Apocryphal messages from Betelgeuse, in Swedish slang, ….


Today’s Pearl promises to be a marvel of human endeavor, if only I can get it done, a tribute to the perseverance of the human spirit. Of course, that probably sounds somewhat presumptuous, if not completely egotistical, but, it’s true, nonetheless. Just the effort of getting out of bed today reached monumental proportions, as several physical and mental issues presented themselves to my attention immediately upon opening my eyes…. Then, of course, after summoning the will to get up to an upright position, I had to go to even greater lengths to get myself up to get coffee…. Thankfully, it was ready, and I was able to drag myself over to the kitchen area, get it ready, and choke some down within a few moments of arising, a fact which has, no doubt, saved any hope of going on….

I had a bit of time yesterday when my back pain was tolerable, and got around to a few of my favorite blogs to read…. This was fortunate, in a way, as I found out where Murphy has been the last couple of days….. After reading the blog of susank456 ( here: http://birdsanddogs.com/2013/08/20/the-day-that-shall-remain-nameless/ ), it was clear he had spent the day with her, fussing with her in every possible way…. Though sympathetic to her plight, I had to smile in appreciation at my own fortune, in having at least one day without his miserable presence making itself felt. He spends entirely too much time here already, so, little as I wanted a friend to have a bad day, it was good to know that, in spite of being one of his favorites, I’m not his only target….

He’s back today, though, and though I don’t appreciate his ministrations, I accept them in the spirit in which they are presented, to wit: Life goes on, so deal… And, I will, despite the headache, despite the new knife in my neck, despite the inner ear disturbance making me stagger around like a drunk, and, despite the miasmal overall feeling of impending doom, a gift, no doubt, of my PTSD, which has deigned to leave me alone for some time, but now has decided to manifest itself in this minor way…. It’s annoying, as I KNOW I have no reason to feel unreasoned fear; everything in my life is proceeding apace, and I’m content with how it is going….. Hence, these feelings of incipient doom are just leftover nerve impulses from an earlier time, which my brain has decided to let out now, rather than back when there was need for them….

As mentioned, though, it’s minor, and fairly easily thrown aside, thanks to my basic outlook, which generally doesn’t give much of a shit about that kind of stuff; it’s too familiar to produce the same panic as it once did, so, it’s merely a matter of performing the mental equivalent of blowing one’s nose when it gets too full…. All the excess angst and fear will get blown away into the ether, using the virtual tissue we call a blog…. I hope none of it gets on your clothing; I’ll do my best to confine it to the tissue, but, one never knows exactly how it all will turn out, does one?….

So, today, I would suggest you take advantage of the accessory materials that are provided for you in the compartment just under your seat…. There is a bib, an oxygen mask, and some containers of Jell-o, in case you need a little snack…. Oh, and there’s a flotation device, too, for any water landings that go wrong…. it looks like a rubber ducky, but, when you squeeze the bill, it inflates into a larger version, which is suitable for all bodies of water…. Never say we don’t have style, eh?….

Shall we Pearl?….

But sorrow return’d with the dawning of morn,
And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.

— Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) — The Soldier’s Dream

What with the dizziness, and the fog through which I’m viewing the universe, this is going slowly, requiring many breaks to ease my pain… To make it go a bit faster, we’ll throw in an old-school format, which is less time-consuming, even though no less challenging in nature. We’ll even let Smart Bee take the lead on the search parameters, and see what kind of mischief it can find for us today….  Don’t forget to fasten your seat belts, please; the flight can get bumpy on these fanciful flights into the realms of nonsense and whimsy….

FOOL, n.  A person who pervades the domain of intellectual speculation and diffuses himself through the channels of moral activity.  He is omnific, omniform, omnipercipient, omniscience, omnipotent.  He it was who invented letters, printing, the railroad, the steamboat, the telegraph, the platitude and the circle of the sciences.  He created patriotism and taught the nations war — founded theology, philosophy, law, medicine and Chicago.  He established monarchical and republican government.  He is from everlasting to everlasting — such as creation’s dawn beheld he fooleth now.  In the morning of time he sang upon primitive hills, and in the noonday of existence headed the procession of being.  His grandmotherly hand was warmly tucked-in the  set sun of civilization, and in the twilight he prepares Man’s evening meal of milk-and-morality and turns down the covers of the universal
grave.  And after the rest of us shall have retired for the night of eternal oblivion he will sit up to write a history of human civilization. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“Reality is an obstacle to hallucination.” — Smart Bee

“When late morning rolls around and you’re feeling a bit out of sorts, don’t worry; you’re probably just a little eleven o’clockish.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

“He who learns but does not think, is lost!  He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” — Confucius

“I’m not black, but there’s a whole lot of times I wish I could say I’m not white.” — Frank Zappa

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Questions are never indiscreet, answers sometimes are.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Oops! My bad…. we took a turn away from nonsense and whimsy, and ended up over in the critical thinking section…. Sorry, but, somebody left the map taped upside down, as a joke, I guess…. Oh well, nobody got anything on them, did they? Good… we’ll go on, and try to put this out of our minds, okay?… Please?….

