Bathing in a babbling brook….


There were the Scots
Who kept the Sabbath
And everything else they could lay their hands on.
Then there were the Welsh
Who prayed on their knees and their neighbors.
Thirdly there were the Irish
Who never knew what they wanted
But were willing to fight for it anyway.
Lastly there were the English
Who considered themselves a self-made nation
Thus relieving the Almighty of a dreadful responsibility.

~~ Unix file, /usr/local/bin/fortune ~~

syf 3
Steal Your Face, Grateful Dead logo

I don’t care what anyone else may tell you, but, I am here to testify, there is little in this world more frustrating to a writer than a mind emptier than the page at which we are blankly staring. Especially when it tells us it has this great idea, then, when the time comes to begin typing, it’s nowhere to be found; moreover, there is no evidence at all it ever actually existed. In short, it lied to me… My own mind, lying to me, just so I would leave it be…. It occurs to me to bite myself.

Rather than do so, I’ll just mention what also just occurred to me, to wit: Y’know, ffolkes, in today’s world, we are now in the unenviable position, historically speaking, of having placed ourselves right in front of the fan, and the shit is about to hit it, if it hasn’t already started flying through the air, along with all the OTHER CRAP we have poured into it in the last 150 years…. and, we don’t have a change of clothing to put on, even IF we can clean it off after it’s done filling our eyes, ears, and random orifices….

Ah well, at least it got us this far down the page, without the obviously superfluous concept of having something intelligent, or even amusing, to say to y’all about today’s Pearl. I suppose I could give y’all a few hints, but, then there’d be no surprises, and the surprises may be ALL we have to offer today. Hard to tell at this point, when I haven’t even looked to see what is done, and what isn’t. I had already decided, before sitting down, not to worry about that part until done with this. Of course, that was before I knew I wouldn’t have a bloody thing worth saying in my head, probably until after eating something, so there is at least some material inside me from which to create a bit of energy…. Or, not. At this point, who cares?

Okay, so, I’ll use this tool here to fix this. It’s our only hope, I think, of getting out of here without my having to resort to some rather drastic measures, which the insurance company has warned me to stop using, as they cause us to use up the deductibles too fast. Today, sadly, I don’t think I’m going to have much of a choice, not if we intend to get anywhere close to finishing this before lunch. I shall reluctantly use the most efficacious of the emergency methods, #4, which is the fastest, and most popular, of all our methods of extrication…. Here’s how it works….

Shall we Pearl?

“Courage is the complement of fear. A man who is fearless cannot be courageous. (He is also a fool.)” — Lazarus Long


After having studied Judo, some Karate, both Korean and Japanese styles, some Jujitsu, a bit of Aikido, and Tai Chi, I moved on to the oldest and most complete of the Arts, Kung Fu, finally settling in a school whose sifu taught the Praying Mantis style of Shaolin Kung Fu, as practiced by the monks of the Taoist temple in Shaolin. When my kids were 12, and 10, I enrolled them in the classes, to give them the discipline and knowledge that give the gift of removing one’s fear of violence from life, a gift of nearly incalculable value. Both of them have benefited enormously for gaining the skills which bring us confidence, and the ability to think when others are frozen in fear….

Today’s video is one of the more advanced forms to be learned; there are a great many of them. Master Wu Nanfang, one of the two fourth generation Shaolin Chan Wu Yi Kung Fu Masters from the Wugulun lineage, does a Dragon Form in the grounds of the famous Shaolin temple in Dengfeng City, Henan Province, China.

Dragon Form






“A faith-holder puts himself below his faith and lets it guide his actions. The fanatic puts himself above it and uses it as an excuse for his actions.” — Gordon Dickson, Chantry Guild

At long last! I’ve finally found the pearl which gives me the springboard to present an EXACT explanation of the fatal flaw in human nature, responsible for so much of the misery and pain in this sad old world we inhabit. Here is the perfect pearl for it; it shows the exact relationship which turns every human endeavor from whatever good intent it followed, to take it on a path which has no other end but self-destruction. I know, elegantly obscure, is it not? Lovely use of logic to cloud the issue….

Still, with the proper treatment, this will do just fine, to give me the metaphoric example I’ve looked for, which can be used as a benchmark to measure a related, but, separate issue, with similar parameters. Both of these methods attempting to discern WHY many of the more egregiously insane events we have seen all throughout our crazy, violent history take place; to explain, as it were, why so many people die for no good reason…. Easy, and quite obvious to me.

