Cream pie has no observable limits….

Ffolkes,

“My nose feels like a bad Ronald Reagan movie…”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

animals-frog_uktel-8-4-15

“Do ya think they’ll let us enter the Iditarod, Alonzo?”

Image from the UK Telegraph 8-4-2015


Good morning…. You may have noted the absence of the little pieces of ASCII art I was planning to include here from now on…. That’s because I don’t speak HTML, and couldn’t figure out how to enlarge them on the final viewing page of the posts; all I could get them to do was show up in their smallest incarnation, which was way too small…. So, they’re history, and I say that with gusto and aplomb, just as if anyone had really noticed, or gave a rat’s ass….

Oh! Wasn’t THAT lovely!…. Okay, ffolkes, I’m here, but, I don’t think I’d go any further than that. (And, probably shouldn’t even try….) But, I’m up, at 0230 again, so….. If I have to be here, somebody’s going to pay!…. I’ll try not to make it my Gentle Readers, but, I’d stay alert, if I were y’all. I’m afraid, in this mood, I can be a bit unpredictable….

Oh, nobody’s in any real physical danger (unless, of course, they panic at loud noises, or can’t find any appreciation at having to absorb a few minor blows to the head….), but, the stress levels have been known to top out the scale on occasion; it’s really no problem, as we offer Valium for those of our readers who need it, or, even, want it. We’re not your mother…

Nor are we particularly sane at this point in time (like that wasn’t already clear!…). Of course, sanity is a bit of a slippery concept around here, anyway, (hell, it’s not even included in the insurance!), so, none of that is of any particular significance…. Actually, I guess we COULD say that NONE of the above has any particular significance, and, we’d be right about that, too. We like being right, it’s so much easier, and cheaper, than being left.

Okay, that’s it. I’ve crossed the line, again. I’m making an executive (i.e., ruthless) decision, to get us the hell out of here before we manage to do something that could stimulate litigation. We HATE that! (Who doesn’t?…) Okay, I’m done. Let’s get on with this mess, okay?….

Shall we Pearl?….

“A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.” — Knights of Pythagoras

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elvira-madigan-photo

Image from listal.com via Google Images


This will, no doubt, remove any covers I may have had for my romantic nature, which, due to extensive training as a curmudgeon, I try to conceal as best I can… This piece was sent to me a few days ago by a friend, and I was so enchanted, I decided to include it for the enjoyment of my Gentle Readers…. If you can’t find it in yourself to sigh a couple times, and to feel some joy at the music and story, well, y’all need to lighten up… Enjoy!….

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Elvira Madigan -Piano Concerto No.21

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Sandclock .jpg

    As the iconic picture above indicates to those Gentle Readers who inexplicably frequent this blog, we’ll be dipping into the archives today. It’s not that I don’t have time to write a fresh rant; in fact, I have one in progress. But, it’s looking as if it won’t be done soon enough, as it keeps growing on me. So, I’ll do the exact thing tomorrow’s rant will address, and cheat….. This is a little follow-up to a religirant from the day previous to the date you see below; it’s pretty light, all things considered, so, enjoy the day off from wearing your thinking caps….

From 9/8/2012:

It is popularly supposed that between those who use the word “God” and those who do not there is some great gulf.  But the gulf lies elsewhere.  It lies between those who dogmatize, either positively or negatively, and those who recognize in great humility that something within them bears witness to realities which may be momentous in our lives, but which lie beyond the grasping net of our categories of thought. — Smart Bee

Yet more proof of Murphy’s presence in Life…. or, in my life, anyway….. Yesterday I wrote about this subject, expounding as I am wont to do with no little enthusiasm, trying to bring some clarity to a naturally murky subject (it’s hard to pin down anything solidly when the subject under discussion is a matter of conjecture, not physically present to be examined….). Then, later in the day, I come across this one short paragraph, that summarizes my 3-400 words succinctly in three lines, and very clearly, for all its brevity. SIGH….. So much for originality, eh? Though I don’t know who said it, I salute them….

“In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time.” — Edward P. Tryon

Once more, I have to agree with the author, especially as it gives a sort of pat on the shoulder to the paragraph above, as if sharing an obvious point. Serendipity, I say, and well met….

“When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.” — Bernard Bailey

This one, when viewed in light of the previous two quotes, made me smile, big….. now, why is that? Because when he says a lot, he means, A LOT OF PEOPLE!…..

