Subtle as a slap in the face…..

Ffolkes,

“Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.”

~~ Mark Twain ~~

August 23 2014 003

    I could not resist the picture; somehow, the hat gives the chicken a rather insouciant air, though the expression does show a bit of uncertainty about such goings on….. plus, it makes a pretty good picture to illustrate Mr. Twain’s piece of insight into human nature…. I suppose chickens aren’t the most cosmopolitan of creatures, so we’ll allow that a bit of trepidation, under these conditions, doesn’t seem out of place… Moreover, it has provided me with a golden opportunity to display some perfectly robust nonsense in the intro, which can always benefit from the application of something new and different…. Of course, I’m not sure how y’all will feel about it, but, when has that ever stopped me?….

I’m very late getting up today, from an efficiency standpoint…. though with good reason. Yesterday was a busy one, for me, with a lot of plans made, & prepared for, only to suffer last minute changes…. I was going into the deeper wilds of the urban Bay Area, to spend some time at my alma mater, at the UC campus in Berkeley…. Just as I was leaving to catch the shuttle to BART, a call came, requesting I help a friend with a computer issue…. So, instead of a photo safari to catch the denizens of UCB at play, I geeked with my friend for an hour and a half, thus scratching all plans for the safari…. ‘Twas far too late to start by the time we got the machine rebooted, with all the changes we made….

So, I stayed in, and puttered around the house all afternoon & evening, sans my optional, but usually welcome afternoon rest (aka, my nap…. I’ve mentioned before how we retirees do love our nap times; they remind us of how great it is to have the power of choice in taking one…. for most of my life, I’ve had to push through fatigue to continue my job, or whatever, especially after becoming a father…. I became the master of the nine-minute nap, which I’d slip in between jobs at one point…. I LOVE being able to lie down & give my back a break, whenever I want to, just because, now, I can….) It isn’t surprising or unusual for me to oversleep after such a day, so this morning, while not a surprise, is still a minor conundrum….

What to do to be efficient enough to make up the hour I dropped out?. Aha, I’ve got it! I’ll use the Powers of the Time Lord, that so conveniently happen to be part of our phantasmagorical tool chest…. I’ll get in, jump forward an hour, and a half, (to give myself a bit of room), and we’ll all be good to go…. None of this will then make any particular sense, but, that’s nothing new, is it? In today’s odd situation, we could even call it maintaining the status quo….. though our status has never been very quo….

Ah well, so much for nonsense; apparently, it doesn’t function any better than actual sense, at least not at this hour of the day…. It has however, made a genuine contribution to the saving of this Pearl, if such is possible; we ARE five or six paragraphs in now, and there haven’t been any casualties, or injuries…. that’s always a good start for the day…. And, we’ve already made up about 29 minutes of the hour I slept in today…. Not bad for government work, eh? Oh, right…. Never mind…

Shall we Pearl?….

“Except for our thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.” — Descartes

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“Any ordinary city is in fact two cities, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich, each at war with the other; and in either division there are smaller ones — you would make a great mistake if you treated them as single states.” — Plato (428-348? B.C.), “The Republic”

It’s funny where some of the evidence can be found…. What evidence, you ask? Well, as is my habit, and my chosen duty, I’m gonna tell ya, so, grab a drink of some sort, have a seat, & we’ll get to it, right smart….

Most days would find me in this section, ramping up to rant, and today’s quote from Plato would make a nice entrè into that process…. if that was going to happen. But, in the interests of efficiency, and in hope of convincing y’all I’m not the pedantic, obsessive old curmudgeon I seem to be most of the time, we’ll do this a little differently today…..

Below is a link to an article…. the article itself is merely a celebrity feud kind of piece, with a couple of BBC broadcasters trading insults over their public persona’s relative sliminess…. but, one of the protagonists made a very telling statement in the last lines of the piece, that I thought gave us all a pretty good idea of the worst manifestation of a problem our society faces in today’s world, to wit: the concept of corporate personhood….

But, rather than ranting about what should be obvious, I’ll be subtle…. after the article you’ll find a pearl, of either five or seven stars, that will direct your thoughts toward the conclusions made obvious (to me…) exactly how the ruling classes, and those who support them, such as the entire pantheon of rich celebrities, who are as far from being “average guys” as the nearest galaxy, several million light years away, and all of whom benefit from the process of widening the gap between the rich and the poor…. this network executive from the BBC made a statement that shows us exactly why the world is so screwed…. Read the article, then the pearl(s)…. You’ll see what I mean….. enjoy, ffolkes…. It’s got to be less trying than a rant, yes? Yes….

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11053269/Frankie-Boyle-BBC-should-sack-cultural-tumour-Jeremy-Clarkson.html

“On the subject of why Clarkson had been defended while he had been criticised by the BBC Trust for his material, he claimed executives steered away from jokes about current affairs which had “content”. ….Speaking at the same festival, Danny Cohen, the director of BBC television, emphasised that Clarkson was not “untouchable”, saying no-one was more important than the corporation.”

The bold italic sentence is the point of this exercise, in case you didn’t catch that….. Now, just follow the bouncing thoughts…. You know, I’m going to make this even simpler…. I’ll put these all in the center position, which should make each one clearer, especially in relation to its neighbor in the pearl…. Don’t worry, you’ll see what I mean…..

“War is a matter of vital importance to the State; the province of life or death; the road to survival or ruin.
It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied.”

– Sun Tzu –

[clop clop]

GUARD #1:  Halt!  Who goes there?

ARTHUR: It is I, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, from the castle of Camelot.
King of the Britons, defeator of the Saxons, sovereign of all England!

GUARD #1:  Pull the other one!

– The Quest for the Holy Grail (Monty Python)

“You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.”

– G. K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles, 1909

“If it weren’t for lawyers we wouldn’t need lawyers.” — Smart Bee

“Never laugh at live dragons.” — Bilbo Baggins

He that will not reason is a bigot.
He that cannot reason is a fool.
He that dares not reason is a slave.

– William Drummond, “Academical Questions”

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on the human face– forever . . . And remember that it is forever.”

– George Orwell –

‘1984’


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m in the mood for something real…. and I know the perfect poet for that….

Bluebird

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Swimming right along…. Here is a history lesson about this blog…. This is so old, it is one of the Pearls I use to demonstrate the term “old school”…. whenever I say that, this is the format to which it refers…. It’s also a damn good pearl, so, feel free to enjoy it….

From 6/2/11:

Ffolkes;

According to Princess Irulan, beginnings are delicate times, a phrase neatly turned to tell us all something we already know in the deeper parts of our souls. Time is gravid, huge and vital with might be’s and maybe’s and what if’s. It is well at these times to act with extreme caution, knowing the slightest misstep can bring catastrophe; it is also well to use caution in choosing when to act, for prematurity can be as deadly as sloth. Inaction is moot, a null choice, though choice it be; not choosing is choosing as well.

Once chosen, we are once again witness, hopeful that our choice is meet, and the birth of new events will see us still standing, afraid but unbowed. Thus the cycle of life turns, and we can only hope that we have once again the chance to choose, to act correctly at the proper moment, and reap the benefits of karma…….

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” — Agatha Christie

“A man who carries a cat by the tail is gainin’ valuable experience. He will never be dim, or doubtful. Chances are he won’t carry the cat that way again, but I say, if he wants to, let him!”– Mark Twain

“Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding  into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes
with plaid is easy.” — Albert Einstein

“Purity engenders Wisdom, Passion (engenders) avarice, and Ignorance (engenders) folly, infatuation and darkness.” — Bhagavad Gita (c. B.C. 400)

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” — Oscar Wilde

Further than this, deponent saith naught…..  y’all take care out there…..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, I think I did it…. Yep, it’s done, so, I can give in….. Somehow, upon arising, I did something to my back, and it is screaming at me right now, trying to get me to give up & return to a supine position…. Instead, I’ll go take a shower, consume massive quantities of drugs & caffeine, and hope for the best…. for the nonce, at least…. After the nonce ( smile ), we’ll see what happens….. Y’all are free now, to go do something, anything, more constructive than this….. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

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, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

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No glue, Ignatius, but, lots of duct tape…

Ffolkes,

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal

with the intent of throwing it at someone else;

you are the one who gets burned.”

~~ Buddha ~~

August 1 2014 051

“All anger arises from obstructed desire.” — Bhagavad Gita


If, in the interests of full and complete examination, these two ideas may be considered to both be true, we find ourselves, in at least one very real sense, in possession of a key ingredient of real happiness, and true inner peace, or peace of mind, however one wishes to describe it. I find it interesting to note that, even though both of these ideas come from different religious doctrines, at different times in history,  while from basically the same relative part of the world…. Yet, history itself, given the violent nature of most of it, seems to indicate that practically no one pays any attention to either of them, at least, not on the world stage….

Oh, I know what you’re thinking, that there are millions of good people out there in the world, smart, compassionate people, who try to live good lives, to be productive, and happy…. But, there is another part of humanity, who pays no attention at all to any sort of compassion, acting at all times in such a way as to manipulate & control others, to achieve their own agendas for happiness, which do not take anyone else into consideration at all. These people have no compunction about lying, or cheating, or resorting to violence to achieve those ends, especially when they can do so with societal sanction, such as in a police force, or in the army, where the science of killing is refined, ever to be at the command of those in positions of power….

I’m not sure exactly why the beautiful flower I found on my walk the other day should stimulate such a depressing philosophical discussion first thing, even though it IS the day before today, meaning I started this yesterday afternoon, when the ideas occurred to me…. I intended at first to approach the two quotes, which speak of anger from two directions, according to how they applied to myself, and how I deal with anger….

I’ve known the quote from the Bhagavad Gita, spoken by Krishna to Arjuna, since I was quite young; it played a significant part in molding my personality, as I took it to heart, as a way to control my own temper, which has always been, and remains, in a word, fierce…. Until I learned to handle it, there were a lot of occasions when it got away from me… Learning this concept, and the implication (to wit: anger can be controlled by simply changing what you want, without keeping any emotional attachment to the discarded desire….), helped me to become a better person, in my own mind; the other quote, from the Buddha, describes what anger that is NOT controlled can do….

That is another point the Buddha’s quote acknowledges, which is that anger will always be with us, part of us as humans; I can attest, there are times when knowing how to control the anger doesn’t get rid of it, entirely.  It’s simply too powerful an emotion sometimes to dismiss out of hand, and must be consciously addressed to keep from bursting out on the rest of reality, an effect which, as we all know, can have disastrous effects…. I know this…. in my youth, there were times I failed to fully keep my anger inside, which caused a distinct and sudden spike in the number of casualties flooding emergency rooms all over town…

Not really…. I’m not really an ogre, but, I can be a nasty boy when aroused, and don’t like myself much whenever it happens…. So, I’ve always tried to avoid getting close to the edge when it comes to anger…. It just hurts others, and then I feel bad… and why? Because I was afraid I wouldn’t have a desire met? Not good, karma-wise, I should think…. Better, and easier, as I discovered when I first heard the idea, to just CHANGE WHAT YOU WANT…. If we don’t get overly attached to those wants, it doesn’t bother us as much when they’re not met, and life becomes much more pleasant, all the way around…

Pretty simple, eh? Simple enough, one might think even the slowest among us could learn to use the technique, to be able to change what they want, to something they are able, or at least, more likely to be able to achieve at some time…. And, if not, well, we aren’t so attached to having our own way we need to get upset about it…. Easy peasy, but, will anyone do it? Nope, not that I’ve seen….

This simple idea, of how to avoid anger, must be too complicated for anyone whose mind is capable of studying law, or needs to get elected, or becomes a grifter, er, preacher, in order to foist upon society a set of persistent delusions about supernatural forces controlling our lives, thus dividing humans from each other with dogma…. because none of them seem to get it. None of these people seem to get the simple fact of reality, that keeps hitting us in the face, whenever we try to ignore it…

We are responsible for what we do… all of it. The good, the bad, the ugly, all of it is on us, but, most people not only don’t believe that, they actively work to pretend it isn’t so, refusing to listen to any arguments against what they believe, or look at any evidence that disputes their contentions…. In short, most people are…. well, I’m not sure just WHAT they are…. There are elements in our species of ignorance, of stupidity, of cowardice, of actual evil, in a great many people…. But, it is also true that right alongside all of these qualities, there exists so much beauty, created by the hand and mind of Man, it can make our hearts ache just to see it….

