Don’t laugh; Americans are often ludicrous…

Ffolkes,
Well, crap….. What a way to start the day…… I suppose there’s no getting around this one, so, you’ll have to excuse me for a bit, while I deal with the oh-so-damned-important issue that Murphy has thought up for my delectation this morning…. I’ll be right back, hopefully…. Bloody ass….

What a PITA…. No, you don’t really want to know….. Murphy has been conspicuously absent for a couple of days, and I should have known, given his proclivity for mischief, that he was cooking up something special for me, and, sure enough, this morning I awoke to this, this,…. hell, I’m not sure how to even describe the scene that greeted me on awakening today. So, rather than put everyone else reading this into the state I’m in, we’ll just ignore what happened, and take it as a good omen that it didn’t cost me any money, only time and angst, of which I, sadly, have in plentiful supply….. Well, okay, it also took an entire roll of paper towels and some vigorous scrubbing, to get rid of the obscene graffiti, but that comes with the territory, I guess….

None of that, however, is of any help with this intro, or in getting this Pearl started, and it has distracted me so much that I’m close to using emergency procedure #7, which, given its nature, I try to use only once in a decade; its effect on the nature of space and time is somewhat unpredictable, and I’m not sure we can afford any wobbles just now in the space-time continuum. It’s suffering enough right now from global warming and overpopulation, and doesn’t need further stress that could lead to a breakdown of unimaginable proportions. Planets careening out of orbit, suns exploding, lions mating with sheep, it would be a universe gone mad…. You can see why I hesitate to use #7 very often….

Or, I suppose I could go with procedure #5…. I haven’t used that in ages. Of course, it’s an expensive one to use, being constructed of platinum as it is, and only able to withstand a single use before melting down…. Platinum is hard to find, and not cheap, so I think I’ll wait on that one, too… I reckon, since all the others don’t seem to be quite the right procedure to get this done, we’ll have to fall back on emergency procedure #1, with which, I’m sure, you thought you were familiar…. and, you’d be right, as I use it often, more often than any other….

What is procedure #1, you ask? Well, you are smack dab in the middle of it…. that’s the one where I sort of ramble around a conversation, drifting from one nonsensical paragraph to the next, all without ever saying a damn thing that could be considered to be literary, or even relatively intelligent…. You will note, please, at this point, we have now reached the required five paragraph minimum for an intro, and, as is plain to see, not a damn thing said that could be construed as “writing”…. more like babbling, I would say….

Having thus fulfilled the minimum requirements, I’m going to go with the flow, as it were, and head off to dive…. It seems like the best idea for all the concerned parties…. I can get out of this ridiculous situation, and you can cease having to keep from getting the splashes on your clothing…. What a deal!  Shall we Pearl?…..
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“It is useless for sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while wolves remain of a different opinion.” — William Ralph Inge, D. D.  1860 – 1954

I’ve seen this little statement before, and like it a lot, for its honesty in describing our Beloved Ruling Class in relation to the flock of sheep that comprises most of mankind. And, yes, this is the beginning of another politirant….. This one is prompted by the most recent activities that our leaders, if such word applies, have been shown to be engaged in by the news outlets I watch…. to wit: the legislation under review and up for vote in the House of Reps that is concerned with the economy, to wit: the “sequester”, and the recent comments by the POTUS re: global warming and climate change…. Let’s see what we can note about these issues, shall we?….

I have noticed that the Congress, and the POTUS, are currently at odds, as usual, over the economy, and arguing over how to address an issue over which they have absolutely no control…. I just don’t get it, actually…. There is no evidence whatsoever that anything the government does, or has ever done, about the economy has any effect at all on it…. none.

Zero. Zilch. Nada damn thing…. The economy of the world, or even just this nation, is not subject to any manipulation by us; it’s too big, too amorphous…. It’s like trying to herd cats…. a lot of effort for small results, and you end up with a bunch of pissed off felines… If you know anything about cats, you will realize that this is never a good thing….

Yet, because the public demands that something be done, the politicians start their idiotic posturing, pontificating, and, otherwise polluting the airwaves with nonsensical suggestions as to what should be done to fix the problems. NONE of those ever work, nor will they ever work; the economy does not move according to any rules that we can control, or even know, and any action we take is just as liable to have a bad effect as a good one….. But, the public wants the government to fix it, so the politicos in the BRC try to make noises as if they actually could do something helpful, when in fact, anything they do is as liable to hurt, as it is to help….. Sad, but, true as the day is long….

