Potboiler or not, it’s quite a story….


“Do I look like someone who cares about what God thinks?”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

Twice as big in volume as the Earth, HD 40307g straddles the line between "Super-Earth" and "mini-Neptune" and scientists aren't sure if it has a rocky surface or one that's buried beneath thick layers of gas and ice. One thing is certain though: at eight time the Earth's mass, its gravitational pull is much, much stronger.To Enlarge, click on picture

Casting hope aside, with endless sorrow, the ancient warrior took up his sword, settling the scabbard firmly at his side, ready to hand. No expression crossed the stoic face, despite the burning anger, and thirst for battle that gripped his soul. Only the hard presence of immutable will would be allowed to escape his control, until the one responsible for this atrocity had been served up to the gods of revenge, in pieces too small to identify. Only then would the ancient warrior be content to lay aside his weapon, to honorably die, joining those whose lives were his to avenge….

Often, in the small hours of the dark morning, my constant companion awakens me to begin the day, pushing me up with the hope of finding more peace than can be found abed, where time becomes an enemy in the lee of midnight…. I gaze at the screen, once my mind is caught up to my eyes, wondering what I can find here to ease the whirling, spinning maelstrom which confronts me out here in the real world of consciousness. I can feel the weight of time, sitting on my shoulders, bringing memories of both joy and pain, denying hope, politely, and, oh, so cruel, with its constant, relentless barrage of what seems to be a multitude of small, yet vicious invisible mites, biting, biting, each and every one of my nerves, one after the other….

My doctor, it seems, doesn’t believe in my pain, for he/she wants me to give up the most stable source of any real peace I’ve had in the past 40 years. The prurient, prudish morality of a soulless behemoth masquerading as a “corporate person”, otherwise known as a Health Maintenance Organization, has decided that it is within their purview to decide for me what the proper treatment for my condition is, without any consideration at all for what that arrogance will do TO me…. Because I insist on making my own decisions about the best way to treat my pain, and my PTSD, they are willing to literally blackmail me with the threat of my own pain to protect themselves from their own imaginary bogies, which they are afraid will leave them open to litigation, thus taking away from their profit margin, the purpose for their entire existence….

But, that, unfortunately, is ranting, which is, at this juncture, both too early, and too big a subject to try to address in the intro…. not to mention the inappropriateness of such a discussion in public, at all…. But, in the mood I’m in, (as indicated by the obvious self-portrait in the first paragraph….), what the fuck do I care what’s appropriate? In fact, now that I think of it, the opening quote from Zippy is perfectly apt for today…. Fuck ’em all, I say. Bring any of them to me, and I shall make them meat…. All I ask is your silence, and some help in disposing of the evidence….

No? Well, no worries, nobody has died yet….. but, the day is young…. A good portion of today’s Pearl was completed yesterday, and the day before, as my newly developed method of writing has become more of a routine, choppy though it is, with its necessary breaks every ten or fifteen minutes to find another (relatively) comfortable position in which to type, or to walk around to stretch, and allow the skeleton to come to terms with the pain currently assailing most of my joints…. It’s a bit choppy, but, it works for me….

Another advantage of this system is the increased vigilance it allows me, to stay on top of those little opportunities to get to the correct area on the map we use, such as this fine looking entry point coming up on our bow…. It’s so conveniently located we’re going for it, even if it does, again, throw the rhythm I’ve found into the toilet…. S’okay, I’m coming to rather enjoy the offhand way I am ordered about by my inanimate objects…. They’re only trying to help, you know, and they are severely underpaid, in my opinion…. But, that’s a rant for another time, and place…. Right now, we’re going in, so, I’d suggest you hang on to the nearest stanchion; our pilot today likes to cut things close….

Shall we Pearl?

