Tossing beans with butter, in a bowl….

Ffolkes,

Late, again…. Fuck it, I’m not even going to worry about it a little bit; whatever happens, happens. I’m too bloody grumpy to care, so, it’s just as well I’m giving up right out of the gate…. I have the distinct feeling that if I made any attempt to be normal, not only would it fail, but, the Universe at large would enjoy a huge guffaw at my expense…. with which, I’m sorry to say, I’m becoming all too familiar…. Murphy’s myrmidons must get promoted by merit, because each bloody one of them laughs harder than the last one, whenever they’re around at those moments I try for normalcy…. Bloody assholes, every damn one of them….

There, now that I’ve whined enough, we can start the day with a different tenor…. How about a bit of fiction? Let’s see….

Harry couldn’t figure out if he should knock at the front, or go around to the back door, where all the servants entered the house…. He knew, as he’d been watching all morning, screwing up his courage to approach the magnificent edifice, standing in all it’s Victorian elegance on the corner of Harper and Main…. Harper House, home to the rich, powerful Harper family, the original settlers of the town, way back in colonial days, had stood on that corner since its construction in 1802, by Hiram Harper, the first white man to settle in the valley. It was 1797, when he walked over Harper Mountain, & got his first view of the valley below, spreading out to the south, trees covering the slopes, with leaves gilded from the sun, shining down with strong promises made to the future….

Well…. that was…. something. Not particularly gripping, but, not too bad…. It sets a stage, and paints a picture, but, I’m not sure I’m happy with the flow, or the elegance…. Oh well, for an early morning throw-away, it’s not bad…. and it did get us this far down the page…. Today, that’s a big help, as my brain isn’t cooperating…. I guess I’m a little excited (and when I say stuff like that, I feel six years old again, but, hey, old age is known to cause its victims to display a retreat to a younger time, when we could actually walk to another part of the house without having to make a plan for the return trip….), because my daughter is coming by today, and we’re going to go to dinner with my son, her brother, and hopefully, his new friend(s)….

Since I am so excited about this evening, I am in a quandary this morning, as I just can’t seem to get going on this…. Oh well, this calls for the immediate application of an emergency bail-out method, and, I’m thinking, #4 is always the most effective, so…. hang on, and we’ll apply that…. NOW….

Shall we Pearl?….

“My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests.” — George Santayana

(I’m encouraged now…. finding that quote so quickly gives me hope for the rest of this mess…. I hope it’s an indication that Murphy has taken his leave for now, and the rest of this will be left alone…. we can always hope, can’t we?…. Onward, with new bravery…. Huzzah!…..)

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http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Expert-witness-in-toy-gun-case-has-history-of-5614736.php

When I saw this, I became somewhat depressed…. It’s absolute truth; you can tell. This guy, this “expert witness” is nothing more than a shill, whom the courts and the police have been using to defend the indefensible for years….. In those instances where officers use their weapons, this guy has been set up as a final judge of the events that lead up to the incidents, whose word is the equivalent to law, in essence, as it is given more credence than even scientific evidence…. which is a crock, and they know it…. It’s a disturbing thing to find out, as it gives more evidence of how the courts, the police, and the government at large is ignoring or obstructing the issue of police militarization, one I see as a distinctly egregious problem, and one that really NEEDS to be watched….

In fact, this whole idea, of having such an obviously biased individual being given priority in court, makes me so angry, I’m having trouble organizing my arguments…. There are just SO MANY moral and ethical objections to such an event, I can’t decide where to begin…. So, instead, I’ll ask you to read the article, and make your own arguments…. It isn’t hard, particularly…. they are so fucking OBVIOUSLY prejudiced, you’ll find some objections, I’m sure…. Me, I’m going to raid the archives, for something that won’t make my stomach so damned upset, or at least, that won’t offend my sensibilities so badly….

Ah, here we go….. y’all enjoy this, ffolkes, I’m going to go calm down for a few minutes, before I try to deal with poetry…..

From 12/22/2012, a very numerological day…. It’s almost a poem, stated out loud…. One two, two two, two oh one two…. pretty cool, eh? Okay, I’ll stop now…. read on, ffolkes, it’s a fun one… (a Funyun?….):

“Unknowingly, we plow the dust of stars, blown about us by the wind, and drink the universe in a glass of rain.” — Ihab Hassan

What a beautiful line! I wasn’t sure when I saved it last night just what kind of pearl it would make, but it creates such a beautiful image in the mind, I couldn’t resist. I suppose it makes a fine contrast to how I feel just now, and as such, can be used to demonstrate how our attitudes are under our control, if we but choose to assume it…..

