Wait! Don’t shoot, it’s Bob’s uncle!…..


The life I lead now is much different from the one that I had back in the day, prior to the advent of the chronic pain with which I now live. For example, before the pain became a contributing factor, I could pretty much do anything, physically, that I wished to do. Sports, martial arts, camping, driving, cooking, virtually all of the activities I once pursued without a thought to how it might affect me are now proscribed, as being too painful to pursue.

Even activities such as walking are now limited to how long I can go without stimulating more pain, or becoming fatigued, which is the most common precursor to the upper realms of pain, otherwise known as pure agony, a state clearly distinguishable from any ecstasy, let me assure you….

I am not relating this to garner sympathy; thanks, but no thanks. I’ve had plenty of that, and would rather just get on with things, sans any more of it. No, I’m apologizing, in my own roundabout way, for my inability to sit and read the blogs I want to read, which I would very much LIKE to do….. I find, however, if I take that time to read, for more than just a few minutes, the pain takes over, and I have to get up and move around, or lie down until the spasms go away…. neither of which gets it done….. I have been hoarding the time I can spend at the computer for producing these Pearls each day; unfortunately, that is usually about the limit of what I can do, so, I end up posting, then having to shut down, or go do something else, because I am done with sitting comfortably….

Actually, sitting comfortably is what can be called a memory; there is no chair, and no position that can justify using that word, as it applies to sitting. It just doesn’t feel good after a couple of minutes, even with slight position changes every few seconds., and, unless some miracle happens to completely heal, or cure, the torn ligaments that are at the core of the issue, I can pretty much count on sitting comfortably again oh, say, in my next life, not in this one….

I’ve learned to be okay with that; I don’t piss and moan about it all the damn time, as I used to at first. I’ve accepted it as my lot, for having been so damn physically active when younger…. Yep, that’s right….. there is such a thing as being TOO active, according to my doctor…. Anyone who pursues a lifetime of sports or martial arts is TOO active, and, according to him, will pay a price in their later years for going too far when younger…. It’s not in the manual, but, it’s true, nonetheless….. and, if I am a typical case, then, he is right….

This is where the apology part comes in, to all of the bloggers I follow, and can seldom read…. It’s not as if I don’t want to read them, I just can’t sit long enough to get caught up to all of them I wish to get to…. I know there are a few ffolkes who make it by here every day, or nearly, and I really appreciate their custom…. Those who do come by often are also some of my favorite authors, so it burns my ass big time that I cannot get to their sites as often as I wish….. and, for this, I am sorry…. I keep hoping for a clear spell of pain-free time, but, since that hasn’t been fulfilled for over 8 years now, I won’t be holding my breath…. and neither should they…. I do hope they understand, though…

Now that I’ve bared my soul long enough to thoroughly embarrass myself, I’ll get on with today’s post, hoping I can last long enough to get some of it done before having to take a break from sitting…. I’ve been up 3 times already in composing this intro, so, it’s a bit dodgy today…. I’ll get it done, but, won’t be a happy camper for a while…. C’est la vie, reader-san!

Shall we Pearl?…..

Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.

It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

~~ Emily Dickinson

Obviously, ranting is out of the question when my back is like this; can’t sit long enough to get the outrage out onto the screen. But, Smart Bee has been pretty cooperative of late, so, we’ll let it pick out some nice pearls for your consideration…. We’ll make it a random, harlequin style pearl, with no set parameters, and see what happens….. Good luck, and don’t forget your lobster bibs….

I see my life go drifting like a river
From change to change; I have been many things –
A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light
Upon a sword, a fir tree on a hill,
An old slave grinding at a heavy quern,
A king sitting upon a chair of gold –
And all these things were wonderful and great;
But now I have grown nothing, knowing all.
Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow
Lay hidden in that small slate-coloured thing!

— William Butler Yeats, “Fergus and the Druid”

“All things are the same,–familiar in enterprise, momentary in endurance, coarse in substance. All things now are as they were in the day of those whom we have buried.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ix, 14

“Half the work that is done in the world is to make things appear what they are not.” — E. R. Beadle

“Rights” is a fictional abstraction. No one has “Rights”, neither machines nor flesh-and-blood. Persons… have opportunities, not rights, which they use or do not use.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

Warning: Politicians can damage your wealth. — Smart Bee

The thief
Left it behind —
The moon at the window.

— Ryokan

“At this precise moment, no reproach proceeding from men or gods can affect me: I have as good a conscience as if I had never existed.” — E.M. Cioran

“The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation, and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance called “faith”.” — Robert G. Ingersoll

“As God is my witness – I am that fool!” — Gomez Addams

Wow…. a nine-star pearl! I’ve never made one of those before, but,  I think it came out pretty well, especially for the harlequin style…. I hope you enjoy consuming it as much as I did producing it…..

So far today, we’ve had Yeats, we’ve had Dickinson, we’ve had Ryokan …. it must be time for someone equally spirited….

The Loser

Mama said I’d lose my head
if it wasn’t fastened on.
Today I guess it wasn’t
’cause while playing with my cousin
it fell off and rolled away
and now it’s gone.

