Potboiler or not, it’s quite a story….

Ffolkes,

“Do I look like someone who cares about what God thinks?”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

Twice as big in volume as the Earth, HD 40307g straddles the line between "Super-Earth" and "mini-Neptune" and scientists aren't sure if it has a rocky surface or one that's buried beneath thick layers of gas and ice. One thing is certain though: at eight time the Earth's mass, its gravitational pull is much, much stronger.To Enlarge, click on picture


Casting hope aside, with endless sorrow, the ancient warrior took up his sword, settling the scabbard firmly at his side, ready to hand. No expression crossed the stoic face, despite the burning anger, and thirst for battle that gripped his soul. Only the hard presence of immutable will would be allowed to escape his control, until the one responsible for this atrocity had been served up to the gods of revenge, in pieces too small to identify. Only then would the ancient warrior be content to lay aside his weapon, to honorably die, joining those whose lives were his to avenge….

Often, in the small hours of the dark morning, my constant companion awakens me to begin the day, pushing me up with the hope of finding more peace than can be found abed, where time becomes an enemy in the lee of midnight…. I gaze at the screen, once my mind is caught up to my eyes, wondering what I can find here to ease the whirling, spinning maelstrom which confronts me out here in the real world of consciousness. I can feel the weight of time, sitting on my shoulders, bringing memories of both joy and pain, denying hope, politely, and, oh, so cruel, with its constant, relentless barrage of what seems to be a multitude of small, yet vicious invisible mites, biting, biting, each and every one of my nerves, one after the other….

My doctor, it seems, doesn’t believe in my pain, for he/she wants me to give up the most stable source of any real peace I’ve had in the past 40 years. The prurient, prudish morality of a soulless behemoth masquerading as a “corporate person”, otherwise known as a Health Maintenance Organization, has decided that it is within their purview to decide for me what the proper treatment for my condition is, without any consideration at all for what that arrogance will do TO me…. Because I insist on making my own decisions about the best way to treat my pain, and my PTSD, they are willing to literally blackmail me with the threat of my own pain to protect themselves from their own imaginary bogies, which they are afraid will leave them open to litigation, thus taking away from their profit margin, the purpose for their entire existence….

But, that, unfortunately, is ranting, which is, at this juncture, both too early, and too big a subject to try to address in the intro…. not to mention the inappropriateness of such a discussion in public, at all…. But, in the mood I’m in, (as indicated by the obvious self-portrait in the first paragraph….), what the fuck do I care what’s appropriate? In fact, now that I think of it, the opening quote from Zippy is perfectly apt for today…. Fuck ’em all, I say. Bring any of them to me, and I shall make them meat…. All I ask is your silence, and some help in disposing of the evidence….

No? Well, no worries, nobody has died yet….. but, the day is young…. A good portion of today’s Pearl was completed yesterday, and the day before, as my newly developed method of writing has become more of a routine, choppy though it is, with its necessary breaks every ten or fifteen minutes to find another (relatively) comfortable position in which to type, or to walk around to stretch, and allow the skeleton to come to terms with the pain currently assailing most of my joints…. It’s a bit choppy, but, it works for me….

Another advantage of this system is the increased vigilance it allows me, to stay on top of those little opportunities to get to the correct area on the map we use, such as this fine looking entry point coming up on our bow…. It’s so conveniently located we’re going for it, even if it does, again, throw the rhythm I’ve found into the toilet…. S’okay, I’m coming to rather enjoy the offhand way I am ordered about by my inanimate objects…. They’re only trying to help, you know, and they are severely underpaid, in my opinion…. But, that’s a rant for another time, and place…. Right now, we’re going in, so, I’d suggest you hang on to the nearest stanchion; our pilot today likes to cut things close….

Shall we Pearl?

“Once, there was NO fun…  This was before MENU planning, FASHION statements or NAUTILUS equipment… Then, in 1985..  FUN was completely encoded in this tiny MICROCHIP… It contain 14,768 vaguely amusing SIT-COM pilots!! We had to wait FOUR BILLION years but we finally got JERRY LEWIS, MTV and a large selection of creme-filled snack cakes!” — Zippy the Pinhead

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As the first couple of paragraphs in the above section indicate, my soul is crying out for peace…. This isn’t a cure, but, I find it helps…. Maybe it is part of the connection I’ve always felt to the Druidic culture that flourished in ancient Europe, or, maybe it’s just the way it takes me away from reality…. whatever it is, it works for me….

Celtic Music – Sleeping Dreams And Fantasies Mix

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“A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.”

