~~ Scottish Proverb ~~
Picture by Hubble Orbital Deep Space Telescope ~ NASA
As is my unfortunately consistent habit, at the sight of this terrifyingly white, empty screen, I find my mind to be completely blank; not only blank, but, seemingly unwilling to even move away even a step from its chosen posture of resistance, to allow even the slightest glimmer of inspiration to shine. Alas, woe is me!….
Whoops! We’ll have none of that, young man!…. Okay, that will be quite enough, I believe; I’m not so cruel, or idiotic, to think I could get away with such a massively mundane expression of angst, even here, at the very beginning, where it could be buried in the general confusion of getting started…. I don’t know what I was thinking, except, perhaps, to say, I wasn’t…. thinking, that is. It may have seemed like thinking, but, let me assure you, no such process was going on in THIS head, not yet….
That being the case, I shall, once again, endeavor to get us out of here before it gets to the point we are trapped in a meandering, ultimately useless pile of blather, searching for some kind of sensible, dignified way out, without ever realizing such are only given to those who remain clear-headed. Naturally, this means y’all will be losing out on the post-intro refreshments, but, I’m sure you won’t mind, since we’ll be back in time for the buffet…. For now, allow me to use good, old #4, which, as you all know, works like this…..
Shall we Pearl?
“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.” — Henry Ward Beecher
When I was a kid, Dragnet was the only crime show on TV; if there were others, I don’t remember them…. Even then, as far as I could see, Jack Webb had a stick further up his butt than anyone I ever saw, knew, or heard of…. no shit. But, the show was great fun, especially for those of us who looked on it as unintentionally funny; I’m sorry, NOBODY could be that stupid, or, refuse to allow ANY emotion to show, as Jack Webb played Joe Friday…. I don’t know what police detective he was trying to emulate, but, if it was a real one, I’m betting the cop was playing Webb for a fool, seeing him for the uptight dick he seemed to be, by all accounts…. No matter, it’s all in good fun, now…. Enjoy this blast from the past, ffolkes, then we can go on to bigger things…. Well, we’re hoping….
DRAGNET: “The Hammer”
I try to post this once a year, as a minor tribute to Noah, one of the best dogs I’ve ever known….. It looks as if I missed last year, so, here ’tis, early in this year, to compensate…..
Last posted on 8/26/2013:
Ode to Noah
Noah came to live with our family when he was about 10 months old; we rescued him from taking the long walk at the Humane Society kennel in Santa Rosa. It was my son’s fifteenth birthday; he wanted a dog, swearing up & down that he would take responsibility for its’ care. Pets were always part of family life when I grew up; our last dog had been gone for a bit over a year, so, we decided it was time to expand the family once again.
As Cory and I walked down the aisle between cages at the kennel, a large variety of dogs started a welcoming cacophony of different barks; shrill tiny ones, deep booming ones, polite yips, all blended together in an almost desperate frenzy, as each animal, many of them almost frantic, tried to get our attention. Some pawed at the gate, or, danced around in circles; others jumped up & down. Some looked nervous, or, suspicious; others looked friendly, but, all of them, it seemed, were making noise.
As we drew near the last cage in the aisle, we saw a slender, medium-sized, black and white dog, not barking, not jumping, just sitting down, leaning against the wall by the gate. He was looking me right in the eyes with an expression that arrowed straight into our hearts…. sad, sad eyes, with a long, mournful face cried out silently, “get me out of here, please!”. What could we do? He was obviously our dog; he realized it too, but, seemed afraid to hope. We told him we’d be right back, heading back to the desk in the front to announce our choice, and complete the paperwork.
The attendant brought Noah in to us just as I was handed the receipt. As he was led in by a standard choke-chain leash, he looked a bit nervous, but composed & curiously calm. That is, he was calm until I clasped his new collar around his neck, then snapped on his brand new leash. All of a sudden, when we stepped outside, he realized he wasn’t going back into the kennel; he immediately became a different dog, wagging his tail furiously, looking at us with his eyes shining, almost dancing and vibrating in his eagerness to go. As we walked back to the van, he walked proudly in front of us, tail and ears up at attention, almost prancing, looking back every few steps to make sure we were still there, a very happy dog…..
Noah settled into the family immediately. He proved to be very well-mannered, both with people, and, in his habits. When out on walks, he would stop to sniff, lifting his leg to leave his mark at every interesting bush and tree, just like any other male dog. But when he had to do his secondary business, he made it clear he preferred to go behind a bush, or somewhere out of the way, preferably out of sight.
If he felt he was not sufficiently hidden from sight, he would assume a very embarrassed expression, turning away as if he felt guilty. A very private, discreet individual, to say the least. On those rare occasions he had been overlong between walks, so much in a hurry he made a mistake on the sidewalk, he would act just like a cat, walking away with head averted, pretending it had never happened. “What mess? Who me? I don’t know what you’re talking about….. C’mon, let’s go!”
Noah was an extremely intelligent dog; I’ve known a great many animals in my time on this old planet, but, he was one of the smartest I’ve ever been around. When he came to live with us, at about 10 months of age, he already knew how to sit on command (both voice and hand), to lie down, and to stay.
