Epiphany for sale: affordable rates….

Ffolkes,

 =-0 * * *

~~ The Enterprise firing photon torpedoes, at a cloaked Klingon Warbird ~~

=-O ~~~~~    =۞≫

~~ The Enterprise firing phasers at an uncloaked Klingon Warbird ~~

This rich view of a tapestry of colourful stars was captured by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera, on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. It shows a open cluster of stars known as IC 4651, a stellar grouping that lies at in the constellation of Ara (The Altar).

This rich view of a tapestry of colourful stars was captured by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera, on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. It shows a open cluster of stars known as IC 4651, a stellar grouping that lies at in the constellation of Ara (The Altar).

Star Cluster IC-4651

Image by European Southern Observatory via Space.com


Good morning…. Boy, what a ride! Life can be pretty unpredictable, especially when you’re awake. Sleep, having been hard to come by of late, has apparently returned to stay for a while; I’m up late (for me; it’s damn near 6 AM….), having again slept more than 6 hours. Yay for me. Now, once again, I’ll have to rush to get posted before my automatic sense of duty kicks in to REALLY send me into panic mode. To forestall any such event, we shall now head out directly to the oyster beds, with no further fooling around…. Watch this!….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” — James Baldwin (1867-1947)

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royalty-free-clip-art-vector-logos-of-black-and-orange-floral-acoustic-guitars-by-seamartini-graphics-6573

    You guessed it. Default music…. This one called itself a mix to improve Brain Power, and gives you about 10 hours to do so…..


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Classical Music

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2001_a_space_odyssey

The Dawn of Man


https://youtu.be/ypEaGQb6dJk




As you observe the opening lines of this section, I’d like you to note a couple of details, which were deliberately added for the purpose of directing this discussion. First, I would request you watch the video, either by clicking on the embedded player, or using the link to watch it on You Tube…. Particularly note the development of the habit of violence in the human tribe of simians, with the not unexpected eventual response of stimulating the curiosity and violence in the nature of those abused by that new habitual behavior, thus, perpetuating it as part of the developing embryonic cultures.

Then, note I put the title just below a picture of the part of the film which shows humanity’s progress, with the Blue Danube waltz playing in the background, to highlight the pinnacle of achievement thus represented by the station, the flight, and the music, combined to show what is possible for us as humans. The title, to me, shows the TRUE dawn of Man.

We aren’t quite as far along yet, as shown in the film, (directly attributable, it seems clear to me, to the effect our violent nature has had in slowing that progress..); however, to me, our ascent from this planet into space is the only hope we have to get away from that violence, sublimating the power of the emotional content that drives it, by channeling our curiosity, into exploring a Universe large enough to provide us with an unending pursuit of knowledge, and more complex and powerful methods of getting along with the races we encounter out there, rather than into more complex and powerful weaponry, while simultaneously giving us the necessary physical protection of knowing HOW to fight.

The irony of putting the title at that point is this: we are NOT going to get there. Not at the rate we’re going. There is too much instability in the world today to ever believe we won’t end up destroying ourselves, either by consuming conflagration of nuclear war, or by continuing to poison the air we breathe, the food we eat, the plants and animals that support the ecosystem, and, most of all, by our ignorance and lack of courage/virtue….. The signs are too clear to ignore, ffolkes, so, it would behoove all of us to figure out exactly what we’re going to do…. quickly, too, for there are certain issues of physics/biology/chemistry/ecology which will NOT wait until we get around to it….

“As soon as you are willing to discard observational data because it conflicts with religion, you are giving up any hope of ever really understanding the  universe.   As soon as you pick religion as the touchstone of reality, then we  have to start discussing how one can demonstrate the correctness of one religion over another when different *religions* disagree.” — Wilson Heydt

“The answer is simple: kill the heretics.   History shows us that this is the actual solution that competing religions apply — trial by combat or trial by ordeal.  God is the final arbiter.  What a sad waste of human potential it has proven to be.” — Paul Hager

The two quotes above, taken together, give a graphic example of how this irony manifests itself in today’s world. The oligarchs control the politicians and the religions, and the politicians and religions try to control the masses of humanity, playing out their drama of good vs. evil on a global scale, at such a complex, mind-numbing number of times, places, and on so many fronts, the average person is buried in the details and stresses of life, never even realizing how deeply their thoughts and behavior are being influenced by others.

