Fluffy pieces of hydrated carbon steel….

Ffolkes,

“I know but one freedom, and that is the freedom of the mind.”

~~ Antoine de Saint Exupery ~~

yellow rose

By any other name…


Hajime…. Well, I’m here. It’s been a tough week here at ECR, and in Northern Cali, as the rain continues to move in and out, bouncing the barometer around like a super-ball, keeping me in the throes of inflamed arthritic joints for hours & days on end…. Ah, well, such is life for us old farts, at times; it’s a good thing we’ve had lots of practice by now, or nothing would get done at all. But, I digress, as usual…. I’ve been working on a discussion for the rant section, but, it’s grown so epic it’ll need to wait, so, you’ll see an older pearl there today. Otherwise, it’s all as normal as we get around here, and pleasant as white bread toast.

Naturally, having begun today’s mess with a chatty, informative tone, we’ll need to find a different direction to take, to get us toward the oyster beds we prefer to inhabit during our time together. Y’all wouldn’t have any ideas, would you? No. Okay, well, let’s see. Oh, I suppose I could…. no, just did that. Hmm, how about this one? Nope, look, it’s broken. Well, I guess I’ll just have to use the Tardis, and have it washed tonight. Yeah, that’s the ticket….

Okay, if y’all will just file out of the cabin, and head over into the Tardis, we’ll get this slow on the toad for the day. I appreciate your flexibility, and your patience in waiting for me to get my act together enough to put one of these things together. C’est marvellieux! As a thank you, I have entered all your names in our contest, for a chance to win a chance to stay behind next time. Bonus! Okay, I’m done…. Well, I can’t think of any more nonsense, so, that’s the same thing…. Look, what’s that?…. Duck! No, goose!…. Ah, hell with it; Luigi, throw that switch….

Shall we Pearl?

“Thoughts are mightier than strength of hand.”

~~ Sophocles — Phaedra, Frag. 854 ~~


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Yield_Logo

Playing For Change


I discovered this organization a few months ago, and have been nearly obsessed with taking part in their quest, as it fits in perfectly with my own views of how we can possibly achieve some kind of harmony in the world at large. Laughter, music, and love are the answer to all our problems, if freely felt, and given without regard for any delusions that demean humanity, such as religion, politics, or the seriously negative concept of money. None of them are necessary for people to live, as long as we live, as we always need to, in the shelter of each other….

As I listened yesterday to the first couple videos, which I got when I joined the organization as one of their contributing Ambassadors, my resolve to follow this path was strengthened, especially when I chose to listen first to Imagine, John Lennon’s summary of human wisdom, and then One Love, Bob Marley’s matching manifesto, two of the PFC’s iconic statements of purpose, in song…. The film’s participants exhibit such joy, such freedom of spirit, I weep, every time I watch, as musicians from all around the world join to play the tunes, together… I suggest listening to as many as you can, then, join, begin to share the music, and the love it creates….. Enjoy!….

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Playing For Change

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Plato-Aristotle

    Here is a discussion of the principles of personal security, from 2014. It’s a bit long, but, pretty good in spots; I hope you enjoy it….

From 5/5/2014:

I found these two articles yesterday, after posting the Pearl…. As you’ll see, they provide the perfect jumping point for what follows…. I suppose that, as always, ‘perfect’ is a question-begging word to use, but, hey, I calls ’em as I sees ’em…. when I can find my glasses….

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/03/everyone-is-under-surveillance-now-says-whistleblower-edward-snowden

I had originally intended to have some words regarding this article, as it speaks to some rather important points…. but, then, I saw the following article, and my angst went right through the roof, stimulating the rest…. Now, read this one…. & just include it all together; it’s all of a piece, anyway….

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/18/cia-torture-architect-enhanced-interrogation

Here, then, is an excellent example of the definition of ‘gigo’, (garbage in-garbage out), from the psychologist responsible for the design and codification of many of the torture methods, including “water boarding”, used by the CIA at Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere around the world….. His comments, which I will examine below, are so egregiously INSANE, I had to read the article in pieces, as I found myself shouting at him, every time he opened his mouth to make one of the reported statements…

I cannot BELIEVE this man was found to be an adequate psychologist, passing his tests and arguing his doctoral thesis, without having at least the basic innate ability to display even an ounce of compassion; I also don’t understand, at all, how he could be considered anything other than the US’s version of the Nazi scientist, the one at Auschwitz, who sent the Jews into the ovens….

Ah, yes, Josef Mengele…. the infamous, iconic mad doctor, the real version, the model for what all the comics use as the ultimate villain so often, whose insanity threatens the entire world, and everyone in it…. I tell you, ffolkes, those people  in Washington, D.C. are totally out of control….  I’m not kidding; the current crop of elected officials, as well as the appointees put in place by those (I stared at this point for a long time, and still  cannot, for the life of me, think of an expletive that it harsh enough…, so we’ll go with a classic….) assholes, all exhibit every single symptom of the violently insane, who believe their own twisted version of reality is the only real one, who hold on to their paranoid delusions so tightly, nothing, and nobody, can tell them differently….

