Paradigm shift scheduled in D.C.; film at 11….

Ffolkes,

“It’s getting harder and harder to act weird.”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

Mars ISS2

International Space Station 2, orbiting Mars ~~ Artist: Ville Ericsson

Image from Space.com


Good morning…. Coming up with a justifiable reason might be problematic, but, evidence doesn’t lie; that means, sadly, no further dallying will be tolerated. It’s a shame, too, as we’re really, really good at dallying. Furthermore, the fabrication of reasons, of all categories and strengths, is sort of an avocation with us, (Luigi has his certificate already; who knew?), which means we could have come up with the correct one almost in our sleep, had we had any….

No, wait, that’s a lie. Don’t want y’all to think we’re falling into the habits displayed so frequently by our Beloved Ruling Class, now, would we? Nope. But, no worries, we didn’t do it; the lie was merely for the purposes of distraction; I actually did sleep, oddly enough, for the unheard of period of six FULL hours. Perhaps that’s why we’re so flippant thus far today; it matters little, since it’s gotten us two paragraphs deep into the intro, without breaking a sweat…..

That cover, officially pulled now, we will fold neatly, and, place right over here for later. Now, where was I? Oh, right. Okay, so, I’ve got a Pearl here for ya, but, it was put together yesterday, mostly, while I was battling some pretty fierce arthritic pain, to go along with the oppressive weather (got up to about 96ºF, & no A/C….), so, I can’t be entirely sure of the quality of any of it…. It looks okay, though, so, we’ll go with it, and trust to the process, which has proven itself to be up to the task many times…. sort of.

All that aside, where it belongs, it’s time to quit fooling about; we have no boats anyway, so, we are unable to fulfill Mr. Toad’s most excellent advice. (20 pt. bonus for knowing the reference) It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, as we don’t have time to spend on such frivolity now. We have oysters to harvest! Luigi, fire that puppy up, and get us outta here; I can hear the sirens coming up the drive….

Shall we Pearl?….

A thousand cups of wine do not suffice when true friends meet, but half a sentence is too much when there is no meeting of minds.” — Chinese proverb

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star-trek-renegades

Star Trek: Renegades ~ Scene from official movie

Screenshot Image via Space.com


An independent group of young filmmakers has created an entire movie based on the Star Trek Universe. It isn’t an official movie, made in Hollywood, but, an independent effort. I’ve watched the first few minutes; it’s excellently done. (Gotta love Admiral Checkov as a major character) I’m saving the rest to watch on my upcoming long flight, and really looking forward to it…. I managed to grab a copy, which will hopefully still be up on You Tube by the time you try to watch it…. It’s free to watch, so, enjoy!….

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Star Trek: Renegades

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We the People...

    Since I was up so early (0300…) I’d intended to see if I had a rant on tap in my head…. It doesn’t seem to be happening, so, we’ll go with a pretty decent politirant from last year. It is, of course, all still completely relevant, as our Beloved Ruling Class has no intentions to make any changes on its own. But, that’s a rant for another day; for now, let’s consider this:

From 5/21/2014:

Today’s rant comes to you courtesy of a couple of news articles, to which you will find links below…. It helps me if y’all read the article(s) first; then, my comments make more sense…. I also feel compelled to comment here; I find it very disturbing, though not particularly surprising, that many of the articles about the chicanery, and, illegal, immoral activities in which our government and police forces are engaged, are to be found only in foreign news sites… The sites in this country seem to ignore/pass over much of what is obvious to other countries, tending to softball any criticism about the people in power here…. I’m assuming that is because they are afraid of retribution; why else keep silent? It certainly is not to their advantage to do so, in the ultimate sense….

Any who, please go ahead & read them, after which, I’ll show some excerpts, upon which I’ll comment, as to the key points to be found…. Hopefully, my comments will make themselves obvious, but, to be clear, the excerpts will be in quotation marks; comments are not….


“On Monday, Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan was sentenced to three months in jail and five years of probation, after she faced down a maximum sentence of seven years in prison for her conviction of assaulting a police officer. Her supporters, unsurprisingly, feel the sentencing is excessive – especially given her testimony that the officer in question first grabbed her breast – but it’s also clearer than ever that McMillan’s conviction will have a chilling effect on the future of serious activism.”

“The most famous example of this is probably NYPD deputy inspector Anthony Bologna, who pepper-sprayed peaceful female protesters during an OWS march. In 2013, the district attorney’s office announced that it would not prosecute Bologna – and the NYPD docked him just ten vacation days and reassigned him to Staten Island.”

A large number of people are surprised when they see articles such as this; I can only figure it’s because they are really, really stupid, (sorry, I calls ’em as I sees ’em….). I make that assessment due to their implicit trust in the police forces in this country, for the simple reason they assume, in complete error, those entities are to be dedicated professionals, with integrity, honor, and compassion for others; they actually believe that bullshit. They have a hard time when an article like this comes out; if they paid attention to anything outside their own narrow world, they would see such event happen, pretty much, every fucking day, in every state in this country.

