From most to least, & back again….

Ffolkes,

“Human beings are perhaps never more frightening
than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.”

~~ Laurens Van der Post, The Lost World of the Kalahari (1958) ~~

cali fall colors

California’s moderate response to Autumn…

Hajime…. More than a mere modicum of recent data indicates I’ve lost the will to blog; in fact, the pile of evidence is mounting quite high. I spend more time away from cyberspace than has been the case for several years, yet suffer very little from the usual angst & sense of failure of duty I’ve been accustomed to experience since mid-2011, when I first retired from the maintenance of gainful employment. But, I did say I’d post today, so, in spite of having no fresh poem yet, (it’s stalled a bit…), I’ve cobbled together all the basic elements, & will now undertake to format & post it, before I am once again called to go walkabout for the day….

If I feel any guilt at all, it is for not visiting the blogs I’ve followed for so long, to enjoy the dialogue that goes with such visits. But, even that small guilt isn’t enough to drown out the call of the wild, a call I seem to hear more clearly each day. It seems the longer I spend ‘off grid’, so to speak, the better I seem to feel, and, in turn, the more clearly I seem to be able to think. I can’t say if it will last, or, if so, how long, but, I also can’t seem to work up any reason to alter the current path I am on. So be it.

For today, this means some moderately ruthless trimming, in the area it will most help, to wit: my standard course of blather, with which I tend to fill up the empty space here at the top of the page, in the hope nobody will notice any particular vacuity in what follows. Without even knowing whether such an assumption is verified by the reality of the process, I choose to go on, regardless, just as if I knew exactly what consequences may follow. In fact, if I can increase the degree of ambiguity one encounters herein, I will know, if nothing else, I am emulating the real world, as far as I understand it to be…..

On that obscure note, I shall proceed to fire up the old neurons sufficiently to go post this mess, & be done with it for the morning, at least. Hopefully, y’all will find a nugget or two you can take away, & use to enhance your daily bout with the vagaries of life. If not, well, I will have done all I can do, and as we know, that’s all I can do…. Enjoy, ffolkes….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Human beings, who are almost unique
in having the ability to learn from the  experience of others,
are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to  do so.”

~~ Douglas Adams, “Last Chance to See” ~~

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

Having left myself short of time, again, you’ll just have to settle for some of the best music humanity has ever produced, an assertion made with confidence, as the pieces included have stood the test of time, time, and time again…. Enjoy! Or, not, as you wish…. Your choice, as always….  *grin*

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Classical Music

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Comedy_Tragedy

Lamenting Empathy, No Grace

Strange, strong, passions burn from within
Selling nothing short, nor out
Consumed, loudly, failing to mark the spin
Sad, resigned, in singular redoubt.

Fallow grounds for twisted seed
Become fated, grow, and die.
Experience never fills critical need
Save perhaps once, in ages gone by.

Shouting in severe, dulcet tone
Brittle, flaking, destiny floats away
Making noise, rattling the bone
Simply ageless fears held at bay.

We mask our illusions in faux belief
Tied to reality by matter of rote,
Send them postcards, without relief
Consecrated time, forever remote.

~~ gigoid ~~

12/19/2014

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Random Notes on Life at Large….

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“Always cut the cards.”

~~ Lazarus Long ~~

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“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth
the first time he bites off more than he can chew.”

~~ Herb Caen ~~

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“Become a student of change.
It is the only thing that will remain constant.”

~~ Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book ~~

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“What you don’t know will always hurt you.”

~~ First Law of Blissful Ignorance ~~

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“There is much pleasure to be gained in useless knowledge.”

~~ Bertrand Russell ~~

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“The more you know, the less you think you know.”

~~ Subtle Bee ~~

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“I like life. It’s something to do.”

~~ Ronnie Shakes ~~

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As is generally the case when I post with such haste, I find myself here at the end without anything particularly clever to say. Ah, well, such is life at large, I say, and, so be it. I’ll be back, perhaps even tomorrow. Until I am, stay well, be as happy as you may, and, damn it, be strange….. 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 -- 15125

À bientôt, mon cherí….


		
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Too many random corpuscles….

Ffolkes,

“Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do.”

~~ Bertrand Russell (1872-1967) ~~

leelumdob

Leelu Magicat, Daughter of Bastet, at her ease…

Hajime…. In my battle to regain a modicum of composure, intellectually, at least, I managed to cobble together a pretty interesting Pearl. It’s a bit longer than usual, but, only because I cheated in the final, old-school section, by using the entire Pearl of Virtual Wisdom as posted on 10/15/2011, only a couple months after beginning here on WP. All in all, I’m content, if not entirely happy, with what occurred; under the given circumstances, it’s the best I can do…. which is yet another situation where “So be it….” becomes appropriate….

