Prunes provide a moveable feast….

Ffolkes,

“A man is not aware of his virtues (if any).
Nevertheless, one hopes that they exist.”

~~ Edward Abbey ~~

tower of london

Tower of London from the Thames


Hajime…. ‘Tisn’t often I’ll begin by apologizing, but, that doesn’t cause it to mean less, to me, at least. Today, I’m doing so to explain the Pearl you will see, as it is one I probably will try to forget, if only for the cost of getting it done. Without complaint or retreat into plaintive excuses, I’ll merely say I was unable to sleep again, until late this morning, thus making me late getting started, as well as beginning another day with fatigue rather than any particular enthusiasm. Oh, well.

That said, the Pearl should, after a fashion, speak for itself. Most of it won’t be too fresh, as I don’t have any fresh on hand, or, for that matter, in mind. In fact, with what I have in mind, I probably couldn’t pass a test to get into kindergarten. I am, nonetheless, rather determined to get it done, no matter how it turns out, if only to soothe my own disappointment. One must find one’s reasons to go on oneself, mustn’t one? One must, and one has done. So be it.

Since I don’t have much, what you see is, once more, what you get. I, for one, am going on; y’all can follow if you like….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see each other whole against the sky.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

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

    Yep. Classical music, as the icon indicates so clearly. Well, it’s clear to me; listen up to the music, and it may do the same for y’all…. or, not. So be it.

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Classical Music

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We the People...

    Since I don’t have the wherewithal to produce a rant, here is a rather extensive discussion from early in 2013, on the subject of gun control…. a subject which is rather important to ALL of us, in the long run. Me, I’m of the same opinion as Clint Eastwood, an eminently sensible man, all in all, to wit: “Gun control means, if there’s a gun in the room, I want to be the one controlling it.” Y’ll can do as you like in the matter…. Enjoy!….

From 2/9/2013:

“Is this an out-take from the “BRADY BUNCH”?”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~


I’m rather hoping it is, in sooth…. if not, we all are in serious trouble, up the proverbial creek without a hint of a paddle. Not that it should be anything new or unfamiliar, as most of our history has been spent thus occupied. Of course, previous centuries didn’t have the distinct advantage of having either the Brady’s, or Zippy, in all his insane wisdom, as cultural icons, as well as ethical touchstones….. They had to make do with Socrates, and Plato, and stuffy old guys like that….. Aristotle was practically a rock star in his day, and remains a pretty smart dude, by all evidence, but I still prefer Carlin, I think, for the most cogent philosophy for modern times….

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” — The Constitution of the United States of America Amendment 6, 1791

For a moment, I wondered what my unconscious mind was thinking when it made me copy and paste this amendment into the pearl, as a pearl…. especially as it seems to be in conjunction with the Zippy quote…. Here I am, five minutes later, still wondering what the hell I was thinking…. It happens that way sometimes…. just give me a few moments here, and I’ll come up with it…. Aha! Got it! Naturally, I only needed to go back to basics…. The answer to the question of how the two quotes are related is…. Reality….

Aye, that’s right, reality. It’s what we do here, explore reality, and all its implications, ramifications, and delineations. Also, it’s temperature. Well, perhaps that isn’t the right word, but…. Reality, as is clear and obvious to the most casual observer, exists in varying degrees (hence: temperature…. see?). The degree of reality that is included in an out-take from the Brady Bunch is clearly not the same degree of reality that is implied in the Sixth Amendment. I’d say, the Amendment would hit around 8 or 9 on the real scale, with 10 being the Reality of Amber, where all roads lead. (See Roger Zelazny’s book, The Courts of Amber…..), whereas the highest the Brady’s could hope for would be a 2 or a 3 on that same scale. They’re too oppositional in nature to be rated otherwise, as well as being on opposite ends of the scale of Relative Importance to ME and YOU…..

Now we get to the meat of this matter…. Of late, there has been a lot of public discourse regarding gun control, as a result of the media’s steadfast love of gore and manipulation. Another school shooting took place a few weeks ago, wherein some crazy idiot got hold of some firearms and used them in an insane manner. This, of course, all morality aside, is still a reprehensible act, and, IMHO, most easily solved by just taking one of his own guns and using it on him, at the time of his crime. Bang, problem solved, and since he’s standing there over the bodies he has made, no question of guilt. In such cases, the why of his guilt should not matter; whatever it is, it is reason enough to put him down, in defense of humanity. The other questions can be answered after the children have been defended….

Sadly, there are two segments of humanity who don’t agree with this logical outcome. One segment is what I term the humanitarians, a misleading term, since it usually involves the denial of much of human nature. The other, of course, is our old nemesis, the BRC…. our Beloved Ruling Class…. Neither of these groups will agree that allowing people to have guns should be allowed, or that killing the killers is a proper solution for the issue. In both of these positions, they are dead wrong, and, more, they know they are. This serves to make their arguments more shrill, more emotionally based, and, in their eyes, more valid, in some strange form of weird logic….

“Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, so don’t kid yourself…”

~~ Frank Zappa ~~


One of the most edifying parts of this discussion, for me, is how it makes it so easy to identify those who are wearing the uniforms, and from what camp they are from, according to their colors and insignia. You can tell the humanitarians, they’re the ones wearing the faux-camouflage pants, in support of the troops, they’ll assure you; they want the police to be the only ones who carry guns, believing, for some unknown reason, that police are somehow more moral or ethical than other people. (Of course, they also would have trouble if you asked them to define the words, “moral”, or “ethical”, in any other terms than those used in a philosophy paper they memorized in college, or in seminary….)

