Incidents of random iridescence….


“We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.”

~~ Walt Kelly, “Pogo” ~~

graceful death

A Graceful Death

Hajime…. Not sure why, but, woke up today in a crusty mood; it must be the shoes. Who knows, &, moreover, who cares? I don’t, not today. In fact, it may not be possible to describe just how little a fuck I give today, so I won’t try. I’ll merely refer you to the previous sentence for an example, & be done with it. In point of fact, I’m in such a place right now to be done with this intro; being retired, I can damn well do what I please, so, I say, without caring at all about repeating myself, fuck it. I declare this intro section complete….

So be it….

Shall we Pearl?….

“We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics.” — Bill Vaughan



    No intro needed, ffolkes. Y’all have been in this section before, when it reset to default…. Enjoy, if you please….


Classical Music





le penseur-rodin

 Le Penseur ~~ August Rodin

I’m taking a break from ranting; the piece posted recently, on the Plague of Evil, used up quite a bit of the angst I’d collected for a while…. Here, then, is an excellent discussion of Reality and Life, from 2013…. It’s a lot shorter than y’all are used to, believe me….

From 3/26/2013:

“Commonly, physicians, like beer, are best when they are old, and lawyers, like bread, when they are young and new.” — Fuller

“As to Jesus of Nazareth…. I think the system of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity.” — Benjamin Franklin

Well, as you can see, Smart Bee is being a bit recalcitrant, an event which, though usually not a good thing, did give me the opportunity to use the word “recalcitrant”; that doesn’t often happen…. Any who, I’m having a bit of trouble finding a pearl, or a group of pearls, that would be suitable for either a rant, or an old-school quest; the two above are the best I can find, in over an hour of searching. Though not too bad, they aren’t quite right for either process, and not strong enough to stand alone, in my opinion. So, I’ll cheat again, with another blast from the past…. this one will be a random choice, the first one I come across that will fit physically into this space, so I have no idea what it will be like….

From 4/10/12:

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”

~~ Proverb ~~

This sort of pearl is much, much deeper than it appears at first glance. (Note: It seems common to find the most complex and deep issues most often described or related in very short sentences. Hmm…. probably something to do with K.I.S.S., in which the universe believes, strongly….) Applied as a metaphor for human interactions with reality, it assumes an even greater degree of relevance, as it implies both choice and hope. Both are always present, but not always in view; such aphorisms as this can help one to find where they are standing, hidden in plain sight….

It is eminently clear to most people, by now, reality does not adjust to our desires; any adjustments made must be on our part, as we have absolutely no power to change any aspect of reality other than our response to it. A hard lesson, one many never learn, or come to terms with; such a failure almost guarantees they will find life to be one long struggle, as their days are spent futilely trying to make what is, into what they wish it to be. To use the analogy provided, they never learn to trim the sails of their vessel, thus, find themselves constantly fighting with, and cursing, the wind, never realizing their own lack of understanding is what sends them scuttling off in confusion, into uncharted waters, or, into the metaphorical rocks.

Thus, from simplicity does great wisdom arise; to reach one’s desired destination in life, one must learn to trim and adjust the sails of our vessel, to make the best use of the wind the universe sends in our direction. Or, more plainly, we can only make changes to ourselves, not reality. Learning this one simple lesson can turn a life out of balance completely around, giving it the direction and stability it has ever sought, allowing the most troubled soul to sail into the light, and out of the darkness that engulfs those who argue with reality….



Pensive early and late…

Endings aren’t always a new beginning
I’m sad to say.
Sometimes it’s just an ending
there’s always a price to pay.

Still, it’s only money, he said
watching it piss away
Did everything ‘cept meet Fred
‘n had a good time the whole way.

Even the bad stuff turned out well,
life lessons are just that way.
Knowing what’s right, you can’t always tell,
we don’t always know the right things to say.

I’ll take all the hard times, without complaint,
learning isn’t always easy to take.
Kindness, patience, and compassion without restraint,
are still the best decisions we can make.

~~ gigoid ~~




Naked Pearls

Know Thy Self


“Be what you is,
’cause if you is what you ain’t,
then you ain’t what you is.”

~~ Satchel Paige ~~


“Know the enemy and know yourself;
in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.
When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself,
your chances of winning or losing are equal.
If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself,
you are certain in every battle to be in peril.

~~ Sun Tzu (fl. c. B.C. 500) ~~


“What’s earth with all its art, verse, music, worth
compared with love, found, gained and kept?”

~~ Robert Browning ~~


“Life is more important than art;
that’s what makes art important.

 — James Baldwin


“A lie never lives to be old.”

 — Sophocles — Acrisius, Frag. 59


No teacher I of boys or smaller fry,
No teacher I of teachers, no, not I.
Mine was the distant aim, the longer reach,
To teach men how to teach men how to teach.

 — A B Ramsay


Drop the question what tomorrow may bring,
and count as profit every day that fate allows you.

 — Horace


“Do I look like someone who cares about what God thinks?”

 — Zippy the Pinhead


“The Journey is the Reward,
Not the Destination.”

~~ Zen Koan ~~


That’s it, ffolkes. That’s all I got today. I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out the issue making me so grumpy, & will deal with it as best I may through the day. Hopefully, by tomorrow, it will, at least, not give me such a deep case of the grumps…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, with a bit of luck & perseverance…

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


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Improbably imbued with ponderous value….


Vague flutters, as tiny wings not seen, but heard on the very edge of awareness, fall obscurely upon the dark shadows, soullessly inhabiting these empty halls. A terrible, heavy silence grips the night by the throat, quelling any thought of outcry, any hope of warning, as minute by minute, the hour of fate approaches unbidden, unwanted, unknown…. Baleful denizens of darkness cower, shivering in the cold of a terror so great, so powerfully evil, all hope died, screaming, before it was ever born…..

Then, of course, I woke up, and all was well…. or, as well as things can be, all things considered…. At least we’re not in the evil grip of some kind of Steven King-like novel, like the poor sap in the first paragraph, eh? I’d hate to go there every day, even if only in my head…. Having been blessed once more by 10 solid hours of sleep, I feel GREAT! Well, I feel pretty good, anyway; I don’t think I’ll be climbing any mountains anytime soon, but, I may be able to make it past 2 PM without a nap, if I’m lucky, so, that’s a good thing, right? Right….

In the last week, other than two trips out of the house to take care of some business out in  the BBR, we’ve been stuck in the house ever since getting back from the cruise from hell, me with bronchitis, and my lady with a cold she managed to pick up inadvertently upon arriving home…. For the past five days, we have been alternating sitting, taking meds, and sleeping, pretty much, with some minor writing on my part in the early mornings, while my brain is actually functioning at a relatively normal level…. Part of what has kept us in the house, aside from illness, is the weather here in California, which has been reminiscent of Alaska in the early winter…. seriously…

It has been well below freezing point for five nights running, with temps here last night down to 21 degrees F…. For a town right on the water of a bay, on the Pacific Ocean, at around the 37th parallel, that is COLD!…. Especially here in this part of the state, where ‘mild’ is the word we use most often to describe our weather patterns…. This year, 2013, the area has had approximately five to six inches of rain, with only twenty-one days left in the year,  whereas, the annual average is close to 24 inches…. But, there’s no such thing as global warming, so, hey, not to worry, eh?….

Okay, that’s enough… Some fictional musings, some personal patter, a bit of weather, a mini-mini-environmental rant…. It will suffice for our purposes here….  I think we’re good to go for a dive… If things turn out to make that an erroneous decision, well, hey, we’ve been wrong before, haven’t we? Yes, yes, we have….

Shall we Pearl?…..

That ‘s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture.

— Robert Browning (1812-1890) — Home-Thoughts from Abroad, ii

“Whenever, therefore, the profession of arms becomes a distinct order in the state….the end of the social compact is defeated… No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state…Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.” — Richard Henry Lee

I mentioned a few days ago that I’d found a good quote for the beginning of a rant, and I was right, wasn’t I?….. Specifically, for a politirant, concerning gun control, and the misguided attempts to alter the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, if not wholly, at least by abridging its intent. This, I believe, is a HUGE mistake, even though it was fully expected by those who first made the law, to wit: Jefferson, Franklin, Mason, Paine, Hamilton, etc…. our founding fathers, in short. All of them believed very strongly that this amendment was the very backbone of what made our freedoms possible, and were leery of ANY changes to this law….

