Twice-baked brains, aux bleu….

Ffolkes,

“Service to others
becomes a necessity
in seeking virtue.

~~ gigoid, 10/9/2018 ~~

eugene vineyards

New Vineyards near Eugene, Oregon….

In the past eight days, since last posting a Pearl, the various parts of today’s post fell together in a random order that eventually achieved some coherency just yesterday. My life outside this room where the computer lives has been, more than I care to think it could be, ‘interesting’, and I use that word in the oriental sense, not occidental. Friends in crisis, personal demon wars, trying to stop smoking tobacco, risky business, all have occurred of late in rapid=fire succession, unwilling to allow one the time to either prepare, or recover. SIGH…. (that’s a West Counties sigh, long, sad face, slowly indrawn breath exhaled with force and a shake of the head….). ‘Tis easy to see why I’m so hard-pressed to get anything done, with so much distraction from any purpose I choose to follow….

But, all of us live in the same reality (that’s why I explore it….), with one difference, that being our own perception of it. That said, it remains both no MORE difficult, or, any LESS difficult than anyone else’s reality, no matter how perceived; in the end, we all must face it alone. That’s why I have come to believe so strongly in the old proverb about ‘living in the shelter of each other’; without each other, we all get lost, and lonely. Sometimes, that can happen even when we are with each other, so, it’s a good thing to also remember the other old proverb, i.e., ‘if you want a friend, be one’….

I’m doing some writing on the side for a friend, and have also procrastinated on getting it done as quickly as I like, so, I’m gonna leave this be so it can get posted, & do my best to quit complaining at myself long enough to get something else done. Wish me luck, ‘cuz I have a feeling I’ll need it….. For the nonce, I’ll see you down the page a ways….

Shall we Pearl?

“Go softly, for you tread on my dreams.”

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~

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john lee chicken mambacom

John Lee Hooker

Image from chickenmamba.com via Google Images…

Here’s another artist who should need little introduction. If one knows anything of the blues, he is an icon; if not, well, he’s still an icon, just one of whom you don’t know, to your loss…. until now, of course. I’ve included two live videos, as anything he does live is impeccable, IMHO…. I hope you enjoy it….

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For old times’ sake, just because….

From 10/16/2014:

“The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.” — Steven Weinberg

In the past year and some time, I’ve written many words… more than I care to think about just now, and a number that some would say deserves the term “interminable”….. None of them comes closer to summarizing how I feel about life in general than this…. I’ve never seen it before, to my knowledge, which detracts in no way from its deep resonance with my core beliefs.

I spend a lot of time discussing those parts of life that lean toward the direction of farce, with no little outrage at the depth of human cupidity and well, bozoid tendencies. In my own way, I suppose, this could be construed as my own effort to try to understand the universe, and our place in it…. I hope so, anyway…. because understanding life has been my only quest for the greatest part of it that I remember, reaching back to when I was five or six, and desperately trying to blend in with all the orange monkeys, while secretly wearing my own coat of blue…. For the two years after beginning school, and being exposed all day to the world outside my family, the gap between myself and my peer group seemed to be unpredictable, in terms of what they perceived, and what I could see and understand.

This isn’t to imply I was an outcast; merely an “egghead”, or other such complimentary terminology, as I found the actual school part of it all quite simple. This did, on the positive side, give me enough time to learn to adapt, and make myself likable for other reasons… sports being one, and applying the principle of “to have friends, be a friend”; I was always generous with helping others in school, with whatever I could do. Plus, I do LIKE people, as a rule…. they often disappoint, but, if one pays attention, they also never fail to amaze, in so many ways.

This study of my peer group from my first memories has persisted throughout my life, and remains today my primary focus of self-directed education, so to speak. I love to sit in public places and watch crowds; I don’t much like being IN crowds, so much as watching them interact with each other, all according to the dancing rules we all learn, from kindergarten onward…. From the first time I ever attended a county fair, my favorite activity at each, was to race through all there was to see, spend all my disposable income, and then spend the remainder of my time sitting near the front gate plaza, watching the people as they came to the fair….. endless entertainment, and still is…. only now, I walk the streets when I’m able, or sit in the public parks, libraries, and coffee shops, wherever I live….

“Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

One of the things I’ve learned about people is that human nature is just that… a force of nature. It has not changed much, if at all, since we humans were living in grass huts at the junction of a river; there are still good people, and bad people, and they are most often the same person…. because we all have our own unique view of the world, and our own feelings about what we see and believe we understand. We don’t always have all the information we need at critical times in our lives, and so make decisions that affect our behavior or outlook, decisions which become habits, leading us to believe these habits are justifiable because they work to keep us comfortable…. until they don’t. Life always changes, there is nothing that can stop it from doing so; if we do not learn to change ourselves, to adapt to the changes in the universe around us, it will end up destroying us.

The universe has no mercy, no pity; these are human concepts, and not a part of reality at all. But, being human, we crave justice, for things to be fair…. we bend our efforts to changing the universe to meet our wishes, never realizing that it is folly, that reality does not work that way, and there is nothing at all we can do to alter that reality according to our wishes without suffering the consequences. How quickly those consequences will result in our demise as a species is, of course, a matter of some debate. I tend to believe that we are nearing a breaking point, and the universe is going to be submitting a bill for payment to us, for the damages to our living domicile for which we are responsible, in the very near future…..

It must be noted that most of what I write about, whether I write well, or merely a lot, lends itself equally well to tragedy as it does to farce. In fact, it should also be noted that this is a good metaphor, for human nature. We are contradictory creatures, you, and your Uncle Bob, your Aunt Shirley, and I, and everyone else who makes up human society, filled with warring impulses, and wildly differing viewpoints. The expression of our nature in the real world reflects all of that, in all its tragic, farcical, gloriously foolish splendor…. We inspire and disgust each other on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, especially if one watches a lot of TV, with its completely distorted approximation of reality…. I have pretty much given up on TV completely, as it merely serves to fuel my outrage, and that, as you may have noted already, needs no further encouragement….

Well, a thousand or so words should be enough for a retrospective musing on human nature….. especially when they flow out as smoothly as these. I’ll leave this here, and most likely come back to it another day…. I will leave you with this fine observation from Mssr. Darwin, of The Origin of Species fame…. a book which gave birth to perhaps the finest scientific advance of the millennium, the since-proven Theory of Evolution….. surely a magnificent creation of the human spirit that encompasses both of the elements, farce and tragedy, we explored above….

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” — Charles Darwin

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Comedy_Tragedy

“But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.”

~~ EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, “Cynthia Horner’s Eulogy”, Apr. 1994 ~~

Unsolicited Gratitude

Fear becomes familiar when reality bodes us ill
pain assumes first position, no matter our will.
Powerless, we founder, no strength to prevail
anguished and afraid, against unwanted Fate we rail.

Still, a grain of hope deep inside, hidden well against need
gives us reason to survive, our starving souls to feed.
Failure of courage burdens time, of being bested,
until our souls, in submission, become foully infested.

Bitter tears wash through us each day, with little care,
no thought, no feeling, no wish, or need to be fair.
Rendered clueless, confusion falls upon us, as prey,
we surrender a piece of our soul, little as we may.

Yet, always, a bright beam of hope is seen from afar,
no matter how dreary, or dark, it may seem where we are.
None knows, nor would consent to tell, it seems
from whence it hails, or why it so brightly gleams.

Saving our sanity, absolving our unwanted fears,
dispelling the myths and lies that come with the years.
Each man has known the precious gift that hope may give
And gives glad thanks, as long as he may live.

~~ gigoid ~~

10/10/2012

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Stones on the Path….

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“Fate is a river. Free will is a paddle.”

~~ Subtle Bee ~~

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“We can not live for ourselves alone,
our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads.”

~~ Herman Melville ~~

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“Time carves all.
Let yourself be carved to attain your true nature.”

~~ Master Po ~~

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“What I gave, I have; what I spent, I had; what I kept, I lost.”

— old epitaph

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“Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old;
seek what they sought.”

~~ Matsuo Basho ~~

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“Creation is a mighty joke, but the laugh is at my own expense.”

~~ Meher Baba ~~

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“All is flux, nothing stays still.”

~~ Heraclitus (540?-480? B.C.) ~~

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Well, there you go…. Such as it is, I offer it up for your perusal, and, hopefully, your approbation. If not, well, the effort is always worthwhile, for all one may learn. I’ll quit pontificating, or, even merely being naturally pedantic, long enough to bid thee farewell, until the next time, which will probably be in a day or three. Who knows? This little foray may have broken the dam upon my fountain of expression; I guess we’ll see, won’t we? Until we do, y’all be well, & happy as you may be. As has probably become obvious by now, if nothing else, you can leave the ‘being strange’ part to me….

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….

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Prunes provide a moveable feast….

Ffolkes,

“A man is not aware of his virtues (if any).
Nevertheless, one hopes that they exist.”