~~ Mark Twain ~~

A-laughing-girl-and-her-camel

    Now that I have your attention, we have a different sort of ranting section for you today…. Right now, I am unsure of exactly what it will look like, or, where it might end up, but, having found the perfect opening picture and pearl, I’m going to let if fly, just so we can see what kind of trouble we can either cause, or get into, whichever seems more fun…. What else would you expect, when you find these two at the top of the section?….

With the proper tone firmly established, we shall move on to the more intellectual part of today’s experimental pearl…. an old school indictment of Asininnies, of the political persuasion, those we call Pundits, (or, sometimes, The Liars Club….). I’d hoped to include the rest of the categories of the larger group, (i.e. Dogma Dogs, Myrmidons, Snakeheads, Pimps, Illuminati, Mundanes, Droids,  or, anyone else worthy of our ire….), but everything that came up was in this smaller group, which, apparently, Smart Bee seems to consider the most vulnerable target at the moment of choice…. Or, it could be these are what came up, with incipient laziness taking over at that point…. Here they are, such as they are….

“He’s not a politician.  He’s just ethically challenged.” — Smart Bee

“Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. In democracy, what you get generally is bad government by a bully, tempered by the pen of several newspaper editors.” — George Bernard Shaw — Man and Superman (1903) Maxims for Revolutionists: Democracy

“You can lead a man to Congress, but you can’t make him think.” — Smart Bee

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand-fold in the future.” — Solzhenitsyn

“Bother! said Pooh, as he found a politician in his honey pot.” — Smart Bee

“How do you make sense of such madness? The answer is, you can’t.” — Pablo Guzman

“As long as the United States Government exists, there is no real accomplishment being a humorist.” — Smart Bee

Okay, now comes the fun part…. We’ve taken our shots at the pundits for the day; now we get to finish the new format with one final comment, which I’ve personally chosen to represent the metaphor of reality being highlighted in this unusual fashion…. This is what I came up with, as a final word on the Asininnies for today…. It’s a very nice statement of insight on life today, which, I promise, will be my last word for today on this subject…. In truth, the statement is a fine finish for any indictment, for it speaks to the reason any of us might feel the need to indict at all….

“The stars are made of the same atoms as the earth.”  I usually pick one small topic like this to give a lecture on.  Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars — mere gobs of gas atoms.  Nothing is “mere.”  I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them.  But do I see less or more?      The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination — stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light.  A vast pattern — of which I am a part — perhaps my stuff was belched from some forgotten star, as one is belching there.  Or see them with the greater eye of Palomar, rushing all apart from some common starting point when they were perhaps all together.  What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the *why?* It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it.  For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined!  Why do the poets of the present not speak of it?  What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?” — Richard Phillips Feynman (1918-1988)

As is patently clear to me, in a larger sense, Mr. Feynman obliquely implies the mindset adopted by those of our human brethren who choose ignorance and faith over knowledge and reason, thus limiting themselves to a pattern of looking at reality which keeps them, and consequently all of us, from living as we are meant to live.

If not for this intrinsic flaw in our very nature, we could be living in a very different world, walking in beauty, singing, in perfect harmony and rhyme, rejoicing in all the secrets of heart, soul, and reality, rather than merely humming along with the dirges, which are the only music playing in our current reality, a stark, dark, desperate world in which compassion and beauty are crushed under the heels of the boots worn by the god of war, namely, Avarice, and, Indifference…

I know…. Bummer, huh?

gigoid, the dubious

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There are moments in life when the power and presence of serendipity makes itself felt, leaving no doubt in my mind there is more to this universe than we can ever really know…. This poem was the first I encountered today in my search for an appropriate entry for today’s poetry section; it’s the poem of the day on PoemHunter.com, my favorite site to find those verses I need for this part of each Pearl….. It’s a small piece, but, with that incredible characteristic of the very best of poems, brevity, mixed with powerful metaphor, to create a short epistle which gives us much, much more than just the few words use could be expected to give….. Plus, it fits in with my mood….. go figure….

A Coat

I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world’s eyes
As though they’d wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there’s more enterprise
In walking naked.

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~


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This pearl is, to my mind, a good one. It’s composed of pearls whose primary characteristic is in how it must be examined more deeply than the first reading, to penetrate to the second, and third ideas that are buried within their shy outer bearing….. In short, when you read them, they should make you pause, and say to yourself, “Wait a second….”, then look again…. hopefully. Works for me, anyway…. Just look deeper than the shallow first concept, ffolkes, because the result is a pretty good picture of how to approach reality with something more than just a pretty face…., which, in spite of popular belief by many, not everyone has…. No matter anyway, reality doesn’t care….

