Did somebody mention caramel sauce?….

Ffolkes,

“There is no cure for birth and death other than to enjoy the interval.”

~~ George Santayana ~~

10-8-2014 014 (2)

Colony of wild pine cones in the Big Blue Room…


Good morning…. Having slept reasonably well, thanks to the application of massive amounts of illegal and legal drugs at the appropriate time, I find myself in an unusual position…. I’m awake, not too tired, and still haven’t a single clue as to what to write about…. Hence. this little opening bit of fluff, discussing that very lack of inspiration. It may not be compelling, but, it takes up space, right?

Ah, the hell with it…. I’m thinking it might be best to accept things as they are, and just get on with it, letting Nature take its course…. Of course, last time we tried that, we had to buy a new plane…. But, hey, what’s a few thousand bucks between friends, right? In any case, it seems to promise much more maneuverability than any other method available in this state. Besides, it’s what laying on the top of the drawer.

Shall we Pearl?….

“I would rather suffer defeat than have cause to be ashamed of victory.” — Quintus Curtius

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

    Today’s video selection is a playlist of classical guitar music, picked out simply to match our standard logo…. Enjoy!….

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Classical Guitar

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Dont keep calm

“Today, if you are not confused, you are just not thinking clearly.”

~~ U. Peter ~~


One of my blogging friends mentioned the lack of fresh rants of late, which led me to wonder if I’d lost my angst somewhere… It’s true I haven’t felt the urge quite so often, yet, it’s no less compelling when it strikes…. I’m thinking there’s some stuff in there percolating, which will break out when it’s ready…. For rant material, it’s important to let it ferment to the proper degree of volatility; any resulting explosions are much more satisfying when the time is taken….

That means, however. I don’t have anything worth ranting about today… Oh, the quote is quite sufficient, I’m sure; I could do any number of numbers on that vague statement. But, I think I’ll cheat again, and let the rest sit a while longer, until it REALLY stinks…. Here’s one from the archives…. Don’t worry, I picked one that isn’t too long…. Enjoy!….

From 12/2/2012:

“I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics but for our contributions to the human spirit.” — former US President John F. Kennedy

At last! A worthy pearl! JFK, like the current President, was a superb public speaker, “Ich bin ein Berliner” notwithstanding, and whether he wrote his own words, or relied on his speech writers, he delivered, arguably, some of the most memorable, and insightful, aphorisms in US political and social history. The above statement is a perfect example, as he expresses a sentiment that can only be applauded, if not verified. I say verified because  there is not a lot of verification from the past that history remembers anything BUT the battles. But, one can hope….

Actually, I believe what Jack said very strongly, in the sense that there are different histories that are remembered, most of which become altered in some way over time, as does all memory. The great teachers and philosophers who have lived have left their mark on the world in more ways than always show, in spite of the records of their deeds not always surviving intact. But, throughout history, there have been men, and women, who have done much to advance the human condition, whose words and deeds were never seen, and never recorded, but, nonetheless. whose effects still ripple down the river of time.

Some of the great minds in history, such as Lao Tzu, Zoroaster, Genghis Khan, Gautama Buddha, Jesus of Nazareth, Mohammed, Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, and many others, all made such advances in the human spirit, and their ideas keep proving their worth every day by their relativity to modern society. Men like Leonardo da Vinci, whose genius was so bright it shines even today, and modern philosopher/scientists such as Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking, have advanced that human spirit as much as anyone.

I’m not being as eloquent as I’d wish for such a deep subject…. What I’m trying to get to here is that we all, each and every one of us, have the power and opportunity to do the same as these historical figures, to advance the human spirit, just by the way we live our lives. What the philosophers say, and write, and the wisdom they pass on, is all very good, and a lesson to the rest of us…. But, what the average person does every day in their lives is just as important to the future as any scientific breakthrough, because what they do will determine what their children learn, and THAT is where the advancement really takes place, in the moments of teaching that happens every moment for children, and their adult teachers.

Living a life of integrity, with honesty and duty as the watchwords for action, is the best teaching method there is; to provide a good example for a child holds no less promise for mankind than all the work of all the genius’ of all time. How each one of us approaches life will, in the end, determine what happens to our species as a whole. It isn’t easy, especially given all of the people in society who do NOT wish to have any part of advancing anything but their own interests…. and especially when so many of those kinds of people are in positions of authority. But, it can be done, and is done, every day, by millions of men and women of good spirit…. They are truly the future of mankind, and, if there is any hope for survival, it lies in their honest hands….

“So live that you can look any man in the eye and tell him to go to hell.” — Smart Bee

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Comedy_Tragedy

    It’s an Emily Day; no explanations offered, or needed….

The duties of the Wind are few,
To cast the ships, at Sea,
Establish March, the Floods escort,
And usher Liberty.

The pleasures of the Wind are broad,
To dwell Extent among,
Remain, or wander,
Speculate, or Forests entertain.

The kinsmen of the Wind are Peaks
Azof – the Equinox,
Also with Bird and Asteroid
A bowing intercourse.

The limitations of the Wind
Do he exist, or die,
Too wise he seems for Wakelessness,
However, know not i.

~~ Emily Dickenson ~~


Here’s a little bonus round, a blast from the past, created 7/2/2012:

Pearls are…

Long, deep thoughts always
bring truth to the eyes of man,
and light into dark.

~~ gigoid ~~


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ankh

    Our final pearl today is a bit esoteric; don’t worry, though, it’s all stuff you’ve seen before, and should fit right into the proper slot in your mind…. Of course, you will need one to get the point. You’ve got one, right? A mind?…. Well, then, use it…. Sheesh! Do I have to do everything?….

“It is in the shelter of each other that people live.”

~~ Irish proverb ~~


“There is only one blasphemy, and that is the refusal to experience joy.” — Paul Rudnick

“With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil – that takes religion.” — Steven Weinberg

“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things; knows not the livid loneliness of fear.” — Amelia Earhart

“The character of human life, like the character of the human condition, like the character of all life, is “ambiguity”: the inseparable mixture of good and evil, the true and false, the creative and destructive forces — both individual and social.” — Paul Tillich

“I bid him look into the lives of men as though into a mirror, and from others to take an example for himself.” — Terence — Adelphoe, Act iii, Sc. 3, 61, (415.)

My life is light, waiting for the death wind,

Like a feather on the back of my hand.

~~ T.S. Eliot ~~


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To comment at all on today’s Pearl would, I think, be a mistake. Instead, I’m going to just post it, and be done with it for the day…. I’ll be back tomorrow, ffolkes; I don’t seem to be able to come up with any good reasons not to do so….

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….


		
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Bluffing on a busted flush….

Ffolkes,

“He is able who thinks he is able.”

~~ Buddha ~~

Two

Road Trip

Image stolen from unknown Internet site.


Unburdened by the rigors of coherent thought, I sit to begin another Pearl. I sincerely wish, too, I could claim credit for the opening sentence; sadly, I stole part of it. Beautiful, though, isn’t it? The part before the comma is the part I stole, which is why I wish I’d said it; it is, in almost every sense, a perfect expression of my state of being almost every day as I start this process. Process it is, too, beginning with will power sufficient to arise from bed, (always a challenging exercise, these days….), stumble to the coffee machine to turn it on, then, walk to the computer to attempt to find the tiny button to turn it on….

About ten minutes later, having somehow waited to get the coffee into my system, (often performing completely unconscious physical actions to do so…. I seldom remember FIXING the coffee, only consuming it…), I look at the screen to see if, maybe, I wrote something worth keeping while in my semi-conscious state. At least THAT is consistent…. it’s never there…

Today, the process is complicated even further by the vertigo I’ve been gifted with of late. In case you’ve never experienced it, let me assure you, it’s no picnic. Any sort of motion seems to stimulate it, which makes the process of writing somewhat problematic, as the head makes natural movements while thinking about them…. To be honest, it’s getting to be a bit of a bother…. and, yes, that’s sarcasm….

But. I got some of this done yesterday, so, I’ll push through, pretending I’m tough. I really did used to be tough; I just need to remember how to go about it…. Shouldn’t be too hard; I’ve played with pain, or other issues, all my life…. I’m not going to let it keep me from doing what I need to do now…..

Fuck Murphy….. and the fucking white horse he thinks he rode in on….

Shall we Pearl?

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total oblivion. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me and turn my inner eye to follow its path. When the fear is gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” — The Litany Against Fear (Frank Herbert, -Dune-, 1965)

Good timing on that one…. it’ll come in handy today….

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three tenors

Image from scotsman.com via Google images


I am NOT an opera fan, at all. However…. I AM a big fan of the human voice; I learned to play guitar so I could sing along. This isn’t to say I’ve the world’s best baritone; in fact I’d say any one of these three gentlemen are much better, without any fear of disagreement, from anyone but my dog, which I don’t have. And, they’re tenors, not baritones, which goes to show you how good I might be…. When all three of them are hitting a top note, it is, literally, spine-tingling…. Enjoy, ffolkes….


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The Three Tenors In Paris ~~ 1998

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le penseur-rodin

    As might be surmised, a fresh rant is out of the question, unless I want to start in on Kaiser, HMO’s, and Big Pharm; I think I’ve built up enough angst over them to rant for a week with stopping…. For now, this little exercise will do….

From 9/2/2013:

“The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this very afternoon.” — John F. Kennedy

What a great little anecdote! I love to see a great life lesson told in a few short words…. Here is a perfect description of the attitude one requires to achieve happiness…. Yes, happiness, an old word, one bandied about much by the uninformed, and the unhappy…. Happy people never need to use the word itself, as they are just…. there. There is little need to think about being happy, when you are, and in fact, not thinking about it is one of the keys to holding it, once found…. But, it is a rare person in today’s world who can maintain any long periods where they feel happy the entire time; the world intrudes too much into our lives to give us leave to be happy, unless we know the secret…..

Yes, there’s a secret….. Of course, it’s the kind of secret that is hidden right in plain sight, like Poe’s Purloined Letter. It only requires that one be willing to accept it, and to allow it to enter into one’s spirit, suffusing the world in the less harsh light of contentment, rather than the cold, hard light of resentment. People tend to be like the gardener, blocking their own happiness by finding all kinds of reasons to NOT allow it entry into their world. As humans, we are taught at young age to view reality with stoicism, and mute, unquestioning acceptance of our lot; we are shown all the ways to look ahead, to see the worst of what can happen, in order to be prepared….

But, there is another way to approach the matter, one little known, and therefore little taught…Reality is a tough go, for sure, but, with a little bit of mental effort, much easier than the alternative, one can be in control of how it (Reality) affects one’s life. In short, Life treats us all like shit; what determines how much of it gets in our sandwich depends solely on us, and how we react to that shit…. We can slap the shit between two slices of bread, and choke it down…. or, we can use it as fertilizer, to grow some rather nice weed…. potent, and good for you….

