A Hound is on the scent…

Ffolkes,

 

“The very flower of youth.”~~ Terence (185-159 BC) ~~~~ Act ii, Sc. 3, 28, (319.) ~~

surviving munchkins

    In the “very flower of youth”,  we find these seven people, who are, quite obviously, the surviving members of the Munchkins, of Munchkin Land, in Oz…. They had come, at great expense and effort, to Earth to be honored at the 75th anniversary of the release of The Wizard of Oz, the iconic movie with a young Judy Garland, and a cast of amazing versatility (the woman who played the Wicked Witch remains to this day the most well-known example of an evil witch in our culture…. no other comes close….). The surviving Munchkins, among them one of the Lollipop Guild, and the Lord Mayor of Munchkin Town, still appear to be enjoying life to the maximum…

Well, I guess the guy on the extreme left end does appear to be a bit constipated, but, hey, at their age, I can testify, and relate…. But, then, he’s also wearing what appears to be the costume of a religious figure, (note the bishop’s mitre on his head…), I suppose he’s a right to be bummed out…. or, maybe he’s just got some bad gas…. I’ll also note the huge grin on the Lollipop kid’s face should bring the old fella around; who can resist a face with such happy camaraderie in it? He certainly is enjoying being in the limelight again, even if only for a moment…. (The picture itself was taken from sfgate, but, I saw it all over the news at the time of the event…..)

Maintaining a happy outlook on life, when one stops to consider, is a very good attitude with which to approach getting old, especially if one is a Munchkin, or a dwarf in a society that places a premium on physical normalcy. I have no doubt that all of those actors spent many years struggling to make a living, at anything, much less acting; our society is not known for the morality, or the gentle hand, with which it treats the weaker members of the common group…. They would, no doubt, have suffered discrimination at the hands of those they probably call the Bigs, all of their lives, from the time it first became apparent they weren’t “normal”….

Having taken a vow to stop ranting in the intro section, I’ll stop that discussion there, before I’m tempted to speak further on the subject of societal morality, which, as we all know by now, is what might be called a shadow, in that it has little substance in the minds of most of society, and as much influence as the images we make when blocking the light, i.e., none to speak of…. That little blurb right there is edging too close to ranting, so, I’ll just use this opportunity to change the subject, before I get caught with my words down…..

That decision, sadly, leaves me no choice but to turn to my new-found, and newly established protocol of ruthlessness, which I’ve learned to embrace, at least for the times we encounter here, attempting to end these intro sections…. I’ve discovered such a hard line is completely necessary, and should have been instituted the first time it came before the board…. But, I’m stubborn, and hate to give up any right, even if the exercise of it is less than productive…. It’s just a bad habit to accept the abrogation of a right, any right at all, something those in our government would do well to remember….

Since I AM now a relatively ruthless person (compared to previously, anyway….), I will assume the stance, and proclaim the hour…. ‘Tis time to get on with this mess, or it will again take over, and we’ll never be able to show any influence over where we end up…. No telling where that might be, either. Since I see an opening, right over there, we’re going for it….. Sit back, and enjoy, ffolkes…. it looks like it will only take a triple-loop to get through the opening, so your seat belts should keep you safe….

Shall we Pearl?….

“If you understand, things are as they are. If you do not understand, things are as they are.” — Gensha, Zen Master

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I’m in the mood today for a bit of Sherlock and Watson….. Here is a good one, another story with horse racing as a basic element of the story….. Enjoy, ffolkes…. It’s a really relaxing way to spend an hour, and, it has NO commercials…. though there are pauses written in that indicate where they once were shoved upon the gentle viewer….

