A schlemiel, or a putz?… Not an easy choice….

Ffolkes,

There are moments, when I sit to begin each day, when my mind wanders, into places that other people know not…. which is something about which they should be very glad…. But, in a real sense, that could easily be said of just about anyone’s mind, not just mine, so, y’all probably have an idea of the kinds of places I mean; I don’t believe for a minute that I’m all THAT different than the rest of mankind, even if a great deal of the available evidence says so….

This difference is one I’ve always tended to cultivate, actually, as the general run of ffolkes in the world are involved in stuff that holds no interest for me; they pay attention to people that I consider to be manipulative and self-serving, and spend a lot of time wasted, to my way of thinking, engaging in activities that don’t either improve their lot, or make them, and those they love, happy, both of which I see as our primary goals in this reality. Other ffolkes, I know, seem to think there are goals more worthwhile, but, to my mind, those two cover all of our REAL responsibilities in Life….

Anything else you hear in place of those activities is most likely something someone else told you, or convinced you to believe, in spite of how silly it sounds, or how much it doesn’t seem to help at all…. I know that all of my life there have been numerous silly asses who have tried to convince me of the rightness of their ideas (about God, about Life, about Government….), each of them more strident and more insistent than the last….

Fortunately, in my mind, I learned at a young age (4-5 years…) how to spot them, determining back then to NOT listen to them, as they were only trying to get me to do what THEY wanted, not what I thought I needed to do…. and somehow, what seemed right to me, with my young, unfettered mind, and no prejudices, was that what THEY were telling me was a bunch of bullshit; it was ALL so unbelievable, I couldn’t buy into it, so I’d just nod my head, and go my way without bothering to pay much attention…. I believe it drove several Sunday School teachers to drink….

I’m not sure what prompted this, except possibly the email I found in my inbox this morning…. Supposedly, it’s from Google, but, the link it wants me to connect to is suspicious, to say the least, (it connect to a private domain, with a dot.me suffix, so, I suspect it’s some hacker, phishing for whatever idiots he can find to click blindly on the link, just the way they are instructed to do in the letter, which threatens to close my account if I don’t click on it…. I didn’t, of course, and will check with Google later….. Somehow, I don’t think they’re sending out official emails at 0317 AM, to get people to verify their accounts….

But, because most people in this country are programmed to obey instructions from official sources, this guy will no doubt end up with a lot of fools who are giving them a clear path to steal their information, all because they never learned to use the crap detector their brain came equipped with when they were born…. They forgot, or got distracted, and never used or registered the software in their head that allows them to see the world with clear eyes, unhindered by the delusions/illusions that much of the world uses as their basis for belief…. I’ll say this, it’s a lot simpler when you can see the shit coming, ffolkes; it allows one the time to duck, thus saving us from getting hit in the face with that crap, or getting it on our clothing….

Okay, so, there you have it…. A complete, unbearably long, complicated, rant-like diatribe, right there at the front of the Pearl, where it can do the most damage, and serve as today’s excuse for an intro…. Six paragraphs should certainly be enough to satisfy any official myrmidons, and the unofficial ones aren’t armed, so I don’t pay them any mind…. For now, this will do, and, since my thumb and wrist are beginning to get rather painful as I type, it would no doubt be best to get on with today’s effort….

Shall we Pearl?…..

REVEILLE, n.  A signal to sleeping soldiers to dream of battlefields no more, but get up and have their blue noses counted.  In the American army it is ingeniously called “rev-e-lee,” and to that pronunciation our countrymen have pledged their lives, their misfortunes, and their sacred dishonor. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

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Since my thumb is paining me, I’ll switch this intended rant about Ed Snowden, and the aftereffects of his heroic act of bravery, to a newer model Pearl, where I will provide links, then comment on the contents of the included articles, and the subject of those reports…. Let’s see what I’ve collected for us to poke at today….

