A crimp in time saves pi….

Ffolkes,

I stood
Among them, but not of them; in a shroud
Of thoughts which were not their thoughts.

~~ Lord Byron ~~

~~ Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto iii, Stanza 113 ~~

Wind Spinner

Wind Spinner, Spinning


Good morning…. How can it be otherwise, when I’m going on the road in just about exactly three hours? Yes, today’s the day; the journey calls, and I must answer…. or lose out on the round-trip airfare. No way I’m doing that, so, whatever there may be in the Universe with any objections to my going had best get swallowed, because it sure isn’t going to keep me from leaving. So there….

Okay, all flippancy gone, we may now proceed to put together a final Pearl from home, with the warning it could be up to a week before another Pearl appears; no telling how things will work out where I’m going in re: available Wi-Fi spots, not to mention my own willingness to take the time to create them. My focus will NOT be on Pearling; I’ll be busy learning, and seeing, and listening, and walking, and talking with people I’ve never met before, all of which are some of my favorite things in life to do…. So, you will see me when you see me, and not before….

That all said, with the reminder full Pearls should begin again around September 18th, or 19th, depending on how quickly I can recover from the trip…. I’m not as young as I once was, but, this kind of activity tends to energize rather than tire me out…. Well, it used to; we’ll see how it goes. If nothing else, one is always glad to see one’s own bed….

For now, let’s throw together a Pearl, for luck, and for good measure…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“If the obstacles of bigotry and priestcraft can be surmounted, we may hope that common sense will suffice to do everything else.” — Thomas Jefferson

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    Anyone at all familiar with how things go around here will know what they’ll see in this section today…. It’s amazing what these search engines can find, if you’re precise in telling them what you want….A little traveling music, maestro, if you please….


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Classical Music for Travel

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Dont keep calm

    Oddly enough, SB presented me with some nice little stimulants for a rant while putting together the old-school pearl yesterday afternoon, so, I started a rant; I don’t feel enough angst to take it further, so, I’ll find a few pearls to say the same stuff, and let it go at that for now… In short, what you see is what you get….

“The Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression as a standing army. Their system was to make every man a soldier, and oblige him to repair to the standard of his country when ever that was reared. This made them invincible; and the same remedy will make us so.” — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Cooper(1814)

Well, for the most part, we blew that one, didn’t we? Tom would be ashamed of us, and, rightly so. He also believed in each citizen educating themselves as to what the government was up to, as well as warning us to keep a close eye on the bankers; he pointed out their attempts to corrupt government practically before the ink on the Constitution was dry. Did the American people listen? No, they didn’t. They listened instead to the preachers, who told them to trust their leaders, never cluing them into the simple fact those leaders were, as they themselves were, lying through their teeth to the people who trusteed them, almost every time they open their mouths.

Beset on all sides by ruthless liars, is it any wonder the common man hasn’t a clue as to his own slavery, thinking he has rights, and the opportunity to improve his life by living by the rules… In fact, the common man has no rights, and the system is designed to reward only those who lie, cheat, and steal in order to get ahead. Simple truths are hard to accept, but, trust me, this one is truth.

“Nature is not cruel, but, pitilessly, indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous — indifferent to all suffering,lacking all purpose.” — Richard Dawkins

What people don’t really get, even if they feel the rightness of this idea, is that cruelty DOES exist, but, only as a human characteristic, due to our need to make our own lives have meaning to us, according to our standards. This is, in the eyes of the universe, a handicap rather than an asset, for it leads those who cannot let go of such ideas into failures of logic, and understanding of the real world…. Being able to accept the idea makes it possible to act without fear, or emotion of any kind, interfering with our decision making process… For example…

“Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate — and quickly “– Lazarus Long

Lazarus was a smart guy; he also gave us the most efficient, and logical method for dealing with such people, when there are options available short of killing… to wit:

“Never appeal to a man’s “better nature.” He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage.” — Lazarus Long

Ah well, we do the best we can, with what others have to offer; other than that, it’s every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost…. What does that mean?…. Any who, as noted above, angst is in short supply, so here is a nine-star pearl to finish this mini-rant in a more palatable fashion, that won’t dull the edge of my excitement and joy…. Not much could right now, but, here…. take this….

Isn’t it strange that the same people that laugh at gypsy fortune tellers take economists seriously?” — Cincinnati Enquirer

“In a decision sure to cause major controversy for several minutes, the US Supreme Court struck down the First Law of Nature, judging it to be unlawfully discriminatory. Though never actually written down, the First Law of Nature is generally accepted by the American Bar Association to be, “If an individual or collection of individuals puts into practice or causes to be put into practice an action which, measured against the judgment of a reasonable person, is unwise or lacking in basic common sense, then the aforementioned individual or collection of individuals shall suffer all consequences resulting from that action, up to and including loss of life.” Translation:  “You do something stupid, you die.” — Snarky Bee

“Jesus loves you.  Everyone else thinks you’re a jerk.” — Humble Bee

“He is running for Congress … Do you know why he will be elected? Because  all the gun owners will vote for him. Why will they vote for him? Because he is against any new law which will require registration of firearms. He claims that if there is a war, we might be invaded by Communists. And we will all need guns. With nuts like that in Congress, it could happen.” — Larry Siegel

“God must love assholes — She made so many of them.”– Druidic Bee

“Do you really believe that fear of the damage that you could inflict with your .22 Squirrel Blaster is the only thing keeping the government in check?” — Mark Oehlert

“The function of the law is not to provide justice or to preserve freedom.  The function of the law is to keep those who hold power, in power.” — Gerry Spence ‘From Freedom to Slavery,’ 1993

“Chaotic Evil means never having to say you’re sorry.” — Shrub Senior (Okay, I lied. Sue me…)

“Congress’ idea of “safe” sex: no reporters.” — Smart Bee

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Comedy_Tragedy

Random Exposure


If I only knew what I was doing here,
I could give others a clue.
Reality gets stranger every year,
and I’m not sure what I should do.

Singing happy old tunes, in an old, gravely voice,
gives me a lot of pleasure.
I’m only glad I can still make a choice,
to look at life, to take its measure.

Memorable moments keep passing by
gilded, framed in precious emotion.
I never have to ask anyone why,
no need for a stronger potion.

Everything in life is clear, to me
there is no doubt, no misunderstanding.
We’re all good, as you can see,
members of Life, in good standing.

Life can be hard, or it can be great fun;
the right path is there for each of us to take.
That choice is often a difficult one;
pay close attention to the choice you make.


~~ gigoid ~~


Written 4/22/2013.

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pearls_3

    With a bit over two hours to lift off, things are moving along quite smoothly, if slower than I’d like…. Funny how the clock slows down when we wish it to run fast…. Ah well, here’s a pretty standard pearl, with the usual tips one living with some dignity, and how to make our lives a bit more comfortable, if not less ‘interesting’…. Enjoy!….

“Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” — Confucius (551-479 BC)

“Individuality seems to be Nature’s whole aim — and she cares nothing for individuals.” — Goethe

“Always watch where you are going.  Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

“A single arrow is easily broken, but not ten in a bundle.” — Japanese proverb

“Fear is the parent of cruelty.” — James Anthony Froude

“Dolendi modus, timendi non item.” [To suffering there is a limit; to fearing, none.] — Bacon, Of Seditions and Troubles

“There is never anything to feel sorry about with love. Never.” — Robert Heinlein

“Very late in life, when he was studying geometry, some one said to Lacydes, “Is it then a time for you to be learning now?” “If it is not,” he replied, “when will it be?” — Diogenes Laertius — Lacydes, v

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Done…. Most excellent! Now, I can pack the computer, and, at the whistle, walk out the door…. Rather than prattle on in my usual mindless way, I’ll merely say ‘adieu’, and, with perfect sincerity, wish you a peaceful and happy existence until we meet again, here at ECR, where Reality is what we make of it…. Ta, then, ffolkes…. Eventually, like the Terminator, I’ll be back, with the usual caveat re: incarceration, or death…. neither of which looks particularly imminent…. See ya….

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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After all, it’s only a goose….

Ffolkes,

“How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life wouldn’t you say?”

~~ Kirk, “The Wrath of Khan,”  stardate 8130.3. ~~

This artist's concept released April 17,...This artist's concept released April 17, 2014 by NASA/JPL-CALTECH depicts Kepler-186f, the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone. The hunt for potential life in outer space has taken a step forward -- an international team of researchers has confirmed the existence of the first Earth-sized planet within the "habitable" zone of a star. The exoplanet dubbed Kepler-186f was first spotted by scientists using NASA's Kepler telescope, according to research published Thursday in the US journal Science.  == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE / MANDATORY CREDIT: "AFP PHOTO HANDOUT-NASA/JPL-CALTECH/ T. PYLE "/ NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS  NO A LA CARTE SALES / DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==T. Pyle/AFP/Getty Images

This artist’s concept released April 17,…This artist’s concept released April 17, 2014 by NASA/JPL-CALTECH depicts Kepler-186f, the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone. The hunt for potential life in outer space has taken a step forward — an international team of researchers has confirmed the existence of the first Earth-sized planet within the “habitable” zone of a star. The exoplanet dubbed Kepler-186f was first spotted by scientists using NASA’s Kepler telescope, according to research published Thursday in the US journal Science. == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE / MANDATORY CREDIT: “AFP PHOTO HANDOUT-NASA/JPL-CALTECH/ T. PYLE “/ NO MARKETING – NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS NO A LA CARTE SALES / DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==T. Pyle/AFP/Getty Images

Earth-like exoplanet, artist’s rendition

Image created from data taken by the NASA Kepler Deep Space Telescope- @ nasa.gov


Good morning…. In the outer reaches of the galactic spiral, circling a small yellow star, on a small, blue/green planet, an old man sat, gazing in blank confusion at the screen of a computer, wondering how in the universe it had come to this…. Then, of course, I woke up, to find myself again pounding the keyboard with abandon…. One of these days, when I begin this process, I’ll actually be awake, and coherent…. I don’t suppose it will make much difference; It’s been almost four years, and I still don’t have a consistent method for opening the damn thing…

Oh well…. As they’re fond of saying out on the streets, fuck it. Let’s just pretend it isn’t 0216 AM, and we’re actually happy to be up and doing…. Maybe we can fool Murphy into thinking we got the jump on him today…. Luigi! Fire it up, and get us out of here!….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Life is like quotations. Sometimes, it makes you laugh. Sometimes, it makes you cry. Most of the time, you don’t get it.” — Smart Bee

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Who-US-Tour-Banner-NAE2015-1024x379

The Who’s Latest Tour Logo

http://thewho.com/tour/


Pictures of The Who are apparently very well protected; trying to find one that did not require some sort of major attribution took forever, and, was ultimately unsuccessful. The logo above is from the home site for the band, advertising their 50th year anniversary tour, joining The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, and a number of old rock bands in celebrating a half-century of making music…. Here for your enjoyment is an older concert, from 1970….. Enjoy!….

