Such a waste of appealingly bitter waffles….

Ffolkes,

“No human thing is of serious importance.”

~~ Plato ~~

Second shots 001

Struggling Beauty


Good morning….

 “Sleep is a weapon.”

~~ Philip D’Anjou, “The Bourne Identity” by Robert Ludlum ~~


I first read the above words in the 1970’s, I think, when the book was first published. Regardless of the book’s qualities, I’d have liked it, anyway, if only for that line…. It’s such a powerful idea, and is, to my own knowledge, a very important piece of data for anyone to know, at least, if they’re the kind of person who enjoys life. It has so many applications to every part of life, it touches on all we do, and all we accomplish….. Without a sharp, strong, flexible weapon, life can be very hard, and very dangerous…. The weapon, of course, is our own mind….

Why is this relative to our purpose here today? Well, that’s simple actually…. Sleep, or rather, finding the means within myself to sleep, has become one of the more pressing issues in my life, as I am currently unable to predict at all when I’ll be able to go down for some rest…. Some days, I feel like I’m back in boot camp…. Of course, I never went to boot camp, aside from having been raised by a Master Sergeant… I guess that would count…

I’m not going to go into all the reasons for my reluctant insomnia; it’s TMI, and, no doubt, pretty boring for anyone not going through it. I will say, it’s not the kind of thing designed to make one into a happy camper, an assertion of which I possess no doubt whatsoever as to it’s truth….. In short, FUCK ME! THIS IS A PAIN IN THE BLOODY ASS!

Okay, I’m done. We can go now, to see if there is anything else in my head that might have some little entertainment value…. It may be a long search, so grab some of the trail mix before we head out; it could be a long time to lunch….

Shall we Pearl?….

“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that balances are correct.” — from “Manual of Maud’Dib” by the Princess Irulan

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early HAL from FP

Image from blu-ray.com via Google Images


Today’s video selection is a classic Science Fiction movie, long considered the definitive “First” in that genre. Shot on a minimal budget, with young stars, such as the then-unknown Leslie Nielsen, alongside fading Hollywood stars, such as Walter Pidgeon, the movie was shot as an entirely serious movie with a dramatic plot; it came out unintentionally hilarious, and campy, due to the special effects, for which the kindest word to describe would be “cheezy” ….. (Look at that robot!…. and, the alien landscape!…). I’ve included links and players for the official trailer, as well as some of the outtakes from the shooting process. To watch the entire movie, you can pay $2.99 to You Tube, or follow a link to many sites streaming old movies online…. Type “forbidden planet full movie” into the YT search bar, & it will furnish you with any number of links to the movie… Enjoy!…


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Forbidden Planet

Trailer & Outtakes

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Sandclock .jpg


Last posted on 11/20/2013:

Below you’ll find a short, but concise, religirant, another blast from the past, as I continue to mine my archives for material I can use today, to save me a bit of time, and mental energy, which I can always use to decide where I’m going for my next trip to…. ANYWHERE!…. Any who, all personal idiosyncrasies aside, this one is pretty good, I think, so pay attention, if you please, and take heed of what it says, for it is good advice, if naught else….

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Today’s effort is, to my chagrin, falling somewhat short of my expectations; not surprising, given the handicaps with which we began our journey today…. As I mentioned above, or, not, I’m going to cheat; this, of course means we go to the archives for our thoughts for today…. This one is pretty good, I think, but, regardless of its quality, it’s going to have to do…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it’s the best we’ve got today….

From April 27, 2012

“He that doubteth is damned.” — Romans 14:23

It took a while, but it was worth the time spent searching…. This is a perfect example of how, if we let them, all those folks who would have us believe that the Bible, (or any other sacred books inspired by alleged supernatural entities), is a direct line of information from God, will go to almost any lengths, trying to trick us into doing exactly what that book tells us to do. In this case, they apply both guilt and fear of retribution in the next life if we question any of what we are told by that book, or any of what we are taught by those who hold it as truth….

I have previously written here as to the value Doubt possesses, in the bag of tools people have to get by in this complex, confusing universe we inhabit. It is our only defense against information or events that can cause, or even intend, us harm, rather than good; such information invariably is given to us by other people, whose only intent in doing so is to achieve some sort of power or control over us. I don’t think this is a particularly hard concept to understand; its proof lies in almost every interaction we have when faced with organized religions. Anyone who has studied the psychology of humans can point out the techniques of behavioral modification used by the religious hierarchies to assert their will upon the public….

The above short little warning/threat, drawn directly from the Christian Bible, (Old Testament, if memory serves….), implies that anyone who does not bend over in submission to its decree will spend eternity in Hell. Hmm, a bit harsh, don’t you think? For merely entertaining a question regarding the accuracy of a concept presented, one with no evidence that proves its reliability? The Universe at large presents us with such false information regularly; anyone who doesn’t learn caution in such instances is liable for the consequences, which can be severe, such as in the case of being confronted by an apparently friendly, but in reality, rabid dog. Rabies is no picnic, from all reports, so, Doubt, used as a tool in such instances, is very appropriate, patently a valuable one.

However, in the minds of the folks who are selling faith-based products, Doubt is the last thing they want people to have in mind when considering what they say. It tends to cause their arguments to fall apart right in front of their eyes, and they cannot make the sale that way. If they can’t convince people to accept what they say without questioning it, their entire house of cards will come tumbling down around their ears, and they would have to give up all those nice little perks that go along with having everyone believe everything they say, like having poor people willingly give up 10% of their earnings in tithe, or getting to reside, with no rent, in a house built by the labor of others…. Did you think they would give that up easily?…. Well, then you’ve lost your strongest ally against such degradations to your sensibilities…. a healthy sense of Doubt….

“Fear not, for I have given you authority to do so.” — Smart Bee, via some random preacher’s King James version….

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Comedy_Tragedy

    As intimated would be the case today, here’s one from the archives….

After the odyssey….

Portraits of iconic symbols, crashing, singing, forgotten;
evolving into mature innovation, as yet pale, and rotten.
Still water justly breeds, impenetrable primal verses resound;
unholy moments tarry, emotion swirls in passion unbound

Spiritual ovulation precedes each pregnant pause;
gravid, time moves on, following destiny’s cause.
Cast adrift on waves of confusion, to a final, damp landing;
salvation beckons sweetly, fed well on understanding.

Dreams directly fall, in night’s grey bower, unbidden;
lingering flavors in simple taste, lovingly, cleverly hidden.
Childish laughter sounds, joyful, bright, and clear;
no need ever to hide, no more monsters to fear.

Temper most foul arrives under unregistered mail;
forgotten taunts live on, lashed by an ancient flail.
Plain dealing delivers such lasting specks of honest hate;
savage in retrospect, never hasty, always running late.

Forever, cries an ambient lover of the pending night;
his pale, weak issue forms its own failing light.
Still, fortune favors such as those who apprehend;
Sweet love of Gaia, let it never end.

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 3/10/2013.

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About Hopi Indian Symbols

    I’m not sure about this one; it’s an odd, obscure little pearl…. I like it, so, it stays…. Follow the bouncing ideas, and you’ll get to a lovely surprise…. Trust me….

“Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.” — Mark Twain

“Bear, do not blame, what cannot be changed.” — Publilius Syrus

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” — Flannery O’Connor

“Virtue is its own revenge.” — E. Y. Harburg

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” — G. K. Chesterton, Everlasting Man, 1925

“Before enlightenment, one carries water and chops wood. After enlightenment, one carries water and chops wood.” — Zen Proverb

“In a mad world, only the mad are sane.” — Akiro Kurosawa

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I suppose they can’t all be gems…. Whether this came out good, or bad, or indifferent has now become irrelevant, when weighed against the fact it is done. So be it. I don’t know why, but, I’m a grump…. I guess I’ll go out into the BBR and torment some mundanes…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; it’s the primary reason I’m not in jail yet, so….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			
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Vilification process begun, sir. Add fries to that?….

Ffolkes,

“If you make a mess, clean it up.”

~~ Mom ~~

gorilla love

 Stolen from ThumbUp and Buddha9

@ Live, Laugh, Love ~~ http://livelovelaughdotme2.com/


Good morning. These are the voyages of the star ship Enterprise, whose mission, should she condescend to accept it, is to seek out new worlds, and new civilizations, whether they want us or not….

Actually, this is gigoid, fooling about with the intro again…. I think I’ll cut myself short, with good reason, too… Let’s do this, instead, eh? (Feeling a bit of a Canuck this morning… don’t fret, it’ll pass…)….

Shall we Pearl?

“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that balances are correct.” — from “Manual of Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan

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Morning muse

    I’ve been an unabashed Dead Head for more than 47 years now. Each year, the Dead Net, a loose conglomeration of all Dead Heads who are online, holds an informal event called the Dead Covers Project. Fans who are also musicians make videos of themselves covering Grateful Dead tunes, from across the entire spectrum of music the Dead played, and still play, 50 years on, though their creative icon, Jerry Garcia, passed a few years ago….

Here is a concert by a band that specializes in covering Dead songs. The two lead guitarists are masters, and I would LOVE to have heard them play a set or two with Jerry, or the rest of the band…. The lead female singer is a real, honest to goodness torch singer, and does great justice to the spirit of the band’s music…. This is one I’ve downloaded, so I can play it whenever I please…. Enjoy, ffolkes….


