Because it mostly resembles a codfish….


“Oh, no!”, he cried. “Now what?”  Sound familiar? It does to me…. Sadly, this sounds just like what I say almost every time I get up to another of Mr. Murphy’s less than welcome surprises. I’m certain I’m not the only one, either, because I refuse to believe that this kind of stuff only happens to me…. If that were true, I’d be seriously looking for God, to register a complaint, and, since I’m pretty certain that God doesn’t have an office, or keep office hours (hard to accomplish when one is a delusion….), it’s just more productive to take care of it myself…. I know, this makes me one of those heathens, and makes certain that Satan will hold me a place in Hell, right? Well, okay, as long as the A/C works, I’m good with that….

Sorry, didn’t mean to get all crusty right off…. I talked myself into that corner, and there wasn’t any other way out but through sarcasm, so, please, bear with me, as I try to stabilize my neuronic pathways, using my usual bee balm, aka coffee, blessedly strong and sweet. I’ve gulped down a good six ounces so far, and it’s starting to have some effect, so, we should be good to go in just a few moments…. I made this pot really strong, even for me, so it has a dose of caffeine in it big enough to win the Derby, and shouldn’t take long to bring surcease to those parts of my brain that are crying out for it, in such pitiful voices….

The piteous sounds of addictive neurons have faded into mere echoes, and the morning ablutions, including a second cuppacoffee, are well in hand, so, our way  is clear to head off into the hinterlands of perception, to find what there is to find out there to play with this morning. I’m thinking it’s a Smart Bee day, as I ranted yesterday pretty hard, to the detriment of my hips and back… Since old-school pearls, and archive-diving, are less time consuming, we’ll most likely go that route today…. Not that it matters to the three or four readers who stop by…. 😆

It’s rather ironic, actually…. In the last few days, and weeks, I’ve written some pretty powerful stuff, concerning main-stream news subjects that concern everyone in this country… According to the WP stat-bots, I’ve got 302 followers now, but, only about twenty of them are visiting the site on any kind of regular basis, at least, if the Likes and Comments are any indication. The site traffic stats also show small numbers, so I don’t know what to believe…. Ah, well, since I don’t really care if anyone reads it at all, it isn’t an issue that bothers me much…. I just hate not having accurate information…. Well, there is that, plus, I’d really like to be able to know that more than just a couple of folks read what I’ve got to say, because much of it is stuff that this country NEEDS to think about….

So be it…. shouting into the wind is one of my favorite things to do, so, I’ll just keep at it, and hope that the traffic picks up…. Maybe if I pick better poetry?…. Hard to do, since I already post the world’s best poets regularly…. If I keep my own stuff out of the mix, it’s a pretty classy line-up, so not much to complain about there…. No es importante, I’m going to do what I do, no matter how many, or few, folks, or even ffolkes, stop by to read it…. Someday, maybe after I’m gone from this plane of existence, all the millions of words I’ve penned will be published for real, and the world can see what they’ve missed…..

Until then, shall we Pearl?….

A monk said to Joshu, “Your stone bridge is widely renowned, but coming here I find only a heap of rocks.”

Joshu said, “You see only the stones and not the bridge.”

The monk said, “What is the bridge?”

Joshu said, “What do you think we are walking on?”

As threatened promised, below is an old-school pearl. This one was created using the “whatever” technique, which lets SB do the picking, whereupon, I deal with the results in a flexible manner, necessitated by the seeming lack of purpose, but enabled by the level of skill that I’ve developed over time of making something out of nothing…. another metaphor for my writing, I suppose….. Any who, this time, SB was instructed to pick some quotes that show the evolution of the BRC and the theory of government, contrasted by its relevance to the evolution of humanity at large…. I think it came out well…. It’s certainly obscure enough…. just enough, though…. all the needed information is there, if one can let go, and allow the mind to follow the path suggested by the pearls…. Enjoy!…..

“I hate to mention things like this in this feature, but it is one of the more pressing problems in America today, and that is the lack of tap-dancers in the Miss America contest.” — Smart Bee

Their feet through faithless leather met the dirt,
And oftener chang’d their principles than shirt.