Yep, every damn day, I go through the news, and there is ALWAYS at least one, often more, article reporting (often with video evidence) another cop gone rogue, or some piece of corruption exposed, or another forcible rape by a sheriff deputy, or some other example of one of the BRC’s faceless myrmidons abusing the power of authority that comes with their job…. EVERY DAY ffolkes, and that is NOT an exaggeration; look at it yourself…. If I can find at least one article about a corrupt cop every day, how many do you think there actually ARE? A LOT, wouldn’t you guess? I would….

Except, it’s not a guess… My estimate is that at least half, & most likely more than half, of the assholes wearing a badge in this country are totally unqualified to carry a gun to enforce the law, because they are they type of person who will abuse that power…. Way, way more than half is my actual gut feeling, but, we’ll be conservative, & keep the estimate there at 50%…. Believe me, when it comes to corrupt cops, half of them is MORE than enough…. Especially when the other half generally refuse to acknowledge that fact….

My question is: how can any intelligent citizen think that these people could be trusted to use their weapons ONLY in defense of the law, if they were the only ones allowed to carry them? Do you think that most police would show integrity, or would they abuse their position, using their weapons to control and intimidate citizens, rather than protecting them? I’m sorry, but, I just don’t think they are any more trustworthy than the average citizen; in fact, I would wager serious money on them being far less honest, and far less honorable than the average joe on the street, and that is a fact….. Hell, they can’t even bring themselves to use their turn signals…. what makes people think they’ll not pull the trigger?….


“Christie, who says he is still considering running for president and will decide his political future later, recently said the lane closings would be “a footnote” by 2016. But his prediction last week came the same day his former campaign manager contradicted Christie’s timeline of the bridge scandal…..Political operative Bill Stepien said Christie misspoke Dec. 13 when he told reporters he had received assurances that no one close to him knew about the lane closings.”

Misspoke? Misspoke? What the fuck does that mean, if not “he lied”? As far as I can see, it can’t mean anything but that, but, this guy, Stepien, remember, is a “political operative”, and, as such, has been extensively trained to use the English language in ways no other sane person would think to do…. He is obviously pissed off at Christie for making him fall on his sword, but manages to still try to minimize the key fact of the matter, to wit: Christie was involved…. his governing style encouraged that sort of thing; it’s clear that he knew about it, and he lied about it….

This particular brouhaha, in fact, is one of the easiest issues to understand, as history has shown us that we can, for sure and for certain, count on one characteristic of politicians to be a fact…. WHATEVER a major politician says. especially regarding their own guilt or innocence, about ANYTHING, is going be an outright lie…. It’s knee jerk for them; they have no other behavioral response to fall back on, so, in such instances, when they are accused of ANY wrongdoing, they deny, deny, deny…. If pushed to the wall, they will say that the person they scapegoated, fired, had lied to them, which, as we know, is a crock of shit….. If they hadn’t trusted the idiots, they wouldn’t have been where they were….

Two things bother me about issues of this nature…. One, the lies that are told by the perpetrators of such acts are reported as if they have validity; the media doesn’t even TRY to point out any discrepancy in fact, or suggest any alternatives to accepting it as truth…. when, in truth, they KNOW it all to be a crock…. Second, people in the public read this crap, and believe it…. They have no clue, and are unwilling to believe, that they are being lied to at every turn…. If they do that, they would have to first admit their own FUCKING STUPIDITY….

Sorry, I get a bit worked up when I think of how gullible the average American is; it makes me ashamed of what the forefathers foresaw for this country, to see that the corporate assholes have won…. They’ve taken over all three branches of the government, and the majority of people in this country have no clue they are nothing more than slaves….

The average American is no longer an educated, honorable citizen of a democracy, who watches the government with cautious regard…. Mostly they are grossly overweight couch potatoes, carrying fifty extra pounds from eating all the crap the corporations want them to eat, locked into their own brand of indulgence, stupidly believing everything a talking head on their TV tells them, making them extremely easy to lead around by the nose, as they give up their legacy of rights to unprincipled, immoral, INSANE assholes with more money than common sense, or compassion, ignoring and/or denying as much of what goes on around them as they can…. It’s a wonder we aren’t all wearing collars….

Just wait, though, that day will come, if the monied elite have their way…. They sure as hell haven’t shown any inclination to share any of what they’ve usurped stolen from everyone else, nor do they exhibit any willingness to change their nature from being predatory, so, I’d wager they’ll just keep on doing what they’ve been doing, and continue to do, which is lie, cheat, and steal to and from everyone else, always seeking to maintain and extend their control over the rest of the world…. while the sociopathic assholes they have trained as their puppets and myrmidons, whom we call politicians, preachers, and policemen, continue to run roughshod over the rest of society….

So be it.

gigoid has spoken….

“Jesus died too soon.
If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his doctrine.”