“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” — Yogi Berra

“Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.” — Erasmus

“The last good thing I saw on TV was the ‘off’ switch.” — J. Craig Brunson (craig@ukpr.uky.edu)

“Where no hope is left, is left no fear.” — Milton

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly.” — Thomas H. Huxley

“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Poem for the Living

When I am dead
Cry for me a little
Think of me sometimes
But not too much.

It is not good for you
Or your wife or your husband
Or your children
To allow your thoughts to dwell

Too long on the dead
Think of me now and again
As I Was in life
 At some moment it is pleasant to recall

But not for long.
Leave me in peace
As I shall leave you, too, in peace.
While you live
Let your thoughts be with the living.

~~ Theodora Kroeber ~~


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Thankfully, it’s done. Just in time, too. I was about to break out in song…. Figuring, rightly, I’m sure, that would drive y’all over the edge, to which we come close enough on a regular basis, we’ll just use our advantage of position (here at the end….) to make our escape, before any of y’all catch on…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, unless embarrassment kicks in….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

2nd door on the left….flush twice….

Ffolkes,

Of all the gods, Death only craves not gifts:
Nor sacrifice, nor yet drink-offering poured
Avails; no altars hath he, nor is soothed
By hymns of praise. From him alone of all
The powers of heaven Persuasion holds aloof.

~~ Aeschylus (525-456 BC) ~~

 — Frag. 146 (trans. by Plumptre) —

10-8-2014 017

    To look at these flowers, bright, plentiful, full of life, one might think it did not fit with the quote from Aeschylus, but, one would be wrong, wouldn’t one? Death comes to all of us, no matter how alive we feel at the time of its arrival…. nor does it care how blue we are, nor how bright…. And, as the poem says, it takes no excuses, no delays, and no arguments; when it is time, one has no choice but to go with Death, wherever it may lead us….

A bit of a grim outlook, unless one is confident of what happens afterward, it would seem, unless, and until, one considers Life, and consciousness as a form of energy…. Since energy cannot be destroyed, only altered in form (as water is…. wonderful synchronicity there….), the only question to  be answered is WHERE does that consciousness GO? I’m afraid there isn’t any evidence available to tell us, other than the fantasies made up by a number of religiously minded folks; those, however, do not place their faith in their guesses as to what happens after we die based on evidence that can be seen, felt, or otherwise acknowledged as real, but, rather, on a set of assumptions with no basis in the real world, only in their imagination….

Me, I prefer the outlook taken by Robert Heinlein, who advised us that we will know soon enough what happens, so why fret about it? Nothing we do here and now has any effect on what happens after we die; furthermore, there is nothing in the universe we can see to give us any indication that little fact isn’t true. If it isn’t true in THIS universe, why should it be true in another? I never did see any sense in trying to make people behave themselves in this world, to ensure our place in the next; that’s just bribery, and not a good way to stimulate behavior, or to build a morality inside someone….

Morality, and ethics, must come from within us, by choice, or they mean NOTHING. Choices, and behaviors that arise in us out of the hope of a reward are not how real humans become ethical creatures; we do that by learning to choose the right action, then, make that our duty, our CHOICE, not made in response to a bribe, or, even worse, in response to a threat of punishment for wrong behavior….. That only teaches people to become sycophants, always seeking someone’s favor by performing unethical acts, justified by their own delusions of adequacy….

SIGH…. Damn! I did it again, didn’t I? I sat down, and led myself by the nose right into a rant…. Boy, in looking back over it, I’m amazed…. I didn’t think even I could start into it that quickly, or that seamlessly…. it just sort of flowed out, as I started to type… and, now look at it…. Four bloody paragraphs, of pretty decent ranting,  but, chock full of the deitrus left in my head after a night’s dreaming, and way too early in the process…. I may have driven off any newbies in the intro with this little diatribe….. can’t have that….. I guess I’ll have to use the rip-stop method, and get us out of here the hard way, before this gets any worse….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.” — ee cummings

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“Only the educated are free.” — Epictetus


If we are to believe Epictetus, it is our duty as free men and women to educate ourselves… In view of that, here are some articles from the recent past, taken from several different news sources… Some of you may note the absence of material from SFGATE, which I formerly used extensively….. I’m sorry to say, the folks who run that site have gone bonkers; they’ve altered the look and feel of it until it now resembles the National Enquirer for sleaze level of the covered material, and increased even further the use of auto-play videos, advertisements, and just plain BS until my computer seized up while trying to load it…. So, I gave up on it, and confine myself to other sources on the Net, of which there is no lack…

That said, the articles today mostly focus on the lies being told to us by the Obama Administration, which are merely a continuation of the same line of bullshit they’ve been doling out for close to seven years now. Despite having made the promise, twice, to display transparency in his administration, this president has pursued a course of lies, secrecy, and clandestine spying on not only the rest of the world, but, on his own people. When confronted about any of it, they become obtuse, and even more lies come out of their mouths, which, given the previous events, is quite astonishing in its volume, and degree of chutzpah, otherwise known as unmitigated gall….

