Is it Bastille Day yet?….


But ‘midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men,
To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess,
And roam along, the world’s tired denizen,
With none who bless us, none whom we can bless.

~~ Lord Byron (1788-1824) ~~

~ Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto ii, Stanza 26 ~~

day2 London 008

    Of late, I’ve been using some of my older pictures, taken on a trip to Europe last year, as the opening for this…. whatever it is. It is simpler for me, as I don’t have to worry about giving proper attribution, and can use any pic at all to demonstrate whatever point or idea I’m planning to utilize for material…. Sound’s highfalutin, I know, but, it works for me…. and, here in the intro section, ‘anything that works’ is our motto….

Of course, I can always go with, or comment upon the opening quote, too…. But, both of those bonus qualities are by design, though it may appear that there isn’t any such thing going on…. I got so frustrated of trying to come up with something worthwhile to start with, I began to use those two objects to give myself a running start, so to speak, with the opportunity to use either, or both, or neither as part of the beginning lines, which, in the process, can reveal the best direction to take…. Or, as often happens around here, it can confuse things even more than usual, in which case, I generally retreat into silliness, or weirdness, whichever jumps up first….

The picture was taken in an alley off Portobello Road in London, and serves to provide me with good memories of a fine day exploring the endless marketplace on that Road…. As the saying in the British Empire went, “You can find anything you want on Portobello Road.”….. It also served as a one-stop shopping center for all the necessary souvenirs and gifts I brought back to friends and family from London, and gave me that priceless photo for my collection of memories, of me and Charlie Chaplin, in identical poses, in front of a house on Portobello Road…. Any of these pix can take me back there in my head, so, it’s like being able to go anytime I wish….

It also provides me with ample material to fill in this big hole that forms each day at the top of this page, one I often fill with incomprehensible nattering, or with nonsense, or even outright humor (though the latter may be a subjective judgment….). That, in itself, is enough to make it a worthwhile decision, which allows me some space in my head, before having to go on to the next section, to deal with all the angst and turmoil that goes on in my head for each separate section…. SIGH…. If only someone was paying me for all of this, it might seem a bit more, I don’t know,…. justifiable? Maybe….

Ah well, it’s all moot now, as we’ve reached the jumping off point again…. In fact, we’re moving so fast this morning, I think I’d just better give out the warning, and trust to our run of luck to get us through the opening intact…. Wish me luck; the insurance won’t stretch to cover another mass payout…. Here we go, so, please, HOLD ON!….

Shall we Pearl?

“A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” — Mark Twain


A friend of mine is fond of internet memes, and funny/strange You Tube videos posted by some of our society’s fringe elements…. She was showing me some of her favorites, which includes this video…. I will give fair warning, ffolkes…. Don’t drink anything while watching this, as the choking and aspiration that could occur…. If you began gut-busting laughter with a mouthful of cola or milk, it’s going to either choke you, or it will come out as a wide-angle spray you’ll be cleaning off the walls for days…. Enjoy!…. Oh, and the link has a bunch more odd, funny videos for your entertainment, as well….


Americans Taste Test Australian Food






“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” — Abraham Lincoln

Ffolkes…. This article is a must-read for any American citizen who is concerned about the banks’ and government’s collusion in the last few years…. The bailout, the recession, all deliberately caused by immoral assholes, who managed to make money out of their whole supposed fines, by charging their customers for paying them…. And, the lengths to which they’ve gone to keep the witnesses to their criminality quiet are astoundingly brash, showing complete disdain for the public, or for any rule of law….. They believe, and are encouraged to believe by the complicity of politicians, that their money will buy off any such litigation against them for their theft….

I’m not quite ready to rant as much as this article’s revelations deserve…. But, I have an older rant, from early this year, that will cover much of what is needed, with some comments and thoughts on the same issue, from February of this year….. It’s a long one, but, not too shabby, if I do say so myself…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. They deserve every name we call them….

“A government that fears it’s people is a government that should be feared.” — Smart Bee

From 2/25/2014:

If you would please read this article, the arguments that follow will make a lot more sense; if you don’t, it may take you a bit longer to figure out the gist of it….    😉     Plus, you’ll know, for sure, I’m not making this stuff up, just so I have something to write about….