Okay, here… I’ll distract y’all with an impenetrable poem…. It’s one I wrote a little over a year ago, and just found the other day…. I believe I wrote it in response to one of the school massacre shootings that happened that year…. It’s a bit thick, but, with some pretty fancy footwork… not too bad, altogether, and certainly worth a read, if for no other reason to get on by it to section three….

Modest sounds of impatient concern….

Crowds converge at the raw and grisly scene,
comatose to compassion, curiosity tugging at the hem
with sharp, oh, sharp tools made obscene,
filing the essence of future hopes in spite of them.

Yet who has won the keys to the treasure,
who whipped up the fear of another brother?
Who spent the dreams of the old in selfish measure,
with such arrogant blindness grave issues to smother?

Fateful decisions may prompt still another pause,
to catch and release collective images of insanity.
Surely legitimate anger arises with ample cause
wallowing in self-made entrepreneurs, fluent in profanity.

A quartet of eternities must pass to guarantee change,
regardless of need, or desire, or autonomous manipulation.
Ancient rules and modern aggression is only passing strange
when golden delusion grasps futilely at its related illusory station.

~~ gigoid ~~


I’m not in any condition to sit long enough to rant, and I’m overdue for one, so, I’m resorting to the archives again, since they’re there, and they have over 750 posts from which to pull stuff for today, some of which is actually pretty good, to my mind (well, I DID write it….) Any who, here is a rant for y’all, from December of 2012…. It could  have been written today; the material is that fresh, and the subject is one that seldom undergoes any great changes, at least not of the nature of that part under discussion….

Oh, and consider this… I wrote this BEFORE any of the articles in the Guardian, about the NSA’s surveillance, based on the documents from the NSA itself, leaked by Eric Snowden, had been published, or heard of…. Mr. Snowden, at the time of this writing, was just making, or had just made, his decision to abscond with the information, and was busy figuring out how to get in touch with the reporters he contacted…. I guess my paranoia wasn’t, and isn’t, so out of place, now, is it?…..


“Just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you!” — Smart Bee

Last week, or maybe earlier, another blogger and I were both ID’d as being a bit paranoid, (self-identified, I might add) because we happen to believe at least some of the conspiracy rumors continually floating around the internet. Each of us took comfort from the above sentiment, knowing it to be 100% true, and have mutual agreement in that belief. He seems to be pretty tech-savvy, posting a lot of different types of media on his blog, so he must have similar knowledge as I of computers, and the functions of which current technology is capable. This knowledge, along with a deep understanding of human nature, is the root cause for our paranoia, and, its justification…..

“No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.” — Aristotle

The little laptop computer upon which I type to create these Pearls of Virtual Wisdom is an amazing machine, and fairly representative of what is available to the public these days. It has, quite simply, more computing power in it than was present in the ENTIRE WORLD when the first laptop was on the design boards, when I got my first clunky 386. What this simple fact(oid) implies is this: the government, and its supporters, the bankers, corporations, and churches, has available for their use, enough computing power to record EVERY piece of communication, of EVERY type, created each day in the ENTIRE WORLD. Along with that capability, to monitor ALL communications, it has the capability of mining that huge amount of data for significant words, phrases, and patterns that will inform them of anyone, anywhere, who is speaking in a way that is potentially against their interests.

Yep…. every single piece of published communication, via phone, internet, TV, radio, or any other form of media by which humans communicate, is vulnerable to being overheard by those in the beloved ruling class…. (addendum, 8/21/13: or, for that matter, by anyone with the technological know-how….) Allow me to assure you, the reasons for which they want this information have nothing to do with YOUR rights, or YOUR interests, nor are they going to tell you, either that they are doing it, or how often, or where, or anything about it.

In many public places, with cameras and recording devices, it is possible for them to overhear even the words we speak to each other face to face. If they wish, they can even concentrate technology on a single spot, (such as your car, your living room, or kitchen…..), and listen to every word spoken there, even if they are not within miles of the place. There is, by published report, no place left on Earth where technology cannot penetrate, to listen to what is being spoken, given the opportunity, and the time to employ the needed technology.

