Category Archives: A piece missing

Big 3-0 next year!

A Piece Missing

Dawna Melene Brinley KirkToday would be the 90th birthday of my birth mother….

….or 89th….

….or 86th….

….or 85th….

….depending on the source.

I know definitively that she died in 2012, but throughout my life she said she had been born on September 30, 1931. That would make her 19 when she got married. I also know that she was pregnant with her first child—I’m #3 of 5.

John Ancel Kirk, Jr.I also know that my dad was born in May 1930, which might explain some things.

If mom was born in 1935—the date that comes up most often—she would have been 15 when she got married. Since dad was 20, and my mom was pregnant, I do believe that would be statutory rape if she was 15. So she decided to change her birth year….

Interestingly, apparently as soon as they learned that mom was pregnant, they eloped to Mexico and got married. Mexico was only about 100 miles south of my hometown of Kingsville, Texas, but Mexico marriage certificates were not recognized in Texas at the time. Shortly after that marriage, they eloped to Comanche, Oklahoma, 545 miles from Kingsville, and got married again.

For some strange reason, it appears that they didn’t want to get married in Texas. Maybe they didn’t want anyone to know that they were having a shotgun marriage. That doesn’t make sense, though, because they went right back to Kingsville and moved in with my mom’s parents. On December 18, 1950, dad joined the Air Force, leaving his pregnant wife with her parents.

Mom also told me throughout my life that she was born in Helena, Montana. I have not been able to find a birth certificate yet. I had thought about having the Twitler Crime Family find it for me, but since they never were able to find Barack Obama’s Kenya birth certificate, I left them alone. They had crime to commit.

I am 99% certain that mom was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, since every single obituary notice says that. They don’t agree on her birth year, though. Not sure why lying about one’s birthplace was important to her. Maybe she knew that no one would ever find any birth records if they went looking in Helena, Montana.

After the State of Utah removed me from my mom and stepdad’s home in 1965—possibly both for child abuse and for me being one of Utah’s greatest juvenile delinquents, I only saw my mom once, in 1994 in New Orleans where she and most of my siblings were living at the time. I came out to them during Mardi Gras that year.My wise old grandmother

If my wise old grandmother had not adopted me in December 1965, I believe I would currently be serving live in prison in Utah or dead at the hands of a Utah law enforcement officer. I was that bad.

I shall continue to search for missing pieces of her life to determine if today would have been her 90th/89th/86th/85th birthday….

Someone more famous than me once said, “If you tell a lie often enough, people will believe it.”


I have decided that I was born on March 11, 1991. Big Three-O next year!

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

Part two

A Piece Missing

Looks like yesterday’s post about my new Conspiracy Theorist Facebook group was not my most popular post.

You can’t believe how happy that actually makes me.

The post was a joke, which some people realized when they clicked on the link for an application to join.

It was an effective post, though, because my intent, both here and at Facebook, was to find some of those Conspiracy Theorists who were following/friending me and get rid of them.

I’m too old for that kind of crap in my life.

Conspiracy Theorists

A Piece Missing

I have decided to create a Facebook group for Conspiracy Theorists.

We’ll be discussing the best of the so-called conspiracy theories, like:
New Coke
New World Order
Israel animal spying
Extraterrestrials & UFOs
Sandy Hook
Jeffrey Epstein
Barack Obama
October Surprise
Alternative therapy suppression
Global warming
Flat Earth
1984 Pepsi 400
New England Patriots
Moon landing

As you can see, we’ve got a lot to explore. And we’ll have videos and photos as proof! We’ll have a lot of fun!.

Click here for an application to join

In the U.S.A. of 2020

A Piece Missing

President Bill Clinton unintentionally got the nation, and perhaps the world, talking about sex, sexual relations, and marriage. I thought that was a good thing. Not necessarily good the way he did it….

Twitler, intentionally or not, has the nation, and perhaps the world, talking about racism, white supremacy, fascism, Nazi and neo-Nazi, misogyny, anti-Semitism, ignorance, stupidity, cult, Hitler, traitor, authoritarianism, dictator, bully, bigot, corruption, conspiracy, fraud, demagogue, dishonesty, lying, incompetence, narcissist, nepotism, oligarchy, sociopath, ethics, qualifications.

