Counting to infinity….

Ffolkes,

“Dragon? What dragon?”

~~ Famous Last Words ~~

viansa entrance

Winery entrance road, Sonoma Valley….

Hajime…. Elements of style & grace notwithstanding, there is a lot to be said for virtuous industry, even if the root cause remains an anomaly. In the larger sense, this implies a certain responsibility, to find purpose wherever it may hide itself, allowing no stray miscreants opportunity to fail, hirsute as they may be. Untidy, as a descriptive adjective, falls consistently short of successful parody, while an old, broken pantheon of forgotten gods sits, weeping silent tears, in memory of faded glory. All remains dark on the horizon, where the sun has forgotten to rise, again….

There. That, I think, is a sufficiently strange opening paragraph, which demonstrates both my erudition, and my insanity. The latter, in particular, holds me at ransom this morning, in spite of waking in a relatively common manner. The oddity of my own mind’s path often washes me up on the shore like this, leaving me high & dry with nothing but what passes for thinking to consume. As you may guess, it can be somewhat tricky to deal with reality, &, as the opening paragraph clearly shows, that’s no small feat. Since the only way to get past all of it is to let it flow out of my head as quickly, & ruthlessly as possible, such displays of perversion become the norm.

Ah, well, one can’t have everything, can one? No, of course not. Where would one put it all? Moreover, one remains responsible for one’s own words, no matter how oddly they strike the psyche of the world. My own manner of coping, as you can plainly see, is to take it to the limit, where the boundaries of sanity are stretched past their own belief; only there can I find my own balance, teetering in jeopardy, but, safely insane…. So be it….

I did manage to put this Pearl together, though without the new poem, which continues to dribble out, rather than gushing. Since all the proper elements are in place, and, we have sufficient blather accumulation here in the intro, why don’t we just cut our losses, & get on with it, so we can all move on to bigger, or better things…. It should be easy today; I’ve already softened the edges of reality, right in front of your eyes, so, the transition should be pretty seamless…. Watch and learn….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.”

~~ Roy Goodman ~~

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bonnie (2)

I had a hard time deciding on music today; eventually, I went with my own preferences, which is why y’all are being treated to one of the finest musicians alive today, who has been entertaining millions of people for several decades. Fine, fine blues & slide guitar, a voice like an angel, a red-haired beauty…. what’s not to love about her? Here she is, ffolkes, live in Oakland in 1989, it’s Bonnie….

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Bonnie Raitt
Live in concert 1989

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Comedy_Tragedy

Neurons/Parade Rest

Forlorn, he thought, but, then,
no, not really so.
Old, sad, strong; polluted by time’s red pen.
Nowhere left, to be, nor to go.

Tricks, not treats, forever remote,
strike fear into hearts fettered in fog.
Biting deep, stinging, we simper by common rote,
mired eternally in such bilious bog.

Torturous vision, bloody, capitulates in duplicate;
don’t ask for whom the spell trolls.
Ambiguity is real, impossible to extricate,
that’s how it rocks, then rolls.

Spiteful instruments offer no respite, patently.
Filigree lacks properly significant doubt.
Alternative answers formulate motivation, elegantly,
portraying reality as a vulgar lout.

Poltroons, there’s a good word,
for idiotic farmers, enthusiasts who borrow
time, filled with the blood of a bird;
solitary, the trickster cannot follow.

Affable moments trip the light, fantastic;
salacious intimacies fill a shimmering bower.
Night falls, eventually, monastic;
eternity calls with irresistible power.

~~ gigoid ~~

8/11 – 8/15/2016

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Living & dying in 3/4 time….

*******

“Dum vivimus, vivamus.”

(While we live, let us live…)

~~ Latin proverb ~~

*******

“You see things, and you say “WHY?”
But I dream things that never were,
and I say “WHY NOT?”

~~ George Bernard Shaw, “Back to Methuselah” ~~

*******

“In the bigger scheme of things,
the universe is not asking us to do something,
the universe is asking us to be something.
And that’s a whole different thing.”

~~ Lucille Clifton ~~

*******

“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

~~ Bertrand Russell ~~

*******

“If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else,
you will have succeeded.”

~~ Maya Angelou ~~

*******

“I feel better about world problems now!”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

*******

“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me.
That means nothing.
People like us, who believe in physics,
know that the distinction between past, present, and future
is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

~~ Albert Einstein ~~

*******

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I am not too sure what happened today, but, it happened, so, I’ll be content with that. And, so will you. By the power vested in me as a human in good standing, I declare this version of the Daily Pearl to be complete. I’ll even forgo the usual nonsense, & merely say, see y’all soon. I’m going walkabout….

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

À bientôt, mon cherí….


		
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Drop the orange, mate, & step away from the termites….

Ffolkes,

“When the only choices are win or lose, everyone loses.”

~~ Limon ~~

laser-eye-leelu

Yes, I’m still mad….