The BRC are always easy to spot, as their sense of entitlement provides them with all the armor against opinion, or law, they ever need. They want guns to be only held by the militia, (which they control), or the police (whom they also control), because it makes them nervous as hell to know there are guns out in the land, in the hands of people who would use them, for certain, if they attempt to perform their illegal lying, cheating, and stealing anywhere in their presence. It also makes them nervous knowing that they would be in danger for real, if the truth about what they do is ever made public with enough evidence to convince the masses to act…. They don’t want to have to worry they will be over-matched in firepower when that day comes along….

SIGH…. I’ve opened a can of worms, again, I know it….. I’m not going to claim to have all the right answers to the situation we find ourselves in today. Though it is a different world, technologically and culturally, from the time when the Second Amendment was written, deciding to abandon its precepts on that basis is not, and should never be, enough to justify any change in a law that is so important to the common man, the very people for whom the laws were created, to protect them from the self-same usurpation that is now being attempted. Once the law is amended, and weakened, the term “slippery slope” becomes very real, and a valid fear for those people.

To put a cap on it for now, I’ll say this…. Quite simply, I do not trust those who would take the right to bear arms from the people. I have seen NO evidence, in history, or in recent current events, that ANY governing body, or ANY group, or ANY single person, of ANY persuasion can be trusted to have guns, and use them solely for the benefit of the people, without turning them to their own purposes, first. NONE. You can’t show me any, either…. Go ahead, I’m listening….

I have studied people every day of my life, and I know too much of human nature to ever believe what I’m told of another person’s intentions; even the best intentions can change in mid-stream, turning its back completely on any commitments made previously. People lie, they cheat, they break in their minds, and they can’t, as a whole, ever be trusted to act rationally on a consistent basis….. at least, not any more rationally than can I myself….

“In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.”

~~ Oscar Wilde ~~


Such being the case, I’d rather keep my guns, thanks. I’ll accept the risks that go with that freedom, which includes the risk of bad people getting their hands on guns, and doing bad things to others. Don’t worry, if they do it in front of me, I’ll help…. and not by running away and hiding…. Life is dangerous, ffolkes, and one either learns to get along with that idea, or one spends a lot of time worrying about shit that can’t be changed…. A very unhappy state of affairs, to my way of thinking, and not very realistic in the long run….

“When the panorama of human existence becomes chaotic and confused,
it is quite soothing to watch the sun rise in the East.”

~~ gigoid~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

Blithely Untitled

A poem came to me today, willy, nilly,
along with a sharp blow to the head.
Since it left me feeling just a bit silly,
anything that rhymes should lessen the dread.

Manifesting destiny into a small, insidious group
we push on toward sanity, concentrating hard.
Full engaging moments spent navigating the loop
shall ever make a difference to victims found in the yard.

Still corpses of creatures, straight out of nightmare
fill up the corners of our tortured minds.
While ever saddened, the iconic male, most debonair,
gazes softly, ironically, at all the mutual interest he finds.

Moronic public statutes compel outbreaks of sanity,
responding to momentary impulses toward inducing peace.
Still, the motions get completed, in fertile stages of inanity
while the bulk of our inmates can find no surcease.

Reluctant motivation to continue is unbound,
striving to ascertain how far there yet remains to go.
No precognitive guesswork will make any less of a sound
to soften the final strains, or teach us to truly know.

~~ gigoid ~~

2/7/2014


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About Hopi Indian Symbols

    Today’s final old-school pearl is the only fresh material I can provide today; in spite of its relative freshness, it’s a little strange. But, it works, as it is merely giving us some stuff about living  we may have either forgotten, or, overlooked in our haste to be…. In any case, none of it will hurt you, and may even help… Go figure…..

Though man a thinking being is defined,
Few use the grand prerogative of mind.
How few think justly of the thinking few!
How many never think, who think they do!

~~ Jane Taylor ~~

~~ Essays in Rhyme, (On Morals and Manners, Prejudice, ) Essay i, Stanza 45 ~~


“The hard questions always have more than one right answer. The easy questions have no answers at all. That’s the universe’s way of keeping things balanced.” — Solomon Short

“It is better to know nothing than to know what ain’t so.” — Josh Billings

“Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.” — Kahlil Gibran

“Look to the essence of a thing, whether it be a point of doctrine, of practice, or of interpretation.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus — Meditations, viii, 22

“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” — Hugh Downs

“Nobody ever died of laughter.”

~~ Max Beerbohm ~~


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It’s done, and that’s the best I can say of it. Today is what we call REALLY trusting the process. So be it. I’ll try again tomorrow, if I can manage to rest/sleep enough to waken with a functioning neuron or two. In any case, see y’all tomorrow; personally, I don’t seem to have much choice, if I am to remain in the vicinity of sanity….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			
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Twice as many diphthongs as needed, or desired….

Ffolkes,

“Diogenes said once to a person who was showing him a dial,

“It is a very useful thing to save a man from being too late for supper.”

~~ Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Menedemus, iii ~~

day2 London 001

    Time moves on, day by day, whether we pay much attention to its passage, or not; though we seem to be the only creatures we know who bother to formalize its presence, by counting each tick of a second on the Cosmic Clock that rules this Universe…. In fact, I believe we are the only creatures who have bothered to name it, or count each time the clock moves its hands…. For us, it offers us the opportunity to supply meaning to our perceptions, to separate them from all the others our over-active sensory receptors react to at the same time…. In short, we use Time as a convenient way to organize the way we look at the world, thus fulfilling the old saw, common to most cultures, that says Time was invented so everything didn’t happen all at once….

