Breaking news: Cop bitten by doughnut….

Ffolkes,
And then, I woke up….. at that magical hour of the day, when it reads as a perfectly balanced trio of primes, at 3:33….. or, as the Martians would say, a three, filled. It truly is a magical time, when nobody else is stirring, and I have the thought waves pretty much all to myself. I can direct the flow of them, or let them carry me off to a place where nothing is too fantastic to consider, and nothing is forbidden to think, or to say….. It’s a place in my mind I go to a lot, especially when I’m feeling stressed, or blue, because it’s impossible to feel bad there, where total freedom, of thought, of action, of life is not merely encouraged, but demanded…..

Then, of course, I come back to reality, reluctantly, but always in a better frame of mind with which to approach whatever is happening out there in the BBR, or as we sometimes call it, the scary bad place outside the door….. Sometimes, it’s scarier than what can go on in my head, which is going a good ways, but, after a visit to my “happy place”, I can deal with the fear much more easily. Deal with it I will, for fear is one thing that will never rule my life, no sir…. I’ll have none of that, thank you very much. I see far too many of my planetary peers letting fear determine their attitudes and how they deal with reality, and it is no way to live at all, not for anyone who treasures the power of mind….

How did we get so serious? I just started babbling, and all of a sudden, it’s a mini-rant against fear, which, though a common enough subject, and enemy enough to rant about, I’m barely awake, and have only had one sip of that life-giving nectar of the gods, coffee, so a rant would soon fall down into incoherence, unless I got all pissed off or something, and who needs that at this hour of the day? Not me, certainly, though it IS a way to wake up thoroughly…. just not the most pleasant way, which is more what I’m in the mood for today. Easy is good, I’m thinking…..

Good enough to have provided almost four paragraphs, of not entirely useless material, and at least given me an opportunity to get going with some slight dignity, if not panache. Hell, I’m just happy I’m awake enough to be able to access words like “panache” without blushing, it being so early and all…. and what are all the computer noises about, eh? It keeps making this “doh, don’t” kind of noise, almost like the Law and Order noise when a scene changes…. but we’re not changing scenes….. Makes me wonder what’s going on in the background that it isn’t telling me about…..

“Life is like quotations. Sometimes, it makes you laugh. Sometimes, it makes you cry. Most of the time, you don’t get it. — Smart Bee

If THAT  doesn’t give you an idea of how today is going, I don’t know what will….. Shall we Pearl?
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“To know that one has enough is to be rich.” ~~ Lao Tzu

Though it may sound like it, this is not an endorsement, of either poverty, or affluence. In fact, it is the exact middle ground between the two, that is the meaning herein, the part that contains importance for us as humans, in a society that challenges everyone to become one, or the other, not being content with merely being content with what one possesses. As usual, I’ve probably obscured the basic idea, when I meant to clarify….. SIGH. Sometimes it’s hard being me, what with my natural tendency toward pomposity of speech…. Comes from reading too much alone, and getting comfortable with too many writing styles to remember which one I’m currently using myself….. or, maybe I’m getting old….

Regardless of any of that, I have recently been struck by how apt this aphorism has been in my recent life. I think I’ve done pretty well at dealing with the sudden, exhilarating experience of having more money than I need on a very basic level. Most of my impulsive buying has been prompted by two desires, both of which I’ve managed to fulfill without going completely insane, and blowing it all. One desire is to see those places I’ve always wanted to see; the other is to be able to provide assistance, of a financial nature, to my kids, and grandson, both while I am alive, and after I pass on to the next adventure in the ongoing saga of gigoid, wherever it may lead.

In addition, I find it a very pleasant experience to give in to the urge to buy gifts for the people I love, without having to stop to consider the long-term effect, or worry that it will cause me a strain to do so. Not that I can buy everyone a car, or anything, but it’s really nice to buy flowers now and again, and be able to enjoy doing it…. Even if it doesn’t make me so, it makes me feel rich, to know that I have enough, enough to be able to live, and be able to help whomever I wish to help….

“Kids, the seven basic food groups are GUM, PUFF PASTRY, PIZZA, PESTICIDES, ANTIBIOTICS, NUTRA-SWEET and MILK DUDS!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

As I perused the above, while looking through SB for an appropriate quote for this discussion, I realized this was a perfect choice, because, I can always count on Zippy to provide the proper perspective to any discussion that threatens to become mundane, which the above was certainly doing…. (I wonder if I have enough teeth to eat Milk Duds anymore?) Besides, he forgot coffee, unless that is counted as a pesticide, or an antibiotic…. Nevertheless, what I’ve discussed above is all true, and I must say, not only is it a good feeling to be flush for a change, if not exactly rich, it is a good thing to be able to appreciate my good fortune, and the culmination of a long period of hard work, defined as “waiting patiently for the feds to turn lead into gold”, so to speak…

So, if you are fortunate enough in your life, to have enough, maybe you will join me in appreciating what we have, and thinking how we can help others by sharing our good fortune…. It’s a darn sight better than hoarding it, or worrying about spending the fruits of our life-long efforts foolishly, and a lot more satisfying in the long run…. I guarantee…..

“I have more than enough of almost everything.” — Smart Bee

“No man is free who is not master of himself.” — Epictetus
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Striking Gold

Madness comes and goes, it’s true,
whenever it chooses to do so.
Living’s much like wearing a shoe,
when all you are is a toe.

~~ gigoid ~~


In perfect demonstration of this, I offer the above….. such as it is, it is deeper than it may appear, and quite relevant to my internal life, where I spend probably far too much of my time…. As a balancing act, I offer the following, which is the first one that caught my eye today…..