Whatever one decides, the choice remains, as long as one is aware of the options. The problem with most folks is, they don’t see the options, or they don’t believe they will work, as their attitudes keep them from even trying a lot of new ways to do things. I won’t say it is this way for all people, but the greatest majority of people I see in the world are unhappy, without ever realizing that a) they don’t have to be unhappy, and b) being happy is within their power to choose…. It’s too bad, really, because that unhappiness is part of what makes people go wonky, losing integrity, honor, and any sense of morality, in order to reach for an illusion, an illusion of happiness that, even if grasped, will drift away and vanish, like smoke in a breeze….

This little mini-diatribe was intended to be more…. more clear, more inspiring, more helpful in getting people to think in different ways…. However, I seem to have lost that thread, and it’s getting a bit obscure, and thick…. So, I’m going to switch to old-school, and politely ask Smart Bee to give me the right words to accomplish that intent, without having to subject y’all to another thousand words of pedantic persuasion…. Well, that’s how it’s supposed  to work, anyway…. If not, at least it will have been more palatable, with more chocolate chips….

“Going to bed with a woman never hurt a ballplayer. It’s staying up all night looking for them that does you in.” — Casey Stengel

“Pizza is a lot like sex.  When it’s good, it’s really good.  When it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.” — Smart Bee

“Beware of the “Black Swan” fallacy.  Deductive logic is tautological; there is no way to get a new truth out of it, and it manipulates false statements as
readily as true ones.  If you fail to remember this, it can trip you – with perfect logic.  The designers of the earliest computers called this the “Gigo Law”, i.e. “garbage in, garbage out”.  Inductive logic is MUCH more difficult – but can produce new truths.” — Lazarus Long

“Man errs as long as he strives.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust

“‘T is but a part we see, and not a whole.” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 60

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” — Mark Twain

“Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke.” — Hermann Hesse

Okay, so, that works, sort of….. My apologies…. It’s not as clear as I’d hoped, though it’s quite good, in its own small way…. Not bad directions, if one is accustomed to pearls…. I’ve got it! Here is an example of how happiness works, and is available for use by anyone who wishes to use it….

I’m happy now…. I’m done….

(That’s it…. that’s the secret….. No? Not clear yet? Ah, well…. Well, we’ll try again later, ffolkes…. just remember, you CAN be happy, any time you wish…. It’s all a matter of choice….  Bonus? Nobody can take the choice away from you….)

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Comedy_Tragedy

Retrospective, defined in folly….

Yesterday
I wrote a poem.

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

It hurt, at first,
then came the feeling,

of quick relief,
of timeless beauty,
 
of pain avenged,
of lust aroused,

of outrage aflame,
of deep compassion,

of endless empathy,
of truest love….

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

(Grin…)

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

Hah!

Well, you’re not.
You’re a person.

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

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

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

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

We all can do
only what we
do.

Or, don’t.

Two sides, one coin.

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 8/31/2014

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Peace76

    Today’s old-school pearl is pretty simple; it’s made up of good advice on how to live your life in a manner of your own choosing…. In short, it’s mostly stuff you already know, for peace is ALWAYS there inside all of us, just waiting for us to realize we are connected to the Universe at all times, if only we can remember….

“Nobody has so many friends that he can afford to lose one.” — Edward Abbey

“It is the edge and temper of the blade that make a good sword, not the richness of the scabbard; and so it is not money or possessions that make man considerable, but his virtue.” — Seneca

“. . is to attempt seeing Truth without knowing Falsehood. It is the attempt to see the Light without knowing Darkness. It cannot be.” — Frank Herbert, Dune

“Think all you speak, but speak not all you think.” — Smart Bee

“You can’t get wet from the word ‘water’.”  — Alan Watts

“It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.” — Indira Gandhi

“When I was born, death kissed me. I kissed it back.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

“The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it, therefore, while it lasts, and not spend it to no purpose.” — Plutarch — Of the Training of Children

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There! Did it….. A great sense of relief infuses me; getting this done is almost made worthwhile by so feeling, I must say. Have said so, I’ll torment you no further, but, rather, take my leave, while the leaving is good…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; as can be seen, it will take a lot to stop me…. Let’s just hope the PTB continue to ignore my intransigence, chalking it up to insanity…. Yeah, that’s the ticket….

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Fat sausages, sizzling in the pan….

Ffolkes,

Savory pieces of bacon bits flew elegantly through the highest points of the tent, filling all below with joy at the smell of sizzling pork fat; the crowd went wild…. Vendors hawked their plastic Jesus bobble-heads to unsuspecting Muslim tourists, while numerous swift-fingered waifs worked the crowd, lifting wallets from unsuspecting tourists.

Down in the center, two pathetic roosters were being abused so they’d fight each other, while money exchanged hands all over the stands, as winners and losers took turns feeling stupid….Me, I just watched and grinned, since I was the only one who knew the whole building would be coming down around the ears of everyone inside in approximately four minutes….

And thank goodness for that! I don’t think we need to go back there again; I stopped enjoying what I was writing about halfway through that piece of nonsensical farce, having apparently lost all of my sense of propriety, right along with my taste…. That was supposed to be funny, or at least strange enough to feel that way, but, never seemed to reach anywhere like that…. It was probably the bacon bits…. Nasty little things, those little chemical bombs can’t even be classified as food; they’re an artificially colored and flavored food-like substance, and I haven’t a single clue as to why ANYONE would want to eat them, ever….

However, it’s too late now to worry about whether or not the opening paragraphs made any sense, or even any nonsense; it’s already two paragraphs back, and we all know how hard it is to turn back the clock…. In our minds, or our writing, we can alter time, using the chance to do things over, to do them right, but, we all know the real world doesn’t allow do-overs, and couldn’t care less how you feel about that…. Besides, since it’s me, we just need to be aware of how simple it is to fill up space on the page, as I seem able to fill these intros, with pretty much nothing….

Of course, that’s a skill I’ve been developing now for close to three years, on this site; meeting the minimum introductory regulations has become almost second nature, not requiring all of my attention…. which probably shows in these little disasters I call the intro section. But, it DOES get the task completed, at least to the point each day where I am able to break free of it, and go on to finish the Pearl…. Given the methods I use, that is more of an accomplishment than it seems, though I’m not looking for kudos…. Just some new shoes…. and maybe a shot of two of Jack, when it’s quiet at night….

Shall we Pearl?…..

(1) You can’t win.
(2) You can’t break even.
(3) You can’t even quit the game.

— Ginsberg’s Theorem

Every major philosophy that attempts to make life seem meaningful is based on the negation of one part of Ginsberg’s Theorem. To wit:

(1) Capitalism is based on the assumption that you can win.
(2) Socialism is based on the assumption that you can break even.
(3) Mysticism is based on the assumption that you can quit the game.

— Freeman’s Commentary on Ginsberg’s theorem

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“Some people confuse boredom with security.” — Smart Bee

I seem to be unable to find any spare neurons this morning, to help me find some small degree of intellect, or imagination somewhere within the reaches of my mind…. Moreover, I can’t seem to work up the energy to care…. I’d like to rant, as there is always so much to rant about in today’s society, as the two segments of mankind continue at war…..

I’m talking about the war between those who want to control everything and everyone, and those who don’t…. Mostly, throughout our species short, bloody history, the bad guys have been winning; today, the gap between the wealthy, and the other 99% of humanity, is as wide as the Mississippi River during flood season, and growing wider each day….

This, of course, means that this section of today’s Pearl will be an old school variety indictment; it’s what we do here as a default, when ranting is an unattainable goal…. I have no apologies, but, I’m sure they are unnecessary, as it DOES spare you from having to listen to yet another seemingly endless diatribe against people who don’t give the slightest shit about anyone else…. Just take in these pearls, complete with comments, and you’ll get the same effect as if you’d listened to me spew…. Enjoy!…. or, not, as you wish…. just pay attention, please….

“One of these days in your travels, a guy is going to come up to you and show you a nice, brand- new deck of cards on which the seal is not yet broken, and this guy is going to offer to bet you that he can make the jack of spades jump out of the deck and squirt cider in your ear. But, son, do not bet this man, for as sure as you stand there, you are going to wind up with an earful of cider.” — Damon Runyon

(And when you’re standing there, with your earful of cider, and a stupid expression, you’ll realize you should never have elected him in the first place….)

“We cannot assert the innocence of anyone, whereas we can state with certainty the guilt of all. Every man testifies to the crime of all the others – that is my faith and hope.” — Albert Camus (1913-1960) — The Fall (1957)

(Albert was a bit of an optimist sometimes….)

“I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics but for our contributions to the human spirit.” — former US President John F. Kennedy

(Why am I skeptical of this? Oh, right, because he’s a politician, and he opened his mouth… ergo, it’s a foregone conclusion he lied….)

“Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.” — George Bernard Shaw

(Oops! How’d that get in here? Oh, well, they’re (politicians and preachers…) all of a kind, so, it can stay….)

For some reason the little Senators make us laugh.” — Smart Bee

(In my case, that’s a full-blown belly laugh, complete with red face, tears, and runny nose from laughing so hard….)

“A liar should have a good memory.” — Quintilian (42-118 AD) — Institutiones Oratoriae, i, iv, 2, 91

(Is a comment necessary? I think not…. We all know to whom this refers…. and his name is Barry…. or Joe…. or Dianne…. or Paul, or Rick, or George, or Mitch…. or Anthony….)

(The last name refers to Mr. Chief Justice of the scOTUS Scalia, who is more of a politician than a judge… Actually, he’d be what is known as an honest judge, defined as one who STAYS bought, once he’s been paid for….)

“Dogs, ye have had your day!” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book xxii, Line 41

(This last line, from Pope’s Odyssey, is wishful thinking on my part…. this is what I would LIKE to be able to say to any of those assholes I mentioned in the pearl above….)

Thus endeth this modified old-school pearl, picked fresh for your reading pleasure, with completely new, yet exciting comments to stimulate your….. well, to stimulate…. Onward, he said, rushing into the next room….

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I’ve been spending some time reading old Pearls, to get new ideas, and, as we have here, to find old ideas, or material, worth posting again…. This poem falls directly into that last category, as one of my favorites, and as one of the best ever written, in my estimation…. I hope you enjoy it….

First posted on 7/15/2012:

For me, one mark of a good poem, and poet, is when one finishes reading the last line, the mind does not immediately let go, but follows the train of thought created by the poem to its conclusion, whatever that may be for each individual reader. Frost is a master at that type of poem, to my mind…. There is so much power in the phrase, “But I wonder….”!…..    Enjoy!

