

    I knew it would be wrong to hide here.

    I knew it would be wrong to make excuses.

    I knew it would be wrong not to gooooooooooooooooo....

    And I arrived and he was gone!

    Again, I will write many of my thoughts later.

    Today, I am...I am confused by coincidence and fate and about my own purpose.

    Always good to communicate with Cville. I mean...You are always Cville. ha

    A few weeks ago I attended an intimate memorial for a dear friend of mine who died too young last December.  We went to the coast of Oregon.  It was a clear day and in the evening we gathered on the beach, lit a bonfire and spoke our farewells.  In conclusion we each took some of Clark’s ashes to toss them into the sea.  My experience was the same as everyone else’s.  The ashes blew back in my face.  The prevailing winds? Perhaps.  Or just a reminder that a person isn’t really gone until those that loved them are gone.  Until then like those ashes did on the beach, they continue to put a tear in your eye and grittiness in your words. Until you yourself are gone too.

    Bless you and bless Lis and bless John.  His passing should remind us all how short a trip this is and that we should do our best to enjoy it and help others enjoy it.  Those who are in First Class should be reminded that for them as well it is a short trip – a very short trip.

    (P.S. John gets to see Cy’s latest art work before we do.)

    Larry, my condolences on the loss (?) of your friend.  He's not really lost, though, is he.  As you so eloquently said.

    Today I spoke with yet another of TPC's siblings, his brother Joseph out in California, and Joseph told me his thoughts on the afterlife, and he and I agreed that John (TPC) is watching out for us all, right now, and will continue to do so.  It was very comforting, listening to this stranger's voice that was so much like John's.  For all the sadness, there is real pleasure in getting to know TPC's family.

    It makes me realize that we are all one BIG family, no matter where or who we are.  I like that.


    Jesus Larry...

    I mean no harm but I always watch the Big Labowski when I am with my son. hahahaha

    Goodman is such an asshole. hahahahahahaha

    He is perfect as an asshole.

    Just like I am perfect as a member of the undeserving poor--I am Doolittle.

    I know, we lose them....and we cannot do a damn thing.

    We are powerless so I shall never smoke or drink again!

    Well, during certain sacred hours anyway! ha

    Larry, you are my friend.

    You are a real friend.

    And i appreciate you!

    Thank you for being my friend.

    No joke.



    Oh Dick I am so sorry, sorry for us all. I miss our chats, I miss John already, the mibbit room will be slightly emptier with out him.

    Let's all chat soon.


    Sweetie, Dick and I are in the Chat Room at #Paradigm even as I type this.  Please feel free to join us.  If anyone else at Dag would care to do the same, the link is here:



    Try this Mac.

    At any rate thanks for dropping in.

    We had soooooooooooo very many friends.

    They still are our friends you know!

    Well, Dickon. I have been without a working computer, and I have been in Paris and I am now just getting caught up. I flew from Miami to Heathrow, (choke) First Class, as my sis-in-law (who travels a lot), was at the top of the "upgrade" list, and I was part of her party. I must say, there is a much larger difference between First class and coach in a transatlantic flight than the size of the snack bags. Seats? No. We had pods. Five-star food that they wouldn't quit bringing, fine wine, lots of attention, free first run movies, language lessons from roasetta stone, even champagne before we even took off.

    My socialist soul was shriveling, and luckily I was mostly comatose having been up the previous night dealing with Irene, house viewings, no power, etc. Those seats were worth $10,000 a piece, (my sis-in-law looked it up once we came back from Europe). 

    All I know, is that the Parisians know how to live far better than we do. (Although I like our fine Wisconsin frommage best.) They maintain their infrastructure. Cherish all that is beautiful, and walk daily on the stones of the Bastille, which they tore down and turned into cobblestones, so that the people could continue to trample on the symbol of the power of Kings. 

    We are not supposed to have Kings anymore, but I couldn't help but feel, that it would be a far, far better thing to abolish First Class and coach, and let all people have business class. (I flew that home, and the seats fully reclined--very comfy). We got Orange Juice or Water before take-off and warm towels to wipe off the ick of travel.