— Edward Young (1684-1765) — To Mr. Pope, Epistle i, Line 277

“By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.” — Albert Camus

“And waste their music on the savage race.” — Edward Young (1684-1765) — Love of Fame, Satire v, Line 228

“If you made a better rat than a human, that’s not much to boast about.” — Sirius Black, J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter”

“The message of history is clear: the past lies before us.” — Smart Bee

“Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place.  And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.” — Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

Today’s choice of poems comes from one of my favorites, Shel Silverstein, who passed away in 1999. The range of feeling in his poetry is astounding, as is his talent of expressing those feelings in the simplest of language…. Abondanza!….

God’s Wheel

God says to me with a kind of smile,
“Hey how would you like to be God awhile
And steer the world?”
“Okay,” says I, “I’ll give it a try.
Where do I set?
How much do I get?
What time is lunch?
When can I quit?”
“Gimme back that wheel,” says God.
“I don’t think you’re quite ready yet.”

~~ Shel Silverstein ~~

Cloony The Clown

I’ll tell you the story of Cloony the Clown
Who worked in a circus that came through town.
His shoes were too big and his hat was too small,
But he just wasn’t, just wasn’t funny at all.
He had a trombone to play loud silly tunes,
He had a green dog and a thousand balloons.
He was floppy and sloppy and skinny and tall,
But he just wasn’t, just wasn’t funny at all.
And every time he did a trick,
Everyone felt a little sick.
And every time he told a joke,
Folks sighed as if their hearts were broke.
And every time he lost a shoe,
Everyone looked awfully blue.
And every time he stood on his head,
Everyone screamed, “Go back to bed!”
And every time he made a leap,
Everybody fell asleep.
And every time he ate his tie,
Everyone began to cry.
And Cloony could not make any money
Simply because he was not funny.
One day he said, “I’ll tell this town
How it feels to be an unfunny clown.”
And he told them all why he looked so sad,
And he told them all why he felt so bad.
He told of Pain and Rain and Cold,
He told of Darkness in his soul,
And after he finished his tale of woe,
Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no,
They laughed until they shook the trees
With “Hah-Hah-Hahs” and “Hee-Hee-Hees.”
They laughed with howls and yowls and shrieks,
They laughed all day, they laughed all week,
They laughed until they had a fit,
They laughed until their jackets split.
The laughter spread for miles around
To every city, every town,
Over mountains, ‘cross the sea,
From Saint Tropez to Mun San Nee.
And soon the whole world rang with laughter,
Lasting till forever after,
While Cloony stood in the circus tent,
With his head drooped low and his shoulders bent.
And while the world laughed outside.
Cloony the Clown sat down and cried.

~~ Shel Silverstein ~~


I was going to be lazy, and pick something from the archives to put here, but, what the hell…. It’s still early, and I’ve got the time… Here is another old-school pearl (still no rant in there, thankfully….), a harlequin, random variety, picked entirely by SB, with no parameters whatsoever…. Should be “interesting”….

“Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage.  But if we don’t practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us — and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along.” — Carl Sagan, “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,” Parade, February 1, 1987

(Note the date, please; it is obvious that Carl had yet to process the evidence that proved this had already happened, to wit; Reagan was still in office, and his economic policies were just starting to kill the American economy from the top down….)

“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.” — Wendell Berry

“Many candles can be kindled from one candle without diminishing it.” — The Midrash

“Stereotypes are like a supermarket. They are convenient, economical, and useful. They do our thinking for us. We don’t have to waste time trying to make sense of our ignorance. Stereotypes slice through the niceties of language, tide us over the loose ends we don’t understand and wrap up into a comfortable package our narrow-mindedness about everything and everybody except ourselves” — Chuck Stone (Washington Post 6/3/96)

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” — Sun Tzu

“Listen carefully, I’m lying!” — Little known part of the Oath of Office, as administered to the POTUS every four years…..
(Sorry, couldn’t resist overruling SB on this one…. it’s just too perfect….)

