Saved by the smell of a bell….


“History has the relation to truth that theology has to religion

 — i.e., none to speak of.”

~~ Lazarus Long ~~

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of NGC 7049 in the constellation of Indus, in the southern sky. A family of globular clusters appears as glittering spots dusted around the galaxy halo. Astronomers study the globular clusters in NGC 7049 to learn more about its formation and evolution. The dust lanes, which appear as a lacy web, are dramatically backlit by the millions of stars in the halo of NGC 7049.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of NGC 7049 in the constellation of Indus, in the southern sky. A family of globular clusters appears as glittering spots dusted around the galaxy halo. Astronomers study the globular clusters in NGC 7049 to learn more about its formation and evolution. The dust lanes, which appear as a lacy web, are dramatically backlit by the millions of stars in the halo of NGC 7049.

Constellation Indus, NGC 7049

Click to see enlarged image

Buenos dias, gente…. In my most egregiously avaricious dreams, I’ve never really wanted much; to live about 200 years, and, to see my kids happy is about what it has boiled down to. Beyond that, I’m pretty content with what I’ve got, and what I’ve always had…. Money, other than as a tool, has never entered into anything I’ve wanted. It’s probably due to having heard, somewhere from someone, before the age of 11, “If you wish a life of trouble, fill your house with treasure.” For some reason, that struck a chord in my young mind, so, I thought about it pretty long and hard, considering. The result was a firm conviction to never seek treasure, or possessions, or more than I needed to survive relatively comfortably.

Of course, I didn’t think it quite that way at 11; some of that evolved over time, as I learned to apply it to my life over the years…. Now I’m an OOF, I can look back, and feel pretty good about it all; you see, other than those times I’ve made bad internal decisions, same as any human, I’m happy with all I’ve done, and have now…. In looking back over HISTORY (all caps intentional, giving it oomph, to imply ALL of it….), I can honestly say I’ve lived my life at least as honorably as I could, (not to mention, a good deal more honorably than many of histories more famous figures) given the handicaps implied in having the unfortunate luck to have a Human nature, which pushes us all to find and take the easiest way much of the time, rather than the right way…. It’s a basic flaw in all of us; male, female, skin color, whatever, we all are inherently lazy(*), and, it’s gotten us in trouble for centuries now….

(*) About the hard stuff in life, anyway…. stuff such as physical work, morality, ethics, emotional growth, cultural growth…. You know, nothing most folks can’t do without, as long as nobody asks them to be responsible for anything.

Gosh. That’s sort of heavy, isn’t it, for an intro? I don’t know exactly what happened, other than to say, sorry, if appropriate, for engaging too many neurons right off the bat, especially after the light-hearted feel to the opening line from Lazarus. It all just flowed out; even Leelu was entranced…. Well, for a while…. She came up, sat & watched intently as I typed all of the above; she got up then, walked directly in front of my face, and went to lie elsewhere, a clear clue to change direction, I’d say. Especially since it’s NOT morning, nor is this even today’s Pearl I’m working on (I think; sometimes I can’t always remember where the Tardis has left me, especially when I’m writing….)

There. That should do it. We’ve successfully disengaged from the serious vein with which I started this mess; now, we can really start fucking things up, as is our usual habit this time of day. You know, we’ve had some good results from letting Luigi indulge his love of speed; I think we’ll try it again today. That means restraints are now optional, but, we insist you put your beverage in the holders provided…. Thanks…..

Luigi! They fell for it; take it away!….

Shall we Pearl?….

“What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

~~ last words of Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator [1890] ~~



Itzhak Perlman

Image from via Google Images

I tried to download the entire playlist, consisting of 98 videos, but, apparently, they’ll play, but not follow. Ah well, just let the music play; anything this man plays becomes better than originally intended by the composer. I first saw him play when he and I were both children, on the Ed Sullivan show, where I was astounded at the talent he displayed, playing some classical tune I don’t remember, but, with such obvious joy, it impressed me very strongly…. Witness now possibly the finest violinist of the twentieth century, and beyond, one of mankind’s treasures, and a testament to the power of the human will, to not merely overcome his handicaps, but, to show how truly insignificant they are in comparison to the human spirit…..


