Signs of illicit cognition….

Ffolkes,

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

~~ Philo ~~

cork

Cork, Ireland

Hajime…. Each morning, I experience a brief moment of remembered terror, left over from the early days of this blog. Back then, I had no clue about how difficult it would be to come up with fresh material every day; the result of that ignorance was, naturally, fear, manifested as a fear of the blank, white screen, the filling of which being the task I feared so justly. Now, I am confident, for I know, if nothing else, I can always retreat into bozoid mode, where there is always enough nonsense to go around, any of which I am always happy to share.

I’ll spare y’all any of that today, though, simply because it’s, technically, a holiday. This holiday, Thanksgiving Day here in the states, is one I can accept, to a small degree, as being one with SOME connection to actual human culture, as opposed to manufactured holidays created to fill economically anemic months throughout the year. For my own part, giving thanks seems a little foolish, unless I apply said gratitude to a specific person, group, or acquaintance; it’s hard for me to offer up such advanced feeling to what I consider a delusional supernatural being. But, for the duration of the day, at least, everyone else is in a good mood, so, I try not to harp on my own thoughts while they’re doing so.

That being said, to less purpose than may have been prudent, it’s probably best to get on with today’s mess. It’s fairly un-messy, in truth, but, remains somewhat obscure, at least in direction. That’s fine with me; I never get lost doing this, because we start out never knowing where we begin, or, with any idea of where we’ll eventually end up. In fact, that’s how it works, mostly. To encourage such roguish behavior, we’ll use our standard #4 exit to move us along to the next section. I’m pretty sure, in today’s case, that is absolutely the best thing we can do. Moreover, best to get it done quickly; hang on….

Shall we Pearl?….

“If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence,
try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.”

~~ Bix Bender ~~

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mozart2

For today’s musical selection, we retreat once again into my own preference, to wit, classical music by one of the greatest composers to pick up a quill…. Enjoy!….

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Mozart Piano Concertos

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Comedy_Tragedy

A Seasonal Approach

Absolute stillness grips a frozen field,
anticipating dawn with such patient yield
morning burgeoning in dark winter’s hold
brings promise of tales yet to be told.

Lengthening days of pale sun unto night
slowly tell of time’s subversive flight
bringing such original songs of natural fire
with melodies complex in casual attire.

The months are certain they will always win
it is just the way it has always been.
None may argue, nor yet slow life down
Nor dim the eternal beauty of nature’s gown.

Winter evolves from fall into spring,
sending flocks and hearts ever awing.
Summer follows suit, t’other way ’round
Spring into fall, often without a sound.

Life is meant to be lived, beginning to end
choices abound, and change can be a friend.
Yielding with grace to reality’s compelling ploy
fills our plain existence with clean, honest joy.

~~ gigoid ~~

10/2/2012

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

One path, many roads…..

*******

“The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.”

~~ The Buddha ~~

*******

“Ah, I have access.”

~~ Data ~~

*******

“Grasp the whole world of reason, life and sense
In one close system of benevolence.”

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

*******

“We are what we repeatedly do.”

~~ Aristotle ~~

*******

“All those moments will be lost in time like tears in the rain.”

~~ from “Blade Runner” ~~

*******

“I have a grip on reality, just not this particular one.”

~~ Subtle Bee ~~

*******

“Death the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.”

~~ Sir Walter Scott ~~

*******

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

Having thus completed my chosen duty, I shall, without further display of either erudition, or panic, send y’all on your way, with my hopes you enjoy your massive dose of L-tryptophan, with all the trimmings, while happily ensconced in the bosom of your families. I hope it won’t spoil the thought to remind y’all, I’ll do this again tomorrow, with different, if not better, results, guaranteed…. See ya, ffolkes; enjoy the day….

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 -- 10691

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Acceding to protocol, he dressed in mufti….

Ffolkes,

“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”

~~ Albert Camus ~~

odd group 017

    Good morning….

I have but one thing to tell you today, as we begin our daily journey OUT of madness…. Here, right before your skeptical eyes, pigs will fly, lightning will strike twice, hell will freeze over, and eventually, things will get really interesting…

Shall we Pearl?

“No one loves the man whom he fears.” — Aristotle

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commander cody

Image from allmusic.com via Google Images


It’s not pulling my covers to claim this band as a favorite; I’ve never hidden my history as a Hippie. In Commander Cody’s case, I have more reason than just the artwork, the attitudes, the down & dirty, funky blues, and solid rock the Airmen always played…. During my college years, I managed to hire the band for one of our cooperative residence’s parties, a great success in many respects; Yes! The Commander was in my house!….