It’s actually kind of fun watching the contortions they go through for issues such as this; since I know for a fact that none of it will have any real effect on the issue, I can enjoy the parade without worrying about whether it will actually do anything useful…. It is a bit depressing to watch, since I am aware of just how little can be done, but, the show can be entertaining, and it does pass the time…

The most depressing part is knowing that the public is actually buying all of what they are saying, and really do expect something to change for the better… But, then, I am always amazed at the depth of human stupidity. I don’t know why, as I KNOW how dumb people can be… I am one, you know…. but, it always is a surprise to see just how deeply that stupidity is ingrained in the human condition…

Of course, this stupidity is part and parcel of why we are experiencing the second issue I mentioned above… global warming and overpopulation. I will be very interested to see exactly how the POTUS intends to address the issue, as he has promised to do, several times now since his inauguration. Since the issue is well advanced beyond the point that most people think it is, what he does, or proposes to do, will be a telling factor in deciding how seriously the issue is being taken, and whether or not it will have any chance at all of being either enough to help, or soon enough to make a difference… Both of these are critical factors, as the point of no-return for the ecological balance of this planet is so near, it may have already been passed some months ago…..

I’m not sure how scientifically minded many of y’all are, but, I am… scientifically minded, that is, and I can tell you without fear of contradiction (from anyone with any reliable scientific knowledge, anyway….) that the atmosphere of this planet is, without doubt, and without evidence to the contrary, on the very edge of becoming unbreathable for humans….

The millions of tons of carbon monoxide, and other toxic substances, that are being pumped into the air EVERY SECOND, and that has been pumped in now for over a hundred years, has reached the point where it will begin a process of leaching oxygen from the air, and the balance of gases we need to survive will change…. Hell, it IS changing, and fairly rapidly, until it is no longer of a balance that we can safely breathe; moreover, once begun, the process is irreversible. The process is beyond our capability of stopping… This is scientific FACT, not speculation, not a guess…. The process has already begun, the only question remaining is, how quickly will it happen?

“In the game of life you get to choose where you keep your brain – heads you win, tails you lose.” — Smart Bee

So, we’ll see where the POTUS keeps his brain, as he speaks in the next few days about this issue… Whatever he decides to do, I would be willing to bet that it won’t be enough, and it won’t make a damn bit of difference, other than in a few Presidential approval polls, perhaps. After all, even though he is a fairly reform-oriented politician, he is still a politician, and you can lay good money, without fear of losing, on the fact that whatever he does is designed to benefit him and his Presidency, and any benefit for the public is a secondary concern….

He IS a politician, after all, and his primary concern is for his own success; it’s NOT the welfare of the people… He has merely discovered that being the “People’s Champion” is currently a good political stance to take…. If it ever becomes too itchy a coat to wear, he will take it off in a heartbeat…. Count on it…. You don’t get to that level of the game without being a complete asshole in some respects, and I don’t think anyone who WANTS to be President can be accused of not being ambitious, and, in the process, sociopathic….

“No people in the world ever did achieve their freedom by goody-goody talk and moral suasion: it being immutable law that all revolutions that will succeed, must begin in blood, whatever the answer afterward. If history teaches anything, it teaches that.” — Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)

In this case, we aren’t talking about freedom, unless by that, one means the freedom to stay alive…. and the BRC isn’t going to do anything about it, I don’t believe…. Or, rather, I’ll believe it when I see it, and, so far, no dice in that respect. I’m enough of a cynic to believe, sadly, that it isn’t GOING to happen, either… because I don’t believe that the POTUS, or the rest of the BRC, gives a damn about the rest of us, as long as they have their own….. This much is obvious from history, but, when did mankind at large ever pay any attention to history?….

If you have some evidence that contradicts that belief, I would dearly love to see it…. Truly, I would, because, quite frankly, my own intelligence, and the evidence I have now, forces me to conclude that we humans are shortly about to come to a bad end…. not with a bang, not with a whimper, but, choking to death in our own planet’s toxic air, victims to our own stupidity, and cupidity….