To make the transition, from standard reality to mine, a bit smoother, I think a strong display of will power is in order; applying it to an efficient trimming of this introductory section may enhance today’s overall reading experience, enough to make it more palatable than otherwise may be the case. Of course, this presupposes it is edible, or potable, in the first place, but, we’ve been known to make unwarranted assumptions previously, & can’t be expected to change overnight, & most especially, on command. We can, however, be expected to back up those assumptions with a bit of proof. Now, if we could only find some, all would be well. Since we cannot, our only possible alternative is to completely ignore it all, & go on as if nothing at all has taken place…

Mostly, you’ll note, it hasn’t. Let’s see if we can’t find something a bit more entertaining, if no more compellingly ridiculous. We’re getting pretty close to complete absurdity, as I retreat further & further from true reality, hoping to find surcease, if not redemption, in a magnificent display of madness, which, given our predilection for such displays on short notice, might have been possible, had it not been for your alert reaction. Go figure, eh?….

Now, then…. If you aren’t completely confused, well, then, so am I. Let’s see what other madness we can generate….

Shall we Pearl?….

“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth
the first time he bites off more than he can chew.”

~~ Herb Caen ~~

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chooka

Chooka Parker

Image from Pinterest.com via Google Images

In 2011, this young man, then 16 years of age, walked onto a stage in Australia, as an entrant in the Australia’s Got Talent TV show. He proceeded to play the piano, but, with a slight twist. He made his song up on the spot, improvising it as he played, expressing how he felt at that moment…. He went on to win that competition, with his second and third improvised songs, (each better than the last….), and now plays all over the world.

Follow the link in the player to his You Tube page, where you can find any number of great videos showing him play, in his unique style, every note improvised. Somebody DID eventually teach him to play standard music, (I suspect he can play anything he hears once, though I haven’t looked into that talent in his case); I watched a clip of him making up a blues/boogie-woogie song about 5 minutes long, which was, without doubt, the most incredible piano work I’ve EVER seen or heard…. Just watch & listen; your mouth will drop open, I guarantee, at his brilliance….

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Mozart, Reborn
Chooka Parker

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Comedy_Tragedy

Illusory Time

Viewed from askance, the river is long;
deep, uncompromisingly intent, swift and strong.
In duality, perception creates our only reality;
such faux metaphoric paradox enforces mutability.

By two we perceive, both zero, and one;
digital, binary, on or off, such fun.
Separate, melded, we exist, knowing not what we know
ego, striving to be solitary, looking above, seeing below.

Furiously asleep, cultural anomaly claims a victim of choice;
validly unconscious, nobody speaks, nary a voice.
Potential escapees stir in dreams, fighting to wake,
until taking the wheel, for their own bloody sake.

Pots boil in due time, when the fire’s hot,
time exists to our advantage; or, not.
The solitary warrior, head bent in pain,
fights on, with, or without gain.

Night fell, day after day it persisted;
of those who knew, none showed any care, or resisted
Angels, ministers, none had any defense, nor grace;
all that remains is a face.

~~ gigoid ~~

10/22/2016

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pearls_3

An Ancient Pearl

From 10/15/2011….

Ffolkes,

The Sun, life-giving orb of light and warmth, which dies each night, is born again each morning, gloriously aflame with potential. As the world turns in slow majesty, a scene of aching beauty is revealed; small plants and trees stretching their leaves toward the source of warmth, creatures great and small moving over the land, greeting the day with energy and purpose, colorful birds arcing and swooping through the warming air.

With a look at each other, the two young boys grinned, and with a cry of pure joy, took off running toward a nearby stand of trees. Legs pounding as hard and fast as their hearts, evenly matched, they ran with abandon, startling birds and small creatures, laughing in sheer exuberance. When they came to the edge of the trees, they stopped by mutual accord. Breathing hard, they gazed into the shadows, thinking about why they had come, why they were here, filling their souls with beauty at the beginning of the day….

I’m told that constant practice makes for constant improvement, and if this is so, then I should be getting damn close to competence, if not perfection. The paragraphs above are the start of yet another story that will most likely never be told. I write them principally to keep dross from building up in my psyche, and as a sort of contrast to the reality of the rest of the piece. An introductory bridge, as it were, carrying the reader into the realms of thought, where I can then provide you with an upgrade to the DABSDS (Defense Against B___S___ Delivery System) that comes installed in your brain. It gives me a chance to limber up my typing finger, and loosen the mental muscle, which, as we all know, is an essential precursor to the use of these peripherals without sustaining injury.

Today’s group of Pearls is an eclectic one, with a diverse, compelling batch of authors. Cultural values from all over the world, and from many different ages of history are represented here, and I think the variety is part of its strength; it goes to show that wisdom is not limited to one book. Indeed, I believe that the admixture that came together today is greatly enhanced by the contrast of ideas, creating a more powerful effect upon the reasoning mind… hope you enjoy!….

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

The only real failure in life is the failure to try.

“It is a misconception that spirituality brings everlasting happiness. There is no such thing. Sadness still comes to the wise, but, unlike most
people, their clarity of mind allows them to see beyond the temporal emotionalism of the moment. They are farseeing, and so happiness and sorrow become the same to them.” — Deng Ming-Dao

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave Gently they go,
the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know.
But I do not approve.
And I am not resigned.

~~ Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Dirge Without Music” ~~

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of–but do it in private and wash you hands afterwards.” — Lazarus Long

“We turn not older with years, but newer every day.” — Emily Dickinson

Trust yourselves, my friends, so that ye may trust one another…..y’all take care out there…..