Hajime…. Thus begins another day, in which we pursue our explorations with vigor and enthusiasm. Sure we do; we also tend to stretch truth to imitate reality, as we find it. Of course, such interference with reality comes with consequence, but, we’re always prepared to accept whatever is necessary to find the true nature of what we perceive. Sounds noble, as well as fruitful, though it is seldom both at once, or, even singly. In truth, we often can’t find it at all, spending such mornings in practicing the distractions so useful in manipulating the human mind. Hey, if a sociopathic narcissist can get away with it, it’s certainly within our capabilities, right? Right.

I see I’ve done it again. Defining ‘it’, should I choose to do so, might not be in my, or your, best interests, so, I’ll just pretend none of that ever happened, just like a real politician, or, a cat, both of which I’ve observed my entire life. Though I cannot honestly say I’ve ever tried to emulate the former, the latter can teach us a lot, about how to get one’s own way, or, how to just get along, through the consistent use of denial. Doing so probably doesn’t help our karma to improve, but, what the hell, it keeps us out of jail, most times. Always a good thing; jail’s not much fun. Or, so I’ve heard….

I’m wandering. In my head, and on the screen; I can feel it, in the way my mind fuzzes over, every time I make another attempt to bring some coherence to this missive. I suppose it would be best to get the slow on the toad, for it’s looking very much like I won’t be approaching any such clarity today. Since there’s little to be done about that, given the circumstances, let’s just use our favorite trick, and get on with this, before it gets any weirder….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Having found Truth, I search for Fantasy.”

~~ Subtle Bee, channeling gigoid again ~~

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sarah-sarah-mclachlan

Image from fanpop.com via Google Images

I’ve always enjoyed this woman’s music, as well as her obvious intelligence, which she displays each time she plays, or speaks…. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have….

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Sarah McLachlan
Lilith Fair

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Comedy_Tragedy

Raging at Aging

As old as you feel, we are told, is old as you are,
custom assures such vision will carry us far.
Reality begs to differ, may it be so bold
it is really quite painful, and very, very cold.

The power and strength felt in our halcyon youth
desert us with age, yet another unwelcome truth.
Irony rules our time here on this bountiful earth
as we reflect the changes over time since our birth.

As physical powers fade from this fragile shell,
we learn our mind can serve us quite as well.
The strength that once filled our bones and hearts
is now applied by our will, to more arcane arts.

Life’s greatest gift is our freedom of choice
no matter how often we forget, we still get a voice.
Energy, or apathy, by our will we may choose,
failing to do so, our only way to lose.

Each of us lives in the grip of time and space,
always seeking our balance, our own chosen place.
One must accept reality, for it is true at the core,
all we can do, is all we can do, and nothing more.

~~ gigoid ~~

10/17/2012

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

You know what to do….

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“We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting.”

~~ Kahlil Gibran ~~

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“How you do anything is how you do everything.”

~~ Zen proverb ~~

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“True fearlessness is not the reduction of fear; but going beyond fear.”

~~ Chogyam Trungpa ~~

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“This is as true in everyday life as it is in battle:
we are given one life and the decision is ours
whether to wait for circumstances to make up our mind,
or whether to act, and in acting, to live.”

~~ General Omar Bradley ~~

*******

“Think of doubt as an invitation to think.”

~~ Dubious Bee ~~

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Knowledge is gained by learning; trust by doubt; skill by practice; and love by love.”

~~ Thomas Szasz ~~

*******

“So ends the bloody business of the day.”

~~ Alexander Pope — The Odyssey of Homer, Book xxii, Line 516 ~~

*******

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

In spite of repeated attempts by the cat to distract or interrupt, it’s done. I’m going to do something really rare today; I’ll end it without any of our usual contortions. All I’ll do is, say goodbye, (Goodbye!….) and be on my way, with the standard caveat, to wit; See y’all tomorrow….

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 -- 2780

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Popular hairstyles on sale, cheap….

Ffolkes,

“Climate is what you expect.  Weather is what you get.”

~~ Lazarus Long ~~

White Buffalo Calf Woman

White Buffalo Calf Woman

Image from Google Stock Images


This one is going to be strange; there’s no way around it. I am up on time, but, clueless. I’m confused, which is normal. I hurt, but, not so badly as the past few days. Yet, not a damn thing occurs to me to start this Pearl off with any pizazz, or dignity, or anything in between. Therefore, there is no way to predict, at all, what might happen today…. I’m not sure if I should be nervous, or filled with joyful anticipation. Since I went with the nice picture of the Lakota Spirit woman, who brought them their beliefs and wisdom, I’ll go with the latter, and hope for the best.

Such a lack of direction also may affect this intro, as is probably already obvious. I can’t think of another time when I was so out of it, mentally, after nine hours sleep…. The knife in my hip finally went away yesterday afternoon, without first giving me any clue as to A) why it happened, or B) what fixed it. I was sitting in the chair, uncomfortably shifting my weight around to get comfortable, when I realized it had dissolved, in a manner of speaking; it had simple gone away, without notice, or fanfare….. at which point, the stress and struggle of the last five days of fighting against the constant, unrelenting pain caught up to me….

