I Dreamed I Saw Saint Augustine        by Bob Dylan

I dreamed I saw St. Augustine alive as you or me.
Tearing through these quarters in the utmost misery.
With a blanket underneath his arm and a coat of solid gold.
Searching for the very souls who already have been sold.

Arise, arise he cried so loud in a voice without restraint.
Come out ye gifted kings and queens and hear my sad complaint.
No martyr is among ye now who you can call yer own.
So go on yer way accordingly, but know yer not alone.

I dreamed I saw St. Augustine alive with fiery breath.
And I dreamed I was amongst the ones that put him out to death.
Oh, I awoke in anger so alone and terrified.
I put my fingers against the glass and bowed my head and cried.

Chords are F, Bb, G/G7, C, and Dm.  You'll figure out where they go.

Dr. Doug's
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Dr. Doug's Mental Health Clinic
Guided Group Therapy on the Terlingua Ghost Town Porch
Borderline Mental Therapist
Dr. Doug
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Terlingua is the world's largest open air asylum, and I'm the only borderline mental therapist willing to take on this awesome responsibility.

Do you know how many crazy people are in Terlingua?  Nobody else does either, but I know most of them by their first name!  I am not at liberty to discuss this any further due to my professional relationship with all of them. 

Craziness is relative.  These locals may be crazy, but they aren't stupid.  They have made the choice of happiness over sadness. 

Life is tough here, you gotta' be crazy to want to live in such dangerous territory.  Bears and lions hunt in the surrounding mountains.  Everywhere there are cliffs to fall off, tarantulas, snakes, flies and giant black scorpions bite and sting, rubble stubs your toes, even the bushes stab and slash.

This is an extreme environment, storms thunder and rage in the mountains causing flash floods in the desert. It's hotter than hell in the day, sometimes reaching 130 degrees in the shade, if you can find any shade.  It cools down every night, sometimes freezing.  Not only is water scarce, even the air is rare, the altitude of Terlingua being 2,720 feet.

Every path is uphill, stone and sticker strewn.

There are only a few seasonal jobs, already taken, so there is no way to make any money, unless you sell crystals, rocks, snake oil and tee shirts to the tourists.

People live here by choice because they like it here, and they are happy here.  If that's not crazy, then what is YOUR definition?

Viva Terlingua!

See ya' on the porch...
Good mental health depends on being able to change your mind. Reminds me of an old joke.

How many Psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change.

You must be free and open to change.  Happiness is a choice that requires effort.  Just decide from now on that you are happy. Now keep that thought.  It's really that easy!  From this point on... Be very, very, happy.  And you can take your medicine if it helps.

No man is happy who does not think himself so.

  - Publilius Syrus, Maxims

My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?

     - Charles M. Schulz, "Peanut" Cartoonist

The great blessings of mankind are within us, and within our reach, but we shut our eyes, and, like people in the dark, we fall foul upon the very thing we search for, without finding it.

No man can live happily who regards himself alone, who turns everything to his own advantage.  Thou must live for another, if thou wishest to live for thyself.

     - Lucius Annaeus Seneca,
       Epistoloe Ad Lucilium (XLVIII)

But, O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes!

- William Shakespeare, As You Like It
        (Orlando at V, ii)

To do something, however small, to make others happier and better, is the highest ambition, the most elevating hope, which can inspire a human being.

   - Sir John Lubbock, Lord Avebury
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

     - Abraham Lincoln
The loss of wealth is loss of dirt,
  As sages in all times assert;
   The happy man's without a shirt.
     - John Heywood, Be Merry Friends

Non possidentem multa vocaveris
Recte beatum; rectius occupat
Nomen beati, qui Deorum
Muneribus sapienter uti,
Duramque callet pauperiem pati,
Pejusque leto flagitium timet.

- Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Carmina
        (IX, bk. 4, 9, 45)

You will not rightly call him a happy man who possesses much; he more rightly earns the name of happy who is skilled in wisely using the gifts of the gods, and in suffering hard poverty, and who fears disgrace as worse than death.

  - Horace
Ducimus autem hos quoque felices, qui ferre incommoda vitae, nec jactare jugum vita didicere magistra.

- Decimus Junius Juvenal, Satires
        (XII, 20)

We deem those happy who, from the experience of life, have learned to bear its ills, without being overcome by them.

  - Juvenal
  - Aristotle on Happiness

Different men seek happiness in different ways and by different means.
Happiness belongs to the self-sufficient.
Happiness depends upon ourselves.
Happiness is the highest good, being a realization and perfect practice of virtue, which some can attain, while others have little or none of it.
Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.

Happiness may be defined as good fortune joined to virtue, or an independence, or as a life that is both agreeable and secure.

If happiness is activity in accordance with excellence, it is reasonable that it should be in accordance with the highest excellence.

The activity of happiness must occupy an entire lifetime; for one swallow does not a summer make.
This page was last updated: February 25, 2017

There is a pleasure sure in being mad which none but madmen know.
                   - Dryden
Confessions of Saint Augustine of Hippo

Saint Augustine was the original "Hippy" (from Hippo) and was intoxicated... with the love of God. He admitted to being joyous, which is even better than happy!  This Classic is heavy reading, and will illuminate your mind.  It's worth your time to check this out.  It may even make you happier.  It most certainly will make you wiser.

Confessions of St. Augustine in Adobe Reader Format (.pdf)
Visit Terlingua!  See what locals see.
Hell in Texas

Oh, the Devil in hell they say he was chained,
And there for a thousand years he remained;
He neither complained nor did he groan,
But decided he'd start up a hell of his own,
Where he could torment the souls of men
Without being shut in a prison pen;
So he asked the Lord if He had any sand
Left over from making this great land.