 

Sherlock Holmes – Season 5 episode 3 – Shoscombe Old Place

 

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“I am quite sure that (bar one) I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices or caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed I know it. I can stand any society. all that I care to know is that a man is a human being – that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse.” — Mark Twain — Harper’s Magazine, September, 1899

After reading the following, it will be a good test of how alert, and informed, the Gentle Reader may be, to ask them if they are at all surprised by the information contained…. It’s a rather long article, as it covers a lot of obfuscation and chicanery by the corporate and governmental assholes involved; clarifying such murky waters can take a bit of care, and the article is quite thorough in presenting its arguments….. Read it, and weep….

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/06/intelligence-agencies-lawyer-client-abdel-hakim-belhaj-mi5-mi6-gchq?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

In the article, you will find an embedded .pdf document, which, if all goes aright, you will see below, a scanned copy of the legal complaint against the spy agencies in the UK, where the suit against them is being pursued…. It clearly states which privileged legal communications between plaintiffs and their counsel were intercepted, and used (illegally) to build cases against those plaintiffs…. It’s pretty damning evidence, showing clearly the sheer disdain the governments of the US and the UK have for the privacy rights of the individuals who make up the population of their countries…..

 

 

 

Can you believe the sheer effrontery of the spies who cleared this shit? Sorry, vulgarity and expletives are necessary adjuncts to a rant like this one will be…. I’m relating, with evidence, the criminal acts of the very people who are supposed to protect our rights, and they are NOT going to like any of it…. They are creatures of the darkness; any light shone upon them hurts them, making them want to lie even louder, and scuttle off into the nearest crack in the wall or floor, to regain the shadowy confines of darkness, where they may plot, and plan their next round of abuse, and/or, theft….

I’m sick of these assholes…. Let’s go around the ‘Net, & see what else they’ve been up to, or into…. I’ll make a short comment on each, just below the links….

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/06/1342689/-South-Carolina-exit-poll-asks-whether-blacks-are-getting-too-demanding-over-equal-rights?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29

Once my mouth closed from it’s fully dropped-open-in-disbelief-and-shock position, all I could think when I saw this was, “Are you shitting me?”…. That was yesterday, when I first saw it; as I look upon it today, that is STILL my only reaction….

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/06/1342646/-Alabama-passes-law-banning-sharia-law-because-of-course-they-did?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29

As the title says, of course they did….. I think there must be a law on the books in Alabama that prohibits anyone with an IQ over 75 to live in the state…. which, if you think about it, is a good thing, as it keeps a large number of them all in one place, where they’ll be easier to keep an eye on, so they can be monitored for self-harm through ignorance….

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/06/1342626/-Intensive-anti-voter-fraud-effort-finds-no-instance-of-actual-voter-fraud?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29

Yep…. out of more than a hundred MILLION votes cast at this election, the paranoid hate group monitoring the voting areas for fraud were planning to prove their pet theory, that the level of voting fraud was rampant, and a huge problem, which would justify both their paranoia, and their insistent efforts to take away the voting rights of the poor and disenfranchised citizens among us…. Working as hard as they could, they were able to come up, nation-wide, with eight instances they classified as fraud, five of which were a bit specious, as they dealt with broken voting machines, not fraud by any individual…. But, that was ALL they could find….

Let’s just look at that fractionally, which would be 8/120,000,000…. If we figure the percentage of occurrence of this HUGE problem, it comes out to a figure many thousands of times smaller than a single percent…. Boy, what a humongous problem THAT turned out to be….

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/06/1341593/-Cartoon-Christie-Cuomo-s-guide-nbsp-to-nbsp-Ebola?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29

The Cuomo/Christie fiasco surrounding “THE EBOLA CRISIS” explained, and made fun of quite well…

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29950946

This article makes clear the police and intelligence agencies of the governments are working as hard as they can to penetrate the ‘Dark Net’, upon which the Tor Network is operated. The Tor Network (whose operation is explained in the article) is designed to be able to keep government snoops, hackers, or anyone wishing to look at private communications, from knowing where those communications come from, and where they go…. Naturally, this upsets the police. who want access to EVERYONE’s data, and computers…. They are apparently making progress, as this article relates how their latest attempts have gained them some ground in the quest to find a way to get into the dark net to follow all those who use it, so they can invade their privacy in their quest of complete power….