So, I went to bed, at about 6:45 pm, sleeping fairly well until about 3:45 am, with only two trips to the restroom during the night…. possibly the best night’s sleep in weeks…. I’ll take it, naturally; I just wish I felt more together upon awakening. I seem to be less able to get up & begin functioning right away, as has always been my habit….. another gift from Father Time, I suppose (or, is that the Time Bitch I hear so much about from so many women?….).  Whatever the case may be, I’m up, and moving, if not exactly spinning along like a top….

Oh well, it will have to do. I’m tired, I’m confused, and I don’t even like Jesus; oh, wait. That’s already a song….. okay, well, I’m done, anyway. This intro has reached a point I can call it legal, even if it doesn’t quite cut the mustard. It will have to do, for I’m just not together enough to try any harder…. not that it would get any better for having done so, but, I would have a better excuse to blame someone else, right? Right…. Now I’ve rejoined the human race, we’ll leave that subject behind, and get on with this….. Look Ma! No hands, and no emergency methods…. Yet, we are outta here, and on to the oyster beds, tout suite….

Shall we Pearl?

“Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly.” — Thomas H. Huxley

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15112676-wolfgang-amadeus-mozart-1756-1791-on-engraving-from-1908-one-of-the-most-significant-and-influential

Mozart, Image from Google Stock Images

    Not only am I confused, but, decision making seems to also be a problem…. Hence, we’ll go with something to soothe the mind…. Enjoy!


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Music for reading – Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Debussy, Liszt, Schumann

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le penseur-rodin

From 2/3/2013:

“I can handle reality in small doses, but as a lifestyle it’s much too confining.” — Lily Tomlin

This is one of many statements of its type, some from Miss Lily, some from other comedians and social philosophers, all of whom are special to me…. They are special because they poke fun at society in the mildest way, but with clarity that is belied by their apparent simplicity and obvious humor. It is easy for a lot of folks to dismiss little gems like this, as being unimportant, or less than serious, just because it speaks with tongue in cheek… Nothing could be further from the truth, as this statement is absolute gospel to a large percentage of the adult population of this country….

“Reality is for those people who can’t handle drugs.” — George Carlin (My attribution here might be incorrect, but, George inspired the line, if he didn’t write it himself….)

Here is another line from the revolution that happened back in the 60’s and 70’s, and it points up a very definitive difference between those folks who spend their time in the mainstream of society, and those who exist at the extremes, in this case, in what is generally conceived to be on the Left end of the scale…. Those who inhabit the other end of the political spectrum tend to rely on alcohol to blunt the effects of Reality on the brain, rather than what are dismissed by them as recreational drugs, such as marijuana, psilocybin, mescaline, etc.  In some ways, you can get a good idea of the philosophies themselves by looking at how they approach the subject of drugs and alcohol, and by the differing methods of enhancing life with them….

Those who rely on alcohol are those who prefer to NOT know the truth, about anything. It seems to me that the physical effects of alcohol parallel exactly the way these folks look at life…. When under the influence of alcohol, one’s senses are depressed, and it is much harder to see the truth than at other times…. and that is the way they like it…. With consumption of alcohol, the hearing decreases, judgment is impaired, vision blurs, sense of touch is lessened, and fine muscle control is compromised, pretty much in that order of occurrence. It is the same each time, but with continued regular consumption, a certain tolerance is developed, a tolerance that slightly mitigates the effects, but certainly does not keep them from happening.

Those who use drugs to enhance or adjust their view don’t deny the truth, but they want it to be all prettied up for them in some way, so it isn’t so harsh and ugly…. Most of the effects of the drugs are in the mind, with some notable exceptions;  the perceptions of all the senses are not depressed, but altered in some way, usually personal to the user, in physical response to the chemical in the drug that causes the cognitive alterations.  Either way, whether with drugs, or with alcohol, perception of the truth is what ultimately suffers, which is what the proponents of both ends of the spectrum tend to forget, or deny….

“Have you ever wondered if taxation without representation was cheaper?” — Smart Bee

I have…. It is and it isn’t, and we are witnessing that phenomenon right now….. This may be why many people have such a hard time with reality; when one becomes aware of just how screwed up things are, and how much lying, cheating, and stealing is going on right before our eyes, it is rather daunting to take in all at once, so people do as they’ve always done, and slip into massive denial of the truth, preferring to just ignore the evidence that is slapping them upside the head…. One time, I actually sat down to do the math on the above question, and what I found was surprising…. Neither way works…. There just isn’t any logical way to govern people, and make it either profitable, or even reasonably cheap…. Well, not as long as the lying, cheating, and stealing is part of the equation, anyway….

