Precious memories of bizarre telegrams….

Ffolkes,

I’m a little confused, and though that isn’t anything new and different, it is unusual in the sense that I don’t often get this way without good reason. The reason today has to do with how yesterday’s Pearl came out, and how it was apparently received by readers….. As I’ve stated, the number of Likes I receive isn’t important to me, as long as I know I’ve written a good Pearl, because this is therapy for me, not connected to how well it goes over, just how well I feel about the content, and how getting it out of my head has helped…. No, I just don’t get the patterns that statistics show about site usage, and what those show about the number of visitors and readers….

The two short little blurb blogs I wrote day before yesterday, and the day before that, which were just short pieces explaining that I wouldn’t be writing those days, both got way more readers, and Likes, than yesterday’s massive effort, wherein I wrote over 3000 words, all tearing my heart out, to rant against some of my favorite targets, and produce a new, fresh poem, one I thought was quite good….It is possibly the best Pearl I’ve written in over a year, yet, only four readers stopped by to peruse it in the first 24 hours it was up, at least, according to the Likes…. Not that I blame Murphy, or anything like that…. of course not….

SIGH…. Oh well, I guess I’ll never understand how it works, and I’m not going to lose any sleep over it, that’s for sure…. Three of the four who stopped in, Willow, Ashi Akira, and Lou, are perhaps the most regular of my readers, as well as three of my favorite blogs to read, and it’s always nice to see them, so I do appreciate that…

Today’s effort is liable to be of lesser degree, at least of quantity; keeping high quality will remain as a priority. Of course, that doesn’t factor in the Murphological aspects of the morning, which have yet to be revealed to me; I’m sure he has something planned to screw with me, but, so far, he’s holding back on it, letting the anticipation build, and trying to get me to let down my guard…. Little does he know that my guard, in respect to his assholishness, is never let down, as I’ve had too many examples of what happens when I let it get sloppy….. Of course, he wins anyway, but, I’m always ready for it….

Hmm…. Spell Checker doesn’t seem to like the words I’m making up today, but, that’s okay, I don’t much like it, either…. It’s often wrong, and has no sense of humor at all…. Besides, I like the words I made up, so, it will just have to deal with it…. I don’t give a shit about what Murphy himself thinks about them; his actions toward me, and everyone else, over the years has earned him NONE of my respect, and he’ll just have to learn to live without it, for he’ll never have it….. Any more than a God would have it, as long as they claim to be responsible for the mess they’ve created and left us sitting in here….. Sorry, didn’t mean to slip up in the intro….. I’ll save the ranting for later, if needed…..

I’ve once again managed to blather my way through five or six paragraphs of sheer twaddle; if I didn’t know better, I’d think this was getting easier…. But, that is an illusion, I know, one that is designed to lure me in and lull me into a false sense of security, before once again dumping me into a situation with no clear resolution to be seen…. You see, I do know Murphy!…. He’s out there, just waiting for me to relax, then, POW!…. Right upside the head…. We’ll go on now, but, keep your eyes and ears open, ffolkes, it could get ugly today….

Shall we Pearl?…..
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I ranted so long yesterday, there isn’t much left in there today that is worth bringing out for discussion…. Besides, I did manage to say most of what I had to say, so repeating it today would be silly, not to mention boring…. So, we’ll go old-school, and let Smart Bee pick out some fine little gems for our consideration, and see what they have to tell us today…..

“After the lawyers are all dead, kill the Politicians!” — Smart Bee

This is perhaps the best summation possible of what I ranted yesterday in this section; short, sweet, and to the point. It does overlook, however, a simple point, and that is, if you kill all the lawyers, you will already have eliminated the politicians, as practically all of them are lawyers, anyway…. Shoot all the lawyers, and there won’t be many politicians left to target….  Sorry, couldn’t resist, after yesterday’s rant…. Okay, now we’ll let SB pick ‘em, and see what’s what….

“The field cannot well be seen from within the field” — Emerson

“It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.” — H.L. Mencken

“A good question is never answered.  It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea.” — John Ciardi

“The rancher strings barbed wire across the range, drills wells and bulldozes stock ponds everywhere, drives off the elk and antelope and bighorn sheep, poisons coyotes and prairie dogs, shoots eagle and bear and cougar on sight, supplants the native bluestem and grama grass with tumbleweed, cow shit, cheat grass, snakeweed, anthills, poverty weed, mud and dust and flies–and then leans back and smiles broadly at the Tee Vee cameras and tells us how much he loves the West.” — Edward Abbey

“Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafarer on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you reach your destiny.” — Carl Schurz

“If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind!  The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.” — Chuang Tzu

At this point, it would be well for me to stop and point out the danger of going forward from here…. I see that SB has allowed Murphy to lay a trap for us, but, thanks to being alerted, as noted in the intro, y’all were saved from having the rest of your day ruined by an intellectual meltdown…. If we took the next step indicated by the above group of pearls, our brains would seize up, just like an old motor with no oil, and we’d be stuck in that limbo until found by neighbors and rescued, or buried and waked… So, I will apply the correct antidote here, by giving you, NOT the quote that SB, and hence, Murphy, had picked out for you, but, instead, one that my own sense of whimsy provided, instinctively…. Whew! My insurance agent would have been really pissed!….