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The Who

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Sandclock .jpg

    Most days, in this section, if I’m not going to rant, I’ll use an older piece. Guess what?

Yep. It’s another selection from the archives, but, relax…. No ranting today. It is now 0352, & I’ve been up for over two hours, having been driven from my very comfy bed by the ache in my joints, enough to keep me from staying asleep, or, getting back to sleep after awakening…. If I attempted to rant, there is no telling what might happen; my brain is so fatigued, the defensive restraints on my deepest feelings of anger and frustration at the world are not merely weakened, they’ve been deleted. Whatever I chose to rant about probably would never be the same….

Fantasies about having any real effect on Reality aside, I really don’t trust myself today to even pick out something appropriate…. So, here is an entire Pearl from the early days here on WP, before I’d developed/evolved the current format… It will do…. Enjoy the break, ffolkes…

From 10/15/2011:

Ffolkes,

The Sun, life-giving orb of light and warmth, which dies each night, is born again each morning, gloriously aflame with potential. As the world turns in slow majesty, a scene of aching beauty is revealed; small plants and trees stretching their leaves toward the source of warmth, creatures great and small moving over the land, greeting the day with energy and purpose, colorful birds arcing and swooping through the warming air.

Casting a jubilant look at each other, the two young boys grinned; with a cry of pure joy, they took off running toward a nearby stand of trees. Legs pounding as hard and fast as their hearts, evenly matched, they ran with abandon, startling birds and small creatures, laughing in sheer exuberance. When they came to the edge of the trees, they stopped by mutual accord. Breathing hard, they gazed into the shadows, thinking about why they had come, why they were here, filling their souls with beauty at the beginning of the day……

I’m told that constant practice makes for constant improvement, and if this is so, then I should be getting damn close to competence, if not perfection. The paragraphs above are the start of yet another story, which will most likely never be told. I write them principally to keep dross from building up in my psyche, and as a sort of contrast to the reality of the rest of the piece. An introductory bridge, as it were, carrying the reader into the realms of thought, where I can then provide you with an upgrade to the DABSDS (Defense Against B___S___ Delivery System) that comes installed in your brain. It gives me a chance to limber up my typing finger, and loosen the mental muscle, which, as we all know, is an essential precursor to the use of these peripherals without sustaining injury.

Today’s group of Pearls is an eclectic one, with a diverse, compelling batch of authors. Cultural values from all over the world, and from many (well, two or three, anyway) different ages of history are represented here; I think the variety is part of its strength. It shows, metaphorically, of course, wisdom is not limited to one book. Indeed, I believe the admixture that came together today is greatly enhanced by the contrast of ideas, creating a more powerful effect upon the reasoning mind….. Hope you enjoy!….

“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.” — James Thurber

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” — Smart Bee

“It is a misconception that spirituality brings everlasting happiness. There is no such thing. Sadness still comes to the wise, but, unlike most people, their clarity of mind allows them to see beyond the temporal emotionalism of the moment. They are farseeing, and so happiness and sorrow become the same to them.” — Deng Ming-Dao

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
 I know.
But I do not approve.
And I am not resigned.

~~ Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Dirge Without Music” ~~


“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of–but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.” — Lazarus Long

“We turn not older with years, but newer every day.” — Emily Dickinson

Trust yourselves, my friends, so that ye may trust one another….. Y’all take care out there…..

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Comedy_Tragedy

    When I was in my teens and twenties, I wrote some poetry. When I look back on it, I wonder why, because it was pretty bad. I gave up trying to write any at all, aside from an occasional haiku, which I’ve always found to be rather simple to create…. When I retired, & began writing more, I still had no urge to try my hand at it again, until I started writing this blog, and reading a lot more poetry myself… In late 2012, around August, a poem burst out, and I’ve been writing more ever since…. This wasn’t the first to come out after my long hiatus, but, one of the first few, for sure…. Enjoy, please….

Piraeus calls me, silently.

Sizzle, sizzle, crash, bang, boom.
Intellect burning with subsequent doom.
Lingering long over decisive style,
Whistling up chaos all the while.

Such frozen thoughts may shatter,
Should we infer, but, no matter.
Firing blanks is children at play
Blooded sages all gasp in dismay.

Nonsense is good sense at times
Mundane objectives trip lightly in rhymes.
Fallen angels dance on a pin
Until each sinner enters within.

Fast moments with natural rain
Bring ashes, yet still must remain.
Final thoughts clamor for more
Find them only on a far distant shore.

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 9/6/2012.

Well, it’s a start….

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ankh

    If this pearl, and Pearl, had struggled any harder to NOT get done, I’m not sure what I would have had to do. Now that I look at that statement, I’m even more impressed with the strength of the resistance, as it has completely discombobulated me…. and, isn’t THAT a great word? Discombobulated. Say it out loud to yourself…. Isn’t that cool?

Anyway, this pearl tried very hard to not get posted; don’t ask me why, because I don’t even WANT to know…. In addition, it came out a little funny…. not ha, ha funny, either. In fact, I think it would be best, at this point, to just let it speak for itself, for whatever good it will do…. Enjoy, ffolkes; if nothing else, it’s a nice little trip into fantasy land…. Well, except for the fact it’s mostly talking about Life and Reality…

“I like life. It’s something to do.” — Ronnie Shakes

“A good place to start is where you are.” — Charles Wolf, Jr.

“Our own heart, and not other men’s opinions form our true honor.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“Don’t teach your children what to think; just teach them to think.” — Tannenbaum

“Not all who wander are lost.” — J. R. R. Tolkien

“Except for our thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.” — Descartes

“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.” — Albert Einstein

“Don’t worry about a thing because every little thing is gonna be alright.” — Bob Marley

“So as this only point among the rest remaineth sure and certain, namely, that nothing is certain. . .” — Pliny The Elder

Actually, that’s not bad… not bad at all….

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We are unsure of just what happened here today, but, remain confident in our heart all will be well, if we only stay the course. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by your expectations of quality you would find here; it’s not our fault Reality does not respond to even our royal ministrations. You may, if you wish, apply for a refund, but, good luck. (I’m using the royal/3rd person ‘we’ to avoid full personal responsibility for the above; it’s intended to distract y’all from blaming me for this…. Did it work?….)

All that said, in place of the standard disclaimer, I think I should let this one go to it’s fate. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, when we find out the latest in the ongoing war of nerves called Life at Large…. It’s the only game in town, so we may as well learn to play.

To honor that intention, I leave you today with a final thought, which may happen now and then around here. It’s a good one to start the day….

“Despite its suffix, skepticism is not an “ism” in the sense of a belief or dogma.  It is simply an approach to the problem of telling what is counterfeit and what is genuine.  And a recognition of how costly it may be to fail to do so.  To be a skeptic is to cultivate “street smarts” in the battle for control of one’s own mind, one’s own money, one’w own allegiances.  To be a skeptic, in short, is to refuse to be a victim.” — Robert S. DeBear, “An Agenda for Reason, Realism, and Responsibility,” — New York Skeptic — (newsletter of the New York Area Skeptics, Inc.), Spring 1988

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….


Off with their Keds!….

Ffolkes,

“Cat philosophy: When in doubt, cop an attitude.”

~~ Smart Bee ~~

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Your will is my will….


Good morning…. For someone such as myself, deeply connected to the power of the Metaphorse, the feeling with which I awoke today is terrifying…. I can’t seem to find any understanding of metaphor anywhere; my mind sits and stares blankly, just trying to make some sense of the simple, uncomplicated expressions with which I am presented, such as the fine statement of confusion, below, from our old pal Zippy…. Anyone with the most simple understanding of such matters would realize Zippy was just looking for condiments; he was probably holding a Polish Dog, so he was temporarily overcome by the olfactory stimuli…. He has such a sensitive proboscis, after all…

Nonetheless, we have a job to do…. It’s a tough job, cleaning out a mind like gigoid’s every day, but, it has to be done, or the Space/Time Continuum would take a severe beating, and nobody wants that…. So, rather than whine any more, let’s just get on with it, hoping against all hope that Smart Bee isn’t in the mood for bullshit…. I’m afraid, if that’s the case, it could get a little messy before we’re done…. Oh, well, no choice, so, let’s get on with it….

Shall we Pearl?

“Is a tattoo real, like a curb or a battleship? Or are we suffering in Safeway?” — Zippy the Pinhead

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groucho and carmen

Groucho & Carmen

Image from Pinterest.com via Google Images


Since we began the day with silly, it behooves us to continue in the vein…. What could be sillier than Groucho?….

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Copacabana

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le penseur-rodin

    In February of this year, I created a pearl of good quality, which I ended up giving a title, an extremely unusual event, to be sure. It seems to be the right choice for today’s ranting section, simply to avoid any conflict with the tone of the rest of today’s effort…. In short, it seemed like the right thing to do, so, deal with it…. Really, it’ll be fine….

From 2/12/2014:

I’ve never gone for titling Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, or pearls, either, for that matter. For this one, though, if I were asked to give it a title, it would have to be:

The Rise and Fall of Homo Erectus

We shall never cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

~~ T. S. Eliot ~~


“Life is pleasant.  Death is peaceful.  It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” — Isaac Asimov

“Everything is simpler than you think and at the same time more complex than you imagine.” — Goethe

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

“Expedients are for the hour; principles for the ages.” — Henry Ward Beecher

“If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awoke – Aye, and what then?” — Coleridge, “Anima Poetae”

Like leaves on trees the race of man is found,–
Now green in youth, now withering on the ground;
Another race the following spring supplies:
They fall successive, and successive rise.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ The Iliad of Homer, Book vi, Line 181 ~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

Unbidden, treasure unfolded…

Taken by surprise, Psyche sits numb
   Amidst tall phrases worn of elder time
Seeking a not-new place from which to come
   No shiny new horizon, nor altered paradigm.

Sudden regrets shape dreams as times maintain
   Shades of memories bring poignant clear sight
Visions of duty, each chosen wild campaign
   Shouts echoing clamors to enfold the night.

