Fifty days to grieve in color….


“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.
Now is the time to understand more,
so that we may fear less.”

~~ Marie Curie ~~

early leelu

Leelu ~ The Early Days….

Hajime…. Properly speaking, this isn’t a blog; it’s a self-directed therapeutic activity, designed, from the start, as a means of maintaining a reasonable grasp on reality’s throat, in order to fulfill the implied promise we all make to our mothers, to do our best in Life, in thanks for the invitation. I’ve never spent much effort to promote it, simply because I don’t much care about the fame part of wanting to write. I do care about honesty, accuracy, and the sharing of what we have learned that may be of help to someone else. From a standpoint in view of honor, that’s all I need to worry about. Besides, since I’m retired on disability, I’m not allowed to make any money, lest it prove I can work after all…

That being said, to, as ever, little or no purpose beyond space-filling, the daily completion of what happens here is a rather randomly (un)predictable set of events, any of which, if missed or screwed up somehow, can alter the final results in a way I don’t much appreciate. But, it’s mostly fun, and relatively good for my level of angst to do the work. Now, if only I could find some way to ensure a sufficient degree of motivation each morning, I’d be all set. As it is, it’s a constant struggle to find either the energy, or the will, to get up, and focus on the screen, especially when engaged in a morning altercation with my familiar…. That struggle is lessening, as we adjust to each other’s routines, but, it can be a significant limiting factor….

Why am I going over all this? Ah, who the hell knows; not me, that’s for sure. I just began to type, and this is what came out. Since it’s now clear it isn’t really going much of anywhere, I think we can safely abandon any further examination of the idiosyncrasies of daily blogging, & try to get on with putting together something worthwhile for y’all to enjoy with your morning wake-up routine. Hell, I’ll even try to get something in there to stimulate some degree of cogitation, just to get the juices flowing. We do what we can, even if we cannot claim a full-service menu of offerings. For now, whatever happens will just have to do, because I’m out of stuff to blather…. Let’s do this, instead….

Shall we pearl?….

“He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.”

~~ Lao Tzu ~~



Lily Tomlin

Image from via Google Images

Our featured artist today should need little introduction. For over forty-six years, this woman has made us laugh, sometimes to the point of blowing snot. She’d love to know that, too, I think…. Ffolkes, here is George Carlin’s nearest competitor for the best ever, in my opinion…. Her character, Ernestine, is iconic, as is she….. Enjoy! I’ve included audio versions of her stage performances, collected by a You Tube fan….


Lily Tomlin On Stage




Dont keep calm

“Think like a mountain.”

~~ Aldo Leopold ~~

To be honest, I have within me the power to rant today; I can feel the outrage and angst just sitting there, trembling with the urge to vent. But, I’m late again, thanks to evolving routines, so we’ll go instead with something from the archives, after a short statement on current reality…. The following short pearl, composed of three deep little pearls, makes a cogent comment on the culture which has evolved on this planet, which bears an uncomfortable resemblance to those societies described by George Orwell and Aldous Huxley in their frightening visions of our possible future. After the pearls, you’ll find an archived rant, just because I feel like some overkill…. Enjoy!….

“Abroad in the world today is a monstrous falsehood, a consummate fabrication, to which all social agencies have loaned themselves and into which most men, women, and children have been seduced … “the Eleventh Commandment”; for such, indeed, has become the injunction: You Must Adjust.” — Robert M. Lindner

“I’m frequently appalled by the low regard you Earthmen have for life.” — Spock, “The Galileo Seven,” stardate 2822.3.

“Arguments derived from probabilities are idle.” — Plato

From 7/17/2014:

“Ignorance of one’s ignorance is the greatest ignorance.” — Smart Bee

Fucking brilliant….. No other lesser phrasing would be powerful enough to express how strongly I believe in what Mark has written here…. He is absolutely, 100% on target with his observations, and delivers a message that even the most hardened idiot has to hear…. of course, until they just get that glazed look on their face, and deny, deny, deny…. which they will do, immediately, by the millions, should they get even two paragraphs into this article…. Mark has a way with words like no one else, and he uses them here to once again skewer the GOP, and the group that I call the Asininnies, so well I’m tempted to say he did it perfectly…..