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It’s done. Looking back over it, I have decided to leave it alone. It’s odd enough as it is. In fact, I’ve done enough damage for one day, so, I’m outta here…. I’ll see y’all next time; no predictions today as to when; we’ll all have to be patient, & allow time to tell…. See ya….

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

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À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

A familiar state of effusion….

Ffolkes,

“Abandon thought and let the dream descend…”

~~ The Phantom ~~

lazy day on the creek

Lazy day on the creek….

Hajime…. ‘Tis morning again here in Northern California. Today, that’s more of a pill to swallow than a treat to consume, I’m afraid. I’ve got so much nothin’, I’m having a hard time keeping my feet on the ground, as there isn’t enough in me to attract any gravity. I know the problem, which can be traced directly to my PTSD, and, the absence of Leelu, who went into the vet’s yesterday afternoon for her spay appointment. I didn’t realize how closely we had bonded; it choked me up something fierce when I actually had to leave her there, compelling me to walk off the upset by hoofing it home, about 2 miles…. My sleep was disturbed, due to the aching hips produced by the longest walk I’ve taken in some time, and the tweak in my back, adding the glory of spasms to the mix…. A lovely night, reminiscent of far too many like it last year….

My resultant lack of energy is not being assuaged by this intro, and none of the sections below are done, to any significant degree. So, no Pearl today, other than the old-school group you’ll find below, which I’d already put together. I may not even be back tomorrow; hard to say, as I don’t pick up Leelu until tomorrow morning, and, don’t know yet how the day is going to go today…. Ambiguity is part of life, but, it sure sucks, y’know?

Ah, well, so be it. Below, you’ll find a pearl, made of pearls, and that’s all the Pearl you get today. To get the slow on the toad, we’ll go do that now, and be done with it for today….. Why look, here’s our opening right here! We’ll take it….

Shall we Pearl?….

“When anger rises, think of the consequences.”

~~ Confucius ~~

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Randomness is Truth

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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 — Discourses, Book i, Chap. xxvii ~~

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“Invincibility depends on one’s self; The enemy’s vulnerability on him.”

~~- Sun Tzu ~~

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“My skin, my bones, my heretic heart are my authority.”

~~ Catherine Madsen ~~

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“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth
the first time he bites off more than he can chew.”

~~ Herb Caen ~~

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“Don’t look back — something might be gaining on you.”

~~ Satchel Paige ~~

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I know; it’s pretty short, isn’t it? Oh, well. So be it. I hope to be back tomorrow, but, time will tell. Time always does; it’s a gossip & can’t help itself. See ya ’round the planet, 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

dozer3

À bientôt, mon cherí….

What are you doing with that ferret?….

Ffolkes,

Freedom = Responsibility

Attribution is not required for an Unarguable Truth

If you feel you MUST argue it, well, bring it on…..
 
~~ gigoid ~~

potd-mantis_3059577k

    The most excellent picture, which highlights the absolutely perfect form displayed by these two small warriors, is from The Daily Yell (London Daily Telegraph) Animal Pictures of the Week, 10/3/2014. Notice the strength of the stance, with four legs firmly gripping the limb, perfectly balanced, and the formidable knife-like spikes on the forearm and hand sections, held in perfect position to strike…. Their sifu would be proud….   *modest smile*   Perfect tong long tong long bu…. preying mantis style kung fu, straight from the source….

One might think, given the week I’ve had, I’d be more, or less, insane…. In either case, more, or less, it would seem I’ve made a case for the newest format here on ECR, even if it is less than rigidly structured, or perfectly designed. Both of those qualities wouldn’t work well around here, anyway, so, it’s just as well… I suppose, since y’all have already had your tickets punched, you feel we’ve some sort of obligation to provide some of that sort of service…. but, you’d be wrong, both in reality, and in theory….

You see, service, and obligations, only happen when there is some sort of transaction, with real money exchanged; since we only charge the going rate for a blog (to wit: nada damn thing….), that never enters the picture, and such expectations from y’all is kind of disappointing…. One would think, after the exposure y’all have had to the process of actually USING the mind, rather than just providing a means for your ass to get from toilet to toilet, you’d have more sense, or, at least, more street cred…. TANSTAAFL, ffolkes, remember? But, then, Americans DO tend to believe that doesn’t apply to them, as a matter of course….

Not all their fault, of course, as the Asininnies are continually pounding the message into the thick skulls out there that they ARE entitled to all they can steal, so, it’s only natural there would be some sense of entitlement, even if it IS completely unwarranted, and unearned…. But, all the preachers, and all the political pundits, are forever trumpeting how special we are, and how we have the rights to do whatever we want to other nations, and/or people, without ever having to answer for our actions….. How else to explain our willingness to bomb almost anything that moves, if it will make us seem more important in our own eyes….

Bah, humbug! I’m ranting again, in the intro, aren’t I? Ah well, it’s just so easy to do, and such a natural thing to do, when confronted with all the BS and nonsense that goes on each day out on the world stage…. But, doing it here makes it hard to keep the process smooth when we actually get to the section where the ranting is appropriate…. It DOES, however, get us far enough down the page to call the intro complete, such as we see today…. Funny how that works, isn’t it? I suppose y’all think I plan it that way…. HAH! Fooled ya!….