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/09/westminster-may-have-to-concede-edward-snowden-had-a-point

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/10/the-battle-to-retake-our-privacy-can-be-won-in-the-halls-of-congress-really

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/guide-deceptions-word-games-obfuscations-officials-use-mislead-public-about-nsa

https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/wordgames

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2013/07/nsa_lexicon_how_james_clapper_and_other_u_s_officials_mislead_the_american.html

“First as to speech.  That privilege rests upon the premise that there is no proposition so uniformly acknowledged that it may not be lawfully challenged, questioned, and debated.  It need not rest upon the further premise that there are no propositions that are not open to doubt; it is enough, even if there are, that in the end it is worse to suppress dissent than to run the risk of heresy.  Hence it has been again and again unconditionally proclaimed that there are no limits to the privilege so far as words seek to affect only the hearers’ beliefs and not their conduct.  The trouble is that conduct is almost always based upon some belief, and that to change the hearer’s belief will generally to some extent change his conduct, and may even evoke conduct that the law forbids.” — [cf. Learned Hand, The Spirit of Liberty,– University of Chicago Press, 1952, The Art and Craft of Judging: — The Decisions of Judge Learned Hand, — edited and annotated by Herschel Shanks, The MacMillian Company, 1968.]

The five or six articles above are a series of reports on the NSA spying fiasco, complete with some articles that show us just how the assholes who run the spy agencies, and the politicians who are supporting them in  their paranoia, all tend to use a different set of words than the other English speaking members of this country, having decided to assign new meanings to old words, so they can justify the lies they tell on a regular basis, merely pointing at their actual words, and telling us we didn’t understand what they actually meant by them….

I won’t belabor the point here, as the articles are pretty clear about how they do it, showing EXACTLY what words they have altered to suit their purposes, thus, in THEIR minds, making what they say the truth, not the lie it actually is, to anyone using the language in a normal fashion. They do it on purpose, to try to hide their chicanery, and, in many cases, they may actually BELIEVE their own lies…. which makes them all the more dangerous to the rest of us….

“Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom.  It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” — William Pitt (1759-1806) speech on the India Bill, Nov. 18, 1783

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/10/judge-says-arkansas-gay-marriage-ban-is-unconstitutional

This one is here not because it is terribly controversial, (to me, this is no longer a question of anything but time until the laws of this country reflect reality more closely in this respect….), but, rather, because it is yet another example of the STUPIDITY displayed by so many in government….. Once again, because the Constitution is what it is, the illegal discriminatory laws are overturned by yet ANOTHER Federal judge who can read….

Yet, in spite of this, and in the face of EVERY OTHER decision that preceded it, in every case where such discrimination is challenged, the idiot assholes in the Arkansas Attorney General’s office are planning to appeal this, just as all the OTHER fools who keep trying to force their own beliefs on the rest of us keep trying to do, in the eight or nine states where this identical scenario has already been played out….

Talk about banging your head against the wall, to show your objection to having built it in the first place; it’s rather counter-productive to refuse to see what is real…. Sad to say, though, these folks are accustomed to believing many things which have no basis in reality, so I suppose it isn’t really surprising they would keep performing the same unreasoned response to an issue whose conclusion is no longer in doubt…. Stupid is as stupid does, as Forrest’s mama used to say…..

The Bible is true this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.

— Jordan Henderson

(Just for fun…. if you don’t already know it, look up the meaning of the Latin phrase, “ipse dixit”….)

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

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/A-look-at-all-that-Benghazi-stands-for-5469335.php

I finally figured out this whole Benghazi issue…. After reading some of the historical perspective presented in this article, I can see that most of it, if not all, is just an argument between the two major political parties about who can lie the best, and when they’re allowed to do so…. It’s all a mass of pots calling each other black, the whole thing…. The whole mess apparently began because the elephantine idiots in the Republican Party thought they could make some points with the public by making a stink over the lies told by the other side, the donkeyites in the Democratic Party

(I find it interesting to note the two terms for these parties, one hundred years ago, were reversed in terms of party philosophy…. The Republicans were the party of the people, and the Democrats were the rich fat cats; now it’s the opposite, image-wise… Philosophically, of course, neither one resembles anything close to a democratic organization, not anymore; they’re both oligarchies, plain and simple….)