~~ Edward Abbey ~~

tower of london

Tower of London from the Thames


Hajime…. ‘Tisn’t often I’ll begin by apologizing, but, that doesn’t cause it to mean less, to me, at least. Today, I’m doing so to explain the Pearl you will see, as it is one I probably will try to forget, if only for the cost of getting it done. Without complaint or retreat into plaintive excuses, I’ll merely say I was unable to sleep again, until late this morning, thus making me late getting started, as well as beginning another day with fatigue rather than any particular enthusiasm. Oh, well.

That said, the Pearl should, after a fashion, speak for itself. Most of it won’t be too fresh, as I don’t have any fresh on hand, or, for that matter, in mind. In fact, with what I have in mind, I probably couldn’t pass a test to get into kindergarten. I am, nonetheless, rather determined to get it done, no matter how it turns out, if only to soothe my own disappointment. One must find one’s reasons to go on oneself, mustn’t one? One must, and one has done. So be it.

Since I don’t have much, what you see is, once more, what you get. I, for one, am going on; y’all can follow if you like….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see each other whole against the sky.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

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royalty-free-clip-art-vector-logos-of-black-and-orange-floral-acoustic-guitars-by-seamartini-graphics-6573

    Yep. Classical music, as the icon indicates so clearly. Well, it’s clear to me; listen up to the music, and it may do the same for y’all…. or, not. So be it.

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Classical Music

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We the People...

    Since I don’t have the wherewithal to produce a rant, here is a rather extensive discussion from early in 2013, on the subject of gun control…. a subject which is rather important to ALL of us, in the long run. Me, I’m of the same opinion as Clint Eastwood, an eminently sensible man, all in all, to wit: “Gun control means, if there’s a gun in the room, I want to be the one controlling it.” Y’ll can do as you like in the matter…. Enjoy!….

From 2/9/2013:

“Is this an out-take from the “BRADY BUNCH”?”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~


I’m rather hoping it is, in sooth…. if not, we all are in serious trouble, up the proverbial creek without a hint of a paddle. Not that it should be anything new or unfamiliar, as most of our history has been spent thus occupied. Of course, previous centuries didn’t have the distinct advantage of having either the Brady’s, or Zippy, in all his insane wisdom, as cultural icons, as well as ethical touchstones….. They had to make do with Socrates, and Plato, and stuffy old guys like that….. Aristotle was practically a rock star in his day, and remains a pretty smart dude, by all evidence, but I still prefer Carlin, I think, for the most cogent philosophy for modern times….

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” — The Constitution of the United States of America Amendment 6, 1791

For a moment, I wondered what my unconscious mind was thinking when it made me copy and paste this amendment into the pearl, as a pearl…. especially as it seems to be in conjunction with the Zippy quote…. Here I am, five minutes later, still wondering what the hell I was thinking…. It happens that way sometimes…. just give me a few moments here, and I’ll come up with it…. Aha! Got it! Naturally, I only needed to go back to basics…. The answer to the question of how the two quotes are related is…. Reality….

Aye, that’s right, reality. It’s what we do here, explore reality, and all its implications, ramifications, and delineations. Also, it’s temperature. Well, perhaps that isn’t the right word, but…. Reality, as is clear and obvious to the most casual observer, exists in varying degrees (hence: temperature…. see?). The degree of reality that is included in an out-take from the Brady Bunch is clearly not the same degree of reality that is implied in the Sixth Amendment. I’d say, the Amendment would hit around 8 or 9 on the real scale, with 10 being the Reality of Amber, where all roads lead. (See Roger Zelazny’s book, The Courts of Amber…..), whereas the highest the Brady’s could hope for would be a 2 or a 3 on that same scale. They’re too oppositional in nature to be rated otherwise, as well as being on opposite ends of the scale of Relative Importance to ME and YOU…..

Now we get to the meat of this matter…. Of late, there has been a lot of public discourse regarding gun control, as a result of the media’s steadfast love of gore and manipulation. Another school shooting took place a few weeks ago, wherein some crazy idiot got hold of some firearms and used them in an insane manner. This, of course, all morality aside, is still a reprehensible act, and, IMHO, most easily solved by just taking one of his own guns and using it on him, at the time of his crime. Bang, problem solved, and since he’s standing there over the bodies he has made, no question of guilt. In such cases, the why of his guilt should not matter; whatever it is, it is reason enough to put him down, in defense of humanity. The other questions can be answered after the children have been defended….

Sadly, there are two segments of humanity who don’t agree with this logical outcome. One segment is what I term the humanitarians, a misleading term, since it usually involves the denial of much of human nature. The other, of course, is our old nemesis, the BRC…. our Beloved Ruling Class…. Neither of these groups will agree that allowing people to have guns should be allowed, or that killing the killers is a proper solution for the issue. In both of these positions, they are dead wrong, and, more, they know they are. This serves to make their arguments more shrill, more emotionally based, and, in their eyes, more valid, in some strange form of weird logic….

“Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, so don’t kid yourself…”

~~ Frank Zappa ~~


One of the most edifying parts of this discussion, for me, is how it makes it so easy to identify those who are wearing the uniforms, and from what camp they are from, according to their colors and insignia. You can tell the humanitarians, they’re the ones wearing the faux-camouflage pants, in support of the troops, they’ll assure you; they want the police to be the only ones who carry guns, believing, for some unknown reason, that police are somehow more moral or ethical than other people. (Of course, they also would have trouble if you asked them to define the words, “moral”, or “ethical”, in any other terms than those used in a philosophy paper they memorized in college, or in seminary….)

The BRC are always easy to spot, as their sense of entitlement provides them with all the armor against opinion, or law, they ever need. They want guns to be only held by the militia, (which they control), or the police (whom they also control), because it makes them nervous as hell to know there are guns out in the land, in the hands of people who would use them, for certain, if they attempt to perform their illegal lying, cheating, and stealing anywhere in their presence. It also makes them nervous knowing that they would be in danger for real, if the truth about what they do is ever made public with enough evidence to convince the masses to act…. They don’t want to have to worry they will be over-matched in firepower when that day comes along….

SIGH…. I’ve opened a can of worms, again, I know it….. I’m not going to claim to have all the right answers to the situation we find ourselves in today. Though it is a different world, technologically and culturally, from the time when the Second Amendment was written, deciding to abandon its precepts on that basis is not, and should never be, enough to justify any change in a law that is so important to the common man, the very people for whom the laws were created, to protect them from the self-same usurpation that is now being attempted. Once the law is amended, and weakened, the term “slippery slope” becomes very real, and a valid fear for those people.

To put a cap on it for now, I’ll say this…. Quite simply, I do not trust those who would take the right to bear arms from the people. I have seen NO evidence, in history, or in recent current events, that ANY governing body, or ANY group, or ANY single person, of ANY persuasion can be trusted to have guns, and use them solely for the benefit of the people, without turning them to their own purposes, first. NONE. You can’t show me any, either…. Go ahead, I’m listening….

I have studied people every day of my life, and I know too much of human nature to ever believe what I’m told of another person’s intentions; even the best intentions can change in mid-stream, turning its back completely on any commitments made previously. People lie, they cheat, they break in their minds, and they can’t, as a whole, ever be trusted to act rationally on a consistent basis….. at least, not any more rationally than can I myself….

“In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.”

~~ Oscar Wilde ~~


Such being the case, I’d rather keep my guns, thanks. I’ll accept the risks that go with that freedom, which includes the risk of bad people getting their hands on guns, and doing bad things to others. Don’t worry, if they do it in front of me, I’ll help…. and not by running away and hiding…. Life is dangerous, ffolkes, and one either learns to get along with that idea, or one spends a lot of time worrying about shit that can’t be changed…. A very unhappy state of affairs, to my way of thinking, and not very realistic in the long run….

“When the panorama of human existence becomes chaotic and confused,
it is quite soothing to watch the sun rise in the East.”

~~ gigoid~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

Blithely Untitled

A poem came to me today, willy, nilly,
along with a sharp blow to the head.
Since it left me feeling just a bit silly,
anything that rhymes should lessen the dread.

Manifesting destiny into a small, insidious group
we push on toward sanity, concentrating hard.
Full engaging moments spent navigating the loop
shall ever make a difference to victims found in the yard.

Still corpses of creatures, straight out of nightmare
fill up the corners of our tortured minds.
While ever saddened, the iconic male, most debonair,
gazes softly, ironically, at all the mutual interest he finds.

Moronic public statutes compel outbreaks of sanity,
responding to momentary impulses toward inducing peace.
Still, the motions get completed, in fertile stages of inanity
while the bulk of our inmates can find no surcease.

Reluctant motivation to continue is unbound,
striving to ascertain how far there yet remains to go.
No precognitive guesswork will make any less of a sound
to soften the final strains, or teach us to truly know.