“Counts his sure gains, and hurries back for more.” — James Montgomery (1771-1854) — The West Indies, Part iii

Sniff…. It brings a tear of joy to my curmudgeonly soul to hear, and feel, the brilliantly sharp sardonicism Mark brings to bear, on the asininity, and the sheer stupidity that permeates the entire rich white Judeo-Christian fundamentalist, corporate mentality…. You know, the one that fills the halls of our government in Washington, all 50 state capitals, and every bloody church in this somewhat less than diversified land of ours….. The ranks of those who refuse to use their brains for anything beyond transporting their bowels from one toilet to another are bursting with politicians, lawyers, priests, preachers, quasi-military police, and corporate raptors, viciously dispassionate in their unending search for more power, and more resources to control…. all without any regard, or concern of any kind, for anyone whose lifestyle and/or beliefs do not match their own limited views….

It took me a while to compose the above paragraph; I tried to be as condemning as possible, without resorting to vulgarity…. I think it worked okay, in that it’s clear how I feel about those assholes…. but, due primarily to my own tendency toward pomposity, it could be better, and leads me to believe you just can’t replace a good round of swearing and cursing for delivering a message like this one…. I could have said most of that, and delivered the message, with a simple, “the bloody fucking assholes are doing it again”, with minor amplification for corroboration of details….

Shit flows downhill, you know, so, it’s best to fling it before we get any on ourselves…. Besides, with the way most of those in the 1% treat most everyone else, they deserve every bit of our disdain and vituperation, as well as our vulgarity…. THEY are the ones who live their lives in a vulgar manner…. What other word fits better than “vulgar”, to describe the likes of Rush Limbaugh, or Dick Cheney, or Karl Rove, three of the bastions of conservative thought?…. None I can think of, and my vocabulary is pretty extensive…. Just putting their images in my mind gives me a shudder of revulsion, worse than any I’ve ever gotten from snakes, lizards, or insects, let me tell you….

Once again, Mark has said it better than I am currently capable of doing, so, I’m going to soothe my fevered brow with an old school pearl, to vent some of the angst and anger that builds up in me whenever I consider the egregious immorality of those at the top of the societal pyramid of power…. those fucking assholes…. Here is a seven star old-school pearl, with parameters designed to find some sharp, pointed sticks, which we shall then envision to be flying directly at the lying eyes of the pundits….

“Government of the people, by the lawyers, for the conservatives.” — Smart Bee

“You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.” — Malcolm X

“We are doing the right thing and we do not see the bad things.” — Vice President Dan Quayle pretending he is one of the wise monkeys

“If you can’t get a job, get a senate appointment!!!” — Smart Bee

“Basically a dog person. I certainly, though, wouldn’t want to offend my constituents who are cat people, and I should say that being, I hope, a sensitive person, that I have nothing against cats, and had cats when I was a boy, and if we didn’t have the two dogs might very well be interested in having a cat now.” — Incoming Missouri Congressman James Talent, — responding to the question Are you a dog or a cat person? (Mr. Talent is a graduate, summa cum idiotum, of the Dan Quayle School of Political Science-Like Stuff)

“One can imagine a sane, healthy, cheerful human society based on no more than the principles of common sense, as validated each day by work, play, and
living experience. But this remains the most Utopian and fantastic of ideals.” — Edward Abbey

“If God had intended for politicians to ski, he would have made bullshit white.” — Smart Bee

This is an example of what I call a “rock-solid” pearl…. When you see quotes from Smart Bee at either end, and smack in the middle, you can trust that this pearl is one that will hold its shape under the most trying of circumstances, and can puncture the eye of a pundit without leaving a permanent mark….. It’s that solid, sharp, and real….



Some years ago, since retiring at the start of 2011, I spent a lot of time in pretty constant pain. Now I am using Phoenix Tears, it is much better, but, sometimes it’s good to go back & re-live it, to keep my feeling of progress intact…. Here’s a report I wrote after a particularly trying day, which gives a good idea of how it goes…. or, can go, some days, even now…. I’ve left it with the addendum I originally posted with it, which tells us why we write such poems….