But, since we did make it this far, and without shedding any blood, to speak of, we may as well use the escape clause that is presenting itself… In fact, I think, if we jump right here, it should all work out fine….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“As for courage and will – we cannot measure how much of each lies within us, we can only trust there will be sufficient to carry through trials which may lie ahead.” — Andre Norton

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I’m late today, having actually gotten some decent sleep; I have no idea why it happened, it just did….. Since I haven’t had time to even look at the news, I’ll use an appropriate piece from the past…. Besides, it’s been a while since we discussed the process of Pearling, so, it’s time…. Here is a bit of explanation of this whole deal, just in case it seems important to y’all…. or not…. Don’t fret, it’s not a rant, and it’s not too long, so, it makes a nice change of pace, I think…..

From 3/28/2012:

“All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.” — Federico Fellini

It has been a while since I talked about Pearls, so when I stumbled upon the above quote, I knew it was time….. Pearls of Virtual Wisdom come with a caveat and disclaimer, to wit: These Pearls consist of ideas and concepts, and even procedures, that are Virtual Wisdom. They should never be confused with, or used as, Real Wisdom; the results can be somewhat unpredictable, have been known to cause injury, and in one case, (my own), have resulted in months of severe depression.

(Of course, that depression may not be due strictly to the intrinsic differences in the Pearls themselves, but rather a direct result of inattention to which variety I was using at the moment)  Regardless of how real Pearls of Virtual Wisdom may appear, or how shiny they look to the untrained eye, the author assumes no liability for failure to heed this caveat.

That being said, let us for a moment consider pearls as incarnations of jewels, as the precious gems of rare beauty and great value they become when freed from the oyster, the shelter which created each layer of the pearl’s beauty out of its own pain…. The soft sheen of a fine pearl, luminescent in the dimness, glowing in the light, has captivated the eyes and imaginations of men and women since the first oyster was plucked from the sea bed to become someone’s supper, and has inspired those who fall under its spell to acts of great sacrifice, and acts of great cruelty, in the quest to possess these timeless treasures from the sea.

Thus the metaphorical nature of the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom becomes apparent, as we see that although virtual wisdom looks just like real wisdom, the difference may be likened to the difference between naturally produced pearls, and those that are cultivated in laboratories.  One is shiny, and of great value for its rarity and beauty, naturally endowed; the other is shiny, but of lesser value, due to lesser rarity, and a somehow lesser beauty, as made by the hand of man.

The subtle differences are of little note, except to Reality, which always knows which wisdom is which, as it knows which pearl is which; hence the caveat and  disclaimer, to avoid any conflicts with Reality due to negligence on my part…..so, please use these Pearls with appropriate caution, and they will bring you joy for years to come…..

“Did an Italian CRANE OPERATOR just experience uninhibited sensations in a MALIBU HOT TUB?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Note from 2014: There…. that should help make things clearer… and if not, well, so what, eh? It’s not as if you spent a lot to get in, is it?….. Right…..

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Very little needs to be said about these two gentlemen, or the music they created together…. Serendipity, indeed…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. this is one of the greatest concerts ever…. with music that will never again be created just this way….

IN CONCERT ” SIMON AND GARFUNKEL ” LIVE IN CENTRAL PARK NEW YORK 1981

 

 

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As I heard quoted in a movie recently, “I think Wordsworth is sometimes underrated.”….. So do I….

The Solitary Reaper

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?–
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;–
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

~~ William Wordsworth ~~


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It’s been some time, but, here is an old-school pearl, of the type that has lasted the longest…. It is merely a grouping of comments on Reality, Life, and how to approach both with some dignity, and a bit of style….and, in the process, perhaps, teach us a bit about ourselves, and our inner nature…. It helps if you pay attention….

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

“I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face.  Don’t trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance, any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.” — Charles Dickens

“Make your enemies by choice, not by accident. The same applies to friends.” — Xavier R. Quinton

“Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle.” — Smart Bee

“Nothing can come out of nothing, any more than a thing can go back to nothing.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 4

“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.” — Herb Caen

“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.” — Francis Bacon

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Not too shabby, for a Pearl thrown together on the fly, and in a massive hurry…. In fact, it came out rather well, all things considered, and we know better than to look at the teeth of any horse in the stable, no matter where it came from, or what wagons it may have dragged in behind it…. whatever that means, metaphorically, euphemistically, or, practically…. Of course, in this case, only the latter counts…. Since that is true, I’m outta here, and y’all can’t legally stop me…. though, why you’d wish to try, I haven’t a clue…. That last statement may just cover the whole business, and before we find out…. See y’all tomorrow, 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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

Sucked into the blonde event horizon….

Ffolkes,
Well, I survived the Lone Star state, albeit a bit worse for wear, and my pockets significantly lighter. All in all, it was an instructive journey, in a lot of ways….. A number of events that happened during the trip were obvious life-lessons, and have taught me that a) I’m not a kid anymore; b) packing light is a good thing; and c) take what is offered, especially perks due to age or disability…..