“Once, there was NO fun…  This was before MENU planning, FASHION statements or NAUTILUS equipment… Then, in 1985..  FUN was completely encoded in this tiny MICROCHIP… It contain 14,768 vaguely amusing SIT-COM pilots!! We had to wait FOUR BILLION years but we finally got JERRY LEWIS, MTV and a large selection of creme-filled snack cakes!” — Zippy the Pinhead


As the first couple of paragraphs in the above section indicate, my soul is crying out for peace…. This isn’t a cure, but, I find it helps…. Maybe it is part of the connection I’ve always felt to the Druidic culture that flourished in ancient Europe, or, maybe it’s just the way it takes me away from reality…. whatever it is, it works for me….

Celtic Music – Sleeping Dreams And Fantasies Mix


“A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.”

~~ Mark Twain ~~


    Now that I have your attention, we have a different sort of ranting section for you today…. Right now, I am unsure of exactly what it will look like, or, where it might end up, but, having found the perfect opening picture and pearl, I’m going to let if fly, just so we can see what kind of trouble we can either cause, or get into, whichever seems more fun…. What else would you expect, when you find these two at the top of the section?….

With the proper tone firmly established, we shall move on to the more intellectual part of today’s experimental pearl…. an old school indictment of Asininnies, of the political persuasion, those we call Pundits, (or, sometimes, The Liars Club….). I’d hoped to include the rest of the categories of the larger group, (i.e. Dogma Dogs, Myrmidons, Snakeheads, Pimps, Illuminati, Mundanes, Droids,  or, anyone else worthy of our ire….), but everything that came up was in this smaller group, which, apparently, Smart Bee seems to consider the most vulnerable target at the moment of choice…. Or, it could be these are what came up, with incipient laziness taking over at that point…. Here they are, such as they are….

“He’s not a politician.  He’s just ethically challenged.” — Smart Bee

“Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. In democracy, what you get generally is bad government by a bully, tempered by the pen of several newspaper editors.” — George Bernard Shaw — Man and Superman (1903) Maxims for Revolutionists: Democracy

“You can lead a man to Congress, but you can’t make him think.” — Smart Bee

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand-fold in the future.” — Solzhenitsyn

“Bother! said Pooh, as he found a politician in his honey pot.” — Smart Bee

“How do you make sense of such madness? The answer is, you can’t.” — Pablo Guzman

“As long as the United States Government exists, there is no real accomplishment being a humorist.” — Smart Bee

Okay, now comes the fun part…. We’ve taken our shots at the pundits for the day; now we get to finish the new format with one final comment, which I’ve personally chosen to represent the metaphor of reality being highlighted in this unusual fashion…. This is what I came up with, as a final word on the Asininnies for today…. It’s a very nice statement of insight on life today, which, I promise, will be my last word for today on this subject…. In truth, the statement is a fine finish for any indictment, for it speaks to the reason any of us might feel the need to indict at all….

“The stars are made of the same atoms as the earth.”  I usually pick one small topic like this to give a lecture on.  Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars — mere gobs of gas atoms.  Nothing is “mere.”  I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them.  But do I see less or more?      The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination — stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light.  A vast pattern — of which I am a part — perhaps my stuff was belched from some forgotten star, as one is belching there.  Or see them with the greater eye of Palomar, rushing all apart from some common starting point when they were perhaps all together.  What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the *why?* It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it.  For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined!  Why do the poets of the present not speak of it?  What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?” — Richard Phillips Feynman (1918-1988)

As is patently clear to me, in a larger sense, Mr. Feynman obliquely implies the mindset adopted by those of our human brethren who choose ignorance and faith over knowledge and reason, thus limiting themselves to a pattern of looking at reality which keeps them, and consequently all of us, from living as we are meant to live.

If not for this intrinsic flaw in our very nature, we could be living in a very different world, walking in beauty, singing, in perfect harmony and rhyme, rejoicing in all the secrets of heart, soul, and reality, rather than merely humming along with the dirges, which are the only music playing in our current reality, a stark, dark, desperate world in which compassion and beauty are crushed under the heels of the boots worn by the god of war, namely, Avarice, and, Indifference…

I know…. Bummer, huh?

gigoid, the dubious


There are moments in life when the power and presence of serendipity makes itself felt, leaving no doubt in my mind there is more to this universe than we can ever really know…. This poem was the first I encountered today in my search for an appropriate entry for today’s poetry section; it’s the poem of the day on PoemHunter.com, my favorite site to find those verses I need for this part of each Pearl….. It’s a small piece, but, with that incredible characteristic of the very best of poems, brevity, mixed with powerful metaphor, to create a short epistle which gives us much, much more than just the few words use could be expected to give….. Plus, it fits in with my mood….. go figure….