All this sad, yet, somehow glorious and fascinating panorama of human existence in today’s world, is observed by a relatively small group of people, smart enough to understand, and see, the big picture, but, who have never wished to control anything but their own lives. Since we don’t really WANT to have to do so, or to have to take part in any of the other delusional behaviors most of society is pursuing, it becomes a challenge, to find others who see the same, and have the wherewithal to organize, to make some kind of difference, if by nothing else than speaking up to educate the ignorant….

So, that’s what I do…. I seem to have done it enough for today, so, we’ll get on with the remainder of our lives now…..

    gigoid has spoken.

    So be it.


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Comedy_Tragedy
Roses for Noses
I have a bozoid personality, of the first degree;
 nobody, I mean nobody, knows that better than me.
I often wonder, as the world goes around, and around
 how many others have realized just what I’ve found….

I know for a fact, I’m not the only bozoid one;
 too many people laughing out there, having fun.
Is their laughter, though, at themselves first?
 Or is it some other impulse, like purple liverwurst”….

I’ve always loved to make others laugh and giggle,
 since my tender youth, when my ears began to wiggle.
 The world is full of humor,  but not always easy to find
  so laughing at myself I learned never to mind….

We bozos know each other, here, there, and everywhere
 there’s no hiding such joy, it just wouldn’t be fair.
We all have one feature, our great bulbous nose,
 and there’s no doubt at all, cuz it just grows….

There’s nothing like a good, big mistake, a disaster,
 to show us the folly of living life faster and faster.
Nothing in the world can ever take the place,
 of seeing in the mirror, a happy, smiling face….

Don’t be shy, just let it all hang out;
 we bozos have more fun, there’s no doubt.
Life’s too somber and gray if we let it get on top
 if we don’t stay loose, the pain won’t ever stop….

My advice to all of you, out there in the world,
 let noses grow round & red, keep hair tightly curled.
Find a way to let your spirit out often to play,
 you’ll never once regret any price you pay.

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 1/27/2013.

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buddah-out-to-lunch_s

    This one was a little rushed at the end, but, I’m pretty sure it came out alright. You tell me….

“A short saying oft contains much wisdom.”

~~ Sophocles (496-406 BC) — Aletes, Frag. 99 ~~


“I know but one freedom, and that is the freedom of the mind.” — Antoine de Saint Exupery

“Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.” — Socrates (470?-399 B.C.), [quoting Plato]

“Profound Truth differs from simple truth in that the negation of a simple truth is a simple falsehood, while the negation of a Profound Truth may be  another Profound Truth. E.g. a button with “Life is just as simple as it seems” on one side and “Life is not as simple as it seems” on the other.” — Smart Bee

“It is… nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreak and ruin. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.” — Albert Einstein, “Autobiographical Notes”

“I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.” — John Locke

“I am a man, and nothing that concerns a man do I deem a matter of indifference to me.” — Terence — Heautontimoroumenos, Act i, Sc. 1, 25, (77.)

“Your actions prove what you think of yourself.” — Will Limon

“And never think about the past. No regrets, ever.” — Lazarus Long

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    Some of y’all may have noticed a new piece of ASCII-art added to the pearls today. If it wasn’t obvious before, it really ought to be now, for it is sitting right above this paragraph, staring at you as if you are some sort of pond slime for not noticing. It’s a sensitive icon, you see. It will be a part of every pearl henceforth, for as long as I remember to put it there, or, until I figure out the correct way to get it into the template…. So be it.

Now the housekeeping is done, (as Tommy Toilet recommended so aptly to us all, so may years ago….), I note the Pearl for today is as well. Done, that is. Or, at least, I hope it is; I promised it would be. I can’t be sure, as I’m actually writing this yesterday, and leaving it to the Tardis, to put it where it belongs, at the proper time. Handy, that. On that semi-plausible, –in-another-universe–, note, I shall take my leave, with the usual caveat regarding the instability of the Space/Time Continuum, and, of course, the forces of Entropy, which can be whimsical, at best…. I’m gonna go post now…..

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.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


		
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Plain, old-fashioned articles of modern design….