Oh, and I also found out that not only does Murphy follow me around, he delights in taking advantage of the subtle cruelties offered by travel…. such as convincing myself to take a cab home from the airport, giving me an clueless driver who proceeded to take the wrong freeway on the way to Vallejo, treating me to a memory-filled jaunt through the streets of Berkeley, in order to get back on the right freeway, and, adding another hour to the trip…. If I had sat back and closed my eyes, we would have ended up in Fresno…

I found out that I’m no longer the invulnerable, indefatigable young man I used to be. I used to be able to drive as long as I needed to drive, without becoming overly tired, hour after hour; this time, a four hour drive around central Texas, and I’m ready for a week off, with lots of sleeping on the agenda. An almost four hour plane ride from Austin to Oakland almost killed me, coming on top of the drive, and the four hour wait to board the flight, which Murphy had been so kind as to delay in its trip to Austin. Even waiting in the airport was hard, as the seats in most of the ones I’ve been to are not well designed for long periods of time, especially the ones near the Internet hot spots…..

Packing light is a learned skill, one I’ve always been fair at, just not experienced enough to become totally efficient. I end up carting around a bunch of stuff that I never use on the trip, making it dead weight. Until I can get a good ultra-thin laptop designed for travelers, I have to take my laptop, which is not huge, but still weighs enough to strain my pitiful back muscles. I need to learn not to take enough stuff to set up a new bivouac, and save the weight for stuff I pick up along the way. I didn’t need a lot of what I ended up taking, so this was an quite instructive trip in that regard…

Part of what made it hard is my own stubbornness against accepting the fact that I’m disabled. I didn’t want to be one of those folks who use a wheelchair to get around in the airport, preferring to walk, even though I have to walk with my stick, and limp a lot of the way due to hip pain. Then, since I didn’t claim my disability, I ended up standing around in lines, hurting, wishing I’d used the wheelchair, as those passengers board first. If I take the perks, I would be able to go through the security check points without having to stand in long lines, as well as boarding the plane first. I no longer give a shit about appearing to be disabled, because, hey, I am disabled….

In the future, I’m going to take all the perks I can, because I just don’t have the strength any longer to put up with the physical demands that even flying presents. Planes are faster, and more comfortable than a train, as the train is constantly rocking and rolling on the tracks, whereas the plane is relatively smooth, other than the pockets of turbulence. The seats on a train are more comfortable, for sure, and it is usually less crowded, and not so stuffy on a train as it is on the plane. But, those are the ONLY advantages, as far as I can see…..

I’m glad I took this trip, and not just because I got to see my high school friend for a good visit. I also am convinced that what I’ve learned on this trip will help me in my upcoming big trip to Europe next month (I leave in 14 days!…..). I’m packing light, going to check my big bag, and keep only my meds, my laptop, and a book with me on the plane (And my tickets & passport, of course…..). I’m going to take all the disability perks I can. And, I’m going to have a great time, even if Murphy tries to come along; I’ll just bribe him somehow to take a vacation with me, so he’ll leave me be for a few days…. It sure would be nice to be free of his attentions,  even if it’s only for a short while.

I see that I’ve rambled on quite a bit here, and we’re still in the intro section. I guess I’m making up for yesterday’s post…. I do have other stuff to do today, like a dentist visit, so I’d best get on with today’s dive…. I hope I didn’t bore anyone, or lose any readers from prattling on for so long about a simple trip, and will now try to maintain a bit more focus on the purpose here…. not that I always know what that purpose may be…. Nevertheless, we go on….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Dwell not upon thy weariness, thy strength shall be according to the measure of thy desire.” — Arab proverb

Well, Smart Bee is quite perceptive this morning….. In the discussion above regarding strength and the demands of traveling, this takes on new significance. It is a truism, especially true for men; more so, I think, than for women (and nothing sexist meant by that…. men and women are different…. get used to it….). I know that, for me, having a purpose gives me the strength to complete the task, no matter what it may entail. I’ve stayed up for 2 or more days, at times, when there was good reason, and felt no ill effects afterward, other than a strong desire to sleep for a long time. Even when I am already tired, bringing my mental focus onto whatever strong reason I have to assume a duty will always dismiss the fatigue, and draw upon inner resources to give me the energy to keep on working, or doing whatever needed doing.

I don’t believe this is any different for me than it is for anyone else; as humans, we have a strength of will that, if honed and sharpened, can give us the ability to put aside mere physical demands, overcoming any such weakness by the application of will power. A perfect example of this was when I drove to Austin from Houston, yesterday, on the way home. The four hour drive came after a very long day the day before, about 3 hours sleep, and an emotional visit with my friend… I was completely drained, I thought…. But, then, on the drive, I realized that if I gave in to my fatigue, I’d get stuck in Texas until I recovered…. So, I stopped, got some fresh air, and pushed on, replenishing my strength with the promise of rest when I arrived at the airport….

Even though I had to tell myself a lie like that (the physical demands at the airport meant no rest at all for me, but I didn’t tell myself that while driving….) by accepting the duty involved, I was able to draw upon hidden resources of energy to get me through the drive. I needed a lot more lies to get me all the way home, to make it through the 4 hour wait, the 4 hour flight, and the unexpected extra hour on the cab ride from the airport to my house…. I made it, as always, and seven hours of sleep in my own bed seems to have fixed all my problems…. at least, if how much I write is any indication… I’ve been at this for about an hour now, and I’m already approaching a couple thousand words, in the first section….