I think it’s good that we can talk about those things. Not necessarily good the way Twitler has done it…. I never thought I’d see them in action in the United States of America of 2020, especially all at the same time.

I have been in self-isolation since March 14 because of Covid-19, and each day gets more depressing.

A Piece Missing—They probably would have been called nightmares!

A Piece Missing

Relevant music for your reading enjoyment:

“Mad World” by Tears for Fears, 1982

“Mad World” by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules, 2001
(from the movie “Donnie Darko”)

“Mad World” by Adam Lambert, 2009
(from the eighth season of “American Idol”)

I never had a dream that I can remember until a few months ago. Now it seems I’m dreaming every night, and I remember the dreams, and the dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had….

My wise old grandmotherMy wise old grandmother used to find me awake in my room in the middle of the night, with a flashlight, reading. That was shortly after she adopted me in December 1965, just a few months short of me turning 11. At first she got upset, and punished me. However, after many nights of catching me not sleeping, she finally took me to the doctor, the same doctor (Dr. Newell) who had brought me into this world on March 11, 1955, at 11:58 p.m. After an extensive physical exam, including my first check for hernias (I will always remember the first Zoey the Cool Cat on the bookshelftime someone else touched my junk!), he diagnosed me as “a catnapper.”

I have been a catnapper all my life, but I have learned to use it to my advantage. I used to tell my bosses that if they needed anything done overnight that I could make it happen. Eventually, bosses were approaching me at 4:45 p.m. with work that needed to be done by 5:00 a.m. (8:00 a.m. for our East Coast clients). Russel was on it! No problem!

Using it to my advantage didn’t mean that I was happy being a catnapper. I spent many thousands of dollars at Boston Medical Center, Houston Medical Center, and UCLA Medical Center trying to find out what was wrong with me that I couldn’t sleep more than three hours at a time, never reaching REM sleep, and never dreaming.

Finally, I got involved in a sleep study here in San Diego THAT PAID ME instead of me paying them. After nine consecutive days (two weekends and a week) of sleeping in a laboratory, the doctors diagnosed me as a “polyphasic sleeper.”


A catnapper!

Prior to 1989, we were catnappers. Now we are polyphasic sleepers.

I’m still a polyphasic sleeper, getting my 8-10 hours of sleep each day in increments of 30 minutes or so every 4-6 hours. However, when I finally hit the sack for the last time, around midnight to 2:00 a.m., I am able to sleep for 5-6 hours. I’m fairly certain that my newfound sleep and dreams are related to new medications.

That means that I enter REM sleep and get to dream.

And the dreams are vivid!

Firestarter, by Stephen KingThey seem to be based on movies and TV shows I have enjoyed, especially Stephen King movies, science fiction movies (Star Trek, Star Wars), TV shows (The Time Tunnel, and back to Star Trek).

And I always die.

And I always wake up the moment I’m killed.

And I always remember them.

Pretty cool….

Although I will admit that I’m probably lucky that I didn’t have these dreams when I was a child. They probably would have been called nightmares!

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

These are a few of my favorite memes….

I live in my own little world

In my retirement years, with lots of time on my hand, I spend some (some?) time on Facebook. The memes are getting really good this time of year what with Christmas and so much more. So I thought I would share some of my recent favorites. Some of them are political (some?).

Facebook meme

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I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

A piece missing—Am I my father’s son?

A Piece Missing

Over on Facebook, people are asking questions like,

What’s the most interesting thing that happened to you in 2017?
What do you think will be your best memory of 2017?
What do you think will be your worst memory of 2017?

I haven’t answered any of those questions but the first question led me to reflect on the most interesting thing I discovered in 2017.

In April 2017, I got interested in genealogy. Since I’ve been estranged from both sides of my family for 24 years, I sometimes wonder what happened to cousins, nieces & nephews, aunts & uncles, even brothers & sisters.