Unless ALL of us take responsibility for our actions, Reality is going to exact a price, for allowing the darker sides of our nature gain precedence over that which connects us to the whole of the universe. There is a lot to be said for the Star Wars vision of a universal Force, that connects all living, and non-living parts of Reality, which is there to be utilized, if only we can perceive it…. I suppose the trick is to figure out whether or not the vision can be made real enough to save our asses before it is too late…. No way to tell at this point, but, it doesn’t look good, ffolkes, not at the moment…..

Well, hell…. This turned out to be enough for three entire Pearls, and we haven’t even worked our way out of the intro section…. Huh…. Imagine that…. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to take things as they come, and deal…. Let’s go see what other damage I can do today, right?….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.  And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.” — Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm (1844-1900)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I believe the rant in the intro might give people the wrong impression, so, here is a piece from the archives which might make things a bit clearer….. Don’t fret, it’s not too long…. I know I got carried away above, but, I’ll try to keep it efficiently sized from this point onward…. Enjoy!….

From 5/18/2012:

“It may be irrational of me, but human beings are quite my favorite species.” — Doctor Who, Ark in Space

It probably seems to most folks reading this blog that I don’t like people very much. I tend to spend a lot of time finding and pointing out the things I see in them that I don’t like, and discussing them at nearly interminable length, which would seem to indicate a lack of affection for the species as a whole. In reality, the opposite is true…. I love people… I love watching them, listening to them, thinking about them, writing about them…. they afford me no end of intellectual stimulation, entertaining comedic genius, and fertile fields of thought and endeavor to explore, virtually and actually.

Human society and culture is an incredibly beautiful, complex tapestry of emotion and creativity; nobility, cruelty, heroes, villains, puppies, cats, love, hate, and all the rest of the things that make people what they are unfolds before us every day, growing and adding length and breadth to that tapestry of existence. I can’t think of anything more interesting than the drama/comedy that is human history in the making….

I might wish it to be a more compassionate world, with less tyranny and oppression, without slavery and starvation. I might wish that my life would not be so complicated by ignorance and intolerance, and I might wish that the small percentage of humanity that holds the remainder in the grip of their own avarice would die horrible deaths worthy of their own evil natures.

But, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Nor would I say that any of these changes are particularly apt to happen without many more people in the world taking an interest in them; most folks just go through life trying to get by, and not be bothered with anything more complicated, and one can’t really blame them, bless their cowardly little hearts…. My own method of dealing with how much I’d like to see reality change is to write about what I see, and what I think can be different, with the right set of attitudes.

This desire to see the changes arises out of my love for my fellow man, not from indignation or outrage, though they are present. But what I write, and what I’m trying to accomplish, is to help folks deal with life in a way that allows them more freedom, of whatever kind they wish to have, whether monetary, intellectual, religious, or physical; my motivation is to share the strength and freedom of thought that I have sought so hard to achieve… Mankind has much more potential than we are exhibiting, and I would love to see more of it fulfilled, rather than stifled, as in current society…. we can be so much more…..

“Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.” — Albert Einstein

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It could be said that Emily Dickinson’s entire life was spent exploring the power and nuance of metaphor, without sounding too idiotic…. I think her work, all those little pieces of truth in different words, are a constant attempt by her mind to impose some kind of an order upon the universe, according to her own artistic perception of it…. However one chooses to describe what she wrote, it remains exactly what it is, and what it has always been…. bloody brilliant….

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him,–did you not,
His notice sudden is.

The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen;
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre,
A floor too cool for corn.
Yet when a child, and barefoot,
I more than once, at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash
Unbraiding in the sun,–
When, stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled, and was gone.

Several of nature’s people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality;

But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” — Mark Twain

http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2014/08/05/dianne-feinstein-says-cia-trying-to-hide-facts-in-torture-report/

http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/GOP-millionaire-Munger-behind-Dem-vs-Dem-smear-5669862.php#photo-3650012

http://blog.sfgate.com/fiore/2014/08/06/camp-do-nuttin-recess-for-congress/

Originally, I had collected these articles in order to rant on them…. but, I fell into the introductory rant…. Now, I don’t need these to provide me with any outrage, though each of them, in their own way, is infuriating, as one more example of how egregiously asinine are those who are now infesting our government…. I like that word, infesting…. it seems perfectly appropriate for describing how the pundits and talking heads all run around D.C. flapping their mouths and pointing their fingers, making enough noise to scare the dead, all while never getting any closer to the truth, or reality, than they feel they must…. about as useful as a handful of fleas….

It may seem as if I am ranting, but, this is merely the explanation of how it is going to go…. I’m leaving the links, as I think you should go ahead and read the articles…. Doing so may start your own rant, or, perhaps just the urge to do so…. Together, these articles, which are, sadly, representations of what is real in this world, make a statement that clearly gives a picture of today’s society, and how UGLY it has become…. I need to go find me some beauty, just to counteract the effect of all this on me this morning…. Before I do that, here is a group of fresh pearls, taking some shots at my favorite targets…. politicians, preachers, and the Asininnies at large…..

“Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.”~~ G. K. Chesterton,The Speaker, 12/15/00

“Sensors show a moron in this sector, Captain.” — Spock, after running sensors on the White House….

“When one rows, it is not the rowing which moves the ship. Rowing is only a magical ceremony by means of which, one compels a demon to move the ship.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

(Gee…. this sounds just like that press conference when Obama told us how the NSA was NOT spying on US citizens….)

“Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.” — Jacob Bronowski “The Sense of Human Dignity,”

“Paranoia is only the leading edge of the discovery that everything in the world is connected.” — Smart Bee

“To tell a falsehood is like the cut of a saber; for though the wound may heal, the scar of it will remain.” — Saadi (1184-1291)

(I can see your scars, and I can show you mine….)

“Imagine, if you will, that I am an idiot. Then, imagine that I am also a Congressman. But, alas, I repeat myself.” — Mark Twain

I love ending a pearl with one such as that one from Sam, which might just be the most perfect of all American political pokes…. Twain was, indeed, a master of the subtle jab to the ribs, especially when the target was an elected official…. Not bad for such a crowded morning….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well…. In the last few weeks, I’ve written a lot; some of these Pearls are breaking over 3500 words. Some of it has been some pretty good work, too, from what I can tell…. SIGH…. Now, if I could get, oh, say, a couple hundred THOUSAND more ffolkes to drop in to read it, we might just get this message out to some of the people who need to see and/or hear it…. That, unfortunately, isn’t going to happen, not right away, so, I may as well just get on with my day…. Today has some potential, so, I’m going to go meet it, head on….. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

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 the dubious

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I didn’t realize it would be so…. bulbous….

Ffolkes,

“Have the courage to live. Anyone can die.” — Robert Cody

August 1 2014 023 (2)

    After taking this picture, I stood looking at this little display on the street near where I live, attempting to deduce the reason for its being there… You have to admit, it isn’t the usual type of thing one sees walking down a street in a quiet neighborhood. Whatever these are, they don’t appear to be bowling balls, though they are the correct size, and colors… I could not, however, find any finger holes, unless they are on the underside, where I couldn’t see them…. I was thinking maybe they were seeds for planets, but, who’d have those in their front yard? And wouldn’t they need to be refrigerated?

All good questions, none of which were susceptible to answer, since nobody was around to ask, so, I took my speculations and guesses, and went home…. One of these days, I’ll go by again, & see if anyone is around to explain why they’re using planetary seeds for an art display in their yard…. and, what idiot in the government sold him the seeds, which, as far as I know, are not available on the open market (they were only developed successfully in the past year, and are not fully tested out yet…. To my knowledge, very few people even know they exist yet, so the next question that strikes me is…. are they safe, sitting there in the sunlight? Won’t they start growing?…. Interested parties wish to know….)

I’m done now, at least for the moment…. I couldn’t figure out why these colorful balls were sitting on the wall as I walked by, and, truthfully, no one was around, or I would have asked…. It wasn’t any big deal to me, but, I was curious…. then, when I looked again at the picture, I figured it would work for an intro, so, here we are, engaging in fruitless, imaginary speculation about nothing at all, save some random human’s urge to express some vague artistic impulse…. So, there is no need to sit there, wondering what the hell I’m going with this, as we’re not going anywhere…. at least, not on THIS bus!

Ah hell, ffolkes, I’m lost again…. I thought I had a good one going there, and it just sort of fell apart on me…. I guess that is what happens when one bases the material on nothing much; it requires some “punching up” to make it worthwhile for us to use, and, apparently, I just don’t have the power in my punches that would make it work…. Not surprising, given my state, which, rather than whine and complain about, I’m ignoring…. It doesn’t do me any good to fret and whine about pain like this, nor is it helpful to wake up the neighborhood with the groans and moans that escape me as I move about, pouring the coffee that will save lives….

Without going into TMI, we’ll just relate that my arthritic joints have decided to make today a day of celebration, so they are singing….. Typing is such wonderful fun, and so stimulating, it makes me want to bite….. Instead, I’m going to take a short break, then come back to try to finish this….

Well, so much for that idea…. I suppose we’ll just continue our policy of staying out of the way of anyone who might get bitten, consuming massive quantities of powerful pharmaceuticals, until they work, and generally just typing whatever comes to mind, such as THAT may be…. It’s not necessarily Art, but, it works for me…. I can see now, though, I’m going to have to get us out of here rather abruptly, or we won’t get out of here at all…. Hang on, ffolkes…

Shall we Pearl?….

“With the pride of an artist, you must blow against the walls of every power that exists, the small trumpet of your defiance.” — Norman Mailer

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today, since I’m not in a state where any kind of rational arguments are likely to be generated in support of a rant, I’ll use a trick I know…. Here are a couple of links to articles that I expected to rant about today…. The first one is yet another example of how the police forces in this country have become so para-military in their attitudes, they assume they can do whatever they want, and only admit to what they are up to when exposed…. After the article, and an excerpt showing the need for worry, I’ll provide a couple of pearls to drive home the point I wish to make…. then we’ll go on to the next link after that…. Let’s see how this works, shall we?….

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” — C. S. Lewis

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/San-Jose-police-We-regret-secrecy-about-drone-5670183.php?cmpid=hp-hc-bayarea

“The purchase was approved by the City Council with no public debate and was not publicized until Vice’s Motherboard and MuckRock obtained public records on the drone.

“Another possible use would be for situations that threaten public safety,” the statement reads. “These could include dangers such as active shooters, hostage-taking, or other such tactical situations where lives might be in immediate danger.”

That troubled Nicole Ozer, an attorney who heads the American Civil Liberties Union’s Technology and Civil Liberties Project. “The City Council had been told it was approving a drone for hazardous material,” she said. “Now, in this statement, the SJPD says it wants to use it for any situation that will threaten public safety. As you can imagine, that can be very broad scenarios.” Ozer said the drone was “only approved because community members were kept in the dark. There hasn’t been any public debate about whether there should be drone use at all.”

– excerpted from the article

“Any excuse will serve a tyrant.” — Aesop (620-560 B.C.

“The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.” — Confucius

(Note: By this definition, none of the SJPD can make any claim to superiority, can they?…. They acted, but, then didn’t bother to speak; when caught out, they sheepishly spoke, but, once again, lied about their motivation…. thus, removing any attempt they might make at justification for their acts from the realm of possibility….)

“Habit is the nursery of errors.” — Victor Hugo

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” — Plato

(Did you ever wonder why cops all wear those mirror shades now, or some other kind of eye covering? It seems like you never see a cop’s real eyes any more; they’re all wearing “safety” glasses of some sort or another…. which, as we see by Plato’s astute observation, is a dead giveaway as to their real personal world-views…. Remember of whom we speak, now….

Do you think, even for a minute, the average cop is some altruistic, gentlemanly, heroic figure who went into public service because of their huge heart and wish to be socially useful? Don’t make me laugh, ffolkes…. Most of them NEED the authority and entitlement provided by the job to feel as if they are in control of their life, which is reinforced by their successful use of intimidation and aggressiveness to accomplish their ends, to feel as if they have that control, which they so desperately seek….)

“A thing either is what it appears to be; or it is not, but yet appears to be; or it is, but does not appear to be; or it is not, and does not appear to be.” — Epictetus

(I hardly need to point out that this applies perfectly to the SJPD statement regarding their alleged drone… because it is what it appears to be…. pure bullshit….)

(Okay, I’m done commenting now…. sure is an easier way to rant, though, I must say….)