“The word “dog” does not bite,” — William James

Boy, if that isn’t the truth…. but, try to convince the general public of that….. It is one of the basic issues to be considered when speaking to the public, one that the BRC and PTB members all know very well, as it is their chief weapon in controlling the populace…. Most folks don’t think…. when they do, it causes them pain, so they tend to let someone else do it for them, and just go along in blissful ignorance, accepting whatever they’re told without a clue. They never consider that the word itself is not the thing it describes; even worse, they don’t care to know….. It is the simplest thing in the world for the Beloved Ruling Class to fool the public, because they actively participate, with apparent glee, in their own debasement….

“As a matter of cold fact, a lot of people have no use for you because they can’t use you.”  — Smart Bee

Sometimes, I’m not sure which disgusts me more…. the callous disregard for others that is the defining characteristic of all politicians and preachers, or the deliberately blind, fawning ignorance of those who refuse to become fully human, use their minds, and take responsibility for their own life…. To my way of thinking, both are deserving of every bit of trouble that reality can give them, just for their intransigence…. otherwise known as rampant stubbornness, or more simply, massive stupidity….

I’m being deliberately offensive this morning, as I’m sick and tired of how the general public refuses to wake up and smell the gunpowder, and I don’t really care if it hurts someone’s feelings. Anyone who disagrees with my assessment is free to offer up their own take on the matter, and I’ll give it equal time for discussion…. but, if what I’ve said hurts feelings, then apparently what I’ve said strikes just a little too close to the truth for comfort, and I would suggest that the person take a look at that before setting themselves up for embarrassment, by trying to argue without a leg upon which to stand….

In the past year and a half, I’ve written thousands and thousands of words trying to wake people up to how much they are giving away by refusing to think. It is my greatest hope that what I have to say may have some small effect on the world, an effect that might in some way contribute to our chances of surviving our own foolishness. I’m afraid my hope is, sadly, rather slim, but, I am not ready to quit my campaign, nor to change tactics. I’ll keep on poking at the BRC, and the priestly hierarchies, and every other enemy of mankind (for that is how I see them….) for as long as I can, and hope for the best….

“One of the greatest advantages in the world is enjoyed by the person who says and insists that they are telling the truth, when in fact, they are telling the truth.” — Smart Bee


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Comedy_Tragedy

Image stolen from Talesfromtheconspiratum.com


Don’t ask me why, but, this poem just seems like the only one for today…..

The world is too much with us; late and soon

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune,
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

~~ William Wordsworth ~~


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Morning muse

    The following pearl is indescribable; moreover, I haven’t a single clue as to what any of it means…. Anybody got any ideas?….. Feel free to comment on this one; it may need it….

“One should always be a little improbable.” — Oscar Wilde

“Few things are less enjoyable than being old enough to know better.” Smart Bee, with no argument from gigoid

“I don’t think it would have all got me down quite so much if just once in a while- just once in a while- there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn’t, it’s just a disgusting waste of time.” — J.D. Salinger, Franny & Zooey

“Why don’t cannibals eat clowns? Because they taste funny.” — Smart Alec Bee

“He bids fair to grow wise who has discovered that he is not so.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 598

“There’s no easy quick way out, we’re gonna have to live through our whole lives, win, lose, or draw.” — Walt Kelly

“In the words of Shankarachaya, “All impossible things can be made possible save the bringing of the fool’s mind to the point of truth.” — Hazrat Inayat Khan (Sufi writer)

“I think the dragon’s asleep.” — Famous Last Words

“And weep the more, because I weep in vain.” — Thomas Gray (1716-1771) — Sonnet, On the Death of Mr. West

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I can’t say how I did it, but, it’s done…. Though much of the pain I’ve had for the past five days has passed, the exhaustion remains, from the battle to keep from becoming homicidal. I’m taking the rest of today off…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, should I survive that long…. The odds are good….

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

Featured image


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

Pliable, yet soapy, it burned quickly….

Ffolkes,
Whew! It’s going to be an interesting day….. I’ve been up only about 15 minutes, and have at least three comments from yesterday that will require some heavy thought in order to respond adequately. The good news is that the blogger friend I was worried about last night is fine, and my worry was unnecessary; his poetry was simply too real, and I bought it…. very powerful piece…. So, all is good, and I have lots to keep my mind occupied (as if that were ever a problem around here…..).

That being said, we should probably just get on with it, so…… let’s Pearl….

All of the above is out-of-date by 24 hours, so just pay it no mind…. As I explained yesterday, this was written on the 15th, but before I realized I was writing it into the template for the next day….. The nose grew bulbous and red, and I honked it, for sure….. I had to start over, and shall proceed to do so again this morning…. be right back….  (Why not just delete? That would be cheating….)

It has been a full day since I wrote that, and the above introductory paragraphs are hereby declared to be null and void. This procedure will now resume its normally scheduled activity…. as normally as it ever gets, that is….. and to avoid any further nonsense, we will go directly to the task at hand, i.e., we shall now Pearl……this way, please, and watch your step…..
___________________________________

Deal with others as thou wouldst thyself be dealt by.
Do nothing to thy neighbor which thou wouldst not have him do to thee hereafter.
—  _The Mahabharata_, c. 800 B. C.