And I can’t look for it
’cause my eyes are in it,
and I can’t call to it
’cause my mouth is on it
(couldn’t hear me anyway
’cause my ears are on it),
can’t even think about it
’cause my brain is in it.
So I guess I’ll sit down
on this rock
and rest for just a minute…

~~ Shel Silverstein ~~

from the book “Where the Sidewalk Ends” (1974)


I’ve just taken a quick look at the news, and nothing outraged me enough to start a rant…. thankfully, as I’m currently not in the condition to do that without more sacrifice than I’m willing to endure…. This means y’all are the winners again today, as I’ll be going with another old-school pearl, which, though less straightforward in their approach to cognitive stimulation and/or attempted thought manipulation than are rants, they are patently less pompous by a factor of infinity; moreover, they’re guaranteed to provide fewer instances of mental heartburn…. In fact, a good group of pearls will actually cure baldness in adult males, given the right amount of faith…. or, so I’m told….

“You don’t fool me!! You’re not really an idiot!!” — Smart Bee

“The improver of knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties, blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” — Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)

“I’ll tell you what kind of guy I was.   If you ordered a boxcar full of sons-of-bitches and opened the door and only found me inside, you could consider the order filled.” — Robert Mitchum
(My hero!…. It has always been one of my life’s goals, to achieve this degree of “badass”….)

“I would far rather be ignorant than wise in the foreboding of evil.” — Aeschylus (525-456 BC) — Suppliants, 453

“After a while he realizes that she is beautiful – he just hadn’t noticed it at first.” — Lazarus Long

MAD, adj.  Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence; not conforming to standards of thought, speech and action derived by the conformants from study of themselves; at odds with the majority; in short, unusual.  It is noteworthy that persons are pronounced mad by officials destitute of evidence that themselves are sane.  For illustration, this present (and illustrious) lexicographer is no firmer in the faith of his own sanity than is any inmate of any madhouse in the land; yet for aught he knows to the contrary, instead of the lofty occupation that seems to him to be engaging his powers he may really be beating his hands against the window bars of an asylum and declaring himself Noah Webster, to the innocent delight of many thoughtless spectators.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“Half of the American people have never read a newspaper.  Half never voted for President.  One hopes it is the same half.” — Gore Vidal

Some days, SB is just better than others…..

I do believe I’ve done it, Olly!  It’s another fine mess, just rarin’ to get read….. well, ready to be read, anyway. Let’s see how that goes….

Well, it’s definitely a Pearl, and, until someone disabuses me of the notion, I’m going to consider it to be a relatively good one…. I like it, anyway, so that’s something…. Y’all can make your own decision on that…. See ya…..

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, and 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.



Faded signs of former glory….

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

Everything needs a little oil now and then.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It does get a bit lonely at times, since very few folks are willing to take the time to get past the outer crust, but the friends one ends up with are those that will stick. The wishy-washy need not apply….. curmudgeon training also teaches one how to appreciate one’s own curmudgeonliness, (not a word, according to SpellCheck, but I’m using it anyway; it’s self-explanatory…) for the time it can save; one finds that those who are nice to others all the time spend a lot of their own time dealing with those people, and bear the risk of drowning in sugar. As a practicing curmudgeon, all that super-sweet nicey-nicey shit is cut off at the pass; ignore them long enough, and they go away, leaving us in peace to pursue our own lives….. happy as a pig in mud…

It’s always a bit of a shock to realize I’m done for the day; this process tends to capture my complete attention for the first two or three hours of the day, and reaching the end is somewhat of a surprise. But, in a good way….. it promises to be a nice day outside; I think I might take a long walk & breathe a bit….. y’all take care out there…..

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




Bumping along the path to glory….

As a day of reckoning, today leaves a bit to be desired. More than just a bit actually. It seems that the universe could go along with the program here, but NOOOO, today’s got to be all big & bad, with overcast. If I’m going to go and humiliate myself before my creditors, the least I think I should be able to expect is a nice day, weather-wise. And though it will most likely clear up in a few hours, by then I’ll not be in a place where I can enjoy it. Sometimes I believe Murphy has taken a strong dislike to me; no other explanation fits all the evidence. Oh well, we plod onward, as there is no other choice….no viable choices, that is. There is always one or more pathways that will lead to a final solution, but we are not quite ready to throw in the towel. What’s a few more mental bruises to someone who lives in pain? Not much…..today’s group is again somewhat eclectic. Gonna have to go find me some new waters to dive in soon….these oyster beds are getting a bit thin…..enjoy!

“I can handle reality in small doses, but as a lifestyle it’s much too confining.” — Lily Tomlin

“…Another writer again agreed with all my generalities, but said that as an inveterate skeptic I have closed my mind to the truth.  Most notably I have ignored the evidence for an Earth that is six thousand years old.  Well, I haven’t ignored it; I considered the purported evidence and *then* rejected it. There is a difference, and this is a difference, we might say, between prejudice and postjudice.  Prejudice is making a judgment before you have looked at the facts.  Postjudice is making a judgment afterwards.  Prejudice is terrible, in the sense that you commit injustices and you make serious mistakes.  Postjudice is not terrible.  You can’t be perfect of course; you may make mistakes also.  But it is permissible to make a judgment after you have examined the evidence.  In some circles it is even encouraged.” — Carl Sagan, The Burden of Skepticism, Skeptical Enquirer, Vol. 12, pg. 46

“Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.” — D.H. Lawrence

Below the thunders of the upper deep,
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides…
— Tennyson “The Kraken”

Better stop short than fill to the brim. Oversharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt.  Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it.  Claim wealth and titles, and disaster will follow.  Retire when the work is done. This is the way of heaven.” — Tao Te Ching

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

Now THAT’s a curmudgeon! One can only gape in awe, and hope that one day, I too will achieve such an exalted state of grouchiness. Getting plenty of reasons to be that way building up lately, so we can always hope….y’all take care out there…..

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