Endless reserves of sincere affability….

Ffolkes,

“Forbid a man to think for himself or to act for himself
and you may add the joy of piracy and the zest of smuggling to his life.”

~~ Elbert Hubbard ~~

sf-port

Gateway to adventure….

Hajime…. I write to stay sane. That isn’t to say I am, necessarily, but, I can honestly say I make a consistent effort to be so, even when there doesn’t really seem to be much point, since the world’s getting pretty fucking insane, anyway. But, to please my mother, who would have hated to see me a cold-blooded killer, I try each day to maintain a modicum of sanity. It doesn’t always work, but, since the primary goal is to avoid acting in a homicidal manner, I guess it works well enough…. Can’t rightly say that makes me particularly happy, as it would feel a damn sight better to just ace a couple of mundanes, and be done with it. But, I also like living without bars on my windows, and doors to which I don’t have a key….

Now that I’ve again established the basic parameters, I’ll confess to some rather nasty recent periods, in which I have successfully defeated a number of vicious demons, all of whom come to me gratis, simply because they can. I’ve been dealing with them for some years now, ever since realizing they were mine; for a long time, they seemed a gift from the gods, (yes, that’s sarcasm…), one over which I had no control. But, they’re all a product of my own inner turmoil, generated, like the Greek gods, right out of my own head. I guess 11.5 years of working in a virtual combat zone took its toll, without giving any receipt to track….

Most of the time, they lie dormant, biding their time, until they can spring forth, fully armed, to attack in a frenzy, at a moment when I am least prepared for dealing with them; I’m pretty sure they get leaked intel from Murphy, who monitors my activities, waiting with honed patience for just the right moment, when I am least mindful, and poorly prepared to deal with such issues. Go figure, eh?

Yes, I know, I know. They’re MY demons, and they’re, ultimately, under my control. And, yes, I also know they only come out when I tell them to, even if the telling is unconscious. Me & my unconscious have a long history of such arguments, but, then, I suppose that just makes me human, doesn’t it? Yes, it does. Since any further self-examination will turn maudlin, having first opened the doors with too much honesty, I’ll stop here, while I can still lay claim to a portion of the humanity I possess, by showing the compassion to cease and desist from further introspection. Besides, this intro is rapidly growing to a point of bloating, which could lead to gas. Can’t have that in these closed quarters, can we? No….

Right. We’re done, simply because I’m now out of standard BS, and would be forced to break into our reserves. Naturally, we keep plenty of THAT around, but, why waste it, when it will do more harm at another time? Hmm… I see I’m starting to go a bit wonky, so, let’s try an old trick. It’s pretty cool, and, more than that, will get us where we need to go. It looks just like this….

Shall we Pearl?….

“May you live all the days of your life.”

~~ Jonathan Swift — Polite Conversation, Dialogue ii ~~

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alanis-m

Image from MTV.com via Google Images

I’ve enjoyed the music this woman writes ever since hearing her for the first time, though I’ve never taken the time to really explore her work. I have a feeling, after listening to this, I’ll want to hear more… Enjoy!….

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Alanis Morrisette Live

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Comedy_Tragedy

Premises, premises….

Tricked, I stumble, and I fall
dreaming, through an abandoned palace.
Frightened and wary, unheard my call
fading into memory, no cup, no argent chalice.

The people, crushed, cry out to be freed
asking only to take part, or travel.
Nascent oaths spotlight such bursting need
fed by treachery, deep from our well.

Only the wicked shall find their way blocked
justice seeks them, snug in their hole.
Faint praises never touched, but naked, stalked
singing no gospel, no soul, no rock and roll.

Only the promised will remember the way
from unforgiven trails of sorrow.
To live life, and give death no sway,
saving grace for our only tomorrow.

~~ gigoid ~~

12/19/2014

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Metaphoric Idyll….

*******

“For wheresoe’er I turn my ravish’d eyes,
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise,
Poetic fields encompass me around,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground.”

~~ Joseph Addison — A Letter from Italy ~~

*******

“I see my life go drifting like a river
From change to change; I have been many things –
A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light
Upon a sword, a fir tree on a hill,
An old slave grinding at a heavy quern,
A king sitting upon a chair of gold –
And all these things were wonderful and great;
But now I have grown nothing, knowing all.
Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow
Lay hidden in that small slate-coloured thing!”

~~ William Butler Yeats, “Fergus and the Druid” ~~

*******

“And, pray tell, whose imagination are you a figment of?”

~~ Solipsist Bee ~~

*******

“It is the little rift within the lute
That by and by will make the music mute,
And ever widening slowly silence all.”

~~ Alfred Tennyson — Idylls of the King, Merlin and Vivien ~~

*******

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.

~~ Sir Francis Bacon, Of Beauty ~~

*******

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question…
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”

~~ T. S. Eliot, “Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock” ~~

*******

“Draw the curtain, the fraud is over.”

~~ François  Rabelais, last words ~~

*******

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I can’t say why, but, I like it. To save myself, and y’all, any further embarrassment, which can build up angst as quickly as anger, we’ll take the money and run. Not that we made anything like a profit, but, I’d say we broke even. Can’t ask for better; not in this universe. I will take this moment to warn y’all…. I’ll be back. Take heed…. See ya…..

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured Image -- 2780

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Sneering in bafflement, he punted….

Ffolkes,

“The cat would eate fish, and would not wet her feete.”

~~ John Heywood (c. 1565) ~~

~~ Proverbes, Part i, Chap. xi ~~

Leelu the berzerker

Leelu in Berserker Mode


Hajime…. Life sure can be funny. Since I’m a complex sorta guy, that’s actually a complex statement, as the word ‘funny’ can be construed to mean a lot of different sorts of things about life, not all of which are at all funny, or fun. It’s also why English is such a powerful tool for communicating, as well as a barrier to the same communication. Two people with a different understanding of, and, skill in using the language, may very well not be able to understand each other, at all, though they both share intimate knowledge of it, having grown up using it. Environment, background, education, intelligence, imagination, all can play a part in how the language is used by anyone, and, no two people share the exact same degree of similarity in ANY of those categories.

All of which being said, I am compelled by my own nature to wonder, how the fuck we ever wandered this far out of the trees? C.S. Lewis, I believe, once made the lament,

“Five senses; an incurably abstract intellect; a haphazardly selective memory; a set of preconceptions and assumptions so numerous that I can never examine more than minority of them – never become conscious of them all.  How much of total reality can such an apparatus let through?” — C. S. Lewis

Add in this most-accurate assessment of the human mind’s ability to perceive the universe, and one has to feel a sense of astonished surprise, not only that we have created a world-wide society, but, have done so without ever achieving any sort of world-wide understanding of our own nature….. To observe the antics of the naked apes who infest the surface of this planet, is very similar, in “look and feel”, to watching an old Roadrunner cartoon on Saturday morning. In fact, watching the Roadrunner makes much more sense than much of what I see passing as socio-political activity around the world….

Did y’all ever wonder, as I did, about the two most puzzling things to me about Wile E. Coyote? First, why, when he was obviously the stupidest creature on the planet, was he called “wily”, a word which, even at age four, I understood couldn’t possibly apply to the stupid beast….. I mean, even if he WAS indestructible, (our first lesson in the fiction vs. reality issue…. How many of US could live through a 5000 foot fall, followed by the arrival of a five ton rock on our head? Hell, it would give Superman a moment of pain, if he couldn’t fly….

Second… Why didn’t the idiot ever just start ordering FOOD from the Acme Co.? It seemed to me, as a young, already half-trained consumer, if the company made that many different products, of such amazing variety and complexity, how easy would it be for them to deliver some fried chicken, or even fried rattlesnake, which, I am told, tastes like chicken… But, then, doesn’t everything but beef and lamb taste like chicken?….