I got really ambitious last year and took out a membership at Ancestry based on a long-time friend’s genealogy posts on Facebook. It was interesting because Ancestry looks at the names of people you enter and then searches its database to find matches and links to others who have entered the same names.

It was through those links that I was able to find several documents relating to my father. The first was an application for a headstone:

Dad's headstone marker application

The application was made by my wise old grandmother, Mary Agnes Kirk. I learned from that document that my father served in the Air Force from December 18, 1950, to December 17, 1954, as a member of the 728th Squadron, Aircraft Control & Warning, and was discharged as a Staff Sergeant. All interesting but it’s the service dates that I think are critical here, being discharged on December 17, 1954. I tried to find more information about the 728th Squadron because I wanted to see if I could find someone who knew my dad. No luck. So I have to make presumptions, and those could be completely wrong.

The next document I found was my dad’s death certificate which told me that he killed himself on January 18, 1961. I never knew until last year that he had killed himself. I was led to believe that he had died in the Korean War. Hmmm.

A few email messages to survivors who would know about this indicated that my father killed himself due to my mother’s indiscretions. Here’s where it gets interesting. Apparently my father was in the Air Force in Korea. That’s important to know because I was born on March 11, 1955. Nine months earlier would have been June 11, 1954. At that time, from what I can determine, my father was in Korea. Hmmm.

There is a possibility that my father was home on leave but that does not seem to be the case. That’s why I wanted to see if I could find someone from the 728th Squadron who was still living and might have relevant records of that kind of stuff.

According to others who might know, my parents fought often. I’m thinking that whether or not he was home on leave, sometime in January 1961, perhaps during a fight, my mother blurted out something like, “Russel’s not even your son! He’s the milkman’s son!”

So, am I my father’s son? Interesting question.

That’s the most interesting thing that happened to me in 2017.

However, related to this and also found during my genealogical research are these juicy tidbits:

  1. I had always been told that my mother had been born in Helena, Montana. Even my mother told me that. Nope. She was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Why the lies?
  2. I had always been told that my oldest brother lived for 13 months. Nope. He lived just over four weeks. Apparently he drowned on his baby bottle in the middle of the night. Sources say that he was crying and that my mother got up and gave him a bottle, and then went back to bed. Why the lies?
  3. Baby Boy KirkI had always been told that my youngest brother died at birth. Nope. He died on the same day he was born but lived long enough to be given a name. I always knew him as “Baby Boy Kirk.” Even his gravestone, which I helped pay for, says “Baby Boy Kirk” on it. His name actually was Randy Kirk according to everything I have found, including the 2012 obituary for my mother. Why the lies?

Was my family the progenitors of the Republican liars of today? The fake news purveyors of today? The alternative facts of today? Inquiring minds want to know.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Eliminate prehating by getting an interracial app for use on the world’s seventh mobile phone

A Piece Missing

I quit being a part of the Internet Grammar Patrol more than a decade ago. I figured if people didn’t want to learn how to construct an English sentence, or spell words correctly, or use the proper word, nothing I could do on the Internet would help them. I do wonder, though, when the poor grammar and spelling is in something that should be immaculate.

When I find a good example, I save it for posterity, not that there is, or will be, any posterity for me….

So, following, are three of the best grammar and spelling goofs I found this past week. Click on the images to get a larger version.

This first one from Fry’s Electronics didn’t get off to a good start with its description:

“Toaster Oven featuring double -inchInfrared Light-inch for cooking….”

Sounds futuristic!

As I continued reading, I discovered that it “eliminates prehating.” So that’s why there seems to be so much hate in the world. People are prehating! Eliminate prehating now!

Eliminate prehating

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

With all the interracial problems that we seem to be having here in the United States, it looks like 3D Issue at least has the solution to the “interracial part” of your marketing strategy: Branded Apps!

Interracial part of your marketing strategy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lastly, I don’t know if I want to be the seventh person….

Six of the world's seven billion people

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Maybe I can eliminate prehating by getting an interracial app for use on the world’s seventh mobile phone….

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Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Someone’s missing from Photographic Art

A Piece Missing

Julian back at workSadly, Julian Rey Saenz is no longer with Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos.