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Cubensis

Playin’ In The Band

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Dont keep calm

“It takes all kinds of people to make a world, but did you ever think the percentages were wrong?” — Smart Bee

To answer the question posed, certainly I have; there are far too few of the people who make up today’s world who have any concept of the words Honor, Duty, Loyalty, or for that matter, THINKING…. 97% of the people alive today are bloody frigging slaves, and don’t even know it. Of the other 3%, 2.9% are wandering around going “What the fuck is going on here? How did all these stupid people get born. And why are those little assholes over there laughing?” That last 0.1% are the assholes who have enslaved the rest, and are laughing at all the mundanes who believe whatever bullshit they are told, as long as it’s on TV….

As you may be able to tell by now, I’m not feeling particularly friendly towards the rest of my species…. I find the few people in the world with whom I actually communicate limited to about 25-30 people TOTAL; the rest are either too stupid to bother conversing with, too busy carrying out their slave duties, or, are Asininnies, or simple assholes…. Seriously, that is a fairly accurate breakdown, if a bit, oh, say, PISSY! I feel pissy, whenever I think of the stupidity it took to allow those assholes to gain their foothold of control over society, and how most people don’t even know they are slaves….

So pissy, in fact, I’m really not up for ranting; I find myself merely wishing to spout vilification and bile all over those who would be kings, and those who would allow them that privilege…. Though it’s somewhat cathartic, I prefer to take REAL shots, with arrows, or knives, or at minimum, rocks. Yeah, rocks; that’s the ticket….

SIGH….. Sorry, got distracted by my anger…. Instead, I’ll go fire up Smart Bee, and, then,  I’ll do my best to find an old-school pearl, a collection of individual pearls taking good, solid shots at those aforementioned Asininnies, who deserve every ounce of shit we can pile on them…. (Asininnies, as most of you know, include the Corporate Snakeheads, Polly pundits, Religicos, Myrmidons, Pimps, and other assholes of their ilk… You know…. the Predator Class….) Then, all I have to say to them, is a big, loud, meaningful FUCK YOU All, YOU ASSHOLES!

Let’s pearl, shall we?…..

GOD is applied POWER
which is applied GOVERNMENT
 which is applied POLITICS
which is applied ADVERTISING
which is applied SOCIOLOGY
which is applied PSYCHOLOGY
which is applied BIOLOGY
which is applied CHEMISTRY
which is applied PHYSICS
which is applied MATH
which is applied PHILOSOPHY
which is applied BULLSHIT

~~ Smart Bee ~~


“Governing a large country is like frying a small fish. You spoil it with too much poking.” — Lao-Tzu

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” — Voltaire

“A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.” — Thomas Paine [Author of the Declaration of Independence and even more, but no politician.]

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” — Edward Abbey

“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

“One of the chief problems a modern society has to face is how to provide an outlet for the intellectual’s restless energies and yet deny him power. How to make and keep him a paper tiger.” — Eric Hoffer

“A politician has to be able to see both sides of an issue, so he can get around it.”– Smart Bee

But the sunshine aye shall light the sky,
  As round and round we run;
And the truth shall ever come uppermost,
  And justice shall be done.

 ~~ Charles Mackay ~~

~~ Eternal Justice, Stanza 4 ~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

    I’m feeling a bit lazy today…. What, you couldn’t tell? S’alright; I hide it pretty well…. To fulfill the purpose of both the blog, and my laziness, here is a poem of mine, strangely enough, having to do with the same folks of whom we were speaking in the last section…. Well, one part of that group of nasty, ignorant, self-absorbed folks, anyway…..

Geezer to Congress, with Love

Politicos don’t care much ’bout seniors and their ilk,
except for their money, I thinks;
Though they talk as if they’d cozen them in silk,
what they actually do, it stinks.

“The banks are failing, we can’t allow that!”,
steal from the aged, that’s their plan.
“Their life’s ending, that’s plainly where they’re at,”
lie shamelessly, because they can.

Maybe just once, if we all act together,
it couldn’t miss.
Right on their shoes, no matter the weather,
take careful aim, and piss.

Why the hell not?
It’s worth a shot!

~~ gigoid ~~


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ankh

Ankh ~~ Symbol of Life


Here is an off-the-usual-track pearl about Life at Large, hence the new icon, for pearls of this nature…. Not a bad little packet of good advice from a few of humanity’s most familiar sages, with a few less well-known sources, as well… You may wish to take notes; I have a feeling you will, eventually, be tested on this material, in one of the Quizzes Life presents to all of us in times of ‘interest’….

“Justice consists in doing no injury to men; decency in giving them no offense.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Officiis

“…all life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other.” — HPL, from The Silver Key

“Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.” — Robert Green Ingersoll

“There is no such thing as a minor lapse of integrity.” — Tom Peters

“What is to give light must endure burning.” — Viktor Frankl

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

“To be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite is rightly to apply it.” — Descartes

“Use a mirror in difficult times: You will see both cause and resolution.” — Deng Ming-Dao

“You are only what you are when no one is looking.” — Robert C. Edwards

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Considering my ongoing/upcoming plans, and, hopefully, their fruition, here is a small bit of irony to finish off the day’s effort; though one must consider the source, viewing this with a bit of tongue-in-cheek dubiousity, the message remains valid, and true, being merely a paraphrase of the very old piece of wisdom from the East, to wit:

“The Journey is the lesson, and the value of travel; the Destination is the reward….” — gigoid’s interpretation of one chapter of the Tao Teh Ching

Or, more aptly re-gifted, in more contemporary language….

“One of the joys of travel is visiting new towns and meeting new people.” — Genghis Khan

A-laughing-girl-and-her-camel

    There you go…. I think, all things considered, that’s enough out of me for one day…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…. That’s the plan, anyway. We’ll see what Reality has to say about it, en la mañana…. Ta then, luvs….

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….


Sheboygan’s best chance to chlorinate itself….

Ffolkes,

From childhood’s hour I have not been
 As others were — I have not seen
 As others saw — I could not bring
 My passions from a common spring.

~~ Edgar Allan Poe, “Alone” ~~

potd-rainbow_3088571k

    Today, for an unknown reason, I’ve got nothing. Zilch. Zip. Nada damn thing. My brain is fried, it seems, and is refusing categorically to function beyond the point needed to put condiments in coffee; anything more complex will have to wait until much later….

That being the case, I am going to try a completely new intro technique, called the Sandbag…. I’m starting out just as if we were going to ramble and blather in our normal fashion… In truth, however, we are going to drop you here like a hot potato, and just get on with it… Kinda cool, and a big surprise, I know, but, hey, deal with it, because it’s too late to change your mind…. You’re credit card has already been charged, so you may as well sit down, shut up, and pray…. because this is all the intro you’re getting today…. Bonus! It rhymes…. and, you don’t have to listen to any more of my blather….

Oh, the picture is from another Day in Pictures on the London Daily Yell (Telegraph), about a week ago. It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? A woman took the picture from an airplane, looking down through the clouds to the reflection on the ocean, of the rainbow produced by the conditions…. More convincing proof of my old assertion, that ‘timing is everything’, eh what?…. Okay, that’s it, we’re outta here…. Hang on….

Shall we Pearl?

“He said that there was one only good, namely, knowledge; and one only evil, namely, ignorance.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Socrates, xiv

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Today, we’ll have a bit of classic rock…. From 12/8/1983, The A.R.M.S. Concert in New York City…. with a cast of thousands of old rockers, who were then in their prime….. Enjoy!….



Eric Clapton,Jeff Beck,Jimmy Page,Ron Wood,Bill Wyman,Jan Hammer,Charlie Watts @ Madison Square Garden

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I am, as stated, fried to a crisp, apparently. Not only do I NOT have a rant in me, I think I’m going to hide today, in general, & reschedule anything I had planned…. so I can stay home and stay invisible to the world…. Just don’t feel like dealing with what is out there for me today, I guess… We are all allowed a day off from our bravery now and then, to coddle ourselves…. and, even if we aren’t so privileged, I’m gonna do it anyway….

For y’all this means you don’t need to put up with a fresh rant from me; instead, here is an older pearl, re-posted in 2013, but, coming from the dark ages of Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, way back in 2011…. Back then, what you see in this section comprised one entire Pearl for the day…. I was nicer then….

From 6/2/11:

Ffolkes;

According to Princess Irulan, beginnings are delicate times, a phrase neatly turned to tell us all something we already know in the deeper parts of our souls. Time is gravid, huge and vital with might be’s and maybe’s and what if’s. It is well at these times to act with extreme caution, knowing the slightest misstep can bring catastrophe; it is also well to use caution in choosing when to act, for prematurity can be as deadly as sloth. Inaction is moot, a null choice, though choice it be; not choosing is choosing as well.

Once chosen, we are once again witness, hopeful that our choice is meet, and the birth of new events will see us still standing, afraid but unbowed. Thus the cycle of life turns, and we can only hope that we have once again the chance to choose, to act correctly at the proper moment, and reap the benefits of karma….

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” — Agatha Christie

“A man who carries a cat by the tail is gainin’ valuable experience. He will never be dim, or doubtful. Chances are he won’t carry the cat that way again, but I say, if he wants to, let him!”– Mark Twain

“Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding  into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” — Albert Einstein

“Purity engenders Wisdom, Passion (engenders) avarice, and Ignorance (engenders) folly, infatuation and darkness.” — Bhagavad Gita (c. B.C. 400)

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” — Oscar Wilde

Further than this, deponent saith naught….  y’all take care out there….