A Brook In The City

The farmhouse lingers, though averse to square
With the new city street it has to wear
A number in. But what about the brook
That held the house as in an elbow-crook?
I ask as one who knew the brook, its strength
And impulse, having dipped a finger length
And made it leap my knuckle, having tossed
A flower to try its currents where they crossed.
The meadow grass could be cemented down
From growing under pavements of a town;
The apple trees be sent to hearth-stone flame.
Is water wood to serve a brook the same?
How else dispose of an immortal force
No longer needed? Staunch it at its source
With cinder loads dumped down? The brook was thrown
Deep in a sewer dungeon under stone
In fetid darkness still to live and run —
And all for nothing it had ever done
Except forget to go in fear perhaps.
No one would know except for ancient maps
That such a brook ran water. But I wonder
If from its being kept forever under,
The thoughts may not have risen that so keep
This new-built city from both work and sleep.
                                        
~~ Robert Frost ~~

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In the last few days, I’ve found some rather good old entries, in Pearls posted back a couple of years…. Some of them are worth a reprint, so, here is one of them, which is obviously the larval stage of a complete, adult religirant….. Enjoy!….

From 7/16/2012:

Okay, here is another “old-school” Pearl…. and yes, it makes a specific point. Read all of them, in order, and the message will be crystal clear…..

“The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent- slimy, sneaking and abominable. Since the earliest days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.” — H. L. Mencken

BIBLE : A bible is a book which one or more religions consider to be holy, and to be something that they should follow. It is of course generally rather impractical to follow books, not just because they  don’t often go anywhere, but also because they are not very good at public speaking, decision making, problem solving, or any of the other qualities recognized as being an advantage for leadership. A religion based around the teachings of any compilation of Toxic Custard would be very strange indeed. To subscribe to this new cult following, send $15 now. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“Angels, I read, belong to nine different orders. Seraphs are the highest; they are aflame with love for God; cherubs, who are second, possess perfect knowledge of him. So love is greater than knowledge; how could I have forgotten? The seraphs are born of a stream of fire issuing from under God’s throne… Moving perpetually toward God, they perpetually praise him, crying Holy, Holy, Holy… But, they can sing only the first ‘Holy’ before the intensity of their love ignites them again and dissolves them again, perpetually into flames. ‘Abandon everything,’ Dionysius the Areopagite told his disciple. ‘God despises ideas.’ — Annie Dillard, “Holy the Firm”

“Man has a single basic choice:  to think or not, and that is the measure of his virtue.  Moral perfection is an unbreached rationality — not the degree of your intelligence, but the full and relentless use of your mind, not the extent of your knowledge, but the acceptance of reason as an absolute.” — John Galt

“Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in their readiness to doubt.” — H. L. Mencken

“The sagacious reader who is capable of reading between these lines what does not stand written in them, but is nevertheless implied, will be able to form some conception.” — Goethe (1749-1832)  — Autobiography, Book xviii, Truth and Beauty

There you go…. I can’t make it any plainer than that…..

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

It’s probably a good thing my energy level is so low this morning…. I refrained from generating a discussion of the possible reasons for that (you can thank me later…), in order to keep from getting all wimpy, & to keep from wasting a lot of time whining about it, thus freeing me up to use that little bit of energy to put together the rest of today’s effort, a word definitely appropriate for what happened here…. Now I’m at the end, though, I’m at a loss for what to do…. This went together so fast, and so smoothly, it makes me nervous…. Ah well, it’s not as if I’ve never been THAT before… As I recall, there was this time in 1988….

Screw it, it’s done…. I’m not going to spend any more time second-guessing myself…. I’ll see you mañana ffolkes, provided we’re both lucky enough to get that far…..

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

dozer3

Complex & time-consuming? Try making felafel for the masses!….

Ffolkes,

“From the depths of Hell I will follow thee; to the heights of Heaven, and back, I will hate thee.” Weird, huh? Often, in these early morning sessions with the computer, phrases will come to me, out of nowhere, apparently, niggling at my mind for attention, until I either put them down, like the one at the head of this paragraph, or dismiss them to the limbo of wherever stuff like that goes when it is deleted….. As with a computer, deleting something doesn’t mean it goes completely away…. with a bit of finesse, we can even find such items, if we know where to look, and how to get there….

Now, if that isn’t obscure enough for you, I can try again…. I’m pretty sure, though, that I can’t possibly BE any more unclear as to just what the hell I’m talking about, or where we might go with it…. The funniest part of this particular opening is that it doesn’t matter at all whether it goes anywhere, or even whether or not it informs us of our destination, or not…. Yep, none of it matters at all, not in THIS reality, anyway…. Maybe if we were in some OTHER reality, where they cared about this stuff, we WOULD care about that, but, as it isn’t, we aren’t, so we don’t, and we won’t….

Aren’t, won’t, don’t, yep, that’s got it covered….There, that probably did the trick…. If you’re not confused yet, I’m doing this wrong…. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, this is Consensual Reality, not some cheap imitation, so you can expect that level of quality confusion with your order every time you grace our presence with yours….

Of course, that sort of luxury doesn’t come cheap, so the price is somewhat higher than the normal level of confusion you find here; we had to adjust all of our menu venues to reflect the new service levels, but, as I said, it was worth it, to keep that same high level of quality in whatever Reality we explore….

Not that we go too far afield; consensual MEANS we have to stay at least within sight of the parameters under which we operate, or we can’t claim any consensus….. But, it doesn’t mean we don’t get out of the box now and again, to go where no mind has gone before, just to see what it looks like out there on the fringes of human imagination…. and when we do, you can bet we’ll be taking y’all along for the ride, because, hey, that’s the kind of ffolkes we are….

Now that I’ve completely gone bonkers, again, I suppose I ought to start winding my way back toward that reality we share here in the cockpit, so I can at least complete the proper paperwork for our journey today…. I mean, it’s like Tommy Toilet always says, ffolkes…. “The job isn’t finished, until the paperwork is done!” With wit, and wisdom, such as that, how can you lose? Of course, it’s also good to remember what else Tommy reminded us about, when he said, “Remember to always wipe thoroughly, kids! Rectal itch is NO picnic!”…. Ya gotta love it, right?….

On THAT note, I think it would be best if we just slip quietly into the water, to begin our dive for pearls for the day, yes? Yes…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I might make you feel, but I can’t make you think.” — Gerald Bostock

“Oh, thou hast a damnable iteration, and art indeed able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon me Hal, God forgive thee for it. Before I knew thee Hal, I knew nothing, and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King Henry IV — Act i, Sc. 2

(I know, I know…. My opinion of Will is well-established, and well-known…. but, he wrote so damn much, SOME of it HAD to come out good!….. I’ll use ANYTHING, if it’s good….)

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

(Note: You will find a number of pearls scattered throughout the text of the following rant; they kept popping up AFTER it was done; each one fit so perfectly, I had to add them to the narrative at the appropriate points…. They actually do add quite a bit of punch to what is related, so, deal with it, okay?…. Thanks… We now return you to your regularly scheduled program….)

“That the gods superintend all the affairs of men, and that there are such beings as daemons.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Plato, xlii

Well, ffolkes, the wait is over…. at least, for now…. I found this article in the news yesterday, 4/26/2014….  My immediate reaction was to realize we had finally been graced by the boon of receiving word from our Beloved Leader, the potUS, His Most Puissant Self, Barry the Obama, of the planned next steps they will take, all of which I predicted weeks ago, in the ongoing saga of Eric Snowden’s revelations, the NSA, the White House, Congress, and the American public, which has been such riveting entertainment for so many months now….

http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/White-House-Discrimination-potential-in-data-use-5431708.php

“If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.” — Noam Chomsky

“President Barack Obama requested the review in January, when he called for changes to some of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs that amass large amounts of data belonging to Americans and foreigners. …… The technology that enabled those programs also enables others used in the government and the private sector. The White House separately has reviewed the NSA programs and proposed changes to rein in the massive collection of Americans’ phone records and emails.” — excerpted, verbatim, from the above article

It seems the White House, and the shadowy corporate masters who “advise” them over there, have, in their infinite wisdom, decided how to address the public’s fears about how they are spying on them, and how the data they have stolen is to be used…. In this article, in essence, they artfully begin to lay the groundwork for their next set of lies, preparing the public’s perceptions to be distracted by what is essentially the same scam they pulled after 9/11…..

Thanks to the candor of Herr Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring, exhibited in his statements at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII, we know this is is easily accomplished, by fanning the public’s fears of what CAN happen, thus convincing them they are working to protect them from the depredations that MAY, potentially, disrupt their feelings of security, giving lie to their sense of false entitlement, to a life without thought, danger, or, ultimately, liberty…. Lots of security, but no freedom, you know? Just the way the corporate masters like it….

“Ignorance is no excuse — it’s the real thing.’ — Irene Peter

The above excerpt from the article states that the President called for changes to what the NSA was doing…. It says that right out, just as if it were true…. Well, no, ffolkes, I hate to point this out, but, actually, he didn’t…. Back a few months, in January, after the most recent disclosures of the extent of the spying came out, he did make one (Yep, that’s one…. 1….) suggestion for a change, one that, in reality, had no teeth to it whatsoever…. but, by all the evidence to date, that one, I’m pretty certain, never got instituted, either, just suggested…. If it did, THAT information wasn’t published anywhere I was able to find…

Nothing of what the NSA has been doing in the last ten years has changed at all, as far as I can see…. There have been lots of noisy, vague statements made, all talking loudly and insistently about changes, but, to my knowledge, no actual reforms were ever actually instituted…. Go ahead, check that out…. I’ll wait while you do, because I know it won’t take long to discover there isn’t anything to find…. It’s perfectly true, you know….

The government has made lots of noise about it, but, there has been absolutely nothing done or said, anywhere, that actually states that the laws, that enable the NSA and their cohorts to do what they do, have been changed at all…. Not a bit, nowhere…. I’ve been watching….

There have been deliberately timed articles stating This, That, or The Other, but, none of them have claimed to report any actual changes, just the noise that both parties are making over it…. Fake arguments between the Senate and the CIA are not changes, nor are they anything other than distractions, designed to get people thinking along certain lines, which will lead them where the administration wants them to go….

Now, after the matter is beginning to fade from the public’s consciousness, they come out with this article, which seems to be yet another attempt to get me to believe that something is actually happening, or has been…. when all that has been taking place, in reality, are a lot of strategy sessions, where groups of spin doctors put together their pointy heads to figure out how to approach the task of altering the public perception of what has taken place, and what continues to take place, in the shadows, where the public cannot see, thanks to the blanket of secrecy thrown over the whole mess by the White House, and the rest of the 455 assholes who think they have the fucking right to impose their own beliefs on the other 300 million of us who live here….

Whew! Sorry, ffolkes, sometimes I forget to take a breath, and the sentence in which I’m stuck goes on forever…. Any who… onward….

