Dangerous yearnings….

Ffolkes,

“Murder is always a mistake….
One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.”

~~ Oscar Wilde ~~

profuse color

Midsummer colors….

Hajime…. Though I know ‘hope’ to be, in general, a denial of reality, I still allowed myself to entertain some, investing it in my wish to write a most excellent Pearl, including a bright, catchy, and compelling intro section. As usual, ‘hope’ fails the test of time, & while all the elements of a decent piece of work are present, the bright, compelling part has shown  itself to be rather problematic. This, of course, is a natural function of my brain, to find even the simplest of tasks problematic; I can’t be positive, but, it’s a pretty sure bet it’s my own fault…. I mean, given my history, (I AM a human…), and my  inclinations, (curmudgeon-in-training….), whom else can I blame?….

Still, I guess I can be content with having completed it, at all; my recent lack of consistency, while unsurprising after so much time, still manages to cause me a bit of unwanted and unfamiliar guilt, which, having completed today’s task in a relatively timely, if uncomfortably rushed fashion, can be dismissed as misguided, for today, anyway. As for tomorrow, well, I AM old enough to know better than to place much faith or hope in THAT; after all, as we all know, tomorrow may never come, right? Right. So, we’ll regard that as a fait accompli, which if you think about it, is a pretty neat trick….

What? That last reference is unclear? SIGH…. It must be the extra scoop of coffee I put in the basket this morning; got me typing nearly as fast as I’m thinking. That’s always a confusing thing when one starts discussing matters of time; past, present, future are all rather uniquely related, in a very real way, & our imagination, while a powerful tool, usually isn’t up to the task of keeping them all in their appropriate places, actually believing it has the power to do so in reality, as well as in the mind…. Silly humans. Ah, well, don’t fret; it’ll all be clear eventually, & if not, well, it will give you something to chew over in those quiet moments….

As for me/us, & today’s Pearl, well, we’ll practice what we preach, & get on with it, any time now. In fact, isn’t that our signal? Yes, yes it is, and, look! We’ve already been cleared for landing, or, take-off…. It’s our choice, & I promise, we’ll make it as random as we can….

Shall we Pearl?….

“The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.”

~~ Henrik Ibsen, “An Enemy of the People”, 1882 ~~

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Yield_Logo

Today’s music is one of our default selections, used when I can’t think of anything else, & time is short. Go figure, eh? It’s well worth a listen, and even more worth donating a small bit of gelt, to an organization that works for peace through music…. Enjoy!….

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Playing For Change
Ripple

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Comedy_Tragedy

Augmentation: Inner Aye

Distant, peals of thunder, vividly.
Closer, a patter of rain, falling gravidly.
Between the light and the darkness of fear
find merely the remnants of one lonely tear.

Do not hate us, though we have not sinned;
eager for courage, upon whom all hope is pinned.
Tales of insolence, hatred, or fallen virtue
fill us up, not down, in such pristine foreign venue.

Capable hands severed, able hands tied;
the future is angry, all but now denied.
Multiple times, warnings sounded across the pale
nobody heard, nobody came to tell the tale.

Gifted by time, salience fails in epic rhyme;
watchmakers watching, each a separate crime.
Logical solutions refuse to emulsify
forever pretending to cruelly crucify.

Blood will fly alongside pertinent composure,
never seeking, never finding tea, or closure.
Falsely laid trails on mountains of gold
imply no happy endings, no fortunes told.

Ages past have no time for repetition;
further chances only lead to perdition.
Destiny feels a shameful portion of guilt,
for a thousand sand castles, never built.

~~ gigoid ~~

3/2/2016

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Um… Isn’t it obvious?….

*******

“When we look at a rock
what we are seeing is not the rock,
but the effect of the rock upon us.”

~~ Bertrand Russell ~~

*******

“When it’s dark enough you can see the stars.”

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~

*******

“Down in their hearts, wise men know this truth:
the only way to help yourself is to help others.”

~~ Elbert Hubbard ~~

*******

“How many cares one loses
when one decides not to be something
but to be someone.”

~~ Coco Chanel ~~

*******

“Big, undreamed-of things.
The people on the edge see them first.”

~~ Kurt Vonnegut Jr ~~

*******

“The real voyage of discovery
consists not in seeking new lands,
but in seeing with new eyes.”

~~ Marcel Proust ~~

*******

“It is something to be able to paint a particular picture,
or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful;
but it is far more glorious to carve and paint
the very atmosphere and medium through which we look,
which morally we can do.
To affect the quality of the day,
that is the highest of arts.”

~~ Henry David Thoreau, “Where I Live”

*******

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I’m fairly certain there are any number of appropriate techniques for ending today’s outburst, but, since I can’t think of any of them, how about I just say, see ya, ffolkes? Hey, it’s always good to try something new, especially when it offers the possibility of getting out of this intact. In that spirit, y’all stay stay alert, & I’ll see ya on the flip side….

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

Featured Image -- 13906

À bientôt, mon cherí….


			
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All the plastic flowers are melting….

Ffolkes,

“It is not the one with many possessions who is rich, but the one who has no needs.”

~~ Philoxenos ~~

at-her-ease

At her ease….

Hajime…. Though I am pretty tired out, today is a good day. Yesterday, thanks to my new & improved general condition, and stamina, I spent 5.5 hours visiting with my son, grandson, and daughter. We had a great time, as we walked around the Plaza, chasing Pokemon Go figures, laughing, talking, and generally enjoying the day. It was the first time in a long time I have been able to tolerate spending the entire visit with them, which we all enjoyed. I got to read to my grandson from the book I gave him for his late birthday present (The Little Prince…), played baseball, threw the football, & do all the stuff I usually miss. ‘Twas a day filled with love, laughter, and hope; all in all, grand craic, as my Irish ancestors would say….

This morning, the Pearl came together fairly smoothly, given the fatigue & general mental fuzziness that goes with it. Though I didn’t have time to work on, or finish the new rant, or poem, still, things went well. When SB is in the right mood, it usually does; today, that’s a good thing, as it meant I was spared the frustration that comes in those times when it refuses to give me anything useful without massive contortions of effortful manipulation. We have the usual suspects lined up for your reading pleasure today (well, we are hopeful it will bring pleasure….); a poem, some music, and an old-school pearl, with some fine thoughts to feed your elephant’s child…. Maybe it ain’t Ibsen, or, for that matter, Twain, but, it’s art, and it’s mine, so there….

Before I lose what control I have, why don’t we go down the page a bit, and see what I’ve pulled together? It’s probably for the best, before anything untoward can occur, or, more relevant, before Murphy notices we’re up and about. Hmm….. Let’s use this one; it’s clean, and efficient….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Ignorance can be cured. Stupid is forever.”

~~ Smart Bee ~~

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

As is usually the case on mornings such as this one, I’m using our default choice for entertainment while reading. Todays mix of classical selections was selected using my most favored method, to wit: the one with the most compelling picture was chosen, simply because it caught my eye…. It usually works just fine, so, I’ll just leave you with our general injunction, to wit: Enjoy!…..

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Classical Music

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Comedy_Tragedy

Retrospective, defined in folly….

Yesterday
I wrote a poem.

It bled out of my head,
like I’d been struck with
an axe,
right through the artery,
in the neck,
spraying blood around
everywhere,
like a pulsing garden hose….

It hurt, at first,
then came the feeling,

of quick relief,
of timeless beauty,

of pain avenged,
of lust aroused,

of outrage aflame,
of deep compassion,

of endless empathy,
of truest love….

Now it’s gone, cast away
like pearls before twine.

(Grin…)

You thought
I was going to call you
a pig,
didn’t you?

Hah!

Well, you’re not.
You’re a person.

I know, because
you’re reading this poem…
if that’s what it is.

I think it is,
so,
maybe it is.

Or, maybe,
it will be,
someday, when it
grows up,
and learns to rhyme.
Whew…
Just in time…..

That’s all.
Reality often sucks wind,
y’know?

S’okay, though….
It keeps us busy,
and out of some of the
mischief,
so much part
of our
nature.

We all can do
only what we
do.