Hell, I don’t even need, in this case, to resort to my special knowledge and experience, of working with the violently insane as a therapist for over 20 years…. These guys lay it out so clearly, right out in public, there’s no need for me to have to explain…. Their own words convict them whenever they condescend to open their mouths about what they truly believe….

Here, let me show you a couple of examples from the second article listed… The comments in quotes are by the protagonist in this drama, James Mitchell, (Piled High and Deep), Ph.D., formerly of the CIA, the psychologist regarded as the architect of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program…. a description taken straight from the article…. You’ll be able to recognize my comments by the anger and vulgarity the statements produce in me….

“The people on the ground did the best they could with the way they understood the law at the time,” he said. “You can’t ask someone to put their life on the line and think and make a decision without the benefit of hindsight and then eviscerate them in the press 10 years later.”

You  can’t? Why not? These people were in no danger; there is no danger, no life on the line, when someone tortures another; only the one being tortured is in danger. And if you do something so obviously WRONG, it doesn’t fucking matter a bit how long it is, you SHOULD be vilified in the press. There is no reason on this Earth why anyone shouldn’t KNOW torturing another human being, for ANY FUCKING REASON AT ALL, is NOT morally defensible.  This principle is true even in cases where the ultimate goal is considered good; you’ve no doubt heard the saying, “the end does not justify the means.”

If they didn’t know it was wrong, why didn’t they do it out in the open, where everyone could see what they were doing? Fucking assholes think that their own parafuckingnoia should excuse anything they do….

“Everything you know is wrong.” — The Firesign Theater

“I’m skeptical about the Senate report, because I do not believe that every analyst whose jobs and promotions depended upon it, who were professional intelligence experts, all them lied to protect a program? All of them were wrong? All of these [CIA] directors were wrong? All of the people who were using the intel to go get people were wrong? And 10 years later a Senate staffer was able to put it together and finally there’s clarity? I am just highly skeptical that that’s the truth.”

This one’s easy….and so obvious, I again shouted this at the screen, hoping the asshole would hear me, “Why, yes, you bloody idiot, they CAN, and WERE, all wrong…. and every damn one of them WOULD lie to protect a program, which, in their minds, equals money, or influence….” Then, of course, I realized I was shouting at my computer, so, I sat, tried to calm down, & began to type, to try to release some of the venom and bile that collected so quickly in the face of such evil insanity…. It started when the assbite used the phrase, “Senate staffer” as if that position was held only by persons of dubious character…

When you start from a premise that is wrong, there is no way to make it come out right, and every damn one of those directors started with the idea that whatever they did, right or wrong, shouldn’t be made public knowledge, and that such clandestine prevarication is justified by their goal (which they refuse to consider as anything other than right…. perfect “ipse dixit” logic….)

“If you get the first one in the wrong hole, you’ll never get all buttoned up right.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This, of course, is completely contrary to the values upon which our nation was supposedly founded; thus, any acts that indulge in that sort of paranoia, which were made on the basis of that idea, are, from the start, WRONG…. It really is that simple ffolkes, and I don’t understand quite WHY the public doesn’t get that, when listening to these lying, insane fools who pursue their delusional fantasies at the expense of the rest of us….

I reiterate….  “Everything you know is wrong.” — The Firesign Theater

Bloody fucking assholes, every damn one of them…..

“If I had a large amount of money I should found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears.” — Stephen Fry

I’d say the good doctor Mitchell would be one of the first admissions…. I’ll leave you to consider the following, which pretty much sums up what I see happening in the world today, just about everywhere I look…..

“It is okay to be ignorant in some areas, but some people abuse the privilege.” — Smart Bee

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Comedy_Tragedy

Momentary Terror

Absently casual, memories pester endlessly
   leaving only bleeding remnants, amiable and loving.
Coming awake, I cry to still the pain, shamelessly.

Elsewhen, time gives surcease, if only to live,
   shoring broken pilings, worn and gray.
Passing on, I laugh at the pain, accept all it will give.

Time will build a shelter, warm and ever safe
   save for Fate’s busy hands.
Enduring, I follow the pain, knowing it will chafe.

Fixed against a darkened sky of starry black
   such beauty brings us to our knees.
Entranced, I welcome the pain, ’tis all I lack…..

~~ gigoid ~~

12/27/2013


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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Esoterica

*********

“Books aren’t written to be believed in, but to be questioned.”

~~ Umberto Eco ~~

*********

“If a man take no thought about what is distant,
he will find sorrow near at hand.”

~~ Confucius ~~

*********

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”

~~ Sir Edmund Hillary ~~

*********

“Never fear shadows.
They simply indicate there’s a light shining close by.”