It’s All I have to bring to-day,
   This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
   And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget, —
   Some one the sum could tell, —
This, and my heart, and all the bees
  Which in the clover dwell.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

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The above first section is possibly one of the weakest, yet still reasonably valid pieces I’ve done in a long while. I knew what I wanted to say, but it came out all weird, and rather than try to bring it back, I just let it fly wherever it chose, which turned out to be a bit odd…. Not to say that “odd” is anything new here, but, that wasn’t how it started out….. Oh well, I guess I’ll just go cruising through SB to see what throws itself at me, and sticks…. Hopefully, it will make a bit of sense, but, if not, well, it will fit right in with a lot of what I do around here in the early mornings……

Scimus te prae litteras fatuum esse. (We know that you are mad with much learning.) — Petronius (d. c.66 A.D)

“Back when I was attending the University of Utah, The Daily Utah Chronicle ran a joke ad for a debate between Phil Donahue and Whiskers the Lamb. Over 30 people showed up.  (what they were expecting, God only knows.) — unknown, but not Smart Bee, because SB is a program, and this is obviously the memory of a real person; I just don’t know who, and neither does Google… It is listed as an unattributed joke on some IT website called anvari.com, but, other than that, the only reference on the web was a post of my own, from a couple years ago, when I used it in another Pearl…. Whew!

“A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.” — Oscar Wilde

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it,
Time in hours, days, years,
Driv’n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov’d; in which the world
And all her train were hurl’d.

— Henry Vaughan — The World

“I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.” — Winston Churchill

Well…. Sometimes, serendipity just astonishes me. It may seem a bit elusive, but, I consider the above to be one of the best five-star pearls that Smart Bee has ever come up with…. The important part of that is that I don’t really know why, it just is…. balanced, whimsical, and ultimately, perfectly real, with some self-deprecation and hope thrown in just for good measure….. So be it, gigoid has spoken, and it is good….
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Okay, I have to see if it is as weird to read as it was to write…. Hmm, well, better than I’d hoped, so, off it goes…. It’s been real, AND fun, so, I’m already in the plus column for the day, and it’s just barely dawn… Time for a nap….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Rejected submissions for breakfast?…..

>Ffolkes,

Eyes wide open, I begin to type, gathering speed with each stroke. The machine warms to my touch, and begins to help, anticipating my every letter, until I am flying across the keyboard. Words keep magically appearing on the screen, until, at last, my mind reaches a point where ideas clash, and crash, burning, falling out of the figurative sky that stretches across one chamber of my brain, and I stop….. Having run completely out of words, or concepts, I once more gaze longingly at the screen, and realize I’ve only typed one short paragraph, and shit, what am I going to do now, I can’t even do the James Joyce thing, even my own head is conspiring against me, what will I do now that all is lost?…..Whew! That was almost painful…. and not really very Joyce-like, was it? Having never read much of his work, I can’t say for sure, but, I think stream of consciousness style may not be my cup of tea. I used to be pretty adept at verbal streaming, but it’s been ages since we ( “we” being me, Tommy C, Mark R., and Perry) used to drive folks out of coffee shops, by loudly conversing in it, until people would get weirded out, and leave….. Of course, it was nonsensical jabberwock-style free-association talking, not exactly stream of consciousness, but, to me, there is little difference, as both are almost impenetrable, defying all attempts at understanding…

What also defies understanding is the intro section process of these Pearls….. I’m still searching for a way to segue into the rest of the Pearl that will be good for everyday usage, and not kill everyone with boredom, including myself…. Today’s intro is almost at a point where I will soon be giving serious consideration to suicide…. it’s that bad. Well, to me it is….. and I’m the one who has to put it together. How am I going to justify posting this crap, if it makes my stomach queasy? I could conceivably start an epidemic, of literary nausea, for which there is only one cure, which involves crucifixion of the author, followed by the burning of his carcass, while chanting apologetic curses to the universe….

Well, not really, but, I can see it happening, if I continue this abuse much longer…. I’ve managed to wander through four paragraphs, which, as you know, is the minimum requirement; thankfully, this means I can stop doing this, and get on to something a bit more entertaining, for you, if not for me. One of these days, I swear, I’m going to come up with the perfect opening, and y’all won’t be any happier than me when I do…. This is getting really old, not to mention moldy….. Oh well, who am I kidding? It’s all good, and, what’s more, it’s done….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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RASCAL, n.  A fool considered under another aspect. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Hmm…. An interesting assumption is being made here, one that makes me think that this may just be talking about ME….. which, it would seem, makes me a rascal….. I don’t mind…. In fact, I kind of like the idea of being considered such; it’s better than being a fool, that’s for sure. I know, I’ve been one…. a fool, that is, and usually, it’s for love…. Nothing new in that, is there? We all become fools for love, at one point in our life, or another. Me, I’ve been there, and done that, a good five times…. Each time, I ended up being the fool, as I always believed what the woman told me, and tried to act accordingly…. Since, it turns out, they were all lying, when they said they were in love with me, it makes me the fool, for continuing to believe, even after a number of times being burned…..

It’s okay, really….. Sometimes it hurts, but I just think about the fact that it wasn’t MY doing, let out a big sigh, and keep on looking for an honest woman, one who won’t lie to me about this very basic subject, i.e., love…. See, I don’t believe that love dies, or changes, or can be lost; not if it is really love. If one can put it aside, or make decisions to hurt the loved one, then it really isn’t love at all, in my book. The person who can hurt someone they love, isn’t really in love, for to me, love means that the happiness of that other person is equally, if not more, important to me, than my own…. This means that I will do anything in my power to keep that person happy, and, sorry, leaving them doesn’t fit that requirement…..

