As time passes, the traumatizing events of the recent past are slowly beginning to fade, with some reluctance…. I’m still fighting off the bronchitis I picked up on my trip, along with concomitant issues of less than delightful nature; all in all, though, I’m feeling much better than the last four days….. I guess tons of breathing treatments, prednisone, & anti-diarrheal medications, all augmented by heavy antibiotics, will do that, as long as one is not at death’s door to start with…. Not to say it isn’t still a bit of danger at my age, but, everything seems to be under control, if not fully whipped as yet…. I’ll do for this, anyway…. It’s getting so I can do these in my sleep, sort of….
My trip to Ensenada on the Ghetto Princess is going into the memory category in my head that NEVER gets any visits, other than as a reminder to avoid certain things in the future…. This was my fourth cruise this year, as I’ve completely indulged myself in spending most of the back payments that Social Security saved up for me by putting me off for so long…. Of those four trips, this one managed to fall into last place from the outset, never looking back, until it had completely fallen off the charts of any statistics kept on “bad vacations”.
The staff of the ship did their best, for the most part, but they were operating under the handicap of a ship in need of refurbishing, rigid company policies in need of review, and a managerial staff who were obviously less well trained, or experienced, than the standards usually found on Princess ships…. Structural changes in the way the ship was set up were made that made it less comfortable for passengers, by crowding more people into smaller spaces, such as in the buffet, where they removed part of the serving area to make room for more seats… This made it hard to get the food at all, as the newly designed serving area was cramped and crowded at all hours…
The ship itself was in need of repairs in many small ways, and the staff was rushed and obviously overworked. They try to turn over their passengers between these quick 3 and four day cruises so quickly that nothing ever gets all the way done, or done well…. They disembark one group from 0730 to 1000 or 1100 AM, then start loading people back on at about noon, and sail at 4:30 PM, all the while moving luggage and restocking stores for the next cruise…
The room service food, which we used a lot due to my illness, was NOT up to their usual fare, and almost always arrived luke-warm…. which is okay for the lasagna, but not so good for a cheeseburger, or the lobster bisque…. I did meet the Executive Chef in charge of the specialty and main dining rooms (not the buffet, or room service…. that was under the auspices of the Executive Sous Chef….), who was a nice man, and reported all the things I pointed out to him as another chef…. but, there was little he could do beyond that. From speaking with him, I wish I’d been well enough to eat in one of his outlets, as I’m sure it would have been better than what I experienced in the other venues….
Any who, what with other issues on board, my illness, and more problems that showed up in our travel arrangements with shuttle companies, etc., this trip was the worst we’ve ever been on, and we are now determined to remain homebodies for the next few months, to get his trip out of our system, and plan for a better trip next fall, when we’re planning to go to Europe, to the British Isles…. This is the last whine you’ll have to endure on this trip, which I had hoped to make into a better story…. Maybe after I’ve recovered a bit, I’ll be able to see more of the humorous side of what happened, but, just now, while I’m still sick and uncomfortable, it’s a bit hard to see it that way… C’est la vie, eh? I guess, after three great trips, it was my turn for a bad one….
In the meantime, it’s morning, and time to go diving…. Since I’ve been up, answering email, and writing this post, for quite a while, I’ll need to use some archived material today, but, by tomorrow, should be back to all fresh material, once I have built up a bit more energy than I’m currently able to muster….
Shall we Pearl?….
“Go placidly among the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence….” — Desiderata
As mentioned above, I’m using something from the archives, but for a purpose…. I wanted to point out that, along with Lou, the other blogger to whom I refer in the pearl below, I was trying to let people know about the spying being done on the public by the government, long before the revelations by Eric Snowden that PROVED how much is being lifted from our private data, all by the “most transparent administration” we were promised when we elected Obama ( Yes, I voted for him, twice, as the lesser of two evils…. I’m regretting it, mostly because he has proved to be as bad a liar as the rest of them….)…. Any who, this is from late in 2012, before Mr. Snowden released his information, which makes Lou and I somewhat precognitive, don’t you think?…..
From the Pearl posted on 11/24/2012:
“Just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you!” — Smart Bee
Last week, or maybe earlier, another blogger and I were both ID’d as being a bit paranoid, (self-identified, I might add, along with accusations by another blogger….) because we happen to believe at least some of the conspiracy rumors continually floating around the internet. Each of us took comfort from the above sentiment, knowing it to be 100% true, and have mutual agreement in that belief. Lou seems to be pretty tech-savvy, posting a lot of different types of media on his blog, so he must have similar knowledge as I of computers, and the functions of which current technology is capable. This knowledge, along with a deep understanding of human nature, is the root cause for our paranoia, and, it’s justification….