“Anaxagoras said to a man who was grieving because he was dying in a foreign land, “The descent to Hades is the same from every place.”” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Anaxagoras, vi

Well, I think it’s interesting, and that’s what counts, right?…. Since it’s my blog, we’re going with that theory for now….

“The chief aim of wisdom is to enable one to bear with the stupidity of the ignorant.” — Xystus I

There are those who would say the above is a somewhat arrogant statement, in which they’d be correct, to a degree. However, I can only respond, “and your point would be?”…. I’m not going to apologize for being smarter than the average bear; it’s not as if all my vaunted intelligence has enabled me to rule the world, now, has it? Nor has it made me rich, or famous, or widely known and respected, other than, I hope, amongst the few people I call friends… As for the rest of those folks out there, who get upset at having to use their brains for something other furniture, well, too bad, so sad, my bad, fuck it…. And I mean that in the nicest possible way….

Not sure where that came from, ‘cept that I like the quote, and felt it needed some comment or other to ease its passage into infamy…. Now that I’ve disrupted my own routine unmercifully, I should probably look for some way to bring this all to a close, before it gets completely away from me…. Oh, look! Here’s a spot now!….. Since I’ve completed all the required steps, and we have a good opportunity, I’m outta here….

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.



Open for dissection: bring your own scalpel….

With a hearty grin and a friendly wave, we greet the morning once more. The grin may look a bit forced, and the wave somewhat rehearsed; chalk that up to the lateness of the hour when I finally dropped off. Just couldn’t persuade the sandman to get here any earlier, and when he finally came, he had to go back for his sack of sleep dust, which he had inadvertently left at his previous stop, somewhere in the Grand Tetons,  up in Wyoming. By the time he got back, I was already yawning, so all went smoothly from that point. If one doesn’t count the age-related trips to the BR during the night (why is it always colder when we have to get up? Is it a law or something?…..oh, right. Murphy. Never mind…).

It’s probably the worst part of the whole deal to have one’s own body providing itself with its own problems; between losing hair at an alarming rate and the nightly trips to the BR, it’s a wonder I haven’t snapped and hurt someone. Of course, no one is ever here, so I’d have to go find someone to flail upon, which just serves to add more angst. Ah well, the alternative is worse, I suppose….I wouldn’t go back to my teens unless forced at gunpoint……. let’s drop the whole subject, shall we?….. it helps to think of this, from a man with experience….

“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” — George Burns

Which is a damn sight better than, “Suddenly, Professor Liebowitz realizes he has come to the seminar without his duck …” Okay, I’m through fooling around now; we’ll get on with the regular program……sorry, I needed the warm-up…..

“It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

I’d have to agree here. I’d also like to add it would be pleasant to possess both qualities…. I’ve always felt Oscar was being more than a little facetious with this, but even if not, and it was entirely cynical, that would not alter its attraction, because, after all, it IS a value judgment….. in fact, several value judgments in one package. What I mean by that has been classified secret, so unfortunately, that’s the end of this little segment….. if I said any more, I have to find and cream pie all of you…..

:religious issues: n.  Questions which seemingly cannot be raised without touching off {holy wars}, such as “What is the best operating system (or editor, language, architecture, shell, mail reader, news reader)?”, “What about that Heinlein guy, eh?”, “What should we add to the new Jargon File?”  See {holy wars}; see also {theology}, {bigot}. — This term is a prime example of {ha ha only serious}.  People actually develop the most amazing and religiously intense attachments to their tools, even when the tools are intangible.  The most constructive thing one can do when one stumbles into the crossfire is mumble {Get a life!} and leave — unless, of course, one’s _own_ unassailably rational and obviously correct choices are being slammed. — from The on-line Hacker Jargon File V423

I have, in previous posts, expressed admiration of hacker culture, and I don’t think it is misplaced. This term, used as humor, parallels exactly the same phenomenon in society at large, for the same kinds of questions, i.e., “What do you mean, the banks need more money?” or “My, that’s a lot of oil you have there…..wanna share?” I especially like the given default response when confronted, “get a life”; it shows a lot of class and restraint to leave it at that. SIGH….I’d love to be able to leave it at that….. so I will….. you lucked out, in one respect. I don’t quite have the built-up outrage for a full rant just now; we’ll have to get back to this another day…… you can put the Taser down, now, you won’t need it……