“Liberty cannot be guaranteed by law. Nor by any thing else except the resolution of free citizens to defend their liberties.” — Edward Abbey

Those fears were expressed, verbally and in writing, many times, before and after the Constitution’s approval, and all the available evidence shows how little these men trusted the monied, or titled, elite in society… More than once, in correspondence with each other, they discussed their mistrust, of the bankers, the corporations, the aristocrats, the professional politicians, the professional soldiers, and all who support those categories of society. They knew that, as soon as the laws were passed, these special influences would begin using their money, and their influence, to try to abrogate the intent of the laws, limiting them, altering them until they no longer were capable of protecting our rights….

“Freedom isn’t cheap and it never goes on sale.” — Smart Bee

That assault on the Bill of Rights, especially those of the First and Second Amendments, has been continuous since 1786, as can be seen by the Congressional logs of bills that were brought forth at one time or another throughout our history, bills attempting to limit the power of the amendments; some were successful, some were not….. and the assault is not over; it continues to this day, as the special interest groups all clamor to fill the public’s attention with unreasoning fears, by making a huge hullabaloo over EVERY shooting that occurs in this country….

Well, as long as it suits them, of course…. They don’t make a big deal out of one of their police or paramilitary types blowing away some ‘perp’, (…. kind of a demeaning term, don’t you think?…. As well as prejudicial… A ‘perpetrator’ is one who is considered guilty of an act, by connotation, if not denotation….), who is robbing a store because he needs food, or drugs…. Even the shooting of some little kid playing with a toy gun brings no particular outrage from the governors, or even the media, in response to that lack…. No, those types of shootings get little attention past the first report; the only investigations into THOSE incidents are internal, and never find any blame, or file any charges….

No, it is the incidents where some crazy asshole, most likely some private citizen with a long time internal struggle to be normal, gets hold of a gun, goes to some public area, and proceeds to blow away a bunch of other innocents…. These events, relatively isolated in comparison with other types of shootings, of any kind, are the incidents that are brought into the limelight, so that every detail of the agony of the victims is expressed, fanning the public’s outrage, making them afraid for their own safety…. This makes them much more malleable when the talking heads propose their newest limits to the guns that the people can have…. Don’t worry, they’ll get them all, it will just take them more time…

As I’ve stated before, I’m a warrior, raised by a man of honor, and have studied the Art of War, (both the book by Sun Tzu, and the actual Art itself….), for almost my entire life…. and though I don’t, as a rule, use guns (They’re too loud, too complicated to maintain in the field, & hard to use with stealth…. heavy, too….. Knives, and sticks, of many shapes, are quieter, simple to use, & much easier to conceal…. Ropes are pretty useful, too….), I do know how to use them….

If I should ever need one, why, then, I’ll acquire one, from someone who has more than they need, to use as I so require. Then I’ll put it away again, or give it back to the owner, if that individual happened to loan it to me…. If the gun I end up using was pointed at me, well, they won’t be needing it back, anyway….. So far in life, I’ve been smart enough to avoid the necessity of dealing with that, and have had no need for one, so, I’m content with that, for the time being….

But, no matter what the talking heads may do, or say, or how they may change the laws, our founding fathers already GAVE me the rights I have, and I won’t be giving them up, no matter how many legal sounding words they may send through their lips…. It will all be just noise, as far as I am concerned…. There is no rationalization that is, to my mind, conceivable, that could persuade me to give up those rights, because I’ve already heard them all…. After all, in addition to my book/day from 1961 onward, I HAVE been watching TV since the early 1950’s, (I remember the Republican convention in 1954 that nominated Eisenhower, watching it on a small B&W console TV…. “I LIKE IKE!”….), so, I’ve seen or heard just about every political lie there is to perceive…. They just recycle the same old BS every time, anyway….

I’m tired of ranting about this, because, to me, it’s already a settled issue in my mind…. so, let’s see if I can find some pearls to lighten up the tone, and still deliver a few shots to the midsection of the pundits and preachers out there, who deserve as many shots as we can give them….

“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

(Which is why I sincerely urge each and every one of you to PAY ATTENTION!….)

“The devil can quote Shakespeare for his own purpose.” — George Bernard Shaw

(And, too often, does so, right on TV, wearing a dark blue suit with a power red tie and a flag pin….)

“The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone expects to live at the expense of everyone else.” — Frederic Bastiat

“To use power is to make yourself infinitely vulnerable to greater powers.” — Bene Gesserit

“A promise must never be broken.” — Alexander Hamilton

(Wait! How did THAT get in here?…. Oh, okay, it’s alright, he’s not a pundit, just a founding father…. If a bit of a prude in some ways…. Smart, but a bit anal, y’know?….)

“The Bill of Rights goes too far–it should have stopped at “Congress shall make no law” — Smart Bee

“The man who finds a truth lights a torch.” — Robert G. Ingersoll, _The Truth_

“In the midst of this sublime and terrible storm [at Sidmouth], Dame Partington, who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door of her house with mop and pattens, trundling her mop, squeezing out the sea-water, and vigorously pushing away the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was roused; Mrs. Partington’s spirit was up. But I need not tell you that the contest was unequal; the Atlantic Ocean beat Mrs. Partington.” — Sydney Smith (1769-1845) — Speech at Taunton, 1813

I like this, not merely because it is beautiful in its execution, but for what it says, as well…. Exquisitely romantic, and powerfully emotional, it is indeed what I consider the BEST kind of poetry…. to wit: it affects the reader, engaging and enlightening at once…. Enjoy!

Sonnet 14 – If thou must love me, let it be for nought


If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
‘I love her for her smile — her look — her way
Of speaking gently, — for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day’—
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,— and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,—
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.

~~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning ~~


“One of the most difficult of the philosopher’s tasks is to find out where the shoe pinches.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

But, other times, the fools make it easy to show just where the pinch is biting…. such as when this fool opens his mouth…. You MUST read this, please… I know it is a hard one to believe, but, it was reported with a straight face by the news outlet, just as if it were real news, so we owe it the respect of doing the same, no matter how egregiously insane it may be…..

Can you believe the sheer, blind selfishness of this man? No matter what his issues, he was asked to comment on the life of someone who died, and regardless of his own position, he could not put aside his own personal foibles long enough to make a statement of compassion for the family, or the loss to the world…. No, he attempted to equate the works of one of the last century’s most well-loved, and universally respected figures, trying to turn the moment to his own political advantage, with possibly the weakest, most illogical, most ill-informed argument I have heard outside a second-grade classroom, when the teacher asked the little boy why he ate his neighbor’s cookie….

“People become educated, as against trained, insofar as they achieve a grasp of certain critical principles, and the passion to choose, organize and shape their own ideas by means of them. Education is not a mere piling up of more and more bits and pieces of information. It is a process of deciding for ourselves what we believe. It implies a self-motivated action upon our own mental nature and a process in which we learn to open our mind, to correct and refine it, to enable it rationally to learn; thus to empower it to analyze and digest its own knowledge, to gain command over its own faculties, to achieve flexibility, fair-mindedness, and critical exactness. More and more students should have assignments that challenge their minds to think for themselves.

This requires, of course, that they are encouraged to question what is presented to them for belief, not only in the various subject areas, but on TV programs and movies, in news broadcasts, in the talk of their peers and others, in political speeches and personal discussions, in everyday decisions and ways of living. And they should do this not to discover that everything is relative and arbitrary or a matter of opinion, but that all beliefs and points of view are subject to rational analysis and assessment. Ideally the process will come to pervade the school climate and be reflected in the deepest structures of school life. By this means, schools can perhaps become, as they should be, leading institutions in society, paradigms of rationality, helping an irrational society to become what itself has said is its own highest goal: a free society of free and autonomous persons.” — Richard Paul

Rick Santorum is a perfect example of the kind of first type of education described in this quote, with a lot of well-memorized factoids running around in his head, which he is able to regurgitate in various formats on demand, all without ever having to apply a single moment’s actual thought, or use them to reason with for any purpose…. When one reasons, one might come up with a conclusion, which is a risk for a pundit….. He is a well-programmed autobot for the Republican right, which, for me, is a continual delight, as he also has an almost Romney-esque ability to keep his foot planted firmly between his teeth for long periods of time, and still talk around it…. This was a perfect example of that skill, along with a display of callous ignorance and lack of compassion that is merely astounding, rather than particularly surprising.