Actually, he had a little trouble with the whole concept of ‘stay’; he didn’t like being left alone, and would often follow us after a minute or two; it was as if he just didn’t want to believe we really MEANT for him to stay. He figured he should be with us so he could do his job, to guard and act as scout. As long as he could see us, he’d stay where he was; if he couldn’t, he believed it was his place to find us….. We never came to terms over the matter; on this particular point he was firm.
We also never had to teach Noah any tricks, as he seemed to have figured stuff out on his own, and his way was definitely cool….The first time I ever gave him a treat (a milk bone), I showed it to him and told him to sit. He sat. I told him to speak, and he gave one quick howl. I held out my hand, & he offered his own to shake. I straightened up, then, tossed the treat a couple feet above his head, in the air….
He didn’t just catch it; he made a jump, making the in-air snag like a professional left-fielder. As he touched the rug, he immediately tossed it back up into the air. He timed his move perfectly; as the treat hit the floor, he dove on top of it, rolled over, & started doing a happy dance, by twisting his back and hips as if scratching his back on the floor. I swear, he looked just like Snoopy doing the Dance of Joy.
When he was done celebrating, he rolled over, snatched up his milk bone, to begin chomping with a big twinkle in his eye. I always wanted to video the move for posterity, or, to submit it for Stupid Pet Tricks on the Letterman Show. Sadly, he lived before the age of cell phone cameras, & I never seemed to have a camera handy when he performed his feat, so, Noah missed his chance for stardom.
Noah’s gotten old now; we just observed his 17th birthday in February of this year; as they say, in dog years, he’s going on 120 or so. He can’t hear anything but very loud noises, & can’t see more than a few feet, which I suspect is confined mostly to shadows and moving light. I’m afraid he will be passing on soon, as he can no longer get up without assistance, and, is having trouble controlling his bodily functions.
I sometimes feel like I should have him put down, to ease his pains, but he doesn’t act as if he is hurting, and I can tell he enjoys just lying around and sleeping, as long as he knows I am near. For his entire life with us, over 16 and a half years, he has been a true and loyal companion. He has observed with honor the pact made between Man and Dog many thousands of generations ago; taking care of him in his declining years is both a privilege, and, an honor. In my entire life, I have never known anyone more loyal, more compassionate, or more courageous in standing up to life. He was, and is, by far, the best friend that any man could hope for, and, also by far, the best person I’ve ever known……
To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.
I’ve read that things inanimate have moved,
And as with living souls have been inform’d
By magic numbers and persuasive sound.
~~ William Congreve (1670-1729) ~~
~~ The Mourning Bride, Act i, Sc. 1 ~~
With analytic eyes;
I wonder if it weighs like mine,
Or has an easier size.
I wonder if they bore it long,
Or did it just begin?
I could not tell the date of mine,
It feels so old a pain.
I wonder if it hurts to live,
And if they have to try,
And whether, could they choose between,
They would not rather die.
I wonder if when years have piled–
Some thousands–on the cause
Of early hurt, if such a lapse
Could give them any pause;
Or would they go on aching still
Through centuries above,
Enlightened to a larger pain
By contrast with the love.
The grieved are many, I am told;
The reason deeper lies,–
Death is but one and comes but once
And only nails the eyes.
There’s grief of want, and grief of cold,–
A sort they call ‘despair,’
There’s banishment from native eyes,
In sight of native air.
And though I may not guess the kind
Correctly yet to me
A piercing comfort it affords
In passing Calvary,
To note the fashions of the cross
Of those that stand alone
Still fascinated to presume
That some are like my own.
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
There are days when the making of pearls is justified in mere moments, with the creation of a single seven-star pearl, the most ordinary kind, which, seemingly, says it all… Today is one of those days….
36. Mind your own business. — Instructions for life
“Anyone who has had a bull by the tail knows five or six more things than someone who hasn’t.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)
“Amusement is for the sake of relaxation, and relaxation is of necessity sweet, for it is the remedy of pain caused by toil; and intellectual enjoyment is universally acknowledged to contain an element not only of the noble but of the pleasant, for happiness is made up of both.” — Aristotle
“A shelf of classics for our young adults: Tolkien, Hesse, Casteneda, Kerouac, Salinger, Tom Robbins, and “The Last Whole Earth Catalog”.” — Edward Abbey
“If attacked by a lion thrust your arm down his throat. This takes some practice.” — Cyril Connolly
“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” — Helen Keller (American Author, 1880-1968) — became blind & deaf at 19 months old
“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.” — Marcus Aurelius
I’d say, if all of these can be said to be true of you and your life, if you have learned these lessons, read these books, by them learning to respect the most critical concepts of Honor, Compassion, and Duty, you win…..
Ah yes! I love the smell of burnt neurons in the morning!…. Another day’s Pearl has been created, and I am content. Later today, I will, for the first time in my life, or theirs, be able to see BOTH of my grandchildren in the same day…. Of course, the pair of them have only BEEN a pair for four days, but, hey, a first is a first…. It isn’t every day one meets their newest granddaughter, is it?…. See y’all tomorrow ffolkes, probably with pictures of the wee lassie who now has a piece o’ my heart….
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,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….