Okay, I know, that was a long, windy method of telling a really old joke, but, hey, what do you expect at 5 AM? Especially on a day when I awake at 4 AM & spend an hour trying to convince myself it’s worthwhile to get up, be cold, grumpy, & half-asleep for the first ten minutes, until some coffee and the heater have some little effect, giving me a chance to slather on some magic cream to the points that hurt the most when I get up…. I suppose it’s getting to the point where the time in bed is more attractive than getting up, which has NOT been the case for a long time….

Yet, I keep arising, and though I seem to get slower each day getting to the point where words I can trust to be coherent flow out of my head, and can begin the process of making a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom…. I suppose this task, though only a self-chosen duty, as opposed to one chosen for a reason other than selfish needs, has assumed an importance greater than my need for sleep, which grows smaller each day, it seems…. Whether I get 8 hours, or 4, I still wake up between 4 and 5, and must arise to consume caffeine, which leads inevitably to typing….

Ah well, though I always enjoy my moments of introspection, it isn’t getting this done, beyond helping to move down the page a bit further than we began…. I can vouch, however, for the quality or ability to draw readers in for the full monty, or in many cases, the lack, or absence of same…. I mean, y’all know as well as I do how often we end up spouting sheer nonsense in this section; it can be a trying time, I’m sure, for those looking for a bit of quiet morning thinking…. but, it saves my ass (figuratively, of course…) quite often, so, deal with it, won’t you?

Me, I’m going to go into Sandbag mode, and drop you right over there, at that convenient, if a bit malodorous space on the verge of the town dump…. Sorry about the odor, it’s the only spot we could find this morning….. they got a new load of some OLD crap dumped there yesterday, and it is beginning to get really ripe…. We won’t be there long though, and, naturally, you’ll find a mouth and nose covering in the seat back in front of you, should you choose to use it…. We aim to serve…. we don’t often hit that target, but, we do aim to….

On that note, I see our opening coming up, so hold on tight to those stanchions, ffolkes, it could get bumpy….

Shall we Pearl?

” …and remember you’re a Man, not just god, and for you there aren’t  and never will be any easy answers, only questions, and no reasons, only causes, and no meaning, only intelligence, and no destination and no kindly magic smiling down from above, and no fires to goad you from below, only Yourself and the Universe and what you make out of the interface between the two equals.” — Keith Laumer, Night of Delusions

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Well, okay, so I’m lazy; this is NOT breaking news…. But, because I am, y’all benefit in this case…. Here is a most excellent, if a bit overacted, classic Sherlock tale, a well-adapted classic tale from the files of Dr. Watson…..

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Three Gables

 

 

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“Our Constitution … gives to bigotry no sanction.” — George Washington

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/11/us-observe-armistice-day-more-comfortable-war-than-peace

The quote from our Founding Father above the link was, I am afraid, not just optimistic, but, probably, overly so, given that the attempts to suborn that very principle began within moments of the signing of the Declaration, and the passage of the Constitution…. All of the good intentions of the men who wrote those documents were condemned to memory very soon after the ink was dry on the signed copy, as the corrupt bankers, and the equally corrupt preachers began their campaign to nullify the reforms those documents represented….

Thomas Jefferson knew the dangers, and voiced his fear of the loss of liberty many times over the years, while he witnessed the abrogation of civil rights that each new court decision brought, due to the money to corrupt the federal judges began to flow as soon as the court system was in place…. By the mid-nineteenth century, the federal court system was primed to make any decision desired by those bankers and priests, thus securing the control over the government they had sought since before the actual signing of the Declaration….

That period in the middle of the century was when the now infamous decision was made, to classify corporations as “people”, forever surrendering any hope of liberty or justice that might otherwise have been our legacy….. Proof of Jefferson’s fears? He wrote many letters to friends and colleagues, all of which stated the opinion described by the following….

“…when all government… in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1821

Jefferson, like Thomas Paine, like Ben Franklin, George Mason, and many others of the Founding Fathers of this country, was mistrustful of the powers that be, not trusting them to keep from attempting to remove all the reforms they espoused with their revolution. They feared the professional politician, the bankers, and the priest/preachers, who care nothing for the people, beyond what they can steal from them, or use to control them; letters we have today illustrate those fears, which, I may add, have certainly been proven to be justified….

Our government is now run by oligarchs, old, rich, white Christian bigots, who attempt, all too successfully, to railroad their misogynistic, racist, divisive agenda into law…. and, if their latest efforts are as successful, they may be able to alter the laws until ONLY they, and those they are able to manipulate, are allowed to vote, their dream come true….

“In our society, the Republicans set out to prove that the Democrats can not be trusted to run the government. And the Democrats set out to prove that the Republicans can not be trusted to run our government. The real problem here is that both the Democrats and the Republicans have come up with something which is absolutely true and perfectly correct. This means that the people get to pull some sort of horrible trick on themselves and live with their choice for four years.”

The link above. and the quotes I’ve added here between the short diatribes against the Asininnies, will have to serve today as my rant…. I’ve already typed too much, and the pain now enveloping my hands is astounding in its intensity…. Damn this hurts!  Ah well, I’ll have to finish up with a few more pearls, and be done with it…. Besides, by now, y’all MUST know how I feel about the corruption and loss of liberty we must suffer to observe, in this country we so love…. If I had my druthers, I’d start picking them off, one by one…. but, sadly, I’m afraid there are too many of them to be of much use acting alone….

Maybe, just maybe, my dearest dream will come true…. One bright morning, very soon, the rest of humanity will wake the fuck up, and begin the process necessary to take back our country, kicking the assholes who have tried to take it all away into the deepest, darkest hole we can dig for them, until we can finally be done with all the bullshit they’ve caused…. Ah well, we all can dream, can’t we?….. Here’s a few well-aimed shots at the assholes now, all perfectly phrased to highlight those we call pundits and preachers…. or, as the FF’s named them, the bankers, priests, and professional politicians….