I’ll not torture y’all any further on this thought, except to say this…. We, as humans, have the will power to accomplish anything…. anything at all. If our minds can conceive of a thing, we can make that thing a reality, whether it is large or small, simple or complex, long or short of duration. None of that matters, when we have decided on a course of action…. It is a valuable characteristic, and not well understood by most people; they use it without ever considering its true power, or its importance to them. Learn to focus the will, to bring your attention onto what is duty, freely chosen, and you will find that there is nothing you desire that you cannot achieve…. Word…..

“And now there is merely silence, silence, silence, saying all we did not know.” — William Rose Benet
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In the attempt to stay with fresh material, I am including here a haiku I wrote while on the plane home from Texas…. The poem was begun when I finally got home, while I was trying to relax enough to go to bed; I finished it just a few minutes ago, which gave me the title….. It’s not the best I’ve ever done, and may go through more editorial changes, but, it will do for one of the first poems I’ve tried to write on demand, instead of waiting until it leaked out of my head…. As every day this month, these are being included as part of the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here:  http://www.napowrimo.net/    I hope you enjoy them…..

Haiku XIII

Flying home tonight,
long, hot, interesting flight.
Will it ever end?

Pensive early and late….

Endings aren’t always a new beginning
I’m sad to say.
Sometimes it’s just an ending
there’s always a price to pay.

Still, it’s only money, he said
watching it piss away
Did everything ‘cept meet Fred
‘n had a good time the whole way.

Even the bad stuff turned out well,
life lessons are just that way.
Knowing what’s right, you can’t always tell,
we don’t always know the right things to say.

I’ll take all the hard times, without complaint,
learning isn’t always easy to take.
Kindness, patience, compassion without restraint,
are still the best decisions we can make.


~~ gigoid ~~
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Well, I haven’t really ranted today, but, I’ve held you captive long enough, so I won’t start one now…. We’ll go old-school for the final section, with a five, or seven star pearl of great luster, with an inspiring core meaning to each of the included quotes, all tied up with a logical bow…. I hope. Smart Bee sometimes has its own ideas of what is right for a particular pearl, so we’ll see what comes together, and hope for the best….

“Don’t despair over futility; remember, it also rains over the ocean.” — Smart Bee

“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.” — Herb Caen

“History records no more gallant struggle than that of humanity against the truth.” — Smart Bee

“Decay, inherent in all component things.’ — Buddha-last words

“The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself.” — Winston Churchill

“Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.” — Sun Tzu (fl. c. B.C. 500)

“I am not an animal!  I am … well, not an animal.” — Smart Bee

I knew Smart Bee would get its six cents in, but, I can’t complain, because it’s fine, just the way it is….. This one will be on the Quiz, ffolkes, so I hope you took notes…   🙂
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Whew! What a relief….. I guess I needed that, which is why I went overboard on the personal revelations today….. Let’s see how it proofs…. Hmm, not too shabby, and much better than I had thought it might be after such an exhausting trip. I’ll take it, and so will you, and like it…. Hah! Gotcha!….

Okay, no more Stooges humor…. I’ll let you off with a warning, this time…. and, no, I have no idea where THAT came from. I suppose it’s been sitting in my head for several days, waiting for me to lose focus for just an instant, so it could take over my fingers….. Don’t take it personally, please, it’s just a yoke…. Oh, boy, now I’ve really done it… Sorry ’bout that…. Bye now….  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

Tattered remnants of a once proud machine….

Ffolkes,
Mmmmm…. coffee, good….mmph, grglk, blast, hmph, okay…. Sorry, took a moment for the coffee to kick in…. Let me just say this, and we’re good to go…. Draco! Braz! Mento!  Ah, yes, all fine now…. Having uttered the proper incantation, to prepare the air for such brilliance, and to put up the wards against theft and interruption, we may now proceed to Pearl, if we are able…. We are always willing, but, often, the flesh is weak, so it’s best to “prepare the palette”, as a painter would say…. Not that I paint, no, far from it…. My drawing of a crowd looks like a convention of stick figures, kind of like watching someone count on an abacus; if you look at it for long, it will make you dizzy….

Drawing is one of those skills lacking from my toolbox; for some reason, probably having to do with spatial visualization, I can’t seem to get the hang of putting on paper what I see with my eyes. Most of my drawings resemble something by Dali during his melting clock phase, without the clarity of figures he painted so well…. An artist must know how to draw properly before turning to drawing in the abstract; since my work doesn’t come close to reality, my abstractions are just weird….. It’s okay, though, one cannot expect to be able to do EVERYTHING one wants to do, unless you are Leonardo da Vinci, or someone of his level of genius….

I can paint a picture with words, though, and pretty well, once I turn my mind to it. In fact, these introductory sections have turned out to be one of my favorite places to practice that skill, as I try one style or format after another, in my constant search for an acceptable template for this somewhat unorganized section. Those days when I write the first paragraph or two as a fictional story beginning are my practice sessions, and some of them aren’t half-bad, if I do say so myself…. Now, as I have been chastised to believe by a number of my readers, all I need to do is to continue one of those beginnings to the logical ending of the story, and I could probably get published for real…..