But, NOOOO…. Mr. Smart Guy Coyote keeps ordering weapon after weapon, none of which ever worked the way he expected. Which comprised our second lesson in reality vs. fiction, though, as it turns out, that’s pretty much how ANY corporation operates….. S’trewth, swear to god….

SIGH…. I’m doing it again, aren’t I? Ranting in the intro, when I tried to start out looking for ironic humor…. See where good intentions will get you? Oh, well, next I’d have to move on to more lamentations about human nature, and how virtue has all but disappeared from the public arena… Hell, I even found the perfect pearl to go with such a discussion, showing EXACTLY what happened, at least, here in the US…. It is also from C.S. Lewis, one of the more flexible-minded, and, honest Christians to ever pick up a pen… He said, regarding virtue, this:

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky.” — C.S. Lewis  _The Screwtape Letters_

But, that’s a rant for another day, unless, of course, we pick this up in the third section. Who knows at this point? If I did, well, I’d say so; that means simply that I haven’t decided yet. Nonetheless, and, notwithstanding, such is now moot, as Guido has entered the cockpit (don’t even think it….), and we’ll be taking off any moment…. Let’s just do so quietly, and calmly, just as if we knew what we were doing here, okay?….

Shall we Pearl?….

“A gentleman is one who doesn’t demand a lady prove that she is.”

~~ Solomon Short ~~


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

    Though I have plenty of energy, I’m lazy. Since that is true, I’m going with my own default choice of music, which, if you’ve been reading here for any time, you’ll know what that means; you’re gonna hear some classical music…. It was about twenty or more years ago I got fed up with the current crop of music bombarding the airwaves and musical venues. I began to listen to classical music, and have felt the rightness of the decision ever since. Rather than listening to the last 65-plus years of what has been produced (some of which is good, but, mostly, it’s crap…. see Sturgeon’s Law….), I now have several centuries worth of music to explore, from all over the world….. Sturgeon’s law still applies, but, the statistical universe of available music has been filtered for quality for a LONG time; what’s left is a much higher percentage of the good stuff….

Bonus!….. Enjoy, ffolkes…. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt, even if you have perfect pitch…… As is my habit, the compilation I picked simply had the most attractive picture, for my taste….

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gigoid’s Musical Default

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Dont keep calm

What do we do? We have lost our way.
From afar, the Demon cries out,
He is leading us astray.

Skyward soar the whirling demons,
Shrouded by the falling snow,
And then the plaintive, awful howling
Fills my heart with dread and woe.

~~ Alexander Pushkin ~~


Gee…. I wonder if that means more ranting about the present state of world affairs? What do you think? Should we continue in the vein in which I began today’s Pearl, or veer off in another direction? Hmm… Let’s see what the magic 8-ball says….

Oops. Forgot; broke my 8-ball a long time ago. Oh, well. I think I’m not in a mood to rant at the moment. Hang on, & I’ll go see if I can find something to tip the scale in one direction, or another… Don’t worry, I’ve got a Tardis, and this isn’t real…. so, it’s like, you’ll never notice I was gone….

Okay, got it. That actually didn’t take long at all…. Of course, I COULD be lying, but, we wouldn’t want to pick up any bad habits…. It took only a moment, to find this:

“The land of the free!  This is the land of the free!  Why, if I say anything that displeases them, the free mob will lynch me, and that’s my freedom. Free? Why I have never been in any country where the individual has such an abject fear of his fellow countrymen.  Because, as I say, they are free to lynch him the moment he shows he is not one of them.” — D. H. Lawrence

Now, if THAT isn’t a great start to pick up where we left off above, I don’t know an oyster from a mussel. And, I do. Know the difference, I mean. In fact, I also know, being a chef, while mussels, steamed in white wine, fish stock, garlic, and a bit of butter, lemon juice, & parsley, is as close as people ever really get to heaven, only oysters, those ugly, yet somehow noble bivalves, can make pearls. Besides, the only way the oysters themselves are REALLY edible, is breaded, deep fried, and smothered with a LOT of Tartar, or seafood cocktail sauce. Otherwise they’re a lot like eating old shoe leather, unless eaten at ONE specific moment upon cooking. Before, or after that moment, they are virtually inedible… Even for those with ALL their teeth…

But, hey, pearls, you know? Which brings us back to the completion of this section today. I’ll quit fooling around, amusing as it may be, (or not; not my call….), and get to the meat of today’s piece.  I’ll start with an old graphic pearl from one of my most consistent sources for wise, witty comments, to wit:

Albert E & true sin


This statement is possibly the clearest I know, to describe WHY our world is the way it is today. Albert put his finger on the root cause of every problem we face today, i.e., courage in the face of evil. Personally, I have given up any hope of making enough changes in society to protect us from ourselves…. Hope, as Emily D. pointed out, is something that, being human, never goes away…. But, my hope is about gone, for I don’t see us humans finding the understanding which can save us before the planet itself kills us for our effrontery……

Rather than expose y’all to any more of my own negative conclusions, I’d like y’all to read the following article, which my news reader provided to me, and with which I can only agree wholeheartedly. It’s brilliant, to be honest, and, if there is any justice in the world, will go viral quite soon…… It’s by an author named Elizabeth West, and she has hit upon some strong truths…. Don’t try to decide from reading the title; just trust me, & go read it. You won’t regret it…. Not even if I close out the section with my own take/interpretation, (though voiced with a power of expression I can only dream of achieving some day….) of the most probable, ultimately final decision Reality is going to make about the human race… Ms. West might convince you otherwise…..

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/04/abandon-all-hope/

This is the way the world ends,
This is the way the world ends,
This is the way the world ends,
Not with a bang but with a whimper.

~~ T. S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men” ~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

Choosing a Theme

Powerful words playing hide and seek in my mind,
teasing with subtle cruelty, pretending to be kind.
Grand visions and flowery verses of beauty and truth
evaded my inner eye all through the days of my youth.

Affable interludes interspersed with allegorical wit
softened the crimes, against all reason, to finally acquit.
Time became at once an enemy, and an ally
Never once compelled to provide an answer why.

Giving gifts of simple kindness are their own pay,
spreading ripples of compassion are felt far and away.
Love given freely is precious, we are ever told,
increasing love received, more than a hundred fold.

Living long and with passion has centered my soul,
allowing me room, and time, to choose my own goal.
Now I’ve gone past any need to pretend
I love everything in life, even knowing it will end.

~~ gigoid ~~

10/21/2012


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

ankh

Naked Pearls IV

*********

“Everything you know is wrong.”

~~ The Firesign Theater ~~

*********

“Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.”

~~ Edwin Hubbel Chapin ~~

*********

“Virtue is beauty.”

~~ Shakespeare ~~

*********

“There are two kinds of egotists: 1) Those who admit it;  2) The rest of us.”

~~ Psyche Bee ~~

*********

“Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one’s horse as it is leaping.”

~~ Julius Hare ~~

*********

“In war and life, either fight to win or don’t fight.”

~~ Warrior Bee ~~

*********

“She [virtue] requires a rough and stormy passage; she will have either outward difficulties to wrestle with, …. or, internal difficulties.”

~~ Michel de Montaigne — Essays, Book ii, Chap. xi, Of Cruelty ~~

*********

“A misery is not to be measured from the nature of the evil, but from the temper of the sufferer.”

~~ Joseph Addison ~~

*********

“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.”

~~ Hugh Downs ~~

*********

“Don’t worry about a thing because every little thing is gonna be alright.”

~~ Bob Marley ~~

*********

However many holy words you read,
However many you speak,
What good will they do you
If you do not act on upon them?