Next, we have an article that celebrates the current crop of comedians who are poking fun at the Asininnies, on a larger stage than I can ever hope to find here at WP…. Jon Stewart, Russell Brand, Steven (Stephen? I dunno….) Colbert, and a number of others, all of whom continue the good works of society’s masters of critical humor, as epitomized by George Carlin,  who was so adept at putting the truth out there for people to see, while at the same time exposing the lies, and the lying liars who tell them, as they spread their slime from every podium in front of a TV camera, anywhere in the world….

This one isn’t so much a diatribe as a thank-you note to all these young societal gadflies, with some good links to some hilarious take-downs of some of today’s most ridiculous pundits…. This is one you can enjoy, guilt free… After, I’ll throw in a couple pearls to drive the points home, then we’ll be off to another section, just like we had some sort of routine….

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2014/08/05/fierce-comics-at-the-end-of-the-world/

“Politics, like religion, hold up the torches of martyrdom to the reformers of error.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

“An experienced, industrious, ambitious, and often quite often picturesque liar.” — Mark Twain

“Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth.” — Nero Wolfe, Rex Stout (1866-1975)

“Intelligence has nothing to do with politics.” — Londo Molari

Yes, many primitive people still believe this myth…But in today’s technical vastness of the future, we can guess that surely things were much different.” — The Firesign Theater

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Here is a poem of mine, from   , that goes fairly well with today’s apparent theme…..

Rhyming is better than lying….

It’s all too, too much, he cried
   I can take no more!
It’s all crazy, my brain is fried,
   battered, bloody, and sore.

Talking heads shout out hatred and fear
   jam for my morning toast.
Pointing fingers far, middle, and near
   enemies everywhere, almost.

Women, gays, and seniors fall prey,
   easy targets, slow and weak.
Convenient fools, wanting only to play,
   used, and abused, even as we speak.

It enough to drive me floridly insane,
   or want to buy a gun.
I may end up in jail, or in massive pain,
   but, oh, it would be fun….

~~ gigoid ~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Having explained above the justification for any cheating I may do today, I won’t bother to repeat it here…. Suffice it to say, I’m using an archived pearl, one from a little over two years ago, a specialty format pearl that works quite well, I think…. I hope you enjoy it….

From 8/1/2012:

What we have here is a failure to…. wait, that’s been done…. Okay, here, I found it in the script…. What we have below is an old-school Sesame Street style pearl…. Taken together, in the order given, and with a relatively open mind, these quotes will lead one to the Thought For Today. If they don’t, well, that’s okay, too…. Once again, as we are going old-school, this will not be on the test….

“But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State.” — Thomas Jefferson, [letter?] To S. Kercheval, 1810

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” — Thomas Paine

“One sure way to determine the social conscience of a Government is to examine the way taxes are collected and how they are spent.  And one sure way to determine the social conscience of an individual is to get his tax-reaction.  Taxes, after all, are the dues that we pay  for the privileges of membership in an organized society.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt, campaign address, — Worcester, Mass., Oct. 21, 1936.

“The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.” — Thomas Babington Macaulay

“When I was made presidential press secretary my father sent me a telegram: “Always tell the truth. If you can’t always tell the truth, don’t lie.” — Bill Moyers

“What is left when honour is lost?” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 265

What, indeed….. on that note, onward…..

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I have done my duty; enough is enough…. On that note, I will take my leave, sans the usual crap…. I’m in too much pain to worry about that, at all…. I’m gonna go somewhere and whimper a while…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I manage to keep from getting arrested for biting someone…. Hey, wait a minute, I just had a thought…. Now, where’s that cat?…..

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

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 the dubious

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Fear is both tool, and weapon; use them, or be used by them….

Ffolkes,

“He had that rare weird electricity about him — that extremely wild and heavy presence that you only see in a person who has abandoned all hope of ever behaving “normally.””

– Hunter S. Thompson (b. 1939), journalist — Fear and Loathing ’72

toiletman

    Look! It’s a plane! No! It’s a turd! Hooray! It’s Toilet Man!….. Enough! I can’t do it….  I am, as the theme above suggests, NOT normal. It’s okay, I never wanted to be, anyway, so, it’s not going to hurt my feelings to be accused of missing out on that particularly noisome state of mundanity. Me, I could never figure out why it was so attractive, or so important for people to feel they were either on their way to becoming normal, or were already considered to be one of the conformist crowd…. Sure, I like people, occasionally, but, I sure wouldn’t want to BE like any of them…. But, no matter how I feel about normal, I can’t take advantage of it that way….

That, of course, is just the curmudgeon in me talking, which I can’t seem to stop from happening, all too often. According to the training rules for us curmudgeons-to-be, we are supposed to USE our skills, but, we aren’t supposed to make other people feel bad thereby, necessarily, although it is acceptable under certain conditions, such as being accosted by one of the stupids, and needing to put them out of their misery. That’s okay, but, generally, we aren’t supposed to load our foul moods onto other ffolkes; only if they deserve it, for which there are strict requirements to fulfill, to ensure they are a deserving recipient of our ire….

At this point, I’d probably do well to mention that we are still quite a far piece from reality, so, you shouldn’t be taking any of this too seriously, or trying to figure out whether or not my tongue is in cheek, or somewhere less appropriate than that. This is also a good point to tell you, the picture is from SFGATE, from a photo feature a few days ago, highlighting signs around the world with funny or odd statements, such as the above, and the name of the photographer is on the picture (in VERY small letters…) …. I have actually seen a sign very similar to this, in Beijing, during a visit there in 2004. Such signs were a constant source of amusement, as many of the English translations in the advertisements on billboards were simply hilariously mashed up….

Of course, it’s important for me to remember…. this kind of opening, as fun as it may be, does have its own potential risks…. For example, here we are, a good three to four paragraphs down the pike, and we have yet to whine about being late, or how lazy I’m feeling (somewhat….), or any of my usual techniques to draw your attention away from the lack of any sort of elegance, not to mention the lack of any sort of visible evidence of intelligent life as we know it. The risk in this should be obvious, even to…. no, I won’t go there. I’m not going to be one of those bloggers who insults my readers, just to show I can, or some other misguided reason….

I am, however, going to have to call a halt to this, even though we’re just beginning to have some fun with it, and it’s starting to flow nicely…. Too bad I’m completely out of any more ideas as to what to put here…. In fact, my brain is emptying out so fast, I’m getting dizzy, and had best take a break…. You know what this means, so hang on….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“It’s snowing still. And freezing. However, we haven’t had an earthquake lately.” — A.A. Milne’s Eyore

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In keeping with the theme which has thus far characterized today’s effort, let’s see what the headlines around the web have for us….

http://www.theonion.com/articles/exxonmobil-chevron-locked-in-bidding-war-to-acquir,36561/

Oh. My. Gosh….. Okay, well, so it doesn’t quite have the same impact, or cathartic release factor, as the usual blasphemy I could be expected to come out with in such cases, but, I think employing the use of such a mild epithet will, no doubt, save me some hate mail…. Of course. that would help, if I actually got any…. Nonetheless, expletive expressions notwithstanding, I was a bit surprised to see the above headline, which, since you can’t see it all, says, to wit:

“ExxonMobil, Chevron Locked In Bidding War To Acquire Lucrative Pennsylvania Senator”

Flabbergasted, flummoxed, flustered, and, just a little bit surprised, I was, when I first saw this….  Then, of course, I noticed where it was published, on The Onion, and, so realized it was only humor…. pointed, sharp humor that accurately skewers Reality in America, but, humor…. In this case, what needs to be noted is the source of the humorous nature of the piece, which is rooted in the fact that it is probably true, though not necessarily for the exact companies named here….. You may be certain, however, that the concept itself is NOT completely out of the realm of possibility in the US Senate…. not in THIS Reality…..

I’m almost certain my creative juices aren’t quite up to turning this into a rant; it’s just too ironic…. which, coming from me, is pretty ironic, as well…. True, though, so, I’m going to go with my instincts, and go with an old-school pearl, a collection of pointed sticks to jab in the eyes of all those in our Beloved Ruling Class who are so diligent in their efforts to screw the rest of us….. Enjoy!….

“Anyone who has had a bull by the tail knows five or six more things than someone who hasn’t.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than  a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.” — H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

“I’m not against the police; I’m just afraid of them.” — Alfred Hitchcock

“A little truth helps the lie go down.” — A direct quote from the US Senate publication, “Communication Tips for New Senators”

“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.” — Tom Robbins

“Not all the conservative are stupid, but all the stupid are conservative.” — Benjamin Disraeli

(The oddest part of this quote? Disraeli, by modern standards, would call himself a conservative…. To me, it just goes to show, ALL of them need help…. and, by that, I mean professional help….)

“This sickness doth infect
The very life-blood of our enterprise.”

– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King Henry IV — Act iv, Sc. 1

Well, there you have it, ffolkes…. I’m thinking I may have been a bit too eclectic; most of these wouldn’t be understood at all by any of the people it targets…. which rather eliminates part of the point, doesn’t it? Oh well, there’s always tomorrow; I don’t think they’re going to add on any IQ points overnight, so we’ll have another chance to make a dent in their intransigent stupidity….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I repost this poem at least once a year, just because it is one of my favorites, it goes so well with much of the material I end up producing…. and usually ends up saying what I was trying to say, better than I said it…. Enjoy, please…..

À Bas Ben Adhem
                   
My fellow man I do not care for.
I often ask me, What’s he there for?
The only answer I can find
Is, Reproduction of his kind.
If I’m supposed to swallow that,
Winnetka is my habitat.
Isn’t it time to carve Hic Jacet
Above that Reproduction racket?

To make the matter more succinct:
Suppose my fellow man extinct.
Why, who would not approve the plan
Save possibly my fellow man?
Yet with a politician’s voice
He names himself as Nature’s choice.

The finest of the human race
Are bad in figure, worse in face.
Yet just because they have two legs
And come from storks instead of eggs
They count the spacious firmament
As something to be charged and sent.

Though man created cross-town traffic,
The Daily Mirror, News and Graphic,
The pastoral fight and fighting pastor,
And Queen Marie and Lady Astor,
He hails himself with drum and fife
And bullies lower forms of life.

Not that I think much depends
On how we treat our feathered friends,
Or hold the wrinkled elephant
A nobler creature than my aunt.
It’s simply that I’m sure I can
Get on without my fellow man.
     
~~ Ogden Nash ~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Y’all are getting the benefit of my laziness again today; a rant just doesn’t seem attractive right now…. I guess there’s only one thing to do, as I don’t have any goo Art to go with…. another old-school pearl, which will serve several purposes, at least three of which cannot be discussed in this venue without notifying certain officials, which we don’t wish to do…. so, those purposes shall remain secret, as long as y’all can keep quiet…. In fact, I insist…. Why don’t y’all have a seat right there, and listen up….

“Could you tell night from day?” “No, I regard all such distinctions as logically impossible.”  — Heraclitus

“Be ruled by time, the wisest counselor of all.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Pericles (B.C. 495-429)

“He who receives a good turn should never forget it; he who does one should never remember it.” — Charon

“The hardest part about gaining any new idea is sweeping out the false idea occupying that niche. As long as that niche is occupied, evidence and proof and logical demonstration get nowhere. But once the niche is emptied of the wrong idea that has been filling it – once you can honestly say, “I don’t know,” then it becomes possible to get at the truth.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“A free life cannot acquire many possessions, because this is not easy to do without servility to mobs or monarchs…” — Epicurus (341-270 B.C.)

“Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“If one studies too zealously, one easily loses his pants.” — Albert Einstein

Well…. This turned out quite well, thank you; balanced, sharp, and deep. Plus, a new quote from Albert that I’d never seen…. I’m happy there are still a few left in Smart Bee for me to find…. especially when they’re like this, and help to create a fine pearl…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wow… I got so jazzed about the potential to be finished, I forgot to close it out…. Now I haven’t a clue as to what to say here; two minutes ago I had it all planned out, but, after going back to edit, it went away, to whatever place in my mind where such ideas go to cry themselves to sleep…. Not a particularly rational image, but, poignant…. Any who, it’s done, such as it is, so, I’m outta here….. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

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 the dubious

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Several times several is more than just a few….

Ffolkes,

“Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

A spiral galaxy, also known as M106, about 23 million light years from Earth.