The decision as to how to handle the hullabaloo, as it appears from the evidence in this article, seems to be to fan the flames of fear in the public, telling them how many different ways the data that has been stolen, and continues to be collected, can be used to compromise their well-being….

Back when I was in high school history class, learning about the early days of the Information Age, (they called it the Cold War back then….), this was known as “propaganda”, ffolkes…. and, theoretically, it was something the governments of OTHER countries engaged in, not ours….

In my history classes, we were taught to recognize these essentially “communist” techniques of mind control, so we could resist them…. The examples we saw were just like these info-bits with which we are now being insulted, straight from the White House lackey’s statements…. Large, impressively overblown, inflammatory statements of dubious plausibility, designed to create fear, of the unknown, or of the unknown “other”, in the hearer, without the superfluous need to tell anything resembling the truth…. It only needs to SOUND as if it could be true….

“Creative semantics is the key to contemporary government; it consists of talking in strange tongues lest the public learn the inevitable inconveniently early.” — George Will

I’m sorry, but they aren’t telling me anything I didn’t already know about their data collection; anyone with any technical knowledge at all knows what CAN be done (which is just about anything, if you throw enough money at it….), so, telling me how many ways the information is potentially harmful is NOT making changes; it is deliberate fear-mongering, and not even particularly well-disguised mongering, at that…..

In case you couldn’t tell, this has pissed me off royally…. It’s all just more posturing and noise by the BRC and their lackeys & myrmidons; nothing is actually changing at all…. Only their story, which they will change ad lib, as they blatantly attempt to transform the lies they’ve told already, from those folks might not want to believe, into something people WILL buy into, thus proving, again, how gullible is the public, and how egregiously unscrupulous are those who pretend to care about serving that public….

Just in case you might think this is all new subject matter for me, I give you now a short diatribe, against the same group of unscrupulous assholes as those who stimulated the above rant, but, written over two years ago, posted on the date shown, here on this blog…. It fits right in with the above, and it’s been sitting around, asking to be included in another Pearl for some days now, so, you get it today, as a bonus, and as added evidence of what I contend in the current missive….

From 3/28/12:

“By calling attention to ‘a well regulated militia’, the ‘security’ of the nation, and the right of each citizen ‘to keep and bear arms’, our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation, the Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country.  For that reason, I believe the Second Amendment will always be important.” — April, 1960 (Then) Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)

President Kennedy was a pretty smart guy; not exactly the most ethical bulb in the box, but he had his head screwed on his shoulders fairly solidly. He also took the unusual political stance of actually wanting the American people to have a chance at what they deserve, and are promised by our form of government, i.e., a shot at “the pursuit of happiness”…..

However, in this statement, he makes an unwarranted and dangerous assumption, to wit: “it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation.”  Jack was an optimist…. and as is often the case, the pessimists were closer to right on this one…..

Our rights are in imminent and clear danger of being abrogated, permanently. This is an indisputable fact. This kind of fact is provided with partial proof of its truth by the reaction of those responsible for this subtle attack on our legacy of freedom, who, when confronted with knowledge of their intent, immediately accuse the confronting entity of “spreading communist propaganda”, or “attacking the principles of freedom” or my favorite complete lie, “you’re threatening our national security.”

It’s would be somewhat amusing, if it weren’t so dangerously disgusting…. I mean, do they really expect the American people to sit around and do NOTHING?  I kind of hope they do believe that…. it will be then a bigger surprise to them, when the American people stand up, point their gun at the head of these idiots, and take their rights back….. call me treasonous if you will; I call it patriotism, of the first water…..

“Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the First, his Cromwell; and George the Third [“Treason!” cried the Speaker]–may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.” — Patrick Henry (1736-1799) — Speech in the Virginia Convention, 1765

Quemadmoeum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.  [A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killers hands.] — Lucius Annaeus Seneca “the younger” ca. 4 BC – 65 AD

“You can lead a yak to water but you can’t teach an old dog to make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke.” — Opus

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

Since the first section combines a new rant with an old one, I figure a reprint of a full second section wouldn’t be inappropriate today…. Hence, the following….. which you will find to be mercifully short….

From 12/15/12:

“Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave.” — James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Seasons, Winter, Line 393

The only possible comment is the same word that made up the first thought in my head when I read this… WOW…. Such an incredibly powerful line, so gripping and real, it makes me as jealous as I allow myself to feel. To write such a phrase would be enough for me; I could die happy. I’ll do so anyway, (die happy, that is….), just to spite Murphy, but, if I can write one line half as strong as this, I’ll be content, for sure…. Here is something that came to me last night…. at least, it began last night…..

Territorial imperative….

Beauty must define,

as augment to existence,
  as life must be
more than mere subsistence.
Nature demands more.
Truth helps.

~~ gigoid ~~


It ain’t long, but it’s much…. and better for being so, rather than the reverse….. Just as an afterthought to this section, I offer the following as proof that even genius can feel insecurity and jealousy….

“There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

There you go…. Even as smart a guy as Oscar could fall prey to the weaker emotions, eh? We all do stuff that, upon reflection, we may wish we hadn’t…. It doesn’t mean we’re bad, just momentarily weak…. What matters is how we react to that weakness; do we accept it as part of our nature, or work to change it? That, I believe, is just as, if not more, critical to becoming the person we are most desirous of being…. Well, it works for me, anyway, and that will have to do, won’t it?….. Onward…..

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

The rant in section one today was actually written yesterday; when I saw that article, my outrage exploded, and what you see above poured out in about ten minutes or so; it’s all been in there percolating since January, or longer, so, it flowed right out, just the way I like a rant to do…. As a reward, for you, and for me, here is an old-school, random harlequin style pearl, fresh as the day is long…. Abondanza!…..

Joshu asked the teacher Nansen, “What is the True Way?”

Nansen answered, “Every way is the true Way.”

Joshu asked, “Can I study it?”

Nansen answered, “The more you study, the further from the Way.”

Joshu asked, “If I don’t study it, how can I know it?”

Nansen answered, “The Way does not belong to things seen: nor to things  unseen. It does not belong to things known: nor to things unknown. Do not  seek it, study it, or name it. To find yourself on it, open yourself as wide as the sky.”

— Smart Bee Tzu

“If you go to a gunfight, take a gun” — Charles Nichols’ Law

“Lord, how the day passes! It’s like a life – so quickly when we don’t watch it, and so slowly if we do.” — John Steinbeck

Uhura: “This isn’t reality…this is fantasy!” — “Star Trek III:The Search For Spock, Stardate 8210.

“Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“In the world there are only two tragedies.  One is not getting what one wants and the other is getting it.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

And, last, but, most certainly, NOT least…..

“Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.” — J. R. “Bob” Dobbs

Well, there you go…. Such as it is, this pearl is what I like to think of as “special”, but, not for the reason you may think…. In fact, there isn’t any reason at all, just as there is no justification for such inanity before dawn…. But, at least we’ve stuck to inanity, without tipping over into insanity…. This is good, yes? Yes….

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

I am almost afraid to look at this one; it felt pretty powerful coming out, so I don’t know how it will come across… I suppose I’ll have to trust myself, at least that far…. So be it…. Okay, I’m confused, and so, too, will you be, in the end…..

My work here is done, ffolkes….. See ya…..

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

dozer3

It’s too late for the pilot program; use the spare shuttlecraft….

Ffolkes,

So much for consistency…. It’s 0530 in the AM, and I’m up, wondering again how to kill the fear, and begin writing….. I did sleep well, again, but, went to bed at 8 PM, so I’m up early, too, putting myself back on the early morning routine, hopefully…. It’s what I’m used to, and the coffee machine is already set to go off at 5, so, it all works out well, as long as I’ve done my part, and gotten the sleep I need…. Of late, that has been the easy part, now I’ll see how I can do at regulating it…

I’m wondering though, just how much y’all want to hear about my early morning sleeping habits…. I’ve a feeling that may just be the final straw for some, crossing over the line of personal chattiness into intimacy, which is going too far, inarguably….. It’s a conundrum I’ve noted lately, that blogging tends to loosen one’s tongue about personal information, giving away what is probably too much for the internet…. I’m not particularly vulnerable, myself, but, for many, giving up too much can lead to issues with unscrupulous individuals, who have learned how to use the internet to troll for victims, for robbery, theft, sexual crimes, or whatever else the dark side of human nature comes up with to victimize another human….

As I said, I’m not as vulnerable as some might be, since I AM a male, and trained to deal with that sort of people, by experience…. but, there are many who are not so protected by experience, or by being protected by others…. Older women, or men, who cannot think as fast as they used to, can become the victims of fast talking scam artists, who get them to give up their address, then rob them, or use their information to steal their bank accounts, or other types of identity theft…. Young women and/or children can be subject to sexual predators, who find their victims online by pretending to be a safe individual, of their own age…. I often consider answering such trolls, and meeting them, to give THEM a taste of the fear they engender in their victims…..

Sadly, computers have opened up an entire new subset of crimes, ones that are perpetrated online, or are carried out using information obtained online by technically savvy criminals…. and this time, I’m NOT talking about the government, even though I regard their spying to be just as criminal as identity theft, or rape, or any other crime where the victim is harmed by their actions….. No, there are plenty of criminals out there who DON’T wear suits and ties, and who don’t talk on TV…. the one’s on TV are just the legally sanctioned criminals; they’ve been approved by the voters to steal from them as needed….

Is that a rant? Can I count that? If so, I can leave off finding one for a later section…. I’ll check with the umpires…. In the meantime, I think I’ve managed to get enough down to cal this a legal intro, don’t you? Four full paragraphs, full of next to nothing, should qualify…. I got CLOSE to an actual subject, but, never really got fully engaged in discussing it, so it’s good for an intro, and meets all the other ridiculous standards they apply, though even they can’t tell me…. It’s gotten so I don’t much care, as long as they just stamp my stuff as approved, and move on down the line…. which is where we need to get to….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I’ve reached that age when a good day is one when you get up and nothing hurts.” — H. Martin
_____________________________

So far, it’s a good day…. As such, we’ll treat it as if it were a real day, just like any other…. we shall go forth, and gather pearls, to be spread out for the enjoyment of our Gentle Readers, such as they are, with love and generosity our only motivation…. Like the Dalai Lama said, boys and girls, “Our purpose in this life is to help one another, and if we cannot help, at least do no harm.”…. I like that…..