“There ought to be one day — just one — where there is open season on senators.” — Will Rogers

“People are idiots.” — The Dilbert Principle — Scott Adams, Dilbert creator, author, re-engineering sage, 1996

“Any country with “democratic” in the title isn’t.” — Murray’s Rule

“Liberty is so much latitude as the powerful choose to accord the weak.” — Judge Learned Hand

“Abuse of power isn’t limited to bad guys in other nations.”It happens in our own country if we’re not vigilant.” — Clint Eastwood

(Clint, I hate to be the one to tell you…. we weren’t….)

“[E]lections amount to little more than choosing between the scum that floats to the top of the barrel and the dregs that settle to the bottom.” — L. Neil Smith

“When I’m in office I always keep Members of Parliament talking. If they stopped they might start thinking.” — Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Well…. there you go…. I might add, these pearls were chosen from an almost unlimited field of appropriate quotes, all in the same vein as these….. which leaves me no choice but to add a final comment from our old friend, Zippy….

“Uh-oh —  WHY am I suddenly thinking of a VENERABLE religious leader frolicking on a FORT LAUDERDALE weekend?” — Zippy the Pinhead

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I was up a bit late, and my hands have slowed down the process a bit, so, I’ll once again need to subject you to one of my own poems…. I’ll try to pick a good one, if such exists in my collection….

Unheralded Sagacity…

To many, who will not see beyond their nose
the world becomes a dangerous place,
a bullet in every gun, a thorn with every rose,
no magic comes to save us, reality leaves no trace.

Minds closed, wrapped tight in manufactured fears,
men become clay, easily molded into complacent form.
No chains needed, held in thrall for years,
lies become gospel, when dishonesty is the norm.

Shed the chains you wear in durance, in kind;
Oh, ye of little faith, and much doubt
Strength is found in an unfettered mind,
Cry “freedom” with a great shout.

No help from any gods can hinder so much
as our own lack of confidence;
finding the light within, knowing it as such
confirms us, becoming consequence.

Illumination…..

~~ gigoid ~~


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I am now so late, I will have to resort to posting an older pearl, from the archives…. Ah well, it’ll be a good one, I promise….

From 7/23/2013, a pearl with message that complements today’s rant/old school pearl in section two…. Enjoy!:

Baffled by my own mind’s attempts at coherency this morning, I digress, as usual. But, I do it so well, you wouldn’t even have noticed, if I didn’t point it out for you…. It’s all just part of the service here at ECR. where we try to make every dish as attractive as the one before, which was, if I must say so myself, damned attractive, for a dish.

Until we can actually achieve anything close to that, however, we’ll have to continue to go with old-school pearls, because, well, because…. Besides, it’s much better than listening to me rant, right?….. Whoa, wait a second, let’s not all shout at once…. Okay, I get the picture…. Sniffle….. Here, then…. Smart Bee is being a butt, so here is a pearl from last year….

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human  mind to correlate all its contents.   We live on a placid island of ignorance  in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should  voyage far.  The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little;  but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.” — H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

Sometimes, I think we have already arrived at this point in time….. but, if not, then we are not far away…… with this firmly in mind, please find the following, all of which lead one gently to an idea that may, or may not, make you feel better. Which, of course, is NOT the purpose…. nonetheless, the conclusion framed by these quotes is one you NEED to know……

“It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have  been searching for evidence which could support this.” — Bertrand Russell

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.” — Dalai Lama

As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian (politician’s too!) can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose. — Bhagavad Gita

“Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves. Whistle and dance the shimmy, and you’ve got an audience.” — Diogenes

“Anyone who isn’t confused doesn’t really know what’s going on.” — Edward R. Murrow

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” — Smart Bee

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I have fulfilled my duty, and, shall proceed now to take my leave of you, sans any further to-do…. a turn of phrase, no doubt, several hundred years old, with a meaning that has probably gone through a number of changes, according to current usage on the street…. But, it still works to describe this situation, quite well, actually, so, you’ll just have to accept it the way it is, and not worry about what it may or may not mean…. I see that my tendency to grow pompous at the drop of a cliche has reached new heights of idiocy, so, I shall take my leave before I pull my covers off any further…. I’ll see y’all tomorrow…. well, I will, as long as I continue to be unable to talk myself out of it….. See y’all then….

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….

Let’s prime the pump with sad kittens….

Ffolkes,

“To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy.” — Hippocrates
One Pan Grilled Seafood & Vegetable Paella

    Ah, hell…. with all of the incredible vastness of space and time… and I end up here…. Tell me, what good is it having the power of a Time Lord, and never being allowed to use it without factoring in entropy’s influence? Calculating temporal slippage with pencil and paper just isn’t working out, and nobody can find me a decent slide rule at a price I can live with; I keep ending up back here, when I’m trying to get back into the future…  Actually, I’m only here because I couldn’t find the Tardis at all this morning, having forgotten, again, where I parked it…. Or, maybe that was WHEN I parked it? Hmm… I’ll have to check that later….

Above, you see a picture of the signature dish made by the Balaguer family, at their small, but popular and busy restaurant in the Bay Area. The dish, called “One Pan Grilled Seafood & Vegetable Paella”,  is made according to the traditional family recipe, just as served in the family’s restaurants in Spain, where the dish was originally perfected, passed down to each succeeding generation .