~~ Buddha ~~


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

Well, it’s done. All that remains is to go post it, which will be harder than usual today…. I put a lot into this one, even though the poem isn’t new, and the major rant belongs to another author. Nonetheless, I don’t believe I can do this any better than this turned out, so, I hope y’all enjoyed consuming it as much as I enjoyed putting it together…. I’ll be back tomorrow, to see if I can do it this well one more time….Why not? That would make a total of at least four, over four years…. Not bad, for an amateur…

Spoiler alert: Things ’round here may change some in the near future…. Y’all stay alert, y’hear?…. It could mean your sanity, and mine…. Oops. Maybe not yours…. really. I mean that, or, rather, I didn’t mean that…. Well, never mind, you’ll see….. Just, be careful, okay?…. C Ya.

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured Image -- 5012


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Buffed up laces with worn out traces….

Ffolkes,

“If at first you doubt, doubt again, and again …”

~~ Smart Bee ~~

Alaska Grand Adventure 091

Dancing Ferryboats, Victoria Harbor, B.C.


Good morning…. Or, actually, wait! I was wrong. The meter doesn’t read “good” morning; it says “frood” morning! I should have known, as the ambient atmospheric pressure is obviously way far away from anything approaching “good”. I can’t say just what “frood” means, but, it’s clearly not what we expected…. Ah well, given the presence of dancing ferry boats, I think we can give the universe a break, & just go along with whatever it has to say…. Otherwise, we’ll never get out of this intro….. Trust me, I’ve been here before…

Since that’s the case, I’m making an executive decision, to take us onward, in spite of our lack of any clue as to destination. I guess, when it comes down to it, that is true of every day here at ECR. And, that’s fine with me; the journey is much more valuable to me than the final destination…. Okay, let’s do this, ffolkes….

Shall we Pearl?….

“A new broom sweeps clean, but the old brush knows the corners.” — Ancient Human Proverb

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


Lord of the Rings

Gandalf & Shadowfax arrive at Helm’s Deep


Today’s video selection will be appreciated by all those with an imagination… Oh, right…. Okay, enjoy, ffolkes….


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The Lord of the Rings
Animated Version

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13923408614402

And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon Gods they’d made.

~~ Paul Simon ~~


No, it’s not the wrong icon; it’s deliberate. Today’s ranting section will consist of an old-school pearl with a group of comments, thoughts, and observations on the subject of religion, which, as I’m sure you have guessed by now, is one we here at ECR reserve primarily for those occasions when we are feeling a bit snarky, with a side dish of smirk. Some of them may be offensive to those who hold faith as more valuable than reason; too bad, so sad, move on…. The rest of us shall enjoy the fun….

“They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me will  be exerted in opposition to their schemes.  And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” — Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, September 23, 1800

“Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Ridicule is the best test of truth.” — Lord Chesterfield

“It would be well, if some who have taken upon themselves the ministry of the Gospel, that they would first preach to themselves, then afterwards to others.” — Cardinal Pole

“To be an atheist requires an infinitely greater measure of faith than to receive all the great truths which atheism would deny.” — Joseph Addison

“No one who accepts the sovereignty of truth can be a foot soldier in a party or movement.   He will always find himself out of step.” — Sidney Hook

DEVIL: A popular character in mythology, commonly blamed by Christians for everything from plagues to burnt toast. Of course, if the devil ever actually appeared, it would scare these people shitless.” — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.” — Garrison Keillor

See? Relatively painless, as long as one chooses not to wear blinders…. Onward, ever onward we go….

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

Comedy_Tragedy

    Being the compassionate, kindly sort, I wouldn’t wish for the other categories of Asininnies to feel left out of the fun today, so, here, to go with our persecution of the faithful, we’ll have a bit of fun at the expense of the Talking Heads, those pompous, avaricious gobshites who compose the elitists of our Beloved Ruling Class, the Politicians and Pundits!…. And, we’ll do so without involving the delicate reputation of any other of our society’s poets, by using one of my own outbursts…. Enjoy!….

A Few Words of Note

In place of ranting and raving about assholes every day
maybe I’ll try something more fun.
Rather than throwing words at all the assholes on public pay
I’ll switch to shooting at them, with a gun….

Should I actually hit one, purely by mistake,
maybe it would wake them up.
Maybe, if they had to think, or actually cut us a break,
we’d see a chance to win at life, to take a step up.

Our nation, such as it is today, was founded by men who told the truth;
that morality disappeared long ago.
Simple ethical strength so bright, so prevalent in our country’s youth
was soon corrupted, corporate interests now run the show.

Nothing would please me more than to fire off some rounds,
if only to gain their attention.
But, I can no longer run, I’ve gained too many pounds;
so, my keyboard and intellect must serve to fulfill my intention.

I won’t stop, of that you may be sure
I love my freedoms, and the philosophy from which it springs.
Tom, and Ben, and John, and Pat, those patriots pure
gave me their example, and the inner peace it brings.

If bullets won’t persuade our elected liars to toe the ethical line,
I’ll throw my most powerful words…..
If nothing else, it will make them wriggle to escape, or voice their pitiful whine,
thus exposing themselves for what they are…. plain and simple turds.

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 7/19/2014.

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


About Hopi Indian Symbols

“I think I am. That’s close enough.”

~~ Peruaosophy, axiom #1 ~~


Okay, ffolkes…. I have no excuses today. I was up early, but, somehow, just couldn’t seem to pull it together (SB wasn’t much help at first, but, came through in the end). The parameters for this old-school pearl were set to find quotes on ‘reason vs. faith’. I have no idea how it came out the way it did, but, I could probably figure it out, if I bothered to think about it…. It just seems easier to let it all work on the underside of your consciousness, in a semi-subliminal fashion…. Oh, right; you might want to hide your credit cards; ya never know what might happen when subliminal suggestions start affecting your brain….

Stupidity is no excuse for not thinking.” — Smart Bee

“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” — Mark Twain

“If error is corrected whenever it is recognized as such, the path of error is the path of truth.” — Hans Reichenbach

“By a tranquil mind I mean nothing else than a mind well ordered.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus — Meditations, iv, 3

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” — Albert Einstein

“A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.” — Oscar Wilde, “Oscariana”

“Only a brave person is willing honestly to admit, and fearlessly to face, what a sincere and logical mind discovers.” — Rodan of Alexandria

“True myth may serve for thousands of years as an inexhaustible source of intellectual speculation, religious joy, ethical inquiry, and artistic renewal.  The real mystery is not destroyed by reason.  The fake one is.  You look at it and it vanishes.  You look at the Blonde Hero–really look–and he turns into a gerbil.  But you look at Apollo, and he looks back at you.  The poet Rilke looked at a statue of Apollo about fifty years ago, and Apollo spoke to him.  ‘You must change your life,’ he said.  When the true myth rises into consciousness, that is always its message.  You must change your life.” — Ursula K. LeGuin

“Yeah, but you’re taking the universe out of context.” — Hacker wisdom

Time and again, example proves the best teacher; I reiterate, it’s all in the wrist….

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

Well…. that was…. something. I’m going to let it fly, simply because, in spite of the casual nature of the above, putting it together seems to have exhausted me…. Go figure. Ah well, it has the very attractive quality of being ‘done’, so, I’ll take it. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if the past nearly four years are any indication to go by…..

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….


					

Meatloaf, with no ketchup….

Ffolkes,

“How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.”

~~ Thomas Jefferson, “Writings” Vol. XVI ~~

odd group 017

    One wouldn’t think so, but, the quote from Jefferson, above, is perfectly appropriate for the picture…. which is shot of the flower I picked, and brought to leave at the grave side of my friend Carol, when two other classmates of mine went with me to visit her, at her final resting place, at the Templeton town cemetery (Templeton is the small farming town in Central CA where we all grew up….)…. and, I should have know better than to try to start the day with a reminiscence….. Now, I am leaking copious amounts of salty fluids out of my eyes, making it difficult to see what I’ve typed; damn this frigging PTSD!….