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 ~~


(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 ~~



Naked Pearls

This way to the lighted area….


“To teach is to learn.”

~~ Japanese Proverb ~~


“Should I start with the time I SWITCHED personalities
with a BEATNIK hair stylist
or my failure to refer five TEENAGERS to a good OCULIST?”

— Zippy the Pinhead


“One doesn’t discover new lands
without consenting to lose sight of the shore
for a very long time.”

~~ Andre Gide ~~


“What can we gain by sailing to the moon
if we are not able to cross the abyss
that separates us from ourselves?
This is the most important of all voyages of discovery,
and without it,
all the rest are not only useless,
but disastrous…”

~~ Thomas Merton ~~


“Adventure is not outside a man; it is within.”

~~ David Grayson ~~


“Every ordinary moment, every little detail
should be a celebration of your personal understanding.
Your smallest act should be permeated with reverence.”

~~ Deng Ming-Dao ~~


“He declared that he knew nothing, except the fact of his ignorance.”

~~ Diogenes Laertius — Socrates, xvi ~~



I’m not entirely sure how, (much less why….), but, it’s done. Since I blew off yesterday, I have to say, it’s not bad for one thrown together at the last minute. Regardless of how it may have turned out, we’re going with it, as it’s too late to do it over. I will, however, maintain our standard of honesty, to give you fair warning, I’ll be back tomorrow to try again; you might want to mark your calendars. Until then, y’all be strange, because, why not?…. See ya, ffolkes….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
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

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.


“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured Image -- 2780

À bientôt, mon cherí….

If we must, we can use the anchovy paste….

Now, this is scary…. I never knew that a mere blank, white screen could hold so much fear….. Not only is the screen blank, so is my head, and time is passing. It’s already after 0800, due to being up until 0100 for some unknown reason, and not arising until after 0700….. No big deal, but throws me off a bit to have my schedule change again, willy nilly, just because my head wouldn’t shut up last night…..

Then, of course, there is the problem of this morning’s Pearl…. Once more, I’m completely at a loss as to how I should get going…. no fictional scenarios are floating around in there, and my sense of humor doesn’t seem to be awake quite yet, despite the rest of me being up and about, just as if I were normal….. which, as we all know, just isn’t the case….. I left that unfortunate state behind me, a long way in the past, and haven’t seen hide nor hair of it since, oh, 1958 or so…..

“We have met the enemy and they are us and you are me and we are all together.” — Walt Kelly, Lennon, and the Beatles

“When you talk to the half-wise, twaddle; when you talk to the ignorant, brag; when you talk to the sagacious, look very humble and ask their opinion.” — Edward Bulwer-Lytton

“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe. And what do we teach our children in school? We teach them that two and two make four and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are?” — Smart Bee

Okay, so, I cheated….. sue me. I thought, maybe, if I threw out some pearls, it might jog my brain, and something worthwhile would fall out….. I do like all three of these little gems, especially the first and last…. the middle one is one of those ‘surprise’ pearls, by which I mean that the source is a surprise….

Edward Bulwer-Lytton is the author of the book in which the line “It was a dark and stormy night….” was first used, and the opening paragraph of that book, whose title I never can remember, is used as the ultimate example of the over-blown, floridly wordy, and pompous style of writing that seems to abound in certain literary genres….. It is such a bad piece of work, that, each year, a contest is held, wherein people submit the worst opening lines for a book they can think of, to win a prize, which has grown to thousands of English pounds for the year’s winner….. Some pretty funny stuff is composed every time….