For that reason alone they hold a special place in my heart, and my liver…. a long, sad story, involving a large quantity of cheap white rum, a quart of mai tai mix, and an eighteen year old fool…. The smell of Ron Rico white still makes me want to puke….

But, I digress…. Unless I managed to screw up the code somehow, you should be treated to all of their music available on You Tube, one after another…. If not, that’s what the link is for…. Enjoy, ffolkes….

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Commander Cody
& his Lost Planet Airmen

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Dont keep calm

“We live in the kind of world where courage is the most essential of virtues; without courage, the other virtues are useless.” — Edward Abbey

This is SO true…. Mr. Abbey has, I believe, struck upon what I’d call a universal truth, one true in all of the ages of Mankind…. Hell, I’ve said it before, myself…. Oh, not in those exact, clear words, but, I have posted the following many times, which, essentially, brings out the same point, though it looks at it from the other side of the mirror….

Albert E & true sin

    All of us, at one time in our lives, or another, have been guilty of this; anyone who says differently is, well, they’re lying, whether they believe it or not…. As proof, all I need to do is ask that person the last time they watched a woman walk down the street, and did not punch out the men who whistled at her…. Such public displays of misogyny, though seemingly mild and harmless, (not to mention socially approved), are, in my estimation, a symptom of the problem, stemming from ignorance, and the even greater evil perpetrated by the major religions of the world, who encourage that misogyny in men…. for one single reason, to wit: men’s fear of women, and of their own sexuality….

jimmy sez

    To my way of thinking, it takes a pretty poor excuse for a man to take out his own childish fears on women, when a bit of courage and learning can bring them out of that fear, into a world where both men and women can work together to survive, rather than constantly being at war, instigated by the weaker sex, ie. men…. I would point out that our society’s primary response to any problem is to go to war against it, which is a typically male attitude…. Most women don’t automatically go to war when they want to achieve some end…. Men do, and have proven it for millennia….

Yes, I said men were weaker than women, and I meant it…. If men were so strong, why do women live longer? Why do they give childbirth, instead of us? And, why are they seemingly, according to the evidence given by the behavior of other mammalian species, the natural leaders of each species society? I believe it is because that is the way the species evolved, the way it works best to survive, which is, after all, our primary purpose here on this planet. Our purpose is NOT to rape, pillage, and destroy, all of which seem to be the primary RESULTS of all of the male-dominated societies in history, especially when those societies were driven by Christianity, or any of the other religions whereof the former President speaks…

As far as I can see, the only way to get through to all these assholes, who would rather fight with women than appreciate them, is through shame…. Deserved shame, at that, for using the ONE advantage over women men have, i.e., brute strength, to subjugate the entire other half of our species, all because our our own innate fears, which are easily dismissed when understood…. But, most men, like most humans, even women, are lazy, and would prefer to NOT have to think, or, for that matter, to make the effort to be brave….

Sorry, guys, but. that’s just the way I see it…. So, wake the fuck up, get out of your stupid head, and get with the program here. We need to work together, WITH women, not against them, if all of us are to survive…. The way we are going now, we won’t make it to the next millennium…. Hell, unless we can come up with some pretty fancy scientific footwork here in the next TEN years, we’re all going to be in deep shit…

Believe it.

So be it.

gigoid has spoken


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Comedy_Tragedy

Sublime Indifference

Faces tell such stories

as these,

we know.

No one saw,

ever.

No one sees,

ever.

But, we know.

Forgotten,

deliberately bought

with

consistent threats

of Sitcoms,

Paisley Ties,

yes, and,

Lava Lamps;

proof offered

unbidden

 of Death.

Only

of Death.

~~ gigoid ~~


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buddah-out-to-lunch_s

    Evolution, as it applies the development of this blog, seems to have brought this section to a place where it becomes our lesson for the day, so to speak…. Many of the pearls, and the pearls they form, of late, have told a message that, when applied by anyone to Life, in a dedicated manner, always seems to make it all work better, helping us to find, and keep, our balance, as well as the happiness, always inside us, if we can learn to feel it….

Today is another of such lessons, this time, seemingly, intended to direct us on a path to…. ourselves….