A Coat

I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world’s eyes
As though they’d wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there’s more enterprise
In walking naked.

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~


This pearl is, to my mind, a good one. It’s composed of pearls whose primary characteristic is in how it must be examined more deeply than the first reading, to penetrate to the second, and third ideas that are buried within their shy outer bearing….. In short, when you read them, they should make you pause, and say to yourself, “Wait a second….”, then look again…. hopefully. Works for me, anyway…. Just look deeper than the shallow first concept, ffolkes, because the result is a pretty good picture of how to approach reality with something more than just a pretty face…., which, in spite of popular belief by many, not everyone has…. No matter anyway, reality doesn’t care….

“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” — Yogi Berra

“Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.” — Erasmus

“The last good thing I saw on TV was the ‘off’ switch.” — J. Craig Brunson (craig@ukpr.uky.edu)

“Where no hope is left, is left no fear.” — Milton

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly.” — Thomas H. Huxley

“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Poem for the Living

When I am dead
Cry for me a little
Think of me sometimes
But not too much.

It is not good for you
Or your wife or your husband
Or your children
To allow your thoughts to dwell

Too long on the dead
Think of me now and again
As I Was in life
 At some moment it is pleasant to recall

But not for long.
Leave me in peace
As I shall leave you, too, in peace.
While you live
Let your thoughts be with the living.

~~ Theodora Kroeber ~~


Thankfully, it’s done. Just in time, too. I was about to break out in song…. Figuring, rightly, I’m sure, that would drive y’all over the edge, to which we come close enough on a regular basis, we’ll just use our advantage of position (here at the end….) to make our escape, before any of y’all catch on…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, unless embarrassment kicks in….

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


“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch


À bientôt, mon cherí….


The stigma of chronic satyriasis….

This will be somewhat of a different Pearl….. How? Well, I can’t say for sure, but my entire morning routine has been usurped, leaving me somewhat bemused. Up late, & therefore up late; this always throws me off a bit. Then, when I checked into WP, somebody had read one of my older posts, from March, so I had to go see which one they read, which sent my head off in odd directions pre-coffee. Very distracting, and I didn’t even know I could BE distracted from this….. unsettling, to say the least.

No worries, though, and no matter. We’ll just apply that old American life skill, so important in today’s world, to wit: sheer denial. I’ll just ignore it, and it will go away, right? It seems to work pretty well for most folks in society; why not me? After all the time I put in to keep folks from denying all the weird stuff that goes on out there, I think I deserve a little bit of denial time, where I can pretend that life is fair, and Murphy is no more real than the Easter Bunny. (Which, if you think about it, has to be one of the most confused icons in existence…. imagine a bunny, having for centuries been the living representation of fertility and sex, then being forced by the Catholic church to become the representation for the Resurrection of a virgin birth deity…. it HAS to be a bit taxing for the rationalization department of the mind….)

“Reality is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” — Smart Bee

See, off into tangential stuff already…. this doesn’t look good, ffolkes. I think I’d best get started….. let’s go Pearl, and see if we can get this to fall in line…..

And God said, Let us make man in our image. — Genesis 1:26

Okay…. the quotes are hiding again today, so we’re settling for this. Does this bother you as much as it bothers me? Probably not…. but, that’s okay, we all know I’m strange, so deal….

It bothers me on a couple of levels, actually. First, let us remember that this was written by a man, not God Himself (though I’m sure He could have; probably doesn’t have a functioning word processor yet…. He’s kind of old school, by all reports….) With that in mind, who was He talking to? Was it a prescient use of the royal ‘We’? Was the Holy Spirit standing there giving design advice? To be honest, I’m not sure I really want to know… especially if it was the latter; I’m certain I couldn’t feel completely safe having a God with an imaginary friend….