    This is a picture from NASA, of Galaxy NGC4258-M106 (translation: National Geographic Catalog #4258, Messier Catalog #106). The picture is a composite of several images, some of which were filtered to show other frequencies of radiation; this is why you seem to see six spiral arms, four of which are in the X-ray segment of the electromagnetic spectrogram…. The extra arms are an anomaly caused by the massive black hole in the galaxy’s center, which is somehow (as yet, the process is unclear…) heating the interstellar gases, then ejecting them to the outer reaches of the hole’s gravitational influence, thus pushing it completely out of the plane of the rest of the galaxy….

For me, as a lifelong amateur astronomer, it’s a rather compelling image, that demonstrates perfectly how our universe is so wondrously full of beauty we cannot see, without the aid of tools our imagination has created, to enhance our perception of all that surrounds us…. The phenomenon. as related,  is a theoretical process wherein the black hole seems to be sucking ALL of the interstellar gases up from between the stars, expelling it outside the confines of the galaxy’s shape; this will, in a mere 300 MILLION years or so, have a drastic effect on the galaxy, and how it will appear, as the material with which it WAS to make new stars is removed….

Thinking about astronomy, or astrophysics, can be rather intimidating; to think of the sheer vast reaches of space, and the size of the galaxies that fill it, tends to make us humans feel very small and insignificant….. which is why so many people avoid the hard sciences, such as astronomy, and astrophysics. This stuff isn’t easy for us to think about, nor is the math particularly simple for us to comprehend without some mental elbow grease…. Man, as a group, is pretty lazy, especially about using the mind, and, as a secondary obstacle, they are fearful of that which they don’t understand. The immensity of space can intimidate those who fear the unknown; combine that with lazy, and you see why so many people close their eyes, and minds, whenever such a subject is broached….

I wanted badly to be an astronomer, as I figured it was the best way to get to outer space; traveling to other planets and stars has been my lifelong dream. I fully intend, if given any chance at all, to die on another world, even if it is only the Moon…. That particular event is getting a bit close at hand now, so, I may not make my goal, but, there will soon be regular tourist trips to the Space Station, and there is talk, finally, of colonizing Mars by the middle of this century….

Or, if not so grand a task is possible at once, there has also been talk of setting up exploratory colonies in and on the Asteroids, the remains of the world that used to be, which now are so plentiful, sailing along in the orbit between Mars and Jupiter…. Such colonies would help determine the feasibility of such a quest, one that would demand the combined efforts of all humanity, as a species, to accomplish…. It also would give us the opportunity to test out the necessary technology, in an environment simply bursting with natural resources….

Ah well, such dreams are probably out of the realm of possibility for me, but, perhaps my grandson will walk the surface of Mars one day…. If we can manage to survive the current issues, of global warming, climate change, and our own tendency to kill each other with alarming regularity, we have a pretty good chance of it….. We’ve successfully landed three or four vehicles on other worlds now, and walked on the Moon. We have a robotic ambassador on Mars, taking pictures and trundling about the landscape, fulfilling the ultimate purpose of our innate simian curiosity, which makes the mobile science laboratory very aptly named…. For now, though, we should go on with today’s business, which brings me to this…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Terrorism: deadly violence against humans and other living things, usually conducted by government against its own people.” — Edward Abbey

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Government-said-to-suppress-evidence-in-Blackwater-5651089.php

Unclear, but, interesting saga of dogs trained to bite, then being punished for not wearing a muzzle, compounded by the overall high level of corruption and insanity that is ALWAYS exposed during just about any sort of war crime tribunal…. Somebody is always finding new evidence, others are disputing it, and nobody ever wants to admit the sheer futility of ALL OF IT….. According to what I read in the article, it seems that ALL the entities involved in the incident were suppressing evidence, or hiding evidence, or mouthing off with ridiculously vague statements having no value, and relation to the reality of what actually took place….

The whole issue is so stupid, it makes me crazy to think so much time and money is being spent chasing down the alleged truth in this matter, a “truth” that, when found, will have very little resemblance to anything you or I would recognize as such; nor will it have anything valid to tell us about who is to blame for what went on. Everyone involved is guilty, in my mind, so, it really is a moot issue, as far as I can tell from the available evidence…. I’ve never carried a gun…. not because I’m afraid of them, or disapprove of them, but, because I am smart enough to realize that by carrying one, I leave myself open to being shot at…..

That, to my mind, is NOT a healthy way to live…. I take the easy solution, right next to the high road, but, not so damn restrictively moral, by never carrying guns, only carry weapons that cannot be seen, along with maintaining a policy of avoiding violent situations, of any kind, as far as is humanly possible…. I spent a long time in a job where I had to BE violent every day…. or, at least, be prepared to deal with such violence at any moment. Hence, I’m not real happy when I have to experience those nasty feelings when not at work, or without overwhelmingly sufficient reason (“sufficient” being defined as “virtually impossible to justify”….), so, I do all I can to stay out of situations that can potentially lead to any sort of explosive outbreaks….

All that being said, none of what they are saying in the article, about EITHER side of the issue, is of any particular surprise to me, nor does it convince me to change my opinion of most (defined as virtually ALL….) politicians, or any other incarnation of talking head…. especially when speaking of a situation being acted out primarily by lawyers, who, as we all know, have a hard time with the truth…. Well, at least, with the truth as we all know it, anyway…. They’re pretty good at making up their own; it just doesn’t have much to do with reality in most respects….

That’s all, ffolkes. I’m being nice, and cutting off this rant, practically before I got going…. Y’all know how I feel about politicians, especially those with brainwashing, er, training as lawyers, so, there’s little need to reinforce that. Y’all also know how I feel about the truth, so, you will realize that any situation in the public venue that is concerned with a quest to find the truth is of concern to me, as I am well aware that none of the people involved in those quests have any real interest in finding it. That is especially true in a story like this one, where so many of the parties involved were, and are, engaged in criminal acts, yet, because they are supposed to have been government sanctioned, are trying to abrogate any responsibility for those criminal acts…

Almost got started again, so, we’ll go now, to put together a fine, old-school, five-star pearl, with all the points sharpened to a dangerous degree, ready to poke holes in the lies and distracting noises made by those we call “pundit”…..

“It was a saying of the ancients, “Truth lies in a well;” and to carry on this metaphor, we may justly say that logic does supply us with steps, whereby we may go down to reach the water.” — Dr. I. Watts

“By experts in poverty I do not mean sociologists, but poor men.” — G. K. Chesterton, ILN, 3/25/11

“Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.” — Demosthenes

“The seal of truth is on thy gallant form, for none but cowards lie.” — Murphy

“Don’t overestimate the decency of the human race.” — H.L. Mencken

Smart Bee decided to make this difficult & obscure, only offering me such abstrusely eclectic aphorisms such as the above…. It works, and it’s appropriately nasty, in a strictly metaphorical sense…. I’m just thinking it could be clearer….. I like it when the quote acts like a sledgehammer to the forehead of one of the idiots I’m targeting; these act more like a stiletto, sliding between the ribs into the heart, almost without any notice, but, effectively killing any credibility they may have previously enjoyed…. So be it, gigoid has spoken…. a bit garbled, but, to completion, at least….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yep, you guessed it…. I’m lazy, so you get another of my old poems…. I will, however, compose a new haiku first, just because I can….

Old/New Glory

Political truth…
Oxymoronic, and trite.
Politics is crap.

~~ gigoid~~

This poem was written on 9/10/2012, one of the first I wrote that year, when I finally ended the 30+ year sabbatical I took, in regard to writing poetry…. As is apparent, the pain with which I so frequently live was, at least for that day, foremost in my mind, and in my concern….

Gauges of Pain

Consciousness devolves in pools of gripping fears
holding hostage any hope of serenity,
sharp stabbing motions and greedy tears
nary a moment passes without common calamity.

Always a surprise, nothing soothing ever found,
leaving only breathless clinging pain,
salvation seemingly absent, it muffles all sound,
bringing ever more sadness and rain.

Solitude is ever present to claim my time,
lonely hours and relentlessly long days,
no radio plays such music in secular rhyme
happy, vibrant voices belong to elder ways.

Life can be justified it seems to say,
by hopeful favored moments of pleasure,
seemingly friendly, pointing out the only way,
to bring back happiness in minimal measure.

Days of horror and embarrassing tears
serve ever to drive wretched hours to withhold
promising naught but sorrow in coming years,
black, bitter memories that never grow old.

Cold, cold the days fly by,
can it really be our only token?
Never to say, or know just why
the pain never stops, even when spoken…

~~ gigoid ~~

(Why, yes, yesterday was NOT a good day…. why do you ask?…..)

Griefe brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
For, he tames it, that fetters it in verse.

 — John Donne ~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s old-school pearl for this section is another self-directed grouping, put together partially from pearls found yesterday, with the final group collected during this morning’s efforts, while searching for other pearls with a specific parameter…. This self-direction brought us to a very old-style collection, with a theme best described as “Advice for the Living”, using a number of quotes, as usual, from ancient philosophers, who stated their axiomatic wisdom so eloquently, it has lasted for thousands of years, thus generously sharing their new/old wisdom with each succeeding generation of humans…. Oh, and there is something from Mark, and Alan, too…. more modern, but just as deeply insightful….

“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.” — Lao Tzu

“The wake does not drive the boat.” — Alan Watts

“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” — Marcus Aurelius

“As men, we are all equal in the presence of death.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 1

“Education is the best provision for old age.” — Aristotle

“Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.” — Mark Twain

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Philo

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s Pearl has been brought to you by the letter U, and the number six…. Don’t ask me why, because they never tell me. I can tell you, however, we’re done, so, whatever brought us to this point, it has served its purpose admirably…. We shall honor that service, by heeding the call for a quick, and dignified exit…. which will be a big surprise to all concerned, I’m sure…. I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, as long as the space-time continuum holds its shape that long….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

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 the dubious

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Turn left at the garden gnome….

Ffolkes,

“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy.  If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem.  But I arise in the morning torn
between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” — E. B. White

test shotss 006

    All I can say about today’s opening picture, which happens to be from my camera, is, there’s one in every crowd, isn’t there?…. But, then, the one that just HAD to be independent, sleeping apart, (though, you will note, still connected….) from the rest, DID end up in the ONLY little bit of sunlight to be found, didn’t he/she?….. I guess there is something to be said for the independent spirit, after all…. I always did like that George Carlin quote, about the word “team”,. the word “I”, and Mrs. Grundy, which, conveniently, you see just below……


george sez 

   Now, I know what you’re thinking, and it just isn’t so…. Of course, that could be a lie, but, I don’t generally start the day out by lying to my Gentle Readers…. in fact, given my feelings about lies, and the lying liars who tell them, I do try not to engage in it at all…. We all know it isn’t possible to keep from EVER lying; otherwise, there would be millions of dead husbands out there, who forgot themselves when their wife asked them “does this (dress/pants/blouse/expression) make me look fat?”…. Not all of us can remember the ONLY possible safe answer to that question, which is “does this face make me look stupid?”

Okay, now that I’ve done my part to keep the war between the sexes on full alert, and to further the incredibly sexist stereotypes that the war encourages us to hold, we can get on with whatever is going to take place today….. What that may be remains to be seen, though it could be rather new, fresh, and exciting…. We’ve already started off with more Art than normal, but, normalcy isn’t one of our goals, so that’s normal….. and confusing, I’m sure…. Don’t fret, it won’t leave any stains….

Of course, it could leave a few bruises, and/or scars, but, that’s just part of living, right? Now, at this point, I’m betting you are wondering just how I’m going to pull this off. Here we are, well into the intro, with some good Art, and a couple of not-too-shabby jokes, with nothing appropriate to go along with such apparently endless competence….. which is surely an unexpected visitor here at ECR…. Of course, at this point, I’m very aware that most of y’all are VERY, VERY confused, or, if not, VERY, VERY stoned, and don’t care…..

That’s okay, so am I…. stoned and confused, that is…. Well, actually, having only been up for a little less than an hour, I’m not stoned enough, but, that’s an issue with an easy fix…. An issue which, given that I am the owner of this domain, and, thus, do possess the powers of a Time Lord while operating this blog, has been duly fixed…. a roundabout way to say I’ve consumed sufficient cannabinoids to have reached an appropriate level of that tenuous, yet firm cross between silly and profound, which characterizes the state of a mind so enhanced….