Alas for the world, I don’t wish to do that just now…. I’ve just begun to receive my SS disability benefits, and if I publish a book, whatever I make off its sale would be taken out of those benefits, in the form of a reduction in the money I receive each month. Since I’ve been waiting for this to happen for over two years, I don’t want to fuss with the system, yet…. If and when I can sell a book for a hefty price, of at least a half-million, I will consider publishing; any less of an initial amount wouldn’t cover what I would lose from SS over time, and would be a chancy risk to take at this point in my life…. If I can broker a deal for more than that amount, I’d consider it, as I would then have enough to cover my retirement, and all I wish to do in this period of my life….

So, y’all will have to wait a year or two…. If I can work on putting together more than one book, then publish them one after another, or a multi-book deal, I might be able to get by on what I’d make from it…. But, until I can get at least a half-assed guarantee of making enough to get by, I’ll continue to publish here on WP, for the same reason I’ve been doing it for the last two years, to wit: to maintain my sanity….. Such as it is….. Why, look! We’ve got ourselves five paragraphs here, which is plenty to qualify as an intro, cheating or not…..   On that note, Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Somewhere in suburban Honolulu, an unemployed bellhop is whipping up a batch of illegal psilocybin chop suey!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Fucking brilliant! Bill Griffith, the cartoonist who created Zippy, is an absolutely awesome social critic, and the perpetrator of some of the most obscure nonsense, (that makes perfect sense), that has ever been written, or published….. As is apparent from the frequent appearance of his quotes in this blog, I find him to be incredibly insightful about human nature, a naturally poetic prose writer, weird as hell, and an excellent graphic artist. Zippy’s comments on life and everything he sees in the strange world he inhabits are priceless, for their acute insight, for their gut-busting humor, and are strangely real, despite the unreality of almost everything in the strip…. It’s eerie sometimes, how life will imitate art; I’ll find myself having a deja vu memory of one of Zippy’s lines when I am out in the Big Blue Room, dealing with some business or another, because it matches the unreality of what was in the strip….

At first, I didn’t understand how including this line was to fit into the Pearl, or even into the pearl, but, then I realized…. I am the unemployed bellhop today, and I’m whipping up the distilled mushroom juice, right here on my computer! Look! It’s a whole new type of oyster! (Further research reveals this statement to be false, partly…. I found a couple of old Pearls that experimented with this format, slightly differently, though… so, this is still fairly unique….. end of interrupt….) 

I’ve just had a brainstorm of major proportions; since I had no warning of its advent, I went down on the first big wave, and died a figurative death…. I was hanging in limbo, sort of floating there, while the gods decided just how badly they wanted my ass in a sling, when it came to me…. This is a sign from the gods of blogging, to show me a new species of pearl…. which, having been dumped in my head, I must use, before it rots there, or the gods zap me… So, here is a pearl, in this case, the first of its kind, with five pointed quotes, and a number of comments from yours truly, standing in as Zippy, in disguise, sort of…..

I see the lights of the village
gleam through the rain and the mist.
And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me,
that my soul cannot resist.
A feeling of sadness and longing
that is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
as the mist resembles rain.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), The Day is done

(I often forget about Longfellow’s poetry, and it is what he is famous for, at least during his own time…. Now, of course he is known as one of the Trinameral Poets, that category which includes himself, Ralph Waldo Emerson, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, John Cougar Mellencamp, James Earl Jones, and so forth…. all good poets for sure, so he is in good company…. but, what is with those names, eh? Bit egotistical, don’t you think?…..)

“Those who hope for no other life are dead even for this.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(Goethe had a knack for this kind of deep, many leveled insights, pointing out with just a few well chosen words a very complex principle of human nature, or interaction… This one, no matter how one interprets it, is true as the day, and gives an appropriate feeling of emotional content, namely sadness, both for the one lacking in vision, and for the person observing them…..)

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man except one thing: the last of the human freedoms— to choose one`s own attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” — Victor Frankl

(Not much to add here; this is pretty clear, and also quite true…. It has been said that true freedom, is the release from pain, which is absolutely congruent with this idea. When one chooses one’s reaction, and makes their own choice of how to feel, they are choosing to let go of their pain, and gaining their freedom, if only in their own mind…. Another way of saying you can’t make a truly free man do anything he refuses to do…. You can kill him, but you can’t make him change his mind, or take away his freedom in that respect…..)

Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time. — John Keats (1795-1821) — Ode on a Grecian Urn

(Just too beautiful a line to leave out…..)

Behold on wrong
Swift vengeance waits; and art subdues the strong!

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book viii, Line 367

(Hmm…. this is a bit depressing, if it means what I think…. Nah, I must be wrong, so, never mind…. Oh, I see now…. Okay, well, I guess so, but, I think I’ll use my stick for that….. Ya think?….)

Well, there you go…. you will probably see this format again, though with different quotes, of course…. And, I think I can even do it this way with a normal pearl, maybe even a Seven Star…..  Wait! I didn’t mean it as a threat! Come back!….. Oh, hell….. Ah well, c’est la vie…. hopefully, they’ll find their way to the exit, or on to section two…. If not, I’ll send out a search party after I’m done here…..