I suppose there is nothing actually wrong about crying; under the proper circumstances, it can be quite cathartic, and may even release tension and/or built up feelings of guilt, or loss, or whatever emotion assails us, when we get to the point where we must cry, or burst…. But, this is different…. Any time I feel ANY damn strong emotion, whether happy, or sad, or in any way poignant, my tears begin to flow, almost as if I were a child of two or three, with no emotional control over my feelings at all. For a man of my age, and capabilities, it is not merely embarrassing to have it strike as it does, willy-nilly, with no warning or pattern I can find, it is demeaning, as well…..

How we got into this emotional morass is simple, and my mistake…. I should know better than to start of talking of Carol; it brings out my strong emotion every time, as she is sorely missed. Carol was the kind of person we all know some time in our lives; she’s the one who always had a smile for you, no matter how she felt herself; one of those people whose presence makes others feel happy. She baked, and, I am positive, though I was not there, that her house was the one all her children’s friends hung out at, because there were always cookies, or a cupcake, and a warm smile from Mom… I envy her husband, for all the years he was allowed to have with her; we grew close in the last couple of years before she died, and I am glad, for she was one of the BEST people I have ever known…. and I say that, even though I never even ate one of her cookies…

It is fortunate, for me especially, that writing a blog is not a form of performance art, at least not in the sense of having a camera on us, recording us as we pound away at the keyboard…. though, in my case, it would be, if nothing else, NOT boring, as I never sit still for very long; I am up and down from the chair every few minutes to ease some painful bone or another, with these movements interspersed with periods of absolute stillness, as I compose in my head, then mad, desperate typing, as I try to get it down before it fades away, into that limbo we authors fear the most, where our best ideas get lost, never to be seen again….

Okay, well, that was something…. I’m not really certain just how to view the above…. it’s done, so, it stays, naturally. But, I am pretty sure I’ve never done anything quite like it…. In addition, I must say, I’m glad for that, and I hope never to go through this particular opening process again, as it hurt, in a lot of different ways, not all physical…. I’m STILL trying to clear out my sinuses from the crying jag I’ve already gone through, THRICE…. I’s okay, though; it got us this far down the page, so, silver lining, I guess…. Whatever the method, we’re here, so….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I leapt headlong into the sea,and thereby have become better acquainted with the soundings, the quicksands, and the rocks, than if I had stayed upon the green shore, and piped a silly song, and took tea and comfortable advice.” — John Keats

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Having fulfilled my promise to pre-screen any more video movies, I can honestly say, this show, a long running BBC series, is NOT one of the reasons I stopped watching TV…. This, in spite of being on TV, and, no doubt, chopped to pieces by commercial interruptions, is excellent…. Fortunately, in this format, on You Tube, one need no longer put up with those ads, so, the story unfolds seamlessly, without the jolting stops and starts…. Moreover, it is one of the best of the Holmes stories, well adapted to the screen, with a wonderful cast of very strong actors…. Enjoy!….

Sherlock Holmes: The Copper Beeches

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“The last vestiges of the old Republic have been swept away.”

~~ Governor Tarkin ~~


Governor Tarkin’s words from Star Wars, Episode 5, The Empire Strikes Back, assume an eerie precognitive accuracy in today’s world. Our country, which began, perhaps, as the world’s first truly democratic republic, has been so completely taken over by corporate interests, who hold private, dangerously delusional ambitions, which, over time, has prompted them to establish and maintain a world order according to their own avaricious agenda, one which has effectively altered the way the government operates, to the point we can no longer call it anything other than what it is in reality, an oligarchy…. government by, and for, the rich….

Absolute control of virtually all the monetary and physical resources of the nation (and, really, the whole planet…) is, and has been for some time, firmly under the control of a very small number of very rich assholes. (Well, the last word isn’t part of the actual definition, but, is most certainly my own opinion…). That control now extends to define every domestic and foreign policy carried out…. by ANY administration…. Even the makeup of those government administrations is controlled by those with money; they’ve paid the courts enough to ensure the laws will favor anything they wish to do to maintain that control, by putting their own stooges in a position to make the laws they need, and to judge those laws the way they wish….

For example….

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/22/torture-obama-cover-up-cia

“At this point, it’s becoming hard to believe anything Obama says about torture. The New York Times’ Charlie Savage reported Sunday that this administration is considering reinstating the Bush administration’s absurd interpretation of the United Nations treaty against torture, signed by the US decades ago, so that the US can claim the UN actually meant that any torture happening outside one’s own country essentially, you know, doesn’t count. Military and intelligence lawyers “say they need more time to study whether it would have operational impacts.” Really? I thought we stopped torturing people five years ago.”

“If Obama were to adopt this radical interpretation, sure, it would contradict all of his promises as he came into office, but as legal professor David Lubon describes, it would also directly violate US law.”

— excerpted from the above article

“Extreme avarice is always mistaken; there is no passion which is oftener further away from its mark, nor upon which the present has so much power to the prejudice of the future.” — La Rochefoucauld

It has become obvious, at least, to me, the unseen, shadowy masters of society no longer particularly care so much about keeping their agenda hidden…. The future La Rochefoucauld predicted is NOW…. The current collection of Obamadrones, who inhabit the White House, originally promised, as part of the pre-election set of lies the public wished to hear, ( Specifically designed, very effectively, as it turns out, to convince voters to put them in office….), to be the “most transparent administration ever”, along with murmurs about closing Guantanamo, and getting us out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East wars….

But, what has actually happened? Guantanamo is still operative, and, as the article shows, isn’t going anywhere soon, in spite of all the controversy; the torture continues, too, despite the insistence it does not…. just another lie, as it turns out. This administration is responsible for continuing the illegal spying done by the NSA, as well, having never even bothered to deny anything…. They just keep taking journalists and potential whistle blowers to court, for having given away their secrets, with charges based solely on provisions of that most evil document, the Homeland Security Act, a poorly disguised euphemism for Big Brother’s Mandate, a document that abrogates virtually every one of the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution…..

Yet, we still have troops on the ground all over the world, and, we are STILL bombing a number of foreign countries in our search to kill “terrorists”, with planes, AND with robot drones…. It’s said we spend $75 million/day for that bombing; I wonder who’s getting that money? Arms dealers, ya think?….

In order to distract critics, a fair amount of reform has been accomplished in the healthcare field; but, a close look at the resulting structural changes shows that, in essence, once again, the major winners are not the people, but, rather, the insurance companies, the HMO’s, the pharmaceutical companies, and all those other nice folks who charge the little people up the ass for their medical care, which, when one thinks about it, should be the right of every citizen, regardless of their position, or financial status….

What is society for, if not to share common knowledge (i.e., medical expertise and accumulated knowledge which is the legacy of the species, not the doctors, or the government…), to provide a clearing house for such skills so that all members of that society have access to them, to obtain the benefits of living in the group? If not for this, what is it for?

Perhaps I am not the most qualified judge, but, I know for certain, the legacy of the species does NOT belong exclusively to those who possess them, or to those who control them… They belong to us all, and it is only human avarice, and the predatory nature of man, with its unfortunate tendency to fall into evil, that precludes such a boon… As long as the corporate masters have their way, somebody will have to pay them to get what is actually theirs by right….

On that subject, here is a good article, with some excellent points of reason, which, by contrast, sound out cleanly and clearly amongst all the crap one generally finds in the mainstream media….

http://www.theguardian.com/news/2014/oct/21/-sp-the-truth-about-evil-john-gray

Given what is in this article, I am not certain of how to continue; to my mind, there is little hope of changing human nature, especially at this late hour…. In spite of all the technological advances and civilization we have built up over the last millennia, we are STILL just a weak, frightened hairless ape, with the same set of emotional and reasoning patterns and responses we carried with us when we still were huddling in caves, cold, naked, and afraid of the dark…. Seriously, I am often amazed at how our species STILL acts according to the same primitive emotions, and even more primitive attitudes, of aggression, theft, and violence that characterized those creatures, living in the wild, struggling to make sense of the mass of perceptions their too-massive brains took in…

We are still just hairless apes, no more civilized than those poor, ignorant savages; we just dress better, and have learned a few tricks since our cave days…. Our emotions, and the cult of ignorance adopted by society, haven’t changed a whit….