Or, don’t.

Two sides, one coin.

~~ gigoid ~~

9/1/2014

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Life Lessons, Redux….

*******

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations,
if you live near him.”

~~ J.R.R. Tolkein, Lord of the Rings ~~

*******

“If you don’t know where you’re going,
when you get there you’ll be lost.”

~~ Yogi Berra ~~

*******

“Expect everything, and anything seems nothing.
Expect nothing, and anything seems everything.”

~~ Samuel Hazo ~~

*******

“A belief is not true because it is useful.”

~~ Henri Frederic Amiel ~~

*******

“Love is not something you have; it is something you do.”

~~ Limon ~~

*******

“The improver of knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such.
For him, skepticism is the highest of duties, blind faith the one unpardonable sin.”

~~ Thomas Huxley ~~

*******

“The man who carries a cat by the tail
learns something that can be learned in no other way.
He will never be dim, or doubtful.
Chances are, he’ll never carry the cat like that again,
but, I say, if he wants to, let him!”

~~ Mark Twain ~~

*******

********************************

Hmm…. Reconciling what happened here today with what I expected should be a snap, since my expectations were dead low. Go figure, eh? Ah well, such is life in paradise. I’m going to leave y’all now, just as if I’d intended it to go like this; I am, if nothing else, in charge. So, rather than abrogate any of my duties, or, responsibilities, I’ll just go now, and try to figure out what those might be. I will, in case you’re wondering, be back tomorrow, to try this again… Most likely, anyway…. See ya, ffolkes….

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

Featured Image -- 2780

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Bess’s fine messes, at cost….

Ffolkes,

“Arguments derived from probabilities are idle.”

~~ Plato ~~

portobello market

An alley market on Portobello Road, London


Hajime…. Had I known yesterday, when beginning to put this Pearl together, that the intro would end up being the most contentious section to get done, I would have done it first. Since I’m doing it last, so to speak, it seems to have taken it personally, now refusing to coalesce into anything worth putting on screen, This isn’t to say we haven’t encountered this issue previously, though it’s not a frequent problem at all. No, the empty mind is our biggest issue in this section, as it usually occurs pre-coffee, or, nearly so. Since I’m about to go pour my second cup, that isn’t a factor…. Yet, here it sits, ugly, and relatively empty, save for this single paragraph of almost pure blather.

I wonder if they give refunds…. Nah, probably not, since nobody’s paying, and posting is free. Oh, well, another opportunity lost through lack of any comparatively sane thought processes as needed for basic comprehension. As we’re fond of saying around here in such situations, c’est la fucking vie. We’re going on in spite of our complete lack of talent, or intent, or even coherence. Of course, we could employ one of the Tardis toys to distract and discombobulate, (what a fine word!….), but, we’re not IN the Tardis yet. I suppose I could quit fooling around with this, and get on with it, but, what fun would that be?….

Oh…. okay. Well, since that’s the case, there’s nothing left to but this…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“Once you’ve seen the face of god,
You see that same face on everyone you meet.”

~~ Deng Ming-Dao ~~


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Yield_Logo

    I’ve used this in the past, but, I’m running a bit late today, so, we’ll go with it, as when it’s done, you can choose from a large number of other numbers from Playing For Change artists, from the suggestions that You Tube gives after each video. Enjoy, ffolkes; this one is one of my favorites…. It’s hot!….

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Gimme Shelter

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About Hopi Indian Symbols

    The rant for this section turned epic on me; it’s not quite done yet. To take it’s place, here is a discussion from 2012, on one of our most frequent subjects, to wit, politicians, the BRC, and Asininnies in general. It’s a bit long, but, there’s some humor involved, so, it won’t hurt too bad. I find it ironic to note how relevant many of the old rants I wrote have remained over time… I guess it goes to show we humans are a bit slower learners than we’d like to believe…. Enjoy!…..

From 10/2/2012:

This old-school pearl started off in one direction, then veered off into another…. and I don’t blame it a bit. I’m just as tired of all the political bullshit being flung around as the next guy, and the election can’t get here quick enough to suit me, that’s for sure. What with the amount of crap flying around, I feel like I’ve got to shower it off at least once or twice a day……

Any who, I was collecting the pearls for this, when I noticed that each one of them, from the first to the last, make a pointed statement that could easily be applied to this election, and most specifically, to the Republican party’s platform and candidates…. As far as I can see, they fail at every one of these, and this then becomes an indictment of their failings, all without intent, but with great accuracy….

“The majority never has the right on its side. Never, I say! That is one of the social lies that a free, thinking man is bound to rebel against. Who makes up the majority in any given country? Is it the wise men or the fools? I think we must agree that the fools are in a terrible overwhelming majority, all the wide world over.” — Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

“The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.” — G. K. Chesterton (gigoid sez: There being none of those, to wit: honest rich, in this election, we can pretty much take this as gospel, or at least accept it at face value……)

“It is the edge and temper of the blade that make a good sword, not the richness of the scabbard; and so it is not money or possessions that make man considerable, but his virtue.” — Seneca (B.C. 3-65 A.D.) (gigoid sez: This could NOT be clearer…. since Mitt the Twitt feels compelled to rattle his scabbard at every opportunity…..)

“I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie.  I can lie, but I won’t.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)   (gigoid sez: In modern times, the concept of a politician lying is not merely common, it is expected, and, sadly to say, empowered by the voting public, by their passive acceptance of same….)

“It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” — Noel Coward

“Intemperate speech is a distinctive characteristic of man. Hotheads blow off and release destructive energy in the process. They shout and rave, exaggerating weaknesses, magnifying error, viewing with alarm. So it has been from the beginning; and so it will be throughout time. The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for the restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.” — Justice William O. Douglas

“When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don’t deal drugs.  When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I’m innocent.  When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don’t own a gun.  Now they’ve come for the first amendment, and I can’t say anything at all.” — Tim Freeman

“It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.” — Aeschylus (525-456 BC) — Frag. 385

Yep, it’s going to be a real dust-up this year, as the forces of evil have gathered all of their minions and myrmidons, ready to sally forth on election day and try to lie and cheat their way into office. The degree of illegal, ill-advised voter suppression efforts that the Republicans have made are coming to light on a daily basis, with the money they’ve paid to companies dedicated to blocking the votes of seniors, poor people, and veterans being exposed as well. It’s truly a disgusting development, although it isn’t new to them; they’ve managed to steal two elections already, for the junior shrub, in 2000 and 2004, once in Florida, and once in Ohio.

They also managed to distract the public away from looking at those election results, by talking a bunch of Islamic militants into attacking New York City, right at the time when the Shrub’s chicanery in Florida was about to be investigated by an independent commission…… I always thought the timing there was a bit suspicious, and it couldn’t have been better for the Shrub, even though he probably wasn’t in on the planning of it himself…. his daddy never trusted him THAT far…..

But, you may remember, the senior Shrub was the head of the CIA for many years, before he was President, and is considered by most to be  personally responsible for the establishment of the cocaine trade in this country; see the book “The Cocaine Papers” written in the 1980’s, if there are still copies around. There may not be; I’m sure the dark-side operatives snap them up for destruction whenever they come across one…. This man would suffer no ethical restraints, and would not even hesitate, to have some of his operatives clandestinely trick terrorists into attacking when and where he wished it…. Civilian casualties are always more compelling when trying to distract the public…. And, it is funny how nobody ever investigated where the money for the 9/11 attacks came from…. Usually, in any such event, finding out who paid for it is a primary goal of the investigating teams…. but, nobody ever did that for 9/11…. Kind of makes one wonder, doesn’t it?……

Ah well, conspiracy theories aside, this election is seeing every dirty trick the two parties can think of between them, with the most egregiously immoral actions taking place on the conservative side…. voter suppression efforts in swing states, outright lying, misinformation spreading, magical bean platforms, all are being employed with gusto…. The upcoming debate tomorrow promises to be quite a show for the American public, and it will be interesting to see the contortions that the Republicans go through to try to show their man to their advantage, when every time he opens his mouth, he drops another bomb that indicates just how clueless and uncaring he is…. I’m almost looking forward to it, if it didn’t promise to be so bloody…. c’est la vie, I guess, and we’ll have to see how time will tell the tale…..