The Republicans, in their self-imposed image of “disloyal opposition” have created an unholy cacophony of accusations and allegations of conspiracy, most of which came straight from their own imaginary fears of things that MIGHT have been true, if reality were not what it is….

The Democrats, having been caught making a paper trail, of their attempts at spin-doctoring all the information about the incident, are naturally upset at the Republicans, who are the reigning champions of lying to the public without a qualm or quiver of guilt. The Dems are upset because the Repubs are accusing THEM of lying, which is actually, to me, rather hilarious….

I mean, talk about chutzpah! The Republican Party, calling someone ELSE a liar! It HAS to be one of the most egregiously arrogant, ignorant stances I’ve ever seen, having personally watched over 50 years of this circus called American politics. In the last national election, in 2012, I believe the average speech by their candidate, Romney, never passed 50% on the fact-checking done by several organizations…

This translates to mean the candidate they chose to represent them to the world at large was lying through his teeth, at least half of every time he opened his mouth to speak…. This is a statistic you may check yourself, but, I’m pretty sure of its accuracy, as I read the reports at the time; they all had him telling an untruth with every other statement he made…. I should add, most of the rest of what I heard was either wrong-headed, selfish, or completely lacking in compassion for anyone other than his own narrow group of supporters…..

Yet, these same liars are upset because the Dems lied to the public about this attack on an embassy, an attack that came as much of a surprise to them as it did to the entire rest of the world…. The attack wasn’t one of those big, planned events…. It was a clusterfuck of incompetence, all around, diplomatically, militarily, and intelligence-wise, on BOTH sides of the issue, and the war; nobody knew it would happen until it did…. Then, of course, the media and the pols get hold of it, and it becomes an issue for them to exploit in the public eye, for their own aggrandizement….

And people wonder why I don’t like ANY of them…..

Well, that’s certainly enough for one day…. even I can only take so much of the news before getting nauseous, so, rather than use up more of my anti-nausea meds, ( medications which double, fortunately, as pain relievers…. Cannabis is wonderfully flexible, sort of a multi-tasker when it comes to what it can do for us….) I’ll leave you with these final pearls, to send us on our way to the next section….

“The simple realization that there are other points of view is the beginning of wisdom. Understanding what they are is a great step. The final test is understanding why they are held.” — Charles M. Campbell

“In a state-run society the government promises you security. But it’s a false promise, predicated on the idea that the opposite of security in risk. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. The gentle government that promises to hold your hand as you cross the street refuses to let go on the other side.” — Theodore Forstmann

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I’m going with whatever serendipitously throws itself under the wheels of this bus we’re on…. Here is a thought, and a poem, from two classical Chinese poets, to whose translators I offer my complete admiration, and thanks, for such excellent work….

“If you work on your mind with your mind, how can you avoid an immense confusion?” — Seng-Ts’an

Alone, Looking for Blossoms Along the River
The sorrow of riverside blossoms inexplicable,
And nowhere to complain — I’ve gone half crazy.
I look up our southern neighbor. But my friend in wine
Gone ten days drinking. I find only an empty bed.

A thick frenzy of blossoms shrouding the riverside,
I stroll, listing dangerously, in full fear of spring.
Poems, wine — even this profusely driven, I endure.
Arrangements for this old, white-haired man can wait.

A deep river, two or three houses in bamboo quiet,
And such goings on: red blossoms glaring with white!
Among spring’s vociferous glories, I too have my place:
With a lovely wine, bidding life’s affairs bon voyage.

Looking east to Shao, its smoke filled with blossoms,
I admire that stately Po-hua wineshop even more.
To empty golden wine cups, calling such beautiful
Dancing girls to embroidered mats — who could bear it?