Part of being human is to have a choice, at birth, with our first perception of reality in this state of consciousness, of whether to approach the universe with open eyes and hearts, admitting our willingness to learn, or to react to what we feel and see with fear, turning away from that which frightens us, learning to accept a consensus given by others, perverting imagination into cunning, and the tendency to ignore the urgings of the heart, and the mind….

Those who choose a path of knowledge and reason, versus one of fear, faith, and ignorance, by opening their minds and hearts, learn to use the power of imagination to create beauty and harmony in a universe of wonderful complexity, with the very entertaining characteristic of Entropy, and Chaos, as equal parts of what is here to be perceived, right alongside their opposite, yet complementary qualities of Order, and Will.

Destruction is a part of Reality, to balance Creativity; Compassion is balanced by Indifference; all the universe exists in duality, explaining the reason our senses operate as they do…. by registering and decoding the sensory perceptions present in reality with eyes which see by the presence or absence of light, ears which hear the silence between the notes, and other senses which offer their own interpretation of energy manifesting in other forms, yet still, in duality….

“Either God exists or He doesn’t.  Either I believe in God or I don’t. Of the four possibilities, only one is to my disadvantage. To avoid that possibility, I believe in god.” — Pascal

In these blog posts, I often sound, no doubt, as if I have no doubt, particularly when speaking of those who rely on faith-based reasoning to decide how to live their lives. I cannot respect such a decision, as it is the kind that cannot possibly be made if using the most simple standards of truth, and reason. No person willing to look at the evidence with an open mind could make such a decision, for it is possibly the most unbelievable set of delusions one could come up with; yet, for thousands of years, the modern version of snake-oil salesmen have passed off this unreasonable story as if it was truth, insisting each and every individual who believes otherwise to be wrong, no matter how compelling the evidence of their arguments.

Now, I can’t claim to be the most ethical, or moral, or most virtuous of men; I am much more accurately described as the above Warrior of Light, full of self-doubts, unsure, in my darker moments, of my own worth. Yet, I am able to say with some objectivity, I find myself also to be much more honest, and truthful, than perhaps 75% of the people in the world. (I would add, of the remaining 25%, approximately 98% of them are wrong; in effect, lying to themselves, through ignorance or innocence, most of the time, thus, not always their fault, or choice…. Very few of the people I’ve met in the world are very concerned with truth at all, other than as a vague concept they have heard about, but seldom consider either objectively, or, as regards themselves….)

My own claim to virtue, partial as it may be, is based on an advantage I enjoy over most people I have known, (aside from my siblings, of course), of having Master Sgt. Robert H. Moore always standing behind me, monitoring all such issues as they occur in my life…. Since I was a teenager, and before, whenever I couldn’t figure out, or didn’t know what was the RIGHT thing to do in a difficult situation, I would simply imagine my dad, standing nearby, watching.

Somehow, I’d usually be able to find the correct, most ethical, most honest way to deal with whatever it may have been; it wasn’t always the easiest, or most efficient way, (in fact, easy seldom entered the picture…), but, it always seems to work out best, for ALL the concerned parties…. Perhaps it’s merely a fantasy of my own making, but, it has always worked for me….

In fact, my dad was pretty good at teaching me, and my siblings, the most important lessons I learned, without needing to actually speak directly about them very often at all. Not that he was taciturn, or silent; just not very voluble, unless stimulated by intense emotion. Instead, he just lived his own way, so that as we watched, the right way to do things was perfectly clear. This meant that, with merely a look, he could tell us whether our behavior met his approval; if you did well, he said so. If you didn’t, he didn’t need to speak at all.

To me, that’s a very big advantage over whatever other people’s families may have done for them in this respect; I can use my own mind to make decisions, as long as I do that in a way that my dad would approve of; otherwise, I find, nothing comes out as well as when I live according to the following list of rules, which could easily have been dictated by my father, the aforementioned Sgt. Moore…..

A Gentleman Is

    So, though I am not perfect, or holy, or Superman, or in any other way more special than anyone else, other than, perhaps, in my unique mindset, I feel confident that my opinions on human nature are valid, based on evidence, not faith. This, if nothing else, satisfies me, in terms of having lived up to my chosen duty, and have not added to the weight of oppression and darkness that so afflicts our world, because of that oh-so-human nature, and its incredibly powerful negative effects on our planet, and other forms of life, including, sadly, our fellow men…. Ah well, karma exists, if only as a metaphor for reality, so, time will tell the final story….