I’m not going to rant here… in fact I’m going to just abandon all attempts at making this a real intro, and just dump it on y’all in its current state. I don’t think it will splash, or cause any permanent damage, so, I’ll take my chances, since it’s way too late to start over…… In the interests of self-help, and to make at least one strong attempt to regain control of this missive, we’ll leave this alone now…. Shall we Pearl?…..__________________________________

“This song of the waters is audible to every ear, but there is other music in these hills, by no means audible to all…. On a still night, when the campfire is low and the Pleiades have climbed over rimrocks, sit quietly and listen … and think hard of everything you have seen and tried to understand. Then you may hear it – a vast pulsing harmony – its score inscribed on a thousand hills, its notes the lives and deaths of plants and animals, its rhythms spanning the seconds and the centuries.” — Aldo Leopold

Mr. Leopold’s fanciful flight of imagination is lovely, and true, as well. Without mentioning it by name, he gives a fine description of what has been called the Music of the Spheres, or, as I like to call it, Star Song…… I’ve found, over the course of a moderately long life, that some folks can hear this music, and some can’t. It doesn’t have anything to do with intelligence, per se, though more intelligent ffolkes seem to hear it than those who are less endowed with that characteristic. But, it isn’t essential…. I believe the ability to hear it has to do with two factors; one is imagination, and one is curiosity, both of which are somewhat dependent on having been developed in childhood.

Babies all hear this music, but learn, as do we all, to tune it out as they become more concerned with other aspects of growing. If imagination and curiosity are encouraged when young, a child will again learn how to tune in to this universal music, but, if not, they may never hear it past the age of 10 or so, losing along with it much of their sense of wonder, and many of childhood’s most important lessons. These losses can affect the course of their lives for all their days, keeping them unaware of much of the beauty in the world.

I am forced, at this point in this narrative, to make a confession…. I’m lost. When I started this pearl, I had a specific argument I was going to present, with evidence, suppositions, and conclusions all laid out in logical order for your examination. Now, however, I am faced with the simple fact that, while composing the above two paragraphs, that argument has flown completely out of my head, and gone off to wherever such ideas go when Murphy gets hold of them like this….

If I knew, I’d go kick his ass and get them back…. SIGH…. I don’t, though, so I’m going to make one try to salvage this space, and fill up the remainder of this section with an old-school group of pearls…. I’ll try to keep them in the same general genre, or near the same area of thought as above, but, obviously, no guarantees are possible…. Lloyd’s would never cover it…..

“It’s hard to face tomorrow, but it’s easier than facing no tomorrow.” — Smart Bee
A novice of the temple once approached the Chief Priest with a question. “Master, does Emacs have the Buddha nature?” the novice asked. The Chief Priest had been in the temple for many years and could be relied upon to know these things.  He thought for several minutes before replying. “I don’t see why not.  It’s got bloody well everything else.” With that, the Chief Priest went to lunch.  The novice suddenly achieved enlightenment, several years later.


His Master is kind,
Answering his FAQ quickly,
With thought and sarcasm.    ~~ Smart Bee
“Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes.” — Edgard Varese
Against those skilled in the attack, the enemy does not know where to defend.
Against the experts in defence, the enemy does not know where to attack.

— Sun Tzu
— Bother! said Pooh,  as Eeyore missed another period.
Like. if guns are outlawed, the lawyer population will explode out of control. — Smart Bee

Bloody brilliant, if I do say so myself…. but, then, I’ve always said Smart Bee was much more than just your average database….. There IS a point to the group of pearls included, but, don’t bother trying to figure it out, you’d only get a headache…. It’s kind of the same idea as the old saw about “Never try to make a pig wear shoes…. You’ll both end up dirty, and the pig still won’t dance….”

I’m in the mood for a bit of mad genius…. so, here is one of the maddest genius’s ever, by acclimation….


O half moon—-

Half-brain, luminosity—
Negro, masked like a white,

Your dark
Amputations crawl and appall—

Spidery, unsafe.
What glove

What leatheriness
Has protected

Me from that shadow—
The indelible buds.

Knuckles at shoulder-blades, the
Faces that

Shove into being, dragging
The lopped

Blood-caul of absences.
All night I carpenter

A space for the thing I am given,
A love

Of two wet eyes and a screech.
White spit

Of indifference!
The dark fruits revolve and fall.

The glass cracks across,
The image

Flees and aborts like dropped mercury.