The revelations by Edward Snowden are being confirmed and justified at every turn…. Below, you will find one article which speaks to the extent of the spying, and how we, the people, can, and are, learning to show exactly how they are spying on us, and on everyone, graphically and accurately…. I’ve included a nine minute video describing the responsible artists vision, with accompanying links to the review, and to the You Tube site where other videos of the same nature may be found….

Stay alert, ffolkes, the Asininnies are doing everything in their power to shut us all down; nothing would make them happier than to completely take over the Internet from public control, so, we need to stay on top of what they are up to, in order to at least offer a token resistance… if not outright revolution, an alternative much of the world is seemingly finding increasingly attractive….

With each article, I’ve included, below the link, a pertinent excerpt from the article’s text, or a short comment, to give a notion of the material upon which to focus your attention…. At the end, you’ll find another old-school pearl, to deliver the final blows for this section, hopefully to good effect…. Okay, ffolkes, dig in!….. Remember! An educated voter is a danger to all politicians, so, educate yourselves!….

http://www.examiner.com/article/nsa-document-supports-whistleblower-claim-of-alien-ufo-communication-program

Really? Spying on alien/UFO communications? What were they thinking?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/24/nsa-surveillance-world-leaders-calls

This one is full of information, but most of it is from the past couple years; only a small portion is current. It does give a good indication of how widespread the NSA’s surveillance has become across the world.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/13/photographer-artist-maps-world-of-surveillance-agencies-treovr-paglen

“…the US National Security Agency headquarters in Maryland, the National Reconnaissance Office in Virginia and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in Virginia. These agencies, which respectively lead national security, run spy satellites and manage mapping intelligence, had a combined budget request of more than $25bn in 2013”



https://news.yahoo.com/secretive-x-37b-military-space-plane-could-land-132030466.html

More proof of the lack of White House transparency; this project has been running for Obama’s ENTIRE TERM OF OFFICE, with only occasional, small, buried articles like this one, with no hard information, and no admissions or comments from the White House, or military officials, as to just WHAT they are hoping to accomplish with these missions…. Again, not a bit of transparency that I can see….

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/oct/13/st-louis-protests-religious-leaders-messages-anger-ferguson-activists

“In the early hours of Sunday morning, dozens of activists attempted to occupy a convenience store in support of Myers. The police arrested 17 people for unlawful assembly

Okay, the last one is a different subject, but, you’ll note the italicized phrase at the end…. I thought the Constitution made assembly for protest lawful…. How is it possible to make laws that abrogate that? Just wondering….. Okay, here’s the pearls, which I hope makes them bleed profusely from numerous serious wounds about the neck and shoulders…. those portions, conveniently enough, they always show on TV, when they assume their “talking head” personae…. Oh, and just for fun (well, fun for ME….) I have placed two extra pearls at the end, which take a couple shots at the other side of that coin, the religious dogmatists who support the talking heads with their preaching….

“I don’t pick on politicians. They ain’t done nothin’.” — Red Skelton

“If you’re facing the richest and most disgusting conspiracy in history, you have to do more than stick up two fingers and say “peace”. — Ben Elton, Stark

“The maxim that “Honesty is the best policy” is one which, perhaps, no one is ever habitually guided by in practice. An honest man is always before it, and a knave is generally behind it.” — Richard Whately, Archbishop of Dublin

“An accommodating vice is better than an obstinate virtue.” — Motto engraved over the entrance to the chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States

“Them that has, gets.” — Iron Law of Distribution

“The louder he talked of his honour, the faster we counted our spoons.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), “Worship”

“A plague of all cowards, I say.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King Henry IV — Act ii, Sc. 4

——————-

“No creo en Dios, pero le tengo miedo.” [I don’t believe in God, but I’m afraid of Him.] — Gabriel Garcia Marquez, — “El Amor en los Tiempos de Colera”, 1985

“The church is actually patronized by the social order as a means of stabilizing and perpetuating the existing system.” — C. C. Morrison

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Though it’s out of order, the poetry section remains the anchor for all the rest; today, we’ll go for a classic author, one whose reputation is beyond any harm I can cause by association….