I feel like shit, emotionally, for various reasons, and that is reflected in my attitude toward the day; I don’t want to face it. I’d like to be able to just turn it all off, and go visit a friend somewhere far away. But, being stuck here, waiting for relief from my financial limitations, keeps me on the edge of depression, as well as keeping me in place…. If only for the time it takes to read, and contemplate this line, beauty takes over, and my thoughts and attitude undergo a marked change for the better. All it takes is a reminder of what we always have as creatures of this reality, our potential for grace.

“Grace”. Interesting word, that…. I like what it implies, the feeling of being connected to the universe, and enjoying that tie for the joy it can bring. To live in grace means to act rightly, surrounding oneself with beauty, increasing the joy in life by living it well, passionately, with compassion and humility. I can understand how religious folks would seek to receive such from the practice of their faith, though I can’t agree with them about exactly where grace comes from. They seem to believe that it is something given to them, as a reward for their faith, when in reality, it is something they have to learn to give, and can only be found inside themselves, because that is where it always is…. It just isn’t always free to let itself be known….

“The supreme irony of life is hardly anyone ever gets out of it alive.” — Robert Heinlein

Perspective…. the proper perspective can be hard to find, and it is good when such can be provided for us by a simple phrase, like this one, and the first one, above. The first phrase tells us to remember there are two sides to life, and only one side is inherently painful. This quote, from the Grand Master, is a reminder to SEEK perspective, and is one nobody should ever lose track of, as it is universally applicable. One may, at least temporarily, find ways to avoid paying taxes, but there is no avoiding death…. none.

Mere contemplation of our own death is a sure way to gain perspective. It may not always be the most amenable, or comfortable perspective, but it is the most truthful that can be acquired, without exception. Nothing will ground us better than thinking about our own demise, as there is no room for anything but truth when dealing with the whole concept. Anything less than the truth just fails to compute….. Not the most comforting line of thought, unless one has learned not to fear death, but, who is ever very successful at that? I mean, that’s why there are so many different religions out there, all offering their own way of dealing with that fear…. they’re just not very good at it. Well, not very truthful, anyway….

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — W. W. Zeige

I’m not sure whether I can truthfully classify this as a pearl. The criteria for that decision  are pretty loose, all in all, so it will fit in that respect. But, I do rather like to make some valid point, and this one doesn’t seem to have one I can find offhand. We humans spend a lot of our mental energy on stuff like this, which may be a clue as to the whole problem of the inability of so many of us to cope with reality without some kind of crutch, or without letting someone else do our thinking for us. That isn’t a danger for me, thank goodness, but most of humanity seems to fall into that pattern, and that, in itself, presents me with perspective issues, as mine differs radically from most everyone in the mainstream of society.

Oh, there are a lot more ffolkes such as myself out there; WordPress is proof enough of that. But, the major percentage of the population of this country generally prefers not to have to exercise their mental muscles any more than is absolutely necessary. Whether the inertial momentum that is built up by such a large percentage is amenable to adjustment remains to be seen, and all we can do is our best, to spread the virus of rational thought as far as we can….. “You’re our only hope, Obi-wan!”……

“I feel better about world problems now!” — Zippy the Pinhead

And, so do I! Shall we move on?…..

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I’m not sure yet what will go here, so, you’ll just have to wait…. Hey, I’m waiting, too!…. Okay, waiting done…. If you’ve been here with any regularity, you’ll know who I will pick, for, when there is any question about it, I always turn to her…. It’s Emily, of course…. writing on a subject very near, if not dear, to my heart….

The hallowing of pain

The hallowing of Pain
Like hallowing of Heaven,
Obtains at a corporeal cost —
The Summit is not given

To Him who strives severe
At middle of the Hill —
But He who has achieved the Top —
All — is the price of All —
     
~~Emily Dickinson ~~

emily icon
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This old school pearl has been collected with parameters that should, hopefully, cause some fairly steady bleeding among our Beloved Ruling Class, should any of them happen to see it…. I found the first couple of pearls sitting here, having obviously been collected previously, with that in mind… Well, so be it…. I never block any of my impulses, if I can keep from doing so…. and this one will, no doubt, be a good one, pointed and sharp, just the way I like them…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. I intend to….. Oh, also…. this will be a rare pearl, a nine-star, just because, when I use nine, the pattern of the wounds makes such a lovely design on their bodies….