Itzhak Perlman





Morning muse

Morning Muse

I’m having a bout of insomnia, thanks once more to my lovely personal physicians, may they always be infested with fleas…. Normally, or, as close as we ever come to normally, that would/could produce a rant of its own; tonight/today, however, it has stimulated merely some mild annoyance, and a wish for a bit of peace (some sleep would be nice, too…. SIGH…. Ya never know what you’re gonna miss until it’s gone, do ya?). We’ll deal with that in our default manner, with a short, meandering little pearl from 2012. Enjoy, please, or suffer the consequence, to wit: a short period of severe boredom….

From 9/8/2012:

“It is popularly supposed that between those who use the word “God” and those who do not there is some great gulf.  But the gulf lies elsewhere.  It lies between those who dogmatize, either positively or negatively, and those who recognize in great humility that something within them bears witness to realities which may be momentous in our lives, but which lie beyond the grasping net of our categories of thought.” — Smart Bee

Yet more proof of Murphy’s presence in Life…. or, in my life, anyway….. Yesterday I wrote about this subject, expounding as I am wont to do with no little enthusiasm, trying to bring some clarity to a naturally murky subject (it’s hard to pin down anything solidly when the subject under discussion is a matter of conjecture, not physically present to be examined….). Then, later in the day, I come across this one short paragraph, that summarizes my 3-400 words succinctly in three lines, and very clearly, for all its brevity. SIGH….. So much for originality, eh? Though I don’t know who said it, I salute them….

“In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time.” — Edward P. Tryon

Once more, I have to agree with the author, especially as it gives a sort of pat on the shoulder to the paragraph above, as if sharing an obvious point. Serendipity, I say, and well met….

“When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.” — Bernard Bailey

This one, when viewed in light of the previous two quotes, made me smile, big….. now, why is that? Because when he says a lot, he means, A LOT OF PEOPLE!…..

“And don’t tell me God works in mysterious ways, Yossarian continued There’s nothing mysterious about it, He’s not working at all. He’s playing. Or else He’s forgotten all about us. That’s the kind of God you people talk about, a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?” — Joseph Heller, Catch 22

Funny how people under stress always get so close to the truth; it makes the one who hears it more nervous and upset than he who said it…. or it that just me? Of course it is…. Why shouldn’t it be me? What’s the matter with me? Don’t you like me?….. Sorry…. any who, let’s see what else the magic can find….

“Every sensible man, every honest man, must hold the Christian sect in horror. But what shall we substitute in its place? you say. What? A ferocious animal has sucked the blood of my relatives. I tell you to rid yourselves of this beast and you ask me what you shall put in its place?” — Voltaire

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

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

I’m not sure why, but this excerpt from T.S. Eliot seems to be the perfect finishing line for the above meandering treatise…. and it is as close to a verifiable point as we’re going to get today, I can tell…. so, best leave it be for now, and go on to something else…. Or, in this case, to something the same….



    On 9/8/2012, when I wrote and posted the above treatise, I also used this poem as the choice for the day. It still fits, and makes perfect sense, given the ending of the above section…. Enjoy!….

Portrait of a Lady

Among the smoke and fog of a December afternoon
You have the scene arrange itself–as it will seem to do–
With “I have saved this afternoon for you”;
And four wax candles in the darkened room,
Four rings of light upon the ceiling overhead,
An atmosphere of Juliet’s tomb
Prepared for all the things to be said, or left unsaid.
We have been, let us say, to hear the latest Pole
Transmit the Preludes, though his hair and fingertips.
“So intimate, this Chopin, that I think his soul
Should be resurrected only among friends
Some two or three, who will not touch the bloom
That is rubbed and questioned in the concert room.”
–And so the conversation slips
Among velleities and carefully caught regrets
Through attenuated tones of violins
Mingled with remote cornets
And begins.
“You do not know how much they mean to me, my friends,
And how, how rare and strange it is, to find
In a life composed so much, so much of odds and ends,
[For indeed I do not love it . . . you knew? you are not blind!
How keen you are!]
To find a friend who has these qualities,
Who has, and gives
Those qualities upon which friendship lives.
How much it means that I say this to you–
Without these friendships–life, what cauchemar!”

Among the windings of the violins
And the ariettes
Of cracked cornets
Inside my brain a dull tom-tom begins
Absurdly hammering a prelude of its own,
Capricious monotone
That is at least one definite “false note.”
–Let us take the air, in a tobacco trance,
Admire the monuments,
Discuss the late events,
Correct our watches by the public clocks.
Then sit for half and hour and drink our bocks.

T. S. Eliot

I don’t care what anyone says…. this is some good stuff….. a worthy goal to shoot for, wouldn’t you agree?…… Not in hope of exceeding, but merely to equal the power of this man’s work is worthy of any effort…..