So, my friend and I are well aware that what we write and publish here online is perfectly available to those who care about such matters, and they WILL be listening to what EVERYONE is saying, even, or, perhaps especially, us. Since I have a tendency to rant against the very people who are listening, I doubt that my name is missing from several lists of theirs. In fact, I’d be surprised if it was missing from those lists…. if it is, they’re not paying attention…..   🙂

As I’ve said before ffolkes, be alert; the world needs all the lerts it can get. You are being watched, and listened to, whether you choose to believe it or not, so it would behoove you to, perhaps, take that into account. Please, don’t fall into that, “oh, you’re just being paranoid,” attitude, or the “well, if I don’t say anything wrong, they can’t get me,” fallacy…. One of the primary characteristics of those with the power-mongering gene is a certain irrationality that is inherent in their make-up…. They have an unfortunate tendency to act on belief and faith, not on fact, so their actions, while fairly predictable, are somewhat irrationally chosen, and don’t necessarily make any sense to those of us who use our minds for other things than reclining upon…. Remember, as Lazarus Long advises, “Always cut the cards.”…..

I have read and understood the above. 

X ______________________

Okay, I’m happy…. Considering how I felt when I got up, this has gone very well…. Now, if only it reads as well as it flowed out…. Hope springs eternal….

As usual, I was half-right (half-write?)…. It’s not bad, but, again, don’t bother calling the Pulitzer Committee…. It’s good enough for the standards we hold around here, certainly, so, I’ll be off to do that…. See ya….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole…
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.




“Mea culpa” he said, in a dismal voice, “Mea culpa maxima….”


I’d like to begin this morning with an apology, of sorts. In the last few weeks, even before going to Alaska, my time spent reading the blogs I like to read and follow has been severely limited, a fact that has probably been quite obvious by the lack of comments made. Usually, when I can spend the time to read, I will also comment, since, as is patently obvious from reading this blog, I can seldom shut myself up….. Of late, though, I’ve been having a hard time sitting at the computer for long periods, due to my back pain, with its new companion, hip ache, and have ended up sacrificing my time spent reading as a result…..

This doesn’t mean I don’t read, as I am as addicted to reading as I am to breathing; it just means I’m not doing it at the computer as much. As a result, the number of ffolkes who stop by to read this blog has also fallen off a bit, though the number of followers seems to keep growing. As it has been since beginning to write here on WordPress, a good percentage of readers come to read according to how much one time one spends on other blogs, making their presence known by either “Likes” or comments…. If they don’t see you at their blog, they don’t stop by yours, and it is perfectly understandable, given the platform we all use…. Time is, after all, our only resource….

There are about 12 to 24 people, apparently, who come by here practically every day to check out what I’ve done, and to them, I offer my heartfelt gratitude, for always letting me know they appreciate what I’m writing. Not all stop by every day, but the same icons keep appearing below the blogs, so I know who has been by, and who liked what was done…. Beyond the obvious stats available in those indicators, I have no idea how many are coming, nor does it affect what I write, or how often I write…. That is still all about keeping sane, as always…..  I just like to know, for my own curiosity….. Not knowing is frustrating, and is the only reason I care, as it creates stress for as long as I fret about it….

Fretting is something I didn’t do much of for most of my life, and still don’t much care for, but, since the advent of my PTSD about 30 years ago, I tend to worry more, until I can get hold of myself and dump such nonsense into the trash bin, where it belongs…. More folks have died of worry than ever bled to death, so I try to avoid it whenever possible…. but, there are times when my anxiety gets the better of me, and I fret, until I either resolve the worry, or remember to keep perspective, whichever comes first. And yes, I’m easily amused by reality….. easily distracted, too…. Where was I?…..

Any who, I wanted to apologize to all those bloggers, and, yes, friends, who keep dropping by, without any reciprocation by me…. Y’all are the rainbows in my daily existence…. (see below’s poem…) Have faith, my friends, I will be by to check out what you’ve been up to, it may just take a while. My back pain has been somewhat ubiquitous of late, and has caused me to wage a constant war with gravity, just to get done what is necessary to live; unfortunately, that doesn’t include reading at the computer for long. I’m hoping that it will calm down a bit before the end of next month, when I will be moving to a new place, getting Patty and I out of this erstwhile Peyton Place….

For now, I see I’ve blathered sufficiently for one morning, and should get on with the rest of the day’s effort, so…. Shall we Pearl?

Triumphal arch, that fill’st the sky
When storms prepare to part,
I ask not proud Philosophy
To teach me what thou art.

— Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) — To the Rainbow

Smart Bee seems to have its own idea of what to include in this section today; the following five quotes pulled themselves out and made themselves obvious in a short span of about three minutes….. Who am I to argue with such confidence? I believe it is a short observation of the perils and joys of parenting, with some pithy comments about how much FUN it can be….. And, yes, that was supposed to be ironic…. or, at least, sardonic…. Don’t worry, though, no matter how critical or sarcastic discussion of it may be, parenting remains our most challenging, and most rewarding, human pastime…. provided, of course, one lives through it….. Enjoy!…..