“I think I just heresied on several important religions.” — Smart Bee

Second, in “our image”…. This would seem to imply that God looks like us, or more accurately, I guess, we look like Him. What kind of omnipotent deity needs to display ego like that? And how do we know that he was talking about us in the first place? Maybe man is the platypus, and that is what God really looks like. I think I’d feel better if it was true, though not any more convinced that God is perfectly sane…..

Egotist, n.:   A person of low taste, more interested in himself than me. — Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

But, to be perfectly honest, this seems like an advertising campaign to me, started by a group of deists who weren’t pulling in enough during the services to keep them in the style to which they wished to become accustomed. So they wrote this book, and kept repeating that it was sacred until enough people started believing it, and the donations started to pour in, because, hey, God looks like Me! It’s got to be one of history’s all time most successful scams, and the system has gotten more sophisticated through the centuries, until today, most folks are completely indoctrinated in this nonsense by the time they are four or five years old.

“It is an open question whether any behavior based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly.” — Margaret Mead

It amazes me that people, who are normally quite sane and discriminating in their thinking, can fall for this so completely. The entire system of religious belief seems to me to be founded on a pack of rather unbelievable lies, or at least wishful thinking, based completely on the absolute refusal of its proponents to acknowledge reality as it exists, instead assuming an unproven, and unprovable, set of concepts that supposedly are designed to make life better, but in reality merely afford a higher standard of living to an entire group of people who would otherwise starve for lack of any real skills at living, i.e. preachers. I guess, if one has the stomach for living a deliberate lie, it can be a good gig….

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” — Thomas Paine
___________________________________    Obviously, no further comment needed…. But, doesn’t it just make you proud to speak and write English?…. Besides, I’m still having trouble finding material this morning, and this is a good little distraction…. Onward….

A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

John Keats

No worries….. just a beauty break….
    Too funny….. priceless expressions!  And better material than anything else I can find today….

Bring me to the test,
And I the matter will re-word; which madness
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet — Act iii, Sc. 4


A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), The Winter’s Tale — Act iv, Sc. 3

I repeat, Huh?

One fair daughter and no more,
The which he loved passing well.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet — Act ii, Sc. 2

A rather lukewarm, left-handed compliment, I’d say…. and completely misogynistic….

How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Julius Caesar — Act iii, Sc. 1

Okay, so this one makes some kind of sense…. but it’s still just a self-plug for the play…. More proof Will was a hack….

But now I am cabin’d, cribb’d, confined, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Macbeth — Act iii, Sc. 4

This one comes close, but then veers away from clarity and dives right into obscurity…. typical…. One more….

Oh that the desert were my dwelling-place,
With one fair spirit for my minister,
That I might all forget the human race,
And hating no one, love but only her!
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto iv, Stanza 177

Oops! That’s not Will…. but it does highlight my point about him, and stands as good contrast for all that went before…. Kind of like a mouthwash on a hangover morning, yes? Or, like the first sip of coffee in the morning; everything comes into focus…. I feel fortunate that Shakespeare’s work has an On/Off Button, which I tend to keep taped on Off….

“The last good thing I saw on TV was the off switch.” — J. Craig Brunson (craig@ukpr.uky.edu)

What an epic battle! I hope none of the blood splattered on your clothes…. this turned into the most difficult of all the Pearls I’ve ever created. In the end, I was forced to give up trying to find a quote, and went for the cheap laughs…. But I’m not taking any of it back, as it took too much effort to get it into the shape it now assumes. We’ll see how it looks once we get it onto the blog page before I make any decisions as to its value….

In all honesty, I may not even re-read it, as I confess that I’d be tempted to just delete the whole thing…. Ah well, I suppose even I must occasionally settle for less than my best effort…. Given the handicaps I encountered all morning, I could say that it was brave of me to plow through to the finish…. brave or stupid, one or the other…. So be it…. no more waffling…

Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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