The Lord He said, "Yes, I have plenty on hand,
But it's away down south on the Rio Grande,
And, to tell you the truth, the stuff is so poor
I doubt if 'twill do for hell any more."
The Devil went down and looked over the truck,
And he said if it came as a gift he was stuck,
For when he'd examined it carefully and well
He decided the place was too dry for a hell.

But the Lord just to get the stuff off His hands
He promised the Devil He'd water the land,
For he had some old water that was of no use,
A regular bog hole that stunk like the deuce.
So the grant it was made and the deed it was given;
The Lord He returned to His place up in heaven.
The Devil soon saw he had everything needed
To make up a hell and so he proceeded.

He scattered tarantulas over the roads,
Put thorns on the cactus and horns on the toads,
He sprinkled the sands with millions of ants
So the man that sits down must wear soles on his pants.
He lengthened the horns of the Texas steer,
And added an inch to the jack rabbit's ear;
He put water puppies in all of the lakes,
And under the rocks he put rattlesnakes.

He hung thorns and brambles on all of the trees,
He mixed up the dust with jiggers and fleas;
The rattlesnake bites you, the scorpion stings,
The mosquito delights you by buzzing his wings.
The heat in the summer's a hundred and ten,
Too hot for the Devil and too hot for men;
And all who remained in that climate soon bore
Cuts, bites, stings, and scratches, and blisters galore.

He quickened the buck of the bronco steed,
And poisoned the feet of the centipede;
The wild boar roams in the black chaparral
It's a hell of a place that we've got for a hell.
He planted red pepper beside of the brooks;
The Mexicans use them in all that they cook.
Just dine with a Greaser and then you will shout,
"I've hell on the inside as well as the out! "

from American Ballads and Folk Songs, Lomax


First, do no harm.

- Hippocrates

© 2009 Douglas Blackmon, all rights reserved
Want to see some magic?  Watch these 70 Army parasailers make a gigantic kite.

Video:  Army Paragliders make 70 man Kite.
Dr. Doug does not approve of behavior such as this, but even he admits it's really funny:

Video:  Drunk Friend Alarm Clock
Video:  Tequila

Center for Disease Control & Prevention
Your Source for Credible Health Information

Medical Alert

The Center for Disease Control has issued a medical alert about a highly contagious, potentially dangerous virus that is transmitted orally, by hand, and even electronically. This virus is called Weekly Overload Recreational Killer (WORK).

If you receive WORK from your boss, any of your colleagues or anyone else via any means whatsoever - DO NOT TOUCH IT!!!  This virus will wipe out your private life entirely. If you should come into contact with WORK you should immediately leave the premises.

Take two good friends to the nearest liquor store and purchase one or both of the antidotes - Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract (WINE) and Bothersome Employer Elimination Rebooter (BEER).  Take the antidote repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.

You should immediately forward this medical alert to five friends.  If you do not have five friends, you have already been infected and WORK is controlling your life. 

Tocatta and Fugue in D, J.S. Bach
This is Dr. Doug's Theme song and favorite classical tune,  He used to play the first part on a Hammond Organ.
Gabriel went to the Lord and said, "I have to talk to you. We have some Texans up here who are causing some real problems....

They're swinging on the Pearly Gates, my horn is missing, and they are wearing T-shirts instead of their robes; there's barbecue sauce and picante sauce all over everything, especially their T-shirts; their dogs are riding in the chariots and chasing the sheep.
They are wearing baseball caps and cowboy hats instead of their halos. They refuse to keep the stairway to Heaven clean, and their boots are marking and scuffing up the halls of Wisdom. There are watermelon seeds and tortilla chip crumbs all over the place. Some of them are walking around with just one wing; and they insist on bringing their darn horses with them."
The Lord said, "Texans are Texans, Gabriel. Heaven is home to all of my children.  If you want to know about real problems, call the Devil."
So Gabriel calls the Devil who answers the phone and says, "Hello -- hold on a minute."
When he returns to the phone the Devil says, "O.K., I'm back. What can I do for you?"
Gabriel replied, "I just want to know what kinds of problems you are having down there with the Texans."
The Devil said, "Hold on again. I need to check on something."
After about 5 minutes the Devil returned to the phone and said. "I'm back.  Now what was the question?"
Gabriel said, "What kind of problems are you having down there with the Texans?"
The Devil said, "Man, I don't believe this...hold on!!!!"
This time the Devil was gone 15 minutes and when he returns he says, "I'm sorry Gabriel -- I can't talk right now!! Red Adair has put out the fire here and now Brown & Root is installing air conditioning!!!!"
Dr.Doug's Rx:

Adepto astuto, vado rabidus

Get smart, go crazy!
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Dr. Doug's History Lesson

In the 1500's most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying: "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Houses had thatched roofs -thick straw- piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof,  When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying: "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying:  "a thresh hold."

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.  When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could "bring home the bacon."  They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper crust."

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a..."dead ringer."

And that's the truth. Now, whoever said History was boring!

His name was Fleming and he was a poor Scottish farmer.  One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog.  He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Thinking and acting quickly, farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Fleming had saved.

"I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life."

"No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.

"Is that your son?" the nobleman asked.

"Yes," the farmer replied proudly.

"I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of."

And that is what he did. In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin.

Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name: Winston Churchill.
Happiness is the result of your decision to be happy.  There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.  In other words, happiness is a feeling to tap into, not an outcome of events.  You can be happy without changing anything in your life except the relationship to your own thinking.  You decide to be happy and commit yourself to making happiness your state of mind, rather than relying on a set of circumstances to do it for you.       - Richard Carlson
Deana Castillo dazzles the crowd at the Starlight Theatre's Fashion Show.