Ffolkes,
Malaise. An innocuous word, wouldn’t you say? Almost sounds like one of those drinks you get on a cruise ship, in a colorful plastic cup with a bamboo umbrella sticking up from the top….. Makes me thirsty just thinking about it, until I think about what the drink inside those cups usually taste like, to wit: six fruits, sugar, and a bunch of cheap rum, with bubbles. This is also only until I remember what the word actually means, and its relevance this morning…..

In the psychiatric healthcare industry, malaise refers to a certain set of symptoms experienced by people who suffer a wide range of mental issues; it is common in depression, neurosis of several types, schizophrenia, and a number of other diagnoses. Malaise is generally reported as a vague, unsettled feeling, centered in the abdomen, much like a low-grade fear, but without any specific cause or stimulus that the sufferer is aware of. All that unfortunately afflicted individual knows is that they are accompanied by a constant sense of impending doom, of dread at what may happen; they cannot tell you why they feel that way, they just do so.

I am here to tell you, it isn’t fun. As a man who has in the past suffered from the deleterious effects of long-term exposure to violence, i.e., post traumatic stress disorder/syndrome, I experience this on an irregular, unwelcome basis. This morning is one of those unwelcome times. I awoke, no earlier or later than usual, and from sleep not troubled by uncomfortable dreams, or excessive pain, either of which are common.

But, as I sat up to begin the morning routine, I was washed over completely, like an unexpected wave at the beach, by a feeling of trepidation and mild fear; sort of anticipation of disaster, much akin to the first moments before wading in to physically control a raging psychopath bent on ripping my head from my shoulders, an event with which I am all-too-familiar.

As a result of all the years I spent doing just that, it is a feeling I know well, and recognize easily. What isn’t so easy is convincing my conscious mind that all that fear does not require any action on its part; the fear is accompanied, you see, by a good strong jolt of adrenaline, which kind of takes over the metabolism, preparing the body for fight or flight. No fight, no flight, just the adrenaline coursing through my system, looking for a convenient asshole, or a plane ticket….

So, here I sit, vibrating lightly in every muscle, determined to ignore this feeling that I should be up searching for the danger so obviously present, according to the feelings of malaise I’m trying to ignore.  It will pass, after a time; it always does. It resembles Murphy in that respect; you never know or expect it when he might show up, and can never be sure he’s really gone, just because you don’t see him anymore. Patience, and will power, are the keys to handling this without ill effects, and needless to say, I’ve had lots of practice at this particular process.

So, we’ll just gather up our belongings, and get back on the bus, which will take us directly to the jumping off point for the day….. Shall we go Pearling? I say we must….. or I’m doomed to spend the rest of the day in a medicated haze, in order to keep from running around naked, throwing rocks at the seagulls, and scaring the neighbors….. Shall we be off, then? Let’s do………
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Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
Is the best gift of Heaven: a happiness
That even above the smiles and frowns of fate
Exalts great Nature’s favourites: a wealth
That never encumbers, nor can be transferred.
— John Armstrong (1709-1779)

Virtue is the subject of this poem, and justly so, as it is a key element in the make-up of an evolved Man, by my definition of such. In my mind, one of the most important of these virtues is Duty, which could also be said to possess the same qualities as ascribed to virtue in this beautiful piece, in that it “never encumbers, nor can be transferred.”  In fact, Duty is unique among the most important virtues, as it is completely a matter of choice. One must choose Duty; it cannot be thrust upon us by others, unless we consent. It may not be our first, or best choice to assume a Duty, but it is OUR choice, not that of society, or of other people, or of Fate, whatever that means to you.

