Portraits of affable wallet accessories….

Ffolkes,

“In the dark time will there also be singing?”

“Yes, there will be singing about the dark time.”

~~ Bertolt Brecht

foster-moonbase

Artist’s rendition of proposed EUSA Lunar Base

Image from Space.com


Good morning, ffolkes…. The new, minimalist method I’ve developed for the intro section seems to have worked out fairly well… If I have aught to say, well, I can…. If not, such as today, it’s perfect…. Let’s let it do its thing, okay?….

Shall we Pearl?

“Passive activity income does not include the following: Income for an activity that is not a passive activity.” — IRS form 8583, Passive Activity Loss Limitation

And, don’t you forget it!….

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mighty mouse

Image from wikipedia via Google free images

This little guy was my childhood hero; I never missed one of his cartoons on Saturday, for as long as I can remember…. Enjoy!….

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Mighty Mouse

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Dont keep calm

“Written laws are like spiders’ webs, and will like them only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful easily break through them.”
— Anacharsis (f1. c. 600 B.C.), Scythian philosopher — Quoted in Plutarch, the Lives of the Nobel Grecians and Romans, Solon

I decided NOT to produce a fresh rant, though I certainly could; there’s plenty of stuff going on out in the BBR at which to pick…. But, I found this older piece that works just fine with the above stimulus quote, from a few years back…. It’s actually two pearls from the Pearl posted in March of 2012. Enjoy, ffolkes! It’s all real, not to mention still relevant….

From 3/27/2012:

“And it came to pass that in the hands of the ignorant, the words of the bible were used to beat plowshares into swords…” — Alan Watts

“…You don’t have many suspects who are innocent of a crime. That’s contradictory.  If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not   suspected.” — Edwin Meese

Viewed in light of the first quote, if one may assume its veracity, even temporarily, for the sake of argument, the second quote, while disappointing in the extreme, is not as surprising as it might otherwise have been seen. Oh, where to begin a response to such an outrageous display of ignorance and bigotry? I count only 26 words here, and can think of at least 14 ways this is just wrong, just off the top of my head. It piles one false assumption on top of another until any glimmer of possible relation to the truth, or reality, is completely obscured. Unfortunate as it is, this mind-set is still all-too-common, especially amongst the political pundit review currently on parade.

As a matter of fact, this mind-boggling distortion of our actual laws on the subject, reminds me very strongly of three of our esteemed Republican candidates being followed avidly by the news-mongers, especially Mitt the Twitt…. in the last week alone (post Etch-A-Sketch), he has made, (and I, along with a fairly large number of bloggers & citizens keeping track, counted), at minimum, 19 apparently deliberate lies that involved vague accusations of impropriety by the current administration.  Each and every one of these statements, when checked against reality, or what was reported in other media sources, was obviously made up on the spot, or completely in reverse of what actually occurred. He is so desperate to appear to be confident and forceful, he is completely oblivious to the fact that no one is buying into his nonsense any more; in response his lies get more and more removed from any connection to reality or truth.  His two closest challengers are no better; they make a habit of making statements that have absolutely no bearing on the subject under discussion, or accuse the media of playing favorites to distract the audience from whatever question they attempting to avoid answering by doing so.

All of these men have lost touch with reality in a lot of areas, and their denial of this fact serves as further evidence of that loss. Their belief, that they have their finger on the pulse of the American people, is so far removed from the truth it approaches the realm of delusion. They have completely lost track of, or denied, any connection they may have once had to the rest of their countrymen, insisting that their out-dated, ignorant policies, that didn’t work 45 years ago, or 90 years ago, will nonetheless work in today’s changing face of global politics, while completely ignoring the mountain of evidence to the contrary. They have assumed the mantle of the fanatic, a segment of the population that has previously been clearly identified as those folks who, when they have lost sight of their goal, redouble their efforts. Sad, and a terrible waste of everyone else’s time and energy to have to even listen to such nonsense. They have given up their place in the human tribe, and don’t even know it…… Pathetic, if you ask me…..

Mi taku oyasin.  (We are all related.) — Lakota belief
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There are times when the pearls I find that stimulate me to want to write about them are found in clusters. Several at once, all closely related, or similarly themed, just throw themselves at me, clamoring for inclusion. On these occasions I’ve learned to let them have their way. It is just as effective a lesson as my comments usually can claim to be, and has the added bonus of requiring less actual work on my part; the authors I choose have all done my thinking, and expressing for me, and usually much better than my discussions. Below are some observations on politics, patriotism, and the price of liberty, from some pretty well-respected political observers……

“In a state-run society the government promises you security. But it’s a false promise predicated on the idea that the opposite of security in risk. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. The gentle government that promises to hold your hand as you cross the street refuses to let go on the other side.” — Theodore Forstmann

“My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its officeholders.  The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” — Thomas Jefferson to A. Stuart, 1791

“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.” — H. L. Mencken

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

“Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.” — Kin Hubbard

(Don’t ask…. it just fit, that’s all…)

and finally….

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
  Men were deceivers ever,–
One foot in sea and one on shore,
  To one thing constant never.

~~ William Shakespeare

~~Much Ado about Nothing — Act ii, Sc. 3~~

(Will was obviously channeling George Carlin…)


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Comedy_Tragedy

    Since I haven’t had it in me to rant much of late, here’s a poem about ranting….

A Few Words of Note

In place of ranting and raving about assholes every day
maybe I’ll try something more fun.
Rather than throwing words at all the assholes on public pay
I’ll switch to shooting at them, with a gun….