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” — Samuel Johnson

(I know…. I said this pearl would be taking shots at the BRC, and asininnies in general…. But, read that line again, and tell me you don’t automatically think of politicians…. I know I do, because the phrase accurately describes no other segment of our society better, than it does those whom we have elected…. Sad, I know, but, all too true….)

“Most people seem to think that trampling individual rights is OK if it is “for the good of society as a whole.”  However, society is but a large number of individuals, and how can harming the individual parts better the whole?” — Andrew Ford, forda@agcs.com

“The First Amendment does not say that there is freedom of expression provided the talk is not `dangerous’. It does not say that there is freedom of expression provided the utterance has no tendency to subvert. It does not put free speech and freedom of the press in the category of housing, sanitation, hours of work, factory conditions, and the like, and make it subject to regulation for the public good. Nor does it permit legislative restraint of freedom of expression so long as the regulation does not offend due process. All notions of regulation or restraint by government are absent from the First Amendment. For it says in words that are unambiguous, `Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.'” — Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, 1958

“A politician will always tip off his true belief by stating the opposite at the beginning of the sentence.  For maximum comprehension, do not start listening until the first clause is concluded.  Begin instead at the word “but” which begins the second, or active, clause.  This is the way to tell a liberal from a conservative–before they tell you.  Thus: “I have always believed in a strong national defense, second to none, but … ” (a liberal, about to propose a $20 billion defense cut).” — Frank Mankiewicz

(Don’t worry about the labels here, ffolkes…. Mr. Mankiewicz seems to show a bit of bias toward conservatism…. but, it’s still true…. liberal, conservative, whatever…. they ALL do this….)

“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!” — Albert Einstein

“If God wanted us to have a President, He would have sent us a candidate.” — Jerry Dreshfield

“A conservative is a man who wants the rules changed so no one can make a pile the way he did.” — Gregory Nunn

“Curse all his virtues! they’ve undone his country.” — Joseph Addison (1672-1719) — Cato, Act iv, Sc. 4

(I really do love irony…. and, its twin sister, sarcasm…. When both are used in conjunction with hyperbole, well…. awesome is the word that comes to mind for me…..)

“Do not speak of what men deserve.   For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead Kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved?  Will you punish us for that?  Will you reward us for  the virtue of starving while others ate?  No man earns punishment, no man earns reward.  Free your mind of the idea of *deserving*, of *earning*, and  you will begin to be able to think.” — Odo, The Prison Letters (Ursula LeGuin, _The Dispossessed_)

I probably don’t need to mention (to this crowd…) that, learning to think in this fashion makes it much simpler to perceive the lies and oppression that the BRC and Asininnies spread around like the clap…. with exactly the same effect on society as that dreaded bacteria has on an individual, if not treated…. sickness, isolation, loss of self and others, and eventual death, from either the disease itself, or the loneliness it can engender in its victims….. Sadly, most of society hasn’t even a clue they’ve been infected by their own leaders, so, no treatment is even considered necessary…. which, as noted, will eventually lead to…. what was that? Oh, yeah….. DEATH….

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It may not be the best Pearl I’ve ever done, but, it has the one primary characteristic that makes it good enough…. it’s done. I can’t do any more damage to it; it’s already dead. So, I’m going to post the corpus, and hope for the best before it starts to deteriorate…. At least I know it won’t smell bad…. at least, not until the technology advances to the point of making what we see on our comps complete with information for the other senses…. i.e. “sensies”, Virtual Reality complete with smells, touch, sounds, sights, and tastes….. Boy, once that happens, we all will need to be more careful about what we leave lying around, won’t we?  Until then, this will do…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I’m not in jail….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

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Standing by with unqualified operators….