“We place two copies of PEOPLE magazine in a DARK, HUMID mobile home.  45 minutes later CYNDI LAUPER emerges wearing a BIRD CAGE on her head!” — Zippy the Pinhead

There!… Saved by the Zip-man, again!…..
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My body is feeling its age today…. As I noted yesterday at one point (in my head), if I were a NASCAR aficionado, I could say that “my trans axle is gettin’ a little gritty”, and everyone would know what I meant…. But, since I have no idea what that actually means, I’ll just say that my back and hips, where they join together, is experiencing some age-related stiffness today, and leave it at that…. Now, however, since I’ve again shared more than anyone could conceivably wish to know, I don’t have to explain why this poem is here today, or why it is one of my favorites….

The Little Boy And The Old Man

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.

~~ Shel Silverstein ~~

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There I was, muddling along, minding my own, trying to think of a rantable subject, when a random thought intruded into my consciousness…. Since it was in some foreign language I didn’t recognize, and thus do not speak, it was only mildly upsetting; if I knew what it said, it might have frightened me….. However, since I was in the vicinity, I went ahead and allowed myself to go a bit mad, and used that state of mind to go a’hunting for pearls…. Here is what I found, while the rest of my mind, apparently, was avoiding ranting….

“Philosophy, means, first, doubt; and afterwards the consciousness of what knowledge means, the consciousness of uncertainty and of ignorance, the consciousness of limit, shade, degree, possibility. The ordinary man doubts nothing and suspects nothing.” — Henri Frederick Amiel

How lov’d, how honour’d once avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot;
A heap of dust alone remains of thee:
‘T is all thou art, and all the proud shall be!

– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — To the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady, Line 71

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” — Smart Bee

“Every time history repeats itself the prices go up.” — Peter’s Observation on History

“It [the Bible] is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910) — Letters from the Earth (1905-1909)

“Wherever your journey takes you, there are new gods waiting there, with divine patience – and laughter.” — Smart Bee

Okay, so whimsy can only take me so far…. I couldn’t decide which of these two gems should grace the final position for today’s final pearl, so, I’m putting both of them up, and you can use the one you like…. I did… or will, depending on your point of view….

The camel has a single hump;
The dromedary two;
Or else the other way around.
I’m never sure.  Are you?

– Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

“It takes a smart man to know when he’s stupid.” — Barney Rubble, “The Flintstones”
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“The art of being a good guest is knowing when to leave.” — Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

I would suppose that someone of Prince Philip’s cache would know about good manners, having had them bred into him for several thousand generations…. along with tendencies toward being bloodthirsty, mercurial, prone to treachery, and a dozen other nasty characteristics that are common in the English aristocracy…. You could never say that the English kings were impolite when committing their chicanery; they lopped off heads with great charm and politeness, and never a harsh word…. Any who, I find the Prince’s statement a good one for ending today’s mess, such as it is…. You may have noted my reluctance to rant, after yesterday’s massive outburst… I’m afraid of what I might find in there… Let’s see how today’s journey went….

Okay, well, I like it, but, then, you know me…. always ready to give myself a break. If I don’t, who will?…. At any rate, it’s done for the day, and I can go on to finding new and better ways to laze about without purpose…. Or, I can get the laundry done…. Any bets on which one happens?….  I thought not…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

dozer3

Dignity is not guaranteed by law nor custom….

Ffolkes,
Serendipity is perhaps my favorite word in English, as it is only applicable when something good happens. If one stops to consider, it is exactly the opposite concept of Murphy’s Law, and balances the work done by that most unwelcome of visitors, showing us the nuggets of gold hidden in the pile of crap that Murphy often leaves us with. As a bonus, the appearance of Serendipity always comes as a surprise, by definition….

So, you may ask, what prompted that? A moment of fright, as it turns out…. When I sat down to begin this morning, the following is the first thing that showed up in my quote database….