I found the picture and recipe in an article in the food section at SFGATE on the web, so you can too, by searching at the site under the name of the dish… I love paella, and this version looks amazingly delicious, by visual evidence, (obviously…. ya gotta love that food photography….), and by my scan of the ingredients and procedure…. (I’ll bet y’all sometimes forget I’m a chef…. one look tells me all I need to know about what it will taste like….) It will be expensive, but, about a dozen people will be incredibly happy with their tummies when I try it out….

Paella has always been a favorite of mine, since first being exposed to it at a night out while in college. Then, later in life, I attended culinary school, in 1986-87; naturally, when it was my turn to cook lunch for the entire school (as the production chef for the daily employee and student lunch, one of our assigned tasks), I chose to make paella according to the traditional Spanish recipe common to all the regions, with shrimp, chicken, and Andouille sausage, along with the saffron rice that characterizes the dish…..

The hard part of that deal was the fact that I was making the dish for about 300-400 culinary students, including housekeeping, and office staff, as well as generally having about 30 or so restaurant & hotel business teachers/instructors, including the Wine Editor for the Wine Spectator, an industry magazine, who was teaching a class in wines that week. (Cooking as chef for a meal for the chefs who instructed us each day, at lunch and dinner, was another assignment, for last semester students….) By the time it was done (it’s a long process, and labor intensive for that many people), I was sick of tasting it, so couldn’t really tell if it was as good as I wanted…. but, nobody got sick, and I got a lot of kudos for a good meal from a lot of people I respected, so, I was happy with it….

Oh, gosh, look… I’ve blathered and nattered and piffled around, talking about the picture, and the old days so long, I’ve completed a full-sized intro, though it doesn’t really provide much of a lead in, to anything other than, possibly, brunch…. but, it’s still legal, and that’s all we care about here, even if we are delusional about being royal…. We’re not so delusional we believe it, though, which is our saving grace, as it were…

For now, let it be enough to know I’m not dangerous, or violent… not any more. I served my time, and have had therapy up the yin-yang…. Besides, they never found those deleted files, so, I’m clear of all that….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Some things don’t need the thought people give them.” — Calvin

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I’m up late, after a long, HOT day yesterday, during which I did very little beyond pant in front of the fan, sleep, and complain about the heat…. Well, not the last part; I just wanted to…. I didn’t have the energy to go look for rantable material, so, y’all will have to make to with the following, which is more of a short discussion than a rant…. though it does have some rant-like qualities, as it takes some mild shots at our old friends, the talking heads of Washington, D.C…..

From 1/15/2013:

“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”  — Udana Varga, c. 500 B. C.

This particular rephrasing of the Golden Rule from ancient India shows how long the concept has been around; in fact, it is a rephrasing of writings that are even older. This rule of behavior in society has been commonly held knowledge since the beginning of civilization, whenever one chooses to mark that date. Given that presence in the basket of things that are known by all, it brings to mind the question, “Why the fuck doesn’t anyone do this?”….. Well, that’s what came into MY mind, so deal with it…..

The Golden Rule is accepted by all societies on Earth as being the key to a peaceful existence, yet those who consistently ignore it, and break it with regularity, seem to always end up as the ones who are in charge of that self-same society. Everyone alive knows the rule, but many choose to not follow its advice and direction, instead making it their purpose in life to acquire power over others, giving them both the ability, and the right, to harm others at their whim. I say right, because we have only those rights we can defend, and we, the common folk, do not defend ourselves against the BRC…. most of the time, whatever the BRC says is passively accepted by society, sometimes with regret and resignation, but mostly with reluctant acquiescence.

Me, I’ve never really been able to grasp what it is in those people, that allows them to hurt others without suffering pangs of guilt. I know it is possible to suffer feelings such as that, and still ignore them, but it seems to me like those in power have learned to not even feel the guilt, having somehow come to be able to justify their desire for power as rational and right, rather than evil and cruel. It’s as if they come to decide they are destined to lord it over others, and thus feel only satisfaction at the suffering of others. It doesn’t make any sense to my world view, but, I understand that is how it works for them. Sick bastards….

Yes sick…. in my mind, any person who wants a public office in this country, one requiring election, is a sick person, riddled with all sorts of delusions and aggrandizement, and should be isolated from the rest of us, as it (greedy ambition, and the desire for power) can be a contagious condition. I don’t care how many logical sounding arguments or positions the person is able to spew out, they are mentally ill, and should be forced into treatment, for the safety of all society.

In fact, I think it would be a good thing if we started talking about some political control, rather than gun control. I think the political world needs regulation much more than do guns…. Guns are going to be used against people, it is what they were designed for, and people aren’t going to give them up, or stop doing crazy stuff with them, just because of a few regulations…. But, the politicians NEED to be regulated, much more than they are, and it really can’t wait…..

“Under every stone lurks a politician.” — Aristophanes

This particular subject is an easy rant for me, with all the major characteristics of a good subject right out there to see and write about. As such, I could probably go on all day without running out of stuff to poke at in this area of human nature. But, I’ve made my point, I think, so we’ll save some of the energy for later. Let it suffice to say, how someone feels about the Golden Rule is usually a good indicator of how they feel about politicians, et al.

A real politician will look you in the eye, tell you they support the Golden Rule wholeheartedly, then will turn right around and say the exact opposite to your enemy. to gain their support. And, they’ll never feel a moment’s guilt over doing so…. If they did, how could they ever consider trying to be elected in the first place? Just wanting that kind of power is a clear sign of mental illness, guaranteed….

“My CODE of ETHICS is vacationing at famed SCHROON LAKE in upstate New York!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

I was done with this, but fate intervened…. Just to show how our culture has developed under the influence of the delusions fostered by the lies of the BRC, consider this, which I found in the 13th Bathroom Reader….