In a way, though, he is also a frightening phenomenon, for there are actually people in this country who take what he says as gospel, who dote on his unpopular opinions, mostly because they tend to fall into misogynistic, racist, bigoted, fundamentalist Christian guidelines,…. a group of characteristics, you will note, that purportedly have NOTHING to do with government, other than as things to fight against inclusion in that process…. Yet, there he is, the darling of the fascistic fundies, just like that hive of bees in my head that, in spite of telling them of all the flowers that are in other locations, remains ensconced in the eaves under the roof of my mind…. and, well, there they are, so what do I do with them?….

“Annoy a Fundamentalist: Tell him the truth!” — Smart Bee

Hmm, that’s good advice…. To get back to Rick’s case, at least there are times like this one, when he provides me with at least a few moments of hilarity, at the breadth and depth of his stupidity, until, saddened by the same sheer ignorance in one in a position to do so much harm, I become depressed again, when I think of how many idiots are out there taking him seriously….. SIGH….. That thought is SO depressing, I’m going to quit this rant, and go find something fun to do, just so I don’t have to think about him any more….. Wish me luck, and I’ll wish it back at ya…. And remember, ffolkes, I may not be right, but I make up for it by being sure…..

“For the love of God, folks, don’t do this at home.” — David Letterman, CBS Late Show, demonstrating the Donut-o-pult, 1995

I’m not entirely certain just how it happened, but, I think I’ve done it…. Let’s go see…. Well…. I’m still not sure, but, now, at least, I know it did happen, so…. I guess I’m outta here for today…. 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.



Flavor so rich, sour becomes savory….


Yesterday, according to the WordPress statistics bots, I posted my 821st post on this blog…. (funny, I first typed “blob” where it says “blog”, then went ahead and corrected it, but, I see now it might have been better to leave it in, as it fits nicely…. oh well, another opportunity for humor lost…. It happens a lot around here….) I’m not sure whether to be impressed at my persistence, or dismayed at my stubbornness. Only my audience could tell me, which is terrifying, to say the least….. so, I’m not going to even ask, as it really is a moot issue…. I’m going to write as long as I have something to say, and since I kept my innermost thoughts to myself for many years before starting this blog, I’ve got a lot of stuff stored up….

That being said, we can go on to more lucrative, or more interesting material…. that, of course, is the plan. The plan undergoes a number of alterations, usually, before we reach the end of any particular Pearl, so, those kinds of alterations are not unexpected, or hard to manage…. It’s the weird stuff that gets thrown in by my whimsy that tends to make things strange. So far, though, I’ve managed, at least in my own mind, to keep from posting anything that might offend anyone who isn’t an asshole already…. If I have, well, I’d have to consider that a personal problem, as I post enough disclaimers to warn off even the most idiotic of readers….

The stuff I write here is all my own…. if it isn’t, I say so clearly. If I find a quote in Smart Bee, unattributed, I will first Google it to see if it is out there where it can be found; I find an author for these unknown statements about 50% of the times I look for it. If I can’t find it, I give the attribution to Smart Bee, which put the onus for identification back in their court (the software’s authors, that is….). Otherwise, what you see is me, or it is other folk’s stuff, clearly marked, being used by me for the purpose of discussion and/or clarification, and it’s what you’ll get, every day….

I won’t claim what I do here is the best literature you’ll ever read, but, I will say to you that ALL I say here, especially those items that poke fun and ridicule at the BRC and the priestly hierarchies (to wit: church and state….), are my own responsibility, and I stand behind them 100%. If you disagree with any of it, comments are welcome, as long as they are intelligently written, and don’t get into flaming….

Unwarranted criticisms are cheerfully ignored, but, should you take your best shot here, at me or at what I say, in a way that crosses over the line into personal issues, then the consequences that will surely follow, are on your head, and so be it…. I’m not going to be nice to an idiot; it only encourages them to let that nonsense out on someone else…. No, I’ll do my best to put such in its place, and I guarantee, that place doesn’t smell real nice….

In my two-plus years of blogging daily, I’ve been very fortunate not to come across any trolls; everyone who has commented has been very appreciative, and polite; in fact, I consider several of my serial commenters to be new friends, people who, someday, I would enjoy meeting in person. That’s saying a lot, because I don’t keep many friends; I only have a few, whom I’ve known practically forever, of the kind who, when you see them, after a week, or after a year, will immediately take up the conversation from the point where it was left, without any need to make up the time between those conversations, because the connection was, and is, always there….

I see now that, once again, I’ve managed to blather for almost a thousand words, none of which got me to any particularly valuable place, or even one where we might conceivably take off on a literary adventure of some kind…. It’s enough for an intro, though, and that will have to do….. In the main, this is because I just don’t have anything more, of any relevance, to say; I’ve found, in these cases, it’s best to just get on with the normal course of events….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“What you would seem to be, be really.” — Ben Franklin

Since I went a bit overboard in the intro, I will forgo subjecting y’all to a rant today…. I’ve done quite a few of late, of some great length, and can see how reading all of what I write can get to be a chore, depending, of course, on how fast one reads, and how quickly the material can be assimilated. Hopefully, it takes a bit of time to follow the arguments, which are not always simple. Though it may seem otherwise, I do try to simplify things a lot when I discuss them, but, sometimes it just isn’t possible to make a point without displaying a modicum of subtlety, or of complexity, either of which can slow the process down….

Rather than rant, I decided to go with an old Sesame Street game my kids and I used to like, when we watched it together many years ago…. It was called “One of these is not like the others….”, and usually consisted of four concepts, one of which was diametrically opposed to the others…. Here, I have upped the ante a bit, to five items… but, they all are of a type, but for one…. I shouldn’t have to explain any further, and I trust the perspicacity of my readers enough to not ask me to do so….

Just note which of these tells a different kind of story than the others, and all will be well…. At the end of it, you may have a bit of a headache, from delving so deeply into the human well of experience…. but, the sheer difference of the fifth wheel in this group is sure to uplift your spirits, at least a little…. I find it helps to use a 10 point scale for rating these….

My own scoring on this one went like this…. #1 I give this a ten on the ‘idiot’ scale… #2 This gets an eight on the ‘asshole’ scale, but applies to the whole group involved…. #3 Got a negative 3 on all scales (hint: negative numbers are positive in the real world) …. #4 With both TC and Walmart in the same article, this one gets a 20 on both the ‘idiot’ scale, and the ‘asshole’ scale…. #5 got a 7, on the ‘disappointment in society’ scale….

This morning, I’m feeling both nostalgic, and somewhat lacking in motivation. I guess I’m suffering from cruise withdrawal, knowing my next time on board a ship is still four long weeks, plus a day, away in the future…. When this happens, I turn to the classics for a bit of surcease…. This one needs little introduction, as most of it is familiar to just about anyone alive, who graduated from an American high school in the last 100 years, and paid any attention at all in English class…. Enjoy!….

A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

~~ John Keats ~~


Oh boy! I’ve ranted, approximately, and found a really great poem, so, at this point, I get to go old-school, which just makes my day…. I love this process, as it makes me use my head just the way I like, with both discipline and randomness, all in a good cause…. Well, it’s a cause, anyway…. good and bad are distinctions I prefer to avoid, as they tend to rope one into certain positions, and I don’t like to let myself get trapped like that…. Any who, whatever the rationalization used, this one should come out well, as I’m going to use very loose reins, and allow Smart Bee to do most of the work…. What better way to start the day, as long as one has sufficient coffee as a prophylaxis against any undue conceptual manipulation.?… Let’s see what that little devil has going today, shall we?…..

In pride, in reasoning pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes:
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 123

“Everybody gets free BORSCHT!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Don’t lose your head to gain a minute.
You need your head, your brains are in it.

— Burma Shave

“Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool.” — Smart Bee

“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.” — A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

In looking back at this group, I see it would be possible, perhaps, even, advisable, to stop here, and use this as a five-star pearl, with a pretty good point to it, if one is slick enough to trip over it…. But, it just doesn’t feel done to me, so we’ll see what more SB can come up with to bring this to its full potential….

“No man is exempt from saying silly things; the mischief is to say them deliberately.” — Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592)

“He is able who thinks he is able.” — Buddha

There you go….

Well, I’ve gotten to the end of another fine mess, and still feel as if I haven’t begun… Does this mean it’s going to be a long day? Hmm… You may be right, it’s probably too early for such depths of potential disaster; depression and paranoia are hovering right around the corner, should we follow that distraction….. So, let’s just go proof, and see if it all hangs together, or needs a few edges sharpened….

Okay, so the edges were fine; oddly enough, so was the rest of it…. In fact, all in all, this is quite good, and I don’t feel a bit of a qualm about letting it go out, as is…. Y’all may feel differently, but, guess what? It’s a done deal, and it’s too late for anything but a comment….   🙂       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.



To save time, they stalled….

Well, a new day dawns, and it should be a doozy…. Last night, at about 5:30 pm or so, my internet connection came up, and I am now back online, whenever I wish, rather than whenever I can. WHAT AN INCREDIBLE RELIEF! Sorry, didn’t mean to shout, but I’m just so damn happy! Giddy, like a school boy with new shoes…. well, you know what I mean…. Today will be the first whole day I can spend visiting all the sites I haven’t been able to get to for months, to let my blogging buddies know I’m still alive, and am still able to comment…. it will be grand, to be sure……

T’is morning now, a Sunday, and I wouldn’t dream of calling it a doozy…. no dignity there…. Not that we are terribly concerned about dignity around here….. I gave up trying to preserve that months ago…. But, a doozy is what it will be, even if I don’t call it that. First, I get to create a new, or old, routine, of writing and posting at my leisure, instead of thinking about it all day until I can get to where I could post. Second, in a couple hours, my daughter is coming to pick me up for our periodic visit with Zackary, my grandson, and her nephew.

It is a pain, for sure, to only be able to see him every few months, but, t’is better than not at all, which could happen, given that the boy’s mother is a vindictive, narcissistic, extremely selfish woman, who only had a child to fulfill her own fantasies. The child is a secondary matter to her; his importance to her lies in how she can view herself as a mother, and in the future, she will turn on him, as he becomes more independent, and tries to form his own personality. I’ve seen it happen, unfortunately, as I know another woman with similar characteristics….

Ah well, it’s too early to start ranting on the flaws in human nature, though it is certainly easy to do. Human nature has some flaws that stick out pretty obviously, so it isn’t hard to find part of it to pick on. I’m just in too good a mood to start in on that so quickly. Already today, I’ve had indications that Murphy is out there, looking for something to piss me off…. He did spend a lot of effort yesterday, making it hard for the technician to get his part of the hook-up completed….

(Sometimes, Murphy assumes a disguise to fuck with things…. yesterday, he assumed the guise of a mid-level manager with his head firmly up his ass, who wouldn’t authorize a piece of simple work, forcing the tech to leave, and come back later, after another manager had authorized the work….. A five hour delay, with just a simple disguise. Not bad from Murphy’s point of view, I suppose…. Once the manager authorized the work, the whole process took eight minutes to complete, start to finish…..)

Ah me, it’s nice to be able to meander a bit…. No worries, no hurries to get done before I run out of gas, so to speak. Plus, I get to cruise and peruse the headlines in the news first, if I wish, to find fresh material about which to rant. Such luxury! I’m pretty sure I could get used to this….. Let’s not tempt fate, or Murphy, any further….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Their nature, by training and instinct, is to argue and  procrastinate. Yet we continue to elect lawyers.” — Ben Franklin

When I saw this, I couldn’t help both laughing, and sighing, for the statement is both funny and sad. Funny because of the irony, and sad because of its truth…. I don’t really know what it is about lawyers that seems to impress most folks; to me, their actions speak much louder than anything they say, especially considering that ‘talking’ is what they do for a living, and they use words as defensive, as well as offensive, weaponry. Yet, in spite of the endless examples of how a dishonest lawyer has cheated and hurt someone, people keep insisting they are moral, ethical people, just because they have studied the intricacies of our legal system. It makes no sense, because those are the LAST people one could expect to be honest, as every advantage offered by the system comes from using it for personal gain, and honesty doesn’t fit into that picture….. Corruption does…..

“It is not honorable to take mere legal advantage, when it happens to be contrary to justice.” — Thomas Jefferson [Third United State President]

The founding fathers of this country were very concerned with the concept of justice, versus that of legality. They had left England originally to seek a place where they could find such justice, and when they designed the Constitution, it was with this in mind. This is why a jury can find a person not guilty, in spite of the court’s evidence, even in spite of the law, and the verdict will stand. They recognized that justice cannot come from the law, but from society itself, in the form of the peers of each citizen. This, to them, was the honorable way to maintain the rights of the people over those of the BRC…..

“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

As you can see, it wasn’t only Jefferson who mistrusted those who populate the governing classes, or the only one who saw the danger in allowing institutional forces, such as corporations, or churches, to have influence over the operation of the government. Jefferson, Franklin, and Paine were, perhaps, more vocal than others of their time, but they were speaking the words that all their peers were feeling, and thinking. They wanted to warn their ancestors of the danger involved in letting the selfish among us gain control of the purse strings of the public treasury, and how much could be lost by not paying attention….

Have we listened to them? Not well enough, that is for sure…. Corporate interests are in complete control of Congress, and the churches are not far behind in their influence. (The established churches somehow managed to gain a boon I’ve never understood, when they got tax-free status…. Why? What have they done to deserve such favoritism? Why shouldn’t their money be taxed?…. I’m still waiting to hear ANY answer, much less a logical, or justifiable one….) And, the laws, and legal system, have been bloated and enlarged to such a point that ONLY a trained lawyer has any chance of finding their way through the maze to anything approaching justice…. which in most cases, amounts to justice for the corporations, not for people….

Knowing the law is essential to knowing how to break it with impunity, and only the lawyers now have that knowledge. They deliberately keep the system complicated, cumbersome, and unfriendly to human interaction, because they know that is the best way to ensure their own value as the ones who can make it work to their advantage. It’s quite obvious, if one bothers to even look at the overall situation, and is, perhaps, another example of how easy it is to fool the general run of humanity…. because, as Ben said, we keep electing them, don’t we?…..

“I think we’re all Bozos on this Bus!” — Firesign Theater

“This only grant me, that my means may lie too low for envy, for contempt too high.” — Abraham Cowley

Chorus of Athenians

Strophe I.
Ye shades, where sacred truth is sought;
Groves, where immortal Sages taught;
Where heav’nly visions of Plato fir’d,
And Epicurus lay inspir’d!
In vain your guiltless laurels stood
Unspotted long with human blood.
War, horrid war, your thoughtful walks invades,
And steel now glitters in the Muses’ shades.

Antistrophe I.
Oh heav’n-born sisters! source of art!
Who charm the sense, or mend the heart;
Who lead fair Virtue’s train along,
Moral Truth, and mystic Song!
To what new clime, what distant sky,
Forsaken, friendless, shall ye fly?
Say, will you bless the bleak Atlantic shore?
Or bid the furious Gaul be rude no more?

Strophe II.
When Athens sinks by fates unjust,
When wild Barbarians spurn her dust;
Perhaps ev’n Britain’s utmost shore,
Shall cease to blush with strager’s gore.
See Arts her savage sons control,
And Athens rising near the pole!
‘Till some new Tyrant lifts his purple hand,
And civil madness tears them from this land.

Antistrophe II.
Ye Gods! what justice rules the ball?
Freedom and Arts together fall;
Fools grant whate’er Ambition craves,
And men, once ignorant, are slaves.
Oh curs’d effects of civil hate,
In ev’ry age, in ev’ry state!
Still, when the lust of tyrant power succeeds,
Some Athens perishes, some Tully bleeds.

Alexander Pope

“The world is so constructed, that if you wish to enjoy its pleasures, you must also endure its pains. Whether you like it or not, you cannot have one without the other.” — Swami Brahmananda

I wasn’t going to use this on this particular morning…. it is a very deep, complex subject that deserves my full attention and focus. Though a simple idea in and of itself, it describes Reality, capitalized on purpose, to indicate the Real Reality, the one we cannot ever really describe with words, but nonetheless, know exactly what it feels like, especially when it slaps us upside the head, smartly….. as it is wont to do upon occasion. This is its closest approach to having any consideration for our convenience, as it doesn’t have to remind us of how hard it can be, but graciously does so with its every blow to our figurative heads…. or even to our literal heads….

That’s one of the tough parts about Reality…. it doesn’t compromise. At all. Ever….. It is what it is, and it is up to us to deal, not Reality. This, I think, is the hardest part for many to learn, and yet is the key to successfully embracing the idea. The duality of natural law, the very oppositional nature of Reality itself, which is supported by all of our perceptive organs and abilities, is clear, and immutable. One characteristic, of an idea, of a thing, of a person, of anything, does not exist without a complementary opposite, anywhere in our universe. It is all duality, yet not. We see ONE, but the ONE always has another side, from which the letters read ENO…. and that perception is the ultimate clue to the nature of how the world exists as it does….

“You are blind and I am deaf and dumb, so let us touch hands and understand.” — Kahlil Gibran

“Sometimes you have to be silent to be heard” — Stanislav Lee

This duality, clearly as it exists in Reality, is all too often not perceived as such by those people who tend to not rely on their mental acuity to get by in the world. Commonly, people act as if there is truth to the delusion of believing that life is fair, or that the universe cares one way or another whether we survive, or feel happy, or sad, or anything. Life happens, and our reaction to that event is what determines our degree of comfort, and nothing else. And, in order to completely understand the experience, one must also feel the discomfort that is engendered just as often by circumstance as it is by design.

“A person can only feel as much joy as they have experienced pain…. How would you know you are alive, if you had not once been dead?” ~~ gigoid

I can cite examples of the duality that IS, with ease…. We see because of the presence, or absence, of light. We hear because of the presence, or absence, of sound. Touch, smell, taste, all the same…. Our perceptions of everything that exists in the physical world is based on this duality of nature, so it seems unnecessary to go further to find the evidence of the veracity of the claim…. Of course, this does not go into the realm of the non-physical world, the world of thought and imagination, but that discussion is worthy of its own time for consideration….. This also does not fully accommodate the concept that the universe may exist in other dimensions, or with other laws, for which we do not have the perceptive ability to comprehend, or even note…. But, then, given that, there’s little point in speculating, now, is there?….

We just need to realize that the world we live in is just fine the way it is…. It is the people in the world who need to make changes…. Now all we have to do is figure out how to convince, or trick, them to make the changes that will help all of us, rather than just the few…. Worth a shot, I think….

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” — Nietzsche

It’s early days yet, but, I can tell you this much….  I like it.  Here t’is, 2 PM, and I’ve visited with my grandson, son, and daughter, shopped for groceries, taken pictures, written a Pearl, and am now ready to post, so I can take a nap. All I have to say is, it’s about damn time…. Amazing how small things can make a huge difference in our lives….. Long live the internet!  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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



Quantum mechanics isn’t for sissies…..

Time passes, as do tears…. at least this morning, depression is not the first thing that hit me upside the head. So far, the only bad thing I’ve had to deal with is the half & half that looks weird in the coffee because I had to freeze it to get it through the month. Well, that and the urge for a cigarette I don’t have, & can’t afford to buy…. okay, morning whine finished, I’ll go on to a more bracing set of ideas….. I found this whine to be lacking in body, and the bouquet sucked….

So, living with PTSD is fun, what? Between that and the general sense of hopelessness that is conjured in one by the ever-present poverty in which I’m existing, it gets hard to hold onto hope, or even just a resigned acceptance. There are times when I want to go back & exact revenge upon the person I hold responsible for my status, and those thoughts are sweet. But, my karmic adviser is always telling me that is not a good idea, and will end up hurting me more than her. This is not a valid argument, considering the amount of crap I go through. I can deal with it, and better, if I knew that some of it was falling upon her like a horde of Mongols entering Peking (now Beijing….. and the Mongols now come there as homeless beggars…..)  But, my plans for that are not completed yet anyway, they’re still maturing…..

I’d like to think I’ve gotten beyond what was done to me, but I see that I haven’t, and I guess I’ll have to do something about that….. soon, I promise. For now, it is these thoughts of revenge, intangible as they are, that get me through the worst of the moments when I’m hitting the bottom. And that is enough of this depressing subject…. I’m going to go look for some pearls to write about, and try to shake off the strangely adhesive feelings that have been dogging me since yesterday…. Shall we Pearl?…..

SIGH…. the only reason I did not write this in 1988 is that I did not see it until today….. it is never a good policy to suffer a fool gladly, so my code of honor demands a response…. this begins the tale, but by no means ends it….. be warned, and be nervous, if not afraid…..

“I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they  be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” — George Bush in Free Inquiry magazine, Fall 1988

Actually, George, the Pledge of Allegiance has no legal standing, in relation to the Constitution of this country, or for that matter, in relation to what our forefathers were thinking when they founded the nation. In fact, what was said here by such an upstanding Constitutional scholarly type, is, in reality, completely contrary to everything that makes a true patriot, or an American citizen. The part in the pledge, (which no one at all is legally required to take, or state…), that says “under God” was only added in the middle of the twentieth century, by the same Congressional idiots who perpetrated McCarthyism, and the Red Scare, on the American public. It has nothing to do with the Constitution, and in fact, could be construed as a Constitutionally illegal statement, considering the intended separation of church and state that is the backbone of what our forefathers wished us to have as our legacy…. True freedom, not Christian usurpation of freedom….. A person’s religious belief, or lack thereof, is protected by the Constitution, and a patriot is one who supports the Constitution, not a church, or a corporation…..

And if his name be George, I ‘ll call him Peter;
For new-made honour doth forget men’s names.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King John — Act i, Sc. 1

(I know, I don’t much like Will’s stuff, but, law of averages, remember?….. Give me a break, it was the only George quote I could find….)

This kind of thinking from the Shrub, whichever one it was, Junior or Senior, is the same kind of narrow-minded fundamentalism that the colonists were escaping from in England back in the 16-1700’s when they came to the New World. The churches and corporations, both of which were singled out as dangerous to the republic by Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Adams, Hamilton, and many of the other founding fathers, have tried to usurp the Constitution ever since it was ratified. Their writings, to each other, and in public venues, were filled with precautionary admonitions about allowing corporations and preachers to have access to, or influence over, members of government. And, their fears were justified, as we now are facing just the situations they predicted….. corporations are manipulating our “professional thieves”, otherwise known as politicians, to vote for laws that favor them (really, “corporations are people?”… I don’t think so…), and the ranks of our leaders are rife with fundamentalists and religious nuts of all varieties.

“Men tend to have the beliefs that suit their passions. Cruel men believe in a cruel God and use their belief to excuse their cruelty.  Only kindly men believe in a kindly God, and they would be kindly in any case.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967)

It’s difficult sometimes to tell which ones are more dangerous, or more disgusting: the corporations who buy votes from those who fit the definition of “good politicians” (…. a good politician is one who stays bought…..), or the religious demagogues who want to oppress everyone who doesn’t believe the same set of dogmatic constraints as they do. Neither one is particularly hard to spot, but they are protected by their tame dogs in Congress, who will do and say anything to make sure the cash keeps flowing…. right into their pockets.

As indicated by the almost 500 words yesterday, and again today, you can see that the Romney/Ryan ticket disturbs me; I have no problem ranting without end right off the top of my head about the lies and distortions of reality that continuously fall from their lips. As I mentioned yesterday, a lot of people are catching on to this, as Ryan was roundly booed offstage at the AARP meeting he attended to try to sell their rape of Social Security (Smart? No. Arrogant? Completely.). But, even this is disturbing to me, as it shows just how little they care, that they are showing themselves to be only interested in lining their own pockets, and the pockets of those who own them. They aren’t even trying to hide their lies anymore; they just keep repeating them, even after having been shown to be false, believing that if they repeat the lies enough, people will buy it….

“Men are most apt to believe what they least understand.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book iii, Chap. xi

Unfortunately, they are right, to a large extent. Millions of people in this country, who have hung on to their prejudices and bigotry with desperation as the minorities have become majorities, are supporting these assholes, merely because they are white. They don’t realize, or seemingly care, that these are the same assholes who will be screwing them over completely as soon as they get sworn in, preferring to trust in the lies, because it soothes their fears of having a black President.

Beware of the half truth.  You may have gotten hold of the wrong half. — Smart Bee

This is why I keep reiterating that this election is bringing this country to a crossroads. The outcome will show whether we intend, as a nation, to continue to fight all attempts to curtail the freedoms that were bought and paid for by our forefathers, with blood, sweat, and tears, or will become just another religious, corporate-controlled entity, with a nation consisting of slaves and their masters. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ll be at the polls as soon as they open, and will urge everyone I know to do the same…. vote early, and vote often (just joking…), but vote. We need to send a message to these fools, that there are still patriots and citizens of this country who believe in the vision embraced and established by the men and women who began this noble experiment in self-government…..

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” — Aldous Huxley

A Failure to Germinate

Marking the days in elements of sad disarray
only holds me thrall, as I laugh while I may.
With cold, hard hands so impatient and cruel
pulling me to this vale of tears, a pathetic old fool.

Feelings sit silent, cast in shadows and light
breaking forth to implicate such vengeful might.
Just below the surface they patiently hide
to sally forth bravely, colors bright as they ride.

Tears and pain transform valued assets in hand
while comfort and serenity retreat to a far land.
Bold, bright patterns of hope garnish my ruinous state
until reality enters, full of disdainful portions of hate.

I sort out the illustrious measures of vision gone mild
only to find them transformed, now vicious and wild.
In my deepest desires I find myself calloused and cold
with faithless advocates whose souls have been sold.

My search finds little to support any hope of relief
far too much time has passed to bolster such belief.
The sad becomes real, and real becomes unfounded
until flights of such fancy are all dead, and grounded.

Nature has informed me of the newly hatched crime
that reality has boasted of proudly, time after time.
The last answer we think of is always the best
as we come to terms with fate, our hope at rest.

~~ gigoid

Now back to the normal confusion we count on around here…..

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence…  From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable….  The very atmosphere of firearms every- where restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” — George Washington (bogus?)(who cares? I don’t, it doesn’t make it any less true if it was said by someone else…..)

I am constantly hearing people these days spouting off about gun control, and how guns should be outlawed. This is a viewpoint that I have never understood, because it makes a totally unwarranted assumption (more than one actually, but one that is most important….), i.e., guns cause violent behavior, and if people couldn’t legally own them, violence would stop. This is naive, and unreasonable, given that there is absolutely no evidence to support such a contention. There is no evidence whatsoever that violence is NOT part of human nature; this is a psychological FACT, not subject to debate. People have violent tendencies, and violence is the primary response of a great many people who have never learned how to use their reason to control their emotions.

Though I’ve never owned or carried a gun, I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, in its most literal sense. Without the right to bear arms in our own defense, we, as citizens, would be at the mercy of whomever was in office at the time, and would have no recourse at all to any redress of grievance against those officials, since they could not be forced to comply with law. I do NOT trust any elected official to act in MY best interests; human nature also decrees that they will act in their OWN interests first, with no compulsion to even consider anything else. Making it a law that only police and government lackeys could legally be armed is a sure way to guarantee that the average citizen would be at the mercy of these so-called leaders, mercy being a quality that they have never heretofore demonstrated in any fashion.

As I said, I don’t own or carry guns, yet. I’ve trained myself to be dangerous without the use of them, and feel no fear that I cannot deal with an armed man to my benefit; this is simply because it is the person holding the gun that is the danger, not the gun itself. Speed, power, and accuracy are the key elements to controlling a violent situation, along with some forethought and preparation, and the ability to keep a clear mind when under duress. When a person is holding a gun, they feel ten feet tall and invincible, but they remain human, and humans can be controlled with superior strategy and tactics. It does no good to hold a gun, when the target won’t sit still, or even remain visible….. and in these cases, that sense of imperviousness becomes a liability to the gun-wielder.

However, most Americans do not have this sort of skill set, nor the state of mind that makes it work. In the hands of a skilled warrior, a gun becomes a dangerous weapon indeed, for it will be used to achieve the warrior’s goals, as any weapon would, and not employed to merely bully others into doing what is desired, which is the usual use of these kinds of weapons in the hands of the ignorant and deceitful. And politicians, by the very nature of their sociopathy, do get rather deceitful in the pursuit of their self-centered ends. The desire to be in public office, to me, is a sure sign of a sick mind, as a healthy one has no need to assume power over others, being content to be in control of themselves.

So, I would say to those who would get rid of or alter the intent of the Second Amendment, get a grip on reality, and shut the fuck up….. truly, your lack of sophistication and knowledge of human nature gives you no right or reason to speak……

Well, that turned into quite a little rant…. I guess I needed to get that out. In reading back over it, I have nothing to regret, for it is all the plain and simple truth. So, I’ll send it out there, with the ever-present invitation to come back at me with any thoughts you that may occur to you….. Arguments, for or against, are welcome and appreciated. Constructive criticism is also welcome, wherever it is deemed to be warranted; ignorance will be ignored if harmless, or ruthlessly exposed for what it is if not, at my discretion. But, please don’t get upset if I don’t answer a comment; I intend to answer all comments, and try to get to all of them, but my internet time just now is limited, and I’m probably missing some comments.

Flaming, or fanaticism, or personal attacks will be either cheerfully deleted, or prosecuted/persecuted, depending on the severity of the idiocy therein….   🙂   Oh, and keep always in mind that I pay little attention to my attempts at humor, other than as an artistic tool; making fun of it can only improve it, I’m sure…..   😉

Not your standard disclaimer, but I think it works….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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



Plain, old-fashioned articles of modern design….

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………

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….

“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

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, 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?……

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.

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.



Odd raptors, but honest…..

At this hour of the morning, I don’t need this kind of aggravation, not from my own physique. But, rather than fall into complaints about stuff there isn’t much I can do to fix, at least for the moment, we’ll turn in a different direction, and feel the wind of inspiration brushing seductively against our cheeks, whispering softly and sweetly, bringing us happily to…… a roll of duct tape?

Yup… that’s my inspirational vision for the morning. I leave myself open to possibility…. I close my eyes, and allow no negative thoughts to disturb me while absorbing, and tremble with anticipation for the glories to come…. and what I get is duct tape….. a big, partially used roll of silver duct tape…. Yes, duct tape…You know, “If it can’t be fixed with Vise-Grips & duct tape, it can’t be fixed.”… yeah, that stuff. I’m guessing here, but I think I’m supposed to use the tape as a metaphor, for something in life that my subconscious has been chewing on, and wants to express in a seriously light-hearted yet elegant treatment. It’s the only thing I can figure out, and since I’m not getting any stiff arguments from that sector of the organization, I must be on the right track with it…..

Well, that’s just too bad…. I’m not writing about duct tape, or turning it into anything, other than a way to keep the new glass in the old window frame (I told you, it was a tough night, what with the zombie attack at 2 AM, and the toilet explosion before that, and… well, forget it, another time…..). I’m not at all concerned about how my subconscious has spent all this time reflecting on such a ridiculous concept, nor do I intend to give in to it; I do have certain standards to maintain, (well, one, anyway…. I have vowed to publish no crap before it stinks just right…..), and duct tape just doesn’t hit the right notes to sing in that choir…. but, fortunately, it is moot, because we can always Pearl….. Shall we?…..

WARNING: The following entry is not suitable for those with delicate sensibilities…. If you do not appreciate the humor in such historical genre classics as seen in editions of Punch, The National Lampoon, or Mad Magazine, or if you don’t grok the underlying metaphoric qualities of Curly Joe, and the Three Stooges, you may wish to skip down to the following section….

“Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you…..”  Well, you know the rest, I’m sure…..

This month, as a new chapter in the ongoing saga of a relative newbie to the world of poverty-level grocery buying, the pantry here at the old homestead has gotten a little sparse on variety. Most of what is left are the items that I keep for this very reason, i.e., it’s cheap and filling stuff, suitable for the stretch run to payday. Unfortunately, it also consists of items I rarely eat, for diverse reasons, mostly to do with preferences, but sometimes due to how they affect me physically. One such item, which all of us in this country have had exposure to, at one time or another, is a can of Boston Baked Beans; an off-brand that was on sale somewhere a while back, that has been moving around from corner to corner in there for months on end. Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to use them, having an urge for something I hadn’t had for a long time; they sounded as if they would fit the bill just right.

What I had forgotten was its status as one of the items I put off using because of its physical effect on me…. I ate about a third of the can for lunch, mixed with some risotto, added some chopped, seasoned hot dogs, & hotted up the whole mess in the microwave. Different, filling as all get out, and quite tasty for such an odd combination.  Then, I forgot about it, getting busy with answering emails and reading yesterday’s posts from fellow bloggers, followed by a visit from my friend of longest standing, whom I have known since age 10. About 3 hours after lunch, after he had left to meet his S.O., the concert began…..

The key element I’d overlooked in my hunger for something old, something new on which to chow down, was that these were baked BEANS…. and ever since I turned about 40 (quite some time ago now….), this particular type of beans invariably brings on a veritable storm of intestinal flatulence, and once started, continues to create increasing amounts of pressurized air bubbles, maximizing the output until reaching for a crescendo. This all happens over the course of about an hour and a half, with the uncomfortable, but fascinating, physical process producing some of the most melodious, certainly the loudest, and most versatile and compelling sounds ever produced by the human body…..from any orifice….

I count it as lucky that my friend had already left when the concert began; having known each other for over 50 years, I might never have been able to completely live it down before one of us kicks in the bucket, and would no doubt have spent hours trying to erase it from my Facebook timeline… of course, that realization wouldn’t have hit me until we had recovered from the impossible-to-stop insane laughter that the volume of the first note alone would have produced. Having been, sad to say, a captive audience for the complete performance, I can attest that the melody, and the tempo, would doubtless have produced an equally strong reaction of uncontrollable mirth and hilarity, which, at our age, could have been downright dangerous…. but it was kinda catchy, and had a beat you could dance to…. I gave it a 3 out of 5….

Ah yes, aging is indeed not for the weak of heart….. or the forgetful…. anybody want some leftover beans?…. gratis, they are… eating them again, I will not be…. even for Yoda, not….

“If a million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” — Anatole France

As time goes by this election year, the evidence in support of this little observation is piling higher and higher, with each time another microphone catches the latest gaffe issuing from a random candidate’s speaking orifice. Surely, t’is a sign of impending doom to realize that for each of the bozos who are parading around, showing us theirs (did I ask to see that? No…. but, there it is….), somewhere out there in our midst, hiding in plain sight, are literally millions of people who are buying into their nonsense and vitriol. The bigotry, and hatred, and racism, and elitism that seem to be the qualifying characteristics of prospective candidates this elective cycle are not only being bought by masses of people, (to whom it is like manna from heaven to hear their brightest fantasies, of living in an all-white, all-Christian world, given voice, and, sadly, screen time), but are being given not only credence, but glorification. To be honest, it makes me want to puke….. and, make sure my ammo is dry…..

“When the going gets tough, the smart get an AR-15. And a shotgun. And…” — James P. Callison

And bear unmov’d the wrongs of base mankind,
The last and hardest conquest of the mind.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book xiii, Line 353

“Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, and scarcely in that; for it is true, we may give advice, but we cannot give conduct. Remember this: They that will not be counseled cannot be helped. If you do not hear reason she will rap you over the knuckles.” — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) — Maxims prefixed to Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1757

This is good…. and especially so for Ben; he had a tendency to be somewhat mundane and boring with most of his ‘Maxims’. Even here, his metaphor for reason could use a little punching up, as an editor might say. I usually prefer to state that particular idea as, “if you don’t give reality it’s proper attention, it will gleefully slap you upside the head until you do.”  It’s exactly the same lesson, but gives a clearer, and more accurate, picture of the consequences of not staying alert to reality’s protocols.

But, I also like this because it has another lesson, about those who deliberately choose to ignore this warning, and how we must allow them to experience the folly of their own choices, along with the resultant pain and indignity that comes with those choices, provided so generously by the dimension of reality we inhabit. The only thing in the entire universe that is subject to our control is ourselves; we cannot prevent their pain, nor should we, as we then deny them the opportunity to experience the lesson of how to succeed that comes with every instance of defeat. Tough to watch, sometimes, if we care for the person, but no less important for them for us to stay back, and let reality have it’s way…. it will anyway, no matter what we do, or think about it…..

And here, poor fool, with all my lore
I stand no wiser than before.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Is it legal to advocate the long overdue overthrow of a corrupt government?”– Aloysius I.A. Anonymous

In light of the state of the union, official reports aside, this asks a pertinent, and possibly worthy question for consideration when offered in the sense of what I call juris prominence, or, in short, as being in support of the absolute arbitration right of the jury.  It is a well-documented point of Constitutional law that gives any jury in a case under trial the absolute right to declare innocence, even in the face of the letter of the law, if they believe the law is wrongly applied, or not germane to justice in the case under deliberation, OR even if they think the law is just wrong, morally or by custom…… that is, provided jury trials are still allowed in days to come, or rather, days that are already here…..

“If the jury feels the law is unjust, we recognize the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by a judge, and contrary to the evidence … and the courts must abide by that decision.” — US v Moylan, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1969, 417 F.2d at 1006

This archaic, but powerful, right of the American people may be the final protection we have in cases I can see in the future, now that the government has committed so many corrupt acts designed to circumvent the provisions of both the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. These acts, though not the first, nor the most recent of their kind, still can be considered to be under one umbrella, that of the Executive Order Theory, the so-far unchallenged belief that the Executive Branch has the right to suspend the rights outlined in those documents under the deliberately vague guise of ‘threats to national security’, without any definition of what those threats may be, and no oversight as to the duration or extent of the suspension of rights to be erased, er, “suspended temporarily”.

They just make their own laws that say they can, and poof, Rights all gone….. no protesting, no gathering, no voicing objections, no printing exposures or criticisms, no recourse to the courts…. what is next? No right to bear arms?….. No voting?…… No term limits?…… No life, without submission to “registration”?   I guess the choice about all this is up to us….. for the moment….. but, let’s not wait too long, shall we?…… These “executive orders” have already been signed, and are now in effect in this country….. It’s all been “Authorized!”…. and you can bet it will be enforced at the point of a gun….

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this:  If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle.  We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth.  The bamboozle has captured us.  it is simply too painful to acknowledge — even to ourselves — that we’ve been so credulous.  (So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new bamboozles rise.)” — Carl Sagan, “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,” Parade, February 1, 1987

I couldn’t resist adding this today, as a bonus round, so to speak…. this has got to be considered as possibly the most creative haiku possible for a Westerner to write, though, to be truthful, I don’t know who wrote it. Perfect structure, suitably obscure, yet clear, it meets all the essential standards of classic haiku, but with the added fillip of a most Carlinesque observation…… priceless!…. enjoy…..

Haiku’s inventor
must have had seven fingers
on his middle hand.

Well, Murphy will have his say…. I had intended this to be extra today, but circumstances have forced my hand, aided by the ever-welcome presence of serendipity.  In a search to find the last quote for today’s lineup, the following presented itself, and fit this section so well, I decided to go with the flow…. thus, we have another poem in the haiku tradition, but by someone whose mastery is unquestionable… so, enjoy again!…

Around existence twine,
(Oh, bridge that hangs across the gorge!)
ropes of twisted vine.
— Basho

I admit to a certain amount of relief at coming to an end to today’s offerings; it has had its moments of struggle, and has taken no small amount of effort to persevere….. but, there is always a touch of melancholy, too, in reaching an ending. This lasts only until I remember that it remains my choice as to whether this ending becomes yet another beginning…. then, I go take a nap….. It’s been nothing if not real, ffolkes…. y’all take care out there….

P.S.  I haven’t forgotten about my siege on WordPress; I wrote a long note yesterday to someone, and will give them the courtesy of a full day to reply…. more on this as matters progress…. Blessed Be, brothers and sisters….

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



Just the fax, ma’am……

Learning to trust people can be a frustrating pastime, especially when it sometimes seems as if people don’t want to be trusted. Ah me, I sometimes forget my own name, so it’s not surprising that I would occasionally forget my own philosophy. This is actually an unwritten corollary to Peruaosophy which states: People should receive the trust they earn, but for those who are not trustworthy, nothing but the back of me hand is enough.

I do try to give folks I meet the benefit of doubt, and will trust them to a point; I find that most folks will give reason to trust them without much thought or effort, as most folks are fairly honest. But a significant number are not honest, and it doesn’t take long for their first lie to be put out there to see if anyone bites. I’ve been known to bite at times, for the lies they tell are often attractive, and have all the appearance of truth.

But, I can truthfully say that once I’ve seen through the lies, and I always do, well, lets just say that they don’t walk away whistling and counting their money. They tend to get carried away, and if they walk, they are hurrying to be elsewhere quickly. My father was a very patient man, and I’m the same; but you really don’t want to be around when our patience snaps; it isn’t pretty, and is often ugly; the Brits would call it a bloody send-up, I believe…..

“There’s none deceived but he that trusts.” — Ben Franklin

Now, if you would, just sit back and join me in a delightfully insane state of mind.

Audrey Hepburn: This was written when asked to share her “beauty tips.” It was read at her funeral years later.

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.  For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.  For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.  For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.  For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.  People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.  Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.  As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.”

This needs no adornment, Audrey never does…..other than to add that, IMHO, she was the most beautiful actress who ever trod the boards, and this tells you why…..

“A doctrine insulates the devout not only against the realities around them but also against their own selves. The fanatical believer is not conscious of his envy, malice, pettiness and dishonesty. There is a wall of words between his consciousness and his real self.” — Eric Hoffer

This particular observation is both insightful, and demonstrably true. This characteristic may possibly end up as the primary reason that our species reaches its evolutionary end in the next few generations. It is a trait so destructive of self that the person who is thus afflicted never even knows he is ill, that his own fears are what are keeping him from overcoming his own destructive tendencies. It is the direct antithesis of our only saving characteristic, imagination, and when held onto dearly, completely overrides and ignores any logical or rational attempts to act in a way that will benefit themselves.