~~ Sylvia Plath

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. {2} If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. {3} If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. {4} Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. {5} It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. {6} Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. {7} It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. {8} Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. {9} For we know in part and we prophesy in part, {10} but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. {11} When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. {12} Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. {13} And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” — 1 Corinthians 13 NIV

It is such a shame that the Bible has to be regarded as divinely inspired, in my mind. There are a number of passages in the various books by different authors that display a deep insight into human nature, and, like the one above, beautifully give to man words of such truth they can form the basis of one’s entire world-view. Insisting that such ideas are only possible to God, to me, isn’t realistic, nor is it true. I’ve known a number of people I would consider very wise, who have never even heard of the Christian God…. so, where does that fit into the picture?….

No, from what I can tell from reading it, most, or, okay, I’ll be fair, much, of what is written, most especially those parts intended as dogmatic proclamations, are more human in origin, obviously, than they are divinely inspired. The premises all favor the church over the individual, and submission of each individual to dogma is required of the faithful; that much is apparent in every statement that asserts God’s authority over Man as Creator.

It’s obvious to me, anyway…. I could never figure out why God, who could make universes, needed me to fall down on my knees and humble myself….. What kind of sick thrill does he get from that? I know that anyone who acts in a subservient manner to me makes me uncomfortable, and feel like I want to kick them, and tell them to stand up and show some pride…. or at least some dignity….

Any who, in the Bible, there is all this good advice, and good ideas, like the one above…. but, in order to find them, one must wade through all the nonsensical stuff that the priestly hierarchies would have us believe is “written by the hand of God”…. Much more likely t’was the hand of Guido, or Etienne, I would think, at the insistence of assholes like Paul, and Peter, those evil men who barely waited until Jesus was underground to start perverting his teachings…. I’ll bet they were a bit surprised to have to wait until after he rose, and left again, before getting down to the business of altering texts, twisting meanings, and generally setting things up to suit themselves, all with the convenient authority he so trustingly gave them….

Not for nothing is it said that Jesus was an innocent…. he believed he could trust his disciples, forgetting entirely they are human, and will act out of self-interest FIRST, every time, when it comes to morality…. Hell, soon after he died, all twelve of the disciples went their own ways, and began the task of creating the thousand and one different sects based on the teachings of Christ that exist today…. or at least, setting the stage for their creation…. There WERE only twelve of them to start with…. Even with that, it takes a while to split it all up to the point we now see today, with thousands of separate churches, all based on one or another of the basic core principles Jesus left behind as legacy, and all interpreted through the lenses of each person’s glasses, colored in self-interest….

Ah well, at least if one has the patience to look, some good things can be found in the Bible…. I just wish that people would learn not to take it so seriously… because, I’m sorry to have to tell them this, but, God doesn’t publish books, nor does He (as I understand the concept of Him….) use ghost writers….. In fact, I should think that, if such an entity had something to tell us, He might make it pretty obvious where the message came from, and what it meant…. otherwise, what would be the point? If nothing else, I would expect a God to be, at minimum, logical…..

Okay, I’m done….

“Due to intense mind fog all thoughts have been grounded.” — Smart Bee

Whew, what an ordeal! I wasn’t sure I’d ever get done, but, once again, the perseverance I learned at my father’s knee stood me in good stead…. It’s done, and you can’t make me do it over…. Well, I suppose you could, but, you wouldn’t, would you? Would you? Hmm…. I think, before you have a long time to think about that, we’ll take our leave, until tomorrow….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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



Billy’s just here to pick up the meatloaf, mister….

Yesterday, my blog on WordPress reached a milestone….. I’m informed by the statistical ‘bots that I now have 101 followers of my blog!  This is a gratifying moment for me, and a most welcome encouragement that I’m doing something right, at least. I have, mostly, done very little to promote the blog, beyond posting it to Twitter and Facebook.  My only other activity that might fit that category is that I also follow well over a hundred blogs, of which I read every one I get a notice for, (I am a very fast reader) and I’m pretty active in the comments section.

So, what this tells me is that my followers are all here as a result of either serendipity (they clicked on random suggested blog with a tag they like), or because of word-of-mouth, i.e., someone recommended it to them. This is the most gratifying part for me, as it tells me that the ffolkes who are following me are also telling others what they like here, and sending them here to read.