“I find your faith in reality rather amusing.” — gigoid

“In an insane society, the sane man must appear insane.” — Spock

“Advise is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least.” — Lord Chesterfield

“One of the sayings of Diogenes was that most men were within a finger’s breadth of being mad; for if a man walked with his middle finger pointing out, folks would think him mad, but not so if it were his forefinger.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Diogenes, vi

Dennis, Nell, Edna, Leon, Nedra, Anita, Rolf, Nora, Alice, Carol, Leo, Jane, Reed, Dena, Dale, Basil, Rae, Penny, Lana, Dave, Denny, Lena, Ida, Bernadette, Ben, Ray, Lila, Nina, Jo, Ira, Mara, Sara, Mario, Jan, Ina, Lily, Arne, Betty, Dan, Reba, Diane, Lynn, Ed, Eva, Dana, Lynne, Pearl, Isabel, Ada, Ned,  Dee, Rena, Joel, Lora, Cecil, Aaron, Flora, Tina, Arden, Noel, and Ellen sinned. — Smart Bee sez…

“Guy Fawkes was the sanest man who ever went into the Houses of Parliament – and look what happened to him.” — Smart Bee

“‘But he hasn’t got any clothes on,’ a little boy said.” — from The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen

Some days, this process works better than others, even if the keyboard is getting so old the space bar sticks…. Today, it worked better…. Just so you are aware of it…. this is a very, very good pearl, one that makes a very cogent, and very critical statement of how to approach daily living in a way so as to almost guarantee, if not success, then contentment, or satisfaction, at the very least….. I swear!….. Trust me!….
_____________________________

I am becoming more and more enamored of the poetry of this man…. Everything I’ve seen of what he wrote has that unmistakable feeling of being REAL…. which, to me, is irresistible…..

The Aliens

you may not believe it
but there are people
who go through life with
very little
friction or
distress.
they dress well, eat
well, sleep well.
they are contented with
their family
life.
they have moments of
grief
but all in all
they are undisturbed
and often feel
very good.
and when they die
it is an easy
death, usually in their
sleep.
you may not believe
it
but such people do
exist.
but I am not one of
them.
oh no, I am not one
of them,
I am not even near
to being
one of
them
but they are
there
and I am
here.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

_____________________________

I’m feeling more than just a little lazy, and, at the same time, a bit ambitious…. so, I’ll resort to cheating, and pull a bit of both out of the archives…. Here are TWO rants, one a politirant on the Second Amendment, and a religirant, both written way back in March of 2012, in the same Pearl… Both are pretty good, and both are still valid, in terms of the current world’s status on both these arenas of public concern…. So, enjoy this rather long pair of treats from the past…. I did….

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

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  — Romans 12:1

“Reasonable service”  Hmm…. it seems to me that whoever wrote this should probably turn in his divine channeling papers, because all of his sense of proportion and believability just went flying out the window when this got put onto parchment back in the day. I mean, give me a break!  “your bodies a living sacrifice” is “reasonable service”.  Well, if you have the kind of mind that will accept that at face value, then I am compelled by compassion, fueled only by a deep desire to help my fellow man, to inform you of a special deal, a deal you won’t be able to pass up….

That’s right, folks (note the spelling, please), today only, you too can be the envy of your neighbors, the hero of the housing tract, the cock o’the walk, as it were. Today, and today only (we already have our ticket for the bus to Bakersfield leaving at midnight….)  you can join those millions of people have taken advantage of this EXCLUSIVE OFFER! For the next few minutes our operators will be taking orders for this deal of a lifetime, C.O.D only; no checks, no credit, no problem. What, you may ask, could be so wonderful, so glamorous, so blatantly gluttonous that EVERYONE wants one?

Well, I’ll tell you…. how would you feel to know that, thanks to your own good sense, and the wonders of human ingenuity, you were the first in your area to be the proud owner of…. wait for it….  your own, exclusive jar, filled to the brim, with GOD’s OWN ETERNAL LOVE! That’s right, you heard me correctly. For the insanely low price we are asking, you’ll have to agree that we are practically giving away this priceless commodity; you won’t find this deal matched anywhere.

What is this essentially negligible price, you ask? Just how crazy are these guys? We’re pretty cagey, er, crazy, that’s for sure. Today only, we are asking for a mere lifetime, and a mere 75% eternal, commitment of your entire soul, and the mineral and artistic rights to your firstborn child, whether a son or daughter. That’s right! An entire mason jar, filled to the brim with the priceless boon of God’s own eternal love, for the almost unnoticeable price we are seeking, would normally run you not only what we have asked, but also want you to throw in your wife,  guarantee the rest of your children’s yearly incomes for life, and toss in a few succeeding generations as well. But today, and today only, you too can join those exclusive few who are privileged to have their very own centerpiece for the family altar, for the bargain price of one soul, and consumer rights on a child.

How can you lose? And how can you afford to pass up this opportunity to advance your standing in the eyes of your peers, as well as the eyes of God?  You can’t, so pony up, sucker!…. Hahahahahahahahahaahahahaha!….  Oops, sorry, didn’t mean to splatter….
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“By calling attention to ‘a well regulated militia’, the ‘security’ of the nation, and the right of each citizen ‘to keep and bear arms’, our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation, the Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country.  For that reason, I believe the Second Amendment will always be important.” — April, 1960 (Then) Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)

Jack Kennedy was a pretty smart guy; after all, he did graduate from Harvard Law. Admittedly, he was not exactly the most ethical bulb in the box, but he had his head screwed on his shoulders fairly solidly, and had the unusual political stance of actually wanting the American people to have a decent chance at what they deserve, and are promised by our form of government, i.e., a shot at “the pursuit of happiness”….. However, in this statement, he makes an unwarranted and dangerous assumption, to wit: “it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation.”  Jack was an optimist…. and as is often the case, the pessimists were closer to right on this one….

Our rights are in imminent and clear danger of being abrogated, permanently. This is an indisputable fact. I have pictures, as well as copious documentation, of their own documents of erasure. This kind of fact is also provided with further partial proof of its truth by the reaction of those responsible for this subtle attack on our legacy of freedom, who, when confronted with knowledge of their intent, immediately accuse the confronting entity of “spreading communist (oops, I guess today they would now use the ubiquitous “terrorist”) propaganda”, or “attacking the principles of freedom” or my favorite complete lie, “you’re threatening our national security.”

It would be somewhat amusing, if it weren’t so dangerously disgusting…. I mean, do they really expect the American people to sit around and do NOTHING?  I kind of hope they do believe that…. it will be then a bigger surprise to them, when the American people stand up, point their guns at the heads of these idiots, walk back into the voting booths, and take their rights back, from the Democrats AND the Republicans, who are all arguably insane…. call me treasonous if you will; I call it patriotism, of the first water….

“Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the First, his Cromwell; and George the Third [“Treason!” cried the Speaker] – may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.” — Patrick Henry (1736-1799) — Speech in the Virginia Convention, 1765

(In today’s scenario, substitute, George the Shrub and Shrub II for George III)

“You can lead a yak to water but you can’t teach an old dog to make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke.” — Opus
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Well, that’s no doubt enough, for even the most dedicated reader….. If they can’t find something to like in this mess, they won’t be finding it at all, at all…. Let’s see if it flies like a pig, or like a pigeon….

I’ll be damned! (Well, there’s little doubt of that, but, you know what I mean….) It actually flies, but, more like a bumblebee than anything else! By that, I mean, it’s aerodynamically unsound, not fit or designed for flight, but, hey, there it goes, trundling off, wings a-buzzing, wending it’s clumsy but effective path through the sky from place to place, never getting lost, and always coming home drunk, covered with pollen from all the flowers it’s been flirting with…. In short, it’s ugly, it’s a dog, but, it flies…. badly, but, it flies….  and, so, dear Gentle Reader, does this Pearl, because I’m shoving it out of the tree to sink or swim on its own…. Y’all can yell at me tomorrow, okay?  See ya…..

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Fighting by the Duke’s rules….

Ffolkes,

I am forced by law, and by custom, at this point, to give fair warning to all who stop in to read today…..  Lack of inspiration, though it is a constant companion to me, troubling my existence every day, has yet to keep me from creating these Pearls, in spite of the fact I’ve yet to discover a logical, or, for that matter, an illogical reason why that should be…. Nonetheless, it won’t keep me from writing today, either, even if it IS the most daunting lack I’ve yet encountered, in the going-on-three-years I’ve been putting myself, and y’all, through this exhausting, yet completely enervating process, each and every morning (minus a handful…).

Such lack has never kept me from producing, (one could even say over-producing), episode after episode of Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, with nary a repeat among them, aside from the occasional trip to the archives that all blogs rely on in times of material shortages, or, perhaps, the sometimes redundant subject matter….. I’ve only had to resort to archive/dumpster-diving a couple of times, usually when I’m physically under the weather, so, I’m happy about that….

My warning is this…. on days like today, when the freshness of what I write is suspect, due to the absence of any kind of creative spark, you may literally see just about anything at all show up here, with or without taco sauce, and certainly without salsa. I mean, I COULD supply the salsa, but, the tomato crop this year was terrible…. I wouldn’t feel too badly about this, if I were you; there’s really no downside to it…. I don’t have to make salsa, or taco sauce, and y’all don’t have to put up with any of my usual boring blather…. Of course, you DO have to put up with THIS boring blather, but, hey, a guy’s got to live, right? Right….

So, with said warning delivered, thus making it no longer implied, but expressed, I could legally go on into the Pearl’s body, and start tattooing for all I’m worth. That is, if I could tattoo at all…. Sadly, the most complex drawing (sketching, painting, whatever, it’s all a mystery to me….) I can do involves a simple tree, from a distance, so there aren’t any particular details to supply, with some mountain shapes in the background, for perspective, as it were….. It’s pretty primitive, believe me; I’ll never get a job as a police artist, drawing faces…. All of my faces look like the smiley face we see everywhere these days…. just a round circle, with two dots for eyes, and a curved line for the nose and mouth. Maybe a couple of half-circles if I want ears, or a crown of squiggly lines for hair….. It looks a lot like Charlie Brown’s head, wearing a bowl of spaghetti, to be honest, but without the detail….

Wait a minute! What if I broke precedent, and started a piece here that is full of dignity, and decorum, with just the right amount of reasoned discourse, all pointing to a logical, beneficial idea that everyone can appreciate and enjoy, using the concepts to improve their lives, and the lives of others?…. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?…. Now, if I could only find some dignity, or decorum, or reasonable ideas, I’d be good to go. Instead, I’m reduced to this, just babbling away, putting down as many useless words as I do words that mean something, just to take up the space needed to call this a legal intro….

Which, you will please note, we have once again done, and done quite well…. I’ve managed to put out five entire paragraphs of inane, chatty, intimate, yet meaningless prose, full of bad jokes and worse analogies, all for the purpose of filling in space. What can I say? It’s a gift….

Shall we Pearl?…. Have no fear, we shall, we shall, indeed, pearl our little hearts out…… In fact, here is an excellent pearl to start the day….