In the time of Pythagoras that proverbial phrase “Ipse dixit” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Pythagoras, xxv

Ipse Dixit. [Latin, “He himself said it.”]  An unsupported statement whose veracity rests solely on the authority of the individual who makes it.

And so it begins….. All of a sudden, many months AFTER the fact, several high-ranking officials from the administration all come out with the same story-line, IMPLYING that Eric Snowden was influenced and/or helped by Russian spies to do what he did…. This statement by Mikey-boy Rogers, U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman, R-Mich., Senator Feinstein’s cohort (she’s his counterpart in the Senate, who put out her office’s lies about this issue yesterday….), is the newest step in the ongoing attempt by the administration to paint Mr. Snowden’s actions with the brush of treason, when, in fact, they KNOW he is not a traitor, but, rather, a patriotic American, caught in the web of intrigue THEY created with their clandestine, illegal activities….

As soon as I saw this headline today, my highly-trained, delicately-honed, automatic political crap detector SCREAMED at me….. “LIES, LIES, MADE UP LIES!!”, it said, without much doubt implied (accuracy factor of the detection meter said it was 99.9% likely to be lies…. which makes it pretty certain, as I’ve programmed it to never say that it is completely sure; it defaults to that number when it is…)….. This is SO obviously a campaign to smear Snowden, it positively REEKS! They are introducing doubt of his character into the dialogue, which, come to think of it, is only a monologue, because, hey, he’s not here to defend himself, is he?

This, of course, is typical political posturing, reminiscent of any other campaign, such as an election run, when they need to direct the public’s attention toward certain areas, away from others, so they can control the conversation…. In his speech, Obama admitted to responding to a public dialogue called for by the leak of information, while never admitting any wrongdoing for having committed the spying initially. Yet, this conversation, this debate, has only shown them to be more secretive than we knew, and they are pulling out all the stops to stop any further investigation into, or outcry about what is REALLY going on…. Naturally, since they are politicians, they will approach this as a campaign to be won; the first step in any campaign is to decrease the viability, the believability of the opposition…. Hence, unproved, unfounded, and untrue accusations, out of nowhere, to try to demonize Eric Snowden….

They say first, it’s beyond his abilities to have done this…. Well, hell, even the most thick-headed fool can see this is a total fabrication…. If this is true, would it mean that the NSA made a habit of hiring programmers that couldn’t understand what they were being tasked to do? Doesn’t make any sense to me…. This man was part of the program, a programmer, and KNOWS how to read data, as well as write the programs that would do so…. Hell, I’m only a high powered user, and I understand what is being done, and what WAS done…. This statement is an obvious lie, an attempt to demean Snowden, so he looks more like a villain, or, at best, the dupe of master spies….

The second thing to note about this claim, is that it is introduced by a politician, who obviously is NOT capable of judging what a programmer is capable of doing with a computer…. Mikey-boy probably has to ask his admin how to use his smart-phone, which is, arguably, smarter than he is, technically speaking… Yet, this idiot, in his power suit and tie, makes this claim unequivocally, thereby implying that one of the most competent programmers alive (look who hired him to begin with!….) isn’t capable of doing something he was trained to do, but, had to be helped by a foreign power…. A pretty far-fetched stretch, to my way of looking at it….

The one professional spy they quoted, from the CIA, it should be noted, said, in his statement, right off, so he couldn’t be accused later of any prevarications…. “I don’t have any particular evidence”, but, then goes on to agree with the outrageous claims made by a politician, one with NO FUCKING CLUE about the glaringly obvious untruth of what he proposes, or, indeed, of how much truth any of what he said might have contain…. Rogers’ job, which he performed perfectly, was, simply, to put in the minds of the public a single idea, one small but important lie, that Snowden was made to do what he did, by coercion, by trickery, or by duplicity; they don’t say which, nor do they have to…. They merely imply, without directly accusing, so that the lies they intend to bring out later, as seeds for further doubt, will find fertile soil in the simple minds of the public….