In fact, I have been enhanced sufficiently for me to realize we’ve done it again….. The intro has, in its quest to achieve some sort of reasonably attractive format, grown to a point where, even if it should all of a sudden become brilliant and compelling, which, thus far has escaped us, it is of legal size, and shape, to fill the bill, or the william, if you prefer… In other words, we’re outta here!….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” — J. C. Watts

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I’m not in the mood to rant, though I do feel up to some rude comments…. So, we’ll go with the weird-style pearl, with some links to articles in the news that caught my eye, followed by an old-school pearl, to finish poking at the Asininnies we have unearthed, pursuing their insane personal agendas on the public stage….

http://blog.sfgate.com/crime/2014/07/25/surrounded-by-cops-15-year-old-was-detained-so-search-was-invalid-court-says/

Encouraging, at least minimally, to see a judge acknowledging the aggressive, confrontational tactics of the police in such matters, not to mention having the guts to rule against them, thus placing the onus of responsibility to control such attitudes squarely on their shoulders, where it belongs. The police in this country are very nearly out of control, and only the few cops with actual integrity and the character needed to do society’s third most thankless job, i.e. a character that is founded on the belief in service, protection, and honor…. Not the current attitude of most police officers, which is closer to displaying a pathological need to assert authority, and the need to feel entitled, that the laws do not apply to them….

The last characteristic is the one that bothers me the most, as so many officers I see on the streets are of this ilk…. They cruise around town in their “unit”, speeding, ignoring lane markers and signals, NEVER using a turn-signal, and so obviously profiling in their choices of whom to stop to investigate…. They dress like they are military, they cut their hair as short as they can, to maintain the camaraderie and discipline of the military lifestyle, and even use military insignia and rank designations in their internal command structure…. Not to mention how many police and sheriff’s departments around the country are outfitting and equipping themselves with old military hardware, such as modified tanks, personnel carriers, and automatic weaponry….

Any who, it’s nice to see them suffer a setback in their campaign to eliminate all of our civil rights…. just sayin’, they know their job will be easier, once all of our rights are gone, so, they’ll do all they can to see that happen, ffolkes…. Count on it….

“It is the natural order of things. Nothing can alter it. The strong take, the weak surrender.” — Sepp von Plum

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/San-Bruno-E-mails-show-cozy-ties-between-state-5647686.php?cmpid=hp-hc-bayarea

Not so encouraging, nor at all surprising to me, this article relates evidence of the corruption existing in the state government, as encouraged and exploited by the corporate lackeys who inhabit the megacorp energy Goliath, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., an amorphous corporate entity that has  been ripping off the public at an astonishing rate for over a century, in full lockstep with legislators, governors, and any other elected official with their hand out…. I’m not even going to bother with exploring too deeply into this issue; I have a feeling it would merely distract me from issues I am more inclined to follow…. which saves you some ranting, and me some angst, ultimately, so no complaining….

I will say this however….. from what the article says, the agency that is supposed to oversee, and regulate the public sector utility companies is CLEARLY under the influence of the corporation…. The tone of the emails from both ends are clear in their implications of collusion, and show exactly what the article says is the most dangerous outcome, to wit: the agency and the company are behaving as if they have the same agenda, all in favor of the company, and screw the public…. Now, I would say that this isn’t all that uncommon, nor unexpected…. What is both unexpected, and uncommon, in my view, is the incredibly naive attitudes of the regulators, to think that they are NOT being duped, or exhibiting massive levels of stupidity….

Corruption isn’t just a danger in our government, ffolkes, it’s a reality, and that’s the truth….

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/26/former-cia-officials-access-senate-torture-report

“Torture is illegal under US law. CIA officials dispute that water boarding amounted to torture.”

The line directly above this one is an excerpt from the article to which the link provides a path. In my view, it makes a decent summary of the whole issue involved, and, at the same time, amounts to a good statement of WHY the issue is so important…. There are currently two, if not more, viewpoints on the subject of torture that are in conflict, both sides of which are in different segments of the very small group of people who are in control of our government….

To me, the whole issue, in every respect, and with every single controversial point that is raised, is merely evidence of how the people in our government have no connection at all to reality, (not the one I inhabit, anyway…..), nor to anything remotely important to the public over whom they have authority. The agendas that each and every one of the people mentioned in the article have nothing to do with making anything better for the populace; it is all about securing and maintaining their own power base, keeping the public unaware of the truth, and making them afraid of the enemy (whomever that might currently be….)

The issues related in this article are all just smoke, designed to distract the public from the real issue, which is, as Eric Snowden told us, the simple fact that our own government is spying on us, (and, everyone else in the entire world, even their FRIENDS….), lying to us about it, using water boarding and other methods of torture, to go along with the more cowardly methods of warfare (such as bombing the crap out of whomever we wish to subdue….), to pursue their own fearful, insane, illogical agenda of war, based on the fear they continuously try to engender and fan into flames, with their partial truths, hints of controversy, and outright lies, their stock in trade for controlling the emotions, and the minds, (such as they are) of the general public….

That’s probably more than enough for one day…. It’s sure taken long enough…. in fact, it’s long enough we won’t need an entire old-school pearl, but can settle for one good one to finish off the matter…. You can take this one as gospel, ffolkes, and apply it to this treatise, if you wish, to help prove its worth…. See, I’m  not making any money for any of this, so I can speak the truth without any fear of influence by anyone else…. which cannot be said of our entire ruling class, for they live by this….

“When money speaks, the truth is most often silent.” — Smart Bee

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I don’t know yet what poem will go here, but, I’m sure it’ll be good, so, please enjoy…. Ah, well, you get one of mine again, just because they’re already here, so I don’t have to search for them, just pick one…. I’ll try to pick one you haven’t seen in a while…. Okay, got it…. here is one from October of 2012, which may be the first one I wrote after my decades-long hiatus from writing any poetry at all….  It’s not bad, actually, and I hope you enjoy it…

A Seasonal Approach

Absolute stillness grips a frozen field,
anticipating dawn with such patient yield
morning burgeoning in dark winter’s hold
brings promise of tales yet to be told.

Lengthening days of pale sun unto night
slowly tell of time’s subversive flight
bringing such original songs of natural fire
with melodies complex in casual attire.

The months are certain they will always win
it is just the way it has always been.
None may argue, nor yet slow life down
Nor dim the eternal beauty of nature’s gown.

Winter evolves from fall into spring,
sending flocks and hearts ever awing.
Summer follows suit, t’other way ’round
Spring into fall, often without a sound.

Life is meant to be lived, beginning to end
choices abound, and change can be a friend.
Yielding with grace to reality’s compelling ploy
fills our plain existence with clean, honest joy.

~~ gigoid ~~

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Now we can get back to normal, such as that is around here, with an old-school pearl…. I think I’ll let Smart Bee pick out the parameters today; it’s been a little sticky and edgy about giving me any really good pearls today, so maybe, if I let it have its head for a bit, it will cease hiding the best stuff… It’s worth a shot, anyway…. Let’s pearl, ffolkes….

“Never argue with a Scorpio–even if you win, you lose.” — Smart Bee, with some damn good advice

“To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne –

“When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), “Caesar and Cleopatra”, Act III

“I find that the further I go back, the better things were, whether they happened or not.” — Mark Twain

“A dead end street is a good place to turn around.” — Naomi Judd

“Reality is a hypothesis.” — Tugwell’s Basic Assumption

“That parrot is definitely deceased.” — Smart Bee

Hmm…. This is, without a doubt, one of the most eclectic, obscure pearls I’ve ever seen, even for Smart Bee. Most times, when a quote from SB brackets the pearl like this, it can be considered fairly solid, and is generally quite clear in its tone, if not its intended target…. This one makes us think right from the start, and then stretches our imagination to the limit with the last line, which is obviously an obscure literary reference to the short story, “Gaudy Night”, a parody of the Dorothy L. Sayers’ series of detective novels and stories involving Lord Peter Wimsey, and, in spite of its obscurity, quite a brilliant metaphorical finish to the pearl…. Really, trust me….

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I’m not entirely sure of what happened here this morning…. I’ve been at this for nearly three hours, with breaks for pain-reduction activities, but, it doesn’t feel as if I’ve done much…. Then, when I go back to look, I see I’ve gone and gotten completely carried away, with what can be termed another epic Pearl, mostly fresh, with some Art, and the whole nine yards…. I’ll take it, and run, just because I can…. Well, plus, I don’t want to have to start over…. I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

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 the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

Let’s prime the pump with sad kittens….

Ffolkes,

“To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy.” — Hippocrates
One Pan Grilled Seafood & Vegetable Paella

    Ah, hell…. with all of the incredible vastness of space and time… and I end up here…. Tell me, what good is it having the power of a Time Lord, and never being allowed to use it without factoring in entropy’s influence? Calculating temporal slippage with pencil and paper just isn’t working out, and nobody can find me a decent slide rule at a price I can live with; I keep ending up back here, when I’m trying to get back into the future…  Actually, I’m only here because I couldn’t find the Tardis at all this morning, having forgotten, again, where I parked it…. Or, maybe that was WHEN I parked it? Hmm… I’ll have to check that later….

Above, you see a picture of the signature dish made by the Balaguer family, at their small, but popular and busy restaurant in the Bay Area. The dish, called “One Pan Grilled Seafood & Vegetable Paella”,  is made according to the traditional family recipe, just as served in the family’s restaurants in Spain, where the dish was originally perfected, passed down to each succeeding generation .

I found the picture and recipe in an article in the food section at SFGATE on the web, so you can too, by searching at the site under the name of the dish… I love paella, and this version looks amazingly delicious, by visual evidence, (obviously…. ya gotta love that food photography….), and by my scan of the ingredients and procedure…. (I’ll bet y’all sometimes forget I’m a chef…. one look tells me all I need to know about what it will taste like….) It will be expensive, but, about a dozen people will be incredibly happy with their tummies when I try it out….

Paella has always been a favorite of mine, since first being exposed to it at a night out while in college. Then, later in life, I attended culinary school, in 1986-87; naturally, when it was my turn to cook lunch for the entire school (as the production chef for the daily employee and student lunch, one of our assigned tasks), I chose to make paella according to the traditional Spanish recipe common to all the regions, with shrimp, chicken, and Andouille sausage, along with the saffron rice that characterizes the dish…..

The hard part of that deal was the fact that I was making the dish for about 300-400 culinary students, including housekeeping, and office staff, as well as generally having about 30 or so restaurant & hotel business teachers/instructors, including the Wine Editor for the Wine Spectator, an industry magazine, who was teaching a class in wines that week. (Cooking as chef for a meal for the chefs who instructed us each day, at lunch and dinner, was another assignment, for last semester students….) By the time it was done (it’s a long process, and labor intensive for that many people), I was sick of tasting it, so couldn’t really tell if it was as good as I wanted…. but, nobody got sick, and I got a lot of kudos for a good meal from a lot of people I respected, so, I was happy with it….

Oh, gosh, look… I’ve blathered and nattered and piffled around, talking about the picture, and the old days so long, I’ve completed a full-sized intro, though it doesn’t really provide much of a lead in, to anything other than, possibly, brunch…. but, it’s still legal, and that’s all we care about here, even if we are delusional about being royal…. We’re not so delusional we believe it, though, which is our saving grace, as it were…

For now, let it be enough to know I’m not dangerous, or violent… not any more. I served my time, and have had therapy up the yin-yang…. Besides, they never found those deleted files, so, I’m clear of all that….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Some things don’t need the thought people give them.” — Calvin

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I’m up late, after a long, HOT day yesterday, during which I did very little beyond pant in front of the fan, sleep, and complain about the heat…. Well, not the last part; I just wanted to…. I didn’t have the energy to go look for rantable material, so, y’all will have to make to with the following, which is more of a short discussion than a rant…. though it does have some rant-like qualities, as it takes some mild shots at our old friends, the talking heads of Washington, D.C…..

From 1/15/2013:

“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”  — Udana Varga, c. 500 B. C.

This particular rephrasing of the Golden Rule from ancient India shows how long the concept has been around; in fact, it is a rephrasing of writings that are even older. This rule of behavior in society has been commonly held knowledge since the beginning of civilization, whenever one chooses to mark that date. Given that presence in the basket of things that are known by all, it brings to mind the question, “Why the fuck doesn’t anyone do this?”….. Well, that’s what came into MY mind, so deal with it…..