~~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche ~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

    It’s been quite a while since I used anyone else’s work, aside from a couple of bloggers whose work impresses me. So, here is a classic poem, from the man I consider the best American poet. Period…. Enjoy, please; it’s pretty hard not to like this man’s work…. It’s a long poem; to save some time, I only posted the first verses, the beginning stanzas only. I’ve included a link at the end to Poetryfoundation.com, where you can read the rest….

Song of Myself

I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil,
this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and
their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never
forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

~~ Walt Whitman ~~

    You can read the entire poem, in the version published in 1892, here:

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174745


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Yin-Yang-symbol-sun-and-moon

    This is a strange pearl; it doesn’t, at first, seem as if it’s going anywhere specific, but, manages somehow to create a lesson worth some attention…. I hope you enjoy it; it’s a pretty good one….

The modest front of this small floor,
Believe me, reader, can say more
Than many a braver marble can,–
“Here lies a truly honest man!”

~~ Richard Crashaw ~~
~~ Epitaph upon Mr. Ashton ~~

—————–

“If water derives lucidity from stillness,
how much more the faculties of the mind! 
The mind of the sage, being in repose,
becomes the mirror of the universe,
the speculum of all creation.”

~~ Chuang Tzu ~~

—————–

“Any idiot can face a crisis. 
It’s this day-to-day living that wears you out.”

~~ Anton Checkov ~~

—————–

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.”

~~ James Stephens ~~

—————–

“It is the ability to choose which makes us human.”

~~ Madeleine L’Engle (Walking on Water) ~~

—————–

“When you come right down to it, all you have is your self.
Your self is a sun with a thousand rays in your belly.
The rest is nothing.”

~~ Pablo Picasso ~~

—————–

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

~~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery ~~

—————–

“No one can see their reflection in running water.
It is only in still water that we can see.”

~~- Taoist Proverb ~~

—————–

“The Magician of the Ivory Tower brought his latest invention for the master programmer to examine.
The magician wheeled a large black box into the master’s office while the master waited in silence.

“This is an integrated, distributed, general-purpose workstation,” began the magician,
“ergonomically designed with a proprietary operating system,
sixth generation languages, and multiple state of the art user interfaces. 
It took my assistants several hundred man years to construct. Is it not amazing?”

The master raised his eyebrows slightly. “It is indeed amazing,” he said.

“Corporate Headquarters has commanded,” continued the magician,
“that everyone use this workstation as a platform for new programs.
Do you agree to this?”

“Certainly,” replied the master,
“I will have it transported to the data center immediately!”
And the magician returned to his tower, well pleased.

  Several days later, a novice wandered into the office of the master programmer and said,
“I cannot find the listing for my new program.  Do you know where it might be?”

“Yes,” replied the master, “the listings are stacked on the platform in the data center.”

 — Geoffrey James, “The Tao of Programming” ~~


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Contrary to all precepts of scientific endeavor, we’ve finished. Not only finished, but, done. And, just in time, I might add. The myrmidons seem to be somewhat persistent today; I can hear the sirens coming right here to the oyster beds…. How convenient we will be gone when they arrive; funny how that worked out, isn’t it? Ah well, we’ll worry about all that later; once y’all have exited the premises, we can break out the heavier artillery. Of course, we’re not allowed to tell you what it is, but, trust me; you’re safe…..See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes. Count on it….

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

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

Baggy pants and a wrinkled silk shirt….

Ffolkes,

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” — Albert Einstein

Scottish eve- Irish morn

    Having used the above quote from Albert a number of times, I can attest to its relevance, both in general and specific terms. The persistence that reality displays at times is the issue for me; my own perceptions tend to question the signals received, cautioning me regularly to not put all my faith into one basket, lest, in my folly, reality changes on me, before I can adjust…. It will do that, you know, just to fuss with us. But, as Albert warns us, it WILL have its way, no matter what we believe…..

Philip K. Dick showed us, with his own definition of the slippery slope I call reality, (well, for me, it is….), when he said, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away”, which, you can see, fits right in with Albert’s contention….. All of this, of course, merely means that WE are responsible for what happens, both in re: what we do, and, not so clearly, but, just as fully, for whatever happens TO us. This is a point of karma many people find it hard to accept; it is natural for humans to try to blame something outside themselves when things go wrong. To admit their own failure is not something they do well, so, they tend to try to find somewhere else to put it, and reality is always right there….

So, what brings on such an abstruse, obscure discussion first thing in the morning? Well, I’m not sure I should tell y’all; it might sound like more whining…. but, it’s a direct result of my own issues, so, it’s not as if I’m trying to dodge my own part in what is going on in my life… I fully understand that the actions I took in the past have, one way or another, led me to where I am today; I also understand I may not always be able to tell exactly what it was in my past that is causing me difficulty now. By not understanding fully the principle of moderation in all we do, I overdid it on using, and abusing, my body, conditioning it BEYOND what is good for it, for too long….