None of the truth, or any actual connection to reality of the claims he was making concerned him; he was strictly a talking head, on a major TV show; his mission was to plant in the public awareness the idea that Eric Snowden didn’t act alone, and that the very act of his doing what he did, regardless of ANY evidence to the contrary, should be viewed as proof of his having had help from another country…. The fact that this isn’t remotely true was not an issue; the message was delivered, and supported by the other actors in the play…. Throw in the claim about him being technically unable to do what he did, and you’ve got some juice to keep the story going, even though all of it is a complete fabrication….

Ffolkes, if you can’t see that this is true, that you were deliberately lied to, and manipulated in an attempt to make you think what the government wants you to think, well, I guess I should just use THEIR justification and tell you…. You, too, are an idiot, and the fact is, if you believe any of what this man says about this subject, that, in itself, can be considered as PROOF of your idiocy….. incontrovertible, undeniable PROOF. (After all, that’s the same method of proof they’re offering for THEIR assertions…..) If the timing, and the words themselves, don’t make your crap-detector go off like it was on fire, then I’m afraid there isn’t much hope for you in the real world….

These statements were merely the latest tactic to be applied by the White House political strategists, all without having to bring out their big gun, the president, with his down-home, I’m-so-sincere, boyish face, and, the now-famous, good-ol-boy, aw-shucks grin, both of which are political tools of great value to him, but only if not over-used….. Right now, they’ve got a few of the sidekicks out in the limelight, after his speech over the weekend, making up stuff and carrying on with all the talking points and deliberate manipulations, all orchestrated in Mr. Snowden’s absence….. one I hope he continues to maintain, as it is the ONLY hope he has of surviving the future (….Ironically enough, in a case of Life imitating Life, this is a problem ALL OF US are going to have in the very near future…. that of running out of any hope of surviving the future, when the very air we breathe will be toxic to us….)

After seeing this story, and taking into account the other stories in response to the president’s speech about the nonexistent changes he claims he wants to make to the NSA mission (I mean, look closely at what he said…. He isn’t changing ANYTHING of any significance…..), I think it would be safe to predict that in the next few days and weeks, we will hear more fabrications and implications, with or without any actual evidence, about Mr. Snowden, as the administration continues to distract and defuse, hoping that if they stall long enough, something else will come up to take the public’s awareness from their spying, and put it back in the closet, or sweep it under the rug, where they keep all the other stuff they don’t want us to see or know, about what they are REALLY doing behind our backs….

(Note from February…. I personally think they’re hoping for another idiot to steal a gun and shoot up a mall, or a school somewhere, which always takes all the public’s attention and focuses it on their unreasonable fears for a couple of weeks….But, then, I’m pretty convinced of their complete lack of any human compassion, anyway, so, my concerns reflect my belief in their human nature, and their lack of any sort of virtue that would make them tell the truth, or espouse an agenda that benefits anyone but themselves….)

You can bet on that, ffolkes, for sure…. They’re not going to stop lying, just because they’ve been caught at it…. They’ll only get more bold with it…. It’s the way they’re built, they can’t, and won’t, help it…. There’s no profit in it for them to give up, is there? And, profit is what they are all about, when it comes down to the bottom line…. Profit for their self-interests, which are, to them, more important than the whole rest of the human race…..

As Lily Tomlin’s character, Edith Ann, used to say, when she was done making her brilliantly simple observations of people’s foibles…., “And that’s the Truth! THPPPPT!”

“Plausibility is the morality of fiction.” — Edith Mirrilees

Monthly update: The administration’s silence on the NSA spying issues continues to this date…. I’ve seen only one article in the past month on the subject, and it was merely a rehash of this information, with no real new developments reported…. They’re letting it go as long as they can without bringing any of it up themselves, so as to give the public, which has a notoriously SHORT attention span, a chance to forget all about it….. Good luck on that, dudes….


I’ll be here, and I’ll be reprinting this, or a fresher version, either in a month, or, before that, if and/or when new statements are forthcoming from the potUS, or one of his myrmidons….. (Unless, of course, they decide to stop me…. That would be the ONLY reason I wouldn’t be posting a month from now…. in which case, you’d no doubt read about all the dead feds in the news, if they can count that high…. I don’t intend to go, shall we say, quietly? We shall say it….)