All Is Truth

O ME, man of slack faith so long!
Standing aloof–denying portions so long;
Only aware to-day of compact, all-diffused truth;
Discovering to-day there is no lie, or form of lie, and can be none,
but grows as inevitably upon itself as the truth does upon
itself,
Or as any law of the earth, or any natural production of the earth
does.

(This is curious, and may not be realized immediately–But it must be
realized;
I feel in myself that I represent falsehoods equally with the rest,
And that the universe does.)

Where has fail’d a perfect return, indifferent of lies or the truth?
Is it upon the ground, or in water or fire? or in the spirit of man?
or in the meat and blood? 10

Meditating among liars, and retreating sternly into myself, I see
that there are really no liars or lies after all,
And that nothing fails its perfect return–And that what are called
lies are perfect returns,
And that each thing exactly represents itself, and what has preceded
it,
And that the truth includes all, and is compact, just as much as
space is compact,
And that there is no flaw or vacuum in the amount of the truth–but
that all is truth without exception;
And henceforth I will go celebrate anything I see or am,
And sing and laugh, and deny nothing.

~~ Walt Whitman ~~


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Shameless, aren’t I? Today’s video section is devoted to CUTE…. and what is cuter than puppies? Nothing, but, perhaps, kittens (See tomorrow’s Pearl…. Never say I don’t give ffolkes what they want….)

15 great Golden Retriever Puppy videos

http://youtu.be/t0KwtuYyy3A

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In just a few minutes yesterday, Smart Bee offered up these seven pearls, grouped just as they are…. Obviously, they comprise a comment SB decided was either important, or at minimum, helpfully relevant, on human nature, and the process of deciding what sort of human we wish to be…. After the seven-star pearl is a separate pearl, which stands alone, but, makes a very cogent, as well as hilarious observation as to the proper perspective in which to hold our personal world-view….

Well, maybe that’s a bit high-minded, but, it did make me laugh, loud and long, with a strong sense of sardonic resignation… or, perhaps, it was irony I felt, along with a strong sense of wonder, at the depths of human ignorance; the wonder arises from the astonishing fact of our survival for this length of time….

“He is never less at leisure than when at leisure.” — Cicero (106-43 BC) — De Officiis, iii, 1

“A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword.” — Richard Burton (1577-1640)

I slept and drempt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was duty.
I acted and beheld that duty was joy.

— Rabindranath Tagore

“If you don’t know where you’re going, when you get there you’ll be lost.” — Yogi Berra, Baseball Hall of Famer, NY Yankees

“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” — Albert Einstein –

“Time is a great teacher but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.” — Hector Berlioz (1803-69), French composer

Ode to an Indispensable Man

Sometime, when you’re feeling important,
Sometime, when your ego’s in bloom,
Sometime, when you take it for granted
You’re the best qualified in the room;
Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow this simple instruction
And see how it humbles your soul.
Take a bucket and fill it with water;
Put your hand in it, up to the wrist.
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining
Is the measure of how you’ll be missed.
You may splash all you please when you enter,
You can stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you’ll find in a minute
That it looks the same as before.
The moral in this quaint example
Is to do the best that you can.
Be proud of yourself, but remember –
There is no indispensable man.

~~ Saxon White Kessinger ~~


As the final note, mentioned above:

“A priest was walking along the cliffs at Dover when he came upon two locals pulling another man ashore on the end of a rope. “That’s what I like to see”, said the priest, “A man helping his fellow man”.  As he was walking away, one local remarked to the other, “Well, he sure doesn’t know the first thing about shark fishing.” — Smart Bee

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Okay, it’s a lot, so, I’ll keep this short…. Today’s Pearl has been brought to you by….. wait a minute! We have no corporate sponsors here! Get that out of here!…. Okay, whew, sorry…. didn’t see the little bugger until he jumped up & tried to give his pitch…. Any who, I’m done, and I think we can all get behind that today, right? Right….. See y’all tomorrow, 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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

Paltry remnants of boldly patterned briefs….

Ffolkes,

“I was not born for one corner. The whole world is my native land.”

~~ Seneca ~~

laniakea-galaxy-supercluster-art

    I obtained today’s picture on Space.com, from an article reporting the latest information regarding our universe, as compiled by astrophysicists working on mapping what we are able to see with the current technology, including the Hubble Deep Space telescope in orbit around the Earth. The red dot you see in the picture represents the Milky Way Galaxy, a part of a group of galaxies known as the Local Group, consisting of many thousands of CLUSTERS of galaxies, that are the closest to ours…. The rest of the picture is an artist’s view of how the rest of the universe is arranged, and each of the tiny little dots you see are galaxies, or galactic clusters, each one with millions of stars of their own….