“I never really thought of myself as depressed, so much as I am paralyzed with hope.” Maria Bamford

Ah well, life goes on, and sometimes, one walks their path alone for part of that time. I still keep myself open to relationships, for I believe in the old adage, that one may approach life as a turtle, or as a tiger. A turtle, when confronted with the more dangerous, possibly hurtful moments we all face, will pull in his head and limbs, and hide until the danger is past. He survives, but doesn’t get to see much of the world. A tiger, on the other hand, faces danger without fear, and gets to see all he wishes to see, thought it may bring some pain along with the joy of living… a worthwhile trade, to be sure.

So, I’ll keep on keepin’ on, hoping to find someone who would like to join me in my search for all the good things life can offer, and will want to stay with me for the duration. If I cannot find anyone, well, that’s okay, too, because I’m having a grand time, and have no intention of stopping, for any reason at all….. Hmm…. where am I going with this? Damned if I can remember what I was trying to say with all this…. I mean, other than the basic, “I’d rather be seen as a rascal than a fool.”…. That much is obvious….

In looking back over this pearl, in fact, I find that it has little or no purpose I can see, other than blathering…. I’m sorry, but we just can’t have that…. So, I’ll finish this section with a few explicitly obscure, but cogent, pearls, which should make the point I was trying to get to, and lost track of…. I hope….

“The uttered part of a man’s life, let us always repeat, bears to the unuttered, unconscious part a small unknown proportion. He himself never knows it, much less do others.” — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) — Sir Walter Scott, London and Westminster Review, 1838

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;

And round beneath it,
Time in hours, days, years,
Driv’n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov’d; in which the world
And all her train were hurl’d.

— Henry Vaughan — The World

“Kindness is the beginning of cruelty.” — Muad’dib

“Life is the sum of all your choices.” — Albert Camus

Curse on all laws but those which love has made!
Love, free as air at sight of human ties,
Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Eloisa to Abelard, Line 74

Okay, so, well, never mind…. I couldn’t find the right pearls, but, these will do…. Just don’t bother trying to find the underlying rationale…. there isn’t any….   😆
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I was correct in my assumption that it would be difficult to write a new poem every day, at least, for me…. The process of creating a poem isn’t quite that simple for me, and isn’t amenable to persuasion, or confining regulations as to when it should, or will, come out to play…. Mostly, it leaks out in a bloody stream, when it feels ready. I have no clue as to when that might be, and I’m afraid to push hard on it, lest the urge disappear altogether, as it did for many years….

Any who, all that is to explain that today’s poetry section is another half ‘n half…. the Haiku is fresh, written just last night…. the poem is from last October….  As every day this month, this is for the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here:  http://www.napowrimo.net/ (I still don’t know if I’m doing this right, but, oh well….)

> Haiku IV

Time and circumstance;

all of us who are alive,
Penance, Made Simple

a celebration can begin,
willing, to shine from within.

brushing reason aside,
alert to danger, eyes wide.

stand with the just;
living in honor, the only must.

is its own prize and reward.
well worth working toward.

our lessons are never free of cost.
only when alone, are we lost.

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I know, I’m supposed to rant here…. but, I don’t have enough angst built up to do so…. Everything has been going pretty well, all things considered, and, physically, I’ve been feeling pretty normal, all in all, so it’s hard to not count my blessings, and start in on something I see as wrong-headed….. This is not to say there aren’t rantable events transpiring out there in the real world, it’s merely my own lack of outrage that keeps me from picking on someone who deserves it….

Still, I have one more section to complete, and hopefully can get it done prior to having to take a break to deal with the house cleaners, who are coming this morning to swab me out…. I finally got tired of my bachelor mess, so I’m paying to have someone do a number on it for me… It’s said that it is a good thing to be clean…. I can’t say myself, having been a guy all my life, but, I’m willing to give it a try…. Any who, since all of that is TMI, or at best, unnecessary info, we’ll get on with the pearl…. c’mon, let’s dive…..

“I was reading the dictionary.  I thought it was a poem about everything.” — Steven Wright

“The best may slip, and the most cautious fall; He’s more than mortal that ne’er err’d at all.” — Pomfret

“Cowardice” and “self-respect” have largely disappeared from public discourse. In their place we are offered “self-esteem” as the bellwether of success and a proxy for dignity. “Self-respect” implies that one recognizes standards, and judges oneself worthy by the degree to which one lives up to them. “Self-esteem” simply means that one feels good about oneself. “Dignity” used to refer to the self-mastery and fortitude with which a person conducted himself in the face of life’s vicissitudes and the boorish behavior of others. Now, judging by campus speech codes, dignity requires that we never encounter a discouraging word and that others be coerced into acting respectfully, evidently on the assumption that we are powerless to prevent our degradation if exposed to the demeaning behavior of others. These are signposts proclaiming the insubstantiality of our character, proclaiming the hollowness of our souls.” — Jeffrey R. Snyder, Fall 1993 _The Public Interest

“What is a number that a man may know it: and what is a man that he may know a number?” — Warren McColloch (20th Century American Neurophysiologist,  — Poet, and Prophet)

“Evil habits soil a fine dress more than mud; good manners, by their deeds, easily set off a lowly garb.” — Plautus

“Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity.” — Alvy Ray Smith

“Hmmmm… Er… Is it *supposed* to smoke like that?” — Smart Bee

Nope, I don’t think it is….. but, it’s done, which makes it perfectly suited to our purposes…. Besides, I like the point it finally came up with, don’t you?…..
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Sometimes, I don’t know how I do it…. but, then, I never know why I do it, so I suppose that’s not out of place….. Maybe it ain’t Ibsen, but, it’s Art…. or, what passes for same around here….. Before I can put my foot any further down my throat, I’ll take my leave now, and go see what the Big Blue Room has to offer me today…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Empty spaces should be filled with tokens or mangoes….