East of the river, before Abbot Huang’s grave,
Spring is a frail splendor among gentle breezes.
In this crush of peach blossoms opening ownerless,
Shall I treasure light reds, or treasure them dark?

At Madame Huang’s house, blossoms fill the paths:
Thousands, tens of thousands haul the branches down.
And butterflies linger playfully — an unbroken
Dance floating to songs orioles sing at their ease.

I don’t so love blossoms I want to die. I’m afraid,
Once they are gone, of old age still more impetuous.
And they scatter gladly, by the branchful. Let’s talk
Things over, little buds —open delicately, sparingly.

~~ Tu Fu ~~


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This is going better than I’d hoped, so rather than push my luck, we’re going old school now; I’ll take my chances with the critics…. Enjoy, ffolkes, serendipity has been good to me so far today, so, I have high hopes for this pearl….

“All history shows that every man who has authority is led to abuse it; he does not stop until he comes up against limitations…Things must be so arranged that one authority checks another.” — Montesquieu

“Imagine me going around with a pot belly.  It would mean political ruin.” — Adolf Hitler

“He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.” — Goethe

“What a fool cannot learn he laughs at, thinking that by his laughter he shows superiority instead of latent idiocy.” — M. Corelli

“Anyone entrusted with power will abuse it if not also animated with the love of truth and virtue, no matter whether he be a prince, or one of the people.” — Jean de la Fontaine

“Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.” — Aesop

“Fear has its use but cowardice has none.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Hmm….. Sometimes, pearls can be dense, unfathomable, inscrutable…. This one certainly is all of those, even though the actual quotes are not…. I mean, hey, maybe the one by Adolf requires some thought, but, the rest should be pretty clear…. Together, though, it’s a bit of a poser, so, just flow with it; it will come, if and when it does, and not before…. Some pearls are like that….Yeah, they are….

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No matter what anybody says, I’m NOT doing it over!…. Nope, no way! This is actually a good one, so, as John Lennon said, so aptly, “Let it be”….. See ya, ffolkes…..

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

dozer3

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Manifest destiny has been a persistent delusion…..

Ffolkes,

You’ll have to (grunt…wheeze….) excuse the mess around here this, (oof…) morning; we had an incident during the night. Look out! Duck! Whew! That one almost got ya! Sorry ’bout that, I thought we’d gotten all of them, but, them little suckers is tricky, they is….(Snap! A fresh plastic garbage bag is unfurled for use….) What? What do you mean, what am I doing? I’m cleaning up after an attack by creatures of the night; what does it look like I’m doing? (Picks up a full garbage bag, dumps it out the window….) They showed up about 3:30 AM, when they knew I’d be asleep (damn, I just realized…. Now I’ll have to start randomizing my sleep patterns, if they’re going to be watching me again….), and tried to bust through the front door…..

It was touch and go at first; I admit it, we were caught off guard, almost enough to have lost the day, were it not for a bit of luck…. I swear, I was never so glad to see a vampire hunter as I was this morning….. I’ll also have to remember to ask him just why he so conveniently showed up here at that moment in time…. it seems a bit of a coincidence, but, we’ll see…. This one at least doesn’t have the look of a council lackey about him, nor does he stink of money…. and he was an adept killer, so, I’ll listen to him, to see how these “coincidences” happened to come together so “conveniently”….

Well, I’d ask him, if he were really here, or if I were interested in carrying on with this beginning to a story, but….. it was mostly just an exercise, to get the juices flowing, to pull y’all into the web of my interest, and hold you here while I worked my wiles upon your unsuspecting minds…. Is it working? God, I hope so…. something has to work! I’m getting pretty tired of meandering and blathering every morning, and the occasional outburst of actual fictional writing is too occasional to count on each day. I’d find and stick to a template, but, that never has worked very well for me… it works okay for the closing lines, but, here at the start, I need more…

