Applicable standards don’t exist….

Ffolkes,

“He who has the courage to laugh
is almost as much a master of the world
as he who is ready to die.”

~~ Giacomo Leopardi ~~

smiley zoey

Mornings are fun!….

Hajime…. Just look at that face! Is that not the perfect picture of experiencing joy, simply to be alive? Such serendipitous gifts cannot be overvalued, in my estimation, providing us with a reason to look inside, to find the part of us that once felt that joy, unbidden. For those of us advanced in years, it’s a long way back in memory, but, just seeing such a smile, echoed by the glittering eyes, gives us good reason to spend the time & effort to take that journey into our own past, to share the joy she so obviously feels….

Thanks to a studious application of will, I was able to cobble together this Pearl for today. Two final tasks to complete, then I can post it, before reaching my current limit for sitting. To keep from going wonky, as is my wont, far too often, I’ll truncate this intro, as best I can, & we can all get on with the rest of the day, which, for me, is a busy one. In fact, I’ve so much to do, I actually am experiencing the dreaded deadline anxiety; time to administer the antidote, I think. How, you may ask, will he do it this time? Simple, really. Watch this….

Shall we Pearl?

“If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good.
But you can survive without it
if you have love, compassion, and tolerance.
The clear truth of a person’s love of God
is if that person genuinely shows love to fellow human beings.”

~~ Dalai Lama ~~

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jimmy_buffett

Since we’re having so much fun this morning, I feel like some good time music. Here is one of my favorite concerts from a good time musician, with whom I’ve spent many a fine evening, both in concert, and on the stereo…. I’ve been a Coral Reefer since the mid-70’s, when I first heard two of his first albums, “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation”, and “Living and Dying in 3/4 Time”. I won’t suggest you enjoy this, as I am sure you will, no matter what I may say; it’s just plain good stuff….

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Jimmy Buffett
Live in Anguilla

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Comedy_Tragedy

Dreaming of Calliope

La belle dame sans merci speaks aloud through endless night,
torturing dreams, with powerful words and stentorian phrases.
Manifest visions bathed in unbearable grace and light,
destroying all direction, standing lost, in unfathomable mazes.

Fate plays a part, one that will never face denial,
as fear and courage eternally vie for ascendancy.
Conflict becomes valid, gifting strength in open trial,
but honest emotion wears no costume so fancy.

Blood, sweat, and tears stroll on avenues of gold,
unlikely heroines heralding as in ancient lore;
Sharp, competent knives cut through tales untold,
eternally shifting reality past the naked shore.

Drifting toward origin, bereft of mandate or cause,
finished, nay, abandoned, tied with a figurative bow.
No simple gift from muses to give comfort or pause,
save that all we need to know, we already know…..

~~ gigoid ~~

12/13/2012

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Poetic philosophy,
aka,
Philosophic Poetry….

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“A word is dead
When it is said
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.”

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

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“The hour is striking so close above me,
so clear and sharp,
that all my senses ring with it.
I feel it now: there’s a power in me
to grasp and give shape to my world.
I know that nothing has ever been real
without my beholding it.
All becoming has needed me.
My looking ripens things
and they come toward me, to meet and be met.”

~~ Rainer Maria Rilke, from Book of Hours~~

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“As for the future,
your task is not to foresee it,
but to enable it.”

~~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “Wisdom of the Sands” ~~

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“Do I dare disturb the universe?”

~~ T. S. Eliot ~~

*********

“Happiness follows sorrow,
sorrow follows happiness,
but when one no longer discriminates
between happiness and sorrow,
a good deal and a bad deed,
one is able to realize freedom.”

~~ Buddha~~

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“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

~~ Rush, “Freewill” ~~

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“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”

~~ Ralph Ellison ~~

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“All time in all time.
It does not change.
It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations.
It simply is.
Take it moment by moment,
and you will find that we are all bugs in amber.”

~~ Kurt Vonnegut Jr., “Slaughter-House 5” ~~

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“Come to the edge, life said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, life said.
They came.
It pushed them….
and they Flew.”

~~  Guillaume Apollinaire ~~

*********

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Well, I did it. Okay, so, I cheated, a bit. Sue me, if you dare. For my own part, I am content, or, as content as possible in my current state of advanced ambiguity. So be it, he said, with a wicked grin and a snap of the fingers. We’re done, and, what’s more, we’re outta here. No telling, at this point, when this might happen again, but, you may rest assured, it will. Hell, I’ve even got a new poem in the process of leaking out, so, eventually, when it’s done, I’ll have to post it, if only to soothe my own fevered dreams of adequacy. For the nonce, I’ll bid thee adieu, until we meet again, somewhere in cyberspace…. See ya, ffolkes; be alert, because it will happen quickly, when it does….

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 -- 12330

À bientôt, mon cherí….

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After adding penalties, it’s free…

Ffolkes,

“How many northern Californians does it take to screw in a light bulb?”

“None of your f***ing business and have a nice day.”

~~ Curmudgeon Bee ~~

Fish for Dinner

Fish for Dinner


Hajime…. Now, THAT’S the proper pearl to begin the final post for 2015. It took me nearly three days to find it, but, every minute was worth every second…. The critical factor for understanding such an assertion is, simply, I AM a northern Californian. Though born about 230 miles south of where I now reside in the Golden State, I’ve lived north of the Bay for most of it….

Almost needless to say, it also provides me, and, any other potential/practicing curmudgeons, a perfect line for using on Mundanes, in one variation or another, when suddenly confronted with the numerous acts of random, yet grindingly consistent, gross stupidity, in the form of a question, which, by any person with functioning neurons, would be considered rhetorical….

There…. Was that cynical & insulting enough? I hope so, I worked hard to make it so. If nobody is offended, all I can say is, damn! Where did I go wrong?….. If THAT’S not enough, well, all I can say is, y’all had best find your spare brain; this one ain’t workin’….

Hah! Let’s throw in a “Whew!”, as well. I’m done now. Sorry, just had to get that out. I’ll try not to let it break out so vehemently again….. today. I shan’t make any promises for tomorrow; you know how I hate to make promises I’m not likely to keep. No worries, though. I think I probably have enough strange left in me to get through a Pearl, especially one with the natural advantage of landing on a holiday, to either celebrate, sell, ignore, or, explore the meaning thereof, the last of which probably isn’t a good idea today….. I’m liable to, literally, and, literature-ally, go off…. Then, of course, there’s the figurative…. No, let’s not even go there….

I think, perhaps, we should get on with it. What do y’all think? Oh, right. No ‘perhaps’ about that…. Well, I think so, and I’m the one typing here, so, I guess that puts me in the driver’s seat, doesn’t it? Duh…. Okay, then, we’ll have it YOUR way.

Maestro, on with the slow….

Shall we Pearl?….

“The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation, and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance called “faith”.” — Robert G. Ingersoll

(Just a teaser for what is coming; if you are uncomfortable with ambiguity, or, uncertainty, maybe you should think about skipping from the video to the poetry section…. Fair warning….)

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townes (2)

Townes Van Zandt

Image from amoeba.com via Google Images


Today’s video selection is the result of a comment yesterday from a friend, who sent me a link to one of his tunes (Thanks!) …. I realized I had not used his music yet; since he is one of my most favored artists, there was no hesitation at all in deciding to include him today. Hell, his song, Pancho and Lefty, is one I’ve been playing & singing myself, damn near every time I play, for about 40 years, or more…. I’ve played it with my BFF, Tommy Tumbleweed, in a smoky, loud, crowded bar, more times than I can remember…. Enjoy, ffolkes… Townes is one of the best poets to ever pick up a guitar…..


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Townes Van Zandt

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Sandclock .jpg

    Taking another day off here, ffolkes; fresh rants coming soon…. For now, let’s go back to, oh, a bit more than three years ago, to see what was going on in this silly, yet, earnest mind of mine…..

From 12/2/2012:

“There is one God, but which one is He?”

~~ Smart Bee ~~


Now, this is the proper use of reason and inquiry! Such a small question, made gargantuan by the depth of its insight. Which one, indeed, is the real God? There are as many answers to this question as there are what I like to call “preachers”, for want of a better word (I should maybe try to pick a better one, I suppose….); “preachers” are men, or women, who have decided upon one particular system of beliefs on the subject of divinity as being the correct one, to the exclusion of all the others. In spite of the lack of hard evidence on hand for any of the different belief systems, these folks choose one, and stick to it like a barnacle…. which, come to think of it, is probably what it feels like, after a while….

Depending on to whom the question is put, the answer may vary from Odin the All Father of Norse mythology, to the God of Zoroaster, whose specific appellation escapes me just now. In between you will find God, also known as Yahweh/Jehovah to the those of the Tribe, Allah to the Muslims, and just plain, old God, to most of the Christian sects. There is the voodoo god, Jobu, in the Caribbean; Set, or Bal, or Mammon, or any of the other ancient earth gods;  Ra of the Egyptians; Krishna, and all his incarnations, i.e., Kali, Yama, Ganesha, Maya, and the others in the Hindu pantheon. The American Indians seemed to favor the Great Spirit. Ancient Druids, from the dawn of Man’s history, and, modern Wiccans, follow the Goddess, with gods and goddesses from the Greeks and Romans thrown into the mix, just for fun. The list seems as endless as human imagination…. which it is, since all of them spring from that source.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

~~ Smart Bee (and, most likely, the Dalai Lama….) ~~


As far as I know, Buddha never claimed to be a god, and, was, to my mind, not particularly clear on the subject of divinity, as directly related to humanity. The same seems true of Taoism, though certain of its sages seem to hold some of the old Chinese mythology beliefs on Heaven, and the creatures who inhabit that domain, another concept for which there is only imaginary evidence to support its veracity, and its reality. In this way, I see these philosophies as superior to the religious doctrines that purport to worship a deity, as they rely on reason, personal responsibility, and compassion to direct action, rather than fear of reprisal, or hope for reward, as is the wont of religious dogma and doctrine.