Now, I’m paying the price, and it seems as if the price is higher than I anticipated, and almost too high for me to afford…. or, more than I’d like to pay, anyway….. For going on three days now, I’ve been suffering vertigo, whenever I move my head off an upright line, enough to cause me to hide in bed for much of the last two days, to avoid the subsequent nausea and malaise that goes with the condition…. Supposedly, it will pass before long; I sure hope so, because the medication that one may take to control the dizziness is one I cannot take, due to side effects…. So, I have to deal with it by not moving, as far as possible, and that’s all I can do…

C’est la vie…. I’m hoping it’s gone soon; if not, I may just go back to bed entirely until it is….. But, this mildly whiny discussion has gotten me far enough down the page I can call it an intro, and move on…. Since much of this Pearl was done in my spare moments yesterday, when I was up, and felt okay for a bit, it should be possible to get it done in a reasonably timely fashion… and, if not, screw it, I don’t care…. It will be done, and that is the only goal I have today… In fact, I see my chance, so, we’re bailing out, right here, and right now….. Hold on, please, this will be a sharp turn….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” — Nietzsche

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“I think I just heresied on several important religions.” — Smart Bee, this time, parroting gigoid

No, but, I DO have priors…. Of late, I’ve been working ahead, at times; this is one of those times…..

From May 15, 2012:

However many holy words you read,
However many you speak,
What good will they do you
If you do not act on upon them?

— Buddha

My religious upbringing was pretty casual, since my parents weren’t particularly devout, at least outwardly. Most of my life we attended Presbyterian churches, but were never heavily involved. The whole story behind Christianity always seemed pretty improbable to me, even at the tender age of four or five when it was first introduced in Sunday School, where the kids in Presbyterian churches were sent during services to keep from either distracting the minister during his sermon, or to distract their parents from their nap during said sermon. (You can’t fool a four-year old about motivation….)

As I grew older, the things about church that first bothered me continued to grow in number, fueled most heavily by the actions of the church-goers. It always seemed to me that what was said in church on Sunday, and what actually happened out in the real world had nothing to do with each other. Nobody I could see was acting in a Christian manner anywhere but in church, and even then, it seemed pretty self-serving, as if the folks who were discussing morality were showing off for the preacher, more than they were invested in the morals themselves. (You can’t fool a teenager about hypocrisy….)

As my reading list expanded, I found that my suspicions and objections to Christian churches intensified, as I became more aware of what actually went on out in the real world, and was exposed to more religions and philosophies. It seemed, at least on the surface, that the proponents of the other big religions in the world were no less hypocritical in their actions than were the Christian, and further evidence of the accuracy of that observation has been in the news daily for a long time.

Nobody in the entire world, as far as I can see, really buys into any of the religions, unless they are so poor that they grasp onto the charitable aspects of their respective creeds in order to survive. I can find no religion, anywhere in the world, that has significantly advanced the cause of morality in humans; it generally has a negative effect instead, providing their constituents with reasons to practice immorality, as long as it is directed against those in other sects.

So, I continue to wage my own personal battle against the ignorance of reality that all churches demand of their followers, and promote rationality and reason as an approach to life, rather than encouraging people to submit to what, to me, is just another lie disguised as something supposedly “good for me”…. and I find the following statement to be extremely accurate, not only in the context of when it was written, but today as well….

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting.  It has been found difficult, and left untried.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936), “What’’s Wrong with the World

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Not only don’t I feel well, again, but, I feel poorly enough to keep from searching for a poem by someone else…. Hence, you get one of mine, and I know just the right one….

Accentuated Lessons

Bold statements of calculated intent
Become common rule of the malcontent.
Avarice assumes such attractive wear
Beguiling deception, illusory and fair.

Grasping and pulling with ghostly hands
Legally proper in all the signatory lands.
Seeking and finding each vulnerable soul
Anguish as payment for exacting the toll.

Wraiths of commerce’s invisible dead guards
Still haunt the dreams left in sad empty yards.
While absentee nobles sit in stiffly elegant splendor
Served by sad-faced detainees in abject surrender.

Escape from reality is illusory at best
Often we falter and fail its daily test.
Only when focused on inner strength
Does peace stay with us for any length.

Peace lies within, always…..

~~ gigoid ~~

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The pearl you see below is one that falls into the “odd” category. Smart Bee took over, picking out all seven of these, even dictating to me where each should be placed, as you see, with the two quotes from one source as brackets…. the other five, holding down the center of the pearl, are just what I was directed to put there. I had little to do with it, other than providing the opposable thumbs to work with…. In fact, SB also chose the two quotes you will see in the closing section, having decided, I guess, that what I was doing wasn’t cutting it…. SIGH…. Now, my software is abusing me…. I guess I’ll go eat some worms, since that seems to be all I’m good for just now…… But, please, enjoy the pearl, whatever it means….

