Fricasseed rutabaga with mulled acorn sauce….

Ffolkes,

“History has the relation to truth that theology has to religion — i.e., none to speak of.”

~~ Lazarus Long ~~

more Invergordon 005

    The picture today goes to show that, a) timing IS everything, and b) even amateurs get lucky sometimes…. I took this from the deck of a cruise ship while docked in Scotland, at Greenock, the port town closest to Glasgow. After some mild fixing of the picture’s features to bring out it’s best appearance, it became clear the sky to the right side is different from the sky on the opposite, left side, with the rainbow serving to mark the line between the two opposing filtered views…. One obviously is where the rain is still falling, producing the rainbow as the light is broken up passing through the raindrops, each of which acts as a small prism, breaking the white, transparent light into its component colors…

For me, knowing what is happening doesn’t reduce the beauty, or the wonder of a rainbow….. One does not have to subscribe to the myths that grow up around such natural displays in order to appreciate the beauty; for me, just seeing it is wonder enough. That I can comprehend the process makes it more precious to me, as an example of how the universe yields its treasures to us little by little, exposing us to its idiosyncrasies and oddities one at a time, to allow us to study, and reason, and apply the power of our imagination to satisfy that  monkey-curiosity, so much a part of us, which demands we know the WHY of all we see before us….

That, as you can see, is a fairly objective, yet accurate assessment of part of our nature, or, at least, that part of it I allow to affect my life…. We do, of course, have options, choices of what to believe, and how to act; as we learn, we know more how to make those acts the right actions, that will make life better for all of us, rather than choosing to behave in ways that cause trouble, for myself, or for others…. Sadly, mental discipline, and the power of reasoning, is all-too-often utilized by those who have chosen to assume the mantle of predator, a choice our entire culture seems to adopt at times, a choice which has turned our society into one marked by violence, and, in my view, insanity on a global scale….

Now, perhaps, you will see my own problem, at least in terms of writing this blog…. Starting out with the beauty and wonder of a rainbow, I end up ranting about human nature, with implications of impending global doom, in less than four paragraphs…. If it weren’t such a PITA, I might consider it a gift, of sorts….. But, my readership numbers seem to indicate it has become old, which, I am sure, it is…. Even I am getting tired of spouting off against the idiots who are making our world such a fucked up mess, threatening to kill us all by drowning us in our own shit (figuratively speaking, though, not by much….); my spouting doesn’t seem to have much effect….

Plus, if I rant here in the intro section, it diminishes the impact, if any, of whatever rant I’m planning for section two…. SIGH…. It’s a conundrum for which there may be no solution, given my own nature, and my need to write in order to maintain any semblance of sanity….. Oh, well, there isn’t anything to be done about it just now, so, I guess I’ll take advantage of the exit I see coming up, thus kick-starting the rest of today’s effort, such as it may be…. Hang on, ffolkes, that exit hole looks a little tight….

Shall we Pearl?

“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.” — Buddha

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Whether you realize it or not, you’ve heard this woman’s music…. In today’s world, it would be hard NOT to hear it, as she, and her band of string artistes, made the music for a movie that all of society has either seen, or heard of….. I speak of the Lord of The Rings, of course, in the movie version…. Angele and the band played the theme song written for the first movie, The Fellowship of The Ring,  entitled “Concerning Hobbits”, which you will hear in one of the first two or three pieces in this collection of their work; it will sound very familiar, as it has been all over the airwaves since the movie came out…. Enjoy, ffolkes, this is a great band….

Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà: 50 videos

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I am apparently burnt on ranting; I don’t seem able to work up the angst to begin…. Ah, well, I’ve done so much of it in the past, there’s always one that will work…. here, for example, is a good one from last year, just after I got back from Europe…..

From 5/30/2013:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle

For much of my life, since reaching what I like to call the age of reason, at about 10 or 11 years of age, I have been aware of this aphorism from Aristotle. If not the aphorism itself, the principle was clear to me from a young age, and I chose then to always strive to be excellent, in whatever I chose to do. You see, I also found out, it requires a deliberate choice to pursue excellence, because it a) doesn’t just happen by itself, and b) it annoys other people. It is the second factor that dictates the need to make a deliberate choice; most people make the opposite choice, to be average, to not stand out too much, unless it is to their advantage to do so, to control or impress others, not for the state of being excellent.

More explicitly, most people try to excel at tasks, or games, or whatever, in order to promote their own agenda, not for the sake of just wanting to do things right, or to scratch the itch of curiosity, or to be the best person one can be. And society at large is quick to show their disapproval if someone is too different in this respect; the normals are afraid of both of the other ends of the human spectrum, the incurably unintelligent AND those who perceive more, and when most people are afraid of something, they make life hard for it, if not downright unbearable, and/or dangerous. Pink monkeys don’t go over well in a brown monkey tree….. They tend to either leave the forest, live in misery, or dye their fur brown, in short order….