This perception of mine may be because I have always thought that the entire concept of a deity is not capable of being described, or understood, if one is to assume that a god is what it claims to be. How can a mortal understand an immortal? There is no common ground, other than the assumption of existence, for which there can be any reason for one to be connected to the other, as we could not comprehend their existence. We, limited to our human perceptions, have no direct evidence of a deity that can be experienced by those perceptions.

Anyone who tells you they do is lying, even if they believe it to be true, unless they can share that experience with another human, directly, with evidence for the senses we possess, not merely for what we wish to be true. Feelings don’t count, nor visions only seen by them, or voices in the head; neither do personal revelations, or religious fevers, or speaking in tongues…. See, hear, touch, smell, taste…. that’s what we have, along with the ability to reason, and our imagination. That is our tool kit; unless one of the tools fits, it isn’t real, to our perceptive ability. Items purported to be evidence that come from imagination are just that; imaginary, and cannot be considered proof of anything other than the naivete of the speaker, and, of any who choose to believe them.

“It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.”

~~ George Santayana ~~


SIGH…. People are people, though, and they will choose what to believe according to what they feel, most of the time, rather than according to what is the truth, which requires effort to find. It has even been said that humans have a tendency, more often than not, to make choices that are bad for them, just for that reason, that it is too much effort to think their way through to the truth that would ultimately help them. As long as this is true, our species is in danger, from itself, and its own delusions…. Sad, in a species of such promise….

And on the 8th day, God woke up and said “Whew! It was just a dream!”

~~ Smart Bee ~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

Dreaming, I wait….

In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
to give no anxious fever, anger to eschew.

Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
shall fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.

Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.

Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.

Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in the oceans of natural delight.

When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
and the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.

Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art.

~~ gigoid ~~

8/8/2013


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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Life

Within the oyster’s shell uncouth
The purest pearl may hide,
Trust me you’ll find a heart of truth
Within that rough inside.

~~ Mrs. Osgood ~~

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“A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak.”

~~ Michael Garrett Marino ~~

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“There is not enough love and kindness in the world
to permit us to give any of it to imaginary beings.”

~~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~~

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“There is no time like the pleasant.”

~~ George Bergman ~~

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45. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

~~ Instructions for life ~~

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“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”

~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~~

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“There’s too much beauty upon this earth for lonely men to bear.”

~~ Richard Le Gallienne ~~

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“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;
the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

~~ Plato ~~

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陶德清

Always we hope
 Someone else has the answer
 Some other place will be better
 Some other time it will all work out.
This is it.
 No one else has the answer
 No other place will be better
 And it has already turned out.
At the center of your being
 You have the answer;
 You know who you are and what you want.
There is no need to turn outside
 For better seeing.
 Rather abide at the center of your being
 For the more you leave it
 The less you learn.
Search your own heart and see
 the way to do is to be.

~~ Lao Tzu ~~

老子


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It’s done. For this we are grateful. We are also, as you can see, stuck in the royal ‘we’ again. We shall leave you now, with no further ado, as this condition can last for days…. We are sorry, but, as royals, we are never tired, never cross, and like hospitals. It’s in the manual, right before the section on how to act smarmy and superior without any real clue…. See y’all tomorrow, we are sure….

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

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


That paradigm is awfully pale, isn’t it?….

Ffolkes,

“Belief is not the beginning but the end of all knowledge.”

~~ Goethe ~~

more leelu 001

Leelu watching for wormholes….


Hajime…. Today’s Pearl has an Easter Egg in it…. Sort of. I’ve used one quote today quite extensively…. Your task, should you accept the mission, is to guess which it is, and, naturally, noting how many times you see it…. That said, and, in the interests of total honesty, Leelu isn’t watching for wormholes, this time. She was watching an ant…. which, sadly, had brought friends…. Windex took care of them for now, but, it’s nice to know she’ll notify me if any more plan to come in to spend any time…. Hmph….

Mornin’…. Well, it’s morning here, anyway…. Where you are, it’s likely to be another time, but, we’ll do our best not to confuse anyone, with any tricky anachronisms, or, excessive use of the Tardis we have on loan. I know it can be a bit confusing around here, but, hey, that’s Life, right? Right.

Okay, then….. I decided last to give up watching movies; it’s too hard on my emotional state. I was watching a scene in a movie I enjoy watching occasionally, which I have on my comp. In the scene, a seriously injured young man’s condition is discovered by his father and twin brother suddenly; as I watched, I myself. suddenly, and surprisingly, as I’ve watched a number of times without such happening, assumed internally the emotions of the twin; shock, sadness, fear, anger, all coursed through me with such force I began to weep….

It stopped almost immediately, as I realized they weren’t my feelings; they are merely close to those I experience when thinking of my own brother, who is fighting cancer. It also helped to know the scene breaks the tension shortly, with a terrible pun…. Nonetheless, I will now have to watch old movies I’ve seen with greater mindfulness of my own state, so as to side-step this bloody nuisance caused by my own subconscious mind, which I sometimes believe has not yet forgiven me for certain failures to act in the past, even though my actions were ethical…. It, the subconscious, doesn’t give a rat’s hind end for ethical; it wants what it wants, when it wants it, and has a large assortment of ways to express its displeasure when we make a rational decision to forgo those desires….

Boy, this Ego stuff is hard shit…. I gotta get rid of the damn thing… Of course, if/when I do, I’ll need to find some word other than “I” to express my thoughts, without the Ego getting in the way…. I guess, if I can figure out the first part, finding the word won’t be much of a challenge as it might have been…. Ya think?

On that esoterica, I think we’ll head out for the oyster beds…. I’ve got a new trick; wanna see how it works?…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“An artist is a creature driven by demons. He don’t know why they choose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done . …. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is worth any number of old ladies.” — Mark Twain

All I can say to that is, damn skippy! I’ll take the Urn, every time…. Dad might get upset, but, he’ll get over it….

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Clapton and Mayall bluesbreakers

Image from http://www.bbc.co.uk via Google Images


Yesterday, one of the ffolkes who commented mentioned he’d been listening to the blues, Janis Joplin, to be precise. Ever since, I haven’t been able to think of anything else to post for today, unless it was some EXCELLENT blues. I had to drag through my whole memory bank, practically, then I remembered this one…. From 1966, when all these gentlemen still mostly didn’t shave every day yet, (‘cept for the one at the left center, of course. who merely trimmed…) (the one on the right center was still not sure if he should grow a beard, or not; I think that’s Eric. at a VERY young age.)… Ffolkes,  I give you, the Bluesbreakers….

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John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
with Eric Clapton

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dalai lama

The XIVth Dalai Lama of Tibet

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“My only religion is kindness.”

~~ The Dalai Lama ~~


Today, I had intended to rant about religion; since it’s a couple days from the celebration of the date of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, (a date having no actual basis in reality; there are no conclusive records from that time…. Nobody, and I mean nobody, can say they know for sure….), I figured I’d explore some of the fallacies inherent in the whole system of beliefs….

Then, I was sent a Tweet from a friend, with another of the Dalai Lama’s wise quotes, to wit: “We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot live without human affection.” To my way of thinking, that just about sums up all we need to know about the entire concept of religion….

Because of that, my need/desire (Aha!….) to rant disappeared, as seeing the quote on Twitter brought to mind the quote with which we opened this section…. So, I decided to forgo ranting, in favor of some pearls of virtual wisdom from various famous authors, thinkers, and/or, just ffolkes…. I figure it’s following my own injunction re: playing nice with others….

To all my readers, who may not believe as I do, I wish you a happy season of kindness, no matter what religion you may believe in…. My opinion of that, I hope, shall not spoil, or demean, or in any way garner my approbation; nor do I intend to give any offense to anyone’s sincere belief…. I wish the Christians a Merry Christmas, the Tribe members a Joyous Hanukkah, and the believers of any other faith, for whom I don’t know a proper phrase of seasonal appropriateness,  a peaceful winter, filled with happiness, and all the things you desire, especially if it a desire to help others in some way….

Dalai lama sez (2)

    I hope nobody takes any of the following personally; I am, admittedly, a cynic, who is dubious of ALL of the religious philosophies, regarding them as delusions/illusions, fostered on the unlearned, in order to fulfill the own personal ends of their proponents, or often, their founders; remember, if you will, how the ineffable Peter altered (read: perverted…) Christ’s words and ideas to create the Catholic Church, just a few months after the crucifixion….

But, that’s just me…. Everyone else is entitled to their own belief system, as long as they keep it out of my face, unless they have some concrete, verifiable evidence I haven’t seen before…. which is unlikely as I’ve been thinking, reading, and studying about this issue almost all my 65 years, since the very first time I heard the story of the crucifixion, and, could not believe my ears…. It just never made any sense, even at age 4….

I’ll leave you with this thought, from one our most well-known free-thinkers…

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now, let’s have a little fun, shall we?