Arisen from less than eternal havens of sleep
   Facing moments created in torment and pain
Destiny weighs upon those chosen to keep
   As the sparrow flies now to sever the twain.

Faded pathways lead away, hazy and long
   Burned out verges, so long unknown
Images of yesterday, clear and strong
   Bleed into today, though t’is but my own……

~~ gigoid ~~

“Poetry–even bad poetry–may be our final hope.” — Edward Abbey

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A-laughing-girl-and-her-camel

    Okay, that does it…. This is the last time I give SB, or anyone, for that matter, free rein to pick out their own pearls…. The following nine-star group of gems (for lack of a better word) has to be the strangest damn pearl I’ve ever seen…. But, it all hangs together, and, damn it all if it doesn’t make a weird kind of sense…. You tell me….

“You can lead a yak to water but you can’t teach an old dog to make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke.” — Opus

“Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are.” — Henry Van Dyke

“To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both hands into life up to the elbows. It’s easy to say no, even if it means dying.” — Jean Anouilh

“While all things have their opposites, it is also true that in each the spirit of the opposite exists. — Hazrat Inayat Khan, Sufi writer

“I reject that philosophy. The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks.” — Douglas Adams through Dirk Gently

“Clay is moulded to make a vessel, but the utility of the vessel lies in the space where there is nothing. … Thus, taking advantage of what is, we recognize the utility of what is not.” — Lao Tzu

“If a camel flies, no one laughs if it doesn’t get very far.” — Paul White

“So, this doesn’t mean anything, but at least it’s not obvious nonsense.” — Hugh Young

“‘Scuze me while I kiss the sky…” — Jimi Hendrix, Purple Haze

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I think, maybe, tomorrow, I will take a bit more interest in what takes place here…. Today’s effort, such as it is, was brought to you by the number 13, and through the kind auspices of that fine old philanthropic institution, Bones For Bozos; fortunately, for them AND us, they didn’t know anything about it. I’ll be back tomorrow, to see if some sort of amends can be made to all who were offended by today’s nonsense…. We’ve got a slush fund that may be able to help any who suffered DNA damage…. As long as I’m not incarcerated at some undisclosed location, I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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….


					

No response to palliative measures….

Ffolkes,

“Ask of friends only what is honorable.”

~~ Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.) ~~

curiosity-rover-mineral-veins

Mineral Veins on Mars

Photo by NASA’s Curiosity Rover

I know it won’t work, but, still, I must make the effort…. Ah, well, much of humanity’s existence has been spent pursuing lives of futility, banging heads with Reality, all the while, casting desperately about to find someone, or something to blame for their hardships…. Finally, they discovered gods, and the die was cast…. Here, in religious delusion, men of weak will and small imagination found the perfect fall guy for all their fearful misconceptions of what happened around them, which they could not understand….

Now, several thousands of years later, we are suffering the consequences of basing one’s life on pushing blame onto others; the world, which we have abused and mistreated with severe ignorant ferocity, will soon be evicting us, in favor of ANYTHING else…. Not that I blame the Earth; we haven’t been the best of tenants, to be sure. It’s just a little frustrating for those of us who’d rather find a way to survive, and have no interest in blaming anything on anyone….

But, I suppose that’s a bit heavy for an intro section, eh? Bad habit of mine; one of these days, I’ll need to do something about that. Meanwhile, since I discovered my error, happily ceasing and desisting, we can use this opportunity to get the hell out of here, and on with the day’s nonsense and drivel production… I’m feeling a bit odd today, so, y’all might want to stay alert; no telling when something wet and wobbly will come flying around the corner…

In fact, I suggest you DUCK!!….. Okay, it missed, so, no worries…. And, look, it’s our exit, right over there, by the old cigar-store Indian with the Burma Shave haircut…. Let’s get out of here while we can….

Shall we Pearl?

The Eternal is empty (like a bowl),
It may be used but its capacity is never exhausted.
It is bottomless, perhaps the ancestor of all things.
It unties its tangles,
It softens its light.
It becomes one with the dusty world.
Deep and still, it appears to exist forever.
I do not know whose son it is.
It seems to have existed before the Lord.

~~ Lao-Tzu (fl. B.C. 600) ~~


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daffy_duck_by_captainjackharkness-d5i1n19

Daffy Duck by Captain Jack Harkness

For the mood I’m in, nothing else will do but a bit of Daffy….


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Daffy Duck

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le penseur-rodin

Le Penseur ~~ August Rodin


It seems I’m unable to rant again; can’t seem to find enough angst in there to get started…. Here, then, is a piece I wrote on 10/6/2012, a rather long discussion of a number of topics, all related…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it’s a walk through my mind, such as it is….

From 10/6/2012:

It’s not every day I’m compelled to write about religion, politics, philosophy, and the Unified Field Theory, unless in separate pearls…. Taking them all on together might seem a bit egocentric of me, but I’ve never been one to dismiss a challenge, unless it was one that didn’t interest me… this one definitely hits all the high points of my particular bent, or bents, so what the hell, let’s see what happens…..

“Each religion, by the help of more or less myth which it takes more or less seriously, proposes some method of fortifying the human soul and enabling it to make its peace with its destiny.” — George Santayana

This idea is one that makes it possible for me to get through a lot of days without becoming homicidal toward a lot of people who bandy their religious beliefs about as if I were at all interested in them. I am aware that there have been a lot of good people throughout history, including current times, who are devout believers in one religion or another, and are sincere in their beliefs, and in their efforts to live their lives according to the precepts of their religions.

Some of them are even preachers, or priests of one sort or another, but the percentage in those categories of sincere belief is most certainly smaller than in the general public…. Let’s face it, most of those who go into the business do it because they aren’t any good at anything else, and the work is pretty easy…. Being a preacher is only hard if it gets taken seriously enough to try to help other folks, but most of the ones I’ve met are more concerned with convincing everyone of their piety to worry about actually helping…. and to most of them, the process of proving their own piety is accomplished by challenging everyone else’s beliefs, and sticking their noses into other people’s business….

One of the most insidious attractions of religion to many people, sad to say, is that it provides such a convenient vehicle for going through life without ever having to come up with an original thought or feeling. Every system of religious dogma, from no matter what cult, or division, or schism, or whatever it maybe called, is designed to give people answers to their questions about life and all the things that happen that they don’t understand, thus creating a sense of dependency. This is very convenient for political pundits, who manage to take advantage every time the preachers pull another scam on the public….

Unfortunately, those answers, comforting as they may be, seldom reflect reality very well, but are based rather on how that particular sect views the issue at hand…. and you can rest assured that those answers are designed to benefit the sect, and the preacher, in rather more ways than they will benefit the person with the questions…. But, I’m sure it is very comforting to know that if you just go along with what they say, you are somehow guaranteed something….. I never could understand that part very well, as there was nobody who could tell me just what was being promised…. other than I’d have to wait until I was dead in order to see it…. (The politicians like this one as well, because it gets people used to being told something,  i.e. campaign promises, then having those promises unfulfilled…. )

“There are so many ways that we sabotage our own divinity, our own possibilities. and the mythologies of race and gender may well head the list.” — Callan Williams

Ah yes, the mythologies of race and gender…. Consider this…. each of us who are of the genus homo sapiens is a unique individual, no matter what color our skin, or whether we are male or female. Unique in our own right, beginning with the pattern of DNA that dictates and defines the characteristics of the organism that is each one of us. Unique. This is indisputable scientific fact. And yet, there are still people who choose to believe that there are characteristics shared by certain groups of homo sapiens that make them somehow superior or inferior to another group. Which of those characteristics they claim as exclusive is always based on articles of faith, and never on any physical evidence. The basis for these articles of faith are outlined in the myths, myths that ignorance breeds, born out of fear of the unknown….

These fears are pretty formless, as the people who have them don’t like to think about them. First, because then they feel uncomfortable, and being comfortable is preferable to thinking, no matter how much it may alleviate the fear.  Second, it is also hard to clearly define something that one rejects all evidence of knowing about; the fear is a known factor, and knowledge is not. These behaviors are a very childish reaction to serious adult issues, but then, a large number of people never learn to deal with life after a certain age; the techniques of denial and avoidance that children rely on are hard for some to give up, especially in matters of emotional or psychological import.

“The ability to accept responsibility is the measure of the man.”  — Roy L. Smith

This is very true, and actually would be claimed as their own by many folks who make a habit of refusing    to even consider being responsible for anything outside their own little world. The flaw in their world-view is that they firmly hold that what they perceive is the only true way that the world CAN be perceived; they seem to be constitutionally unable to entertain any idea to the contrary. It makes compromise with them somewhat of a difficult proposition, as their belief in their own rightness gives them a feeling of entitlement, of believing that they can lie and cheat others without consequence, because the “others” are, as unbelievers, not worthy of honorable treatment. (Hmm, I can’t decide if this sounds more like a fundamentalist Christian, a ruthless business man, or a politician….. since it fits all three, I guess it fits Romney like a second skin…..)

“It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.” — George Santayana

This second quote from Mssr. Santayana points out another flaw in the philosophy held by those who follow many religions, under their own interpretations of the scriptures that are used by them. This flaw is obviously based on the relatively inarguable fact that all of them are faith-based philosophies…. grand, well considered, beautifully constructed philosophies, whose basic premise is an entity whose existence cannot be evidenced in the physical world.

There are innumerable thoughtful and elegant “proofs” of the existence of these entities, all of which, again, are constructed entirely of words and ideas. Some use logic, some history, some use hope, some use delusion, and some use an amorphous idea that cannot be pinned down…. none of them have actual pieces of physical evidence that incontrovertibly points to the existence of such an entity. If anyone knows of one, or two, or more, please let me know of it/them; I would be very interested in the information, and its provenance, to be sure….

I have wandered far afield indeed in the realms of human thought today, and I’ll bet you thought I’d forget about the Unified Field Theory…. For those unfamiliar with the phrase, let me explain as succinctly as I can; this has gone on a long time, and I’m sure we all have better stuff to do, but, hey, I’m here, you’re here, so…. Any who, the Unified Field theory is a mathematical model of the universe that, in essence, explains and describes all the different types of energy that we know to exist in the Universe; Gravitational energy, Magnetic energy, Electric energy, Electromagnetic energy, Kinetic energy, Biochemical energy, life energy…. all are known to us, but we do not understand, even minimally, how they all interact, and how they are all inter-related as part of the Universe at large…. hence the unified theory. It hasn’t been written yet; it is still just a concept for the future of scientific endeavor, though Stephen Hawking is said to be working on coming up with one before he dies…. if anyone can, it is him.