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” — Mark Twain

“‘Tis better to be alone than in the company of fools.” — Bobby Matherne, American Philosopher (1940-)

To be clear… this is not about the company of children, but a general lesson I tried to pass on to my son, as it came from my father to me….

“There are more horses’ asses in this world than there are horses.” — Grandma Soderquist’s conclusion

Another lesson I received, and hopefully, passed on….

“Children aren’t happy without something to ignore, and that’s what parents were created for.” — Ogden Nash

“Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.” — Oscar Wilde

Remember, Oscar was a cynic of the first degree, and didn’t, as far as I know, have children of his own, so his comments need to be filtered through that data…. Perfectly truthful, though, as he seems not to have realized how difficult is the task of raising a genius, with an uncompromisingly honest, if injured, personality such as his own, a task uncomfortably endured by his own parents….

“I hope I never get so old I get religious.” — Ingmar Bergman

Oops! How did that slip in there? Sorry, ffolkes, Smart Bee thought it would play me for a fool, and slip in its own advice…. which, in this case, is just fine… It doesn’t make any sense, but it is still good parenting advice, so it can stay…. Now, for one last zinger….

“No matter what, they’ll always be your babies.” — Mom’s Hint #065

Okay, so it isn’t a zinger…. it IS, however, the whole point, though, isn’t it?……

My own poetic output is still blocked up, but I always know where to find something worth including…. funny how it is almost always from another century…..

A Bard’s Epitaph

Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,
Let him draw near;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,
And drap a tear.

Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
That weekly this area throng,
O, pass not by!
But, with a frater-feeling strong,
Here, heave a sigh.

Is there a man, whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs, himself, life’s mad career,
Wild as the wave,
Here pause-and, thro’ the starting tear,
Survey this grave.

The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn the wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow,
And softer flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
And stain’d his name!

Reader, attend! whether thy soul
Soars fancy’s flights beyond the pole,
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,
In low pursuit:
Know, prudent, cautious, self-control
Is wisdom’s root.

~~ Robert Burns ~~


“No matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up.” — Lily Tomlin

Yesterday, I began the day with a rant of considerable length, and threatened to expound further in future blogs. It would be, and will be, relatively easy to come up with one, given the state of the news I’ve seen since returning to reality from the cruise ship. The Zimmerman trial is over, and justice was NOT served; Texas, along with more than 10 other states, is attempting to pass legislation that will put the cause of women’s rights back fifty years, with the apparent blessing of the Supreme Court. Drones are still being employed to spy on American citizens in their own homes, and the NSA and FBI are diligently monitoring the communications devices of Americans along with those of the rest of the world, gathering data about each and every one of us, all without our knowledge, and, hopefully, without our approval…..

These four issues are only a small part of what is going on in the world today, as the forces of the corporate masters continue to befuddle and confuse the public, spewing their lies and misinformation all over the TV, radio, and internet, using the very technology that can free our minds to control them. The internet, used correctly, can be a liberating influence on the human mind, but, only if its use is unrestricted by all, not just by those in authority. When we allow the government to stick its fingers into the media pie, whether print or digital, we give up our only hope of keeping track of what our ostensible leaders are up to, and may as well just hand over the keys to our entire lives to them…..

“The capitalist can only make a whole people go to war — want war, clamor for war as, again and again, we have seen whole peoples doing — by capturing the popular will. The only prophylactic against that situation is to make the public aware of the way in which it is being misled.” — Sir Norman Angell (1872-1967)

Obviously, this principle is not new…. yet, when the government’s malfeasance is confirmed by evidence for people can see, they act surprised, and can’t believe their own leaders would do that to them! Even the media we have, who ignore so much of what transpires, can’t help but give clues in the news each day; they do, however, try to downplay any suggestions of wrongdoing by those who are in power; it doesn’t do to annoy the entity that feeds you, and the media is fully aware of their own complicity. They just don’t care, any more than the sociopaths who are in the government….

You may have detected a certain degree of bitterness in my writing today; good catch. I’m right pissed is what I am. I’m getting tired of how those in positions of authority seem to no longer even care if they are caught lying, or cheating; they just blithely go on doing what they’re going to do, offering up some weak justification that doesn’t make any sense, knowing the public cannot DO anything about it. Once in office, there is very little recourse for us voters; we just have to live with whatever we’ve voted in…. Sadly, that is becoming more and more obviously intended to our detriment, not our benefit, but, hey! We voted, didn’t we? You betcha….