Whew! Makes one get a feeling for the perspective of the BIG picture, and, the relative microscopic size of just our galaxy, in which our star, Sol, is but one of hundreds of millions of other stars, a great many larger, and brighter than our own…. We, as humans on the face of this planet, around that star, are, in comparison, many times smaller than viruses seem to be here on Earth… so small, we would rival molecules for tininess…. I mean, in relation to the whole universe, our mere existence, our oh-so-powerful civilization, and all its works, is but a nanosecond’s worth of a blink in history, and, just an insignificant afterthought to the apparently infinite nature of time, and space….

Kinda gets ya, right here, doesn’t it? I know it makes me get a grip, whenever I start to feel like I’m some sort of hot shit… I can only wish that more people, all of whom happen to….. wear blue suits, white shirts, red ties, a flag pin, spend too much time indoors, worry incessantly about their “image”, and make entirely too much money for doing not very much…. well, I wish they would have the same sort of reaction as I do, when confronted with such undeniable evidence of our insignificance in the Real World, and how “entitled” we should feel to call ourselves the “Lords of Creation”, when we are far less important in the scheme of things than we would like to be, and so far less than we THINK we are, it is silly to contemplate at all….

Maybe, just maybe, if they could cram their egos in a smaller container, and get rid of some of that smarmy sense of their own infallibility, they’d start to have a bit more care about how they act, and think…. Of course, history, even our very short one, has already given me ample evidence that no such thing will happen, nor will anyone to whom I refer ever respond to such information with anything other than instant, intractable denial…. Count on it….

Oops…. did it again, didn’t I? Turned a nice, simple picture, and a short lesson on astronomy, into a mini-rant, once again flipping the intro section ass over tea kettle, and causing the Gentle Reader to, no doubt, reach for the aspirin bottle…. Honest, when I started, I had no intention of firing off those shots; they just sort of went off on their own, before I even noticed what my fingers were doing…. That can happen this early in the morning, especially when it is the afternoon before….

If you caught that, you’re a better man than I, Gunga Din…. Not really, but, you do have a sharp eye, and a ready mind, which is somewhat gratifying. It means that someone is reading who has been here before, and knows enough to keep their wits about them…. I would, however, appreciate it if you didn’t pull my covers, as it is one of my best new devices, a direct result of the Time Lord training I received when I got my Tardis, and, I still haven’t even finished opening the rest of the new stuff they sent…. So, just chuckle softly to yourself, and let us get on down the road to the next item, which could, conceivably change the course of that history we are so familiar with, into a new, and better time-line…. if we get lucky, I’d say….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“HEY! There IS something more important than money…..it’s called breathing.” — Smart Bee

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I had some time on my hands, but, wasn’t feeling strong enough to kill it quickly well enough to go surf, so, I did my dance with Smart Bee, getting lucky enough to come up with the following seven-star pearl, which hands out some damn fine advice, as well as some solidly useful thoughts on how to live, so well, so powerfully free, even Death weeps when you are done with Life….

” … you see, God — whatever anyone chooses to call God — is one’s highest conception of the highest possible.  And whoever places his highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life.  It’s a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own.  To imagine a heaven and then not to dream of it, but to demand it.” — Kira Argounova

“All people smile in the same language.” — Smart Bee

“One who is to enjoy the purity of both body and mind walks the path to enlightenment, breaking the net of selfish, impure thoughts and evil desires. He who is calm in mind acquires peacefulness and thus is able to cultivate his mind day and night with more diligence.” — Buddha (B.C. 568-488)

“Life is best done awake.” — Smart Bee

“Therefore, be ye lamps unto yourselves, be a refuge to yourselves. Hold fast to Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves. And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, they shall reach the topmost height.” — Buddha

“Have the courage to live. Anyone can die.” — Robert Cody

“It is better to deserve honours and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.” — Mark Twain

Though the concept it expresses is true as the day, I am compelled to comment after the last quote; can’t help myself sometimes…. Mark Twain, aka Sammie the C, definitely had a talent for the turn of a phrase, and, I’ve see him given credit for this one many times…. while every time, smiling and chuckling to myself, because I’ve also noted that this quote is a shameless paraphrasing of a quote by Plutarch…. and, Aristotle…. and, I believe, if I’m not mistaken, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, also had a word on this, that was very similar to the others…. but, then, Mark T was pretty shameless about all of his plagiarisms, usually recounting them in the preface, or in the introductions to his works….