This is why the choice must be made, to pursue excellence; it’s not an easy decision, but critically important. It is also a decision that can’t be made half-way; once committed, it extends to EVERY area of one’s existence, requiring effort and dedication to achieve to any significant degree. I can only speak for myself, but it was the best decision of my early years, and I have never regretted making it, because the rewards are much greater than mere comfort, or any other I can think of that comes with giving in to peer pressure; to live with not seeking all there is to see, hear, and do in life, and do it with style, intelligence, and honor.

“By steadily disciplining the animal nature, until it becomes one pointed, it is possible to establish conscious awareness of The Eternal.” — Lao-Tzu

This is a bit metaphorical, but describes well the intensity and consistency of effort that is required to maintain an excellent attitude about life. It’s hard to keep it up all the time, and I have to admit I’m as human as anyone else, and get tired, not to say just plain frustrated, when I cannot easily, or even eventually, reach the goals I’ve set for myself. Fortunately, I also know that being human is okay, and just because I am not always at my best, does not mean it is not still within me, ever within my reach, whenever my perceptions are clear enough to show me the way. The path to Truth, fortunately, is always well lighted, though it may get confusing, and sometimes seem dark through the power of illusion; it never stops being the Truth, though, and that makes it always attainable….

Perhaps there will be some who will read this treatise, and think it arrogant, or condescending; I hope not, because it isn’t intended to be so. It is intended to be a sharing, of the understanding I have that can be of help to anyone in their life. This understanding is based on what I know to be true, and not on fear, or lack of understanding of what is real, in both Nature, and in people. There is great potential in people, much more than we, as a species, or as individuals, ever achieve…. partly because much of humanity is content to be normal, to sit back and let other people decide how the world should go, because it’s too much work to try to control their own world.

We can be so much more than a society of couch potatoes, sagely listening and nodding our heads in agreement with the talking heads we see on the Tube, or laughing ourselves mindless over the insane, or downright stupid acts of imaginary people meant to be metaphorical, but only seen as role models for a reality that doesn’t exist. Even the advent of computer technology, with all its nearly unlimited potential for what only twenty years ago would have been called “magic”, has not inspired people to strive to be excellent, in work, in play, or in ethics; certainly not in government. Instead, we are drowning ourselves in fashion apps, or photo apps, or social media apps, and losing even more connection with the real world in the process….

Ah well, I suppose all will turn out how it will, in spite of my objections, or anyone else’s indifference. C’est la vie, as the French would say…. such is life; I think it appropriate that we hear from the ancient sages about that, as we started, to close this series of thoughts and rambles perfectly… well, maybe only one ancient sage…..

Epictetus sez

    So be it…. gigoid has spoken.

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According to the above rant, this poem of mine goes well with the theme, so, here ’tis….

A Failure to Germinate

Marking the days in elements of sad disarray
only holds me thrall, as I laugh while I may.
With cold, hard hands so impatient and cruel
pulling me to this vale of tears, a pathetic old fool.

Feelings sit silent, cast in shadows and light
breaking forth to implicate such vengeful might.
Just below the surface they patiently hide
to sally forth bravely, colors bright as they ride.

Tears and pain transform valued assets in hand
while comfort and serenity retreat to a far land.
Bold, bright patterns of hope garnish my ruinous state
until reality enters, full of disdainful portions of hate.

I sort out the illustrious measures of vision gone mild
only to find them transformed, now vicious and wild.
In my deepest desires I find myself calloused and cold
with faithless advocates whose souls have been sold.

My search finds little to support any hope of relief
far too much time has passed to bolster such belief.
The sad becomes real, and real becomes unfounded
until flights of such fancy are all dead, and grounded.

Nature has informed me of the newly hatched crime
that reality has boasted of proudly, time after time.
The last answer we think of is always the best
as we come to terms with fate, our hope at rest.

~~ gigoid ~~


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Man, n.:  An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be.  His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Day before yesterday, for some unknown reason, I took a moment during the day to sit down & just go through Smart Bee, to see if it had resolved whatever issue(s) that have been bothering it, preventing it from cooperating with any searches to any appreciable degree…. I don’t know yet if it has resolved those issues, but, this time, it regurgitated so many pearls, all on the subject indicated by the entry above, from the Dictionary I use most often, including, it seems, the concomitant subject of Life at Large, especially as it applies to Life in this country…. It was so prolific I had to create the first-ever 13 star pearl, just to include all the stuff it threw at me that fit…. plus an intro, and a closing pearl, to seal the deal with a flourish…

Enjoy, ffolkes, and don’t worry; this one explains itself as it goes along. You won’t have any trouble keeping up…..

“Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of the colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” — Robert F. Kennedy  Speech, South Africa, 1966

“I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of.” — Clarence Darrow

“He who dies for virtue, does not perish.” — Plautus (B.C. 254-184)

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war.  Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin.  But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.” — Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961)

“Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors and miss.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“If it is not seemly, do it not; if it is not true, speak it not.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, xii, 17

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” — The Constitution of the United States of America Amendment 4, 1791

“The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.” — Max Born, physicist

“Aryse ye techno Serfs! Let us seek out the bloated aristocrats, and roast them in their own juice upon the fires of righteousness and justice!” — Dan, rabble rousing the contractors

“In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.” — Laurens Van der Post, The Lost World of the Kalahari (1958)

“The three branches of government: lobbyists, media, PAC’s.” — Smart Bee

“I love my country too much to be a nationalist.” — Albert Camus

See? Told ya…. However, my lawyer tells me I should provide a disclaimer with this one, so, here it is, in all its marginally (il)legal glory….

“I demand IMPUNITY!” — Zippy the Pinhead

YOW!    ‘Nuff said….

So be it….

gigoid has spoken, more’s the pity…..

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So much for planning…. Without going into the details, let me just say…. HONK! That’s all ffolkes, I can do no more damage, and may just cause actual trouble if I continue, so, I’m outta here…. See y’all tomorrow….

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….

 

‘Tis easier to blame the indigenous population….

Ffolkes,

“He who dies for virtue, does not perish.”

~~  Plautus ~~

(B.C. 254-184)

A fire approaches the shore of Bass Lake in California

    There is a fascinating sort of beauty to fires such as this; I’ve been to Bass Lake, where this was taken, perhaps even stood where the photographer stood to take this shot. It does look like a very familiar outline, one my mind remembers well, if only for its similarity to so many other places I’ve been in the mountains of California. The picture itself is one I saw all over the Net, released during the recent spate of wildfires in California this past summer, and, though beautiful, is also very saddening…..

But, we aren’t going to let that sadness keep us from our appointed rounds today; I’ve missed too many days already (one is too many in my book….), so, I don’t intend to miss any more…. Even if I must cheat to get them done…. I am still a bit stupefied by the meds I’m still using to combat vertigo (it’s passing, much better, but, still a bit of edginess running along that eye nerve, when I move the eyes too quickly…. but, much better), as it makes me sleep heavily, and long…. hence my late start today….

In fact, I’m so late, this intro is going to be truncated rather severely, immediately following this paragraph, else we’ll not get to the rest of this mess anywhere near soon enough…. In fact, I’ve hear a rumor we’ll be using an entirely new technique, one both effective, and ruthless…. I wonder what it looks like? It couldn’t be any worse than….. Wait. Who are you? What are you doing ther…….

Shall we Pearl?….

“As a net is made up of a series of ties, so everything in this world is connected by a series of ties. If anyone thinks that this mesh of a net is an independent, isolated thing, he is mistaken. It is called a net because it is made up of a series of interconnected meshes, and each mesh has its place and responsibility in relation to other meshes.” — Buddha

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The new intro-shortening technique seems to work rather well, wouldn’t you say? A bit of upset in the initial stage there, but, nothing too obvious; no tears, or blood, so, it must be okay. So much so, it’s put me in too good a mood to rant…. plus, I didn’t have time for any research…. so, easy money, we’ll just go old school for a change in this section, thus proving the old adage, that says…. well, I forget, but, I’m sure there is one to fit…. For the nonce, I have a perfect set of pearls for this space, one I’ve been saving for just such an occasion…. I give you then, the following pearl of pearls….

Hodge Podge, aka Oyster Stew


Ladies and gentlemen…. for some time now, I’ve collected pearls for use here on ECR, as part of the format, upon which we depend, to give us the structure that otherwise might never have shown its face. We’ll never really know, but, accept that there are certain things in life destined to remain mysterious…. and, we can’t chase all of them down to see which is which, now, can we? Of course not…. It’s much the same with pearls…. they work, for what they are needed for, or they don’t…. but, often, when they don’t, I find it hard to get rid of them, as they have something of their own, which I have found it can be worthwhile to consider, even without the direction provided by a set of parameters….. many of which are randomly chosen, themselves….

Any who, I end up with a lot of stuff that is pretty cool, but, doesn’t fit in anywhere with what I’m working on…. below you’ll find a rather extensive array of some of these random, extraneous, yet valuable pearls, collected, but not used as yet…. I don’t like to let them build up too far, as I then lose track of what is there…. even my memory has limits…. So, here are a bunch of them, just for fun, and maybe, who knows, a bit is virtual wisdom, to boot….. Abondanza!