One of our cultural myths says that the soldiers at Valley Forge under Washington during the Revolutionary War starved during winter because there was no food anywhere for them. The truth is, there was plenty of food, but the farmers in Valley Forge sold it all to the British Army, who were able to pay cash….

Kind of takes away from the grandeur of the alleged events, and puts the lie to any elements of implied nobility, doesn’t it? Conversely, it does rather support what I’ve outlined above, wouldn’t you say?…… Sick puppies, all of them, and always ready, and willing, to take advantage of human greed….

“If any man can convince me and bring home to me that I do not think or act aright, gladly will I change; for I search after truth, by which man never yet was harmed. But he is harmed who abideth on still in his deception and ignorance.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, vi, 21

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I realize that I am an odd duck; the large, red, noisy nose is a dead giveaway…. Like most of us who fit into this particular category, I don’t much care, nor do I spend any time worrying about trying to change that. Another of the probable methods to be able to successfully identify those such as myself is our eclectic taste in poetry…. and who, may I ask, is more eclectic than Emily?….. Nobody…. To my way of thinking, there’s nobody better, either…..

A Clock Stopped — Not The Mantel’s

A clock stopped — not the mantel’s
Geneva’s farthest skill
Can’t put the puppet bowing
That just now dangled still.

An awe came on the trinket!
The figures hunched with pain,
Then quivered out of decimals
Into degreeless noon.

It will not stir for doctors,
This pendulum of snow;
The shopman importunes it,
While cool, concernless No

Nods from the gilded pointers,
Nods from seconds slim,
Decades of arrogance between
The dial life and him.
     
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

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Most likely, I don’t have to tell y’all what will come next; if you’ve been here before, you’ll recognize the signs and symptoms. If not, well, you’ll be okay; lots of lesser ffolkes have already lived through it, so, you will too…. No doubt, you’ve got some preconceived notions of what a pearl should be like, or, if not, some preferences… All I can suggest is for you to leave them at home, for they will NOT serve you here….

That being said, here is a random, harlequin pearl, with parameters known only to whatever gods may be in the vicinity…. I sure don’t have a clue…. I just write ’em…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it promises to be a good one, after a fashion….

“All my life I have had an awareness of other times and places.” — The Star Rover, by Jack London, 1914

All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.

— William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) — Thanatopsis

“Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Consider the little mouse, how sagacious an animal it is which never entrusts its life to one hole only.” — Plautus (254-184 BC) – Truculentus, Act iv, Sc. 4, 15, (868.)

Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate’er it touches…

— Percy Bysshe Shelley

“If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” — Clint Eastwood

“Although our information is incorrect, we do not vouch for it.” — Satie

I was right, again….. and, no, it doesn’t get old….

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Well, this has been an interesting morning, to say the least (something I have a hard time with, obviously….). Even the ending came up on me quickly, so I am unsure of just what to put here today…. I guess I’ll just say, I hope you enjoyed today’s effort, and I’ll see you tomorrow…. Anything else would be anticlimactic….. Y’all be cool, now, hear?…..

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

Once titillated, thrice shy….

Ffolkes,
Bilious clouds of smoke, greenish-yellow in the light of the street lamps, poured from the windows, while screams echoed off the walls across the way. As I stood in a shadowed doorway, I spied a figure in a window of the burning building’s second story, hooded, carrying a small bundle. As I watched the panicky movements, the figure suddenly tossed the bundle out of the window, where it fell softly down, almost seeming to float.

Without a thought, my legs moved, propelling me across the street to a point below the window, just in time to catch the bundle, which plopped into my arms lightly, without harm. As light from a nearby street lamp fell upon the bundle, I moved the covering blanket, to reveal the face of a small female child, with somber dark eyes that looked directly at mine, seemingly reading my innermost thoughts, and finding them to be distasteful….. as I looked back into those ancient eyes in a girl’s face, she spoke, “Well, are you just going to stand there, or will you flee now, assassin?…..

Hmm…. seems our assassin friend has found himself in a bit of an unusual situation, doesn’t it? Too bad we’re going to leave him to figure it all out himself… I’m okay with it, but it doesn’t really strike me just right, so I doubt if I’ll ever use those precise opening paragraphs for anything…. Always good practice though, and a good way to loosen up both fingers and brain cells….. works for me, anyway…..

That said, we should probably get right to the Pearl….. yesterday was an exhausting one for me. Nothing to do with WP, other than the 200 emails I’m now getting every day to deal with….. I had some errands that took me all over town on buses, a slow way to get around, and tiring for a old fart such as I’m turning into these days…. it’s a slow, insidious process, but the effects of age are nonetheless relentless in their advances.

Oh well, no complaints, just tired today…. fortunately, none of my physical degradations have affected my mind as yet, so let’s go give that a work-out, shall we?….. A-Pearling we will go……
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“Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt.” — Robert Lindner

A few days ago, another blogger here on WP, odie mama, (http://eyesofodysseus.wordpress.com)  asked me a question. Well, it was more of an observation with a question mark behind it, but, …. it intrigued me. She said that even though I write about serious subjects with a cynical approach, a feeling of hope seemed to infuse the tenor of what is written, and asked me to comment on that….. It has taken me a couple of days for the idea to percolate, and this morning I found the pearl that helps to explain it, to me, and to her…..

I believe that the hope she is perceiving lies in the truth of the above quotation. The most powerful weapon of reason we have as humans is Doubt. Some may question that assertion, but to my mind, it is clearly the case. Nothing is more valuable in our search for the truth among all the lies we find strewn in our path; examining any claim with doubtful eyes is our best defense against the manipulations perpetrated upon us by other unscrupulous people. And those people whom I like to call our beloved ruling class know this…..