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, Who are you not to be?  You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.  It is not just some of us. It’s in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  as we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love — (widely mis-attributed to Nelson Mandela’s 1994 inaugural speech)   

All true, but, remember, you are not a child of God…. Thou art God…. It all remains the same….
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There are times, such as today, when a pearl will write itself, over all my objections…. When I began to collect this group, I saw right away it would be troublesome, from a logical, reasonable point of view. Then it really went south, but by that time, I could see where it was trying to go, so I let it have its head…. This is the resulting mess, for which I refuse to take full responsibility…. It’s not my fault! The dog ate my homework! The cat puked on my notes! I got married!…. Well, none of that actually happened, but, I’m not sure I want the responsibility for this one anyway…. Oh well, so be it… It’s really not bad, if you keep your eyes screwed up with the correct degree of silliness….

“Alexander [the Great] asked Diogenes if there was anything in the world he wanted. Diogenes, without looking up, replied: `Yes. Get out of my light.'” — Plutarch

“I am a traffic light, and Alan Ginzberg kidnapped my laundry in 1927!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands — even for beneficial purposes — will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.” — John Stuart Mill (1806 to 1873, English philosopher and reformer)

“Now the trumpet summons us again — not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need — not as a call to battle, though embattled we are — but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation” — a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.” — John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)

“If you can’t fight and you can’t flee…FLOW” — Smart Bee

“Everybody has something to conceal.” — Humphrey Bogart

Who combats bravely is not therefore brave,
He dreads a death-bed like the meanest slave:
Who reasons wisely is not therefore wise,–
His pride in reasoning, not in acting lies.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Moral Essays, Epistle i, Line 115

See what I meant? Sheesh, it’s not as if we were TOTALLY obstreperous to the Pope, or to our Vatican chaperons…. and they got a good tip, didn’t they? They did, so you can’t blame me if it all fell apart….. I’m not sure, but, we may be nearing some sort of black hole in time and space…. I’m starting to feel a bit of cosmic twisting….
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Whom to pick, in the face of cosmic upheaval?….. In such times, I enjoy the way this poet points me in the right direction, toward the center….

Alone Looking at the Mountain

All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other –
Only the mountain and I.

~~ Li Po ~~

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According to my usual modus operandi, this section would, and may yet be, a rant of some nature. It’s been a while since I took any real shots at the churches, but, then, they are a bit less of a worthy target than are the politicians of the world.

Let us not even begin to think about how the shadowy master class of corporate vampires deserve all the disdain, vituperation, and vicious criticism we can heap upon their nasty little heads; whatever we do will never be enough to pay them back for the damage they’ve done to others, and to our world in general….

No, I’d say I have no real lack of usual targets for my critical regard…. What I have is a lack of angst and/or emotional drama to drive that big ol’ truck…. The one I’d like to flatten them with, as they cross my road to the future….

It would be simple to cruise over to a news site, and pick up a current headline or two to work with; there’s no lack of material there, for sure. Even that doesn’t attract my interest; I guess my birthday gave me a good enough chance to get a lot of that out, and there’s not enough left today to drive any further attempts at ranting….

Too bad, actually, as I did have some rather interesting introspective moments yesterday, as the import of my increasing age grew in my thoughts, taking on a deeper meaning than is usual for me during my day…. I love when that happens, though, even if the contentment and serenity it brings me is such that I don’t want to write about it…. It feels too good to talk about it…. Kind of how a joke is like a frog; if you take either one apart to try to figure it out, they both die….

Since I wouldn’t want anyone with the discrete sensibilities of my Gentle Readers to be confronted with that kind of issue, I’ll just fade back ten yards, and punt…. Here is another old-school pearl for your delectation…. Since I’m not ranting about anything today, I’ll let Smart Bee pick out which pearls it thinks should be included, with, possibly, a few comments of my own, in parentheses to avoid any further confusion….. Remember, ffolkes, this is VIRTUAL wisdom…. don’t try to use it as if it were real….

“If you dig a deep enough hole, someone will want to jump in.” — Smart Bee

(It’s always good to start off strong….)

“My indignation, like th’ imprisoned fire, pent in the troubled breast of Aetna, burnt deep and silent.” — Thomson

(SIGH…. if only it had, we’d have a rant today…..  😦    )   😆

“The silence drew off, baring the pebbles and shells and all the tatty wreckage of my life. Then, at the rim of vision, it gathered itself, and in one sweeping tide, rushed me to sleep.” — Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar

(At first I thought this was here just because it’s so bloody brilliant, in both content and style of execution… Astounding imagery, and powerful yet simple language, expressed with such beauty, the heart aches with it….. It also stretches beyond that, into the outer reaches of credibility and connection, to form a tenuous bond with reality, right here in this pearl…. Amazing, isn’t it?….)

“When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong.  The minority are right.” — Eugene V. Debs

(Mr. Debs, a political activist and reformer in the early twentieth century, had a lot of interesting things to say, many of them equally as true as this one…. If you have the time, look him up; smart guy…..)

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” — C. G. Jung

(Yep….)

“We would like to apologize for the way in which politicians are represented in this programme.  It was never our intention to imply that politicians are weak-kneed, political time-servers who are more concerned with their personal vendettas and private power struggles than the problems of government, nor to suggest at any point that they sacrifice their credibility by denying free debate on vital matters in the mistaken impression that party unity comes before the well-being of the people they supposedly represent, nor to imply at any stage that they are squabbling little toadies without an ounce of concern for the vital social problems of today.  Nor indeed do we intend that viewers should consider them as crabby ulcerous little self-seeking vermin with furry legs and an excessive addiction to alcohol and certain explicit sexual practices which some people might find offensive.  We are sorry if this impression has come across.” — Monty Python

(Actually, this sums up my opinion of 99% of the politicians I see in public, with incredible accuracy….)

(No apology from me is, or ever will be, tendered for making these assertions, either…. fuck ’em all……)

(When I say, “fuck them all”, I’d like to be clear that I don’t intend that in any positive way at all…. What I mean is, FUCK THEM ALL!!!…. and the white horse they say they rode in on, too…..)

“And never, ever cut a deal with a dragon.” — Smart Bee

(I’m with SB on this one…. The last pearl brings all the rest together perfectly, while at the same time reminding us that we already know the important stuff… I mean, it’s just common sense, right? Any dragon master knows this…..)
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What we have here, today, is living proof that age does NOT imply sanity, or vice versa…. Nor does it imply having enough sense to keep one’s mouth shut, once it has begun spewing…. Nevertheless, it’s finished…. let’s see if it’s done….

Boy, is it ever! I wouldn’t touch that with someone else’s hands, even with gloves…. Not toxic, I’d say, but definitely subversive, in its own little way…. Good enough for my loose standards, so, we’ll get on with the rest of the day now, and let this die a natural death…. See ya….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Another in a long line of wretched laundry confessions….

Ffolkes,

Since it’s already six of one, I’m going to assume that it’s also half dozen of another, and, in spite of how it may seem, or whether or not it is ethical, or moral, or not, that’s the way it will stay. There isn’t a damn thing a single one of us can do about it, so any reluctance to acknowledge this state of affairs can only lead to difficulties for you, and, more critically, for your immediate family…. Sorry, but, natural law is natural law, and there is nothing any of us can do about it, is there? Try to capitulate with some grace, and be a credit to your family, eh?

Nonsense and snide innuendo aside, how y’all doin’? It’s been an interesting two or three days, what with moving, landlord bullying, and internet epiphanies, so I’ll try to correlate some of the more outré information into a palatable format, thus turning shit into jewelry (crap –> pearls). Or not, I’m not sure, and I definitely don’t care HOW it happens, as long as it happens, and does so without bloodshed. I’m running out of bandaging material, or I wouldn’t even care about the blood, so, since I’m strewing BS all over the place at an alarming rate already, we’ll go on, to save resources…

Where, you may ask? Where, indeed…. we are off into the wilds of gigoid’s brain, where there is no telling just what we may find in the nature of biting criticism of humanity’s most dishonorable, shady behaviors (especially as perpetrated by those who would be seen as our leaders…), elegant verse (well, I DO post other poets!….), gut-busting humor, and crunchy, healthful, and flavorful snacks….

Okay, so I’m a bit delusional this morning; it’s a natural defense against getting up so early, which, having failed to keep me asleep, inevitably turns to the bag of tricks furnished by a long history of insane thought patterns, along with years and years of exposure to the most virulently insane folks on the planet, when I worked as a psychotherapist…..

But, I digress…. I think…. Is it possible to digress, when one is already lost in space, and time? Hmm, I’ll have to think about that one, one of these days…. In the meantime, I should probably think about getting started with today’s Pearl…. We are fairly well settled in to the new place, and the cat is now a happy camper, with three more rooms in which to practice her psycho-kitty skills, and an extra person to bedevil…. There are only four more boxes of stuff to put away, and a bed to buy….. otherwise, we are good to go, and much more content to be in a building with only one quiet neighbor, instead of 16, comprised of people displaying diverse levels of ignorance, as well as a significant number with unfortunate taste in music . It’s a good thing, yes, it is….

It is now 0540, and I have the entire day ahead of me…. which, I just realized, is one of my favorite things, because these moments are filled with potential…. nothing is yet determined, and the day is mine to do with as I please…. It’s nice to start it with a kiss from a beautiful blonde, too… Since the day is starting so well, and I have wandered sufficiently around my head for the intro section to reach the legal limit, I’m going to make like a tree, and leave…. Ouch, sorry, didn’t mean to get so old and corny…. it just sort of sounded right, but, next time, I’ll go more modern, and save the corn to cook with…. (Sorry again…. couldn’t help it…)

Shall we Pearl?

“A string of excited, fugitive, miscellaneous pleasures is not happiness; happiness resides in imaginative reflection and judgment, when the picture of one’s life, or of human life, as it truly has been or is, satisfies the will, and is gladly accepted.” — George Santayana
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“The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this very afternoon.” — John F. Kennedy

What a great little anecdote! I love to see a great life lesson told in a few short words…. Here is a perfect description of the attitude one requires to achieve happiness…. Yes, happiness, an old word, one bandied about much by the uninformed, and the unhappy…. Happy people never need to use the word itself, as they are just…. there. There is little need to think about being happy, when you are, and in fact, not thinking about it is one of the keys to holding it, once found…. Sadly, it is a rare person in today’s world who can sustain long periods where they feel happy the entire time; the world intrudes too much into our lives to give us leave to be happy, unless we know the secret…..

Yes, there’s a secret….. Of course, it’s the kind of secret that is hidden right in plain sight, like Poe’s Purloined Letter. It only requires that one be willing to accept it, and to allow it to enter into one’s spirit, suffusing the world in the less harsh light of contentment, rather than the cold, hard light of resentment. People tend to be like the gardener, blocking their own happiness by finding all kinds of reasons to NOT allow it entry into their world. As humans, we are taught at young age to view reality with stoicism, and mute, unquestioning acceptance of our lot; we are shown all the ways to look ahead, to see the worst of what can happen, in order to be prepared….