The Golden Rule is accepted by all societies on Earth as being the key to a peaceful existence, yet those who consistently ignore it, and break it with regularity, seem to always end up as the ones who are in charge of that self-same society. Everyone alive knows the rule, but many choose to not follow its advice and direction, instead making it their purpose in life to acquire power over others, giving them both the ability, and the right, to harm others at their whim. I say right, because we have only those rights we can defend, and we, the common folk, do not defend ourselves against the BRC…. most of the time, whatever the BRC says is passively accepted by society, sometimes with regret and resignation, but mostly with reluctant acquiescence.

Me, I’ve never really been able to grasp what it is in those people, that allows them to hurt others without suffering pangs of guilt. I know it is possible to suffer feelings such as that, and still ignore them, but it seems to me like those in power have learned to not even feel the guilt, having somehow come to be able to justify their desire for power as rational and right, rather than evil and cruel. It’s as if they come to decide they are destined to lord it over others, and thus feel only satisfaction at the suffering of others. It doesn’t make any sense to my world view, but, I understand that is how it works for them. Sick bastards….

Yes sick…. in my mind, any person who wants a public office in this country, one requiring election, is a sick person, riddled with all sorts of delusions and aggrandizement, and should be isolated from the rest of us, as it (greedy ambition, and the desire for power) can be a contagious condition. I don’t care how many logical sounding arguments or positions the person is able to spew out, they are mentally ill, and should be forced into treatment, for the safety of all society.

In fact, I think it would be a good thing if we started talking about some political control, rather than gun control. I think the political world needs regulation much more than do guns…. Guns are going to be used against people, it is what they were designed for, and people aren’t going to give them up, or stop doing crazy stuff with them, just because of a few regulations…. But, the politicians NEED to be regulated, much more than they are, and it really can’t wait…..

“Under every stone lurks a politician.” — Aristophanes

This particular subject is an easy rant for me, with all the major characteristics of a good subject right out there to see and write about. As such, I could probably go on all day without running out of stuff to poke at in this area of human nature. But, I’ve made my point, I think, so we’ll save some of the energy for later. Let it suffice to say, how someone feels about the Golden Rule is usually a good indicator of how they feel about politicians, et al.

A real politician will look you in the eye, tell you they support the Golden Rule wholeheartedly, then will turn right around and say the exact opposite to your enemy. to gain their support. And, they’ll never feel a moment’s guilt over doing so…. If they did, how could they ever consider trying to be elected in the first place? Just wanting that kind of power is a clear sign of mental illness, guaranteed….

“My CODE of ETHICS is vacationing at famed SCHROON LAKE in upstate New York!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

I was done with this, but fate intervened…. Just to show how our culture has developed under the influence of the delusions fostered by the lies of the BRC, consider this, which I found in the 13th Bathroom Reader….

One of our cultural myths says that the soldiers at Valley Forge under Washington during the Revolutionary War starved during winter because there was no food anywhere for them. The truth is, there was plenty of food, but the farmers in Valley Forge sold it all to the British Army, who were able to pay cash….

Kind of takes away from the grandeur of the alleged events, and puts the lie to any elements of implied nobility, doesn’t it? Conversely, it does rather support what I’ve outlined above, wouldn’t you say?…… Sick puppies, all of them, and always ready, and willing, to take advantage of human greed….

“If any man can convince me and bring home to me that I do not think or act aright, gladly will I change; for I search after truth, by which man never yet was harmed. But he is harmed who abideth on still in his deception and ignorance.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, vi, 21

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I realize that I am an odd duck; the large, red, noisy nose is a dead giveaway…. Like most of us who fit into this particular category, I don’t much care, nor do I spend any time worrying about trying to change that. Another of the probable methods to be able to successfully identify those such as myself is our eclectic taste in poetry…. and who, may I ask, is more eclectic than Emily?….. Nobody…. To my way of thinking, there’s nobody better, either…..

A Clock Stopped — Not The Mantel’s

A clock stopped — not the mantel’s
Geneva’s farthest skill
Can’t put the puppet bowing
That just now dangled still.

An awe came on the trinket!
The figures hunched with pain,
Then quivered out of decimals
Into degreeless noon.

It will not stir for doctors,
This pendulum of snow;
The shopman importunes it,
While cool, concernless No

Nods from the gilded pointers,
Nods from seconds slim,
Decades of arrogance between
The dial life and him.
     
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

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Most likely, I don’t have to tell y’all what will come next; if you’ve been here before, you’ll recognize the signs and symptoms. If not, well, you’ll be okay; lots of lesser ffolkes have already lived through it, so, you will too…. No doubt, you’ve got some preconceived notions of what a pearl should be like, or, if not, some preferences… All I can suggest is for you to leave them at home, for they will NOT serve you here….

That being said, here is a random, harlequin pearl, with parameters known only to whatever gods may be in the vicinity…. I sure don’t have a clue…. I just write ‘em…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it promises to be a good one, after a fashion….

“All my life I have had an awareness of other times and places.” — The Star Rover, by Jack London, 1914

All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.

– William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) — Thanatopsis

“Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Consider the little mouse, how sagacious an animal it is which never entrusts its life to one hole only.” — Plautus (254-184 BC) – Truculentus, Act iv, Sc. 4, 15, (868.)

Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate’er it touches…

– Percy Bysshe Shelley

“If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” — Clint Eastwood

“Although our information is incorrect, we do not vouch for it.” — Satie

I was right, again….. and, no, it doesn’t get old….

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Well, this has been an interesting morning, to say the least (something I have a hard time with, obviously….). Even the ending came up on me quickly, so I am unsure of just what to put here today…. I guess I’ll just say, I hope you enjoyed today’s effort, and I’ll see you tomorrow…. Anything else would be anticlimactic….. Y’all be cool, now, hear?…..

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

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 the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

It’s just like a dead parrot….

Ffolkes,

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”
~~ Buddha ~~
July 22 2014 020 (2)

    Or, if we are lucky, we can be what we imagine in our thoughts, no matter how fantastic they are….. Just sayin’…. Ultimately, though, it’s both egotistical and impertinent to believe that I could add anything particularly useful to something the Buddha said as part of sharing his wisdom…. Oh well, it’s true, so, it can’t hurt, and I’m sure the Buddha wouldn’t mind, as long as I am not being untruthful, or mean-spirited…. Mostly, I’m just being fanciful, to get the old grey cells moving along in a reasonably straight line, even if the line doesn’t get us much of anywhere important…

‘Important’ is just another personal judgment anyway, right? Right…. the universe treats us all alike, with complete, massive indifference to our wishes or our sensibilities…. It’s just the way it is, so, what becomes important is how we react to whatever we are presented with in our lives…. much of which is not under our direct control…. As always, the only thing we can really count on being able to control is ourselves; beyond that, all is up for dispute…. Nobody likes that part of karma, or existence, or whatever we choose to call life when we are speaking metaphorically; we don’t have to like it. All we have to do is deal with it, for there is no other choice…

That being said, we do have SOME choices; in fact, that is our saving grace, to my way of thinking. We have the choice to act, or not, always…. That is a powerful tool, though sadly misunderstood to be so critical…. But, then, it takes more than just two neurons bumping up against each other to have a chance of cluing into that fact, so, a lot of folks out there just don’t have the wherewithal…. This is what creates so much tension and difficulty in the world, because of their thrashing around, trying to control everything they don’t understand, using the only tool they know, which is aggression and violence….

There, how’s that for a three paragraph summary of world history, with a valid, pertinent appraisal of human nature, and a solid, short, rational description of the root causes of the mess we call current events in world-wide society, or, as we usually think of the issue, Life As We Know It? Not too shabby, I’d say, even if it is a little bit heavy on the assumption of guilt part…. Hey, stupid is as stupid does, as Mama Gump says, so, I’m not apologizing for any of it, not even to the Buddha…. I was only trying to help!….

Never mind, we’ll just go on…. Today’s picture is one of several I took yesterday on my walk, taken when I discovered the local colony of pine cones, in their original habitat…. Apparently there was some kind of formal gathering going on, so several of them agreed to pose in the formal attire, right there in the pine tree where they live…. It was interesting, and gave me a little better insight in the Wise Old Pine Cone, and the environment from which he was, shall we say, sent forth unto the world, to carry out the dictates of his Arts….

Now, now, calm down, no need for drama…. Remember, this is all fantasy, so, I can say all this, and it doesn’t mean a damn thing, unless….. wait for it…. hold on…. unless….. YOU MAKE UP THE MEANING!….. See how that works? I rest my case, and my arguments, and my tired grey cells…. Well, not tired, just confused, their normal, default state after such a bout of philosophy, combined with fantasy, and a dollop or two of humor, all in one sitting…. All prepared prior to even awakening, too; I’ll bet you didn’t even notice that part, did you? Nope, but, don’t feel bad….. There was no way you could know I was writing ahead, or, in my sleep….

Since I’ve discovered I have the powers of a Time Lord while writing here, it’s getting a little hard for even ME to keep track of when stuff gets done…. but, as long as I don’t cross the streams, we’ll be fine…. Well, that’s what Ray said…. and Luigi backed him up on it, so, I’m letting it fly….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Who needs astrology? The wise man gets by on fortune cookies.” — Edward Abbey

And, in the same vein….

“I drank WHAT???????” — Socrates (470?-399 B.C.)

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On most occasions, the first section is comprised of either a rant, or an old-school pearl, or some combination thereof…. Or, it may start with links, to articles that stimulate my discussion/ranting, which often turns out to resemble my nose, i.e., large, round, & red, with a tendency to HONK when squeezed….. or, on rare but entertaining occasions, when looked at with the plain intent to squeeze…. Today, we, or, dropping the royal personage, I, am going a completely different direction…. sort of…..

The link you’ll see below is to an article from the sports page of SFGATE, the SF Bay Area news website run by the SF Chronicle, about the home team’s latest exploits, in this case, a Giants’ win, night-before-last in Philadelphia, a tough win in 14 innings on the road…. It’s an upbeat story, with a lot of good signs for Giants fans regarding the second half of the season…. Read it, even if you don’t know baseball, for the change of pace from the usual fare around here, which, I am aware, is generally rather intense in nature….

http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Posey-extends-game-in-9th-Crawford-lifts-Giants-5640059.php?cmpid=hp-hc-sports

The last line in the above article kept me smiling for a long time…. Don’t skip down to it, or it won’t make any sense…. You must read the entire article, or at least skim it down to the last couple of paragraphs, to get the sense of the game, and the fantastically humorous, ironic ending lines…. Brilliant!…..

Now what?….. Hmm, I guess we’ll wait until something occurs to me…. I know, let’s see if Smart Bee can come up with a five-star pearl that is “happy-making”, in a manner of speaking…. I’d try to explain, but, English is the wrong language for that…. Oh, hell, let’s just see what happens…

“Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment… They do everything but watch television.” — Lewis Thomas

“I have lived in this world just long enough to look carefully the second time into things that I am most certain of the first time.” — Josh Billings

“By definition, when you are investigating the unknown, you do not know what you will find.” — The Ultimate Principle

” The difference between a politician and a snail is that a snail leaves its slime behind.” — Gerrold’s Pronouncement

“One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that the cat has only nine lives.” — Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson

Mad, adj.: Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence … — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“The forces of evil can marshal even more support than the forces of good, especially when pizza is served.” — unknown

Okay, so, I can’t count…. I’m happy, so it all balances out, right? Right…. Onward, before they have a chance to catch up….

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This poet needs no introduction in my world; he is indeed a master of the metaphor, and silly to boot. What’s not to like?…. Enjoy this one, ffolkes, it’s a dandy….

Children’s Party

May I join you in the doghouse, Rover?
I wish to retire till the party’s over.
Since three o’clock I’ve done my best
To entertain each tiny guest. My conscience now I’ve left behind me,
And if they want me, let them find me.
I blew their bubbles, I sailed their boats,
I kept them from each other’s throats. I told them tales of magic lands,
I took them out to wash their hands.
I sorted their rubbers and tied their laces,
I wiped their noses and dried their faces. Of similarities there’s lots
Twixt tiny tots and Hottentots.
I’ve earned repose to heal the ravages
Of these angelic-looking savages. Oh, progeny playing by itself
Is a lonely little elf,
But progeny in roistering batches
Would drive St. Francis from here to Natchez. Shunned are the games a parent proposes,
They prefer to squirt each other with hoses,
Their playmates are their natural foemen
And they like to poke each other’s abdomen. Their joy needs another woe’s to cushion it,
Say a puddle, and someone littler to push in it.
They observe with glee the ballistic results
Of ice cream with spoons for catapults, And inform the assembly with tears and glares
That everyone’s presents are better than theirs.
Oh, little women and little men,
Someday I hope to love you again, But not till after the party’s over,
So give me the key to the doghouse, Rover

~~ Ogden Nash ~~

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What we have below is a typical old-school, random pearl, picked out by myself and Smart Bee, acting in mind-meld-mode, where SB brings up quotes as suggested by whatever the meld is telling him I am looking for…. Well, it works something like that, anyway; maybe one of these days we’ll let the folks at Princeton test us for their ongoing studies into telepathy…. Or, maybe not…. I think this came out rather well, all things considered; in all honesty, I’m not entirely sure my mind has been in attendance, at all, while creating this Pearl today…. Hmph…. No matter, just enjoy….