I am going with a poem of my own, simply because I’m too lazy to go find one by somebody else…. Deal with it…. Here is one I wrote not so long ago that came out pretty well….

A dream, weeping….

“Never a dull moment to spare”, he said
with a crooked grin, and a broad wink.
“Can’t keep Reality hanging by a thread….
what would Chaos, or Entropy think?”

So, we plucked up our dreams of old,
to carry us on, in dutiful, strong arms,
stuffed a candle in the remaining fold,
for luck, and perfect proof against charms.

Storms follow the sun,  but, never stay;
lessons round every corner, all free.
Past fleeting doubts, in a sad disarray,
the journey becomes the reason to be.

Simple kindness manifests untold riches,
in defiance of common cause’s demise.
Bold courage, hanging in stitches,
mends wounds that come as no surprise.

Still, waters run deep, ’tis said by many.
Too much pain cannot apprehend
the salient, sharp points of epiphany,
nor, plainly, to wisdom aspire to pretend.

Folly dogs even the simplest truth,
fumes of toxic ignorance and bile,
alienated as a loose rotten tooth;
it often hides itself, for a long while.

Sought after eons ago, we cried out,
to believe, to suffer no more doubt.
But found instead good reason,
for love, and truth, from season, to season.

~~ gigoid ~~


What we have here is a somewhat loose old-school pearl, without a single parameter one could put their finger on…. But, it still manages to leave one with the feeling they’ve learned SOMETHING, so, I guess it works okay…. Just don’t use this one for any treatises or essays, as it isn’t definite enough in its sincerity to provide unassailable proof, of anything other than my own strangeness….

“Both Empedocles and Heraclitus held it for a truth that man could not be altogether cleared from injustice in dealing with beasts as he now does.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Which are the most crafty, Water or Land Animals? 7

“Let yourself be open and life will be easier.  A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable.  A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.” — Buddha

“Each time that Americans hold another election, about the only thing they learn is that they did not learn much from the last election.” — Smart Bee

“Goodness is beauty in its best estate.” — Marlowe

“The bear and Carl lived together in the cave for several years until, one day, the true savagery of Nature being unleashed, Carl killed the bear and ate him.” — Gary Larson

“How many northern Californians does it take to change a light bulb?” “None of your f***ing business and have a nice day.” — Smart Bee

“Not everything that counts can be counted; and not everything that can be counted counts.” — Albert Einstein


Okay, that will do. If not, well, we’ll just go to plan B, and make our way to the nearest transit station, where we will board the next shuttle to Mars, or Venus, or the Asteroid Colonies, there to drown our disappointment and sorrows in a ration of their homemade whiskey…. Or, I may just go on back to bed, and try this again tomorrow…. Yeah, that sounds like the ticket…. See y’all then, ffolkes….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious



À bientôt, mon cherí….

Look! A classic herringbone felafel!….


Sylvie passed the salt over by request, as the volatile symbiotic herb garden shouted out its monthly litany of complaints. The living room furniture chimed in with their own manifesto, which set off the garden tools. The resulting cacophony, quickly reaching supersonic levels, changed the automatic security codes…. automatically, as advertised. Since the entire herd of remaining recumbent bison dominated the evening news, we tried to re-start the pope-mobile, but, there was some blasphemy in the gas tank, and the steering device was covered with impiety. We took the public bus down to the local library, to fill out the appropriate questionnaires, but, all of the pens had gone dry. Since Bulgaria had called to say they weren’t interested in catering the wedding, we gave up, and called gigoid….

Hello? gigoid here…. Sometimes, it just has to come out, y’know? That stuff wanders around in there, getting in the way of the real stuff I want to write, insisting on getting equal air time, when I know for a fact that the beginning of these Pearls is the ONLY place they ever fit; even here, they are a stretch…. At the beginning of these missives, they can set the proper tone, encouraging readers to adopt an advantageous frame of mind, that will be of great assistance to them when trying to figure out just what the hell I’m talking about sometimes….. and, y’all can use all the help you can get with that task, I’m guessing…

So, there, don’t say I don’t care about my readers; it costs me a lot of mental energy to come up with gibberish of that quality; it isn’t as easy as it may seem from the outside. It is a delicate line to walk, to maintain just enough sense of reality in what is written to lead the eye and mind into the next image, while at the same time making certain that there is absolutely no point that actually touches on reality at all. In truth, it requires a bit of discipline, which, given the nature of what it says, seems out of place…. but, it won’t work without it. It isn’t the same as just babbling (which I also do well, as you may have noted in the past….), which is, to me, rather James Joyce-like in its modus operandi; it requires only that one is aware of their own inner dialogue, and can type fast….