In short, one theory to explain how it all works…. There are many, including Mr. Hawking, who believe that knowing this can possibly lead us to a closer idea of the answer to the Why it all works the way it does…. by design, or by chance? Did God lose a bet, or win one? Or is there some as yet unknown reason beyond our current ability to understand? Being able to SEE and KNOW how it all works can only give us clues about the origins of it all.  Even if it doesn’t give us all the answers we seek, we will have a better understanding of the Universe, and ourselves, and thus, perhaps, a better idea of our true place in all of what we see…..

Whew! If you made it to here, you are indeed worthy…. and probably tired, confused, and a bit troubled with doubts as to my sanity. S’okay, I understand…. and I don’t blame you. I should have handed out warning notices at the beginning…. Ah well, t’was fun for me, and that will do….. Stop me, please, I can’t seem to shut up….. wait, don’t pull that pl……

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Comedy_Tragedy

    I’m not late, but, I am lazy, so, here is a poem I wrote in January of this year…..

gigoid’s lament
Not a bit of all the pain I feel
is worse than all I see;
all worldly truth, solid and real,
has faded away, never to be free.

Honor stripped of all regard,
while compassion simply fails;
 Ignorance , powerful, hard,
crows as reason wails.

Crushing resistance, mandating the vote,
selling illusion, smiling all the while.
Pundits, speaking purely by rote,
arrange all the lies in a tidy pile.

Stupidity ’tis said, is a risky choice;
the price is always the same.
Reality has no pity, no warning ever voiced,
only a gravestone, carved with, our name.
,
~~ gigoid ~~


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Zack at Christmas 12-28-2012 002 (2)

From 2/12/2015:

The Rise and Fall of Homo Erectus
We shall never cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

~~ T. S. Eliot ~~


“Life is pleasant.  Death is peaceful.  It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” — Isaac Asimov

“Everything is simpler than you think and at the same time more complex than you imagine.” — Goethe

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

“Expedients are for the hour; principles for the ages.” — Henry Ward Beecher

“If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awoke – Aye, and what then?” — Coleridge, “Anima Poetae”

Like leaves on trees the race of man is found,–
Now green in youth, now withering on the ground;
Another race the following spring supplies:
They fall successive, and successive rise.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ The Iliad of Homer, Book vi, Line 181 ~~


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Having reined myself in, finally, I’ll bring this to a rapid close…. It’s a bit choppy, but, it’s done; that’s all that counts around here at this time of day. To avoid any uncomfortable questions, however, I’ll take my leave rapidly, stage left…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

From this perspective, it’s clear the vicar was nude….

Ffolkes,
Day the next 013    This picture was taken somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean, during a trip around the British Isles…. It may just be my favorite picture, of all I took on that trip…. The color, the composition, it just speaks to me, in a lot of ways, bringing with it memories of that time, along with appreciation, for the picture’s potentiality for cogitative stimulation…. The first thought that always occurs to me is how it is impossible to tell, just from the picture, whether this was taken at sunrise, or sunset; it could easily be either one….. Not bad, for an old fart with his first camera, eh?….

Today’s Pearl will be odd, as if, A) you hadn’t heard THAT before, and, B) just as if it could be anything else, when one considers the source, to wit: me, in all my strange glory…. What do you mean, that isn’t glory, it’s dirt? I’m not going to even bother to think about THAT statement; no way that could be true…. I mean, if that were true, what was all that….. well, never mind. I think, upon reflection, we should just skip right on by this little episode, and chalk it up to the early hour, even if it’s a late early hour, for me…. It’s getting harder to drag myself up each day, but, that, too, is nothing new, is it?….

Age, pain, bozoid tendencies…. I’ll tell ya, ffolkes, it makes for an “interesting” life, one you would think would offer plenty of material for a writer….. and maybe it does, for a writer whose mind is normal… My own idiosyncracies tend to color my perceptions, as they do for all of us…. mine just have a greater effect on me than most ffolkes suffer; maybe it has to do with all the spikes, thorns, and broken glass covering the material my head produces. It does get a bit iffy trying to handle it without injury, especially given my known habit of beating myself over the head with certain types of information, so it is more easily assimilated…..

I’m wandering again, aren’t I? This is what happens when I sleep late; I wake up foggy, (normal for me…), but, start writing anyway, as I’ve found the process of creating these introductory sections eventually wakes me up enough to get through to the end of a Pearl…. Well, so far, anyway….. Apparently, once I’m relatively awake, I can do this in my sleep…. Your guess is as good as mine as to whether it helps, or hinders to write while somnolent; I DO keep getting them done, so, I suppose that’s something….

Well, now, there’s a pretty mess, eh? It seems I turned the picture, which is somewhat undefined by itself, into yet another reason to ramble and blather my way through the first section, all without ever coming to any conclusions, but, without haring off into uncharted regions of my mind, or anyone else’s, for that matter…. What did I just say? Let me go back a second, & analyze that last sentence…. Okay, yep, it’s as I thought…. I’m reaching the point of incoherency, so we have to stop now, or someone will get hurt…. and it’s most common for me to be that someone…. So, instead….

Shall we Pearl?….

“If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Okay, well…. that explains THAT….. Onward, ffolkes….

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I may have mentioned I’m up pretty late, (or not…. I am now, though, right?…. Mentioning it, that is…. I’m up late… there, now you know….), which precludes a FRESH rant, especially given the news of late, which has way too many subjects that would be suitable…. In today’s state of mind, picking one could be as hazardous as writing one…. So, here is a reasonably priced discussion of some esoteric minutiae for your reading pleasure…. Oh, and keep your neurons fired up and ready with this one, ffolkes, it’s a bit deeper than usual, even if it doesn’t touch on anything particularly volatile…..

From 10/21/2012:

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

— Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) — Just So Stories (1902) “The Elephant’s Child”

I first read the phrase “feeding the Elephant’s Child” in a Robert Heinlein novel, many years ago, and enjoyed it as a metaphor for reading/learning, before I knew from whence it originally came. Once I did know (a moment of illumination whose exact placement in time is hazy….), I liked it even more, from an aesthetic standpoint. The above little ditty is brilliant doggerel, astute observation, and deep insight, all presented in a simple, straightforward style, with a powerful, basic lesson for any would-be philosopher, or any one who wishes to encompass reason as their modus operandi, so to speak. Besides which, I find that another piece of Bob’s advice fits well with this one, to wit: “Life tastes better in big bites….”

“Never wear anything that panics the cat.” — P. J. O’Rourke

I like this, a lot. It summarizes perhaps one of the most elemental rules of getting along in the Universe, in essence saying, “You can learn a lot by watching what happens around you…” It is the perfect companion to the concept of learning as presented above, as it contrives to speak to both sides of Reality, i.e., how you approach reality (the clothing you choose to show to the cat….) and how reality will change to react to your approach (the cat’s opinion of your clothing….) It also gives one a subtle warning about how the wrong clothing can produce unwanted consequences, and we all know how an offended cat is likely to respond…. as Mark Twain once remarked…. “A man who carries a cat by the tail is learning valuable things. He will never again be dim or doubtful. Chances are he’ll not carry the cat that way again, but, I say, if he wants to, let him!”  You can’t say fairer than that….

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” — Buddha

One can always trust the Buddha to state the most profound thoughts in the simplest way…. I often wonder how he came to such a complete understanding of Murphy, whose presence is acknowledged in all of what the Buddha stated, but whose ministrations seem to have passed by the Buddha’s existence…. either that, or Murphy shows him a lot more respect than he does anyone else alive. At times, it seems that what the Buddha states, such as in this statement, is, in at least one respect, an answer to a question that is raised when Murphy intervenes in our lives…. in simpler words, he explains why Murphy is able to affect us as he does, by cutting through the bullshite we perceive to the truth of what is real….. SIGH…. one of these days, enlightenment will slap me upside the head, and I’ll be able to see Murphy coming…. I hope…

There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” — Bob Dylan

Often I feel as if not only is life a joke, but it is our duty and purpose on this plane of existence to codify that joke, to put it down on paper, or on screen/disc, to free ourselves from the prison of sobriety, achieving an understanding that everything in this silly universe is here for our amusement, and we have been taking it, and ourselves, seriously for entirely too long….. So seriously, we have begun to offend those parts of the universe that just want us to relax and enjoy ourselves, and the time is growing nearer when we will have to admit that the joke is on us, for not being able to change our inner selves enough to be able to handle the humor of our situation…. See, the universe thinks death is funny…. not because it is cruel, but because death is just another part of life, and it doesn’t care about one more than the other…. See, now, isn’t it funny how you never noticed that?…..

I once read a science fiction novel, whose title and author escape me completely; in all it was very poorly written, with prose that did not live up to the good ideas contained in the plot line. However, it was a great plot line, in all….Specifically, there was one chapter I liked, which had a super-genius taking on the task of finding the solution to a mathematical treatise, an equation so complex and advanced that no civilization in the galaxy had ever been able to completely solve it.

The genius/hero of the book shut himself up in his room for three weeks, working on the problem. At the end, he was thinking so hard he entered a trance-like state, computing while nearly dead…. after a week of this, he suddenly opened his eyes, gave a look of astonishment, and burst into uncontrollable laughter for approximately 25 minutes. When he could finally control himself, he simply said, “It’s a joke….” and would never discuss it again….

In a pearl such as this one has grown to be, there comes a time when I have to decide whether to continue on, to try to reach the conclusion that was nebulously hovering somewhere in my mind as I began, or to admit that I have once again wandered into uncharted territory, and might find it a bit tricky to find my way back to clarity. This is that time…. and I’m leaving it up to Smart Bee, as always…. If I don’t find a proper pearl to carry on the tenuous chain of thought I’ve created, then we’ll take the first one that will appropriately wrap it up as a lost cause….. all within a specified number of attempts…. so, here we go… You’ll know in a moment what will happen….

“In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap xi

There, see?…. That didn’t take long at all…. and I managed to find the perfect pearl to cover both bases…. In this case, we will use it as an ending quote, since it sort of summarizes a lot of the discussion, after a fashion. It could conceivably also be used as a springboard for further discussion, but this has gone on long enough, and I wouldn’t want to lose anybody due to an injudicious application of excess verbiage, culminating in tedium…. Of course, we may have reached that point some time ago, but, hey, who’s counting?…. Any who, I hope you enjoyed this little foray into not very much….