“And don’t tell me God works in mysterious ways, Yossarian continued There’s nothing mysterious about it, He’s not working at all. He’s playing. Or else He’s forgotten all about us. That’s the kind of God you people talk about, a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?” — Joseph Heller, Catch 22

Funny how people under stress always get so close to the truth; it makes the one who hears it more nervous and upset than he who said it…. or it that just me? Of course it is…. Why shouldn’t it be me? What’s the matter with me? Don’t you like me?….. Sorry…. any who, let’s see what else the magic can find….

“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

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

~~ T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” ~~


I’m not sure why, but this excerpt from T.S. Eliot seems to be the perfect finishing line for the above meandering treatise…. and it is as close to a verifiable point as we’re going to get today, I can tell…. so, best leave it be for now, and go on to something else…. Or, in this case, to something the same….

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Comedy_Tragedy

    Today’s poem was chosen merely because it’s the one which hasn’t been used for the longest time; last posted in 2013, this one is one of my personal favorites, no matter how it compares qualitatively with any of the others…. I hope you enjoy it….

Unheralded Sagacity…


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

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

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

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

Illumination…..

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 4/17/2013.

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pearls_3

    Today’s final pearl is pretty typical; it speaks about some of those things in life it can be important to remember, in order to live the life we choose to live…. Well, in one sense, I suppose we all do that, whether we choose or not; not choosing is also a choice…. But, I digress…. Enjoy, ffolkes; once you get past this, it’s a piece o’cake….

“If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat.” — Smart Bee

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are.” — Henry Van Dyke

“Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.” — Bertold Brecht

“To be able to say how much love, is love but little.” — Petrarch

It is a man”‘s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.” — Buddha

“The choices we make dictate the life we lead. There is no destiny; you make your own fate.” — Smart Bee

“Truth is always exciting. Speak it, then. Life is boring without it.” — Pearl S. Buck

If of all words of tongue and pen,
 The saddest are, `It might have been,’
 More sad are these we daily see:
 `It is, but hadn’t ought to be.’

~~ Francis Brett Harte ~~


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Not only a piece o’cake, but, chocolate marble cake with a caramel-buttercream frosting!…. Yum! Unless, of course, you’d prefer the German Chocolate, which we keep on hand. No? Too early for that much sugar? No worries; it’ll keep. Having completed my self-inflicted duty, so will I, until tomorrow, when I’ll get up at goodness knows what hour to begin all this again…. Oh, yay. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; I don’t see any way I can get out of it….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

Just fill in the holes, William….

Ffolkes,
And then, I woke up….. afraid….. SIGH…..

I had hoped to never find myself in this position again, but, that was apparently wishful thinking, at best. I really don’t enjoy some parts of my PTSD symptoms; actually, I don’t really enjoy ANY of the symptoms I experience in that respect. Tears and emotional lability sometimes, depression others, and in between, just a bunch of anxiety and near panic attacks, for good measure, as it is said…. Who says it, I don’t know, but, you hear it all the time…. None of which is of any particular moment to me just now, as I am sitting here struggling with my emotions, trying to keep them out of my head, so they won’t make me cry (for no apparent reason I can see…..)…. Ah shit, it’s not working…. I’ll be back….

Sorry ’bout that…. I had thought, what with all the money, and cruising, and general gaiety going around, I would be immune from such attacks, but, I guess not…. Fuck, fuck, fuck….. Actually, I know why this is happening, and I’m not happy about the reason. I have an appointment with my doctor to discuss medications, and I am worried that he is going to turn conservative on me, and start getting all weird about my use of drugs that are not what he prescribes, exactly…. Unfortunately, discussing this in a public venue could conceivably have bad results, so I can’t really go into it much…. suffice it to say that my own doctor is the one causing this anxiety in me, and I need to do something about it, today…..

I can see that this is getting a bit sticky, and obscure, so I’m going on into the pearling process now, before I lose all control, of myself, and this Pearl. I hate to do this, but, I’m going to surgically excise any further nonsense in the intro section, and get on with the dive for today, before I seize up and get really weird… It’s been known to happen on such days….. For now, let’s get on with it….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Will this never-ending series of PLEASURABLE EVENTS never cease?” — Zippy the Pinhead

http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Damaging-storms-moving-through-east-south-4569342.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Quakes-kill-2-in-Taiwan-injure-33-in-Philippines-4569405.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/UK-politicians-caught-in-lobbying-scandal-4569418.php

http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/Apple-antitrust-suit-over-e-books-set-for-NY-trial-4569709.php

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/4-wounded-in-3-Oakland-shootings-4569499.php

“One U.S. lawmaker has been to Bangladesh since the collapse of the Rana Plaza building on April 24, 2013, killing, at last count, 1,129 garment workers. That would be Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, who returned to the Bay Area Thursday after a week of meetings with government officials, garment factory owners, and survivors of the building’s collapse.