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As noted, I’m in lazy mode… more from the past…..

From 7/21/2013:

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless–of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.’ That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?” — John Keating, Dead Poet’s Society

Early Observations

Until I knew there was more,
I wanted to know God.
They said he was a nice guy,
and would let me live forever.

All I had to do, they said,
was live my life for Him,
always living by scripture
cleaving only to his Way.

But, everyone I saw in church,
acted different at home.
Living wild, cussin’ and fussin’,
nobody lived like they said.

Still, I tried to be like Jesus,
he was sort of cool.
He never hurt nobody
and walked on the right path.

‘Course they killed him for that,
they couldn’t stand his example.
Turned him into a martyr,
 hid his real words among their own.

Then I found the Buddha,
and met Lao Tzu at the gate.
They saw things real different,
showed me how to see straight.

Right thought, and right action
replace blind obedience and faith.
Reality becomes manageable,
fear retreats, the universe expands.

Brother John said it pretty well,
“Imagine there’s no heaven,
it’s easy if you try.”
Sounds like he knew why.

Day to day, life is grand,
we walk in eternal beauty.
Open your eyes and hearts,
find yourself already immortal.

~~ gigoid ~~

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Don’t ask…. Sometimes, it’s just the way it is….

Because my name is Daffy,
They think that I’m insane
 Please pass the ketchup,
 I think it’s going to rain!

 Oh, you can’t bounce a meatball,
Try with all your might.
Turn on the radio,
I want to fly a kite!

~~ D. Duck (daffy@wb.com) ~~

“On n’est jamais si heureux ni si malheureux qu’on s’imagine.” (One is never so happy or so unhappy as one thinks.) — Francois Duc de La Rochefoucauld

“And on the 8th day, God said, “Ok, Murphy, you’re in charge!”” — Smart Bee

“Excess on occasion is exhilarating.  It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.” — W. Somerset Maugham

HIPPOGRIFF, n.  An animal (now extinct) which was half horse and half griffin.  The griffin was itself a compound creature, half lion and half eagle. The hippogriff was actually, therefore, a one-quarter eagle, which is two dollars and fifty cents in gold.  The study of zoology is full of surprises.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“If chocolate is the answer, the question is irrelevant.” — Smart Bee

“I feel a random Act of Violence coming on.” — gigoid, on frequent occasions

I will offer no claim to blame, nor to any excuse for any of the forgoing…. Only mild embarrassment, and it will pass…

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Well, that went…. I won’t make a value judgment as to HOW it went, thus saving myself from perjury, or hypocrisy…. That probably won’t last long, so, I’d best be on my way out into the BBR, or, at minimum, stick my head out the window, & check the weather…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

Selling icons to Philistines…

Ffolkes,

“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that balances are correct.”

~~ from “Manual of Maud’Dib” by the Princess Irulan ~~

~~ From “Dune” by Frank Herbert ~~

odd group 019


This picture, together with the two previous pictures here at the top, were taken in Templeton, CA, at the cemetery where my friend Carol was laid to rest. This particular shot shows the very spot where her remains were buried, straight ahead in the exact center of the photo…. It was only a couple of weeks after the service, so no headstone had been placed as yet…. It’s a nice quiet spot, and suits Carol’s simple, beautiful soul. It is where she always wished to be, home in Templeton, where we grew up….

Beginning a Pearl with a reminiscence is always dangerous, as it can so easily bring me to tears; since it is a nice, quiet picture of a soothing scene, as well, we’ll just let it rest…. perfectly appropriate, under the circumstances, and go on to the rest of today’s effort. As the opening quote says, beginnings are delicate times; we will now proceed to be delicate, as far as we are able….

I should probably give a small warning, and disclaimer. Today’s Pearl is a long one, as I found some very relevant material for the rant section, so much so, it grew to be HUGE…. but, as it states, it’s important material, to me, and to everyone else, too, even if they don’t know it… Since it IS so long, I’ll show more of my ruthlessness, a lesson learned hard, to send us on to the rest of the mess…. In fact, I’ll take the advice from Tom J. at the end of this section, and do that now…

Shall we Pearl?……

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” — Thomas Jefferson

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I found this GREAT concert video from a performer, and band, popular for a long time, though now neither is as prominent now…. It’s some great music, and some funny dialog, as the band members, and Allison, spend a lot of time sharing funny stories and affectionate tales of each other’s talents and personalities…. a very intimate concert, lasting over two hours…. Also, the link has more examples of their work, along with some similar artists…Enjoy!

 

Alison Krauss & Union Station Live Louisville 2002

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Today’s Pearl is a special one, and, to my chagrin, one of the longest I’ve ever put together…. But, it’s all material that is important to me to convey to the world, whether or not they ever make up their minds to listen to it… I last posted today’s rant(s)  in 2012, as a Pearl with three sections, of the variety that had a rant/poem/old school pearl format. At the time, I didn’t think it would be all that valuable in the future, but, with the way things are going, the next election for the major offices in 2016 will be a replay of the 2012 fiasco….

The most likely scenario I see coming up, in this period of time leading up to the next national election, in 2016 shows us we will probably end up making a decision between a pair of Republican Über-Conservative candidates, competing against a Woman of Destiny/Charming Liberal ticket on the Democratic side, with a severely confused, polarized, mostly ignorant and/or gullible, amorphously diverse mob of adult-sized naked apes, making up the congregation of more than a hundred and twenty million voters, all of whom will be under the (false) impression they are to decide who will be responsible for the rapine and pillaging of the public treasury for the next four to eight years…..

Trust me, ffolkes, it’s going to be a disgusting mass of extreme vituperation, rampant sleaze, thinly veiled misogyny, sycophantic pandering to special interest groups, and, simply, sheer insanity, with an overall circus-like atmosphere, replete with high drama, and low comedy…. which makes the following all that much more relevant…. Now, isn’t that the saddest damn thing you’ve ever heard?…. I think so….

From 9/26/2012:

SIGH…. the only reason I did not write this in 1988 is that I did not see the article from which it was taken until today, when I found it in some dark, nearly invisible, obscure corridor of the Internet….. I firmly believe it is never a good policy to suffer a fool gladly, thus, my code of honor demands a response…. Today’s missive begins the tale, but, by no means ends it….. Be warned, and be nervous, if not terrified…..

“I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they  be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” — George Bush in Free Inquiry magazine, Fall 1988

The depths of ignorance displayed by this statement, by a man formerly holding the highest office in this country, is, quite simply, appalling…. The only response possible, for anyone who has actually read the Constitution of the United States, would run something like this….

Actually, George, if you weren’t a complete horse’s ass, you would already know, the Pledge of Allegiance has no legal standing, in relation to the Constitution of this country, or for that matter, in relation to what our forefathers were thinking when they founded the nation. In fact, what yoi said here, as such an upstanding Constitutional scholarly type, is, in reality, completely contrary to everything that makes a true patriot, or, for that matter, an American citizen, whose duty requires them to study and know what the Constitution says, and means.

The part in the pledge, which was originally written in the early twentieth century, (and, which no one at all is legally required to take, or state…), with the words, “under God”, was only added in the middle of the twentieth century, by the same Congressional idiots who perpetrated McCarthyism, and the Red Scare, on the American public. Before that time, it read, “one nation, indivisible… etc.”, not “one nation, under God, indivisible…” as it is now (unjustifiably) reads…

The pledge itself is not legally required by the Constitution, and in fact, could be construed as a Constitutionally illegal statement, considering the intended separation of church and state that is the backbone of what our forefathers wished us to have as our legacy…. That consists of true freedom, not the Christian usurpation of freedom…..

A person’s religious belief, or lack thereof, is protected by the Constitution, and a patriot is one who supports the Constitution, not a church, or a corporation, and doesn’t require statement of loyalty to a symbol….. Thus, logically, and legally, a true patriot is one who objects to such usurpation, and believes in the meaning of the document, not the false image of loyalty implied by the pledge…

And if his name be George, I ‘ll call him Peter;
For new-made honour doth forget men’s names.

 — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King John — Act i, Sc. 1


(I know, I don’t much like Will’s stuff, but, law of averages, remember?….. Give me a break, it was the only George quote I could find….)

This kind of thinking from the Shrub, whichever one it was, Junior or Senior, is the same kind of narrow-minded fundamentalism that the colonists were escaping from in England back in the 16-1700’s when they came to the New World. The churches and corporations, both of which were singled out as dangerous to the republic by Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Adams, Hamilton, and many of the other founding fathers, have tried to usurp the Constitution ever since it was ratified. Numerous letters and communications amongst our founding fathers, from one to another, as well as in public venues and statements, were filled with precautionary admonitions about allowing corporations and preachers to have access to, or influence over, members of government.

Their fears were well justified, as we now are facing just the situations they predicted….. Corporations/bankers, and the ilk, (along with their strongest supporters. the religious leadership of the world’s religions), have been, and currently are manipulating our “professional thieves”, otherwise known as politicians, to vote for laws that favor them (Really, “corporations are people?”… I don’t think so…). It is very telling, to me, to observe how the ranks of our “leaders” are rife with fundamentalists, and religious nuts of all varieties.