There was once a programmer who was attached to the court of the warlord of Wu.  The warlord asked the programmer: “Which is easier to design: an accounting package or an operating system?”
“An operating system,” replied the programmer.
The warlord uttered an exclamation of disbelief.  “Surely an accounting package is trivial next to the complexity of an operating system,” he said.
“Not so,” said the programmer, “when designing an accounting package, the programmer operates as a mediator between people having different ideas:
how it must operate, how its reports must appear, and how it must conform to the tax laws.  By contrast, an operating system is not limited my outside appearances.  When designing an operating system, the programmer seeks the simplest harmony between machine and ideas.  This is why an operating system is easier to design.”
The warlord of Wu nodded and smiled.  “That is all good and well, but which is easier to debug?”
The programmer made no reply.

— Geoffrey James, “The Tao of Programming”

“Man grows cold faster than the planet he inhabits.” — Albert Einstein

“To lead the people, walk behind them.” — Lao-Tzu

“All things come round to him who will but wait.” — Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — Tales of a Wayside Inn, The Student’s Tale

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

“Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” — Gilda Radner

“When managers hold endless meetings, the programmers write games. When accountants talk of quarterly profits, the development budget is about to be cut.  When senior scientists talk blue sky, the clouds are about to roll in.

Truly, this is not the Tao of Programming.

When managers make commitments, game programs are ignored.  When accountants make long-range plans, harmony and order are about to be restored.
When senior scientists address the problems at hand, the problems will soon be solved.

Truly, this is the Tao of Programming.”

— Geoffrey James, “The Tao of Programming”

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Aha! I got it! The pearl, that is… Not bad, either; good job, SB….. I also figured out these two aphorisms…. The first is an addendum to the discussion in yesterday’s opening remarks, regarding animals in zoos…. It’s a quote I have seen, and had hoped to find to include yesterday; Smart Bee obviously was trying to be nice, by finding it, and giving it to me ONLY a day late….. which means thanks are in order, I suppose….. So, thanks again, SB…. I couldn’t do this without you…..

“Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal.” — Charles Darwin

Boy, ain’t that the truth!…. So, here is the last one, which I like a lot, and am considering it as the closing line to use on a daily basis, as it expresses how I feel after catching these pearls, and bringing them up for us to use…. as if I’d been out hunting all day, & hauled a 300 lb. carcase home over the mountains…. Well, maybe not EVERY day, but, the last few, for sure…. If y’all have a thought on this one, let me know…. You may see it again, unless it doesn’t work, so, your opinion counts…. well, a little bit, anyway…. Google didn’t know who said it; it’s apparently been floating around the Net for some time…. so, I’ll just leave it as is, for the full effect…. This is the closing line, ffolkes, so, see y’all tomorrow….

“Here ya are pilgrim. Skin that ‘un, and I’ll go getcha another’n.”

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

Kowabunga!

À bientôt, mon cherí.

 

Moments of intentional rapture, guaranteed….

Ffolkes,

Whether we speak metaphorically, or realistically, I’m screwed. Well, maybe not all the way screwed, but well-pinched, as it were, by the nearness of the approaching deadlines….. Yep, deadlines, those horrible self-drawn handcuffs of steel we voluntarily apply to ourselves, to play hell with our heads and hearts during the already busy holidays.

For me, it means the deadline of my son’s birthday, which falls ahead of Christmas by a week, but shall forever remain separate, by decree, and justifiably so. No, no worries here about the actual date, I’ve always known that’s coming…. it’s not knowing what to get this time that is causing the issue….

My son is no longer a boy, so the latest toys aren’t going to cut it; I know he doesn’t have much time for Xbox or other games right now, not with two or three jobs to get to, and a boy to raise, and I don’t know what his current reading habits are like, so I don’t know if he’ll like a book, if I get one…. I’ve never had this trouble for him, before, but, then, I’ve been totally unable to buy gifts at this time of year, for several years, so actually having to think about it is sort of new, too…

Oh well, I know I’ll end up using my same old method, of going to a store with a variety of stuff, and wandering around until I see the right thing….It always seems to work, and they always like what I find, so, I’ll go with that, and hope for the best…. As I believe I said, and if not, am now saying, it’s nice to be able to think about buying a gift without a feeling of panic or depression, which was the case for three or four years running….

It’s funny, too, how my income, now, at retirement, is set at a level well above where it was for much of my working career… That isn’t a complaint, for sure, as I need it now more than ever, what with the medical expenses that I can expect to climb steadily over time….. it’s merely a surprise, to see that I planned better than I knew…. No telling how well off I might have been, had someone actually TOLD me about this getting old business… but, hey, none of us got that memo, and who among us would have paid attention to it, anyway?….. I know for a fact that, until I turned 35 or so, I was completely invulnerable…. or, so I thought…

As I am well aware, now, I’m not anything of the sort, the proof of which I live with on a daily basis…. and life goes on, as it does for all of us…. Since I’ve already meandered and blathered for a sufficient amount of time and space, we’ll be nice, and go on to other events, which will probably be a lot more entertaining than this pile of dross…. I can’t even bring myself to call it drivel, as it doesn’t quite make it there, either….