~~ gigoid ~~

2/7/2014


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About Hopi Indian Symbols

    Today’s final old-school pearl is the only fresh material I can provide today; in spite of its relative freshness, it’s a little strange. But, it works, as it is merely giving us some stuff about living  we may have either forgotten, or, overlooked in our haste to be…. In any case, none of it will hurt you, and may even help… Go figure…..

Though man a thinking being is defined,
Few use the grand prerogative of mind.
How few think justly of the thinking few!
How many never think, who think they do!

~~ Jane Taylor ~~

~~ Essays in Rhyme, (On Morals and Manners, Prejudice, ) Essay i, Stanza 45 ~~


“The hard questions always have more than one right answer. The easy questions have no answers at all. That’s the universe’s way of keeping things balanced.” — Solomon Short

“It is better to know nothing than to know what ain’t so.” — Josh Billings

“Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.” — Kahlil Gibran

“Look to the essence of a thing, whether it be a point of doctrine, of practice, or of interpretation.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus — Meditations, viii, 22

“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” — Hugh Downs

“Nobody ever died of laughter.”

~~ Max Beerbohm ~~


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It’s done, and that’s the best I can say of it. Today is what we call REALLY trusting the process. So be it. I’ll try again tomorrow, if I can manage to rest/sleep enough to waken with a functioning neuron or two. In any case, see y’all tomorrow; personally, I don’t seem to have much choice, if I am to remain in the vicinity of sanity….

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….


Found while sifting through debris….

Ffolkes,

Seemingly, my ego knows no bounds…. or, I’m becoming too much a blogger, having lost track of what is important in the search for material about which to write EVERY DAY…. I also figured out it’s the ‘every’ part that makes the difference; once one has committed to a fresh post each day, there is no more leniency allowed…. or so it seems to me….

Ego, though, is NOT allowed to be the driving force behind all I do; that particular battle has been waging inside me for most of my life, ever since I learned that to do so is to court a life full of misery and pain, not always my own…. which only makes it worse. So, I try to focus on duty, instead, which may have elements of ego in it, from the process of choosing, but, duty, by its nature, and by what I was taught about it, does not lend itself well to ego driven choices. As one who accepts the entire concept of duty, and what it means, one realizes that duty to others is the only one that counts toward earning self-respect….

I suppose all that’s a pretty high-falutin’ chain of reasoning that basically amounts to an outburst of well, bullshite, ostensibly lamenting my lateness, which, today, is great, indeed…. Having slept an hour past my normal time to arise, the coffee, while ready, has been cooking for all that time, and should make up the difference in time by loading me up with a truly massive dose of caffeine in the first cup…. I can attest, actually, as I can feel my typing speed increasing as I type this sentence…. Not bad, eh? Another couple blathering, wandering paragraphs, and this will look just like a Pearl that started on time…. whatever that may be…..

Face it now, ffolkes…. when I’m this late, there’s no telling what may happen; this process is already about as random as I can make it…. When fate steps in to fuss with the timing, or the layout, or any of the interior furnishings, the degree of randomness only increases, not arithmetically, but, worse, hyperbolically…. which, though, perhaps, a bit canny, is NOT in itself hyperbole…. Besides, I really meant to write the word, “parabolic”, which is the correct word for my meaning…. hyperbolic merely describes the end result better, as it’s meaning implies a parabola with a slope approaching infinity…..

I should know…. hyperbole is one of my favorite tools as a writer, especially when writing about politicians, or preachers, who both have made the use of hyperbole a part of their everyday patterns of communication…. If you don’t believe me, just go listen to a sermon some day, and count the number of times the pastor-person employs it in their speech; it might just amaze you….. Me, I got tired of it, so I don’t much listen any more…. Of course, in my case, that started at about age 4, so I’ve had lots of practice at ignoring their nonsense….

Look, it’s an intro! Not just ANY intro, either…. It’s got a mini-rant flavor to it, and actually sets the stage for what MAY come after…. I can guarantee no fresh rant today; there isn’t time to go further into that sort of byplay with my targets with what is left of my morning. But, that’s okay, I’ve got a good one on tap from the archives, as mentioned earlier this week…. The Wise Old Pine Cone is gone for a day or two, attending a tournament down south with his paduan…. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go with them, so I won’t have any pictures of that…. The old one has promised me I could take some shots of an upcoming lesson when he returns, so, that will be good…. For now….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.” — Oscar Wilde, “Oscariana”

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As noted, below you will find a discussion from the archives, which, oddly enough, will do nicely to bring a bit of reasonable discourse to this Pearl…. It’s probably to late to save it, but, I’ve gotta try…. This one IS tasty, though, so, please enjoy….

From 9/19/2012:

“Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable; what it is or what it means can never be said.” — George Santayana

This observation by Mssr. Santayana seems to me to explain most of the movies that come out of Hollywood, or anywhere else. Each of us, though we cannot always say what we see as beautiful, knows what it looks like when we encounter it; every movie made is an attempt to attract people with visions of commonality, beauty that all can agree on, and, of course, pay money to see. It’s a manufactured market, only there because people want to experience those feelings, and are convinced that they can by participating in the public viewing of someone’s idea of beauty (or comedy, or evil, or any other intriguing related emotional experience)….

It reminds me of the concept of perfection…. We all have heard that “nobody is perfect”, or “nothing is perfect”, and there are numerous philosophical treatises that attempt to prove that perfection is beyond human attainment. My question for these people is this: if there is no such thing as perfection, then why do we have its image in our minds? It seems more logical to me that perfection is merely very rare, but examples of it are bound to occur, just by the law of averages, and when it does, we have the perceptive ability to see it, to acknowledge and appreciate its perfection….

The statement also can be viewed as another way of looking at the nature of reality, or the Tao of life. Is not the very first line of the Tao Teh Ching a paraphrase of the above? “The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao.” It touches on the very base of natural law, of how reality is not what we can say of it; it is more than just the description of it. By observing what is real, our perceptions remove the part of what has occurred that gives it body and substance, what makes it real….

If Albert Einstein’s God is the true one, then He left clues to this aspect of reality all over, but especially in physics, as noted by the famed Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which so poignantly points out the folly of placing one’s total faith in what is perceived…. because by seeing it, it has already changed, to suit another of reality’s aspects, Change….

Axiom # 2 of Peruaosophy states: “The Nature of the Universe is Change. Unpredictable, innovative transformation of Reality is the Norm. If you have a problem with this, you are in for a rough ride.”  Since Peruaosophy is my own philosophy, I can tell you, without fear of lying, that the axiom is absolutely true. It has been tested by every method I could think of, all through my life, and I can assure you that it is a factual statement. Trust me….

Okay, so you don’t have to take my word for it…. test it yourself. If you can find a single time when you can say that it is untrue, you document that, and send it to me. I’ll check it out, if any are sent in, but I have serious doubt that I’ll get any replies, as I’m confident of the axiom and its veracity. It doesn’t mean it is better, or more real than any other viewpoint or world view, but I’d wager it stands up to any of them without flinching or looking away….

Now see what I’ve done? I’ve talked myself into a corner, and can’t figure out how to tie all this mental meandering together with any aplomb. I’m sadly short of quotes, so we’ll have to make do with whatever I can come up with on short notice….. let it suffice to say that I believe in beauty, as little as it can be described, and I believe in perfection, in reality, and in the nature of everything…. After all, to be perfect, one would need to also be perfectly imperfect, else how would one tell?  And I know for a fact that many of us are imperfect; at times, I am so myself, on rare occasions…..    🙂    Besides, nature itself is full of examples of perfect beauty, anyway…. just take a walk in a garden when it is blooming with roses, and you will find any number of physical examples of the concept……

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart: the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned….

— William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

His head,
Not yet by time completely silver’d o’er,
Bespoke him past the bounds of freakish youth,
But strong for service still, and unimpair’d.

 — William Cowper (1731-1800) — The Task, Book ii, The Timepiece, Line 702


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I am at a loss for anything else that will do, you know to whom I turn…..

When we stand on the tops of Things —
And like the Trees, look down —
The smoke all cleared away from it —
And Mirrors on the scene —

Just laying light — no soul will wink
Except it have the flaw —
The Sound ones, like the Hills — shall stand —
No Lighting, scares away —

The Perfect, nowhere be afraid —
They bear their dauntless Heads,
Where others, dare not go at Noon,
Protected by their deeds —

The Stars dare shine occasionally
Upon a spotted World —
And Suns, go surer, for their Proof,
As if an Axle, held —
     
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I searched for the aphorism to go with the intro, these kept throwing themselves under the wheels, so, I figured, what the hell?…. It turned out pretty well, considering it created itself….

“Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.” — George Bernard Shaw

“A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.” — Sir Barnett Cocks

Hope and inspiration is a thousand times more valuable than people telling me what all the problems and limitations are.” — student after meeting Jane Goodall

“The faith in which I was brought up assured me that I was better than other people: I was saved, they were damned … Our hymns were loaded with arrogance–self-congratulation on how cozy we were with the Almighty and what a high opinion he had of us, what hell everybody else would catch come judgment day.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first base.” — Frederick Wilcox

“A candour affected is a dagger concealed.” — Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) — Meditations, book 9.

:GIGO: /gi:’goh/ [acronym] 1. `Garbage In, Garbage Out’ — usually said in response to {luser}s who complain that a program didn’t “do the right thing” when given imperfect input or otherwise mistreated in some way.  Also commonly used to describe failures in human decision making due to faulty, incomplete, or imprecise data.  2. `Garbage In, Gospel Out’: this more recent expansion is a sardonic comment on the tendency human beings have to put excessive trust in `computerized’ data.  — from The on-line Hacker Jargon File V423

A bit eclectic, perhaps, but, it comes together at the last very nicely, I think….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m not going to offer any excuses for any of this; I’m late, and the consequences of that are readily apparent, so, there’s no need for any further self-vilification…. I’ve completed my chosen duty, and that’s all that matters in the final analysis…. Besides, I’m hungry…. See ya tomorrow, ffolkes, when we’ll try again, hopefully with more success….

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

Featured Image -- 2780

Feeling exposed, Barney hid behind a leaky pulpit….

Ffolkes,

Today’s Pearl of Virtual Wisdom will be an example of how burnt out a brain can get…. I’m going to cheat, big-time, and there’s little I can do about it now, other than issue this spoiler….

It’s already after 6 AM, & I have been up only a little while, desperately trying to catch up to the routine I’ve built over the last few months…. However, it seems that more than two hours late getting up is an insurmountable obstacle, and I WON’T be catching up…. A few minutes in, after some coffee, my mind cleared, and I realized I would have to cheat…. Hence, this disclaimer, to let you know that this intro, such as it may be, will be the ONLY fresh material you’ll find today….

Not that this is necessarily a handicap, or in any respect a bad thing….. Far from it, as trying to create a Pearl with my head in this state would be more than just a little dangerous, for me, and definitely for y’all, and I’m not willing to put you in that much danger, even given my less than compassionate nature…. Hey, I’m human…. I may not be a pundit, or a preacher, or even an asshole, but, I am still one of the specimens of Homo  Australopithecus who are busy killing this planet, though, with some reluctance on my part….

All that nonsense aside, I just don’t have it in me today, and I’m too late to go find it…. So, below this you will find my version of a Re-Blog…. Everything you see below this intro consists of the Pearl of Virtual Wisdom posted on November 3, 2011, almost three full years ago (well, close enough for government work….)…. I spent some time finding one I think will do, and figure if nothing else, this one is both good enough, and long enough, to distract you from how stale it may be, from sitting so long without being read….

With no further BS, or any further ado, (Whatever that is…. What is “ado”, and why don’t we want any further episodes of it? Sometimes I wonder about stuff like that….), I give you, in its entirety, the POVW posted on…. well, you see the date right there, so no need for me to be any more pompous than I already am…. Enjoy, ffolkes, & I’ll be up earlier tomorrow…. maybe…. I kind of like this sleeping stuff, it’s rather refreshing….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
11/3/12
Ffolkes,
As the moon looked down with massive disdain, several large specimens of domestic droid came rolling down the street. Each the size of a large dog, the droids bristled with cleaning arms and brushes, rolling on a strange assortment of wheels that looked like rubber balls on racks. One by one, they peeled off from the street to move toward houses on each side of the street, most rolling around to the back to enter.

The spare shadows from the moon’s pale light gave the scene a soft, romantic air, as if the droids were off to visit their own true loves. But, even in this, a deep winter night in 2088, droids didn’t yet have girlfriends, and the man watching the parade of mechanicals was not interested in fanciful thoughts of droids in love. He only had one thought, and that thought was murder…..

Well, J.D. Robb could probably use it as a start to another novel about Eve Dallas and Roarke, but who knows if Lt. Dallas will still be a cop in 2088?…. She would only be in her late fifties to early sixties, and given the state of medical science, most likely would still be on the job. But, maybe Roarke will have convinced her to retire with him to another planet, where they’ll raise exotic food plants and little Roarkes and Eves…. Just as well, as these intro paragraphs are well away from her usual opening chapters, which generally start after the murder is done…. But, it got that stuff out of my head, and that is all that really matters at this point….

Today will be another oddly constructed pearl, as I still haven’t finished the poem, and no other material has surfaced as yet….. Thus, we must begin the day searching for something about which to write. With the election so close, it might be time for a rant on politics, to drive home the need for everyone to make sure to get out there to cast their opinion, wrong-headed though it may be…. Just let me ask each of you heading to the polls to use your noggin to make you choices, not your fears or bigotry, should you be saddled with such.

Use that brain for something other than sitting on, and make the logical choice to vote for the incumbent. No President, good or bad, ever gets much done in just four years, and this one deserves more time to continue with the positive changes that he’s been able to accomplish in spite of all the partisan opposition he has suffered due to the Republican party’s stated racist platform….. Don’t blame me, just go read what it says, and the racism is obvious…. even their own pundits are getting disgusted with it, as one of them so lucidly stated the other day…

Okay, wrong place to start ranting…. I’ll leave it for later, if that is what comes up in this morning’s dive…. I’ll quit fooling around now, and get on with the program…. Shall we Pearl?…..

Were I so tall to reach the pole,
Or grasp the ocean with my span,
I must be measured by my soul:
The mind ‘s the standard of the man.

— Isaac Watts (1674-1748) — Horae Lyricae, Book ii, False Greatness
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“Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves?  Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too.” — Isaac Asimov, The New Hugo Winners

In the intro section above, I started a rant, which mentioned the four years that the current President has had to try to accomplish his reforms. In that I mentioned the partisan opposition he has suffered at the hands of the Republican party. What Mr. Asimov states above may be considered as a large part of the reason that the Republicans have been so dead set against allowing him to make any progress.

Bigotry and racism are a direct outgrowth of ignorance; this is not something disputable, or subject to debate. It is fact…. and bigotry and racism are the real reasons that these people are so set on defeating Obama. They don’t care at all about how he is doing, or whether or not his policies are good for the country or not…. they don’t even attempt to address those issues, other than to create great outcries at every little issue that comes up in the news, when it suits them to make noise about it.

The Republican party has spent four years blocking all legislation proposed by the White House. This is legislation that would have created millions of jobs, and gone a long way to repairing the damage that eight years of Bush’s unlimited spending and economic disaster caused, but, his opponents have blocked all of it, in spite of the millions of Americans who might have benefited from the bills.

Their stated purpose, as outlined four years ago, right after the election in 2008, was to make Obama a one-term president, AT ANY COST, and using any means, including lying. Especially lying…. they’ve reduced that particular act to a science, and are not afraid to use it to their purpose at all. In pursuit of their ignorant, racist agenda, they have absolutely no shame…. It’s quite disgusting, actually, to those of us with more than two functioning brain cells….

“The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions.” — James Russell Lowell

I have been noticing the people on Facebook who are posting political articles for others to read, and have noted a distinct difference in the two styles each side has shown. The liberals who support the incumbent post videos, mostly, that show the Republican candidates stating one of their asinine, dishonest attacks on the President, or an inspirational message from a supporter of the President.

In addition, there have been a lot of videos of Republican candidates around the country who have bee voicing their party’s war on women lately, with these idiotic statements about rape, which, quite simply, is something to which they are not even entitled to an opinion, much less policy making powers. Any who, the liberals post this kind of stuff about half the time, along with another half that is supportive stuff that shows off the progress made by Obama, with a message of unity and hope for the future….

None of the Republican supporters I see have come out with anything at all on the “rape” issues…. no comments at all. It’s like they are in total denial, and think that if they ignore it, (hmm… wonder what ignoring leads to?…. could it be…. ignorance?), it won’t be true, or will go away. I also see no ads that show Romney, or Ryan, as doing ANYTHING. Period.

They have stopped talking to the public, and refuse to talk to reporters. They don’t want to make any more mistakes, as almost every time they’ve opened their mouths, it has benefited the liberals, because of the depth of stupidity shown every time. There are no admiring ads touting how wonderful a leader Mitt the Twitt would be….

There are no detailed explanations of his proposed policies, because every detailed study of those policies has shown them to be totally inadequate, lacking in any understanding of the issues involved, and in some cases, pure lies…. These were independent studies, by the way, not funded by the liberals.

No, the only things the Republicans are posting are negative attack ads on Obama, for all kinds of little BS, from the recent terrorist attack in Bhengazi, to birther nonsense (yes, it STILL gets thrown out there….), to thinly disguised references to his skin color, which just goes to show their real fear….