True nonsense, though, is more difficult to create than most folks expect, which is just the kind of challenge that appeals to my distorted view of reality, so, occasionally, I like to start off the day with a good healthy portion of it, to keep the mental bowels moving smoothly, as it were (oops, sorry ’bout the mental image THAT may create….). Whether is seems so, or not, it’s like oatmeal…. Though it may not be the most attractive dish you’re served today, it may be the best for you….

Boy, I don’t know about y’all, but that statement frightens me more than just a little bit…. Moreover, it’s pulling my own covers a trifle further than intended…. However, it does alert me to the fact that we’ve reached a point where we can adroitly end this intro, which, given that I had completely lost my way, and forgotten I was in this section at all, is probably a good thing, or we’d have been stuck here all day…. Since I was also  able to use the word “adroit” in reference to myself (always a goal…), I’ll take the hint, and get on with the rest of today’s outburst….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“And make each day a critic on the last.” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Criticism, Part iii, Line 12

“George Orwell was an optimist.” — Smart Bee

Of late, the news has been disturbing, to say the least, so much so that I’ve been reluctant to tackle any of the issues presented in any depth, lest my own PTSD kick in with a personal reaction to what I see happening out there in the BBR (for the uninitiated, that means Big Blue Room, the place on the other side of the door to the room where your computer lives…. It’s  a very big, and mostly blue room, looked at correctly…). A number of dangerous, even incendiary, situations are currently being discussed in the public venue, each of which is bad enough; considered together they form a devastatingly frightening outlook for the future.

The situation that is developing in Syria has all the elements needed to bring the world back to the brink of war, threatening to involve virtually every country on Earth. As the world’s population continues to climb, ever more rapidly, toward EIGHT BILLION people, the climate continues to change, presenting us with new evidence every day that we are, most likely, too late to stop our rush to oblivion. The political scene, here, and all over the world,  has deteriorated into a series of childish taunts and bickering, punctuated frequently with explosions and deaths, while political opponents are reduced to merely blocking the efforts of the other side as a standard rule of practice, public benefit notwithstanding….. And, to top it all off, we humans continue to debase a significant number of our own species, with a worldwide plague of Evil…. abductions by force and/or guile, wherein the women and children abducted are tortured, beaten, brainwashed, addicted to drugs, and forced into lives of sexual slavery.

There are so many issues to pick from, I can’t decide…. For your edification, and to provide some evidence of how bad things are getting, here are three recent articles from the news, pointing out the issues I have described, giving some background information for y’all to consider. None of the articles goes far enough, in my mind, as they never get to the point of critical thinking about causation, and, except for the last one, don’t touch on who is responsible for the outrages they describe. But, they offer more information than the average person will have, and are thus useful, at minimum….. Please read them, and keep in mind that we all need to be ready to jump in some direction, if only far enough to save our asses for a short while…..

The last article is pretty good, and gives a good account of how murky  is the view the public has of the sex trade, and how the perpetrators use behavioral modifications of subtle power to control their victims, including drugs, or threats to family, making them seem as if they are willing participants, rather than trapped victims. In this way, the public’s idea of who is guilty is perverted, making them unwitting supporters of the entire debased process…..

Ah, hell…. This issue always makes me angry, and tends to kick in my PTSD….. I start foaming at the mouth, and vowing to go down to the local survivalist’s hangout, buy a gun, & start wasting pimps in my spare time ( I have a LOT of spare time….). I don’t want that today; I’m still recovering from the move this weekend, and have stuff to get done, for which I need all the energy I have stored up. If I take this time to start the day with an emotional rant, I won’t be of any use until noon, so, I’ll leave this where it is, and hope that I’ve stimulated others to some degree to at least think about these matters….