” Stereotypes are like a supermarket. They are convenient, economical, and useful. They do our thinking for us. We don’t have to waste time trying to make sense of our ignorance. Stereotypes slice through the niceties of language, tide us over the loose ends we don’t understand and wrap up into a comfortable package our narrow – mindedness about everything and everybody except ourselves.” — Chuck Stone (Washington Post 6/3/96)

I’m sorry I missed this article, whatever it was about, when it was first printed; this excerpt shows a lot of insight, and the article itself would no doubt have some good things to say. This is a really accurate description of Robert Heinlein’s Mrs. Grundy; she’s the old busybody who lives in every neighborhood, who spends all her copious free time peeking out the windows and noting down all the gossip she can find about her neighbors, and pronouncing criticisms and moralistic judgments on everyone but herself. This sort of attitude, petty, mean, lazy, and ignorant, is all-too-familiar, and may ultimately lead to our downfall as a species.

Though given adequate tools, much of mankind refuses, in far too many cases, to use, even minimally, the gift of imagination, save to imagine their fears, magnifying them all out of proportion because they have not the courage to face them. Whether it is about religion, or freedom, or truth, or whatever, the ignoramus’s among us react with anxiety and rage to any ideas that are unfamiliar, or in any way differ from their own set of preconceived stereotypes and standards. Thus, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, even Lutherans & Papists, or anyone with a differently hued skin, become objects of fear and loathing, and the age-old arguments continue. I often like to use the following in trying to reason with such people, but fanaticism is usually immune to such frippery as truth or rationality……

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg.” — Thomas Jefferson

I also like this take on the subject; it gives permission to fire away at these Bozos, whenever and wherever we encounter them…..

“In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.” — John Kenneth Galbraith, Guardian (London, 28 July 1989)

…And in a final spasm of pearlistic splendor, we have this from Mrs. Grundy’s antithesis, a woman of grace and intelligence….. ’nuff said….

“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.” — Edith Sitwell

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
— Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — The Day is done

SIGH……that’s better. I’ve just spent the last 40 minutes desperately searching for something profound to write about, and had little success in the quest at hand, until I came across this little gem. I’m sure it’s quite familiar; I seem to remember several long, boring sessions in high school English class discussing this, and a number of other classic poems. It may possibly have been made to be a fun class, but our English teacher was, at that time, suffering a bit of career burp, apparently feeling somewhat despondent over his career choice; regretful of being stuck in a small town, and small school, where someone of his delicate sensibilities and artistic bent was not quite as appreciated as he might have been in a larger town, where there would conceivably be people with tastes that didn’t include anything to do with tractors, the weather, or sheep.

He once commented to the class at large, after grading a test on grammar in the 10th grade, in which all but two of the class failed miserably, that he could teach this subject to a roomful of developmentally disabled chimpanzees faster than our group was picking it up. He may have been right; a good 30% of my classmates still wear cowboy boots, string ties, and shirts with pearl buttons to dress up; I understand, though, that even those who still drive pickup trucks, and who still depend on the land for their living, have email addresses, so there has been some progress made there. In the group photo from our last reunion last year, I didn’t see even one belt buckle bigger than the wearer’s fist.  Heck, I hear there is now a hospital, and TWO bars in town; there’s just no stopping progress, I suppose….. I’ll just fold my tent, and steal silently away…..

And through the spaces of the dark
Midnight shakes the memory
As a madman shakes a dead geranium
— T.S. Eliot

No adornment needed……

Well, THAT turned on me! Getting all this down in comprehensible form became a matter of ripping it out of my head, and literally flogging myself to type it onto the screen, a bloody process at best. I shall require copious sustenance in the form of high-caloric comestibles, to replace all the energy that got burned up. Not complaining; sometimes that’s what it takes….. but it always comes as a surprise, and I should know better than to be so heavily affected. One word….. Murphy….. Q.E.D………y’all take care out there……

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