I feel a google coming on….. yep, it started even earlier than this…. According to Wikipedia, the earliest mention of the concept we now refer to as The Golden Rule is to be found in the Code of Hammurabi, first codified and set down in the year 1780 BC. Though the majority of Christians believe that the teachings of Jesus were the origination of this idea, almost every religion and philosophy in every country in the world has made a reference to this ideal of reciprocity in human relations, dating probably from before the time of Hammurabi.

Once again, the mathematician in me takes over, and we will now emulate The Count, from Sesame Street.  1780 + 2012 = 3792. That is 3792 years, approximately (I don’t imagine they know the day of the week it was published; it’s not THAT accurate a computation). That is a lot of days. Even more hours. It seems like, and is, a long time, at least in relation to the sum total of written human history, which has been been recorded for only about 5 or 6 thousand years… not too much longer ago than this first appeared.

These figures, in my mind, beg the question: So, how are we doing on that? Do we all treat each other according to the underlying principle of this piece of societal knowledge, well known to even the most ignorant of our brethren? Is this the basis for all our laws and moral standards?  Have we made any progress at all in nearly four thousand years during which this has been a part of the tool kit that humans possess to deal with reality?

I don’t think so.

In fact, it seems clear to me that our society pretty much acts in a manner completely OUT of harmony with the principle of reciprocity between men and women, of seeking harmony between all members of society. There is NO reciprocity present in modern day life. The attitude of self-service first is prevalent in the beloved ruling class, and trickles down naturally to infest and infect every level of society, from top to bottom, reaching into every nook and cranny, soiling each soul it touches and ensnares.

Each and every one of these people whom we have elected into office, as well as a significant number of average society members,  will tell you with a straight face, and a firm belief they are telling the truth, that they strongly support the Golden Rule, and use it in every area of their life. These same people will then steal your wallet while you aren’t looking, then offer to help you look for it. Then, they will ask you for a reward for helping you find it, right where they dumped it…. and I’ll bet everyone reading this has a story that fits that scenario, at least in the essential points….

Is there an answer to this issue, to these questions? Yes, it has already been made, and is in place now. This is the way it is; it will not change, not until human nature changes also, and that is just NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, PEOPLE!  I’d suggest you get used to it, and polish up your armor….. There are not many of us left who feel like what is below…. most folks don’t feel at all…. but trying for this at least can make our own journey a bit more tolerable…..

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves. — Irish blessing

After that explosion of cynicism, all I can say to you all is….. Blessed Be, and maybe I’m wrong…. We can hope…. In fact, here is a proposition…. If the world will adopt the Golden Rule, I’ll break myself of my habit of using all these dots in my writing….. that ought to be worth something in the larger picture, don’t you think?  It’s worth a shot, nothing else seems to be working very well…..
___________________________________

“Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is NOT a sin–just stupid.)” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

I first saw this quote when I was about 23 or so… I had been reading Heinlein’s work for many years already, and my philosophical growth was still in its expansion stages, not yet having settled on the final format that I eventually found suitable. This statement, part of the collected “Notebooks of Lazarus Long” was one that almost seemed as it it had been part of my being for many years. It wasn’t a feeling of deja vu that I got from it; it was more like a feeling of , “Well, of course! That’s obvious!”  It was quickly adopted into my own philosophy as a good way to view reality, to my way of thinking….

It quickly came to my attention that this sentiment is not exactly a popular one amongst the more religiously oriented folks with whom we share space in this reality. The year 1973, when this book was first published, was a time when the gay movement was just gaining some attention in the news, and, I believe, may even be when Anita Bryant first began her misguided campaign against homosexuality.

A lot of social mores were being challenged by the hippie culture, and the rules, and sins, as promulgated by the established religions, were under constant attack from the left side of the political spectrum. The noise and outrage from the conservative fundamentalists was deafening in its panicked frenzy (a state of mind that persists to this day when fundamentalists are reminded of the laws that now exist…. it makes them absolutely CRAZY to think that their worst nightmares are now legal acts…..), as they thrashed around the public arena, shouting out their dogma to whomever they could persuade to listen.

But, as I did back then, and continue to do now, I pretty much ignore the crap that gets flung in my direction whenever one of these religious zealots hears what I believe, or is confronted with the evidence of their own foolishness. It’s the only honorable way to deal with them… They are not sufficiently well-armed to make a battle of wits a fair proposition, and beating them to a pulp is frowned upon by my peers, as well as the fundamentalists themselves…. It costs them a lot in bandages and aspirin when they are silly enough to try to engage me in debates on this subject, and carry on to the point where my patience snaps…. it isn’t pretty…. but it sure is fun!…..
___________________________________

C:\> erase c:\reality.sys; copy a:\pern\*.* c:

Yesterday’s little contest had a winner, cowgirliz, (http://cowgirliz.wordpress.com/) who slipped in the correct answer late last evening, about 2 minutes ahead of the second place winner,  Rohit, (http://quest4knowledge.wordpress.com/).  Both of them correctly interpreted the above DOS command, and have won this fabulous prize….. four minutes of fame, here on gigoid’s folly….. This prize, it must be added, has no cash value, and is only worth as much as you give it, so, give until it hurts…… or at least go check out their blogs; both of them are well worth reading….