These people are scared to death because a BLACK man is President, and they will do literally ANYTHING to get him out of that position…. One of the most highly recognizable pundits from the Republican party recently came out to express his dismay at the outright racism and bigotry of the Republican campaign, and to acknowledge the despicable nature of the ignorance that is being displayed.

Yet, the polls (which I regard as purely fictional, and merely another attempt by the media to assert their own form of mind control….. I am of the firm opinion that publishing a poll before the election should be illegal…. let us go to the polls without any precognition…. which is how it is supposed to work, now, isn’t it?…)…. the polls say that the race is close, and that it may be decided in the electoral college, rather than at the polls themselves.

Which is, to me, another opportunity for the Republicans to try to work their manipulation and voter suppression techniques to try to affect the outcome in their favor…. They did it successfully with GW Bush, twice, so it’s not like it hasn’t already been tested as a viable method of winning elections. It’s just that in this case, there is a distinct danger of the entire country falling back into the middle ages, should their cheating ways prevail again….

So, what I am suggesting, to all those out there with any shred of common sense and intelligence,  is that we remove that issue, by going to the polls in such numbers as to make their ignorance and bigotry immaterial. Let us show them that there are more of us than they think there are, and we are not going to allow them to drag us back over a hundred years, eliminating all the progress in social issues that we have struggled so hard to obtain in the last fifty years.

The fate of millions of seniors, women, people of color, gays, and just about anyone who isn’t a rich white male will be seriously threatened by a Republican win in three days…. so let us remove their chances of winning, by going out to vote for Obama in record numbers everywhere, and make the electoral college  a matter of form. (Then we can start the process to get rid of the college altogether…. should’ve happened fifty years ago… it’s a relic of the past, and should stay there….)

Go vote, ffolkes, and please, get it right!…..

(Note from the future: Well, they got it mostly right, as the voters managed to choose the lesser of the two evils presented…. Sadly, that’s still evil, if you hadn’t noticed….)
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Days and Nights of Eire

Wondrously comforting, a dream creeps oft into my mind
On the elven hills of Eire lives the vision I will find.
Elegant, gracious, everlastingly draped in beauty
Just payment of simple homage lives as joyous duty.

Fairies and druids walk abroad in ghostly parade
Gracing each hearth with its own welcoming shade.
Castles and heroes still live in tale and song
Proving love for the land in each heart strong.

From cold of winter into glorious young spring
Brown, and gray, to emerald green songs to sing
Soft rains always follow winter’s great tempest
As Eire dons an emerald coat from east to west.

Old and strong, connections call out in dreams
Nothing that was known remains as it seems.
Immersion in ancient runes and battle hymns
Offering sanity in place of grievous whims.

Time and place can tell a much different tale
Judgment should never be a final sale.
Yet something solid and real calls me to go see
Where dreams of loving beauty may actually be….

~~ gigoid ~~


Whew! Finally…. Well, there you go… I hope it was worth the wait…. Actually, it may grow again; it’s okay, but feels not quite done, somehow… ah well, time will tell….
__________________________________

:GIGO: /gi:’goh/ [acronym] 1. `Garbage In, Garbage Out’ — usually said in response to {luser}s who complain that a program didn’t “do the right thing” when given imperfect input or otherwise mistreated in some way.  Also commonly used to describe failures in human decision making due to faulty, incomplete, or imprecise data.  2. `Garbage In, Gospel Out’: this more recent expansion is a sardonic comment on the tendency human beings have to put excessive trust in `computerized’ data. — from The on-line Hacker Jargon File V423

Many years ago, I adopted the user name gigoid, taking it from the above definition, and adding an “id” for, of course, identification purposes; with that suffix, I am assured of human status, i.e. hominid, humanoid, etc.  I chose this acronym because it is the perfect reminder of the basic integrity that is built into all computers, i.e., they can only do what we tell them to do, and cannot lie. Thus, if our results are wrong, the error lies in our input, not in the computer; this automatically cuts in half the number of places to look for the problem.

I like to think that my awareness of this principle characteristic is what has allowed me to use computers without suffering many of the common difficulties such as crashes, freezes, and blue screens of death. Only once have I ever encountered one of those on my own computer, and that was the result of a virus my defenses missed… my fault, of course, I hadn’t updated soon enough…

Oh, I’ve encountered that famous blue screen before, when I worked as a computer tech back in the late 90’s, setting up LAN’s and office systems for H&R Block…. a significant percentage of machines were dead soon after coming out of the factory box. But, on my own computers, I am very careful never to break any of the basic rules that govern those kinds of mishaps…. and I owe it all to a wise choice of user name…. Well, it’s fun to think about it that way anyway….

So, who is gigoid? Well, if you’ve hung about this blog site for long, I’ve certainly given y’all enough of my inner workings to look at, in my rants, and in my old school pearls, as well as in my poetry, which is quite revealing, to me….. but, then, if it wasn’t, I most likely couldn’t write it…. Any who, to give the short answer to that question, I’ll post below some pearls that give insight into what I believe to be true, and how I try to live….

Like any weak human, I don’t always succeed at being as moral or ethical as I can be, but, I do try, and I do feel pangs of regret when I don’t, so cut me some slack, eh? Just kidding…. What I am is all what I am, though I’m not Popeye…. and these pearls are what I see in the mirror…..

“They are able because they think they are able.” — Virgil

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.  We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.  We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” — Aristotle

“An epigram often flashes light into regions where reason shines but dimly.” — E. P. Whipple

It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs. — Smart Bee

Computers can never replace human stupidity. — Smart Bee

“Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.
But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please — this won’t take long.” Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time — and squawk for more!
So learn to say No – and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you. (This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don’t do it because it is “expected” of you.) ”

— Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert Heinlein

“Do I look like someone who cares about what God thinks?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Well, that’s enough about me…. Hope this helps clear up any confusion, and if not, well, hey, life goes on…. all we can do is all we can do, and no more….
__________________________________

Odd, indeed…. and long, too. I wasn’t sure the poem was going to make it, and it may not be all the way done, but, it’s out, and will stand as is for now…. I’m not sure about it right now, I’m too close to it to judge impartially…. so, I’ll take a chance, and let it go out as it is. I’m brave, sometimes…. but,then, what can happen, besides somebody hating it? I can handle that okay, so…. any who, enough of my rambling for one day…. I see that I have possibly gone a bit overboard in that respect today. Such is life, or as the French would say, literally, c’est la vie…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here endeth today’s Pearl, probably long after what might have been the most auspicious point for doing so…. which fits right in with the pomposity and heavy-handed style that still permeated my writing back then…. But, it saved me from having to come up with anything new and fresh, so, we’ll take it, and be happy…. and so will you…. See you tomorrow, ffolkes, hopefully a bit earlier than today…..

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

dozer3

Avuncular attempts at erudition….

Ffolkes,
In the pages of this blog, it has often been noted that Murphy, that bloody sod, spends a lot of time pissing on me. It seems a morning can’t go by without some sort of evidence that he has been around, messing with something so it will give me trouble. Even though I believe he singles me out for some unknown reason, I’ve tried not to complain too loudly, as that might piss him off good and proper, and make him take even closer notice…. just seemed like a good policy to follow at the time…..

But, this is getting absurd, and that is me playing nice. He has figured out possibly the most annoying thing he can do to me, and gone and done it. And, if he has his way, you’ll never even know, as it will keep me off the Net for long enough you’ll give up on today’s Pearl. That bleedin’ arse has cut my connection to the Internet! Well, not just mine apparently. My ISP seems to be down, and apparently has come down so hard, they’re struggling to get back up. Can’t even get through by phone; one can’t argue with a busy signal…..

I don’t know how Murphy was able to bring down an entire satellite network, but he’s done it, for sure and for certain. I’m sure there are a number of frantic geeks now running around the ISP’s hardware stacks, screwdrivers at the ready, diligently seeking the way to get the system back online. Since I couldn’t get anything but a busy signal at customer service, I called the sales line, where I found out they’re definitely down, having suffered a power outage somewhere, and hope to be back online within an hour. Since deadlines usually mean very little, we’ll see how that goes….

Meantime, it leaves me with nothing but faith that they will get it back in time for me to post this, and we all know how much I like operating on faith…. that is to say, I don’t like it at all. But, much like the four-year olds who get shoved into Sunday School without so much as a “by your leave”, I don’t have any choice in the matter just now….. so, I’ll just go Pearl. Care to join me?…..
___________________________________

Unbidden, treasure unfolded…

Taken by surprise, Psyche sits numb
Amidst tall phrases worn of elder time
Seeking a not-new place from which to come
No shiny new horizon, nor altered paradigm.

Sudden regrets shape dreams as times maintain
Shades of memories bring poignant clear sight
Visions of duty, each chosen wild campaign
Shouts echoing clamors to enfold the night.