🙂

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Being late means not having the time to go search for anything from other authors to fill up the empty spaces between lines; this can be a good thing, or not, depending on a lot of factors, which we won’t go into now…. Suffice it to say, it’s usually easier to find one of my own to go with whatever is taking place, and today is no exception to that observation/rule…. I wrote this in October of 2012, during the period of time after my retirement when I was in my deepest depression, and living under the most trying circumstances I’d experienced in many years…. I guess it goes to prove that poetry comes out of human experience in a more compelling fashion when that experience is a test of their endurance, or stamina, or however one describes the effort of standing up to the crap life sends our way, every day…. Enjoy, ffolkes, this is one of my best….

Seeing is Conducive to Belief

Folly sits so comfortably upon my fevered brow
one would easily believe that I would know how
to look at Life with a jaded, weary eye
seeing enough, and more, to know Why.

Such seems the case, as I will it to be,
an open book of a face, it looks so like me;
what’s known to be so, needs no close attention
familiar sights require no minding, nor mention.

The eye is drawn at once to the stark and new,
and sent back to sleep by successful review.
Once we find evidence we feel we understand,
curiosity languishes, dismissed at command.

Ancient sages knew the insidious value of illusion,
preachers and pundits know the power of confusion.
Each pair of eyes contains its own point of reference,
each mind sets its own standards of preference.

Seeing is believing, for those who live in thrall,
accepting what is perceived is all they ever recall.
Unknown to them, reality follows another set of rules,
Deeper, more dangerous, and no place for fools.

~~ gigoid ~~

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Even though I’ve managed to get caught up to schedule fairly well, by dipping into the archives instead of going fresh, I’m still feeling rushed from being behind all morning…. An old-school pearl should fix that, and takes no time at all…. as long as Smart Bee is cooperating today…. Let’s go see what it’s got for us, shall we?…. No parameters, we’re going with pure impulse for this one…. Good luck! Buena suerte!  We might need it….

“Actually officer, if you factor in the earth’s rotation, we were all speeding.” — Smart Bee

“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, scatalogical 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, Catch22

“The universe is as it is because if it were any different, we wouldn’t be here to observe it.” — Stephen Hawking

“I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.” — Pogo, character in “Pogo,” comic strip by Walt Kelly

“I am not a wimp.” — George Bush

(Sorry, George, but, yes, you are a wimp, and I have to say, I don’t mind telling you….. If you have to say it, it’s proven…. Q.E.D.)

“… as sight is in the body, so is reason in the soul…” — Aristotle — Nicomachean Ethics, Bl. I, Ch. 6, 10966, lines 29-30

“Facts are not truths; they are not conclusions; they are not even premises.  The truth depends on, and is only arrived at by a legitimate deduction from all the facts which are truly material.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Well, there you go…. That went well, and quickly, just as planned…. Damn it! Now I have to keep a watch out for Murphy; things have been going WAY too well thus far….. Watch my back, would you?…. I’ll go try to finish up….

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Well, ffolkes, as I stated in the intro, it turned out quite interesting…. Better behaved, all in all, than I’d expected, so, since I’ve already thus been rewarded by the Universe for my perseverance, I’ll take my leave without further ado, or fuss…. 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

Featured Image -- 2780

Preparing to salivate on command….

Ffolkes,

Living with cats is always more than one bargains for; they have a strong connection to the forces of chaos and entropy, and dealing with their capricious natures is as difficult as, well….. as difficult as trying to herd cats…. a well-used, and well-deserved cliche, if not actually an iconic adverbial state…. The potential volatility of a close relationship with a feline can be especially true when one is dealing with a cat with “issues”…… Now, you may ask, what kind of “issues” could such a “wee puir beestie” as these adorable creatures possibly have? Well, I’m here to tell you, they can be quite nasty issues, driven by dark emotional states, and made worse by the lack of human capability to understand the nature of Cat…..

At this point, I would be expected to outline some of the cuter, or perhaps, funnier episodes with our cat that demonstrate how adorable they are, and what wonderful companions they make for us seniors…. and, I would, if I could….. However, OUR cat does NOT do cute, or adorable, or even funny, for that matter…. She just does psycho…. She does that quite well, but I can’t say that as much of a recommendation, as her unfortunate destructiveness tends to keep us scrambling to the store to replace knick knacks at an alarming rate…. We’ve got Bed, Bath, & Beyond on speed dial from having to check their inventory so often, due to PC 14666,destruction of private property by a feline perpetrator acting in the guise of one of Satan’s minions….

This poor little devil started life with some handicaps, unfortunately, which are, sadly, compounded by her relatively obnoxious personality, an unfortunate trait caused by being raised feral for the first month of life…. She’s never really recovered all of the veneer of civilization that more domestic cats assume; she’s got a wild edge she has a hard time controlling, and which causes her, and us, a bit of conflict….. You see, she bites…. the little asshole never learned that it isn’t polite, or acceptable, to bite humans, not even for affection, and certainly not as a habit in anger…. Kitties who develop this habit often end up as recreational flying toys, aka, Frisbees, after having been unceremoniously been tossed on the interstate after biting their human in a pique of anger or warning….

This cat also has the usual cat arrogance, and a number of prerogatives upon which she insists; for example, upon arising in the morning, she informs whoever is up that she wants food, water, an open window, and company, NOW. Actually, anything she wants is required to be furnished NOW, but, this trait is one I don’t worry about, since to a cat, or dog, or other creature of their ilk, NOW is all there is….They don’t spend any mental time in the past, or in the future, so they always want whatever they want right away, simply because, for them, that’s all there is to time….

Now, if only she could learn that counter tops, refrigerators, cupboards, computers, and other parts of the house and furniture are NOT all her domain, and she does NOT have free rein to jump on or into everything she sees….. She also tends to believe that whatever falls on the floor belongs to her, but, in this, at least, she will negotiate, if one is prepared to give up some crumpled up paper, or, even better, tinfoil, in any compromise exchange of favors…. It’s lowering to have to negotiate with a cat, but, they’re very good at hostage situations, so, one must deal on their terms, at least until whatever she’s hidden is found, or rescued….

Now that I’ve demonstrated that we too have a cat, one that can provide nearly unlimited material for study or exposition, merely by existing side by side with us in our domiciles, I suppose I can get on with what we came here for today….. Learning the techniques needed for certain types of literature are well practiced, and better learned by writing about animals….. and, one will find, after a time of watching them closely, describing their behaviors can be a full-time, frustrating job; learning to do so well can be considered excellent training for any writer…. One MUST know how to set a scene, and make the reader see what the author wishes them to see; learning to describe the actions of a Cat are the perfect method for learning to do that well….

None of the above even begins to consider all the material that is also available in this category, of a more complex, personal nature, to wit: writing about our complex, loving, yet adversarial personal relationships with the cattus domesticus with whom we may end up sharing space…. People’s relationships with their cats are as deep, and loving, and complex as those they have with any person…. This, of course, gives us a fertile field from which to draw our subject matter, and makes writing about cats a staple exercise for anyone who wishes to consider themselves to be a competent author….

It’s also quite fun, re-living whatever experiences one has with their cats, who are, in truth, as much our best friends as dogs….. The long-standing agreement we humans have with the cat species is much different than the one we hold with dogs, but it is just as ancient, and just as strong on both sides….

Now that I’ve completely gone off, far afield, in a direction never before taken, there must be some way to get back on track, and get my butt into the water, diving for pearls to create some thoughts in those empty heads out there…. It seems I’d best get to it quickly today, too, as my carpal tunnel has picked today to act up, numbing my fingers as I type…. Oh boy, this will be FUN!….. NOT!  Oh well….

Shall we Pearl?…..

Tell me, O Octopus, I begs,
Is those things arms, or is they legs?
I marvel at thee, Octopus;
If I were thou, I’d call me us.

— Odgen Nash (1902-1971)
_____________________________

Ohmigosh, Most Puissant Keeper, Protector of the Forever Dubious, help us! Do not desert us in our hour of need! Give us this day our humble desire, for sustenance to feed the mind, to help them grow to become worthy tools in the hands of our Gentle Readers. (Hmm…. okay, to all those Gentle Readers out there today….. please ignore any and/or all anatomical inferences, or references, in that last little statement…. I’m afraid I got my metaphors mixed up with my euphemisms, and the results are a bit confusing…. so, never mind….. ) Let Smart Bee, that most excellent of databases, find and offer up the most intelligent, the most ironic, the funniest pearls, no matter how old, dusty, or what dark corner in which is was found….

There you go, ffolkes, my version of prayer…. Let’s hope Ohmisgosh was listening….

“Every day should be passed as if it were to be our last.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 633

“Reality happens when you don’t make it to the bathroom.” — Smart Bee

“It does not matter whether the cat is black or white.  So long as it catches the mouse, it is a good cat.” — Deng Xiaoping

“Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business.” — G. K. Chesterton, G.K.’s Weekly, 4/10/26

Men must be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown propos’d as things forgot.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Criticism, Part iii, Line 15

“Power must never be trusted without a check.” — John Adams
(Side note: When I first saw this, I read it as “never be trusted WITH a check!”….. but, it works either way, doesn’t it?….)

Knowledge by suffering entereth,
And life is perfected by death.

— Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1809-1861) — A Vision of Poets, Conclusion

Hmm…. Smart Bee is showing off, I think…. That, or it feels as if the contractual obligation for obscurity hasn’t been met, and is just doing its part to help the team…. I won’t bother to remind it that it’s only January, and we have a very long time to get that done…. It was a nice gesture, even if it does leave us scratching our heads a bit…. I suppose it’s one of those pearls that will sit in there, in our heads, until it ripens, whereupon it will explode, leaving us all in awe at the sheer genius thus displayed….     Or, maybe not…. Only time will tell, once again…. Funny how that keeps happening….
_____________________________

“Verbing weirds language.” — Calvin (from “Calvin and Hobbes”)

Someday, I believe Calvin & Hobbes will be on a par, reputation-wise, with Pogo, Doonesbury, Dilbert, and a few other comic strips that are, because of the genius of their authors, as much social commentary as humor. Calvin’s display of all of the most dramatic human characteristics, including the vices, is perfectly counterbalanced by Hobbes brilliantly wise (both in creativity and common sense…), compassionate, grounded yet wildly original, commentary, whether presented in an existential framework, or something more mundane. With the little complaint above, the creator, Bill Watterson, articulates a particular pet peeve of mine…. in three words…..