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/07/us-binladen-seals-idUSKBN0IQ2RC20141107?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

I have to be honest. I didn’t read the last listed article, from the Reuters news feed, re: two ex-Marines, both of whom claim to be the one who killed bin Laden, simply because I didn’t wish to subject myself to the sheer ignorance, and complete cluelessness of the people involved in such a ridiculous argument… and, if I need to explain WHY, y’all haven’t been paying attention….

This is, perhaps, the single greatest public display of stupidity, not to mention amorality, EVER. Ever…. No body, in my extensive memory, or in my no less extensive store of  knowledge derived from reading, in history, has ever made such a completely asinine fool of themselves, right out where everyone can see and hear….

SIGH….. I believe I’ve made my point, ffolkes, so, let’s go on to something not so depressing…. Oh, shoot…. by saying that, I won’t be able to use one of MY poems!…. Oh well, I’ll cheat…. it’s easy, and y’all can’t see what I’m doing anyway….. or, can you?…. Hmm, I’ll have to think on that….. Meanwhile, onward….

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If you’ve been here a time or two, you’ll already know who today’s poet will be…. Since these are small, but chewy, we’ll have two….

 

A Cloud withdrew from the Sky
Superior Glory be
But that Cloud and its Auxiliaries
Are forever lost to meHad I but further scanned
Had I secured the Glow
In an Hermetic Memory
It had availed me now.Never to pass the Angel
With a glance and a Bow
Till I am firm in Heaven
Is my intention now.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

——————————————

A Dying Tiger—moaned for Drink—
I hunted all the Sand—
I caught the Dripping of a Rock
And bore it in my Hand—

His Mighty Balls—in death were thick—
But searching—I could see
A Vision on the Retina
Of Water—and of me—

‘Twas not my blame—who sped too slow—
‘Twas not his blame—who died
While I was reaching him—
But ’twas—the fact that He was dead—

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~


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Today’s old-school pearl came together yesterday afternoon, and it makes no apologies for any misconceptions regarding human nature it may puncture like the soap bubble they so closely resemble…..

“There was, I think, never any reason to  believe in any innate superiority of the male, except his superior muscle.” — Bertrand Russell, Ideas That Have Harmed Mankind (1950)

“I am further of opinion that it would be better for us to have [no laws] at all than to have them in so prodigious numbers as we have.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book iii, Chap. xiii

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” — J.K. Rowling, Padfoot Returns, — Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, spoken by the character Sirius Black

“A skunk is better company than a person who prides himself on being “frank.” — Smart Bee

“The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts.” — Edmund Burke, letter, April 3, 1777, to the Sheriffs of Bristol

INCOMPOSSIBLE, adj.  Unable to exist if something else exists.  Two things are incompossible when the world of being has scope enough for one of them, but not enough for both — as Walt Whitman’s poetry and God’s mercy to man.  Incompossibility, it will be seen, is only incompatibility let loose.  Instead of such low language as “Go heel yourself — I mean to kill you on sight,” the words, “Sir, we are incompossible,” would convey and equally significant intimation and in stately courtesy are altogether superior. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Well, of course it would….

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Some days, this process goes better than others; this one wasn’t bad at all, considering….. In any case, it seems to be done, except for the final part, where I go through and miss all the errors…. I’ll do that, and get it right out…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, provided nobody comes after me with a warrant, in which case, it is conceivable I could disappear for a while, until I can find safe haven…. For now, though, enough is enough….

 

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

Because it mostly resembles a codfish….

Ffolkes,

“Oh, no!”, he cried. “Now what?”  Sound familiar? It does to me…. Sadly, this sounds just like what I say almost every time I get up to another of Mr. Murphy’s less than welcome surprises. I’m certain I’m not the only one, either, because I refuse to believe that this kind of stuff only happens to me…. If that were true, I’d be seriously looking for God, to register a complaint, and, since I’m pretty certain that God doesn’t have an office, or keep office hours (hard to accomplish when one is a delusion….), it’s just more productive to take care of it myself…. I know, this makes me one of those heathens, and makes certain that Satan will hold me a place in Hell, right? Well, okay, as long as the A/C works, I’m good with that….