“I always have fun because I’m out of my mind!!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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I’m working on a poem, but it’s only half completed, so this morning will see another haiku, served up freshly composed, and a poem I wrote last October, about Love, sort of…. Hope you like it…..  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/

Haiku V

I can write haiku
quick, at the drop of a pun.
Such wonderful fun.

~~ gigoid ~~

Beyond Agapé

Passion burns, shining like iridescent paint
yet solitude stands mocking such mundane complaint.
Schemes and dreams promise to tempt attraction
never ending effort spends wit in perverse reaction.

Hale and hearty reports of honor and love
draft recruits to collect manna from above,
while searching each soul for that which will serve
to bring pure sensation to each expectant nerve.

How simple to fall into complete helpless hope
of two hearts bound in tradition, with cultural rope,
living a simple life, shared, in joy and in grief
promises consummated, in consensual belief.

Reality dictates our degree of control over its state
insisting on changing whether or not we can wait.
Love will be present when we are completely at peace,
allowing ourselves, to give of ourselves, without cease.

~~ gigoid ~~

__________________________________

Go boldly forth, my simple lay,
Whose accents flow with artless ease,
Like orient pearls at random strung.

— Sir William Jones (1746-1794) — A Persian Song of Hafiz

I had intended to rant in this section today…. Unfortunately for me, (I won’t presume to say the same for y’all….), my back is killing me today, and I’ve a number of things to accomplish, in preparation for my upcoming trip(s) to Tejas, and to Europa…. which is a roundabout way of saying I’m about to cheat again…. Here is a pearl from 2011…. bonus points if you can figure out the month it was written, from whatever context you may find…. Enjoy! And, good luck, or as we say downtown, buena suerte!….
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ffolkes,
As I’m sure you’re aware of by now, it takes a really, really weird guy to do this every day, rain or shine, clothed or not, and that the process of putting these ideas down and sharing them is one that brings me not just pleasure, but pain as well. (Like anything worthwhile in Life, I suppose). I’m writing for a blog site, and wrote a piece yesterday that took me back, in first person with full audio memory, to a time of my life I’d just as soon forget most days. But it helped ease the pain somewhat, and reminded me that I don’t write for recognition, or praise, I write because I must! Not writing is……unthinkable. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t write; I think it would act much like my bowel disease, causing alternate bouts of mental diarrhea and constipation, with the accompanying pain and discomfort. Since I don’t enjoy that, particularly, I choose to write….. lucky you……

“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.” — Herb Caen

A good pun is its own reword.

“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

“Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.” — G. K. Chesterton, Autobiography, 1937

“It’s said that ‘power corrupts’, but actually it’s  more true  that power attracts the corruptible.  The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.  When  they do  act,  they  think of it as service, which has limits. The tyrant, though, seeks mastery, for which he is  insatiable, implacable.”  — David Brin, The Postman

“People who don’t Think probably don’t have Brains; rather, they have grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne
__________________________________

“Well, Stanley, this is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into…. What do you have to say for yourself?”  More bonus points are available to anyone who can give me the first name of the person who said those lines, frequently….

Okay, so, I’ve read back over what we have here, and I think….. Well, quite frankly, I don’t know what to think…. I’m going to leave it alone, and let it fly, as is, trusting to luck and my lawyers to keep it from becoming legally actionable…. In the meantime….  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

Watching the pot boil….

Ffolkes,
It is said, with good reason, that in order to be able to take care of someone else, you must first take care of yourself. That being the case, I certainly hope no one seriously needs my help, because I’m afraid I just don’t have anything to give. At least not in any financial sense. I have struggled a lot lately in that arena, and have been holding my own, for the most part. But circumstances, and Finagle’s prophet, the ever-slippery Murphy, have combined to make this month a whole new experience. It has also been said that in today’s world, we (the middle and lower financial classes) are but two paychecks away from living on the streets. I’m here to tell you, it may not take that long…..drastic measures are not just needed, they are critically essential. If I want to continue living indoors and eating on a regular basis, something has to give…..ah, well, griping about it isn’t going to help either, I suppose, so we’ll go on to bigger and better things. Something will come up, it always does; Murphy just likes to see me sweat…..today’s group took quite a bit of time and effort to gather; they were hiding deep, way back behind some rocks on the ocean floor, so it took several dives to drag them into the light of day…..enjoy!….

“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.” — Herb Caen

“I see little divinity about them or you.  You talk to me of Christianity when you are in the act of hanging your enemies.  Was there ever such
blasphemous nonsense!” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), The Devil’s Disciple
(This one is a response to much of what I’ve been reading about Dickless Cheney’s new book of memoirs)

I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:
You cannot rob me of free Nature’s grace,
You cannot shut the windows of the sky
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face;
You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve:
Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
And I their toys to the great children leave:
Of fancy, reason, virtue, naught can me bereave.
— James Thomson (1700-1748)
— The Castle of Indolence, Canto ii, Stanza 3

If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. — Chinese Proverb

“Cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing.” — Samuel Johnson

“Times are bad.  Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”– Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

I suppose that means I should probably get mine finished. Book, that is…..meantime, y’all take care out there…..

 


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

Dozer

Kowabunga!