Since all of them are men, it was probably Sappho, a woman poet, who pre-dated ALL of these men, who originally made the observation on the nature of honor, and humility…. That would be typical, and consistent with how men have treated women since the dawn of time…. even going so far, when making up the myths of creation so many of them seem to hold so dear, regarding that old saw about the Garden, and God, Adam, and, Eve, the poor fall guy, who had to take the rap, even though she was set up by God, and snitched out by Adam….

I find it telling, and typical, that the woman, representing ALL women, is made into the villain of the story, the one with the weak will, and the lack of honor…. when, to my way of thinking, (which I’ve thought since the age of four, after first hearing the story….) God was the one at fault, for setting up the system so both Eve, and Adam, had no other options, but to fail…. and, in the process, serving Eve up, as the one to bear the guilt of “original sin”…. Plus, you will note, please…. The very term, “original sin” is agreed to refer to taking a bite from the fruit of the tree of knowledge…. in other words, for thinking independently…. This is the concept, and the reality, religion tries to eliminate from the people who follow their line of reasoning…

And, that, too, is pretty telling, isn’t it? Things haven’t changed much since then, as far as I can see…. The churches don’t want us to think, so that the government can lie to us more easily, to convince us they are telling us the truth, when they actually are merely carrying on the traditions present in our culture from the inception of the whole idea of a supernatural power as being responsible for all that is real, a scam, to control the general public, with threats of hell, and promises of heaven, in the next life, if only they will submit to giving up their free will… Quite a bargain, you would think….. unless, of course, one actually knows how to think….

Just sayin’…..

gigoid has spoken…. so be it…..

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It is well known that I’m a wimp; since my PTSD reached a point where, mostly, it is under my control, the only real symptom I experience is that of bursting into tears at the slightest provocation…. Hallmark commercials, little kids hugging, or hugs of any kind, or any sort of emotionally touching issue will bring me to tears, without any say in whether or not I WISH to cry right then…. Whenever my old dog, Noah, comes to mind is one of those occasions, so I try to avoid stepping into such situations….

I had forgotten this poem, which, upon stumbling across it while looking for a specific piece of Pope’s Essay on Man, brought me instantly to the point of weeping…. and, has kept me weeping for this entire paragraph, in spite of not having anything wrong, with me, or with the universe at large…. SIGH…. I don’t mind being a romantic, but, sometimes, I wish I wasn’t such a wimp about it…. It IS a great poem, though, so, please, don’t mind all the salty water on the screen, (try not to weep yourself, at the last line, I DARE you!….) and, enjoy!….

Argus

When wise Ulysses, from his native coast
Long kept by wars, and long by tempests toss’d,
Arrived at last, poor, old, disguised, alone,
To all his friends, and ev’n his Queen unknown,
Changed as he was, with age, and toils, and cares,
Furrow’d his rev’rend face, and white his hairs,
In his own palace forc’d to ask his bread,
Scorn’d by those slaves his former bounty fed,
Forgot of all his own domestic crew,
The faithful Dog alone his rightful master knew!

Unfed, unhous’d, neglected, on the clay
Like an old servant now cashier’d, he lay;
Touch’d with resentment of ungrateful man,
And longing to behold his ancient lord again.
Him when he saw he rose, and crawl’d to meet,
(‘Twas all he could) and fawn’d and kiss’d his feet,
Seiz’d with dumb joy; then falling by his side,
Own’d his returning lord, look’d up, and died!

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

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I came across the following pearl, from 2011, not long after beginning to post on WordPress…. In those days, what you see below was an entire Pearl, but, today, with our new, improved format, it is an acceptable pearl for one section…. You should thank me for this…. it’s pretty funny, in spots, and, bonus, it ISN’T a rant….

😉

From 8/30/2011:

Ffolkes,

It may be harsh, but it must be said….Ben Franklin was a sanctimonious ass, and I mean that in its’ basest, most derogatory sense. Who else but an ass would say things like “Early to bed and early to rise,  make a man, etc….” or “The early bird gets the worm”?  As one of my favorite sci-fi authors, Bob Heinlein, said, approximately, “…. all the aphorism about the worm proves is that the worm should have stayed in bed.” And, early to bed, etc., is fine for those who fall asleep instantly, from having the benefit of no worldly problems, (or, like our friend Ben, no conscience…. Have you ever read about his love life?…. By what I could tell, from what I read, he was, quite simply, a lout, and a cur…. and, that’s being nice….); those who, once asleep, are able to remain asleep throughout the night, probably due to having no imagination, to speak of….