“Knowledge is the antidote of fear.” — Emerson

“Either you think — or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Self-reflection is the school of wisdom.” — Balthasar Gracia

“Morality is moral only if it is voluntary.” — Lincoln Steffens

“A man does not sin by commission only, but often by omission.” — Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) — Meditations, book 9.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Philo

“Be what you is, ’cause if you is what you ain’t, then you ain’t what you is.” — Satchel Paige

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Not too shabby, I think…. Of course, it does help the overall quality when I’m up half the bloody night with dyskinesia, which not only keeps me from sleeping, but, keeps my mind awake from the anger at experiencing it at all (the blame for that can be laid directly at the feet of two doctors and an HMO….), thus providing us with a fresh rant, and a new poem, which finally decided to creep out from where it has been hiding…. Don’t know if y’all noticed it, or not… Any who, it’s done, I’m still up, and it’s 3:52 AM…. Now what the hell am I going to do?

Ah well, I’ll work on that offline…. For now, thanks fer listenin’, ffolkes; it’s been real. I’ll see y’all tomorrow, come Hell, or high water….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Several times several is more than just a few….

Ffolkes,

“Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

A spiral galaxy, also known as M106, about 23 million light years from Earth.

    This is a picture from NASA, of Galaxy NGC4258-M106 (translation: National Geographic Catalog #4258, Messier Catalog #106). The picture is a composite of several images, some of which were filtered to show other frequencies of radiation; this is why you seem to see six spiral arms, four of which are in the X-ray segment of the electromagnetic spectrogram…. The extra arms are an anomaly caused by the massive black hole in the galaxy’s center, which is somehow (as yet, the process is unclear…) heating the interstellar gases, then ejecting them to the outer reaches of the hole’s gravitational influence, thus pushing it completely out of the plane of the rest of the galaxy….

For me, as a lifelong amateur astronomer, it’s a rather compelling image, that demonstrates perfectly how our universe is so wondrously full of beauty we cannot see, without the aid of tools our imagination has created, to enhance our perception of all that surrounds us…. The phenomenon. as related,  is a theoretical process wherein the black hole seems to be sucking ALL of the interstellar gases up from between the stars, expelling it outside the confines of the galaxy’s shape; this will, in a mere 300 MILLION years or so, have a drastic effect on the galaxy, and how it will appear, as the material with which it WAS to make new stars is removed….

Thinking about astronomy, or astrophysics, can be rather intimidating; to think of the sheer vast reaches of space, and the size of the galaxies that fill it, tends to make us humans feel very small and insignificant….. which is why so many people avoid the hard sciences, such as astronomy, and astrophysics. This stuff isn’t easy for us to think about, nor is the math particularly simple for us to comprehend without some mental elbow grease…. Man, as a group, is pretty lazy, especially about using the mind, and, as a secondary obstacle, they are fearful of that which they don’t understand. The immensity of space can intimidate those who fear the unknown; combine that with lazy, and you see why so many people close their eyes, and minds, whenever such a subject is broached….

I wanted badly to be an astronomer, as I figured it was the best way to get to outer space; traveling to other planets and stars has been my lifelong dream. I fully intend, if given any chance at all, to die on another world, even if it is only the Moon…. That particular event is getting a bit close at hand now, so, I may not make my goal, but, there will soon be regular tourist trips to the Space Station, and there is talk, finally, of colonizing Mars by the middle of this century….

Or, if not so grand a task is possible at once, there has also been talk of setting up exploratory colonies in and on the Asteroids, the remains of the world that used to be, which now are so plentiful, sailing along in the orbit between Mars and Jupiter…. Such colonies would help determine the feasibility of such a quest, one that would demand the combined efforts of all humanity, as a species, to accomplish…. It also would give us the opportunity to test out the necessary technology, in an environment simply bursting with natural resources….

Ah well, such dreams are probably out of the realm of possibility for me, but, perhaps my grandson will walk the surface of Mars one day…. If we can manage to survive the current issues, of global warming, climate change, and our own tendency to kill each other with alarming regularity, we have a pretty good chance of it….. We’ve successfully landed three or four vehicles on other worlds now, and walked on the Moon. We have a robotic ambassador on Mars, taking pictures and trundling about the landscape, fulfilling the ultimate purpose of our innate simian curiosity, which makes the mobile science laboratory very aptly named…. For now, though, we should go on with today’s business, which brings me to this…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Terrorism: deadly violence against humans and other living things, usually conducted by government against its own people.” — Edward Abbey

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http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Government-said-to-suppress-evidence-in-Blackwater-5651089.php

Unclear, but, interesting saga of dogs trained to bite, then being punished for not wearing a muzzle, compounded by the overall high level of corruption and insanity that is ALWAYS exposed during just about any sort of war crime tribunal…. Somebody is always finding new evidence, others are disputing it, and nobody ever wants to admit the sheer futility of ALL OF IT….. According to what I read in the article, it seems that ALL the entities involved in the incident were suppressing evidence, or hiding evidence, or mouthing off with ridiculously vague statements having no value, and relation to the reality of what actually took place….