They know that when the people are informed, when education is free and universal, and the press is free, the task of manipulating the common man becomes much more difficult. This  annoys them no end, so much so that they spend a lot of effort trying to remove or restrict anything in society that will promote doubt among the general populace. Cut educational funding, promote religious agendas that thrive on ignorance, dress up their lies in fancy clothes to look like truth; anything that will make folks refrain from thinking is good, in their eyes.

And that is the hope that is so apparent here….. though I speak of serious subjects, and lament their prevalence, and effects on people, Doubt is ever-present. I tend to challenge ANYTHING said by a talking head, especially if they are a politician, a priest, a pastor, or an imam. Whatever…. they are all just trying to foster and maintain their own version of slavery, so, as far as I am concerned, they deserve none of my respect, nor any of my mercy…. and they will find none of it here….. That is the hope that I spread….. Doubt….. a powerful ally on the Scholar Warrior’s Path….. and one hated and feared by all those in power, or who seek power over others…..

The good want power, but to weep barren tears.
The powerful goodness want : worse need for them.
The wise want love; and those who love want wisdom.
— P.B. Shelley, “Prometheus Unbound”

— How many assholes does it take to change a light bulb?  None, assholes never see the light anyway. — Smart Bee
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“A shelf of classics for our young adults: Tolkien, Hesse, Casteneda, Kerouac, Salinger, Tom Robbins, and “The Last Whole Earth Catalog”. — Edward Abbey

Gosh! I didn’t realize I was so well-grounded in the classics! Not only have I read at least one book by each of these authors, but, I’ve read more than one by all but one of them, and…. I read the entire book printed on the margins of the pages of the “Catalog”, narrated charmingly, and so effectively, by the vintage, loyal, stalwart, inadvertently abused, but well-loved VW bus, Urge, who detailed the times and travels of the people chiefly responsible for the creation of the Catalog itself……

“How can they say my life isn’t a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?” — Cindy Adams
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“The wise man can pick up a grain of sand and envision a whole universe.  But the stupid man will just lie down on some seaweed and roll around until he’s completely draped in it.  Then he’ll stand up and go, “Hey, I’m Vine Man.” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

Now, that’s deep!   🙂   Deep enough that I hope you were wearing high tops…. but I do like the metaphor of the wise man and the grain of sand; hadn’t heard that in a while…. Cute, and lots of whimsy points… but not quite right….

“Whenever anybody says he’s struggling to become a human being I have to laugh because the apes beat him to it by about a million years. Struggle to become a parrot or something.” — Jack Handey, “Deep Thoughts”

More approximate wisdom from Jack….   🙂   Admit it, you smiled…. Struggle to be a parrot, indeed!…. clever. Not quite what I’m looking for yet, though…. Onward…..

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. — Confucius

Not verified as truly the words of Master C,, but reasonable; it sounds like him. And that’s more like it, I think; we keep getting closer to a real pearl…. one more shot at the big money, ffolkes, then we’ll move on….

“A man’s gotta know his limitations.” — Dirty Harry [Clint Eastwood] in “Magnum Force”

Hmm…. I guess it just goes to show, you never know where you may find something unexpectedly valuable…. like a pearl heretofore hidden in the persona of a macho, maladjusted cop with PTSD, and a penchant for blowing his problems to bits with a big gun…. probably very stress relieving. It would be for me, for sure…. And… I think that the journey to get here, if you will look back over it, can be considered the true lesson, as is always the case when considering journeys, and destinations……
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“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate now knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” — Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude

I am blessed with at least seven people in my life who fit into this mold, not including my children, who would also fit the given parameters. I’d also like to believe that my brothers and sisters, all four of them, would be there if needed; I know I would for them, and will be if necessary. We’ve all never been terribly close since moving apart, but also have always felt and shown loyalty, and love for each other.

So, that makes me a pretty lucky man, all in all, and I know it…. it humbles me, constantly, when I consider it, and it is a thought that carries me through some rough mental battles with myself, and with reality. Even if I don’t call for help, I know it would be there if I asked, and that can be enough…..

“The road to a friend’s house is never long.” — Danish proverb
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“Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage amongst his books. For to you Kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned by the flicking of a finger.” — Chinese proverb

This proverb is one that has ruled my existence, from the moment I first came across it in my early teens. In one aspect, it is a concept that supports and verifies what I wrote above about Doubt, and to my mind serves as solid evidence as to the truth of what I said there. This statement has also served me well as a social tool in my work, in every field I’ve embraced, if you can believe it. On a number of occasions, in mental hospitals, restaurants, and computer rooms, I have printed this onto a chalkboard, or an easel being used for a presentation at a meeting, just as a random act of intellectual subversion, and each time, the results have far surpassed whatever I had envisioned.

The sight of this quote displayed wherever I put it never failed to produce a response from all who read it, and those responses often painted a clearer picture of that person’s personality than anything else they ever said or did. Some would read it, and assume a puzzled frown, trying to assimilate its meaning. Depending on their success or failure, they would then smile and go on with whatever they were doing with a sense of calm and serenity… Or, others would frown in thought, then say something akin to “Pshaw!” and shake their heads as if to clean off their shiny coats of mud. Still others would widen their eyes, and look around for a pen, furiously scribble it down, and rush off to show it to someone else…. A very few would read it, and say something such as, “Oh, what a nice reminder….”  These folks were generally the ones who were my friends….