Sorry, didn’t mean to get all crusty right off…. I talked myself into that corner, and there wasn’t any other way out but through sarcasm, so, please, bear with me, as I try to stabilize my neuronic pathways, using my usual bee balm, aka coffee, blessedly strong and sweet. I’ve gulped down a good six ounces so far, and it’s starting to have some effect, so, we should be good to go in just a few moments…. I made this pot really strong, even for me, so it has a dose of caffeine in it big enough to win the Derby, and shouldn’t take long to bring surcease to those parts of my brain that are crying out for it, in such pitiful voices….

The piteous sounds of addictive neurons have faded into mere echoes, and the morning ablutions, including a second cuppacoffee, are well in hand, so, our way  is clear to head off into the hinterlands of perception, to find what there is to find out there to play with this morning. I’m thinking it’s a Smart Bee day, as I ranted yesterday pretty hard, to the detriment of my hips and back… Since old-school pearls, and archive-diving, are less time consuming, we’ll most likely go that route today…. Not that it matters to the three or four readers who stop by…. 😆

It’s rather ironic, actually…. In the last few days, and weeks, I’ve written some pretty powerful stuff, concerning main-stream news subjects that concern everyone in this country… According to the WP stat-bots, I’ve got 302 followers now, but, only about twenty of them are visiting the site on any kind of regular basis, at least, if the Likes and Comments are any indication. The site traffic stats also show small numbers, so I don’t know what to believe…. Ah, well, since I don’t really care if anyone reads it at all, it isn’t an issue that bothers me much…. I just hate not having accurate information…. Well, there is that, plus, I’d really like to be able to know that more than just a couple of folks read what I’ve got to say, because much of it is stuff that this country NEEDS to think about….

So be it…. shouting into the wind is one of my favorite things to do, so, I’ll just keep at it, and hope that the traffic picks up…. Maybe if I pick better poetry?…. Hard to do, since I already post the world’s best poets regularly…. If I keep my own stuff out of the mix, it’s a pretty classy line-up, so not much to complain about there…. No es importante, I’m going to do what I do, no matter how many, or few, folks, or even ffolkes, stop by to read it…. Someday, maybe after I’m gone from this plane of existence, all the millions of words I’ve penned will be published for real, and the world can see what they’ve missed…..

Until then, shall we Pearl?….

A monk said to Joshu, “Your stone bridge is widely renowned, but coming here I find only a heap of rocks.”

Joshu said, “You see only the stones and not the bridge.”

The monk said, “What is the bridge?”

Joshu said, “What do you think we are walking on?”
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As threatened promised, below is an old-school pearl. This one was created using the “whatever” technique, which lets SB do the picking, whereupon, I deal with the results in a flexible manner, necessitated by the seeming lack of purpose, but enabled by the level of skill that I’ve developed over time of making something out of nothing…. another metaphor for my writing, I suppose….. Any who, this time, SB was instructed to pick some quotes that show the evolution of the BRC and the theory of government, contrasted by its relevance to the evolution of humanity at large…. I think it came out well…. It’s certainly obscure enough…. just enough, though…. all the needed information is there, if one can let go, and allow the mind to follow the path suggested by the pearls…. Enjoy!…..

“I hate to mention things like this in this feature, but it is one of the more pressing problems in America today, and that is the lack of tap-dancers in the Miss America contest.” — Smart Bee

Their feet through faithless leather met the dirt,
And oftener chang’d their principles than shirt.