I am in awe of this statement, much as when I find a piece of poetry that displays such an innate understanding of language, while simultaneously showing the power of using it well…. Using verbs as nouns, and vice versa, is a habit of modern culture I deplore as much as any other in the field of language usage; seeing it is an issue for others is a big relief to me, especially in a media venue that can influence a lot of people’s attitudes….

Of course, it’s something that will fly right by those millions of folks who DON’T read, either books, or newspapers, but, hey, one can’t have everything…. Those particular folks won’t be worrying much about what a verb is, or a noun, anyway, and won’t be deliberately switching them around to try to appear clever…..

There, now you can never say I don’t just ramble incoherently for no reason at all…. I just saw the quote, and it ticked off this little mini-rant against a very minor form of linguistic ignorance…. As we say around here…. never mind….. Here’s a nice poem to make it all better….. You didn’t notice the spoiler above, in the intro section?…. Don’t worry, neither did I, until the proofing stage…. Our minds can play funny tricks on us, can’t they?….

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 forhead.
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 ~~

_____________________________

I did a search of the morning’s headlines when I sat down to begin today’s effort, but, found nothing worthy of a rant, or even minor outrage, other than the usual critical view I have regarding the media’s choice of what news is fit to disseminate…. To be fair in their defense, I also try to keep in mind that I don’t have access to, or time to look at, ALL of the information that is out there to be absorbed…. So, I content myself with what passes for mainstream news, without falling into the trap of getting it from any site or organization that has a vested interest in what is to be brought forth…. such as, say, Fox News, MSNBC, or any of the major networks or their affiliates…. In short, I don’t much trust any of the news outlets that have ANY connection to a vested interest, so, it can be hard to get the straight story on many events….

In the long run, this, along with just about anything else one might think of, is a moot point, which only serves to illustrate the reason today’s Pearl won’t have what might usually be expected in the way of a rant, or as my good friend Lou puts it, my “bitching” about society’s ills….. Due to the (apparent) sparsity of my audience, loyal as those few are, I can’t argue that what I’m doing often FEELS like bitching…. That’s okay, though, because I’m only concerned with the message, and getting it over to people who need to hear it; there’s no denying, for that purpose, bitching is good. Well, it feels good, anyway, so, I’ll keep at it….

In the meantime, though, in order to fulfill the formatting requirements of this blog, I have to put SOMETHING here…. This means, of course, it will have to be a random, old-school pearl, with no particular rhyme, reason, or parameters for inclusion, other than…. it must SOUND as if it means something….

“The most important reason for the drug laws in this country is to encourage a healthy distrust for the law.” — Smart Bee

“Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“Orthodoxy is not thinking – not having to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” — George Orwell (1903-1950), “1984”

“Death is a commingling of eternity with time; in the death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through time.” — Goethe

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

“Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” — Oscar Wilde

“If the whole human race lay in one grave, the epitaph on its headstone might well be:’It seemed like a good idea at the time.'” — Rebecca West

Sometimes, this process works better than I know…. Upon due reflection, this may be one of those times…. Any ideas?….
_____________________________

Well…. instead of going into such a deep subject, or relying solely on what may be the oldest bad joke in the English language, I’ll just go on about my business as though nothing undue or immoral had occurred here…. which, you will note, it didn’t…. technically….. On that relatively positive note,  I bid thee adieu, until 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

dozer3

This recipe calls for “floated ferrets”….

Ffolkes,
For a time, it looked as if I was going to make it work….. Then, of course, Reality stepped in to remind me not to make assumptions like that, so, I put aside my anger, and disappointment, and unloaded….

No, sorry, this isn’t going to work, and I’m not speaking in any fictional voice this time…. I had thought to begin today’s Pearl with another spate of fictional fantasy, but, the stuff that is coming to the surface isn’t what I was hoping it would be, quality-wise, and I just don’t feel like forcing it out, then polishing it to a point it would fly unassisted. I don’t like to post stuff that comes out like that; I feel like I’m settling for less than my best….

So, here I am, chatting away, nattering, really, with nothing particularly compelling to say, or discuss…. I guess I could talk about my Life, such as it is, but I doubt that would be any more compelling, and would most likely end up as being much more embarrassing, on a  personal level. Besides, I have found that blogging tends to magnify the apparent size of problems, at least in the sense that issues sound worse than they are, and people get the wrong impression of what is real, inadvertently causing them distress…. It’s best not to get too detailed in these moments of sharing….

I suppose I could mention a new piece of information that I realized regarding my SS disability. Once it begins, I am forevermore restricted from working at all for pay. This, apparently, includes writing books…. If I publish a book, any money I make from its sale will be deducted from what SS pays me as benefits, because it would be viewed as income, meaning, to them, I am able to work…. So, in order to be able to enjoy my retirement without worrying about whether or not I can make anything from what I might write, I must forgo all attempts to better my situation, and must accept no more in compensation than they are pleased to give me, until I die….

From one aspect, I can see the virtue in this, as it seems to say that the money should only be given to people who are unable to make money any other way than the accepted forms of work. In  other words, if one is educated, and able to use their mind for acquiring income, without using the body, then they are not qualified for disability, no matter how badly disabled they may be, or how much it costs them to perform whatever mental functions they do to make money; writing, speaking, etc. It doesn’t seem to matter that they may be doing all that in pain, or at great physical cost; if they make money, they are disqualified to the extent that they are allowed to make no more than they receive from SS….

As usual with any federal bureaucracy, this policy is treated as if it is a religious tract, and the people who make decisions about whether or not to allow exemptions or exceptions to the rule are chosen for their unwillingness to make any changes at all. They are bureaucrats down to the bone, and their sole purpose in life is to maintain the status quo in re: federal regulations, to make sure NOTHING is done to challenge their validity, or make them more flexible, and thus, more able to help the people for whom they are ostensibly designed. That would make too much sense, and would never be allowed to be taken under consideration in any federal institution.

So, I have to decide if I can make more from “potential” book sales than I would make, for certain, as a disabled retiree…. which is a scary proposition, to be sure. There is no guarantee that anything I publish would sell well… One may hope, but it wouldn’t be wise to count too heavily on the tastes of the general public to support me in my golden years…. That particular grouping is a bit too unpredictable to make that something worth betting on with real money…. People are too random to ever let myself fall into that trap….  But, there is also my pride to consider, and my belief in myself….

Ah well, having reached an age where I can use my mind to look ahead, as well as behind, I know the best thing to do for now is NOTHING. I’ll just go along for a while, and see how I like living on disability, and whether the amount I’m able to count on will be enough for my wants…. I know it will meet my needs, for I’ve been doing that for over two years now, on less than half what I’ll be getting….

If what I will be making is enough to fix my financial picture, set up a legacy, and get some traveling done, then I’ll just go with the flow for a while…. Then, when I’ve got several books ready for publishing, I’ll maybe take a chance, and put them on the market…. I figure I’ll need to make about a half-million or so to be able to cover my retirement for the remainder of my time, so, after a time of waiting, I will have a better chance at making it work…. Hey, it’s a plan, anyway…. Even if it doesn’t come to fruition, it’s will give me a direction in which to travel…..

Well, that was certainly chatty and informative, wasn’t it? Being positive y’all are mostly asleep by now, I’ll quickly change directions, and see if the cabin movement will wake anyone up, without frightening anyone with loud noises…. I’m not sure where all this personal chat stuff came from; I guess I’ve been brooding more than I thought, being forced, again, to wait for the bureaucracy to finish grinding its wheels…. I’ve got verbal confirmation, but, so far, nothing else…. Oh well… Since this intro has grown beyond all rational bounds, I’d best be off to dive….  Shall we Pearl?
__________________________________

I’m uncertain at this juncture whether a rant is on tap, so we’ll begin with an old-school pearl, to see how the waters are today…. Random pattern, with, hmm, let’s see, I know…. I’ll keep the word “truth” in mind today as I cruise, using it as the touchstone for picking today’s pearls, and we’ll see what we can come up with for your edification, and positive delectation…..

“It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 785

“You thought, as a boy, that a mage is one who can do anything.  So I thought, once.  So did we all.  And the truth is that as a man’s real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower:  until at last he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he _must_ do.” — Ursula K. LeGuin, _A Wizard of Earthsea_

“It is not enough that we swallow truth: we must feed upon it, as insects do on the leaf, till the whole heart be colored by its qualities, and show its food in every fibre.” — Coleridge

“The goal of all life is death.” — Sigmund Freud

“Beware of me, for I am a poet!” — Friedrich Nietzsche, “Thus Spake Zarathustra”

Well, that turned out fairly well….. Let’s see what else we can find…..

“..  does your DRESSING ROOM have enough ASPARAGUS?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Whoops!  😳  Sorry, couldn’t help myself…. One more, then I’ll leave you be for the moment….

“Being intelligent is not a felony.  But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.” — Lazarus Long

There you go, a complete, accurate take on truth in advertising in modern America…. Really, it is…. Oh, hell, just let is simmer for a while, until it gets to a consistency you can use….. Meanwhile, we’ll go on….
__________________________________

I had hoped that a poem was percolating in my head, but, if so, it’s not giving out any advance notices…. so, I will retreat into one of my default positions, and find an appropriate piece by another of my favorites…. We’ll see what Google comes up with today…. Okay, this will do nicely…. Here is one from a most powerful voice; the poem has nothing to do with anything in particular for me today, I just like it….. and so will you, I think….

SWEENEY AMONG THE NIGHTINGALES

APENECK SWEENEY spreads his knees
Letting his arms hang down to laugh,
The zebra stripes along his jaw
Swelling to maculate giraffe.

The circles of the stormy moon
Slide westward toward the River Plate,
Death and the Raven drift above
And Sweeney guards the horned gate.

Gloomy Orion and the Dog
Are veiled; and hushed the shrunken seas;
The person in the Spanish cape
Tries to sit on Sweeney’s knees

Slips and pulls the table cloth
Overturns a coffee-cup,
Reorganized upon the floor
She yawns and draws a stocking up;

The silent man in mocha brown
Sprawls at the window-sill and gapes;
The waiter brings in oranges
Bananas figs and hothouse grapes;

The silent vertebrate in brown
Contracts and concentrates, withdraws;
Rachel née Rabinovitch
Tears at the grapes with murderous paws;

She and the lady in the cape
Are suspect, thought to be in league;
Therefore the man with heavy eyes
Declines the gambit, shows fatigue,

Leaves the room and reappears
Outside the window, leaning in,
Branches of wisteria
Circumscribe a golden grin;

The host with someone indistinct
Converses at the door apart,
The nightingales are singing near
The Convent of the Sacred Heart,

And sang within the bloody wood
When Agamemnon cried aloud,
And let their liquid droppings fall
To stain the stiff dishonored shroud.