The whole issue is so stupid, it makes me crazy to think so much time and money is being spent chasing down the alleged truth in this matter, a “truth” that, when found, will have very little resemblance to anything you or I would recognize as such; nor will it have anything valid to tell us about who is to blame for what went on. Everyone involved is guilty, in my mind, so, it really is a moot issue, as far as I can tell from the available evidence…. I’ve never carried a gun…. not because I’m afraid of them, or disapprove of them, but, because I am smart enough to realize that by carrying one, I leave myself open to being shot at…..

That, to my mind, is NOT a healthy way to live…. I take the easy solution, right next to the high road, but, not so damn restrictively moral, by never carrying guns, only carry weapons that cannot be seen, along with maintaining a policy of avoiding violent situations, of any kind, as far as is humanly possible…. I spent a long time in a job where I had to BE violent every day…. or, at least, be prepared to deal with such violence at any moment. Hence, I’m not real happy when I have to experience those nasty feelings when not at work, or without overwhelmingly sufficient reason (“sufficient” being defined as “virtually impossible to justify”….), so, I do all I can to stay out of situations that can potentially lead to any sort of explosive outbreaks….

All that being said, none of what they are saying in the article, about EITHER side of the issue, is of any particular surprise to me, nor does it convince me to change my opinion of most (defined as virtually ALL….) politicians, or any other incarnation of talking head…. especially when speaking of a situation being acted out primarily by lawyers, who, as we all know, have a hard time with the truth…. Well, at least, with the truth as we all know it, anyway…. They’re pretty good at making up their own; it just doesn’t have much to do with reality in most respects….

That’s all, ffolkes. I’m being nice, and cutting off this rant, practically before I got going…. Y’all know how I feel about politicians, especially those with brainwashing, er, training as lawyers, so, there’s little need to reinforce that. Y’all also know how I feel about the truth, so, you will realize that any situation in the public venue that is concerned with a quest to find the truth is of concern to me, as I am well aware that none of the people involved in those quests have any real interest in finding it. That is especially true in a story like this one, where so many of the parties involved were, and are, engaged in criminal acts, yet, because they are supposed to have been government sanctioned, are trying to abrogate any responsibility for those criminal acts…

Almost got started again, so, we’ll go now, to put together a fine, old-school, five-star pearl, with all the points sharpened to a dangerous degree, ready to poke holes in the lies and distracting noises made by those we call “pundit”…..

“It was a saying of the ancients, “Truth lies in a well;” and to carry on this metaphor, we may justly say that logic does supply us with steps, whereby we may go down to reach the water.” — Dr. I. Watts

“By experts in poverty I do not mean sociologists, but poor men.” — G. K. Chesterton, ILN, 3/25/11

“Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.” — Demosthenes

“The seal of truth is on thy gallant form, for none but cowards lie.” — Murphy

“Don’t overestimate the decency of the human race.” — H.L. Mencken

Smart Bee decided to make this difficult & obscure, only offering me such abstrusely eclectic aphorisms such as the above…. It works, and it’s appropriately nasty, in a strictly metaphorical sense…. I’m just thinking it could be clearer….. I like it when the quote acts like a sledgehammer to the forehead of one of the idiots I’m targeting; these act more like a stiletto, sliding between the ribs into the heart, almost without any notice, but, effectively killing any credibility they may have previously enjoyed…. So be it, gigoid has spoken…. a bit garbled, but, to completion, at least….

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Yep, you guessed it…. I’m lazy, so you get another of my old poems…. I will, however, compose a new haiku first, just because I can….

Old/New Glory

Political truth…
Oxymoronic, and trite.
Politics is crap.

~~ gigoid~~

This poem was written on 9/10/2012, one of the first I wrote that year, when I finally ended the 30+ year sabbatical I took, in regard to writing poetry…. As is apparent, the pain with which I so frequently live was, at least for that day, foremost in my mind, and in my concern….

Gauges of Pain

Consciousness devolves in pools of gripping fears
holding hostage any hope of serenity,
sharp stabbing motions and greedy tears
nary a moment passes without common calamity.

Always a surprise, nothing soothing ever found,
leaving only breathless clinging pain,
salvation seemingly absent, it muffles all sound,
bringing ever more sadness and rain.