Should I actually hit one, purely by mistake,
maybe it would wake them up.
Maybe, if they had to think, or actually cut us a break,
we’d see a chance to win at life, to take a step up.

Our nation, such as it is today, was founded by men who told the truth;
that morality disappeared long ago.
Simple ethical strength so bright, so prevalent in our country’s youth
was soon corrupted, corporate interests now run the show.

Nothing would please me more than to fire off some rounds,
if only to gain their attention.
But, I can no longer run, I’ve gained too many pounds;
so, my keyboard and intellect must serve to fulfill my intention.

I won’t stop, of that you may be sure
I love my freedoms, and the philosophy from which it springs.
Tom, and Ben, and John, and Pat, those patriots pure
gave me their example, and the inner peace it brings.

If bullets won’t persuade our elected liars to toe the ethical line,
I’ll throw my most powerful words…..
If nothing else, it will make them wriggle to escape, or voice their pitiful whine,
thus exposing themselves for what they are…. plain and simple turds.

~~ gigoid ~~


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buddah-out-to-lunch_s

    Ffolkes, THIS is a pearl; in might even be called a prototypical pearl. It’s a wonderful nine-star collection of some of Life’s lesser known lessons, couched in less than ordinary terminology, wrapped tightly in extreme metaphor, yet, each one with a valuable piece of information, each essential to getting the whole picture of Reality as it is, not as we guess it might be… Most are stuff you either already know, or, ought to; if not, well, there’s still time to learn, even for slow-learners…. not that I’d ever suggest any of MY Gentle Readers could be such…. All of them, I’m sure, will chuckle right to the end, then just go, “yep…” Well, the polite ones will…

“Ah said, pay attention, boy!”

~~ Foghorn Leghorn ~~


“If possible, try to find a way to come downstairs that doesn’t involve going bump, bump, bump, on the back of your head.” — Pooh, in Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne

“Life is pleasant.  Death is peaceful.  It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” — Isaac Asimov

“It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself.” — The Vatican Sayings, Epicurus

“It ain’t loafing unless they can prove it.” — Dick Brown

“I only took the regular course.” “What was that?” inquired Alice. “Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,” the Mock Turtle replied; “and then the different branches of Arithmetic — Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.” “What else had you to learn?” “Well, there was Mystery,” the Mock Turtle replied, counting off the subjects on his flippers, — “Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography: then Drawling — the Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come once a week: HE taught us Drawling, Stretching and Fainting in Coils. I never went to the Classical master, though.  He taught Laughing and Grief, they used to say.” — Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

“If only we’d stop trying to be happy we’d have a pretty good time.” — Edith Wharton

“Nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’, but it’s free.” — Kris Kristofferson

“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

~~ Steven Wright ~~


See. ffolkes? I’ve always told you, it’s all in the wrist….

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Yet another day’s duty done; it’s not a bad feeling. In fact, it’s so good, I’m taking it, and my leave…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, provided the Apocalypse isn’t scheduled for tomorrow….

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….


			
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Time to apply the marinade….

Ffolkes,

“But I be a cat, and no cat anywhere ever gave anyone a straight answer.” — JoJo
July 22 2014 001 (2)

    That, of course, is true of all cats, all the time….. However, you CAN trust a cat to be straight with you, if it is asking for something…. Cats are completely shameless about that; they will always ask for what they want, figuring it is always worth the effort, since, if one doesn’t ask, one never knows, do one?…. Nope, so, they ask, and don’t get upset at whatever the answer may be…. Of course, if they DON’T get what they want, they will keep asking, in a louder voice, until you break down and give it to them….

Just look at that face! Focused, alert, terminally cute…. all the proper attitudes for the penitent beggar….. And, you can see in the eyes, she’ll do literally ANYTHING, if you’ll just give her whatever it is she’s asking for….. Well, or they’re saying, “Give it to me NOW! Your will is my will.”…. She’s got that intense, Svengali-like look to the eyes, doesn’t she? And all she really wants is some pets…. you know, a little scritch around the ears, or, best, along the jawline…. Purrrrr….

The picture is Jojo, the small, formerly feral cat who lives here for the time being…. It took us a while to come to terms, but, having lived with cats all my life, along with dogs, it’s only a matter of time before my superior scratching skills win them over…. That, and being knowledgeable enough about cat psychology to know how to respect their boundaries…. It’s all a matter of respect with cats…. if you don’t respect their nature, there will be continual struggles based on that misunderstanding, and you’ll find yourself wondering who is actually in charge of the house…. They can be stubborn when they feel insulted….

Okay, that was nice…. A bit of morning cuteness, some casual conversation, and we’re pretty much good to go for today’s intro…. It’s a bit shorter than some, but, short is okay, short is good…. especially since, yesterday, I got a bit carried away, to the tune of over 3200 words… That’s what happens when I try to combine two rants into one…. but, I think I got in some good blows to the body of the asininnies, so, I’m happy with it…. I just promised myself to make today’s effort more in line with the norm, whatever that is….

Such being the case, I’m now going to bring this to a close, and get on with the rest of this…. It’s not as if we don’t do this every day, now, is it? It is? Oh, hell, I was hoping y’all wouldn’t notice…. I should have had y’all busy doing something, like fastening your seat belts, or shining up the brass work, or something…. Oh, well, we’ll manage, even if you don’t pay attention to the standard rules of engagement, as we use them around here…. But, then, nobody ever does, so, what the hell, let’s get on with the show….

