Numerous system monitors attended in mufti….


“A wise player ought to accept his throws and score them, not bewail his luck.”

~~ Sophocles (496-406 BC) ~~ Phaedra, Frag. 862 ~~


    For the last 10 days or so, we’ve had some weather here in NorCal, mostly of the rainy variety. While the resultant water levels in our reservoirs, miniscule though they may be, are welcome, it’s been something of an ordeal for me, as I have reached a stage in my life where all those old wives tales, and cultural truisms about aging are coming home to roost, right here in my own skeleton. We hear all our lives how old ffolkes can predict the weather, due to feeling pain in the joints prior to any changes…. I’ve always assumed it was a myth, but, since my own joints have started to complain whenever the weather gets wet, I can see how it may eventually become precognitive….

While it may be convenient to know when rain is coming, I can’t see why we have to use pain as our gauge….. but, then, nobody asked me, did they? Nope…. In fact, I’d wager NONE of us got asked; it’s just the way it is, and we can like it, or lump it…. Me, I’m trying to figure out how to either ignore it (the pain), or bury it in an avalanche of heavy drugs; the former is better for my liver, but the latter is more efficient in dealing with the pain…. so, I’ll take the risk… At this end of my life, it seems like a better deal, as my days are numbered, anyway…. I’d rather be comfortable, which, I’ll admit, is awfully human of me….

But, though that is a perfect lead-in for a rant on human nature, I’m not in the mood to rant…. It does happen, even though it still may force its way into the forefront of my consciousness, should any stimulus catch my attention, such as a random headline about the BRC, or another of our current crop of Asininnies…. There are a lot of opportunities just now for obtaining rantable material; the issues now in the public eye are perfect examples, to wit: the recent spate of injustices by police and grand juries, or the immigration mess going on in Congress…. But, none of it inspires me today; I’m still recovering from the last ten days of misery and drug-induced mental fog, I suppose; even my emotional responses are blunted right now, due to energy levels at rock bottom….

Due to the pain I’ve had, I’ve been filling in parts of these Pearls whenever I can, at times when my hands are more flexible, without the constant ache…. So, they seem a bit choppy to me, even though the finished product may not reflect that. S’okay, though, as I don’t believe it has caused much of an actual loss of quality; that has already been determined to be little affected by whatever method I choose…. probably something to do with the overall averages, which don’t seem to reflect all the methodology differences. Whatever it is. it works for me, especially since the process of describing the issues has brought us to the jumping off point, once again without our cooperation, or our notice….

I’m going to take advantage of that, right here, right now…. As you may have guessed, for y’all, that means just one thing, to wit: it’s time for y’all to tighten up those belts, put down your adult beverages, and hang on, because we’re goin’ in hot and hard…. Well, perhaps not so hot, but, hard, for sure…. We’ll be okay; we just upgraded the bumpers…. See how shiny they are now?…..

Shall we Pearl?

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


Here is a classic Sherlock tale, A Scandal in Bohemia… In this episode, Holmes comes up against the only woman, in his eyes, who ever bested him in a case, the beautiful Irene Adler…. These You Tube versions of the old BBC shows are, in my mind, excellent interludes of pure entertainment, made even more enjoyable for the lack of commercials…. Enjoy….

The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes – S01E01 – A Scandal In Bohemia



“It’s even worse than you think…..” — Smart Bee

Here is a virgin rant…. This is one of my earliest rants against the system, as it exists in today’s world. It shows some of my more egregious writing style errors, some of which I’ve cleaned up to reflect what I’ve learned in the interim…. All the points listed herein are still valid, even though my own situation, as described at the end, has improved vastly, since I fully retired on SS disability…. Today’s rants, much more specific in terms of targeted categories, were built on the same angst as this one; now, they are simply more effective at indicting the responsible parties…. Constant practice makes for constant improvement, eh?…. Well, one may hope….

From 6/7/2012:

“Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.” — Smart Bee

I think this is obvious to the point of becoming natural law. It’s a very close insight into human nature, and I don’t know about y’all, but it sure is true for me. Today is a perfect example of this….