Ffolkes,
Well, let’s see what kind of trouble I can get into this morning….. Murphy threw cold water in my face today, precisely at 0437…. That’s in the AM, by the way, in case the use of military time didn’t clue you.  He didn’t bother to explain why, just grinned at me, then disappeared, so I’m sure he’s got some sort of booby trap set up for me, to hit me when I’ve relaxed and forgotten about him. SIGH…. there are times, such as this, when I wonder what life might be like without his unkind attentions, and though it might affect the balance of the universe somehow if he weren’t around to see to that, I’d be willing to try it out, just to see if I could deal with it any better than I do with him dogging me…. In fact, I’d give serious money to try it…..

Sadly for me, money won’t buy my freedom from Reality, or the elements of Chaos and Entropy that are as much a part of life as are Order and Beauty….. There are people who believe that money CAN buy happiness, but they are deluded, and exist in a way that prevents them from ever really connecting with the universe deeply, or experiencing the finer parts of life, that only come when one is open to compassion and love. Moreover, they are completely unaware that they are missing out on anything….. I suppose that means that I must once again come to my own terms with the events that Murphy perpetrates in my life, and just smile as if it didn’t hurt…. For me, the alternative is unacceptable….

Wow, how did I get so serious? It’s too early to rant; even I have limits, and two paragraphs in is NOT where I like to begin letting it all hang out, even if the target deserves it…. Hell, I’m barely awake, even though I’ve been up an hour now, and have sucked down an appropriate amount of coffee. I’m so out of it, actually, that I just tried to think of a joke to put in here, and it caused a stabbing pain right behind my eyes, like I’d been struck by a brilliant blast of light right in the face, or a left fist to the temple…. ouch!…. Maybe serious isn’t so bad….

Nah, I’m not in a serious mood…. Of late, I’m experiencing a bit of how the universe maintains balance over the long run, as the past two and a half years of relative misery is countered by a period of positive support by reality, in the form of an influx of resources.

I’ve been steadily using those resources to set up my life for retirement on a different level than it has been thus far, and the concomitant release of built up stress is delightful, as well as liberating…. I’m only glad I am able to appreciate it; I’ve known many people who would complain about even good things that happened to them, but, as I’ve said before, I’m not one to look a gift frog in the gums…..

Why is it that the quality of what I write in the intro is so variable? I can’t seem to find a method, or a format, or anything that is consistent, allowing me to segue into each day’s work smoothly, unless I go through all these rambling, blathering contortions….

Of course, in the course of writing these every day, I DO get a lot of practice at different styles, and get to let out my imagination to play, especially when I do a fictional opening. But, I can never seem to get it just the way I want it…. Oh well, I guess you could say that is a metaphor for life, in a way…. we can’t always get it just the way we want it…. So, I’ll just get on with the rest of today’s dive, and go with the flow, like I had some kind of choice….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“I just stepped on a factoid!” – Zippy     😳
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If the intro section is any indication of how things will go today, I am firmly convinced that ranting would be problematic, for one of us, if not both….. Rather than chance any ripped clothing, or lost hair, I’m going for an old school rant, which is to say, a pearl, very pointed, and very obviously sarcastic about its subject…. Today,  just in case it isn’t so obvious, I’ll tell you, this one is about our Beloved Ruling Class, and their hobby, governing nations….

“Democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike.  — Plato, The Republic. Book VIII. 558

“A stiff neck usually supports an empty head.” — Smart Bee

“The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent.” — Charles Eliot Norton, True Patriotism, 1898

“Anybody who wants the presidency so much that he’ll spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office.” — David Broder

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Abigail Adams, Paris, Feb. 22, 1787

“A politician will always tip off his true belief by stating the opposite at the beginning of the sentence.  For maximum comprehension, do not start listening until the first clause is concluded.  Begin instead at the word “but” which begins the second, or active, clause.  This is the way to tell a liberal from a conservative–before they tell you.  Thus: “I have always believed in a strong national defense, second to none, but … ” (a liberal, about to propose a $20 billion defense cut).” — Frank Mankiewicz

“Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one  man. How’s that again?  I missed something.” — Robert A. Heinlein

As a chef, and an artist, of sorts, I know that odd numbers are more attractive to the eye, and to the mind, than even numbers…. So, I should stop here, with seven pearls, which, I might add, made their point beautifully. But, the following pearl just seemed to fit perfectly as the last comment for this subject, and I couldn’t resist adding it as a post-script…..