Daniel: “We’re damned if we do, we’re damned if we don’t; we need other options…” — from Stargate
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The verses you see below are from the poem, The Waste Land, by T.S. Eliot…. which I thought would be the perfect poem to accompany my little politirant above…. but, it’s too long, so I’m including the most famous, and, most relevant, verses from the poem, and furnishing you with a link, should you wish to peruse the entire work; it’s pretty long, but well worth the time and effort to get all the way through…. But, I understand the limitations we all have on time, so, I give you this abbreviated version, and hope you enjoy it as much as I do…..

Excerpted from The Waste Land

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

~~ T.S. Eliot

Link to entire poem: The Waste Land
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Having ranted above, arguably, sufficiently unto the day, we will, of course, go old-school for the last pearl today…. I really like the harlequin style pearls that have been resulting of late from choosing pearls without any preconceived notions, so we’ll go with that technique again today…. after a short break to feed my remaining vice…. Enjoy!….

“In the beginning was the word. But by the time the second word was added to it, there was trouble. For with it came syntax…” — John Simon

“Those who have virtue always in their mouths, and neglect it in practice, are like a harp, which emits a sound pleasing to others, while itself is insensible of the music.” — Diogenes (B.C. 412-323)

“Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is it’s natural manure.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William S. Smith, Paris, Nov.  13, 1787

“Every sensible man, every honest man, must hold the Christian sect in horror. But what shall we substitute in its place? you say. What? A ferocious animal has sucked the blood of my relatives. I tell you to rid yourselves of this beast and you ask me what you shall put in its place?” — Voltaire

The soul’s dark cottage, batter’d and decay’d,
Lets in new light through chinks that Time has made.
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home:
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view
That stand upon the threshold of the new.

— Edmund Waller (1605-1687) — On the Divine Poems

“Reality?   Nope, not for me, …It makes me laugh.” — Smart Bee

As far as I can tell, this is just about a perfect seven star pearl…. The conclusion, of course, is left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader…..  🙂
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All in all, this didn’t come out too badly…. I’ll take it. It isn’t often it’s so clearly acceptable, but, hey, even this blog has to get it right occasionally, right? Right…. Hence, I send it on its way, to stand alone, just as if it was important, or even sane… We know better, though, don’t we? Fear not, I’ll never tell…. and, before I get fully into piffle mode, I will bid thee adieu until tomorrow….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Endless variations of spiral complexity….

Ffolkes,
If I can convince one more neuron to wake up and smell the coffee, I’d have a functional synapse, and I could get started. Sadly, none of them seem to want to join the party, so I’ll need a few moments here to gather up some wherewithal before I jump all the way in…..be right back….

Well, I managed to find a few old, semi-retired neurons sitting around in the corner of my mind, and convinced them to put in a couple hours for me. My mind feels as if it is an old four-cylinder Ford, started with a crank, and sputtering & coughing like an old sow, but it’s running, so I’ll take it…. not much choice at this time in the morning….

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

Now that I AM old, or at least nearly so, I am experiencing something I think everyone does at this age, to wit: surprise and dismay, both of which stem from the lack of material in the manual. You know, the manual we all are issued at birth, the one that tells us what we can expect at the various stages our lives go through. What manual?, you may ask….

Well, that’s another part of the problem here. Not only is the manual sadly lacking important information, but the process of issuing them is pretty hit and miss. I myself, like so many others, never did find the copy I was issued; it seems to have disappeared sometime before I learned to read. I’ve heard from others that the same is true for them; they never saw it. So, there is either a conspiracy, or the system has serious flaws.

I know I would have appreciated having a bit of advance knowledge of puberty; it might have made it seem less like unending purgatory. And a little notice of the trials and tribulations of male/female relationships would have come in very handy, too. Then, just when I get to an age where I begin to feel a little confidence in how much I know about life, age sets in, with all its glorious new physical challenges, mental strikes, functional failures, and internal issues. The whole bladder issue is one that nobody likes to talk about even when it is present; nobody gives any warning about it, that’s for sure…..

“Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.” — Andre Gide, Le traite du Narcisse

Ah well, I suppose that if there actually were a manual, most folks wouldn’t read it anyway… If computers are any indicator of how little people use the manuals that come with them, then we wouldn’t have the acronym RTFM as a common complaint amongst the geeks who fix computers….( RTFM = read the f___ing manual! ).

However, I would use it, even if no one else did; being part geek has given me some respect for manuals, though little of that is for those who write them. Those guys seem to delight in emulating Will Shakespeare, trying to make their manual more difficult to read than everyone else’s. I think there is a school in Japan dedicated to teaching students to torture the English language for use in technical manuals…..