Solitude is ever present to claim my time,
lonely hours and relentlessly long days,
no radio plays such music in secular rhyme
happy, vibrant voices belong to elder ways.

Life can be justified it seems to say,
by hopeful favored moments of pleasure,
seemingly friendly, pointing out the only way,
to bring back happiness in minimal measure.

Days of horror and embarrassing tears
serve ever to drive wretched hours to withhold
promising naught but sorrow in coming years,
black, bitter memories that never grow old.

Cold, cold the days fly by,
can it really be our only token?
Never to say, or know just why
the pain never stops, even when spoken…

~~ gigoid ~~

(Why, yes, yesterday was NOT a good day…. why do you ask?…..)

Griefe brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
For, he tames it, that fetters it in verse.

 — John Donne ~~

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Today’s old-school pearl for this section is another self-directed grouping, put together partially from pearls found yesterday, with the final group collected during this morning’s efforts, while searching for other pearls with a specific parameter…. This self-direction brought us to a very old-style collection, with a theme best described as “Advice for the Living”, using a number of quotes, as usual, from ancient philosophers, who stated their axiomatic wisdom so eloquently, it has lasted for thousands of years, thus generously sharing their new/old wisdom with each succeeding generation of humans…. Oh, and there is something from Mark, and Alan, too…. more modern, but just as deeply insightful….

“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.” — Lao Tzu

“The wake does not drive the boat.” — Alan Watts

“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” — Marcus Aurelius

“As men, we are all equal in the presence of death.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 1

“Education is the best provision for old age.” — Aristotle

“Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.” — Mark Twain

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Philo

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Today’s Pearl has been brought to you by the letter U, and the number six…. Don’t ask me why, because they never tell me. I can tell you, however, we’re done, so, whatever brought us to this point, it has served its purpose admirably…. We shall honor that service, by heeding the call for a quick, and dignified exit…. which will be a big surprise to all concerned, I’m sure…. I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, as long as the space-time continuum holds its shape that long….

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

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Faded signs of former glory….

Ffolkes,
It’s been a long, strange trip, to be sure. Having come this far, I suppose I’ll have to keep on to the end. That final moment of my destiny is still a ways off, but is growing larger in my mirror every day. That’s the most accurate simile, I’d say; destiny isn’t the place we travel to, it is the stalker, always behind us, ready to pounce should we hold still too long. One learns to keep an eye on the rear-view mirror, and hope against hope that we don’t get a flat…..hmmm, a bit morbid for so early in the day. Let’s see if we can’t find something a bit more cheerful to start with……
___________________________________

Everything needs a little oil now and then.

Here is a little piece of truth that should be part of everyone’s bag of basic knowledge. It’s a rather universal statement, for it applies to any number of situations in life, and not just with those involving machinery. One may look at human relations as an engine, of sorts; it certainly acts like one, with people as the moving parts. When two parts come in contact, a little oil always makes things move more smoothly, without potentially harmful friction.

We thus can see that in society, good manners and polite speech act as oil to a machine, allowing each part to perform its function without fear of breakdown in communication. The people who struggle with this are those who are unwilling to get their hands dirty, refusing to apply the needed oil to the points of contact. Thus they never can perform to full potential, for their engine is tearing itself apart, all for want of a bit of oil……
___________________________________

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Philo

Here is another piece of highly intuitive advice from one of the ancients; Philo lived around the time of Christ. I like this because it highlights a little-known facet of reality; everyone creates their own “devil”, and spends much of their time fighting against its influence over their lives. It can only be a hard battle, for our personal devils know all our weaknesses and vulnerable points, and have no compunction against using them freely. There is no feeling of guilt too strong, nor any regrets too old to throw into our faces during attempts to assume control. They fight dirty, and make it difficult to not give in, and resort to similar tactics.

Once one has crossed that line, there is no return, and the inner battle is lost. We must defeat our own devils using only those tools we know to be honorable; to lie or cheat, even for a presumably good cause, is an immediate and automatic failure. Better to die, than to allow our inner demons to control how we face the world at large…..honor demands strength of purpose, and the only reward is the ability to sleep at night with a clear conscience…..
___________________________________

1. To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.
2. The best way to succeed in politics is to find a crowd that’s going somewhere and get in front of them. — Brown’s Rules of Leadership

# 1 is usually pretty easy for most politicos, it’s not hard at all to rise above one’s principles when they already live in the gutter. # 2 is Rick Santorum to a T; his posturings and outrageous attacks on the administration are obvious bait for the far right’s ultra-conservative religious fundamentalists. One can easily spot the manipulative statements from Rick’s camp; they are the statements that A) make divisive, antagonistic remarks about personal, not political issues, and/or B) have little or no relation to reality as is commonly accepted by society at large.