All three of these issues are only susceptible to solution if we ALL act together to solve them…. Any wagers on how soon THAT will happen? I didn’t think so…

“A man can only do what he can do.  But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.” — Albert Schweitzer

After nearly  ranting in the previous section, I feel like some Keats, to soothe my soul…. Fortuitously enough, I found this, which is a poetic description of the type of writer, and person, I’ve always tried to be…. Enjoy! It’s a really good one….

The Gadfly

All gentle folks who owe a grudge
To any living thing
Open your ears and stay your t[r]udge
Whilst I in dudgeon sing.

The Gadfly he hath stung me sore–
O may he ne’er sting you!
But we have many a horrid bore
He may sting black and blue.

Has any here an old grey Mare
With three legs all her store,
O put it to her Buttocks bare
And straight she’ll run on four.

Has any here a Lawyer suit
Of 1743,
Take Lawyer’s nose and put it to’t
And you the end will see.

Is there a Man in Parliament
Dum[b-] founder’d in his speech,
O let his neighbour make a rent
And put one in his breech.

O Lowther how much better thou
Hadst figur’d t’other day
When to the folks thou mad’st a bow
And hadst no more to say.

If lucky Gadfly had but ta’en
His seat * * * * * * * * *
And put thee to a little pain
To save thee from a worse.

Better than Southey it had been,
Better than Mr. D——-,
Better than Wordsworth too, I ween,
Better than Mr. V——-.

Forgive me pray good people all
For deviating so —
In spirit sure I had a call —
And now I on will go.

Has any here a daughter fair
Too fond of reading novels,
Too apt to fall in love with care
And charming Mister Lovels,

O put a Gadfly to that thing
She keeps so white and pert —
I mean the finger for the ring,
And it will breed a wort.

Has any here a pious spouse
Who seven times a day
Scolds as King David pray’d, to chouse
And have her holy way —

O let a Gadfly’s little sting
Persuade her sacred tongue
That noises are a common thing,
But that her bell has rung.

And as this is the summon bo
num of all conquering,
I leave ‘withouten wordes mo’
The Gadfly’s little sting.

~~ John Keats ~~


“The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life,  Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression.” — Gary Larson

Though there have been times in my life when this was true, it is not currently the case, for which I am immensely grateful. As a way of expressing that gratitude, I am cutting today’s Pearl somewhat short, with a simple five-star fun piece…. Enjoy!…

“A shapely CATHOLIC SCHOOLGIRL is FIDGETING inside my costume..” — Zippy the Pinhead

“Ah! don’t say you agree with me.  When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong.” — Oscar Wilde

“A Puritan is someone who is deathly afraid that someone, somewhere, is having fun.” — H. L. Mencken

“Life is anything that dies when you stomp on it.” — Dave Barry

“Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a congressperson can.” — Smart Bee

Perfect ending, don’t you think?….. Oh? Well, I do….. Especially if you reverse the fleas and the congressional folks in the sentence; it makes even more sense that way….

“My life is light, waiting for the death wind,
Like a feather on the back of my hand.”

— T.S. Eliot

Silly of me, isn’t it? To think that I’m done so easily…. Oh, wait, look! I think I AM done! Let’s see….. Yep… I don’t think I can do any further damage to this one. Let’s fall of the cliff, shall we?….. Ta, then, luvs….

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

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

Which is Why….

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



Spats and Zoot Suits…..

Well, here we are again. This could get ugly today; my head is using every trick it knows to keep from functioning this morning, and that can have a deleterious effect on the Pearls. Then again, just as often, what comes out can also show signs of actual rational thought, with a occasional witty turn of phrase…..either way, we’d best get started….