So, you’re asking, what the heck does it mean?  Okay…. first, you need to know about Pern….  Pern is the name of a planet that circles a star much like that of Earth’s, approximately 200+ light years from Earth, in the direction of the constellation Draco, suitably enough…. It is a fictional world, created and written about by Anne McCaffrey, an Irish author of science fiction and fantasy novels. The novels about Pern are a combination of the best of both of those literary worlds……

Humans came to Pern, in giant spaceships, from Earth in the twenty-second century, seeking to colonize a planet using new ideas of government and societal structure that the colonists believed would be an improvement over what now existed on Earth. When they arrived on the planet, from which they could not return to Earth, having used all their available resources to get to Pern, with not enough to spare for a return trip, they found it to be welcoming, if challenging. Except for one thing…. Thread.

Thread was a life-form that originated on another planet in the same system, a life-form inimical to carbon-based life, such as humans, plants, the animals the colonists had brought with them, and those indigenous to Pern. Thread fell from the skies above Pern, after traveling across the intervening space between the two planets during the closest approach in their respective orbits. It would then voraciously attack and consume any life form it touched, producing a painful and not quick enough death.

In order to combat the menace, the colonists performed bioengineering on a life form indigenous to Pern, called fire-lizards. These flying lizards, resembling small dragons, the size of a cat, had two characteristics which the colonists needed to fight the Thread as it fell on them from above. First, they could fly, and in addition, had the power of teleportation; they could almost instantly move from one point to another on Pern, taking only the time it takes to draw two breaths to get anywhere else on the globe. Second, they could breathe fire….. But, cat-size, they were too small to be an effective weapon against the Thread, so the colonists altered their DNA, making them larger, the size of the real dragons of human myth, but keeping the abilities of flight, teleportation, and breathing fire….. thus making them effective at eliminating Thread before it reached the ground, fighting with their bonded human riders, who feed them the mineral needed to produce the flames…

Over the course of numerous books, the history of Pern is laid out, over a three thousand year period following the first arrival of people to the planet, showing readers a number of interesting cultural changes to society, caused in part by the new form of self-government the colonists established, as well as the effects of having a new sub-culture, that of Dragon riders, within the main culture of the planet. It is a very popular set of books, with new ones being added by enthusiastic fans writing in the same universe as Pern, as well as other fantasy and sf authors who have collaborated with Ms. McCaffrey to create more books on the same subject. The culture of Pern, as described in the novels, is almost Utopian in its attitudes, and the planet serves as a modified version of Heaven on Earth, as it fulfills several human dreams that our current society either represses or ignores, i.e. a peaceful society based on respect for others, and Dragons, too!

Now, the DOS part…. DOS is an operating system, a mathematical model that is used to give computers the actual commands that cause it to perform different functions, such as opening files, viewing contents of the files, word processing, or printing files. The commands are written in a specific format, a language, as it were, that tells the computer exactly what files to seek and use, or to copy, or move, or whatever; it is the details of the actions the computer will be asked to perform.

Using the common format for such commands, the above command line can thus be seen to instruct the computer to delete Reality, and to then, using a file on a floppy disk in the a:/drive, to open, and start, an alternate Reality based on the Pern universe… in other words, replace today’s Earth with Pern… and all of its wonderful advantages……including Dragons!  Bonus?  No tax day!

See? A bit of modern cultural mythology, a bit of fantasy, a little technology, and a lot of whimsy…. it always works for me….. thanks for listening…..
___________________________________

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not.” — Epicurus

So simple, yet this remains as the root cause of much of the unhappiness that people experience in today’s world, both directly, and indirectly. Often, losing what we have is a result of letting go of it to chase after an illusion of what we believe would be somehow better than what we already possess. We all remember the story about the dog with the big bone in his mouth who, on spying his reflection in the water of the river, opened his mouth to grab the bone the other dog had, and lost the one he had….. So obvious, and a lesson we all are taught from a young age, no matter what our educational level. This story crosses all such distinctions, as it is easily seen as universally relevant by all who hear it, save those few who are cognitively incapable of more than rudimentary thought (Certain politicians come to mind…. okay, I’m sorry, that was a cheap shot, totally unnecessary, and out of place in a serious discussion…. but, it still is true, it DID pop into my mind’s eye; the image is still there…   🙂   )

In light of the above paragraph’s implications, the question that begs asking is this; What the fuck is wrong with people?  I’m serious. The entire world seems to be locked into a pattern of behavior and attitudes that consistently contradicts the concept under examination, in short, material desire. Everyone, from the leaders and public figures at the supposed apex of society to the poorest miserable resident of the ghetto, seems to be chasing material advancement, both for personal benefit, and in relation to others, instead of being happy and content with what is spiritually and compassionately beneficial that we may possess in plenty, no matter what our material status, just by making the inner decision to let go of the desire for what is ephemeral, and holding on to what is eternal…..