Arisen from less than eternal havens of sleeping
Facing moments created in torment and pain
Destiny weighs upon those chosen to keeping
As the sparrow flies now to sever the twain.

Faded pathways lead away, hazy and long
Burned out verges, so often unknown
Images of yesterday, clear and strong
Bleed into today, though t’is but my own……

gigoid

Hmm …. It isn’t often I give in to the urge to write a poem, but, what with waiting around to get back online, and the reluctance of pearls to throw themselves at my feet, I figured, hey, why not? If I’d known it would come out like this, I probably wouldn’t have bothered, but, I’m uncertain as to whether or not that would be right.

A word is dead
When it is said
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.
— Emily Dickinson

So, I’ll ask for a little feedback…. is this poem worth the effort I put into it? Is it worthy of publication? I say, maybe, maybe not. I’d be interested to hear what others think about it, so please, those few of you who see this, please take a moment to let me know… a simple yes, it’s okay, or no, delete it, will suffice for my purposes…. and thanks very much in advance….   🙂

“I have thought many times since that if poets when they get discouraged would blow their brains out, they could write very much better when they got well.” — Mark Twain
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“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” — Oscar Wilde (1856-1900) (An example of Oscar channeling Lao Tzu….)

“Defending the truth is not something one does out of a sense of duty or to allay guilt complexes, but is a reward in itself.” — Peter Bechmann (I’ve never heard of this guy, but he makes a good point….)

It is fear that first brought gods into the world. – Smart Bee  (This almost sounds like something from a Hindu philosophy…. or, H. L. Mencken…)

“Violence accomplishes nothing.”  What a contemptible lie!  Raw, naked violence has settled more issues throughout history than any other method ever employed. Perhaps the city fathers of Carthage could debate the issue, with Hitler and Alexander as judges? — Robert Heinlein (Robert was a bit of a hawk when it came to politics….)

“Do not confuse ‘duty’ with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill
obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.” — Lazarus Long  (This is the best definition of duty I know of, and parallels perfectly what I was taught by my father….)

While searching the dB this morning for pearls, these are what stuck to the board so far. (I use the velcro board system….) Each of them is a decent pearl (especially the second one, re: fear) and could conceivably contribute to a rant of some length. But, in the interests of time and change, let’s try something new….

What do y’all think of each of these as a subject for a rant, or even merely discussion on a more rational level? I’ve discussed all of them previously, and can do so again, but it might be nice to approach them from someone else’s viewpoint. I think I’d enjoy that, as I love looking at things from different angles whenever possible. Do you agree with the statement? Hate it? Just have thoughts about it? Great! Each of them addresses a subject relevant to all of us, as far as I can see….

So, let me know what you think, either in the comments below, or by blogging about it, then let me know so I can go read it. Hey, if nothing else, it will give us both something different to try, yes? And who knows, it could provide material for all of us, one way or another…. and new material is always welcome here…..
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I have a friend, Patrick Power, who posts a lot of pictures on Facebook. He also has a WordPress blog, at http://itsallaboutvegas.wordpress.com/, (though he hasn’t posted there in a while…) and one at http://onemoviefanaticsopinion.blogspot.com/ (He doesn’t post much there, either…. busy guy….) 

Our minds work in similar patterns, and I am almost always in agreement with what he posts, or ‘Like’ it because it is so cute, or accurate, or relevant. A couple of days ago, he posted this one, and I thought immediately that it should be sent to the Democratic Party for use during the upcoming campaign. I don’t think the Republicans need it, as they try to use it regularly…. fortunately, they’re not very good at it…. but, used properly, it can be extremely effective….
    Perfect, isn’t it?…. Enjoy the day….
___________________________________

Well, there you have it. My ISP has solved whatever problem it had, and I’m back online. This Pearl is done, though not in customary form. It somehow feels different today, like it got away from me for awhile…. ah well, probably just my incipient paranoia peeking out…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Plain, old-fashioned articles of modern design….

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, we’ll just gather up our belongings, and get back on the bus, which will take us directly to the jumping off point for the day….. Shall we go Pearling? I say we must….. or I’m doomed to spend the rest of the day in a medicated haze, in order to keep from running around naked, throwing rocks at the seagulls, and scaring the neighbors….. Shall we be off, then? Let’s do………
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Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
Is the best gift of Heaven: a happiness
That even above the smiles and frowns of fate
Exalts great Nature’s favourites: a wealth
That never encumbers, nor can be transferred.
— John Armstrong (1709-1779)

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

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

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

Self-respect . . . is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has its price. — Anonymous, but true nonetheless….
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“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” — Thomas Paine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Building velour anodynes for the Navy…..

Ffolkes,
It is gratifying, and a little bit scary, at how quickly this blog has become the focus of my entire day. I’m now following about 75 or 80 blogs that have piqued my interest, and keeping up with them involves a significant period of time each day now, else I get buried in email notifications. It’s time-consuming, but also a lot of fun for me, as I get to read all-new original material from a variety of talented folks to my heart’s content. Then there is the 1.5 to 3 hours it takes most days to create these Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, insisting as I do on a certain level of quality. I’m busy as a one-armed paper hanger, and loving every minute!

In addition, I have met and now have 70+ people whose blogs I follow, or who follow mine, and whom I consider to be new friends, with whom I have the opportunity to share experiences, thoughts, dreams, and troubles, knowing that there are folks who are empathetic, supportive, honestly and tactfully critical when appropriate (I hope), and most importantly, interested in what I create.

Also, I have met, and now communicate with, a large number of folks with whom communication is not a chore, but a recurrent pleasure; I don’t feel I have to explain every other reference I make, and people get my jokes (such as they are…..).  Perhaps best of all, I have been introduced to the work of several people whose poetry simply astounds me, with its power and sheer talent. At least two of the poetesses write with such clarity and power, or with such abundant love, I get shivers on a regular basis…. sublime is the best way to describe the feeling their work brings.

One of the ways I am determined to show my appreciation for the serendipitous pleasure I get from all this new stimulation is to make what I create the very best I can. I have to…. it’s the only way I can think of to maintain a feeling of parity with all the talented folks I’ve come across. And I hope that what I write continues to give other folks as much pleasure to read as it does for me to bring it to life….. what goes around, comes around, and that’s just fine with me….. let’s go Pearling, shall we?……
___________________________________

“A “practical joker” (substitute ‘busybody’ here) deserves applause for his wit according to its quality. Bastinado is about right.  For exceptional wit one might grant keelhauling. But staking him out on an anthill should be reserved for the very wittiest.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s, “Time Enough For Love”

I substituted for Mr. Heinlein’s subject bozoid, replacing the not-so-prevalent ‘practical joker’ (most of whom were stifled, or driven into hiding, in the last wave of occupational health & safety purges, when they trained all workers to avoid such behavior as being unsafe) with the more ubiquitous ‘busybody’, of which there are legion, generally at least one for each neighborhood. Lazarus Long calls such folks “Mrs. Grundy”, which I always thought was unfair to the Mrs. Grundy in Archie Comics, who was kind of the American ideal of every student’s favorite teacher, the one who was always on the side of the students…… but I digress…..

Today’s Mrs. Grundy’s have even more reasons in their tiny little minds to justify their just plain nosiness about other folk’s business; for example, they are the ones who will call Animal Control because your cat pooped in their garden once, three weeks ago. (Even cats won’t go into yards where they don’t feel welcome) Or they’ll call and complain about party noise, at about 7 PM on a Saturday night, even though you took the time to deliver them an invitation personally, and nicely requested they call you if disturbed. Or they’ll watch all your visitors like a hawk, and then spread rumors about them to all your neighbors.

I have noted, in my own observations of this odd bird, that Mrs. Grundy (who is sometimes a querulous old man with no teeth, and a belly that precedes him through a door by 2 full seconds) is usually the same person who “just loves” that young man, Ron Santo, or Santini,  I think his name is; you know, the guy who obviously hates women and would like to see all of them barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, ala 1882, or whatever far right zealot has the public eye this election cycle. She (or he) attends one of those churches where the pastor makes periodic predictions as to the imminence of the Rapture (a particularly paranoid apocalypse fantasy common to a lot of “Born Again” or evangelical denominations) (I always wonder, what was wrong with the first time they were Born? I told my mom I wanted to be “Born Again” and she said, “NO WAY!”…..) (I wish that was an original joke, but I heard it somewhere….)   🙂

At any rate, these folks, who really don’t like themselves, or anyone else, continue to be the sand in the wheel joints of society, using their highly developed sense of intolerance and ignorance to bother and befuddle everyone they live around, complicating their life, and that of everyone with whom they come into contact. 