Not like our votes meant anything, when both sides of the political scene are corrupt, and intent on carrying out their own agendas, which have nothing to do with benefiting the public. No, as my lady said yesterday, our votes don’t really mean anything, and won’t, until we make at least a start at reforming our corrupt government…. beginning with the elimination of the electoral college, a device most useful for hiding the true purposes of the powered elite. Intended as a protection for the landed owners who framed the constitution, it guarantees that only those with sufficient financial resources can ever truly control the outcome of elections, making the popular vote a mere sop to the collective conscience of the public, as it has no real final effect on who gets into office…..

Bah, humbug! That’s enough for one day…. None of what I’m saying is particularly hard to figure out, or to see, if one is a careful observer of society. But, none of it will convince most folks that they are trapped in an  untenable position, unless they are willing to admit their own complicity in creating the issues. We all are a part of the problem, and it will take a great number of ffolkes a lot of effort to get us out of it, if we possibly can. Sadly, I don’t see a lot of hope for mankind as a whole. Our species is killing itself, by fouling our own nest, making it, at the least, more difficult to live in, and, ultimately, making it impossible to survive…. The evidence is clear, for those with eyes to see….

“Real eyes realize real lies.” — Anonymous: seen on a wall in a combat zone somewhere in the middle east…..

“I love KATRINKA because she drives a PONTIAC.
We’re going away now.
I fed the cat.

— Zippy the Pinhead

I’m rushing a bit to get done with this, as I’ve got a dental appointment later, and need time to fret about that…. Not really, but, I do have other stuff to do first, so let’s see how this went today….. Be right back…. Well, I’m pleasantly surprised…. it’s better than I’d hoped…. I hope y’all agree, and, if not, well, feel free to tell me why not…. remembering, of course, as would all MY readers, to refrain from vituperation or loss of emotional control… I hates drama….   😆    Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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.



Boring barefoot babies banging bongos….

Soft sounds of night whispered of fevered dreams and fear. Nothing stirred over the pale, moonlit landscape, save the lone figure of a man, walking purposefully across the sand, by the silent, dark water of the lake. Bearing down upon the building on the corner, he paused at the curb, to look up the facade, seeking one particular window.

High up, near the top, a single square was awash with light; upon spying the lit window, the man smiled, a small, satisfied, evil smile…. Without a word, he passed through the revolving door, into the building, now moving rapidly toward the bank of elevators along the back wall. He punched for the floor he wanted, then, as the doors slid closed, pulled a long, vicious looking knife from inside his coat…..

Okay, then, we’ll just leave that would-be assassin there in the elevator, and assume he either got the job done, or the woman he was sent to kill overcame his training, and turned him to her own side…. or, perhaps, blew him away with her .357 as he entered the room. Either way, you can write the rest of it yourself, so there’s no point in my doing it, is there? Nope….. Of course, that leaves me stranded again, barely into the third paragraph of the intro, with nothing more to say in my head. This is getting to be not only inconvenient, but frustrating for me….. I’m almost tempted to break out a Poohism, just to go with the flow…. in fact, I will…. Here…..

— Bother! said Pooh, nailing Eeyore’s tail onto Owl’s feathered fanny.

Well, that’s an interesting little aphorism, isn’t it? Kind of shows Pooh’s true colors, though, which may disappoint some of you…. You may as well get over it though, because we do a lot of that sort of balloon puncturing around here, whenever we can, especially regarding the Bear of No Brain, who has a very dark side, and occasionally needs to have people reminded of that side of him. Otherwise, people tend to start looking at Pooh as a harmless child’s toy, rather than the slick, sometimes evil, street smart, little bear that he is…. Here’s another example of just how bad he can be….

— Bother! said Pooh, as he sold crack in the school yard.

See? Now, is that the kind of bear you want your kids playing with? I didn’t think so…. His companions from the Hundred Acre Wood aren’t all that innocent, either…. for example:

— Bother! said Pooh, as Piglet covered his naked body in whipped cream.

I guess the two of them must have had fun with all that cream, because this one was next in line…..

— Bother! said Pooh, as he lay back and lit Piglet’s cigarette.

As you can see, the Little Bear isn’t such an Uncarved Block, is he?  Ah well, now that we’ve ruined a reputation or two, I think I can call time on this intro, and get on with today’s dive…. It is most likely a good idea, as I’ve already lost control of this somehow; heading off to dive can only save what’s left of our dignity…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Custom does often reason overrule and only serves for reason to the fool.” — John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

This aphorism is one that I think most people would accept as true, at least part of the time. It also points up what I see as a basic flaw in human nature, a characteristic that everyone possesses, and few overmaster. It has to do with our core beliefs, and the attitude we assume as our method of perception, the orientation of our world-view, as it were. We all perceive what is out there in the universe, but we are not capable, at this time, of understanding, or even noting, all that is there to be perceived, as we are limited to what we can see, hear, feel, touch, taste, or deduce, in our immediate vicinity…. We don’t yet know how to include the input of anything not in our physical presence, other than vicariously (via TV, radio, books, etc…..).