“Men tend to have the beliefs that suit their passions. Cruel men believe in a cruel God and use their belief to excuse their cruelty.  Only kindly men believe in a kindly God, and they would be kindly in any case.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967)

It’s difficult sometimes to tell which ones are more dangerous, or more disgusting: the corporations who buy votes from those who fit the definition of “good politicians” (…. a good politician is one who stays bought…..), or the religious demagogues who want to oppress everyone who doesn’t believe the same set of dogmatic constraints as they do. Neither one is particularly hard to spot, but they are protected by their tame dogs in Congress, who will do and say anything to make sure the cash keeps flowing…. right into their pockets.

“Some men rob you with a six-gun — others with a fountain pen.” — Woodie Guthrie

As indicated by the almost 500 words yesterday, and again today, you can see that the Romney/Ryan ticket disturbs me; I have no problem ranting without end right off the top of my head about the lies and distortions of reality that continuously fall from their lips. As I mentioned yesterday, a lot of people are catching on to this, as Ryan was roundly booed offstage at the AARP meeting he attended, where he tried to sell their rape of Social Security (Smart? No. Arrogant? Completely.).

Even this is disturbing to me, as it shows me just how little they care, that they are showing themselves to be only interested in lining their own pockets, and the pockets of those who own them. They aren’t even trying to hide their lies anymore; they just keep repeating them, even after having been shown to be false, believing that if they repeat the lies long and often enough, people will buy it…. even if only to shut them up….

“Men are most apt to believe what they least understand.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book iii, Chap. xi

Unfortunately, they are right, to a large extent. Millions of people in this country, who have hung on to their prejudices and bigotry with desperation, as the minorities have become majorities, are supporting these assholes, merely because they are white. They don’t realize, or seemingly care, that these are the same assholes who will be screwing them over completely as soon as they get sworn in, preferring to trust in the lies, because it soothes their fears of having a black President.

“Beware of the half truth.  You may have gotten hold of the wrong half.” — Smart Bee

This is why I keep reiterating this point…. this election is bringing this country to a crossroads. The outcome will show whether we intend, as a nation, to continue to fight all attempts to curtail the freedoms that were bought and paid for by our forefathers, with blood, sweat, and tears, or will become just another religious, corporate-controlled entity, with a nation consisting solely of slaves, numbering in the hundreds of millions of people, and their masters, whose number is, at most, no more than five figures….

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ll be at the polls as soon as they open, and will urge everyone I know to do the same…. Vote early, and vote often (just joking…), but vote. We need to send a message to these fools, that there are still patriots and citizens of this country who believe in the vision embraced and established by the men and women who began this noble experiment in self-government…..

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” — Aldous Huxley
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Note from 2014: This is another rant, hence it’s position here in the second section of today’s Pearl…. Today, it goes here, to supplement the above arguments…. When first posted, it made up the third section of the Pearl on 9/26/2012:

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence…  From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable….  The very atmosphere of firearms every- where restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” — George Washington (Bogus?)(Who cares? I don’t, it doesn’t make it any less true if it was said by someone else…. I know for certain, Tom Jefferson would have said it, if he’d thought of it first; for all we know now, he might have done so….)

I am constantly hearing people these days spouting off about gun control, and how guns should be outlawed. This is a viewpoint that I have never understood, because it makes a totally unwarranted assumption, (more than one actually, but this one is, I believe, the most important….), to wit: guns cause violent behavior, and if people couldn’t legally own them, violence would stop.

This, patently, is incredibly naive, and, at minimum, severely unreasonable, given that there is absolutely no evidence to support such a contention. There is no evidence whatsoever that violence is NOT part of human nature; this is a psychological/psychiatrically proven FACT, not subject to debate. People have violent tendencies, especially when influenced by strong emotion….

Moreover, violence is the primary response of a great many people. to almost anything they don’t understand, and, who have never learned how to use their reason to control their emotions. Thus, the majority of humans never understand the violence within themselves, allowing their fears, very strong emotions, indeed, to control their behavior, for it is our naturally induced response to cover fear with anger, with its ever-present danger of slipping over into violence….

In short, many people, when afraid, simply strike out in response; this simple fact carries over into other, more complex situational behavior, without those involved ever even being aware of the process within themselves…. and, this tendency extends into every level of human societal interaction; our political pundits, though they speak of violence often, have no clue as to how their own fears control them, any more than do religious leaders, or the average joe on the street who buys into all their BS…. Hence, we have politics, and religion, and sports, and, advertising, and, racism, and bigotry, and misogyny, and, eternal, unending war between men….

Though I’ve never owned or carried a gun, I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, in its most literal sense. Without the right to bear arms in our own defense, we, as citizens, would be at the mercy of whomever was in office at the time, and would have no recourse at all to any redress of grievance against those officials, since they could not be forced to comply with law.

I do NOT trust any elected official to act in MY best interests; human nature also decrees that they will act in their OWN interests first, with no compulsion to even consider anything else. Making it a law that only police and government lackeys could legally be armed is a sure way to guarantee that the average citizen would be at the mercy of these so-called leaders, mercy being a quality they have never, heretofore, demonstrated in any fashion.

In fact, here’s an example, straight from a horse’s mouth, as to how many of today’s ‘officers of the law’ feel about the citizenry they are supposedly there to protect and serve, to wit:

“In our society, sometimes you have to penalize (innocent) people for the good of everybody else.” — A Pittsburgh Cop 10/16/93

As I said, I don’t own or carry guns…. However, I’ve trained myself to be dangerous without the use of them, and feel no fear that I cannot deal with an armed man to my benefit; this is simply because it is the person holding the gun that is the danger, not the gun itself. Speed, power, and accuracy are the key elements to controlling a violent situation, along with even more valuable assets, forethought and preparation, added to the ability to keep a clear mind under duress.

When a person is holding a gun, they feel ten feet tall and invincible, but they remain human, and humans can be controlled with superior strategy and tactics. It does no good to hold a gun, when the target won’t sit still, or even remain visible….. To an experienced warrior, that sense of invincibility becomes a liability to the gun-wielder.

However, most Americans do not have this sort of skill set, nor the state of mind that makes it work. In the hands of a skilled warrior, a gun becomes a dangerous weapon indeed, for it will be used to achieve the warrior’s goals, as any weapon would, not employed to merely bully others into doing what is desired, which is the usual use of these kinds of weapons in the hands of the ignorant and deceitful. And, it should be noted, politicians, by the very nature of their sociopathy, do get rather deceitful in the pursuit of their self-centered ends. The desire to be in public office, to me, is a sure sign of a sick mind, as a healthy one has no need to assume power over others, being content to be in control of themselves.

So, I would say to those who would get rid of, or, in any way, alter the intent of the Second Amendment…. “Get a grip on reality, and shut the fuck up….. Truly, your lack of sophistication and knowledge of human nature gives you no right. or reason, to speak……”

“When you’re a child, you pledge allegiance to the flag.   When you grow up, you swear to uphold the Constitution.  Compare and contrast to the President’s current actions.” — Larry Wake (lkw@csun.edu) (He was referring, of course, to one of the Shrubs….)
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Well, that turned into quite a little rant…. I guess I needed to get that out. In reading back over it, I have nothing to regret, for it is all the plain and simple truth. So, I’ll send it out there, with the ever-present invitation to come back at me with any thoughts you that may occur to you….. Arguments, for or against, are welcome and appreciated. Constructive criticism is also welcome, wherever it is deemed to be warranted; ignorance will be ignored if harmless, or ruthlessly exposed for what it is if not, at my discretion. But, please don’t get upset if I don’t answer a comment; I intend to answer all comments, and try to get to all of them, but my internet time just now is limited, and I’m probably missing some comments.

Flaming, or fanaticism, or personal attacks will be either cheerfully deleted, or prosecuted/persecuted, depending on the severity of the idiocy therein….       🙂       Oh, and keep always in mind that I pay little attention to my attempts at humor, other than as an artistic tool; making fun of it can only improve it, I’m sure…..       😉

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In looking for another poem, I found this; it’s great…. Nothing more needs to be added, except, I’ve added the link to where I found the poem, so that, if you wish, you can see some of this poet’s other works…. Enjoy!

Dog Eat Dog

It’s a dog eat dog world, a dog eat dog world, a dog eat dog eat dog eat dog world.
Live like a dog die like a dog, as the old saying goes,
The plant you water is the plant that grows, everybody knows,
Give blows, get blows
Down’s how the water flows
Live like a dog die like a dog
It’s a dog eat dog eat dog eat dog world.

Dog bites matty dog for a piece of meat,
Child hits matty child for a taste of sweet,
Woman claws her matty because she looks so neat,
Man robs his matty man because he wants to eat,
Policeman kicks his matty thief because he likes to beat.
It’s a dog eat dog world, a dog eat dog world, a dog eat dog eat dog eat dog world.
Live like a dog die like a dog, as the old saying goes,
The plant you water is the plant that grows, as everybody knows,
Give blows, get blows
Down’s how the water flows
Live like a dog die like a dog
It’s a dog eat dog eat dog eat dog world.

Preacher lies to the congregation cos that comes naturally,
Shopman cheats his customer for maximum profitability,
Politician takes all the bribes he can, constitutionally,
Lawyer robs you with a pen completely legally
Country bombs its matty land nationalistically.
It’s a dog eat dog world, a dog eat dog world, a dog eat dog eat dog eat dog world.
Live like a dog die like a dog, as the old saying goes,
The plant you water is the plant that grows, everybody knows,
Give blows, get blows
Down’s how the water flows
Live like a dog die like a dog
It’s a dog eat dog eat dog eat dog world.