As far as I can tell from history, this has been true since people started living in groups, in caves, teepees, or igloos; all of them had at least one Mrs. Grundy around the fire, complaining about the stones on the communal path, the noisy kids in the next cave, or having to share their firewood….. I guess they’ll always be with us, until such a time as humanity learns how to stamp out the inherent pettiness and cowardice that mark these folks; until everyone, including Mrs. Grundy, learns to be happy with what they have, and people stop trying to make everyone else over into their own distorted and fearful image……

“Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?” — Calvin and Hobbes

“Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite.” — Lazarus Long
___________________________________

I noticed, in looking back over recent offerings, that I have been somewhat short on poetry, a serious lack that I shall now correct, at least temporarily. While on a recent dive, these four short but sweet jewels popped up in front of my gratified gaze, one after the other, boom, boom, boom, boom, so I knew they should all be presented together, as a little snack for the soul before getting into something a bit meatier….. enjoy!….

But, oh! fell death’s untimely frost
That nipt my flower sae early.
— Robert Burns (1759-1796) — Highland Mary

It may be glorious to write
Thoughts that shall glad the two or three
High souls, like those far stars that come in sight
Once in a century.
— James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) — An Incident in a Railroad Car

He pass’d the flaming bounds of place and time:
The living throne, the sapphire blaze,
Where angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw; but blasted with excess of light,
Closed his eyes in endless night.
— Thomas Gray (1716-1771) — The Progress of Poesy, III, 2, Line 4

And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
— M. Arnold, “Dover Beach”

Ahhhh……. that’s nice! I am compelled to Haiku…..

POETRY

Flashing, bright words create

inevitable images;

truth consumes.

–gigoid
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It is the nature of mankind to confuse genius with insanity. — Anonymous (possibly the history’s greatest philosopher; the most prolific, at any rate…..)

Aha! That explains that!….. Now I understand why I always get those funny looks!…. 🙂 Besides, what are ya gonna do with someone who thinks the following is like, massively funny?…..

What goes siss boom bah?
An exploding sheep.

I’d best go on to something a bit less…. silly….. I could get stuck in this mode….
___________________________________

“I don’t make jokes.  I just watch the government and report the facts.” — Will Rogers

I was going to use this as a springboard for another rant on our beloved ruling class….. But, the more I thought about it, the longer it percolated in my brain, the sadder I grew….

I used to feel a lot of love for my country, if for nothing else, because of the dream of liberty and human empowerment that our system of government was designed, and intended, to create and maintain. The founding fathers had a vision, of a country where every man had the same opportunities to live their live as they chose as every other man, without censure, and without the fear of being persecuted for their beliefs, no matter how different they were from everyone else’s. A dream of a place where children could grow up without the fear of hunger, or abuse, or death from the skies, or the water they drink. A place where a man, or a woman, was respected for just being human, without having to prove their worth to some ignorant asshole who is afraid of any color skin but their own, or for how big and holy their imaginary friend is……

Instead, we live in a society whose diverse segments have an extreme, deep, and sadly justified, mistrust of each other, where the rich and powerful, instead of uplifting their fellow man, use their influence and wealth to divide and discriminate, and to keep the less fortunate powerless to even hope for better. A society that ignores its elderly, and abuses its children, where people are starving in the midst of mountains of food. A culture that glorifies war, and sees peaceful coexistence as weakness; a culture where it is a crime for a man to kill another for honor, but is praised for being part of an army of professional killers. A country where the twin concepts of honor and duty have been supplanted as the basis of our national character by avarice and expediency.

Yes, I am saddened by Will’s joke, because it is all too real, and all too accurate……
___________________________________

“It’s hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” — Calvin, Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes

Jimmy Swaggert, and that other 5 or  6 televangelists who regularly get caught literally with their pants down come immediately to mind for inclusion in this group……. Newt Gingrich, obviously, for congenital lying, and excessive sliminess…. Rick Santorum, because I can’t imagine an entity as smart as God is reputed to be allowing this ….. person…. speak in His Name for very long without exacting some price….. Twitt Romney, that elitist asshole…..and as Yul Brynner so beautifully stated: “Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…..” to which I would add, “and a cast of thousands, ad nauseam infinitum…..”

I suppose it also says something less than admirable about the media, and those who are its rapt audience, to note that a lot of what we are exposed to by the members of the (supposed) fifth column consists of the “least” admirable denizens of our species, who unfortunately are the ones who make for salable news, the material that will pay for the advertising costs, so we can be sure to hear about the latest, greatest new product that fills some previously unknown manufactured need.

The stuff that sells papers, or TV shows, as it turns out, is endless reports about the stupidest, most egregious examples of a seemingly limitless number of fanatic religious zealots, unprosecuted criminals wearing power suits and ties, and a parade of sports and entertainment figures with an average IQ of 77 who are the current examples of “famous celebrities” we are supposed to fawn over, and use as our idols for emulation.

I often feel a sense of despair after reading the news…. fortunately, I have WordPress to alleviate any dangerous build-up of bile….. but, all-too-often, it sure makes me wish for a few well-placed bolts of lightning to provide some comic relief, at least…..
___________________________________

We come reluctantly to the end of another…… hmmm… sometimes I just don’t know what to call this… let’s use ‘another day’s output’… that’s generic enough to fit in just about any set of parameters…. it feels like a good one, but only time, and my Gentle Readers, can make the final judgment on that…. Y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Simple truths are always welcome, but seldom seen…

Ffolkes,
In the bitter cold, his hands felt like wooden clubs, and
the skin on his face and nose felt as if it were being ripped off in broad strips. Silently, he crossed the yard in back of the old two-story house where he had lived his entire life, heading swiftly toward the stand of trees just past the rear boundary. Not sure if the other would be there yet, he slowed his pace, slipping between the trees without a sound, until he came to the meeting place, a small clearing among the massive trunks of the ancient trees, empty of life, waiting. Standing outside the circular clearing, he watched, and listened; his breath forming small clouds in front of his face as he waited. “Nothing will stop him now,” he thought, “If he won’t listen to me, he’ll really do what he said he would do, and life itself would change dramatically, for everyone. He’s got to be stopped!” With that in the forefront of his mind, he slowly reached into his pocket, and brought out the ugly little revolver, checked it was loaded and ready, then prepared himself to use it, if necessary. As he looked at the deadly little piece, his mind flew back, through days and years, until he remembered……..
___________________________________

And on the 8th day, God said, “Okay, Murphy, you’re in charge!”

This little known passage from the original version of the King James Bible was somehow lost in one of the translations the book went through in the years after JC’s adventures, so little is known of its origins, and why it was included in the holiest of books. If anything, its very existence tends to verify the rest of the claims made in the book; nothing is more truthful than reality, and Murphy is well known to all of us who live on this planet. His ubiquitous presence is made felt in every activity humanity engages in, from simple household chores, to sending rockets into space. Not only does his presence make itself known in abundance, but is actually assumed by almost everyone; we are all so used to him f___ing with us, we just shrug our shoulders, grin, and bear it….

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t ever in the Bible; I admit to stretching the truth a bit, and can only claim wishful thinking as an excuse. Because I do wish that this little concept, to wit: Murphy and his ubiquitous and oh-so-powerful natural law, had been included in at least one of the versions we see today. It would make reading through it much more palatable, as well as lending a strong arm to belief and faith, for there is far more observable evidence of Murphy’s activities than there are of most of the other stuff in the book;  acknowledging that would be advantageous, and go a long way toward convincing a lot of skeptics to reconsider their original assumptions as to veracity……

“I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State.   My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.” — George Carlin (Amen to that! And RIP George…..)
___________________________________

Love is a rose, but you’d better not pick it.
It only grows when it’s on the vine.

Does anyone besides me, and doubtless, Bette Midler, remember the last two lines of the stanza in the song? They are actually the kicker to the thought, the hammer that drives home the nail….they go like this:

You lose your love
When you use the word “mine”……

Point made, ’nuff said….. but that wouldn’t really be my style, now would it? And besides I have a reputation to maintain; no one can spout more nonsense in a shorter time than me, and make you think that something was actually communicated. It’s one of my daily goals to write at least 1000 words before noon, and I don’t care who I trample under the load of crap that sometimes is needed to fulfill that goal. But, really now, this song doesn’t really need much more; its simple style belies the depth of the message, which is therefore crystal clear, and does not require that I point it out to you. All you need to do find an old copy of the song, and listen to it…. it is one of my all time favorite pieces of music, and if nothing else, can serve as more evidence of my strangeness…..
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“There are more stars known to exist right now than the total number of all the grains of sand on every beach in the entire world. With those kinds of odds, it would seem downright naive for someone to go to a beach in, say, some out-of-the-way inlet in Baffin Bay, stoop to pick up only one tiny grain of sand, and declare that that grain alone was the only place where life could exist.” — Hugh Downs

Ah, but Mr. Downs, with all due respect you have forgotten Rule #1 from Mr. Long’s Notebooks, to wit: Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. It merely takes utter faith to put your claim to rest; the faithful can believe anything, as long as it is couched in Scripture-like language, or is labeled as truth by an icon of their particular area of belief. It’s easy for them to explain away such facts; they just don’t believe them.