We do, however perceive what we are near, and what we do with those perceptions is what determines how the events of our lives will proceed. What is more, each one of us perceives all of this IN A DIFFERENT WAY…..  Two people can look at the same article, or event, and see two entirely different things; just ask them….. We use the same senses, the same KIND of brains to process the data, at the same time to observe the same event, yet the interpretation of those events will vary, by as many degrees as there are people perceiving them. This unique ability, to process data in a completely new and different way from anyone else’s method, is, as might be guessed, both a blessing, and a curse….. It is the latter that concerns me today…..

In order to coexist in the same place and time, people have learned to accept certain perceptions as being identical, for the purposes of communication, e.g., everyone knows what “fire” is, and knows not to touch it barehanded…. (Note: in a way, this blog is all about the process of such communications…. we explore the reality that is consensual, that we all agree to deal with as being the same for all of us…..) This is the blessing it gives, the opportunity to increase understanding, to allow people to work in tandem, making both much more capable, making two more than just one plus one….. This is a very useful tool in the real world, and has helped our species achieve the degree of civilization we now enjoy….

But, the other side of this characteristic has an equal part in our destiny, and may in fact be the more important of the two, in the ultimate sense….. You see, we are all herd animals, and desire the approval and company of our peers; without it, we suffer, much more than we even know. It is not “human” to remain alone too long…. Oh, there is nothing wrong with solitude, and much great thought is achieved when one is not distracted by others…..

On the other hand, a human who is alone for too long becomes a pale imitation of his/her true self, without the presence of other minds to test his/her theories, to discuss and share their feelings and accomplishments, to vent their frustrations, to experience love….. Without these things, our spirits become small, and lose their moral compass, leaving us adrift in a reality that seems dark, and dangerous….

This dependence on custom (which I define as the total construct of human society, the set of rules and regulations, all unwritten, by which all of us shape our behavior in respect to each other…..) is so strong that, as the aphorism states, one becomes willing to set reason aside, in order to keep and maintain our feeling of having a place in society. We will assume whatever mask that society demands, at times, in order to not have to wear a mask of our own devising, one that we do not find comfortable…. This is the curse of which I spoke….

You see, there are a number of people who have no compunctions whatsoever in using this human characteristic to their own ends….. They don’t believe in any of the crap they spew, but will say or do anything to make sure that others do, because this is how they control the general populace… They spread their lies, fast and often, until they are believed….

These lies promulgate fear amongst the uneducated and timid, who then demand that “something be done!” by those in charge…. which is exactly what those people wanted, for they can now proceed to further fan the flames of fear, while surreptitiously looting the public treasury to make it seem as if they are doing something constructive…. “Hey, they’re stealing our oil! Let’s spend a few billion to bomb the crap out of them so we can keep driving SUV’s!, with great cup holders!”

Oh well, I guess that’s all the rant I’ve got in me today…. It’s kind of mild I know, but I was trying to be scholarly, rather than controversial and accusatory…. I think I’ve succeeded in that, but, it doesn’t quite give the same thrill and/or release as a good, nasty rant, with some great name-calling… Well, I can always call them assholes, because, hey, it fits, and it’s easy to type…. Any who, I’ll stop now, right on the edge of illumination, and allow the Gentle Reader to follow the train of my thought to its obvious conclusion…. For those too busy, or too lazy to do so, I’ll summarize….

Don’t listen to what anyone else says, not about YOUR perceptions. And, for sure, kick the asses of anyone who tries to convince you of their integrity in an elected capacity, or any position of authority…. A lot of people, on every level of society, are just trying to control you for their own purposes, and deserve any ass-kicking that comes their way….

Be like a cat…. cats don’t give a SHIT what anybody thinks, they just are….. No apologies, no fuss, just leave me alone, because I’m busy being a cat….. This is good advice, so, listen up, I’m trying to do you a favor…..   😆

“We need very strong ears to hear ourselves judged frankly, and because there are few who can endure frank criticism without being stung by it, those who venture to criticize us perform a remarkable act of friendship, for to undertake to wound or offend a man for his own good is to have a healthy love for him.” — Michel Eyquem de Montaigne _Essays_, bk. III, ch. 11 [1595]

This poem has an odd provenance…. I first wrote it, in the form of a prose paragraph, as the opening of a Pearl from sometime late in 2011, apparently…. I was looking for an old pearl to use, when I noticed that a paragraph I was reading was actually a poem, with no changes in words, or punctuation, necessary; all it needed was to place each verse in its proper position in each stanza…. It’s actually one of my favorite pieces, now that I see what it really is… I didn’t realize it when I wrote it, only when I re-read it last night…. Serendipity strikes again!….  As on every day this month, this is for the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here:  http://www.napowrimo.net/ (I still don’t know if I’m doing this right, but, oh well….)

Stray Cats

The veils that billow and fold
between dreams and reality
 may sometimes part,
showing the visions of one to the other,
blending, bleeding as one,
only to bring us up short,
closely jammed against immovable fate.

Still, we keep our watch,
seeking to find the vision
 that brings with it the mark of reality’s regard,
a humble mind, and a compassionate heart.

Events of broad impact draw us away again,
distracting with shiny glitter and tinny music,
leaving our feelings raw and bruised,
the victim of universal disregard.

Now, in the twilight of years, the music is fading,
and the glitter has all gone….
yet the memory of visions remains sharp and clear,
melancholy reminders of reality’s promises,



“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” — C. G. Jung

Sadie, the cat, will be going to my daughter’s house to live today, and I wanted to spend some extra time with her, so it’s a good thing I’m making good time with this Pearl…. with her help…. Just in case the sound of the coffee brewing doesn’t wake me up, on each of the past five mornings, Sadie has decided to help get me up….

First, when the machine starts to make noises indicating it is turning on, she begins clawing at the underside of the bed, then, when I say her name to get her to stop, she jumps up on the bed, right by my face, and meows loudly in my ear…. She then jumps away as if I had yelled at her, (I didn’t…)  but immediately stops and looks back to make sure I’m looking at her….

If I’m not yet focused enough to do that, she jumps down to the floor, then back up by my face to repeat her complaint…. If I am looking at her, she meows again, and comes back to get petted…. A very persistent alarm clock, she is…. She may not have provided my existence with meaning, but she has certainly added a great deal of charm and love…. I’ll miss her, but, fortunately, can visit her any time….

Any who, since I ranted to long and obscure purpose above, I’ll go with an old-school pearl for the closing section today….. I really do like the quote above from Carl, so, be assured, the pearls I pick today will have some sort of connection to this idea, tenuous though it may be…. Enjoy!…..

He spoke in both simile and metaphor…
the words a bubbling champagne
tinged with the colors of the sunset.

“‘T is the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
and coming events cast their shadows before.”

— Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) — Lochiel’s Warning

“It’s a poor workman who blames his tools.” — Smart Bee (so old a piece of wisdom, nobody knows who said it first…..)
(This is especially true of philosophers….  🙄   )

“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” — Abraham Lincoln

“A fair exterior is a silent recommendation.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 267

“I have not loved the world, nor the world me.” — Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto iii, Stanza 113

“Happiness begins with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.” — Epictetus

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” — Albert Einstein

All things considered, it went well; now, let’s see how it reads….. Actually, I think I’m okay with this…. It flowed fairly well, and I don’t think I said anything to overly offend anyone, unless they are inclined to take things personally, which MY readers would never do…. With that said, it’s Saturday, and I’m off into the BBR to play…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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.



A graduated scale of benevolence….

When I can, I do. When I can’t, I don’t. If I’m ordered, I refuse. If I’m asked, I consider. And if I’m bitten, I bite back. That’s my bottom line, and if anyone doesn’t care for it, well, that’s just too damn bad, so sad for you, maybe you’d like a little cheese with that whine? Or shall I just forcibly insert a sharp object into your most accessible orifice?

What prompted this? I’m not certain, as it just took over when I sat down to compose the opening for today’s missive. It sounds as if my subconscious is reacting to a perceived threat, but the only threat I know of right now is the threat of bad poetry, or the heartbreak of diverticulitis, and neither is particularly imminent. I suppose it’s just feeling nervous about how the political scene in this country is shaping up; it gets more bizarre every day, as the candidates jockey for position for Tuesday’s dustup primaries, and continue to make their outrageous claims and wild accusations of conspiracy by the White House. I’ll sit down and have a talk with it, give it some soothing words…. it should be okay in a little while.

My subconscious tends to a fairly high degree of paranoia, but I don’t want to blunt the edge of its perceptions, even if a bit extreme. It’s better to be prepared for the worst it can imagine, then whatever does happen is easily handled, as it generally is not as bad as what my subconscious mind has prepared to deal with. That’s the whole point of a successful defensive strategy, to be ready for the worst; anything short of that is a piece of cake….

“There is in us a tendency to locate the shaping forces of our existence outside ourselves. Success and failure are unavoidably related in our minds with the state of things around us. Hence it is that people with a sense of fulfillment think it is a good world and would like to preserve it as it is, while the frustrated favor radical change. The tendency to look for all causes outside ourselves persists even when it is clear that our state of being is the product of personal qualities such as ability, character, appearance, health and so on.” — Eric Hoffer

Mr. Hoffer makes a good point here, a point that has fallen into disfavor in today’s society. I speak, of course, of the concept of personal responsibility. By always looking for external factors to explain what is wrong with our world, the personal responsibility that each person holds is nullified, or at least ignored. It has become fashionable instead to find a scapegoat for our problems; we blame our upbringing, our parents, our struggling schools, the President, the economy, or anybody or anything else we can come up with that might have contributed to our discomfort.