Well, enough of this…. it’s all just a roundabout way of minimizing my daily morning complaints, most of which are age-related. It’s probably time we got to today’s program, or it won’t get done at all…. Shall we Pearl? Off we go then….
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In the 17th century, Kikaku, one of the ten disciples of the great Japanese poet Basho, composed a haiku:

Take a pair of wings
From a dragonfly, you would
Make a pepper-pod.

Basho told Kikaku: “That’s not a haiku. You kill the dragonfly.” Kikaku recomposed the lines:

Add a pair of wings
To a pepper-pod, you would
Make a dragonfly.

— Amal Naj, PEPPERS

I really don’t have any discussion here, except to say that I like the solution that Kikaku came up with to the criticism from Basho. I have to disagree slightly with his opinion as to what a haiku must be, but his genius lends power to that opinion, for sure. I like both of them, however…. and the contrast between the two is a clear indication of the power of words, and how they can express such different ideas using virtually the same words in a different pattern, changing only one word from one poem to the next…. exquisite!
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Being But Men

Being but men, we walked into the trees
Afraid, letting our syllables be soft
For fear of waking the rooks,
For fear of coming
Noiselessly into a world of wings and cries.

If we were children we might climb,
Catch the rooks sleeping, and break no twig,
And, after the soft ascent,
Thrust out our heads above the branches
To wonder at the unfailing stars.

Out of confusion, as the way is,
And the wonder, that man knows,
Out of the chaos would come bliss.

That, then, is loveliness, we said,
Children in wonder watching the stars,
Is the aim and the end.

Being but men, we walked into the trees.

Dylan Thomas

I’ve always liked the work of Dylan Thomas, though I find it to be a bit heavy on the emotional scale. His feeling for modern culture was precise as well as broad, and his style of writing strips bare the bones of reality to display the truth that hides there. This poem is one of his more elevated pieces, and as such it appeals to that side of my nature.  🙂  It’s also a good way to cut down on how much I have to write, as my words are less essential than decorative in such cases…. lazy, but efficient, yes?….
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“All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field.” — Albert Einstein

I have a lot of respect for Albert Einstein. I consider his time on Earth to be a perfect example of a life well lived, as his every action was based on reason and good will, and his dedication to the betterment of mankind was both constant and sincere. This observation of his is one of many that indicated that good will, as well as being an accurate description of reality in the political arena. Today’s headlines bear ample proof of that….

I read today that Mitt Romney has secured enough delegates to sew up the Republican nomination for the Presidential election coming in November of this year. This, to me, is both heartening and dismaying….

It is heartening because I believe firmly that as long as he continues to speak in public, he will continue to alienate and essentially “piss off” enough people to ensure a Democratic victory for the incumbent. Unless something drastic happens, like a five month case of laryngitis, that keeps him from speaking at all, he is bound to spout enough outrageous nonsense to sink his own boat. That much is certain, given his track record….

But, it is also dismaying, in that I cannot believe that there are that many people in this country who believe the tripe that he has been serving up for consumption. His stands on women’s rights, LGBT rights, same sex marriage, immigration, economics, foreign policy, separation of church and state, and almost every other subject that has come up are so far to the right, they can’t see the middle. It is frightening to think that there are so many millions of people who buy into this crap.

In reality, I probably shouldn’t be surprised, as I firmly believe there is no limit to human stupidity, but it is unsettling to say the least, to know that there are that many folks out there who refuse to use the few functioning neurons they possess for anything other than procuring food, and, unfortunately, breeding….

I’m trying to have some faith in the American voting public, but it scares me nonetheless, as faith is so often disappointed by reality. If the election is anything other than a landslide in favor of Obama, then my faith will have been unfounded. I find it unacceptable in any way to contemplate Romney in the Oval Office; we would be involved in a war within days, and probably with our own citizens. Society will dissolve into its various parts, and conflict will be rife amongst all of those segments. Almost every word that escapes Mitt’s lips is divisive, elitist, and discriminatory against one part of society or another, and his administration would create that atmosphere with every ill-considered act.

I hope I’m wrong in my fears. I don’t think I am, but hope so, for if what I think could happen does happen, then the world will become a much more dangerous place to live. If the Republican party regains control of this country, I can see revolution not far off, as the underlying conflict between the forces of ignorance and those of reason will be facing each other on a daily basis, and that can only lead to conflict.