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Comedy_Tragedy

    While researching yesterday in SB, I came across this, which I remember hearing live, watching TV with my kids & family, many years ago, on a show called The Muppet Show, in which characters from Sesame Street performed with live actors & artists, as well as performing solo, as Kermit did once in a while; generally, he, or another, or, occasionally all the Muppets on the show also did a duet with the live guest. I like this one, a lot, which is why it graces our poetry section today…. Enjoy, ffolkes; it’s a bit soft compared to our usual fare, but, hey, as noted, I like it, so, deal….

Rainbow Connection

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions
rainbows have nothing to hide.

So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong, wait and see.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thoughta’ that and someone believed it
 — look what it’s done so far.

What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

All of us under its spell
we know that it’s probably magic.
Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I hear them calling my name.

Could it be the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice may be one and the same.
Well I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it
it’s somethin’ that I’m s’posed to be.

And someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

~~ Kermit the Frog ~~

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buddah-out-to-lunch_s

    This, ffolkes, is an odd pearl. For me to say that is, well, unprecedented, if only in its stark simplicity. It’s also quite cogent, in its own weird way, for it wanders around quite drunkenly, almost randomly, yet, still manages to fulfill whatever it is trying to say. The exact nature of that is, of course, left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader, though, as always, you may decline the mission. It will, however, at least partially, probably end up on the Quiz….Ya never know what ya might need to know…. Pay attention, now; some of it is tricky…. In fact, it begins with a bit of subtlety many might get stuck on, but, trust me, and keep going…. You’ll be fine.

“Avoid fried foods which angry up the blood.” — Satchel Paige

“We all carry it within us; supreme strength, the fullness of wisdom, unquenchable joy. It is never thwarted and cannot be destroyed. But it is hidden deep,
which is what makes life a problem.” — Huston Smith

“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.” — Virginia Satir

“Watches are a confidence trick invented by the Swiss.” — Chiun, in “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins…”

“For water continually dropping will wear hard rocks hollow.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of the Training of Children

“Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat.” — from Observations on Life From Children

“In a full heart there is room for everything, and in an empty heart there is room for nothing.” — Antonio Porchia, Voces

“Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“The flesh surrenders itself. Eternity takes back its own. Our bodies stirred these waters briefly, danced with a certain intoxication before the love of life and self, dealt with a few strange ideas, then submitted to the instruments of Time. What can we say of this? I occurred. I am not… yet I occurred.”
— Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah

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“..  bleakness….  desolation….  plastic forks…”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~


Now, now, don’t fret; it doesn’t mean anything, other than I’m a strange person. Well, I guess, if you really enjoyed today’s Pearl, it might have some relevance for you; other wise, it’s where it is simply because I thought it was damn funny. Hell, I could fill most of a ranting section with it, but, I just figured I’d add it here at the end, sort of like a, what? Oh, how, ’bout, an innovation. That works; we’ll go with innovation. Don’t worry, I won’t try this again. Zippy just hit the right note, so, there he sits. Now, as noted below, it’s time for me to go sits…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, Zippy or no Zippy….

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….


					

Subject to NSA review, it’s done….

Ffolkes,

“It might not be Ibsen, but, it’s Art.” Or, in the case of our situation here on ECR, it could be merely Art’s friend Joey, who, while nice in most respects, isn’t Art…. Of course, I never promised any damn roses, or gardens, or any other sort of horticultural display; I’ve been known to kill cacti, so I usually try to avoid that sort of plant genocide…. The easiest way to do that is to keep my black thumb away from anything that depends on my attention to stay alive; it’s safer for the plants, and I don’t get the evil eye from every gardener who happens by….

“Castles in the air — they’re so easy to take refuge in.  So easy to build, too.” — Henrik Ibsen

How did I get onto my inability to deal with watering? I had intended to start off in an entirely different direction, but, it sort of got away with me before I even got out of the first paragraph…. Sometimes, I think this is getting to be a bit strange…. Oh, I don’t mean strange, funny, I mean strange, weird…. Any who, whichever strange it is, it’s starting t show more episodes of rebellious independence, haring off in directions that make no sense at all, especially since they aren’t connected to anything but normal prose, that just happened to be there when it made its bid for literary freedom…

Of course, that doesn’t account for the tendency of all independent literature to become revolutionary in nature, thus exposing itself, and, by concatenation, the author, to scrutiny from those friendly fokes (misspelled deliberately…. they don’t rate even ONE ‘el’….) at the NSA, who are deep into the process of becoming completely insane in their need to collect ALL the data in the world….. That 60’s rock song had it right, when it told us, “Paranoia strikes deep; into your life it will creep. It starts when you’re always afraid…..”….. and, boy, are they afraid!….

That is as deep into ranting as I’ll get today, ffolkes…. I’m trying to keep to my plan, to avoid so much ranting it puts me into a bad mood, before I even begin to think rationally…. It’s never a good idea to decide on one’s direction before drinking sufficient coffee to keep such considerations out of the decision-making process; we tend to end up with several thousand words, all sharply pointed, and jabbing at the BRC, or the preachers, or the Corporate Snakeheads, those assholes….

That’s enough of THAT! Before this turns on me again, I believe I will head out to the oyster beds…. I’m thinking it would be best if y’all came along, if only to keep from getting Murphy excited…. He doesn’t need the help, or the stimulation, believe me….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Those who really deserve praise are the people who, while human enough to enjoy power, nevertheless pay more attention to justice than they are compelled to do by their situation.” — Thucydides

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

Here we go, off again into the wilds of a new-fashioned pearl…. let’s see if I can make this work today….

 

May 31 2014 morning 007

 

“He who endeavors to serve, to benefit, and improve the world, is like a swimmer, who struggles against a rapid current, in a river lashed into angry waves by the winds.  Often they roar over his head, often they beat him back and baffle him.  Most men yield to the stress of the current…  Only here and there the stout, strong heart and vigorous arms struggle on toward ultimate success.” — Albert Pike (1809-1891)

To my way of looking at it, the picture is perfect for this pearl…. it shows us the river of which Mr. Pike speaks, as it appears to us BEFORE we jump in…. and, after we have reached the point in the river to which our struggles take us. Once the effort has been successfully spent, the road is smooth, and clear of traffic…. Well, it SOUNDS good, doesn’t it…. If reality doesn’t always cooperate, it can’t be helped…. or so they say….

May 31 2014 morning 009
“I think we’re all Bozos on this Bus!” — The Firesign Theater

There it is, ffolkes…. it’s the Bozo Bus, taking us all down to Reality, as long as we can pay the fare…. Actually, the picture is an example of amateur photography at it’s finest, or worst, which often happens at the same time…. I took it while in a sunny spot, on an overcast morning, which made it hard to see just how the zoom had worked, or not…. Hence, a picture that highlights the odd views we can get when we know NOT what we are doing…. in short, a perfect illustration of living up to our Bozoid natures….. Whether or not y’all know it, or believe it, Reality has the final word, and you may as well accept the facts, ffolkes….  We are ALL Bozos on this Bus…..

May 31 2014 morning 010
“‘Truth’ never set anyone free. It is only *doubt* which will bring mental emancipation.” — Anton LaVey

As further proof of the assertion made just above, in the previous pearl, (We are all Bozos, etc…..) this picture was taken, and included in this grouping, BEFORE I noticed the trash receptacle in the exact center of the photo…. I thought I was taking a nice, long view of a pleasant spot, (for a parking area….), showing how amenable even such stark buildings can be made….. while the whole time, the blunt nose of Reality was leaving a smear on the glass….. SIGH, oh well…. I guess even photography requires a bit of sharpness of mind, to achieve any real degree of competence…. That, or just paying better attention, which I’ll also try to work into the program…. SIGH…. It never ends, does it?….

Or, maybe it’s merely my just desserts, for using a quote by LaVey….. Even though true, one must remember to always consider the source; Anton LaVey, for those who are unaware, was the long-time leader of the Church of Satan…. so, it’s worth taking ANYTHING he says with a grain of salt, even when, like this one, it is so obviously correct….