Oh well, I should have known all this sleep would have some kind of effect on things… I just thought that effect MIGHT be positive…. Hope springs eternal, I suppose, only to be crushed again…. SIGH…. Damn that Murphy, anyway…. Since going back to bed is out of the question, I may as well go for a dive….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.” — Herodotus

Sometimes, we know it quite well….
_____________________________

Creating Pearls of Virtual Wisdom is not as easy as it may appear from the outside… This, though a truism, is not something I can explain to y’all, not by using words…. To really understand the process, it must be experienced…. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I can tell you enough to get it to work for you, and I don’t know if just having you tag along as I do it is going to quite give the correct information, either…. It’s quite the conundrum, and we are thankful to God for giving it to us to solve….

As you may know, if you spend time hanging around here much, the last statement was NOT serious, as we don’t waste a lot of time around here giving thanks to imaginary figures; we find that to be less productive than the regular application of rational thought…. No, it was a just a joke, only there to see if y’all were paying attention this morning…. Since you were, mostly, I can get on with this….

This one, as I was getting around to saying above, before I decided to go wonky on you with the test mode, will be an odd pearl, gathered at different periods of time over a couple of days, looking for just the right ones to make the point at which I’m pointing… Let’s see how it came out, after all my work…

“The artist’s job? To be a miracle worker: make the blind see, the dull feel, the dead to live….” — Edward Abbey

“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.” — Albert Einstein

“If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture – that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves.” — Edward Abbey

“Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” — P.J. O’Rourke

Death in itself is nothing; but we fear
To be we know not what, we know not where.

— John Dryden (1631-1700) — Aurengzebe, Act iv, Sc. 1

“Depend not on fortune, but on conduct.” — Publius Syrus

“For some Reason, reality is an illusion.” — Smart Bee

Hmm… I have the feeling I could have just used my index finger, and been done with it…. Oh, well, onward….
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Sometimes, poetry hides itself inside another piece of literature…. Here is a poem, stuck inside a chant from an Indian tribe; without Googling, I’ll assume it came from the either the eighteenth, or the nineteenth century, during the time when Europeans and New World Indians were first meeting, culture to culture…. The poem I see in this describes a world view that indicates a people whose moral and ethical degree of advancement was obviously much greater than the European culture against which it came into conflict…..

The poor white devils couldn’t begin to understand, much less appreciate,  the finer sentiments of these children of nature…. so they had to destroy them…. For several hundred years now, this has been the typical reaction of most Caucasian cultures to societies different than their own…. The saddest part is that the Makah Indians, if they were as gentle as their words would indicate, probably forgave them… which I cannot do….

Do not stand by my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am a diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn rain.
When you awake in the morning hush.
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand by my grave and cry.
I am not there… I did not die.

 — Song of the Makah Indians


Smart Bee had originally listed this as a ‘prayer’ of the Indians, but, I don’t believe it was meant as such, as much as it was a song, one that their children sang, to learn about what their people believed, not to indoctrinate them with dogma, or with the useless memorization of lists of sins…..
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Hardware met Software on the road to Changtse.  Software said: “You are the Yin and I am the Yang.  If we travel together we will become famous and earn vast sums of money.”  And so the pair set forth together, thinking to conquer the world.

Presently, they met Firmware, who was dressed in tattered rags, and hobbled along propped on a thorny stick.  Firmware said to them: “The Tao lies beyond Yin and Yang.  It is silent and still as a pool of water.  It does not seek fame, therefore nobody knows its presence.  It does not seeks fortune, for it is complete within itself.  It exists beyond space and time.”

Software and Hardware, ashamed, returned to their homes.  — Geoffrey James, “The Tao of Programming”

This koan reminds me of the tale of how the guard at the city gate prevented Lao Tzu from leaving the city until he had written down the 88 verses of the Tao Teh Ching…. It also reminds me that too much is too much, and I should just let the story teach the lesson, without any comment… So, I will… Just read the above, ffolkes, and think on it a while… You’re bound to get something good from doing so, even if it’s only a few moments of quiet contemplation….

“The truth is always the strongest argument.” — Sophocles (496-406 BC) — Phaedra, Frag. 737
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As I awoke this morning, I thought I was hallucinating; the clock read 0619, a time I have not seen from bed for a very long time. I even felt some mild anxiety at getting a Pearl done in good time, but, I should know by now they’ll get done when they’re done, and not before…. no matter how late I sleep. It seems, also, that I’m right, because, hey, here we are at the end, and I think it’s done…. Let me see just how done it is….

I’d say that’s done, and done fairly well, for all its assumed gravity, and in direct contrast to the rather pathetic plea for understanding that underlies the entire set of assertions and tentative conclusions…. In short, I think it will do, as long as I don’t think about it too much…. I’m going with that, anyway, even if it IS the wrong decision…. I’ve been wrong before, haven’t I?….. I know I have…. 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

Mired in the prime of strife…..