Ffolkes,
I know it’s going to be an Interesting Day when I sit down here to write, and the first thing that pops into my head is, “Whew!”….. Here it is, 5:01 AM, and I’ve already written about oh, 800 or so words in reply to comments made while I was asleep. The comments, from some of my readers with the most stimulating responses to my work, tend to kick in my muse at a moment’s notice, and I have now spent 40 minutes at it, before I even get this started…. hence, interesting day ahead…..

There’s a lot going down out there in Meat Space today; sometimes I think we are approaching Heinlein’s “Crazy Years”, but then I realize that we’ve been there already since the late 1960’s. If you don’t believe me, or him, just go back over the headlines of the world’s newspapers in that period, and see if you don’t agree…. it’s pretty fucking crazy out there, and that is NOT an exaggeration, nor is the vulgarity misplaced. It is more than merely crazy, and less than an End Game Scenario, (though not by much), hence the euphemism for Very Crazy…. any who, there is enough and more to find something about which to rant, er, write this morning. Hell, I could be done before sunrise, if I can get to it…. so let’s Pearl, shall we….? Aye, indeed….

I find myself beside a stream of empty thought…… let’s fill it up!
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Guns don’t kill people… bullets do.

Of late I have been reading a number of articles, news items, and posts about gun control, and/or the concept of nullifying the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. The main argument seems to be centered on the obvious fact that society has changed since the Founding Fathers wrote the amendment, and the conditions that prompted its inclusion among the other basic rights they wished to secure are, supposedly, no longer present, or are no longer valid reasons for leaving it intact. Their arguments point to the number of killings and crimes that involve guns, and how much of a plague on society the guns are, how we’d all be better off, and somehow safer, if we took away all the guns from the American citizenry.

I could easily scoff at such naivete, were it not so dangerous. Dangerous to me, and whether they wish to acknowledge it or not, dangerous for them. So, rather than scoff, I will first acknowledge the presence, if not the accuracy, of their statistics on how much guns contribute to crime. These statistics are, in and of themselves, fairly scary, but, they fail to take in to account a couple of very important considerations that tend to skew, or even nullify, the accuracy of their claims.

For one, they never seem to include in these statistics the number of deaths and injuries caused by guns IN THE HANDS of POLICE; they only seem to account for the civilians who use guns to commit crimes. I’d say the numbers would increase dramatically, if the times the police use their weapons inappropriately are included…. second, the statistics do not compare the number of incidents to the total number of guns that are owned by citizens.

I would, in the absence of hard figures, estimate that the number of incidents of crime involving guns is a very, very low percentage of the number of guns that are actually out there in the hands of private citizens. All the quoted figures are bloated to make them seem larger than they really are in comparison to the whole; the by-far largest majority of gun owners do not use them at all, unless threatened. Most never use them at all, at all, keeping them only for home protection, and most of those have neighbors who probably don’t even know the guns are there.

Then, after addressing these two key issues that are not accounted for in their quoted numbers, I would ask a simple, but key question of those who believe we, as American citizens in a modern society, should not own guns. That question, simply put, is this: Do you honestly believe that the people to whom we would be entrusting our safety are going to give up their guns? Do you really trust those of our beloved ruling class to, all of a sudden, out of some irresistible urge to altruism, heretofore absent from their nature, stop lying to us? Do you believe, even for an instant, that they would not be laughing all the way to the bank, at you, me and the rest of the American general public?

Should your answer be yes to any of these questions, I would say to you, as gently as I can, that you are then ready to put on your collar, and admit that you are willing to be their slave, because that is exactly what will happen….

Our beloved ruling class is NOT going to give up their guns. They aren’t; if you don’t believe me, ask them; it’s one of the few queries to which they’ll give an honest answer.  And I don’t care how much you may argue to the contrary, I don’t believe for a nanosecond that anyone in our government, and that includes Saint Barack, can be trusted to hold my best interests in their lying, cheating, sociopathic hands.

Nope, I’m 61 years old, and have sufficient experience in these matters that I can honestly say, with every assurance of being correct, that those who either seek office, or are in office, in this country, or in any other, are NOT people to whom I would give that kind power over me; not for anything, If you want to label me a NRA Nazi, well, feel free; it’s still a free country, for the present.

But, if you convince enough citizens of this asininity that the guns are actually made illegal for citizens to own, it’s not going to be a free country for long. And if you are naive enough to believe the lies that the Powers That Be are handing out re: their trustworthiness, well, then, you will deserve the consequences of that belief, which I would term blind faith…… but don’t expect, for even a second, that I will ever consent to give up my right to own a gun, as I will dispute that to the death. Yours, mine, that is immaterial; if we play that game, it’s to the finish.

I’ve never been a member of the NRA, nor do I feel I have a lot in common with its vocal proponents, but I agree with one of their statements of purpose, to wit: you can take my guns, alright, when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers, but no other way….. I’m NOT giving up my guns, knives, rocks, words, or wit, or the right to bear arms in my own defense, and letting the assholes in charge of this government keep theirs…. uh uh, nope, ain’t gonna happen in my lifetime…. believe it or not, at your discretion….

Hollow point ammo – the ultimate in feminine protection. — Smart Bee

“A society that lacks the patience to read, and loses the ability to do so, is rendered defenseless against its most profound stupidities.  As an example, consider the ease with which Americans came to regard a president known for his inaccuracy and imprecision as the great communicator, and by the tendency of American elections to give victory to the candidate who can afford the greatest number of 30-second TV spots.” — Mike Schmoker  (THESE are the people I’m supposed to allow to hold me at gunpoint?  Snort!….pathetic….)