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Dear friend, all theory is gray,

And green the golden tree of life.
 
~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust ~~

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“Why, when no honest man will deny in private that every ultimate problem is wrapped in the profoundest mystery, do honest men proclaim in pulpits that unhesitating certainty is the duty of the most foolish and ignorant?  Is it not a spectacle to make the angels laugh?We are a company of ignorant beings, feeling our way through mists and darkness, learning only be incessantly repeated blunders, obtaining a glimmering of truth by falling into every conceivable error, dimly discerning light enough for our daily needs, but hopelessly differing whenever we attempt to describe the ultimate origin or end of our paths; and yet, when one of us ventures to declare that we don’t know the map of the universe as well as the map of our infinitesimal parish, he is hooted, reviled, and perhaps told that he will be damned to all eternity for his faithlessness…

~~ Leslie Stephen (1832-1904) ~~

~~ “An agnostic’s Apology”, Fortnightly Review, 1876 ~~

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“Belief is not the beginning but the end of all knowledge.”

~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~~

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“Satanism is a Christian religion”

~~ Sardonic Bee ~~

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“I admire the serene assurance of those who have religious faith.
It is wonderful to observe the calm confidence of a Christian with four aces.”

~~ Mark Twain ~~

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“How many Christian fundamentalists does it take to change a light bulb?
None. The Bible doesn’t mention light bulbs.”

~~ Smart Bee ~~

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“In anything at all, perfection is finally attained,
not when there is no longer anything to add,
but when there is no longer anything to take away.”

~~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery , Wind, Sand & Stars ~~

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“It is not necessary to fall into a well to know its depth.”

~~ Smart Bee, channeling gigoid ~~

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The biologist thinks he is a chemist,
The chemist thinks he is a physicist,
The physicist thinks he is a God,
And God thinks She is a mathematician.

~~ Paula Thompson ~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

    Today’s selection is from another WP blogger, one I consider one of my closest friends online, as well as a wildly talented poetess and artist in general…. The poem is an expression of joy, which made me smile, and weep, all at once…. The picture that follows from the same post, is, in my opinion, sheer genius wisdom, and deserves to be included here….. Here then, from a soul trooper, fighting the ultimate fight, to be herself, whole and happy….

The Voice in my Box

For many years

debilitating thoughts

made a home in my mind

No room at the inn, door locked

…confined

I smiled in silence

To an oblivious room

All the while

My throat screaming

For all the bad memories

All the unfair nights

All the damn hurt!

the effects

…and the cause

Life played out and my lips

….Obediently paused

Until

The drink of belief

Made her way

From my mouth to my feet

Like a waking alien

I have found my home again

And all that was shrunken inside

Lost the urgency to cling and hide

Rising in hope

Yes this freedom speaks

Oh honey…

This freedom sings!

She flys on flames atop of wings

And the music is sweeter than ever

My voice, my speakers

Reign out

Bleeding a glorious color

Onto white corners

of my

…Newly born feathers.

~~ Souldiergirl ~~

12/21/2012

http://souldiergirl.com/2015/12/20/the-voice-in-my-box/

souldiergirls color

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Yin-Yang-symbol-sun-and-moon

Naked Pearls

Life, at Large….

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“If you cannot find happiness along the way, you will not find it at the end of the trail.”

~~ Zen Bee ~~

**********

“He would be the finer gentleman that should leave the world
without having tasted of lying or pretense of any sort,
or of wantonness or conceit.”

~~ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus — Meditations, ix, 2 ~~

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“The truth is our most valuable commodity.
It would probably be a way better world if people didn’t use it so economically.”

~~ Personal Journal of Doogie Howser, M.D.~~
~~ from the TV show, Doogie Howser ~~

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“But some emotions don’t make a lot of noise.
It’s hard to hear pride. Caring is real faint – like a heartbeat.
And pure love – why, some days it’s so quiet, you don’t even know it’s there.”

~~ Erma Bombeck ~~

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“Belief is not the beginning but the end of all knowledge.”

~~ Johann Wolfgang van Goethe ~~

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“We usually get what we order from life.”

~~ Limon ~~

**********

“All perception of truth is the detection of an analogy.”

~~ Henry David Thoreau ~~

**********

“To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”

~~ Mahatma Gandhi ~~

**********

“How many Great Souls does it take to change a light bulb?
None; the light from within illuminates all around them.”

~~ gigoid, following a theme ~~


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

Well, I like it…. Now, I’ll go see how the WP editor likes my workaround for the new crap they added to their editing function, that I have yet to figure out. Time, as it always does, will tell; damn thing won’t keep its mouth shut. Regardless, I’ll be back tomorrow, to take another shot at some Asininnies, or, at least, kill a few of the myths people buy into. Try to be happy; give a bit of yourself to another of Earth’s creatures, human, or otherwise, & you’ll find it helps yourself, too…. Plus, the happiness will be there inside when you are done…. Truth…. See ya….

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 -- 5012
À bientôt, mon cherí….

					

Days of beer and pansies….

Ffolkes,

“Happiness is a state of mind.  Not happy?  Change your mind.”

~~ Smart Bee ~~

ancient-mars-ocean-water

Artist’s rendition of Mars, millions of years in the past

Image from Space.com


Today’s Pearl will be quite short, consisting of an intro, and a closing. I don’t feel well; without going in to details, I feel unwell enough to keep me from writing any more than this. What’s more, I find myself without any compelling reason to fight back enough to get posted with a normal-looking Pearl. In fact, I am going to take an actual break, of at least two days, to give myself a chance to overcome what ails me, and to find my muse, who seems to have taken a powder, as the saying goes.

Since I really don’t have much to say other than that, I’ll leave you to get started on my days off. Below, you’ll find one pearl, which is actually a reprint of the Pearl for a date in 2011, a couple months after I first started posting on WordPress. In a couple of days, I’m sure I’ll feel better, and be back with new energy, and commitment to excellence…. or, something resembling excellence, at least….

That’s all, ffolkes. Y’all have a nice couple days, & I’ll see y’all on the flip side….. I’m going to take Smart Bee’s advice, above, and go change my mind….

Shall we Pearl?

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

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

buddah-out-to-lunch_s

From 9/17/2011:

Picking out today’s Pearls turned out to be a marathon. Just couldn’t find the right stuff to lead off a lazy Sunday. So, we’ll have to wing it…. Hmmm…..nothing is rising to the surface. Even stirring the contents briskly has nothing sticking to the spoon. I suppose we could take a few moments here for an advertisement disclaimer, but, it being Sunday, I don’t much feel like diving back in to the oyster beds to find where I left it. I could go nonsensical; that’s always fun. But Lewis Carroll did that already, and I don’t much feel like trying to out-Jabberwock a dead author. I suppose I should find a newsworthy event to share, or comment on the current political scene, but I also don’t feel like putting on the necessary high-top boots for wading around in that filthy pool. It stinks, also, and I’m out of nasal plugs. Well, this means we will be going to last resort tactics, and saying just this; today’s Pearls are being brought to you by your generous donations, and by a grant from the Idiosyncratic Corporation, makers of fine eccentric philosophies, which come complete with a full line of optional accessories……

I stared into the abyss. The abyss stared into me. Neither of us liked what we saw.

“Adulthood, one could say, is when it begins to occur to you that you may not be leading a charmed life.” — Adam Phillips

And Katerfelto, with his hair on end
At his own wonders, wondering for his bread.
‘T is pleasant, through the loopholes of retreat,
To peep at such a world,–to see the stir
Of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd.

~~ William Cowper — The Task, Book iv, The Winter Evening, Line 86 ~~


“Beware the man of one book.” — St. Thomas Aquinas

“Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin; the victim can’t help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.” — Robert A. Heinlein — Lazarus Long

WARNING:  The Meaning Of Life Is Subject To Change Without Notice.

Whoa, there big fella! Whew! Almost couldn’t get it to stop…..’tis a fine day for nonsense, don’t you think? Have fun with it, and y’all take care out there….

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

Okay, ffolkes, I’m done, and damn lucky, too, to have finished prior to an internal explosion…. and, ’nuff said on that! I’m outta here. I’ll see y’all in a couple of days…. I’m shooting for Wednesday, or Thursday; look for a new Pearl then….

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….

Positive feedback often garners negative results….

Ffolkes,

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

~~ Aristotle ~~

good shot 10-8-2014

    Today’s post will be very late, comparatively; I actually slept last night…. plus, waking up late means waking up sore & stiff, so it takes a bit longer to get the old  bones moving in the morning. As a result, you may see some cheating below, in terms of some older-post-utilization…. To begin at the beginning, the photo is from the London Daily Yell (Telegraph), from their Week in Pictures feature last week…. It is, to me, a perfect example of the importance of timing, though it doesn’t really make clear HOW important…. You see, in my experience, timing is EVERYTHING….