He had harsh words for Gap and Walmart, who have refused to sign a legally binding Bangladesh safety accord. “It’s very clear whether you are Walmart or you’re the Gap, you have to make a decision now whether you want to have blood on your labels. The fact is, they’ve led this race to the bottom over many years and it has led to this dangerous situation in the industry.”
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The foregoing are all taken from the news in northern California on Sunday, June 2, 2013. I collected them because I was struck by how the batch of them, taken together, is almost surreal in its degree of negativity. 13 dead in storms; 2 dead, 35 injured in quakes; politicians taking money (gasp! what will they do next?); Apple and publishers conspiring to steal money from consumers (another gasp!…); 4 wounded in shootings….. and OVER A THOUSAND garment workers dead, crushed and/or burned up in a building that collapsed, because the builders cheated on the materials, the owners didn’t care, and no safety measures were in place at all. The owners/operators crammed about five times the safe number of people and machines in the facility to grind out more cheap stuff for the big stores to sell. So many people, and so much machinery and materials, the building collapsed.

Garment workers…. That’s a nice, impersonal title, don’t you think? Not bad to describe, and disconnect from, the OVER A THOUSAND human beings who died there, all of them so poor they had to cram into one building with no possible escape, just to earn a starving wage, so fat white folks can make more money off the cheap stuff they’re making…. But, hey, they’re just gooks, right, not even Christians, or white, or anything, so it’s not like it counts, or anything like that, is it?…. Hell, most of ’em were probably women and children anyway, living on welfare…..

“Will it improve my CASH FLOW?” — Zippy the Pinhead

One day’s worth of headlines… I can’t wait to see tomorrow’s leading stories….. Somehow, I don’t think they will provide any of the balance so badly needed, unless, of course, the aliens land, and give us the answers to all the tough questions. The odds on that are slim, at best, so I think I’ll just try to not read them any more…. Of course, then I won’t know just when it all is going to finally collapse, will I? Oh well, I’ll just have to remember to read the comics first, I guess….

“… if the democratic nations fail, their failure must be partly attributed to the faulty strategy of idealists who have too many illusions when they face realists who have too little conscience.” — Reinhold Niebuhr

The world is currently in what Robert Heinlein used to call “The Crazy Years”, merrily going to hell in a handbasket; the above headlines are proof positive that we are a society out of control, with no apparent way back to any sort of sanity. I don’t know at this point if there is any chance to pull ourselves back from the brink of extinction, not with the way things have proceeded thus far. And, to be frank, it would, and will be, our just desserts, for all the lack of understanding and wrongheadedness we have displayed in our sad history….. Ah well, it must be time for a nap……

If of all words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are, `It might have been,’
More sad are these we daily see:
`It is, but hadn’t ought to be.’

— Francis Brett Harte
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Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet, has been in the news of late; apparently, he didn’t die of prostate cancer, as first reported when he died, but, may have been murdered by a CIA operative on the orders of the dictator of Chile at the time, Augusto Pinochet…. His body has been exhumed, and forensic scientists are examining his remains for poisons, and/or signs of terminal cancer…. Results are pending…. Regardless of all that, he was an exemplary poet, and great philosopher, in my opinion…. Here is one of his works that seemed to speak to my mood today….. It’s a bit grim, but, sometimes, we need grim….

A Song Of Despair

The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
From you the wings of the song birds rose.

You swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!

It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.

Pilot’s dread, fury of blind driver,
turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

I made the wall of shadow draw back,
beyond desire and act, I walked on.

Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you.

Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness.
and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar.

There was the black solitude of the islands,
and there, woman of love, your arms took me in.

There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.
There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle.

Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me
in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms!

How terrible and brief my desire was to you!
How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.

Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,
still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.

Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,
oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.

Oh the mad coupling of hope and force
in which we merged and despaired.

And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.
And the word scarcely begun on the lips.

This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing,
and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!

Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you,
what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned!

From billow to billow you still called and sang.
Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel.

You still flowered in songs, you still brake the currents.
Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well.

Pale blind diver, luckless slinger,
lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
which the night fastens to all the timetables.

The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.
Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands.

Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything.

It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!

~~ Pablo Neruda ~~

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I have a lot to do today, and need to get started early to get it all done… so, I’m cheating here, but in a good way. This is a Pearl from November of 2011… Much of it is apparently written around the same subject as discussed in section one of today’s effort, so I’m including it here, to save myself some time, and give y’all a bit of contrasting text to compare…. You can check for me to see if what I wrote then is consistent with what was done today, or if it was better, or worse…. Whatever it was, it’s a bit long, so, here it is, so you can get started…. It’s long, I know, but not bad, so, enjoy….. please….