I feel trapped a lot of the time. Hemmed in by the very society who is supposedly there to support me in my efforts to pursue my life’s goals and aspirations. Of course, anybody over the age of 10 realizes any support from society most often resembles a slap to the head, but, the point is, society’s purpose for existing is to aid it’s citizens in maximizing their experiences, for their own benefit, which, in the process, benefits society. I mean, that is what its purpose is MEANT to be; I don’t think it would be very beneficial to continue, if this isn’t the case. Society is supposed to work in such a way that all of its members have an equal chance to succeed in whatever they undertake in life… ostensibly, it’s sole reason for existing at all….

In reality, it doesn’t work that way, for the simple reason that some of the folks in the game have changed the rules; simply, they play by rules which suit themselves, and what they want. What they want is total control of everyone else…. They’re pretty good at it, too. For close to 8,000 years now, the beloved ruling class has set things up in our culture to favor themselves. They have lied, cheated, stolen, killed, repressed, oppressed, and generally acted in a manner that the rest of humanity considers immoral, unethical, and inhuman, at the core. They have done this right in front of our eyes. The rules and laws that are agreed to by all were written to favor those in power, not those who serve.

Though every church shouts out how moral and ethical it is, and spouts off about the virtue of faith and obedience, they do so not from spiritual surety, but from avarice and ambition. Though every government claims to have the welfare of the people as its purported goal, the only people who gain are those who are already wealthy. The rest go on welfare alright, but not the kind they should be able to expect….

And that is why it pisses me off so badly…. as humans, all we really want to do is be happy. It isn’t so much to ask. Most folks are happy when they have enough to eat, a place to sleep, and someone they love to be around. It soothes our nature to be able to share such feelings, hence the accuracy of the quote from Smart Bee above. We just feel better when we can share good feelings with others…. But, we are constantly blocked from doing so, by the society we live in.

In today’s culture, we are put in a situation where it takes all of our time and effort just to obtain the things we need; food, shelter, clothing. Gathering enough resources to ensure an ample supply of all three takes more than one person can make, thanks to the economic picture in a world where 1% of the population controls 99% of the money and resources. Unless one throws aside all of one’s humanity, becoming one of the ruthless ones, indifferent to the suffering of others, who inhabit the 1%, making enough to get by in today’s society just isn’t possible… I know, I’ve spent the last 55 years trying, and I’m a pretty talented guy….

Now, I don’t care about being rich. “If you want a life of trouble, fill your house with treasures…”, a Chinese proverb so old I don’t know who said it. But, I’ve believed it all my life; as a result, I’ve always worked only to get enough to live comfortably, and to provide stability and opportunities to succeed for my family. I’ve never given in to the urge to take advantage of others, or to cheat, or steal, or lie in order to get ahead; if I didn’t get ahead on merit, I stayed where I was.

It didn’t seem to matter much, anyway. The system is set up so that, at each step up the ladder of financial gain, the rules become more complicated, and are still set up to deny advancement. (I.E., as you make more money, they take more taxes…. In order to borrow money, you must already have money…. etc…) Lately, the government has been less creative in their lies as to why they are taking money from the average Joe….

In all three of the last raises I earned when I was still working, the extra money in my check was taken away by furloughs, a method of reducing my hours. Each time I expected to make a bit more, they would take away another day’s work, thus eliminating the advancement in pay…. The justification given was rationalization implying state employees made too much anyway, so, taking away their money was going to balance the budget… Funny how that didn’t work out that way….

Being retired from working has had two effects for me…. It gives me way too much time to be able to look at reality, to find the flaws and kinks causing all the friction and conflict in the world. Unfortunately, it has also made the task of obtaining the three necessary items for survival more difficult, by reducing my income drastically, to the poverty line, and at the same time, making it more physically difficult to accomplish what I need to do. SIGH…. Murphy is such an ASSHOLE!