Well, perhaps not QUITE that, but, very little in life is more important, nor as universally acknowledged as being essential to the success of almost any venture, or act. Without it, all become chaos; order becomes impossible, and we find ourselves fighting against Murphy at every step. This morning is a good example, but, I’m too tired already, and my hands are too stiff, to explain it to my own satisfaction, so, you’ll just have to take my word that it is true, and we’ll get on with the rest of this mess…. See, the lack of correct timing is already having a deleterious effect on this Pearl…. In fact, I can’t think of any previous Pearl that has started off so awkwardly…

In point of further fact, I’m certain that I need to take control, somehow, in order to be able to finish this at all…. Now, if only I had some way to do that, we’d be in good shape. Since I don’t, I’m going to have to get ruthless…. and, not merely ruthless, but, ruthless at the proper moment, thus demonstrating the veracity of my statements above…. I suppose, given the obvious handicaps under which I’m operating today, I should be happy with that, and, to be sure, I am…. I’m just not ecstatic, which I much prefer to mere happiness…. Don’t we all?…

But, that won’t get us down the page, either, so, here comes the ruthless part…

Wait, Ruth, come back!…. Well, she’s gone, so, we are now officially ruthless…

Shall we Pearl?…..

“It has long been known that one horse can run faster than another – but which one?  Differences are crucial.”

~~- Lazarus Long ~~


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

Yesterday, while working on today’s Pearl ahead of time, I had planned to use this section for another collection of depressing news about the happenings out in the Big Blue Room…. but, I got depressed, (naturally…), so I quit after finding a couple of news items about typical ongoing issues… I was going to leave them here, as an adjunct to a rant, but, the one I found isn’t the right one for that, so, they’re gone…. Instead, I have a rant on human nature from a couple of years ago…. Enjoy!…. It’s less depressing than the news, I can attest, though it does take a few shots at some iconic public figures of undetermined moniker…. You’ll know to whom they refer, trust me…

From 11/24/2012:

“Happy is he who dashes the heads of his enemy’s children against rocks.” — Psalms 137:9


I don’t know about you, but that strikes me as a little harsh, don’t you think? I mean, talk about exploring the deepest depths of evil possible to the soul of man! And we thought that our modern rock and rap lyrics were funky?….. Rappers get pretty nasty, but I haven’t heard this degree of nasty from anyone on the radio…. yet…. Not that I haven’t heard some egregious BS, but nothing so graphic and personal as this little song from the priests of Judaism…. fine upstanding fellows that they are…. NOT!!

First, I have to say, I hope this is a sham, or at the very least, a misquote. If it is an accurate reprint from that Psalm, well, it indicates a number of things to me, some about the past, some about the present…. Mostly, though, when I read it, I get a horrible visual image in my mind’s eye of some grinning moron holding a baby by the ankle, and….. no, I’m not going there, even for the writing practice…. I guess I’m a coward, if that means I’d have to continue to make graphic a concept that should never ever have even occurred to anyone, much less been written down….

What was the purpose of that, I wonder? As a teaching song? As a victory hymn? From an Old Testament version of the 3 Stooges? I’m not even sure I want to know that much about it, come to think of it…. It kind of makes one wonder, what kind of culture would have such a concept as a part of its morality…. but, sadly, through most of human history, if I’m not mistaken, acts like this, and others just as egregiously violent and cruel, have occurred over and over; moreover, they continue to do so today in some parts of the world, where civilization is only a thin veneer over the native cultures, which are still mired in the middle ages….

Our own society shows signs of the kind of culture that would grow out of such concepts, a sort of casual attitude about violence when aimed at an objectified enemy. The less humanity we ascribe to those enemies, the easier it is to perform inhumane acts against them; witness the torture going on at the Guantanamo detention center…. Just another of the charming traits of which our species may boast….. It fits right in with our tendency to react to our fears by covering them with anger, and with our tendency to act violently to achieve our ends. Sometimes, it’s enough to make me wonder how we got as far as we have down the evolutionary path.

“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

This concept is probably what has saved us, at least to this point. We are indeed creatures of a dual nature, reflecting the duality of existence in the universe in which we live, the duality we perceive in every element of that universe. The light to our dark side, our saving grace, are these elements of compassion and empathy that we can also display, given the right circumstance and opportunity. The Dalai Lama, who has been known to show some rather deep wisdom, has said that compassion and kindness are his entire religion, and that mankind cannot survive without living according to the precepts of such characteristics. I happen to believe he is most likely correct.

The attitudes that that Old Testament culture created and sent crashing through Time are bound to lead us to extinction, for they completely  ignore the laws of nature. Our own greed and unwillingness to accept our own place in nature will remove us from this life, as surely as we are stripping the earth of its material resources in our search for wealth and power. None of the people involved in that effort to achieve power are either aware of, or willing to consider, their own complicity and guilt, and will fight to their own death to preserve their assumed right to oppress the rest of reality in their personal quest for domination.

The sad part is that they are taking the rest of us with them down that road…. and it is all because basically, deep down where it counts the most, a lot of people are, quite simply, assholes…..  Quite frankly, the universe will be better off without the great majority of them. It’s a shame all the good ffolkes have to pay the same price, isn’t it?…… Ah well…..

“May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you’re dead” — An Irish toast

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

Okay, so, as you see by this, I can be shameless as well as the next guy…. This cat needs no introduction; he’s an Internet star, a meme of incredible power, and now, a commercial success as well, having made a small fortune for its owner…. and, it’s kinda funny, too….. This video assures that we are meeting all standards of fairness, having plumbed the initial depths of cuteness yesterday, with puppies…. What could be more natural than to follow that with cats?…..  Enjoy!….


Original Grumpy Cat Videos

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

I’ve used this poet’s work before; she astounds me with her talent. I’ve included the link to this poem, so you can see some of her other work, but, I warn you…. bring kleenex, and be prepared to be astonished….


My Name

just the beginning,

slithers off wet lips
like it’s charming.

“Mmmmm.”

Mockingbirds and Mallards
sing of my
slick footprints.

I step in.
I step out.
He stepped out.

We spread together as far as Summer would take us.
We flew down south in high, asthmatic screams;

nocturnal – fugitive.

At first blush they call,
crested blue,
aggressive,

at least to human ears.

His after tastes like a razor blade,
but I am a glutton

and so they
chirp, chirp, chirp.

~~ maggiemaeijustsaythis ~~


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

Fortunately for me, I finished this old-school pearl yesterday, so, that’s something, I suppose…. I could sit here, blathering, for some time, having warmed up now, and found my glibness…. but, by this time, I’m sure y’all are getting a bit tired, too, so, I’ll be compassionate, and just let you read the pearls…. Just follow the bouncing idea ffolkes, and let it tickle your fancy….. it will, given half a chance…. And, if nothing else, all of these are pretty good advice on how to at least LOOK at life, if not exactly how to deal with it….

“I detest life-insurance agents; they always argue that I shall some day  die, which is not so.” — Stephen Leacock (1869-1944)

“It’s hard to seize the day when first you’ve got to grapple with the morning;” — Smart Bee

“All say, ‘How hard it is to die’ – a strange complaint  to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.” — Mark Twain

“”Go to Hell!” or other insult direct is all the answer a snoopy question deserves.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it.  Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin.” — Herman Hesse

“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures has not been to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.” — George Bernard Shaw, _The Devil’s Disciple_ [1901]

“It’s OKAY — I’m an INTELLECTUAL, too.” — Zippy the Pinhead

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

Okay, all things considered, it ain’t too bad…. I may have to consider more Pearls based on cheating, as this came out pretty well; if I were sure that was the way it would happen each time, I might even start to count on it. If I were that gullible, that is…. I’ve been around the block enough times to realize such an idea was planted in my head by my old nemesis, Murphy… As soon as I placed any credence in that, and actually began to depend on such a tactic, he’d step right in, and make my life a living hell in a trice…. So, forget THAT!

Instead, we’ll do as we always do, and leave tomorrow up to tomorrow…. For now, I’m done, and I wasn’t sure that would happen at all, so, I’m happy…. or, at least, content. Besides, I can always change my mind tomorrow, right? Right. See y’all then, 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….

 

Free speech, with a side order of lies….

Ffolkes,

Today’s title is a bit more relevant than usual; it’s kind of a mini-rant, in it’s own little way, complete with sarcasm, and outrage, right there for all to perceive, should they so choose. The title was a reaction, in essence, to an email I got yesterday from the White House…. Yes, that’s right, the White House…. There’s no need to be impressed, or to think I’ve got a good line into the administration, or anything like that….. Like millions of other folks, I once clicked on some link that offered me a chance to give my opinion to them, back in the beginning of Barry’s reign….. I sent what was supposed to be a comment on some of what I’d seen, knowing full well I what I was letting myself in for, to wit: spam with a side of grits….

I don’t mean to be racist by that statement; I was being literal, actually. Ever since sending that one email, I have been inundated with multiple daily blurbs from Michelle Obama, from Stephanie Cutter, and a host of other names I don’t recognize, all of whom are perky, enthusiastic, and want me to send them money…. Occasionally, like today, a personal note from the First Lady herself, asking me to send in a comment for them to parade as part of their claim to grassroots connections…. I’m so thrilled to have been personally addressed by the FLOTUS, and will immediately rush out to complete the task she asked of me, to furnish my version of “the number one issue I care about”, so they can use that information to guide them to doing the best thing for me and all the other poor saps out there believing this crap…

What annoys me the most, aside from having to delete several emails a day from these idiots, (and, yes, I include the FLOTUS in that group…. Sorry, I just can’t bring myself to get too enthused about anyone who buys into the whole scene she endorses….). Just because I sent ONE email to them, an email they obviously did NOT read, they assume I am behind them 100%, and address me daily as if I am one of their trusted minions…. This is actually the reason I have not opted out of the email group; it gives me some idea of what they are up to, which is a good thing for my strategic plans. I’m just following the old saw about keeping my friends close, and my enemies closer….