~~ T.S. Eliot
__________________________________

Okay, so I’ve decided to cheat…. I’m feeling lazy, and late, so I’m going to fall back on some of the material I’ve written in the past…. Below you will find two Pearls, both of which were created sometime in 2006 or 2007; it’s hard to tell, but from the format, and the placement in my archives (which are NOT clearly labeled for posterity….), that is about when these first appeared. Both were written for the 250 or so ffolkes who received it when I was sending them out at NSH, from my office in Program 3…. The first is from a Friday, the second is from the following Tuesday, I think…. Any who, I think they’ll be perfect for today’s mood….

Fit is never a problem…

Ffolkes,
No I don’t know, so don’t ask. It is Friday, and it promises to be very….interesting. And it has already been a somewhat remarkable week, in perhaps too many ways. I can’t recall feeling this fatigued, even on a Friday, for a long time. Some of it is no doubt medication related, but the brain is not just tired, but deep-fried. Hence….

Warning: Whimsical when bored.

Paradise : two cubes with dots on them.
Paradox : Dr. Kildare & Doc Holliday

“Consciousness is that which it is not, and is not that which it is.” — Sartre

“This writing business. Pencils and whatnot. Overrated, if you ask me.” — Winnie the Pooh

Y’all take care out there….

Next, this little gem, from a few days later….

if you have to ask….

Ffolkes,
When I am distressed I tend to retreat; I think that is a natural reaction. What may be the important thing to consider is to where we retreat. What gives us shelter from Reality and its’ harsh and painful nature? Most times I’ll pick up a book, and try to find something in it that eases the pain, or at least postpones it until I can deal. Here is what I found today……

“It did not matter, after all. He was only one man. One man’s fate is not important.
If it is not, what is?
He could not endure those remembered words.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin

Too, too deep, and yet deeper still we shall go, in search of a Truth…

Y’all take care out there…..

So, there you go…. a double blast from the past…. I hope you enjoyed it….  🙂
__________________________________

Alright, so it turned into a real battle today; this Pearl did NOT come quietly….. But, it’s done. Let’s see how it drapes on the wall….  Aside from the altogether-too-long intro section, not too bad. The intro, though not quite classifiable as a rant, nonetheless used up most of what I might have had to say about either politics or religion today, so, they get a rest, no doubt well-deserved…. I try not to give them very much slack; they already have things too much their own way….

Any who, it all works, I think, for another attempt to rescue my head from tearing itself to shreds from inside…. which is often how it feels in there…. Don’t think too much about it, it will only give you a headache, like it does me…. Better to just ignore it, and now that you’ve finished today’s torturous path through the wilds of Neddom, (homeland of the dubious few, the ONLY place where gigoid’s rules are valid), you can congratulate yourself at having gotten through the experience without bruises, bloodshed, or excessive stains on your character….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Promises make siblings irritable….

Ffolkes,
To the fading, faint echoes of the soft morning dew forming on the leaves, the sun shyly peeked over the Eastern hills, unsure at first, then gaining strength with each passing moment. Drawing in the beauty all around with the last breath of the morning ritual, Natomas gazed over the valley below, just waking; a cock crowed below his vantage point, bravely heralding the onrushing morning light. As he started down the path, he thought to himself that such beauty was indeed a gift from the universe, and he held the warmth of that thought inside as he strode into the day, vibrant and joyfully alive….

As he rounded a turn in the path twisting down the hillside, a large, soft weight hit him between his shoulders, causing him to stumble forward clumsily for  three dangerous steps before catching his balance. He whirled in place, and froze, looking with some instant spurt of fear at a large, snow-white tiger, sitting on his haunches, with what looked suspiciously like a grin on his face…..

Natomas straightened from his crouch, set his hands on his hips, tilted his head, and said, “Don’t you have anything more exciting to jump on this fine morning? For what arcane reason should I be the unlucky recipient of your boisterousness?” The tiger, without losing the grin at all, replied, “I guess you’re just lucky!”….. Natomas broke into his own grin, turned, and set forth, with the tiger striding at his side…..

“Why are you here, Findarel, walking with me this fine spring morning, instead of laying peacefully at my mother’s feet?” “She sent me to find you,” he growled. “She has had a vision….” Natomas’ countenance instantly grew grim, and he quickened his pace. “The same as the last?”, he queried anxiously. “She would not discuss it with me when she had it last week.” “She wishes to discuss it now….” the tiger answered, and leaped ahead, as the house among the trees came into view, knowing Natomas would not delay in following…..

Okay, so I like it too, and it’s too good a story line to ignore, so, I’ll be saving it, and expanding it as soon as I can; it promises to be interesting…. It will have to wait a week or two, as this coming week I will be heavily involved in the moving process, little baby steps at a time, so I don’t end up unable to do it at all…. This weekend has gone pretty well, all in all, and I’ve got about 85% of my stuff packed and ready to move… Most of what is left won’t be packed until the last minute, as it’s the stuff I use daily… no big deal, and I’ve already got boxes…. Piece o’cake…..

All things being the same, I could guarantee this blog’s daily appearance. However, since they are NOT the same, I may have to miss a day or two to deal with the transition from one ISP to another. So, if you don’t see a post here on Friday, or Saturday next, fear not, I shall return. New vistas are opening up…. I hope my vertigo doesn’t kick in…. That all said, it must be time to get started on today’s dive…. Shall we Pearl?…..
___________________________________

“In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

In a perfect demonstration of the accuracy of Herr Nietzche’s assertion, I give you Senator Dan Quayle, a veritable paragon of Christianity, speaking, with absolute faith, and insane illogic, the rigid and hateful prejudices as obsessed over by the Church of the Brain Dead….. one of many such cults common to the not-so-outer-fringes of the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and other religions, all of which are prone to creation of pockets of entirely too vocal enclaves of zealous fundamentalists, who spew their strident hatred and bigotry all over the innocent, and the different…. Dan said, and this is a quote….

“You’re a very strong woman… Though this would be a traumatic experience that you would never forget, I think that you would be very successful in life.” — Senator Dan Quayle telling an 11-year-old girl — why he would want her to have the baby if she were raped — by her father, 10/18/88 (reported in Esquire, 8/92)

After you have recovered from the shock of encountering (again) such abject inhumanity, racism, bigotry, you name it and they are doing it (‘they’ being anyone who even listens to this tripe without gagging, and including any other religious zealotry as practiced in other religions beside the Christian cults) (cults is the correct word, trust me….), I’d like to scare you even further, so take a deep breath….

“If I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircles us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries. I wish therefore to wrestle with the snake.” — Mahatma Gandhi

The just released, official platform of the Republican Party for the 2012 election, lays out in clear detail the very spirit of what Mr. Quayle is quoted as saying above. Their stances on women’s healthcare, and the basic rights women to decide for themselves how to live, LGBT rights and marriage (in)equality, immigration, tax cuts for the rich, tax raises for the middle and lower classes, continued reliance on the same failed economic policies that killed the economy (trickle-down theory, supply side economics), cuts to and actual elimination of Social Security and Medicare for seniors, voter suppression techniques reminiscent of the post-Civil War era….all are designed to turn back the clock to the middle of the last century, and further, in the case of women’s rights, and voter’s rights for minorities (which are no longer minorities….).

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” — H. L. Mencken

The frightened white, rich bankers and politicos are starting to realize that they are no longer actually in the majority…. close, but not enough to matter, since many, many of us honkies are technically on the other side of the fence, having more faith in humanity and basic human rights, than in perpetrating religious zealotry, or spreading lies and fear under the guise of politics.

“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleges, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.” — Tolstoy

This is so true….. It is insight like this, into the very nature of man, that frightens the beloved ruling class, and has since the time of Tolstoy, and before. The complacent culture that has derived from the young, energetic society of our forebears has lost the will to suffer change. They cannot imagine life different from what they know, and don’t wish to know.

Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for the rest of us here in the real world, there are now more of us than there are of them….. provided all of us who know, and care, get out there to vote in November. It is a matter of making the, to me, obvious choice, to take a path that leads to a future for all of us, instead taking us back to a time that no longer exists, and is meant only for a few….. It’s a no-brainer, to my way of thinking….

“Is a tattoo real, like a curb or a battleship?  Or are we suffering in Safeway?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Take care ffolkes, we don’t want to end up suffering in Safeway…… really, you don’t want to do that…..  I can testify…..

A disciple of another sect once came to Drescher as he was eating his morning meal.  “I would like to give you this personality test”, said the outsider, “because I want you to be happy.” Drescher took the paper that was offered him and put it into the toaster- “I wish the toaster to be happy too”. — AI koan
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Kubla Khan

By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

What can be said, but, wow….. Wow…. Forgot how good this was/is…. Hope you enjoyed it, too…..
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Dreaming, I wait….

In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
to give no anxious fever, anger to eschew.

Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
shall fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.

Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.

Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.

Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in the oceans of natural delight.

When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
and the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.

Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art…..

~~ gigoid

And there you have it…. such as it is. I hope you can appreciate just how bloody a process this is for me… but, if not, I hope you at least enjoy the poem for its brave journey into madness…   🙂
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In the interests of honesty and full disclosure, most, if not all of this Pearl was composed yesterday afternoon, when I fell into a semi-trance-like state, during which I ripped out the rant in the first section, found, read, copied, pasted,and formatted Kubla Khan, and then opened up a vein and poured myself into the poem…. I’m not sure what I’ll do with all this extra time this morning, but I’m sure I’ll think of something…. Maybe I’ll change the dressing on my open vein….. 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!

Hordes of unqualified gowns….

Ffolkes,
Yesterday morning’s fiasco, although handled adroitly, apparently has had repercussions. I’ve received notice from some lawyer that my Inspiration is suing me for abduction, kidnapping, cruel and unusual abuse, and calumny, whatever that is…. The little shit decided to call a lawyer on me! What nerve!

First, he fails to live up to the agreement we made when we first started working together, as he spent more time at the local bars than giving me ideas. When he did work with me, he was surly, uncommunicative, and generally a pain in the ass. Then, just because I needed him to work yesterday, and wouldn’t let him leave, the little asshole sues me…. typical, I’d say. He must have been listening to Murphy….I’ve seen them huddled together several times, pointing at me and laughing….