Who could imagine
That they could freak out in Kansas
Who could imagine
That they could freak out in Washington D.C.
Everybody’s clean, it can’t happen here, no, no
And they thought it couldn’t happen here
They were so sure it couldn’t happen here
It can’t happen here
— Frank Zappa
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I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it,
Time in hours, days, years,
Driv’n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov’d; in which the world
And all her train were hurl’d.
— Henry Vaughan — The World

No comment here; this just caught my eye, and my interest, so I put it here, just as a little break from the seriousness of the previous discussion. Balance shall ever be sought herein….
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“Honor isn’t about making the right choices.  It’s about dealing with the consequences.” — Midori Koto

Honor, and all of its implications in human society, is in serious danger of becoming atrophic, and of disappearing altogether from sight; not only is its presence seldom felt by society at large, it seems to have fallen out of favor as even a topic of discussion or inquiry. I see very few, if any discussions of honor when reading the news. There is ample evidence therein to indicate it absence, for sure, but none I can see to indicate that it might be hidden somewhere on the back pages. Even the reports of good things happening are spun with humorous disdain clear in the author’s style of reportage; they’re only writing about it so people will think well of them, not of what they are reporting. Hypocrisy in action, as it were…..

But of honor, I see, and hear, nowhere nearly enough, though I keep a sharp look out for it everywhere. There are occasional nuggets of such activity one sees; in the compassion and support given by some people to the victims of abuse, of any species, and of any type (the sheer number of types of abuse common in the human herd is astounding, without even counting how we treat other species on the planet!)

One sees honor in the actions of those who serve their countries out of their sense of honor, and duty, for sure and for certain.  But, I am compelled to ask, how much honor may we attach to the purpose behind the actions they are asked to perform, and to the choice of to whom they are to commit those acts? How much honor is shown by the old men who choose where and against whom these honorable men are to fight, for the personal agendas of the leaders, not for that of the country?

One sees honor in the men and women who love and guide their children, and do all they can to provide them with a loving, secure life. One sees honor in many areas of normal human existence. But, one seldom sees any evidence of honor among those who are in power and authority in the world. One seldom sees any evidence of honor in the news at all; it doesn’t sell well, except as contrast or “comic relief.”

Therein, perhaps lies the problem…. it’s hard to say what the root cause may be, or what solution might exist. What I can say is that though not dead, the concept of honor among men is in serious danger of becoming not only uncommon, but unfashionable…… and then Hell Night begins….
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“Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross an infinite sea and so make it finite… The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.” — G. K. Chesterton “Orthodoxy”

This is so nicely phrased and written that when I found it, all scrunched up in justified lines, I thought it was a poem. Then I noted the author’s name, recognizing it as one whose poetry I had never seen, and never thought that he wrote.  Lots of prose, quick wit, and handy with a finely turned phrase, but no poetry. So, I re-formatted the lines, and, voilá, instant prose! But, nonetheless poetic, for all that, too.

Even before I had reworked its structure, the names and icons of about a dozen or more poetesses, to whose work I’ve been so pleasantly introduced since joining the WordPress World, sprang into my mind, as being perfectly described thus: “The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens.”

I started to list the names that sprang up, but then felt guilty, for fear that I would forget to include one or more, only to hurt their feelings without intent. Plus, there are a couple three or four poets whose work I’ve enjoyed as well. So, to avoid any such unintended circumstance, let me just say this, and you may consider it as gospel truth to me: if you see that I follow your blog, and you write poetry, you may rest assured that I think it is wonderful, even if I don’t always have time to go to the site and click the Like button. I read really, really fast, and I do so with all of what I see in my email, if not at the blog sites, so I see all of it….

Some, of course, is better than others, all in turn, it seems to me. Everybody hits the nail squarely sometimes; other times, not so much. But, since I don’t do it well at all, it’s all admirable in my mind, and in my less-than-humble opinion, much superior to a lot of what passes for classical poetry (call me crazy, but I’ve always thought Shakespeare was over-rated…).

I’ve seen poets here whose work will, in my belief, stand up eventually, and proudly, next to that of Emily Dickinson, ee cummings, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, and other such luminaries of the poetic literary pantheon. No shit…..
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“Be comforted, that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment, and despite the changing fortunes of time, there is always a big future in computer maintenance.” — Anonymous

I would say this is proof positive that not even Anonymous gets it right every time out of the gate. While this was perfectly valid say, oh, ten years ago, the state of computer technology has progressed beyond this stage, to the point where computer maintenance has become only a minor sector of the industry, thanks to simple economics. It is already the case that one can now purchase a new, improved model of one’s computer for less than it would cost to find someone to fix the old one.

In probably close to 50% of these cases, I’d guess, it’s just easier,  now that they can take the old, even broken, machine, and pull all of your data out of it, and put it in the new one for you, for about the same price as saving the old one. Only physical destruction of the hard drive can make that impossible with current technology. Fasten your safety harnesses, ffolkes, because the future is now here….. break out the party hats and kazoos!…..
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Well, I think I have stretched the boundaries of eclecticism enough for one day; I don’t know about you, but I’m dazed and confused, so my work here is done….. “It promises to be an Interesting Day”, as Pooh might have said, but didn’t…… Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Justifiable lyrics cost more today…..

Ffolkes,
Perhaps, as some say, fate is already set in stone, and our own desires and actions cannot change what is written there. Others will say nay to that, holding that we are the masters of our own fate, and determine its reality as we move through time. Me, I don’t really give a shit as long as my beer is cold, and my coffee hot. The rest can just go and take a flying hike (which is obviously a euphemism for ‘go f___ yourself!’), because it don’t matter to me.

Actually, that’s a wad of gobshite, too. Although true enough, at least about the coffee & beer, I’m not quite as calloused & indifferent as I like to pretend to be. The sad truth is that I cry at the slightest bit of stress, empathetic pain, or even romanticism, a happy left-over from my time in Hell (aka, when I was buried in the blues….deep depression, yes?).