“It behooves a prudent person to make trial of everything before arms.” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Act iv, Sc. 7, 19, (789.)

“What is done with joy is always better done.” — H. L. Mencken

“After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” — Aldous Huxley

“I agree with the realistic Irishman who said he preferred to prophesy after the event.” — G. K. Chesterton, ILN, 10/7/16

“Nobody does good to man with impunity.” — Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

“Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.” — Nietzsche, “Thus Spake Zarathustra”

“And furthermore, my bowling average is unimpeachable!!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Also, ffolkes, you need to consider this….. If it wasn’t, would I tell y’all? Probably not….. and, what that has to do with any of the above remains as much a mystery to me, as it does to you….. I also suppose, if you stop to think about it, isn’t particularly unusual for this process….

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Well, that was interesting…. It isn’t every day my brain takes a working vacation, while still putting a Pearl together; I can’t say what kind of effect it had, but, I suppose I’ll see when I go proof it….. SIGH, I guess I’ll do that now, while I’m still in my coveralls….. I’ll be back…..

Well…. Contrary to all the available evidence, I’m speechless. But, that is, by definition, and by its nature, a good place to bring this to a close. It’s logical, if only to a fault, never approaches any sort of politically correct terminology, and, bonus, it’s on sale….. How can you lose? Hell, I’m pretty sure we now take Bitcoins, so, it’s even more convenient….. If you act now, we’ll even throw in the chocolate sprinkles….. Or, not, your choice….. My choice, should I choose to accept it, is to make my way outta here, which, I will proceed to embrace, here, and now….. I must, for I’m out of both pomposity, and, more critically, chutzpah….. See ya…..

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

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 the dubious

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Time to apply the marinade….

Ffolkes,

“But I be a cat, and no cat anywhere ever gave anyone a straight answer.” — JoJo
July 22 2014 001 (2)

    That, of course, is true of all cats, all the time….. However, you CAN trust a cat to be straight with you, if it is asking for something…. Cats are completely shameless about that; they will always ask for what they want, figuring it is always worth the effort, since, if one doesn’t ask, one never knows, do one?…. Nope, so, they ask, and don’t get upset at whatever the answer may be…. Of course, if they DON’T get what they want, they will keep asking, in a louder voice, until you break down and give it to them….

Just look at that face! Focused, alert, terminally cute…. all the proper attitudes for the penitent beggar….. And, you can see in the eyes, she’ll do literally ANYTHING, if you’ll just give her whatever it is she’s asking for….. Well, or they’re saying, “Give it to me NOW! Your will is my will.”…. She’s got that intense, Svengali-like look to the eyes, doesn’t she? And all she really wants is some pets…. you know, a little scritch around the ears, or, best, along the jawline…. Purrrrr….

The picture is Jojo, the small, formerly feral cat who lives here for the time being…. It took us a while to come to terms, but, having lived with cats all my life, along with dogs, it’s only a matter of time before my superior scratching skills win them over…. That, and being knowledgeable enough about cat psychology to know how to respect their boundaries…. It’s all a matter of respect with cats…. if you don’t respect their nature, there will be continual struggles based on that misunderstanding, and you’ll find yourself wondering who is actually in charge of the house…. They can be stubborn when they feel insulted….

Okay, that was nice…. A bit of morning cuteness, some casual conversation, and we’re pretty much good to go for today’s intro…. It’s a bit shorter than some, but, short is okay, short is good…. especially since, yesterday, I got a bit carried away, to the tune of over 3200 words… That’s what happens when I try to combine two rants into one…. but, I think I got in some good blows to the body of the asininnies, so, I’m happy with it…. I just promised myself to make today’s effort more in line with the norm, whatever that is….

Such being the case, I’m now going to bring this to a close, and get on with the rest of this…. It’s not as if we don’t do this every day, now, is it? It is? Oh, hell, I was hoping y’all wouldn’t notice…. I should have had y’all busy doing something, like fastening your seat belts, or shining up the brass work, or something…. Oh, well, we’ll manage, even if you don’t pay attention to the standard rules of engagement, as we use them around here…. But, then, nobody ever does, so, what the hell, let’s get on with the show….

And, oh, yes…. as for cats being from this planet, I don’t think ANY of them are…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Life is short, art long, occasion sudden; to make experiments dangerous; judgment difficult.  Neither is it sufficient that the physician do his office, unless the patient and his attendants do their duty, and that externals are likewise well ordered.” — Hippocrates (460-359 BC) — Aphorism i

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“Although it is tempting to resent disaster, there is not much use in doing so… Whether we remain ash or become the phoenix is up to us.” — Deng Ming-Dao

What you will find below was first posted as the entire Pearl of Virtual Wisdom on 10/28/2011, just a few months after I started on WordPress…. It’s a pretty good discussion, from a period when I had not yet firmed up either the format for Pearls, or my own style of writing…. I have gone through to edit, so it’s more user-friendly, bearing in mind what I’ve learned since then about how to put together a piece for posting…. I haven’t altered any of the ideas or concepts, just adjusted punctuation and grammar a bit…. I hope you enjoy it….

From 10/28/2011:

Our real self, the soul, is immortal. We may sleep for a little while in that change called death, but we can never be destroyed. We exist, and that existence is eternal. The wave comes to the shore, and then goes back to the sea; it is not lost.” — Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian sadhu, a holy man. He was a teacher of yoga and philosophy, beloved around the entire world. He wrote the book “Autobiography of a Yogi”, which is held to be responsible for bringing the practice of meditation to the Western world. Now, yesterday, or perhaps the one before, I included here a quote from one of the Indian holy books written before the advent of Christ, in approximately 300 B.C. If you were to hold the two quotes together, it would be very difficult to tell whether or not they came from the same piece, or at least the same school of thought. But there are over two thousand years between the appearance of the first, and the writing of the second.

To me, this is one of the major reasons I often prefer the approach of the older religions to the questions of Life that they try to answer. Compared to most Christian, or Muslim writings, the passages from the Bhagavad Gita, the Dhammapada, and the older Hindu tomes written first in Sanskrit, all show a much greater understanding of how the universe works, without having to resort to the creation of one deity, who is omniscient, omnipotent, and all-seeing (it says so right here on the label), who strangely enough, resembles most an old Jewish patriarch, and who, oddly enough, has the behavioral characteristics of a jealous and spiteful little boy.

That whole batch of stories in the Old Testament about the prophets like Job, and Lot, are like reading a soap opera script, complete with deus ex machinae. It’s the sort of story that first drove me away from Christian teachings, which proclaim to be merciful, but have been perverted to rationalize prejudice and racism, causing me to seek out more logical, evidence-based philosophies, that encourage diversity and reason.  I’ve never looked back, and, thus, have never risked becoming a pillar of salt…..

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is it’s natural manure.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William S. Smith, Paris, Nov.  13, 1787

In the past few years, since the advent of Homeland Insecurity, I have watched the more conservative elements of our society pull back, just like a tortoise who sees danger, and retreats into his hopefully impervious shell. And at the creation of each new regulation to curtail one of our liberties, I have watched with somber regard, ashamed of my country. We were attacked on 9/11/01, yes. But why? Has anyone ever stopped to ask that question? Well yes, some did, and they were shouted down as being unpatriotic. Apparently, holding fast to the liberties provided for us by Mr. Jefferson, et al, has become an unpatriotic act.

It is unpatriotic for me to object to having my private information and home privacy invaded, as well as to complain when it has been curtailed. It is supposedly unpatriotic to object out loud to any of the measures taken; the pundits will scream their tiny little heads off, using every fear of the unknown that they can come up with to frighten and distract the public. I recently broached a radical idea, in one of my pieces, when I suggested we, as Americans, should consider the concept of another American Revolution. I pointed out that the men and women who fought against English rule in the late 1700’s did so because they wanted to govern themselves, to “pursue happiness” according to their own rules, rather than living with rules and taxes laid upon them by people who were only interested in profits and power.

Sound familiar? Today, we are living under the same sort of oppression; the people who are elected in this country run for the office not because they are public-spirited, but because it is the best way to achieve power over others. I cannot think of one single elected representative that did not lie to the public to obtain office, nor can I come up with a name of one who didn’t continue to lie once elected. It’s pathetic how stupid the general public has become, so focused on the details of living that they can’t spare the intellectual energy to question their beloved ruling class. I’m not sure anymore that there are any Americans left who believe in what Tom Jefferson said above; they’d all rather just kick back and watch hockey, whining like children when the beer’s too warm……..

“Freedom is just a hallucination created by a pathological lack of paranoia.” — Smart Bee (Scary, if true…..)

I think I’ve chosen poorly this morning, which isn’t surprising. I had a lot to say about this when I first picked it, but I can see that most of the subject was covered above. It might be amusing to try to go humorous with it, but I’m not in the mood today for that; too much sheer anger built up against the forces of Dark, aka Ann Coulter, Karl Rove, Bush I or II, or any of the other crop of folks who prefer to keep the public in a state of constant turmoil, in order to distract them from what they are actually doing. It is hard for me to accept the whole “water-boarding” controversy, because I had assumed that our leaders were people of integrity, not hypocrisy.

Torture, to my way of thinking, is an act of cowardice, only used by those who believe that the end justifies the means in all cases; it doesn’t fit with my image of how a free man functions. Cowards who live in constant fear that someone will really see what a coward they are, who will say or do anything to maintain their own little kingdom of influence. Sometimes the end CAN justify the means, but not most of the time. Most of the time, it merely serves as a way to comfort their innate insecurity, and keep them from assuming either guilt, or responsibility for their actions, which they KNOW to be immoral, unethical, and, most likely, illegal according to our Constitution.

This could go on forever; I have a lot of powerful emotion behind these ideas, and could sit here all day, taking shots at the talking heads. But, I do have other stuff to get done today, so I’ll leave it here. Feel free to comment, positively or otherwise; dialogue is always welcome here. In the meantime, y’all take care out there…..

“I think we should stop looking for issues to discuss.  I think we should shut up and get to work.” — Howard Chaykin

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On days like this, when I’ve sublimated a rant out of the archives, I like to go with this poet, one of the best of the twentieth century, a true poet of the people…. I give you, the inimitable Charles Bukowski….

Alone With Everybody

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
much
and nobody finds the
one
but keep
looking
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than
flesh.

there’s no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular
fate.

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else
fills.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

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I find myself in the throes of laziness, which, though nothing new, is nonetheless problematic, striking as it is mid-blog…. Such a conundrum might have sent me off into the archives again, to find another fill-in piece, but, I’m going to be a good boy, and put together a fresh pearl, if for no other reason than to take the sails out of the argument I’ll give myself later….

See, even in the midst of an internal debate, I can think ahead! Getting older DOES have certain advantages, with foresight being one of the more important ones, one that saves us old farts a lot of energy that would otherwise be spent foolishly on wasted effort…. and, yes, that could be called pandering to myself…. Enjoy it anyway, if you believe you should…. If not, well, there is little I can do to help you at this point; you’re what we would normally call toast, by any other name….

“Have you ever wondered why you always run out of breath when you throw up? Ah, but a man’s retch should exceed his gasp, else what’s a heaving for?” — Smart Bee

(Sorry, really, I couldn’t help it…. it’s just such a wonderful pun!…. Gotta love that Scottish wit….. I’ll do better, promise….)