Exactly what that ‘more’ might be remains a mystery to me, and therefore, to you as well…. I know, it’s probably just as hard on y’all as it is on me, but, I really don’t see how, as I suffer a daily dose of fear, followed by panic, followed by an outburst of writing, followed by depression…. Well, no, that’s not accurate, either…. it’s not that simple, nor that straight-forward…. In fact, I’m not sure just WHAT it is, which is probably the root of the whole issue…. If I knew what should be here, then I’d put it here… As it is, I have to conduct a search each morning, and never know just what might happen…. Fun, at times, but mostly just a worry for me, until it’s done…

Why, look, I do believe it’s done again! How ’bout that? Here I was, all worried and full of angst, and I was getting it done the whole time…. Golly Gee, Mr. Wizard! That was fun! Can we do it again? No? But,….. oh, okay, we’ll just go on to today’s effort, and forget about the intro…. damn things, always giving me fits…. pshaw!

Shall we Pearl?…..

Hompu’wIj ghorlaH ‘oy’naQpu’ je naghpu’ ‘ach jiH mu’oy’laHbe’pongpu’ — Klingon phrase, roughly translated as: ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.’ — Smart Bee
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I wasn’t going to rant today, again, because I just don’t feel the correct degree of outrage to do it justice…. more’s the pity…. because they’re still at it out there in the world of politics, confusing the art of being an asshole with the governing process, and getting the dirt all over the rest of us…. I found this article, and it gave me a quote I couldn’t resist using… it will appear below the link, which leads to the article in it’s entirety….

http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2013/12/17/silicon-valley-tech-leaders-to-obama-aggressively-reform-nsa/

“Today, the President and the Vice President met with executives from leading tech companies in the Roosevelt Room. The group discussed a number of issues of shared importance to the federal government and the tech sector, including the progress being made to improve performance and capacity issues with HeathCare.Gov. The President also announced that Kurt DelBene, who most recently served as president of the Microsoft Office Division, will succeed Jeff Zients as Senior Advisor to Secretary Sebelius who will lead our ongoing efforts to improve HealthCare.gov and the Health Insurance Marketplace starting this Wednesday. The group discussed the challenges surround federal IT procurement. The President made clear his continued focus on improving the way we deliver technology to maximize innovation, efficiency and customer service, and encouraged the CEOs to continue to share their ideas on how to do so. Finally, the group discussed the national security and economic impacts of unauthorized intelligence disclosures. This was an opportunity for the President to hear from CEOs directly as we near completion of our review of signals intelligence programs, building on the feedback we’ve received from the private sector in recent weeks and months. The President made clear his belief in an open, free, and innovative internet and listened to the group’s concerns and recommendations, and made clear that we will consider their input as well as the input of other outside stakeholders as we finalize our review of signals intelligence programs ”

This statement, the official press release by the White House in response to the meeting with the CEOs of the tech giants, disturbs me intensely, in many ways… as did the statement by the giant tech companies in a joint announcement of purpose, to wit:  “We appreciated the opportunity to share directly with the President our principles on government surveillance that we released last week and we urge him to move aggressively on reform.”

Have you ever heard two more self-serving, mealy-mouthed, cowardly statements? These words were, supposedly, the best they could come up with, to discuss the most controversial issue that has been addressed in the past year? The White House’s statement is a masterful eye-fuck, that says NOTHING…. including the grammatical error created by a misspelling. It said NOTHING significant regarding the security breaches, not even to deny wrongdoing…. they pretty effectively ignored the whole question put to them, with one minor throwaway statement at the last line, that their “input” would be “considered”, after the President “listened to the group’s concerns”, along with the input of “outside stakeholders”…..

That last phrase is the most disturbing…. WHO are they referring to when they say “outside stakeholders”…. Does that refer to other countries, and the spying they’ve been doing on their leaders? Or is that US, the American public, on whom they’ve continued to spy and mine data, despite the obvious concerns the public has over this….  Are WE the ‘outside stakeholders’?….. Oh, right, we’re supposed to be soothed and reassured by their insistence that they are performing a “review of signals intelligence programs”…. Sure they are…. they’re also grooming that herd of pigs to fly, probably planning to have them take off from the White House lawn, I suppose….