~~ Fearless Bee ~~

*********

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

~~ Lily Tomlin ~~

*********

“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.”

~~ Mark Twain ~~

*********

“Where pain predominates, agony can be a valued teacher.”

~~ Frank Herbert ~~

*********

“Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do.”

~~ Voltaire ~~

*********

“OVER the underpass!
UNDER the overpass!
Around the FUTURE and BEYOND REPAIR!!”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~


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I did it. I had my doubts, as is my wont, but, it’s done, with some minor cheating. I hope y’all enjoyed today’s effort, which, believe me, was an effort. I shall make another attempt at this tomorrow, if all goes well. If not, well, you’ll hear from me….

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

Featured Image -- 6975


À bientôt, mon cherí….

Alice, in a fit of pique, beheads the Cheshire Cat….

Ffolkes,

Well, hell…. Now what do I do? Here it is, 0430 AM, I’m up, coffee in hand, ready to start trying to figure out if there is anything in my semi-conscious mind that would serve to begin today’s Pearl, & what do I find? This…. This is a completed Pearl, dammit! When I found the material below, and gave in to the urge to rant it stimulated, I didn’t realize that I would be usurping this morning’s time slot, thus effectively giving myself nothing at all to do now, except, possibly, proof/edit this, punching it up where it’s soft, & generally tinkering with it until it screams at me to stop….

But, if I do that, what do I do with this intro, that I so conveniently wrote, AFTER completing all of the stuff you’ll see below, including the poem,and the archived piece?….Though, I see now, I DID leave the closing section undone, so, I guess that’s something…. Big of me, wouldn’t you say?

Well, I would, given that I’m playing a practical joke on myself…. I USED to be pretty good at them, during my university days, but, like many of the skills I picked up at Berkeley, not all of them translated into something useful in later life; practical jokes lose a lot of their luster after having a couple of them turn bad, or, worse, ending up as the butt of one…. Payback’s a bitch, isn’t it?

But, I DO have some pretty good memories of decorating certain fraternity and sorority buildings in Davis, on the night prior to their yearly homecoming, “Picnic Day”, a gently nostalgic, pandering title, designed to pull money from the alumni and the rich parents of students, who came to relive their own wild youth once a year, while pretending NOT to be envious of all the students by which they’re surrounded…. I lived in a cooperative dormitory, so as representatives of the bourgeoisie, the Greek brothers and sisters made perfect targets for a bit of ridicule….

Oh, not to worry, we didn’t do anything terribly terrorist, or frightening; just some minor breaking and entering, leaving notes and posters, complete with appropriate art work, (no graffiti, just tacked up stuff….) to show we’d been there, or running a few jock straps and brassieres out on the clothes lines between the dorms…. highlighting the  huge, long, signs stating, in two-foot tall letters, they’d been pranked by UCB’s “Society of the Green Hand” (The Society’s formation is a tale for another time; I believe the statute of limitations runs out in another couple of years on that….) Needless to say, we were lucky not to end up dealing with the local law….

Actually, that was close, because, as we were finishing up with the very last tree’s decor, of colored toilet paper, a campus police car drew up under the tree, shined their light on one of us, up in the tree, & queried, “What’s going on up there?”…. With admirable quick thinking, Jeff, the one in the tree, gave them a huge smile, and just said, “It’s Picnic Day!”…. The cop just shook his head and drove away, while we waited breathlessly for them to get far enough away we could breathe, and burst into nearly hysterical laughter… We then piled in our vehicle, drove back to Berkeley, and spent the day sleeping off the adventure….

Gee…. It looks as if I found a perfect introduction for today’s Pearl, at least in terms of being of regulation size and placement…. How this morning’s retrospective will fit in with what goes on afterward remains to be seen, as it does each and every day I put myself, and y’all, through this somewhat torturous process….

Ah well, it never gets bad enough to actually cause bleeding, unless, of course, some of you aren’t telling me when you leave the cabin, to go bang your forehead against the nearest wall, in reaction to some of the stuff that I say, and/or do…. But, then, that’s a personal problem, isn’t it?  So shame on you for trying to make me feel guilty about it…

Wouldn’t work anyway; I gave up guilt, over stuff I say or do, quite some time back, and have never felt better…. On that egocentric note, I think we’ll go now, and find something productive to do with today, since the only thing I have to write this morning is the closing section….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I speak the truth, and they never believe me.” — Conte Camillo Benso di Cavour

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I found these two articles yesterday, after posting the Pearl…. As you’ll see, they provide the perfect jumping point for what follows…. I suppose that, as always, ‘perfect’ is a question-begging word to use, but, hey, I calls ’em as I sees ’em…. when I can find my glasses….