Okay, I’m done. I could go on most of the day, but it’s starting to sound whiny to me. I’m not a victim. I will be alright, eventually. I will be more than alright. But, it pisses me off royally that I can’t spend more time sharing my heart with others, rather than sharing my thoughts…. My heart is much more fun to be around, mostly…. at least I’d like to think so. Now, if I can only get it to climb out of the hole of depression it has crawled into so much lately, perhaps I can find a way to cheer it up…. as long as Murphy will give me a breather now and again….

“Don’t ever become a pessimist, Ira; a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun — and neither can stop the march of events.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love


As many of y’all know by now, every once in a while, you’re going to see a poem, or two, by this lady…. I’ve decided more than enough time has passed since we saw her; therefore, to be as pompous as possible in two short lines, today’s choice is one of my favorites of hers…. It never fails to soothe my fevered brow….. and the pomposity soothes my sense of propriety, for whatever THAT’S worth….

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,–
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~


Today’s final pearl is what Mary Poppins would term “PPIEW” (Practically perfect, etc….) Each one is a strong stand-alone pearl, while, together, they form a nearly perfect set of standards for anyone wishing to live an honorable life, based on reason and compassion…. Enjoy, ffolkes; even the format today will help to center your thoughts….

Virtue, dear friend, needs no defence,
The surest guard is innocence:
None knew, till guilt created fear,
What darts or poison’d arrows were.

~~ Horace (B.C. 65-8) ~~

“I don’t think it would have all got me down quite so much if just once in a while- just once in a while- there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn’t, it’s just a disgusting waste of time.”

~~J.D. Salinger~~ Franny & Zooey ~~

“No matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up.”

~~Lily Tomlin~~

And bear unmov’d the wrongs of base mankind,
The last and hardest conquest of the mind.

~~ Alexander Pope (1688-1744) ~~The Odyssey of Homer, Book xiii, Line 353 ~~

“The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.”

~~ Voltaire ~~

“It is your resistance to ‘what is’ that causes your suffering.”

~~ Buddha ~~

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

~~ William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) ~~ Thanatopsis ~~


I’m not sure how it happened, but, this one came out fairly well, even without a fresh rant…. go figure…. Ah well, I’ve got enough time in at this job to be able to say, without fear of contradiction, it’s done, and that’s all there is to say about it…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; I don’t think I’m up to pushing my luck any further….

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



À bientôt, mon cherí….

Pretty loud for the deluxe model….

Tab key or no tab key, I don’t do Shakespeare…. Not even with a headache, nor when I’m half asleep, as now. It’s a bit weird that ever since I started writing about how much his work bothers me, it seems to pop up in my database every third quote. Ubiquitous barely begins to describe it, which I have to believe is Murphy’s doing. Only he could arrange matters so that the very thing that most annoys me is forced upon my attention on a regular basis. Statistical mathematics won’t account for how often one of Willie’s obscure little couplets or impenetrable verses comes up in the dB…. but, he IS the world’s most published asshole, so what can I expect?

That said, it won’t be necessary now to subject you to an entire section of his work, and my shooting at it for several hundred words. This one paragraph took care of the itch… so we can get right to the important stuff for the day. I won’t go into the physical struggles extant today; they’re hard enough to deal with without trying to write about them as well.

We’ll just put on our SCUBA gear, clean off our masks, and dive right in to look for some delicious pearls for this morning’s offering. That will be a lot better than several paragraphs of complaints, n’est pas? Oui! C’est vrai! (I think that’s right; French isn’t my strong suit, outside the kitchen or the bedroom….) Any who, let’s go Pearl!….

“If you understand, things are as they are. If you do not understand, things are as they are.” — Gensha, Zen Master

This is a wonderful koan couplet, and a very apt corollary to axiom #2 of Peruaosophy, to wit: “The Nature of the Universe is Change. Unpredictable, innovative Transformation of Reality is the Norm. If you have a problem with this, you are in for a rough ride in Life.” The connection, which may appear unclear, is actually quite logical. If one accepts the above as true, then axiom #2, in conjunction with Murphy’s presence, implies that just when one learns to accept things as they are, they change. A nasty habit, to be sure, but much like a hive of bees in one’s head, there they are…. deal.

All of us can no doubt come up with a myriad of examples of this process at work in the world at large, because, thanks to the efforts of Murphy and his army of willing helpers, each one of us is at the mercy of a Universe that cares not at all whether we understand what is going on, or if we prefer our corn flakes dry. (That’s called a humorous euphemism, and they’re rare, as a species, so take note…. If you’re not keeping a record of this stuff, you should be…) Most often, I think the examples we find would be work-related, or in some way connected to some sort of bureaucracy, as they are the Universe’s greatest allies at making us feel shitty.

“In a mature society, “civil servant” is semantically equal to “civil master.” — Lazarus Long

No matter who we are, or where we live, bureaucracies give us all a pain in the tush. Need to drive a car? A number of bureaucracies, some of them among the largest in the world, will do their best to lengthen and complicate the process of finding, buying, and licensing the car, not to mention the hoops you will need to negotiate through in order to legalize your driving at all. Need to put your kids in school? Welcome to the American educational system, which has taken over from the US Army in the use of forms in triplicate. Want to have a dog or cat companion? It may astound you to learn, as it did me, that even cats and dogs MUST be licensed; society says you can’t have one unless the fee is paid, and the animal has been duly placed on a number of lists, available to any law enforcement agency or TD&H who wants them. (TD&H = Tom, Dick, & Harry… they’re veterinarians…)

“The whole history of civilization is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first, and deadly afterward.” — Walter Bagehot

So, the final two queries in the previous paragraph assume a larger importance, as they can teach us how to deal with bureaucracies without shooting innocent people. (Though I sometimes have doubts as to the innocence of some bureaucrats; a lot of them seem to enjoy making life difficult for others… A lot of them must be frustrated politicians, I guess, with the need to lord it over others, but can’t get the votes to get themselves elected into an office, where they can indulge their baser instincts for theft and oppression to their heart’s content…..) But, if one learns to deal with how the bureaucratic mind works, one can think their way around all the obstacles that they will throw up between us and our goal…. it’s not much, but it helps, and one should always take any help offered in situations such as this….

“Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the _real_ object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” — Patrick Henry

Here is the question that those who would get rid of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution would have us ignore. There are a large number of people, otherwise nice, intelligent folks, who have decided that the American people shouldn’t have guns available to them.

Their justification is that too many criminals have access to more firepower than do the police forces in each community, and their preferred solution is to make it illegal for anyone except the police and armed forces to carry weapons of that nature. Hell, it’s already illegal to carry a knife longer than 3 inches, because the PTB are afraid someone might stab someone. GASP! You mean there are bad people out there? People who would be less than nice to everyone else? What a surprise!

In case it wasn’t clear, those last two sentences, or queries, should be infused with sarcasm if read aloud. Sarcasm is one of my natural responses to being taken for a fool, especially when it comes to human nature. Humans are violent. Period. It is in their nature. Anyone who cannot acknowledge that fact probably still believes in the tooth fairy, and is a sure candidate for early Alzheimer’s disease, because they have a very strong sense of denial.

It is a fact, and trying to deny it, or pretty it up as a “tendency” just makes those people who indulge in expressions of violence that much more dangerous. The scariest part of the whole gun issue for me is the insistence on the part of the police and those who want the guns taken away from us that THEY can be trusted to use their guns rationally, and within the limits of law, whereas the general public cannot be trusted to do so….

Now, I will ask you to think about that for a moment. Can you think of any historical period, or any culture anywhere in the world, that demonstrates any sort of support of that assertion? Has there ever been an entirely trustworthy group of policemen, anywhere? If so, please name it for me, and I will add that information into the discussion.

But, I will warn you, I am pretty widely-read and educated about world history and culture, and I cannot think of a single time in history, up to and including today’s world, wherein the police, or the government that controls them, and the armies, was more trustworthy than the populace. In fact, most of history proves the opposite, that the mere act of becoming a police officer tends to corrupt those who are accepted as such; it is a form of power over others, and as such is guaranteed to attract those who are drawn to power for its advantages.