    I'm so sorry about your, and LisBs, friend John, and your experience and loss. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. (Not even Clearthinker). I wish I could have been here when you visited, because I would have driven to Syracuse to see you. But I didn't know. Maybe once I sell my house I'll come out and visit Minnesota. Maybe we can go see Prairie Home Companion together, or something.





    Oh Bwak my secret love. hahahahah

    No give them first class.

    The idea is to define what first class is.

    I have travelled to Europe on first class. hahahahah

    Believe me, give it to them.

    Give them special parking privileges and lots of newspaper space.

    It makes them feel special.

    Bwak never needed to feel special.

    Bwak just wished to pay the rent. hahahahahahaha

    I love you Bwak!

     my secret love.

    Dick, we're friends, and all, but ya gotta go through me...(friendship  has its limits...)

    The story about TPC is dreadful--Lis says you were a godsend (bearhugs were mentioned...)good on you, and  shared sadness for you both.       

    I am so glad you had that time with your family, Bwak, you have long deserved this trip.  Yay!!  The flight sounds lovely - I can't imagine what a 'pod' feels like but I think my futon falls a little short, hahaha.  SO good to see you online again!!  Welcome home.  :)


    Me and my third wife(the lesbian hooker...)got bumped up to first once on account of being irresponsibly late for a Continental flight from SanFran to Miami...itz nize...

    tpc was First Class in the true sense of the phrase. It was he who rallied the Cafe together to get a working pc to you, Mr. Day, when yours went belly up a few years ago. John's generosity will not be forgotten and neither will his spirit.

    It is good that you are back home from the world and writing again. It is good that you and LisB had each other to draw courage from while facing such a tragic moment. I hope the two of you know what great joy you must have given him by accepting his invitation to "step into his new life" with him.

    From that viewpoint, this is how I am going to remember tpc:  he died living.

    We should all be so lucky.

    Oh Flower, now you have me crying again.

    If i could not cry i would be lost. I would be losted.

    Flower, I love you.

    Thank you as always!

    Been thinking about this event Dick, since LisB first posted the news.

    The central thing is that it's terrible, that he should be taken so young. And M and myself send our condolences to you both.

    But beyond that, 'twas a magical thing. Because another way it could have gone down would have been for him to simply have died. Alone. Or in a fire or somesuch.

    "A tragedy," all would have said. And that would have been that.

    But instead, this man who did so much for you (and others) electronically ... reaching out to people he only came to know through these wires... people whose lives he changed... both directly through his words, but also through those he helped... instead wrote an amazing, final, touching, turn to his story. 

    I mean, it IS kindof strange beyond passing, "weird" in the real sense - wyrd. A man you spoke so much with, and are about to see in the flesh, and this happens.

    Such things happen in life. It's happened to me. Part of the amazement of it all.

    And now he's gone and left his story with you two, both storytellers, to pass on how you will.



    Yeah you know.

    I was watching a couple of flicks lately and....yeah you know.

    I mean when you go through it as an experience and not something you read about...

    It is different.

    My poor daughter I did not feel understood what I told her.

    My dog ate my homework for chrissakes!

    I do not feel that I would believe this story.

    Just off track I would like to meander up north sometime and meet you in person.

    In the Hangover, the funniest line (and my son confirms) is when the feller notes that he has some sort of court order not to be found within 600 feet of a school. hahahahahahahah

    The real and the real and the real....

    Sometime I would like to meet you before Orpheus tells me the time has lapsed. hahhahahaha


    You are my friend.

    I have never 'met' you.

    I still think that the funniest line you ever delivered was:



    As we reach 'maturity' our time on this planet has lapsed!

    You are a good man.

    I am glad that I have met you.




    I look forward to meeting you Dick, and hope we can pull it off this year perhaps? As you know, the Reaper pays no attention to our own personal timelines.

    Obviously, I'm not around much these past months - I just lost the oomph for fights and tangles and such. We're doing better now though, as my beloved's surgery was successful in June, and she's just finished her 2nd of 6 chemo sessions.

    By Christmas, we're hoping to be fully back into the swing of things, and have the blush of Spring on the cheek. And after that, I'll be more mobile, so it'd be great to find some excuse to check in.

    We could maybe even invite Leo along. I always kinda figured Genghis was Leo anyway.

    Just a note

    I am one of those lost Roman-Catholics as you well know.