But, there is another way to approach the matter, one little known, and therefore little taught…Reality is a tough go, for sure, but, with a little bit of mental effort, much easier than the alternative, one can be in control of how it (Reality) affects one’s life. In short, Life treats us all like shit; what determines how much of it gets in our sandwich depends solely on us, and how we react to that shit…. We can slap the shit between two slices of bread, and choke it down…. or, we can use it as fertilizer, to grow some rather nice weed…. potent, and good for you….

Whatever one decides, the choice remains, as long as one is aware of the options. The problem with most folks is, they don’t see the options, or they don’t believe they will work, as their attitudes keep them from even trying a lot of new ways to do things. I won’t say it is this way for all people, but the greatest majority of people I see in the world are unhappy, without ever realizing that a) they don’t have to be unhappy, and b) being happy is within their power to choose…. It’s too bad, really, because that unhappiness is part of what makes people go wonky, losing integrity, honor, and any sense of morality, in order to reach for an illusion, an illusion of happiness that, even if grasped, will drift away and vanish, like smoke in a breeze….

This little mini-diatribe was intended to be more…. more clear, more inspiring, more helpful in getting people to think in different ways…. However, I seem to have lost that thread, and it’s getting a bit obscure, and thick…. So, I’m going to switch to old-school, and politely ask Smart Bee to give me the right words to accomplish that intent, without having to subject y’all to another thousand words of pedantic persuasion…. Well, that’s how it’s supposed  to work, anyway…. If not, at least it will have been more palatable, with more chocolate chips….

“Going to bed with a woman never hurt a ballplayer. It’s staying up all night looking for them that does you in.” — Casey Stengel

“Pizza is a lot like sex.  When it’s good, it’s really good.  When it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.” — Smart Bee

“Beware of the “Black Swan” fallacy.  Deductive logic is tautological; there is no way to get a new truth out of it, and it manipulates false statements as readily as true ones.  If you fail to remember this, it can trip you – with perfect logic.  The designers of the earliest computers called this the “Gigo Law”, i.e. “garbage in, garbage out”.  Inductive logic is MUCH more difficult – but can produce new truths.” — Lazarus Long

“Man errs as long as he strives.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust

“‘T is but a part we see, and not a whole.” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 60

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” — Mark Twain

“Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke.” — Hermann Hesse

Okay, so, that works, sort of….. My apologies…. It’s not as clear as I’d hoped, though it’s quite good, in its own small way…. Not bad directions, if one is accustomed to pearls…. I’ve got it! Here is an example of how happiness works, and is available for use by anyone who wishes to use it….

I’m happy now…. I’m done….

(That’s it…. that’s the secret….. No? Not clear yet? Ah, well…. Well, we’ll try again later, ffolkes…. just remember, you CAN be happy, any time you wish…. It’s all a matter of choice….  Bonus? Nobody can take the choice away from you….)
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While searching for today’s pearls, I saw one by Pablo Neruda, so I thought I’d find, and use, one of his poems for this section; that decision is always a good one, as there are an awful lot of good poems in his work from which to choose…. Abondanza!….

Lost in the forest…

Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
a cracked bell, or a torn heart.

Something from far off it seemed
deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
a shout muffled by huge autumns,
by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.

Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
climbed up through my conscious mind

as if suddenly the roots I had left behind
cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood—
and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent.

~~ Pablo Neruda ~~

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In section 1 today, I spoke about happiness, and how to find it (i.e., stop looking, it’s right there inside you….)…. While I was searching for the proper pearls to use in the old-school portion, the following group of pearls kept popping up…. Together, they all form another fine pearl, pointing in a general way to a picture of just exactly what a person who is happy and whole looks like, or, at least, the kinds of things they do, or say, or just think they say….

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me.   If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them.  I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” — Professor Bernardo de la Paz

“When the need arises — and it does — you must be able to shoot your own dog. Don’t farm it out — that doesn’t make it nicer, it makes it worse.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s   “Time Enough For Love”

“It is the ability to choose which makes us human.” — Madeleine L’Engle (Walking on Water)

“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 18

“I think a man ought to get drunk at least twice a year just on principle, so he won’t let himself get snotty about it.” — Raymond Chandler

“A person will be just about as happy as they make up their mind to be.” — Abraham Lincoln

“Sometimes, you just gotta say “What the fuck.”” — Risky Business

Wow…. perfect…. If y’all don’t like that one, well, there’s just no more hope….
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“All’s well that ends well.”….. There are days, such as today, when this is appropriate, with a slight change in punctuation… Let us say this…. “All’s well that ends, well….”, and leave it at that, shall we? Some days this process goes better than others; given the handicaps, this is better…. Now, let’s see what it looks like from the outside, shall we?….

Hmm…. That took a while…. but, I think it’s all going to be okay. Considering the content of today’s effort, I can only say that I’m good with all of it, as it not only gives me something I can be happy about, it gives me both the means to keep being happy, and a reason to do so… What more can a man ask for from life, eh? Well, winning the lottery wouldn’t hurt, and, I like to follow the example of all cats, who feel that it is always alright to ask for what you want; you won’t get it at all if you never ask…

What this means in the long view isn’t exactly clear to me right now, but, it seemed to fit, so, we’ll just show another cat-like quality, and ignore it…. I’m done, stick a fork in me…. Wait, try again, bozo…. Stick a fork in me, I’m done….. See ya, ffolkes….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Billy’s just here to pick up the meatloaf, mister….

Ffolkes,
Yesterday, my blog on WordPress reached a milestone….. I’m informed by the statistical ‘bots that I now have 101 followers of my blog!  This is a gratifying moment for me, and a most welcome encouragement that I’m doing something right, at least. I have, mostly, done very little to promote the blog, beyond posting it to Twitter and Facebook.  My only other activity that might fit that category is that I also follow well over a hundred blogs, of which I read every one I get a notice for, (I am a very fast reader) and I’m pretty active in the comments section.

So, what this tells me is that my followers are all here as a result of either serendipity (they clicked on random suggested blog with a tag they like), or because of word-of-mouth, i.e., someone recommended it to them. This is the most gratifying part for me, as it tells me that the ffolkes who are following me are also telling others what they like here, and sending them here to read.

So, I would like to take this moment here at the beginning today, to shout out a huge THANK YOU to all the ffolkes who have read and liked what I’ve written, with a big hug and sloppy one on the cheek for all those who have re-blogged or recommended my work to someone else. All of the above is very much appreciated, and I can only hope that I can continue to produce material that people enjoy, and maybe bring a smile, or a stimulating thought, to someone’s morning.

Thank you….gracias…. multi grazie…. merci beaucoup….. domo arigato…..xie xie….. danke sehr…. and, again, thank you one and all for your support and encouragement. May the lives and fortunes of all of my new found friends be ever growing and ever more dear, and may they always walk in Beauty…… Yah ta hey!  Mi taku oyasin.  (We are all related.)

Well, that was fun…. it’s humbling to reach a milestone like this, to know that one now has a responsibility, to write well enough to justify the support and belief that people have shown to me, so I’d best be about it, hadn’t I? Nothing will get written just sitting here basking in the after-glow…..  So, take a few deep breaths, blow out one last time until you are empty, then fill up your lungs as much as you can. Pinch your nose, open up your bright eyes, and your shiny mind, and let’s dive…. the Pearls are a’waitin’…..
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“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 at least 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 enhance someone’s supper, and has inspired those who fall under its spell to acts of great sacrifice, as well as 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
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“This song of the waters is audible to every ear, but there is other music in these hills, by no means audible to all…. On a still night, when the campfire is low and the Pleiades have climbed over rim rocks, sit quietly and listen … and think hard of everything you have seen and tried to understand. Then you may hear it – a vast pulsing harmony – its score inscribed on a thousand hills, its notes the lives and deaths of plants and animals, its rhythms spanning the seconds and the centuries.” — Aldo Leopold

Have you ever listened to hear the music of the spheres?  Mssr. Leopold has heard them; no one who has not been held in thrall by the sheer beauty of this universal symphony could possibly give such a clear, and complete description, without possessing firsthand knowledge of its power, without first having experienced its beauty. It is a beauty that reaches straight into men’s souls, plucking directly on our heart-strings to bring us into the music, as an integral part of the entirety of creation that it celebrates.

The music of the night plays all day, as well, but is drowned out in the clamor of the sun, and the people who are too busy living, and cannot hear its song. It is best heard in the night, when the stars play in the background, as in an orchestra, wherein a soft string section supports the sweet melody of the horns, and the percussion holds steady the bright improvisations of the woodwinds.

I like to think, when I am listening to the music that plays forever, and is forever playing, that we can only hear the music because we are part of it, just as all the animals, and plants, and rocks, and oceans are part of the music, all filling in the musical note that best fits with all the rest, completing the glorious harmony that will be sung as long as the stars shine in the night sky……

“We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting.” — Kahlil Gibran
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“Those who speak know nothing;
Those who know are silent”
These words, I am told,
Were spoken by Lao-tzu.
— P Chu-i (772-846)

How is it then, the poem ends; that one who knew, wrote so much?

I know, I know! Teacher, teacher, call on me!….. He didn’t want to write at all, but they made him do it…..  Actually, I don’t know, precisely, or even verifiably under current conditions, whether or not that which I know is the true answer. What I do know is that what I’ve heard about this has that mythical quality that many Chinese legends have, as have those of many countries throughout the world’s history, of having grown from a single seed of truth….

When Lao Tzu decided he would leave his home in the town where he lived, his fame as a Taoist scholar and sage was already great throughout the Middle Kingdom; he was known to the Emperor, greatly admired by all of the important figures and scholars of his time, and revered as a treasured member of society.

As the story was related to me, Master Lao decided he wished to retire to the mountains, to be free of the demands laid upon him by his fame, which distracted him from his inner journey, and set about him the confining walls of the expectations of others. So he packed up his meager possessions, mounted his donkey, and set out for the gate to the city. At the gate, the guard asked him to where he was traveling, whereupon Lao Tzu told the guard of his wish to go into the mountains, in search of the Truth of the Way.

The guard was an educated man, who had himself studied the Tao, and did not wish for Lao Tzu to take away his knowledge and teachings, so he set a condition on the aged master, that he would only be allowed to leave if he first wrote down all he knew of the Tao’s nature, to leave in place of his revered self.

Thus constrained, Lao Tzu returned home, where he transcribed the eighty-eight verses that comprise what is known today as the Tao Teh Ching, the book which has served as the primer on Taoist philosophy for all the centuries since the Master walked the earth. When the work was finished, he took the manuscript to the unnamed guard, passed through the gate of the city, and was seen no more in the Middle Kingdom.