“All you can do, is all you can do.”

~~ gigoid ~~


Here is another great poem from my poetess/friend, Maggie Mae, a still-young artist I believe will one day be known to the entire English speaking world…. Seriously, you will see what I mean when you’ve seen some of her work. I often get a feeling of dejá vu after reading her poems, similar to the reaction I get at times to Miss Emily Dickinson, though their styles are, if not worlds apart, are in different rooms in the same palace of Art….

I suppose it may have something to do with both women seeming to find the concept of overt rhyming to be superfluous to their poetry; when a rhyme is needed, it is there. Most of the time, the content, rhythm, and imagery they use is sufficient to create the intended message, without requiring them to stay within the boundaries of convention.

Maggie Mae sees the world with the same KIND of vision as did Emily, but, with her own eyes and mind to interpret what she sees, in striking images of great metaphorical power, images which go straight to the inner brain, swirling there, bringing a message from the universe for us to learn…. Enjoy, ffolkes… I’ve included a link to her site after the poem, so you may see exactly what I mean….

A Theory of Rubies

because we find them in solids
gripping to thousands of pasts

because we find them under ground,
where muscles swell
for obligation rather than

because there is this one girl
who carries them in her eyes,
who can make every drop of rain
fall at once
and, in the desert, naked on
black tar, can
bring the cool moon breeze

because if I follow her
behind echo’s and become her reverse,
I will go way of all flesh,
dive back into my former
rutile inclusions

because she seems like a solid

because we are the color of wine

because the theory of rubies is
they are imperfect,


Ffolkes…. The following pearl showed up on SB, in virtually the order you see, with only minor shifts needed to finalize the process. I can’t explain it, nor will I try. I suggest you just allow your mind to follow along, to wherever it may lead you…..

There is an enormous oyster here with its shell tightly closed.

Interesting. Interesting.

There seems to be something written on the underside of the oyster.

another from LouPicture and text stolen from Lou


For ’twas not into my ear you whispered but into my heart.

‘Twas not my lips you kissed, but my soul.

~~ Judy Garland ~~

“Diligence increaseth the fruit of toil. A dilatory man wrestles with losses.” — Hesiod (c. 700 BC) — Works and Days, Line 412

“If fear alters behavior, you’re already defeated.” — Brenda Hammond

“He had that rare weird electricity about him — that extremely wild and heavy presence that you only see in a person who has abandoned all hope of ever behaving “normally.” — Hunter S. Thompson (b. 1939), journalist — Fear and Loathing ’72

“Discussions of morality must inevitably lead to immoral statements.” — Bradshaw

“Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, “Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good…” At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down.  All the people make a rush for the lamp post, the lamp post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmedieval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have puled the lamp post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, today, tomorrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light.  Only what we might have discussed under the gas lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.” — G. K. Chesterton, _Heretics_, 1905

“Diogenes struck the father when the son swore.” — Robert Burton (1577-1640) — The Anatomy of Melancholy, Part iii, Sect. 2, Memb. 2, Subsect. 5

“He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.” — Rafael Sabatini

“Gone, glimmering through the dream of things that were.”

~~ Lord Byron (1788-1824) ~~

~~ Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto ii, Stanza 2 ~~


Fortunately for me, I had a lot of this Pearl done before starting today; I’m up pretty late, having again slept better than has been my habit of late…. Not that it seems to be of great value as yet; I still feel tired, from the constant stress I’ve been under, thanks to my HMO. Ah well, getting one of these done, in spite of that, is quite satisfying, and, since that feeling is rather rare these days, I’ll take it, and be on my way into the day. See y’all on the rebound, 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


“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Just putt the damn thing, Rollo….

Oddly enough, I woke up today feeling odd.  That is to say, not quite wrong, but not quite right, know what I mean?  No? Well, hmm…. okay, how’s this?  As I look around my humble abode this dark morning (well, it IS only 4:30 AM or so…..), and I rest my gaze upon some random item (such as my guitar, rescued at last from the clutches of the pawn shop…. I swear, it’s never going back there again….), out of the corner of my eye, a shadow moves, just enough to catch my attention. Of course,  I look over quickly, but nothing is there, of course.