    But I shall pray for the recovery of your true love.

    I mean no disrespect.

    Maybe hoping for the best does result in miracles.

    The mother of my children was once lost and found a way.

    It was miraculous I assure you and she is now alive and well--certainly without me! And her children are grateful.

    Jesus save us all!

    Just say "no" to Yahweh and "yes" to Jesus...

    Jah love, Jah way, Jah Zeus. It's all one path. Sell all you've got, take off your dress and follow me.

    It was, in one word, surreal.

    Having Dick there made it less so, and more so, somehow.  Everything that happened was touching, unbelievable, serendipitous, heartbreaking, oddly humorous in a dark way, and unforgettable.

    Having all of you, our online friends, know and understand how it was and why,'s a huge comfort. 

    Thanks, Q.

    Oh, and, um, I tried to friend you at FB this week.  Are you still there? 


    Glad there were two of you there, LisB. Woulda probably been too much for any one person to take in alone.

    Am at FB, but I only use it for family. They're far-flung, and it gives me a safe place where the nieces and nephews and such can come talk. So I keep it an enclosed garden.

    Hope y'all are well.


    We are.  We are well.  Dick and I and several others are in Chat tonight, and you are welcome to pop in, if you're so inclined.

    I hope you are well too, Q. 

    Have no fear the other guy is here.

    I am sorry for the hahahaha....

    Oh well so much for that, lets continue where he left off.

    The clown is now here to make you laugh as much as he did.

    My sisters are right he was very funny guy and the politics....take or leave it.

    Richard lets move on and strike up the band. No trumpets John is probably hearing enough of those already.



    Never apologize for a hahahaha, Joseph :)


    And...welcome.  Nice to see you here.  xo



    I dunno, I thought you were mad at me.

    Here, for you:


    John was a Mensch.


    Ah, and a good mensch, at that.  ;)


    I did not know who you were talking about when I posted earlier, than went back and read LisB's description about what happened.  How very sad and tragic.  I remember TPC's writings and comments over on TPM.  I wish I had known him better.  I am so sorry for both your losses, but glad you and LisB had each other at that moment.  It's strange to think such emotional connections can be made through a series of tubes. But it's comforting too.

         I love to surprise people when they least expect me come out of the woodwork.

    Now is the time for all to come too the aid of their fellow men and women.

    Well Lis got to me on the phone and with that had too make sure John's Legacy can continue forward. He is probably watching us. John's Brother Joe. [email protected]

    Do want to thank all of you for making this possible. For MrSmith1 you had to do a lot of reading to make the connection. I can be a biblical person at times.

    I don't like to drag things out because it sometimes causes problems.



    I really did not interact much at all with thepeoplechose so I was reluctant to comment on the related threads, including this one. Especially as I strongly believe that heartfelt messages of sympathy are of great comfort to the bereaved, but only if you actually knew the deceased.

    Plus your and LisB's story is so incredible that I was at a loss for words. Finally, LisB came up with the word that seemed to describe it well: surreal.

    You often make light of being a hermit, I've always suspected some of that is hyperbole; I imagine that when you are out and about in your own neighborhood or meeting with family members or friends, you're as chatty and as much of a "people person" as you are on the net. But there is an underlying theme in both of your stories, about tpc trying to draw you out and get you traveling just before he died way too young, that strikes me as both surreal tragedy and an honor to tpc's memory. Certainly worthy of inspiring more writing on it, especially on the topic of interacting in "the real world," and I hope you do.

    Condolences to all who enjoyed tpc's life.

    Not much hyperbole in terms of this subject. My only family contacts reside in the Twin Cities; hundreds of miles from here and I do not have a car.

    Surreal! ha

    It was going to be a rebirth of sorts and ended up in the death of a nice man.

    Thank you for your comment.

    I am now more likely to write some more on this trip with LisB one way or another!

    I didn't know John/thepeoplechoose either, and I share aa's perspective. But it was sure a sad story to read. My sympathies go out to you, Lis, and John's family.