    You may wonder why the girl is laughing, and, sure enough I’ll tell you…. She’s laughing at me, for my emotional investment in how these come out; while this one was processing itself, I went through all sorts of mental contortions trying to decide what it meant, and, getting all worked up at HOW it came together….

It seemed at first as if it would go on forever; I had the first seven gems in place in no time. It then took a strange turn, and the pearls became rare as their counterparts in reality. Eventually, it sorted itself out, sort of; I still am unsure of exactly what it’s trying to say about Life at Large, beyond the obvious advice to use one’s mind to one’s best advantage…. Perhaps that’s enough…. Either way, the little girl had fun, and so did the camel….

Xenophanes speaks thus:–

And no man knows distinctly anything,
And no man ever will.

~~ Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Pyrrho, viii ~~

“Better be ignorant of a matter than half know it.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 865

“Doth perfect beauty stand in need of praise at all? Nay; no more than law, no more than truth, no more than loving kindness, nor than modesty.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus — Meditations, iv, 20

“To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

“He who knows best knows how little he knows.” — Thomas Jefferson

“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” — Benjamin Franklin

“Look to the essence of a thing, whether it be a point of doctrine, of practice, or of interpretation.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus — Meditations, viii, 22

“It is not length of life, but depth of life.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Death never takes the wise man by surprise, he is always ready to go.” — La Fontaine


Some days this process sort of runs itself; much of today’s post fits into that category easily. But, it has that one distinctive characteristic for which we constantly strive, to wit: it’s done. As such, we’ll go post it, and start on tomorrow’s mess, to get a running start at it, so to speak. Until then, y’all be chill, and good to each other…. I’ll be back, and we all know who said that….

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.


“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured Image -- 2780

À bientôt, mon cherí….


Democracy has become a joke in poor taste…..


Bah, humbug! None of it makes any sense, and it certainly isn’t designed for comfort; hence, crankiness rules now apply…. No insults are too cheap, no bad names too vile for us to use, with gusto. Today, come what may, a spade will be called a spade, and outright roguery will be called to task. I don’t care a whit who the target is, or how dignified the office they hold, or how sacred they are considered by worshipful millions, if they piss me off, they’re gonna hear about it, in plain talk, without a single moment’s hesitation, and every effort will be expended to fry them unmercifully on the hot seat of my scrutiny, until their skin crackles,they start to resemble a mutilated raisin, and their screams for mercy are ringing in my ears, making beautiful music….

In order to rant effectively, the above attitude is necessary; without it, one cannot achieve the proper state of curmudgeonry, nor can one possibly reach the depth of vindictiveness that is required to poke at public figures and make it worthwhile…. In other words, one must get in direct touch with their sense of outrage, and allow it to direct, if not control, the feelings of anger, frustration, and betrayal that are so common when the BRC carries out some new, or old, method of screwing us, an event that they tend to consider as their privilege, if not their vocation….

Seriously, those who hold office in the USA, whether it is in the executive, judicial, or legislative branch of the government, think that stealing from us, lying to us, and generally bending us over and fucking us in the ass on a regular basis, are their rights as elected officials of this country, and, to be frank, I’m more than just a little tired of it…. They don’t even bother to use any K-Y Jelly, or even Vaseline…

Of course, it would help if we didn’t invite them to do so, every election…. I mean, we keep on voting the assholes into office, so we really don’t have a lot of stable ground to stand on in that respect…. Of course, we also don’t have any way to tell which ones are lying the most, but, hey, that’s on us, not on them…. We KNOW they’re going to lie, so, it becomes OUR problem when we keep letting them do it….

SIGH…. There I go again, ranting before I’ve even had any coffee, to speak of…. I drank enough to swallow my morning meds, but, then, started typing; once begun, it just ran away with me…. I guess I was dreaming about this, or something, so it was right there on the top for me to use this morning when I booted up. I hope it doesn’t mean I’ll be in crank mode all day… I’ve got stuff to do out in the BBR that will require me to speak to other people without chewing on them, which is hard to do, when all I feel like doing is slapping them silly….. I’ll have to be careful not to let it out on anyone who doesn’t deserve it (though, in general, they do….).

BIG, CHEST-HEAVING, PATHETICALLY DRAMATIC SIGH…. 😳  People are so gullible. It’s a big part of our nature, to believe what we hear, if it is presented in a certain way, from someone who, previously, has garnered our trust, generally by prior statements. Unfortunately, we never seem to learn, at least, not well enough to be consistent about it, to verify those original statements before giving the trust, or attempt to ascertain in some other way whether or not the person’s words are worthy of our trust. This goes for elected officials especially, but, as I just demonstrated, it is true for blogs, as well….