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/03/everyone-is-under-surveillance-now-says-whistleblower-edward-snowden

I had originally intended to have some words regarding this article, as it speaks to some rather important points…. but, then, I saw the following article, and my angst went right through the roof, stimulating the rest…. Now, read this one…. & just include it all together; it’s all of a piece, anyway….

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/18/cia-torture-architect-enhanced-interrogation

Here, then, is an excellent example of the definition of ‘gigo’, (garbage in-garbage out), from the psychologist responsible for the design and codification of many of the torture methods, including “water boarding”, used by the CIA at Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere around the world….. His comments, which I will examine below, are so egregiously INSANE, I had to read the article in pieces, as I found myself shouting at him, every time he opened his mouth to make one of the reported statements…

I cannot BELIEVE this man was found to be an adequate psychologist, passing his tests and arguing his doctoral thesis, without having at least the basic innate ability to display even an ounce of compassion; I also don’t understand, at all, how he could be considered anything other than the US’s version of the Nazi scientist, the one at Auschwitz, who sent the Jews into the ovens….

Ah, yes, Josef Mengele…. the infamous, iconic mad doctor, the real version, the model for what all the comics use as the ultimate villain so often, whose insanity threatens the entire world, and everyone in it…. I tell you, ffolkes, those people  in Washington, D.C. are totally out of control….  I’m not kidding; the current crop of elected officials, as well as the appointees put in place by those (I stared at this point for a long time, and still  cannot, for the life of me, think of an expletive that it harsh enough…, so we’ll go with a classic….) assholes, all exhibit every single symptom of the violently insane, who believe their own twisted version of reality is the only real one, who hold on to their paranoid delusions so tightly, nothing, and nobody, can tell them differently….

Hell, I don’t even need, in this case, to resort to my special knowledge and experience, of working with the violently insane as a therapist for over 20 years…. These guys lay it out so clearly, right out in public, there’s no need for me to have to explain…. Their own words convict them whenever they condescend to open their mouths about what they truly believe….

Here, let me show you a couple of examples from the second article listed… The comments in quotes are by the protagonist in this drama, James Mitchell, (Piled High and Deep), Ph.D., formerly of the CIA, the psychologist regarded as the architect of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program…. a description taken straight from the article…. You’ll be able to recognize my comments by the anger and vulgarity the statements produce in me….

“The people on the ground did the best they could with the way they understood the law at the time,” he said. “You can’t ask someone to put their life on the line and think and make a decision without the benefit of hindsight and then eviscerate them in the press 10 years later.”

You  can’t? Why not? These people were in no danger; there is no danger, no life on the line, when someone tortures another; only the one being tortured is in danger. And if you do something so obviously WRONG, it doesn’t fucking matter a bit how long it is, you SHOULD be vilified in the press. There is no reason on this Earth why anyone shouldn’t KNOW torturing another human being, for ANY FUCKING REASON AT ALL, is NOT morally defensible.  This principle is true even in cases where the ultimate goal is considered good; you’ve no doubt heard the saying, “the end does not justify the means.”

If they didn’t know it was wrong, why didn’t they do it out in the open, where everyone could see what they were doing? Fucking assholes think that their own parafuckingnoia should excuse anything they do….

“Everything you know is wrong.” — The Firesign Theater

“I’m skeptical about the Senate report, because I do not believe that every analyst whose jobs and promotions depended upon it, who were professional intelligence experts, all them lied to protect a program? All of them were wrong? All of these [CIA] directors were wrong? All of the people who were using the intel to go get people were wrong? And 10 years later a Senate staffer was able to put it together and finally there’s clarity? I am just highly skeptical that that’s the truth.”

This one’s easy….and so obvious, I again shouted this at the screen, hoping the asshole would hear me, “Why, yes, you bloody idiot, they CAN, and WERE, all wrong…. and every damn one of them WOULD lie to protect a program, which, in their minds, equals money, or influence….”

Then, of course, I realized I was shouting at my computer, so, I sat, tried to calm down, & began to type, to try to release some of the venom and bile that collected so quickly in the face of such evil insanity…. It started when the assbite used the phrase, “Senate staffer”, with the sneeringly obvious implication that position was only held only by persons of dubious character, and less than average intelligence, when compared to the noble men under his command….

When you start from a premise that is wrong, there is no way to make it come out right; every damn one of those directors started with the idea that whatever they did, right or wrong, shouldn’t be made public knowledge, and that such clandestine prevarication is justified by their goal (which, because it is their goal, they refuse to consider as anything other than right…. perfect “ipse dixit” logic….)

“If you get the first one in the wrong hole, you’ll never get all buttoned up right.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This, of course, is completely contrary to the values upon which our nation was supposedly founded; thus, any acts that indulge in that sort of paranoia, which were made on the basis of that idea, are, from the start, WRONG…. It really is that simple ffolkes, and I don’t understand quite WHY the public doesn’t get that, when listening to these lying, insane fools who pursue their delusional fantasies at the expense of the rest of us….