~~ Nim Lee ~~

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/dog-eat-dog-4/


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This may be one of the oddest, yet most powerful pearls I’ve ever created…. It has a symmetrical structure, augmented by the balanced us of quotes from our friend Zippy, and that font of wisdom, Smart Bee, with only two entries from flesh and blood contributors, both of whom are pretty well known as men of more than the common degree of intelligence, if not precisely one of wisdom….

In all, it makes a fine set of descriptive images for those individuals purportedly in charge of society, along with some rather cogent and accurate indictments of evil, and a bit of advice on how to spot the demons in human disguise…. Enjoy!…. Weird as it is, it will create an echoing sense of justice, and righteous indignation, in those who are paying attention….

“Concentrate on th’cute, li’l CARTOON GUYS!  Remember the SERIAL NUMBERS!!  Follow the WHIPPLE AVE EXIT!! Have a FREE PEPSI!!  Turn LEFT at th’HOLIDAY INN!! JOIN the CREDIT WORLD!!  MAKE me an OFFER!!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Morality is learned, not legislated.” — Smart Bee, with gigoid’s full agreement

“At twenty, a man is full of fight and hope. He wants to reform the world. When he’s seventy, he still wants to reform the world, but he knows he can”t.
— Clarence Darrow

“The only way you can protect your rights is to protect those of others!” — Smart Bee

“If you really want to do something new, the good won’t help you with it. Let me have men about me that are arrant knaves.  The wicked, who have something on their conscience, are obliging, quick to hear threats, because they know how it’s done, and for booty.  You can offer them things because they will take them.  Because they have no hesitations.  You can hang them if they get out of step.  Let me have men about me that are utter villains.” — provided that I have the power, the absolute power, over life and death.” — Hermann Goering

“Ambition is in fact the avarice of power.” — Smart Bee

“Now I’m being INVOLUNTARILY shuffled closer to the CLAM DIP with the BROKEN PLASTIC FORKS in it!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Well, there you go…. I keep telling y’all, it’s all in the twist of the wrist….

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I’ve gone bonkers, stark, raving mad…. but, with dignity, so, all is well…. I’ve also created a humongous Pearl today, so, rather than try to be funny or profound, I’ll merely say, ta then, and be on my way, so you can get on with your day as well, having been so long delayed here…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

Okay, but, who takes the hindmost?….

Ffolkes,

“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.” — Wilson Mizner

September 7-8 2014 017

    Since there can be no doubt as to exactly WHEN this was taken, (as long as we can trust digital appliances not to lie to us….) allow me to just say, it is one of mine, shot a few days ago, in a relatively futile attempt to get one good shot of the Super Moon,which took place at the date and time on the picture, as calculated by scientists at the Naval Observatory, & reported on Space.com. I intended to go out earlier, to find a spot to get a really good one, but, Murphy had other plans for my evening, as it turned out….

Approximately a half-hour before the moonrise was calculated to take place, I grabbed my phone, my stick, and the bagged garbage & recycling, to take it outside, downstairs, to the bins, which, I would then take out to the curb, for pick-up the next morning. Since I was still in quite a bit of pain, with some stiffness, too, it took me a few minutes, as I was moving, and, apparently, thinking slowly….

When done, I walked back up the stairs, with some difficulty, only to find the back door had blown itself shut in the breeze, while still locked…. Naturally, I didn’t have my keys on me, so, there I was, outside, no key, tired, in pain, and about two minutes away from A) biting myself, or, preferably, and, much more likely, the nearest human being I could find, and/or B) requiring the immediate use of articles only to be found indoors…. No, not what you’re thinking, but, well, ’nuff said… I had reasons to need to get in long before anyone would be able to bring m the means to do so….

Needless to say, I was NOT happy, first, with my bozoid failure to unlock the door, the first time I opened it that morning, as I almost ALWAYS do; nor was I happy with my bozoid failure to realize it would blow shut while outside, even though I am the one who opened the other door, the windows, & turned on the fan, so the very breeze that shut the door would be blowing, to cool off the house….  In short, my own bozoid nature gave Murphy the perfect opportunity to BURY ME in stress, in the course of a few short moments, a window of time into which I strode boldly, with full confidence that everything was fine…. the frame of mind that bloody Irish asshole LOOKS for…. I imagine he had a hard time containing his glee when he saw me go outside….

Since I had only moments to figure out how to get back inside, (remember, I had very GOOD reasons to HAVE to get in….), I tried to call one of the handymen my landlord employs, whereupon, of course, I found one out to dinner, and the other not answering… So, I made the only decision my executive nature was capable of under that sort of stress, proceeding to use my multi-purpose stick to break in the damn window on the back door, thus creating a HUGE FUCKING MESS inside my house, ten feet out into the middle of the kitchen floor, now COVERED with tiny pieces of breakaway glass, thus, necessitating a complete cleaning of the kitchen, and laundry room, which is where the back door is situated….

So, yesterday morning, (or, today, as I write this…. remember, I have a Tardis….), as well as overnight, I was completely unable to use about a quarter of my house, as it was covered in glass I had no way to pick up…. I have to wait until I can ask someone to come over, bring a real broom, (which has somehow disappeared….), and help me clean up, as doing it right is well beyond my current capabilities….

Now, is there anyone out there with any more questions about WHY I hate Murphy, even more so than your average Bozo? I am completely depressed now, because, in one swell foop, he has put me in a hole it will take days to climb out of…. the only thing that is currently serendipitous, as far as I can see, is the fortunate arrival in the bank of my monthly SS allotment. At least I’ll have enough to pay for repairing all the damages incurred in this episode, and, be able to obtain enough cannabinoids to knock down some of the severe pain that has been haunting me the last couple of weeks….

Plus, as you see, it provided enough material to complete another introductory section, with the ease of long habit in reporting the machinations of our planet’s least appreciated, most reviled icon, Jester to the Courts of Chaos, The Murphy, Most Puissant Asshole Supreme, He Who Has No Peer, Nor Ever Shall (because no other force of nature will have anyfuckingthing to do with him….)….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Hey Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!”
“But that trick NEVER works!”
“This time fer sure!”

— Rocky & Bullwinkle, playing verbal ping-pong, with Metaphoric Balls, using Euphemystic Brand paddles, Hand-Crafted with ONLY the finest of Time Tested Cliches….

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“Aim at the sun, any you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself.” — Joel Hawes

“Beginnings are such delicate times.” — Princess Irulan, from Dune, by Frank Herbert

Of late, the posts here at ECR have been, shall we say, epic in proportion. I know I talk a lot; a certain percentage of responsibility for that can be laid at the feet of my writing style. Spare, it is not…. (Though that sentence isn’t bad, in that respect…. but, you’ll note this parenthetical comment has added approximately 15-20 extra words. See how that works?….) SIGH….

‘Tis a conundrum, for much of my sense of humor requires the long build-up to the punch line so easily displayed by using the more formal approach I’ve chosen; I guess I’ve always loved a long, involved story that ends with a pun, or something so unexpected, the usual reaction is multiplied by the surprise factor….. (Now that I’ve pointed it out, the convoluted grammatical structure of my style seems to be part of the issue; a sentence such as the one previous to this could have been written in half the words…. See? It’s almost as if I can’t help it; it’s a sickness, I guess… Verbalitis maximus, or some such Latin perversion….)

Once, on a bus trip in high school, one of the other students told a story to the entire bus… He took about 30 or more minutes to tell the entire story, giving background, and describing the characters, dragging it out with repetitive actions by the characters that lent themselves to long, drawn out dialogue, and slow speech…. At the end of the 30 minutes, when the story wound around toward a resolution, the question being asked by the protagonist, which is the quest in the story, to find out WHY this person did something, is about to be answered… The entire bus was hanging on this student’s every word; even the driver was engrossed. At the crucial point, the father asks his son, who is dying, the question, “WHY, my son? Why did you…..?” The dying young man, struggling to speak, chokes out, “Dad, I did it because….”

Then he died…. The student telling the story, at the word, “because”, dropped his head, shut his eyes, and fell over, as if dead….

For about15 seconds, there wasn’t a word, not a sound, as everyone on the bus sat in complete shock…. Then, the entire bus erupted, with shouts of anger, groans of dismay (the loudest and largest number of responses were the groans….), and some actual animated growls directed at him, right before half the objects on the bus started flying in his general direction, as each victim grabbed the first item at hand & let fly, intending serious harm….

I’ve never, in my entire life, seen a joke better told, unless by a pro, such as George Carlin, or Bob Newhart, who loved that sort of joke… nor have I ever seen such a loud, universal reaction to a pun, up to this day…. It was, quite simply, the best joke I’ve ever heard, even though it isn’t even a joke, except on the audience listening to it…. Nor, for that matter, is it a particularly GOOD joke; stupidly thick is the best one can say about all the parties in the story…. The value is in the telling, with it a critical factor to have the audience on the edge of their seats at the crucial point in the story….