To my mind, it is incomprehensible… I know that I possess many advantages over some folks, in terms of what I have been blessed with between my ears…. though it hasn’t made me rich in money or property, I am fabulously wealthy in terms of the things I consider to be essential to life, such as love, honor, truth, and compassion. Whatever I may achieve, or acquire, beyond those things, can be considered to be a bonus, in some cases, and a challenge in others…. either way, I try hard not to let any of the extra stuff detract from my appreciation for the four pillars of my existence, as stated above……

It is hard for me to not feel compassion for any who are so lost, or out of touch with themselves, or just misled, such that they cannot see the advantages of learning to embrace the sentiment expressed so well by Epicurus. It arouses my compassion, and makes me wish I knew how to get through to all those people, so they could share the joy in living that I do…. As painful and difficult as my life can be at times, I know it will all be well in the end, that the Universe is proceeding as it should, and that contents me…. most of the time….
___________________________________

Halfway up the stairs
Isn’t up,
And isn’t down.
It isn’t in the nursery,
It isn’t in the town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head:
“It isn’t really
Anywhere!
It’s somewhere else
Instead!”
— A.A. Milne

You know, when I found this, I had an immediate reaction that I knew would make a good pearl…. Now that I look at it again this morning, that thought is gone. Phtt! Nowhere to be found. Too bad, really; as I recall, it was an interesting thought.  But, so much for the best laid plans, etc.

You know what else? This is good enough to stand alone. As I look it over again, it is echoing, growing deeper and more complex as each minute passes….. of course, that could just be the moldy cheese I’m eating, too…..  No, really, it is a pretty deep little Pooh-ish sort of thought, isn’t it? Almost sounds like Emily D. might have said it, in one of her more whimsical moments….. Nonetheless, I’m going to just leave it alone, and leave any further contemplation of its depths to the Gentle Reader….. where all such musings belong…
___________________________________

I was noodling around in my head last night, as is my wont, and the following popped into my head. Now, if I was a paranoid schizophrenic, I would think, and most likely be right, that this is what is referred to as a thought intrusion. I might, if I were so diagnosed, and inclined, think that someone else had planted this in my brain, or that another of my hallucinations had telepathically forced me to think it. But, not being any subject to such silly ideas, (my brain chemical balance seems to be holding up just fine, thank you…), I just felt a small glow of mild achievement, as one does when one turns a phrase nicely, or makes a clever play on words, as in this case….. I like it…. What do y’all think? Is it worth using, as an alternate sig file? Or is it just okay, slightly amusing but not on the cutting edge of clever?  I need some feedback here, please…. thanks…..

“May the metaphorse be with you.” — gigoid, Sunday, 2012

Thus does another Pearl of Virtual Wisdom draw to a thrilling conclusion. Or, well, at least a screeching halt….. hell, I think we’d better jump before this thing goes over the cliff there….. look out!….. Nooooooooo! …… NO CARRIER

Hmph… I always seem to end up going for the cheap laugh at the end. When will I ever learn?  SIGH…. Well, y’all take care out there….


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Plain, old-fashioned articles of modern design….

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, we’ll just gather up our belongings, and get back on the bus, which will take us directly to the jumping off point for the day….. Shall we go Pearling? I say we must….. or I’m doomed to spend the rest of the day in a medicated haze, in order to keep from running around naked, throwing rocks at the seagulls, and scaring the neighbors….. Shall we be off, then? Let’s do………
___________________________________

Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
Is the best gift of Heaven: a happiness
That even above the smiles and frowns of fate
Exalts great Nature’s favourites: a wealth
That never encumbers, nor can be transferred.
— John Armstrong (1709-1779)

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

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

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

Self-respect . . . is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has its price. — Anonymous, but true nonetheless….
___________________________________

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” — Thomas Paine

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

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

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

“If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” — Bertrand Russell
___________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

“Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.” — little known, but apt, advice from Merlin the Wise, the most influential wizard in the history of Mankind….
___________________________________

,+*~~*+___+++_
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_+*                     ~**+_
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{       )  (    ,(    ,_+–+–,      ~)      ~\
{ (@)    } f   ,(  ,+-~ __*_*_  ~~\_   ~\       )
{:;-/    (_+*-+~~~~~+*+*<_ _++_)_    )    )      /
( /  (    (        ,___    ~*+_+* )   <    <      \
U _/     )    *–<  ) ~\—–++__)   )    )       )
(      )  _(~)~~))  )  )\~~~~~))~*+/    /       /
(      /  (_))_~)) )  )  ))~~~~~))~~~)__/     +~~
(     ,/    (~))~))  )  ) ))~~~~~~~))~~)       _)
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~~~~~\uuu/~~\uuu/~~~~\~\~\~\~\~\~\~\
___) >____) >___   ~\_\_\_\_\_\_\)
~~~//\\_~~//\\_~       ~(\_\_\_\)
~~~ ~~ ~~~ ~~

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

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

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

Limericks are art forms complex,
Their topics run chiefly to sex.
They usually have virgins,
And masculine urgin’s,
And other erotic effects.
— Anonymous

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Your eggnog is on fire…

Ffolkes,
I hope everyone had a peaceful and gratifying Thanksgiving holiday; now it’s time for turkey sandwiches! Best part of the whole deal, for my money…..

Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.
— John Dryden (1631-1700) — All for Love, Prologue

Eureka! After months and months of searching, I finally found this couplet, which stands as my modus operandi, the vision statement for this entire undertaking, to wit: the creation of Pearls of Virtual Wisdom. I’ve always known the poem existed, but had not come across it in years.  I am proud and happy to serve it up this morning to lead off Black Friday, with a bit less frenzy than what is taking place right now in malls, Walmarts, and Target stores all across the country, as all the little well-trained consumers storm the well-stocked shops for Christmas bargains. Jesus, in whose honor they are, ostensibly, committing mayhem upon each other, well, he watches and weeps……Since it is only the day after Thanksgiving, I will spare you my yearly Christmas rant for the present. Too early in the day to get all worked up at the hypocrisy of the season….more later on this….
__________________________________________

The very purpose of the First Amendment is to foreclose public authority from assuming a guardianship of the public mind … because the forefathers did not trust government to separate the truth from the false. — Thomas v. Collins, 323 US 516 (1945)

Perhaps the nicest thing I can think of to say regarding this court ruling is to point out that our founding fathers could easily have left this out of our system of law. But, their experiences in dealing with the English throne taught them well, and they had no faith that those in power would honor the truth, and built some protection into the primary formation of the democracy they envisioned. I must applaud their foresight, because as can be seen by the modern political scenario, there is not one politician out there who has any interest in the truth, unless it will buy votes. Even when they do speak literal truth, it is a virtual guarantee that that truth will be denied once the election is over. We must be vigilant, because those who would limit our freedom are hard at work, campaigning to fool the most folks into believing their BS, and rubbing their hands together in glee, thinking of how rich and powerful they will become, once they have sold their lies enough times…..
___________________________________________

“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.” — Buddha

Examining the Buddha’s statements can be confusing to a mind more accustomed to Western modes of thought, until one learns to put aside the cultural imperatives and look only at the bare truth or falseness of a statement. In doing so here, we find a far-reaching profundity that is not apparent at first look. Endurance implies conflict; to endure, one must first identify what it is we are to face with our virgin courage. Only if the experience becomes painful, or frightening, or overwhelmingly complex do we face the need to endure these experiences; if they cause no discomfort, no endurance is required. But when life presents us with difficulties, knowing one can always live through it, with the right thoughts leading us into right actions, is a valuable gift indeed. The ability to endure is one of the primary characteristics of the ancient sages, who lived “like ice on the verge of melting”…….
___________________________________________

“Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.” — Lao-Tzu

Water……we are 90%(+/-) water; it’s a basic part of our organism, and knowing all one can about its characteristics can only help us to understand ourselves, and our relationship to the world around us. It is a common mediation practice to envision in the mind a pool of still water, and attempt to merge with that absolute stillness, until reaching a point of merging with that serenity. A rushing stream of water can also provide a meditative focus, as can floating & dreaming in a pool, or merely considering the various properties of water that make it a unique substance, like no other in the universe, and worthy of our interest.


One of the most important aspects of water to consider is this: water can exist in all three possible forms in the universe; solid, liquid, or gaseous. And in all three states, it retains its integrity of being; it is water still, with all its facets present in each. No matter if it is solid as ice, gaseous as steam, or refreshingly liquid as its ordinary state, it is still just water, at a different temperature. Water is also indestructible. It cannot be destroyed by any means known to mankind, it can only be made to change forms from liquid to gas, or gas to liquid, or solid to either one of the others. Pretty cool, yes? So, trying to be like water is an occupation worthy of our efforts; even if we only come to understand it better, it’s a good thing. I myself enjoy meditating on the image of a stream of rushing water, until I get to the point where I am the water wearing down a rock, day by day, eon by eon, until the pool comes to resemble my innermost fantasy, a Mount Rushmore sized bust of Bozo the Clown……
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And never, ever cut a deal with a dragon.

I have enough respect for my audience that I won’t try to embellish this one; it is a patently obvious truth, and advice only a BIG fool ignores, generally to his everlasting regret. Anyone who would do so probably also votes the straight party ticket.  It’s just not a good policy, not at all, at all…..
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All in all, not a bad morning’s work. I will tempt fate no further, and send this on its way…. y’all take care out there…..

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

Kowabunga!