I reiterate….  “Everything you know is wrong.” — The Firesign Theater

Bloody fucking assholes, every damn one of them…..

“If I had a large amount of money I should found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears.” — Stephen Fry

I’d say the good doctor Mitchell would be one of the first admissions…. I’ll leave you to consider the following, which pretty much sums up what I see happening in the world today, just about everywhere I look…..

“It is okay to be ignorant in some areas, but some people abuse the privilege.” — Smart Bee

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Here is a poignant little poem, from a poet with whom I’m not very familiar… At first, I was going to pass over it, but, it grows as it settles, becoming more than it appears to be at first….. You’ll see what I mean if you give it a chance….

The Dreams of My Heart

The dreams of my heart and my mind pass,
Nothing stays with me long,
But I have had from a child
The deep solace of song;

If that should ever leave me,
Let me find death and stay
With things whose tunes are played out and forgotten
Like the rain of yesterday.

~~ Sara Teasdale ~~

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Given the theme in section one today, this is a perfect piece from the archives, to finish out the day….

From 7/15/2012:

“I observe that there are two entirely different theories according to which individual men seek to get on in the world. One theory leads a man to pull down everyone around him in order to climb on them to a higher place. The other leads a man to help everybody around him in order that he may go up with them.” — Elihu Root

I’ve also heard it observed that there are only two kinds of people in the world…. Those who make lists about the types of people in the world, and those who are bored to tears by that….. 

     🙂    

Sorry, couldn’t resist, even for such an obviously true aphorism, one that is completely  worthy of pearl status…..

I like to think that I act from the latter motivational base, that of working with my peers rather than against them, with my only thought of reward the good feeling that serving others gives me.

One piece of evidence that I’ve been successful at that, can be seen in my own place near the bottom of what most would consider the social scale. If I had been leaving bloody corpses behind me, I think I’d be enjoying a few more physical comforts than I do, and would have bodies buried somewhere that could be used against me, if they were publicized. When one has nothing, there is nothing to steal, is there?

“If you wish a life of trouble, fill your house with treasures.” — ancient Chinese proverb

I think the morality implied by the original pearl above is obvious, and is one that neither side of the issue would argue. But then, those who climb on the bodies of their peers to advance would never admit to such behavior; rationalization is one of mankind’s greatest skills. But, rationalized or not, they DO know that what they do is immoral; they have merely learned the art of lying to themselves as readily as they do to others.

To my way of thinking, it’s sad, as well as stupid, for far too many reasons to list here; relating one will do. It’s sad because these people will never even see any need to change, until it is too late for them to do anything that might help them. And it is stupid, well, just because it is…. No, sorry, just kidding… it is stupid because, a life that is built on lies, is no life at all…..

Joshu asked the teacher Nansen, “What is the True Way?”
Nansen answered, “Every way is the true Way.”
Joshu asked, “Can I study it?”
Nansen answered, “The more you study, the further from the Way.”
Joshu asked, “If I don’t study it, how can I know it?”
Nansen answered, “The Way does not belong to things seen: nor to things unseen. It does not belong to things known: nor to things unknown. Do not seek it, study it, or name it. To find yourself on it, open yourself as wide as the sky.”

I can see the Way, but cannot point to it, and this makes me pessimistic, for it (the Way) is possibly our last hope for redemption as a species, and the people who most need to find it are not even looking. I am optimistic because I see great promise in Man, even if I am not certain that promise will be kept….

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The aforementioned edit/proof session took only about 30 minutes, which makes this one of the fastest Pearls to ever get completed, unless, of course, you’re going to be a stickler, and count the two or three hours spent yesterday in putting it together…. I, personally, don’t have a stick jammed far enough up my ass to feel like that, so, I’m just going to ignore the entire issue, before I say or do something to completely eradicate any dignity or aplomb I may have previously displayed today…. In other words, I’m outta here, before I get caught…. See ya, ffolkes….

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

dozer3

Would a bit of irony be of assistance?….

Ffolkes,

Many days, when I wake up to begin writing this blog, I’m struck by how egotistical it must appear, from the other side. Day after day of relating what goes on in my head, all for what? Many would think that it is to stroke that ego, making it stronger and even bigger than it was….. which was plenty big, believe me…. I’ve never felt that denying reality was of any help to anyone, so I’ve never bothered to try to be too humble about my own abilities….. I’m smarter than the average bear, and have a lot of physical skills that many don’t ever acquire….. However, I have always tried to be patient with those who don’t quite understand as much as I do, and have never taken advantage of anyone less skilled, or less of anything… That would be dishonorable, and I was raised to put honor before need, or desire, always….

Also, let us not confuse that strength of ego with conceit, or with lack of humility; I don’t believe I make the grade in being conceited, as I’ve never let my own abilities keep me from appreciating those abilities that others possess, and I don’t….. There are a LOT of these skills and/or abilities I don’t possess, that others have; this is NOT a problem for me, as I am content with all I have.  I also don’t believe that my own  somewhat extensive talents make me any better, or worse, than anyone else; I believe as the Dalai Lama has expressed, that what makes a person valuable is how much compassion for others they feel, and express…. Unfortunately, this effort to keep from allowing myself to take advantage of others doesn’t keep me from showing my abilities, and that often brings censure from people who automatically assume that such displays are ego-driven, never thinking, or understanding, that it can also be motivated by altruism….

Hell, sometimes it’s hard for ME to believe in altruism, but, there it is, and there isn’t anything I can do about it at this point. My father drilled into me a code of ethics that leaves no room for any actions that can cause dishonor, and I believe, firmly, that those ethical mores are what make me different from many others, others who DO use their abilities for their own benefit, to the exclusion of others. That sort of amoral folk are rife in the fields of politics, religion, law, and the paramilitary; I’m not sure just what the attraction is, other than the ultimate freedom that comes with not giving a shit about other people…. I suppose, to that sort of mind, or emotional makeup, such debauchery is attractive as a lifestyle….

Myself, I can’t handle it; when I think about how much the pundits and preachers take advantage of their positions, it makes me ill, and I want to go out to buy a gun…. which would then put me into the same category as them, as I’d be forced by my own sanity to use it on them, forgoing all my father’s teaching…. It’s a conundrum to be sure…. Fortunately for me, though not necessarily for all of you, I have this blog, to sublimate the urge to kill that passes through me almost every day, when I read about the latest lies and chicanery they’ve been up to out in the BBR….. It’s almost enough to put one off reading the news…..

So, I’ll continue to rant, and write my pearls of virtual wisdom, in my own little attempt to bring some reason and stability to the world, if only for the time spent here reading…. Whether or not that is approved of by others is moot, as it makes me feel better, and that is all any of us are really concerned with…. If we have anything left over when we feel good, then we might share it, but, mostly, we are all looking out for ourselves, and doing our best not to sink under the waves…. and that’s okay….

Me, I gotta write, and get some of this stuff out of my head, before it sits in there and turns into something that could drive me to go buy a gun…. If that ever happens, look for a lot of politicians, preachers, bankers, and otherwise useless people to die, one after another, until they catch me…. That IS a joke, you know…. I’d never do any of that, in reality; too much work, and I’m retired from working… Besides, I haven’t let myself give in like that, for 63 years now, and I’m tougher now than when I started this journey….

On that pleasant note, Shall we Pearl?….

“Live a life worthy of the things that will be said of you when you’re dead.” — Ambidextrous Rex
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Today’s intro section turned a bit stodgy on me; it’s a good discussion, but, feels a bit like wearing a suit and tie…. a bit stiff and constricting, no doubt pinching in the tight spots….. So, I’m going immediately to a harlequin old-school pearl, to loosen things up a bit, and hopefully, lighten the mood at the same time…. I’m hoping that Smart Bee’s natural sense of whimsy will come through to bring that about…. let’s see what it’s got for us, shall we?…..

“To sing the same tune, as the saying is, is in everything cloying and offensive; but men are generally pleased with variety.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of the Training of Children

“The present is the only thing that has no end.” — Erwin Schrödinger

“I readily relapse into my reflections on the uselessness of our education. Its aim has been to make us not good and wise, but learned; and in this it has succeeded. It has not taught us to follow and embrace virtue and wisdom, but has imprinted their derivations and etymologies on our minds. We are able
to decline ‘virtue’ even if we are unable to love it; if we do not know what wisdom is in fact and by experience, we are familiar with it as a jargon learned by heart.  — Michel de Montaigne, Essays

“Bow to no patron’s insolence. Rely on no frail hopes; in freedom live and die.” — Seneca

“A man is average when he can see the other man’s faults; he becomes above average only when he can also see his own.” — Smart Bee

“Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul.” — Bhagavad Gita (c. B.C. 400)

“Always store beer in a dark place.” — Lazarus Long

Yep…. I think that should do it….
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Today’s Pearl is all fresh so far…. in keeping with that theme, albeit with older material, here are two of my own poems, for better or for worse….

Haiku XII

 I called an old friend
a few days ago, or so.
Old friends are the best.

~~ gigoid ~~

When life calls, ready or not….

Memories are all we have sometimes
to keep our sanity intact,
with learned phrases and subtle rhymes
lessening life’s vicious, vibrant impact.

Presently all seems composed and intent
in stark contrast to hollow day,
forlorn patchwork emotions of unheralded bent,
fill up night’s bower, leaving hell to pay.

Such vigorous and elevated temper
brings us rare moments to ponder,
filled with lessons all need to remember
lest base perception lose valued wonder.

Laugh loud when entropy sticks fast
leaving shameless anger in its wake.
Let bygones pass quietly into the past
reaping only what is left to take.

Final words of wise imagination
tell us living well’s the best revenge, it appears
ever eluding choirs and congregations
finally finding home, never buried in tears.

~~ gigoid ~~

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“Without God, everything is possible.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky

When first observed, this little aphorism seems contradictory, but, I’m sure that is only because it stands in stark contrast to all we’ve been told since we first began to hear about the concept of God…. If one stops to actually THINK about what it implies, the contrast disappears, to be subsumed by the sheer elegance of the reasoning that prompts such a statement…..

I am not sure, however, that my current state of mind is capable of doing justice to such a discussion just now; one must be in touch with all of one’s reasoning powers to live up to such a topic of such complexity, and to sustain the effort through enough time to overcome the natural resistance that is thrown up whenever such blasphemous concepts come under scrutiny…. Considering the cold I’ve been fighting all week, the hour (it’s not even 0530 yet…. & I’ve been up for almost two hours already….), and the overall state of my psyche, I’d rather save any such discussion until I can respond with a bit more vigor than is currently on tap….

That being said, I think that a small reminder of what John Lennon proposed in his song “Imagine” is appropriate as a sublimation for the absent discussion; the song can be viewed as an almost perfect statement of how it might feel to consider a universe without the constricting concept of an overbearing God watching over us, judging all we do…. sort of like Mrs. Grundy, the ever-present nosy neighbor, or your disapproving maiden aunt, who has nothing better to do than to sit in judgment of others, even though their own experience of life is confined to their own sad existence, based on what they read in ONE book, of dubious authorage….

Along with the lyrics of the song, I’ll also substitute an old-school pearl at this point, saving the rant itself for another day…. That is, if SB will cooperate…. worth a shot, don’t you think?…. And, I don’t think God will mind, as He doesn’t really exist in the way most folks think….

“Always make allowances for the “duh” factor.” — Smart Bee

“Some things don’t need the thought people give them.” — Calvin

If you want to sing out, sing out,
and if you want to be free, be free,
’cause there’s a million ways to be,
you know that there are…

— Cat Stevens, from a song lyric

“Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.” — Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband

“If I had a large amount of money I should found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears.” — Stephen Fry

“A lizard ran out on a rock and looked up, listening no doubt to the sounding of the spheres. And what a dandy fellow! the right toss of a chin for you and swirl of a tail!  If men were as much men as lizards are lizards they’d be worth looking at.” — D. H. Lawrence (1928)

“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
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On a normal day, at 0542 in the AM, I’d prefer to be sleeping, but, that event, having NOT happened in many a year, thus takes on the shape and desirability of a dream quest, a chimera, beckoning me to chase it down the halls of Time…. like a fool. Since the day isn’t normal, and neither am I, I suppose it shouldn’t shock me to be done already with today’s Pearl. I DID get up at 0330 or so….. Any who, let’s see how it turned out….

Well, it’s a Pearl…. More than this, deponent sayeth naught, with good cause…. Which is, I’ve probably said enough, and more than….. See ya…

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

Precisely one portion, no sauce…

Ffolkes,
It’s been a long, strange trip, to be sure. One of my best days in life was today, 32 years ago. On that Monday night, my son came to join the rest of us, and my life as father began in earnest. As a small gift, today’s Pearl of Virtual Wisdom is dedicated to Cory Benjamin Moore, for his gift to me, a gift beyond price…..
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“Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.” — Benjamin Disraeli (Earl Beaconsfield) (1805-1881) — Coningsby, Book iii, Chap. i

Benjamin, th’ puir wee laddie, he’s lost his way, and kinna see th’ rrrroad no muir! I pity this man, he has let his despair get the better of him. My own youth was a dream; it taught me how to learn, and how to love.  Manhood was a time of pain and glory, love and loss, moments of agony balanced by days of joy. Sometimes I struggled, other times I coasted.  So far, old age hasn’t been too bad, all things considered. Though there are trade-offs, it’s nice deciding how to spend one’s time according to only our own desires.  Certainly nothing I’ve experienced so far in life would influence me to change a life-long vow.

I swore many, many moons ago, never to allow myself to regret how I’ve lived; I was, and am, determined to be happy, or at least content with whatever I might choose to do, and whatever happens to me. I am, after all, the only one responsible for deciding how to live. There’s no point in entertaining regrets; it’s uncomfortable at best, and at worst, cannot accept with grace the reality that it is impossible to change the past. Regrets allow guilt to get a strangle-hold on your conscience, removing a lot of choices from one’s possible responses. When that happens, you take the risk of being forever at the beck and call of other people, and never having the opportunity to even determine what it is you’d rather be doing with your life. Guilt is pretty much a choice, as I see it, and not a very good one……it neither adds nor subtracts to the course of events, but the one who feels it is miserable, sometimes even feeling guilty for feeling good…… What a terrible trap to voluntarily fall into!…….

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“If I had a large amount of money I should found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears.” — Stephen Fry

I would be happy to join this gentleman in his project, as I have the same reaction to a lot of what I see in the news these days. The folks pursuing the Republican nomination have been especially ubiquitous in this respect. From watching their ads, and from what they are reported to have said in the media, it’s a common tactic used by all of them to avoid having to say anything that has any real meaning. They attack the other candidates, or put down the current administration, and make all sorts of bogus claims, none of which directly addresses any particularly important problem. More than one of the candidate hopefuls have made use of this tactic, of spouting outrage over something one of the others said, and completely ignoring the issues that the voters care about, or issues that directly affect all of us, such as global warming and economic reform. It’s a time-honored tradition to point fingers instead of addressing issues, one our political pundits embrace fully. But it’s frustrating as hell to those of us who have actually understood what is going on, having to watch these idiots lead us all merrily down the path to Hell, to the tune of our own funeral march….,
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“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I, and just about every philosopher who ever drew breath, would have to agree with Emerson on this one. Nothing is more fulfilling than helping someone else, just because we can. There’s something pure, and innocent in the act; even though we are complex creatures, this kind of altruism seems to bypass the need to complicate matters, or reason it to death. It’s an instance of acting in perfect harmony with the universe, and our reward is the act itself, because it just feels good to do it. I’m not going to analyze this to death; it’s a pretty simple concept, and one that everyone should be aware of; one of the things the world needs more of is people who are willing to serve others without hope of reward. It’s the surest sign of an ethically and morally superior person, one who should be emulated by all…..
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Hey Laszlo!   Want to see a demonstration of gravity?

In order for this line to make any sense, you will need to watch a movie, made sometime in the 80’s, I think. It was one of Val Kilmer’s earliest movies, and possibly the one that propelled him into the public eye. “Real Genius” is the title, and it’s a hilarious romp through the halls of modern-day academia, poking some rather pointed fun toward the US military’s involvement in directing research in universities toward the production of weapons. It also makes a lot of tongue-in-cheek comments about university politics, and how the professors often manipulate and take advantage of their graduate students. It’s a silly movie, really, with a lot of Keystone Kops humor. The line I’ve included here is one from the movie, uttered by the character played by Kilmer.  As he says this, he knocks Lazlo’s books out of this hands, and they fall to the floor……well, you probably had to be there. Anywho, there are a lot of cute moments, and a lot of laughs, as the geeks take on the suits, winning another round in the age-old conflict between rambunctious youth and dyed-in-the-wool military and government fogies. It’s fun, and the good guys come out on top in the end, so it’s a great way to spend some time in a drama-free environment. Myself, I try to spend all my time there; I’ve had enough drama in my life, thank you very much……
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“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” — James Madison

“A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.” — Thomas Jefferson

The Homeland Security Act, passed shortly after the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks, is, to my way of thinking, the first time in our history that the American people have voluntarily allowed abridgments to our personal liberties to be enacted. The way I see it, quote #1, by James Madison, called that one perfectly. Our beloved ruling class, having decided we have “too many rights” (a direct quote from the junior Shrub, btw) in the Bill of Rights, carefully orchestrated events to provoke an attack on our home shores, knowing they could then fool the public into accepting their abridgments on our freedoms. And, to proceed to Mr. Jefferson’s comment, WE LET THEM DO IT! Anyone who rose up to speak against this vile, manipulative legislation was immediately shouted down as being unpatriotic.

For most of my life, I have avoided guns.  Being a fairly smart guy, I noticed at a young age that most of the folks who get shot were carrying guns; it makes sense to me to reduce the chances of becoming a target in this most simple way, i.e., never carrying this kind of weapon (though it would be a very big mistake to assume that I carry NO weapons; in fact I carry four at all times, all of different kinds, none of which are guns). However, since the PTB (powers that be)  have begun to try to take away my rights, I figure I’d better grab myself a bunch more firepower, before I no longer am allowed to do so.  If it comes down to it, I WILL fight, if they come for any more of my rights. I will not let the blood and sacrifice of my countrymen and forefathers, and my own father, for that matter, be in vain. I’m about done with putting up with these kinds of issues, and am drawing near the point of acting on my feelings. In one sense, I hope they stop and reconsider trying to further reduce our liberties, because if they don’t, I’m going to REALLY get mad, and they will find themselves with a whole new issue to deal with……I’m a Scorpio, a triple Scorpio, for that matter; I was born under the sign of the God of War. You do NOT want to make me an enemy…..

The vultures are circling…they have the faces of presidential candidates and carry bowling balls in their buttered claws….

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So that’s the name of that tune…..hope y’all enjoyed this morning’s romp through the meadows of my mind. If not, or if you happened to step in a cow patty in the meadow, well, the day is young…..y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!