Y’all are probably wondering where I’m going with this, since I’ve wandered so far afield in my mind…. Easy…. I’m giving y’all a break from the usual sober, involved, ranting that is generally my choice for this section…. I figured out, reading my blog isn’t easy…. it takes time, involves no little amount of cogitation, (a habit many Americans don’t possess), all of which probably asks more of the reader than I am entitled to ask in a blog…. Most blogs out there are much shorter, in terms of content, unless they post less often…. But, not ME, no sirree, Bob, I must write and post about 2000- 4000 words EVERY DAMN DAY….. I suppose I’ve come to realize it may be a bit much to ask of ffolkes, even those who enjoy my writing…

So, this little personal reminiscence is to let y’all know, I will be attempting, to some degree at least, to shorten the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, to make them a little more palatable, and easy to swallow…. Perhaps, this will bring a bit more traffic to the site, because, even though I don’t write for the purpose of increasing my readership, as much as I do to stay sane, to try to hold off the mental calcification that may tend to settle in with us as we get older, decreasing our awareness, our cognitive abilities, and, ultimately, shortening our lives, by removing the pleasure of using our minds the way they were designed to be used…. which is hard, and often….

So, here is a single pearl, hopefully as cogent as I can make it, to seal the deal…. I can’t promise to succeed at this, but, I’ll promise to try, so, hopefully, you’ll see some less bulky Pearls, and a bit more dialogue in the comments, from increased traffic…. If nothing else, I’ll know I’ve lived up to the following aphorism, from one of history’s most prolific, and most accurately insightful moralists… Even if I don’t succeed, this tells me it’s the right thing to do….

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” — Aesop (620-560 B.C.)

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Today I will, once more, assume the ethical stance, to include a poem of mine in this section; you already know why…. This way, nobody else can catch any of the grief or blame for any of today’s missive…. Which, in at least one respect, makes it safer for me, as well; no fear of litigation is necessary…. Here is one written this year, in February, that fits in perfectly with the discussion in section one…..

Blithely Untitled

A poem came to me today, willy, nilly,
along with a sharp blow to the head.
Since it left me feeling just a bit silly,
anything that rhymes should lessen the dread.

Manifesting destiny into a small, insidious group
we push on toward sanity, concentrating hard.
Full engaging moments spent navigating the loop
shall ever make a difference to victims found in the yard.

Still corpses of creatures, straight out of nightmare
fill up the corners of our tortured minds.
While ever saddened, the iconic male, most debonair,
gazes softly, ironically, at all the mutual interest he finds.

Moronic public statutes compel outbreaks of sanity,
responding to momentary impulses toward inducing peace.
Still, the motions get completed, in fertile stages of inanity
while the bulk of our inmates can find no surcease.

Reluctant motivation to continue is unbound,
striving to ascertain how far there yet remains to go.
No precognitive guesswork will make any less of a sound
to soften the final strains, or teach us to truly know.

~~ gigoid ~~

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In order to assuage my own needs and desires, as well as to subdue, or at minimum, sublimate my urge to rant, today’s section three will assume its typical format, of an old-school pearl, but, with specific parameters, set to find ideas, quotes, and/or poems to show our disdain for the Asininnies, and our anger at the shadowy corporate slavers who have held society in thrall for our entire written history….

“Search men’s governing principles, and consider the wise, what they shun and what they cleave to.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 38

“Boldness is a mask for fear, however great.” — Lucan

“It is hard to let old beliefs go.  They are familiar.  We are comfortable with them and have spent years building systems and developing habits that depend on them.  Like a man who has worn eyeglasses so long that he forgets he has them on, we forget that the world looks to us the way it does because we have become used to seeing it that way through a particular set of lenses.  Today, however, we need new lenses.  And we need to throw the old ones away.” — Kenich Ohmae, The Borderless World

“Food is an important part of a balanced diet.” — Fran Lebowitz

(The above, on food, should be tattooed on the forehead of every one of the 455 men & women in Congress, the White House, and sitting on the SCOTUS; it’s something they tend to ignore, or forget, especially when forced to think about the ‘little people’….)

“People come o Washington believing it is the center of power. I know I did.  It was only much later that I learned that Washington is a steering wheel that’s not connected to an engine.” — Richard Goodwin

“Our virtues are most frequently but vices disguised.” — Francis, Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) — Maxims, Head

“And what is a good citizen?  Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual.  Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point.  A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.” — H.L. Mencken

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Well, there you go…. a reasonably fresh Pearl of Virtual Wisdom, (Required disclaimer: These are ‘virtual’ wisdom; any attempt to use them as real wisdom is the responsibility of the Gentle Reader; the author takes no part in that, for damn good reason….) with only the intro section written prior to this morning’s effort, and it needed to be edited, so, it’s all pretty up-to-date…. Not that freshness will make it taste better, but, hey, with Pearls, you never know…. time improves some of them, others are gems from the start, and, sadly, some cannot be saved by any power known to Mankind…. so be it.   gigoid has spoken….

For today, it’s done, which will allow me to go on into the day with no lingering dross or drivel left in my head, just the way I like it…. I’ll need it  today, as I go forth to contend with the bureaucratic forces of government…. with a buffering shield of drug-induced emotional space, in lieu of a force-field, (still can’t find one on the open market….), but, still, my hands and ears will require serious cleansing later on…. See ya tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


 

Moments of regrettable histrionics…..

Ffolkes,
Morning again brings itself to the forefront of consciousness, as it tends to do about this time every day. Not that I have a problem with that, but I wasn’t quite done sawing logs when the phone rang, and reality came rushing back in…. Hence, I am now up, staring once again at the keyboard, with an empty head…. I should most likely sit and let the coffee work its magic for a bit……

“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that balances are correct.” — from “Manual of Maud’Dib” by the Princess Irulan

I can testify that delicacy is hard when one’s blood sugar is out of balance; my own reaction to being bothered before having consumed sufficient quantities of caffeine and sugar is to bite, or at least bark loudly, at whomever has the audacity to approach before I’m fully charged. Even though I know it isn’t their fault, they pay the price, if only to allow them to learn the correct lesson. Survival of the fittest, right? Right…..

“I don’t think you’re ready for what I think.” — Fox Mulder

Maybe that’s why I live alone now…. though I try to make an effort to accommodate anyone I live with to a degree, it probably gets old after a while; I know I certainly did. Get old, that is…. I can feel it now, as I sit here, struggling to remain fairly straight upright, as typing is tough when one has to lean on one elbow. Someday, I’d really like to speak to the person responsible for printing and distributing the manual we are issued at birth. You know, our Life Manual, that tells us how to do stuff with our bodies, and gives maintenance directions for upkeep. Most folks lose theirs, before they ever get to an age where they would pay attention, but I can say for sure that there isn’t a word in it that gives any warning about how to deal with the aging process, and all of the challenges that getting old provides…. if it did, folks might even keep track of it better….

“Age does not make us childish, as some say; it finds us true children.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Ah well, pain is life, for some of us, and our days are measured by how much we can keep it from getting to the point of needing to whine about it. Suffering is supposed to teach character, and strength in the face of adversity; somehow, one who suffers is supposed to be noble…. but, I say, piss on it, I’m in pain, so stand back, while I try to drug myself insensible…. I take enough medication to knock most folks right out, and still manage to keep my head in the game, so, I figure I’m doing okay…. If nothing else, it keeps me off the streets….  after a fashion…..

Ah, the hell with it…. let’s go dive in and look around a while, eh? Shall we Pearl?…..
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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….
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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…..
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A candidate is a person who gets money from the rich and votes from the poor to protect them from each other. — Smart Bee

I guess the political scene is taking a short break, gathering its momentum for the big two-month push to the election… Both parties have officially branded their candidates, and the Party Platforms have been printed up and sent out…. It is significant to me that, of the two major parties, one’s platform talks of reform, and rebuilding, and celebrating diversity, whereas the other talks about defensiveness, and divisiveness, about negatives, and the return to old values that have already proven themselves as destructive. I don’t even have to say which is which, and you will know; that is how clearly divided the two are this time….

I don’t fully trust any of them, but at least the Dems are trying to help out the little man, rather than aggrandizing the rich. Every Republican platform plank serves to secure the strangle-hold the rich have over the poor; it amazes me how many poor folks are following him, just because he promises to bring Whiteness back to government, even though it means stepping all over the weak and vulnerable. As long as the scary Black man isn’t elected, they think they’ll be happy, not realizing that the scary Black man has already improved their lot, and will make it even better if allowed to actually pass some legislation designed to aid the middle class instead of the 1%.

These closet racists are so incensed that they have to listen to, and even admire, a black family in the Presidency, they are willing to cut off their own noses to get a white man back in the White House. They grab onto the most egregious lies, and repeat them endlessly, as if the repetition will make it true. When they are corrected, with irrefutable proof of the lies, they switch to attack mode, and call the fact-checkers communists, or socialists, or bring up the tired old “birther” conspiracy. One Republican actually said, after being corrected about a lie told during the Republican convention, “We aren’t going to let ‘fact checkers’ dictate our candidacy!” Honest, it’s on video….

“The fantasy which serves as a support for the figure of the Stalinist Communist (sub: Republican Party Platform for 2012….) is therefore exactly the same as the fantasy which is at work in the Tom and Jerry cartoons.” — Slavoj Zizek

At this point, I actually am feeling somewhat lucky not to have a TV, since that will prevent me from having to watch all the loaded political ads, from both sides of the election process. I won’t have to experience the repeated disgust at the nasty, underhanded tactics being used by the conservatives, or worry about over-dosing on sugar from the ads from the Dems. I still get to see the public’s reaction to the ads, by reading about them online; if I really WANT to see one (for some unknown, and unfathomable reason….) I can check it out on You Tube, where everything ends up anyway…. it’s the best way I’ve found yet to get through an election without all the emotional drama that plays out over the mainstream TV airways….