I’m 60 years old, and I can’t remember the last time I could count on falling asleep easily, without first consuming a significant amount of my adult beverage of choice, or, staying asleep for more than a couple of hours, before some one of several available physical prompts has me up and heading off to the bathroom, or just laying in bed, aching, wondering how long it will be until morning. As far as I’m concerned, Poor Richard can take his little Almanac, and his advice, and place them forcibly in one of his orifices, preferably, one where the sun don’t shine…..  just as it is NOT shining,  here in my little hole, at 0530, as I sit to compose this, having once more awakened at 0515 for no apparent reason.

Wise man, my dying ass…..

I dove for these Pearls yesterday as I was in the throes of extra-pyramidal side effects, due entirely to the asinine ordering requirements dictated by Kaiser Permanente for dealing with a controlled drug, an opiate. Thanks to those obscene regulations, I have spent much of the last three days with dyskinesia, malaise,  and an intermittent, splitting headache, just for good measure.

In case you are not a former PT, dyskinesia is that condition of muscular and nervous agitation that makes one’s muscles twitch and dance, constantly, combined with a feeling of restless dread, and diffuse anxiety, that makes the nerves hum like a redneck with a kazoo. Add in the headache, (of the ilk that blurs the vision, causing strong men to whimper, piteously), and, well, you can imagine how difficult it is, to not only refrain from biting myself, but to refrain from biting anyone who crosses my path.

All this, of course, is then complicated by trying to deal with people who have become bureaucrats, who have no conception of anything outside their own little sphere of inattention, and whose sole purpose is to keep anything from getting done. It’s enough to give one visions of mayhem and violent death for all bureaucrats, preferably by my own hand.

(Note from 2014; This is still true for me…. Does anyone else get mental images of the Russian revolution, as a film noir battle scene, in full color, though, filmed in Red Square showing huge mobs of starving peasants with scythes, Molotov cocktails, and rocks, attacking Imperial police, or in front of one of the Russian Imperial palaces, lit up by flames, with aristocrats screaming, smoke everywhere, explosions…. all playing in your(my) head, whenever they use the word “bureaucrat”? Is it just me who visualizes themselves as if in that movie, with a machine gun, firing away at a huddling, terrified group of clerks at a local federal office, or do others NOT get this kind of response, just thinking about those stultified cretins? Just wondered….)

Sorry about the above rant……well, actually, I’m not. I could actually care less right now what anyone thinks, about anything. Nonetheless, I do think that the following Pearls will strike some good chords in many folks, and even more in those ffolkes who are familiar with this process, and how it provides some fine rules for life, or at least for looking at life in a different way. Regardless, they are what they are, and I hope you enjoy them…..much as I can hope anything at all……

“I sometimes think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a, star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face and a gray dawn breaking.

— John Masefield, Sea Fever, first stanza.

Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow but a vision.  But Today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore to this Day. — Sanskrit proverb (I like this one a lot; it covers a lot of bases….)

“It’s not denial. I’m just very selective about what I accept as reality.” — Calvin (“Calvin and Hobbes”) (Calvin is actually a sociopathic idiot, but Hobbes, I firmly believe, will someday be considered one of the 20th and 21st centuries’ most cogent philosophers….)

“Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death….Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967), “Selected Papers”

“So live that you can look any man in the eye and tell him to go to hell.” — Smart Bee

Well, there you have it. That’s the best I can do, under the circumstances that currently prevail. My greatest desire just now is that tomorrow will be different, if only I can survive until then without committing any acts that would land me in jail. Wish me luck…..and, y’all take care out there……

Again from the future…. Not too bad, eh? It showed some promise, which I’ve since seen evolve into something I can be happy with…. I’m still around to create them, so, I guess that makes it all worthwhile…. For me, anyway, and, hopefully, for y’all, too….

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It’s probably a good thing I got up late today; indeed, it’s just as well today’s Pearl was mostly done by last night, with only a poem to find today to finish up…. I say that because it’s true…. but, if I got into the reasons for it, it would be both TMI, and ill-conceived egotism, so, we’ll just leave it at that, and y’all can consider yourselves fortunate….

Besides, I’m done for the day now, so I can go on to my next task, to wit: surviving one day, until my portion of the dole, which I set aside for my golden years, arrives at my bank, from wherever our Beloved Ruling Class keeps the money they are “protecting” for us…. It’s also too late to start ranting, so, I’ll just say, “see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes”, & make my way to the door, with a big smile on my face…. Okay, so, it’s a grimace…. grimace fits better, anyway, right now….

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!