And, as in uffish thought he stood
The Jabberwork, with eyes of flame
Came wiffling through the tulgey wood
And burbled as it came

— _Jabberwocky_, by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson)
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Having decided NOT to rant today, due to a distinct lack of outrage, I’ve sublimated with old-school pearls, in sections one and three, one with the BRC as its target, one focused on the priestly hierarchies, both of which hopefully demonstrated my opinion (low) of both entities. In keeping with that sentiment, and to replace the rants with what is at least my own work, I offer this poem, that I wrote last October, prior to the Presidential election by about two weeks….. I hope you enjoy it….

Intelligent Crimes

The value of wit is often said to cause harm,
for those who think, such is its greatest charm.
The new and the bold cannot be fulfilled
if innovation and change is left unwilled.

Society behaves at its base as a mob
conformity and submission its primary job.
Any sign of rebellion against the mob’s rule
is met with resentment, naming such rebel the fool.

Intellect and talent are looked at askance,
expressing artistry stands nary a chance.
To stand out from the rest of mankind
is fraught with danger, for body and mind.

I often stand and watch in solemn dismay
as beauty and joy are left by the way,
ignored and reviled by the unwashed masses
who prefer darkness, and acting like asses.

With shouts of derision the normals make known
their fear of intelligence, greater than their own.
They hope to stop all semblance of progress;
for thoughts and ideas, they couldn’t care less.

The world struggles on in spite of all opposition,
managing to maintain its advanced position.
Pulling the foolish along in spite of reluctance,
helping each to learn the survival dance.

Hard though it may be to keep up with the future
genius manages its plans to develop and nurture.
In the final analysis, those who live by reason
enjoy life the most, from season to season.

~~ gigoid ~~

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In 1980, when my son was a baby (born in December of 1979), we started watching Sesame Street, both together, and by ourselves, just about every day. When he was about five months old, he was so alert, and interested in the world around him, that we could plop him down in his car seat, on the floor, where he would sit, serenely watching the entire hour-long show, making happy noises, babbling to the muppets, and closely watching all the action on the screen.

I learned, by watching with him, that the show was made for children, but with the knowledge that adults were watching, too, because much of the humor in the show was too obviously aimed at the adults…. I also found I enjoyed watching it, though it was, of course, somewhat repetitive in nature at times….

One of the best skits, or lessons, that was repeated frequently was one called, “Which of these is not like the others?”, wherein a group of four items…. pictures, letters, fruits, balls, or statements…. would be shown together. One of the items in the group was obviously different, such as one blue bird in a group with three red birds, or a puppy with three kittens, etc…… The lesson for the kids, of course, was to teach how to recognize patterns, and differences between patterns, a useful skill for all humans….

Having decided earlier today not to rant, I’m substituting old-school pearls, in place of my customary thousand words on various targets. This pearl is patterned after the Sesame Street skit, and has one aphorism grouped together with several others (you are adults, and can have more than just four to pick from….), which is a of a different nature than the others….

All of them have been painted with a coating of sarcastic impudence, I hope, as they speak about organized religion, tongue firmly in cheek. The single exception is an idea that is contrary to all the religionists believe to be true, thus setting it apart, as being rational…. It shouldn’t be too hard to find, and the others will give you an idea of how today’s rant might have progressed, had I written it….  Enjoy!

“Religion is the fashionable substitute for belief.” — Oscar Wilde

“Cockamamie is a word that comes to mind.” — Smart Bee

PHILISTINE, n.  One whose mind is the creature of its environment, following the fashion in thought, feeling and sentiment.  He is sometimes learned, frequently prosperous, commonly clean and always solemn. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“Probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which live was first breathed… There is grandeur in this view of life … that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been and are being, evolved.” — Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Give a man religion and he’ll starve to death praying for a fish.” — Smart Bee

“Adam and Eve had many advantages, but the principal one was that they escaped teething.” — Mark Twain
(Sorry, couldn’t resist….)
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“And never think about the past. No regrets, ever.” — Robert Heinlein

I’ve always tried to take this advice; it’s good stuff….. In keeping with that policy, I’ve decided to post this mess, even though I haven’t proofed it, or checked it to see if it will be either legally actionable, or, worse, terminally boring….. I’ll do that now, & be right back…..

Well, okay, that’s not bad, all things considered. I’ll take it…. And, before I can change my mind, I’ll be on my way, out into the Big Blue Room, to see what kind of mischief I can find to get into out there in the real world…..  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