May 31 2014 morning 014
“Stuckness shouldn’t be avoided.  It’s the psychic predecessor of all real understanding.  An egoless acceptance of stuckness is a key to an understanding of all Quality, in mechanical work as in other endeavors.” — Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

I’m not sure just how the quote goes with the picture, except that the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance somehow goes together with the idea of palm trees, especially when they are completely out of their normal place…. Those of y’all who have actually read the book by Mr. Pirsig will, I think, be better able to understand that, though it isn’t guaranteed…. There are, I’m sure, some people who read the book, who still don’t understand how Zen comes into it, so, I can’t always expect people to catch my references, either…. but, that’s okay, too, because, hey, look! We got Art!…. Well, we’ve got pictures, anyway….

May 31 2014 morning 020
“No one loves the man whom he fears.” — Aristotle

You might be wondering about now just how this picture fits in with the pearl…. well, it doesn’t, really….. I picked the pearl just because it is good to remember, and it makes me hope…. that there are a number of men (or women, I’m not picky in my enemies…) sitting somewhere in a basement somewhere in Washington D.C., dredging through all the stuff they’ve pulled out of people’s computers and off the internet, to search out the nasty terrorists they KNOW are hiding among us, reading what I’ve created here, and scratching their heads, trying to figure out if it is treasonous, or merely subversive…. while, all the while, I’m hoping they are getting the clue, that I’m laughing at them….

Probably not, though…. I don’t think they’re quite that sharp, to ascertain when they’ve been insulted…. S’okay, I’ve got plans today…. which brings us to the picture, of the ferry I’m going to ride in a couple of hours, on my new daily quest for pictures, and some fun for me, participating in LIFE at large… Today, that means I’m taking the ferry to SF, with my camera in hand, to try to take a couple hundred or so pictures, so I’ve got a bigger pool from which to fish for this new format…. For now, though, we’ll just go on, & try to get this done, so I can get going…..

To close this section, here is a political cartoon, by a cartoonist who posts a lot on the UK Guardian, which is where I found this little gem…. enjoy!

nsadog~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s an Emily day, I can tell…..

A Book

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

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In order to keep with the format we’ve held to for nearly two years, an old-school pearl will be appropriate in this section…. not that being appropriate is a high priority around here, but, we do what we can….

“It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.’ — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 780

“The real world is not user-friendly.” — Kelvin Throop

“Yield to Temptation … it may not pass your way again.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Any excuse will serve a tyrant.” — Aesop (620-560 B.C.)

“When two do the same thing, it is not the same thing after all.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 338

“Cato requested old men not to add the disgrace of wickedness to old age, which was accompanied with many other evils.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) –Roman Apophthegms, Cato the Elder

Aw, but, where’s the fun in THAT?…..

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This seems to be working out fairly well…. and, if yesterday’s stats are any indication, the audience approves…. Of course, that is most likely some kind of anomaly, but, we’ll see…. For now, I’ll see you mañana, with a bunch of new pix….  See y’all later, 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

Featured Image -- 2780

Five counts of lewd acts with a WHAT?….

Ffolkes,

The usual blather isn’t going to cut it today; I can feel the need for something more organized, or, at least, more apparently organized, which is often the only viable alternative we can find…. You see, none of what you find here at the beginning of these Pearls has ever been scrutinized for any sort of naturally symmetrical or patterned structure, or, for that matter, any sort of structure at all, aside from the number of sections used for a pearl…. That has always been deliberate on my part, as I didn’t wish to stifle what little creativity resides in my being, by forcing it to assume any pre-determined shape or format….

Whether or not that is the right way to go about this, I’ll probably never know; plus, it’s too late now to go back and start over. So, I’ll have to keep on with what little organized formatting I’ve managed to scrape together, while continuing to torture my mind each morning in the search for something interesting, or compelling, or just plain funny to put here at the start of all of this….

I mean, it’s not as if it has to show any dignity, or class; I’m pretty sure I’ve managed to not raise any hopes in that direction, with the tone and timbre of what has gone before; you can’t tell me that anything I’ve posted here has displayed more than a minimum of dignity. I know for a fact that I’m not capable of much of it, so, I don’t worry about much of it contaminating what I produce…. What good would dignity do me, when the shit hits the fan? None at all, and it won’t keep any of the government’s myrmidons at bay, should one of them take offense at my ranting at them in a specific manner, but, that’s okay, I’m covered….. a .12 gauge over & under works wonders in that respect….

How did I get here? I had no intention of ending up anywhere where I needed to resort to guns, especially not when I had no clue as to what was going to happen today…. I guess my tendency toward ranting has become so habitual, I don’t even have to consciously decide to start in on the BRC; it just happens naturally as I type….. Whether or not that will be an advantage, evolutionarily speaking, I can’t say; it does make it simple for creating Pearls, though, doesn’t it? No having to search for the angst, or build up any resentment; just sit down & start typing…. Handy….

Of course, it doesn’t tell me how I’m going to find an intro that will consistently get us down to the first section without…. hey! Look! Look where we ended up! Here we are, in the fifth paragraph, pre-editing, and I hadn’t noticed, again, that we’ve reached the legal limit for blather in an intro, and may now, legally, if not morally, go on to our next chosen task, should we decide to accept the assignment….

(And doesn’t THAT sound typically American in nature…. meeting legal, if not moral, requirements….)

We are aware, as always, that if caught, we are on our own; the government will claim no responsibility for what we have been asked to do…. which is fine by me, as they always manage to fuck things up, anyway….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“It is my misfortune – and probably my delight – to use things as my passions tell me. What a miserable fate for a painter who adores blonds to have to stop himself putting them into a picture because they don’t go with the basket of fruit! … I put all the things I like into my pictures. The things – so much the worse for them. They just have to put up with it.” — Pablo Picasso

Good attitude! I like it…. and, it goes right along with all of what is written above, if you just listen to it with that same attitude, as expressed by  Pablo, in his little self-exposition….

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“In practical life, the woman is judged by man’s law, as if she were a man, not a woman.” — Henrik Ibsen

I’m experiencing a minor motivational crisis here today, caused in part by an embarrassment of riches, in one respect, and, by my own laziness in another….. I have a lot of material that I COULD write about….. The news of late has had some very interesting subject matter for my perusal and examination for discussion…. not all of which is enough to get me started on some subjects, as they require a bit of emotional preparation before I can settle in to write….

I would like to be able to rant more often on a subject that is very important to me, as well as to the people who are involved in dealing with it…. This subject is the world-wide plague of immorality, a plague of evil, that exists in every level of society, often with the implicit sanction of that society; I’m speaking, of course, of the abuse of women, and children of both genders, in the sex trafficking trade…. This issue is one that prompts extreme emotionalism in my psyche, causing me to get really worked up, as I contemplate the perversity, the sheer ugly evil, and the lack of humanity necessary to even contemplate such acts, much less to carry them out in reality….

Ranting on this subject tends to put me in a state from which recovery takes a good four to six hours, to work off the adrenalin that starts to flow, whenever I start to think about the (asshole) men who perpetrate these crimes all over the world, just because they can…. It makes me want to buy a gun, go down to the streets, find me a pimp or two, and start blasting away…. Unfortunately, though it would make me feel a lot better, there are too many of those assholes for merely individual acts of moral correction to make any real headway…. Of course, if I did fulfill my little fantasy a couple of times, the word might get around, and the situation might improve minimally, but only in those places I could actually get to, physically, to plant the seeds of fear in the snakes who inhabit that particular patch of grass….

The biggest problem with solving this issue is that society, being run by males, tends to ignore the issue, as it doesn’t apply to them (they believe, anyway…. which is ANOTHER issue for another time….)…. Often, to provide lip service to morality and ethics, they will pass a law, one that has no teeth to prevent any actual crime, or they’ll find some way to minimize the issue in the public eye, so that nothing is ever done…. Typically, men will attempt to distract, or defer, the attention of anyone questioning their business in this arena, by suggesting that prostitution be taken off the streets, to make it safer for the women…. No, that’s a lie, and a deliberate misrepresentation, because, actually, it just takes it out of sight, and, thus, out of mind….

My adrenalin is starting to flow, so, I’m going to defer any further ranting, and just give you the article I read that stimulated my ire…. This article points out quite clearly how male society attempts to minimize the impact of such acts as rape, by putting disturbingly realistic enactments into a TV show, thus giving the impression that watching such an act falls under the concept of “entertainment”. The men who wrote it, produced it, and put in on air, actually believe doing so legitimizes the act, removing it from the realm of a crime to that of “boys will be boys”…. thus, by association, further legitimizing ALL of the acts of perversity and violent sexual predation that men carry out upon women, and, in some cases, girl and boy children….

Read the article….. then, look around you, and see just how pervasive this plague has become in our society, as it has been embedded in the fabric of our society since the beginning of recorded history, and before….

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/24/rape-game-of-thrones?CMP=ema_565

I guess I DID rant for a while, even if it’s a bit disorganized, so, I’ll end this here, and just hope you get the picture…. because if you do, and you are anything like me, you’ll want to do something to help…. The issue needs all the attention we can give it…. not to mention needing all the ammunition we can stock up, to use on the pimps, snakeheads, and other assholes who display their inhumanity in such egregiously vicious, cowardly acts…. It’s better than they deserve, but, it is the kind of final judgment I can get behind….

“We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Just in case this has stimulated your ire like it does mine, here is a link to the blogging site of a woman who survived being kidnapped and made to prostitute herself for many years…. She writes very powerfully, and is the perfect way to get a TRUE picture of that issue, without any of the nice coloring and soft, fuzzy tones of the picture the politicians and snakeheads would have you see, when you look at prostitution and sex trafficking… The picture she draws with her words are powerful, full of pain and hard-won wisdom, as she draws the most accurate picture of the effect that the process has on those trapped in it…. Her site is at:

http://rebeccamott.net/2012/04/27/are-we-not-human/

This link takes you to a post that is extremely powerful, and one  of the best ways I know to give you a complete picture of how serious the issue is, and how pervasive it is in our world….. It’s hard reading, but, life’s tough, and this issue requires our will to be exercised…. I regard it as a duty, and so should any male who is made aware of it…. I believe that firmly, because only we MEN can stop it, my brothers….. WE must take responsibility for the actions of our peers, or it will never stop, and that’s the simple truth….

“Brother, brother! we are both in the wrong.” — John Gay (1688-1732) — The Beggar’s Opera, Act ii, Sc. 2

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Again, simply a poem…. such as it is….

Dreaming, I wait….

In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
to give no anxious fever, anger to eschew.

Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
shall fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.

Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.

Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.

Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in the oceans of natural delight.

When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
and the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.

Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art…..

~~ gigoid ~~

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So, here we are, such as we are…. I ranted above, though I had no intention of doing so…. This, unfortunately, used up most of my angst, which I had hoped to use to discuss these two articles, from two different sources, that speak to the same relative issue, to wit: politics is poopadoodle…. I’m afraid I don’t have it in me to put out another long diatribe today, (Okay, hold it down…. y’know, when you cheer like that, it kind of hurts my feelings…..NOT…), so, I’m going to cheat, just a little bit….

Here are the links to the aforementioned articles, which, though mainstream, and thus, rather soft-ball in terms of hard questions, still manage to put some heat on those assholes who inhabit the halls of government, showing them up as the blatantly dishonest, self-serving gobshites they actually are in truth, no matter how brightly they like to paint themselves in, rational, helpful, patriotic colors…. Assbites, every one of them….

Below the links, you will find an old school pearl, whose parameters will be apparent right from the start…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. take today to go out, find yourself a politician, and make everybody’s day by putting him/her out of their misery…. We’ll have one less to worry about come the revolution, right?…. I know, a bit harsh, but, my ass is tired of getting worked over by these idiots…. Enjoy the pearls, and stay alert, ffolkes, the world needs more lerts….

http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/Boogeymen-and-shady-deals-define-spin-for-Senate-5423023.php#page-1

Don’t forget to go wash up after reading that one, ffolkes. Senators, Congresspeople, and many of their BRC lackeys, much like chicken and salmonella, usually carry a nasty viral infection, easily transferable to the listener, if they forget basic cleanliness habits….

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/six-studies-that-show-everything-republicans-believe-is-wrong-20140423?utm_source=dailynewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

See? Clear, without being hurtful, rational in the face of ignorance, and not a false word to be found anywhere within its borders…. an excellent breakdown of political reality here, in what much of the rest of the world considers to be La La Land…. not that they’re in any better position; they’ve just been aware of the flaws in their political denizens for much longer…. As is obvious, knowing doesn’t always help….

Activity is the politician’s substitute for achievement.” — Smart Bee

“It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.” — H. L. Mencken

“As the light changed from red to green to yellow and back to red again, I sat  there thinking about life.  Was it nothing more than a bunch of honking and yelling?  Sometimes it seemed that way.” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

“You can’t use tact with a congressman. A congressman is a hog. You must take a stick and hit him on the snout.” — Henry Adams

“Imagine, if you will, that I am an idiot. Then, imagine that I am also a Congressman. But, alas, I repeat myself.” — Mark Twain

“Guns are generally pretty robust, their only enemies are rust and politicians.” — Jeff Cooper

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.” — Chinese Proverb

I’ll tell you, ffolkes, some pearls are just better than others…. and so is this one….

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I know I’ve created a mess, but, I don’t care…. I am barely sane at this moment in time; it’s taking all of my will power to keep typing long enough to finish this before I break down completely, & start gibbering…. Since I won’t be getting any treats if I let that happen, I’m going to go medicate myself thoroughly, & go take a nap…. Maybe the world will be a bit saner when I wake up…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise…. I know, I’m an agnostic, but, it still sounds cool…. Okay, I’m gone….

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

Illusion, adeptly applied, as an ointment….

Ffolkes,
Pillows, soft with feathers light, pound the walls and floors in flabby anger, until only the linens in the hall remain unsullied. Vast differences plagued the malodorous jack o’knapes, forgotten in all the noise. But the platoon of badgers gave a good golly, in honor of their fallen comrades, and the absentee butler stocked his pantry with everything from Forsythe and Spritz, not Dumbry. It was a real stand-up, as far as it went….. and the critics were struck speechless for once, missing deadlines, on the phone to their liaison with the Pope, losing bonus minutes by the truckload….. but, then, it’s only April.

Thank you, very much… it is an honor and a privilege to be recognized by the Academy….. oh, wait, that’s for a different speech…. sorry, forgot where I was, thanks to the disorienting paragraph that started this menagerie today….. That stuff builds up, like plaque on the teeth, and if I don’t get it out of my head, it can cause all sorts of trouble, especially if I try to talk to anyone else…. I get some funny expressions, you betcha….. It almost makes it worthwhile getting up….. 🙂

I’m feeling giddy today, in full-on waiting mode…. I’ve done all I can do, and all you can do is all you can do…. yabba dabba do.  See, it even rhymes! To say that I am hopeful of a positive outcome is to say the very least; I am TOO hopeful. It’s enough to make me look around furtively to see if Murphy is hanging about….. though I don’t know which would make me more nervous…. having him standing here looking at me with that fatuous smirk, or not seeing him at all, and knowing he is just waiting for the proper moment to deliver his coup de grace….. rather a poor choice, eh what? Sort of like the choice between two sisters…. whichever you choose is going to hurt, no matter how hard one tries to be fair… and in Murphy’s case, he doesn’t care a whit about being fair…. as long as he causes the maximum of hassle for his victims, he’s happy….

Rather than tempt him too much, by mentioning his name more than twice, I believe we should get on with the day’s business…. yes, I think that would be wise….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Someone asked someone who was about my age: “How are you?” The answer was, “Fine. If you don’t ask for details.” — Katharine Hepburn
__________________________________

“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” — Clarence Buddinton Kelland

I am a fortunate son, and have known so for many years; it is a source of quiet joy to me that I was given, and took, the opportunity to let my father know how I felt about him, and how much I appreciated what he had given me, before he died. The year he died, 1984, is still sort of hard for me to think of, and there are still moments, even now, at 61, when I wish I could ask him his advice. But, then I realize he already gave it to me, and I know what to do…. In fact, most of my life, if I was confronted with a question of what was right to do, I would imagine that he was standing behind me, watching me, as I did him as a boy…. that usually helped me to remember what the right thing was, and made clear the choice to the honorable path….

My dad’s own father died when he was 14, whereupon he left school, and went to work to support his mother and two younger brothers. He never would talk much about those years of his life, saying only that he did what he needed to do to survive, and ensure the same for his family. To give you an idea of how difficult it must have been, the 1929 Crash, and subsequent Great Depression, took place when he was 17, and had been the family’s source of support for three years already when it happened….. He got everyone through it well enough that he and his brothers were all able to marry, with my father meeting and marrying my mother in 1939….. and my grandmother was still alive to celebrate the event…..

“The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

“Excellence is its own reward.” — Axiom # 4, Peruaosophy, c. 1990 ~~ by gigoid (1950-????)

As a result of what I learned from my father, I have always known the rightness, and the real joy of acting honorably. He also taught me that doing one’s best, at whatever one turned their mind, and hands, to, was, in both the short and the long run, the most effective, and ultimately the most satisfying  method of approaching life. Paying attention to detail, observing alertly, reading with attention, thinking about what is learned, applying what is learned in practice, all were brought home to me as important elements needed to be successful at anything. When used conscientiously, these become habitual, and excellence becomes not just a desirable outcome, but one that is completely achievable on a regular basis. And, having done it well, it does indeed become a reward unto itself….

“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me.  That means nothing.  People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” — Albert Einstein

My dad died, as I said, in 1984, and I still miss him (as I do my mother, too, who passed on last year; apples and oranges, and another post, for another time….). But, as I said, I saw him just before he passed on. I brought my 3 year old son, and almost one year old daughter, with me to see him in the hospital, after he had decided not to go to any lengths to stop the spread of the disease, to save the expenses, which would then be available for my mother when he was gone…. it was just the way he was…. He got to play with the kids, and had the biggest goofy smile on his face, as my daughter Kelly pushed and pulled on his nose, babbling at him in toddlerese….. I asked him to leave me some trail sign wherever he went in the next dimension, and he said he would do so, so I am content. I know he will always be there, behind me, watching me, as I do my best to make sure I live up to his standards, and his memory….. and am therefore providing the same example for my children…..

How happy is he born or taught,
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!
— Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) — The Character of a Happy Life

“When someone loves you for a long time, really loves you, then you become Real. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, your eyes drop out, but this doesn’t matter . . . when you are Real you can’t be ugly.” — The Velveteen Rabbit
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I’ve been waiting to fill this space, hoping a poem was percolating on one of my back burners…. alas, nothing has surfaced, so you’ll just have to settle for one of the classics…. hmm, let’s see….. whom should we choose today?…… How about….. Keats? It’s been awhile, and he IS one of the best…. I’ll see what I can do about finding one I’ve heard quoted often, The Eve of St. Agnes…..

Hmm…. well, so be it…. having found it, it turns out to be about three days long…. well, almost. It’s a long one…. but, you know what? I don’t care…. it’s beautiful, and I loved every line of it. So, you’ll have to just put up with the entire poem, epic read though it be….. I’m not afraid, are you?….. Don’t feel bad if it takes more than one sitting… it is indeed, a long one…

The Eve Of St. Agnes

ST Agnes’ Eve—Ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limp’d trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold:
Numb were the Beadsman’s fingers, while he told
His rosary, and while his frosted breath,
Like pious incense from a censer old,
Seem’d taking flight for heaven, without a death,
Past the sweet Virgin’s picture, while his prayer he saith.

His prayer he saith, this patient, holy man;
Then takes his lamp, and riseth from his knees,
And back returneth, meagre, barefoot, wan,
Along the chapel aisle by slow degrees:
The sculptur’d dead, on each side, seem to freeze,
Emprison’d in black, purgatorial rails:
Knights, ladies, praying in dumb orat’ries,
He passeth by; and his weak spirit fails
To think how they may ache in icy hoods and mails.

Northward he turneth through a little door,
And scarce three steps, ere Music’s golden tongue
Flatter’d to tears this aged man and poor;
But no—already had his deathbell rung
The joys of all his life were said and sung:
His was harsh penance on St. Agnes’ Eve:
Another way he went, and soon among
Rough ashes sat he for his soul’s reprieve,
And all night kept awake, for sinners’ sake to grieve.

That ancient Beadsman heard the prelude soft;
And so it chanc’d, for many a door was wide,
From hurry to and fro. Soon, up aloft,
The silver, snarling trumpets ‘gan to chide:
The level chambers, ready with their pride,
Were glowing to receive a thousand guests:
The carved angels, ever eager-eyed,
Star’d, where upon their heads the cornice rests,
With hair blown back, and wings put cross-wise on their breasts.

At length burst in the argent revelry,
With plume, tiara, and all rich array,
Numerous as shadows haunting fairily
The brain, new-stuff’d, in youth, with triumphs gay
Of old romance. These let us wish away,
And turn, sole-thoughted, to one lady there,
Whose heart had brooded, all that wintry day,
On love, and wing’d St Agnes’ saintly care,
As she had heard old dames full rnany times declare.

They told her how, upon St Agnes’ Eve,
Young virgins might have visions of delight,
And soft adorings from their loves receive
Upon the honey’d middle of the night,
If ceremonies due they did aright;
As, supperless to bed they must retire,
And couch supine their beauties, lily white;
Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require
Of Heaven with upward eyes for all that they desire.

Full of this whim was thoughtful Madeline:
The music, yearning like a God in pain,
She scarcely heard: her maiden eyes divine,
Fix’d on the floor, saw many a sweeping train
Pass by—she heeded not at all: in vain
Came many a tiptoe, amorous cavalier,
And back retir’d; not cool’d by high disdain,
But she saw not: her heart was otherwhere;
She sigh’d for Agnes’ dreams, the sweetest of the year.

She danc’d along with vague, regardless eyes,
Anxious her lips, her breathing quick and short:
The hallow’d hour was near at hand: she sighs
Amid the timbrels, and the throng’d resort
Of whisperers in anger, or in sport;
‘Mid looks of love, defiance, hate, and scorn,
Hoodwink’d with faery fancy; all amort,
Save to St Agnes and her lambs unshorn,
And all the bliss to be before to-morrow morn.

So, purposing each moment to retire,
She linger’d still. Meantime, across the moors,
Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire
For Madeline. Beside the portal doors,
Buttress’d from moonlight, stands he, and implores
All saints to give him sight of Madeline,
But for one moment in the tedious hours,
That he might gaze and worship all unseen;
Perchance speak, kneel, touch, kiss—in sooth such things have been.

He ventures in: let no buzz’d whisper tell:
All eyes be muffled, or a hundred swords
Will storm his heart, Love’s fev’rous citadel:
For him, those chambers held barbarian hordes,
Hyena foemen, and hot-blooded lords,
Whose very dogs would execrations howl
Against his lineage: not one breast affords
Him any mercy, in that mansion foul,
Save one old beldame, weak in body and in soul.

Ah, happy chance! the aged creature came,
Shuffling along with ivory-headed wand,
To where he stood, hid from the torch’s flame,
Behind a broad hall-pillar, far beyond
The sound of merriment and chorus bland.
He startled her; but soon she knew his face,
And grasp’d his fingers in her palsied hand,
Saying, “Mercy, Porphyro! hie thee from this place;
“They are all here to-night, the whole blood-thirsty race!

“Get hence! get hence! there’s dwarfish Hildebrand;
He had a fever late, and in the fit
He cursed thee and thine, both house and land:
Then there’s that old Lord Maurice, not a whit
More tame for his gray hairs—Alas me! flit!
Flit like a ghost away.”—“Ah, gossip dear,
We’re safe enough; here in this arm-chair sit,
And tell me how”—“Good saints! not here, not here;
Follow me, child, or else these stones will be thy bier.”

He follow’d through a lowly arched way,
Brushing the cobwebs with his lofty plume,
And as she mutter’d “Well-a—well-a-day!”
He found him in a little moonlight room,
Pale, lattic’d, chill, and silent as a tomb.
“Now tell me where is Madeline”, said he,
“O tell me, Angela, by the holy loom
Which none but secret sisterhood may see,
“When they St Agnes’ wool are weaving piously.”

“St Agnes! Ah! it is St Agnes’ Eve—
Yet men will murder upon holy days:
Thou must hold water in a witch’s sieve,
And be liege-lord of all the Elves and Fays
To venture so: it fills me with amaze
To see thee, Porphyro!—St Agnes’ Eve!
God’s help! my lady fair the conjuror plays
This very night: good angels her deceive!
But let me laugh awhile, I’ve mickle time to grieve.”

Feebly she laugheth in the languid moon,
While Porphyro upon her face doth look,
Like puzzled urchin on an aged crone
Who keepeth clos’d a wondrous riddle-book,
As spectacled she sits in chimney nook.
But soon his eyes grew brilliant, when she told
His lady’s purpose; and he scarce could brook
Tears, at the thought of those enchantments cold
And Madeline asleep in lap of legends old.

Sudden a thought came like a full-blown rose,
Flushing his brow, and in his pained heart
Made purple riot: then doth he propose
A stratagem, that makes the beldame start:
“A cruel man and impious thou art:
Sweet lady, let her pray, and sleep, and dream
Alone with her good angels, far apart
From wicked men like thee. Go, go!—I deem
Thou canst not surely be the same that thou didst seem.”

“I will not harm her, by all saints I swear,”
Quoth Porphyro: “O may I ne’er find grace
When my weak voice shall whisper its last prayer,
If one of her soft ringlets I displace,
Or look with ruffian passion in her face:
Good Angela, believe me by these tears;
Or I will, even in a moment’s space,
Awake, with horrid shout, my foemen’s ears,
And beard them, though they be more fang’d than wolves and bears.”

“Ah! why wilt thou affright a feeble soul?
A poor, weak, palsy-stricken, churchyard thing,
Whose passing-bell may ere the midnight toll;
Whose prayers for thee, each morn and evening,
Were never miss’d.” Thus plaining, doth she bring
A gentler speech from burning Porphyro;
So woeful, and of such deep sorrowing,
That Angela gives promise she will do
Whatever he shall wish, betide her weal or woe.

Which was, to lead him, in close secrecy,
Even to Madeline’s chamber, and there hide
Him in a closet, of such privacy
That he might see her beauty unespied,
And win perhaps that night a peerless bride,
While legion’d fairies pac’d the coverlet,
And pale enchantment held her sleepy-eyed.
Never on such a night have lovers met,
Since Merlin paid his Demon all the monstrous debt.

“It shall be as thou wishest,” said the Dame:
“All cates and dainties shall be stored there
Quickly on this feast-night: by the tambour frame
Her own lute thou wilt see: no time to spare,
For I am slow and feeble, and scarce dare
On such a catering trust my dizzy head.
Wait here, my child, with patience; kneel in prayer
The while: Ah! thou must needs the lady wed,
Or may I never leave my grave among the dead.”

So saying, she hobbled off with busy fear.
The lover’s endless minutes slowly pass’d;
The Dame return’d, and whisper’d in his ear
To follow her; with aged eyes aghast
From fright of dim espial. Safe at last
Through many a dusky gallery, they gain
The maiden’s chamber, silken, hush’d and chaste;
Where Porphyro took covert, pleas’d amain.
His poor guide hurried back with agues in her brain.

Her falt’ring hand upon the balustrade,
Old Angela was feeling for the stair,
When Madeline, St Agnes’ charmed maid,
Rose, like a mission’d spirit, unaware:
With silver taper’s light, and pious care,
She turn’d, and down the aged gossip led
To a safe level matting. Now prepare,
Young Porphyro, for gazing on that bed;
She comes, she comes again, like dove fray’d and fled.

Out went the taper as she hurried in;
Its little smoke, in pallid moonshine, died:
She closed the door, she panted, all akin
To spirits of the air, and visions wide:
No utter’d syllable, or, woe betide!
But to her heart, her heart was voluble,
Paining with eloquence her balmy side;
As though a tongueless nightingale should swell
Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stifled, in her dell.

A casement high and triple-arch’d there was,
All garlanded with carven imag’ries
Of fruits, and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass,
And diamonded with panes of quaint device,
Innumerable of stains and splendid dyes,
As are the tiger-moth’s deep-damask’d wings;
And in the midst, ‘mong thousand heraldries,
And twilight saints, and dim emblazonings,
A shielded scutcheon blush’d with blood of queens and kings.

Full on this casement shone the wintry moon,
And threw warm gules on Madeline’s fair breast,
As down she knelt for heaven’s grace and boon;
Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest,
And on her silver cross soft amethyst,
And on her hair a glory, like a saint:
She seem’d a splendid angel, newly drest,
Save wings, for heaven:—Porphyro grew faint:
She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint.

Anon his heart revives: her vespers done,
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one;
Loosens her fragrant bodice; by degrees
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees:
Half-hidden, like a mermaid in sea-weed,
Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees,
In fancy, fair St Agnes in her bed,
But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled.

Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly nest,
In sort of wakeful swoon, perplex’d she lay,
Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppress’d
Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away;
Flown, like a thought, until the morrow-day;
Blissfully haven’d both from joy and pain;
Clasp’d like a missal where swart Paynims pray;
Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.

Stol’n to this paradise, and so entranced,
Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress,
And listen’d to her breathing, if it chanced
To wake into a slumbrous tenderness;
Which when he heard, that minute did he bless,
And breath’d himself: then from the closet crept,
Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness,
And over the hush’d carpet, silent, stept,
And ‘tween the curtains peep’d, where, lo!—how fast she slept!

Then by the bed-side, where the faded moon
Made a dim, silver twilight, soft he set
A table, and, half anguish’d, threw thereon
A doth of woven crimson, gold, and jet:—
O for some drowsy Morphean amulet!
The boisterous, midnight, festive clarion,
The kettle-drum, and far-heard clarinet,
Affray his ears, though but in dying tone:—
The hall door shuts again, and all the noise is gone.

And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,
In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender’d,
While he from forth the closet brought a heap
Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd
With jellies soother than the creamy curd,
And lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon;
Manna and dates, in argosy transferr’d
From Fez; and spiced dainties, every one,
From silken Samarcand to cedar’d Lebanon.

These delicates he heap’d with glowing hand
On golden dishes and in baskets bright
Of wreathed silver: sumptuous they stand
In the retired quiet of the night,
Filling the chilly room with perfume light.—
“And now, my love, my seraph fair, awake!
Thou art my heaven, and I thine eremite:
Open thine eyes, for meek St Agnes’ sake,
Or I shall drowse beside thee, so my soul doth ache.”

Thus whispering, his warm, unnerved arm
Sank in her pillow. Shaded was her dream
By the dusk curtains:—’twas a midnight charm
Impossible to melt as iced stream:
The lustrous salvers in the moonlight gleam;
Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies:
It seem’d he never, never could redeem
From such a stedfast spell his lady’s eyes;
So mus’d awhile, entoil’d in woofed phantasies.

Awakening up, he took her hollow lute,—
Tumultuous,—and, in chords that tenderest be,
He play’d an ancient ditty, long since mute,
In Provence call’d, “La belle dame sans mercy:”
Close to her ear touching the melody:—
Wherewith disturb’d, she utter’d a soft moan:
He ceased—she panted quick—and suddenly
Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone:
Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth-sculptured stone.

Her eyes were open, but she still beheld,
Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep:
There was a painful change, that nigh expell’d
The blisses of her dream so pure and deep,
At which fair Madeline began to weep,
And moan forth witless words with many a sigh;
While still her gaze on Porphyro would keep;
Who knelt, with joined hands and piteous eye,
Fearing to move or speak, she look’d so dreamingly.