And, oh, yes…. as for cats being from this planet, I don’t think ANY of them are…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Life is short, art long, occasion sudden; to make experiments dangerous; judgment difficult.  Neither is it sufficient that the physician do his office, unless the patient and his attendants do their duty, and that externals are likewise well ordered.” — Hippocrates (460-359 BC) — Aphorism i

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“Although it is tempting to resent disaster, there is not much use in doing so… Whether we remain ash or become the phoenix is up to us.” — Deng Ming-Dao

What you will find below was first posted as the entire Pearl of Virtual Wisdom on 10/28/2011, just a few months after I started on WordPress…. It’s a pretty good discussion, from a period when I had not yet firmed up either the format for Pearls, or my own style of writing…. I have gone through to edit, so it’s more user-friendly, bearing in mind what I’ve learned since then about how to put together a piece for posting…. I haven’t altered any of the ideas or concepts, just adjusted punctuation and grammar a bit…. I hope you enjoy it….

From 10/28/2011:

Our real self, the soul, is immortal. We may sleep for a little while in that change called death, but we can never be destroyed. We exist, and that existence is eternal. The wave comes to the shore, and then goes back to the sea; it is not lost.” — Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian sadhu, a holy man. He was a teacher of yoga and philosophy, beloved around the entire world. He wrote the book “Autobiography of a Yogi”, which is held to be responsible for bringing the practice of meditation to the Western world. Now, yesterday, or perhaps the one before, I included here a quote from one of the Indian holy books written before the advent of Christ, in approximately 300 B.C. If you were to hold the two quotes together, it would be very difficult to tell whether or not they came from the same piece, or at least the same school of thought. But there are over two thousand years between the appearance of the first, and the writing of the second.

To me, this is one of the major reasons I often prefer the approach of the older religions to the questions of Life that they try to answer. Compared to most Christian, or Muslim writings, the passages from the Bhagavad Gita, the Dhammapada, and the older Hindu tomes written first in Sanskrit, all show a much greater understanding of how the universe works, without having to resort to the creation of one deity, who is omniscient, omnipotent, and all-seeing (it says so right here on the label), who strangely enough, resembles most an old Jewish patriarch, and who, oddly enough, has the behavioral characteristics of a jealous and spiteful little boy.

That whole batch of stories in the Old Testament about the prophets like Job, and Lot, are like reading a soap opera script, complete with deus ex machinae. It’s the sort of story that first drove me away from Christian teachings, which proclaim to be merciful, but have been perverted to rationalize prejudice and racism, causing me to seek out more logical, evidence-based philosophies, that encourage diversity and reason.  I’ve never looked back, and, thus, have never risked becoming a pillar of salt…..

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is it’s natural manure.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William S. Smith, Paris, Nov.  13, 1787

In the past few years, since the advent of Homeland Insecurity, I have watched the more conservative elements of our society pull back, just like a tortoise who sees danger, and retreats into his hopefully impervious shell. And at the creation of each new regulation to curtail one of our liberties, I have watched with somber regard, ashamed of my country. We were attacked on 9/11/01, yes. But why? Has anyone ever stopped to ask that question? Well yes, some did, and they were shouted down as being unpatriotic. Apparently, holding fast to the liberties provided for us by Mr. Jefferson, et al, has become an unpatriotic act.

It is unpatriotic for me to object to having my private information and home privacy invaded, as well as to complain when it has been curtailed. It is supposedly unpatriotic to object out loud to any of the measures taken; the pundits will scream their tiny little heads off, using every fear of the unknown that they can come up with to frighten and distract the public. I recently broached a radical idea, in one of my pieces, when I suggested we, as Americans, should consider the concept of another American Revolution. I pointed out that the men and women who fought against English rule in the late 1700’s did so because they wanted to govern themselves, to “pursue happiness” according to their own rules, rather than living with rules and taxes laid upon them by people who were only interested in profits and power.

Sound familiar? Today, we are living under the same sort of oppression; the people who are elected in this country run for the office not because they are public-spirited, but because it is the best way to achieve power over others. I cannot think of one single elected representative that did not lie to the public to obtain office, nor can I come up with a name of one who didn’t continue to lie once elected. It’s pathetic how stupid the general public has become, so focused on the details of living that they can’t spare the intellectual energy to question their beloved ruling class. I’m not sure anymore that there are any Americans left who believe in what Tom Jefferson said above; they’d all rather just kick back and watch hockey, whining like children when the beer’s too warm……..

“Freedom is just a hallucination created by a pathological lack of paranoia.” — Smart Bee (Scary, if true…..)

I think I’ve chosen poorly this morning, which isn’t surprising. I had a lot to say about this when I first picked it, but I can see that most of the subject was covered above. It might be amusing to try to go humorous with it, but I’m not in the mood today for that; too much sheer anger built up against the forces of Dark, aka Ann Coulter, Karl Rove, Bush I or II, or any of the other crop of folks who prefer to keep the public in a state of constant turmoil, in order to distract them from what they are actually doing. It is hard for me to accept the whole “water-boarding” controversy, because I had assumed that our leaders were people of integrity, not hypocrisy.

Torture, to my way of thinking, is an act of cowardice, only used by those who believe that the end justifies the means in all cases; it doesn’t fit with my image of how a free man functions. Cowards who live in constant fear that someone will really see what a coward they are, who will say or do anything to maintain their own little kingdom of influence. Sometimes the end CAN justify the means, but not most of the time. Most of the time, it merely serves as a way to comfort their innate insecurity, and keep them from assuming either guilt, or responsibility for their actions, which they KNOW to be immoral, unethical, and, most likely, illegal according to our Constitution.

This could go on forever; I have a lot of powerful emotion behind these ideas, and could sit here all day, taking shots at the talking heads. But, I do have other stuff to get done today, so I’ll leave it here. Feel free to comment, positively or otherwise; dialogue is always welcome here. In the meantime, y’all take care out there…..

“I think we should stop looking for issues to discuss.  I think we should shut up and get to work.” — Howard Chaykin

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On days like this, when I’ve sublimated a rant out of the archives, I like to go with this poet, one of the best of the twentieth century, a true poet of the people…. I give you, the inimitable Charles Bukowski….

Alone With Everybody

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
much
and nobody finds the
one
but keep
looking
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than
flesh.

there’s no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular
fate.

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else
fills.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

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I find myself in the throes of laziness, which, though nothing new, is nonetheless problematic, striking as it is mid-blog…. Such a conundrum might have sent me off into the archives again, to find another fill-in piece, but, I’m going to be a good boy, and put together a fresh pearl, if for no other reason than to take the sails out of the argument I’ll give myself later….

See, even in the midst of an internal debate, I can think ahead! Getting older DOES have certain advantages, with foresight being one of the more important ones, one that saves us old farts a lot of energy that would otherwise be spent foolishly on wasted effort…. and, yes, that could be called pandering to myself…. Enjoy it anyway, if you believe you should…. If not, well, there is little I can do to help you at this point; you’re what we would normally call toast, by any other name….

“Have you ever wondered why you always run out of breath when you throw up? Ah, but a man’s retch should exceed his gasp, else what’s a heaving for?” — Smart Bee

(Sorry, really, I couldn’t help it…. it’s just such a wonderful pun!…. Gotta love that Scottish wit….. I’ll do better, promise….)

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Yes, we’re all tired of dinosaurs.” — Mom’s Hint #130

“In a state-run society the government promises you security. But it’s a false promise predicated on the idea that the opposite of security in risk. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. The gentle government that promises to hold your hand as you cross the street refuses to let go on the other side.” — Theodore Forstmann

“It is fatal to be right when the rest of the world is wrong.” — Brother Theodore

“There’s always a bigger fish.” — Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars Episode I

“Three doctors were talking about their favorite patients.  The first  said that he preferred operating on Germans because their organs were lined up in exactly the right position.  The second preferred Japanese because not only were their organs in exactly the right position, but they were also color coded.  The third chimed in too.  “I’ll take lawyers any day.  Ever open one of those suckers up?  Only two working parts – the mouth and the anus, and they’re interchangeable.” — Smart Bee

I love it! This pearl, eclectic though it may be, is rock solid, ffolkes…. Bookended by Smart Bee, bolstered with wisdom from Mom, Qui-Gon, and Mark Twain, how could it be anything but amazing!…. If you read them with the right squint, and allow your mind to be guided, the mind-set where you end up will leave you breathless…. guaranteed…. I mean that in the best way, of course, not in the same sense as the first pearl in this section….

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Well! That was…. something. I think I’d better go take a look at it, now that it’s done…. I’ll be back shortly….

See, that never takes long, does it?…. It’s almost like being a Time Lord when I do that…. Now, how to describe the unthinkable…. You know what? I think I’d be better off not to try…. It could get explosive, and who knows what it might do to the space-time continuum, which is shaky enough these days?…. We’ll just close our eyes to any potential hazards, and wish y’all happy trails….. 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

Featured Image -- 2780

A schlemiel, or a putz?… Not an easy choice….

Ffolkes,

There are moments, when I sit to begin each day, when my mind wanders, into places that other people know not…. which is something about which they should be very glad…. But, in a real sense, that could easily be said of just about anyone’s mind, not just mine, so, y’all probably have an idea of the kinds of places I mean; I don’t believe for a minute that I’m all THAT different than the rest of mankind, even if a great deal of the available evidence says so….

This difference is one I’ve always tended to cultivate, actually, as the general run of ffolkes in the world are involved in stuff that holds no interest for me; they pay attention to people that I consider to be manipulative and self-serving, and spend a lot of time wasted, to my way of thinking, engaging in activities that don’t either improve their lot, or make them, and those they love, happy, both of which I see as our primary goals in this reality. Other ffolkes, I know, seem to think there are goals more worthwhile, but, to my mind, those two cover all of our REAL responsibilities in Life….

Anything else you hear in place of those activities is most likely something someone else told you, or convinced you to believe, in spite of how silly it sounds, or how much it doesn’t seem to help at all…. I know that all of my life there have been numerous silly asses who have tried to convince me of the rightness of their ideas (about God, about Life, about Government….), each of them more strident and more insistent than the last….

Fortunately, in my mind, I learned at a young age (4-5 years…) how to spot them, determining back then to NOT listen to them, as they were only trying to get me to do what THEY wanted, not what I thought I needed to do…. and somehow, what seemed right to me, with my young, unfettered mind, and no prejudices, was that what THEY were telling me was a bunch of bullshit; it was ALL so unbelievable, I couldn’t buy into it, so I’d just nod my head, and go my way without bothering to pay much attention…. I believe it drove several Sunday School teachers to drink….

I’m not sure what prompted this, except possibly the email I found in my inbox this morning…. Supposedly, it’s from Google, but, the link it wants me to connect to is suspicious, to say the least, (it connect to a private domain, with a dot.me suffix, so, I suspect it’s some hacker, phishing for whatever idiots he can find to click blindly on the link, just the way they are instructed to do in the letter, which threatens to close my account if I don’t click on it…. I didn’t, of course, and will check with Google later….. Somehow, I don’t think they’re sending out official emails at 0317 AM, to get people to verify their accounts….

But, because most people in this country are programmed to obey instructions from official sources, this guy will no doubt end up with a lot of fools who are giving them a clear path to steal their information, all because they never learned to use the crap detector their brain came equipped with when they were born…. They forgot, or got distracted, and never used or registered the software in their head that allows them to see the world with clear eyes, unhindered by the delusions/illusions that much of the world uses as their basis for belief…. I’ll say this, it’s a lot simpler when you can see the shit coming, ffolkes; it allows one the time to duck, thus saving us from getting hit in the face with that crap, or getting it on our clothing….

Okay, so, there you have it…. A complete, unbearably long, complicated, rant-like diatribe, right there at the front of the Pearl, where it can do the most damage, and serve as today’s excuse for an intro…. Six paragraphs should certainly be enough to satisfy any official myrmidons, and the unofficial ones aren’t armed, so I don’t pay them any mind…. For now, this will do, and, since my thumb and wrist are beginning to get rather painful as I type, it would no doubt be best to get on with today’s effort….

Shall we Pearl?…..

REVEILLE, n.  A signal to sleeping soldiers to dream of battlefields no more, but get up and have their blue noses counted.  In the American army it is ingeniously called “rev-e-lee,” and to that pronunciation our countrymen have pledged their lives, their misfortunes, and their sacred dishonor. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

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Since my thumb is paining me, I’ll switch this intended rant about Ed Snowden, and the aftereffects of his heroic act of bravery, to a newer model Pearl, where I will provide links, then comment on the contents of the included articles, and the subject of those reports…. Let’s see what I’ve collected for us to poke at today….

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/09/westminster-may-have-to-concede-edward-snowden-had-a-point

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/10/the-battle-to-retake-our-privacy-can-be-won-in-the-halls-of-congress-really

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/guide-deceptions-word-games-obfuscations-officials-use-mislead-public-about-nsa

https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/wordgames

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2013/07/nsa_lexicon_how_james_clapper_and_other_u_s_officials_mislead_the_american.html

“First as to speech.  That privilege rests upon the premise that there is no proposition so uniformly acknowledged that it may not be lawfully challenged, questioned, and debated.  It need not rest upon the further premise that there are no propositions that are not open to doubt; it is enough, even if there are, that in the end it is worse to suppress dissent than to run the risk of heresy.  Hence it has been again and again unconditionally proclaimed that there are no limits to the privilege so far as words seek to affect only the hearers’ beliefs and not their conduct.  The trouble is that conduct is almost always based upon some belief, and that to change the hearer’s belief will generally to some extent change his conduct, and may even evoke conduct that the law forbids.” — [cf. Learned Hand, The Spirit of Liberty,– University of Chicago Press, 1952, The Art and Craft of Judging: — The Decisions of Judge Learned Hand, — edited and annotated by Herschel Shanks, The MacMillian Company, 1968.]

The five or six articles above are a series of reports on the NSA spying fiasco, complete with some articles that show us just how the assholes who run the spy agencies, and the politicians who are supporting them in  their paranoia, all tend to use a different set of words than the other English speaking members of this country, having decided to assign new meanings to old words, so they can justify the lies they tell on a regular basis, merely pointing at their actual words, and telling us we didn’t understand what they actually meant by them….

I won’t belabor the point here, as the articles are pretty clear about how they do it, showing EXACTLY what words they have altered to suit their purposes, thus, in THEIR minds, making what they say the truth, not the lie it actually is, to anyone using the language in a normal fashion. They do it on purpose, to try to hide their chicanery, and, in many cases, they may actually BELIEVE their own lies…. which makes them all the more dangerous to the rest of us….

“Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom.  It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” — William Pitt (1759-1806) speech on the India Bill, Nov. 18, 1783

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/10/judge-says-arkansas-gay-marriage-ban-is-unconstitutional

This one is here not because it is terribly controversial, (to me, this is no longer a question of anything but time until the laws of this country reflect reality more closely in this respect….), but, rather, because it is yet another example of the STUPIDITY displayed by so many in government….. Once again, because the Constitution is what it is, the illegal discriminatory laws are overturned by yet ANOTHER Federal judge who can read….

Yet, in spite of this, and in the face of EVERY OTHER decision that preceded it, in every case where such discrimination is challenged, the idiot assholes in the Arkansas Attorney General’s office are planning to appeal this, just as all the OTHER fools who keep trying to force their own beliefs on the rest of us keep trying to do, in the eight or nine states where this identical scenario has already been played out….

Talk about banging your head against the wall, to show your objection to having built it in the first place; it’s rather counter-productive to refuse to see what is real…. Sad to say, though, these folks are accustomed to believing many things which have no basis in reality, so I suppose it isn’t really surprising they would keep performing the same unreasoned response to an issue whose conclusion is no longer in doubt…. Stupid is as stupid does, as Forrest’s mama used to say…..

The Bible is true this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.

— Jordan Henderson

(Just for fun…. if you don’t already know it, look up the meaning of the Latin phrase, “ipse dixit”….)

“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Give a man religion and he’ll starve to death praying for a fish.” — Smart Bee

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/A-look-at-all-that-Benghazi-stands-for-5469335.php

I finally figured out this whole Benghazi issue…. After reading some of the historical perspective presented in this article, I can see that most of it, if not all, is just an argument between the two major political parties about who can lie the best, and when they’re allowed to do so…. It’s all a mass of pots calling each other black, the whole thing…. The whole mess apparently began because the elephantine idiots in the Republican Party thought they could make some points with the public by making a stink over the lies told by the other side, the donkeyites in the Democratic Party

(I find it interesting to note the two terms for these parties, one hundred years ago, were reversed in terms of party philosophy…. The Republicans were the party of the people, and the Democrats were the rich fat cats; now it’s the opposite, image-wise… Philosophically, of course, neither one resembles anything close to a democratic organization, not anymore; they’re both oligarchies, plain and simple….)

The Republicans, in their self-imposed image of “disloyal opposition” have created an unholy cacophony of accusations and allegations of conspiracy, most of which came straight from their own imaginary fears of things that MIGHT have been true, if reality were not what it is….

The Democrats, having been caught making a paper trail, of their attempts at spin-doctoring all the information about the incident, are naturally upset at the Republicans, who are the reigning champions of lying to the public without a qualm or quiver of guilt. The Dems are upset because the Repubs are accusing THEM of lying, which is actually, to me, rather hilarious….

I mean, talk about chutzpah! The Republican Party, calling someone ELSE a liar! It HAS to be one of the most egregiously arrogant, ignorant stances I’ve ever seen, having personally watched over 50 years of this circus called American politics. In the last national election, in 2012, I believe the average speech by their candidate, Romney, never passed 50% on the fact-checking done by several organizations…

This translates to mean the candidate they chose to represent them to the world at large was lying through his teeth, at least half of every time he opened his mouth to speak…. This is a statistic you may check yourself, but, I’m pretty sure of its accuracy, as I read the reports at the time; they all had him telling an untruth with every other statement he made…. I should add, most of the rest of what I heard was either wrong-headed, selfish, or completely lacking in compassion for anyone other than his own narrow group of supporters…..

Yet, these same liars are upset because the Dems lied to the public about this attack on an embassy, an attack that came as much of a surprise to them as it did to the entire rest of the world…. The attack wasn’t one of those big, planned events…. It was a clusterfuck of incompetence, all around, diplomatically, militarily, and intelligence-wise, on BOTH sides of the issue, and the war; nobody knew it would happen until it did…. Then, of course, the media and the pols get hold of it, and it becomes an issue for them to exploit in the public eye, for their own aggrandizement….

And people wonder why I don’t like ANY of them…..

Well, that’s certainly enough for one day…. even I can only take so much of the news before getting nauseous, so, rather than use up more of my anti-nausea meds, ( medications which double, fortunately, as pain relievers…. Cannabis is wonderfully flexible, sort of a multi-tasker when it comes to what it can do for us….) I’ll leave you with these final pearls, to send us on our way to the next section….

“The simple realization that there are other points of view is the beginning of wisdom. Understanding what they are is a great step. The final test is understanding why they are held.” — Charles M. Campbell

“In a state-run society the government promises you security. But it’s a false promise, predicated on the idea that the opposite of security in risk. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. The gentle government that promises to hold your hand as you cross the street refuses to let go on the other side.” — Theodore Forstmann

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I’m going with whatever serendipitously throws itself under the wheels of this bus we’re on…. Here is a thought, and a poem, from two classical Chinese poets, to whose translators I offer my complete admiration, and thanks, for such excellent work….

“If you work on your mind with your mind, how can you avoid an immense confusion?” — Seng-Ts’an

Alone, Looking for Blossoms Along the River
The sorrow of riverside blossoms inexplicable,
And nowhere to complain — I’ve gone half crazy.
I look up our southern neighbor. But my friend in wine
Gone ten days drinking. I find only an empty bed.

A thick frenzy of blossoms shrouding the riverside,
I stroll, listing dangerously, in full fear of spring.
Poems, wine — even this profusely driven, I endure.
Arrangements for this old, white-haired man can wait.

A deep river, two or three houses in bamboo quiet,
And such goings on: red blossoms glaring with white!
Among spring’s vociferous glories, I too have my place:
With a lovely wine, bidding life’s affairs bon voyage.

Looking east to Shao, its smoke filled with blossoms,
I admire that stately Po-hua wineshop even more.
To empty golden wine cups, calling such beautiful
Dancing girls to embroidered mats — who could bear it?

East of the river, before Abbot Huang’s grave,
Spring is a frail splendor among gentle breezes.
In this crush of peach blossoms opening ownerless,
Shall I treasure light reds, or treasure them dark?

At Madame Huang’s house, blossoms fill the paths:
Thousands, tens of thousands haul the branches down.
And butterflies linger playfully — an unbroken
Dance floating to songs orioles sing at their ease.

I don’t so love blossoms I want to die. I’m afraid,
Once they are gone, of old age still more impetuous.
And they scatter gladly, by the branchful. Let’s talk
Things over, little buds —open delicately, sparingly.

~~ Tu Fu ~~


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

This is going better than I’d hoped, so rather than push my luck, we’re going old school now; I’ll take my chances with the critics…. Enjoy, ffolkes, serendipity has been good to me so far today, so, I have high hopes for this pearl….

“All history shows that every man who has authority is led to abuse it; he does not stop until he comes up against limitations…Things must be so arranged that one authority checks another.” — Montesquieu

“Imagine me going around with a pot belly.  It would mean political ruin.” — Adolf Hitler

“He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.” — Goethe

“What a fool cannot learn he laughs at, thinking that by his laughter he shows superiority instead of latent idiocy.” — M. Corelli

“Anyone entrusted with power will abuse it if not also animated with the love of truth and virtue, no matter whether he be a prince, or one of the people.” — Jean de la Fontaine

“Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.” — Aesop

“Fear has its use but cowardice has none.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Hmm….. Sometimes, pearls can be dense, unfathomable, inscrutable…. This one certainly is all of those, even though the actual quotes are not…. I mean, hey, maybe the one by Adolf requires some thought, but, the rest should be pretty clear…. Together, though, it’s a bit of a poser, so, just flow with it; it will come, if and when it does, and not before…. Some pearls are like that….Yeah, they are….

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

No matter what anybody says, I’m NOT doing it over!…. Nope, no way! This is actually a good one, so, as John Lennon said, so aptly, “Let it be”….. See ya, ffolkes…..

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

dozer3

Authentic wax slippers show fading glory…..

Ffolkes,
Far removed from sanity, I sit, alone and fierce, holding my thoughts close, as if they will keep me warm. Over in the corner, the giggling demons from my personal hell are gathered, eagerly awaiting a sign, a sign that my last hold on reality has been sundered by the sharp edges of my failure, and they can finally fulfill their purpose, to drag me, willing or no, to my fated meeting with the Prince of Lies…..

I can feel their impatience to be on their way, with me in tow; it breaks over me like waves of disapproval from a room full of aunts and uncles from back east, cross-generational dinosaurs, smelling of sweat and ignorance. Little do they know that they are once again doomed to failure this day; I will not be making the meeting with Satan, nor any of his underlings. Not today…. today is the day that all my planning, all of my patience, will see its reward. By morning, the world order will have changed, and as long as I don’t pull the switch prematurely, life will improve immeasurably for the poor and downtrodden. And for the rich and indulgent, well, perhaps what they experience may not be improvement, but it will be justice. Death plays no favorites, after all…..

“The time has come,” he said, “to speak of many things… of ceiling wax, and…..”  and bushy packs, and harps of golden strings…. well, no, that’s not what he said, but it filled in a little more space, didn’t it?  Rhymed, too…  🙂    Sorry, you’ll have to bear with me…. woke up early, thanks to more muscle cramps (always a delightful way to wake up from sleep, eh? “Here, have some excruciating pain for a few minutes…. better now? Okay, go on back to sleep; never mind the lingering ache in your calf, or the pounding heart, or the fact you are now wide awake. Just go on back to sleep….”), and that process always makes my output a bit strange, even for my loose standards of that particular quality. Don’t fret, it will pass shortly…… while we’re waiting, care to go Pearling?…..

“Men govern nothing with more difficulty than their tongues, and can moderate their desires more than their words.” — Spinoza
___________________________________

“Ninety percent of science fiction is crap. But then, ninety percent of anything is crap.” — Theodore Sturgeon

For those unfamiliar with Theodore Sturgeon, he is a science fiction writer, of impeccable reputation, especially among his peers, a successful and prolific author of many books and short stories of wondrous scope, unlimited imagination, and glowing intelligence. He writes stories of great beauty, with a clean, spare, yet elegant style, and demonstrates a deep understanding of, and love for, the human experience; none of his work comes close to being considered as “crap”, for sure. And the truth of his assertion almost requires no evidence, for ample examples of its relevance exist naturally, in plain view. I don’t have much more I can really add to the concept; it is pretty self-explanatory, and can obviously serve anyone as a good rule of thumb to keep in pocket, for application on a regular basis throughout the average day….. it helps one avoid all sorts of crap that could otherwise get tracked all over your otherwise well-groomed path through life…..
___________________________________

“And it came to pass that in the hands of the ignorant, the words of the bible were used to beat plowshares into swords…” — Alan Watts

“…You don’t have many suspects who are innocent of a crime. That’s contradictory.  If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not suspected.” — Edwin Meese

Viewed in light of the first quote, if one may assume its veracity, even temporarily, for the sake of argument, the second quote, while disappointing in the extreme, is not as surprising as it might otherwise have been seen. Oh, where to begin a response to such an outrageous display of ignorance and bigotry? I count only 26 words here, and can think of at least 14 ways this is just wrong, just off the top of my head (okay, hyperbole aside, it’s all wrong…). It piles one false assumption on top of another until any glimmer of possible relation to the truth, or reality, is completely obscured. Unfortunate as it is, this mind-set is still all-too-common, especially amongst the political pundit review currently on parade.

As a matter of fact, this mind-boggling distortion of our actual laws on the subject reminds me very strongly of three of our esteemed Republican candidates being followed avidly by the news-mongers, especially Mitt the Twitt…. in the last week alone (post Etch-A-Sketch-gate), he has made, (and I, along with a fairly large number of bloggers & citizens keeping track, counted them), at minimum, 19 apparently deliberate lies that involved vague accusations of impropriety by the current administration, or the evil intent of events already proven beneficial to the general public.  Each and every one of these statements, when checked against reality, statistics publicly available, or what was reported in other media sources, was obviously made up on the spot, or completely in reverse of what actually occurred. This man is so desperate to appear confident and forceful, he is completely oblivious to the fact that no one is buying into his nonsense any more; in response his lies get more and more removed from any connection to reality or truth.  His two closest challengers are no better; they make a habit of making statements that have absolutely no bearing on the subject under discussion, or accuse the media of playing favorites to distract the audience from whatever question they are attempting to avoid answering by doing so.

All of these men have lost touch with reality in a lot of areas, and their denial of this fact serves as further evidence of that loss. Their belief, that they have their finger on the pulse of the American people, is so far removed from the truth, it approaches the realm of delusion. They have completely lost track of, or denied, any connection they may have once had to the rest of their countrymen, insisting that their out-dated, ignorant policies, that didn’t work 45 years ago, or 90 years ago, will nonetheless work in today’s rapidly-changing arena of global politics, while completely ignoring the mountain of evidence to the contrary. They have assumed the mantle of the fanatic, the zealot, a segment of the population that has previously been clearly identified as those folks who, when they have lost sight of their goal, redouble their efforts. Sad, and a terrible waste of everyone else’s time and energy to have to even listen to such nonsense. They have given up their place in the human tribe, and don’t even know it…… Pathetic, if you ask me…..