    Genghis, Good Morning, for those of you who had a wonderful relationship with John, let it be known and I know it is that my brother was diffently a person who had his heart and soul in the right place. Richard, when you talked about John sending you the hard drive it was a good feeling deep down inside. I asked that you call me 805-263-0644. Genghis, your screen name is of a very intellectual person outlook of the past. My hat off to you. Please call me. I feel that we have a lot in common. John 's Brother, Joe

    When I read Lis' account last week, I was pretty shocked. The whole thing is ironic in a way that's difficult to get one's head around. He'll be missed.

    I remember when first class meant you got free booze, pretty damn decent hot meals, ceramic coffee cups and those groovy hot towels just before landing ... and all sorts of stuff. You're right. Now the fuckers don't even lower themselves to fly on a commercial jet ... and the "first class" for us isn't nearly what it used to be. Powerful observation.

    Glad you are well.

    Oh thanks KGB

    Yeah, it was surreal.

    Makes one discount some conspiracy theories.

    I mean you had to sit with me for three hours at an airport in Syracuse and wonder what the hell was going on?

    LisB helped me figure it out.

    John was a nice man, a good man to me.

    And I shall miss him much!

    Like your comment about the airlines. Just goes to show how much things are going down hill in are society. Speaking of down hill, are politicians need to start waving a red flag and enough is enough already. They need to stop talking about money and start doing the right stuff to get things back on track. I liked when Newt gave that news guy a bashing when he asked the first question and it was about his family life and his wife.

                ALL THOSE SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET.......

    Enjoying the holiday at home.


    Good morning kgb999....Should you accept this mission...this is the Kraus brother.

    Like your article about the airlines, just goes to show how things are going down hill in are world.

    I am enjoying the holiday. Need to know how everyone is doing. Keep your chin up and duck the punches. its just getting started. 

    John Brother, JFK

    Well Mr. Kraus; what a nice surprise hearing from you!

    Hope you are having a nice Feb!

    The weather here in California has been a little weird. We have had some cold nights where it gets down to 40.

    Well john would have been celebrating his 63rd on the 20th if he was still around.

    Drop me a line so we can have some fireside chat.


    Hey Richard,

    More sad news, but happy for my brother.  My fathers best friend who came to the wake, in a wheelchair and oxygen tank died on John's 63rd birthday.  Here is what happen.  On February 10th  my fathers best friend came again to me this time in my dream to let me know he was ready to go into the beyond.  I made no phone calls to find out what was going on.  I did not let anyone know the dream from back east.  I  confided in a friend at work only and explained the whole thing.  I then called my sister Carol in New York on the following Saturday after his death. My sister and I were talking about lots of things, but by the end of the telephone call she then stop almost forgetting to tell me about it, then she proceeded saying, Joe, almost forgot to tell you Hank died, and then with that, told her, already know.  I then proceeded to tell her about the dream. I found out later from the daughter that on the 10th he was in for emergency surgery which meant he was already to far gone and that is when he came into my dream to let me know.  Well that all for now. 



    Hey Rich,

    As far as my health, need surgery for tumor now.  Don't worry it is benign, will have to have it removed.  It will be endoscopic surgery so they will not being cutting me all to pieces.  I did not tell you about my hernia operation too.  I am just falling apart for a 56 year old man.  The doctor put me on a diet also.  Let everyone that things are just fine.



    It is so hard to find you sometimes Joe!

    I am not a good geek!

    Okay, so now I am 3 or 4 hours late!

    You already know I think, that I am at [email protected].

    I cannot get into my old chat room. Some server problem I suppose.

    At any rate if you hit this site or


    I am not hiding.

    Hell, your brother had to be my best friend on line. period.

    And my best friend in 'reality' was my son.

    LisB and your brother were the best friends I ever had in the last decade.

    I can list about 10 other web friends I have ever had and your brother was in that list!

    Oh I have gone on and on much too much. As your brother would have noted.

    At any rate.

    I aint goin nowhere.

    Hey Richard,

        Slow down and breath.  Just reading your quick stuff you did tells me your missing my brothers online chat about things.  That's okay.  Well in the world politics it is getting ridiculous with Mitt and Obama.  Mitt keeps sticking his foot in his mouth and the republicans don't want to own him.  Obama, he is doing so much song and dance it makes you want to laugh.  But on the other it is cool to be down to earth and act like a human being sometime.  I am hoping you connect with me soon.



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