To my mind, this approach to life, that of a scholar as opposed to a warrior, is the only choice I could make to be happy, and true to my nature. I acknowledge within myself that violence is a part of my nature, as it is for all of us naked apes; it is not something that is wise to overlook. But that part of my nature has ever been dominated by the part of me that HAS to have thoughts to ponder, the part that needs to read and absorb the perceptions of other minds, the part of me that would literally die if I did not embrace it as my purpose, my raison d’etre. I can no more stop reading and thinking than I can stop breathing, or eating, or any other essential life function…. it’s the way I’m made, and it has always been a joy to me to know this, and to give free rein to my intellect, refusing to limit its consumption to any single viewpoint or system of beliefs….

And so, I walk the Scholar Warrior’s Path; I walk that path with my books close at hand, pausing often to read, and consider…. the path is much clearer ahead of me that way, and I walk it with joy…. seeking Truth, and Beauty, and Love.  I’ve found all three, and life is good, no matter what is happening around me, or to me…. So Be It…..
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“My Teacher said that that that that that man used is incorrect.” — Smart Bee

I love the English language!  You have to say it out loud, but if you do, you can see that the above sentence is absolutely correct usage….. brilliant!  Not worth a whole pearl, which is why it is here at the end. But, it had to be included…. just because….

I think that went well…. no major foul-ups I’m aware of…. of course, proofing is yet to come, but, it all looks good to go for the time being. With a start like this, the day promises to be fairly productive and agreeably pleasant. Who knows?  Maybe the woman I am to fall in love with, for the last time in my life, will walk into my life today…. not bloody likely, given current indicators, but, hey, worth a moment or two of anticipation before putting it back into the “I’m Patiently Awaiting” file, where it doesn’t distract me from the matters at hand….

On that note, I will put this to bed, in the vernacular of journalism….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse  Be With You…. (say it out loud, it sounds better…. it’s a hard “s”….)     🙂


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Who ordered the asparagus with hollandaise?….

Ffolkes,
Lazy doats and mersey boats moved silently past the statue, but I saw them. They were dark, and evil, and up to no good. So, in the burgeoning night, I sent them all back to hell with gusto……

Whoops….sorry, wrong crowd….some days, the key is to just jump in without even checking the water temperature; it’s the shock that gets the old heart moving, albeit reluctantly. It’s not as effective as a good cup of coffee, but it serves the purpose adequately. Can’t always have everything just the way we like it, can we? Learning to live with that idea is one of the keys to reducing one’s overall stress level, and it’s probably good karma to not bite anyone before breakfast…..
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  Some random thoughts I picked up here and there, on everyone’s favorite controversy…… the images were found on Facebook, so I’m not sure of the original attribution…… but both are pretty mainstream, and most likely intended for the public domain….

“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

“What is it the Bible teaches us? – rapine, cruelty, and murder. What is it the Testament teaches us? – to believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married, and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.” — Thomas Paine — The Age of Reason

Relaxed Agnostic–I don’t know any answers–I’m not looking very hard, either.

“It [the Bible] is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910) — Letters from the Earth (1905-1909)

   Oops! I think I just heresied on several important religions. Oh well, Clint will protect me, never fear…..My take on the above? The library, or  a forest, or a lake; all are good places to spend a pleasant Sunday.

“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” — Bob Dylan
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“Say not unto thyself, “Behold, truth breedeth hatred, and I will avoid it; dissimulation raiseth friends, and I will follow it.” Are not the enemies made by truth, better than the friends obtained by flattery?” — Akhenaton? (c. B.C. 1375)

   Note the date the statement was made; 1375 B.C. That is three thousand, three hundred and eighty-six years ago (3386). I find it to be an encouraging note when I contemplate the subject matter, for if mankind was thinking about such subjects as honor, truth, and dignity so long ago, then there is hope that we can find a way today to make it reality.

Of course, that is the optimist in me speaking; the pessimist would note that it is a very long time to have passed without having come up with some kind of reasonable answer to such a basic question. And I don’t think all the funny words he used were enough to confuse the issue; I think it has more to do with our tendency toward laziness when it comes to hard work…..
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“I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.” — Pogo, character in “Pogo,” comic strip by Walt Kelly

The curmudgeon in me just adores this! I’ve been using it for many a year as a means avoiding superfluous arguments or power struggles with people who have difficulty whistling and walking at the same time. As a matter of fact, on more than one occasion I have said this to some ignoramus trying to pick a fight, and had them blinking at me in confusion, then walking away muttering to themselves. In all this time, however, I never knew where it originated.

It pleases me no end to know that Pogo was the first to put it into play. Now I can use it without any feelings of guilt for misappropriating someone else’s intellectual property; I’m sure Walt Kelly intended it to be used, as he put it out there for the entire country to see….. plus, as we all know, Pogo was written with the intent of providing folks with ammunition in the age-old war against stupidity…… and this one is definitely a .457 Magnum hollow point with a maximum powder load, for use in close quarters……
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You beat your pate, and fancy wit will come;
Knock as you please, there ‘s nobody at home.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Epigram

Consider this an accurate picture of gigoid attempting to write poetry……
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“I admire men of character, and I judge character not by how men deal with  their superiors, but mostly how they deal with their subordinates, and that, to me, is where you find out what the character of a man is.” — General Norman Schwarzkopf

A picture is worth a thousand words…..Q.E.D……
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Hack, thppt, bbbolloks! That went well, eh? Sometimes it just moves along better than what is the usual case. I imagine that’s a good thing, though now I’m uncertain what to do with the rest of the day……oh, well, I’ll figure out something. Meantime, y’all take care out there…..,


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

Kowabunga!