Most of the above rant is Pure Grade A 100% BS, government certified, and if anybody knows their shit, it’s the government. Oh, all the stuff about them, and their unfortunate tendency to lie, cheat, and steal, as an avocation, is true as the day is long. But the stuff about waking up cranky, being a curmudgeon, etc., that’s all BS again today…. Please note that I spoke one piece of truth, to wit: I did drink my coffee before actually typing, and therein lies the critical difference, that should have clued you in to my use of untruth as a literary device, to hook you in, and lead you logically into the ranting portion of the piece.

In short, this has been an experiment, in human psychology, and YOU are part of it! Doesn’t that just make you all tingly with excitement and joy?

Oh…. No?

Well, heck, I thought y’all would like something new and different, but, I guess it should be something that actually engages your interest, rather than tricking you into the same sort of manipulative situation that the BRC is wont to do to you (us), such as lying, and tricking you into believing things that aren’t actually real, or as dangerous and frightening as they are made out to be…… I would suppose, had I not gone so far off-script, we might have called what just happened a morality play, but…. I guess this means we should just call it a minor clusterfuck, and get on with the rest of the day….

Shall we Pearl?….

“I couldn’t remember when I had been so disappointed.   Except perhaps the time I found out that M&Ms really *do* melt in your hand …” — Peter Oakley

“Abstain from beans; that is, keep out of public offices, for anciently the choice of the officers of state was made by beans.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of the Training of Children

It always amazes me when I read stuff like this…. Statements like this show me that in the past one thousand, eight hundred, and ninety-three years since Plutarch reportedly died, the human race has made virtually no progress at all in learning how to govern ourselves well. By “well” I mean we have not learned, any better than they did back then, how to govern so that the people are fed, clothed, protected from their less scrupulous peers, made well when sick or injured, and generally operated with the best interests of ALL the people as primary motivation, using all resources equally and fairly, in such a way that the Earth, our only home, is also nurtured and protected, so that we will always have it….

Of course, I have to admit, to be fair, that we had not made any real progress in that when Plutarch lived, either, so, it isn’t as if we had the best examples by which we could practice our lessons to be learned in new ways. But, one would think, after all this time of watching things go wrong, we would have learned at least one or two things we could use to save our asses, now that we’re getting close to losing them…. But, it is obvious, to me, and to many, that we haven’t learned much in all these centuries, because we are still facing the same issues that were plaguing society in the days of Christ, and have continued in all the years thereafter.

I’m ranting again, and I didn’t really want to do that; this is supposed to be an old-school pearl, the first of which is the above quote from Mr. Oakley, which was intended to set the tone…. But, as is common, I couldn’t shut myself up, and had to sing another refrain in my ongoing song of lamentation regarding the state of the BRC, and the world we live in, for now…. Now, however, I’ve caught myself before getting too far into it, and will go search out the proper quotes to bring home the concept that is in my head…. Hopefully, it will be less ponderous, and less pompous, than another rant….. I’m also hoping for it to be a bit more entertaining….    😉

“Do you think sheep know when you’re pulling the wool over their eyes?” — Smart Bee

“Turning and turning the widening gyre,
the falcon cannot hear the falconer,
things fall apart, the center cannot hold,
mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

— W.B. Yeats

“The right of the citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.” — Senator Hubert Humphrey

“Those who fear death most are those who enjoy life least.” — Edward Abbey

“Reason is not measured by size or height, but by principle.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap. xii

“Antiphanes said merrily, that in a certain city the cold was so intense that words were congealed as soon as spoken, but that after some time they thawed and became audible; so that the words spoken in winter were articulated next summer.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of Man’s Progress in Virtue

“Uh-oh —  WHY am I suddenly thinking of a VENERABLE religious leader frolicking on a FORT LAUDERDALE weekend?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Okay, so it came out a bit obfuscated…. it’s what happens when I give SB its head…. But, it’s still marginally better than a rant, and does get where it needs to go, so, it will do…. Did I mention you should have your seat belts fastened?….