These tech “giants” did NOT act in our best interests by making such a namby-pamby statement of purpose; they should have played hard ball with Obama…. but, he figures he’s got them over a barrel, because all he has to do is reveal how much those same companies have been cooperating with all the illegal, unconstitutional activities being carried on by our government, giving up the data before they were even asked to do so…. They only started making noise AFTER Mr. Snowden released all the stuff that is so embarrassing to the talking heads….

Yesterday, I mentioned how those who live life with less than the average amount of IQ points have a tendency to throw out the facts when they don’t fit the theory they favor…. and this is a perfect example of it…. The politicians in Washington aren’t mad because they were breaking the law; they’re mad because they got caught at it. They’re also still doing it, in spite of all the obvious disapproval from the public….They KNOW we don’t want them to do it, but,they know what is best for us, right? They believe that, so they just go on ignoring the Constitution, and taking away more and more of the civil rights we have heretofore enjoyed….. because nobody is stopping them, ffolkes….. We are, as I’ve said before, going to hell in a hand basket, and we have no one but ourselves to blame for it….

“Man is not disturbed about things, but by his opinion about things.” — Epictetus
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This poem has long been one of my favorites, as it states exactly how I feel about the subject of discussion, i.e., honor, or, as they say in England, honour…. As with any true classical poem, no further adornment is necessary….

To Lucasta, Going To The Wars

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee (Dear) so much,
Lov’d I not Honour more.

~~ Richard Lovelace ~~

_____________________________

Today’s rant, above the poem, got me going pretty good; I’m still full of the angst needed to pull it off with passion…. It just pisses me off SO MUCH when these people ABUSE the power that we give them when we elect them… It also pisses me off that we continue to elect them, time after time, when it has become so patently clear that NONE of them have our interests at heart…. NONE of them.

They’re all pursuing some personal agenda, often one that is only acceptable to a tiny portion of the public, but they don’t care, as long as they can continue to rob the public treasury at will, and not have to suffer any significant consequences for lying in public, for cheating their constituents, or for actively harming their own people…. In fact, they often get rewarded for just those things….

I’m so incensed at this point, I want to bite one of them…. which is always a good sign, telling me it’s time to start gathering pearls for an old-school format, to give me the space to pull myself down from the heights of black, hot, anger, back into the lower, calmer realms of cool reason…. Let’s see if Smart Bee can find something to ease me through this emotional crisis, once again….

“A doctrine insulates the devout not only against the realities around them but also against their own selves. The fanatical believer is not conscious of his envy, malice, pettiness and dishonesty. There is a wall of words between his consciousness and his real self.” — Eric Hoffer

“The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.” — Cicero

“Free people, remember this maxim: We may acquire liberty, but it is never recovered if it is once lost.” — Rousseau

“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one  spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels.  For it  is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed,  and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is  to be stopped at all.” — H. L. Mencken

“Believing ourselves to be possessors of absolute truth degrades us:  we regard every person whose way of thinking is different from ours as a monster and a threat and by so doing turn our own selves into monsters and threats to our fellows.” — Octavio Paz

“One of the most perverse things about the universe is that it doesn’t care what you believe.” — Smart Bee

The Journey is the Reward,
Not the Destination.

— Zen Koan

You gotta love when a plan comes together…. If, after considering the wisdom entailed in the first six aphorisms,  you consider the last koan as an answer to the question, “How do I live a happy life?”, all will be well in your world, as it will be in mine…. Well, the odds are improved, at the very least….
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Well, that was something of an ordeal…. let’s see how it turned out today…. I am reluctant, at this point, to make any hard and fast judgments as to quality, but, I can definitely pronounce this as done…. or finished, or whatever concluding description you’d care to use…. The point is, I’m done with it, so, it’s done…. See ya tomorrow…..

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

dozer3