I had capitalized the company as a full-time enterprise for six months, and Julian was working 20-24 hours a week.

We couldn’t get the company to grow as fast as I wanted it to, so I have taken it to a part-time enterprise, which meant that Julian’s job was eliminated.

Of course, I need to find something that will pay the bills. I don’t know what that’s going to be right now. I just know that it can’t be home inspections because my 59-year-old knees and shoulders just don’t like crawling around under houses and up in attics anymore. The money I make from home inspections is being spent on aspirin and Ibuprofen to alleviate the pain. Hmmm. Maybe I should buy stock in the pain-killer manufacturers……..

Julian Rey SaenzI have every confidence that Julian will find his next great job very quickly. In my 48-year business career with 33 companies—most of them startups—and over 1,100 people hired, I would put Julian at the very top, number one with a star.

Never did I have to explain anything to Julian more than once. He has one of the best memories I have ever witnessed, is an extraordinarily good typist, and knows his way around computers, software, and the Internet. For those few things which he did not know, he learned very quickly, and his contributions were always clear and professional.

Thank you, Julian, for all that you did, and helped me do, and for simply being the AWESOME person you are.

thank you

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Zoey the Cool CatZoey the Cool Cat on the desk

Need a unique gift?
Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.
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Halloween—You are not forgotten, Timothy

A Piece Missing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Happy Halloween

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Halloween HouseHalloween is one of those days that is both fun and dangerous at the same time. People of all ages get to dress up as just about anything they want. It’s the fact that faces are hidden that can be dangerous because there are bad people out at all times of the year. Halloween, though, allows them to better hide who they are so they can do bad things, either to animals (keep your black cat safe tonight), people, or property.

On Halloween 1974, I was a sophomore at Texas A&M University, about 100 miles northwest of Houston. On that Halloween night, the fun of Halloween died for many Houstonians, Texans, and Americans. In years to come, children no longer had free reign to dress up in costumes and traipse through their neighborhoods gathering as much candy as they could.

Halloween pumpkinsOctober 31, 1974, brought out the most despicable type of person in Ronald Clark O’Bryan, an optician from Deer Park, a Houston suburb. O’Bryan had taken his two children, Timothy and Elizabeth, to a friend’s house for trick-or-treating. O’Bryan slipped several Pixy Stix candies laced with potassium cyanide into the bags of his two children, as well as several other children.

O’Bryan had clipped off one end of the giant plastic Pixy Stix candy straws, sprinkled the cyanide into them, and stapled them shut. Just before bedtime, still at the friend’s house in Pasadena, O’Bryan offered young Timothy one last piece of candy, the tainted one. Within a few hours, his son was dead.

HalloweenBy the time of his trial, O’Bryan was known as The Candyman. He was tried and convicted of murdering his child for insurance money, having taken out life insurance policies for $10,000 on each child in January 1974, and then additional policies of $20,000 on each child a few weeks before Halloween. O’Bryan was executed by lethal injection in 1984.

The only good thing to this tragic story is that parents are more aware of their children’s safety, not only on Halloween but throughout the year. Treasures gathered on Halloween are usually carefully examined before children, or anyone else, are allowed to enjoy them.

HalloweenCandy tampering apparently peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Usually such tampering involved putting sharp objects (razor blades, pins, needles) in candy and fruit, often candied apples. According to some poisoned candy researchers (what a profession!!), some sharp objects were accidentally inserted into the candy or fruit. Huh? I’m not buying it. How do you accidentally put a sharp object in candy or fruit? Nope. Not buying it.

Candy tampering appears to have died down somewhat in recent years, but it only takes one incident to cause harm. Don’t let that one incident be your child. Accompany your children on their trick-or-treating and note which candy came from which house.

Added with edit: A news story just breaking is about a child who found a rusty razor blade in a package of M&M’s. Police initially say it’s probably a quality control issue because the package appears not to have been tampered with. Doesn’t matter whether or not it’s quality control. It happens! This one probably from a disgruntled or deranged Mars employee! Here’s the report: Razor in Halloween candy.

In remembrance of Timothy. You are not forgotten.


Keep your black cat safe!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos