Approaching salience from below….

Ffolkes,

“I sometimes think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.”

~~ Oscar Wilde ~~

old swan

The bar at the Old Swan, London

Hajime…. Testing…. Can you hear me now? Oh, good. As is patently obvious by now, I’m posting very late. Thank SB again; it took forever to come up with the little material I managed to put together. Even so, it’s pretty esoteric; to avoid any difficulties with the philosophy police, let’s not make any rash assumptions today regarding relevance, or even coherence. Instead, I’ll just trust the new process to make everything work out alright. I know, that’s a bit presumptuous. Guess who doesn’t care? Right….

Shall we pearl?….

Cato said, “I had rather men should ask why my statue is not set up, than why it is.”

~~ Plutarch — Political Precepts ~~

********************************

pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Esoterica

*******

“I’m sitting on my SPEED QUEEN.. To me, it’s ENJOYABLE..
I’m WARM.. I’m VIBRATORY..”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

*******

“No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.”

~~ Aristotle ~~

*******

“In the carriages of the past you can’t go anywhere.”

~~ Maxim Gorky ~~

*******

“We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.”
~~ Titus Livius ~~

*******

“Nothing is worth more than this day.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~~

*******

********************************

And there you have it, ffolkes. The latest in a long series of expositions on Life…. sort of. Whatever these are, you’ll most likely see another one tomorrow, provided nobody catches me at it first…. See y’all then; fair warning….

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

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured Image -- 9678

À bientôt, mon cherí….

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Meatloaf, with no ketchup….

Ffolkes,

“How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.”

~~ Thomas Jefferson, “Writings” Vol. XVI ~~

odd group 017

    One wouldn’t think so, but, the quote from Jefferson, above, is perfectly appropriate for the picture…. which is shot of the flower I picked, and brought to leave at the grave side of my friend Carol, when two other classmates of mine went with me to visit her, at her final resting place, at the Templeton town cemetery (Templeton is the small farming town in Central CA where we all grew up….)…. and, I should have know better than to try to start the day with a reminiscence….. Now, I am leaking copious amounts of salty fluids out of my eyes, making it difficult to see what I’ve typed; damn this frigging PTSD!….

I suppose there is nothing actually wrong about crying; under the proper circumstances, it can be quite cathartic, and may even release tension and/or built up feelings of guilt, or loss, or whatever emotion assails us, when we get to the point where we must cry, or burst…. But, this is different…. Any time I feel ANY damn strong emotion, whether happy, or sad, or in any way poignant, my tears begin to flow, almost as if I were a child of two or three, with no emotional control over my feelings at all. For a man of my age, and capabilities, it is not merely embarrassing to have it strike as it does, willy-nilly, with no warning or pattern I can find, it is demeaning, as well…..

How we got into this emotional morass is simple, and my mistake…. I should know better than to start of talking of Carol; it brings out my strong emotion every time, as she is sorely missed. Carol was the kind of person we all know some time in our lives; she’s the one who always had a smile for you, no matter how she felt herself; one of those people whose presence makes others feel happy. She baked, and, I am positive, though I was not there, that her house was the one all her children’s friends hung out at, because there were always cookies, or a cupcake, and a warm smile from Mom… I envy her husband, for all the years he was allowed to have with her; we grew close in the last couple of years before she died, and I am glad, for she was one of the BEST people I have ever known…. and I say that, even though I never even ate one of her cookies…

It is fortunate, for me especially, that writing a blog is not a form of performance art, at least not in the sense of having a camera on us, recording us as we pound away at the keyboard…. though, in my case, it would be, if nothing else, NOT boring, as I never sit still for very long; I am up and down from the chair every few minutes to ease some painful bone or another, with these movements interspersed with periods of absolute stillness, as I compose in my head, then mad, desperate typing, as I try to get it down before it fades away, into that limbo we authors fear the most, where our best ideas get lost, never to be seen again….

Okay, well, that was something…. I’m not really certain just how to view the above…. it’s done, so, it stays, naturally. But, I am pretty sure I’ve never done anything quite like it…. In addition, I must say, I’m glad for that, and I hope never to go through this particular opening process again, as it hurt, in a lot of different ways, not all physical…. I’m STILL trying to clear out my sinuses from the crying jag I’ve already gone through, THRICE…. I’s okay, though; it got us this far down the page, so, silver lining, I guess…. Whatever the method, we’re here, so….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I leapt headlong into the sea,and thereby have become better acquainted with the soundings, the quicksands, and the rocks, than if I had stayed upon the green shore, and piped a silly song, and took tea and comfortable advice.” — John Keats

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

Having fulfilled my promise to pre-screen any more video movies, I can honestly say, this show, a long running BBC series, is NOT one of the reasons I stopped watching TV…. This, in spite of being on TV, and, no doubt, chopped to pieces by commercial interruptions, is excellent…. Fortunately, in this format, on You Tube, one need no longer put up with those ads, so, the story unfolds seamlessly, without the jolting stops and starts…. Moreover, it is one of the best of the Holmes stories, well adapted to the screen, with a wonderful cast of very strong actors…. Enjoy!….

Sherlock Holmes: The Copper Beeches

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“The last vestiges of the old Republic have been swept away.”

~~ Governor Tarkin ~~


Governor Tarkin’s words from Star Wars, Episode 5, The Empire Strikes Back, assume an eerie precognitive accuracy in today’s world. Our country, which began, perhaps, as the world’s first truly democratic republic, has been so completely taken over by corporate interests, who hold private, dangerously delusional ambitions, which, over time, has prompted them to establish and maintain a world order according to their own avaricious agenda, one which has effectively altered the way the government operates, to the point we can no longer call it anything other than what it is in reality, an oligarchy…. government by, and for, the rich….

Absolute control of virtually all the monetary and physical resources of the nation (and, really, the whole planet…) is, and has been for some time, firmly under the control of a very small number of very rich assholes. (Well, the last word isn’t part of the actual definition, but, is most certainly my own opinion…). That control now extends to define every domestic and foreign policy carried out…. by ANY administration…. Even the makeup of those government administrations is controlled by those with money; they’ve paid the courts enough to ensure the laws will favor anything they wish to do to maintain that control, by putting their own stooges in a position to make the laws they need, and to judge those laws the way they wish….

For example….

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/22/torture-obama-cover-up-cia

“At this point, it’s becoming hard to believe anything Obama says about torture. The New York Times’ Charlie Savage reported Sunday that this administration is considering reinstating the Bush administration’s absurd interpretation of the United Nations treaty against torture, signed by the US decades ago, so that the US can claim the UN actually meant that any torture happening outside one’s own country essentially, you know, doesn’t count. Military and intelligence lawyers “say they need more time to study whether it would have operational impacts.” Really? I thought we stopped torturing people five years ago.”

“If Obama were to adopt this radical interpretation, sure, it would contradict all of his promises as he came into office, but as legal professor David Lubon describes, it would also directly violate US law.”

— excerpted from the above article

“Extreme avarice is always mistaken; there is no passion which is oftener further away from its mark, nor upon which the present has so much power to the prejudice of the future.” — La Rochefoucauld

It has become obvious, at least, to me, the unseen, shadowy masters of society no longer particularly care so much about keeping their agenda hidden…. The future La Rochefoucauld predicted is NOW…. The current collection of Obamadrones, who inhabit the White House, originally promised, as part of the pre-election set of lies the public wished to hear, ( Specifically designed, very effectively, as it turns out, to convince voters to put them in office….), to be the “most transparent administration ever”, along with murmurs about closing Guantanamo, and getting us out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East wars….

But, what has actually happened? Guantanamo is still operative, and, as the article shows, isn’t going anywhere soon, in spite of all the controversy; the torture continues, too, despite the insistence it does not…. just another lie, as it turns out. This administration is responsible for continuing the illegal spying done by the NSA, as well, having never even bothered to deny anything…. They just keep taking journalists and potential whistle blowers to court, for having given away their secrets, with charges based solely on provisions of that most evil document, the Homeland Security Act, a poorly disguised euphemism for Big Brother’s Mandate, a document that abrogates virtually every one of the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution…..

Yet, we still have troops on the ground all over the world, and, we are STILL bombing a number of foreign countries in our search to kill “terrorists”, with planes, AND with robot drones…. It’s said we spend $75 million/day for that bombing; I wonder who’s getting that money? Arms dealers, ya think?….

In order to distract critics, a fair amount of reform has been accomplished in the healthcare field; but, a close look at the resulting structural changes shows that, in essence, once again, the major winners are not the people, but, rather, the insurance companies, the HMO’s, the pharmaceutical companies, and all those other nice folks who charge the little people up the ass for their medical care, which, when one thinks about it, should be the right of every citizen, regardless of their position, or financial status….

What is society for, if not to share common knowledge (i.e., medical expertise and accumulated knowledge which is the legacy of the species, not the doctors, or the government…), to provide a clearing house for such skills so that all members of that society have access to them, to obtain the benefits of living in the group? If not for this, what is it for?

Perhaps I am not the most qualified judge, but, I know for certain, the legacy of the species does NOT belong exclusively to those who possess them, or to those who control them… They belong to us all, and it is only human avarice, and the predatory nature of man, with its unfortunate tendency to fall into evil, that precludes such a boon… As long as the corporate masters have their way, somebody will have to pay them to get what is actually theirs by right….

On that subject, here is a good article, with some excellent points of reason, which, by contrast, sound out cleanly and clearly amongst all the crap one generally finds in the mainstream media….

http://www.theguardian.com/news/2014/oct/21/-sp-the-truth-about-evil-john-gray

Given what is in this article, I am not certain of how to continue; to my mind, there is little hope of changing human nature, especially at this late hour…. In spite of all the technological advances and civilization we have built up over the last millennia, we are STILL just a weak, frightened hairless ape, with the same set of emotional and reasoning patterns and responses we carried with us when we still were huddling in caves, cold, naked, and afraid of the dark…. Seriously, I am often amazed at how our species STILL acts according to the same primitive emotions, and even more primitive attitudes, of aggression, theft, and violence that characterized those creatures, living in the wild, struggling to make sense of the mass of perceptions their too-massive brains took in…

We are still just hairless apes, no more civilized than those poor, ignorant savages; we just dress better, and have learned a few tricks since our cave days…. Our emotions, and the cult of ignorance adopted by society, haven’t changed a whit….

This is long enough, and I don’t have any viable solutions to offer…. so, we’ll call this a rant, and be on our way to the poetry section, where we MAY find a small piece of what DOES make us different from the other creatures with whom we share this globe, and, one of the FEW characteristics about mankind that I find to be of any redeeming value….. poetry…..

“Give them an opposable thumb, and they think they’re special.” — Smart Bee

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

In my opinion, Charles is cool…. I say that, knowing full well the use of that word will date me…. I still think he’s cool….

Be Kind

are always asked
to understand the other person’s
viewpoint
no matter how
out-dated
foolish or
obnoxious.

one is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
with
kindliness,
especially if they are
aged.

but age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
badly
because they have
lived
out of focus,
they have refused to
see.

not their fault?

whose fault?
mine?

I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their
fear.

age is no crime

but the shame
of a deliberately
wasted
life

among so many
deliberately
wasted
lives

is.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

Powerful stuff, eh?….

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

Here is an old school pearl of vintage variety; moreover, I let Smart Bee pick out most of it, only intervening to format each quote’s position in the pearl at large…. Let’s see how it came out….

F = MA;
Things fall down;
You can’t push a rope.

~~ The three laws of physics ~~


“Never promise more than you can perform.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 528

“Remember:  Silly is a state of Mind, Stupid is a way of Life.” — Dave Butler

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

“Life is the sum of all your choices.’ — Albert Camus

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read.” — Mark Twain

I ‘m weary of conjectures,–this must end ’em.
Thus am I doubly armed: my death and life,
My bane and antidote, are both before me:
This in a moment brings me to an end;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secured in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and Nature sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wrecks of matter, and the crush of worlds.

~~ Joseph Addison (1672-1719) — Cato, Act v, Sc. 1 ~~


** (According to Dean Hannotte, a collector of quotes, with a web site here: http://www.hannotte.com/Quotes.htm, this was as quoted on page 8 of Richard Kehl’s 1990 quotation anthology entitled Further Departures ….. but, he didn’t say with whom it originated…. Hence, SB gets the credit for today…..)

There you go, ffolkes; not too shabby for one with so little direction provided at the outset…. sort of a series of comments on Reality, and our place in it, so to speak…. It’ll do to finish, quite nicely….

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Due to circumstances completely within my control, I’m very late getting up to finish and post this mess… but, it’s done, so I’m not going to either belabor the circumstances, of bemoan my choice to not assume the necessary control of events…. In short, I don’t care, it’s done…. Moreover, I’m outta here, having done all the damage I can do…. so to speak…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…..

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

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

Tossing beans with butter, in a bowl….

Ffolkes,

Late, again…. Fuck it, I’m not even going to worry about it a little bit; whatever happens, happens. I’m too bloody grumpy to care, so, it’s just as well I’m giving up right out of the gate…. I have the distinct feeling that if I made any attempt to be normal, not only would it fail, but, the Universe at large would enjoy a huge guffaw at my expense…. with which, I’m sorry to say, I’m becoming all too familiar…. Murphy’s myrmidons must get promoted by merit, because each bloody one of them laughs harder than the last one, whenever they’re around at those moments I try for normalcy…. Bloody assholes, every damn one of them….

There, now that I’ve whined enough, we can start the day with a different tenor…. How about a bit of fiction? Let’s see….

Harry couldn’t figure out if he should knock at the front, or go around to the back door, where all the servants entered the house…. He knew, as he’d been watching all morning, screwing up his courage to approach the magnificent edifice, standing in all it’s Victorian elegance on the corner of Harper and Main…. Harper House, home to the rich, powerful Harper family, the original settlers of the town, way back in colonial days, had stood on that corner since its construction in 1802, by Hiram Harper, the first white man to settle in the valley. It was 1797, when he walked over Harper Mountain, & got his first view of the valley below, spreading out to the south, trees covering the slopes, with leaves gilded from the sun, shining down with strong promises made to the future….

Well…. that was…. something. Not particularly gripping, but, not too bad…. It sets a stage, and paints a picture, but, I’m not sure I’m happy with the flow, or the elegance…. Oh well, for an early morning throw-away, it’s not bad…. and it did get us this far down the page…. Today, that’s a big help, as my brain isn’t cooperating…. I guess I’m a little excited (and when I say stuff like that, I feel six years old again, but, hey, old age is known to cause its victims to display a retreat to a younger time, when we could actually walk to another part of the house without having to make a plan for the return trip….), because my daughter is coming by today, and we’re going to go to dinner with my son, her brother, and hopefully, his new friend(s)….

Since I am so excited about this evening, I am in a quandary this morning, as I just can’t seem to get going on this…. Oh well, this calls for the immediate application of an emergency bail-out method, and, I’m thinking, #4 is always the most effective, so…. hang on, and we’ll apply that…. NOW….

Shall we Pearl?….

“My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests.” — George Santayana

(I’m encouraged now…. finding that quote so quickly gives me hope for the rest of this mess…. I hope it’s an indication that Murphy has taken his leave for now, and the rest of this will be left alone…. we can always hope, can’t we?…. Onward, with new bravery…. Huzzah!…..)

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

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Expert-witness-in-toy-gun-case-has-history-of-5614736.php

When I saw this, I became somewhat depressed…. It’s absolute truth; you can tell. This guy, this “expert witness” is nothing more than a shill, whom the courts and the police have been using to defend the indefensible for years….. In those instances where officers use their weapons, this guy has been set up as a final judge of the events that lead up to the incidents, whose word is the equivalent to law, in essence, as it is given more credence than even scientific evidence…. which is a crock, and they know it…. It’s a disturbing thing to find out, as it gives more evidence of how the courts, the police, and the government at large is ignoring or obstructing the issue of police militarization, one I see as a distinctly egregious problem, and one that really NEEDS to be watched….

In fact, this whole idea, of having such an obviously biased individual being given priority in court, makes me so angry, I’m having trouble organizing my arguments…. There are just SO MANY moral and ethical objections to such an event, I can’t decide where to begin…. So, instead, I’ll ask you to read the article, and make your own arguments…. It isn’t hard, particularly…. they are so fucking OBVIOUSLY prejudiced, you’ll find some objections, I’m sure…. Me, I’m going to raid the archives, for something that won’t make my stomach so damned upset, or at least, that won’t offend my sensibilities so badly….

Ah, here we go….. y’all enjoy this, ffolkes, I’m going to go calm down for a few minutes, before I try to deal with poetry…..

From 12/22/2012, a very numerological day…. It’s almost a poem, stated out loud…. One two, two two, two oh one two…. pretty cool, eh? Okay, I’ll stop now…. read on, ffolkes, it’s a fun one… (a Funyun?….):

“Unknowingly, we plow the dust of stars, blown about us by the wind, and drink the universe in a glass of rain.” — Ihab Hassan

What a beautiful line! I wasn’t sure when I saved it last night just what kind of pearl it would make, but it creates such a beautiful image in the mind, I couldn’t resist. I suppose it makes a fine contrast to how I feel just now, and as such, can be used to demonstrate how our attitudes are under our control, if we but choose to assume it…..

I feel like shit, emotionally, for various reasons, and that is reflected in my attitude toward the day; I don’t want to face it. I’d like to be able to just turn it all off, and go visit a friend somewhere far away. But, being stuck here, waiting for relief from my financial limitations, keeps me on the edge of depression, as well as keeping me in place…. If only for the time it takes to read, and contemplate this line, beauty takes over, and my thoughts and attitude undergo a marked change for the better. All it takes is a reminder of what we always have as creatures of this reality, our potential for grace.

“Grace”. Interesting word, that…. I like what it implies, the feeling of being connected to the universe, and enjoying that tie for the joy it can bring. To live in grace means to act rightly, surrounding oneself with beauty, increasing the joy in life by living it well, passionately, with compassion and humility. I can understand how religious folks would seek to receive such from the practice of their faith, though I can’t agree with them about exactly where grace comes from. They seem to believe that it is something given to them, as a reward for their faith, when in reality, it is something they have to learn to give, and can only be found inside themselves, because that is where it always is…. It just isn’t always free to let itself be known….

“The supreme irony of life is hardly anyone ever gets out of it alive.” — Robert Heinlein

Perspective…. the proper perspective can be hard to find, and it is good when such can be provided for us by a simple phrase, like this one, and the first one, above. The first phrase tells us to remember there are two sides to life, and only one side is inherently painful. This quote, from the Grand Master, is a reminder to SEEK perspective, and is one nobody should ever lose track of, as it is universally applicable. One may, at least temporarily, find ways to avoid paying taxes, but there is no avoiding death…. none.

Mere contemplation of our own death is a sure way to gain perspective. It may not always be the most amenable, or comfortable perspective, but it is the most truthful that can be acquired, without exception. Nothing will ground us better than thinking about our own demise, as there is no room for anything but truth when dealing with the whole concept. Anything less than the truth just fails to compute….. Not the most comforting line of thought, unless one has learned not to fear death, but, who is ever very successful at that? I mean, that’s why there are so many different religions out there, all offering their own way of dealing with that fear…. they’re just not very good at it. Well, not very truthful, anyway….

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — W. W. Zeige

I’m not sure whether I can truthfully classify this as a pearl. The criteria for that decision  are pretty loose, all in all, so it will fit in that respect. But, I do rather like to make some valid point, and this one doesn’t seem to have one I can find offhand. We humans spend a lot of our mental energy on stuff like this, which may be a clue as to the whole problem of the inability of so many of us to cope with reality without some kind of crutch, or without letting someone else do our thinking for us. That isn’t a danger for me, thank goodness, but most of humanity seems to fall into that pattern, and that, in itself, presents me with perspective issues, as mine differs radically from most everyone in the mainstream of society.

Oh, there are a lot more ffolkes such as myself out there; WordPress is proof enough of that. But, the major percentage of the population of this country generally prefers not to have to exercise their mental muscles any more than is absolutely necessary. Whether the inertial momentum that is built up by such a large percentage is amenable to adjustment remains to be seen, and all we can do is our best, to spread the virus of rational thought as far as we can….. “You’re our only hope, Obi-wan!”……

“I feel better about world problems now!” — Zippy the Pinhead

And, so do I! Shall we move on?…..

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

I’m not sure yet what will go here, so, you’ll just have to wait…. Hey, I’m waiting, too!…. Okay, waiting done…. If you’ve been here with any regularity, you’ll know who I will pick, for, when there is any question about it, I always turn to her…. It’s Emily, of course…. writing on a subject very near, if not dear, to my heart….

The hallowing of pain

The hallowing of Pain
Like hallowing of Heaven,
Obtains at a corporeal cost —
The Summit is not given

To Him who strives severe
At middle of the Hill —
But He who has achieved the Top —
All — is the price of All —
     
~~Emily Dickinson ~~

emily icon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This old school pearl has been collected with parameters that should, hopefully, cause some fairly steady bleeding among our Beloved Ruling Class, should any of them happen to see it…. I found the first couple of pearls sitting here, having obviously been collected previously, with that in mind… Well, so be it…. I never block any of my impulses, if I can keep from doing so…. and this one will, no doubt, be a good one, pointed and sharp, just the way I like them…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. I intend to….. Oh, also…. this will be a rare pearl, a nine-star, just because, when I use nine, the pattern of the wounds makes such a lovely design on their bodies….

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” — Samuel Johnson

(I know…. I said this pearl would be taking shots at the BRC, and asininnies in general…. But, read that line again, and tell me you don’t automatically think of politicians…. I know I do, because the phrase accurately describes no other segment of our society better, than it does those whom we have elected…. Sad, I know, but, all too true….)

“Most people seem to think that trampling individual rights is OK if it is “for the good of society as a whole.”  However, society is but a large number of individuals, and how can harming the individual parts better the whole?” — Andrew Ford, forda@agcs.com

“The First Amendment does not say that there is freedom of expression provided the talk is not `dangerous’. It does not say that there is freedom of expression provided the utterance has no tendency to subvert. It does not put free speech and freedom of the press in the category of housing, sanitation, hours of work, factory conditions, and the like, and make it subject to regulation for the public good. Nor does it permit legislative restraint of freedom of expression so long as the regulation does not offend due process. All notions of regulation or restraint by government are absent from the First Amendment. For it says in words that are unambiguous, `Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.'” — Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, 1958

“A politician will always tip off his true belief by stating the opposite at the beginning of the sentence.  For maximum comprehension, do not start listening until the first clause is concluded.  Begin instead at the word “but” which begins the second, or active, clause.  This is the way to tell a liberal from a conservative–before they tell you.  Thus: “I have always believed in a strong national defense, second to none, but … ” (a liberal, about to propose a $20 billion defense cut).” — Frank Mankiewicz

(Don’t worry about the labels here, ffolkes…. Mr. Mankiewicz seems to show a bit of bias toward conservatism…. but, it’s still true…. liberal, conservative, whatever…. they ALL do this….)

“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!” — Albert Einstein

“If God wanted us to have a President, He would have sent us a candidate.” — Jerry Dreshfield

“A conservative is a man who wants the rules changed so no one can make a pile the way he did.” — Gregory Nunn

“Curse all his virtues! they’ve undone his country.” — Joseph Addison (1672-1719) — Cato, Act iv, Sc. 4

(I really do love irony…. and, its twin sister, sarcasm…. When both are used in conjunction with hyperbole, well…. awesome is the word that comes to mind for me…..)

“Do not speak of what men deserve.   For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead Kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved?  Will you punish us for that?  Will you reward us for  the virtue of starving while others ate?  No man earns punishment, no man earns reward.  Free your mind of the idea of *deserving*, of *earning*, and  you will begin to be able to think.” — Odo, The Prison Letters (Ursula LeGuin, _The Dispossessed_)

I probably don’t need to mention (to this crowd…) that, learning to think in this fashion makes it much simpler to perceive the lies and oppression that the BRC and Asininnies spread around like the clap…. with exactly the same effect on society as that dreaded bacteria has on an individual, if not treated…. sickness, isolation, loss of self and others, and eventual death, from either the disease itself, or the loneliness it can engender in its victims….. Sadly, most of society hasn’t even a clue they’ve been infected by their own leaders, so, no treatment is even considered necessary…. which, as noted, will eventually lead to…. what was that? Oh, yeah….. DEATH….

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

It may not be the best Pearl I’ve ever done, but, it has the one primary characteristic that makes it good enough…. it’s done. I can’t do any more damage to it; it’s already dead. So, I’m going to post the corpus, and hope for the best before it starts to deteriorate…. At least I know it won’t smell bad…. at least, not until the technology advances to the point of making what we see on our comps complete with information for the other senses…. i.e. “sensies”, Virtual Reality complete with smells, touch, sounds, sights, and tastes….. Boy, once that happens, we all will need to be more careful about what we leave lying around, won’t we?  Until then, this will do…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I’m not in jail….

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

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

If only zucchini was more charitable…..

Ffolkes,
In today’s world, it can become hard to maintain a positive outlook, especially about the future. The Beloved Ruling Class is so intransigent, and so self-centered, I can see little hope that the changes needed for us to survive as a species will ever happen. This is, of course, tragic, to say the least, and is possibly NOT the best subject with which to start the day’s effort. A bit dark, don’t y’know?. But, I got an email last night while I was asleep that was extremely touching, and have to deal with the issue before I think too hard about it…..

As a matter of policy, I’ve never given in to chain letters, of any kind, whether, as in olden days, they had stamps, or the more modern email variety. I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe in the idea that an email, or a letter, that I don’t forward to many people, will cause me to have bad luck, or that doing so will bring me good luck. Life, and Murphy, don’t work that way; this I know for a fact. But, occasionally, one will come along that has something else going for it, and for these I will break my policy about sending it on…..

I’ll be forwarding the email to my Pearl Drops on this occasion, and I’ll tell you why….. The letter, though full of all kinds of examples of the assumptions and faith-based beliefs about which I often rant, has something that the other chain letters don’t have, and that is a compassionate reason for sending it. The person who sent this to me did so because of their own compassion, for me, and for others, in spite of, or maybe because of, the fact  she has cancer herself, and is currently fighting the battle to stay alive we all will face one day. Yet she has the strength of spirit to want to give to her friends, and to feel that she is helping in some way……

Now, I’m not going to tell you that I’ve changed my mind about the healing power of faith, because it is actually one of the few parts of religious activity that I do believe is real. I fully believe the human mind has the power to heal through its own power of suggestion and belief; in history there are numerous examples of healings that cannot be explained any other way. I won’t allow that the power comes from God; I believe that power already resides within us. We all have the power to heal ourselves, and others, by dint of believing it strongly enough; we may not be able to see, or describe how it works, much less explain it, but, there are too many examples to deny the evidence…..

So, I believe in the power of the human mind, and in some unknown way, letters like these can distribute that power to where it needs to be, and can help people heal themselves….. So, I’ll be sending it along, with my own wishes for good fortune to those of my friends and acquaintances who struggle with physical issues, in hope that all comes out well in the end…. And, it’s like my friend said when she sent it…. it can’t hurt……

I’ve used up my intro section for this, and will double up its usefulness by copying it into the letter I’m forwarding. If anyone would like to see the letter, please leave your email in a comment, and I’ll send it to you; I don’t really want to paste it here, as it might shock some of my regulars out of their socks to see it on my site…. It’s a nice letter, all in all, and I really do appreciate that my friend sent it to me, even though I don’t buy into their faith… it is the impulse of compassion from them that is my concern, and I really feel loved for having them in my life….. Thank you, C….

I believe I’ve managed to accomplish my purpose without falling into either sappiness, or melancholy, so that makes this a GOOD intro, right? Well, whatever it is, it will have to do, as I don’t have the energy to go back and do another one. Time, I have, energy requires a bit more regulation, to ensure I can get as far as I can with what there is to use…. an amount much smaller than in previous periods of my life, to be sure. Before I figure out some way to screw this up, I think we should begin our dive for today….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“I hope something GOOD came in the mail today so I have a REASON to live!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” — Anne Frank

Statements such as this are the saving grace of mankind, to my mind. It always astounds me how people who have been subjected to evil can react to that treatment by becoming the antithesis of evil, i.e., they simply become more good, in response to the evil perpetrated upon them. Anyone who can deny that Ms. Frank was witness to, and subject to, some of the most evil events in history is a fool; no, they’re an idiot. Probably both…. Yet, in spite of all that she saw happen to her family, her friends, and all she endured to survive in the face of the evil she experienced, her writing is filled with optimism and hope, and faith in the human spirit. It is almost enough to convince me of her insanity, but, I know that, even if considered insane, this kind of goodness is real….

The problem is that this kind of good is nowhere near as plentiful in human culture as are the more evil aspects of personality that we humans display. The kind of activities that took place in Anne Frank’s world are all too common in human history, and indicate the overwhelming majority of those who follow those precepts, of ignorance, hatred, and bigotry, rather than subscribing to more positive rules of conduct. In essence, what I’m saying is, there are more assholes out there than there are nice guys, no matter how we would like it to be otherwise, and no matter how strong our faith in human nature. It is the ugliest part of the dichotomy we experience as part of the universe that is based on opposites, to know that the evil in us, so far throughout history, is stronger than the good.

“As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose.” — Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita was written a long time before the birth of Christ, so we know that the human proclivity to turn ideas to their advantage, no matter the original intent of the concepts, has been an issue for society for a long time. This is the difference between those who subscribe to improving human nature, and our understanding of life and our place in it, and those who use their talents to obtain power over others. While the former works toward the betterment of all people with whom they come in contact, the latter spend their effort to manipulate and control everyone they meet. In the real world, these deliberately self-oriented assholes (sorry, gotta let it out now and again….) are the ones who seek elected office, or go to seminary, or study law, or business, or become police officers…. not to help others, but to find every way they can to take advantage of the naive nature of their peers…..

SIGH…. (That’s a sigh as commonly sighed in County Clare, Ireland, indeed, in all the west counties of Eire; long, drawn out, slowly exhaled, complete with mournful expression, shrugging of shoulders, and shaking of head….) I don’t know the answer, though I have some ideas that might work, should they ever be considered. But, they all involve a certain degree of “giving in” to the more violent side of our nature. Though it is a soothing thought to think of all those assholes getting what they deserve, it is, to some extent, assuming the same characteristics that define them in their state of anti-humanity.

To get rid of them, we would have to become them, if only for a short time, and would thereby lose part of what makes us different in the first place…. So far, I haven’t been willing to give in to that extent. I don’t know if that shows that I have integrity, or if it means I am afraid to change to that degree, even if temporary. How to get back to the same ethical standing seems to me to be the issue, and I just don’t know the answer…. My karmic balance is no doubt too delicately perched on the cusp to risk any unreasonable violence without just cause….

But, if it gave the rest of us a chance to make some changes to society that would be of help to all of us, rather than just a few, well, I think I’d be willing to pick up a weapon and join the fray. Maybe having honorable motivation would be enough to get the job done, and still maintain some integrity…. If nothing else, it might give us a bit of breathing space, in order to come up with a more permanent, and more humane, solution to the issue…. Hard to say, as things have been the way they are for a long time, and rooting out the Beloved Ruling Class from their well-fortified position is not going to be a simple task…. As we all can see, human nature is what it is, and it doesn’t WANT to change….. None of us do…. unless, of course, we want to keep on living…..

“Either you think — or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald
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“A picture is a poem without words.” — Horace (65-8 B.C.)

And a poem is a picture of Life, with words as colors….. Here is what I think is possibly the best poem ever written by an American poet…. No other poem I’ve seen or heard of comes close to matching the depth of its simplicity…. and that phrase is precisely what I mean to imply…. Enjoy!…..

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost
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Okay, so there I was this morning, cruising along through Smart Bee, and all these pearls kept popping up in front of me, demanding inclusion without telling me why. Being the patsy I am in re: my muse, I did so…. and this is the group that ended up as the end result of my indulgence. It makes a good point, or two, actually, and I really like the way it ends, with the pointy finger and all…. The points it makes, of course, are left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader, with bonus points for knowing which parts to chuckle at, and which to guffaw….. (a thinly disguised manipulation on my part to get the word “guffaw” into a pearl…. I love it when a plan comes together…..)…..

“Love of money is the root of all politics.” — Smart Bee

“Common sense is not so common.” — Voltaire

“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!” — Albert Einstein

“The vultures are circling…they have the faces of presidential candidates and carry bowling balls in their buttered claws….” — Smart Bee

“Cato used to assert that wise men profited more by fools than fools by wise men; for that wise men avoided the faults of fools, but that fools would not imitate the good examples of wise men.  — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Marcus Cato

‘And if you’ve just tuned in, we’re talking about the red-hot,  tight-buttocked, hairy host of Hell.’  — The Church Lady

And there you have it, all wrapped up in a nice big bow….. Ta ta, then, luvs….
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I’ve gone over it thrice, and proof-reading aside, it ain’t too bad….. Not too bad at all…. and, it’s done. So, I’m going to now indulge  myself again, and spend the next five minutes leisurely getting this copied, pasted, emailed, and posted to WordPress…. which is all the time it takes, now that I am once again blessed with home internet service.

Strange how things work out sometimes, eh? A state of existence that didn’t exist at all 20 years ago, now becomes an essential ingredient to a comfortable lifestyle….. It isn’t a surprise, so much, to those of us who grew up reading Science Fiction, as it is a gleeful sense of fulfillment that imagination and reality merged into such a powerful societal manifestation. Or, is that infestation?  🙂   Nah, it’s a good thing…. and it sure makes my day a lot more enjoyable, without a doubt…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Critical differences of filigree….

Ffolkes,
Perspective…. one of our most valuable perceptive qualities. The perspective from which one views any piece of information can determine not only the importance of the data, but how one processes it. Now that I have some degree of perspective on the events of yesterday, during my adventures out in the Big Blue Room, I can see why yesterday’s Pearl seemed to flow so smoothly onto the page….. Murphy was once again at work, lulling me into complacency, and setting me up for the roller-coaster ride to come….

As a matter of fact, no, I don’t have a life. — Smart Bee

Without going into details, which were hard enough to consider as they occurred, let’s just say that Mr. Irish Fatalist spent much of the afternoon hanging about my vicinity, directing traffic, so to speak, making sure that only the most frustrating and annoying people approached me, and only the laziest, most indifferent office drones weren’t getting their work done because they were gossiping too long. He also made sure that the bureaucracy I was dealing with followed its insane regulations to the letter, thereby bringing the entire system to a crashing halt every few minutes…. The net result was a no-doubt entertaining four hours for Murphy, and the same amount of sheer frustration and mounting pain for me…. quite a party…..

It’s your right to be stupid, but it doesn’t mean you should be. — Smart Bee

With the perspective that today brings, I can slough off the emotional detritus that resulted from the day’s events, though it’s a bit harder to throw off the stiffness that being up on my feet for so many hours brings. With that perspective, I can look back and assign a whole different value to what took place yesterday. I did accomplish all I set out to do when I left the house, so all in all, the day can be considered a win….and that’s a good thing. So, I’ll just leave yesterday where it belongs… in the past, and we will proceed into another day, a bit late (like about four hours late… I was tired….), but relatively unbowed. I think, given the state of current affairs, I should go Pearl now….. it’s the only thing that can save me at this point…

“There is no comfort without pain; thus we define salvation through suffering.” — Cato
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The Laboratory-Ancien Régime

I.
Now that I, tying thy glass mask tightly,
May gaze thro’ these faint smokes curling whitely,
As thou pliest thy trade in this devil’s-smithy—
Which is the poison to poison her, prithee?

II.
He is with her, and they know that I know
Where they are, what they do: they believe my tears flow
While they laugh, laugh at me, at me fled to the drear
Empty church, to pray God in, for them!—I am here.

III
Grind away, moisten and mash up thy paste,
Pound at thy powder,—I am not in haste!
Better sit thus, and observe thy strange things,
Than go where men wait me and dance at the King’s.

IV
That in the mortar—you call it a gum?
Ah, the brave tree whence such gold oozings come!
And yonder soft phial, the exquisite blue,
Sure to taste sweetly,—is that poison too?

V
Had I but all of them, thee and thy treasures,
What a wild crowd of invisible pleasures!
To carry pure death in an earring, a casket,
A signet, a fan-mount, a filigree basket!

VI
Soon, at the King’s, a mere lozenge to give,
And Pauline should have just thirty minutes to live!
But to light a pastile, and Elise, with her head
And her breast and her arms and her hands, should drop dead!

VII
Quick—is it finished? The colour’s too grim!
Why not soft like the phial’s, enticing and dim?
Let it brighten her drink, let her turn it and stir,
And try it and taste, ere she fix and prefer!

VIII
What a drop! She’s not little, no minion like me!
That’s why she ensnared him: this never will free
The soul from those masculine eyes,—Say, “no!”
To that pulse’s magnificent come-and-go.

IX
For only last night, as they whispered, I brought
My own eyes to bear on her so, that I thought
Could I keep them one half minute fixed, she would fall
Shriveled; she fell not; yet this does it all!

X
Not that I bid you spare her the pain;
Let death be felt and the proof remain:
Brand, burn up, bite into its grace—
He is sure to remember her dying face!

XI
Is it done? Take my mask off! Nay, be not morose;
It kills her, and this prevents seeing it close;
The delicate droplet, my whole fortune’s fee!
If it hurts her, beside, can it ever hurt me?

XII
Now, take all my jewels, gorge gold to your fill,
You may kiss me, old man, on my mouth if you will!
But brush this dust off me, lest horror it brings
Ere I know it—next moment I dance at the King’s!

Robert Browning

Riding other people’s roller coasters through their heads can be fun!…..
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There are those who claim that magic is like the tide; that it swells  and fades over the surface of the earth, collecting in concentrated pools here and there, almost disappearing from other spots, leaving them parched for wonder. There are also those who believe that if you stick your fingers up your nose and blow, it will increase your  intelligence. — “The Teachings of Ebenezum, Volume VII”

Whether we are atheist, agnostic, faithful, or dogmatic, the one idea that all can agree on is that the ONLY real power that a person has in this Universe is the power of choice. Religionists will admit that “free will” is the property of mankind; it makes them nervous, but it’s right there in the Bible, so they have to accept it, by their own rules. Those of us who prefer to decide for ourselves about such matters still must yield to natural law, to which the concept of choice is certainly subject. Thus it can be used as a point of reference upon which to base discussion between the differing parties…. Not that it ever does, since, being people, they’re all stubborn as a wood post, and generally find some other reason to get miffed about, thereby avoiding having their assumptions tested….

“Whatever we cannot easily understand we call God; this saves much wear and tear on the brain tissues.” — Edward Abbey

It is this tendency, this stubborn refusal to change, that is the bane of my existence. I have no real prejudice against stupid people; stupidity itself is incurable, and, in its own way, can be charming. But, its concomitant companion, ignorance, is a matter of choice, and is  therefore unforgivable. One cannot help not being able to learn quickly or well, but one can still learn. To my way of looking at the world, between two sins, that of pre-marital sex, (labeled so by virtually every Christian sect….), and that of choosing to be ignorant, the latter is by far of greater harm, morally, ethically, and culturally.

“It’s your right to be stupid, but it doesn’t mean you should be, or have to be.” — Smart Bee

“My momma says stupid is as stupid does.” — Forrest Gump

This is where choice is so important…. In order to NOT concede the illogic of refusing to learn from new sources of information (rather than trusting only one source that never changes), one must choose. In order to NOT see the harm being caused by that refusal, one must choose. In order to NOT admit to hatred, prejudice, bigotry, and elitism, one must choose. And all those choices are, at their core, selfish, vain, ethically and morally bankrupt, and, ultimately, cowardly. To choose to be ignorant is to choose self over others, to choose avarice over compassion, and to choose hatred over tolerance. The most zealous believers even believe that their ignorance is what makes them special…. It does, actually… especially stupid…

“No man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” — John Donne  — Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624)

We all have heard the above line “No man is an island”…. if you haven’t, well, I really can’t say much other than “what planet have you been visiting?”…  🙂   It’s been discussed to death, and I’m not going to do so here…. I’m just going to use it to finish out this thought re: stupidity vs. ignorance…. Essentially, each of us is a part of the tapestry that is Life…. a thread, if you will, in the complex, colorful, agonizingly beautiful, and painfully ugly picture of the world that hangs on the wall of the Universe.

My purpose in Life is to learn enough to make my part of the picture all it can possibly be; it seems to me my duty, as well as my pleasure (or pain, in turns…). I can’t see the point in making the picture look all the same, or all one color, or all one kind of building…. that is too limited for me. Choosing to limit what one sees in Life is, to me, ignorant…. not stupid, because stupid can learn…. but deliberately ignorant, which goes beyond stupid, into the land of the insane….

“If you live your life out of memory, you live out of your history. That’s what once was. If you live out of your imagination, you live out of your potential. That’s what can be.” — Smart Bee
___________________________________    As promised in an earlier Pearl, more pictures! This one was found on Facebook, posted by my friend Patrick, who posts a LOT of really cool stuff he finds on the Net. I especially like this one, aside from the obvious cute factor, for the absolute accuracy it displays regarding the nature of the adolescent feline. He’s just doing his thing….

How is that relevant today? It’s like this…. this blog, it seems, is now my thing….. It’s what I do, to be who and what I am now. Part of that, in fact, a large part, has been to write about my thoughts on religion, politics, and other subjects that I won’t discuss with people as a general rule, at least not face to face. This is, of course, a result of having learned, like most ffolkes, that discussing those first two subjects often leads to conflict, and isn’t worth the effort on a risk vs. gain basis. One can easily lose friends and alienate people in short order by making (unpopular or oppositional ) opinions known. This reluctance to talk about preachers & pundits in conversation, I’ve found, though a good policy for interpersonal relationships in general, has a deleterious effect on my sense of honesty…. Hence, Pearls of Virtual Wisdom….

I’d like to make something clear here… I write a lot of stuff that is critical of the Christian churches, and don’t always take the time to make clear that I am speaking of the institutions, not necessarily the people who are part of those institutions. Or more specifically, I am speaking about those who administrate, or operate, the institutions, and not about the people who attend the church itself. The difference between those two sets of people is significant, and large. Those who run the churches do so out of motives vastly different from those who attend the services; their intent resembles more that of a politician than a supplicant. Many who come to church do so out of their own need for meaning in their lives, hoping to find compassion and support. Those who run the church do so because the money is good, and the work is easy; and many come to find escape from having to think for themselves….

I would estimate that of the total number of people in the world who consider themselves to be Christians, about 35% are people who actually try to live their lives as would Christ have done, with compassion and service to others. I find that these ffolkes are embarrassed by the other 65%, who are in it for whatever they can get from it, or for the solace they find in being sheep, part of a group that is special, because they are the only ones going to heaven….

Religions have done some good in history, but even the good they do is ill-advised, as it usually serves the purposes of the beloved ruling class, more than it serves to provide succor and relief to the poor. The ignorance and prejudices that most religions foster have caused far more damage, in producing cultural mistrust, in advocating wars, than any of the good they have done. It is this against which I rail, not against the people who try to live up to the most excellent, if not universally flexible, teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. The people who become preachers, priests, imams, or any other title for a religious leader, come from the same group of people who produce politicians, corporate magnates, and the others in the human herd that prey on the rest of us…..

Personally, I don’t consider myself to be omniscient, so I can’t claim to be qualified to define an entity who is so by definition; neither do I consider any other human being qualified to do so. I have my opinions, of course, and others are welcome to theirs; but they are just opinions, and have no other bearing on reality. I so wish that people could understand that delicate, subtle, difference. But, as long as there are folks who insist on having their opinion “rule the roost”, I guess I’ll have stuff to write about…. good for me, not so much for them….   🙂
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There you have it. The straight word, straight from the somewhat feverish mind of gigoid on a Saturday morning…. Such as it is, so shall it be…. I have spoken. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!