First, they say, the stars we see, and all the physical laws we have deduced over the years that explain how those stars were formed over eons, not merely millenia, are false, erroneous. All those facts are illusions, put there by God to deceive us, and tempt us away from His Truth, which by their reckoning puts the age of the Universe at about 4200 years, having begun one Monday morning that long ago, with the creation of the whole shebang taking place, not in eons, but in seven days. I’m sorry, but I find that to be just a little more specious than I care to entertain as Truth.

Second, why would a reportedly all-powerful entity want to play tricks like that? I’m not all-powerful, but it seems a little childish to me, and I have a hard time buying into the assumption that someone who is omnipotent would do something so outrageously dumb; it’s a little too reminiscent of a Three Stooges sketch for my taste.

Secondly, I don’t recall, in any of the dozen or so reportedly holy books I’ve read, anyone ever even implying any such concept, or anything close to it, nor does the deity they are discussing make any such claims. Seems to me that anyone who wanted to be worshiped would want the supplicants to know the real reason why. I’m also a bit suspicious of the claim that an omnipotent, omniscient entity would require adoration, blind obedience, and worship, or even want it at all. That kind of attitude, when directed toward me in even a mild form, I find to be repugnant; it makes my skin crawl to have someone gush over me, or admire what I’ve done too strongly. I can’t imagine any entity deserving the name of God wanting any part of that……..and neither do I…..

“God is not all-powerful, as he cannot build a wall he cannot jump.”– Pascal

Wow! Talk about logical certainty! Which, if you stop to think about it, makes mankind the more powerful, as we can do that. Hmm….. let’s see, that one doesn’t actually follow from the first; omniscience is implied yet not assumed, but rather considered as part of the argument. From a purely reasoning standpoint however, what Pascal has said here is in reality a paradox, or rather, he has pointed out the paradox in the assumption of omnipotence in any entity, whether human, or presumably divine. Whichever premise is actually true is one of those mysteries that may never be solved, at least not by reasoning only. It may need physical evidence of some kind before it can be adequately answered. But it does go to show how powerful reasoning can be, when in the hands of an expert……. nothing is sacred, thankfully…..
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A Moment of Haiku

Bare is the soul
who will not see the truth,
even when the truth sees them.

gigoid
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I’m surprised there aren’t more solipsists!

Gut busting laughter ensues…… I mean, really, there can only be one…. and I’m not ready to give it up just yet…
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In looking back over today’s work, and remembering what has been done recently, I find that I’ve been pretty critical of most religions. In that respect, and in my own defense, I do try not to be disrespectful, beyond a bit of name-calling I’m guilty of for sure (usually involving the S word). I also would like to say that I acknowledge the good works that most religions do in the world, whatever their motivation for doing so; it is generally intended to improve the lot of the downtrodden and needy, and so deserves respect. If anyone has hurt feelings, or has any arguments in support of opposing viewpoints, I welcome any discourse in which you wish to engage, cheerfully. And go ahead and call me a few names too, if that helps. But, please do me one favor…..think about what I say, rationally, without getting emotionally involved. It will make both our lives more comfortable, as I tend to strike back hard and fast when attacked without apparent cause….. a leftover habit from my time dealing with the certifiably insane members of our society…..   😉

In the meantime, y’all take care out there….I’ll be back tomorrow…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

In a manner of speaking…..

Ffolkes,
Mornings such as this are becoming all too familiar. I sit here and stare at the monitor, waiting for an idea to float up to the surface of my mind, where I can pluck it up and lay it out for all to see. But, nothing is floating. The stream of consciousness keeps flowing by; I can feel the current. But, nothing is jumping into the net, or onto shore to flop around, and the baited hook is being ignored. Oh well, I suppose I’ll have to wing it; that’s better than diving in to catch ’em by hand……
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Q: “You’re right, of course.  I’m extraordinarily selfish.  But it has served me so well in the past.”
Picard: “It will not serve you here.”
Q: “Don’t be so hard on me, Jean-Luc.  You’ve been mortal all of your life, you know about dying.  I’ve never even given it a second-thought…or a first one for that matter.  I could’ve been killed.  If it hadn’t been for Data, and that brief little he created, I would’ve been gone.  No more me.  And no one would’ve missed me, would they?” — “Deja Q”, Stardate 43539.1

And right there is the answer to the question, why should one live with compassion and truth, honor and duty? Because if you don’t, NO ONE will miss you when you’re gone. Can there be a sadder way to die? Or, worse yet, a sadder way to live? I don’t believe there can be, at all, at all….
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“The assertion that all men are created equal was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain and it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use.” —  Abraham Lincoln

“All men are created unequal.”- Lazarus Long

“All men weren’t created equal. All were created with equal rights. But they weren’t created with equal abilities, or equal intelligence, or equal physical capabilities. Every man and woman is created with equal potential of being better than merely equal, and with the right to have that potential respected for what they may achieve. They should not be judged according to what someone with greater talent in one area or another may say, for they judge and condemn only according to their own assumed entitlement.” — gigoid ©
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“Termiter’s argument that God is His own grandmother generated a surprising amount of controversy among Church leaders, who on the one hand considered the argument unsupported by scripture but on the other hand were unwilling to risk offending God’s grandmother.” — Len Cool, American Pie

Vows with so much passion, swears with so much grace, that ‘t is a kind of heaven to be deluded by him. — Nathaniel Lee (1655-1692)  — Alexander the Great, Act i, Sc. 3

It can be a rather sobering pastime to contemplate the staggering effects of ignorance on human society. History is filled with evidence of just how silly mankind tends to be, especially when left to its own devices. How many times have we seen or read about some tin-plated demagogue spewing their vitriolic nonsense so loudly, and with such conviction, that millions of desperate people gather behind their banner, ready to die for the cause, however ignorant, on the off-chance that their lot my be improved thereby.

Let’s see….without googling, I can offer off the top of my head, Alexander. Genghis Khan. Jesus of Nazareth. Mohamed (yes, I know, but the spell-checker wants it spelled this way. Go figure). Hannibal, Adolph Hitler, Baha’ullah, Shrub, Sr. and Shrub, Jr., and a host of other charismatic leaders with the ability to pull people into their own particular delusional system. As a matter of fact, we have spent much of our history just recovering from the times when these charming idiots held sway over society.

Myself, I’m getting pretty tired of trying to live down the absolute nonsense perpetrated by these ignorant sociopaths; I wish it weren’t so, but it looks as if ignorance is going to win the final battle with reason, and humanity will join the dinosaurs in extinction, with the dubious honor of having chosen death over life……

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” — Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“It may be true that my desk here is really “nothing but” a transient eddy of electrons in the flux of universal process. Nevertheless, I find that it continues to support my feet, my revolver, and my cigars all day long. What happens when my back is turned I don’t know. Or much care. That’s no concern of mine.” — Edward Abbey

I find this to be an insightful epiphany; it’s just curmudgeonly enough to appeal to that side of my nature, which, I do confess, I encourage shamelessly. But, and here’s the important part, it’s pretty much true, in the sense that the Universe does exist and operate in ways we don’t always understand. But, there is also no need to understand everything; many parts of the Universe bring with them an understanding that needs no communication beyond perception. If it looks like a cat, and sounds like a cat, and smells like a cat, and feels like a cat, AND it tastes like a cat, it’s probably a cat. If, after performing all of these perceptual tests upon the cat, you walk away with a number of scratches, well, that is just one more piece of evidence in favor of the theory that it was a cat….. it’s kinda like Mark Twain said, “A man who has held a bull by the tail knows several things more than a man who hasn’t”……
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“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
” What’s for breakfast? said Pooh. What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said. — A. A. Milne, “Winnie the Pooh”

Here’s a fine little example of how simple is best. What a wonderful attitude to have in the morning, in whichever form you choose, breakfast, or excitement. It is only when one attains a certain age that mornings assume the aspect of a challenge rather than an inspiration. Part of the process of aging, for us humans, involves learning how to approach each day with some degree of cheerfulness, having found that it is better to accept what is, rather than struggle to make it more to our liking.

When one is young, that unknown day ahead of us is bright and shiny, with promise and potential. As we get older, we see less of the shine, and focus instead on the potential. By now, we know any promises involving reality are false; things usually change before a promise can even be uttered. Mother Nature offers us no guarantees, we just have to take everything “as is”…..therefore, learning to get back to the childish side of our nature allows us to at least look forward to each day, even though we know its challenges…..
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Wait….no, wait a minute…..oh. Okay. It’s okay, I just had a strong feeling of veja du. ” For a moment, I thought I had entered an alternate universe.” — Vir  But, it was only my sense of humor playing a joke on me….. (Sorry, I apologize…I couldn’t resist…..) But, think of this, if you will: these are only my opinions. You should see my convictions.  Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!