There are very few people left today who will admit to having any part in their difficulties; it’s much easier on the self-image to blame it on one’s parents, who are not there to defend themselves, or on some diffuse entity like society, to which all may point as the perpetrator of whatever problem they have encountered. I’d guesstimate that 95% of the members of society today fall into this category; real integrity and honesty is virtually extinct. Just another in a litany of human folly, one which will not only support our extinction as a species, but will hurry it along like a manic sheepdog worries its flock. And when we’re all dead and gone, the planet isn’t going to care one little bit about whose fault it was……

“There is a perfectly satisfactory explanation for everything, but security prevents its disclosure.” — The Anthony Blunt Excuse

“Already the spirit of our schooling is permeated with the feeling that every subject, every topic, every fact, every professed truth must be submitted to a certain publicity and impartiality.  All proffered samples of learning must go to the same assay-room and be subjected to common tests.  It is the essence of all dogmatic faiths to hold that any such “show-down” is sacrilegious and perverse.  The  characteristic of religion, from their point of view, is that it is intellectually secret, not public; peculiarly revealed, not generally known; authoritatively declared, not communicated and tested in ordinary ways…It is pertinent to point out that, as long as religion is conceived as it is now by the great majority of professed religionists, there is something self-contradictory in speaking of education in religion in the same sense in which we speak of education in topics where the method of free inquiry has made its way.  The “religious” would be the last to be willing that either the history of the content of religion should be taught in this spirit; while those to whom the scientific standpoint is not merely a technical device, but is the embodiment of the integrity of mind, must protest against its being taught in any other spirit.” — John Dewey (1859-1953), American philosopher, — from “Democracy in the Schools”, 1908

This is long enough, and clear enough, that it needs no more added, by me or anyone else. It’s a well-thought out, and clearly stated premise, and a perfect description of a problem that society has obviously not solved, as this sentiment from 1908 remains as valid today as when it was first uttered. I guess it just goes to show that not only are we bozoid creatures, but stubborn as well, unwilling to give up our prejudices and delusions without a struggle. It’s the old “devil you know” outlook carried to its logical extreme; it doesn’t seem to matter that it will kill us just as dead as a new devil….. as long as we don’t have to think about it…..

The human body produces far more energy than the sun (per unit weight)

It’s simple, really. A human body is an energy conversion tool, or machine, whereas the sun is a source of electromagnetic energy. The body consumes energy in the form of food and converts it first to neurochemical energy by the digestive system, then to kinetic energy by the neuromuscular system. The processes they employ to create and convert one form of energy to another are very complex biochemical transformations, involving a number of steps. Electromagnetic energy is produced by the sun by the process of nuclear fission, in subtle and complex processes not fully understood by mankind, as we are not yet able to look inside a star to gather any evidence of how it functions; at least, not to any important degree.

Nonetheless, we can measure and compare the relative levels of each type of energy produced by the human body and the sun; from there it is merely an arithmetic problem, with a solution provided by addition, multiplication, and long division of the defined numbers representing the energy produced. Both processes are beautiful examples of how understanding the underlying mathematics of the universe lends itself to harmonious functioning between the various manifestations of which it is comprised, to wit: energy, biology, chemistry, and all of the other branches of physics that make up our mathematical model of reality.

From any direction it is viewed, the existence of Life, Consciousness, and the Universe at large is pretty miraculous, exceedingly, almost painfully beautiful in its grandeur and scope. Tossing in the concept of Entropy (you know… Chance, randomness, chaos, Satan, free will, statistics, human nature, the power of PMS, etc.) makes Life all the more intriguing…. besides which, as far as I can tell so far, it’s the only game in town….

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them.- that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality.” — Lao-Tzu

“Half of the American people have never read a newspaper.  Half never voted for President.  One hopes it is the same half.” — Gore Vidal

Hope springs eternal, does it not? This particular hope is, I’m afraid, never going to pan out. Besides, of the half who actually read a newspaper, only half of them are reading the articles on the front page; the rest only take it for the comics, the sports page, and the astrological forecast…..

But Hope, the charmer, linger’d still behind. — Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) — Pleasures of Hope, Part i, Line 40

“What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?  Let them take arms!” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Letter to Colonel W. S. Smith, 1787

“Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the _real_ object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” — Patrick Henry

I have nothing to add to this, it’s perfectly clear……

So ends another episode of temporary sanity, sent out with love from my little corner of the universe. It’s not Ibsen, but it’s still Art…. y’all take care out there…..

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