You may wonder how I can call myself a patriot, when I am so dead-set against BOTH sides of the political scene we see today…. Well, it’s simple…. I am patriotic only about the vision of our country, of what I believe framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights had in mind when they wrote them. They had a vision of a country where men of good virtue and character could pursue their own personal view of what is good and right, in the atmosphere of freedom of thought, and of action, that the laws provide to us. The founders of our nation saw very clearly that what they sought was a fragile state, and would always be in danger from those who envy the freedoms we enjoy, and from those who would take it away, for their own profit and power….

Those people, the ones who have no virtue, save that of self-interest, are now in control of this country, and have been since the mid-19th century, when a corrupt federal judge made a landmark decision that gutted the Constitution, making it relatively useless for the purpose it was created.  One legal judgment, deliberately made by a judge who made no secret of his loyalty to those who paid him, took the most basic rights away from the common man, and put them into the hands of corporate entities that don’t exist anywhere but on paper…..The corporate interests that actually control the events of history thus secured their position as the shadowy puppet masters of society, and they did so right in front of the public eye….

SIGH…. I see that once again I’ve ranted before I was really ready to do so…. I just get so outraged when I start to think about what ASSHOLES these people are…. They don’t give a SHIT about anyone but themselves, and could care less that what they do is detrimental to the well-being of others; it’s not something that even crosses their awareness, other than as it affects their travel plans…. It’s tough to have to decide whether to jet off to Chamonix for winter sports, or to Bali for water sports…. I suppose it’s marginally better than having to decide whether to stretch the chicken to one more pot of soup, or break down and buy some beef, which they can’t afford…..

Okay, I’m done for now….. I never really got started strongly, and only used vague references to real events, rather than factual accounts of actual happenings in the world, to make my points…. But, that is only because the urge to rant caught me unaware, again, and I didn’t want to take the time to go research so early…. Besides, I figure once I go look at some news headlines, I’ll find plenty to bring back the outrage, with plenty of evidence, as it is right out there for all to see, every day….. which, actually, is kind of scary, when one stops to think about that…. They don’t even really try very hard anymore to hide what they’re doing from us, which means they know there isn’t anything we can do to stop them, or to make a difference in what they wish to do….

I’m so discouraged, I’m going to end this introductory section here, after a healthy sized rant, and go on with the rest of today’s Pearl… even though my discouragement is preventing me from enjoying it very much…. I just get so angry at what I see in the world, because I know there are solutions…. solutions that will never be tried, because the assholes who run things don’t WANT any changes in the world, not until they have ALL they want from the rest of us…. and their avarice knows no boundaries….

Ah, the hell with it…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“We, the people, are not free.  Our democracy is but a name.  We vote? What does that mean?  We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.” — Helen Keller
_____________________________

Having lost my way completely, by giving in so far as to spit out the above seriousness, I want some funny…. Smart Bee, give me…. humor…..

“Is this where I’m supposed to insert the funny lines?” — Smart Bee

Yes, yes, it is…..

“All I kin say is when you finds yo’self wanderin’ in a peach orchard,  ya don’t go lookin’ for rutabagas.” — Kingfish

(Good start!…. Humor and wisdom all rolled into one bubblegum cigar! Hopefully, it’s the exploding kind; a good explosion always raises the ratings….)

“Here I am in the POSTERIOR OLFACTORY LOBULE but I don’t see CARL SAGAN anywhere!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

(Zippy goes over the top much of the time, I know, but, it’s always amazing to me to look at the things he says, filtered through the light of metaphor; in that light, they take on deeper meaning, every time, and always in a way that can be traced back to reality, sort of….. As we all know, “sort of” is as close to real reality as we can tolerate around here, especially when I’m in a mood like this one…. the risk of explosion right now is, as they are fond of saying in the newspapers, significant…. Zippy is like cold water on a hot fire, in that sense…. )

“Without recognizing the ordinances of Heaven, it is impossible to be a superior man. Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established. Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.” — Confucius, _Analects_, Book 20

(Well, it was funny when I read it….. A worthy group of statements, though….)

“The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity.” — George Bernard Shaw

(Doesn’t seem to have worked very well, though, does it?…. I mean, look at them… Now, they are touting this poor new lad born to the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge as their symbol of continuity and tradition…. Poor baby, can barely even drool yet, and already an icon, destined to live a life well-insulated from reality…..)

“Well, Darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable,
And Lightness has a call that’s hard to hear.”

— Indigo Girls

(Okay, busted…. not funny, but, it’s powerful, and it’s beautiful, so it stays….)

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Dalai Lama

(Actually, it might have been someone else who said this…. but, it’s something he would  have said, had he thought of it…)

If on my theme I rightly think,
There are five reasons why men drink,–
Good wine, a friend, because I ‘m dry,
Or lest I should be by and by,
Or any other reason why.

— John Sirmond (c. 1589-1649) — Causae Bibendi

Well, I’m retired, what do you expect?….. It doesn’t HAVE to make sense any more, now, does it? Nope…. so, as is obvious at this point, most days, I don’t even bother trying to police that particular concept…. You get what you pay for, every time, right?….. Of course, I’m not counting the cost to me, but, that’s just the kind of guy I am…..
_____________________________

“What a lumbering poor vehicle prose is for the conveying of a great thought! … Prose wanders around with a lantern & laboriously schedules & verifies the details & particulars of a valley & its frame of crags & peaks, then Poetry comes, & lays bare the whole landscape with a single splendid flash.” — Mark Twain

A drop fell on the apple tree
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.

A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!

The dust replaced in hoisted roa
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchards spangles hung.

The breezes brought dejected
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fete away.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

_____________________________

I’m not sure what my mind is doing…. Some days I keep track, and others, it’s just too much work, so, I don’t…. Today is one of the latter type of days, and it’s probably showing in the structure of this Pearl…. So be it…. I’m not one to argue with what is, and I’m too short on meds to risk getting all bent out of shape about it….

Whenever I fight against reality, it wins, and I hurt for a while… So, I’m going to hearken back to the days of yore, when I was learning Judo, from Sensei Uchida, at UC Berkeley, and let the force of my opponent do the work for me…. a little cosmic judo, don’t y’know?…. Hope you enjoy it…. just relax, and spread the shock of contact with the floor over as much area of your body as you can… It will hurt less, and you can get right back up, where I’ll show you how it was done….. or, give you a couple of aspirin & some water, if you prefer….

“There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you please unless it causes others harm. With it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.” — P.J. O’Rourke

“Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.” — H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

A drill is a tool. A hole is a solution. — Smart Bee

All who joy would win
Must share it, –happiness was born a twin.

— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Don Juan, Canto ii, Stanza 172

“To find a fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.” — Plutarch (46 AD-120 AD)

A Scholar asked his Master, “Could you advise me of a proper vocation, Master?” The Master replied, “Some men can earn their keep with the power of their minds. Others must use their strong backs, legs and hands. This is the same in nature as it is with man. Some animals acquire their food easily, such as rabbits, hogs & goats. Other animals must struggle for their food, like beavers, moles & ants. So you see, the nature of the vocation must fit the individual.”  “But I have no abilities, desires, or imagination, Master,” the scholar sobbed.   “Have you ever thought of becoming a salesman?”. . . the Master queried.– Smart Bee

“In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears.  Things are not only what they are.  They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.” — Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-78)

(The last one is included as contrast to the other six pearls in this group, just because it popped up at a propitious moment…… Mr. Humphrey’s statement, while almost true, is actually a good example of why politicians in this country find it so simple to lie to the public…. This is related with all seriousness, as if it is great wisdom, when, in truth, it is simply not true, unless the person in question wishes it to be true…. Things are only what they seem to be in our perceptions, not in reality, and refusing to acknowledge that distinction is the same as learning to lie about it…. and believing the lie, rather than the truth….. Insidious, isn’t it?….. They get people to buy into the very lies they tell, by making it sound  as if it should  be true…..)
_____________________________

“Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.” — Terry Pratchett.

That’s for damn sure, and exactly how I’m feeling today…. But, I’m okay with it, too, so, no big deal… I wouldn’t go back for anything…. Let’s see what the last three hours of struggle and pain has come up with today….

Well, it’s certainly more than I bargained for when I started…. I do have a tendency to ramble, don’t I? Ah well, so be it… I was up early, this took forever, and I’m too tired to make it all better, if such is possible at this point….. In fact, bye, now, y’all be real, I’ll see you tomorrow, I hope….

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

dozer3

Only the most severely impertinent will survive….

Ffolkes,

“What we have heah, is a failyuh, to cogitate…”  As I sit to write this morning, all I can see in my mind’s eye is the little bald asshole prison warden from the movie, Cool Hand Luke, standing on the levee, chewing on his toothpick, offering his asinine observation in a deep Southern drawl, and spitting. The line, of course, is supposed to be “a failyuh to communicate”, but, in this case, the other word is more accurate…. I’ve been sitting here staring at the screen now for 15 minutes, and this is the best I’ve been able to come up with…. not a good omen….

I must say, though, that I seem to be getting used to this cognitive state; there’s no sense of panic involved in the reaction now, and that is a small blessing. Of course, it doesn’t cut down the frustration to any appreciable degree, but, that’s something I’ve also become accustomed to experiencing regularly, and no longer feel such a degree of impending doom when my mind is blank…. Sadly, this is the result of the building of callouses, which, though it keeps one from the worst of the feelings we can feel in such instances, also limits perception, to some degree, and that can cause problems itself, through lack of understanding, or misunderstanding of details….