No reason, no fact, no natural law can overcome this fanaticism, for its proponents close their minds to any idea that challenges their fear- and faith-based beliefs, no matter how far from reality they are. It’s a damn shame really, because a lot of nice people are being dragged into the mud along with them, and none of them deserve it….. but then, when did the Universe care whether it’s deserved or not?…..

There is no point in getting angry, but there is a stupid malignity to all this that does try one’s patience.–Anonymous

“It is not possible to convey sarcasm to certain members of the net without using a 2×4.  The smiley face merely reminds them of why their head is being dented.” — John Woods

“The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it.  Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure.” — Albert Einstein

Albert has once again put his finger directly on the pulse of American culture, and on the root cause for many of the problems we face today. A vast majority of Americans cannot tell you what the Constitution is, beyond a vague idea that it has something to do with “liberty” and “freedom”. An equally large number, who may even have read parts of it, grabs onto random phrases in the document, attaches them to a piece of religious dogma, and proceeds to try to take away everyone else’s rights because they don’t have the same imaginary friend.

Of the few of us left who have actually read the entire document, along with the Bill of Rights and the 11th – 27th Amendments, only a small percentage seem to have the guts to speak up in its defense. It may be that they don’t have the wherewithal, the inherent inner-strength that is required to hold onto what is right; instead they wast their time dealing with all the petty BS in their lives, and lamenting the state of things.

Then we come to our “beloved ruling class”; let no one say we don’t get what we deserve, for each and every politician currently sitting in Washington D.C. was fairly elected, after a pre-election orgy of lies and promises from the candidates competing, to see which party or person will have the privilege of ripping off society with complete immunity to prosecution for their crimes. These people know the Constitution well; they just choose to ignore it, or spin it to support their own agenda.

Having watched this process happen time and time again for over 60 years, I can tell you that nobody who has voted in that time has any excuse. We have elected proven liars into positions of high office repeatedly, despite the investigations and revelations of skulduggery that are constantly surfacing in the news.

I suppose it’s just another example of how, regardless of how much we would like to think it isn’t so, the laws of evolution are inexorable, and our species is destined to join a myriad of other failed organisms on the extinction list….. we ARE responsible, not only for what we do or don’t do, but also for what happens to us.

It is a subtle point of the principles of Karma, but being subtle makes it no less true. So quit complaining, and start fighting for your rights. We only have those rights we can defend, and we can no longer afford to have anyone else take the responsibility; they’re not going to fulfill it, so it remains our own duty…..

“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.” — H. L. Mencken

“I have known noble ones who lost their highest hope, and then they disparaged all high hopes. They lived shamelessly in temporary pleasures, and hardly had an aim beyond the day. “Spirit is also voluptuousness,” they said. Then they broke the wings of their spirit; it now creeps about, and defiles whatever it gnaws at. Once they thought of becoming heroes, but they have become sensualists. A trouble and a terror is the hero to them. By my love and hope, I implore you: do not cast away the hero in your soul. Maintain holy your highest hope. Thus spoke Zarathustra.” — Friedrich Nietzsche, _Thus Spoke Zarathustra_

I first attempted to read this book when I was in high school; I made it about 10 pages in, and put it down for a long time. It was too hard to read and think at the same time then (it does take some practice), so I put it off. I picked it up again when I was about 25, and fared much better. But it was still a difficult read, as it demands that one use all of their focus and attention in order to discern the meaning of what is written.

Though difficult, it is well worth the effort, and though it took me about two months to finish, I got a lot of useful information, as well as new ways to look at that information, and new ways to fit it all into reality. I had to read only a couple or three pages at a sitting; this could take upwards of an hour of intense thought, as it seemed as if every other line brought up some new idea, or a new way to look at old ideas, and those ideas had to be examined closely to determine their validity. But, at the end, I had a strong feeling of accomplishment, and another world-view to add to my abstruse collection…..

Kardivilliwarrakurrakurrieapparlandoo — name of a lake in Northern Australia

I am once again amazed at how the human mind, and therefore computers, operate. I typed in the above lake’s name into Google, and hit enter. The first ten finds were all different websites, but all had listed the exact same information on the name: each of them gave the name, and followed it with, “name of a lake in Northern Australia.”  All of them. Apparently there is a lake in Northern Australia with that name, but no one has ever tried to find out more about it; what is known is considered enough, I guess.

I dunno, it seems to me that just a little more information would be welcome, even if it was merely “Don’t go there.” As it is, how is one to know if it is a piece of knowledge worth keeping in recent memory, or if it is special merely because of the length of its name? Also, the name itself is not translated, and I would tend to believe that the word, being the aboriginal word for the lake, has a quite complex meaning, as most of the words they used were practical descriptions of their world that helped them deal with its vicissitudes. Oh well, I suppose I’ll have to dig a bit deeper to find out any more….oh goody, another mystery to solve!……see, it’s easy to amuse oneself, if one just tries…..

This is going to be a challenge to get into blog format, and probably email as well, so I’d best be getting to it…. Y’all take care out there…..

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




Ben Franklin was a Sanctimonious Ass….

It may be harsh, but it has to be said….Ben Franklin was a sanctimonious ass, and I mean that in its’ basest, most derogatory sense. Who else but an ass would say things like “Early to bed and early to rise,  make a man, etc….” or “The early bird gets the worm”?  As one of my favorite sci-fi authors said, approximately, “all the aphorism about the worm proves is that the worm should have stayed in bed.” And early to bed, etc., is fine for those who fall asleep instantly, having the benefit of no worldly problems, and remain asleep through the night due to having no imagination. I’m 60 years old, and I can’t remember the last time I could count on falling asleep easily without first consuming a significant amount of adult beverage, or staying asleep for more than a couple of hours before some physical prompt has me up and going to the bathroom, or just laying in bed wondering how long it would be until morning. As far as I’m concerned, Poor Richard can take his little Almanac, and his advice, and place them forcibly in one of his orifices where the sun don’t shine…..just as it isn’t here at 0530 as I sit to compose this, having once more awakened at 0515 for no apparent reason. Wise man, my dying ass…..
I dove for these Pearls yesterday as I was in the throes of extra-pyramidal side effects, due entirely to the asinine ordering requirements dictated by Kaiser Permanente for dealing with a controlled drug. Thanks to those obscene regulations, I have spent much of the last three days with dyskinesia, malaise,  and an intermittent splitting headache just for good measure. In case you are not a former PT, dyskinesia is that condition of muscular and nervous agitation that makes one’s muscles twitch and dance, combined with a feeling of restless dread and diffuse anxiety that makes the nerves hum like a redneck with a kazoo. Add in the headache, (of the ilk that blurs the vision and causes whimpering in strong men), and you can imagine how difficult it is not only refrain from biting my self, but to refrain from biting anyone who crosses my path. All this, of course, is then complicated by trying to deal with people who have become bureaucrats, who have no conception of anything outside their own little sphere of inattention, and whose sole purpose is to keep anything from getting done. It’s enough to give one visions of mayhem and violent death for all bureaucrats, preferably by my own hand.
Sorry about the above rant……well, actually, I’m not. I could actually care less right now what anyone thinks, about anything. Nonetheless, I do think that the following Pearls will strike some good chords in many folks, and even more in those ffolkes who are familiar with this process, and how it provides some fine rules for life, or at least for looking at life in a different way. Regardless, they are what they are, and I hope you enjoy them…..much as I can hope anything at all……

“I sometimes think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a, star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face and a gray dawn breaking.
— John Masefield, Sea Fever, first stanza.

Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow but a vision.  But Today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore to this Day. — Sanskrit proverb (I like this one a lot; it covers a lot of bases….)

“It’s not denial. I’m just very selective about what I accept as reality.” — Calvin (“Calvin and Hobbes”) (Calvin is actually a sociopathic idiot, but Hobbes, I firmly believe, will someday be considered one of the 20th and 21st centuries’ most cogent philosophers….)

“Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death….Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967), “Selected Papers”

So live that you can look any man in the eye and tell him to go to hell.

Well, there you have it. That’s the best I can do, under the circumstances that currently prevail. My greatest desire just now is that tomorrow will be different, if only I can survive until then without committing any acts that would land me in jail. Wish me luck…..and, y’all take care out there……

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