So, I would like to take this moment here at the beginning today, to shout out a huge THANK YOU to all the ffolkes who have read and liked what I’ve written, with a big hug and sloppy one on the cheek for all those who have re-blogged or recommended my work to someone else. All of the above is very much appreciated, and I can only hope that I can continue to produce material that people enjoy, and maybe bring a smile, or a stimulating thought, to someone’s morning.

Thank you….gracias…. multi grazie…. merci beaucoup….. domo arigato…..xie xie….. danke sehr…. and, again, thank you one and all for your support and encouragement. May the lives and fortunes of all of my new found friends be ever growing and ever more dear, and may they always walk in Beauty…… Yah ta hey!  Mi taku oyasin.  (We are all related.)

Well, that was fun…. it’s humbling to reach a milestone like this, to know that one now has a responsibility, to write well enough to justify the support and belief that people have shown to me, so I’d best be about it, hadn’t I? Nothing will get written just sitting here basking in the after-glow…..  So, take a few deep breaths, blow out one last time until you are empty, then fill up your lungs as much as you can. Pinch your nose, open up your bright eyes, and your shiny mind, and let’s dive…. the Pearls are a’waitin’…..

“All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.” — Federico Fellini

It has been a while since I talked about Pearls, so when I stumbled upon the above quote, I knew it was time….. Pearls of Virtual Wisdom come with a caveat and disclaimer, to wit: These Pearls consist of ideas and concepts, and even procedures, that are Virtual Wisdom. They should never be confused with, or used as, Real Wisdom; the results can be somewhat unpredictable, have been known to cause injury, and in at least one case, (my own), have resulted in months of severe depression. (Of course, that depression may not be due strictly to the intrinsic differences in the Pearls themselves, but rather a direct result of inattention to which variety I was using at the moment)  Regardless of how real Pearls of Virtual Wisdom may appear, or how shiny they look to the untrained eye, the author assumes no liability for failure to heed this caveat.

That being said, let us for a moment consider pearls as incarnations of jewels, as the precious gems of rare beauty and great value they become when freed from the oyster, the shelter which created each layer of the pearl’s beauty out of its own pain…. The soft sheen of a fine pearl, luminescent in the dimness, glowing in the light, has captivated the eyes and imaginations of men and women since the first oyster was plucked from the sea bed to enhance someone’s supper, and has inspired those who fall under its spell to acts of great sacrifice, as well as acts of great cruelty, in the quest to possess these timeless treasures from the sea.

Thus the metaphorical nature of the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom becomes apparent, as we see that, although virtual wisdom looks just like real wisdom, the difference may be likened to the difference between naturally produced pearls, and those that are cultivated in laboratories.  One is shiny, and of great value for its rarity and beauty, naturally endowed; the other is shiny, but of lesser value, due to lesser rarity, and a somehow lesser beauty, as made by the hand of man.

The subtle differences are of little note, except to Reality, which always knows which wisdom is which, as it knows which pearl is which; hence the caveat and  disclaimer, to avoid any conflicts with Reality due to negligence on my part…, please use these Pearls with appropriate caution, and they will bring you joy for years to come…..

“Did an Italian CRANE OPERATOR just experience uninhibited sensations in a MALIBU HOT TUB?” — Zippy the Pinhead

“This song of the waters is audible to every ear, but there is other music in these hills, by no means audible to all…. On a still night, when the campfire is low and the Pleiades have climbed over rim rocks, sit quietly and listen … and think hard of everything you have seen and tried to understand. Then you may hear it – a vast pulsing harmony – its score inscribed on a thousand hills, its notes the lives and deaths of plants and animals, its rhythms spanning the seconds and the centuries.” — Aldo Leopold

Have you ever listened to hear the music of the spheres?  Mssr. Leopold has heard them; no one who has not been held in thrall by the sheer beauty of this universal symphony could possibly give such a clear, and complete description, without possessing firsthand knowledge of its power, without first having experienced its beauty. It is a beauty that reaches straight into men’s souls, plucking directly on our heart-strings to bring us into the music, as an integral part of the entirety of creation that it celebrates.