“Ah, Porphyro!” said she, “but even now
Thy voice was at sweet tremble in mine ear,
Made tuneable with every sweetest vow;
And those sad eyes were spiritual and clear:
How chang’d thou art! how pallid, chill, and drear!
Give me that voice again, my Porphyro,
Those looks immortal, those complainings dear!
Oh leave me not in this eternal woe,
For if thou diest, my Love, I know not where to go.”

Beyond a mortal man impassion’d far
At these voluptuous accents, he arose,
Ethereal, flush’d, and like a throbbing star
Seen mid the sapphire heaven’s deep repose
Into her dream he melted, as the rose
Blendeth its odour with the violet,—
Solution sweet: meantime the frost-wind blows
Like Love’s alarum pattering the sharp sleet
Against the window-panes; St Agnes’ moon hath set.

Tis dark: quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet:
“This is no dream, my bride, my Madeline!”
‘Tis dark: the iced gusts still rave and beat:
“No dream, alas! alas! and woe is mine!
Porphyro will leave me here to fade and pine.—
Cruel! what traitor could thee hither bring?
I curse not, for my heart is lost in thine
Though thou forsakest a deceived thing;—
A dove forlorn and lost with sick unpruned wing.”

“My Madeline! sweet dreamer! lovely bride!
Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest?
Thy beauty’s shield, heart-shap’d and vermeil dyed?
Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my rest
After so many hours of toil and quest,
A famish’d pilgrim,—saved by miracle.
Though I have found, I will not rob thy nest
Saving of thy sweet self; if thou think’st well
To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude infidel.

“Hark! ’tis an elfin-storm from faery land,
Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed:
Arise—arise! the morning is at hand;—
The bloated wassailers will never heed:—
Let us away, my love, with happy speed;
There are no ears to hear, or eyes to see,—
Drown’d all in Rhenish and the sleepy mead:
Awake! arise! my love, and fearless be,
For o’er the southern moors I have a home for thee.”

She hurried at his words, beset with fears,
For there were sleeping dragons all around,
At glaring watch, perhaps, with ready spears—
Down the wide stairs a darkling way they found.—
In all the house was heard no human sound.
A chain-droop’d lamp was flickering by each door;
The arras, rich with horseman, hawk, and hound,
Flutter’d in the besieging wind’s uproar;
And the long carpets rose along the gusty floor.

They glide, like phantoms, into the wide hall;
Like phantoms, to the iron porch, they glide;
Where lay the Porter, in uneasy sprawl,
With a huge empty flagon by his side:
The wakeful bloodhound rose, and shook his hide,
But his sagacious eye an inmate owns:
By one, and one, the bolts fill easy slide:—
The chains lie silent on the footworn stones,—
The key turns, and the door upon its hinges groans.

And they are gone: ay, ages long ago
These lovers fled away into the storm.
That night the Baron dreamt of many a woe,
And all his warrior-guests, with shade and form
Of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm,
Were long be-nightmar’d. Angela the old
Died palsy-twitch’d, with meagre face deform;
The Beadsman, after thousand aves told,
For aye unsought for slept among his ashes cold.

John Keats

Well, there you have it, in all its glorious entirety….. good luck, and enjoy!…..
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This old-school pearl started off in one direction, then veered off into another…. and I don’t blame it a bit. I’m just as tired of all the political bullshit being flung around as the next guy, and the election can’t get here quick enough to suit me, that’s for sure. What with the amount of crap flying around, I feel like I’ve got to shower it off at least once or twice a day…… Any who, I was collecting the pearls for this, when I noticed that each one of them, from the first to the last, make a pointed statement that could easily be applied to this election, and most specifically, to the Republican party’s platform and candidates…. As far as I can see, they fail at every one of these, and this then becomes an indictment of their failings, all without intent, but with great accuracy….

“The majority never has the right on its side. Never, I say! That is one of the social lies that a free, thinking man is bound to rebel against. Who makes up the majority in any given country? Is it the wise men or the fools? I think we must agree that the fools are in a terrible overwhelming majority, all the wide world over.” — Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

“The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.” — G. K. Chesterton (gigoid sez: There being none of those, to wit: honest rich, in this election, we can pretty much take this as gospel, or at least accept it at face value……)

“It is the edge and temper of the blade that make a good sword, not the richness of the scabbard; and so it is not money or possessions that make man considerable, but his virtue.” — Seneca (B.C. 3-65 A.D.) (gigoid sez: This could NOT be clearer…. since Mitt the Twitt feels compelled to rattle his scabbard at every opportunity…..)

“I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie.  I can lie, but I won’t.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)   (gigoid sez: In modern times, the concept of a politician lying is not merely common, it is expected, and, sadly to say, empowered by the voting public, by their passive acceptance of same….)

“It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” — Noel Coward

“Intemperate speech is a distinctive characteristic of man. Hotheads blow off and release destructive energy in the process. They shout and rave, exaggerating weaknesses, magnifying error, viewing with alarm. So it has been from the beginning; and so it will be throughout time. The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for the restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.” — Justice William O. Douglas

“When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don’t deal drugs.  When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I’m innocent.  When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don’t own a gun.  Now they’ve come for the first amendment, and I can’t say anything at all.” — Tim Freeman

“It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.” — Aeschylus (525-456 BC) — Frag. 385

Yep, it’s going to be a real dust-up this year, as the forces of evil have gathered all of their minions and myrmidons, ready to sally forth on election day and try to lie and cheat their way into office. The degree of illegal, ill-advised voter suppression efforts that the Republicans have made are coming to light on a daily basis, with the money they’ve paid to companies dedicated to blocking the votes of seniors, poor people, and veterans being exposed as well. It’s truly a disgusting development, although it isn’t new to them; they’ve managed to steal two elections already, for the junior shrub, in 2000 and 2004, once in Florida, and once in Ohio.

They also managed to distract the public away from looking at those election results, by talking a bunch of Islamic militants into attacking New York City, right at the time when the Shrub’s chicanery in Florida was about to be investigated by an independent commission…… I always thought the timing there was a bit suspicious, and it couldn’t have been better for the Shrub, even though he probably wasn’t in on the planning of it himself…. his daddy never trusted him THAT far…..

But, you may remember, the senior Shrub was the head of the CIA for many years, before he was President, and is considered by many to be personally responsible for the establishment of the cocaine trade in this country; see the book “The Cocaine Papers” written in the 1980’s, if there are still copies around. There may not be; I’m sure the dark-side operatives snap them up for destruction whenever they come across one…. This man would suffer no ethical restraints, and would not even hesitate, to have some of his operatives clandestinely trick terrorists into attacking when and where he wished it…. Civilian casualties are always more compelling when trying to distract the public…. And, it is funny how nobody ever investigated where the money for the 9/11 attacks came from…. Usually, in any such event, finding out who paid for it is a primary goal of the investigating teams…. but, nobody ever did that for 9/11…. Kind of makes one wonder, doesn’t it?……

Ah well, conspiracy theories aside, this election is seeing every dirty trick the two parties can think of between them, with the most egregiously immoral actions taking place on the conservative side…. voter suppression efforts in swing states, outright lying, misinformation spreading, magical bean platforms, all are being employed with gusto…. The upcoming debate tomorrow promises to be quite a show for the American public, and it will be interesting to see the contortions that the Republicans go through to try to show their man to their advantage, when every time he opens his mouth, he drops another bomb that indicates just how clueless and uncaring he is…. I’m almost looking forward to it, if it didn’t promise to be so bloody…. c’est la vie, I guess, and we’ll have to see how time will tell the tale…..
__________________________________

So be it…. since I don’t have the access time I’d like to have, the Pearls will just have to go out without major editing, or they won’t get done at all in the allotted time frame. I didn’t realize that the last section would turn on me, and become a mini-rant…. Romney/Ryan just lends itself to that process naturally, with every ill-considered lie they drop into the public well…. too bad it’s all toxic…. All will be well, though; that the Universe is proceeding as it should is perhaps my only point of faith. Therefore, let us get on with the day, such as it is, in full wait-mode…. toodle loo….  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!