No, I’m sorry, I can’t place any credence at all in the assumption that the police, or the government, should be considered trustworthy; not when there is NO evidence anywhere, or any when, that would indicate any such thing. The facts of the matter, and recorded history, provide innumerable examples to show how UN-trustworthy most police and political armies are, and trying to say otherwise places that person squarely in the camp of the unmitigated LIARS that are always looking for ways to take advantage of other folks.

Our country’s founding fathers spent time, energy, and blood, sweat, and tears to ensure that we would not have to put up with that sort of situation, and anyone who tries to get rid of the Second Amendment brands themselves a traitor, in my eyes…. and traitors should be shot….

Wars kill people. Governments cause wars. Let’s ban government! — Smart Bee

PAIN:  One thing, at least it proves that you’re alive! — Smart Bee

Living as I do with a certain amount of pain all the time, I can verify the accuracy of this statement. And not only is it true, it also supplies me, as it probably does for others with the same type of issues, with a good reason to learn to appreciate the pain, silly as that sounds. It’s kind of like the feeling I got one day when I was married. I was taking a short nap before getting up to go to my second job, when my wife came in & woke me to tell me I had only ten minutes before I had to leave. It didn’t occur to her that those ten minutes were all I wanted in the world right then; she just thought she was helping.

But the feeling it produced is best shown by what I thought at the time, which was, “It’s really rather a comfort to know that there will always be somebody there to wake me up when ‘they’ think I should be up… annoying, but comforting all the same.”  And it may be perverse, but it’s true, nonetheless. I appreciate my pain, because it does let me know I’m alive, for sure and for certain…. If I didn’t have it, I’d expect to wake up dead some morning, and not even know it…. and that would be the final embarrassment….  🙂

I know a place…

I know a place where summer strives
With such a practiced frost,
She each year leads her daisies back,
Recording briefly, “Lost.”

But when the south wind stirs the pools
And struggles in the lanes,
Her heart misgives her for her vow,
And she pours soft refrains

Into the lap of adamant,
And spices, and the dew,
That stiffens quietly to quartz
Upon her amber shoe.

— Emily Dickinson

No comments…. just needed a shot of beauty, so here it is…..

ASS, n.  A public singer with a good voice but no ear.  In Virginia City, Nevada, he is called the Washoe Canary, in Dakota, the Senator, and everywhere the Donkey.  The animal is widely and variously celebrated in the literature, art and religion of every age and country; no other so engages and fires the human imagination as this noble vertebrate.  Indeed, it is doubted by some (Ramasilus, _lib. II., De Clem._, and C. Stantatus, _De Temperamente_) if it is not a god; and as such we know it was worshiped by the Etruscans, and, if we may believe Macrobious, by the Cupasians also.  Of the only two animals admitted into the Mahometan Paradise along with the souls of men, the ass that carried Balaam is one, the dog of the Seven Sleepers the other.  This is no small distinction.  From what has been written about this beast might be compiled a library of great splendor and magnitude, rivaling that of the Shakespearean cult, and that which clusters about the Bible.  It may be said, generally, that all literature is more or less Asinine.

“Hail, holy Ass!” the quiring angels sing;
“Priest of Unreason, and of Discords King!”
Great co-Creator, let Thy glory shine:
God made all else, the Mule, the Mule is thine!”
— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

As I’ve previously demonstrated, I am a big fan of nonsense; something about it just appeals to me. As Willie Wonka said, “A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” This may be one reason I’ve been able to write so much in the last few months about such serious subjects, as I tend to throw in some nonsense to break the pattern of seriousness.

Mary Poppins had that much right about the teaspoon of sugar and the medicine, and what’s good enough for Mary Poppins is good enough for me. Though I can’t claim to approach her status of “practically perfect in every way” I think that sharing her appreciation of whimsical interludes in life at least shows some sense and style. And what’s the point of going through life if you can’t do it with some style?….

All in all, not a bad effort, I think. If nothing else, it’s been fun, of a sort, trying to write around the headache and back pain. Yes, I know, it’s a poor definition of fun, but we take what we can get, or in this case, what we can afford. It looks to be a busy day, as the outside world has intruded enough that I will need to make a trip to the post office. With no further ado, I shall bid thee adieu until tomorrow. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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