The music of the night plays all day, as well, but is drowned out in the clamor of the sun, and the people who are too busy living, and cannot hear its song. It is best heard in the night, when the stars play in the background, as in an orchestra, wherein a soft string section supports the sweet melody of the horns, and the percussion holds steady the bright improvisations of the woodwinds.

I like to think, when I am listening to the music that plays forever, and is forever playing, that we can only hear the music because we are part of it, just as all the animals, and plants, and rocks, and oceans are part of the music, all filling in the musical note that best fits with all the rest, completing the glorious harmony that will be sung as long as the stars shine in the night sky……

“We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting.” — Kahlil Gibran

“Those who speak know nothing;
Those who know are silent”
These words, I am told,
Were spoken by Lao-tzu.
— P Chu-i (772-846)

How is it then, the poem ends; that one who knew, wrote so much?

I know, I know! Teacher, teacher, call on me!….. He didn’t want to write at all, but they made him do it…..  Actually, I don’t know, precisely, or even verifiably under current conditions, whether or not that which I know is the true answer. What I do know is that what I’ve heard about this has that mythical quality that many Chinese legends have, as have those of many countries throughout the world’s history, of having grown from a single seed of truth….

When Lao Tzu decided he would leave his home in the town where he lived, his fame as a Taoist scholar and sage was already great throughout the Middle Kingdom; he was known to the Emperor, greatly admired by all of the important figures and scholars of his time, and revered as a treasured member of society.

As the story was related to me, Master Lao decided he wished to retire to the mountains, to be free of the demands laid upon him by his fame, which distracted him from his inner journey, and set about him the confining walls of the expectations of others. So he packed up his meager possessions, mounted his donkey, and set out for the gate to the city. At the gate, the guard asked him to where he was traveling, whereupon Lao Tzu told the guard of his wish to go into the mountains, in search of the Truth of the Way.

The guard was an educated man, who had himself studied the Tao, and did not wish for Lao Tzu to take away his knowledge and teachings, so he set a condition on the aged master, that he would only be allowed to leave if he first wrote down all he knew of the Tao’s nature, to leave in place of his revered self.

Thus constrained, Lao Tzu returned home, where he transcribed the eighty-eight verses that comprise what is known today as the Tao Teh Ching, the book which has served as the primer on Taoist philosophy for all the centuries since the Master walked the earth. When the work was finished, he took the manuscript to the unnamed guard, passed through the gate of the city, and was seen no more in the Middle Kingdom.

As I said, I don’t know if this is a true story, or an idealized version of what actually took place over two thousand years ago. But it sure sounds true, and is congruent with all the principles of Taoism that I can claim to understand. If it is so, the entire human race owes a very large debt of gratitude to that clever unknown soldier, who saved the master’s words for the world…… and as for having written so much, the only response I have to P Chu-i’s question is, “Who cares? Where would we be if he had not done so?”…..

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  — Romans 12:1

“Reasonable service”  Hmm….. it seems to me that whoever wrote this should probably turn in his divine channeling papers, because all of his sense of proportion and believability just went flying out the window when this got put onto parchment back in the day. I mean, give me a break!  “your bodies a living sacrifice” is “reasonable service”.  Well, if you have the kind of mind that will accept that at face value, then I am compelled by compassion, fueled only by a deep desire to help my fellow man, to inform you of a special deal, a deal you won’t be able to pass up….

That’s right, folks (note the spelling, please), today only, you too can be the envy of your neighbors, the hero of the housing tract, the cock o’the walk, as it were. Today, and today only (we already have our ticket for the bus to Bakersfield leaving at midnight…..)  you can join those millions of people have taken advantage of this EXCLUSIVE OFFER! For the next few minutes our operators will be taking orders for this deal of a lifetime, C.O.D only; no checks, no credit, no problem. What, you may ask, could be so wonderful, so glamorous, so blatantly gluttonous that EVERYONE wants one?