— Edward Young (1684-1765) — To Mr. Pope, Epistle i, Line 277

“By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.” — Albert Camus

“And waste their music on the savage race.” — Edward Young (1684-1765) — Love of Fame, Satire v, Line 228

“If you made a better rat than a human, that’s not much to boast about.” — Sirius Black, J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter”

“The message of history is clear: the past lies before us.” — Smart Bee

“Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place.  And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.” — Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”
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Today’s choice of poems comes from one of my favorites, Shel Silverstein, who passed away in 1999. The range of feeling in his poetry is astounding, as is his talent of expressing those feelings in the simplest of language…. Abondanza!….

God’s Wheel

God says to me with a kind of smile,
“Hey how would you like to be God awhile
And steer the world?”
“Okay,” says I, “I’ll give it a try.
Where do I set?
How much do I get?
What time is lunch?
When can I quit?”
“Gimme back that wheel,” says God.
“I don’t think you’re quite ready yet.”

~~ Shel Silverstein ~~

Cloony The Clown

I’ll tell you the story of Cloony the Clown
Who worked in a circus that came through town.
His shoes were too big and his hat was too small,
But he just wasn’t, just wasn’t funny at all.
He had a trombone to play loud silly tunes,
He had a green dog and a thousand balloons.
He was floppy and sloppy and skinny and tall,
But he just wasn’t, just wasn’t funny at all.
And every time he did a trick,
Everyone felt a little sick.
And every time he told a joke,
Folks sighed as if their hearts were broke.
And every time he lost a shoe,
Everyone looked awfully blue.
And every time he stood on his head,
Everyone screamed, “Go back to bed!”
And every time he made a leap,
Everybody fell asleep.
And every time he ate his tie,
Everyone began to cry.
And Cloony could not make any money
Simply because he was not funny.
One day he said, “I’ll tell this town
How it feels to be an unfunny clown.”
And he told them all why he looked so sad,
And he told them all why he felt so bad.
He told of Pain and Rain and Cold,
He told of Darkness in his soul,
And after he finished his tale of woe,
Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no,
They laughed until they shook the trees
With “Hah-Hah-Hahs” and “Hee-Hee-Hees.”
They laughed with howls and yowls and shrieks,
They laughed all day, they laughed all week,
They laughed until they had a fit,
They laughed until their jackets split.
The laughter spread for miles around
To every city, every town,
Over mountains, ‘cross the sea,
From Saint Tropez to Mun San Nee.
And soon the whole world rang with laughter,
Lasting till forever after,
While Cloony stood in the circus tent,
With his head drooped low and his shoulders bent.
And he said,”THAT IS NOT WHAT I MEANT –
I’M FUNNY JUST BY ACCIDENT.”
And while the world laughed outside.
Cloony the Clown sat down and cried.

~~ Shel Silverstein ~~

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I was going to be lazy, and pick something from the archives to put here, but, what the hell…. It’s still early, and I’ve got the time… Here is another old-school pearl (still no rant in there, thankfully….), a harlequin, random variety, picked entirely by SB, with no parameters whatsoever…. Should be “interesting”….

“Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage.  But if we don’t practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us — and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along.” — Carl Sagan, “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,” Parade, February 1, 1987

(Note the date, please; it is obvious that Carl had yet to process the evidence that proved this had already happened, to wit; Reagan was still in office, and his economic policies were just starting to kill the American economy from the top down….)

“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.” — Wendell Berry

“Many candles can be kindled from one candle without diminishing it.” — The Midrash

“Stereotypes are like a supermarket. They are convenient, economical, and useful. They do our thinking for us. We don’t have to waste time trying to make sense of our ignorance. Stereotypes slice through the niceties of language, tide us over the loose ends we don’t understand and wrap up into a comfortable package our narrow-mindedness about everything and everybody except ourselves” — Chuck Stone (Washington Post 6/3/96)

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” — Sun Tzu

“Listen carefully, I’m lying!” — Little known part of the Oath of Office, as administered to the POTUS every four years…..
(Sorry, couldn’t resist overruling SB on this one…. it’s just too perfect….)