“Hi there!  This is just a note from me, to you, to tell you, the person  reading this note, that I can’t think up any more famous quotes, jokes, nor bizarre stories, so you may as well go home.” — Smart Bee

Well! A bit scary, for me, since quotes, jokes, and bizarre stories are the meat and bones of this blog, and not having any more would put a serious curse on my ability to write. It only took me a moment to realize that Smart Bee was kidding, but it was a moment spent in panic, for sure…. I’m convinced that Murphy is the one who placed it there for me to find right away, but Serendipity saved my ass again, by popping up into my awareness just when I was starting to pull out what’s left of my hair….

So, armed with the love of Serendipity, we will now Pearl….. Secure your masks and breathing apparatus, and let’s dive in…..
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In lazy apathy let stoics boast
Their virtue fix’d: ‘t is fix’d as in a frost;
Contracted all, retiring to the breast;
But strength of mind is exercise, not rest.
– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle ii, Line 101

Once again, a poem makes a point that, if written in prose, would tend to put the reader to sleep. In modern society, strength of mind is a virtue that has fallen out of favor. Moreover, it is so out of favor that it isn’t even missed; the general population has no idea what true virtue consists of anymore, for the most part. In fact, the major forms of entertainment…. TV, movies, music, sports, religions… all are designed to keep people from using their minds, encouraging sloth, and never, ever challenging the citizen to think beyond how to obtain the next beer….

This tendency is not merely encouraged by the beloved ruling class, it is one of their primary functions to keep the citizenry from ever becoming educated enough to see what they are up to. Cuts to education are a part of every politician’s budget proposals, from both ends of the political scale…. Democrats, Republicans, they all know that an educated populace is much harder to manipulate, and much harder to fool, so they are constantly limiting the ability of the education process to function at a level that would make any difference. The worst nightmare of a man like Mitt Romney is a voter with the facts….

I’m going to limit this rant somewhat today…. This is a subject on which I can spew for a long time, without really trying very hard, but I’m having a lot of pain this morning, so sitting is hard. But, the point is made, I think…. Use your heads, for goodness sake…. don’t let the powers that be have it ALL their way.

Get the facts, and throw them up in their faces… if they are going to manipulate us, at least make them work for it…. Besides, exercising your mind may have other effects you were not aware of, effects that can have a profound influence on your life…. Like being able to make an informed choice, instead of settling for the apparent lesser of two evils…. which, if you will remember, still leaves you with an evil choice, lesser thought it may be…..

“Things true and evident must of necessity be recognized by those who would contradict them.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Concerning the Epicureans, — Discourses, Book ii, Chap. xx
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BIBLE:  A bible is a book which one or more religions consider to be holy, and to be something that they should follow. It is, of course, generally rather impractical to follow books, not just because they don’t often go anywhere, but also because they are not very good at public speaking, decision making, problem solving, or any of the other qualities recognized as being an advantage for leadership. A religion based around the teachings of any compilation of Toxic Custard would be very strange indeed. To subscribe to this new cult following, send $15 now. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on “I am not too sure.”  — H.L. Mencken

“So as this only point among the rest remaineth sure and certain, namely, that nothing is certain. . .” — Pliny The Elder

Philosophy, means, first, doubt; and afterwards the consciousness of what knowledge means, the consciousness of uncertainty and of ignorance, the consciousness of limit, shade, degree, possibility. The ordinary man doubts nothing and suspects nothing.” — Henri Frederick Amiel

This is an old school pearl…. or group of pearls, I should say….. Taken alone, each of them states a good point of information, or view of reality, or way of looking at life. Taken together, they make a statement that teaches a lesson…. and in the old school style, the lesson is left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader to find…. It’s not hidden very deep, and shouldn’t afford too difficult a task to uncover…. and it is well worth considering….. Just in case it is too obscure, I give you the following, to drive you right up to the take out window, where you can pick up your pearl….

“Creation science” has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and because good teachers understand exactly why it is false.  What could be more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our entire intellectually heritage — good teaching — than a bill forcing honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any general understanding of science as an enterprise?” — Stephen Jay Gould
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TO A CHILD DANCING IN THE WIND

by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

Dance there upon the shore;
What need have you to care
For wind or water’s roar?
And tumble out your hair
That the salt drops have wet;
Being young you have not known
The fool’s triumph, nor yet
Love lost as soon as won,
Nor the best labourer dead
And all the sheaves to bind.
What need have you to dread
The monstrous crying of wind?

A bit of classic to finish the morning with…. I don’t know about you, but it sure makes my day go better if I read something like this before going out to deal with reality…. It probably works to keep the blues away the same way garlic works on vampires….   :-)
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I feel like I just went through the motions this morning; it all went too smoothly to have been real. It’s been such a struggle lately that if it doesn’t fight back, I start to think something is wrong…. ah well, the hell with it. It’s going out the way it is…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Kowabunga!