Ah well, I think I’m going to fire him anyway; he just wasn’t very good at his job. Now I can do it without any guilt… I’m not worried about the law suit; I had him on contract, and it’s all documented. Still, I hate to fail at anything…. but, he never would invest anything into his work, and motivation for Inspiration isn’t my expertise, or my job, once they’ve agreed to sign the contract.

So, I’m not worried; more disappointed. He wasn’t a bad person, and occasionally gave me some good stuff, but I can’t deal with deliberate laziness. I’d rather beat my head against a wall (my usual form of finding inspiration…) than try to get a lazy person to work.

So, having made that decision, we can now move on to the business at hand, that being the composition of pearls of virtual wisdom (remember, VIRTUAL wisdom; don’t try this at home, kids…)  Shall we Pearl?…..
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Life! we ‘ve been long together
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
‘T is hard to part when friends are dear,–
Perhaps ‘t will cost a sigh, a tear;
Then steal away, give little warning,
Choose thine own time;
Say not “Good night,” but in some brighter clime
Bid me “Good morning.”

— Mrs. Barbauld (1743-1825) — Life

I’m not sure why I put this here, except that I like it. I’m not sure, either, why I like it. It’s simple, and with a nice cadence, but the content is merely average. I guess I just like the sentiment, which is, to my eye, pretty positive in its outlook. Being cynical and rather curmudgeonly by nature, I admire those who can maintain a positive outlook on Life, and for some reason, this poem gives that to me. You can’t ask more of a poem….
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We continue today with an old school pearl…. here are six quotes, all on the same general subject. They lead one on a short, meandering path to a very valuable lesson. That lesson is left, for the nonce, as an exercise for the Gentle Reader…..

“There is nothing which cannot be answered by means of my doctrine,” said a monk, coming into a teahouse where Nasrudin sat.  “And yet just a short time ago, I was challenged by a scholar with an unanswerable question,” said Nasrudin. “I could have answered it if I had been there.” “Very well.  He asked, ‘Why are you breaking into my house in the middle of the night?’ — Smart Bee

It would be nice to be sure of anything the way some people are of everything. — Smart Bee

“The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is that the surrendering and humbling of the self breeds pride and arrogance.” — Eric Hoffer

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness — II Timothy 3:16

If the Bible proves that God exists then comic books prove the existence of Superman. — Smart Bee

“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of a virgin will be classified with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated Reformer of human errors.” — Thomas Jefferson

There you go….. I think the lesson here is a valuable one, so I’m hoping that everyone picked up on it. It may just help the status of society at large; the more people who know this concept, and actually live it, the better of we will be, and the longer we can put off our imminent extinction….
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The Suicide’s Argument

Ere the birth of my life, if I wished it or no
No question was asked me–it could not be so !
If the life was the question, a thing sent to try
And to live on be YES; what can NO be ? to die.

NATURE’S ANSWER

Is’t returned, as ’twas sent ? Is’t no worse for the wear ?
Think first, what you ARE ! Call to mind what you WERE !
I gave you innocence, I gave you hope,
Gave health, and genius, and an ample scope,
Return you me guilt, lethargy, despair ?
Make out the invent’ry ; inspect, compare !
Then die–if die you dare !

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Suicide among teens in this country has reached pandemic proportions in the first decade of this century. It seems to be connected to the apparent rise in “bullying” in schools, and online; many of the teens who kill themselves reported having been abused and bullied, usually for being gay, or obese, or just for being different in some way.

I can acknowledge from my own teenage years that the kids who get the best grades are often bullied and/or discriminated against by the other kids for just that reason (I wore glasses, too, and can’t count how many times somebody called me “egghead”…). I was fortunate, in having a strong ego that could stand up to the bullying, and push back, and by also being a good athlete, which gave me an acceptable ticket into the society of my peers. Many people don’t have those advantages, and they must internalize their pain and anguish, which eventually leads to their demise.

It is a very difficult problem to address, as the root cause lies in human nature. People acting in groups are not as predictable, or as reasonable, as a single person. And they often turn to action based upon the lowest common denominator of the group, which generally is fear…. fear of the unknown, which a person who is different represents in their eyes.

It’s sad, it’s pathetic, and it’s all too true; humans in groups tend to pick on those who are viewed as a threat to the group, whether the threat is real or not (usually not). And all too often it is the young gay person, or the artist, or the one with weight problems who is viewed as a threat, even though there is no rational basis for believing that.

I don’t know the exact answer. I know that being able to stand up to a bully will usually get them to stop, but not everyone has that kind of strength; their uniqueness may be in another aspect of human nature. I think most likely, the change, if it is to come, will have to start the same place that society needs to start to change, to wit: human nature, or at the very least, human morality. When parents teach their children to appreciate the diversity of life, instead of fearing all that is not the same as them, then this type of behavior will become irrelevant. It won’t be an issue, because the bullying won’t happen in the first place….

All of us know about the experiment with the rats, and how, when placed in conditions of extreme over-population, the rats behavior deteriorated, and became counter-productive in a survival sense. They began to be irritable, even violent with each other, and eventually got to a point where they were killing and eating one another.

Guess what folks? We are rats, we are in a cage, and we have begun showing the symptoms of severe over-population. And it isn’t going to change, unless we can find a way to change our inner lives, and begin to look at the world as something we are a part of, not its master….. and in essence, if we don’t change, we will end up dead, having committed suicide, because of our own nature’s predilection for irrational behaviors in the face of fear of the unknown…..
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In retrospect, this didn’t turn out too badly. What with the situation with my Inspiration, and the amount of pain I woke up with today, I was a bit concerned I might not be able to write well enough to satisfy my inner critic. But, it’s good enough…. it’s way better than government work, for sure….. 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!

Righting controversial wrongs…..

Ffolkes,
Failing to summon inspiration is fairly common for me in the morning. Sometimes it takes a full cuppa and a session in the shower before I’m fully cognizant. It isn’t usually a problem, unless, like today, I sit down to write before I’m fully engaged. So, like any other sneaky-pants, I’ll just talk about it long enough to call it an intro, and head on down the road…..btw, the artwork worked out okay, but not as well as I’d hoped, so I’m going to put a hold on that until I can figure out an efficient way to include it…..
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“[E]lections amount to little more than choosing between the scum that floats to the top of the barrel and the dregs that settle to the bottom.” — L. Neil Smith

There are at least two facets of this gem that disturb me, aside from its obvious veracity, and I can’t decide which is the more unsettling. First, the fact that it is funny is a sad commentary on our political scene; we always laugh at what hurts the most, and having to laugh about the choices we have in the political arena hurts a great deal. I’m not particularly happy about it when I have to make a choice between the lesser of two evils; no matter which is chosen, it’s still evil. 

Even more disturbing to me, however, is the failure of courage this implies on the part of the general populace. Continually forced to make poor choices, the people have become resigned to low-quality leadership, and haven’t the heart to demand changes. The mere fact of existence for this ‘joke’ indicates that we, as a society, have given up, and are apathetic about which particular member of our beloved ruling class is currently stealing from us. We are so used to being bent over and violated, we walk around with no belt, and a jar of Vaseline, so it hurts less, and ends sooner……
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“Anyone can be a barbarian; it requires a terrible effort to remain a civilized man.” — Leonard Sidney Woolf

The number of barbarians in society keeps climbing, with no sign of stopping soon. It’s a proven mathematical fact that as human population grows, the average IQ of the species grows smaller. No way around it, it’s just mathematical reality. This means that as time goes on, we are slowly but steadily losing our capacity to use the only evolutionary advantage we possess, and as a side-effect, the ability to devise a strategy to overcome this process grows ever weaker.

To reach a civilized state requires the ability to learn, and the inclination to do so. It’s hard work, and as time goes by, fewer and fewer people are invested in making the required effort. This issue remains an insidious threat to our survival as a species, one that 99% of the population have not the wit to even perceive. One can only hope that the segment of society who remain capable of rational thought will be able to use their imagination and creativity well enough to thrive, or even just survive, in the future. At this point, the odds are not in our favor…..

“Must the hunger become anger and the anger fury before anything will be done?” — John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
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A limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I’ve seen
So seldom are clean,
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

Limerick response;
small beauty creates
haiku forged in empathy.

Not too shabby. The limerick isn’t mine; I found it while diving for Pearls, and it is just so perfectly balanced, and witty, I had to include it. The moment I pasted it into this document, the urge to haiku struck, with a vengeance. Subsequently, the haiku itself almost wrote itself; it took less than two minutes to get it down and done. Unusual for me, to say the least, though if I am adept at any sort of poetry at all, it would be haiku. I like the way large pieces of reality can be crammed into merely a few syllables; just makes my little heart go all soft and gooey in appreciation. Now isn’t that a strange mental image to saddle you with on a Monday morning? Why, yes, I believe it is…..
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Where does it go?  It doesn’t matter.  Flush it.

Ugly, ugly, ugly…..this attitude, this arrogant entitlement that pays no heed to anything outside its own narrow little world-view, is a succinct demonstration of what will kill us all, most likely sooner than later. I know I’ve said it before, and I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m being redundant, but this message is one that will not wait for anyone’s sensibilities to evolve. This is what the CIA calls a ‘real and present danger’.  Our planet’s ecosystem is on the verge of collapsing; the very bottom of the food chain, plankton, is very near extinction. When it dies, all the other sea life will perish, followed in short order with the rest of the living creatures on this poor little ball of mud.

All of this is not merely theory, it is established, proven scientific fact. And what is the response of the beloved ruling class? Complete denial. Those few in positions of power who believe this, and consistently work toward a solution, have all of their efforts blocked, delayed, ridiculed, and otherwise fully opposed by the vast majority of our class of legal thieves. They, and their ilk, who flush indiscriminately, heedless of its subsequent effects, use every effort to keep any useful changes from ever becoming reality, because for them, the bottom line says simply, “there’s no profit in it for me”………never realizing they are dragging the rest of down with them on their headlong rush to meet the grim reaper……
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We’ll end today on a relatively light note. These are just a few randoms, part of which I found, and part of which was my response to my discoveries……

The following statement is true.
The preceding statement is false.

Quick Quiz Question: what is the next logical statement needed to complete the concept?

QQQ answer: And everything I say is a lie…….

“Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The trouble with common sense is that it is so uncommon.

Ain’t logic grand?

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Somehow, I feel like I missed something…..I can’t put my finger on it, but duty calls, and this effort will have to suffice. It’s not too bad, all things considered. I shall go henceforth into the day, and fear it not…… y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!