But, mostly, the entire issue of fate doesn’t weigh heavily on my mind. I figure that if it is already written, then there’s no sense worrying it to death, or trying to change it. And if it isn’t, well, I’ve probably got time to figure out the best way to approach that bit of responsibility, before it gets out of control. Either way, it doesn’t seem to require that I pay a lot of attention; the perpetual motion machine that is the Universe trots merrily along on its own, blissfully indifferent, unaware and uncaring of either my support and approval, or of my frustration and resentment…..
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“Appearances to the mind are of four kinds. Things either are what they appear to be; or they neither are, nor appear to be; or they are, and do not appear to be; or they are not, and yet appear to be. Rightly to aim in all these cases is the wise man’s task.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD)
— Discourses, Book i, Chap. xxvii

Just as an exercise, think about this statement, and determine if it is true, or false. If you are like me, about half-way through the second sentence, a ripping headache will blossom quickly in your head. You know the kind: your eyes narrow, and your brows furrow; it creeps swiftly up the back of the neck like a lance of electricity, spreading up through the cranial cavity to sit just over the temples, throbbing, sounding a discordant crescendo, with nausea churning in response, and a diffuse feeling of impending doom. A real Chernobyl of headaches. And that is prior to actually considering the propositions; you really don’t want to know what that will do….

It’s too bad actually. Back in the day, when I was young, and invulnerable, I could read something like this, and chew it up like penny candy. But I was much more pompous then, full of my own sense of importance (ah, yes, the illusions of youth!), and not yet worn down by the millstone of Time. Today, my usual response to a request to put myself through something of this nature is to tell the person to get a clue, and go take a nap.

Back in the day, though, I did think about these statements, and found them to be, as far as they go, true. They are useful, in the way they encourage close attention to appearances. But in general, in this form, with this sort of complexity and weight, these principles will send most folks off to have an ice cream sundae, rather than stimulating them to think…. one needs to be a little tricky to stimulate thought in your average Joe…. it’s just not one of the general public’s strong suits…

“Oh you who are born of the blood of the gods, Trojan son of Anchises, easy is the descent to Hell; the door of dark Dis stands open day and night. But to retrace your steps and come out to the air above, that is work, that is labor!” — Virgil, The Aeneid
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“They smell, they snarl and they scratch; they have a singular aptitude for  shredding rugs, drapes and upholstery; they’re sneaky, selfish and not at all smart; they are disloyal, condescending and totally useless in any  rodent-free environment.” — Jean-Michel Chapereau, on cats

For a man to truly understand rejection, he must first be ignored by a cat. (Jean-Michele obviously has been….and still resents it..)

In fact, learning to live with, and appreciate, a cat can teach us a great many lessons about interpersonal, and inter species, relationships. Cats do not have the same relationship with us as dogs, or other pets. There is a certain formality, a very strict set of protocols, that must be observed in order to live peacefully with a cat; in addition, they do not appreciate changes in their environment, hate surprises, and have no compunctions about expressing their opinions if these protocols are not faithfully fulfilled. One learns quickly to understand this, the first time they get up in the morning to find their cat’s opinion of something deposited in their shoes.

Once a human has agreed to observe the niceties, cats are excellent companions. They are neat and tidy, and don’t take up much space, especially as they can fit themselves into spaces much smaller than they appear to be, as well as possessing the uncanny talent of being able to get into a room with no open windows or doors. It is a bit disconcerting at times, to open up a kitchen drawer to find a cat taking a nap, or find them in the library, enjoying a postprandial bath, after just seeing them in the kitchen, eating from their bowl, mere seconds ago.

But, they don’t run up big phone bills, they don’t leave clothes all over the common rooms, they never borrow your favorite sweater, or ask you for a temporary loan. They will insist that when they want your attention, you will stop whatever you are doing to give it; this generally happens when you are reading or typing, and your furry, compact roommate decides he want a lap for a nap, so they sit on the book, or walk across the keyboard, tail up, ass in your face, complaining that you’re not living up to your responsibility. It is not generally a hardship to give them what they ask for, because the rewards are worth it.

When you are feeling blue, your cat will come sit with you, and purr with contentment, sending out vibes of love and approval to heal your troubled spirit. They will entertain you with silliness, skill, and quirky behaviors that bring a smile to your face, every time. They will protect you from attacks by invisible beings from other dimensions, that only they can see (what did you think they were doing staring at that empty corner, or spot on the wall?).

They will provide you with fashion advice and decorating tips, usually in the form of a sign of disgust toward the object that offends their sense of taste or sensibility. They will provide you with a rodent-free domicile, company, affection, and love. All you have to do is fulfill your part of the bargain, by providing food, shelter, laps, toys, and the occasional bit of attention. It’s a pretty good deal, all in all……

Great! My cat has been cashing my reality checks again!
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“It’s a buck dancer’s choice my friend, you better take my advice.
You know all the rules by now, and the fire from the ice.
Ain’t no time to hate
— there’s barely time to wait.
Wo ho, what I want to know: where does the time go?” — Robert Hunter

Where does the time go? And who says so? Where does your lap go, when you stand up? Where are all those socks that have been lost over the years in the wash? If it’s an unknown soldier, whose side was he on, and how do we know? If Billy stays at his work, baiting lines on a tuna boat, a long time, does that make him a Master Baiter? If Time is a river, or a road stretching out before us, how does it fly? If a butterfly flying away from its cocoon can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world, what happens when an elephant poops? Why on Earth did kamikaze pilots wear helmets? Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

These are the kinds of things that trouble mankind? Well, no, but I tend to think about them a lot. I’m curious, and there are still a lot of things I have to learn; one can only learn when they admit they don’t know. Why, you may ask, do I spend my time on such nonsense? That’s an easy one. Because I damn well want to, and it’s none of your damn business what I do inside my own head. But, since you’ve asked so nicely, I’ll put down my curmudgeon cudgel, and tell you. It all started when I was young, and my brother accidentally stepped on my nose. You might wonder what my nose was doing under his foot, but you’ll be disappointed to learn that you’ll never know, because it’s not relevant, or germane to our discussion.