The internet is also playing a new part in this election, one that has so far been under-reported, or just ignored… The stories one reads on the Net are a good way to measure the reaction of the public to the various claims by both sides of the contest; in addition, it serves as a dispassionate fact-checking service, as many, many sites now publish the truth or lies that each side is stating, usually within minutes of the first report. This has turned out to be a thorn in the side of the Republicans, as they are relying almost totally on lies and made up statements for their rhetoric. They don’t really have anything they can show as being an improvement in the way things are going; only their wild claims of, ‘feed the rich’ and wait for the money and jobs to trickle down from heaven, like manna….

Very few folks are buying that, as the economic policies they espouse have been refuted repeatedly by independent researchers and experts, and the results of eight years of that sort of policy are painfully obvious. I imagine that by the time the election actually takes place, there will be very few actual voters left who haven’t been driven away by one of their lies and/or fables….. and a landslide election will be the result…. I certainly hope so, as then maybe we can actually make some headway at dealing with the issues that are important to people, instead of focusing on the conservative right’s need to soothe their racism…. instead of having to deal with their unfounded, and cowardly, fears…..

The sage manages affairs without action
And spreads doctrines without words.
All things arise, and he does not turn away from them.
He produces them, but does not take possession of them.
He acts, but does not rely on his own ability.
He accomplishes his task, but does not claim credit for it.
It is precisely because he does not claim credit, that his accomplishment remains with him.
— Lao-Tzu
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All things considered, this hasn’t gone too badly…. a bit of old/new school meandering, some mild ranting, and a good poem. What better way to start one’s day? I’ll take it…. please wrap it to go, and I’ll be on my way….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Bilking nuns as an Olympic event….

Ffolkes,
They say, when they are in the mood, that Life is like a Mounds Bar…. sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. I’m not sure just what scientific research was accessed to come up with that summation, but it works, mostly. It certainly applies to my head in the mornings….

“Beginnings are delicate times” — Princess Irulan, from Dune, by Frank Herbert

The Princess was a Bene Gesserit scholar in the book, the contracted wife of the Emperor of the Galaxy, Muad ‘Dib, Paul Atreides, Spirit of Shai-hulud, married to him to seal the peace with House Corrino, and legitimize his ascension. None of this, of course, means anything outside the book, but it sounds impressive, doesn’t it? And the statement she makes is oh, so true!

The entire balance of events in any situation involving people depends heavily on the impressions made in the beginning. Wars have been fought, and have ended, because of what happened when two opposing forces meet for the first time. Initial impressions are the strongest, and the most difficult to change. Thus it becomes an important tool for those with power to examine a situation closely, before committing anything, and to take care to create the desired impression at first contact.

This concept applies in many other life events. As well, it is a most relevant concept in literature, and can be considered essential knowledge for me and other would-be writers. The beginning of a story, or a book, or an essay, or even a medical/psychiatric report, is very important to fulfilling the purpose of writing whatever it may be. At least, it is important if the writer wants the reader to continue reading after the opening paragraph. If those first words don’t grab the reader’s attention, and pin it to the page, then there is little hope of ever getting them to read, or to consider what is being written as anything other than a waste of time….. That is human nature, and isn’t going to change.

So, if I have your attention now, we can get on with the reason we are here, to Pearl.  With no further mucking about, let’s have at it, shall we?…..
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Why shouldn’t WOMEN have to put the toilet seat back UP?! — Smart Bee

When I was working, a popular subject for water-cooler discussion was the ongoing, never-ending war between the sexes. For some reason not clear to me, men and women seem to feel as if they are in competition with each other, in a contest to find the most annoying things about the other sex, and make fun of them for those qualities. One of the typical conflicts between the two has always been the toilet seat, a conflict arising out of the very basic differences in the plumbing system of each gender. Men are pointers, women are setters, and the difference is critical only because we both use the same appliance to deal with our needs.

The above question is often asked by men, usually after an argument over having failed to put it down after using the facilities. Being a man, it naturally seems to be a relevant question to me, but for some reason it just seems to piss off the woman involved. I mean, it DOES have hinges; the process of moving it up and down isn’t rocket science, and isn’t particularly hard to figure out. But, due to the ongoing hostilities, women have decreed that it is the responsibility of men to make sure the seat is in the down position, ready for the female to use. How this came to be will, no doubt, forever remains a mystery, but is nonetheless true.

“There will always be a battle between the sexes because men and women want different things. Men want women and women want men.” — George Burns

Thus far in history, at least that part of history since the invention of the toilet, and the hinged seat for it, a solution has never been found. It often seems to me that men and women must enjoy the ongoing war, because neither side seems willing to approach the issue with anything other than ego and divisiveness.

No real solution has ever been sought, to my knowledge. Women spend their time trying to “domesticate” their men to put the seat down after using the toilet, and men spend their time ignoring them, thus ensuring that the conflict will continue. It all seems a bit pointless to me, as I can see two or three possible answers to the question that would serve to ease the hostilities…..

No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see. — Taoist Proverb

This little gem from Taoist philosophy holds the key to the end of the war. If men and women can, just for a few moments, look at the matter with logic, with the purpose of improving the situation, I believe the answers will make themselves apparent. One answer, in my mind, needs no physical effort at all; it involves a difficulty, but only because people find it difficult to make changes in themselves. If both men and women could, and would, put aside the anger and emotional investment in the conflict, then one small attitude adjustment would suffice to remove the entire problem…..

If men could develop some sensitivity (I know, tough when it’s essentially foreign to their nature, but still possible to develop….), then they could see how leaving it up could conceivably cause problems for those who must sit down to use the appliance. As a matter of fact, this is how I personally became aware of the solution, for I once sat down to use the toilet, and found myself falling into the bowl, as someone had left the seat up, and I hadn’t noticed. It wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences, and from that time on, I was more conscientious about putting it down…. so, just a bit of empathy, and that won’t be a problem for men to take the second to put the seat down…..

Women would also need to develop more empathy for men for the solution to work for them. The toilet seat is on hinges, and as mentioned, isn’t particularly hard to learn how to use. It’s just up or down, and no other choices. So, some tolerance for the forgetfulness that is part of the male nature would go a long way toward solving the bitterness when they leave it up; just put it down for goodness sake, and don’t complicate the issue with anger and emotional storms, all over a moment that in other situations would prompt the woman to feel affection for the man’s charming childishness…..

Another solution presents itself to my awareness, as well. The toilet, and the whole system we use, have not been looked at with the intent of improving it for centuries. The toilets we use today would be recognizable to John Harrington, inventor of flushing toilets in 1596; it hasn’t changed shape or basic function since its invention all those centuries ago.

It seems to me that a clever engineer could figure out some way to eliminate the need for the toilet seat altogether, thus eliminating the whole issue. (No comments, please, on using the word elimination in re: this whole issue. It works, it fit, so get your mind out of the gutter for a bit….)  I mean, we can put men on the moon, and currently have people living in space on the ISS; why on earth can’t we figure out how to make a toilet easy to use for both sexes…. Seems like a no-brainer to me…. But, since no brains are involved in the process, I guess that isn’t surprising….
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Noah

R.I.P. Old Friend

    Yesterday, I tried to include a picture of Noah, but couldn’t make it fit. I’ve played with it a bit, and got it into an acceptable size. Here, then, is a picture of one of the world’s best dogs…. May he rest in peace….
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A Faery Song

{Sung by the people of Faery over Diarmuid and Grania,}
{in their bridal sleep under a Cromlech.}

We who are old, old and gay,
O so old!
Thousands of years, thousands of years,
If all were told:
Give to these children, new from the world,
Silence and love;
And the long dew-dropping hours of the night,
And the stars above:
Give to these children, new from the world,
Rest far from men.
Is anything better, anything better?
Tell us it then:
Us who are old, old and gay,
O so old!
Thousands of years, thousands of years,
If all were told.

William Butler Yeats
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Well, to my mind, it doesn’t seem like much…. but it will have to do. The new format does take less time to put together, but I’m not sure yet that it will fulfill all I need it to do…. Time will tell, I guess. In the meantime, y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

The bones of controversy are picked clean….

Ffolkes,
“Beginnings are delicate times….” — Princess Irulan, from Dune, by Frank Herbert

The Princess knew what she was talking about, most certainly. Much of the success or failure of human interaction is determined at the very beginning of a relationship, and in spite of what we are all taught about not doing so, we place a lot of faith in first impressions. This very human characteristic actually extends itself into the interactions between any two living creatures, and if you doubt this, just watch two dogs, or cats, meet for the first time, and note how carefully they observe the protocols of interactions between members of their species.  Or better yet, watch a dog and cat meet for the first time; the care, and the tension of taking that care is obvious in every move they make, in every twitch of a whisker. It is reminiscent of watching an old movie with a ballroom of 17th century dilettantes dancing the minuet; very formal and studied, each move sliding gracefully into the next, to the tune of a lively harpsichord, with political intrigue simmering just beneath the smiling faces. Quite entertaining actually….

How that applies to writing a daily blog should be fairly obvious; how to perform the minuet with all the proper moves is not so clear. Every morning one must search for the key to that day’s beginning; sometimes it is a quick, easy search, others, not so much. Today, we are hitting the middle mark, and will settle for that….. let us now Pearl…..