I don’t figure that the White House is particularly worried over the election in November; all the apparent choices in the opposing camp are proving themselves adept at shooting themselves in the foot, and at alienating large groups of voters at a time through bigoted and ignorant statements. It’s almost as if the Republican wannabes hired Democrats as their campaign advisers; events could not have gone any better had they been planned that way. Let’s hope the trend continues, and the right wing continues to show how out of touch with the American public they really are…..
___________________________________

What Congress means by ethics is best explained by the tailor’s story: “Suppose I sell a suit to a young man for $200.  He tells me that his family is footing the bill and that if I give him a receipt for $400 to give to his parents, he will pay me $100 on the side. The question of ethics is: Do I keep the extra $100 myself, or do I tell my partner and split it with him?”

Once again I am saddened by a joke…. I’m sad because it isn’t funny any more. It’s absolute truth, and a perfect analogy for the political scene in today’s society. Worse yet, the money they are stealing is mine, or another taxpayer’s; far be it from them to ever put their own money at risk.

This tailor sounds like a viable candidate for Speaker of the House of Representatives. He couldn’t be any worse than Mr. Gingrich, the first Speaker ever to receive an official reprimand from the House Ethics Committee for infractions of Congressional ethics (whatever they are…). Another sad part? None of the political liars and cheats who are outed in the papers ever spend any time in jail….. and that’s definitely a crime…..

“The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” — William H. Borah
___________________________________

“I’ll tell you what kind of guy I was.   If you ordered a boxcar full of sons-of-bitches and opened the door and only found me inside, you could  consider the order filled.” — Robert Mitchum

If for nothing else, one could enjoy this just for the chutzpah; Bob certainly had no problems with self-esteem, did he? Actually, I read this many years ago, and for a long time it was one of my most cherished wishes to be able to say this about myself. There is a certain charm and attraction in being held up as an example, even if the example is less than savory. There is also a lot to be said for the fact that folks who have this sort of reputation don’t get bugged very often, once word gets around that doing so is liable to get your tongue handed back to you as an accessory instead of a built-in tool.

It does get a bit lonely at times, since very few folks are willing to take the time to get past the outer crust, but the friends one ends up with are those that will stick. The wishy-washy need not apply….. curmudgeon training also teaches one how to appreciate one’s own curmudgeonliness, (not a word, according to SpellCheck, but I’m using it anyway; it’s self-explanatory…) for the time it can save; one finds that those who are nice to others all the time spend a lot of their own time dealing with those people, and bear the risk of drowning in sugar. As a practicing curmudgeon, all that super-sweet nicey-nicey shit is cut off at the pass; ignore them long enough, and they go away, leaving us in peace to pursue our own lives….. happy as a pig in mud…
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It’s always a bit of a shock to realize I’m done for the day; this process tends to capture my complete attention for the first two or three hours of the day, and reaching the end is somewhat of a surprise. But, in a good way….. it promises to be a nice day outside; I think I might take a long walk & breathe a bit….. y’all take care out there…..

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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Celebrity slang sold here….

Ffolkes,
It may not always sound like it, but I am reminded daily of how lucky I’ve been in life. Drawing comparisons with other folks is a sure path to stress and pain, as there will always be some folks who seem to have it better, and many who don’t. Each of us starts out with the same set of rights, but what we do with them determines the direction our life will take. I feel I’ve been fortunate in several ways, the primary being the set of high-quality tools I was issued at birth. The mind/body that I was given out of the gate oh, so many years ago, is a good one, with a nimble, curious mind, and a body well able to cope with in whatever environment I found myself .

I must confess I haven’t taken the care of it in a way that perhaps I should, but then, I tend to avoid anything that contains the word “should” as a reason for acting in any manner. But, for the most part, it (my body) has always been capable of handling whatever I asked of it, even excelling at much of it. And I am more than happy with how my mind has performed; as far as I can tell, it has served me well. Sure, there are problems and issues that need to be considered and handled on a daily basis, but all things considered, I have to say, I’m a lucky guy…..
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And of course, no soap, radio.