Yesterday, I spent the day dealing with an age-related physical issue, to wit: agonizing pain, due to a spasming muscle in my neck. The pain, which lasted most of the day, and into the night, was, at times, excruciating, and forced me into bed for most of the day, starting at about 10 AM. It finally eased up, thanks to extreme rest, and extra medication, and is, thus far, not the same issue today…. I hate those days, as they force me to accept the passage of time in terms of what I can no longer do, or count on my body being able to do. But, it does give me a lot of time to spend in my head, a place where I refuse to be uncomfortable, or bored, or anything but happy to spend time, doing what I like doing best, just letting my mind wander through the vast spaces of the Universe as I perceive it….

Hence, Yeats….. with no apologies, and no regrets…..

A Prayer For Old Age

GOD guard me from those thoughts men think
In the mind alone;
He that sings a lasting song
Thinks in a marrow-bone;
From all that makes a wise old man
That can be praised of all;
O what am I that I should not seem
For the song’s sake a fool?
I pray — for word is out
And prayer comes round again —
That I may seem, though I die old,
A foolish, passionate man.

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~


So, here we are, knee deep in this muddy expanse I like to call my mind’s playground, to wit: consensual reality, and I was thinking to myself, “now what?” Having no good answer, I will once again fall back to my default position, and put together a pearl of the old-school variety, strictly for fun…. What I mean by that is, I intend to have fun putting it together, and I intend it to be fun for y’all to read….

However, we all know about good intentions, and where we can end up by having them, or, more critically, by using them, so, I’ll be careful not to let that get us into trouble…. Not in section three, it’s not allowed that late in this venue…. Bad things can happen to the space-time continuum, so, there are safeguards built in that should keep us relatively safe…. as long as we remember to wear the helmets provided…. Remember, anything that splashes on you should be immediately cleansed away, or…. well, just clean it up quickly, so we never need to see what it does….

“Death never takes the wise man by surprise, he is always ready to go.” — La Fontaine

“Holy Hand Grenades, Batman!” — Robin

“Go on, EMOTE!  I was RAISED on thought balloons!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“If it isn’t Scottish…it’s CRRRRRAP!” — Smart MacBee

(Side joke: An American tourist was in a shop in Scotland, with one of those new wallets that uses Velcro to stay closed. When he opened it to pay for his selection, the shopkeeper exclaimed, “Och, now that’s a proper Scottish wallet! It scrreams when you open it!”) (I read that joke in Reader’s Digest, over 25 years ago….)

“No harm can come to a good man in life or death.” — Socrates

“A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone.” — William Wordsworth

“I … reject the argument put forth by many fundamentalists that science has nothing to do with religion because God is not among the things making up the  universe in which we live.   Surely if a necessity for a god-concept in the universe ever turns up, that necessity will become evident to the scientist.” — physicist Ralph Alpher, Theology of the Big Bang, Religious Humanism,       Vol. XVII, No. 1 (Winter 1983), pg. 12

You may have noted that there is no point to this pearl; it’s all about fun, for me, anyway….. and, I’m not done having fun yet, so here, to follow up this wonderful seven-star pearl, is another, a five-star pearl gathered using the same operational motivation…. i.e., none to speak of….

“What’s another word for Thesaurus?” — Steven Wright

“Beware of the young doctor and the old barber.” — Benjamin Franklin

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.” — Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm (1844-1900)
(I use this one a lot…. It’s a big part of what I consider my basic attitude toward life at large….)

“We can do noble acts without ruling earth and sea.” — Aristotle

“If called by a panther…don’t anther.” — Ogden Nash (1902-1971), “Parents Keep Out!”

I rest my case…. and a good thing, too! This may be a new record, for the number of pearls, in the most pearls, in any one Pearl, ever…. If you followed that, you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, and good for you…. For the rest of y’all, just note, please, I’ve once again completely lost my mind prior to the end of this missive….

Well, that was fun! For me, anyway…. Let’s take a peek at what others will see…. Wow! Now, THAT is an epic Pearl, and just chock full of virtual wisdom and humor, or an irrational facsimile thereof….. I can feel myself getting more and more out of control in my head; if I don’t stop typing soon, two things will happen….

First, my back will turn into a mass of muscles in spasm, intent on achieving the same relative hardness as a two-by-four piece of ironwood, and I’ll turn into a whiny, pathetic mess; and, second, I will probably end up saying, or writing something that will get me arrested, or, flamed in vile, misspelled language by some fundie, or other silly shit-for-brains, instead of hearing applause, or intelligently critical, but polite, comments from my esteemed Gentle Readers…. and I’m blathering now, so I’ll stop….

It will do, and it’s certainly enough for one day…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…. Blessed Be…

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.