“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.” — James Thurber

This one is pretty straight forward, and is a sentiment that I share completely. I don’t think I’ve ever met a dog that didn’t meet the criteria to get into heaven; the only time a dog behaves badly is when they have learned ill-manners from their human.  And really, not much more can be said on this topic. It is for sure and for certain that it would take a lot of saintly activity in the human arena before I will have much respect for people; most folks don’t think much at all, which leaves them wide open to being manipulated by others. And the ones that do think at all very seldom think about anything beyond their own desires. A dog’s whole purpose in life is centered on the humans they live with, and learning how to please their alleged masters is their primary desire. People can learn a lot from dogs regarding ethical behavior; I sometimes wonder which one is really the dominant species….. or, at least the most honorable……

“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,”
Said then the lost Archangel, “this the seat
That we must change for Heaven, this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who is now sovereign can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy forever dwells! Hail, horrors! hail,
Infernal World! and thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor – one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
A mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what should I be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence;
Here we may reign secure, and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.”
— John Milton, “Paradise Lost”

This passage is probably the best known part of Milton’s Paradise Lost; just about everyone has heard the last line. It’s here merely because it is so beautifully written; it has been commented on enough in the last couple hundred years since it was penned, so I’m sure my take isn’t necessary. Balancing precariously and bravely on the edge between poetry and prose, one is given the impression of power, ambition gone mad, and unbearable sadness. I had intended to include a different piece of genius here, but the only copy I could find was written in invisible ink… this will have to suffice….

“He should not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall.” — Elrond

I was going to write more about this; it’s pretty deep in some respects. But it is also merely a fancier way to say, “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.” So we’ll pick something new to go in this slot. Hang on, be right back…..

I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed.
— Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Oft in the Stilly Night

I often feel this way, especially when I start thinking about the course of human society in today’s world. I just don’t see how we can survive without some major changes taking place, and nobody of any significance to the rest of the world is singing that tune. It seems to me that 99% of humanity is wandering around, focused on completing their life’s agenda, which includes such thrilling goals as “he who dies with the most toys, wins…” or “how many people can I screw over today?”, while concurrently pursuing those goals through policies and procedures that are killing the planet.  It’s enough to drive a man to drink……or buy a gun…..

The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life,  Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression. — Gary Larson

This is the caption from a Gary Larson cartoon; he creates the widely syndicated “Far Side”. This particular line was in the SF Chronicle sometime in early 1988. At that time, I was attending the California Culinary Academy, raising two kids, dealing with an emotionally volatile wife, commuting 120+ miles/day to go to school, juggling close-to-the-edge finances; in school, I was acting as the assistant to the Maitre d’Hotel, and working eight hour shifts after school to bring in some cash. The day this cartoon appeared, I had gone to an interview for a waiter’s job at the Fairmont Hotel, and had my car towed away by the SFPD during the interview. I was NOT a happy camper.

But, it all got better when one of the administrative assistants brought this cartoon to my attention while I was directing a class of student waiters in setting up the dining room for dinner. She came up to me, said, “Ned, I think you should see this,” and handed me the paper, folded to show the cartoon. I looked at the picture, of some dumpy guy sitting on a bed in a run-down room, and a chicken in the window. The above caption was so perfect, so personal, I literally fell to the floor with laughter, where I stayed for a full minute, giggling uncontrollably. It was such a wonderful relief to get all that angst and frustration out, and to enjoy being able to laugh again at myself; it’s a moment that will always be with me, always ready to make me smile, and help me to remember that things could always be worse…..

“I’m totally DESPONDENT over the LIBYAN situation and the price of CHICKEN..” — Zippy the Pinhead

Me too!….. 🙂 That’s all ffolkes…..I’m all out of creativity for the nonce (love that word). I could write a paragraph or two, using this as a springboard, but I’m tired, and my brain wants to stop. Far be it from me to ever argue with myself….what a waste of time! I always know who’s going to win……

Okay, I made this up last night. It’s going to be my new, first choice insult/curse. We all need one of these now and again, right? Feel free to borrow it, should you happen to encounter someone in your daily routine who makes you want to bite them. This is much classier, and won’t get you arrested…..”May Beelzebub’s personal imp use your toothbrush to clean his nails without telling you, until AFTER you brush your teeth…….”    Eeuuww! I think it works, how ’bout y’all? Meantime, y’all take care out there……

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




Partial hydrogenation, beloved by kings….