I have seen this little phrase, in this exact form, in several places over the years. The first time I saw it was in a science fiction story, one of an anthology put together to appeal to teenage readers (my daughter had it checked out from the school library). The story was pretty cute, and had some interesting characters in it. But mostly, the tone of the tale was intended to put a lesson into the reader’s mind, a lesson on how life’s problems can be handled. The lesson is most simply put to say: Life can be strange, so think outside of the box to find answers to questions that don’t fit into normal patterns. When dealing with issues outside our normal range of experience, it’s important to learn that not all knowledge is found in books, or in school; life itself is our most important teacher, and doesn’t always give the lessons in a format we can immediately fathom. So, you see, you must learn, learn, and learn some more; and, of course, no soap, radio……
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“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Philo

Such compassion and empathy! Who was this Philo person? A-googling I will go…..Well, here we are…. from Wikipedia,….James C. VanderKam writes: “Although many of Philo’s writings have survived, little is known about his life. We do not even know when he was born or when he died. The few facts about his life come from occasional hints in his own books and a small number of external references (e.g., Josephus mentions him).”

Ah, okay. Now I remember seeing some other examples of his quotes elsewhere, on previous pearl diving expeditions. This particular quote shows a great deal of insight. Each of us exists, alone, in our own little bubble of perception, and struggles alone with coming to terms with reality. For some, it is a long, drawn out affair; these are the folks who resist change the most, for change is the primary characteristic of reality. One cannot stop change, so learning to flow with those changes becomes a coping technique of primary value.

I’m not sure what it is in human nature that makes it so hard for some people to deal with the changes that are thrown at us repeatedly; nor do I understand why it is so difficult for them to learn how to cope with it. It seems crystal clear to me that learning to accept, period, is one of the best tools we have to deal  with the vicissitudes of life, and is easily recognized as one of the first lessons that needs to be learned. As long as one learns to deal with change, living the life we choose is not unreasonably difficult to achieve. But when one fights against the current of time, life becomes an unending struggle just to survive intact. As always, the choice is ours…..
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“This is no time for consensus government.  It’s a time for leadership.  The average citizen doesn’t know what the stakes are in Vietnam.” — Richard Milhouse Nixon, February 11, 1965

Excuse me? No time for consensus government? I was under the impression that consensus government was what we already lived by. I don’t recall any major changes to the Constitution for at least 75 years, or more, and that is what it promises to us. But Nixon, like many, or even most, of what we now are calling the 1% (I like the one from an author whose name slips my mind; he calls them the beloved ruling class…) actually believe in what he said; the rules are for other folks, not the elite. Moreover, it is how they act, and we, the people, have now allowed them to put their preferences in writing, thereby running an end-run around the Constitution to take away most of what we thought were our rights. We, or many of us, have forgotten that we only have those rights that we can defend; we gave up that defense to our leaders, trusting that they would honor the bargain. But they never had any intention of doing so, and we are now reaping our harvest of despair…..

“The people came to realize that wealth is not the fruit of labor but the result of organized protected robbery.”– Frantz Fanon
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“Rapoport’s Rule of the Roller-Skate Key: Certain items which are crucial to a given activity will show up with uncommon regularity until the day when that activity is planned, at which point the item in question will disappear from the face of the earth.” — Dan Rapoport

I’m amazed. I didn’t know this had been documented sufficiently to become an accepted natural law, on a par with the Murphy syndrome. But, I can testify to its veracity, because, believe it or not, this happened to me in my youth, before I had matured enough to either shave, or consider girls as other than cootie-bearing demons.

I’d gotten a pair of roller skates for Christmas, the old fashioned metal clamps that fastened onto the shoe, and required the Roller Skate Key to tighten them enough to stay on for more than two strides and a fall. Within two weeks, the key disappeared, of course, and wasn’t seen for two years. On the day I found it in some place or other, I looked for the skates, as I could now see myself, much older and more physically adept, sailing away down the sidewalk to the park.

Well, you know the rest. There was only one skate in the back of the closet where they had lived for the last two years; no way to tell when or how the other had made its escape. So, like the mature young man I was, I tied the key to the remaining skate. and tossed it back into the abyss that was my closet, never to be seen again. By the time I might have found the other skate, the technology had advanced, and shoe skates had replaced the old metal contraptions, no key required…..I guess I wasn’t the only one it happened to….
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‘It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Now, there is something I could wish; to hear what Oscar would say in today’s culture, wherein we are drowning in information, a great deal of which is useless, both generally and specifically. In fact, one of the fastest rising job markets today is for people who know how to manipulate the information that is available in such staggering quantity. It has become a very valuable skill to be able to sift and organize all the data that flows across the Internet Cloud.