“No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.” — Aristotle
The little laptop computer upon which I type to create these Pearls of Virtual Wisdom is an amazing machine, and fairly representative of what is available to the public these days. It has, quite simply, more computing power in it than was present in the ENTIRE WORLD when the first laptop was on the design boards, when I got my first clunky 386.
What this simple fact(oid) implies is this: the government, and its supporters, the bankers, corporations, and churches, have available for their use, enough computing power to record EVERY piece of communication, of EVERY type, created each day in the ENTIRE WORLD.
Along with that capability, to monitor ALL communications, it has the capability of mining that huge amount of data for significant words, phrases, and patterns that will inform them of anyone, anywhere, who is speaking in a way that is potentially against their interests.
Yep…. every single piece of published communication, via phone, internet, TV, radio, or any other form of media by which humans communicate, is vulnerable to being overheard by those in the beloved ruling class…. Allow me to assure you, the reasons for which they want this information have nothing to do with YOUR rights, or YOUR interests, nor are they going to tell you, either that they are doing it, or how often, or where, or anything about it. In many public places, with cameras and recording devices, it is possible for them to overhear even the words we speak to each other face to face.
If they wish, they can even concentrate technology on a single spot, (such as your car, your living room, or kitchen….), and listen to every word spoken there, even if they are not within miles of the place. There is, by published report, no place left on Earth where technology cannot penetrate, to listen to what is being spoken, given the opportunity, and the time to employ the needed technology.
So, my friend and I are well aware that what we write and publish here online is perfectly available to those who care about such matters, and they WILL be listening to what EVERYONE is saying, even, or, perhaps especially, us. Since I have a tendency to rant against the very people who are listening, I doubt that my name is missing from several lists of theirs. In fact, I’d be surprised if it was missing from those lists…. if it is, they’re not paying attention….
As I’ve said before ffolkes, be alert; the world needs all the lerts it can get. You are being watched, and listened to, whether you choose to believe it or not, so it would behoove you to, perhaps, take that into account. Please, don’t fall into that, “oh, you’re just being paranoid,” attitude, or the “well, if I don’t say anything wrong, they can’t get me,” fallacy….
One of the primary characteristics of those with the power-mongering gene is a certain irrationality, a characteristic that is inherent in their make-up…. They have an unfortunate tendency to act on belief and faith, not on fact, so their actions, while fairly predictable, are somewhat irrationally chosen, and don’t necessarily make any sense to those of us who use our minds for other things than reclining upon…. Remember, as Lazarus Long advises, “Always cut the cards.”….
I have read and understood the above. X______________________
I’m currently without poetic impulse, though I have the feeling there is something in there, growing…. For now, though, to keep from allowing anyone else to share the blame for today’s post, I’ll include what I consider to be one of my better pieces from the past…. Well, I like it, anyway, so, here ’tis….
In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
to give no anxious fever, anger to eschew.
Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
shall fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.
Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.
Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.
Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in the oceans of natural delight.
When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
and the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.
Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art….
~~ gigoid ~~
As always at this juncture, I find it necessary to fall into default mode, and come up with what I like to call an “old-school” pearl… So, here it is…. Enjoy!…. Oh, and, ffolkes, remember, don’t fight against wherever the pearl directs your mind…. you could hurt yourself, and my insurance is already maxed out…. Thanks…. Take care with this, and you’ll be fine….. In fact, if it works out the way I want, you’ll not only enjoy it, but your acne will clear up within a few hours….
“The first sign of a nervous breakdown is when you start thinking your work is terribly important.” — Milo Bloom
“It is a secret known to but a few, yet no small use in the conduct of life, that if you fall into a man’s conversation, the first thing you should consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear you, or that you should hear him.” — Steele
“If nothing’s fair, why can’t it ever be unfair in my favor?” — Calvin
“[Freedom is] the power to live as you will. Who then lives as he wills?” — Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)
“It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?” — Henry David Thoreau
“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.” — Stephen Hawking
“FOOLED you! Absorb EGO SHATTERING impulse rays, polyester poltroon!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
Okay, I will admit…. some days it works better than others…. You’ll have to make your own judgment as to how this one gets rated…. I like it, but, then, I did it, so, mine don’t count…. At least it isn’t sharp enough to cut yourself on…..
Well, it’s been a long morning, and it isn’t even seven o’clock yet…. Fun, though, for the most part…. I suppose it goes to prove that everything is relative, as the fun part seems to be connected to the fact that I’m NOT feeling shitty in some fashion… That, plus I’m done with this, which is always an uplifting event around here…. Now let’s see how it came out….
Well, damn, Samn, that’s not bad at all… I’ll take it, and run with it, all the way downtown…. or, back to bed, which sounds more attractive at the moment…. I had fun, and so did you, admit it…. Oh well, be that way…. See ya 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,
I just sits.