“Anaxagoras said to a man who was grieving because he was dying in a foreign land, “The descent to Hades is the same from every place.”” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Anaxagoras, vi

Well, I think it’s interesting, and that’s what counts, right?…. Since it’s my blog, we’re going with that theory for now….
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“The chief aim of wisdom is to enable one to bear with the stupidity of the ignorant.” — Xystus I

There are those who would say the above is a somewhat arrogant statement, in which they’d be correct, to a degree. However, I can only respond, “and your point would be?”…. I’m not going to apologize for being smarter than the average bear; it’s not as if all my vaunted intelligence has enabled me to rule the world, now, has it? Nor has it made me rich, or famous, or widely known and respected, other than, I hope, amongst the few people I call friends… As for the rest of those folks out there, who get upset at having to use their brains for something other furniture, well, too bad, so sad, my bad, fuck it…. And I mean that in the nicest possible way….

Not sure where that came from, ‘cept that I like the quote, and felt it needed some comment or other to ease its passage into infamy…. Now that I’ve disrupted my own routine unmercifully, I should probably look for some way to bring this all to a close, before it gets completely away from me…. Oh, look! Here’s a spot now!….. Since I’ve completed all the required steps, and we have a good opportunity, I’m outta here….

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

Remember, Billy, these nascent lawyers can spontaneously ignite if mocked…

Ffolkes,
And then I woke up….. in my own bed! All I can say is “yay”, no exclamation point; I’m too tired to reach that high on the keyboard. I got home about 2:30 or 3 PM, after spending a bit of time trying to connect with my ride. We found each other in relatively quick order, and he took me home, to my everlasting delight, where I almost squeezed milady Pat until she popped; I’m surprised she has any skin left after me kissing it so much…..  🙂   If you can’t tell, I was happy to be home, as much as I enjoyed the trip.

It warms me, it charms me,
To mention but her name;
It heats me, it beats me,
And set me a’ on flame.

— “Robbie” Burns

In order to try to mitigate the jet-lag effects, I pushed myself to stay up a while, until the fatigue caught up with me at about 8:30 last night, and I collapsed into bed. I slept somewhat poorly, even though every bone and muscle in my body rejoiced when I laid down in my own familiar bed. I could feel myself totally relaxing, almost orgasmic; unfortunately, my brain had other ideas, and proceeded to race like a Ferrari at Le Mans, despite having been up and functional for damn close to twenty-four hours.

At 8:30 PM in Vallejo, when I went down, it was 4:30 AM the next day, in London, where my body still believes me to be. Since I had arisen there at 5:00 AM to go catch the plane, this old body got pushed for 23.5 hours, which destroyed all my physical energy, but left me wide awake with a mind confused as to the correct time it should be counting….. SIGH…. It’s tough getting old…. though I’m still tough, getting old is tougher, I think….

My overactive mind kept me on the brink of awareness all night, adding in more strange dreams when I did manage to fall under Morpheus’ spell, eventually giving up the ghost at about 3:30 AM, when I gave up trying to fall asleep, and got up to start writing. While talking with milady last night, I found I DID have a lot to talk about on the trip, so I’m hoping some of that comes through this morning as I write…. One may always hope, n’est pas?…..

In keeping with that sense of hope, I’m going to call this an intro, such as it is, and start putting together a Pearl for today. If nothing else, it may tire me out enough to get a bit more sleep before the rest of the world here on the West Coast wakes up and gets active. It is a Sunday, and the middle of the long weekend for Memorial Day, tomorrow, so it should be fairly quiet, all things considered, and I should be able to get some stuff done (like composing a necessary letter to my doctor, who has seen fit to go all anal about my pain meds and the presence of cannabinoids in my lab work.

It promises to be quite a battle, as I pit my Constitutional rights against the legal department of a large HMO, which has his balls in their hand. I’ll  need to be persuasive, indeed, to be able to get him to stand up to them and make a decision based on my medical needs rather than the company’s legal policies and requirements (which, in my view, violate my confidentiality, and my Constitutional right to determine my own welfare).