It’s not really disturbing, or scary…. just odd. Well, having had that word applied to me often enough in my life, beginning at a very early age (four year-olds tend toward confusion when one of their peers, me, of course, prefers to stay inside and reading to being outside torturing insects….. they’re not confronted with that attitude a lot….) (actually, I loved it outside, I just hated the pulling wings off flies part…. sickos, even back then….), I’m not going to spend a lot of time worrying about it…. unless the shadow gets a lot more solid, and makes a threatening move toward me……  “Worriers spend a lot of their time chasing smoke.”– Claude McDonald

Well, I don’t see how I could have come up with an introductory section with any less gripping interest than this one, and that’s for sure and for certain…. quite the yawner, isn’t it?  Ah well, I suppose I can’t hit the sweet spot EVERY day……. I guess we’ll just go Pearl, and consider this a wash….. after you, just down those stairs and through the dimensional portal at the bottom…… I’ll meet you there in just a moment…..

If God goes to sleep will the universe dream? Just wondered…. even if there is no answer, pondering the question has value, I’d say…..

“The no-mind not-thinks no-thoughts about no-things.” — Buddha

When I came across this today, I sat and thought about it for a few moments, trying to absorb the meaning, which is unaccustomedly obscure for something Buddha said; his homilies and koans are usually quite clear. After some time following the twisting path this sentence takes one down, I had to start chuckling, for I had realized the truth. I think the Buddha was misquoted on this one (hey, it happens….); whoever was on transcription duty that day was tired, or forgot his ink brushes, or some other little peccadillo that caused this particular statement to get garbled.

I think Gautama was just working out a new homily, and the student took what he was muttering as a serious quote, meant to be added to the teachings. Look at it…. he could have said, with different punctuation, something entirely different than this seems to be.  I mean, think about it…. would one of history’s greatest teachers, known for the elegant reasoning and beautifully worded form of his lessons, allow a statement of quadruple negatives to be put out with his name on it? I think not…. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time trying to figure out how this one can help you in your search for truth and enlightenment; you’re liable to get stuck in the same position for a long time, trying to find your way out of the endless loop this koan produces in the mind…. while the boat leaving for Nirvana leaves without you…..

Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to victory!
Now ‘s the day and now ‘s the hour;
See the front o’ battle lour.
— Robert Burns (1759-1796)  — Bannockburn

One word.  Bagpipes. Okay, okay then, two words; try not to be so shrill, if you please….  Skirling bagpipes. There, that says it all… Maybe it’s the wee bit of Scots blood I have in me that makes me hear the skirling of the pipes whenever I read this from Robert (which is pronounced “Rrrrawberrrrt Burrrrrns!”, with the “r’s” rolled like they hoops fleeing a small boy with a stick. The exclamation point indicates the volume at which it is spoken, or shouted, whichever term you wish to choose….).

Then again, hearing the pipes at all can be considered a hallucination, or a delusion, or at minimum, a perversion, at least in the eyes and ears of the English.  The English still do not have a comfortable time thinking of the Scots; probably something to do with their long history of periodically having to confront large, angry, naked, madly capering, blue men with large, sharp weapons, who were about to do their best to kill them, dancing about insanely to the tune, for lack of a better word, of the pipers.

Fortunately for the rest of England, the English monarchs figured out how to pacify the Scots.  They just began granting public house licenses to every little hamlet in the Highlands, and made sure the ‘pubs’ were amply supplied with Scotch whiskey and stout. They also encouraged Scottish involvement in their own pacification, by also granting licenses to manufacture even more & better varieties and brands of single malt, double malt, blended,  and other exotic Scotch whiskeys.

Finally, to put the cap to the issue, the English cleverly taught the Scots how to angle for trout in the Highland streams, to keep them fed, fit, and healthy (and not occupied with revolt against the king), as well as convincing them they were all fantastic painters of their homeland, so they would stay there trying to paint….. pretty clever, eh? No wonder the Scots still refer to the English as Sassenach, which is, I doubt, a term of endearment….. Google only says it means ‘English, or a lowlander’. (I would say, to a Highlander, there IS no greater insult than to be called either English, OR a lowlander….)  Ain’t history grand?…..