“Brace yourselves.  We’re about to try something that borders on the unique: an actually rather serious technical book which is not only (gasp) vehemently anti-Solemn, but also (shudder) takes sides.  I tend to think of it as `Constructive Snottiness.'” — Mike Padlipsky, Foreword to “Elements of Networking Style”
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“The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mood of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change; for happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up.” — Charles Langbridge Morgan

This is a very pretty thought; moreover it is quite perceptive and insightful. Too many folks chase happiness as if it were something they can catch and stick in their pocket, never realizing that a) happiness never runs away; it is always with us, waiting to be noticed, and b) the only way to keep it, is to let it be; it is like a universal solvent, and not subject to the laws of physics, only the laws of metaphysics. Getting caught up in the pursuit of happiness in reality blinds one to its presence; but it is always near us, like a faithful old dog, wagging its tail and gazing at us lovingly until we have the time to give it any attention.

Trying to hold on to happiness, as if it were a piece of candy that we keep in our pocket until we want it, is a sure way to lose it, for it is more like a passing breeze on a hot day than any solid, graspable item of desire. In some ways, happiness can be compared to fear, but as an opposite, a mirror image, as it were; if one holds on tight to fear, it will take over one’s entire being, and never leave. Only by letting it go can we overcome its power over us. But happiness also cannot be held and kept, it must be found by letting it go, and learning to value the changes in life that can lead to its gentle embrace….. allow it to grow up, and become a constant, boon companion in all your life’s events…..
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According to Descartes, “Dittoheads” don’t exist… — a correct deduction from an unknown smart Aleck

I was talking with an old friend yesterday, and the subject came around to discussing the underlying reasons that so many of the religious faiths in the world just couldn’t figure out how to get along with each other, despite the fact that the basic underlying belief systems of all of them preach tolerance and faith in one’s fellow man, as taught to them by their particular religious prophet or icon (Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Krishna, God, Yahweh, Odin, etc…..). Now, when we were discussing it, the subject of the latest pronouncements from the conservative politicos currently taking up far too much space in the news of the day was touched upon, whereupon I suddenly began a rant of monumental proportion, about 3 solid minutes of preaching, in this case at least, to the choir.

My primary point, in response to his observation that I tend to bash Christians a lot, more so than other faiths, was to respond that a) they are the ones who are making the most noise, and the most outrageously ignorant pronouncements all over the news, even in other countries, and b) by the evidence, Christianity has more examples of historical events that prove that the basic tenets of the faith, as given by Jesus, were, from the very first day after his death, twisted and manipulated to suit the private agendas of the supposedly faithful leaders of the church than any other of the major faiths (though they too have had more than their share of bloody moments in history). I’d wager serious money that Jesus would just cringe at the thought of inspiring any part of the Inquisition during the middle ages. And he would certainly have gotten a big laugh out of the mere idea of an army chaplain, right before he began chasing them like he chased the moneylenders out of the temple…..

My rant eventually ran out of steam, but not before I had finished my point, which is, I regard all religious organizations run by humans to be perversions, both of mind, and of spirit. All of them have been used by unscrupulous sociopaths, (who can be quite charming in person, smiling genially as they slip the knife between your ribs) to further their own ends, to make themselves rich in money, and in power over others. One of the most common tales in every culture is the one about the renegade (priest, monk, priestess, pastor, imam, pope…choose one or all…) who oppresses and terrorizes the populace who throng to their magnificently ornate edifices of worship. The story exists because it is true in all cultures; no one denies it, yet they deny it every day, as they return to the scene of the same old organized crime (yes, they are no different than La Cosa Nostra, La Familigia; they just dress funnier….), and submit themselves to their dogma, blind to their own blindness…… and I am comforted, a small bit, to know that I’m not the only American who has felt this way…..

“I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature.  They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.” — Thomas Jefferson
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“It matters if you don’t just give up.” — Stephen Hawking

The importance of this pithy little statement can be best understood by knowing what makes Stephen Hawking an authority on the subject. For those who do not know him, Stephen Hawking is a world-renowned and -respected scientist, specializing in Physics, but his expertise is certainly not limited to that one subject. He is commonly held to be the most intelligent man of our time, on a par with historical icons such as Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and very few others. His IQ is not able to be measured by the inadequate tools we have; his intelligence is off the scale to which the rest of humanity is limited.

His work in astrophysics and quantum mechanics has progressed those fields into entirely new vistas of investigation. His goal, he says, is to seek and discover a Unified Field Theorem that will reconcile all of the various types of energy and matter in the universe, and how they interact, with equations explaining how Gravitic, Electromagnetic, Electrical, Biological, and Atomic energies are connected and related to each other. In other words, one world-view that explains all the various parts of reality that we can perceive, and some we can’t.

His intelligence, and strength of mind and spirit, is such that it matters not at all to him that, due to congenital defects, his body is twisted and deformed out of all normal shape. He cannot walk, and so must use a powered chair to move around. He cannot use his hands reliably, or speak without assistance by mechanical devices, so he adapted or invented the technological devices needed for him to be able to communicate with others. According to all that medical science knows, he should have died before reaching puberty; he is now, I believe in his late forties, or possibly older; the only explanation doctors have is that he keeps himself going with will power.

So, coming from Stephen Hawking, the above statement takes on an entirely new, and powerful, meaning…… a precise personal expression of that meaning is left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader…..
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“He is not a lover who does not love forever.” — Euripides

Here is an idea that, to my mind, and my regret, that has fallen out of favor in today’s society. It seems today that people enter into love with a preconceived notion that it won’t last forever, that people change and fall out of love, so one might as well be ready for that. To my mind, this is a very sad, pathetic view to take about love.

I prefer to think that any emotion that has been demonstrated innumerable times over the course of history to be capable of lasting even beyond death, well, it doesn’t die as easily as might be commonly held. To be frank and earnest, (tough for me, my name is Ned), and completely honest, I too have suffered moments where I could envision a time in a relationship I was in would, in fact, fail to last. Those moments usually came, though, when I observed a certain look in my lover’s eyes, a vacant, deceitful kind of look that gave me a hint that they were holding back complete commitment.

In my world, Love is very akin to Duty. As I’ve said previously, Duty is a choice we, and only we, make, and once made, is inviolable. Death, for me, would be an easy choice, if the only other choice was to abrogate my Duty. Love is also a choice, and I regard it therefore as being subject to the same strict laws of observance as my Duty. Once in Love, it becomes an imperative to never fail to do all in my power to preserve it, and to never, ever stop leaving my heart open to feeling it. It just never made sense to me any other way…..

Maybe I was more lucky than I had thought until just this moment, for I just realized that I learned this attitude from my father, who never once discussed this with me, but showed me every day how to live it….. From the day I was born, until the day he died, his Love for my mother, brothers, and sisters was the center of his entire life’s purpose, his raison d’etre, and there were no days off in his world, not from Duty……or Love….. and I know, from his actions, that his Love did not die with him….. damn Skippy it didn’t….
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“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

Boy, (and boy, does that date me, or what?) here is a truism that just about anyone who thinks of stuff other than the next TV show can relate to; and, it’s is what I would call essential knowledge. Knowing, and just as importantly, feeling this, is what will prevent me, or anyone with honor, from ever neglecting to speak up for a friend, or just someone being violated, when it is needed.

Every day, we see in the news another report of a teen suicide, or multiple deaths of that nature, and it is widely acknowledged that “bullying” of vulnerable teens is a significant contributing factor in the statistical rise in such sad endings to lives just begun. And, according to what I read, it is also acknowledged that this rise, or at least increasingly focused attention on something that has always been around, can be attributed to a rise in the number of people who allow, or are taught, to let their fears and prejudices, and their sense of entitlement, make them behave as common bullies, otherwise known as “cowards”.

I worked for about eight years as a psychiatric technician on programs specializing in treatment of teenage individuals with a variety of mental or behavioral dysfunctions. Depression and suicidal ideation were fairly common, as both are a cause of, and a result of, poor or distorted self-image (some depressives believe themselves to be better than others, oddly enough; it is this perceived difference that feeds the depression by its tendency to produce isolation from others). It is not the only factor in such cases, but a most significant and powerful one.

Bullies are on the other end of the spectrum of types of disturbed behavior; bullying is most easily explained when one understands that the impulse is rooted in the bully’s fears, and the underlying ignorance upon which the fear is based. When the disturbed bully finds an appropriately weak, vulnerable peer, they are compelled to strike out, and the victim is compelled to retreat so far into the mind-set of being a victim, that they become their own worst enemy, and destroy themselves.

I considered it then, and still consider it one of the most difficult cycles of abuse to understand, and one of the most difficult to treat, for either type of individual….. a very thorny problem it is, and one not very manageable in the current state of our society. In reality, the situation is a microcosmic replica of the overall state of society, with all its ills.  Ignorance, fear, and disturbed psyches are rampant, and the more people that are born, the more complex and difficult to solve the situation becomes……

I wish I had an answer, but, beyond doing what is suggested above by Dr. King, there isn’t a lot we can do, at least to my knowledge. But, speaking out is much better than silence, in the face of evil we confront every day….. maybe you can’t save everybody, but you can often save the one we are with, just by speaking up…..
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I guess I had a lot to say this morning….I’d probably be wise to stop here, so y’all can get on with your day. For me, it’s another Sunday as a retired dilettante, just like any other…. so, y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!