Any who, that, and some other stuff that piled up while I was away in Europe, should keep ME busy…. let’s see if I can give y’all something interesting and fun to keep your minds in trim…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“We’re going to find out tonight who the oldest lady in the audience is. And we have a marvelous present for her. When we find the oldest lady, we’re going to give her … the oldest man.  The first time we tried this was about ten years ago. We had a very nice lady in our audience. She was 87 years old, as I recall. We introduced her that evening to a man from Chicago who was 96, and shortly thereafter, believe it or not, they were married. It was a lovely story. And that wasn’t the end of it either. I read in the paper recently where that woman has just given birth to a beautiful 47-year-old baby boy!” — Steve Allen

Very popular in his own time, which came at the very beginnings of television on a nationwide basis, Steve Allen was a brilliant comedian, and, in his own way, a pretty decent social philosopher and critic, along the lines of a colleague of his, in later days, George Carlin. Both had a unique, hilarious, and sharply insightful understanding of American culture of their time, and spared no one in the pointed nature of their comedic observations on that culture. This was the second offering by Smart Bee, and just tickled my funny bone, so I thought it would make a good intro for an old-school, harlequin pearl…..

As always, the random nature of this process prevents me from knowing ahead of time what will come up, or what point it will make; that point is one I prefer to leave in the competent hands, and minds, of my oh-so-very-intelligent Gentle Readers (I know, shameless, aren’t I?)….  Any who, here is a five-, or seven-star pearl, fresh from the depths of Smart Bee, all pointing at some characteristic of human nature, or human culture, if such a word can be applied to what we do on this planet on a daily basis…..

“Better be a nettle in the side of your friend than his echo.” — Emerson

“Never try to explain computers to a layman.  It’s easier to explain sex to a virgin.” — Robert Heinlein

“I am not asleep.” — Ronald Reagan
(Oddly enough, some people believed him..)

“Doing my part to preserve order in the universe.” — Smart Bee

“A society that puts equality — in the sense of equality of outcome — ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom… On the other hand, a society that puts freedom first will, as a happy by-product, end up with both greater freedom and greater equality.” — Milton and Rose Friedman _Free to Choose_

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” — J.K. Rowling, Padfoot Returns, — Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,2000, — spoken by the character Sirius Black

“I understand “stressed.”  It’s “desserts” backwards.”– Smart Bee, in good form…

Well, that’s seven, but with the initial quote by Mr. Allen, it’s actually eight, so, the laws of conservation of energy require one last perfect pearl, to bring it all home, and drive the point squarely on the point to be made…..

“God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the cat. He has no real style. He just keeps on trying other things.” — Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) — Quoted in Francoise Gilot and Carlton Lake, Life with Picasso, pt. 1 (1964)

Who then, it occurs to me to ask, is competent to judge the quality of His Art in creating us?…… Of course, this assumes one accepts the whole God idea as a higher power, but, I find this to be a useful idea, anyway, as it certainly puts us in the proper perspective…… Oh well, since it fell apart a bit at the end there, we’ll just go on….
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I’m afraid I was a bit ruthless in the poetry section over the course of my trip, with entirely too much of it coming from my archives, egotist that I am….  So, to make up for it, I’ll find something actually worth your time to read…. Here is something from the brilliant Mssr. Pope, with a little ditty that gives a good idea of how much simpler life was in the centuries preceding the Industrial Age…… Enjoy!

Chorus of Youths and Virgins

Semichorus:

Oh Tyrant Love! hast thou possest
The prudent, learn’d, and virtuous breast?
Wisdom and wit in vain reclaim,
And Arts but soften us to feel thy flame.
Love, soft intruder, enters here,
But ent’ring learns to be sincere.
Marcus with blushes owns he loves,
And Brutus tenderly reproves.
Why, Virtue, dost thou blame desire,
Which Nature has imprest?
Why, Nature, dost thou soonest fire
The mild and gen’rous breast?