A lot of folks my age (61) and older are having a hard time adjusting to the new pace in society; they’ve been out of the loop long enough that learning what they need to learn to deal with computers is a task they are unwilling to take on. Some, like myself, have been waiting all our lives for this technology to reach the stage it is at today; I grew up reading about the technology, in science-fiction stories, and in Scientific American, and as soon as possible I jumped on that wagon with glee. It is a source of amazement to me that this laptop I’m using to write this has more computing power than there was in the entire world when I graduated from high school!

Learning to be adept with computers is a skill that everyone now needs to learn at an early age, or they just won’t be able to keep up. And, if you stop to think about it for a moment, you can realize that a computer is merely a very sophisticated hammer; just another tool we’ve created to assist us in our constant quest to control the universe around us, and as such, can be learned by even the most resistive student…..in fact, it can be regarded as a “must-learn” skill set…..

“Buy a rifle, encrypt your data, and wait for the Revolution!” — .sig of Travis J.I. Corcoran (TJIC@icd.teradyne.com)
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Yesterday, I wrote a little poem to make a point. When I looked at it today, I thought to myself, “What were you thinking?”  I suppose I’ve seen worse, but I can’t recall when. Just a bit too trite and smarmy for my taste, and just another example of why I don’t usually try my hand at traditional poetry. Oh well, I guess I’ll stick to haiku; I feel much more comfortable creating them, and they all seem to come out better. But, meantime, we come to the end of another morning session of exposition, so I’ll bid thee adieu for another day….. y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Notes on a reluctant subject…..

Ffolkes,
The weather, having taken a turn toward nasty, compels me to huddle up close to the fire, wrap a sturdy blanket around my shoulders, and gaze into the flames seeking visions. Hence, today we go old school…..in the last couple of days, I’ve done a lot of work around this process of making Pearls of Virtual Wisdom. I went diving for a long while, building up my stash of backup Pearls, and in the process found a very good batch of lustrous new gems. Some are included for their Truth; others merely for their Beauty. At least one is there because I thought it was funny. All have something to say, even if it is something we may not like to hear. Since I’m not writing any original material for today’s piece, I will include a couple extra meaty Pearls. Having produced over a thousand words for each of the last four or five days, it will help fill in that extra space y’all have come to know and love…..see, give me just one teeny opening, and the sarcasm slips through. Oh well, it’s best to get it out early in the day so it doesn’t fester…….

“One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night.” — Margaret Mead

During the darkest days of World War II, when each night brought waves of Luftwaffe bombers raining death and destruction on a near-defenseless London, Prime Minister Churchill went on the air to address the British people.  “I read this morning’s paper that Herr Hitler plans to wring England’s neck like that of a chicken,” he began, “and I was reminded of what the Irish poacher said as he stood on the gallows.  Its seems the poor fellow was approached by a well-meaning if somewhat overzealous priest who, in horrific detail, described the unfading torments of Hades which awaited him if he did not repent of his misdeeds.  The condemned man listened patiently to all that the priest had to say, and when he was done, grinned broadly and replied, ‘Eat it raw, fuzz nuts.'” (YES!!!)

Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.

“As to values, I was taught — and still believe — that a sense of honor is necessary to personal self-respect; that duty, recognizing an individual’s subordination to community welfare, is as important as rights; that loyalty, which is based on the trustworthiness of honorable men, is still a virtue; and that work and self-discipline are as essential to individual happiness as they are to a viable society. Indeed, I still believe in patriotism — not if it is limited to parades and flag-waving, but because worthy national goals and aspirations can be realized only through love of country and a desire to be a responsible citizen.” — Lewis F. Powell (Former Supreme Court Justice)

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 (1809-1892)
— Idylls of the King, Merlin and Vivien

— Bother! said Pooh, as he stomped Barney’s butt to Jello.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Philo

“What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism.” — G. K. Chesterton, Sidelights on New London and Newer New York

Intelligence is believing only half of what you hear; Brilliance is knowing which half.

All rivers flow into the sea, for it is lower than they; Humility is what gives it its strength.

And one last thought for contemplation……

“Make no mistake: the weeds will win.  Nature bats last.” — Robert Pyle

I hope you have enjoyed reading this little tour through a bed of Pearls as much as I did in putting it together. What with all the extras today, there’s probably enough potentially enlightening material to create a veritable army of Buddha’s! Well, maybe not; that would be getting a little far away from his message……..oh well……y’all take care out there……

 


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!