This is long enough, and I don’t have any viable solutions to offer…. so, we’ll call this a rant, and be on our way to the poetry section, where we MAY find a small piece of what DOES make us different from the other creatures with whom we share this globe, and, one of the FEW characteristics about mankind that I find to be of any redeeming value….. poetry…..

“Give them an opposable thumb, and they think they’re special.” — Smart Bee

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In my opinion, Charles is cool…. I say that, knowing full well the use of that word will date me…. I still think he’s cool….

Be Kind

are always asked
to understand the other person’s
viewpoint
no matter how
out-dated
foolish or
obnoxious.

one is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
with
kindliness,
especially if they are
aged.

but age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
badly
because they have
lived
out of focus,
they have refused to
see.

not their fault?

whose fault?
mine?

I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their
fear.

age is no crime

but the shame
of a deliberately
wasted
life

among so many
deliberately
wasted
lives

is.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

Powerful stuff, eh?….

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Here is an old school pearl of vintage variety; moreover, I let Smart Bee pick out most of it, only intervening to format each quote’s position in the pearl at large…. Let’s see how it came out….

F = MA;
Things fall down;
You can’t push a rope.

~~ The three laws of physics ~~


“Never promise more than you can perform.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 528

“Remember:  Silly is a state of Mind, Stupid is a way of Life.” — Dave Butler

“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe. And what do we teach our children in school? We teach them that two and two make four and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are?” — Smart Bee**

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

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read.” — Mark Twain

I ‘m weary of conjectures,–this must end ’em.
Thus am I doubly armed: my death and life,
My bane and antidote, are both before me:
This in a moment brings me to an end;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secured in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and Nature sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wrecks of matter, and the crush of worlds.

~~ Joseph Addison (1672-1719) — Cato, Act v, Sc. 1 ~~


** (According to Dean Hannotte, a collector of quotes, with a web site here: http://www.hannotte.com/Quotes.htm, this was as quoted on page 8 of Richard Kehl’s 1990 quotation anthology entitled Further Departures ….. but, he didn’t say with whom it originated…. Hence, SB gets the credit for today…..)

There you go, ffolkes; not too shabby for one with so little direction provided at the outset…. sort of a series of comments on Reality, and our place in it, so to speak…. It’ll do to finish, quite nicely….

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

Due to circumstances completely within my control, I’m very late getting up to finish and post this mess… but, it’s done, so I’m not going to either belabor the circumstances, of bemoan my choice to not assume the necessary control of events…. In short, I don’t care, it’s done…. Moreover, I’m outta here, having done all the damage I can do…. so to speak…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…..

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

Tossing beans with butter, in a bowl….

Ffolkes,

Late, again…. Fuck it, I’m not even going to worry about it a little bit; whatever happens, happens. I’m too bloody grumpy to care, so, it’s just as well I’m giving up right out of the gate…. I have the distinct feeling that if I made any attempt to be normal, not only would it fail, but, the Universe at large would enjoy a huge guffaw at my expense…. with which, I’m sorry to say, I’m becoming all too familiar…. Murphy’s myrmidons must get promoted by merit, because each bloody one of them laughs harder than the last one, whenever they’re around at those moments I try for normalcy…. Bloody assholes, every damn one of them….

There, now that I’ve whined enough, we can start the day with a different tenor…. How about a bit of fiction? Let’s see….

Harry couldn’t figure out if he should knock at the front, or go around to the back door, where all the servants entered the house…. He knew, as he’d been watching all morning, screwing up his courage to approach the magnificent edifice, standing in all it’s Victorian elegance on the corner of Harper and Main…. Harper House, home to the rich, powerful Harper family, the original settlers of the town, way back in colonial days, had stood on that corner since its construction in 1802, by Hiram Harper, the first white man to settle in the valley. It was 1797, when he walked over Harper Mountain, & got his first view of the valley below, spreading out to the south, trees covering the slopes, with leaves gilded from the sun, shining down with strong promises made to the future….

Well…. that was…. something. Not particularly gripping, but, not too bad…. It sets a stage, and paints a picture, but, I’m not sure I’m happy with the flow, or the elegance…. Oh well, for an early morning throw-away, it’s not bad…. and it did get us this far down the page…. Today, that’s a big help, as my brain isn’t cooperating…. I guess I’m a little excited (and when I say stuff like that, I feel six years old again, but, hey, old age is known to cause its victims to display a retreat to a younger time, when we could actually walk to another part of the house without having to make a plan for the return trip….), because my daughter is coming by today, and we’re going to go to dinner with my son, her brother, and hopefully, his new friend(s)….

Since I am so excited about this evening, I am in a quandary this morning, as I just can’t seem to get going on this…. Oh well, this calls for the immediate application of an emergency bail-out method, and, I’m thinking, #4 is always the most effective, so…. hang on, and we’ll apply that…. NOW….

Shall we Pearl?….

“My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests.” — George Santayana

(I’m encouraged now…. finding that quote so quickly gives me hope for the rest of this mess…. I hope it’s an indication that Murphy has taken his leave for now, and the rest of this will be left alone…. we can always hope, can’t we?…. Onward, with new bravery…. Huzzah!…..)

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

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Expert-witness-in-toy-gun-case-has-history-of-5614736.php

When I saw this, I became somewhat depressed…. It’s absolute truth; you can tell. This guy, this “expert witness” is nothing more than a shill, whom the courts and the police have been using to defend the indefensible for years….. In those instances where officers use their weapons, this guy has been set up as a final judge of the events that lead up to the incidents, whose word is the equivalent to law, in essence, as it is given more credence than even scientific evidence…. which is a crock, and they know it…. It’s a disturbing thing to find out, as it gives more evidence of how the courts, the police, and the government at large is ignoring or obstructing the issue of police militarization, one I see as a distinctly egregious problem, and one that really NEEDS to be watched….

In fact, this whole idea, of having such an obviously biased individual being given priority in court, makes me so angry, I’m having trouble organizing my arguments…. There are just SO MANY moral and ethical objections to such an event, I can’t decide where to begin…. So, instead, I’ll ask you to read the article, and make your own arguments…. It isn’t hard, particularly…. they are so fucking OBVIOUSLY prejudiced, you’ll find some objections, I’m sure…. Me, I’m going to raid the archives, for something that won’t make my stomach so damned upset, or at least, that won’t offend my sensibilities so badly….

Ah, here we go….. y’all enjoy this, ffolkes, I’m going to go calm down for a few minutes, before I try to deal with poetry…..

From 12/22/2012, a very numerological day…. It’s almost a poem, stated out loud…. One two, two two, two oh one two…. pretty cool, eh? Okay, I’ll stop now…. read on, ffolkes, it’s a fun one… (a Funyun?….):

“Unknowingly, we plow the dust of stars, blown about us by the wind, and drink the universe in a glass of rain.” — Ihab Hassan

What a beautiful line! I wasn’t sure when I saved it last night just what kind of pearl it would make, but it creates such a beautiful image in the mind, I couldn’t resist. I suppose it makes a fine contrast to how I feel just now, and as such, can be used to demonstrate how our attitudes are under our control, if we but choose to assume it…..