For the first ten years of my life, my family spent most of those years living on US Army bases. Fort Lewis, Fort Ord, off-base housing in San Pedro, all were what we called home until my father mustered out in 1961. As a result, my upbringing was a bit different from that of most of my civilian classmates. By the time I started school at age 4.8 (November birthday), I had already been to Japan with the family, was well able to perform such tasks as making a bed on which you could bounce a quarter, sweeping and vacuuming, mowing lawns, raking leaves, minding my younger siblings, and a bunch of other stuff that a family with five kids tends to outsource to the young’uns for completion.  And, most significantly, I could perfectly address my seniors with well-rehearsed protocols of politeness, as well as give a pretty fair definition of what the term Duty meant……

Duty has remained as one of the most important elements of my life; to this day there are certain things I must do before I can go to sleep at night, all related to a chosen duty of some sort. And that is the point of this little discussion (at last, they cried!)….. Duty is chosen, not given. It may be accepted if offered, but the choice still remains. If we do not choose a Duty, then we will not be invested in fulfilling it, other than for how we wish others to see us, a very poor way to structure one’s actions. Only by choosing our Duty do we feel the responsibility for completing it; only the choice determines our investment. But, the reward for making that choice, and for meeting the demands Duty places upon us, is being able to sleep at night, with a clear conscience, and an easy heart…..

Self-respect . . . is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has its price. — Anonymous, but true nonetheless….
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“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” — Thomas Paine

The Founding Fathers had a strong, and justifiable, lack of trust in organized religion, and that mistrust is exemplified in this statement from Thomas Paine. It is a sentiment shared by a significant number of those men who left us our legacy of freedom, as evidenced by similar statements seen in correspondence written by, and/or to, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, among others. All these men had direct experience with how organized faiths fall into corruption and oppression, and how those organizations attempt to force non-believers into submission to their dogmatic influence. This corruption and oppression was, after all, the driving force behind their journey to the New World in the first place…..

If we look around society today, the picture that organized religions present is very similar to what was seen back then, only on a much grander scale. The leaders of those religions continue to pervert the teachings of Christ, changing them around to suit their own agenda and purposes, until what they say is completely unrecognizable by any true Christian, and would most likely have Jesus blushing down to his toes at the thought of them using his name to justify their perversions. The only difference in today’s world is in how many different sects of Christianity have surfaced over the intervening 240 years. When the US Constitution was signed, there were maybe eight or ten sects among the populace; now there are literally thousands of different interpretations of what the Bible, and the New Testament, say about life. This doesn’t even address or count the presence of at least five other major religions that the American populace embraces. And each one is thoroughly convinced of their own rightness, that all the others are wrong, and will go straight to hell when they die…..

SIGH…. all I can say at this point is, a) I am VERY, VERY glad that our forefathers had the good sense to build a solid wall between church and state, and b) I am equally as happy that I have not bought into the lies, perversions, or dogma that ANY of these charlatans in priestly robes are handing out, even when they make the offer with candy, or cakes, or sacramental wine, not even a nice Chianti, with some fava beans….. otherwise, I’d feel worse about it all than I already do…..

“If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” — Bertrand Russell
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Truckin’, like the do-dah man
Once told me “Gotta play your hand.
Sometimes your cards ain’t worth a damn
If you don’t lay’em down.”
Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it’s been.
— Truckin’ by Garcia, Weir, Lesh, Hunter

I’m pulling my covers again, though I’ve never really worn them very tightly. I’m a hippie. I became a hippie in 1968, when I decided to attend the University of California at Berkeley, and entered into a world so different from that I had heretofore experienced that I am still seeing, and feeling, the effects, both good and ill. This verse from an iconic tune from those halcyon days is a very good expression of how I feel today, some 44 years later…..

I’ve met the do-dah man, even played a few gigs with him back in the day. I’ve played enough poker to know he was giving me the straight skinny on that; it’s good advice, as evidenced by my lifetime record of breaking even at the game that isn’t a game. I’ve been in the light, and found my way out of the darkness on more than one occasion. And I am completely convinced that my long, strange trip is not yet done, and that there are strangeness’s and wondrous beauty still to be seen and experienced before I pass into the great unknown that awaits us all.

I’m not ashamed of being a hippie. We, as a group of American citizens, were directly and indirectly responsible for a great many societal changes, and the activism we espoused back in the day has not mellowed with age. I’d guess that a significant number of us are active in such organizations as MoveOn.org, the Occupy Protests, the push for equality between the sexes, and those that seek justice for the victimized and oppressed, that are active today, as has been true since the 60’s. Just because I’m getting older doesn’t mean I’m going to cut my hair, stop playing poker, or reduce my sense of outrage at the atrocities I see in our society.