None of this is getting me any closer to finding anything to write about; that’s why I’m still circling around, babbling about the process itself, instead of immersing myself into a trance, or some other form of creative stimulus, to find at least something that will titillate, or, at minimum, enchant the few readers who come by each day…. As I’ve said previously, such blather seems to be the best way to fulfill the legal requirements, while still avoiding any real writing…. I’m uncertain, as always, as to how it is received, but, since there haven’t been any major complaints about allergic reactions, or flaming re: idiotic opening comments, I’ve stuck with it, as it works, sort of…

I’m really going to have to try to find a better way to get this section completed; this daily battle with my own head is getting to be redundant, which can often lead to boredom; if there is anything in this universe that I work to keep OUT of my life, it is boredom. To my mind, to be bored means that one is tired of what is going on in one’s own head, and that is something I will NEVER allow. I refuse to be bored, and I have to admit, it does save me a lot of angst and ill feeling…. not to mention never having to watch TV, unless I choose to do so…. Actually, it’s been so long now, I’ve probably forgotten how to program a VCR…. which I didn’t even learn until one of my kids showed me how….

Okay, I’ve managed to complete the legally required number of paragraphs, and can’t think of anything more mundane, or more interesting, to keep this going any longer; it’s already gone on too long, from an ethical standpoint… It’s skating on the edge of being cruel, I know, but, we’re done now, so, it won’t become an issue today…. Maybe tomorrow we’ll let it go completely over the line, and spend the morning explaining the explosions to the local authorities…. I love playing with the heads of public officials…. One never gets bored when fucking with the man….

Shall we Pearl?

Thales said there was no difference between life and death. “Why, then,” said some one to him, “do not you die?” “Because,” said he, “it does make no difference.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Thales, ix
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Not only did my mind stay blank this morning, causing the above intro to go into mundane mode, but, I got up late, having had a hard time getting to sleep last night, and making up the lost time on this end…. As a result, I’m going to cheat a bit, and fill in this section with a pearl from 2012… I don’t feel too bad, because it’s a pretty good one….

“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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Here is the second of the three poems I found day before yesterday; if it isn’t clear, it is a reaction to the election process that took place in 2012….I hope you enjoy it…..

Destiny’s Vote

It was a special day, written on tablets of stone
with fanfare, and crepe paper, a symphony of lies,
played with verve, but discordant, and alone,
never more the grand parade, no more apple pies.

Heated dialog full of prejudice, hate, and fears,
fills up the airwaves, a cacophony of callow untruth,
playing up to ignorance, bringing anguish, and fearful tears,
while Nero’s fiddler sits down, in the only open booth.

Watchful and afraid, I see the coming conflict
clouds of ignorance and intellect, preparing to fight,
one to fight with darkness, and abject fear to depict
opposed at the base, banishing fear with truth, and light.

Seeds of anger and bigotry are planted very deep,
growing best in darkness, hiding in shame and fear,
waiting for moments of trouble, its destiny to keep,
looking for weakness, seeking to draw its victim near.

Sing not yet a funeral dirge for tolerance,
that particular die is not yet cast,
there still remains a good and honest chance,
our common dream of freedom may yet hold fast….

~~ gigoid ~~

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Having saved a shit-load of time by going to the archives for sections one and two, we’ll use a fresh pearl here in three, plucked this very morning from the virtual oyster beds I keep to cultivate these gems of virtual wisdom…. May they leave you with no unwarranted assumptions, nor supply you with any unwanted epiphany, and, most importantly, may it leave you with no open wounds…. It is, after all, about human nature….

“Either CONFESS now or we go to “PEOPLE’S COURT”!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“Live with wolves, and you learn to howl.” — Spanish Proverb

“Fortunate indeed, is the man who takes exactly the right measure of himself, and holds a just balance between what he can acquire and what he can use.”– Peter Mere Latham

“”In God We Trust.” I don’t believe it would sound any better if it were true.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

“The man of superior virtue is not conscious of his virtue, and in this way he really possesses virtue. The man of inferior virtue never loses sight of his virtue, and in this way he loses his virtue.” — Lao-Tzu (fl. B.C. 600)

Now, that’s just about a perfect pearl…. but, not quite there, I think…. two more ought to do it…. remember to consider all seven of them together, and completely ignore this little blurb in the middle….

HUMAN NATURE

Once I shot a bird,
When I was very young.
I watched it fall, and die.
And I thought that it was fun.

— W.C. Mackie

“As great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception, and compassion, and hope.” — Ursula K. LeGuin
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EMERGENCY INFORMATION: How to breathe. 1. Inhale. 2. Exhale…..
(Provided at no charge for your convenience….)

Well, that was fun…. sort of. It was real, anyway, and got the day started with surprising aplomb… Damn, what IS that noise?… Hold on… For three days now, in the mornings, a small beep, three at a time, has been sounding off, very quietly, somewhere in my apartment (a studio), and I can’t locate it to see what little electronic device it is… Before I find it, it stops, after about four or five sets of three beeps….. Maddening…

And, totally off track, sorry…. Let’s see what happened here…. Okay, so instinct must have kicked in to salvage the process, because it ain’t bad, given its total lack of any redeeming features outside its obviously good intentions…. Yes, yes, I know where that can lead us, but, I’m counting on the consensual philosophical stability that I trust my gentle readers to possess to turn us from that path….. Besides, it’s all an illusion, right? One must always hold out hope for the best….. Or, so I’m told….

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

dozer3

The lost art of finagle…..

Ffolkes,

You think you have problems! Murphy lives with me!…. Actually, it only seems that way. I found the foregoing in Smart Bee this morning, as I cast about for something to start with, and since it fits so well with many of my previous introductory sections, I threw it out there for consumption. In reality, Murphy is apparently off somewhere, undoubtedly plotting something nasty for me… It’s the only explanation for ignoring me, apparently, for several days. Whenever I’ve had periods like that in the past, he was working on some complicated, and difficult problem to drop in my lap, preferably at a moment when I am least prepared to deal with it, as is his habit and preference….

I often forget that everyone else in the world is as familiar with him as I am; it’s a purely human reaction to do so, though, so I don’t feel bad about it, particularly, because I know that everyone else complains about him, too. Perhaps not in so many words, or so directly, but often, for sure, and with good reason, as he is just about as ubiquitous as he can be, in everyone’s life. I suppose that’s just how it is for an iconic force of nature, especially one that represents one of the primal forces in our universe, the power of entropy. “Things fall apart”….. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law, and anyone who has a hard time with sudden changes in life, is bound to spend a lot of their time fussing and fighting with reality….

Once we learn, however, that this power of chaos is balanced by an equal degree of order, it becomes possible to acquire some sort of control over, at least, our own little portion of reality, as long as we don’t try to control the rest of the universe as well. That’s where Murphy comes into the picture, you see…. He is our alarm, our mentor, who keeps us aware of the changeable nature of the real world we inhabit, and helps us to either prevent accidents, by thinking ahead, or, at least, learn to minimize the damage they cause. His attentions in the past have served to make us aware of the possibility that things can go wrong at any moment, and repeatedly teaches us to be prepared, mentally, if no other way, for any unexpected events the universe may present, in its inimitable way….

And on the 8th day, God said, “Ok, Murphy, you’re in charge!” — Smart Bee

I’m not at all certain I can bring this to a smooth close; I seem to have performed the literary equivalent of painting myself into a corner; I see no easy way to bring this little walk down Obvious Lane to any sort of dignified ending. I suppose that is an occupational hazard when writing about Murphy and his shenanigans; dignity gets thrown out the window early in the contest. But, at least I didn’t put on my big, red nose, and start honking all over the place, which I have been known to do at the drop of a cliche…. glory be! I have, however, reached a state of silliness that may or may not affect further output today…. we’ll have to see what happens….

Once again, I’ve blathered on about nothing much, for another four or five paragraphs…. I’m not sure if this is what I was shooting for when I decided to write every day, with the intended purpose of improving my ability to write well; I hadn’t known, at the time I made that goal, just what was entailed in reaching it, nor had I taken Reality into account….. At any rate, I can now write a lot, fairly quickly, on just about any subject I choose to write about, but, I’m not sure if I can say it’s any better than what I wrote before…. nor do I much care, at this point. The bottom line is that I managed to get another intro section out of it, so, hey, I’m a happy camper, for the nonce…. (love that word!….)

Shall we Pearl?…..
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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 was looking for something for the last section today, having run out of inspiration, when I found this, tucked away in a post from June of 2012… It is apparently a poem I wrote, while in a strange mood, obviously…. but, it’s pretty good, so here it is again…..

Future Shocked:

Weeping, I wake;
waking, I weep, I weep.
I weep for the ages to be lost,
for the children never to be born.

Time comes calling, strident and spare,
nudging us toward the future with bony hands.
No pausing, no waiting, always away,
Frantic hearts unseen, unheard.

Spirits are dark, afraid.
And the Beast hunts, hungry and cruel,
seeking out the weak, and the foolish.

We all weep now…..

~~ gigoid ~~

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I’m all at sixes and sevens this morning, and don’t have anything to say, other than this…. bleah…. Since that won’t do, even for what passes around here for acceptable, here is an old rant, from mid-2012, on a favorite subject….

“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1972)

There are many folks out there who, when reading my material for the first time, might gather the impression that I am an atheist, and an anarchist. The stuff I write would tend to give that impression, I have no doubt. But, it really isn’t the case, and just goes to show that not everything is always as it seems…..