Well, I’ll tell you….. how would you feel to know that, thanks to your own good sense, and the wonders of human ingenuity, you were the first in your area to be the proud owner of…. wait for it….  your own, exclusive jar, filled to the brim, with GOD’s OWN ETERNAL LOVE! That’s right, you heard me correctly. For the insanely low price we are asking, you’ll have to agree that we are practically giving away this priceless commodity; you won’t find this deal matched anywhere.

What is this essentially negligible price, you ask? Just how crazy are these guys? We’re pretty cagey, er, crazy, that’s for sure. Today only, we are asking for a mere lifetime, and a mere 75% eternal, commitment of your entire soul, and the mineral and artistic rights to your firstborn child, whether a son or daughter. That’s right! An entire mason jar, filled to the brim with the priceless boon of God’s own eternal love, for the almost unnoticeable price we are seeking, would normally run you not only what we have asked, but also want you to throw in your wife,  guarantee the rest of your children’s yearly incomes for life, and toss in a few succeeding generations as well. But today, and today only, you too can join those exclusive few who are privileged to have their very own centerpiece for the family altar, for the bargain price of one soul, and consumer rights on a child.

How can you lose? And how can you afford to pass up this opportunity to advance your standing in the eyes of your peers, as well as the eyes of God?  You can’t, so pony up, sucker!….. Hahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaha……..

“By calling attention to ‘a well regulated militia’, the ‘security’ of the nation, and the right of each citizen ‘to keep and bear arms’, our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation, the Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country.  For that reason, I believe the Second Amendment will always be important.” — April, 1960 (Then) Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)

Jack Kennedy was a pretty smart guy; after all, he did graduate from Harvard Law. Admittedly, he was not exactly the most ethical bulb in the box, but he had his head screwed on his shoulders fairly solidly, and had the unusual political stance of actually wanting the American people to have a decent chance at what they deserve, and are promised by our form of government, i.e., a shot at “the pursuit of happiness”….. However, in this statement, he makes an unwarranted and dangerous assumption, to wit: “it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation.”  Jack was an optimist…. and as is often the case, the pessimists were closer to right on this one…..

Our rights are in imminent and clear danger of being abrogated, permanently. This is an indisputable fact. I have pictures, as well as copious documentation, of their own documents of erasure. This kind of fact is also provided with further partial proof of its truth by the reaction of those responsible for this subtle attack on our legacy of freedom, who, when confronted with knowledge of their intent, immediately accuse the confronting entity of “spreading communist (oops, I guess today they would now use the ubiquitous “terrorist”) propaganda”, or “attacking the principles of freedom” or my favorite complete lie, “you’re threatening our national security.”

It would be somewhat amusing, if it weren’t so dangerously disgusting…. I mean, do they really expect the American people to sit around and do NOTHING?  I kind of hope they do believe that…. it will be then a bigger surprise to them, when the American people stand up, point their guns at the heads of these idiots, walk back into the voting booths, and take their rights back, from the Democrats AND the Republicans, who are all arguably insane….. call me treasonous if you will; I call it patriotism, of the first water…..

“Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the First, his Cromwell; and George the Third [“Treason!” cried the Speaker]–may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.” — Patrick Henry (1736-1799) — Speech in the Virginia Convention, 1765

(In today’s scenario, substitute, George the Shrub and Shrub II for George III)

“You can lead a yak to water but you can’t teach an old dog to make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke.” — Opus

Looking back over today’s offering was interesting; I guess if it hadn’t been, I’d be tossing it all and starting over. Fortunately, that won’t be necessary; this will fly just fine….. I hope you enjoy this sharing of the wealth I go through every morning as much as I enjoy spitting it out. (Sorry…. I suppose I could have chosen less visually descriptive verbiage, but, hey, it still is early here in California, and I’m too lazy to go back and change it…. deal…..)

The weather wizards are calling for more rain, so I guess there will be sufficient time to get to the daily batch of WP notices and comments, now reaching over 100 emails a day, and still growing…. SIGH, I love all this; as a polymath, it is a great way to stay busy without ever getting bored. But, it sure is taking up a lot of the day…. I need to figure out a more efficient method of dealing with it all, before it becomes a chore….. ah well, the day is young….. meantime, y’all take care out there, and Blessed Be……

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