As I said, I don’t know if this is a true story, or an idealized version of what actually took place over two thousand years ago. But it sure sounds true, and is congruent with all the principles of Taoism that I can claim to understand. If it is so, the entire human race owes a very large debt of gratitude to that clever unknown soldier, who saved the master’s words for the world…… and as for having written so much, the only response I have to P Chu-i’s question is, “Who cares? Where would we be if he had not done so?”…..
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I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  — Romans 12:1

“Reasonable service”  Hmm….. it seems to me that whoever wrote this should probably turn in his divine channeling papers, because all of his sense of proportion and believability just went flying out the window when this got put onto parchment back in the day. I mean, give me a break!  “your bodies a living sacrifice” is “reasonable service”.  Well, if you have the kind of mind that will accept that at face value, then I am compelled by compassion, fueled only by a deep desire to help my fellow man, to inform you of a special deal, a deal you won’t be able to pass up….

That’s right, folks (note the spelling, please), today only, you too can be the envy of your neighbors, the hero of the housing tract, the cock o’the walk, as it were. Today, and today only (we already have our ticket for the bus to Bakersfield leaving at midnight…..)  you can join those millions of people have taken advantage of this EXCLUSIVE OFFER! For the next few minutes our operators will be taking orders for this deal of a lifetime, C.O.D only; no checks, no credit, no problem. What, you may ask, could be so wonderful, so glamorous, so blatantly gluttonous that EVERYONE wants one?

Well, I’ll tell you….. how would you feel to know that, thanks to your own good sense, and the wonders of human ingenuity, you were the first in your area to be the proud owner of…. wait for it….  your own, exclusive jar, filled to the brim, with GOD’s OWN ETERNAL LOVE! That’s right, you heard me correctly. For the insanely low price we are asking, you’ll have to agree that we are practically giving away this priceless commodity; you won’t find this deal matched anywhere.

What is this essentially negligible price, you ask? Just how crazy are these guys? We’re pretty cagey, er, crazy, that’s for sure. Today only, we are asking for a mere lifetime, and a mere 75% eternal, commitment of your entire soul, and the mineral and artistic rights to your firstborn child, whether a son or daughter. That’s right! An entire mason jar, filled to the brim with the priceless boon of God’s own eternal love, for the almost unnoticeable price we are seeking, would normally run you not only what we have asked, but also want you to throw in your wife,  guarantee the rest of your children’s yearly incomes for life, and toss in a few succeeding generations as well. But today, and today only, you too can join those exclusive few who are privileged to have their very own centerpiece for the family altar, for the bargain price of one soul, and consumer rights on a child.

How can you lose? And how can you afford to pass up this opportunity to advance your standing in the eyes of your peers, as well as the eyes of God?  You can’t, so pony up, sucker!….. Hahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaha……..
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“By calling attention to ‘a well regulated militia’, the ‘security’ of the nation, and the right of each citizen ‘to keep and bear arms’, our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation, the Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country.  For that reason, I believe the Second Amendment will always be important.” — April, 1960 (Then) Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)

Jack Kennedy was a pretty smart guy; after all, he did graduate from Harvard Law. Admittedly, he was not exactly the most ethical bulb in the box, but he had his head screwed on his shoulders fairly solidly, and had the unusual political stance of actually wanting the American people to have a decent chance at what they deserve, and are promised by our form of government, i.e., a shot at “the pursuit of happiness”….. However, in this statement, he makes an unwarranted and dangerous assumption, to wit: “it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation.”  Jack was an optimist…. and as is often the case, the pessimists were closer to right on this one…..

Our rights are in imminent and clear danger of being abrogated, permanently. This is an indisputable fact. I have pictures, as well as copious documentation, of their own documents of erasure. This kind of fact is also provided with further partial proof of its truth by the reaction of those responsible for this subtle attack on our legacy of freedom, who, when confronted with knowledge of their intent, immediately accuse the confronting entity of “spreading communist (oops, I guess today they would now use the ubiquitous “terrorist”) propaganda”, or “attacking the principles of freedom” or my favorite complete lie, “you’re threatening our national security.”

It would be somewhat amusing, if it weren’t so dangerously disgusting…. I mean, do they really expect the American people to sit around and do NOTHING?  I kind of hope they do believe that…. it will be then a bigger surprise to them, when the American people stand up, point their guns at the heads of these idiots, walk back into the voting booths, and take their rights back, from the Democrats AND the Republicans, who are all arguably insane….. call me treasonous if you will; I call it patriotism, of the first water…..

“Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the First, his Cromwell; and George the Third [“Treason!” cried the Speaker]–may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.” — Patrick Henry (1736-1799) — Speech in the Virginia Convention, 1765

(In today’s scenario, substitute, George the Shrub and Shrub II for George III)

“You can lead a yak to water but you can’t teach an old dog to make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke.” — Opus
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Looking back over today’s offering was interesting; I guess if it hadn’t been, I’d be tossing it all and starting over. Fortunately, that won’t be necessary; this will fly just fine….. I hope you enjoy this sharing of the wealth I go through every morning as much as I enjoy spitting it out. (Sorry…. I suppose I could have chosen less visually descriptive verbiage, but, hey, it still is early here in California, and I’m too lazy to go back and change it…. deal…..)

The weather wizards are calling for more rain, so I guess there will be sufficient time to get to the daily batch of WP notices and comments, now reaching over 100 emails a day, and still growing…. SIGH, I love all this; as a polymath, it is a great way to stay busy without ever getting bored. But, it sure is taking up a lot of the day…. I need to figure out a more efficient method of dealing with it all, before it becomes a chore….. ah well, the day is young….. meantime, y’all take care out there, and Blessed Be……


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Political rhetoric for sale or lease: Entropy spoken here….

Ffolkes,
I’ve been bitten by a tsetse fly….in the past three days, I have slept as much as I’ve been awake, but not in a normal pattern. About every 5 hours I start yawning and looking for my pillow, and go down for a 2-3 hour nap. Then I’m up to almost midnight, and up again at 5 AM, wide awake. It’s a bit strange, almost like some of the weird hours I kept when studying for finals at Berkeley.

I don’t know if they still do this, but one schedule I tried, thought up by a friend in the cooperative dorm I lived in, was perfect for finals week. One would go to bed (for the day) at about 3 PM, getting up at 10 or 11 PM, to start studying all night. At dawn, with the study material still fresh in the mind, one goes to take the final exams for that day. Afterward, a small meal, engage in a bit of business or recreation, then back to bed for the day, and up again at 10. A reverse cycle, as it were, and once accustomed to it, one became almost used to working in the quiet of the early morning hours, and always having an open seat wherever one went, as everyone else in the world was asleep.

But it got kinda lonely, too….it’s not a good schedule for anyone who wants a social life……thank goodness for no more final exams (except, of course, the ultimate final exam, requiring no study, and which everyone passes…..)
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“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H. L. Mencken

Mr. Mencken’s insight was first published back in the early twentieth century, and was actually less of an insight as it was an eerily accurate observation of American politics in the last hundred years. Since the end of the World War II, (the last time Congress actually declared war, as justified in the Constitution) our country’s leaders have involved us in at least five “police actions” (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq again), all supposedly necessary to protect us from the evils of communism, tyranny, or terrorism. Hundreds of thousands of young Americans have been sent to their deaths in far away places, all to make the old men back at home feel more comfortable in their insulation from reality.

I’m not the first to take note that young men die because of what old men believe, and hopefully I won’t be the last. This country has been hijacked by the 1%; they are no longer even trying to conceal their control over the rest of us. They have forgotten what one of their own said about 50 years ago: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” — John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963), 12 March 1962  For myself, I intend to enjoy watching the 1% reap the whirlwind they are creating……. which is a cleverly disguised euphemism for helping the whirlwind spin faster…..
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“It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor  of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.” — H.L. Mencken

Some days, H. L. just makes a lot of sense. I admire his perspicacity, and his unadulterated courage to say exactly what he believed, without compromise. A hundred years from now, his words will have the same weight, but hopefully, won’t be a common response to what is real. It would be nice to make this sort of joke a thing of the past, but I don’t see much chance of human nature changing anytime soon, so common virtues will probably remain uncommonly sparse among the denizens of human society…..
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What happens to your fist when you open your hand? — Zen Buddhism

In one sense, this koan is but a simple puzzle; the answer, obviously, is that the fist goes to the same place that our lap goes when we stand up. Now, you may ask, exactly where is that? Good question…..so, what do you think the answer might be? Another response might be, the fist is transformed, changed from a state of limited purpose to one of unlimited possibility. A fist can only be used in a small number of ways, but the open hand has few limits to its utility.  Perhaps one might say that the fist moves from the realm of reality to the confines of memory, abiding there until needed again.


This is the beauty of a Zen koan; it poses a question that sends the mind on a journey toward illumination, suggesting little-known paths in our own minds that can lead us to deeper knowledge of ourselves, and of reality. It is not the easiest path to self-improvement or self-growth, but then, the human mind gets lazy if things are too easy. We do better if we  push ourselves, at least a little, and goodness knows we all can find ways to do better in life…..anyone who doesn’t think so is only fooling themselves…..
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Farewell, Love, and all thy laws forever:
Thy baited hooks shall tangle me no more;
Seneca and Plato call me from their lore,
To perfect wealth my wit for to endeavor.
In blind error when I did persevere,
Thy sharp repulse that pricketh aye so sore
Hath taught me to set in trifles no store
And scape forth, since liberty is liefer.
Therefore, farewell: go trouble younger hearts,
And in me claim no more authority;
With idle youth go use thy property
And thereon spend thy many brittle darts:
For hitherto though I have lost all my time,
Me lusteth no longer rotten boughs to climb.
— Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542), Farewell, Love

Sir Thomas must have had a really bad break-up to get this despondent and cynical. But he sure made a good poem out of it; I hope that was solace for him in his despair……
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“When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don’t deal drugs.  When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I’m innocent.  When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don’t own a gun.  Now they’ve come for the first amendment, and I can’t say anything at all.” — Tim Freeman

I sincerely hope that y’all don’t get tired of hearing about this, because I have every intention of harping on it until the Bill of Rights has been restored. If you weren’t able to figure it out before now, I’ll make it clear…. I’m pissed. I’m royally and truly pissed off at our so called leadership; they have led us straight into voluntary slavery, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. I’d be glad to discuss this with anyone who can present a logical argument, or even an illogical one; we all have to find our fun somewhere.

If you don’t think you’ve lost any of your freedoms, try saying the word “bomb”, in any context, while standing in line in public. And get ready to spend the next hours in police custody, trying to convince them you’re not a terrorist about to blow up a bank. Think I’m kidding? Read the news……

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
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Well, here’s another fine mess I’ve created. I’ll have to start handing out brooms with each day’s offering…..ah, me, “.. 

I think I’d better go back to my DESK and toy with a few common MISAPPREHENSIONS…” — Zippy the Pinhead

T’would be best for all, methinks…..y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!