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Yes, we’re all tired of dinosaurs.” — Mom’s Hint #130

“In a state-run society the government promises you security. But it’s a false promise predicated on the idea that the opposite of security in risk. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. The gentle government that promises to hold your hand as you cross the street refuses to let go on the other side.” — Theodore Forstmann

“It is fatal to be right when the rest of the world is wrong.” — Brother Theodore

“There’s always a bigger fish.” — Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars Episode I

“Three doctors were talking about their favorite patients.  The first  said that he preferred operating on Germans because their organs were lined up in exactly the right position.  The second preferred Japanese because not only were their organs in exactly the right position, but they were also color coded.  The third chimed in too.  “I’ll take lawyers any day.  Ever open one of those suckers up?  Only two working parts – the mouth and the anus, and they’re interchangeable.” — Smart Bee

I love it! This pearl, eclectic though it may be, is rock solid, ffolkes…. Bookended by Smart Bee, bolstered with wisdom from Mom, Qui-Gon, and Mark Twain, how could it be anything but amazing!…. If you read them with the right squint, and allow your mind to be guided, the mind-set where you end up will leave you breathless…. guaranteed…. I mean that in the best way, of course, not in the same sense as the first pearl in this section….

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Well! That was…. something. I think I’d better go take a look at it, now that it’s done…. I’ll be back shortly….

See, that never takes long, does it?…. It’s almost like being a Time Lord when I do that…. Now, how to describe the unthinkable…. You know what? I think I’d be better off not to try…. It could get explosive, and who knows what it might do to the space-time continuum, which is shaky enough these days?…. We’ll just close our eyes to any potential hazards, and wish y’all happy trails….. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…..

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

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 the dubious

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From this perspective, it’s clear the vicar was nude….

Ffolkes,
Day the next 013    This picture was taken somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean, during a trip around the British Isles…. It may just be my favorite picture, of all I took on that trip…. The color, the composition, it just speaks to me, in a lot of ways, bringing with it memories of that time, along with appreciation, for the picture’s potentiality for cogitative stimulation…. The first thought that always occurs to me is how it is impossible to tell, just from the picture, whether this was taken at sunrise, or sunset; it could easily be either one….. Not bad, for an old fart with his first camera, eh?….

Today’s Pearl will be odd, as if, A) you hadn’t heard THAT before, and, B) just as if it could be anything else, when one considers the source, to wit: me, in all my strange glory…. What do you mean, that isn’t glory, it’s dirt? I’m not going to even bother to think about THAT statement; no way that could be true…. I mean, if that were true, what was all that….. well, never mind. I think, upon reflection, we should just skip right on by this little episode, and chalk it up to the early hour, even if it’s a late early hour, for me…. It’s getting harder to drag myself up each day, but, that, too, is nothing new, is it?….

Age, pain, bozoid tendencies…. I’ll tell ya, ffolkes, it makes for an “interesting” life, one you would think would offer plenty of material for a writer….. and maybe it does, for a writer whose mind is normal… My own idiosyncracies tend to color my perceptions, as they do for all of us…. mine just have a greater effect on me than most ffolkes suffer; maybe it has to do with all the spikes, thorns, and broken glass covering the material my head produces. It does get a bit iffy trying to handle it without injury, especially given my known habit of beating myself over the head with certain types of information, so it is more easily assimilated…..

I’m wandering again, aren’t I? This is what happens when I sleep late; I wake up foggy, (normal for me…), but, start writing anyway, as I’ve found the process of creating these introductory sections eventually wakes me up enough to get through to the end of a Pearl…. Well, so far, anyway….. Apparently, once I’m relatively awake, I can do this in my sleep…. Your guess is as good as mine as to whether it helps, or hinders to write while somnolent; I DO keep getting them done, so, I suppose that’s something….

Well, now, there’s a pretty mess, eh? It seems I turned the picture, which is somewhat undefined by itself, into yet another reason to ramble and blather my way through the first section, all without ever coming to any conclusions, but, without haring off into uncharted regions of my mind, or anyone else’s, for that matter…. What did I just say? Let me go back a second, & analyze that last sentence…. Okay, yep, it’s as I thought…. I’m reaching the point of incoherency, so we have to stop now, or someone will get hurt…. and it’s most common for me to be that someone…. So, instead….

Shall we Pearl?….

“If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Okay, well…. that explains THAT….. Onward, ffolkes….

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I may have mentioned I’m up pretty late, (or not…. I am now, though, right?…. Mentioning it, that is…. I’m up late… there, now you know….), which precludes a FRESH rant, especially given the news of late, which has way too many subjects that would be suitable…. In today’s state of mind, picking one could be as hazardous as writing one…. So, here is a reasonably priced discussion of some esoteric minutiae for your reading pleasure…. Oh, and keep your neurons fired up and ready with this one, ffolkes, it’s a bit deeper than usual, even if it doesn’t touch on anything particularly volatile…..

From 10/21/2012:

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

– Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) — Just So Stories (1902) “The Elephant’s Child”

I first read the phrase “feeding the Elephant’s Child” in a Robert Heinlein novel, many years ago, and enjoyed it as a metaphor for reading/learning, before I knew from whence it originally came. Once I did know (a moment of illumination whose exact placement in time is hazy….), I liked it even more, from an aesthetic standpoint. The above little ditty is brilliant doggerel, astute observation, and deep insight, all presented in a simple, straightforward style, with a powerful, basic lesson for any would-be philosopher, or any one who wishes to encompass reason as their modus operandi, so to speak. Besides which, I find that another piece of Bob’s advice fits well with this one, to wit: “Life tastes better in big bites….”

“Never wear anything that panics the cat.” — P. J. O’Rourke

I like this, a lot. It summarizes perhaps one of the most elemental rules of getting along in the Universe, in essence saying, “You can learn a lot by watching what happens around you…” It is the perfect companion to the concept of learning as presented above, as it contrives to speak to both sides of Reality, i.e., how you approach reality (the clothing you choose to show to the cat….) and how reality will change to react to your approach (the cat’s opinion of your clothing….) It also gives one a subtle warning about how the wrong clothing can produce unwanted consequences, and we all know how an offended cat is likely to respond…. as Mark Twain once remarked…. “A man who carries a cat by the tail is learning valuable things. He will never again be dim or doubtful. Chances are he’ll not carry the cat that way again, but, I say, if he wants to, let him!”  You can’t say fairer than that….

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” — Buddha

One can always trust the Buddha to state the most profound thoughts in the simplest way…. I often wonder how he came to such a complete understanding of Murphy, whose presence is acknowledged in all of what the Buddha stated, but whose ministrations seem to have passed by the Buddha’s existence…. either that, or Murphy shows him a lot more respect than he does anyone else alive. At times, it seems that what the Buddha states, such as in this statement, is, in at least one respect, an answer to a question that is raised when Murphy intervenes in our lives…. in simpler words, he explains why Murphy is able to affect us as he does, by cutting through the bullshite we perceive to the truth of what is real….. SIGH…. one of these days, enlightenment will slap me upside the head, and I’ll be able to see Murphy coming…. I hope…

There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” — Bob Dylan

Often I feel as if not only is life a joke, but it is our duty and purpose on this plane of existence to codify that joke, to put it down on paper, or on screen/disc, to free ourselves from the prison of sobriety, achieving an understanding that everything in this silly universe is here for our amusement, and we have been taking it, and ourselves, seriously for entirely too long….. So seriously, we have begun to offend those parts of the universe that just want us to relax and enjoy ourselves, and the time is growing nearer when we will have to admit that the joke is on us, for not being able to change our inner selves enough to be able to handle the humor of our situation…. See, the universe thinks death is funny…. not because it is cruel, but because death is just another part of life, and it doesn’t care about one more than the other…. See, now, isn’t it funny how you never noticed that?…..

I once read a science fiction novel, whose title and author escape me completely; in all it was very poorly written, with prose that did not live up to the good ideas contained in the plot line. However, it was a great plot line, in all….Specifically, there was one chapter I liked, which had a super-genius taking on the task of finding the solution to a mathematical treatise, an equation so complex and advanced that no civilization in the galaxy had ever been able to completely solve it.

The genius/hero of the book shut himself up in his room for three weeks, working on the problem. At the end, he was thinking so hard he entered a trance-like state, computing while nearly dead…. after a week of this, he suddenly opened his eyes, gave a look of astonishment, and burst into uncontrollable laughter for approximately 25 minutes. When he could finally control himself, he simply said, “It’s a joke….” and would never discuss it again….

In a pearl such as this one has grown to be, there comes a time when I have to decide whether to continue on, to try to reach the conclusion that was nebulously hovering somewhere in my mind as I began, or to admit that I have once again wandered into uncharted territory, and might find it a bit tricky to find my way back to clarity. This is that time…. and I’m leaving it up to Smart Bee, as always…. If I don’t find a proper pearl to carry on the tenuous chain of thought I’ve created, then we’ll take the first one that will appropriately wrap it up as a lost cause….. all within a specified number of attempts…. so, here we go… You’ll know in a moment what will happen….

“In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap xi

There, see?…. That didn’t take long at all…. and I managed to find the perfect pearl to cover both bases…. In this case, we will use it as an ending quote, since it sort of summarizes a lot of the discussion, after a fashion. It could conceivably also be used as a springboard for further discussion, but this has gone on long enough, and I wouldn’t want to lose anybody due to an injudicious application of excess verbiage, culminating in tedium…. Of course, we may have reached that point some time ago, but, hey, who’s counting?…. Any who, I hope you enjoyed this little foray into not very much….

:-)

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Being late means not having the time to go search for anything from other authors to fill up the empty spaces between lines; this can be a good thing, or not, depending on a lot of factors, which we won’t go into now…. Suffice it to say, it’s usually easier to find one of my own to go with whatever is taking place, and today is no exception to that observation/rule…. I wrote this in October of 2012, during the period of time after my retirement when I was in my deepest depression, and living under the most trying circumstances I’d experienced in many years…. I guess it goes to prove that poetry comes out of human experience in a more compelling fashion when that experience is a test of their endurance, or stamina, or however one describes the effort of standing up to the crap life sends our way, every day…. Enjoy, ffolkes, this is one of my best….

Seeing is Conducive to Belief

Folly sits so comfortably upon my fevered brow
one would easily believe that I would know how
to look at Life with a jaded, weary eye
seeing enough, and more, to know Why.

Such seems the case, as I will it to be,
an open book of a face, it looks so like me;
what’s known to be so, needs no close attention
familiar sights require no minding, nor mention.

The eye is drawn at once to the stark and new,
and sent back to sleep by successful review.
Once we find evidence we feel we understand,
curiosity languishes, dismissed at command.

Ancient sages knew the insidious value of illusion,
preachers and pundits know the power of confusion.
Each pair of eyes contains its own point of reference,
each mind sets its own standards of preference.

Seeing is believing, for those who live in thrall,
accepting what is perceived is all they ever recall.
Unknown to them, reality follows another set of rules,
Deeper, more dangerous, and no place for fools.

~~ gigoid ~~

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Even though I’ve managed to get caught up to schedule fairly well, by dipping into the archives instead of going fresh, I’m still feeling rushed from being behind all morning…. An old-school pearl should fix that, and takes no time at all…. as long as Smart Bee is cooperating today…. Let’s go see what it’s got for us, shall we?…. No parameters, we’re going with pure impulse for this one…. Good luck! Buena suerte!  We might need it….

“Actually officer, if you factor in the earth’s rotation, we were all speeding.” — Smart Bee

“And don’t tell me God works in mysterious ways, Yossarian continued There’s nothing mysterious about it, He’s not working at all. He’s playing. Or else He’s forgotten all about us. That’s the kind of God you people talk about, a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatalogical mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?” — Joseph Heller, Catch22

“The universe is as it is because if it were any different, we wouldn’t be here to observe it.” — Stephen Hawking

“I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.” — Pogo, character in “Pogo,” comic strip by Walt Kelly

“I am not a wimp.” — George Bush

(Sorry, George, but, yes, you are a wimp, and I have to say, I don’t mind telling you….. If you have to say it, it’s proven…. Q.E.D.)

“… as sight is in the body, so is reason in the soul…” — Aristotle — Nicomachean Ethics, Bl. I, Ch. 6, 10966, lines 29-30

“Facts are not truths; they are not conclusions; they are not even premises.  The truth depends on, and is only arrived at by a legitimate deduction from all the facts which are truly material.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Well, there you go…. That went well, and quickly, just as planned…. Damn it! Now I have to keep a watch out for Murphy; things have been going WAY too well thus far….. Watch my back, would you?…. I’ll go try to finish up….

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Well, ffolkes, as I stated in the intro, it turned out quite interesting…. Better behaved, all in all, than I’d expected, so, since I’ve already thus been rewarded by the Universe for my perseverance, I’ll take my leave without further ado, or fuss…. See y’all tomorrow….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

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 the dubious

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