Bagpipe: Stuff cat under arm. Pull legs and chew tail. — found scrawled on the bathroom wall at The Duke’s Wanker, a pub in the back alleys of London….. honest, I’ve seen it!….

“When you slithered out of your hole that day, and you spewed your venom all over this defenseless 12-year-old girl, you made this court’s top 10 hit list. In a way, the best sentence this court could give would be no sentence at all, because if you left this courtroom I don’t think you would be alive 10 minutes. You are nothing but a weed, a weed among wheat…And when we have a weed, it’s my job to eradicate the weed, because if you don’t you will choke the wheat. Therefore, I’m going to take you off the streets for just as long as I possibly can. It means you aren’t even eligible for parole until you’re 92. That leaves only one more count, aggravated robbery. ..You stole this little girl’s bra as a souvenir, probably to brag about it to your friends later on. Well, I’m going to give you a souvenir of Trumbull County justice. And that is, you will receive a maximum sentence of 10 to 25 on the aggravated robbery for the stealing of that bra. And I hope that if you last 25 years in prison that you remember that souvenir.  Get this scum out of here!” — A sentence passed by Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County, Ohio

One down, several million to go…. I wonder if this judge is still sitting on the bench; we could refer all the cases of human traffickers, rapists, abusers of women or children, and others of that ilk to his courtroom, and trust they will receive the maximum legal punishment of which the law is capable…. then, once they are inside, we just leak to the other prisoners what they are in for; I imagine they’ll take care of the rest…..

A fella has to have his dreams….. and in my dreams, I can hear them, sisters, daughters, children, all crying out for help, waiting in anguish for someone to care….. who else, then, will stand up with me?….. During the 1960’s, in times of social changes gone ‘viral’, there was a poster I saw all over Berkeley…. It pictured men and women marching together, united in purpose…. the only caption said, “Free our sisters, free ourselves!”  This is a sentiment we all need to embrace, as valid now as it was over 40 years ago; if not now, when?…..

Okay, let’s try this….. I’ll lump all these together, and get them all out of the way (translate: out of my head….) all in one swell foop.  See, perfect timing, again….

A new Sports Stadium was completed in Warsaw, Poland, recently. There have  been a large number of complaints about the design, since no matter where  you are seated, you are seated behind a Pole. (Sorry about that, really, terribly so, awful much!)

“I love to go down to the schoolyard and watch all the little children jump up  and down and run around yelling and screaming…They don’t know I’m only using blanks.” — Emo Phillips

Catastrophe: An award for the cat with the nicest buns.

“Hanging is too good for a man who makes puns; he should be drawn and quoted.” — Fred Allen (Sarcasm is the sour cream of wit.)

“A poet who reads their work in public may have other nasty habits” — Lazarus Long (Robert Heinlein)

Elvis Presley had a twin brother named Jesse who died at birth. (Did I HAVE to know this?….)

Yeah, I love cats too…want to trade recipes?

Okay, that’s probably enough of that…. I wouldn’t want to cause any nausea before breakfast….. I feel lighter and cleaner now, with all that stuff out of my head. Hopefully, so do you…. of course, this is not to say that dark and dirty doesn’t have its place…. I’ve always loved mud football at night…..   🙂

Ode on a Grecian Urn

by John Keats

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? what maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal–yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’–that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Obviously, no critical or extensive comment from me is required…. saw a snippet of this yesterday while diving for today’s pearls, and thought it would be nice to show the entire Ode, as evidence, should you choose to agree, of why this poem is considered by many to be the best of the best, the most influential poem in modern English literature in the time since it was first published….. ’nuff said. Just read and enjoy…. or not. To each his or her own…. gotta say, though, I can see why folks would say so….   ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’–that is all, Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know…..  Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness, Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time…. Whew! Good stuff….. and I am a connoisseur of Good Stuff, having read every copy of Mad Magazine cover to cover since the first one hit the stands……

As I look back over what I’ve written this morning, I am struck, as I often am, by the diverse subject matter included. I suppose it is a direct reflection of how my mind works, not stream of consciousness, exactly, but sort of.  I’m not certain most of the time how it will fly out there, but once I hit Publish, there’s little sense in fretting over it. I’ll just do as I always do, which is to deal with whatever responses I get, one by one, and settle for that. Not a bad way to spend time; I’ve had worse gigs in my day, that is for sure and for certain…… Y’all take care out there……

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