Ffolkes,
Ah yes, the delights of awakening to the tender mercies of emotional distress…. Within 10 minutes of getting up today (Thursday, the 19th), at the reasonable hour of 0755, I received a call from Social Security, to ask me, in essence, whether I would like to extend the time it takes to secure my disability benefits, another six months, by adding on a visit to a psychiatrist to determine the status of my PTSD….. As you might expect, this caused my emotions to boil over instantly, whereupon I treated the case analyst who had called to a graphic example of just what state I’m in, PTSD-wise, blubbering in incoherent anger, bemoaning in no uncertain terms the federal government’s apparent desire to put me in a grave before letting go of my money….. It was NOT the way I would have chosen to start my morning, to say the least….

Now I have no idea how much longer this will take; I’ll need to talk with my lawyer now, and that can be stressful as well, so I may as well prepare myself for a period of insensibility, as my mind tends to want to shut down when stuff like this threatens my equilibrium. But, sadly, it looks as if I may as well resign myself to another long period of waiting in the dark, and can pretty much kiss the idea of Christmas goodbye for another year….. Too bad, really…. I had hoped to be able to actually go to a store and buy something for my kids for the occasion, but, I guess I’ll once again be trying to ignore the whole scene, and making do with giving them one of my own pieces of family history as a gift, or perhaps writing a poem for them…. not exactly the most thrilling of gifts, but, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Yesterday, the 18th, I didn’t post again, for the second time since starting this blog. It felt weird to not post, just like it did last month when it happened for the first time. As the poor federal case worker found out this morning, there is a lot of pressurized material stuffed into my head, and it needs to come out on a regular basis…. I did complete a Pearl yesterday, but couldn’t get to the library in time to post it, due to waiting for other folks to get stuff done…. SIGH….. Add a few more hit points to that stress level, ffolkes, and start counting!…..

Being a day behind, even though ahead, this will get posted on the 20th of October, 2012…. which, had he lived, would be my father’s 100th birthday…. and is now my youngest brother’s 57th, 58th, or 59th, I can never keep him and my younger sister’s ages straight…. Any who, happy happy to Kevin, and to my Dad’s memory….

As a result of this morning’s folderol, I am retreating, and will start looking for pearls as a substitute for going out to look for a victim; I always find beating up on somebody to be liberating, but inconvenient, what with all the criminal charges and all…. Instead, I’ll just pour all that angst into a rant, or a poem, or something…. maybe even a piece on Zippy, or Pooh, to bring out a few smiles. They (smiles) are buried pretty deep right now, but, a bit of Zippy can do wonders…. Let’s get to it….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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Raquel Welch:  36-24-36
Bo Derek:  35-24-36
Ann-Margaret:  37-25-36
Bette Middler:  37-25-36
Marilyn Monroe:  37-24-37
Jane Russell:  39-27-38
Jayne Mansfield: 40-23-37
Sophia Loren:  37-25-36

— Smart Bee (?)

So, sue me. It isn’t what you think, unless you are thinking what I’m thinking. I’m not going to say that isn’t possible, or even unlikely…. unless you  are thinking it is about some sexist premise that identifies women as objects. Being male, I’m not an expert on spotting or exposing that, but I’ve been around a long time, and have never held with most of what society holds as true about women, unless spoken by a woman who hasn’t proved to be one of the brainwashed….

No, this list is only here to note that what society seems to project, in magazines and advertising, through fashions and trends sponsored by those who determine such matters (i.e., the moneymen…) as the image of beauty, is not the same as what public opinion obviously feels about what makes a woman beautiful, in terms of weight and shape. All of the women in the above list were, and/or are, considered to be the visual pinnacle of what the public believes is beautiful, as evidenced by the popularity of their work, in film or on stage…. but none of them are at all similar to what the manipulators of fashion would have us believe is the ideal shape…. Whereas models can only be described as slender or willowy, all these women are what we might call zaftig, or rubenesque, in their visual proportions….. Personally, I agree with the public…. I find Ann Margaret to be much more pleasant to look at than any model in a magazine that I have EVER seen….. And, the fact that I feel entitled to make a judgment makes me as guilty of objectifying women as a man who utilizes brothels for sex…

Thus, if we grant the truth of that revelation, the mere existence of the list becomes the most objectionable piece of it….. It illustrates that the process of objectification is subtle; just applying such standards to women at all tends to cause people to think of them as objects, rather than as people. Society has been male-oriented for a very long time, a state of affairs justified as “might makes right.” Sadly; a lot of what is wrong in the world can be traced to that unfortunate fact. Men have, out of their own insecurities and fears, set things up so that women have very little say about what happens to them in life; those decisions are made for them by fathers, brothers, or husbands in most of the world. In order to do this, and not suffer pangs of guilt at every turn, men, and women, are taught that it is okay to objectify women, and to treat them as if they are property…. and property needs to be labeled, hence lists such as the one above….