Awake, by the rush of creation, bold, and gravid with possibility. Still alive, still standing, bowed and bloody, yet upright, the dawning day pulls us into the stream of time, once more to garnish existence as if a flower. Let us be on, ever to seek, seldom to find……

“The Meaning Of Life: The reason that we’re all here is that it was too crowded where we were supposed to go.” — Steven Wright

You gotta love Steven Wright. He has the type of mind that perceives a radically different universe than the one you and I inhabit most of the time. He shares this characteristic with a couple other cartoonists, such as Gary Larson, who creates “The Far Side”.

Actually, one of Larson’s ‘toons remains my favorite answer to the question of the meaning of life. At the peak of a mountain, the holy sadhi sits. A young seeker crouches at his feet, and awaits the bestowing of wisdom with bated breath. Hearing the question “Why are we here?” he answers, “We were purchased on credit, never paid for, and are being returned one by one.” Perfect! Just the right amount of mustard…..

The love of praise, howe’er conceal’d by art,
Reigns more or less, and glows in ev’ry heart.
— Edward Young (1684-1765)
— Love of Fame, Satire i, Line 51

One of the most misunderstood human needs is our need for the approval of others. Yet it stands as one of the most powerful motivations that we humans provide ourselves with to stimulate us to act. Many, or even most, people rationalize their need as some other, more ennobling characteristic, such as gratitude, or noblesse oblige, or almost anything, rather than admit that what other’s think of us makes any difference. We all pretend that we stand alone, and don’t need other people to make our way, while at the same time, our insecurities and unnamed fears are propelling us to actions that will garner approval.

What I would like to point out is this…..the need for approval from your mates is okay. It is a characteristic that lends itself to creating bonds between the members of your core peer group, your tribe, as it were. These bonds make the group stronger, and more able to survive. We all know that teams of people working together are capable of just about anything, whereas  our solitary efforts are limited by our capabilities in acting alone. It’s a powerful part of our makeup, this need for each other, and reaches into every corner of our lives, making us behave in ways that promote closeness, and there is really no need to dress it up in another robe. Just accept your place in society, and don’t sweat the small stuff……

“Government corruption will always be reported in the past tense.  — The Watergate Principle

My initial reaction to this was to think to myself, “well, of course it is!”. It is a foregone conclusion that it will be reported in the past tense, for the same reason that when you are looking for something lost, it is ALWAYS in the last place you look. It really yanks my chain when people write stuff like this, and put it out there as if it were the answer to life, the universe, and everything, or at least a profound truism and one of the building blocks of reality.

But the concept described is so obvious to me, that I wonder how the author manages to feed themselves without getting food all over the table. You can only report government corruption as an event that has already taken place; if it hadn’t taken place, there wouldn’t be anything to report, now would there? And people wonder why everything’s going to hell…..

Insanity is expecting different results from repeating the same behavior.

I believe that I have finally found some level ground on which to stand when considering the activities taking place around the country in those states that are having primary elections for the Republican presidential nomination. Having come to terms with my despair at the antics of the circus’ participants, I can now view the whole scene as the farce that it is, and no longer feel compelled to rant over the latest jaw-dropping statement from one of the candidates.

This clarity of vision was achieved by taking the above statement into account, and applying it to the political arena. Take even a cursory look at the shenanigans that are written up each day in the papers, and view them with this definition in mind. You will see, without the slightest effort, how they are all just out there, throwing stuff up into the air to see what reaction it will have, and then doing it all over again when it doesn’t have the effect they expect or desire. They are bringing up stuff that even Reagan, the century’s worst president, wouldn’t have considered, as being, you guessed it, insane…..what is scary is there are a lot of folks out there in the public who buy into this circus, and don’t even get to hear the calliope…….

“If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.” — H. L. Mencken

No big deal here….I just thought this would be a good epitaph for a gravestone……

“What I like is when you’re looking and thinking and looking and thinking…  and suddenly you wake up.” — Hobbes

Hobbes (and his creator, Bill W.)  will probably go down in history as one of the most profound thinkers of our time. He has a dry, sharp wit, a keen appreciation of the obvious AND the obscure, and an elegant world-view, rife with oddities and alternate perceptions. It is really a shame that he is just a stuffed tiger, and will never be allowed to run for president……

That’s enough for one day; I should get started on something more productive, but I promised my mother I would’nt always do what I should, except on Thursdays…….y’all take care out there….

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