I feel like shit, emotionally, for various reasons, and that is reflected in my attitude toward the day; I don’t want to face it. I’d like to be able to just turn it all off, and go visit a friend somewhere far away. But, being stuck here, waiting for relief from my financial limitations, keeps me on the edge of depression, as well as keeping me in place…. If only for the time it takes to read, and contemplate this line, beauty takes over, and my thoughts and attitude undergo a marked change for the better. All it takes is a reminder of what we always have as creatures of this reality, our potential for grace.

“Grace”. Interesting word, that…. I like what it implies, the feeling of being connected to the universe, and enjoying that tie for the joy it can bring. To live in grace means to act rightly, surrounding oneself with beauty, increasing the joy in life by living it well, passionately, with compassion and humility. I can understand how religious folks would seek to receive such from the practice of their faith, though I can’t agree with them about exactly where grace comes from. They seem to believe that it is something given to them, as a reward for their faith, when in reality, it is something they have to learn to give, and can only be found inside themselves, because that is where it always is…. It just isn’t always free to let itself be known….

“The supreme irony of life is hardly anyone ever gets out of it alive.” — Robert Heinlein

Perspective…. the proper perspective can be hard to find, and it is good when such can be provided for us by a simple phrase, like this one, and the first one, above. The first phrase tells us to remember there are two sides to life, and only one side is inherently painful. This quote, from the Grand Master, is a reminder to SEEK perspective, and is one nobody should ever lose track of, as it is universally applicable. One may, at least temporarily, find ways to avoid paying taxes, but there is no avoiding death…. none.

Mere contemplation of our own death is a sure way to gain perspective. It may not always be the most amenable, or comfortable perspective, but it is the most truthful that can be acquired, without exception. Nothing will ground us better than thinking about our own demise, as there is no room for anything but truth when dealing with the whole concept. Anything less than the truth just fails to compute….. Not the most comforting line of thought, unless one has learned not to fear death, but, who is ever very successful at that? I mean, that’s why there are so many different religions out there, all offering their own way of dealing with that fear…. they’re just not very good at it. Well, not very truthful, anyway….

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — W. W. Zeige

I’m not sure whether I can truthfully classify this as a pearl. The criteria for that decision  are pretty loose, all in all, so it will fit in that respect. But, I do rather like to make some valid point, and this one doesn’t seem to have one I can find offhand. We humans spend a lot of our mental energy on stuff like this, which may be a clue as to the whole problem of the inability of so many of us to cope with reality without some kind of crutch, or without letting someone else do our thinking for us. That isn’t a danger for me, thank goodness, but most of humanity seems to fall into that pattern, and that, in itself, presents me with perspective issues, as mine differs radically from most everyone in the mainstream of society.

Oh, there are a lot more ffolkes such as myself out there; WordPress is proof enough of that. But, the major percentage of the population of this country generally prefers not to have to exercise their mental muscles any more than is absolutely necessary. Whether the inertial momentum that is built up by such a large percentage is amenable to adjustment remains to be seen, and all we can do is our best, to spread the virus of rational thought as far as we can….. “You’re our only hope, Obi-wan!”……

“I feel better about world problems now!” — Zippy the Pinhead

And, so do I! Shall we move on?…..

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I’m not sure yet what will go here, so, you’ll just have to wait…. Hey, I’m waiting, too!…. Okay, waiting done…. If you’ve been here with any regularity, you’ll know who I will pick, for, when there is any question about it, I always turn to her…. It’s Emily, of course…. writing on a subject very near, if not dear, to my heart….

The hallowing of pain

The hallowing of Pain
Like hallowing of Heaven,
Obtains at a corporeal cost —
The Summit is not given

To Him who strives severe
At middle of the Hill —
But He who has achieved the Top —
All — is the price of All —
     
~~Emily Dickinson ~~

emily icon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This old school pearl has been collected with parameters that should, hopefully, cause some fairly steady bleeding among our Beloved Ruling Class, should any of them happen to see it…. I found the first couple of pearls sitting here, having obviously been collected previously, with that in mind… Well, so be it…. I never block any of my impulses, if I can keep from doing so…. and this one will, no doubt, be a good one, pointed and sharp, just the way I like them…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. I intend to….. Oh, also…. this will be a rare pearl, a nine-star, just because, when I use nine, the pattern of the wounds makes such a lovely design on their bodies….

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” — Samuel Johnson

(I know…. I said this pearl would be taking shots at the BRC, and asininnies in general…. But, read that line again, and tell me you don’t automatically think of politicians…. I know I do, because the phrase accurately describes no other segment of our society better, than it does those whom we have elected…. Sad, I know, but, all too true….)

“Most people seem to think that trampling individual rights is OK if it is “for the good of society as a whole.”  However, society is but a large number of individuals, and how can harming the individual parts better the whole?” — Andrew Ford, forda@agcs.com

“The First Amendment does not say that there is freedom of expression provided the talk is not `dangerous’. It does not say that there is freedom of expression provided the utterance has no tendency to subvert. It does not put free speech and freedom of the press in the category of housing, sanitation, hours of work, factory conditions, and the like, and make it subject to regulation for the public good. Nor does it permit legislative restraint of freedom of expression so long as the regulation does not offend due process. All notions of regulation or restraint by government are absent from the First Amendment. For it says in words that are unambiguous, `Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.'” — Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, 1958

“A politician will always tip off his true belief by stating the opposite at the beginning of the sentence.  For maximum comprehension, do not start listening until the first clause is concluded.  Begin instead at the word “but” which begins the second, or active, clause.  This is the way to tell a liberal from a conservative–before they tell you.  Thus: “I have always believed in a strong national defense, second to none, but … ” (a liberal, about to propose a $20 billion defense cut).” — Frank Mankiewicz

(Don’t worry about the labels here, ffolkes…. Mr. Mankiewicz seems to show a bit of bias toward conservatism…. but, it’s still true…. liberal, conservative, whatever…. they ALL do this….)

“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!” — Albert Einstein

“If God wanted us to have a President, He would have sent us a candidate.” — Jerry Dreshfield

“A conservative is a man who wants the rules changed so no one can make a pile the way he did.” — Gregory Nunn

“Curse all his virtues! they’ve undone his country.” — Joseph Addison (1672-1719) — Cato, Act iv, Sc. 4

(I really do love irony…. and, its twin sister, sarcasm…. When both are used in conjunction with hyperbole, well…. awesome is the word that comes to mind for me…..)

“Do not speak of what men deserve.   For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead Kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved?  Will you punish us for that?  Will you reward us for  the virtue of starving while others ate?  No man earns punishment, no man earns reward.  Free your mind of the idea of *deserving*, of *earning*, and  you will begin to be able to think.” — Odo, The Prison Letters (Ursula LeGuin, _The Dispossessed_)

I probably don’t need to mention (to this crowd…) that, learning to think in this fashion makes it much simpler to perceive the lies and oppression that the BRC and Asininnies spread around like the clap…. with exactly the same effect on society as that dreaded bacteria has on an individual, if not treated…. sickness, isolation, loss of self and others, and eventual death, from either the disease itself, or the loneliness it can engender in its victims….. Sadly, most of society hasn’t even a clue they’ve been infected by their own leaders, so, no treatment is even considered necessary…. which, as noted, will eventually lead to…. what was that? Oh, yeah….. DEATH….

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

It may not be the best Pearl I’ve ever done, but, it has the one primary characteristic that makes it good enough…. it’s done. I can’t do any more damage to it; it’s already dead. So, I’m going to post the corpus, and hope for the best before it starts to deteriorate…. At least I know it won’t smell bad…. at least, not until the technology advances to the point of making what we see on our comps complete with information for the other senses…. i.e. “sensies”, Virtual Reality complete with smells, touch, sounds, sights, and tastes….. Boy, once that happens, we all will need to be more careful about what we leave lying around, won’t we?  Until then, this will do…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I’m not in jail….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

Parsing algorithms at the Sign of the Four….

Ffolkes,
Often times the words flow freely, tripping out lightly to rest momentarily before someone’s eye, then fluttering away to tease and please the children playing nearby. The flow grows, and the the pace increases, the words assume more urgency, more passion, more, more, more, until they are practically exploding onto the page, assaulting the eyes demanding meaning, scaring the children as they rush by, intent on mayhem. The flow then slows, reassumes the passive, lazy feeling of a late summer day, long lemonade in hand, with the only purpose of killing time, killing it so well, no charges are brought. But then, for some reason, the flow stops…… and I take another sip of coffee…..let’s dive in, shall we?…..
___________________________________

Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the listening earth
Repeats the story of her birth;
While all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
— Joseph Addison (1672-1719) — Ode

I don’t have any comment here, not of any great profundity. I just like this poem, for several reasons that are too personal to go into just now; it would take too much time, trying to explain something that I don’t fully understand within myself in a way that would be understandable to others. This actually happens a lot to me when I am judging art; I  don’t know much of anything about painting, or sculpting, or the finer points of writing poetry, only what I’ve read. But I do know what I like, and what I don’t, so I just go by that, and let the rest take care of itself as best it can….and I know I like this poem…….you enjoy it too, so this won’t be a complete waste of our time together, what?….
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“I, for one, do not think homosexuality is the latest advance over heterosexuality in the scale of human evolution. Homosexuality is a sickness, just as are baby-rape or wanting to become head of General Motors.” — Eldridge Cleaver

While I can in no way agree with Eldridge’s opinion on homosexuality, I do agree with his definition of sickness, one that goes beyond the usual defined parameters of the concept of sickness, past the physical into the behavioral. Pedophilia can, I think, be placed in the category of something that everyone recognizes, as an abnormality that produces behavior that is extreme, to put it decorously. Unfortunately, we also have another subset of humanity that engages in avarice and power-seeking in the extreme, who have somehow convinced most of the rest of humanity that they are not only not sick or broken, but are just the type of folks that anyone could want in a position of responsibility.

Now, obviously, that’s a crock of BS. No rational person would ever consider taking the reins of power over others without serious doubts as to their ability to do the job well; such jobs preclude any but the most serendipitous results by their very nature. But, to those folks who want that power, it is their ticket to ride the gravy train of public service, and they will lie, cheat, and steal to whatever degree is necessary to secure their desired place atop the heap.

For the most part, we let them do it, if only because we don’t have the ruthlessness and disregard for human rights that are the hallmark characteristics of those who would be king. But then, if we did, we would be them, and that is just as unacceptable. We just need to find a way to keep them as poorly funded and poorly supported as possible, so they don’t do as much harm in their thrashing about…..
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“Look at these three words written larger than all the rest, and with special pride never written before or since — tall words, proudly saying “We the people” .. these words and the words that follow … must apply to everyone or they mean nothing.” — Kirk, “The Omega Glory,” stardate unknown.

“No one need think that the world can be ruled without blood. The civil sword shall and must be red and bloody.” — Martin Luther

The American Dream isn’t as shiny as it used to be; the fact of its existence only contributes to the feeling that it is an unattainable dream, a lie promulgated to keep the ignorant going each day to their little job, eyes focused on the big bright picture of SUCCESS! that hovers ever out of reach. Each successive generation who is disappointed once again, who sees no fundamental changes in the way things are run in the world, soon understands that it is mostly futile to fight the status quo. Thus, the soil of American thought grows to be ever more fertile ground to nurture change, more ready to accept the fact that it is probably a good time to hold the next American Revolution, wherein the forces of reason will battle the forces of ignorance, hopefully to settle the matter, once and for all………. now that we’ve had our serious political discussion for the morning, here are a few thoughts in a lighter vein, if no less sarcastic….

“He who knows nothing, loves nothing. He who can do nothing understands nothing. He who understands nothing is worthless.” — Paracelsus
(But he can still run for President! This is like a job want-ad for a Republican POTUS, and all the current candidates fit right in there….)

“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.” — Elbert Hubbard

What this country needs is more unemployed politicians.

“Congressional terms should be … ten to twenty with no possibility of parole.” — Walt Handelsman

A little sweet, a little tart, a little savory, and you’ve got a flavorful stew…..
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“Marjoe and Doshen were meditating in a field when Doshen just went and smacked Marjoe upside the head.  “What the hell did you do that for?” asked Marjoe.  “Nyuck nyuck nyuck,” replied Doshen. At that moment, Marjoe ordered pizza.

Hackish humor can be pretty subtle. This isn’t particularly surprising, as working in abstruse fields of mathematics can cause some interesting changes to the mind, leaving it open to new vistas of previously little-known parts of reality. This koan is a clear indicator of this kind of vision; it is true to the principles of Zen thought, while immersing itself completely into modern hacker culture, with an almost calculated  irreverence thrown in for decorative purposes. The funniest part of it, to me, is that I can see myself having this interchange with some of my friends; and, yes, we are all considered a bit strange by the Mundanes. At least it keeps me off the streets….

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” — Buddha
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If reality wants to get in touch, it knows where I am.

Am I a dreamer, dreaming that I write? Or am I a writer, writing my dream? Reality is always a slippery slope, if only because taking one’s attention away from dealing with it can be either help or hindrance. And only in retrospect can one tell which took place….. I always liked the way Philip K. Dick defined reality, as “…what is left when you stop believing in it.” This viewpoint shows both insight and experience, in a man who should know; he spent much of his life struggling with a form of Schizophrenia that makes any perception suspect, even those we hold to be most familiar.

It is no picnic trying to get along in life when one’s sense of what is real is constantly being challenged by what is perceived. It can’t be easy to be in a crowd when one believes they can hear what others are thinking; we who do not suffer from this sort of delusion or hallucination cannot really understand how terrifying it is to live with this every day.

I’ve had some struggles of my own in this respect; reality takes on a very dark, foreboding aspect when one is suffering clinical depression, and the climb back into the light can be an exhausting effort. So, one learns to adjust feelings in ourselves, to make changes to the only part of reality over which we have any power to do so. We can change ourselves, if we wish, but we cannot change anything in reality, beyond exercising our means of perceiving it. In my younger days, when I knew so much more than I know now, I once wrote, “true power is control over the routes of perception.” I didn’t know then that I was closer to the mark than I thought……
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As the words flow gently toward the final destination,let us bid adieu to another trip through the nether portions of my mind. I’m happy that I could still find my way out; we could have been stuck there for days!….. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Alternate methods of removing recalcitrant pianists….

Ffolkes,
Many years ago, even before I got married & raised kids, I had already made it a habit to never go out on New Year’s Eve. It always seemed a sucker’s bet to me, and I never had all that great a time at any parties I attended. I took the attitude of “I don’t go our when all the amateurs are out” and would stay home & celebrate the new year fairly quietly. It’s kind of like when Harry Truman said  “I never got in trouble over what I never said.” For me, New Year’s Eve  was when I never had a problem I didn’t cause myself, by over-consumption of alcohol. I have no regrets about that, intending as I do to continue the policy tonight, and every other New Year’s I have left in me. I don’t believe I’m missing much, as I also don’t get terribly wrapped up in the holiday frenzy anyway, and everybody out on the streets is either drunk, partially drunk, or insanely cheery about the passing of another day. Far as I can tell, on every January 1 in my life, the sun came up just like it did yesterday, and as it will tomorrow. The times between hold the only differences, and we are the ones who determine how that boat floats…….let’s get on with the fun…..
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A few random thoughts on the meaning of insanity, and by implication, sanity…….all came from one dive. Pearl after pearl on the same subject kept presenting itself for my perusal, so after a few, I just gave up & collected them. So here they are, all with a bit to say about those among us who perceive reality from a whole different place than you or me…..

‘What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art.’ — Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), Reminiscences

If sanity were dollars I’d be bankrupt.