“If you attack Stupidity you attack an entrenched interest with friends in government and every walk of public life.” — Robertson Davies

“For this invention [writing] will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practise their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.” — Plato (274-275 BC) in Phaedrus

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” — Mark Twain

“Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency… Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it   by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded.  Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.” — General Douglas MacArthur, 1957

“Lysander said that the law spoke too softly to be heard in such a noise of war.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Caius Marius

“The belief that words have a meaning of their own account is a relic of primitive word magic, and it is still a part of the air we breathe in nearly every discussion.” — Charles K. Ogden, The Meaning of Meaning

“Possibly the greatest threat to those who want to believe that everything in the Bible is true was advanced by an individual standing in wading boots in cool water up to his hind end, in fact, who revealed that most of the early witnesses to all that Jesus said and did were fishermen!” — Smart Bee

EXCERPTS FROM LIFE’S LITTLE INSTRUCTION BOOK, VOLUMES I AND II

35. Plant a tree on your birthday.
47. Don’t waste time learning the “tricks of the trade.” Instead, learn the trade.
53. Vote.
68. Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
100. Read the Bill of Rights.
198. Feed a stranger’s expired parking meter.
209. Observe the speed limit.
267. Lie on your back and look at the stars.
271. When facing a difficult task, act as though it is impossible to fail. If you’re going after Moby Dick, take along the tartar sauce.
322. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
393. Learn how to operate a Macintosh computer.
513. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams.
558. Never betray a confidence.
595. Be the first to fight for a just cause.
817. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
939. Never be ashamed of your patriotism.

— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Just so’s you know…. I think #271 of Life’s Instructions is a really good one….. #558 is a solid truth, as well.

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Here is some rather esoteric rock, by one of the SF Bay Area most beloved local performers, Boz Scaggs, at a live concert benefiting the Bridge School, an alternative school in Marin…. Enjoy, please… it’s different than the usual fare you hear, for certain…..

Boz Scaggs, Live 2004:

 

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Any introduction for this poet is superfluous; you know who he is…. Now, enjoy one of his best….

Adventures Of Isabel

Isabel met an enormous bear,
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t care;
The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous,
The bear’s big mouth was cruel and cavernous.
The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
How do, Isabel, now I’ll eat you!
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry.
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.
She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.
Once in a night as black as pitch
Isabel met a wicked old witch.
the witch’s face was cross and wrinkled,
The witch’s gums with teeth were sprinkled.
Ho, ho, Isabel! the old witch crowed,
I’ll turn you into an ugly toad!
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry,
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry,
She showed no rage and she showed no rancor,
But she turned the witch into milk and drank her.
Isabel met a hideous giant,
Isabel continued self reliant.
The giant was hairy, the giant was horrid,
He had one eye in the middle of his forehead.
Good morning, Isabel, the giant said,
I’ll grind your bones to make my bread.
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry,
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.
She nibbled the zwieback that she always fed off,
And when it was gone, she cut the giant’s head off.
Isabel met a troublesome doctor,
He punched and he poked till he really shocked her.
The doctor’s talk was of coughs and chills
And the doctor’s satchel bulged with pills.
The doctor said unto Isabel,
Swallow this, it will make you well.
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry,
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.
She took those pills from the pill concocter,
And Isabel calmly cured the doctor.

~~ Ogden Nash ~~


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Here’s a pearl of indeterminate style, yet, somehow, seems to work… It may be the closing pearl that does it, bringing it all into focus, but, that may must be the drugs talking…. Y’all can take from this whatever you wish to take; it has more than enough to suit any taste…. Watch the ending, though, it’s kind of a rapid turn, & I’m not sure of the road’s ability to handle it at speed….

“Nothing endures but change.” — Heraclitus (540?-480? B.C.)

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the measure as I have received and am still receiving.” — Albert Einstein

“Whatever happens at all happens as it should; thou wilt find this true, if thou shouldst watch narrowly.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD)
— Meditations, iv, 10

“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.” — Phillip Brooks

“Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of the colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” — Robert F. Kennedy  Speech, South Africa, 1966

“Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), “Circles”

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~

“The Stolen Child”


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Like the pagan said about the gospels; “Well, it was a long time ago, and we can hope it all wasn’t true.”….from Clouds of Witness…

On that note, I believe I can safely, and with some dignity intact, take my leave for yet another day….. Regardless of the legality, or any implied lack thereof, should it be heretofore challenged in a court of law, why, y’all can give ’em my statement, yes? That would be, uh, how you say in English?….Oh, yes…. Fuck you, asshole….

Oh, for goodness sake! Not y’all…… I’m talking to, and about, those myrmidons over there, across the street, watching the house, hoping I won’t see them, standing there with their little orders from the asininnies to take me in for questioning…. I’m afraid they’re doomed to disappointment; I’ve far too much to do on my own agenda to even consider allowing them to alter any of it for THEIR purposes….. But, then, they still believe that they have the right, and/or the means, to force me to comply….. silly wabbits…

See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, and don’t worry, they won’t be here again, nor will they ever find this batch….. Ta, then…..

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

“The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.”

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí.