Tea time in Universe 23E….

Ffolkes,

“Integrity has no need for rules.”

~~ Albert Camus ~~

kensington

Street Art, Kensington Road, London

Hajime…. Today’s exploration of reality could conceivably get out of hand. I’m trusting the process to get it done in a timely fashion, as I’ve once again suffered a major battle throughout the night, and have just now awakened sufficiently to pour coffee without a high degree of possibility of spilling it all over myself before getting any into a cup. Hell, the process of sipping it was something of an adventure, given the tremors and desperation to suck it down. I’m just glad there were no witnesses to my sad display of age-related miasma….

All that said, to the standard little purpose, I note a small bit of positive evidence. In spite of the relative lack of what might be termed compelling literature, we have managed to make it to the second paragraph, hopefully without losing any Gentle Readers in the process. Perhaps, if I can manage to keep from achieving the usual degree of pedantry, we might get through this without any blood being shed. Since any such loss would necessarily have to come from my limited supply, I’ll do whatever I can to keep it where it belongs. This means, of course, we’ll be leaving the intro section shortly, by using either my new ruthlessness, or, one of the Tardis Toys….

Whattya think? Well, no need to be rude…. Okay, I’ll decide, as is my job. I think this particular little toy will do the trick nicely. Plus, it’s right here, right when we need it. Go figure, eh? It’s actually one of the better ones, as you aren’t even required to strip naked, or even set down your adult beverage, In fact, all you need to do is continue reading, and you’ll never even notice the transition…. Pretty slick, eh? Watch…..

Shall we Pearl?….

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

~~ Theodore Sturgeon ~~

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clapton

Eric Clapton

Though I can’t consider myself a virtuoso, by any stretch of the imagination, I do play the guitar. I’m a hack; I know it. But, I can play, and sing, and keep up with better players well enough to have fun, and that is what counts. When I’m feeling like hearing good guitar music, I almost always turn to this man’s work, as he has been considered the best for all the time I’ve been listening, and playing music. Today, I’m in a small hurry, and, am also feeling selfish, to some degree; it happens when one is depressed. So, here is what may be my favorite piece of his work, to indulge my need for the best. I hope you enjoy it as well….

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Eric Claption
Unplugged

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https://youtu.be/xGkByjYJty0

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Sandclock .jpg

As noted, we’re archive diving today, to keep things moving, as well as to maximize the chances of getting posted anywhere near the usual time. I’m hoping the fresh rant upon which I’ve been working (read: struggling) will be ready for tomorrow, as it isn’t ready today. Instead, take this….

From 4/3/2014:

I know it will cause a lot of disappointment, but, I won’t be ranting today…. Since arising, I’ve managed to put together what you see for today’s post, in hopes of some angst showing up to provide the fuel to drive such an outburst, but, I’ve come to realize I’m waiting in vain. Nothing is going to come together in my head well enough today to make the effort worthwhile; any rant I attempt is destined to resemble a whine more than a rant, and I don’t want to get in the habit of settling for less than my best…..

What this means for y’all is another old-school pearl, of course….. I’ll set the parameters to look for quotes and/or aphorisms that will serve the same purpose as a rant, either about the BRC, the SCM, the DD’s (Dogma Dogs…. you know, preachers & priests….), or some other category of Asininny…. Poking fun at public icons is, patently, our favorite pastime here at ECR, with Smart Bee leading the way in that respect, so, this shouldn’t take too long…..

“A government that fears it’s people is a government that should be feared.” — Smart Bee

“Where large sums of money are concerned, it is advisable to trust nobody.” — Agatha Christie

“They gave me a book of checks. They didn’t ask for any deposits.” — Congressman Joe Early (D-Mass) at a press conference — to answer questions about the House Bank Scandal

“Machiavel says virtue and riches seldom settle on one man.” — Robert Burton (1577-1640) — The Anatomy of Melancholy, Part ii, Sect. 2, Memb. 2

“…when all government… in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1821

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” — Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), Collected Essays

“Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Okay, so it took forfuckingever…. which is, as it turns out, just as well, since it came out so well…. It isn’t often I can find such a perfect closing line as Albert’s, especially as it applies to our beloved leaders, and the show they put on…. I only wish I could say the show is for OUR benefit….

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Comedy_Tragedy

Dreaming, I wait….

In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
to give no anxious fever, anger to eschew.

Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
shall fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.

Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.

Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.

Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in the oceans of natural delight.

When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
and the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.

Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art…..

~~ gigoid ~~

8/18/2013

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pearls_3

Today’s final, old-school pearl is also coming from the archives, due simply to the time constraints, which wouldn’t be an issue, except for Smart Bee’s morning intransigence. Can’t make it give up even ONE pearl; so be it. Here is an excellent pearl from a couple years ago, to fill the gap thus created…. Enjoy!….

From 4/1/2014:

Aye, the Tale is told, and told well…. I do enjoy a good metaphor, don’t y’all? We’ve made it as far as the last section, without any major mishaps, or any sort of diversionary actions that smack of Murphy’s tender touch…. for which, we are eternally grateful. In the perhaps futile hope of continuing this run of sheer luck, we’ll proceed to dive, to see if there are enough pearls available to fulfill our goal for the day…..

Parameters, today, are unnecessary….. serendipity is at loose in the world on days such as today, so we’ll trust in that to provide us with what we seek…. knowing that what we find will be worth the search…. If not, well, I can always comfort myself with the old saw about the journey being more important than the destination….. Abondanza!…..

How he lies in his rights of a man!
Death has done all death can.
And absorbed in the new life he leads,
He recks not, he heeds
Nor his wrong nor my vengeance; both strike
On his senses alike,
And are lost in the solemn and strange
Surprise of the change.

~~ Robert Browning, “After” ~~

“If you stand straight, do not fear a crooked shadow.” — Chinese Proverb

“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

“A little folly is desirable in him that will not be guilty of stupidity.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Book iii, Chap. ix

“I am, therefore I am.” — Akira

“It is ridiculous to lay the blame of our wrong actions upon external causes, rather than on the facility with which we ourselves are caught by such causes.” — Aristotle

And in your dreams you can see yourself
As a prophet saving the world
The words from your lips
I just can’t believe you are such
A fool.

~~ Frank Zappa, “Oh No” ~~

Wow…. Serendipity, indeed….

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Okay. I cheated, but, it’s done. So be it. I’m pretty sure I shot my entire wad on this one, just to get it done, so, I won’t bother y’all with any long, involved meanderings here. Instead, I’ll chop this off like George chopped the cherry tree in his old man’s back yard…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes. You can consider that a promise, or a threat; as always, your choice…. See ya….

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….

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Look! It’s a roly-poly, wholly holy jellyroll!…

Ffolkes,

The path is the way.

The way is the truth.

It is found, but not held;

walked on, but not followed.

~~ Tao Teh Ching ~~

Mixed days 047


Scenes from a train IV….


Good morning…. Making such a grandiose statement so early, before actually seeing any of the day, is, perhaps, somewhat optimistic, but, I figured a bit of positive attitude can’t hurt…. We’ll see how that goes…. Given the hour (0200), my physical status, (shaky, with pain at about level 7 much of the time), and the state of my mind (sleepy, grumpy, and other dwarfish adjectives… to wit: funky…), a lot of the optimism may be unwarranted, but, hey, life’s tough, and then you die. So, how else to react, than to shake our heads, sip, breathe, sip, and trundle on?….

All you can do is all you can do…. Therefore, that’s what we’ll do….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Before he became a hermit, Zarathud was a young Priest, and took great delight in making fools of his opponents in front of his followers. One day Zarathud took his students to a pleasant pasture and there he confronted The Sacred Chao while She was contentedly grazing. “Tell me, you dumb beast,” demanded the Priest in his commanding voice, “why don’t you do something worthwhile? What is your Purpose in Life, anyway?” Munching the tasty grass, The Sacred Chao replied “MU”. (The Chinese ideogram for No-Thing.) Upon hearing this, absolutely nobody was enlightened. Primarily because nobody understood Chinese.” — Camden Benares, “Zen Without Zen Masters”

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Peace76

    Today is a national holiday, designed to celebrate nationalism, a subject I tend to avoid/ignore as much as possible…. However, it does give me the opportunity to include an iconic American band for your listening pleasure…. Today’s choice is one of the finest acoustic performances, ever…. Enjoy!….

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Crosby,Stills,Nash,& Young

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Dont keep calm

“Silence can be the biggest lie of all.  We have a responsibility to speak up; and whenever the occasion calls for it, we have a responsibility to raise bloody hell.” — Herbert Block

“… so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.” — Voltarine de Cleyre

One might think, being up so early, I’d be able to rant; however, such an event requires a delicate balance of energy and angst. A lack of either one can sink a rant before it begins. Such is the case today; I got so little sleep, I’m too tired to think clearly… THAT is why you get an archived discussion today…. It is on a subject near and dear to my curmudgeonly heart, and, not to shabby, all things considered…. Enjoy, ffolkes, for what it’s worth….

From 3/15/2013:

“Republican views of the world differ from Democratic views of the world. The reason for this is that these views are based on different compilations of misinformation.” — Smart Bee

There are moments, such as this one, when I believe the people, or person, who put together the database known to me as Smart Bee, is perhaps the most intelligent creature on this planet….. I’ve been ranting about politicians for years, trying to show people how dangerous it is to believe ANY of the stuff that either party is slinging at us to try to convince us they are worthy of our votes. Now, in one short aphorism, of two lines, we are given a perfectly reasonable explanation for all of the crap we hear from them…. Essentially, this says that every one of them is full of shit, and everything they say and do is destined to fail, because it is ALL based on incorrect information, or, to be more accurate, on unwarranted assumptions about reality…..

The most important part of this description is its impartiality of indictment. Both parties are brought into scrutiny, and found wanting, of any real knowledge of the truth, because they are both basing all of their premises on false beliefs, just for starters. Add to that, since they are politicians by choice, their genetic predisposition is to self-aggrandizement, and they show an inherent inability to tell the truth. It becomes rather easily seen why our society has become, well, insane…. It’s a short trip to crazy from where they begin the journey…. and they don’t take any detours on the road….

You see, both parties are convinced of a complete falsehood, one with which humanity has been struggling for centuries…. This lie is so basic, it colors and affects everything they do to try to manipulate the world into going the way they wish it to go. As long as they continue to try to do this, our society is doomed to failure in the long run, for the lie goes against the very nature of reality…. Simply put, these people believe they can legislate morality…. They believe that they can make laws, and people will go against their very nature to follow them, in spite of the fact that the law they propose is contrary to what comes naturally to humans, to wit: self-centered, grasping behaviors that only benefit the perpetrator, and no one else…..

We have laws against stealing…. and the most accomplished thieves we see in our culture wear suits and live in Washington D.C. We have laws against killing each other, but, people still get killed, and, if the killers do so while wearing a flag, or a badge, they are considered heroes, no matter how many they kill. We have laws that supposedly protect women, children, and the aged, from suffering abuse, but, just look around you, and you will see no end to the depredations that society allows to be perpetrated upon these three most vulnerable members of our society, all very much within the legal limits of the public morality, as given in the law books….

“[…] For all our conceits about being the center of the universe, we live in a routine planet of a humdrum star stuck away in an obscure corner […] on an unexceptional galaxy which is one of about 100 billion galaxies. […] That is the fundamental fact of the universe we inhabit, and it is very good for us to understand that.” — Carl Sagan

The people who get involved in politics, and religion, for much the same reason, believe they are special, and entitled to take all they can from the universe, because they are the be-all, and end-all of the evolutionary ladder. It says so right there in the Bible….. They don’t care that reality says differently, because their sense of denial has been fine-tuned since shortly after they were born, and they are capable of ignoring facts right up until they slap them in the face…. (Witness the Republican melt-down in the last Presidential election, when the Republican party got slapped in the face by their own lack of contact with reality…..)

In spite of all the massive amounts of evidence to the contrary, these folks believe in their own divine entitlement as the lords of creation, chosen by God to do with this planet as we would, without regard for any of the other creatures that live here with us, or for the beauty and balance of the land that sustains us. As far as they are concerned, other people and animals, and natural resources, are theirs to do with as they wish, with God’s blessing…. The fucking assholes…..

I apologize for the vulgarity, to my readers, but not to those at whom it is directed…. To them, I say, fuck you, and fuck you again…. I regard all politicians, priests, preachers, police, lawyers, judges, and corporate misogynists of all shapes and sizes to be INSANE…. floridly, and viciously insane, without any of the moral standards that the rest of mankind embraces. These assholes are responsible for our imminent demise through environmental destruction of the ecosphere, as well as for the endless preying on the weak and vulnerable to suit their own depravity, and lack of moral fiber.

“All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind.” — Joseph Conrad

Sexual slavery, corporate collusion to fix wages and prices, legislative corruption and oppression, judicial malfeasance and more corruption, governmental incompetence, religious repression and collusion with politicians, all serve the purposes of the ruling class to a T, no matter how much suffering it causes to others…. As long as they have what they want, nothing anyone else says or does matters at all….

I hate to be a harbinger of bad news, but, I call ’em as I see ’em, and I see what is real…. None of what is wrong in the world will change, until the major portion of mankind makes a change of spirit, and the people, as a whole, decide that the few among us who are bold enough to act must, in fact, act. The evil among us will not go away, or stop, of its own accord, and waiting for them to come around to a more amenable state of mind isn’t going to work, as that just isn’t going to happen.

If we wish to survive, they have to go, and mankind must find a new way to get along with each other than the out-dated ways we have been trying for millennia… Those old ways leave too much power in the hands of people who will give in to the temptation that goes along with such power over others, and must not be allowed to happen any more, not if we wish to survive to see any future at all….. The universe doesn’t care one way or another, so we’ll have to be responsible for our own actions…. as we have always been, and have always been afraid to admit….

“If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will not produce food either.” — Joseph Wood Krutch

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Comedy_Tragedy

Relative Cynicism, with Caramel Sauce

Absolute stillness follows violent movement,
  it can happen during a downhill race,
as an immovable piece of asphalt pavement
  meets the once handsome racer’s face.

Yuk, yuk, yuk, said that asshole Moe,
 after poking both of Larry’s eyes,
bashing face, head, & crotch of Curly Joe
  and only ever got hit with pies.

Lonely moments never really come along
  when Murphy’s got us in his sights.
Not for money, love, or siren’s song
  will he abrogate his natural rights.

All we can do is sigh, or laugh in pain,
  as Life portions out our ration of shit.
Silver linings melt in the slightest rain,
  so we may as well learn to live with it.

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 4/7/2013.

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ankh

    As it turns out, it’s a good thing I was up so early; SB decided to go on strike again…. I managed to pull out a decent nine-star pearl, commenting on Life at Large, but, I have to say, it was much like pulling tree stumps…. I can testify, it ain’t easy…. Enjoy, ffolkes; these are probably, if not actually on the Quiz, required prerequisites….

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” — Anais Nin

“The believer is happy. The doubter is wise.” — Hungarian proverb

“He does not seem to me to be a free man who does not sometimes do nothing.” — Cicero

“They say dogs ignore their reflections in mirrors because they can’t smell them. Dogs, unlike people, are not fooled by what they see.” — Theodore Sturgeon

“Clay is moulded to make a vessel, but the utility of the vessel lies in the space where there is nothing. … Thus, taking advantage of what is, we recognize the utility of what is not.” — Lao Tzu
“Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.” — Bertold Brecht

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” — Alan Watts

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” — Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

“For it is the doom of men that they forget.” — Merlin

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Well…. I suppose, since I’m done, I can say this: fucking assholes!. There. I feel better now…. To whom do I refer? I refer to those assholes who call themselves doctors, that’s who. It’s too late to explain right now, but, take it from me, they’re assholes…. Regardless of that, I’ll be back tomorrow, provided nobody in a uniform gets in my way…. I’m NOT in the mood to fuss with them, and might get a bit testy…. See you then, ffolkes, as long as my computer boots up….

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….


Plainly painful paroxysms of unnatural concern….

Ffolkes,

Well, I’m back. It seems as if I’ve been gone forever, but that’s probably the coffee’s fault. It’s so wonderful to be at home, where I can count on that first cup of coffee in the morning to be a good one…. I won’t go into great detail now, but, suffice it to say, I am less than totally happy with the coffee on cruise ships, and leave it at that, in celebration of the first good cup in a week, ready for me to drink, with the proper condiments, when I arise, at the very moment I need it the most…..

I’ve survived yet again, even without being able to post a blog each day as intended…. I also didn’t take very many pictures, finding it quite relaxing this time to NOT worry about that, or about writing. I’m sorry, but the internet they use on the ships is pretty bad, compared to just about any other I’ve ever connected to, and trying to work around their deficiencies just made it too much work.

So, I ate, and slept, ate some more, and walked around the ship doing stuff that seemed fun at the time… Or, we’d go ashore when in port, walk around a bit to see the sights, and have lunch in a different venue, if there was a nice place to go… In short, I did practically nothing for seven days…. I did so much nothing, I only had time to read two books…..’Twas grand, to be sure…. even though I’ll have to read a lot for a while to feel right….

For most of the time since receiving my disability status, and the money they owed me for the years they made me wait to get it, I’ve traveled, as I intended from the moment I heard I’d be getting back payments of my monthly checks… I’ve spent almost a full month of days on cruise ships, on three separate cruises, to Europe, Alaska, and Mexico; I’ve been to Texas twice, and to Oregon once. I’ve also used the money to live as comfortably as I can, with absolutely no regrets about how I spent much of it on myself, fulfilling my own dreams, an event which has never before occurred in my life….

Since the age of 28, when my kids came along, all of my money has gone to take care of was necessary for others, rather than what was desired by me, and I have NO problem with that; it’s the way it should be for a man with family to care for…. I’ve put off all of my youthful wishes to travel, without any regret at all, sublimating by traveling with the family when I could afford to do so…. In fact, taking them on a cruise, when the kids were pre-teens, is what hooked me on cruising in the first place….

There are times when I feel a pang or two of discomfort, but, that has more to do with my lifelong pursuit of truth, my political and social views, and the insidious way money corrupts, than it is about my own weakness for luxury… There is a part of me that KNOWS that cruising is really just another of the corporate masters’ illusions, only made available to the general public to keep their eyes focused on unreachable goals, and away from the nastiness they perpetrate in other areas of our existence….

Going on a cruise is fun, but one should always keep in mind that it is not normal, and people who actually live in a way that allows them to do that sort of thing on a regular basis are a big part of the problems we have in society. In addition, such industries, making billions of dollars annually, are a constant drain on the planet’s resources, put to use to keep the circus interesting for us, but actually keeping us under the thrall of those who actually control the money…. I KNOW all that, and it is all absolutely true, yet, I still enjoy the experience of living in decadence, even for a short time….

I think, over the next few weeks, I’ll discuss this further, as it is something I think is worth examination from a critical standpoint…. It will also give me a chance to get back into ranting before I really get back into the swing of things out in the real-time world…. For six days, I’ve ignored the news completely, and have no clue as to what is up in the world; I didn’t even read the headlines. It actually surprised me to find myself last night watching Game 3 of the World Series, as I had forgotten it was opening last week…. Actually, that’s a good feeling; I always enjoy my bouts of ignorance, and can see how it is an attractive state to live in, for those folks who are able to shut off their thinking apparatus…. Mine always pushes its own power button, so it never shuts off for long….

Okay, that should be enough…. I’ve rambled and blathered, I’ve made a few pointed remarks about the bad guys, and reasserted my geopolitical views. I’ve bragged about my travels, and been trite, and even a bit ashamed…. and, best of all, I haven’t spilled anything on anybody! Bonus! Any who, I think I’d best get on with this, and see if I can salvage any of my dignity…. Doubtful, but ever hopeful, I plod on….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum puto.” [“I am a human, and nothing human is alien to me”] — Publius Terentius Afer, c.190-159 B.C. — Heautontimoroumenos, a. 1, sc. 1, v. 25
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First, to get the trip off my mind and out of my head, let’s put in the pictures I DID take while on the cruise…. As I mentioned, there aren’t a lot of them, as I ended up taking the trip off from ALL of my usual activities, including taking pictures…. I did manage to get a couple from each port we stopped in, but, only a couple, so there aren’t many to choose from, or worth showing… but, what I have are here for y’all to see, such as they are….

Our ports of call were, in order of visit, Santa Barbara, Long Beach, San Diego, all in California, and Ensenada, Mexico, leaving and coming back to home port in San Francisco…. I’ll try to put the pix up in order, but, I’m still not totally adept with the adding media functions in Word Press, so we’ll see how that goes….. Since I’m home, and don’t have to worry about network speed, it should be possible to add some comments, but, that is still to be determined…. At any rate, here are the best shots I DID take, and I hope you enjoy them….

The first stop was Santa Barbara… these were taken from the tender on the way to shore, on State Street, and more from the tender on the way back to the ship…
Coastal cruise pix 003Coastal cruise pix 010 Coastal cruise pix 013 Coastal cruise pix 004 Coastal cruise pix 005 Coastal cruise pix 006I was right… the order of the pix isn’t correct, but, hey, they’re here, so… Next came Long Beach, where I had lunch with one of my old friends, (he’s not so old, but we’ve been friends for almost 25 years…), on the Queen Mary I, right next to where our ship docked… Believe me, there wasn’t anything else to take a picture of… It IS the port of Los Angeles, don’t y’know….

Coastal cruise pix 018 Coastal cruise pix 017Next came San Diego, where we docked next to the USS Midway, a WWII aircraft carrier, now a museum, and some old, tall ships on the other side, at the San Diego Maritime Museum….

Coastal cruise pix 024 Coastal cruise pix 019 Coastal cruise pix 020 Coastal cruise pix 023Our last stop was in Ensenada, Baja Mexico, where I was so distracted by all the street vendors I got only one picture, and then forgot the camera was even in my pocket… This was the scene in the courtyard where the shuttle from the ship dropped off the victims, er, tourists in the downtown area….

Coastal cruise pix 025Okay, ffolkes, that’s the extent of it… I told you I didn’t do much, and I meant it, didn’t I?… I hope I didn’t bore y’all too much… I had fun, any who, so, all is well in the land of gigoid….
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Choosing the first poem to post was tougher than I had imagined it would be; hopefully, you will enjoy this one, as it cost me a lot of effort to decide which one to choose…. In the end, I chose one that I’ve used before, a couple of times…. Each time, I see in it more of myself than I saw before, which convinces me of its universal relevance….. But, mostly I just like it…. that counts for something, I hope….

A Song About Myself

I.
There was a naughty boy,
A naughty boy was he,
He would not stop at home,
He could not quiet be-
He took
In his knapsack
A book
Full of vowels
And a shirt
With some towels,
A slight cap
For night cap,
A hair brush,
Comb ditto,
New stockings
For old ones
Would split O!
This knapsack
Tight at’s back
He rivetted close
And followed his nose
To the north,
To the north,
And follow’d his nose
To the north.

II.
There was a naughty boy
And a naughty boy was he,
For nothing would he do
But scribble poetry-
He took
An ink stand
In his hand
And a pen
Big as ten
In the other,
And away
In a pother
He ran
To the mountains
And fountains
And ghostes
And postes
And witches
And ditches
And wrote
In his coat
When the weather
Was cool,
Fear of gout,
And without
When the weather
Was warm-
Och the charm
When we choose
To follow one’s nose
To the north,
To the north,
To follow one’s nose
To the north!

III.
There was a naughty boy
And a naughty boy was he,
He kept little fishes
In washing tubs three
In spite
Of the might
Of the maid
Nor afraid
Of his Granny-good-
He often would
Hurly burly
Get up early
And go
By hook or crook
To the brook
And bring home
Miller’s thumb,
Tittlebat
Not over fat,
Minnows small
As the stall
Of a glove,
Not above
The size
Of a nice
Little baby’s
Little fingers-
O he made
‘Twas his trade
Of fish a pretty kettle
A kettle-
A kettle
Of fish a pretty kettle
A kettle!

IV.
There was a naughty boy,
And a naughty boy was he,
He ran away to Scotland
The people for to see-
There he found
That the ground
Was as hard,
That a yard
Was as long,
That a song
Was as merry,
That a cherry
Was as red,
That lead
Was as weighty,
That fourscore
Was as eighty,
That a door
Was as wooden
As in England-
So he stood in his shoes
And he wonder’d,
He wonder’d,
He stood in his
Shoes and he wonder’d.

~~ John Keats ~~

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“Ninety percent of everything is crud.” — Sturgeon’s Revelation

It’s always tempting to write a rant using this statement by one of Science Fiction’s most revered and highly respected authors; I usually refrain from doing so in order to avoid any chance of my thoughts becoming part of that ninety percent so eloquently highlighted…. It is also a temptation to discuss the merits of the statement in terms of accuracy, but, that also tends to enter the realm of surreality, as the truth of the statement is all too often proven, not only by those who are critical of it, but, also,  by those who are asserting its veracity…. Personally, I find it best to merely accept it, just as it is, and be done with it….

In light of that, and in the interests of time management, (plus, I wouldn’t want to drive anyone away on my first day back by being too heavy-handed, or any more bozoid than is necessary….), this section will be the latest in a long line of pearls of virtual wisdom that chose themselves…. Well, the one parameter used today was the above revelation, so it should work out well, as we are, in new-age parlance, ‘going with the flow’…..

Remember, ffolkes, to correctly interpret the following, you will need to place the above revelation in its correct position among the others, an exercise that, as always, I will leave to you, as the prerogative of the Gentle Reader in all such instances….

“We rest here while we can, but we hear the ocean calling in our dreams, And we know by the morning, the wind will fill our sails to test the seams, The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” from “Ships”, by Tom Kimmel & Michael Lille

“If it ain’t broke, maybe you need a bigger hammer.” — Smart Bee

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those of us who profess to favor freedom yet depreciate agitation are men who want the crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…This struggle may be a moral one or a physical one, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has and never will. Show me the exact amount of wrong and injustices that are visited upon a person and I will show you the exact amount of words endured by these people. These wrongs and injustices may be fought with words or with blows or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” — Frederick Douglass (1817-1895), Letter to Gerrit Smith [March 30, 1849]

“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. books are well written, or badly written, That is all.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Letter to Gay, Oct, 6, 1727

“What do they call a comedian who doesn’t get any laughs? A philosopher.” — Phil Proctor
_____________________________

Oddly enough, this didn’t go too badly; I had some reservations when I sat down, but, I don’t think I’ve done anything here to be ashamed of…. Not any more than usual, anyway…. Let’s see how it holds up under scrutiny….. I can’t honestly say I think this is great literature, but, it won’t poke out your eyes, or, more importantly, make you want to poke out anyone else’s, mine included…. That being said, I’d best leave it as it is, and hope for the best…. I’ll try again tomorrow to get a few steps further toward coherence, and toward sanity….

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

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
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“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…)
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“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!

Intrusion of the Dubious….

Ffolkes,
As the brightly colored dreidle spins, mesmerizing, laughter rings out above the noise of the crowded plaza. The sun beat down with heavy indifference, laying a mantle of sticky humidity on the poor, and on the not-so-poor denizens wandering listlessly among the filthy stalls. Occasionally, soldiers from the palace would stride past, looking neither left nor right, in squads of eight; any fewer would be an easy target for the bands of mercenaries purchased as protection by the criminal overlords of the city.

The crowds parted once again, and filled in behind, as a stranger, dressed in strangely colored garments, marched steadily toward the Speaking Stone. He reached the Stone and vaulted to the top; the crowd gathered around, and fell silent. As the sun began to sink behind the minarets to the west, the stranger looked out among the crowd, and spake thus, “Did you believe the lies? Did you doubt my words? If so, the proof of your mistaken choice stands before you. I have returned, and there will be a reckoning!” The crowd, still silent, fell back as the stranger quickly departed the plaza. Neighbor looked at neighbor, with baffled mien, until one shouted out, expressing the mutual confusion, and said “What! What the hell is that supposed to mean?”……