Yesterday, rmott62 posted a blog, (http://rmott62.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/your-lies-are-part-of-our-genocide/), which I re-blogged on my site, speaking about this very subject, to wit: how the language we choose can objectify those of whom it speaks.  You can probably get a better idea of how insidiously the issue of victimizing women permeates society by visiting her blog; she speaks powerfully, with no punches pulled, from experience, and with great insight, much more forcefully than I ever can, so I recommend to you very strongly that you go to her site, and read what she has to say…. It will change the way you look at much of what passes in our society for normal, and make you ashamed for not noticing…. if not, it should, for we are all guilty of perpetrating the evil, if only by not acting or speaking up, for as long as the victimization of women, and the entire prostitution industry, continues to objectify, demean, and drag women of all ages into perpetual slavery…..

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I keep hoping, but the poem I feel in my head isn’t ready to come out yet, and time is passing (at the leisurely pace so beloved of the federal bureaucracies…..)….. so, if I want to get this Pearl posted today, I’d best be coming up with another poem for this space. I’ve become somewhat addicted to this morning dose of verse; it seems to make the prose taste better somehow….. Whatever the reason, I like it…. Here, then, is another fine piece from the annals of history, with some whimsy applied as the primary search criterion…. hell, whimsy could easily be construed as an algorithm, almost, in this sense…. Besides, the poem I’ve found is the perfect choice to follow the first pearl’s message. Any who, sensible nonsense aside, enjoy!…..

Men

When I was young, I used to
Watch behind the curtains
As men walked up and down the street. Wino men, old men.
Young men sharp as mustard.
See them. Men are always
Going somewhere.
They knew I was there. Fifteen
Years old and starving for them.
Under my window, they would pauses,
Their shoulders high like the
Breasts of a young girl,
Jacket tails slapping over
Those behinds,
Men.

One day they hold you in the
Palms of their hands, gentle, as if you
Were the last raw egg in the world. Then
They tighten up. Just a little. The
First squeeze is nice. A quick hug.
Soft into your defenselessness. A little
More. The hurt begins. Wrench out a
Smile that slides around the fear. When the
Air disappears,
Your mind pops, exploding fiercely, briefly,
Like the head of a kitchen match. Shattered.
It is your juice
That runs down their legs. Staining their shoes.
When the earth rights itself again,
And taste tries to return to the tongue,
Your body has slammed shut. Forever.
No keys exist.

Then the window draws full upon
Your mind. There, just beyond
The sway of curtains, men walk.
Knowing something.
Going someplace.
But this time, I will simply
Stand and watch.

Maybe.

Maya Angelou

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As always, when lacking the wherewithal to rant, or to discourse intelligently (if that can be said to ever happen….) I retreat into the wisdom of the ages, developing an idea with pearls that says, well, whatever it says…. I do try to make it enlightening in some fashion, even if only by providing some comic relief to the sober nature of much of the other material here. Here, then, are some pearls that spoke to me about enlightenment, each in its own little whisper….

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), “Lady Windermere’s Fan”, 1892

With virtue you cannot be entirely poor… Without it you cannot be really rich. — Chinese Proverb

A master programmer passed a novice programmer one day.  The master noted the novice’s preoccupation with a hand-held computer game.  “Excuse me”, he said, “may I examine it?”   The novice bolted to attention and handed the device to the master. “I see that the device claims to have three levels of play: Easy, Medium, and Hard”, said the master.  “Yet every such device has another level of play, where the device seeks not to conquer the human, nor to be conquered by the human.”  “Pray, great master,” implored the novice, “how does one find this mysterious setting?”   The master dropped the device to the ground and crushed it under foot. And suddenly the novice was enlightened. — Geoffrey James, “The Tao of Programming”

“God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent- it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash, and in small bills.” — Lazarus Long

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” — Alvin Toffler

“Avoid fried foods which angry up the blood.” — Satchel Paige, early to mid-20th century sage

“The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.  To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha — which is to demean oneself.” — Robert Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

“Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.” — Thomas Paine

The Journey is the Reward, Not the Destination. — Zen Koan

A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: “Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.” When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, “The one I feed the most.” — George Bernard Shaw

Well, there you go…. If you’re not enlightened by now, well, you’re on your own, because that’s the best I’ve got in stock. Hmm…. gee, you don’t get the impression this is a metaphoric manipulation, do you? …….  Nah! Trust me!  No hidden agendas here, or metaphoric stimuli intended to create moments of zazen illumination….It’s all the real deal, and used properly, has been known to produce wonderful results…. and, well, the price is right, yes? Free advice is always worth what you pay for it….. Ta for now, luvs…..
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Well, the gods of literature can relax now…. I didn’t need to resort to either Zippy, or Pooh to get the Pearl done. I even managed to avoid using Will Shakespeare again…. though I do have a LOT of material of his that is appropriate for target shooting, it wasn’t needed today. Some might be thankful for that, but, they’re just jealous, for not thinking of it first….. Today we are back in waiting mode, with the added hope that the federal game of slow-them-down-as-much-as-possible won’t be able to find the dice, and won’t hold things up any more than they already have been….. Fat chance, I know, but, hey, gotta have our groundless hope, eh?…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!