What is relevant is this….. That event taught me that life is hard enough to deal with just as it is; there is pain, and suffering, and a seemingly hostile Universe with which we must contend every minute of every day. There’s no need to add another layer of difficulty by refusing to see the other side of that seriousness, that little bit of nonsense that is present every where and every when, in everything we do, and in everything that happens to us. We are all Bozos on this bus, and when the nose shows, you must let it grow. There will be time enough to be plenty serious when serious problems need to be addressed; whenever we have the opportunity to experience the lighter side of existence, it makes good sense to take it. Or, as so aptly put by Willie Wonka: “A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”…….. Cheers, and welcome to the parade!…….
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Sophie Tucker was unique. I know that it sounds trite, but if there ever was someone who deserved the attribution, it was her. I can still remember the sense of awe, and the chills down my back, the first time I heard her sing, sometime around 1957. The song was “God Bless America”, and she let that huge voice free on the high notes; I’d wager no glass containers were left unshattered in the studio where it was recorded. Amazing pipes! And she had a personality to match.

Below I have listed three jokes attributed to her; the first I read in my quote database, the other two are from Bette Midler, told orally during her concerts….. enjoy a real lady’s sense of ribald humor….. In my mind, I can just see the huge smile and sparkle in her eyes when she related these gems of wisdom….

“From birth to age eighteen a girl needs good parents; from eighteen to thirty-five she needs good looks; from thirty-five to fifty-five she needs  a good personality; from fifty-five on, she needs good cash.” — Sophie Tucker

Sophie and her boyfriend Ernie were making love…. Ernie says, “Sophie! Your t__s are small, and your p____y is tight!”  “Ernie” says Sophie, “Get off my back!” — as related by Bette Midler

Sophie was on the phone with her boyfriend, Ernie; both of them are in their 80’s. Ernie brags “Sophie, I’ve got a girlfriend who’s 20 years old!” Sophie replies, “Ernie, I’ve got a boyfriend who’s 20, too, and I’ll bet you a hundred that 20 goes into 80 more times than 80 goes into 20!” — as related by Bette Midler

SIGH!…. You gotta admit, she had style…..even if it proves to be an urban myth, it’s an attractive, and believable one…..
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I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it,
Time in hours, days, years,
Driv’n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov’d; in which the world
And all her train were hurl’d.
— Henry Vaughan  — The World

I don’t have a lot to say about this. It’s lovely, and deep. Reading it engenders the feeling of weight that one associates with Time, and its structural rhythm lends itself to a soothing train of thoughtful images, all of which make his message come into clearer focus. A very excellent example of the power that poetry has, in the right hands….
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Got a bit of a late start today; didn’t wake up until after 0615. Coffee was already hot & waiting (thanks to technology!) (why did it take so long to come up with a coffee maker that could start itself at a certain time? Seems like a no-brainer to me….) Any who, though starting late, it all came together pretty well, I think, so I’ll call it a day for this particular activity.

Now I can try to get caught up to the 20 or so emails of new posts by the bloggers I follow, a daily task growing larger each day. I love it though, it gives me a ton of food for thought. I feel bloated and replete, mostly in a good way, some mornings after seeing some of the stuff other folks are up to out there on the Net. Tasty stuff…. y’all take care out there…

 


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

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Taking the long road home…..

Ffolkes,
I would guess that any gentle readers out there today will expect some sort of comment here on Christmas. Okay, here it is. It’s Christmas Day. Have a great time, and share whatever joy you receive; it will recreate itself in the one with whom you share. Today is a good day for that sort of activity, and I support that wholeheartedly. Whatever your preferred belief system may be, or not be, I wish you peace, and prosperity, and life without fear…….


In keeping with the spirit of tolerance during the holiday season, I’ll try to keep it light and short today. There’ll be a couple extras, because I believe Instructions for Life #1, which says, “Always give more than is expected, and do it cheerfully.” So there you have it…..or more accurately, here we go….hang on tight!…..
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And though Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.” Charles Dickens

Therefore, those whose sense of self is Home are logically the possessors of very strong magic, which is often mistaken for Faith, or Fate, but in reality is Knowledge, and Will. Whether one believes in an entity powerful enough to create universes, or accepts their perceptions which provide evidence of another explanation for the nature of reality, one has to be grateful that both ideologies include the existence of coffee ice cream with caramel swirls, simple summertime dresses on beautiful young women, chocolate, puppies, and kittens.

I can truthfully, and thankfully, say that I have experienced all of these in one day, on more than one occasion. Of course, on some of those days, it was peach sherbet, exotic evening gowns on older women, chocolate, puppies, and a romantic fire. No matter.  Each one possesses the power to create in us that ineffable surety that all is right with the world, so who needs the guilt involved in worrying about why they exist? Just have a good time staying Home…..
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There are places I remember
all my life, though some have changed,
some forever, not for better,
some have gone and some remain.

All these places had their moments
with lovers and friends I still can recall.
Some are dead and some are living.
In my life I’ve loved them all.– the Beatles

Once I was asked to describe my life in six words. I thought for only a moment before it came to me; Looked for Love, Found It Everywhere. The best part of this, in my mind, is that it’s pretty much true. Not to say I haven’t known or met any assholes, or others of the ilk in my time. But, for the most part, I’ve found that if one leaves oneself open to it, love will enter, and make itself at home. Not always comfortably, and not always without turmoil, but always welcome, love has graced my life each time we meet.

Yes, there are a lot of fools and assholes out there, and they make life difficult at times, what with their misplaced sense of entitlement, and their ubiquitous negativity. They’re out there too, but one learns to deal with them, or suffers accordingly; I prefer to deal. I’ve found that just a few moments with them, reading from the Book of Righteousness, with gusto, and they begin to walk a path that is straighter and not as wide…..you gotta love ’em, they’re just so bloody ignorant that it takes some persuasion to make them more amenable to human interaction….which is pretty cool, once one learns how to relate to others without always trying to maintain the upper hand, or manipulate for personal profit. Most folks are pretty nice people, down in their heart of hearts; we all need to give each other a chance to allow that to show to the outside world……
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“As he said in Machiavel, omnes eodem patre nati, Adam’s sons, conceived all and born in sin, etc. “We are by nature all as one, all alike, if you see us naked; let us wear theirs and they our clothes, and what is the difference?” — Robert Burton – The Anatomy of Melancholy, Part ii, Sect. 2, Memb. 2

OMG, can you just visualize Newt Gingrich nude, standing in classic hunter’s pose, with his foot on the piled corpses of child workers, smoking a big cigar and wearing a bigger grin, and a rifle with a scope balanced on his hip? I almost donated my dinner to the porcelain throne when this unfortunate image formed in my mind…….talk about scaring yourself!

But if we can get past the oh-so-frightening images such a concept brings with it, we see the veracity of the Burton’s assertion. What is the difference between one man and the next? As related, we are all as one, with the same basic structure and function. To my way of thinking, what makes the difference between people is their Will, or their Won’t. People mostly choose one or the other at an early age, and stick with it throughout their lives.

What’s your choice? Will you live with honor, dignity, and compassion? Or won’t you face the world, instead pulling back and observing from afar, never to join with others without pain and effort. The choice a person makes is completely their own, and responsibility for the consequences rests solely upon the one who chooses. Choose well……
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In a literature class, the students were given an assignment to write a short story involving all the important ingredients – Nobility, Emotion, Sex, Religion and Mystery.  One student allegedly handed in the following story: My god! cried the duchess.  I’m pregnant.  Who did it?

No profound thinking here; I just thought it was clever, and deeper than it seems. The young person who came up with this little gem is most likely be writing best sellers now……and deservedly so……
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“Capitalism did not arise because capitalists stole the land, but because it was more efficient than feudalism. It will perish because it is not merely less efficient than socialism, but actually self-destructive.” — J. B. S. Haldane

One can only hope that in its’ death throes, capitalism doesn’t thrash about so severely that the negative effects  on the survivors cannot be overcome. Can’t bring myself to be very optimistic, considering the severe objections most human institutions have to dying. They tend to fight tooth and nail to hang on to any vestige of their former glory, never knowing or being able admit to their own fatal flaw. The flaw? Capitalism requires constant growth and movement; like a shark, if growth and forward motion stops, it begins to drown, and feed upon itself, crashing and burning quickly.

But capitalists believe there will always be new markets, selling new products,  and there will always be more resources to create the products to be consumed by those markets. But the sad fact is, the available resources are not infinite, and will not support continuous unchecked growth; they are finite, and once they are gone, they won’t be back. This simple reality is that resources are essential to the functioning of any society, but only if their finite restrictions are observed, and if they are regarded as precious enough to be husbanded and cared for in sustainable cyclical processes, that encourage and enable the resources to be renewed as needed, and no more. Capitalism cannot do that…..
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Will Rogers never met Rush Limbaugh.

I’m pretty sure I would give serious money to be around to see those two meet. Can you imagine if both were on Twitter? It would be truly inspiring, I think, to see how Mr. Rogers would have reacted to some of Rush’s more egregious statements. As a matter of fact, I believe I will make it a project, to research material from both, and find appropriate selected statements on the same, or similar person, event, idea, whatever. I’m sure I can find some doozies…(is that word still legal? does anybody still understand it?) Okay, I can find some fine examples….no, too tame. I can find some flat out funny stuff. That’ll do for now. Actually, we’ll just amend it to, I can find some. Good enough…..look for that on a website near you soon!….
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And yet, as angels in some brighter dreams
Call to the soul when man doth sleep,
So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
And into glory peep.
— Henry Vaughan (1621-1695)
— They are all gone

As I’ve said before, I love poetry, and only wish I had the ability to create it well. I can do it, but it always comes out stiff, and without spark. I would dearly love to be able to put words together in such a way that they arrow straight into the heart of the reader, and taking the mind on a fantastic trip through fields of esoterica, inspiring and fulfilling as it pleases. Alas, it is not within me to do so. Fortunately, there are a lot of folks out there who can, and do write it well; they all have my complete admiration, and my gratitude for existing…….I like this one for its imagery, and its’ potent depths…..all in four short lines. Amazing!…..
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“While my BRAINPAN is being refused service in BURGER KING,  Jesuit priests are DATING CAREER DIPLOMATS!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Good grief, this is tragic! Something must be done! Hand me that copy of the Who’s Who, and call the A Team! They’re the only ones who can save the damsel in distress/the oppressed townfolk/the old buddy’s daughter’s brave but outnumbered boyfriend’s charity/all life as we know it (choose one), without ever drawing a single drop of blood, or striking any living creature at all with any of their 20,000 rounds fired! Oh, and they’ll build a tank to use while they’re at it; we can always use it later to visit our Congressman in Washington D.C. Next week, we can watch the reruns with a bunch of popcorn drenched in cholesterol-free butter……
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That’s probably enough for one morning. I do have to watch myself, as I’ll tend to just keep going, and going, and going……when I get into the Zone, time and the outside world fade away. Lots of new projects going on at my house, so I’d best get started on the rest of the day, holiday or no. It’s been real, and y’all take care out there……


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

Dozer

Kowabunga!