So, let’s pay attention ffolkes, and make sure to register, and to vote. Either way, I’ll be stocking up on ammunition, tightening my own security procedures, and hoping I never need to employ any of them….
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Well, that was a polite little rant, wasn’t it? And I didn’t even call any names! Perhaps aging has mellowed me a bit…. Nah! No way…. Only one day to go to payday, so things are moving along nicely, and I can look forward to eating tomorrow….  🙂    Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Sagacity or primitive speculation, unveiled….

Ffolkes,
For a bit over a year now, I’ve been writing about fifteen hundred words a day, spread among different Pearls, articles, and blog posts for different sites. Over the last few weeks, I’ve noted a bit more of a struggle to get it done than previously; fresh ideas are getting harder to dredge up from the confines of my mind, and I suspect that the well is getting a bit dry, as I’ve been drawing on it heavily for some time now. I’m not sure what to do about it; I can’t stop writing, or I’ll become even more of a curmudgeon than is already the case. I guess I’ll just keep on plugging away, and see what develops……
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“In ecology, as in economics, TANSTAAFL (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free  Lunch) is intended to warn that every gain is won at some cost. Failure to recognize the no free lunch law causes the buffalo-hunter mentality syndrome — the unthinking assumption that there will always be plenty because there always has been plenty.” — Dr. Robert W. Prehoda

Today’s society still suffers from Codyism (buffalo hunter’s syndrome); as a matter of fact, Codyism is one of the primary pillars upon which capitalism exists. For capitalism to function correctly, it must have a constant source of new markets into which it can expand. Without constant growth, the system begins to feed upon itself, and falls into chaos quickly. But none of the folks who are invested in propping it up want to believe that the resources of the planet are limited. As far as they’re concerned, there is no end to what can be created from the resources at hand; what they refuse to understand is that in the very near future, those resources will no longer be at hand. And since we have yet to learn how to create more resources from nothing, they won’t be coming back. When the finite limits of the planet have been reached, it’s going to be a big shock to to all the Bill Codys out there, counting on the buffalo to return. But, y’know what? That’s never going to happen, and wishing won’t make it so…..
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The only problem
with Haiku is that you just
get started and then
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Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering. — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

Most of us probably lost the ability to do this around the age of 11 or 12; after that we’ were all too busy dealing with hormonal storms to spend a lot of time soothing our souls. And it’s unfortunate that so many never again learn to find this particular spot in their psyche, a loss they feel without understanding why. Only the wisest know that finding our way back to this childish peace of mind is one of the most important tasks we can perform as an adult.

Being able to tap into the serenity and joy that naturally accompanies any trip down this path is a valuable skill, one that everyone needs to cultivate as a method for relieving the stress and anxiety that everyday life creates within all of us. Albert Einstein found a marvelous way to walk this path when he said, “I stopped opening my mail a couple of months ago, and I’ve never felt better in my life!” (Or something like that….it’s close…) We can all take this as good advice (except perhaps, for those who send mail; they might find this somewhat stressful)…..doing nothing can be good medicine for the modern spirit, despite what you may have heard about idle hands…….
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Christian, n.:  One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

This will possibly offend the Christians out there. For that I have no apology, for I don’t believe either of these definitions is very far from truth; I’m just not convinced that faith has shown itself to be a motivation for integrity. More often it is used as motivation for proselytizing.  As a matter of fact, I’d say that about 98% of the Christians I know would fall into one of these two categories. And I would also challenge any of those Christians to mitigate their anger until they have made a complete self-analysis, and found whether or not it applies to them.  After doing so, I would welcome any evidence they might have to present that would disprove these assertions. I don’t think I’ll be hearing from very many of them…..or, if I do, their arguments won’t have any relation to these statements, or resemble ‘evidence’ any way but superficially, but will instead make a personal attack on the author. Any bets?…..
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No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. — The Constitution of the United States of America Amendment 5, 1791

It galls me to have to say it, but……another one bites the dust……I’ve been writing about this all week, and will continue to do so until the NDAA is repealed. I want my Bill of Rights back!……
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I see something at the end of the tunnel. I’m not sure it’s a light, though. Might just be a fig newton of my imagination……at any rate, another day is dawning, and is demanding my attention. Since I’ve been cranking on this since about 4:15 AM, I suppose I can finish up and get on with it. Two hours isn’t bad, compared to some mornings of late. I hope your day goes well…..try to have some fun. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!