Mi taku oyasin.  (We are all related.) — Lakota belief
___________________________________

There are times when the pearls I find that stimulate me to want to write about them are found in clusters. Several at once, all closely related, or similarly themed, just throw themselves at me, clamoring for inclusion. On these occasions I’ve learned to let them have their way. It is just as effective a lesson as my comments usually can claim to be, and has the added bonus of requiring less actual work on my part; the authors I choose have all done my thinking, and expressing for me, and usually much better than my discussions. Below are some observations on politics, patriotism, and the price of liberty, from some pretty well-respected political observers……

“In a state-run society the government promises you security. But it’s a false promise predicated on the idea that the opposite of security is risk. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. The gentle government that promises to hold your hand as you cross the street refuses to let go on the other side.” — Theodore Forstmann

“My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its officeholders.  The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” — Thomas Jefferson to A. Stuart, 1791

“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.” — H. L. Mencken

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

“Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.” — Kin Hubbard
(Don’t ask…. it just fit, that’s all…)

and finally….

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,–
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Much Ado about Nothing — Act ii, Sc. 3 (Will Shakespeare channeling George Carlin…)
___________________________________

“Few things are more dangerous than a hobbit with low blood sugar.’ — unknown Tolkein fan….

Hmm… an interesting claim. I would be tempted to add some of the most dangerous creatures I’ve encountered over the course of my life…. and being a hedonist at heart, I seldom fail to give in to temptation, so….

I would say this list could be easily be expanded to include most of the two year old human children I’ve known, those with either low blood sugar, or its reverse. Both conditions create behavioral anomalies in small children that can have disastrous effects on everything, and everyone, within hearing distance…… Another category to include might be the well-trained and viciously enthusiastic female consumers found in malls world-wide these days, especially when one finds one’s self unexpectedly caught in the DMZ between one or more of them and a well-advertised sale at Macy’s… very risky….. (BTW, this is not a condemnation of women, nor am I implying the phenomenon is exclusive to the distaff side of society. Ever get stuck on the way to the restroom at the ballpark when they announce the last chance to buy a beer? I’ve sustained moderate injuries twice in just that scenario… scary…)

I would also add certain categories of cats to this list…. Cats who have been offended, or, especially egregious in a cat’s eyes, laughed at by a human, have been known to engage in long-term, vindictive acts of revenge that would chill the heart of the most hardened terrorist. If you’ve ever pissed one off, you would know I am speaking nothing but sterling truth; few things in this universe send us so clear a message as a cat who just pooped in your slippers, moments before the time it KNEW you would wake up and slip your feet into them without looking.  Euuewww!  I’ve also known them to politely go jump on an electric stove and pee on the burners, unseen and unnoticed, just long enough before you start to cook dinner to let it dry, thus increasing the stench, and making sure you regret not letting the ‘puir beastie’ outside when it wanted to go….

And that mangled rat carcass it left in the bathroom doorway, you know, the one you thought was a present from your adorable little friend? Little did you know, that it KNEW your tendency toward severe nausea when confronted unexpectedly with blood, and left it there on purpose; most likely it was hidden nearby, digital camera at paw, to watch and chuckle over your reaction when you discovered the damn thing on the way to worship at the throne of Ralph.  Any cat person can tell you, laughing at cats is a poor choice, fraught with nasty surprises and moments of sheer terror, all with an amused cat in the background, taking photos to post online…..

“The universe is full of surprises — most of them nasty.” — Solomon Short
___________________________________

“Fishing gives you a sense of where you fit in the scene of things. Your place in the universe. I mean, here I am, one small guy with a fishing pole on this vast beach and out there in the blue expanse of ocean are these hundreds of millions of fish… laughing at me.”– More from the fertile mind of Anonymous…. (I think my research team of quote compilers has run into a lazy patch….I’ve seen a lot of work by Anonymous of late, enough to rouse some suspicion as to their level of job satisfaction….)

Though Anonymous, I like this; it’s deeper than it seems. In its quietly amusing way, it lays out a good example of how a Master approaches Life, to wit: “Everything is relative, so learn to appreciate the connections, without sweating the small stuff.”

Now, you may wonder, as I have, how I can pull all that deep wisdom out of the little story above. All I can tell you is, your guess is as good as mine, because I haven’t the faintest clue. I try not to filter, or prematurely edit my responses to things I read, as I’ve found there is often more to it than the first cursory glance will reveal. But, somehow, there is some part of me that sees that deeper meaning, and makes me stop and begin examining the statement more closely. This part of me has, so far, achieved an amazingly high percentage of being right.

All I can I say is, it’s a gift…. and I don’t refuse gifts from the universe; as a rule I find them to be exceedingly valuable, and it would dishonor the giver to reject the boon.  Besides, it saves me a LOT of time, which I can then put into my ever-so-entertaining strange visions of truth and beauty…… Well, it works for me…..
___________________________________

I must be done…. there’s no mistaking that state of confused bemusement that settles over me when my subconscious has given final approval to the original draft. It’s not an uncomfortable feeling, yet it has its overtones of both relief and melancholy, which adds a touch of poignancy, and blocks any leanings toward regret (which is relatively unnatural for me anyway; I gave it up many years ago…. lousy company…).

I’m hoping what I’ve written brings some small entertainment into your sphere this morning (morning here anyway….), and maybe even gives you a chuckle, or an encouraging lesson you can use today.  Y’all take care out there, and in the wonderful words of the Anasazi, “May you walk in Beauty, always….”


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!