Chorus:

Love’s purer flames the Gods approve;
The Gods and Brutus bent to love:
Brutus for absent Portia sighs,
And sterner Cassius melts at Junia’s eyes.
What is loose love? a transient gust,
Spent in a sudden storm of lust,
A vapour fed from wild desire,
A wand’ring, self-consuming fire,
But Hymen’s kinder flames unite;
And burn for ever one;
Chaste as cold Cynthia’s virgin light,
Productive as the Sun.

Semichorus:

Oh source of ev’ry social tie,
United wish, and mutual joy!
What various joys on one attend,
As son, as father, brother husband, friend?
Whether his hoary sire he spies,
While thousand grateful thoughts arise;
Or meets his spouse’s fonder eye;
Or views his smiling progeny;
What tender passions take their turns,
What home-felt raptures move?
His heart now melts, now leaps, now burns,
With rev’rence, hope, and love.

Chorus:

Hence guilty joys, distastes, surmises,
Hence false tears, deceits, disguises,
Dangers, doubts, delays, surprises;
Fires that scorch, yet dare not shine
Purest love’s unwasting treasure,
Constant faith, fair hope, long leisure,
Days of ease, and nights of pleasure;
Sacred Hymen! these are thine.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

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As might be expected after the night I spent, any ranting I might like to do would end up pretty obscure and relatively disconnected from anything similar to Reality, so I’m not going to embarrass myself, and amuse y’all, by trying to make any particular sense. Instead, I’ll bring my trip to a close, with a few comments, of course….

If one considers the judgment of success in Life, as I do, more a matter of what has been learned, about people, the world, and hence, myself rather than what one has garnered in real goods, or acquired as property, or how many times one has been seen as a success by others, for whatever strange reason, whether it be envy, naivete, or the result of extraordinary display of skills admired by those others (athletes, actors, bankers, anyone who assumes power over the affairs of others, and others of such ilk….). Success, to me, can only be judged according to the terms I set myself, not by anyone else, and learning is what I consider the most valuable skill I can employ, to achieve my version of success…

What did I learn from this trip? I think I learned the most about myself, as usual, by noting and observing the differences in my ability to travel now, and when I was younger. My reaction to those differences, naturally, set the tone for everything else I did while away; if fatigued, I got around a bit less; if not, my priorities for things to do were affected by age, to some extent. It seems that every time I turn around, some new aspect of growing older presents itself to me, in such ways that I cannot just brush them off as unimportant.

On the other hand, being older has not slowed or diminished my mind, nor dulled my perceptions; in fact, I see more, hear more, forget little, and think more quickly than ever before in my life. This allows me to enjoy more of what I see, as well as regret some of it, for the indications of how the world is under the surface. So, there are trade-offs for the aging process…. I guess I’m saying that it has been driven home to me on this trip that the world, while flawed in many ways, is a beautiful place to live, and I wouldn’t go back in time for anything; there is too much to see right now….

On that hopeful note, (perhaps, some might say, an unusual occurrence around here….), I will, for the moment, leave Europe behind, and live in the NOW, here, where my heart is, hence, is home…. Here is the picture I took on the trip that best explains what I mean, as well as being the best photo of all of them….

Whoa! I realized, just now, how appropriate this picture is…. Can you tell, by looking at it, whether it is a picture of a sunrise, or a sunset?…. The point being, does it matter? If it is of a sunset, it is a fitting finish to a great learning experience, one in which I found great joy, and great pleasure, as well as the opposite side of that coin…. If it is a sunrise, then it also fits, as a fine prelude to a new day, in which there will always be something to learn, something to enjoy, and, if I’m lucky, someone to love…. So far, so good….
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Well…. THAT felt good…. let’s see how it floats….. Works for me…. So much so, I won’t say anything else… except, of course,….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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