In fact, just the opposite is true. Though much thinner these days, my hair still reaches half-way down my back, and there has been no less outrage in my responses to the news, not that I can see. (I do play less poker, but that is due to lack of available playing partners and a stake, not lack of want-to….)  I can only hope now to provide an example for the youth of this time, to continue to show that honor, duty, and and the journey toward justice for all (Free our sisters, free ourselves!) are not out of favor, but continue to be key elements of right behavior, and right action, for a large number of citizens, past their prime or not…. hell, it just makes us meaner and tougher, not weaker. The PTB and the beloved ruling class might do well to remember that…..

“Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.” — little known, but apt, advice from Merlin the Wise, the most influential wizard in the history of Mankind….
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{       )  (    ,(    ,_+–+–,      ~)      ~\
{ (@)    } f   ,(  ,+-~ __*_*_  ~~\_   ~\       )
{:;-/    (_+*-+~~~~~+*+*<_ _++_)_    )    )      /
( /  (    (        ,___    ~*+_+* )   <    <      \
U _/     )    *–<  ) ~\—–++__)   )    )       )
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___) >____) >___   ~\_\_\_\_\_\_\)
~~~//\\_~~//\\_~       ~(\_\_\_\)
~~~ ~~ ~~~ ~~

This beautiful example of ASCII art will hopefully translate from where I found it to this post and still retain its clarity. To be certain, and to segue into the discussion I’m planning, allow me to say that you SHOULD see here a picture of a magnificently plumed Tom Turkey, as envisioned in the mind of J. Random Hacker.

Now, when I saw this, after my initial response (“Perfect!”, I thought….), a second, slightly more wicked thought struck me, and I thought I should share it. I have a proposed change to suggest for both, or hell, all of the political parties in the US today. Republicans,Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, Whackos (the Santorum/Romney/Gingrich contingent….    …. sometimes called the Tea Party), they all need to consider taking this image as one to replace the elephant, the donkey, the cartoon characters, etc. that they now use to represent their party line, and how they wish to be viewed. A turkey is very American, much more native here than the majority of political hacks on parade.

Turkeys are survivors, and are considered to be one of the toughest birds to hunt and kill, as they are fast fliers, hyper-alert, and smart as hell in their own environment. Of course, none of these characteristics are common to these political groups as they exist now, but hey, maybe by changing their icons, they can take on some of these virtues…. it couldn’t hurt, and just might make them more palatable to the rest of us……. What do you think? Think they’ll go for it?…. They might just earn my vote, if they should all of a sudden show some common sense, and go along with this novel idea…. Probably not going to happen, but I can dream, can’t I?……
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Limericks are art forms complex,
Their topics run chiefly to sex.
They usually have virgins,
And masculine urgin’s,
And other erotic effects.
— Anonymous

Haiku are always
calmly directing our eyes
pointing to the way.
–gigoid

So, it occurred to me, after writing the above haiku, to ask myself, “Self, which came first, the limerick or the haiku?”  At first, I thought I was just being silly. Then I realized I really wanted to know, but I’m too lazy to Google right now. So, here is the deal…..

I’d appreciate a response from anyone who has any ideas or reactions on this, either by commenting, or by posting a reply; if I follow your blog, I’ll be notified of either method of response, and be able to reply in turn. No prizes will be awarded, though I will mention your name, and your answer to this time-honored query, in a future Pearl. (Well, it’s been honored for the two or three minutes since I asked it, and by the time you answer, it will be more, so….) So, join in the fun, and the challenge, and send me a response today! You won’t regret it, much…..

It’s the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don’t be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit, it’s so easy to quit:
It’s the keeping-your-chin-up that’s hard.
It’s easy to cry that you’re beaten–and die;
It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope’s out of sight–
Why, that’s the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each grueling bout,
All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try–it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.
— Robert W. Service — The Quitter
___________________________________

Got ahead of myself there for a moment. I was so excited at being done, I started to copy and paste to the appropriate destination files, and only then noticed I had not quite finished. So, here I am, to compose one more witty ending to another meandering journey through the labyrinth I call my mind…. easy money, as they say.

Well, the meandering and the ending parts are easy; the witty part is, as always, a notably arguable characteristic of what I write for publication. Ah well, I suppose it is well to remember that the journey is the lesson, not the destination…. Y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!