11/16/11
Ffolkes,
Good morrow to you…..let us begin as we mean to go on…..

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” — Gene Fowler

This line is included today merely to give y’all an idea of what I go through every morning to produce this…..whatever it is. It is a pretty good description, actually, because when I’m done, I actually feel battered and bloody. Bloody well used up is what it is. Maybe it’s easier for other writers; I don’t know. But for me, to produce something that my standards will allow me to publish for others to read, is much like having a piece of my soul ripped out. The funny thing is, though it hurts a lot, I wouldn’t stop doing it, even if I could. The pain of creation, which after all requires destruction first, is a worthy payoff for the sense of accomplishment I get when I see one of my pieces online for all to see. Quite a rush actually…..

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” — Aldous Huxley

This observation, as far as I can tell, is 100% accurate, and because it is, many of the problems society is facing are easily explained, if not easily resolved. For example, when was the last time you gave a thought to what else besides oxygen is in the air that you take into your lungs on the average of 15-20 times per minute.? When you last got a glass of water from the tap, did you stop to think about what was in the water you use to drink, cook with, and bathe in? As Mr. Huxley pointed out, most folks, yourselves included, seldom think about or appreciate such simple necessities, or what might happen if they were no longer available.

What will we do when the air is so full of carbon dioxide that the amount of oxygen in it is decreased below the point where it will sustain life? Will we all have to wear breathing apparatus in order to brave the outside world? What will happen to all the other animals if there isn’t sufficient air? What will you do when the water you drink is no longer safe to consume? We need water as much as we need air; our chemical make-up is 90% water, and not having enough of it to replace what we lose is a sure path to the grave within a matter of days.

There are other issues connected to this subject; the consistent degradation of our planet’s ecosystem has a great many negative effects, small and unnoticeable at first, but growing larger over time until they are added to the list of processes that will eventually lead to extinction of all of this planet’s life forms.  Part of the problem is that it is a slow, insidious process, this degradation, and the deleterious outcomes are not evident until too late to reverse.

And remember, the Universe doesn’t care, one way or the other, whether we survive or not; the rules are the rules, and fighting against the natural laws of our space-time continuum is a fool’s bet. Like it or not, we, as a species, are going to need to make some serious changes to the way we do things, if we are to survive at all. And we will need to do it starting yesterday…..

“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.  Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” — Albert Einstein

I really admire Albert Einstein, and not because he was a great scientist, as well as one of history’s shining examples of men and women who greatly advance human knowledge, and do so out of their love of mankind. Albert’s wisdom was not restricted to the principles of physics and math; he had a unique way of looking at the world, and the ability to share their deep insights into life and the universe for the benefit of others. He was an eternal optimist, and as the above quote demonstrates, had a firm grip on the concept of living with honor and dignity.

He believed in the inherent goodness of every man, and lived his life in a way that it stands as an example for the rest of us. I cannot wholly agree with what he states above, because I have a much darker view of what human nature is capable of, and less faith in mankind’s willingness to submit to natural law. But what he said does show with clarity where our salvation lies, and in his own inimitable manner, he shares his deeper knowledge with the rest of us in the hope it will inspire others to act honorably……

“To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sing with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier: this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

From what I gather in my study of 19th century American writers, a lot of the best were what I would call masters of advanced curmudgeonry. Emerson, Walden, Thoreau,  were all libertarians living in compromise with a democracy, and spent much of their time either complaining about society, or hiding from it in their forest retreats. This is not to say that what they wrote was bad or mistaken in premise, necessarily, but if you read their work with this in mind, it becomes apparent that they didn’t much like other folks, or put much trust in their rationality.

But, as the included quote indicates, being a curmudgeon doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t understand humanity, or what it takes to make life complete. This paragraph from Mr. Emerson demonstrates this perfectly. One cannot argue with conviction that all of these attributes listed, and experiences from a long life, are positively rooted, and make perfect sense. Whether or not we actually have all of these characteristics is unimportant; the list remains valid even if incomplete. And it provides anyone with a good map and directions that can be useful to us in our pursuit of happiness…..

So much for another day…..Hopefully, you have consumed a fair portion of food for thought, and found it palatable enough. If not, feel free to let me know, and I’ll see if I can come up with something more savory….in the meantime, y’all take care out there….
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I can’t say that was entirely painless, but, it’s done, and thus joins the ranks of so many others that have been thrown out there for y’all to peruse, and abuse, if you must…. Once they leave here, I have little control over that, so I’m becoming a fatalist in that respect…. So, we’ll leave this one to its fate, and go on with the day’s business……  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3