I’m not an atheist, at least not in a classical sense. I would more accurately be described as agnostic, as I believe strongly in a spiritual component in the universe. But, the very concept of omnipotence, and omniscience, implies that one cannot define God, or whatever entity one considers to be the ultimate authority. A finite mind cannot comprehend an infinite mind; anything we can imagine cannot, by definition, be accurate or complete, as our minds are not infinite in scope.

It could be said that our imagination IS infinite. We can, at the very least, comprehend the concept of infinity, even if we cannot touch it, or see it, or count that high. But, to actually think that what we imagine about God is the same as reality is not only arrogant, it is foolish. Yet a large percentage of the human race not only believes they know what God looks like (ironically, God always looks like the folks who are claiming Him as their deity….), but that they know what He wants. To my way of thinking, this is sheer self-aggrandizement, and unjustifiably arrogant….

I suppose it helps them in dealing with the everyday stresses of life to think that they are special. To think they are beloved of God, and what they do is important to Him. This sense of belonging is important to a lot of folks, due I think, to their own fears about their ability to deal with reality as it exists. It gives them a sense of entitlement, and justifies their actions, no matter how immoral or unethical they may be. It allows them to act upon their impulses without restraint, to lie, to cheat, to steal, all in the name of the Lord. And, if they should happen to feel a tiny shred of guilt about what they are doing to other folks, why they just confess their sins to Jesus, and all is forgiven!….

Sorry, folks, but I could never buy into the whole scenario, from my earliest days. All of my experience, and all of my reasoning have led me to a different view of reality than what is described by any religion. I have observed the behavior of most people of a religious bent to be, as a rule, hypocritical, cruel, bigoted, racist, and, for the most part, unrelated to any moral or ethical system of any depth. The most religious in society go so far as to threaten violence toward anyone who disagrees with their beliefs, justified by their own self-proclaimed right to spew their hatred on anyone who differs.

I believe in compassion and kindness. I believe in love. I believe in protecting the vulnerable, and helping the less fortunate. I believe in beauty. And, I believe in reality, whatever that may be; it’s purely subjective for the most part. I DON’T believe in the divinity of Jesus, or Buddha, or Lao Tzu, or Mohammad, or any other religious prophet. I don’t believe there is some white haired, bearded old guy sitting on a throne of gold up in the sky somewhere, looking down and getting his pants in a bunch because I didn’t salute his graven image first thing after I got up.

That whole graven image thing, and the idea that God wants, or needs, our worship has always been a thorn in my side. I mean, can’t these zealots understand the irony of worshiping an image of Christ on the cross is a graven image? And why would an omnipotent being need MY worship? It makes no sense. None. I cannot imagine of ANY reason for a God to care at all about such petty bullshit; I don’t even care to be worshiped, why should He? Having someone act that way toward me makes me uncomfortable, so I can’t see why a God would even want to go there. What purpose does it serve?

Well, one of my computer alarms just went off, and made me realize I was ranting, which I had not started out to do. I think y’all can get the gist of my arguments by this time, and those who are in disagreement with what I’ve written aren’t going to be persuaded away from their long-held delusions by my words, so further soliloquy would be futile.

I’ll just finish by saying this….. until Mankind grows up enough to be able to put aside the crutch of religion, and learns to stand up to reality as it exists, without the delusional imaginary friend to intercede on their behalf with the universe, then our path to extinction will remain clear…. It’s too bad really, because our species shows a lot of promise…. it’s too bad we will never be allowed to explore our limits as an adult species, because we will have killed ourselves off before we ever got out of childhood….
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Okay, so I cheated a lot today…. It couldn’t be helped…. I fell back asleep, halfway through the first section, then found myself with the old empty brain syndrome, so, in order to get done at all, I had to drop back and punt, again…. Oh well…. at least I picked good stuff…. Let’s see if it holds up to scrutiny…. Suffice it to say, it does…. stand up to scrutiny, that is…. So, since I’m done, I’m outta here, until the next time….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

dozer3

The only quest I know….

Ffolkes,
There is always a lot of stuff going on in my head, and, in spite of how it should, or could be otherwise, I’m pretty sure that not all of it is completely under my control. This, as might be deduced, is both blessing and curse, and causes me no end of moments of temporary confusion, moments that can stretch to what seems like eons….. Hell, sometimes, it seems like confusion is my most natural state, especially when reality is going through its contortions right in front of me like it does; reality does not always conform to what I think of it, either regarding expectations, or expedience. Hard to say which is more annoying, having my expectations dashed by reality, or having my time killed by it, used up dealing with mundane details rather than exotic dreams, or even hopeful ones….. (Whew! A four line sentence, desperately trying not to run on, and failing spectacularly!…. Oh well…. I just got up, give me a little slack, here, ‘kay?….Or, just call me Balzac….)

If this all sounds a bit vague, you are paying attention, as it is deliberately so. I’m trying to discuss a point that can easily slip over into whining about how Murphy always f___s with me, without crossing the line of demarcation for that state of asininity. Whining feels good, right up until it leaves the mouth, then it is just pathetic, and the shame and guilt set in…. I really don’t know why we even bother with it, as it has no effect at all on reality, and only makes us look and feel bad. Another of those delightful human characteristics that we are constantly working to eradicate from our personalities, if we have any sense. Of course, the possession of sense is another discussion entirely, and would take up far too much space right now, so let’s not go there, eh?

To get back to our original point of discussion, not being entirely in control of what is happening in my head is a deliberate state on my part. I’ve found that a lot of my artistic impetus comes from that area of my experience, so I’ve developed the habit of allowing part of my consciousness free rein to go wherever it may wish, without any oversight by the tapes and rules that govern most of the rest of my persona. This is my version of allowing my imagination to soar, and it seems to work for me, so I don’t fuss with it, or think about it much, as I don’t want to disturb whatever balance and tension that keeps it running smoothly.

Below you’ll find a poem, an original I composed last night, under non-normal circumstances. It’s okay…. not the best I’ve ever done, but honest, and real in its intent and style. Oh, and, of course, it rhymes…. to me, that is important in one of my own poems these days. I spent a lot of effort in my youth writing free verse, with no structure, and no deliberate rhyming. Most of what I wrote back then was pretty sappy…. emotional, at times powerfully so, but lacking in direction, or a whole lot of style.

S’okay, I’m good with it, because nobody will ever see it again but me, and maybe my kids, when they go through my things after I pass (Oh for goodness sake, I hope they don’t try to publish any of it posthumously, I’d die of shame….   🙂   ….) Any who, this poem was written on the edge, as I was about two sheets to the wind, an unusual state these days, especially on a mere half-pint over the course of an hour and a half…. not exactly the consumption of a lumberjack, or even myself three years ago….. But, it was enough for my payday splurge for the month, and gave me a full three hours of wonderful relief from back pain (I’d forgotten how alcohol can do that…. it’s just not something one can use regularly, for a lot of reasons, but, occasionally, it sure provides a kind, and depth, of relief that is very rare for those of us who suffer constant pain….)

Any who, let’s see what else we can come up with here on an early Sunday morning, with the rain and wind blowing and blustering outside, making me glad to have a warm, dry place to stay, with food, and things to occupy my mind, and time. I am indeed a rich man, for all that I don’t have, that is to say, the worry of those who have no such advantages as these. It’s almost enough to make me rant, but I’ll wait until I find a pearl to base it on…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“There is one God, but which one is He?”– Smart Bee

Now, this is the proper use of reason and inquiry! Such a small question, made gargantuan by the depth of its insight. Which one, indeed, is the real God? There are as many answers to this question as there are what I like to call “preachers”, for want of a better word (I should maybe try to pick a better one, I suppose….); “preachers” are men, or women, who have decided upon one particular system of beliefs on the subject of divinity as being the correct one, to the exclusion of all the others. In spite of the lack of hard evidence on hand for any of the different belief systems, these folks choose one, and stick to it like a barnacle…. which, come to think of it, is probably what it feels like, after a while….

Depending on to whom the question is put, the answer may vary from Odin the All Father of Norse mythology, to the God of Zoroaster, whose specific appellation escapes me just now. In between you will find God, also known as Yahweh/Jehovah to the those of the Tribe, Allah to the Muslims, and just plain old God to most of the Christian sects. There is the voodoo god, Jobu, in the Caribbean; Set, or Bal, or Mammon, or any of the other ancient earth gods;  Ra of the Egyptians; Krishna, and all his incarnations, i.e., Kali, Yama, Ganesha, Maya, and the others in the Hindu pantheon. The American Indians seemed to favor the Great Spirit. Ancient Druids and Wiccans follow the Goddess, with gods and goddesses from the Greeks and Romans thrown into the mix, just for fun. The list seems as endless as human imagination….. which it is, since all of them spring from that source.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Smart Bee (and, most likely, the Dalai Lama….)

As far as I know, Buddha never claimed to be a god, and was, to my mind, not particularly clear on the subject of divinity, as directly related to humanity. The same seems true of Taoism, though certain of its sages seem to hold some of the old Chinese mythology beliefs on Heaven, and the creatures who inhabit that domain, another concept for which there is only imaginary evidence to support its veracity, and its reality. In this way, I see these philosophies as superior to the religious doctrines that purport to worship a deity, as they rely on reason, personal responsibility, and compassion to direct action, rather than fear of reprisal, or hope for reward, as is the wont of religious dogma and doctrine.

This perception of mine may be because I have always thought that the entire concept of a deity is not capable of being described, or understood, if one is to assume that a god is what it claims to be. How can a mortal understand an immortal? There is no common ground, other than the assumption of existence, for which there can be any reason for one to be connected to the other, as we could not comprehend their existence. We, limited to our human perceptions, have no direct evidence of a deity that can be experienced by those perceptions.

Anyone who tells you they do is lying, even if they believe it to be true, unless they can share that experience with another human, directly, with evidence for the senses we possess, not merely for what we wish to be true. Feelings don’t count, nor visions only seen by them, or voices in the head, and neither do personal revelations, or religious fevers, or speaking in tongues…. See, hear, touch, smell, taste…. that’s what we have, along with the ability to reason, and our imagination. That is our tool kit, and unless one of the tools fits, it isn’t real, to our perceptive ability. Items purported to be evidence that come from imagination are just that…. imaginary, and cannot be considered proof of anything other than the naivete of the speaker, and of any who choose to believe them.

“It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.” — George Santayana

SIGH…. People are people, though, and they will choose what to believe according to what they feel, most of the time, rather than according to what is the truth, which requires effort to find. It has even been said that humans have a tendency more often than not to make choices that are bad for them, just for that reason, that it is too much effort to think their way through to the truth that would ultimately help them. As long as this is true, then our species is in danger, from itself, and its own delusions…. Sad, in a species of such promise…..

And on the 8th day, God woke up and said “Whew! It was just a dream!” — Smart Bee
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“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid, two sheets to the wind, and back

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert
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If birth is a miracle, is not death also a miracle? — Smart Bee

Smart Bee is living up to its name today…. Here is a question that most will avoid asking…. Well, perhaps not so much avoid as ignore, by preference. Which amounts to the same, little as they’d like to admit it. It’s okay, though, nobody is blaming them, or suggesting they do anything other than what is comfortable…. Karma exists, like it or not, as the proper and logical counterbalance to entropy, giving it meaning, and everyone gets out of life exactly what they deserve. This is not an arguable conclusion, it is mere fact of reality, and fighting against it is pointless, as well as tiring…..

“You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is, what he is doing, or where he is going.”– Smart Bee

Everyone gets what they deserve….. what a novel concept! Of course, many folks, of the sort who don’t like to accept merely what they deserve, try to manipulate reality, and end up accumulating much more than they deserve. What they don’t understand is that time is not on their side, and karma will eventually come to them for an accounting, and all will be brought into balance, at their expense. It’s not a pretty sight when it happens, and it is so unnecessary, considering the consequences that can be avoided by simple acts of honor and integrity. Sometimes, living is a worse punishment than dying, in such cases….

Another lesser-known part of karma is one that most folks have a hard time both understanding, and, once they do, accepting. This principle is stated simply as: Not only are you 100% responsible for what you DO, you are 100% responsible for what happens TO you. Yep…. completely. If the world has punched you in the face, well, all I can ask is, what was your face doing in front of that fist? There are no excuses in the eyes of karma, and we become truly ourselves when we learn to understand this, and to make it a part of how we make decisions in life, including those leading up to the second miracle of our existence, dying.

“When the ten thousand things are seen in their oneness, we return to the source to remain where we have always been.” — Seng Ts’un.

In the ultimate sense, this goes back to the discussion in section one above, tying all of it together in this way: “the ten thousand things” is the Chinese literary euphemism for reality, or Heaven, or the universe at large, depending on who one asks at what time of day….. By this statement, Ts’un shows his knowledge, and acceptance of his own divinity, and connection, according to the principles of karma and how we interact with reality, to everything that exists in the universe, including all gods, or ideas about gods, or God. Take your pick, they are ALL correct, in their own little way, or according their own little piece of the Truth. What is actually TRUE for everyone always makes itself obvious…. because that is what happens. What is, is….

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.” — Epictetus
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I have to say, this one isn’t bad…. I’m not going to even question why it came out as well as it did, but will go with the flow of karma, and accept what is….. Unless I wish to wait until late this afternoon to post this, I will have to hike through the rain for a few blocks to get to the Wi-Fi spot at the coffee shop, which I believe will be the best way to go. I’m no tireless, invulnerable warrior like I used to be, but I think I can make it three blocks in the rain for this without suffering the tortures of hell. Unless, of course, pneumonia sets in…. Well, no point in tempting Murphy any more than that, so I’ll close this here, and hope for the best…. All I need is twenty minutes of cooperation from the rain gods, and all will be well…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Entropy is easy; it’s Chaos that’s tough….

Ffolkes,
I’m still deep in moving mode today, at least theoretically. The help I was told I was getting from my landlord seems to be morphing into no help, so I’ve had to,  so far, do it all myself. I’ve been lucky, and careful, and haven’t hurt my back yet, but much more, and I’m pushing the odds. Hopefully, he will come through today…..

I’m finding myself completely justified in my previously stated dislike for moving. One full day of it, and I’m emotionally, and physically exhausted. I remembered the worst part…. after one has finished getting stuff out of the old house, and taken it over to the new, then the work begins. All that stuff I’ve just moved has to find a new home in the new place, and I have no idea at this point what is going where, beyond knowing whether it’s kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff, or other stuff. Plus, I’ll be moving it into a smaller total space, so it has to be ruthlessly organized, or it’s not going to fit…. Wouldn’t that be fun? Get everything over there and find out some of it has to go, because it won’t fit. Looking forward to that….. not!….

Okay, I done whining now. I’ll just finish up here with a Pearl, and get back to the drudgery to come….. Shall we Pearl?……
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“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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Buddha in Glory

Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet–
all this universe, to the furthest stars
all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke is a poet fairly new to me; I first read one of his pieces a couple of years ago. I like most of what I’ve read; it seems very accessible, very personal, and quite insightful in places…. all of which make him a good poet, in my mind….. Enjoy!
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[A small difference of opinion on the U.S. Supreme Court in ‘Texas v. Johnson’ 491 U.S. 397 (1989)

“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” — Justice William J. Brennan, writing for the majority

“Surely one of the purposes of a democratic society is to legislate against conduct that is regarded as evil and profoundly offensive to the majority of people; whether it be murder, embezzlement, pollution or flag burning.” — Chief Justice William Rehnquist, dissenting

Yeah, that’s a bit of a difference in those positions, for sure. The second one, by Justice Rehnquist, is somewhat disturbing, in that it attempts to justify the Mrs. Grundys of the world, and gives the sense that the majority does not have to accommodate any minority. It is just another way of trying to legislate morality, a practice that has proven, through thousands of years of history, to be a futile pastime. Laws, and the threat of punishment for breaking them, have NEVER been effective in getting folks to act right, and they never will.

The dichotomy described by these two opinions on the Court reflects pretty well how society is breaking down in the upcoming election. The Democrats are trying to spend another four years cleaning up the mess left by the last Republican president, possibly the worst president we’ve ever had, in terms of both foreign policy and economics.

The incumbent president, Barack Obama, has spent four years trying to get us out of two wars, and trying to return some of the social aid for the poor and vulnerable, along with having to deal with economic policies from his predecessor that put a stranglehold on the middle class. He’s done fairly well, considering the Republican party has thrown up every obstacle they could to keep him from doing anything at all. They have not even come close to fitting the label of “loyal opposition” but have insisted on turning the issues into a social battleground at every turn.

The election in November will, I hope, sustain my image of my country’s basic intelligence. I am hoping that all the apathetic middle class voters who generally don’t vote, due to their feeling that it doesn’t matter who is elected, will pull their heads out of the sand (or their ass, wherever it resides when they are hiding from reality….) and come out and vote the liberal ticket…..

The Republican ticket wants to turn back the clock, and go back to giving all the perks and tax breaks to the rich, while reducing the services that are now available to seniors and the poor. This doesn’t even mention the all-out war they’ve declared on women’s rights regarding healthcare, and their right to vote. If they have their way, the only thing they want a woman to be is a brainwashed, barefoot, baby-making machine.

There are other issues. of course, but these are the main ones I see as being decided by the two separate poles of voters, and I would really like to see a good turnout, to let the conservative idiots see just how much of a minority they are. If they somehow manipulate matters so that the Romney/Ryan two headed beast is elected, they will work to consolidate and strengthen their hold over the rest of us, destroying the middle class, until all that is left is the 1% rich, powerful beloved ruling class, and the 99% poor, vulnerable, and disenfranchised in this country.

If that happens, there is no telling what may occur next….. We could easily see a period of assassinations, coups, and civil skirmishes, as the true patriots in this country are liable to take up arms against such deep encroachment on their rights. I know I am tempted to buy myself a rifle, and a scope, and go hunting….. and I wouldn’t be hunting squirrels, let me assure you…… Oh, and  forget trying to make me believe that violence never solves anything, because that is just delusional…. ask Alexander the Great, or Ghengis Khan whether violence worked for them….

Stay alert ffolkes, there are strange times ahead….. things are going to get interesting, in every sense of the word…..
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Not a very uplifting Pearl, needless to say. I’m glad I put the poem re: Buddha in the middle…. kind of lessens the sting of the last political pearl. I guess it all reflects my own state, one of, shall we say, less than complete satisfaction with the world at large….. SIGH….. such is life….. Wish me luck getting a Pearl out tomorrow; it may not happen, if all does not go well today…… Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!