“I come from a long line of Southern psychotics and an environment where madness is currency and conversation is blood sport.” — Elizabeth Ashley

According to figures from the Justice Department, the average rapist serves only 5.2 years on jail, and the average murderer serves only 8.6 years. By contrast, the average time served for possession of LSD is 10.1 years, and many Americans are serving mandatory minimum sentences of 20 to 25 years for possession or sale of marijuana.
(Insanity comes in many guises…. your choice as to which is real, and which is delusion….)

Avoid reality at all costs!

And who (in time) knows whither we may vent
The treasure of our tongue? To what strange shores
This gain of our best glory shall be sent
T’ enrich unknowing nations with our stores?
What worlds in the yet unformed Occident
May come refin’d with th’ accents that are ours?
— Samuel Daniel (1562-1619) — Musophilus, Stanza 163
(Psychosis is rooted in fear, and fear also assumes many masks…..)

I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed.
— Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Oft in the Stilly Night
(An accurate description of the onset of depression…..)

Why ask me? I’m just visiting reality.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled program…..
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To get people to think they are thinking begets friendship, whereas actually to make people think begets resentment. There is no level so low to which people will not stoop, even honorable people, to avoid the difficulty of thinking.

So true, so true…..it fascinates me at times, this reluctance on the part of most folks to using the one and only evolutionary advantage they possess over other creatures. Compared to other animals, we’re not particularly fast, nor very strong, and our teeth and nails are not very good weapons compared to those of a domestic cat, for just one example. We need to wear clothing to protect ourselves from our own planet’s weather extremes. We rely on other species for our sustenance, being unable to create it ourselves.

In the final analysis, we’re pretty fragile, physically speaking; even a soft blow administered to the correct point can cause death. Hell, our bodies have more than one design flaw; how about how our food and air processing facilities? They cross each other at a critical junction, at the throat, and frequently cause problems that can have mortal consequences. Our elimination process and sexual organs also cross paths, in a manner of speaking; the outlet for the former is right next to the points of ingress and egress of the latter, depending on gender. From a strictly engineering viewpoint, it’s not a very good design.

It’s clear that there is little chance of humans ever dominating on the basis of physical characteristics; most animals are much better equipped for that. Our mind, our imagination, our perception of more than merely physical energy in the universe, these are our advantages over other creatures. We have the ability to remember the past in the present, and use those memories to extrapolate the future.

This is an incredible evolutionary leap, one that allows humans to readily turn their perceptions of how things work into tools that enable us to alter reality to suit our wishes. We can’t really fight our way out of a paper bag, and our defenses against predators is weak in comparison to other animals. But the power of our minds is sufficient to neutralize all physical and environmental advantages of the other inhabitants, and gives mankind the means to not merely survive, but to thrive and dominate.

So, the question remains: why are so many people so averse to using their minds? Well, I don’t know, for sure. I could make some guesses, and they might even be accurate. But it really doesn’t matter, because the only creature who can cause us to change ourselves, is ourselves. Nobody can make us do anything we don’t want to do. Most folks learn the power of the word “No” at a young age (age 2 is customary for most folks), and become so enamored with it, it becomes their default position for anything that is, or even appears to be, ‘difficult’. Sad, but true…..and wishing won’t make it go away. I can only wish I were smart enough to figure out how to get folks to see the light, before its too late, and the bulb burns out for good…..
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When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway,
The post of honor is a private station.
— Joseph Addison (1672-1719) — Cato, Act iv, Sc. 4

Aye, ’tis a lonely station as well. I  find it very rare to meet anyone today who places any credence in the concept of honorable behavior. If acting honorably is considered at all, it is well after avarice, pride, bigotry, ignorance, or self-interest is used as a first attempt. I find very few people I meet who live honorably; too many shortcuts used to obtain their desires, too many times ignoring evil, thereby encouraging it. Too may times people make their decisions on how to act toward others by first considering their own self-interests, never considering whether or not the other person has, or is even entitled to the same. Most interactions between people have become a contest to see who can manipulate the other into giving them their desires, regardless of consequence, or the ripple effect.

People just don’t seem to care anymore about other people. They wander through their lives in controversy, never knowing that they are their own worst enemy. Sometimes, it’s enough to make me pull my hair out, and for me at this stage, that’s not a good thing; what I have is long, but there is less and less of it every day.

Ah well, maybe I’ll completely retire, and stop paying attention to anything. No phone, no TV, maybe a little music. The radio news is probably not too toxic in small doses, and there’s always the option of making use of the On/Off switch…… SIGH……I’ve been an optimist for most of my life. It’s getting really tough to maintain a positive outlook, in the face of the mounting evidence that we are in a cultural stage best described by Robert Heinlein when he called these the “Crazy Years”, a time when the news resembles a self-edited periodical produced by the mentally ill…..Entropy is rising, and chaos is near, I’m afraid…..stay alert out there…….

“Better contraceptives will control population only if people will use them. A nuclear holocaust can be prevented only if the conditions under which nations make war can be changed. The environment will continue to deteriorate until pollution practices are abandoned. We need to make vast changes in human behavior.” — B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity
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I’ve had this dialogue more than once; how ’bout you?

It: Can I ask you a question?
Me: You just did.
It: Ok, can I ask you two questions?
Me: You just did.
It: Ok, can I ask you another question after this one?
Me: You’ve already asked three questions without permission, why bother asking for the fourth?
— Michael Constant

Funny, isn’t it? How some folks believe they are entitled to “just a moment of your time.” I’ve had the above conversation, or one like it, on several occasions in my life, and each time my astonishment grows. If a person, in trying to be friendly and/or helpful, gives up their moments on every occasion asked, they are willingly enslaving themselves. Once one has the reputation of being the “go to guy” or “the ask her, she’ll know, or she’ll do it girl” they may as well forge and wear their own collar. Duty, which is the only valid reason for which a man acts, can a burden, yes. But it is a burden that is willingly shouldered, because the honorable man chooses his duty; no one may do it for him. Once chosen, duty will be fulfilled. But the choice is purely subjective.

However, this doesn’t stop other folks from trying to get us to do what they want, and they will use lies, innuendo, shame, defamation, guilt, or whatever manipulative tool they think they need, to get us to do their bidding. If one is not firm and self-reliant, they will find themselves never having enough time to meet their own needs, busy as they are with the needs of others. Best all-around to just stop them in the beginning, making it clear that one will make one’s own choices, and will not give up their time without good cause, as judged by themselves, and no other……
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If I don’t drive around the park,
I’m pretty sure to make my mark.
If I’m in bed each night by ten,
I may get back my looks again.
If I abstain from fun and such,
I’ll probably amount to much;
But I shall stay the way I am,
Because I do not give a damn.   — Dorothy Parker

I don’t really have a lot to say here. Dorothy Parker is one of my favorite people from the early 20th century. She was a semi-militant feminist in a time when it was still unfashionable, a description that is perhaps due more to her unique personality than to any cause. She was herself, period. She refused to be anyone else, and was not afraid to say so in no uncertain terms, and with undeniable elegance and style. She had a rapier wit, and used it unsparingly on the rich, famous, and whomever else she felt needed a dose of it. I’m glad she lived, and glad to have knowledge of so great a spirit as inspiration…..
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I must say again I like this new format for the POVW (Pearls of Virtual Wisdom); it gives me more to write/rant about than the old way. I guess that’s a good thing. If nothing else, it’s caused an increased output, and that’s good. I’ve finally figured out the best way for me to make a little money at this, and hopefully can gain a little breathing space in the constant war with the economy. The only drawback I’ve noted so far is a tendency to ramble on and on……I’m writing about what I believe in, so the passion is coming out with it, increasing quantity at the minimum. I’m working hard to maintain the quality……hope I’m doing okay at it……any who, that’s enough for one morning. Y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!