Sorry folks, just had to get that out…..we will now return to our regularly scheduled nonsense…..
___________________________________

Alone!–that worn-out word,
So idly spoken, and so coldly heard;
Yet all that poets sing and grief hath known
Of hopes laid waste, knells in that word ALONE!
— Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1805-1873) — The New Timon, (1846), Part ii

It is interesting sometimes to see how the world works; there is always some piece of it that is stranger than we can imagine. This poem, though not of top notch quality, is nonetheless saved from total obscurity by the power of its plea. What interests me is that this gentleman is the same one who wrote the famous passage from the beginning of one of his books; it begins with “It was a dark and stormy night….” and proceeds to go downhill from there. It is considered by experts to be so bad that there is now a yearly literary contest, with a pretty hefty prize, called the Bulwer-Lytton Award.

The award is bestowed upon the author of the written passage that best exemplifies just how badly people can write. Each year, the winning pieces lend new meaning to Theodore Sturgeon’s Law of Everything, which tells us that “90 percent of science fiction is crap. But, then, 90% of everything is crap.” It’s all just another way for us to laugh at our best source of humor in life, ourselves and our personal struggle with our oh-so human nature…….
___________________________________

“It is your resistance to ‘what is’ that causes your suffering.” — Buddha

In the movie, The Lion King, there is a scene wherein the young lion king-to-be is receiving a lesson from his shaman/mentor, the anorexic orangutan. The shaman would ask a question, and when the young lion answered, the shaman would hit him over the head with a stick, and say “Forget about it! It’s in the Past!”, carrying on with that until the point was obvious, to wit: Don’t hang on to baggage you can leave in the past, or you’ll drag it with you into the future.”

This is actually the only scene from the movie that I remember, so I guess my crap detector was on full alert. But this one scene makes the movie worthwhile for me, because this is a lesson that more kids (and adults) in this country need to have drilled into their heads. However, such a subtle concept as this is generally incomprehensible to westerners, who are conditioned from birth to avoid using their minds at all cost….to their eventual regret, and everyone else’s chagrin…..
___________________________________

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn

“Our safety, our liberty depends on preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate.  The people of the US are the rightful masters both Congress and the courts – Not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution” — Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country…. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.’ — Former US President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 — letter to Col. William F. Elkins — printed in “The Lincoln Encyclopedia”, — ed. Archer H. Shaw, Macmillan, 1950, NY

“Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency… Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded.  Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.” — General Douglas MacArthur, 1957

This section of quotes hearkens back to the early days of the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom. The four quotes above, when considered as a continuing evolution of observations of American society, show an increasingly strong sense of impending threat to the freedoms our forefathers attempted to guarantee for us. The threat is getting even stronger as time goes on, and I can only hope that enough folks out there are aware of how close to the edge we are skating, and make a joint effort to pull us all back from danger…..but, then, I AM an optimist by nature…..
___________________________________

Thou wast that all to me, love,
For which my soul did pine–
A green isle in the sea, love,
A fountain and shrine,
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
And all the flowers were mine.
— Edgar Allan Poe

Poe didn’t live long, but he loved, and lived well, miserable though he was. To love well is to live well; perfect logic trimmed with Occam’s Razor. I have loved, so I can say I have lived well. I still love, and seek more. It is, after all, our most defining emotion. Robert Heinlein, of course, said it the best, as far as I can see, when he said that “Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” That’s a goal worth living for…..
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No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. — The Constitution of the United States of America Amendment 3, 1791

This is your daily reminder of what is now missing from your life…..no joke…..
___________________________________

The above posting may seem like insignificant rubbish at first glance, but if you read between the lines, you will be surprised to discover the annals of Burt Bachrach, world peace, Oxford Advanced Readers Dictionary, quantum physics made easy, and an easy-to-use step-by-step walk-through on how to make a time traveling device that actually works. — DISCLAIMER

I can’t do it any better than that; not today. Today, I’ll be lucky if I can see my way clear to tomorrow. Matters at this point are, shall we say, unsettled? Good thing I refuse to be bored; to admit that is to admit I’m tired of what is in my own head. Not gonna happen in this lifetime…..meantime, y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!